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This commentary was prepared by Karmayogi of The Mother’s Service Society (India). See or MSS Research. The Comments column is intended for brief insightful remarks on the text. For longer comments or questions use the Talk page of this article or create a new article and add a link in the comments section of this page or under the appropriate heading on P&P project mainpage.

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Mr. Bennet was among the earliest of those who waited on Mr. Bingley. He had always intended to visit him, though to the last always assuring his wife that he should not go; and till the evening after the visit was paid she had no knowledge of it. It was then disclosed in the following manner: -- Observing his second daughter employed in trimming a hat, he suddenly addressed her with --

  • He who protests will readily do it.
  • Unwillingness to accept an idea is readiness to act.
  • He who cannot disobey puts up a behaviour of disobliging.
  • Secrecy ministers to the capacity of possessiveness.
"I hope Mr. Bingley will like it, Lizzy."
  • Suggestion is the most powerful method of communication.
"We are not in a way to know what Mr. Bingley likes," said her mother resentfully, "since we are not to visit."
  • The physical is impervious to suggestions.
  • Final accomplishment is indicated by the subtle communication.
  • The oblivious physical is unaware of the subtle.
  • Mrs. Bennet missed that suggestion.

"But you forget, mama," said Elizabeth, "that we shall meet him at the assemblies, and that Mrs. Long has promised to introduce him."

  • Too subtle a suggestion misses its purpose.
  • Lizzy too missed it.
  • Younger generation is less cynical.
  • Penetration perceives.

"I do not believe Mrs. Long will do any such thing. She has two neices of her own. She is a selfish, hypocritical woman, and I have no opinion of her."

  • Jealousy overrides courtesy.
  • One evaluates another as oneself.
  • Age is unbelieving.

"No more have I," said Mr. Bennet; "and I am glad to find that you do not depend on her serving you."

  • You cannot employ a method for which you have no faculty.
  • Secrecy generates self-enjoyment.
  • Mr. Bennet is not subtle enough to make a suggestion work.
Mrs. Bennet deigned not to make any reply, but, unable to contain herself, began scolding one of her daughters.
  • Physical mind faced with incomprehension turns abusive.
"Don't keep coughing so Kitty, for Heaven's sake! Have a little compassion on my nerves. You tear them to pieces."
"Kitty has no discretion in her coughs," said her father; "she times them ill."
  • Suggestion lacking apt strategy has ill-directed effects.
  • Incapacity to contain an emotion bursts out as anger
"I do not cough for my own amusement," replied Kitty fretfully. "When is your next ball to be, Lizzy?"
  • Awkwardness defends itself amusingly.
  • Failed suggestion refuses to revive by similar moves.
"To-morrow fortnight."
"Aye, so it is," cried her mother; "and Mrs. Long does not come back till the day before; so it will be impossible for her to introduce him, for she will not know him herself."
  • Thwarted physical turns mildly rough.
  • Fretfulness is inability to accept the atmosphere.
  • The physical can hardly wait.

"Then, my dear, you may have the advantage of your friend, and introduce Mr. Bingley to her."

  • Suggestion gives place to awkward openings.
  • Sarcasm vexes to amuse

"Impossible, Mr. Bennet, impossible, when I am not acquainted with him myself; how can you be so teazing?"

  • The physical needs direct speech.
  • Humour is not for an uncultivated mind

"I honour your circumspection. A fortnight's acquaintance is certainly very little. One cannot know what a man really is by the end of a fortnight. But if we do not venture somebody else will; and after all, Mrs. Long and her neices must stand their chance; and, therefore, as she will think it an act of kindness, if you decline the office, I will take it on myself."

  • Subtle perception tells you what a man is in the first few contacts.
  • Opportunities are not for the dull witted or slow moving.
  • The heart chooses in a trice; the speech rises to social occasion.
  • Failed suggestion reveals its true form.

The girls stared at their father. Mrs. Bennet said only, "Nonsense, nonsense!"

  • The girls grow alert without comprehension.
  • The physical prods.
"What can be the meaning of that emphatic exclamation?" Cried he. "Do you consider the forms of introduction, and the stress that is laid on them, as nonsense? I cannot quite agree with you there. What say you, Mary? For you are a young lady of deep reflection, I know, and read great books and make extracts."
  • Personal interest makes for the best alertness
  • The physical demands direct communication
  • Reading raises personality.
  • In society FORM carries significance.
  • It is not given to man to speak out all that he knows.
  • Ideas adjust themselves in the mind.
  • Poor intellect trying subtle approaches to physical dullness has to undo its own riddle.

Mary wished to say something very sensible, but knew not how.

  • Reading does not improve intelligence.

"While Mary is adjusting her ideas," he continued, "let us return to Mr. Bingley."


"I am sick of Mr. Bingley," cried his wife.

  • Physicality is never appreciated by physicality.
  • Disgust is lack of comprehension.
  • Practical jokes are unsavoury.
  • The delay in the first communication delays the first proposal.

"I am sorry to hear that; but why did not you tell me so before? If I had known as much this morning I certainly would not have called on him. It is very unlucky; but as I have actually paid the visit, we cannot escape the acquaintance now."

  • Intelligence is not born in one generation. To catch a suggestion subtle intelligence is needed.
  • His daughters too do not pick up his subtle suggestion.

The astonishment of the ladies was just what he wished; that of Mrs. Bennet perhaps surpassing the rest; though, when the first tumult of joy was over, she began to declare that it was what she had expected all the while.

  • One needs an intelligence to successfully surprise dull people.
  • The most disappointed is most surprised.
  • The physical consoles itself by imagining an intelligence in it.
  • Surprise is for the subtle.
  • The dullest is most enthusiastic.
  • Wisdom after the event is for the slow witted.
  • Success makes the detestable sweet.
  • The possessive physical claims all the credit to itself.
  • Surprise surpasses existence.

"How good it was in you, my dear Mr. Bennet! But I knew I should persuade you at last. I was sure you loved your girls too well to neglect such an acquaintance. Well, how pleased I am! And it is such a good joke, too, that you should have gone this morning, and never said a word about it till now."

  • The physical has the capacity to consider its defect a victory if it gets the result.
  • Love means material results now.
  • Physical is not angry as long as results are there.
"Now, Kitty, you may cough as much as you chuse," said Mr. Bennet; and, as he spoke, he left the room, fatigued with the raptures of his wife.
  • Reversal of the physical can stand any nonsense.
  • Absence of appreciation fatigues.
  • Polite patience is a strain on the mind as well as body.
"What an excellent father you have, girls!" Said she, when the door was shut. "I do not know how you will ever make him amends for his kindness; or me either, for that matter. At our time of life it is not so pleasant, I can tell you, to be making new acquaintance every day; but for your sakes, we would do any thing. Lydia, my love, though you are the youngest, I dare say Mr. Bingley will dance with you at the next ball."
  • Appreciation is not for what he is, but what one understands.
  • In gratitude too, one can give only what she has.
  • In return, Mrs. Bennet displays her vulgarity.
  • Age is physical, appreciates what is, dislikes the new.
  • Pliable vital characters move from one extreme to the other.
  • Conservation enjoys known company.
  • Passionate attachment is shameless.
  • The last child is the mother’s favourite.
  • Elder children represent the father, younger, the mother.
  • No enjoyment is greater than the enjoyment of expectation.
  • Man singles himself out for special favour.
  • The mother is forcefully there in Lydia – she elopes.

"Oh!" Said Lydia stoutly, "I am not afraid; for though I am the youngest, I'm the tallest."

  • Mrs. Bennet is not yet a wife except in the social sense. She is a bundle of raw untamed female energy that is shameless.

The rest of the evening was spent in conjecturing how soon he would return Mr. Bennet's visit, and determining when they should ask him to dinner.

  • Expectation is entertainment for the imagination.

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