Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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Volume Two, Chapters 9-12 Summary and Analysis

Summary
Darcy arrives at the door and finds only Elizabeth at home. They talk briefly. Charlotte suggests later to Elizabeth that he is in love with her. Elizabeth does not accept this as probable, and Charlotte sees it her way.

Elizabeth then meets Darcy more than once on walks through the estate's grounds.

Fitzwilliam admires Elizabeth, but because he is the younger son who will not inherit an estate, the match is improbable. In conversation, he lets slip that Darcy saved a friend from an inconvenient match. This news makes Elizabeth angry because she supposes the woman in question to be Jane. She stays away from the evening activities at Rosings, out of spite.

Elizabeth peruses all her letters from Jane and detects a sadness she had not perceived before. Her reserve to Darcy for his complicity makes her avoid his presence, and he calls on her at the parsonage. Darcy shocks her by professing his love for her and asks for her hand in marriage. He confesses that he fought his love for her, because of her family, but that his isn't much better. He feels his proposal is such an honor that she should be elated. She, however, is so incensed at his offer that she adamantly refuses. She blames him for the separation of Jane and Bingley, for his treatment of Wickham, and for his arrogance and selfish pride. She hurts him even more when she says his behavior is unlike that of a true gentleman. He leaves her coldly, and she bursts into tears of aggravation when she is alone.

As Elizabeth pursues her regular walk the next morning, Darcy delivers a letter to her and promptly leaves the premises. He admits to his involvement in the separation of Jane from Bingley. He confesses that her family often acts with impropriety and reveals that Wickham is a cordial, but unprincipled young man. He suggests that Wickham is vengeful and full of greed. Darcy says that he did not deprive Wickham of his parsonage, but instead gave him 3,000 pounds to ensure it. Wickham gambled this away and left debts all over the county. Even more vile, when the money was gone, Wickham tried to elope with the naive Miss Darcy, in hopes of bettering his fortune. Darcy prevented this inconveivable match. If she questions these assertions, he...

(The entire section is 584 words.)