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Written by Robbin
(4/14/2010 2:15 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Darcy's Behavior, penned by Kathryn Ann
At the assembly Darcy uses etiquette to shield himself from the rabble and relieve himself of any duty towards them which is not exactly the intent of good manners. Ladies cannot ask men to dance and by refusing introductions he puts it conveniently out his power to ask them. By refusing to speak to any local person, he puts it out of their power to speak to him. Balls were for socializing; particularly for the young and unmarried which I think partially accounts for the expectation gentlemen should dance, converse and generally endeavor to be obliging and agreeable.
The book Etiquette for Ladies and Gentlemen Or, the Principles of True Politeness tasks gentlemen with particular obligations in a ballroom:
At a ball it is not necessary to display the science and agility of an artist: it is simply sufficient that you dance with ease and grace, and that you enter into the spirit of it as becomes a gentleman. …“Remember that a ballroom is a school of politeness, and therefore let your whole conduct be influenced by that strict regard to etiquette such a place requires”
Obviously Darcy did not conduct himself as a gentleman ought by ignoring such common-place obligations. He did not enter into the spirit of the evening or dance although “the scarcity of gentlemen” (3) had left at least one lady without a partner. His neglect was made acute by standing-up with sisters Bingley thus stating to the company he would dance, just not with their daughters. Darcy could do all this because he has the advantage of rank but I think he does it because as he said of Lizzy, none of them deserve the consequence his attention would bestow on them. People were snubbed; they know it and don’t like it. (:D)
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