Posted by Kathy F. on July 19, 1997 at 10:09:20:
In reply to Re: Captain Weston--not a suitable marriage prospect? posted by Jen K on July 17, 1997 at 23:33:46
] ] ] ] . . . Granted he didn't have a fortune like the Churchills but he did have a "small independence" and likely prospects for the future.
] ] ] ________
] I think perhaps that Weston's age might have had something to do with this. As you say, his prospects for the future were good, even if in trade, but at the time he was just getting started. Emma's later persuasion of Harriet Smith against Robert Martin echo what seems to be a common cultural sentiment - she tells Harriet that RM shouldn't marry until he's 30! Aside from the social step down, I'm sure Capt. Weston wouldn't have been as repulsive if he were a little older and a bit more wealthy.
For those of you who have read Persuasion, I think it is in the same vein: Mrs. Churchill was Lady Russell to Miss Churchill's Anne Elliot, and Mr. Weston's Frederick Wentworth. At the beginning of AE and FW's relationship, he had good luck and high hopes, but that was it; at the end of the novel, he had a nice fortune, which softened the Elliots' and Lady Russell's opinion of him. If the first Mrs. Weston had been content with less money, it probably would have been a happy marriage; and finally her family might have been resigned to it, if Mr. Weston made enough money.