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|Thirteen to Dinner
Written by Captain Everett
(2/18/2004 7:00 p.m.)
My apologies if this has been posted already. A few days ago we passed another Friday the thirteenth, which brought out many articles on superstitions surrounding that number and date. Thus I was able to catch Mrs. B's use of that belief.
In Chapter 53, Mrs. Bennet is trying to get her husband to invite Bingley to the house. He refuses to be "sent on a fool's errand". She switches tactics by saying that it would be rude, and, "We must have Mrs. Long and the Gouldings soon. That will make thirteen with ourselves, so there will be just room at the table for him."
She's clever enough to know not to say "that makes thirteen which would be unlucky, we need a fourteenth, and Mr. Bingley should be free". She figures he'll pick up on it just by mentioning that inauspicious number. (Not that we have the slightest indication he is superstitious.)
In the same chapter Mrs. Bennet also demonstrates an unusual grasp of geograpny. On speaking of Lydia and Wickham, "They are gone to Newcastle, a place quite northward, it seems...."
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