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|Home & Harp
Written by Robbin
(9/14/2010 2:15 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Neglect of Duty seems a bit harsh, penned by Tarn
When the Crawfords took charge of their niece and nephew they are referred to as children. Mrs. Grant knew and was fond of them when they were children and “her own marriage had been soon followed by the death of their common parent [mother], which left them to the care of a brother of their father” (4). Their father died before their mother—I wonder if he was in the same profession as his brother. Since they were children when their mother passed, I think Mary & Henry’s greatest influences growing up were their aunt and uncle:
In their uncle’s house they had found a kind home. Admiral and Mrs. Crawford, though agreeing in nothing else, were united in affection for these children, or, at least, were no farther adverse in their feelings than that each had their favourite, to whom they showed the greatest fondness of the two. The Admiral delighted in the boy, Mrs. Crawford doted on the girl; and it was the lady’s death which now obliged her protegee, after some months’ further trial at her uncle’s house, to find another home. (4)
I agree Admiral Crawford is derelict in his duty as Mary’s guardian but are you saying Henry has no duty towards his sister when she has been forced out of her home by said guardian? Henry reminds me of John Dashwood of S&S. Like John, Henry has no legal obligation to house his sister but like John I think he has a moral obligation. Henry did not know Mrs. Grant or her husband was willing to take Mary in when he refused his home because Mary only wrote to her sister afterwards. I now think Henry’s willingness “to fetch her away again… whenever she were weary of the place” is irrelevant because had she found life at the parsonage unbearable exactly where was he going to fetch her away to?
Henry does no better by his sister in the following days. Mary tells Edmund how “Henry, who is good–nature itself, has offered to fetch it [her harp] in his barouche” but he does not offer until her attempts to obtain transportation for it herself angered her brother in-law, his bailiff and “offended all the farmers, all the labourers, all the hay in the parish” (6). Henry ought to know horses and carts are scarce during the hay harvest so why did he not offer to fetch it before she caused a ruckus or at the very least explained the situation. Probably he did not wish to put himself out and it could be his offer only came at the request of their angry brother. If Henry’s care for Mary is equal to his willingness to put himself out for her then I can’t say it is worth much. (:D)
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