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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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Within a short walk of Longbourn lived a family with whom the Bennets were particularly intimate. Sir William Lucas had been formerly in trade in Meryton, where he had made a tolerable fortune, and risen to the honour of knighthood by an address to the King, during his mayoralty. The distinction had perhaps been felt too strongly. It had given him a disgust to his business, and to his residence in a small market town; and, quitting them both, he had removed with his family to an house about a mile from Meryton, denominated from that period Lucas Lodge, where he could think with pleasure of his own importance, and, unshackled by business, occupy himself solely in being civil to all the world. For, though elated by his rank, it did not render him supercilious; on the contrary, he was all attention to everybody. By nature inoffensive, friendly, and obliging, his presentation at St. James's had made him courteous.
05 lucas Pride and Prejudice

1
  • Intimacy is proximity.
  • Though service is rewarded, it was rewarded for the rich.
  • Anyone who comes near the king, the seat of power, shares his power.
  • Man kicks away the ladder by which he rose.
  • Distancing from others is a form of status.
  • Disgust of trade that elevated him makes him disgusting.
  • One who wishes to be civil to all the world for its own sake, is certainly not civilised.
  • The business that raised him instead of receiving gratitude receives disgust.
  • Rank by itself cannot elevate one.
  • Names of the houses are symbols of prestige.
  • Man dwells constantly on his small achievement.
  • The small saturates itself with self-adulation.
  • By pleasing others Lucas pleases himself.
  • Empty smallness is elated.
  • Small strength becomes supercilious by rising.
  • Energy in him expresses positively pleasing others.
  • Goodness rewarded is inoffensive.
  • He who has received no offence can be inoffensive.
  • Bingley is inoffensive by nature as well as his position.
  • Being inoffensive, not only attracts people but wealth too.
  • Sir Lucas is an inoffensive Collins for which reason Charlotte married him.

Lady Lucas was a very good kind of woman, not too clever to be a valuable neighbour to Mrs. Bennet. They had several children. The eldest of them, a sensible, intelligent young woman, about twenty-seven, was Elizabeth's intimate friend.

7
  • Insensible parents beget sensible children.
  • A good kind woman is incapable of malice.
  • Lady Lucas, to preserve her new status, is obliged to be good.
  • Even she is not incapable of spreading Lydia’s elopement.
  • Real kindness and goodness is helpless against human nature.
  • By 27 a girl at that time goes out of the marriage market.
  • Charlotte’s intimacy with Elizabeth brings Longbourn to her.

That the Miss Lucases and the Miss Bennets should meet to talk over a ball was absolutely necessary; and the morning after the assembly brought the former to Longbourn to hear and to communicate.

10
  • A ball is the real centre of social existence of women.
  • The less important goes to the weighty neighbour.
  • A ball is more lived before and after

"You began the evening well, Charlotte," said Mrs. Bennet, with civil self-command, to Miss Lucas. "You were Mr. Bingley's first choice."

11
  • Civil Self-command is a social virtue, however thin it is.
  • To please another at least by speech is not easily acquired.

"Yes; but he seemed to like his second better." 05 charlotte Pride and Prejudice

13
  • Miss Lucas speaks the truth in the same strain.
  • Raise in social status, obliges one to be courteous.
  • Miss Lucas is incapable of competition.
  • Without goodwill, good speech is impossible.
  • Jane’s beauty was striking. So Bingley readily chose her.
  • His marrying her readily in the end is shown by this ready choice.
  • The unreserved good opinion of Charlotte expresses the value of sincerity.
  • Sincerity is a value that takes one to the causal plane.

"Oh! You mean Jane, I suppose, because he danced with her twice. To be sure that did seem as if he admired her -- indeed I rather believe he did -- I heard something about it -- but I hardly know what -- something about Mr. Robinson."

14
  • It was not a period where the culture of not overhearing was born
  • What Mrs.Bennet believed she saw.

"Perhaps you mean what I overheard between him and Mr. Robinson: did not I mention it to you? Mr. Robinson's asking him how he liked our Meryton assemblies, and whether he did not think there were a great many pretty women in the room, and which he thought the prettiest? And his answering immediately to the last question -- 'Oh! The eldest Miss Bennet, beyond a doubt; there cannot be two opinions on that point.'"

16
  • Robinson elicits Bingley’s opinion; she does not wait for him to speak, not in taste.
  • Bingley’s good opinion of Jane is unequivocal.

"Upon my word! Well, that was very decided indeed -- that does seem as if -- but, however, it may all come to nothing, you know."

19
  • A shallow character’s satisfaction disrupts work.
  • Mrs. Bennet’s ‘It may all come to nothing’ becomes initially true.

"My overhearings were more to the purpose than yours, Eliza," said Charlotte. "Mr. Darcy is not so well worth listening to as his friend, is he? Poor Eliza! To be only just tolerable."

21
  • Charlotte overhears. It is one reason why her value of good will is diluted.
  • Charlotte’s reporting ‘tolerable’ is not in good taste.
  • Mrs. Bennet too is sensitive.
  • Later, Lizzy says it is a misfortune to like him.
  • One desists from overhearing when the desire not to intrude into one’s privacy becomes a sensitivity.
  • Social development has several cultural landmarks of which the inability to overhear is one.
  • A human situation lends itself to infinite interpretations since the situation and the observer are infinite.
  • The outer reflects the inner is an absolute rule. The more you insist on it, the greater is the self-awareness as well as life-awareness.

"I beg you would not put it into Lizzy's head to be vexed by his ill-treatment, for he is such a disagreeable man, that it would be quite a misfortune to be liked by him. Mrs. Long told me last night that he sat close to her for half an hour without once opening his lips."

25
  • Aloofness is indicative of superiority.
  • Even Mrs. Bennet is sensitive to her speaking so. Meryton does not enjoy high manners.
  • Mrs. Bennet’s ‘misfortune’ later comes true.
  • Not to speak without introduction is British culture.

"Are you quite sure, ma'am? Is not there a little mistake?" Said Jane. "I certainly saw Mr. Darcy speaking to her."

27
  • Jane finds no fault in Darcy.
  • Easy access is a measure of politeness.

"Ay -- because she asked him at last how he liked Netherfield, and he could not help answering her; -- but she said he seemed very angry at being spoke to."

30
  • What one is to everyone inevitably is manners, not when it is selective.
  • Mrs. Long speaks without introduction, a rude manner.

"Miss Bingley told me," said Jane, "that he never speaks much, unless among his intimate acquaintance. With them he is remarkably agreeable."

31
  • Jane justifies Darcy’s behaviour. Her wanting to be flawless makes her think the world is flawless.
  • Harmony of the weak reflects weakness, not harmony.

"I do not believe a word of it, my dear. If he had been so very agreeable, he would have talked to Mrs. Long. But I can guess how it was: everybody says that he is eat up with pride, and I dare say he had heard somehow that Mrs. Long does not keep a carriage, and had come to the ball in a hack chaise."

33
  • One who does not speak to strangers visits assemblies as a vulgar ostentation.
  • Mrs. Bennet has a fertile imagination about her not having a carriage.
  • Affectionate solicitude is one relationship of a sensible person to one who is strong and bright in some ways.

"I do not mind his not talking to Mrs. Long," said Miss Lucas, "but I wish he had danced with Eliza."

36
  • Miss Lucas has great goodwill towards Lizzy, but indelicate.

"Another time, Lizzy," said her mother, "I would not dance with him, if I were you."

37
  • Popularity of one and notoriety of another are simultaneous and equal.
  • Mrs. Bennet persisting in denouncing Darcy, confirms in the subtle plane her wedding.

"I believe, ma'am, I may safely promise you never to dance with him."

38
  • Offence is sensitivity touched negatively.

"His pride," said Miss Lucas, "does not offend me so much as pride often does, because there is an excuse for it. One cannot wonder that so very fine a young man, with family, fortune, everything in his favour, should think highly of himself. If I may so express it, he has a right to be proud."

39
  • Miss Lucas is not offended by a wealthy man’s pride. She marries a stupid man for his wealth unoffended by his stupidity.
  • Money is social power. It excuses even arrogance.
  • The rights in the society are the collection of individual attitudes.
  • Emotional rationality confines itself to emotions experienced.
  • Information, opinions, and knowledge press for expression.
  • Pedantry is to speak what one has read.
  • That which distinguishes vanity from pride is discrimination.
  • Mary is given to contemplation.
  • Her distinguishing vanity and pride explain her experience.
  • Charlotte admires family and fortune. They come to her as wealth and patronage.
  • (Also family and fortune came to Elizabeth who scorned it in a greater measure.)
  • Mind can be rational, not emotions.
  • Ideas of Mind press for expressions.

"That is very true," replied Elizabeth, "and I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine."

42
  • Darcy’s offence to Eliza finds justification from neglected Mary.
  • Self-complacency, Self-esteem, Pride, Vanity are the grades in self-evaluation.
  • Wealth in a small man overrides culture, turn to enjoyable possessions.

"Pride," observed Mary, who piqued herself upon the solidity of her reflections, "is a very common failing, I believe. By all that I have ever read, I am convinced that it is very common indeed; that human nature is particularly prone to it, and that there are very few of us who do not cherish a feeling of self-complacency on the score of some quality or other, real or imaginary. Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonimously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us."

43
  • A rich man evokes the aspiration of others to become rich.

"If I were as rich as Mr. Darcy," cried a young Lucas, who came with his sisters, "I should not care how proud I was. I would keep a pack of foxhounds, and drink a bottle of wine every day."

48
  • Aspiration is for dissipation in the young Lucas.
  • Even as a thought Mrs.Bennet could not concede prosperity to another.
  • Mrs. Bennet would not suffer anyone else enjoying.
  • Imaginary positions are intensely real to excitable personalities.
  • Physical personalities cannot stop quarrelling unless separated.
  • Mrs. Bennet and the young Lucas are of the same level.

"Then you would drink a great deal more than you ought," said Mrs. Bennet; "and if I were to see you at it, I should take away your bottle directly."

50
  • Contentions physical continue till the scène lasts.

The boy protested that she should not; she continued to declare that she would, and the argument ended only with the visit.

51

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