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Mr. Collins has secured his parish through the patronage of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, a wealthy widow with an only daughter. As a result, his attitude towards her is one of fawning subservience, and during his visit at the Bennets, he never stops praising her. Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s daughter is a young lady of delicate health, which precludes her from taking her rightful place in society.
Mr. Collins repeats some of the compliments he has paid to his patroness and her daughter; Mr. Bennet is thoroughly amused -- " his cousin was as absurd as he had hoped."
After teatime, Mr. Bennet takes his guest into the drawing room, and a book is offered to him. On discovering that the book is a novel, he cringes in horror and proceeds to read aloud from Fordyce’s sermons. He is interrupted by Lydia, who makes a flippant comment about an army officer. Mr. Collins is offended by the interruption and puts down his book. He spends the remainder of the evening playing backgammon.
This chapter further develops the ridiculous Mr. Collins. In a solemn manner that makes him appear ludicrous, he eloquently praises his patroness Lady Catherine and her daughter. His exaggerated shock at being given a novel to read, his proud humility, and his flowery speeches make Mr. Collins a truly farcical figure.
Lady Catherine takes on some significance later in the novel, for she is Darcy’s aunt. It is speculated that Darcy will marry her daughter.