Skep's Place


Chapter 20: Keep Your Ado Out of This Library

After Elizabeth storms out of the room, Mrs. Bennet storms in just as quickly, offering her congratulations to Mr. Collins. Although he's still not worried at this point about actually having been rejected, he does have to break the news to Mrs. Bennet that there hasn't actually been any acceptance yet.

Mrs. Bennet is, of course, shocked, but promises him that Elizabeth will come around, in spite of her foolish, headstrong nature.

Mr. Collins then goes, wait a minute now; if she's as headstrong as you're claiming, maybe she actually wouldn't make a good wife... To which Mrs. Bennet assures him that isn't what she meant at all, and goes running off before she accidentally convinces Mr. Collins to retract the proposal.

Instead, she runs into the library to appeal to Mr. Bennet and spur him into action to resolve this whole mess, telling him how Elizabeth refused Mr. Collins, and how Mr. Collins might very well give up at this rate.

Without looking up from his book, he says it all sounds like a hopeless affair then. But Mrs. Bennet pleads with him, so he resignedly tosses his book onto his desk and tells her to call Elizabeth in.

Then, once Elizabeth has entered the library and confirmed the series of events—that Mr. Collins proposed, and she declined—he says this:

"Well Lizzy, it looks like you're in something of a pickle then. On one hand, your mother won't ever talk to you again if you don't marry Mr. Collins.

"On the other hand, I won't ever talk to you again if you do."

Elizabeth is ecstatic at this response, but Mrs. Bennet is decidedly not; however, her protests to her husband earn her nothing more than being politely (ish) ordered to "get out and let me read in peace."

Meanwhile, Charlotte Lucas drops by; Lydia exclaims how much fun they're all having watching this shit play out.

All of the ladies end up congregating in the breakfast parlor, where Mrs. Bennet calls out Elizabeth for not caring about any of them (and ESPECIALLY not about Mrs. Bennet's nerves), and wondering how she expects to provide for herself after Mr. Bennet dies if she keeps turning down proposals like this.

Lastly, Mrs. Bennet sends out most of the girls again so that she can talk to Mr. Collins; who, at the very least, is exceedingly civil about the whole thing. He claims he's not mad and formally recinds his offer. Of course, being Mr. Collins, he apologizes profusely for any offense he may have caused by proposing to Elizabeth directly, rather than, you know, asking her parents instead.

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