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|Gossip in P&P: Ch.53-56
Written by Line
(5/17/2010 11:32 a.m.)
- ...(Mrs. Bennet's) mind opened again to the agitation of hope, by an article of news which then began to be in circulation. The housekeeper at Netherfield had received orders to prepare for the arrival of her master, who was coming down in a day or two, to shoot there for several weeks (and we are told that this news arrived via Mrs. Phillips).
- How did Mrs. Phillips *get* the news?
"Mrs. Nicholls was in Meryton last night; I saw her passing by, and went out myself on purpose to know the truth of it; and she told me that it was certain true. He comes down on Thursday at the latest, very likely on Wednesday. She was going to the butcher's, she told me, on purpose to order in some meat on Wednesday, and she has got three couple of ducks just fit to be killed." (So, Mrs. Phillips went out into the street to buttonhole someone else's servant as she was going by!)
- Jane to Elizabeth: "I dread other people's remarks."
- Mr. Bingley arrived. Mrs. Bennet, through the assistance of servants, contrived to have the earliest tidings of it.
- Mrs. Bennet to Bingley: "People *did* say, you meant to quit the place entirely at Michaelmas; but, however, I hope it is not true."
- The situation of affairs in the Longbourn family could not be long a secret. Mrs. Bennet was privileged to whisper it to Mrs. Philips, and she ventured, without any permission, to do the same by all her neighbours in Meryton.
The Bennets were speedily pronounced to be the luckiest family in the world, though only a few weeks before, when Lydia had first run away, they had been generally proved to be marked out for misfortune.
- Lady Catherine to Elizabeth: "A report of a most alarming nature reached me two days ago. I was told that not only your sister was on the point of being most advantageously married, but that you, that Miss Elizabeth Bennet, would in all likelihood be soon afterwards united to my nephew -- my own nephew -- Mr. Darcy."
- Elizabeth to Lady Catherine: "Your coming to Longbourn, to see me and my family," said Elizabeth coolly, "will be rather a confirmation of it; if, indeed, such a report is in existence."
- Lady Catherine: "If! do you then pretend to be ignorant of it? Has it not been industriously circulated by yourselves? Do you not know that such a report is spread abroad?"
- Lady Catherine: " I am no stranger to the particulars of your youngest sister's infamous elopement. I know it all: that the young man's marrying her was a patched-up business, at the expence of your father and uncle." (So Lady Catherine has no idea of Darcy's involvement.)
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