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|Indeed, I do not dare.
Written by Adrian
(4/19/2010 11:46 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Lizzy at Netherfield, Part 1 (Long), penned by Robbin
Robbin, prompted by your description of this incident, I started to see Darcy's reaction in a new light. I do not know exactly what Darcy expected to hear from Lizzy when he suggested dancing a reel; he had mentioned in Chapter 6 that dancing was a subject women enjoyed talking about. I imagine he expected something witty or enthusiastic; so when Lizzy gave the response she did (albeit with archness and sweetness), I suspect Darcy's internal reaction was "what is she talking about?!" Or to couch it in Mr. Bennet's terms, "I have not the pleasure of understanding you."
But while Mr. Bennet's words would have sought an explanation, I think Darcy just wanted to beat a hasty retreat from the subject altogether. Think of what he heard: "the pleasure of despising my taste...those kind of schemes...premeditated contempt...despise me if you dare." Accustomed to the uses to which courtly language could be put ("Mr. Darcy is all politeness"), I am pretty sure Darcy sensed he had stepped on a hornets' nest here and wished to back off (as graciously as he could) until he understood why.
Bewitched he might be, but we have no account of ensuing conversation. Color him mystified.
P.S. Thank you, Robbin, for those amazing summaries.
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