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There is no direct reference to the change of heart of Meryton society at large towards Mr. Darcy. However, what is interesting is the way in which, throughout the novel, Austen uses Mrs. Bennet as a kind of barometer to indicate the fickle nature of Meryton society and their way of thinking about Mr. Darcy. Let us remeber the excitement and anticipation that Mr. Darcy's arrival caused because of his wealth, and the way that his snubbing of Lizzie quickly led to Mrs. Bennet's change of heart towards him, which closely paralleled the way in which Meryton thought he was too proud. Let us focus on the way in which Mrs. Bennet suddenly undergoes a volte-face in Chapter 59 when she hears that her daughter is going to marry this gentleman that she has been consistently rude to:
Such a charming man!--so handsome! so tall!--Oh, my dear Lizzy! pray apologise for my having disliked him so much before. I hope he will overlook it.
If Mrs. Bennet's response to the news is anything to go by, then we can infer that Meryton will not tarry long in following in a similar suit. When personal advantage is anything to consider, even the most disagreable qualities can be overlooked and transformed.
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