This was inspired by an e-mail we received today. We are not sure whether to share its contents with our Gentle Readers; it might be giving it more attention (good or bad) than it deserves. However, upon further consideration, the passage also is germane in relation to other behind-the-scenes goings-on in Janeiteland of late; we really wish more Janeites would take the lessons of Austen’s work, as well as the fun and romance, to heart. Thus, for your study and consideration, from Emma, Vol. III, Chap. X:
“Well,” said Emma, “I suppose we shall gradually grow reconciled to the idea, and I wish them very happy. But I shall always think it a very abominable sort of proceeding. What has it been but a system of hypocrisy and deceit,–espionage, and treachery?–To come among us with professions of openness and simplicity; and such a league in secret to judge us all!–Here have we been, the whole winter and spring, completely duped, fancying ourselves all on an equal footing of truth and honour, with two people in the midst of us who may have been carrying round, comparing and sitting in judgment on sentiments and words that were never meant for both to hear.–They must take the consequence, if they have heard each other spoken of in a way not perfectly agreeable!”
Here endeth the lesson.
(We really did mean this to become a regular feature, and now maybe it will.)