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Chapters 53, 54, and 55

Chapter 53

The day finally arrives for the Wickhams' departure, and everyone is happy but Mrs. Bennet, who mopes around the house for a few days, until she gets word that Bingley is to return to Netherfield. She again implores her husband to call on Mr. Bingley, and once more he refuses. Again, she is worried that her neighbors will see the man before her own family will. Jane wishes her mother would stop talking of Bingley, and tells her sister she longs for the day when Bingley's visit is over. Mr. Bingley's long-awaited return to Netherfield finally occurs, and he calls on the Bennets. The Bennet sisters huddle at the window, watching him ride in, but as Darcy also comes into view, Lizzy takes her seat. The only person aware of how thoroughly Darcy has saved her family, she feels awkward; as a woman certain of his disregard, she is perplexed that he would voluntarily see her again. While the rest of the group chats, Jane and Elizabeth remain uncharacteristically quiet. Lizzy notes that Darcy looks more serious than he had at Derbyshire. She longs to talk to him, but cannot summon the courage to involve him in conversation. Mrs. Bennet then begins bragging of her recently married daughter, and asks if the men have heard about it. Lizzy can barely look up; she is so embarrassed. Mrs. Bennet then directs a barb at Darcy, which, coupled with her rude greeting to him earlier, further humiliates Lizzy. To change the subject, she asks Bingley if he is to stay for very long at Netherfield, and is told he will be there for a few weeks. She is happy to note that Bingley has resumed his affection for Jane. As the men get up to leave, Mrs. Bennet invites them over for dinner in a few days.

Chapter 54

As soon as they leave, Elizabeth is concerned with nothing but Darcy's intent. Why had he come to visit, and then remained so silent? Her thoughts are interrupted by Jane, who says that she is actually quite happy that Bingley has returned. The day of the men's visit, the Bennets throw a large party. Lizzy does not get a chance to talk to Darcy at dinner, nor for quite some time after they are all in the drawing room. Darcy steers clear of her; Lizzy chastises herself for even thinking that a man she has refused would seek her out anyway. Finally, they speak, though only for a few minutes. The rest of the afternoon is spent playing cards at different tables, and then the men leave. Everyone is happy, certain that Jane's wedding will not be long in coming.

Chapter 55

Mr. Bingley calls several more times, though without Darcy, who has gone to London for a few days. One day, however, he arrives early, and the Bennets are not ready yet. Mrs. Bennet urges the maid to fix Jane's hair, and not to waste her time on Lizzy. After tea, Mrs. Bennet hatches a plot to give Jane and Bingley time alone together. After her first plan does not work, Mrs. Bennet stands up and announces that she must talk to Catherine, and the two leave the room. A few minutes later, she pokes her head in the doorway and calls for Lizzy, as well. Nothing comes of Mrs. Bennet's efforts that night, but Bingley does agree to stay for dinner, and to return the next morning to hunt with Mr. Bennet. Lizzy goes to bed happy, realizing that her sister may marry Bingley after all. The next day, Mrs. Bennet is up to her tricks again. This time, she succeeds, and Lizzy accidentally walks in on her sister and Bingley engaged in fervent conversation. Bingley whispers something to Jane, then leaves the room. Lizzy and Jane rejoice, both so happy that the marriage will finally take place. Lizzy laughs, thinking of all the efforts made to keep the two apart. Everyone in Longbourn is joyous for the rest of the evening. Mr. Bennet bestows his genuine blessing, and assures his daughter that she will be very happy. Mrs. Bennet estimates Bingley's fortune, Kitty asks Jane to throw a few balls every year, and Mary requests to use the Netherfield library.
Bingley now makes his visits daily, and Jane reveals to Lizzy that Bingley never even knew she had been in town last year. Jane realizes that his sisters must have kept the information from him, but hopes they will be happy when they see how happy she has made their brother. Jane even discovers that Bingley was very close to asking her the year before, but had been convinced that she did not care for him. Finally, she declares herself very happy, and sincerely wishes the same for her sister. Lizzy jokes that, with luck, she might meet another Mr. Collins. Within days, news of the engagement has spread throughout town, and everyone believes the Bennets to be the luckiest family they know.

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Historical Context
Main Characters
Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Plot Summary
Chapters 1, 2, and 3
Chapters 4, 5, and 6
Chapters 7 and 8
Chapters 9 ,10, and 11
Chapters 12, 13, and 14
Chapters 15 and 16
Chapters 17, 18, and 19
Chapters 20, 21, and 22
Chapters 23, 24, and 25
Chapters 26, 27, and 28
Chapters 29, 30, and 31
Chapters 32, 33, and 34
Chapter 35
Chapters 36, 37, and 38
Chapters 39 and 40
Chapters 41 and 42
Chapters 43 and 44
Chapters 45 and 46
Chapters 47 and 48
Chapters 49 and 50
Chapters 51 and 52
Chapters 53, 54, and 55
Chapters 56 and 57
Chapters 58 and 59
Chapters 60 and 61



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