Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|Spirit of Activity
Written by Robbin
(9/12/2010 8:22 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, She did all she could to make sure of it., penned by Rachel G
Miss Frances’ two sisters have opposite reactions and feelings about her and her marriage but the result is exactly the same—a breach between the sisters. Lady Bertram would have “contented herself with merely giving up her sister, and thinking no more of the matter” (1) which amiably illustrates her great indolence. She is amazingly unconcerned for her sister and seems to have absolutely no regret at letting her slip out of her life.
I think Mrs. Norris’ character is similarly undone by her mean spirit of activity. She could not be contented with silent rebuke. The description of her letter, “long and angry… to point out the folly of her conduct, and threaten her with all its possible ill consequences” (1) suggests an attempt to browbeat her renegade sister into contrition and subservience. When Mrs. Price was neither perhaps, as Mary Skater suggests, particular resentment was added to the fire of her sister’s anger.
Afterwards Mrs. Norris could not placidly forget her errant sister either. She contrived for intelligence of Mrs. Price’s doings for eleven long years it appears through a voluntary spy or spy network with the only clear result being she was offended anew at the news of each shiny new Price. Was Mrs. Norris just resentfully and jealously nosey in following her sister’s life and many deliveries of children, merely worrying a subject never quite settled to her satisfaction or (don’t beat me) is it possible she was sincerely interested in their welfare?
A large and still increasing family, an husband disabled for active service, but not the less equal to company and good liquor, and a very small income to supply their wants, made her eager to regain the friends she had so carelessly sacrificed; and she addressed Lady Bertram in a letter which spoke so much contrition and despondence, such a superfluity of children, and such a want of almost everything else, as could not but dispose them all to a reconciliation. (1)
Mrs. Norris’ seems as disposed for reconciliation after Mrs. Prices’ pleadings as Lady Bertram and Sir Thomas but I notice she was only willing put her spirit of activity to use by writing letters and making suggestions to relieve Mrs. Price of the “charge and expense of one child entirely out of her great number” without the intention of actually supporting that child in anyway. (:D) It seems Mrs. Norris likes credit and importance but draws the line at inconveniencing herself:
The little girl performed her long journey in safety; and at Northampton was met by Mrs. Norris, who thus regaled in the credit of being foremost to welcome her, and in the importance of leading her in to the others, and recommending her to their kindness. (2)
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.