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|Exceedingly sought after?
Written by Robbin
(10/10/2005 5:02 a.m.)
“She had never seen her father and sister before in contact with nobility, and she must acknowledge herself disappointed. She had hoped for better things from their high ideas of their own situation in life, and was reduced to form a wish which she had never foreseen—a wish that they had more pride.” (Chapter 16)
This is indeed an unforeseen wish both for Anne and the reader, but JA knew what she was doing and I think it very clever of her to turn the tables on Sir Walter and Elizabeth by their own hand this way. The fact that they do not see it or feel it makes it all the more amusing for me but for Anne it is just another trial to bear. She has put up with so much from her family and their prideful ways it is ironic that she should now wish they had more. When Anne first arrives Sir Walter and Elizabeth are quite happy to tell her:
“Their acquaintance was exceedingly sought after. Every body was wanting to visit them. They had drawn back from many introductions, and still were perpetually having cards left by people of whom they knew nothing.” (Chapter 15)
This abundance of people whom they do not wish to meet is apparently not enough after the noble cousins arrive in town. “Sir Walter, however, would choose his own means, and at last wrote a very fine letter of ample explanation, regret, and entreaty, to his right honourable cousin.” (Chapter 16) I wish so very much that JA had let us read this letter which neither Lady Russell or Mr. Elliot could admire! Ample explanation, regret, and entreaty sounds an awful lot like Mr. Collins (the King of Groveling) and that is funny for who would have guessed that Sir Walter had it in him to grovel for the sake of one or two cards to conspicuously place on view.
“They visited in Laura Place, they had the cards of Dowager-Viscountess Dalrymple, and the Honourable Miss Carteret, to be arranged wherever they might be most visible; and "Our cousins in Laura Place" -- "Our cousins, Lady Dalrymple and Miss Carteret," were talked of to every body.” (Chapter 16)
This reversal, I think, is a way to squeeze some extra foolishness out of them and they of course do not disappoint. I always imagine at this time that Sir Walter and Elizabeth are like parrots, spouting between cracker fests, Awww…Lady Dalrymple…cha cha…Our cousins…coo coo…in Laura Place…ooh ooh…Miss Carteret.…caw caw! I would not have thought Sir Walter and Elizabeth would willingly place themselves in any situation in which they are not top dog. How is their vanity to be pleased by doing this? That Anne must put up with this new kind of foolishness can only make her long anew for her friends at Kellynch, Uppercross, and Lyme.
This is my haiku version of Sir Walter’s letter to his honorable cousin.
Ample explanation: Excuses many, In abundance they are seen, We are not to blame!
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