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|to be sure it did not do [them] justice
Written by Stephanie
(3/10/2011 4:20 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, The Truth Hurts, penned by Robbin
The part of the truth Mr. Knightley tells to Emma when angry that Harriet refused Robert Martin would only 'hurt' as Emma's 'passive scheme' hurts in another instance: the suppositions do not reach Harriet's ears, but they keep Mr. Knightley from doing her justice, which changes how he behaves to her. Until coming to her rescue at the Crown Inn ball, he never troubles to know anything about her beyond the facts he uses to dismiss her worth.
I do not understand the second part of your first paragraph. You seem to think I do not believe Mr. Knightley has a right to speak to Mrs. Weston about Emma's friendship with Harriet, or to Emma about Mr. Martin's proposal to Harriet? If so, I assure you I agree with you that he has.
Mr. Knightley would have done justice to Harriet's sweetness earlier had he not classified her in his mind as someone not worth the effort of conversation. I draw a similar line between Emma doing full justice to the worth she is told is in Robert Martin and Mr. Knightley acknowledging that Harriet's good nature and sweet temper are not contemptible qualities.
I think someone can be quite 'mean,' without needing to harm the target in person. After all, Emma has been unjust in thought, but not fact to Mrs. and Miss Bates. In other words, she thought meanly of them, but (until Box Hill) she never spoke her feelings.
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