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This commentary was prepared by Karmayogi of The Mother’s Service Society (India). See karmayogi.net 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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On Saturday morning Elizabeth and Mr. Collins met for breakfast a few minutes before the others appeared; and he took the opportunity of paying the parting civilities which he deemed indispensably necessary.


"I know not, Miss Elizabeth," said he, "whether Mrs. Collins has yet expressed her sense of your kindness in coming to us; but I am very certain you will not leave the house without receiving her thanks for it. The favour of your company has been much felt, I assure you. We know how little there is to tempt any one to our humble abode. Our plain manner of living, our small rooms and few domestics, and the little we see of the world, must make Hunsford extremely dull to a young lady like yourself; but I hope you will believe us grateful for the condescension, and that we have done everything in our power to prevent your spending your time unpleasantly."

  • In trying to tell Elizabeth how much he enjoyed her company, Collins ends up saying how much Elizabeth benefitted by the visit.
  • Mr. Colllins’ education has no content. The phrases he has learnt remain in his memory. His dynamic energy charges those words and it results in an elevation of sound in his mind.

Elizabeth was eager with her thanks and assurances of happiness. She had spent six weeks with great enjoyment; and the pleasure of being with Charlotte, and the kind attentions she had received, must make her feel the obliged. Mr. Collins was gratified, and with a more smiling solemnity replied --


"It gives me the greatest pleasure to hear that you have passed your time not disagreeably. We have certainly done our best; and most fortunately having it in our power to introduce you to very superior society, and, from our connexions with Rosings, the frequent means of varying the humble home-scene, I think we may flatter ourselves that your Hunsford visit cannot have been entirely irksome. Our situation with regard to Lady Catherine's family is indeed the sort of extraordinary advantage and blessing which few can boast. You see on what a footing we are. You see how continually we are engaged there. In truth, I must acknowledge that, with all the disadvantages of this humble parsonage, I should not think any one abiding in it an object of compassion, while they are sharers of our intimacy at Rosings."


Words were insufficient for the elevation of his feelings; and he was obliged to walk about the room, while Elizabeth tried to unite civility and truth in a few short sentences.


"You may, in fact, carry a very favourable report of us into Hertfordshire, my dear cousin. I flatter myself at least that you will be able to do so. Lady Catherine's great attentions to Mrs. Collins you have been a daily witness of; and altogether I trust it does not appear that your friend has drawn an unfortunate -- but on this point it will be as well to be silent. Only let me assure you, my dear Miss Elizabeth, that I can from my heart most cordially wish you equal felicity in marriage. My dear Charlotte and I have but one mind and one way of thinking. There is in everything a most remarkable resemblance of character and ideas between us. We seem to have been designed for each other."

  • He finds it difficult to suppress the greatness of his position.
  • He must have strong good will to bring by that wish Darcy to her.
  • He accepts his wife’s manners for her character.

Elizabeth could safely say that it was a great happiness where that was the case, and with equal sincerity could add, that she firmly believed and rejoiced in his domestic comforts. She was not sorry, however, to have the recital of them interrupted by the entrance of the lady from whom they sprung. Poor Charlotte! It was melancholy to leave her to such society! But she had chosen it with her eyes open; and though evidently regretting that her visitors were to go, she did not seem to ask for compassion. Her home and her housekeeping, her parish and her poultry, and all their dependent concerns, had not yet lost their charms.

  • Charlotte’s subconscious substance enjoys the material security of being his wife. Elizabeth’s pity for her friend is superfluous.
  • Now that Charlotte has exhibited her contentment to Elizabeth, she feels not only a triumph, but feels justified in marrying him.
  • There is no question of their losing their charms. They are her source of physical material security which marriage is.

At length the chaise arrived, the trunks were fastened on, the parcels placed within, and it was pronounced to be ready. After an affectionate parting between the friends, Elizabeth was attended to the carriage by Mr. Collins, and as they walked down the garden, he was commissioning her with his best respects to all her family, not forgetting his thanks for the kindness he had received at Longbourn in the winter, and his compliments to Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, though unknown. He then handed her in, Maria followed, and the door was on the point of being closed, when he suddenly reminded them, with some consternation, that they had hitherto forgotten to leave any message for the ladies at Rosings.


"But," he added, "you will of course wish to have your humble respects delivered to them, with your grateful thanks for their kindness to you while you have been here."

  • Mr. Collins’ formality now extends to the Gardiners though unknown to him.
  • His existence is with respect to his beliefs.
  • He suddenly developed the consternation of no message to Rosings and as readily made amends for it.

Elizabeth made no objection; the door was then allowed to be shut, and the carriage drove off.


"Good gracious!" Cried Maria, after a few minutes silence, "it seems but a day or two since we first came! -- and yet how manythings have happened!"

  • The difference of experience in Maria and Elizabeth could have been in one person himself.
  • The theory of Shankara’s Maya gets one more illustration.
  • Maria would have made a good wife to Collins.
  • Being her sister, we know Charlotte feels at some level like Maria.
  • Elizabeth sees Charlotte’s manners, misses what she really is inside.

"A great many indeed," said her companion with a sigh.


"We have dined nine times at Rosings, besides drinking tea there twice! How much I shall have to tell!"


Elizabeth privately added, "And how much I shall have to conceal."

  • Everyone haws a private life.
  • Elizabeth does have a life of her own which, of course, can never be seen by Maria, as she fails to see Charlotte’s private satisfaction.

Their journey was performed without much conversation, or any alarm; and within four hours of their leaving Hunsford they reached Mr. Gardiner's house, where they were to remain a few days.

  • During the journey, Elizabeth withdrew into herself while Maria disappeared into her daze.
  • Why does Jane Austen mention ‘without any alarm’.
  • Elizabeth’s understanding is an eternal alarm to Maria which Georgiana later found out.

Jane looked well, and Elizabeth had little opportunity of studying her spirits amidst the various engagements which the kindness of her aunt had reserved for them. But Jane was to go home with her, and at Longbourn there would be leisure enough for observation.

  • Health can be readily seen, the spirits one has to patiently study.
  • The urge to speak to Jane about Darcy’s proposal was real but mixed.

38 collins Pride and Prejudice.jpg

It was not without an effort, meanwhile, that she could wait even for Longbourn, before she told her sister of Mr. Darcy's proposals. To know that she had the power of revealing what would so exceedingly astonish Jane, and must, at the same time, so highly gratify whatever of her own vanity she had not yet been able to reason away, was such a temptation to openness as nothing could have conquered but the state of indecision in which she remained as to the extent of what she should communicate; and her fear, if she once entered on the subject, of being hurried into repeating something of Bingley which might only grieve her sister farther.

  • It was not as if she could not report about the proposal, reserving the part about Bingley. Once she opened the topic, she would not be under her control.
  • The state of indecision Elizabeth was in was great.
  • To let Jane know that Bingley was safe for her is as much an urge in her as mentioning the proposal of Darcy. She was not equal to that in London. Maybe she would be at Longbourn. Even at Longbourn, she kept the news of Bingley back. Had she disclosed it to Jane, Bingley’s smooth return would have been interfered with.
  • One withholds such information out of selfishness, indiscretion, inability, indecision or discretion. In her case, it was an undefined uncertainty.
  • Elizabeth, in such matters, is a cautious character.
  • Jane hears of Bingley’s visit to Lambton from her aunt, but has not referred to her till after the proposal.
  • The delicate discretion Elizabeth exercises well here is an aspect in every act that is accomplished. One can go through the whole story on each such aspect.
  • Now Elizabeth has important news not all of which can be given to Jane. She has to wait to reach home even to communicate partially. This pressure on her nerves is essential for her to assimilate the encounter with Darcy and the revelations of his letter. What appear to be unfavourable circumstances is really time needed for Elizabeth to restore the equilibrium of her nerves

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