ジャンル: 小説 (古典)
そして本作の主人公である中堅レベルの地方貴族ベネット家は男の子無しの五人姉妹。 彼女たちが繰り広げる婚活合戦。 そして自らに正直かつ賢明で打算的な態度を嫌っていた鼻っ柱の強い次女リジーが、堅物・プライド高、でも実はシャイで誠実だった最良の伴侶ダーシーと結ばれるという、なんとハーレクイン的なロマンチック話。 そして僕はこのような話が大好きです。 「赤毛のアン」や「図書館戦争」で既視感あるシーンもあり、多くのキュンキュン系ラブストーリーの原型になっているのでしょう。
Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien, and the report which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a year. The gentlemen pronounced him to be a fine figure of a man, the ladies declared he was much handsomer than Mr. Bingley, and he was looked at with great admiration for about half the evening, till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was discovered to be proud; to be above his company, and above being pleased; and not all his large estate in Derbyshire could then save him from having a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance, and being unworthy to be compared with his friend.
Mr. Darcy walked off; and Elizabeth remained with no very cordial feelings toward him. She told the story, however, with great spirit among her friends; for she had a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous.
● 親友ビングレーの妹キャロラインは、ダーシーに首ったけ。 彼の気を引きたくて、彼が手にした本の2巻目(もちろん読んだこともない)を手にして彼と話すキッカケを作ろうとする。 主人公のリジーと比べて彼女は気位が高く高慢な女の子として描かれているけど、恋する気持ちは責められない。
Miss Bingley’s attention was quite as much engaged in watching Mr. Darcy’s progress through his book, as in reading her own; and she was perpetually either making some inquiry, or looking at his page. She could not win him, however, to any conversation; he merely answered her question, and read on. At length, quite exhausted by the attempt to be amused with her own book, which she had only chosen because it was the second volume of his, she gave a great yawn and said, “How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.” No one made any reply.
こんなセリフをまったく悪気もなく心底正しい事として本心から言える男。 しかし、ここまで空気読めない鈍感な男って実際にいるかねー？ (「オマエモナー」との声が聞こえますが…)
キャラクターの描き方が秀逸。特にダメダメな人についてがピカイチ。母親のベネット夫人、末娘の自分勝手なリディア、求婚者の小物感溢れるコリンズ等。 こんな典型的な下品で小物感溢れる人々のキャラクターに、怖いもの見たさな感覚で惹き込まれる。 時折出てくるロマンチックな描写と合わせて、本作をページターナーとさせる所以だと思う。
“My reasons for marrying are, first, that I think it a right thing for every clergyman in easy circumstances (like myself) to set the example of matrimony in his parish; secondly, that I am convinced that it will add very greatly to my happiness; and thirdly—which perhaps I ought to have mentioned earlier, that it is the particular advice and recommendation of the very noble lady whom I have the honour of calling patroness.
I am very sensible of the honour of your proposals, but it is impossible for me to do otherwise than to decline them.” “I am not now to learn,” replied Mr. Collins, with a formal wave of the hand, “that it is usual with young ladies to reject the addresses of the man whom they secretly mean to accept, when he first applies for their favour; and that sometimes the refusal is repeated a second, or even a third time. I am therefore by no means discouraged by what you have just said, and shall hope to lead you to the altar ere long.”
“I see what you are feeling,” replied Charlotte. “You must be surprised, very much surprised—so lately as Mr. Collins was wishing to marry you. But when you have had time to think it over, I hope you will be satisfied with what I have done. I am not romantic, you know; I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins’s character, connection, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state.”
Her father, captivated by youth and beauty, and that appearance of good humour which youth and beauty generally give, had married a woman whose weak understanding and illiberal mind had very early in their marriage put an end to all real affection for her. Respect, esteem, and confidence had vanished for ever; and all his views of domestic happiness were overthrown.
● 自分に愛を告げてくれた人、ダーシーは尊敬に値する誠実で素晴らしい人だったことがやっとわかる。 今更ながら自分の心のありかに気づくリジー。「彼のことをもっと知りたい」 しかし時すでに遅し。 誤解により彼の事を高慢で嫌味な男と思い込み、プロポーズをにべもなく拒絶したしまった彼女、今となっては望むべくもない。
She was humbled, she was grieved; she repented, though she hardly knew of what. She became jealous of his esteem, when she could no longer hope to be benefited by it. She wanted to hear of him, when there seemed the least chance of gaining intelligence. She was convinced that she could have been happy with him, when it was no longer likely they should meet.
What a triumph for him, as she often thought, could he know that the proposals which she had proudly spurned only four months ago, would now have been most gladly and gratefully received!
“A man who has once been refused! How could I ever be foolish enough to expect a renewal of his love? Is there one among the sex, who would not protest against such a weakness as a second proposal to the same woman? There is no indignity so abhorrent to their feelings!”
● 本編中、もっともロマンチックな場面。「アンの愛情」(173冊目に感想)でのアンとギルバートのラストシーンはこれがモチーフかも。 沈黙こそ雄弁な返事だった。
“You must not blame my aunt. Lydia’s thoughtlessness first betrayed to me that you had been concerned in the matter; and, of course, I could not rest till I knew the particulars. Let me thank you again and again, in the name of all my family, for that generous compassion which induced you to take so much trouble, and bear so many mortifications, for the sake of discovering them.”
“If you will thank me,” he replied, “let it be for yourself alone. That the wish of giving happiness to you might add force to the other inducements which led me on, I shall not attempt to deny. But your family owe me nothing. Much as I respect them, I believe I thought only of you.”
Elizabeth was too much embarrassed to say a word. After a short pause, her companion added, “You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever.”
あと、更にネタバレになりますが、どうしても解せないことがあります… 物語の終盤、色男で金の亡者のウィッカムという男と、彼にメロメロのリジーの末妹のリディアが駆け落ちするんですけど、このウィッカムは結婚するために高額の持参金を持たせろ、とベネット家に要求してきます。 結局は金を工面して二人を結婚させてメデタシメデタシとなります。 けど、なんで？ そんな男が親戚になるなんて、とても厄介な話じゃないですか。 いくら娘たちをみんな嫁がせることに躍起になっていたとはいえ、あまりにも無茶過ぎる判断だなぁと思いました。 当時のイギリスの貴族社会では当然のことなんでしょうか？