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|GR: John Dashwood the spy?
Written by Kristen G.
(9/2/2003 9:16 p.m.)
When John visits his sister in London, and then goes on to meet the Middletons, he says that Fanny cannot come because "she was so much engaged with her mother, that really she had no leisure for going any where."
But the real story comes later:
"I shall have a charming account to carry to Fanny," said he, as he walked back with his sister. "Lady Middleton is really a most elegant woman! Such a woman as I am sure Fanny will be glad to know. And Mrs. Jennings too, an exceeding well-behaved woman, though not so elegant as her daughter. Your sister need not have any scruple even of visiting her , which, to say the truth, has been a little the case, and very naturally; for we only knew that Mrs. Jennings was the widow of a man who had got all his money in a low way; and Fanny and Mrs. Ferrars were both strongly prepossessed that neither she nor her daughters were such kind of women as Fanny would like to associate with. But now I can carry her a most satisfactory account of both." (bold mine)
So, is John spying out the situation for Fanny and Mrs F, making sure that Mrs. Jennings and the Middletons are good enough? Luckily, they prove to be worthy, but if not, then what? John cannot escape the acquaintance, can he? Besides, wouldn't it be horribly rude for Fanny never to visit her sisters-in-law whilst in London, whether or not Mrs. Jennings was vulgar?
Also, wouldn't Lady Middleton pull rank over Mrs. Dashwood, even if her mother and father were rather low?
I guess I really don't see Fanny's motives for sending John ~ it seems to me that she would have to go eventually, and not going in the first place is rather rude.
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