Fandom

Human Science

Pride & Prejudice: Chapter 43

870pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Talk0 Share
Icon.gif Icon.gif

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.



Home l About this Project l Articles Index l Story l Text & Commentary l Video Clips



Text
Comment

Elizabeth, as they drove along, watched for the first appearance of Pemberley Woods with some perturbation; and when at length they turned in at the lodge, her spirits were in a high flutter.

  • ‘Watched for the first appearance of Pemberley,’ ‘her spirits were in a high flutter’ (p. 215) ‘to be mistress of Pemberley might be something.’
  • Darcy is prompted to come a day early by the energy of such attitudes.
  • Should we know what work Darcy had with the steward, how it occurred to him, who the steward was, and her mind would explain to us more fully.
  • Wickham is the son of the steward. It is the work with the steward that brings Darcy to her.
  • If every detail of life on one side is not exactly represented by its complement on the other side – all the other sides – life is not integral.
  • “Some perturbation”. Pemberley suggests the vast scale of Darcy’s personality and how she taunted it.

The park was very large, and contained great variety of ground. They entered it in one of its lowest points, and drove for some time through a beautiful wood stretching over a wide extent.

Elizabeth's mind was too full for conversation, but she saw and admired every remarkable spot and point of view. They gradually ascended for half a mile, and then found themselves at the top of a considerable eminence, where the wood ceased, and the eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House, situated on the opposite side of a valley, into which the road with some abruptness wound. It was a large, handsome stone building, standing well on rising ground, and backed by a ridge of high woody hills; and in front a stream of some natural importance was swelled into greater, but without any artificial appearance. Its banks were neither formal nor falsely adorned. Elizabeth was delighted. She had never seen a place for which nature had done more, or where natural beauty had been so little counteracted by an awkward taste. They were all of them warm in their admiration; and at that moment she felt that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something!

  • Her mind was too full for conversation.
  • She was so when he said he loved her.
  • “To be the mistress of Pemberley”. The very soil brings out its magnificence and creates a material desire in her which is the turning point. Darcy responds to it by coming early. The place is wide, magnificent, rich in beauty and powerful to overcome Elizabeth. Still it evokes in her not love for him but a mercenary desire for the property.
  • The issue is not mere property but what kind of property. When Darcy proposed Elizabeth assumed that he is offering her to be a mistress of another Rosings, a cold forbidding place where nature as well as inhabitants were forced to bend to the will of a dictatorial master. Pemberley was a place where both natural and human potentialities were encouraged to thrive.
  • They were all of them warm in their admiration. Their warmth gave birth to the thought of being the mistress.

They descended the hill, crossed the bridge, and drove to the door; and, while examining the nearer aspect of the house, all her apprehensions of meeting its owner returned. She dreaded lest the chambermaid had been mistaken. On applying to see the place, they were admitted into the hall; and Elizabeth, as they waited for the housekeeper, had leisure to wonder at her being where she was.

  • “Lest the chambermaid had been mistaken.” This comes as a doubt, from fear, apprehension, simple fright or not knowing what one is about. A real doubt should have arisen when the maid spoke to her. At that time, it was the desire to see the house that made her accept it.
  • ‘…had leisure to wonder where she was’.
  • Darcy’s personality never was overwhelming to her, as his money was overwhelming to her mother. The physical expression of Darcy’s wealth overwhelms her. It means one of the following:
    • -- Darcy does not have a fully developed cultural personality that has benefitted from his inheritance.
    • -- His crudeness is so absorbent that all the weight and power of the culture of his inheritance is thus lost.
    • -- Elizabeth, as a representative woman, responds to well furnished rooms and grand houses. Or she simply is downright mercenary and blind to the person Darcy is.
    • -- Unless some good angel brings her to her luck she cannot see her luck.
    • -- Her readiness to respond to the grandeur of the rooms is like her response to Wickham’s charm, i.e. hers is a surface personality.
    • -- She is one who opens to rough, vulgar abuse.
  • “lest the chambermaid had been mistaken”. This thought is an indicator that Darcy can be there in defiance of the maid’s news. And it did turn out to be true. A doubt arises in a mind of unsettled ideas. That is the situation here. The unsettled conditions indicate a new possibility. It is determined by the atmosphere. Here Darcy came. Not only that, she changed her attitude and found him changed. They are all positive and led to her marriage. Her doubt about the chambermaid indicates this outcome
  • ‘With less splendour and more elegance’. Darcy is stiff. Pemberley is furnished with taste which means his father had better taste and consequently better manners. It means if Darcy tries he can transform himself. It is not so with Collins. Not that Collins is not a material that will lend itself to transformation. It may not be so easy. Darcy yielded to the effort led by the fire in Elizabeth’s eyes. Had there been an equally powerful goal for Collins even that is possible.
  • If Pemberley reflected past taste, it makes much more sense to assume it reflected the taste of his mother rather than his father. Darcy as he latter explained learned to be generous and indulgent to people within his circle. Hence, his generosity towards Georgiana. That is what she understand in Pemberley. She realizes that to be included in Darcy's inside circle is most desirable but still assumes that the price of such felicity would be giving up her family and friens. She considers it too high a price.
  • By his behavior to the Gardners, Darcy shows Elizabeth that at the very least he would include in the circle those he deems worthy of such inclusion. His response to Lydia's elopmenent demonstrates that he is willing to go much further.

The housekeeper came; a respectable-looking elderly woman, much less fine, and more civil, than she had any notion of finding her. They followed her into the dining-parlour. It was a large, well-proportioned room, handsomely fitted up. Elizabeth, after slightly surveying it, went to a window to enjoy its prospect. The hill, crowned with wood, from which they had descended, receiving increased abruptness from the distance, was a beautiful object. Every disposition of the ground was good; and she looked on the whole scene -- the river, the trees scattered on its banks, and the winding of the valley, as far as she could trace it -- with delight. As they passed into other rooms these objects were taking different positions; but from every window there were beauties to be seen. The rooms were lofty and handsome, and their furniture suitable to the fortune of their proprietor; but Elizabeth saw, with admiration of his taste, that it was neither gaudy nor uselessly fine; with less of splendor, and more real elegance, than the furniture of Rosings.

  • The housekeeper has better manners, more poise, and wider comprehension than her mother.
  • Every detail of the rooms is excellent, of taste.
  • Every natural aspect of the hill, the woods, the slope, the stream is an endowment of nature.
  • How then Darcy came to be low, rude, vulgar, and crude?
  • His foundation, as he said, was fine. His exterior is coarse.
  • So, Wickham developed as his complement.
  • Again she thinks of this place and being a mistress of it, not the wife or the owner of this place.

"And of this place," thought she, "I might have been mistress! With these rooms I might now have been familiarly acquainted! Instead of viewing them as a stranger, I might have rejoiced in them as my own, and welcomed to them as visitors my uncle and aunt. But no" -- recollecting herself -- "that could never be: my uncle and aunt would have been lost to me; I should not have been allowed to invite them."

21
  • As no love for Darcy has blossomed yet, she could only love his property.
  • She does not go from the house to the owner; she goes to the well furnished rooms.
  • She thinks of herself as not being a stranger – Darcy is nowhere in her thoughts.
  • Further, she thinks of her aunt and uncle. Again it is not Darcy.
  • Darcy’s qualification is his absence.
  • She is timid at the thought of Darcy after responding to the rooms.
  • Elizabeth is rejoicing at the relief afforded by his absence.
  • ‘Again she thinks of becoming mistress of Pemberley’. The thought of possessing Pemberley reoccurs to her. She thinks of being familiar with the rooms. In her own imagination the thought grows – a clear sign of decided choice. That made him come a day earlier – Life Response. That way she would have lost her aunt and uncle. Now in her own thoughts she has to choose between Pemberley and her aunt. Again the doubt about the Master arises. Again a new possibility is created. Darcy finds the uncle and aunt acceptable. Her uncle is a well-bred gentleman of whom she can be proud. That too is now cleared

This was a lucky recollection -- it saved her from something like regret.

25

She longed to inquire of the housekeeper whether her master were really absent, but had not courage for it. At length, however, the question was asked by her uncle; and she turned away with alarm, while Mrs. Reynolds replied, that he was, adding, "But we expect him tomorrow, with a large party of friends." How rejoiced was Elizabeth that their own journey had not by any circumstance been delayed a day!

26
  • She does not long to see the man who loved her for eight months, who loves her after her genius indulged in vituperation. He nowhere figures in her thoughts or emotions. He is the owner of Pemberley.
  • Elizabeth rejoiced over Darcy’s coming the next day. It made Darcy come that day itself. Consciously he rejoiced over his absence. Subconsciously she rejoiced over Darcy. He responded to the subconscious call
  • Wickham is still in the mind of Mrs. Gardiner.
  • He is still feebly in Elizabeth’s mind.

Her aunt now called her to look at a picture. She approached and saw the likeness of Mr. Wickham suspended, amongst several other miniatures, over the mantlepiece. Her aunt asked her, smilingly, how she liked it. The housekeeper came forward, and told them it was the picture of a young gentleman, the son of her late master's steward, who had been brought up by him at his own expence. "He is now gone into the army," she added; "but I am afraid he has turned out very wild."

29
  • Hence it is his picture that comes to them at first.
  • Wickham’s thought arises and is ready to be wiped off by the report of the housekeeper.
  • Elizabeth willfully says they may be deceived.
  • We can say to remove that lingering perverse admiration, an elopement is needed.
  • Elizabeth makes one good remark about his being a good brother.
  • Darcy is not mean enough to remove Wickham’s miniature. Even after his effort at elopement, if Darcy can retain his picture it is magnanimous of him

43 reynolds Pride and Prejudice

Mrs. Gardiner looked at her niece with a smile, but Elizabeth could not return it.

34

"And that," said Mrs. Reynolds, pointing to another of the miniatures, "is my master -- and very like him. It was drawn at the same time as the other -- about eight years ago."

35

"I have heard much of your master's fine person," said Mrs. Gardiner, looking at the picture; "it is a handsome face. But, Lizzy, you can tell us whether it is like or not."

37

Mrs. Reynolds's respect for Elizabeth seemed to increase on this intimation of her knowing her master.

39

"Does that young lady know Mr. Darcy?"

40

Elizabeth coloured, and said -- "A little."

41

"And do not you think him a very handsome gentleman, ma'am?"

42

"Yes, very handsome."

43

"I am sure I know none so handsome; but in the gallery up stairs you will see a finer, larger picture of him than this. This room was my late master's favourite room, and these miniatures are just as they used to be then. He was very fond of them."

44

This accounted to Elizabeth for Mr. Wickham's being among them.

47

Mrs. Reynolds then directed their attention to one of Miss Darcy, drawn when she was only eight years old.

48

"And is Miss Darcy as handsome as her brother?" Said Mr. Gardiner.

49

"Oh! Yes -- the handsomest young lady that ever was seen; and so accomplished! She plays and sings all day long. In the next room is a new instrument just come down for her -- a present from my master; she comes here to-morrow with him."

50
  • A servant’s tribute is rare and precious.

Mr. Gardiner, whose manners were easy and pleasant, encouraged her communicativeness by his questions and remarks; Mrs. Reynolds, either from pride or attachment, had evidently great pleasure in talking of her master and his sister.

54

"Is your master much at Pemberley in the course of the year?"

55

"Not so much as I could wish, sir; but I dare say he may spend half his time here; and Miss Darcy is always down for the summer months."

56
  • It is significant Mr. Gardiner talks of Darcy’s marriage.

"Except," thought Elizabeth, "when she goes to Ramsgate."

57

"If your master would marry, you might see more of him."

58

"Yes, sir; but I do not know when that will be. I do not know who is good enough for him."

59
  • When Mrs. Reynolds says she does not know who is good enough for him, it sounds as if he knew it is.
  • “I do not know who is good for him” is an appropriate comment for the occasion. Servants do not always praise the master without inhibition. Mrs. Reynolds praise, she knows, is well deserved. All this has not made any dent in Elizabeth’s opinion. What did the miracle is Pemberley and the richly furnished rooms. Wealth is weighty. Affluence affects ultimately. Opulence is overwhelming

43 elizabeth Pride and Prejudice

Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner smiled. Elizabeth could not help saying, "It is very much to his credit, I am sure, that you should think so."

61
  • Elizabeth, knowing who will suit him, pays herself a compliment by her comment.
  • In the subtle plane, it was the second proposal accepted.

"I say no more than the truth, and what everybody will say that knows him," replied the other. Elizabeth thought this was going pretty far; and she listened with increasing astonishment as the housekeeper added, "I have never had a cross word from him in my life, and I have known him ever since he was four years old."

  • Mrs. Reynolds who says it is no more the truth, might have recalled it when Elizabeth reached Pemberley as the wife.

This was praise, of all others most extraordinary, most opposite to her ideas. That he was not a good-tempered man had been her firmest opinion. Her keenest attention was awakened; she longed to hear more, and was grateful to her uncle for saying --

62
  • Elizabeth had not witnessed bad temper from Darcy except when he declared she was tolerable. She only found him to be unpolished.
  • Being a victim, she made it into a bad temper.
  • She longed to hear more. She was impatient for more. They are enough to bring him a day early.

"There are very few people of whom so much can be said. You are lucky in having such a master."

65

"Yes, sir, I know I am. If I was to go through the world, I could not meet with a better. But I have always observed, that they who are good-natured when children, are good-natured when they grow up; and he was always the sweetest-tempered, most generous-hearted boy in the world."

67
  • In saying she is lucky enough to have such a master, she was almost saying that Elizabeth was lucky enough to have him as husband.

Elizabeth almost stared at her. "Can this be Mr. Darcy!" Thought she.

70
  • Mrs. Reynolds has seen the best side of him. No bad report has ever come to her. Being motherless, Darcy may have looked up to her for mother’s affection. Finally Mrs. Reynolds is a good woman. Elizabeth should have seen the superior culture of Mrs. Reynolds to her own mother and that would have raised Darcy in her estimation enough to pull him off from his holiday to her at Pemberley.
  • The unstinted praise of the housekeeper does not touch Elizabeth. She only thinks they may be deceived. She could at first meeting swallow all the lies of Wickham about Darcy. Now her mind works. Then it was her adoring emotions for the admired lover
  • Darcy’s picture captivates her imagination. His wealth and his power present to her mind; What Pemberley, the opulence of the rooms, Reynold’s praise, his power, his picture, his patronage could not create in her mind, Wickham’s captivating softness did in a trice

43 gardiner Pride and Prejudice

"His father was an excellent man," said Mrs. Gardiner.

72

"Yes, ma'am, that he was indeed; and his son will be just like him -- just as affable to the poor."

73

Elizabeth listened, wondered, doubted, and was impatient for more. Mrs. Reynolds could interest her on no other point. She related the subject of the pictures, the dimensions of the rooms, and the price of the furniture, in vain. Mr. Gardiner, highly amused by the kind of family prejudice to which he attributed her excessive commendation of her master, soon led again to the subject; and she dwelt with energy on his many merits as they proceeded together up the great staircase.

74

"He is the best landlord, and the best master," said she, "that ever lived; not like the wild young men nowadays, who think of nothing but themselves. There is not one of his tenants or servants but what will give him a good name. Some people call him proud; but I am sure I never saw anything of it. To my fancy, it is only because he does not rattle away like other young men."

78

"In what an amiable light does this place him!" Thought Elizabeth.

82

"This fine account of him," whispered her aunt as they walked, "is not quite consistent with his behaviour to our poor friend."

83

"Perhaps we might be deceived."

84

"That is not very likely; our authority was too good."

85

On reaching the spacious lobby above, they were shewn into a very pretty sitting-room, lately fitted up with greater elegance and lightness than the apartments below; and were informed that it was but just done to give pleasure to Miss Darcy, who had taken a liking to the room when last at Pemberley.

86

"He is certainly a good brother," said Elizabeth, as she walked towards one of the windows.

87

Mrs. Reynolds anticipated Miss Darcy's delight, when she should enter the room. "And this is always the way with him," she added. "Whatever can give his sister any pleasure is sure to be done in a moment. There is nothing he would not do for her."

88

The picture-gallery, and two or three of the principal bedrooms, were all that remained to be shewn. In the former were many good paintings; but Elizabeth knew nothing of the art; and from such as had been already visible below, she had willingly turned to look at some drawings of Miss Darcy's in crayons, whose subjects were usually more interesting, and also more intelligible.

92

In the gallery there were many family portraits, but they could have little to fix the attention of a stranger. Elizabeth walked on in quest of the only face whose features would be known to her. At last it arrested her -- and she beheld a striking resemblance of Mr. Darcy, with such a smile over the face as she remembered to have sometimes seen when he looked at her. She stood several minutes before the picture in earnest contemplation, and returned to it again before they quitted the gallery. Mrs. Reynolds informed them that it had been taken in his father's life time.

94
  • The last para on P. 220 is Elizabeth’s estimation of Darcy as a landlord.

There was certainly at this moment, in Elizabeth's mind, a more gentle sensation towards the original than she had ever felt in the height of their acquaintance. The commendation bestowed on him by Mrs. Reynolds was of no trifling nature. What praise is more valuable than the praise of an intelligent servant? As a brother, a landlord, a master, she considered how many people's happiness were in his guardianship! -- how much of pleasure or pain it was in his power to bestow! -- how much of good or evil must be done by him! Every idea that had been brought forward by the housekeeper was favourable to his character, and as she stood before the canvas, on which he was represented, and fixed his eyes upon herself, she thought of his regard with a deeper sentiment of gratitude than it had ever raised before; she remembered its warmth, and softened its impropriety of expression.

99
  • “a deeper sentiment of gratitude”. She felt gratitude for his love, but not love. Gratitude is a deeper and wider emotion than love as thinking is a greater faculty than memory. Attraction, affection, charm, infatuation, love, intimacy are not the emotions she had for Darcy. All these she felt for Wickham. Towards Darcy she felt gratitude for having loved her
  • Darcy arrived the moment they all left the house.
  • I am tempted to say as long as Elizabeth was in the house, she was occupied by the house. Only when she physically left the house, she could think of him. Her emotions were so powerful that he readily appeared. He was all along fully willing to respond.
  • She was embarrassed by having to acknowledge to herself the very opposite emotions she had spoken to him.

When all of the house that was open to general inspection had been seen, they returned downstairs, and taking leave of the housekeeper, were consigned over to the gardener, who met them at the hall-door.

106

As they walked across the lawn towards the river, Elizabeth turned back to look again; her uncle and aunt stopped also: and while the former was conjecturing as to the date of the building, the owner of it himself suddenly came forward from the road which led behind it to the stables.

107
  • “Turned back to look again”. Pemberley possessed her feeling with a deeper appreciation. That feeling having reached her substance, evoked the Response of bringing the owner to meet her. Her conscious mind was startled, confused, embarrassed, but deep down every cell received him with expansive gratitude. The meeting being abrupt, he could not bring himself to speak with composure

They were within twenty yards of each other, and so abrupt was his appearance that it was impossible to avoid his sight. Their eyes instantly met, and the cheeks of each were overspread with the deepest blush. He absolutely started, and for a moment seemed immoveable from surprise; but shortly recovering himself, advanced towards the party, and spoke to Elizabeth, if not in terms of perfect composure, at least of perfect civility.

108
  • He was embarrassed to find his dream girl in physical presence, nor just before him, but in his house. It is a confirmation to him that she would accept him or has already accepted him. As the embarrassment was too much for both of them, he took leave.
  • Her being there is an act very opposite to what she told him at his proposal. It admits of the mischievous construction put on it. There is no defence for her. Being self-inflicted, her embarrassment was highest. As she abused him to the maximum by willing choice, life made her stand before him as a low culprit.

She had instinctively turned away; but, stopping on his approach, received his compliments with an embarrassment impossible to be overcome. Had his first appearance, or his resemblance to the picture they had just been examining, been insufficient to assure the other two that they now saw Mr. Darcy, the gardener's expression of surprise, on beholding his master, must immediately have told it. They stood a little aloof while he was talking to their niece, who, astonished and confused, scarcely dared lift her eyes to his face, and knew not what answer she returned to his civil enquiries after her family. Amazed at the alteration in his manner since they last parted, every sentence that he uttered was increasing her embarrassment; and every idea of the impropriety of her being found there recurring to her mind, the few minutes in which they continued together were some of the most uncomfortable of her life. Nor did he seem much more at ease: when he spoke, his accent had none of its usual sedateness; and he repeated his enquiries as to the time of her having left Longbourn, and of her stay in Derbyshire, so often, and in so hurried a way, as plainly spoke the distraction of his thoughts.

111
  • As she is more than embarrassed, he cannot but share it.
  • Repetition arises when the mind refuses to function.
  • He was distracted as he was unable to comprehend her visit.
  • It is a great fact of physiology that he could not remain there when all thoughts deserted him as thoughts originate in the body as its action.
  • Her more fully accepting emotional act arises amidst shame.
  • Her own family has a monopoly of shame.
  • Desire when fulfilled leads to shame.
  • She could not meet his gaze as she was shy of her material response to his property. Servants delighting in the close presence of the Master is a rare pleasant privilege. The gardener expressed his pleasant surprise. The emotion that binds the master and the servant can range from servility to loyal admiration. The Master is a social adult and represents royalty to the servant. In India, the Master is addressed as God, which he really is to him

At length every idea seemed to fail him; and, after standing a few moments without saying a word, he suddenly recollected himself, and took leave.

116
  • ‘Every idea seemed to fail him’. Seeing Elizabeth’s non-opposition to him he was overwhelmed by surging emotions and all thoughts deserted him. For him to find Elizabeth at Pemberley and friendly is more than what he can comprehend

The others then joined her, and expressed their admiration of his figure; but Elizabeth heard not a word, and, wholly engrossed by her own feelings, followed them in silence. She was overpowered by shame and vexation. Her coming there was the most unfortunate, the most ill-judged thing in the world! How strange must it appear to him! In what a disgraceful light might it not strike so vain a man! It might seem as if she had purposely thrown herself in his way again! Oh! Why did she come? Or, why did he thus come a day before he was expected? Had they been only ten minutes sooner, they should have been beyond the reach of his discrimination; for it was plain that he was that moment arrived -- that moment alighted from his horse or his carriage. She blushed again and again over the perverseness of the meeting. And his behaviour, so strikingly altered -- what could it mean? That he should even speak to her was amazing! -- but to speak with such civility, to inquire after her family! Never in her life had she seen his manners so little dignified, never had he spoken with such gentleness as on this unexpected meeting. What a contrast did it offer to his last address in Rosings Park, when he put his letter into her hand! She knew not what to think, nor how to account for it.

117
  • ‘Overpowered by shame and vexation’. It is really the shame she feels for the family and her own irrational petulant intransigence
  • The one natural idea for anyone in Darcy’s position would be that she came there purposefully.
  • Mrs. Gardiner would not have brought her there had she known of the earlier proposal.
  • There would have been no Life Response if he had come ten minutes later.
  • Life Responses are known to take place just at the moment.
  • Earlier when Darcy met her often consciously in Hunsford Park it was called perverse. Here life is perverse, if it is perverse.
  • His manner was dignified.
  • Now that she is on the premises of Pemberley, she deserves dignity.
  • His behaviour is changed as he is in Pemberley and she is with her aunt and uncle, cultured people. At Hunsford it is the personality of Collins that rules or that of Lady Catherine. At Meryton and Netherfield there is the village personality, her mother’s and Caroline’s.
  • One knows not what to think when there is no reference point.
  • She recognised love in his voice. Her recognition of it brought him back. Both needed time and privacy to shed the embarrassment. Now that the aunt and uncle are with her, the embarrassment is less. He did not mean to go away. His own embarrassment took him away. It is not like Darcy of that period to go away after seeing her.

43 shocked Pride and Prejudice

They had now entered a beautiful walk by the side of the water, and every step was bringing forward a nobler fall of ground, or a finer reach of the woods to which they were approaching; but it was some time before Elizabeth was sensible of any of it; and, though she answered mechanically to the repeated appeals of her uncle and aunt, and seemed to direct her eyes to such objects as they pointed out, she distinguished no part of the scene. Her thoughts were all fixed on that one spot of Pemberley House, whichever it might be, where Mr. Darcy then was. She longed to know what at that moment was passing in his mind -- in what manner he thought of her, and whether, in defiance of everything, she was still dear to him. Perhaps he had been civil only because he felt himself at ease; yet there had been that in his voice which was not like ease. Whether he had felt more of pain or of pleasure in seeing her she could not tell, but he certainly had not seen her with composure.

131
  • Pemberley has a border of ten miles. It is about 3600 acres in extent. While he was overwhelmed by her changed emotional attitude, she was overcome by the physical magnificence of the house. For different reasons both needed time to recover

43 walk Pride and Prejudice

At length, however, the remarks of her companions on her absence of mind roused her, and she felt the necessity of appearing more like herself.

137
  • It is too big a place for them on any count.
  • Mr. Gardiner wanted to go round the place.

They entered the woods, and bidding adieu to the river for a while, ascended some of the higher grounds; whence, in spots where the opening of the trees gave the eye power to wander, were many charming views of the valley, the opposite hills, with the long range of woods overspreading many, and occasionally part of the stream. Mr. Gardiner expressed a wish of going round the whole park, but feared it might be beyond a walk. With a triumphant smile, they were told that it was ten miles round. It settled the matter; and they pursued the accustomed circuit; which brought them again, after some time, in a descent among hanging woods, to the edge of the water, in one of its narrowest parts. They crossed it by a simple bridge, in character with the general air of the scene; it was a spot less adorned than any they had yet visited; and the valley, here contracted into a glen, allowed room only for the stream and a narrow walk amidst the rough coppice-wood which bordered it. Elizabeth longed to explore its windings; but when they had crossed the bridge, and perceived their distance from the house, Mrs. Gardiner, who was not a great walker, could go no farther, and thought only of returning to the carriage as quickly as possible. Her niece was, therefore, obliged to submit, and they took their way towards the house on the opposite side of the river, in the nearest direction; but their progress was slow, for Mr. Gardiner, though seldom able to indulge the taste, was very fond of fishing, and was so much engaged in watching the occasional appearance of some trout in the water, and talking to the man about them, that he advanced but little. Whilst wandering on in this slow manner, they were again surprised, and Elizabeth's astonishment was quite equal to what it had been at first, by the sight of Mr. Darcy approaching them, and at no great distance. The walk being here less sheltered than on the other side, allowed them to see him before they met. Elizabeth, however astonished, was at least more prepared for an interview than before, and resolved to appear and to speak with calmness, if he really intended to meet them. For a few moments, indeed, she felt that he would probably strike into some other path. This idea lasted while a turning in the walk concealed him from their view; the turning past, he was immediately before them. With a glance, she saw, that he had lost none of his recent civility; and, to imitate his politeness, she began as they met to admire the beauty of the place; but she had not got beyond the words "delightful," and "charming," when some unlucky recollections obtruded, and she fancied that praise of Pemberley from her, might be mischievously construed. Her colour changed, and she said no more.

138
  • He was told it was 10 miles long.
  • Mrs. Gardiner could go no further.
  • The personality of Pemberley is so great that their physical energies are not enough to inspect it fully.
  • Mr. Gardiner’s long standing wish of fishing is fulfilled there, foreshadowing the fulfillment of their marriage.
  • Darcy appearing again is made possible by their better appreciation of Pemberley, its size, its resources, and Elizabeth’s concentration.
  • He asked to dance twice. He proposed twice. He met her now twice.
  • In each person’s character there are elements which make them repeat at once or after a long time. Shakespeare brings them all out.
  • ‘Delightful’, ‘Charming’, the lady spoke first.
  • Now he asks to be introduced to her aunt and uncle. The interval between the two meetings helped him to ask for the introduction.
  • He said at Rosings he could not speak to strangers. Here he takes the trouble to overcome that shortcoming.

Mrs. Gardiner was standing a little behind; and on her pausing, he asked her if she would do him the honour of introducing him to her friends. This was a stroke of civility for which she was quite unprepared; and she could hardly suppress a smile at his being now seeking the acquaintance of some of those very people against whom his pride had revolted in his offer to herself. "What will be his surprise," thought she, "when he knows who they are? He takes them now for people of fashion."

151
  • They meet again. He asks to be introduced to her uncle and aunt. This is another milestone in their relationship. The two meeting on these grounds with Darcy is the turning point in their relationship

43 introducing gardiners Pride and Prejudice

The introduction, however, was immediately made; and as she named their relationship to herself, she stole a sly look at him, to see how he bore it, and was not without the expectation of his decamping as fast as he could from such disgraceful companions. That he was surprised by the connexion was evident; he sustained it, however, with fortitude, and, so far from going away, turned back with them, and entered into conversation with Mr. Gardiner. Elizabeth could not but be pleased, could not but triumph. It was consoling that he should know she had some relations for whom there was no need to blush. She listened most attentively to all that passed between them, and gloried in every expression, every sentence of her uncle, which marked his intelligence, his taste, or his good manners.

155
  • Certainly the manners of Mr. Gardiner mattered.

The conversation soon turned upon fishing; and she heard Mr. Darcy invite him, with the greatest civility, to fish there as often as he chose while he continued in the neighbourhood, offering at the same time to supply him with fishing-tackle, and pointing out those parts of the stream where there was usually most sport. Mrs. Gardiner, who was walking arm-in-arm with Elizabeth, gave her a look expressive of her wonder. Elizabeth said nothing, but it gratified her exceedingly; the compliment must be all for herself. Her astonishment, however, was extreme, and continually was she repeating, "Why is he so altered? From what can it proceed? It cannot be for me -- it cannot be for my sake that his manners are thus softened. My reproofs at Hunsford could not work such a change as this. It is impossible that he should still love me."

159
  • Darcy’s behaviour is as much a surprise to Elizabeth as to her aunt.
  • Elizabeth arrives at the only conclusion she can.
  • No one can ever change as he has changed.
  • She understood that he changed for her.
  • Elizabeth is astonished that her abuses at Hunsford brought about such a change in him. Had he not been in love with her, her reproofs would have turned him off. What brought about the change is his love for her and his basic character of sincerity. ‘he still loves me’

After walking some time in this way, the two ladies in front, the two gentlemen behind, on resuming their places, after descending to the brink of the river for the better inspection of some curious water-plant, there chanced to be a little alteration. It originated in Mrs. Gardiner, who, fatigued by the exercise of the morning, found Elizabeth's arm inadequate to her support, and consequently preferred her husband's. Mr. Darcy took her place by her niece, and they walked on together. After a short silence, the lady first spoke. She wished him to know that she had been assured of his absence before she came to the place, and accordingly began by observing, that his arrival had been very unexpected -- "for your housekeeper," she added, "informed us that you would certainly not be here till to-morrow; and indeed, before we left Bakewell, we understood that you were not immediately expected in the country." He acknowledged the truth of it all, and said that business with his steward had occasioned his coming forward a few hours before the rest of the party with whom he had been travelling. "They will join me early to-morrow," he continued, "and among them are some who will claim an acquaintance with you -- Mr. Bingley and his sisters."

166
  • He loves her more now.
  • Darcy’s mind moving towards Elizabeth, Mrs. Gardiner moved towards her husband.
  • Not only he came a day early, but came without Caroline.
  • She again in her mind raises her visit. The doubts about the truth of the maid rose in her twice. They made him come. Now she raises it with him to clear it. Those doubts are the love-sensations in her. She wants to pass it on to him

43 walking Pride and Prejudice

Elizabeth answered only by a slight bow. Her thoughts were instantly driven back to the time when Mr. Bingley's name had been last mentioned between them; and, if she might judge from his complexion, his mind was not very differently engaged.

173
  • Caroline is in the picture, cannot be got rid of.
  • But overcoming her presence, life lets Darcy and Elizabeth meet alone.

"There is also one other person in the party," he continued after a pause, "who more particularly wishes to be known to you. Will you allow me, or do I ask too much, to introduce my sister to your acquaintance during your stay at Lambton?"

175
  • His asking her to be introduced to his sister removes all her doubts about his love. * She is now engaged to him to be married in his emotions and she is clear about it. Uncle and aunt do see that truth now
  • She was anxious to let him know her mind.
  • He was anxious to introduce his sister to her.
  • Bingley for Jane, even in this hot emotional context, catches her imagination.

43 disconcerted Pride and Prejudice

The surprise of such an application was great indeed; it was too great for her to know in what manner she acceded to it. She immediately felt that whatever desire Miss Darcy might have of being acquainted with her must be the work of her brother, and, without looking farther, it was satisfactory; it was gratifying to know that his resentment had not made him think really ill of her.

177
  • He is hesitant, not being sure of her attitude.
  • She was surprised about his wanting to introduce his sister.
  • He was surprised that it was welcome.

They now walked on in silence, each of them deep in thought. Elizabeth was not comfortable: that was impossible; but she was flattered and pleased. His wish of introducing his sister to her was a compliment of the highest kind. They soon outstripped the others, and when they had reached the carriage, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner were half a quarter of a mile behind.

179
  • Silence issues out of many situations.
  • Here she accepted his sister. That thought needs some time and energy to be absorbed.
  • The one act of wanting to introduce his sister removes all questions from her mind.

He then asked her to walk into the house; but she declared herself not tired, and they stood together on the lawn. At such a time much might have been said, and silence was very awkward. She wanted to talk, but there seemed an embargo on every subject. At last she recollected that she had been travelling, and they talked of Matlock and Dovedale with great perseverance. Yet time and her aunt moved slowly -- and her patience and her ideas were nearly worn out before the tête-à-tête was over. On Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner's coming up they were all pressed to go into the house and take some refreshment; but this was declined, and they parted on each side with the utmost politeness. Mr. Darcy handed the ladies into the carriage; and when it drove off, Elizabeth saw him walking slowly towards the house.

182
  • It is entirely a fresh situation as a speaker is asked from the audience an unexpected question.
  • Her psychological context, her social situations are entirely new. In these situations, words don’t form themselves. Even presence of Mind deserts. Resourcefulness, if it is there, will have no energy.
  • Silence is safe, awkwardness is usual.

The observations of her uncle and aunt now began; and each of them pronounced him to be infinitely superior to anything they had expected. "He is perfectly well-behaved, polite, and unassuming," said her uncle.

189
  • He would rather follow her.

"There is something a little stately in him, to be sure," replied her aunt; "but it is confined to his air, and is not unbecoming. I can now say with the housekeeper, that though some people may call him proud, I have seen nothing of it."

191
  • The uncle saw polite behaviour, the aunt saw stateliness in him.

"I was never more surprised than by his behaviour to us. It was more than civil; it was really attentive; and there was no necessity for such attention. His acquaintance with Elizabeth was very trifling."

193
  • Neither of them saw pride in him.

"To be sure, Lizzy," said her aunt, "he is not so handsome as Wickham; or, rather, he has not Wickham's countenance, for his features are perfectly good. But how came you to tell us that he was so disagreeable?"

195

Elizabeth excused herself as well as she could; said that she had liked him better when they met in Kent than before, and that she had never seen him so pleasant as this morning.

197

"But perhaps he may be a little whimsical in his civilities," replied her uncle. "Your great men often are; and therefore I shall not take him at his word about fishing, as he might change his mind another day, and warn me off his grounds."

198
  • ‘whimsical in his civilities’. Gardiner says so as Darcy has changed his attitude to Elizabeth

Elizabeth felt that they had entirely mistaken his character, but said nothing.

200

"From what we have seen of him," continued Mrs. Gardiner, "I really should not have thought that he could have behaved in so cruel a way by anybody as he has done by poor Wickham. He has not an ill-natured look. On the contrary, there is something pleasing about his mouth when he speaks. And there is something of dignity in his countenance, that would not give one an unfavourable idea of his heart. But, to be sure, the good lady who shewed us the house did give him a most flaming character! I could hardly help laughing aloud sometimes. But he is a liberal master, I suppose, and that, in the eye of a servant, comprehends every virtue."

201
  • The uncle listening to the changed behaviour of Darcy was inclined to think him whimsical.
  • Mrs. Gardiner is perceptive.
  • Looking at his expression Mrs. Gardiner can say Darcy would not have been cruel to anyone. She herself could not see that much in Wickham’s countenance. Nor could Elizabeth ever see in Darcy’s face the possibilities of generosity

Elizabeth here felt herself called on to say something in vindication of his behaviour to Wickham; and therefore gave them to understand, in as guarded a manner as she could, that by what she had heard from his relations in Kent, his actions were capable of a very different construction; and that his character was by no means so faulty, nor Wickham's so amiable, as they had been considered in Hertfordshire. In confirmation of this she related the particulars of all the pecuniary transactions in which they had been connected, without actually naming her authority, but stating it to be such as might be relied on.

208
  • Elizabeth gives out the details of Wickham’s life to Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner which she forgets when the news of the elopement comes. Even Mrs. Gardiner was a victim to Wickham’s countenance

43 carriage Pride and Prejudice

Mrs. Gardiner was surprised and concerned; but as they were now approaching the scene of her former pleasures, every idea gave way to the charm of recollection; and she was too much engaged in pointing out to her husband all the interesting spots in its environs to think of anything else. Fatigued as she had been by the morning's walk, they had no sooner dined than she set off again in quest of her former acquaintance, and the evening was spent in the satisfactions of an intercourse renewed after many years discontinuance.

210
  • It is not information that convinces, if it is given partially.

The occurrences of the day were too full of interest to leave Elizabeth much attention for any of these new friends; and she could do nothing but think, and think with wonder, of Mr. Darcy's civility, and above all, of his wishing her to be acquainted with his sister.

212
  • It is the totality of information that evokes faith.
  • Mrs. Gardiner’s mind turns to Lambton.

<< First l < Previous l Text & Commentary l Brief Summary l Detailed Summary l Next > l Last >>
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32
33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61


Icon.gif Icon.gif

Ad blocker interference detected!


Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.