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Barron's Booknotes-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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CHAPTER FORTY-ONE

Mrs. Bennet joins Lydia in bemoaning the departure of the militia. She cannot understand why Mr. Bennet will not let the family go to Brighton. Then, unexpectedly, a colonel's young wife invites Lydia to accompany her. Lydia is delighted, Kitty devastated.

Elizabeth protests to her father against letting Lydia go. She tells him that Lydia's uncontrolled behavior will eventually lead to her disgrace and that the misfortune will involve the entire family, including herself and Jane.



Mr. Bennet sees that she is serious, and he reassures her that she and Jane will be valued wherever they are known. But he is really considering his own convenience rather than his family's welfare. He tells Elizabeth that there will be no peace at Longbourn if Lydia is prevented from going, and that at Brighton she will go unnoticed among so many women attractive to the officers.

The officers, including Wickham, are invited to dine at Longbourn before they leave. At this last meeting with him, Elizabeth answers his questions about Hunsford, then tells him of seeing Darcy there-pointedly enough to make him uneasy about what she may have learned. He covers his embarrassment by talking of Darcy's expectation of marrying Miss de Bourgh. Elizabeth is amused. She knows better.

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Barron's Booknotes-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
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