& Prejudice... and Father’s Day!
When Mr. Bennet arrived, he had all the appearance of his usual
philosophic composure. He said as little as he had ever been in
the habit of saying; made no mention of the business that had
taken him away, and it was some time before his daughters had
courage to speak of it.
It was not till the afternoon, when he had joined them at tea,
that Elizabeth ventured to introduce the subject; and then, on
her briefly expressing her sorrow for what he must have endured,
he replied, "Say nothing of that. Who should suffer but myself?
It has been my own doing, and I ought to feel it."
"You must not be too severe upon yourself," replied
"You may well warn me against such an evil. Human nature
is so prone to fall into it! No, Lizzy, let me once in my life
feel how much I have been to blame. I am not afraid of being overpowered
by the impression. It will pass away soon enough."
"Do you suppose them to be in London?"
"Yes; where else can they be so well concealed?"
"And Lydia used to want to go to London," added Kitty.
"She is happy then," said her father drily; "and
her residence there will probably be of some duration."
Then after a short silence he continued:
"Lizzy, I bear you no ill-will for being justified in your
advice to me last May, which, considering the event, shows some
greatness of mind."
They were interrupted by Miss Bennet, who came to fetch her mother's
"This is a parade," he cried, "which does one good;
it gives such an elegance to misfortune! Another day I will do
the same; I will sit in my library, in my nightcap and powdering
gown, and give as much trouble as I can; or, perhaps, I may defer
it till Kitty runs away."
"I am not going to run away, papa," said Kitty fretfully.
"If I should ever go to Brighton, I would behave better than
“You go to Brighton. I would not trust you so near it as
Eastbourne for fifty pounds! No, Kitty, I have at last learnt
to be cautious, and you will feel the effects of it. No officer
is ever to enter into my house again, nor even to pass through
the village. Balls will be absolutely prohibited, unless you stand
up with one of your sisters. And you are never to stir out of
doors till you can prove that you have spent ten minutes of every
day in a rational manner."
Kitty, who took all these threats in a serious light, began to
"Well, well," said he, "do not make yourself unhappy.
If you are a good girl for the next ten years, I will take you
to a review at the end of them."
By Jane Austen, who knew how to paint a portrait of a loving father...
as in the later episode, after Elizabeth’s being proposed
to by Mr. Darcy, “She did not fear her father’s opposition,
but he was going to be made unhappy; and that it should be through
her means—that she, his favourite child, should be distressing
him by her choice, should be filling him with fears and regrets
in disposing of her—was a wretched
reflection, and she sat in misery..” Ah, perfection...