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Summary Chapter 49

The family finally receives news from Mr. Gardiner about Lydia’s whereabouts. The couple isn’t married and never intended to get married. However, if Mr. Bennet agrees to Mr. Gardiner’s terms, he hopes to get them married. Lydia is to have her inheritance of 5,000 pounds, and she is to have 100 pounds annually during Mr. Bennet’s life. Mr. Wickham’s debts are not as bad as what they have heard. Mr. Gardiner asks Mr. Bennet to allow him to handle the matter. He begs for Mr. Bennet’s prompt reply—and to be clear in his wishes.

Mr. Bennet plans to comply, for the couple must marry. He suspects, though, that Mr. Gardiner has also offered a sum of money to bring this about. He doubts that Wickham would have married Lydia for less than 10,000 pounds. He has no idea how they will ever repay Mr. Gardiner.

Jane believes that Wickham loves Lydia. Mr. Gardiner has children of his own and couldn’t afford to pay so much. Elizabeth doubts the couple will be happy but is glad that they are marrying.

Elizabeth believes Mr. Gardiner probably did pay off Wickham’s debts. The Gardiners are very kind to protect Lydia. Jane still holds out hope that Wickham and Lydia will be happy and live on their income so well that people will forget their imprudence.

Mrs. Bennet is overjoyed. She is pleased that she has one daughter married. She wants to order the wedding clothes. She is glad that Mr. Gardiner has finally done more for her family than give them a few gifts.

Mrs. Bennet plans to go to Meryton and inform Mrs. Philips of the good news, as well as some of their friends.

Jane Austen