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|Gossip in P&P: Ch.35-42
Written by Line
(5/6/2010 9:49 a.m.)
Ch.35: In his letter, Darcy mentions discovering from Sir William at the Netherfield ball that "Bingley's attentions to (Jane) had given rise to a *general* expectation of their marriage".
- "(Elizabeth) could remember no more substantial good than the *general approbation of the neighbourhood*, and the regard which (Wickham's) social powers had gained him in the mess."
(So Elizabeth is by no means the only person whom Wickham has taken in!)
- "(Elizabeth) remembered also that, till the Netherfield family had quitted the country, (Wickham) had told his story to no one but herself; but that after their removal it had been *everywhere discussed*."
- "Had (Darcy's) actions been what Wickham represented them, so gross a violation of everything right could hardly have been concealed from the world." (gossip in a positive light!)
Ch.39: News from Meryton, via Lydia and Kitty:
- The militia are set to leave Meryton for Brighton.
- Mary King has left for Liverpool, so Wickham won't be marrying her after all.
- Also, "there was no escaping the frequent mention of Wickham's name".
- " Mrs. Bennet was doubly engaged, on one hand collecting an account of the present fashions from Jane, who sat some way below her, and, on the other, retailing them all to the younger Miss Lucases."
- Elizabeth to Jane: "The *general* prejudice against Mr. Darcy is so violent, that it would be the death of half the good people in Meryton to attempt to place him in an amiable light. I am not equal to it."
- Mrs. Bennet to Elizabeth: "There is *no talk* of (Bingley) coming to Netherfield again in the summer; and I have inquired of everybody, too, who is likely to know."
- Wickham tells Elizabeth that Col. Fitzwilliam is a very gentlemanlike man (accurate), but then he adds that Darcy is afraid of his aunt, and that he is anxious to marry his cousin, which Elizabeth knows is not true, from her own experience.
- "To the little town of Lambton, the scene of Mrs. Gardiner's former residence, and where *she had lately learned* that some acquaintance still remained, they bent their steps.
- "When (Elizabeth) retired at night, she asked the *chambermaid (of the inn in Lambton)* whether Pemberley were not a very fine place, what was the name of its proprietor, and, with no little alarm, *whether the family were down for the summer*. A most welcome negative followed the last question."
I think I may have missed this one back in ch.18, at the Netherfield Ball:
- (Elizabeth) "took her place in the set, amazed at the dignity to which she was arrived in being allowed to stand opposite to Mr. Darcy, and reading in her neighbours' looks their equal amazement in beholding it."
Why would Elizabeth's neighbours in the set, who are also her neighbours in real life, be so amazed at seeing her dancing with Darcy, unless her funny story about being not good enough for him had made the rounds of the local grapevine?
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