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|It has been my impression that
Written by nan duval
(4/17/2008 1:09 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Not just the Dixons, general reserve, penned by Tracy W
it is the responsibility of host/hostess to find topics of conversation that will interest the guest & not make them uncomfortable, not that of the guest to provide the hostess with whatever information she is seeking. Emma should be the one to introduce a neutral or general topic once she sees that Jane does not wish to divulge information about her other friends. As Mr. Knightly remarks the next day, Jane's reserve is the product both of her diffidence and discretion, & he surmises that the diffidence could be overcome with greater familiarity but that Emma should not try to overcome Jane's discretion. Jane's diffidence contributes to her not attempting to direct the conversation--that is Emma's prerogative.
Jane's discretion is more than understandable. The Campbells are lovely people, but she is not their daughter. Her advancement has all along depended on their good will. Moreover, she is destined to be a governess--to be in some family to educate their children. It is a position that allows privileged insight into the workings of the family, & all families have their quirks. If it were thought that she could not be trusted to be discrete, her prospects for employment would be affected. She is in no position to feel comfortable contributing grist to the rumor mill. Whether she has any other motives to not be forthcoming, I don't know but her career is enough for me.
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