Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pride & Prejudice, Volume I, chapter 12

Dear Mother,

Jane is doing ever so much better. We should both like very much to come home today. Might you send the carriage for us?


Dear Lizzie,

What with one thing and another, I see no way I can possibly send the carriage for you before Tuesday. You had much better stay where you are so Jane can catch Bingley.

Your mother

You may recall that Jane went for dinner on Tuesday, then fell ill. It is now Saturday morning, and Jane and Lizzie want to go home, despite Mrs Bennet's refusal to pick them up. They mention their desire to go home and leave the Bingleys to their home and intended houseguest. Miss Bingley and her brother press Jane into staying until the following day. Jane and Elizabeth agree to stay until after church, when Mr Bingley will send them home in his carriage.

Miss Bingley then regrets her decision, since she's making herself sick with jealousy and resentment toward Elizabeth; she takes every opportunity to be unpleasant to Elizabeth until after church on Sunday, when departure is imminent, and then she manages only to shake Lizzie's hand.

Mr Darcy notices that Caroline Bingley is being an absolute cow, and he pretty much guesses why. He decides to ignore Elizabeth so as not to give Caroline any further fodder. This is a really sweet reason for his behavior.

Mr Darcy realizes that he is falling hard for Elizabeth, and believes that he has been encouraging her affections as well. He decides to ignore Elizabeth so as not to give Elizabeth any ideas about trying to land him, catch that he is. This is a really self-absorbed, self-important, jackass-like reason for his behavior.

Hello Bennet family! We're home!

Roll call of reactions:

Mrs Bennet:
WTF? I told you to stay there until Tuesday. You girls know nothing about trapping gentlemen.

Mr Bennet: Thank the Lord! Your mother and sisters are idiots and the conversation around here sucks without you two!

Mary: I have been playing the piano (hence the reference to "thorough bass", which is a Baroque term for a repeating bass line throughout a piece, as in Pachelbel's Canon in D. But I digress). And reading, of course. Allow me to tell you all about it.

Mr Bennet [in an aside]: See what I mean?

Kitty & Lydia: We must tell you all the regimental gossip – including the information that Colonel Forster is getting married.

It doesn't seem that any of them enquire how Elizabeth and Jane are doing or how they spent their time at Netherfield.

Tomorrow: Chapter Thirteen
Back to Chapter Eleven

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