Pride and Prejudice: Novel Summary: Chapters 37-40
Chapter 37: Darcy and Fitzwilliam leave Rosings the next morning, and Lady Catherine invites the parish party over to dine with her. Lady Catherine tries to talk Elizabeth into staying another month, but Elizabeth is determined to soon return home as planned. During the last week of Elizabeth and Maria's visit, they frequently are invited to Lady Catherine's, where she gives much advice on how they should travel and who should accompany them and how they should pack.
Chapter 38: On Saturday before she leaves, Elizabeth is alone with Collins for a while, giving him the opportunity to thank her for coming, to say again how lucky they are that Lady Catherine invites them over so often, and to stress how happy he and Charlotte are. Maria and Elizabeth leave on the chaise, and in four hours are at Mr. Gardiner's house, where they will spend a few days before they and Jane return to Longbourn. Elizabeth finds Jane doing well, and cannot wait to tell her of Darcy's proposal, although she is not sure how much she should tell her of what Darcy said of Bingley.
Chapter 39: It is the second week in May when Elizabeth, Jane and Maria meet up with Catherine and Lydia on the way to Longbourn. Lydia tells them that the regiment will soon be leaving Meryton, and will be stationed near Brighton. Lydia tells the sisters that she is trying to talk their father into taking them there over the summer. Lydia also talks much about Wickham, saying that the woman that he had been courting had gone to Liverpool, so there is no danger of Wickham marrying her after all. They all return home to a kind reception.
Chapter 40: Elizabeth can no longer wait to tell Jane of what had happened with Darcy, so she concludes to suppress any part of the story that concerns her. Jane is all astonishment, and feels sorry for the sadness that Elizabeth's refusal must have given Darcy. Elizabeth then relates the parts of the letter that refer to Wickham, and Jane is shocked that Wickham could have been so very bad. The two discuss whether they should tell anyone else of Wickham's behavior, but decided against it since his regiment is leaving Meryton soon anyway. Elizabeth feels that she should not relate any of the news of Bingley and how he did indeed care for her, although she notices that Jane is not happy and still has a tender affection for Bingley.