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Chapters 15 and 16

Chapter 15

Mr. Collins, having a house and a profession, has decided it is time to marry, and sets his sights on one of the Bennet daughters. As Jane is both the oldest and quite beautiful, he decides that she will be his choice. Mrs. Bennet, however, hints that Jane might be soon engaged, but that her younger daughters are all very available. The girls' mother is pleased to discover that his affections then transfer to Elizabeth.
The Bennet daughters walk to Meryton to see the officers, and Mr. Collins joins them. Upon arrival, Catherine, who is called Kitty, and Lydia are giddy to discover that a new, dashingly handsome officer named Mr. Denny has caught the eyes of all the local women. They are able to gain his attention, and the man introduces his friend, Mr. Wickham, who is also handsome and soon to join the corps. The group chats until Darcy and Bingley ride up. Bingley admits that he and Darcy had been on their way to Longbourn to call on the Bennets, and Darcy has a hard time keeping his eyes off Lizzy. Suddenly he notices Wickham, and is obviously shocked; Wickham, too, cannot hide his surprise. An unaware Bingley leads his friend away. The women then also leave, walking to the Philips to visit with their aunt. They introduce Mr. Collins to her, and then launch into a discussion of the handsome new officers. Mrs. Philips promises to have her husband call on Mr. Wickham, and to have the officers and her nieces over for dinner the next evening. On the way home, Lizzy tells Jane about the strange interaction between Darcy and Wickham, while Mr. Collins babbles on about Mrs. Philips and Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

Chapter 16

The following night, the Bennet girls and Mr. Collins again travel to Meryton, this time to dine with their aunt and uncle. They are thrilled to discover that Mr. Wickham is also there, and as he enters the room, Elizabeth is struck by his good looks and polite nature, and is very happy when he seats himself next to her. Curious about his relationship with Darcy, Lizzy is delighted when Mr. Wickham brings the subject up first. He explains that Darcy's late father was a wonderful man and a great friend. He then goes into more general topics, but again ends up on the topic of Darcy as he explains his reasons for entering the military. He says that he needs a noble profession, and that he had always wanted to be a man of the church - that he was meant for it. He continues by revealing that Darcy's father (his own godfather) had told him that he would leave him the money for a parsonage. Upon his death, however, Darcy did not grant him the money, and as the agreement had been a verbal one, he had no legal redress. The money was given to another man, and Wickham feels that he cannot expose Darcy for the wrongdoing because he respects Darcy's father too much. Lizzy asks what could have made Darcy hate him so much, and Wickham surmises that Darcy was jealous of the affection his father had for Wickham. Furthermore, as the senior Mr. Wickham lay on his deathbed, Darcy promised to provide for his son, another agreement that has not been met. Wickham blames these actions on Darcy's pride. Conversation then turns to Darcy's little sister, and Wickham declares her as proud as her brother. Wickham says he does not know Bingley at all, but that it is entirely possible for a truly kind man to befriend Darcy, as Darcy is very pleasant to anyone he considers worthwhile. Lizzy and Wickham are then interrupted by Mr. Collins and the card players, and after hearing Collins mention Lady Catherine de Bourgh a few times, Wickham whispers to Lizzy that Lady Catherine is the sister of Lady Anne Darcy, making him the aunt of Mr. Darcy. He also explains that Lady Catherine's daughter holds a large estate, and that it is expected she will marry Darcy and unite the two fortunes. Elizabeth laughs as she thinks of the disappointment Miss Bingley is in for. Wickham also offers that Mr. Collins descriptions are not quite accurate; Lady Catherine and her daughter are not the congenial women he makes them out to be. In fact, Lady Catherine is both arrogant and conceited. Finally, the evening ends, and all are impressed with the cavalier Mr. Wickham. On the ride home, Lizzy's sisters and Mr. Collins engage in their usual conversations, but Lizzy can think of nothing but Wickham.

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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