Do you remember this section from a passage from `Emma’ by Jane Austen?
Human nature is so well disposed towards those who are in interesting situations, that a young person, who either marries or dies, is sure of being kindly spoken of.
She goes on to write:
The charming Augusta Hawkins, in addition to all the usual advantages of perfect beauty and merit, was in possession of an independent fortune, of so many thousands as would always be called ten; a point of some dignity, as well as some convenience: the story told well; he had not thrown himself away--he had gained a woman of 10,000 l. or thereabouts; and he had gained her with such delightful rapidity--the first hour of introduction had been so very soon followed by distinguishing notice; the history which he had to give Mrs. Cole of the rise and progress of the affair was so glorious--the steps so quick, from the accidental rencontre, to the dinner at Mr. Green's, and the party at Mrs. Brown's--smiles and blushes rising in importance-with consciousness and agitation richly scattered--the lady had been so easily impressed--so sweetly disposed--had in short, to use a most intelligible phrase, been so very ready to have him, that vanity and prudence were equally contented.
It may be interesting to note that £10 000 in the 1800s is probably worth (according to some website) to be worth around £384 622 today. This amount could possibly quicken the pulse of some young men as they contemplate following their loved one through clearing to the same university!
Would it be possible to think that some parents could contemplate placing the care of their child in the hands of a tutor within the first hour of introduction? Could parents meet the tutor, discuss their child, understand what the tutor offered and make a decision in such a short time? Of course! And why not? Most parents will work on recommendations. After all, Mr. Elton would not have got near to Augusta Hawkins if he had not been introduced.