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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, Portland, OR

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A big hint to help you discover the answer to my latest Jane Austen quiz

The Jane Austen quiz I posed yesterday was to ask you to discover the single, common, hidden thread pertaining to Mr. Darcy that ties together, in an amazing way, each and every one of the numerous passages in P&P which I quoted. Today I will provide you with a much more useful hint---I’ve put in ALL CAPS the verbiage within those quoted passages (as well as a few additional relevant passages I identified since yesterday) which points to that common thread. As you review that ALL CAPS verbiage, just keep reminding yourself that the heart of the Jane Austen Code I’ve been cataloguing for nearly 13 years now is wordplay, and in particular, puns.

I am curious to see if the common thread will be as obvious to others as it now is to me. So, as Darcy says to Bingley at the end of P&P, “Go to it!”:

Ch. 10: "How many letters you must have occasion to write in the course of a year! Letters of business, too! How odious I should think them!"
"It is fortunate, then, that THEY FALL TO MY LOT instead of yours."
…"You have only proved by this," cried Elizabeth, "that Mr. Bingley did not do justice to his own disposition. You have shown him off now much more than he did himself."
"I am exceedingly gratified," said Bingley, "BY YOUR CONVERTING what my friend says into a compliment on the sweetness of my temper. But I am afraid you are giving it a turn which that gentleman did by no means intend; for he would certainly think better of me, if under such a circumstance I were to give a flat denial, and ride off as fast as I could."

Ch. 11: "I am perfectly convinced by it that MR. DARCY HAS NO DEFECT. He owns it himself without disguise."

Ch. 13: Mrs. Bennet's eyes sparkled. "A gentleman and a stranger! It is Mr. Bingley, I am sure! Well, I am sure I shall be extremely glad to see Mr. Bingley. But—GOOD LORD! how unlucky! There is not a bit of FISH to be got to-day. Lydia, my love, ring the bell—I must speak to Hill this moment."

 Ch. 15: Some of them were to dine with the Phillipses the next day, and their aunt promised to make her husband call on Mr. Wickham, and give him an invitation also, if the family from Longbourn would come in the evening. This was agreed to, and Mrs. Phillips protested that they would have a nice comfortable noisy game of LOTTERY TICKETS, and a little bit of hot supper afterwards.

Ch. 16: At first there seemed danger of Lydia's engrossing him entirely, for she was a most determined talker; but being likewise extremely fond of LOTTERY TICKETS, she soon grew too much interested in the game, too eager in making bets and EXCLAIMING AFTER PRIZES to have attention for anyone in particular. Allowing for the common demands of the game, Mr. Wickham was therefore at leisure to talk to Elizabeth… Elizabeth went away with her head full of him. She could think of nothing but of Mr. Wickham, and of what he had told her, all the way home; but there was not time for her even to mention his name as they went, for neither Lydia nor Mr. Collins were once silent. Lydia TALKED INCESSANTLY OF LOTTERY TICKETS, of THE FISH SHE HAD LOST AND THE FISH SHE HAD WON.

Ch. 18: "…I have always seen a great similarity in the turn of our minds. We are each of an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak, unless we expect to SAT SOMETHING THAT WILL AMAZE the whole room, and be HANDED DOWN TO POSTERITY WITH ALL THE ECLAT OF A PROVERB."
"This is no very striking resemblance of your own character, I am sure," said he. "How near it may be to mine, I cannot pretend to say. You think it a faithful portrait undoubtedly."
…"I can readily believe," answered he gravely, "that REPORTS MAY VARY GREATLY WITH RESPECT TO ME; and I could wish, Miss Bennet, that you were not to sketch my character at the present moment, as there is reason to fear that the performance would reflect no credit on either."
"But if I do not take your likeness now, I may never have another opportunity."
"I WOULD BY NO MEANS SUSPEND any pleasure of yours," he coldly replied.

Ch. 20: "Pardon me for interrupting you, madam," cried Mr. Collins; "but if she IS REALly HEADSTRONG AND FOOLISH, I know not whether she would altogether be a very desirable wife to a man in my situation, who naturally looks for happiness in the marriage state. If therefore she actually PERSISTS IN REJECTING my suit, perhaps it were better NOT TO FORCE HER INTO ACCEPTING ME, because if liable to such defects of temper, she could not contribute much to my felicity."

Ch. 22: Charlotte the wife of Mr. Collins was a MOST HUMILIATING picture! And to the pang of a friend disgracing herself and sunk in her esteem, was added the distressing conviction that it was impossible for that friend to be tolerably happy in THE LOT SHE HAD CHOSEN.

Ch. 24: Mr. Bennet treated the matter differently. "So, Lizzy," said he one day, "YOUR SISTER IS CROSSED in love, I find. I congratulate her. Next to being married, a girl likes TO BE CROSSED A LITTLE in love now and then. It is something to think of, and it gives her a sort of distinction among her companions. When is YOUR TURN TO COME? YOU WILL HARDLY BEAR to be long outdone by Jane. NOW IS YOUR TIME…”

Ch. 26: All this was acknowledged to Mrs. GARDINER; and after relating the circumstances, she thus went on: "I am now convinced, my dear aunt, that I have never been much in love; for had I really experienced that PURE AND ELEVATING PASSION, I should at present DETEST HIS VERY NAME, and wish him ALL MANNER OF EVIL. But my feelings are not only cordial towards him; they are even impartial towards Miss KING.

Ch. 28: To work in THIS GARDEN was one of his most respectable pleasures; and Elizabeth admired the command of countenance with which Charlotte talked of the healthfulness of the exercise, and owned she encouraged it as much as possible. Here, LEADING THE WAY THROUGH EVERY walk and CROSS WALK, and SCARCELY ALLOWING them AN INTERVAL to utter the PRAISES he asked for, every view was pointed out with a minuteness which left beauty entirely behind.

Ch. 29: Mr. Collins was employed in agreeing to everything her ladyship said, thanking her for every FISH he won, and apologising if he thought he won too many.

Ch. 31: Colonel Fitzwilliam's manners were very much admired at the Parsonage, and the ladies all felt that he must add considerably to the pleasures of their engagements at Rosings. It was some days, however, before they received any invitation thither—for while there were visitors in the house, they could not be necessary; and it was  NOT TILL EASTER-DAY, ALMOST A WEEK AFTER THE GENTLEMEN’S ARRIVAL, that they were HONOURED BY SUCH AN ATTENTION, and then they were merely asked on LEAVING CHURCH to come there in the evening.

Ch. 35: “…I believed it on IMPARTIAL CONVICTION, as truly as I wished it in reason. My objections to the marriage were not merely those which I last night acknowledged to have THE UTMOST FORCE OF PASSION TO PUT ASIDE, IN MY OWN CASE… MR. WICKHAM’S CHIEF OBJECT was unquestionably my sister's FORTUNE, which is THIRTY thousand pounds…You may possibly wonder why all this was not told you last night; but I WAS NOT THEN MASTER enough of myself to know what could or ought to be REVEALED. FOR THE TRUTH OF EVERYTHING HERE RELATED, I can appeal more particularly to THE TESTIMONY of Colonel Fitzwilliam, who, from our near relationship and constant intimacy, and, still more as one of the executors of MY FATHER’S WILL, has been unavoidably acquainted with every particular of these transactions...I will only add, GOD BLESS YOU. Fitzwilliam Darcy”

Ch. 36: At first, the letter so upsets her that she thrusts it aside, resolving never to read it again. But in half a minute the letter was unfolded again, and collecting herself as well as she could, she again began the mortifying perusal of all that related to Wickham, and COMMANDED HERSELF SO FAR AS TO EXAMINE THE MEANING OF EVERY SENTENCE.…She grew absolutely ashamed of herself. Of neither Darcy nor Wickham could she think without feeling SHE HAD BEEN BLIND, PARTIAL, PREJUDICED, ABSURD.
"How despicably I have acted!" she cried; "I, who have prided myself on my discernment! I, who have valued myself on my abilities! who have often disdained the generous candour of my sister, and gratified my vanity in useless or blameable mistrust! How humiliating is this discovery! Yet, how just a humiliation! Had I been in love, I could not have been more WRETCHEDLY BLIND! But vanity, not love, has been my folly. Pleased with the preference of one, and offended by the neglect of the other, on the very beginning of our acquaintance, I have courted prepossession and ignorance, and driven reason away, where either were concerned. TILL THIS MOMENT I NEVER KNEW MYSELF."

Ch. 43: THE HILL, CROWNED WITH WOOD, which they had descended, receiving increased abruptness from the distance, was a beautiful object….Her aunt now called her to look at a picture. SHE approached and SAW the likeness of MR. WICKHAM, SUSPENDED, amongst several other miniatures, over the mantelpiece….
…"If your master would marry, you might see more of him."
"Yes, sir; but I do not know when that will be. I do not know WHO IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR HIM."
Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner smiled. Elizabeth could not help saying, "It is very much to his credit, I am sure, that you should think so."
"I say no more than THE TRUTH, and EVERYBODY WILL SAY THAT KNOWS HIM." replied the other. Elizabeth thought this was going pretty far; and she listened with increasing astonishment as the housekeeper added, "I HAVE NEVER KNOWN A CROSS WORD FROM HIM in my life, and I have known him ever since he was four years old."
This was PRAISE, of all others most extraordinary, most opposite to her ideas. That he was not a good-tempered man had been her firmest opinion. Her keenest attention was awakened; she longed to hear more, and was grateful to her uncle for saying:
"Yes, sir, I know I am. If I were to go THROUGH THE WORLD, I could not meet with a better. But I have always observed, that they who are good-natured when children, are good-natured when they grow up; and he was always the sweetest-tempered, most generous-hearted boy in the world."
Elizabeth almost stared at her. "Can this be Mr. Darcy?" thought she.
"Yes, ma'am, that he was indeed; and HIS SON WILL BE JUST LIKE HIM—JUST AS AFFABLE TO THE POOR."
Elizabeth listened, wondered, doubted, and was impatient for more. Mrs. Reynolds could interest her on no other point. She related the subjects of the pictures, the dimensions of the rooms, and the price of the furniture, in vain. Mr. Gardiner, highly amused by the kind of family prejudice to which he attributed her excessive COMMENDation of HER MASTER, soon led again to the subject; and she dwelt with energy on his many merits as they proceeded together UP THE GREAT STAIRCASE.
…"In what an amiable light does this place him!" thought Elizabeth.
"This fine account of him," whispered her aunt as they walked, "is not quite consistent with his behaviour to our poor friend."
"Perhaps we might be deceived."
"That is not very likely; our authority was too good."
…Mrs. Reynolds anticipated Miss Darcy's delight, when she should enter the room. "And this is always the way with him," she added. "Whatever can give his sister any pleasure is sure to be done in a moment. There is nothing he would not do for her."
…There was certainly at this moment, in Elizabeth's mind, a more gentle sensation towards the original than she had ever felt at the height of their acquaintance. The COMMENDation bestowed on him by Mrs. Reynolds was of no trifling nature. What praise is more valuable than THE PRAISE OF AN INTELLIGENT SERVANT? As a brother, a landLORD, a MASTER, she considered how MANY PEOPLE’S HAPPINESS WERE IN HIS GUARDIANSHIP!—how much of pleasure or pain was it in his power to bestow!—how much of good or EVIL must be DONE BY HIM! Every idea that had been brought forward by the housekeeper was favourable to his character, and AS SHE STOOD BEFORE THE canvas ON WHICH HE WAS represented, and FIXED his eyes upon herself, she thought of his regard with a deeper sentiment of gratitude than IT HAD EVER RAISED BEFORE; she remembered its warmth, and softened its impropriety of expression.
……. When all of the house that was open to general inspection had been seen, they returned downstairs, and, taking leave of the housekeeper, were consigned over to THE GARDENER, who met them at the hall-door.
As they walked across the hall towards the river, ELIZABETH TURNED BACK TO LOOK AGAIN; her uncle and aunt stopped also, and while the former was CONJECTURING AS TO THE DATE of the building, THE OWNER OF IT SUDDENLY CAME FORWARD FROM THE ROAD, which led behind it TO THE STABLES.
They were within twenty yards of each other, and SO ABRUPT WAS HIS APPEARANCE, that it was IMPOSSIBLE TO AVOID HIS SIGHT. Their eyes instantly met, and the cheeks of both were overspread with the deepest blush. He absolutely started, and for a moment seemed immovable from surprise; but shortly recovering himself, advanced towards the party, and spoke to Elizabeth, if not in terms of perfect composure, at least of perfect civility.
She had instinctively TURNED AWAY; but stopping on his approach, received his compliments with an embarrassment impossible to be overcome. Had his first appearance, or his resemblance to the picture they had just been examining, been insufficient to assure the other two that THEY NOW SAW MR. DARCY, THE GARDENER’S EXPRESSION OF SURPRISE, ON BEHOLDING HIS MASTER, must immediately have told it. They stood a little aloof while he was talking to their niece, who, ASTONISHED AND CONFUSED, SCARCELY DARED LIFT HER EYES TO HIS FACE, and knew not what answer she returned to his civil inquiries after her family. AMAZED at the alteration of his manner since they last parted, every sentence that he uttered was increasing her embarrassment…At length every idea seemed to fail him; and, after standing a few moments without saying a word, he suddenly recollected himself, and took leave.
The others then joined her, and expressed admiration of his figure; but ELIZABETH HEARD NOT A WORD, and wholly engrossed by her own feelings, followed them in silence. SHE WAS OVERPOWERED by shame and vexation...She longed to inquire of the housekeeper WHETHER HER MASTER WAS REALLY ABSENT, but had not the courage for it. At length however, the question was asked by her uncle; and SHE TURNED AWAY with alarm, while Mrs. Reynolds replied that he was, adding, "But WE EXPECT HIM TOMORROW, with a large party of friends." HOW REJOICED was Elizabeth that their own journey had not by any circumstance been delayed a day!
…They entered the woods, and bidding adieu to the river for a while, ASCENDED SOME OF THE HIGHER GROUNDS…THEY CROSSED IT BY A SIMPLE BRIDGE, in character with the general air of the scene; it was A SPOT LESS ADORNED than any they had yet visited… With A TRIUMPHANT SMILE they were told that it was ten miles round. It settled the matter; and THEY PURSUED THE ACCUSTOMED CIRCUIT; which BROUGHT THEM AGAIN, after some time, IN A DESCENT AMONG HANGING WOODS, to the edge of the water, and ONE OF ITS NARROWEST PARTS.
… The conversation soon turned upon FISHING; and she heard MR. DARCY INVITE HIM, with the greatest civility, to FISH there as often as he chose while he continued in the neighbourhood, offering at the same time to supply him with FISHING tackle, and pointing out those parts of the stream where there was usually most sport.
…THEIR PROGRESS WAS SLOW, for MR. GARDINER, though seldom able to indulge the taste, was very fond of FISHING…Whilst wandering on in this slow manner, THEY WERE AGAIN SURPRISED, and Elizabeth's ASTONISHMENT was quite equal to what it had been at first, BY THE SIGHT OF MR. DARCY APPROACHING THEM, and AT NO GREAT DISTANCE. The walk here being here less sheltered than ON THE OTHER SIDE, ALLOWED THEM TO SEE HIM before they met.

Ch. 44: There was now an interest, however, in believing the housekeeper; and they soon became sensible that THE AUTHORITY OF A SERVANT who had known him since he was four years old, and whose own manners indicated respectability, was NOT TO BE HASTILY REJECTED. Neither had anything occurred in the intelligence of THEIR LAMBTON FRIENDS that could materially LESSEN ITS WEIGHT. They had NOTHING TO ACCUSE HIM OF BUT PRIDE; pride he probably had, and if not, it would certainly be imputed by the inhabitants of a small market-town where the family did not visit. IT WAS ACKNOWLEDGED, however, THAT HE was a liberal man, and DID MUCH GOOD AMONG THE POOR.

Ch. 45: "How very ill Miss Eliza Bennet looks this morning, Mr. Darcy," she cried; "I never in my life saw anyone 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."
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.

Ch. 46: She burst into tears as she alluded to it, and for a few minutes could not speak another word. DARCY, IN WRETCHED SUSPENSE, COULD ONLY SAY SOMETHING INDISTINCTLY of his concern, and OBSERVE HER IN COMPASSIONATE SILENCE. How Wickham and Lydia were to be supported in tolerable independence, she could not imagine. But how little of permanent happiness could belong to a couple who were only brought together because their PASSIONS were stronger than their virtue, she could easily conjecture.
… Darcy shook his head in silent acquiescence.
"When my eyes were opened to hIS REAL character—Oh! had I known what I ought, what I dared to do! But I knew not—I was afraid of doing too much. Wretched, wretched mistake!"

Ch. 49 "I will go to Meryton," said she, "as soon as I am dressed, and tell THE GOOD, GOOD NEWS to my sister Philips…..Oh! Here comes Hill! My dear Hill, have you heard THE GOOD NEWS?”

Ch. 50: How Wickham and Lydia were to be supported in tolerable independence, she could not imagine. But how little of permanent happiness could belong to a couple who were only brought together because their PASSIONS were stronger than their virtue, she could easily conjecture.

Ch. 58: "I cannot be so easily reconciled to myself. The recollection of what I then said, of my conduct, my manners, MY EXPRESSIONS DURING THE WHOLE of it, is now, and has been many months, INEXPRESSIBLY PAINFUL TO ME. Your reproof, so well applied, I shall never forget: 'had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner.' Those were your words. YOU KNOW NOT, you can scarcely conceive, HOW THEY HAVE TORTURED ME;—though it was some time, I CONFESS, before I was reasonable enough to ALLOW THEIR JUSTICE."

Ch. 59: Darcy professed a great curiosity to see THE VIEW FROM THE MOUNT, and Elizabeth silently consented.
…"Lizzy," said her father, "I have given him my consent. HE IS THE KIND OF MAN, indeed, to whom I SHOULD NEVER DARE REFUSE anything, which he conDESCENDED to ask. I now give it to you, if you are resolved on having him. But let me advise you to think better of it. I know your disposition, Lizzy. I know that you could be neither happy nor respectable, unless you truly esteemed your husband; unless YOU LOOKED UP TO HIM as a superior. Your lively talents would place you in the greatest danger in an unequal marriage. You could scarcely escape discredit and misery. My child, let me not have the grief of seeing you unable to respect your partner in life. YOU KNOW NOT WHAT YOU ARE ABOUT."

Ch .60: From an unwillingness to confess how much her intimacy with Mr. Darcy had been over-rated, Elizabeth had never yet answered MRS. GARDINER’S long letter; but now, having that to communicate which she knew would be most welcome, she was almost ashamed to find that her uncle and aunt had ALREADY LOST THREE DAYS OF HAPPINESS, and immediately wrote as follows:
"I would have thanked you before, my dear aunt, as I ought to have done, for your long, kind, satisfactory, detail of particulars; but to say the truth, I WAS TOO CROSS TO WRITE. You supposed MORE THAN REALLY EXISTED.  But now suppose as much as you choose; give a loose rein to your fancy, indulge your imagination in every possible flight which the subject will afford, and unless you believe me actually married, you cannot greatly err. You must write again very soon, and PRAISE HIM A GREAT DEAL more than you did in your last. I thank you, again and again, for not going to the Lakes. How could I be so silly as to wish it! Your idea of the ponies is delightful. We will go round the Park every day. I am the happiest creature in the world. Perhaps other people have said so before, but not one with such justice. I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh. MR. DARCY SENDS YOU ALL THE LOVE IN THE WORLD that he can spare from me. You are all to COME TO PEMBERLEY AT CHRISTMAS. Yours, etc."

Ch. 61: With the GARDINERS, they were always on the most intimate terms. DARCY, as well as Elizabeth, REALLY LOVED THEM; and they were both ever sensible of the WARMEST GRATITUDE towards the persons who, by bringing her into Derbyshire, had been the means of uniting them.

So do you now see the audacious, provocative, subversive, and disturbing literary allusion in the above passages, which goes to the heart of our understanding of the relationship between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy?

Cheers, ARNIE
@JaneAustenCode on Twitter

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