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|Matrimony is Mary's Object
Written by Robbin
(9/12/2010 4:13 p.m.)
“I know so many who have married in the full expectation and confidence of some one particular advantage in the connexion, or accomplishment, or good quality in the person, who have found themselves entirely deceived, and been obliged to put up with exactly the reverse. What is this but a take in?” (5)
Mary was raised in a “bad school for matrimony” (5) at the Crawfords’ home understanding her poor aunt “had little cause to love the state” (5). When Mary arrives at MP matrimony is her self-proclaimed object provided she can marry to advantage. I think Mary is materialistic rather than merely financially prudent. She is not romantic viewing marriage as a “maneuvering business” (5) where people expect full disclosure from others but “are least honest themselves” (5) usually resulting in take-ins and disappointment. Contradicting her disdain for take-ins Mary, her aunt and friends tried “to reason, coax, or trick him [Henry] into marrying” (4) one of her friends. Mary seems to be purposely trying to take-in her own brother!
Mary quickly decides she should accept Tom based on his wealth, situation and London manners; he had “more liveliness and gallantry than” (5) his brother. Mary’s view Tom “must have been thought pleasant… was the sort of young man to be generally liked” (5) suggests only a superficial regard and familiarity. So far she has shown no interest in the finer points of his character which I think is a mistake. Her lack of interest in why Sir Thomas would extract a promise to limit his gaming could result in marrying a selfish spendthrift and surely she would then feel quite taken in. The timing of Mary’s decision to take an interest in Tom’s horse seems manipulative, the beginning of another purposeful take-in.
These races were to call him away not long after their acquaintance began; and as it appeared that the family did not, from his usual goings on, expect him back again for many weeks, it would bring his passion to an early proof. Much was said on his side to induce her to attend the races, and schemes were made for a large party to them, with all the eagerness of inclination, but it would only do to be talked of. (5)
Tom is obligingly lively and gallant with ready smiles, agreeable trifling, pleasant anecdotes and entertaining stories about “my friend such a one” (6) yet it seems to me he displays no real interest in Mary despite her attentions to his horse and past social blunders (5). I think what Mary means by “bring his passion to an early proof” (5) is that Tom would return from the races on her account sooner than his family expects. Tom does not appear but Mary is unfazed by the neglect and asks Edmund to pass on a teasing and conciliatory message to his brother: “ I shall prepare my most plaintive airs against his return, in compassion to his feelings, as I know his horse will lose” (6). Mary’s decisions and actions so far as they apply to Tom appear to be in keeping with her belief the road to the alter is a maneuvering business and I have to say it appears she is no stranger to maneuvering. (:D)
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