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|Chaps 15 & 16 - all the ladies admire Mr Wickham
Written by kathleen (elder)
(4/19/2013 9:42 a.m.)
In Chapter 15, Mr Collins accompanies his five cousins into Meryton. Once they arrive in Meryton, Lydia & Kitty are looking for officers. And we have a new male face to see:
But the attention of every lady was soon caught by a young man, whom they had never seen before, of most gentlemanlike appearance, walking with an officer on the other side of the way. ... All were struck with the stranger's air, all wondered who he could be ... Mr. Denny addressed them directly, and entreated permission to introduce his friend, Mr. Wickham, who had returned with him the day before from town, and he was happy to say had accepted a commission in their corps. This was exactly as it should be; for the young man wanted only regimentals to make him completely charming. His appearance was greatly in his favour; he had all the best part of beauty, a fine countenance, a good figure, and very pleasing address. The introduction was followed up on his side by a happy readiness of conversation -- a readiness at the same time perfectly correct and unassuming
The only ladies currently on scene are the five Bennet sisters. Did all of them, Jane included, notice him with the same degree of attention? And who, exactly, concludes that regimentals would make Mr Wickham "completely charming," or that his readiness to converse was "perfectly correct and unassuming." I suspect that the narrator is being a bit satirical again. :-)
Later that same day (Chapter 16), at the evening party at Mr & Mrs Philips's home, we again learn how attractive Mr Wickham is.
Mr. Wickham was the happy man towards whom almost every female eye was turned, and Elizabeth was the happy woman by whom he finally seated himself; and the agreeable manner in which he immediately fell into conversation, though it was only on its being a wet night, and on the probability of a rainy season, made her feel that the commonest, dullest, most threadbare topic might be rendered interesting by the skill of the speaker.
In this case it is almost every woman who is looking at Mr Wickham, but it is specifically Elizabeth who is "the happy woman by whom he finally seated himself." And this time it is definitely Elizabeth's opinion of the charm of his conversation. Or is it actually that Elizabeth thinks he is charming because he is talking, and talking to her? :-)
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