Politeness is as Politeness Does
Posted by Janet on November 21, 1997 at 08:16:31:
In response to to quote someone else, "There's a double meaning in that!", written by RachelE on November 20, 1997 at 23:51:33
] ] Chapter 6, pg 22 (World's Classics; Oxford Edition)
] ] " 'You excel so much in the dance, Miss Eliza, that it is cruel to deny me the happiness of seeing you; and though the 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."
] ] I have always taken this particular line to be a inward joke, a poke at Darcy to herself. I've always felt she was thinking of the Meryton Assembly and his rude comments about herself, and laughing at Darcy inwardly. What do you all think of this?
] Dancing with her would be the last thing he'd want to do, but in this situation, he would be forced to do it unless he wanted to appear ungentlemanly and downright rude.
I do agree with Rachel that Lizzie's line is probably a throwback to the Meryton Assembly, but I do not totally agree with RachelE. Although it would be rude and ungentlemanly for Darcy to refuse, JA does write "....Mr. Darcy, who, though extremely surprised, was not unwilling to receive it." Perhaps I read too much into this, but I am of the impression that Mr. Darcy would not mind at all dancing with Lizzie, especially in light of the subsequent paragraphs. So, Lizzie may feel that Darcy is being "forced" into politeness because of the prior snub, but I don't believe that is Darcy's position.
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