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Chapters 37 and 38
The next morning, Darcy and Fitzwilliam leave Rosings. After Collins bids them farewell, he hurries to comfort Lady Catherine and her daughter. Lady Catherine invites the company at the parsonage to dine with her. At the dinner party, Lady Catherine is her domineering self, demanding that Elizabeth stay on for two months at the parsonage.
Elizabeth and Maria plan to leave the parsonage, ending their six weeks’ visit. Mr. Collins harps on the indebtedness they should feel towards his patroness and her daughter for their kindness. He also talks in flattering terms about his own social position in order to emphasize Elizabeth’s loss in refusing him.
Elizabeth and Maria go to London, where they stay at the Gardiners’ house for a short while. They then return to Longbourn with Jane. Elizabeth does not disclose Darcy’s proposal to Jane until they reach home.
The plot is moving towards its climax; therefore, all the characters must return to Hertfordshire, where the action started and will end. Elizabeth and Jane return to Longbourn and will soon be followed by Darcy and Bingley. Elizabeth’s state of mind is ambivalent. Although she has overcome her prejudice against Darcy, her pride now stands in the way. It will take Darcy’s heroic salvaging of her family honor to humble Elizabeth.