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Written by nan duval
(3/25/2009 8:52 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Response to all of Line's responses, penned by Ellen M
I agree that Catherine was not persuaded to believe any aspect of FT's behavior was justified or justifiable. I don't believe that Henry thought they were either; I read his reluctance to try to change FT's behavior not as approval but as awareness that there was nothing he could do about it. From the standpoint of the relationship between JM & IT, I think his observations were quite accurate. James' mortification was not due to FT flirting with IT but to IT's flirting back.
Is Isabella's behavior worse because she's a woman? No. It's worse because she's engaged & trying to upgrade. If James started flirting with another woman it would be just as bad. Fortunately for the Morlands, FT's flirtation liberated James from a relationship that would ultimately have brought him grief. However, it was not to FT's credit. His motives were totally damnable in that he wasn't trying to assist James, he was taking James' sweetheart--kind of alpha dog behavior.
On the comment regarding the treatment of Isabella "if she had had a heart to lose", I read this as saying that if she had had a heart to lose, she would already have lost it to James if she had accepted his proposal, and that she would have been insensible to FT's overtures & he would have given up as quickly as he started. I don't see him meaning a virtuous woman would have been treated differently but that she would have responded differently.
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