Posted by greg on September 01, 1997 at 22:30:21:
In reply to Re: help! thanks kali! ...more help, anyone? posted by Kali on September 01, 1997 at 15:08:08
] i rejected this explanation because it doesn't seem to relate to the "delicacy, the discretion" in the sentence.
] Oh but it does...her LACK OF IT! ;-)
i think this explanation is possible, but am still somewhat unsatisfied. perhaps we're having some difficulty with the archaic formulations of 1816 english. i researched the word discretion and found that it can be used for judgement or circumspection, so maybe we could re-word the sentence as "how his favourite could be so blind", or "how his favourite could let herself get into this unseemly situation". but austen apparently wanted to use the phrase "...could have been so lain asleep", so she needed a noun like "discretion" to be the subject. i'd flattered myself by supposing that ja's hand might have been on auto-pilot and went astray, but don't think that's likely in such a crucial part of the narrative!
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