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|Mr Knightley's wishes
Written by Nikki N
(2/16/2011 11:45 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, to be entertained  by two such young women, penned by Stephanie
But I think what Mr K essentially wishes for is that Emma should invite Jane more, because it is her due and try to get to know her better, it would also be a kindness to Jane, and they might find that they like each other better after becoming more re-acquainted. I don't think he was trying to force the two young ladies to be boon companions. Mr K has often hinted to Emma that she was somewhat negligent in her duty calls to Mrs and Miss Bates, and he certainly did not expect Emma to be bosom friends with Miss Bates!
He did not want to force down Jane's barriers either -- he did say that her discretion should be respected. But he thought that part of her reserve was also due to diffidence, which is quite possible, considering Jane's social inferiority to Emma and the fact that they had not met for two years. Emma may not have any diffidence at all with someone she had not met for some time, but not everyone is as assured and confident as Emma, both by character and social position.
IMO, Jane might have been more forthcoming had Emma talked to her about subjects such as music, drawing, and literature, instead of trying to get her to gossip about her friends. Jane had praised Emma's piano playing, but Emma chose to think that Jane was showing off her own superior performance.
Part of Emma's dislike of Jane was because of Miss Bates' attitude towards her beloved niece. But that is not Jane's fault, and Emma shoud instead have pitied Jane for having such a tiresome and embarrassing aunt. It would indeed have been a kindness to sometimes invite Jane without her aunt e.g. to play the piano, to read books at Hartfield, to spend some time with Emma and Harriet. Miss Bates would not have felt slighted, but on the contrary, would have been pleased and grateful -- as it would seem quite natural for the younger women to wish to be by themselves without their elders sometimes. And if Emma really wanted to improve Harriet, she might also think that Jane's superior accomplishments and elegance could be a good influence on Harriet -- but then, Emma was rather envious of that superiority.
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