Seeing Pemberley

pemberley-photo[spoiler alert!]

“And do you really love him quite well enough? Oh, Lizzy! Do anything rather than marry without affection. Are you quite sure that you feel what you ought to do?”

“Oh, yes! . . . “

“Let me know every thing that I am to know, without delay. Will you tell me how long you have loved him?”

“It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began. But I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley.”  ~~Pride & Prejudice, Chapter 59

Lizzy thought badly of Mr. Darcy, mostly because of how a deceiver had spoken of him.  Her heart began to change when she saw Pemberley–saw the grounds, saw his portrait and cameo with a benevolent expression, heard the praise of a long-time house servant who spoke warmly of him.

These things did not fit the villainous picture  given her by Mr. Wickham.  Her confusion was not resolved by understanding that the one she’d believed was telling the painful truth was himself a confirmed liar.  She discovered this first by Wickham’s treachery regarding her own sister and then by the revelation of his earlier behavior toward Darcy’s sister. The reluctantly delivered confidences were finally seen to be a smear campaign.

Lizzy and Darcy The ConversationWiping away the lies did not, however, kindle love.  It took being on the grounds of her potential inheritance and having glimpses of how generally happy the people were who lived under his care.  It seemed to be a grand yet comfortable place to live.  Outsiders misunderstood him, an enemy misrepresented him, but those close to him loved and respected him.

Isn’t this a lot like our experience of God and the enemy–we get half-truths combined with outright lies delivered smoothly to us by someone with a slighted ego who is brimming with evil intentions.

Up to a point, the lies make sense.  But then we get to meet the Lord of the manor on his own turf, on his own terms, and see the inheritance he offers–a mansion, a grand house.  By reasoning backward from the enormity of his offer, we begin to realize what a grand person he must truly be.  And how lovely it would be to be his bride.

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