Skep's Place


Chapter 22: Much Ado Over Breaking Curfew

The Bennets—still including Mr. Collins—have dinner over at Lucas Lodge; and once again, Charlotte hangs out with Mr. Collins so that the Bennets don't have to. What Elizabeth doesn't know, however, is that Charlotte was sorted into Slytherin when she went to Hogwarts; and her thoughts now are "Well, if the Bennets don't want Mr. Collins, maybe I can seize this chance to scoop him up."

This play is executed so perfectly that Mr. Collins sneaks out of the Bennet house early the next morning like a goddamn schoolboy to go propose to Charlotte.

Although they get the approval of the Lucas parents, Charlotte tells Mr. Collins not to spill the beans to the Bennets just yet. She recognizes that Elizabeth is probably going to be pretty upset by this semi-betrayal, so she at least wants to do the decent thing and tell Elizabeth herself.

Mr. Collins keeps the secret, although when he says his farewells to the Bennets that night, Mrs. Bennet politely says "come stay with us anytime" and Mr. Collins replies "thanks, I think I'll actually be back really soon," panicking all of the Bennets into playing the backpedaling game.

After Mr. Collins departs, Charlotte comes over and drops the bombshell on Elizabeth. As predicted, Elizabeth is flabbergasted that any woman could find Mr. Collins a tolerable match, to say nothing of her best friend. But Charlotte tells her, look, getting married is really the only method a woman like me has for securing any kind of stable future in this society. Except this society was made by men who want to marry young pretty women; meanwhile, I'm pushing 30, and I'm certainly not being played by Keira Knightly in the film adaptation, so my pickings are looking mighty slim over here. Yeah, Mr. Collins is undeniably awful, but like, he's not a bad guy, and he's got money and connections, so I'll at least be able to live comfortably. Honestly, I could do way worse.

Regardless, Elizabeth remains unconvinced that her friend hasn't made an enormous mistake. Alas, the damage is done.

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