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|It would have been a better plan
Written by Ramya
(3/19/2011 9:34 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Why should Jane come to Highbury? (Long), penned by Tarn
for Jane to have gone to Ireland and get the Churchills to meet with Jane in London, as you say. However, that would mean that Jane and Frank would have to remain apart for a long time, and I think they were too much in the fever of love for that arrangement to appeal.
The reason why they kept it secret from all their mutual relations and friends is that it would not be fair to the Churchills if they alone were in the dark. Besides, one cannot hope that it would remain hidden from them for long. As you mentioned in the previos post, Mr. Weston alone would spread it to half the population of England. Besides, the Campbells and the Churchills may have mutual acquantances (Frank was of their set in Weymouth after all). After all, nether Frank nor Jane need permission or consent from either Mr. Weston nor the Bateses. Their real guardians were the Churchills and the Campbells.
Mr. Weston has been unreasonable in his virtriol against Mrs. Churchill, but I don't see that all of it has been unjustified. I do agree with you, though, that Frank does have great power over the aunt, but as I see it, the only reason why he has kept their engagement a secret is fear of disinheritance. Why do you think he does not tell the Churchills, if not for that reason?
To my understanding, Frank's usage of "the hour before" is a figure of speech, not meant to be taken literally. I do think Jane enjoyed his "delightful spirits" and some of his fun and games, but Frank did carry them too far and caused her a lot of embarassment and loss of peace (the "blunder", the Piano, etc.). I think Jane realized that her position was become more and more unlivable. She could not go on refusing Mrs. Elton's "kind offices" or stay on at Highbury month after month living a life as part of the "second set" of Highbury just so she could occasionally enjoy Frank's company. Even though Frank says that Jane Fairfax did not mean to threaten him, I do think engaging herself as a Governess was a last-ditch attempt on her part to get him to "tell all" to his aunt.
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