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Written by Chandra S
(10/4/2012 10:26 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Why did Edward come to visit?, penned by Barbara
Those are my two best guesses.
The first - obligation - is simply that he was VERY close to Barton Cottage, had been earnestly and sincerely invited to visit, and could not think of a single good excuse not to. If dear sweet Mrs. Dashwood were ever to hear of his being so near to her as Plymouth and NOT coming by, she would be hurt. Edward does not wish to hurt anyone. And we can say that it is unlikely that she would ever hear, but we know how difficult it is to keep the action and designs of one part of the world from the notice and curiousity of the other ;-) I don't know if any of the Barton Cottage ladies is obliged to correspond with Fanny or John, but still people do tend to hear the most inconvenient things.
The other may simply be that he does not rightly estimate how the visit will impact his own spirits, or affect Elinor. He has not seen Elinor for some months. Would it be a stretch to think that maybe he trusts to his engagement to keep him "safe?" Perhaps he has convinced himself that Elinor is just a friend, he does not feel anything towards her that an engaged man ought not feel, and that a visit with old friends is harmless and might cheer him up a bit? And then he might realize after he is back in her presence that he does in fact feel more for her than an engaged man ought, and that he had best leave before the situation worsens?
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