Volume 4, Book 8, Chapters 6-10

A Contest; Mortimer as Elizabeth Bennet: Lady Delvile as a Lady Russell type with Cecilia as an Anne Elliot; Hugh Thomson's later 19th century illustrations of Austen & Evelina; Hugh Thomson's later 19th century illustrations of Austen & EvelinaAn Unnamed Woman Whose History is Not Concluded

From: Oldbuks@aol.com
Subject: Cecilia, Vol. IV, Bk. VIII, Ch. VI, A Contest, Part One

And what a contest!

Cecilia was shocked when Delvile demonstrated just how undutiful a son he could be. He let fly with just how ill used he felt he had been; after all, it was apparent that his mother and Cecilia had arranged it all without consulting him.

" ' In this presence, at least, I hope I may be heard; though my letters have been unanswered, my visits refused, though inexorably you have flown me -- ' " (p. 671)

Mrs. Delvile was not pleased: " ' Mortimer, ... forget not that what I have told you is irrevocable; you now meet Miss Beverley for no other purpose than to give and receive a mutual release of all tie or engagement with each other.'

Mortimer was not to prove quite so amenable: " ' Pardon me, madam, ... this is a condition to which I have never assented. I come not to release, but to claim her! I am hers, and hers wholly! I protest it in the face of the world! The time, therefore, is now past for the sacrifice which you demand, since scarce are you more my mother, than I consider her as my wife. ' " (p. 671)

Mrs. Delvile already had a good idea of the battle before her, and she brought it to Cecilia, knowing that the girl was easier to work upon than her son. Cecilia compliantly said what Mrs. Delvile wished, but Mortimer was not buying it.

" ' Answer, speak to me, Cecilia, what is it I have done?'

' Nothing, Sir,' said Cecilia, confounded at this language in the presence of his mother, ' you have done nothing, -- but yet -- '

' Yet what? -- have you conceived to me an aversion? has any dreadful and horrible antipathy succeeded to your esteem? -- tell , tell me without disguise, do you hate, do you abhor me? ' " (p. 672)

Mrs. Delvile indignantly interrupted him, avoiding the necessity for Cecilia's answer. With great difficulty she persisted in trying to keep him to the subject she wished.

" ' What madness and absurdity! I scarce know you under the influence of such irrational violence. Why will you interrupt Miss Beverley in the only speech you ought to hear from her? Why, at once, oppress her, and irritate me, by words of more passion than reason? Go on, charming girl, finish what so wisely, so judiciously you were beginning, and then you will be released from this turbulent persecution.'

' No, madam, she must not go on!' cried Delvile, ' if she does not utterly abhor me, I will not suffer her to go on; -- Pardon, pardon me, Cecilia, but your too exquisite delicacy is betraying not only my happiness, but your own. Once more, therefore, I conjure you to hear me, and then if, deliberately and unbiassed, you renounce me, I will never more distress you by resisting your decree.' " (p. 672)

Delvile was quite eloquent, and was rapidly gaining ground, when Mrs. Delvile stopped the stream of agreeable words. Mortimer interrupted his mother, aware of Cecilia's desire which was one with his.

" ' First let her speak!' cried Delvile ...

' No, first, let her hear!' cried Mrs. Delvile. (p. 673)

It was Mrs. Delvile's turn, and she did not waste it. She played upon Cecilia's pride and self esteem:

" ' You see here, Miss Beverley, a man who adores you, and who forgets in his adoration friend, family, and connection, the opinions in which he has been educated, the honour of his house, his own former views, and all his primitive sense of duty, both public and private! -- A passion built on such a defalcation of principle renders him unworthy your acceptance; and not more ignoble for him would be a union which would blot his name from the injured stock whence he sprung, than indelicate for you, who upon such terms ought to despise him.' " (p. 673)

Emphasis mine. It was that speech which lost for Mrs. Delvile all the sympathy she had built up to that point. Obviously it struck both Mortimer and Cecilia as forcefully as it did me.

" ' Heavens, madam,' exclaimed Delvile, ' what a speech!'

' O never,' cried Cecilia, rising, 'may I hear such another! Indeed, madam, there is no occasion to prove me so deeply, for I would not now enter your family, for all the whole world could offer me!' "(pp. 673 - 674)

Mortimer reproached his mother for such a hurtful approach to severing the relationship between Cecilia and him. She answered in a manner which I found rather feeble. Reminded me of Ellen's earlier post about the never believed line of parents; "Believe me, this hurts me more than it does you!" Yeah, sure.

" ' O could I draw it out, cried Mrs. Delvile, ' and leave upon it no stain of ignominy, which what joy should my own bosom receive it, to heal the wound I have most compulsatorily inflicted!' " (p. 674)

Next, however, came a comment of critical importance for Cecilia's future:

" ' -- Were this excellent young creature portionless, I would not hesitate in giving my consent; every claim of interest would be overbalanced by her virtues, and I would not grieve to see you poor, where so conscious you were happy; but here to concede, would annihilate every hope with which hitherto I have looked up to my son.' " (p. 674)

Of course, one would have to look at Mrs. Delvile's willingness to see her son poor, with a certain amount of skepticism. She would have the opportunity to prove her words.

Cecilia also was skeptical, and had had enough of this painful conference. " ' Let us now, then, madam, ... break up the conference. I have spoken, I have heard, the decree is past, and therefore -- ' " [Mrs. Delvile tried to sugar coat the acidity of her previous comments:] ' You are indeed an angel!' cried Mrs. Delvile, rising and embracing her; ' and never can I reproach my son with what had past, when I consider for what an object the sacrifice was planned. You cannot be unhappy, you have purchased peace by exercise of virtue, and ... [etc., etc., ad nauseam] (p. 674)

Mortimer was not about so tamely to give up. Again he tried to assert his will, and Mrs. Delvile irritably responded, " ' Is this conflict, then, ... to last forever?' " She promised that the love and esteem of his parents would comfort him for his loss (c'mon now, get real). She laid on the guilt; " ' I know your heart, I know it to be formed for rectitude and duty, or destined by their neglect for repentance and horror.' " (p. 675) When Delvile responded like a whipped puppy, she gloated: " ' See,' she cried, ' see if I am deceived! can he bear even the suggestion of future contrition? Think you when it falls upon him, he will support it better? No, he will sink under it. And you, pure as you are of mind, and stedfast in principle, what would your chance of happiness with a man who never erring till he knew you, could never look at you without regret, be his fondness what it might?' " (p. 675)

Cecilia again responded as Mrs. Delvile wished, and she again larded the girl up with her saccharine sounding praises. But she had gone too far. Delvile pointed out, " ' What honour do I injure that is not factitious? What evil threatens our union, that is not imaginary?' " (p. 676)

Mrs. Delvile was cold as ice. She threatened Delvile with the curses of his father, a prospect which filled him with horror and dismay. She said that his father and she would refuse to see either of them ever again, and asked if he wished to draw Cecilia into such disgrace. Mortimer was aghast, and she twisted the knife by appealing to the more ignoble aspects of the Delvile pride lurking just beneath the skin of her son:

" ' ... blinded as you now are by passion, your nobler feelings are only obscured, not extirpated; think, then, how they will all rise in revenge of your insulted dignity, when your name becomes a stranger to your ears, and you are first saluted by one so meanly adopted! -- ' " (p. 676)

Sensing her advantage, she continued her cruel barbs until Mortimer gave up.

" ' It shall not be!' cried he, in a transport of rage, ' cease, cease to distract me! -- be content, madam, -- you have conquered!' " (p. 677)

Cecilia tried to congratulate the two on their reconciliation, but hurt by the tone Mrs. Delvile had taken, her voice faltered, and Mortimer quickly forgot his misgivings, and left his mother's side to snatch up the hand of Cecilia, exclaiming, " ' Oh Miss Beverley, if you are not happy -- ' " Cecilia, seeing Mrs. Delvile's work unraveling, tried to undo the damage she had done.

" ' I am! I am!' cried she with quickness; ' cried she with quickness; ' let me pass, -- and think no more of me. '

' That voice, -- those looks, --' cried he, still holding her, ' they speak not serenity! -- Oh if I have injured your peace, -- if that heart, which, pure as angels, deserves to be as sacred from sorrow, through my means, or for my sake, suffers any diminution of tranquility -- ' " (p. 677)

Cecilia gathered the shreds of her dignity about her, and made some soothing remarks to Mortimer. He accepted her verdict, and rushed from the room.

But that would not be all. The battle was not yet won.

The rest of the commentary on this pivotal chapter will appear tomorrow.

Jill Spriggs

Subject: Cecilia, Vol. IV, Bk. VIII, Ch. VI, A Contest, Part Two

Mrs. Delvile, in transports of triumph and relief, embraced Cecilia, gushing flattering accolades. But words were not enough to console her, and she dissolved in tears. Cecilia fled the presence of Delvile's mother, and made the stairs that ascended to her apartment. Unfortunately, Mortimer had stopped there, attempting to compose himself before he left the house, and, seeing Cecilia, thought she might have been seeking him out. Unable to orally deny this, she shook her head and attempted to pass him, when Mortimer saw evidence of her anguish. Cecilia tried to deny any disquietude, but Mortimer was no dunce, and was filled with remorse. Mrs. Delvile entered in time to see the unfolding of this scene with horror. Cecilia, overcome by emotion, " ... tottered, and was obliged to cling to the bannisters." (p. 679) Mortimer quickly offered assistance, which Cecilia denied. Since she would be unable to ascend the stairs, she hesitatingly returned to the parlor. Mrs. Delvile rushed to offer assistance, and urged Mortimer to leave.

Too late.

Cecilia, embarrassed by the weakness she had betrayed, tried to reassure Mortimer. She pled illness, and expressed a desire for solitude in her own room. Prematurely; she again felt faint, and was obliged to again seat herself. Mortimer, repentant, begged forgiveness.

" ' Can I bear this!' cried Delvile, ' no, it shakes all my resolution! -- loveliest and most beloved Cecilia! forgive my rash declaration, which I here retract and forswear, and which no false pride, no worthless vanity shall again surprise from me! raise, then, your eyes -- ' " (p. 679)

Mrs. Delvile had had a rough day. Once again she would have to do battle with her impetuous son. Her anger imparted some strength to Cecilia, who began to rise and leave, when Delvile " .. rushed between them both and the door ... " and blocked their egress. Mrs. Delvile angrily commanded him to allow them to pass, and the moment of truth had been reached. Mortimer dashed across the room, and "snatching the hand of Cecilia from his mother, he exclaimed, ' I cannot, I will not give her up! -- nor now, madam, nor ever! -- I protest it most solemnly! I affirm it by my best hopes! I swear it by all I hold most sacred!' " (p. 680)

Mrs. Delvile, thwarted once too many times, collapsed. Mortimer and Cecilia found her where she had fled to the next room, and fell, " ... her face, hands, and neck all covered with blood!" (p. 680)

Mortimer filled with repentant agony, tried to elicit some speech from his mother, but she was unable to talk. Cecilia summoned the servants, and Mortimer sent one for a physician. He tried to assist his mother to a chair, but she scornfully refused any help from her son. Servants had to help her. A physician shortly arrived, and Cecilia went to the next room during the examination. Mortimer attempted to speak with her, but instead went into the hall, where he paced until the doctor finished his examination. The surgeon told him that his mother had burst a blood vessel, and that she must be kept " ' ... quiet and easy, and upon no account suffered to talk, or to use any exertion. ' " (p. 681)

Mortimer took the good news to Cecilia, who then urged him to give his mother the reassurance she most wanted. " ' ... go to her then, and calm the tumult of her spirits, by acquiescing wholly in her will, and being to her again the son she thinks she had lost!' " (p. 681)

He concurred, saying he had bracing himself to do just that. He hadonly waited for Cecilia to agree, before he took on the task. Cecilia urged that they do it together.

The two faced the ailing mother, and Cecilia offered her shoulder for Mrs. Delvile to lean upon while she and Delvile spoke with her. When Mrs. Delvile gave Mortimer a look of displeasure, he fell to one knee and begged forgiveness, offering to comply with her desire. Cecilia reinforced Mortimer's statement, and then Mortimer begged, " ' Revive, then, my mother, ... rely upon our plighted honours, and think only of your health, for your son will never more offend you.' " (p. 682)

Mrs. Delvile was satisfied. She held out her hand to her son, while embracing Cecilia with her other arm. When her emotions found vent in a flood of tears, Cecilia urged Mortimer to leave, fearing further bleeding. He did, and Mrs. Delvile was gently carried to Cecilia's room, her mouth still filling with blood..

Cecilia certainly had her work cut out for her. She had two invalids to nurse. Before she could visit Mrs. Charlton, and apprise her of the recent events, Mortimer returned to tell her that he was going to the home of Dr. Lyster. Only the beloved family doctor would really make him comfortable with her care. Cecilia told him that his mother would be accommodated there until she was well enough to be moved, and he expressed his melancholy appreciation. Struggling with emotion, he tried to gasp out his still passionate love, but Cecilia urged him to hurry to Dr. Lyster. Mortimer did apologize for his vehemence, and Cecilia assured him there was no need for forgiveness.

This guy is so emotional! I know this was supposed to be intense, but I struggled to repress a smile as once again Mortimer was distracted by Cecilia's distress:

" ' Deeply penetrated by her apparent distress, he with difficulty restrained himself from falling at her feet ... ' " (p. 684)

This guy is apparently so fond of falling on his knees to whichever female seems to be nearby, I began to think he should just save time by staying there.

What a day. Cecilia forgot all about her ailing charges, in apparent stupefaction. At least soon enough she would have enough duties to keep her very busy for the next few days.

Jill Spriggs

To Austen-l

September 20, 1998

Re: Cecilia, IV:8:6: Mortimer as Elizabeth Bennet: Lady Delvile as a Lady Russell type with Cecilia as an Anne Elliot

I'd like to add this to Jill's post from the point of view of Austen's novels: in a number of places Mortimer's argument that he and Cecilia ought not to yield to his mother and part, echoes the sentiments Elizabeth Bennet expresses to Lady Catherine.

I will cite just one example out of many. He says:

"In the general commerce of the world it may be right to yield to its prejudices , but in matters of serious importance, it is weakness to be shackled by scruples so frivolous, and it is cowardly to be governed by customs we condemn. Religion and the laws alone should be consulted, and where those are neither opposed nor infringed, we should hold ourselves superior to other considerations. (Cecilia Oxford ed. MADoody and PSabor, p 676)

It is interesting to note that Burney through Mortimer yields far more than Elinor Dashwood ever does: Elinor tells Marianne that her opinion is we may yield in our outward behavior but never on our values or in our behavior on anything that counts strongly. What is the point of being governed by customs we condemn? But in the rest of his speeches Mortimer is as radical as Elizabeth in his refusal to kowtow to family, false pride, prejudice.

The question of course arises, how we are to take this? Are we to see Cecilia as the victim of the mind's shackes? It's hard to say that since we are clearly to sympathise and feel for her. Towards the end of the scene Burney really captures an atmosphere of a presence cracking up under the strain:

'"Let me too, -- ' her voice failed her, she stopt short, and hoping she had been unheard, would have glided out of the room'" (p. 677).

Other comments Cecilia makes throughout the book strike me as Burney talking to herself, e.g., in the previous chapter:

'"But surely', said Cecilia, 'though people of refinement are rare, yet they exist; why, then, remove yourself from the possibility of meeting with them?"' (p. 668).

The answer is bitter rage which turns against the self -- which is how Belfield feels, why he is descending to a solitary laborer, and why he is so interesting, partly because he can also say: '"I need no new lessons to instruct me that to conquer affliction is more wise than to relate it"' (p. 667)

I know we are to dislike Mrs Delvile very much, and the moral and emotional blackmail is made transparent in a way it is never made in Austen. (Of course in real life it is not transparent; Burney does not have the same interest in psychological reality.) I also think the passion is all on the side of Mortimer and Cecilia's desires: "'I am hers, and hers wholly! I protest it in the face of the world." At one point his language is just that of Wentworth: "You pierce my soul" (p 671).

What a complex fiction and how curious the intersections with Austen's. Comments anyone?

Ellen Moody

To Austen-l

Re: Burney: Cecilia:IV:8:6: The Contest

September 21, 1998

This is written in response to both Nancy's and Jill's posts.

I know there are very great differences between Austen's presentation of this paradigm of authority coercing the individual through the use of social conventions of all sorts plus ideas about prudence and what's due one's ego, but there are also continual analogies and by setting this fiction alongside several of Austen's, it throws light onto the context in which Austen's books occur. I always think of a book as a voice in a conversation. With Burney we find another voice contributing to the same "thread" -- to steal a piece of jargon from our Internet communications and apply it to books on the same topic, written out of a closely similar perspective, in the same era, but offering a slightly different "take" on the same matter.

The most striking problem or fault with Burney's representation is the whole objection is based on something I can not convinced many people in the period would not have thought frivolous or unimportant: changing one's name. The lack of money or connections is a much more persuasive reason for arguing a young man or woman out of marrying for love. I don't for a minute believe that Mrs Delvile would accept Cecilia were she poor. I don't know what happens next (don't remember), but I'll bet Cecilia does lose all her money and we see Mrs Delvile turn on her from another direction. Then perhaps (just surmising) it could be Mortimer marries Cecilia and keeps his wondrous name, and thus they are poor. We should see Mrs Delvile reveal the Mrs Ferrars lurking in her inmost heart.

On the other hand in Cecilia there is a vein of insight into the absolutely self-interested and ludicrous or twisted reasoning that lies behind the pressures families put on individuals within them which makes her book into much more radical criticism of the mores of the time than Austen's. I partly agree one inference we take away from this chapter is 'the cynical one that everyone will stab you in the back eventually'. My only qualification is most people will stab you in the back eventually. I see nothing wrong in this assertion; Johnson said most people were wolves; Swift, 'happiness is the state of being well-deceived; the supreme felicity of being a fool among knaves'. Amen.

Cecilia has stayed the same thus far but this too is real. Austen's heroines may have insights into themselves, but fundamentally they do not change. Who does?

I would like to mention the business of realistic characters is a complex topic. I think Monckton is absolutely real; I have met him; I believe in him. Yet Burney works very little at presenting him. She just imagined him right. Then there are levels of reality. I believe Mrs Bennet and Mr Collins are real on one level, or real enough for the fiction; but on another I know they are a caricature. Burney has many semi-realistic characters of this type.

Ellen Moody

Re: Hugh Thomson's later 19th century illustrations of Austen & Evelina

I don't know how many people on this list have gone over to Henry Churchyard's website to look at Hugh Thomson's illustrations of Austen's novels. When I saw the front cover of the 1982 BBC Sense and Sensibility, directed by Rodney Bennet (S&S1), I was struck by its similarity to one of Thomson's pictures. Before this I had never considered them appropriate at all; when transferred from a line drawing to a photograph which expresses itself through colour the pose and sensibility behind these pictures didn't seem so very off-base at all.

I write this to say I have been looking at Hugh Thomson's illustrations of Evelina. This is in connection with my Trollope project -- I am looking into illustrations of mid-, and later 19th century novels. I expected to be similarly disappointed, if not dismayed. I wasn't. For Evelina Thomson's drawings seemed singularly appropriate. I still saw the same delicate people dressed in picturesque outfits, the same genteel context, the same conversation piece mode (the psychological picturesque is what I call it when it's good). But the pictures were made slightly comic. I could make out who was Madame Duval, who the fop, who the crude sailor, and suddenly the illustrations came alive. They seemed perfect for Burney. The word for them is charming.

My first response to this is these pictures suggest how Burney does not transcend her time and Austen does so that when one sees Thomson's pictures of Austen's novels, one protests, but when one sees his pictures for Evelina one feels this is right. On second thought I'd add Austen feels more realistic; we read her books as filled with real presences; we never quite endow Burney's texts with the same life. So the comedy of Thomson's approach captures the spirit of the original very well. Austen does not have the same 18th century allegorical or theatre-rooted comedy at all.

Ellen Moody


There are two Traits in [Miss Fletcher's] character which are pleasing; namely, she admires Camilla and drinks no cream in her Tea..." -----Jane Austen, Letters

To Austen-l

September 23, 1998

Re: Cecilia:IV:8:9: An Unnamed Woman Whose History is Not Concluded

In contemporary Italian there exists a phrase which means "a woman deprived of her story" and another which means "a woman without a name." The above numbered chapter purports to be the "sad story" of Mr Albany which will explain the strange behavior we have seen him exhibit throughout the novel, which behavior includes extravagant condemnations of an oracular grimness, enigmatic gestures of grief and misery, and a life which appears to be cut off from all others. Yet I would argue it is not the story of Mr Albany, but of the young woman he never names, but towards whom he describes his behavior after he hunts her down and finds her living (a la Eliza Brandon from S&S) in a cottage with a man who has picked her off the streets and taken her in as his bedmate:

"I loaded her with execrations, I reviled her in language the most opprobrious, I insulted her even for her confession! I invoked all evil upon her form the bottom of my heart! -- She knelt at my feet, she implored my forgiveness and compassion, she wept with the bitterness of despair, -- and yet I spurned her from me! --- Spurned? -- let me not hide my shame! I barbarously struck her! -- nor single was the blow! -- it was doubled, it was reiterated!... [he curses himself thoroughly, suggests when he dies his God will not forgive him]

In this miserable condition, helpless and deplorable, mangled by these savage hands, and reviled by this inhumane tongue, I left her, in search of the villain who had destroyed her...

He cannot find the man she is now living; it seems the man upon learning of Albany's arrival at the cottage and conduct, abandoned the unnamed young woman: "cowardly as treacherous, he absconded." Now calmer, now repentant, or at least less fierce, he returns to the cottage

"but again she was gone! terrified with expectation of insult, she hid herself from all my inquiries. I wandered in search of her for two long years to no purpose..." (Oxford Cecilia, ed. MADoody & PSabor, p 706).

What has occasioned the telling of this story is Cecila's grief, another of these apparently kind but really torturing letters from Mrs Delvile, and the sudden appearance of Mr Albany. He is puzzled to discover her sick, weak, and shattered; she bursts into tears. When she confesses to him why she thinks she is sinking under terrible evils, he at long last tells his story "to awaken thee from this dream of fancied sorrow" (p 704). A bit too much of La Rochefaucauld's "the misery of others does not displease us" here, but I suppose it does as a kind of frame. What Burney is doing here is the old-fashioned inset story we find in _Tom Jones_ and other novels of the first half of the 18th century. I instance the central tale of "the man on the hill" where everyone sits down and he tells his tale of woe and we find in it themes that like a symphony return again and again throughout the novel. What is to me remarkable about this story is that it contains the kind of frank material which, in the way of Burney's tale of her masectomy, doesn't get into print until after the Victorian period. The piece is badly vitiated by the grandiose and therefore unreal and ridiculous rhetoric, but the actual details of what we are told bring home to us the kind of story of Eliza Brandon which Austen hints at but sheers away from telling. An everyday story. Something that happened everyday then, and probably in less harsh forms goes on today, less harsh because we have contraceptives and a world of social organizations to which such individuals can turn, jobs they can get, and speaking generally, a much more understanding morality.

In sum: while Mr Albany was at university, he met a 15 year old village girl. All the young men around him try to seduce her; he succeeds, but he determines to marry her. His father dies, and, shades of Sir Thomas Bertram, he must go to the Jamaica to take care of the plantation which is the source of his wealth; he leaves her to his friend who of course takes her to his bed when he has sailed away. At Jamaica, he outdoes Edward Rochester in debauchery, but at long last grows sick; he comes home to find her having gone to the streets, and landed in someone else's bed and the scene I have quoted ensues.

We are to accept that two years go by in one sentence (again notice the old-fashioned lack of verisimilitude here -- one we find in Goldsmith's _Vicar of Wakefield_ too) and he at long last discovers her once again in a whorehouse. All are drunk, and after he revives her (she faints -- never having read the Great Instruction that we may go mad as often as we please but not faint), he succeeds in taking her away to the country with him. She will not eat or drink. The modern language for her state is catatonic: "she seemed deaf, mute insensible" (p. 707). She dies; he can't bear to bury her, apparently caresses the corpse until someone tears it from him. He goes mad and three more years passed of which he has no memory.

Since then he has taken it upon himself to warn people, to go about the world like some character out of an Ingmar Bergman film giving help where he can, solacing where he can, living a life of hardship and penance. I think of the Seventh Seal or Lancelot in Zimmerman's Excalibur_.

When Cecilia has taken this story in, and says she can now measure the difference between her own plight and that of real misery, he offers to stay by her, be her friend and serve her. He too has met Belfield and says Belfield is doing the right thing. He offers to help her, to "work together" until not a "woe shall remain in her mind."

When he leaves, Cecilia feels she has had a catharsis, been strengthened, and the plan of first of all accepting what chance has thrown to her, and using it to work for others usefully seems something she can manage.

What interests me is the story of the unnamed woman. All this framework exists so Burney may put that there. A woman with no written history and no name. What happened to her? Where did she go? Burney dismisses her, forgets her. And there we have wherein Austen presents the matter more boldly and centrally in the doppelganger figure of Marianne for I have no doubt that Marianne is a realistic stand-in for Eliza whose story would not have ended so qualifiedly happy in the real world for Colonel Brandon is an escape from a Gothic and sentimental romance, a chevalier sans peur and sans reproche.

Jill is away for a few days and, faute de mieux, our group will have to make do with yours truly,



Under the intoxication of destiny, the mind may traverse lengthy periods in a few days; whereas long years may count for nothing when life is void of momentous spiritual happenings. ---Stephan Zweig, _Mary Queen of Scots_

Ellen Moody.
Pagemaster: Jim Moody.
Page Last Updated 18 January 2003