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|CW's many moods (longish)
Written by James S.
(9/30/2005 10:32 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, I can't imagine..., penned by Ann2
I'm going to state seemingly two contradictory opinions here. First, if CW loved her than her "faded bloom" will make him go crazy with tenderness. Trust me (as Wickham would say). Second, it would have been better if there had been a rival during the courtship. Nothing accustoms a man to losing better than a man who got there first. But jilted, egad. The first is like losing a good rugby match. Three cheers and a round of beer. Example: the three elaborately polite suitors of Lucy Westenra in Stoker's "Dracula."
That's why CW's comments and JA's interpretation are so tricky. At first, I thought it was the equivalent of a verbal missile. And on the face of it, it is. Literally, he must have been thinking he was talking to himself when he says "so altered ..." Only a complete absence of mind explains it, as JA seems to imply. Then, he must have been struck by enormous shame and regret (serves him right!) for uttering those words. But you can't take it back. Like Darcy's comments at the first ball. Did JA have a sadist paramour in her past? Or do women think the most mortifying expressions will tumble out of a man's mouth, at any time (probably true -- men are mercilessly trained to be insensitive, by Brit culture and American culture).
But often our emotions are completely contradicted by the words we use (misuse) in public. And on the other hand, a man will say the nicest things to a woman he cares not a wit for.
But the "faded bloom" thing is the acid test of CW's love. If she has scars on the face (Esther in Bleak House), he will lose all control. And it is NOT pity, folks.
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