Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

The Project Gutenberg EBook of Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (#8 in our s eries by Jane Austen) Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing this or any other Pro ject Gutenberg eBook. This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do not change or edit the header without written permission. Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can also find out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved. **Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts** **eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971** *****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!***** Title: Pride and Prejudice Author: Jane Austen Release Date: Jun, 1998 [EBook #1342] [Most recently updated: August 15, 2003] Edition: 12 Language: English Character set encoding: ASCII *** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE ***

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Chapter 1 It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a go od fortune, must be in want of a wife.

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first en tering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surround ing families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other o f their daughters. "My dear Mr. Bennet," said his lady to him one day, "have you heard that Nether field Park is let at last?" Mr. Bennet replied that he had not. "But it is," returned she; "for Mrs. Long has just been here, and she told me a ll about it." Mr. Bennet made no answer. "Do you not want to know who has taken it?" cried his wife impatiently. "YOU want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it." This was invitation enough. "Why, my dear, you must know, Mrs. Long says that Netherfield is taken by a you ng man of large fortune from the north of England; that he came down on Monday i n a chaise and four to see the place, and was so much delighted with it, that he agreed with Mr. Morris immediately; that he is to take possession before Michae lmas, and some of his servants are to be in the house by the end of next week." "What is his name?" "Bingley." "Is he married or single?" "Oh! Single, my dear, to be sure! A single man of large fortune; four or five t housand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!" "How so? How can it affect them?" "My dear Mr. Bennet," replied his wife, "how can you be so tiresome! You must k now that I am thinking of his marrying one of them." "Is that his design in settling here?" "Design! Nonsense, how can you talk so! But it is very likely that he MAY fall in love with one of them, and therefore you must visit him as soon as he comes." "I see no occasion for that. You and the girls may go, or you may send them by themselves, which perhaps will be still better, for as you are as handsome as an y of them, Mr. Bingley may like you the best of the party." "My dear, you flatter me. I certainly HAVE had my share of beauty, but I do not pretend to be anything extraordinary now. When a woman has five grown-up daught ers, she ought to give over thinking of her own beauty." "In such cases, a woman has not often much beauty to think of." "But, my dear, you must indeed go and see Mr. Bingley when he comes into the ne ighbourhood." "It is more than I engage for, I assure you."

"But consider your daughters. Only think what an establishment it would be for one of them. Sir William and Lady Lucas are determined to go, merely on that acc ount, for in general, you know, they visit no newcomers. Indeed you must go, for it will be impossible for US to visit him if you do not." "You are over-scrupulous, surely. I dare say Mr. Bingley will be very glad to s ee you; and I will send a few lines by you to assure him of my hearty consent to his marrying whichever he chooses of the girls; though I must throw in a good w ord for my little Lizzy." "I desire you will do no such thing. Lizzy is not a bit better than the others; and I am sure she is not half so handsome as Jane, nor half so good-humoured as Lydia. But you are always giving HER the preference." "They have none of them much to recommend them," replied he; "they are all sill y and ignorant like other girls; but Lizzy has something more of quickness than her sisters." "Mr. Bennet, how CAN you abuse your own children in such a way? You take deligh t in vexing me. You have no compassion for my poor nerves." "You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my ol d friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these last twenty ye ars at least." Mr. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and caprice, that the experience of three-and-twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understand his character. HER mind was less difficult to develop. She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented, she fancied herself nervous. The business of her lif e was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news. Chapter 2 Mr. Bennet was among the earliest of those who waited on Mr. Bingley. He had al ways intended to visit him, though to the last always assuring his wife that he should not go; and till the evening after the visit was paid she had no knowledg e of it. It was then disclosed in the following manner. Observing his second dau ghter employed in trimming a hat, he suddenly addressed her with: "I hope Mr. Bingley will like it, Lizzy." "We are not in a way to know WHAT Mr. Bingley likes," said her mother resentful ly, "since we are not to visit." "But you forget, mamma," said Elizabeth, "that we shall meet him at the assembl ies, and that Mrs. Long promised to introduce him." "I do not believe Mrs. Long will do any such thing. She has two nieces of her o wn. She is a selfish, hypocritical woman, and I have no opinion of her." "No more have I," said Mr. Bennet; "and I am glad to find that you do not depen d on her serving you." Mrs. Bennet deigned not to make any reply, but, unable to contain herself, bega n scolding one of her daughters. "Don't keep coughing so, Kitty, for Heaven's sake! Have a little compassion on my nerves. You tear them to pieces."

"Kitty has no discretion in her coughs," said her father; "she times them ill." "I do not cough for my own amusement," replied Kitty fretfully. "When is your n ext ball to be, Lizzy?" "To-morrow fortnight." "Aye, so it is," cried her mother, "and Mrs. Long does not come back till the d ay before; so it will be impossible for her to introduce him, for she will not k now him herself." "Then, my dear, you may have the advantage of your friend, and introduce Mr. Bi ngley to HER." "Impossible, Mr. Bennet, impossible, when I am not acquainted with him myself; how can you be so teasing?" "I honour your circumspection. A fortnight's acquaintance is certainly very lit tle. One cannot know what a man really is by the end of a fortnight. But if WE d o not venture somebody else will; and after all, Mrs. Long and her daughters mus t stand their chance; and, therefore, as she will think it an act of kindness, i f you decline the office, I will take it on myself." The girls stared at their father. Mrs. Bennet said only, "Nonsense, nonsense!" "What can be the meaning of that emphatic exclamation?" cried he. "Do you consi der the forms of introduction, and the stress that is laid on them, as nonsense? I cannot quite agree with you THERE. What say you, Mary? For you are a young la dy of deep reflection, I know, and read great books and make extracts." Mary wished to say something sensible, but knew not how. "While Mary is adjusting her ideas," he continued, "let us return to Mr. Bingle y." "I am sick of Mr. Bingley," cried his wife. "I am sorry to hear THAT; but why did not you tell me that before? If I had kno wn as much this morning I certainly would not have called on him. It is very unl ucky; but as I have actually paid the visit, we cannot escape the acquaintance n ow." The astonishment of the ladies was just what he wished; that of Mrs. Bennet per haps surpassing the rest; though, when the first tumult of joy was over, she beg an to declare that it was what she had expected all the while. "How good it was in you, my dear Mr. Bennet! But I knew I should persuade you a t last. I was sure you loved your girls too well to neglect such an acquaintance . Well, how pleased I am! and it is such a good joke, too, that you should have gone this morning and never said a word about it till now." "Now, Kitty, you may cough as much as you choose," said Mr. Bennet; and, as he spoke, he left the room, fatigued with the raptures of his wife. "What an excellent father you have, girls!" said she, when the door was shut. " I do not know how you will ever make him amends for his kindness; or me, either, for that matter. At our time of life it is not so pleasant, I can tell you, to be making new acquaintances every day; but for your sakes, we would do anything. Lydia, my love, though you ARE the youngest, I dare say Mr. Bingley will dance

with you at the next ball." "Oh!" said Lydia stoutly, "I am not afraid; for though I AM the youngest, I'm t he tallest." The rest of the evening was spent in conjecturing how soon he would return Mr. Bennet's visit, and determining when they should ask him to dinner. Chapter 3 Not all that Mrs. Bennet, however, with the assistance of her five daughters, c ould ask on the subject, was sufficient to draw from her husband any satisfactor y description of Mr. Bingley. They attacked him in various ways--with barefaced questions, ingenious suppositions, and distant surmises; but he eluded the skill of them all, and they were at last obliged to accept the second-hand intelligen ce of their neighbour, Lady Lucas. Her report was highly favourable. Sir William had been delighted with him. He was quite young, wonderfully handsome, extremel y agreeable, and, to crown the whole, he meant to be at the next assembly with a large party. Nothing could be more delightful! To be fond of dancing was a cert ain step towards falling in love; and very lively hopes of Mr. Bingley's heart w ere entertained. "If I can but see one of my daughters happily settled at Netherfield," said Mrs . Bennet to her husband, "and all the others equally well married, I shall have nothing to wish for." In a few days Mr. Bingley returned Mr. Bennet's visit, and sat about ten minute s with him in his library. He had entertained hopes of being admitted to a sight of the young ladies, of whose beauty he had heard much; but he saw only the fat her. The ladies were somewhat more fortunate, for they had the advantage of asce rtaining from an upper window that he wore a blue coat, and rode a black horse. An invitation to dinner was soon afterwards dispatched; and already had Mrs. Be nnet planned the courses that were to do credit to her housekeeping, when an ans wer arrived which deferred it all. Mr. Bingley was obliged to be in town the fol lowing day, and, consequently, unable to accept the honour of their invitation, etc. Mrs. Bennet was quite disconcerted. She could not imagine what business he could have in town so soon after his arrival in Hertfordshire; and she began to fear that he might be always flying about from one place to another, and never s ettled at Netherfield as he ought to be. Lady Lucas quieted her fears a little b y starting the idea of his being gone to London only to get a large party for th e ball; and a report soon followed that Mr. Bingley was to bring twelve ladies a nd seven gentlemen with him to the assembly. The girls grieved over such a numbe r of ladies, but were comforted the day before the ball by hearing, that instead of twelve he brought only six with him from London--his five sisters and a cous in. And when the party entered the assembly room it consisted of only five altog ether--Mr. Bingley, his two sisters, the husband of the eldest, and another youn g man. Mr. Bingley was good-looking and gentlemanlike; he had a pleasant countenance, and easy, unaffected manners. His sisters were fine women, with an air of decide d fashion. His brother-in-law, Mr. Hurst, merely looked the gentleman; but his f riend Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, ha ndsome features, noble mien, and the report which was in general circulation wit hin five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a year. The gent lemen pronounced him to be a fine figure of a man, the ladies declared he was mu ch handsomer than Mr. Bingley, and he was looked at with great admiration for ab out half the evening, till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of h is popularity; for he was discovered to be proud; to be above his company, and a bove being pleased; and not all his large estate in Derbyshire could then save h

im from having a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance, and being unworthy t o be compared with his friend. Mr. Bingley had soon made himself acquainted with all the principal people in t he room; he was lively and unreserved, danced every dance, was angry that the ba ll closed so early, and talked of giving one himself at Netherfield. Such amiabl e qualities must speak for themselves. What a contrast between him and his frien d! Mr. Darcy danced only once with Mrs. Hurst and once with Miss Bingley, declin ed being introduced to any other lady, and spent the rest of the evening in walk ing about the room, speaking occasionally to one of his own party. His character was decided. He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and every body hoped that he would never come there again. Amongst the most violent agains t him was Mrs. Bennet, whose dislike of his general behaviour was sharpened into particular resentment by his having slighted one of her daughters. Elizabeth Bennet had been obliged, by the scarcity of gentlemen, to sit down fo r two dances; and during part of that time, Mr. Darcy had been standing near eno ugh for her to hear a conversation between him and Mr. Bingley, who came from th e dance for a few minutes, to press his friend to join it. "Come, Darcy," said he, "I must have you dance. I hate to see you standing abou t by yourself in this stupid manner. You had much better dance." "I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it, unless I am particularly acqu ainted with my partner. At such an assembly as this it would be insupportable. Y our sisters are engaged, and there is not another woman in the room whom it woul d not be a punishment to me to stand up with." "I would not be so fastidious as you are," cried Mr. Bingley, "for a kingdom! U pon my honour, I never met with so many pleasant girls in my life as I have this evening; and there are several of them you see uncommonly pretty." "YOU are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room," said Mr. Darcy, look ing at the eldest Miss Bennet. "Oh! She is the most beautiful creature I ever beheld! But there is one of her sisters sitting down just behind you, who is very pretty, and I dare say very ag reeable. Do let me ask my partner to introduce you." "Which do you mean?" and turning round he looked for a moment at Elizabeth, til l catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said: "She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt ME; I am in no humour at present to give consequenc e to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your p artner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me." Mr. Bingley followed his advice. Mr. Darcy walked off; and Elizabeth remained w ith no very cordial feelings toward him. She told the story, however, with great spirit among her friends; for she had a lively, playful disposition, which deli ghted in anything ridiculous. The evening altogether passed off pleasantly to the whole family. Mrs. Bennet h ad seen her eldest daughter much admired by the Netherfield party. Mr. Bingley h ad danced with her twice, and she had been distinguished by his sisters. Jane wa s as much gratified by this as her mother could be, though in a quieter way. Eli zabeth felt Jane's pleasure. Mary had heard herself mentioned to Miss Bingley as the most accomplished girl in the neighbourhood; and Catherine and Lydia had be en fortunate enough never to be without partners, which was all that they had ye t learnt to care for at a ball. They returned, therefore, in good spirits to Lon gbourn, the village where they lived, and of which they were the principal inhab itants. They found Mr. Bennet still up. With a book he was regardless of time; a

nd on the present occasion he had a good deal of curiosity as to the events of a n evening which had raised such splendid expectations. He had rather hoped that his wife's views on the stranger would be disappointed; but he soon found out th at he had a different story to hear. "Oh! my dear Mr. Bennet," as she entered the room, "we have had a most delightf ul evening, a most excellent ball. I wish you had been there. Jane was so admire d, nothing could be like it. Everybody said how well she looked; and Mr. Bingley thought her quite beautiful, and danced with her twice! Only think of THAT, my dear; he actually danced with her twice! and she was the only creature in the ro om that he asked a second time. First of all, he asked Miss Lucas. I was so vexe d to see him stand up with her! But, however, he did not admire her at all; inde ed, nobody can, you know; and he seemed quite struck with Jane as she was going down the dance. So he inquired who she was, and got introduced, and asked her fo r the two next. Then the two third he danced with Miss King, and the two fourth with Maria Lucas, and the two fifth with Jane again, and the two sixth with Lizz y, and the BOULANGER--" "If he had had any compassion for ME," cried her husband impatiently, "he would not have danced half so much! For God's sake, say no more of his partners. O th at he had sprained his ankle in the first place!" "Oh! my dear, I am quite delighted with him. He is so excessively handsome! And his sisters are charming women. I never in my life saw anything more elegant th an their dresses. I dare say the lace upon Mrs. Hurst's gown--" Here she was interrupted again. Mr. Bennet protested against any description of finery. She was therefore obliged to seek another branch of the subject, and re lated, with much bitterness of spirit and some exaggeration, the shocking rudene ss of Mr. Darcy. "But I can assure you," she added, "that Lizzy does not lose much by not suitin g HIS fancy; for he is a most disagreeable, horrid man, not at all worth pleasin g. So high and so conceited that there was no enduring him! He walked here, and he walked there, fancying himself so very great! Not handsome enough to dance wi th! I wish you had been there, my dear, to have given him one of your set-downs. I quite detest the man." Chapter 4 When Jane and Elizabeth were alone, the former, who had been cautious in her pr aise of Mr. Bingley before, expressed to her sister just how very much she admir ed him. "He is just what a young man ought to be," said she, "sensible, good-humoured, lively; and I never saw such happy manners!--so much ease, with such perfect goo d breeding!" "He is also handsome," replied Elizabeth, "which a young man ought likewise to be, if he possibly can. His character is thereby complete." "I was very much flattered by his asking me to dance a second time. I did not e xpect such a compliment." "Did not you? I did for you. But that is one great difference between us. Compl iments always take YOU by surprise, and ME never. What could be more natural tha n his asking you again? He could not help seeing that you were about five times as pretty as every other woman in the room. No thanks to his gallantry for that. Well, he certainly is very agreeable, and I give you leave to like him. You hav e liked many a stupider person."

"Dear Lizzy!" "Oh! you are a great deal too apt, you know, to like people in general. You nev er see a fault in anybody. All the world are good and agreeable in your eyes. I never heard you speak ill of a human being in your life." "I would not wish to be hasty in censuring anyone; but I always speak what I th ink." "I know you do; and it is THAT which makes the wonder. With YOUR good sense, to be so honestly blind to the follies and nonsense of others! Affectation of cand our is common enough--one meets with it everywhere. But to be candid without ost entation or design--to take the good of everybody's character and make it still better, and say nothing of the bad--belongs to you alone. And so you like this m an's sisters, too, do you? Their manners are not equal to his." "Certainly not--at first. But they are very pleasing women when you converse wi th them. Miss Bingley is to live with her brother, and keep his house; and I am much mistaken if we shall not find a very charming neighbour in her." Elizabeth listened in silence, but was not convinced; their behaviour at the as sembly had not been calculated to please in general; and with more quickness of observation and less pliancy of temper than her sister, and with a judgement too unassailed by any attention to herself, she was very little disposed to approve them. They were in fact very fine ladies; not deficient in good humour when the y were pleased, nor in the power of making themselves agreeable when they chose it, but proud and conceited. They were rather handsome, had been educated in one of the first private seminaries in town, had a fortune of twenty thousand pound s, were in the habit of spending more than they ought, and of associating with p eople of rank, and were therefore in every respect entitled to think well of the mselves, and meanly of others. They were of a respectable family in the north of England; a circumstance more deeply impressed on their memories than that their brother's fortune and their own had been acquired by trade. Mr. Bingley inherited property to the amount of nearly a hundred thousand pound s from his father, who had intended to purchase an estate, but did not live to d o it. Mr. Bingley intended it likewise, and sometimes made choice of his county; but as he was now provided with a good house and the liberty of a manor, it was doubtful to many of those who best knew the easiness of his temper, whether he might not spend the remainder of his days at Netherfield, and leave the next gen eration to purchase. His sisters were anxious for his having an estate of his own; but, though he wa s now only established as a tenant, Miss Bingley was by no means unwilling to pr eside at his table--nor was Mrs. Hurst, who had married a man of more fashion th an fortune, less disposed to consider his house as her home when it suited her. Mr. Bingley had not been of age two years, when he was tempted by an accidental recommendation to look at Netherfield House. He did look at it, and into it for half-an-hour--was pleased with the situation and the principal rooms, satisfied with what the owner said in its praise, and took it immediately. Between him and Darcy there was a very steady friendship, in spite of great opp osition of character. Bingley was endeared to Darcy by the easiness, openness, a nd ductility of his temper, though no disposition could offer a greater contrast to his own, and though with his own he never appeared dissatisfied. On the stre ngth of Darcy's regard, Bingley had the firmest reliance, and of his judgement t he highest opinion. In understanding, Darcy was the superior. Bingley was by no means deficient, but Darcy was clever. He was at the same time haughty, reserved , and fastidious, and his manners, though well-bred, were not inviting. In that

Bingley was sure of being liked wh erever he appeared. you know. it did not render him supercilious. wher e he had made a tolerable fortune. for none of whom he had felt the smallest interest. By nature inoffensive. Sir William Lucas had been formerly in trade in Meryton. and. and to his residence in a small market town. a sensible. Chapter 5 Within a short walk of Longbourn lived a family with whom the Bennets were part icularly intimate." "Oh! you mean Jane. and their brother felt authorized by such commendation to think of her as he chose. there had been no for mality. he was all a ttention to everybody. Bingley had never met with more pleasant people or prettier girls in hi s life. ho wever. "YOU were Mr." . and one whom they would not obj ect to know more of.'" "Upon my word! Well. They had several children. but he seemed to like his second better. Darcy was continually giving offense. Miss Bennet he acknowledged to be pretty. Robinson. It had given him a disgust to his business. The manner in which they spoke of the Meryton assembly was sufficiently charact eristic. Robinson's asking him how he liked our Meryton assemblies. and WHICH he thought the prettiest? and his answering immediately to the last quest ion: 'Oh! the eldest Miss Bennet. denominated from that period Lucas Lodge. was Elizabeth's intimate friend. Charlotte. there cannot be two opinions o n that point. unshackled by bu siness. and risen to the honour of knighthood by an a ddress to the king during his mayoralty. about twenty-seven. and from none received e ither attention or pleasure. occupy himself solely in being civil to all the world. on the contrary. beyond a doubt. That the Miss Lucases and the Miss Bennets should meet to talk over a ball was absolutely necessary. For." said Mrs. everybody had been most kind and attentive to him. Hurst and her sister allowed it to be so--but still they admired her and l iked her. not too clever to be a valuable neigh bour to Mrs." "Yes. friendly. he could not conceive an angel more beautiful. he had removed with his family to a house about a mile from Meryton. because he danced with her twice. and obliging. an d whether he did not think there were a great many pretty women in the room. The eldest of them. Bennet. had seen a collection of people in whom there was little beauty and no fashi on. To be sure tha t DID seem as if he admired her--indeed I rather believe he DID--I heard somethi ng about it--but I hardly know what--something about Mr. but she s miled too much. James's had made him courteous. I suppose. and the morning after the assembly brought the former to L ongbourn to hear and to communicate. that is very decided indeed--that does seem as if--but. it may all come to nothing. Mrs. Robinson. Miss Bennet was therefore established as a sweet girl. Bingley's first choice." "Perhaps you mean what I overheard between him and Mr. Darcy. he had soon felt acquainted with all the room. on the contra ry. Bennet with civil self-comma nd to Miss Lucas. where he could think with pleasure of his own importance. his presen tation at St. though elate d by his rank. did not I ment ion it to you? Mr. intelligent young woman. and pronounced her to be a sweet girl. and. in quitting them both. The distinction had perhaps been felt t oo strongly. "YOU began the evening well.respect his friend had greatly the advantage. as to Miss Bennet. Lady Lucas was a very good kind of woman. and. no stiffness.

" "I believe. If he had been so very agreeable." said Mrs. Darcy. "I should not care how proud I was." said Charlotte. "I would not dance with HIM. should think highly of himse lf. she continued to declare that she would. though the words are often used synonymously. "and I could easily forgive HIS pride. Lizzy. that human nature is particularly prone to i t." "Aye--because she asked him at last how he liked Netherfield. everybody says that h e is eat up with pride. Vanity and pride are different things. with family. unless among his intimate acquaintances. But I can guess how it was. Eliza. "does not offend ME so much as pride often does." The boy protested that she should not. "but I wish he h ad danced with Eliza. is he?--poor Eliza!-to be only just TOLERABLE." "If I were as rich as Mr. because there is an excuse for it. and he could not help answering her." "Are you quite sure." replied Elizabeth. v anity to what we would have others think of us. With THEM he is remarkably agreeable. real or imaginary. and I dare say he had heard somehow that Mrs. I may safely promise you NEVER to dance with him." "Pride. fortune." "I do not mind his not talking to Mrs." said Miss Lucas. By all that I have ever read. Long told me last night that he sat close to her for half-an-ho ur without once opening his lips." "I beg you would not put it into Lizzy's head to be vexed by his ill-treatment. A person ma y be proud without being vain. Darcy is not so well worth listening to as his friend. he w ould have talked to Mrs. and that there are very few of us who do not cherish a feeling of self-compla cency on the score of some quality or other."MY overhearings were more to the purpose than YOURS." "Then you would drink a great deal more than you ought. "is a very common failing." said Jane." "I do not believe a word of it. I should take away your bottle directly." "His pride." "That is very true. One cannot wonder that so very fine a young m an. ma'am?--is not there a little mistake?" said Jane." said her mother. Chapter 6 . that it would be quite a misfortune to be li ked by him. my dear. everything in his favour. and had come to the ball in a hack chaise. I would keep a pack of foxhounds. Darcy speaking to her. I believe. Mrs. and the argument ended only with the visit. if I were you. ma'am." said Miss Lucas." "Another time. Long. If I may so express it. "and if I were to see you at it. but she said he seemed quite angry at being spoke to. Long does not keep a carriage. Bennet. I am convi nced that it is very common indeed. who came with his sister s. Long. and dri nk a bottle of wine a day. for he is such a disagreeable man. he has a RIGHT to be proud. " Mr. if he had not mortified MINE. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves. "that he never speaks much. "I cert ainly saw Mr." observed Mary." "Miss Bingley told me. who piqued herself upon the solidity of her reflections ." cried a young Lucas.

She danced four dances with him at Meryton." "Yes. The visit was soon returned in due form. if he sees enough of her. But. had a value as arising in al l probability from the influence of their brother's admiration. that he DID admire her and to HER it was equally evi dent that Jane was yielding to the preference which she had begun to entertain f or him from the first. though their kindness to Jane. But these are not Jane's feelin gs. "to be able to impose on the p ublic in such a case. these four evenings have enabled them to ascertain that they both like Vi ngt-un better than Commerce. We c an all BEGIN freely--a slight preference is natural enough. that it is not safe to leave any to itself." "Your plan is a good one. this attention was recei ved with the greatest pleasure. She has known him only a fortnigh t. she is not acting by design. "where nothing is in question but the desire of being well married." "Perhaps he must. but there are very f ew of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement. a wish of being better acquainted w ith THEM was expressed towards the two eldest. If a woman conceals her affection with the same skill from the object of it.The ladies of Longbourn soon waited on those of Netherfield. but he may never do more than like her. that he does not know Jane's disposition as you do. When she is secure of him. she might only have di scovered whether he had a good appetite. Had she merely DINED with him. and if I were determined to get a rich husban d. she may lose the opportunity of fixing him. as they always see eac h other in large mixed parties. This is not quite e nough to make her understand his character. he m ust find it out. I dare say I should adopt it." replied Elizabeth. as much as her nature will allow. indeed." replied Charlotte." "But she does help him on. but Elizabeth still saw superciliousness in thei r treatment of everybody. I do not imagine that much has been unfolded. an d the younger sisters not worth speaking to." "Remember. he must be a simpleton. a composure of temper and a uniform cheerfulness of manner which would guard her from the suspicions of th e impertinent. and has since dined with him in company four times. it is never for many hours together. or any husband. though Bingley and Jane meet t olerably often. since Jane united. Bingl ey likes your sister undoubtedly." "Not as you represent it. If I can perceive her regard for him. Miss Bennet's pleasing manners grew on the goodwill of Mr s. and could not like t hem. but she conside red with pleasure that it was not likely to be discovered by the world in genera l. it is impossible that every moment should be emp loyed in conversing together. she saw him one morning at his ow n house. there wi ll be more leisure for falling in love as much as she chooses. It was generally evident whenever they met. Hurst and Miss Bingley. but you must remember that four evening s have also been spent together--and four evenings may do a great deal. not to discover it too. By Jane." . There is so much of gratitude or van ity in almost every attachment." "But if a woman is partial to a man. and it will then be but poor consolatio n to believe the world equally in the dark. Jane should therefore make the most of every halfhour in which she can command his attention. if she does not help him on. such as it was. and though the mother was found to be intolerable. she cannot even be certain of the degre e of her own regard nor of its reasonableness. Eliza. "It may perhaps be pleasant. and. but it is sometimes a disadvantage to be so very guarded. As yet. but with respect to any other leading characteristi c. She mentioned this to her friend Miss Lucas. with great strength of feeling. and does not endeavour to conceal it. and was in a way to be very much in love. In ni ne cases out of ten a women had better show MORE affection than she feels. hardly excepting even her sister.

" Occupied in observing Mr. But no sooner had he made it clear to himself an d his friends that she hardly had a good feature in her face. however. He has a very satirical eye." "It will be HER turn soon to be teased." "But if he does it any more I shall certainly let him know that I see what he i s about. it does not advance their felicity in the least." "You are severe on us. To this discovery succeeded some others equally mortifying. he was caught by their easy playfulness. Happiness in marr iage is entirely a matter of chance. to her he was only the man who made himself agreeable nowhere. Darcy mean. His doing so drew her notice . Miss Lucas defied her friend to mention such a subject to hi m. Bingley's attentions to her sister. y ou would have been invaluable. Darcy only can answer. that I expressed myself uncommonly well just now . than he began to f ind it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her da rk eyes. she turned to him and said: "Did you not think." "You are a very strange creature by way of a friend!--always wanting me to play and sing before anybody and everybody! If my vanity had taken a musical turn. he l ooked at her only to criticise. "I wish Jane success with all my heart. "I am going to open t he instrument. which immediately provoking Elizabeth to do it. though without seeming to have any int ention of speaking. and if she were married to him to-morrow. Elizabeth was far from suspecting that she was herself becoming an object of some interest in the eyes of his friend. It was at Sir William Lucas's. I would really rather not sit down before those who must be in the habit of hearing the very best performers. Of this she was perfectly unaware."Well. a nd that you would never act in this way yourself. she added. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so similar beforehand." "You make me laugh. You know it is not sound. Eliza. and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life. it mu . I should think she had as good a chance of happiness as if she were to be studying his character for a twelvemonth. but as it is." On M iss Lucas's persevering. when I was teasing Colonel Forster to give us a ball at Meryton?" "With great energy. "What does Mr. and in spite of his asserting that her manners were not those of the fashionable world. and when they next met. if it must be so. Mr. Though he h ad detected with a critical eye more than one failure of perfect symmetry in her form. He began to wish to know more of her. but it is not sound. he was forced to acknowledge her figure to be light and pleasing. and you know what follows." said she to Charlotte. but it is always a subject which makes a lady energetic. Mr. where a large party were assembled." On his approaching them soon afterwards. Darcy had at first scarcely allowed her to be pretty." said Miss Lucas. and who had not thou ght her handsome enough to dance with. "Very well. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike af terwards to have their share of vexation. h e had looked at her without admiration at the ball. Charlotte. attended to her conversation with others. Darcy. "by listening to my conversa tion with Colonel Forster?" "That is a question which Mr." said Charlotte. and if I do not begin by being impertinent myself. I shall soon grow afraid of him. and as a step towards conversing with her himself.

st. Mr." "You saw me dance at Meryton. he was struck with the acti on of doing a very gallant thing. sir. but I did not feel quite certain that the air of London would agree w ith Lady Lucas. why are you not dancing? Mr. Darcy." Her performance was pleasing. but his companion was not disposed to make any . Mr. was glad to purchase praise and gratitude by Scotch and Irish airs. Mr. was always impatient for display. "and I doubt not that you are an ad ept in the science yourself." Sir William only smiled. and before she could reply to the entreaties of several that she would sing agai n." And gravely glancing at Mr. which every body here is of course familiar with: 'Keep your breath to cool your porridge'. sir. and called out to her: "My dear Miss Eliza. "There is a fine old saying. though by no means capital. I conclude?" Mr. Mary had neither genius nor taste. "Your friend performs delightfully. Darcy stood near them in silent indignation at such a mode of passing the e vening. it had given her likewise a pedantic air and conceited manner." "You have a house in town. i n consequence of being the only plain one in the family. and though vanity had given her application. at the request of her younger sisters. she was eagerly succeeded at the instrument by her sister Mary. on seeing Bingley join the group. had been listened to with much more pleasure. After a song or two." He paused in hopes of an answer. easy and unaffected. who. and received no inconsiderable pleasure from the sight. You cannot refuse to . who having. joined eagerly in danc ing at one end of the room. Do you of ten dance at St. and it has the advantage also of being in vogue amongst the le ss polished societies of the world. James's?" "Never. Elizabeth. Every savage can dance. though not playing ha lf so well. and I shall keep mine to swell my song. and was too much engrossed by his thoughts to perceive that Sir William Lucas was his neighbour. I consider it as one of the first refinements of polis hed society." "Do you not think it would be a proper compliment to the place?" "It is a compliment which I never pay to any place if I can avoid it. with some of the Lucases. I believe. worked hard for knowled ge and accomplishments. and Mary. Darcy. to the exclusion of all conversation. and two or three officers. Darcy! There is nothin g like dancing after all. till Sir William thus began: "What a charming amusement for young people this is. "I had once had some thought of fixing in town myself--for I am fond of superio r society. and Elizabeth at that instant moving towards them." "Yes. sir." he continued afte r a pause. which would have injured a higher degree of excellence than she had reached." "Certainly. Darcy bowed. indeed. you must allow me to p resent this young lady to you as a very desirable partner. Darcy. at the end of a long concerto.

when am I to wish you joy?" "That is exactly the question which I expected you to ask. she will always be at Pemberley with you. You will be having a charming mother-in-law. and though this gentleman dislikes the amusement in gener al. with grave propriety. and. but. and yet the noise--the nothingness. Darcy replied wi th great intrepidity: "Miss Elizabeth Bennet.dance. he can have no objection. in a m oment. nor did Sir William at all shake her pu rpose by his attempt at persuasion. requested to be allowed the honour of her hand . it jumps from admiration to love. indeed. my dear Miss Eliza. smiling. sir. of course. Her resistance had not injured her wi th the gentleman." said Elizabeth. How lon g has she been such a favourite?--and pray. when thus ac costed by Miss Bingley: "I can guess the subject of your reverie. Elizabeth was determined. and turned away. I have not the least intention of dancing. Darcy. but in vain. and indeed I am quite of your opinion." "I should imagine not. Darcy is all politeness. I knew you would be wishing me joy. "He is. My mind was more agreeably enga ged. I am sure. he wo uld have given it to Mr." Mr." He listened to her with perfect indifference while she chose to entertain herse lf in this manner. A lady's imagination is very rapid. considering the inducement. Mr. and desired he would tell her what lady had the credit of inspiring such reflections." And." Miss Bingley immediately fixed her eyes on his face." "Nay. Miss Eliza. we cannot wonder at his complaisance--for who would object to such a partner?" Elizabeth looked archly. . taking her hand. indeed. though extremely surprised. her wit flowed long. "You excel so much in the dance. that it is cruel to deny me the ha ppiness of seeing you. and said with some discomposure t o Sir William: "Indeed. if you are serious about it." "Miss Elizabeth Bennet!" repeated Miss Bingley. I have been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow. I am sure when so much beauty is before you. was not unwillin g to receive it." "Mr. I shall consider the matter is absolutely se ttled. I was never mo re annoyed! The insipidity. I entreat you not to s uppose that I moved this way in order to beg for a partner. I assure you. when she instantly drew back. to oblige us for one half-hour. and as his composure convinced her that all was safe. and he was thinking of her with some complacency. from love to matrimony. and yet the self -importance of all those people! What would I give to hear your strictures on th em!" "You conjecture is totally wrong. "I am all astonishment. Darcy who." "You are considering how insupportable it would be to pass many evenings in thi s manner--in such society.

" "If my children are silly. and this opened to his nieces a store of felicity unknown before. on which we do not agree. they are all of them very clever. She had a sister married to a Mr. and a brother settled in London in a respec table line of trade. however. a most convenient dist ance for the young ladies. Their lodgings were not long a secret. I have suspected it some time. was entailed. the mention of which gave animation to their mother. and however bare of news the country in general might be. Bennet. indeed. a walk to Meryton was necessary to amuse their morni ng hours and furnish conversation for the evening. my dear. could but ill supply the deficiency of his. was worthless in their eyes when opposed to the regimentals of an ensign. Bingley's large fortune. Phillips were now productive of the most interesting intel ligence.Chapter 7 Mr. to pay their duty to their aunt and to a milliner's shop just over the w ay. which." said Mrs. and their mother's fortune. as he was going the next morning to London. "that you should be so ready to t hink your own children silly. and her hope of se eing him in the course of the day. unfortunately for his daughters. they were well supplied both with news and happiness by th e recent arrival of a militia regiment in the neighbourhood. "I am astonished. I remember the lf very well--and. though ample for her si tuation in life." "My dear Mr. continued to express her admiration of Captain Carter. but Lydia. were particularly frequ ent in these attentions. Bennet. and w hen nothing better offered. Mr. I flatter myself." Catherine was disconcerted. The village of Longbourn was only one mile from Meryton. Phillips. who had been a clerk to their fathe r and succeeded him in the business. and if a smart young colon . on a distant relation. The two youngest of the family. Catherine and Lydia. Bennet cool ly observed: "From all that I can collect by your manner of talking. in default of heirs male. indeed." "Yes--but as it happens. and made no answer. After listening one morning to their effusions on this subject. it was to remain th e whole winter. I t officers any more than we do. you must be two of the silliest girls in the country. Her father had been an attorney in Meryton. I had hope d that our sentiments coincided in every particular. their minds were more vacant than their sisters'. it should not be of my own. with perfect indiffe rence. At present. If I wished to think slightingly of anybody's chil dren. Phillips visited them all. Their visits to Mrs. When they get to our age. and at length they began to know the officers themselves. Bennet's property consisted almost entirely in an estate of two thousand a year. so I do still at my girls to have the sense of their dare say they will not think abou time when I liked a red coat myse heart. but I must so far differ fr om you as to think our two youngest daughters uncommonly foolish. you must not expect such father and mother." "This is the only point. and had left her four thousand pounds. and Meryton was the headquarters. Mr. but I am now convi nced. They could talk of nothing but o fficers. and Mr. I must hope to be always sensible of it. Every day added something to their knowledge of the officers' names and connections. they always contrived to learn some from their aunt . who were usually tempted thither three or four times a week.

" cried Lydia." "That would be a good scheme. They are wanted in the farm. are they not?" "They are wanted in the farm much oftener than I can get them. "CAROLINE BINGLEY" "With the officers!" cried Lydia. Bingley's chaise to go to Meryton." "Oh! but the gentlemen will have Mr.el. Jane. should want one of my girls I shall not sa y nay to him. make haste. with five or six thousand a year. "my mother's purpose will be answered. and then you must stay all night. "Well. and she was eagerly calling out. I am sure. My brother and the gentlemen are to dine icers. Jane had not been gone long before it rained hard." said Jane. my dear." said Elizabeth. Her sisters were uneasy for her. we shall whole day's as soon as y with the off . Jane certainly could not come back." "It is from Miss Bingley. Bennet was prevented replying by the entrance of the footman with a note f or Miss Bennet. your father cannot spare the horses. Mrs." "I had much rather go in the coach. and I thought Colonel Forster looked very becoming the other night at Sir William's in his regimentals. me. Mr. "that is very unlucky." "But if you have got them to-day. and her mother attended h er to the door with many cheerful prognostics of a bad day." "Dining out. who is it from? What is it about? What does he say? Well. and the Hursts have no horses to theirs. Jane. Come ou can on receipt of this. but her mother was delighted. and then read it aloud. "if you were sure that they woul d not offer to send her home. "No." Mrs." "But. she sees them now very often standing in Clarke's library. for a tete-a-tete between two women can never end without a quarrel. "my aunt says that Colonel Forster and Captain Carter do not go so often to Miss Watson's as they did when they first came.--Yours ever. "I wonder my aunt did not tell us of THAT." "Can I have the carriage?" said Jane. whil e her daughter read." said Mrs. Her hopes were answe red." "Mamma. and the servant waited for an answer. Bennet. my love. it came from Netherfield. Jane was therefore obliged to go on horseback. Bennet. Bennet's eyes sparkled with pleasure. you had better go on horseback. The rain continued the whole evening with out intermission." said Elizabeth. because it seems likely to rain. ma ke haste and tell us.-"If you are not so compassionate as to dine to-day with Louisa and be in danger of hating each other for the rest of our lives. "MY DEAR FRIEND." She did at last extort from her father an acknowledgment that the horses were e ngaged. my dear.

" "We will go as far as Meryton with you. my dear." "I shall be very fit to see Jane--which is all I want. As long as she stays there." said her father. I would go an see her if I could have the carriage. was almost incredible to Mrs. Lizzy. She declared her resolution. "as to think of such a thing. crossing field after f ield at a quick pace. and the three young ladies set off together. though the carr iage was not to be had. exertion should alway s be in proportion to what is required. it is all very well. and Elizabeth was convinced t hat they held her in contempt for it. and a face glowing with the warmth of exercise. when Elizabeth had read the note aloud. indeed!" said Mrs." "Oh! I am not afraid of her dying. there was good humour and kindness. I suppose. and." "Is this a hint to me. as if the credit of making it rain were all her own. Elizabeth ac cepted their company. is to be imputed to my getting wet through yesterday. and Elizabeth continued her walk alone. That she should have wa lked three miles so early in the day. as they walked along. I shall be back by dinner." "I admire the activity of your benevolence. "perhaps we may see somet hing of Captain Carter before he goes. I do not wish to avoid the walk. the two youngest repaired to the lodgings of one of the officers' wives. Darcy said very little. jumping over stiles and springing over puddles with impati ent activity. she was not aware of all the felicity of her contrivance. it would be a comfort to know that it was all in pursuit of Mr. in a ll this dirt! You will not be fit to be seen when you get there." said Mr. dirty stockings." said Lydia. however.-"I find myself very unwell this morning. She was shown into the breakfast-parlour. feeling really anxious. an d where her appearance created a great deal of surprise. only three miles. which. Till the next morning. Hurst nothing at all. My kind friends will not hear of my returning till I am better. and as she was no horsewoman. where all but Jane were assembled. walking was her only alter native." said Catherine and Lydia. "but every impulse of feeling should be guided by reason. excepting a sore throat and headache. Bennet. "If we make haste. People do not die of little trifling colds. there is not much the matter with me." observed Mary. Jones--therefore do not be a larmed if you should hear of his having been to me--and. Mr. indeed. etc. in such dirty weather. She was received." "Well. Bingley. and Mr. and by herself. with weary a nkles. "How can you be so silly. in my opinion.--Yours." In Meryton they parted. The former was divided between admiration of the brilliancy whi ." cried her mother. The distance is nothing when one has a motive. "if y our daughter should have a dangerous fit of illness--if she should die. Bennet more than once. and finding herself at last within view of the house. Hurst and Miss Bingley. Breakfast was scarcely over when a servant from Netherfield brought the following note for Elizabeth: "MY DEAREST LIZZY. and in their brother's manners there was something better than politenes s. She will be taken good care of." Elizabeth. very politely b y them. They insist also on my seeing Mr."This was a lucky idea of mine. and under your orders. however. "to send for the horses?" "No. was determined to go to her.

The latter was thinking only of his breakfast. and not well enough to leave her room. could attempt little besides expressions of gratitude for the extraordi nary kindness she was treated with. She really looked almost wild. was delighted at her entrance. no beauty. he was an indolent man. drink. and Miss Bingley began abu sing her as soon as she was out of the room. Her inquiries after her sister were not very favourably answered. in fact. said. advised her to return to bed. nothing t o do elsewhere.ch exercise had given to her complexion. her sister scarcely less so. and her head ached acutely. Miss Bennet h ad slept ill. who had only been withheld by the fear of giving alarm or inconvenience from expressing in h er note how much she longed for such a visit. was the only one of the party whom she could regard with any complacency. she returned directly to Jane. and they prevented her feeling herself so much an intruder as s he believed she was considered by the others. She was not equal. Hurst thought the same. repeated three or four times how much they were grieved." "She did. I shall never forget her appearance this morning. Their brother. in short. The sisters. Bingley's. nor were the other ladies often absent. when he found her to prefer a plain dish to a ragout. and how excessively they disliked being ill themselves. and she only wanted a little pressing to accept it. and as for Mr. and Elizabeth began to like them herself. and play at cards. indeed. and added: "She has nothing. When breakfast was over they were joined by the sisters. Hurst. Miss Bingley offered her the carriage. and his attentions to hersel f most pleasing. To the civil inquiries which then poured in. Miss Bingley was engrossed by Mr. I could hardly keep my countenance. and at half-past six Elizabeth was summoned to dinner. the gentlemen being out. indeed. and then thought no more of the matter: and their indifference towards Jane when not immediately before them restored Elizabeth t o the enjoyment of all her former dislike. a nd a servant was dispatched to Longbourn to acquaint the family with her stay an d bring back a supply of clothes. Louisa. and that they must endeavour to g et the better of it. Her manners were pronounced to be v ery bad indeed. to much conversation. She had very little notice from an y but him. and very unwillin gly said so. Darcy. she had no conversation. and though up. that she had caught a violent cold. a mixture of pride and impertinence. Elizabeth was glad to be taken to her immediately. Mrs. th at Miss Bingley was obliged to convert the offer of the chaise to an invitation to remain at Netherfield for the present. The apothecary came. who. His anxiety for Jane was evident. Elizabeth did not quit her room for a moment. they had. Elizabeth felt that she must go. when she saw how much affection and solicitude they showed f or Jane. had nothing to say to her. Elizabeth most thankfully consented. Jane was by no means better. When the clock struck three. no style. Elizabeth silently attended her. Very nonsensical . Chapter 8 At five o'clock the two ladies retired to dress. and having examined his patient. and Jane. she could not make a very favourable answer. and when Miss Bingley left them t ogether. The advice was followed readily. by whom Elizabeth sat. and doubt as to the occasion's justifyi ng her coming so far alone. for the feverish symptoms increased. When dinner was over. when Jane testified such concern in parting with her. but being an excellent walker. how shocking it was to have a bad cold. as might be supposed. on hearing this. to recommend her. and promised her some draught s. was very feverish. however. who lived only to eat. and amongs t which she had the pleasure of distinguishing the much superior solicitude of M r.

however. Louisa. With a renewal of tenderness." added her sister. "and I am inclined to think that you would not wish to see YOUR sister make such an exhibition. "they were brightened by the exercise. they returned to her room on leaving the dining-parlour." said Miss Bingley." said Bingley. till late in the evening. "that is rather singular. and Elizabeth would not quit her at all. Mr." A short pause followed this speech. But with such a father an d mother. but his sisters gave it their hearty ass ent. or four miles." observed Miss Bingley in a half whisper. so blowsy!" "Yes. a most country-town in difference to decorum. Mr. six inches deep in mud. I hope you saw her petticoat. so untidy. and I wish with all my heart she were well settled. with a book." "Certainly not." "I think I have heard you say that their uncle is an attorney on Meryton. when sh e had the comfort of seeing her sleep. Mr." cried Bingley. Her dirty petticoat quite escaped my notice." "It shows an affection for her sister that is very pleasing." "Not at all. and they both laughed heartily. and making her sister the ex cuse. and sat with her till summoned to coffee. and the gown which had been let down to hide it not doi ng its office. who lives somewhere near Cheapside. I am sure. "but this was all lost upon me." "But it must very materially lessen their chance of marrying men of any conside ration in the world." he replied.to come at all! Why must SHE be scampering about the country. and alone. I am afraid there is no chance of it. because her sister had a cold? Her hair. I thought Miss Elizabeth Bennet looked remarkably well when she came in to the room this morning. She was still very po orly." "YOU observed it. and was immediately invited to join them. she is really a very sweet gir l. Darcy. I am absolutely certain. "If they had uncles enough to fill ALL Cheapside. "it would not make them one jot less agreeable." "That is capital. above he r ankles in dirt. said she would amuse herself for the short time she could stay below." replied Darcy. or whatever it is." "To walk three miles." said Bingley." "Your picture may be very exact. Hurst began again: "I have a excessive regard for Miss Jane Bennet. quite alone! What could she mean by it? It seems to me to show an abominable sort of conceited independence." . Darcy. "I am afraid. but suspecting them to be playing high she declined it. or five miles. On entering the drawing-room she found the whole party at loo. and her petticoat. "that this a dventure has rather affected your admiration of her fine eyes. "Do you prefer reading to cards?" said he. and when it seemed to her rather right th an pleasant that she should go downstairs herself. and Mrs. and indulged their mirth for some time at the expense of their dear friend' s vulgar relations." "Yes. and they have another. Hurst looked at her with astonishment. and such low connections. To this speech Bingley made no answer.

you are always buying books. "I am astonished. and stationed herself between Mr. and take Pemberley for a kind of model." "I deserve neither such praise nor such censure. "and I hope it will be soon increased by seeing her quite well. and I have pleasure in many things. I have more than I ever looked i nto."Miss Eliza Bennet. as to leave her very little atte ntion for her book. and though I have not many. There is not a finer county in England than Derbyshire. and soon laying it wholly aside." he replied. Charles." Elizabeth assured him that she could suit herself perfectly with those in the r oom. She is now about Miss Elizabeth Bennet's height. when you build YOUR house." "I wish it may." said Miss Bingley. Mr." "With all my heart. Charles. and has no pleasure in anything else. she drew near the card-tabl e." said Miss Bingley." Elizabeth was so much caught with what passed. and then walked towards the table where a few books were lying. "And I wish my collection were larger for your benefit and my own credit." "How I long to see her again! I never met with anybody who delighted me so much ." "Upon my word." cried Elizabeth. Bingley and his eldest sister." "And then you have added so much to it yourself." said Bingley. Dar cy!" "It ought to be good. What a delightful library you have at Pemberley." "I cannot comprehend the neglect of a family library in such days as these. I wish it may be half as delightf ul as Pemberley. "Is Miss Darcy much grown since the spring?" said Miss Bingley. "will she be as tall as I am?" "I think she will. or rather t aller." "But I would really advise you to make your purchase in that neighbourhood. He immediately offered to fetch her others--all that his library afforded." Elizabeth thanked him from her heart. "that my father should have left so small a collection of books. "I am NOT a great reader." "In nursing your sister I am sure you have pleasure. Caroline. "despises cards. She is a great reader. "it has been the work of many generations. to observe t he game." "I am talking of possibilities. I should think it more possible to get Pemberley by pu rchase than by imitation. but I am an idle fellow. I will buy Pemberley itself if Darcy will sell it." "Neglect! I am sure you neglect nothing that can add to the beauties of that no ble place.

in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading. Whatever bears affinity to cunning is despicable. "and to all this she must yet add som ething more substantial. But I am very far from agreeing with you i n your estimation of ladies in general. "no one can be really esteemed a ccomplished who does not greatly surpass what is usually met with." "I am no longer surprised at your knowing ONLY six accomplished women. the tone of her voice. that are really accomplished. "has too much truth. all of them. and elegance. and applicatio n. The word is applied to many a woman who deserves it no otherwise than by netting a purse or covering a screen. and taste." "Your list of the common extent of accomplishments. and were both protesting that they knew many women who answered this des cription." "All young ladies accomplished! My dear Charles." cried his faithful assistant." Miss Bingley was not so entirely satisfied with this reply as to continue the s . and net purse s. I cannot boast of knowing more than half -a-dozen." Mrs. dancing. and the modern la nguages." "Yes." replied Darcy. to whom this remark was chiefly addressed. and besides all this." "Oh! certainly. Such a countenance. what do you mean?" "Yes. Hurst called them to order. she must possess a certain s omething in her air and manner of walking." "Nor I. But." "Are you so severe upon your own sex as to doubt the possibility of all this?" "I never saw such a woman." added Darcy. drawing. "is one of those young ladies who seek to recommend themselves to the other sex by unde rvaluing their own. when Mr.. I never saw such capacity. and I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time. A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music." said Miss Bingley. "Then. in the whole range of my acquaintance. cover screens. it succeeds. I am sure. They all paint tables. "Elizabeth Bennet. "how young ladies can have patience to be so very accomplished as they all are. her address an d expressions. a very mean art. As all conversation was thereby at an end." "All this she must possess." observed Elizabeth. in my opini on. such manners! And so extremely accomplished for her age! H er performance on the pianoforte is exquisite. I do comprehend a great deal in it." said Bingley. singing." "It is amazing to me. to deserve the word. with bitter complaints of their i nattention to what was going forward." said Miss Bingley. as you describe united. I scarcely know anyone who cannot do all this. I rather wonder now at your knowing ANY. it is a paltry device. I dare say. and with many men. without being informed that she was ver y accomplished. Hurst and Miss Bingley both cried out against the injustice of her implied doubt. I think. "you must comprehend a great deal in your idea of a n accomplished woman. "there is a meanness in ALL the arts which ladies sometimes condescend to employ for c aptivation. or the word will be but half-deserved. when the door was closed on her." "Undoubtedly. Elizabeth soon afterwards left the room." said Darcy.

" Mrs. "if it was not for such good friends I do not know what would become of her. I consider myself as quite fixed here. while he could find no better relief to his feelings than by giving his housekeeper directions that every attention might be paid to the s ick lady and her sister. while his sisters. b y duets after supper. "and therefore if I should reso lve to quit Netherfield." "Removed!" cried Bingley. therefore. Jones being sent for immediately. wil l not hear of her removal. Bingley by a housemaid. Mr. convinced that no country advice could be of any service. but she was not so unwilling to comply with their brother's proposal. if Mi ss Bennet were not decidedly better. the sweetest temper I have ever met with. without exception. Bennet had not found Miss Bennet worse than she expected. and in the mornin g had the pleasure of being able to send a tolerable answer to the inquiries whi ch she very early received from Mr. but being satisfied on seeing her that her illness was not alarming. Mrs." "You may depend upon it. Jones says we must not think of moving her." was her answer. thoug h with the greatest patience in the world. This she would not hear of. "that M iss Bennet will receive every possible attention while she remains with us. however. and form her own judgement of her situation. Chapter 9 Elizabeth passed the chief of the night in her sister's room. You will not think of quitting it in a hur ry. reached Netherfield soon after the family b reakfast. Bingley met them with hopes that Mrs. She would not listen. In spite of this ame ndment. she had no wish of her recovering immediately. however. and that she could not leave her. We must trespass a little longe r on your kindness. and a charming prospect over the gravel walk. though you have but a short lease. and some time afterw ards from the two elegant ladies who waited on his sisters. At present. I often t ell my other girls they are nothing to HER. Jones should be sent for early in the morning. My sister. ac companied by her two youngest girls. on Miss Bingley's appearance and invitation. Madam. I am sure. and suffers a vast deal. the mother and three daught er all attended her into the breakfast parlour." . You have a sweet room here. with cold civility. I do not know a place in the country that is equal to Netherfield. who arrived about the same time. desiring her mo ther to visit Jane. Mrs. which is always the way with her. and it was settled that Mr. as her restoration to health would p robably remove her from Netherfield. for she has. I should probably be off in five minutes. "I am sure. "It must not be thought of. Bingley was quite uncomfortable. sir. "Indeed I have. The note was im mediately dispatched." replied he. she requested to have a note sent to Longbourn. neither did the apothecary. Bingley urged Mr." said Miss Bingley. Bennet would have been very mis erable. Bennet was profuse in her acknowledgments. for she is very ill indeed. Bing ley. and its contents as quickly complied with." "Whatever I do is done in a hurry. think it at all advisable. Mr. Had she found Jane in any apparent danger. After sitting a little while wit h Jane. Elizabeth joined them again only to say that her sister was worse. "She is a great deal too ill to be moved. his sister s declared that they were miserable. recommend ed an express to town for one of the most eminent physicians. They solaced their wretchedness.ubject. to her dau ghter's proposal of being carried home. h owever. I hope." she added. Bennet.

offended by his manner of mentioning a countr y neighbourhood. for the sake of saying something that might turn . do you?" cried he. Darcy. turned s ilently away."That is exactly what I should have supposed of you. that there is something new to be observe d in them for ever." continued Bingley immediately." he replied. Bennet. continued her triumph." Everybody was surprised. "can in general supply but a few subjects for such a study. "seemed to think the country was nothing at all." said Elizabeth. It must be an amusing study. who fancied she had gained a complete victory over hi m." cried her mother. The country is a vast deal pleasanter. and do not run on in the wi ld manner that you are suffered to do at home. Mrs. for my part ." said Elizabeth." "That is as it happens. He only meant that there was not such a variety of pe ople to be met with in the country as in the town. Darcy with a ve ry expressive smile. and directed her eyes towards Mr." said Darcy. which you must acknowledge to be true. indeed. "I cannot see that London has any great advantage over the country. "remember where you are. "Oh! yes--I understand you perfectly. But that gentleman. Bennet. but as to not meeting with many pe ople in this neighbourhood. but to be so easily seen through I am afraid is pitiful. and I can be equally happy in either." "Lizzy. They have each their advantages. Mamma. after looking at her for a moment. "I never wish to leave it. is it not. "I assure you there is quite as much of THAT going on in the co untry as in town. Bingley?" "When I am in the country. "You begin to comprehend me. I believe there are few neighbourhoods larger." Nothing but concern for Elizabeth could enable Bingley to keep his countenance. and Darcy." "Yes. They have at least that ad vantage. nobody said there were." "Aye--that is because you have the right disposition." "I did not know before. you are mistaken." "Yes." look ing at Darcy. "Yo u quite mistook Mr. His sister was less delicate. "that your were a studi er of character. blushing for her mother. but intricate characters are the MOST amusing. except the shops and public places." "Indeed. intricate character is more or less estimable than such a one as yours. my dear. Mr." "The country. and when I a m in town it is pretty much the same." "Certainly. Elizabeth. I kno w we dine with four-and-twenty families. It does not follow that a deep." cried Mrs." "But people themselves alter so much. In a country neighbourhood you move in a very confined and unvarying soc iety. turning towards her." "I wish I might take this for a compliment.

" Darcy only smiled. and after a short silence Mrs." "Oh! dear. yes. I do not like to boast of my own child. THAT is my idea of good breeding. that the youngest should tax Mr. Bingley. But. and the general pause which ensued made Elizabeth tremble le st her mother should be exposing herself again." "Did Charlotte dine with you?" "No. But everybody is to judge for themselves. uite mistake the matter. She p erformed her part indeed without much graciousness. the youngest of h er daughters put herself forward. I wonder who first discovered the effi cacy of poetry in driving away love!" "I have been used to consider poetry as the FOOD of love. Upon this signal. and hose persons who fancy themselves very important. and soon afterwards ordered her carriage. to whom her uncle's go od dinners. "There has been many a one. Lady Lucas herself has ofte n said so. healthy love it may. she would go home. I assure you. Mr." "She seems a very pleasant young woman. now asked her if Charlotte Lucas had been at Longbourn s ince HER coming away. MY daughters are brought up very differently. the re was a man at my brother Gardiner's in town so much in love with her that my s ister-in-law was sure he would make her an offer before we came away. but you must own she is very plain. What an agreeable man Sir William s. When she was only fifteen." "And so ended his affection. "Yes." said Darcy. and envied me Jane's beauty. Perhaps he thought her too young. She longed to speak. with a fine complexion and goodhumoured countenance. I do not trust my own partiality. whose affection had brought h er into public at an early age. Everything nourishes what is strong alr eady. I fancy. a favourite with her mother. but Mrs. Bennet was satisfie d. Mr. The two girls had been whispering to each othe r during the whole visit. Mr. Lydia was a stout. adding. and the result of it was. and t he Lucases are a very good sort of girls. but to be sure. I am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away. he did not. therefore. His answer to this sudden a i h t q . had increased into assuran ce. She was very equal. with an apology for troubling him also with Lizzy. and abruptly reminded him of his promise. well-grown girl of fifteen." said Elizabeth impatiently. Bingley on the subject of the ball. "Of a fine. to address Mr.her mother's thoughts. and very pretty they were. It is a pity they are no t handsome! Not that I think Charlotte so VERY plain--but then she is our partic ular friend. he wrote some verses on her. However. that it would be the mos t shameful thing in the world if he did not keep it. Bingley was unaffectedly civil in his answer. Bingley. howev er. I always keep servants that can do their own work. stout. Jane--one does not often see anybody better looking. Bennet began repeating he r thanks to Mr. It is what everybody says. and never open their mouths. Bingley with having promised on his first coming into the country to give a ball at Netherfield. For my par t. Bingley for his kindness to Jane. overcome in the same way. and say what the occasion required. is not he? So much the man of fashion! So genteel and easy! He ad always something to say to everybody. and force d his younger sister to be civil also. but could t hink of nothing to say. She had high animal spirits. But if it be only a slight. thin sort of inclination. which the attention of the officers. and her own easy manners recommended her. she called yesterday with her father. I fancy she was wanted about the mince-pies. and a sort of natur al self-consequence.

Let me mend it for you. and Elizabeth o Jane. Elizabeth took up some needlework. And when you have given YOUR ball. however. "Oh! yes--it would be much better to wait til l Jane was well. in spite of all Miss Bingley's YES. T he loo-table." "Pray tell your sister that I long to see her. name the very day of the ball. Hurst was observing their game. and Mrs. "You write uncommonly fast. who continued. "How delighted Miss Darcy will be to receive such a letter!" He made no answer. could not oin in their censure of HER. either on his handwriting. returned instantly remarks of the two be prevailed on to witticisms on FINE t l j E . and was exactly in union with her opinion of each." "How many letters you must have occasion to write in the course of a year! Lett ers of business. I write rather slowly. Darcy was writing. I assure you. too! How odious I should think them!" "It is fortunate." "I have already told her so once. I mend pens rema rkably well. But you would not wish to be dancing when she is ill. Hurst and Miss Bingley had spent some hours of the morning with the invalid.ttack was delightful to their mother's ear: "I am perfectly ready. Bingley were at p iquet. Bennet and her daughters then departed. leaving her own and her relations' behaviour to the adies and Mr. or on the evenness of his lines. Darcy. did not appear. you shall. and in the evening Elizabeth joined their party in the drawing-room." she added. Mr. was watching the progress of his letter and repeatedly calling off his attention by messages to his sister. The perpetual commendations of the lady. the latter of whom. to keep my engagement." Mrs. and by that time most likely Captain Carter would be at Meryton again." Lydia declared herself satisfied. Mr. Hurst and Mr. seated near him. that they fall to my lot instead of yours. I shall tell Colonel Forster it will be quite a shame if he doe s not." "Thank you--but I always mend my own. Chapter 10 The day passed much as the day before had done." "You are mistaken. and was sufficiently amused in attending to what passed between Darcy and his companion. then. if you please. by your desire." "I am afraid you do not like your pen. or on the leng th of his letter. and when your siste r is recovered. though slowly." "How can you contrive to write so even?" He was silent. with the perfect unconcern with which her praises were receive d. Mrs. and Miss Bingley. however. "I shall insist on their giving one also. formed a curious dialogue. to mend.

and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance. yo u would probably not go--and at another word."Tell your sister I am delighted to hear of her improvement on the harp. and can be of no real advant age to yourself or anyone else?" "Nay. if not estimable." "That will not do for a compliment to Darcy. Bingley. Mr. Do not you." "I dare say you believed it. you meant it to be a sort of panegyric. and I think it infinitely superior to Miss Grantley's. therefore. as you were mounting your horse. might stay a month." "Your humility. becau se you consider them as proceeding from a rapidity of thought and carelessness o f execution. Bingley did not do j ustice to his own disposition. o f compliment to yourself--and yet what is there so very laudable in a precipitan ce which must leave very necessary business undone. I did not assume the character of needless precipitance merely to show off befor e the ladies. you think at least highly interesting. "bec ause he does NOT write with ease. a friend were to say." "You have only proved by this. I shall see her in January. He leaves out half his words. When you told Mrs. that a person who can write a long letter with ease. but whether always charming it is not for me to deter mine. I believe what I s aid of myself to be true. But do you always wri te such charming long letters to her. Darcy?" "They are generally long. You have shown him off now much more than he did . "Charles writes in the most careless way imaginable. Caroline. and blots the rest." cried her brother. and sometimes an indirect boast." said Darcy. for you are really proud of your defects in writing. and if. At least. and I believe it at this moment." "Will you give me leave to defer your raptures till I write again? At present I have not room to do them justice. "this is too much. "must disarm reproof. to remember at night all the foolish t hings that were said in the morning. "than the appearance of humility. Darcy?" "My style of writing is very different from yours." "It is a rule with me." said Elizabeth. upon my honour. It i s often only carelessness of opinion. 'Bingley. The power of doing anything with quickness is always prized much by the possessor. And yet. you had better stay till next week." "My ideas flow so rapidly that I have not time to express them--by which means my letters sometimes convey no ideas at all to my correspondents. He studies too much for words of four syllable s." cried Elizabeth." cried Bingley. which. Mr.' you would probably do it." "Oh!" cried Miss Bingley." "And which of the two do you call MY little recent piece of modesty?" "The indirect boast. but I am by no means convinced that you would be g one with such celerity. Bennet this morning that if you ever resolved upon quitting Netherfie ld you should be gone in five minutes." "Oh! it is of no consequence." "Nothing is more deceitful. and pr ay let her know that I am quite in raptures with her beautiful little design for a table. Your conduct would be quite as dependent on chance as th at of any man I know. "that Mr. can not write ill.

" "To yield without conviction is no compliment to the understanding of either. to stand according to yo ur representation. But in general and ordinary cases between friend a nd friend. "by your converting what my friend says into a compliment on the sweetness of my temper. I declare I do not know a more awful object than Darcy. "is no sacrifice on my side. when he has nothing to do. and then you may say whatever you like of me. Darcy had much better finish his letter. not forgetting their comparative height and size. Bingley." "You expect me to account for opinions which you choose to call mine." said his friend. if under such a circumstance I were to give a flat denial . for that will have more weight in the argume nt." said Bingley. that if Darcy were not such a great tall fellow." said Elizabeth. Darcy smiled. and wa nt to silence this. Mr. Miss Bingley warmly resented the indig nity he had received. before we proceed on this subject. to allow nothing for the influence of friendship and affection. in an expostulation with her brother for talking such nons ense. Darcy." "You appear to me. I assure you. I shall be very thankful. and in particular places." "I am exceedingly gratified. "let us hear all the particulars. Bingley. Miss Bennet. on par ticular occasions. where one of them is desired by the other to change a resolution of n o very great moment. as well as the degree of intimacy subsisting between the parties?" "By all means. without waiting for arguments to reason one into it. I cannot exactly explain the matter. to arrange with r ather more precision the degree of importance which is to appertain to this requ est. till the circumstance occurs before we discuss the discretio n of his behaviour thereupon. and the delay of his plan. than you may be aware of. you must remember. But I am afraid you are gi ving it a turn which that gentleman did by no means intend. but which I have never acknowledged. Allowing the case." cried Bingley. I should not pay him half s o much deference. "I see your design. but Elizabeth thought she could perceive that he was rather o ffended. Darcy then consider the rashness of your original intentions as aton ed for by your obstinacy in adhering to it?" "Upon my word." "To yield readily--easily--to the PERSUASION of a friend is no merit with you." "What you ask. Arguments are too much like disputes. that the friend who is suppos ed to desire his return to the house. at his own house especially. should you think ill of that person for complying with the desire. Miss Bennet. and ride off as fast as I could. A regard for the requester would often make one readily yield to a request. for he would certain ly think better of me. perhaps. I am not particu larly speaking of such a case as you have supposed about Mr." "Would Mr. without waiting to be argued into it?" "Will it not be advisable." Mr. however. has merely desi red it." "Perhaps I do. and therefore checked her laugh. asked it without offering one argument in favour of its propriety.himself. in comparison with myself. and Mr. Darcy must speak for himsel f. If you and Miss Bennet wil l defer yours till I am out of the room. We may as well wait. and of a Sunday evening. "You dislike an argument." .

and her great anxiety for the recovery of her dear friend Jane received some assistance from her desire of getting rid of Elizabeth. drawing near Elizabeth. and Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her. Miss Bennet. made up my mind to tell you. do sure the younger girls of running after officers. with some surprise at her silence. And. said to her: "Do not you feel a great inclination. Miss Bingley saw." Elizabeth. but I could not immediately determine what to say in reply. She hardly knew how to suppose that she could be an object of admiration to so great a man. Miss Bingley moved with some alacrity to the pianoforte. and did finish his letter. but made no answer. that I do not want to dance a reel at all--and now despise me if you dare. to seize such an opportunity of dancing a reel?" She smiled. Mrs. When that business was over. I have. "I heard you before." "Have you anything else to propose for my domestic felicity?" "Oh! yes.Mr. than in any other person present. bordering on conceit a nd impertinence. "you will give your mother-in-law a few hints. The supposition did not pain her. according to his ideas of right. but I always delight in overthrowing those kind o f schemes. and cheating a person of their premeditated contempt. after a polite request that Elizabeth would lead the way which the other a s politely and more earnestly negatived. if I may mention so deli cate a subject. She could only imagine. or suspected enough to be jealous. which your lady possesses. as to the advantage of holding her tongue. Hurst sang with her sister. he applied to Miss Bingley and Elizabeth for an in dulgence of some music. He repeated the question. and while they were thus employed. Darcy's eyes were fixed on her. and yet that he should look at her because he disliked her. and. He really believed. After playing some Italian songs. having rather expected to affront him. I know. Darcy. She often tried to provoke Darcy into disliking her guest. was amazed at his gallantry." said she. Miss Bingley varied the charm by a lively Sco tch air. "Oh!" said she.' that you might have the p leasure of despising my taste. to say 'Yes. that were it not for the inferiorit y of her connections." "Indeed I do not dare. She liked him too l ittle to care for his approbation. as they were walking together in the shrubbery the next day . Darcy took her advice. she seated herself. however. by talking of their supposed marriage. as she turned over some music-books that lay on the ins trument. You wanted me. but there was a mixture of sweetness and archness in her manner which made it di fficult for her to affront anybody. at last that she drew his notice because there was something more wrong and reprehensible. therefo re. and if you can compass it. "I hope. he should be in some danger. Do let the portraits of your uncle and aunt Phillips be placed in the gallery at Pemberley. and planning his happiness in such an alliance. was still more strange. how frequently Mr. endeavour to check that little something. They are in . Elizabeth c ould not help observing. when this desirable event takes place. and soon afterwards Mr. Put them next to your great-uncle the judge.

and appear to uncommon advantage. "running away without tellin g us that you were coming out. He was full of joy and attention. He th en sat down by her. and Elizabeth had never seen them so agreeable as they were during the hour which passed before t he gentlemen appeared. and l augh at their acquaintance with spirit. Mr. at work in th e opposite corner. Darcy took up a book. she left Elizabeth to walk by hers elf. When tea was over. rejoicing as she rambled about. and seein g her well guarded from cold. and Mrs. and she had something to say to hi m before he had advanced many steps. in the hope of being at home again in a day or two. only in different lines." said Miss Bingley. But when the gentlemen entered. no. might be copied." answered Mrs. indeed. and the silence of the whole party on the subject seemed to justify her. who had not the least inclination to remain with them. Hurst. The picturesque would be spoilt by admitting a fourth." Then taking the disengaged arm of Mr. so remarkably fine. You are charmingly grouped. and she removed at his desire to the other side of the fireplace. Miss Bingl ey's eyes were instantly turned toward Darcy. to catch their expression. We had better go into the avenue. you must not have it taken. Miss Bingley did the same. The path just admitted three." She then ran gaily off. He addressed himself to Miss Bennet. "You used us abominably ill. She assured him that no one intended to play. Elizabeth ran up to her sister. but to stretch him self on one of the sofas and go to sleep. Hurst soon found even his open petition rejected. Chapter 11 When the ladies removed after dinner. Darcy did not wish for c ards. you know. relate an anecdote with humour. but their colour and shape. Hurst. Mr. Hurst had therefore nothing to do. Darcy. lest they had been overheard. and the eyelashes. in some confusio n." At that moment they were met from another walk by Mrs. and immediatel y said: "This walk is not wide enough for our party. for what painter could do justice to those beautiful eyes?" "It would not be easy. principally occupied in playing with her bracelets an . saw it all with great delight. lest she should suffer from the change of room. As for your Elizabeth's picture. She had obtained private intelligence that Mr. Hurst also made her a slight bow. Good-bye. Hurst and Elizabeth hers elf. Jane was already so much recovered as to intend lea ving her room for a couple of hours that evening. stay where you are. laughingl y answered: "No. attended her into the drawing-room. Hurst reminded his sister-in-law of the card-table--but in vain." but diffuseness and warmth remained for Bingley's salutation. that she might be further from the door.the same profession. and talked scarcely to anyone else. The first half-hour was spent in piling up the fire. and Mr. where she was welcomed by her two friends with many professions of pleasure. Darcy felt their rudeness. "I did not know that you intended to walk. Their powers of conversation were considerable." But Elizabeth. Mr. with a polite congratulation. They coul d describe an entertainment with accuracy. and said he was "v ery glad. Elizabeth. Mr. Jane was no longer the first object.

"if they were carried on in a different manner. she resolved on one effort more. Charles. and unconsciously closed his book. Darcy in anything. was still inflexibly studious. He was as much a wake to the novelty of attention in that quarter as Elizabeth herself could be. but he declined it. He was directly invited to join their party." "I should like balls infinitely better. he merely answered her question. Miss Bingley succeeded n o less in the real object of her civility. she gave a great yawn and said. I shall send round my cards. to any conversation. when hearing her brother ment ioning a ball to Miss Bennet. but there is something insufferably tedious in the usual process of such a meeting." Miss Bingley. Darcy looked up. Miss Bingley's attention was quite as much engaged in watching Mr. "How p leasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare after all there is no e njoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! Whe n I have a house of my own." she replied. threw aside her book. but it would not be near so much like a ball. or looking at his page. In the desperation of her feelings. and read on. "I have not the smallest objection to explaining them. it is quite a settled thing. and. which she had only chosen because it was the second volume of his." Elizabeth was surprised. an d persevered therefore in requiring an explanation of his two motives. are you really serious in meditating a dance at Netherfie ld? I would advise you." "If you mean Darcy. but Darcy. and take a turn a bout the room. if he chooses. I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent libr ary. I assure you it is very refreshing after sitting so long in one a ttitude. I dare say. observing that he could imagine but two motives for their ch oosing to walk up and down the room together. he means to be severe on us. with either of which motives his j oining them would interfere. to consult the wishes of the present party." was her answer. she turned suddenly towards him and said: "By the bye. however. Darcy's prog ress through HIS book. It would surely be much more rational if conversation instead of dancing were made the order of the day. as in reading her own." Miss Bingley made no answer." No one made any reply. turning to Elizabeth. as soon as she . and cast he r eyes round the room in quest for some amusement. befor e it begins--but as for the ball. Her figure was elegant. "he may go to bed. joined now and then in her brother's conversation with Miss Bennet. however. and as soon as Ni cholls has made white soup enough. and our surest way of disappointing him will be to ask nothing about it. before you determine on it." cried her brother." "Much more rational. and she walked well. quite ex hausted by the attempt to be amused with her own book. She then yawned again. at whom it was a ll aimed. was incapable of disappointing Mr. At length. let me persuade you to follow my example. "What could he mean? She was dying to know what cou ld be his meaning?"--and asked Elizabeth whether she could at all understand him ? "Not at all. and soon afterwards she got up and walked about th e room. She could not win him. "but depend upon it." said he. said: "Miss Eliza Bennet. and she was perpetually either mak ing some inquiry. my dear Caroline. but agreed to it immediately. I am much mistaken if there are not some among us to whom a ball would be rather a punishment than a pleasure.d rings. Mr.

" bec or in I c "Oh! shocking!" cried Miss Bingley. if the first. "We can all plague and punish one another." said Darcy. I hope I never ridicule what is wise and good. if you have but the inclination. vanity is a weakness indeed. I cannot forget the follies and vices of other so soon as I ought. I dearly love a laugh. Darcy may hug himself. I would be completely in your way. "Your examination of Mr. My temper I dare not vouch for. by attempting to laugh without a subject. too little yielding--certainly too little for the convenience of the wor ld. Follies and nonsense. It is. pride will be always under good regulation. I own. I suppose." "No." . Tease calmness of manner and presence of mind! No." Elizabeth turned away to hide a smile. we will not expose ourselves. But you have chosen your fault well. My good opinion once lo st. He owns it himsel f without disguise. are precisely what you are without. if you please. and have secret affairs to discuss. But pride--where there is a real superiority of mind." "Mr. because you are conscious that your figures appear to the greatest advantage walking. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them." replied Elizabeth--"there are such people." "But upon my honour. Tease him--laugh at him. "and pra y what is the result?" "I am perfectly convinced by it that Mr. Darcy is over. but th ey are not. and if the second. and uncommon I hope it will continue. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. " "Such as vanity and pride. "Implacable resentment IS a shade in a character. I have faults enough. of understanding. and I laugh at them whenever I ca n. Darcy is not to be laughed at!" cried Elizabeth. But these. I presume. no--feel he may defy us there. You are safe from me. "You either choose this method of passing the evening ause you are in each other's confidence. Intimate as you are. nor their offenses against myself.allowed him to speak. The wisest and the best of men--nay. And as to laughter. I b elieve. for it would be a great loss to ME to have many such acquaintances. "That is an uncommon adva ntage. But it has been the study of my life to avoid those weaknesses which often expose a strong understanding to ridicule. I really cannot LAUGH at it . "has given me more credit than can be. How shall we punish him for such a speech?" "Nothing so easy." "Perhaps that is not possible for anyone." said Miss Bingley. Mr. w hims and inconsistencies. is lost forever." "Certainly. Darcy has no defect." "THAT is a failing indeed!" cried Elizabeth." said Elizabeth." "Miss Bingley. DO divert me." said he. I do NOT. "I never heard anything so abominable. "I have made no such pretension. the wisest and best of their actions--may be rendered ridi culous by a person whose first object in life is a joke. yo u must know how it is to be done. but I hope I am not one of THEM. I hope. an admire you much better as I sit by the fire. I do assure you that my intimacy has not yet tau ght me THAT." "Yes.

as being considere d as intruding themselves needlessly long. Her answer. She attracted him more than he liked--and Miss Bingley was uncivil to HER. and at length it was settled that their original design of leaving Netherfield that morning should be mentioned. He began to feel the danger of paying Elizabeth too much attention. Darcy it was welcome intelligence--Elizabeth had been at Netherfield lon g enough. Miss Bingley was then sorry that she had prop osed the delay. after morning service. tired of a conversation in which she had no share. who had calculated on her daughters remaining at Netherfield till the following Tuesday. and enough was said of w ishing them to stay at least till the following day to work on Jane. . an d repeatedly tried to persuade Miss Bennet that it would not be safe for her--th at she was not enough recovered. "is willfully to misunderstand them. He wisely resolved to be particular ly careful that no sign of admiration should NOW escape him. Elizabeth wrote the next mo rning to their mother." he replied with a smile. his behaviour during the last day must have material we ight in confirming or crushing it." "And YOUR defect is to hate everybody. she could spare them very well. after assuring the latt er of the pleasure it would always give her to see her either at Longbourn or Ne therfield. he adhered most conscientiously to his book. you will not mind my waking Mr." "And yours. Bin gley and his sister pressed them to stay longer. and in her postscript it was added. and when they parted."There is. the refore. for she was impa tient to get home. which would exactly finish Jane's wee k. "Louisa. and though they were at one time lef t by themselves for half-an-hour. and the request made. Bingley' s carriage immediately. in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil-a natural defect. for her jealousy and dislike of one sister much exceeded her aff ection for the other. Steady to his purpose. she urged Jane to borrow Mr. but Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right. and D arcy. and the pianoforte was opened. so agreeable to almost all. Chapter 12 In consequence of an agreement between the sisters. I believe. which not even the best education can overcome. he scarcely spoke ten words to her through the whole of Saturday. Against staying longer. to beg that the carriage might be sent for them in the co urse of the day. Mrs. To Mr. The communication excited many professions of concern." "Do let us have a little music. Miss Bingley's civility to Elizabeth increased at last very rapidly. Elizabeth was positively resolved--nor did she much expect it would be asked." cried Miss Bingley. and more teasing than usual to himself. and fearful. and till th e morrow their going was deferred. a nd would not even look at her. could not bring herself to receive them with pleasure before. was not sorry for it. on the contrary. But Mrs. as well as her affection for Jane. at least not to Elizabeth's wishes. t ook place. was not propitious. Bennet sent them word that they could not possibly have the carriage before Tuesday. On Sunday. The master of the house heard with real sorrow that they were to go so soon. Bennet. however. nothing that could elevate her with the hope of influencing his felicity. the separation. Hurst?" Her sister had not the smallest objection. sensible that if such an idea had been suggested. Elizabeth took leave of the whole party in the liveliest of spirits. and embracing her most tenderly. that if Mr. she even shook hands with the former . after a few moments' recollection.

and he had the pleasure of being eagerly qu estioned by his wife and his five daughters at once. Lydia." said Mr. my dear? I know of nobody that is coming. They found Mary. Mr. my love. Bennet wondere d at their coming. a private had been flogged. I should have tried long ago to do something or other about it. I am sure I shall be extremely glad to see Mr. "and nothing can c lear Mr. Pray do n ot talk of that odious man. But if you will listen to his letter. may turn you all out of th is house as soon as he pleases. I do think it is the hardest thing in the world. and almost all its sense by the absence of Jane and Elizabeth." said her husband. when I am dead. as they were at breakfast the n ext morning. They had of ten attempted to do it before. and requiring early attention. "that you have ordered a good dinner to-day." "It is NOT Mr. "I cannot bear to hear that mentioned. and a stranger. in favour of a man w hom nobody cared anything about. and was sure Jane would have caught cold again." This roused a general astonishment." Jane and Elizabeth tried to explain to her the nature of an entail." said Mr. Collins. Bennet to his wife. for I thought it a case of some delicacy. tha t your estate should be entailed away from your own children." "Oh! my dear. Catherine and Lydia had information for them of a different sor t." Mrs. as usual. Mrs. Bennet was bey ond the reach of reason. and some new observations of threadbare morali ty to listen to. ring the bell--I must speak to Hill this moment. when they were all assem bled. "A gentleman and a stranger! It is Mr. Bingley. Bennet's eyes sparkled. "It certainly is a most iniquitous affair. and had some extracts to admire. because I have reason to expect an addition to our family party. he had felt their imp ortance in the family circle. Much had been done and much had been said in the regiment since the preceding Wednesday. It is from my cousin. if I had been you. The evening conversation. was really glad to see them. But--good Lord! how unlucky! There is not a bit of fish to be got to-day.They were not welcomed home very cordially by their mother. he thus explained: "About a month ago I received this letter. and thought them very wrong to give so much trouble. Bingley. Bingley. I am sure! Well. Collins from the guilt of inheriting Longbourn." "The person of whom I speak is a gentleman. deep in the study of thorough-bass and human nature. I am sure. my dear. I do not believe she often sees such at home. and it had actually been hinted that Colonel Forster was goin g to be married. Chapter 13 "I hope. had lost much of its animation. you may perhaps be a little softened by his manner of expressing . several of the officers had dined lately with their uncle. Bennet. After amusing himself some time with their curiosity. and about a fortnight ago I answered it. and I am sure. who. But their father." "Who do you mean. though very laconic in his expressions of pleasure. "it is a person whom I never saw in the whole course of my life. and she continued to rail bitterly against the cruelty of settling an estate away from a family of five daughters." cried his wife. but it was a subject on which Mrs. unless C harlotte Lucas should happen to call in--and I hope MY dinners are good enough f or her.

as well as to assure you of my readiness to make them every possible amends--but of this hereafter. I have been so fortunate as to be distingui shed by the patronage of the Right Honourable Lady Catherine de Bourgh. for h aving received ordination at Easter. and be ever ready to perform tho se rites and ceremonies which are instituted by the Church of England." Elizabeth was chiefly struck by his extraordinary deference for Lady Catherine. I hate such false friends. provided that some other clergyman is en gaged to do the duty of the day. upon my word. and that the circ umstance of my being next in the entail of Longbourn estate will be kindly overl ooked on your side. Bennet. and since I have had the misfortune to lose him. however. near Westerham. however. November 18th. and very hypocritical." said she. but for some time I was kept back by my own doubts.'--My mind. and beg leave to apologise for it.himself." "No." said M r. where it shall be my earnest endeavour to demean mys elf with grateful respect towards her ladyship." "Though it is difficult. I feel it my duty to promote and establish the blessing of peac e in all families within in the reach of my influence. your well-wisher and friend. "He seems to be a most conscientious and polite young man." "There is some sense in what he says about the girls. "WILLIAM COLLINS" "At four o'clock. fearing lest it might seem disrespectful to his memory for me to be on good terms with anyone with whom it had always pleased him to be at variance . Monday. If you should have n o objection to receive me into your house.--'There. I shall not be the person to discourage him. that I am sure I shall not. indeed. the wish is certainly to his credit. and I think it is very impertinent of him to w rite to you at all. and not lead you to reject the offered olive-branch." "Hunsford." said Jane. as yo u will hear. as his father did before him?" "Why. "He must be an oddity. as he folded up the letter. marrying. 15th October. widow of Sir Lewis de Bourgh. moreover. and I doubt not will prove a valuable acquaintan ce. Bennet. and his kind intention of christening. I canno t be otherwise than concerned at being the means of injuring your amiable daught ers. as Lady Catherine is far from objectin g to my occasional absence on a Sunday. I ha ve frequently wished to heal the breach.--I remain. "to guess in what way he can mean to make us the atonement he thinks our due. "I cannot make him out. Why could he not keep on quarreling with you. especially if Lady Catherine should be so indulgent as to let him come to us again. he does seem to have had some filial scruples on that head. As a cler gyman. and shal l probably trespass on your hospitality till the Saturday se'ennight following. "Dear Sir.-"The disagreement subsisting between yourself and my late honoured father alway s gave me much uneasiness. which I can do without any inconvenience. I think. dear sir. therefore. and burying his parishioners w henever it were required. Kent. and if he is dis posed to make them any amends. we may expect this peace-making gentleman. I propose myself the satisfaction of waiting on you and your family. Mrs. whose bounty and beneficence has preferred me to the valua ble rectory of this parish. by four o'clock. is now made up on the subject. and on these grounds I fl atter myself that my present overtures are highly commendable. with respectful compliment s to your lady and daughters.--There is so .

But I can assure the young ladies that I come prepared to admire them." "In point of composition. Mr. Bennet." "You allude. Things are settled so oddly. were examined and praised.--Could he be a sensible man. Bennet on having so fine a family of daughters. Collins was punctual to his time. w ho assured him with some asperity that they were very well able to keep a good c ook." "Ah! sir. and could say m uch on the subject. and his commendation of everything would have touched Mrs. sir?" "No. Bennet indeed said little. It is a grievous affair to my poor girls. and Mr. and it was now some weeks since they had received pleasure from the societ y of a man in any other colour. Not that I mean to find fault with YOU. but for the mortifying suppo sition of his viewing it all as his own future property. Collins seemed neither in need of encouragement. fo r else they will be destitute enough. perhaps. He had not b een long seated before he complimented Mrs.mething very pompous in his style. Collins's letter had do ne away much of her ill-will. but he continued to apologise for about a quarter of an hour. At prese nt I will not say more. I think not. and she was preparing to see him with a degree of composure which astonished her husband and daughters. but that in this instance fa me had fallen short of the truth. This gallantry was not much to the t aste of some of his hearers. Mr. but the ladies were ready enou gh to talk. Bennet's heart. the dining -room. madam. In a softened tone she declared herself not at all off ended. nor incline d to be silent himself." said Mary. but that I am cautious of appearing forward and precipitate. my dear. and the girls smiled on each other. I have great hopes of finding him quite the reverse. There is a mixture of servility and self-importance in his letter. Chapter 14 . I am sure. Mr. Bennet. But he was set right there by Mrs. but Mrs." To Catherine and Lydia. "the letter does not seem defective. to the entail of this estate. and added. of the hardship to my fair cousins. which promis es well." "I am very sensible. answered most readily. As for their mother. The idea of the olive-branch perhaps is not wholly new. but. said he had heard much of their beauty. Collins's admiration. yet I think it is well expre ssed. perhaps. and I wish with all my heart it may prove so. for such things I know are all chanc e in this world. He was a tall. when we are better acquainted--" He was interrupted by a summons to dinner. There is no knowing how estates will go when once they come to be entailed.--And what can he mean by apologising for bein g next in the entail?--We cannot suppose he would help it if he could. "You are very kind. who quarreled with no compliments. I do indeed. and he begged to know to which of his fair cousins the e xcellency of its cooking was owing. It was next to impossible that their cousin should come in a scarlet coat. I am impatient to see him. neither the letter nor its writer were in any degree in teresting. They were not the only objects of Mr. and that her daughters had nothing to do in the kitchen. you must confe ss. heavy-looking young man of five-and-twent y. He begged pardon f or having displeased her. and was received with great politeness by the whole family. that he did not doubt her seeing th em all in due time disposed of in marriage. His air was grave and stately. The dinner too in its t urn was highly admired. and all its furniture. The hall. and his manners were very formal.

instead of giving her consequence. "then she is better off than many gir ls. Collins was eloquent in her praise. and of very extensive prope rty. in point of true beauty. but when the servants were wit hdrawn. Lady Catherine de Bourgh's attention to his wishes. and had sent for him only the Saturd ay before. shaking her head." "Ah!" said Mrs. Bennet. She is unfortunately of a sickly constitution. he thought it time to have some conversation with his guest. would be adorned by her . and you may i magine that I am happy on every occasion to offer those little delicate complime nts which are always acceptable to ladies." "You judge very properly. Lady Catherine was r eckoned proud by many people he knew. which has prevented her from making that progress in many accomplishments which she could not have o therwise failed of. "and I dare s ay she is a very agreeable woman. and it is a sor t of attention which I conceive myself peculiarly bound to pay. and that th e most elevated rank. Does she live near you. by observing that he see med very fortunate in his patroness." "I think you said she was a widow. Bennet scarcely spoke at all. as I told Lady Catherine one day. as he had himself experien ced from Lady Catherine. Mr. Her ladyship seemed pleased with the idea." said Mr.During dinner. It is a pity that great ladies in general are not more like her. Lady Catherine herself says that. to make up her pool of quadrille in the evening. and by t hat means. These are the kind of little things which please her ladyship. And what sort of young lady is she? Is she handsome?" "She is a most charming young lady indeed. The subje ct elevated him to more than usual solemnity of manner." said Mrs. and had even vouchsafed to suggest some herself--some shelves in the closet upstairs." "Her indifferent state of health unhappily prevents her being in town. and with a most importan t aspect he protested that "he had never in his life witnessed such behaviour in a person of rank--such affability and condescension. Bennet. and consideration for his comfort. to visit his relations." "That is all very proper and civil. her ladyship's residence. Bennet could not have chosen better. where she had perfectly approved all the alterations he had been maki ng. that her charming daughter seemed born to be a duchess. Miss de Bourgh is far superior to the handsomest of her s ex. the heiress of Rosings. Bennet. sh e made not the smallest objection to his joining in the society of the neighbour hood nor to his leaving the parish occasionally for a week or two. appeared very remarkable. and therefo re started a subject in which he expected him to shine. "and it is happy for you that you p . I have more than once observed to Lad y Catherine. She had always spoken to him as she would to any other gentleman. She had been graciously pleased to approve of both of t he discourses which he had already had the honour of preaching before her. sir?" "The garden in which stands my humble abode is separated only by a lane from Ro sings Park. and who still resides with them. She had even condescended to advise him to marry as soon as he could. But she is perfectly amiable. Mr. because there is that in her features which marks the young lady of distingu ished birth. as I am informed by the lady who superintended her education . provided he chose with discretion. I am sure. but HE had never seen anything but affabil ity in her. has deprived the British court of i ts brightest ornaments. and often conde scends to drive by my humble abode in her little phaeton and ponies. She h ad also asked him twice to dine at Rosings." "Has she been presented? I do not remember her name among the ladies at court. sir? Has she any family?" "She has only one daughter. Mr. and had once paid him a visit in his humble parsonage.

Lydia gaped as he opened the volume." Then turning to Mr. he had merely kept the necessary terms. however. His cousin was as absurd as he h ad hoped. if he would resume his book. or are the result of previous study?" "They arise chiefly from what is passing at the time. mamma. and the deficiency of nature had been but l ittle assisted by education or society. maintaining at the same time the most resolute composure of countenance. he started back. I confess. after assuring them th at he bore his young cousin no ill-will. the dose had been enough. I always wish to give them as unstudied an air as possible. except in an occasion al glance at Elizabeth. certainly. and the consequential feelings of early and unexpected prosperity. and if he does. Kitty stared at him. though written solely for their benefit. read three pages. Bennet's expectations were fully answered. A fortun ate chance had recommended him to Lady Catherine de Bourgh when the living of Hu nsford was vacant. and the respect which he felt for her high rank. mu ch offended. My aunt told me so herself on Saturda y. observing that he acted very wisely in leavi ng the girls to their own trifling amusements. witho ut forming at it any useful acquaintance. and his vene ration for her as his patroness. and begging pardon." Mr. Bennet. he offered himself as his antagonist at backgammon. when tea was over. and his right as a rector. The subjection in which his father had brought him up had given him originally great humility of manner. Mr. that my uncle Phillips talks of turning away Richard. and a book was pro duced. mingling with a very good opinion of himself. and should never resent her behaviour a s any affront. Collins. and prepared for backgammon. Collins. By tea-time. made him altogether a . and. living in retirem ent. Chapter 15 Mr. o f his authority as a clergyman. Mr. glad to invite h im to read aloud to the ladies. and Lydia exclaimed. Bennet and her daughters apo logised most civilly for Lydia's interruption. I shall walk to Meryton to-morrow to hear more about it.ossess the talent of flattering with delicacy. there can be nothing so advantageous to them as instruction. Bennet. and promised that it should not o ccur again. and said: "I have often observed how little young ladies are interested by books of a ser ious stamp. protested that he never read no vels. and though he be longed to one of the universities. May I ask whether these pleasing attentions proceed from the impulse of the moment. It amazes me. Other books were produced. requiring no partner in his pleasure. on beholding it (for everything announced it to be from a circulatin g library). and Mr. fo r. and before he had. Colonel Forster will hire him." Lydia was bid by her two eldest sisters to hold her tongue. Collins was not a sensible man. and. with very monotonous solemnity. but Mr. and though I sometimes am use myself with suggesting and arranging such little elegant compliments as may be adapted to ordinary occasions. seated himself at another table with Mr. she interrupted him with: "Do you know. Bennet accepted the challenge. but Mr. and he listened to him with the keenest enjoyment. but it was no w a good deal counteracted by the self-conceit of a weak head. but. Mrs. and a fter some deliberation he chose Fordyce's Sermons. But I will no longer importune my young cousin. Denny comes back from town. Bennet was glad to take his guest into the drawing-room again. Collins readily assented. laid aside his book. and to ask when Mr. the greatest part of his life having bee n spent under the guidance of an illiterate and miserly father.

Bennet was stirring the fire. therefore. and have his library to hi mself. and he thought it an excellent on e. a conversation beginning with his parsonage-house. and trusted that she might soon have two dau ghters married. he was used to be free from them there. all wondered who he could be. Mr. Collins to join his daughters in their walk. Elizabeth. This was his plan of amends--of at onement--for inheriting their father's estate. and civil assents on that of his cousins. Bennet. The officer was the very Mr. Collins was to attend them." Mr. turning back. who had returned with him the day before from town. The next morning. and excessively generous and disinteres ted on his own part. and he bowed as they passed. All we re struck with the stranger's air. thei r time passed till they entered Meryton. Mrs. Bennet treasured up the hint. she could not take upon her to say--she could not positively answer--but she did not KNOW of any prepossession. whom they had n ever seen before. The attention of the younger ones was t hen no longer to be gained by him. and in seeking a reconciliation with the Longbourn family he had a wife in view. But the attention of every lady was soon caught by a young man. Lydia's intention of walking to Meryton was not forgotten. and fortunately had just gaine d the pavement when the two gentlemen. and Mr. if he found them as handsome and amiab le as they were represented by common report. Collins. His plan did not vary on seeing them. equally next to Jane in b irth and beauty. and nothing less than a very smart bonnet in deed. Bennet. Wickham. Collins had only to change from Jane to Elizabeth--and it was soon done--do ne while Mrs. of his house and gard en at Hunsford. for in a quarter of an hour's tete-a-tete with Mrs. Denny concerning who se return from London Lydia came to inquire. nominally engaged with one of the largest folios in the collection . of most gentlemanlike appearance. but really talking to Mr. who was most anxious to get rid of him. as he meant to choose one of the daughters. Having now a good house and a very sufficient income. or a really new muslin in a shop window. led the way across the street. her ELDEST daughter. as he t old Elizabeth. had reached the same spot. determined if possible to find out.mixture of pride and obsequiousness. Such doings discomposed Mr. to meet with folly and conceit in every other room of the house. at the request o f Mr. that a mistress might be found for it at Lo ngbourn. was likely to be very soon engaged. a caution against the very Jane he had fixed on. full of eligibility and suitableness. however. and he was . and though prepared. Miss Bennet's lovely face confirmed his v iews. In his library h e had been always sure of leisure and tranquillity. was extremely please d to close his large book. Their eyes were immediately wandering up in t he street in quest of the officers. Mr. he intended to marry. produced from her. Bennet be fore breakfast. self-importance and humility. every sister except Mary agreed to go with her. was most prompt in inviting Mr. Denny addressed them directly. Bennet exceedingly. and entreated permission to introduce his fri end. "As to her YOUNGER daughter s. an d for the first evening SHE was his settled choice. Collins had followed him after breakfast. and leading n aturally to the avowal of his hopes. and the man whom she could not bear to speak of the day before w as now high in her good graces. she must just mention--s he felt it incumbent on her to hint. and Mr. and go. and established all his strictest notions of what was due to seniority. and Kitty and L ydia. In pompous nothings on his side. could recall them. m ade an alteration. under p retense of wanting something in an opposite shop. b eing in fact much better fitted for a walker than a reader. succeeded her of course. and there he wo uld continue. amid very complaisant smiles and general encourageme nt. walking with another officer on the other side of the way. for thither Mr. his civility. with little cessation.

Wickham appeared. after a few moments. Phillips was quite awed by such an excess of good breeding. and giv e him an invitation also. and their aunt promised to make her husband call on Mr. and was beginning t o determine not to fix his eyes on Elizabeth. but without seeming to have noticed what passed . and a little bit of hot supper afterwar ds. As they walked home. Bingley. she could no more explain such behaviour than her si ster. The introductio n was followed up on his side by a happy readiness of conversation--a readiness at the same time perfectly correct and unassuming. Phillips's throwing up th e parlour window and loudly seconding the invitation. a fine countenance. and the whole party were stil l standing and talking together very agreeably. if the family from Longbourn would come in the evening . when her c ivility was claimed towards Mr. on his way to Longbourn on purpose to inquire after her. and she was eagerly expressing her s urprise at their sudden return home. were particularly welcome. On distingui shing the ladies of the group. when the sound of horses drew th eir notice. She recei ved him with her very best politeness. but unluckily no one passed windows now exce pt a few of the officers. from their recent absence. Denny ha d brought him from London. he had all the best part of beaut y. might be justified by his relationsh ip to the young ladies who introduced him to her notice. Elizabeth related to Jane what she had seen pass between t he two gentlemen. Wickham. and Miss Benne t the principal object. and Elizabeth happening to see the countenance of b oth as they looked at each other. and Mrs. Both changed colour. and began the usual civilities. She had been watching him the last hour. she said. without any previous acquaintance with her. Kitty and Lydia would certa inly have continued the occupation. His appearance was greatly in his favour. as he walked u p and down the street. was all astonishment at the effect of the meet ing. that Mr. but though Jane would have defended either or both. and was as sured with unwearying civility that they were perfectly needless. which he could not help flattering himself. Wickham walked with the young ladies to the door of Mr. took leave and rode on with his friend. Mr." Some of them were to dine with the Phillipses the ne xt day. if she had not happened to see Mr. in spite of Miss Lydia's pressing entreati es that they should come in. h owever. Collins by Jane's introduction of him. Collins repeated his apologies in quitting the room. and very pleasing address. He was then. This was agreed to. and had Mr. Darcy corroborated it with a bow. apol ogising for his intrusion. and even in spite of Mrs. Mr. Phillips was always glad to see her nieces. however. The prospect of such delights was very cheering. . she could only tell her nieces what they already knew. Mrs. Mrs. a good figure. who. and the two eldest. and they parted in mutual g ood spirits. In another minute. Bingley was the principal spokesman. she should have known nothing about. were become "stu pid. and Darcy and Bingley were seen riding down the street. Jones's shop-boy in the street. Phill ip's house. of whom. disagreeable fellows. Darcy just deigned to retur n. but her contemplation of one stranger was soon put to an end by exclamations and inquiries about the other. had they a ppeared to be in the wrong. in comparison with the stranger. as their own carriage had not fetche d them. and then made their bows. Wickham. What could be the meaning of it? It was impossible to imagine. which. Mr. when they were suddenly arrested b y the sight of the stranger. for the young man wanted only regimentals to make him completely charm ing. touched his hat--a salutation which Mr. one looked white. Phillips protested that they would have a nice co mfortable noisy game of lottery tickets. and that he was to have a lieutenant's commission in the ----shire. who had told her that they were not to send any more draughts to Netherfield because the Miss Bennets were come away. he said. which he returned with as much more. Denny and Mr. This was exactly as it s hould be. the other red. Mr. it was impossi ble not to long to know. the two gentlemen came directly towards them. Mr.happy to say had accepted a commission in their corps.

but yet he had never met wit h so much attention in the whole course of his life. but Mr. and they had all taken their seats. with o ccasional digressions in praise of his own humble abode. and who was resolving to retail it all among h er neighbours as soon as she could. might be attributed to his connection with them. but even pointedly included him in her invitation for the next evening. most threa dbare topic might be rendered interesting by the skill of the speaker. Collins's scruples of leaving Mr. Collin s was at leisure to look around him and admire. he suppose d. and when Mr. and examine the ir own indifferent imitations of china on the mantelpiece. the interval of waiti ng appeared very long. who could not listen to their cousin. Phillips. Elizabeth felt that she had neither been seeing him before. Phillips a very attentive listener. Chapter 16 As no objection was made to the young people's engagement with their aunt. however. Wickham walked into the room. "but I shall be glad to improv . made her feel that the commonest. and the girls had the pleasure of hearin g. and who had nothing to do but to wish for an instrument. and he was so much struck with t he size and furniture of the apartment. Collins seemed to sink into insignificance. and Elizabeth was the happy woman by whom he finally seated himself. as they entered the drawing-room. He protested that. When t he card-tables were placed. It was over at last. The officers of the ----shire were in general a very cre ditable. although utterly unknown to her before. she felt all the force of the compliment. and the improvements it was receiving. Phillips understood from him what Rosings was. most abundantly supplied with coffee and muffin. Phillip s's manners and politeness. dullest. countenance. air. and would hardly have resented a comparison with the housekeeper 's room. except Lady Catherine and her dau ghter. The gentlemen did approach. with the smallest degree of u nreasonable admiration. but he had still at intervals a kind listener in Mrs. and the best of them were of the present party. With such rivals for the notice of the fair as Mr. gentlemanlike set." said he. a comparison th at did not at first convey much gratification. and the agr eeable manner in which he immediately fell into conversation. In describing to her all the grandeur of Lady Catherine and her mansion. and he found in Mrs. "I know little of the game at present. Mr . and Mrs. When this information was given. and who was its proprietor--when she had listened to the description of only one of Lady Catherine's drawing-rooms. Collins on his return highly gratified Mrs. by s itting down to whist. Wickham was as far beyond them all in person. he was happily employed until the gentlemen joined them. Mr. and was then in the house. but when Mrs. Bennet for a single evening d uring his visit were most steadily resisted. Wickham had accepted their uncle's invitation. he had the opportunity of obliging her in turn. Bennet by admiring Mrs. Something. to the young ladies he certainly w as nothing. that Mr. he had never seen a more elegant woman. and walk. and found that t he chimney-piece alone had cost eight hundred pounds. the coach conveyed him and his five cousins at a suitable hour to Meryton. whose opinion of his consequen ce increased with what she heard. Mr. and was by her watchfulness. breathing port wi ne. as THEY were superior to the broad-faced. Wickham and the officers. who followed them into the room. though it was only on its being a wet night. To the girls. stuffy uncle Phillips. nor thinking of him since. Wickham was the happy man towards whom almost every female eye was turned.Mr. for she had not only received him with the utmost civility. that he declared he might almost have su pposed himself in the small summer breakfast parlour at Rosings. and all Mr.

but could not wait for his reason. even on MY slight acquaintance." "I cannot pretend to be sorry." said Elizabeth. Everybody is disgusted with his pride. I have known him too long and too well to be a fair judge. she soon grew too much interested in the game. the very cold manner of our meeting yesterday. and then. Wickham was therefore at leisure to talk to Elizabeth. Miss Bennet." "Upon my word. "You may well be surprised. Mr. and with ready delight was he received at th e other table between Elizabeth and Lydia. though what she chiefly wished to hear she could not hope to be told--the history of his acquaintance with Mr. and she was very willing to hear him. or frightened by his high and imposing manners. was unexpectedly relieved. Here you are in your own family." . I hope your plans in favour of the ----shire will not be affected by hi s being in the neighbourhood. but being like wise extremely fond of lottery tickets. He inquired how far Netherfield was from Meryton. You could not have met with a person more capable of giving you c ertain information on that head than myself." "I should take him. Darcy had been sta ying there. after re ceiving her answer. The world is blinded by his fortune and conse quence. and I think him very disagreeable. Allowing for the common demands of the game. but with HIM I believe it does not often happen. A clear ten thous and per annum. to be an ill-tempered man. "I wonder. It is impossible for ME to be impartial." "Yes. Wickham began the subject himself. Are you much acquainted with Mr. a dded. too eager in making bets and exclaiming after prizes to have attention fo r anyone in particular." replied Mr. at such an assertion. He is not at all liked in Hertfordshire. At first there seemed danger of Lydia 's engrossing him entirely. "About a month. as you probably might. unwilling to let the subject drop." said he. and sees him only as he chooses to be seen." "I do not at all know. but I HEARD nothing of his going away when I was at Neth erfield. But I believe your opinion of him would in general astonish--and perhaps you would not express it quite so strongly anywhere else. at the next opportunity of speaking. "his estate there is a noble one." "I have no right to give MY opinion. asked in a hesitating manner how long Mr. however." Elizabeth could not but look surprised. Darcy?" "As much as I ever wish to be. "that he or that any man should not be estimated beyond their deserts. "as to his being agreeable or otherwise. I say no more HERE than I might say in any house in the neighbou rhood. for she was a most determined talker." said Wickham. Wickham. Darcy. "whether he is likely to be in this country much longer. Wickham did not play at whist. I am not qualified to form one. for in my situation in life--" Mrs.e myself. Phillips was very glad for his com pliance. and." Wickham only shook his head. "I have spent four days in the same house with him. She dared not even mention that gent leman. Mr. after a short interruption. after seeing. except Netherfield. "He is a man of very large property in Derbyshire. You will not find him more favourably spoken of by an yone. I understand. for I have been connected with his family in a particular manner from my infancy." said Wickham. Her curiosity. Mr." cried Elizabeth very warmly.

If HE wishes to avoid seeing ME." "Good heavens!" cried Elizabeth. but I have no reason for avoiding HIM but what I might proclaim b efore all the world. Till I can forget hi s father. too freely. D arcy chose to doubt it--or to treat it as a merely conditional recommendation. the neighbourhood. I own. and thought him handsomer than ever a s he expressed them." Elizabeth found the interest of the subject increase. "can have been his motive? What can have i . that we are very different sort of men." "This is quite shocking! He deserves to be publicly disgraced. The church OUGHT to have been my profession--I was brought up for the church. Darcy. exactly as I was of an age to hold it. Darcy. a sense of very great ill-usage. I can recall nothing worse. that the living became vacant two ye ars ago."Oh! no--it is not for ME to be driven away by Mr. and I may ha ve spoken my opinion OF him. He was my godfather. Mr. but when the living fell. had it pleased the gentleman we were speaking of just now. but Mr. after a pause. But the fact is. but the delicacy of it prevented further inquiry. that I cannot accuse myself of having really do ne anything to deserve to lose it. and my friend Denny tempted me further by his account of the ir present quarters. I have a warm. and speakin g of the latter with gentle but very intelligible gallantry." he added. I MUST have employment and society. and that he hates me. A man of honour could not have doubted the intention. and good society. Miss Bennet. appearing highly pleased with all that he had yet seen. I have been a disa ppointed man. and that it was given to another man. His behaviour to myself has been scandalous. imprudence--i n short anything or nothing. Wickham began to speak on more general topics. rather than his disapp ointing the hopes and disgracing the memory of his father." Elizabeth honoured him for such feelings. and my spirits will not bear solitude. and excessively attached to me. and most painful regrets a t his being what he is. is necessary to me. I knew it to be a most respectabl e. "It was the prospect of constant society. and no less certain is it. Darcy bequeathed me the next presentation of the best living in his gift. but circumstances have now made it eligible. and the truest friend I ever had." "Some time or other he WILL be--but it shall not be by ME. "which w as my chief inducement to enter the ----shire. A military life is not what I was intended for. Darcy without being grieved to the soul by a thou sand tender recollections. and it always gives me pai n to meet him. He meant to provide for me amply. and TO him. and I can nev er be in company with this Mr. "But what. Meryton. it was given elsewhere." "Indeed!" "Yes--the late Mr. was one of the best men that ever breathed. and listened with all her heart. "but how could THAT be? How could his will be disregarded? Why did you not seek legal redress?" "There was just such an informality in the terms of the bequest as to give me n o hope from law. and I should at this time have been in possession of a most valuable living. and thought he had don e it. but I ve rily believe I could forgive him anything and everything. a nd to assert that I had forfeited all claim to it by extravagance. he must go. the late Mr. Certain it is. We are not on friendly terms. and the very great attentions and excellent acquaintances M eryton had procured them. I cannot do j ustice to his kindness." said she. His father. unguarded temper. Society. agreeable corps. I can never defy or expose HIM. the society.

Darcy and devoted all his time to the car e of the Pemberley property. His disposition must be dreadful. and in his behaviour to me there were stronger impulses even than pride. "A young man. and after a time exclaimed. Had the late Mr. It has connected him nearer w ith virtue than with any other feeling. "To treat in s uch a manner the godson. Darcy. like YOU. to assist his tenants. He has a lso BROTHERLY pride. to give his money freely . determined dislike of me--a dislike which I cannot but attribute i n some measure to jealousy." "How strange!" cried Elizabeth. is a powerful motive. "How abominable! I wonder that the very pride o f this Mr. as I think you said." "I had not thought Mr. and FILIAL pride--for he is very proud of what his father was--have done th is. such injustice. confidential friend. of his h aving an unforgiving temper. very early in life. in t he closest manner!" "We were born in the same parish. I am convinced that he felt it to be as much a debt of gratitude to HI M. or lose the influence of the Pemberley House. appears to do so much credit to--but he gave up e verything to be of use to the late Mr. objects of the same parental care. sharing the same amuseme nts. Mr. "and one. too.nduced him to behave so cruelly?" "A thorough. Darcy has not made him just to you! If from no better motive. that he should not have been too proud to be dishonest--for dishonesty I must call it. I believe. makes him a very kind and careful guardian of his sister. Not to appear to disgrace his family. It has often led him to be liberal and generous. as of his affection to myself. MY father began life in the profession w hich your uncle. of the implacability of his resentments. connected together. Darcy liked me less. and when. immediat ely before my father's death. Mr. Mr. who had probably been his companion from childhood. at Netherfield. with SOME brotherly affection." "What sort of girl is Miss Darcy?" . the favourite of his father!" She could hav e added. within the same park. his son might have borne with me better. "for almost all his actions may be traced t o pride." "I will not trust myself on the subject. "I can hardly be jus t to him. Darcy so bad as this--though I have never liked him. however. But we are none of us consistent." Elizabeth was again deep in thought. but his father's uncommon attachment to me irritated him." After a few minutes' reflection. Family pr ide." "It IS wonderful. too. I had supposed him to be despising his fellow -creatures in general." replied Wickham. and you will hear him generally cried up as the most attentive and best of brothers. to degenerate from the popular qualiti es. Darcy gave him a voluntary promise of providin g for me. I h ad not thought so very ill of him. but did not suspect him of descending to such malicious r evenge. such inhumanity as this. which. the greatest part of ou r youth was passed together. He had not a temper to bear the sort of comp etition in which we stood--the sort of preference which was often given me." replied Wickham. and pride had often been his best friend." "Can such abominable pride as his have ever done him good?" "Yes. "I DO remember his boa sting one day. and relieve the poor. the friend. inmates of the same house. Phillips. Darcy often acknowledged himself to be under th e greatest obligations to my father's active superintendence. He was most highly esteemed by Mr. a most in timate. to display hospitality. whose very countenance may vouch for your being amiable"--but she contented herself with. she continued.

about fifteen or sixteen. She is a han dsome girl. and begged that she would not make herself uneasy. Si nce her father's death. There are undoubtedly many who could not say the same. It gives me pain to speak ill of a Darcy. but he certainl y has not known her long. honourable." she replied. and. but thanks to Lady Catherine de Bourgh. "I know very well. he asked Elizabeth in a low voice whether her relation was very intimate ly acquainted with the family of de Bourgh. madam. He can be a conversible companion if he thinks it worth his while. "that when persons sit down to a card-table . I hardly know how Mr. Bingley?" "Not at all." After many pauses and many trials of other subjects. be in friendship with such a man? How can they suit each other? Do you know Mr. just." The whist party soon afterwards breaking up. As a chi ld. I am removed far beyond the necessity of regarding little matters. indeed." "He is a sweet-tempered. "Lady Catherine de Bourgh. highly accomplished. rational. He does not want abil ities. But she is nothing to me now. Vai . It had n ot been very great." "No. the players gathered round the oth er table and Mr. truly amiable. as she thought of poor Miss Bingley. sincere. a nd superintends her education. The usual inquiries as to his success was made by the latter. and I have devo ted hours and hours to her amusement. and perhaps agreeab le--allowing something for fortune and figure. Wickham's attention was caught. and saying: "I am astonished at his intimacy with Mr. I really believe. she was affectionate and pleasing. but when Mrs. and happily I am not in such cir cumstances as to make five shillings any object. her home has been London." "You know of course that Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Lady Anne Darcy were sist ers. Collins was first introduced to her notice. Collins for a few m oments." "Her daughter. and is. I knew nothing at all of Lady Catherine's connections. Miss de Bourgh. but Mr. amiable. very proud. that he considered the money as a mere trifle. Phillips began to exp ress her concern thereupon." "Probably not. Darcy can please where he chooses. but with the ric h he is liberal-minded." said he. "I wish I could call her amiable. consequently that she is aunt to the present Mr.He shook his head. But she is too much like her brother--very. I never heard of her existence till the day before yesterday. where a lady lives with her. they must take their chances of these things. I understand. will have a very large fortune. Bingley. and it is believ ed that she and her cousin will unite the two estates. Collins took his station between his cousin Elizabeth and Mrs. Darcy i s. he is a very different man from what he is to the less prosperous. I did not. charming man. he had lost every point. Phillips." This information made Elizabeth smile. Bingley! How can Mr. he assured her with much earnest gravity that it was not of the least importance. and after observing Mr. His pride never deserts him. who see ms good humour itself. and extremely fond of me. Elizabeth could not help r everting once more to the first. "has very lately given him a living. Darcy." Mr. He cannot know what Mr. Among those who are at all his equals in consequence.

and the rest fro m the pride for her nephew. in some way or other. Chapter 17 Elizabeth related to Jane the next day what had passed between Mr. conceited woman. to defend the conduct of each. could be capable of it. Can his most intimate f riends be so excessively deceived in him? Oh! no. but there was not time for her even to mention his name as they went." said she. Jane listened with astonishment and concern. who chooses that everyone connected with him should have an understanding of the first class. Wickham. Phillips. what have you got to say on behalf o f the interested people who have probably been concerned in the business? Do cle ar THEM too. enumerating all the dishes at supp er. had more to say than he could well manage before the carriage stopped at Longbourn House." Elizabeth allowed that he had given a very rational account of it. of the fish she had lost and the fish she had won. "I have not seen her for many years. or we shall be obliged to think ill of somebody. Darcy could be so unworthy of Mr. and Mrs." "I believe her to be both in a great degree. was enoug h to interest all her tender feelings. was said well. No man of common humanity. It is impossible. and throw into the account of accident or mistake whatever could not be otherwise explained. Wickham's attentions. but I rather believe she derives part of her abilities from her rank and fortune. My d earest Lizzy. "They have both. all the way home. t o be treating his father's favourite in such a manner. Wickham and herself. Collins. part from her authoritative manner. "been deceived. than that Mr. Phillips's supper party. . and yet. I dare say. W ickham should invent such a history of himself as he gave me last night. in short. and that in spite of her being his patroness. It is.n indeed must be all her attentions. Lydia talked incessantly of lottery tickets. She has the reputation of being remark ably sensible and clever." "Very true. and repeatedly fearing that he crowded his cousins. but to think well of them both. Collins were once silent. she knew not how to believ e that Mr. and nothing remained therefore to be done . no man who had any value for his character. my dear Jane. done gracefully." replied Wickham. She could think of nothing but of Mr." "Laugh as much as you choose. names. The possibility of his having endured such unkindness. she is an a rrogant. and now. it was n ot in her nature to question the veracity of a young man of such amiable appeara nce as Wickham. and that h er manners were dictatorial and insolent. with mutual satisfaction till supper put an end to card s." said she. Interested people have perhaps misrepresented each to the other. one whom his father had p romised to provide for. Whatever he said. but I very well remember that I never liked her. but his manners recommended him to everybody. and gave the rest of the ladies their share of Mr. "Mr." "I can much more easily believe Mr. o f which we can form no idea. Elizabeth went away with her head full of him. and they con tinued talking together. if he were already self-destined for another. do but consider in what a disgraceful light it places Mr. Bingley's being imposed on. without actual blame on either side. vain and useless her affection for his sist er and her praise of himself. and what ever he did. Bingley's regard. for neither Lydia nor Mr. Col lins in describing the civility of Mr. indeed. impossible for us to conjecture the causes or cir cumstances which may have alienated them. protesting that he did not in the least regard his losses at whist. and Mr. I suspect his g ratitude misleads him. but from some particulars that he has related of her ladyship. Darcy. Ther e could be no conversation in the noise of Mrs. but you will not laugh me out of my opinion. and of what he had told her. "speaks highly both of Lady Catherine and her daughter .

facts, everything mentioned without ceremony. If it be not so, let Mr. Darcy con tradict it. Besides, there was truth in his looks." "It is difficult indeed--it is distressing. One does not know what to think." "I beg your pardon; one knows exactly what to think." But Jane could think with certainty on only one point--that Mr. Bingley, if he HAD been imposed on, would have much to suffer when the affair became public. The two young ladies were summoned from the shrubbery, where this conversation passed, by the arrival of the very persons of whom they had been speaking; Mr. B ingley and his sisters came to give their personal invitation for the long-expec ted ball at Netherfield, which was fixed for the following Tuesday. The two ladi es were delighted to see their dear friend again, called it an age since they ha d met, and repeatedly asked what she had been doing with herself since their sep aration. To the rest of the family they paid little attention; avoiding Mrs. Ben net as much as possible, saying not much to Elizabeth, and nothing at all to the others. They were soon gone again, rising from their seats with an activity whi ch took their brother by surprise, and hurrying off as if eager to escape from M rs. Bennet's civilities. The prospect of the Netherfield ball was extremely agreeable to every female of the family. Mrs. Bennet chose to consider it as given in compliment to her elde st daughter, and was particularly flattered by receiving the invitation from Mr. Bingley himself, instead of a ceremonious card. Jane pictured to herself a happ y evening in the society of her two friends, and the attentions of her brother; and Elizabeth thought with pleasure of dancing a great deal with Mr. Wickham, an d of seeing a confirmation of everything in Mr. Darcy's look and behavior. The h appiness anticipated by Catherine and Lydia depended less on any single event, o r any particular person, for though they each, like Elizabeth, meant to dance ha lf the evening with Mr. Wickham, he was by no means the only partner who could s atisfy them, and a ball was, at any rate, a ball. And even Mary could assure her family that she had no disinclination for it. "While I can have my mornings to myself," said she, "it is enough--I think it i s no sacrifice to join occasionally in evening engagements. Society has claims o n us all; and I profess myself one of those who consider intervals of recreation and amusement as desirable for everybody." Elizabeth's spirits were so high on this occasion, that though she did not ofte n speak unnecessarily to Mr. Collins, she could not help asking him whether he i ntended to accept Mr. Bingley's invitation, and if he did, whether he would thin k it proper to join in the evening's amusement; and she was rather surprised to find that he entertained no scruple whatever on that head, and was very far from dreading a rebuke either from the Archbishop, or Lady Catherine de Bourgh, by v enturing to dance. "I am by no means of the opinion, I assure you," said he, "that a ball of this kind, given by a young man of character, to respectable people, can have any evi l tendency; and I am so far from objecting to dancing myself, that I shall hope to be honoured with the hands of all my fair cousins in the course of the evenin g; and I take this opportunity of soliciting yours, Miss Elizabeth, for the two first dances especially, a preference which I trust my cousin Jane will attribut e to the right cause, and not to any disrespect for her." Elizabeth felt herself completely taken in. She had fully proposed being engage d by Mr. Wickham for those very dances; and to have Mr. Collins instead! her liv eliness had never been worse timed. There was no help for it, however. Mr. Wickh am's happiness and her own were perforce delayed a little longer, and Mr. Collin

s's proposal accepted with as good a grace as she could. She was not the better pleased with his gallantry from the idea it suggested of something more. It now first struck her, that SHE was selected from among her sisters as worthy of bein g mistress of Hunsford Parsonage, and of assisting to form a quadrille table at Rosings, in the absence of more eligible visitors. The idea soon reached to conv iction, as she observed his increasing civilities toward herself, and heard his frequent attempt at a compliment on her wit and vivacity; and though more astoni shed than gratified herself by this effect of her charms, it was not long before her mother gave her to understand that the probability of their marriage was ex tremely agreeable to HER. Elizabeth, however, did not choose to take the hint, b eing well aware that a serious dispute must be the consequence of any reply. Mr. Collins might never make the offer, and till he did, it was useless to quarrel about him. If there had not been a Netherfield ball to prepare for and talk of, the younge r Miss Bennets would have been in a very pitiable state at this time, for from t he day of the invitation, to the day of the ball, there was such a succession of rain as prevented their walking to Meryton once. No aunt, no officers, no news could be sought after--the very shoe-roses for Netherfield were got by proxy. Ev en Elizabeth might have found some trial of her patience in weather which totall y suspended the improvement of her acquaintance with Mr. Wickham; and nothing le ss than a dance on Tuesday, could have made such a Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday endurable to Kitty and Lydia. Chapter 18 Till Elizabeth entered the drawing-room at Netherfield, and looked in vain for Mr. Wickham among the cluster of red coats there assembled, a doubt of his being present had never occurred to her. The certainty of meeting him had not been ch ecked by any of those recollections that might not unreasonably have alarmed her . She had dressed with more than usual care, and prepared in the highest spirits for the conquest of all that remained unsubdued of his heart, trusting that it was not more than might be won in the course of the evening. But in an instant a rose the dreadful suspicion of his being purposely omitted for Mr. Darcy's pleas ure in the Bingleys' invitation to the officers; and though this was not exactly the case, the absolute fact of his absence was pronounced by his friend Denny, to whom Lydia eagerly applied, and who told them that Wickham had been obliged t o go to town on business the day before, and was not yet returned; adding, with a significant smile, "I do not imagine his business would have called him away j ust now, if he had not wanted to avoid a certain gentleman here." This part of his intelligence, though unheard by Lydia, was caught by Elizabeth , and, as it assured her that Darcy was not less answerable for Wickham's absenc e than if her first surmise had been just, every feeling of displeasure against the former was so sharpened by immediate disappointment, that she could hardly r eply with tolerable civility to the polite inquiries which he directly afterward s approached to make. Attendance, forbearance, patience with Darcy, was injury t o Wickham. She was resolved against any sort of conversation with him, and turne d away with a degree of ill-humour which she could not wholly surmount even in s peaking to Mr. Bingley, whose blind partiality provoked her. But Elizabeth was not formed for ill-humour; and though every prospect of her o wn was destroyed for the evening, it could not dwell long on her spirits; and ha ving told all her griefs to Charlotte Lucas, whom she had not seen for a week, s he was soon able to make a voluntary transition to the oddities of her cousin, a nd to point him out to her particular notice. The first two dances, however, bro ught a return of distress; they were dances of mortification. Mr. Collins, awkwa rd and solemn, apologising instead of attending, and often moving wrong without being aware of it, gave her all the shame and misery which a disagreeable partne r for a couple of dances can give. The moment of her release from him was ecstas

y. She danced next with an officer, and had the refreshment of talking of Wickham, and of hearing that he was universally liked. When those dances were over, she returned to Charlotte Lucas, and was in conversation with her, when she found he rself suddenly addressed by Mr. Darcy who took her so much by surprise in his ap plication for her hand, that, without knowing what she did, she accepted him. He walked away again immediately, and she was left to fret over her own want of pr esence of mind; Charlotte tried to console her: "I dare say you will find him very agreeable." "Heaven forbid! THAT would be the greatest misfortune of all! To find a man agr eeable whom one is determined to hate! Do not wish me such an evil." When the dancing recommenced, however, and Darcy approached to claim her hand, Charlotte could not help cautioning her in a whisper, not to be a simpleton, and allow her fancy for Wickham to make her appear unpleasant in the eyes of a man ten times his consequence. Elizabeth made no answer, and took her place in the s et, amazed at the dignity to which she was arrived in being allowed to stand opp osite to Mr. Darcy, and reading in her neighbours' looks, their equal amazement in beholding it. They stood for some time without speaking a word; and she began to imagine that their silence was to last through the two dances, and at first was resolved not to break it; till suddenly fancying that it would be the greate r punishment to her partner to oblige him to talk, she made some slight observat ion on the dance. He replied, and was again silent. After a pause of some minute s, she addressed him a second time with:--"It is YOUR turn to say something now, Mr. Darcy. I talked about the dance, and YOU ought to make some sort of remark on the size of the room, or the number of couples." He smiled, and assured her that whatever she wished him to say should be said. "Very well. That reply will do for the present. Perhaps by and by I may observe that private balls are much pleasanter than public ones. But NOW we may be sile nt." "Do you talk by rule, then, while you are dancing?" "Sometimes. One must speak a little, you know. It would look odd to be entirely silent for half an hour together; and yet for the advantage of SOME, conversati on ought to be so arranged, as that they may have the trouble of saying as littl e as possible." "Are you consulting your own feelings in the present case, or do you imagine th at you are gratifying mine?" "Both," replied Elizabeth archly; "for I have always seen a great similarity in the turn of our minds. We are each of an unsocial, taciturn disposition, unwill ing to speak, unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room, and be handed down to posterity with all the eclat of a proverb." "This is no very striking resemblance of your own character, I am sure," said h e. "How near it may be to MINE, I cannot pretend to say. YOU think it a faithful portrait undoubtedly." "I must not decide on my own performance." He made no answer, and they were again silent till they had gone down the dance , when he asked her if she and her sisters did not very often walk to Meryton. S he answered in the affirmative, and, unable to resist the temptation, added, "Wh

en you met us there the other day, we had just been forming a new acquaintance." The effect was immediate. A deeper shade of hauteur overspread his features, bu t he said not a word, and Elizabeth, though blaming herself for her own weakness , could not go on. At length Darcy spoke, and in a constrained manner said, "Mr. Wickham is blessed with such happy manners as may ensure his MAKING friends--wh ether he may be equally capable of RETAINING them, is less certain." "He has been so unlucky as to lose YOUR friendship," replied Elizabeth with emp hasis, "and in a manner which he is likely to suffer from all his life." Darcy made no answer, and seemed desirous of changing the subject. At that mome nt, Sir William Lucas appeared close to them, meaning to pass through the set to the other side of the room; but on perceiving Mr. Darcy, he stopped with a bow of superior courtesy to compliment him on his dancing and his partner. "I have been most highly gratified indeed, my dear sir. Such very superior danc ing is not often seen. It is evident that you belong to the first circles. Allow me to say, however, that your fair partner does not disgrace you, and that I mu st hope to have this pleasure often repeated, especially when a certain desirabl e event, my dear Eliza (glancing at her sister and Bingley) shall take place. Wh at congratulations will then flow in! I appeal to Mr. Darcy:--but let me not int errupt you, sir. You will not thank me for detaining you from the bewitching con verse of that young lady, whose bright eyes are also upbraiding me." The latter part of this address was scarcely heard by Darcy; but Sir William's allusion to his friend seemed to strike him forcibly, and his eyes were directed with a very serious expression towards Bingley and Jane, who were dancing toget her. Recovering himself, however, shortly, he turned to his partner, and said, " Sir William's interruption has made me forget what we were talking of." "I do not think we were speaking at all. Sir William could not have interrupted two people in the room who had less to say for themselves. We have tried two or three subjects already without success, and what we are to talk of next I canno t imagine." "What think you of books?" said he, smiling. "Books--oh! no. I am sure we never read the same, or not with the same feelings ." "I am sorry you think so; but if that be the case, there can at least be no wan t of subject. We may compare our different opinions." "No--I cannot talk of books in a ball-room; my head is always full of something else." "The PRESENT always occupies you in such scenes--does it?" said he, with a look of doubt. "Yes, always," she replied, without knowing what she said, for her thoughts had wandered far from the subject, as soon afterwards appeared by her suddenly excl aiming, "I remember hearing you once say, Mr. Darcy, that you hardly ever forgav e, that you resentment once created was unappeasable. You are very cautious, I s uppose, as to its BEING CREATED." "I am," said he, with a firm voice. "And never allow yourself to be blinded by prejudice?"

Miss Eliza." he coldly replied." "Insolent girl!" said Elizabeth to herself. though George Wickham has treat ed Mr. . "I am trying to make it out. he has always been remarkably kind to him. "Excuse m y interference--it was kindly meant. among his other communication." "It is particularly incumbent on those who never change their opinion. Miss Eliza. and on each side dissatisfied." said Elizabe th angrily. and that though my brother thought that he could not well avoid including him in his invitation to the officers." "I would by no means suspend any pleasure of yours. Darcy. for this discovery of your favourite's guilt. and directed all his anger against another. as a friend. Darcy's using him ill." "May I ask to what these questions tend?" "Merely to the illustration of YOUR character. the late Mr." She then sought her eldest si ster. who has undertaken to make inquiries on the same subject of Bingley. but really. Darcy's steward. and they went down the other dance and parted in silence. I do not know the particulars." "And what is your success?" She shook her head. She sai d no more. he was excessive ly glad to find that he had taken himself out of the way. one could not expect much better. for in Darcy's breast there w as a tolerable powerful feeling towards her. "for I have heard you accuse him of nothing worse than of being the son of Mr. not to give implicit confidence to all his assertio ns. Darcy in a most infamous manner. I pity you. that you were not to sketch my character at the present moment. and with an ex pression of civil disdain accosted her: "So. and asking me a thousand questions. They had not long separated. "You are much mistaken if you expec t to influence me by such a paltry attack as this. endeavouring to shake off her gravity. "that reports may vary greatly wi th respect to me. Miss Bennet. turning away with a sneer. on the cont rary. and I could wish. however. His coming into the co untry at all is a most insolent thing. t hat he was the son of old Wickham. though not to an equal degree. I may never have another opportunity. Darcy's steward. considering his descent. and I wonder how he could presume to do it. Jane met her with a smile of such sweet complacency. Darcy is not in the least to blame. which soon procured her pardon. to be se cure of judging properly at first. and I fi nd that the young man quite forgot to tell you. I can assure you. for."I hope not. for as to Mr. and of THAT. "I do not get on at all. but I kno w very well that Mr." answered he gravely. when Miss Bingley came towards her." "His guilt and his descent appear by your account to be the same." said she. that he cannot bear to hear George Wickham mentioned." "I can readily believe. as there is reason to fear that the performance would reflect no credit on either." replied Miss Bingley." "But if I do not take your likeness now. it is perfectly false. I hear such different accounts of you as puzzle me exceedingly. I see nothing in it but your own wilful ignorance and the malice of Mr. a glow of such happy expression. I hear you are quite delighted with George Wickham! Your siste r has been talking to me about him." "I beg your pardon. indeed. he informed me himsel f. Let me recommen d you.

" said Elizabeth warmly. and I am sorry to say by his account as well as his sist er's. Darcy. and at that moment solicitude for Wickham. a ne phew of Lady Catherine de Bourgh in this assembly! I am most thankful that the d iscovery is made in time for me to pay my respects to him." replied Jane. and told her with great exultation that he had just been so fort unate as to make a most important discovery. but since he is unacquainted with several parts of the story." "Mr. and has deserved to lose Mr." said he. Elizabeth instantly read her feelings. Bingley's defense o f his friend was a very able one. resentment against his enemies. I dare say. Collins c ame up to them." "You are not going to introduce yourself to Mr. Darcy's regard. Mr. though modest hopes which Jane entertained of Mr.as sufficiently marked how well she was satisfied with the occurrences of the e vening. but he believes that it was left to him CONDITIONALLY only. with a countenance no less smiling than her sister' s. Bingley does not know the whole of his history." said she. Darcy!" "Indeed I am. Darc y than he has received. and has learnt the rest from that friend himself. Wickham is by no means a respectable young man. But what does he say of the living?" "He does not exactly recollect the circumstances. in which case you may be sure of my p ardon." She then changed the discourse to one more gratifying to each. and everything else. before Mr. How wonderfully thes e sort of things occur! Who would have thought of my meeting with. Mr. My total ignorance of the connection must plead my apology. Wickham. and sa id all in her power to heighten her confidence in it." . and of her mother Lady Catherine. "but yo u must excuse my not being convinced by assurances only. Bingley's sincerity. that there is now in the room a near relation of my patroness. but I have nothing satisfactory to tell you. "I have not forgotten him. "I have found out. which I am now going to do. Elizabeth withdrew to Miss Lucas. I am afraid he has bee n very imprudent. the probity. perhaps. Darcy more than once." "This account then is what he has received from Mr. gave way before t he hope of Jane's being in the fairest way for happiness. but he wi ll vouch for the good conduct. Bingley's regard. Wickham has deserved much less attention from Mr. On their being joined by M r. Bingley does not know Mr. Wickham himself?" "No. though he has heard them from Mr. I happened to overhear the gentleman himse lf mentioning to the young lady who does the honours of the house the names of h is cousin Miss de Bourgh. I beli eve him to be Lady Catherine's NEPHEW. "I want to know. and on which the re could be no difference of sentiment. and is quite ig norant of the circumstances which have principally offended Mr." "No. he never saw him till the other morning at Meryton. to whose inquiry after the pleasantness of her last partner she had scarcely replied. "by a singular accident. Mr. "what you have learnt about Mr. Elizabeth listened with delight to the h appy. I shall venture to still think of both gentlemen as I did before. I am satisfied. and honour of his friend. I shall entreat his pardon for not having done it earlier. and is per fectly convinced that Mr. But perhaps you have been too pleasa ntly engaged to think of any third person. Bingley himself. and trust he will excuse my not having done it before. Darcy." "I have not a doubt of Mr. It will be in my power to assure him that her ladyship was quite well yesterday se'nnight.

" It vexed her to see him expose himself to such a man. I have the highest opinion in the world in your excell ent judgement in all matters within the scope of your understanding. Collins allowed him time to speak. she felt as if h earing it all. whose reception of his advances she eagerly watched. " and "Lady Catherine de Bourgh. it must bel ong to Mr. Upon the whole. I am m uch pleased with him. replied thus: "My dear Miss Elizabeth. in all the felicit y which a marriage of true affection could bestow. which leads me to perform what I look on as a point of duty. give me l eave to observe that I consider the clerical office as equal in point of dignity with the highest rank in the kingdom--provided that a proper humility of behavi our is at the same time maintained. which on every other subject shall be my constant guide. You must therefore allow me to follow the di ctates of my conscience on this occasion. Her cousin prefaced his speec h with a solemn bow and though she could not hear a word of it. "I have no reason. Mr. but permit me to say. Co llins listened to her with the determined air of following his own inclination. and the train of agreeabl e reflections which her observations gave birth to. and she determined not to v enture near her. Bennet seemed incapable of fatigue while enumerating the advantages of the match. Collins. replied with an air of distant civility. Collins th en returned to Elizabeth. and living but three miles from them. as Jane's marrying so great ly must throw them in the way of other rich men. She saw her in idea settled in that very house." And with a low bow he left her to att ack Mr. Bingley." As Elizabeth had no longer any interest of her own to pursue. moreove r. Mr. Darcy seemed much pleased with the attention. under s uch circumstances. and. however. Bingley. she considered it a most unlucky perverseness which placed them within o ne of each other. to begin the acquaintance. of endeavouring even to like Bingley's two sisters. Darcy. and saw in the motion of his lips the words "apology. Darcy was eyeing him with unrestrained wonder. It was really a very handsome thought. and those which regulate the clergy. Mr. and Mrs. It was. I assure you. and moved another way. and of nothing else but her expec tation that Jane would soon be married to Mr. and that if it were. though in the case before us I consider myself more fitted by education and habitual study to decide on what is right than a young lady like yourself. It was an animating subje ct. and whose as tonishment at being so addressed was very evident. and so rich. and she felt capable. and at th e end of it he only made him a slight bow. were the first points of self-gratulation." "Hunsford. and even paid me the compliment of saying that he was so well conv inced of Lady Catherine's discernment as to be certain she could never bestow a favour unworthily. and lastly. and when at last Mr. Pardon me for neglecting to profit by your advice. Darcy. assuring him that Mr. the refore. and deeply was she vexed to find that her mother was talking t o that one person (Lady Lucas) freely. rather than a compliment to his aunt. Darcy's conte mpt seemed abundantly increasing with the length of his second speech. He answered me with the utm ost civility." said he. Mr. "to be dissatisfied with my receptio n. that it was not in the least neces sary there should be any notice on either side. and Mr. that there must be a wide difference between the established forms of ceremony amongst the laity. His being such a charming young man. Mr. and then it wa s such a comfort to think how fond the two sisters were of Jane. the superior in consequence. and to be certa in that they must desire the connection as much as she could do. openly. lest she might hear too much. was not discouraged from speaking again. such a promising thing for her younger daughters. When they sat down to supper. made her perhaps almost as h appy as Jane. for. when she ceased speaking. Her mothe r's thoughts she plainly saw were bent the same way. Darcy would consider his addressing him without introduction as an impertinent f reedom. she turned her at tention almost entirely on her sister and Mr. it was so pleasant at her time of life to be able to consign her single daughters to the care of th .Elizabeth tried hard to dissuade him from such a scheme.

I am sure. to her in expressible vexation. imperturbably grave. child. but no one was less likely than Mrs. bu t in vain. who continued. Elizabeth was in agonies. singing was talked of.eir sister. after very little entreaty. She looked a t his two sisters. and when Mary had finished her second song. She could not help frequently glancing her eye at Mr. Collins. though every glance convinced her of what she dreaded. and she watched her progress through the several st anzas with an impatience which was very ill rewarded at their close. She concluded with many good wishes that Lady Lucas might soon be equally fortunate." said Mr. Bennet had no more to say. she could perceive that the chief of it was overheard by M r. for I conside r music as a very innocent diversion. lest Mary should be singing all night. who had bee n long yawning at the repetition of delights which she saw no likelihood of shar ing. She looked at Jane. "What is Mr. though pretending not to hear. who sat opposite to them. or persuade her to describe her felicity in a less audible whisper. preparing to oblige the company. "That will do extremel y well. was afraid her anxiety had don e no good. however. and Lady Lucas. and sorry for her father's speech. "If I. I do not mean. amongst the thanks of the table. however. Mary's powers were by no means fitted for such a display. for. sorry for her. because on su ch occasions it is the etiquette. when supper was over. and saw them making signs of derision at each other. By many significant looks and silent entreaties. she was convinced that his attention was invaria bly fixed by her. I should ha ve great pleasure. Elizabeth blushed and blushed again w ith shame and vexation. The expression of his face changed gradually from indignant co ntempt to a composed and steady gravity." Mary. Darcy. that I should be afraid of him? I am sure we ow e him no such particular civility as to be obliged to say nothing HE may not lik e to hear. Darcy? You will never recommend yourself to his friend by so doing!" Nothing that she could say. It was necessary to make this circumstance a matter of pleasure. You have delighted us long enough. madam. But not long was the interval of tranquillity. for though he was no t always looking at her mother. the hint of a hope that she might be prevailed on to favour them again. to assert that we can be justified in devoting too much of our time to music. Her mother would talk o f her views in the same intelligible tone. was left to the comforts of cold ham and chicken. At length. to se e how she bore it. Let the other young ladies hav e time to exhibit. Elizabeth now began to re vive. for. and at D arcy. Others of the party were now applied to. pray. for Mary. after the pause of half a minute began ano ther. Her mother only scolded her for being nonsen sical. however. In vain did Elizabeth endeavour to check the rapidity of her mother's words. What advantage can it be for you to off end Mr. and perfectly compatible with the professi on of a clergyman. that she might not be obliged to go into company more than she liked . speak lower. was somewhat disconcerted. but Jane was very composedly talking to Bingley. Bennet to find comfort in staying home at any period of her life. such an opportunity of exhibiting was delightful to her. for there are certainly other things to . Mrs. however. o n receiving. had any influence. Darcy to me. her voice was we ak. and Elizabeth. and she had the mortification of seeing Mary. Elizabeth's eyes were fixed on her w ith most painful sensations. though evidently a nd triumphantly believing there was no chance of it. in obliging the company with an air. Mary would not understand them. did she endeavour to prevent such a proof of complaisance. "were so fortunate as to be able to sing." "For heaven's sake. He took the hint . She looked at her father to e ntreat his interference. said aloud. and she began her song. and her manner affected. Da rcy.

which was very little relie ved by the long speeches of Mr. were more intolerable. And I do not think it of light importance that he should have attentive and con ciliatory manner towards everybody. and were evidently impatient to have the ho use to themselves.be attended to. Sh e owed her greatest relief to her friend Miss Lucas. was enjoying the scene. She was teased by Mr. or the insolent smiles of the ladies. Mrs. good kind of young man. He assured her. In the first place. and that his feelings were not of a sort to be much distressed by th e folly which he must have witnessed. should have such an opportunity of ridiculing her relations. except to complain of fatigue. and even Lydia was too much fatigued to utter more than the occasional excla mation of "Lord. I cannot acquit him of that duty. and addressed herself especially to Mr. he never cam e near enough to speak. which gave them time to see how heartily they were wishe d away by some of the family. Collins's conversation to herself. Bingley. The rest of the evening brought her little amusement. To Elizabeth it appeared that. Bennet. He must write his own sermons. Collins for having spoken so sensibly. how tired I am!" accompanied by a violent yawn. to assure him how happy he would make them by eating . When at length they arose to take leave. and happy did she think it for Bingley and her sister that some of the exhibition had escaped his notice. and good-naturedly engaged Mr. a nd by so doing threw a languor over the whole party. he concluded his speech. howeve r. and she could not determine whether the silent contempt of the gentleman. and rejoiced in it. She was at least free from the offense of Mr. especially towards those to whom he owes his preferment. Darcy. quite disengaged." And with a bow to Mr. Bennet at conversation. who was complimenting Mr. She felt it to be the probable consequence of her allusi ons to Mr. had her family made an agreement to expose thems elves as a much as a they could during the evening. Collins. and talked only to each o ther. who continued most perseveringly by her side. Mr. Bennet. and. but no one looked more amused than Mr. Wickham. a little detached from the rest. though of ten standing within a very short distance of her. Darcy said nothing at al l. Darcy's further notice. Bingley and Jane we re standing together. In vain did she entreat him to stand up with somebody else. Hurst and her sister scarcely opened their mo uths. Mr. Darcy. Col lins. that his chief object was by delicate attentions to recommend himself to her and that he should therefore make a point of remain ing close to her the whole evening. that as to dancing. and the time that remain s will not be too much for his parish duties. which h ad been spoken so loud as a to be heard by half the room. by a manoe uvre of Mrs. The Longbourn party were the last of all the company to depart. was bad enough. had to wait for their carriage a quarter of an hour after e verybody else was gone. Mrs. nor could I think well of the man who should omit an occasion of testifying his respect towards anybody connected with the family. in equal silence. while his wife seriou sly commended Mr. They repulsed every attempt of Mrs. Bennet himself. There was no arguing upon such a project. he m ust make such an agreement for tithes as a may be beneficial to himself and not offensive to his patron. which he cannot be excused from making as a comfortable as possible. it would have been impossibl e for them to play their parts with more spirit or finer success. The rector of a parish has much to do. Bennet was most pressingly civil in her hope of seeing the whole family soon at Longbourn. and though he could not prev ail on her to dance with him again. he w as perfectly indifferent to it. and observed in a halfwhisper to Lady Lucas. Bingley and h is sisters on the elegance of their entertainment. and the hospitality and polit eness which had marked their behaviour to their guests. that he was a remarkably clever. That his two sisters and Mr. Many stared--many smil ed. and the care and improvement of hi s dwelling. who often joined them. Hurst or Miss Bingl ey. Elizabeth preserved as steady a silence as either Mrs. and offer to intro duce him to any young lady in the room. put it out of her power to dance with others .

Mrs. Bennet an d Kitty walked off. Kitty. but allow me to assure you. that I have your respected mother's permission for this address. for your interest with your fair daughter Elizabeth. when I solicit for the honour of a private audience with her in the course of this mor ning?" Before Elizabeth had time for anything but a blush of surprise. On finding Mrs. and as soon as they were gone. Collins. my dear Miss Elizabeth. she should undoubtedly see her daughter settled at Netherfield in the course of three or four months. whither he wa for a short time. Come. she was hastening away. I desire you to stay where you are. with all the observances. after his return from London. and he readily engaged for taking the ear on her. and having no feelings of diffidence to make it distressing to himself even at the moment. Almos t as soon as I entered the house. do not go. which he supposed a regular part of the business. soon after breakfast. no. "Oh dear!--yes--certainly." Elizabeth would not oppose such an injunction--and a moment's consideration mak ing her also sensible that it would be wisest to get it over as soon and as quie tly as possible. allowing for the necessary preparations of settlements. Mrs. I am going away myself. Collins must excuse me. Collins. Mr. Collins began. she thought with equal certainty. I am sure Lizzy will be very happy-I am sure she can have no objection. Mr. Bennet. and quitted the house under the delightful persuasion that. moreover. for coming into Hertfordshire with the design of selecting a wife. Bennet was perfectly satisfied. as I certainly di d. You can hardly doubt the purport of my discourse. my attentions have been too marked to be mistaken. however your natural delicacy may lead you to dissemble. nonsense.a family dinner with them at on. Collins." And upon Elizabe th's seeming really. I singled you out as the companion of my futur e life. though not equal. and wedding clothes. she adde d: "Lizzy. Having resolved to do it without loss of time. Of having another daughter m arried to Mr. Elizabeth was the least dear to her of all her child ren." The idea of Mr. Collins made his declaration in form. with all his solemn composure. so far from doing you a ny disservice. the worth of each was eclipsed by Mr. He c an have nothing to say to me that anybody need not hear. Mr. and though the man and the match were quite good enough for HER. she sat down again and tried to conceal. I INSIST upon your staying and hearing Mr. pleasure. and one of the younger girls togeth er. Lizzy. "Believe me. madam. I want you upstairs. he set about it in a very or derly manner. he addressed the mother in these words: "May I hope." And. with vexed and embarrassed looks. But before I am run away with by my feelings on this subject. Bingley and Netherfield. new ca rriages. without the ceremony of a formal invitati pleasure. Bennet ans wered instantly. " "No. as his leave of absence extended only to the following Saturday. when Elizabeth called out: "Dear madam. by incessant employmen t the feelings which were divided between distress and diversion. being run away with by . and with considerable. I beg you will not go. perhaps it would be advisable for me to state my reasons for marrying--and. You would have been less a miable in my eyes had there NOT been this little unwillingness. Mrs. gat hering her work together. Elizabeth. Chapter 19 The next day opened a new scene at Longbourn. about to escape. rather adds to your other perfections. Bingley was all grateful liest opportunity of waiting s obliged to go the next day any time. that your modesty.

But the fact is. I am very sensible of the honour of your proposals.' Allow m e. therefore. but it is im possible for me to do otherwise than to decline them. Thus much f or my general intention in favour of matrimony. Find such a woman as soon as you can. and shall hope to lead you to the altar ere long." she cried. Collins." replied Mr." It was absolutely necessary to interrupt him now. and I am convinced that I am the last woman in the wo rld who could make you so. I am therefore by no means discouraged by what you have just said. You will find her manners beyond anything I can describe. This has been my motive. and I flatter myself it will not sink me in your esteem. that I am convinced that it will add very greatly to my hap piness. when the melancholy event takes place--which. and thirdly--which perhaps I ought to have mentioned earlier. sir. that the loss to them might be as little as possible. I am persuaded she would find me in every respect ill qualified for the situation. I am perfectly serious in my refusal. since I am well aware that it could not be compl ied with. my fair cous in. must be acceptable to her. and he continued: "My reasons for marrying are. when he first applies for their favour. and that one thousand pounds in the four per cents." cried Elizabeth. I think. as I am. which will not be yours till after your mother's decease. to observe. may not be for several years. by the way. 'Mr. that I think it a right thing for every cl ergyman in easy circumstances (like myself) to set the example of matrimony in h is parish. and it was but the very Saturday night before I left Hunsford--between our pools at quadrille. made Elizabeth so near laughing. useful sort of person. choose a gentlewoman for MY sake. howeve r. may live many years longer)." "I am not now to learn. Choose properly. This is my advice. Collins. Nay. let her be an active. that I do not reckon the notice and k indness of Lady Catherine de Bourgh as among the least of the advantages in my p ower to offer." "Upon my word. especially when tempered with the silence and respect which her rank will inevitably excite. I do assure you that I am not one of those young ladies (i f such young ladies there are) who are so daring as to risk their happiness on t he chance of being asked a second time. to inherit this estate after the death of your honoured father (who. I could not satisfy myself without resolving to choose a wife from among his daughters. and you may assure yourse lf that no ungenerous reproach shall ever pass my lips when we are married. On that head. "You forget that I have made no answer. you must marry. but able to make a small income go a good way." . a nd for your OWN. first. it remains to be told why my vie ws were directed towards Longbourn instead of my own neighbourhood. and you r wit and vivacity. is all that you may ever be entitled to. sir. To fortune I am perfectly indifferent. while Mrs. that it is the particular advice and recommendation of the very noble lady whom I have the honour of calling patroness. and that someti mes the refusal is repeated a second. not brought up hig h. however. "You are too hasty. or even a third time. Le t me do it without further loss of time. " that it is usual with young ladies to reject the addresses of the man whom they secretly mean to accept. as I have a lready said. where I can assure you there are many amiable young women. And now nothing rem ains but for me but to assure you in the most animated language of the violence of my affection. my fair cousin. that being. A cle rgyman like you must marry. that she could not use the short pause he allowed in any attempt to stop him further. that she said. Yo u could not make ME happy. Accept my thanks for the compliment you are paying me. Jenkinson was arrangin g Miss de Bourgh's footstool.his feelings. bring her to Hunsford. with a formal wave of the hand. were your friend Lady Catherine to know me. I shall be uniformly silent. Twice has she condescended to give me her opinion (unasked too!) on this subject. secondly. and shall make no demand of that nature on your father. and I will visit her. "your hope is a rather extraordinary one after my declaration.

sh e would have quitted the room. and other amiable qualificati "Indeed." Catherine would think so. who se negative might be uttered in such a manner as to be decisive." To such perseverance in wilful self-deception Elizabeth would make no reply. but to accept them is absolutely impossible . my proposals will not fail of being acceptable. Mr. are circumstances highly in my favour. Collins. and perhaps you have even now said as much to encourage my suit as would be consistent with the true delicacy of the female character. and by refusing you hand. I would rather be paid the compliment of being believed sincere. I thank you again and again for the honour you have done me in your proposals. according to the usual practice of elegant f emales. that I have no pretensions whatever to that kind of eleg ance which consists in tormenting a respectable man." "I do assure you. My si tuation in life. I shall choose to attribute it to your wish of increasing my love by suspense. I shall ho pe to receive a more favourable answer than you have now given me. My reasons for believing it are briefly these: It does not appear to me that my hand is unworthy your acceptance." "You are uniformly charming!" cried he. my connections with the family of de Bourgh. you must have satisfied t he delicacy of your feelings with regard to my family. . Collins. if he persisted in considerin g her repeated refusals as flattering encouragement."Were it certain that Lady vely--"but I cannot imagine d you may be certain when I n the very highest terms of on." And rising as she thus spoke. economy. or th at the establishment I can offer would be any other than highly desirable. an d immediately and in silence withdrew. Collins not thus addressed her: "When I do myself the honour of speaking to you next on the subject. My feelings in every respect forbid it. and may take possession o f Longbourn estate whenever it falls. and pay me the compliment of believing what I say. I know not how to express my refusal in such a way as to convince you of its being one. without any self-reproach. If what I have hitherto said can appear to you in the form of encouragemen t." said Mr. and whose behav ior at least could not be mistaken for the affectation and coquetry of an elegan t female. and you should take it int o further consideration. though I am f ar from accusing you of cruelty at present. You must give me le ave to judge for myself. with an air of awkward gallantry. Collins very gra that her ladyship would at all disapprove of you." "Really." cried Elizabeth with some warmth. do all in my power to prevent your being otherwise. to apply to her father. In making me the offer. it is by no means certain that another offer of marriage may ever be made you. speaking the truth from her heart. because I know it to be the establis hed custom of your sex to reject a man on the first application. that in spite of your manifold attractions. therefore. my dear cousin. "you puzzle me exceedi ngly. I shall speak i your modesty. had Mr. and my relationshi p to your own. intending to plague you. Mr." "You must give me leave to flatter myself. An have the honour of seeing her again. determined. As I must therefore conclude that you are not serious in your rejection of me. Your portion is unhappily so small that it will in all likelihood undo the effects of your l oveliness and amiable qualifications. all praise of me will be unnecessary. sir. "and I am persuaded that when sanctioned by the express authority of both your excell ent parents. Can I speak plainer? Do not consider m e now as an elegant female. I wi sh you very happy and very rich. that your refusal of my addresses is merely words of course. This matter may be considered. as finally settled. but as a rational creature.

Bennet. Bennet. Collins begins to say that he will not have Lizzy. perhaps it were better not to force her into accepting me." said he. madam. Lizzy declares she will not have Mr. "Lizzy is only he adstrong in such matters as these. and could not help saying so. and congratulat ed both him and herself in warm terms on the happy prospect or their nearer conn ection. Collins received and returned these felicitations with equal pleasur e. She is a very headstrong. startled Mrs. "but if she is real ly headstrong and foolish.Chapter 20 Mr. having dawdled about in the vestibule to watch for the end o f the conference. Collins. "Come here. and if you do not make haste he will change his m ind and not have HER." said Mrs. who naturally looks for happiness in the m arriage state. and we shall very soon sett le it with her. Mr. Tell her that you insist upon her marrying h im. This information. with the res ult of which he trusted he had every reason to be satisfied. Bennet." "Sir." "Pardon me for interrupting you. Bennet rang the bell. "that Lizzy shall be brought to reason. Collins. however." She would not give him time to reply. Bennet." cried Mr. Bennet raised his eyes from his book as she entered. "I have not the pleasure of understanding you. because if liable to such def ects of temper." "And what am I to do on the occasion? It seems an hopeless business. and fixed them on her face with a calm unconcern which was not in the least altered by her communicati on." "Let her be called down. "But. "Of what are you talking?" "Of Mr. you quite misunderstand me." Mr. If therefore she actually persists in rejecting my suit. You must come and make Lizzy marry Mr. for Mrs." cried her father as she appeared." "Speak to Lizzy about it yourself. no sooner saw Elizabeth open the door and with quick step pass her towards the staircase. "I have sent for you on a n affair of importance. Collins has made you an offer of m . she could not contribute much to my felicity. I am sure. and Miss Elizabeth was summoned to the library. when she had finished her speech. for s he vows she will not have him. we are all in an uproar. ca lled out as she entered the library. Collins. She shall hear my opinion. and does not know her own interest but I will MAKE her know it. I know not whether she would altogether be a very des irable wife to a man in my situation. but she dared not believe it. you are wanted immediately . I will speak to her about it directly." she added. In everything else she is as good-natured a g irl as ever lived. I understand that Mr. foolish girl." Mrs. alarmed. Bennet. child. Collins and Lizzy. depend upon it. than she entered the breakfast-room. "Oh! Mr. since the refusal w hich his cousin had steadfastly given him would naturally flow from her bashful modesty and the genuine delicacy of her character. I will go directly to Mr. Collins was not left long to the silent contemplation of his successful lov e. and Mr . Collins. she would have been glad to be equally satisfied that her daughter had meant to encourage him by protesting ag ainst his proposals. Mr. and then proceeded to relate the particulars of their interview. but hurrying instantly to her husband.

sir. a nd secondly. however. my dear Miss Lucas. of my room. replied to her attacks. She talked to Elizabeth again and again." "My dear. But I tell you. in spite of her disappointment in her husband. declined interfering. Bennet was alone." Charlotte's reply was spared by the entrance of Jane and Elizabeth. and I will never see you again if you DO. he suffered in no other way. Though her manner varied. Miss Lizzy--if you take it into your head to go on refu sing every offer of marriage in this way. She endeavoured to secure Jane in her interest. meanwhile. however. She was met in the vestibule by Lydia. Mr. where Mrs. "looking as unconcerned as may b e. and entreating her to persuade her friend Lizzy to com ply with the wishes of all her family. "Very well--and this offer of marriage you have refused?" "I have. He thoug ht too well of himself to comprehend on what motives his cousin could refuse him . Bennet?" "Yes. I shall be glad to have the library to myself as soon a s may be. you will never get a husband at all--a nd I am sure I do not know who is to maintain you when your father is dead. did Mrs." Charlotte hardly had time to answer. or I will never see her again. Charlotte Lucas came to spend the day with them. Bennet. with all possible mildness. Mrs. sometimes with real earnestness. was meditating in solitude on what had passed. Bennet. "Pray do. and no sooner had they entered the breakfast-room. Your mother insists upon your accepting i t. "I have two small favours to request. "What do you mean. Your mother will never see you again if you do N OT marry Mr." she added in a melancholy tone. "I am glad you are come. Mr." replied her husband. and sometimes with playful gaiety. th at you will allow me the free use of my understanding on the present occasion. His regard for her was quite imaginary. nobody takes part with me. We now come to the point. Bennet. who. provided she can have her own way. nobody feels for my poor nerves. than she likewise began on the subject. coaxed and threate ned her by turns. "Aye. While the family were in this confusion." "An unhappy alternative is before you. before they were joined by Kitty. was excessively disappointed. Benne t give up the point. in talking this way? You promised me to INSIST u pon her marrying him." Elizabeth could not but smile at such a conclusion of such a beginning. I sh . but Jane." "Very well. and though his pride was hurt. First.arriage." Not yet. and she will not have him. Collins. her determination never did. cried in a half whisper. for there is such fun here! What do you think has happened this morning? Mr. From this day you must be a s tranger to one of your parents. and Elizabeth." continued Mrs. but Mrs . Collins has made an offer to Lizzy. calling on Miss Lucas for her compassion. and the possibility of her deserving her mother's reproach prevented his feeling any regret. I am cruelly used. Is it not so. there she comes. Is it true?" Elizabeth replied that it was. who had persuaded herself that her husband regarded the affair as she wished. who came to tell the same news. Collins. Elizabeth. flying to her. and caring no more for us than if we were at York. "for nobody is on my side.

He sc arcely ever spoke to her. whose inquiries after herself and all her family were very minute. The morrow produced no abatement of Mrs. I here beg leave to apologise. Collins was also in the same state of angry pride. and let me and Mr. Elizabeth had hoped that his resentment might shorten his visit. by thus withdrawing my pretensions to your daughter's favour. Bennet began the projected conversation: "Oh! Mr. consider me as showing any disrespect to your family. Collins's offer was now nearly at an end. and the assiduous attentions which he had been so sens ible of himself were transferred for the rest of the day to Miss Lucas. not by embarrassment or dejection. "let us be for ever silent on this point. But we are all liable to error. but his plan did not appear in the least af fected by it. My conduct may. and then by a little curiosity. but by stiffness of manner and resentful silence. indeed. Those who do not complain are never pitied. As for the gentleman him self. "Now. I hope. I have certainly meant well through the whole affai r. and if my MANNER has been at all r eprehensible. Nobody can tell what I suffer! But it is always so.all not be able to keep you--and so I warn you. and especially t o her friend. I told you in the library. till they were joined by Mr . Wickham were ret . and occasionally from some peevish allusions of her mother." Chapter 21 The discussion of Mr. Far be i t from me. Collins!" "My dear madam. satisfied herself with walkin g to the window and pretending not to hear. and to Saturday he meant t o stay. Bennet the compliment of requesting you to int erpose your authority in my behalf. and Elizabeth h ad only to suffer from the uncomfortable feelings necessarily attending it. or by trying to avoid her. therefore. in a voice that marked his displeasure. Not that I have much pleasure. that you. After breakfast. all of you. I have done with you from this v ery day. She talked o n. Perhaps not the les s so from feeling a doubt of my positive happiness had my fair cousin honoured m e with her hand." he presently continued. I have no pleasure in talking to undutiful children. You will not. in talking to anybody . whose ci vility in listening to him was a seasonable relief to them all. Collins have a little conversation to gether. I fear. Mr. but Lydia st ood her ground. I do insist upon it. be objectionable in having accepted my dismission from your daughter's lips instead of your own. and I trust I am resigned. My object has been to secure an amiable companion for myself." Her daughters listened in silence to this effusion. and on perc eiving whom." replied he. you know. People who suffer as I do from nervous complaints can have no great inclinatio n for talking. without interruption from any of them. He was always to have gone on Saturday. HIS feelings were chiefly expressed. who entered the room with an air more stately than usual. she said to the girls. and you will find me as good as my word. Collins. "to resent the behaviour of your daughter. wit hout having paid yourself and Mr. Jane and Kitty followed. that I should never speak to you a gain. sensible that any attempt t o reason with her or soothe her would only increase the irritation. Resignation to inevitable evils is the ev il duty of us all. the peculiar duty of a young man who has been so fortunate as I have been in early preferment. with due consid eration for the advantage of all your family. my dear madam. and Charlotte. detained first by the civility of Mr. Collins. the girls walked to Meryton to inquire if Mr. determined to hear all she could. Bennet's ill-humour or ill health. hold your tongues. for I have often observed that resignation is never so perfect as when the blessing denied begins to lose somewhat of its value in our estimati on. In a doleful voice Mrs." Elizabeth passed quietly out of the room.

but Elizabeth fe lt an anxiety on the subject which drew off her attention even from Wickham. in the enjoyment of his. the same party with him for so many hours togethe r. and as to the loss of their society. and saw her dwelling intently on some particul ar passages. and in th e meanwhile may lessen the pain of separation by a very frequent and most unrese rved correspondence. what it contains has surprised me a good deal. and it was most accepta ble as an occasion of introducing him to her father and mother. and during th e walk he particularly attended to her." She highly approved his forbearance." said she. little. flowing hand. and to lament over his absence from the Netherfield ball." She then read the first sentence aloud. I will read it to you:" "When my brother left us yesterday. said: "This is from Caroline Bingley. hot-pressed paper. and they had leisure for a full discussion of it. than a glance from Jane invited her to follow her upstairs. I depend on you for that. Jane. but as we are certain it c annot be so. and at the same time convinced that when Charles gets to town he wi . h owever. "It is unlucky. "I found.urned. The next was in these words: "I do not pretend to regret anything I shall leave in Hertfordshire . To Elizabeth. and attended them to their aunt's where his regret a nd vexation. and though the suddenn ess of their removal surprised her." said he. which comprised the information of thei r having just resolved to follow their brother to town directly. tried t o join with her usual cheerfulness in the general conversation. he imagined that the business which took hi m to London might be concluded in three or four days. and that scenes might arise unpleasant to mo re than myself. Soon after their return. as Wickham and another officer walked back with them to Longbourn. He joined them on their entering the town. she felt all the compliment it offered to herself. and for all the commendation which they civilly bestowed on each other. at some future perio d. she saw nothing in it really to lament. was well talked over. When they had gained their own room. and no sooner had he and he companion taken leave. You shall hear what she says. Hurst had a house. that to be in the same room. where Mr." To these highflown expressions E lizabeth listened with all the insensibility of distrust. might be more than I could bear. Darcy . His accompanying them was a double advan tage." "Caroline decidedly says that none of the party will return into Hertfordshire this winter. and putting the letter away. it w as not to be supposed that their absence from Netherfield would prevent Mr. my dearest friend. The whole party have left Netherfield by this time. and of their me aning to dine in Grosvenor Street. "as the time drew near that I had better not meet Mr. But may we not hope that the pe riod of future happiness to which Miss Bingley looks forward may arrive earlier than she is aware. except your society. "that you should not be able to see your friends before they leave the country. and are on their way to town --and without any intention of coming back again. she was persuaded that J ane must cease to regard it. to enjoy many returns of that delightful intercourse we have known. it came from Ne therfield. Bing ley's being there. The envelope contained a sheet of elegant. after a short pause. taking ou t the letter. but we will hope. and the concern of everybody. and Elizabeth saw her sister's c ountenance change as she read it. and that the delightful intercourse you have known as friends will be renewed with yet greater satisfaction as sisters? Mr. he voluntarily acknowledged that the necessity of his absence HAD been s elf-imposed. Bingley will not be detained in London by them. well covered with a lady's fair. a letter was delivered to Miss Bennet. Jane recollected herself soon.

in indulging the hope of an event which will secure the happiness of so many?" "What do you think of THIS sentence. and she is the more anxious to get Miss Darcy for her b rother." "It is evident by this. he will have frequent oppo rtunity now of seeing her on the most intimate footing. had any intention of making one of the crowd--bu t of that I despair. I am sure. and that if she suspects the nature of my feelings for h im. Will you hear it?" "Most willingly. or that it will be i . I wish that I could he ar that you. Miss Bingley sees that her brother is in lov e with you. and that your beaux will be so numerous as to prevent your feeling the loss of the three of whom we shall d eprive you. and the affection she inspir es in Louisa and myself is heightened into something still more interesting. She is not such a simpl eton. cannot. to confess the truth. and. "Is it not clear enough? Does it not expressly declare that Caroline neither expects nor wishes me to be her sister. my dear Lizzy?" said Jane as she finished it. in which there is certainly some ingenuity. we have determined on following him thither . elegance. and accomplishments. She follows him to town in hope o f keeping him there. she means (most kindly!) to put me on my guard? Can there be any other opini on on the subject?" "Yes.ll be in no hurry to leave it again. and a sister's partiality is not misleading me . that he may not be obliged to spend his vacant hours in a comfortless hotel. I sincerely hope your Christmas in Hertfordshire may abound in the gaieties which that season generally brings. WE are sc arcely less eager to meet her again. if Miss de Bourgh were out of the way. when I call Charles most capable of engaging any woman's heart. and nothing to prevent it. but I will not leave the country without confiding them. I think. I WILL read you the passage which particularly hurts me." "You shall have it in a few words. I do not know wh ether I ever before mentioned to you my feelings on this subject. No one who has ever seen you together c an doubt his affection. I really do not think Georgiana Darcy has h er equal for beauty. Could she have seen half as much love in Mr. He is his own master. Darcy for herself. fro m the hope we dare entertain of her being hereafter our sister. My brother admires her greatly already. for mine is totally different. But. he is in the smallest degree less sensib le of YOUR merit than when he took leave of you on Tuesday. my dearest Jane. I wil l have no reserves from YOU. she would have ordered her wedding clothes. and I trust you will not esteem them unreasonable. and tries to persuade you that he does not care about you." added Jane. she may have less trouble in achieving a second. my dearest friend. With all these circumstances to favour an attachment. "Indeed." "Mr. you ought to believe me." Jane shook her head. Darcy is impatient to see his sister. and wants him to marry Miss Darcy. Jane. you cannot seriously imagine that because Miss Bingley tells you her brother greatly admires Miss Darcy. and I dare say it would succeed. "that he comes back no more this winter." "It is only evident that Miss Bingley does not mean that he SHOULD. my dearest Jane. M any of my acquaintances are already there for the winter. am I wrong. her relations all wish t he connection as much as his own. But the case is this: We are not rich enough o r grand enough for them." "Why will you think so? It must be his own doing. But you do not know ALL. there can. from the notion that when there has been ONE intermarriage. Miss Bingley. that she is perfectly convinced of her brother's indifference.

"You must know that though I should be exceedingly grieved at their disapprobation. you find that the misery of disobliging his two sisters is more than equival ent to the happiness of being his wife. They agreed that Mrs. instead of being in love with you. You could not have started a more happy idea. my dear sister. at some length. "and I am m ore obliged to you than I can express. that Bingley would return to Netherfield and ans wer every wish of her heart. can I be happy. in accepting a m an whose sisters and friends are all wishing him to marry elsewhere?" "You must decide for yourself. Jane's temper was not desponding." "If we thought alike of Miss Bingley." said Elizabeth. even supposing the best." "That is right. by all means. Chapter 22 The Bennets were engaged to dine with the Lucases and again during the chief of the day was Miss Lucas so kind as to listen to Mr. by engaging them towards herself. and the conclusion of all was the comfortable declaration. Collins. She represented to her sister as forcibly as possible what she felt on the subj ect. Believe her to be deceived. and she could not for a moment suppose that those wishes. she would take care to have two ful l courses. This was very amiable. and she was gradually led to hope. and she bewailed it as excee dingly unlucky that the ladies should happen to go away just as they were all ge tting so intimate together. and that being the case. however. I advise you by all means to refuse him. she had the consolation that Mr. I t appeared to her merely the suggestion of Caroline's interested wishes. and must fret no longer. could influence a young man so totally independent of everyone." Charlotte assured her friend of her sati sfaction in being useful. "It keeps him in good humour. he is very much in love with her friend. "and if. however openly or artfully sp oken. since you will no t take comfort in mine. and all that I can hope in this case i s that she is deceiving herself." replied Jane. upon mature deliberati on. Caroline i s incapable of wilfully deceiving anyone. that though he had been invited only to a family dinner. . and that it amply repaid her for the little sacrifice of her time. After lamenting it." "I did not think you would. Bennet should only hear of the departure of the family. its object was nothing else than to secure h er from any return of Mr." "But if he returns no more this winter." "But. A tho usand things may arise in six months!" The idea of his returning no more Elizabeth treated with the utmost contempt.n her power to persuade him that. w ithout being alarmed on the score of the gentleman's conduct." said she. my choice will never be required. "your representation of al l this might make me quite easy. though the diffidence of affecti on sometimes overcame the hope. You have now d one your duty by her. but Charlotte's kindness extended farther th an Elizabeth had any conception of. But I know the foundation is unjust. " "How can you talk so?" said Jane. Bingley would be soon down again and soon dining at Lo ngbourn. Collins's addresses. but even this part ial communication gave her a great deal of concern. faintly smiling. I could not hesitate. I cannot consider your sit uation with much compassion. Elizabeth took an o pportunity of thanking her. and had soon the pleasure of seeing its happy effect.

must be their pleasantest preservative from want. in short. when he returned to Longbourn to dinner. however. and his attachment to her must be imaginary. she would have felt almost secure of success if he had not be en to leave Hertfordshire so very soon. As he was to begin his journey too early on the morrow to see any of the family . everything was s ettled between them to the satisfaction of both. and had time to consider of it. to drop no hint of what had passed before any of the family. they could not fail to conjecture his desig n. and appearances were so favourable. and the boys were relieved from their apprehension of Charlotte's dying an old maid. but it could not be kept witho ut difficulty. marriage had always been her object. James's. and however uncertain of gi ving happiness. and it w as bestowed with a most joyful alacrity. who accepted him solely from the pure and disinterested desire of an establishment. for the curiosity excited by his long absence burst forth in such very direct questions on his return as required some ingenuity to evade. Elizabeth would wonder. Mr. that whenever Mr. and probably would blame her. the ceremony of leave-taking was performed when the ladies moved for the night . his society was irksome. Bennet was likely to live. how many years longer Mr. for he was longing to publis h his prosperous love. and his prospects of future wealth were exceedingly fair. Lady Lucas bega n directly to calculate. for it led him to escape out of Longbourn Hous e the next morning with admirable slyness. She had gained her point. He r reflections were in general satisfactory. and he was not willing to have the attempt known till its success might be kn own likewise. Collins should be in possession of t he Longbourn estate. to be sure. and with reason. were proper ly overjoyed on the occasion. for Charlotte h ad been tolerably encouraging. and though her resolution was not to be shaken. cared not how soon that establish ment were gained. Collins's long speeches would allow. His reception. The younger girls formed hopes of COMING OUT a yea r or two sooner than they might otherwise have done. Collins's present circumstances mad e it a most eligible match for their daughter. Collins. was of the most flattering kind. The stupidity with which he was fa voured by nature must guard his courtship from any charm that could make a woman wish for its continuance. and therefore charged Mr. and insta ntly set out to meet him accidentally in the lane. whose fri endship she valued beyond that of any other person. without having ever be en handsome. But here she did injustice to the fire a nd independence of his character. she felt all the good luck of it. and Miss Lucas. and Sir William gave i t as his decided opinion. Miss Lu cas perceived him from an upper window as he walked towards the house. Sir William and Lady Lucas were speedily applied to for their consent. The least agreeable circumstance in the business was the surprise it must occasion to Elizabeth Bennet. In as short a time as Mr. A promi se of secrecy was of course very dutifully given. Collins. with more interest than the matter had ever excited bef ore. and hasten to Lucas Lodge to throw hi mself at her feet. her fe elings must be hurt by such a disapprobation. was neither sensible nor agreeable. and he was at the same time exercising great self-denial. and as they entered the house h e earnestly entreated her to name the day that was to make him the happiest of m en. that when the y parted at night. Without thinking highly either of men or matrimony. He was anxious to avoid the notice of his cousins. This preservat ive she had now obtained. it would be highly expedient that both he and his wife shou ld make their appearance at St.Such was Miss Lucas's scheme. and though such a solicitation must be waived for the present. But little had she dared to h ope that so much love and eloquence awaited her there. Charlotte herself was tolerably composed. She resolved to give her the infor mation herself. But still he would be her husband. from a con viction that if they saw him depart. he was comparatively diffident since the adventur e of Wednesday. for though feeling almost secure. the lady felt no inclination to trifle with his happiness. Mr. The whole family. and at the age of twenty-seven. to whom they could give little fo rtune. it was the only provi sion for well-educated young women of small fortune.

though. and be satisfied that W E shall take no offence. Bennet. and Mrs. and depend upon it. a nd though by no means so clever as herself." replied Mr. and Mary might hav e been prevailed on to accept him. "this invitation is particularly gratifying. which I should think exceedingly probable. there was a solidity in his reflections which often struck her. w .. my dear Eliza? Do you think it incredible that Mr ." They were all astonished. every hope of this kind was done aw ay. Collins. gav e way to a momentary confusion here on receiving so direct a reproach." "Believe me. stay quietly at home. She rated his abilities much higher than any of the others. a s it was no more than she expected. you will speedily receive from me a letter of than ks for this. immediately said: "But is there not danger of Lady Catherine's disapprobation here. she soon regained her composure. becau se it is what I have been hoping to receive. my gratitude is warmly excited by such affectionate a ttention. and her astonishment was consequently so great as to overcome at first th e bounds of decorum. "My dear madam. and she could not help crying out: "Engaged to Mr. because he was not so happy as to succeed with you?" But Elizabeth had now recollected herself." he replied. Mrs. Bennet. Collins's fancying herself in love with her friend had o nce occurred to Elizabeth within the last day or two." I am particularly obliged to you for this friendly caution. As for my fair cousins. but that Charlotte could e ncourage him seemed almost as far from possibility as she could encourage him he rself. and making a strong effort for it. all of them equally surprised that he meditated a quick return. my good sir? You had better neglect your relations than run the risk of offending your patron ess. The possibility of Mr. though my absence may not be long enough to render it necessary. and Mr. Bennet wished to understand by it that he thought of paying his addresses to one of her younger girls." "My dear sir. whenever his engagements might allow him t o visit them. Risk anything rather than her displeas ure. who could by no means wish for so spe edy a return. he might become a very agreea ble companion. and calmly replied: "Why should you be surprised. Collins should be able to procure any woman's good opinion. Miss Lucas called soon after breakfast. not excepting my cousin Elizabeth. Collins! My dear Charlotte--impossible!" The steady countenance which Miss Lucas had commanded in telling her story." "You cannot be too much upon your guard. and you may depend upon my not taking so material a step witho ut her ladyship's concurrence. and you may be very certain that I shall avail myself of it as soon as possible. and in a private conference with Eli zabeth related the event of the day before. with great politeness and cordiality." With proper civilities the ladies then withdrew. my dear sir. and for every other mark of your regard during my stay in Hertfords hire. But on the following morning. she thought that if encouraged to re ad and improve himself by such an example as hers. said how happy they sho uld be to see him at Longbourn again. and if you find it likely to be raised by your coming to us again. I shall now take the liberty of wishing them health and happiness .

connection. I ask only a comfortable home. with more perseverance than po liteness. Collins wants to marry Lizzy?" Nothing less than the complaisance of a courtier could have borne without anger such treatment. Charlotte did not stay much longer. she would have sacrificed every better fe eling to worldly advantage. to announce her engagement to the fa mily. and the convenient distance of Hunsford from London. now put herself forward to confirm his account. and doubting whether she was authorised to mention it." and after an awkward pause. and that she wished her all imaginable happiness. that Elizabeth was the real cause of the mischief. she persisted in disbelieving the whole of the matter. She had always felt that Charlotte's opinio n of matrimony was not exactly like her own. With many compliments to them. protested he must be entirely mistaken. Collins was wishing to marry you. Elizabeth. and endeavoured to put a stop to the excl amations of her mother and sisters by the earnestness of her congratulations to Sir William. and much self-gratulation on the prospect o f a connection between the houses. "You must be surprised. Collins's making two offers of marriage within three days was nothing in c omparison of his being now accepted. Two inferences. "I see what you are feeling. and the other that she herse lf had been barbarously misused by them all. but incredulous. she trust ed that they would never be happy together." replied Charlotte. and considering Mr. she was very sure that Mr. Bennet. you know. in which she was readily joined by Jane. Collins's character. very m uch surprised--so lately as Mr. that the match might b e broken off. Collins was a most humilia ting picture! And to the pang of a friend disgracing herself and sunk in her est eem. he unfolded the matter--to an audience not me rely wondering. but she had not supposed it to be p ossible that. sent by his daughter." Elizabeth quietly answered "Undoubtedly. In the first place. The strangeness o f Mr. and fourthly. reflecting on what she had h eard. Chapter 23 Elizabeth was sitting with her mother and sisters. when called into action. for Mrs. I am not romantic. but no sooner had he left them than her feelings found a rapid ven t. se condly. and situation in life. always unguarded an d often uncivil. when Sir William Lu cas himself appeared. thirdly. how can you tell such a story? Do not you know that Mr . but Sir William's good breeding carried him through it all. Charlotte the wife of Mr. was added the distressing conviction that it was impossible for that friend to be tolerably happy in the lot she had chosen. I never was. Nothing could console and nothing could a . I hope you will be satisfied with what I have don e. Collins. boisterously exclaimed: "Good Lord! Sir William. were plainly deduced from the whole: one. the excellent c haracter of Mr. and though he begged leave to be positive as to the truth of his information.as able to assure with tolerable firmness that the prospect of their relationshi p was highly grateful to her. however. he li stened to all their impertinence with the most forbearing courtesy. and by making a variety of remarks on the happiness that might be expected from the match. It was a long time before she became at all reconciled to the idea of so unsuitable a match. and Elizabet h was then left to reflect on what she had heard. I am con vinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state. Bennet was in fact too much overpowered to say a great deal while Sir Will iam remained. Mrs. and Lydia. Collins had been taken in. feeling it incumbent on her to relieve him from so unpleasant a situ ation. they retu rned to the rest of the family. But when you h ave had time to think it over. and on these two points she princip ally dwelt during the rest of the day. by mentioning her prior k nowledge of it from Charlotte herself.

and they gave way only to the greater distress of Mr. and which she never failed to contradict as a most scandalous falsehood. Day after day pass ed away without bringing any other tidings of him than the report which shortly prevailed in Meryton of his coming no more to Netherfield the whole winter. and was counting the days till she might reasonably hope to hear again. and then explained that it wa s merely with the view of enjoying her society that he had been so ready to clos e with their kind wish of seeing him again at Longbourn. Collins's return into Hertfordshire was no longer a matter of pleasure to M rs. so heartily ap proved his marriage. After discharging his conscience on that head. Bennet's sour l ooks and ill-natured remarks might have been enough to drive happiness away. a month passed away before she could s or Lady Lucas without being rude. to discover that Charlotte Lucas. he proceeded to infor m them. and many months were gone all forgive their daughter. and Elizabeth felt persuaded that no real confidence coul d ever subsist between them again. Miss Lucas. whither he hoped to be able to return on Monday fortnight.ppease her. that she wished it to take place as soon as possible. nor could Elizabe th persuade her to consider it as improbable. Bennet. with many rapturous expressions. it was also very inconvenient and exceedingly troublesome. for Lady Catherine. he said. Between Elizabeth and Charlotte there was a restraint which kept them mutually silent on the subject. was as foolish as his wife. she was as much disposed to complain of it as her h usband. as Bingley had now been gone a week and nothing more was heard of his re turn. Unwilling as she was to admit an . Bennet. for it gratified him . he added. for Mr. and more foolish than his daughter! Jane confessed herself a little surprised at the match. Jane had sent Caroline an early answer to her letter. Collins arrived on Tuesday. of whose rectitude and delicacy she was sure her opinion could never be shaken. Collins was only a clergyman. It was very strange that he should come to Longbourn instead of to Lucas Lodge. and she called at Longbourn rather oftener than usual to say how happy she was. B ennet the comfort of having a daughter well married. and such as he d id experience he pronounced to be of a most agreeable sort. On the contrary. though Mrs. Mr. which he trusted would be an unanswerable argument with his amiable Charlotte to name an early day for making him the happiest of men. Nor did could see Elizabeth peak to Sir William before she could at that day wear out her resentment. Bennet's emotions were much more tranquil on the occasion. Lady Lucas could not be insensible of triumph on being able to retort on Mrs. addressed to their father. Mr. and lovers were o f all people the most disagreeable. Neither Jane nor Elizabeth were comfortable on this subject. and it affected them in no other way than as a piece of news to spread at Meryton. whom he had been used to think tole rably sensible. but she said less of he r astonishment than of her earnest desire for their happiness. Bingley's continued absen ce. A week elapsed before she without scolding her. The promised letter of thanks fro m Mr. She hated hav ing visitors in the house while her health was so indifferent. and for whose happiness she grew daily more a nxious. Her disappointment in Charlotte made her turn with fonder regard to her sister. Such were the gentle murmurs of Mrs. and written with al l the solemnity of gratitude which a twelvemonth's abode in the family might hav e prompted. a re port which highly incensed Mrs. of his happiness in having obtained the affection of their amiable neighbour. Bennet. Even Elizabeth began to fear--not that Bingley was indifferent--but that his si sters would be successful in keeping him away. Kitty and Lydia were far from envy ing Miss Lucas.

and between h erself and Elizabeth. The very mention of anything c oncerning the match threw her into an agony of ill-humour. she regarded her with jealous abhorrence. I cannot understand. Bennet. do not give way to such gloomy thoughts. Bennet was really in a most pitiable state. was convince d that they were talking of the Longbourn estate. that I should be forced to make way for H ER. and wherever she went she was sure of hearing it talked of. "I cannot bear to think that they should have all this estate. The sight of Miss Lucas was odious to her . and whenever she spoke in a low voice to Mr. Chapter 24 . however. but whatever she felt she was desirous of concealing. Mr. and all for the sake of Mr. I should not mind it. Collins returned most punctually on Monday fortnight. she concluded her to be anticipating the hour o f possession. Collins. and resolving to turn herself and her daughters out of the house. express her impatience for his arrival. and so dishonorable to the stability of her lover." said Mr. "it is very hard to think that Charlotte Lucas should ever be mistress of this house. She complai ned bitterly of all this to her husband. and therefore. and live to see her take her place in it!" "My dear. as soon as Mr. Let us flatter ourselves that I may be the survivor. an hour seldom passed in which she did not tal k of Bingley. and he sometimes returned to Lo ngbourn only in time to make an apology for his absence before the family went t o bed. "Indeed. When ever Charlotte came to see them. Collins too! Why should HE have i t more than anybody else?" "I leave it to yourself to determine. Bennet were dead. the business of love-making relieved them from a great deal of his company." "What should not you mind?" "I should not mind anything at all. and luckily for the others. therefore. He was too happy. Mr. But as no suc h delicacy restrained her mother. she feared . instead of making an y answer. Bennet. The chi ef of every day was spent by him at Lucas Lodge. of course." "Let us be thankful that you are preserved from a state of such insensibility." "I never can be thankful. As her successor in that house. How anyone could have the conscience to entail away an estate from one's own daughters. she could not prevent its frequently occurring. or even require Jane to co nfess that if he did not come back she would think herself very ill used. to need much attention. assisted by the attr actions of Miss Darcy and the amusements of London might be too much.idea so destructive of Jane's happiness. she went on as before. more painful than Elizabeth's. The united efforts o f his two unfeeling sisters and of his overpowering friend. Bennet. the subject was never alluded to. for anything about the entail." This was not very consoling to Mrs. Let us hope for better thing s. Bennet. As for Jane. for the strength of his attachment. HER anxiety under this suspense was. It nee ded all Jane's steady mildness to bear these attacks with tolerable tranquillity . If it was not fo r the entail. but his reception at Longbourn was not quite so gracious as it had been on his first introduction. Mrs. Mr." said she.

" cried Jane. or were suppressed by his friends' interference. which now made him the slave of his designing friends. though her opinion of him must be materially affected by the difference. however. heard it in silent indignation. and mentioned with raptures some plan s of the latter with regard to new furniture. and ventured to predict the accomplishment of the wishes which had bee n unfolded in her former letter. on that easiness of temper. she do ubted no more than she had ever done. and led him to sacrifice of his own happiness to the caprice of their inclination. Bennet's leaving them together. and we shall all be as we were before . The very first sentence conveyed the assurance of their being all settled in London for the winter. Had his own happiness. as she thought he must be sensible h imself. you have no reason. whatever were the case. he might have been allowed to sport with it in whatever manner he thought best. Hope was over. she could not think without anger. I do not know what to say to you. and nothing to reproach him with. or whether it had escaped his o bservation. That he was really fond of Jane. on Mrs. She could think of nothing else. and concluded with her brother's regret at not having had time to pay his respects to his friends in Hertfordshire before he left the country. But I will not repin e. He will be forgot. she found little. He may live in my memory as the most amiable man of my acquaintance." "My dear Jane!" exclaimed Elizabeth. entirely over." With a stronger voice she soon added. that my dear mother had more command over herself! She can have no idea of the pain she gives me by her continual reflections on him. and threw back the prai . her sister's situation remained the same. "You doubt me. hardly without contempt. and that it has done no ha rm to anyone but myself. that it has not been more than an error of fancy on my side. "I have this comfort immediately.Miss Bingley's letter arrived." Miss Bennet eagerly disclaimed all extraordinary merit. that want of proper resolution. and when Jane could attend to the rest of the let ter. I feel as if I had never done you justice. It cannot last long." Elizabeth looked at her sister with incredulous solicitude. but her sister's was involved in it. on which reflection would be long indulged. whether he had been aware of Jane's attachment. except the professed affection of the writer. A day or two passed before Jane had courage to speak of her feelings to Elizabe th. been the only sacr ifice. Miss Darcy's praise occupied the chief of it. Tha nk God! I have not THAT pain. and resentment against all others. Your sweetness and disi nterestedness are really angelic. therefore--I shall certainly try to get the better. her peace equally wounded. but at last. but said nothing. that could give her any comfort. "you are too good. Elizabeth. to whom Jane very soon communicated the chief of all this. It was a subject. in short. "indeed. and Caroline boasted joyfully of their increasing intimacy. and yet whether Bingley 's regard had really died away. and much as she had always been disposed t o like him. but that is a ll. Her many att ractions were again dwelt on. I have nothing either to hope or fear. To Caroline's assertion of her brother's being p artial to Miss Darcy she paid no credit. or loved you as you deserve. Darcy's house. and must be unavailing. slightly colouring. Her heart was divided between concern for her sister. and put an end to doubt. She wrote also with great pleasure of her broth er's being an inmate of Mr. she could not help saying: "Oh. after a longer irritati on than usual about Netherfield and its master. A little time.

the more am I dissatisfied with it. not to pain me by thinking THAT PE RSON to blame. Consider Mr. It is unaccountable! In every view it is unaccountable!" "My dear Lizzy. t hat the woman who married him cannot have a proper way of thinking. They will ruin your happiness. the other is Charlotte's marriage . YOU wish to think all the world respe ctable." "And do you impute it to either of those?" "Yes. You shall not. "but without scheming to do wrong. as well as I do." "I am far from attributing any part of Mr." "To oblige you. and are hurt if I speak ill of anybody. You do not make allowance enough for difference of situation and temp er. for were I persuaded that Charlotte had an y regard for him. that selfishness is prudence. to the last." replied Jane. "Nay. and of the little de pendence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense. and be ready to believe. one I will not mention. it is a mo st eligible match. then. We must not expect a lively young man t o be always so guarded and circumspect. but I have no idea of ther e being so much design in the world as some persons imagine. Remember that she is one of a large family. Mr. as well as I do. will do the business. But if I go on. they cannot be justified. pompous." "I cannot believe it. that as to fortune. I should only think worse of her understanding than I now do o f her heart.se on her sister's warm affection. and you set yourself against it. and every day confi rms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters. that she may f eel something like regard and esteem for our cousin. Stop me whilst you can. Do not be afraid of my running into any exces s. "this is not fair. My dear Jane. and want of resolution. and Charlotte's steady. of my encroaching on your privilege of universal good-will. and saying your opinion of him is sunk. and still fewer of whom I think well. want of attention to other people's feelings. But enough of this. dear Lizzy. You mentioned TWO instances. but no one else could b e benefited by such a belief as this. though it is Charlotte Lucas. I would try to believe almost anything. for everybody's sake. Bingley's conduct to design. but I entreat you. Collins's respectability. I shall displease you by saying what I think of persons you esteem. Why should they try to influence him? They can only wish ." "I must think your language too strong in speaking of both. narrow-minded. and you must feel. The re are few people whom I really love. prudent chara cter. and there may be misery." "You persist. It is very often nothing but our own van ity that deceives us. for the sake of one i ndividual. The more I see of the world. and insensibility of danger se curity for happiness. change the meaning of principle and integrity. Women fancy admiration means more than it does. in conjunction with his friend. Collins is a conceited. s illy man. do not give way to such feelings as these. nor endeavour to persu ade yourself or me. We must not be so ready t o fancy ourselves intentionally injured. in supposing his sisters influence him?" "Yes. You need not." "If it is designedly done. I cannot misu nderstand you. "and I hope you will be convinced of it by seeing them happy together." said E lizabeth. You shall no t defend her. I only want to think YOU perfect . there ma y be error. you know he is. or to make others unhappy." "And men take care that they should. Thoughtlessness. I have met with two instances lately. You alluded to something else." said Elizabeth.

I congratulate her. it is nothing in comparison of what I should feel in thinking ill of him or his sisters. and though a day seldom passed in which Elizabeth did not account for it clearly. and if he is attached to me. Mr. The whole of what Elizabeth had already heard. no other woman can secure it. if he were so. and all that he had suffered from him. It is something to think of. whatever may be their own wishes. I find. and would jilt you cred itably. unless there were so mething very objectionable? If they believed him attached to me. you have an affectionate mother who will make the most of it. Benne t's best comfort was that Mr. and to his other recommendations was now added that of general unrese rve. Darcy was condemned as the worst of men. it is light. Bingley must be down again in the summer." Elizabeth could not oppose such a wish. When is your t urn to come? You will hardly bear to be long outdone by Jane. Bingley's name w as scarcely ever mentioned between them.his happiness. "but it is a comfort to think that whatever of that ki nd may befall you. unknown to the society of Hertfordshire. great connections. They saw him often. in the light in whi ch it may be understood. and urged the possibility of mistakes--but by everybody else Mr. What sister would think herself at liberty to do it. "but thi s may be from better feelings than you are supposing. and pride. they could not succeed. it is very unlikely they should have opposed their brot her's." "Your first position is false. th ere was little chance of her ever considering it with less perplexity. they may wish his increase of wealth and consequence. wh ich ceased when he saw her no more. "your sister is crossed in love." "Thank you. Miss Bennet was the only creature who could suppose there might be any extenuat ing circumstances in the case. Next to being married. They may wish many things besides his happiness. He is a pleasant fellow. They have known her much l onger than they have known me. but a less agreeable man would satisfy me. sir." "Beyond a doubt. Her daugh ter endeavoured to convince her of what she did not believe herself. at le ast. Let me take it in the best light. was now openly acknowledged and publicly can vassed. By supposing such an affe ction. she had the same story to repeat every day. Now is your time. that his at tentions to Jane had been merely the effect of a common and transient liking." said Mr. but though the probability of the statement was admitted at the time. . Mrs. his claims on Mr. no wonder if they love her better. and me most unhappy. and it gives her a sort of distinction among her companions. and from this time Mr. Here are officers enough in Meryton to disappoint all the young ladies in the co untry. Lizzy. " Mr. Let Wickham be YOUR man. Darcy before they had known anything of the matter. "So. a girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then. her mild and steady candour always pleaded for allowances. Bennet." replied Jane. Wickham's society was of material service in dispelling the gloom which the late perverse occurrences had thrown on many of the Longbourn family. you make everybody acting unnaturally and wrong. I am not ashamed of having been mistaken--or." said he one day. and everybody was pleased to know how much they had always disliked Mr. Bennet treated the matter differently." "True. Darcy. they may wish him to marr y a girl who has all the importance of money. But. Mrs. We must not all exp ect Jane's good fortune. they DO wish him to choose Miss Darcy. Bennet still continued to wonder and repine at his returning no more. Do not distress me by the idea. they would not try to part us.

and much to complain of. so in definite. she spoke more on the subject. that Lady Lucas will have a daughter married before I have. "but it will not do for US." said she. gentlemanlike man." said Elizabeth. turned the conversation. Bingley if s he could. They are all for what they can get. intelligent. When alone with Elizabeth afterwards.Chapter 25 After a week spent in professions of love and schemes of felicity. that shortly after his return into Hertfordshire. I am sorry to say it of them. He took leave of his relations at Longbourn with as much solemnity as before. The consequence of it is. Bing ley. When this was done she had a less ac tive part to play. that it gives me very little idea. could h ave been so well-bred and agreeable. However. They had frequently b een staying with her in town. had it not been for her own perverseness. as to a real. by preparations for the rece ption of his bride." "But that expression of 'violently in love' is so hackneyed. and I am ve ry glad to hear what you tell us. Pr . "I am sorry it went o ff. They had all been very ill-used since she l ast saw her sister. and that the Lo ngbourn estate is just as much entailed as ever." "An excellent consolation in its way. It became her turn to listen. We do not suffer by ACCIDENT. "I do not blame Jane. who was several years younge r than Mrs. Gardiner. Bennet had many grievances to relate. however. so doubtful. Mr. Between the two eldest an d herself especially. in compassion to her nieces. He made her an offer in this very room. But Lizzy! Oh. Gardine r was a sensible. and to have neighbours who think of themselves before anybody else. and she refused him. But these things happen so often! A young man. "It seems likely to have been a desirable match for Jane. Mrs." Mrs. On the following Monday. Mr. so easily forgets her. It makes me very nervous and poorly. Collins was called from his amiable Charlotte by the arrival of Saturday. Collins's wife by this time. the day would be fixed that was to make him the happiest of men. The first part of Mrs. in the cou rse of Jane and Elizabeth's correspondence with her. and a great favourite with all her Longbourn nieces. w ished his fair cousins health and happiness again. made her sister a slight an swer. there subsisted a particular regard. your coming just at this time is the greatest of comforts. The pain of se paration. to be thwarted so in my own family. that these sort of inconsistencies are very frequent. It is as often applied to feelings which arise from a half-hour's acquaintance. was an amiable. Bennet and Mrs. greatly superior to his sister. and promised their father ano ther letter of thanks. Two of her girls had been upon the point of marriage. Gardiner. but so it is. might be alleviated on his side. Mrs. sister." she continued. Bennet had the pleasure of receiving her brother and his wife. so easily falls in love with a pretty girl for a few weeks. Mrs. Gardiner's business on her arrival was to distribute her presents and describe the newest fashions. It does not often happen that the interference of friends will persuade a young man of independent fortune to think no more of a girl whom he was violently in love with only a few days before. who came as usual to spend the Christmas at Longbourn. and within view of his own warehouses. to whom the chief of this news had been given before. and af ter all there was nothing in it. and when accide nt separates them. sister! It is very hard to think that she might have be en Mr. The Lucases are very artful peo ple indeed. "for Jane would have got Mr. elegant woman . of long sleeves. and. The Netherfield ladies would have had difficulty in believi ng that a man who lived by trade. Phillips. such as you describe Mr. strong attachment. as he had reason to hope. as well by nature as education.

Mrs. she may not get over it immedia tely. Without supposing them. narrowly observed them both." But in spite of the certainty in which Elizabeth affected to place this point. The Gardiners stayed a week at Longbourn. Mrs. At his own ball he offended two or three young ladies. Could there be finer symptoms? Is not general incivility the very essence of love?" "Oh. Darcy may perhaps have HEARD of such a place as Gracechurch Street. But does not Jane corres pond with his sister? SHE will not be able to help calling. that they did not once sit down to a family dinner. I hope they will not meet at all. but he would hardly think a month's ablution enoug h to cleanse him from its impurities. Mr. we go out so little. their preference of each other was plain enough to make her a little uneasy. there was not a day without its engagement. were he once to enter it. and she resolved to speak to Eliz abeth on the subject before she left Hertfordshire. . It had better have happened to YOU." added Mrs. without receiving an an swer. all our connect ions are so different. and the influe nce of his friends successfully combated by the more natural influence of Jane's attractions. Gardiner. and what with the Phillipses. he was growing quite inattentive to other people. and on these occasion. the Luc ases. We live in so different a part of town. how VIOLENT WAS Mr. "that no consideration with regard to this young man will influence her. Poor Jane! I am sorry for her." "So much the better. and the officers." Elizabeth was exceedingly pleased with this proposal. without any danger of seeing him. you would have laughed yourself out of it sooner. to be very seriously in love. it was more deci ded and remarkable. Bingley never stirs without him. and depend upon it. for he is now in the custody of his friend. and sometimes she thought it probable. and. she might occasionally spend a mo rning with her. and felt persuaded of her sister's ready acquiescence.ay. But do you think she would be prevailed upon to go back with us? Change of scene might be of service--and perhaps a little relief from home m ay be as useful as anything. as you well know. "I hope. on examination . and I spoke to him twice myself. Every time they met. some of the officers always made part of it--of which officers Mr. Gardiner. and Mr. and represent to her the imp rudence of encouraging such an attachment. as well as the still more interesting one of Bingley's being withheld from seein g Jane. When the engagement was for home. than as she hoped by Caroline's not living in the same house with her brother. she felt a solicitude on the subject which convinced her." "She will drop the acquaintance entirely. by no t asking them to dance. It was possible. and wholly engrossed by her. Bennet had so carefully provided for the entertainment of her brother and sister. that she did not consider it entirely hopeless. Lizzy. Darcy would no more suffer him to call on Jane in such a part of London! My dear aunt. because. from what she saw. rendered suspicious by Eli zabeth's warm commendation. and the Bingleys were no otherwise in her thoughts at the same time." "And THAT is quite impossible. yes!--of that kind of love which I suppose him to have felt. how could you think of it? Mr. that his affection might be reanimated. Wickham was sure to be one. unless he really comes to see her. that it is ve ry improbable that they should meet at all. Bingley's love?" "I never saw a more promising inclination. Miss Bennet accepted her aunt's invitation with pleasure. with her disposition.

" "Elizabeth. and though Wickham had been little there since the death of Darcy's father. Seriously. Wickham too. Darcy by character per fectly well. My father. you need not be under any alarm. He shall not be in love with me. About ten or a dozen years ago. At present I am not in love with Mr. Wickham. But he is. unconnected with his general powers. and o f Mr. and if he h ad the fortune he ought to have. I have nothing to say against HIM. however. Wickham had one means of affording pleasure. I should be very sorry to be the means of making any of you unhappy . and we all expect you to use it." "Perhaps it will be as well if you discourage his coming here so very often. Gardiner's caution to Elizabeth was punctually and kindly given on the fir st favourable opportunity of speaking to her alone. Gardiner. But as it is. therefore. I should think you could not do better. At . In short. is partial to Mr. Here consequently was an inexhaustible subject of discourse. many acquaintances in common. Do not involve yourself or endeavour to involv e him in an affection which the want of fortune would make so very imprudent. no. and I should be mis erable to forfeit it. You must not disappoint your father. D arcy! My father's opinion of me does me the greatest honour. They had. and I hope to engage you to be serious likewise. Chapter 26 Mrs. I will take care of myself. or how am I even to know that it would be wisdom to resist? All tha t I can promise you. she thus went on: "You are too sensible a girl. therefore. I will try again. Gardiner had seen Pemberley. I will not be in a hurr y to believe myself his first object. it was yet in his power to give her fresher intelligence of her former friends than she had been in the way of procuring. she tried to remember some of that ge ntleman's reputed disposition when quite a lad which might agree with it. and. this is being serious indeed. Lizzy. I will not be wishing." "My dear aunt." "Yes. In short. the most agreeabl e man I ever saw--and if he becomes really attached to me--I believe it will be better that he should not. Wick ham. Oh! THAT abominable Mr. I would have you be on your guard. she was delighting both him and herself. she ha d spent a considerable time in that very part of Derbyshire to which he belonged . beyond all comparison. and in bestowing her tribute of praise on the character of its late p ossessor. On being made acquainted with the present Mr. ill-natured boy. Your father would depend on YOUR resolution and good cond uct. I will do my best. I see the imprudence of it. therefore. I certainly am not. In com paring her recollection of Pemberley with the minute description which Wickham c ould give." "I beg your pardon. Mrs. but since we see every day that where there is affection. then. young people are sel dom withheld by immediate want of fortune from entering into engagements with ea ch other. you are not serious now. he is a most interesting young man.To Mrs. Darcy's treatment of him. When I am in company with him. You have sense. is not to be in a hurry. m y dear aunt. and known the late Mr. if I can prevent it. I am sure. Fitzwilliam Darcy form erly spoken of as a very proud. before her marriage. to fall in love merely because you are war ned against it. and wa s confident at last that she recollected having heard Mr. you must not let your fancy run away with you. I am not afraid of speaking openly. how can I promise to be wiser than so many of my fellow-creatures if I am tempted." "Well. after honestly telling her w hat she thought.

Eliza. and even repeate dly to say. and upon my honour. Mr." "As I did the other day. Will you come and see me?" "We shall often meet. furniture. and mentioned nothing which she could not praise. It is on your account that he has been so frequently invited this week. his arrival was no great inconvenience to Mrs. ashamed of her mother's ungracio us and reluctant good wishes." "And I have another favour to ask you." Her aunt assured her that she was. Collins's picture of Hunsford and Rosings rationally softened. on the subject as usual. rather than what was. and Elizabeth having thanked her for the kin dness of her hints." Thurs day was to be the wedding day. and sincerely affected herself. it wa s for the sake of what had been. without being resented. Elizabeth soon heard from her friend. you will be as welcome as eit her of them." said Elizabeth with a conscious smile: "very true. I will try to do what I think to be th e wisest. "My father and Maria are coming to me in March. the bride and bridegroom set off for Kent from the chur ch door. I hope. As they went downstairs together. a nd how happy she would dare pronounce herself to be. But do not imagine that he is always h ere so often." Elizabeth could not refuse. Elizabeth. Collins returned into Hertfordshire soon after it had been quitted by the G ardiners and Jane." "I am not likely to leave Kent for some time. they parted. seemed surrounded with comfort s. Indeed." The wedding took place. She wrote cheerfully. His marriage was now fast approaching. and their correspondence was as regular an d frequent as it had ever been. Bennet. a wonderful instance of advice being given on s uch a point. But really. and Lady Catherine's behaviour was m ost friendly and obliging. were all to her taste. therefore. but as he took up his abode with the Lucases. and Elizabeth perceived that she must wait for her own visi t there to know the rest. and on Wednesday Miss Lucas paid her farewell vis it. and now I hope you are satisfied. The house. in an ill-natured tone. in Hertfordshire.least. it will be wise in me to refrain from THAT. to come to Hunsford. Eliza. when the letters we re read. Charlotte's first letters were received with a good deal of eagerness. how she would like Lady Catherine. Jane had already written a few lines to her sister to announce their safe arriv al in London. and everybody had as much to say. Elizabeth hoped it would be in her power . accompanied her ou t of the room. Charlotte said: "I shall depend on hearing from you very often. and though determined not to slacken as a correspondent. a nd she was at length so far resigned as to think it inevitable. or to hear. you should not REMIND you mother of inviting him. neigh bourhood. Elizabeth felt that Charlotte expressed herself on every point exactly as she might have foreseen. there could not but be curiosity t o know how she would speak of her new home. though. It was Mr. You know my mother's ideas as to the necessity of constant company for her friends. "and I hope y ou will consent to be of the party. Promise me. and when she rose to take leave. and roads. though she foresaw little pleasure in the visit." added Charlotte. that she "WISHED they might be happy. that it should be equally unreserved was impossi ble. and when she wrote again. Elizabeth could never address her without feeling that all the comfort of i ntimacy was over." "THAT you certainly shall.

"is going to-morrow into that part of the town. the alteration of her manner would a llow Jane to deceive herself no longer. I inquired after their brothe r." were her words. Caroline did not return my visit till yesterday. and t he invariable kindness of my dear uncle and aunt. I can safely say that every advance to intimacy began on her s ide. b ut the shortness of her stay. for not calling before. "My aunt. of gi ving up the house. however. though the event has proved yo u right. I am sure I should be deceived again. and i nventing every evening a fresh excuse for her. "but she was very glad to see me . I need no t explain myself farther. The letter which she wrote on this occas ion to her sister will prove what she felt. we must have met. I a . It convinced her that accident only could discover to Mr. however. If I were not afraid of judging harshly. She endeavoured to persuad e herself that she did not regret it. considering what her behaviour was. therefore. but not with any certainty. it will easily account for her behaviour to me. But I pity her. because. "My dearest Lizzy will. I do not at all c omprehend her reason for wishing to be intimate with me. it was very evident that she had no pleasure i n it. and yet more. Jane had been a week in town without either seeing or hearing from Carol ine. Let me hear from you very soon . "I did not think Caroline in spirits. H e knows of my being in town. I cannot understand it. I pity. But. Darcy that they scarcely ever saw him. when I confess myself to have been entirely deceived in M iss Bingley's regard for me. and think only of what will make me happy--your affection. and though WE know this anxiety to be quite needless. not a line. do not think me obstinate if I still assert that." Elizabeth shook her head over this letter. tha t when she went away I was perfectly resolved to continue the acquaintance no lo nger. by her manner of talking. but if the same circums tances were to happen again. I found that Miss Darcy was expected to dinner. I cannot but wonder. as Caroline and Mrs. yet if she feels it. she made a slight. by supposing that her last letter to her fri end from Longbourn had by some accident been lost. and b ecause I am very sure that anxiety for her brother is the cause of it. But I will endeavour to banish every p ainful thought. I am certain." she continued. Miss Bingley said something of his never returning to Netherfield again. said not a word of wishing to see me again. Bingley her sister's being in town. After waiting at home every morning for a fortnight. I was right . He was well. from something she said herself. long ago. if he had at all cared about me. When she did come. be incapable of triumphing in her better jud gement. I should be almost tempted to say that there is a st rong appearance of duplicity in all this. I dare say I shall see them soon here. did I receive in the meantime. my confidence was as natural as your suspicion. She was very wrong in singling m e out as she did. though I cannot help blaming her." She wrote again when the visit was paid. as if she wanted to persuade hersel f that he is really partial to Miss Darcy. but she could no longer be blind to Miss B ingley's inattention. I wish I could se e her. my last letter had never reached her. Her impatience for this second letter was as well rewarded as impatience genera lly is. the visitor did at last appear. of course. and Jane saw nothing of him. and she had seen Miss Bingley. and I shall take the opportunity of calling in Grosvenor Street. because she must feel that she has been acting wrong. my dear sister. I am sure. whatever anxiety she must feel on his behalf is natural and amiable. at my expense. formal apology. but so much engaged with Mr. and reproached me for giving her no notice of my coming to London. My visit was not long. and yet it would seem. Four weeks passed away. We had better not mention it. and was in every respect so altered a creature. at her having any such fe ars now. and so dese rvedly dear as he is to his sister. She accounted for it. Hurst were going out.to say something of the Bingleys. and not a note.

and though I certainly should be a more interestin g object to all my acquaintances were I distractedly in love with him. with such a mother and such uncompaniona ble sisters. my dear aunt. and the plan became perfe ct as plan could be. March was to take Elizabeth to Hunsford. and as. for had I really experienced that pure and elevating passion.m extremely glad that you have such pleasant accounts from our friends at Hunsfo rd. a little change was not unwelcome for its own sake. Mrs. Pray go to see them. I am sure you will be very comfortable there. as by Wickham's account. on the contrary. I cannot say that I regret my comparative insignificance. The improv ement of spending a night in London was added in time. or that I am in the least unwilling to think her a very good sort of girl. but she could see it and write of it withou t material pain. Collins. in short. that I have never been m uch in love. and otherwise divers ified by little beyond the walks to Meryton. All this was acknowledged to Mrs. Elizabet h was watchful enough to see it all. sometimes dirty and sometimes cold." Chapter 27 With no greater events than these in the Longbourn family. and Elizabeth had such to send as might ra ther give contentment to her aunt than to herself. they are even impartial towards Miss Kin g. Gardiner. she thus went on: "I am now convinced. his attentions were over. home could not be faultless. and weakened her disgust of Mr. less clear-sighted perhaps in this case than in Charlotte's. All expectation fr om the brother was now absolutely over. Nothing. and her vanity was sat isfied with believing that SHE would have been his only choice. but her spirits returned as she considere d that Jane would no longer be duped. as well as a possible advantage to Jane. she would have been very sorry for any delay. Gardiner about this time reminded Elizabeth of her promise concerning that gentleman. There can be no love in all this. she would make him abundantly regret what he had thrown away. His character sunk on every review of it. was depending on the plan and she gradually learned to consider it he rself with greater pleasure as well as greater certainty. he was the admirer of some one else. My wat chfulness has been effectual. as the time drew near. by the sister at least. had fortune perm itted it. Darcy's sister. I sho uld at present detest his very name. Everything . she s oon found. T here was novelty in the scheme. and required information. she was ready to allow it a wise and desirable measure for both. . but Eliz abeth. But my fee lings are not only cordial towards HIM. could be mo re natural. did not quar rel with him for his wish of independence. and while able to suppose that it cost him a few struggle to relinqu ish her. His apparent partiality had s ubsided. with Sir William and Maria. I cannot find out that I hate her at all. The journey would moreover give her a peep at Jane. The sudden acquisition of ten thousand pounds was the most remarkable charm of the young lady to whom he was now rendering himself agreeable. Sh e had not at first thought very seriously of going thither. she seriously hoped he might re ally soon marry Mr. Her heart had been but slightly touched. went on smoothly.--Yours. Absence had increased her desire of seeing Charlotte again. etc. Importance may sometimes be pur chased too dearly. and wish him all manner of evil. and co uld very sincerely wish him happy. did January and February pass away. but Charlotte. however. and was finally settled according to Charlotte's fi rst sketch. and not yet open to the mortifying conviction that handsome young men must have something to live on as well as the plain. and. and as a punishment f or him. and after relating the circumstance s. Kitty and Lydia take his defection much more to heart than I do. She was to accompany Sir William and his second daughter. She would not even wish for a renewal of his attentions." This letter gave Elizabeth some pain. They are young in the ways of the world.

It was a journey of only twenty-four miles. who would certainly miss her. I shall know what to think. and trusting their opinion of her--their opinion of everybody--would al ways coincide. I know no harm of her. what is the difference in matrimonial affairs. and complimented h er on bearing it so well. which proved that the former had. the first to be admired. given up t he acquaintance. bu t as empty-headed as himself. He could tell her nothing new of the wonders of his presentation and knighthood. and his daughter Maria. however. wishing h er every enjoyment. and almost promised to answer her letter. Wickham was perfectly friendly. Gardiner's door. when they entered the passage sh e was there to welcome them. as they had not seen her for a twelvemonth. an interest which she felt must ever atta ch her to him with a most sincere regard. yo u want to find out that he is mercenary. Eliza beth loved absurdities. and whose shyness. an d were listened to with about as much delight as the rattle of the chaise. there was a solicitude. when it came to the point. the morning in bustle and shopping. On the stairs were a troop of lit tle boys and girls." "She is a very good kind of girl. "But my dear Elizabeth. was p leased to see it healthful and lovely as ever. that he told her to write to him. Gardiner gave her the particulars also of Miss Bingley's visit in Gr acechurch Street. As they drove to Mr. Elizabeth then contrived to sit by her aunt. Jane was a t a drawing-room window watching their arrival." "If you will only tell me what sort of girl Miss King is." "Pray. because it would be impruden t.The only pain was in leaving her father. The d ay passed most pleasantly away. reminding her of what she was to expect in Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Mrs. looking earnestly in her face. "what sort of girl is Miss King? I should b e sorry to think our friend mercenary. that though Jane always struggled to support her spirits. prevented their coming lower. and his civil ities were worn out." she added. whose eagerness for their cousin's appearance would not allo w them to wait in the drawing-room. to hope that they would not continue long. All was joy and kindness." . and who. It was reasonable. between the mercenary and the prudent motive? Where does discretion end. and avarice begin? Last Christmas you were afraid of his marrying me. and she was more grieved than astonished to hear. the first to listen and to pity. whether married or single. Their first object was her sister. in reply to her minute inquir ies. and the even ing at one of the theatres. Gardiner then rallied her niece on Wickham's desertion. Her fellow-travellers the next day were not of a kind to make her think him les s agreeable. and in his manner of bidding her adieu. but she had known Sir William's too long. His present pursuit could not make him forget that Elizabeth had be en the first to excite and to deserve his attention. there were period s of dejection. had nothing to say that could be worth hearing. and repeated conversations occurring at different times betwee n Jane and herself. on his sid e even more. my dear aunt. so little liked her going. and they began it so early as to be in Gracechurch Street by noon. Sir William Lucas. because he is trying to get a girl with only ten thousand pounds. like his information. and she parted from him convinced that . from her heart. he must always be her model of the amiable and plea sing. and Elizabeth. and now. I believe. Mrs. The farewell between herself and Mr. a good-humoured girl.

Let OUR first effusions be less insupportable than those of th e generality of travellers. that is what I do NOT choose." "Well. Elizabeth smiled at the recollecti on of all that she had heard of its inhabitants. . Lizzy." "Oh! if that is all. for she had seen her sister looking so well as to banish all fear for her health. moun tains. If SHE does not object to it. you know. after all. and rivers shall not be jumbled together in our imaginations. it shall not be li ke other travellers." "A man in distressed circumstances has not time for all those elegant decorums which other people may observe." "No--what should he? If it were not allowable for him to gain MY affections bec ause I had no money. Lakes. and the prospect of her northern t our was a constant source of delight. Stupid men are the only ones worth knowing. why should WE?" "HER not objecting does not justify HIM. to the Lakes. W e WILL know where we have gone--we WILL recollect what we have seen. dear aunt. will we begin quarreling about its re lative situation. The palings of Rosings Park was their boundary on one side. When they left the high road for the lane to Hunsford. "We have not determined how far it shall carry us." said Mrs. p erhaps. What are young men to rocks and mountains? Oh! w hat hours of transport we shall spend! And when we DO return." Before they were separated by the conclusion of the play. and her acceptance of th e invitation was most ready and grateful. "Oh. that speech savours strongly of disappointment. and SHE shall be foolish. HE shall be mercenary." No scheme could have been more agreeable to Elizabeth." Chapter 28 Every object in the next day's journey was new and interesting to Elizabeth. what occasion could there be for making love to a girl whom he did not care about. an d her spirits were in a state of enjoyment. and their intimate friends who live in Hertfordshire are not much better."But he paid her not the smallest attention till her grandfather's death made h er mistress of this fortune. my dear. "but." "Take care. I should be sorry." cried Elizabeth. who has neither manner nor sense to recomm end him. nor when we attempt to describe any particular scene. she had the unexpecte d happiness of an invitation to accompany her uncle and aunt in a tour of pleasu re which they proposed taking in the summer." "No. It only shows her being deficient in s omething herself--sense or feeling. and who was equally poor?" "But there seems an indelicacy in directing his attentions towards her so soon after this event. to think ill of a young man who has lived so long in Derbyshire. I have a very poor opinion of young men who live in Derbys hire. and every turning expected to bring it in view. every eye was in search of the Parsonage. Gardiner. I am sick of them all. without being able to give one accurate idea of anything." she rapturou sly cried. Lizzy. Thank Heaven! I am going to-morrow where I shall find a m an who has not one agreeable quality. "what delight! what felicity! You give me fresh life and vigour. "have it as you choose. Adie u to disappointment and spleen.

rejoicing at the sight of each other. and scarcely allowing them an interval to utter the praises he asked for. Collins invited them to tak e a stroll in the garden. and the carri age stopped at the small gate which led by a short gravel walk to the house.At length the Parsonage was discernible. Mr. and could tell how many tress there we re in the most distant clump. I have scarcely a . well situated on rising ground. She had already learnt that Lady Catherine was still in the country. They were then. and he detained her some minutes at the gate to hear and sati sfy his inquiries after all her family. But of all the views which his garden. probably. He co uld number the fields in every direction. Collins would have led them round his two meadows. he welcomed them a second time. but the ladies. as if wishing to make her feel w hat she had lost in refusing him. But though everything seemed neat and comforta ble. there was really an air of great comfort throughout. Mr. and everything was fitted up and arranged with a neatness and consistency of which Elizabeth gave Charlotte all the credit. Mrs. Collins and Charlotte appeared at the door. or which th e country or kingdom could boast. its aspect and its furni ture. and while Sir William accompanied him. and she could not help in fancy ing that in displaying the good proportion of the room. none were to be compared with the prospect of Rosings. the ho use standing in it. ami dst the nods and smiles of the whole party. from the sideboard to the fender. which certainly was not unseldom. when Mr. to have the opportunity of showi ng it without her husband's help. When Mr. extremely well pleased. she was not able to gratify him by any sigh of repentance. everything declared t hey were arriving. and I doubt not but you will be honoured with some portion of her notice when service is over. and I need not say you will be delighted wit h her. Charlotte took her sister and friend ov er the house. When Mr. Collins welcomed her friend with the liveliest pleasure. It was spo ken of again while they were at dinner. It was rather small. and of all that had happened in London. and Elizabeth was more and more satisfied with comi ng when she found herself so affectionately received. and rather looke d with wonder at her friend that she could have so cheerful an air with such a c ompanion. She saw instantly that her cousin's manners were not altered by his marriage. Miss Elizabeth. Once or twice she could discern a faint blush. taken into the house. She is all affability and condescension. but in general Charlotte wisely did not hear. observed: "Yes. To work in this garden was one of his most res pectable pleasures. Collins said anything of which his wife might reasonably be a shamed. and the laurel hedge. Here. with no other delay than his pointing out the neatness of the entrance. but well built and conven ient. Collins joining in. The garden sloping to the road. From his garden. he addressed himself particularly to her. his formal civility was just what it had been. the green pales. and to the cultivat ion of which he attended himself. Mr. she involuntarily turned her eye on Ch arlotte. and owned she encouraged it as much as possible. and Elizabeth admired the command of countenance with which Charlotte talked of the healthfulness of the exercise. you will have the honour of seeing Lady Catherine de Bour gh on the ensuing Sunday at church. leading the way through every walk and cross walk. to give an account of their journey. which was large and well laid out. not having shoes to encounter the remains of a white frost. Elizabeth was prepared to see him in his glory. afforded by an opening in the trees that bordered the park nearly oppos ite the front of his house. and by Charlotte's e vident enjoyment of it. Collins could be forg otten. It was a handsome modern building. After sitting long enough to admire every article of furni ture in the room. In a moment they were all out of the chaise. and as soo n as they were in the parlour. turned back . with ostentatious formality to his humble abode. Elizabeth supposed he must be often forgotten. every view was pointed out with a minuteness which left beauty entirely behind. and punctually repeated all his wife's offers of refreshment.

"She looks si ckly and cross." "Lady Catherine is a very respectable." said Elizabeth. was stationed in the doorway. She will make him a very pro per wife. Yes. and down they ran into the dining-room. Only look at her. Why do es she not come in?" "Oh. It is the greatest of favours when Mi ss de Bourgh comes in. who. She opened the door and met Maria in the landing pla ce. "And is this all?" cried Elizabeth. and here is nothing but Lady Catherine and her daughter. and when it closed. and composure in bearing with. as she was in her room getting ready for a wa lk. She is quite a little creature. the quiet tenor of their usual employments. and are never allowed to walk home. Collins no sooner saw the two girls than he began . Charlotte says she hardly ever does. that is exactly what I say. in the solitu de of her chamber. We dine at Rosings twice every week. "I expected at least that the pigs were got into the garden. and the gaieties of their intercourse with Rosings. At length there was nothing more to be said. She is the sort of woman whom one cannot regard with too much deference. the ladies drove on." Elizabeth asked questions in vain. Who would have thought that she could be so thin and small?" "She is abominably rude to keep Charlotte out of doors in all this wind." added Charlotte. It was two ladies stopping in a low phaeton at the garden gate. Maria would tell her nothing more. one of her ladyship's carriages. to un derstand her address in guiding. About the middle of the next day. for there is such a sight to be seen! I will not tell you what it is. which fronted the lane. "and a most attentive neighbour. A lively imagination soon settled it all. in quest of this wonder. who lives with them. Collins and Charlotte were both standing at the gate in conversation with t he ladies. for she has several. to Elizabeth's high diversion. and the other s returned into the house. my dear. Collins. in earnest contemplation of the greatness before him." Mr. and constantly bo wing whenever Miss de Bourgh looked that way. Her ladyship's carriage is regularly ordered for us. my dear Eliza! pray make haste and come into the dining-room. had to meditate upon Charlotte's degree of contentment. and Sir William. and to acknowledge that it was all done very well. Make haste." The evening was spent chiefly in talking over Hertfordshire news." said Maria. breathless with agitation. She had also to anticipate how h er visit would pass. "it is not Lady Cather ine. Jenkinson. and telling a gain what had already been written." "I like her appearance. cried out-"Oh. The old lady is Mrs. her husband. sensible woman indeed. a sudden noise below seemed to speak the whole house in confusion. afte r listening a moment. an d calling loudly after her. I SHOULD say . the vexatious i nterruptions of Mr." "La! my dear. quite shocked at the mistake. she heard somebody running upstairs in a violent hurry." "Very true. and come d own this moment. she will do for him very well.ny hesitation in saying she will include you and my sister Maria in every invita tion with which she honours us during your stay here. Her behaviour to my dear C harlotte is charming. Elizabeth. and. Mr. struck with other ideas. the other is Miss de B ourgh.

was complete. he said to Elizabeth-"Do not make yourself uneasy. Lady Catherine will n ot think the worse of you for being simply dressed. and was but slightly affected by his enumeration of the windows in front of the house. When the ladies were separating for the toilette. Mr. "from that knowledge of what the manners of the great really are. was exactly what he had wished for. I rath er expected. moreover." replied Sir William. Collins pointed out. As the weather was fine. Lady Catherin e is far from requiring that elegance of dress in us which becomes herself and h er daughter. they had a pleasant walk of about half a mile across t he park. Maria's alarm was every moment increa sing. "I confess. that the sight of such rooms. with a rapturous air. Such formidable accounts of her ladyship." While they were dressing. that it would happen. and that an opportunity of doing it should be given so soon. She had heard nothing of Lady Catherine that spoke her awful from any extraordinary talents or miraculous virtue. She likes to have the distin ction of rank preserved. my dear cousin. Every park has its beauty and its prospects. When they ascended the steps to the hall. as Lady Catherine very much objected to be kept waiting for her dinner. and the mere stateliness of mone y or rank she thought she could witness without trepidation. in consequence of this invitation. quite frightened Maria Lucas who had been little used to company. which Charlotte explained by lettin g them know that the whole party was asked to dine at Rosings the next day. From the entrance-hall. Elizabeth's courage did not fail her.to congratulate them on their good fortune. such instances of elegant breedin g are not uncommon. though she could not be in such raptures as Mr." said he. and his relation of what the glazing altogether h ad originally cost Sir Lewis de Bourgh. and of letting them see her civility towards himself and his wife. The pow er of displaying the grandeur of his patroness to his wondering visitors. I would advise you merely to put on whatever of your clothes is sup erior to the rest--there is no occasion for anything more. "that I should not have been at all surprised by her lady ship's asking us on Sunday to drink tea and spend the evening at Rosings. the fine proportion and the finished ornaments. to recommend their being quick. and so splendid a dinner. and even Sir William did not look perfectly calm. About the court. and Elizabeth saw much to be pleased with. Collins was carefully instructing them in what they were to expec t. James's. Chapter 29 Mr. so many servants. about your apparel. But who could have foreseen such an attention as this? Who could have imagined that we s hould receive an invitation to dine there (an invitation. they followed the servants thro . from my knowledge of her affability. an d she looked forward to her introduction at Rosings with as much apprehension as her father had done to his presentation at St. mig ht not wholly overpower them. Collins's triumph." Scarcely anything was talked of the whole day or next morning but their visit t o Rosings. Collins expecte d the scene to inspire. he came two or three times to their different doors. of which Mr. as he knew not how to admi re enough. including th e whole party) so immediately after your arrival!" "I am the less surprised at what has happened. and her manner of living. wa s such an instance of Lady Catherine's condescension. which my situation in li fe has allowed me to acquire.

Mr. it was performed in a proper manner. she co uld almost have joined in Maria's astonishment at her being so thin and so small . not knowing which way to l ook. were insignificant. Mrs. sat on the edge of her chair. Her air was not con ciliating. and Lady Cather ine kindly informing them that it was much better worth looking at in the summer . When. and could observe the thr ee ladies before her composedly. to Mrs. When the ladies returned to the drawing-room. Collins had promised. except in a low voice. She was not rendered formidable by silence. and gave most gracious smiles. large woman. frightened al most out of her senses. Elizabeth found herself quite equal to the scene. Jenkinson was chiefly employed in w atching how little Miss de Bourgh ate. but she was seated between Charlotte and Miss de Bourgh --the former of whom was engaged in listening to Lady Catherine. to the room where Lady Catherine. which might once have been handsome. and as Mrs. though not plain. and. and the gentlemen did nothing but eat and admire. and who was entirely engaged in listening to what she said. Elizabeth was ready to speak whenev er there was an opening. first by h im and then by Sir William. Her ladyship. her features. her daughter. especially when any dish on the table proved a novelty to them. with great condescension. and Mrs. and his daughter.ugh an ante-chamber. Collins had settled it with her husband that the office of intr oduction should be hers. The party did not supply much conversation. Lady Catherine was a tall. B ut Lady Catherine seemed gratified by their excessive admiration. In the . In spite of having been at St. James's Sir William was so completely awed by th e grandeur surrounding him. they were all sent to one of the windows to admire the view. she turned her eyes on the daughter. arose to receive t hem. Maria thought speaking out of the question. but whateve r she said was spoken in so authoritative a tone. He carved. and there were all the servants and all th e articles of plate which Mr. Elizabeth found that nothing was beneath this great lady's at tention. nor was her manner of receiving them such as to make her visitors for get their inferior rank. which could furnish her with an occasion of dictating to others. there was little to be done but t o hear Lady Catherine talk. told her how everything ought to be regu lated in so small a family as hers. and placing a screen in the proper direction before her eyes. by her ladyship's desire. with st rongly-marked features. in whose ap pearance there was nothing remarkable. and she spoke very little. She inquired into C harlotte's domestic concerns familiarly and minutely. Jenkinson. The dinner was exceedingly handsome. Collins attending them to point out its beauties. that he had but just courage enough to make a very l ow bow. as marked her self-importance. and brought Mr. There was neither in figure nor face any likeness between the ladies. After sitting a few minutes. and the latter said not a word to her all dinner-time. and praised with delighted alacrity. delivering her opinion on every subject in so decisive a manner. as prov ed that she was not used to have her judgement controverted. and fearing she was indisposed. who was now enough recovered to echo whatever his so n-in-law said. Darcy. and at e. Je nkinson were sitting. she believed Lady Catherine to be exactly what he repr esented. which she did without any intermission till coffee c ame in. after examining the mother. as he had likewise fore told. without any of tho se apologies and thanks which he would have thought necessary. he took his seat at the bottom of the table. and every dish was commended. Miss de Bourgh was pale and sickly. and instructed her as to the care of her cow s and her poultry. in whose countenance and deportment she soon found some resemblance of Mr. and take his seat without saying a word. in a manner which Elizabeth wondered Lady Catherine could bear. Wickham immediately to Elizabeth's mind. gave her a great deal of a dvice as to the management of them all. and from the observati on of the day altogether. and looked as if he felt that life could furnish nothing greater. pressing her to try some other dish.

she addressed a variety of questi ons to Maria and Elizabeth. Collins." "That is very strange. Our instrument is a capital one. but such of us as wished to le arn never wanted the means. and who she observed to Mrs." "What. no doubt. and their father has not so good an income as yours. It is wonderful how many families I h ave been the means of supplying in that way. I am always glad to get a young per . and if I had known y our mother. who taught you? who attended to you? Without a governess. wh ether they were older or younger than herself. I think. and nobody but a governess can give it. pret ty kind of girl." "No governess! How was that possible? Five daughters brought up at home without a governess! I never heard of such a thing. not at all. "Then. but that is what a governess will prevent. whether they were handsome. Do you play and sing. and what had been her mother's maiden name? Elizabeth fel t all the impertinence of her questions but answered them very composedly." "Has your governess left you?" "We never had any governess. but otherwise I see no occasion for entailin g estates from the female line. I always s ay that nothing is to be done in education without steady and regular instructio n. For your sake." turn ing to Charlotte. "I am glad of it. certainly might.intervals of her discourse with Mrs." "Why did not you all learn? You ought all to have learned. where they had been educated. Do you draw?" "No. "Your father's estate is entailed on Mr. none of you?" "Not one." "Compared with some families." Elizabeth could hardly help smiling as she assured her that had not been the ca se. but especially to the latter. It was not thought necessary in Sir Lewis de Bou rgh's family. She asked her. Those who chose to be idle. The Miss Webbs all p lay. But I suppose you had no opportunity. We were always encouraged to read. Miss Bennet?" "A little. Lady Catherine then observed. Collins was a very genteel. I should have advised her most strenuously to engage one. how many sisters she had. Your mother must have been quite a slave to your education. and had all the m asters that were necessary. Do your sister s play and sing?" "One of them does. Your mother should have taken you to town every spring for the benefit of masters." "My mother would have had no objection. I believe we were. Collins. you must have been neglected. probably superior to----You shall try it some day. but my father hates London. what car riage her father kept. at different times. of whose connections s he knew the least." "Aye. whether any of them were likely t o be married." "Oh! then--some time or other we shall be happy to hear you.

The last-born has as good a r ight to the pleasures of youth at the first. Collins's side and as many bows on Sir William's they depa rted. and Mr. Lady Catherine was generally speaking--stating the mistakes of the thr ee others. all five out at once? Very odd! And you only the second. "your ladysh ip can hardly expect me to own it. Mr. When Lady Catherine and her daughter had played as long as they chose.son well placed out. and it was but the other day that I recommended another youn g person. or relating some anecdote of herself. Elizabeth was called on by her c ousin to give her opinion of all that she had seen at Rosings. smiling. the two girls had the honour of assisting Mrs." "I am not one-and-twenty." "Upon my word. and the family are quite delighted with her. "You cannot be more than twenty. that they should not have their share of society and amusement.' said she. ma'am. who was merely accidentally mentioned to me. and as Miss de Bourgh chose to play at cassino. "you give your opinion very decidedly for so young a person." said her ladyship. The younge r ones out before the elder ones are married! Your younger sisters must be very young?" "Yes. Mrs. Four nieces of Mrs. Collins was employed in agr eeing to everything her ladyship said. thanking her for every fish he won. The party then gathered round the fire to hear Lady Ca therine determine what weather they were to have on the morrow. what is your age?" "With three younger sisters grown up. He was s toring his memory with anecdotes and noble names. I think it would be very hard upon younger sisters. Sir William. Jenkinson expressed her fears of Miss de Bourgh's being too hot or too c old. But really. Collins. From these instr uctions they were summoned by the arrival of the coach. Miss Bennet?" "Yes. and tea was over. t hough costing her some trouble. 'y ou have given me a treasure. gratefully accepted and immediately ordered. 'Lady Catherine. Pray." When the gentlemen had joined them. my youngest is not sixteen. and a pologising if he thought he won too many." Lady Catherine seemed quite astonished at not receiving a direct answer. therefore you need not conceal your age. Collins." replied Elizabeth. Jenkinson to make up her party. A great deal more passed at the oth er table. But her commendation. and Mrs. I am sure. Collins. or having too much or too little light. all. Their table was superlatively st upid. which. except wh en Mrs. . Jenkinson are most delightfully situate d through my means. Sir William did not say much. did I tell you of Lady Metcalf's calling yeste rday to thank me? She finds Miss Pope a treasure. and El izabeth suspected herself to be the first creature who had ever dared to trifle with so much dignified impertinence. she made more favourable than it really was. ma'am. for Charlo tte's sake. Scarcely a syllable was uttered that did not relate to the game. and he wa s very soon obliged to take her ladyship's praise into his own hands. could by no means satisfy Mr. because the elder may not have the means or inclination to marry early. Collins sat down to quadrille. As soon as they had driven from the door. Perhaps SHE is full young to be much in compa ny. the card-tables were plac ed. Lady Catherine. the tabl es were broken up." "All! What.' Are any of your younger sisters out. and with many speeches o f thankfulness on Mr. the carriage was offered to Mrs. And to be kept back on SUCH a motiv e! I think it would not be very likely to promote sisterly affection or delicacy of mind.

the whole family returned to their usual employments. which he never failed comin g to inform them of. silence their comp laints. and had a more pleasant aspect. and the weather was so fine for the time of year t hat she had often great enjoyment out of doors. but his visit was long enough to co nvince him of his daughter's being most comfortably settled. Collins for the knowledge of what carriages went along. Collins's joints of meat were too large for her family. Mr. and were inde bted to Mr. and where she felt beyond the re ach of Lady Catherine's curiosity. she was a most active magistrate in her own parish. she cou ld not understand the sacrifice of so many hours. Collins w ould undoubtedly have been much less in his own apartment. or detected the housemaid in negligence. the first fortnight of her visit soon passed away. was no evil to Elizabeth. and showing him the country. the minutest concerns of which were carried to her by Mr. and how ofte n especially Miss de Bourgh drove by in her phaeton. where there was a nice sheltered path. and there being only one card-table in the e vening. for the chief of the time between br eakfast and dinner was now passed by him either at work in the garden or in read ing and writing. sh e sallied forth into the village to settle their differences. and upon th e whole she spent her time comfortably enough. but she soon saw that her friend had an excellent reason for what she did. look ed at their work. and till Elizabeth recollected that there might be other family livings to be disposed of. seemed to do it only for the sake of finding out that Mrs. as the style of living in the neighbourhood in general was beyond Mr. every such entertainment was the counterpart of the first. In this quiet way. and advised them to do it differently. which no one seemed to value but herself. however. Easter wa s approaching. and if she accepted any refreshment. there were half-hours of pleasant conversation with Charlotte. and looking out of the window in his own book-room. and of her possessi ng such a husband and such a neighbour as were not often met with. it was a better sized room. Very few days passed in which Mr. and where sh e frequently went while the others were calling on Lady Catherine. or too poor. Collins's reach. Collins did not walk to Rosings. which front ed the road. and. and she gave Charlotte credit for the arrangement. She examined into their employments. that though this great lady was not in commission of the peace of the county. was along the open grove which edged that side of the park. al lowing for the loss of Sir William. and not many in which his wife did not think it necessary to go likewise. The room in which the ladies sat was backwards. Elizabeth had at fi rst rather wondered that Charlotte should not prefer the dining-parlour for comm on use. had they sat in one e qually lively. and whenever any of the cottagers were disposed to be quarrelsome. Collins devoted his morning to driving him out in his gi g. Her favourite walk. though it happened almost every day. and Elizabeth was thankful to find that they did no t see more of her cousin by the alteration. for Mr. discontented. and the week preceding it was to bring an addition to the family at Rosings. From the drawing-room they could distinguish nothing in the lane. and scold them into harmony and plenty. Elizabeth had heard so . Now and then they were honoure d with a call from her ladyship. found fault with the ar rangement of the furniture. Elizabeth soon perceived. This. She not unfrequently s topped at the Parsonage. but was scarcely ever prevailed upon to get out. which in so small a circle must be important. The entertainment of dining at Rosings was repeated about twice a week. but when he went away. Their other e ngagements were few. While Sir Wil liam was with them. and had a few minutes' conversation with Charlotte.Chapter 30 Sir William stayed only a week at Hunsford. and nothing escaped her observation that was pa ssing in the room during these visits. Collins.

and it was not till Easter-day. Colonel Fitzwilliam had called at the Parsonage more than once during the time. Mr. and after a moment's pause. was about thirty. for Mr. and she might be amused in seeing how hopeless Miss Bingley's designs on h im were. and though there were not many of her acquaintances whom she did not prefer . to the great surprise of all the party. and immediately running in to the other. and seemed almost angry to find that he had already been frequently seen by Miss Lucas and herself. added: "My eldest sister has been in town these three months. Colonel Fitzwilliam. . after having addressed a slight observation on the house and garden to Mrs. who led the way. however. for this piece of civility. to Mrs. Eliza. and whatever might be his feelings toward her friend. they could not be necessary. For the last week they had seen very little of Lady Catherine or her daughter. hurried home with the great intelligence. She answ ered him in the usual way.on after her arrival that Mr." Elizabeth had scarcely time to disclaim all right to the compliment. Collins was walking the wh ole morning within view of the lodges opening into Hunsford Lane. The subject was pursued no farther. Chapter 31 Colonel Fitzwilliam's manners were very much admired at the Parsonage. adding: "I may thank you. for whom he was evidently destined by L ady Catherine. his coming would furnish one comparatively new to look at in their Rosings par ties. but his cousin. Darcy had brought with him a Colonel Fitzwillia m. the gentleman accompanied him. Collins. Mr. met her with every appearance of composure. but in person and address most truly the gentleman. Darcy they had seen only at c hurch. when Mr. and. but Mr. by his behaviour to his cousin. Collins returned. in order to ha ve the earliest assurance of it. not handsome. Colonel Fitzwilliam entered into conversation directly with the readiness and e ase of a well-bred man. and then they were merely asked on l eaving church to come there in the evening. Darcy would never have come so soon to wait upon me. and shortly afterwards the three gen tlemen entered the room. crossing the road. th at they were honoured by such an attention. sat for some time without speaking to anybody. spoke of him in terms of the highest admiration. before they received any invitation t hither--for while there were visitors in the house. for Mr. and the gentlemen soon afterwards went away. Darcy loo ked just as he had been used to look in Hertfordshire--paid his compliments. Charlotte had seen them from her husband's room. Have you never happened to see her there?" She was perfectly sensible that he never had. almost a week after the gentlemen's arrival. before the ir approach was announced by the door-bell. On the following morni ng he hastened to Rosings to pay his respects. Elizabeth merely curtsey ed to him without saying a word. At length. It was some days. and she thought he looked a little confused as he answered that he had never be en so fortunate as to meet Miss Bennet. wit h his usual reserve. and after making his bow as the carriage turned into the Park. told the girls what an honour they might expect. and the ladies all felt that he must add considerably to the pleasures of their engageme nts at Rosings. and talked very pleasantly. His arrival was soon known at the Parsonage. the younger son of his uncle Lord ----. There were two nephews of Lady Ca therine to require them. but she wished to see whether he would betray any consciousness of what had passed between the Bingleys and Jane. however. his civility was so far awakened as to inquire of Elizabeth after the health of her family. who talked of his coming with the greatest satisfaction. Collins. Darcy was expected there in the course of a few we eks.

and when I next write to her. anything was a welcome reli ef to him at Rosings. I often tell young ladies t hat no excellence in music is to be acquired without constant practice. "I am very glad to hear such a good account of her. Lady Catherine listened to half a song. and she was. "Of music! Then pray speak aloud. When coffee was over. if her health had allowed her to apply. and they conversed with so much spirit and flow. especially to Darcy. Collins's pretty friend had moreover caught his f ancy very much. much more than to any other person in the room. Collins has no instrument. turned to him with an arch smile. shared the feeling. or a better natural taste." Mr. Her ladyship received them civilly. and at a proper hour they joined the par ty in Lady Catherine's drawing-room. and talked so agreeably of Kent an d Hertfordshire. and play on the pianofort e in Mrs. If I had ever learnt." he replied. How does Georgiana get on. who have more true enjoyment of music than myself. Elizabeth saw what he was doing. in fact. Colonel Fitzwilliam seemed really glad to see them. and Mrs. to h er other nephew. I suppose. and said: . was more openly acknowledged. I must have my share in the conversation if you are speaking of music. as well as of Mr. and that her ladyship. of new books and music. that she cannot expect to excel if she does not practice a good deal. when no longer able to avoid a repl y. It cannot be done too much. of travelling and staying at home. "that she does not need such advice. and then talked.The invitation was accepted of course. as before. Darcy. There are few people in England." "So much the better. Darcy looked a little ashamed of his aunt's ill-breeding. and making with his usual deliberation towards the pianoforte stationed himself so as to command a full v iew of the fair performer's countenance. madam. a s I have often told her. after a while. Darcy spoke with affectionate praise of his sister's proficiency. but it was plain that their company was by no means so acceptable as when she could get nobody else." "We are speaking of music. Jenkinson's room. And so would Anne. as to draw the attention of Lady Cather ine herself. Fitzwilliam? What is it you are talking of? What are you telling Miss Bennet? Let me hear what it is. and she sat down directly to the instrument. I should have been a great proficien t. that she will never play really well unless she p ractises more. and though Mrs. He drew a chair ne ar her. "and pray tell her from me. and made no answe r. she is very welcome. She would be in nobody's way. She pra ctises very constantly. in that part of the house. and at the first convenient pause. I am confident tha t she would have performed delightfully. Colonel Fitzwilliam reminded Elizabeth of having promised to play to him. It is of all subjects my delight." said Lady Catherine. speaking to them. that Elizabeth had never been half so well entertained in that room before. madam." "I assure you. He now seated himself by her. Darcy?" Mr. almost engrossed by her nephews. I shall charge her not to neglect it on any account. to come to Rosings every day. for she did not scruple to cal l out: "What is that you are saying." said he. I have t old Miss Bennet several times. you know. till the latter walked away from her. HIS eyes had been soon and repeatedly turn ed towards them with a look of curiosity.

what do I play next? My fingers wait your orders." "I am not afraid of you." . and." "I shall not say you are mistaken. "do not move over this instrument in the masterly manner which I see so many women's do. give me leave to say. "Shall we ask him why a man of sense and education." Elizabeth laughed heartily at this picture of herself. more than one young lady was s itting down in want of a partner. They have not the same force or rapidity . There is a stubbornnes s about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. Indeed. It is not th at I do not believe MY fingers as capable as any other woman's of superior execu tion. "I should have judged better." Darcy smiled and said. The fir st time of my ever seeing him in Hertfordshire. in a part of the world where I had hoped to p ass myself off with some degree of credit." "Perhaps. "of co nversing easily with those I have never seen before. but I am ill-qualified to recommend myself to strangers. was at a ball--an d at this ball. Darcy. Mr. had I sought an introducti on. as I often see done. still addressing Colonel Fitzwilliam. or appear interested in their concerns." said Darcy. and said to Colonel Fitz william. My courag e always rises at every attempt to intimidate me. you cannot deny the fact. "You are perfectly right." cried Colonel Fitzwilliam." "Shall we ask your cousin the reason of this?" said Elizabeth." said Elizabeth." said Darcy. Mr. very impolitic too--for it is provoking me to retaliate. Darcy." said he. is ill qualified to recommend himself to strangers?" "I can answer your question." "I certainly have not the talent which some people possess. and teach you no t to believe a word I say." "True. I cannot catch their tone o f conversation. "without applying to him. I am particularly unlucky in meeting with a person so able to expose my real character."You mean to frighten me. it is very ungener ous in you to mention all that you knew to my disadvantage in Hertfordshire--and ." "You shall hear then--but prepare yourself for something very dreadful. "because you could not really b elieve me to entertain any design of alarming you. and wh o has lived in the world. though gen tlemen were scarce. and such things may come out as will shock your relations to hear. Darcy. to my certain knowledge. and I have had the pleasure o f your acquaintance long enough to know that you find great enjoyment in occasio nally professing opinions which in fact are not your own. We neither of us perform to strangers. what do you think he did? He danced only four dances. You have employed your time mu ch better. by coming in all this state to hear me? I will not be alarmed though your sister DOES play so well." he replied. "Pray let me hear what you have to accuse him of. "Your cousin will give you a very pretty notion of me. No one admitted to the privilege of hearing you can think anything wa nting. and do not produce the same expression. and nobody can ever be introduced in a ball-room. But then I have always supposed it to be my own fault--because I will not take the trouble of practising. you must know. It is because he will not give himself the trouble. Mr." "My fingers." "I had not at that time the honour of knowing any lady in the assembly beyond m y own party. smilingly. Well." said Fitzwilliam. Colonel Fitzwill iam. " I should like to know how he behaves among strangers.

remained at the instrument till her ladyship's carriage was ready to take them all home. and. thoug h her taste is not equal to Anne's. and apologised for his intrusion by letting her know that he had understood all the ladies were to be within. Elizabeth immediately began playing again. said to Darcy: "Miss Bennet would not play at all amiss if she practised more. I hope. she thought it not unlikely to be Lady Catherine. As she had heard no c arriage. entered the room. Collins and Maria were gone on business into the village. They then sat down. therefore. and is at a time of life when friends and engagements are continually increasing. if I recollect right. Darcy only. it would be better for the neighb ourhood that he should give up the place entirely. who called out to know what they were talking of. Bingley has not much idea of ever returning to Netherfield again?" "I have never heard him say so. Elizabeth received them with all th e forbearance of civility. she observed: "How very suddenly you all quitted Netherfield last November. Mr. when you left London?" "Perfectly so. Bingley did not take the house so mu . at the request of the gentlemen. He and his sisters were well. he went but the day before. and in this emergence recollecting WHEN she had seen him las t in Hertfordshire. to her very great surprise. and Mr. She has a very good notion of fingering." Elizabeth looked at Darcy to see how cordially he assented to his cousin's prai se. I thank you. Lady Catherine appro ached. and. and feeling curious to know what he would say on the subject of their hasty departure. and could have the advantage of a London master. after listening for a few minutes. that he might have been just as likely to marry HER.Here they were interrupted by Lady Catherine. and when her inquiries after Rosings were made. and from the whole of his behaviour to Miss de Bourgh she derived this co mfort for Miss Bingley. Dar cy. and writing to Jane while Mr s. Darcy! It mus t have been a most agreeable surprise to Mr. He seemed astonished too on finding her alone. It was absolutely necessary. Anne would have been a delightful performer. Chapter 32 Elizabeth was sitting by herself the next morning. but it is probable that he may spend very littl e of his time there in the future. but neither at that moment nor at any other could she discern any symptom of love. when the door opened. to think of something. and under that appreh ension was putting away her half-finished letter that she might escape all imper tinent questions. Mr. Mr. the certain signal of a visitor. seemed in d anger of sinking into total silence. perhaps. when she was startl ed by a ring at the door. for. and. But. Lady Catherine continued her remarks on Elizabeth's performance." "If he means to be but little at Netherfield. mixing with th em many instructions on execution and taste. had she been his relation." She found that she was to receive no other answer. and. for then we might possibly ge t a settled family there. after a short pause add ed: "I think I have understood that Mr. Bingley to see you all after him so soon. He has many friends. had her health allowed her to learn.

The far and the near must be relative. Collins as the wisest thing she ever did." "It is a proof of your own attachment to Hertfordshire." cried Elizabeth. was now determined to leave the trouble of finding a subject to him. and soon began with. Y es. and said. h e must be supposing her to be thinking of Jane and Netherfield. and glancing over it. sa id." Elizabeth looked surprised. distance bec omes no evil. Collins was settled NEAR h er family. "if he were to give it up as soon as a ny eligible purchase offers. "This seems a very comfortable house." "It must be very agreeable for her to be settled within so easy a distance of h er own family and friends." "I believe she did--and I am sure she could not have bestowed her kindness on a more grateful object. and depend on many varying circumstances. Anything beyond the ver y neighbourhood of Longbourn. indeed. did a great deal to it when Mr." "I should not be surprised. "I should never have said Mrs. Whe re there is fortune to make the expenses of travelling unimportant. took a newspaper from the table. Darcy drew his chair a little towards her. and Mrs. and we must expect h im to keep it or quit it on the same principle. I suppose.ch for the convenience of the neighbourhood as for his own. however." "I should never have considered the distance as one of the ADVANTAGES of the ma tch. or have made him happy if the y had. I call it a VERY easy distance. He took the hint. do you call it? It is nearly fifty miles. his friends may well rejoice in his having met with one of the ve ry few sensible women who would have accepted him. YOU cannot have been always at Longbour n. h e drew back his chair. She seems pe rfectly happy." said Darcy." As he spoke there was a sort of smile which Elizabeth fancied she understood. but not such a one as will allow of frequent journeys--and I am per suaded my friend would not call herself NEAR her family under less than HALF the present distance. But that is not the case HERE. Collins first came to H unsford. My friend has an excellent understanding--though I am not certain that I consider her marrying Mr. "YOU cannot have a rig ht to such very strong local attachment. Collins appears to be very fortunate in his choice of a wife." "Yes. and in a prudential light it is certainly a very good ma tch for her. in a colder voice: . and she blushed as she answered: "I do not mean to say that a woman may not be settled too near her family. La dy Catherine. Collins have a comfort able income." Mr. having nothing else to say. Mr." Elizabeth made no answer." "Mr." "An easy distance. The gentleman experienced some change of feeling. I believe. and. She was afraid of talking longer of his friend. would appear far." "And what is fifty miles of good road? Little more than half a day's journey.

that all her friend's dislike would vanish. She had once or twice suggested to Elizabeth the possibility of his being parti al to her. went away. Colonel Fitzwilliam's occasionally laughing at his stupidity. Mr. it seemed the effect of ne cessity rather than of choice--a sacrifice to propriety. and in the nearness of the Parsonage. which her own knowledge of him could not have told her. she set herself seriously to work to find it out. He was beyond comparison the most pleasant man. to be the case. on either side calm and concise--and soon put an end to by the entrance of Charlotte and her sister. Mr. even to Ch arlotte's wishes. as well as by his evident admiration of her. She watched him whenever they were at Rosings. which was the more probable from the time of year. He seldom appeared really animated. and as she would liked to have believed this change the effect of love. sometimes separately. The tete-a-tete surprised them. the two cous ins found a temptation from this period of walking thither almost every day. Collins did not th ink it right to press the subject. jus t returned from her walk. she believed h e might have the best informed mind. but Elizabeth always laughed at the idea. But why Mr. she sometimes planned her marrying Colonel F itzwilliam. "My dear. In her kind schemes for Elizabeth. and though. Eliza. and his cousin c ould have none at all. as soon as he was gone. and Mrs. if she could suppose him to be in her power. Within doors there was Lady Catherine. Darcy came so often to the Parsonage. It was plain to them all that Co lonel Fitzwilliam came because he had pleasure in their society. proved that he was generally different. they could at l ast only suppose his visit to proceed from the difficulty of finding anything to do. a persuasion wh ich of course recommended him still more. and Elizabeth was reminded by her own satisfaction in being with him. and his situation in life was most eligible. sometimes togeth er. and the object of that love her friend Eliza." But when Elizabeth told of his silence. she saw ther e was less captivating softness in Colonel Fitzwilliam's manners. or he would never have called us in th is familiar way. and after sitting a f ew minutes longer without saying much to anybody. or th e pleasantness of the walk to it. and a billiard-table. He certainly looked at her friend a great de al. Mrs. and whenever he came to Hunsford. it was more difficult to unde rstand. of her former favourite George Wickham. and when he did speak. Collins knew not what to make of hi m. and after various conjectures."Are you pleased with Kent?" A short dialogue on the subject of the country ensued. it did not seem very likely. and somet imes it seemed nothing but absence of mind. "What can be the meaning of this?" said Charlotte. but she often doubted whether there were much admiration in it. Darcy had considerable patronage in the church. steadfast gaze. he certainly admired her. books. Chapter 33 . All field sports were ov er. from the danger of raising expectations which might only end in disappointment. as he frequently sat there ten minutes toge ther without opening his lips. to counterbalance these advantages. It could not be for society. Darcy related the mistake which had occasioned his intruding on Miss Bennet. but gent lemen cannot always be within doors. It was an earnest. and now and then accompanied by their aunt. The y called at various times of the morning. in comparing them. not a pleasure to himse lf. for in her opinion it admitted not of a doubt . but. but without much success. he must be in love with you. or of the people who lived in it. but the expression of that look was disputable.

took ca re to inform him at first that it was a favourite haunt of hers. yo u know." "And if not able to please himself in the arrangement." . what have you ever known of self-denial and dependence? When have you been prevented by want of money from going wherever you chose. Collins's happiness." "He likes to have his own way very well. Could he have Colonel Fitzwilliam in his thoughts? She supposed. "Do you certainly leave Kent on Saturday?" said she. he must mean and allusion to what might aris e in that quarter. Now seriously. Darcy. in her ramble within the park. nor did she give herself the trouble of talking or of listening much.More than once did Elizabeth. I may suffer from want of money. A younger son. when. Darcy. b ut it struck her in the course of their third rencontre that he was asking some odd unconnected questions--about her pleasure in being at Hunsford. he has at least pleasure in the great power of choice. her love of solitary walks. was very odd! Yet it did." "In my opinion." And accordingly she did turn. and she was quite glad to find he rself at the gate in the pales opposite the Parsonage. and. I should have turned in a moment. therefore. or procuring any thing you had a fancy for?" "These are home questions--and perhaps I cannot say that I have experienced man y hardships of that nature. She felt all the perverseness of the mischance that should bring him where no one else was brought. i nstead of being again surprised by Mr. It distressed her a little. Darcy. "But so we all do. He arranges the business just as he pleases." "I have been making the tour of the park. and intend to close it with a call at the Parsonage. to prevent its ever happening again. for on these occasions it wa s not merely a few formal inquiries and an awkward pause and then away. in perusing Jane's last letter. and they walked towards the Parsonage together. He never said a gre at deal. "Yes--if Darcy does not put it off again. she saw on looking up that Colonel Fitzwilliam was meeting her. "as I generally do every year. She was engaged one day as she walked. I do not know anybody who seems more to enjoy the power of doing what he likes than Mr. Younger sons cannot marry where they like. or a voluntary penance. How it could oc cur a second time. I speak feelingly. but he a ctually thought it necessary to turn back and walk with her. be cause he is rich. But I am at his disposal. But in matters of greater weight. and her opinion of Mr. unexpectedly meet Mr. she said: "I did not know before that you ever walked this way. and even a third. the younger son of an earl can know very little of either. and Mrs. and that in speaking of Rosings and her not perfectly understanding the house. and dwel ling on some passages which proved that Jane had not written in spirits." replied Colonel Fitzwilliam. Putting away the letter immediately and forcing a smile. which I think they very often do." he replied." "Unless where they like women of fortune. he seemed to expect that whenever she came into Kent again she would be staying THERE too. It is only that he has better means of having it than many others. Are you going much f arther?" "No. must be inured to self-denial and dependence. It see med like wilful ill-nature. and many others are poor. H is words seemed to imply it. if he meant anything.

convinced her that she had somehow or other got pretty near the truth. perhaps. what is the usual price of an earl's younger son? Unless the elder brother is very sickly. I think I h ave heard you say that you know them."Our habits of expense make us too dependent. Their brother is a pleasant gentlemanlike man--he is a g reat friend of Darcy's. for I have no right to suppose that Bingley was the person meant." "Is this." "No. "And pray. It w as all conjecture. I suppose you would not ask above fifty thousand pounds. She directly replied: "You need not be frightened. She is a very great favouri te with some ladies of my acquaintance." "Oh! yes. I never heard any harm of her. I really believe Darcy DOES take care of him in those points where he most wants care." "Are you indeed? And pray what sort of guardians do you make? Does your charge give you much trouble? Young ladies of her age are sometimes a little difficult to manage. it would be an unpleasant thing. to secure a lasting conven ience of that kind. and there are too many in my rank of life who can afford to marry without some attention to money. and takes a prodigious deal of care of him." "I know them a little. "Mr. he may do what he likes with her." "Care of him! Yes. and if she has the true Darcy spirit. his sister does as well for the present. and. "that is an advantage which he must divide with me." said Colonel Fitzwilliam. Mrs." He answered her in the same style." . she soon after wards said: "I imagine your cousin brought you down with him chiefly for the sake of having someone at his disposal. but . because if it were to get round to the lady's family. as she is under his sole care. Hurst and Miss Bingley. and I only suspected it to be Bingley fro m believing him the kind of young man to get into a scrape of that sort. But I ought to beg hi s pardon. From something that he told me in our journey hither." thought Elizabeth. Darcy is uncommonly kind to Mr. Bingley. What he told me was merely this: that he congratulated himself on having lately saved a friend from the inconveniences of a most imprudent marriage. but without ment ioning names or any other particulars. she may like to have her own wa y. and the subject dropped." said Elizabeth drily. But." As she spoke she observed him looking at her earnestly." "What is it you mean?" "It is a circumstance which Darcy could not wish to be generally known. To interrupt a sile nce which might make him fancy her affected with what had passed." "You may depend upon my not mentioning it. and I dare say she is one of the most tractable creatures in the world. I wonder he does not marry. said in a lively tone. and the manner in which he immediately asked her why she supposed Miss Darcy likely to give them any un easiness. "meant for me?" and she coloured at the idea. I am joined with him in the guardianship of Miss Darcy. I have reason to think Bingley very much indebted to him. recovering herself. and fro m knowing them to have been together the whole of last summer." "And remember that I have not much reason for supposing it to be Bingley.

" she continued. Neither could anything be urged against my father." Elizabeth made no answer. has abilities Mr. would receive a deeper wound from the want of importance in his fr iend's connections. and therefore. "There were some very strong objections against the lady. If his own vanity." "That is not an unnatural surmise. he was to determine and di rect in what manner his friend was to be happy. and those strong objections probably were." said Fitzwilliam." said Fitzwilliam." When she t hought of her mother. recollectin g herself. that he had been partly governed by this worst kind of pride. brought on a headache. generous heart in the w orld. HE was the cause. she cou ld think without interruption of all that she had heard. Darcy could have such b oundless influence. Bingley for his sister. she w as convinced. "To Jane herself. her confidence gave way a little. and partly by the wish of retaining Mr. as soon as their visitor left them. The agitation and tears which the subject occasioned. Darcy give you reasons for this interference?" "I understood that there were some very strong objections against the lady. Darcy had to decide on the propriety of his friend 's inclination. her having one uncle wh o was a country attorney. did not mislead him." said she. but she had always attributed to Miss B ingley the principal design and arrangement of them. of all that Jane had suffered. his pride and caprice were the cause. and her manners captivating. abruptly chan ging the conversation talked on indifferent matters until they reached the Parso nage. shut into her own room. but she would not allow that any objections THERE had material weight with Mr. all loveliness and goodness as she is!--her understanding excellent. But. "He only to ld me what I have now told you. It was not to be suppos ed that any other people could be meant than those with whom she was connected. and she was quite decided. that. upon his own judgement alone. however. Darcy."Did Mr. I t is not to be supposed that there was much affection in the case. "but it is a lessening of the honour of my cousin's triumph very sadly. and no one could say how lasting an evil he might have inflicted. but it appeared to her so just a picture of Mr." "And what arts did he use to separate them?" "He did not talk to me of his own arts. and walked on. "Your cousin's cond uct does not suit my feelings. and another who was in business in London. her mind im proved. or why. it is not fair to condemn him." she exclaimed. smiling. than from their want of sense. an d it grew so much worse towards the evening. that she would not trust herself with an answer. who. A fter watching her a little. added to her unwillingness to . at last. "as we know none of the particulars. Fitzwilliam asked her why she was so thoughtful. Darc y. There could not exist in the world TWO men over whom Mr." were Colonel Fitzwil liam's words. "there could be no possibility of objection. There." This was spoken jestingly. whose pride. her heart swelling with indignation. Why was he to be the judge?" "You are rather disposed to call his interference officious?" "I do not see what right Mr. though with some peculiarities. and respectability which he will probably never each. Darcy himself nee d not disdain. That he had been concerned in the measures taken to separate Bingley and Jane she had never doubted. and still continued to suffer. He had ruined for a while every hope of happiness for the most affectionate. "I am thinking of what you have been telling me.

Darcy. she was at first sorry for the pain he was to receive. as if intending to exasperate herself as much a s possible against Mr. she did not mean to be unhappy about h im. and agreeable as he was. to her utter amazement. It was some consolation to think that his visit to Rosings was to end on the da y after the next--and. and which. Collins. When they were gone. or any commu nication of present suffering. In spite of her deeply-rooted dislike. It will not do. In an hurried manner he immediately began an inquiry after her health. he had found impossible to conquer. She trie d. when. immediately followed. a still greater. and with . he came towards her in an agitated manner. nor was there any revival of past occurrences. id not press her to go and as ng her. Darcy's shameful boast of what misery he had been able to inflict. and he was n ot more eloquent on the subject of tenderness than of pride. gave her a keener sense of her sister's sufferings. seeing that she was really unwell. and then ge tting up. had been scarcely ever clouded. it determined ey were engaged to drink tea. till. Mr. chose for her employment the examination of all th e letters which Jane had written to her since her being in Kent. when he should have done. in spite of all his endeavours. Collins could eing rather displeased by her Chapter 34 her not to attend her cousins to Rosings. and though her intentions did not vary for an i nstant. He concluded with representing to her the strength of that attachment whic h. and was silent. but Mr. coloured. and enabled to contribute to the recovery of her sp irits. but there were feelings besides those of the heart to be detailed. by all that affection could do. My feelings will not be repressed. but Colonel Fitzwilliam had made it clear that he had no in tentions at all. She answered him with cold civility. His sense of her in feriority--of its being a degradation--of the family obstacles which had always opposed to inclination. proceeding from the serenity of a mind at ease with itself and kind ly disposed towards everyone. she could not be insensible to the compl iment of such a man's affection. While settling this point. They contained no actual complaint. and her spirits were very differently affected. Y ou must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." Elizabeth's astonishment was beyond expression. This he considered sufficient encouragement. and the avowal of a ll that he felt. she was suddenly roused by the sound of the door-bel l. Elizabeth noticed every sentence conveying the idea of uneasiness. where th Mrs. But this idea was soon banished. imputing his visit to a wish of hearing that she were better. to compose herself to answer him with patience. and might now c ome to inquire particularly after her. roused to r esentment by his subsequent language. the re was a want of that cheerfulness which had been used to characterise her style . with an attention which it had hardly received on the first perusal. but was very unlikely to recommend his suit. she saw Mr . He sat down for a few moments.see Mr. and her spirits were a little fluttered by the idea of its being Colonel Fitz william himself. He spoke well. were dwelt on with a warmth which seemed due to the cons equence he was wounding. walked about the room. Darcy walk into the room. who had once before called late in the evening. Elizabeth. She could not think of Darcy's leaving Kent without remembering that his cousin was to go with him. A fter a silence of several minutes. however. Elizabeth was surprised. and had long felt for her. that in less than a fortnight she should herself be with Jane again. Darcy. an d thus began: "In vain I have struggled. and in almost every line of each. She stared. but said not a word. d much as possible prevented her husband from pressi not conceal his apprehension of Lady Catherine's b staying at home. But in all. she lost all compassion in anger. doubted.

when he ceased. you chose to tell me that you liked me against your will. or had they even been favourable. No motive can excuse the unjust and ungenerous part you acted THERE. perhaps for ever. But it is of small importance. or that I rejoi ce in my success." "I might as well inquire. can have little difficulty in overcoming it after t his explanation. I would now thank you. if I WAS uncivil? But I have other provocations." Mr. Darcy. "But it is not merely this affair. As he said this. It has been most unconsciously done. You dare not. have long prevented the ac knowledgment of your regard. and would not open his lips till he believed himself to have attained it. Such a circumstance could only exasperate farther. the happiness o f a most beloved sister?" As she pronounced these words. a nd the other to its derision for disappointed hopes. He SPOKE of apprehension and anxiety. He even looked at h er with a smile of affected incredulity. and even against your character? Was not this some excuse f or incivility. Mr. with a voice of forced calmness. t he colour rose into her cheeks. she could easily see that he had no doubt of a favourable answ er. perhaps. do you think that any consideration would tempt me to acc ept the man who has been the means of ruining. You know I have." replied she. and. "Can you deny that you have done it?" she repeated. it is. but its m eaning did not escape. however unequally they may be return ed. you cannot deny. and involving them both in misery of the acutest kind. however. nor was it likely to conciliate her. Darcy changed colour. seemed to catch her words with no less resentment than surprise. I am th us rejected. and she said: "In such cases as this." she continued. "why with so evident a desire of offend ing and insulting me. and the disturbance of his mind was visible in ever y feature. and if I could FEEL gratitude. you tell me. With assumed tranquillity he then replied: "I have no wish of denying that I di d everything in my power to separate my friend from your sister. but the emotion was sh ort. and I hope will b e of short duration. But I cannot--I have never desired your good opinion. I am sorry to have occasioned pain to anyone. Had not my feelings decided against you--had they been indifferent. "on which my dislike is foun . wish to be informed why. I believe. with so little ENDEAVOUR at civility. against your reason. His comple xion became pale with anger. and saw with no slight indignation that he was listening with an ai r which proved him wholly unmoved by any feeling of remorse. He was struggling for the appearance of composure. The pause was to Elizabe th's feelings dreadful. he said: "And this is all the reply which I am to have the honour of expecting! I might." She paused. if not the only means of dividing them from each o ther--of exposing one to the censure of the world for caprice and instability. and he listened without attempting to interrupt her while she continued: "I have every reason in the world to think ill of you. the established mode to express a sen se of obligation for the sentiments avowed. Towards HIM I have been kinder than towards myself. At length. It is natural that obligation should be felt." Elizabeth disdained the appearance of noticing this civil reflection. an d you have certainly bestowed it most unwillingly. The feelings which. but his countenance expressed real sec urity. that you have been the principal. who was leaning against the mantelpiece with his eyes fixed on her f ace.expressing his hope that it would now be rewarded by her acceptance of his hand.

I may almost say--of my acquai ntance with you. and h ave now only to be ashamed of what my own have been. by reflection. stopping in his walk." cried Elizabeth with energy. with greater policy . by reason. and with a heightened colour." "And this. They were natural and just. Darcy. had I. madam. had not your pride been hurt by my honest c onfession of the scruples that had long prevented my forming any serious design. by everything. had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner." "You have said quite enough. and flattered you into the belief of my being impelled by unqualified. if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way. Your characte r was unfolded in the recital which I received many months ago from Mr. You have withheld the advant ages which you must know to have been designed for him. Long before it had taken place my opinion of you was decided." She saw him start at this." said Darcy." cried Darcy. But disguise of every sort is my abhorrence. your manners. than as it spared the concern which I might have f elt in refusing you. are heavy indeed ! But perhaps. My faults. and she continued: "You could not have made the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it." "And of your infliction. unalloyed inclination. Nor am I ashamed of the feelings I related. yet she tried to the ut most to speak with composure when she said: "You are mistaken. his misfortunes have be en great indeed. were s uch as to form the groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike. She went on: "From the very beginning--from the first moment. "yes. and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry. and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others. but he said nothing. your conceit. in a les s tranquil tone." added he. can help feeling an interest in him?" "His misfortunes!" repeated Darcy contemptuously. "You have reduced him to his present state of poverty--comparative poverty.ded. On this subject. These bitter accusations might have been suppressed. and he looked at her with an expression of mingled incredulity and mortification. concealed my struggles. Mr. Wickham. according to this calculation. "these offenses might have been overlooked. "Who that knows what his misfortunes have been." Again his astonishment was obvious. and turning towards her. as he walked with quick steps across the room. what can you have to say? In what imaginary act of friendship can you here defend yourself? or under what misrepresentation can you here impos e upon others?" "You take an eager interest in that gentleman's concerns. w hose condition in life is so decidedly beneath my own?" Elizabeth felt herself growing more angry every moment. I perfectly comprehend your feelings. "is you r opinion of me! This is the estimation in which you hold me! I thank you for ex plaining it so fully. You have deprived the be st years of his life of that independence which was no less his due than his des ert. Forgive me for having taken . impressing me with the fullest belief of your arr ogance. You have done all this! and yet you can treat the mention of his misfortune with contempt and ridicule. Could you expect me to rejoice in the infe riority of your connections?--to congratulate myself on the hope of relations.

on receiving this letter. as she reflected on what had passed. The tumult of her mind. She knew not how to support he rself. pronoun ced her name. he was moving that way. She continued in very agitated reflections till the sound of Lady Catherine' s carriage made her feel how unequal she was to encounter Charlotte's observatio n. Chapter 35 Elizabeth awoke the next morning to the same thoughts and meditations which had at length closed her eyes. Darcy! That he should hav e been in love with her for so many months! So much in love as to wish to marry her in spite of all the objections which had made him prevent his friend's marry ing her sister. holding out a letter. and. and. After walking two or three times along that part of the lane. she turned up the lane. and stepping forward with eagerness. she then began it. soon ov ercame the pity which the consideration of his attachment had for a moment excit ed. turned again into the plantation. Darcy.up so much of your time. his cruelty towards whom he had not attempted to deny. which led farther from the turnpike-road. she resolved. she was directly retreating. He had by that time reached it also. she moved again towards the gate. Will you do me the honour of reading that l etter?" And then. and. at eight o'clock in the morning. madam. Her astonis hment. and every day was adding to the verdure of the early trees. "I have been walking in the grove s ome time in the hope of meeting you. Darcy. T he park paling was still the boundary on one side. The envelope itself was likewise full. totally indispos ed for employment. But his pride. though in a vo ice which proved it to be Mr. by the apprehension of its co ntaining any repetition of those sentiments or renewal of those offers which wer . was increased by every review of it. and from actual weakness sat down and cried for half-an-hour. his abominable pride--his shameless avowal of wh at he had done with respect to Jane--his unpardonable assurance in acknowledging . with a look of haughty composure. and hurried her away to her room. fearf ul of its being Mr. and accept my best wishes for your health and happines s. was now painfully great. which she instinctively t ook. Darcy's sometimes coming there stopped her. and the unfeeling manner in which he had menti oned Mr. She had turned away. and Elizabeth heard him the next moment open the front door and quit the house. to stop at the gates and look into the park. and instead of enteri ng the park. and which must appear at least with equal force in his own case-was almost incredible! It was gratifying to have inspired unconsciously so stro ng an affection. said. by the pleasantness of the morning. But the person who advan ced was now near enough to see her. The five weeks which she had now passed in Kent had made a great difference in the country. it was impossible to think of anything else. but with the strongest curiosity. Pursuing her way along the lane. when the recol lection of Mr. She was proceeding directly to her favourite walk. and she soon passed one of th e gates into the ground. she was tempted. That she should receive an offer of marriage from Mr. with a slight bow. Wickham. to indulge herself in air and exercise. but on hearing herself called. when she caught a glimpse of a gentleman w ithin the sort of grove which edged the park. With no expectation of pleasure. to her still increasing wonder. It was dated from Rosings. soon after breakfast. and was s oon out of sight. in a very close hand. Elizabeth op ened the letter. She could not yet recover from the surprise of what had happened. perceived an envelope cont aining two sheets of letter-paper. and. written quite through. and was a s follows:-"Be not alarmed. She was on the point of continuing her walk. though he could not justify it." And with these words he hastily left the room.

If. I know. I shall hope to be in the future secured. but I demand it of your justice. and the oth er. Bingley from your sister. I t pains me to offend you. y ou last night laid to my charge. in defiance of honour and humanit y. respecting each ci rcumstance. and existing to an equal degree i n both instances. I write without any intention of paining you. I can only say that I am sorry. when the following account of my actions and their motives has been read. These causes must be stated. tha t Bingley preferred your elder sister to any other young woman in the country. before I saw. At that ball. let it give yo . though objectionable. your feelings. to which the separation of two young persons. cheerful. But there were other causes of re pugnance. and your displeasure at this representation of them. because they were not imme diately before me.e last night so disgusting to you. Her look and manners were open. and I could then percei ve that his partiality for Miss Bennet was beyond what I had ever witnessed in h im. the acknowledge d favourite of my father. and who had been brought up to expect its exertion. The situation of your mother's family. and the effort which the formation and the perusal of this letter must occasion. your resentment has not been unreasonable. of which the time alone could be undecided. if I have been misled by s uch error to inflict pain on her. h owever amiable her temper. ruined the immediate prosperity and blasted the prospects of Mr. "I had not been long in Hertfordshire. The necessity must be obe yed. and further apology would be absurd. pardon the freedom with which I demand your attention. that the serenity of your sister's countenance a nd air was such as might have given the most acute observer a conviction that. that though she received his attentions with p leasure. in common with others. I was first made acqu ainted. would be a depravity. But from the sever ity of that blame which was last night so liberally bestowed. Pardon me. I believed it on impartial conviction. though still existing. can not be too soon forgotten. But I shall not scruple to assert. that I had. If YOU have not been mistaken here. whose affection could be the growth of only a few weeks. she did not invite them by any participation of sentiment. though briefly. should have been spared. and I remained convi nced from the evening's scrutiny. I am under the necessity of relating feelings which may be offensive to yours. "Two offenses of a very different nature. I must have been in error. was nothing in comparison to that t otal want of propriety so frequently. in my own case. but without any symptom of peculiar regard. He sp oke of it as a certain event. Wil fully and wantonly to have thrown off the companion of my youth. I had detached Mr. or humbling myself. had not my character requir ed it to be written and read. in defiance of various claims. will bestow it unwillingly. could bear no comparison. That I was desirous of believing her indifferent is certain--but I will venture to say that my investigation and decisions are not usually influenced by my hopes or f ears. Wickham. as truly as I wished it in reason. and en gaging as ever. by Sir William Lucas's accidental information. that. and occasionally even by your father. that Bingley's attentions to your sister had given rise to a general expectation of their marriage. a young man who had scarcely any other dependence than on our patronage. regardless of th e sentiments of either. If it be so. The first mentioned was. therefore. causes which. Your superior knowledge of yo ur sister must make the latter probable. I had often seen him in love before. My objections to th e marriage were not merely those which I last night acknowledged to have the utm ost force of passion to put aside. so almost uniformly betrayed by herself. in the explanation of them. her heart was not likely to be easily touched. You must. which is due to myself. But amidst your concern for the defects of your neares t relations. I did not believe her to be indifferent because I wished it. Your sister I also watched. From t hat moment I observed my friend's behaviour attentively. B ut it was not till the evening of the dance at Netherfield that I had any appreh ension of his feeling a serious attachment. b y your three younger sisters. and by no means of equal magnitude. by dwelling on wishes which. while I had the honour of dancing with you. the want of connection could not be so great an evil to my friend as to me. I had myself endeavoured to forget. for the happiness of both.

therefore. who had for many years the m anagement of all the Pemberley estates. I can only refute it by laying before you the whole of his connection with my family. with a stronger dependence on my judgement than on his own. I described. intende d to provide for him in it. remember. and every inducement heightened which could have led me before. that he had deceived him self. . I cannot blame myself for having done thus much. and it was done for the best. of having injured Mr. I am certain. But whatever may be the sentiments which Mr. and whose good conduct in the discharge of his trust naturally inclined my father to be of service to him. it is done. who was his godson. always poor from the extravagance of his wife. however.u consolation to consider that. and hoping the church would be his profession. his kindness was therefore liberally bestowed. Of what he has PARTICULARLY accused me I am ignorant. on the day following. whose manner were always engaging. however this re monstrance might have staggered or delayed his determination. more weighty accusation. and on George Wickham. t o preserve my friend from what I esteemed a most unhappy connection. alike sensible that no time was to be lost in detaching their brother. would have been unable to give him a gentleman's education. To convince him. As for myself. it is tha t I condescended to adopt the measures of art so far as to conceal from him your sister's being in town. but of the tru th of what I shall relate. and afterwards at Cambridge--most important assi stance. The vicious propensities--the want of principle. could not escape the observation of a young man of nearly the same age w ith himself. as you. which Mr. His sisters' uneasiness had bee n equally excited with my own. But Bingley has great natural modesty. Wic kham. it is many. I do not suppose t hat it would ultimately have prevented the marriage. My father supported him at school. "With respect to that other. Perhaps this concealment. We accordingly went--and there I readily engaged in the office of pointing out to my friend the certain evils of such a choice. My father was not only fon d of this young man's society. to have conducted yourselves so as to avoid any share of the like censure. had it not been seconded by the assurance that I hesitated not in giving. a suspicion of their nature shall not prevent me from unfolding his real characte r--it adds even another motive. He had before believed her to return his affection with sincere. I have not yet learnt to condemn them. Wickham has created. but her brother is even yet ignorant of it. He left Net herfield for London. if not with equal regard. our coincidence of feeling was soon discovered. That they might have met without ill con sequence is perhaps probable. If I have wounde d your sister's feelings. than it is honourable to the sense and disposition of both. was scarcely the work of a moment. I can summon more than one witness of undoubted verac ity. my opinion of all parties was confirmed. no other apology to offer. of your sister's indifference. Wickham is the son of a very respectable man. this dis guise was beneath me. is praise no less generally bestowed on you and your elder sister. and who had opportunities of seeing him in unguarded moments. he had also th e highest opinion of him. when that conviction had been given. many years since I first began to think of him in a very different manner. To persuade him against returning into Hertfo rdshire. There is but one part of my co nduct in the whole affair on which I do not reflect with satisfaction. Here again shall give you pain--to what degree you on ly can tell. On this subject I have nothing more to say. with the design of soon returning. "Mr. I will only say farther that from what passed that evening. Darcy could not have. we sh ortly resolved on joining him directly in London. "The part which I acted is now to be explained. which he was careful to guard from the knowledge of his best friend. as it was known to Miss Bingley. a nd. but his regard did not appear to me enough extingu ished for him to see her without some danger. and enforced them earnestly. But. it was unknowingly done and though the motives which g overned me may to you very naturally appear insufficient. I knew it myself. as his own father. was no very difficult point.

"My excellent father died about five years ago; and his attachment to Mr. Wickh am was to the last so steady, that in his will he particularly recommended it to me, to promote his advancement in the best manner that his profession might all ow--and if he took orders, desired that a valuable family living might be his as soon as it became vacant. There was also a legacy of one thousand pounds. His o wn father did not long survive mine, and within half a year from these events, M r. Wickham wrote to inform me that, having finally resolved against taking order s, he hoped I should not think it unreasonable for him to expect some more immed iate pecuniary advantage, in lieu of the preferment, by which he could not be be nefited. He had some intention, he added, of studying law, and I must be aware t hat the interest of one thousand pounds would be a very insufficient support the rein. I rather wished, than believed him to be sincere; but, at any rate, was pe rfectly ready to accede to his proposal. I knew that Mr. Wickham ought not to be a clergyman; the business was therefore soon settled--he resigned all claim to assistance in the church, were it possible that he could ever be in a situation to receive it, and accepted in return three thousand pounds. All connection betw een us seemed now dissolved. I thought too ill of him to invite him to Pemberley , or admit his society in town. In town I believe he chiefly lived, but his stud ying the law was a mere pretence, and being now free from all restraint, his lif e was a life of idleness and dissipation. For about three years I heard little o f him; but on the decease of the incumbent of the living which had been designed for him, he applied to me again by letter for the presentation. His circumstanc es, he assured me, and I had no difficulty in believing it, were exceedingly bad . He had found the law a most unprofitable study, and was now absolutely resolve d on being ordained, if I would present him to the living in question--of which he trusted there could be little doubt, as he was well assured that I had no oth er person to provide for, and I could not have forgotten my revered father's int entions. You will hardly blame me for refusing to comply with this entreaty, or for resisting every repetition to it. His resentment was in proportion to the di stress of his circumstances--and he was doubtless as violent in his abuse of me to others as in his reproaches to myself. After this period every appearance of acquaintance was dropped. How he lived I know not. But last summer he was again most painfully obtruded on my notice. "I must now mention a circumstance which I would wish to forget myself, and whi ch no obligation less than the present should induce me to unfold to any human b eing. Having said thus much, I feel no doubt of your secrecy. My sister, who is more than ten years my junior, was left to the guardianship of my mother's nephe w, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and myself. About a year ago, she was taken from school, and an establishment formed for her in London; and last summer she went with th e lady who presided over it, to Ramsgate; and thither also went Mr. Wickham, und oubtedly by design; for there proved to have been a prior acquaintance between h im and Mrs. Younge, in whose character we were most unhappily deceived; and by h er connivance and aid, he so far recommended himself to Georgiana, whose affecti onate heart retained a strong impression of his kindness to her as a child, that she was persuaded to believe herself in love, and to consent to an elopement. S he was then but fifteen, which must be her excuse; and after stating her imprude nce, I am happy to add, that I owed the knowledge of it to herself. I joined the m unexpectedly a day or two before the intended elopement, and then Georgiana, u nable to support the idea of grieving and offending a brother whom she almost lo oked up to as a father, acknowledged the whole to me. You may imagine what I fel t and how I acted. Regard for my sister's credit and feelings prevented any publ ic exposure; but I wrote to Mr. Wickham, who left the place immediately, and Mrs . Younge was of course removed from her charge. Mr. Wickham's chief object was u nquestionably my sister's fortune, which is thirty thousand pounds; but I cannot help supposing that the hope of revenging himself on me was a strong inducement . His revenge would have been complete indeed. "This, madam, is a faithful narrative of every event in which we have been conc

erned together; and if you do not absolutely reject it as false, you will, I hop e, acquit me henceforth of cruelty towards Mr. Wickham. I know not in what manne r, under what form of falsehood he had imposed on you; but his success is not pe rhaps to be wondered at. Ignorant as you previously were of everything concernin g either, detection could not be in your power, and suspicion certainly not in y our inclination. "You may possibly wonder why all this was not told you last night; but I was no t then master enough of myself to know what could or ought to be revealed. For t he truth of everything here related, I can appeal more particularly to the testi mony of Colonel Fitzwilliam, who, from our near relationship and constant intima cy, and, still more, as one of the executors of my father's will, has been unavo idably acquainted with every particular of these transactions. If your abhorrenc e of ME should make MY assertions valueless, you cannot be prevented by the same cause from confiding in my cousin; and that there may be the possibility of con sulting him, I shall endeavour to find some opportunity of putting this letter i n your hands in the course of the morning. I will only add, God bless you. "FITZWILLIAM DARCY" Chapter 36 If Elizabeth, when Mr. Darcy gave her the letter, did not expect it to contain a renewal of his offers, she had formed no expectation at all of its contents. B ut such as they were, it may well be supposed how eagerly she went through them, and what a contrariety of emotion they excited. Her feelings as she read were s carcely to be defined. With amazement did she first understand that he believed any apology to be in his power; and steadfastly was she persuaded, that he could have no explanation to give, which a just sense of shame would not conceal. Wit h a strong prejudice against everything he might say, she began his account of w hat had happened at Netherfield. She read with an eagerness which hardly left he r power of comprehension, and from impatience of knowing what the next sentence might bring, was incapable of attending to the sense of the one before her eyes. His belief of her sister's insensibility she instantly resolved to be false; an d his account of the real, the worst objections to the match, made her too angry to have any wish of doing him justice. He expressed no regret for what he had d one which satisfied her; his style was not penitent, but haughty. It was all pri de and insolence. But when this subject was succeeded by his account of Mr. Wickham--when she rea d with somewhat clearer attention a relation of events which, if true, must over throw every cherished opinion of his worth, and which bore so alarming an affini ty to his own history of himself--her feelings were yet more acutely painful and more difficult of definition. Astonishment, apprehension, and even horror, oppr essed her. She wished to discredit it entirely, repeatedly exclaiming, "This mus t be false! This cannot be! This must be the grossest falsehood!"--and when she had gone through the whole letter, though scarcely knowing anything of the last page or two, put it hastily away, protesting that she would not regard it, that she would never look in it again. In this perturbed state of mind, with thoughts that could rest on nothing, she walked on; but it would not do; in half a minute the letter was unfolded again, and collecting herself as well as she could, she again began the mortifying peru sal of all that related to Wickham, and commanded herself so far as to examine t he meaning of every sentence. The account of his connection with the Pemberley f amily was exactly what he had related himself; and the kindness of the late Mr. Darcy, though she had not before known its extent, agreed equally well with his own words. So far each recital confirmed the other; but when she came to the wil l, the difference was great. What Wickham had said of the living was fresh in he r memory, and as she recalled his very words, it was impossible not to feel that

there was gross duplicity on one side or the other; and, for a few moments, she flattered herself that her wishes did not err. But when she read and re-read wi th the closest attention, the particulars immediately following of Wickham's res igning all pretensions to the living, of his receiving in lieu so considerable a sum as three thousand pounds, again was she forced to hesitate. She put down th e letter, weighed every circumstance with what she meant to be impartiality--del iberated on the probability of each statement--but with little success. On both sides it was only assertion. Again she read on; but every line proved more clear ly that the affair, which she had believed it impossible that any contrivance co uld so represent as to render Mr. Darcy's conduct in it less than infamous, was capable of a turn which must make him entirely blameless throughout the whole. The extravagance and general profligacy which he scrupled not to lay at Mr. Wic kham's charge, exceedingly shocked her; the more so, as she could bring no proof of its injustice. She had never heard of him before his entrance into the ----s hire Militia, in which he had engaged at the persuasion of the young man who, on meeting him accidentally in town, had there renewed a slight acquaintance. Of h is former way of life nothing had been known in Hertfordshire but what he told h imself. As to his real character, had information been in her power, she had nev er felt a wish of inquiring. His countenance, voice, and manner had established him at once in the possession of every virtue. She tried to recollect some insta nce of goodness, some distinguished trait of integrity or benevolence, that migh t rescue him from the attacks of Mr. Darcy; or at least, by the predominance of virtue, atone for those casual errors under which she would endeavour to class w hat Mr. Darcy had described as the idleness and vice of many years' continuance. But no such recollection befriended her. She could see him instantly before her , in every charm of air and address; but she could remember no more substantial good than the general approbation of the neighbourhood, and the regard which his social powers had gained him in the mess. After pausing on this point a conside rable while, she once more continued to read. But, alas! the story which followe d, of his designs on Miss Darcy, received some confirmation from what had passed between Colonel Fitzwilliam and herself only the morning before; and at last sh e was referred for the truth of every particular to Colonel Fitzwilliam himself-from whom she had previously received the information of his near concern in al l his cousin's affairs, and whose character she had no reason to question. At on e time she had almost resolved on applying to him, but the idea was checked by t he awkwardness of the application, and at length wholly banished by the convicti on that Mr. Darcy would never have hazarded such a proposal, if he had not been well assured of his cousin's corroboration. She perfectly remembered everything that had passed in conversation between Wic kham and herself, in their first evening at Mr. Phillips's. Many of his expressi ons were still fresh in her memory. She was NOW struck with the impropriety of s uch communications to a stranger, and wondered it had escaped her before. She sa w the indelicacy of putting himself forward as he had done, and the inconsistenc y of his professions with his conduct. She remembered that he had boasted of hav ing no fear of seeing Mr. Darcy--that Mr. Darcy might leave the country, but tha t HE should stand his ground; yet he had avoided the Netherfield ball the very n ext week. She remembered also that, till the Netherfield family had quitted the country, he had told his story to no one but herself; but that after their remov al it had been everywhere discussed; that he had then no reserves, no scruples i n sinking Mr. Darcy's character, though he had assured her that respect for the father would always prevent his exposing the son. How differently did everything now appear in which he was concerned! His attent ions to Miss King were now the consequence of views solely and hatefully mercena ry; and the mediocrity of her fortune proved no longer the moderation of his wis hes, but his eagerness to grasp at anything. His behaviour to herself could now have had no tolerable motive; he had either been deceived with regard to her for tune, or had been gratifying his vanity by encouraging the preference which she

believed she had most incautiously shown. Every lingering struggle in his favour grew fainter and fainter; and in farther justification of Mr. Darcy, she could not but allow Mr. Bingley, when questioned by Jane, had long ago asserted his bl amelessness in the affair; that proud and repulsive as were his manners, she had never, in the whole course of their acquaintance--an acquaintance which had lat terly brought them much together, and given her a sort of intimacy with his ways --seen anything that betrayed him to be unprincipled or unjust--anything that sp oke him of irreligious or immoral habits; that among his own connections he was esteemed and valued--that even Wickham had allowed him merit as a brother, and t hat she had often heard him speak so affectionately of his sister as to prove hi m capable of SOME amiable feeling; that had his actions been what Mr. Wickham re presented them, so gross a violation of everything right could hardly have been concealed from the world; and that friendship between a person capable of it, an d such an amiable man as Mr. Bingley, was incomprehensible. She grew absolutely ashamed of herself. Of neither Darcy nor Wickham could she think without feeling she had been blind, partial, prejudiced, absurd. "How despicably I have acted!" she cried; "I, who have prided myself on my disc ernment! I, who have valued myself on my abilities! who have often disdained the generous candour of my sister, and gratified my vanity in useless or blameable mistrust! How humiliating is this discovery! Yet, how just a humiliation! Had I been in love, I could not have been more wretchedly blind! But vanity, not love, has been my folly. Pleased with the preference of one, and offended by the negl ect of the other, on the very beginning of our acquaintance, I have courted prep ossession and ignorance, and driven reason away, where either were concerned. Ti ll this moment I never knew myself." From herself to Jane--from Jane to Bingley, her thoughts were in a line which s oon brought to her recollection that Mr. Darcy's explanation THERE had appeared very insufficient, and she read it again. Widely different was the effect of a s econd perusal. How could she deny that credit to his assertions in one instance, which she had been obliged to give in the other? He declared himself to be tota lly unsuspicious of her sister's attachment; and she could not help remembering what Charlotte's opinion had always been. Neither could she deny the justice of his description of Jane. She felt that Jane's feelings, though fervent, were lit tle displayed, and that there was a constant complacency in her air and manner n ot often united with great sensibility. When she came to that part of the letter in which her family were mentioned in terms of such mortifying, yet merited reproach, her sense of shame was severe. T he justice of the charge struck her too forcibly for denial, and the circumstanc es to which he particularly alluded as having passed at the Netherfield ball, an d as confirming all his first disapprobation, could not have made a stronger imp ression on his mind than on hers. The compliment to herself and her sister was not unfelt. It soothed, but it cou ld not console her for the contempt which had thus been self-attracted by the re st of her family; and as she considered that Jane's disappointment had in fact b een the work of her nearest relations, and reflected how materially the credit o f both must be hurt by such impropriety of conduct, she felt depressed beyond an ything she had ever known before. After wandering along the lane for two hours, giving way to every variety of th ought--re-considering events, determining probabilities, and reconciling herself , as well as she could, to a change so sudden and so important, fatigue, and a r ecollection of her long absence, made her at length return home; and she entered the house with the wish of appearing cheerful as usual, and the resolution of r epressing such reflections as must make her unfit for conversation.

without a smile. hoping for her ret urn. Collins having been in waiting near the lodges. Collins so before you came. it will be in my power to take one of you as far as London. if your mother can. I think. with great satisfaction. But I am particularly attached to these young men. I am sure. Mrs. I should not object to taking you both. you must write to your mother and beg that you may st ay a little longer. after the melancholy scene so lately g one through at Rosings. and as Dawson does not object to the barouche-bo x." "I am much obliged to your ladyship for your kind invitation. you will have been here only six weeks. and kn ow them to be so much attached to me! They were excessively sorry to go! But so they always are. The dear Colonel rallied his spirits tolerably till just at las t. Their first subject was the diminution of the Rosings party. a mess age from her ladyship. she added: "But if that is the case." "Why. Darcy. of their appearing in very good health. Daughters are nev er of so much consequence to a father. Lady Catherine observed. "What would she have said? how would she have behaved?" were questions wi th which she amused herself. importing that she felt herself so dull as to make her ve ry desirous of having them all to dine with her. only for a few minutes. And if you will stay another MONTH comple te. I expected you to s tay two months. and an allusion to throw in here. Elizabeth c ould but just AFFECT concern in missing him. for a week. Mrs. Chapter 37 The two gentlemen left Rosings the next morning. was able to bring home the pleasing intelligence. for I am going t here early in June. Colonel Fitzwilliam was no longer an object. "but it is not in my power to accept it. To Rosings he then hastened. His attachment to Rosings certainly increases. nor could she think. Elizabeth could not see Lady Catherine without recollecting that. than last year. of what her ladyship's indignation would have been. she could think only of her letter. Collins had a compliment." "But my father cannot. and Mr. "I believe no one feels the loss of fr iends so much as I do. Mr. more." . had she chose n it. to make them his parting obeisance. to take leave--but that Col onel Fitzwilliam had been sitting with them at least an hour. after dinner. if the weather shoul d happen to be cool. she really rejoiced at it." replied Elizabet h. by supposing that she did not like to go home again so soon. that Miss Bennet seemed out of spirits. to console Lady Catherine a nd her daughter." Mr." said Lady Catherine. Bennet could certainly spare you for another fortn ight. as you are neither of you large. at that rate. "I assure you. but Darcy seemed to feel it most acutely. and immediately accounting for it by herself. There can be no occasion for your going so soon. Collins will be very glad of your company. I f eel it exceedingly. and on his return brought back." "Oh! your father of course may spare you. and in a s tolerable spirits as could be expected. there will be very good room for one of you--and indeed. I told Mrs. I must be in town next Saturday.She was immediately told that the two gentlemen from Rosings had each called du ring her absence. she might by this time have been presented to her as her future niece. He wrote last week to hurry my return. which were kind ly smiled on by the mother and daughter. and almost resolving to walk after her till she could be found.

by the folly and indecorum of her own family! When to these recollections was added the development of Wickham's character. she gave way to it as the greatest relief. Mrs. for it would really be discreditable to YOU to let them go alone." "My uncle is to send a servant for us. so promising for happ iness. They were ig norant. and his disappointed feelings became the ob ject of compassion. his general character resp ect. idle. Elizabeth had frequently united with Jane in an endeavour to check the imprudence of Catherin e and Lydia. i . Youn g women should always be properly guarded and attended. "Mrs. They were hopeless of rem edy. and her feelings towards its writer were at times widely differe nt. Darcy's explan ation. contented with laughing at them. It is highly improper. and I cannot bear the idea of two young wome n travelling post by themselves. Her father. the daughter of Mr. While there was an officer in Meryton. of Pemberley."You are all kindness. or feel the slightest inclination ever to see him again. D arcy. and com pletely under Lydia's guidance. She studied every sentence. attention was necessary. would never exert himself to r estrain the wild giddiness of his youngest daughters. by restoring Bingley to all her former good opinion. which Elizabeth b elieved to be lucky for her. weak-spirited. and in the unhappy de fects of her family. Jane had been deprived. and vain. You must contrive to sen d somebody. madam. Where shall you change horses? Oh! Bromley. self-willed and careless. she was still full of indignat ion." Lady Catherine had many other questions to ask respecting their journey. Anxiety on Jane's behalf was another prevailing concern. If you mention my name at the Bell. does he? I am very glad you have someb ody who thinks of these things. but while they were supported by their mother's indulgence. and Mr. heightened the sense of what Jane had lost. You must send J ohn with the young ladies. and his c onduct cleared of all blame. irritable. could not have appeared with propriety in a d ifferent manner. and L ydia. nor could she for a moment repent her refusa l. " Lady Catherine seemed resigned. How grievous then was the thought that. with a mind so occupied. or. I am excessively attentive to all those things. Reflection must be reserved for solitary hours. I made a poi nt of her having two men-servants go with her. a subject of yet heavier chagrin. whenever she w as alone. I am glad it occurred to me to mention it. according to their situa tion in life. so replete with advantage. you must send a servant with the m. Mr. would scarcely give them a hearing. Miss Darcy. what ch ance could there be of improvement? Catherine. You know I always speak my mind. but when she considered how unjustly she had condemned and upbraided him. was entirely insensible of the evil. His attachment excited gratitude. In her own past beha viour. but she could not approve him. they would be going there forever. and her mother." "Oh! Your uncle! He keeps a man-servant. but I believe we must abide by our original plan. they would flirt with him. of a situation so desirable in every respect. you will be attended to. with manne rs so far from right herself. His affection was proved to have been sincere. and as she did not answer them all herself. Darcy's letter she was in a fair way of soon knowing by heart. in which she might indulge in all the delight of unpleasant recollections. I have the greatest dislike in the world to that sort of thing. When my niece Georgiana went to Ramsgate last summer. had been always affronted by their advice. and not a day went by witho ut a solitary walk. unless any could attach to the implicitness of his confidence in his friend. When she remembered the style of his address. Collins. she might have forgott en where she was. h er anger was turned against herself. and Lady Anne. there was a constant source of vexation and regret. of c ourse. and while Meryton was within a walk of Longbourn. Collins.

and was so urgent on the necessity of p lacing gowns in the only right way. Their engagements at Rosings were as frequent during the last week of her stay as they had been at first. while Elizabeth tried to unite civility and truth in a fe w short sentences. Our plain manner of living. and the pleasure of being with Charlotte.t may be easily believed that the happy spirits which had seldom been depressed before." Elizabeth was eager with her thanks and assurances of happiness. Our situa tion with regard to Lady Catherine's family is indeed the sort of extraordinary advantage and blessing which few can boast. I think we may flatter ourselves that your Hunsford visit cannot have been entirely irksome. our small rooms and few domestics. my dear cousin. She had spent six weeks with great enjoyment. We know how little there is to tempt anyone to o ur humble abode. and a ltogether I trust it does not appear that your friend has drawn an unfortunate-but on this point it will be as well to be silent. while they are sharers of our intimacy at Ro sings. We have certainly done our best. and. and the little we see of the world. Mr. and most fortunately having it in our pow er to introduce you to very superior society. There is in everything a most remarkable resemblance of character and ideas b . "whether Mrs. I flatter myself at least that you will be able to do so. wi th all the disadvantages of this humble parsonage. Collins met for breakfast a few minutes b efore the others appeared. the frequent means of varying the humble home scene. Lady Cath erine's great attentions to Mrs. When they parted. carry a very favourable report of us into Hertfordshire. and that we have done everything in our power to prevent your spending your time unpleasantly. Collins was gratified. You see on what a footing we are." said he. Yo u see how continually we are engaged there. Collins you have been a daily witness of. Lady Catherine. in fact. that Maria thought herself obliged. My dear Charlotte and I have but one mind and one way of thinkin g. were now so much affected as to make it almost impossible for her to app ear tolerably cheerful. and her ladysh ip again inquired minutely into the particulars of their journey. I should not think anyone abi ding in it an object of compassion. Collins has yet expressed her sense of your kindness in coming to us. and he took the opportunity of paying the parting civ ilities which he deemed indispensably necessary. Only let me assure you. Chapter 38 On Saturday morning Elizabeth and Mr. "You may. and invited them to come to Hunsford again next year. I assure you. on her r eturn. gave them dire ctions as to the best method of packing. and pack her trunk afresh. The very last evening was spent there. and Miss de Bourg h exerted herself so far as to curtsey and hold out her hand to both. and with a more smiling solemnity replied: "It gives me great pleasure to hear that you have passed your time not disagree ably. with great condescension. The favor of your company ha s been much felt. but I hope you will believe us grateful for the condescensi on. must make Hunsford extremely dull to a young lady like yourself. my de ar Miss Elizabeth. that I can from my heart most cordially wish you equal felici ty in marriage. and he was obliged t o walk about the room. from our connection with Rosi ngs. wished them a good journey. must make HER feel the obliged. "I know not. Miss Elizabeth. In truth I must acknowledge that." Words were insufficient for the elevation of his feelings. but I am very certain you will not l eave the house without receiving her thanks for it. and th e kind attentions she had received. to undo all the work of the morning.

that she firmly believed and rejoiced in his domestic comforts. "you will of course wish to have your humble respects delivere d to them. at the sam e time. It was not without an effort. to have the recital of them i nterrupted by the lady from whom they sprang. or any alarm. "it seems but a day or two since we first came! and yet how many things have happened!" "A great many indeed. "And how much I shall have to conceal!" Their journey was performed without much conversation. Collins. Darcy's proposals. and the carr iage drove off. with your grateful thanks for their kindness to you while you have be en here. Gardiner's house. To know that she had the power of revealing what would so exceedingly astonish Jane. and Mrs. "Good gracious!" cried Maria. After an affectionate parting between the friends. and thou gh evidently regretting that her visitors were to go. after a few minutes' silence. the parcels placed w ithin. her parish and her poultry. But Jane was to go home with her. and it was pronounced to be ready. Gardiner. however. she did not seem to ask fo r compassion. and at Longbourn there would be leisure enough for observation. Her home and her housekeeping. amidst the various engagements which the kindness of her aunt had reserved for them. Maria followed. and all their dependent concerns. meanwhile. the door was then allowed to be shut. not forgetting his thanks for the kindness he had received at Longbour n in the winter. "We have dined nine times at Rosings. if she once entered on the subject. At length the chaise arrived. besides drinking tea there twice! How muc h I shall have to tell!" Elizabeth added privately. and her fear. had not yet lost their charms. before she told her sister of Mr. Poor Charlotte! it was melancholy to leave her to such society! But she had chosen it with her eyes open. and as they walked down the garden he was commissioning her with his best respects to all he r family. Chapter 39 It was the second week in May. with some consternation. and within four hours of their leaving Hunsford they reached Mr. and his compliments to Mr. that she could wait even for Longbourn ." Elizabeth made no objection. where t hey were to remain a few days. We seem to have been designed for each other. and with equal sincerity could add. Elizabeth was attended to the carriage by Mr. Jane looked well. She was not sorry. that they had hith erto forgotten to leave any message for the ladies at Rosings. of being h urried into repeating something of Bingley which might only grieve her sister fu rther. and Elizabeth had little opportunity of studying her spirits. and must. when he suddenly reminded them. was such a temptation to openness as nothing could have conquered but the state of indecision in which she remained as to the extent of what she should communicate. H e then handed her in." he added. "But. though unknown." said her companion with a sigh." Elizabeth could safely say that it was a great happiness where that was the cas e. the trunks were fastened on. so highly gratify whatever of her own vanity she had not yet been able t o reason away. and the door was on the point of being clo sed.etween us. in which the three young ladies set out together .

" said Jane. but now for my news. too good for the waiter. and they are going in a fortnight. "THAT would be a delightful scheme indeed. "They are going to be encamped near Brighton. as they dr ew near the appointed inn where Mr. Wickham is safe. Well. Good Heaven! Brighton. You thought the waiter m ust not hear. But he is an ugly fellow! I am glad he is gone. "Oh! but there were two or three much uglier in the shop. "Wha t do you think? It is excellent news--capital news--and about a certain person w e all like!" Jane and Elizabeth looked at each other." Then. it is about dear Wickham. and a whole campful of soldiers. and when I have bought som e prettier-coloured satin to trim it with fresh. Mamma would like to go too of all things! Only think what a miserable summer else we shall have!" "Yes. with the greatest satisfaction." And when her sisters abused it as ugly." "Are they indeed!" cried Elizabeth. Besides. and see if I can make it up any better. and the waiter was told he need not st ay. if she liked him. There's for you! She is gone down to her uncle at Liverpool: gone to sta y. they triumphantly displayed a table set out with such cold meat as an inn larder usually affords. f or we have just spent ours at the shop out there. in token of the coachman's punctuality. and I dare say wo uld hardly cost anything at all. I have bought this bonnet. I shall pull it to pieces as soon as I get home. it will not much signify what one wears this summer. After welcoming their sisters. and I do so want papa to take us all there for the summer! It would be such a delicious scheme." "And Mary King is safe!" added Elizabeth. and the mo nthly balls of Meryton!" "Now I have got some news for you. These two girls had been above an hour in th e place. Bennet's carriage was to meet them." thought Elizabeth. "I am sure there is not on HIS. I never saw su ch a long chin in my life. who have been overset already by one poor regiment of militia. with perfect unconcern." "But I hope there is no strong attachment on either side. I will answer for it. Lydia laughed. is it not? There is no danger of Wickham's marrying Mar y King. and dressing a salad and cucumber. "safe from a connection imprudent as to fortune. happily employed in visiting an opposite milliner. and. exclaiming. as they sat down at table. "but you must lend us the money. to us. and comple tely do for us at once." said Lydia. both Kitty and Lydia loo king out of a dining-room upstairs. as if he cared! I dare say he often hears worse things said than I am going to say. and said: "Aye. that is just like your formality and discretion. he never cared three stra ws about her--who could about such a nasty little freckled thing?" ." "She is a great fool for going away.from Gracechurch Street for the town of ----. they qui ckly perceived. I think it will be very tolerab le. showing her purchases-"Look here. but I t hought I might as well buy it as not. after the ---shire have left Meryton. I do not think it is very pretty." added Lydia. in Hertfordshire. she added. "Is not this nice? Is not this an agreeable surprise?" "And we mean to treat you all. watching the sentine l on guard.

Kitty and me were to spend the day there. endeavour to amuse her companions all the way to Longbourn. but Harriet was ill. I do think we behaved very handsomely. Bennet say voluntarily to Elizabeth: "I am glad you are come back. and then I would chaperon you about to all the ba lls. excep t my aunt. Forster and me are SUCH friends!) and so she asked the two Harringtons to come. who sat some way below her. and two or three more o f the men came in. Their reception at home was most kind. Forster." cried Lydia. "I wish you had gone with us. She is almost three-and-twenty! Lord. and then. and after some contrivance. Mrs. and Lydia. but there was no escap ing the frequent mention of Wickham's name. but Colonel and Mrs.Elizabeth was shocked to think that. for we were forced to borrow one of her gowns. the whole party. bu t I do not think there would have been any fun in it. "I am glad I bought my bonnet. the coarseness of the SENTIMENT was little other than her own breast had harboured and fancied liberal! As soon as all had ate. Have you seen a ny pleasant men? Have you had any flirting? I was in great hopes that one of you would have got a husband before you came back. and you cannot imagine how well he looked! When Denny. and I should have gone so all the way. for almost all the Lucases came to me et Maria and hear the news. the carriage was ordered. retai ling them all to the younger Lucases. and when we got to the George. and pretended there was nobody in th e coach. what do you think we did? We dressed up Chamberlayne in woman's clothes on purpose to pass for a lady. Dear me! we had such a good piece of fun the other day at Colonel Forster's . and various were the subjects that occupied them: La dy Lucas was inquiring of Maria. Bennet rejoiced to see Jane in undi minished beauty. and. Kitty and I drew up the blinds. assist ed by Kitty's hints and additions. Lord! how I should like to be married before any of you. And then when we came away it was such f un! I thought we never should have got into the coach. Collins. And in the first plac e. if it is only for the fun of having another bandbox! Well. we would have treated you too." Their party in the dining-room was large. She says Lizzy had better have taken Mr. Forster promised to have a little dance in the evening. Elizabeth listened as little as she could. they did not know him in the least. Jane will be quite an old maid s oon. I thought I should have died. however incapable of such coarseness of EX PRESSION herself. Forster. were seated in it. how ashamed I should be of not being married before three-and-twenty! My aunt Phillips wants you so to get husbands. "How nicely we are all crammed in. and Kitty and me. I declare. on the other. Lizzy. on one hand collecting an account of the present fashions from Jane. and the elder ones paid. and Wickham. and Mrs. in a voice rather louder than a ny other person's. Bennet was doubly engaged. let us hear what has happened to you all since you went away. and if you would ha ve gone. and Pratt. you can't think. did Lydia. and then they soon found out what was the matter. and more than once during dinner did Mr. now let us be quite comfortable and snug. I was ready to die of lau . "Oh! Mary. Lord! how I laughed! and so did Mrs. was enumerating the various pleasures of the morning to anybo dy who would hear her. and so Pen w as forced to come by herself. for we treated the other three with the nicest cold luncheon in the world. (by the bye. after the welfare and poultry of her eldest dau ghter. and pa rcels. and talk and laugh all the way home. And THAT made the men suspect something. work-bags. Mrs. only think what f un! Not a soul knew of it. for we had such fun! As we went along. and the unwelcome addition of Kitty's and Lydia's purchases. with all their boxes." said she." With such kinds of histories of their parties and good jokes. Mrs. if Kitty had not been sick.

She was sorry that Mr." But of this answer Lydia heard not a word. and to see how everybody went on. which will probably soon drive away his regard for me. Nor w . of which Lydia had given them a hint at the inn. was under frequent discussion b etween her parents. And then we were so merry all the way home! we talked and laughed so loud . She dreaded seeing Mr. and at length." "But you blame me for having spoken so warmly of Wickham?" "No--I do not know that you were wrong in saying what you did. She had not been many hours at home before she found that the Brighton scheme. "Far be it from me. though often disheartened. and was resolved to avoid it as l ong as possible. resolving to suppress every particular in which her sister was concerned. Wickham again. Elizabeth saw directly that her father had not the smallest intention of yielding. In a fortnight they were to go--and once gone. I t should not be said that the Miss Bennets could not be at home half a day befor e they were in pursuit of the officers. but stil l more was she grieved for the unhappiness which her sister's refusal must have given him. however. for refusing him?" "Blame you! Oh. You do not blame m e. Darcy and herself. "and certainly ought not to have appeared. In the afternoon Lydia was urgent with the rest of the girls to walk to Meryton . as was here collected in one individual. Miss Bennet's astonishment was soon lessened by the strong sisterly partiality which made any admiration of Elizabeth appear perfectly natural. and preparing her to be surprised. that her mother. Darcy should have d elivered his sentiments in a manner so little suited to recommend them. when I tell you what happened the very next day." She then spoke of the letter." said she. "His being so sure of succeeding was wrong. but he has other fee lings. "I am heartily sorry for him." "But you WILL know it. and all surpris e was shortly lost in other feelings. no. that anybody might have heard us ten miles off!" To this Mary very gravely replied. but Elizabeth steadily opposed the scheme. she related to her the next morning the chief of the scene between Mr. but his answers were at the same time so vague and equivo cal. and never attended to Mary at all. Chapter 40 Elizabeth's impatience to acquaint Jane with what had happened could no longer be overcome. What a stroke was this for poor Jane! who would will ingly have gone through the world without believing that so much wickedness exis ted in the whole race of mankind. to depre ciate such pleasures! They would doubtless be congenial with the generality of f emale minds. she hoped there could be nothing more to plague her on his account. The comfort to HER of the regiment's approaching removal was in deed beyond expression. had never yet despaired of succ eeding at last. But I confess they would have no charms for ME--I should infinitely prefer a book. She seldom listened to anybody for m ore than half a minute. repeating the whole of its contents as far as the y concerned George Wickham. but consider how much it must increase his disappointment!" "Indeed." replied Elizabeth. my dear sister.ghter. There was another reason too for her opp osition.

I am inclined to believe it all Darcy's." said Elizabeth." said she. Such a disappointment! and with the knowledge of your ill op inion. every particular relative to his sister was meant to be kept as much as possible to myself." "Certainly. Most earnestly did she labour to prove the probability of error. too! and having to relate such a thing of his sister! It is really too di stressing. But the misfortune of speaking with bitterness is a most natural co nsequence of the prejudices I had been encouraging. For my part. however. or ought not. I want to be told whether I ought. There is one point on which I want your advice. I may say unhappy." "And yet I meant to be uncommonly clever in taking so decided a dislike to him. my heart will be as light as a feather. What is your opinion?" "That it ought not to be attempted." "Indeed." "Poor Wickham! there is such an expression of goodness in his countenance! such an openness and gentleness in his manner!" "There certainly was some great mismanagement in the education of those two you ng men. There is but such a quantity of merit between them. to have a dislike of that kind. and if I endeavour to undece . and of late it has been shifting about pretty much." "Oh! no. I know you will do him such ample justice. Mr. I was uncomfortable enough. "you never will be able to make both of the m good for anything. before a smile could be extorted from Jane. though grateful to her feelings. "I do not know when I have been more shocked. One has got all the goodness." "Lizzy. One may be continually abusive without saying a nything just. but you shall do as you choose. On the contrary. "Wickham so very bad! It is almost past belief. I am sure you must feel it so. I could not. to make our acquaintances in general understand Wickham's character. Darcy so deficient in the APPEARANCE of it as you used to do. when you first read that letter. "Surely there can be no occasion for exposing him so dreadfully. no Jane to comfort me and say that I had no t been so very weak and vain and nonsensical as I knew I had! Oh! how I wanted y ou!" "How unfortunate that you should have used such very strong expressions in spea king of Wickham to Mr. and the other all the appearance of it. Your profusion makes me saving. for now they DO appear wholly undeserved. Darcy has not authorised me to make his communication public. without any reason. Take your choice." It was some time. and seek to clear the one without involving the other." "I never thought Mr. and if you lamen t over him much longer. And with n o one to speak to about what I felt.as Darcy's vindication. that I am growing every moment mo re unconcerned and indifferent. my regret and compassion are all done away by seeing you so full of bo th. only consider what he must have suffered. capable of consoling he r for such discovery." Miss Bennet paused a little. And poor Mr. just enough to make one good sort of man. such an opening for wit. and then replied. It is such a spur to one's genius. but one cannot always be laughing at a man without now and then st umbling on something witty. I am sure you could not treat the matt er as you do now. but you must be satisfied with only one. "This will not do. Darcy! Dear Lizzy. Darcy.

She still cherished a very tender affe ction for Bingley. The liberty of communication cannot be mine till it has lost all its value!" She was now. sorry for what he has done. Well. Well. I told my sister Phillips so the other day. There is no talk of his coming to Netherfield again in the summer. and so fervently did she value his remembrance. her regard had all the warmth of first attachment. soon afterwards. I would not have p ut up with it. on being settled at home. he is a very undeserving young man--and I do not suppose there's the least chance in the world of her ever getting him now. and all her attention to the feelings of her friends." "No. I shall merely be able to tell what Bingley may tell in a much more agreeable manner himself. do they? Well. I dare say. "And then. well. If she is half as sharp as her mother. At present I will say nothing about it. Lizzy. a nd then he will be sorry for what he has done. that it would be the death of half the goo d people in Meryton to attempt to place him in an amiable light." "Oh well! it is just as he chooses. and. Some time hence it will be all found out. But there was still something lurking behind. nor explain to her sister how sincerely she had been valued by her friend. too. and was certai n of a willing listener in Jane. Wickham will soon be gone. and therefore it will not signify to anyone he re what he really is." "I do not believe he will ever live at Netherfield any more. who is likely to know." continued her mother. I am determined never to speak of it again to a nybody. that all her good sens e. Here was knowled ge in which no one could partake. "Well. H e is now. I dare say. and then we may laugh at their stupidity in not knowing it before. Though I shall al ways say he used my daughter extremely ill. Jane was not happy. great er steadiness than most first attachments often boast. "Well. of which prudence forbade the di sclosure. Bennet one day." The tumult of Elizabeth's mind was allayed by this conversation.ive people as to the rest of his conduct. Darcy's letter. I only hope it will last. To have his errors made public might ruin him for ever. But I cannot find out that J ane saw anything of him in London. she is saving enough. Darcy is so violent. and I ha ve inquired of everybody. and prefer him to every other man. were requisite to check the indulgence of those regrets which must have been injurious to her own healt h and their tranquillity. "what is your opinion NOW of this sad business of Jane's? For my part. I am not equal to it. She had got ri d of two of the secrets which had weighed on her for a fortnight. I am sure Jane will die of a broken heart. she made no answer. Nobody wants him to come. whenever she might wish to talk again of either . and she was sensible that nothing less than a perfect understanding between the parties could justify her in throwing off this last encumbrance of mystery." "You are quite right. "if that very improbable eve nt should ever take place. She dared not relate the other half of Mr. at leisure to observe the real state of her sister's spirits." But as Elizabeth could not receive comfort from any such expectation." said Mrs. nothing at all. and if I was her. There is nothing extravagant in THEIR housekeeping." . from her age and disposition. And what sort of table do they keep? Charlotte is an excellent manager. perhaps. who will believe me? The general preju dice against Mr. Lizzy. "and so the Collinses liv e very comfortable. and anxious to re-establish a cha racter. my comfort is. Having never even fancied herself in love before." said she. We must not make him desperate.

wheneve r that happens." "No." "And my aunt Phillips is sure it would do ME a great deal of good. They look upon it as quite their own. whose own misery was extreme. "I cried for two days together when Colonel Miller's reg iment went away. yes." Chapter 41 The first week of their return was soon gone. if they can be easy with an estate that is not lawfully their own. The dejection was almost universal." said Lydia. and laughing and talking w . yes!--if one could but go to Brighton! But papa is so disagreeable. she remembered what she had h erself endured on a similar occasion. THEY will never be distressed for money. the wife of the colonel of the regiment. for she received an invitation from Mrs." "It was a subject which they could not mention before me. She felt anew the justice of Mr. are scarcely to be described. The second began. But the gloom of Lydia's prospect was shortly cleared away. and who could not comprehend s uch hard-heartedness in any of the family. I suppose. calling for everyone's congratulations. it would have been strange if they had. and the mortification of Kitty. and pursue the usual course of their employments. so much the better. five-and-twenty years ago. and out of their THREE months' acquaintance they had be en intimate TWO. Well. "I am sure. I should be ashamed of having one that was only entailed on me. "Oh. to accom pany her to Brighton. Well. I thought I should have broken my heart. "Good Heaven! what is to become of us? What are we to do?" would they often exc laiming the bitterness of woe. Such were the kind of lamentations resounding perpetually through Longbourn Hou se. depend upon it. Forster. Yes. "How can you be smiling so. Lydia flew about the house in rest less ecstasy. drink. The rapture of Lydia on this occasion. and never had she been so much disposed to pardon his interference in the views of his friend."A great deal of good management. THEY will take care not to outrun their income. her adoration of Mrs. The elder Miss Bennet s alone were still able to eat." "A little sea-bathing would set me up forever. Lizzy?" Their affectionate mother shared all their grief. Bennet. Very frequently were they reproached for this insensibility by Kitty and Lydia. Darcy's objections. I dare say. but all sense of pleasure was lost i n shame. Wholly inattentive to her sister's feelings. but I make no doubt they often tal k of it between themselves. the delig ht of Mrs. they often talk of having Longbourn whe n your father is dead. A resemblance in good humour and good spirits had recommended her and Lydia to each other. much good may it do them! And so. Elizabeth tried to be diverted by them." "I am sure I shall break MINE. "If one could but go to Brighton!" observed Mrs." said she. Forster. and all the young ladies in the neighbourhoo d were drooping apace. and sleep. This invaluable friend was a very young woman." added Kitty . It was the last of the regiment's stay in Meryton. Bennet. and very la tely married.

and. from the ignorance and emptiness of her mind. Her c haracter will be fixed. and she will. she will soon be beyond the reach of amendment. be the most determined flirt t hat ever made herself or her family ridiculous. will not take the trouble of checking he r exuberant spirits. she could not help secretly advising her father not to let her go. and we can never expect her to do it with so little expense or inconveni ence to her family as under the present circumstances. If you. which has already arisen from it. Let her go." "Indeed you are mistaken. this invitation was so far from exciting in her the same feelings as in her mother and Lydia. the assurance and disdain of all restraint which mark Lydia's character. Bennet. At Brighton she will be of less impo . Wherever you and Jane are known you must be respected and valued. She will follow wherever Lydi a leads. can you suppose it possible that they will not be censured and despised wherever they are known. but of general evils. our res pectability in the world must be affected by the wild volatility. Vain. I have just as much right to be asked as she has. in the worst and m eanest degree of flirtation." said she. and detestable as s uch a step must make her were it known. Forster. my love. where the temptations must be greater th an at home. Such squeamish youths as cannot bear to be connected with a little absurdity are not worth a regret. and more too. I am sure you would judge differently in the affair. let me see the list of pitiful fellows who have been kept aloof by Lydia's fo lly. whilst the luckless Kitty continued in the parlour repined at her fate in terms as unreasonable as her accent was peevish. Our importance. In this danger Kitty also is comprehended." In vain did Elizabeth attempt to make her reasonable. the little advantage she could derive from the friendship of such a woman as Mrs. and Jane to make her resi gned. " Though I am NOT her particular friend. wholly unable to war d off any portion of that universal contempt which her rage for admiration will excite. Bennet saw that her whole heart was in the subject. "of the very great disadvantage to us all which must arise from the public notice of Lydia's unguarded and imprudent manne r--nay.ith more violence than ever. Com e. at sixteen. and that their sisters will not be often involved in the disgra ce?" Mr. that she considered it as the deat h warrant of all possibility of common sense for the latter. my dear father. ignorant." "Already arisen?" repeated Mr. Colonel Forster is a sensible man. "What. and then said: "Lydia will never be easy until she has exposed herself in some public place or other. She represented to him all the improprieties of Lydia 's general behaviour. three--very silly sisters." "If you were aware. then. Forster should not ask ME as well as Lydia. has she frightened away some of y our lovers? Poor little Lizzy! But do not be cast down. too. a flirt. and the probability of her being yet more impru dent with such a companion at Brighton. for I am two years older. We shall have no peace at L ongbourn if Lydia does not go to Brighton. As for Elizabeth herself. without any attraction beyond youth and a tolerable person. It is not of parti cular. He heard her attentively. and she is luckily t oo poor to be an object of prey to anybody. for I must speak plainly. and will keep her out of any real mischief. which I am now complaining. and affectionately taki ng her hand said in reply: "Do not make yourself uneasy. idle. I have no such injuries to resent. and you will not appear to less advantage for having a couple of--or I may say. Excuse me. and absolutely uncontrolled! Oh! my dear father." said Elizabeth. "I cannot see why Mrs. and of teaching her that her present pursuits are not to be the business of her life.

With an air of indifference he soon afterwards added: "How long did you say he was at Rosings?" . with oth er of the officers. Let us hope. agitation was pretty well over. It was not in her nature. She saw all the glories of the camp--its tents stretched forth in beauteous uniformity of lines. alarmed. and dazzling with scarlet. that he had formerly seen him often. she cannot grow many degrees worse . however. She saw herself the object of attention. and she left him disappointed and sorry. tenderly flirting with at least six officers at once. the agitat ions of formal partiality entirely so. She was confident of ha ving performed her duty. crowded with t he young and the gay. Her answer was warmly in his favour. Lydia's going to Bri ghton was all that consoled her for her melancholy conviction of her husband's n ever intending to go there himself. the streets of that gay bathing-place covered with officers. She saw. that her being there may t each her her own insignificance. she had a fresh s ource of displeasure. to provoke her. and. after what had since passed. after obse rving that he was a very gentlemanlike man. if he was acquai nted with the former. with little intermission. and their raptures continue d. and asked him. t o tens and to scores of them at present unknown. her vanity would be gratified. an affectation and a sameness to dis gust and weary. D arcy's having both spent three weeks at Rosings. that however long.rtance even as a common flirt than she has been here. Had she known her sister sought to tear her from such prospects and such realit ies as these. could not but feel the reproof contained in his believing. or augment them by anxiety. Having been frequently in company with him since her return. she saw herself seated beneath a tent. He looked surprised. without authorising us to lock her up for the rest of her life. She had even learnt to detect. to the very day of Lydia's leaving home. therefore. a visit to Brighton comprised every possibility of ear thly happiness. and so little was Elizabeth disposed to part f rom him in good humour. Had Lydia and her mother known the substance of her conference with her father. what would have been her sensations? They could have been understo od only by her mother. The officers will find wom en better worth their notice. their indignation would hardly have found expression in their united volubility . replied." With this answer Elizabeth was forced to be content. but her own opinion contin ued the same. But they were entirely ignorant of what had passed. with the creative eye of fancy. At any rate. Wickham for the last time. displeased. she mentioned Colonel Fitzwilliam's and Mr. Elizabeth was now to see Mr. but with a moment's recollection and a returning smile. that on his making some inquiry as to the manner in whic h her time had passed at Hunsford. In his present behaviour to herself. to complete the view. in the ver y gentleness which had first delighted her. he dined. his attentions had be en withdrawn. asked her how she had liked him. was no part of her disposition. at Longbourn. On the very last day of the regiment's remaining at Meryton. to increase her vexations by dwelling on them. and while she steadily repressed it. moreover. In Lydia's imagination. and. and for whatever cause. and to fret over unavoidable evils. She lost all concern for him in fi nding herself thus selected as the object of such idle and frivolous gallantry. and her preference secured at any t ime by their renewal. who might have felt nearly the same. for the inclination he soon testified of renewing those in tentions which had marked the early part of their acquaintance could only serve.

Kitty was the only one who shed tears. "And pray. She saw that he wanted to engage her on the old subject of his grievances." While she spoke. for it must only deter him from such foul misconduct as I have suffered by." Elizabeth could not repress a smile at this. he turned to h er again. The separation between her and h er family was rather noisy than pathetic. almost every day. and in the clamorous happiness of Lydia herself in bidding farewell. or to distrust their meaning. but she answered only by a slight inclination of the head. on his side." he continued in a lower and more serious tone. Forster to Meryton. I know. if not to him self. in a gayer tone. and impressive in her injunctions that sh e should not miss the opportunity of enjoying herself as much as possible--advic e which there was every reason to believe would be well attended to. and a good deal is to be imputed to his w ish of forwarding the match with Miss de Bourgh. But I think Mr. Mrs. but that. to many others." "His manners are very different from his cousin's. I only fear that the sort of cautiousness to which you. who so well know my feeling towards Mr. when they were together. he added. he is very much what he ev er was. from when ce they were to set out early the next morning. the more gentle adieus of her sisters were uttered without being heard. When the party broke up. no!" said Elizabeth." Wickham's alarm now appeared in a heightened complexion and agitated look. I imag ine. Lydia returned with Mrs. have been alluding. "In essentials. for a few minuted he was silent." "Oh." "Yes. There was a something in her countenanc e which made him listen with an apprehensive and anxious attention. Wickham looked as if scarcely knowing whether to rejoice over her words. shaking off his embarrassment. of whose g ood opinion and judgement he stands much in awe. which I am certain he has very much at heart. h is disposition was better understood. and she was in no humour to indulge him. but with no further attempt to distinguish Elizabeth. may be of service. Wickham with a look which did not escape her. "Is it in address t hat he improves? Has he deigned to add aught of civility to his ordinary style?-for I dare not hope. in that direction. while she ad ded: "When I said that he improved on acquaintance. I did not mean that his mind or his manners were in a state of improvement."Nearly three weeks. very different. Darcy improves upon acquaintance. . I believe. Bennet was diffuse in her good wi shes for the felicity of her daughter." "And you saw him frequently?" "Yes. His fear of her has always oper ated. and said in the gentlest of accents: "You. is merely adopted on his visits to his aunt. and possibly a mutual desire of never meeting again. till. of usual cheerfulness. His pride. but she did weep from vexation and envy. and they parted at last with mutual c ivility. ma y I ask?--" But checking himself. will readily comprehend ho w sincerely I must rejoice that he is wise enough to assume even the APPEARANCE of what is right. "that he i s improved in essentials. from knowing him better. The rest of the eve ning passed with the APPEARANCE." "Indeed!" cried Mr. Darcy.

Chapter 42 Had Elizabeth's opinion been all drawn from her own family. since the disturbers of her brain were removed. and at home she had a mother and sister whose constant repin ings at the dullness of everything around them threw a real gloom over their dom estic circle. Her fat her. "that I have something to wish for. "But it is fortunate. A scheme of which every part promises delight can never be successful. and that appearance of good humour which yo uth and beauty generally give. Thi s is not the sort of happiness which a man would in general wish to owe to his w ife. and could she have included Jane in the scheme. but respecting his abilit ies. from whose d isposition greater evil might be apprehended. the true philosopher w ill derive benefit from such as are given. talents. than as her ignorance and folly had contributed to his amusement. by c arrying with me one ceaseless source of regret in my sister's absence. might at least hav e preserved the respectability of his daughters. He was fond of the country and of books. and prepare for another disappointment. nor ever been so fully aware of the evils arising from so ill -judged a direction of talents. and grateful for his affectionate treatment of herself. Respect. had married a woman whose weak understanding and illiberal mind had very early in their marriage put and end to all real affectio n for her. Bennet was not of a dispositi on to seek comfort for the disappointment which his own imprudence had brought o n. she endeavoured to forget what she could not overlook. even if incapable of enlarging the mind of his wife. and always very sho rt. Those to her mother contained little else than that they were just returned . and confidence had vanished for ever. Upon the whole. Her tour to the Lakes was now the object of her happiest thoughts. bring all the satisfaction she had promised herself. my disappointment would be certain. and general disappointment is only warded off by the defence of some little peculiar vexation. which. I may rea sonably hope to have all my expectations of pleasure realised. But Mr. her other sister. To his wife he was very little otherwise indebted. and all his vi ews of domestic happiness were overthrown. and by again enjoying the pleasure of anticipation. therefore. was likely to be hardened in all h er folly and assurance by a situation of such double danger as a watering-place and a camp. console herself for th e present. and. in any of those pleasures which too often console the unfortunate for their f olly of their vice." thought she. and to banish from her thoughts that continu al breach of conjugal obligation and decorum which. every part of it would hav e been perfect. though Kitty might in time regain her natural degree of sense . was so highly reprehensible. Their parties abroad were less varied than before. she could not have formed a very pleasing opinion of conjugal felicity or domestic comfort. It was consequently necessary to name some other period for the commencement of ac tual felicity--to have some other point on which her wishes and hopes might be f ixed. she found. Were th e whole arrangement complete. however. in taking place. but where other powers of entertainment are wanting. captivated by youth and beauty. esteem. Elizabeth. But here. But she had never fel t so strongly as now the disadvantages which must attend the children of so unsu itable a marriage. She had always seen it with pain. in exposing his wife to the contempt of her own children." When Lydia went away she promised to write very often and very minutely to her mother and Kitty. it was her best consolation for all the un comfortable hours which the discontentedness of her mother and Kitty made inevit able. When Elizabeth had rejoiced over Wickham's departure she found little other cau se for satisfaction in the loss of the regiment. rightly used. what has been sometimes been f ound before. and from these tast es had arisen his principal enjoyments. but her letters were always long expected. had never been blind to the impropriety of her father's beh aviour as a husband. that an event to which she had been looking with impatient desire d id not.

Chatsworth. "I may enter his county without impunity. as Mrs. and still thought there might have been time enough. and. Forster called her. and two younger boys. One enjoyment was certain--t hat of suitableness of companions. Dovedale. and rob it of a few pe trified spars without his perceiving me. according to the prese nt plan. and summer f inery and summer engagements arose. or the Peak. With the mention of Derbyshire there were many ideas connected. and as that left too short a peri od for them to go so far. she had set her heart on seeing the Lak es. by the middle of June. two girls of six and eight years old. and Mrs. and where she had seen such beautiful ornaments as made her quite wild. and substitute a more contracted tour. Gard iner it had a peculiarly strong attraction." The period of expectation was now doubled. and they were going off to the camp. Elizabeth was excessively disappointed. It is not the object of this work to give a description of Derbyshire. which might supply it among themselves if there were disa ppointments abroad. when a letter arrived from Mrs. Gardi ner. were to be left under th e particular care of their cousin Jane. Gardin er would be prevented by business from setting out till a fortnight later in Jul y. and all was soon right a gain. another regiment should be quartered in Mery ton. Kitty was so much recovered as to be a ble to enter Meryton without tears. and must be in London again within a month. good humour. a nd cheerfulness began to reappear at Longbourn. unless. with their four children. where such and such officers had attended them. Bennet was restored to her usual querul ous serenity. and a fortnight only was wanting of it. The families who had been in town for the winter came back again. which she would have described more fully. and to Mrs. an event of such happy promise as to make El izabeth hope that by the following Christmas she might be so tolerably reasonabl e as not to mention an officer above once a day. In that county there was enough to be seen to occupy the chief of their three weeks. After the first fortnight or three weeks of her absence. and Mr. and from her correspondence with her sister. were much too full of lines under the words to be made public. The time fixed for the beginning of their northern tour was now fast approachin g. who was the general favourite. was prob ably as great an object of her curiosity as all the celebrated beauties of Matlo ck. but was obliged to leave off in a violent hurry. or a new parasol. But they did pass away. they were obliged to give up the Lakes. by some cruel and malic ious arrangement at the War Office. and set off the next morning with Elizabeth in pursuit of novelty and amusement. nor of a . Everything wore a happier aspect . But it was her business to be satisfied--and certainly her temper to be happy. The town where she had formerly pass ed some years of her life. a suitableness which comprehended health and temper to bear inconveniences--cheerfulness to enhance every pleasure--and affec tion and intelligence. that she had a new gow n.from the library. health. or at least to s ee it with the leisure and comfort they had built on. did at length appear at Longbourn. and loving them. and. "But sur ely. and whose steady sense and sweetness of temper exactly adapted her for attending to them in every way--teaching them. Mr. Mrs. The Gardiners stayed only one night at Longbourn. though rather longer. playing with them. there was still l ess to be learnt--for her letters to Kitty. and where they were now to spend a few days. and see so much as they had proposed. were to go no farther northwards than Derbyshire. The children. which at once delayed its commencement and curtailed its extent. Four weeks were to pass away before her uncle and aunt's arrival." said she. It was impossib le for her to see the word without thinking of Pemberley and its owner. Gardiner.

and contained great variety of ground. and t hen found themselves at the top of a considerable eminence. she was at l eisure to feel a great deal of curiosity to see the house herself. handsome stone building. and backed by a ridg e of high woody hills. therefore. A small part of Derbyshire is all the present concern. too. or where natural beauty had been so little coun . Warwick. nor more than a mile or two out of it. "a place. the sce ne of Mrs. watched for the first appearance of Pemberley W oods with some perturbation. whether the family were down for the summer? A most welcome neg ative followed the last question--and her alarms now being removed. as they drove along. The possibility of me eting Mr. you know. Accordingly. etc. they were to go. She must own that she was t ired of seeing great houses. and within five miles of Lambton. where the wood cease d. situated on the opposite side of a valley. and drove for some time through a beautiful wood s tretching over a wide extent. could readil y answer. but she saw and admired every r emarkable spot and point of view. and in front. She felt that she had no business at Pemberley. Mrs. with no little alarm. Blenh eim. Gardiner d eclared his willingness. Elizabeth was delighted. her spirits were in a high flutter." said she. while viewing the place. Chapter 43 Elizabeth. It was not in their direct road. should not you like to see a place of which you have heard so much?" said her aunt. "If it were merely a fine house richly furn ished. Wickham passed all his youth there. Mrs. But against this there were objections. she asked the chambermaid whether Pembe rley were not a very fine place? what was the name of its proprietor? and. "I should not care about it myself. They have some of the finest woods in the country. and when at length they turned in at the lodge. To Pemberley. and she was again applied to." Elizabeth said no more--but her mind could not acquiesce. and when the subject was revived the next morning. and w as obliged to assume a disinclination for seeing it. and with a proper air of indifference. Gardiner abused her stupidity. after having seen all the prin cipal wonders of the country. a stream of some natural importance was swe lled into greater. It was a larg e. when she retired at night. Kenilworth. and thought it would be better to speak openly to her aunt than to run such a risk. Elizabeth found from her aunt that Pemberley was situated. with which so many of your acquaintances are conne cted. In talking over their route the evening befor e. Oxford. but without any artificial appearance. They entered it in one of its lowest points. if her private inquir ies to the absence of the family were unfavourably answered. Elizabeth's mind was too full for conversation. and where she had lately learned some ac quaintance still remained. The park was very large. and the eye was instantly caught by Pemberley House. into which the road with some abruptness wound. They gradually ascended for half-a-mile. Mr." Elizabeth was distressed. an d she finally resolved that it could be the last resource. To the little town of Lambton. they bent their steps.ny of the remarkable places through which their route thither lay. Darcy. It would be dreadf ul! She blushed at the very idea. Gardiner's former residence. "My love. are sufficiently known. that she had not really any dis like to the scheme. Its banks were neither formal nor falsely adorned. Gardiner expressed an inclination to see the place again. but the grounds are deligh tful. and Elizabeth was applied to for her approbation. She had never seen a place for which nature had done more. standing well on rising ground. after going over so many. instantly occurred. Birmingham. she really had no pleasur e in fine carpets or satin curtains.

But no. amongst several other miniatures. and welcomed to them as visitors m y uncle and aunt. The housekeeper came. the river." said Mrs." she added. and. and more civil. and their furniture suitable to the fortune of its proprietor. which they had descended. pointing to another of the miniatures. The rooms were lofty and handsome. but from every window there were beauties to be seen. with less of splendour. while examining the nearer aspect of the house."--recollecting herself--"that could never be. all her apprehension of meeting its ow ner returned. crossed the bridge. but Eli zabeth saw. who had been brought up by him at his own expense. than she had any notion of finding her. the son of her late ma ster's steward." How rejoi ced was Elizabeth that their own journey had not by any circumstance been delaye d a day! Her aunt now called her to look at a picture." said Mrs. was a beautiful object. and she turned away with alarm.teracted by an awkward taste. But. well proportioned room. I might have rejoiced in them as my own. "I might have been mistress! With these rooms I might now have been familiarly acquainted! Instead of viewing them as a stran ger. I should not have been allowed to invite t hem. and told them it was a picture of a young gentleman." Mrs." Mrs. "But we expect him to-morrow. receiving increased abruptne ss from the distance. crowned with wood. They were all of them warm in their admiration. you can tell us whether it is like or not. Reynolds respect for Elizabeth seemed to increase on this intimation of he r knowing her master. and Elizabeth. much less fine. a respectable-looking elderly woman. She longed to inquire of the housekeeper whether her master was really absent. as far as she could trace it. She dreaded lest the chambermaid had been mistaken. over the mantelp iece. had leisure to wonder at her being where she was. She approached and saw the likene ss of Mr. that it was neither gaudy nor uselessl y fine. with a large party of friends. suspended. but had not the courage for it. Gardiner looked at her niece with a smile. the question was asked by her uncle. Gardiner. Wickham. with admiration of his taste. and more real elegance. while Mrs. Every disposition of the ground wa s good. than the furniture of Ro sings. Reynolds replied that he was. It was a large. looking a t the picture. the trees scattered on its banks and the winding of the valley. as they waited for the housekeeper." thought she. adding. but Elizabeth could not return it. how she liked it. On applying to see the place. Lizzy. As they passed into other rooms these objects were taking different positions. "He is now go ne into the army. went to a window to enjoy its prospect. handsomely fitted up. . with delight . Eli zabeth. smilingly. an d at that moment she felt that to be mistress of Pemberley might be something! They descended the hill. The housekeeper came forw ard. "And that. They followed her into the d ining-parlour. and she looked on the whole scene. "is my m aster--and very like him. It was drawn at the same time as the other--about eigh t years ago. At length however. Reynolds. The hill. Her aunt asked her. "And of this place." "I have heard much of your master's fine person. after slightly surveying it. my uncle and aunt would have been lost to me. "it is a handsome face. they were admitted into the hall." This was a lucky recollection--it saved her from something very like regret. "but I am afraid he has turned out very wild. and drove to the door.

and I have known him ever since he was four years old. Her keenest at tention was awakened. But I have always observed. ma'am?" "Yes. very handsome."Does that young lady know Mr. and said: "A little. whose manners were very easy and pleasant." "If your master would marry. and so accomplished!--S he plays and sings all day long. Mrs. He was very fond o f them. Wickham's being among them. and Miss Darcy is always down for the summer months. "I have never known a cross word from him in my life. "Is your master much at Pemberley in the course of the year?" "Not so much as I could wish. Gardiner. and was grateful to her uncle for saying: "There are very few people of whom so much can be said." Mr. had evidently great pleasure in talking of her master and his sister. Reynolds then directed their attention to one of Miss Darcy. That he was not a good-tempered man had been her firmest opinion." This accounted to Elizabeth for Mr." "I am sure I know none so handsome." "I say no more than the truth." "Yes. and he was always the sweetest-tempere . and these miniatures are just as they used to be then. that you should think so. she comes here to-morrow with him. she longed to hear more. "when she goes to Ramsgate. Mrs. Elizabeth thought this was going pretty far. are good-natured when they grow up. I do not know who is good enoug h for him. and Mrs. sir. Gardiner. Darcy?" Elizabeth coloured. "It is very much to his credit. I am sure. and everybody will say that knows him. that they who are good-natured when chil dren. drawn when sh e was only eight years old." This was praise. and she listened with in creasing astonishment as the housekeeper added. I could not meet wit h a better." Mr. either by pride or attac hment. This room was my late master's favourite room. but I do not know when THAT will be. If I were to go through the world. Reynolds. I know I am. but in the gallery upstairs you will see a finer. but I dare say he may spend half his time he re. encouraged her communi cativeness by his questions and remarks. "Oh! yes--the handsomest young lady that ever was seen. "And is Miss Darcy as handsome as her brother?" said Mrs. Elizabeth could not help saying. you might see more of him." "Yes." replied the other. sir. You are lucky in having such a master." "And do not you think him a very handsome gentleman. sir. Gardiner smiled." thought Elizabeth. larger picture of him than this. In the next room is a new instrument just come down for her--a present from my master." "Except. most opposite to her ideas. of all others most extraordinary.

" said Elizabeth. She stood several minutes before the picture. "is not quite co nsistent with his behaviour to our poor friend. To my fancy. Reynold s could interest her on no other point. not like the wild young men nowadays. but Elizabeth knew nothing of the art. who had taken a liking to the room when last at Pemberley. when she should enter the room. most generous-hearted boy in the world. and the best master. Reynolds anticipated Miss Darcy's delight." "Perhaps we might be deceived. Elizabeth walked in quest of the only face whos e features would be known to her. ma'am. Mrs. lately fitted up with greater elegance and lightness than the apartments below." On reaching the spacious lobby above they were shown into a very pretty sitting -room." Elizabeth listened. who think of nothing but themselves. "that ever lived. Gard iner. and his son will be just like him--just as aff able to the poor. doubted. . "Yes. and two or three of the principal bedrooms. There is nothing he would not do f or her. were all that remained to be shown. and were informed that it was but just done to give pleasure to Miss Darc y." said Mrs. whose subje cts were usually more interesting. "He is certainly a good brother. in earnest contemplation. At last it arrested her--and she beheld a stri king resemblance to Mr. "His father was an excellent man. Mrs. in crayons. our authority was too good. Some people c all him proud. "This fine account of him. and was impatient for more. Darcy?" thought she. "Whatever can give his sister any pleasure is sure to be done in a moment. "And this is always the way with him. with such a smile over the face as she remembered to have sometimes seen when he looked at her. but they could have little to fix the attention of a stranger." whispered her aunt as they walked. as she walked towards one of the windows. Gardiner." Elizabeth almost stared at her. wondered. There is not one of his tenants or servants but will give him a good name. in vain.d. highly amused by the kind of family prejudice to which he attributed her e xcessive commendation of her master. Mrs. She related the subjects of the pictures . it is only because he does not rattle away like other young men. and also more intelligible. that he was indeed. but I am sure I never saw anything of it." The picture-gallery. and returned to it again before they quit ted the gallery." "In what an amiable light does this place him!" thought Elizabeth. and the price of the furniture. Mr." she added. Darcy. "He is the best landlord. she had wi llingly turned to look at some drawings of Miss Darcy's. In the former were many good paintings. In the gallery there were many family portraits. the dimensions of the rooms. "Can this be Mr." "That is not very likely. and she dwel t with energy on his many merits as they proceeded together up the great stairca se. soon led again to the subject." said she. Reynolds informed them that it had been taken in his fathe r's lifetime. and from such as had been already visible below.

She blushed again and again over the perverseness of th e meeting.There was certainly at this moment. When all of the house that was open to general inspection had been seen. h is accent had none of its usual sedateness. taking leave of the housekeeper. She was overpowered by shame and vexation. What praise is more valuable than the praise of an intelligent servant? As a bro ther. a master. to inqu . and while the former was conjecturing a s to the date of the building. as plainly spoke the distraction of his though ts. Reynolds was of no trifling nature. They were within twenty yards of each other. and so abrupt was his appearance. if not in terms of perfect compo sure. and knew not what answer she returned to his civil inquiries after her family. As they walked across the hall towards the river. Nor did he seem much more at ease. she considered how many people's happiness were in h is guardianship!--how much of pleasure or pain was it in his power to bestow!--h ow much of good or evil must be done by him! Every idea that had been brought fo rward by the housekeeper was favourable to his character. who met them at the hall-door. At length every idea seemed to fail him. they should have been beyond the reach of his discrimination . were consigned over to the gardener. and. Darcy. and fixed his eyes upon herself. they r eturned downstairs. scarcely dared lift her eyes to his face. on beholding his master. And his behaviour. after standing a few moments with out saying a word. and spoke to Elizabeth. a more gentle sensatio n towards the original than she had ever felt at the height of their acquaintanc e. the gardener's expr ession of surprise. and f or a moment seemed immovable from surprise. The commendation bestowed on him by Mrs. and wholly engrossed by her own feelings. she remembered its warmth. Their eyes instantly met. and took leave. astonished and c onfused. he suddenly recollected himself. so strikingly altered--what could it mean? That he should even speak to her was amazing!--but to speak with such civility. They stood a little aloof while he was talking to their niece. Her coming there was the mos t unfortunate. must immediately have told it. at least of perfect civility. or his resemblance to the picture they had just been examining. her uncle and aunt stopped also. Had his first appear ance. and he repeated his inquiries as to the time of her having left Longbourn. The others then joined her. but Elizabe th heard not a word. She had instinctively turned away. and. Elizabeth turned back to look again. every sentence that he uttered was increasing h er embarrassment. and the che eks of both were overspread with the deepest blush. when he spoke. why did he thus come a day before he was expected? Had they been only ten minutes sooner. who. the few minutes in which they continued were some of the mos t uncomfortable in her life. and softened its impropriety of expression. followed them in silence. but shortly recovering himself. a landlord. she t hought of his regard with a deeper sentiment of gratitude than it had ever raise d before. and every idea of the impropriety of her being found there rec urring to her mind. adva nced towards the party. and expressed admiration of his figure. s o often. which led behind it to the stables. the owner of it himself suddenly came forward fro m the road. been insuf ficient to assure the other two that they now saw Mr. but stopping on his approach. the most ill-judged thing in the world! How strange it must appea r to him! In what a disgraceful light might it not strike so vain a man! It migh t seem as if she had purposely thrown herself in his way again! Oh! why did she come? Or. Amazed at the alteration of hi s manner since they last parted. and of her having stayed in Derbyshire. that it was impossible to avoid his sight. in Elizabeth's mind. and as she stood befor e the canvas on which he was represented. and in so hurried a way. for it was plain that he was that moment arrived--that moment alighted from hi s horse or his carriage. received his c ompliments with an embarrassment impossible to be overcome. He absolutely started.

ascended so me of the higher grounds. With a triumphant smile they were told that it was te n miles round. and seemed to direct her eyes to such objects as they pointed out. it was a spot less ado rned than any they had yet visited. indeed. whichever it might be. Th e idea lasted while a turning in the walk concealed him from their view. here contracted into a glen. the opposite hills . by the sight of Mr. he was immediately before them. and every step was bringing forward a nobler fall of ground. or how to account for it. however. Mr. and thought only of returning to the carriage as quickly as possible. Elizabeth longed to explore its windings. They crossed it by a simpl e bridge. and bidding adieu to the river for a while. and she fancied that praise of Pemberley from her might be mischievously construed. was at least more prepared for an interview than before. Darcy then was. with the long range of woods overspreading many. They had now entered a beautiful walk by the side of the water. when. and they pursued the accustomed circuit. allowed them to see him before they met. They entered the woods. and she felt the necessity of appearing more like herself. Her niece was. and on her pausing. though she answered mechanically to the repeated appeals of he r uncle and aunt. if he really intended to meet them. Her colour changed. never had he spoken with such gentleness as on this unexpected meeting. she distinguished no part of the scene. and was so much e ngaged in watching the occasional appearance of some trout in the water. Perhaps he had been civil only because he felt himself at ease. and. for Mr. or a finer reach of the woods to w hich they were approaching. At length. but feared it might be beyond a walk. This was a strok . Darcy approaching th em. but she had not got beyond the words "delightful. she was still dear to hi m. and the valley. and whether. and perceived their distance from the house. obliged to su bmit. Gardiner was standing a little behind. and resolved to a ppear and to speak with calmness. where Mr. he asked her if she would do him the honour of introducing him to her friends. and at no great distance. Gardiner . and. Mrs. in the nearest direction. the tur ning past. Gardiner expressed a wish of going round the whole park. was very fond of fishing. and tal king to the man about them. were many charming views of the valley." and "charming. as th ey met. and Elizabeth's astonishment was qu ite equal to what it had been at first. therefore. The walk here being here less sheltered than on th e other side. they were again surprised. the remarks of her companions on her absence of mind arouse d her. For a few moments. S he longed to know what at the moment was passing in his mind--in what manner he thought of her." when some unlucky recollections obtruded. who was not a great walker. allowed room only for the stream. she began. to admire the beauty of the place. in defiance of everything.ire after her family! Never in her life had she seen his manners so little digni fied. but when they ha d crossed the bridge. she felt that he would probably strike into some other path. after some time. however astoni shed. It settled the matter. and a narrow walk amidst the rough coppice-wo od which bordered it. and occasionally part of the stream. thou gh seldom able to indulge the taste. Elizabeth. but their progress was slow. Her thoughts were all fixed on that one spot of Pemberley House. to t he edge of the water. she saw that he had lo st none of his recent civility. could go no farther. and she said no more. that he advanced but little. Gardiner. when he put his letter into her hand! She knew not what to think. Whilst wandering on in this slow manner. in character with the general air of the scene. but it was some time before Elizabeth was sensible o f any of it. and one of its narrowest parts. Mrs. w hich brought them again. With a glance. but he certainly had not seen her with composure. to imitate his politeness. and they took their way towards the house on the opposite side of the rive r. Whether he had felt more of pai n or of pleasure in seeing her she could not tell. yet there had been THAT in his voice which was not like ease. in a descent among hanging woods. Wh at a contrast did it offer to his last address in Rosings Park. in spots where the opening of the trees gave the eye power to wander.

with the greatest civility. could not but triumph. Her thoughts were instantly driven bac k to the time when Mr. she stole a sly look at him. without looking farther. . My reproofs at Hunsford could not work such a change as this. and pointing out those parts of the stream where there was usually most spo rt. however. he sustain ed it. if she might judge by his complexion. and sa id that business with his steward had occasioned his coming forward a few hours before the rest of the party with whom he had been travelling. and as she named their relatio nship to herself. who was walking arm-in-arm with Elizabeth. It was consoling that he should know she had some relations for whom there was no need to blush. after descending to the brink of the river fo r the better inspection of some curious water-plant. it was gratifying to know that his resentment had not made him think really ill of her. Gardiner. Darcy invite him. every senten ce of her uncle. however. Her astonishment. and indeed. or his good manners." she added." He acknowledged the truth of it all. and. That he was SURPRISED by the connection was evident. Elizabeth said nothing. it was too great for her to know in what manner she acceded to it. before we left Bakewell. was extreme. HIS mind was not very differently eng aged. and entered into conversation with Mr. She wished him to know t hat she had been assured of his absence before she came to the place. Bingley's name had been the last mentioned between them. After a short silence. and was no t without the expectation of his decamping as fast as he could from such disgrac eful companions. was immediately made. fatigued by the exercise of t he morning. offering at the same time to supply him with fishing tac kle. the two gentlemen behind. Mrs. "Why is he so altered? From what can it proceed ? It cannot be for ME--it cannot be for MY sake that his manners are thus soften ed. and consequently pr eferred her husband's.e of civility for which she was quite unprepared. that his arrival had been very unexpected--"for your h ousekeeper. She immediately felt that whatever des ire Miss Darcy might have of being acquainted with her must be the work of her b rother. "There is also one other person in the party. the two ladies in front." he continued. found Elizabeth's arm inadequate to her support. and gloried in every expression. however. there chanced to be a littl e alteration. with fortitude. "when he knows who they are? He takes them now for people of fashion. an d continually was she repeating. on resuming their places. to see how he bore it. Darcy took her place by her niece. we understood that you were not i mmediately expected in the country. Gardiner. the lady first spoke. Mr. Gardiner." he continued after a pause." Elizabeth answered only by a slight bow. She listened most attentivel y to all that passed between them. his taste. to fish there as often as he chose while he continue d in the neighbourhood." thought she. but it gratified her exceedingly. "What will be his su rprise. and accord ingly began by observing." After walking some time in this way. and she heard Mr. th e compliment must be all for herself. or do I ask too much. and. and she could hardly suppress a smile at his being now seeking the acquaintance of some of those very people a gainst whom his pride had revolted in his offer to herself. It is impossib le that he should still love me. and so far from going away. "who more particularly wishes to be known to you. "They will join m e early to-morrow. gave her a look ex pressive of wonder. it was satisfactory. It originated in Mrs. Elizabeth could not but be pleased. Will you allow me. to introduce my sister to your acquaintance during your stay at Lambton?" The surprise of such an application was great indeed. The conversation soon turned upon fishing. Bingley and his sisters. which marked his intelligence. who. turned his back with them. and they walked on together." The introduction. "and among them are some who will claim an acq uaintance with you--Mr. "informed us that you would certainly not be here till t o-morrow.

" replied her uncle . "Your great men often are. He has not an ill-natured look. or. and warn me off his grounds. At last she recollected that she had been travelling. At such a time much might have been said. Gardiner. "There IS something a little stately in him. Darcy handed the ladies into the carriage. he has not Wickham's countenance." Elizabeth here felt herself called on to say something in vindication of his be haviour to Wickham. rath er. a nd they stood together on the lawn. said that she had liked him bet ter when they had met in Kent than before. He then asked her to walk into the house--but she declared herself not tired. but there seemed to be an embarg o on every subject." continued Mrs. I can now say with the house keeper. his actio ns were capable of a very different construction. "bu t it is confined to his air. "From what we have seen of him. and unassuming. But h ow came you to tell me that he was so disagreeable?" Elizabeth excused herself as well as she could. for his features are perfectly good. nor Wickham's so amiable. it was really attentive. On the contrary. and that she had never seen him so pl easant as this morning. And there is something of dign ity in his countenance that would not give one an unfavourable idea of his heart . "I really should not have thought that he could have behaved in so cruel a way by anybody as he has d one by poor Wickham. Mr. each of them deep in thought." said her uncle. "But perhaps he may be a little whimsical in his civilities. and when it drove off. as he might change his mind another day. His wish of introducing his sister to her was a compliment of the highest kind. an d silence was very awkward. The observations of her uncle and aunt now began. She wanted to talk. and each of them pronounced h im to be infinitely superior to anything they had expected. I suppose." "To be sure. "He is perfectly wel l behaved. and th ey talked of Matlock and Dove Dale with great perseverance. "he is not so handsome as Wickham. that was impossible. and therefore I shall not take him at his word. It was more than civil . there is s omething pleasing about his mouth when he speaks. Elizabeth was not comfortable. that though some people may call him proud. Gard iner were half a quarter of a mile behind. and that his character was by no means so faulty. I have seen nothing of it. and THAT in the eye of a servant comprehends every virtue. They soon o utstripped the others. and is not unbecoming. His ac quaintance with Elizabeth was very trifling. But. but she was flattered and pleased. Elizabeth saw him walking slowly towards the h ouse. and when they had reached the carriage. But he is a libera l master. but said not hing." said her aunt. but this was declined.They now walked on in silence. to be sure. Gardiner's coming up they were all pressed to go into the house and take some refreshment. in as guarded a manne r as she could. On Mr. as they had been considered in Her ." Elizabeth felt that they had entirely misunderstood his character. to be sure. Yet time and her aun t moved slowly--and her patience and her ideas were nearly worn our before the t ete-a-tete was over." replied her aunt. and therefore gave them to understand." "I was never more surprised than by his behaviour to us. the good lady who showed us his house did give him a most fla ming character! I could hardly help laughing aloud sometimes. and they parted on each side with utmost politeness. and Mrs. and Mrs. polite. and there was no necessity for such attention. that by what she had heard from his relations in Kent. Mr. Lizzy.

Darcy's civility. of his wishing her to be acquainted with his sister. and her manners were perfectly unassuming and gentle. She found it difficult to obtain even a word from her beyond a monosyllable. Her uncle an d aunt were all amazement. and the evening was spent in the satisfactions of a inter course renewed after many years' discontinuance. The occurrences of the day were too full of interest to leave Elizabeth much at tention for any of these new friends. but amongst other causes of disquiet. and they saw a gentleman and a l ady in a curricle driving up the street. Chapter 44 Elizabeth had settled it that Mr. but they felt that there was no other way of accounting for such attentions from such a quarter than by supposing a partiality for their niece. and many of the circumstances of the preceding d ay. and imparted no small degree of her surprise to he r relations by acquainting them with the honour which she expected. and her appearance womanly and graceful . Mrs. Gardiner was surprised and concerned. opened to them a new idea on the business. She was quite amazed at her own discom posure. and were jus t returning to the inn to dress themselves for dining with the same family. Darcy told her that Bingley was also . Since her being at Lambton. for on the very morning after their arrival at Lambton. every idea gave way to the charm of recollection . D arcy had been. and was consequently resolved not to be out of sight of the inn the whole of that morning. Th ey had been walking about the place with some of their new friends. Darcy would bring his sister to visit her the very day after her reaching Pemberley. without actually naming her authority. and as she walked up and down the room. and on a larger scale than Elizabeth. Nothing had ever suggested it bef ore. who had expected to find in her as acute and unembarrassed an observer as ever Mr. endeavouring to compose herself. Elizabeth immediately recognizing the l ivery. her figure was formed. guessed what it meant. While these newly-born notions were passing in their heads. With astonishment did Elizabeth see that her new acquaintance was at least as much embarrassed as herself. fearful of being seen. but as they were now approaching the scene of her former pleasures. Miss Darcy was tall. and. They had not long been together before Mr. joi ned to the circumstance itself. of Mr. She retreated from the window. she had heard that Mis s Darcy was exceedingly proud. but there was sense and good humour in her face. but stating it to be such as such as might be relied on. she naturally suspected that every power of pleasing would fail her. was much relieved by discerning such different feelings. and the embarrassment of her manner as she spoke. she related the particulars of all the pecu niary transactions in which they had been connected. and she could do nothing but think. Elizabeth. Miss Darcy and her brother appeared. but the observation of a very few minutes convinc ed her that she was only exceedingly shy. and. when the sound of a carriage drew them to a window. But her conclusion was false. She was less handsome than her brother. Fatigued as she had been by t he morning's walk they had no sooner dined than she set off again in quest of he r former acquaintance. the perturbation of Elizabeth's feelings was at every moment increasing. and she was too much engaged in pointing out to her husband all the interestin g spots in its environs to think of anything else. though little m ore than sixteen. and. and th ink with wonder. saw such looks of inquiring surp rise in her uncle and aunt as made everything worse. these visitors came. she dreaded lest the partiality of the brother should have said too much in her favour. and this formidable introduction took plac e. above all. more than commonly an xious to please. In confirmation of this.tfordshire.

Nothing occurred between them that could justify the hopes of his sister. The whole party before them. that she could hardly restrain her astonishment from being visib le. Darcy and their niece directed their observation towards each with an earnest though guard ed inquiry. where she feared most to fail. whether ALL her sisters w ere at Longbourn. as he looked at her. when unattended to by any of the rest. and struck so forcib ly on her mind. had he dared. and in the latter object. nor in the preceding remar k. and i n all that he said she heard an accent so removed from hauteur or disdain of his companions. after her family. Darcy himself.coming to wait on her. They had long wished to see him. who had been set up as a rival to Jane . she was mos t sure of success. though this might be imaginary. All Elizabeth's anger against him had been long done away. and in a moment he entered the room. and Darcy determi ned. on her side. had at least outliv ed one day. her thoughts naturally flew to her sister. but. but that the gentleman was overflowing with admiration was evident enough. but to the very rela tions whom he had openly disdained. whenev er she did catch a glimpse. or his dignif ied relations at Rosings. oh! how arde ntly did she long to know whether any of his were directed in a like manner. he added. indeed. Georgiana was eager. To Mr. and. the change was so great. but had she still felt any. so free from s elf-consequence or unbending reserve. "It is above eight months. she could not be de ceived as to his behaviour to Miss Darcy. in her anxious interpretation." Elizabeth was pleased to find his memory so exact. There was not much in the question. We have not met since the 26th of Nove mber. as now. it could hardly have stood its groun d against the unaffected cordiality with which he expressed himself on seeing he r again. that it "was a very long time since he had had the pleasure of seeing her. when Bingley's quick step was heard on the stairs. when no importance could result fr . she wanted to compose her own. and prepare for such a visitor. not only to herself." and. which. and she had barely time to express her satisfaction. It was not often that she could turn her eyes on Mr. for those to whom she endeavoured to give pleasure were prepo ssessed in her favour. as convinced her that the improvement of manners which she had yest erday witnessed however temporary its existence might prove. and two or three little circumstances occurred ere they parted. but there was a look and a manner which gave them meaning. and in a tone which had something of real regret. Of the lady's sensations they remain ed a little in doubt. ex cited a lively attention. Gardiner he was scarcely a less interesting personage than to h erself. had she seen him so desirous to please. at a moment when the others were talking together. and he afterwards took occas ion to ask her. In seeing Bingley. On this point she was soon satisfied. Never. and they soon drew from those inquiries the full conviction that one of them at least knew what it was to love. But. No look appeared on either side that spoke particular regard. he was trying to trace a resemblance. even in the company of his dear friends at Netherfield. and once or twice pleased herself with the notion that. Elizabeth. and lo oked and spoke with the same good-humoured ease that he had ever done. Bingley was ready. The suspicions which had just arisen of Mr. denoted a recollection of Jane not untinct ured by tenderness. and Mrs. when we were all dancing together at Netherfield. had much to do. He observed to her. Som etimes she could fancy that he talked less than on former occasions. and a wish of saying more that might lead to the mention of her. and to make herself agreea ble to all. before she could re ply. to be pleased. and recollected their last lively scene in H unsford Parsonage--the difference. She wanted to ascertain the feelings of each of her visitors. He inquired in a friendly. though general way. When she saw him thus seeking the acquaintance and courting the good opinion of people with whom any intercourse a few months ago would have been a disgrace--when she saw him thus civil. she saw an expression of general complaisance.

on his quitti ng Derbyshire. and the evening. Gardiner. Neither had anything occurred in the intelligence of their Lambton friends that could materially lessen its weight. pride he probably had. in believing the housekeeper. whom the invitation most concerned. and if not. Miss Darcy. Darcy. Elizabeth. and. that he was a liberal man. They had nothing to accuse him of but pride. when their visitors left them. as far as their acquaintance reached. They could not be untouched b y his politeness. as well as some others . and she lay awake two whole h ours endeavouring to make them out. before they le ft the country. to dinner at Pemberley. though while it was passing. and Mrs. and whose own manners indicated respectability. though as it passed it seemed long. It was acknowledged. and when even the acquaintance of those to who m his attentions were addressed would draw down the ridicule and censure of the ladies both of Netherfield as Rosings. and had they drawn his character from their own feelings and h is servant's report. felt dispos ed as to its acceptance. but Elizabeth had turned away her head. construing all this into a wish of hearing h er speak of her sister. They saw much to interest. Eager to be alone. Presuming howev er. she stayed with them only long enough to hear their favourable opinion of Bingley. without any reference to any other account. Gardiner's curiosity. ha ving still a great deal to say to her. that could be so called. No. the travellers soon found that he was not held there i n much estimation. but nothing to justify inquiry. was not to be hast ily rejected. Bingley expressed great pleasure in the certainty of seeing Elizabeth again. Of Mr. had for som . The respect created by the convict ion of his valuable qualities. for though the chief of his concerns with the son of his patr on were imperfectly understood. Darcy than they had before any idea of. capable of considering the last half-hour with some satisfaction. T here was now an interest. and many inquiries to make after all thei r Hertfordshire friends. was not long enough to d etermine her feelings towards ONE in that mansion. a p erfect willingness to accept it. desirous of knowing how SHE. Mrs. and seeing in her husband. and the day after the next was fixed on. and then hurried away to dress. Their visitors stayed with them above half-an-hour. however. though with a diffidence which marked her little in the habit of giving invitations. who was fond of society. With respect to Wickham. her thoughts were at Pemberley this evening more than the las t. it was evident that he w as very much in love with her. and Miss Bennet. he had left many debts behind him. and when they arose to depa rt. and she had almost as long been ashamed of ever feeling a dislike against him. however. readily obeyed. it was yet a well-known fact that. and on this account. Darcy called on his sister to join him in expressing their wish of seein g Mr. Gardiner looked at her nie ce. and Mrs. which Mr. the enjoyment of it had been little. It was evident that she was much better acqu ainted with Mr. Darcy it was now a matter of anxiety to think well. She certainly did not hate him. the circle in H ertfordshire to which he was known would not have recognized it for Mr. and they soon b ecame sensible that the authority of a servant who had known him since he was fo ur years old. and fearful of inquiries or hints from he r uncle and aunt. was pleased. Darcy afterwards dis charged. it was not the ir wish to force her communication. As for Elizabeth. But she had no reason to fear Mr. found herself. she ventured to engage for her attendance. there was no fault to find. though at first unwillingly admitted. it would certainly be imputed by the inhabitants of a small market-town where the family did not visit. that this studied avoidance spoke rather a momentary embarrassment than any dislike of the proposal. hatred h ad vanished long ago. and did much good among the p oor.om the success of his endeavours. Mr.

whose endeavour to introduce e truly well-bred than either of the with occasional help from Elizabeth. a genteel. By Mrs. and it was now heightened into som ewhat of a friendlier nature. and she only wanted to know how far she wish ed that welfare to depend upon herself. Mr. on the such pauses must always be. awkward as few moments. On reaching the house. Chapter 45 Convinced as Elizabeth now was that Miss Bingley's dislike of her had originate d in jealousy. who was sitting there with Mrs. she was grateful to him. Mrs. and without any indelicate display of regard. Hurst and Miss Bingley they ir being seated. she esteemed. but for loving her still well enough to forgive all the p etulance and acrimony of her manner in rejecting him. that such a striking civility as Miss Darcy's in coming to see them on the very day of her a rrival at Pemberley. Annesley. and. most eager to preser ve the acquaintance. whose northern aspect rendered it delightful for summer. it must be attributed. however. though proceeding from shyness and the fear of doing wrong. by some exertion of politeness on t heir side. she had been persuaded. She respected. seemed. where their two selves only were concerned.e time ceased to be repugnant to her feeling. agreeable-looking some kind of discourse proved her to be mor others. by the testimony so highly in his favour. ought to b e imitated. Such a change in a man of so much pride exciting not only astonishment but gratitude--f or to love. and brin ging forward his disposition in so amiable a light. and a positive engagement made of his meeting some of the gent lemen at Pemberley before noon. on this accidental meeting. and of the beautiful oaks and Spanish chestnuts which were scattered over the in termediate lawn. a pause. though it could not be equalled. Gardiner. and the lady with whom she lived in London. they were shown through the hall into the saloon. though it could not be exactly defined. ardent love. succeeded for a Mrs. Gardiner left them soon after breakfast. The fishing scheme had been renewe d the day before. would avoid her as his greatest enemy. but attended with all the embarrassment which . which yesterday had produced . for she had reached it only to a late breakfast. But above all. did her justice. of bringing on her the renewal of his addresses. which her fancy told her she still p ossessed. and as such its impression on he r was of a sort to be encouraged. that it would be highly expedient to wait on her a t Pemberley the following morning. though when she asked herself the reason. Elizabeth was pl eased. It was gratitude. Georgiana's reception of them was very civil. as by no means unpleasing. It had been settled in the evening between the aunt and the niece. gratitude. consequently. and pitied her. In this house they were received by Miss Darcy. Hurst and Miss Bingley. was soliciting the good opinion of her friends. Its windows opening to the gr ound. she could not help feeling how unwelcome her appearance at Pember ley must be to her. there was a motive within her of good will which could not be overlooked. and how far it would be for the happines s of both that she should employ the power. They were. He who. the conversation was carried on. therefore. Miss Darcy . above respect and esteem. and was curious to know with how much civility on that lady' s side the acquaintance would now be renewed. were noticed only by a curtsey. she f elt a real interest in his welfare. admitted a most refreshing view of the high woody hills behind the house. not merely for having once loved her. or any peculi arity of manner. to go. and all the unjust accusat ions accompanying her rejection. and between her and Mrs. would easily give to those who felt themselves inferior the belief of her being proud and reserved . Gardiner and her niece. and. It was first broken by woman. and bent on making her known to his sister. she had very little to say in r eply.

to remind t . and unable to lift up her eyes. are not the ----shire Militia removed from Meryton? They mus t be a great loss to YOUR family. on her brother's entrance. and the various recollect ions connected with him gave her a moment's distress. with a heightened complexion. He had been some time with Mr. cake. Her own thoughts were employing her. in spite of the smiles which overspread her face whenever she spoke to one of its objects. There was n ow employment for the whole party--for though they could not all talk. Darcy. She answered with equal indifference and brevity. While thus engaged. Elizabeth soon saw that she was herself closely watched by Miss Bingley. Gardiner. nectarines. but exerting herself vigor ously to repel the ill-natured attack. to make her betray a sensibility which might injure her in Darcy's opinion. because she saw that the suspicions of the whole party were awakened aga inst them. and that there was scarcely an eye which did not watch his behaviour when he first came into the room. though but a moment before she had beli eved her wishes to predominate. and then. Elizabeth had a fair opportunity of deciding whether she mo st feared or wished for the appearance of Mr. and th at she could not speak a word. and forwarded as much as possible. an involuntary glance showed her Darcy . who." In Darcy's presence she dared not mention Wickham's name. Miss Eliza. and. This observation would not have prevented her from trying to talk to the latter. by the feelings which preva iled on his entering the room. they coul d all eat. While she spoke. and sometimes did ven ture a short sentence when there was least danger of its being heard. a resolution the more necessary to be made. and Elizabeth saw that he was anxious for his sister and herself to get acquainted. Had Miss Bingley known what pa in she was then giving her beloved friend. Darcy were by no means over. but this did not take place till after many a significant look and smile from Mr s. Eliza beth was roused by receiving from her a cold inquiry after the health of her fam ily. exerted herself much more to talk. but she had merely intended to discompose Elizabeth by bringing f orward the idea of a man to whom she believed her partial. but Elizabeth instant ly comprehended that he was uppermost in her thoughts. and a variety of all the finest fruits in season. she undoubtedly would have refrained from the hint. especially to Miss Darcy. with two or three other gentlemen from the house. and his sister overcom e with confusion. she feared that the master of the house might be amongst them.looked as if she wished for courage enough to join in it. with sneering civility: "Pray. and had left him only on learning tha t the ladies of the family intended a visit to Georgiana that morning. After sitting in this manner a quarter of an hour without hearing Miss Bingley's voice. had they not been seated at an inconvenient distance. and the others said no mo re. and peaches soon co llected them round the table. but perhaps not the more easil y kept. took the first opportuni ty of saying. Annesley to Miss Darcy had been given. In no countenance was attentive curiosity so s trongly marked as in Miss Bingley's. perhaps. for jealousy had not yet made he r desperate. she presently answered the question in a tolerably detached tone. She wished. and. and her attentions to Mr. without calling her att ention. but she was not s orry to be spared the necessity of saying much. No sooner did he appear than Elizabeth wisely resolved to be perfectly easy and unembarra ssed. she began to regret that he came. She expected every moment that some of the gentlemen would enter the room. Miss Bingley saw all this likewise. Miss Darcy. The next variation which their visit afforded was produced by the entrance of s ervants with cold meat. and the beautiful pyramids of grapes. to remind her of her post. in the imprudence of anger. and w hether she wished or feared it most. earnestly looking at her. was engaged by the river. every attempt at conversation on either side. she could scarcely determine.

it is probable that it might add something to his liv ely concern for the welfare of his friend. and the very circumstance which had been designed to turn his thoughts fro m Elizabeth seemed to have fixed them on her more and more cheerfully. But Georgiana would not join her. Darcy might have liked such an address. after they had been dining at Netherfield. from the very wish which Elizabeth had long ago attributed to him. she continued: "I remember. and in her air altogether there is a self-sufficiency without fashion. soon quieted his emotion. behaviour." . and while Mr. Her brother's recommendation was enough to ensure her favour. And he had spoken in such terms of Eliz abeth as to leave Georgiana without the power of finding her otherwise than love ly and amiable. Her br other. Mr. Miss Bingley could not help r epeating to him some part of what she had been saying to his sister." she cried. "I must confess that I never could see any bea uty in her. vexed and disappointed. Georgian a also recovered in time. and I believe you thought her rather pretty at one time. 'SHE a beauty!--I should as soon call her mother a wit. Elizabeth's collected behaviour." Persuaded as Miss Bingley was that Darcy admired Elizabeth. and without meaning that it should effect his endeavour to sepa rate him from Miss Bennet. and her feat ures are not at all handsome. he contented himself with coolly replying that he perceived no other alteration than her being rathe r tanned. When Darcy returned to the saloon. from a determination of making him speak . and in seeing him at last look somewhat nettled. and. of their becoming hereafter her own. "How very ill Miss Eliza Bennet looks this morning. She is gr own so brown and coarse! Louisa and I were agreeing that we should not have know n her again. He was resolutely silent. scarcely recollected her interest in the af fair. which I do not like at all. however. "but THAT was only w hen I first saw her.he latter of all the follies and absurdities by which some part of her family we re connected with that corps. no miraculous consequence of travelling in the summer. this was not the be st method of recommending herself. and as Miss Bingley. Not a syllable had ever reached her of Miss Darcy' s meditated elopement. Darcy was attending them to their carriage Miss Bingley was vent ing her feelings in criticisms on Elizabeth's person. whose eye she feared to meet. where secrecy was po ssible. when we first knew her in Hertfordshire. but not out of the common way. He had certainly for med such a plan. though not enough to be able to speak any more. Her teeth are tolerable." However little Mr. whic h is intolerable. and dress. her complexion has no brilliancy. however. and I particularly recollect your saying on e night. his judgement could not err. except to Elizabeth. Their visit did not continue long after the question and answer above mentioned . I could never see anything extraordinary in them. "I n ever in my life saw anyone so much altered as she is since the winter. and from all Bingley's connections her brother was particularly anxious to conceal it. she had all the success she expected. but angry people are not always wise. Darcy. They have a sharp.' But afterwards she seemed to improve on you. To no creature had it been revealed. how amazed we all were to find that she was a reputed beauty. for it is many months since I have considered her as one of the handsomest women of my acquaintance. dared not approach nearer to Wickham." she rejoined." replied Darcy. Her nose wants character--there is nothing marked in its lines. who could contain himself no longer. "For my own part." "Yes. which have sometimes been called so fine. and as for her eyes. shrewish look. Her face is too thin.

except of the person who had mostly engaged their attention. To Kitty. Lydia left a few lines for his wife. but though not confined for time. gave more important intelligence. and her sister justified. It was to this effe ct: "Since writing the above. Chapter 46 Elizabeth had been a good deal disappointed in not finding a letter from Jane o n their first arrival at Lambton. The look a nd behaviour of everybody they had seen were discussed.He then went away. as Jane had written the direction remarkably ill. informing her of their intention. his friends. wi th Wickham! Imagine our surprise." Without allowing herself time for consideration. which was dated a day later. for there is but too much reason to fe ar they are not gone to Scotland. my head is so be wildered that I cannot answer for being coherent. Thought less and indiscreet I can easily believe him. and Miss Bingley was left to all the satisfaction of having forced him to say what gave no one any pain but herself. and it cannot be delayed. dearest Lizzy. I wish t his may be more intelligible. it had been written five days ago. So imprudent a match on both sides! But I am willing to hope the best. as they returned. his fruit--of everything but himself. however. by the receipt of two letters from her at on ce. and her uncle and aunt. we are now anxious to be assured it has taken place. and this disappointment had been renewed on ea ch of the mornings that had now been spent there. but on the third her repining was over. with such news as the country afforded. The express was sent off directly. but I have bad news for you. They talked of his sister. to own the truth. as is conjectured. leaving her to enjoy them in quiet. and Mrs. having left Br . Imprud ent as the marriage between Mr. The one missent must first be attended to. but were not missed till yesterday morning at eight. They had just been preparing to walk as the letters came in. but I am afraid of alarming you--be assured that we ar e all well. I hardly know w hat I would write. Gardiner would have been highly grat ified by her niece's beginning the subject. but the latter half. What I have to say relates to poor Lydia. They were off Saturday night about twelve. my dearest sister. Our poor mother is sadly grieved. My dear Lizzy. and scarcely knowing what she felt. yet Elizabeth was longing to know what Mrs. it does not seem so wholly unexpected. Elizabeth was not surprised at it. Dearest Lizzy. How thankful am I that we never let them know what has been said against him. for h e must know my father can give her nothing. but this step (and let us rejoice over it) marks nothing bad at heart. read as follows: it had been written a day later than the conclusion of the first. his house. we must forget it ourselves. very sorry. and that his character has been misunderstood. My father bears it better. you have received my hurried letter. just as we were all gone to bed. for I cannot be long from my poor mother. something has occurred of a most unexp ected and serious nature. Gardiner and Elizabeth talked of all that had occurred during their visit. The beginning con tained an account of all their little parties and engagements. from Colonel Forster. except what had particularly interested them both. Colonel Forster came yesterday. to inform us that she was gone off to Scotland with one of his officers. Gardiner thought of him. and opening it with the utmost impatience. set off by themselves. His choice is disinterested at least. I am afraid you will not be ab le to make it out. Elizabeth on finishing this letter instantly seized the other. they must have passed w ithin ten miles of us. on one of which was marked that it had been missent elsewhere. and wri tten in evident agitation. I am very. "By this time. Colonel Forster gives us reason to expect him here soon. I must co nclude. Wickham and our poor Lydia would be. Mrs. but I hardly know what I have written. An express came at twelve last night.

and dismissed the chaise that brought them from Epsom. with more feeling than politeness. a nd Colonel Forster is obliged to be at Brighton again to-morrow evening. but no one can throw any blame on them. in whose mind every idea was superseded b y Lydia's situation. In such and exigence. was not a man to be trusted. I know my dear uncle and aunt so well. though I have still something more to ask of the former. where is my uncle?" cried Elizabeth. and I rely upon his goodness. Though Lydia's short le tter to Mrs.ighton the day before. I know not what to think." Elizabeth hesitated. th en recollecting himself. My poor mother is really ill.. they remove d into a hackney coach. if inconvenient. "I will not detain you a minute. she commissioned him. F. you cannot go yourself. and broke his apprehensions to us in a manner most creditable to his h eart. is not disposed to depend up on their marriage. and even if HE could form such a design against a young woman of Lydia' s connections. and said he fear W. that they were seen to continue the London road. I never in my life saw him so affected. but circumstances are such that I cannot help earnestly begging y ou all to come here as soon as possible. You are not well enough. but as it was a matter of confidence. Many circumstances might make it more eligible for them to be married privately in town than to pursue their fir st plan. or let the servant go after Mr. came on into Hertfordshire.. that I am not afraid of requesting it. " "Oh! where. dearest Lizzy. but this is not to be expected. With the kindest concern he came on to L ongbourn. she. intending to trace their route. to try to discover her. can I suppose her so lost to everything? Imp ossible! I grieve to find. he shook his head when I expressed my hopes. is very great. Gardiner. instantl y taking the alarm. though in so breathless an accent as made her almost unintelligible. but no further. so mething was dropped by Denny expressing his belief that W. to fetch his master and mistress home instantly. in eagerness to follow him. but I must leave you . My father and mother belie ve the worst. He did trace them easily to Clapham. but her knees trembled under her and she felt how little w ould be gained by her attempting to pursue them. Her pale face and impetuous manner made him start. not many hours after the express. I ha ve not an instant to lose. who. never intended to go there. A ll that is known after this is. which is not likely. o ne cannot wonder. I must find Mr. there fore. On his quitting the room she sat down. and Mr. Adieu! I take up my pen again to do what I have just told yo u I would not. but I cannot think so ill of him. darting from her seat as she f inished the letter. but his excessive distress will not allow him to pursue any measure in the best and safest way. shall I own that I long for your return? I am not so selfish. unable to support herself. Gardiner this moment. set off from B. "I beg your pardon. but now. however. as the first shock is over." "Good God! what is the matter?" cried he. I am truly glad. he will immediately comprehend what I must feel. Colonel F. Poor Kitty has ange r for having concealed their attachment. What he means to do I am sure I know not. and looking s . and before h e could recover himself to speak. Our distress. anxiously renewing them at all the tu rnpikes. however. on business that cannot be delayed. And as to my father. that you have been spared some thing of these distressing scenes. I am sincerely grieved for him and Mrs. as to press for i t. my dear Lizzy. but as she reached the door it was opened by a servant. My father is going to London with Colonel Forster instantly. Darcy appeared. for on entering that place. Calling back the servant. without losing a moment of the t ime so precious. and keeps her roo m. but without any success--no suc h people had been seen to pass through. it would be better. and at the inns in Barnet and Hatfield. or to marry Lydia at all. and Mrs. that Colonel F. F. hastily exclaimed. gave them to understand that they were going to Gretna Green. my uncle's advice and assistance would be everything in the world . Could she exert herself. which was repeated to Colonel F. After making every possible inquiry on that side Lond on. but let me.

How is such a man to be How are they even to be discovered? I have not the smallest hope. and was walking up and do wn the room in earnest meditation. no connections. after a pause of several minutes. as now. has thrown herself into the power of--of Mr. But is it certain--absol utely certain?" "Oh. "Let me call your maid. but not beyond. in a manner which. soon swallowed up every private care . though it spoke compassion. in wretched suspense. "I am afraid you have been lo immediate can be don worked on? is every w . afforded no palliation of her distress. and instantly understood it." she replied." Darcy was fixed in astonishment. on the contrary. Had I but explained some part of it only--some part of what I learnt." "And what has been done. to my own family! H ad his character been known. who. exactly calculated to make her understan d her own wishes. everything MUST sink under such a proof of family weakness. or to refrain fr om saying. yes! They left Brighton together on Sunday night. his brow contracted. and. they are certainly not gone to Scotland. to recover her?" "My father is gone to London. But it is all--all to o late now. and observe her in compassionate silence. that it was impossible for Darcy to leave her. such an assurance of the deepes t disgrace. Wickham. nothing that can tempt him to--she is lost for ever. and covering her face with her handkerchief. what I dared to do! But I knew not--I was afraid of doing too much. and Jane has written to beg my uncle's assistance. She could neither wonder nor condemn. I thank you." "No. It was. He seemed scarcely to hear her. Darcy. wr etched mistake!" Darcy made no answer. She has no money." "I am grieved indeed. They are gone off togeth er from Brighton. but the belief of his self-con quest brought nothing to her consolatory to her bosom. But self. "When I consider. Her power was sinking. "that I might have prevented it! I. who knew what he was. his air gloomy. YOU know him too well to doubt the rest. Elizabeth was soon lost to everyt hing else. what has been attempted. "When MY eyes were opened to his real character--Oh! had I known what I ought. I am quite well. "There is noth ing the matter with me. Wretched. Is there nothing you could take to give you present relief? A glass of wine. It ay horrible!" Darcy shook his head in silent acquiescence." She burst into tears as she alluded to it." she added in a yet more agi tated voice. spoke likewise restraint. when all love must be vain. I am only distressed by some dreadful n ews which I have just received from Longbourn. At length she spoke again. and were traced almost t o London." cried Darcy. in half-an-hour. shall I get you one? You are very ill. It cannot be concealed from anyone. was only recalled to a sense o f her situation by the voice of her companion. Elizabet h soon observed. in a tone of gentleness and commiseration. "I have just had a letter from Jane. I hope. and for a few minutes could not spea k another word. could only say something indistinct ly of his concern. My younger sister has left all her friends--has eloped . But nothing e--I know very well that nothing can be done. and we shall be off. with such dreadful news. and never had she so honestly felt that she could have loved h im. could not engross her. Lydia--the humiliatio n. said. "grieved--shocked. though it would intrude.o miserably ill. this could not have happened. endeavouring to recover herself. the misery she was bringing on them all.

while the regiment was in Hertfordshire. and even b efore two words have been exchanged. but r eal. parting look . But if otherwise--if regard s pringing from such sources is unreasonable or unnatural. had she entertained a hope of Wickham's meaning to marry her. Surprise was the least of her feelings on this development. Would to Heaven that anything could be either sa id or done on my part that might offer consolation to such distress! But I will not torment you with vain wishes. Mr. and that its ill success might. sometimes another. If gratitude and esteem are good foundations of affection. but she was convinced that Lydia wanted only encourage ment to attach herself to anybody. Conceal the unhappy truth as long as it is possi ble. Be that as it may. and in this early example of what Lydia's infamy must produce. I know it cannot be long. Say that urgent busi ness calls us home immediately." He readily assured her of his secrecy. she had no difficulty in bel ieving that neither her virtue nor her understanding would preserve her from fal ling an easy prey. wished it a happier conclusion than there was at present reason to hope. supposin g by the servant's account that their niece was taken suddenly ill. a mother incapable of exertion. since reading Jane's second letter. found add itional anguish as she reflected on that wretched business. No one but Jane. and though almost persuaded that nothing could be done for Lydia. and requiring constant attendanc e. nor have I anything to plead in excuse of my stay. and Mrs. prevent my sister's having the pleasure of seeing you at Pemberley to-day. nothing can be said in her defence. Her affecti ons had continually been fluctuating but never without an object. and how Lydia could ever have attached him had appeared incomprehensible. and though she did not suppose Lydia to be deliberately engaging in an elopement without the intention of marriage. Be so kind as to apologise for us to Miss Darcy. Never. which may seem purposely to ask for your thank s. and would formerly have rejoiced in its termination. went away. she saw him go with regret.ng desiring my absence. in a family so deranged. I fear. with only one serious. Sometimes one officer. had been her favourite. in comparison of what i s so often described as arising on a first interview with its object. sighed at the pe rverseness of those feelings which would now have promoted its continuance. and as she threw a retrospective glance over the whole of their acquaintance. As he quitted the room. to be upon the spot to share with Jane in the cares that must now fall wholly upon her. so full of contradictions and varieties. This unfortunate affair will. that Lydia ha d any partiality for him. she thought. Gardiner had hurried back in alarm. authorise her to seek the ot her less interesting mode of attachment. yes. Elizabeth felt how improbable it was that they should e ver see each other again on such terms of cordiality as had marked their several meetings in Derbyshire. B ut now it was all too natural. and till he entered the room her impatience was severe. her uncle's interference seemed of the utmost importance. The mischief o f neglect and mistaken indulgence towards such a girl--oh! how acutely did she n ow feel it! She was wild to be at home--to hear. could flatter herself with such an expectatio n. perhaps. an d leaving his compliments for her relations. she was all surprise--all astonishme nt that Wickham should marry a girl whom it was impossible he could marry for mo ney. Elizabeth's change o f sentiment will be neither improbable nor faulty. though unavailing concern. She had never perceived. as their attentions raised them in her opinion. but satisfyi . a father absent." "Oh. except that she had given somewhat of a trial to the latter method in her partiality fo r Wickham. again expressed his sorrow for her distr ess. For such an attachment as this she might have suf ficient charms. While the content s of the first letter remained in her mind. to see.

" "What is all settled?" repeated the other. and Mrs. saw the whole comple ted. and after the first exclamations of surprise and horror. Could he expect th at her friends would not step forward? Could he expect to be noticed again by th e regiment. honour. though expecting no les s. "Upon my word. then--supposing them to be in London." said her uncle. It appears to me s o very unlikely that any young man should form such a design against a girl who is by no means unprotected or friendless. that I knew how it was!" But wishes were vain. but of every other neglect I can believe him capable." replied Mr. she eagerly communicated the cause of their summ ons. upon serious consideration. found herself. so wh olly give him up. "And are they upon such terms as for her to disclose the real truth? Oh. besides. as she ran into her room to prepare. Gar diner. "there is no absolute proof that th ey are not gone to Scotland. and dwelling on the postscript of the last w ith trembling energy. it should be so! But I dare not hope it. Gardiner. THAT is all settled. An hour. Gar diner promised every assistance in his power. with false excuses for their sudden departure. thanked him with tears of gratitude. It is really too great a violation of decency. "John told us Mr. of neglecting his own interest. after such an affront to Colonel Forster? His temptation is not adeq uate to the risk!" "Do you really think so?" cried Elizabeth." said Mrs." "Well. Darcy was here when you sent for us. Not Lydia only. as to believe him capable of it?" "Not. They were to be o ff as soon as possible. as they drove from the town. "I begin to be of your uncle's opinion. I cannot think so very ill of Wickham. Gardiner could not but be deeply afflicted. "and really. after all the misery of the morning . and Elizabeth. I am much more inclined than I was to judge as your eldest sister does on the matter. Had Elizabeth been at leisure to be idle. Elizabeth. though for the purpose of concealment. Lizzy. for him to be guilty of. or at least could only serve to amuse her in the hurry an d confusion of the following hour. and on the road to Longbourn. and amongs t the rest there were notes to be written to all their friends at Lambton. They may be there. though Lydia had never been a favourite with them. that I am strongly inclined to hope the best." "Oh! but their removing from the chaise into a hackney coach is such a presumpt ion! And. Can you yourself. everything relating to their journey was speedily settled. indeed. It is not likely that m . in a shorter space of time than she could have supposed. Mr. Chapter 47 "I have been thinking it over again. reading the two letters aloud. "But what is to be done about Pemberley?" cried Mrs. Gardiner. no traces of them were to be found on the Barnet road. she would have remained certain that all employment was impossible to one so wretch ed as herself. nothing r emained to be done but to go. seated in the carriage. and who was actually staying in his co lonel's family. and Mr. but she had her share of business as well as her aunt. Why s hould they not go on to Scotland if that had been the case?" "In the first place. however. and all three being actuated by one spir it. Elizabeth.ng them instantly on that head. for no more exceptional purpose. If. perhaps. Mr. was it so?" "Yes. Gardiner meanwhile having settled his account at the inn. and I told him we should not be able to keep our engagement. brightening up for a moment. and interest. but all were c oncerned in it.

From what he said of Miss Darcy I was thoroughly prepared to see a proud. and to adopt any opinions that came in her way. Wickham wil l never marry a woman without some money. and for the last half-year." "But does Lydia know nothing of this? can she be ignorant of what you and Jane seem so well to understand?" . reserved. in such a matter. Perhaps I am not doing her justice. And what claims h as Lydia--what attraction has she beyond youth. that she would think capable of such an attempt. disagreeable girl." replied Elizabeth. till it were prov ed against them? But Jane knows. and he might imagine. really. from my father's behaviour. I am not able to judge. and officers have been in her head. "I told you. and it is most shocking indeed." "But you see that Jane. She has been allowed to dispose of her ti me in the most idle and frivolous manner. she has never been taught to think on serious su bjects. I am afraid it will hardly hold good." said her aunt. He cannot afford it. and good humour that cou ld make him. the other day. whose curiosity as to t he mode of her intelligence was all alive. I know not what to say. forego every chance of benefiting himself by marrying well? As to what restraint the apprehensions of disgrace in the corps might thr ow on a dishonourable elopement with her. health. "that a sister's sense of decency and virtue in such a point should admit of doubt. from his indolence and the li ttle attention he has ever seemed to give to what was going forward in his famil y. no--this is not likely. flirtation. Since the ----shire were first quartered in Meryton. colouring. for I know not hing of the effects that such a step might produce. no. and you yourself. that he has neith er integrity nor honour. Yet he knew to the contrary himself . to give greater--what shall I call it? susceptibility to her feelings. But. as well as I do. An d we all know that Wickham has every charm of person and address that can captiv ate a woman. But as to your other objecti on. Lydia has no brothers to step forward. whatever might be their fo rmer conduct. you see b y Jane's account. But she is very young. of his infamous behaviour to Mr. for her sake. for a twelvemonth--she has been given u p to nothing but amusement and vanity. with tears i n her eyes. nay. that he is as false and deceitful as he is insinuating. "does not think so very ill of Wickham as to believe him capable of the attempt. though less expeditiously." "But why all this secrecy? Why any fear of detection? Why must their marriage b e private? Oh. Gardiner.oney should be very abundant on either side. hear d in what manner he spoke of the man who had behaved with such forbearance and l iberality towards him. when last at Longbourn. His most particular friend. He must know that she was as amiable and unpretending as we have found her." "But can you think that Lydia is so lost to everything but love of him as to co nsent to live with him on any terms other than marriage?" "It does seem." replied Elizabeth. "I do indeed. that HE would do as little. as any father could do. and it might strike them that they could be more economically. was persuaded of his never intending to marry her. and think as little about it. nothing but love." "Of whom does Jane ever think ill? And who is there. which are naturally lively enough. Darcy. what Wickham really is. married in London than in Scotland. We bot h know that he has been profligate in every sense of the word. " "And do you really know all this?" cried Mrs. but his lies about the whole Pemberle y family are endless. And there are other circumstances which I am not at liber ty--which it is not worth while to relate. She has been doing everything i n her power by thinking and talking on the subject.

It was a comfort to Elizabeth to consider that Jane could not have been wearied by long expectations. she could find no interval of ease or forgetfulnes s. on this interesting subject. lost not a moment in asking whether anything had been heard of the fugitiv es. she wa s ready enough to admire him. whilst tears filled the eyes of both. in a variety of capers and frisks. the necessity of opening her eyes to his char acter never occurred to me. that is the worst of all. reached Longbourn by dinner time the next day. as I wrote you word. no other could detain them from it long." replied Jane." "Is my father in town?" "Yes. Elizabeth. and conjectures. Fixed there by the keenest o f all anguish. i mmediately met her. As that was the case. he went on Tuesday. " * * * * * It may be easily believed. to whom I related th e whole." . where Jane. therefore. was the first ple asing earnest of their welcome. were standing on the steps of the house as they entered the paddock." "When they all removed to Brighton. who treated her with more distinction. That SHE could be in any danger from the deception n ever entered my head. That such a consequence as THIS could ensue. and had anything of the kind been perceptible. that however little of novelty could be added to the ir fears. as she affectionately embraced her. sleeping one night on the roa d. after a moderate period of extravagant and wild admiration. I can remember no symptom of affection on either side. I hope everything will be well. I was ignorant of the tr uth myself. self-reproach. consequently. the ----shire was to leave Meryton in a we ek or fortnight's time. when the carriage drove up to the door. They travelled as expeditiously as possible. but he never distingui shed HER by any particular attention. by its repeated d iscussion. to believe them fond of each other?" "Not the slightest. and. The little Gardiners. during the whole of the jour ney. Darcy and his relation Colonel Fitzwilliam. you must be aware that ours is not a family on which it could be thrown away. and others of t he regiment. thought it necessary to make our knowledge public. and. Every girl in or near Meryton was out of her senses about him for the first two months. you had no reason. And when I returned home. was far enough from my thoughts. that the good opinion which all the neighb ourhood had of him should then be overthrown? And even when it was settled that Lydia should go with Mrs. and displayed itse lf over their whole bodies. the joyful surprise that lighted up their faces. "Not yet. her fancy for him gave way. but so we all were. you may easil y believe. who came running down from her mother's apartment. for of what u se could it apparently be to any one."Oh. Elizabeth jumped out. and. and. yes!--that. after giving each of them a hasty kiss. attracted by the sight of a chaise. and saw so much both of Mr. neither Jane. nor I. again became her favourites. "But now that my dear uncle is come. hurried into the vestibule. hopes. Till I was in Kent. I suppose. When first he entered the corps. From Elizabeth's thoughts it was never absent. Forster.

I do not know what we shall do. to explain their proceedings. How much you must have gone through!" Her sister. Bennet in every endeavou r for recovering Lydia." "But you--how are you?" cried Elizabeth. and they soon found that Jane ha d no intelligence to give. and have no design of marrying. and Mrs. and Mr. with tears and lamen tations of regret. He wrote me a few lines on Wednesday to say that he had arrived in safety. but I was overruled. however. perhaps. for she is not the kind of girl to do such a thing if she had been well looked after." . blaming everybody but the person to whose ill-judging indulgence the errors of her daughter must principally be owi ng. ation. I trust. the questions which Elizabeth had alrea dy asked were of course repeated by the others. brother. which the benevol ence of her heart suggested had not yet deserted her. It is not quite a week since they left Brighton. after general assurances of his affection for her and all her family. Gardiner were r children. I always thought t hey were very unfit to have the charge of her. however. there is no occasion to look on it as certain. and would assist Mr. The sanguine hope of good. to whose apartment they all repaired. either from Lydia or her father. and till we know that they are not married. and I know he will fig ht Wickham. Jane ran t alternate smiles When they were all in the drawing-room. told her that he meant to be in London the very next day. He merely added that he should not write again till he had somethin g of importance to mention. she still expected that it would all end well. and make him come home with me to Gracechurch Street. In a few days more we may gain some news of the m. which I particularly begge d him to do. and welcomed and thanked them both. with a ll my family. "If I had been able." They all exclaimed against such terrific ideas. S he is upstairs and will have great satisfaction in seeing you all. and what is to bec ome of us all? The Collinses will turn us out before he is cold in his grave. assured her of her being perfectly well. As soon as I get to town I shall go t o my brother. which had been passing while Mr." "And my mother--how is she? How are you all?" "My mother is tolerably well. was now put an end to by the approach of the whole o her uncle and aunt. after a few minutes' convers ation together. THIS would not have happened. Mrs. announce their marriage. Poor dear child! And now here's Mr. Bennet. Why did the Forsters ever let her go out of their sight? I am su re there was some great neglect or other on their side. with and tears. and then we may consult together as to what is to be done. as I always am."And have you heard from him often?" "We have heard only twice. and. Mary and Kitty are. are quite well. but poor dear Lydia had nobody to ta ke care of her. wherever he meets him and then he will be killed. She does not yet leave her dressing-room." said she. Bennet gone away. thank Heaven. "though it is right to be prepare d for the worst. d o not let us give the matter over as lost. invectives against the villainous conduct of Wickham. "You look pale. Gardiner." added he. received them exactly as might be expected. though her spirits are greatly shaken. "Do not give way to useless alarm. and their convers engaged with thei party. an d if you are not kind to us. and to give me his directions. and that every morning would bring some letter. "to carry my point in going to Brighton. and com plaints of her own sufferings and ill-usage.

"Unhappy a s the event must be for Lydia. And as for wedding clothe s. the former continued the subject. And tell my dear Lydia not to give any directions abou t her clothes till she has seen me. how kind you are! I know you will contrive it all. that I am frighted out of my wits--and have such tremblings. In the afternoon. though he assured her again of his earnest endeavours in the cause. but tell Lydia she shall have as much money as she chooses to buy them. And. that her reputation is no less brittle than it is beautiful. Tell him what a dreadful state I am in. wherever they may be. they did not attempt to oppose it. all over me--such spasms in my side and pains in my head. and the other from her toilette. however. and will probably be much talked of. the two elder Miss Bennets were able to be for half-an-hour b y themselves. and pour into the wounded bosoms of each other th e balm of sisterly consolation. "But tell me all and everything a bout it which I have not already heard. that I can get no rest by night nor by day. and after talking with her in this manner till dinner was on the table. and that she cannot be too much guarded in her behaviour towards the undeserving of the other sex. find them out. by saying. wh ile they waited at table. for they knew that she had not prudence enough to hold her tongue before the servants. and such beatings at heart. and judged it better that ONE only of the household. which Jane was equally eager to satisfy. or the anger which she had herself incurred in this bus iness. Give me further particulars. and Miss Bennet could not assert to be wholly impossible ." But Mr. we may draw from it this useful lesson: that loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable." Elizabeth lifted up her eyes in amazement. Gardiner. One c ame from her books. such flutterings. were tolerably calm. The faces of both. above all. MAKE them marry. Oh. brother. But we must stem the tide of malice. could not avoid recommending moderation to her. and no change was visible in either. who had been too bu sily engaged in their separate apartments to make their appearance before. for she does not know which are the best war ehouses. she added. continued to console herself with such kind of moral ex tractions from the evil before them." . but was too much oppressed to make a ny reply."Oh! my dear brother. had given more of fretfulness than usual to the accents of Kitty. when you get to town. Benne t from fighting. after they are married. Though her brother and sister were persuaded that there was no real occasion fo r such a seclusion from the family. perceiving in Elizabeth no inclination of replying. In the dining-room they were soon joined by Mary and Kitty." Then. she was mistress enough of herself to whisper to Elizabeth. and if they are not married already. do not let them wait for that. As for Mary. as well in her hopes as h er fear. keep Mr. Mary. with a counten ance of grave reflection. Bennet. After joining in gene ral lamentations over the dreadful sequel of this event. and Elizabeth instantly availed herself of the opportunity of maki ng any inquiries." replied Mrs. that one false step involves her in end less ruin. they all left her to vent all her feelings on the housekeeper. however. except that the loss of her favourite sister. What did Co lonel Forster say? Had they no apprehension of anything before the elopement too k place? They must have seen them together for ever. which Elizabeth conside red as all but certain. "that is exactly what I could most wish for. And now do. soon after they were seated at table: "This is a most unfortunate affair. a nd the one whom they could most trust should comprehend all her fears and solici tude on the subject. who attended in the absence of her daughters.

for it will make the surprise the greater. especiall y on Lydia's side. but nothing to give him any alarm. it hastened his journey. We acted with the best intentions. as soon as I am missed." replied her sister. Denny denied knowing anything of their plans . I s uppose. they only felt how imprudent a match it must be. He WAS coming to us. but I hope this may b e false. She had known. and would not give his real opinion about it.' What a good joke . I am inclined to hope. These were th e contents: "MY DEAR HARRIET. it is said that he left Meryton greatly in debt. had we been less secret. I am going to Gret na Green. before he had any idea of their not being gone to Scotland: when that apprehension first got abroad."Colonel Forster did own that he had often suspected some partiality. when I write to them and sign my name 'Lydia Wickham. many weeks. Kitty then owned. when questioned by HIM. He believed him to be imprudent and extravagant. and if you cannot guess with who. had we told what we knew of him. of their being in love with each other. this could not have happened!" "Perhaps it would have been better. so think it no harm to be off. it see ms. for t here is but one man in the world I love. I shall think you a simpleton." Jane then took it from her pocket-book. I believe not." "Could Colonel Forster repeat the particulars of Lydia's note to his wife?" "He brought it with him for us to see. I should never be h appy without him." "And till Colonel Forster came himself. "But to expose the for mer faults of any person without knowing what their present feelings were. and I cannot help laughing mysel f at your surprise to-morrow morning. You need not send them word at Longbourn of my going. seeme d unjustifiable. if you do not like it. and he is an angel." "And was Denny convinced that Wickham would not marry? Did he know of their int ending to go off? Had Colonel Forster seen Denny himself?" "Yes." "Oh. My father and mother k new nothing of that. "You will laugh when you know where I am gone." "And did Colonel Forster appear to think well of Wickham himself? Does he know his real character?" "I must confess that he did not speak so well of Wickham as he formerly did. Jane. not one of you entertained a doubt. because I knew that his conduct had not been always quite right. but. of their being really married?" "How was it possible that such an idea should enter our brains? I felt a little uneasy--a little fearful of my sister's happiness with him in marriage." "But not before they went to Brighton?" "No. he might have been misunderstood before. that in Lydia's last letter she had prepared her for such a step. I am so grieved for him! H is behaviour was attentive and kind to the utmost. He did not repeat his persuasion of their not marrying--and from THAT. in order to assure us of his concern. And since this sad affair has tak en place. with a very natural triumph on knowing more than the rest of us. and gave it to Elizabeth.

or any of her daughters'. My mother was in hysterics. Tell him I hope he wil l excuse me when he knows all. Pray make my excuses to Pratt for not keeping my engagement. If he could a nyhow discover at what house the coachman had before set down his fare. My poor father! ho w he must have felt it!" "I never saw anyone so shocked. one cannot see too little of one's neighb is impossible." replied Jane. but he was in such a hurry to be gone. thoughtless Lydia!" cried Elizabeth when she had finished it. I am sure. "He meant I believe. I do not know of any other designs that he ha d formed. Oh t hat I had been with you! you have had every care and anxiety upon yourself alone . and was so good as to stay till Thursday with me. and as he though t that the circumstance of a gentleman and lady's removing from one carriage int o another might be remarked he meant to make inquiries at Clapham." She then proceeded to inquire into the measures which her father had intended t o pursue. I shall send for my clothes when I get to Longb ourn. But to be guarded at such a time is very diff icult. and offered her services." cried Elizabeth. He could not speak a word for full ten minutes. it was not on her side a SCHEME of infamy. "What a letter is this." cried Elizabeth. and the whole house in such confusion!" "Oh! Jane. Kitty is slight and de licate. Let them triumph over u and be satisfied. have stayed at home. Assistance s at a distance." "Mary and Kitty have been very kind. It had come with a fare from London. "was there a servant belonging to it who did not k now the whole story before the end of the day?" "I do not know. I am afraid I did not do so much as I might have done! But the horror of what might possibly happen almost took from me my faculties. And Lady Lucas has been very kind. under such ours." "She had better but. You do not look well. the place where they last changed horses. and hoped it might not be impossible to find out the stand and number of the coach." "Oh! thoughtless. see the postilions and try if anything could be made out from th em. a misfortune as this. His principal object must be to discover the number of the hackney coach whi ch took them from Clapham. I hope there was." "Your attendance upon her has been too much for you. and tell him I will dance with him at the next ba ll we meet. with great pleasure. Good-bye. and his spirits so greatly disc . and would have shared in every fatigue. that her hours of repose should not be broken in on. Give my love to Colonel Forster. My aunt Phillips came to Longbourn on Tuesday. he deter mined to make inquiries there. after my father went away. Whatever he might afterward s persuade her to. and dancing with him to-night. condolence insufferable. she walked here on Wednesday m orning to condole with us. "perhaps she MEANT well. for the recovery of his daughter. She was of great use and comf ort to us all. I hope you will drink to our good journey. i f they should be of use to us. "Your affectionate friend. to be written at such a moment! But at least it shows t hat SHE was serious on the subject of their journey. "to go to Epsom. and Mary studies so much. My mother was taken ill immediately. "LYDIA BENNET. and though I endeavoured to give her every as sistance in my power.it will be! I can hardly write for laughing. while in town. but I did not think it right for either of them. but I wish you would tell Sally to mend a great slit in my worked muslin g own before they are packed up.

Bennet. a s she said. that Mr. Bennet thought it possible they might have gone to one of them. Bennet seemed w holly disinclined at present to leave London and promised to write again very so on. Elizabeth. His family knew him t o be. All Meryton seemed striving to blacken the man who. ha d been almost an angel of light. on his arrival. that I had difficulty in finding out even so much as this. Mr. as she n ever came without reporting some fresh instance of Wickham's extravagance or irr egularity. better than any other person. but even of THAT they would have been gla d to be certain. She sh ared in their attendance on Mrs. it might be of essential consequence. who considered it as the only security for her husband's not being kil led in a duel. Liz zy could tell us what relations he has now living. do everythin g in his power to satisfy us on this head. At pre sent we have nothing to guide us. Bennet the next morning. But. When he was gone. if possible. I dare say. and persuaded him to come to Gracechurch Street. and everybody began to find out that they had always distrusted the appearance of his goodness. though she did not credit above half of what was said. to prevail on Mr." Chapter 48 The whole party were in hopes of a letter from Mr. from some of the young man's intimates in the regiment. on second thoughts. and always. There was also a postscript to this effect: "I have written to Colonel Forster to desire him to find out. on Tuesday his wife received a letter fr om him. " . before his arrival. before they procured lodgings. whether Wickham has any rela tions or connections who would be likely to know in what part of town he has now concealed himself. became almost hopeless. on their first coming to London. at parting. Gardiner and the children were to remain in Hertfordshire a few days longe r. if the y had gone to Scotland. believed enough to make her former assuranc e of her sister's ruin more certain. Gardiner had waited only for the letters before he set off. Gardiner left Longbourn on Sunday. as the former thought her presence might be serviceable to her nieces. Their other aunt also visited them frequently. who believed still less of i t. had been extended into every tradesman's family. They were forced to conclude that he had no pleasing intelligence to send. but three months before. but at such a time they had hoped for exertion. Bennet had been t o Epsom and Clapham. and his intrigues. on all common occasions. as soon as he could. with the design of cheering and heartening them up--though. and their uncle promised. Gardiner hi mself did not expect any success from this measure. they were certain at least of receiving constant information of what was going on. more especially as the time was now come when. but the post came in without bringing a single line from him. which she had never before entirely despaired of.omposed. but as his brother was eager in it. all honoured with the title of seduction. Everybody declared that he was the wickedest young man in the world. a most negligent and dilatory correspondent. he meant to assist him in pursuing it. as Mr. she seldom went away without leaving them more dispirited than she fo und them. it told them that. Colonel Forster will. he had immediately found out his brot her. If there were anyone that one could apply to with a probabil ity of gaining such a clue as that. Mr. perhaps. and that he was now determined to inquire at all the principal hotels in town. Mr. and was a great comfort to them in thei r hours of freedom. to the great consolation of hi s sister. they m ust in all probability have gained some news of them. Mrs. Be nnet to return to Longbourn. He was declared to be in debt to every tradesma n in the place. He added that Mr. and even Jane. but without gaining any satisfactory in formation.

It was not known th at Wickham had a single relationship with whom he kept up any connection. under a circumstance that must be of all others the most afflicting to a parent's mind. to c ondole with you on the grievous affliction you are now suffering under. and El izabeth. she accordingly read. Let me then advise you. to whom I have related the affair. you are grievously to b e pitied. for the consolation of yourself and Mrs. but likewise by Lady Catherine and her daughter. and though she was not very sanguine in expect ing it. No arguments shall be wanting on my part that can alleviate so severe a misfortune--or that may comfor t you. it did not appear that he was on terms of particular friendship with any of them. whatever of good or bad was to b e told would be communicated. in which opinion I am not only joined by Mrs. both of whom had been dead many year s. "I am. and read it likewise. or she could not be guilty of such an enormity. etc. therefore. which must be of the bitterest kind. But before they heard again from Mr. Collins.Elizabeth was at no loss to understand from whence this deference to her author ity proceeded. to console yourself as muc h as possible. His former acquaintances had been n umerous. who knew what curiosities his letters always were. And it is the more to be lamented. The arrival of letters was the grand object of every morning's impatience. There was no one. except a father and mother. Be assured. They agree with me in apprehending that this false step in one daughter will be injurious t o the fortunes of all the others. to throw off your unworthy child from your affection for ever. for it had just transpired tha t he had left gaming debts behind him to a very considerable amount. by our relationship. from Mr. which. Every day at Longbourn was now a day of anxiety. my dear sir. but the most anxious part of e ach was when the post was expected. and then he had nothing of a pleasant nature to send. but it was not in her power to give any information of so satisfa ctory a nature as the compliment deserved. Bennet. It was possible.. The death of your daughter would have been a blessing in comparis on of this. in additi on to his fear of discovery by Lydia's relations. Gardiner. She had never heard of his having had any relations." Mr. It was as follows: "MY DEAR SIR. at the same time. that Mrs. on a certain event of l ast November. as Jane had received direc tions to open all that came for him in his absence. for had it been otherwise. from a different quarter. wh o could be pointed out as likely to give any news of him. Howsoever that may be. dear sir. for who. an d leave her to reap the fruits of her own heinous offense. Colonel For . with augmented satisfaction. I must have been involved in all your s orrow and disgrace. and every succeeding day was expected to bring som e news of importance. Collins. a letter arrived for their fathe r. however. because proceeding from a cause which no time can remove. will connect themselves with such a family? And this consideration le ads me moreover to reflect. because there is reason to suppos e as my dear Charlotte informs me. etc. in your present distress. looked over her. Collins and myself sincerely sympathise with you and all your res pectable family. at so early an age. "I feel myself called upon. but since he had been in the militia. of which we were yesterday informed by a letter from Hertfordshire. and it was certain that he had no near one living. And in the wretched st ate of his own finances. Through letters. though. as Lady Catherine herself condescendi ngly says. dear sir. that some of his companions in the ----shire might be able to give more information. the application was a something to look forward to. I am inclined to think th at her own disposition must be naturally bad. that this licentiousness of behaviour in your daughter has proceeded from a faulty degree of indulgence. and my situation in life. there was a very powerful motive for secrecy. Gardiner did not write again till he had received an answer from Colonel Fo rster.

It was not till the afternoon. but his debts of honour were s till more formidable. Bennet arrived. she thought. that they might expect to see their father at home on the following day. Gardiner did not attempt to conceal these particulars from the Longbourn family. Gardiner began to wish to be at home. he replied. "Say nothing of that. therefore. Bennet was told of this. He owed a good deal in town. one sleepless night out of two. on her briefly expressing her sorrow for what he must have endured. . and then. of their being followed by a letter from hi m. is he coming home. considering what her anxiety for his life had been before. let me once in my life feel how much I have been to blame. made no me ntion of the business that had taken him away. Mrs. "A gamester!" she cried. Bennet came from it. "You may well warn me against such an evil. Lizzy. and leave it to him to do whatever occasion might suggest to be advisable for continuing their pursuit. Rendered spiritless by the ill-s uccess of all their endeavours. When Mrs." replied Elizabeth." "You must not be too severe upon yourself. that Elizabeth v entured to introduce the subject. "Sure he will not leave London before he has found them. therefore. who was by this time tolerably well acquainted with her own feelings. and make him ma rry her. I had not an idea of it. was perfectly aware that. and brought its ma ster back to Longbourn. when he had joined them at tea. could be fairly conjectured f rom THAT. Who should suf fer but myself? It has been my own doing. The coach. and it was some time before his d aughters had courage to speak of it. Jane heard them with horror. she did not express so much satisfaction as her children expected . "What. Mr. at the same time that Mr. where else can they be so well concealed?" "And Lydia used to want to go to London. if he comes away?" As Mrs. nothing. he had all the appearance of his usual philosophic com posure.ster believed that more than a thousand pounds would be necessary to clear his e xpenses at Brighton. which was Saturday. "This is wholly unexpected." Mr." "Do you suppose them to be in London?" "Yes. When Mr. had she known nothing of Darcy. took them the first stage of their journey. and the kind of half-expecta tion which Mrs. Gardiner added in his letter. and without poor Lydia?" she cried. His name had never b een voluntarily mentioned before them by her niece." added Kitty. though Elizabeth. It would have spar ed her. Who is to fight Wickham. and I ought to feel it. Human nature is so prone to fall in to it! No. it was settled that she and the c hildren should go to London. It will pass away soon enou gh. Gardiner had formed. I a m not afraid of being overpowered by the impression. He said as little as he had ever been in the habit of saying. had ended in nothing. The present unhappy state of the family rendered any other excuse for the lowne ss of her spirits unnecessary. Elizabeth had received none since her return that could come from Pemberley. she could have borne the dread of Lydia's infamy somewhat better. he had yielded to his brother-in-law's entreaty that he would return to his family. Gardiner went away in all the perplexity about Elizabeth and her Derbyshir e friend that had attended her from that part of the world.

Jane. for interrupting you." said Kitty fretfully. he is walking towards the little cops e. they saw the housekeeper coming towards them . but I was in h opes you might have got some good news from town. when they were met by the butler. No officer is ever to enter into my house again." Kitty. I may defer it till Kitty runs away. in my ni ghtcap and powdering gown." said her father drily." "Dear madam. shows some greatness of mind." "What do you mean. "This is a parade. or. so I took the liberty of comin g to ask. concluding that she came to call them to their mother. and ea ." "I am not going to run away. Balls will be absolutely prohibited. they instantly passed through the hall once more. so on lagged behind. well. I will sit in my library. instead of the expected summons. their fath er was in neither. I would not trust you so near it as Eastbourne for fifty p ounds! No." Upon this information. madam. and give as much trouble as I can. nor even to pass t hrough the village. in great astonishment. "Well. "I beg your pardon. considering the event. and you will feel the ef fects of it. who said: "If you are looking for my master." cried Mrs. "which does one good." They were interrupted by Miss Bennet. Gardiner? He has been here this half-hour." "YOU go to Brighton. And you are never to stir out of doors till you can prove that you have spent ten minutes of every day in a rational manner. and ra n across the lawn after their father. came up with him. Bennet's return. "do not make yourself unhappy. who was not so light nor so much in the habit of running as Elizabeth. from thence to the library. Hill. while her sister. it gives such an elegance t o misfortune! Another day I will do the same." said he. but. who took all these threats in a serious light. when they approached her. went forward to me et her. as Jane and Elizabeth were walking together in the shrubbery behind the house. Hill? We have heard nothing from town. I would behave better than Lydia. who came to fetch her mother's tea. she said to Miss Bennet. who was deliberately pursuing his way towa rds a small wood on one side of the paddock."She is happy then. and. which. "and her residence there will proba bly be of some duration. I bear you no ill-will for being justified in your advice to me last Ma y. "If I should ever go to Brighton. "don't you know there is an express come for master from Mr." Away ran the girls. Kitty. If you are a good girl fo r the next ten years. panting for breath. They ran throu gh the vestibule into the breakfast-room. perhaps. and they were on the point of seeking him upstairs with their mother. a nd master has had a letter." Then after a short silence he continued: "Lizzy. I have at last learnt to be cautious. I will take you to a review at the end of them. began to cry." Chapter 49 Two days after Mr. unless you stand up wit h one of your sisters. papa." he cried. too eager to get in to have time for speech. ma'am.

I shall write again as soon a s anything more is determined on. therefore stay quiet at Longbourn. "they are married!" Elizabeth read on: "I have seen them both. They are not married. for you." said their father." "Is it possible?" cried Elizabeth." "Well. Wickham's circumstances are not so hopeless as they are gene rally believed to be. I shall send this by express. of whic h I hope you will approve. and. papa. from these pa rticulars. Soon after you left me on Saturday. during your life. as far as I thought myself privileged. You will easily comprehend. "My dear father. considering everything. you send me full powers to act in your name throughout the whole of this business.." . by settlement. I hope it will give you satisfaction. then. I congratulate you. I will immediately give directions to Haggerston for preparing a proper settlement. I had no hesitation in complying with. "But perhaps you would like to read it. and such as. "Can it be possible t hat he will marry her?" "Wickham is not so undeserving. when she had finished. etc. to settle on my niece. I have s een them both--" "Then it is as I always hoped. that no time m ay be lost in bringing me your answer. If. " "Gracechurch Street. Monday. I was fortunate enough to find out in what part of London they were. August 2. what news--what news? Have you heard from my uncle?" "Yes I have had a letter from him by express. and I am happ y to say there will be some little money.gerly cried out: "Oh. that Mr. and what news does it bring--good or bad?" "What is there of good to be expected?" said he. She comes to us to-day. We have judged it best that my niece should be married from this house. as we thought him. "for I hardly know myself what it is about. Send back your answer as fast as you can. All that is required of you is. it is enough to know they are discovered. "EDW. There will not be the smallest occasion for your coming to t own again. The partic ulars I reserve till we meet. taking the letter from his poc ket. but if you are willing to perform the engagements which I hav e ventured to make on your side. and be careful to write explicitly. Jane now came up. "At last I am able to send you some tidings of my niece. and depend on my diligence and car e. GARDINER. moreover. I hope it will not be long before they are. her equa l share of the five thousand pounds secured among your children after the deceas e of yourself and my sister. "Read it aloud. to enter into an engagement of allow ing her. one hundred pounds per annum. "MY DEAR BROTHER." Elizabeth impatiently caught it from his hand. nor can I find there was any inte ntion of being so. These are conditions wh ich. upon the whole. even when all his debts are discharged ." said her sister. The world has been deceived in that respect. in addition to her own fortune. as I conclude will be the case. Yours." cried Jane. to assure to your daughter.

"if you dislike the trouble yourself. but it must be done soon." said Jane. or anyt hing like it." "Let me write for you." "Ten thousand pounds! Heaven forbid! How is half such a sum to be repaid?" Mr. deep in thought. "Oh! my dear father. we are forced to rejoice. "Wickham's a fool if he takes her with a farthing less t han ten thousand pounds. "though it had not occurred to me before. He has children of his own. they must marry. That they s hould marry. "and how much is settled on his side on our sister. how much money your uncle has lai d down to bring it about. one is." she cried." And so saying. I am afraid he has distressed himself." "And they MUST marry! Yet he is SUCH a man!" "Yes. that no man in his senses would marry Lydia on so slight a temptation as one hundred a year during my life. Oh. Lydia!" "I comfort myself with thinking. and walked towards the house. continued silent till they reached the house. I should be sorry to think so ill of him." said Elizabeth. I suppose. A small sum could not do all this." "That is very true. good man. yes. small as is their chance of happiness. and may have more. How could he spare half ten thousand pounds?" "If he were ever able to learn what Wickham's debts have been. sir?" "I mean. and the other. Their father then went on to the library to write. There is nothing else to be done. "but the terms." "No. he turned back with them. "that he certainly would not ma rry Lydia if he had not a real regard for her. and something still to remain! Oh! it must be my unc le's doings! Generous. Though our kind uncle has done so mething towards clearing him."And have you answered the letter?" cried Elizabeth. "And may I ask--" said Elizabeth. and each of them." Most earnestly did she then entreaty him to lose no more time before he wrote. But there are two things that I want very much to know." replied Jane." he replied." said Elizabeth. Consider how important every moment is in such a case. "And they are really to be married!" cried Elizabeth. "come back and write immediately. Bennet made no answer. has been advanced." said her father. and the girls walked into the breakfast-room. as soon as they were by t hemselves. "No. how am I ever to pay him. "but it must be done. in the very b eginning of our relationship." "I dislike it very much. and fifty after I am gone. "How strange this is! And for THIS we are to be thankful. "what do you mean. we shall exactly know what . I cannot believe that ten thousand pounds. and wretched as is his chara cter. must be complied w ith." "Complied with! I am only ashamed of his asking so little. His debts to be discharged." "Money! My uncle!" cried Jane.

She was disturbed by no fear for her fel icity. As soon as Jane had read Mr. and every followi ng sentence added to its exuberance. without raising his head. To know that he r daughter would be married was enough. for Hill. and ask him how much he will give her. "in a great measure t o his kindness. I knew he would manage everything! How I long to see h er! and to see dear Wickham too! But the clothes. except a few presents." said Jane: "I hope and trust they will yet be happy. I will put on my things in a moment. that he is come to a right way of thinking. and it is the first time we have ever had anything from hi m. I will go myself. and asked th eir father whether he would not wish them to make it known to her. the wedding clothes! I will wr ite to my sister Gardiner about them directly. "My dear. I will believe. therefor e. when she first sees my aun t!" "We must endeavour to forget all that has passed on either side. my dear. Stay. as may in time make their past imprudence forgotten. After a slight preparation for good news. you know. "This is delightful indeed! She will be marri ed! I shall see her again! She will be married at sixteen! My good." Elizabeth took the letter from his writing-table. and get away. We are persuaded that he has pledged himself to assist Mr. Wickham! How well it sounds! And she was only sixteen last . Their taking her home. His consenting to marry her is a proof. Gardi ner's hope of Lydia's being soon married. is such a sacrifice to her advantage as years of gratitude cannot enough acknowledge. They went to the library. because Wickham has not sixpence of his own. nor I. therefore." "Well." "May we take my uncle's letter to read to her?" "Take whatever you like. kind brother ! I knew how it would be. nor a nybody can ever forget. she wi ll never deserve to be happy! What a meeting for her. as she had ever been fidgety from alarm and vexation. Their mutual affecti on will steady them. Bennet could hardly contain herself. I and my children must have had all his money. and affording her their personal protection and countenance.Mr. and they went upstairs togeth er. Mary and Kitty were both with Mrs. It is useless to talk of it. Lizzy. do for all." she added. Rin g the bell. She was now in an irritation as violent fro m delight. and I flatter myself they will settle so quietly. "as neither you." "Their conduct has been such. Gardiner's behavi our laid them all under. My dear. Wickh am with money. By this time she is actually with them! If such goodness does not make her miserable now. Mrs. her joy burst forth. the letter was read alo ud." It now occurred to the girls that their mother was in all likelihood perfectly ignorant of what had happened. coolly replied: "Just as you please. dear Lydia!" she cried. Bennet: one communication would. dear Lydia! How merry we shall be together when we meet!" Her eldest daughter endeavoured to give some relief to the violence of these tr ansports. nor humbled by any remembrance of her misconduct. by leading her thoughts to the obligations which Mr. run down to your father. Kitty. Mrs. Gardiner has done for them." replied Elizabeth. who should do it but her own u ncle? If he had not had a family of his own. Well! I am so happy! In a short time I shall have a da ughter married. stay." cried her mother. "it is all very right. He was writin g and. The kindness of my uncle and aunt can never be requited. and live in so rational a manner. "For we must attribute this happy conclusion.

Bennet had very often wished before this period of his life that. and you shall all have a bowl of punch to make merry at her wedding. This event had at last been despaired of. and you write for me. and cambric. and to discharge the obli gation as soon as he could. The satisfaction of prevailing on one of the most worthless young men in Great Britain to be her husband might then have rested in its proper place. instead o f spending his whole income. and his willingness to fulfil the e . in looking forward. that I am sure I can't write. though expressed most concisely. One day's delay. he had laid by an annual sum for the better provisi on of his children. Bennet had married. Elizabeth received her congratula tions amongst the rest. Hill began instantly to express her joy. and Mr. good news to my sister Philips. and would shortly have dictated some very plentiful orders. and then. Mrs. I can call on Lady Lucas and Mrs. muslin. When first Mr. and the widow and younger children would b y that means be provided for. I am sure. only two hours ago. and he r mother was too happy to be quite so obstinate as usual. I am in such a flutter. with regard to Lydia. nei ther rational happiness nor worldly prosperity could be justly expected for her sister. she had need to be thankful. she observed. would be of small importance. but the things should be ordered immediately. And as I come back. He now wished it more than ever. to find out the extent of his assistance. but that it was no worse. run down and order the carriage. had not Jane. and tell the good. and he was determined. which was now to be settled. have you heard the good news? Miss Lydia is going to be married. Lydia need not have been indebt ed to her uncle for whatever of honour or credit could now be purchased for her. too. This was one point. economy was held to be perfectly useless." She was then proceeding to all the particulars of calico. they were to have a son. can I do anything for you in Meryton? Oh! Here comes Hill! My dear Hill. Bennet had no turn for economy. in looking back to what they had feared. at best. fo r. as soon as he should be of age. though with some difficulty. of course. and though. that she might think with freedom. but yet the son was to come. for many years after Lydia's birth. My dear Jane. and her hus band's love of independence had alone prevented their exceeding their income. In terms of grateful acknowledgment for the kindne ss of his brother. and of his wife. "I will go to Meryton. sick of this folly. She felt it so. But in what proportions it should be divided amongst the latter depended on the will of the parents. Kitty. Bennet could have no hesitation in accedin g to the proposal before him. but it was then too late to be saving. Bennet. took refuge in her own roo m. The son was to join in cutting off the en tail." said she. so I w ill dictate. Five daughters successively entered the world. if possible. Five thousand pounds was settled by marriage articles on Mrs.June. We will settle with your father about the mon ey afterwards. He was seriously concerned that a cause of so little advantage to anyone should be forwarded at the sole expense of his brother-in-law. Long. Other schemes. Chapter 50 Mr. h ad been certain that he would. he then delivered on paper h is perfect approbation of all that was done. An airing would do me a grea t deal of good. ca me into her head. Had he done his duty in that respect. and Mrs. Poor Lydia's situation must. Bennet and the ch ildren. at least. if she survived him. Girls. be bad enough. persuaded her to wait till her father was at leisure to b e consulted. "as soon as I am dressed. " Mrs. she felt al l the advantages of what they had gained.

could Wickham be prevailed on to marry his daughter. It was borne in the latter with decent philosophy. His letter was soon dispatched. "Haye Park might do. S he was busily searching through the neighbourhood for a proper situation for her daughter. That it would be done with such trifling exertion on his side. it would have been more for the advantage of conversation had Miss Lydia Bennet come upon the town. He begged to know further particulars of what he was indebted to his brother. I will not encourage the impudence of either. It was a fortnight since Mrs. But there was much to be talked of in marr ying her. She was more alive to the disgrace which her want of new clothes must reflect o n her daughter's nuptials. he said to her: "Mrs. "if the Gouldings could quit it--or the great h ouse at Stoke. Mrs. because with such an husband her misery was c onsidered certain. as the happiest alternative. To b e sure. He protested that she should receive from him no mark of affection whatever on the occasion. Bennet was firm." Her husband allowed her to talk on without interruption while the servants rema ined. than to any sense of shame at her eloping and living with Wickham a fortnight before they took place. new carriages. The marriage of a daughte r. and the continual presents in money which passed to her through her mother's hands. and. . let us come to a right un derstanding. if the drawing-room were larger. He would scarcely be ten pounds a year the loser by the hundred that was to be paid them. he naturally returned to all his former i ndolence. and her thoughts and her words ran wholly on th ose attendants of elegant nuptials. it would be done with so little i nconvenience to himself as by the present arrangement. was now on the point of accomplishment. and in spirits oppressively h igh. he was quick in its execution. and with proportionate speed th rough the neighbourhood. and as for Pulvis Lodge. He had never before supposed that. which had been the first object of her wishes since Jane was sixteen. for his wish at present was to have as little trouble in the business as possible. the attics are dreadful. and servants. and Mrs." A long dispute followed this declaration. by receiving them at Longbourn . and the good-natured wishes for her well-doing which had proceeded bef ore from all the spiteful old ladies in Meryton lost but a little of their spiri t in this change of circumstances. exceeded all she could believe possible. It soon led to another. but on this happy day she again took her seat at the head of her table. or. was another very welcome surprise. Bennet had been downstairs. but Ashworth is too far off! I c ould not bear to have her ten miles from me. what with her board and pocket allowance. that her husband w ould not advance a guinea to buy clothes for his daughter. Ben net could hardly comprehend it. Bennet found.ngagements that had been made for him. Lydia's expenses had been very little within that sum. been secluded from the world. rejec ted many as deficient in size and importance. in some distant farmhouse. No sentiment of shame gave a damp to her triumph. though dilatory in undertaking bu siness. too. but was too angry with Lydia to send any me ssage to her. but Mr. for. with amazement and horror. That his anger could be carried to such a point of inconceivable resentment as to refuse his daughter a privilege without which her marriage would scarcely seem valid. without knowing or considering what their income might be. But when they had withdrawn. The good news spread quickly through the house. When the first transports of rage which had produced his activity in seeking her were over. Bennet. fine muslins." said she. before you take any or all of these houses for your son and daughter. Into ONE house in this neighbourhood they shall never have admittan ce. for.

was soon to be formed in their family. Had Ly dia's marriage been concluded on the most honourable terms. would now be added an alliance and relationship of the nearest kind wi th a man whom he so justly scorned. his manners improved. Darcy acquainted with their fears for her sister. To Mr. It was an union that must have been to t he advantage of both. th ere are still some who are able and willing to assist him in the army. now quartered in the North. for since her marriage would so shortly give the proper termination to the elopemen t. when she could no longer hope to be benefited by it. in disposition and talents. to every other o bjection. from any fear of disadvantage from it individually t o herself. * * * * * Mr. Wickham had resolved on quitting the militia. He has th e promise of an ensigncy in General ----'s regiment. both on his account and my niece's. at any rate. and precluding the poss ibility of the other. they might hope to conceal its unfavourable beginning from all those who were not immediately on the spot. She was humbled. she was grieved. Wickham's intention to go into the regulars. at the same t ime. could he know that the proposals which she had proudly spurned only four months ago. "It was greatly my wish that he should do so. she could not imagine. however. his mind might have been softe ned. for. but. by her ease and liveliness. from the distress of the mo ment. been led to make Mr. would have answered all her wishes. She had no fear of its spreading farther through his means. she doubted not. But how little of permanent happiness could belong to a couple who were only brought together because their passions were stronger than their virt ue. she repented. "as soon as his marria ge was fixed on. with assurance of his eagerness to promote the welfare of any of his family. It is M r. . as she often thought. And I think you will agree with me. though she hardly knew of what. How Wickham and Lydia were to be supported in tolerable independence. there seemed a gulf impassable between them. From such a connection she could not wonder that he would shrink. and among his former friends. there must be a triumph. and from his judgement. She began now to comprehend that he was exactly the man who. could not in rational expectation survive such a blow as this. Gardiner soon wrote again to his brother. She wante d to hear of him. when there seemed the least chance of gaining intelligence.Elizabeth was now most heartily sorry that she had. she must have received benefit of greater importance. would most suit her. An union of a different tendency. which she had assured herself of his feeling in Derbyshire. She became jealo us of his esteem. it was not to be sup posed that Mr. would now have been most gla dly and gratefully received! He was as generous. in considering the removal from that corps as highly advisable. when it was no longer l ikely they should meet. and concluded with entreaties that the subject might never be me ntioned to him again. Bennet's acknowledgments h e briefly replied. His understanding and temper. there was no one whose knowledge of a sister's frailty would have mortified her so much--not. There were few peop le on whose secrecy she would have more confidently depended. and knowledge of the world. as the most ge nerous of his sex. information. What a triumph for him. Darcy would connect himself with a family where. Sh e was convinced that she could have been happy with him. The principal purport of his letter was to inform them tha t Mr. But no such happy marriage could now teach the admiring multitude what connubia l felicity really was. but while he was mortal. The wish of p rocuring her regard. though unlike her o wn. she could easily conjecture." he added.

GARDINER. Lydia's being settled in the North. gave her hand. who gave Lydia the feelings which wou ld have attended herself." said she. Her mother stepped forwards. and Jane and Elizabeth felt for her probabl y more than she felt for herself. to inform him of our present arrangements. Wickham in and near Brighton. that he was pr evailed on to think as they thought. for the sake of their sister's feelings and consequence. of whom I shal l subjoin a list according to his information? He has given in all his debts. and Jane more especially. and welcomed her with rapture. and to request that he will satisfy the various creditors of Mr. had she been the culprit. I have written to Colonel Forster. her daughters. therefore. alarmed. She is well. and had so many favourites. and was wretched in the thou ght of what her sister must endure. they will both be more prudent. Gardiner could do. that as soon as the ceremony was over. that she likes very much. The family were assembled in the breakfast room to receive them. where they may each have a character to preserve. uneasy. and it was settled. Chapter 51 Their sister's wedding day arrived. "it will be quite shocking to send her away! And there are several of the young men. of being admitted into her family again before she set off for the North. and. and I understand from Mrs. When Mr. with an affectionate smile. They came.It is an advantage to have it so far from this part of the kingdom. that my niece is ve ry desirous of seeing you all before she leaves the South. and had she consulted only her own inclination. for she had by no means given up her p lan of their residing in Hertfordshire. And will you give yourself the tr ouble of carrying similar assurances to his creditors in Meryton. embraced her. to receiv e her and her husband at Longbourn. as soon as they were married. They will then join his regiment. who followed hi s lady. Forster. and wished them both joy with an alacrity which shewed no doubt of their . and I hope among different people. Smi les decked the face of Mrs. too. urged him so earnestly yet so rationally and so mildly. received at first an absolut e negative. He promises fairly. Gardiner. the door was thrown open. it was such a pity that Lydia should be taken from a regiment where she was a cquainted with everybody. Bennet as the carriage drove up to the door. "E.. beside s. But Jane and Elizabeth. Lydia's voice was heard in the vestibule. for which I have pledged myself. to Wickham. I hope at least he has not deceived us. Elizabeth was surprised. But Mrs. however. The carriage was sent to meet them at ----. that Wickham should consent to such a scheme. and all wil l be completed in a week. who agreed in wishing. he sent his permission for them to come. Bennet and his daughters saw all the advantages of Wickham's removal from t he ----shire as clearly as Mr. that she should be noticed on her marriage b y her parents. and she ran into the room." His daughter's request. and act as they wished. anxious. Bennet was not so wel l pleased with it. was a severe disappointment. any meeting with him w ould have been the last object of her wishes. they should proceed to L ongbourn. etc. with assurances of sp eedy payment. and begs to be dutifully remembered to you and your mother. an d they were to return in it by dinner-time.--Yours. "She is so fond of Mrs. unless they are firs t invited to Longbourn. for such it might be considered. The officers may not be so pleasant in General----'s regiment. her hus band looked impenetrably grave. Their arrival was dreaded by the eld er Miss Bennets. just when she had expecte d most pleasure and pride in her company. And their mother ha d the satisfaction of knowing that she would be able to show her married daughte r in the neighbourhood before she was banished to the North. Haggerston has our directions." Mr. Bennet wro te again to his brother.

but she. Elizabeth had not before believed him quite equal to s uch assurance. There was no want of discourse. and you must go lower. but she sat down. and Wickham. indeed.happiness. "Oh! mamma. with a good humoured ease which she felt very unable to equal in her replies. and Lydia led voluntarily to subjects which her sisters would not have allude d to for the world. do the people hereabouts know I am marr ied to-day? I was afraid they might not. She then joined them soon enough to see Lydia. wild. gaily continued. resolving within herself to draw no limits in f uture to the impudence of an impudent man. His countenance rather gained in austerity. to Mrs. would have delighted them all. because I am a married woman. and fearless. "Well. it seems but a fortnight I declare. the Lucases. The bride and her mother could neither of them talk fast enough. that had his character and his marriage been exactly what they ou ght. I only hope they may have half my good luck. They must all g o to Brighton. The easy assurance of the young couple. so I was determined he should know it. Nothing of the past was recollected with pai n. S he longed to see Mrs. They seemed each of them to have the happiest memories in the world. I t ake your place now. and all their other neighbours. and ret urned no more. What a pity it is. took notice of some little alteration in it. "Ah! Jane. and observed . and took off my glove. El izabeth was disgusted. mamma. Her ease and good spirits increased." said she. was enough to provoke him. She turned from sister to sister. while he claimed their relationship. but his manners were alway s so pleasing. sh e went after dinner to show her ring. Their reception from Mr. who never heard nor saw anything of which she chose to be insensible. and we overtook William Goulding in his curricle. and he scarcely opened his lip s. his smiles and his easy address. I am sure I had no more idea of being m arried till I came back again! though I thought it would be very good fun if I w as. looked e agerly round the room. noisy. and when at length they all sat down. Phillips." It was not to be supposed that time would give Lydia that embarrassment from wh ich she had been so wholly free at first. Hill a nd the two housemaids." Elizabeth could bear it no longer. so that he might see the ring. and hear her say to her eldest sister. and in the mean time. mamma. to whom they then turned. and even Miss Bennet was shocked. Jane was distressed. and boast of being married. and yet there have been things enough happened in th e time." she cried. began inquiri ng after his acquaintance in that neighbourhood. that it was a great while since she had been there. and ran out of the room." . Good gracious! when I went away. "an d what do you think of my husband? Is not he a charming man? I am sure my sister s must all envy me. till she heard them passing through the hall to the dining parlou r. demanding their congratulations. was not quite so cor dial. Lydia was Lydia still. with anxious parade. and let my hand just rest upon the window frame. when they were all returned to the breakfast room. Wickham" by each of them. She blushed. and to hear herself called "Mrs. unabashed. Elizabeth looked expressive ly at Lydia. but th e cheeks of the two who caused their confusion suffered no variation of colour. who happened to sit near Elizabeth. "Only think of its being three months. we d id not all go. and Jane blushed. walk up t o her mother's right hand. That is the place to get husbands. She got up. with a laugh." Her father lifted up his eyes. and then I bowed and smiled like anything . Bennet. Wickham was not at all more distressed than herself. "since I went away. and so I let down the side-gla ss next to him. untamed.

" "I thank you for my share of the favour." "La! You are so strange! But I must tell you how it went off. "but I do not particu larly like your way of getting husbands. preaching and talking away just as if she was reading a sermon." . You were not by. lord! yes. I never gave YOU an account of my wedding. and my sisters. These parties were acceptable to all. must come down and see us. But my dear Lydia." said Elizabeth. n o one was to be put in competition with him. M onday morning came." "I should like it beyond anything!" said her mother. that their elopement had been brought on by the strength of her love. Lydia was exceedingly fond of him. and I was in such a fuss! I was so afraid. had sh e not felt certain that his flight was rendered necessary by distress of circums tances. and if that were the case. she said to Elizabeth: "Lizzy. rather than by his. for I was thinking. as she was sitting with her two elder si sters."Very true. not equal to Lydia's for him. and having very freq uent parties at home. and she would have wondered why. you may leave one or two of my sisters behind you. and then I should have gone quite distracted . We shall be at Newcastle all the winter. than any body else in the country. I believe. to avoid a family ci rcle was even more desirable to such as did think. My uncle and aunt and I were to go together. from the reason of things. and I dare say there will be some balls. than such as did not. We were married. and she mad e the most of the time by visiting about with her daughter. He did every thing best in the worl d. Well. However. I don't at all like your going such a way off. Clement's. you know. Mr. No one but Mrs. Are not you curious to hear how i t was managed?" "No really. at St. and if I had my will. She had scarcely needed her present observation to be satisfied. Wickham's affection for Lydia was just what Elizabeth had expected to find it. soon after their arrival." replied Elizabeth. And it was settled that we should all be there by eleven o'clock. and she was sure he would kill more birds on the first of September. I longed to know w hether he would be married in his blue coat. "I think there cannot be too little said on the subject. I did not hear above one word in ten. One morning. without violently caring for her. You a nd papa. we should. Must it be so?" "Oh. you know. and I will take care to ge t good partners for them all.--there is nothing in that. and the others were to meet us at the church. because Wickham's lodgings were in that parish. Wickham had rec eived his commission before he left London. "And then when you go away. And there was my aunt. He was her dear Wickham on every occasion. Bennet regretted that their stay would be so short. he chose to elope with her at all. and I dare say I shall get husbands for them before the winter is over." Their visitors were not to remain above ten days with them. when I told mamma and the others all about it. and he was to join his regiment at t he end of a fortnight. I shall like it of all things. you may suppose. that so mething would happen to put it off. he was not the young man to resist an opportu nity of having a companion. all the time I was dressing. of my dear Wickham.

by running away. but she was satisfied with none. for my uncle was to give me away. " and my dear aunt. Pray write instantly. I promised them so faithfull y! What will Wickham say? It was to be such a secret!" "If it was to be secret. or scheme. And then. as placing his conduct in the noblest light. But gracious me! I quit e forgot! I ought not to have said a word about it. hurried into her brain. in utter amazement. you are to understand. "we will ask yo u no questions. Darcy!" repeated Elizabeth. Well. and if we were beyond the hour. to request an explanation of what Lydia had dropt. and so just as the carriage came to the door. though burning with curiosity. as she finished the letter. wrote a short letter to her aunt. "say not another word on the subject. that my uncle and aunt were horrid unpl easant all the time I was with them. However. Elizabeth was glad of it. You may depend upon my seeking no further. "what my curiosity must be to know how a person unconnected with any of us. you know." she added. But to live in ignorance on such a point was impossible. though. yes!--he was to come there with Wickham. Well." On such encouragement to ask. It was exactly a scene. or at least it was imp ossible not to try for information. I did not once put my foot out of doors. if you do not tell me in an honourable manner. by the bye." said Jane. however. you know." she added to herself. for very cogent reasons. Conjectures as to the meaning of it. the Little Theatre w as open. and least temptation to go. I thought it would never be over. should have been amongst you at such a time. Those that best pleased her. "for if you did. if it were compatible with the secrecy which had been intended. To be sure London was rather thin. I was so frightened I did not kn ow what to do. Elizabeth was forced to put it out of her power. and let me understand it--unless it is." Jane's delicate sense of honour would not allow her to speak to Elizabeth priva tely of what Lydia had let fall. She could not bear such suspense. where he had apparently least to do. we could not be married all day. Chapter 52 . If you'll believe me. I shall certain ly be reduced to tricks and stratagems to find it out. "Oh. when once they get together.--till it appeared whe ther her inquiries would receive any satisfaction. Stone. for Mr. she had rather be without a c onfidante. rapid an d wild. to remain in th e secrecy which Lydia seems to think necessary. I should certainly tell you all. and (comparatively speaking) a stranger to our family. "You may readily comprehend. for. Not one party. but." "Oh! certainly." said Lydia. seemed most improbabl e." "Mr." "Not that I SHALL. my uncle was called away upon business to that horrid man Mr. and hastily seizing a sheet of paper. Darcy had been at her sister's wedding. and then I must endeavour to be satisfied with ignorance. Mr. I recollected afterwards that if he h ad been prevented going. he came back again in ten minute s' time. the wedding need not be put off." said Elizabeth. and then we all set out. though I was there a fortnight. and exactly among people."Well." "Thank you. and so we breakfasted at ten as usual. and then Wickham would be angry. luckily. But. there is no end of it. or anything. Darcy might ha ve done as well.

Sh e was sure they should be married some time or other. in his very first conversation with Wickham. If he HAD ANOTHER motive. for I only mean to let you know that I had not imagined such inquiries to be necessary on YOUR side. I suppose. a Mrs. I did not expect it from YOU. but he had something to direct his search. "Gracechurch street. she would not hear of leaving Wickham. Younge. he acknowledged. His character was to speak f or itself. offering his assistance. and confessed that he had before thought it beneat h him to lay his private actions open to the world. therefore. She then took a large house in Edward-street. they would have taken up their abode with her. She cared for none of h er friends. "I have just received your letter. But it was two or three days before he could get from her what he wanted. however. If you do not choo se to understand me. which. and has since maintained herself by letting lodgings.Elizabeth had the satisfaction of receiving an answer to her letter as soon as she possibly could. I m ust be more explicit. and that he had seen and talked with them both. At l ength. Since such were her feelings. and it did not much signif y when. and was shut up with him several hours. your uncle had a most unexpe cted visitor. th ough he did not say what. for she really did know where her friend was to be found. without bribery and corruption. "MY DEAR NIECE. Younge was. Gardiner that he had found out where yo ur sister and Mr. Mr. This Mrs. for the length of the letter convince d her that it did not contain a denial. I am sure it would never disgrace him. I must confess myself surprised by your application. he knew. She was no sooner in possession of it than. Sept. 6. and afterwards insisted on seeing Lydia. Your uncle is as much surprised as I am--and nothing but the belief of your being a party concerned would have all owed him to act as he has done. "On the very day of my coming home from Longbourn. it seems. and endeavour to r emedy an evil which had been brought on by himself. and came to town with the resolution of hunting for th em. He came to tell Mr. she wanted no help of his. He called it. his duty to step forward. he ea . It was a ll over before I arrived. he left Derbyshire only one day after ourselves. He had been some days in town. she sat down on on e of the benches and prepared to be happy. int imately acquainted with Wickham. His first object with her. and return to her friends as soon as they could be prevail ed on to receive her. They were in ---. But he fou nd Lydia absolutely resolved on remaining where she was. which was mo re than WE had. so my curiosity was not so dreadfully racked as YOUR'S seems to have been. He generously imputed the whole to his mistaken pride. who was some time ago governess to M iss Darcy. as far as it would go. Darcy called. Wickham were. Wickham repeatedly. Wickham in deed had gone to her on their first arrival in London. and the consciousness of this was another reason for his resolvi ng to follow us. to secure an d expedite a marriage. and shall devote this whole morning to answe ring it. He saw Wickham.street. From what I can collect. before he wa s able to discover them. The motive professed was his conviction of its being owing to himself that W ickham's worthlessness had not been so well known as to make it impossible for a ny young woman of character to love or confide in him. Don't think me angry. But if you are really innocent and ignorant. had been to persuade her to quit her present d isgraceful situation. he thought. forgive my impertinence. "There is a lady. and had she been able to receive them into her house. and he went to her for intelligence of him as s oon as he got to town. it only remained. hurrying into th e little copse. and was dismissed from her charge on some cause of disapprobation. where she was least likely to be interrupted. however. She would not betray her trust. Lydia once. our kind friend procured the wished-for direction. as I foresee that a LITTLE writing will not comprise what I have to tel l you.

on account of some debts of honour. which were very pressing. or Jane at most. But at last your uncle was forced to yiel d. It was owing to him. for there was much to be discussed. to considerably more than a thousand pounds. Ben net was not imagined to be very rich. he returned again to his friends. and he knew he should have nothing to live on. because it required an explanation that would rob him of his borrowed feathers. and. It was not all settled befor e Monday: as soon as it was. but would quit town the n ext morning. Darcy's next step was to make your uncle acquainted with it. He confessed himself obliged to leave the regiment. "They met several times. and scr upled not to lay all the ill-consequences of Lydia's flight on her own folly alo ne. "You know pretty well. Your father was gone. on further inquiry. therefore say nothing about it ). Darcy asked him why he had not married your sister at once. or ANYBODY'S reserve. The reason why all this was to be done by him alone. and instead of being allowed to be of use to his niece. "On Saturday he came again. Lizzy. Nothing was to be done that he did not do himself. the express was sent off to Longbourn. was such a s I have given above. that Wickham's character had been so misunderstood. I fancy. but at length was reduced to be reasonable. "Every thing being settled between THEM. he could conjecture very little about it. and as to his future situatio n. another thousand in addition to her own settled upon HER. however. and therefore readily postponed seeing him till after the departure of the former. and I really believe your letter this morning gave him great pleasure. he was not likely to be proof against the temptation of immediate rel ief. what has been done for the young people. you may rest perfectly assured that your uncle would never have yielded. But. Darcy found. was forced to put up with only having the probable credit of it. if we had not given him credit for ANOTHER INTEREST in the affair. he would have been able to do something fo r him. and give the praise where it was due. But he found. and consequently that he had been received and noticed as he was. as I said before. "They met again on Sunday. which went sorely against the grain. "When all this was resolved on. and till the next day it was only known that a gentleman had called on business. can be answera ble for the event. Mr. though I doubt whether HIS reserve. which was more than either the gentl eman or lady concerned in it deserved. and his situation must have been benefited by marriage. He did not judge your father to be a person whom he could so proper ly consult as your uncle. and Mr. "They battled it together for a long time. Gardiner could not be seen. Though Mr.sily learnt had never been HIS design. Wickham of course wanted more than he could get. Under such circumstances . I suppose. that obstinacy is the real defect of his character. that Wickham still cherished the hope of more effectuall y making his fortune by marriage in some other country. bu t THIS is the true one. thoug h I am sure (and I do not speak it to be thanked. Lizzy. He has been accused of many faults at different times. in reply to this question. He must go somewhere. I believe. and he first called in Gracechurch street the evening before I came home. your uncle at home. He meant to resign his commission immediately. who were stil . this must go no farther than yourself. But our visi tor was very obstinate. your uncle would most readily have settled the whole. after all. But in spite of all this fine talking. and then I saw him too. His debts are to be paid. but he did no t know where. He did not leave his name. they had a great deal of talk together. to his reserve and want of proper con sideration. and his commi ssion purchased. Perhaps there was some truth i n THIS. that your father was still with him. my dear Lizzy. But Mr. "Mr. amounting.

The vague and unsettled suspicions which uncertainty had produced of what Mr. I was sometimes quite provoked. that her conduct on coming home was exactly of a piece with it. or at least do not punish me so far as to exclude me from P. by Jane's letter last Wednesday. done much. which asked no extraordinary stretch of belief. if I had not perceived. his wife may teach him. I talked to her repeatedly in the most serious manner. and though she would not place herself as his principal in . it was by good luck. and Wickham had constant admission to the house. would be the v ery thing. He had done all this for a girl whom he could neither regard nor esteem. he had taken on himself all the trouble and mortification attendant on such a research. I thought him very sly. If she heard me. and therefore what I now tell you can give you no fresh pain. The children have been wanting me this half hour. I hope at least it will not afford you any disple asure. It was reason able that he should feel he had been wrong. and he had the me ans of exercising it. to be s ure. She was ashamed to think how much. for I am su re she did not listen. "I believe I have now told you every thing. he had liberality. when required to depend on his affectio n for her --for a woman who had already refused him--as able to overcome a senti ment so natural as abhorrence against relationship with Wickham. He dined with us the next day. and as Lydia informed you. but it was agreed that he should be in London once more when the wedding took place. attended the wedding. were proved beyond their greatest extent to be true! He had followed them purposely to town. HE was exactly what he had been. Her heart did whisper that he had done it for her. but I would not tel l you how little I was satisfied with her behaviour while she staid with us. in which it was difficult to determine whether pleasure or pain bore the greatest share. "But I must write no more. and all money matters were then to receive the last finish.--he hardly ever mentioned your name. But it was a hope shortly checked by other considerations. in every respect. D arcy might have been doing to forward her sister's match. A low phaeton. reason with. in w hich supplication had been necessary to a woman whom he must abominate and despi se." The contents of this letter threw Elizabeth into a flutter of spirits. he wants nothing bu t a little more liveliness. my dear Lizzy. I shall never be quite happy till I have been all round the park. when I knew him in Hertfordshire. and whose very nam e it was punishment to him to pronounce. GARDINER. if he marry PRUDENTLY. very sincerely. and was to leave town again on Wednesday or Thursday. But he had given a reason for his interference. and at the same time dreaded to be just. with a nice little pair of ponies. from the pain of obligation. "Pray forgive me if I have been very presuming. and all the unhappiness she had brought on her family. and THAT. Will you be very angry with me. But slyness se ems the fashion. if I take this oppo rtunity of saying (what I was never bold enough to say before) how much I like h im. which she had feared t o encourage as an exertion of goodness too great to be probable. "Yours. repre senting to her all the wickedness of what she had done. and where he was reduced to meet. frequently meet. and she soon fel t that even her vanity was insufficient. "M. the man whom he always most wished to avoid. His behaviour to us has. It is a relation which you tell me is to give you great surprise. Lydia came to us. persuade. but then I recollected my dear Elizabeth and Jane. Brother-in-law of Wickham! Every kind of pride must revolt from the connection.l staying at Pemberley. He had. His understanding and opinions all please me. Darcy was punctual in his return. "Mr. an d finally bribe. been as pleasing as when we were in Derbyshire. and for their sakes had patience with her.

my dear sister?" said he. Are the others coming out?" "I do not know. to know that they were under obligatio ns to a person who could never receive a return. It was painful. It w as hardly enough." "Perhaps preparing for his marriage with Miss de Bourgh. to take him there at this time of year. We passed each other several times. th ough mixed with regret. Bennet and Lydia are going in the carriage to Meryton." she replied with a smile." "And what did she say?" "That you were gone into the army. She was even sensible of some pleasure. on finding how steadfastly both she and her uncle had be en persuaded that affection and confidence subsisted between Mr." . you know." "I should be sorry indeed. We were always good friends. P roud that in a cause of compassion and honour. and yet I believe it would be too much for me. from our uncle and aunt. believe that remaining partiality for her might as sist his endeavours in a cause where her peace of mind must be materially concer ned. "It m ust be something particular." She replied in the affirmative." "Yes. Elizabeth hoped she had silenced him. but it pleased her." "Certainly. biting his lips. by some one's approach. she was overtaken by Wickham. "I am afraid I interrupt your solitary ramble. or else I could take it in my way to Newcastle. but she was proud of him." said Elizabeth. "but it does not follow that the interruption must be unwelcome. and she was afraid had --not turned out well . that you have actually see n Pemberley. For herself she was humbled. I suppose? Poor Reynolds. Oh! how heartily did she grieve over ev ery ungracious sensation she had ever encouraged.ducement." "Undoubtedly. At such a distance as THAT. exceedingly painful. And you saw the old housekeeper . She was roused from her seat. he had been able to get the bette r of himself. every thing. Darcy and herse lf. things are strangely misrepresented. perhaps. Mrs. she was always very fond of me. They owed the restoration of Ly dia. every saucy speech she had eve r directed towards him. I find. he introduced us to his sister. and her reflections." "Yes. she could. her character. She read over her aunt's commendation of him again and again. my dear sister. to him. But of course she di d not mention my name to you. and before she could strike into another path. if it were. I wonder what he can be doing there." he replied. as he joined her. but he soon afterwards said: "I was surprised to see Darcy in town last month. she did. "I almost envy you the pleasure. Did you see him while you were at Lambton? I thought I understood from the Gardiners that you had. And so." "True. "You certainly do. and now we are better.

you know. for her sister's sake. . when sermon-making was not so palatabl e to you as it seems to be at present. Wickham. to be would have been such a thing for me! The quiet. One ought not to repine." "You have. and that the business had been compromised accordingly . was likely to continue at least a twelvemonth. it a life w you ever "I have heard from authority. and Mrs. because it is the living which I ought to have had. Chapter 53 Mr." "Did you go by the village of Kympton?" "I do not recollect that we did. I should have considered it as part of my duty. you may remember. I hope we shall be always of one mind. when you were in Kent?" the exer sure. and she was pleased to find that she had said enough to keep him quiet. he kissed it with affectionate gallantry. by introducing the subject of it. and they entered the house. that you actually declared your resolutio n of never taking orders. Wickham was so perfectly satisfied with this conversation that he never aga in distressed himself. there was something in THAT." "I DID hear. she has got over the most trying age. and unwilling." "How should you have liked making sermons?" "Exceedingly well. the retirement of such ould have answered all my ideas of happiness! But it was not to be. The day of his and Lydia's departure soon came. too. In future. she only said i n reply. she was not very promising. Bennet was forced to s ubmit to a separation." "You did! and it was not wholly without foundation." "I mention it. Did hear Darcy mention the circumstance. to provoke him. we are brother and sister. A most delig htful place!--Excellent Parsonage House! It would have suited me in every respec t." They were now almost at the door of the house. I am very glad you liked her. when first we talked of it. which I thought AS GOOD. as her husband by no means entered into her scheme of their all going to Newcastle. Mr." She held out her hand. or provoked his dear sister Elizabeth. indeed." "I dare say she will. and tion would soon have been nothing. I told you so from the first. Do not let us quarrel about the past. I hope she will turn out well. When I last saw her."And do you like her?" "Very much. that she is uncommonly improved within this year or two. which. though he hard ly knew how to look. and at the will of the present patron. that there was a time.--but. for she had walked fast to get r id of him. that it was left you con ditionally only." "I have heard. Yes. You may remember what I tol d you on that point. with a good-humoured smile: "Come.

because I felt that I SHOULD be looked at . my dear. of marrying a daughter. very likely on Wednesday. Lydia does not leave me because she is married." said Mr. He is nothing to us. and her mind opened again to the agitation of hope. "that there is nothing so bad as parting with one's friends. He simpers. You know. as soon as they were alone together. And so. . who was coming down in a day o r two. and smirks. so much the better. Bennet was quite in the fidgets. I defy even Sir William Lucas himself to produce a more val uable son-in-law. and went out myself on purpose to know the truth of it. Bingley is coming down. to shoot there for several weeks. They will have nothing else to do. I was only confused for the moment. "It must make you better satisfied that your other four are single. The housekeeper at Netherfield had received orders to prepare for the arrival of her master. It was many months since she had mentioned his name to Elizabeth." "It is no such thing. Phillips fir st brought her the news). "He is as fine a fellow. I do assure you that the news does not affect me either with pleasure or pain. and so Mr. "Well. Madam." Miss Bennet had not been able to hear of his coming without changing colour. and I know I appeared distressed." "As often as I can." "This is the consequence. One seems so forlorn without them. If that had been nearer ." (for Mrs. and she told me that it was certain true. She was going to the butcher's. as soon as they were out of the hous e." said she. is it quite certain he is c oming?" "You may depend on it. Not these two or three years. we agree d long ago never to mention a word about it. Wickham's adieus were much more affectionate than his wife's. but only because her husband's regiment happens to be so far off. Nicholls was in Meryton la st night. if he likes it. "Well. you see. lo oked handsome. sister. "as ever I saw." "Write to me very often." replied the other. Bennet. He smiled. I am prodig iously proud of him. Bennet very dull for several days. "when shall we meet again?" "Oh. she would not have gone so soon. But don't imagine it was from any silly caus e. And who knows what MAY happen? But that is nothing to us. Lizzy. lord! I don't know. t hough. My sisters may write to ME. on purpose to order in some meat on Wednesday. perhaps. however." she cried. Mrs. and said many pretty things. and she has got three couple of ducks just fit to be killed. by an article of news wh ich then began to be in circulation. and I am sure I never want to see him agai n." said Elizabe th. and smiled and shook her head by turns. I saw her passing by."Oh! my dear Lydia. But you know married women have never much time for writing . "for Mrs. you know. but now. He comes down on Thursday at t he latest. S he looked at Jane. she told me . But. when my aunt told us of the present report . well." The loss of her daughter made Mrs." Mr. he is very welcome to come to Netherfield. sister. "I often think. she said: "I saw you look at me to-day." But the spiritless condition which this event threw her into was shortly reliev ed. Not that I care about it. and makes love to us all.

"Yet it is hard. that shan't prevent my asking him to dine here. if I went to see him. let him seek it." In spite of what her sister declared." she sometimes thought." said he." "Well. however. "you will wait on him of course. "'Tis an etiquette I despise." Consoled by this resolution. and I wil l not be sent on a fool's errand again. he should marry one of my daughters. and really believed to be her feelings in the expectation of his arrival. no. but I can hardly bear to hear it thus perpetually talked of. "If he wants our society. that he comes alone. and promised. she was the better able to bear her husband's inci vility. Bingley. "that this poor man cannot come to a h ouse which he has legally hired. The subject which had been so warmly canvassed between their parents. without raising all this speculation! I WILL le ave him to himself. or being bold enough to come without it. My mother means well. Bingley arrived. Bennet. Elizabeth could easily perceive that her spirit s were affected by it. But." His wife represented to him how absolutely necessary such an attention would be from all the neighbouring gentlemen. about a t welvemonth ago. He knows where we live. no one can know. more unequal. through the assistance of servants. before THEY did. But on the third morning after his arrival in Hertfordshire. but she still thought him partial to Jane. but she does not know. Had she not seen him in Derbyshire. "As soon as ever Mr. But it ended in nothing.I am glad of one thing. "It would be nothing. As the day of his arrival dr ew near: "I begin to be sorry that he comes at all. Bennet. on his returning to Netherfield. That will make thirteen with our selves. than she had ofte n seen them. Happy shall I be." Mr. was now brought forward again. We must have Mrs. that the period of anxiety and fretfulness on her side might be as long as it could. how much I suffer from what she says. I could see him with perfect indifference. I am determined." Elizabeth did not know what to make of it. and the usual satisfaction of preaching p atience to a sufferer is denied me." "No. You forced me into visiting him last year. in consequence of it. Mrs. so there will be just room at table for him. "but it is who lly out of my power. she might have supposed him capable of coming there with no other view than what was acknowledged. They were more disturbed. and she wavered as to the greater probability of his coming there WITH his friend's permission. because you have always so much. Long and the Gouldings soon. that it will be abominably rude if you do not wait on him . my dear." replied Elizabeth. She counted the days that must interve ne before their invitation could be sent." said Mrs. all I know is. because we shall see the less of h im. hopeless of seeing him before. contrived to have the earliest tidings of it. from her dres . but I dread other people's remarks. You must feel it. I will not spend my hours in running after my neighb ours every time they go away and come back again." said Jane to her sister. Bingley comes. Not that I am afraid of MYSELF. though it was very mortifying to know that her neighbours might all see Mr. when h is stay at Netherfield is over!" "I wish I could say anything to comfort you. she saw him.

That tall. and her resolution to be civil to him only as Mr. he could be only a man whose proposals she had refused. "Let me first see how he behaves. to whom she had never yet had courage to shew Mrs . Jane resolutely kept h er place at the table. returned for half a minute with an additional glow. Gardiner's letter. and sat down again by her sister. She had ventured only one glance at Darcy. as usual. Darcy!--and so it does. It was a painful. Each felt for the other. my dear. and a smile of delight added lustre to her eyes. I suppose. went to the window-she looked. mamma. Jane looked a little paler than usual. but Elizabeth. Darcy with him. and. more as he had been used to look in Hertfordshire. striving to be composed. than as she had seen him at Pemberle y. proud man. and in that short period saw him looking both pleased and embarrassed. Her daughters were eagerly called to partake of her joy." "La!" replied Kitty." "Good gracious! Mr. she thought. He looked serious. The colour which had been driven from her face. till anxious curiosity carried them to the face of her sister as the servant was approaching the door. her colour increased. but else I must say that I hate t he very sight of him.sing-room window. and whom she reg arded herself with an interest. withou t being heard by either of them. and sat down again to her work. D arcy. but to her own more extensive information. On the gentlemen's appearing." said she. Bingley. he was the person to whom the whole family were indebted for the first of benefits. but not an improbable. Her astonishment at his coming--at his co ming to Netherfield. of her dislike of Mr.--she saw Mr. what's-his-name. but mo re sedate than Elizabeth had expected. and therefore felt for the awkwardness which must atten d her sister. any friend of Mr. and whose merit she had undervalued. But she would not be secure. But. in seeing him almost for the first time after receiving his explan atory letter." She sat intently at work. She knew but little of thei r meeting in Derbyshire. Bing ley's will always be welcome here. and without daring to lift u p her eyes. and with a propriety of be haviour equally free from any symptom of resentment or any unnecessary complaisa nce. enter the paddock and ride towards the house. "who can it be?" "Some acquaintance or other. yet she received them with tolerable ease. at least as reasonable a nd just as what Jane felt for Bingley. Both sisters were uncomfortable enough. with an eagerness which it did not often command. conjecture. a nd of course for themselves. But Elizabeth had sources of uneasiness which c ould not be suspected by Jane. Well." Jane looked at Elizabeth with surprise and concern. or to relate her own change of sentiment towards him. Bennet with a deg . Elizabeth said as little to either as civility would allow. To Ja ne. He was received by Mrs. Mr. I am sure I do not know. "There is a gentleman with him. was almost equal to what she had known on first witnessing his altered behaviour in Derbys hire. Bingley's friend. and their mother talked on. "it looks just like that man that used to be with him befo re. as she tho ught for that space of time that his affection and wishes must still be unshaken . she had likewise seen for an instant." said Kitty. to Longbourn. and voluntarily seeking her again. perhaps he could not in her mother's presence be what he was before her uncle and aunt. "it will then be early enough for expectation. if not quite so tender. to be sure. I vow. to satisfy her mother.

' without there being a syllable said of her father. Elizabeth. Darcy. especially when contrasted with the cold and ceremonious politeness of her curtsey and address to his frie nd. to be sure. she could not tell. and frequently on no object but the ground. after inquiring of her how Mr. and of his be ing gone into the regulars. It was my brother Gardiner's drawing up too. but it had not been so in D erbyshire." said Mrs. he believed. Darcy. "Could I expect it to be otherwise!" said she. I hope it is not true. How Mr. "It is a long time. though perhaps no t so many as he deserves. She inquired after his sister. I know. It was only said. since you went away. and Mrs. Mi ss Lucas is married and settled. she raised he eyes to hi s face. than w hen they last met. a place quite northwa rd. "When you have killed all your own birds. Bennet. however.ree of civility which made her two daughters ashamed. or anything. "but at the same time. A great many changes have happened in the neighbourhood. There he had talked to her friends. A few weeks. though it was not put in as it ought to be. "Yet why did he come?" She was in no humour for conversation with anyone but himself. Elizabeth dared not lift up her eyes. were plainly expressed. And one of my own daughters. It was in The Times a nd The Courier. Mr. to have a daughter well married. and made his congratulations." contin ued her mother. you must have seen it in the papers. Esq. and angry with herself for being so. for I suppose you have heard of his leaving the ----shire. Gardiner did. and to him she h ad hardly courage to speak. More thoughtfulness and less anxiety to please. it is very hard to have her taken such a way from me. perhaps that was the reason of his silence. I am . But now several minutes elapsed without bringing the sound of his voice. particularly. it seems. the exertion of speaking. He readily agreed to it. a question which s he could not answer without confusion. People DID say you meant to quit the place entirely at Michaelmas. and I wonder how he came to make such an a wkward business of it. to Miss Lydia Bennet. and shoot as many as you please on Mr. indeed. said scarcely anything. since you went away. but could do no more. "It is a delightful thing. She was disappointed. and when o ccasionally. unable to resist the impulse of curiosity. when he could not to herself. He was not seated by her. Bennet's manor. was in such misery of sha me. however. who knew this to be levelled at Mr. which nothing else had so effectually done before. Bingley. who knew that her mother owed to the latter the preser vation of her favourite daughter from irremediable infamy." Elizabeth. "I beg you will come here. but. Did you see it?" Bingley replied that he did. Bingley. Thank Heaven! he has SOME friends. "I began to be afraid you would never come back again. and there they are to stay I do not know how long. They are gone down to Newcastle. or the place where she lived. George Wickham. 'Lately. Darcy looked. she as often found him looking at Jane as at herself. I suppose you have heard of it. Bingley. It drew from her. Mr. Mr. was hurt and distress ed to a most painful degree by a distinction so ill applied. that she could hardly keep her seat. and she asked B ingley whether he meant to make any stay in the country at present." said her mother. therefore. His regiment is there.

" she added. Mr. who joined her with a cheerful look. she was persuaded. though not quite so chatty." Bingley looked a little silly at this reflection. every thing. He found her as handsome as she had been last year. that she did not a lways know when she was silent.sure he will be vastly happy to oblige you. and said something of his con cern at having been prevented by business." said she to herself. I have not forgot. to dwell without interruption on those subjects that must deaden the m more. When the gentlemen rose to go away. "The first wish of my heart. would be hastening to the same vexatious conclus ion. Darcy's behaviour astonished and vexed her. I feel perfectly easy." Elizabeth's misery increased. you see. and why not to me? If he fears me. Bingley. you promised to take a family dinner with us." Her resolution was for a short time involuntarily kept by the approach of her s ister. Mrs. "Why. "He could be still amiable. man! I will think no more about him. as soon as yo u returned. and was really persuaded that sh e talked as much as ever. Jane was anxious that n o difference should be perceived in her at all. "that this first meeting is over. to my uncle and aunt. Their society can afford no pleasure that will atone fo r such wretchedness as this! Let me never see either one or the other again!" Yet the misery. grave. than Elizabeth. They then went away. Chapter 54 As soon as they were gone. At that instant. and they were invited and engaged to dine at Longbourn in a few days time . "is never more to be in comp any with either of them. "did he come at all?" She could settle it in no way that gave her pleasure." said she. Bennet was mindful of her intended civ ility. but every five minutes seemed to be giving her mo re of his attention. "Now. and as unaffected. at such unnecessary. rec eived soon afterwards material relief. or in o ther words. Mrs. But her mind was so busily engaged. when he was i n town. and indifferent. she did not think anything l ess than two courses could be good enough for a man on whom she had such anxious designs. though she always kept a very good table. Mr. why come hither? If he no longer care s for me. she felt that years of happiness could not make Jane or he rself amends for moments of such painful confusion. I was very much disapp ointed that you did not come back and keep your engagement. teasing. and I assure you. When first he came in. as good natured. or satisfy the appetite and pride of one who had ten thousand a year. "for when you went to town last winter. "You are quite a visit in my debt. for which years of happiness were to offer no compensation. but. still pleasing. why silent? Teasing. he had spoken to her but little. I kno . from observing how much the beauty of her sister re-kindled the admiration of her former lover. such officious attention! We re the same fair prospect to arise at present as had flattered them a year ago. Bennet had been strongly inclined to ask them to stay and dine there that day. and will save all the best of the c ovies for you. if he came only to be silent." said she. which showed her better satisfied wi th their visitors. Elizabeth walked out to recover her spirits.

She was in hopes that the evening would afford some opportunity of bringing the m together. were in very good time. and Mrs. Da rcy. very indifferent indeed. On Tuesday there was a large party assembled at Longbourn. and I shall never be embarrassed again by his coming. forbore to invite him to sit by herself. He was on one side of her mother. laughingly. was wearisome and dull to a degree that almost made her uncivil. alas! the ladies had crowded round the table." "Yes. She was not near enough to hear any of their discourse. which. he seeme d to hesitate. looked towards his friend. "I shall give him up for ever. as showed an admirati on of her. Her prudent mother. during dinner time. It gave her all the animation that her spirits cou ld boast. in so close a confederacy that . she yet received pleasure from observing his behaviour. made the sense of what they owed him more painful to Elizabeth's mind. though more guarded than formerly. in all their former part ies. Elizabeth. in half an hour's visit. Her mother's ungraciousness. or make either appear to advantage. and she thought he looked as if he would have answered her hopes. that the whole of the visit would not pass away without enabling the m to enter into something more of conversation than the mere ceremonious salutat ion attending his entrance. had revived. His behaviour to her sister was such. to the credit of their punctuality as sportsmen. by her sister. on both sides. in the mean while. was giving way to all the happy schemes." "My dear Lizzy. had she not seen his eyes likewise turned towards Mr. Darcy was almost as far from he r as the table could divide them. for she was in no cheerful humour. Jane's happiness. Jane. and the two who were most anxiously expected. I am gl ad he dines here on Tuesday. Bennet. and happened to smile: it was de cided. and she would have imagined that Bingley had received hi s sanction to be happy. "If he does not come to me. we meet only as common and indifferent acquaintance. and she would. but she coul d see how seldom they spoke to each other. but. you cannot think me so weak. had belonged to him. She looked forward to their entrance as the point on wh ich all her chance of pleasure for the evening must depend. and how formal and cold was their man ner whenever they did. and Elizabeth pouring out the coffee. as to be in danger now?" "I think you are in very great danger of making him as much in love with you as ever. but Jane happened to look round. take car e. that i f left wholly to himself. occupied by the sam e ideas. which the good humour and common politeness of Bingley." * * * * * They did not see the gentlemen again till Tuesday. before the gentlemen came. Anxious and uneasy. Mr." The gentlemen came." said she. at times. Elizabeth eagerly watc hed to see whether Bingley would take the place. and his own. He bore it w ith noble indifference. "Oh. with a triumphant sensation. On entering the room. Though she dared not depend upon the consequence.w my own strength." said Elizabeth. It will then be publicly seen that. with an expression of half-laughing alarm. the period which passed in the d rawing-room. persuaded Elizabeth. He placed himself by her. When they repaired to the dining-room. would be speedily secur ed. have given a nything to be privileged to tell him that his kindness was neither unknown nor u nfelt by the whole of the family. which. where Miss Bennet was making tea. She knew how little such a situation would give pleasure to either. THEN.

" Mrs. I never saw you look in greater be auty. to be convinced that she would get him at last. and I suppose he has two or th ree French cooks at least. do we? " Darcy had walked away to another part of the room. he walked away. on the young lady's whispering to Elizabeth again. Bennet.there was not a single vacancy near her which would admit of a chair. and she had nothing to hope. as to make him play as unsuccessfully as herself. we shall have her at Netherfield at last. And on th e gentlemen's approaching. had scarcely patience enough to help anybo dy to coffee. When the tea-things were removed. Darcy acknowledge d. Mrs." She could think of nothing more to say. We want none of them. Annesley is with her. for I asked her whether you did not. and Elizabeth was then hoping to be soon joined by him. my dear Jane. but t heir carriage was unluckily ordered before any of the others. these three weeks. but that his eyes were so often turned tow ards her side of the room. The others have been gone on to Scarborough. She now los t every expectation of pleasure. They were confined for the evening at different tables." "And quite alone? Have all her friends left her?" "Mrs. He stood by her. I am determined. and not at all handsome: I like t hem prodigiously. Bennet had designed to keep the two Netherfield gentlemen to supper. "What say you to the day? I think every thing has passed off uncommonly well. she will remain there till Christmas. however. as soon as they were left to themselves. I do think Mrs. Bennet. envied everyone to whom he spoke." said she. I assure you. was in very great spirits. and. and in a few moments after seated with the rest of the party. by his bringing back his coffee cup himself. And. she had seen enough of Bingle y's behaviour to Jane. "Well girls. one of the girls moved closer to her than ever. and she had no opp ortunity of detaining them.' She did indeed. The venison was roasted to a tur n--and everybody said they never saw so fat a haunch. and s aid. for some minutes. but if he wished to converse with her. at last. And what do yo u think she said besides? 'Ah! Mrs. in a whisper: "The men shan't come and part us. that the partridges were remarkably well done. when all her views w ere overthrown by seeing him fall a victim to her mother's rapacity for whist pl ayers. and she seized the opportunity of saying: "Is your sister at Pemberley still?" "Yes. and her e . in sil ence. however. and then was enraged against herself for being so silly! "A man who has once been refused! How could I ever be foolish enough to expect a renewal of his love? Is there one among the sex. Mrs. Long said so too. the ladies all ro se. She followed him with her ey es. The soup was fifty times b etter than what we had at the Lucases' last week. and even Mr. and the card-tables placed. he might have better success. Long is as good a creature as ever lived-and her nieces are very pretty behaved girls. Th e dinner was as well dressed as any I ever saw. in short. who would not protest against such a weakness as a second proposal to the same woman? There is no indignity s o abhorrent to their feelings!" She was a little revived.

Bennet to her daughter's room. from wha t his manners now are. so suitable one with the other. I am perfectly satisfied." said Miss Bennet to Elizabeth. and are prov oking me to it every moment. be quick! Where is . "It has been a very agreeable day. and alone." Chapter 55 A few days after this visit. and with her ha ir half finished. and in such very good time that the ladies were none of them dressed. without having a wish beyond it. for she went up stairs half an hour ago. "I hope we shall be more lucky. I hope we may often meet again. Here. and was in remarkably good spirits. His friend ha d left him that morning for London. He sat with them above an hour.. Forgive me. etc. but was to return home in ten days time. he confessed himself engaged elsewhere. but.xpectations of advantage to her family. would take an early opportunity of waiting on them." said Jane. and a stronger de sire of generally pleasing. and if you pers ist in indifference." "You are very cruel. that he never had any design of engaging my affection. do not make me your confidante. make haste. and help her on with her gown. and if she would give h im leave. in her dressing gown. and her invitation was accepted with alacrity." He should be particularly happy at any time. It is only that he is blessed with greater sweetness of address. Mr. We all love to instruct. than any other man. "but I dare say Kitty is forwar der than either of us." "How hard it is in some cases to be believed!" "And how impossible in others!" "But why should you wish to persuade me that I feel more than I acknowledge?" "That is a question which I hardly know how to answer. that she was quite disappointed at not seeing him there again the nex t day. come to Miss Bennet this moment. Bennet inv ited him to dine with them." "Oh! hang Kitty! what has she to do with it? Come be quick. with many expressions of concern. He came. "Next time you call. were so far beyo nd reason." said her sister. crying out: "My dear Jane. "Lizzy." Elizabeth smiled. to make his proposals." "We will be down as soon as we can. indeed. make haste and hurry down." said she. Never mind Miss Lizzy's hair. you must not do so. Make haste. Bingley is come. "Can you come to-morrow?" Yes. he had no engagement at all for to-morrow. "The party s eemed so well selected. Bingley called again. He i s. Mrs. Sarah. In ran Mrs. etc. It mortifies me. I assure you that I have now learnt to enjoy his conversation as an agreeable and sensibl e young man. He is come--Mr. You must not suspect me. when in a happy humour. "you will not let me smile. though we can teach only what is not worth knowing.

as had been agreed on. for as the others were all going to sit down to cards. and her entreaty that SHE would not give in to it. I want to speak with you. Bingley was punctual to his appointment. an en gagement was formed. His ease and cheerf ulness rendered him a most agreeable addition to their evening party. and less eccentric. and before he went away. Seriously. she very innocently said. "What is the matter mamma? What do you keep winking at me for? What am I to do?" "Nothing child. Bennet's invention was again a t work to get every body away from him and her daughter. and saying to Kitty. and when at last Kitty did. Bennet's schemes for this day were ineffectual. unless Mr. In a few mi nutes. The latter was much more agreeable than his c ompanion expected. Elizabeth. I want to speak to you. Jane would not be prevailed on to go down without one of her sisters. nothing. and in the evening Mrs. but remained quietly in th e hall. Two obstacles of the five being thus removed. went into the breakfast room for that purpose soon after tea. Mrs. chiefly through his own and Mrs. Mr. for his co ming next morning to shoot with her husband. she felt tolerably persuaded that all this must have taken place with that gentleman's concurrence." took her out of the room. He scarcely needed an invitation to stay supper. Bingley was every thing th at was charming.your sash. Not a word passed betwee n the sisters concerning Bingley. Bennet spent the mornin g together. Jane instantly gave a look at Elizabeth which spoke her distress at su ch premeditation. "Come here. my dear?" But when her mother was gone. The same anxiety to get them by themselves was visible again in the evening." She then sat still five minute s longer. There was nothing of presumption or folly in Bingley that cou ld provoke his ridicule. Mrs. Af ter tea. "Kitty and I are going upstairs to sit in my dressing-room . she could not be wanted to c ounteract her mother's schemes. except the professed lover of her daughter. then returned into the drawing-roo m. as soon as she was in the hall. Ben net sat looking and winking at Elizabeth and Catherine for a considerable time. or disgust him into silence. and he bor e with the ill-judged officiousness of the mother. I did not wink at you. Bingley of course ret urned with him to dinner. but unable to waste such a precious occasion. Bennet retired to the library. Bennet half-opened the door and called out: "Lizzy. as was his custom. who had a le tter to write. Elizabeth would not observe her. but Elizabeth went to bed in the happy belief that all must speedily be concluded. than the other had ever seen him. and Mary went up stairs to her instrument. Jane said no more of her indifference. and he was more communicat ive. and heard all her silly remar ks with a forbearance and command of countenance particularly grateful to the da ughter. however. Bennet's means. "We may as well leave them by themselves you know." said her mother." Elizabeth made no attempt to reason with her mother. till she and Kitty were out of sight. Mrs." Elizabeth was forced to go. Darcy returned within the stated time. and he and Mr. without making any impression on them. she suddenly got up. After this day. . my dear. my love.

ran out of the room. as they hastily turned round and moved away from each other. a warmth. Every sentence of kindness was a fresh sour ce of happiness to Jane. w hich words could but poorly express. to her infinite surprise. wisest. "I must go instantly to my mother." He then shut the door. I dare say. She will be down in a moment. and hoped her turn was coming soon . most reasona ble end!" In a few minutes she was joined by Bingley. she saw. But she would not allow herself to stay with her sister . a delight." she cried. she perceived her sister and Bingley stand ing together over the hearth. "With my mother up stairs. coming up to her. beca use they had for basis the excellent understanding. and. and had thi s led to no suspicion. He is gone to my father already. as made her look ha ndsomer than ever. and Elizabeth was on the point of going away again. Elizabeth really believed all his expectations of felicity to be rationally founded. would have told it all. On opening the door. and was sitting up stairs with Kitty. whose conference with her father ha d been short and to the purpose. Their situation was awkward enoug h. now smiled at the rapidity and ease with wh ich an affair was finally settled. "'Tis too much!" she added. she had to listen to all he had to say of his own ha ppiness. and instantly embracing her. Elizabeth. suddenly rose. They shook hands with great cordiality. and then. claimed the good wishes and affec tion of a sister. the satisfaction of Miss Be nnet's mind gave a glow of such sweet animation to her face. but HER'S she thought was still worse. who was left by herself. acknowledged. and whispering a few words to her sister . Oh! Lizzy. the faces of both. where confidence would give pleasur e. Not a syllable was uttered by either. and in spite of his being a lover. as he opened the door. and of Jane's perfections. Oh! why is n ot everybody as happy?" Elizabeth's congratulations were given with a sincerity. to know that what I have to rel ate will give such pleasure to all my dear family! how shall I bear so much happ iness!" She then hastened away to her mother. Kitty simpered and smiled. and super-excellent disposit ion of Jane. till her sister came down. "Where is your sister?" said he hastily. as if engaged in earnest conversation. "is the end of all his friend's anxious circumspection! o f all his sister's falsehood and contrivance! the happiest. I do not deserve it. It was an evening of no common delight to them all. or allow her to hear it from anyone but mys elf. that s he was the happiest creature in the world. "I would not on any account trif le with her affectionate solicitude." said she. "by far too much. Jane could have no reserves from Elizabeth. or say half that remained to be said for the present. and a general similarity of feeling and taste between her and himse lf. when Bingley. "And this.But on returning to the drawing-room. when her letter was finished. who had purposely broken up the card part y. with the liveliest emotion. who as well as the other had sat down. there was reason to fear that her mother had been too in genious for her. Elizabeth honestly and heartily expressed her delight in the p rospect of their relationship. that had given them so many previous months o f suspense and vexation.

they will learn to be contented. but as soon as he was gone. and very likely more. that every servant will cheat you. at last. he turned to his daughter. and said: "Jane. "by telling me that he was to tally ignorant of my being in town last spring! I had not believed it possible. passed his lips in allusion to it. I knew how it would be. Bingley." "I suspected as much. coming fre quently before breakfast." said she. which I cannot wonder at. Lydia. and thanked him for his goodness. Mrs." he replied. I tho ught how likely it was that you should come together. he has four or five thousand a year. who could not be enough detested. I congratulate you. They were certainly no friends to his ac quaintance with me. "He has made me so happy. I always said it must be so. Not a word. he always attached himself to Elizabeth . Mary petitioned for the use of the library at Netherfield. when he first came into Hertfordshire last year." "Exceed their income! My dear Mr. dear Jane. Bennet joined them at supper. But when they see. that noth ing will ever be resolved on. I am so happy! I am sure I shan't get a wink of sleep all night. but she found her self considerably useful to both of them in those hours of separation that must sometimes occur. so easy. his voice and manner p lainly showed how really happy he was. and always remaining till after supper. were all forgotten. I was sure you could not be so beautiful for nothing! I remember. "what are you talkin g of? Why. was of course a daily visitor at Longbourn. Jane constantly sought the same means of relief. for while h e was present. In the absence of Jane. You are each of you so complying. At that moment. and we sha . and when Bingley was gone. for the pleasure of talking of her. unless when so me barbarous neighbour. You will be a very happy woman. Jane had no attention to bestow on anyone else. and when Mr." Jane went to him instantly. Her younger sisters soon began to make interest with her for objects of happiness which she might in future be abl e to dispense. from this time. "and I have great pleasure in thinking you w ill be so happily settled. as I trust they will.. and Kitty begged ver y hard for a few balls there every winter. that their brother is happy with me. Bennet. "You are a good girl. she cared for no other." Then addr essing her daughter. Elizabeth had now but little time for conversation with her sister. a s soon as ever I saw him. had given him an invit ation to dinner which he thought himself obliged to accept. Imprudence or thoughtlessness in money matters would be unpardo nable in me. Oh! he is the handsomest y oung man that ever was seen!" Wickham. I have not a doubt of your doing very well together. Bennet could not give her consent or speak her approbation in terms warm enough to satisfy her feelings. one evening." replied Elizabeth. kissed him. "Oh! my dear. though she talked to Bingley of nothing else for half an hour. since he might have chosen so much more advantageously in many respects. "But how did he account for it?" "It must have been his sister's doing." "I hope not so. Your tempers are by no means unlike. Jane was beyond competition her favourite c hild." cried his wife. and so generous. that you will always exceed your income. till their visitor took his leave for the night. however.

I never could be so happy as you. if I have very good luck. let me shift for myself. perhaps. he reall y loved me. though Jane had the most generous and forgiving heart in the world. indeed. and the conjectures of the remaining three continued." The situation of affairs in the Longbourn family could not be long a secret. The Bennets were speedily pronounced to be the luckiest family in the world. No. and. "Oh ! Lizzy. Bingley instantly prevailed on Miss Bennet to avoi d the confinement of such an intrusion. Lizzy. Till I have your disposition. but it is to the credit of his modesty." said Elizabeth. why am I thus singled from my family. nor the livery of the servant who preceded it. and the litt le value he put on his own good qualities. Chapter 56 One morning. Bennet was privileged to whisper it to Mrs. to see you again the dupe of Miss Bing ley's pretended regard. t heir attention was suddenly drawn to the window. that somebody was coming. . and besides. and walk away with him into the shrubber y. Good girl! It would vex me. Elizabeth had mentioned her name to her mother on her l adyship's entrance." "That is the most unforgiving speech. though no request of introduction had been made. As it was certain. and they perceived a chaise and four driving up the lawn. and on the part of Mrs. The horses were post. as he and the females of the family were sitting together in the dining-room. It was Lady Catherine de Bourgh. made no other re ply to Elizabeth's salutation than a slight inclination of the head. though we can never be what we once were to each othe r. They both set off. Elizabeth was pleased to find that he had not betrayed the interference of his friend. she knew it was a circumstance which must prejudice her against him. that when he went to town last November. Collins in time. It was too early in the m orning for visitors. no. for. and nothing but a persuasion of MY being indifferent would have prev ented his coming down again!" "He made a little mistake to be sure. I never can have your happiness. Phillips. and she ventured. even inferior to what Elizabeth felt. by the sound of a carriage. th ough only a few weeks before. till the door was thrown open and their visitor ent ered. howev er. to do the same by all her neighbours in Meryton." "Would you believe it. your goodness. They were of course all intending to be surprised. Bennet and Kitty. when Lydia had first run away.ll be on good terms again. She entered the room with an air more than usually ungracious. they had been gener ally proved to be marked out for misfortune. but their astonishment was b eyond their expectation. "I am certainly the most fortunate creature that ever existed!" cried Jane. thou gh with little satisfaction. were familiar to them." This naturally introduced a panegyric from Jane on his diffidence. the equipage did not answer to that of any of their neighbours. and sat dow n without saying a word. witho ut any permission. though she wa s perfectly unknown to them. Mr s. about a week after Bingley's engagement with Jane had been formed. "that I ever heard you u tter. and blessed above them all! If I could but see YOU as happy! If there WERE but such another man for you!" "If you were to give me forty such men. I may meet wit h another Mr. and neither the carriage.

I should be glad to take a turn in it. As soon as they entered the copse. said to Elizabeth." "This must be a most inconvenient sitting room for the evening. walking with a young man who. "I hope you are well." "Go. and Mrs. Lady Catherine began in the following manner . I suppose. "She is my youngest girl but one. "How could I ever think her like her nephew?" said she. That lady. attended her n oble guest downstairs. Bennet assured her that they never sat there after dinner. Bennet. to be decent looking rooms. but Lady Catherine very resolutely. my dear. Miss Bennet.Mrs. Lady Catherine opened th e doors into the dining-parlour and drawing-room. walked on." cried her mother." Mrs. I dare say. in summer. there seemed to be a prettyish kind of a little wilderness on one side of your lawn. all amazement. and my eldest i s somewhere about the grounds. my lady. After sitting for a moment in silence. "It is nothing in comparison of Rosings. E lizabeth was determined to make no effort for conversation with a woman who was now more than usually insolent and disagreeable. with great civility. Mrs." Elizabeth now expected that she would produce a letter for her from Charlotte. delighted to speak to a Lady Catherine." "You have a very small park here. a nd she was completely puzzled. Bennet. but I assure you it is much larger than Sir William Lucas's. as it seemed the only probable motive for her calling." returned Lady Catherine after a short silenc e. she said very stiffly to Elizabeth. I think she will be pleased with the hermitage. Her carriage remained at the door." Elizabeth replied very concisely that she was. They proceeded in silence along the gravel walk that led to the copse. begged her ladyship to take some refreshment." "Yes. if you will favour me with your company. after a short survey. madam. received her with the utmost politeness. C ollins well. "and show her ladyship about the different wal ks. and then. and Elizabeth saw that her waiting-woman was in it. declined eating anyt hing." Elizabeth obeyed. the windows are full west. I saw them the night before last. though flattered by having a guest of such high imp ortance. and pronouncing them." "Yes. rising up. very well." said Mrs. as she looked in her fa ce. As they passed through the hall. "And THAT I suppose is one of your sisters. and not very politely. My youngest of all is lately married. Bennet. and running into her own room for her parasol. "Miss Bennet. will soo n become a part of the family. and then added: "May I take the liberty of asking your ladyship whether you left Mr. is your mother. I believe. But no letter appeared.

such a report is in existence. You may ask qu estions which I shall not choose to answer. that I am not to be trifled with." "If! Do you then pretend to be ignorant of it? Has it not been industriously ci rculated by yourselves? Do you not know that such a report is spread abroad?" "I never heard that it was." "But you are not entitled to know mine. be soon afte rwards united to my nephew. A report of a most alarming nature reached me two days ago. colouring with asto nishment and disdain. Miss Bennet." "If I have. and in a cause of such moment as this." said Elizabeth. has my nephew. but that you. I shall be the last person to confess it. What coul d your ladyship propose by it?" "At once to insist upon having such a report universally contradicted. while he retains the use of his reason. "wi ll be rather a confirmation of it. Has he." Elizabeth looked with unaffected astonishment. But your arts and allurements may. though I would not injure him so much as to suppose the t ruth of it possible. to understand the reason of my journey hit her. your own conscience. in all likelihood. to which you have the presumption to . You may have drawn him in. if. Mr. This match." "This is not to be borne. I am almost the nearest relation he has in the world. must tell you why I come. indeed. Miss Bennet. But however insincere YOU may choose to be." "It ought to be so. made you an offer of marriage?" "Your ladyship has declared it to be impossible." "If you believed it impossible to be true." "Your coming to Longbourn. my own nephew. that I might make my sentiments known to you. My character has ever been celebrated for its sincerity and frankness. nor will such behaviour as this. Though I KNOW it must be a scandalous falsehood. I have not been at all able to account for th e honour of seeing you here. "you ought to know. do you know who I am? I have not been accustomed to such language as this." "And can you likewise declare.:-"You can be at no loss. in a moment of infatuation. "Indeed." replied her ladyship. have made him forget what he owes to himself and to all his family. I was told t hat not only your sister was on the point of being most advantageously married. I shall certainly not depart f rom it. Madam. to see me and my family. I insist on being satisfied. ever i nduce me to be explicit. you are mistaken. you sh all not find ME so. I instantly resolved on setting off for this place." said Elizabeth coolly. that there is no foundation for it?" "I do not pretend to possess equal frankness with your ladyship. Darcy. Your own heart. in an angry tone. it must be so." "Miss Bennet." "Miss Bennet. and am entitled to know all his dearest concerns. that Miss Elizabeth Bennet." "Let me be rightly understood. "I wonder you took the trouble of coming so far. would.

But who was your mother? Who are your un . from respectable. I shall certainly not be kept from it by kn owing that his mother and aunt wished him to marry Miss de Bourgh. that if he is so. we planned the union: and now. by everyone connected with him. He is a gentleman." "Obstinate. Darcy is engaged to my daughter. From their infancy. "But the wife of Mr." replied Elizabeth. never." "I will not be interrupted. prudence. and then replied: "The engagement between them is of a peculiar kind." "True. you can have no reason to suppose he will make an offer to me. If Mr. slighted. on the father's. of no importance in the world. Miss Bennet. and ancient--thoug h untitled--families. and I had heard it before. on the maternal side. While in their cradles. You will be censured. co nnections. for do not expect to be noticed by his family or friends. Yes. your n ame will never even be mentioned by any of us." Lady Catherine hesitated for a moment. can never take place.aspire. shall not be. and de spised. You are to understand. interest. forbid it. Their fortune on both sides is splendid. Hear me in silence. interest. nay. They are descended. honourable. But what is that to me? If there is no other o bjection to my marrying your nephew. You ARE a gentleman's daughter. at the mom ent when the wishes of both sisters would be accomplished in their marriage. Your alliance will be a disgrace. I am a gentleman's daughter. upon the whole. If you were sensible of your own good. and wha t is to divide them? The upstart pretensions of a young woman without family. decorum. and wholly unallied to the family! Do you pay no regard to the wishes of his fri ends? To his tacit engagement with Miss de Bourgh? Are you lost to every feeling of propriety and delicacy? Have you not heard me say that from his earliest hou rs he was destined for his cousin?" "Yes. as wel l as of her's." "THAT will make your ladyship's situation at present more pitiable. I have not been in the habit of brooking disappointment." "These are heavy misfortunes. from the same no ble line. Darcy is neither by honour nor inclination confined to his cousin. they ha ve been intended for each other. nor will I be dissuaded from it. or fortune." "In marrying your nephew. you would not wish to quit the sphere in whi ch you have been brought up. to be prevented by a young woman of inferior birth. why may not I accept him?" "Because honour. Darcy mu st have such extraordinary sources of happiness necessarily attached to her situ ation. You both did as much as you could in planning the marriage. They are destined for each other by the voice of every member of their respective houses. and. My daughter and my nephew are f ormed for each other. It was the favourite wish of HIS mother. I should not consider myself as quitting that sphere. No. have no cause to repine. Mr. I have not bee n used to submit to any person's whims. Is this to be endured! But it must not. but it will have no effect on me. that I came here with the determined re solution of carrying my purpose. Its completion depended on others . headstrong girl! I am ashamed of you! Is this your gratitude for my attentions to you last spring? Is nothing due to me on that score? Let us sit d own. so far we are equal. if you wilf ully act against the inclinations of all. N ow what have you to say?" "Only this. Miss Bennet. that she could. why is not he to make another choice? And if I am that choice.

bu t would my giving you the wished-for promise make their marriage at all more pro bable? Supposing him to be attached to me. without reference to YOU. but you have certainly no right to concern yourself in mine. I have still another to add. at the expence of your father and uncles. for the mere purpose of obliging Lady Catherine. You have widely mistaken my character. they can be nothing to YOU. I shall not go away till you have given me the assurance I require. I expected to find a more reasonable young woman. are you engaged to him?" Though Elizabeth would not. if you think I can be worked on by such persuasions as these. Her ladyship was highly incensed. then. Lady Catherine rose also. never to enter into such an engagement?" "I will make no promise of the kind. therefo re. "You have insulted me in every possible method. I cannot tell. for the honour and credit of my nephew! Unfeeling. after a moment's deliberation: "I am not. Lady Catherine. "You have no regard. or to a ny person so wholly unconnected with me. she could not but say. that the young man's marrying her was a patched-up business. which wil l. To all the objections I have already urged. Your ladyship wants Mr. to be his brother? Heaven and earth!--of what are you thinking? Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?" "You can now have nothing further to say. I have nothing further to say. How fa r your nephew might approve of your interference in his affairs. I must beg to return to the house. I am not to be intimidated into anything so wholly unreasonable." "Not so hasty." "Whatever my connections may be. constitute my happiness. that the arguments with which you have supported this extraordinary application have been as frivolous as the application was ill-judged. would my refusing to accept his hand make him wish to bestow it on his cousin? Allow me to say. ha ve answered this question. Darcy to marry your daughter. I am no stranger to the particu lars of your youngest sister's infamous elopement. I have by no means done. But do not deceive yourself into a belief that I will ever recede." ." said Elizabeth." "And I certainly NEVER shall give it. "And will you promise me. I am only resolved to act in that manner." "You are then resolved to have him?" "I have said no such thing." Lady Catherine seemed pleased. in my own opinion." And she rose as she spoke. And is such a girl to be my nephew's sister? Is her husband.cles and aunts? Do not imagine me ignorant of their condition." "Tell me once for all. s elfish girl! Do you not consider that a connection with you must disgrace him in the eyes of everybody?" "Lady Catherine. is the son of his late father's steward. to be importuned no farther on the subject. I must beg. "if your nephew does not obje ct to them." she resentfully answered. if you please. I know it all. You know my sentiments. and they turned back." "Miss Bennet I am shocked and astonished.

I suppose. "I take no leave of you. And with regard to the resentment of his family." In this manner Lady Catherine talked on. then. to oblige me." replied Elizabeth. I am mo st seriously displeased. In revolving Lady Catherine's expressions." "Neither duty." Elizabeth made no answer. Lizzy?" Elizabeth was forced to give into a little falsehood here. thought she might as well call on you. It was a rational scheme. it oc curred to Elizabeth that she must meditate an application to her nephew. if the former WERE excited by his marrying me. to supply the idea. to ask why Lady Catherine would not come in again and rest h erself. for to acknowledge t he substance of their conversation was impossible. to be sure! but from what the report of their engagement could originate. when. She is on her road somewhere. turning hastily round." "She is a very fine-looking woman! and her calling here was prodigiously civil! for she only came. I will carry my point. Miss Bennet. From what she had said of her resolution to prevent their marriage. "She did not choose it. I shall now know how to act. You are determined to ruin him in the opinion of all his friends. "she would go. I came to try you. Chapter 57 The discomposure of spirits which this extraordinary visit threw Elizabeth into . and gratitude. for many hours. and how HE might take a similar representation of the evils attached to a connection wi th her. had reached lady Ca therine). She knew not the exact degree of his affection . till they were at the door of the carr iage. and so. she added. she dared not pronounce. and without attempting to persuade her ladyship to re turn into the house. "have any possibl e claim on me. Elizabeth was at a loss to imagine. till she recollected that HIS being the intimate friend of Bingley. but. nor gratitude. Her mother impatiently met her at the door of the dressing-room. could not be easily overcome. No principle of either would be violated by my marriage with Mr. she could not help feeling some uneasiness as to the possible consequence of her persisting in this interfe rence. You deserve no such attention. I hoped to find you reasonable. honour. was enough. Lady Catherine. learn to think of it less than incessantly. at a time when the expectation of on e wedding made everybody eager for another. nor honour. I send no compliments to your mother. for the sole purpose of breaking off her su pposed engagement with Mr. she concluded." "And this is your real opinion! This is your final resolve! Very well. I suppose she had nothing particular to say to you. Darcy. walked quietly into it herself. And her neighbours at Lucas Lodge. had actually taken the t rouble of this journey from Rosings. You refuse. passing through Meryton. it would not give me one moment's concern--and the world in general would have too much sense to join in the scorn. Miss Benn et."It is well. that your ambition will ever b e gratified. Darcy. She heard the carriage driv e away as she proceeded up stairs. Do not imagine. in the present instance. had only set that down as almost certain and immediate." said her daughter. or the indignation of the world. to tell us the Collinses were well. She had not hers elf forgotten to feel that the marriage of her sister must bring them more frequ ently together. depend upon it. the report. it appeared. an d HER being the sister of Jane. however. I dare say. nor could she. You refuse to obey the claims of d uty. therefore (for through their communication with the Collinses. which she had looked forward to as possible at some future time. and make him the contempt of the world.

on hearing who their visitor had been. "Lizzy. of which. "I was going to look for you. With his notions of dignity. but I think I may defy even YOUR sagacity. she was met by her father. Young ladies have great penetration in such matters as the se. It suddenly struck her that it might be from Lady Catherine. Collins! and what can HE have to say?" "Something very much to the purpose of course. As i t principally concerns yourself." She followed him thither. and Elizabeth was spared from mu ch teasing on the subject. which had often seemed likely. I shall then give over every expectation. you ought to know its contents. as she was going downstairs. with the same kind of supposit ion which had appeased Mrs. or offended tha t his letter was not rather addressed to herself. therefore. Lady Catherine might see him in her way th rough town. and determine him at once to be as happy as dignity unblemished could make him." * * * * * The surprise of the rest of the family. and his engagement to Bingley of coming again to Netherfield must gi ve way. He then said . come into my room. when he might have obtained my affections and hand. Let me congratulate you on a very important conquest. I sha ll soon cease to regret him at all. which to Elizabeth had appeared weak and ridiculous. he would probably feel that the arguments. every wish of his constancy. he has bee n told by some of the good-natured. He begins with congratulations o n the approaching nuptials of my eldest daughter." "From Mr. "If. contained much good sense and so lid reasoning. and she was undetermi ned whether most to be pleased that he explained himself at all. The next morning. instead of the aunt. and her curiosity to know what he had to tell her was heightened by the supposition of its being in some manner connected with the le tter he held. in enumerating the miseries of a marriage with ONE. If he is satisfied wi th only regretting me." she added. or his dependence on her judgment." said he. and it was certain that. that I had two daughters on the brink of matrimony." The colour now rushed into Elizabeth's cheeks in the instantaneous conviction o f its being a letter from the nephew. who c ame out of his library with a letter in his hand. Bennet's curiosity. This letter is from Mr. his aunt would address him on his weakest sid e. whose immediate conne ctions were so unequal to his own. and they both sat down. I shall not sport with yo . In that case he would return no more. gossiping Lucases. the advice and entreaty of so near a relation might settle every doubt. when her father continued: "You look conscious.for his aunt. She followed her father to the fire place. was very great. but they obligingly satisfied it. If he had been wavering before as to what he should do. to discover the name of your admi rer. it seems. an excuse for not keeping his promise should come to his friend within a few days. I did not know before. and s he anticipated with dismay all the consequent explanations. but it was natural to suppose t hat he thought much higher of her ladyship than SHE could do. Collins. "I have received a letter this morning that has astonished me exceedingly. "I shall know how to understand it.

or allow their names t o be mentioned in your hearing. you look as if you did not enjoy it. of course. Pray read on. It was an encouragement of vice. by reading what he says on that point. after her eld er sister has resigned it. and laugh at them in our turn?" "Oh!" cried Elizabeth. is the man! Now. and the chosen partner of her fate may be reasonably looked up to as one of the most illustrious personages in this land. that she and her noble admirer may be aware of what they are ab out. and am only concerned that their living togeth er before the marriage took place should be so generally known. but never to admit them in your sight. or the Lucases. you see. Lizzy. I thought it my duty to give the speediest intelligence of th is to my cousin. Collins moreover adds. she immediately. Coll ins and myself on this happy event. who never looks at any woman but to see a blemish. whose name would have given the lie more effectually to what they related? Mr. But it is so strange!" "Yes--THAT is what makes it amusing. as a Christian. "I am excessively diverted. let me warn my cousin Elizabeth. Had they fixed on any other man it would h ." "'After mentioning the likelihood of this marriage to her ladyship last night. howe ver. and extensive patronage.--splendid property. For what do we live. You ought certainly to forgive the m. I hope. We have reason to imagine that hi s aunt. Never had his wit been directed in a manner so little agreea ble to her. and his expec tation of a young olive-branch. of what evi ls you may incur by a precipitate closure with this gentleman's proposals.' "Can you possibly guess. Darcy. Yet in spite of a ll these temptations. who is meant by this?" 'This young gentleman is blessed. expressed what she felt on the oc casion. with every thing the heart of mortal can most desir e. or refrain from declaring my amazement at hearing that you received the young couple into your house as soon as they were married. Lizzy. in a peculiar way. But. she would never give her consent to what she termed so di sgraceful a match. ' Mr. What relates to yourself. but could only force one mo st reluctant smile. "Are you not diverted?" "Oh! yes. when it become apparent. but to make sport for our neighbours. neglect the duties of my station. and yourself. you will be inclined to take immediate advantage of. Lizzy. noble kindred. does not look on the match with a friendly eye . who this gentleman is? But now it comes out: "'My motive for cautioning you is as follows. DARCY. 'I am truly rejoiced that my cousin Lydia's sad bus iness has been so well hushed up. have pitched on any man within the circle of our acquainta nce. with her usual condescension.' "Have you any idea. I think I HAVE surprised you. and not run hastily into a marriage which has not been properly sanctioned. and had I been the rector of Longbour n. let me now add a short hint on the subject o f another. and who probably n ever looked at you in his life! It is admirable!" Elizabeth tried to join in her father's pleasantry. Lady Catherine de Bourgh. which . Your daughter Elizabeth. is as follows: 'Having thus offered you the sincere congratulations of Mrs. of which we have been advertised by the same authority. will not long bear the name of Bennet. Coul d he. that on the score of some family objections on the part of my cousin. and pretend to be affronted at an idle report. I should very strenuously have opposed it. I must not.' That is his notion of Christian forgiveness! Th e rest of his letter is only about his dear Charlotte's situation. You are not going to be MISSISH.ur impatience. Lizzy.' "MR. it is presumed.

Darcy. while Elizabeth. he was able to bring Darcy with him to Longbourn before many days had passed after Lady Catherine's visit. she immediately said: "Mr. I am a very selfish creature. "that you have ever been informed of what may. or fear that perhaps . Lydia's thoughtlessness first betrayed to me that you had been concerned in the matter. Eliz abeth had never been more at a loss to make her feelings appear what they were n ot. but the remaining five s et off together. I cannot help giving him the preference even over Wickham. I should not have merely my own gra titude to express. and. Very little was said by either. of course. Ever since I hav e known it. and as it had been ask ed without the least suspicion. Nay." replied Darcy. when I read a letter of his. "let it be for yourself alone. and bear so many mortifications. for that generous compassion which induced you to take so much trouble. in a mistaken light. C ollins's correspondence for any consideration. After a short pause." he replied. for the sake of giving relief to my own feelings. Bennet was no t in the habit of walking. But your FAMILY owe me nothing. "You are too generous to trifle with me. and. when she would rather have cried. Kitty was too much afraid of him to ta lk. Bingley. They walked towards the Lucases." "I am sorry. And pray. and Darcy were to entertain ea ch other. her comp anion added. and. The gentlemen arrived early. and perhaps he might be doing the same." "If you WILL thank me. by what he said of Mr. however. Bingley to do. and YOUR pointed dislike. while her courage was high. Were it known to the rest of my family. Kitty. soon allowed the others to outstrip them. for the sake of discovering them. Lizzy. instead of his seeing too little. Much as I re spect them. and she could do nothing but wonder at such a want of penetration. tell me so at once. I believe I thought only of YOU. Elizabeth was secretly forming a desperate resolution. but HIS perfect indifference. I have been most anxious to acknowledge to you how gratefully I feel it. much as I value the impudence and hypocrisy of my son-in-law. Her father had most cruelly mortified her. It was agreed to. and. in the name of all my fami ly. Now was the moment for her resolution to be executed. Gardiner was so little to be trusted. That the wis h of giving happiness to you might add force to the other inducements which led me on. I could not rest till I kn ew the particulars. They lagged behind. in a tone of surprise and emoti on. who wanted to be alone with Jane. as Elizabeth ha lf expected Mr. and a s Elizabeth saw no occasion for making it a general concern." Elizabeth was too much embarrassed to say a word. she was not distressed by his repeating it. she might have fancied too much. MY affections and wishes are unc . of which her daughter sat in momentary dread." "You must not blame my aunt. care not how much I may be wounding your's. I shall not attempt to deny. Mrs. when Kitty left the m she went boldly on with him alone. Bingley and Jane.ave been nothing. I can no longer he lp thanking you for your unexampled kindness to my poor sister. exceedingly sorry. Chapter 58 Instead of receiving any such letter of excuse from his friend. I would not give up Mr. If your feelings are still what they were last April. Bennet had time to tell him of their having seen his aun t. have giv en you uneasiness. I did not think Mrs. what said Lady Cather ine about this report? Did she call to refuse her consent?" To this question his daughter replied only with a laugh. Darcy's indifference. Mary could never spare time. It was necessary to laugh. make i t so delightfully absurd! Much as I abominate writing. Let me thank you again and again. before Mrs. proposed their all walking out. because Kitty wished to call upon Maria.

you can scarcely conceive. I had not the smallest idea of their being ever felt in such a way. I could have no scruple in abusing you to all your relations." "I can easily believe it. that I did not deserve? For. They walked on. in the b elief that such a relation must assist her endeavours to obtain that promise fro m her nephew which she had refused to give. and immediately. and there relate her jo urney to Longbourn." Elizabeth coloured and laughed as she replied. now forced herself to speak. was such as he had probably never felt before. for attention to any other objects. will be irreproach able. how they have tortur ed me. in proving of what importance she was to him. There was too much to be tho ught. she might have seen how well the expre ssion of heartfelt delight.hanged.--though it was some time. Your reproof. si nce the period to which he alluded. I am sure you did. After abusing you so abominably to your fac e." "I cannot be so easily reconciled to myself. g ave him to understand that her sentiments had undergone so material a change. my behaviour to you at the time ha d merited the severest reproof. without knowing in what direction. I knew enough of your disposition to be certain that. dwelling emphatically on every expression of the latter which. Had Elizabeth been able to encounter his eye. improved in civility. its effect had been exactly contrariwise." "I was certainly very far from expecting them to make so strong an impression. formed on mistaken premises. but since then. and he told her of feelings. "The conduct of neither. "as I had scarcely ever allowed myself to hope before. I confess. "Yes. It was unpardonable. I cannot think of it withou t abhorrence. You thought me then devoid of every proper feeling. I hope. frankly and openly. but. feeling all the more than common awkwardness and anxiety of his situ ation. my expressions during the whole of it. you would have acknowledged it to Lady C atherine.' Thos e were your words. though not very fluently. though she could not look." Elizabeth. diffused over his face. in her lady ship's apprehension. and felt. of my conduct. The turn of your countenance I shall never forget. and he expressed himself on the occasion as sensibly and as warmly as a man violently in love can be supposed to do. inexpressibly painful to me. I shall never forget: 'had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner. But. irrevocably decided against me. an d has been many months. unluckily for her ladyship. and said. became him. as to make her receive with gratitude and pl easure his present assurances. so well appli ed. peculiarly denoted her perverseness and assurance. made his affection every moment more valuabl e. as you said that I could not have addressed you in any possible way that would induce you t o accept me. which. if strictly examined. before I was reasonable enough to al low their justice." "What did you say of me." said he. The recollection of what I then sa id. we have both. my manners. You know not. its motive. though your accusations w ere ill-founded. "It taught me to hope. and the substance of her conversation with Eliza beth. but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever." . She soon learnt th at they were indebted for their present good understanding to the efforts of his aunt. she could listen. who did call on him in her return through London. you know enough of my fran kness to believe me capable of THAT. The happiness which this reply produced. is now." s aid Elizabeth. had you been abso lutely." "We will not quarrel for the greater share of blame annexed to that evening.

hard indeed at first. The adieu is charity itself. who. Think only of the past as its remembra nce gives you pleasure. But think no more of the letter. You must learn some of my philosophy. which I should dread your having the power of reading again." "My manners must have been in fault. The feelings of the person who wrote. what is much better. which ought not. if you believe it essential to the preser vation of my regard. but it did not end so. are now so widely different from what the y were then. "that what I wrote must give you pain. to be repe lled. give any credit to its contents?" She explained what its effect on her had been." Darcy mentioned his letter. though not in princi ple. I was properly humbled." "When I wrote that letter. it is not so. "did it soon make you think bett er of me? Did you. and such I mig ht still have been but for you. I came to you without a doubt of my reception. but I was not taught to correct my temper." said he." "Had you then persuaded yourself that I should?" "Indeed I had. "I believed myself perfectly calm an d cool. but not intentionally. but. I have been a selfish being all my life. but most advantageous. but it was necessary. but left to follow them in pride and concei t. though we have both reason to think my opinions not en tirely unalterable. to wish at least to think meanly of their sense and worth compared with my own. There was one part especially. I assure you that I have long been most heartily ashamed of it. I hope you have destroyed the letter. I can reme mber some expressions which might justly make you hate me. but I am since convinced that it was written in a dreadful bitterness of spirit. loveliest Elizabeth! What do I not owe you! You taught me a lesson. As a child I was taught what was right. I assure you. that the contentment arising from them is no t of philosophy." "The letter. These recollections will not do at all. "Did it."Oh! do not repeat what I then said. encouraged. quite so easily changed as that implie s. expecting my addresses." "I cannot give you credit for any philosophy of the kind. all that was bene volent and amiable). I was spoilt by my parents. I nev er meant to deceive you." said he. began in bitterness. from eight to eight and twenty. perhaps. What will you think of my vanity? I believed you to be wishing. By you . Unfortunately an only son (for many years an only child). Your retrospections m ust be so totally void of reproach. on reading it. How you must have hated me after THAT evening?" "Hate you! I was angry perhaps at first. the openin g of it. to think meanly of all t he rest of the world. I was given good principles. But with me." . and the person who received it. to care for none beyond my own family circle. "I knew. though good themselves (my father. they are not. Painful recollections will intrude which cannot. almost taught me to be selfish and ove rbearing. but my anger soon began to take a prop er direction. that every unpleasant circumstance attending it ought to be forgott en. of innocence. in practice. You sho wed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of bein g pleased. I hope. particularly." replied Darcy. dearest. but my spirits might often lead me wrong." "The letter shall certainly be burnt. and how gradually all her former prejudices had been removed. allowed. but. Such I was.

when we met at Pemberley. "when you told him that my sister loved him. "I must ask whether you were surprised?" said Elizabeth. by every civility in my powe r. they found at last. she found that it had been pretty much the case. and that h is gravity and thoughtfulness there had arisen from no other struggles than what such a purpose must comprehend. and I confess that I did not expect to receive MORE than my due. I guessed as much. you had given your permission. She expressed her gratitude again." "That is to say. When I went away. "On the evening before my going to London." He then told her of Georgiana's delight in her acquaintance. that your siste r was indifferent to him."I am almost afraid of asking what you thought of me. and too busy to know anythin g about it. or merely from my information last spring?" "From the former. that it was time to be at home. "What could become of Mr." "It did. My consc ience told me that I deserved no extraordinary politeness. moreov er. After walking several miles in a leisurely manner." Elizabeth could not help smiling at his easy manner of directing his friend. I felt nothing but surprise. she soon learnt that his resolution of following her from Derbysh ire in quest of her sister had been formed before he quitted the inn. I felt that it would soon happen. I told him of all that had occ urred to make my former interference in his affairs absurd and impertinent. which naturally leading to the cause of that interruption. that I believed myself mistaken in supposing." "And your assurance of it. How soon any other wishes introduced themselves I can hardly te ll. to lessen your ill opinion. but it was too painful a subject to each. to be dwelt on farther. his frie nd had given him the earliest information of it. He had never had the slightest suspicion." And though he exclaimed at the term. but I believe in about half an hour after I had seen you. "I made a confession to hi m." said she. I suppose. by letting you see that your reproofs had b een attended to. I told him." "My object then. and of her disappo intment at its sudden interruption. and I hoped to obtain your forg iveness. "Did you speak from your own observation. Bingley is most unaffectedly modest. that I was not so mean as to resent the past." replied Darcy. "Not at all. I had narrowly observed her during the two visits which I had lately made here. carried immediate conviction to him. which I believe I ought to have made long ago. His surprise was great. as I had done. "was to show you. Bingley and Jane!" was a wonder which introduced the discussion of their affairs. I felt no doubt of their happiness together. Darcy was delighted with their engagement. and as I could easily perceive that his attachment to her was unabated. You blamed me for coming?" "No indeed. His diffidence had prevented his . and I was convinced of her affection." said he." "Your surprise could not be greater than MINE in being noticed by you. on examining their watches.

The evening passed quietly. I know how much you di slike him. and even feared that with the others it was a d islike which not all his fortune and consequence might do away. Though suspicion was very far from Miss Bennet's general habits. she was aware that no one liked him but Jane. and from all the othe rs when they sat down to table. she was absolutely incredulous here. She coloured as she spoke. I am in earnest. offended him. indeed. and we are engaged. that I had known it. I would--I do congratulate you--but are you certain? forgive the question --are you quite certain that you can be happy with him?" "There can be no doubt of that. Lizzy! it cannot be. He still loves me. Lizzy. bu t neither that. I was obliged to confess one thing. He was angry. there were other evils before her. She had only to say in reply. where can you have been walking to?" was a question which Eliza beth received from Jane as soon as she entered their room. In the hall they parted. that they had wand ered about. and more seriously ass ured her of its truth. but she checked herself. He has heartily forgiven me now. dear Lizzy. a good memory is unpardonable.depending on his own judgment in so anxious a case. so easily guided that his worth was invaluable. The acknowledge d lovers talked and laughed. nor anything else. Yet. rather KNEW that she was happy than FELT herself to be so. I am persuaded. In anticipating the happiness of Bingley. Darcy! No. which of course was to be in ferior only to his own. "Oh. if you do not." "You know nothing of the matter. Jane? Shall you like to have such a brother?" . This cannot be!--engaged to Mr. he continued the conversation till they reached the hous e. At night she opened her heart to Jane. no. the unacknowledged were silent. "My dear. unmarked by anything extraordinary. THAT is all to be forgot. I know it to be impossible. which for a time. lasted no longer tha n he remained in any doubt of your sister's sentiments. This is the last time I shall ever remember it myself. and purposely kep t it from him. you shal l not deceive me. and it was rather too early to begin. that we are t o be the happiest couple in the world. Bingley had been a most delightful friend. She re membered that he had yet to learn to be laughed at. I could not allow myself to conceal that your sister h ad been in town three months last winter. Darcy was not of a disposition in which happiness overflows in mirth. But his anger. Perhaps I did not al ways love him so well as I do now." cried Jane. "Good Heaven! can it be really so! Yet now I must believe you. But in such cases as these. and no t unjustly. agitated and c onfused. She anticipated what would be felt in the family when her situation became known. "You are joking. Elizabeth again. besides the immediate embarrassment. but his reliance on mine mad e every thing easy. I speak nothing but the truth. Chapter 59 "My dear Lizzy. till she was beyond her own knowledge. But are you pleased." "This is a wretched beginning indeed! My sole dependence was on you. It is settled between us already. and I am s ure nobody else will believe me. awakened a suspicion of the truth." Jane looked at her doubtingly. for. and Elizabeth." Elizabeth longed to observe that Mr." Miss Bennet still looked all amazement.

and the unsettled state of her own feelings had made her equally avoi d the name of his friend. and Kitty. Darcy is not coming here again with our dear Bingley! What can he mean by being so tiresome as to be always coming here? I had no noti on but he would go a-shooting. t hat he may not be in Bingley's way. Are you quite sure that you feel what you ought to do?" "Oh. yes! You will only think I feel MORE than I ought to do. As soon as they entered." said Mrs. there can be only Bingley and yourself more dear to me. Darcy has never seen the v iew. But Lizzy. "for you will be as happy as myself. as left no doubt of his good information. I must confess that I love him better than I do Bingley. Bingley looked at her so expressively. Will you tell me how long you have loved him?" "It has been coming on so gradually." said she." Elizabeth could hardly help laughing at so convenient a proposal. or something or other. you have been very sly. have you no more lanes hereabouts in which Lizzy m ay lose her way again to-day?" "I advise Mr. and not disturb us with hi s company. produced the desired effec t. very much. when I tell you a ll. But now she would no longer conceal from her his share in Lydia's marriage. What shall we do with him? Lizzy. we talked of it as impossible. you must walk out with him again. Darcy. I want to talk very seriously. without delay. It is a nice long walk." "It may do very well for the others. Miss Bennet had nothing further to wish. and she soon satisfied Jane by her solemn assurances of attachment." Another entreaty that she would be serious. "to walk to Oakha m Mount this morning. But we considered it. I must always hav e esteemed him. * * * * * "Good gracious!" cried Mrs. Kitty?" Kitty owned that she had rather stay . She had been unwilling to mentio n Bingley. Were it for nothing but his love of you." "My dearest sister. very r eserved with me." "What do you mean?" "Why. "Now I am quite happy. Let me know every thing that I am to know. that I hardly know when it began. "but I am sure it wi ll be too much for Kitty. When conv inced on that article. yet was reall y vexed that her mother should be always giving him such an epithet. Won't it. now BE serious. Bingley. and shook hands with such warmth. but now. Bennet. and half the night spent in conversa tion. Nothing could give either Bingley or myself more delight. as she stood at a window the next morning. however. and Mr. and Lizzy. Lizzy! do anything rather than marry without affection." Elizabeth told her the motives of her secrecy. "if that disagreeable Mr. and he soon afterwa rds said aloud. Bennet. I always had a value for him. not to you." replied Mr. I am afraid you will be angry."Very. "Mrs. And do you really love him qui te well enough? Oh. Bennet. How little did you tell me of what passed at Pemberley and Lamb ton! I owe all that I know of it to another. as Bingley's friend and your husband. But I be lieve I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley. All was acknowledged.

but he was going to be made unhappy. but they were now necess ary. But I hope you will not mind it: it is all for Jane's sake. She could not determine how her mother would take it. Darc y rise also and follow him. and her agitation on seeing it was extreme." "I do. Bennet withdrew to the library. Lizzy. and Elizabeth silently consented. "Go to your father. and. Mrs." said Elizabeth. Her father was walking about the room. should be distres sing him by her choice. "Or. his favourite child. unless . should be filling him with fears and regrets in disposin g of her--was a wretched reflection. Darcy should he ar the first raptures of her joy. it was resolved that Mr. than the first vehemence of her disapprobation . to whom I should never dare refuse anything.at home. he wants you in the library. while pr etending to admire her work said in a whisper. or violent ly delighted with it. and she could no more bear that Mr. Lizzy. if you are resolved on having him. But will they mak e you happy?" "Have you any other objection. she saw Mr. She did not fear her father's opposition. I now give it to YOU. Darcy appear ed again. looking at him. in other words. that you should be forced to have that disagreeable m an all to yourself. Darcy professed a great curiosity to see the view from the Mount. which he condescended to as k." During their walk." said he. "than your belief of my indiffe rence?" "None at all. do not put yourself to inconvenience. "I love him. saying: "I am quite sorry. Bennet fo llowed her. you know. As she went up stairs to get ready. to be sure. Darcy. I know your disposition. when. Elizabeth reserved to herself the application for he r mother's." said her father. of her attachment to Mr." She was gone directly. an d you may have more fine clothes and fine carriages than Jane. I know that you could b e neither happy nor respectable. Indeed he has no improper pride. He is rich. soon after Mr. You do not know what he real ly is. He is perfectly amiable. But let me advise yo u to think better of it. and she assured him. I do like him. to be accepting this man? Have not you always hated him?" How earnestly did she then wish that her former opinions had been more reasonab le. "Lizzy. and there is no occasion for talking to him. with tears in her eyes. it was certain that her manner would be equally ill adapte d to do credit to her sense. Bennet's consent should be asked in the course of the evening. But whether she were violently set against the match. unpleasant sort of man. and that it should be through her means--that SHE. * * * * * In the evening." "Lizzy. unless you truly esteemed your husband. indeed. looking grave and anxious. We all know him to be a proud. He is the kind of man. In a few minutes he approached the table where she was sitting with Kitty. "I have given him my consent. but this w ould be nothing if you really liked him. her expressions more moderate! It would have spared her from explanations an d professions which it was exceedingly awkward to give. you are determined to have him. with some confusion. "what are you doing? Are you out of your senses. sometimes doub ting whether all his wealth and grandeur would be enough to overcome her abhorre nce of the man." she replied. except just now and then. she was a little relieved by his smile. then pray do not pain me by speaking of him in such terms. So. and she sat in misery till Mr.

" Elizabeth's mind was now relieved from a very heavy weight. she did conquer her father's incredulity." This was enough to prove that her approbation need not be doubted: and Elizabet h." To complete the favourable impression. and ma de the important communication. "Good gracious! Lord bless me! only think! dear me! Mr. If this be the case. "Well. My child. and unable to utter a syllable. still more affected. Such a charming man! --so handsome! so tall!--Oh. on his reading Mr. and enumerating with energy all his go od qualities. wonder. indeed! And so. "My dearest child. "I have no more to say. t o anyone less worthy. but ha d stood the test of many months suspense. I hope he will overlook it. my Lizzy. but the evening passed tranquilly away. Every thing was too recent for gaiety. she then told him what Mr. by explaining the gradual change which her estimation of him had undergone. and there will be an end of the matter. Your lively talents would place you in the g unequal marriage." said he. many minutes that she could comprehend what she heard. soon went away. Dear. by repeated assurances that Mr. You as a superior. send t hem in. "This is an evening of wonders. Darcy! Who would have t hought it! And is it really true? Oh! my sweetest Lizzy! how rich and how great you will be! What pin-money. and reconcile him to the match. I shall offer to pay him to-morrow. sit down again. get up. she followed her. as she quitted the room. made up the match. "If any young men come for Mary or Kitty. her mother followed her. I must and WOULD have paid him. but these violent young love rs carry every thing their own way. t o fidget about in her chair. He heard her with astonishment. and at len gth. Mrs. and after laughing at her some time. I am so pleased--so happy. he will rant and storm about his love for you. what carriages you will have! Jane's i s nothing to it--nothing at all. rela ting her absolute certainty that his affection was not the work of a day. what jewels. Col lins's letter. for I am quite at leisure. Had it been your uncle's doing. and the c omfort of ease and familiarity would come in time." He then recollected her embarrassment a few days before. Bennet sat quite still.you looked up to him reatest danger in an isery. was earnest and solemn in her reply." she cried. rejoicing that such an effusion was heard only by herself. I shall go distracted. and. let partner in life. Nor was it under many. Bu t before she had been three minutes in her own room. A house in t own! Every thing that is charming! Three daughters married! Ten thousand a year! Oh. my dear Lizzy! pray apologise for my having dislike d him so much before. dear Lizzy. Lord! What will become of me. though no t in general backward to credit what was for the advantage of her family. when she ceased speaking. for on first hearing it. he deserves you. and got him his commission! So much the better. You could scarcely escape discredit and m me not have the grief of seeing YOU unable to respect your know not what you are about. she was able to join the others with to lerable composure. It will save me a world of trouble and economy. after half an hour's quiet reflection in her own room. Darcy did every thing. paid the fellow's debts." Elizabeth. "I can think of nothing else! Ten thousand a yea . or tha t came in the shape of a lover to any of them. there was no longer anything material to be dreaded. my dear. and bless herself. Darcy had vol untarily done for Lydia. allowed her at last to go--s aying. gave the money. She began at length to recover. I could not have parted with you. Darcy was really the object of her choice. Its effect was most extraordinary. When her mother went up to her dressing-room at night.

perhaps. and Elizabeth found that. Elizabeth had the satisfaction of seeing her father taking pains to get acquain ted with him. for Mrs. But the morrow passed off much better than she expected. but i n spite of the pains you took to disguise yourself." "You may as well call it impertinence at once. and secure of her relations' consent. and I never spoke to you without r ather wishing to give you pain than not. and interested you. tell me what di sh Mr. It was very little less. did you admire me for m y impertinence?" "For the liveliness of your mind. when you had once made a beginn ing. you thoroughly despised the persons who so assi duously courted you. Bennet soon assured her that he was rising every hour in h is esteem. especi ally. I roused. Darcy to a ccount for his having ever fallen in love with her. is my f avourite. you knew no actual good of me--but nobody thinks of THAT when they fall in love. though in the certain possession of his warmest affection. of deference. she wanted Mr. your feelings were always no ble and just. when you called. It is too long ago. it belongs to me to find occasions for teasing and quarrelling with you as often as may be. My good qualities are under your protection. "Wickham. "I admire all my three sons-in-law highly. but I think I shall like YOUR husband quite as well as Jane's. that I may have it to-morrow. The fac t is. there was still something to b e wished for. But my dearest love. I did. or mar k her deference for his opinion. Bennet luckily stood in such awe of her intended son-in-law that she ventured no t to speak to him. and as for my manners--my behaviour to YOU was at least always bordering on the uncivil. and thinkin g for YOUR approbation alone. you would have hated me for it. or the spot. There--I have saved you the trouble of accounting for it. and you are to exaggerate t hem as much as possible. "How could you begin?" said she. You must and shall be married by a special licence. or the look. Darcy is particularly fond of. I was in the middle before I knew that I HAD begun. in return.r. and afterwards dined here? Why. and Mr. when you first called. and looking. What made you so shy of me. I begin to think it perfectly reasonable. You were disgusted with the women who were always speaking. unless it was in her power to offer him any attention." said he. or the words. that you were sick of civility. and I shall begin directly by asking you what made you so unwilling to come to the point at last. did you look as if you did not care about me?" . Now be sincere. all things considered. a nd really. because I was so unl ike THEM. To b e sure." "My beauty you had early withstood. of officious attention." Chapter 60 Elizabeth's spirits soon rising to playfulness again." "Was there no good in your affectionate behaviour to Jane while she was ill at Netherfield?" "Dearest Jane! who could have done less for her? But make a virtue of it by all means. and in your heart. and. "I can comprehend your going on charmingly. but what could set you off in the first place?" "I cannot fix on the hour." This was a sad omen of what her mother's behaviour to the gentleman himself mig ht be. and very likely more! 'Tis as good as a Lord! And a special licence. Had you not been really amiable. which laid t he foundation.

and that I shoul d be so reasonable as to admit it! But I wonder how long you WOULD have gone on." "And so was I. for sh e loves to be of use. who must not be longer neglected. if you had been left to yourself. I thank you. You supposed more than really existed. and gave me no encouragement. if I had not asked you! My resolution of thanking you for your kindness to Lydia had cer tainly great effect. My aunt's intelligence had given me hope. but no w. you cannot greatly err. TOO MUCH. as another young lady once did. and if you will give me a sheet of paper. might." "You need not distress yourself. my dear aunt. whether I might ever hope to make you love me. too . I am the happie . You must write again very soon." "Lady Catherine has been of infinite use. Darcy had been over-rated. Elizabeth had never yet answered Mrs." "A man who had felt less."Because you were grave and silent." "And if I had not a letter to write myself. and I was determined at once to know eve ry thing. I am not indebted for my present happiness to your eager desire of expres sing your gratitude. or what I avowed to myself. We will go round the Park every day." "Shall you ever have courage to announce to Lady Catherine what is to befall he r?" "I am more likely to want more time than courage. satisfactory. kind. if ou r comfort springs from a breach of promise? for I ought not to have mentioned th e subject. indulge your imagination in e very possible flight which the subject will afford. Lady Catheri ne's unjustifiable endeavours to separate us were the means of removing all my d oubts. for what becomes of the moral. The moral will be perfectly fair. and immediately wrote as follows: "I would have thanked you before. it shall be done directly. I am afraid. was to see whether your sister were still partial to Bingley." "You might have talked to me more when you came to dinner. as I ought to have done. But it ought to do ne. and if she were. I was not in a humour to wait for any opening of your's. and unless you believe me ac tually married. and prai se him a great deal more than you did in your last. Elizabeth." "But I was embarrassed. again and again . But NOW suppose as mu ch as you choose. My avowed one. Gardiner's long letter. give a loose rein to your fancy. for not going to the Lakes. she was almo st ashamed to find that her uncle and aunt had already lost three days of happin ess. I wonder when you WOULD have spoken. I was too cross to write. This will never do. detail of particulars. which ought to make her happy. How could I be so silly as to wish it! Your idea o f the ponies is delightful. But I have an aunt." From an unwillingness to confess how much her intimacy with Mr. if I could. to make the confession to him which I have since made. what did you come down to Netherfield for? Wa s it merely to ride to Longbourn and be embarrassed? or had you intended any mor e serious consequence?" "My real purpose was to see YOU. but to say the truth. I might sit by you and admire the e venness of your writing." "How unlucky that you should have a reasonable answer to give. for yo ur long. and to judge. But tell me. having THAT to communicate which she knew would be most welcome.

at all likely to make her more elegant. when she saw Mr. it added to the hop e of the future. really rejoicing in the match. Lady Catherine had been rendered so exceedingly angry by the contents of her nephew' s letter. Chapter 61 Happy for all her maternal feelings was the day on which Mrs. Yours. Darcy. to all the comfort and e legance of their family party at Pemberley. when he complim ented him on carrying away the brightest jewel of the country. "DEAR SIR. and still differ ent from either was what Mr. wit h admirable calmness. Mr. on his approaching marriage. whenever she DID speak. I would stand by the nephew. and perhaps a greater. "I must trouble you once more for congratulations. that the accomplishment of her earnest desire in the establishment of so many of her children produced so happy an effect as to make . James's. that Charlotte. Bennet got rid of her two most deserving daughters. in reply to his last. tax on his forbea rance. He could even listen to Sir William Lucas. She wrote even to Jane on the occasio n. If he did shrug his shoulders. With what delighted pride she afterwards visi ted Mrs. Before any answer could arrive from Mr. Mrs. though in the course of their meetings she must sometimes think the pleasure dearly bought. for the sake of her family. Perhaps other people have said so before. but she was affected. it was not till Sir William was out of sight. but not one with such justice. Jane was not deceived. was anxious to get away till the storm was blown over. however. Collins. You are all t o come to Pemberley at Christmas. At such a moment. Bingley. I laugh. was as sin cere as her brother's in sending it. stood in too much awe of him to speak with the familiarity which Bingley's good humour encouraged. and to those of her family with whom he might convers e without mortification. Darcy. Phillips's vulgarity was another. Console Lady Catherine as well as you can. Darcy exposed to a ll the parading and obsequious civility of her husband. may be guessed. as well as her sister. and though the uncomfortable feelings arising from all this took from the season of courtship much of its pleasure. etc. Darcy's letter to Lady Catherine was in a different style. and expressed his hopes of their all meeting frequently at St. Bennet sent to Mr. and all her earnest desire of being loved by her sister. He bore it. yet. I wish I could say. But. etc. Elizabeth did al l she could to shield him from the frequent notice of either. though it made her more quiet. Four sides of paper were insufficient to co ntain all her delight. Da rcy sends you all the love in the world that he can spare from me. and talked of Mrs. Elizabeth will soon be the w ife of Mr. she only smiles. or any congratulations to Eliz abeth from his wife.st creature in the world. "Yours sincerely. the arrival of her friend was a sincere pleasure to Elizabeth. and she looked forward with delight to the time when they shoul d be removed from society so little pleasing to either. with very decent composur e. and though feeling no reliance on her. could not help writing her a much kinder answer than she knew was deserved. to express her delight. and was ever anxio us to keep him to herself. wer e all that was affectionate and insincere. I am happier even than Jane. Collins." Miss Bingley's congratulations to her brother. and though Mrs. The joy which Miss Darcy expressed on receiving similar information." Mr. if I were you. Phillips. He has more to give. Nor was her respect for him. the Longbourn family heard that the Collinses were come the mselves to Lucas Lodge. and repeat all her former professions of regard. The reason of this sudden removal was soon evident. she must be vulgar.

yo u must be very happy. She was not of so ungovernable a temper as Lydia. He delighted in going to Pembe rley. As for Wickham and Lydia. were within thirty miles of each other." As it happened that Elizabeth had MUCH rather not. she became. Mary was the only daughter who remained at home. either Jane o . Bennet's being quite unable to sit a lone. and in spite of every thing. howe ver. he bought an estate in a neighbouring county to Derbyshire. that she still was occasionally nervous and invariably silly. I am sure Wickham would like a place at court very much. Darcy half as well as I do my dear Wickham. in addition to every other source of happiness. It had always been evident to her that such an income as theirs. to her very material advantage. by his wife at least. as it was in her power to afford. must be very insuff icient to their support. amiable. spent the chief of her time with her two elder sisters. explained to her that. Any place would do. Mr. Mr. and whenever they changed their quarters. she frequently sent them. and when you ha ve nothing else to do. less irritable. and. I hope you will think of us. was not wholly without hope th at Darcy might yet be prevailed on to make his fortune. and less insipid. of about three or four hund red a year. The darling wish of his sisters was then gratifie d. if you had rather n ot. though p erhaps it was lucky for her husband. well-informed woman for the rest of her life. and Jane and Eliz abeth. it was suspected by her father that she sub mitted to the change without much reluctance. The congratulatory lette r which Elizabeth received from Lydia on her marriage. do not speak to Mr. but however. their characters suffered no revolution from the marr iage of her sisters. and though Mrs. with the promise of balls and young men. Bennet missed his second daughter exceedingly. Kitty. but she could still moralize over every morning visit. Such relief. she endeavoured in her answe r to put an end to every entreaty and expectation of the kind. The letter was to this effect: "MY DEAR LIZZY. her father would never consent to her going. From the further disad vantage of Lydia's society she was of course carefully kept. So near a vici nity to her mother and Meryton relations was not desirable even to HIS easy temp er. less ignorant. especially when he was least expected. "Yours. if not by himself. It is a great comfort to have you so rich. his affection for her drew h im oftener from home than anything else could do. and I do not think we shall have quite money enough to live upon without some help. remove d from the influence of Lydia's example. her impr ovement was great. or HER affectionate heart. etc. by the practice of what might be called e conomy in her own private expences. and as she was no longer mortified by comparisons betw een her sisters' beauty and her own. If you love Mr. Mary was obliged to mix more with the world. "I wish you joy. Wic kham frequently invited her to come and stay with her. Bingley and Jane remained at Netherfield only a twelvemonth. by proper attention and man agement. In society so superior to what she had generally known. and heedless of the future.her a sensible. He bore with philosophy the conviction that Elizabeth must now become acquainted with whatever of his ingratitude and falsehood had before been unknown to her. such a hope was cherished. under the direction of two person s so extravagant in their wants. who might not have relished domestic felici ty in so unusual a form. Darcy about it. and she was necessarily drawn from the pursuit of accomplishments by Mrs.

even when the restoration of peace d ismissed them to a home. Thus. was unsettled in the extreme. and paid off every arrear of civility to Elizabeth. in spite of that pollution which its woods had received. she dropt all her res entment. Pemberley was now Georgiana's home. Darcy. we usually do not keep eBooks in compliance with any particular pa per edition.txt or pandp12. His affection for her soon sunk into indifference. who had always inspired in herself a respect which almost overcame her affection.txt Project Gutenberg eBooks are often created from several printed editions. an d seek a reconciliation. and as sh e gave way to all the genuine frankness of her character in her reply to the let ter which announced its arrangement. she began to comprehend that a woman may take liberties with her husband which a brother will not always allow in a sist er more than ten years younger than himself. and she condescended to wait on them at Pemberley. after a little further resistance on the part of h is aunt. but the visits of her uncle and aunt fro m the city. sportive. almost as attentive to Darcy as here tofore. and they were both ever sensible of the warmes t gratitude towards the persons who. really loved them. Though Darcy could never receive HIM at Pemberley. that for some time all intercourse was at an end. she sent him language so very abusive.r herself were sure of being applied to for some little assistance towards disch arging their bills. had been t he means of uniting them. and he proceeded so far as to talk of giving them a hint to be g one. pandp12a. manner of talking to her brother.zip Corrected EDITIONS of our eBooks get a new NUMBER. and with the Bin gleys they both of them frequently staid so long. . he was prevailed on to overlook the offence. But at le ngth. Her mind received knowledge which had never before fallen i n her way. Lydia was occasionally a visitor there . her's lasted a li ttle longer. Their manner of living. They were always moving f rom place to place in quest of a cheap situation. as well as Elizabeth. by bringing her into Derbyshire. and.txt VERSIONS based on separate sources get new LETTER. they were always on the most intimate terms. th ough at first she often listened with an astonishment bordering on alarm at her lively. Georgiana had the highest opinion in the world of Elizabeth. or her curios ity to see how his wife conducted herself. yet. Miss Bingley was very deeply mortified by Darcy's marriage. PRIDE AND PREJUDICE *** This file should be named pandp12. By Elizabeth's instructions. pandp13. either to her affection for him. was fonder than ever of Georgiana. when her husband was gone to enjoy himself in London or Bath. *** END OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK. but as she thought it advisable to retain the right of visiting at Pemberley. Lady Catherine was extremely indignant on the marriage of her nephew. With the Gardiners. and always spending more than they ought. she retained all the cla ims to reputation which her marriage had given her. for Elizabeth's sake. and in spite of her youth and her manners. she now saw the object of open pleasantry. espe cially of Elizabeth. He. that even Bingley's good humou r was overcome. her resentment gave way. They were able to love each other even as well a s they intended. not merel y from the presence of such a mistress. h e assisted him further in his profession. all o f which are confirmed as Public Domain in the US unless a copyright notice is in cluded. and the attachment of the sisters was exact ly what Darcy had hoped to see. by Elizabeth's persuasion.

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