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|Darcy's description in the letter
Written by Kathi
(2/1/2004 10:12 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, I wonder how the conversation went?, penned by Karen Marija
] We know what Darcy said to Bingley based on his (Darcy's) letter, but I wonder about the context. Perhaps Bingley confided in Darcy his feelings for Jane and asked Darcy's opinion, which Darcy gave as very negative, which would be his right.
] I think Darcy giving an honest, negative opinion ("No, I don't think she loves you. And she wouldn't be a very prudent match anyway...consider her connections!") when he's been asked for that opinion is one thing; it's entirely another if he tries to persuade Bingley without first being asked.
I think what Darcy does write deals with some of your questions:
The part which I acted is now to be explained. His sisters' uneasiness had been equally excited with my own; our coincidence of feeling was soon discovered, and, alike sensible that no time was to be lost in detaching their brother, we shortly resolved on joining him directly in London. We accordingly went -- and there I readily engaged in the office of pointing out to my friend the certain evils of such a choice. I described, and enforced them earnestly. But, however this remonstrance might have staggered or delayed his determination, 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. But Bingley has great natural modesty, with a stronger dependence on my judgment than on his own. To convince him, therefore, that he had deceived himself, was no very difficult point.
First, while it does not say whether Bingley asked Darcy's opinion, it does not sound like he did -- and as it might have been an extenuating circumstance, I assume that it would have been something Darcy would want to mention. So it seems unlikely that Bingley asked Darcy's opinion.
Second, in contrast to your example, he brought up the evils of the connection with the connection with the Bennet family first, and I doubt that what he said was as "soft" as "And she wouldn't be a very prudent match anyway...consider her connections!" He says that he pointed out "the certain evils of such a choice. I described, and enforced them earnestly." I suspect, based on that description, that he used both stronger language and was more specific than you suggest.
Finally, he says that he "seconded [his comments about the evils of connection with the Bennet family] by the assurance, which I hesitated not in giving, of your sister's indifference." Again, I think he must have said something much stronger than "No, I don't think she loves you." It is more likely that he said something along the lines of "I can assure you that she is indifferent to you" -- something he did not have any real evidence of.
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