news that a
wealthy young gentleman named Charles Bingley has rented the
as Netherfield Park
causes a great stir in the neighboring village of Longbourn,
especially in the Bennet household. The Bennets have five unmarried
and Mrs. Bennet, a foolish and fussy
the sort who agrees with the novel’s opening words: “It is a truth
acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must
want of a wife.” She sees Bingley’s arrival as an opportunity for one
girls to obtain a wealthy spouse, and she therefore insists that her
call on the new arrival immediately. Mr. Bennet torments his family
pretending to have no interest in doing so, but he eventually meets
Bingley without their knowing. When he reveals to Mrs. Bennet and his
that he has made their new neighbor’s acquaintance, they are overjoyed
more, Mrs. Bennet and the girls question Mr. Bennet incessantly. A few
later, Mr. Bingley returns the visit, though he does not meet Mr.
daughters. The Bennets invite him to dinner shortly afterward, but he
away to London.
Soon, however, he returns to Netherfield Park
with his two
sisters, his brother-in-law, and a friend named Darcy.
his guests go to a ball in the nearby town of Meryton. The Bennet sisters attend
with their mother. The eldest daughter, Jane, dances twice with Bingley.
Within Elizabeth’s hearing, Bingley
Darcy that Jane is “the most beautiful creature” he has ever beheld.
suggests that Darcy dance with Elizabeth,
but Darcy refuses, saying, “she is tolerable, but not handsome enough
me.” He proceeds to declare that he has no interest in women who are
by other men.” Elizabeth
takes an immediate and understandable disliking to Darcy. Because of
comments and refusal to dance with anyone not rich and well bred, the
neighborhood takes a similar dislike; it declares Bingley, on the other
to be quite “amiable.”
the end of
the evening, the Bennet women return to their house, where Mrs. Bennet
her husband with stories from the evening until he insists that she be
Upstairs, Jane relates to Elizabeth her
that Bingley danced with her twice, and Elizabeth
replies that Jane is unaware of her own beauty. Both girls agree that
sisters are not well-mannered, but whereas Jane insists that they are
in close conversation, Elizabeth
continues to harbor a dislike for them.
then provides the reader with Bingley’s background: he inherited a
thousand pounds from his father, but for now, in spite of his sisters’
complaints, he lives as a tenant. His friendship with Darcy is
despite the contrast in their characters, illustrated in their
reactions to the Meryton ball. Bingley, cheerful and sociable, has an
time and is taken with Jane; Darcy, more clever but less tactful, finds
people dull and even criticizes Jane for smiling too often (Bingley’s
on the other hand, find Jane to be “a sweet girl,” and Bingley
secure in his good opinion of her).
neighbors are Sir William Lucas, his wife, and their children. The
these children, Charlotte, is Elizabeth’s closest friend. The
after the ball, the women of the two families discuss the evening. They
that while Bingley danced with Charlotte
first, he considered Jane to be the prettiest of the
girls. The discussion then turns to Mr. Darcy, and Elizabeth states
that she will never dance
with him; everyone agrees that Darcy, despite his family and fortune,
proud to be likable.
sisters exchange visits with the Bennets and attempt to befriend
Jane. Meanwhile, Bingley continues to pay attention to Jane, and Elizabeth
her sister is “in a way to be very much in love” with him but is
very well. She discusses this with Charlotte Lucas, who comments that
conceals it too well, Bingley may lose interest. Elizabeth
says it is better for a young woman to be patient until she is sure of
disagrees, saying that it is best not to know too much about the faults
one’s future husband.
himself attracted to Elizabeth.
He begins listening to her conversations at parties, much to her
one party at the Lucas house, Sir William attempts to persuade
Darcy to dance together, but Elizabeth
refuses. Shortly afterward, Darcy tells Bingley’s unmarried sister that
Elizabeth Bennet” is now the object of his admiration.
learns that Mr. Bennet’s property is
that it must pass to a man after Mr. Bennet’s death and cannot be
any of his daughters. His two youngest children, Catherine (nicknamed Kitty) and Lydia, entertain themselves by
series of visits to their mother’s sister, Mrs. Phillips, in the town
Meryton, and gossiping about the militia stationed there.
the Bennets are discussing the soldiers over dinner, a note arrives
Jane to Netherfield
Park for a day. Mrs. Bennet and Elizabeth
conspire to send
Jane by horse rather than coach, knowing that it will rain and that
consequently have to spend the night at Mr. Bingley’s house.
their plan works out too well: Jane is soaked, falls ill, and is forced
remain at Netherfield as an invalid. Elizabeth
goes to visit her, hiking over on foot. When she arrives with soaked
stockings she causes quite a stir and is certain that the Bingleys hold
contempt for her soiled clothes. Jane insists that her sister spend the
and the Bingleys consent.
visits Jane, the Bingley sisters poke fun at the Bennets. Darcy and Mr.
defend them, though Darcy concedes, first, that he would not want his
ever to go out on such a walking expedition and, second, that the
lack of wealth and family make them poor marriage prospects. When Elizabeth
returns to the
room, the discussion turns to Darcy’s library at his ancestral home of Pemberley and then to Darcy’s
what constitutes an “accomplished woman.” After he and Bingley list the
attributes that such a woman would possess, Elizabeth declares that she “never
capacity, and taste, and application, and elegance, as you describe,
implying that Darcy is far too demanding.
next day, Mrs. Bennet arrives with Lydia and Catherine to visit Jane. To Elizabeth’s dismay, Mrs. Bennet
of her visit trying to convince Bingley to remain at Netherfield.
stay, Mrs. Bennet makes a general fool of herself, first by comparing
life to the city and then by prattling on about Jane’s beauty. Near the
the visit, fifteen-year-old Lydia
asks Bingley whether he will hold a ball at Netherfield Park.
He replies that he must wait until Jane is fully recovered to hold a
the evening, Elizabeth
observes Miss Bingley piling compliments
upon Darcy as he writes to his
conversation turns to Bingley’s style of letter writing and then to
impetuous behavior, which entangles Elizabeth and Darcy in an argument
virtues of accepting the advice of friends. Afterward, Miss Bingley
lively Scotch air” on the pianoforte, and Elizabeth
again refuses to dance with Darcy. Her refusal only increases his
and he considers that “were it not for the inferiority of her
should be in some danger.” Miss Bingley, observing his attraction,
jealous and spends the following day making fun of Elizabeth’s family, inviting Darcy to
them connected to his proud and respectable line.
Bingley begins reading in imitation of Darcy—a further attempt to
She chooses her book merely because it is the second volume of the one
Darcy is reading. Of course, being uninterested in literature, she is
bored and says loudly, “I declare after all there is no enjoyment like
How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book!—When I have a
my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”
spends the following night in similar fashion, trying to attract
attention: first by reading, then by criticizing the foolishness of
finally by walking about the room. Only when she asks Elizabeth to
walk with her, however, does
Darcy look up, and then the two women discuss the possibility of
something to ridicule in his character. He states that his only fault
resentment—“my good opinion once lost is lost forever.” Elizabeth
replies that it is hard to laugh at a “propensity to hate every body,”
Bingley, observing Elizabeth’s
monopolization of Darcy’s attention once again, insists on music.
writes to her mother to say that she and Jane are ready to return home.
Bennet wishes Jane to stay longer with Bingley, and she refuses to send
carriage. Elizabeth, anxious to be
on borrowing Bingley’s carriage and she and her sister leave Netherfield Park.
Darcy is glad to see them go, as Elizabeth
attracts him “more than he liked,” considering her unsuitability as a
after his daughters return from Netherfield, Mr. Bennet informs his wife of
visit from a Mr. William Collins, who will inherit Mr.
property. Mr. Collins, the reader learns from a letter he sends to the
is a clergyman whom the wealthy noblewoman Lady Catherine de Bourgh has
selected to serve her parish. His letter, as Mr. Bennet puts it,
mixture of servility and self-importance,” and his personality is
arrives at Longbourn and apologizes for being entitled to the Bennets’s
property but spends much of his time admiring and complimenting the
will one day be his.
Collins lavishes praise on Lady Catherine de Bourgh and her daughter, a
invalid who will one day inherit the de Bourgh fortune. After the meal,
asked to read to the girls, but he refuses to read a novel and reads
book of sermons instead. Lydia becomes so bored that she
his reading with more gossip about the soldiers. Mr. Collins is
abandons the reading, choosing to play backgammon with Mr. Bennet.
in search of a wife and when Mrs. Bennet hints that Jane may soon be engaged, he
attention on Elizabeth. The day after his
accompanies the sisters to the town of Meryton,
where they encounter one of Lydia’s
officer friends, Mr. Denny. Denny introduces his friend, Mr. Wickham, who has just joined the
and the young women find Wickham charming. While they converse, Darcy and Bingley happen by, and
Wickham and Darcy are extremely cold to each other.
Bingley depart, and the company pays a visit to Mrs. Phillips, Mrs.
sister, who invites the Bennets and Mr. Collins to dine at her house
following night. The girls convince her to invite Wickham as well. They
home and Mr. Collins spends the evening telling Mrs. Bennet how greatly
sister’s good breeding impresses him.
Phillips’s dinner party, Wickham proves the center of attention and Mr.
fades into the background. Eventually, Wickham and Elizabeth find
conversation, and she hears his story: he had planned on entering the
rather than the militia, but was unable to do so because he lacked
Darcy’s father, Wickham says, had intended to provide for him, but
Darcy used a
loophole in the will to keep the money for himself.
instinctively likes and trusts Wickham, accepts his story immediately.
the evening, while she is watching Mr. Collins, Wickham tells her that
Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s nephew. He describes Lady Catherine as
and insolent.” Elizabeth
leaves the party thinking of nothing “but Mr. Wickham, and what he had
her, all the way home.” She decides that Darcy deserves nothing but
Elizabeth expresses these feelings to Jane the next day, and Jane
Darcy, saying that there is probably a misunderstanding between the two
will have none
of it, and when Bingley invites the neighborhood to a ball the
Tuesday, she looks forward to seeing Wickham. Unfortunately, she is
promise the first two dances to Mr. Collins.
to Elizabeth’s dismay, Wickham does not attend the
ball. Mr. Denny
tells Elizabeth and Lydia that Darcy’s presence keeps Wickham
unhappiness increases during two clumsy dances with Mr. Collins and reaches its peak
finds herself dancing with Darcy. Their conversation is awkward,
when she mentions Wickham, a subject Darcy clearly wishes to avoid. At
of the dance, Elizabeth
encounters Miss Bingley, who warns her not
assumes that Bingley’s sister is only being spiteful, however, and
ignore the warning. Jane then tells her sister that
asked Bingley for information about Wickham. But everything Bingley
the officer comes from Darcy and is therefore (in Elizabeth’s mind) suspect.
meanwhile, realizes that Darcy is related to his patroness, Lady Catherine. In spite of Elizabeth’s best
to dissuade him, he introduces himself. Darcy treats Mr. Collins with
but Mr. Collins is so obtuse that he does not notice.
supper, Mrs. Bennet discusses the
of Bingley and Jane so loudly that Elizabeth
criticizes her, noting that Darcy is listening. Mrs. Bennet, however,
rambling about the impending marriage. At the end of the meal, Mary performs a terrible song
company, and Mr. Collins delivers a speech of epic and absurd
feels that her
family has completely embarrassed itself.
Mr. Collins proposes marriage to Elizabeth,
assuming that she will be overjoyed. She turns him down as gently as
but he insists that she will change her mind shortly. Mrs. Bennet, who
a match between her daughter and Mr. Collins as advantageous, is
She tells Elizabeth that if she does
Mr. Collins she will never see her again, and she asks Mr. Bennet to order Elizabeth to
marry the clergyman. Her husband
refuses and, befitting his wit and his desire to annoy his wife,
informs his daughter that if she were to marry Mr. Collins, he would
see her again.
few days after
the refused proposal, Elizabeth
encounters Wickham in Meryton. He apologizes for his absence from the
walks her home, where Elizabeth
introduces him to her parents. That same day, a letter arrives for Jane
Miss Bingley, informing her that Bingley and his party are returning to
city indefinitely and implying that Bingley plans to marry Darcy’s
sister, Georgiana. Elizabeth comforts Jane, telling her
this turn of events is all Miss Bingley’s doing, not her brother’s, and
Bingley will return to Netherfield.
arrives that Mr. Collins has proposed to Charlotte Lucas and that Elizabeth’s
friend has accepted. Elizabeth is
shocked, despite Charlotte’s
insistence that the match is the
best for which she could hope. Mrs. Bennet, of course, is furious with
daughter for allowing a husband to escape her, and as the days go by
word from Bingley, Jane’s marriage prospects, too, begin to appear
Miss Bingley sends another
letter, this one
praising the beauty and charm of Darcy’s sister. The letter
that Bingley will remain in London
all winter, putting an end to the Bennets’s hopes that he might return
Netherfield. Elizabeth is very upset by this
complains to Jane that people lack “merit or
referring to Bingley for apparently abandoning Jane, and to Charlotte Lucas for agreeing to
marry Mr. Collins. Meanwhile, Mrs. Bennet’’s hopes of seeing
daughters wed fade rapidly. Mr. Bennet seems amused: he encourages Elizabeth’s
interest in Wickham, so that she, like her
be “crossed in love.”
brother, Mr. Gardiner, comes to stay with
family. Immediately recognizing Jane’s sadness, the Gardiners invite
accompany them back to London
when they finish their visit, hoping that a change in scenery might
Jane’s spirits. Jane accepts, excited also that in London she might get an opportunity
Mr. Bingley. In the course of evenings spent with various friends and
military officers, Mrs. Gardiner notices that Elizabeth and Wickham,
in any serious sort of love, show a definite preference for each other.
of his lack of money, Mrs. Gardiner does not think of Wickham as a good
though she is fond of Wickham’s stories of his life around Darcy’s
estate at Pemberley, which is near where
Gardiner grew up.
opportunity, Mrs. Gardiner warns Elizabeth
that Wickham’s lack of money makes him an unsuitable match. She further
should be careful not to embarrass her father by becoming attached to
carefully, stating that she will try to keep Wickham from falling in
her and that she devoutly wishes not to upset her father, but
all she can do is her best.
the Gardiners depart for London,
Mr. Collins returns from a visit to his parish for his wedding. Elizabeth reluctantly promises to visit Charlotte after
her marriage. Meanwhile,
Jane’s letters from London
recount how she called on Miss Bingley and how Miss Bingley was cold to
visited her only briefly in return. Jane believes that Bingley’s sister
her as an obstacle to her brother’s marrying Georgiana Darcy.
writes to Elizabeth to ask about
Wickham, and Elizabeth
his attentions have shifted to another girl, a Miss King, who has just
inherited a large fortune. This turn of events touches Elizabeth’s
heart “but slightly . . . and her
vanity was satisfied with believing that she would have been his only
had fortune permitted it.” The narrator then goes on to point out that Elizabeth’s equanimity about Wickham trying to
money is somewhat out of joint with her disgust that Charlotte would
do the same thing. As for Elizabeth,
limited pain that Wickham’s transfer of affections causes her makes her
she was never in love with him.
March, Elizabeth travels with Sir
William Lucas to
visit Charlotte and her new husband, Mr. Collins. On the way, they
spend a night
with Jane and the Gardiners.
Elizabeth and Mrs. Gardiner speak about Wickham’s attempts to win over
Mrs. Gardiner is critical of him, calling him a “mercenary,” but Elizabeth
calling him prudent. Before Elizabeth
leaves London, the Gardiners invite her
to accompany them on a
tour in some unspecified area in England, perhaps out to the
arrives in Hunsford, the location of Mr. Collins’s parish, the
her enthusiastically, as does Charlotte.
On the second day of her visit, she sees Miss de Bourgh, Lady de
from a window. The girl is “sickly and cross,” Elizabeth decides, and she imagines
satisfaction Darcy’s marrying such an
person. Miss de Bourgh invites them to dine at Rosings, a mansion that
even Sir William Lucas with its grandeur.
dinner, Lady Catherine dominates the
After the meal, she grills Elizabeth
concerning her upbringing, deciding that the Bennet sisters have been
reared. The failure of Mrs. Bennet to hire a governess,
lack of musical and artistic talents, and Elizabeth’s
own impudence are all mentioned before the end of the evening.
departs after a week, satisfied with his daughter’s contentment.
thereafter, Darcy and a cousin named Colonel Fitzwilliam visit their
Rosings. When Mr. Collins pays his respects, the two men accompany him
his parsonage and visit briefly with Elizabeth and Charlotte.
invitation to Rosings follows, and Colonel Fitzwilliam pays special
during the dinner. After the meal, she plays the pianoforte and pokes
Darcy, informing Colonel Fitzwilliam of his bad behavior at the Meryton
at which he refused to dance with her. Lady Catherine lectures Elizabeth
on the proper manner of playing the instrument, forcing Elizabeth to
remain at the keyboard until the
end of the evening.
Darcy visits the parsonage and tells Elizabeth
that Bingley is unlikely to spend much of his time at Netherfield Park
in the future. The rest of their conversation is awkward, and when
departs, Charlotte declares that he
must be in
love with Elizabeth,
or he would never have called in such an odd manner. In the days that
both Darcy and his cousin visit frequently, however, and eventually Charlotte surmises that it is perhaps Colonel
who is interested in Elizabeth.
Elizabeth encounters Darcy and his cousin frequently in her walks
countryside. During one conversation, Colonel Fitzwilliam mentions that
claims to have recently saved a friend from an imprudent marriage. Elizabeth
that the “friend” was Bingley and the “imprudent marriage” a marriage
She views Darcy as the agent of her sister’s unhappiness.
is still mulling over what Fitzwilliam has told her when Darcy enters
abruptly declares his love for her. His proposal of marriage dwells at
upon her social inferiority, and Elizabeth’s
initially polite rejection turns into an angry accusation. She demands
if he sabotaged Jane’s romance with Bingley; he admits that he did. She
repeats Wickham’s accusations and declares that she thinks Darcy to be
and selfish and that marriage to him is utterly unthinkable. Darcy
day, Elizabeth takes a walk and runs
into Darcy, who gives her a letter.
away, and Elizabeth
begins to read. In the letter, Darcy again admits to attempting to
Bingley’s romance with Jane, but he defends himself by
that Jane’s attachment to his friend was not yet strong enough to lead
heartbreak. He adds that he did not wish Bingley to involve himself
social encumbrance of marrying into the Bennet family, with its lack of
wealth and propriety. In relation to Wickham, the letter states that
provide for him after his father’s death and that the root of their
in an attempt by Wickham to elope with Darcy’s sister, Georgiana, in the hopes of
Elizabeth is stunned by this revelation, and while she dismisses
some of what
Darcy says about Jane and Bingley, his account of Wickham’s doings
to reappraise the officer and decide that she was probably wrong to
Her feelings toward Darcy suddenly enter into flux.
Colonel Fitzwilliam leave Rosings. A week later, Elizabeth departs the parsonage,
despite Lady Catherine’s insistence that
another two weeks. Before Elizabeth
leaves, Mr. Collins informs her that he
and Charlotte seem to be made for
(which is clearly not true). He wishes Elizabeth
the same happiness in marriage that he himself enjoys.
stay at the Gardiners’s London house, Elizabeth,
Jane, returns home. The two are met by Catherine and Lydia, who talk of nothing but
as they ride home in their father’s coach. The regiment is to be sent
to Brighton for the summer, and the
two girls are hoping to
convince their parents to summer there also. In the course of the
Lydia mentions, with
satisfaction, that Wickham is no longer interested in Miss King, who
to Liverpool to stay with her uncle.
and Mrs. Bennet welcome their
and the Lucases come for dinner. Lydia prattles about the
coach ride and insists that the girls go to Meryton to see the
officers. Not wanting
to see Wickham, Elizabeth
Elizabeth tells Jane the truth about Wickham. They debate whether
him publicly, ultimately deciding against it. Meanwhile, Mrs. Bennet
to bemoan the loss of Mr. Bingley as a husband for Jane and voices her
displeasure at the happy marriage of Charlotte and Mr. Collins. Lydia is invited to spend the summer in
Brighton by the wife of a Colonel
Forster. Mr. Bennet allows her to go,
the colonel will keep her out of trouble.
Elizabeth sees Wickham once more before his regiment departs, and
discuss Darcy in a guarded manner. Elizabeth
avoids any mention of what she has discovered. The soldiers leave
Meryton for Brighton; Kitty is
distraught to see them go and even
more distraught that her sister is allowed to follow them.
Gardiners on a tour of the Derbyshire countryside, and their travels
close to Darcy’s manor, Pemberley. Hearing that Darcy is
not in the
neighborhood, she agrees to take a tour of the estate.
Elizabeth tours the beautiful
estate of Pemberley with the Gardiners,
what it would be like to be mistress there, as Darcy’s wife. The housekeeper,
Reynolds, shows them portraits of Darcy and Wickham and relates that Darcy,
youth, was “the sweetest, most generous-hearted boy in the world.” She
that he is the kindest of masters: “I have never had a cross word from
my life.” Elizabeth
is surprised to hear such an agreeable description of a man she
and the Gardiners continue to explore the grounds, Darcy himself
appears. He joins them in their walk, proving remarkably polite. Elizabeth is
embarrassed at having come to Pemberley after the events of recent
she assures Darcy that she came only because she thought that he was
Darcy tells her that he has just arrived to prepare his home for a
guests that includes the Bingleys and his own sister, Georgiana. He asks Elizabeth
if she would like to meet Georgiana, and Elizabeth
replies that she would. After Darcy leaves them, the Gardiners comment
good looks and good manners, so strikingly divergent from the account
Darcy’s character that Elizabeth
has given them.
Darcy and Georgiana, who is pretty but very shy, visit Elizabeth at her
inn. Bingley joins them, and
after a brief visit, they invite Elizabeth and the Gardiners, who
Darcy is in love with their niece, to dine at Pemberley. The following
Elizabeth and Mrs. Gardiner visit Pemberley to
Miss Darcy. Bingley’s sisters are both present; when Darcy enters the
room, Miss Bingley makes a spiteful
comment to Elizabeth,
the departure of the militia from Meryton “must be a great loss to your
dodges the subject of Wickham. This deflection proves fortunate given
presence of Georgiana, as references to the man with whom she almost
would embarrass her.
depart, Miss Bingley attempts to criticize Elizabeth
to Darcy, and makes a light remark about how he once thought Elizabeth
“rather pretty.” Darcy replies that
he now considers Elizabeth
“one of the handsomest women of my acquaintance.”
Elizabeth returns to her inn,
she finds two
letters from Jane: the first relates that Lydia has eloped with Wickham, the second that there
is no word
from the couple and that they may not be married yet. Elizabeth
panics, realizing that if Wickham does not marry Lydia,
the reputations of both Lydia
and the entire family will be ruined
rushes out to
find the Gardiners, Darcy appears and she tells him
Darcy immediately blames himself for not exposing Wickham, and
herself for the same reason. She decides to return home immediately.
apology to Darcy and his sister for breaking their dinner engagement,
and the Gardiners hasten back to the Bennet home in Longbourn.
the way home,
Mr. Gardiner attempts to
reassure his niece
that Wickham will certainly marry Lydia because he will not
own career and reputation ruined. Elizabeth
replies by telling them generally about Wickham’s past behavior,
revealing the details of his romance with Darcy’s sister.When she gets
home, Elizabeth learns that her father
has gone to London in search of Lydia
and Wickham. Mrs. Bennet, of course, is
blaming Colonel Forster for not taking care of her daughter. In
that there was no way anyone could have known about their sister’s
to Wickham. Fretfully, they examine the letter that Lydia
left for Colonel Forster’s
wife, in which she looks forward to signing her name “Lydia Wickham.”
follows Mr. Bennet to London and
writes to Longbourn a few days
later with the news that the search has been unsuccessful so far. He
that Mr. Bennet is now going to every hotel in turn looking for the
Meanwhile, a letter arrives from Mr. Collins that, in his usual
the Bennets of poor parenting and notes that Lydia’s
behavior reflects poorly on
the family as a whole. More time passes before Mr. Gardiner writes to
attempts to trace Wickham through friends and family have failed. The
further says, to Mrs. Bennet’s consternation, that Mr. Bennet is
Mr. Bennet returns to Longbourn, Mr. Gardiner writes to tell him that
have been found and that Wickham will marry her if the Bennets will
him a small income. Mr. Bennet gladly acquiesces, deciding that
marriage to a
scoundrel is better than a ruined reputation.
assume that the Gardiners have paid Wickham a sizable amount to get him
agree to the wedding. Not “a farthing less than ten thousand pounds,”
Bennet guesses. The Bennets assume that they owe a deep debt to their
relatives. Mrs. Bennet is deliriously happy at having Lydia
even when her husband and daughters point out how much it has probably
Her happiness is tempered when her husband refuses to allow Wickham and
or to provide his newly married daughter with money to purchase clothes.
Elizabeth realizes that her
opinion of Darcy has changed so completely
that if he
were to propose to her again, she would accept. She understands,
given Lydia’s embarrassing behavior
addition of Wickham to the Bennet family,
proposal seems extremely unlikely.
Mr. Gardiner writes to Mr. Bennet again to inform him
has accepted a commission in the North of England. Lydia
asks to be allowed to visit
her family before she goes north with her new husband. After much
the Bennets allow the newlyweds to stay at their home. The ten-day
is oblivious to all of the trouble that she has caused, and Wickham
if he has done nothing wrong. One morning while sitting with Jane and Elizabeth, Lydia
describes her wedding and mentions that Darcy was in the church. Elizabeth is
sends a letter to Mrs. Gardiner asking for details.
replies to Elizabeth that it was Darcy
and Wickham, and Darcy who paid Wickham the money that facilitated the
marriage. She drops hints that Darcy did so because of his love for Elizabeth. Elizabeth’s
immense, and she is unsure whether to be upset or pleased.
and Lydia depart
new home in the North, news arrives that Bingley is returning to Netherfield Park for a few weeks. Mr. Bennet
to visit him, much to the family’s discomfort. Three days after his
Netherfield, however, Bingley comes to the Bennets’s home, accompanied
Darcy. Mrs. Bennet is overly attentive
and quite rude to Darcy, completely unaware that he was the one who
departing, the gentlemen promise to dine at Longbourn soon.
come to dinner; Bingley places himself next to Jane and pays her much
while Darcy finds a seat at the opposite end of the table from Elizabeth,
rendering conversation between the
two impossible. Elizabeth
accepts that having been refused by her once, Darcy will not ask her to
the Bennets a few days later, and Mrs. Bennet invites him to dinner. He
her that he is already engaged for the day but eagerly accepts an
for the following day. He calls so early on the morrow that he arrives
the women have gotten dressed. After the meal, Mrs. Bennet manages
to leave Bingley alone with Jane but he does not propose. The following
however, Bingley goes shooting with Mr. Bennet and stays for dinner.
meal, he finds himself alone with Jane again. This time, he tells her
will ask Mr. Bennet for permission to marry her. Mr. Bennet happily
Jane tells Elizabeth
that she is “the happiest creature in the world.”
settled, Bingley comes to visit often. Jane learns that he had no idea
was in London
over the winter, and she realizes that his sisters were attempting to
away from her. Meanwhile, the neighborhood agrees that the Bennets are
fortunate in their daughter’s marriage.
Bingley and Jane become engaged, Lady Catherine de Bourgh visits
Bennets. The noblewoman wants to speak with Elizabeth and insists that they
outside to hold a conversation. There, Lady Catherine informs Elizabeth that
she has heard a rumor that Darcy is planning to marry her.
notion, Lady Catherine insists, is ridiculous, given Elizabeth’s low
station in life and the tacit
engagement of Darcy to her own daughter.
Elizabeth conceals her surprise at this news and acts very coolly
Catherine. She admits that she and Darcy are not engaged but, despite
noblewoman’s demands, refuses to promise not to enter into an
him. Lady Catherine claims that Elizabeth
is bound to obey her by “the claims of duty, honour, and gratitude.”
presents the familiar objection: the Bennets have such low connections
Darcy’s marrying Elizabeth
would “ruin him in the opinion of all his friends, and make him the
the world.” Elizabeth defends her family, declaring, “I am a
daughter,” and then asserts her independence from the exasperating
such snobs as Mr. Collins, Miss Bingley, and Lady Catherine
always attempt to exert over their social inferiors. “I am . . .
says, “to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute
happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly
with me.” Lady Catherine leaves, furious and frustrated, and Elizabeth keeps
their conversation secret.
later, a letter arrives from Mr. Collins that suggests that an
between Darcy and Elizabeth is imminent. The letter comes to Mr. Bennet, who reads it to Elizabeth and
the absurdity of the idea of an engagement with Darcy—“who never looked
woman but to see a blemish, and who probably never looked at you in his
after Lady Catherine’s visit, Darcy again comes to stay with Bingley at
Netherfield. The two friends visit the Bennets, and everyone takes a
together. Elizabeth and Darcy lag behind, and when they are alone, Elizabeth thanks him for his generosity in saving
Lydia’s good name. Darcy replies
did so only because Lydia
is her sister. He then says that his feelings toward her have not
his proposal. Elizabeth
tells him that her own feelings have changed and that she is now
about Darcy’s intention to marry her. Jane, stunned, cannot believe
promises Jane that she does. The next day, Darcy and Elizabeth walk
again, and that night Darcy goes to Mr. Bennet to ask him for his
Bennet needs Elizabeth
to convince him that she does indeed care for Darcy. After she assures
her love, she tells him how Darcy paid off Wickham. Mrs. Bennet then learns of her
engagement and is actually struck dumb for a time before bursting into
Elizabeth discuss how their love began and how it developed. Darcy
inform Lady Catherine of his engagement, while Mr. Bennet sends a
letter to Mr.
Collins to do likewise. The Collinses come to Longbourn to congratulate
couple (and escape an angry Lady Catherine), as do the Lucases and Mrs.
weddings, Bingley purchases an estate near Pemberley, and the Bennet
sisters visit one
another frequently. Kitty is kept away from Lydia
and her bad influence, and
she matures greatly by spending time at her elder sisters’ homes. Lydia
Wickham remain incorrigible, asking Darcy for money and visiting the
so frequently that even the good-humored Bingley grows tired of them. Elizabeth
friends with Georgiana. She even comes to
decent terms with Miss Bingley. Lady Catherine eventually accepts the
and visits her nephew and his wife at Pemberley. Darcy and Elizabeth
to consider the Gardiners close friends, grateful for the fact that
to Pemberley the first time and helped to bring the two together.