Jane Austen, and the riddle in “Emma”

I was re-re-re-re-reading “Emma” by Jane Austen, and impressed afresh by her wit and observation…but this time around, I decided to google for the unfinished and unexplained riddle that Mr Woodhouse keeps referring to:

“Kitty, a fair but frozen maid
Kindled a flame I yet deplore
The hoodwink’d boy I called to aid,
Though of his near approach afraid,
So fatal to my suit before.”

And I got this explanation, which, I must say, stunned me….

click here to read it

My goodness, three answers to the riddle, one of them extremely “naughty” for Jane Austen’s time! Well, I don’t blush, thank goodness…but some of what the writer speculates on AFTER talking about the riddle might make me do so!

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