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|Sir William, Darcy, & Elizabeth
Written by Emmy
(5/22/2007 12:53 p.m.)
In Ch 6, when Sir William tries to pair up Darcy and Elizabeth, I initially thought he was just being his courteous self. But something in the current chapters with him at Rosings made me think upon the gathering at Lucas Lodge. SW indicates that not only did he see Darcy dance, he's also aware he doesn't like the amusement. Since he knows all this, I conclude that SW likely heard of Darcy's slight of Elizabeth, especially considering the energy with which Mrs. Bennet talks of it and the fact that Charlotte knows of it and likely discussed it with her family, if only in passing and not maliciously.
My question is... (finally!) is SW gently reproaching Darcy for the snub ("Who could object to such a partner?") or perhaps setting up a situation where Darcy could make amends or is he just oblivious???? In what way was this a "gallant thing" SW had a mind to do?
Sir William only smiled. "Your friend performs delightfully," he continued after a pause, on seeing Bingley join the group; "and I doubt not that you are an adept in the science yourself, Mr. Darcy."
"You saw me dance at Meryton, I believe, sir."
"Yes, indeed, and received no inconsiderable pleasure from the sight. Do you often dance at St. James's?"
"Do you not think it would be a proper compliment to the place?"
"It is a compliment which I never pay to any place if I can avoid it." ...
He paused in hopes of an answer; but his companion was not disposed to make any; and Elizabeth at that instant moving towards them, he was struck with the notion of doing a very gallant thing, and called out to her --
"My dear Miss Eliza, why are not you dancing? -- Mr. Darcy, you must allow me to present this young lady to you as a very desirable partner. You cannot refuse to dance, I am sure, when so much beauty is before you." And, taking her hand, he would have given it to Mr. Darcy, who, though extremely surprised, was not unwilling to receive it, when she instantly drew back, and said with some discomposure to Sir William --
"Indeed, sir, I have not the least intention of dancing. I entreat you not to suppose that I moved this way in order to beg for a partner."
Mr. Darcy, with grave propriety, requested to be allowed the honour of her hand, but in vain. Elizabeth was determined; nor did Sir William at all shake her purpose by his attempt at persuasion.
"You excel so much in the dance, Miss Eliza, that it is cruel to deny me the happiness of seeing you; and though this gentleman dislikes the amusement in general, he can have no objection, I am sure, to oblige us for one half-hour."
"Mr. Darcy is all politeness," said Elizabeth, smiling.
"He is indeed; but considering the inducement, my dear Miss Eliza, we cannot wonder at his complaisance -- for who would object to such a partner?"
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