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|GR: which her?
Written by Barbara
(9/10/2003 9:28 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: A perplexing sentence (ch. 41), penned by joe m
] "So far was she, at the same time, from any backwardness to give Elinor that credit which Edward would give her, that she spoke of her friendship for them both with the most grateful warmth, was ready to own all their obligation to her, and openly declared that no exertion for their good on Miss Dashwood's part, either present or future, would ever surprise her, for she believed her capable of doing anything in the world for those she really valued."
]"...friendship for them both" seems to mean, (to me, considering all that's gone on before), that the friendship would not extend to Elinor by herself. The grouping of Elinor and Brandon almost purposely eliminates the need to see the individuality of either or both of them...
JA is sometimes not as specific as she could be about who she means by he/she or his/her. I read the bolded portion differently, with 'her' being Elinor rather than Lucy, and 'them' being Edward and Lucy rather than Colonel Brandon and Elinor, like this:
Lucy spoke of Elinor's friendship for both Lucy and Edward with the most grateful warmth, was ready to own all Lucy and Edward's obligation to Elinor...
To me it does not make sense the other way, for what obligation could Elinor and Colonel Brandon have to Lucy?
] The other phrase that seems to put a qualifier on the entire sentence is the last: "for those she really valued." Lucy knows full well that Elinor does not truly value her. She also suspects that Elinor does truly value Edward. Knowing this, "she believed her capable of doing anything in the world" no longer looks like praise. There's almost a sense that Lucy expects Elinor to try to win Edward.
I think that Lucy is fairly confident that she has secured Edward away from Elinor at least by this point in the story. I read this as Lucy saying to Elinor, "If you truly value Edward, you will continue to work on his behalf and put in good words for us with your connections." I read it as Lucy crowing about the fact that while she has Edward and will marry him, Elinor can only express her love for Edward by getting people to do favours for him.
] There's a lot more in this sentence that cannot be as it seems. The beginning phrases, "So far was she, at the same time, from any backwardness to give Elinor that credit" have a certain double talk nature to them
I agree that little, if anything, Lucy says can be taken at face value! The rest of the sentence you quote is "credit which Edward would give her." My reading of that is that Lucy knows that Edward still values Elinor and if she wishes to remain in Edward's good graces, she must employ the same type of flattery on him she has used to such advantage on other people. If he is praising Elinor, then she must do likewise. In such a precarious position as the couple now finds themselves, she can not afford to be speaking negatively about someone Edward holds in such high esteem.
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