Published on March 2, 2014
Pride and Prejudice By Jane Austen Volume 1 (Chapters 1-23) Summary (Second Half)
Chapters 11 and 12 Summary Jane Bennet was feeling much better; Elizabeth brought her to the drawing-room where their evenings were usually spent. Jane Bennet was welcomed by everyone; especially by Mr. Bingley who sat beside her while Elizabeth was at the opposite side, looking at them with great enjoyment. When they finished their tea, Mr. Hurst told Miss Bingley to play cards but she rejected his request because she stated that Mr. Darcy did not want to play cards and no else was interested. Miss Bingley’s attention is focused on Mr. Darcy. She watched his progress on his book and attempted to make a conversation with him, but he barely answered her questions. Miss Bingley overheard Mr. Bingley and Miss Bennet’s conversation about the ball and joined the discussion; she said that the ball would be a punishment rather than a pleasure. Thereafter, she walked well around the room with good posture, trying to get Mr. Darcy’s attention, though she couldn’t. In desperation, she asked Elizabeth to walk with her, knowing that it would be effective to get Mr. Darcy’s attention; she wasn’t mistaken. When Elizabeth joined her, Mr. Darcy looked up, and closed his book. He was invited by Miss Bingley, but did not join because he didn’t want to interfere. The women discussed the possibility of finding something to mock in his character. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy had a conversation in which Miss Bingley could not share anything; she cut them off by asking for music. Mr. Darcy had realized that he is paying Elizabeth too much attention.
The next day, Elizabeth wrote to her mother begging to send the carriage for them but Mrs. Bennet sent them back a letter telling them that the carriage would be sent by Tuesday. Since, Elizabeth was unhappy about it and had been longing to go home, she insisted Jane to borrow Mr. Bingley’s carriage; their request was granted. With real sorrow, Mr. Bingley tried to persuade them to stay longer and told Jane that she wasn’t fully recovered yet, but they insisted. To Mr. Darcy, it was his pleasure to see them leave the Netherfield because Elizabeth had attracted him more than he liked. When Elizabeth and Jane arrived at their house, they weren’t welcomed by their mother. But their father was really glad to see them back.
Chapters 13-15 Summary The next morning, Mr. Bennet informed Mrs. Bennet that he was expecting someone to join them in their dinner. Mrs. Bennet thought that it was Mr. Bingley who would come to their house in the evening, but Mr. Bennet stated it was someone he hadn’t seen in his whole life. Mrs. Bennet and their five daughters were puzzled who it was; Mr. Bennet revealed to them that Mr. William Collins, his cousin, had wrote a letter to him about a month ago. Mr. William Collins would inherit all of Mr. Bennet’s properties once he was gone. Mrs. Bennet was saddened by the news. At four o’clock, Mr. Collins arrived at Longbourn and was welcomed with politeness. Mr. Collins mentioned in his letter that he is serving a parish owned by Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Collins talked about the entailment of the property and how beautiful their daughters are and that he could see them in a marriage.During the dinner, Mr. Bennet was silent and thought it was time to have a conversation with his guest. He started the discussion by asking about Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Mr. Collins stated that Lady de Bourgh has a daughter who would inherit the Lady’s properties. After the dinner, they went to the drawing-room and had tea. Mr. Bennet asked Mr. Collins to read a novel aloud for the ladies but he refused; admitting that he never read novels. Instead, he grabbed a sermon book, and was interrupted by Lydia. She told her mother that her uncle, Mr. Phillips could be hired by Colonel Forster and she would walk to Meryton to hear more about it. She was told by her sisters to hold her tongue. Mr. Collins was offended; he turned to Mr. Bennet and played backgammon. Mrs. Bennet and the four girls apologized to Mr. Collins. They requested to him to continue reading the book but he refused.
Since Mr. Collins is inheriting a good house and has sufficient income, he is in search of a wife and is choosing between the five Bennets. In the evening, he settled for Jane, but the next morning, he changed his mind. Mrs. Bennet had told him that Jane might be engaged soon; he changed from Jane to Elizabeth. Lydia’s intention of walking to Meryton was entertained by her sisters except for Mary. Mr. Bennet told them to bring Mr. Collins with them; he’s longing to get rid of him and just have his library to himself. When they arrived at Meryton, the girls’ eyes were fixed on a young man, who they haven’t seen yet before. Mr. Denny, the officer, introduced them to Mr. Wickham. They stood there and talked, until they heard horses coming down the street; it was Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy, who happened to be on their way to Longbourn to visit Jane. Elizabeth, however, noticed that Mr. Wickham and Mr. Darcy are awkward to each other, and she wondered why. Another minute had passed and the two gentlemen left. Mr. Denny and Mr. Wickham joined the group to Mr. Phillips’s house.
Mrs. Phillips was glad to see her nieces, especially Jane and Elizabeth who had been gone for a long time. Jane introduced Mr. Collins to Mrs. Phillip. Mrs. Phillips promised the girls to invite Mr. Wickham for dinner the next day, as they were invited for dinner in the Meryton. While walking back to Longbourn, Elizabeth told Jane about the strange meeting of Mr. Wickham and Mr. Darcy. On the other hand, Mr. Collins told Mrs. Bennet that he had never seen an elegant woman like the de Bourgh’s, except for Mrs. Phillips that welcomed him with great mannerisms.
Chapters 16 and 17 Summary The Bennets, together with Mr. Collins, went back to Meryton; the girls were glad to hear Mr. Wickham had accepted the invitation for dinner. Everyone’s attention was focused on Mr. Wickham, while Mr. Collins seemed likely to be out of place. Afterwards, Mr. Wickham sat beside Elizabeth, and asked her about Mr. Darcy’s stay in Netherfield; Elizabeth discovered that Mr. Wickham is connected to Mr. Darcy’s family. She told him her opinion about Mr. Darcy being a disagreeable man and that everyone does not like him because of his pride. Mr. Wickham, however, told her everyone is blinded by his fortune and she shall not express her disgust to other people.
Mr. Wickham discussed to Elizabeth he wanted to be a minister in a church, but ended up in the military because of the lack of fortune. Mr. Darcy’s father was supposed to help him to be a minister, but as selfish as Mr. Darcy was, he kept all the money to himself when his father died; he was jealous of the attention his father gave to Mr. Wickham. Elizabeth told Mr. Wickham he, Mr. Darcy, shall be publicly disgraced, and having a kind heart, Mr. Wickham stated he will be disgraced but not through him as he still respects the late Mr. Darcy. The discussion went on how Mr. Wickham was connected to the Darcys. Mr. Wickham’s father happened to devote his time on taking the Darcy’s property, the Pemberley. When his father died, the late Mr. Darcy promised him he would take care of Mr. Wickham. Mr. Wickham exposed to Elizabeth that Mr. Darcy’s only friend was his pride, and Miss Darcy is very much like his brother. After few other conversations, Elizabeth brought back the topic about Mr. Darcy again. She stated how a man like Mr. Bingley could befriend such a man like Mr. Darcy. Mr. Wickham concluded Mr. Bingley doesn’t have enough knowledge to know Mr. Darcy fully. On the other hand, Mr. Collins heard their conversation about Mr. Darcy being related to Lady Catherine de Bourgh and joined them. Mr. Collins mentioned Mr. Darcy would marry Miss de Bourgh that put smile on Elizabeth’s face, thinking of poor Miss Bingley.
Elizabeth told Jane her conversation with Mr. Wickham the next day. Jane defended Mr. Darcy by telling Elizabeth that there must a misunderstanding between the two men. Later on, their conversation had ended, and Mr. Bingley together with his sisters appeared on their doorstep to formally invite them for the long expected ball that would occur on Tuesday in the Netherfield; Mrs. Bennet gladly accepted the invitation. Elizabeth thought of dancing with Mr. Wickham and see Mr. Darcy’s reaction to confirm the things she knew about him. Elizabeth asked Mr. Collins if he’s going to accept the invitation; he hoped to dance with all his cousins especially with Elizabeth for the first two dances. Elizabeth was taken aback because she wanted to dance with Mr. Wickham. Her happiness of dancing with Mr. Wickham was delayed as she accepted Mr. Collins proposal. She noticed the attention Mr. Collins was giving her and knew she is the girl he intended to marry.
Chapters 18-21 Summary Much to Elizabeth’s dismay, Mr. Wickham did not attend the ball. She had suspected Mr. Wickham did not attend the ball because of Mr. Darcy’s presence. Her dismay increased when Mr. Collins was being gawky during their dance. Elizabeth danced with Mr. Darcy, but could not have a continuous conversation. Elizabeth mentioned Mr. Wickham in their discussion and Mr. Darcy was not happy at all. Luckily for Mr. Darcy, Sir William Lucas had interrupted them. When Sir Lucas left them, Elizabeth told him it didn’t slip in her mind their previous conversation. Mr. Darcy, however, diverted their conversation to books which gave way to Elizabeth to question him about his character. When they separated, Miss Bingley approached Elizabeth; she told him not to trust Mr. Wickham as he does not know what he is saying about Mr. Darcy. As the tension arises, Jane joined them and informed Elizabeth she had asked Mr. Bingley of what he knows about Mr. Wickham, but he knows nothing. On the other hand, Mr. Collins told Elizabeth he would introduce himself to Mr. Darcy; she tried to stop him. In the dinner, Mary performed badly in front of the guests, which brought embarrassment to the Bennets. The Bennets were the last to leave the Netherfield.
Mr. Collins wished to talk to Elizabeth himself about his offer of marriage. When they were left alone, Mr. Collins proposed his offer, but was rejected by Elizabeth. Mr. Collins attempted to persuade her; he was disappointed as Elizabeth found reasons not to marry him in spite of things he had offered. However, Mr. Collins was really determined to marry Elizabeth and he gave her more time to think about his offer. When Mrs. Bennet knew Elizabeth’s decision, she assured Mr. Collins that Elizabeth would be brought to reason to change her mind. Mrs. Bennet called down Mr. Bennet to discuss the matter. Mrs. Bennet blackmailed Elizabeth; if she did not marry Mr. Collins, she would never see her mother, while Mr. Bennet told Elizabeth she had to choose because if she married Mr. Collins, she would not see her father. Elizabeth was pleased that his father is on her side. A few days after Mr. Collins proposal was rejected, the girls walked to Meryton and had encountered Mr. Wickham. Mr. Wickham said it is better he did not attend the ball because it would only cause unpleasant scene to arise between him and Mr. Darcy; Mr. Wickham had walked them back to Longbourn. After their return, Miss Bennet received a letter from Netherfield. The letter stated the Bingleys, Mr. and Mrs. Hurst and Mr. Darcy had left and were not coming back again. It also stated Mr. Bingley is to marry Mr. Darcy’s sister, Georgiana. Elizabeth comforted Jane and told her it is not of Mr. Bingley’s free will, but of Miss Bingley’s. She also told her that Mr. Bingley would be back at Netherfield.
Chapters 22 and 23 Summary The Bennets had a dinner with the Lucas’s and Charlotte was so kind to listen to Mr. Collins. In a short time of getting to know each other, Charlotte Lucas was to be married to Mr. Collins. Sir Lucas and Lady Lucas were pleased by the news; however, Elizabeth was shocked by the news. Charlotte told her friend she is not a romantic girl, therefore, she only wants a comfortable home where she could leave. Elizabeth was seated with her mother and sisters; she doesn’t know whether she would tell them about the marriage of Mr. Collins and Miss Lucas, but Charlotte sent his father, Sir Lucas, to the Bennets to announce her engagement with Mr. Collins. Mrs. Bennet could not believe because she thought Mr. Collins still intended to marry Elizabeth. Mrs. Bennet was mad at Elizabeth for letting such a man slip off of her own hands. Days had gone by and Jane still hadn’t received a letter from Mr. Bingley, which put Mrs. Bennet’s hopes down of getting Jane married soon.
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