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|The Colonel, comfortable in his own flannel.
Written by janelt
(9/8/2009 11:45 p.m.)
(1) It is doubtful to me that CB was actually as taciturn as he was when the Dashwoods visited Barton Park. Perhaps he was shy in front of three beautiful women, but then again surely he had been in the company of single ladies before. But to be a friend of Sir John Middleton might've indicated (as others have pointed out so well) that CB was a hunter, and as such if the subject had been hunting, he would surely have contributed much to the conversation.
(2) It is fascinating to me that CB was truly comfortable in his own skin. Perhaps being a bachelor had thickened his skin LOL, but I gathered from Ch 8 that he wasn't bothered by what people thought of his marital status. "Mrs. Jennings had been anxious to see Colonel Brandon well married, ever since her connection with Sir John first brought him to her knowledge; and she was always anxious to get a good husband for every pretty girl." If CB had been sensitive to this matchmaker, then he would not have paid so much attention to Marianne at the pianoforte. Rather, he might've stolen fleeing glances at Marianne. Instead, he was right there, in front of everybody, whether or not Mrs Jennings took notice.
(3) It is admirable that CB remained himself even in the company of strangers, in spite of Marianne's possibly misappropriated assumptions in Ch 9: "But he talked of flannel waistcoats," said Marianne; "and with me a flannel waistcoat is invariably connected with the aches, cramps, rheumatisms, and every species of ailment that can afflict the old and the feeble." The point remains that CB talked about what he wanted and what he liked, regardless of what other people thought of it. So he wore a flannel waistcoat. So he complained about his shoulder aches. He was just being himself, for better or for worse.
I think these three character traits are evident even in these initial meetings with CB, and I look forward to more.
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