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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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Convinced as Elizabeth now was that Miss Bingley's dislike of her had originated in jealousy, she could not help feeling how very unwelcome her appearance at Pemberley must be to her, and was curious to know with how much civility on that lady's side, the acquaintance would now be renewed.

  • Caroline’s jealousy was unknown to her, as she never knew of Darcy’s love. Girls can sense such jealousy, but Elizabeth and Jane have missed it.
  • Her anticipation of Caroline’s attitude fortifies it.
  • All along Elizabeth was not aware that she was a rival to Caroline. In the scheme of love one may not know he is loved, as David Copperfield, or one may not know that he is in love. Both are possible

45 elizabeth Pride and Prejudice.jpg

On reaching the house, they were shewn through the hall into the saloon, whose northern aspect rendered it delightful for summer. Its windows, opening to the ground, admitted a most refreshing view of the high woody hills behind the house, and of the beautiful oaks and Spanish chesnuts which were scattered over the intermediate lawn.


In this room they were received by Miss Darcy, who was sitting there with Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley, and the lady with whom she lived in London. Georgiana's reception of them was very civil, but attended with all that embarrassment which, though proceeding from shyness and the fear of doing wrong, would easily give to those who felt themselves inferior the belief of her being proud and reserved. Mrs. Gardiner and her niece, however, did her justice, and pitied her.

  • Miss Darcy desires to disappear. Darcy’s personality is powerful.
  • She could have been free with Bingley’s sisters.

By Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley they were noticed only by a curtsey; and, on their being seated, a pause, awkward as such pauses must always be, succeeded for a few moments. It was first broken by Mrs. Annesley, a genteel, agreeable-looking woman, whose endeavour to introduce some kind of discourse proved her to be more truly well bred than either of the others; and between her and Mrs. Gardiner, with occasional help from Elizabeth, the conversation was carried on. Miss Darcy looked as if she wished for courage enough to join in it; and sometimes did venture a short sentence when there was least danger of its being heard.

  • Bingley’s sisters were openly rude to her.
  • The cool reception here and a deliberate provocation of Caroline presage news of the elopement the next day. That Lydia eloped before Darcy’s second proposal set things right and in right perspective. Had it been otherwise unforeseen complications would have arisen. Caroline successfully and intentionally disturbed the atmosphere. It made Darcy emerge in the open as a passionate lover who has no further regrets about the developments. Wrong initiatives in a ripe right atmosphere help clear existing or possible difficulties. Caroline got removed from the picture
  • * Miss Darcy lacked courage. It is a parallel to the lack of comfort Elizabeth felt in their house due to the fact that her recent emotions are not yet overcome. Nor is she permitted by the circumstances to converse with Miss Darcy. Miss Darcy is shy. Elizabeth is embarrassed. They could only eat. The situation was Elizabeth could fully get the result of her visit not the pleasure of it. “Whether she most feared or wished for the appearance of Darcy”. She has not yet decidedly shifted to him in her emotions. The unfinished inner task is seen in the awkward outer task. She actually regretted that Darcy came
  • Elizabeth saw Darcy wanted Georgiana to get acquainted with her. Miss Darcy represented his emotions in travail. Elizabeth was still emotionally undecided. The dinner shows the unresolved emotions

45 darcy Pride and Prejudice.jpg

Elizabeth soon saw that she was herself closely watched by Miss Bingley, and that she could not speak a word, especially to Miss Darcy, without calling her attention. This observation would not have prevented her from trying to talk to the latter, had they not been seated at an inconvenient distance; but she was not sorry to be spared the necessity of saying much. Her own thoughts were employing her. She expected every moment that some of the gentlemen would enter the room. She wished, she feared that the master of the house might be amongst them; and whether she wished or feared it most, she could scarcely determine. After sitting in this manner a quarter of an hour without hearing Miss Bingley's voice, Elizabeth was roused by receiving from her a cold enquiry after the health of her family. She answered with equal indifference and brevity, and the other said no more.

  • Elizabeth’s feelings were uncertain.
  • Whether she wished or feared their coming, she was not sure.
  • Her background with Darcy is negative, now it changes. It is unsettled.
  • It was a cold war reception, sitting for 15 minutes silent.

The next variation which their visit afforded was produced by the entrance of servants with cold meat, cake, and a variety of all the finest fruits in season; but this did not take place till after many a significant look and smile from Mrs. Annesley to Miss Darcy had been given, to remind her of her post. There was now employment for the whole party -- for though they could not all talk, they could all eat; and the beautiful pyramids of grapes, nectarines, and peaches soon collected them round the table.


While thus engaged, Elizabeth had a fair opportunity of deciding whether she most feared or wished for the appearance of Mr. Darcy, by the feelings which prevailed on his entering the room; and then, though but a moment before she had believed her wishes to predominate, she began to regret that he came.

  • Elizabeth wishes Darcy to come and regrets when he comes.
  • This is a subconscious conflict.
  • She has not yet fully reconciled to the idea of marrying Darcy.

He had been some time with Mr. Gardiner, who, with two or three other gentlemen from the house, was engaged by the river, and had left him only on learning that the ladies of the family intended a visit to Georgiana that morning. No sooner did he appear than Elizabeth wisely resolved to be perfectly easy and unembarrassed; -- a resolution the more necessary to be made, but perhaps not the more easily kept, because she saw that the suspicions of the whole party were awakened against them, and that there was scarcely an eye which did not watch his behaviour when he first came into the room. In no countenance was attentive curiosity so strongly marked as in Miss Bingley's, in spite of the smiles which overspread her face whenever she spoke to one of its objects; for jealousy had not yet made her desperate, and her attentions to Mr. Darcy were by no means over. Miss Darcy, on her brother's entrance, exerted herself much more to talk; and Elizabeth saw that he was anxious for his sister and herself to get acquainted, and forwarded as much as possible every attempt at conversation on either side. Miss Bingley saw all this likewise; and, in the imprudence of anger, took the first opportunity of saying, with sneering civility --

  • Embarrassment was only with the ladies. She relaxes on his coming.
  • The subconscious conflict moves to different levels.
  • The sneering civility of Caroline is the expression of her forced smile spread on the face and the rankling jealousy inside unreconciled. Had jealousy become desperate, she would have spoken one of those words she spoke after Elizabeth left. He does so to Darcy.

"Pray, Miss Eliza, are not the -- -- shire Militia removed from Meryton? They must be a great loss to your family."

  • Protest exists at several levels determined by strength and jealousy.
    • Refuse to meet persons of whom jealousy is there.
    • Virulent protest waits for them, abuse and go.
    • Silent non-participation.
    • Indirect reference to their defect.
    • Direct indictment.

In Darcy's presence she dared not mention Wickham's name; but Elizabeth instantly comprehended that he was uppermost in her thoughts; and the various recollections connected with him gave her a moment's distress; but exerting herself vigorously to repel the ill-natured attack, she presently answered the question in a tolerably disengaged tone. While she spoke, an involuntary glance shewed her Darcy, with an heightened complexion, earnestly looking at her, and his sister overcome with confusion, and unable to lift up her eyes. Had Miss Bingley known what pain she was then giving her beloved friend, she undoubtedly would have refrained from the hint; but she had merely intended to discompose Elizabeth, by bringing forward the idea of a man to whom she believed her partial, to make her betray a sensibility which might injure her in Darcy's opinion, and perhaps to remind the latter of all the follies and absurdities by which some part of her family were connected with that corps. Not a syllable had ever reached her of Miss Darcy's meditated elopement. To no creature had it been revealed, where secresy was possible, except to Elizabeth; and from all Bingley's connexions her brother was particularly anxious to conceal it, from that very wish which Elizabeth had long ago attributed to him, of their becoming hereafter her own. He had certainly formed such a plan, and without meaning that it should effect his endeavour to separate him from Miss Bennet, it is probable that it might add something to his lively concern for the welfare of his friend.

  • Here Caroline wants to abuse Elizabeth. Her own manners and Darcy’s presence prevent it.
  • Each of the above protests – we can complete the list – has its consequence.
  • To collect all that exhaustively from this story is a good exercise.
  • This is not a story for jealousies and protests.
  • The list and the consequences will uphold the rules.
  • Only Lady Catherine protests vehemently and gets her result quickly.
  • Caroline in trying to offend Elizabeth offends Georgiana thus closing the door on Bingley’s marriage to her, if it ever existed.
  • The Wickham to whom Caroline gave life by the reference came alive the next day.
  • [It is true if we can trace the sequence as Wickham left with Lydia and its corresponding events here, much will be perceived. In such studies, only the act that touches us and the time matters.]
  • Caroline overtly tries to injure Elizabeth in Darcy’s opinion after she left and got the opposite result.
  • The energy of the dynamism of poking believes by its energy it will succeed.
  • In Darcy telling Elizabeth of the elopement of his sister or the attempt of it, Darcy says that at all costs he was determined to marry her.
  • Caroline does not know of it.

  • Miss Darcy and Elizabeth are admirers of Wickham. Caroline’s reference to him shocks both
  • ‘Not a syllable had ever reached her of the meditated elopement of Miss Darcy.’ – A secret is a secret as it is socially sacred
  • Love knows no secrets. Where secret is necessary, love will not be born. Darcy has given that to Elizabeth, as he is certain to win her as a wife. It is a secret not many wives could be trusted with

45 caroline Pride and Prejudice.jpg

Elizabeth's collected behaviour, however, soon quieted his emotion; and as Miss Bingley, vexed and disappointed, dared not approach nearer to Wickham, Georgiana also recovered in time, though not enough to be able to speak any more. Her brother, whose eye she feared to meet, scarcely recollected her interest in the affair; and the very circumstance which had been designed to turn his thoughts from Elizabeth, seemed to have fixed them on her more, and more cheerfully.

  • Her collected behaviour quieted his emotion.
  • If one is quiet, every one is supported.
  • If one is unquiet, everything is disturbed.
  • Darcy scarcely recollected Georgiana’s elopement.
  • It is something he wishes to forget.
  • The very circumstance which had been designed to turn his thoughts from Elizabeth seemed to have fixed on her more and more cheerfully.
  • Initiative acts according to the atmosphere.

Their visit did not continue long after the question and answer above mentioned; and while Mr. Darcy was attending them to their carriage, Miss Bingley was venting her feelings in criticisms on Elizabeth's person, behaviour, and dress. But Georgiana would not join her. Her brother's recommendation was enough to ensure her favour: his judgment could not err, and he had spoken in such terms of Elizabeth as to leave Georgiana without the power of finding her otherwise than lovely and amiable. When Darcy returned to the saloon, Miss Bingley could not help repeating to him some part of what she had been saying to his sister.

  • ‘Miss Bingley was venting his feelings in criticisms’ – A sure sign of defeat
  • The more certain the defeat is the more vociferous in the criticisms. The very long tirade tried the patience of Darcy but she chose to go into all possible details. Not satisfied with her description, she went back to Netherfield and quoted Darcy at length. The more emphatic is a proof, in the then circumstances, the greater is its opposite effect

45 later Pride and Prejudice.jpg

"How very ill Eliza Bennet looks this morning, Mr. Darcy," she cried; "I never in my life saw any one so much altered as she is since the winter. She is grown so brown and coarse! Louisa and I were agreeing that we should not have known her again."

  • Miss Bingley could not help repeating some part of what she was saying to her sister.
  • Mrs. Bennet could not speak in a low voice at the Netherfield ball.
  • Lady Catherine could not restrain herself from visiting Longbourn.

However little Mr. Darcy might have liked such an address, he contented himself with coolly replying that he perceived no other alteration than her being rather tanned -- no miraculous consequence of travelling in the summer.


"For my own part," she rejoined, "I must confess that I never could see any beauty in her. Her face is too thin; her complexion has no brilliancy; and her features are not at all handsome. Her nose wants character -- there is nothing marked in its lines. Her teeth are tolerable, but not out of the common way; and as for her eyes, which have sometimes been called so fine, I never could perceive anything extraordinary in them. They have a sharp, shrewish look, which I do not like at all; and in her air altogether there is a self-sufficiency without fashion, which is intolerable."


Persuaded as Miss Bingley was that Darcy admired Elizabeth, this was not the best method of recommending herself; but angry people are not always wise; and in seeing him at last look somewhat nettled, she had all the success she expected. He was resolutely silent, however, and, from a determination of making him speak, she continued --

  • Caroline would not stop till she exhausted her quiver.
  • She uses all the sophisticated phrases she has learnt.
  • Anger is an emotional inability. It enjoys indulging physical inability.
  • This is the last time she comes in the story.
  • Her playing out her role is to exhaust her strongest point, folly.

"I remember, when we first knew her in Hertfordshire, how amazed we all were to find that she was a reputed beauty; and I particularly recollect your saying one night, after they had been dining at Netherfield, 'She a beauty! I should as soon call her mother a wit.' But afterwards she seemed to improve on you, and I believe you thought her rather pretty at one time."


"Yes," replied Darcy, who could contain himself no longer, "but that was only when I first knew her; for it is many months since I have considered her as one of the handsomest women of my acquaintance."

  • Darcy replied to Caroline, cutting her to the quick. The long impatient tirade of complaining, as the rule goes, resulted in a curt rebuttal of all that

He then went away, and Miss Bingley was left to all the satisfaction of having forced him to say what gave no one any pain but herself.


Mrs. Gardiner and Elizabeth talked of all that had occurred during their visit, as they returned, except what had particularly interested them both. The looks and behaviour of everybody they had seen were discussed, except of the person who had mostly engaged their attention. They talked of his sister, his friends, his house, his fruit -- of everything but himself; yet Elizabeth was longing to know what Mrs. Gardiner thought of him, and Mrs. Gardiner would have been highly gratified by her niece's beginning the subject.

  • She aimed at giving pain to Darcy, ended up giving pain to herself. The movement comes to an end in her.
  • In Mrs. Gardiner, it is culture that avoids mentioning Darcy. In Elizabeth it is temperament.
  • Elizabeth does not tell her aunt her position with Darcy which is understandable, but expects her aunt to speak of Darcy.
  • In the end she asks Darcy why he did not speak while she herself had not spoken.
  • A cultured behaviour can also result out of a temperamental attitude.
  • Mrs. Gardiner is extremely delicate and never gives her niece cause for sensitive concern though she likes to know how much she knew Darcy. As this was an undefined area later Mr. Gardiner had a doubt about Wickham’s hiding place. Also he assumed a greater intimacy between Darcy and Elizabeth

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