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|Mr Collins proposes to Charlotte
Written by Deborah Julia
(1/25/2004 11:33 a.m.)
There are a few surprises in Chapter 22, Mr Collins and Charlotte act somewhat under-handedly for one. Elizabeth thanks her friend for keeping Mr Collins occupied at the dinner at Lucas Lodge and beleives her friend is genuine when "Charlotte assured her friend of her satisfaction in being useful, and that it amply repaid her for the little sacrifice of her time".
The ON then tells us Charlotte's object was "nothing less than, than to secure her from any return of Mr Collin's address, by engaging them towards herself".
Charlotte, we are told, would have been more confident in her scheme if Mr Collins wasn't to leave Hertford so soon. "But, here she did an injustice to the fire and independence of his charactor......"! Then we learn that Mr Collins's "fire and independance" leads him to escape out of Longbourne House the next morning with "admirable slyness" and to go to Lucas Lodge and throw himself at Charlotte's feet! We are told Mr Collins wants to keep his intentions a secert from the Bennets' in case of a second rejection, but even so,Mr Collins as an ardent wooer comes as a surprse (number two for me) don't you think?
The Lucas' are delighted for various reasons, espeacially the younger girls who formed hopes of coming out a year or so sooner than they might otherwise of done. I'm not sure how old the young Lucas girls are, but it struck me that maybe Lady Lucas was more conventional than Mrs Bennet about the "coming out" of daughters the younger not coming out until the eldest was married? Surprise number three, again for me that is.
I must have read this chapter dozens of times but I had totally forgotten that Mrs Bennet gathered from Mr Collins wishing to return soon to Longbourne that it meant (to her) Mr Collins was intending to propose to one of the younger girls, "and Mary might be prevailed upon to accept him". Mary it seems also had hopes of this. If he read a few improving books "he might become an agreeable companion". Surprise number four.
I wonder if I have overlooked the developments in this chapter before, because I have been concentrating on the Bingley's departure and the dashing of Jane's hopes.
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