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Could a linguist, could a grammarian, could even a mathematician have seen what she did, . . .without feeling that circumstances had been at work to make them peculiarly interesting to each other?—How much more must an imaginist, like herself, be on fire with speculation and foresight!—especially with such a groundwork of anticipation as her mind had already made.
We Janeites like to credit Austen with "coining" the term "imaginist," which appears in today's quote in its only use in the six novels. Actually the term appeared in the Universal Magazine in 1806 [Source: OED]. Nevertheless, if we discuss the concept as aptly applied to Emma, who, precisely, are they ("them") in the quote?