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|Marrying without love is not necessarily mercenary
Written by Connie
(5/4/2010 11:12 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, with respect to any other leading characteristic, penned by Stephanie
Mr. Bingley was no Mr. Collins. I think almost any woman whose heart was not already engaged elsewhere would have grown to love Bingley and respected him. He was sensible, friendly, well-mannered, lively, and liked by all, besides being handsome. So I don't think a woman who married him without being in love could truthfully be called mercenary. His eligibility did not just depend on his L5000. Charlotte said something else in that conversation with Lizzy that may here be proved true (thanks for bringing this up, so that I could notice this!):
There is so much of gratitude or vanity in almost every attachment, that it is not safe to leave any to itself. We can all begin freely -- a slight preference is natural enough; but there are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement.
If Bingley had been helped on through either gratitude or vanity, he may have been persuaded to drop his suit when he thought he had no cause for either. Certainly, his pride (the kind in good regulation, I think) would have been hurt. I am not sure what his thoughts about Jane were now beyond this.
As for the rest of Charlotte's words, I was not thinking about Lizzy's focussing on any one phrase so much as the whole conversation. Certainly Lizzy never agreed that Jane should have shown more affection than she felt, but she may have had to acknowledge that if Jane had acted as Charlotte advised, things may have worked out differently. The more I think about Charlotte's words, the more sound they seem, if one wants only to be pragmatic. I think their lack of soundness comes from the fact that a truly sensible person would not be acting purely pragmatically. What do you think?
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