Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bennet. and had once paid him a visit in his humble parsonage. Mr. because there is that in her features which marks the young lady of distingu ished birth.During dinner. but when the servants were wit hdrawn. as he had himself experien ced from Lady Catherine. "and I dare s ay she is a very agreeable woman. She h ad also asked him twice to dine at Rosings. which has prevented her from making that progress in many accomplishments which she could not have o therwise failed of. Miss de Bourgh is far superior to the handsomest of her s ex. It is a pity that great ladies in general are not more like her. as I told Lady Catherine one day. And what sort of young lady is she? Is she handsome?" "She is a most charming young lady indeed. Mr. by observing that he see med very fortunate in his patroness. sir?" "The garden in which stands my humble abode is separated only by a lane from Ro sings Park." "That is all very proper and civil. and had sent for him only the Saturd ay before. 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." "Her indifferent state of health unhappily prevents her being in town. These are the kind of little things which please her ladyship. her ladyship's residence. Her ladyship seemed pleased with the idea. that her charming daughter seemed born to be a duchess. Mr. and it is a sor t of attention which I conceive myself peculiarly bound to pay. and therefo re started a subject in which he expected him to shine." said Mr. 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. She had been graciously pleased to approve of both of t he discourses which he had already had the honour of preaching before her." said Mrs. and consideration for his comfort. Bennet. and who still resides with them. would be adorned by her ." "Has she been presented? I do not remember her name among the ladies at court. to visit his relations. I am sure. "then she is better off than many gir ls. and often conde scends to drive by my humble abode in her little phaeton and ponies. and of very extensive prope rty. in point of true beauty. to make up her pool of quadrille in the evening. Lady Catherine was r eckoned proud by many people he knew. where she had perfectly approved all the alterations he had been maki ng. Bennet could not have chosen better. Lady Catherine herself says that." "Ah!" said Mrs. the heiress of Rosings. 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. sir? Has she any family?" "She has only one daughter. The subje ct elevated him to more than usual solemnity of manner. instead of giving her consequence. but HE had never seen anything but affabil ity in her. She is unfortunately of a sickly constitution. and that th e most elevated rank. provided he chose with discretion. I have more than once observed to Lad y Catherine. Does she live near you. and by t hat means. But she is perfectly amiable. he thought it time to have some conversation with his guest." "I think you said she was a widow. shaking her head. as I am informed by the lady who superintended her education . Bennet scarcely spoke at all. appeared very remarkable. She had always spoken to him as she would to any other gentleman." "You judge very properly. and had even vouchsafed to suggest some herself--some shelves in the closet upstairs. Collins was eloquent in her praise. "and it is happy for you that you p . has deprived the British court of i ts brightest ornaments. Bennet. Lady Catherine de Bourgh's attention to his wishes. She had even condescended to advise him to marry as soon as he could.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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?"

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

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

Bingley. I am m uch pleased with him. It was. Bennet seemed incapable of fatigue while enumerating the advantages of the match. was not discouraged from speaking again. and lastly. and so rich. Mr. the superior in consequence. such a promising thing for her younger daughters. 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. Collins." "Hunsford. Darcy's conte mpt seemed abundantly increasing with the length of his second speech. Co llins listened to her with the determined air of following his own inclination." said he. she felt as if h earing it all. You must therefore allow me to follow the di ctates of my conscience on this occasion. and those which regulate the clergy. she turned her at tention almost entirely on her sister and Mr. and she determined not to v enture near her. Upon the whole. and the train of agreeabl e reflections which her observations gave birth to. that it was not in the least neces sary there should be any notice on either side. Darcy would consider his addressing him without introduction as an impertinent f reedom. whose reception of his advances she eagerly watched. of endeavouring even to like Bingley's two sisters. and whose as tonishment at being so addressed was very evident. Mr. "to be dissatisfied with my receptio n. It was an animating subje ct. which on every other subject shall be my constant guide. rather than a compliment to his aunt. " and "Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Her cousin prefaced his speec h with a solemn bow and though she could not hear a word of it. Mr. moreove r. when she ceased speaking. Collins allowed him time to speak. Collins th en returned to Elizabeth. and. under s uch circumstances." It vexed her to see him expose himself to such a man. and to be certa in that they must desire the connection as much as she could do. and at th e end of it he only made him a slight bow. It was really a very handsome thought. Darcy. for. lest she might hear too much. and moved another way. 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. replied with an air of distant civility. Darcy seemed much pleased with the attention. and she felt capable. it must bel ong to Mr. "I have no reason. He answered me with the utm ost civility. and Mrs." As Elizabeth had no longer any interest of her own to pursue. Mr. replied thus: "My dear Miss Elizabeth. which leads me to perform what I look on as a point of duty. the refore. as Jane's marrying so great ly must throw them in the way of other rich men. Pardon me for neglecting to profit by your advice. and that if it were. and of nothing else but her expec tation that Jane would soon be married to Mr. She saw her in idea settled in that very house. 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. she considered it a most unlucky perverseness which placed them within o ne of each other." And with a low bow he left her to att ack Mr. however. that there must be a wide difference between the established forms of ceremony amongst the laity. and living but three miles from them. made her perhaps almost as h appy as Jane. openly. it was so pleasant at her time of life to be able to consign her single daughters to the care of th . Darcy. were the first points of self-gratulation. and deeply was she vexed to find that her mother was talking t o that one person (Lady Lucas) freely. I have the highest opinion in the world in your excell ent judgement in all matters within the scope of your understanding. Darcy was eyeing him with unrestrained wonder.Elizabeth tried hard to dissuade him from such a scheme. but permit me to say. assuring him that Mr. and when at last Mr. Bingley. and saw in the motion of his lips the words "apology. When they sat down to supper. to begin the acquaintance. in all the felicit y which a marriage of true affection could bestow. and Mr. His being such a charming young man. I assure you. and then it wa s such a comfort to think how fond the two sisters were of Jane. Mr. Her mothe r's thoughts she plainly saw were bent the same way.

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

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

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

that she could not use the short pause he allowed in any attempt to stop him further. is all that you may ever be entitled to. I am very sensible of the honour of your proposals. This has been my motive. as I have a lready said. while Mrs. with a formal wave of the hand. my fair cousin. and shall make no demand of that nature on your father. and it was but the very Saturday night before I left Hunsford--between our pools at quadrille. must be acceptable to her. I think. may live many years longer). Collins." "Upon my word." . 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. and you may assure yourse lf that no ungenerous reproach shall ever pass my lips when we are married. especially when tempered with the silence and respect which her rank will inevitably excite. useful sort of person. to observe. I could not satisfy myself without resolving to choose a wife from among his daughters. and that someti mes the refusal is repeated a second. and you r wit and vivacity. "You are too hasty. and I flatter myself it will not sink me in your esteem. were your friend Lady Catherine to know me. or even a third time. Thus much f or my general intention in favour of matrimony. by the way. On that head. that she said. made Elizabeth so near laughing. when he first applies for their favour. and I will visit her. 'Mr. bring her to Hunsford. Find such a woman as soon as you can. may not be for several years. secondly. and I am convinced that I am the last woman in the wo rld who could make you so. Nay. it remains to be told why my vie ws were directed towards Longbourn instead of my own neighbourhood. and shall hope to lead you to the altar ere long. I am persuaded she would find me in every respect ill qualified for the situation. A cle rgyman like you must marry.' Allow m e. since I am well aware that it could not be compl ied with. that it is the particular advice and recommendation of the very noble lady whom I have the honour of calling patroness. To fortune I am perfectly indifferent. I am therefore by no means discouraged by what you have just said." she cried." cried Elizabeth. "You forget that I have made no answer." "I am not now to learn. sir. howeve r. choose a gentlewoman for MY sake. 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." replied Mr. Jenkinson was arrangin g Miss de Bourgh's footstool. Twice has she condescended to give me her opinion (unasked too!) on this subject. that I am convinced that it will add very greatly to my hap piness. however.his feelings. that the loss to them might be as little as possible. You will find her manners beyond anything I can describe. 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. and that one thousand pounds in the four per cents. This is my advice. a nd for your OWN. and he continued: "My reasons for marrying are. not brought up hig h. but able to make a small income go a good way. " that it is usual with young ladies to reject the addresses of the man whom they secretly mean to accept. Collins. to inherit this estate after the death of your honoured father (who. but it is im possible for me to do otherwise than to decline them. and thirdly--which perhaps I ought to have mentioned earlier. where I can assure you there are many amiable young women. first. 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 cous in. that being. as I am. you must marry. sir. Accept my thanks for the compliment you are paying me. But the fact is. I shall be uniformly silent. Le t me do it without further loss of time. I am perfectly serious in my refusal. let her be an active. when the melancholy event takes place--which. "your hope is a rather extraordinary one after my declaration. Choose properly. which will not be yours till after your mother's decease. Yo u could not make ME happy." It was absolutely necessary to interrupt him now. therefore.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mrs. he li stened to all their impertinence with the most forbearing courtesy. I hope you will be satisfied with what I have don e. Collins. and the other that she herse lf had been barbarously misused by them all. very m uch surprised--so lately as Mr. Elizabeth. Chapter 23 Elizabeth was sitting with her mother and sisters. they retu rned to the rest of the family." replied Charlotte. Bennet. Collins was wishing to marry you. Collins's character. when called into action. and much self-gratulation on the prospect o f a connection between the houses. with more perseverance than po liteness. I am con vinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state. but no sooner had he left them than her feelings found a rapid ven t. and on these two points she princip ally dwelt during the rest of the day. "You must be surprised. he unfolded the matter--to an audience not me rely wondering. thirdly." and after an awkward pause. and situation in life. were plainly deduced from the whole: one." Elizabeth quietly answered "Undoubtedly. however. boisterously exclaimed: "Good Lord! Sir William. and though he begged leave to be positive as to the truth of his information. and the convenient distance of Hunsford from London. in which she was readily joined by Jane. But when you h ave had time to think it over. the excellent c haracter of Mr. and Lydia. She had always felt that Charlotte's opinio n of matrimony was not exactly like her own. how can you tell such a story? Do not you know that Mr . and that she wished her all imaginable happiness. Charlotte the wife of Mr. se condly. but Sir William's good breeding carried him through it all. I never was. when Sir William Lu cas himself appeared. sent by his daughter. reflecting on what she had h eard. Collins was a most humilia ting picture! And to the pang of a friend disgracing herself and sunk in her est eem. I ask only a comfortable home. protested he must be entirely mistaken. that Elizabeth was the real cause of the mischief. now put herself forward to confirm his account. It was a long time before she became at all reconciled to the idea of so unsuitable a match. she persisted in disbelieving the whole of the matter. "I see what you are feeling. and considering Mr. and by making a variety of remarks on the happiness that might be expected from the match. I am not romantic. was added the distressing conviction that it was impossible for that friend to be tolerably happy in the lot she had chosen. but she had not supposed it to be p ossible that. With many compliments to them. and Elizabet h was then left to reflect on what she had heard. and fourthly. she was very sure that Mr. Charlotte did not stay much longer. but incredulous. Collins had been taken in. The strangeness o f Mr. feeling it incumbent on her to relieve him from so unpleasant a situ ation. for Mrs. that the match might b e broken off. Two inferences. In the first place. connection. to announce her engagement to the fa able to assure with tolerable firmness that the prospect of their relationshi p was highly grateful to her. she trust ed that they would never be happy together. Collins's making two offers of marriage within three days was nothing in c omparison of his being now accepted. and doubting whether she was authorised to mention it. Collins wants to marry Lizzy?" Nothing less than the complaisance of a courtier could have borne without anger such treatment. Nothing could console and nothing could a . you know. by mentioning her prior k nowledge of it from Charlotte herself. she would have sacrificed every better fe eling to worldly advantage. Bennet was in fact too much overpowered to say a great deal while Sir Will iam remained. always unguarded an d often uncivil. 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 which she never failed to contradict as a most scandalous falsehood. On the contrary. Nor did could see Elizabeth peak to Sir William before she could at that day wear out her resentment. and more foolish than his daughter! Jane confessed herself a little surprised at the match. Miss Lucas. Bennet. whom he had been used to think tole rably sensible. Neither Jane nor Elizabeth were comfortable on this subject. though Mrs. Bennet's emotions were much more tranquil on the occasion. whither he hoped to be able to return on Monday fortnight. 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 for whose happiness she grew daily more a nxious. She hated hav ing visitors in the house while her health was so indifferent. After discharging his conscience on that head. for it gratified him . Unwilling as she was to admit an . and she called at Longbourn rather oftener than usual to say how happy she was. Between Elizabeth and Charlotte there was a restraint which kept them mutually silent on the subject. Her disappointment in Charlotte made her turn with fonder regard to her sister. A week elapsed before she without scolding her. and was counting the days till she might reasonably hope to hear again. of his happiness in having obtained the affection of their amiable neighbour. Even Elizabeth began to fear--not that Bingley was indifferent--but that his si sters would be successful in keeping him away. to discover that Charlotte Lucas. Collins arrived on Tuesday. Mr. and such as he d id experience he pronounced to be of a most agreeable sort. he proceeded to infor m them. he said. as Bingley had now been gone a week and nothing more was heard of his re turn. and they gave way only to the greater distress of Mr. and Elizabeth felt persuaded that no real confidence coul d ever subsist between them again. for Mr. It was very strange that he should come to Longbourn instead of to Lucas Lodge. for Lady Catherine. addressed to their father. that she wished it to take place as soon as possible. was as foolish as his wife. and written with al l the solemnity of gratitude which a twelvemonth's abode in the family might hav e prompted.ppease her. Jane had sent Caroline an early answer to her letter. and many months were gone all forgive their daughter. he added. Bingley's continued absen ce. Bennet. but she said less of he r astonishment than of her earnest desire for their happiness. a re port which highly incensed Mrs. Collins's return into Hertfordshire was no longer a matter of pleasure to M rs. Lady Lucas could not be insensible of triumph on being able to retort on Mrs. Collins was only a clergyman. The promised letter of thanks fro m Mr. Kitty and Lydia were far from envy ing Miss Lucas. so heartily ap proved his marriage. with many rapturous expressions. and lovers were o f all people the most disagreeable. B ennet the comfort of having a daughter well married. of whose rectitude and delicacy she was sure her opinion could never be shaken. Bennet. 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. a month passed away before she could s or Lady Lucas without being rude. 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 could Elizabe th persuade her to consider it as improbable. Bennet's sour l ooks and ill-natured remarks might have been enough to drive happiness away. she was as much disposed to complain of it as her h usband. and it affected them in no other way than as a piece of news to spread at Meryton. Such were the gentle murmurs of Mrs. Mr. it was also very inconvenient and exceedingly troublesome.

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

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

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

"but thi s may be from better feelings than you are supposing. Wickham's society was of material service in dispelling the gloom which the late perverse occurrences had thrown on many of the Longbourn family. Next to being married. it is light. Darcy before they had known anything of the matter. Here are officers enough in Meryton to disappoint all the young ladies in the co untry. was now openly acknowledged and publicly can vassed. But. and pride. if he were so. They have known her much l onger than they have known me. you make everybody acting unnaturally and wrong. Mrs. I am not ashamed of having been mistaken--or. Bennet. it is very unlikely they should have opposed their brot her's. but though the probability of the statement was admitted at the time. Bingley must be down again in the summer. they may wish him to marr y a girl who has all the importance of money. and from this time Mr." replied Jane. at le ast. wh ich ceased when he saw her no more. . By supposing such an affe ction. He is a pleasant fellow." said Mr. "So. Miss Bennet was the only creature who could suppose there might be any extenuat ing circumstances in the case. Let Wickham be YOUR man. and urged the possibility of mistakes--but by everybody else Mr. whatever may be their own wishes. her mild and steady candour always pleaded for allowances. We must not all exp ect Jane's good fortune. but a less agreeable man would satisfy me. 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 everybody was pleased to know how much they had always disliked Mr. they DO wish him to choose Miss Darcy. Lizzy." "Your first position is false. Benne t's best comfort was that Mr. his claims on Mr. It is something to think of. Bennet treated the matter differently. a girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then. no wonder if they love her better. great connections. Let me take it in the best light. no other woman can secure it. sir. Now is your time." said he one day. "but it is a comfort to think that whatever of that ki nd may befall you. I find. Darcy was condemned as the worst of men. Do not distress me by the idea. They may wish many things besides his happiness. Her daugh ter endeavoured to convince her of what she did not believe herself. you have an affectionate mother who will make the most of it. When is your t urn to come? You will hardly bear to be long outdone by Jane." "Beyond a doubt." Elizabeth could not oppose such a wish. I congratulate her. they may wish his increase of wealth and consequence. unknown to the society of Hertfordshire. Bennet still continued to wonder and repine at his returning no more. unless there were so mething very objectionable? If they believed him attached to me. Darcy. she had the same story to repeat every day. " Mr. in the light in whi ch it may be understood. and if he is attached to me." "Thank you. "your sister is crossed in love. th ere was little chance of her ever considering it with less perplexity. The whole of what Elizabeth had already heard." "True. Mrs. Bingley's name w as scarcely ever mentioned between them. they would not try to part us. they could not succeed. Mr. and would jilt you cred itably. and it gives her a sort of distinction among her companions. What sister would think herself at liberty to do it. and all that he had suffered from him.his happiness. and to his other recommendations was now added that of general unrese rve. They saw him often. and me most unhappy. that his at tentions to Jane had been merely the effect of a common and transient liking.

Mr. Gardiner. "I do not blame Jane. Mrs. that shortly after his return into Hertfordshire. He took leave of his relations at Longbourn with as much solemnity as before. could h ave been so well-bred and agreeable. and a great favourite with all her Longbourn nieces. but so it is. gentlemanlike man. It became her turn to listen. turned the conversation. of long sleeves. Collins's wife by this time. But these things happen so often! A young man. who came as usual to spend the Christmas at Longbourn. It is as often applied to feelings which arise from a half-hour's acquaintance. sister! It is very hard to think that she might have be en Mr. so easily falls in love with a pretty girl for a few weeks. so doubtful. in the cou rse of Jane and Elizabeth's correspondence with her. so in definite. such as you describe Mr. w ished his fair cousins health and happiness again. as to a real. as he had reason to hope. however. Between the two eldest an d herself especially. and within view of his own warehouses. Gardiner's business on her arrival was to distribute her presents and describe the newest fashions. The consequence of it is. Two of her girls had been upon the point of marriage." she continued. so easily forgets her. and when accide nt separates them. to be thwarted so in my own family. Bingley if s he could. The first part of Mrs. The pain of se paration. and I am ve ry glad to hear what you tell us. He made her an offer in this very room. Mr. might be alleviated on his side." said she. When alone with Elizabeth afterwards. greatly superior to his sister. "but it will not do for US. I am sorry to say it of them. and promised their father ano ther letter of thanks. to whom the chief of this news had been given before. she spoke more on the subject. there subsisted a particular regard. Bennet had many grievances to relate. However. Bing ley. Bennet and Mrs. Gardine r was a sensible. that Lady Lucas will have a daughter married before I have. When this was done she had a less ac tive part to play. "for Jane would have got Mr. 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. and she refused him. Gardiner. strong attachment. They had all been very ill-used since she l ast saw her sister. The Netherfield ladies would have had difficulty in believi ng that a man who lived by trade. and to have neighbours who think of themselves before anybody else. They are all for what they can get. The Lucases are very artful peo ple indeed. in compassion to her nieces. that these sort of inconsistencies are very frequent. elegant woman . Mrs.Chapter 25 After a week spent in professions of love and schemes of felicity. was an amiable. We do not suffer by ACCIDENT. But Lizzy! Oh." "But that expression of 'violently in love' is so hackneyed. and. and that the Lo ngbourn estate is just as much entailed as ever. sister. "I am sorry it went o ff. the day would be fixed that was to make him the happiest of men." "An excellent consolation in its way. who was several years younge r than Mrs. and much to complain of. by preparations for the rece ption of his bride. intelligent. "It seems likely to have been a desirable match for Jane. as well by nature as education. made her sister a slight an swer." said Elizabeth. Pr . Collins was called from his amiable Charlotte by the arrival of Saturday. and af ter all there was nothing in it. On the following Monday. your coming just at this time is the greatest of comforts. Bennet had the pleasure of receiving her brother and his wife. that it gives me very little idea." Mrs. Phillips. Mrs. They had frequently b een staying with her in town. had it not been for her own perverseness. It makes me very nervous and poorly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

including th e whole party) so immediately after your arrival!" "I am the less surprised at what has happened." replied Sir William. an d she looked forward to her introduction at Rosings with as much apprehension as her father had done to his presentation at St. Chapter 29 Mr. As the weather was fine. from my knowledge of her affability. and her manner of living. as he knew not how to admi re enough. and the mere stateliness of mone y or rank she thought she could witness without trepidation. and that an opportunity of doing it should be given so soon. Lady Catherine will n ot think the worse of you for being simply dressed. though she could not be in such raptures as Mr. quite frightened Maria Lucas who had been little used to company. as Lady Catherine very much objected to be kept waiting for her dinner. with a rapturous air. She likes to have the distin ction of rank preserved. he came two or three times to their different doors." said he. Lady Catherin e is far from requiring that elegance of dress in us which becomes herself and h er daughter. wa s such an instance of Lady Catherine's condescension. About the court. I rath er expected. She had heard nothing of Lady Catherine that spoke her awful from any extraordinary talents or miraculous virtue. "I confess. and so splendid a dinner. about your apparel. was exactly what he had wished for. and was but slightly affected by his enumeration of the windows in front of the house. Maria's alarm was every moment increa sing. and his relation of what the glazing altogether h ad originally cost Sir Lewis de Bourgh. James's. Such formidable accounts of her ladyship. that the sight of such rooms. 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. was complete. to recommend their being quick. and Elizabeth saw much to be pleased with. mig ht not wholly overpower them. he said to Elizabeth-"Do not make yourself uneasy. Collins's triumph. and even Sir William did not look perfectly calm. which Charlotte explained by lettin g them know that the whole party was asked to dine at Rosings the next day. The pow er of displaying the grandeur of his patroness to his wondering visitors. so many servants. such instances of elegant breedin g are not uncommon. moreover. Mr. Elizabeth's courage did not fail her. they had a pleasant walk of about half a mile across t he park. Collins was carefully instructing them in what they were to expec t. Every park has its beauty and its prospects. which my situation in li fe has allowed me to acquire. in consequence of this invitation. Collins pointed out. From the entrance-hall. 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. Collins expecte d the scene to inspire." While they were dressing. and of letting them see her civility towards himself and his wife." Scarcely anything was talked of the whole day or next morning but their visit t o Rosings. "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. they followed the servants thro .to congratulate them on their good fortune. "from that knowledge of what the manners of the great really are. When the ladies were separating for the toilette. the fine proportion and the finished ornaments. of which Mr. that it would happen. my dear cousin. When they ascended the steps to the hall.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"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.

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

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

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

when he suddenly reminded them. not forgetting his thanks for the kindness he had received at Longbour n in the winter. however. the parcels placed w ithin. with your grateful thanks for their kindness to you while you have be en here. But Jane was to go home with her. before she told her sister of Mr. and his compliments to Mr. or any alarm. though unknown. Her home and her housekeeping. of being h urried into repeating something of Bingley which might only grieve her sister fu rther. to have the recital of them i nterrupted by the lady from whom they sprang. and at Longbourn there would be leisure enough for observation. the trunks were fastened on. 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. so highly gratify whatever of her own vanity she had not yet been able t o reason away. she did not seem to ask fo r compassion. and all their dependent concerns. if she once entered on the subject. where t hey were to remain a few days. To know that she had the power of revealing what would so exceedingly astonish Jane." Elizabeth made no objection. "We have dined nine times at Rosings. At length the chaise arrived. "Good gracious!" cried Maria.etween us. besides drinking tea there twice! How muc h I shall have to tell!" Elizabeth added privately. that she could wait even for Longbourn . that they had hith erto forgotten to leave any message for the ladies at Rosings. Chapter 39 It was the second week in May. and must. Gardiner's house. Elizabeth was attended to the carriage by Mr. and it was pronounced to be ready. and with equal sincerity could add. and Mrs. "it seems but a day or two since we first came! and yet how many things have happened!" "A great many indeed. H e then handed her in. Gardiner." he added. and Elizabeth had little opportunity of studying her spirits. amidst the various engagements which the kindness of her aunt had reserved for them." said her companion with a sigh. after a few minutes' silence." Elizabeth could safely say that it was a great happiness where that was the cas e. meanwhile. She was not sorry. Jane looked well. After an affectionate parting between the friends. and thou gh evidently regretting that her visitors were to go. We seem to have been designed for each other. "you will of course wish to have your humble respects delivere d to them. and the carr iage drove off. that she firmly believed and rejoiced in his domestic comforts. at the sam e time. "But. Poor Charlotte! it was melancholy to leave her to such society! But she had chosen it with her eyes open. and within four hours of their leaving Hunsford they reached Mr. and as they walked down the garden he was commissioning her with his best respects to all he r family. Darcy's proposals. and the door was on the point of being clo sed. had not yet lost their charms. Maria followed. her parish and her poultry. and her fear. in which the three young ladies set out together . with some consternation. It was not without an effort. "And how much I shall have to conceal!" Their journey was performed without much conversation. Collins. the door was then allowed to be shut.

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

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

of which Lydia had given them a hint at the inn. resolving to suppress every particular in which her sister was concerned. But I confess they would have no charms for ME--I should infinitely prefer a book. She had not been many hours at home before she found that the Brighton scheme. "His being so sure of succeeding was wrong. to depre ciate such pleasures! They would doubtless be congenial with the generality of f emale minds. no. Nor w . Darcy and herself. She seldom listened to anybody for m ore than half a minute. You do not blame m e. she hoped there could be nothing more to plague her on his account. Darcy should have d elivered his sentiments in a manner so little suited to recommend them. She dreaded seeing Mr." "But you WILL know it. for refusing him?" "Blame you! Oh. but Elizabeth steadily opposed the scheme. however. that anybody might have heard us ten miles off!" To this Mary very gravely replied. "Far be it from me. Miss Bennet's astonishment was soon lessened by the strong sisterly partiality which made any admiration of Elizabeth appear perfectly natural. and to see how everybody went on. 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. Wickham again. "I am heartily sorry for him. And then we were so merry all the way home! we talked and laughed so loud ." replied Elizabeth." She then spoke of the letter. "and certainly ought not to have appeared. repeating the whole of its contents as far as the y concerned George Wickham. which will probably soon drive away his regard for me. There was another reason too for her opp osition." But of this answer Lydia heard not a word. and was resolved to avoid it as l ong as possible. and never attended to Mary at all. She was sorry that Mr. that her mother. but stil l more was she grieved for the unhappiness which her sister's refusal must have given him. but consider how much it must increase his disappointment!" "Indeed. was under frequent discussion b etween her parents. but his answers were at the same time so vague and equivo cal. The comfort to HER of the regiment's approaching removal was in deed beyond expression. and preparing her to be surprised. In the afternoon Lydia was urgent with the rest of the girls to walk to Meryton . had never yet despaired of succ eeding at last. Chapter 40 Elizabeth's impatience to acquaint Jane with what had happened could no longer be overcome. and all surpris e was shortly lost in other feelings. Elizabeth saw directly that her father had not the smallest intention of yielding. and at length. 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." said she.ghter. when I tell you what happened the very next day. but he has other fee lings. my dear sister. she related to her the next morning the chief of the scene between Mr. though often disheartened." "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. as was here collected in one individual. In a fortnight they were to go--and once gone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"What a letter is this. and his spirits so greatly disc . 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. My mother was taken ill immediately. 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." cried Elizabeth." cried Elizabeth. and the whole house in such confusion!" "Oh! Jane. the place where they last changed horses. "to go to Epsom. "LYDIA BENNET. It had come with a fare from London. under such ours. He could not speak a word for full ten minutes. I hope you will drink to our good journey. while in town. condolence insufferable." "Your attendance upon her has been too much for you. and hoped it might not be impossible to find out the stand and number of the coach. I am sure. I hope there was. and Mary studies so much. but I did not think it right for either of them. I do not know of any other designs that he ha d formed. to be written at such a moment! But at least it shows t hat SHE was serious on the subject of their journey." She then proceeded to inquire into the measures which her father had intended t o pursue. Whatever he might afterward s persuade her to." "She had better but. and offered her services. His principal object must be to discover the number of the hackney coach whi ch took them from Clapham. or any of her daughters'. "Your affectionate friend. for the recovery of his daughter. Let them triumph over u and be satisfied. it was not on her side a SCHEME of infamy. Kitty is slight and de licate. and dancing with him to-night. Pray make my excuses to Pratt for not keeping my engagement. but he was in such a hurry to be gone. 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. with great pleasure. I shall send for my clothes when I get to Longb ourn. she walked here on Wednesday m orning to condole with us. "He meant I believe. Assistance s at a distance. "perhaps she MEANT well. But to be guarded at such a time is very diff icult. one cannot see too little of one's neighb is impossible. "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. thoughtless Lydia!" cried Elizabeth when she had finished will be! I can hardly write for laughing. and would have shared in every fatigue. he deter mined to make inquiries there. Good-bye. She was of great use and comf ort to us all." replied Jane. My aunt Phillips came to Longbourn on Tuesday. i f they should be of use to us. You do not look well. My mother was in hysterics. a misfortune as this. that her hours of repose should not be broken in on. have stayed at home. but I wish you would tell Sally to mend a great slit in my worked muslin g own before they are packed up." "Oh! thoughtless." "Mary and Kitty have been very kind. and tell him I will dance with him at the next ba ll we meet. after my father went away. Tell him I hope he wil l excuse me when he knows all. 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. And Lady Lucas has been very kind. see the postilions and try if anything could be made out from th em. Give my love to Colonel Forster. and though I endeavoured to give her every as sistance in my power.

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

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

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

they saw the housekeeper coming towards them ." Away ran the girls. perhaps. "Well." he cried. I will sit in my library. unless you stand up wit h one of your sisters. well. when they were met by the butler. began to cry." said Kitty fretfully. concluding that she came to call them to their mother." said her father drily. I bear you no ill-will for being justified in your advice to me last Ma y. so I took the liberty of comin g to ask. papa. "don't you know there is an express come for master from Mr. which. I will take you to a review at the end of them. who was not so light nor so much in the habit of running as Elizabeth. shows some greatness of mind." "I am not going to run away. "and her residence there will proba bly be of some duration." "YOU go to Brighton. No officer is ever to enter into my house again. I may defer it till Kitty runs away. instead of the expected summons."She is happy then. and ea . If you are a good girl fo r the next ten years. and you will feel the ef fects of it. it gives such an elegance t o misfortune! Another day I will do the same." "Dear madam. but. panting for breath. when they approached her. who was deliberately pursuing his way towa rds a small wood on one side of the paddock. Hill? We have heard nothing from town. came up with him. I would not trust you so near it as Eastbourne for fifty p ounds! No. Gardiner? He has been here this half-hour. Bennet's return. "This is a parade. she said to Miss Bennet." said he. "do not make yourself unhappy." "What do you mean. for interrupting you. ma'am. while her sister. who came to fetch her mother's tea. "which does one good. so on lagged behind. "If I should ever go to Brighton. madam. and give as much trouble as I can. and. they instantly passed through the hall once more. in my ni ghtcap and powdering gown." cried Mrs." Then after a short silence he continued: "Lizzy. considering the event. They ran throu gh the vestibule into the breakfast-room. "I beg your pardon. Hill." Upon this information. and ra n across the lawn after their father. who took all these threats in a serious light. Balls will be absolutely prohibited. too eager to get in to have time for speech. I have at last learnt to be cautious." Kitty. from thence to the library. their fath er was in neither. Jane. who said: "If you are looking for my master. I would behave better than Lydia. as Jane and Elizabeth were walking together in the shrubbery behind the house. a nd master has had a letter. went forward to me et her. and they were on the point of seeking him upstairs with their mother. but I was in h opes you might have got some good news from town. or." They were interrupted by Miss Bennet." Chapter 49 Two days after Mr. he is walking towards the little cops e. Kitty. in great astonishment. nor even to pass t hrough the village. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

she would not hear of leaving Wickham. 6. But he fou nd Lydia absolutely resolved on remaining where she was.Elizabeth had the satisfaction of receiving an answer to her letter as soon as she possibly could. She then took a large house in Edward-street. a Mrs. to secure an d expedite a marriage. for she really did know where her friend was to be found. From what I can collect. His first object with her.street. for I only mean to let you know that I had not imagined such inquiries to be necessary on YOUR side. your uncle had a most unexpe cted visitor. and return to her friends as soon as they could be prevail ed on to receive her. who was some time ago governess to M iss Darcy. "On the very day of my coming home from Longbourn. I m ust be more explicit. his duty to step forward. He came to tell Mr. and he went to her for intelligence of him as s oon as he got to town. Wickham were. hurrying into th e little copse. I suppose. and endeavour to r emedy an evil which had been brought on by himself. Lydia once. where she was least likely to be interrupted. At l ength. and was dismissed from her charge on some cause of disapprobation. she wanted no help of his. before he wa s able to discover them. th ough he did not say what. She cared for none of h er friends. offering his assistance. as I foresee that a LITTLE writing will not comprise what I have to tel l you. for the length of the letter convince d her that it did not contain a denial. 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. and afterwards insisted on seeing Lydia. he knew. "Gracechurch street. and has since maintained herself by letting lodgings. He saw Wickham. and it did not much signif y when. Sept. and was shut up with him several hours. They were in ---. Younge. which. Wickham repeatedly. but he had something to direct his search. She would not betray her trust. His character was to speak f or itself. they would have taken up their abode with her. he acknowledged. it seems. and that he had seen and talked with them both. he thought. int imately acquainted with Wickham. so my curiosity was not so dreadfully racked as YOUR'S seems to have been. I must confess myself surprised by your application. and the consciousness of this was another reason for his resolvi ng to follow us. I did not expect it from YOU. I am sure it would never disgrace him. and came to town with the resolution of hunting for th em. which was mo re than WE had. Don't think me angry. He called it. she sat down on on e of the benches and prepared to be happy. He generously imputed the whole to his mistaken pride. Darcy called. But it was two or three days before he could get from her what he wanted. Since such were her feelings. however. It was a ll over before I arrived. our kind friend procured the wished-for direction. and shall devote this whole morning to answe ring it. and had she been able to receive them into her house. Sh e was sure they should be married some time or other. in his very first conversation with Wickham. This Mrs. She was no sooner in possession of it than. however. If you do not choo se to understand me. He had been some days in town. Gardiner that he had found out where yo ur sister and Mr. But if you are really innocent and ignorant. as far as it would go. If he HAD ANOTHER motive. "MY DEAR NIECE. it only remained. "I have just received your letter. forgive my impertinence. had been to persuade her to quit her present d isgraceful situation. Wickham in deed had gone to her on their first arrival in London. without bribery and corruption. Younge was. "There is a lady. he left Derbyshire only one day after ourselves. therefore. he ea . and confessed that he had before thought it beneat h him to lay his private actions open to the world. Mr. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Oh. Though she dared not depend upon the consequence. Da rcy. forbore to invite him to sit by herself. were in very good time. where Miss Bennet was making tea. by her sister. When they repaired to the dining-room. On entering the room. Jane. would be speedily secur ed. looked towards his friend. It will then be publicly seen that. and she would have imagined that Bingley had received hi s sanction to be happy. the period which passed in the d rawing-room. 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. had belonged to him. very indifferent indeed. and she would. which. had revived. Elizabeth eagerly watc hed to see whether Bingley would take the place. He was on one side of her mother. with an expression of half-laughing alarm. Jane's happiness. Anxious and uneasy. in all their former part ies. in so close a confederacy that . she yet received pleasure from observing his behaviour. but. "I shall give him up for ever. and happened to smile: it was de cided." * * * * * They did not see the gentlemen again till Tuesday. in the mean while. "If he does not come to me. and Elizabeth pouring out the coffee. He placed himself by her. and she thought he looked as if he would have answered her hopes. but she coul d see how seldom they spoke to each other. though more guarded than formerly.w my own strength." said Elizabeth. at times. It gave her all the animation that her spirits cou ld boast. to the credit of their punctuality as sportsmen. His behaviour to her sister was such. and his own. She looked forward to their entrance as the point on wh ich all her chance of pleasure for the evening must depend." "My dear Lizzy. Mr. I am gl ad he dines here on Tuesday." The gentlemen came. occupied by the sam e ideas. made the sense of what they owed him more painful to Elizabeth's mind. on both sides. 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. and how formal and cold was their man ner whenever they did. and I shall never be embarrassed again by his coming. was wearisome and dull to a degree that almost made her uncivil. laughingly. you cannot think me so weak. but Jane happened to look round. or make either appear to advantage. and Mrs. persuaded Elizabeth. which the good humour and common politeness of Bingley. She was not near enough to hear any of their discourse. Her mother's ungraciousness. and the two who were most anxiously expected. Darcy was almost as far from he r as the table could divide them. had she not seen his eyes likewise turned towards Mr. Elizabeth. 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. alas! the ladies had crowded round the table. THEN. Her prudent mother. was giving way to all the happy schemes. She knew how little such a situation would give pleasure to either. during dinner time." said she. which. he seeme d to hesitate. On Tuesday there was a large party assembled at Longbourn. She was in hopes that the evening would afford some opportunity of bringing the m together. before the gentlemen came. we meet only as common and indifferent acquaintance. with a triumphant sensation. in half an hour's visit." "Yes. He bore it w ith noble indifference. as showed an admirati on of her. for she was in no cheerful humour. Bennet. that i f left wholly to himself. take car e.

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

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

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

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

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

It was too early in the m orning for visitors. and besides. and. if I have very good luck. but it is to the credit of his modesty. perhaps. and the litt le value he put on his own good qualities. They both set off. for." said Elizabeth. though she wa s perfectly unknown to them. he reall y loved me. "I am certainly the most fortunate creature that ever existed!" cried Jane. let me shift for myself. she knew it was a circumstance which must prejudice her against him. I never can have your happiness. they had been gener ally proved to be marked out for misfortune. Bennet and Kitty. and sat dow n without saying a word. as he and the females of the family were sitting together in the dining-room. Chapter 56 One morning. Till I have your disposition. She entered the room with an air more than usually ungracious. were familiar to them. Collins in time. to see you again the dupe of Miss Bing ley's pretended regard. though we can never be what we once were to each othe r." "That is the most unforgiving speech. Bennet was privileged to whisper it to Mrs. that when he went to town last November. even inferior to what Elizabeth felt. and on the part of Mrs. indeed." "Would you believe it. Mr s. Phillips. "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. but their astonishment was b eyond their expectation. about a week after Bingley's engagement with Jane had been formed. t heir attention was suddenly drawn to the window. nor the livery of the servant who preceded it. and she ventured. howev er. your goodness. The horses were post. though no request of introduction had been made. and they perceived a chaise and four driving up the lawn. why am I thus singled from my family. Lizzy. till the door was thrown open and their visitor ent ered. though Jane had the most generous and forgiving heart in the world. that somebody was coming. no. the equipage did not answer to that of any of their neighbours. As it was certain. Elizabeth had mentioned her name to her mother on her l adyship's entrance. I never could be so happy as you. witho ut any permission. No. "Oh ! Lizzy." This naturally introduced a panegyric from Jane on his diffidence. to do the same by all her neighbours in Meryton. th ough only a few weeks before. It was Lady Catherine de Bourgh. The Bennets were speedily pronounced to be the luckiest family in the world. and the conjectures of the remaining three continued. when Lydia had first run away. Bingley instantly prevailed on Miss Bennet to avoi d the confinement of such an intrusion. Elizabeth was pleased to find that he had not betrayed the interference of his friend. and walk away with him into the shrubber y. by the sound of a carriage. They were of course all intending to be surprised. made no other re ply to Elizabeth's salutation than a slight inclination of the head. Good girl! It would vex me. 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 may meet wit h another Mr.ll be on good terms again. thou gh with little satisfaction. . and neither the carriage." The situation of affairs in the Longbourn family could not be long a secret.

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

Madam. But however insincere YOU may choose to be. What coul d your ladyship propose by it?" "At once to insist upon having such a report universally contradicted." said Elizabeth. I have not been at all able to account for th e honour of seeing you here. in a moment of infatuation." "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 that you. such a report is in existence. Your own heart. I insist on being satisfied. to which you have the presumption to . "you ought to know. I instantly resolved on setting off for this place. that I might make my sentiments known to you. made you an offer of marriage?" "Your ladyship has declared it to be impossible. This match." "If I have." "But you are not entitled to know mine. my own nephew. I was told t hat not only your sister was on the point of being most advantageously married. "wi ll be rather a confirmation of it. and in a cause of such moment as this. while he retains the use of his reason. you sh all not find ME so." Elizabeth looked with unaffected astonishment." "Your coming to Longbourn. to see me and my family." "If you believed it impossible to be true. Mr. Darcy. be soon afte rwards united to my nephew. that Miss Elizabeth Bennet. "I wonder you took the trouble of coming so far. your own conscience. ever i nduce me to be explicit. if. in an angry tone. that there is no foundation for it?" "I do not pretend to possess equal frankness with your ladyship. You may have drawn him in." "Let me be rightly understood. Has he. You may ask qu estions which I shall not choose to answer. Though I KNOW it must be a scandalous falsehood. I shall certainly not depart f rom it. have made him forget what he owes to himself and to all his family. nor will such behaviour as this." "Miss Bennet. you are mistaken. though I would not injure him so much as to suppose the t ruth of it possible. has my nephew. would. must tell you why I come." "It ought to be so. I am almost the nearest relation he has in the world. do you know who I am? I have not been accustomed to such language as this." "Miss Bennet. But your arts and allurements may. A report of a most alarming nature reached me two days ago. indeed. My character has ever been celebrated for its sincerity and frankness. that I am not to be trifled with. it must be so. I shall be the last person to confess it." "And can you likewise declare. colouring with asto nishment and disdain.:-"You can be at no loss. and am entitled to know all his dearest concerns. to understand the reason of my journey hit her. in all likelihood. "Indeed." replied her ladyship. Miss Bennet." said Elizabeth coolly. Miss Bennet." "This is not to be borne.

" "In marrying your nephew. You ARE a gentleman's daughter. Their fortune on both sides is splendid. your n ame will never even be mentioned by any of us." replied Elizabeth. I should not consider myself as quitting that sphere. you would not wish to quit the sphere in whi ch you have been brought up. nor will I be dissuaded from it.aspire. that if he is so. N ow what have you to say?" "Only this. as wel l as of her's. They are descended. or fortune. 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. forbid it. to be prevented by a young woman of inferior birth. on the father's. Miss Bennet. Its completion depended on others . upon the whole. that I came here with the determined re solution of carrying my purpose. and ancient--thoug h untitled--families. Yes. I am a gentleman's daughter. Is this to be endured! But it must not. from the same no ble line. and de spised. Miss Bennet. they ha ve been intended for each other. He is a gentleman. shall not be. and I had heard it before. interest. so far we are equal. slighted. You will be censured. nay. but it will have no effect on me. No. You both did as much as you could in planning the marriage. why is not he to make another choice? And if I am that choice." Lady Catherine hesitated for a moment. If Mr. at the mom ent when the wishes of both sisters would be accomplished in their marriage. we planned the union: and now. "But the wife of Mr. Darcy mu st have such extraordinary sources of happiness necessarily attached to her situ ation. But who was your mother? Who are your un . From their infancy. My daughter and my nephew are f ormed for each other. can never take place. I have not bee n used to submit to any person's whims. that she could. you can have no reason to suppose he will make an offer to me. and wha t is to divide them? The upstart pretensions of a young woman without family. decorum. for do not expect to be noticed by his family or friends. You are to understand. why may not I accept him?" "Because honour. on the maternal side. If you were sensible of your own good." "I will not be interrupted. co nnections. I shall certainly not be kept from it by kn owing that his mother and aunt wished him to marry Miss de Bourgh. prudence." "THAT will make your ladyship's situation at present more pitiable. Mr. from respectable. honourable. never. interest. and then replied: "The engagement between them is of a peculiar kind." "Obstinate." "True. But what is that to me? If there is no other o bjection to my marrying your nephew. if you wilf ully act against the inclinations of all. While in their cradles. 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. of no importance in the world." "These are heavy misfortunes. I have not been in the habit of brooking disappointment. Darcy is engaged to my daughter. have no cause to repine. by everyone connected with him. They are destined for each other by the voice of every member of their respective houses. Darcy is neither by honour nor inclination confined to his cousin. Your alliance will be a disgrace. and. Hear me in silence. It was the favourite wish of HIS mother.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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