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Volume 1, Chapter 16 Notes from Pride and Prejudice

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Pride and Prejudice Volume 1, Chapter 16

At the dinner party at Mrs. Phillips' home, Elizabeth sits next to Wickham. He is charming and pleasant as well as handsome. They hit it off, and he tells her about how he grew up with Darcy and was a particular favorite of Darcy's father. Wickham was expected to become a minister, and Darcy's dad promised Wickham a parish at their estate, but after the man died, Darcy disregarded his father's promise and refused the parish to Wickham.

Wickham paints a dreadful picture of Darcy as a selfish and spoiled child who grew into a heartless and unjust man. Wickham also makes Darcy's young sister sound like an ungrateful brat. Wickham, in fact, taints all of Darcy's family including his rich, snobby aunt and her daughter. Wickham says that Darcy is going to marry his snobby cousin so that they can combine their two huge estates and have even more wealth all to themselves. Elizabeth buys into the whole thing, even when she learns that by some strange coincidence, Darcy's aunt is Lady Catherine De Bourgh, Mr. Collins' patroness of whom he speaks so highly.

Despite all the terrible things that Darcy has done to him, however, he vows that he will not ruin Darcy's reputation, out of respect for Darcy's father whom Wickham greatly admired. Wickham also says that he will not run away from Darcy because he has no reason to be afraid since Darcy is the one who has done him wrong. Elizabeth thinks that those are both very good ideas and that he is a noble man.

Topic Tracking: Misunderstanding 6

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