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|Vain and dismayed
Written by Ivonne
(9/26/2009 10:21 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, I'd prefer Lady Middleton's ways..., penned by Reeba
I agree, Reeba. Mrs Dashwood's and Lady Middleton's disinclinations to run afoul of social norms appear independent of each other. Whining seems to be the only recourse Lady Middleton has against her husband's compulsive socializing. Not much use, either, in my view, as it is unlikely that Sir John will at all moderate his behavior as a result of his wife's dismay. More likely he will laugh, shrug it off, and turn to finding fresh social opportunities without regard to the niceties that principally concern Lady Middleton's vanity. Sir John is irrepressible, Lady Middleton ineffectual.
Indeed, we see in this week's reading that, despite being chided repeatedly by his wife for inviting the Miss Steeles to Barton Park, immediately upon arriving in London, Sir John "contrive[s] to collect" about them a group of nearly twenty young people for an impromptu dance, "of which Lady Middleton did not approve. In the country, an unpremeditated dance was very allowable; but in London, where the reputation of elegance was more important and less easily attained, it was risking too much for the gratification of a few girls, to have it known that Lady Middleton had given a small dance of eight or nine couple, with two violins, and a mere side-board collation. Still, Lady Middleton is at a loss to do anything but bemoan the sad state of inelegance of her husband (not to mention her mother!) through futile expressions of displeasure.
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