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|Length of courtships
Written by Louise H
(10/3/2005 12:45 p.m.)
"He has been running after them, too, long enough, one would think, to make up his mind. Ay, this comes of the peace. If it were war now, he would have settled it long ago. We sailors, Miss Elliot, cannot afford to make long courtships in time of war. How many days was it, my dear, between the first time of my seeing you, and our sitting down together in our lodgings at North Yarmouth?"
"We had better not talk about it, my dear," replied Mrs. Croft, pleasantly; "for if Miss Elliot were to hear how soon we came to an understanding, she would never be persuaded that we could be happy together. I had known you by character, however, long before."
So how long might their courtship have lasted, since Mrs. Croft is unwilling to say? It seems to have been rather shockingly short. Might that mean less than a week, perhaps? I assume the marriage would have had to have waited until banns were posted.
I haven't been attentive enough to know how long Captain Wentworth has known the Musgroves, but I'm thinking it's only been a week or two. Surely too early to have come to an understanding, given that it is NOT war-time? (But time enough for FW to have chosen which of the girls to pay his attentions to, certainly.)
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