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|"Not in the habit of judging", i.e. not like Emma?
Written by Delories
(2/23/2011 6:34 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, with Mr Elton and Miss Bates, penned by Nikki N
Although the omniscient narrator (ON) tends to show us the most unflattering (and funniest!) side of Mrs. Elton in her dialogue scenes, it's safe to say that most people in Highbury only know her by sight or by a quick good morning on the street, or by reputation ("Mr. Elton's new wife, lovely young lady from Bristol" or whatever), and Mrs. E. is lucky that Miss Bates has clearly made it her business to cry up that reputation (rather than someone less charitable).
The ON also tells us that Mrs. Elton "had a little beauty and a little accomplishment", which could presumably go a long way for a person accustomed to blowing her own horn, and backed up by the social prestige of being a popular clergyman's bride.
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