Human Science
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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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Had Elizabeth's opinion been all drawn from her own family, she could not have formed a very pleasing picture of conjugal felicity or domestic comfort. Her father, captivated by youth and beauty, and that appearance of good-humour which youth and beauty generally give, had married a woman whose weak understanding and illiberal mind had very early in their marriage put an end to all real affection for her. Respect, esteem, and confidence had vanished for ever; and all his views of domestic happiness were overthrown. But Mr. Bennet was not of a disposition to seek comfort for the disappointment which his own imprudence had brought on, in any of those pleasures which too often console the unfortunate for their folly or their vice. He was fond of the country and of books; and from these tastes had arisen his principal enjoyments. To his wife he was very little otherwise indebted, than as her ignorance and folly had contributed to his amusement. This is not the sort of happiness which a man would in general wish to owe to his wife; but where other powers of entertainment are wanting, the true philosopher will derive benefit from such as are given.

  • Mr. Bennet did not seek other women.
  • He has sought no other dissipation.
  • Elizabeth condones in her father his behaviour towards her mother.
  • Elizabeth is aware of her father’s error in his marriage and how he arrived at his own compromise with her. She does not find him an ideal husband. She finds him a foolish lover who is disillusioned by his success, deciding not to dissipate and settling into his cocoon
  • Her aversion to Collins arises from the fact he fully resembles Mrs. Bennet. She is determined not to commit her father’s error. After her engagement Mr. Bennet warns her that she must not commit the same error in her marriage he committed in his. He fell for her beauty. He thinks Elizabeth is falling for Darcy’s wealth. He cannot afford to know that Elizabeth reaps the benefit of his tapas in Darcy who was sent away by her at his proposal to go home and do his tapas before marriage

42 mr bennet Pride and Prejudice.jpg

Elizabeth, however, had never been blind to the impropriety of her father's behaviour as a husband. She had always seen it with pain; but respecting his abilities, and grateful for his affectionate treatment of herself, she endeavoured to forget what she could not overlook, and to banish from her thoughts that continual breach of conjugal obligation and decorum which, in exposing his wife to the contempt of her own children, was so highly reprehensible. But she had never felt so strongly as now the disadvantages which must attend the children of so unsuitable a marriage, nor ever been so fully aware of the evils arising from so ill-judged a direction of talents; talents which, rightly used, might at least have preserved the respectability of his daughters, even if incapable of enlarging the mind of his wife.

When Elizabeth had rejoiced over Wickham's departure, she found little other cause for satisfaction in the loss of the regiment. Their parties abroad were less varied than before, and at home she had a mother and sister whose constant repinings at the dulness of everything around them, threw a real gloom over their domestic circle; and though Kitty might in time regain her natural degree of sense, since the disturbers of her brain were removed, her other sister, from whose disposition greater evil might be apprehended, was likely to be hardened in all her folly and assurance by a situation of such double danger as a watering-place and a camp. Upon the whole, therefore, she found, what has been sometimes found before, that an event to which she had looked forward with impatient desire, did not, in taking place, bring all the satisfaction she had promised herself. It was consequently necessary to name some other period for the commencement of actual felicity -- to have some other point on which her wishes and hopes might be fixed, and by again enjoying the pleasure of anticipation, console herself for the present, and prepare for another disappointment. Her tour to the Lakes was now the object of her happiest thoughts; it was her best consolation for all the uncomfortable hours which the discontentedness of her mother and Kitty made inevitable; and could she have included Jane in the scheme, every part of it would have been perfect.

  • Wickham’s departure brings the invitation to Derbyshire.
  • Lydia’s Brighton visit abridges the Lakes into Lambton.

"But it is fortunate," thought she, "that I have something to wish for. Were the whole arrangement complete, my disappointment would be certain. But here, by carrying with me one ceaseless source of regret in my sister's absence, I may reasonably hope to have all my expectations of pleasure realized. A scheme of which every part promises delight can never be successful; and general disappointment is only warded off by the defence of some little peculiar vexation."

  • At this young age, Elizabeth sees the wisdom of a plan left imperfect.
  • Her sister Jane digesting her disappointment cannot be the right companion for her.
  • Imagine Jane meeting Darcy at Pemberley, Bingley at Lambton.
  • An imperfect plan in an imperfect atmosphere is Perfect.
  • “Some little vexation”. Imperfect perfection is a philosophical concept. For a thing to exist in an imperfect atmosphere, it should be imperfect. Should perfection be attempted, it will either break or fail or vanish. It is its imperfection that gives it the value of perfection
  • Elizabeth is aware of this truth and does not wish for Jane to be a part of the tour, though it is most desirable in her view. Later we see it is this imperfection that completes her marriage at Pemberley
  • Kitty’s complaint is absence of invitation. She wreaks vengeance by being an accomplice to Lydia. She does not have a grievance against anyone in particular. But the nature of grievance is it will wreak its vengeance. For a work to be complete, there should be no grievance for anyone – an impossibility

When Lydia went away, she promised to write very often and very minutely to her mother and Kitty; but her letters were always long expected, and always very short. Those to her mother contained little else than that they were just returned from the library, where such and such officers had attended them, and where she had seen such beautiful ornaments as made her quite wild; that she had a new gown, or a new parasol, which she would have described more fully, but was obliged to leave off in a violent hurry, as Mrs. Forster called her, and they were going to the camp; and from her correspondence with her sister, there was still less to be learnt -- for her letters to Kitty, though rather longer, were much too full of lines under the words to be made public.

  • At any time several events take place. Each is parallel to all others.
  • Some are direct parallels, others are reverse, the rest after a fashion.
  • The events in Lydia’s life, her letters, Kitty’s secrecy are directly a parallel to the visit to Pemberley, Darcy’s changed behaviour, visit of Georgiana and Bingley, Caroline’s provocation and finally, Jane’s letter.

After the first fortnight or three weeks of her absence, health, good-humour and cheerfulness began to reappear at Longbourn. Everything wore a happier aspect. The families who had been in town for the winter came back again, and summer finery and summer engagements arose. Mrs. Bennet was restored to her usual querulous serenity; and by the middle of June Kitty was so much recovered as to be able to enter Meryton without tears: an event of such happy promise as to make Elizabeth hope that by the following Christmas she might be so tolerably reasonable as not to mention an officer above once a day, unless, by some cruel and malicious arrangement at the War Office, another regiment should be quartered in Meryton.

  • Longbourn is a cheerful home. After three weeks of dullness, good humour is revived.
  • Everything is having a happier aspect in anticipation of the Pemberley visit.
  • Pemberley enters the scheme of things at the mention of Derbyshire.
  • Lambton is the link in space.
  • Mrs. Gardiner is the link in human relationship.
  • Wickham is the link in interest.
  • The transition from one act to another greater act takes place via the subtle plane.
  • It requires links of all descriptions. Without them it will remain incomplete. The love of Jane for Bingley is one of a few weeks. There were no such links to complete it. Those links were created by Darcy and Elizabeth later

42 gardiners Pride and Prejudice.jpg

The time fixed for the beginning of their northern tour was now fast approaching, and a fortnight only was wanting of it, when a letter arrived from Mrs. Gardiner, which at once delayed its commencement and curtailed its extent. Mr. Gardiner would be prevented by business from setting out till a fortnight later in July, and must be in London again within a month; and as that left too short a period for them to go so far, and see so much as they had proposed, or at least to see it with the leisure and comfort they had built on, they were obliged to give up the Lakes, and substitute a more contracted tour, and, according to the present plan, were to go no farther northward than Derbyshire. In that county there was enough to be seen to occupy the chief of their three weeks; and to Mrs. Gardiner it had a peculiarly strong attraction. The town where she had formerly passed some years of her life, and where they were now to spend a few days, was probably as great an object of her curiosity as all the celebrated beauties of Matlock, Chatsworth, Dovedale, or the Peak.

  • Man seeks Wickham, Life gives Darcy. Man grumbles to receive Darcy in place of Wickham.
  • Later (p. 340) she asks how she could be silly about the Lakes.
  • We know Mr. Gardiner’s work is rescheduled. That changes Elizabeth’s plans.
  • We do not know Elizabeth’s changed attitude changed Mr. Gardiner’s work.
  • It will be interesting to trace it.
  • To be able to see the indirect connection between Mrs. Gardiner’s Lambton interest, Darcy’s coming a day early, Mr. Gardiner’s sudden change in schedule will show the determinism of life.
  • The town of erstwhile residence was a great object of curiosity to Mrs. Gardiner.
  • The curiosity of Darcy to know wherefrom the light issued in the eyes of Elizabeth is great.
  • Charlottes’ curiosity to know why Darcy came to her house was inexplicable.
  • Elizabeth had, of course, the curiosity to steal some petrified spars from Derbyshire without Darcy knowing.
  • We see these curiosities in isolation.
  • All of them are connected behind the perceived movements.
  • There the explanation sits awaiting to be discovered.
  • All movements of human energies can thus be reduced not only to curiosity but to all human faculties – they are attitudes, motives, urges, aspiration and a host of things.
  • Enter through any, you will arrive at the same centre behind.

Elizabeth was excessively disappointed; she had set her heart on seeing the Lakes, and still thought there might have been time enough. But it was her business to be satisfied -- and certainly her temper to be happy; and all was soon right again.

  • The more ready Elizabeth is, the longer it is postponed.
  • She is more ready to accept Darcy in her depths.
  • It only means it passed away delightfully without her noticing the time.

With the mention of Derbyshire there were many ideas connected. It was impossible for her to see the word without thinking of Pemberley and its owner. "But surely," said she, "I may enter his county with impunity, and rob it of a few petrified spars without his perceiving me."

The period of expectation was now doubled. Four weeks were to pass away before her uncle and aunt's arrival. But they did pass away, and Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, with their four children, did at length appear at Longbourn. The children, two girls of six and eight years old, and two younger boys, were to be left under the particular care of their cousin Jane, who was the general favourite, and whose steady sense and sweetness of temper exactly adapted her for attending to them in every way -- teaching them, playing with them, and loving them.

The Gardiners stayed only one night at Longbourn, and set off the next morning with Elizabeth in pursuit of novelty and amusement. One enjoyment was certain -- that of suitableness as companions; a suitableness which comprehended health and temper to bear inconveniences -- cheerfulness to enhance every pleasure -- and affection and intelligence, which might supply it among themselves if there were disappointments abroad.

  • ‘In pursuit of novelty and amusement.’ Darcy’s behaviour is the novelty, his attention is the amusement.
  • ‘One enjoyment was certain, that of the suitableness of companions’. We hear here the voice of life saying Darcy’s temperament will be suitable.
  • ‘…which comprehended health and temper’. Read ‘which comprehended aspiration and eagerness to accept’.
  • The first three lines of the page read as if she is writing about Darcy and Elizabeth.

It is not the object of this work to give a description of Derbyshire, nor of any of the remarkable places through which their route thither lay: Oxford, Blenheim, Warwick, Kenelworth, Birmingham, etc., are sufficiently known. A small part of Derbyshire is all the present concern. To the little town of Lambton, the scene of Mrs. Gardiner's former residence, and where she had lately learned that some acquaintance still remained, they bent their steps, after having seen all the principal wonders of the country; and within five miles of Lambton, Elizabeth found from her aunt that Pemberley was situated. It was not in their direct road, nor more than a mile or two out of it. In talking over their route the evening before, Mrs. Gardiner expressed an inclination to see the place again. Mr. Gardiner declared his willingness, and Elizabeth was applied to for her approbation.

  • ‘It is not in the direct road’ – In Elizabeth’s psychological route, Darcy is not in the direct road.

"My love, should not you like to see a place of which you have heard so much?" Said her aunt; "A place, too, with which so many of your acquaintance are connected. Wickham passed all his youth there, you know."

  • Mrs. Gardiner exerts herself to bring Elizabeth to Pemberley.
  • Mrs. Gardiner exerted herself to wean Elizabeth from Wickham. The sweetness in her personality actively brings Elizabeth to Darcy. Its outer version is this exertion to persuade Elizabeth to see Pemberley.
  • Mrs. Gardiner uses the name of Wickham to go to Pemberley.
  • In such situations, man seeks his object through its opposite.
  • Sri Aurobindo got Freedom through Churchill who won the war and made Freedom possible.
  • Foolishly Subash Chandra Bose sought freedom through the Japanese.
  • Mrs. Bennet seeks Bingley through her unwelcome initiatives.
  • Man seeks God through his ego.
  • Mrs. Gardiner insists on Elizabeth visiting Pemberley acting as a good angel

42 travel Pride and Prejudice.jpg

Elizabeth was distressed. She felt that she had no business at Pemberley, and was obliged to assume a disinclination for seeing it. She must own that she was tired of great houses; after going over so many, she really had no pleasure in fine carpets or satin curtains.

Mrs. Gardiner abused her stupidity. "If it were merely a fine house richly furnished," said she, "I should not care about it myself; but the grounds are delightful. They have some of the finest woods in the country."

  • Mrs. Gardiner does not seek Pemberley because it is a fine house, richly furnished.
  • Elizabeth does not seek Darcy because he is rich and handsome.

Elizabeth said no more -- but her mind could not acquiesce. The possibility of meeting Mr. Darcy, while viewing the place, instantly occurred. It would be dreadful! She blushed at the very idea, and thought it would be better to speak openly to her aunt than to run such a risk. But against this there were objections; and she finally resolved that it could be the last resource, if her private enquiries as to the absence of the family were unfavourably answered.

  • She has the one dread of meeting Darcy.
  • “She has the one dread of Darcy knowing of Lydia’s elopement.”

Accordingly, when she retired at night, she asked the chambermaid whether Pemberley were not a very fine place, what was the name of its proprietor, and, with no little alarm, whether the family were down for the summer. A most welcome negative followed the last question -- and her alarms being now removed, she was at leisure to feel a great deal of curiosity to see the house herself; and when the subject was revived the next morning, and she was again applied to, could readily answer, and with a proper air of indifference, that she had not really any dislike to the scheme. -- To Pemberley, therefore, they were to go.

  • Actually she blushes at the idea of his knowing her family as it is. It comes to the surface like this.
  • There were objections to speaking it out openly.
  • Human communication does not always further frankness.
  • It often achieves its purpose silently in the subtle plane.
  • Desiring to be rational, if one speaks out in such occasions, you see the work will be at once spoiled.
  • Achievement has gross as well as subtle dimensions.
  • Private enquiries are always right, allowing for exceptions.
  • Usually the exceptions arise when you work against the purpose of life.
  • Now she develops the curiosity we mentioned earlier.
  • This is an occasion where negative is positive.
  • “With proper air of indifference’ she agreed.
  • Throughout Darcy’s courtship, life gives her a proper air of indifference which she consciously acquired here.
  • The information of the maid confirms it

42 lambton Pride and Prejudice.jpg

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