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This should get us caught up to where we ought to be before I had my stomach virus the other day - tomorrow will be the 27th and we'll be up to Chapter 27. Huzzah!

Today's chapter accounts for the passage of time for us in an interesting way - with letters. Or rather, with an indication that a bunch of correspondence is going back and forth between Elizabeth and others, mostly with a summary about what's going on.

Remember how the last chapter closed with Mrs Gardiner vowing that she was going to speak to Elizabeth about Wickham, so here she is:

Mrs Gardiner: You're too smart to do something just because I tell you not to, so I feel free to share my opinion with you. You should steer clear of Mr Wickham. I mean, he seems nice enough, but he hasn't got two sovereigns to rub together, and so you'd do best to choose someone else.

Elizabeth: Goodness, but you're being serious.

Mrs Gardiner: I call it as I see it.

Elizabeth: I promise not to let him fall in love with me if I can help it.

Mrs Gardiner: You are not be serious.

Elizabeth: Let me take another crack at it. I understand your point. And the truth is, although I think Mr Wickham is sexy, I'm not in love with him - yet. Damn Mr Darcy for robbing him of his inheritance! Still, there are lots of people who get engaged and have to wait for money, so while I will do my best to avoid becoming entangled, I certainly wouldn't be the first person we know to make an imprudent love match if I married him. Still, I'll try to be less flirtatious when I'm in company with him.

Mrs Gardiner: Maybe you should also stop inviting him around so often - at least, don't remind your mother to invite him.

Elizabeth: You mean the way I did the other day. I understand your point, and I'll try to do what's best. I hope that's good enough to satisfy you.

Her aunt assured her that she was; and Elizabeth having thanked her for the kindness of her hints, they parted; a wonderful instance of advice being given on such a point without being resented.

Charlotte Lucas takes a moment the day before her wedding to pay a call on the Bennets - she'll be taking her leave after the wedding and returning to Kent with Mr Collins. Her nervousness about her move is displayed through her remarks, as she practically begs Lizzy to keep up a correspondence with her and to come visit her. When Elizabeth says she will come, Charlotte urges her to come in March - not even three months hence, saying that Elizabeth will be as welcome to her as her own father and sister.

We then hear about letters:

Charlotte's letters: There's less real intimacy between Charlotte and Lizzy now. Charlotte (as expected) only says good things about her house, the neighborhood, and Lady Catherine, and of course, Lizzy is curbing her tongue (her pen?) as well because she can't stand Mr Collins and is still questioning Charlotte's decision.

Jane's letters:

1. I'm here in London safe and sound.

2. I've been here a full week and haven't heard from Caroline. I guess the letter I sent her went amiss?

3. My aunt is heading over toward Mr Hurst's neighborhood tomorrow, so I'm going to pay a call on Caroline Bingley.

4. Caroline seemed out of spirits, although she said she was happy to see me. I was right about both of my letters going missing, since she said she had no idea I was in Town. Unfortunately, she and Mrs Hurst had something else to do so they threw me out our visit was a short one. I'm sure they'll pay me a return call any day now.

5. Any day now.

6. Any day now.

7. It's been two weeks since I called on Miss Bingley, and she finally came for a visit (after I stayed home every day waiting). Elizabeth loves me too much to exult at being correct: Caroline Bingley doesn't really like me. I can't fault myself for thinking that she did, because she certainly acted like she did, but when she showed up yesterday, it was plain as day that she didn't want to be here and that she doesn't want anything to do with me. I have to say that I'm not sorry to lose her acquaintance based on how she behaved, but I do pity her. She has to know how wrong her behavior has been, but she can't still be concerned about her brother being in love with me. If he were, he'd have come to see me himself. And she says he's quite attached to Miss Darcy. In fact, if I didn't know better, I'd suspect duplicity. Miss Bingley hinted that they may never return to Netherfield at all.

P.S. Have fun at Hunsford. Don't forget to write.

Elizabeth's letter to her Aunt Gardiner is written just after the narrator asserts that Lizzy is glad that Jane is no longer being duped by Caroline Bingley. Elizabeth writes a letter to her aunt to say that Mr Wickham is in love with Miss King and her 10,000 pounds. Her feelings aren't hurt, since she believes that if Wickham had his own fortune, he'd have chosen her (Elizabeth).

In a moment of sheer hypocrisy, Elizabeth has no problem with Wickham wanting to marry for money. That said, she realizes that never truly loved Wickham, since she not only wishes him well, but also feels no antipathy toward Miss King.

Kitty and Lydia take his defection much more to heart than I do. They are young in the ways of the world, and not yet open to the mortifying conviction that handsome young men must have something to live on, as well as the plain.

Tomorrow: Chapter 27
Back to Chapter 25

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( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 27th, 2011 07:57 am (UTC)

In a moment of sheer hypocrisy, Elizabeth has no problem with Wickham wanting to marry for money.

I don't know -- I don't think Elizabeth would have had a hard time with Charlotte marrying for money if the man wasn't actively appalling. As I recall, we never learn anything about Miss King except for her 10,000 pounds, so Lizzy has no reason to think Wickham finds her as unpleasant as virtually everyone finds Mr. Collins.
Jan. 28th, 2011 01:48 am (UTC)
You might have a point there. But do have a look at her conversation with her aunt in today's chapter to see how far she's willing to go to justify Wickham's choices.
Jan. 27th, 2011 11:32 am (UTC)
"And the truth is, although I think Mr Wickham is sexy, I'm not in love with him - yet" Lolz!
Since I'm in a different time zone ; ) I've already gone on to 27 - I love how level headed and astute Mrs. Gardiner is, in both this chapter and the next one.
And yup, I find Lizzy hypocritical here too, she's willing to make allowances for differences in situation and temperament here, but not for Charlotte... maybe because Charlotte meant more to her, and so she wanted more for her and definately expected more of her.

I only have one thing to say about Miss Caroline Bingley - What a Bitch!
Jan. 28th, 2011 01:52 am (UTC)
I agree with your point about Caroline being a bitch, of course, but I have to say I think you are onto something with your point about Lizzy being more distraught over Charlotte because she meant more to her. I hadn't thought of it in those terms before, and I'm sure you're right - she believed she and Charlotte were so close that their opinions matched on things like this, and when they didn't, she was nearly affronted by it.
Jan. 27th, 2011 12:31 pm (UTC)
I always feel so sorry for Charlotte when she begs Lizzy to write her -- it seems like the low point for her, when she is letting herself fear that perhaps she has made a mistake she will regret, and is desperate to stay connected to the good things in her life.

I had never really considered Lizzy's comments on Wickham hypocritical, for similar reasons as willowgreen: that what bothered her most about Charlotte's situation was how odious a man she was willing to take to gain financial security.
Jan. 28th, 2011 01:54 am (UTC)
I feel sorry for her, too - her sense of desperation comes across, I think.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 28th, 2011 01:55 am (UTC)
The main thing that causes them to oppose Jane is not so much her lack of money as the disgraceful way her mother and younger sisters (save Elizabeth) behave - Darcy tells us that straight - it's the general "want of propriety" displayed by mother, younger three sisters and even Mr Bennet.

I agree on that second point.
Jan. 29th, 2011 03:45 pm (UTC)
Speaking of P&P, the DVD was a big hit as a present.
Jan. 29th, 2011 05:38 pm (UTC)
I am not surprised. Your comment reminds me that I need a copy of the new & improved edition!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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