Skep's Place

 

Chapter 16: A Motherlode of Ado About Darcy


When the aforementioned dinner party finally arrives the following night, Mr. Collins immediately ingratiates himself to the hosts by comparing their apartment to the "small summer breakfast parlour" at Lady Catherine's estate. Although the Bennet aunt and uncle—who aren't landed gentry themselves—aren't the most flattered by this comparison, they are quickly put at ease by being told, actually, Lady Catherine's summer breakfast parlor would rival that of the queen herself.

The invited officers eventually show up, much to the delight of the girls, who are incredibly bored by Mr. Collins. Mr. Wickham is present, and is clearly the favorite of all the young ladies; and this evening, Elizabeth is the lucky woman who he sits next to.

To put it mildly, Mr. Wickham is checking a lot of boxes for Elizabeth, and she finds that even idle chatter about the weather is a delight when she's having it with him.

Meanwhile, with the officers present, all the girls kind of just forget that Mr. Collins exists.

After dinner, the party breaks up into groups for games. Lydia's talking just about monopolizes Mr. Wickham; but fortunately, she gets distracted playing lottery tickets, and Elizabeth and Mr. Wickham find themselves alone in conversation.

Elizabeth is still incredibly curious about what the hell was up between Mr. Darcy and Mr. Wickham, but has no idea how to ask politely. Luckily, she doesn't even have find some sneaky way to broach the subject, as he asks how long Darcy has been in town.

After Elizabeth notes how nobody here really likes Mr. Darcy because of how stupidly proud he acts all the time—herself included—Mr. Wickham says, yeah, I can't really comment on that because I'm not impartial, but also, you're totally right he actually sucks.

Mr. Wickham then continues on to recount his tragic backstory, wherein he was the godson of Darcy's father, and practically raised alongside Darcy himself. He says that when the elder Darcy passed away, the will left him with a parsonage which was to provide for him; but Mr. Darcy was jealous of Mr. Wickham's close relationship with the elder Darcy, and found a legal loophole to brand Mr. Wickham a degenerate and cut him out of the will.

Elizabeth is, of course, flabbergasted that Mr. Darcy could treat this genial man so poorly, and her already-lackluster opinion of him falls to asbolutely dismal levels.

After some further speculation about Mr. Darcy's sister, as well as whether or not he is taking advantage of Mr. Bingley's good nature, Mr. Wickham overhears Mr. Collins once again praising his patron, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. After learning that Elizabeth has no familiarity with Lady Catherine, Mr. Wickham informs her that Lady Catherine happens to be Mr. Darcy's aunt; and, in fact, it's highly likely that Lady Catherine intends for Mr. Darcy to marry her daughter and unite both sides of the family.

This last point amuses Elizabeth greatly, because it means that stupid snotty Miss Bingley and her stupid flirting ain't ever getting into Darcy's pants.

Then Elizabeth tells Mr. Wickham that, based on what she knows of Mr. Collins and the things he praises his employer about, Lady Catherine is probably actually an asshole. Mr. Wickham confirms that she absolutely is.

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