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|Then you, I and Sir Thomas agree
Written by Robbin
(10/7/2010 7:31 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Sir Thomas and Tom, penned by Bridget D
He believes selling the living is unfair to Edmund: he could not but feel it to be an act of injustice (3). Many options may have been fairer to Edmund but I don’t know that any of them met all the requirements of the situation—urgency, retaining family honor and respectability and maintaining the integrity of the estate. I do not think the last is inconsequential and could very well be affected if Sir Thomas was forced to sell off property which generates income for the estate. A reduced income would not do much to assist Sir Thomas’ plan “to procure him [Edmund] better preferment” (3). I think Ramya (:D) made a good point in post 47644 when she said “legitimate concerns such as concern for his family honor and financial position prove to be his Achilles heel” and perhaps it explains his selling the living rather than any other option.
Regency fathers did have a great deal of power but I think how much depends on the situation. Was the estate entailed? Was it possible for estate property to be sold? I do not know the answers and therefore can’t really say if selling property was an option much less it should have been done. Perhaps Sir Thomas could control Tom’s spending and failed to for some reason or perhaps Sir Thomas did reduce Tom’s allowance—do you know for certain he did not? Tom’s income could have been irretrievably bestowed on him when he came of age like the pittance Mrs. Ferrars could not take from Edward Ferrars when he misbehaved by engaging himself without permission in S&S. I am not saying this happened only that it could have. I think the only fact about Tom’s income in the text is that he exceeded it to the displeasure of his father and the detriment of his brother. Sir Thomas had done something to control Tom’s spending but I do not know what it was; perhaps it was all that you say:
There was another family living actually held for Edmund; but though this circumstance had made the arrangement somewhat easier to Sir Thomas’s conscience, he could not but feel it to be an act of injustice, and he earnestly tried to impress his eldest son with the same conviction, in the hope of its producing a better effect than anything he had yet been able to say or do. (3)
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