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In the spring, Elizabeth visits Charlotte and Mr. Collins in Kent. Elizabeth and her hosts are invited to Rosings Park, the imposing home of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, imperious patroness of Mr. Collins and Mr. Darcy's wealthy aunt. Lady Catherine expects Mr. Darcy to marry her daughter, as planned in his childhood by his aunt and mother. Mr. Darcy and his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, are also visiting at Rosings Park. Fitzwilliam tells Elizabeth how Mr. Darcy recently saved a friend, presumably Bingley, from an undesirable match. Elizabeth realises that the prevented engagement was to Jane and is horrified that Mr. Darcy interfered. Later, Mr. Darcy proposes to Elizabeth, declaring his love for her despite her low social connections. She rejects him angrily, stating she could never love a man who caused her sister such unhappiness and further accuses him of treating Wickham unjustly. Mr. Darcy brags about his success in separating Bingley and Jane and suggests that he had been kinder to Bingley than to himself. He dismisses the accusation regarding Wickham sarcastically but does not address it. Elizabeth states firmly that he is the last person she would ever marry.
Later, Mr. Darcy gives Elizabeth a letter, explaining that Wickham, the son of his late father's steward, had refused the living his father had arranged for him and was instead given money for it. Wickham quickly squandered the money and when impoverished, asked for the living again. After being refused, he tried to elope with Darcy's 15-year-old sister, Georgiana, for her considerable dowry. Mr. Darcy also writes that he separated Jane and Bingley due to Jane's reserved behaviour, sincerely believing her indifferent to Bingley, and also because of the lack of propriety displayed by some members of her family. Elizabeth is ashamed by her family's behaviour and her own lack of better judgement that resulted in blinded prejudice against Mr. Darcy.
Elizabeth tells her father that Darcy was responsible for uniting Lydia and Wickham, one of the two earliest illustrations of Pride and Prejudice. The clothing styles reflect the time the illustration was engraved (the 1830s), not the time in which the novel was written or set.
Some months later, Elizabeth accompanies the Gardiners on a tour of Derbyshire. They visit Pemberley, the Darcy estate (after Elizabeth ascertains Mr. Darcy's absence). The housekeeper there describes Mr. Darcy as kind and generous, recounting several examples of these characteristics. When Mr. Darcy returns unexpectedly, he is exceedingly gracious and later invites Elizabeth and the Gardiners to meet his sister, and Mr. Gardiner to go fishing. Elizabeth is surprised and delighted by their treatment. Upon meeting, Elizabeth and his sister connect well, to his delight. She then receives news that her sister Lydia has run off with Wickham. She tells Mr. Darcy immediately, then departs in haste, believing she will never see him again as Lydia has ruined the family's good name.
After an immensely agonizing interim, Wickham has agreed to marry Lydia. With some veneer of decency restored, Lydia visits the family and tells Elizabeth that Mr. Darcy was at her and Wickham's wedding. Though Mr. Darcy had sworn everyone involved to secrecy, Mrs. Gardiner now feels obliged to inform Elizabeth that he secured the match, at great expense and trouble to himself. She hints that he may have had "another motive" for having done so, implying that she believes Darcy to be in love with Elizabeth.
Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy return to Netherfield. Bingley proposes to Jane, who accepts. Lady Catherine, having heard rumours that Elizabeth intends to marry Mr. Darcy, visits Elizabeth and demands she promise never to accept Mr. Darcy's proposal. Elizabeth refuses and the outraged Lady Catherine withdraws after Elizabeth demands she leave for making insulting comments about her family. Darcy, heartened by his aunt's indignant relaying of Elizabeth's response, again proposes to her and is accepted. Elizabeth has difficulty in convincing her father that she is marrying for love, not position and wealth, but Mr. Bennet is finally convinced. Mrs. Bennet is exceedingly happy to learn of her daughter's match to Mr. Darcy and quickly changes her opinion of him. The novel concludes with an overview of the marriages of the three daughters and the great satisfaction of both parents at the fine, happy matches made by Jane and Elizabeth.
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