UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The concept and presentation of love in Jane Austen Anderson , Judith 1970

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1970_A8 A53.pdf [ 4.41MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0102096.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0102096-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0102096-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0102096-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0102096-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0102096-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0102096-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0102096-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0102096.ris

Full Text

THE CONCEPT AND PRESENTATION OF LOVE IN JANE AUSTEN  by  JUDITH ANDERSON B.A., U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1964  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i  i n the Department of English  We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1970  In  presenting  this  an a d v a n c e d  degree  the L i b r a r y  shall  I  f u r t h e r agree  for  scholarly  by h i s of  this  written  thesis at  the U n i v e r s i t y  make  tha  permission  purposes  for  of  of  British  for extensive  may be g r a n t e d It  f i n a n c i a l gain  i^c^^^L^  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h V a n c o u v e r 8, Canada  Columbia  the  requirements  Columbia,  I agree  r e f e r e n c e and copying of  this  shall  that  not  copying  or  for  that  study. thesis  by t h e Head o f my D e p a r t m e n t  is understood  permission.  Department  fulfilment of  it freely available for  representatives. thesis  in p a r t i a l  or  publication  be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my  ABSTRACT THE CONCEPT AND PRESENTATION OF LOVE IN JANE AUSTEN  C r i t i c s of Jane Austen can be divided into three groups.  The  f i r s t group, which includes W. H. Helm, S h e i l a Kaye-Smith and G. B. Stern regards Marianne Dashwood as Jane Austen's only passionate heroine.  Her  other heroines are condemned f o r t h e i r common sense by these c r i t i c s , who contend that love i s an i r r a t i o n a l phenomenon. they b e l i e v e , are mutually e x c l u s i v e . of these two facets of man's being.  Love and reason,  Jane Austen saw love as a marriage Aware of i t s d u a l i t y , at once both  emotional and r a t i o n a l , she saw the inadequacies (and dangers) of "love" which based i t s e l f s o l e l y on passion.  Mr. Bennet i s one of Austen's  examples of a man who has f a i l e d to assess h i s chosen mate i n t e l l i g e n t l y , and h i s subsequent l i f e with her demonstrates the d e f i c i e n c y of a concept of love which does not involve use of the mind as w e l l as of the heart. For Jane Austen, "to f e e l " was not enough. Marianne Dashwood, her soc a l l e d "passionate" heroine, i s not meant to be admired, but i s a s a t i r i c target, f o r Marianne despises any use of reason i n the process of f a l l i n g i n love.  For Jane Austen, she represents the a n t i t h e s i s of  genuine love. The second group, among them Charlotte BrontM, V i r g i n i a Woolf, and Marjory Bald, sees no passion at a l l i n Jane Austen's novels.  They  are considered to be "dry", "dusty", and s u p e r f i c i a l , and are s a i d to ignore " [ v ] i c e , adventure, passion."  I t i s undoubtedly the s u b t l e t y  of t h e i r presentation which has misled the c r i t i c s .  Jane Austen's  s e n s i t i v e a r t i s t r y precluded a lengthy e x p o s i t i o n of f e e l i n g . provides us with the m a t e r i a l necessary  She  to complete the p i c t u r e by  suggesting and leading up to the d i r e c t expression of emotion, rather than expressing the emotion i t s e l f .  The presentation i s i n f a c t an  extension of her concept, for the t r u l y passionate have not the capacity for f a c i l e a r t i c u l a t i o n .  Intense emotions cannot be e a s i l y  expressed.  The i n t e r p l a y of surface tensions conveys the strong undercurrents of emotion.  Jane Austen's evocative technique reveals t h e i r existence,  but n e i t h e r she nor her best characters w i l l wallow i n the sensational slough which i s thought by many to be the proper r e s t i n g place f o r the passionate. The t h i r d group, whose f i r s t spokesman was S i r Walter Scott, and whose current advocate i s Marvin Mudrick, views the marriages of Jane Austen's heroes and heroines as f i n a n c i a l mergers, and not as unions of love.  Her r e c o g n i t i o n of the economic pressures operating on her  characters i s m i s i n t e r p r e t e d , and seen as endorsement. i n f a c t , extremely  Jane Austen was,  concerned with the fate of women i n her s o c i e t y . Her  concern involved a reconsideration of that society's basic values.  Jane  F a i r f a x , Miss Bates, and the Watson s i s t e r s are some of her sympatheticallytreated symbols of the economic and s o c i a l v u l n e r a b i l i t y of women i n the l a t e eighteenth and e a r l y nineteenth century.  Jane Austen does not  b e l i e v e that personal happiness should be subjected to f i n a n c i a l considerations.  She does show some of her characters succumbing to  economic pressures.  But they are censured w i t h i n the novels, and her  most admirable people never c a p i t u l a t e .  II  Common to a l l of these groups i s a m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of, or f a i l u r e to understand, Jane Austen's concept and presentation of love. Using Jane Austen's novels and l e t t e r s , t h i s paper w i l l attempt to correct the m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s .  J u d i t h Anderson 0403603  III  TABLE OF CONTENTS  page INTRODUCTION .... CHAPTER I  1  "Whoever loved that loved not at f i r s t sight?"  4  CHAPTER I I " I do not w r i t e f o r such d u l l elves As have not a great deal of ingenuity themselves."  30  " I love not l e s s , though l e s s the show appear. That love i s merchandised, whose r i c h esteeming The owner's tongue doth publish everywhere."  38  " . . . romantic plays l i v e i n an atmosphere of ingenuity and make-believe"  47  CHAPTER I I I Cupid Dethroned by Mammon?  54  CONCLUSION  74  BIBLIOGRAPHY  79  INTRODUCTION The majority of Austen c r i t i c s can be d i v i d e d i n t o three groups.  The f i r s t group, which includes W.H. Helm, S h e i l a Kaye-  Smith and G. B. Stern, sees Marianne Dashwood as Jane Austen's only passionate heroine.  Jane Austen's other heroines, claims  Somerset Maugham, have "no passion i n t h e i r love.  Their  i n c l i n a t i o n s are tempered w i t h prudence and c o n t r o l l e d by common 1 sense. Real love has no truck with these estimable q u a l i t i e s . " This group severely l i m i t s passion by i n s i s t i n g that no r a t i o n a l 2 process can contribute to i n t e n s i t y of emotion.  They set o f f  passion and reason against each other, r e f u s i n g to recognize any p o s s i b l e combination  of the two, and propound an a i l - t o o prevalent  theory that love i s an e n t i r e l y i r r a t i o n a l phenomenon.  Love and  reason, such c r i t i c s b e l i e v e , are mutually e x c l u s i v e . The second group of c r i t i c s , among them Charlotte Bronte',. V i r g i n i a Woolf and Marjory Bald, sees no passion at a l l i n Jane 1  W. S. Maugham, Ten Novels and Their Authors, London, W. Heinemann L t d . , 1954, p. 59. 2 S h e i l a Kaye-Smith^ i n comparing Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y with Persuasion, sees the emotions of the l a t t e r as " d i f f e r e n t l y pitched [ i . e . much l e s s intense]-—they are the emotions of maturity, of i n t e l l i g e n c e . . . . Comparing the two novels i s l i k e comparing the mists of autumn [Persuasion] with an A p r i l storm [Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y ] . . . ." (from S h e i l a Kaye-Smith and G. B. Stern, Talking of Jane Austen, London, C a s s e l l & Co., 1943, p. 197)  2  Austen's novels.  Miss Bronte, incensed by her publisher's suggestion  that i f she wanted to w r i t e w e l l , she should take Jane Austen as her model, peevishly condemned Jane Austen's work. She r u f f l e s her reader by nothing vehement, disturbs him by nothing profound. The passions are p e r f e c t l y unknown to her; she r e j e c t s even a speaking acquaintance w i t h the stormy sisterhood. Even to the f e e l i n g s she vouchsafes no more than an occasional graceful but d i s t a n t r e c o g n i t i o n — too frequent converse w i t h them would r u f f l e the smooth elegance of her progress. Her business i s not h a l f so much with the human heart as w i t h the human eyes, mouth, hands and feet. What sees keenly, speaks a p t l y , moves f l e x i b l y , i t s u i t s her to study; but what throbs f a s t and f u l l , though hidden, what the blood rushes through, . . . — t h i s Miss Austen ignores.^ And V i r g i n i a Woolf, r e i t e r a t i n g Charlotte BronzeVs contention, wrote: Humbly and g a i l y she c o l l e c t e d the twigs and straws out of which the nest was to be made and placed them neatly together. The twigs and straws were a l i t t l e dry and a l i t t l e dusty i n themselves . . . . V i c e , adventure, passion were l e f t outside. . . . She had a l l sorts of devices f o r evading scenes of passion.^ The t h i r d group, fathered by S i r Walter Scott and c u r r e n t l y spearheaded by Marvin Mudrick, w i t h support from Richard Whateley and H.W. Garrod, sees the marriages of Jane Austen's heroes and heroines as f i n a n c i a l mergers, and not as unions of love.  Mammon,  and not Cupid, they b e l i e v e , i s Jane Austen's f a v o u r i t e d e i t y .  Jane  Austen recognizes economics as a governing force i n her s o c i e t y . But r e c o g n i t i o n does not mean endorsement.  These c r i t i c s , f a r more  snobbish than Jane Austen, chafe at a novel which depicts a marriage  3  Charlotte Bronte i n a l e t t e r to W. S. W i l l i a m s , included i n Discussions of Jane Austen, Boston, D. C. Heath & Co., 1961, p. 18. 4 V i r g i n i a Woolf, The Common Reader, London, L. & V. Woolf, 1929, p. 175 f f .  3  between a r i c h man and a comparatively poor woman.  They f i n d i t hard  to b e l i e v e that Darcy could be loved because he i s Darcy, and not because he has"ten thousand a year."  They accept at face value  E l i z a b e t h ' s j o k i n g reply to the question as to when she had f i r s t begun to love Darcy. ". . . 1 b e l i e v e I must date i t from my f i r s t seeing h i s b e a u t i f u l grounds at Pemberley." 5 These c r i t i c s have overlooked Jane Austen's s a t i r i c presentation of those of her characters who seek to marry f o r pecuniary advantage, among them Tom Musgrove, I s a b e l l a and John Thorpe, and the Steele sisters. Common to a l l of these groups i s a m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n o f , or f a i l u r e to understand, Jane Austen's concept and presentation of love.  Using Jane Austen's novels and l e t t e r s , t h i s paper  w i l l attempt to correct the m i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s .  5 Jane Austen, P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e , Boston, Houghton M i f f l i n Co., 1956, p. 279. Page references f o r Jane Austen's other n o v e l s — Northanger Abbey, Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , Emma, Mansfield Park, P e r s u a s i o n — w i l l be to the Early E d i t i o n s by R. W. Chapman, I n Five Volumes, Third E d i t i o n , Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1933.  CHAPTER I "WHO EVER LOVED THAT LOVED NOT AT FIRST SIGHT?" (Christopher Marlowe, Hero and Leander) In order to understand Jane Austen's concept of love, the reader must dispossess himself of any notion that f a l l i n g i n love cannot be a r a t i o n a l process.  Love does not preclude reason.  Jane Austen, a  product of the eighteenth century and l i v i n g i n the nineteenth century, provided a bridge between these worlds.  The eighteenth century  established the supremacy of reason; the nineteenth century i n s i s t e d upon the power of passion i n i t s l i t e r a t u r e . force assumed ascendancy.  To Jane Austen, no s i n g l e  Man i s not composed only of passion or reason.  He i s an admixture of both p a r t s .  Jane Austen does not propound a 1 divorce between f e e l i n g s and i n t e l l e c t . To her, love i s the product of the marriage of these two facets of man's being.  Through use of  h i s i n t e l l e c t , man can enjoy and i n t e n s i f y h i s f e e l i n g s .  His i n i t i a l  f e e l i n g s , the r e s u l t of " f i r s t impressions," are replaced by emotions grounded i n a knowledge of the beloved.  Passion alone Is an i n s u f f i c i e n t  basis f o r love as E l i z a b e t h r e a l i z e s : How Wickham and Lydia were to be supported i n t o l e r a b l e independence, she could not imagine. But how l i t t l e of permanent happiness could belong to a couple who were only brought together because t h e i r passions were stronger than t h e i r v i r t u e , she could e a s i l y conjecture. (Pride and P r e j u d i c e , p. 232)  1  She w r i t e s of Edward Ferrars that when h i s proposal to E l i n o r i s accepted, and sanctioned by Mrs. Dashwood, he "was not only i n the rapturous p r o f e s s i o n of the l o v e r , but i n the r e a l i t y of reason and t r u t h , one of the happiest of men. (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , p. 361)  5 What of the most romantic union i n Jane Austen's novels? We f i n d that the p a r t i c i p a n t s are "gradually acquainted, acquainted,  r a p i d l y and deeply i n love."  Their love i s based on mutual knowledge. automatically preclude passion.  and when  (Persuasion, Chapter 4) But knowledge does not  Love, by d e f i n i t i o n i s  . . . that d i s p o s i t i o n or state of f e e l i n g with regard to a person which ( a r i s i n g from r e c o g n i t i o n of a t t r a c t i v e q u a l i t i e s ) manifests i t s e l f i n s o l i c i t u d e f o r the welfare of the object, and u s u a l l y a l s o i n d e l i g h t i n h i s presence and desire f o r h i s approval.^ 3  Such a f e e l i n g demands some knowledge of i t s "object."  This  d e f i n i t i o n accords p e r f e c t l y with E l i n o r Dashwood's love for Edward F e r r a r s , Knightley's for Emma Woodhouse, and E l i z a b e t h Bennet's f e e l i n g f o r Darcy: She became jealous of his esteem, when she could no longer hope to be b e n e f i t t e d by i t . She wanted to hear of him, when there seemed the l e a s t chance of gaining i n t e l l i g e n c e , (p. 231f)  New Oxford English D i c t i o n a r y , V o l . VI, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, p. 463, 1933. 3  Laurence Lerner takes exception to t h i s word i n the f o l l o w i n g passage. I f gratitude and esteem are good foundations of a f f e c t i o n , Elizabeth's change of sentiment w i l l be neither improbable nor f a u l t y . But i f . otherwise, i f the regard springing from such sources i s unreasonable or unnatural, i n comparison of what i s so often described as a r i s i n g on a f i r s t interview with i t s object. . . . (Pride and P r e j u d i c e , p. 207) He queries ". . . why did Jane Austen f e e l i t necessary to c a l l the beloved an object? I t ' s a mild joke to be s u r e — b u t why d i d she f e e l i t necessary to joke?" (from The T r u t h t e l l e r s : Jane Austen, George E l i o t , D. H. Lawrence, London, Chatto & Windus, 1967, p. 155.) To my knowledge, the New Oxford D i c t i o n a r y has never been accused of j o c o s i t y .  6  i  There are many who b e l i e v e that a young man, at a vulnerable age,  4  who becomes enamoured of a p r e t t y face without knowing i t s  possessor, i s " i n love." infatuation.  Love of t h i s sort i s nothing more than  True love does not come so r e a d i l y : i t i s found when  heart and mind move i n tandem.  When Jane Austen described the slow,  almost imperceptible growth of Emma's love f o r Knightley, and of Darcy's for E l i z a b e t h , she drew w i s e l y .  Jane Austen does not depict her  i d e a l marriage as a consummation of f r i e n d s h i p ; she admits the necessity of personal a t t r a c t i o n , but recognizes that personal a t t r a c t i o n i s an a d d i t i o n a l f a c t o r , and not the sole e s s e n t i a l . A l l too o f t e n , and we have the example of Mr. Bennet before us, personal appearance i s of major consequence, and the character behind i t i s idealized.  The subsequent d i s i l l u s i o n m e n t i s always p a i n f u l .  Jane Austen shows the reader several unions based on nothing stronger than p h y s i c a l a t t r a c t i o n .  These are the "imprudent"  marriages, according to Jane Austen's use of the word.  Mr. Bennet,  we are t o l d , captivated by youth and beauty and that appearance of good humour which youth and beauty generally g i v e , had married a woman whose weak understanding and i l l i b e r a l mind had very e a r l y i n t h e i r marriage put an end to a l l r e a l a f f e c t i o n f o r her. (Pride and Prejudice , p. 176) This i s a disappointment "which h i s own imprudence had brought on. . . . (p. 177)  Mr. Palmer's temper i s recognized by E l i n o r as  ^"Three and t w e n t y — a period when, i f a man chooses a w i f e , he generally chooses i l l . " (Jane Austen, i n a l e t t e r to Cassandra.)  7 a l i t t l e soured by f i n d i n g , l i k e many others of h i s sex, that through some unaccountable bias i n favour of beauty, he was the husband of a very s i l l y woman. . . . (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , p. 112) Mr. Knightley disagrees with Emma i n her i n s i s t e n c e that H a r r i e t ' s "marketable"commodity—her  b e a u t y — i s what men seek i n a w i f e .  Emma asserts : . . . t i l l i t appears that men are much more philosophic on the subject of beauty than they are generally supposed, t i l l they do f a l l i n love with well-informed minds instead of handsome faces, a g i r l , with such l o v e l i n e s s as H a r r i e t , has a c e r t a i n t y of being admired and sought a f t e r , of having the power of choosing from among many. . . . (p. 63) Jane Austen was decidedly not of the l o v e - a t - f i r s t - s i g h t school of s e n t i m e n t a l i s t s .  Deriving from no appreciation of the  s p i r i t u a l or mental c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the "beloved," i t i s based on p h y s i c a l a t t r a c t i o n and, as Jane Austen has shown, such a foundation i s shaky indeed, f o r Willoughby i s " r e a l l y handsome," and Wickham has " a l l the best parts of beauty, a f i n e countenance." Marianne "disapprove[s]" of Edward F e r r a r s , contending "there i s a something w a n t i n g — h i s f i g u r e i s not s t r i k i n g ; i t has none of that grace which I should expect. . . . His eyes want a l l that s p i r i t , that f i r e , which a t once announce v i r t u e ^ and i n t e l l i g e n c e . " (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , p. 17) Mistakes are p o s s i b l e , even probable, when man chooses a mate according to what h i s eyes r e v e a l to him.  If there's one q u a l i t y Edward has i n abundance, i t ' s v i r t u e . Am almost i n c l i n e d to agree with those c r i t i c s (among them Mudrick and Ten Harmsel) who f i n d him unbearably good, e s p e c i a l l y i n h i s honourable i n s i s t e n c e on continuing h i s engagement to Lucy Steele when h i s heart i s engaged elsewhere.  8  Mr. Bennet discovers t h i s f a c t — u n l u c k i l y f o r him, too l a t e . daughter E l i z a b e t h i s more fortunate.  His  An i n i t i a l d i s l i k e f o r Darcy  i s supplanted by a love based on knowledge of h i s true character, which had been hidden behind a mask of shyness and pride. I f g r a t i t u d e and esteem are good foundations of a f f e c t i o n , Elizabeth's change of sentiment w i l l be neither improbable nor f a u l t y . But i f otherwise, i f the regard springing from such sources i s unreasonable or unnatural, i n comparison of what i s so often described as a r i s i n g on a f i r s t interview with i t s object, and even before two words have been exchanged, nothing can be s a i d i n her defense, except that she had given somewhat of a t r i a l to the l a t t e r method, i n her p a r t i a l i t y for Wickham, and that i t s i l l - s u c c e s s might perhaps authorise her to seek the other l e s s i n t e r e s t i n g mode of attachment. (Pride and P r e j u d i c e , p. 207) This i s not to say that Jane Austen denies the part p h y s i c a l a t t r a c t i v e n e s s plays i n the growth of love.  Granted, Jane's "sweet  face" does much to capture Bingley's heart, but i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that the romance i n Pride and Prejudice which i s of the greatest i n t e n s i t y i s marked by Darcy's being s i n g u l a r l y unimpressed i n i t i a l l y with E l i z a b e t h Bennet, f i n d i n g her looks only " t o l e r a b l e . "  (p. 7)  I t i s only l a t e r , when he has come to know her, that he notices her " f i n e eyes." (p.  19)  Lerner f i n d s "a r e s i s t a n c e to emotion underlying t h i s paragraph." (from Laurence Lerner, The T r u t h t e l l e r s : Jane Austen, U George E l i o t , D. H. Lawrence, London, Chatto & Windus, 1967, p. 155)|[ I f i n d an amusing thrust at those who believe i n love at f i r s t s i g h t .  a  9  To me, there i s proof of f a r greater love i n Darcy's f e e l i n g f o r E l i z a b e t h , held despite an awareness of her " i n f e r i o r connections," than i s ever to be found i n a r e l a t i o n s h i p such as that which e x i s t s between Marianne and Willoughby, who  examine.,  each other f o r nothing more than a mutual "passionate fondness f o r music and dancing."  (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , p. 46)  In R. L i d d e l l ' s  eyes, Marianne i s the only "character i n English prose f i c t i o n may be said to be convincingly i n love. . . .  [who]  Lerner i s more  reasonable, and does not expand h i s perimeters to embrace a l l of "English prose f i c t i o n " , but confines himself to the c o n v i c t i o n that Marianne i s the only heroine i n Jane Austen's novels who i s "convincingly i n love."  He believes "Jane Austen can r i d i c u l e the excesses of g  f e e l i n g because she i s not g r e a t l y a t t r a c t e d by the r e a l thing." Marianne's love f o r Willoughby i s the most h i s t r i o n i c a l l y emotional found anywhere i n Jane Austen's novels, but Marianne lacks the depth of character which true passion demands.  She i s a  g i r l whose heart can be broken merely upon hearing Cowper read "with so l i t t l e s e n s i b i l i t y . " (p. 18)  This extreme emotional r e a c t i o n was  believed by the romanticists to demonstrate the depth of a hearer's s e n s i t i v i t y , but the same depths are plumbed by "landscapes, music, books, and dancing."  (p. 46f)  There i s no gradation of f e e l i n g .  Each stimulus produces a stereotyped r e a c t i o n .  We are reminded of  Robert L i d d e l l , The Novels of Jane Austen, London, Longmans, 1963, p. 19. 8 Op. c i t . , p. 151.  10  Pavlov's dogs.  They do not stop to reason, e i t h e r .  They have been  conditioned to respond i n a prescribed way, and at the sound of the b e l l they are o f f and running, s a l i v a r y glands functioning f u r i o u s l y . Marianne displays the same basic r e a c t i o n to s t i m u l i .  For drawing  she f e e l s "rapturous d e l i g h t " (p. 19), f o r music " e x t a t i c [ s i c ] d e l i g h t , " (p. 35) f o r her f a v o u r i t e authors a "rapturious d e l i g h t . " (p.  47) Jane Austen's best characters are seen as a commingling  of both reason and passion.  She t r e a t s some figures as l a r g e l y  governed by reason or passion, but such persons are always censured w i t h i n the context of her novels. Miss Austen does not recommend the c o l d l y r a t i o n a l approach to l i f e .  She shares Anne E l l i o t ' s  r e a c t i o n to i t . She f e l t that she could so much more depend upon the s i n c e r i t y of those who sometimes looked or said a careless or a hasty t h i n g , than of those whose presence of mind never v a r i e d , whose tongue never s l i p p e d . (Persuasion, p.161) And Mr. Bennet, an early v i c t i m of passion i n choosing a w i f e , i s condemned f o r h i s subsequent misuse of reason i n attempting to adjust to h i s i n i t i a l mistake. Jane Austen does f e e l , however, that the passionate characters o f f e r more of a threat to s o c i e t y , since they recognize no l i m i t s to behaviour.  Self i s advanced, and at the expense of others i f  necessary.  The harm done i s , i n almost every instance, unconsciously  inflicted.  Thus the ambiguity of the " s e n s i t i v e " people i s revealed.  The " s e n s i t i v i t y " r a r e l y extends beyond the perimeter of s e l f . Marianne's i n s i s t e n c e on freedom of expression, which involves f l a u n t i n g of s o c i a l c o u r t e s i e s , i s frequently a source of pain and embarrassment  for Elinor.  On one occasion, when Mrs.  Jennings i s i n q u i r i n g as to the i d e n t i t y of E l i n o r ' s " p a r t i c u l a r f a v o u r i t e , " Marianne "[does] more harm than good to the cause, by turning very red, and saying i n an angry manner to Margaret, 'Remember that whatever your conjectures may be, you have no r i g h t to repeat them.' 'I never had any conjectures about i t , ' r e p l i e s Margaret; ' i t was you who t o l d me of i t y o u r s e l f . ' " (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , p. 61) And on another, when Mrs. Ferrars commends Miss Morton's landscape Marianne again indulges her emotions at her s i s t e r ' s expense. Marianne could not bear t h i s . — S h e was already g r e a t l y displeased with Mrs. F e r r a r s ; and . . . [said] with warmth, "This i s admiration of a very p a r t i c u l a r k i n d ! — what i s Miss Morton to us?—who knows, or who cares, f o r h e r ? — i t i s E l i n o r of whom we think and speak." . . E l i n o r was much more hurt by Marianne's warmth, than she had been by what produced i t ; but Colonel Brandon's eyes, as they were f i x e d on Marianne, declared that he noticed only what was amiable i n i t . . . .  Laura refuses to v i s i t and succour her "beloved Augustus" i n p r i s o n because "[her] f e e l i n g s are s u f f i c i e n t l y shocked by the r e c i t a l of h i s D i s t r e s s , but to behold i t [would] overpower [her] S e n s i b i l i t y . " (from Love and Freindship and Other Early Works [Printed from the O r i g i n a l Ms. by Jane Austen], London, Chatto & Windus, 1922, p. 20)  12 But, we are t o l d , Marianne's f e e l i n g s did not stop here. . . . She moved, a f t e r a moment, to her s i s t e r ' s c h a i r , and . . . said "Dear, dear E l i n o r , don't mind them. Don't l e t them make you unhappy." She could say no more; her s p i r i t s were quite overcome, and h i d i n g her face on E l i n o r ' s shoulder, she burst i n t o tears, (pp. 235-6) This b r i e f i n c i d e n t also subtly reveals Marianne's unswerving f i r s t concern—that  which she f e e l s - f o r h e r s e l f , — f o r her consolation  of E l i n o r i s truncated when her mind returns to her own problems ( i . e . "you"—as w e l l as me).  Only then i s she moved to tears.  And,  with  the most d e l i g h t f u l l y i r o n i c master-stroke, we are shown Marianne and Willoughby, proponents of passion, l i v i n g by a code completely c o l d blooded, ensuring t h e i r comfort by e x p l o i t i n g the "reasonable" who  are blinded by the sparks which f l y from them.  too honest not to concede t h e i r appeal, f o r her  folk,  Jane Austen i s  "passionate"  characters (among them Mary Crawford, Marianne, Willoughby, Wickham) are shown to dazzle t h e i r l e s s flamboyant peers. been misinterpreted by some c r i t i c s .  This honesty has  Mudrick's conclusion from  E l i n o r ' s r e a c t i o n to Willoughby a f t e r h i s confession, when we  are  t o l d that She f e l t that h i s influence over her mind was heightened by circumstances which ought not i n reason to have weight; by that person of uncommon a t t r a c t i o n , that open, a f f e c t i o n a t e , and l i v e l y manner. . . . But she f e l t that i t was so long, long before she could f e e l h i s influence l e s s . (p. 333) i s that we are witnessing " E l i n o r — a n d presumably the author—almost i n love, and quite amorally i n love, with him.  . . . Through the  f l a g r a n t inconsistency of her heroine Jane Austen i s h e r s e l f revealed  13  i n a posture of yearning f o r the impossible and l o s t , the passionate and b e a u t i f u l hero, the absolute l o v e r . " " ^  One presumes he would  impute the same "posture" to E l i z a b e t h Bennet, since she s t a t e s , while commenting on Wickham's a p p a l l i n g behaviour, ". . .we a l l know that Wickham has every charm of person and address that can captivate a woman." (Pride and Prejudice , p. 210) W. H. Helm sees E l i n o r i n t h i s scene as "a pioneer of that school of sociology which whitewashes the i n d i v i d u a l at the 11 expense of h i s early invironment and education."  I doubt whether  Jane Austen intended t h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n ; as when she describes Edmund's account of h i s f i n a l meeting with Mary Crawford, she meant.-to suggest the magnetic a t t r a c t i o n of her " v i l l a i n s . " " I r e s i s t e d — i t was the impulse of the moment to r e s i s t — a n d s t i l l walked on. I have since, sometimes, f o r a moment, regretted that I d i d not go back; but I know I was r i g h t . " (Mansfield Park, p. 461) Edward " d i d not go back," but f o r Mary there w i l l be many other "Edwards."  Her p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r e x p l o i t a t i o n are almost l i m i t l e s s .  To ensure personal comfort and continued s e l f - i n d u l g e n c e , the passionate w i l l employ any means, from " g r a c e f u l l y p u r l o i n i n g money from an unworthy father's e s c r i t o i r e " (p. 18) to marrying a man "who s t i l l sought the c o n s t i t u t i o n a l safeguard of a f l a n n e l waitcoat!" (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , p. 378) Elizabeth" Jenkins, notes the a l a c r i t y  Marvin Mudrick, Jane Austen: Irony as Defense Princeton, Princeton U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1952, p. 85.  and. Discovery,  W. H. Helm, Jane Austen and her Country-House Comedy, London, Fawside House, 1909, p. 147.  14  with which Marianne accepts Mrs. Jennings' i n v i t a t i o n to stay w i t h her i n London.  Marianne.' ; "thoroughly acquainted with Mrs.  Jennings' manners, and thoroughly disgusted by them, look every inconvenience of that k i n d . . . . "  [can] over-  (p. 155)  " I f E l i n o r i s frightened away by her d i s l i k e of Mrs. Jennings," said Marianne, "at l e a s t lit need not prevent my accepting her i n v i t a t i o n . I have no such scruples, and I am sure, I could put up w i t h every unpleasantness of that kind w i t h very l i t t l e e f f o r t . " E l i n o r (and Jane Austen) [can] not help s m i l i n g at t h i s d i s p l a y of i n d i f f e r e n c e towards the manners of a person, to whom she had often had d i f f i c u l t y i n persuading Marianne to behave w i t h t o l e r a b l e p o l i t e n e s s , (p. 156) Since she does "not think i t proper that . . . Mrs. Jennings should be abandoned to the mercy of Marianne f o r a l l the comfort of her domestic hours," her s i s t e r .  (p. 157)  E l i n o r agrees to accompany  Marianne w i l l use Mrs. Jennings as a means of  seeing Willoughby, but w i l l not accord her even " c i v i l i t y . " (p.  160) I t i s f o r t h i s reason that  s e n s i b i l i t y receives  15  the treatment i t does at the hands of Jane Austen. entails self-expression.  For s e n s i b i l i t y  The word to note here i s " s e l f . "  It  involves the a s s e r t i o n of " I am" at the expense of "thou a r t . " "The world" i s only recognized when i t s forces react against the impenetrable, l a r g e l y impervious " s e l f . "  This a t t i t u d e i s treated  s a t i r i c a l l y i n Jane Austen's " J u v e n i l i a , " and s p e c i f i c a l l y i n Love and Freindship.  The four passionate lovers l i v e i n an i d y l l i c s t a t e on  funds " g r a c e f u l l y purloined from an unworthy [ i . e . i n s e n s i t i v e ] father's e s c r i t o i r e . " (p. 18)  They have informed a l l neighbours  that "as t h e i r Happiness center[s] wholly i n themselves, they [wish] f o r no other Society." (p. 17)  In t h e i r search f o r s e l f -  g r a t i f i c a t i o n , the passionate c a n n o t — o r w i l l n o t — r e c o g n i z e s o c i a l forms, since these represent i n some instances a l i m i t a t i o n of the pleasure which can accrue to s e l f . In Jane Austen's novels we are made aware of the s o c i a l s e t t i n g : the couple must c o r r e l a t e t h e i r s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s with t h e i r personal desires.  They cannot dash o f f to London when  they are a t t r a c t e d to each other, but must come to know one another through s o c i a l intercourse, and must proceed through prescribed channels.  F a i l u r e to do so r e s u l t s i n chaos,—witness the L y d i a -  Wickham, Henry Crawford-Julia Bertram episodes.  Such a f f a i r s , based  on f l e e t i n g emotions, are shown to be s h o r t - l i v e d .  The Lydia-Wickham  union i s cemented by money, not by love between i t s members. Of Anne E l l i o t Miss Austen says, "she had been forced i n t o prudence i n her youth, she learned romance as she grew older. . . . (Persuasion, p. 30)  Love has more s i g n i f i c a n c e when i t i s seen  16  as an expanding process, a process which involves s e l f - d i s c o v e r y i n i t s progression.  A l l of Jane Austen's heroines are seen to reach  self-awareness through an increasing awareness of others.  They  must question themselves i n order to a s c e r t a i n t h e i r a b i l i t y to stand the  s c r u t i n y of the beloved.  Her best characters are too honest not  to admit where they f a l l short; t h i s includes even the supremely assured Miss Emma Woodhouse.  To Jane Austen, the ultimate command  was "Know t h y s e l f , " f o r only then could one hope to understand others.  I t i s a code which admits no a r t i f i c e , no p a r t i a l t r u t h s , a  r i g i d code.  One might c a l l i t "a perpendicular, p r e c i s e , . . .  12 unbending"  code.  According to Mr. Southam, i n the l a s t of the " J u v e n i l i a " (1792-3)  Jane Austen was concerned " i n p a r t i c u l a r . . . with the 13  t e s t i n g s i t u a t i o n s of love and marriage."  His use of the word  " t e s t i n g " i s good, as i t conveys Jane Austen's c o n v i c t i o n that love does involve an evaluation, both i n t e r n a l and e x t e r n a l , of an i n d i v i d u a l ' s merits.  E l i z a b e t h Bennet speaks of love as "that  pure and elevating passion."  (Pride and P r e j u d i c e , p. 114) The  adjective "elevating" i s significant.  When Jane Austen's heroines f a l l  i n love, they are indeed "elevated"; i t i s then that they submit themselves to a thorough s e l f - s c r u t i n y , and determine to correct t h e i r f a u l t s i n order to be worthy of the men they love. Adjectives applied to Jane Austen by an anonymous f r i e n d of Miss M i t f o r d , c i t e d i n the l a t t e r ' s R e c o l l e c t i o n s of a L i t e r a r y L i f e and quoted by E l i z a b e t h Jenkins i n Jane Austen, New York, F a r r a r , Straus &. Cudahy, 1949, p. 366. B. C. Southam, Jane Austen's L i t e r a r y Manuscripts, London, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1964, p. 30.  17  S e l f - l o v e was one form of love which Jane Austen despised. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that Marianne's a t t i t u d e to love i s d i a m e t r i c a l l y opposed to the b e l i e f i n the need f o r self-improvement of Jane Austen's heroines.  When she thinks that E l i n o r w i l l soon  marry Edward, she remarks that i n the i n t e r i m p r i o r to the n u p t i a l s "... Edward w i l l have greater opportunity of improving that n a t u r a l taste f o r your f a v o u r i t e p u r s u i t which must be so indispensably necessary f o r your future f e l i c i t y . Oh! i f he should be so f a r stimulated by your genius as to l e a r n to draw himself, how d e l i g h t f u l i t would be!" (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , p. 22) That i s , Edward must a l t e r himself to s u i t E l i n o r .  This i s of a  piece w i t h Marianne's i n s i s t e n c e that "I could not be happy w i t h a man whose taste did not i n every point coincide with my own. He must enter i n t o a l l my f e e l i n g s ; the same books, the same music must charm us both." (p. 17) Marianne, looking out from the unassailable f o r t r e s s of " s e l f j " w i l l judge others.  I t never occurs to her that there should be  a r e c i p r o c a l arrangement.  She does not question her own  worthiness  as an object of love, but instead examines the worthiness of others, which to her i s ascertained only by t h e i r s e n s i t i v i t y , or l a c k of i t . For Marianne, s e n s i t i v i t y — o r , i n the idiom of her time, s e n s i b i l i t y — i s a large q u a l i t y . . . . She i s sure that she has i t ; and her mother, and E l i n o r (probably, though Marianne has occasional sharp doubts), and Willoughby. She w i l l s e t t l e f o r nothing l e s s , she regards anything less with impatience and contempt."^  Mudrick, p. 75.  18  Mudrick concurs with her judgment.  Willoughby, he  s t a t e s , "represents f e e l i n g . . . Edward Ferrars and Colonel Brandon represent the antidote to f e e l i n g , the p r o p o s i t i o n that the only cure f o r a passionate heart i s to remove i t . " " '  And  1  what, we may ask, c o n s t i t u t e s "a passionate heart"?  Is the  man who speaks most loudly of h i s love to be taken at h i s word as f e e l i n g most? love f o r Marianne?  Has Willoughby given any t a n g i b l e proof of His "dog i n the manger" r e a c t i o n to the news  of Marianne's forthcoming marriage w i l l hardly s u f f i c e as a cry for l o s t love: i t i s not the loss of Marianne he i s d e p l o r i n g , but the f a c t that "she w i l l be gained by someone e l s e . "  (p. 332)  Is a passionate heart one which speaks with "expression"?  Is  i n a r t i c u l a t e n e s s to be taken as proof of l a c k of f e e l i n g ? Surely i t i s an i n d i c a t i o n of more intense f e e l i n g , so intense that i t has not the power of f a c i l e speech.  As to the strength  of Colonel Brandon's attachment f o r Marianne, that of a man "has read, and has a thinking mind, . . .  a s e n s i b l e man,"  who (p. 51)  i t must be very great indeed, f o r reason would never lead him to choose such a partner, i n view of t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e "ages, characters, or f e e l i n g s . " (p. 336)  He remains f a i t h f u l l y i n love with Marianne  through two years, years i n which he sees her love f o r another  man,  a man whom he knows to be a gross knave, and i s himself looked upon  15 Loc. c i t . He f u r t h e r contends that Jane Austen b e l i e v e s "not merely f a l s e f e e l i n g , but f e e l i n g i t s e l f i s bad. . . . because i t i s a personal commitment" (p. 90-91) Are we to assume then that Jane Austen disapproved of Darcy f o r h i s very great "personal commitment" to E l i z a b e t h , which l e d him to i n v o l v e himself i n her family's problems?  19  " o c c a s i o n a l l y " w i t h a " p i t y i n g eye."  (p. 216) He sees her j i l t e d  and her' subsequent d e t e r i o r a t i o n — a n d s t i l l he loves Marianne. l e t us turn to an examination of the "man of f e e l i n g "  Now  i n Sense  and S e n s i b i l i t y . Confronted by Mrs. Smith with h i s despicable past behaviour and d i s i n h e r i t e d , the "passionate" Willoughby requires but a s i n g l e night i n which to decide upon abandoning Marianne i n favour of a wealthy young woman of whom he l a t e r says, " I had no regard f o r her when we married."  (p. 329)  And why does he further torment  Marianne by going himself to announce h i s sudden departure, as E l i n o r asks r e p r o a c h f u l l y , adding "a note would have answered every purpose.—Why was i t necessary to c a l l ? " " I t was necessary to my own pride.  Willoughby r e p l i e s  I could not bear to leave the country  i n a manner that might lead you, or the r e s t of the  neighbourhood,  to suspect any part of what had r e a l l y passed between Mrs. Smith and myself. . . . " 1 young person."  (p. 324) Mudrick c a l l s Willoughby a " s e n s i t i v e  ft  S e n s i t i v e to what?  Only to h i s own f e e l i n g s , we  realize. And Marianne says, " I could not be happy with a man whose tastes did not i n every point c o i n c i d e with my own. He must enter i n t o a l l my f e e l i n g s . . . . " (p. 17) f o r Marianne expected from other people the same opinions and f e e l i n g s has her own, and she judged of t h e i r motives by the immediate e f f e c t of t h e i r actions on h e r s e l f . (p. 202) Willoughby i s therefore the man f o r Marianne. meeting  Mudrick, p. 79.  From the f i r s t  20  . . . t h e i r taste was s t r i k i n g l y a l i k e . The same books, the same passages were i d o l i z e d by e a c h — o r i f any d i f f e r e n c e appeared, any objection arose, i t l a s t e d no longer than t i l l the force of her arguments and the brightness of her eyes could be displayed. He acquiesced i n a l l her d e c i s i o n s , caught a l l her enthusiasm; and long before h i s v i s i t concluded, they conversed with the f a m i l i a r i t y of a long-established acquaintance. (p. 47) "With the f a m i l i a r i t y of a long-established a c q u a i n t a n c e " — f o r the simple reason that Marianne has found an echo f o r her own t h e o r i e s , and an echo may be r e l i e d upon to say only what i t s o r i g i n a t o r says. Marianne does not know Willoughby any b e t t e r ; she has merely had h e r s e l f reaffirmed. idolatry.  Willoughby serves as the medium f o r s e l f -  Marianne i s able to worship at the a l t a r of her own  s e n s i b i l i t y ; she has found a w i l l i n g n o v i t i a t e . stand Willoughby's subsequent defection.  She cannot under-  Nor can she conceive of any  flaw i n her own godhead to account f o r h i s withdrawal, and asks herself, "Whom d i d I ever hear him t a l k of as young and a t t r a c t i v e among h i s female acquaintance?—Oh! no one, no one—he talked to me only of myself." (p. 190) Loss of such a l o y a l acolyte must be p a i n f u l indeed f o r Marianne! There has been much c r i t i c a l comment on Marianne's "conversion" .and c o r r e c t i o n .  I t s climax i s s a i d to come i n the scene i n v o l v i n g  E l i n o r ' s r e v e l a t i o n to her s i s t e r of her months of unhappiness. Marianne i s amazed when E l i n o r openly reveals the anguish she has endured.  So might the reader be, f o r should not a creature of such  quivering s e n s i b i l i t y as Marianne have been able to d i s c e r n E l i n o r ' s torment?  We are even t o l d that E l i n o r "once or twice [has] attempted" (p. 262)  21  to discuss i t , but such e f f o r t s went unnoticed. Marianne, incapable of e i t h e r fathoming or recognizing her s i s t e r ' s i n t e n s i t y of emotion, chooses to d i s b e l i e v e that E l i n o r "ever f e l t much."  (p. 263) When  E l i n o r i s able to disabuse her of t h i s misconception, Marianne o f f e r s a "confession," r e p l e t e , one notes, with her f a v o u r i t e personal pronoun. "Oh! E l i n o r , " she c r i e d , "you have made me hate myself f o r ever.—How barbarous have 1 been to you!—you, who have been my_ only comfort, who have borne with me i n a l l my_ misery, who have seemed to be only s u f f e r i n g f o r me!— Is t h i s my_ g r a t i t u d e ! — I s t h i s the only return _I can make you?—Because your merit c r i e s out upon myself, I have been t r y i n g to do i t away." (p. 264) ^ Ten Harmsel f e e l s that Marianne has "come of age" i n t h i s passage. The climax i n her changing a t t i t u d e comes, however, when she has heard of her s i s t e r ' s great sorrow. . . . She "perform[s] her promise of being d i s c r e e t " and we are t o l d She l i s t e n e d to [Mrs. Jennings'] p r a i s e of Lucy with only moving from one chair to another, and when Mrs. Jennings talked of Edward's a f f e c t i o n , i t cost her only a spasm i n her t h r o a t . — S u c h advances towards heroism i n her s i s t e r made E l i n o r f e e l equal to any thing h e r s e l f , (p. 265) The wryness of the l a s t statement i n t e r f e r e s with the theory that Jane Austen intended to show the successful conversion of Marianne. She i s seen to mellow somewhat, and comes to f e e l "earnestly g r a t e f u l " (p. 341) to Mrs. Jennings, but E l i n o r observes that Marianne continues  ^My i t a l i c s . 18 Henrietta Ten Harmsel, Jane Austen: A Study i n F i c t i o n a l Conventions, The Hague, Mouton & Co., 1964, p. 46.  22  "introducing excess" (p. 343), a l b e i t into her r e s o l u t i o n s f o r self-improvement.  Jane Austen brings t h i s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c to our  a t t e n t i o n at the end of the book i n observing . . . instead of remaining even f o r ever with her mother, and f i n d i n g her only pleasures i n retirement and study, as afterwards i n her more calm and sober judgment she had determined on,—she found h e r s e l f at nineteen submitting to new attachments, . . . a w i f e , the mistress of a family. . . . (p. 379) Marianne's resolve to be forever secluded and c e l i b a t e , the r e s u l t of her "more calm and sober judgement," reveals the same excessive nature she showed at the outset of the novel.  In the midst of  Marianne's " t r a n s i t i o n , " Jane Austen again reminds us, through Mrs. Dashwood, that E l i n o r has been " s u f f e r i n g almost as much,, 19 c e r t a i n l y with l e s s s e l f - p r o v o c a t i o n , and greater f o r t i t u d e . " (p. 356)  The i t a l i c i z e d words are a reminder of Marianne's  attempts to keep her emotions at a high p i t c h . that  When Marianne receives Willoughby's l e t t e r , Lerner concedes here f o r once E l i n o r ' s g r i e f seems the more genuine of the two: i t i s Marianne who uses r h e t o r i c , E l i n o r who i s presented i n the p h y s i c a l immediacy of her sorrow.  But he undercuts t h i s admission. . . . even t h i s probably does her l e s s good than i t should i n our eyes: f o r i t i s not her own g r i e f that i s i n question, but her sharing of Marianne's. . . .20  My  italics.  ^ 0 p . c i t . , p. 166.  23  I cannot fathom t h i s l o g i c , f o r surely i f E l i n o r ' s "onceremoved" g r i e f i s more deeply f e l t than Marianne's, then i t i i s Marianne's capacity f o r intense emotion which i s " i n question." Indeed, her "rhetoric", i s reminiscent of Laura's speeches i n Love and Freindship. "... leave me, leave me, i f I d i s t r e s s you; leave me, hate me, forget me! but do not t o r t u r e me so." (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , p.  185)  Continuing to parse her sentences c o r r e c t l y , Marianne claims, "But I cannot t a l k . " (p. 186)  Miraculously restored to the power of  speech by the time E l i n o r has read her s i s t e r ' s three notes to Willoughby, Marianne goes on to give an admirably of her r e l a t i o n s h i p with him.  coherent account  (pp. 188-9)  There are some c r i t i c s (Mudrick, Ten Harmsel among them) 21 who assert that Jane Austen, despite h e r s e l f , d e l i g h t f u l creature.  made Marianne a  Lerner contends that the character of Marianne  Dashwood "threaten[s] to escape from [her] creator's r e i n . " ^  I  suggest that Jane Austen's favourable d e s c r i p t i o n s of h e r — i . e . "Marianne's a b i l i t i e s were, i n many respects, quite equal to E l i n o r ' s . . . . She was generous, amiable, i n t e r e s t i n g . . . ." (p. 6 ) — were at attempt to avoid the overt s a t i r e of an e a r l i e r work, L a s c e l l e s ' account of Jane Austen's painstaking r e v i s i o n s and reworkings of her novels surely disproves any chance of "accident" i n Austen's presentation of her characters. "Op. c i t . , p.  157.  24  Love and Freindship, which also zeroed i n on s e n s i b i l i t y as a target.  We know that E l i n o r and Marianne, an e a r l i e r v e r s i o n of  Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , was the f i r s t novel Jane Austen wrote a f t e r Love and Freindship.  The d i f f e r e n c e i n s a t i r i c  technique  i n these novels shows the t r a n s i t i o n from b l a t a n t to l a t e n t irony. Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y concludes with the author's statement, Marianne Dashwood was born to an extraordinary f a t e . She was born to discover the falsehood of her own opinions, and to counteract, by her conduct, her most f a v o u r i t e maxims. She was born to overcome an a f f e c t i o n formed so l a t e i n l i f e as at seventeen, and with no sentiment superior to strong esteem and l i v e l y f r i e n d s h i p , v o l u n t a r i l y to give her hand to another!—and that other, a man who had suffered no l e s s than h e r s e l f under the event of a former attachment, whom, two years before, she had considered too o l d to be m a r r i e d , — and who s t i l l sought the c o n s t i t u t i o n a l safeguard of a f l a n n e l waistcoat! (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , p. 378) Lerner objects: The tone of t h i s , s u r e l y , i s not quite r i g h t : the tone, or i t s content. "No sentiment superior to strong esteem and l i v e l y f r i e n d s h i p " : does Jane Austen then not b e l i e v e i n love? . . . And that l a s t old-maidish joke about the f l a n n e l waistcoat: can we not hear too audibly the r e l i e f that marriage i s not going to contain anything excessive, anything v i o l e n t , anything common?^ He goes on: Yet on i t s own the paragraph i s not l i k e l y to j a r ; and i t would not j a r i f we turned s t r a i g h t to i t a f t e r reading the f i r s t eight chapters.25  My i t a l i c s . The i n t e n s i t y of her l o v e — " a f f e c t i o n " — and her capacity f o r i t — h e r a g e — a r e challenged. ^Op. c i t . , p. 161. This i s not Lerner's f i r s t d e s c r i p t i o n of Jane Austen as "old-maidish." He appears to be so steeped i n "D. H. Lawrencism" that he i s convinced that an unmarried woman must e i t h e r be f r i g i d or a v e r i t a b l e cauldron of bubbling repressions. Loc. c i t .  25  I would attach the adverb " c l o s e l y " to the end of the above quotation.  Marianne, not Jane Austen, spoke of " f l a n n e l  waistcoats" i n Chapter V I I I .  Colonel Brandon's capacity f o r  potency ( I assume t h i s i s what i s implied by the Lawrencian a d j e c t i v e s "excessive", " v i o l e n t " ) i s not at issue: Jane Austen i s reminding the reader of Marianne's assessment of Colonel Brandon as " o l d enough to be [her] f a t h e r " (p. 37) and incapable of i n s p i r i n g love. "...  She i n s i s t s  t h i r t y - f i v e has nothing to do with matrimony."  E l i n o r ' s reply i s noteworthy. "Perhaps t h i r t y - f i v e and seventeen had b e t t e r not have any thing to do with matrimony together. But i f there should by any chance happen to be a woman who i s s i n g l e at seven and twenty, I should not think Colonel Brandon's being t h i r t y - f i v e any objection to h i s marrying her." (pp. 37-8) Marianne's opinion of such a union i s contemptuous.  The reader of  Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y i s i n c l i n e d to be more moderate i n response to the marriage which, as described by Marianne at the beginning of the book, i s her " f a t e " at the end of i t . ". . . i f her home be uncomfortable, or her fortune small, I can suppose that she might bring h e r s e l f to submit to the o f f i c e s of a nurse, f o r the sake of the p r o v i s i o n and s e c u r i t y of a w i f e . I n h i s marrying such a woman therefore there would be nothing unsuitable. I t would be a compact of convenience, and the world would be s a t i s f i e d . In my eyes i t would be no marriage at a l l , but that would be nothing. To me i t would seem only a commercial exchange, i n which each wished to be b e n e f i t t e d a t the expense of the other." (p. 38) The verb "submit" i s c r u c i a l , f o r i t connotes p a s s i v i t y . to the account of Marianne's marriage we read:  I n turning  26  Mrs. Dashwood was acting on motives of p o l i c y . . . f o r her wish of bringing Marianne and Colonel Brandon together was hardly l e s s earnest, though rather more l i b e r a l than what John had expressed. . . . and to see Marianne s e t t l e d at the mansionhouse was equally the wish of Edward and E l i n o r . They each f e l t h i s sorrows, and t h e i r own o b l i g a t i o n s , and Marianne, by general consent, was to be the reward of a l l . . . . Instead of f a l l i n g a s a c r i f i c e to an i r r e s i s t i b l e passion . . . she found h e r s e l f at nineteen submitting to new attachments^ entering on new d u t i e s , placed i n a new home, . . . and the patroness of a v i l l a g e . ( p p . 378-9)26 Ten Harmsel agrees with Mudrick that "Marianne, the l i f e and 27  center of the novel, has been betrayed; and not by Willoughby." Ten Harmsel a l s o notes, without understanding i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e , that Jane Austen "subjects none of her other heroines to such an e n d i n g — 28 each one f i n a l l y wins her f i r s t and only true love.  ..."  The f a c t that Marianne recants her love f o r Willoughby, and embarks on a l o v e l e s s (on her part) marriage, i s overlooked.  The reader,  i n assessing the character of Marianne, must ask h i m s e l f — " C o u l d E l i z a b e t h Bennet, or Fanny P r i c e , or Anne E l l i o t ( I omit Emma Woodhouse, without couldpressures) not. since shelove?" has no They economic have been p r e v a i l e d upon to marry Mudrick has s a i d of the c e n t r a l character i n Love and Freindship, The only d i f f e r e n c e between Laura before and Laura a f t e r conversion [supposedly from s e n s i b i l i t y ] . . . i s the q u a l i t y of d i s c r e t i o n . . . .29  My i t a l i c s . r  Mudrick, crp_. c i t . , p. 93. S?en Harmsel, ap_. c i t . , p. 47. W d r i c k , ap_. c i t . , p. 17.  27  In view of the conclusion of Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , I suggest that the same could be s a i d of Marianne. The r e c o g n i t i o n of s o c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s by Jane Austen's heroes and heroines has often been misconstrued.  Because t h e i r  love i s not immediate, but i s a r e s u l t of frequent s o c i a l i n t e r c o u r s e , because t h e i r encounters are not t r y s t s , but take place i n drawing rooms with others present, i t i s assumed that there can be no i n t e n s i t y of emotion i n t h e i r f e e l i n g s f o r each other.  The  " i s o l a t i o n p o l i c y " p r a c t i c e d by Marianne and Willoughby (and by the p r i n c i p a l couples i n Love and Freindship) i s assumed to be proof of t h i s i n t e n s i t y .  E l i n o r wishes " t h e i r attachment . . .  were l e s s openly shewn", but f o r Marianne, "to aim at the r e s t r a i n t of sentiments . . . appeared to her . . . an unnecessary (p. 53)  e f f o r t . . . ."  And so  A'.-'-. when [Willoughby] was present she had no eyes f o r any one else. . . . I f dancing formed the amusement of the n i g h t , they were partners f o r h a l f the time; and when obliged to separate f o r a couple of dances, were c a r e f u l to stand together and s c a r c e l y spoke a word to any one e l s e , (pp. 53-4) ForJane Austen's opinion of t h i s d i s i n c l i n a t i o n to observe the amenities as proof of passion we can turn to P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e , f o r Mrs. Bennet's assessment of the " v i o l e n c e " of Bingley's love f o r Jane. "He was growing quite i n a t t e n t i v e to other wholly engrossed by her. . . . At h i s own offended two or three young l a d i e s , by not to dance, and I spoke to him twice myself, r e c e i v i n g an answer. Could there be f i n e r not general i n c i v i l i t y the very essence of  people, and b a l l he asking them without symptoms? I s love?" (p. 107)  28  Maugham appears to agree with her, f o r he comments i n Ten Novels and Their  Authors , 30  I do not b e l i e v e that Miss Austen was capable of being very much i n love. I f she had been, she would s u r e l y have a t t r i b u t e d to her heroines a greater warmth of emotion than i n f a c t she d i d . There i s no passion i n t h e i r love. Their i n c l i n a t i o n s are tempered with prudence and c o n t r o l l e d by common sense. Real love has no truck with these estimable q u a l i t i e s . I t would appear that Mr. Maugham w i l l not allow any c e r e b r a l considerations into the process of " f a l l i n g i n love."  One may  31 not choose wisely and w e l l :  one must simply choose.  In Persuasion Jane Austen t r e a t s the c o n f l i c t between two sets of v a l u e s — t h o s e  of prudence and those of love—more i n t e n s i v e l y  than i n any of her other novels.  Anne's r e c o n c i l i a t i o n with  Wentworth does not a r i s e from a r e s o l u t i o n of these opposites, but from a s e r i e s of f o r t u i t o u s occurrences which make t h e i r union possible after a l l .  Not even at the end of the book does Anne  abandon her commitment to the p r u d e n t i a l values, f o r , as she and Jane Austen r e a l i z e , they cannot be ignored.  Maugham f e e l s that "one  may wish that Anne were a l i t t l e l e s s m a t t e r - o f - f a c t , . . . a l i t t l e 32 more impulsive. . . . " Helm concurs, and f a u l t s Anne f o r having 33 "kept her f e e l i n g s under the most perfect c o n t r o l . . . . " 30 ••—  London, W. Heinemann L t d . , 1954, p. 59. 31  Maugham would have preferred "to see [Anne E l l i o t ] marry [Mr. E l l i o t ] rather than the stodgy Captain Wentworth." ( I b i d . , p. 67) 32 33 I b i d . j p. 63. Helm, jDp_. c i t . , p. 163.  29  Marianne, who c e r t a i n l y can not be accused by Mr. Maugham as are Jane Austen's other heroines, of "prudence," i s f u l l y prepared to enter the marriage s t a t e having, as E l i n o r puts i t , " . . . already ascertained Mr. Willoughby's opinion i n almost every matter of importance. You know what he thinks of Cowper and Scott; you are c e r t a i n of h i s estimating t h e i r beauties as he ought, and you have received every assurance of h i s admiring Pope no more than i s proper. . . . Another meeting w i l l s u f f i c e to e x p l a i n h i s sentiments on picturesque beauty, and secondmarriages, and then you can have nothing f u r t h e r to ask." (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , p. 47) G. B. Stern endorses t h i s i r o n i c a l remark i n s t a t i n g that she "would rather have seen Marianne married to Willoughby (a r e j o i c i n g 34 widower) than mistress of Delaford and wife of Colonel Wet-Blanket." I submit that much of the unhappiness i n contemporary marriages a r i s e s from a r e f u s a l to view love ^as Jane Austen viewed i t , a union of mind and heart.  The necessity f o r mutual knowledge between marriage  partners i s denied by Charlotte Lucas. "I wish Jane success with a l l my heart; and i f she were married to him tomorrow, I should think she had as good a chance of happiness, as i f she were to be studying h i s character f o r a twelvemonth. Happiness i n marriage i s e n t i r e l y a matter of chance. I f the d i s p o s i t i o n s of the p a r t i e s are ever so w e l l known to each other, or ever so s i m i l a r before-hand, i t does not advance t h e i r f e l i c i t y i n the l e a s t . . . . I t i s b e t t e r to know as l i t t l e as p o s s i b l e of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your l i f e . " E l i z a b e t h (and Jane Austen) r e p l y : "You make me laugh, Charlotte; but i t i s not sound. You know i t i s not sound. . . . " (Pride and Prejudice , p. 16)  •^Kaye-Smith and Stern, Talking of Jane Austen, p. 122,  CHAPTER I I " I DO NOT WRITE FOR SUCH DULL ELVES AS HAVE NOT A GREAT DEAL OF INGENUITY THEMSELVES." (Jane Austen, from a l e t t e r to Cassandra) In d i s c u s s i n g Jane Austen's a t t i t u d e to love, i t becomes necessary to prove that there are accounts of love i n her novels. Several c r i t i c s can see no "passion" i n her books.  L i o n e l Stevenson  asserts: The absence of passion i s a . . . l i m i t a t i o n , since the dominant theme of a l l her novels i s love. She i s so suspicious of emotion that when a scene of s t r j n g f e e l i n g i s imperative she t r i e s to avoid n a r r a t i n g i t . Jane Austen's f i n e s s e i n d e s c r i b i n g her heroines' love f o r the men of t h e i r choice perhaps accounts f o r many readers' f a i l u r e to recognize that love i s being described.  In Emma, the heroine suddenly  r e a l i z e s "that Mr. Knightley must marry no one but h e r s e l f ! " (p.  408)  The punctuation suggests Emma's i n t e n s i t y of emotion, as i t does again i n her miserable outburst, "Oh GodJ that I had never seen her" (p. 411), when she b e l i e v e s that she has l o s t Knightley to H a r r i e t . Another subtle method of i n d i c a t i n g emotion employed by Jane Austen i s the d e s c r i p t i o n of weather.  When Emma fears that she  can  never have Knightley, Jane Austen comments, The evening of t h i s day was very long, and melancholy, at H a r t f i e l d . The weather added what i t could of gloom. A cold stormy r a i n set i n , and nothing of J u l y appeared but i n the trees and shrubs, which the wind was d e s p o i l i n g ,  1 L i o n e l Stevenson, The English Novel: A Panorama, London, Constable & Co. L t d . , 1960, p. 189.  31  and the length of the day, which only made such c r u e l sights the longer v i s i b l e , (p. 421) I t i s u n l i k e l y that the r e a l i s t i c Miss Austen endorsed the "pathetic f a l l a c y , " as Reginald Farrer suggests. Her d e s c r i p t i o n of weather here has a f u n c t i o n .  And that f u n c t i o n i s to mirror the heroine's s t a t e of  mind. The subtle growth of Darcy's love f o r E l i z a b e t h i s handled magnificently.  The progress of h i s attachment i s revealed i n such  passages as these: No sooner had he made i t c l e a r to himself and h i s friends that she had hardly a good feature i n her face, than he began to f i n d i t was rendered uncommonly i n t e l l i g e n t by the b e a u t i f u l expression of her dark eyes. (Pride and P r e j u d i c e , p. 16) We note that even t h i s e a r l y i n the book Darcy must work to "make i t c l e a r to himself": already he i s f i g h t i n g an a t t r a c t i o n he f e e l s toward Elizabeth. . . . Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her. He r e a l l y b e l i e v e d , that were i t not f o r the i n f e r i o r i t y of her connections, he should be i n some danger, (p. 38) . . . they went down the other dance and parted i n s i l e n c e ; on each side d i s s a t i s f i e d , though not to an equal degree, f o r i n Darcy's breast there was a t o l e r a b l e powerful f e e l i n g towards her, which soon procured her pardon, and d i r e c t e d a l l h i s anger against another, (p. 71) At times, Darcy i s even l e s s conscious of h i s f e e l i n g s f o r Elizabeth.  When E l i z a b e t h i s at N e t h e r f i e l d , Caroline Bingley, more  aware of Darcy's i n t e r e s t than e i t h e r Darcy or E l i z a b e t h i s , and "desperate" (p. 41) to obtain the former's a t t e n t i o n , asks E l i z a b e t h to j o i n her and "take a turn about the room."  32  E l i z a b e t h was s u r p r i s e d , but agreed to i t immediately. Miss Bingley succeeded no l e s s i n the r e a l object of her c i v i l i t y ; Mr. Darcy looked up . . . and unconsciously closed h i s book. (p. 41) In the ensuing conversation he speaks only to E l i z a b e t h , and appears unaware of Miss Bingley's i n t r u s i o n s .  I t i s only " a f t e r a few moments  r e c o l l e c t i o n " that he "begins to f e e l the danger of paying E l i z a b e t h too much a t t e n t i o n . "  (p. 43)  The signs of h i s growing love are c l e a r .  He and E l i z a b e t h are  unaware of them, but the omniscient reader can see them a l l .  They are  i m p l i c i t rather than e x p l i c i t ; unfortunately, the s u b t l e t y of t h e i r presentation has a l l too often been l o s t upon Austen c r i t i c s . The s e n s i t i v e a r t i s t r y of Jane Austen forbade a lengthy e x p o s i t i o n of f e e l i n g .  Aware of the s u b j e c t i v i t y of f e e l i n g , she conveyed,  rather than c r u c i f i e d , the emotions which moved her characters. Not for Jane Austen the merciless d i s s e c t i o n of innermost thoughts. meant a n n i h i l a t i o n .  Analysis  For Jane Austen expected of her readers what  Charlotte Bronte could never dare.  She expected them to see beneath  her words to the soul beneath. I do not w r i t e f o r such d u l l elves 2 As have not a great deal of ingenuity themselves. (Chawton: Friday [January 29, 1813]) Jane Austen suggests and leads up to the d i r e c t expression of emotion rather than express the emotion i t s e l f .  The climax, the  moment i n which the lovers make a mutual profession of love, i s not p r o t r a c t e d , but r a t h e r , concentrated i n t o "one b r i e f f l a s h of speech 2  W i l l i a m and Richard A. Austen-Leigh, Jane Austen-—Her L i f e and L e t t e r s , a Family Record. London, Smith Elder, 1913, p. 261.  33  or w r i t i n g . "  The p a r t i c i p a n t s f e e l deeply, but p r o f f e r no extensive  a r t i c u l a t i o n of emotion. precludes glibness.  I n t e n s i t y of f e e l i n g , Jane Austen r e a l i z e s ,  Frank C h u r c h i l l i s a great t a l k e r : Mr. Knightley,  when proposing, t e l l s Emma, " I cannot make speeches, Emma. I f I loved you l e s s , I might be able to t a l k about i t more." (Emma, p. 430) The absence of lengthy love scenes, condemned as a f a u l t i n Jane Austen's novels, i s j u s t i f i e d by Knightley's statement.  As Jane Austen knew,  the capacity f o r f a c i l e a r t i c u l a t i o n of love a l l too often betokened a l a c k of i n t e n s i t y of emotion.  Willoughby, I s a b e l l a Thorpe, Tom Musgrove,  Mr. C o l l i n s — a l l of these characters " t a l k up a storm."  But as Jane  Austen r e v e a l s , t h e i r speeches are a l l F u l l of sound and fury S i g n i f y i n g nothing. Willoughby t e l l s E l i n o r that i n London, "with [ h i s ] head and heart f u l l of [Marianne, he] was forced to play the happy lover to another woman!"  (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , p. 327)  In a l l seriousness, he  seeks sympathy on the grounds of an overwhelming p a s s i o n — a passion which i n the next breath he shows himself to have supplanted with h i s supreme passion, s e l f - l o v e .  Willoughby parades one of the  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the sentimental lover i n a further attempt to m i t i g a t e h i s s c u r r i l o u s r e j e c t i o n of Marianne. "Her three n o t e s — u n l u c k i l y they were a l l i n my pocketbook or I should have denied t h e i r existence and hoarded them f o r e v e r . — I was forced to put them up, and could not even k i s s them. And the lock of h a i r — t h a t too I had always c a r r i e d about me i n the same pocketbook, . . . the dear l o c k — a l l , every memento was torn from me." (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , p. 329) The s e l f - p i t y i n g tone i n which Willoughby recounts the loss of the  F. W. Bradbrook, Jane Austen: Emma, London, Edward Arnold, 1961, p.15.  34  mementos whose possession i s supposed to e s t a b l i s h the depth of the love he f e e l s f o r Marianne grates p a i n f u l l y on the reader's ear. So t h i s i s l o v e — a two-faced Janus, with one hand loath to part with r e l i c s while the other pens a note which w i l l cut to the heart the source of these same r e l i c s . Willoughby has won over several c r i t i c s with h i s confession to E l i n o r .  Here he i s b e l i e v e d to be expressing r e a l torment and love  f o r Marianne.  For purposes of emphasis, the words r e f e r r i n g to himself  are underlined. I t w i l l be clear that Willoughby's thoughts, even i n r e t r o s p e c t , center on Willoughby. '"What a sweet f i g u r e I_ cut!—what an evening of agony i t was! —Marianne, b e a u t i f u l as an angel on one s i d e , c a l l i n g me Willoughby i n such a tone!—Oh! God! holding out her hand to me, asking me f o r an explanation with those bewitching eyes f i x e d i n such speaking s o l i c i t u d e on my f a c e ! — a n d Sophia, jealous as the d e v i l on the other hand, looking a l l that w a s — . . . Such an evening!—1_ ran away from you a l l as soon as I could; but not before I_ had seen Marianne's "sweet face as white as death."(p. 327) The r e c o g n i t i o n of Marianne's "sweet face as white as death," we note, does not summon an exclamation mark.  Only Willoughby's account of the  evening's unpleasantness f o r him i s crowned with s u p e r l a t i v e punctuation. Most readers appreciate a p h y s i c a l d e s c r i p t i o n of the main character placed near the beginning of a novel.  We l i k e to "see"  the f i g u r e before us. But to s i m i l a r l y l i m i t by d e s c r i p t i o n the boundaries of a character's emotions i s to l i m i t h i s scope.  The  suspense which sustains the p l o t i n Persuasion acts as a medium through  which we share the emotional experiences of Anne E l l i o t .  We have been given an account of the attachment between Anne and  35  Captain Wentworth. They were gradually acquainted, and when acquainted, r a p i d l y and deeply i n love. I t would be d i f f i c u l t to say which had seen highest p e r f e c t i o n i n the other, or which had been the h a p p i e s t , — s h e , i n r e c e i v i n g h i s declarations and proposals, or he i n having them accepted. A short period of e x q u i s i t e f e l i c i t y followed, and but a short one. (p. 26) In these b r i e f words we can f e e l a l l the poignancy and tenderness of t h e i r mutual love.  We know the pain which the termination of t h e i r  "short period of e x q u i s i t e f e l i c i t y " brought to both.  We already are  aware that Anne s t i l l loves Wentworth, f o r upon hearing a casual a l l u s i o n to him, Anne l e f t the room, to seek the comfort of cool a i r f o r her flushed cheeks; and as she walked along a f a v o u r i t e grove, s a i d , with a gentle s i g h , "A few months more, and he_, perhaps, may be walking here." (p. 25) "A f a v o u r i t e g r o v e " — i t i s easy to imagine that i t might w e l l have been the scene of former happy rendezvous between the young l o v e r s . Now a l l that remains to be known i s the state of Captain Wentworth's present feelings.  But we, and Anne, must wait u n t i l the end of the book f o r  conclusive proof of h i s love.  We l i v e w i t h her, and share the agonies  of enduring h i s " c o l d p o l i t e n e s s , h i s ceremonious grace."  (p. 72) When  she i s i n the same room with him, Anne s u f f e r s " a g i t a t i o n , pain, pleasure, a something between d e l i g h t and misery."  (p. 175) When we are t o l d that  "she f e l t a hundred things i n a moment," we do not require an itemized account of each one to understand the wealth of emotion w e l l i n g up i n her heart.  Anne i s deeply, completely i n love.  Holding no prejudice  against "second attachments," her love i s nevertheless " h i s f o r ever." (p. 192) Anne's impassioned conversation with Captain H a r v i l l e ( i n  36  Chapter 33), conducted r a t i o n a l l y and i n a low v o i c e , i s deeply  emotional.  There are none of the hyper-exclamatory phrases of a Marianne Dashwood, but no one could deny the i n t e n s i t y behind the words " A l l the p r i v i l e g e I claim f o r my own sex . . . i s that of l o v i n g longest, when existence or when hope i s gone." (p. 235) For those who require a resume of what "the human heart i n i t s heaving breast" i s doing i n order to understand what Anne E l l i o t i s f e e l i n g , Miss Austen gives us the statement She could not immediately have uttered another sentence; her heart was too f u l l , her breath too much oppressed, (p. 235) Here i s the "stormy Sisterhood" s u r e l y .  And when Anne, upon termination  of the conversation, sees Wentworth leave the room "without a word or a look" and then return almost immediately  to place i n her hands a l e t t e r ,  and f i x upon her "eyes of glowing entreaty," we do not need to be t o l d more than that the r e v o l u t i o n which one i n s t a n t had made i n Anne, was almost beyond expression, (p. 237) (my i t a l i c s ) I t does not require expression.  We f e e l i t , as Anne f e e l s i t .  To  subject such s e n s i t i v e gradations of emotion to a n a l y s i s would be to destroy t h e i r essence.  We have been given the materials necessary to  complete the pattern of f e e l i n g . When Anne and Wentworth meet i n the s t r e e t i n Bath and are suddenly aware that t h e i r love i s s t i l l mutual, they keep t h e i r "smiles reined i n and s p i r i t s dancing i n p r i v a t e rapture." (p. 240) They do not catapult i n t o each other's arms  and s h r i e k i n ecstasy,  but t h e i r f a i l u r e to do so does not diminish the passion which they feel.  When E l i n o r learns that Edward Ferrars i s , a f t e r a l l , free to  37  marry her, we are t o l d that she "almost ran out of the room, and as soon as the door was closed, burst i n t o tears of j o y . " (p. 360)  Ian  Watt makes the appropriate comment. The joy was not l e s s intense because E l i n o r remembered that l a d i e s do not. run, and that they always shut the door. But E l i n o r ' s sense involves much more than prudent r e t i c e n c e and a regard f o r the forms of s o c i a l decorum; these may be i t s surface expression, but i t s essence i s f i d e l i t y to^the inward d i s c r i m i n a t i o n s of both the head and the heart. And the " e x q u i s i t e happiness" shared by Anne and Wentworth i s greater, not l e s s , f o r being "more f i x e d i n a knowledge of each other's character, t r u t h , and attachment. . . ." (p. 241) With Jane Austen, each reader can f e e l f o r himself (and thus f e e l w i t h more awareness) the nature of emotion, not emotion sedulously delineated by the obtrusive, omniscient author, but emotion conveyed, suggested, frequently by a s i n g l e word. technique are l e g i o n . the  In Persuasion, Anne E l l i o t i s confronted f o r  f i r s t time by the man she had been persuaded to give up eight years  previously.  She does not pour f o r t h a passionate s o l i l o q u y a f t e r rushing  d i s t r a c t e d l y from the room. the  Examples of t h i s evocative  And yet we see her s u f f e r i n g , we understand  fulness which w e l l s up i n s i d e her, the sense of almost dizzy  awareness of everything around her, i n the statement "The room seemed f u l l — f u l l of persons and v o i c e s . " (p. 59)  S h o r t — a n d deceptively simple.  But we can imagine, p a r t i c u l a r l y a f t e r Miss L a s c e l l e s ' book, the thought which went i n t o the composition of t h i s p a r t i c u l a r sentence.  For w i t h  nine words, Jane Austen has placed Anne before us, and made us f e e l the  4  Ian Watt, "On Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , " Jane Austen: A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l Essays, ed. Ian Watt, Englewood C l i f f s , P r e n t i c e - H a l l , Inc. 1963, p. 49.  38  commingling of emotions, emotions which must be concealed from the r e s t of  the room " f u l l of persons and v o i c e s . "  And, somehow, we f e e l more  poignantly the strength of these emotions by d i n t of t h e i r concealment. For  Anne, l i k e E l i n o r Dashwood and Jane F a i r f a x , must s u f f e r i n s i l e n c e .  Not f o r her the simple expedient of release by expression.  Feelings  5  which "[throb] f a s t and f u l l , though hidden" order that others might not s u f f e r . would seem to be Lady R u s s e l l .  must be suppressed, i n  The n a t u r a l confidante f o r Anne  But she cannot be confided i n , f o r she  was i n a d v e r t a n t l y the source of Anne's unhappiness, and would be deeply pained by a r e a l i z a t i o n of what she had done. heart must remain locked.  So the floodgates of Anne's  But the force of the torrents they stem i s  not assuaged by containment. "I LOVE NOT LESS, THOUGH LESS THE SHOW APPEAR. THAT LOVE IS MERCHANDISED, WHOSE RICH ESTEEMING THE OWNER'S TONGUE DOTH PUBLISH EVERYWHERE." (from Sonnet 102, W i l l i a m Shakespeare) I t i s the fate of the romantic heroine to s u f f e r and endure; i t i s Emma's destiny to lose her complacency and s u f f e r s l i g h t l y , as she learns the t r u t h about h e r s e l f and others. Mr. Bradbrook appears to be accepting the popular, misconception that only the heroine who endures "the sleepless couch, . . .  a pillow  strewed with thorns and wet with tears" i s "the true heroine." (Northanger Abbey, p. 90)  But i f we examine Emma's, or E l i z a b e t h ' s ,  or Anne's, or E l i n o r ' s , anguish, i t i s seen that t h e i r s u f f e r i n g i s very r e a l , although not v o c i f e r o u s l y manifested i n the "romantic" form Bradbrook accepts as sole proof of true s u f f e r i n g . 5  Charlotte Bronte asserted that Jane Austen ignored the f e e l i n g s which "[tthrob] f a s t and f u l l , though hidden." 6 Bradbrook, op. c i t . , p. 8.  39  One wonders i f Bradbrook would r e a l i z e how deeply i n love Admiral and Mrs. C r o f t are, since they are not a "romantic" couple. Their i n t e n s i t y of devotion to each other, one surmises, has e n t i r e l y escaped him, since they do not profess undying love f o r each other v e r b a l l y , and there i s not a s i n g l e scene i n which we see Mrs. Croft sobbing her heart out.  Her love i s evinced i n a very d i f f e r e n t way.  In e x p l a i n i n g to Mrs. Musgrove why she spent so much time on her husband's man-of-war, and i n negating the suggestion that she must have been uncomfortable and unhappy i n such a l i e n surroundings, Mrs. C r o f t says: "... the happiest part of my l i f e has been spent on board a ship. While we were together, you know, there was nothing to be feared."(Persuasion, p. 70)^ Admiral and Mrs. C r o f t remind one of Thackeray's couple i n Vanity F a i r , Major and Mrs. O'Dowd.  The Crofts do not a r t i c u l a t e t h e i r  love: they l i v e i t , as do Major and Mrs. O'Dowd.  Thackeray makes the  relevant comment on Mrs. O'Dowd's preparation of her husband's equipment j u s t p r i o r to h i s marching o f f to b a t t l e . And who i s there w i l l deny that t h i s worthy lady's preparations betokened a f f e c t i o n as much as the f i t s of tears and h y s t e r i c s by which more s e n s i t i v e females e x h i b i t e d t h e i r love, and that t h e i r partaking of t h i s coffee, which they drank together while the bugles were sounding the turnout . . . was not more u s e f u l and to the purpose than the outpouring of any mere sentiment could be? ^ This i s love which i s d i r e c t e d e n t i r e l y to i t s o b j e c t , and i s not taken up with proud vaunting of i t s e l f .  The word " e x h i b i t e d " i n the above  7 My i t a l i c s . 8  W.M. Thackeray, Vanity F a i r , New York, H o l t , Rinehart'. & Winston, 1955, pp. 299-300.  40  quotation i s noteworthy.  Captain Wentworth does not v e r b a l i z e h i s  growing f e e l i n g f o r Anne, but we can see i n h i s thoughtful removal of young Charles from her back a motive beyond mere courtesy. He does not speak of h i s love; even at the end of the book he finds i t d i f f i c u l t to do so.  He, l i k e Darcy, acts i t out.  For love of E l i z a b e t h , Darcy  performs the unsavoury task of searching f o r Lydia and Wickham i n London, and "persuading" them to marry. He had followed them purposely to town, he had taken on himself a l l the trouble and m o r t i f i c a t i o n attendant on such a research; i n which s u p p l i c a t i o n had been necessary to a woman whom he must abominate and despise, and where he was reduced to meet, frequently meet, reason w i t h , persuade, and f i n a l l y b r i b e , the man whom he always most wished to avoid, and whose very name i t was punishment for him to pronounce. (Pride and P r e j u d i c e , p. 243) Such lovers do not d i s p l a y the "romantic" manifestations of emotion, u n l i k e " l o v e r s " such as Marianne Dashwood, who, on the night f o l l o w i n g Willoughby's departure from Barton (to which he was expected to return almost immediately), . . . would have thought h e r s e l f very inexcusable had she been able to sleep at a l l t h e - f i r s t night a f t ^ r p a r t i n g w i t h Willoughby. She would have been ashamed to look her family i n the face the next morning, had she not r i s e n from her bed i n more need of repose than when she lay down i n i t . (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , p. 83) And so Marianne . . . got up with a headache, to her mother and s i s t e r s ^ and consolation from e i t h e r . When breakfast was over she v i l l a g e of Allenham, indulging enjoyment. . . .  9  . . . g i v i n g pain every moment f o r b i d d i n g a l l attempt at . . . wandered about the the r e c o l l e c t i o n of past  My i t a l i c s . 10 Jane Austen remarks, "Her s e n s i b i l i t y was potent enough!"  41  The evening passed o f f i n the equal indulgence of f e e l i n g . She played over every f a v o u r i t e song that she had been used to play to Willoughby, . . . t i l l her heart was so heavy that no f a r t h e r [ s i c ] sadness could be gained: and t h i s nourishment of g r i e f was every day applied. . . . In books too,.. . . she courted the misery which a contrast between the past and present was c e r t a i n of g i v i n g . (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , p. 83) For  Marianne believes i n the importance of v i s i b l e manifestations of  emotion.  No one, she f e a r s , w i l l b e l i e v e she i s i n love unless he/she  can see the emotion anatomized.  Such preoccupation with proving  emotion suggests a corresponding lessening i n i n t e n s i t y of the emotion itself. A.Walton L i t z paraphrases Mudrick's statement that i n Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y  Jane Austen "turned from her youthful attacks on 11  f a l s e s e n s i b i l i t y to an attack on a l l f e e l i n g . "  What Mudrick and L i t z  miss i s that Jane Austen admires f e e l i n g , and only despises f e e l i n g which admires i t s e l f . She does not condemn emotion per se, but decries s e l f - c o n g r a t u l a t o r y emotion,.:'. . •> ;' . B.C. Southam w r i t e s : In "Love and Freindship" the motives f o r sentimental conduct are examined, and i t i s debunked as nothing more than an expedient code p e r m i t t j ^ g self-indulgence, and a form of e g o t i s t i c a l snobbery. He recognizes that sentimental behaviour i s "a form of e g o t i s t i c a l snobbery," yet f a i l s to see Marianne Dashwood's self-indulgence as 13 anything but "genuine temperamental s e n s i b i l i t y . " Such a f a i l u r e 11 A. Walton L i t z , Jane Austen: A Study of her A r t i s t i c Development, New York, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1965, p. 82. .12 B. C. Southam, Jane Austen's L i t e r a r y Manuscripts, London, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1964, p. 26. 13 Loc.cit.  42  i n d i c a t e s a very scanty perusal of Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , i n which we we frequently encounter Marianne u t t e r i n g smugly s e l f - a d m i r i n g l i n e s such as: "Happy, happy E l i n o r , you cannot have an idea of what I s u f f e r . " (p. 185) " E l i n o r has not my f e e l i n g s , and therefore she may overlook i t . . . . But i t would have broke my heart had I loved him, to hear him read w i t h so l i t t l e s e n s i b i l i t y . . . I require so much!" (p. 18) "Dear., dear Norland! . . .Oh! happy house, could you know what I s u f f e r i n now viewing you from t h i s spot, from whence perhaps I may view you no more!—And you, ye well-known t r e e s ! — b u t you w i l l continue the same . . . i n s e n s i b l e of any change i n those who walk under your shade!—But who w i l l remain to enjoy you?" (p. 2 7 ) U His pleasure i n music, though i t amounted not to that e x t a t i c [ s i c ] d e l i g h t which alone could sympathize with her own, was estimable when contrasted against the h o r r i b l e i n s e n s i t i v i t y of the others; and she was reasonable enough to allow that a man of f i v e and t h i r t y might w e l l have o u t l i v e d a l l acuteness of f e e l i n g . . . . (p. 35)l-> Jane Austen describes Marianne and her mother f l o g g i n g t h e i r f e e l i n g s to keep them at fever p i t c h when they f i n d they must leave Norland. They encouraged each other now i n the violence of t h e i r a f f l i c t i o n . The agony of g r i e f which overpowered them at f i r s t was v o l u n t a r i l y renewed, was sought f o r , was created again and again. They gave themselves up wholly to t h e i r sorrow, seeking increase of wretchedness i n every r e f l e c t i o n that could a f f o r d i t , and resolved against ever admitting consolation i n future, (p. 7)  14 15  Now that s e n s i t i v e " I " am gone!  I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that Jane Austen makes Anne E l l i o t 27 years o l d — e x a c t l y the age at which Marianne Dashwood i s c e r t a i n no woman " . . . can [ever] hope to f e e l or i n s p i r e a f f e c t i o n again. . . ." (p. 38)  43  C l e a r l y , the e n f o r c e d maintenance o f f e e l i n g a t a h i g h p i t c h o u t r a n the  genuine emotion.  The mania f o r s e n s i b i l i t y was c r i t i c i z e d by  Hannah More i n h e r S t r i c t u r e s on t h e Modern System o f Female E d u c a t i o n w i t h a v i e w o f the p r i n c i p l e s and conduct among women o f rank and f o r t u n e . In one c h a p t e r she w r o t e : Of t h i s extreme i r r i t a b i l i t y . . . the uneducated l e a r n t o b o a s t , as i f i t were a d e c i d e d i n d i c a t i o n of s u p e r i o r i t y o f s o u l , i n s t e a d o f l a b o u r i n g t o r e s t r a i n i t . . . i t i s too much t o n o u r i s h the e v i l by u n r e s t r a i n e d i n d u l g e n c e ^ i t i s s t i l l worse t o be proud, of so m i s l e a d i n g a q u a l i t y . It  i s i m p o s s i b l e to o v e r l o o k t h e c o n n e c t i o n between Marianne's  and Sophia's a i l m e n t s , b o t h brought on by t h e i r o v e r i n d u l g e n c e o f sensibility.  A t C l e v e l a n d , Marianne w a l k s  . . . where the t r e e s were t h e o l d e s t , and the g r a s s was the l o n g e s t and w e t t e s t , and then commits the s t i l l g r e a t e r imprudence and s t o c k i n g s , (p. 306)  o f s i t t i n g i n h e r wet shoes  much l i k e S o p h i a , whose c o l d i s c o n t r a c t e d due t o h e r c o n t i n u e d f a i n t i n g s i n • t h e open a i r as the Dew was f a l l i n g . (Love and F r e i n d s h i p , p. 33) The r a p i d l y l a n g u i s h i n g S o p h i a a d v i s e s : " . . . t a k e w a r n i n g from my unhappy End and a v o i d the imprudent conduct w h i c h had [ s i c ] o c c a s i o n e d i t . . . . Beware o f f a i n t i n g f i t s . . . . Though a t the time they may be r e f r e s h i n g and a g r e e a b l e y e t b e l i e v e me they w i l l i n t h e end, i f too o f t e n r e p e a t e d and a t improper seasons prove d e s t r u c t i v e t o your C o n s t i t u t i o n . . . . My f a t e w i l l t e a c h you t h i s . . . . I d i e a M a r t y r t o my g r i e f f o r t h e l o s s o f Augustus. . . . One f a t a l swoon has c o s t me my l i f e . . . . " ( p . 34)  16 C i t e d i n E l i z a b e t h J e n k i n s , Jane A u s t e n , New Y o r k , F a r r a r , S t r a u s & Cudahy, 1949, p. 69.  44  As i s apparent from the core of t h i s speech, Sophia's " f i t " was not a c t u a l l y occasioned by the "loss of Augustus," but was r e v e l l e d i n f o r i t s own sake; as was that of Laura, who, i n recounting her past l i f e , describes a f i t i n which she was, as she puts i t , "raving i n a f r a n t i c , incoherent manner," and yet miraculously i s able to recount everything she uttered while " w i l d l y exclaiming on [her] Edward's Death."  Laura  adds proudly, For two Hours d i d I rave thus madly and should not then have l e f t o f f , as I was not i n the l e a s t f a t i g u e d , had not Sophia . . . i n t r e a t e d [ s i c ] me to consider that Night was now approaching and that the Damps began to f a l l . (p. 32) S i m i l a r l y , Marianne w i l f u l l y indulges her g r i e f , glorying i n i t .  Her  i l l n e s s , l i k e Sophia's, i s not the r e s u l t of l o s t love, but of s e l f 17 gratification. In Love and Freindship Laura confesses to "a s e n s i b i l i t y too tremblingly a l i v e to every a f f l i c t i o n of F r i e n d s , acquaintance and p a r t i c u l a r l y to every a f f l i c t i o n of my own, . . . my only f a u l t , i f a f a u l t i t could be c a l l e d . " (p. 6) But Marianne would not question, even h y p o c r i t i c a l l y , the c a t e g o r i z a t i o n of  such s e n s i b i l i t y as "a f a u l t . "  To her, i t i s the c a r d i n a l v i r t u e .  Each new misfortune which a r i s e s o f f e r s fresh p o s s i b i l i t i e s f o r the d i s p l a y of  feelings.  I t i s a point of pride to s u f f e r e x c e s s i v e l y — a n d i n p u b l i c !  As Marianne understands i t , "those who s u f f e r l i t t l e may be proud and independent as they l i k e — m a y r e s i s t i n s u l t , . . . " but, she says, " I cannot.  I must f e e l — I must be wretched—and  the consciousness of i t that can."  they are welcome to enjoy  (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , p. 190)  17 Marianne does come to admit, "My i l l n e s s , I w e l l knew, had been e n t i r e l y brought on by myself." (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , p. 345)  45  Indeed,  those who care f o r her, although they do not enjoy  i t , are forced to an awareness of her wretchedness at every i n s t a n t . Marianne i s "unable to t a l k , and u n w i l l i n g to take any nourishment; g i v i n g pain every moment to her mother and s i s t e r s , and f o r b i d d i n g a l l attempt at consolation from e i t h e r . " (p. 83) We are reminded strongly of Sophia and her i n s i s t e n c e upon being miserable.  A l l events and topics  of d i s c u s s i o n are twisted that they might be brought w i t h i n the scope of s e l f - m o r t i f i c a t i o n .  Cries Sophia,  "Oh! do not I beseech you ever l e t me again hear you repeat h i s [Aigustus'j beloved name—It a f f e c t s me too d e e p l y — I cannot bear to hear him mentioned i t wounds my feelings."'.' Laura attempts to comply with t h i s request. " . . . changing the conversation, I desired her to admire the noble Grandeur of the Elms which sheltered us. . . . "'Alas! my Laura (returned she) avoid so melancholy a subject, I i n t r e a t you. Do not again wound my S e n s i b i l i t y by observation on those elms. They remind me of Augustus. He was l i k e them, t a l l , m a j e s t i c — ' " I was s i l e n t , f e a r f u l l e s t I might any more u n w i l l i n g l y d i s t r e s s her by f i x i n g on any other subject of conversation which might again remind her of Augustus. "'Why do you not speak my Laura? (said she a f t e r a short pause) I cannot support t h i s s i l e n c e you must not leave me to my own r e f l e c t i o n s ; they ever recur to Augustus.' "What could I do? . . . 1 had not power to s t a r t any other t o p i c , j u s t l y f e a r i n g that i t might . . . awaken a l l her s e n s i b i l i t y . . . . yet to be s i l e n t would be c r u e l ; she had i n t r e a t e d me to t a l k . " (Love and Freindship, p. 29f) 11  S i m i l a r l y , f o r Marianne, . . . the s l i g h t e s t mention of any thing r e l a t i v e to Willoughby overpowered her i n an i n s t a n t ; and though her family were most anxiously a t t e n t i v e to her comfort, it.was impossible f o r them, i f they spoke at a l l , to keep c l e a r of every subject which her f e e l i n g s connected w i t h him. . . . She played over every f a v o u r i t e song that she had been used to play to Willoughby, . . . t i l l her heart was so heavy that no further sadness could be gained; and t h i s nourishment of g r i e f was every day applied. . . . In books too, as w e l l as i n music, she courted the misery which a contrast between the past and present was c e r t a i n of g i v i n g . (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , pp. 82-3)  46  But are we to suppose that "such violence of a f f l i c t i o n , " whose f l a g g i n g strength must be bolstered by " s o l i t a r y walks and s i l e n t meditations" i s of a greater i n t e n s i t y than that of the less flamboyantly s u f f e r i n g Miss Dashwood?  E l i n o r i s pained more deeply through her very  r e t i c e n c e , which springs from the wish to spare her dearest f r i e n d s the r e a l i z a t i o n that she i s "very unhappy."  Her s i l e n c e i s not the  r e s u l t of not having "ever f e l t much,"—the source to which Marianne a t t r i b u t e s i t — b u t ' i s "the e f f e c t of constant and p a i n f u l e x e r t i o n . " (p. 264)  We can imagine the d i f f i c u l t y with which E l i n o r c o n t r o l l e d  her emotions.  Her s i t u a t i o n r e s u l t s i n f a r more pain f o r E l i n o r than  Marianne, shielded on a l l sides by commiserating f r i e n d s , i s ever forced to bear.  E l i n o r describes i t :  "I have known myself to be divided from Edward forever, without having one circumstance that could make me less d e s i r e the connection.—Nothing has proved him unworthy. . . . I have had to contend against the unkindness of h i s s i s t e r , and the insolence of h i s mother; and have suffered the punishment of an attachment, without enjoying i t s advantages.—And a l l t h i s has been going on at a time, when as you too w e l l know, i t has not been my only unhappiness." (p. 264) There has been much c r i t i c a l comment on Jane Austen's account of Mrs. Musgrove's a t t i t u d e of maternal bereavement upon hearing of the death of her son, who became "poor Richard" once he died, but who  had  never been anything but "a thick-headed, u n f e e l i n g , u n p r o f i t a b l e Dick Musgrove" (Persuasion, p. 51) when he was a l i v e .  Her g r i e f upon being  reminded of h i s demise was greater "than what she had known on f i r s t hearing of h i s death." (p. 51) w i t h which  Jane Austen describes "the self-command  [Captain Wentworth] l i s t e n e d to her large f a t sighings over  the destiny of a son, whom a l i v e nobody had cared f o r . " (p. 68) r e a c t i o n i s Captain Wentworth suppressing?  What  Jane Austen has vested him  47  w i t h her own abhorrence f o r the a f f e c t a t i o n of an emotion which one d i d not genuinely f e e l .  She despised hypocrisy and d e c e i t , and although  Mrs. Musgrove i s not being charged with e i t h e r , she i s being arraigned for i n d u l g i n g i n s e n t i m e n t a l i t y disguised as a sacred f e e l i n g which she has never had f o r her son. " l u x u r i o u s l y low."  She i s , i n f a c t , enjoying f e e l i n g  Mrs. Musgrove i s t r u l y upset over Louisa's accident,  and Jane Austen gives her c r e d i t f o r being so, but she w i l l not allow a character to assert f e e l i n g s of love which he/she does not r e a l l y f e e l without providing omniscient comment.  To Jane Austen, i t i s a s i n , a  p r o s t i t u t i o n of the b e a u t i f u l , and should be condemned.  Mrs. Musgrove i s  supposed to f e e l g r i e f - s t r i c k e n over the death of her son—and so she pretends to. Marianne Dashwood believes she i s supposed to spend a sleepless night a f t e r Willoughby's i n i t i a l departure from Barton—and so she does.  Jane Austen's a t t i t u d e to mawkish sentimentality i s made  c l e a r i n the scene i n which H a r r i e t brings the mementoes of Mr. E l t o n to Emma to dispose of them.  Emma i s surprised and amused.  "My dearest H a r r i e t ! " c r i e d Emma, p u t t i n g her hands before her f a c e , ^ d jumping up. . . . "And so you a c t u a l l y put t h i s piece of c o u r t - p l a i s t e r by f o r her sake, . . ." and s e c r e t l y she added to h e r s e l f , "Lord bless me! when should I ever have thought of p u t t i n g by i n cotton a piece of c o u r t - p l a i s t e r that Frank C h u r c h i l l had been p u l l i n g about! I never was equal to t h i s . " (Emma, pp. 338-9) a n  Emma's " i n e q u a l i t y to t h i s " i s what makes her a heroine, and H a r r i e t an object of amusement. " . . . ROMANTIC PLAYS LIVE IN AN ATMOSPHERE OF INGENUITY AND MAKE-BELIEVE." ( G i l b e r t Murray, from the Preface to Iphigenia i n Tauris.)  18  Undoubtedly to hide a smile.  48  Fanny Burney's preface to E v e l i n a could equally w e l l have 19 stood at the beginning of Jane Austen's novels. She exhorts: Let me . . . prepare f o r disappointment those who, i n the perusal of these sheets, e n t e r t a i n the gentle expectation of being transported to the f a n t a s t i c regions of Romance, where F i c t i o n i s coloured by a l l the gay t i n t s of luxurious Imagination, where Reason i s an outcast, and where the s u b l i m i t y of the Marvellous r e j e c t s a l l a i d from sober Probability. 2 0  Jane Austen's " J u v e n i l i a " was w r i t t e n to expose the f a l s i t y i n the popular sentimental novels of the l a t e eighteenth century, among them Richardson's Pamela, Laurence Sterne's A Sentimental Journey, Charlotte Smith's Emmeline.  and  Even at fourteen Jane Austen displayed  the e x q u i s i t e s u b t l e t y which was to mark her l a t e r i r o n i c presentation of pretense and a r t i f i c e .  There i s no d i r e c t denunciation of the  sentimental novel or i t s component p a r t s , which include "sentiment, 21 m o r a l i t y , manners, i n s t r u c t i o n , s e n s i b i l i t y , and adventure."  Instead,  Miss Austen works with these conventions, creates her own "sentimental" novel. As Richard Simpson puts i t , Jane Austen began by being an i r o n i c a l c r i t i c ; she manifested her judgment of them [Romances] not by d i r e c t censure, but  19  Perhaps i f i t had much of the i r r e l e v a n t c a v i l l i n g of some Austen c r i t i c s might have been truncated. 20 Fanny Burney, Preface to E v e l i n a , New York, W. W. Norton & Co. L t d . , 1965 (no page number given i n book). 21 Marvin Mudrick, Jane Austen: Irony as Defense and Discovery, P r i n c e t o n , Princeton U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1952, p. 5.  49  by the i n d i r e c t method of i m i t a t i n g and exaggerating the f a u l t s of her models, thus c l e a r i n g the fountain by f i r s t s t i r r i n g up the mud. 22  Perhaps we can trace the popular misuse of the word "romance"  23  back to the Gothic romances of the l a t e eighteenth and e a r l y nineteenth centuries.  These novels of extravagant emotions, with t h e i r gloomy  c a s t l e s , e x q u i s i t e l y b e a u t i f u l heroines and sublimely s p i r i t e d heroes, are not woven from the f a b r i c of everyday l i f e : they present the unusual and, supposedly, exalted aspects of l i f e .  But the characters of such  novels, i n t h e i r "other-worldliness," become bloodless f i g u r e s . Emily of The Mysteries of Udolpho book that she was at the beginning.  The  i s the same Emily at the end of the She i s , we are t o l d , a g i r l of  "uncommon d e l i c a c y of mind, warm a f f e c t i o n s , ready benevolence, and a 24 degree of s u s c e p t i b i l i t y too e x q u i s i t e to admit of l a s t i n g peace." This degree of s u s c e p t i b i l i t y i s held by Emily magna cum laude. She f a i n t s with elegance, screams with decorum, "indulges i n melancholy r e v e r i e " (p. 381), adores sunsets.  We may count upon any one or more  of these r e a c t i o n s no matter what the s i t u a t i o n Emily i s forced i n t o . There i s no v a r i e t y i n such a character, and no i n t e r e s t . s t i l l f a i n t i n g at the end of the book. unimpaired.  Emily i s  Her degree of s u s c e p t i b i l i t y i s  She i s unchanged, a lump of clay which has passed  through  22  Richard Simpson viewed Jane Austen p r i m a r i l y as a c r i t i c of her society whose works were an expression of her i r o n i c sense. His comment c i t e d i n Ian Watt's I n t r o d u c t i o n to Jane Austen: A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l Essays, ed. Ian Watt, New Jersey, P r e n t i c e - H a l l Inc., 1963, pp. 5-6. 23 Whereby "romantic" = i d y l l i c . 2  ^  Ann R a d c l i f f e , The Mysteries of Udolpho, New York, Juniper Press (n.d.), p. 10.  50  a b l a s t furnace and come out u n f i r e d . The emotions i n the Gothic novels never stem from w i t h i n , but are j o l t e d i n t o a c t i v i t y by some e x t e r n a l f o r c e , e i t h e r human or supernatural. Emily i s immediately convinced that she must abandon her s u i t o r , Valancourt, when informed of h i s supposed a c t i v i t i e s i n P a r i s .  She does not know  Valancourt and therefore does not question the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of h i s character, one which has to that moment appeared to her as above s u s p i c i o n . There had been an immediate bond between them when they met, but the bond i s snapped w i t h only a breath, a word.  Perhaps the story of Emily and  Valancourt i s a "romance," but i t i s not a romance of any depth. Jane Austen's a t t i t u d e to love i s not romantic, but r e a l i s t i c . We are t o l d that Henry T i l n e y ' s love f o r Catherine grew out of " g r a t i t u d e , " that a persuasion of her p a r t i a l i t y f o r him had been the only cause of g i v i n g her a serious thought. Jane Austen comments I t i s a new circumstance i n romance, I acknowledge, and d r e a d f u l l y derogatory of an heroine's d i g n i t y ; but i f i t be as new i n common l i f e , the c r e d i t of a w i l d imagination w i l l at l e a s t be a l l my own, (Northanger Abbey, p. 243) The circumstance i s not, however, new i n common l i f e .  Charlotte Lucas  i s cognizant of i t s frequent occurrence. There i s so much of gratitude or v a n i t y i n almost every attachment, that i t i s not safe to leave any to i t s e l f . We can a l l begin f r e e l y ; a s l i g h t preference i s n a t u r a l enough; but there are very few of us who have heart enough to be r e a l l y i n love without encouragement. (Pride and P r e j u d i c e , p. 15) 25  C.K.  Marcel Proust makes a s i m i l a r statement i n Swann's Way, trans. Scott Moncrieff, New York, Modern L i b r a r y , 1928, p. 281. In h i s younger days a man dreams of possessing the heart of the woman whom he loves; l a t e r , the f e e l i n g that he possesses the heart of a woman may be enough to make him f a l l i n love w i t h her.  51  Nor d i d Jane Austen accept the w i l d l y romantic theory that one could only f a l l i n love once, that f o r each person there was only one soulmate, f o r she suggests i n regard to Anne E l l i o t that a second attachment, a f t e r her break with Wentworth, would have been a "thoroughly n a t u r a l , happy and s u f f i c i e n t cure." not e f f e c t e d only due to circumstances,  (Persuasion, p. 28) This cure was to the f a c t that the l i m i t e d s o c i e t y  i n which Anne moved did not contain anybody whom she could love.  Jane  Austen agreed w i t h E l i z a b e t h Watson's pragmatic a t t i t u d e . I have l o s t P u r v i s , i t i s true but very few people marry t h e i r f i r s t love. I should not refuse a man because he was not P u r v i s . 6 2  She had patience w i t h , but saw l i t t l e point i n , hopelessly unrequited love.  Anne E l l i o t ' s cautionary advice to Benwick, encouraging  "patience and r e s i g n a t i o n " (Persuasion, p. 101), i s , we may be sure, Jane's own. As Jane remarked at one point i n her correspondence with her niece Fanny, whom she was encouraging to end a romance i n which Fanny had l i t t l e emotional involvement, when Fanny feared h u r t i n g the s u i t o r : I t i s no creed of mind, as you must be w e l l aware, that such sorts of disappointment k i l l anybody. ^' (Chawton: Friday [November 18, 1814]) Because of Jane Austen's r e f u s a l to recommend a hopeless love, or to i n s i s t that every man can only love once, i t has been said of her 28 that she d i d not seem to b e l i e v e much i n i n t e n s i t y of f e e l i n g . This  26  Jane Austen, "The Watsons," Shorter Works, London, The F o l i o Society, 1963, p. 91. 27 Austen-Leigh, L i f e and L e t t e r s , p. 345. 28 Marjory Bald, Women-Writers of the Eighteenth Century, Cambridge a t the U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1923, p. 16.  52  c r i t i c i s m i s l e v e l l e d because "most of her people could change t h e i r a f f e c t i o n s without any severe s t r a i n . "  We are not t o l d who  these  f i c k l e people are; i n f a c t , Dr. Bald can o f f e r only a s i n g l e example, Edmund Bertram, who,she objects, "did not pay h e a v i l y f o r h i s 29 disillusions"  about Miss Crawford.  The c r i t i c f a i l s to see that i t i s  the very a t t i t u d e which she holds that i s being mocked by Jane Austen, who w r i t e s : I purposely abstain from dates on t h i s occasion, that everyone may be at l i b e r t y to f i x t h e i r own, aware that the cure of unconquerable passions, the transfer of unchanging attachments, must vary as to time i n d i f f e r e n t people. I only entreat everybody to b e l i e v e that exactly at the time when i t was quite n a t u r a l that i t should be so, and not a week e a r l i e r , Edmund did cease to care about Miss Crawford, and became as anxious to marry Fanny as Fanny h e r s e l f could d e s i r e . (Mansfield Park, p. 470) Jane Austen does not appear, complains Dr. Bald, "to have recognized 30 the existence of incurable g r i e f . "  Such a statement seems to i n s i s t  that although a man discovers that the woman he loves i s not as she appeared to b e — t h a t i s , does not r e a l l y have the q u a l i t i e s he admired— he should love what she i s revealed to be, no matter how unpleasant that a c t u a l i t y i s .  29 Loc. c i t . 30  Loc. c i t .  53  But Jane Austen was too much of a r e a l i s t to recommend such 31 stupidity. Edmund's i n i t i a l i n f a t u a t i o n with Miss Crawford was not based on a f i r m knowledge of her character.  As he comes to admit,  ".. . . I had never understood her before . . . i t had been the creature of my own imagination, not Miss Crawford, that I had been too apt to dwell on f o r many months past." When he learned of her true nature, he r e a l i z e d that h i s a f f e c t i o n s were misplaced.  To have continued  to worship Mary Crawford would have  been i d i o c y , not love.  31 So was Mary Wollstonecraft. As she stated i n her Thoughts on the Education of Daughters, (1787) c i t e d i n H.R.Steeves' Before Jane Austen: The Shaping of the E n g l i s h Novel i n the Eighteenth Century, New'York, Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1965, p. 380 I t i s too u n i v e r s a l a maxim with n o v e l i s t s that love Is f e l t but once; though i t appears to me that the heart which i s capable of r e c e i v i n g an impression at a l l , and can d i s t i n g u i s h , w i l l turn to a new object when the f i r s t i s found unworthy. . . . When any sudden stroke of f a t e deprives us of those we love, we may not r e a d i l y get the better of the blow, but when we f i n d that we have been led astray by our passions, and that i t was our own imaginations which gave the high c o l o r i n g to the p i c t u r e , we may be c e r t a i n time w i l l d r i v e i t out of our minds.  CHAPTER I I I CUPID DETHRONED BY MAMMON? In discussing Jane Austen's concept of love, i t i s necessary to c l e a r away the g l a r i n g misconception that the marriages between her main characters are f i n a n c i a l mergers and not unions of love. Far  too many c r i t i c s , from S i r Walter Scott to Marvin Mudrick, have  seen her novels as marking the "dethronement of the once powerful God of Love."  Jane Austen, they complain, i s g u i l t y of " e x c l u s i v e l y  patronizing what are c a l l e d prudent matches," prudence being defined 2 as "regard f o r pecuniary advantage." There i s a conversation i n Love and Freindship between Edward and h i s s i s t e r Augusta i n which the l a t t e r mentions that " V i c t u a l s and Drink" are necessary "supports" f o r l o v e r s .  This a s s e r t i o n i s  h o t l y denied by Edward, who asks, "And d i d you then never f e e l the pleasing Pangs of Love, Augusta? Does i t appear impossible to your v i l e and corrupted Palate, to e x i s t on Love? Can you not conceive the Luxury of l i v i n g i n every d i s t r e s s that Poverty can i n f l i c t , w i t h the object of your tenderest a f f e c t i o n ? " Augusta's (and Jane Austen's) reply i s s u c c i n c t : "You are too r i d i c u l o u s to argue with. . . . "  (p. 13)  Richard Whately, "Modern Novels," Quarterly Review, XXIV (1821), pp. 352-76. Cited i n Discussions of Jane Austen, ed. William Heath, Boston, D.'C. Heath & Co., 1961, p. 15. Loc.  ext.  55  A s i m i l a r conversation takes place between E l i n o r and Marianne.  Marianne i n q u i r e s ,  "What have wealth or grandeur to do with happiness?" "Grandeur has but l i t t l e , " said E l i n o r , "but wealth has much to do with i t . " " E l i n o r , f o r shame!" s a i d Marianne, "money can only give happiness where there i s nothing else to give i t . Beyond a competence, i t can a f f o r d no r e a l s a t i s f a c t i o n , as f a r as mere s e l f i s concerned." "Perhaps," said E l i n o r , s m i l i n g , "we may come to the same p o i n t . Your competence and my_ wealth are very much a l i k e , I dare say; . . . Come, what i s your competence?" "About eighteen hundred or two thousand a year; not more than that." E l i n o r laughed. "Two thousand a year! One i s my wealth! I guessed how i t would end." (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , p. 91) And the book ends, we r e c a l l , with Marianne a l l i e d to a man  who  has "upwards of 2000 pounds a year," a "very moderate income" says Marianne, who i s sure she i s "not extravagant i n [her] demands.  A  proper establishment of servants, a c a r r i a g e , perhaps two, and hunters, cannot be supported on l e s s . " (p. 91) From t h i s conversation i t becomes c l e a r that Marianne,  like  Willoughby and Augustus and Laura and Sophia and Edward and Henrietta Halton and Tom Musgrove, who are o s t e n s i b l y out of touch with r e a l i t y due to t h e i r " s e n s i b i l i t y , " i s f a r more of a m a t e r i a l i s t than her r e a l i s t i c sister Elinor.  E l i n o r marries on rather l e s s than her  i d e a l wealth; i t i s she and not Marianne who makes the "romantic" marriage, i f the s t i p u l a t i o n f o r romance i s , as S i r Walter S c o t t , Richard Whately ,and so many others i n s i s t , that the man one marries be ;  poor as a churchmouse. Jane Austen's favour'i-te °uples accept the m a t e r i a l conditions c  which t h e i r society imposes upon marriage, but r e a l i z e , as so many  56  Jane Austen c r i t i c s do not, that these conditions do not l i m i t or i n v a l i d a t e the emotion which marriage formalizes.  Unlike such  hypocrites as those treated i n "A C o l l e c t i o n of L e t t e r s , " they admit the close connection between love and economics i n bourgeois s o c i e t y , but they never confuse one for the other. Henrietta Halton and Thomas Musgrove profess an emotional set of values while acting under an economic set.  Anne and Wentworth  neither ignore nor r e b e l against the economic base of t h e i r s o c i e t y . They recognize the ultimate " s o c i a l f a c t " — The economic compulsion to which they must r e c o n c i l e t h e i r f e e l i n g i n order to secure the advantages of n u t r i t i o n and s o c i a l acceptance.^ Mudrick s t a t e s , Their problem—and they are both wholly aware of i t — i s to determine j u s t how f a r the claim of f e e l i n g can y i e l d , without e f f a c i n g i t s e l f altogether, to the claim of economics. . . . In "The Three S i s t e r s , " part of Jane Austen's J u v e n i l i a , the theme i s marriage for f i n a n c i a l s e c u r i t y , i n v o l v i n g the c o n f l i c t between expediency and idealism. i s f a t h e r l e s s and has no dowry. a bargaining f o r settlements. marriage.  The eldest daughter, Mary Stanhope, For her, marriage i s a n e g o t i a t i o n ,  She determines to make a " p r u d e n t i a l "  I n a conversation between two s i s t e r s , i n which one remarks  that the p o t e n t i a l husband cannot make Mary happy, the other a s t u t e l y points out, "He cannot i t i s true but h i s fortune, h i s name, h i s house, his carriage w i l l and I have no doubt but that Mary w i l l marry him. . . . " (Shorter Works, p. 296)  Marvin Mudrick, Jane Austen: Irony as Defense and Discovery,Princeton, Princeton U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1952, p. 231. Loc. c i t .  57  Jane Austen recognizes Mary Stanhope's p o s i t i o n .  As she  remarked to her niece, Fanny Knight, " s i n g l e women have a dreadful propensity f o r being poor, which i s one very strong argument i n favour of matrimony.  ling But she a l s o warned the g i r l that "Anything  i s to be preferred or endured rather than marrying without a f f e c t i o n .  „6  In "Catharine", Mrs. P e r c i v a l , chaperone to a young charge, i s plagued by a "jealous Caution," the "constant that her ward might marry "imprudently."  apprehension"  Jane Austen mocks the  woman, and, by extension, we may assert that she mocks Mrs. P e r c i v a l ' s mercenary a t t i t u d e to marriage.  From Jane Austen's l e t t e r s and from  her novels we l e a r n her strong r e a c t i o n to marriage without love. Her aunt P h i l a d e l p h i a had been forced into a s i t u a t i o n very l i k e that described i n the account of C e c i l i a Wynne's marriage. The eldest daughter had been obliged to accept the o f f e r of one of her cousins to equip her f o r the East I n d i e s , and though i n f i n i t e l y against her i n c l i n a t i o n s had been necessitated to embrace the only p o s s i b i l i t y that was o f f e r e d to her, of a maintenance; y e t i t was one, so opposite to a l l her ideas of P r o p r i e t y , so contrary to her wishes, so repugnant to her f e e l i n g s , that she would almost have preferred Servitude to i t , had choice been allowed h e r — . Her personal a t t r a c t i o n s had gained her a husband as soon as she had a r r i v e d at Bengal, and she had now been married nearly a twelve-month. S p l e n d i d l y , yet unhappily married. United to a man of double her own age, whose d i s p o s i t i o n was not amiable, and whose manners were unpleasing, though h i s character was respectable. K i t t y had heard twice from her f r i e n d since her marriage, . . . and though she d i d not openly avow her f e e l i n g s , yet every l i n e proved her to be unhappy. (Shorter Works, p. 179)  ^Austen-Leigh, L i f e and L e t t e r s , p. 351. 6  I b i d . , p. 344.  58 E l i z a b e t h Jenkins notes the p r a c t i c a l i t y of most s i n g l e women of the period. The people whom Jane Austen approved of: women l i k e Emma Watson and E l i z a b e t h Bennet, did not regard e l i g i b l e marriage as the f i r s t object of existence, though a very d e s i r a b l e one; but quite pleasant, respectable g i r l s of a l e s s d i s i n t e r e s t e d and exacting nature were prepared to command t h e i r a f f e c t i o n s to a very considerable extent. The overbearing desire f o r romance, or sexual s a t i s f a c t i o n , or marriage, . . . i r r e s p e c t i v e of a genuine a t t r a c t i o n , i s shown constantly i n her l e s s important female characters: i n the Steele s i s t e r s , i n I s a b e l l a Thorpe and Charlotte Lucas, . . . and Louisa Musgrove and Penelope and Margaret Watson. . . . The overbearing preoccupation of the women c i t e d (and we might add Jane F a i r f a x to the l i s t ) was not w i t h "romance, or sexual s a t i s f a c t i o n , " i t was with marriage.  As E l i z a b e t h Jenkins goes on to admit,  [at that time] . . . women of the upper middle c l a s s who were s i n g l e and unprovided f o r had no refuge open to them but a post as governess orgCompanion, or l i n g e r i n g out an existence in  genteel  distress.  Fanny Burney's understanding  of the pressures exerted on her peers was  voiced through Dr. Marchmont i n C a m i l l a , "... the i n f l u e n c e of f r i e n d s , the prevalence of example, the e a r l y notion which every female Imbibes, that a good establishment must be her f i r s t object i n l i f e these are g motives of marriage commonly s u f f i c i e n t f o r the whole sex." One would perhaps expect Jane Austen to be more c h a r i t a b l e i n her treatment of the women c i t e d i n E l i z a b e t h Jenkins' passage. She sympathizes with t h e i r p o s i t i o n , but seems to side w i t h Emma Watson i n the exchange with her s i s t e r E l i z a b e t h . 7 E l i z a b e t h Jenkins, Jane Austen, New York, F a r r a r , Straus & Cudahy, 1949, p. 159. 8 Loc. c i t . 9 Fanny Burney, C a m i l l a , V o l . I , London, p r i n t e d f o r T. Payne, at the Mews-Gate; and T. C a d e l l Jun. and W. Davies i n the Strand, 1796, p.388.  59  " To be so bent on m a r r i a g e — t o pursue a man merely f o r the sake of s i t u a t i o n — i s a sort of thing that shocks me. . . . Poverty i s a great e v i l , but to a woman of education and f e e l i n g i t ought not, i t cannot be the greatest. I would rather be a 10 teacher at a School (and I can think of nothing worse )- than marry a man I d i d not l i k e . " The pragmatic Miss Watson r e p l i e s : LU  " i would rather do any thing than be teacher at a school. _I have been at school, Emma, and know what a l i f e they lead; you never have. I should not l i k e marry a disagreeable man any more than y o u r s e l f , — b u t I do not think there are many very disagreeable men; I think I could l i k e any good humoured man with a comfortable income." (Shorter Works, pp. 91-2) I t i s p o s s i b l e to view E l i z a b e t h Watson as a younger v e r s i o n of Miss Bates; i n f a c t , she describes a f u t u r e , should she not marry, which i s i d e n t i c a l to Miss Bates' existence i n Emma. "... you know we must marry. I could do very w e l l s i n g l e f o r my own p a r t — A l i t t l e company, and a pleasant b a l l now and then, would be enough f o r me, i f one could be young f o r ever, but my father cannot provide f o r us, and i t i s very bad to grow old and be poor and laughed at." (p. 91) In The Watsons Jane Austen t e l l s of four s i s t e r s , of l i m i t e d means, who each regard marriage d i f f e r e n t l y .  Emma's point of view i s  the most i d e a l i s t i c (therefore she i s Jane Austen's heroine) and Penelope's the most f e v e r i s h .  But one cannot help t h i n k i n g — a n d d i d  Jane Austen mean us to think i t ? — t h a t i t i s easier f o r Emma to i n s i s t upon love as a p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r marriage, and despise a l l mercenary motives, since she has been brought up apart from her s i s t e r s , i n luxurious surroundings, and has not yet f e l t the i n d i g n i t i e s  Neither could Jane F a i r f a x .  60  and p r i v a t i o n s of l i m i t e d means. Jane Austen introduces the story of the aunt who has married f o r love: t h i s a c t i o n i s censured by the other characters i n the novel, even, we note w i t h some s u r p r i s e , by Emma. And why  i s i t censured?  Because the lady has been improvident enough  to marry a penniless army captain (and an I r i s h one, to boot!) Indeed, a l l of the fragmentary Watsons i s concerned w i t h the dilemma of choice which faced genteel l a d i e s of dependent means. choosing, they were often between S c y l l a and Charybdis. Watson i s angling f o r " r i c h o l d Dr. Harding."  In their Penelope  Margaret i s  desperately t r y i n g to "hook" the r a k i s h Tom Musgrove.  The men of  the Watson s i s t e r s ' "choice" do not have much to recommend them as love-objects, but they are considered to be b e t t e r than the a l t e r n a t i v e to marriage with them—i.e., "to grow old and be poor and laughed a t . " In advising her niece Fanny about marrying a man, who was e l i g i b l e i n a l l respects and yet with whom Fanny was not sure that she was i n love, Jane Austen cautioned her  ^ \ t r s . Arlbey, i n discussing a p o t e n t i a l s u i t o r f o r Camilla w i t h S i r gedley, wishes to protect her charge from these sordid r e a l i t i e s , and a s s e r t s }  " I hate him h e a r t i l y ; yet he r o l l s i n wealth, and she has nothing. I must bring them, therefore, together, p o s i t i v e l y : f o r though a husband such a f a s t i d i o u s one e s p e c i a l l y i s not what I would recommend to her f o r happiness, ' t i s better than poverty." (Camilla, V o l . I l l , p. 321) 'Also asthmatic o l d Dr.  Harding.  61  not to think of accepting him unless you r e a l l y do l i k e him. Anything i s to be preferred or endured rather than marrying without a f f e c t i o n . " ^ (Chawton: Friday [November 18, 1814]) and added, . . . nothing can be compared to the misery of being ^ bound without love—bound to one,aid p r e f e r r i n g another. (23 Hans Place: Wednesday [November 30, 1814]) Jane F a i r f a x could not agree.  Her engagement to the  unpleasant Frank C h u r c h i l l i s , i n my opinion, an "escape" on her part from the a l t e r n a t i v e to marriage, an a l t e r n a t i v e she describes with such v i v i d n e s s that we may be sure i t has haunted her. 'There are places i n town . . . o f f i c e s f o r the s a l e — n o t quite of human f l e s h — b u t of human i n t e l l e c t . . . not . . . the slave-trade . . . [but the] governess-trade . . . widely d i f f e r e n t c e r t a i n l y as to the g u i l t of those who carry i t on; but as to the greater misery of the v i c t i m s , I do not know where i t l i e s . " (Emma, pp. 300-301) Jane Austen admitted to her niece that "Single women have a dreadful propensity f o r being poor—which i s one very strong argument i n favor of matrimony," but urged , I s h a l l say as I have often s a i d before, do not be i n a hurry, the r i g h t man w i l l come at l a s t ; you w i l l i n the course of the next two or three years meet with somebody more generally unexceptionable than anyone you have yet known, . . . who w i l l so completely^attract you that you w i l l f e e l you never r e a l l y loved before. (Chawton: Thursday [March 13, 1817])  13 Austen-Leigh, L i f e and L e t t e r s , p. 344. ^ I b i d . , p. 346. 1 5  I b i d . , p. 351.  62  But Jane F a i r f a x , with the f r i g h t e n i n g example of her aunt, Miss Bates, before her, d i d not dare wait.  Should she remain unmarried  the only profession f o r an educated woman was that of a governess. Mrs. Weston's (nee Taylor) h i s t o r y was an exception to the general l o t of governesses.  The m a j o r i t y , anomalies i n another woman's  home, e x i s t i n g i n a no man's land between the drawing room and the servants' h a l l , were at the mercy a l i k e of t h e i r superiors and t h e i r inferiors.  The degradation of t h e i r p o s i t i o n i s alluded to i n  Mansfield Park.  When the parts f o r "Lovers' Vows" are being  assigned, and i t i s suggested that J u l i a should be the cottager's w i f e , Mr. Yates exclaims: "Cottager's w i f e ! what are you t a l k i n g of? The most t r i v i a l , p a l t r y , i n s i g n i f i c a n t p a r t ; the merest commonplace; not a t o l e r a b l e speech i n the whole. Your s i s t e r do that! I t i s an i n s u l t to propose i t . At E c c l e s f o r d the governess was to have done i t . We a l l agreed that i t could not be offered to anybody else. " (Mansfield Park, p. 134) Chapman says that "romantic convention demanded that a novel should end on a prospect of l i f e l o n g f e l i c i t y . . . " ^ but adds i n a footnote^"She [Jane Austen] was not prepared to take t h i s f o r granted.  Jane F a i r f a x was too good f o r Frank C h u r c h i l l ; and Jane  Austen t o l d her intimates that Mrs. Frank C h u r c h i l l died young." We (and Mr. Knightley) admire Jane F a i r f a x and censure Frank C h u r c h i l l .  Charlotte Lucas i s a close f r i e n d of E l i z a b e t h  Bennet's (which i s a strong point i n her favour), and we sympathize  R. W. Chapman, Jane Austen: Facts and Problems, Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1948, p. 186.  63  with E l i z a b e t h Watson.  Why does Jane Austen show these admirable  and s e n s i b l e women succumbing to (or w i l l i n g to succumb to) economic considerations i n deciding to marry without love?  She  does i t i n order to show the extent of the pressures which s o c i e t y imposed on women. Garrod w r i t e s that She knew, and was i n t e r e s t e d i n , not her own sex, . . . But the average feminine t r i v i a l i t y i n t e r e s t s her immensely and entertains her adequately."^ Jane Austen had, i n f a c t , an extremely c r i t i c a l concern f o r the f a t e of women i n her s o c i e t y , a concern which involved a reconsideration of that society's basic values.  Jane F a i r f a x i s a sympathetically-  treated symbol of the economic and s o c i a l v u l n e r a b i l i t y of women i n the l a t e eighteenth century and e a r l y nineteenth  century.  Elizabeth's j o k i n g comment that she began to f a l l i n love with Darcy upon seeing Pemberley i s her oblique a l l u s i o n to the economic tensions which were constantly i n t r u d i n g i n t o the area of personal d e s i r e . D. W. Harding speaks of the scene i n which Mr. C o l l i n s sues for Elizabeth's hand as not only comic fantasy, but . . . f o r E l i z a b e t h , a taste of the f a n t a s t i c nightmare i n which economic and s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s have such power over the values of personal r e l a t i o n s h i p s that the comic monster i s nearly able to get her.-^  l^H. W. Garrod, "Jane Austen: A Depreciation," Essays by Divers Hands: Transactions of the Royal Society of L i t e r a t u r e , V I I I , (1928), pp. 21-40. Reprinted i n Discussions of Jane Austen, ed. W i l l i a m Heath, Boston, D.C. Heath & Co., 1961, p. 36. D. W. Harding, "Regulated Hatred: An Aspect of the Work of Jane Austen," Scrutiny, V I I I (1940), pp. 346-62. Cited i n Discussions of Jane Austen, ed. W i l l i a m Heath, Boston, D.C.Heath & Co., 1961, p. 45. 10  64  The opening sentences i n Pride and Prejudice r e v e a l , i n adumbrated form, the problem which beset young people of Jane Austen's era. I t i s a t r u t h u n i v e r s a l l y acknowledged, that a s i n g l e man i n possession of a good fortune, must be i n want of a wife. However l i t t l e known the f e e l i n g s or views of such a man may be on h i s f i r s t entering a neighbourhood, t h i s t r u t h i s so w e l l f i x e d i n the minds of the surrounding f a m i l i e s , that he i s considered as the r i g h t f u l property of some one or other of t h e i r daughters, (p. 1) Immediately, the i n t r u s i o n of f i n a n c i a l and m a t e r i a l matters i n personal a f f a i r s i s apparent.  Colonel F i t z w i l l i a m i s e x p l i c i t on  t h i s point. "... . i n matters of greater weight, I may s u f f e r from the want of money. Younger sons cannot marry where they l i k e " E l i z a b e t h teases him, "Unless where they l i k e women of fortune, which I think they very often do." and goes on to i n q u i r e "And pray, what i s the usual p r i c e of an E a r l ' s younger son? Unless the elder brother i s very s i c k l y , I suppose you would not ask above f i f t y thousand pounds." (p. 138) The theory that personal happiness should be subjected to f i n a n c i a l considerations i s not held by Jane Austen's f a v o u r i t e characters, but by those of whom she does not approve.  Elizabeth, believing  that Bingley's s i s t e r s have persuaded him to forget Jane, conjectures: They may wish many things besides h i s happiness; they may wish h i s increase of wealth and consequence; they may wish him to marry a g i r l who has a l l the importance of money, great connections, and p r i d e , (p. 104) This i s the "prudence" that i s a t t r i b u t e d to E l i z a b e t h on the strength of her teasing r e p l y to Jane as to how long she had been  65  i n love with Darcy. " I t has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when i t began. But I b e l i e v e I must date i t from my f i r s t seeing h i s b e a u t i f u l grounds at Pemberley." That i t wis spoken i n j e s t i s c l e a r from the l i n e s f o l l o w i n g . Another i n t r e a t y that she would be s e r i o u s , however, produced the desired e f f e c t , and she soon s a t i s f i e d Jane by her solemn assurances of attachment, (p. 279) I t i s impossible to equate E l i z a b e t h Bennet with a Mr. E l t o n , who . . . wanted to marry w e l l , and having the arrogance to r a i s e h i s eyes to her [Emma], pretended to be i n love; . . . He only wanted to aggrandize and enrich himself; and i f Miss Woodhouse df) H a r t f i e l d , the heiress of t h i r t y thousand pounds, were not quite so e a s i l y obtained as he had fancied, he would soon t r y f o r Miss Somebody else with twenty, or with ten. (Emma, p. 135) E l i z a b e t h does not set out with a plan i n mind to "marry w e l l , " she does not "pretend to be i n love," and from her disapproval of Charlotte's marriage we see that she disapproves of those who seek to "aggrandize and enrich themselves" through marriage. She had always f e l t that Charlotte's opinion of matrimony was not exactly l i k e her own, but she could not have supposed i t p o s s i b l e that when c a l l e d i n t o a c t i o n , she would have s a c r i f i c e d every better f e e l i n g to worldly advantage. (Pride and Prejudice, p. 95) Mr. Chapman speaks of the "quite common" i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Pride . and Prejudice's  E l i z a b e t h Bennet as being " f i r s t brought round 19  by the sight of the wealth and grandeur of Pemberley." Walter Scott's statement i s the one most often c i t e d . Chapman, op_. c i t . , p. 192.  Sir  66  She a c c i d e n t l y v i s i t s a very handsome seat and grounds belonging to her admirer. They chance to meet exactly as her prudence had begun to subdue her prejudice.^0 The l i n e which has caused such widespread condemnation of E l i z a b e t h — At that moment she f e l t , that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something! (p. 181) i s one which only a Jane Austen would dare include i n her p o r t r a i t of a woman.  I t i s p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y true, a p e r f e c t l y understandable 21  reaction.  Who would not have a moment  of chagrin upon discovering  that he/she had r e j e c t e d something quite extraordinary?  But I would  pose the question, "Can anyone r e a l l y b e l i e v e that E l i z a b e t h Bennet's r e f u s a l of Darcy would have been couched i n terms any l e s s angry had she seen Pemberley p r i o r to Darcy's proposal?"  I t would not.  E l i z a b e t h i s unimpressed by Darcy's having "ten thousand Ipounds] a year,"  and had already learned that Pemberley was a splendid estate. Further proof of the genuine q u a l i t y of her f e e l i n g s f o r him  can be found when E l i z a b e t h m i s i n t e r p r e t s Darcy's "gloomy a i r " f o l l o w i n g her r e v e l a t i o n of Lydia's elopement.  The c o n v i c t i o n that  Darcy's regard f o r her must now be shattered due to her family's disgrace i s exactly c a l c u l a t e d to make her understand her own wishes; and never had she so honestly f e l t that she could have loved him, as now, when a l l love must be v a i n . (p. 206) Of)  S i r Walter Scott, "Emma," Quarterly Review, XIV (1815), pp. 188-201. Reprinted i n Discussions of Jane Austen, ed. William Heath, Boston, D. C. Heath & Co., 1961, p. 8. 21 And note that Jane Austen says only, "at that moment." 22 I t i s amusing to note that upon Darcy's a r r i v a l i n the v i l l a g e , a f t e r the news of h i s having ten thousand a year i s c i r c u l a t e d , i t i s decided that he i s "much handsomer than Mr. Bingley" (who has four thousand a year). Mr. Darcy i s , I suggest, 6000 pounds a year handsomer.  67  H. W. Garrod contends that Jane Austen "accept[s] as not only good, but n a t u r a l , . . . the marriage of convenience." When E l i z a b e t h i s leaving a f t e r a v i s i t to the now-married Charlotte C o l l i n s she muses: It was melancholy to leave her to such s o c i e t y ; but she had chosen i t with her eyes open; and though e v i d e n t l y r e g r e t t i n g that her v i s i t o r s were to go, she did not seem to ask f o r compassion. Her home and her housekeeping, her p a r i s h and her p o u l t r y , and a l l t h e i r dependent concerns, had not yet l o s t t h e i r charms. ^ (p. 162) 2  The underlined words i n d i c a t e Jane Austen's opinion of the chances for  continued m a r i t a l " b l i s s " i n a l o v e l e s s marriage. Jane Austen condemns those of her characters who demand  nothing more of marriage partners than economic c o m p a t i b i l i t y . When Charles and Mary Musgrove discuss Henrietta Musgrove's p o t e n t i a l s u i t o r s , neither makes reference to any personal q u a l i t i e s ; they are never an issue f o r the m a t e r i a l l y - o r i e n t e d minds. Any assurance that may be wanting as to Jane Austen's r e a c t i o n to mariages de convenance may be found i n the conversation she describes between E l i n o r Dashwood and her brother.  John Dashwood  begins: "Who i s Colonel Brandon? Is he a man of fortune?" "Yes, he has very good property i n Dorsetshire." "I am glad of i t . . . I t h i n k , E l i n o r , I may congratulate you on the prospect of a very respectable establishment i n life." "Me, Brother! what do you mean? . . . I am very sure that Colonel Brandon has not the smallest wish of marrying me." "You are mistaken, E l i n o r . . . . A very l i t t l e trouble on your side secures him. Perhaps j u s t at present he may be undecided; the smallness of your fortune may make him hang back; h i s f r i e n d s may a l l advise him against i t . But  23  Garrod, 0£. c i t . , p. 35. My x t a l x c s .  68  some of those l i t t l e attentions and encouragements which l a d i e s can so e a s i l y give w i l l f i x him i n s p i t e of himself. And there can be no reason why you should not t r y f o r him. I t i s not to be supposed that any p r i o r attachment on your s i d e — i n short you know, as to an attachment of that kind i t i s quite out of the question, the objections are i n s u r mountable—Colonel Brandon must be the man. ..." (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , pp. 223-24) The " p r i o r attachment," love f o r Edward F e r r a r s , was not to be allowed to i n t e r f e r e with an advantageous economic union.  His  s i s t e r Marianne's beauty was also considered i n terms of i t s worth as a b a r t e r i n g f a c t o r . bloom f o r ever!"  Her i l l n e s s , he f e a r s , has "destroy[ed] the  He c a l c u l a t e s ,  " I question whether Marianne now w i l l marry a man worth more than f i v e or s i x hundred a year at the utmost, and I am very much deceived i f you do not do b e t t e r . " (p. 227) Jane Austen's own views of marriage were more r a d i c a l i n her own age than they are today.  The concept of women as objects  for barter was widespread, and considered to be p e r f e c t l y acceptable. The blatant eagerness with which an heiress was pursued c a r r i e d on w e l l i n t o the nineteenth century. Thackeray alludes to i t with h i s account of the wealthy mulatto graduate of St. K i t t ' s marriage. 25 Today's heiress hunters haven't the "decency" as G. E. Mitton describes i t , but the hypocrisy, as they are at l e a s t ashamed of t h e i r motives, to pretend to be i n love.  I t i s often Jane Austen's  " v i l l a i n s , " i f such we may c a l l them, who are w i l l i n g to marry f o r money, without love—Wickham, Willoughby, I s a b e l l a and John Thorpe, G. E. M i t t o n , Jane Austen and Her Times, London, Methuen & Co., 1905, p. 144.  Mr. W i l l i a m E l l i o t . "Her women were obsessed by the game of matrimony. . . ." This sweeping g e n e r a l i z a t i o n surely cannot be meant to include E l i z a b e t h Bennet, or Catherine Morland, or Emma Watson, or Fanny P r i c e , or Emma Woodhouse (who was only concerned with helping others to play the "game").  Jane Austen's heroines are heroines f o r her  because they are not obsessed by the game of matrimony. Dr. Bald goes on, Their apparent a r t l e s s n e s s was often the r e s u l t of a caref u l l y studied pose: (and produces the quotation) Where people wish to a t t r a c t they should always be ignorant. To come with a well-informed mind i s to come with an i n a b i l i t y of m i n i s t e r i n g to the v a n i t y of others. . . . A woman, e s p e c i a l l y , i f she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal i t as w e l l as she can.^7 (Northanger Abbey, pp. 110-111) Of the heroines j u s t mentioned, only Catherine Morland "administers to the v a n i t y " of her l o v e r , and does so because she t r u l y i s ingenuous. Garrod s t a t e s : [The] husband-hunt . . . i s conducted with almost equal unreserve by two contrasted feminine characters (who are very often s i s t e r s ) : the G i r l of S p i r i t and the Tame G i r l , E l i z a b e t h and Jane, Marianne and E l i n o r . . . . ^8 But E l i z a b e t h does not "hunt" Darcy, nor E l i n o r hunt Edward, and Jane could not hunt even i f she wanted t o , f o r she would not know how.  Only Jane Austen's unpleasant  characters " s t a l k t h e i r prey":  Mr. E l t o n , Willoughby, Miss Bingley, Margaret and Penelope Watson,  9  f\  Marjory Bald, Women-Writers of the Eighteenth Century, Cambridge at the U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1923, p. 24. 27 Loc. c i t . 28 Garrod, op. c i t . , p. 38.  70  Tom Musgrove.  Theirs i s the a t t i t u d e to marriage that i s described  by Thomas Gisborne, a prominent d i v i n e of the l a t e eighteenth century. I f a union about to take place, or r e c e n t l y contracted, between two young persons, i s mentioned i n conversation, the f i r s t question which we hear asked concerning i t i s , whether i t be a good match. The very countenance and voice of the i n q u i r e r , and of the answerer, the terms of the answer returned, and the observations, whether expressive of s a t i s f a c t i o n or of r e g r e t , which f a l l from the l i p s of the company present i n the c i r c l e , a l l concur to shew what, i n common estimation, i s meant by being w e l l married. I f a young woman be described as thus married, the terms imply, that she i s united to a man whose rank and fortune i s such, when compared with her own or those of her parents, that i n point of precedence, i n point of command of f i n e r y and of money, she i s , more or l e s s , a gainer by the bargain. They imply, that she w i l l now possess the enviable advantages of taking [the] place of other l a d i e s i n the neighbourhood; of decking h e r s e l f out with jewels and l a c e ; of i n h a b i t i n g splendid apartments; r o l l i n g i n handsome c a r r i a g e s ; gazing on numerous servants i n gaudy l i v e r i e s ; and of going to London, and other fashionable scenes of r e s o r t , i n a degree somewhat higher than that i n which a c a l c u l a t i n g broker, a f t e r poring on her pedigree, summing up her property i n hand, and computing, at the market p r i c e , what i s contingent or i n r e v e r s i o n , would have pronouced her e n t i t l e d to them. But what do the terms imply as to the character of the man selected to be her husband? Probably nothing. His character i s a matter which seldom enters into the consideration of the persons who use them, unless i t , at length, appears i n the shape of an afterthought, or i s awkwardly hitched onto t h e i r remarks f o r the sake of decorum. I f the terms imply any t h i n g , they mean no more than that he i s not scandalously and n o t o r i o u s l y addicted to v i c e . He may be proud, he may be ambitious, he may be malignant, he may be devoid of C h r i s t i a n p r i n c i p l e s , p r a c t i c e , and b e l i e f ; or, to say the very l e a s t , i t may be t o t a l l y unknown whether he does not f a l l , i n every p a r t i c u l a r , under t h i s d e s c r i p t i o n ; and yet, i n the language and i n the opinion of the g e n e r a l i t y of both sexes, the match i s e x c e l l e n t . In l i k e manner a small diminution of the supposed advantages already enumerated, though counterpoised by the a c q u i s i t i o n of a companion eminent f o r h i s v i r t u e s , i s supposed to c o n s t i t u t e a bad match; and i s universallylamented i n p o l i t e meetings with r e a l or a f f e c t e d concern.  Thomas Gisborne, "Considerations Antecedent to Marriage," An Enquiry i n t o the Duties of the Female Sex, (1797). This essay appears i n P r i d e and P r e j u d i c e : Text, Backgrounds, C r i t i c i s m , ed. B. A. Booth, New York, Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1963, p. 173.  71  E l i z a b e t h Bennet's exchange with Charlotte Lucas exonerates E l i z a b e t h and Jane from Garrod's charge of "husband-hunting." Charlotte advises that Jane should "shew more a f f e c t i o n than she f e e l s . . . . When she i s secure of [ B i n g l e y ] , there w i l l be l e i s u r e f o r f a l l i n g i n love as much as she chooses." (Pride and Prejudice , p. 15) Elizabeth replies, "Your plan i s a good one, where nothing i s i n question but the desire of being w e l l married; and i f I were determined to get a r i c h husband, or any husband, I dare say I should adopt i t . But these are not Jane's f e e l i n g s ; she i s not a c t ing by design." (p. 15) And i f E l i n o r viewed Edward as nothing more than her "prey," h i s "want of s p i r i t s , " h i s apparent " i n d i f f e r e n c e " which made her f e e l the longer they were together the more doubtful seemed the nature of h i s regard (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , p. 22) would not have caused her "pain." (p. 22) " P a i n f u l , " too, i s E l i z a b e t h ' s r e a c t i o n upon hearing Darcy c r i t i c i z e d .  Her unhappiness  i s very r e a l when her f a t h e r , a f t e r hearing of her b e t r o t h a l , continues to speak of Darcy as "a proud, unpleasant sort of man." (Pride and P r e j u d i c e , p. 281) " I do, I do l i k e him," she r e p l i e d , with tears i n her eyes. " I love him. Indeed he has no improper pride. He i s p e r f e c t l y amiable. You do not know what he r e a l l y i s ; then pray do not pain me by speaking of him i n such terms." (p. 281) This i s hardly the behaviour of a woman who i s marrying f o r money. I f Garrod's contention were c o r r e c t , E l i z a b e t h , having "bagged her game," would not be upset by hearing Darcy maligned. Dorothy Van Ghent describes the marriage r i t e i n Jane Austen's world as an 'ordeal' i n that t r a d i t i o n a l sense of a moral t e s t i n g . . . what w i l l be tested w i l l be . . . i n t e g r i t y of ' f e e l i n g '  72  under the crudely threatening s o c i a l pressures.  30  E l i z a b e t h i s shocked and disappointed to see Charlotte Lucas succumb to these " s o c i a l pressures," She had always f e l t that Charlotte's opinion of matrimony was not exactly l i k e her own, but she could not have supposed i t p o s s i b l e that when c a l l e d i n t o a c t i o n , she would have s a c r i f i c e d every b e t t e r f e e l i n g to worldly advantage. Charlotte the wife of Mr. C o l l i n s , was a most h u m i l i a t i n g picture! (Pride and P r e j u d i c e , pp. 95-96) L i k e Thomas Gisborne, who w r i t e s i n "Consideration Antecedent to Marriage": [considering] those who contract marriages, e i t h e r c h i e f l y , or i n a considerable degree, through motives of i n t e r e s t or of ambition, i t would be f o l l y . . . to expect that such marriages, however they may answer the purposes of i n t e r e s t or of ambition, should terminate otherwise than i n wretchedness. Wealth may be secured, rank may be obtained; but i f wealth and rank are to be the main ingredients i n the cup of matrimonial f e l i c i t y , the sweetness of wine w i l l be exhausted at once, and nothing remain but b i t t e r and corrosive 31  dregs. E l i z a b e t h has the d i s t r e s s i n g c o n v i c t i o n that i t [ w i l l be] impossible f o r [Charlotte] to be t o l e r a b l y happy i n the l o t she [has] chosen, (p. 96) Garrod accuses Jane Austen of accepting "as not only good, but n a t u r a l , . . . the marriage of convenience."^^  He gives no proof  for h i s a s s e r t i o n , and I can f i n d none i n Jane Austen's novels or  Dorothy Van Ghent, "On Pride and P r e j u d i c e " (1953), from Pride and Prejudice: Text, Backgrounds, C r i t i c i s m , ed. B. A. Booth, New York, Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1963, pp. 215-16. 31 32  Gisborne, op_. c i t . , p. 173. Garrod, o j 3 . c i t . , p. 35.  73  letters.  Perhaps Garrod i s thinking of the Lydia-Wickham menage.  Here i s E l i z a b e t h ' s comment on the l e g a l cementing of Lydia and Wickham's r e l a t i o n s h i p : "And f o r t h i s we are to be thankful. That they should marry, small as i s t h e i r chance of happiness, and wretched as i s h i s character, we are forced to r e j o i c e ! " (Pride and Prejudice , p. 226) I t i s rather i n c r e d i b l e that Jane Austen d i d not accept "as not only good, but n a t u r a l , . . . the marriage of convenience," f o r she paints the a l t e r n a t i v e to marriage, at l e a s t f o r impoverished women, v i v i d l y and sympathetically.  E l i z a b e t h Drew speaks of the world 33  Jane Austen describes as "a haven of peace . . . and simple values." But i t was not a haven f o r the Misses Bates and Jane Fairfaxes of the period.  Miss Bates i s too simple to recognize f u l l y the precarious-  ness of her p o s i t i o n .  Jane F a i r f a x , more astute, marries Frank  C h u r c h i l l — a choice, one f e e l s , that would never have been made i f Jane had had Emma's s o c i a l advantages.  But we r e c a l l that Jane  Austen remarked p r i v a t e l y that Jane F a i r f a x died soon a f t e r her marriage to Frank C h u r c h i l l — a very odd conclusion to what Garrod would have us b e l i e v e Jane Austen views as "not only good, but n a t u r a l . " E l i z a b e t h Drew, The Novel: A Modern Guide to F i f t e e n English Masterpieces, New York, W.W. Norton & Co.Ltd., 1963, p. 95.  CONCLUSION Jane Austen's a t t i t u d e toward the passion of love, most maturely expressed i n Persuasion, i s c l e a r l y adumbrated i n her l e s s subtle treatment of the same subject i n Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y and Pride and Prejudice.  Aware of i t s d u a l i t y , at one moment both  emotional and r a t i o n a l , she saw the inadequacies (and dangers) of "love" which based i t s e l f s o l e l y on passion.  Thomas Gisborne, i n  h i s essay "Considerations Antecedent to Marriage", poses a question about two people who may consider being "bound during t h e i r j o i n t l i v e s to the s o c i e t y of each other" to which Mr. Bennet stands as a symbolic answer. Unless the d i s p o s i t i o n s , the temper, the h a b i t s , the genuine character and inmost p r i n c i p l e s were mutually known; what r a t i o n a l hope, what t o l e r a b l e chance of happiness could subsist? Mr. Bennet's daughter, whose a t t i t u d e to love i s that of Jane Austen, came to r e a l i z e that Darcy was exactly the man, who, i n d i s p o s i t i o n and t a l e n t s , would most s u i t her. His understanding and temper, though u n l i k e her own, would have answered a l l her wishes. I t was a union that must have been to the advantage of both; by her ease and l i v e l i n e s s , h i s mind might have been softened, h i s manners improved, and from h i s judgment, information, and knowledge of the world, she must have received b e n e f i t of greater importance. (Pride and P r e j u d i c e , p. 232)  Gisborne, op_. c i t . , p. 171.  75  E l i z a b e t h , c e r t a i n t h a t Darcy would " s h r i n k " from any  connection  w i t h her n e w l y - d i s g r a c e d f a m i l y , as y e t unaware of h i s v o l u n t a r y involvement i n L y d i a and Wickham's s o r d i d a f f a i r ,  laments the f a c t  that no such happy m a r r i a g e [as t h e one she e n v i s i o n s above] c o u l d now teach the admiring m u l t i t u d e what c o n n u b i a l f e l i c i t y r e a l l y was. (p. 232) Fortunately, temper,  Darcy, having a l s o a s c e r t a i n e d  [and] genuine c h a r a c t e r , "  "inferior  Elizabeth's "disposition,  renews h i s address d e s p i t e h e r  connections."  When E l i z a b e t h expresses h e r g r a t i t u d e f o r " t h a t generous compassion which induced  [him] t o take so much t r o u b l e , and bear  so many m o r t i f i c a t i o n s , " he r e p l i e s , " I f you w i l l  thank me, l e t i t be f o r y o u r s e l f  alone.  That the wish of g i v i n g happiness to you, might add f o r c e to the o t h e r inducements which l e d me on, I s h a l l n o t attempt to deny. But your f a m i l y owe me n o t h i n g . Much as I r e s p e c t them, I b e l i e v e , I thought o n l y of you." (p. 273) We may c o n t r a s t Darcy w i t h W i l l o u g h b y , a c h a r a c t e r considered  by many c r i t i c s  to be f a r s u p e r i o r  to Darcy as a " l o v e r . "  He i s summed up a c c u r a t e l y by E l i n o r . "The whole o f h i s behaviour . . . has been grounded on s e l f i s h ness. I t was s e l f i s h n e s s which f i r s t made him s p o r t w i t h your a f f e c t i o n s ; which a f t e r w a r d s , when h i s own were engaged, made him d e l a y the c o n f e s s i o n of i t , and which f i n a l l y c a r r i e d him from B a r t o n . H i s own enjoyment, o r h i s own ease, was, i n every p a r t i c u l a r , h i s r u l i n g p r i n c i p l e . " (Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y , p. 351) Marianne c o n c u r s . "It  i s very  true.  My_ happiness never was h i s o b j e c t . "  (p. 351)  76  And yet G. B. Stern s t i l l  insists,  "I would sooner have sanctioned [Marianne's] marriage to Willoughby . . . Marianne's soul would at l e a s t not have been damped and s t i f l e d . " ^ E l i n o r describes the " i d e a l " marriage which Stern longed to see. "Had you [Marianne and Willoughby] married, you must have been always poor. His expensiveness i s acknowledged even by hims e l f , and h i s whole conduct declares that s e l f - d e n i a l i s a word hardly understood by him . . .how l i t t l e could the utmost of your s i n g l e management do to stop the r u i n which had begun before your marriage?-—Beyond that, had you endeavoured, however reasonably, to abridge h i s enjoyments, i s i t not to be feared, that instead of p r e v a i l i n g on f e e l i n g s so s e l f i s h to consent to i t , you would have lessened your own influence on h i s heart, and made him regret the connection which had involved him i n such d i f f i c u l t i e s ? " (p. 351) As Gisborne warns, and as Marianne cannot see early i n the book, when she Is u t t e r l y captivated by Willoughby, despite knowing nothing of him except that "of music and dancing he [ i s ] passionately fond," [a ] woman who receives f o r her husband a person of whose moral character she knows no more than that i t i s outwardly decent, stakes her welfare upon a very hazardous experiment.  3  Ernest Baker, not sharing, and apparently f a i l i n g to understand, Jane Austen's concept of love as a r a t i o n a l as w e l l as emotional process, complains: . . . Jane Austen was always coy over love scenes, and so f a i l e d to make good . . . the personal f a s c i n a t i o n of Willoughby . . . Marianne's transports seem to be mere i n f a t u a t i o n f o r a worthless object.4  2  S h e i l a Kaye-Smith and. G. B. Stern, Talking of Jane Austen, London, C a s s e l l & Co., 1943, p. 126. 3 Gisborne, op. c i t . , p. 174. 4 Ernest Baker, The History of the English Novel, V o l . V I , New.York, Barnes & Noble, Inc., 1929, p. 76.  77  Mr. Baker.seems to think that Jane Austen was attempting  to  e s t a b l i s h the v a l i d i t y of the l o v e - r e l a t i o n s h i p between Marianne and Willoughby.  The f a c t that "Marianne's transports seem to be mere  i n f a t u a t i o n " i s to him a f a u l t i n the novel.  Jane Austen i s  e n t i r e l y capable of presenting love w e l l ; she i s not endeavouring to present love between Marianne and Willoughby, but i s demonstrating that what they f e e l f o r each other i s not love. the "passionate" never r e a l l y love at a l l . emotions, u n l i k e E l i z a b e t h Bennet, who  As Jane Austen r e a l i z e s ,  They can v e r b a l i z e t h e i r  "not very f l u e n t l y " ^ (Pride  and P r e j u d i c e , p. 273) assures Darcy of her love, but t h e i r emotions are seen to l a c k substance.  They can be summoned i n a moment.  A  " p a r t i c u l a r l y picturesque" view i s s u f f i c i e n t to a c t i v a t e them. Jane Austen, "to f e e l " was not enough.  For  Her concept of love i s f a r  more "passionate" than that of the sentimental n o v e l i s t s .  The mind,  as w e l l as the heart, must be engaged. Perhaps much of the f a i l u r e to understand, or to recognize, Jane Austen's concept of love, i s the r e s u l t of her presentation of love.  The presentation i s an extension of part of her concept: that  i s , Jane Austen saw love as being manifested deeds.  not by words, but by  The "passionate," loquacious Willoughby makes no s a c r i f i c e  Subsequently, i n teasing Darcy, she remarks, "You might have talked to me more when you came to dinner." He defends himself. "A man who had f e l t l e s s , might." (p.  285)  78  for Marianne's happiness.  The " r a t i o n a l , " l a c o n i c Darcy "bears . . .  many m o r t i f i c a t i o n s " f o r E l i z a b e t h ' s sake.  Jane Austen's true " l o v e r s "  maintain a surface of composure, but "what throbs f a s t and though hidden" l i e s j u s t beneath t h i s surface.  full,  I t i s revealed i n  flashes by the e x q u i s i t e l y sure touch of Austen's pen.  Are we to  recognize only those passions which are v o c i f e r o u s l y expressed? "Vice, adventure, p a s s i o n " — t h e s e are a l l to be found i n Jane Austen's novels.  I t requires only "ingenuity" to discover them.  The subtlety of t h e i r d e l i n e a t i o n does not i n v a l i d a t e t h e i r existence. profundity.  The measure of p e r f e c t i o n l i e s not i n profusion, but i n  BIBLIOGRAPHY General  Works  A l l e n , Walter. The E n g l i s h Novel: A Short C r i t i c a l H i s t o r y . E.P. Dutton & Co., 1954. A l l o t t , Miriam. N o v e l i s t s on the Novel. P a u l , 1959.  New York,  London, Routledge & Kegan  Baker, Ernest. The H i s t o r y of the English Novel. Barnes & Noble, Inc., 1929.  V o l . VI. New York,  Bald, Marjory. Women-Writers of the Nineteenth Century. at the U n i v e r s i t y Press, 19 23.  Cambridge  Bate, Walter J . From C l a s s i c to Romantic: Premises of Taste i n Eighteenth Century England. New York, Harper & Bros., 1946. C l i f f o r d , James L. Eighteenth-Century English L i t e r a t u r e : Modern Essays i n C r i t i c i s m . New York, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1959. Cross, Wilbur L. The Development of the English Novel. Macmillan & Co., 1899.  New York,  Dr ew, E l i z a b e t h . The Novel: A Modern Guide to F i f t e e n E n g l i s h Masterpieces. New York, W.W. Norton & Co., 1963. Edgar, Pelham.  The A r t of the Novel.  New York, Macmillan & Co., 1933.  E l t o n , O l i v e r . A Survey of E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e , V o l . I . London, Edward Arnold, 1933. Frye, Northrop. Anatomy of C r i t i c i s m : Four Essays. Princeton U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1957. Gregor, Ian and Nicholas, Brian. Faber & Faber, 1962.  Princeton,  The Moral and the Story.  London,  H a r r i s , R.W. Reason and Nature i n the Eighteenth Century. Blandford Press, 1968.  London,  Heilbroner, R.L. 1961.  The Worldly Philosophers.  New York, Simon & Schuster,  Holloway, Laura C. An Hour with Charlotte BrontM. & Wagnalls, 1883.  New York, Funk  James, Henry. The House of F i c t i o n : Essays on the Novel by Henry James. Edited w i t h an Introduction by Leon Edel. London, Rupert Hart-Davies, 1957. K a r l , Frederick. An Age of F i c t i o n : The Nineteenth Century B r i t i s h Novel. New York, F a r r a r , Straus & Giroux, 1964. K e t t l e , Arnold. An Introduction to the Novel. Leavis, F.R.  The Great T r a d i t i o n .  London, Chatto & Windus, 1960.  L i d d e l l , Robert. Some P r i n c i p l e s of F i c t i o n . U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1954. Lodge, David. Language of F i c t i o n : A n a l y s i s of the E n g l i s h Novel.  London, Hutchinson, 1963.  Bloomington, Indiana  Essays i n C r i t i c i s m and Verbal London, Routledge & Kegan P a u l , 1966.  McCullough, Bruce. Representative English N o v e l i s t s : Defoe to Conrad. New York, Harper & Bros., 1946. McDowell, Arthur. Realism: A Study i n Art and Thought. Methuen & Co., 1918.  London,  M c K i l l o p , Alan Dugald. The Early Masters of E n g l i s h F i c t i o n . Lawrence, U n i v e r s i t y of Kansas Press, 1956. M a r s h a l l , Percy. 1962.  Masters of the E n g l i s h Novel.  London, Dennis Dobson,  Maugham, Somerset. Ten Novels and Their Authors. Heinemann L t d . , 1954.  London, W.  N e i l l , S. Diana. A Short History of the English Novel. J a r r o l d s , 1951.  London,  Rathburn, R.C. and Steinmann, M. From Jane Austen to Joseph Conrad. Minneapolis, U n i v e r s i t y of Minnesota Press, 1958. Shapiro, Charles" (ed.). Twelve O r i g i n a l Essays on Great E n g l i s h Novels. D e t r o i t , Wayne State U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1960. Spector, Robert Donald (ed.). Essays on the Eighteenth Century Novel. Bloomington, Indiana U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1965. Stang, Richard. The Theory of the Novel i n England, 1850-1870. New York, Columbia U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1966. Steeves, Harrison R. Before Jane Austen. & Winston, 1965.  New York, Holt Rinehart  Stephen, L e s l i e . English L i t e r a t u r e and Society i n the Eighteenth Century. London, Duckworth & Co., 1904. Stevenson, L i o n e l . & Co., 1960.  The E n g l i s h Novel: A Panorama.  London, Constable  Summers, Montague. The Gothic Quest: A History of the Gothic Novel. New York, R u s s e l l & R u s s e l l , 1964. T i l l y a r d , E.M.W. The Epic S t r a i n i n the English Novel. Chatto & Windus, 1958.  London,  Tompkins, J.M.S. The Popular Novel i n England, 1770-1800. U n i v e r s i t y of Nebraska Press, 1961.  Lincoln,  Van Ghent, Dorothy. The E n g l i s h Novel: Form and Function. York, Rinehart & Co., 1953.  New  Wagenknecht, E.C. Cavalcade of the E n g l i s h Novel from E l i z a b e t h to George VI. New York, H o l t , 1943. Watt, Ian. The N o v e l i s t as Innovator. Corporation, 1965.  London, B r i t i s h Broadcasting  Watt, Ian. The Rise of the Novel: Studies i n Defoe, Richardson, and F i e l d i n g . London, Chatto & Windus, 1957. W i l l e y , B a s i l . The Eighteenth Century Background. Press, 1961. Woolf, V i r g i n i a . The Common Reader. Woolf, 1929.  Boston, Beacon  London, Leonard and V i r g i n i a  Periodical Articles Becker, George G. "Realism: an Essay i n D e f i n i t i o n . " Notes, V o l . X, 1949, pp. 184-95.  Modern Language  Heilman, Robert B. " F i e l d i n g and the F i r s t Gothic R e v i v a l . " Language Notes, V o l . L V I I , 1942, pp. 671-3.  Modern  Jane Austen Biographies, L e t t e r s , C r i c i c i s m s Aldington, Richard. Jane Austen.  Pasadena, Castle Press, 1948.  Apperson, George Latimer. A Jane Austen D i c t i o n a r y . Palmer, 1932.  London, C e c i l  Austen-Leigh, W i l l i a m and Richard A. Jane Austen, her L i f e and L e t t e r s : A Family Record. London, Smith E l d e r , 1913. Babb, Howard S. Jane Austen's Novels: The Fabric of Dialogue; . Columbus, Ohio State U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1962. B a i l e y , John Cann. Introductions to Jane Austen. U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1931. Becker, May.  Presenting Miss Jane Austen.  London, Oxford  New York, Dodd Mead, 1952.  Bonnell, Henry H. Charlotte Bronte, George E l i o t , Jane Austen: Studies i n Their Works. New York, Longmans Green, 1902. Booth, B. A. (ed.). Pride and Prejudice: Text, Backgrounds, C r i t i c i s m . New York, Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1963. Bradbrook, Frank W. Jane Austen: Emma. (Studies i n E n g l i s h L i t e r a t u r e No. 3.) London, Edward A r n o l d , 1961. Brown, Lloyd Wellesley. The Novels of Jane Austen: A Study of the Language of Comedy. Toronto, unpublished Thesis, 1967. C e c i l , Lord David. Jane Austen; The L e s l i e Stephen Lecture d e l i v e r e d before the U n i v e r s i t y of Cambridge on 1 May, 1935. Cambridge, Cambridge U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1935. Chapman, R. W. Jane Austen: Facts and Problems'. Press, 1948. Craik, W. A. Firkens, O.W.  Jane Austen: The Six Novels. Jane Austen.  Heath, William (ed.). & Co., 1961.  Oxford at the Clarendon  London, Methuen & Co., 1965.  New York, R u s s e l l & R u s s e l l , 1965.  Discussions of Jane Austen.  Boston, D.C.  Helm, W. H. Jane Austen and her Country-House Comedy. House, 1909.  Heath  London, Fawside  Jack, Adolphus A. Essays on the Novel as I l l u s t r a t e d by Scott and Miss Austen. London, Macmillan, 1897. Jenkins, E l i z a b e t h . Cudahy, 1949.  Jane Austen. New York, F a r r a r , Straus &  Johnson, Reginald B. Jane Austen: Her L i f e , Her Work, Her Family, and Her C r i t i c s . London, J . M. Dent & Sons, 1930. Kaye-Smith, S h e i l a and Stern, G. B. C a s s e l l & Co., 1943. .  More Talk of Jane Austen.  Talking of Jane Austen.  London,  London, C a s s e l l & Co., 1950.  Kennedy, Margaret. Jane Austen. London, Barker, 1950. L a s c e l l e s , Mary. Jane Austen and Her A r t . Press, 1958.  London, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y  L a s k i , Marghanita. Jane Austen and Her World. Hudson, 1969.  London, Thames &  Lerner, Lawrence. The Truth T e l l e r s : Jane Austen, George E l i o t , D. H. Lawrence. London, Chatto & Windus, 1967. L i d d e l l , Robert. The Novels of Jane Austen. London, Longmans Green, 1963. L i t z , A. Walton. Jane Austen: A Study of Her A r t i s t i c Development. New York, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1965. Mitton, G. E.  Jane Austen and Her Times.  London, Methuen & Co., 1905.  Moler, Kenneth L. Jane Austen's A r t of A l l u s i o n . of Nebraska Press, 1968.  Lincoln, University  Mudrick, M. Jane Austen: Irony as Defense and Discovery. Princeton U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1952.  Princeton,  P o l l o c k , W. H. Jane Austen: Her Contemporaries and Herself. Longmans Green, 1899. Rhydderch, David. Jane Austen, Her L i f e and A r t . Cape, 1932.  London, Jonathan  Seymour, Beatrice Kean. Jane Austen: Study f o r a P o r t r a i t . Michael Joseph, 1937. Sherry, Norman.  Jane Austen.  London,  London, Evans Brothers, 1966.  London,  Southam, B. G. Jane Austen: The C r i t i c a l Heritage. & Kegan Paul, 1968.  London, Routledge  Jane Austen's L i t e r a r y Manuscripts: A Study of the N o v e l i s t ' s Development through the Surviving Papers. London, Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1964. Ten Harmsel, H. Jane Austen: A Study i n F i c t i o n a l Conventions. Hague, Mouton, 1964. Thomson, C. L. 1929.  Jane Austen: A Survey.  The  London, Horace M a r s h a l l & Son,  Warner, S y l v i a Townsend. Jane Austen, 1775-1817. London, published for The B r i t i s h Council by Longmans Green, 1951. Watt, Ian (ed.). Jane Austen: A C o l l e c t i o n of C r i t i c a l Essays. Englewood C l i f f s , P r e n t i c e - H a l l , Inc., 1963. Wiesenfarth, Joseph. The Errand of Form: An Assay of Jane Austen's A r t . New York, Fordham U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1967. Wright, Andrew H. Jane Austen's Novels: A Study i n Structure. Chatto & Windus, 1953.  London,  Periodical Articles Bradbury, Malcolm. "Jane Austen's Emma." C r i t i c a l Quarterly, V o l . IV, No. 4 (Winter, 1962), pp 335-46. Brower, Reuben A. "The C o n t r o l l i n g Hand: Jane Austen and P r i d e and Prejudice." Scrutiny, X I I I (1945), pp 99-111. Bush, Douglas. "Mrs. Bennet and the Dark Gods: The Truth about Jane Austen." Sewanee Review, LXIV (1956), pp 591-96. Daiches, David. "Jane Austen, K a r l Marx and the A r i s t o c r a t i c Dance." The American Scholar, XVII (1947), pp 289-96. Harding, D. W. "Regulated Hatred: An Aspect of the Work of Jane Austen." Scrutiny, V I I I (1940), pp 346-62. K l i g e r , Samuel. "Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice i n The EighteenthCentury Mode." U n i v e r s i t y of Toronto Quarterly, XVI (1947), pp 357-70. Leavis, Q. D. "A C r i t i c a l Theory of Jane Austen's Writings." X (June, 1941), pp 61-87.  Scrutiny,  "'Lady Susan' into 'Mansfield Park'," Scrutiny, X (October, 1941; January, 1942), pp 114-142, pp 272-294.  Leavis, Q. D. "A C r i t i c a l Theory of Jane Austen's Writings: I I I The L e t t e r s . " Scrutiny, X I I (Spring, 1944), pp 104-119. Parks, Edd W i n f i e l d . "Jane Austen's A r t of Rudeness." of Toronto Quarterly, XX (1951), pp 381-87. Schorer, Mark. pp 72-91  University  "Pride Unprejudiced." Kenyon Review, XVIII (1956),  S c o t t , S. M. " P r i d e , P r e j u d i c e , and Property." Michigan Alumni Quarterly Review, LVII (1951), pp 172-99.  Novels Austen, Jane. Northanger Abbey and Persuasion. Sense and S e n s i b i l i t y . Mansfield Park. Emma. (The Text Based on C o l l a t i o n of the Early E d i t i o n s by R. W. Chapman, I n F i v e Volumes.) Third E d i t i o n , Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 1933. Love and Freindship and Other Early Works. (Now F i r s t P r i n t e d from the O r i g i n a l i s . by Jane Austen), London, Chatto & Windus, 1922. P r i d e and Prejudice .  Boston, Houghton M i f f l i n Co., 1956.  Burney, Fanny. Camilla. Vols. I-V. P r i n t e d f o r T. Payne, at the Mews-Gate, and T. C a d e l l Jun. and W. Davies i n the Strand, 1796. .  Evelina.  New York, W. W. Norton & Co., 1965.  Proust, Marcel. Swann's Way. (Trans. C. K. Scott Moncrieff.) York, Modern L i b r a r y , 1928. R a d c l i f f e , Ann. (no date).  The Mysteries of Udolpho.  Richardson, Samuel.  Pamela.  Thackeray, W. M. Vanity F a i r . 1955.  New  New York, Juniper Press  New York, W. W. Norton & Co.-, 1958. New York, Holt,.Rinehart & Winston,  Walpole, Horace. The Castle of Otranto. New York, H o l t , Rinehart & Winston, 1963.  

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0102096/manifest

Comment

Related Items