On the arrival at Hunsford, Charlotte congenially welcomes Elizabeth, and Elizabeth observes immediately that married life has not changed her cousin, Mr. Collins, being he continues in his stiff formalities and overbearing personality. The next morning she is awakened to find that Miss de Bourgh, the sickly daughter of Lady Catherine, stops by to deliver an invitation to dinner at Rosings, and Elizabeth is satisfied to think that she is a perfect match for Mr. Darcy, “sickly and cross.”
Chapter XXIXThe next day, the party at Hunsford arrives at Rosings, after Mr. Collins prepped them as to what to expect and, in addition to insulting Elizabeth by lecturing her not to fret over her appearance because Lady Catherine “likes to have the distinction of rank reserved”; nonetheless, while the others were intimidated, Elizabeth’s “courage did not fail her.” Not to Elizabeth’s surprise, Lady Catherine is patronizing, arrogant, authoritative, unimpeded in her opinions, and callous in her words; equally, she is offended by Elizabeth’s capacity to be especially liberally opinionated because she is not accustomed to being outshined by anyone.
A visitor has arrived as Rosings: Mr. Darcy, and he brought his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam. Upon their arrival, they visit Mr. Collins and his household, and Elizabeth finds Colonel Fitzwilliam to be a personable and talkative young man, nothing like his cousin, Mr. Darcy.
Invitations to Rosings were not infrequent, and actually were a relief for Colonel Fitzwilliam. Elizabeth tells Fitzwilliam how she first met Mr. Darcy at a ball and how he would not make acquaintances to dance; yet Darcy defends himself by adding that he does not acquire the ability of conversing with those he does not know.
During a time when Mr. Collins, Charlotte, and Maria are out of the house, Elizabeth is alone when Mr. Darcy unexpectedly visits; and in their time together, Elizabeth forces a conversation on him about Mr. Bingley and his prospects of giving up Netherfield, which Mr. Darcy affirms is possible. Also, Elizabeth attempts to make sense of why he even bothers to visit the parsonage being he sits in silence most of the time, unlike Fitzwilliam who seems to enjoy the social time with them.