She explained what its effect on her had been, and how gradually all her former prejudices had been removed.
"I knew," said he, "that what I wrote must give you pain, but it was necessary. I hope you have destroyed the letter. There was one part especially, the opening of it, which I should dread your having the power of reading again. I can remember some expressions which might justly make you hate me."
"The letter shall certainly be burnt, if you believe it essential to the preservation of my regard; but, though we have both reason to think my opinions not entirely unalterable, they are not, I hope, quite so easily changed as that implies."
"When I wrote that letter," replied Darcy, "I believed myself perfectly calm and cool, but I am since convinced that it was written in a dreadful bitterness of spirit."
"The letter, perhaps, began in bitterness, but it did not end so. The adieu is charity itself. But think no more of the letter. The feelings of the person who wrote, and the person who received it, are now so widely different from what they were then, that every unpleasant circumstance attending it ought to be forgotten. You must learn some of my philosophy. Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure."
"I cannot give you credit for any philosophy of the kind. Your retrospections must be so totally void of reproach, that the contentment arising from them is not of philosophy, but, what is much better, of innocence. But with me, it is not so. Painful recollections will intrude which cannot, which ought not, to be repelled."
Although I have only highlighted quotes from the last two paragraphs, I wanted to display the build up to these lines to give them some context. I feel that the key conversations between Mr Darcy and Lizzy always build in momentum and tension through every word. The lines I have chosen to highlight are probably not the most obvious but the Darcy's initial comment and Lizzy's reaction really interest me. I think that she is really showing her wisdom and blossoming maturity with her analysis of his 'philosophy.'
What are your opinions on this? Out of the context of Mr Darcy and Elizabeth's conversation, do you think that it is generally better to think only of the pleasant past memories OR should an aim be to keep painful memories close in order to refrain from making similar mistakes again and consequently becoming more wise to the world.
I dont know the answer to this question but it does often cross my mind. Is it really worth dwelling on painful memories if the circumstances surrounding it have now changed? Surely that will inevitably bring a person down and make them less likely to be able to build more pleasurable memories. But this may be a very ignorant philosophy as is it wise to only focus on the happy memories without deeming any lessons from the bad experiences in life....?