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|Another consideration for Colonel Brandon
Written by Barbara
(9/29/2009 5:06 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, To paraphrase Lord Peter Wimsey, penned by Katharine W
This happened back in November, about two weeks after Brandon himself had left everyone at Barton Park, and just after Willoughby got to Town. When he left Devonshire, he could plainly see what was happening between Willoughby and Marianne. If he wounded or killed Willoughby in a duel, he would not only be satisfying the affair of honour with Eliza, but he would also be harming or disposing of a man whom many people knew to be his romantic rival.
He tells Elinor that he didn't want to seem to be raising himself at another's (Willoughby's) expense by telling all he knew. Would it not also appear as though he had something to gain by getting Willoughby out of the way, even if the duel was not over Marianne and had nothing to do with Marianne?
Also, even by the time the Dashwoods arrive in London, Colonel Brandon is not utterly without some faint hope of winning Marianne. In Ch. 27, he tells Elinor:
"But still I might not have believed it [that Willoughby and Marianne were engaged], for where the mind is perhaps rather unwilling to be convinced, it will always find something to support its doubts, if I had not, when the servant let me in to-day, accidentally seen a letter in his hand, directed to Mr. Willoughby in your sister's writing. I came to inquire, but I was convinced before I could ask the question. Is everything finally settled? Is it impossible to -- ? But I have no right, and I could have no chance of succeeding. "
I don't really know how he could have any hope of winning Marianne at that point, but apparently he did. But if he had killed or seriously injured Willoughby in a duel, Marianne would never forgive him.
I don't suggest that this is the reason he did not wound or kill Willoughby--maybe he never meant to do anything but delope-- but I think this had to have at least crossed his mind.
I liked how the duel was included in S&S3, but the timing of where they placed it, immediately following Willougnby jilting Marianne at the ball, made it look like they were fighting over her. Also--obviously the sword fighting was more dramatic to watch (and who doesn't love to watch a good sword fight???), but I'm sure it had to have been pistols and not swords.
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