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Here's What We Learned From Mr. Darcy's Letter To Elizabeth

CONFIRMED: Mr. Darcy does have feelings and he is maybe not so bad?

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Just a day after Mr. Darcy's proposal to Elizabeth Bennet ended in an utter rejection and some harsh accusations, Darcy has given her a letter explaining the motives behind some of his past actions. Here are some of the most shocking discoveries contained within those two revealing sheets of letter-paper:

Mr. Darcy was apprehensive at Bingley's attachment to Jane Bennet because he did not believe the feeling was mutual

In the letter, Darcy writes: “I had not been long in Hertfordshire, before I saw, in common with others, that Bingley preferred your elder sister to any other young woman in the country.” The night of the ball, he could truly see the affection developing, as he had often seen Bingley in love, but Darcy could not find similar emotions after watching Jane. Darcy was certain that Jane did not share Bingley's affection: “Her look and manners were open, cheerful, and engaging as ever, but without any symptom of peculiar regard, and I remained convinced from the evening's scrutiny, that though she received his attentions with pleasure, she did not invite them by any participation of sentiment." If this was the case, then surely he was trying to protect his dear friend from heartbreak. Mr. Darcy even admits that Elizabeth's anger at the situation is not unreasonable, but he genuinely believed Jane was indifferent towards Bingley. Because of this, he convinced him to go to London.

The Bennet Family's status and sense of manner made Darcy cautious for his friend

Darcy also admits to Elizabeth that he had some reservations about the Bennet family, excluding Jane and herself of course. He is clearly not fond of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet and their three youngest daughters stating: “The situation of your mother's family, though objectionable, was nothing in comparison to that total want of propriety so frequently, so almost uniformly betrayed by herself, by your three younger sisters, and occasionally even by your father." Though, he does apologize for saying so afterward, which is rather polite of him. Because of the Bennet family's behavior, he believes a marriage with Jane would have made for an "unhappy connection" for Mr. Bingley, adding another reason to leave Netherfield. He does have a point here, the Bennets are not the most polite of families; Mrs. Bennet was practically announcing the wedding date before Bingley even proposed!

Darcy regrets not telling Bingley that Jane was in London

The letter also details Darcy's time in London with the Bingleys, during which he admits to hiding important information regarding Jane from Mr. Bingley: “There is but one part of my conduct in the whole affair on which I do not reflect with satisfaction; it is that I condescended to adopt the measures of art so far as to conceal from him your sister's being in town.” He seems to show a deep remorse for this concealment in his writing. Darcy also mentions that Miss Caroline Bingley was aware of Jane's presence in London, but it is not surprising she failed to mention that fact to her brother. Miss Bingley has never been a supporter of her brother marrying a Bennet, not even the beautiful, kind Jane. Darcy believes that he had been informed, Bingley would have met Jane. Though Darcy regrets this action that he considered "beneath" him, he still believes it was in the best interests of his friend, Bingley.

Wickham was given his share of the inheritance by Darcy but give it up to study law.

On the subject of his misfortune against Mr. Wickham, Darcy does not stray from the rumors that have been festering around town; he addresses them directly. Mr. Wickham's father was a "respectable man" who managed all of Pemberley for many years and was especially faithful to Darcy's father. George even became Darcy's father's godson as a result of this relationship. Because of this relationship, Mr. Darcy's father grew to be quite fond of young Wickham. This fondness entitled Wickham to a bit of an inheritance of a parsonage and a steady income. Shortly after the deaths of both fathers, Wickham asked Mr. Darcy for a larger sum of money, so he could study law, to which Darcy agreed. In this deal, Wickham gave up his claim to assistance in the church, in exchange for three thousand pounds. After this exchange, Darcy heard little of Wickham.

Years later Wickham returned, asking for money in order to become a minister, which Darcy refused.

After he was given the significant sum of money, Wickham was rarely, if ever, in contact with Darcy, until the fortune was squandered and he was in need. This period of with little communication lasted for around three years and only came to end in when Wickham was in some "exceedingly bad" circumstances. Because of his desperate situation of the time, Wickham asked to be given the parsonage and steady income he was originally intended to have, but this time Darcy refused. “You will hardly blame me for refusing to comply with this entreaty, or for resisting every repetition to it," explains the young owner of the Pemberley estate. After the refusal, their relationship was ended. This account is quite different from that of Wickham, and it certainly makes his character a questionable. This refusal is likely the exact reason Wickham continually slanders Mr. Darcy's reputation with lies, which many, including Lizzy, have mistakenly believed.

Wickham tried to elope with Darcy's younger sister, Georgiana.

If Wickham's wasteful spending and slander are not enough to completely damage his reputation, then his history with Georgiana Darcy certainly will do the trick. In a circumstance that Darcy "wishes to forget" his younger sister was nearly manipulated into marrying the repulsive Mr. Wickham. A year ago, Miss Darcy was taken out of school to visit Ramsgate in London. In coincidentally, none another than Mr. Wickham was also in London at the time. Somehow, Wickham knew her presider and was able to recommend himself to Georgiana. Young, naive Miss Darcy only knew of her fond childhood memories of the man, which she mistakenly believed were love, so she agreed to elope at the only fifteen. Fortunately, Darcy unexpectedly arrived in London just a few days shy of the elopement. Because Georgiana looked up to her brother she told confided in him the entire ordeal. Darcy immediately put an end to the whole affair but was sure to salvage his sister's reputation. Looking back on the situation, Darcy identifies his sister's fortune of 30,000 pounds as Mr. Wickham's primary mission. However, he also has a sense that revenge was a motive: “I cannot help supposing that the hope of revenging himself on me was a strong inducement. His revenge would have been complete indeed.” This whole ordeal certainly puts Darcy's antagonism into perspective, possibly even making it justifiable.

This letter explains Darcy's role in the Bingley departure and adds to conflict with Wickham. This certainly gives the townsfolk, especially Elizabeth Bennet, much to ponder. Ultimately, her reasons for rejection may not be justifiable after this adding information. We shall see how it impacts her future decisions and relationships.

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