PRIDE AND PREJUDICE – Chapters 21-30

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Chapter 21

The dialogue of Mr. Collins’s provide was now practically at an finish, and Elizabeth had solely to undergo from the uncomfortable emotions essentially attending it, and infrequently from some peevish allusions of her mom. As for the gentleman himself, his emotions have been mainly expressed, not by embarrassment or dejection, or by attempting to keep away from her, however by stiffness of method and resentful silence. He scarcely ever spoke to her, and the assiduous attentions which he had been so smart of himself have been transferred for the remainder of the day to Miss Lucas, whose civility in listening to him was a seasonable reduction to all of them, and particularly to her good friend.

The morrow produced no abatement of Mrs. Bennet’s ill-humour or unwell well being. Mr. Collins was additionally in the identical state of indignant delight. Elizabeth had hoped that his resentment may shorten his go to, however his plan didn’t seem within the least affected by it. He was all the time to have gone on Saturday, and to Saturday he meant to remain.

After breakfast, the ladies walked to Meryton to inquire if Mr. Wickham have been returned, and to lament over his absence from the Netherfield ball. He joined them on their getting into the city, and attended them to their aunt’s the place his remorse and vexation, and the priority of all people, was nicely talked over. To Elizabeth, nonetheless, he voluntarily acknowledged that the need of his absence had been self-imposed.

“I found,” mentioned he, “as the time drew near that I had better not meet Mr. Darcy; that to be in the same room, the same party with him for so many hours together, might be more than I could bear, and that scenes might arise unpleasant to more than myself.”

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She extremely authorised his forbearance, and so they had leisure for a full dialogue of it, and for all of the commendation which they civilly bestowed on one another, as Wickham and one other officer walked again with them to Longbourn, and throughout the stroll he notably attended to her. His accompanying them was a double benefit; she felt all of the praise it provided to herself, and it was most acceptable as an event of introducing him to her father and mom.

Soon after their return, a letter was delivered to Miss Bennet; it got here from Netherfield. The envelope contained a sheet of chic, little, hot-pressed paper, nicely lined with a woman’s honest, flowing hand; and Elizabeth noticed her sister’s countenance change as she learn it, and noticed her dwelling intently on some specific passages. Jane recollected herself quickly, and placing the letter away, tried to hitch together with her common cheerfulness within the common dialog; however Elizabeth felt an nervousness on the topic which drew off her consideration even from Wickham; and no sooner had he and his companion taken go away, than a look from Jane invited her to observe her up stairs. When that they had gained their very own room, Jane, taking out the letter, mentioned:

“This is from Caroline Bingley; what it contains has surprised me a good deal. The whole party have left Netherfield by this time, and are on their way to town—and without any intention of coming back again. You shall hear what she says.”

She then learn the primary sentence aloud, which comprised the knowledge of their having simply resolved to observe their brother to city straight, and of their that means to dine in Grosvenor Street, the place Mr. Hurst had a home. The subsequent was in these phrases: “I do not pretend to regret anything I shall leave in Hertfordshire, except your society, my dearest friend; but we will hope, at some future period, to enjoy many returns of that delightful intercourse we have known, and in the meanwhile may lessen the pain of separation by a very frequent and most unreserved correspondence. I depend on you for that.” To these highflown expressions Elizabeth listened with all of the insensibility of mistrust; and although the suddenness of their removing stunned her, she noticed nothing in it actually to lament; it was to not be supposed that their absence from Netherfield would forestall Mr. Bingley’s being there; and as to the lack of their society, she was persuaded that Jane should stop to treat it, within the enjoyment of his.

“It is unlucky,” mentioned she, after a brief pause, “that you should not be able to see your friends before they leave the country. But may we not hope that the period of future happiness to which Miss Bingley looks forward may arrive earlier than she is aware, and that the delightful intercourse you have known as friends will be renewed with yet greater satisfaction as sisters? Mr. Bingley will not be detained in London by them.”

“Caroline decidedly says that none of the party will return into Hertfordshire this winter. I will read it to you:”

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“When my brother left us yesterday, he imagined that the business which took him to London might be concluded in three or four days; but as we are certain it cannot be so, and at the same time convinced that when Charles gets to town he will be in no hurry to leave it again, we have determined on following him thither, that he may not be obliged to spend his vacant hours in a comfortless hotel. Many of my acquaintances are already there for the winter; I wish that I could hear that you, my dearest friend, had any intention of making one of the crowd—but of that I despair. I sincerely hope your Christmas in Hertfordshire may abound in the gaieties which that season generally brings, and that your beaux will be so numerous as to prevent your feeling the loss of the three of whom we shall deprive you.”

“It is evident by this,” added Jane, “that he comes back no more this winter.”

“It is only evident that Miss Bingley does not mean that he should.”

“Why will you think so? It must be his own doing. He is his own master. But you do not know all. I will read you the passage which particularly hurts me. I will have no reserves from you.”

“Mr. Darcy is impatient to see his sister; and, to confess the truth, we are scarcely less eager to meet her again. I really do not think Georgiana Darcy has her equal for beauty, elegance, and accomplishments; and the affection she inspires in Louisa and myself is heightened into something still more interesting, from the hope we dare entertain of her being hereafter our sister. I do not know whether I ever before mentioned to you my feelings on this subject; but I will not leave the country without confiding them, and I trust you will not esteem them unreasonable. My brother admires her greatly already; he will have frequent opportunity now of seeing her on the most intimate footing; her relations all wish the connection as much as his own; and a sister’s partiality is not misleading me, I think, when I call Charles most capable of engaging any woman’s heart. With all these circumstances to favour an attachment, and nothing to prevent it, am I wrong, my dearest Jane, in indulging the hope of an event which will secure the happiness of so many?”

“What do you think of this sentence, my dear Lizzy?” mentioned Jane as she completed it. “Is it not clear enough? Does it not expressly declare that Caroline neither expects nor wishes me to be her sister; that she is perfectly convinced of her brother’s indifference; and that if she suspects the nature of my feelings for him, she means (most kindly!) to put me on my guard? Can there be any other opinion on the subject?”

“Yes, there can; for mine is totally different. Will you hear it?”

“Most willingly.”

“You shall have it in a few words. Miss Bingley sees that her brother is in love with you, and wants him to marry Miss Darcy. She follows him to town in hope of keeping him there, and tries to persuade you that he does not care about you.”

Jane shook her head.

“Indeed, Jane, you ought to believe me. No one who has ever seen you together can doubt his affection. Miss Bingley, I am sure, cannot. She is not such a simpleton. Could she have seen half as much love in Mr. Darcy for herself, she would have ordered her wedding clothes. But the case is this: We are not rich enough or grand enough for them; and she is the more anxious to get Miss Darcy for her brother, from the notion that when there has been one intermarriage, she may have less trouble in achieving a second; in which there is certainly some ingenuity, and I dare say it would succeed, if Miss de Bourgh were out of the way. But, my dearest Jane, you cannot seriously imagine that because Miss Bingley tells you her brother greatly admires Miss Darcy, he is in the smallest degree less sensible of your merit than when he took leave of you on Tuesday, or that it will be in her power to persuade him that, instead of being in love with you, he is very much in love with her friend.”

“If we thought alike of Miss Bingley,” replied Jane, “your representation of all this might make me quite easy. But I know the foundation is unjust. Caroline is incapable of wilfully deceiving anyone; and all that I can hope in this case is that she is deceiving herself.”

“That is right. You could not have started a more happy idea, since you will not take comfort in mine. Believe her to be deceived, by all means. You have now done your duty by her, and must fret no longer.”

“But, my dear sister, can I be happy, even supposing the best, in accepting a man whose sisters and friends are all wishing him to marry elsewhere?”

“You must decide for yourself,” mentioned Elizabeth; “and if, upon mature deliberation, you find that the misery of disobliging his two sisters is more than equivalent to the happiness of being his wife, I advise you by all means to refuse him.”

“How can you talk so?” mentioned Jane, faintly smiling. “You must know that though I should be exceedingly grieved at their disapprobation, I could not hesitate.”

“I did not think you would; and that being the case, I cannot consider your situation with much compassion.”

“But if he returns no more this winter, my choice will never be required. A thousand things may arise in six months!”

The thought of his returning no extra Elizabeth handled with the utmost contempt. It appeared to her merely the suggestion of Caroline’s needs, and he or she couldn’t for a second suppose that these needs, nonetheless overtly or artfully spoken, may affect a younger man so completely impartial of everybody.

She represented to her sister as forcibly as doable what she felt on the topic, and had quickly the pleasure of seeing its glad impact. Jane’s mood was not desponding, and he or she was progressively led to hope, although the diffidence of affection typically overcame the hope, that Bingley would return to Netherfield and reply each want of her coronary heart.

They agreed that Mrs. Bennet ought to solely hear of the departure of the household, with out being alarmed on the rating of the gentleman’s conduct; however even this partial communication gave her a substantial amount of concern, and he or she bewailed it as exceedingly unfortunate that the women ought to occur to go away simply as they have been all getting so intimate collectively. After lamenting it, nonetheless, at some size, she had the comfort that Mr. Bingley can be quickly down once more and shortly eating at Longbourn, and the conclusion of all was the comfy declaration, that although he had been invited solely to a household dinner, she would take care to have two full programs.

Chapter 22

The Bennets have been engaged to dine with the Lucases and once more throughout the chief of the day was Miss Lucas so form as to take heed to Mr. Collins. Elizabeth took a chance of thanking her. “It keeps him in good humour,” mentioned she, “and I am more obliged to you than I can express.” Charlotte assured her good friend of her satisfaction in being helpful, and that it amply repaid her for the little sacrifice of her time. This was very amiable, however Charlotte’s kindness prolonged farther than Elizabeth had any conception of; its object was nothing else than to safe her from any return of Mr. Collins’s addresses, by partaking them in direction of herself. Such was Miss Lucas’s scheme; and appearances have been so beneficial, that once they parted at night time, she would have felt virtually safe of success if he had not been to go away Hertfordshire so very quickly. But right here she did injustice to the fireplace and independence of his character, for it led him to flee out of Longbourn House the following morning with admirable slyness, and hasten to Lucas Lodge to throw himself at her toes. He was anxious to keep away from the discover of his cousins, from a conviction that in the event that they noticed him depart, they may not fail to conjecture his design, and he was not prepared to have the try identified until its success may be identified likewise; for although feeling virtually safe, and with motive, for Charlotte had been tolerably encouraging, he was comparatively diffident because the journey of Wednesday. His reception, nonetheless, was of essentially the most flattering form. Miss Lucas perceived him from an higher window as he walked in direction of the home, and immediately got down to meet him by chance within the lane. But little had she dared to hope that a lot love and eloquence awaited her there.

In as brief a time as Mr. Collins’s lengthy speeches would enable, every thing was settled between them to the satisfaction of each; and as they entered the home he earnestly advised her to call the day that was to make him the happiest of males; and although such a solicitation have to be waived for the current, the girl felt no inclination to trifle along with his happiness. The stupidity with which he was favoured by nature should guard his courtship from any attraction that would make a girl want for its continuance; and Miss Lucas, who accepted him solely from the pure and disinterested want of an institution, cared not how quickly that institution have been gained.

Sir William and Lady Lucas have been speedily utilized to for his or her consent; and it was bestowed with a most joyful alacrity. Mr. Collins’s current circumstances made it a most eligible match for his or her daughter, to whom they may give little fortune; and his prospects of future wealth have been exceedingly honest. Lady Lucas started on to calculate, with extra curiosity than the matter had ever excited earlier than, what number of years longer Mr. Bennet was prone to dwell; and Sir William gave it as his determined opinion, that every time Mr. Collins needs to be in possession of the Longbourn property, it could be extremely expedient that each he and his spouse ought to make their look at St. James’s. The entire household, briefly, have been correctly overjoyed on the event. The youthful women shaped hopes of popping out a 12 months or two before they could in any other case have completed; and the boys have been relieved from their apprehension of Charlotte’s dying an outdated maid. Charlotte herself was tolerably composed. She had gained her level, and had time to think about of it. Her reflections have been usually passable. Mr. Collins, to make certain, was neither smart nor agreeable; his society was irksome, and his attachment to her have to be imaginary. But nonetheless he can be her husband. Without considering extremely both of males or matrimony, marriage had all the time been her object; it was the one provision for well-educated younger girls of small fortune, and nonetheless unsure of giving happiness, have to be their pleasantest preservative from need. This preservative she had now obtained; and on the age of twenty-seven, with out having ever been good-looking, she felt all the nice luck of it. The least agreeable circumstance within the enterprise was the shock it should event to Elizabeth Bennet, whose friendship she valued past that of some other individual. Elizabeth would marvel, and possibly would blame her; and although her decision was to not be shaken, her emotions have to be damage by such a disapprobation. She resolved to present her the knowledge herself, and subsequently charged Mr. Collins, when he returned to Longbourn to dinner, to drop no trace of what had handed earlier than any of the household. A promise of secrecy was in fact very dutifully given, but it surely couldn’t be stored with out issue; for the curiosity excited by his lengthy absence burst forth in such very direct questions on his return as required some ingenuity to evade, and he was on the similar time exercising nice self-denial, for he was longing to publish his affluent love.

As he was to start his journey too early on the morrow to see any of the household, the ceremony of leave-taking was carried out when the women moved for the night time; and Mrs. Bennet, with nice politeness and cordiality, mentioned how glad they need to be to see him at Longbourn once more, every time his engagements may enable him to go to them.

“My dear madam,” he replied, “this invitation is particularly gratifying, because it is what I have been hoping to receive; and you may be very certain that I shall avail myself of it as soon as possible.”

They have been all astonished; and Mr. Bennet, who may in no way want for thus speedy a return, instantly mentioned:

“But is there not danger of Lady Catherine’s disapprobation here, my good sir? You had better neglect your relations than run the risk of offending your patroness.”

“My dear sir,” replied Mr. Collins, “I am particularly obliged to you for this friendly caution, and you may depend upon my not taking so material a step without her ladyship’s concurrence.”

“You cannot be too much upon your guard. Risk anything rather than her displeasure; and if you find it likely to be raised by your coming to us again, which I should think exceedingly probable, stay quietly at home, and be satisfied that we shall take no offence.”

“Believe me, my dear sir, my gratitude is warmly excited by such affectionate attention; and depend upon it, you will speedily receive from me a letter of thanks for this, and for every other mark of your regard during my stay in Hertfordshire. As for my fair cousins, though my absence may not be long enough to render it necessary, I shall now take the liberty of wishing them health and happiness, not excepting my cousin Elizabeth.”

With correct civilities the women then withdrew; all of them equally stunned that he meditated a fast return. Mrs. Bennet wished to know by it that he considered paying his addresses to one in all her youthful women, and Mary may need been prevailed on to just accept him. She rated his skills a lot greater than any of the others; there was a solidity in his reflections which frequently struck her, and although in no way so intelligent as herself, she thought that if inspired to learn and enhance himself by such an instance as hers, he may develop into a really agreeable companion. But on the next morning, each hope of this type was completed away. Miss Lucas known as quickly after breakfast, and in a non-public convention with Elizabeth associated the occasion of the day earlier than.

The risk of Mr. Collins’s fancying himself in love together with her good friend had as soon as occurred to Elizabeth inside the final day or two; however that Charlotte may encourage him appeared virtually as removed from risk as she may encourage him herself, and her astonishment was consequently so nice as to beat at first the bounds of decorum, and he or she couldn’t assist crying out:

“Engaged to Mr. Collins! My dear Charlotte—impossible!”

The regular countenance which Miss Lucas had commanded in telling her story, gave option to a momentary confusion right here on receiving so direct a reproach; although, because it was not more than she anticipated, she quickly regained her composure, and calmly replied:

“Why should you be surprised, my dear Eliza? Do you think it incredible that Mr. Collins should be able to procure any woman’s good opinion, because he was not so happy as to succeed with you?”

But Elizabeth had now recollected herself, and making a robust effort for it, was in a position to guarantee with tolerable firmness that the prospect of their relationship was extremely grateful to her, and that she wished her all conceivable happiness.

“I see what you are feeling,” replied Charlotte. “You must be surprised, very much surprised—so lately as Mr. Collins was wishing to marry you. But when you have had time to think it over, I hope you will be satisfied with what I have done. I am not romantic, you know; I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and considering Mr. Collins’s character, connection, and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state.”

Elizabeth quietly answered “Undoubtedly;” and after an ungainly pause, they returned to the remainder of the household. Charlotte didn’t keep for much longer, and Elizabeth was then left to replicate on what she had heard. It was a very long time earlier than she turned in any respect reconciled to the concept of so unsuitable a match. The strangeness of Mr. Collins’s making two affords of marriage inside three days was nothing compared of his being now accepted. She had all the time felt that Charlotte’s opinion of matrimony was not precisely like her personal, however she had not supposed it to be doable that, when known as into motion, she would have sacrificed each higher feeling to worldly benefit. Charlotte the spouse of Mr. Collins was a most humiliating image! And to the pang of a good friend disgracing herself and sunk in her esteem, was added the distressing conviction that it was not possible for that good friend to be tolerably glad within the lot she had chosen.

Chapter 23

Elizabeth was sitting together with her mom and sisters, reflecting on what she had heard, and doubting whether or not she was authorised to say it, when Sir William Lucas himself appeared, despatched by his daughter, to announce her engagement to the household. With many compliments to them, and far self-gratulation on the prospect of a connection between the homes, he unfolded the matter—to an viewers not merely questioning, however incredulous; for Mrs. Bennet, with extra perseverance than politeness, protested he have to be solely mistaken; and Lydia, all the time unguarded and infrequently uncivil, boisterously exclaimed:

“Good Lord! Sir William, how can you tell such a story? Do not you know that Mr. Collins wants to marry Lizzy?”

Nothing lower than the complaisance of a courtier may have borne with out anger such remedy; however Sir William’s good breeding carried him via all of it; and although he begged go away to be constructive as to the reality of his info, he listened to all their impertinence with essentially the most forbearing courtesy.

Elizabeth, feeling it incumbent on her to alleviate him from so disagreeable a scenario, now put herself ahead to substantiate his account, by mentioning her prior data of it from Charlotte herself; and endeavoured to place a cease to the exclamations of her mom and sisters by the earnestness of her congratulations to Sir William, wherein she was readily joined by Jane, and by making a wide range of remarks on the happiness that may be anticipated from the match, the superb character of Mr. Collins, and the handy distance of Hunsford from London.

Mrs. Bennet was in reality an excessive amount of overpowered to say a terrific deal whereas Sir William remained; however no sooner had he left them than her emotions discovered a fast vent. In the primary place, she endured in disbelieving the entire of the matter; secondly, she was very positive that Mr. Collins had been taken in; thirdly, she trusted that they might by no means be glad collectively; and fourthly, that the match may be damaged off. Two inferences, nonetheless, have been plainly deduced from the entire: one, that Elizabeth was the true reason behind the mischief; and the opposite that she herself had been barbarously misused by all of them; and on these two factors she principally dwelt throughout the remainder of the day. Nothing may console and nothing may appease her. Nor did that day put on out her resentment. Every week elapsed earlier than she may see Elizabeth with out scolding her, a month handed away earlier than she may communicate to Sir William or Lady Lucas with out being impolite, and plenty of months have been gone earlier than she may in any respect forgive their daughter.

Mr. Bennet’s feelings have been rather more tranquil on the event, and equivalent to he did expertise he pronounced to be of a most agreeable type; for it gratified him, he mentioned, to find that Charlotte Lucas, whom he had been used to assume tolerably smart, was as silly as his spouse, and extra silly than his daughter!

Jane confessed herself a little bit stunned on the match; however she mentioned much less of her astonishment than of her earnest want for his or her happiness; nor may Elizabeth persuade her to think about it as inconceivable. Kitty and Lydia have been removed from envying Miss Lucas, for Mr. Collins was solely a priest; and it affected them in no different method than as a bit of reports to unfold at Meryton.

Lady Lucas couldn’t be insensible of triumph on with the ability to retort on Mrs. Bennet the consolation of getting a daughter nicely married; and he or she known as at Longbourn quite oftener than common to say how glad she was, although Mrs. Bennet’s bitter seems to be and ill-natured remarks may need been sufficient to drive happiness away.

Between Elizabeth and Charlotte there was a restraint which stored them mutually silent on the topic; and Elizabeth felt persuaded that no actual confidence may ever subsist between them once more. Her disappointment in Charlotte made her flip with fonder regard to her sister, of whose rectitude and delicacy she was positive her opinion may by no means be shaken, and for whose happiness she grew every day extra anxious, as Bingley had now been gone per week and nothing extra was heard of his return.

Jane had despatched Caroline an early reply to her letter, and was counting the times until she may moderately hope to listen to once more. The promised letter of thanks from Mr. Collins arrived on Tuesday, addressed to their father, and written with all of the solemnity of gratitude which a twelvemonth’s abode within the household may need prompted. After discharging his conscience on that head, he proceeded to tell them, with many rapturous expressions, of his happiness in having obtained the love of their amiable neighbour, Miss Lucas, after which defined that it was merely with the view of having fun with her society that he had been so prepared to shut with their form want of seeing him once more at Longbourn, whither he hoped to have the ability to return on Monday fortnight; for Lady Catherine, he added, so heartily authorised his marriage, that she wished it to happen as quickly as doable, which he trusted can be an unanswerable argument along with his amiable Charlotte to call an early day for making him the happiest of males.

Mr. Collins’s return into Hertfordshire was now not a matter of enjoyment to Mrs. Bennet. On the opposite, she was as a lot disposed to complain of it as her husband. It was very unusual that he ought to come to Longbourn as a substitute of to Lucas Lodge; it was additionally very inconvenient and exceedingly troublesome. She hated having guests in the home whereas her well being was so detached, and lovers have been of all individuals essentially the most unpleasant. Such have been the mild murmurs of Mrs. Bennet, and so they gave method solely to the larger misery of Mr. Bingley’s continued absence.

Neither Jane nor Elizabeth have been comfy on this topic. Day after day handed away with out bringing some other tidings of him than the report which shortly prevailed in Meryton of his coming no extra to Netherfield the entire winter; a report which extremely incensed Mrs. Bennet, and which she by no means did not contradict as a most scandalous falsehood.

Even Elizabeth started to worry—not that Bingley was detached—however that his sisters would achieve success in conserving him away. Unwilling as she was to confess an thought so damaging of Jane’s happiness, and so dishonorable to the soundness of her lover, she couldn’t forestall its ceaselessly occurring. The united efforts of his two unfeeling sisters and of his overpowering good friend, assisted by the points of interest of Miss Darcy and the amusements of London may be an excessive amount of, she feared, for the power of his attachment.

As for Jane, her nervousness below this suspense was, in fact, extra painful than Elizabeth’s, however no matter she felt she was desirous of concealing, and between herself and Elizabeth, subsequently, the topic was by no means alluded to. But as no such delicacy restrained her mom, an hour seldom handed wherein she didn’t discuss of Bingley, categorical her impatience for his arrival, and even require Jane to admit that if he didn’t come again she would assume herself very unwell used. It wanted all Jane’s regular mildness to bear these assaults with tolerable tranquillity.

Mr. Collins returned most punctually on Monday fortnight, however his reception at Longbourn was not fairly so gracious because it had been on his first introduction. He was too glad, nonetheless, to want a lot consideration; and fortuitously for the others, the enterprise of love-making relieved them from a substantial amount of his firm. The chief of day-after-day was spent by him at Lucas Lodge, and he typically returned to Longbourn solely in time to apologize for his absence earlier than the household went to mattress.

Mrs. Bennet was actually in a most pitiable state. The very point out of something in regards to the match threw her into an agony of ill-humour, and wherever she went she was positive of listening to it talked of. The sight of Miss Lucas was odious to her. As her successor in that home, she regarded her with jealous abhorrence. Whenever Charlotte got here to see them, she concluded her to be anticipating the hour of possession; and every time she spoke in a low voice to Mr. Collins, was satisfied that they have been speaking of the Longbourn property, and resolving to show herself and her daughters out of the home, as quickly as Mr. Bennet have been lifeless. She complained bitterly of all this to her husband.

“Indeed, Mr. Bennet,” mentioned she, “it is very hard to think that Charlotte Lucas should ever be mistress of this house, that I should be forced to make way for her, and live to see her take her place in it!”

“My dear, do not give way to such gloomy thoughts. Let us hope for better things. Let us flatter ourselves that I may be the survivor.”

This was not very consoling to Mrs. Bennet, and subsequently, as a substitute of creating any reply, she went on as earlier than.

“I cannot bear to think that they should have all this estate. If it was not for the entail, I should not mind it.”

“What should not you mind?”

“I should not mind anything at all.”

“Let us be thankful that you are preserved from a state of such insensibility.”

“I never can be thankful, Mr. Bennet, for anything about the entail. How anyone could have the conscience to entail away an estate from one’s own daughters, I cannot understand; and all for the sake of Mr. Collins too! Why should he have it more than anybody else?”

“I leave it to yourself to determine,” mentioned Mr. Bennet.

Chapter 24

Miss Bingley’s letter arrived, and put an finish to doubt. The very first sentence conveyed the reassurance of their being all settled in London for the winter, and concluded together with her brother’s remorse at not having had time to pay his respects to his mates in Hertfordshire earlier than he left the nation.

Hope was over, solely over; and when Jane may attend to the remainder of the letter, she discovered little, besides the professed affection of the author, that would give her any consolation. Miss Darcy’s reward occupied the chief of it. Her many points of interest have been once more dwelt on, and Caroline boasted joyfully of their rising intimacy, and ventured to foretell the accomplishment of the desires which had been unfolded in her former letter. She wrote additionally with nice pleasure of her brother’s being an inmate of Mr. Darcy’s home, and talked about with raptures some plans of the latter with regard to new furnishings.

Elizabeth, to whom Jane very quickly communicated the chief of all this, heard it in silent indignation. Her coronary heart was divided between concern for her sister, and resentment in opposition to all others. To Caroline’s assertion of her brother’s being keen on Miss Darcy she paid no credit score. That he was actually keen on Jane, she doubted not more than she had ever completed; and far as she had all the time been disposed to love him, she couldn’t assume with out anger, hardly with out contempt, on that easiness of mood, that need of correct decision, which now made him the slave of his designing mates, and led him to sacrifice of his personal happiness to the caprice of their inclination. Had his personal happiness, nonetheless, been the one sacrifice, he may need been allowed to sport with it in no matter method he thought greatest, however her sister’s was concerned in it, as she thought he have to be smart himself. It was a topic, briefly, on which reflection can be lengthy indulged, and have to be unavailing. She may consider nothing else; and but whether or not Bingley’s regard had actually died away, or have been suppressed by his mates’ interference; whether or not he had been conscious of Jane’s attachment, or whether or not it had escaped his statement; no matter have been the case, although her opinion of him have to be materially affected by the distinction, her sister’s scenario remained the identical, her peace equally wounded.

A day or two handed earlier than Jane had braveness to talk of her emotions to Elizabeth; however finally, on Mrs. Bennet’s leaving them collectively, after an extended irritation than common about Netherfield and its grasp, she couldn’t assist saying:

“Oh, that my dear mother had more command over herself! She can have no idea of the pain she gives me by her continual reflections on him. But I will not repine. It cannot last long. He will be forgot, and we shall all be as we were before.”

Elizabeth checked out her sister with incredulous solicitude, however mentioned nothing.

“You doubt me,” cried Jane, barely colouring; “indeed, you have no reason. He may live in my memory as the most amiable man of my acquaintance, but that is all. I have nothing either to hope or fear, and nothing to reproach him with. Thank God! I have not that pain. A little time, therefore—I shall certainly try to get the better.”

With a stronger voice she quickly added, “I have this comfort immediately, that it has not been more than an error of fancy on my side, and that it has done no harm to anyone but myself.”

“My dear Jane!” exclaimed Elizabeth, “you are too good. Your sweetness and disinterestedness are really angelic; I do not know what to say to you. I feel as if I had never done you justice, or loved you as you deserve.”

Miss Bennet eagerly disclaimed all extraordinary advantage, and threw again the reward on her sister’s heat affection.

“Nay,” mentioned Elizabeth, “this is not fair. You wish to think all the world respectable, and are hurt if I speak ill of anybody. I only want to think you perfect, and you set yourself against it. Do not be afraid of my running into any excess, of my encroaching on your privilege of universal good-will. You need not. There are few people whom I really love, and still fewer of whom I think well. The more I see of the world, the more am I dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my belief of the inconsistency of all human characters, and of the little dependence that can be placed on the appearance of merit or sense. I have met with two instances lately, one I will not mention; the other is Charlotte’s marriage. It is unaccountable! In every view it is unaccountable!”

“My dear Lizzy, do not give way to such feelings as these. They will ruin your happiness. You do not make allowance enough for difference of situation and temper. Consider Mr. Collins’s respectability, and Charlotte’s steady, prudent character. Remember that she is one of a large family; that as to fortune, it is a most eligible match; and be ready to believe, for everybody’s sake, that she may feel something like regard and esteem for our cousin.”

“To oblige you, I would try to believe almost anything, but no one else could be benefited by such a belief as this; for were I persuaded that Charlotte had any regard for him, I should only think worse of her understanding than I now do of her heart. My dear Jane, Mr. Collins is a conceited, pompous, narrow-minded, silly man; you know he is, as well as I do; and you must feel, as well as I do, that the woman who married him cannot have a proper way of thinking. You shall not defend her, though it is Charlotte Lucas. You shall not, for the sake of one individual, change the meaning of principle and integrity, nor endeavour to persuade yourself or me, that selfishness is prudence, and insensibility of danger security for happiness.”

“I must think your language too strong in speaking of both,” replied Jane; “and I hope you will be convinced of it by seeing them happy together. But enough of this. You alluded to something else. You mentioned two instances. I cannot misunderstand you, but I entreat you, dear Lizzy, not to pain me by thinking that person to blame, and saying your opinion of him is sunk. We must not be so ready to fancy ourselves intentionally injured. We must not expect a lively young man to be always so guarded and circumspect. It is very often nothing but our own vanity that deceives us. Women fancy admiration means more than it does.”

“And men take care that they should.”

“If it is designedly done, they cannot be justified; but I have no idea of there being so much design in the world as some persons imagine.”

“I am far from attributing any part of Mr. Bingley’s conduct to design,” mentioned Elizabeth; “but without scheming to do wrong, or to make others unhappy, there may be error, and there may be misery. Thoughtlessness, want of attention to other people’s feelings, and want of resolution, will do the business.”

“And do you impute it to either of those?”

“Yes; to the last. But if I go on, I shall displease you by saying what I think of persons you esteem. Stop me whilst you can.”

“You persist, then, in supposing his sisters influence him?”

“Yes, in conjunction with his friend.”

“I cannot believe it. Why should they try to influence him? They can only wish his happiness; and if he is attached to me, no other woman can secure it.”

“Your first position is false. They may wish many things besides his happiness; they may wish his increase of wealth and consequence; they may wish him to marry a girl who has all the importance of money, great connections, and pride.”

“Beyond a doubt, they do wish him to choose Miss Darcy,” replied Jane; “but this may be from better feelings than you are supposing. They have known her much longer than they have known me; no wonder if they love her better. But, whatever may be their own wishes, it is very unlikely they should have opposed their brother’s. What sister would think herself at liberty to do it, unless there were something very objectionable? If they believed him attached to me, they would not try to part us; if he were so, they could not succeed. By supposing such an affection, you make everybody acting unnaturally and wrong, and me most unhappy. Do not distress me by the idea. I am not ashamed of having been mistaken—or, at least, it is light, it is nothing in comparison of what I should feel in thinking ill of him or his sisters. Let me take it in the best light, in the light in which it may be understood.”

Elizabeth couldn’t oppose such a want; and from this time Mr. Bingley’s identify was scarcely ever talked about between them.

Mrs. Bennet nonetheless continued to marvel and repine at his returning no extra, and although a day seldom handed wherein Elizabeth didn’t account for it clearly, there was little probability of her ever contemplating it with much less perplexity. Her daughter endeavoured to persuade her of what she didn’t consider herself, that his attentions to Jane had been merely the impact of a typical and transient liking, which ceased when he noticed her no extra; however although the likelihood of the assertion was admitted on the time, she had the identical story to repeat day-after-day. Mrs. Bennet’s greatest consolation was that Mr. Bingley have to be down once more in the summertime.

Mr. Bennet handled the matter otherwise. “So, Lizzy,” mentioned he sooner or later, “your sister is crossed in love, I find. I congratulate her. Next to being married, a girl likes to be crossed a little in love now and then. It is something to think of, and it gives her a sort of distinction among her companions. When is your turn to come? You will hardly bear to be long outdone by Jane. Now is your time. Here are officers enough in Meryton to disappoint all the young ladies in the country. Let Wickham be your man. He is a pleasant fellow, and would jilt you creditably.”

“Thank you, sir, but a less agreeable man would satisfy me. We must not all expect Jane’s good fortune.”

“True,” mentioned Mr. Bennet, “but it is a comfort to think that whatever of that kind may befall you, you have an affectionate mother who will make the most of it.”

Mr. Wickham’s society was of fabric service in dispelling the gloom which the late perverse occurrences had thrown on most of the Longbourn household. They noticed him usually, and to his different suggestions was now added that of common unreserve. The entire of what Elizabeth had already heard, his claims on Mr. Darcy, and all that he had suffered from him, was now overtly acknowledged and publicly canvassed; and all people was happy to understand how a lot that they had all the time disliked Mr. Darcy earlier than that they had identified something of the matter.

Miss Bennet was the one creature who may suppose there may be any extenuating circumstances within the case, unknown to the society of Hertfordshire; her delicate and regular candour all the time pleaded for allowances, and urged the opportunity of errors—however by all people else Mr. Darcy was condemned because the worst of males.

Chapter 25

After per week spent in professions of affection and schemes of felicity, Mr. Collins was known as from his amiable Charlotte by the arrival of Saturday. The ache of separation, nonetheless, may be alleviated on his aspect, by preparations for the reception of his bride; as he had motive to hope, that shortly after his return into Hertfordshire, the day can be fastened that was to make him the happiest of males. He took go away of his relations at Longbourn with as a lot solemnity as earlier than; wished his honest cousins well being and happiness once more, and promised their father one other letter of thanks.

On the next Monday, Mrs. Bennet had the pleasure of receiving her brother and his spouse, who got here as common to spend the Christmas at Longbourn. Mr. Gardiner was a wise, gentlemanlike man, drastically superior to his sister, as nicely by nature as training. The Netherfield girls would have had issue in believing {that a} man who lived by commerce, and inside view of his personal warehouses, may have been so well-bred and agreeable. Mrs. Gardiner, who was a number of years youthful than Mrs. Bennet and Mrs. Phillips, was an amiable, clever, elegant girl, and a terrific favorite with all her Longbourn nieces. Between the 2 eldest and herself particularly, there subsisted a specific regard. They had ceaselessly been staying together with her on the town.

The first a part of Mrs. Gardiner’s enterprise on her arrival was to distribute her presents and describe the most recent fashions. When this was completed she had a much less lively half to play. It turned her flip to hear. Mrs. Bennet had many grievances to narrate, and far to complain of. They had all been very ill-used since she final noticed her sister. Two of her women had been upon the purpose of marriage, and in any case there was nothing in it.

“I do not blame Jane,” she continued, “for Jane would have got Mr. Bingley if she could. But Lizzy! Oh, sister! It is very hard to think that she might have been Mr. Collins’s wife by this time, had it not been for her own perverseness. He made her an offer in this very room, and she refused him. The consequence of it is, that Lady Lucas will have a daughter married before I have, and that the Longbourn estate is just as much entailed as ever. The Lucases are very artful people indeed, sister. They are all for what they can get. I am sorry to say it of them, but so it is. It makes me very nervous and poorly, to be thwarted so in my own family, and to have neighbours who think of themselves before anybody else. However, your coming just at this time is the greatest of comforts, and I am very glad to hear what you tell us, of long sleeves.”

Mrs. Gardiner, to whom the chief of this information had been given earlier than, in the midst of Jane and Elizabeth’s correspondence together with her, made her sister a slight reply, and, in compassion to her nieces, turned the dialog.

When alone with Elizabeth afterwards, she spoke extra on the topic. “It seems likely to have been a desirable match for Jane,” mentioned she. “I am sorry it went off. But these things happen so often! A young man, such as you describe Mr. Bingley, so easily falls in love with a pretty girl for a few weeks, and when accident separates them, so easily forgets her, that these sort of inconsistencies are very frequent.”

“An excellent consolation in its way,” mentioned Elizabeth, “but it will not do for us. We do not suffer by accident. It does not often happen that the interference of friends will persuade a young man of independent fortune to think no more of a girl whom he was violently in love with only a few days before.”

“But that expression of ‘violently in love’ is so hackneyed, so doubtful, so indefinite, that it gives me very little idea. It is as often applied to feelings which arise from a half-hour’s acquaintance, as to a real, strong attachment. Pray, how violent was Mr. Bingley’s love?”

“I never saw a more promising inclination; he was growing quite inattentive to other people, and wholly engrossed by her. Every time they met, it was more decided and remarkable. At his own ball he offended two or three young ladies, by not asking them to dance; and I spoke to him twice myself, without receiving an answer. Could there be finer symptoms? Is not general incivility the very essence of love?”

“Oh, yes!—of that kind of love which I suppose him to have felt. Poor Jane! I am sorry for her, because, with her disposition, she may not get over it immediately. It had better have happened to you, Lizzy; you would have laughed yourself out of it sooner. But do you think she would be prevailed upon to go back with us? Change of scene might be of service—and perhaps a little relief from home may be as useful as anything.”

Elizabeth was exceedingly happy with this proposal, and felt persuaded of her sister’s prepared acquiescence.

“I hope,” added Mrs. Gardiner, “that no consideration with regard to this young man will influence her. We live in so different a part of town, all our connections are so different, and, as you well know, we go out so little, that it is very improbable that they should meet at all, unless he really comes to see her.”

“And that is quite impossible; for he is now in the custody of his friend, and Mr. Darcy would no more suffer him to call on Jane in such a part of London! My dear aunt, how could you think of it? Mr. Darcy may perhaps have heard of such a place as Gracechurch Street, but he would hardly think a month’s ablution enough to cleanse him from its impurities, were he once to enter it; and depend upon it, Mr. Bingley never stirs without him.”

“So much the better. I hope they will not meet at all. But does not Jane correspond with his sister? She will not be able to help calling.”

“She will drop the acquaintance entirely.”

But despite the understanding wherein Elizabeth affected to put this level, in addition to the nonetheless extra attention-grabbing one in all Bingley’s being withheld from seeing Jane, she felt a solicitude on the topic which satisfied her, on examination, that she didn’t contemplate it solely hopeless. It was doable, and typically she thought it possible, that his affection may be reanimated, and the affect of his mates efficiently combated by the extra pure affect of Jane’s points of interest.

Miss Bennet accepted her aunt’s invitation with pleasure; and the Bingleys have been no in any other case in her ideas on the similar time, than as she hoped by Caroline’s not dwelling in the identical home together with her brother, she may often spend a morning together with her, with none hazard of seeing him.

The Gardiners stayed per week at Longbourn; and what with the Phillipses, the Lucases, and the officers, there was not a day with out its engagement. Mrs. Bennet had so fastidiously offered for the leisure of her brother and sister, that they didn’t as soon as sit right down to a household dinner. When the engagement was for dwelling, a few of the officers all the time made a part of it—of which officers Mr. Wickham was positive to be one; and on these events, Mrs. Gardiner, rendered suspicious by Elizabeth’s heat commendation, narrowly noticed them each. Without supposing them, from what she noticed, to be very severely in love, their desire of one another was plain sufficient to make her a little bit uneasy; and he or she resolved to talk to Elizabeth on the topic earlier than she left Hertfordshire, and characterize to her the imprudence of encouraging such an attachment.

To Mrs. Gardiner, Wickham had one technique of affording pleasure, unconnected along with his common powers. About ten or a dozen years in the past, earlier than her marriage, she had spent a substantial time in that very a part of Derbyshire to which he belonged. They had, subsequently, many acquaintances in widespread; and although Wickham had been little there because the loss of life of Darcy’s father, it was but in his energy to present her brisker intelligence of her former mates than she had been in the way in which of procuring.

Mrs. Gardiner had seen Pemberley, and identified the late Mr. Darcy by character completely nicely. Here consequently was an inexhaustible topic of discourse. In evaluating her recollection of Pemberley with the minute description which Wickham may give, and in bestowing her tribute of reward on the character of its late possessor, she was delighting each him and herself. On being made acquainted with the current Mr. Darcy’s remedy of him, she tried to recollect a few of that gentleman’s reputed disposition when fairly a lad which could agree with it, and was assured finally that she recollected having heard Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy previously spoken of as a really proud, ill-natured boy.

Chapter 26

Mrs. Gardiner’s warning to Elizabeth was punctually and kindly given on the primary beneficial alternative of talking to her alone; after truthfully telling her what she thought, she thus went on:

“You are too sensible a girl, Lizzy, to fall in love merely because you are warned against it; and, therefore, I am not afraid of speaking openly. Seriously, I would have you be on your guard. Do not involve yourself or endeavour to involve him in an affection which the want of fortune would make so very imprudent. I have nothing to say against him; he is a most interesting young man; and if he had the fortune he ought to have, I should think you could not do better. But as it is, you must not let your fancy run away with you. You have sense, and we all expect you to use it. Your father would depend on your resolution and good conduct, I am sure. You must not disappoint your father.”

“My dear aunt, this is being serious indeed.”

“Yes, and I hope to engage you to be serious likewise.”

“Well, then, you need not be under any alarm. I will take care of myself, and of Mr. Wickham too. He shall not be in love with me, if I can prevent it.”

“Elizabeth, you are not serious now.”

“I beg your pardon, I will try again. At present I am not in love with Mr. Wickham; no, I certainly am not. But he is, beyond all comparison, the most agreeable man I ever saw—and if he becomes really attached to me—I believe it will be better that he should not. I see the imprudence of it. Oh! that abominable Mr. Darcy! My father’s opinion of me does me the greatest honour, and I should be miserable to forfeit it. My father, however, is partial to Mr. Wickham. In short, my dear aunt, I should be very sorry to be the means of making any of you unhappy; but since we see every day that where there is affection, young people are seldom withheld by immediate want of fortune from entering into engagements with each other, how can I promise to be wiser than so many of my fellow-creatures if I am tempted, or how am I even to know that it would be wisdom to resist? All that I can promise you, therefore, is not to be in a hurry. I will not be in a hurry to believe myself his first object. When I am in company with him, I will not be wishing. In short, I will do my best.”

“Perhaps it will be as well if you discourage his coming here so very often. At least, you should not remind your mother of inviting him.”

“As I did the other day,” mentioned Elizabeth with a acutely aware smile: “very true, it will be wise in me to refrain from that. But do not imagine that he is always here so often. It is on your account that he has been so frequently invited this week. You know my mother’s ideas as to the necessity of constant company for her friends. But really, and upon my honour, I will try to do what I think to be the wisest; and now I hope you are satisfied.”

Her aunt assured her that she was, and Elizabeth having thanked her for the kindness of her hints, they parted; an exquisite occasion of recommendation being given on such some extent, with out being resented.

Mr. Collins returned into Hertfordshire quickly after it had been quitted by the Gardiners and Jane; however as he took up his abode with the Lucases, his arrival was no nice inconvenience to Mrs. Bennet. His marriage was now quick approaching, and he or she was at size thus far resigned as to assume it inevitable, and even repeatedly to say, in an ill-natured tone, that she “wished they might be happy.” Thursday was to be the marriage day, and on Wednesday Miss Lucas paid her farewell go to; and when she rose to take go away, Elizabeth, ashamed of her mom’s ungracious and reluctant good needs, and sincerely affected herself, accompanied her out of the room. As they went downstairs collectively, Charlotte mentioned:

“I shall depend on hearing from you very often, Eliza.”

That you certainly shall.”

“And I have another favour to ask you. Will you come and see me?”

“We shall often meet, I hope, in Hertfordshire.”

“I am not likely to leave Kent for some time. Promise me, therefore, to come to Hunsford.”

Elizabeth couldn’t refuse, although she foresaw little pleasure within the go to.

“My father and Maria are coming to me in March,” added Charlotte, “and I hope you will consent to be of the party. Indeed, Eliza, you will be as welcome as either of them.”

The marriage ceremony came about; the bride and bridegroom set off for Kent from the church door, and all people had as a lot to say, or to listen to, on the topic as common. Elizabeth quickly heard from her good friend; and their correspondence was as common and frequent because it had ever been; that it needs to be equally unreserved was not possible. Elizabeth may by no means deal with her with out feeling that each one the consolation of intimacy was over, and although decided to not slacken as a correspondent, it was for the sake of what had been, quite than what was. Charlotte’s first letters have been obtained with a great deal of eagerness; there couldn’t however be curiosity to understand how she would communicate of her new dwelling, how she would really like Lady Catherine, and the way glad she would dare pronounce herself to be; although, when the letters have been learn, Elizabeth felt that Charlotte expressed herself on each level precisely as she may need foreseen. She wrote cheerfully, appeared surrounded with comforts, and talked about nothing which she couldn’t reward. The home, furnishings, neighbourhood, and roads, have been all to her style, and Lady Catherine’s behaviour was most pleasant and obliging. It was Mr. Collins’s image of Hunsford and Rosings rationally softened; and Elizabeth perceived that she should look ahead to her personal go to there to know the remainder.

Jane had already written a couple of strains to her sister to announce their protected arrival in London; and when she wrote once more, Elizabeth hoped it could be in her energy to say one thing of the Bingleys.

Her impatience for this second letter was as nicely rewarded as impatience usually is. Jane had been per week on the town with out both seeing or listening to from Caroline. She accounted for it, nonetheless, by supposing that her final letter to her good friend from Longbourn had by some accident been misplaced.

“My aunt,” she continued, “is going to-morrow into that part of the town, and I shall take the opportunity of calling in Grosvenor Street.”

She wrote once more when the go to was paid, and he or she had seen Miss Bingley. “I did not think Caroline in spirits,” have been her phrases, “but she was very glad to see me, and reproached me for giving her no notice of my coming to London. I was right, therefore, my last letter had never reached her. I inquired after their brother, of course. He was well, but so much engaged with Mr. Darcy that they scarcely ever saw him. I found that Miss Darcy was expected to dinner. I wish I could see her. My visit was not long, as Caroline and Mrs. Hurst were going out. I dare say I shall see them soon here.”

Elizabeth shook her head over this letter. It satisfied her that accident solely may uncover to Mr. Bingley her sister’s being on the town.

Four weeks handed away, and Jane noticed nothing of him. She endeavoured to steer herself that she didn’t remorse it; however she may now not be blind to Miss Bingley’s inattention. After ready at dwelling each morning for a fortnight, and inventing each night a recent excuse for her, the customer did finally seem; however the shortness of her keep, and but extra, the alteration of her method would enable Jane to deceive herself now not. The letter which she wrote on this event to her sister will show what she felt.

“My dearest Lizzy will, I am sure, be incapable of triumphing in her better judgement, at my expense, when I confess myself to have been entirely deceived in Miss Bingley’s regard for me. But, my dear sister, though the event has proved you right, do not think me obstinate if I still assert that, considering what her behaviour was, my confidence was as natural as your suspicion. I do not at all comprehend her reason for wishing to be intimate with me; but if the same circumstances were to happen again, I am sure I should be deceived again. Caroline did not return my visit till yesterday; and not a note, not a line, did I receive in the meantime. When she did come, it was very evident that she had no pleasure in it; she made a slight, formal apology, for not calling before, said not a word of wishing to see me again, and was in every respect so altered a creature, that when she went away I was perfectly resolved to continue the acquaintance no longer. I pity, though I cannot help blaming her. She was very wrong in singling me out as she did; I can safely say that every advance to intimacy began on her side. But I pity her, because she must feel that she has been acting wrong, and because I am very sure that anxiety for her brother is the cause of it. I need not explain myself farther; and though weknow this anxiety to be quite needless, yet if she feels it, it will easily account for her behaviour to me; and so deservedly dear as he is to his sister, whatever anxiety she must feel on his behalf is natural and amiable. I cannot but wonder, however, at her having any such fears now, because, if he had at all cared about me, we must have met, long ago. He knows of my being in town, I am certain, from something she said herself; and yet it would seem, by her manner of talking, as if she wanted to persuade herself that he is really partial to Miss Darcy. I cannot understand it. If I were not afraid of judging harshly, I should be almost tempted to say that there is a strong appearance of duplicity in all this. But I will endeavour to banish every painful thought, and think only of what will make me happy—your affection, and the invariable kindness of my dear uncle and aunt. Let me hear from you very soon. Miss Bingley said something of his never returning to Netherfield again, of giving up the house, but not with any certainty. We had better not mention it. I am extremely glad that you have such pleasant accounts from our friends at Hunsford. Pray go to see them, with Sir William and Maria. I am sure you will be very comfortable there.—Yours, etc.”

This letter gave Elizabeth some ache; however her spirits returned as she thought-about that Jane would now not be duped, by the sister no less than. All expectation from the brother was now completely over. She wouldn’t even want for a renewal of his attentions. His character sunk on each evaluate of it; and as a punishment for him, in addition to a doable benefit to Jane, she severely hoped he may actually quickly marry Mr. Darcy’s sister, as by Wickham’s account, she would make him abundantly remorse what he had thrown away.

Mrs. Gardiner about this time reminded Elizabeth of her promise regarding that gentleman, and required info; and Elizabeth had such to ship as may quite give contentment to her aunt than to herself. His obvious partiality had subsided, his attentions have been over, he was the admirer of some one else. Elizabeth was watchful sufficient to see all of it, however she may see it and write of it with out materials ache. Her coronary heart had been however barely touched, and her vainness was happy with believing that she would have been his solely alternative, had fortune permitted it. The sudden acquisition of ten thousand kilos was essentially the most outstanding attraction of the younger girl to whom he was now rendering himself agreeable; however Elizabeth, much less clear-sighted maybe on this case than in Charlotte’s, didn’t quarrel with him for his want of independence. Nothing, quite the opposite, might be extra pure; and whereas in a position to suppose that it price him a couple of struggles to relinquish her, she was prepared to permit it a smart and fascinating measure for each, and will very sincerely want him glad.

All this was acknowledged to Mrs. Gardiner; and after relating the circumstances, she thus went on: “I am now convinced, my dear aunt, that I have never been much in love; for had I really experienced that pure and elevating passion, I should at present detest his very name, and wish him all manner of evil. But my feelings are not only cordial towards him; they are even impartial towards Miss King. I cannot find out that I hate her at all, or that I am in the least unwilling to think her a very good sort of girl. There can be no love in all this. My watchfulness has been effectual; and though I certainly should be a more interesting object to all my acquaintances were I distractedly in love with him, I cannot say that I regret my comparative insignificance. Importance may sometimes be purchased too dearly. Kitty and Lydia take his defection much more to heart than I do. They are young in the ways of the world, and not yet open to the mortifying conviction that handsome young men must have something to live on as well as the plain.”

Chapter 27

With no larger occasions than these within the Longbourn household, and in any other case diversified by little past the walks to Meryton, typically soiled and typically chilly, did January and February move away. March was to take Elizabeth to Hunsford. She had not at first thought very severely of going thither; however Charlotte, she quickly discovered, was relying on the plan and he or she progressively discovered to think about it herself with larger pleasure in addition to larger certainty. Absence had elevated her want of seeing Charlotte once more, and weakened her disgust of Mr. Collins. There was novelty within the scheme, and as, with such a mom and such uncompanionable sisters, dwelling couldn’t be faultless, a little bit change was not unwelcome for its personal sake. The journey would furthermore give her a peep at Jane; and, briefly, because the time drew close to, she would have been very sorry for any delay. Everything, nonetheless, went on easily, and was lastly settled based on Charlotte’s first sketch. She was to accompany Sir William and his second daughter. The enchancment of spending an evening in London was added in time, and the plan turned excellent as plan might be.

The solely ache was in leaving her father, who would definitely miss her, and who, when it got here to the purpose, so little favored her going, that he informed her to write down to him, and virtually promised to reply her letter.

The farewell between herself and Mr. Wickham was completely pleasant; on his aspect much more. His current pursuit couldn’t make him neglect that Elizabeth had been the primary to excite and to deserve his consideration, the primary to hear and to pity, the primary to be admired; and in his method of bidding her adieu, wishing her each enjoyment, reminding her of what she was to count on in Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and trusting their opinion of her—their opinion of all people—would all the time coincide, there was a solicitude, an curiosity which she felt should ever connect her to him with a most honest regard; and he or she parted from him satisfied that, whether or not married or single, he should all the time be her mannequin of the amiable and pleasing.

Her fellow-travellers the following day weren’t of a sort to make her assume him much less agreeable. Sir William Lucas, and his daughter Maria, a good-humoured lady, however as empty-headed as himself, had nothing to say that might be price listening to, and have been listened to with about as a lot delight because the rattle of the chaise. Elizabeth cherished absurdities, however she had identified Sir William’s too lengthy. He may inform her nothing new of the wonders of his presentation and knighthood; and his civilities have been worn out, like his info.

It was a journey of solely twenty-four miles, and so they started it so early as to be in Gracechurch Street by midday. As they drove to Mr. Gardiner’s door, Jane was at a drawing-room window watching their arrival; once they entered the passage she was there to welcome them, and Elizabeth, wanting earnestly in her face, was happy to see it healthful and beautiful as ever. On the steps have been a troop of little girls and boys, whose eagerness for his or her cousin’s look wouldn’t enable them to attend within the drawing-room, and whose shyness, as that they had not seen her for a twelvemonth, prevented their coming decrease. All was pleasure and kindness. The day handed most pleasantly away; the morning in bustle and purchasing, and the night at one of many theatres.

Elizabeth then contrived to take a seat by her aunt. Their first object was her sister; and he or she was extra grieved than astonished to listen to, in reply to her minute inquiries, that although Jane all the time struggled to assist her spirits, there have been intervals of dejection. It was affordable, nonetheless, to hope that they might not proceed lengthy. Mrs. Gardiner gave her the particulars additionally of Miss Bingley’s go to in Gracechurch Street, and repeated conversations occurring at completely different instances between Jane and herself, which proved that the previous had, from her coronary heart, given up the acquaintance.

Mrs. Gardiner then rallied her niece on Wickham’s desertion, and complimented her on bearing it so nicely.

“But my dear Elizabeth,” she added, “what sort of girl is Miss King? I should be sorry to think our friend mercenary.”

“Pray, my dear aunt, what is the difference in matrimonial affairs, between the mercenary and the prudent motive? Where does discretion end, and avarice begin? Last Christmas you were afraid of his marrying me, because it would be imprudent; and now, because he is trying to get a girl with only ten thousand pounds, you want to find out that he is mercenary.”

“If you will only tell me what sort of girl Miss King is, I shall know what to think.”

“She is a very good kind of girl, I believe. I know no harm of her.”

“But he paid her not the smallest attention till her grandfather’s death made her mistress of this fortune.”

“No—why should he? If it were not allowable for him to gain my affections because I had no money, what occasion could there be for making love to a girl whom he did not care about, and who was equally poor?”

“But there seems an indelicacy in directing his attentions towards her so soon after this event.”

“A man in distressed circumstances has not time for all those elegant decorums which other people may observe. If she does not object to it, why should we?”

Her not objecting does not justify him. It only shows her being deficient in something herself—sense or feeling.”

“Well,” cried Elizabeth, “have it as you choose. He shall be mercenary, and she shall be foolish.”

“No, Lizzy, that is what I do not choose. I should be sorry, you know, to think ill of a young man who has lived so long in Derbyshire.”

“Oh! if that is all, I have a very poor opinion of young men who live in Derbyshire; and their intimate friends who live in Hertfordshire are not much better. I am sick of them all. Thank Heaven! I am going to-morrow where I shall find a man who has not one agreeable quality, who has neither manner nor sense to recommend him. Stupid men are the only ones worth knowing, after all.”

“Take care, Lizzy; that speech savours strongly of disappointment.”

Before they have been separated by the conclusion of the play, she had the surprising happiness of an invite to accompany her uncle and aunt in a tour of enjoyment which they proposed taking in the summertime.

“We have not determined how far it shall carry us,” mentioned Mrs. Gardiner, “but, perhaps, to the Lakes.”

No scheme may have been extra agreeable to Elizabeth, and her acceptance of the invitation was most prepared and grateful. “Oh, my dear, dear aunt,” she rapturously cried, “what delight! what felicity! You give me fresh life and vigour. Adieu to disappointment and spleen. What are young men to rocks and mountains? Oh! what hours of transport we shall spend! And when we do return, it shall not be like other travellers, without being able to give one accurate idea of anything. We will know where we have gone—we will recollect what we have seen. Lakes, mountains, and rivers shall not be jumbled together in our imaginations; nor when we attempt to describe any particular scene, will we begin quarreling about its relative situation. Let ourfirst effusions be less insupportable than those of the generality of travellers.”

Chapter 28

Every object within the subsequent day’s journey was new and attention-grabbing to Elizabeth; and her spirits have been in a state of enjoyment; for she had seen her sister wanting so nicely as to banish all worry for her well being, and the prospect of her northern tour was a continuing supply of pleasure.

When they left the excessive street for the lane to Hunsford, each eye was in the hunt for the Parsonage, and each turning anticipated to deliver it in view. The palings of Rosings Park was their boundary on one aspect. Elizabeth smiled on the recollection of all that she had heard of its inhabitants.

At size the Parsonage was discernible. The backyard sloping to the street, the home standing in it, the inexperienced pales, and the laurel hedge, every thing declared they have been arriving. Mr. Collins and Charlotte appeared on the door, and the carriage stopped on the small gate which led by a brief gravel stroll to the home, amidst the nods and smiles of the entire social gathering. In a second they have been all out of the chaise, rejoicing on the sight of one another. Mrs. Collins welcomed her good friend with the liveliest pleasure, and Elizabeth was increasingly more happy with coming when she discovered herself so affectionately obtained. She noticed immediately that her cousin’s manners weren’t altered by his marriage; his formal civility was simply what it had been, and he detained her some minutes on the gate to listen to and fulfill his inquiries in any case her household. They have been then, with no different delay than his mentioning the neatness of the doorway, taken into the home; and as quickly as they have been within the parlour, he welcomed them a second time, with ostentatious formality to his humble abode, and punctually repeated all his spouse’s affords of refreshment.

Elizabeth was ready to see him in his glory; and he or she couldn’t assist in fancying that in displaying the nice proportion of the room, its side and its furnishings, he addressed himself notably to her, as if wishing to make her really feel what she had misplaced in refusing him. But although every thing appeared neat and comfy, she was not in a position to gratify him by any sigh of repentance, and quite appeared with marvel at her good friend that she may have so cheerful an air with such a companion. When Mr. Collins mentioned something of which his spouse may moderately be ashamed, which actually was not unseldom, she involuntarily turned her eye on Charlotte. Once or twice she may discern a faint blush; however usually Charlotte properly didn’t hear. After sitting lengthy sufficient to admire each article of furnishings within the room, from the sideboard to the fender, to present an account of their journey, and of all that had occurred in London, Mr. Collins invited them to take a stroll within the backyard, which was massive and nicely laid out, and to the cultivation of which he attended himself. To work on this backyard was one in all his most respectable pleasures; and Elizabeth admired the command of countenance with which Charlotte talked of the healthfulness of the train, and owned she inspired it as a lot as doable. Here, main the way in which via each stroll and cross stroll, and scarcely permitting them an interval to utter the praises he requested for, each view was identified with a minuteness which left magnificence solely behind. He may quantity the fields in each route, and will inform what number of bushes there have been in essentially the most distant clump. But of all of the views which his backyard, or which the nation or kingdom may boast, none have been to be in contrast with the prospect of Rosings, afforded by a gap within the bushes that bordered the park practically reverse the entrance of his home. It was a good-looking trendy constructing, nicely located on rising floor.

From his backyard, Mr. Collins would have led them spherical his two meadows; however the girls, not having footwear to come across the stays of a white frost, turned again; and whereas Sir William accompanied him, Charlotte took her sister and good friend over the home, extraordinarily nicely happy, in all probability, to have the chance of displaying it with out her husband’s assist. It was quite small, however nicely constructed and handy; and every thing was fitted up and organized with a neatness and consistency of which Elizabeth gave Charlotte all of the credit score. When Mr. Collins might be forgotten, there was actually an air of nice consolation all through, and by Charlotte’s evident enjoyment of it, Elizabeth supposed he have to be usually forgotten.

She had already learnt that Lady Catherine was nonetheless within the nation. It was spoken of once more whereas they have been at dinner, when Mr. Collins becoming a member of in, noticed:

“Yes, Miss Elizabeth, you will have the honour of seeing Lady Catherine de Bourgh on the ensuing Sunday at church, and I need not say you will be delighted with her. She is all affability and condescension, and I doubt not but you will be honoured with some portion of her notice when service is over. I have scarcely any hesitation in saying she will include you and my sister Maria in every invitation with which she honours us during your stay here. Her behaviour to my dear Charlotte is charming. We dine at Rosings twice every week, and are never allowed to walk home. Her ladyship’s carriage is regularly ordered for us. I should say, one of her ladyship’s carriages, for she has several.”

“Lady Catherine is a very respectable, sensible woman indeed,” added Charlotte, “and a most attentive neighbour.”

“Very true, my dear, that is exactly what I say. She is the sort of woman whom one cannot regard with too much deference.”

The night was spent mainly in speaking over Hertfordshire information, and telling once more what had already been written; and when it closed, Elizabeth, within the solitude of her chamber, needed to meditate upon Charlotte’s diploma of contentment, to know her deal with in guiding, and composure in bearing with, her husband, and to acknowledge that it was all completed very nicely. She had additionally to anticipate how her go to would move, the quiet tenor of their common employments, the vexatious interruptions of Mr. Collins, and the gaieties of their intercourse with Rosings. A energetic creativeness quickly settled all of it.

About the center of the following day, as she was in her room preparing for a stroll, a sudden noise under appeared to talk the entire home in confusion; and, after listening a second, she heard anyone operating up stairs in a violent hurry, and calling loudly after her. She opened the door and met Maria within the touchdown place, who, breathless with agitation, cried out—

“Oh, my dear Eliza! pray make haste and come into the dining-room, for there is such a sight to be seen! I will not tell you what it is. Make haste, and come down this moment.”

Elizabeth requested questions in useless; Maria would inform her nothing extra, and down they bumped into the dining-room, which fronted the lane, in quest of this marvel; It was two girls stopping in a low phaeton on the backyard gate.

“And is this all?” cried Elizabeth. “I expected at least that the pigs were got into the garden, and here is nothing but Lady Catherine and her daughter.”

“La! my dear,” mentioned Maria, fairly shocked on the mistake, “it is not Lady Catherine. The old lady is Mrs. Jenkinson, who lives with them; the other is Miss de Bourgh. Only look at her. She is quite a little creature. Who would have thought that she could be so thin and small?”

“She is abominably rude to keep Charlotte out of doors in all this wind. Why does she not come in?”

“Oh, Charlotte says she hardly ever does. It is the greatest of favours when Miss de Bourgh comes in.”

“I like her appearance,” mentioned Elizabeth, struck with different concepts. “She looks sickly and cross. Yes, she will do for him very well. She will make him a very proper wife.”

Mr. Collins and Charlotte have been each standing on the gate in dialog with the women; and Sir William, to Elizabeth’s excessive diversion, was stationed within the doorway, in earnest contemplation of the greatness earlier than him, and always bowing every time Miss de Bourgh appeared that method.

At size there was nothing extra to be mentioned; the women drove on, and the others returned into the home. Mr. Collins no sooner noticed the 2 women than he started to congratulate them on their success, which Charlotte defined by letting them know that the entire social gathering was requested to dine at Rosings the following day.

Chapter 29

Mr. Collins’s triumph, in consequence of this invitation, was full. The energy of displaying the grandeur of his patroness to his questioning guests, and of letting them see her civility in direction of himself and his spouse, was precisely what he had wished for; and that a chance of doing it needs to be given so quickly, was such an occasion of Lady Catherine’s condescension, as he knew not the right way to admire sufficient.

“I confess,” mentioned he, “that I should not have been at all surprised by her ladyship’s asking us on Sunday to drink tea and spend the evening at Rosings. I rather expected, from my knowledge of her affability, that it would happen. But who could have foreseen such an attention as this? Who could have imagined that we should receive an invitation to dine there (an invitation, moreover, including the whole party) so immediately after your arrival!”

“I am the less surprised at what has happened,” replied Sir William, “from that knowledge of what the manners of the great really are, which my situation in life has allowed me to acquire. About the court, such instances of elegant breeding are not uncommon.”

Scarcely something was talked of the entire day or subsequent morning however their go to to Rosings. Mr. Collins was fastidiously instructing them in what they have been to count on, that the sight of such rooms, so many servants, and so splendid a dinner, won’t wholly overpower them.

When the women have been separating for the toilette, he mentioned to Elizabeth—

“Do not make yourself uneasy, my dear cousin, about your apparel. Lady Catherine is far from requiring that elegance of dress in us which becomes herself and her daughter. I would advise you merely to put on whatever of your clothes is superior to the rest—there is no occasion for anything more. Lady Catherine will not think the worse of you for being simply dressed. She likes to have the distinction of rank preserved.”

While they have been dressing, he got here two or 3 times to their completely different doorways, to suggest their being fast, as Lady Catherine very a lot objected to be stored ready for her dinner. Such formidable accounts of her ladyship, and her method of dwelling, fairly frightened Maria Lucas who had been little used to firm, and he or she appeared ahead to her introduction at Rosings with as a lot apprehension as her father had completed to his presentation at St. James’s.

As the climate was high quality, that they had a pleasing stroll of about half a mile throughout the park. Every park has its magnificence and its prospects; and Elizabeth noticed a lot to be happy with, although she couldn’t be in such raptures as Mr. Collins anticipated the scene to encourage, and was however barely affected by his enumeration of the home windows in entrance of the home, and his relation of what the glazing altogether had initially price Sir Lewis de Bourgh.

When they ascended the steps to the corridor, Maria’s alarm was each second rising, and even Sir William didn’t look completely calm. Elizabeth’s braveness didn’t fail her. She had heard nothing of Lady Catherine that spoke her terrible from any extraordinary skills or miraculous advantage, and the mere stateliness of cash or rank she thought she may witness with out trepidation.

From the entrance-hall, of which Mr. Collins identified, with a rapturous air, the high quality proportion and the completed ornaments, they adopted the servants via an ante-chamber, to the room the place Lady Catherine, her daughter, and Mrs. Jenkinson have been sitting. Her ladyship, with nice condescension, arose to obtain them; and as Mrs. Collins had settled it together with her husband that the workplace of introduction needs to be hers, it was carried out in a correct method, with none of these apologies and thanks which he would have thought mandatory.

In spite of getting been at St. James’s Sir William was so utterly awed by the grandeur surrounding him, that he had however simply braveness sufficient to make a really low bow, and take his seat with out saying a phrase; and his daughter, frightened virtually out of her senses, sat on the sting of her chair, not figuring out which option to look. Elizabeth discovered herself fairly equal to the scene, and will observe the three girls earlier than her composedly. Lady Catherine was a tall, massive girl, with strongly-marked options, which could as soon as have been good-looking. Her air was not conciliating, nor was her method of receiving them equivalent to to make her guests neglect their inferior rank. She was not rendered formidable by silence; however no matter she mentioned was spoken in so authoritative a tone, as marked her self-importance, and introduced Mr. Wickham instantly to Elizabeth’s thoughts; and from the statement of the day altogether, she believed Lady Catherine to be precisely what he represented.

When, after inspecting the mom, in whose countenance and deportment she quickly discovered some resemblance of Mr. Darcy, she turned her eyes on the daughter, she may virtually have joined in Maria’s astonishment at her being so skinny and so small. There was neither in determine nor face any likeness between the women. Miss de Bourgh was pale and sickly; her options, although not plain, have been insignificant; and he or she spoke little or no, besides in a low voice, to Mrs. Jenkinson, in whose look there was nothing outstanding, and who was solely engaged in listening to what she mentioned, and putting a display within the correct route earlier than her eyes.

After sitting a couple of minutes, they have been all despatched to one of many home windows to admire the view, Mr. Collins attending them to level out its beauties, and Lady Catherine kindly informing them that it was a lot better price in the summertime.

The dinner was exceedingly good-looking, and there have been all of the servants and all of the articles of plate which Mr. Collins had promised; and, as he had likewise foretold, he took his seat on the backside of the desk, by her ladyship’s want, and appeared as if he felt that life may furnish nothing larger. He carved, and ate, and praised with delighted alacrity; and each dish was counseled, first by him after which by Sir William, who was now sufficient recovered to echo no matter his son-in-law mentioned, in a fashion which Elizabeth questioned Lady Catherine may bear. But Lady Catherine appeared gratified by their extreme admiration, and gave most gracious smiles, particularly when any dish on the desk proved a novelty to them. The social gathering didn’t provide a lot dialog. Elizabeth was prepared to talk every time there was a gap, however she was seated between Charlotte and Miss de Bourgh—the previous of whom was engaged in listening to Lady Catherine, and the latter mentioned not a phrase to her all dinner-time. Mrs. Jenkinson was mainly employed in watching how little Miss de Bourgh ate, urgent her to strive another dish, and fearing she was indisposed. Maria thought talking out of the query, and the gents did nothing however eat and admire.

When the women returned to the drawing-room, there was little to be completed however to listen to Lady Catherine discuss, which she did with none intermission until espresso got here in, delivering her opinion on each topic in so decisive a fashion, as proved that she was not used to have her judgement controverted. She inquired into Charlotte’s home considerations familiarly and minutely, gave her a substantial amount of recommendation as to the administration of all of them; informed her how every thing must be regulated in so small a household as hers, and instructed her as to the care of her cows and her poultry. Elizabeth discovered that nothing was beneath this nice girl’s consideration, which may furnish her with an event of dictating to others. In the intervals of her discourse with Mrs. Collins, she addressed a wide range of inquiries to Maria and Elizabeth, however particularly to the latter, of whose connections she knew the least, and who she noticed to Mrs. Collins was a really genteel, fairly type of lady. She requested her, at completely different instances, what number of sisters she had, whether or not they have been older or youthful than herself, whether or not any of them have been prone to be married, whether or not they have been good-looking, the place that they had been educated, what carriage her father stored, and what had been her mom’s maiden identify? Elizabeth felt all of the impertinence of her questions however answered them very composedly. Lady Catherine then noticed,

“Your father’s estate is entailed on Mr. Collins, I think. For your sake,” turning to Charlotte, “I am glad of it; but otherwise I see no occasion for entailing estates from the female line. It was not thought necessary in Sir Lewis de Bourgh’s family. Do you play and sing, Miss Bennet?”

“A little.”

“Oh! then—some time or other we shall be happy to hear you. Our instrument is a capital one, probably superior to——You shall try it some day. Do your sisters play and sing?”

“One of them does.”

“Why did not you all learn? You ought all to have learned. The Miss Webbs all play, and their father has not so good an income as yours. Do you draw?”

“No, not at all.”

“What, none of you?”

“Not one.”

“That is very strange. But I suppose you had no opportunity. Your mother should have taken you to town every spring for the benefit of masters.”

“My mother would have had no objection, but my father hates London.”

“Has your governess left you?”

“We never had any governess.”

“No governess! How was that possible? Five daughters brought up at home without a governess! I never heard of such a thing. Your mother must have been quite a slave to your education.”

Elizabeth may hardly assist smiling as she assured her that had not been the case.

“Then, who taught you? who attended to you? Without a governess, you must have been neglected.”

“Compared with some families, I believe we were; but such of us as wished to learn never wanted the means. We were always encouraged to read, and had all the masters that were necessary. Those who chose to be idle, certainly might.”

“Aye, no doubt; but that is what a governess will prevent, and if I had known your mother, I should have advised her most strenuously to engage one. I always say that nothing is to be done in education without steady and regular instruction, and nobody but a governess can give it. It is wonderful how many families I have been the means of supplying in that way. I am always glad to get a young person well placed out. Four nieces of Mrs. Jenkinson are most delightfully situated through my means; and it was but the other day that I recommended another young person, who was merely accidentally mentioned to me, and the family are quite delighted with her. Mrs. Collins, did I tell you of Lady Metcalf’s calling yesterday to thank me? She finds Miss Pope a treasure. ‘Lady Catherine,’ said she, ‘you have given me a treasure.’ Are any of your younger sisters out, Miss Bennet?”

“Yes, ma’am, all.”

“All! What, all five out at once? Very odd! And you only the second. The younger ones out before the elder ones are married! Your younger sisters must be very young?”

“Yes, my youngest is not sixteen. Perhaps she is full young to be much in company. But really, ma’am, I think it would be very hard upon younger sisters, that they should not have their share of society and amusement, because the elder may not have the means or inclination to marry early. The last-born has as good a right to the pleasures of youth as the first. And to be kept back on such a motive! I think it would not be very likely to promote sisterly affection or delicacy of mind.”

“Upon my word,” mentioned her ladyship, “you give your opinion very decidedly for so young a person. Pray, what is your age?”

“With three younger sisters grown up,” replied Elizabeth, smiling, “your ladyship can hardly expect me to own it.”

Lady Catherine appeared fairly astonished at not receiving a direct reply; and Elizabeth suspected herself to be the primary creature who had ever dared to trifle with a lot dignified impertinence.

“You cannot be more than twenty, I am sure, therefore you need not conceal your age.”

“I am not one-and-twenty.”

When the gents had joined them, and tea was over, the card-tables have been positioned. Lady Catherine, Sir William, and Mr. and Mrs. Collins sat right down to quadrille; and as Miss de Bourgh selected to play at cassino, the 2 women had the honour of aiding Mrs. Jenkinson to make up her social gathering. Their desk was superlatively silly. Scarcely a syllable was uttered that didn’t relate to the sport, besides when Mrs. Jenkinson expressed her fears of Miss de Bourgh’s being too sizzling or too chilly, or having an excessive amount of or too little mild. An ideal deal extra handed on the different desk. Lady Catherine was usually talking—stating the errors of the three others, or relating some anecdote of herself. Mr. Collins was employed in agreeing to every thing her ladyship mentioned, thanking her for each fish he received, and apologising if he thought he received too many. Sir William didn’t say a lot. He was storing his reminiscence with anecdotes and noble names.

When Lady Catherine and her daughter had performed so long as they selected, the tables have been damaged up, the carriage was provided to Mrs. Collins, gratefully accepted and instantly ordered. The social gathering then gathered spherical the fireplace to listen to Lady Catherine decide what climate they have been to have on the morrow. From these directions they have been summoned by the arrival of the coach; and with many speeches of thankfulness on Mr. Collins’s aspect and as many bows on Sir William’s they departed. As quickly as that they had pushed from the door, Elizabeth was known as on by her cousin to present her opinion of all that she had seen at Rosings, which, for Charlotte’s sake, she made extra beneficial than it actually was. But her commendation, although costing her some hassle, may in no way fulfill Mr. Collins, and he was very quickly obliged to take her ladyship’s reward into his personal palms.

Chapter 30

Sir William stayed solely per week at Hunsford, however his go to was lengthy sufficient to persuade him of his daughter’s being most comfortably settled, and of her possessing such a husband and such a neighbour as weren’t usually met with. While Sir William was with them, Mr. Collins devoted his morning to driving him out in his gig, and displaying him the nation; however when he went away, the entire household returned to their common employments, and Elizabeth was grateful to seek out that they didn’t see extra of her cousin by the alteration, for the chief of the time between breakfast and dinner was now handed by him both at work within the backyard or in studying and writing, and searching of the window in his personal book-room, which fronted the street. The room wherein the women sat was backwards. Elizabeth had at first quite questioned that Charlotte shouldn’t choose the dining-parlour for widespread use; it was a greater sized room, and had a extra nice side; however she quickly noticed that her good friend had a wonderful motive for what she did, for Mr. Collins would undoubtedly have been a lot much less in his personal house, had they sat in a single equally energetic; and he or she gave Charlotte credit score for the association.

From the drawing-room they may distinguish nothing within the lane, and have been indebted to Mr. Collins for the data of what carriages went alongside, and the way usually particularly Miss de Bourgh drove by in her phaeton, which he by no means failed coming to tell them of, although it occurred virtually day-after-day. She not unfrequently stopped on the Parsonage, and had a couple of minutes’ dialog with Charlotte, however was scarcely ever prevailed upon to get out.

Very few days handed wherein Mr. Collins didn’t stroll to Rosings, and never many wherein his spouse didn’t assume it essential to go likewise; and until Elizabeth recollected that there may be different household livings to be disposed of, she couldn’t perceive the sacrifice of so many hours. Now after which they have been honoured with a name from her ladyship, and nothing escaped her statement that was passing within the room throughout these visits. She examined into their employments, checked out their work, and suggested them to do it otherwise; discovered fault with the association of the furnishings; or detected the housemaid in negligence; and if she accepted any refreshment, appeared to do it just for the sake of discovering out that Mrs. Collins’s joints of meat have been too massive for her household.

Elizabeth quickly perceived, that although this nice girl was not in fee of the peace of the county, she was a most lively Justice of the Peace in her personal parish, the minutest considerations of which have been carried to her by Mr. Collins; and every time any of the cottagers have been disposed to be quarrelsome, discontented, or too poor, she sallied forth into the village to settle their variations, silence their complaints, and scold them into concord and lots.

The leisure of eating at Rosings was repeated about twice per week; and, permitting for the lack of Sir William, and there being just one card-table within the night, each such leisure was the counterpart of the primary. Their different engagements have been few, because the model of dwelling within the neighbourhood usually was past Mr. Collins’s attain. This, nonetheless, was no evil to Elizabeth, and upon the entire she spent her time comfortably sufficient; there have been half-hours of nice dialog with Charlotte, and the climate was so high quality for the time of 12 months that she had usually nice enjoyment outdoor. Her favorite stroll, and the place she ceaselessly went whereas the others have been calling on Lady Catherine, was alongside the open grove which edged that aspect of the park, the place there was a pleasant sheltered path, which nobody appeared to worth however herself, and the place she felt past the attain of Lady Catherine’s curiosity.

In this quiet method, the primary fortnight of her go to quickly handed away. Easter was approaching, and the week previous it was to deliver an addition to the household at Rosings, which in so small a circle have to be vital. Elizabeth had heard quickly after her arrival that Mr. Darcy was anticipated there in the midst of a couple of weeks, and although there weren’t lots of her acquaintances whom she didn’t choose, his coming would furnish one comparatively new to have a look at of their Rosings events, and he or she may be amused in seeing how hopeless Miss Bingley’s designs on him have been, by his behaviour to his cousin, for whom he was evidently destined by Lady Catherine, who talked of his coming with the best satisfaction, spoke of him when it comes to the best admiration, and appeared virtually indignant to seek out that he had already been ceaselessly seen by Miss Lucas and herself.

His arrival was quickly identified on the Parsonage; for Mr. Collins was strolling the entire morning inside view of the lodges opening into Hunsford Lane, with a purpose to have the earliest assurance of it, and after making his bow because the carriage became the Park, hurried dwelling with the nice intelligence. On the next morning he hastened to Rosings to pay his respects. There have been two nephews of Lady Catherine to require them, for Mr. Darcy had introduced with him a Colonel Fitzwilliam, the youthful son of his uncle Lord ——, and, to the nice shock of all of the social gathering, when Mr. Collins returned, the gents accompanied him. Charlotte had seen them from her husband’s room, crossing the street, and instantly operating into the opposite, informed the ladies what an honour they could count on, including:

“I may thank you, Eliza, for this piece of civility. Mr. Darcy would never have come so soon to wait upon me.”

Elizabeth had scarcely time to deny all proper to the praise, earlier than their method was introduced by the door-bell, and shortly afterwards the three gents entered the room. Colonel Fitzwilliam, who led the way in which, was about thirty, not good-looking, however in individual and deal with most really the gentleman. Mr. Darcy appeared simply as he had been used to look in Hertfordshire—paid his compliments, along with his common reserve, to Mrs. Collins, and no matter may be his emotions towards her good friend, met her with each look of composure. Elizabeth merely curtseyed to him with out saying a phrase.

Colonel Fitzwilliam entered into dialog straight with the readiness and ease of a well-bred man, and talked very pleasantly; however his cousin, after having addressed a slight statement on the home and backyard to Mrs. Collins, sat for a while with out talking to anyone. At size, nonetheless, his civility was thus far woke up as to inquire of Elizabeth after the well being of her household. She answered him within the common method, and after a second’s pause, added:

“My eldest sister has been in town these three months. Have you never happened to see her there?”

She was completely smart that he by no means had; however she wished to see whether or not he would betray any consciousness of what had handed between the Bingleys and Jane, and he or she thought he appeared a little bit confused as he answered that he had by no means been so lucky as to satisfy Miss Bennet. The topic was pursued no farther, and the gents quickly afterwards went away.

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