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Gap in the text from "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen

Topics: Elizabeth Bennet, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Pride and Prejudice / Pages: 4 (1165 words) / Published: Jun 13th, 2006
Imaginative Text

GAP: Mr. Darcy and Miss Bingley convince Bingley to remain in London for the winter. The text fits best between chapters 21 and 22.

After lamenting it however at some length, she had the consolation of thinking that Mr. Bingley would be soon down again and soon dining at Longbourn, and the conclusion of all was the comfortable declaration that, though he had been invited only to a family dinner, she would take care to have tow full courses.

119 VOLUME I CHAPTER XXI.5

CHAPTER XX1.5

The meeting of which Miss Bingley alluded to in the opening sentence of her letter, addressed to the eldest Miss Bennet, was taking place as planned at Mr. Hurst's house in Grosvenor Street. The home was all that a home of persons in the position of the Hurst's should be, and the dining room made a very pleasing place to have a dinner party. The group of two, Mr. Darcy and Miss. Bingley, was welcomed heartily by the Hursts and by application of the guests, Mr. Bingley was also called for, to join them in having dinner that evening. Such a sudden removal from Hertfordshire the previous day by Mr. Darcy and Miss Bingley was the focus of many questions which were quickly ended by the curt response they were met with. The only real explanation was a desire to converse with Mr. Bingley on a matter with so serious a nature to prompt them quitting Netherfield and joining with him in London as quickly as possible.

Mr. Bingley soon arrived and was to be the object of the pair's attention for the greater part of the evening. Out of all present Mr. Bingley was perhaps the most surprised at the unplanned arrival of his friend and sister as he had only arranged to stay in London for a few days on business which could not warrant a visit from so far away. The fact that he had only been gone one day also added to his puzzlement.

Despite the wonder felt by those seated around the table the matter was dropped and pleasing conversation took its place. The many acquaintances staying in London was remarked upon as well as the prospects a winter in London would bring.

Dinner was followed by a round of cards. The guests were not particularly in the mood for a game, however, the host's renown fondness for cards left them with no choice. Luckily enough Mr. Hurst also draws great contentment from sleeping so the three guests were left in the sitting room to the conversation which was the purpose of their coming.

"My dear sister and closest friend, for what do I owe the honour of your unexpected arrival?" Bingley began.

"We have come to talk to you about an important topic," Mr. Darcy answered in a somewhat agitated voice. The things he needed to tell his friend would not be easy and he did not look forward to revealing them, however, in the long run Mr. Darcy knew he was saving his companion from an imprudent marriage.

"Your sister and I need to bring some matters to your attention."

"Oh fire away, my good friend, but I must say I have no idea what could be so important." Mr. Bingley replied in open wonderment.

Miss Bingley glanced over at Darcy to see how he would begin to phrase his concerns.

"I have been observing your behaviour attentively, Bingley, in regards to Miss Jane Bennet. I believe it a matter of concern, as I fear you could be making a most unhappy connection. You see, your partiality towards her is unlike anything I have ever witnessed in you."

"Well that is true Darcy, I have never met a woman such as she."

"What Mr. Darcy is trying to say Charles, is that, no matter how very sweet the girl is, she has such low connections, such a mother and father, I am afraid there is not point in continuing with the acquaintance."

"Oh, you can't be serious! I have said it once and I will say it again, even if Jane had so many low connections as to fill Cheapside, it would not make her any bit less agreeable."

Darcy replied, "Your blissful unawareness of class distinctions continues to astound me."

"And me," stated Miss Bingley, "Believe me no one could be more surprised than I. Jane Bennet has an uncle as an attorney in Meryton and another that lives somewhere near Cheapside. The very thought of such connections is enough to make me shudder. Surely it means something to you brother?"

"I assure you it does not. This cannot be all you have come this way to talk to me about. Of Miss Bennets connections I am already aware."

"The Bennet family lacks propriety," Mr. Darcy continued, "of which I do not think you have witnessed. I have been made aware of many instances where Mrs. Bennet, Mr. Bennet and the three younger sisters have behaved in an objectionable way. I feel it is in my duty to preserve you from such a choice. And if after describing and enforcing my views earnestly you still do not agree, you leave me with but one more point."

"I am afraid you are going to have to continue, Darcy, I still prefer Miss Bennet to any other lady I have met despite your well meaning objections."

"Then I must continue, but bear in mind Bingley I know this will grieve you and I do not wish to cause you pain, however, I feel it is for the best. As I mentioned before I have been observing you with Miss Bennet quite closely and in the process of doing so have come to notice that although Miss Bennet remains open and engaging as ever, she does not seem to display any particular regard for you. My observations have led me to the conclusion that she remains indifferent to your affections."

"I must admit, this comes as news to me," Bingley looked at him surprised, "I have always believed her to return my affections with open and equal regard. Are you sure you have not been mistaken? Could you perhaps be seeing something different from the other side of the room? You could have missed the expressions on her pretty face, which have led me to believe such things about her."

"No Charles, I too have seen what Mr. Darcy speaks of." Miss Bingley interjected, determined to have a say in the matter, "We think it would be best for everyone if you join us and spend the rest of the winter here in London. You will be away from Miss Bennet and we could all do with an escape from the confined and uncivilised society of the country," she added with a smirk.

"I hold both your judgement very highly and just wish the circumstances were happier. I'm sorry I did not get to say good-bye to the Bennets before leaving."

The Bennets were engaged to dine with the Lucases, and again during the chief of the day, was Miss Lucas so kind as to listen to Mr. Collins.

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