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|I don't get the lack of an outright apology either
Written by Tom P2
(3/7/2011 10:28 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Miss Bates, Emma and Mr Woodhouse, penned by Kathleen Glancy
The topic of Jane Fairfax only becomes a distraction because Emma broaches it instead of going directly to the main reason for her call. Emma fumbles her opportunity by sidling around. The touch seemed immediate (ch44), but would've been better after the apology.
Another consideration is that Mrs Bates wasn't a Box Hill witness, but is in the room, and it may be mortifying for Miss Bates to have to explain to her. I don't think that that's a big obstacle, though, because (A) Jane Austen doesn't bother to mention it as a consideration, and (B) I'm sure Emma could contrive to draw Miss Bates aside somewhere for confidentiality.
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