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|Interpretations, and the expression 'met with'
Written by Tom P2
(3/28/2009 6:47 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, About Henry and Isabella (longish, sorry!), penned by Line
That may not be outright contradicted what Henry says, but I don't believe it's implied either. IMO his drift is that it's within Isabella's power to do the right thing by James. He doesn't offer an opinion either way on Frederick's goodness and rights and culpability. The most telling hints he gives about Frederick's character are that his presence at Northanger when his mother died made skulduggery less likely (faint praise) and that he's lively and thoughtless (faint censure). For the most part, Henry simply encourages Catherine to draw her own conclusions from the facts before her.
At the risk of opening up another source of discontent, I've also wondered about rephrasing "she would have met with very different treatment" to "she would have exacted very different treatment". "Met with" makes Isabella sound overly passive, as if her role is just to be something-or-other and then take what the world dishes out in consequence. Or is my modern ear too accustomed to the expression "met with an accident"? Perhaps "met with treatment" had a more active connotation in JA's time? (A little nearer to "Colonel Brandon met with Mr Willoughby at dawn"?)
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