Average Overall Rating: 4
Total Votes: 607
Chapter 29: The next day Collins talks about on how lucky they all are that they were invited to dine so soon after arriving. They walk to Lady Catherine's, and Sir William and Maria are quite nervous. Mr. Collins admires and compliments everything, and Lady Catherine is gratified by the admiration. After dinner Lady Catherine asks Charlotte about domestic concerns, giving her advice on even the smallest details about running her house. She then asks Elizabeth many questions, and is quite surprised to find out that they had no governess in a house with five girls. Lady Catherine is shocked at Elizabeth and how she does not answer all of her questions directly, but rather sometimes trifles with her.
Chapter 30: Sir William returns home when he sees that his daughter is comfortably settled with her husband. Now and then Lady Catherine comes to visit and advise Charlotte on how to do things differently at her house. The party dines at Rosings about twice a week, and a few weeks later Darcy comes to visit. He brings with him his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam. Darcy soon comes to visit at the Collins', and Elizabeth asks him how it happened that her sister Jane could be in London for three months and he never happened to see her there. He looks confused at the question and says that he had not had the fortune to meet her there, and pursues the subject no more.
Chapter 31: Since the arrival of Darcy and Fitzwilliam, the party at the parish had been little invited to Rosings. When they are finally invited, Lady Catherine makes it "plain that their company was by no means so acceptable as when she could get nobody else." During this visit, Darcy is curious to see how well Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam are getting along, and when Elizabeth plays the piano, he moves his chair to be closer to her in order to converse. Elizabeth notices that Darcy does not seem to show any love for Miss De Bourgh who he is supposedly to marry, and thinks that he could just as likely marry Miss Bingley, whom he also shows no preference for although she desires his affection.
Chapter 32: The next morning Elizabeth is sitting by herself and is surprised by a visit from Darcy, who explains that he did not know she was alone. In their embarrassed state, Elizabeth asks Darcy if Mr. Bingley is planning on ever returning to Netherfield, and Darcy says that he would not be surprised if Bingley gave up the house. When Charlotte and her sister return, Darcy excuses himself. Darcy and Fitzwilliam visit the parsonage quite frequently, and while Elizabeth feels that Fitzwilliam comes because he has pleasure in their company, she does not understand why Darcy visits.
Pride and Prejudice
Elizabeth was sitting by herself the next morning, and writing to Jane, while Mrs. Collins and Maria were gone on business into the village, when she was startled by a ring at the door, the certain signal of a visitor. As she had heard no carriage, she thought it not unlikely to be Lady Catherine, and under that apprehension was putting away her half-finished letter that she might escape all impertinent questions, when the door opened, and to her very great surprise Mr. Darcy, and Mr. Darcy only, entered the room.
He seemed astonished too on finding her alone, and apologised for his intrusion by letting her know that he had understood all the ladies to be within.
They then sat down, and when her enquiries after Rosings were made, seemed in danger of sinking into total silence. It was absolutely necessary, therefore, to think of something, and in this emergence, recollecting when she had seen him last in Hertfordshire, and feeling curious to know what he would say on the subject of their hasty departure, she observed --
"How very suddenly you all quitted Netherfield last November, Mr. Darcy! It must have been a most agreeable surprise to Mr. Bingley to see you all after him so soon; for, if I recollect right, he went but the day before. He and his sisters were well, I hope, when you left London."
"Perfectly so, I thank you."
She found that she was to receive no other answer, and, after a short pause, added --
"I think I have understood that Mr. Bingley has not much idea of ever returning to Netherfield again?"
"I have never heard him say so; but it is probable that he may spend very little of his time there in future. He has many friends, and he is at a time of life when friends and engagements are continually increasing."
"If he means to be but little at Netherfield, it would be better for the neighbourhood that he should give up the place entirely, for then we might possibly get a settled family there. But, perhaps, Mr. Bingley did not take the house so much for the convenience of the neighbourhood as for his own, and we must expect him to keep or quit it on the same principle."
"I should not be surprised," said Darcy, "if he were to give it up as soon as any eligible purchase offers."
Elizabeth made no answer. She was afraid of talking longer of his friend; and, having nothing else to say, was now determined to leave the trouble of finding a subject to him.
He took the hint, and soon began with, "This seems a very comfortable house. Lady Catherine, I believe, did a great deal to it when Mr. Collins first came to Hunsford."
"I believe she did -- and I am sure she could not have bestowed her kindness on a more grateful object."
"Mr. Collins appears very fortunate in his choice of a wife."
"Yes, indeed; his friends may well rejoice in his having met with one of the very few sensible women who would have accepted him, or have made him happy if they had. My friend has an excellent understanding -- though I am not certain that I consider her marrying Mr. Collins as the wisest thing she ever did. She seems perfectly happy, however, and in a prudential light it is certainly a very good match for her."
"It must be very agreeable to her to be settled within so easy a distance of her own family and friends."
"An easy distance, do you call it? It is nearly fifty miles."
"And what is fifty miles of good road? Little more than half a day's journey. Yes, I call it a very easy distance."
"I should never have considered the distance as one of the advantages of the match," cried Elizabeth. "I should never have said Mrs. Collins was settled near her family."
"It is a proof of your own attachment to Hertfordshire. anything beyond the very neighbourhood of Longbourn, I suppose, would appear far."