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|Passing Characters in P&P: Ch.53-61 (Questions)
Written by Line
(5/21/2010 1:20 p.m.)
- Mrs. Nicholls, Bingley's housekeeper / cook? (At least we now know that Nicholls is a woman! Before, she was just "Nicholls".)
- Mrs. Bennet: "We must have Mrs. Long and the Gouldings soon. That will make thirteen with ourselves, so there will be just room at the table for (Bingley)."
Hm, with 6 Bennets (Lydia and Wickham having departed), Mr. and Mrs. Goulding (I presume), Mrs. Long, and Bingley, I count 10 people, so there are three extra that we don't know about. I don't think Mrs. Long *always* takes her two nieces along, so IMO the three mysterious guests are the Gouldings' children.
Another question: do you all think that Mrs. Bennet counted Bingley among the thirteen, or would he be the fourteenth guest? IMO, the Bennet’s table was much more likely to seat exactly 14 than exactly 13. Also, was it considered unlucky to have 13 at table in JA’s time? That means there would be a fourth mystery guest! Even if two of them are Mrs. Long's nieces, that leaves two more.
- the young lady who whispers to Elizabeth, keeping Darcy from joining her
(As far as I can tell, this event is the same evening to which Mrs. Bennet originally planned to invite seven or eight guests, so this “large party” has become a really large party, since there seem to be many more than 13 or 14 people attending!)
- Sarah (one of the 2 housemaids?)
- Bingley, from this time, was of course a daily visitor at Longbourn -- coming frequently before breakfast, and always remaining till after supper -- unless when *some barbarous neighbour*, who could not be enough detested, had given him an invitation to dinner, which he thought himself obliged to accept.
- Lady Catherine: ”(Anne and Darcy) are destined for each other by the voice of *every member* of their respective houses.”
- (Lady Catherine’s) carriage remained at the door, and Elizabeth saw that her waiting-woman was in it. (Would this be the same Dawson who had no objection to the barouche-box in ch.37? IIRC, in P&P2, it’s Anne who waits for her mother in the carriage.)
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