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|Obliged to be an Encumbrance
Written by Robbin
(1/24/2010 6:28 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Leaving London, penned by kathleen (elder)
I feel for Jane in letter 52 because she is faced with the same travel problems as Elinor & Marianne (S&S) who are forced to accept a ride with the Palmers (and visit at Cleveland) to get just part of the way home to Barton. Like them, Jane is dependant but instead of friends in this case she is beholden to her brothers.
Did James not want to carry Jane any further due to the limited carriage space and let Edward know it? Did Jane become an encumbrance to him? The reason I ask is because the morning after their arrival Jane has a “tête-à-tête” with Edward to reveal her and James’ travel plans. Between them it is planned that she will leave at the same time as James and family but not with them. Instead she will travel with Edward to Alton and “get on afterwards somehow or other” which is rather worryingly unspecific. (:D) Jane writes and I think it is a bit sad she has no choice in staying or going:
“I should have preferred a rather longer stay here certainly, but there is no prospect of any later conveyance for me…”
“I shall at any rate be glad not to be a obliged to be an incumbrance on those who have brought me here, for, as James has no horse, I must feel in their carriage that I am taking his place.”
It seems to me Jane did feel somewhat of an encumbrance and this bubbles-up again at the end of the letter after another tête-à-tête with Edward sets Jane to the task of assuring James she will not be traveling with them. Does he not know of the Alton plan? Did I miss that it fell apart or is it that James only talks to Edward and then Edward to Jane about her departure:
Mrs. Cooke has written to my brother James to invite him and his wife to Bookham in their way back, which, as I learn through Edward’s means, they are not disinclined to accept, but that my being with them would render it impracticable, the nature of the road affording no conveyance to James. I shall therefore make them easy on that head as soon as I can.
I guess consolidating travel was economically wise, kind to horses and must be planned in advance and etc. etc. but it seems all this attention to the mode of Jane’s departure within the first three days of her arrival can be interpreted either as the kindest of brotherly attentions to a sister or merely the solving of a problem. I suppose it is both? This kind of dependence must have been difficult to live with. The trip from London was inconvenient for James to be sure and not to be unkind to him but I feel rather inconvenience to him than dear Jane! (:D)
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