Skep's Place


Chapter 13: Much Ado About Collins

At breakfast the next morning, Mr. Bennet announces to his family that they will be receiving a gentleman for dinner that night. There is some excitement from Mrs. Bennet, who assumes that the gentleman in question is Mr. Bingley; but this is not to be.

Instead, Mr. Bennet reveals that their caller is a distant cousin named Mr. Collins; and, in fact, this is the man who will inherit the estate after Mr. Bennet knocks off. In his letter, Mr. Collins states that he wishes to ignore the long-standing disagreement between his now-deceased father and Mr. Bennet, and patch up his own relationship with the man. He goes on to add that this peace offering was spurred on by his recent clerical appointment to the parish of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, a woman of significant social standing.

Additionally, Mr. Collins recognizes that the transfer of the estate upon Mr. Bennet's death would leave his five daughters with nowhere to go. He promises to make amends for this disparity, which Jane is appreciative of, although she wonders what the heck he could possibly do about it.

Elizabeth, on the other hand, finds the tone of his letter a bit odd, and asks Mr. Bennet if he thinks that Mr. Collins is a sensible man. Mr. Bennet replies, you kidding? He sounds like he's an ass-kisser with an inflated sense of self-worth. He'll be fun for a laugh.

a picture of Mr. Bennet

Mr. Bennet

To further corroborate this viewpoint, Mary "Buzzkill" Bennet says she thinks the letter was very well-written, actually.

As a preview of things to come, when Mr. Collins does arrive, the Bennets find him a little too flattering of their daughters and estate; and when Mrs. Bennet later mistakes a compliment for an insult, he spends a solid fifteen minutes apologizing for the offense.

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