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Jane Austen's novels

How intriguing for a time to tarry in those stately ordered country homes, where charm and elegance and wit entwine. (In truth, to be dimwitted is the greatest crime dear Jane admitted.) How pleasant to join a choice dinner party, drive unhurried home in carriages, through sleet and flurried snow, two hundred years ago - then warm one's hands before a roaring fire. How delicious to be witness to fine distinctions drawn between the vicar, tradesman, yeoman, squire. To know precisely who one was and where one stood in rank must have been a comfort, in its way. And what a cause for giving thanks, when it came to Foolishness and Sense - to know that it was Sense which would invariably hold sway.

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