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Chapter 35

Still shaken the next morning, Lizzy decides to go for a long walk. Hoping to avoid Mr. Darcy, she steers clear of her usual spot in the garden. He finds her, however, on her new path. He hands her a letter, asks her to read it, and leaves. Elizabeth opens the envelope, and finds a lengthy note, dated at Rosings that morning. He does not reprise his proposal, but writes to defend his character. He says that Lizzy has accused him of two things - steering Bingley away from Jane and ruining Mr. Wickham. He says he wishes to explain his side of the affairs.
For Bingley and Jane, he realized that they held affection for each other, but did not think it serious until the night of the ball at Netherfield, when Sir William spoke of their clearly impending marriage. Darcy then watched the pair closely, and decided that Jane was happy with Bingley's affections, but not in love with him. She was too calm, too guarded of her emotions. He continues by saying that the Bennet family's connections are not the real problem, but that the actions of Mrs. Bennet, the younger Bennet sisters, and even, on occasion, Mr. Bennet, is the problem. After the displays during the ball at Netherfield, he knew Bingley could not attach to the family. The day after the ball, Bingley left for London on business, expecting to return soon. The Bingley women and Darcy, however, had other plans, and decided to join him, in an attempt to keep him in London and away from Jane. Darcy spent their first days together detailing the Bennets' shortcomings, but could not sway Bingley until he assured the man of Jane's indifference toward him. Furthermore, when Jane came to town, they had to hide her presence from him. He then writes that if he has hurt Jane's feelings, he is sorry, for that was not his intent.
With respect to Wickham, he wholly refutes the story, and, in order to convince Lizzy, must tell her the complete history of their connection. Mr. Wickham is the son of a very good man who worked for Darcy's father, and was greatly liked and trusted. To repay the man, the senior Mr. Darcy became godfather to his son, Wickham, and bestowed on him friendship, money, and kindness. Darcy's father even paid for Wickham's education and his years at Cambridge, hoping to settle Wickham in the church under his patronage. The younger Mr. Darcy, though, had long known the true character of Wickham, a character he hid from his benefactor. He lacked principle, and revealed his horrible self in unguarded moments. When Darcy's father died, he told his son to continue to support Wickham, and to become his patron once the position became available. He also left Wickham money, which would not be bestowed for several years. Soon after Mr. Darcy's death, however, Wickham's own father died, and Wickham wrote to Darcy, asking for the inheritance at that time instead of later. He hinted that he wanted to study law, and would need the money for that cause. Darcy knew Wickham was not right for the church, so the men decided that, instead of a parsonage, Wickham would receive a larger sum of money than initially intended. Darcy did study law, but mainly spent his time in idle pursuits. Three years later, the position in the church opened up, and Wickham wrote to Darcy asking for it. He said that he was not making much money practicing law, and that he was in a bad financial situation. He said he wanted to be ordained, if Darcy would provide for him. Darcy refused, Wickham became extremely angry, and the two parted ways. The most recent summer, however, he had reentered Darcy's life. On this matter, Darcy says he wishes he could forget the affair, and pleads for Lizzy's secrecy. He begins by explaining that his sister, ten years younger than he, was left to the guardianship of himself and Colonel Fitzwilliam. The year before, she had gone to school in London, and had spend the summer with a governess, Mrs. Younge, in Ramsgate. Wickham also made his way to Ramsgate, undoubtedly aided by Mrs. Younge herself. Darcy says that they were deceived by Mrs. Younge, who recommended Wickham to his sister. Young and na´ve, she agreed to an elopement with Wickham, despite being only fifteen. A day before the marriage was to take place, Darcy happened to drop by, and Georgiana could not help but share her news with her brother. Darcy wrote to Wickham, who left immediately, and Mrs. Younge was fired. Darcy believes Wickham's interests were in both his sister's large fortune and in revenge against the man he blames for ruining his life.
Darcy closes the letter by saying that his story is true, and that he hopes Lizzy will not blame him for Wickham's situation. He does not know exactly what Wickham has charged him with, but has an idea of what the man has been spreading. Darcy tells Lizzy that if she does not believe him, she can talk to Colonel Fitzwilliam, who knows all of the details and is an honest man. He then signs his name and the letter ends.

Browse all book notes

Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapters 1, 2, and 3
Chapters 4, 5, and 6
Chapters 7 and 8
Chapters 9 ,10, and 11
Chapters 12, 13, and 14
Chapters 15 and 16
Chapters 17, 18, and 19
Chapters 20, 21, and 22
Chapters 23, 24, and 25
Chapters 26, 27, and 28
Chapters 29, 30, and 31
Chapters 32, 33, and 34
Chapter 35
Chapters 36, 37, and 38
Chapters 39 and 40
Chapters 41 and 42
Chapters 43 and 44
Chapters 45 and 46
Chapters 47 and 48
Chapters 49 and 50
Chapters 51 and 52
Chapters 53, 54, and 55
Chapters 56 and 57
Chapters 58 and 59
Chapters 60 and 61



 






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