Darcy's Resentful Temper?
For the scientifically inclined, the permeability of Darcy's resentful temper can be measured using the above formula.
More seriously, I'm starting one of my breaktime research projects, this time on Darcy's resentful temperament, to which we are introduced in the following bit of dialogue between Darcy and Elizabeth in chapter 11 of Pride and Prejudice, an exchange of views that follows immediately after Elizabeth is asked whether Darcy has survived her examination of his character, to which she replies with irony:
"I am perfectly convinced by it that Mr. Darcy has no defect. He owns it himself without disguise."What I find interesting in this passage is that Darcy appears to confess a flaw in his character, a "particular evil, a natural defect," and in line with Christian presuppositions even acknowledges that "not even the best education can overcome" such an innate tendency toward evil.
"No" -- said Darcy, "I have made no such pretension. I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. -- It is I believe too little yielding -- certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of others so soon as I ought, nor their offences against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. -- My good opinion once lost is lost for ever."
"That is a failing indeed!" -- cried Elizabeth. "Implacable resentment is a shade in a character. But you have chosen your fault well. -- I really cannot laugh at it; you are safe from me."
"There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil, a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome."
Yet . . . Darcy seems proud of his flaw, affirming that his "feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them," words that appear to be spoken with a notable degree of pride, especially in light of an earlier discussion in chapter 10 concerning the flaw of one whose opinions are too easily swayed by the opinions of others, a disposition that Darcy particularly criticizes.
Several layers of irony will need to be peeled away in my investigation . . . but I've only begun and therefore have little to say at present . . .
. . . other than to note that Darcy's resentful temper does turn out to be permeable.