Taciturn disposition

Image of Kiera Knightley & matthew MacFadyen in Pride & Prejudice (2005)TACITURN 

“Do you talk by rule, then, while you are dancing?”

“Sometimes. One must speak a little, you know. It would look odd to be entirely silent for half an hour together; and yet for the advantage of some, conversation ought to be so arranged, as that they may have the trouble of saying as little as possible.”

“Are you consulting your own feelings in the present case, or do you imagine that you are gratifying mine?”

“Both,” replied Elizabeth archly; “for 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 say something that will amaze the whole room, and be handed down to posterity with all the éclat of a proverb.” Mr. Darcy & Elizabeth Bennet, Pride & Prejudice, Chapter 18

One of my favourite’s scenes of Darcy and Lizzy sparing. She is miffed at herself for her knee-jerk acceptance of his offer to dance (did she forget to use the dance card ploy?), and he is numb from his lack of resistience of her fine eyes (bet he wished he’d not been such a savage)!

What follows, is one of the most famous repartie’s in literary history. She sharply taunts him along with with her smooth insults. He fumbles for come-backs not quite sure how to take her all in since no lady has ever spoken to him like that before. How anyone can spar and dance at the same time, is amazing too me.

Image of the cover of the DVD of Pride & Prejudice, (2005)In preparation for this post, I watched this scene in the four movie adaptations available on DVD.

P&P0 (1940), staring Greer Garson & Sir Laurence Olivier

P&P1 (1979), staring Elizabeth Gravies & David Rintoul

P&P2 (1995), staring Jennifer Elhe & Colin Firth

P&P3 (2005), staring Kiera Knightley & Matthew McFayden

 And I am surprised to tell you that I have a new appreciation for Pride & Prejudice 2005, staring Kiera Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen. I love the way she is so surley to him and he is terrified of her! Oooo, abhorence simmering.  

4 thoughts on “Taciturn disposition

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  1. Just ran across this randomly…what a great entry! I don’t think that anything will ever compare to the P&P miniseries, but I do have an appreciation for Keira Knightly as Elizabeth. Loved reading your quotes….it’s been ages since I read the book. And I love your use of the word SURLY!


  2. Hi Lauren, so glad that you dropped in to chat and leave such a nice comment! Surly is a favorite word of mine, and Austen used it too, so I’m in good company. Please come back again soon.

    Cheers, Laurel Ann


  3. Pride and Prejudice is by far my most favourite love story of all time, followed quickly by Persuasion. The BBC adaptation was wonderful and I reward myself with watching it whenever I can. However, I was quite horrified when I saw the Kiera Knightley version. Her delivery of the role just felt far too contrived and rushed, I did not find her believable as Lizzy at all. And Matthew McFadyen…don’t get me started! Let’s be honest, Colin Firth IS Mr Darcy. I will say, though, that I did prefer Jane in the 2005 production over the Jane in BBC. The scenery also, was lovely. I wondered if my strong reaction to the 2005 version was due to my general dislike of Ms Knightley as an actress or simply loyalty to the BBC and so I have attempted to watch it a few times since, but alas, can not get past the first ten minutes. Perhaps I shall try again today…anyway, this is, of course, merely my opinion and I am sure there are many who would disagree with me. So be it.


    1. Faith, thanks for stopping by today. I think that we are on the same page regarding the two adaptations. The 1995 BBC production does have a great advantage in length. I really disliked the 2005 movie when I first saw it. I walked out of the theatre thinking that this ws not MY Jane Austen. I have also watched it again, and it has improved on me. I must conceed that the first time I saw the 1995 miniseries I disliked it too and did not watch it all the wat through for another 4 years. I had been weaned on P&P 1979 and read the book so many times. I just wasn’t ready for a new Lizzy, though Darcy was always fine by me in the 1995. Now, I watch it annualy and it is a treat. Maybe in another 2-3 years I will appreicate the 2005 movie more. Naaah! Pigs in the house was just too much. ;-)


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