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|Intention follows the bullet
Written by Kathi
(5/3/2007 6:50 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Still Defending Darcy, penned by jeremy
You mentioned the "not proven" verdict in a previous post. The meaning of the "not proven" verdict is that the jury thinks that the defendant is probably guilty but the prosecution has not presented sufficient evidence. There is no punishment, but the stigma remains. Unless I misunderstand your position, that is not what you mean when you say that your verdict is "not proven."
To bring in another legal concept, at least metaphorically, I don't think that it is any defense for Darcy that he was only trying to get Bingley to leave him alone when he insulted an innocent stranger -- intention follows the bullet (or in this case, the insult). If A is trying to shoot B but misses and kills C, then A cannot argue that he is not guilty of intentional homicide on the basis that it wasn't C he was trying to kill. Similarly, Darcy cannot plead not guilty on the basis that the object of his complaint was really Bingley, since it was Lizzy that he "hit." Whatever the provocation on Bingley's part, it was ungentlemanlike of Darcy to take his pique out on a stranger.
I'm not sure why you think it takes exceptionally fine hearing to overhear someone whose back is to you, but I suggest you try it out. Turning one's back does not reduce the volume significantly.
We don't know for certain what Lizzy thought of Darcy before she overheard him (unless there's a passage you've noticed that I missed), though there is no reason to think she didn't share in the general disapprobation. However, it was not due to the fact that Darcy didn't like country dances but because he made it clear that he considered himself above everyone there and didn't care who knew it. Suppose, though, that Lizzy hadn't already had a negative opinion of Darcy. Are you suggesting she would have been unjustified in disliking him based only on the personal insult?
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