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|sat down by her, and talked scarcely to any one else (long)
Written by Stephanie
(4/13/2010 11:00 p.m.)
Mr. Hurst and Darcy are polite, and controlled. It is really in comparison to Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst's behavior that we see how affected Bingley is, though. Their faux concern is SO bland and practiced, that it really borders on insulting. Really! Consoling themselves with duets after supper! So fashionable of them to choose something that would show themselves to best advantage while they were soothing their fright for the nicest person either of them had probably ever known! Even their suggestion for a London advisor seems only offered in order to disparage the local medical help, not because they are biting their nails over Jane's condition.
Bingley not only speaks with genuine anxiety on Jane's behalf, but he actually acts on it. His inquiries come sooner and more worriedly. He fishes about for some way to help, and I can imagine his frustration at not having any way to OVERDO his concern. He drops comments like "In nursing your sister I am sure you have pleasure,  and I hope it will soon be increased by seeing her quite well," to Elizabeth, and makes her feel welcome (although, he is so amiable, he would do this even were she not nursing Jane). When Jane appears, he is ecstatic, ultra-careful of her, and as engaged as if she were not showing whatever signs of her cold were still there (Jane must have been pale or SOMETHING, right?).
The whole attitude might come off as just too-too, except that Author Austen paints it so sweetly through Elizabeth's eyes, that it's just wonderful to see him so eager to fall in love with Jane. Admittedly, if Jane were not the paragon we know her to be, it would be rather ill-advised to fling one's heart at a recent acquaintance like that. As it is, every time Bingley worries, or smiles, or softens his sisters' coldness, or tries to convince Jane to stay longer in order to enjoy her company longer, my heart swells.
It really is a gentle counter to the sometimes hurtful, or insensitive actions in the rest of the story. I admire Author Austen for handling it so deftly.
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