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|Um, how is Wickham supposed to know...
Written by Line
(5/12/2007 8:31 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, I just have to say (Ch. 16), penned by Jen K
...that Jane is expected to marry Bingley? The Bennets meet Wickham for the first time in ch.15, where we read that he just came to Meryton with Denny the day before. Darcy and Wickham's meeting doesn't give me the impression that either man knew the other was in the neighbourhood. The Bennets and Wickham meet for the second time the very next day, at the Phillips', where Wickham tells Elizabeth his story. Yes, gossip travels fast in a small town, but not that fast ;-), Wickham is a newcomer, and not hooked into the local grapevine yet. Also, Jane and Bingley are not even officially engaged yet, which is something that might be mentioned in passing, just *expected* to become engaged, and Wickham admits in ch.16 that he doesn't know Bingley at all.
Also, the way Wickham describes Darcy is this:
"Mr. Darcy can please where he chuses. He does not want abilities. He can be a conversible companion if he thinks it worth his while. Among those who are at all his equals in consequence, he is a very different man from what he is to the less prosperous. His pride never deserts him; but with the rich he is liberal-minded, just, sincere, rational, honourable, and perhaps agreeable -- allowing something for fortune and figure."
In other words, Wickham is saying that Darcy can put on a convincing act, IMO, not that he actually *has* these virtues.
I do agree that looking at the timeline makes me realize how very quickly Wickham tells Elizabeth his very private story - within 36 hours of their first meeting!
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