Chapters 37 to 43 - The holiday
Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam leave, closely followed by Elizabeth and
Maria. The ladies stop off at the Gardiners’ home in London, and joined by Jane, all three return to Longbourn.
Kitty and Lydia are distraught that the militia is leaving for Brighton in
two weeks. Elizabeth is pleased at this news for it will mean the departure of Wickham.
Elizabeth eventually tells Jane about Darcy’s proposal, but decides not to
tell her about his part in Jane and Bingley’s breakdown. She is shocked concerning Wickham’s mercenary nature, but decide not to make this public as he is leaving the district.
The wife of the Regiment’s Colonel invites Lydia to be a companion to go
with her to Brighton. Elizabeth pleads with her father not to allow it, but he refuses, probably thinking that there will be one less hysterical female in the house.
Elizabeth goes on her trip with the Gardiners and they will go to Derbyshire
where Darcy’s estate is. They decide to visit the Pemberley Estate, believing that Darcy is away, but whilst they are walking in the grounds they meet with him.
We obtain a further insight into Mr. Bennett’s
character in these chapters. He is totally irresponsible regarding the care of his daughters and in particular the youngest, Lydia.
He really only has time for his favorite daughter, Elizabeth, and his apathy concerning Lydia will bring scandal on the whole family. Knowing her nature, he allows her to follow the militia to Brighton despite Elizabeth’s warning. It is a wonder that Jane and Elizabeth have turned out the way they have considering their parents’ lack of guidance.
It is surprising that Mrs. Bennett cannot foresee the potential dangers in
allowing her younger daughters so much freedom. Her main aim in life is to see them well settled, but all this is put at risk should the young daughters bring scandal on the whole family.
One must assume therefore, that she is just very stupid.
Elizabeth is quite pleased to visit Darcy’s estate, and it is clear that her
prejudice against him is melting away.
In conversation with his staff, they have nothing but high praise for Darcy, and for Elizabeth, this represents a complete turn-around in her views concerning him. At the start of the novel, she was occupied by finding more and more reasons why she should dislike him, but now she is obtaining nothing but praise from everyone regarding his behavior.