Elizabeth remains rattled long after Lady Catherine leaves. It is all she can think about. Elizabeth wonders at the origin of the report that had spurred her to travel such a long way to break it up. She assumes that the Lucases are the source. They probably assumed it likely that Elizabeth would marry Mr. Darcy since they spent time together . They would also consider it likely a romance would develop, since Elizabeth is Jane’s sister and Darcy is Bingley’s friend, and that should throw them together often.
She does worry that Lady Catherine’s efforts to prevent the engagement will cause Darcy to rethink his feelings for her. She decides, though, that if he gives in to his aunt, she’ll not regret losing him.
The next morning, Mr. Bennet reads a letter from Mr. Collins, which he finds extremely amusing. He doesn’t realize that it is hurtful to Elizabeth, basing his knowledge on old information.
Mr. Collins writes that he has heard that Mr. Darcy has proposed to Elizabeth. However, he warns that the Lady Catherine does not support it—and so he advises Elizabeth to not rush into the marriage.
Mr. Collins is also shocked that Mr. Bennet received Lydia at Longbourn. Though it is Christian to forgive her, to not ignore her is to encourage future vice.
Charlotte is pregnant.
Mr. Bennet notices that Elizabeth doesn’t quite share his hilarity over the letter. She claims she did find it entertaining.
Mr. Bennet jokes because he believes no two people who abhorred and were indifferent to each other—like Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth had been—could fall in love. Elizabeth begins to fear that perhaps she liked Mr. Darcy more than he did her.