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In a thoughtful mood Mr. Bennet thinks about the money his brother-in-law has laid out to bring about this marriage of his daughter to one of the most worthless young men in Great Britain-a great irony. At the same time, he worries about how he can ever repay Edward Gardiner. He has never saved any part of his income, expecting always to have a son who would inherit his estate and keep it in the family.
He ponders on how little trouble Lydia's rescue has caused him. It has been accomplished with no exertion on his part and little expense. He is obliged only to give her now the share she would eventually have been entitled to anyway out of her mother's modest fortune: the hundred pounds a year is only slightly more than Lydia's clothes and pocket money have cost him until now.
Mrs. Bennet runs down the list of all the fine houses she knows in the neighborhood and considers which would be grand enough for her newly married daughter. She is shocked when Mr. Bennet says he will give Lydia no money for wedding clothes and will not receive the newlyweds in his house.
Another letter from Mr. Gardiner tells the family that Wickham is leaving the militia, and that a commission has been bought for him in the regular army. The couple will go from London to his regiment, stationed in Newcastle in the north. Jane and Elizabeth persuade their father to change his mind and receive them before they leave.
Elizabeth thinks how happy Darcy would be to know that his offer of marriage, which she spurned so fiercely, would now be welcome. She has already come to the sad conclusion, however, that with Wickham in the family there is no possibility that Darcy will renew his offer. He could never marry someone who is related to Wickham: no kind of pride, she believes, would accept that.
NOTE: In this chapter we see not only the evolution of Elizabeth's feelings but also the evolution of the novel's concept of pride. In the beginning of the novel, pride was synonymous with arrogance, insolence, and conceit. Then it was seen as a recognition of one's own superior status in terms of family and fortune. Now Elizabeth sees it as a judgment of social behavior: no one with any pride would accept Wickham. Remember, though, that Wickham himself said earlier that Darcy's pride led him into good behavior on occasion. Soon to be revealed, as Darcy's latest acts become known, is an interpretation of pride as a taking of responsibility.