Elizabeth continues on her walks in the countryside, but is constantly surprised by Darcy. He insists on spending time with her, even though their talks are not very stimulating. Elizabeth predicts he is measuring her as a potential match for Fitzwilliam. One day, Fitzwilliam surprises Elizabeth on her walk instead. Fitzwilliam brings up the topic of marriage - stating because he is a younger son, he must consider a woman’s wealth - much like Wickham. He also tells Elizabeth of Darcy’s recent excursion in Netherfield, where he influenced Bingley to leave in order to avoid an “imprudent marriage,” unbeknownst to him that he was speaking of Elizabeth’s sister. Thus, Fitzwilliam confirms Elizabeth’s fear that it was Bingley’s friends who forced him away and caused such sadness in Jane.
Darcy admits his love for Elizabeth and extends an offer of marriage. Elizabeth rejects the proposal and their conversation becomes heated. Darcy, hurt by the rejection, and Elizabeth angered that Darcy broke up Bingley and Elizabeth - which Darcy now confirms himself. Darcy continues to tell her that he loves her, despite all her shortcomings - but this upsets Elizabeth more.
After he leaves, Elizabeth can’t help but to cry and feel a tinge of regret, if only Darcy weren’t so prideful.
The Jane Austen Podcast with Alison Larkin is a Realm production. Listen away.
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