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Written by Tess
(9/27/2012 1:59 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Marriane and Margaret, penned by Paisley
I know Elinor is naturally more private on such matters but surely even she could tempt a cautious enquirary.
Personally, I agree. Seriously, Elinor. Just ask the question.
But Elinor is extremely, well, private with her own feelings, and perhaps she thought she had no right to "invade" to those of her sister's, especially when her mother adamantly declined to ask any question at all, and Marianne was so... well... depressed, and easily upset by everything. Elinor probably felt that if Mrs Dashwood wouldn't ask questions, she shouldn't.
Moreover, she might have thought that, coming from her, the question would give offense. I say that because when she presses her mother to inquire, one of the arguments she uses is that "from you, her mother, [...] the question could not give offense." She might have been afraid of upsetting Marianne without accomplishing anything. Remember how carefully she had to handle it just to persuade her to decline Willoughby's offer of a horse.
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