Quick Index Board Index Home FAQ Site Map
|Lizzy at Hunsford – Quiet before the Storm (long)
Written by Robbin
(5/5/2010 1:47 p.m.)
I continue to follow my focus, Lizzy’s feelings about the men in her life, Darcy, Wickham and this cousin of Darcy’s, Col Fitzwilliam. This post will cover Lizzy’s time at Hunsford from chapters 28 to 32. (:D)
Darcy & Wickham are forgotten at Lizzy & Charlotte’s happy reunion. Darcy finally comes to mind when Miss De Bourgh who appears “sickly and cross” suggests she would make him a proper wife. Wickham has not his share until Lady Catherine proves to be the very picture of his description. Lizzy also sees a resemblance in Lady Catherine’s “countenance and deportment” (29) to that of Darcy. In Ch. 30 Darcy arrives with his cousin Col Fitzwilliam in tow and they descend on the parsonage to pay respects to the ladies. Charlotte attributes this degree of civility to Lizzy’s presence but her friend disagrees. Darcy is characteristically reserved and Lizzy, wishing “to see whether he would betray any consciousness” of Jane’s situation with the Bingleys, asks if he met her in town for which she is rewarded in seeing him a little confused as he answered he had not. Lizzy admires Col Fitzwilliam’s manners and he calls at the parsonage “more than once” (31) before they were invited to join them at Rosings for tea. Darcy she saw only at church.
He now seated himself by her, and talked so agreeably of Kent and Hertfordshire, of travelling and staying at home, of new books and music, that Elizabeth had never been half so well entertained in that room before; and they conversed with so much spirit and flow… (31)
Lizzy enjoys the colonel’s verbal abilities very much. If she notices Darcy was “a little ashamed of his aunt's ill-breeding” there is no reaction but seeing him approach her at the pianoforte Lizzy smiles archly and asks if he means to frighten her warning “My courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me.” I agree with Darcy, Lizzy doesn’t believe he wishes to frighten but rather she knows he means to be critical and she is up to it. However his assertion that she finds “great enjoyment in occasionally professing opinions” not her own amuses Lizzy greatly. She jokes that she had “hoped to pass myself off with some degree of credit” and retaliates by exposing his poor behavior at the assembly (3) making an obvious reference to herself without a partner. Darcy makes excuses but Lizzy will not have it suggesting he ought to practice pointing out she could play better if she wanted to and would take the time to practice.
I think Lizzy is less aggressive in trying to pique Darcy than she eventually became in Hertfordshire—perhaps because she is within his family. In telling him to practice she is criticizing—meaning that he could recommend himself to strangers if he wanted to. There is no reaction to Darcy’s comment that neither of them perform to strangers. Lizzy does not see any significance to their both being of a mind to do as they please instead of what others expect of them but I think Darcy may.
Darcy visits the parsonage and finds Lizzy alone (32). Trying to find him out, Lizzy quizzes on the party’s hasty departure from Netherfield and the rumor Bingley might not return but is piqued by his answers. Darcy compliments Mr. Collins’ good fortune in his wife asserting “It must be very agreeable to her to be settled within so easy a distance” of home. Lizzy disagrees and he attributes her feelings as proof of her attachment to home. Lizzy sees his smile and is embarrassed believing he thinks she is speaking of Jane & Netherfield. She says “I do not mean to say that a woman may not be settled too near her family” and to ensure he knows Charlotte is her object explains the Collins lack an income to make the expense of traveling unimportant. His sudden assertion she cannot have such an attachment; she “cannot have been always at Longbourn” so surprises Lizzy that he taken aback by her reaction.
Lizzy may have taken Darcy’s comment that Mr. Collins was fortunate in his wife very literally since it is obviously true he has a wife better than his merit deserves—this may explain why her answer seems rather exposing of her cousin. Lizzy’s belief Darcy was smiling (laughing) at her for match making (Jane & Bingley) shows she does not trust his intent. She does not see that perhaps he was smiling at her because she is quite naturally fond of her home. Lizzy might see his attitude of fifty miles being an easy distance as the short sighted unthoughtful view of a wealthy man. Charlotte suggests Darcy “must be in love with you, or he would never have called on us in this familiar way” but Lizzy unmoved tells of his silence and they suppose boredom was the reason for his visit.
Darcy & Col Fitzwilliam visit the parsonage almost everyday. Lizzy is reminded of her former favorite (Wickham) by the colonel’s admiration and her satisfaction in being with him. She compares that there is less “captivating softness” in the colonel’s manners but he might have the “best informed mind” of the two. Darcy is his usual reserved self and “when he did speak, it seemed the effect of necessity rather than of choice -- a sacrifice to propriety” rather than a pleasure—I daresay it is what Lizzy expects. When Charlotte suggests Darcy is partial to her the only response from Lizzy is laughter. Lizzy seems to have practically forgotten Wickham, Col Fitzwilliam has Lizzy’s attention and admiration and Darcy, still quite disliked and an object of suspicion, is also a social curiosity. (:D)
Groupread is maintained by Myretta with WebBBS 3.21.