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|And so revealing
Written by Tarn
(4/17/2008 3:32 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Absolutely, penned by BarbaraB
In this one short visit, Miss Bates manages to provide us with - information on her own abuses of pork; on Mrs Cole as a determined gossip; on Mrs Bates thoughts on having a bachelor gallant as a vicar (a reflection that almost amounts to criticism);that Mr Elton's pursuit of Emma is known about town, Harriet's hopes for Mr Elton ditto; that the Perrys and the Coles were married within the last ten years; and that she has more neighbours to visit than she can fit into one afternoon. She is precise, triumphing over Jane's insularity with her description of Mr Dixon (a man that she has never met in her life!)- almost equal to her description of Jane being hit by the boom while the yacht was jibing (without knowing anything about sailing).
There is one part of her speech that is still cryptic to me - the little revelation " and Jane said, 'Shall I go down instead? for I think you have a little cold, and Patty has been washing the kitchen.'"
Harriet's return to Hartfield immediately after, shows that it is not merely Miss Bates talkativeness that alienates Emma. Harriet is another artless, clear-sighted talker that provides us with a view of Highbury that does not always jibe with Emma's.
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