Pride and Prejudice


Chapter 49 to Chapter 54

Chapter 49

A letter arrives from Mr. Gardiner. It is matter-of-fact and to the point. He has found Lydia and Wickham, and writes to Mr. Bennet to tell him that they are not married but that they soon shall be there at Gardiner’s estate. The matter of Wickham’s debts has been settled, and all that is asked of Mr. Bennet is the portion of savings that is to be left to Lydia after Mr. Bennet’s death and an allowance of 100 pounds per year. Elizabeth and Jane and relieved to hear the news. Mr. Bennet is sorry to hear that Wickham only requires 100 pounds per year. He thinks the young man to be a fool—which seems to be the way Mr. Bennet thinks of most people.

There is some mystery surrounding how Wickham’s debts could be so easily settled, but no one seems to have any information on this matter. Business is arranged to provide for Lydia. Mr. Bennet writes to Mr. Gardiner. Mrs. Bennet rejoices at the news that her daughter will now be married. She alone is happy with arrangements.

Chapter 50

The marriage is to take place, and Mr. Bennet regrets that he had not arranged for more income for the well-being of his daughters. He always imagined that he would have a son to inherit the house, but a son never came. Now he feels the weight of his imprudence.

Mrs. Bennet, as insensible as ever, is bent on picking out places of residence for her daughter and son-in-law in Hertfordshire. Mr. Bennet announces that wherever they live, they shall never step foot in Longbourn. Mrs. Bennet is shocked to hear this. They argue about it, but Mr. Bennet is adamant. His daughter has disgraced them, and he must be firm.

As to the satisfaction of Mr. Wickham’s debts, Mr. Gardiner asks Mr. Bennet to forget about them. Mr. Gardiner seems to have taken them upon himself, counting his niece as part of his own family, and does not ask to be repaid by Mr. Bennet. He concludes in a letter that he has arranged for Wickham to take a post in the...

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