God willing, I am looking to finish P&P by the end of this week. For one, I am enjoying it tremendously and sneaking every moment I can to read a chapter, but also I am hoping to catch up with the ladies at Classical Quest and A Classic Case of Madness. They are four books ahead of me and just started Uncle Tom's Cabin. (And one other thing, I am anxious to watch the film "Pride and Prejudice," as I have yet to see it in its entirety.)
The next morning, Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam leave Rosings, and Elizabeth and Maria prepare to leave Hunsford quite soon after. Elizabeth has memorized Darcy’s letter by now, and while she has gained much respect for his character, she does not feel differently about declining his proposal. However, her greatest vexation regards her family, just as Darcy had made obvious in his letter, and it distresses Elizabeth to think that “Jane had been deprived by the folly and indecorum of her own family!”
On the morning of their leaving, Mr. Collins gave one more “How Great I Am” speech to Elizabeth glorifying his connections to high society, “which few can boast.” After leaving Hunsford, their first stop is Mr. Gardiner’s where Elizabeth is reunited with Jane who will also be traveling on to Longbourn with them. Elizabeth struggls to keep all that she knows to herself - from the proposal of Mr. Darcy to something on Mr. Bingley: one to astound her sister and the other to cause her angst.
Jane, Elizabeth, and Maria left the Gardiner’s and stopped at an inn in Hertfordshire to find Mr. Bennet’s carriage where they are meet by Catherine (Kitty) and Lydia. Lydia gossips about Mary King, the young woman George Wickham was to marry, going away for good and then annoyingly chatters all the way home of the most shallow and juvenile ideas.
As soon as the opportunity affords itself, Elizabeth shares her secrets with Jane, although she could only tell her of the proposal and the news of Wickham but could not bring herself to tell Jane about Bingley. Of course, Jane is certainly surprised by the news but also sorry for Darcy’s rejection; yet, she also convinces herself that Wickham must be repentant of his wickedness and looking to secure a better reputation. Meanwhile, it is obvious to Elizabeth that Jane is still heartbroken over Bingley.