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|GR:Catherine's attractive ignorance
Written by Kresel
(4/6/2003 3:16 p.m.)
Where people wish to attach, they should always be ignorant. To come with a well-informed mind is to come with an inability of administering to the vanity of others, which a sensible person would always wish to avoid. A woman especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.
The advantages of natural folly in a beautiful girl have been already set forth by the capital pen of a sister author; and to her treatment of the subject I will only add, in justice to men, that though to the larger and more trifling part of the sex, imbecility in females is a great enhancement of their personal charms, there is a portion of them too reasonable and too well informed themselves to desire anything more in woman than ignorance. But Catherine did not know her own advantages--did not know that a good-looking girl, with an affectionate heart and a very ignorant mind, cannot fail of attracting a clever young man, unless circumstances are particularly untoward.
That has got to be JA at her most sarcastic. I wonder how frequently that passage has been misunderstood? Luckily, JA redeems herself in the next few lines. If Henry likes Catherine for her ignorant mind, it seems only because he sees enough potential there to inform it himself.
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