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|Jane Fairfax & the Postal Service.
Written by nan duval
(4/26/2008 4:41 p.m.)
After the party has been made aware of Jane's going in the rain to get the letters & Mrs. Elton not only joins in the demand that Jane be more careful but insists on sending her own servant to get the mail for the Bates/Fairfax household, Jane makes a smoothe segue into the wonders of the postal service.
"Excuse me," said Jane earnestly, "I cannot by any means consent to such an arrangement, so needlessly troublesome to your servant. If the errand were not a pleasure to me, it could be done, as it always is when I am not here, by my grandmamma's."
"Oh! my dear; but so much as Patty has to do!—And it is a kindness to employ our men."
Jane looked as if she did not mean to be conquered; but instead of answering, she began speaking again to Mr. John Knightley.
"The post-office is a wonderful establishment!" said she.—"The regularity and despatch of it! If one thinks of all that it has to do, and all that it does so well, it is really astonishing!"
"It is certainly very well regulated."
"So seldom that any negligence or blunder appears! So seldom that a letter, among the thousands that are constantly passing about the kingdom, is even carried wrong—and not one in a million, I suppose, actually lost! And when one considers the variety of hands, and of bad hands too, that are to be deciphered, it increases the wonder."(Chapter 34)
Her admiration of the post office leaves little wonder that she would want to visit it daily--or more! (LOL)(not really laughing out loud but just want you to know I don't really think the post office itself is her object) She is quite adept at introducing neutral topics of conversation to defuse potentially loaded ones or abandon topics that she wishes to leave. It makes me think that she might have attempted to employ this skill in her first visit to Hartfield as well, but met with a more persistent inquisitor in Emma on the subjects of the Dixons than in Mr. John Knightley on the subject of mail.
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