Posted by Kate on December 08, 1997 at 18:27:30:
I was struck on this rereading by how much was left OUT of the letter in our favourite version - especially how much more complicated the Wickham history was, and particularly that it gave more credence to the idea that Wickham wanted to "revenge himself" on Darcy.
However, two particular points.
In his description of his reasons for separating Jane and Bingley, the following passage appears.
" My objections to the marriage were not merely those which I last night acknowledged to have required the utmost force of passion to put aside in my own case; the want of connection could not be so great an evil to my friend as to me. -- But there were other causes of repugnance; -- causes which, though still existing, and existing to an equal degree in both instances, I had myself endeavoured to forget, because they were not immediately before me." (emphasis added)
This is interesting to me, because I think we tend to emphasise the fact that Darcy's reasons for his dislike of the connection (for himself or Bingley) to Lizzy's family is the reasons he goes on to state - ie the behaviour of her sisters, mother and father. In fact, he goes on to say...
" The situation of your mother's family, though objectionable, was nothing in comparison..." yada yada yada
But it seems clear that at this point he continued to regard the "want of connection" as a real problem (greater in his own case than for Bingley - pompous git!) - and it's obviously a problem that at some point in the following months he overcomes.
My second point of interest in the letter is in the middle of his recounting of the Wickham business:
"Here again I shall give you pain -- to what degree you only can tell. But whatever may be the sentiments which Mr. Wickham has created, a suspicion of their nature shall not prevent me from unfolding his real character. It adds even another motive."
Darcy suspects that Lizzy is partial to Wickham, but this suspicion does not hold him back - it makes him more determined to tell her the truth.
Is this additional motive to protect her from a potentially dangerous involvement, by letting her know W's true character, or is because he is jealous and wants to snuff out her liking for Wickham?
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