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Chapters 23, 24, and 25

Chapter 23

Elizabeth is left alone with her family, deciding whether or not she can tell them about Charlotte, when Sir Lucas arrives to tell the family officially. The family is shocked, but Lizzy confirms the story. As soon as the man leaves, Mrs. Bennet goes off on a rant, saying that it must be prevented. She firmly lays all blame on Elizabeth, and all week yells at her daughter whenever their paths cross. Lady Lucas lords her daughter's engagement over Mrs. Bennet, whose sour mood is only made worse. The engagement drives a wall between Lizzy and Charlotte, and Lizzy finds herself spending more and more time with Jane instead. Jane sends a letter to Miss Caroline Bingley, but does not hear back. The gossip in Meryton reports that Bingley is never to return to Netherfield, and Elizabeth begins to fear that Bingley's sisters have succeeded in changing his mind. Jane is even more worried. Mr. Collins returns, and Mrs. Bennet is positive that Charlotte and Mr. Collins are always plotting their takeover of the Bennet estate. The thought of Charlotte as the mistress of the house infuriates her, and she again decries the absurdity of the entailing of an estate.

Chapter 24

A letter finally arrives from Miss Bingley, announcing that the family is settled in London for the winter. The rest of the letter consists of praise for Miss Darcy, and the proclamation that the young woman has become quite intimate with her brother. Elizabeth tries to comfort her own sister, and is incensed by Miss Bingley. Jane claims that, in time, she is convinced she will be able to forget Bingley. Lizzy praises her sister, saying she is perfect. She then explains that with every day she is more dissatisfied with the world, a feeling exemplified by two cases, one being Charlotte's impending marriage. Jane tries to insist that the two will be happy together, and that Mr. Collins is a good man, but Lizzy knows differently. Jane then asks what the other case is, and urges her sister not to think badly of Mr. Bingley on her behalf. Lizzy replies that it is Bingley's sisters and Darcy she is most disappointed in, for persuading Bingley away from Jane. She argues that their first concerns are money and connections, not Bingley's happiness. Jane asks not to talk about the topic, and from then on, Mr. Bingley is hardly mentioned by either girl. Mrs. Bennet continues to ask about him, however, and prays that he will return to Netherfield for the summer. Meanwhile, Mr. Wickham's visits to Longbourn become more frequent, and, with his help, the history of his relationship with Darcy is made more and more well known. Only Jane thinks there might be more to the story than Wickham has revealed, but every time she expresses such a belief, she is refuted.

Chapter 25

After a week in Longbourn, Mr. Collins is forced to go back to his parsonage. The next Monday, Mrs. Bennet's brother and sister, the Gardiners, arrive from town for the Christmas holidays. Mr. Gardiner, who earned his fortune in trade, is said to be friendly, educated, and quite superior to his sister. His wife is also intelligent, elegant, and kind, and very well liked among the Bennet daughters, especially Jane and Lizzy. Mrs. Bennet fills her in on the girls' recent romances and disappointments. Mrs. Gardiner, who sides with her nieces, only changes the subject. Later, she invites Jane to visit her in London. She stresses that, though the Gardiners live in London, they do no live in the same part of town as Bingley, nor do they share the same friends. Jane would be unlikely to encounter the man. Since Jane corresponds with the Bingley sisters, however, they might call on her. Lizzy is convinced they will not, but secretly hopes that Bingley and Jane will find each other, and Bingley' affections renewed. All week, the Bennets and Gardiners celebrate with the Philipses, Lucases, and the officers. Mrs. Gardiner keeps a close eye on the obviously connected Elizabeth and Mr. Wickham, and resolves to tell her niece not to encourage this connection. Mrs. Gardiner had lived in the same area as Wickham for several years, and though she did not know him well, she knew of his reputation.

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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