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|Ch.26: 2nd potential suitor
Written by Line
(5/20/2007 10:01 a.m.)
At the beginning of ch.26, Mrs. Gardiner gently warns Elizabeth not to get too attached to Wickham, or let him fall too much in love with her, because if they married they wouldn't have enough money to live on. Elizabeth admits that she is not seriously in love with Wickham, but it seems obvious to me that *if* he had enough money, she would seriously consider marrying him, and Mrs. Gardiner herself says "I have nothing to say against *him*; he is a most interesting young man; and if he had the fortune he ought to have, I should think you could not do better". That's quite a recommendation, coming from the person Elizabeth seems to consider a guide and role model! It shows what a good impression Wickham has made on almost everyone, including the sensible people(!). Also, it's clear that Elizabeth's speech in P&P2 about only the very deepest love tempting her into marriage is *not* the attitude of the novel's Elizabeth (or the author's, I assume). She likes Wickham very much, finds him attractive and has (so far) no reason not to respect him. It's clear that the only considerations keeping her from encouraging Wickham are financial ones, not personal ones.
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