Skep's Place


Chapter 26: Much Ado Through Post

Aunt Bennet starts off the chapter by having a chat with Elizabeth, saying, you're not some dunce who's going to fall in love with a guy just because I told you not to, so let me say this about Mr. Wickham. He's a real sweet boy, and if he had money, I'd totally tell you to get with that. The problem is, he doesn't have money, so like, is he really the best match for you? You can't jeopardize your future just because he's getting you thirsty.

Elizabeth assures her that she's not in danger of running off with Wickham anytime soon, but also says she can't make any guarantees, especially since her father likes the guy; and besides, young people are always falling in love for silly reasons like "connection" and "companionship" instead of "money", so how could she possibly avoid the same fate? But she promises, at least, to take it slow and not rush into the thing.

Jane leaves with the aunt and uncle to go stay in London. Meanwhile, Mr. Collins and Charlotte Lucas get married, with the book offering them nothing in the way of ceremony. Before she goes back home with Collins, Charlotte makes Elizabeth promise to come visit her in a few months.

The rest of the chapter is 100% letters, as both of the interesting companions in Elizabeth's life are now away. We hear from Charlotte first; although Elizabeth is kind of over her as a friend, she's still really curious what the estate and Lady Catherine de Bourgh are like. But all she receives are dumbed-down versions of the same platitudes Mr. Collins always expressed, so she remains skeptical.

Meanwhile, while she's in London, Jane drops in on the Bingley residence, because she and Miss Bingley are ostensibly friends. Miss Bingley's reaction is basically "oh shit, I didn't expect to see you out here", and then pretty much drops off the face of the earth for a week. When she does bring herself to pay back the visit, it's abundantly clear to even Jane—who always assumes the best of intentions—that Miss Bingley was purely being polite, and had no interest in being Jane's friend, even though it was kind of Miss Bingley's idea to begin with. Anyway, Jane is washing her hands of the whole thing.

Right at the end of the chapter, Elizabeth learns that Mr. Wickham is now sucking up to some other girl who just won the lottery. She shrugs and says, oh well.

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