Study Guide

Pride and Prejudice Chapter 13

Chapter 13

  • Mr. Bennet's distant cousin, Mr. Collins, comes to stay for a week.
  • Since he's a single man and cousin-marrying was all the rage, you'd expect the Bennets to be stoked about this visit. But they're not.
  • First, he's a clergyman—a pastor in the Church of England. Not nearly as sexy as being in the military.
  • Second, Mr. Collins has the inheritance rights to the Bennets' house because of this tricky little piece of law called "ent
  • ail," and Mrs. Bennet is worried that he'll kick everybody out of it as soon as Mr. Bennet dies.
  • She also blames him for the entail because he's basically an idiot—which he is. But the entail still isn't his fault.
  • Mr. Collins has some good news: he has a new job at the church on Lady Catherine de Bourgh's estate.
  • This is a pretty sweet gig for a clergyman.
  • At dinner, he and Mrs. Bennet have a teeth-achingly awful conversation about how her daughters are so beautiful that he's sure they're going to be married soon; they'd better, or he's going to make them all destitute when he kicks them out of their house; but—wink, wink—he's prepared to admire them.
  • Mr. Collins thinks he's being vague, but everybody knows he's decided he will marry one of the Bennet girls.
  • Everyone immediately says "Not it."
  • Mr. Collins praises everything. A lot. And then apologizes a lot for praising the wrong things, like assuming that one of the girls helped cook.
  • Duh, Mr. Collins, they have servants.
  • Mrs. Bennet's opinion of Mr. Collins is rapidly improving.