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|Lizzy's cattiness with Darcy about Mr. Collins
Written by Louise H
(4/29/2010 12:36 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Gossip in P&P, ch.26-34, penned by Line
This isn't quite the same as gossip, but I'm always surprised by the conversation where Darcy says to Lizzy, "Mr. Collins appears very fortunate in his choice of a wife," and she replies, "Yes, indeed; his friends may well rejoice in his having met with one of the very few sensible women who would have accepted him, or have made him happy if they had. My friend has an excellent understanding -- though I am not certain that I consider her marrying Mr. Collins as the wisest thing she ever did." (Ch. 32)
This seems quite a catty conversation for Lizzy to have with someone she dislikes. It doesn't seem very appropriate to say such negative things about her (distant) cousin and her host to someone with whom she's not intimate.
Darcy brings up the subject, which is a little odd in itself I think, but I think it's appropriate because he only speaks praise. I'm also little surprised that he's not surprised by the cattiness of Lizzy's response. Maybe this is another instance where he's misled into thinking that she's encouraging him, seeing how open she is with him in her contempt of her cousin. There's a form of intimacy in saying in effect, "you and I both see how foolish Mr. Collins is."
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