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|And don't forget...
Written by Line
(5/11/2010 9:06 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Selfish Lydia, penned by Anne-Marie
...that the Gardiners risked their *own* reputation by taking Lydia into their home *before* her marriage. Remember, as far as the world knew, Lydia and Wickham married as soon as they could after they eloped. If it became generally known that a) it took so long for Lydia's wedding to take place, and b) that the Gardiners had had this "immoral" woman in their home, their public reputation would be damaged. As Elizabeth says in ch.49, "The kindness of my uncle and aunt can never be requited. Their taking her home, and affording her their personal protection and countenance, is such a sacrifice to her advantage as years of gratitude cannot enough acknowledge."
The Gardiners acted from even higher principles than generally-accepted morality.
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