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Written by Barbara
(9/17/2003 12:47 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, GR: "Ultimate Gentleman", penned by Mary Anne
] I can't imagine the duel scenario either, though I have to wonder if he'd leave Elinor alone if he came in and found Willoughby there.
In this case, as angry and distressed as our Ultimate Gentleman would be to find Willoughby there, he has no right, really to challenge Willoughby to a duel on this score.
In the previous instance, although I'm neither of them had Marianne far from their thoughts, Brandon was in the role of a parent in punishing Willoughby's disregard for Eliza's honour. Here, he is not a relative or even a suitor or fiance (yet!) and I don't think that men could go around challenging people to duels merely in the case of a woman they admired but to whom they had no claim or official connection.
Now, it is true that during the ride from Barton to Cleveland, the colonel revealed something of his feelings to Mrs. Dashwood, but he still has no official status here.
This is also in the home of one of his best friends--Mr. Palmer, so I don't think he'd resort to violence of any kind for that reason as well.
] But all of this probably academic, because I'm also thinking that if Brandon walked in, Willoughby would probably vacate the premises--PDQ.
Definitely. He's shown himself to be a coward in the past, always waiting until Brandon was out of earshot, over at Barton Park, or even a few days of riding away to badmouth him.
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