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|So far it would seem possible
Written by Barbara
(9/28/2009 2:40 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Secret Engagement, penned by Robbin
Willoughby hasn't said anything to anyone at this point that would contradict that, and although his behaviour to Marianne was very misleading (to her and her family), he also very carefully avoided mentioning the word love or marriage or engagement to her or to any of them.
The only thing that makes me wonder whether the Ellisons truly objected is the fact that it is Mrs. Ellison (as you said) whom Colonel Brandon overhears talking all about the wedding arrangements in the stationer's shop in Pall Mall. His account of her telling the story for anyone to hear and giving all the details to her friend does not sound to me like this was a wedding to which she objected or which she had tried to prevent:
Would Mrs. Ellison be in on all the pariticulars of the preparations and where they would go after the wedding, etc. if she and her husband had tried to prevent Miss Grey from marrying Willoughby? Would she be loudly talking about it in a shop?
We also have to remember that Mrs. Jennings' information is third-hand gossip at best: "I never heard any harm of her; indeed I hardly ever heard her mentioned; except that Mrs. Taylor did say this morning, that one day Miss Walker hinted to her, that she believed Mr. and Mrs. Ellison would not be sorry to have Miss Grey married, for she and Mrs. Ellison could never agree."
Look at the number of conjectures that are there before Mrs. Jennings arrives at her conclusion! It also sounds like, if any of that is true, that the Ellisons wanted her to get married.
So, why the secrecy? Mrs. Jennings also mentions an aunt of Miss Grey's--Biddy Henshawe--and then says "But the family are all rich together". Perhaps there are objections from Miss Grey's extended family about her marrying a fortune hunter?
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