Posted by Hil on December 11, 1997 at 22:53:49:
I was looking at that little dicussion on poetry again (P&P ch. 9), and noticed something that hadn't occurred to me before. Mrs. Bennet relates the story of the gentleman who was thought to be in love with Jane at 15, and says:
'my sister-in-law was sure he would make her an offer before we came away. But however he did not. Perhaps he thought her too young. However, he wrote some verses on her, and very pretty they were.'
"And so ended his affection,' said Elizabeth impatiently. "There has been many a one, I fancy, overcome in the same way. I wonder who first discovered the efficacy of poetry in driving away love!'
I had somehow always substituted the 'his' with 'her', because I understood Lizzy in general to be being disparaging the idea that women were swayed by being courted with poetry. Now why would the man's affection end with his writing poetry? Is it a play on the relation between affection and affected behaviour, affectation? Lizzy does seem to regard such courting by poetry as affected behaviour that is a turn-off?
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