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Elizabeth didn’t know what to expect from the letter, but she read it eagerly. She is prejudiced against Mr. Darcy when she reads his reasons for interfering with her sister’s union with Mr. Bingley.
She doesn’t want to believe his allegations about Mr. Wickham. However, she can’t totally discredit Mr. Darcy’s account. Little is know about Mr. Wickham. The only information she knew prior to this was what Mr. Wickham told her. His behavior has been more charming than benevolent.
She considers asking Colonel Fitzwilliam to corroborate the story. Aside from it being awkward, she realizes Mr. Darcy wouldn’t have named him unless he was confident that Colonel Fitzwilliam would agree with his version of events.
However, upon reflection, she wonders why it had never occurred to her how improper it was of Mr. Wickham to reveal so much to a stranger. He claimed to not fear Mr. Darcy but had failed to show up at the Netherfield ball. He hadn’t bad-mouthed Mr. Darcy publicly until after he had left Netherfield.
His desire for Miss King now seems mercenary in nature. Mr. Bingley had defended Mr. Darcy, who is also well-respected among his class. Elizabeth herself has no reason to say he is unjust or immoral. He seems to have a genuine affection for his sister.
Elizabeth is ashamed of herself. She always criticizes Jane’s willingness to give people the benefit of the doubt. She had believed herself a good judge of character. Yet, she had not been impartial with either Mr. Darcy or Mr. Wickham. Her vanity had caused her to be prejudiced.
Elizabeth rereads his account of Jane and has to admit that her sister did not display her feelings openly. Other people had remarked on the same thing. Though it causes her shame, she cannot deny that her family members often do behave improperly. She feels depressed.
When she returns to the house, she learns that Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam had called when she was out. She is not sorry she missed them.
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