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|Col Brandon - a true friend to the Dashwoods
Written by Pennie
(10/13/2006 12:16 a.m.)
Col Brandon makes an appearance in this week's chapters, after a brief hiatus. We've previously talked about 'interchangeable suitors' - when Edward was mistaken for Willoughby. This happens again when CB visits the Dashwoods in ch 26 - Marianne is convinced that it is Willoughby behind the door.
CB however shows that he is far better a suitor to Marianne than W, and a true friend to the Dashwoods. He visits them on the very night they arrive, unlike a certain other person who never bothers to show, and continues to spend time with them, in spite of Marianne's rudeness to him.
CB is very tactful in his dealings with Marianne. Instead of asking/warning/advising her directly, he speaks to Elinor as he realises that it would sound better coming from her. He gently lets Elinor know of the gossip surrounding Marianne's 'engagement' in ch 27, and takes his time evaluating if his 'confession' about Eliza I & II would be well received.
In fact, I think it's interesting that we don't see him talk to Marianne in these chapters at all. Have we seen him talk to Marianne in the novel at all? And yet he is still in love with her after the way she treats him.
I particularly love the line in ch 31 My regard for her, for yourself, for your mother -- will you allow me to prove it, by relating some circumstances, which nothing but a very sincere regard -- nothing but an earnest desire of being useful...
Unlike W, CB's speech is not eloquent - he admits to being a bad storyteller himself. But this line shows the sincerity of what he is saying. We are shown of CB's actions, and worthy actions they are. Compare this to W who is talk and show. If Marianne were more mature and experienced in love, she would understand that actions speak louder than words, and realise CB's worth.
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