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Summary Chapter 55

Mr. Bingley calls again a few days later. Mr. Darcy has left for London but will return home in ten days. Mr. Bingley refuses the invitation to dine, saying he has another appointment. He agrees to come to dinner the next day.

Mr. Bingley arrives the next day before the women have finished dressing. Mrs. Bennet sends Jane down to greet him, but she refuses to go without one of her sisters. Later, Mrs. Bennett tries to get the couple alone by getting her other daughters to come out of the room. It doesn’t work with Elizabeth, who can see that Jane doesn’t want to be left alone.

Mr. Bingley accepts another invitation to go shooting with Mr. Bennet. This time Mrs. Bennet’s hopes that the couple will be left alone together are fulfilled.

Jane tells Elizabeth that Mr. Bingley has asked her to marry him. Elizabeth is pleased to see that despite the earlier plotting, a happy outcome is the end result. Everyone in the family is happy about the engagement. Mr. Bennet tells Jane he is certain she’ll be happy with Mr. Bingley. Jane is now Mrs. Bennet’s favorite child. The younger sisters already are starting to ask for favors.

Jane tells Elizabeth she was surprised to learn that Bingley hadn’t known she was in London last spring. She realizes his sisters didn’t approve of their relationship, feeling he could marry better. She hopes they will be more supportive once they see that she will make him happy—though their friendship will never be as it once was. Elizabeth is glad that Jane doesn’t know that Mr. Darcy had originally interfered with her relationship with Mr. Bingley. As forgiving as Jane is, she probably would become prejudiced against him—even though he has made amends.

Jane wishes Elizabeth could be as fortunate as her. Elizabeth claims she could never be as happy as Jane, since she lacks Jane’s good heart and disposition.

The neighbors soon learn the good news. The Bennets are considered to be very lucky. This is quite opposite to how people viewed them when Lydia ran way.

Jane Austen