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Chapters 7 and 8

Chapter 7

The chapter opens with an explanation of the Bennet family's financial situation. Mr. Bennet makes less than half of Bingley's yearly salary, and this sum is destined to be inherited by a distant male relative anyway. Mrs. Bennet did not bring much fortune into the marriage.
The Philips, relatives of Mrs. Bennet, live in Meryton and are often visited by the Bennet sisters, particularly the two youngest - Catherine and Lydia. News reaches Longbourn that a group of militia has been stationed in Meryton, and an excited Catherine and Lydia make their town visits more frequent. Their uncle calls on all the officers, and the youngest Bennet girls soon get to know the officers themselves. At home, it is all they can talk about.
A letter arrives from Miss Bingley, inviting Jane to Netherfield to dine with her, and also states that the men will be away for the day. Excited, Jane asks to borrow the carriage for the journey over, but Mrs. Bennet insists she go on horseback. If rain were to arrive, Jane would be unable to return on horseback, and would be forced to stay at Netherfield, thus gaining precious time with Mr. Bingley. As soon as Jane leaves, it begins to rain, and she does not return that night. The next morning, a letter arrives from Netherfield, saying that Jane is very sick, a result of getting caught in the downpour. Lizzy decides she must go to Netherfield to care for her sister, and walks the three miles to the estate. She arrives muddy and out of breath, which surprises the proper Bingley sisters. They explain that Jane has worsened and cannot leave her room. Lizzy tends to her appreciative sister, but as evening approaches, Lizzy announces that she must go home. Mr. Bingley insists that she stay, and a servant travels to Longbourn to share the news with the Bennets, and bring clean clothes to Elizabeth.

Chapter 8

At dinner, Lizzy reports that Jane is no better. The Bingley sisters are a little concerned, but Mr. Bingley shows genuine worry. The Bingley sisters are meanwhile preoccupied with Mr. Darcy, and begin talking about Lizzy as soon as she leaves the room. Darcy says her eyes look even brighter today. The older Bingley sister, Mrs. Hurst, then declares that she likes Jane, but feels that her parents and financial status make it impossible for her to marry well. Darcy agrees that the Bennet girls' background lessens their chances of finding a wealthy match. Meanwhile, Elizabeth remains at Jane's bedside until her sister falls asleep late in the evening. Later, she joins the rest of the group in the drawing room, where the Bingley women do their best to make Lizzy look bad. Conversation centers around Darcy's sister, who is said to be beautiful and accomplished, and on the accomplishments that a woman should hold. As soon as Lizzy leaves the room, the Bingley sisters immediately start talking about her again, but are quieted by a sarcastic remark from Darcy. Lizzy then reenters the room to announce that Jane has gotten worse. The group agrees to call for the doctor first thing in the morning, but Mr. Bingley is very worried.

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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