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Summary Chapter 40

Elizabeth finally tells Jane about Mr. Darcy’s proposal and the following events, though she omits any details pertaining to Jane. Jane is sorry for Mr. Darcy, particularly as he had expected to succeed. She is also disappointed in Wickham, unable to defend his actions. She considers it a shame, since Wickham has such a pleasing personality.

Elizabeth debates whether they should reveal what they know about Wickham to other people. However, Mr. Darcy hadn’t wanted the facts about his sister to come to light, and nobody would believe the story without knowing these facts—particularly since the sentiment against Mr. Darcy is so unpopular. Elizabeth figures it doesn’t matter since Wickham is leaving, and Jane hopes that Wickham desires to turn over a new leaf…and they shouldn’t make things harder for him.

Jane is not in high spirits herself. She still longs for Mr. Bingley. Mrs. Bennet is unhappy that Mr. Bingley used her daughter, resigned to the fact that he isn’t coming back to Netherfield. She hopes that Jane will die from unrequited love to make Mr. Bingley remorseful.

Mrs. Bennet asks how well Charlotte manages her household and is not surprised that Charlotte manages very well—and is very frugal. She is certain that the Collinses are eyeing Longbourn like vultures, waiting for the death of Mr. Bennet to claim it.

Jane Austen