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Written by Stephanie
(10/28/2012 2:26 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, You've explained it well enough, penned by Mary Anne
I do not think Elinor was in any physical danger. She would be hesitant to make a scene, but if she was actually frightened there are servants in the house, including whoever opened the door for Willoughby, who would have come in at her first call.
However, the social strictures at the time left her almost as bound as physical violence. She partially decides to hear him because her doing so will make this awkward situation easier, and quicken his departure. Her curiosity, and her wish of treating him with some degree of the acquaintanceship they shared in Barton were not the only things that make her sit down and let him tell his tale in person.
I wonder, though, had she been more hard-hearted against him, perhaps demanding that he only take ten minutes, and leaving when his monologue reached that point, or insisting that he write, and post, his explanation, for she would not stay to hear it in person, how would Willoughby have reacted? He was very used to people, and women especially, giving him his way when he turned on the charisma... It would be something to see him set back on his heels when his usual go-to strategy came up a failure.
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