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Pride & Prejudice: Chapter 60

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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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Elizabeth's spirits soon rising to playfulness again, she wanted Mr. Darcy to account for his having ever fallen in love with her. "How could you begin?" Said she. "I can comprehend your going on charmingly, when you had once made a beginning; but what could set you off in the first place?"

1
  • Her spirit reached to playfulness again.
  • — Rising spirit expresses as smile, cheerfulness, playfulness, joke, humour, etc. determined by the level of origin.

60 elizabeth darcy Pride and Prejudice

"I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun."

4
  • He who cannot fix an hour, a day, is one who is unconsciously drawn into it by unseen forces.

"My beauty you had early withstood, and as for my manners -- my behaviour to you was at least always bordering on the uncivil, and I never spoke to you without rather wishing to give you pain than not. Now, be sincere; did you admire me for my impertinence?"

7
  • Lizzy tells nothing to anyone, she wants Darcy to explain everything.
  • Beauty is the conventional attractor. But her looks are not what attracts Darcy and he does not deny that. She needs to know for future reference.
  • Feelings take unconscious possession of one and one day suddenly surface.
  • In the case of Darcy, it happened to him against his wishes.

"For the liveliness of your mind, I did."

9
  • When people fall in love, they don’t think of anything.
  • She is very bright and original thinker. Time and again her responses surprise Darcy. He likes the challenge and is attracted by her passionate nature.

"You may as well call it impertinence at once. It was very little less. The fact is, that you were sick of civility, of deference, of officious attention. You were disgusted with the women who were always speaking and looking and thinking for your approbation alone. I roused and interested you, because I was so unlike them. Had you not been really amiable, you would have hated me for it; but, in spite of the pains you took to disguise yourself, your feelings were always noble and just; and, in your heart, you thoroughly despised the persons who so assiduously courted you. There -- I have saved you the trouble of accounting for it; and really, all things considered, I begin to think it perfectly reasonable. To be sure, you knew no actual good of me -- but nobody thinks of that when they fall in love."

10
  • Here is an excellent example of Elizabeth's analytical ability. Note that she finds an indirect way to complement him.

"Was there no good in your affectionate behaviour to Jane, while she was ill at Netherfield?"

18
  • Her sister is the more beautiful one and yet Elizabeth does not hold it against her. Such a temprament bodes well in her future relationship with his heiress sister, Georgianna.

"Dearest Jane! Who could have done less for her? But make a virtue of it by all means. My good qualities are under your protection, and you are to exaggerate them as much as possible; and in return, it belongs to me to find occasions for teasing and quarrelling with you as often as may be; and I shall begin directly, by asking you what made you so unwilling to come to the point at last? What made you so shy of me when you first called, and afterwards dined here? Why, especially when you called, did you look as if you did not care about me?"

19
  • The question reveals her anguish when she thought he no longer loved her. It also reveals that her love preceded his help with Lydia.

"Because you were grave and silent, and gave me no encouragement."

25
  • She asks him why he did not talk, forgetting she herself had not talked.
    • His reason was he was too full.
    • She could not understand it as she was not so full.
    • She could not talk as she was embarrassed.
  • The truth of their relationship is where he is too full she is too embarrassed of her own low situation.

"But I was embarrassed."

26

"And so was I."

27

"You might have talked to me more when you came to dinner."

28

"A man who had felt less, might."

29
  • His emotions overpowered his physical frame.

"How unlucky that you should have a reasonable answer to give, and that I should be so reasonable as to admit it! But I wonder how long you would have gone on if you had been left to yourself! I wonder when you would have spoken, if I had not asked you! My resolution of thanking you for your kindness to Lydia had certainly great effect. -- Too much, I am afraid; for what becomes of the moral, if our comfort springs from a breach of promise? For I ought not to have mentioned the subject. This will never do."

30
  • She is anxious to resume her personality for which he may not be ready in years.
  • Our comfort springs from our breach of promise.
    • This is the case when the promise is unnatural.
    • Secrecies as the suppression of Bingley about Darcy’s interference which are essential are not broken for years.

"You need not distress yourself. The moral will be perfectly fair. Lady Catherine's unjustifiable endeavours to separate us were the means of removing all my doubts. I am not indebted for my present happiness to your eager desire of expressing your gratitude. I was not in a humour to wait for any opening of yours. My aunt's intelligence had given me hope, and I was determined at once to know everything."

37

"Lady Catherine has been of infinite use, which ought to make her happy, for she loves to be of use. But tell me, what did you come down to Netherfield for? Was it merely to ride to Longbourn, and be embarrassed? Or had you intended any more serious consequence?"

43
  • Lady Catherine was of infinite use.
    • The encounter with her raised the strength of Elizabeth which acted on Darcy.
  • She loved to be of use.
    • Wealth must be put to use.
    • Only that the way the Lady wished to be used suited her own temperament.
  • Whatever accumulates will begin to make itself useful.
  • Tell me why did you come to Netherfield.
    • She assumes a tone of demand she does not use even with Jane.
    • It is the tone of the wife who has acquired the legal authority. Trollope sees it at the altar.
  • Always every avowed purpose has another purpose behind.

"My real purpose was to see you, and to judge, if I could, whether I might ever hope to make you love me. My avowed one, or what I avowed to myself, was to see whether your sister were still partial to Bingley, and, if she were, to make the confession to him which I have since made."

47

"Shall you ever have courage to announce to Lady Catherine, what is to befall her?"

49

"I am more likely to want time than courage, Elizabeth. But it ought to be done; and if you will give me a sheet of paper, it shall be done directly."

50
  • To Darcy, Lady Catherine is not an issue one way or another.
  • His demand for the sheet of paper is the right answer.

"And if I had not a letter to write myself, I might sit by you, and admire the evenness of your writing, as another young lady once did. But I have an aunt too who must not be longer neglected."

52
  • Her own letter is ‘long’ delayed as Mrs. Gardiner is the one who would most appreciate the news. Also she replied Elizabeth at length the very next day to relieve her anxiety. Elizabeth’s explanation is very true – too cross to write – as neither Jane nor her father had agreed yet.

From an unwillingness to confess how much her intimacy with Mr. Darcy had been overrated, Elizabeth had never yet answered Mrs. Gardiner's long letter; but now, having that to communicate which she knew would be most welcome, she was almost ashamed to find that her uncle and aunt had already lost three days of happiness, and immediately wrote as follows --

54
  • Her intimacy with Darcy was indefinable in view of the several opposite strands.

"I would have thanked you before, my dear aunt, as I ought to have done, for your long, kind, satisfactory detail of particulars; but, to say the truth, I was too cross to write. You supposed more than really existed. But now suppose as much as you chuse; give a loose to your fancy, indulge your imagination in every possible flight which the subject will afford, and unless you believe me actually married, you cannot greatly err. You must write again very soon, and praise him a great deal more than you did in your last. I thank you, again and again, for not going to the Lakes. How could I be so silly as to wish it! Your idea of the ponies is delightful. We will go round the Park every day. I am the happiest creature in the world. Perhaps other people have said so before, but not one with such justice. I am happier even than Jane: she only smiles, I laugh. Mr. Darcy sends you all the love in the world that he can spare from me. You are all to come to Pemberley at Christmas. -- Yours, etc."

55

Mr. Darcy's letter to Lady Catherine, was in a different style, and still different from either was what Mr. Bennet sent to Mr. Collins, in reply to his last.

67

"Dear Sir, -- "I must trouble you once more for congratulations. Elizabeth will soon be the wife of Mr. Darcy. Console Lady Catherine as well as you can. But, if I were you, I would stand by the nephew; he has more to give. -- Your's sincerely, etc."

68

Miss Bingley's congratulations to her brother on his approaching marriage were all that was affectionate and insincere. She wrote even to Jane on the occasion, to express her delight, and repeat all her former professions of regard. Jane was not deceived, but she was affected, and, though feeling no reliance on her, could not help writing her a much kinder answer than she knew was deserved.

74
  • Miss Bingley’s congratulations to her brother.
    • It is an eternal theme readily understood and rarely understood.
    • People choose their own way and when they fail take to the greatest possible advantage available.
    • This will not be a full explanation.
    • At each moment MAN does what is most profitable to him when he is not encumbered by values.
    • Any man has ego-values.
    • What is the law ego-values follow.
    • It is a law of harmony with itself – the ego.
    • What then is the ego?
    • It is an organization of maximum efficiency for its survival and growth unencumbered by any higher value.
    • In that case the law must be one of energies.
    • Ego is an inward organized structure.
    • One becomes a Man in the measure he is humane.
    • To be humane he must be organized outward.
    • The Brahmins, the Greeks and all those priestly class who have attained highest intelligence have thus organized themselves inwardly. We see the USA has done so in every aspect, particularly with respect to Nuclear Disarmament.
    • What then is the solution?
    • Without QUESTION destroy the canker which is a cancer.
    • Any QUESTION is an obstacle.
    • Where do you make a start?
    • Know ego is the poison in the society.
    • Self-awareness that generates shame is the first step. Darcy felt it.
    • Elizabeth felt it a little.
    • One must be civilized before becoming cultured.
    • What is the practical advice?
    • In the ancient days the Brahmins were allowed no possessions.
    • They were to beg for their FOOD.
    • Even food they could not have for more than 3 days.
    • On the road they should walk in the middle announcing their arrival.
    • They should not go to any house.
    • Every Brahmin of that description the world is obliged to feed, not today’s Brahmin as Guru wants.
    • Selfishness possesses every object totally.
    • Miss Bingley, for her progress, must wish for Darcy’s wedding with Elizabeth.
    • Sri Aurobindo said MAN is selfish and mean.
    • Meanness is more difficult to get rid of than selfishness.
    • Selfishness is the power, meanness is the attitude.

The joy which Miss Darcy expressed on receiving similar information was as sincere as her brother's in sending it. Four sides of paper were insufficient to contain all her delight, and all her earnest desire of being loved by her sister.

77

Before any answer could arrive from Mr. Collins, or any congratulations to Elizabeth from his wife, the Longbourn family heard that the Collinses were come themselves to Lucas Lodge. The reason of this sudden removal was soon evident. Lady Catherine had been rendered so exceedingly angry by the contents of her nephew's letter, that Charlotte, really rejoicing in the match, was anxious to get away till the storm was blown over. At such a moment the arrival of her friend was a sincere pleasure to Elizabeth, though in the course of their meetings she must sometimes think the pleasure dearly bought, when she saw Mr. Darcy exposed to all the parading and obsequious civility of her husband. He bore it, however, with admirable calmness. He could even listen to Sir William Lucas, when he complimented him on carrying away the brightest jewel of the country, and expressed his hopes of their all meeting frequently at St. James's, with very decent composure. If he did shrug his shoulders, it was not till Sir William was out of sight.

79
  • Miss Darcy’s genuine joy.
    • The adult protection and even the company is an absolute joy for the youth.
    • As a motherless child she would enjoy it more.
    • Adulthood is power of growth and social power. The youth loves to enter into it and expand joyously for protection
  • The arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Collins at the Lucas Lodge.
    • She who was a patroness till now, is now a relative.
    • They would not have been blown over if Collins had not written those two letters to * Mr. Bennet and given the non-existent report to Lady Catherine.
    • The storm is too powerful to stand.
    • It is a delightful prophesy for Charlotte that came true. She has the extreme satisfaction of being the only one who saw it before marriage.
    • To be the relative of Darcy and Lady Catherine is no mean fulfillment to Mr.Collins.
  • Charlotte is grateful beyond measure to Elizabeth for giving her Collins. Elizabeth has not the same knowledge of Charlotte’s gift to her. Their meeting will have that basis of mutual good will.
  • Mr. Collins makes Darcy see the reality of Mr. Bennet’s family.

Mrs. Philips's vulgarity was another, and, perhaps, a greater tax on his forbearance; and though Mrs. Philips, as well as her sister, stood in too much awe of him to speak with the familiarity which Bingley's good-humour encouraged, yet, whenever she did speak, she must be vulgar. Nor was her respect for him, though it made her more quiet, at all likely to make her more elegant. Elizabeth did all she could to shield him from the frequent notice of either, and was ever anxious to keep him to herself, and to those of her family with whom he might converse without mortification; and though the uncomfortable feelings arising from all this took from the season of courtship much of its pleasure, it added to the hope of the future; and she looked forward with delight to the time when they should be removed from society so little pleasing to either, to all the comfort and elegance of their family party at Pemberley.

86
  • Elizabeth is the brightest jewel of the country, true.
  • Vulgar people when they are pleasant will be vulgarly pleasant.
  • It is the family that won Darcy. How can Elizabeth keep him to herself.
  • The season of courtship is seasoned with vulgarity.

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