Posted by Marsha on September 17, 1997 at 17:31:43:
In response to Re: Elope -- less socially ruinous for men than women, written by kathleen (elder) on September 17, 1997 at 15:05:21
] ] ] Even if he slept w/ Maria, why elope w/ her? seducers don't do that-it would be to encumbering and stop further fun, besides being socially ruinous.
] ] ________
] ] From what I gather from the use of the word "elope" in JA, it only seems to mean: running away together. I don't see that that would ruin the fun at all. If Rushworth knew what had happened, then Maria could not have stayed with him anyway. Better to run off with your lover, than to be ejected from your house.
] Exactly -- eloping did not necessarily mean getting married.
] As for the social consequences, Henry lost Fanny as soon as his affair with Maria became public knowledge, so running away with Maria didn't change that. As far as other social consequences, JA tells us that the public punishment of disgrace was not as heavy on the man as on the woman -- I think that Henry would (eventually, anyway) be able to regain some of his position in society and live to flirt again.
Rushworth wouldn't evict Maria-too much scandal, and it would be much less ruinous for Henry to just sleep around till Maria is thrown out than to elope. And yes, it's better for Maria, to elope than to be thrown out, but not for Henry, since he can't be thrown out, since he does not live there in the first place. Affairs were commonplace, so nobody would stigmatise Henry much, but eloping is quite another thing! It might ruin your rep forever, and even if not, few would want to flirt w/ you because of your reputation, and a lot of people will never renew their invitations to social gatherings. Plus, it says that Henry "flirted" before, and never eloped, so why now. It still does not make sense.
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