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Written by Robbin
(9/20/2009 3:35 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, I like Edward!, penned by Barb JA
Between bouts of low spirits (Ch. 18) Edward shows himself capable of gentle teasing and “quiet archness” when he guesses Mr. Willoughby hunts embarrassing Marianne. He had also teased Marianne about the picturesque. Edward gains “fresh admiration of the surrounding country” after a walk to the village which engages Marianne’s attention but before she can question him “more minutely on the objects that had particularly struck him” Edward forestalls her with this rather knowledgeable claim of ignorance of the picturesque:
"You must not inquire too far, Marianne -- remember, I have no knowledge in the picturesque, and I shall offend you by my ignorance and want of taste, if we come to particulars. I shall call hills steep, which ought to be bold! surfaces strange and uncouth, which ought to be irregular and rugged; and distant objects out of sight, which ought only to be indistinct through the soft medium of a hazy atmosphere. You must be satisfied with such admiration as I can honestly give. I call it a very fine country -- the hills are steep, the woods seem full of fine timber, and the valley looks comfortable and snug -- with rich meadows and several neat farm houses scattered here and there. It exactly answers my idea of a fine country, because it unites beauty with utility -- and I dare say it is a picturesque one too, because you admire it; I can easily believe it to be full of rocks and promontories, grey moss and brush wood, but these are all lost on me. I know nothing of the picturesque."
Marianne responds “I am afraid it is but too true” but that is incorrect. Edward does know something of the picturesque it is just that his tastes are quite different from hers. A few paragraphs later, still revealing his knowledge of picturesque principles, he says:
I like a fine prospect, but not on picturesque principles. I do not like crooked, twisted, blasted trees. I admire them much more if they are tall, straight and flourishing. I do not like ruined, tattered cottages. I am not fond of nettles, or thistles, or heath blossoms. I have more pleasure in a snug farm-house than a watch-tower -- and a troop of tidy, happy villagers please me better than the finest banditti in the world.
Paraphrasing from P&P0: How clever of dear Edward to know something of which he is ignorant! Although Edward acts rather strangely at times during his visit but I have a clearer picture of the Edward that Elinor was attracted to at Norland. (:D)
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