Ever wondered what it would be like to become Mr Bennet, if only for a moment? Read on, imagining yourself as Mr Bennet; then, based on your knowledge of Pride & Prejudice, decide what you will do at the end of this chapter.
While Lizzy is amusing herself in distant Darcyshire, you receive news from Brighton. A letter from Colonel Forster arrives by express late one night to inform you that Lydia has disappeared, along with George Wickham!
You are appalled at your youngest daughter’s behaviour: she could at least have waited until daylight and allowed you a decent night’s sleep. You then speculate aloud that Wickham must have invited her to come and inspect his regimentals; but no body finds this little joke amusing. And indeed, you find yourself losing your sense of humour, too. How dare Lydia put you to all this inconvenience? Your growing rage prevents you from finishing the colonel’s letter.
Jane reads it for you; she says in a relieved voice that there is reason to believe the runaways have gone Gretna Green. Your rage subsides, and you observe that this will save the expense of a wedding, while Mrs Bennet shrieks with dismay at being deprived of attending her daughter’s nuptials. Then Kitty confesses that she knew about Lydia’s intentions some days ago, when she received one of her frequent letters. You remember reading the first one or two of these girlish missives and declaring them written proof that Kitty and Lydia are two of the silliest girls in England. If only you had insisted on reading every letter, this would never have happened; but there is no point in crying over spilt milk, as the saying goes.
Jane undertakes to write to Elizabeth, while you shrug and wait for more news. Unfortunately, the next day brings the colonel himself. The other officers have told him that it was never Wickham’s intention to marry Lydia at all. It seems, therefore, that she is inspecting his regimentals without any of the necessary paperwork! It follows that the matter will not be resolved easily, and you will suffer great expense and inconvenience. You become incandescent with rage.
Colonel Forster has managed to trace their route to Clapham, but no further. “Clapham!” you bellow. “I’ll Clapham all right, I’ll clap ‘em in the Tower of London and have their heads chopped off!”
Which would Mr Bennet choose? Click on the link above and see if you're right.
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