Pride and Prejudice


Chapter 13 to Chapter 18

Chapter 13

Mr. Bennet announces that they are to have a visitor, his cousin Mr. Collins, who stands to inherit their house at Longbourn. A letter from him reveals that he has been ordained a minister and is receiving the patronage of Lady Catherine de Bourgh. He has proposed a visit to Longbourn to establish some connection with the family and end the feud that existed between his late father and Mr. Bennet. Mr. Bennet has accepted the request.

After reading the letter, each of the daughters has a different response. Jane finds the impulse behind the letter to be to Mr. Collins’ credit. Elizabeth finds the tone to be pompous and expects the man to be somewhat odd. Mr. Bennet agrees with Elizabeth and expects Mr. Collins to be full of self-importance. Mary offers only a superficial critique of the letter’s composition. Lydia and Catherine have no interest in the letter.

Mr. Collins arrives is very complimentary to everyone. He praises everything, in fact, from the girls’ beauty to the furniture to the cooking. Mrs. Bennet thanks Mr. Collins for his graciousness but alludes to her worry over the entailment of the property. He confesses that he has come to admire the girls, but stops short of suggesting anything more.

It appears from this brief introduction of the Bennets’ cousin Mr. Collins that the newly ordained minister has something more in mind than a cordial visit with his relations.

Chapter 14

Mr. Bennet speaks to Mr. Collins and delights in his pomposity and absurdity. He induces Mr. Collins to admit that he practices his flattering remarks so that they may appear to be off the cuff. Every once in a while, Mr. Bennet throws a glance of amusement in Elizabeth’s direction to share his amusement with her.

By teatime, Mr. Bennet has had enough of Mr. Collins and sends him to the ladies, and Mr. Collins is asked to read. He rejects a novel offered to him, to the astonishment of the youngest daughters,...

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