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This commentary was prepared by Karmayogi of The Mother’s Service Society (India). See karmayogi.net or MSS Research. The Comments column is intended for brief insightful remarks on the text. For longer comments or questions use the Talk page of this article or create a new article and add a link in the comments section of this page or under the appropriate heading on P&P project mainpage.



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Text
Comment

When Jane and Elizabeth were alone, the former, who had been cautious in her praise of Mr. Bingley before, expressed to her sister how very much she admired him.

1
  • True love is offended in mentioning it to another.
  • Acknowledging her admiration to Elizabeth, Jane’s mind moves into the subtle plane.
  • Elizabeth’s love for Jane is in the causal plane, a plane of accomplishment.

"He is just what a young man ought to be," said she, "sensible, good-humoured, lively; and I never saw such happy manners! -- so much ease, with such perfect good-breeding!"

2
  • Love sees no blemish.
  • To a lady in love, a handsome man is a perfect man.
  • Mutual confidence creates power.

"He is also handsome," said Elizabeth; "which a young man ought likewise to be, if he possibly can. His character is thereby complete."

3
  • Wishful thinking has no limits.
  • Evaluation of another is according to the suitability of the self.

"I was very much flattered by his asking me to dance a second time. I did not expect such a compliment."

5
  • Not expecting made him ask.
  • Elizabeth’s expectation is good will.
  • More than her beauty, it is Elizabeth’s good will that gets Jane married.
  • Good will is powerful.
  • Stupidity is attractive to men and women.
  • Compliments come when not expected.

"Did not you? I did for you. But that is one great difference between us. Compliments always take you by surprise, and me never. What could be more natural than his asking you again? He could not help seeing that you were about five times as pretty as every other woman in the room. No thanks to his gallantry for that. Well, he certainly is very agreeable, and I give you leave to like him. You have liked many a stupider person."

7
  • Self-forgetful good will belongs to self-giving.
  • Her self-forgetful goodwill for Jane brings her one who offers to her after self- transformation.
  • Stupidity with good manners is extremely popular.

"Dear Lizzy!"

16
  • Jane could never conceive she was stupid. She is oblivious.

"Oh! You are a great deal too apt, you know, to like people in general. You never see a fault in anybody. All the world are good and agreeable in your eyes. I never heard you speak ill of a human being in my life."

17
  • Jane is superstitious. She sees no faults. No one’s faults disturb her in the end.
  • Incapacity to see a fault prevents life from bringing any fault.
  • Incapacity to censure is capacity to accomplish.
  • One cannot be uniformly good without a little stupidity.
  • Honest blindness to other’s follies is pure goodness or dullness.
  • Elizabeth is all perception. That drives people away.
  • Sometimes stupidity is an asset. Subtlety benefits.
  • Affection of candour eliminates friends, gains society.
  • To be candid without ostentation or design is truth of character.
  • To recognise the good, be oblivious of the bad is noble.
  • Jane’s candour is of the purity of a simpleton, does not carry weight of personality.

"I would wish not to be hasty in censuring any one; but I always speak what I think."

21
  • Hesitation to censure is a spiritual quality.

"I know you do; and it is that which makes the wonder. With your good sense to be so honestly blind to the follies and nonsense of others! Affectation of candour is common enough; -- one meets it everywhere. But to be candid without ostentation or design -- to take the good of everybody's character and make it still better, and say nothing of the bad -- belongs to you alone. And so you like this man's sisters too, do you? Their manners are not equal to his."

22
  • Spirit that blinds refuses to see the folly of others.
  • Inability to see others’ weakness is spiritual, unwillingness to see is rational.
  • To improve upon others’ goodness is psychic.
  • Perceptive penetration can be on the right side too.

"Certainly not -- at first. But they are very pleasing women when you converse with them. Miss Bingley is to live with her brother, and keep his house; and I am much mistaken if we shall not find a very charming neighbour in her."

28
  • Jane is not shrewd enough to see the affectation of Caroline.
  • Hence she was her victim.
  • You see what you seek to see.
  • Taking another as he presents can be innocent or ignorant.
  • Inability to see is ignorance; unwillingness to see is innocence.
  • Jane takes Caroline’s words for facts, becoming a willing victim.
  • Jane could marry only when she undeceived herself of Caroline.
  • Completion of a work needs the removal of folly.

Elizabeth listened in silence, but was not convinced; their behaviour at the assembly had not been calculated to please in general; and with more quickness of observation and less pliancy of temper than her sister, and with a judgment too unassailed by any attention to herself, she was very little disposed to approve them. They were in fact very fine ladies; not deficient in good-humour when they were pleased, nor in the power of being agreeable where they chose it, but proud and conceited. They were rather handsome, had been educated in one of the first private seminaries in town, had a fortune of twenty thousand pounds, were in the habit of spending more than they ought, and of associating with people of rank, and were therefore in every respect entitled to think well of themselves, and meanly of others. They were of a respectable family in the north of England; a circumstance more deeply impressed on their memories than that their brother's fortune and their own had been acquired by trade. 04 bingley sisters Pride and Prejudice

31
  • Listening in silence without conviction is to suspend judgement.
  • Observation observes on the surface.
  • To have a judgement unassailed by any attention to herself is rationality that is unfailing except when charmed.
  • Pride and conceit can go hand in hand with good humour and agreeableness.
  • Inability to think meanly of others makes one a gentleman.
  • One who is aware of the respectability of his own family is not respectable.
  • Several well formed characteristics can be harboured in one’s behaviour.
  • Amiability and conceit can coexist.
  • Education gives behaviour, not character.
  • Quickness of observation needs intelligence. It is of character, not behaviour.
  • Behaviour can please all; character never escapes observation.
  • Silent listening is not conviction.
  • Pliancy of temper prevents fixities.
  • A judgment unassailed by any attention to herself is impartial.
  • Ready approval makes for easy victims.
  • Cultivation can make for fine ladies.
  • Excess vital energy is good humour in positive individual.
  • First private seminary can produce fine cultivated specimens.
  • Spending more than they ought, gives a social strength of steady domination.
  • Association with people of rank is status.
  • Thinking well of themselves is self-conceit.
  • To think meanly of others is not to be cultured.
  • Family prestige is in one’s blood.
  • Recent wealth will not bring family tradition.

Mr. Bingley inherited property to the amount of nearly an hundred thousand pounds from his father, who had intended to purchase an estate, but did not live to do it. Mr. Bingley intended it likewise, and sometimes made choice of his county; but as he was now provided with a good house and the liberty of a manor, it was doubtful to many of those who best knew the easiness of his temper, whether he might not spend the remainder of his days at Netherfield, and leave the next generation to purchase.

35
  • Easiness of temper can hardly hold on to the property.
  • An estate bought may bring status, not respectability.
  • Not money, but landed estate carried prestige then in England.
  • Easiness of temper does not exert.
  • Estate makes one a gentleman, not wealth.

His sisters were very anxious for his having an estate of his own; but, though he was now established only as a tenant, Miss Bingley was by no means unwilling to preside at his table -- nor was Mrs. Hurst, who had married a man of more fashion than fortune, less disposed to consider his house as her home when it suited her. Mr. Bingley had not been of age two years, when he was tempted by an accidental recommendation to look at Netherfield House. He did look at it, and into it, for half an hour -- was pleased with the situation and the principal rooms, satisfied with what the owner said in its praise, and took it immediately.

37
  • More than men, women are anxious for status.
  • Not only appearance of status is readily acceptable, but they canvass for status.
  • Bingley is casual, non-serious. He will be pliable.
  • To him his status and Darcy are important, not work, and not even Jane.
  • Second generation of neo-rich cannot exert, as they have no strength.
  • Mr. Bingley will choose his wife as he selected Netherfield.
  • Easiness of temper is averse to penetrating examination.

Between him and Darcy there was a very steady friendship, in spite of a great opposition of character. Bingley was endeared to Darcy by the easiness, openness, and ductility of his temper, though no disposition could offer a greater contrast to his own, and though with his own he never appeared dissatisfied. On the strength of Darcy's regard Bingley had the firmest reliance, and of his judgment the highest opinion. In understanding, Darcy was the superior. Bingley was by no means deficient, but Darcy was clever. He was at the same time haughty, reserved, and fastidious, and his manners, though well-bred, were not inviting. In that respect his friend had greatly the advantage. Bingley was sure of being liked wherever he appeared, Darcy was continually giving offence.

04 darcy bingley Pride and Prejudice

40
  • Steady friendship is enduring submissiveness.
  • Bingley and Jane are only subplots. Elizabeth and Darcy are the main plots.
  • It is not reliance but dependence.
  • Darcy’s approval is the sanction of causal plane for Bingley.
  • Bingley understands Darcy not the issues.
  • Capacity to give offence forfeits the claim to be a gentleman.
  • Steady friendship is because of opposition of character not in spite of.
  • The greater the opposition, the closer the friendship.
  • Easiness, openness, ductility are Bingley’s characteristics.
  • They make for easy domination.
  • Bingley had enough strength to possess the wealth.
  • Darcy enjoyed pliability with Bingley which crafty Wickham never allowed.
  • The strong enjoys a weak companion.
  • A strong character evokes a firm reliance and highest opinion.
  • Superior understanding evokes respects. Even cleverness does it.
  • Haughty, reserved, fastidious nature is acquired by single child.
  • Pet children are pampered and become fastidious.
  • Elizabeth was the first touch of life, Darcy had.
  • Good breeding need not be pleasant.
  • Bingley sought approval by being amiable.
  • Darcy gave offence by being aloof.

The manner in which they spoke of the Meryton assembly was sufficiently characteristic. Bingley had never met with pleasanter people or prettier girls in his life; everybody had been most kind and attentive to him; there had been no formality, no stiffness; he had soon felt acquainted with all the room; and as to Miss Bennet, he could not conceive an angel more beautiful. Darcy, on the contrary, had seen a collection of people in whom there was little beauty and no fashion, for none of whom he had felt the smallest interest, and from none received either attention or pleasure. Miss Bennet he acknowledged to be pretty, but she smiled too much.

48
  • Opinion expressed expresses character.
  • Those who accept Bingley are pleasant to him; it need not necessarily be true.
  • Being in love with the whole sex, every girl is pretty to Bingley.
  • His money received kind attention.
  • Second generation has not acquired formality, nor strength for stiffness.
  • Good looks make the first impression.
  • Darcy, being vitally sensitive, sees a collection of people.
  • Bingley seeks people; he sees a pleasant gathering.
  • Darcy, who expects high fashion, found none.
  • Opposite characters find in the same circumstance opposite things.
  • Jane is pretty but weak which makes her smile too much.
  • A comment brings out the character of the one who comments.
  • Smiling too much expresses lack of weight in the character.

Mrs. Hurst and her sister allowed it to be so; but still they admired her and liked her, and pronounced her to be a sweet girl, and one whom they should not object to know more of. Miss Bennet was therefore established as a sweet girl, and their brother felt authorised by such commendation to think of her as he chose.

52
  • Sweetness is the knowledge of love.
  • Women accepting another women’s beauty is rare.
  • Jane’s sweetness is something unmistakable.
  • Bingley waits to be authorised by his sisters to love Jane.
  • Bingley was authorised to think well of Jane shows the extent to which Bingley is pliable. He can never be a hero.
  • They are used to his tendency to fall in love with every pretty face. Jane was not expected to be an exception and would not have been had Darcy not fallen in love with Elizabeth.

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