Variations on Jane Austen



Cross Examination

Counsel: Is it your considered opinion that the statement you made some time in the early nineteenth century is one that would be supported by a great many people?

Witness: It is.

Counsel: Would you care to tell the court what that statement was?

Witness: I trust the court will understand that an agreement between me and my publisher prevents me from doing so.

Counsel: Was it to the effect that unmarried men with a certain adequacy of funds are prey to the designs of mothers looking for husbands for their daughters?

Witness: I fear I cannot answer that.

Counsel:  No further questions, m’lud.