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|I know Mr. Collins's sentiments and prescriptions...
Written by Adrian
(5/12/2010 12:53 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Insensible of Danger, penned by Robbin
...sound harsh (the word appalling comes to mind); but in reality they were ideas very current in JA's time. Mr. Collins, however, has neither the compassion nor sense to temper them in any way and falls into the extremism to which his ignorance makes him so prone.
We shrink in horror from Mr. Collins's prescription for Lydia,
...throw off your unworthy child from your affection for ever, and leave her to reap the fruits of her own heinous offence, (Ch. 48)But how far from that strategy would Mr. Bennet have strayed had Darcy not forced the marriage of Wickham and Lydia? In MP, Sir Thomas Bertram, though kinder than Mr. Collins, came close to treating his fallen daughter Maria as Mr. Collins outlined.
Recall Mr. Bennet's first reaction to the newlywed Wickhams.
"Mrs. Bennet, before you take any or all of these houses for your son and daughter, let us come to a right understanding. Into one house in this neighbourhood they shall never have admittance. I will not encourage the impudence of either, by receiving them at Longbourn." (Ch. 50)So for the time, although extreme, Mr. Collins's view was not altogether unacceptable. Still, I can never imagine Edmund Bertram, Mr. Morland, or Henry Tilney writing such a letter (or at least expressing those sentiments) in so callous a way.
(Naturally further comparisons to clergymen from MP or NA belong on those boards or at Austentations.)
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