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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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After a week spent in professions of love and schemes of felicity, Mr. Collins was called from his amiable Charlotte by the arrival of Saturday. The pain of separation, however, might be alleviated on his side, by preparations for the reception of his bride; as he had reason to hope that, shortly after his next return into Hertfordshire, the day would be fixed that was to make him the happiest of men. He took leave of his relations at Longbourn with as much solemnity as before; wished his fair cousins health and happiness again, and promised their father another letter of thanks.

1
  • A short duration of felicitous courtship is provided against a long period of mute suffering after marriage.
  • On the day of wedding, MAN surely believes it is the happiest day of his life, not realizing it means so in view of his parting with happiness forever.
  • A letter of thanks is more important for Mr. Collins.
  • Formality gains formidable significance by its material symbols.

On the following Monday Mrs. Bennet had the pleasure of receiving her brother and his wife, who came as usual to spend the Christmas at Longbourn. Mr. Gardiner was a sensible, gentlemanlike man, greatly superior to his sister, as well by nature as education. The Netherfield ladies would have had difficulty in believing that a man who lived by trade, and within view of his own warehouses, could have been so well-bred and agreeable. Mrs. Gardiner, who was several years younger than Mrs. Bennet and Mrs. Philips, was an amiable, intelligent, elegant woman, and a great favourite with all her Longbourn nieces. Between the two eldest and herself especially there subsisted a very particular regard. They had frequently been staying with her in town.

4
  • Two children of the same parents can infinitely differ, showing the infinite nature of human temperament.
  • The idea of confining the gentleman to the landed aristocracy is a superstition.
  • He certainly is more gentleman-like than Darcy or Bingley’s sisters.
  • One who is born in low culture attracts cultured partners if he is himself cultured.
  • Mr. Gardiner was to do that great service to Lydia as his wife was only close to Jane and Elizabeth.
  • The arrears of life are thus paid.
  • He escaped the financial part of Lydia’s settlement as he was averse to being obliged.
  • Education, in one generation, has made Mr. Gardiner a gentleman. As usual, education can abridge scores of generations. In terms of knowledge, it is very true. Culture can thus be abridged if the individual lends himself to the effort. Values can be so secured if one is in touch with his psychic

The first part of Mrs. Gardiner's business on her arrival was to distribute her presents and describe the newest fashions. When this was done she had a less active part to play. It became her turn to listen. Mrs. Bennet had many grievances to relate, and much to complain of. They had all been very ill-used since she last saw her sister. Two of her girls had been on the point of marriage, and after all there was nothing in it.

10
  • Mrs. Gardiner is affectionately intelligent. She is a source of solace
  • Mrs. Bennet considers herself ill-used when events do not take the course she desires
  • Complaints give an intensity to life which even enjoyment cannot.
  • Those who complain, complain against others, against life and finally against themselves.

"I do not blame Jane," she continued, "for Jane would have got Mr. Bingley if she could. But Lizzy! Oh, sister! It is very hard to think that she might have been Mr. Collins's wife by this time, had not it been for her own perverseness. He made her an offer in this very room, and she refused him. The consequence of it is, that Lady Lucas will have a daughter married before I have, and that Longbourn estate is just as much entailed as ever. The Lucases are very artful people indeed, sister. They are all for what they can get. I am sorry to say it of them, but so it is. It makes me very nervous and poorly to be thwarted so in my own family, and to have neighbours who think of themselves before anybody else. However, your coming just at this time is the greatest of comforts, and I am very glad to hear what you tell us of long sleeves."

16
  • Mrs. Bennet could have complained against Jane for not staying in Netherfield for two more days, but she did not as the intensity of the other complaint was great.
  • More than Elizabeth missing the marriage, Mrs. Bennet was aggrieved that Lady Lucas had stolen a march over her.
  • To be thwarted makes Mrs. Bennet nervous and poorly.
  • The only reference to ‘artful people’ in the story is here. Meryton seems to be a place free of active, vicious malice though the capacity for it is always present

25 mrsb Pride and Prejudice

Mrs. Gardiner, to whom the chief of this news had been given before, in the course of Jane and Elizabeth's correspondence with her, made her sister a slight answer, and, in compassion to her nieces, turned the conversation.

27
  • Patient listening makes for best friendship.
  • Mrs. Gardiner cannot have a reasonable conversation with Mrs. Bennet. Mrs. Gardiner, in that case, has to listen to Mrs. Bennet’s nerves.

When alone with Elizabeth afterwards, she spoke more on the subject. "It seems likely to have been a desirable match for Jane," said she. "I am sorry it went off. But these things happen so often! A young man, such as you describe Mr. Bingley, so easily falls in love with a pretty girl for a few weeks, and when accident separates them, so easily forgets her, that these sort of inconstancies are very frequent."

28
  • What passes for love are of several grades. Violent love is one of them and is being analysed her. Attraction, attachment, affection, goodness of behaviour, kindness verging on interest, infatuation, passion, Romantic love, idealistic adoration, etc. are the grades. Bingley is attracted to Jane. If not interfered he will marry Jane is true. But the main centre of Bingley’s personality is the status and strength of character of Darcy. He cannot be considered all by himself, as he has no independent existence. His love is a function of his life. Whatever role his sisters play, he is fully and totally dependent on Darcy
  • Bingley forgetting himself in Jane can pass for violent love
  • Mrs. Gardiner jumps to a conclusion before listening to either of her nieces.
  • Mrs. Gardiner knows the general case, not Jane’s.
  • She was not patient enough to listen fully about Jane.

"An excellent consolation in its way," said Elizabeth, "but it will not do for us. We do not suffer by accident. It does not often happen that the interference of friends will persuade a young man of independent fortune to think no more of a girl whom he was violently in love with only a few days before."

33
  • Elizabeth was annoyed that her aunt did not understand.
  • Every case, whatever the issue, love or money, is unique at some point.
  • Real understanding arises in seeing that.
  • What we call accident – a vehicle knocking down someone – is an act that is self-explanatory from energy.
  • There is interference in love affairs positively or negatively. Looking at the energy flow, the reason will be self-evident.
  • Caroline acts negatively, Charlotte acts positively.
  • For the integral view of the entire novel, it must be seen at all points – energy, force, power, results, movement, form, sensation, determinism and every aspect in creation the list of which is endless – and then what views is not the senses.
  • Mind and higher levels of the Mind emerge into the picture.
  • Bingley was violently in love without an independent will.
  • Jane was violently in love. Her violent energy was to suppress it.
  • Both issue out of Elizabeth’s violence of wish for Jane’s wedding.
  • She gets her energy from her mother. Her mother is intense because of the differential in values between her and her husband.
  • It was a social movement that was trying to close the gap.
  • That act directly comes from the French Revolution which comes from the Man who was sitting in the Himalayas.
  • The Indian spiritual movement of liberation ultimately creates the violent love in Bingley.

"But that expression of 'violently in love' is so hackneyed, so doubtful, so indefinite, that it gives me very little idea. It is as often applied to feelings which arise from an half-hour's acquaintance, as to a real, strong attachment. Pray, how violent was Mr. Bingley's love?"

36
  • “Violently in love” is hackneyed. To consider a true movement as a hackneyed one is a hackneyed attitude.
  • When phrases are born in a language – e.g. conscience – they are powerful, expressive. Home is one such word.
  • Applying them inappropriately it becomes awkward bringing into the field the Non-being.
  • It is true of each word.
  • Please note any word was preceded by a long explanation of gestures and sounds.
  • After exhausting her mental experience of social insipidity, Mrs. Gardiner does not, as usual, dismiss it, but wants to know how violently he was in love.
  • Mrs. Gardiner, as we see her perceiving the face of Darcy at Pemberley, has a keen perception, but is suffering from the habit of suspicion of new-fangled phrases, but beyond that, she too is taken in by Wickham’s countenance. Neither Mr. Bennet nor Mrs. Gardiner are able to penetrate Wickham’s presentation fully.
  • He will deceive most but not those who have the subtle perception which sees not what is presented but the motive.
  • Mrs. Gardiner overlooks the fact that Elizabeth will not talk lightly.
  • The moment Wickham turns to Miss King, his character catches her attention.
  • Public opinion has the real penetration, though it can honour many things that are not true.

"I never saw a more promising inclination; He was growing quite inattentive to other people, and wholly engrossed by her. Every time they met it was more decided and remarkable. At his own ball he offended two or three young ladies by not asking them to dance; and I spoke to him twice myself without receiving an answer. Could there be finer symptoms? Is not general incivility the very essence of love?"

39
  • A man offends a lady if he does not ask her to dance.
  • Darcy offends everyone. Mary is thus offended by everyone.
  • Man in love is identified with the emotion of love and is lost. Even that intensity of emotion cannot act without will.
  • In that condition he sees all others as his love.
  • The essence of love is idealistic emotion that is unaware of the outside society.
  • That kind of love is powerful, self-fulfilling even without will.

"Oh, yes! -- of that kind of love which I suppose him to have felt. Poor Jane! I am sorry for her, because, with her disposition, she may not get over it immediately. It had better have happened to you, Lizzy; you would have laughed yourself out of it sooner. But do you think she would be prevailed on to go back with us? Change of scene might be of service -- and perhaps a little relief from home, may be as useful as anything."

44
  • Mrs. Gardiner is unable to see the subtle truth that Bingley will certainly marry Jane.
  • Mrs. Gardiner sees it from the point of view of endurance, not how to accomplish.
  • Mrs. Gardiner expresses ready good will to take Jane to London.
  • Good will rises at once – a symptom that the marriage will take place.
  • There was a gap of 10 months as Mrs. Gardiner only thought of how to endure, but not how to accomplish. Still her good will is a positive symptom.
  • Mrs. Gardiner too, like her father, speaks that it can happen to her, Elizabeth. And it does happen. Out of the mouth of two people, Elizabeth was warned of Wickham. It is a sure sign of what happened later

Elizabeth was exceedingly pleased with this proposal, and felt persuaded of her sister's ready acquiescence.

50
  • Elizabeth’s love of Jane is selfless, pure and perfect.
  • Having invited her to London, when Jane hopes to see Bingley, Mrs. Gardiner assures her repeatedly that there will be no danger of meeting Bingley. She fails to see him even by accident

"I hope," added Mrs. Gardiner, "that no consideration with regard to this young man will influence her. We live in so different a part of town, all our connexions are so different, and, as you well know, we go out so little, that it is very improbable they should meet at all, unless he really comes to see her."

51
  • Mrs. Gardiner’s approach is to avoid Bingley, not a hope of meeting him.
  • Her caution keeps Jane away from Bingley.
  • Mrs. Gardiner says it is impossible for Jane to see Bingley ‘unless he comes to see her’.
  • She has a presentiment of what happened 10 months later.

"And that is quite impossible; for he is now in the custody of his friend, and Mr. Darcy would no more suffer him to call on Jane in such a part of London! My dear aunt, how could you think of it? Mr. Darcy may, perhaps, have heard of such a place as Gracechurch Street, but he would hardly think a month's ablution enough to cleanse him from its impurities, were he once to enter it; and, depend upon it, Mr. Bingley never stirs without him."

53
  • Elizabeth emphatically expresses ‘all that is impossible’.
  • It happens so almost by virtue of Elizabeth’s emphasis.
  • Elizabeth’s strong condemnation of Darcy is her strong subconscious attraction.
  • Jane and Elizabeth are as intimate as Bingley and Darcy. Bingley never stirs without him.
  • In explaining, the social distance from Gracechurch Street and Grosvenor – street Elizabeth is fully aware of the ambition for Jane. The lowest of the lowly aspires for the highest on the pretext of any one endowment feigned or real. It is no ordinary social climb for Jane

"So much the better. I hope they will not meet at all. But does not Jane correspond with the sister? She will not be able to help calling."

56
  • Mrs. Gardiner goes back to her caution.
  • Jane too was thinking she could see Caroline without seeking Bingley. The move of Darcy to separate Jane from Bingley is really powerful. Its power has its reflections in this quarter to make Mrs. Gardiner and Jane contemplating to avoid Bingley

"She will drop the acquaintance entirely."

60

But in spite of the certainty in which Elizabeth affected to place this point, as well as the still more interesting one of Bingley's being withheld from seeing Jane, she felt a solicitude on the subject which convinced her, on examination, that she did not consider it entirely hopeless. It was possible, and sometimes she thought it probable, that his affection might be reanimated, and the influence of his friends successfully combated by the more natural influence of Jane's attractions.

61
  • Apart from Elizabeth’s wish for Bingley, she has the subtle knowledge of the truth of Jane’s love, and knows Jane will marry him.
  • Mrs. Gardiner does not know of the attachment that well. Therefore it is not hopeless.
  • Mrs. Gardiner is a good angel in more than one respect, as Charlotte served Elizabeth by weaning Collins away and bringing her to Hunsford. It was Mrs. Gardiner who took her to Pemberley later. She does a cardinal service to Elizabeth by warning her against an imprudent marriage with Wickham, though at that moment she was all admiration for the young man. It came to her as want of income, but see seems to have sensed that there was something more unwelcome in the man. The same instinct led her to Pemberley

25 wickham Pride and Prejudice

Miss Bennet accepted her aunt's invitation with pleasure; and the Bingleys were no otherwise in her thoughts at the time than as she hoped that, by Caroline's not living in the same house with her brother, she might occasionally spend a morning with her, without any danger of seeing him.

63
  • Jane too is careful not to see him. It comes true.

The Gardiners staid a week at Longbourn; and what with the Philipses, the Lucases, and the officers, there was not a day without its engagement. Mrs. Bennet had so carefully provided for the entertainment of her brother and sister that they did not once sit down to a family dinner. When the engagement was for home, some of the officers always made part of it -- of which officers Mr. Wickham was sure to be one; and on these occasions Mrs. Gardiner, rendered suspicious by Elizabeth's warm commendation of him, narrowly observed them both. Without supposing them, from what she saw, to be very seriously in love, their preference of each other was plain enough to make her a little uneasy; and she resolved to speak to Elizabeth on the subject before she left Hertfordshire, and represent to her the imprudence of encouraging such an attachment.

64
  • Mrs. Bennet is gregarious, dynamic, cheerful mostly.
  • That energy of hers achieves.
  • Wickham has captivated all, men as well as women.
  • Wickham’s interest in Elizabeth is enduring even after he knew she has no money.
  • Perhaps through her Wickham reaches Darcy.
  • Liking, preference, attraction, attachment are the previous stages of love.
  • Mrs. Gardiner has no penetration into Wickham’s character, but she does have a subtle sense that he will not do.
  • Her advice is related to his wealth, but her understanding is, he will not do.
  • It is Elizabeth who commends his name to her mother.
  • There is no evidence that he is keen on it or at least keener than she is for him.
  • Elizabeth was trying to reach Darcy through Wickham. Wickham has tried his best to bring her to Darcy.

To Mrs. Gardiner, Wickham had one means of affording pleasure, unconnected with his general powers. About ten or a dozen years ago, before her marriage, she had spent a considerable time in that very part of Derbyshire to which he belonged. They had, therefore, many acquaintance in common; and though Wickham had been little there since the death of Darcy's father, five years before, it was yet in his power to give her fresher intelligence of her former friends than she had been in the way of procuring.

68
  • An instrument must be related to both ends.
  • It is impossible for the instrument not to benefit.
  • Space and Time are means of relationships.
  • Nostalgia helps build sentiment.

Mrs. Gardiner had seen Pemberley, and known the late Mr. Darcy by character perfectly well. Here consequently was an inexhaustible subject of discourse. In comparing her recollection of Pemberley with the minute description which Wickham could give, and in bestowing her tribute of praise on the character of its late possessor, she was delighting both him and herself. On being made acquainted with the present Mr. Darcy's treatment of him, she tried to remember something of that gentleman's reputed disposition when quite a lad which might agree with it, and was confident at last that she recollected having heard Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy formerly spoken of as a very proud, ill-natured boy.

71
  • Places seen, persons met, are live enough to revive if circumstances help or permit. Mrs. Gardiner has seen Pemberley.
  • Though an act of pretense, Wickham does it with consummate skill. Perfection in any form is power that achieves.
  • Wickham finally achieved his purpose of helping Mrs. Gardiner to recollect Darcy as a boy was ill-natured.
  • Time and Space have a considerable influence in deciding the course of events, even fixing their character. Mrs. Gardiner’s years at Lambton have come to bridge Elizabeth with Pemberly and wean Wickham away for certain
  • For a work to be completed in the subtle plane, such links are essential.
  • She confirmed to Elizabeth that Darcy was known to be a proud, ill-natured boss

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