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Chapters 45 and 46

Chapter 45

At Pemberley, she and her aunt are greeted by Miss Darcy, Mrs. Hurst, Miss Bingley, and Mrs. Annesley, friend of the Bingleys. Georgiana is shy but friendly, and the Bingleys are as rude as expected. Eventually, Darcy enters the room. He has been down at the river with Bingley and Mr. Gardiner, but hurried to the house as soon as he heard the ladies intended to visit that morning. Miss Bingley is jealous of the way in which Darcy treats Lizzy, and does her best to embarrass her rival. When she brings up Wickham, however, Lizzy must do her best to answer the question civilly. Both Darcy and his sister appear pained. Her tact, however, leaves Darcy looking at Elizabeth even more fondly. As soon as she leaves, Miss Bingley starts her attack on Elizabeth, but neither Georgiana nor Darcy join in. Darcy finally remarks that, for many months, he has "considered her [Lizzy] one of the handsomest women of my acquaintance." Miss Bingley is shocked.

Chapter 46

The next morning, Lizzy is happy to find two letters from Jane. The Gardiners set off for a walk while Lizzy begins the letters alone. Jane sends bad news. An express letter arrived from Colonel Forster, informing the Bennets that Lydia has gone off to Scotland with Wickham. Apparently, Mrs. Bennet is beside herself, though Mr. Bennet is taking it much better. Shocked, Lizzy tears open the second letter, which was written one day later. Jane writes that as bad a marriage between Lydia and Wickham would be, the family is starting to think even worse - that they have not made it to Scotland and are instead living in an improper arrangement. Colonel Forster has found out from Mr. Denny that Wickham has neither the intention to take Lydia to Scotland, nor to marry her. Upon hearing this news, Colonel Forster immediately left Brighton to try to find them. He lost their trail around London, and was forced to come to Longbourn without any good news. Jane says that her parents are worried that the worst has happened. Forster admitted that Wickham is not a man to trust and will not marry Lydia, and the Bennets are worried that her disgrace will be too much to overcome. Jane then asks Lizzy to return home, and to send Mr. Gardiner to London, as Forster must return to Brighton and Mr. Bennet will need help with the search for Lydia and Wickham.
After completing the letter, Lizzy is anxious for the return of her aunt and uncle. It is Darcy, however, who appears. He immediately sends a servant to find the Gardiners, and through tears, Lizzy explains what Lydia and Wickham have done. She laments the fact that she could have prevented it, if she had exposed Wickham's true character. Darcy paces the room, and Lizzy recognizes his feeling of weakness. As he leaves, she asks him to hide the truth from his sister, though she knows it cannot remain hidden forever. Lizzy doubts that she will ever again encounter him in such a friendly way as she had for the past few days. All Lizzy wants to do now is go home, and she waits impatiently for the Gardiners' return. They quickly arrive, and Lizzy recounts what has happened. The two are surprised and horrified, and Mr. Gardiner immediately offers his assistance. After settling all business at the inn, the trio sets off for Longbourn.

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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