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Summary Chapter 10

Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley visit Jane, who is improving slowly. Elizabeth joins them in the evening. Miss Bingley is overseeing Mr Darcy writing a letter to his sister. She keeps interrupting him with messages she wishes him to convey and a running commentary which he generally ignores. Elizabeth is amused by the scene.

Mr. Bingley jokes that Mr. Darcy tries to select four syllable words for his letters. Miss Bingley talks about how haphazard Mr. Bingley writes, and he blames it on his mind moving too fast. Elizabeth remarks on his humility, but Mr. Darcy claims what appears to be humility is either carelessness of opinion or an indirect boast. He believes Bingley is boasting because he is proud of his defects. Mr. Bingley takes pride in being swift, even at the risk of doing things badly.

Bingley at least feels he is truthful and doesn’t try to show off for the ladies. Mr. Darcy claims Mr. Bingley’s mind is easily changed by the word of a friend. Elizabeth observes that Mr. Darcy doesn’t seem to respect anyone who complies with a request without arguments being presented first as to why they should change their mind. Mr. Bingley, seeing an argument coming, tries to diffuse it by making a remark that offends Mr. Darcy and upsets his sister. Mr. Darcy, though, realizes what Mr. Bingley is doing. Mr. Bingley then asks for Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy to have their dispute after he leaves the room. They agree.

Elizabeth notices that Mr. Darcy both dislikes and admires her. He asks her to dance, but she refuses. He is attracted to her, even if she is his inferior. Miss Bingley becomes jealous and works towards Jane’s recovery so they can be rid of her sister. She tries to turn Mr. Darcy against Elizabeth.

Miss Bingley is saying spiteful things to Mr. Darcy when suddenly Mrs. Hurst and Elizabeth come up. Miss Bingley fears she has been overheard. Mrs. Hurst joins the group and leaves Elizabeth to walk by herself. Mr. Darcy is aware of the rudeness, but Elizabeth good-naturedly excuses herself. She is glad Jane will be well enough soon, and she’ll be able to leave.

Jane Austen