In suiting the action to the words, however, I perceived that the stars were all wrong. That was my undoing. I had looked up unthinkingly, anticipating the familiar, and, finding it gone, began to cry like a baby. Whereupon Peter stopped the gig and took me in his arms, kissing me so that my face was soon sore both from kissing and crying.
After a moment, he added more seriously: 'I don't get as angry as m'father used to about things. Or maybe I', just better at hiding m'feelings.''I fear I'm not very good at hiding my feelings.'He covered my hand with his own. 'That's what I like about you. I liked it from the first. You're so different from the others.
Shortly after you left the room, Bushell came over and spoke to your father. I was not near enough to hear what he said, but Maria Lucas told me afterwards that he had been -' (she smiled) 'amazingly impertinent.''Peter actually spoke to Papa?''He did. According to Maria, he had the impudence to criticise Mr Bennet for his treatment of you. I must say it gives me the most favourable idea of his character.
I resolutely refuse to believe that the state of Edward's health had anything to do with this, and I don't say this only because I was once later accused of attacking him 'on his deathbed.' He was entirely lucid to the end, and the positions he took were easily recognizable by me as extensions or outgrowths of views he had expressed (and also declined to express) in the past. Alas, it is true that he was closer to the end than anybody knew when the thirtieth anniversary reissue of his was published, but his long-precarious condition would hardly argue for giving him a lenient review, let alone denying him one altogether, which would have been the only alternatives. In the introduction he wrote for the new edition, he generally declined the opportunity to answer his scholarly critics, and instead gave the recent American arrival in Baghdad as a grand example of 'Orientalism' in action. The looting and destruction of the exhibits in the Iraq National Museum had, he wrote, been a deliberate piece of United States vandalism, perpetrated in order to shear the Iraqi people of their cultural patrimony and demonstrate to them their new servitude. Even at a time when anything at all could be said and believed so long as it was sufficiently and hysterically anti-Bush, this could be described as exceptionally mendacious. So when the invited me to review Edward's revised edition, I decided I'd suspect myself more if I declined than if I agreed, and I wrote what I felt I had to. Not long afterward, an Iraqi comrade sent me without comment an article Edward had contributed to a magazine in London that was published by a princeling of the Saudi royal family. In it, Edward quoted some sentences about the Iraq war that he off-handedly described as 'racist.' The sentences in question had been written by me. I felt myself assailed by a reaction that was at once hot-eyed and frigidly cold. He had cited the words without naming their author, and this I briefly thought could be construed as a friendly hesitance. Or as cowardice.. I can never quite act the stern role of Mr. Darcy with any conviction, but privately I sometimes resolve that that's 'it' as it were. I didn't say anything to Edward but then, I never said anything to him again, either. I believe that one or two charges simply must retain their face value and not become debauched or devalued. 'Racist' is one such. It is an accusation that must either be made good upon, or fully retracted. I would not have as a friend somebody whom I suspected of that prejudice, and I decided to presume that Edward was honest and serious enough to feel the same way. I feel misery stealing over me again as I set this down: I wrote the best tribute I could manage when he died not long afterward (and there was no strain in that, as I was relieved to find), but I didn't go to, and wasn't invited to, his funeral.
As for Elizabeth Bennet, our chief reason for accepting her point of view as a reflection of her author's is the impression that she bears of sympathy between them--an impression of which almost every reader would be sensible, even if it had not the explicit confirmation of Jane Austen's letters. Yet, as she is presented to us in Pride and Prejudice, she is but a partial and sometimes perverse observer.