written by Jane Austen

Chapter 56

Lady Catherine makes a surprise visit to Elizabeth and asks for her's promise to leave Mr. Darcy. Here is an excerpt of their talk and two of my favourite quotes from it.

He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman's daughter; so far we are equal.

- Elizabeth

  • said by Elizabeth
  • said by Lady Catherine
True. You are a gentleman's daughter. But who was your mother? Who are your uncles and aunts? Do not imagine me ignorant of their condition. Whatever my connections may be,

said Elizabeth,

if your nephew does not object to them, they can be nothing to you. Tell me once for all, are you engaged to him?

Though Elizabeth would not, for the mere purpose of obliging Lady Catherine, have answered this question, she could not but say, after a moment's deliberation:

I am not.

Lady Catherine seemed pleased.

And will you promise me, never to enter into such an engagement? I will make no promise of the kind. Miss Bennet I am shocked and astonished. I expected to find a more reasonable young woman. But do not deceive yourself into a belief that I will ever recede. I shall not go away till you have given me the assurance I require. And I certainly never shall give it. I am not to be intimidated into anything so wholly unreasonable. Allow me to say, Lady Catherine, that the arguments with which you have supported this extraordinary application have been as frivolous as the application was ill-judged. How far your nephew might approve of your interference in his affairs, I cannot tell; but you have certainly no right to concern yourself in mine. I must beg, therefore, to be importuned no farther on the subject.
I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me.

- Elizabeth

Source: SparkNotes. (n.d.). Pride and Prejudice: Chapter 56. [online] Available at: Chapter 56.
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