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Volume 2, Chapter 12 Notes from Pride and Prejudice

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Pride and Prejudice Volume 2, Chapter 12

Elizabeth wakes as upset as she was when she went to sleep, so she decides to go for a walk. Fearing that she might run into Darcy, she walks in a different part of the estate from the one she usually chooses. Darcy still finds her, however, and hurriedly gives her a letter that he asks her to read. Then he quickly walks away.

The letter explains that Darcy did not believe that Jane loved Bingley, and he thought that his friend would make a fool of himself if he proposed to her. Jane's behavior suggested that she thought well of Bingley, but no more so than she did of anyone else. Darcy also points out the other dangers of a relationship with Jane, which, although they might be painful for Elizabeth to read, were quite obvious. The way that her family behaved at the Netherfield ball as well as the continually improper behavior of her parents and younger sisters were considerations in his warning to Bingley. Darcy admits that the only underhanded behavior he took part in was concealing from Bingley that Jane was in London, but even that Darcy is not sorry for because he was trying to protect his friend.

As for Wickham, Darcy writes that when his father died the will recommended that Darcy give Wickham a parish at Pemberley or help Wickham find a suitable position at some other estate. But rather than be a preacher, Wickham decided that he'd prefer to have money that he claimed would support him while he studied law. Darcy gave him money and considered them all evened out. No more was owed to Wickham. Darcy had known all along that Wickham was underhanded and manipulative because they were the same age and were often around each other. But Darcy never ratted Wickham out because Darcy's dad was so attached to Wickham. But not long after Wickham had gone to London, he wrote to Darcy for more money because he'd changed his mind about studying law. Darcy knew that Wickham wasn't using the money to study, and he denied Wickham's request and all the others that followed it trying to shame Darcy into another payment. When Wickham saw that Darcy wouldn't crack, he seduced Darcy's sister who was fifteen at the time. Miss Darcy told her brother of her naive plan to elope with Wickham whom she fancied herself to love. Darcy showed up before Wickham could whisk her away and he put a stop to the plan for the sake of his sister's inheritance and reputation. The near miss was kept a secret to protect Miss Darcy and Wickham disappeared until Darcy saw him again in Meryton.

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