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|Tacit at the best...
Written by Mandy N
(2/15/2004 6:23 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, The engagement between them is of a peculiar kind, penned by Allison Jo
This is a question I've also wondered about and I feel Lady Catherine exaggerates the nature of any engagement. There's possibly an iota of truth. Probably when it became clear the de Bourghs expected no male heirs, Lady C became concerned to keep the estate in the family so, thinking about her nephew, approached her sister. Lady Anne knowing her sister's dogmatic, controlling nature probably heard out Lady C's arguments of estate amalgamation, family security, maternal nobility, etc. Realizing Catherine never shuts up and can't accept 'no', Lady Anne may've given a non-commital reply like 'possibly' or 'if they feel inclined it could be advantageous, more tea?' My inclination is Lady C. convinced herself her sister wished for the match yet she's foistering her own will on her sister's memory. There's no firm proof any engagement between Darcy and Anne was 'Lady Anne's wish.' In her will, did Lady Anne leave an exclicit recommendation regarding her son's engagement? Any letter outlining her wish Darcy marry Anne de Bourgh? If she had, you can be sure Lady C would have alluded to them when she confronted Lizzy at Longourn. Also consider the term Lady Catherine uses when scolding Lizzy for not paying attention to her wishes 'Do you pay no regard...To his tacit engagement with Miss de Bourgh?' A tacit engagement I interpret to mean as implied, not spoken. That is no discussion with Darcy, no dealings with attorneys regarding property and no letter from Lady A. If it was her heartfelt wish from the time Darcy was in his cradle you'd think the sisters would have exchanged letters or begun to draw up some form of marriage contract. Lady Anne is not around to defend herself, so it's easy for her sister Lady C to think and act for her.
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