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|Should Colonel Brandon have told on Willoughby sooner?
Written by Barbara
(9/28/2009 10:31 p.m.)
Clearly he was thinking about telling them even when he suspected Marianne was engaged to Willoughby.
The reasons he gives for not telling are that
1. He had no hope of interfering with success;
2. He thought Marianne's influence might reform Willoughby and make him deserving of being her husband
3. He worried that it might look like he was trying to raise himself at Willoughby's expense.
I can see his point, but if it had turned out that Marianne and Willoughby really were engaged, Marianne would still be marrying a man who was a liar, a seducer, a libertine, and, in Brandon's words "expensive, dissipated, and worse than both."
Elinor recognizes that marrying him would have meant, for Marianne, "the worst and most irremediable of all evils, a connection, for life, with an unprincipled man". Despite his reservations, Brandon had it in his power to at least attempt to do something to prevent Marianne from making that mistake.
As it turned out, what he did tell them was intended only to lessen Marianne's regrets, not to break the engagement.
Should he have told what he knew sooner?
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