Mr. Collins requests Mrs. Bennet’s permission to have a private audience with Elizabeth. Mrs. Bennet gives her consent and quits the room. Elizabeth intends to leave also, but Mrs. Bennet orders her to stay.
Mr. Collins tells her he wishes to marry for several reasons:
1) As head of his parish, he must set an example for matrimony.
2) He believes it will make him a happier man.
3) He is following the advice of Lady de Bourgh, who has been most insistent about it. She advised him to marry a useful, modest woman—and his association with such a fine lady is one of the perks of marrying him.
4) He wishes to reconcile with the Bennet family by marrying one of the daughters so that one can share his inheritance.
Elizabeth refuses to marry him. He assumes she is doing this because it is proper to reject a man two or three times before accepting his proposal. Elizabeth reiterates that she means no. She cannot make him happy, and he cannot maker her happy. She is certain Lady de Bourgh would agree with her.
Mr. Collins refuses to believe she means it, which exasperates her. He tells her that he can’t see why she would reject him. She is unlikely to get a better offer.
Elizabeth plans to go to her father, who she is certain will reject the offer in a way that Mr. Collins cannot fail to understand that “no” means “no.”