Posted by Cassia on July 25, 1997 at 12:00:16:
No matter how I think on it I can neer resign myself to the marriage of Edmund and Fanny. I think the two of them would become boring and elderly within a fortnight (slight exaggeration) of their nuputials. Bearing that in mind, I feel at least one of the Crawfords should escape censure, unfortuately the best candidate is Mary rather than Henry (sorry, Henry, I still think you are great fun). The only thing that keeps Edmund from making Mary an offer is her reaction to her brother's eloping with Maria. Now, let's say that she has discussed the situation thourghly with her older sister, Mrs Grant. This lady, makes her see that the elopement is a terrible scandle for the Bertrams and that Henry never had any intentions torward Maria. Instead of supporting her brother, as she is wont to do, Mary, although unwilling to censure him completely, will make her main alliance with Edmund and thus gain the oppurtunity to smarten him up a bit.
Who gets Fanny? No, not Henry, who needs a lifetime of kicking himself. Fanny can go to that friend of Edmunds with all the sisters. He, like Edmund, is a clegyman and is unattached. Or as a second candidate, Charles Maddox. Who is he, you ask? He is one of the young gentlemaen of the neighborhood who has the sense not to become particular friends with Tom Bertram! Since we know so little of him, I can build him up along pleasing lines using his rejection of Tom's friendship as a cornerstone.
Henry gets to remain a bachelor for another five years. until he meets a yound lady in Town who forthrightly tells him that he's the sort one can have a great flirt with but no woman who claims the least vestiges of sense would ever be caught taking seriously. Henry upon hearing her dismissal of his character, begins to take stock. He thinks back to Julia, Maria and especially Fanny and relises that the only one of the three he ever came near to truly wanting to please is Fanny and she is lost to him by his own pigheadedness. Not wanting to make the same mistake twice, Henry persues, this young lady, let's call her Miss Dalton, Anna Dalton. She is as clever as he and won't be had by his little tricks. She is Charlotte Lucas' age and unlike Miss Lucas, would rather remain a spinster than marry without respecting her spouse. Henry gradually learns that his talents have all been wasted on idle pursuits as Anna chips away at his outsized ego. He learns to truly esteem and love her. It takes about six month to happen then aanother seven for her to beleive that her critcism had taken hold.
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