Chapter 11

When the women eliminated after dinner, Elizabeth ran as much as her sister, and seeing her effectively guarded from chilly, attended her into the drawing-room, the place she was welcomed by her two buddies with many professions of delight; and Elizabeth had by no means seen them so agreeable as they have been throughout the hour which handed earlier than the gents appeared. Their powers of dialog have been appreciable. They may describe an leisure with accuracy, relate an anecdote with humour, and giggle at their acquaintance with spirit.

But when the gents entered, Jane was not the primary object; Miss Bingley’s eyes have been immediately turned towards Darcy, and he or she had one thing to say to him earlier than he had superior many steps. He addressed himself to Miss Bennet, with a well mannered congratulation; Mr. Hurst additionally made her a slight bow, and mentioned he was “very glad;” however diffuseness and heat remained for Bingley’s salutation. He was stuffed with pleasure and a focus. The first half-hour was spent in piling up the fireplace, lest she ought to endure from the change of room; and he or she eliminated at his need to the opposite aspect of the fireside, that she is likely to be farther from the door. He then sat down by her, and talked scarcely to anybody else. Elizabeth, at work within the reverse nook, noticed all of it with nice delight.

When tea was over, Mr. Hurst reminded his sister-in-law of the card-table—however in useless. She had obtained personal intelligence that Mr. Darcy didn’t want for playing cards; and Mr. Hurst quickly discovered even his open petition rejected. She assured him that nobody supposed to play, and the silence of the entire celebration on the topic appeared to justify her. Mr. Hurst had due to this fact nothing to do, however to stretch himself on one of many sofas and fall asleep. Darcy took up a ebook; Miss Bingley did the identical; and Mrs. Hurst, principally occupied in enjoying along with her bracelets and rings, joined from time to time in her brother’s dialog with Miss Bennet.

Miss Bingley’s consideration was fairly as a lot engaged in watching Mr. Darcy’s progress by means of his ebook, as in studying her personal; and he or she was perpetually both making some inquiry, or taking a look at his web page. She couldn’t win him, nonetheless, to any dialog; he merely answered her query, and skim on. At size, fairly exhausted by the try and be amused along with her personal ebook, which she had solely chosen as a result of it was the second quantity of his, she gave an awesome yawn and mentioned, “How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”

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No one made any reply. She then yawned once more, threw apart her ebook, and forged her eyes around the room in quest for some amusement; when listening to her brother mentioning a ball to Miss Bennet, she turned out of the blue in the direction of him and mentioned:

“By the bye, Charles, are you really serious in meditating a dance at Netherfield? I would advise you, before you determine on it, to consult the wishes of the present party; I am much mistaken if there are not some among us to whom a ball would be rather a punishment than a pleasure.”

“If you mean Darcy,” cried her brother, “he may go to bed, if he chooses, before it begins—but as for the ball, it is quite a settled thing; and as soon as Nicholls has made white soup enough, I shall send round my cards.”

“I should like balls infinitely better,” she replied, “if they were carried on in a different manner; but there is something insufferably tedious in the usual process of such a meeting. It would surely be much more rational if conversation instead of dancing were made the order of the day.”

“Much more rational, my dear Caroline, I dare say, but it would not be near so much like a ball.”

Miss Bingley made no reply, and shortly afterwards she acquired up and walked in regards to the room. Her determine was elegant, and he or she walked effectively; however Darcy, at whom it was all aimed, was nonetheless inflexibly studious. In the desperation of her emotions, she resolved on one effort extra, and, turning to Elizabeth, mentioned:

The Power of Self-Discipline

“Miss Eliza Bennet, let me persuade you to follow my example, and take a turn about the room. I assure you it is very refreshing after sitting so long in one attitude.”

Elizabeth was stunned, however agreed to it instantly. Miss Bingley succeeded no much less in the actual object of her civility; Mr. Darcy regarded up. He was as a lot awake to the novelty of consideration in that quarter as Elizabeth herself might be, and unconsciously closed his ebook. He was instantly invited to hitch their celebration, however he declined it, observing that he may think about however two motives for his or her selecting to stroll up and down the room collectively, with both of which motives his becoming a member of them would intervene. “What could he mean? She was dying to know what could be his meaning?”—and requested Elizabeth whether or not she may in any respect perceive him?

“Not at all,” was her reply; “but depend upon it, he means to be severe on us, and our surest way of disappointing him will be to ask nothing about it.”

Miss Bingley, nonetheless, was incapable of disappointing Mr. Darcy in something, and persevered due to this fact in requiring a proof of his two motives.

“I have not the smallest objection to explaining them,” mentioned he, as quickly as she allowed him to talk. “You either choose this method of passing the evening because you are in each other’s confidence, and have secret affairs to discuss, or because you are conscious that your figures appear to the greatest advantage in walking; if the first, I would be completely in your way, and if the second, I can admire you much better as I sit by the fire.”

“Oh! shocking!” cried Miss Bingley. “I never heard anything so abominable. How shall we punish him for such a speech?”

“Nothing so easy, if you have but the inclination,” mentioned Elizabeth. “We can all plague and punish one another. Tease him—laugh at him. Intimate as you are, you must know how it is to be done.”

“But upon my honour, I do not. I do assure you that my intimacy has not yet taught me that. Tease calmness of manner and presence of mind! No, no; I feel he may defy us there. And as to laughter, we will not expose ourselves, if you please, by attempting to laugh without a subject. Mr. Darcy may hug himself.”

“Mr. Darcy is not to be laughed at!” cried Elizabeth. “That is an uncommon advantage, and uncommon I hope it will continue, for it would be a great loss to me to have many such acquaintances. I dearly love a laugh.”

“Miss Bingley,” mentioned he, “has given me more credit than can be. The wisest and the best of men—nay, the wisest and best of their actions—may be rendered ridiculous by a person whose first object in life is a joke.”

“Certainly,” replied Elizabeth—”there are such people, but I hope I am not one of them. I hope I never ridicule what is wise and good. Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies, dodivert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can. But these, I suppose, are precisely what you are without.”

“Perhaps that is not possible for anyone. But it has been the study of my life to avoid those weaknesses which often expose a strong understanding to ridicule.”

“Such as vanity and pride.”

“Yes, vanity is a weakness indeed. But pride—where there is a real superiority of mind, pride will be always under good regulation.”

Elizabeth turned away to cover a smile.

“Your examination of Mr. Darcy is over, I presume,” mentioned Miss Bingley; “and pray what is the result?”

“I am perfectly convinced by it that Mr. Darcy has no defect. He owns it himself without disguise.”

“No,” mentioned Darcy, “I have made no such pretension. I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. It is, I believe, too little yielding—certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of others so soon as I ought, nor their offenses against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. My good opinion once lost, is lost forever.”

That is a failing indeed!” cried Elizabeth. “Implacable resentment is a shade in a character. But you have chosen your fault well. I really cannot laugh at it. You are safe from me.”

“There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil—a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome.”

“And your defect is to hate everybody.”

“And yours,” he replied with a smile, “is willfully to misunderstand them.”

“Do let us have a little music,” cried Miss Bingley, bored with a dialog by which she had no share. “Louisa, you will not mind my waking Mr. Hurst?”

Her sister had not the smallest objection, and the pianoforte was opened; and Darcy, after just a few moments’ recollection, was not sorry for it. He started to really feel the hazard of paying Elizabeth an excessive amount of consideration.

Chapter 12

In consequence of an settlement between the sisters, Elizabeth wrote the following morning to their mom, to beg that the carriage is likely to be despatched for them in the middle of the day. But Mrs. Bennet, who had calculated on her daughters remaining at Netherfield until the next Tuesday, which might precisely end Jane’s week, couldn’t convey herself to obtain them with pleasure earlier than. Her reply, due to this fact, was not propitious, a minimum of to not Elizabeth’s needs, for she was impatient to get residence. Mrs. Bennet despatched them phrase that they might not presumably have the carriage earlier than Tuesday; and in her postscript it was added, that if Mr. Bingley and his sister pressed them to remain longer, she may spare them very effectively. Against staying longer, nonetheless, Elizabeth was positively resolved—nor did she a lot anticipate it could be requested; and fearful, quite the opposite, as being thought-about as intruding themselves needlessly lengthy, she urged Jane to borrow Mr. Bingley’s carriage instantly, and at size it was settled that their authentic design of leaving Netherfield that morning needs to be talked about, and the request made.

The communication excited many professions of concern; and sufficient was mentioned of wishing them to remain a minimum of until the next day to work on Jane; and until the morrow their going was deferred. Miss Bingley was then sorry that she had proposed the delay, for her jealousy and dislike of 1 sister a lot exceeded her affection for the opposite.

The grasp of the home heard with actual sorrow that they have been to go so quickly, and repeatedly tried to influence Miss Bennet that it could not be secure for her—that she was not sufficient recovered; however Jane was agency the place she felt herself to be proper.

To Mr. Darcy it was welcome intelligence—Elizabeth had been at Netherfield lengthy sufficient. She attracted him greater than he appreciated—and Miss Bingley was uncivil to her, and extra teasing than ordinary to himself. He properly resolved to be significantly cautious that no signal of admiration ought to now escape him, nothing that would elevate her with the hope of influencing his felicity; smart that if such an concept had been advised, his behaviour over the past day will need to have materials weight in confirming or crushing it. Steady to his objective, he scarcely spoke ten phrases to her by means of the entire of Saturday, and although they have been at one time left by themselves for half-an-hour, he adhered most rigorously to his ebook, and wouldn’t even have a look at her.

On Sunday, after morning service, the separation, so agreeable to virtually all, passed off. Miss Bingley’s civility to Elizabeth elevated finally very quickly, in addition to her affection for Jane; and once they parted, after assuring the latter of the pleasure it could at all times give her to see her both at Longbourn or Netherfield, and embracing her most tenderly, she even shook arms with the previous. Elizabeth took go away of the entire celebration within the liveliest of spirits.

They weren’t welcomed residence very cordially by their mom. Mrs. Bennet puzzled at their coming, and thought them very unsuitable to present a lot hassle, and was positive Jane would have caught chilly once more. But their father, although very laconic in his expressions of delight, was actually glad to see them; he had felt their significance within the household circle. The night dialog, once they have been all assembled, had misplaced a lot of its animation, and virtually all its sense by the absence of Jane and Elizabeth.

They discovered Mary, as ordinary, deep within the research of thorough-bass and human nature; and had some extracts to admire, and a few new observations of threadbare morality to take heed to. Catherine and Lydia had data for them of a distinct type. Much had been performed and far had been mentioned within the regiment for the reason that previous Wednesday; a number of of the officers had dined these days with their uncle, a personal had been flogged, and it had really been hinted that Colonel Forster was going to be married.

Chapter 13

“I hope, my dear,” mentioned Mr. Bennet to his spouse, as they have been at breakfast the following morning, “that you have ordered a good dinner to-day, because I have reason to expect an addition to our family party.”

“Who do you mean, my dear? I know of nobody that is coming, I am sure, unless Charlotte Lucas should happen to call in—and I hope my dinners are good enough for her. I do not believe she often sees such at home.”

“The person of whom I speak is a gentleman, and a stranger.”

Mrs. Bennet’s eyes sparkled. “A gentleman and a stranger! It is Mr. Bingley, I am sure! Well, I am sure I shall be extremely glad to see Mr. Bingley. But—good Lord! how unlucky! There is not a bit of fish to be got to-day. Lydia, my love, ring the bell—I must speak to Hill this moment.”

“It is not Mr. Bingley,” mentioned her husband; “it is a person whom I never saw in the whole course of my life.”

This roused a basic astonishment; and he had the pleasure of being eagerly questioned by his spouse and his 5 daughters directly.

After amusing himself a while with their curiosity, he thus defined:

“About a month ago I received this letter; and about a fortnight ago I answered it, for I thought it a case of some delicacy, and requiring early attention. It is from my cousin, Mr. Collins, who, when I am dead, may turn you all out of this house as soon as he pleases.”

“Oh! my dear,” cried his spouse, “I cannot bear to hear that mentioned. Pray do not talk of that odious man. I do think it is the hardest thing in the world, that your estate should be entailed away from your own children; and I am sure, if I had been you, I should have tried long ago to do something or other about it.”

Jane and Elizabeth tried to clarify to her the character of an entail. They had usually tried to do it earlier than, but it surely was a topic on which Mrs. Bennet was past the attain of purpose, and he or she continued to rail bitterly towards the cruelty of settling an property away from a household of 5 daughters, in favour of a person whom no person cared something about.

“It certainly is a most iniquitous affair,” mentioned Mr. Bennet, “and nothing can clear Mr. Collins from the guilt of inheriting Longbourn. But if you will listen to his letter, you may perhaps be a little softened by his manner of expressing himself.”

“No, that I am sure I shall not; and I think it is very impertinent of him to write to you at all, and very hypocritical. I hate such false friends. Why could he not keep on quarreling with you, as his father did before him?”

“Why, indeed; he does seem to have had some filial scruples on that head, as you will hear.”

“Hunsford, close to Westerham, Kent, 15th October.

“Dear Sir,—

“The disagreement subsisting between your self and my late honoured father at all times gave me a lot uneasiness, and since I’ve had the misfortune to lose him, I’ve steadily wished to heal the breach; however for a while I used to be saved again by my very own doubts, fearing lest it might sound disrespectful to his reminiscence for me to be on good phrases with anybody with whom it had at all times happy him to be at variance.—’There, Mrs. Bennet.’—My thoughts, nonetheless, is now made up on the topic, for having acquired ordination at Easter, I’ve been so lucky as to be distinguished by the patronage of the Right Honourable Lady Catherine de Bourgh, widow of Sir Lewis de Bourgh, whose bounty and beneficence has most popular me to the precious rectory of this parish, the place it shall be my earnest endeavour to demean myself with grateful respect in the direction of her ladyship, and be ever able to carry out these rites and ceremonies that are instituted by the Church of England. As a priest, furthermore, I really feel it my obligation to advertise and set up the blessing of peace in all households throughout the attain of my affect; and on these grounds I flatter myself that my current overtures are extremely commendable, and that the circumstance of my being subsequent within the entail of Longbourn property will likely be kindly missed in your aspect, and never lead you to reject the provided olive-branch. I can’t be in any other case than involved at being the technique of injuring your amiable daughters, and beg go away to apologise for it, in addition to to guarantee you of my readiness to make them each doable amends—however of this hereafter. If you should not have any objection to obtain me into your own home, I suggest myself the satisfaction of ready on you and your loved ones, Monday, November 18th, by 4 o’clock, and shall most likely trespass in your hospitality until the Saturday se’ennight following, which I can do with none inconvenience, as Lady Catherine is much from objecting to my occasional absence on a Sunday, offered that another clergyman is engaged to do the obligation of the day.—I stay, expensive sir, with respectful compliments to your girl and daughters, your well-wisher and buddy,


“At four o’clock, therefore, we may expect this peace-making gentleman,” mentioned Mr. Bennet, as he folded up the letter. “He seems to be a most conscientious and polite young man, upon my word, and I doubt not will prove a valuable acquaintance, especially if Lady Catherine should be so indulgent as to let him come to us again.”

“There is some sense in what he says about the girls, however, and if he is disposed to make them any amends, I shall not be the person to discourage him.”

“Though it is difficult,” mentioned Jane, “to guess in what way he can mean to make us the atonement he thinks our due, the wish is certainly to his credit.”

Elizabeth was mainly struck by his extraordinary deference for Lady Catherine, and his variety intention of christening, marrying, and burying his parishioners every time it have been required.

“He must be an oddity, I think,” mentioned she. “I cannot make him out.—There is something very pompous in his style.—And what can he mean by apologising for being next in the entail?—We cannot suppose he would help it if he could.—Could he be a sensible man, sir?”

“No, my dear, I think not. I have great hopes of finding him quite the reverse. There is a mixture of servility and self-importance in his letter, which promises well. I am impatient to see him.”

“In point of composition,” mentioned Mary, “the letter does not seem defective. The idea of the olive-branch perhaps is not wholly new, yet I think it is well expressed.”

To Catherine and Lydia, neither the letter nor its author have been in any diploma fascinating. It was subsequent to unattainable that their cousin ought to are available a scarlet coat, and it was now some weeks since that they had acquired pleasure from the society of a person in another color. As for his or her mom, Mr. Collins’s letter had performed away a lot of her ill-will, and he or she was making ready to see him with a level of composure which astonished her husband and daughters.

Mr. Collins was punctual to his time, and was acquired with nice politeness by the entire household. Mr. Bennet certainly mentioned little; however the women have been prepared sufficient to speak, and Mr. Collins appeared neither in want of encouragement, nor inclined to be silent himself. He was a tall, heavy-looking younger man of five-and-twenty. His air was grave and stately, and his manners have been very formal. He had not been lengthy seated earlier than he complimented Mrs. Bennet on having so superb a household of daughters; mentioned he had heard a lot of their magnificence, however that on this occasion fame had fallen wanting the reality; and added, that he didn’t doubt her seeing all of them in due time disposed of in marriage. This gallantry was not a lot to the style of a few of his hearers; however Mrs. Bennet, who quarreled with no compliments, answered most readily.

“You are very kind, I am sure; and I wish with all my heart it may prove so, for else they will be destitute enough. Things are settled so oddly.”

“You allude, perhaps, to the entail of this estate.”

“Ah! sir, I do indeed. It is a grievous affair to my poor girls, you must confess. Not that I mean to find fault with you, for such things I know are all chance in this world. There is no knowing how estates will go when once they come to be entailed.”

“I am very sensible, madam, of the hardship to my fair cousins, and could say much on the subject, but that I am cautious of appearing forward and precipitate. But I can assure the young ladies that I come prepared to admire them. At present I will not say more; but, perhaps, when we are better acquainted—”

He was interrupted by a summons to dinner; and the women smiled on one another. They weren’t the one objects of Mr. Collins’s admiration. The corridor, the dining-room, and all its furnishings, have been examined and praised; and his commendation of all the things would have touched Mrs. Bennet’s coronary heart, however for the mortifying supposition of his viewing all of it as his personal future property. The dinner too in its flip was extremely admired; and he begged to know to which of his truthful cousins the excellency of its cooking was owing. But he was set proper there by Mrs. Bennet, who assured him with some asperity that they have been very effectively capable of preserve prepare dinner, and that her daughters had nothing to do within the kitchen. He begged pardon for having displeased her. In a softened tone she declared herself by no means offended; however he continued to apologise for a couple of quarter of an hour.

Chapter 14

During dinner, Mr. Bennet scarcely spoke in any respect; however when the servants have been withdrawn, he thought it time to have some dialog along with his visitor, and due to this fact began a topic by which he anticipated him to shine, by observing that he appeared very lucky in his patroness. Lady Catherine de Bourgh’s consideration to his needs, and consideration for his consolation, appeared very exceptional. Mr. Bennet couldn’t have chosen higher. Mr. Collins was eloquent in her reward. The topic elevated him to greater than ordinary solemnity of method, and with a most vital facet he protested that “he had never in his life witnessed such behaviour in a person of rank—such affability and condescension, as he had himself experienced from Lady Catherine. She had been graciously pleased to approve of both of the discourses which he had already had the honour of preaching before her. She had also asked him twice to dine at Rosings, and had sent for him only the Saturday before, to make up her pool of quadrille in the evening. Lady Catherine was reckoned proud by many people he knew, but he had never seen anything but affability in her. She had always spoken to him as she would to any other gentleman; she made not the smallest objection to his joining in the society of the neighbourhood nor to his leaving the parish occasionally for a week or two, to visit his relations. She had even condescended to advise him to marry as soon as he could, provided he chose with discretion; and had once paid him a visit in his humble parsonage, where she had perfectly approved all the alterations he had been making, and had even vouchsafed to suggest some herself—some shelves in the closet up stairs.”

“That is all very proper and civil, I am sure,” mentioned Mrs. Bennet, “and I dare say she is a very agreeable woman. It is a pity that great ladies in general are not more like her. Does she live near you, sir?”

“The garden in which stands my humble abode is separated only by a lane from Rosings Park, her ladyship’s residence.”

“I think you said she was a widow, sir? Has she any family?”

“She has only one daughter, the heiress of Rosings, and of very extensive property.”

“Ah!” mentioned Mrs. Bennet, shaking her head, “then she is better off than many girls. And what sort of young lady is she? Is she handsome?”

“She is a most charming young lady indeed. Lady Catherine herself says that, in point of true beauty, Miss de Bourgh is far superior to the handsomest of her sex, because there is that in her features which marks the young lady of distinguished birth. She is unfortunately of a sickly constitution, which has prevented her from making that progress in many accomplishments which she could not have otherwise failed of, as I am informed by the lady who superintended her education, and who still resides with them. But she is perfectly amiable, and often condescends to drive by my humble abode in her little phaeton and ponies.”

“Has she been presented? I do not remember her name among the ladies at court.”

“Her indifferent state of health unhappily prevents her being in town; and by that means, as I told Lady Catherine one day, has deprived the British court of its brightest ornament. Her ladyship seemed pleased with the idea; and you may imagine that I am happy on every occasion to offer those little delicate compliments which are always acceptable to ladies. I have more than once observed to Lady Catherine, that her charming daughter seemed born to be a duchess, and that the most elevated rank, instead of giving her consequence, would be adorned by her. These are the kind of little things which please her ladyship, and it is a sort of attention which I conceive myself peculiarly bound to pay.”

“You judge very properly,” mentioned Mr. Bennet, “and it is happy for you that you possess the talent of flattering with delicacy. May I ask whether these pleasing attentions proceed from the impulse of the moment, or are the result of previous study?”

“They arise chiefly from what is passing at the time, and though I sometimes amuse myself with suggesting and arranging such little elegant compliments as may be adapted to ordinary occasions, I always wish to give them as unstudied an air as possible.”

Mr. Bennet’s expectations have been absolutely answered. His cousin was as absurd as he had hoped, and he listened to him with the keenest enjoyment, sustaining on the similar time essentially the most resolute composure of countenance, and, besides in an occasional look at Elizabeth, requiring no companion in his pleasure.

By tea-time, nonetheless, the dose had been sufficient, and Mr. Bennet was glad to take his visitor into the drawing-room once more, and, when tea was over, glad to ask him to learn aloud to the women. Mr. Collins readily assented, and a ebook was produced; however, on beholding it (for all the things introduced it to be from a circulating library), he began again, and begging pardon, protested that he by no means learn novels. Kitty stared at him, and Lydia exclaimed. Other books have been produced, and after some deliberation he selected Fordyce’s Sermons. Lydia gaped as he opened the amount, and earlier than he had, with very monotonous solemnity, learn three pages, she interrupted him with:

“Do you know, mamma, that my uncle Phillips talks of turning away Richard; and if he does, Colonel Forster will hire him. My aunt told me so herself on Saturday. I shall walk to Meryton to-morrow to hear more about it, and to ask when Mr. Denny comes back from town.”

Lydia was bid by her two eldest sisters to carry her tongue; however Mr. Collins, a lot offended, laid apart his ebook, and mentioned:

“I have often observed how little young ladies are interested by books of a serious stamp, though written solely for their benefit. It amazes me, I confess; for, certainly, there can be nothing so advantageous to them as instruction. But I will no longer importune my young cousin.”

Then turning to Mr. Bennet, he provided himself as his antagonist at backgammon. Mr. Bennet accepted the problem, observing that he acted very properly in leaving the women to their very own trifling amusements. Mrs. Bennet and her daughters apologised most civilly for Lydia’s interruption, and promised that it shouldn’t happen once more, if he would resume his ebook; however Mr. Collins, after assuring them that he bore his younger cousin no ill-will, and will by no means resent her behaviour as any affront, seated himself at one other desk with Mr. Bennet, and ready for backgammon.

Chapter 15

Mr. Collins was not a wise man, and the deficiency of nature had been however little assisted by training or society; the best a part of his life having been spent below the steering of an illiterate and miserly father; and although he belonged to one of many universities, he had merely saved the mandatory phrases, with out forming at it any helpful acquaintance. The subjection by which his father had introduced him up had given him initially nice humility of method; but it surely was now deal counteracted by the self-conceit of a weak head, dwelling in retirement, and the consequential emotions of early and surprising prosperity. A lucky likelihood had really helpful him to Lady Catherine de Bourgh when the dwelling of Hunsford was vacant; and the respect which he felt for her excessive rank, and his veneration for her as his patroness, mingling with an excellent opinion of himself, of his authority as a priest, and his proper as a rector, made him altogether a mix of delight and obsequiousness, self-importance and humility.

Having now home and a really ample earnings, he supposed to marry; and in searching for a reconciliation with the Longbourn household he had a spouse in view, as he meant to decide on one of many daughters, if he discovered them as good-looking and amiable as they have been represented by widespread report. This was his plan of amends—of atonement—for inheriting their father’s property; and he thought it a wonderful one, stuffed with eligibility and suitableness, and excessively beneficiant and disinterested on his personal half.

His plan didn’t range on seeing them. Miss Bennet’s pretty face confirmed his views, and established all his strictest notions of what was on account of seniority; and for the primary night she was his settled selection. The subsequent morning, nonetheless, made an alteration; for in 1 / 4 of an hour’s tete-a-tete with Mrs. Bennet earlier than breakfast, a dialog starting along with his parsonage-house, and main naturally to the avowal of his hopes, {that a} mistress is likely to be discovered for it at Longbourn, produced from her, amid very complaisant smiles and basic encouragement, a warning towards the very Jane he had mounted on. “As to her younger daughters, she could not take upon her to say—she could not positively answer—but she did not know of any prepossession; her eldest daughter, she must just mention—she felt it incumbent on her to hint, was likely to be very soon engaged.”

Mr. Collins had solely to alter from Jane to Elizabeth—and it was quickly performed—performed whereas Mrs. Bennet was stirring the fireplace. Elizabeth, equally subsequent to Jane in delivery and wonder, succeeded her in fact.

Mrs. Bennet treasured up the trace, and trusted that she may quickly have two daughters married; and the person whom she couldn’t bear to talk of the day earlier than was now excessive in her good graces.

Lydia’s intention of strolling to Meryton was not forgotten; each sister besides Mary agreed to go along with her; and Mr. Collins was to attend them, on the request of Mr. Bennet, who was most anxious to eliminate him, and have his library to himself; for thither Mr. Collins had adopted him after breakfast; and there he would proceed, nominally engaged with one of many largest folios within the assortment, however actually speaking to Mr. Bennet, with little cessation, of his home and backyard at Hunsford. Such doings discomposed Mr. Bennet exceedingly. In his library he had been at all times positive of leisure and tranquillity; and although ready, as he informed Elizabeth, to fulfill with folly and self-esteem in each different room of the home, he was was once free from them there; his civility, due to this fact, was most immediate in inviting Mr. Collins to hitch his daughters of their stroll; and Mr. Collins, being actually significantly better fitted for a walker than a reader, was extraordinarily happy to shut his giant ebook, and go.

In pompous nothings on his aspect, and civil assents on that of his cousins, their time handed until they entered Meryton. The consideration of the youthful ones was then not to be gained by him. Their eyes have been instantly wandering up on the street in quest of the officers, and nothing lower than a really sensible bonnet certainly, or a very new muslin in a store window, may recall them.

But the eye of each girl was quickly caught by a younger man, whom that they had by no means seen earlier than, of most gentlemanlike look, strolling with one other officer on the opposite aspect of the best way. The officer was the very Mr. Denny regarding whose return from London Lydia got here to inquire, and he bowed as they handed. All have been struck with the stranger’s air, all puzzled who he might be; and Kitty and Lydia, decided if doable to seek out out, led the best way throughout the road, below pretense of wanting one thing in an reverse store, and happily had simply gained the pavement when the 2 gents, turning again, had reached the identical spot. Mr. Denny addressed them instantly, and advised permission to introduce his buddy, Mr. Wickham, who had returned with him the day earlier than from city, and he was glad to say had accepted a fee of their corps. This was precisely accurately; for the younger man wished solely regimentals to make him fully charming. His look was significantly in his favour; he had all one of the best a part of magnificence, a superb countenance, determine, and really pleasing handle. The introduction was adopted up on his aspect by a cheerful readiness of dialog—a readiness on the similar time completely right and unassuming; and the entire celebration have been nonetheless standing and speaking collectively very agreeably, when the sound of horses drew their discover, and Darcy and Bingley have been seen driving down the road. On distinguishing the women of the group, the 2 gents got here instantly in the direction of them, and commenced the same old civilities. Bingley was the principal spokesman, and Miss Bennet the principal object. He was then, he mentioned, on his option to Longbourn on objective to inquire after her. Mr. Darcy corroborated it with a bow, and was starting to find out to not repair his eyes on Elizabeth, once they have been out of the blue arrested by the sight of the stranger, and Elizabeth occurring to see the countenance of each as they checked out one another, was all astonishment on the impact of the assembly. Both modified color, one regarded white, the opposite purple. Mr. Wickham, after just a few moments, touched his hat—a salutation which Mr. Darcy simply deigned to return. What might be the that means of it? It was unattainable to think about; it was unattainable to not lengthy to know.

In one other minute, Mr. Bingley, however with out seeming to have seen what handed, took go away and rode on along with his buddy.

Mr. Denny and Mr. Wickham walked with the younger women to the door of Mr. Phillip’s home, after which made their bows, regardless of Miss Lydia’s urgent entreaties that they need to are available, and even regardless of Mrs. Phillips’s throwing up the parlour window and loudly seconding the invitation.

Mrs. Phillips was at all times glad to see her nieces; and the 2 eldest, from their latest absence, have been significantly welcome, and he or she was eagerly expressing her shock at their sudden return residence, which, as their very own carriage had not fetched them, she ought to have recognized nothing about, if she had not occurred to see Mr. Jones’s shop-boy on the street, who had informed her that they have been to not ship any extra draughts to Netherfield as a result of the Miss Bennets have been come away, when her civility was claimed in the direction of Mr. Collins by Jane’s introduction of him. She acquired him along with her best politeness, which he returned with as far more, apologising for his intrusion, with none earlier acquaintance along with her, which he couldn’t assist flattering himself, nonetheless, is likely to be justified by his relationship to the younger women who launched him to her discover. Mrs. Phillips was fairly awed by such an extra of fine breeding; however her contemplation of 1 stranger was quickly put to an finish by exclamations and inquiries in regards to the different; of whom, nonetheless, she may solely inform her nieces what they already knew, that Mr. Denny had introduced him from London, and that he was to have a lieutenant’s fee within the ——shire. She had been watching him the final hour, she mentioned, as he walked up and down the road, and had Mr. Wickham appeared, Kitty and Lydia would definitely have continued the occupation, however unluckily nobody handed home windows now besides just a few of the officers, who, compared with the stranger, have been turn into “stupid, disagreeable fellows.” Some of them have been to dine with the Phillipses the following day, and their aunt promised to make her husband name on Mr. Wickham, and provides him an invite additionally, if the household from Longbourn would come within the night. This was agreed to, and Mrs. Phillips protested that they’d have a pleasant snug noisy recreation of lottery tickets, and a little bit little bit of scorching supper afterwards. The prospect of such delights was very cheering, they usually parted in mutual good spirits. Mr. Collins repeated his apologies in quitting the room, and was assured with unwearying civility that they have been completely pointless.

As they walked residence, Elizabeth associated to Jane what she had seen cross between the 2 gents; however although Jane would have defended both or each, had they seemed to be within the unsuitable, she may no extra clarify such behaviour than her sister.

Mr. Collins on his return extremely gratified Mrs. Bennet by admiring Mrs. Phillips’s manners and politeness. He protested that, besides Lady Catherine and her daughter, he had by no means seen a extra elegant lady; for she had not solely acquired him with the utmost civility, however even pointedly included him in her invitation for the following night, though totally unknown to her earlier than. Something, he supposed, is likely to be attributed to his reference to them, however but he had by no means met with a lot consideration in the entire course of his life.

Chapter 16

As no objection was made to the younger individuals’s engagement with their aunt, and all Mr. Collins’s scruples of leaving Mr. and Mrs. Bennet for a single night throughout his go to have been most steadily resisted, the coach conveyed him and his 5 cousins at an appropriate hour to Meryton; and the women had the pleasure of listening to, as they entered the drawing-room, that Mr. Wickham had accepted their uncle’s invitation, and was then in the home.

When this data was given, they usually had all taken their seats, Mr. Collins was at leisure to go searching him and admire, and he was a lot struck with the dimensions and furnishings of the residence, that he declared he may virtually have supposed himself within the small summer time breakfast parlour at Rosings; a comparability that didn’t at first convey a lot gratification; however when Mrs. Phillips understood from him what Rosings was, and who was its proprietor—when she had listened to the outline of solely certainly one of Lady Catherine’s drawing-rooms, and located that the chimney-piece alone had value eight hundred kilos, she felt all of the drive of the praise, and would hardly have resented a comparability with the housekeeper’s room.

In describing to her all of the grandeur of Lady Catherine and her mansion, with occasional digressions in reward of his personal humble abode, and the enhancements it was receiving, he was fortunately employed till the gents joined them; and he present in Mrs. Phillips a really attentive listener, whose opinion of his consequence elevated with what she heard, and who was resolving to retail all of it amongst her neighbours as quickly as she may. To the women, who couldn’t take heed to their cousin, and who had nothing to do however to want for an instrument, and study their very own detached imitations of china on the mantelpiece, the interval of ready appeared very lengthy. It was over finally, nonetheless. The gents did strategy, and when Mr. Wickham walked into the room, Elizabeth felt that she had neither been seeing him earlier than, nor pondering of him since, with the smallest diploma of unreasonable admiration. The officers of the ——shire have been typically a really creditable, gentlemanlike set, and one of the best of them have been of the current celebration; however Mr. Wickham was as far past all of them in particular person, countenance, air, and stroll, as they have been superior to the broad-faced, stuffy uncle Phillips, respiration port wine, who adopted them into the room.

Mr. Wickham was the glad man in the direction of whom virtually each feminine eye was turned, and Elizabeth was the glad lady by whom he lastly seated himself; and the agreeable method by which he instantly fell into dialog, although it was solely on its being a moist evening, made her really feel that the most typical, dullest, most threadbare subject is likely to be rendered fascinating by the talent of the speaker.

With such rivals for the discover of the truthful as Mr. Wickham and the officers, Mr. Collins appeared to sink into insignificance; to the younger women he definitely was nothing; however he had nonetheless at intervals a form listener in Mrs. Phillips, and was by her watchfulness, most abundantly equipped with espresso and muffin. When the card-tables have been positioned, he had the chance of obliging her in flip, by sitting all the way down to whist.

“I know little of the game at present,” mentioned he, “but I shall be glad to improve myself, for in my situation in life—” Mrs. Phillips was very glad for his compliance, however couldn’t look forward to his purpose.

Mr. Wickham didn’t play at whist, and with prepared delight was he acquired on the different desk between Elizabeth and Lydia. At first there appeared hazard of Lydia’s engrossing him fully, for she was a most decided talker; however being likewise extraordinarily keen on lottery tickets, she quickly grew an excessive amount of within the recreation, too keen in making bets and exclaiming after prizes to have consideration for anybody specifically. Allowing for the widespread calls for of the sport, Mr. Wickham was due to this fact at leisure to speak to Elizabeth, and he or she was very prepared to listen to him, although what she mainly wished to listen to she couldn’t hope to be informed—the historical past of his acquaintance with Mr. Darcy. She dared not even point out that gentleman. Her curiosity, nonetheless, was unexpectedly relieved. Mr. Wickham started the topic himself. He inquired how far Netherfield was from Meryton; and, after receiving her reply, requested in a hesitating method how lengthy Mr. Darcy had been staying there.

“About a month,” mentioned Elizabeth; after which, unwilling to let the topic drop, added, “He is a man of very large property in Derbyshire, I understand.”

“Yes,” replied Mr. Wickham; “his estate there is a noble one. A clear ten thousand per annum. You could not have met with a person more capable of giving you certain information on that head than myself, for I have been connected with his family in a particular manner from my infancy.”

Elizabeth couldn’t however look stunned.

“You may well be surprised, Miss Bennet, at such an assertion, after seeing, as you probably might, the very cold manner of our meeting yesterday. Are you much acquainted with Mr. Darcy?”

“As much as I ever wish to be,” cried Elizabeth very warmly. “I have spent four days in the same house with him, and I think him very disagreeable.”

“I have no right to give my opinion,” mentioned Wickham, “as to his being agreeable or otherwise. I am not qualified to form one. I have known him too long and too well to be a fair judge. It is impossible for me to be impartial. But I believe your opinion of him would in general astonish—and perhaps you would not express it quite so strongly anywhere else. Here you are in your own family.”

“Upon my word, I say no more here than I might say in any house in the neighbourhood, except Netherfield. He is not at all liked in Hertfordshire. Everybody is disgusted with his pride. You will not find him more favourably spoken of by anyone.”

“I cannot pretend to be sorry,” mentioned Wickham, after a brief interruption, “that he or that any man should not be estimated beyond their deserts; but with him I believe it does not often happen. The world is blinded by his fortune and consequence, or frightened by his high and imposing manners, and sees him only as he chooses to be seen.”

“I should take him, even on my slight acquaintance, to be an ill-tempered man.” Wickham solely shook his head.

“I wonder,” mentioned he, on the subsequent alternative of talking, “whether he is likely to be in this country much longer.”

“I do not at all know; but I heard nothing of his going away when I was at Netherfield. I hope your plans in favour of the ——shire will not be affected by his being in the neighbourhood.”

“Oh! no—it is not for me to be driven away by Mr. Darcy. If he wishes to avoid seeing me, he must go. We are not on friendly terms, and it always gives me pain to meet him, but I have no reason for avoiding him but what I might proclaim before all the world, a sense of very great ill-usage, and most painful regrets at his being what he is. His father, Miss Bennet, the late Mr. Darcy, was one of the best men that ever breathed, and the truest friend I ever had; and I can never be in company with this Mr. Darcy without being grieved to the soul by a thousand tender recollections. His behaviour to myself has been scandalous; but I verily believe I could forgive him anything and everything, rather than his disappointing the hopes and disgracing the memory of his father.”

Elizabeth discovered the curiosity of the topic enhance, and listened with all her coronary heart; however the delicacy of it prevented additional inquiry.

Mr. Wickham started to talk on extra basic matters, Meryton, the neighbourhood, the society, showing extremely happy with all that he had but seen, and talking of the latter with light however very intelligible gallantry.

“It was the prospect of constant society, and good society,” he added, “which was my chief inducement to enter the ——shire. I knew it to be a most respectable, agreeable corps, and my friend Denny tempted me further by his account of their present quarters, and the very great attentions and excellent acquaintances Meryton had procured them. Society, I own, is necessary to me. I have been a disappointed man, and my spirits will not bear solitude. I must have employment and society. A military life is not what I was intended for, but circumstances have now made it eligible. The church ought to have been my profession—I was brought up for the church, and I should at this time have been in possession of a most valuable living, had it pleased the gentleman we were speaking of just now.”


“Yes—the late Mr. Darcy bequeathed me the next presentation of the best living in his gift. He was my godfather, and excessively attached to me. I cannot do justice to his kindness. He meant to provide for me amply, and thought he had done it; but when the living fell, it was given elsewhere.”

“Good heavens!” cried Elizabeth; “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 no hope from law. A man of honour could not have doubted the intention, but Mr. Darcy chose to doubt it—or to treat it as a merely conditional recommendation, and to assert that I had forfeited all claim to it by extravagance, imprudence—in short anything or nothing. Certain it is, that the living became vacant two years ago, exactly as I was of an age to hold it, and that it was given to another man; and no less certain is it, that I cannot accuse myself of having really done anything to deserve to lose it. I have a warm, unguarded temper, and I may have spoken my opinion of him, and to him, too freely. I can recall nothing worse. But the fact is, that we are very different sort of men, and that he hates me.”

“This is quite shocking! He deserves to be publicly disgraced.”

“Some time or other he will be—but it shall not be by me. Till I can forget his father, I can never defy or expose him.”

Elizabeth honoured him for such emotions, and thought him handsomer than ever as he expressed them.

“But what,” mentioned she, after a pause, “can have been his motive? What can have induced him to behave so cruelly?”

“A thorough, determined dislike of me—a dislike which I cannot but attribute in some measure to jealousy. Had the late Mr. Darcy liked me less, his son might have borne with me better; but his father’s uncommon attachment to me irritated him, I believe, very early in life. He had not a temper to bear the sort of competition in which we stood—the sort of preference which was often given me.”

“I had not thought Mr. Darcy so bad as this—though I have never liked him. I had not thought so very ill of him. I had supposed him to be despising his fellow-creatures in general, but did not suspect him of descending to such malicious revenge, such injustice, such inhumanity as this.”

After a couple of minutes’ reflection, nonetheless, she continued, “I do remember his boasting one day, at Netherfield, of the implacability of his resentments, of his having an unforgiving temper. His disposition must be dreadful.”

“I will not trust myself on the subject,” replied Wickham; “I can hardly be just to him.”

Elizabeth was once more deep in thought, and after a time exclaimed, “To treat in such a manner the godson, the friend, the favourite of his father!” She may have added, “A young man, too, like you, whose very countenance may vouch for your being amiable”—however she contented herself with, “and one, too, who had probably been his companion from childhood, connected together, as I think you said, in the closest manner!”

“We were born in the same parish, within the same park; the greatest part of our youth was passed together; inmates of the same house, sharing the same amusements, objects of the same parental care. My father began life in the profession which your uncle, Mr. Phillips, appears to do so much credit to—but he gave up everything to be of use to the late Mr. Darcy and devoted all his time to the care of the Pemberley property. He was most highly esteemed by Mr. Darcy, a most intimate, confidential friend. Mr. Darcy often acknowledged himself to be under the greatest obligations to my father’s active superintendence, and when, immediately before my father’s death, Mr. Darcy gave him a voluntary promise of providing for me, I am convinced that he felt it to be as much a debt of gratitude to him, as of his affection to myself.”

“How strange!” cried Elizabeth. “How abominable! I wonder that the very pride of this Mr. Darcy has not made him just to you! If from no better motive, that he should not have been too proud to be dishonest—for dishonesty I must call it.”

“It is wonderful,” replied Wickham, “for almost all his actions may be traced to pride; and pride had often been his best friend. It has connected him nearer with virtue than with any other feeling. But we are none of us consistent, and in his behaviour to me there were stronger impulses even than pride.”

“Can such abominable pride as his have ever done him good?”

“Yes. It has often led him to be liberal and generous, to give his money freely, to display hospitality, to assist his tenants, and relieve the poor. Family pride, and filial pride—for he is very proud of what his father was—have done this. Not to appear to disgrace his family, to degenerate from the popular qualities, or lose the influence of the Pemberley House, is a powerful motive. He has also brotherly pride, which, with some brotherly affection, makes him a very kind and careful guardian of his sister, and you will hear him generally cried up as the most attentive and best of brothers.”

“What sort of girl is Miss Darcy?”

He shook his head. “I wish I could call her amiable. It gives me pain to speak ill of a Darcy. But she is too much like her brother—very, very proud. As a child, she was affectionate and pleasing, and extremely fond of me; and I have devoted hours and hours to her amusement. But she is nothing to me now. She is a handsome girl, about fifteen or sixteen, and, I understand, highly accomplished. Since her father’s death, her home has been London, where a lady lives with her, and superintends her education.”

After many pauses and lots of trials of different topics, Elizabeth couldn’t assist reverting as soon as extra to the primary, and saying:

“I am astonished at his intimacy with Mr. Bingley! How can Mr. Bingley, who seems good humour itself, and is, I really believe, truly amiable, be in friendship with such a man? How can they suit each other? Do you know Mr. Bingley?”

“Not at all.”

“He is a sweet-tempered, amiable, charming man. He cannot know what Mr. Darcy is.”

“Probably not; but Mr. Darcy can please where he chooses. He does not want abilities. He can be a conversible companion if he thinks it worth his while. Among those who are at all his equals in consequence, he is a very different man from what he is to the less prosperous. His pride never deserts him; but with the rich he is liberal-minded, just, sincere, rational, honourable, and perhaps agreeable—allowing something for fortune and figure.”

The whist celebration quickly afterwards breaking apart, the gamers gathered spherical the opposite desk and Mr. Collins took his station between his cousin Elizabeth and Mrs. Phillips. The ordinary inquiries as to his success was made by the latter. It had not been very nice; he had misplaced each level; however when Mrs. Phillips started to specific her concern thereupon, he assured her with a lot earnest gravity that it was not of the least significance, that he thought-about the cash as a mere trifle, and begged that she wouldn’t make herself uneasy.

“I know very well, madam,” mentioned he, “that when persons sit down to a card-table, they must take their chances of these things, and happily I am not in such circumstances as to make five shillings any object. There are undoubtedly many who could not say the same, but thanks to Lady Catherine de Bourgh, I am removed far beyond the necessity of regarding little matters.”

Mr. Wickham’s consideration was caught; and after observing Mr. Collins for just a few moments, he requested Elizabeth in a low voice whether or not her relation was very intimately acquainted with the household of de Bourgh.

“Lady Catherine de Bourgh,” she replied, “has very lately given him a living. I hardly know how Mr. Collins was first introduced to her notice, but he certainly has not known her long.”

“You know of course that Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Lady Anne Darcy were sisters; consequently that she is aunt to the present Mr. Darcy.”

“No, indeed, I did not. I knew nothing at all of Lady Catherine’s connections. I never heard of her existence till the day before yesterday.”

“Her daughter, Miss de Bourgh, will have a very large fortune, and it is believed that she and her cousin will unite the two estates.”

This data made Elizabeth smile, as she considered poor Miss Bingley. Vain certainly have to be all her attentions, useless and ineffective her affection for his sister and her reward of himself, if he have been already self-destined for one more.

“Mr. Collins,” mentioned she, “speaks highly both of Lady Catherine and her daughter; but from some particulars that he has related of her ladyship, I suspect his gratitude misleads him, and that in spite of her being his patroness, she is an arrogant, conceited woman.”

“I believe her to be both in a great degree,” replied Wickham; “I have not seen her for many years, but I very well remember that I never liked her, and that her manners were dictatorial and insolent. She has the reputation of being remarkably sensible and clever; but I rather believe she derives part of her abilities from her rank and fortune, part from her authoritative manner, and the rest from the pride for her nephew, who chooses that everyone connected with him should have an understanding of the first class.”

Elizabeth allowed that he had given a really rational account of it, they usually continued speaking collectively, with mutual satisfaction until supper put an finish to playing cards, and gave the remainder of the women their share of Mr. Wickham’s attentions. There might be no dialog within the noise of Mrs. Phillips’s supper celebration, however his manners really helpful him to everyone. Whatever he mentioned, was mentioned effectively; and no matter he did, performed gracefully. Elizabeth went away along with her head stuffed with him. She may consider nothing however of Mr. Wickham, and of what he had informed her, all the best way residence; however there was not time for her even to say his identify as they went, for neither Lydia nor Mr. Collins have been as soon as silent. Lydia talked incessantly of lottery tickets, of the fish she had misplaced and the fish she had gained; and Mr. Collins in describing the civility of Mr. and Mrs. Phillips, protesting that he didn’t within the least regard his losses at whist, enumerating all of the dishes at supper, and repeatedly fearing that he crowded his cousins, had extra to say than he may effectively handle earlier than the carriage stopped at Longbourn House.

Chapter 17

Elizabeth associated to Jane the following day what had handed between Mr. Wickham and herself. Jane listened with astonishment and concern; she knew not consider that Mr. Darcy might be so unworthy of Mr. Bingley’s regard; and but, it was not in her nature to query the veracity of a younger man of such amiable look as Wickham. The risk of his having endured such unkindness, was sufficient to curiosity all her tender emotions; and nothing remained due to this fact to be performed, however to suppose effectively of them each, to defend the conduct of every, and throw into the account of accident or mistake no matter couldn’t be in any other case defined.

“They have both,” mentioned she, “been deceived, I dare say, in some way or other, of which we can form no idea. Interested people have perhaps misrepresented each to the other. It is, in short, impossible for us to conjecture the causes or circumstances which may have alienated them, without actual blame on either side.”

“Very true, indeed; and now, my dear Jane, what have you got to say on behalf of the interested people who have probably been concerned in the business? Do clear them too, or we shall be obliged to think ill of somebody.”

“Laugh as much as you choose, but you will not laugh me out of my opinion. My dearest Lizzy, do but consider in what a disgraceful light it places Mr. Darcy, to be treating his father’s favourite in such a manner, one whom his father had promised to provide for. It is impossible. No man of common humanity, no man who had any value for his character, could be capable of it. Can his most intimate friends be so excessively deceived in him? Oh! no.”

“I can much more easily believe Mr. Bingley’s being imposed on, than that Mr. Wickham should invent such a history of himself as he gave me last night; names, facts, everything mentioned without ceremony. If it be not so, let Mr. Darcy contradict 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 may suppose with certainty on just one level—that Mr. Bingley, if he had been imposed on, would have a lot to endure when the affair turned public.

The two younger women have been summoned from the shrubbery, the place this dialog handed, by the arrival of the very individuals of whom that they had been talking; Mr. Bingley and his sisters got here to present their private invitation for the long-expected ball at Netherfield, which was mounted for the next Tuesday. The two women have been delighted to see their expensive buddy once more, known as it an age since that they had met, and repeatedly requested what she had been doing with herself since their separation. To the remainder of the household they paid little consideration; avoiding Mrs. Bennet as a lot as doable, saying not a lot to Elizabeth, and nothing in any respect to the others. They have been quickly gone once more, rising from their seats with an exercise which took their brother without warning, and hurrying off as if keen to flee from Mrs. Bennet’s civilities.

The prospect of the Netherfield ball was extraordinarily agreeable to each feminine of the household. Mrs. Bennet selected to contemplate it as given in praise to her eldest daughter, and was significantly flattered by receiving the invitation from Mr. Bingley himself, as an alternative of a ceremonious card. Jane pictured to herself a cheerful night within the society of her two buddies, and the attentions of their brother; and Elizabeth thought with pleasure of dancing an awesome cope with Mr. Wickham, and of seeing a affirmation of all the things in Mr. Darcy’s look and behavior. The happiness anticipated by Catherine and Lydia depended much less on any single occasion, or any specific particular person, for although they every, like Elizabeth, meant to bounce half the night with Mr. Wickham, he was not at all the one companion who may fulfill them, and a ball was, at any fee, a ball. And even Mary may guarantee her household that she had no disinclination for it.

“While I can have my mornings to myself,” mentioned she, “it is enough—I think it is no sacrifice to join occasionally in evening engagements. Society has claims on us all; and I profess myself one of those who consider intervals of recreation and amusement as desirable for everybody.”

Elizabeth’s spirits have been so excessive on this event, that although she didn’t usually communicate unnecessarily to Mr. Collins, she couldn’t assist asking him whether or not he supposed to just accept Mr. Bingley’s invitation, and if he did, whether or not he would suppose it correct to hitch within the night’s amusement; and he or she was moderately stunned to seek out that he entertained no scruple no matter on that head, and was very removed from dreading a rebuke both from the Archbishop, or Lady Catherine de Bourgh, by venturing to bounce.

“I am by no means of the opinion, I assure you,” mentioned he, “that a ball of this kind, given by a young man of character, to respectable people, can have any evil 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 evening; 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 attribute to the right cause, and not to any disrespect for her.”

Elizabeth felt herself fully taken in. She had absolutely proposed being engaged by Mr. Wickham for these very dances; and to have Mr. Collins as an alternative! her liveliness had by no means been worse timed. There was no assist for it, nonetheless. Mr. Wickham’s happiness and her personal have been perforce delayed a little bit longer, and Mr. Collins’s proposal accepted with pretty much as good a grace as she may. She was not the higher happy along with his gallantry from the thought it advised of one thing extra. It now first struck her, that she was chosen from amongst her sisters as worthy of being mistress of Hunsford Parsonage, and of aiding to kind a quadrille desk at Rosings, within the absence of extra eligible guests. The concept quickly reached to conviction, as she noticed his growing civilities towards herself, and heard his frequent try at a praise on her wit and vivacity; and although extra astonished than gratified herself by this impact of her charms, it was not lengthy earlier than her mom gave her to know that the chance of their marriage was extraordinarily agreeable to her. Elizabeth, nonetheless, didn’t select to take the trace, being effectively conscious {that a} severe dispute have to be the consequence of any reply. Mr. Collins may by no means make the supply, and until he did, it was ineffective to quarrel about him.

If there had not been a Netherfield ball to arrange for and discuss of, the youthful Miss Bennets would have been in a really pitiable state right now, for from the day of the invitation, to the day of the ball, there was such a succession of rain as prevented their strolling to Meryton as soon as. No aunt, no officers, no information might be wanted—the very shoe-roses for Netherfield have been acquired by proxy. Even Elizabeth may need discovered some trial of her endurance in climate which completely suspended the development of her acquaintance with Mr. Wickham; and nothing lower than a dance on Tuesday, may 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 regarded in useless for Mr. Wickham among the many cluster of purple coats there assembled, a doubt of his being current had by no means occurred to her. The certainty of assembly him had not been checked by any of these recollections that may not unreasonably have alarmed her. She had dressed with greater than ordinary care, and ready within the highest spirits for the conquest of all that remained unsubdued of his coronary heart, trusting that it was no more than is likely to be gained in the middle of the night. But right away arose the dreadful suspicion of his being purposely omitted for Mr. Darcy’s pleasure within the Bingleys’ invitation to the officers; and although this was not precisely the case, absolutely the truth of his absence was pronounced by his buddy Denny, to whom Lydia eagerly utilized, and who informed them that Wickham had been obliged to go to city on enterprise the day earlier than, and was not but returned; including, with a major smile, “I do not imagine his business would have called him away just now, if he had not wanted to avoid a certain gentleman here.”

This a part of his intelligence, although unheard by Lydia, was caught by Elizabeth, and, because it assured her that Darcy was not much less answerable for Wickham’s absence than if her first surmise had been simply, each feeling of displeasure towards the previous was so sharpened by fast disappointment, that she may hardly reply with tolerable civility to the well mannered inquiries which he instantly afterwards approached to make. Attendance, forbearance, endurance with Darcy, was damage to Wickham. She was resolved towards any kind of dialog with him, and turned away with a level of ill-humour which she couldn’t wholly surmount even in talking to Mr. Bingley, whose blind partiality provoked her.

But Elizabeth was not shaped for ill-humour; and although each prospect of her personal was destroyed for the night, it couldn’t dwell lengthy on her spirits; and having informed all her griefs to Charlotte Lucas, whom she had not seen for per week, she was quickly capable of make a voluntary transition to the eccentricities of her cousin, and to level him out to her specific discover. The first two dances, nonetheless, introduced a return of misery; they have been dances of mortification. Mr. Collins, awkward and solemn, apologising as an alternative of attending, and infrequently shifting unsuitable with out being conscious of it, gave her all of the disgrace and distress which a unpleasant companion for a few dances can provide. The second of her launch from him was ecstasy.

She danced subsequent with an officer, and had the refreshment of speaking of Wickham, and of listening to that he was universally appreciated. When these dances have been over, she returned to Charlotte Lucas, and was in dialog along with her, when she discovered herself out of the blue addressed by Mr. Darcy who took her a lot without warning in his utility for her hand, that, with out figuring out what she did, she accepted him. He walked away once more instantly, and he or she was left to stress over her personal need of presence of thoughts; 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 agreeable whom one is determined to hate! Do not wish me such an evil.”

When the dancing recommenced, nonetheless, and Darcy approached to say her hand, Charlotte couldn’t assist cautioning her in a whisper, to not be a simpleton, and permit her fancy for Wickham to make her seem disagreeable within the eyes of a person ten instances his consequence. Elizabeth made no reply, and took her place within the set, amazed on the dignity to which she was arrived in being allowed to face reverse to Mr. Darcy, and studying in her neighbours’ seems to be, their equal amazement in beholding it. They stood for a while with out talking a phrase; and he or she started to think about that their silence was to final by means of the 2 dances, and at first was resolved to not break it; until out of the blue fancying that it could be the better punishment to her companion to oblige him to speak, she made some slight statement on the dance. He replied, and was once more silent. After a pause of some minutes, 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 guaranteed her that no matter she wished him to say needs to be mentioned.

“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 silent.”

“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, conversation ought to be so arranged, as that they may have the trouble of saying as little as possible.”

“Are you consulting your own feelings in the present case, or do you imagine that 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, unwilling 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,” mentioned he. “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 reply, they usually have been once more silent until that they had gone down the dance, when he requested her if she and her sisters didn’t fairly often stroll to Meryton. She answered within the affirmative, and, unable to withstand the temptation, added, “When you met us there the other day, we had just been forming a new acquaintance.”

The impact was fast. A deeper shade of hauteur overspread his options, however he mentioned not a phrase, and Elizabeth, although blaming herself for her personal weak spot, couldn’t go on. At size Darcy spoke, and in a constrained method mentioned, “Mr. Wickham is blessed with such happy manners as may ensure his making friends—whether he may be equally capable of retaining them, is less certain.”

“He has been so unlucky as to lose your friendship,” replied Elizabeth with emphasis, “and in a manner which he is likely to suffer from all his life.”

Darcy made no reply, and appeared desirous of adjusting the topic. At that second, Sir William Lucas appeared near them, that means to cross by means of the set to the opposite aspect of the room; however on perceiving Mr. Darcy, he stopped with a bow of superior courtesy to go with him on his dancing and his companion.

“I have been most highly gratified indeed, my dear sir. Such very superior dancing 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 must hope to have this pleasure often repeated, especially when a certain desirable event, my dear Eliza (glancing at her sister and Bingley) shall take place. What congratulations will then flow in! I appeal to Mr. Darcy:—but let me not interrupt you, sir. You will not thank me for detaining you from the bewitching converse of that young lady, whose bright eyes are also upbraiding me.”

The latter a part of this handle was scarcely heard by Darcy; however Sir William’s allusion to his buddy appeared to strike him forcibly, and his eyes have been directed with a really severe expression in the direction of Bingley and Jane, who have been dancing collectively. Recovering himself, nonetheless, shortly, he turned to his companion, and mentioned, “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 cannot imagine.”

“What think you of books?” mentioned 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 want 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?” mentioned he, with a glance of doubt.

“Yes, always,” she replied, with out figuring out what she mentioned, for her ideas had wandered removed from the topic, as quickly afterwards appeared by her out of the blue exclaiming, “I remember hearing you once say, Mr. Darcy, that you hardly ever forgave, that your resentment once created was unappeasable. You are very cautious, I suppose, as to its being created.”

“I am,” mentioned he, with a agency voice.

“And never allow yourself to be blinded by prejudice?”

“I hope not.”

“It is particularly incumbent on those who never change their opinion, to be secure of judging properly at first.”

“May I ask to what these questions tend?”

“Merely to the illustration of your character,” mentioned she, endeavouring to shake off her gravity. “I am trying to make it out.”

“And what is your success?”

She shook her head. “I do not get on at all. I hear such different accounts of you as puzzle me exceedingly.”

“I can readily believe,” answered he gravely, “that reports may vary greatly with respect to me; and I could wish, Miss Bennet, that you were not to sketch my character at the present moment, as there is reason to fear that the performance would reflect no credit on either.”

“But if I do not take your likeness now, I may never have another opportunity.”

“I would by no means suspend any pleasure of yours,” he coldly replied. She mentioned no extra, they usually went down the opposite dance and parted in silence; and on all sides dissatisfied, although to not an equal diploma, for in Darcy’s breast there was a tolerably highly effective feeling in the direction of her, which quickly procured her pardon, and directed all his anger towards one other.

They had not lengthy separated, when Miss Bingley got here in the direction of her, and with an expression of civil disdain accosted her:

“So, Miss Eliza, I hear you are quite delighted with George Wickham! Your sister has been talking to me about him, and asking me a thousand questions; and I find that the young man quite forgot to tell you, among his other communication, that he was the son of old Wickham, the late Mr. Darcy’s steward. Let me recommend you, however, as a friend, not to give implicit confidence to all his assertions; for as to Mr. Darcy’s using him ill, it is perfectly false; for, on the contrary, he has always been remarkably kind to him, though George Wickham has treated Mr. Darcy in a most infamous manner. I do not know the particulars, but I know very well that Mr. Darcy is not in the least to blame, that he cannot bear to hear George Wickham mentioned, and that though my brother thought that he could not well avoid including him in his invitation to the officers, he was excessively glad to find that he had taken himself out of the way. His coming into the country at all is a most insolent thing, indeed, and I wonder how he could presume to do it. I pity you, Miss Eliza, for this discovery of your favourite’s guilt; but really, considering his descent, one could not expect much better.”

“His guilt and his descent appear by your account to be the same,” mentioned Elizabeth angrily; “for I have heard you accuse him of nothing worse than of being the son of Mr. Darcy’s steward, and of that, I can assure you, he informed me himself.”

“I beg your pardon,” replied Miss Bingley, turning away with a sneer. “Excuse my interference—it was kindly meant.”

“Insolent girl!” mentioned Elizabeth to herself. “You are much mistaken if you expect to influence me by such a paltry attack as this. I see nothing in it but your own wilful ignorance and the malice of Mr. Darcy.” She then sought her eldest sister, who had undertaken to make inquiries on the identical topic of Bingley. Jane met her with a smile of such candy complacency, a glow of such glad expression, as sufficiently marked how effectively she was glad with the occurrences of the night. Elizabeth immediately learn her emotions, and at that second solicitude for Wickham, resentment towards his enemies, and all the things else, gave approach earlier than the hope of Jane’s being within the fairest approach for happiness.

“I want to know,” mentioned she, with a countenance no much less smiling than her sister’s, “what you have learnt about Mr. Wickham. But perhaps you have been too pleasantly engaged to think of any third person; in which case you may be sure of my pardon.”

“No,” replied Jane, “I have not forgotten him; but I have nothing satisfactory to tell you. Mr. Bingley does not know the whole of his history, and is quite ignorant of the circumstances which have principally offended Mr. Darcy; but he will vouch for the good conduct, the probity, and honour of his friend, and is perfectly convinced that Mr. Wickham has deserved much less attention from Mr. Darcy than he has received; and I am sorry to say by his account as well as his sister’s, Mr. Wickham is by no means a respectable young man. I am afraid he has been very imprudent, and has deserved to lose Mr. Darcy’s regard.”

“Mr. Bingley does not know Mr. Wickham himself?”

“No; he never saw him till the other morning at Meryton.”

“This account then is what he has received from Mr. Darcy. I am satisfied. But what does he say of the living?”

“He does not exactly recollect the circumstances, though he has heard them from Mr. Darcy more than once, but he believes that it was left to him conditionally only.”

“I have not a doubt of Mr. Bingley’s sincerity,” mentioned Elizabeth warmly; “but you must excuse my not being convinced by assurances only. Mr. Bingley’s defense of his friend was a very able one, I dare say; but since he is unacquainted with several parts of the story, and has learnt the rest from that friend himself, I shall venture to still think of both gentlemen as I did before.”

She then modified the discourse to 1 extra gratifying to every, and on which there might be no distinction of sentiment. Elizabeth listened with delight to the glad, although modest hopes which Jane entertained of Mr. Bingley’s regard, and mentioned all in her energy to intensify her confidence in it. On their being joined by Mr. Bingley himself, Elizabeth withdrew to Miss Lucas; to whose inquiry after the pleasantness of her final companion she had scarcely replied, earlier than Mr. Collins got here as much as them, and informed her with nice exultation that he had simply been so lucky as to make a most vital discovery.

“I have found out,” mentioned he, “by a singular accident, that there is now in the room a near relation of my patroness. I happened to overhear the gentleman himself mentioning to the young lady who does the honours of the house the names of his cousin Miss de Bourgh, and of her mother Lady Catherine. How wonderfully these sort of things occur! Who would have thought of my meeting with, perhaps, a nephew of Lady Catherine de Bourgh in this assembly! I am most thankful that the discovery is made in time for me to pay my respects to him, which I am now going to do, and trust he will excuse my not having done it before. My total ignorance of the connection must plead my apology.”

“You are not going to introduce yourself to Mr. Darcy!”

“Indeed I am. I shall entreat his pardon for not having done it earlier. I believe him to be Lady Catherine’s nephew. It will be in my power to assure him that her ladyship was quite well yesterday se’nnight.”

Elizabeth tried onerous to dissuade him from such a scheme, assuring him that Mr. Darcy would take into account his addressing him with out introduction as an impertinent freedom, moderately than a praise to his aunt; that it was not within the least vital there needs to be any discover on both aspect; and that if it have been, it should belong to Mr. Darcy, the superior in consequence, to start the acquaintance. Mr. Collins listened to her with the decided air of following his personal inclination, and, when she ceased talking, replied thus:

“My dear Miss Elizabeth, I have the highest opinion in the world in your excellent judgement in all matters within the scope of your understanding; but permit me to say, that there must be a wide difference between the established forms of ceremony amongst the laity, and those which regulate the clergy; for, give me leave 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 behaviour is at the same time maintained. You must therefore allow me to follow the dictates of my conscience on this occasion, which leads me to perform what I look on as a point of duty. Pardon me for neglecting to profit by your advice, which on every other subject shall be my constant guide, 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.” And with a low bow he left her to assault Mr. Darcy, whose reception of his advances she eagerly watched, and whose astonishment at being so addressed was very evident. Her cousin prefaced his speech with a solemn bow and although she couldn’t hear a phrase of it, she felt as if listening to all of it, and noticed within the movement of his lips the phrases “apology,” “Hunsford,” and “Lady Catherine de Bourgh.” It vexed her to see him expose himself to such a person. Mr. Darcy was eyeing him with unrestrained surprise, and when finally Mr. Collins allowed him time to talk, replied with an air of distant civility. Mr. Collins, nonetheless, was not discouraged from talking once more, and Mr. Darcy’s contempt appeared abundantly growing with the size of his second speech, and on the finish of it he solely made him a slight bow, and moved one other approach. Mr. Collins then returned to Elizabeth.

“I have no reason, I assure you,” mentioned he, “to be dissatisfied with my reception. Mr. Darcy seemed much pleased with the attention. He answered me with the utmost civility, and even paid me the compliment of saying that he was so well convinced of Lady Catherine’s discernment as to be certain she could never bestow a favour unworthily. It was really a very handsome thought. Upon the whole, I am much pleased with him.”

As Elizabeth had not any curiosity of her personal to pursue, she turned her consideration virtually fully on her sister and Mr. Bingley; and the practice of agreeable reflections which her observations gave delivery to, made her maybe virtually as glad as Jane. She noticed her in concept settled in that very home, in all of the felicity which a wedding of true affection may bestow; and he or she felt succesful, below such circumstances, of endeavouring even to love Bingley’s two sisters. Her mom’s ideas she plainly noticed have been bent the identical approach, and he or she decided to not enterprise close to her, lest she may hear an excessive amount of. When they sat all the way down to supper, due to this fact, she thought-about it a most unfortunate perverseness which positioned them inside certainly one of one another; and deeply was she vexed to seek out that her mom was speaking to that one particular person (Lady Lucas) freely, overtly, and of nothing else however her expectation that Jane would quickly be married to Mr. Bingley. It was an animating topic, and Mrs. Bennet appeared incapable of fatigue whereas enumerating the benefits of the match. His being such an enthralling younger man, and so wealthy, and dwelling however three miles from them, have been the primary factors of self-gratulation; after which it was such a consolation to suppose how fond the 2 sisters have been of Jane, and to make sure that they have to need the connection as a lot as she may do. It was, furthermore, such a promising factor for her youthful daughters, as Jane’s marrying so significantly should throw them in the best way of different wealthy males; and lastly, it was so nice at her time of life to have the ability to consign her single daughters to the care of their sister, that she won’t be obliged to enter firm greater than she appreciated. It was essential to make this circumstance a matter of delight, as a result of on such events it’s the etiquette; however nobody was much less possible than Mrs. Bennet to seek out consolation in staying residence at any interval of her life. She concluded with many good needs that Lady Lucas may quickly be equally lucky, although evidently and triumphantly believing there was no likelihood of it.

In useless did Elizabeth endeavour to verify the rapidity of her mom’s phrases, or persuade her to explain her felicity in a much less audible whisper; for, to her inexpressible vexation, she may understand that the chief of it was overheard by Mr. Darcy, who sat reverse to them. Her mom solely scolded her for being nonsensical.

“What is Mr. Darcy to me, pray, that I should be afraid of him? I am sure we owe him no such particular civility as to be obliged to say nothing he may not like to hear.”

“For heaven’s sake, madam, speak lower. What advantage can it be for you to offend Mr. Darcy? You will never recommend yourself to his friend by so doing!”

Nothing that she may say, nonetheless, had any affect. Her mom would discuss of her views in the identical intelligible tone. Elizabeth blushed and blushed once more with disgrace and vexation. She couldn’t assist steadily glancing her eye at Mr. Darcy, although each look satisfied her of what she dreaded; for although he was not at all times taking a look at her mom, she was satisfied that his consideration was invariably mounted by her. The expression of his face modified steadily from indignant contempt to a composed and regular gravity.

At size, nonetheless, Mrs. Bennet had no extra to say; and Lady Lucas, who had been lengthy yawning on the repetition of delights which she noticed no chance of sharing, was left to the comforts of chilly ham and rooster. Elizabeth now started to revive. But not lengthy was the interval of tranquillity; for, when supper was over, singing was talked of, and he or she had the mortification of seeing Mary, after little or no entreaty, making ready to oblige the corporate. By many vital seems to be and silent entreaties, did she endeavour to stop such a proof of complaisance, however in useless; Mary wouldn’t perceive them; such a possibility of exhibiting was pleasant to her, and he or she started her tune. Elizabeth’s eyes have been mounted on her with most painful sensations, and he or she watched her progress by means of the a number of stanzas with an impatience which was very in poor health rewarded at their shut; for Mary, on receiving, amongst the thanks of the desk, the trace of a hope that she is likely to be prevailed on to favour them once more, after the pause of half a minute started one other. Mary’s powers have been not at all fitted for such a show; her voice was weak, and her method affected. Elizabeth was in agonies. She checked out Jane, to see how she bore it; however Jane was very composedly speaking to Bingley. She checked out his two sisters, and noticed them making indicators of derision at one another, and at Darcy, who continued, nonetheless, imperturbably grave. She checked out her father to entreat his interference, lest Mary needs to be singing all evening. He took the trace, and when Mary had completed her second tune, mentioned aloud, “That will do extremely well, child. You have delighted us long enough. Let the other young ladies have time to exhibit.”

Mary, although pretending to not hear, was considerably disconcerted; and Elizabeth, sorry for her, and sorry for her father’s speech, was afraid her anxiousness had performed no good. Others of the celebration have been now utilized to.

“If I,” mentioned Mr. Collins, “were so fortunate as to be able to sing, I should have great pleasure, I am sure, in obliging the company with an air; for I consider music as a very innocent diversion, and perfectly compatible with the profession of a clergyman. I do not mean, however, to assert that we can be justified in devoting too much of our time to music, for there are certainly other things to be attended to. The rector of a parish has much to do. In the first place, he must make such an agreement for tithes as may be beneficial to himself and not offensive to his patron. He must write his own sermons; and the time that remains will not be too much for his parish duties, and the care and improvement of his dwelling, which he cannot be excused from making as comfortable as possible. And I do not think it of light importance that he should have attentive and conciliatory manners towards everybody, especially towards those to whom he owes his preferment. I cannot acquit him of that duty; nor could I think well of the man who should omit an occasion of testifying his respect towards anybody connected with the family.” And with a bow to Mr. Darcy, he concluded his speech, which had been spoken so loud as to be heard by half the room. Many stared—many smiled; however nobody regarded extra amused than Mr. Bennet himself, whereas his spouse severely recommended Mr. Collins for having spoken so sensibly, and noticed in a half-whisper to Lady Lucas, that he was a remarkably intelligent, good type of younger man.

To Elizabeth it appeared that, had her household made an settlement to show themselves as a lot as they might throughout the night, it could have been unattainable for them to play their components with extra spirit or finer success; and glad did she suppose it for Bingley and her sister that among the exhibition had escaped his discover, and that his emotions weren’t of a kind to be a lot distressed by the folly which he will need to have witnessed. That his two sisters and Mr. Darcy, nonetheless, ought to have such a possibility of ridiculing her relations, was unhealthy sufficient, and he or she couldn’t decide whether or not the silent contempt of the gentleman, or the insolent smiles of the women, have been extra insupportable.

The remainder of the night introduced her little amusement. She was teased by Mr. Collins, who continued most perseveringly by her aspect, and although he couldn’t prevail on her to bounce with him once more, put it out of her energy to bounce with others. In useless did she entreat him to face up with any individual else, and supply to introduce him to any younger girl within the room. He assured her, that as to dancing, he was completely detached to it; that his chief object was by delicate attentions to suggest himself to her and that he ought to due to this fact make some extent of remaining near her the entire night. There was no arguing upon such a undertaking. She owed her biggest aid to her buddy Miss Lucas, who usually joined them, and good-naturedly engaged Mr. Collins’s dialog to herself.

She was a minimum of free from the offense of Mr. Darcy’s additional discover; although usually standing inside a really brief distance of her, fairly disengaged, he by no means got here close to sufficient to talk. She felt it to be the possible consequence of her allusions to Mr. Wickham, and rejoiced in it.

The Longbourn celebration have been the final of all the corporate to depart, and, by a manoeuvre of Mrs. Bennet, needed to wait for his or her carriage 1 / 4 of an hour after everyone else was gone, which gave them time to see how heartily they have been wished away by among the household. Mrs. Hurst and her sister scarcely opened their mouths, besides to complain of fatigue, and have been evidently impatient to have the home to themselves. They repulsed each try of Mrs. Bennet at dialog, and by so doing threw a languor over the entire celebration, which was little or no relieved by the lengthy speeches of Mr. Collins, who was complimenting Mr. Bingley and his sisters on the class of their leisure, and the hospitality and politeness which had marked their behaviour to their friends. Darcy mentioned nothing in any respect. Mr. Bennet, in equal silence, was having fun with the scene. Mr. Bingley and Jane have been standing collectively, a little bit indifferent from the remainder, and talked solely to one another. Elizabeth preserved as regular a silence as both Mrs. Hurst or Miss Bingley; and even Lydia was an excessive amount of fatigued to utter greater than the occasional exclamation of “Lord, how tired I am!” accompanied by a violent yawn.

When at size they arose to take go away, Mrs. Bennet was most pressingly civil in her hope of seeing the entire household quickly at Longbourn, and addressed herself particularly to Mr. Bingley, to guarantee him how glad he would make them by consuming a household dinner with them at any time, with out the ceremony of a proper invitation. Bingley was all grateful pleasure, and he readily engaged for taking the earliest alternative of ready on her, after his return from London, whither he was obliged to go the following day for a short while.

Mrs. Bennet was completely glad, and quitted the home below the pleasant persuasion that, permitting for the mandatory preparations of settlements, new carriages, and marriage ceremony garments, she ought to undoubtedly see her daughter settled at Netherfield in the middle of three or 4 months. Of having one other daughter married to Mr. Collins, she thought with equal certainty, and with appreciable, although not equal, pleasure. Elizabeth was the least expensive to her of all her youngsters; and although the person and the match have been fairly ok for her, the price of every was eclipsed by Mr. Bingley and Netherfield.

Chapter 19

The subsequent day opened a brand new scene at Longbourn. Mr. Collins made his declaration in kind. Having resolved to do it with out lack of time, as his go away of absence prolonged solely to the next Saturday, and having no emotions of diffidence to make it distressing to himself even in the meanwhile, he set about it in a really orderly method, with all of the observances, which he supposed an everyday a part of the enterprise. On discovering Mrs. Bennet, Elizabeth, and one of many youthful women collectively, quickly after breakfast, he addressed the mom in these phrases:

“May I hope, madam, for your interest with your fair daughter Elizabeth, when I solicit for the honour of a private audience with her in the course of this morning?”

Before Elizabeth had time for something however a blush of shock, Mrs. Bennet answered immediately, “Oh dear!—yes—certainly. I am sure Lizzy will be very happy—I am sure she can have no objection. Come, Kitty, I want you up stairs.” And, gathering her work collectively, she was hastening away, when Elizabeth known as out:

“Dear madam, do not go. I beg you will not go. Mr. Collins must excuse me. He can have nothing to say to me that anybody need not hear. I am going away myself.”

“No, no, nonsense, Lizzy. I desire you to stay where you are.” And upon Elizabeth’s seeming actually, with vexed and embarrassed seems to be, about to flee, she added: “Lizzy, I insist upon your staying and hearing Mr. Collins.”

Elizabeth wouldn’t oppose such an injunction—and a second’s consideration making her additionally smart that it could be wisest to get it over as quickly and as quietly as doable, she sat down once more and tried to hide, by incessant employment the emotions which have been divided between misery and diversion. Mrs. Bennet and Kitty walked off, and as quickly as they have been gone, Mr. Collins started.

“Believe me, my dear Miss Elizabeth, that your modesty, so far from doing you any disservice, rather adds to your other perfections. You would have been less amiable in my eyes had there not been this little unwillingness; but allow me to assure you, that I have your respected mother’s permission for this address. You can hardly doubt the purport of my discourse, however your natural delicacy may lead you to dissemble; my attentions have been too marked to be mistaken. Almost as soon as I entered the house, I singled you out as the companion of my future life. But before I am run away with by my feelings on this subject, perhaps it would be advisable for me to state my reasons for marrying—and, moreover, for coming into Hertfordshire with the design of selecting a wife, as I certainly did.”

The concept of Mr. Collins, with all his solemn composure, being run away with by his emotions, made Elizabeth so close to laughing, that she couldn’t use the brief pause he allowed in any try and cease him additional, and he continued:

“My reasons for marrying are, first, that I think it a right thing for every clergyman in easy circumstances (like myself) to set the example of matrimony in his parish; secondly, that I am convinced that it will add very greatly to my happiness; and thirdly—which perhaps I ought to have mentioned earlier, that it is the particular advice and recommendation of the very noble lady whom I have the honour of calling patroness. Twice has she condescended to give me her opinion (unasked too!) on this subject; and it was but the very Saturday night before I left Hunsford—between our pools at quadrille, while Mrs. Jenkinson was arranging Miss de Bourgh’s footstool, that she said, ‘Mr. Collins, you must marry. A clergyman like you must marry. Choose properly, choose a gentlewoman for my sake; and for your own, let her be an active, useful sort of person, not brought up high, but able to make a small income go a good way. This is my advice. Find such a woman as soon as you can, bring her to Hunsford, and I will visit her.’ Allow me, by the way, to observe, my fair cousin, that I do not reckon the notice and kindness of Lady Catherine de Bourgh as among the least of the advantages in my power to offer. You will find her manners beyond anything I can describe; and your wit and vivacity, I think, must be acceptable to her, especially when tempered with the silence and respect which her rank will inevitably excite. Thus much for my general intention in favour of matrimony; it remains to be told why my views were directed towards Longbourn instead of my own neighbourhood, where I can assure you there are many amiable young women. But the fact is, that being, as I am, to inherit this estate after the death of your honoured father (who, however, may live many years longer), I could not satisfy myself without resolving to choose a wife from among his daughters, that the loss to them might be as little as possible, when the melancholy event takes place—which, however, as I have already said, may not be for several years. This has been my motive, my fair cousin, and I flatter myself it will not sink me in your esteem. And now nothing remains for me but to assure you in the most animated language of the violence of my affection. To fortune I am perfectly indifferent, and shall make no demand of that nature on your father, since I am well aware that it could not be complied with; and that one thousand pounds in the four per cents, which will not be yours till after your mother’s decease, is all that you may ever be entitled to. On that head, therefore, I shall be uniformly silent; and you may assure yourself that no ungenerous reproach shall ever pass my lips when we are married.”

It was completely essential to interrupt him now.

“You are too hasty, sir,” she cried. “You forget that I have made no answer. Let me do it without further loss of time. Accept my thanks for the compliment you are paying me. I am very sensible of the honour of your proposals, but it is impossible for me to do otherwise than to decline them.”

“I am not now to learn,” replied Mr. Collins, with a proper wave of the hand, “that it is usual with young ladies to reject the addresses of the man whom they secretly mean to accept, when he first applies for their favour; and that sometimes the refusal is repeated a second, or even a third time. I am therefore by no means discouraged by what you have just said, and shall hope to lead you to the altar ere long.”

“Upon my word, sir,” cried Elizabeth, “your hope is a rather extraordinary one after my declaration. I do assure you that I am not one of those young ladies (if such young ladies there are) who are so daring as to risk their happiness on the chance of being asked a second time. I am perfectly serious in my refusal. You could not make me happy, and I am convinced that I am the last woman in the world who could make you so. Nay, were your friend Lady Catherine to know me, I am persuaded she would find me in every respect ill qualified for the situation.”

“Were it certain that Lady Catherine would think so,” mentioned Mr. Collins very gravely—”but I cannot imagine that her ladyship would at all disapprove of you. And you may be certain when I have the honour of seeing her again, I shall speak in the very highest terms of your modesty, economy, and other amiable qualification.”

“Indeed, Mr. Collins, all praise of me will be unnecessary. You must give me leave to judge for myself, and pay me the compliment of believing what I say. I wish you very happy and very rich, and by refusing your hand, do all in my power to prevent your being otherwise. In making me the offer, you must have satisfied the delicacy of your feelings with regard to my family, and may take possession of Longbourn estate whenever it falls, without any self-reproach. This matter may be considered, therefore, as finally settled.” And rising as she thus spoke, she would have quitted the room, had Mr. Collins not thus addressed her:

“When I do myself the honour of speaking to you next on the subject, I shall hope to receive a more favourable answer than you have now given me; though I am far from accusing you of cruelty at present, because I know it to be the established custom of your sex to reject a man on the first application, 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.”

“Really, Mr. Collins,” cried Elizabeth with some heat, “you puzzle me exceedingly. If what I have hitherto said can appear to you in the form of encouragement, I know not how to express my refusal in such a way as to convince you of its being one.”

“You must give me leave to flatter myself, my dear cousin, that your refusal of my addresses is merely words of course. My reasons for believing it are briefly these: It does not appear to me that my hand is unworthy of your acceptance, or that the establishment I can offer would be any other than highly desirable. My situation in life, my connections with the family of de Bourgh, and my relationship to your own, are circumstances highly in my favour; and you should take it into further consideration, that in spite of your manifold attractions, it is by no means certain that another offer of marriage may ever be made you. Your portion is unhappily so small that it will in all likelihood undo the effects of your loveliness and amiable qualifications. As I must therefore conclude that you are not serious in your rejection of me, I shall choose to attribute it to your wish of increasing my love by suspense, according to the usual practice of elegant females.”

“I do assure you, sir, that I have no pretensions whatever to that kind of elegance which consists in tormenting a respectable man. I would rather be paid the compliment of being believed sincere. I thank you again and again for the honour you have done me in your proposals, but to accept them is absolutely impossible. My feelings in every respect forbid it. Can I speak plainer? Do not consider me now as an elegant female, intending to plague you, but as a rational creature, speaking the truth from her heart.”

“You are uniformly charming!” cried he, with an air of awkward gallantry; “and I am persuaded that when sanctioned by the express authority of both your excellent parents, my proposals will not fail of being acceptable.”

To such perseverance in wilful self-deception Elizabeth would make no reply, and instantly and in silence withdrew; decided, if he endured in contemplating her repeated refusals as flattering encouragement, to use to her father, whose unfavorable is likely to be uttered in such a fashion as to be decisive, and whose behaviour a minimum of couldn’t be mistaken for the affectation and coquetry of a sublime feminine.

Chapter 20

Mr. Collins was not left lengthy to the silent contemplation of his profitable love; for Mrs. Bennet, having dawdled about within the vestibule to look at for the tip of the convention, no sooner noticed Elizabeth open the door and with fast step cross her in the direction of the staircase, than she entered the breakfast-room, and congratulated each him and herself in heat phrases on the glad prospect of their nearer connection. Mr. Collins acquired and returned these felicitations with equal pleasure, after which proceeded to narrate the particulars of their interview, with the results of which he trusted he had each purpose to be glad, for the reason that refusal which his cousin had steadfastly given him would naturally move from her bashful modesty and the real delicacy of her character.

This data, nonetheless, startled Mrs. Bennet; she would have been glad to be equally glad that her daughter had meant to encourage him by protesting towards his proposals, however she dared not consider it, and couldn’t assist saying so.

“But, depend upon it, Mr. Collins,” she added, “that Lizzy shall be brought to reason. I will speak to her about it directly. She is a very headstrong, foolish girl, and does not know her own interest but I will make her know it.”

“Pardon me for interrupting you, madam,” cried Mr. Collins; “but if she is really headstrong and foolish, I know not whether she would altogether be a very desirable wife to a man in my situation, who naturally looks for happiness in the marriage state. If therefore she actually persists in rejecting my suit, perhaps it were better not to force her into accepting me, because if liable to such defects of temper, she could not contribute much to my felicity.”

“Sir, you quite misunderstand me,” mentioned Mrs. Bennet, alarmed. “Lizzy is only headstrong in such matters as these. In everything else she is as good-natured a girl as ever lived. I will go directly to Mr. Bennet, and we shall very soon settle it with her, I am sure.”

She wouldn’t give him time to answer, however hurrying immediately to her husband, known as out as she entered the library, “Oh! Mr. Bennet, you are wanted immediately; we are all in an uproar. You must come and make Lizzy marry Mr. Collins, for she vows she will not have him, and if you do not make haste he will change his mind and not have her.”

Mr. Bennet raised his eyes from his ebook as she entered, and stuck them on her face with a peaceful unconcern which was not within the least altered by her communication.

“I have not the pleasure of understanding you,” mentioned he, when she had completed her speech. “Of what are you talking?”

“Of Mr. Collins and Lizzy. Lizzy declares she will not have Mr. Collins, and Mr. Collins begins to say that he will not have Lizzy.”

“And what am I to do on the occasion? It seems an hopeless business.”

“Speak to Lizzy about it yourself. Tell her that you insist upon her marrying him.”

“Let her be called down. She shall hear my opinion.”

Mrs. Bennet rang the bell, and Miss Elizabeth was summoned to the library.

“Come here, child,” cried her father as she appeared. “I have sent for you on an affair of importance. I understand that Mr. Collins has made you an offer of marriage. Is it true?” Elizabeth replied that it was. “Very well—and this offer of marriage you have refused?”

“I have, sir.”

“Very well. We now come to the point. Your mother insists upon your accepting it. Is it not so, Mrs. Bennet?”

“Yes, or I will never see her again.”

“An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.”

Elizabeth couldn’t however smile at such a conclusion of such a starting, however Mrs. Bennet, who had persuaded herself that her husband regarded the affair as she wished, was excessively disillusioned.

“What do you mean, Mr. Bennet, in talking this way? You promised me to insist upon her marrying him.”

“My dear,” replied her husband, “I have two small favours to request. First, that you will allow me the free use of my understanding on the present occasion; and secondly, of my room. I shall be glad to have the library to myself as soon as may be.”

Not but, nonetheless, regardless of her disappointment in her husband, did Mrs. Bennet hand over the purpose. She talked to Elizabeth time and again; coaxed and threatened her by turns. She endeavoured to safe Jane in her curiosity; however Jane, with all doable mildness, declined interfering; and Elizabeth, typically with actual earnestness, and typically with playful gaiety, replied to her assaults. Though her method various, nonetheless, her dedication by no means did.

Mr. Collins, in the meantime, was meditating in solitude on what had handed. He thought too effectively of himself to understand on what motives his cousin may refuse him; and although his delight was damage, he suffered in no different approach. His regard for her was fairly imaginary; and the potential for her deserving her mom’s reproach prevented his feeling any remorse.

While the household have been on this confusion, Charlotte Lucas got here to spend the day with them. She was met within the vestibule by Lydia, who, flying to her, cried in a half whisper, “I am glad you are come, for there is such fun here! What do you think has happened this morning? Mr. Collins has made an offer to Lizzy, and she will not have him.”

Charlotte hardly had time to reply, earlier than they have been joined by Kitty, who got here to inform the identical information; and no sooner had they entered the breakfast-room, the place Mrs. Bennet was alone, than she likewise started on the topic, calling on Miss Lucas for her compassion, and entreating her to influence her buddy Lizzy to adjust to the needs of all her household. “Pray do, my dear Miss Lucas,” she added in a melancholy tone, “for nobody is on my side, nobody takes part with me. I am cruelly used, nobody feels for my poor nerves.”

Charlotte’s reply was spared by the doorway of Jane and Elizabeth.

“Aye, there she comes,” continued Mrs. Bennet, “looking as unconcerned as may be, and caring no more for us than if we were at York, provided she can have her own way. But I tell you, Miss Lizzy—if you take it into your head to go on refusing every offer of marriage in this way, you will never get a husband at all—and I am sure I do not know who is to maintain you when your father is dead. I shall not be able to keep you—and so I warn you. I have done with you from this very day. I told you in the library, you know, that I should never speak to you again, and you will find me as good as my word. I have no pleasure in talking to undutiful children. Not that I have much pleasure, indeed, in talking to anybody. People who suffer as I do from nervous complaints can have no great inclination for talking. Nobody can tell what I suffer! But it is always so. Those who do not complain are never pitied.”

Her daughters listened in silence to this effusion, smart that any try and purpose along with her or soothe her would solely enhance the irritation. She talked on, due to this fact, with out interruption from any of them, until they have been joined by Mr. Collins, who entered the room with an air extra stately than ordinary, and on perceiving whom, she mentioned to the women, “Now, I do insist upon it, that you, all of you, hold your tongues, and let me and Mr. Collins have a little conversation together.”

Elizabeth handed quietly out of the room, Jane and Kitty adopted, however Lydia stood her floor, decided to listen to all she may; and Charlotte, detained first by the civility of Mr. Collins, whose inquiries after herself and all her household have been very minute, after which by a little bit curiosity, glad herself with strolling to the window and pretending to not hear. In a doleful voice Mrs. Bennet started the projected dialog: “Oh! Mr. Collins!”

“My dear madam,” replied he, “let us be for ever silent on this point. Far be it from me,” he presently continued, in a voice that marked his displeasure, “to resent the behaviour of your daughter. Resignation to inevitable evils is the duty of us all; the peculiar duty of a young man who has been so fortunate as I have been in early preferment; and I trust I am resigned. Perhaps not the less so from feeling a doubt of my positive happiness had my fair cousin honoured me with her hand; 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 estimation. You will not, I hope, consider me as showing any disrespect to your family, my dear madam, by thus withdrawing my pretensions to your daughter’s favour, without having paid yourself and Mr. Bennet the compliment of requesting you to interpose your authority in my behalf. My conduct may, I fear, be objectionable in having accepted my dismission from your daughter’s lips instead of your own. But we are all liable to error. I have certainly meant well through the whole affair. My object has been to secure an amiable companion for myself, with due consideration for the advantage of all your family, and if my manner has been at all reprehensible, I here beg leave to apologise.”

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