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|Lizzy at Hunsford - The Crash (long)
Written by Robbin
(5/5/2010 5:07 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Lizzy at Hunsford – Quiet before the Storm (long), penned by Robbin
This is a continuation of my focus, Lizzy’s changing feelings about the men in her life, now including Darcy, Wickham and Col Fitzwilliam. This post will cover Lizzy’s time at Hunsford in chapters 33 and 34. (:D)
Lizzy still believes whole heartedly that Darcy does not like her and this is so imbedded an idea that it does not occur to her Darcy walks with her for the sake of being in her company and is asking “odd unconnected questions” (33) questions for himself rather than alluding to “what might arise” with Col Fitzwilliam. The questions distress Lizzy. Lizzy meets the colonel in the park and after some conversation, begun by Lizzy, on Darcy liking to “have his own way very well” and how younger sons cannot he examples himself by divulging he cannot marry without attention to fortune. Lizzy is embarrassed wondering if his speech meant for her but she recovers and attacks Darcy again with his liking to always have “somebody at his disposal” which eventually leads to Col Fitzwilliam unknowingly exposing Darcy’s hand in preventing Bingley from marrying Jane.
[It is interesting that Col Fitzwilliam, a charming well spoken man Lizzy likes and who likes her (just as Wickham) also exposes Darcy’s cruel behavior towards someone she cares about. They both extort Lizzy’s silence on the subject. Does Lizzy present as a good confidant?]
Lizzy goes from making little pokes at Darcy to having evidence of his interference in Jane’s happiness suddenly revealed. Unfortunately the news is made worse by Col Fitzwilliam’s description that Darcy “congratulated himself” on his success. Lizzy asks for Darcy’s reasons, his arts but the colonel cannot satisfy her with many answers. Lizzy’s walks her “heart swelling with indignation” and when questioned replies “Your cousin's conduct does not suit my feelings. Why was he to be the judge?” and etc. ending with the colonel admitting if there was affection in the case it very sadly lessens the honor of Darcy’s triumph. To Lizzy it is “so just a picture” of Darcy that she cannot trust herself to speak.
Lizzy attributes Darcy’s interference to the “worst kind of pride” and saving Bingley for his sister. She begs off going to Rosings as her agitation and tears have brought on a headache adding to her unwillingness to meet with Darcy. Lizzy “exasperate[s] herself as much as possible against Mr. Darcy” and broods on his “shameful boast of what misery he had been able to inflict” and develops “a keener sense of her sister's sufferings” by rereading all of Jane’s letters. Lizzy is consoled that Darcy departs in two days. Col Fitzwilliam she thinks to give up without regret yet at the door-bell she feels “a little flutter” that it might be him. Amazingly it is Darcy to enquire of her health to which she responds coldly.
Lizzy is surprised by Darcy’s agitated manner and then astonished “beyond expression” and embarrassed and doubting to hear his declaration of ardent admiration and love. Despite her “deeply rooted dislike she could not be insensible to the compliment of such a man's affection” and intending to refuse she was sorry for the pain it would give till his scruples against the match and its “being a degradation” caused her compassion to turn into anger. Darcy appears secure of her answer which only exasperates Lizzy’s anger. Lizzy refuses and feeling dreadful watches Darcy cycle though emotions until with “forced calmness” and claiming its unimportance asks why she rejects him with so little civility. It opens the flood gates and his reactions only increase Lizzy anger.
Lizzy defends herself saying his design of “offending and insulting” with his declaration was some excuse if she was uncivil. She asks why she would accept him when he has ruined her sister’s happiness. Indignantly, she sees he is “wholly unmoved by… remorse” about Jane and smiles at her with “affected incredulity”. She confronts him with mistreating Wickham and energetically his ridicule and contempt for one he ill used. His assertion she would have accepted had he concealed his struggles and his claim his scruples were just and natural angers Lizzy further yet she tries very much to be composed in explaining his ungentlemanly behavior only saved her the concern she might have felt in refusing him. She relates how his selfish manners, arrogance, conceit and “selfish disdain of the feelings of others” early gave her an “immoveable a dislike” and the knowledge she could never marry him.
The tumult of her mind was now painfully great. She knew not how to support herself, and from actual weakness sat down and cried for half an hour. Her astonishment, as she reflected on what had passed, was increased by every review of it. …She continued in very agitating reflections till... made her feel how unequal she was to encounter Charlotte's observation, and hurried her away to her room. (34)
Darcy leaves, Lizzy is left so agitated and distressed she is physically weak for a time. That he had “been in love with her for so many months” and wished to act on it after preventing Bingley from marrying Jane is astonishing to Lizzy. Her gratification to have “inspired unconsciously so strong an affection” is vanity but it is a greater compliment to have inspired affection in an intelligent man than one such as Mr. Collins. Darcy’s pride, shameless acknowledgement of what he did to Jane and his unfeeling manner towards Wickham justifies her belief he is capable of any cruelty and overcomes the pity she felt at what pain he must be suffering in rejection. That Lizzy can feel compassion for Darcy at this moment is a testament to her kind and grateful heart. Col Fitzwilliam is forgotten. (:D)
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