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|Let's be fair, now, ...
Written by gianni
(4/29/2013 11:43 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, It's the assurance that offends me :-) [long], penned by kathleen (elder)
... and include the evidence for Darcy's denial of Jane's love and Bingley's acceptance of it. Completing your own reference (ch. 35, the letter):
... I do not suppose that it would ultimately have prevented the marriage, had it not been seconded by the assurance, which I hesitated not in giving, of your sister's indifference. He had before believed her to return his affection with sincere, if not with equal regard. ...
Now,Lizzy's own prior assessment of the budding love (ch. 6):
... and to her it was equally evident that Jane was yielding to the preference which she had begun to entertain for him from the first, and was in a way to be very much in love; but she considered with pleasure that it was not likely to be discovered by the world in general, since Jane united, with great strength of feeling, a composure of temper and a uniform cheerfulness of manner which would guard her from the suspicions of the impertinent. ...
What does Lizzy think now of Darcy's assertion regarding Jane's love (ch. 36)?
... How could she deny that credit to his assertions, in one instance, which she had been obliged to give in the other. He declared himself to have been totally unsuspicious of her sister's attachment; and she could not help remembering what Charlotte's opinion had always been. Neither could she deny the justice of his description of Jane. She felt that Jane's feelings, though fervent, were little displayed, and that there was a constant complacency in her air and manner not often united with great sensibility. ...
(bear in mind that she knew nothing of Charlotte's opinion of Jane's hidden feelings until she herself bragged to Charlotte of the concealment).
And what was this opinion of Charlotte's (ch. 6)?
"It may perhaps be pleasant," replied Charlotte, "to be able to impose on the public in such a case; but it is sometimes a disadvantage to be so very guarded. If a woman conceals her affection with the same skill from the object of it, she may lose the opportunity of fixing him; " ...
Darcy's original behavior was offensive; now I see the beginning of repair in his attitudes and actions. Indeed, I lean toward the opinion that it would be a poor friend indeed who neglected to warn his friend that he's letting himself in for a bad time with apparently little prospect that the benefit would be worth the pain.
By the way, I have never accepted the notion that Bingley was weak-minded; his giving in here plays to me as a thoughtful, if unfortunate, acceptance of the dangerous likelihood of getting involved in a very bad family situation for his love of a girl who at best might be a pleasant companion after he accepts that her pleasant, but calm regard for him is not love.
Darcy has not been pleasant; he has not been accepting; he has not been open; but he also hasn't been altogether unfair or at all dishonest.
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