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|A little indication of Harriet's ignorance
Written by Nicki
(4/24/2008 4:00 p.m.)
Now, geography has never been one of my strong points, but I think Harriet beats me in general ignorance here. In Chapter 23 (yes, I am rather behind on the GR), Mr Weston tells Emma and Harriet that Frank is going to be coming, and passing through Oxford on the way. (By the way, I wonder what he could be doing there?).
Emma's spirits were mounted quite up to happiness; every thing wore a different air; James and his horses seemed not half so sluggish as before. When she looked at the hedges, she thought the elder at least must soon be coming out; and when she turned round to Harriet, she saw something like a look of spring, a tender smile even there.
"Will Mr. Frank Churchill pass through Bath as well as Oxford?" was a question, however, which did not augur much.
But neither geography nor tranquillity could come all at once, and Emma was now in a humour to resolve that they should both come in time.
Now, if Frank is coming from Yorkshire on his way to Surrey, stopping at Oxford is fairly reasonable in terms of the journey. But as for taking such a large detour as to go to Bath... when I consider that it takes about one and a half hours to get to Bath from London by train and over two hours by car, it seems completely unreasonable considering the transport at the time.
I think Harriet's infatuation for Mr Elton is either blinding her to reality or showing off her educational deficiencies. Mr Knightley was not far off when he said that 'She is not a sensible girl, nor a girl of any information. She has been taught nothing useful, and is too young and too simple to have acquired any thing herself.'
Of course, I am not implying that this alone is proof of Mr Knightley's accusations. However, it gives us a pretty good hint ;-)
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