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|Respect for Lady Elliot
Written by Frances G
(10/4/2011 1:58 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Mr Shepherd & dealing with Debt. (Chs 2 & 3), penned by Rachel G
It's amazing to think of the rapid rate that Sir Walter accumulated his debt. While Lady Elliot was alive, they lived within their means. I think it's safe to assume that his income was not reduced -- if so, I think Jane Austen would have mentioned it. So, in fourteen years, Sir Walter racked up so much debt that it will take him 7 full years to pay it off. To do that, he needs to rent his house, eliminate many servants, relinquish his horses, etc.
It seems that he wasn't just spending a few extra pounds every year ... he was exceeding his income by a significant percentage. What a spendthrift. And what an excellent creature Lady Elliot must have been to control his spending while maintaining his respect. After all, he inscribed the day of her death in the baronetage, so she must have meant something to him.
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