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Written by Kathleen Glancy
(5/22/2010 1:11 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Mr. Bennet, helpless?, penned by Robbin
Mrs Bennet's fortune, had her two eldest not married so well, would be £5,000, which Mr Collins helpfully tells us is invested in the 4%s. It would therefore yield an annual income of £200. Even if Mrs Bennet were somehow able to devote all of this to the rent (which she would not be, as she needs clothes and food) even a much more altruistic person than Mr Collins would be likely to balk at taking a rent of one tenth the income he could derive from the estate, to the disadvantage of himself and own wife and children. He would never do it, and I don't really blame him. It's not actually his fault that the entail exists, and in his mind he did make a generous offer to marry one of his nearly portionless cousins and she spurned it.
The entail is not Mr Bennet's fault either, but there was a lot he could have done to lessen the efects of both the financial situation and his unfortunate choice of a wife, and he did not do it. I'd rather have dinner with him than the father of any other Jane Austen heroine, but I can't approve of him.
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