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Pride & Prejudice: Chapter 28

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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

Every object in the next day's journey was new and interesting to Elizabeth; and her spirits were in a state for enjoyment; for she had seen her sister looking so well as to banish all fear for her health, and the prospect of her northern tour was a constant source of delight.

1
  • Her spirits were in a state of enjoyment is a right description.
  • Her journey was new and interesting – again speaks the same language.
  • One thwarted emotionally is irrational.
  • Life presses her against this wall before presenting her the reward.
  • This is what Sri Aurobindo said is Nature’s way of presenting the opposites.
  • Constant source of delight is her being’s subtle perception of Darcy’s proposal.
  • Looking for life’s subtle indications, the reader can see the events much earlier.
  • All the end events can thus be discerned in the beginning.
  • It will not be the exact event, but in the subtle atmosphere especially in the voice.
  • We see Mr. Bennet’s apparent reluctance to the very first intimation of his wife about Netherfield in life’s apparent reluctance in Jane’s wedding.

When they left the high road for the lane to Hunsford, every eye was in search of the Parsonage, and every turning expected to bring it in view. The paling of Rosings Park was their boundary on one side. Elizabeth smiled at the recollection of all that she had heard of its inhabitants.

2
  • Every object was new and of interest to Elizabeth. Her spirits were in a state of enjoyment. Darcy’s meeting is foreshadowed

At length the Parsonage was discernible. The garden sloping to the road, the house standing in it, the green pales, and the laurel hedge, everything declared they were arriving. Mr. Collins and Charlotte appeared at the door, and the carriage stopped at the small gate which led by a short gravel walk to the house amidst the nods and smiles of the whole party. In a moment they were all out of the chaise, rejoicing at the sight of each other. Mrs. Collins welcomed her friend with the liveliest pleasure, and Elizabeth was more and more satisfied with coming when she found herself so affectionately received. She saw instantly that her cousin's manners were not altered by his marriage: his formal civility was just what it had been, and he detained her some minutes at the gate to hear and satisfy his enquiries after all her family. They were then, with no other delay than his pointing out the neatness of the entrance, taken into the house; and as soon as they were in the parlour he welcomed them a second time, with ostentatious formality, to his humble abode, and punctually repeated all his wife's offers of refreshment.

5
  • Physical folly relates to physical detail and delights in them
  • Elizabeth sees in Charlotte that her sense of shame in a stupid husband is more than compensated by the security of a home and marriage
  • The desire to exhibit the new acquisition, to explain them ad infinitum is a pleasure physicality cannot exhaust
  • Hypocrisy makes good manners possible. Minute description misses beauty
  • A snob’s world centres around his Man – here, woman
  • Collins knows the number of trees in every cluster and the number of fields. This is physical intelligence
  • The mother is the most beautiful woman for children. Beauty for the physical mind is the likeness of self. To the mind, Beauty is Ananda in the Mind, the form that is perfect
  • Pleasure of display of possessions is enjoyable in freedom, uninterfered with by authority
  • Mr. Collins has not spared any detail about the parsonage
  • Wherever Elizabeth goes, a ready welcome awaits her.
  • At Pemberley the most wonderful welcome awaited her.
  • Life receives her with open arms as she certainly has something to give to life which she brings to the surface only with Jane.
  • As against the universal dictum of one woman’s inveterate hatred of another woman, the intimacy with Jane proves to be a source of endless energy it being an exception to the rule.
  • Elizabeth gradually changes in warmth towards the visit as she did towards Darcy.
  • Elizabeth is not wise to expect Collins’ manners to be changed by marriage.
  • Formality is the lifeline of Mr. Collins.
  • His second welcome is ceremonial; for what is Collins if not ceremonial.
  • His humble abode is truly humble.
  • In his formality he is predatory and usurps his wife’s role too.

28 collins Pride and Prejudice

Elizabeth was prepared to see him in his glory; and she could not help fancying that in displaying the good proportion of the room, its aspect and its furniture, he addressed himself particularly to her, as if wishing to make her feel what she had lost in refusing him. But though everything seemed neat and comfortable, she was not able to gratify him by any sigh of repentance, and rather looked with wonder at her friend that she could have so cheerful an air with such a companion. When Mr. Collins said anything of which his wife might reasonably be ashamed, which certainly was not unseldom, she involuntarily turned her eye on Charlotte. Once or twice she could discern a faint blush; but in general Charlotte wisely did not hear. After sitting long enough to admire every article of furniture in the room, from the sideboard to the fender, to give an account of their journey, and of all that had happened in London, Mr. Collins invited them to take a stroll in the garden, which was large and well laid out, and to the cultivation of which he attended himself. To work in his garden was one of his most respectable pleasures; and Elizabeth admired the command of countenance with which Charlotte talked of the healthfulness of the exercise, and owned she encouraged it as much as possible. Here, leading the way through every walk and cross walk, and scarcely allowing them an interval to utter the praises he asked for, every view was pointed out with a minuteness which left beauty entirely behind. He could number the fields in every direction, and could tell how many trees there were in the most distant clump. But of all the views which his garden, or which the country or the kingdom could boast, none were to be compared with the prospect of Rosings, afforded by an opening in the trees that bordered the park nearly opposite the front of his house. It was a handsome modern building, well situated on rising ground.

12
  • Life’s way of response is both, i.e. confirming the expressed opinion or contradicting one above the line and the other below the line.
  • He wishes her to realize the loss; life gives her something more.
  • Elizabeth is now true to the rule, ‘We disapprove in others when they do exactly what we do’.
  • Elizabeth falls for Pemberley; Charlotte accepted Longbourn.
  • Still she regrets Charlotte’s choice and wonders at her cheerfulness.
  • It is Mr. Bennet later who draws her attention to it.
  • Compare Charlotte’s embarrassment with that of Elizabeth about the vulgarity of Mrs. Phillips.
  • Man likes the display of his own handiwork.
  • Respectable pleasure is the human extension to physical sensation.
  • People wedded to their profession take delight in its minute details.

From his garden Mr. Collins would have led them round his two meadows; but the ladies, not having shoes to encounter the remains of the white frost, turned back; and while Sir William accompanied him, Charlotte took her sister and friend over the house, extremely well pleased, probably, to have the opportunity of shewing it without her husband's help. It was rather small, but well built and convenient; and everything was fitted up and arranged with a neatness and consistency of which Elizabeth gave Charlotte all the credit. When Mr. Collins could be forgotten, there was really a great air of comfort throughout, and by Charlotte's evident enjoyment of it, Elizabeth supposed he must be often forgotten.

22
  • Life did not sustain his enthusiasm.
  • Charlotte is extremely well pleased.
  • A fact Elizabeth is intrigued about.
  • The acquisition of a house occupies the human mind powerfully for long. Especially the female values it next only to her child or equal to it. Once that is there, the enjoyment in enhancing its value can only be compared to the thinker’s urge to perfect a formula he discovered
  • The man who gave her this security is the one thing she wants to forget or put aside. Here is the knot of life or root of it. What you most long for can come to you through him whom you most detest

28 collins shows house Pride and Prejudice

She had already learnt that Lady Catherine was still in the country. It was spoken of again while they were at dinner, when Mr. Collins joining in, observed --

25

"Yes, Miss Elizabeth, you will have the honour of seeing Lady Catherine de Bourgh on the ensuing Sunday at church, and I need not say you will be delighted with her. She is all affability and condescension, and I doubt not but you will be honoured with some portion of her notice when service is over. I have scarcely any hesitation in saying that she will include you and my sister Maria in every invitation with which she honours us during your stay here. Her behaviour to my dear Charlotte is charming. We dine at Rosings twice every week, and are never allowed to walk home. Her ladyship's carriage is regularly ordered for us. I should say, one of her ladyship's carriages, for she has several."

27
  • Man’s object of pride is uppermost in his mind.
  • Mr. Collins is able to feel Elizabeth’s delight in seeing Catherine.
  • It seems Lady Catherine delights in inferior company where her superiority is safe.
  • Civilization moves towards an ideal.
  • The physical identifies with the physical possession of their superiors. Lady Catherine has several carriages.

"Lady Catherine is a very respectable, sensible woman indeed," added Charlotte, "and a most attentive neighbour."

34
  • Charlotte’s comment shows how much she feels the elevation.
  • Charlotte endorses Collins by repeating the positive aspect of his words

"Very true, my dear, that is exactly what I say. She is the sort of woman whom one cannot regard with too much deference."

35
  • Social life receives its sustenance from knowing others
  • Courtesy extended is punishment inflicted on oneself
  • Elizabeth, who is ordinarily lively, is made livelier here by the anticipation of the arrival of Darcy

The evening was spent chiefly in talking over Hertfordshire news, and telling again what had been already written; and when it closed, Elizabeth, in the solitude of her chamber, had to meditate upon Charlotte's degree of contentment, to understand her address in guiding, and composure in bearing with, her husband, and to acknowledge that it was all done very well. She had also to anticipate how her visit would pass, the quiet tenor of their usual employments, the vexatious interruptions of Mr. Collins, and the gaieties of their intercourse with Rosings. A lively imagination soon settled it all.

37
  • News is the vibrant vital link in the society.
  • News is endlessly repeated till it is worn out. It is the vital absorption of social energy.
  • Elizabeth seeing the contentment of Charlotte grows in the practical wisdom of the subconscious.
  • This experience helps her readily accept Pemberley without the false conscience of erstwhile pride.
  • Contemplating the contentment of Charlotte, vexatious interference of Mr. Collins, Elizabeth finds a lively imagination.
  • Her subconscious feels the pleasure of the knowledge of the reality of material security.

About the middle of the next day, as she was in her room getting ready for the walk, a sudden noise below seemed to speak the whole house in confusion; and, after listening a moment, she heard somebody running up stairs in a violent hurry, and calling loudly after her. She opened the door and met Maria in the landing-place, who, breathless with agitation, cried out --

40
  • To Maria, the aura of the enveloping greatness is brought by Lady Anne.
  • Empty-headed Maria creates a stir about Anne De Bourgh. The sight of her makes Elizabeth settle a score against Caroline. In fact, it removed from her mind one possible obstacle to marrying Darcy

28 maria Pride and Prejudice

"Oh, my dear Eliza! Pray make haste and come into the dining-room, for there is such a sight to be seen! I will not tell you what it is. Make haste, and come down this moment."

42

Elizabeth asked questions in vain; Maria would tell her nothing more, and down they ran into the dining-room, which fronted the lane, in quest of this wonder! It was two ladies stopping in a low phaeton at the garden gate.

46

"And is this all?" Cried Elizabeth. "I expected at least that the pigs were got into the garden, and here is nothing but Lady Catherine and her daughter!"

48

"La! My dear," said Maria, quite shocked at the mistake, "it is not Lady Catherine. The old lady is Mrs. Jenkinson, who lives with them; the other is Miss De Bourgh. Only look at her. She is quite a little creature. Who would have thought she could be so thin and small!"

50

"She is abominably rude to keep Charlotte out of doors in all this wind. Why does she not come in?"

55

"Oh, Charlotte says she hardly ever does. It is the greatest of favours when Miss De Bourgh comes in."

57

"I like her appearance," said Elizabeth, struck with other ideas. "She looks sickly and cross. Yes, she will do for him very well. She will make him a very proper wife."

59
  • On seeing Lady Anne, one obstacle to her marrying Darcy is removed.
  • Charlotte does not see the rudeness of Anne, which Elizabeth notices

Mr. Collins and Charlotte were both standing at the gate in conversation with the ladies; and Sir William, to Elizabeth's high diversion, was stationed in the doorway, in earnest contemplation of the greatness before him, and constantly bowing whenever Miss De Bourgh looked that way.

63
  • Rank and wealth humble Sir Williams
  • Collins whips himself into an ecstasy on seeing Miss De Bourgh

At length there was nothing more to be said; the ladies drove on, and the others returned into the house. Mr. Collins no sooner saw the two girls than he began to congratulate them on their good fortune, which Charlotte explained by letting them know that the whole party was asked to dine at Rosings the next day.

64
  • Charlotte fully supports her husband’s transports by the right news
  • To Mr. Collins, the ultimate is to dine at Pemberley.

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