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|Henry must balance truth with familial fealty.
Written by Adrian
(3/25/2009 6:57 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Well said! But... Henry's not perfect? =(, penned by Ellen M
Being loyal to one's family was still a crucial cardinal value in Henry's time. This is one reason Catherine does not expect him to confront his father and why (as you say) the break with the General is so dramatic.
This is also why Eleanor was so tongue-tied when telling Catherine of her dismissal from the Abbey; she felt herself duty-bound not to speak ill of her father even though she found his actions horrifying.
Henry owes loyalty to his brother and sister as well as his father. One of Thorpe's failings is that he so often denigrates his family.
So Henry wants to comfort Catherine but avoid condemning his brother; this does not in any way suggest that Henry did not condemn Frederick's behavior inwardly.
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