PRIDE AND PREJUDICE – Chapters 31-40


Chapter 31

Colonel Fitzwilliam’s manners have been very a lot admired on the Parsonage, and the women all felt that he should add significantly to the pleasures of their engagements at Rosings. It was some days, nevertheless, earlier than they acquired any invitation thither—for whereas there have been guests in the home, they may not be essential; and it was not until Easter-day, nearly per week after the gents’s arrival, that they have been honoured by such an consideration, after which they have been merely requested on leaving church to return there within the night. For the final week that they had seen little or no of Lady Catherine or her daughter. Colonel Fitzwilliam had referred to as on the Parsonage greater than as soon as in the course of the time, however Mr. Darcy that they had seen solely at church.

The invitation was accepted after all, and at a correct hour they joined the get together in Lady Catherine’s drawing-room. Her ladyship acquired them civilly, however it was plain that their firm was in no way so acceptable as when she may get no person else; and he or she was, in actual fact, nearly engrossed by her nephews, talking to them, particularly to Darcy, rather more than to some other individual within the room.

Colonel Fitzwilliam appeared actually glad to see them; something was a welcome reduction to him at Rosings; and Mrs. Collins’s fairly good friend had furthermore caught his fancy very a lot. He now seated himself by her, and talked so agreeably of Kent and Hertfordshire, of travelling and staying at dwelling, of latest books and music, that Elizabeth had by no means been half so nicely entertained in that room earlier than; they usually conversed with a lot spirit and move, as to attract the eye of Lady Catherine herself, in addition to of Mr. Darcy. His eyes had been quickly and repeatedly turned in direction of them with a glance of curiosity; and that her ladyship, after some time, shared the sensation, was extra overtly acknowledged, for she didn’t scruple to name out:

“What is that you are saying, Fitzwilliam? What is it you are talking of? What are you telling Miss Bennet? Let me hear what it is.”


“We are speaking of music, madam,” mentioned he, when not capable of keep away from a reply.

“Of music! Then pray speak aloud. It is of all subjects my delight. I must have my share in the conversation if you are speaking of music. There are few people in England, I suppose, who have more true enjoyment of music than myself, or a better natural taste. If I had ever learnt, I should have been a great proficient. And so would Anne, if her health had allowed her to apply. I am confident that she would have performed delightfully. How does Georgiana get on, Darcy?”

Mr. Darcy spoke with affectionate reward of his sister’s proficiency.

“I am very glad to hear such a good account of her,” mentioned Lady Catherine; “and pray tell her from me, that she cannot expect to excel if she does not practice a good deal.”

“I assure you, madam,” he replied, “that she does not need such advice. She practises very constantly.”

“So much the better. It cannot be done too much; and when I next write to her, I shall charge her not to neglect it on any account. I often tell young ladies that no excellence in music is to be acquired without constant practice. I have told Miss Bennet several times, that she will never play really well unless she practises more; and though Mrs. Collins has no instrument, she is very welcome, as I have often told her, to come to Rosings every day, and play on the pianoforte in Mrs. Jenkinson’s room. She would be in nobody’s way, you know, in that part of the house.”


Mr. Darcy seemed slightly ashamed of his aunt’s ill-breeding, and made no reply.

When espresso was over, Colonel Fitzwilliam reminded Elizabeth of getting promised to play to him; and he or she sat down on to the instrument. He drew a chair close to her. Lady Catherine listened to half a tune, after which talked, as earlier than, to her different nephew; until the latter walked away from her, and making together with his normal deliberation in direction of the pianoforte stationed himself in order to command a full view of the honest performer’s countenance. Elizabeth noticed what he was doing, and on the first handy pause, turned to him with an arch smile, and mentioned:

“You mean to frighten me, Mr. Darcy, by coming in all this state to hear me? I will not be alarmed though your sister does play so well. There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”

“I shall not say you are mistaken,” he replied, “because you could not really believe me to entertain any design of alarming you; and I have had the pleasure of your acquaintance long enough to know that you find great enjoyment in occasionally professing opinions which in fact are not your own.”

Elizabeth laughed heartily at this image of herself, and mentioned to Colonel Fitzwilliam, “Your cousin will give you a very pretty notion of me, and teach you not to believe a word I say. I am particularly unlucky in meeting with a person so able to expose my real character, in a part of the world where I had hoped to pass myself off with some degree of credit. Indeed, Mr. Darcy, it is very ungenerous in you to mention all that you knew to my disadvantage in Hertfordshire—and, give me leave to say, very impolitic too—for it is provoking me to retaliate, and such things may come out as will shock your relations to hear.”

“I am not afraid of you,” mentioned he, smilingly.

“Pray let me hear what you have to accuse him of,” cried Colonel Fitzwilliam. “I should like to know how he behaves among strangers.”

“You shall hear then—but prepare yourself for something very dreadful. The first time of my ever seeing him in Hertfordshire, you must know, was at a ball—and at this ball, what do you think he did? He danced only four dances, though gentlemen were scarce; and, to my certain knowledge, more than one young lady was sitting down in want of a partner. Mr. Darcy, you cannot deny the fact.”

“I had not at that time the honour of knowing any lady in the assembly beyond my own party.”

“True; and nobody can ever be introduced in a ball-room. Well, Colonel Fitzwilliam, what do I play next? My fingers wait your orders.”

“Perhaps,” mentioned Darcy, “I should have judged better, had I sought an introduction; but I am ill-qualified to recommend myself to strangers.”

“Shall we ask your cousin the reason of this?” mentioned Elizabeth, nonetheless addressing Colonel Fitzwilliam. “Shall we ask him why a man of sense and education, and who has lived in the world, is ill qualified to recommend himself to strangers?”

“I can answer your question,” mentioned Fitzwilliam, “without applying to him. It is because he will not give himself the trouble.”

“I certainly have not the talent which some people possess,” mentioned Darcy, “of conversing easily with those I have never seen before. I cannot catch their tone of conversation, or appear interested in their concerns, as I often see done.”

“My fingers,” mentioned Elizabeth, “do not move over this instrument in the masterly manner which I see so many women’s do. They have not the same force or rapidity, and do not produce the same expression. But then I have always supposed it to be my own fault—because I will not take the trouble of practising. It is not that I do not believe my fingers as capable as any other woman’s of superior execution.”

Darcy smiled and mentioned, “You are perfectly right. You have employed your time much better. No one admitted to the privilege of hearing you can think anything wanting. We neither of us perform to strangers.”

Here they have been interrupted by Lady Catherine, who referred to as out to know what they have been speaking of. Elizabeth instantly started taking part in once more. Lady Catherine approached, and, after listening for a couple of minutes, mentioned to Darcy:

“Miss Bennet would not play at all amiss if she practised more, and could have the advantage of a London master. She has a very good notion of fingering, though her taste is not equal to Anne’s. Anne would have been a delightful performer, had her health allowed her to learn.”

Elizabeth checked out Darcy to see how cordially he assented to his cousin’s reward; however neither at that second nor at some other may she discern any symptom of affection; and from the entire of his behaviour to Miss de Bourgh she derived this consolation for Miss Bingley, that he may need been simply as prone to marry her, had she been his relation.

Lady Catherine continued her remarks on Elizabeth’s efficiency, mixing with them many directions on execution and style. Elizabeth acquired them with all of the forbearance of civility, and, on the request of the gents, remained on the instrument until her ladyship’s carriage was able to take all of them dwelling.

Chapter 32

Elizabeth was sitting by herself the following morning, and writing to Jane whereas Mrs. Collins and Maria have been gone on enterprise into the village, when she was startled by a hoop on the door, the sure sign of a customer. As she had heard no carriage, she thought it not unlikely to be Lady Catherine, and below that apprehension was placing away her half-finished letter that she may escape all impertinent questions, when the door opened, and, to her very nice shock, Mr. Darcy, and Mr. Darcy solely, entered the room.

He appeared astonished too on discovering her alone, and apologised for his intrusion by letting her know that he had understood all the women have been to be inside.

They then sat down, and when her inquiries after Rosings have been made, appeared at risk of sinking into complete silence. It was completely essential, subsequently, to consider one thing, and on this emergence recollecting when she had seen him final in Hertfordshire, and feeling curious to know what he would say as regards to their hasty departure, she noticed:

“How very suddenly you all quitted Netherfield last November, Mr. Darcy! It must have been a most agreeable surprise to Mr. Bingley to see you all after him so soon; for, if I recollect right, he went but the day before. He and his sisters were well, I hope, when you left London?”

“Perfectly so, I thank you.”

She discovered that she was to obtain no different reply, and, after a brief pause added:

“I think I have understood that Mr. Bingley has not much idea of ever returning to Netherfield again?”

“I have never heard him say so; but it is probable that he may spend very little of his time there in the future. He has many friends, and is at a time of life when friends and engagements are continually increasing.”

“If he means to be but little at Netherfield, it would be better for the neighbourhood that he should give up the place entirely, for then we might possibly get a settled family there. But, perhaps, Mr. Bingley did not take the house so much for the convenience of the neighbourhood as for his own, and we must expect him to keep it or quit it on the same principle.”

“I should not be surprised,” mentioned Darcy, “if he were to give it up as soon as any eligible purchase offers.”

Elizabeth made no reply. She was afraid of speaking longer of his good friend; and, having nothing else to say, was now decided to depart the difficulty of discovering a topic to him.

He took the trace, and shortly started with, “This seems a very comfortable house. Lady Catherine, I believe, did a great deal to it when Mr. Collins first came to Hunsford.”

“I believe she did—and I am sure she could not have bestowed her kindness on a more grateful object.”

“Mr. Collins appears to be very fortunate in his choice of a wife.”

“Yes, indeed, his friends may well rejoice in his having met with one of the very few sensible women who would have accepted him, or have made him happy if they had. My friend has an excellent understanding—though I am not certain that I consider her marrying Mr. Collins as the wisest thing she ever did. She seems perfectly happy, however, and in a prudential light it is certainly a very good match for her.”

“It must be very agreeable for her to be settled within so easy a distance of her own family and friends.”

“An easy distance, do you call it? It is nearly fifty miles.”

“And what is fifty miles of good road? Little more than half a day’s journey. Yes, I call it a very easy distance.”

“I should never have considered the distance as one of the advantages of the match,” cried Elizabeth. “I should never have said Mrs. Collins was settled near her family.”

“It is a proof of your own attachment to Hertfordshire. Anything beyond the very neighbourhood of Longbourn, I suppose, would appear far.”

As he spoke there was a kind of smile which Elizabeth fancied she understood; he have to be supposing her to be considering of Jane and Netherfield, and he or she blushed as she answered:

“I do not mean to say that a woman may not be settled too near her family. The far and the near must be relative, and depend on many varying circumstances. Where there is fortune to make the expenses of travelling unimportant, distance becomes no evil. But that is not the case here. Mr. and Mrs. Collins have a comfortable income, but not such a one as will allow of frequent journeys—and I am persuaded my friend would not call herself near her family under less than half the present distance.”

Mr. Darcy drew his chair slightly in direction of her, and mentioned, “You cannot have a right to such very strong local attachment. You cannot have been always at Longbourn.”

Elizabeth seemed shocked. The gentleman skilled some change of feeling; he drew again his chair, took a newspaper from the desk, and glancing over it, mentioned, in a colder voice:

“Are you pleased with Kent?”

A brief dialogue as regards to the nation ensued, on both facet calm and concise—and shortly put an finish to by the doorway of Charlotte and her sister, simply returned from her stroll. The tete-a-tete shocked them. Mr. Darcy associated the error which had occasioned his intruding on Miss Bennet, and after sitting a couple of minutes longer with out saying a lot to anyone, went away.

“What can be the meaning of this?” mentioned Charlotte, as quickly as he was gone. “My dear, Eliza, he must be in love with you, or he would never have called us in this familiar way.”

But when Elizabeth advised of his silence; it didn’t appear very probably, even to Charlotte’s needs, to be the case; and after varied conjectures, they may finally solely suppose his go to to proceed from the issue of discovering something to do, which was the extra possible from the time of 12 months. All discipline sports activities have been over. Within doorways there was Lady Catherine, books, and a billiard-table, however gents can’t all the time be inside doorways; and within the nearness of the Parsonage, or the pleasantness of the stroll to it, or of the individuals who lived in it, the 2 cousins discovered a temptation from this era of strolling thither nearly on daily basis. They referred to as at varied instances of the morning, generally individually, generally collectively, and from time to time accompanied by their aunt. It was plain to all of them that Colonel Fitzwilliam got here as a result of he had pleasure of their society, a persuasion which after all really useful him nonetheless extra; and Elizabeth was reminded by her personal satisfaction in being with him, in addition to by his evident admiration of her, of her former favorite George Wickham; and although, in evaluating them, she noticed there was much less fascinating softness in Colonel Fitzwilliam’s manners, she believed he may need one of the best knowledgeable thoughts.

But why Mr. Darcy got here so typically to the Parsonage, it was extra obscure. It couldn’t be for society, as he continuously sat there ten minutes collectively with out opening his lips; and when he did converse, it appeared the impact of necessity relatively than of selection—a sacrifice to propriety, not a pleasure to himself. He seldom appeared actually animated. Mrs. Collins knew not what to make of him. Colonel Fitzwilliam’s sometimes laughing at his stupidity, proved that he was usually totally different, which her personal information of him couldn’t have advised her; and as she would appreciated to have believed this modification the impact of affection, and the item of that love her good friend Eliza, she set herself severely to work to seek out it out. She watched him every time they have been at Rosings, and every time he got here to Hunsford; however with out a lot success. He actually checked out her good friend a terrific deal, however the expression of that look was disputable. It was an earnest, steadfast gaze, however she typically doubted whether or not there have been a lot admiration in it, and generally it appeared nothing however absence of thoughts.

She had a couple of times instructed to Elizabeth the potential for his being a fan of her, however Elizabeth all the time laughed on the thought; and Mrs. Collins didn’t assume it proper to press the topic, from the hazard of elevating expectations which could solely finish in disappointment; for in her opinion it admitted not of a doubt, that each one her good friend’s dislike would vanish, if she may suppose him to be in her energy.

In her type schemes for Elizabeth, she generally deliberate her marrying Colonel Fitzwilliam. He was past comparability probably the most nice man; he actually admired her, and his state of affairs in life was most eligible; however, to counterbalance these benefits, Mr. Darcy had appreciable patronage within the church, and his cousin may have none in any respect.

Chapter 33

More than as soon as did Elizabeth, in her ramble throughout the park, unexpectedly meet Mr. Darcy. She felt all of the perverseness of the mischance that ought to carry him the place nobody else was introduced, and, to forestall its ever occurring once more, took care to tell him at first that it was a favorite hang-out of hers. How it may happen a second time, subsequently, was very odd! Yet it did, and even a 3rd. It appeared like wilful ill-nature, or a voluntary penance, for on these events it was not merely a number of formal inquiries and an ungainly pause after which away, however he really thought it essential to show again and stroll along with her. He by no means mentioned a terrific deal, nor did she give herself the difficulty of speaking or of listening a lot; however it struck her in the middle of their third rencontre that he was asking some odd unconnected questions—about her pleasure in being at Hunsford, her love of solitary walks, and her opinion of Mr. and Mrs. Collins’s happiness; and that in talking of Rosings and her not completely understanding the home, he appeared to count on that every time she got here into Kent once more she can be staying there too. His phrases appeared to indicate it. Could he have Colonel Fitzwilliam in his ideas? She supposed, if he meant something, he should imply an allusion to what may come up in that quarter. It distressed her slightly, and he or she was fairly glad to seek out herself on the gate within the pales reverse the Parsonage.

She was engaged sooner or later as she walked, in perusing Jane’s final letter, and dwelling on some passages which proved that Jane had not written in spirits, when, as a substitute of being once more shocked by Mr. Darcy, she noticed on wanting up that Colonel Fitzwilliam was assembly her. Putting away the letter instantly and forcing a smile, she mentioned:

“I did not know before that you ever walked this way.”

“I have been making the tour of the park,” he replied, “as I generally do every year, and intend to close it with a call at the Parsonage. Are you going much farther?”

“No, I should have turned in a moment.”

And accordingly she did flip, they usually walked in direction of the Parsonage collectively.

“Do you certainly leave Kent on Saturday?” mentioned she.

“Yes—if Darcy does not put it off again. But I am at his disposal. He arranges the business just as he pleases.”

“And if not able to please himself in the arrangement, he has at least pleasure in the great power of choice. I do not know anybody who seems more to enjoy the power of doing what he likes than Mr. Darcy.”

“He likes to have his own way very well,” replied Colonel Fitzwilliam. “But so we all do. It is only that he has better means of having it than many others, because he is rich, and many others are poor. I speak feelingly. A younger son, you know, must be inured to self-denial and dependence.”

“In my opinion, the younger son of an earl can know very little of either. Now seriously, what have you ever known of self-denial and dependence? When have you been prevented by want of money from going wherever you chose, or procuring anything you had a fancy for?”

“These are home questions—and perhaps I cannot say that I have experienced many hardships of that nature. But in matters of greater weight, I may suffer from want of money. Younger sons cannot marry where they like.”

“Unless where they like women of fortune, which I think they very often do.”

“Our habits of expense make us too dependent, and there are not many in my rank of life who can afford to marry without some attention to money.”

“Is this,” thought Elizabeth, “meant for me?” and he or she colored on the thought; however, recovering herself, mentioned in a energetic tone, “And pray, what is the usual price of an earl’s younger son? Unless the elder brother is very sickly, I suppose you would not ask above fifty thousand pounds.”

He answered her in the identical fashion, and the topic dropped. To interrupt a silence which could make him fancy her affected with what had handed, she quickly afterwards mentioned:

“I imagine your cousin brought you down with him chiefly for the sake of having someone at his disposal. I wonder he does not marry, to secure a lasting convenience of that kind. But, perhaps, his sister does as well for the present, and, as she is under his sole care, he may do what he likes with her.”

“No,” mentioned Colonel Fitzwilliam, “that is an advantage which he must divide with me. I am joined with him in the guardianship of Miss Darcy.”

“Are you indeed? And pray what sort of guardians do you make? Does your charge give you much trouble? Young ladies of her age are sometimes a little difficult to manage, and if she has the true Darcy spirit, she may like to have her own way.”

As she spoke she noticed him taking a look at her earnestly; and the style by which he instantly requested her why she supposed Miss Darcy probably to offer them any uneasiness, satisfied her that she had in some way or different received fairly close to the reality. She straight replied:

“You need not be frightened. I never heard any harm of her; and I dare say she is one of the most tractable creatures in the world. She is a very great favourite with some ladies of my acquaintance, Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley. I think I have heard you say that you know them.”

“I know them a little. Their brother is a pleasant gentlemanlike man—he is a great friend of Darcy’s.”

“Oh! yes,” mentioned Elizabeth drily; “Mr. Darcy is uncommonly kind to Mr. Bingley, and takes a prodigious deal of care of him.”

“Care of him! Yes, I really believe Darcy does take care of him in those points where he most wants care. From something that he told me in our journey hither, I have reason to think Bingley very much indebted to him. But I ought to beg his pardon, for I have no right to suppose that Bingley was the person meant. It was all conjecture.”

“What is it you mean?”

“It is a circumstance which Darcy could not wish to be generally known, because if it were to get round to the lady’s family, it would be an unpleasant thing.”

“You may depend upon my not mentioning it.”

“And remember that I have not much reason for supposing it to be Bingley. What he told me was merely this: that he congratulated himself on having lately saved a friend from the inconveniences of a most imprudent marriage, but without mentioning names or any other particulars, and I only suspected it to be Bingley from believing him the kind of young man to get into a scrape of that sort, and from knowing them to have been together the whole of last summer.”

“Did Mr. Darcy give you reasons for this interference?”

“I understood that there were some very strong objections against the lady.”

“And what arts did he use to separate them?”

“He did not talk to me of his own arts,” mentioned Fitzwilliam, smiling. “He only told me what I have now told you.”

Elizabeth made no reply, and walked on, her coronary heart swelling with indignation. After watching her slightly, Fitzwilliam requested her why she was so considerate.

“I am thinking of what you have been telling me,” mentioned she. “Your cousin’s conduct does not suit my feelings. Why was he to be the judge?”

“You are rather disposed to call his interference officious?”

“I do not see what right Mr. Darcy had to decide on the propriety of his friend’s inclination, or why, upon his own judgement alone, he was to determine and direct in what manner his friend was to be happy. But,” she continued, recollecting herself, “as we know none of the particulars, it is not fair to condemn him. It is not to be supposed that there was much affection in the case.”

“That is not an unnatural surmise,” mentioned Fitzwilliam, “but it is a lessening of the honour of my cousin’s triumph very sadly.”

This was spoken jestingly; however it appeared to her so only a image of Mr. Darcy, that she wouldn’t belief herself with a solution, and subsequently, abruptly altering the dialog talked on detached issues till they reached the Parsonage. There, shut into her personal room, as quickly as their customer left them, she may assume with out interruption of all that she had heard. It was to not be supposed that some other individuals could possibly be meant than these with whom she was linked. There couldn’t exist on the earth two males over whom Mr. Darcy may have such boundless affect. That he had been involved within the measures taken to separate Bingley and Jane she had by no means doubted; however she had all the time attributed to Miss Bingley the principal design and association of them. If his personal self-importance, nevertheless, didn’t mislead him, he was the trigger, his delight and caprice have been the trigger, of all that Jane had suffered, and nonetheless continued to undergo. He had ruined for some time each hope of happiness for probably the most affectionate, beneficiant coronary heart on the earth; and nobody may say how lasting an evil he may need inflicted.

“There were some very strong objections against the lady,” have been Colonel Fitzwilliam’s phrases; and people robust objections most likely have been, her having one uncle who was a rustic lawyer, and one other who was in enterprise in London.

“To Jane herself,” she exclaimed, “there could be no possibility of objection; all loveliness and goodness as she is!—her understanding excellent, her mind improved, and her manners captivating. Neither could anything be urged against my father, who, though with some peculiarities, has abilities Mr. Darcy himself need not disdain, and respectability which he will probably never reach.” When she considered her mom, her confidence gave means slightly; however she wouldn’t enable that any objections there had materials weight with Mr. Darcy, whose delight, she was satisfied, would obtain a deeper wound from the need of significance in his good friend’s connections, than from their need of sense; and he or she was fairly determined, finally, that he had been partly ruled by this worst form of delight, and partly by the want of retaining Mr. Bingley for his sister.

The agitation and tears which the topic occasioned, introduced on a headache; and it grew a lot worse in direction of the night, that, added to her unwillingness to see Mr. Darcy, it decided her to not attend her cousins to Rosings, the place they have been engaged to drink tea. Mrs. Collins, seeing that she was actually unwell, didn’t press her to go and as a lot as doable prevented her husband from urgent her; however Mr. Collins couldn’t conceal his apprehension of Lady Catherine’s being relatively displeased by her staying at dwelling.

Chapter 34

When they have been gone, Elizabeth, as if meaning to exasperate herself as a lot as doable in opposition to Mr. Darcy, selected for her employment the examination of all of the letters which Jane had written to her since her being in Kent. They contained no precise criticism, nor was there any revival of previous occurrences, or any communication of current struggling. But in all, and in nearly each line of every, there was a need of that cheerfulness which had been used to characterise her fashion, and which, continuing from the serenity of a thoughts comfy with itself and kindly disposed in direction of everybody, had been scarcely ever clouded. Elizabeth seen each sentence conveying the thought of uneasiness, with an consideration which it had hardly acquired on the primary perusal. Mr. Darcy’s shameful boast of what distress he had been capable of inflict, gave her a keener sense of her sister’s sufferings. It was some comfort to assume that his go to to Rosings was to finish on the day after the following—and, a nonetheless better, that in lower than a fortnight she ought to herself be with Jane once more, and enabled to contribute to the restoration of her spirits, by all that affection may do.

She couldn’t consider Darcy’s leaving Kent with out remembering that his cousin was to go along with him; however Colonel Fitzwilliam had made it clear that he had no intentions in any respect, and agreeable as he was, she didn’t imply to be sad about him.

While settling this level, she was instantly roused by the sound of the door-bell, and her spirits have been slightly fluttered by the thought of its being Colonel Fitzwilliam himself, who had as soon as earlier than referred to as late within the night, and may now come to inquire significantly after her. But this concept was quickly banished, and her spirits have been very otherwise affected, when, to her utter amazement, she noticed Mr. Darcy stroll into the room. In an hurried method he instantly started an inquiry after her well being, imputing his go to to a want of listening to that she have been higher. She answered him with chilly civility. He sat down for a number of moments, after which getting up, walked concerning the room. Elizabeth was shocked, however mentioned not a phrase. After a silence of a number of minutes, he got here in direction of her in an agitated method, and thus started:

“In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

Elizabeth’s astonishment was past expression. She stared, colored, doubted, and was silent. This he thought of ample encouragement; and the avowal of all that he felt, and had lengthy felt for her, instantly adopted. He spoke nicely; however there have been emotions in addition to these of the guts to be detailed; and he was no more eloquent as regards to tenderness than of delight. His sense of her inferiority—of its being a degradation—of the household obstacles which had all the time against inclination, have been dwelt on with a heat which appeared as a result of consequence he was wounding, however was impossible to advocate his go well with.

In spite of her deeply-rooted dislike, she couldn’t be insensible to the praise of such a person’s affection, and although her intentions didn’t fluctuate for an instantaneous, she was at first sorry for the ache he was to obtain; until, roused to resentment by his subsequent language, she misplaced all compassion in anger. She tried, nevertheless, to compose herself to reply him with endurance, when he ought to have performed. He concluded with representing to her the power of that attachment which, despite all his endeavours, he had discovered not possible to overcome; and with expressing his hope that it could now be rewarded by her acceptance of his hand. As he mentioned this, she may simply see that he had little question of a beneficial reply. He spoke of apprehension and anxiousness, however his countenance expressed actual safety. Such a circumstance may solely exasperate farther, and, when he ceased, the color rose into her cheeks, and he or she mentioned:

“In such cases as this, it is, I believe, the established mode to express a sense of obligation for the sentiments avowed, however unequally they may be returned. It is natural that obligation should be felt, and if I could feel gratitude, I would now thank you. But I cannot—I have never desired your good opinion, and you have certainly bestowed it most unwillingly. I am sorry to have occasioned pain to anyone. It has been most unconsciously done, however, and I hope will be of short duration. The feelings which, you tell me, have long prevented the acknowledgment of your regard, can have little difficulty in overcoming it after this explanation.”

Mr. Darcy, who was leaning in opposition to the mantelpiece together with his eyes fastened on her face, appeared to catch her phrases with no much less resentment than shock. His complexion grew to become pale with anger, and the disturbance of his thoughts was seen in each function. He was struggling for the looks of composure, and wouldn’t open his lips until he believed himself to have attained it. The pause was to Elizabeth’s emotions dreadful. At size, with a voice of compelled calmness, he mentioned:

“And this is all the reply which I am to have the honour of expecting! I might, perhaps, wish to be informed why, with so little endeavour at civility, I am thus rejected. But it is of small importance.”

“I might as well inquire,” replied she, “why with so evident a desire of offending and insulting me, you chose to tell me that you liked me against your will, against your reason, and even against your character? Was not this some excuse for incivility, if I was uncivil? But I have other provocations. You know I have. Had not my feelings decided against you—had they been indifferent, or had they even been favourable, do you think that any consideration would tempt me to accept the man who has been the means of ruining, perhaps for ever, the happiness of a most beloved sister?”

As she pronounced these phrases, Mr. Darcy modified color; however the emotion was quick, and he listened with out making an attempt to interrupt her whereas she continued:

“I have every reason in the world to think ill of you. No motive can excuse the unjust and ungenerous part you acted there. You dare not, you cannot deny, that you have been the principal, if not the only means of dividing them from each other—of exposing one to the censure of the world for caprice and instability, and the other to its derision for disappointed hopes, and involving them both in misery of the acutest kind.”

She paused, and noticed with no slight indignation that he was listening with an air which proved him wholly unmoved by any feeling of regret. He even checked out her with a smile of affected incredulity.

“Can you deny that you have done it?” she repeated.

With assumed tranquillity he then replied: “I have no wish of denying that I did everything in my power to separate my friend from your sister, or that I rejoice in my success. Towards him I have been kinder than towards myself.”

Elizabeth disdained the looks of noticing this civil reflection, however its which means didn’t escape, nor was it prone to conciliate her.

“But it is not merely this affair,” she continued, “on which my dislike is founded. Long before it had taken place my opinion of you was decided. Your character was unfolded in the recital which I received many months ago from Mr. Wickham. On this subject, what can you have to say? In what imaginary act of friendship can you here defend yourself? or under what misrepresentation can you here impose upon others?”

“You take an eager interest in that gentleman’s concerns,” mentioned Darcy, in a much less tranquil tone, and with a heightened color.

“Who that knows what his misfortunes have been, can help feeling an interest in him?”

“His misfortunes!” repeated Darcy contemptuously; “yes, his misfortunes have been great indeed.”

“And of your infliction,” cried Elizabeth with vitality. “You have reduced him to his present state of poverty—comparative poverty. You have withheld the advantages which you must know to have been designed for him. You have deprived the best years of his life of that independence which was no less his due than his desert. You have done all this! and yet you can treat the mention of his misfortune with contempt and ridicule.”

“And this,” cried Darcy, as he walked with fast steps throughout the room, “is your opinion of me! This is the estimation in which you hold me! I thank you for explaining it so fully. My faults, according to this calculation, are heavy indeed! But perhaps,” added he, stopping in his stroll, and turning in direction of her, “these offenses might have been overlooked, had not your pride been hurt by my honest confession of the scruples that had long prevented my forming any serious design. These bitter accusations might have been suppressed, had I, with greater policy, concealed my struggles, and flattered you into the belief of my being impelled by unqualified, unalloyed inclination; by reason, by reflection, by everything. But disguise of every sort is my abhorrence. Nor am I ashamed of the feelings I related. They were natural and just. Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections?—to congratulate myself on the hope of relations, whose condition in life is so decidedly beneath my own?”

Elizabeth felt herself rising extra offended each second; but she tried to the utmost to talk with composure when she mentioned:

“You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared me the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner.”

She noticed him begin at this, however he mentioned nothing, and he or she continued:

“You could not have made the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it.”

Again his astonishment was apparent; and he checked out her with an expression of mingled incredulity and mortification. She went on:

“From the very beginning—from the first moment, I may almost say—of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form the groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.”

“You have said quite enough, madam. I perfectly comprehend your feelings, and have now only to be ashamed of what my own have been. Forgive me for having taken up so much of your time, and accept my best wishes for your health and happiness.”

And with these phrases he rapidly left the room, and Elizabeth heard him the following second open the entrance door and stop the home.

The tumult of her thoughts, was now painfully nice. She knew not tips on how to assist herself, and from precise weak spot sat down and cried for half-an-hour. Her astonishment, as she mirrored on what had handed, was elevated by each evaluate of it. That she ought to obtain a suggestion of marriage from Mr. Darcy! That he ought to have been in love along with her for therefore many months! So a lot in love as to want to marry her despite all of the objections which had made him forestall his good friend’s marrying her sister, and which should seem not less than with equal drive in his personal case—was nearly unimaginable! It was gratifying to have impressed unconsciously so robust an affection. But his delight, his abominable delight—his shameless avowal of what he had performed with respect to Jane—his unpardonable assurance in acknowledging, although he couldn’t justify it, and the unfeeling method by which he had talked about Mr. Wickham, his cruelty in direction of whom he had not tried to disclaim, quickly overcame the pity which the consideration of his attachment had for a second excited. She continued in very agitated reflections until the sound of Lady Catherine’s carriage made her really feel how unequal she was to come across Charlotte’s remark, and hurried her away to her room.

Chapter 35

Elizabeth awoke the following morning to the identical ideas and meditations which had at size closed her eyes. She couldn’t but recuperate from the shock of what had occurred; it was not possible to consider anything; and, completely indisposed for employment, she resolved, quickly after breakfast, to indulge herself in air and train. She was continuing on to her favorite stroll, when the recollection of Mr. Darcy’s generally coming there stopped her, and as a substitute of coming into the park, she turned up the lane, which led farther from the turnpike-road. The park paling was nonetheless the boundary on one facet, and he or she quickly handed one of many gates into the bottom.

After strolling two or 3 times alongside that a part of the lane, she was tempted, by the pleasantness of the morning, to cease on the gates and look into the park. The 5 weeks which she had now handed in Kent had made a terrific distinction within the nation, and on daily basis was including to the verdure of the early timber. She was on the purpose of continuous her stroll, when she caught a glimpse of a gentleman throughout the kind of grove which edged the park; he was transferring that means; and, afraid of its being Mr. Darcy, she was straight retreating. But the one who superior was now close to sufficient to see her, and stepping ahead with eagerness, pronounced her identify. She had turned away; however on listening to herself referred to as, although in a voice which proved it to be Mr. Darcy, she moved once more in direction of the gate. He had by that point reached it additionally, and, holding out a letter, which she instinctively took, mentioned, with a glance of haughty composure, “I have been walking in the grove some time in the hope of meeting you. Will you do me the honour of reading that letter?” And then, with a slight bow, turned once more into the plantation, and was quickly out of sight.

With no expectation of enjoyment, however with the strongest curiosity, Elizabeth opened the letter, and, to her nonetheless growing marvel, perceived an envelope containing two sheets of letter-paper, written fairly via, in a really shut hand. The envelope itself was likewise full. Pursuing her means alongside the lane, she then started it. It was dated from Rosings, at eight o’clock within the morning, and was as follows:—

“Be not alarmed, madam, on receiving this letter, by the apprehension of its containing any repetition of these sentiments or renewal of these gives which have been final night time so disgusting to you. I write with none intention of paining you, or humbling myself, by dwelling on needs which, for the happiness of each, can’t be too quickly forgotten; and the hassle which the formation and the perusal of this letter should event, ought to have been spared, had not my character required it to be written and browse. You should, subsequently, pardon the liberty with which I demand your consideration; your emotions, I do know, will bestow it unwillingly, however I demand it of your justice.

“Two offenses of a really totally different nature, and in no way of equal magnitude, you final night time laid to my cost. The first talked about was, that, whatever the sentiments of both, I had indifferent Mr. Bingley out of your sister, and the opposite, that I had, in defiance of assorted claims, in defiance of honour and humanity, ruined the speedy prosperity and blasted the prospects of Mr. Wickham. Wilfully and wantonly to have thrown off the companion of my youth, the acknowledged favorite of my father, a younger man who had scarcely some other dependence than on our patronage, and who had been introduced as much as count on its exertion, can be a depravity, to which the separation of two younger individuals, whose affection could possibly be the expansion of only some weeks, may bear no comparability. But from the severity of that blame which was final night time so liberally bestowed, respecting every circumstance, I shall hope to be sooner or later secured, when the next account of my actions and their motives has been learn. If, within the rationalization of them, which is because of myself, I’m below the need of relating emotions which can be offensive to yours, I can solely say that I’m sorry. The necessity have to be obeyed, and additional apology can be absurd.

“I had not been lengthy in Hertfordshire, earlier than I noticed, in widespread with others, that Bingley most popular your elder sister to some other younger girl within the nation. But it was not until the night of the dance at Netherfield that I had any apprehension of his feeling a severe attachment. I had typically seen him in love earlier than. At that ball, whereas I had the honour of dancing with you, I used to be first made acquainted, by Sir William Lucas’s unintentional data, that Bingley’s attentions to your sister had given rise to a normal expectation of their marriage. He spoke of it as a sure occasion, of which the time alone could possibly be undecided. From that second I noticed my good friend’s behaviour attentively; and I may then understand that his partiality for Miss Bennet was past what I had ever witnessed in him. Your sister I additionally watched. Her look and manners have been open, cheerful, and fascinating as ever, however with none symptom of weird regard, and I remained satisfied from the night’s scrutiny, that although she acquired his attentions with pleasure, she didn’t invite them by any participation of sentiment. If you haven’t been mistaken right here, I should have been in error. Your superior information of your sister should make the latter possible. If it’s so, if I’ve been misled by such error to inflict ache on her, your resentment has not been unreasonable. But I shall not scruple to say, that the serenity of your sister’s countenance and air was reminiscent of may need given probably the most acute observer a conviction that, nevertheless amiable her mood, her coronary heart was not prone to be simply touched. That I used to be desirous of believing her detached is definite—however I’ll enterprise to say that my investigation and choices are usually not often influenced by my hopes or fears. I didn’t consider her to be detached as a result of I wanted it; I believed it on neutral conviction, as actually as I wanted it in motive. My objections to the wedding weren’t merely these which I final night time acknowledged to have the utmost drive of ardour to place apart, in my very own case; the need of connection couldn’t be so nice an evil to my good friend as to me. But there have been different causes of repugnance; causes which, although nonetheless current, and current to an equal diploma in each situations, I had myself endeavoured to overlook, as a result of they weren’t instantly earlier than me. These causes have to be acknowledged, although briefly. The state of affairs of your mom’s household, although objectionable, was nothing compared to that complete need of propriety so continuously, so nearly uniformly betrayed by herself, by your three youthful sisters, and infrequently even by your father. Pardon me. It pains me to offend you. But amidst your concern for the defects of your nearest relations, and your displeasure at this illustration of them, let it offer you comfort to contemplate that, to have performed yourselves in order to keep away from any share of the like censure, is reward no much less usually bestowed on you and your elder sister, than it’s honourable to the sense and disposition of each. I’ll solely say farther that from what handed that night, my opinion of all events was confirmed, and each inducement heightened which may have led me earlier than, to protect my good friend from what I esteemed a most sad connection. He left Netherfield for London, on the day following, as you, I’m sure, keep in mind, with the design of quickly returning.

“The half which I acted is now to be defined. His sisters’ uneasiness had been equally excited with my very own; our coincidence of feeling was quickly found, and, alike smart that no time was to be misplaced in detaching their brother, we shortly resolved on becoming a member of him straight in London. We accordingly went—and there I readily engaged within the workplace of mentioning to my good friend the sure evils of such a selection. I described, and enforced them earnestly. But, nevertheless this remonstrance may need staggered or delayed his dedication, I don’t suppose that it could in the end have prevented the wedding, had it not been seconded by the reassurance that I hesitated not in giving, of your sister’s indifference. He had earlier than believed her to return his affection with honest, if not with equal regard. But Bingley has nice pure modesty, with a stronger dependence on my judgement than on his personal. To persuade him, subsequently, that he had deceived himself, was no very troublesome level. To persuade him in opposition to returning into Hertfordshire, when that conviction had been given, was scarcely the work of a second. I can’t blame myself for having performed thus a lot. There is however one a part of my conduct in the entire affair on which I don’t mirror with satisfaction; it’s that I condescended to undertake the measures of artwork as far as to hide from him your sister’s being on the town. I knew it myself, because it was recognized to Miss Bingley; however her brother is even but unaware of it. That they could have met with out in poor health consequence is probably possible; however his regard didn’t seem to me sufficient extinguished for him to see her with out some hazard. Perhaps this concealment, this disguise was beneath me; it’s performed, nevertheless, and it was performed for one of the best. On this topic I’ve nothing extra to say, no different apology to supply. If I’ve wounded your sister’s emotions, it was unknowingly performed and although the motives which ruled me could to you very naturally seem inadequate, I’ve not but learnt to sentence them.

“With respect to that different, extra weighty accusation, of getting injured Mr. Wickham, I can solely refute it by laying earlier than you the entire of his reference to my household. Of what he has significantly accused me I’m ignorant; however of the reality of what I shall relate, I can summon a couple of witness of undoubted veracity.

“Mr. Wickham is the son of a really respectable man, who had for a few years the administration of all of the Pemberley estates, and whose good conduct within the discharge of his belief naturally inclined my father to be of service to him; and on George Wickham, who was his godson, his kindness was subsequently liberally bestowed. My father supported him in school, and afterwards at Cambridge—most necessary help, as his personal father, all the time poor from the extravagance of his spouse, would have been unable to offer him a gentleman’s schooling. My father was not solely keen on this younger man’s society, whose manners have been all the time participating; he had additionally the best opinion of him, and hoping the church can be his occupation, meant to offer for him in it. As for myself, it’s many, a few years since I first started to consider him in a really totally different method. The vicious propensities—the need of precept, which he was cautious to protect from the information of his finest good friend, couldn’t escape the remark of a younger man of almost the identical age with himself, and who had alternatives of seeing him in unguarded moments, which Mr. Darcy couldn’t have. Here once more I shall offer you ache—to what diploma you solely can inform. But no matter could be the sentiments which Mr. Wickham has created, a suspicion of their nature shall not forestall me from unfolding his actual character—it provides even one other motive.

“My wonderful father died about 5 years in the past; and his attachment to Mr. Wickham was to the final so regular, that in his will he significantly really useful it to me, to advertise his development in one of the best method that his occupation may enable—and if he took orders, desired {that a} beneficial household residing may be his as quickly because it grew to become vacant. There was additionally a legacy of 1 thousand kilos. His personal father didn’t lengthy survive mine, and inside half a 12 months from these occasions, Mr. Wickham wrote to tell me that, having lastly resolved in opposition to taking orders, he hoped I shouldn’t assume it unreasonable for him to count on some extra speedy pecuniary benefit, in lieu of the preferment, by which he couldn’t be benefited. He had some intention, he added, of learning legislation, and I have to be conscious that the curiosity of 1 thousand kilos can be a really inadequate assist therein. I relatively wished, than believed him to be honest; however, at any charge, was completely able to accede to his proposal. I knew that Mr. Wickham ought to not be a priest; the enterprise was subsequently quickly settled—he resigned all declare to help within the church, have been it doable that he may ever be in a state of affairs to obtain it, and accepted in return three thousand kilos. All connection between us appeared now dissolved. I assumed too in poor health of him to ask him to Pemberley, or admit his society on the town. In city I consider he mainly lived, however his learning the legislation was a mere pretence, and being now free from all restraint, his life was a lifetime of idleness and dissipation. For about three years I heard little of him; however on the decease of the incumbent of the residing which had been designed for him, he utilized to me once more by letter for the presentation. His circumstances, he assured me, and I had no issue in believing it, have been exceedingly dangerous. He had discovered the legislation a most unprofitable examine, and was now completely resolved on being ordained, if I’d current him to the residing in query—of which he trusted there could possibly be little doubt, as he was nicely assured that I had no different individual to offer for, and I couldn’t have forgotten my revered father’s intentions. You will hardly blame me for refusing to adjust to this entreaty, or for resisting each repetition to it. His resentment was in proportion to the misery of his circumstances—and he was likely as violent in his abuse of me to others as in his reproaches to myself. After this era each look of acquaintance was dropped. How he lived I do know not. But final summer time he was once more most painfully obtruded on my discover.

“I need to now point out a circumstance which I’d want to overlook myself, and which no obligation lower than the current ought to induce me to unfold to any human being. Having mentioned thus a lot, I really feel little question of your secrecy. My sister, who’s greater than ten years my junior, was left to the guardianship of my mom’s nephew, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and myself. About a 12 months in the past, she was taken from college, and an institution fashioned for her in London; and final summer time she went with the girl who presided over it, to Ramsgate; and thither additionally went Mr. Wickham, undoubtedly by design; for there proved to have been a previous acquaintance between him and Mrs. Younge, in whose character we have been most unhappily deceived; and by her connivance and assist, he to this point really useful himself to Georgiana, whose affectionate coronary heart retained a powerful impression of his kindness to her as a toddler, that she was persuaded to consider herself in love, and to consent to an elopement. She was then however fifteen, which have to be her excuse; and after stating her imprudence, I’m joyful so as to add, that I owed the information of it to herself. I joined them unexpectedly a day or two earlier than the meant elopement, after which Georgiana, unable to assist the thought of grieving and offending a brother whom she nearly seemed as much as as a father, acknowledged the entire to me. You could think about what I felt and the way I acted. Regard for my sister’s credit score and emotions prevented any public publicity; however I wrote to Mr. Wickham, who left the place instantly, and Mrs. Younge was after all faraway from her cost. Mr. Wickham’s chief object was unquestionably my sister’s fortune, which is thirty thousand kilos; however I can’t assist supposing that the hope of revenging himself on me was a powerful inducement. His revenge would have been full certainly.

“This, madam, is a devoted narrative of each occasion by which we now have been involved collectively; and if you don’t completely reject it as false, you’ll, I hope, acquit me henceforth of cruelty in direction of Mr. Wickham. I do know not in what method, below what type of falsehood he had imposed on you; however his success isn’t maybe to be questioned at. Ignorant as you beforehand have been of every part regarding both, detection couldn’t be in your energy, and suspicion actually not in your inclination.

“You could presumably marvel why all this was not advised you final night time; however I used to be not then grasp sufficient of myself to know what may or must be revealed. For the reality of every part right here associated, I can attraction extra significantly to the testimony of Colonel Fitzwilliam, who, from our close to relationship and fixed intimacy, and, nonetheless extra, as one of many executors of my father’s will, has been unavoidably acquainted with each explicit of those transactions. If your abhorrence of me ought to make my assertions worthless, you can’t be prevented by the identical trigger from confiding in my cousin; and that there could also be the potential for consulting him, I shall endeavour to seek out some alternative of placing this letter in your palms in the middle of the morning. I’ll solely add, God bless you.


Chapter 36

If Elizabeth, when Mr. Darcy gave her the letter, didn’t count on it to include a renewal of his gives, she had fashioned no expectation in any respect of its contents. But reminiscent of they have been, it could be supposed how eagerly she went via them, and what a contrariety of emotion they excited. Her emotions as she learn have been scarcely to be outlined. With amazement did she first perceive that he believed any apology to be in his energy; and steadfastly was she persuaded, that he may don’t have any rationalization to offer, which a simply sense of disgrace wouldn’t conceal. With a powerful prejudice in opposition to every part he may say, she started his account of what had occurred at Netherfield. She learn with an eagerness which hardly left her energy of comprehension, and from impatience of figuring out what the following sentence may carry, was incapable of attending to the sense of the one earlier than her eyes. His perception of her sister’s insensibility she immediately resolved to be false; and his account of the true, the worst objections to the match, made her too offended to have any want of doing him justice. He expressed no remorse for what he had performed which glad her; his fashion was not penitent, however haughty. It was all delight and insolence.

But when this topic was succeeded by his account of Mr. Wickham—when she learn with considerably clearer consideration a relation of occasions which, if true, should overthrow each cherished opinion of his value, and which bore so alarming an affinity to his personal historical past of himself—her emotions have been but extra acutely painful and tougher of definition. Astonishment, apprehension, and even horror, oppressed her. She wished to discredit it solely, repeatedly exclaiming, “This must be false! This cannot be! This must be the grossest falsehood!”—and when she had gone via the entire letter, although scarcely figuring out something of the final web page or two, put it rapidly away, protesting that she wouldn’t regard it, that she would by no means look in it once more.

In this perturbed way of thinking, with ideas that might relaxation on nothing, she walked on; however it could not do; in half a minute the letter was unfolded once more, and amassing herself in addition to she may, she once more started the mortifying perusal of all that associated to Wickham, and commanded herself as far as to look at the which means of each sentence. The account of his reference to the Pemberley household was precisely what he had associated himself; and the kindness of the late Mr. Darcy, although she had not earlier than recognized its extent, agreed equally nicely together with his personal phrases. So far every recital confirmed the opposite; however when she got here to the desire, the distinction was nice. What Wickham had mentioned of the residing was contemporary in her reminiscence, and as she recalled his very phrases, it was not possible to not really feel that there was gross duplicity on one facet or the opposite; and, for a number of moments, she flattered herself that her needs didn’t err. But when she learn and re-read with the closest consideration, the particulars instantly following of Wickham’s resigning all pretensions to the residing, of his receiving in lieu so appreciable a sum as three thousand kilos, once more was she compelled to hesitate. She put down the letter, weighed each circumstance with what she meant to be impartiality—deliberated on the chance of every assertion—however with little success. On each side it was solely assertion. Again she learn on; however each line proved extra clearly that the affair, which she had believed it not possible that any contrivance may so signify as to render Mr. Darcy’s conduct in it lower than notorious, was able to a flip which should make him solely innocent all through the entire.

The extravagance and normal profligacy which he scrupled to not lay at Mr. Wickham’s cost, exceedingly shocked her; the extra so, as she may carry no proof of its injustice. She had by no means heard of him earlier than his entrance into the ——shire Militia, by which he had engaged on the persuasion of the younger man who, on assembly him unintentionally on the town, had there renewed a slight acquaintance. Of his former lifestyle nothing had been recognized in Hertfordshire however what he advised himself. As to his actual character, had data been in her energy, she had by no means felt a want of inquiring. His countenance, voice, and method had established him directly within the possession of each advantage. She tried to remember some occasion of goodness, some distinguished trait of integrity or benevolence, that may rescue him from the assaults of Mr. Darcy; or not less than, by the predominance of advantage, atone for these informal errors below which she would endeavour to class what Mr. Darcy had described because the idleness and vice of a few years’ continuance. But no such recollection befriended her. She may see him immediately earlier than her, in each attraction of air and deal with; however she may keep in mind no extra substantial good than the overall approbation of the neighbourhood, and the regard which his social powers had gained him within the mess. After pausing on this level a substantial whereas, she as soon as extra continued to learn. But, alas! the story which adopted, of his designs on Miss Darcy, acquired some affirmation from what had handed between Colonel Fitzwilliam and herself solely the morning earlier than; and finally she was referred for the reality of each explicit to Colonel Fitzwilliam himself—from whom she had beforehand acquired the knowledge of his close to concern in all his cousin’s affairs, and whose character she had no motive to query. At one time she had nearly resolved on making use of to him, however the thought was checked by the awkwardness of the appliance, and at size wholly banished by the conviction that Mr. Darcy would by no means have hazarded such a proposal, if he had not been nicely assured of his cousin’s corroboration.

She completely remembered every part that had handed in dialog between Wickham and herself, of their first night at Mr. Phillips’s. Many of his expressions have been nonetheless contemporary in her reminiscence. She was now struck with the impropriety of such communications to a stranger, and questioned it had escaped her earlier than. She noticed the indelicacy of placing himself ahead as he had performed, and the inconsistency of his professions together with his conduct. She remembered that he had boasted of getting no concern of seeing Mr. Darcy—that Mr. Darcy may depart the nation, however that he ought to stand his floor; but he had averted the Netherfield ball the very subsequent week. She remembered additionally that, until the Netherfield household had quitted the nation, he had advised his story to nobody however herself; however that after their elimination it had been all over the place mentioned; that he had then no reserves, no scruples in sinking Mr. Darcy’s character, although he had assured her that respect for the daddy would all the time forestall his exposing the son.

How otherwise did every part now seem by which he was involved! His attentions to Miss King have been now the consequence of views solely and hatefully mercenary; and the mediocrity of her fortune proved not the moderation of his needs, however his eagerness to know at something. His behaviour to herself may now have had no tolerable motive; he had both been deceived with regard to her fortune, or had been gratifying his self-importance by encouraging the desire which she believed she had most incautiously proven. Every lingering battle in his favour grew fainter and fainter; and in farther justification of Mr. Darcy, she couldn’t however enable that Mr. Bingley, when questioned by Jane, had way back asserted his blamelessness within the affair; that proud and repulsive as have been his manners, she had by no means, in the entire course of their acquaintance—an acquaintance which had latterly introduced them a lot collectively, and given her a kind of intimacy together with his methods—seen something that betrayed him to be unprincipled or unjust—something that spoke him of irreligious or immoral habits; that amongst his personal connections he was esteemed and valued—that even Wickham had allowed him benefit as a brother, and that she had typically heard him converse so affectionately of his sister as to show him able to some amiable feeling; that had his actions been what Mr. Wickham represented them, so gross a violation of every part proper may hardly have been hid from the world; and that friendship between an individual able to it, and such an amiable man as Mr. Bingley, was incomprehensible.

She grew completely ashamed of herself. Of neither Darcy nor Wickham may she assume with out feeling she had been blind, partial, prejudiced, absurd.

“How despicably I have acted!” she cried; “I, who have prided myself on my discernment! I, who have valued myself on my abilities! who have often disdained the generous candour of my sister, and gratified my vanity in useless or blameable mistrust! How humiliating is this discovery! Yet, how just a humiliation! Had I been in love, I could not have been more wretchedly blind! But vanity, not love, has been my folly. Pleased with the preference of one, and offended by the neglect of the other, on the very beginning of our acquaintance, I have courted prepossession and ignorance, and driven reason away, where either were concerned. Till this moment I never knew myself.”

From herself to Jane—from Jane to Bingley, her ideas have been in a line which quickly dropped at her recollection that Mr. Darcy’s rationalization there had appeared very inadequate, and he or she learn it once more. Widely totally different was the impact of a second perusal. How may she deny that credit score to his assertions in a single occasion, which she had been obliged to offer within the different? He declared himself to be completely unsuspicious of her sister’s attachment; and he or she couldn’t assist remembering what Charlotte’s opinion had all the time been. Neither may she deny the justice of his description of Jane. She felt that Jane’s emotions, although fervent, have been little displayed, and that there was a continuing complacency in her air and method not typically united with nice sensibility.

When she got here to that a part of the letter by which her household have been talked about by way of such mortifying, but merited reproach, her sense of disgrace was extreme. The justice of the cost struck her too forcibly for denial, and the circumstances to which he significantly alluded as having handed on the Netherfield ball, and as confirming all his first disapprobation, couldn’t have made a stronger impression on his thoughts than on hers.

The praise to herself and her sister was not unfelt. It soothed, however it couldn’t console her for the contempt which had thus been self-attracted by the remainder of her household; and as she thought of that Jane’s disappointment had in actual fact been the work of her nearest relations, and mirrored how materially the credit score of each have to be damage by such impropriety of conduct, she felt depressed past something she had ever recognized earlier than.

After wandering alongside the lane for 2 hours, giving method to each number of thought—re-considering occasions, figuring out chances, and reconciling herself, in addition to she may, to a change so sudden and so necessary, fatigue, and a recollection of her lengthy absence, made her at size return dwelling; and he or she entered the home with the want of showing cheerful as normal, and the decision of repressing such reflections as should make her unfit for dialog.

She was instantly advised that the 2 gents from Rosings had every referred to as throughout her absence; Mr. Darcy, just for a couple of minutes, to take depart—however that Colonel Fitzwilliam had been sitting with them not less than an hour, hoping for her return, and nearly resolving to stroll after her until she could possibly be discovered. Elizabeth may however simply have an effect on concern in lacking him; she actually rejoiced at it. Colonel Fitzwilliam was not an object; she may assume solely of her letter.

Chapter 37

The two gents left Rosings the following morning, and Mr. Collins having been in ready close to the lodges, to make them his parting obeisance, was capable of carry dwelling the pleasing intelligence, of their showing in superb well being, and in as tolerable spirits as could possibly be anticipated, after the melancholy scene so recently gone via at Rosings. To Rosings he then hastened, to console Lady Catherine and her daughter; and on his return introduced again, with nice satisfaction, a message from her ladyship, importing that she felt herself so boring as to make her very desirous of getting all of them to dine along with her.

Elizabeth couldn’t see Lady Catherine with out recollecting that, had she chosen it, she may by this time have been introduced to her as her future niece; nor may she assume, and not using a smile, of what her ladyship’s indignation would have been. “What would she have said? how would she have behaved?” have been questions with which she amused herself.

Their first topic was the diminution of the Rosings get together. “I assure you, I feel it exceedingly,” mentioned Lady Catherine; “I believe no one feels the loss of friends so much as I do. But I am particularly attached to these young men, and know them to be so much attached to me! They were excessively sorry to go! But so they always are. The dear Colonel rallied his spirits tolerably till just at last; but Darcy seemed to feel it most acutely, more, I think, than last year. His attachment to Rosings certainly increases.”

Mr. Collins had a praise, and an allusion to throw in right here, which have been kindly smiled on by the mom and daughter.

Lady Catherine noticed, after dinner, that Miss Bennet appeared out of spirits, and instantly accounting for it by herself, by supposing that she didn’t prefer to go dwelling once more so quickly, she added:

“But if that is the case, you must write to your mother and beg that you may stay a little longer. Mrs. Collins will be very glad of your company, I am sure.”

“I am much obliged to your ladyship for your kind invitation,” replied Elizabeth, “but it is not in my power to accept it. I must be in town next Saturday.”

“Why, at that rate, you will have been here only six weeks. I expected you to stay two months. I told Mrs. Collins so before you came. There can be no occasion for your going so soon. Mrs. Bennet could certainly spare you for another fortnight.”

“But my father cannot. He wrote last week to hurry my return.”

“Oh! your father of course may spare you, if your mother can. Daughters are never of so much consequence to a father. And if you will stay another month complete, it will be in my power to take one of you as far as London, for I am going there early in June, for a week; and as Dawson does not object to the barouche-box, there will be very good room for one of you—and indeed, if the weather should happen to be cool, I should not object to taking you both, as you are neither of you large.”

“You are all kindness, madam; but I believe we must abide by our original plan.”

Lady Catherine appeared resigned. “Mrs. Collins, you must send a servant with them. You know I always speak my mind, and I cannot bear the idea of two young women travelling post by themselves. It is highly improper. You must contrive to send somebody. I have the greatest dislike in the world to that sort of thing. Young women should always be properly guarded and attended, according to their situation in life. When my niece Georgiana went to Ramsgate last summer, I made a point of her having two men-servants go with her. Miss Darcy, the daughter of Mr. Darcy, of Pemberley, and Lady Anne, could not have appeared with propriety in a different manner. I am excessively attentive to all those things. You must send John with the young ladies, Mrs. Collins. I am glad it occurred to me to mention it; for it would really be discreditable to you to let them go alone.”

“My uncle is to send a servant for us.”

“Oh! Your uncle! He keeps a man-servant, does he? I am very glad you have somebody who thinks of these things. Where shall you change horses? Oh! Bromley, of course. If you mention my name at the Bell, you will be attended to.”

Lady Catherine had many different inquiries to ask respecting their journey, and as she didn’t reply all of them herself, consideration was essential, which Elizabeth believed to be fortunate for her; or, with a thoughts so occupied, she may need forgotten the place she was. Reflection have to be reserved for solitary hours; every time she was alone, she gave method to it as the best reduction; and never a day glided by and not using a solitary stroll, by which she may take pleasure in all of the delight of disagreeable recollections.

Mr. Darcy’s letter she was in a good means of quickly figuring out by coronary heart. She studied each sentence; and her emotions in direction of its author have been at instances extensively totally different. When she remembered the fashion of his deal with, she was nonetheless stuffed with indignation; however when she thought of how unjustly she had condemned and upbraided him, her anger was turned in opposition to herself; and his upset emotions grew to become the item of compassion. His attachment excited gratitude, his normal character respect; however she couldn’t approve him; nor may she for a second repent her refusal, or really feel the slightest inclination ever to see him once more. In her personal previous behaviour, there was a continuing supply of vexation and remorse; and within the sad defects of her household, a topic of but heavier chagrin. They have been hopeless of treatment. Her father, contented with laughing at them, would by no means exert himself to restrain the wild giddiness of his youngest daughters; and her mom, with manners so removed from proper herself, was solely insensible of the evil. Elizabeth had continuously united with Jane in an endeavour to verify the imprudence of Catherine and Lydia; however whereas they have been supported by their mom’s indulgence, what likelihood may there be of enchancment? Catherine, weak-spirited, irritable, and fully below Lydia’s steerage, had been all the time affronted by their recommendation; and Lydia, self-willed and careless, would scarcely give them a listening to. They have been ignorant, idle, and useless. While there was an officer in Meryton, they might flirt with him; and whereas Meryton was inside a stroll of Longbourn, they might be going there endlessly.

Anxiety on Jane’s behalf was one other prevailing concern; and Mr. Darcy’s rationalization, by restoring Bingley to all her former good opinion, heightened the sense of what Jane had misplaced. His affection was proved to have been honest, and his conduct cleared of all blame, until any may connect to the implicitness of his confidence in his good friend. How grievous then was the thought that, of a state of affairs so fascinating in each respect, so replete with benefit, so promising for happiness, Jane had been disadvantaged, by the folly and indecorum of her family!

When to those recollections was added the event of Wickham’s character, it could be simply believed that the joyful spirits which had seldom been depressed earlier than, have been now a lot affected as to make it nearly not possible for her to seem tolerably cheerful.

Their engagements at Rosings have been as frequent over the past week of her keep as that they had been at first. The final night was spent there; and her ladyship once more inquired minutely into the particulars of their journey, gave them instructions as to one of the best technique of packing, and was so pressing on the need of inserting robes in the one proper means, that Maria thought herself obliged, on her return, to undo all of the work of the morning, and pack her trunk afresh.

When they parted, Lady Catherine, with nice condescension, wished them journey, and invited them to return to Hunsford once more subsequent 12 months; and Miss de Bourgh exerted herself as far as to curtsey and maintain out her hand to each.

Chapter 38

On Saturday morning Elizabeth and Mr. Collins met for breakfast a couple of minutes earlier than the others appeared; and he took the chance of paying the parting civilities which he deemed indispensably essential.

“I know not, Miss Elizabeth,” mentioned he, “whether Mrs. Collins has yet expressed her sense of your kindness in coming to us; but I am very certain you will not leave the house without receiving her thanks for it. The favour of your company has been much felt, I assure you. We know how little there is to tempt anyone to our humble abode. Our plain manner of living, our small rooms and few domestics, and the little we see of the world, must make Hunsford extremely dull to a young lady like yourself; but I hope you will believe us grateful for the condescension, and that we have done everything in our power to prevent your spending your time unpleasantly.”

Elizabeth was keen along with her thanks and assurances of happiness. She had spent six weeks with nice enjoyment; and the pleasure of being with Charlotte, and the sort attentions she had acquired, should make her really feel the obliged. Mr. Collins was gratified, and with a extra smiling solemnity replied:

“It gives me great pleasure to hear that you have passed your time not disagreeably. We have certainly done our best; and most fortunately having it in our power to introduce you to very superior society, and, from our connection with Rosings, the frequent means of varying the humble home scene, I think we may flatter ourselves that your Hunsford visit cannot have been entirely irksome. Our situation with regard to Lady Catherine’s family is indeed the sort of extraordinary advantage and blessing which few can boast. You see on what a footing we are. You see how continually we are engaged there. In truth I must acknowledge that, with all the disadvantages of this humble parsonage, I should not think anyone abiding in it an object of compassion, while they are sharers of our intimacy at Rosings.”

Words have been inadequate for the elevation of his emotions; and he was obliged to stroll concerning the room, whereas Elizabeth tried to unite civility and fact in a number of quick sentences.

“You may, in fact, carry a very favourable report of us into Hertfordshire, my dear cousin. I flatter myself at least that you will be able to do so. Lady Catherine’s great attentions to Mrs. Collins you have been a daily witness of; and altogether I trust it does not appear that your friend has drawn an unfortunate—but on this point it will be as well to be silent. Only let me assure you, my dear Miss Elizabeth, that I can from my heart most cordially wish you equal felicity in marriage. My dear Charlotte and I have but one mind and one way of thinking. There is in everything a most remarkable resemblance of character and ideas between us. We seem to have been designed for each other.”

Elizabeth may safely say that it was a terrific happiness the place that was the case, and with equal sincerity may add, that she firmly believed and rejoiced in his home comforts. She was not sorry, nevertheless, to have the recital of them interrupted by the girl from whom they sprang. Poor Charlotte! it was melancholy to depart her to such society! But she had chosen it along with her eyes open; and although evidently regretting that her guests have been to go, she didn’t appear to ask for compassion. Her dwelling and her housekeeping, her parish and her poultry, and all their dependent considerations, had not but misplaced their charms.

At size the chaise arrived, the trunks have been mounted on, the parcels positioned inside, and it was pronounced to be prepared. After an affectionate parting between the chums, Elizabeth was attended to the carriage by Mr. Collins, and as they walked down the backyard he was commissioning her together with his finest respects to all her household, not forgetting his thanks for the kindness he had acquired at Longbourn within the winter, and his compliments to Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, although unknown. He then handed her in, Maria adopted, and the door was on the purpose of being closed, when he instantly reminded them, with some consternation, that that they had hitherto forgotten to depart any message for the women at Rosings.

“But,” he added, “you will of course wish to have your humble respects delivered to them, with your grateful thanks for their kindness to you while you have been here.”

Elizabeth made no objection; the door was then allowed to be shut, and the carriage drove off.

“Good gracious!” cried Maria, after a couple of minutes’ silence, “it seems but a day or two since we first came! and yet how many things have happened!”

“A great many indeed,” mentioned her companion with a sigh.

“We have dined nine times at Rosings, besides drinking tea there twice! How much I shall have to tell!”

Elizabeth added privately, “And how much I shall have to conceal!”

Their journey was carried out with out a lot dialog, or any alarm; and inside 4 hours of their leaving Hunsford they reached Mr. Gardiner’s home, the place they have been to stay a number of days.

Jane seemed nicely, and Elizabeth had little alternative of learning her spirits, amidst the varied engagements which the kindness of her aunt had reserved for them. But Jane was to go dwelling along with her, and at Longbourn there can be leisure sufficient for remark.

It was not with out an effort, in the meantime, that she may wait even for Longbourn, earlier than she advised her sister of Mr. Darcy’s proposals. To know that she had the facility of showing what would so exceedingly astonish Jane, and should, on the identical time, so extremely gratify no matter of her personal self-importance she had not but been capable of motive away, was such a temptation to openness as nothing may have conquered however the state of indecision by which she remained as to the extent of what she ought to talk; and her concern, if she as soon as entered on the topic, of being hurried into repeating one thing of Bingley which could solely grieve her sister additional.

Chapter 39

It was the second week in May, by which the three younger girls set out collectively from Gracechurch Street for the city of ——, in Hertfordshire; and, as they drew close to the appointed inn the place Mr. Bennet’s carriage was to fulfill them, they shortly perceived, in token of the coachman’s punctuality, each Kitty and Lydia looking of a dining-room up stairs. These two women had been above an hour within the place, fortunately employed in visiting an reverse milliner, watching the sentinel on guard, and dressing a salad and cucumber.

After welcoming their sisters, they triumphantly displayed a desk set out with such chilly meat as an inn larder often affords, exclaiming, “Is not this nice? Is not this an agreeable surprise?”

“And we mean to treat you all,” added Lydia, “but you must lend us the money, for we have just spent ours at the shop out there.” Then, displaying her purchases—”Look here, I have bought this bonnet. I do not think it is very pretty; but I thought I might as well buy it as not. I shall pull it to pieces as soon as I get home, and see if I can make it up any better.”

And when her sisters abused it as ugly, she added, with excellent unconcern, “Oh! but there were two or three much uglier in the shop; and when I have bought some prettier-coloured satin to trim it with fresh, I think it will be very tolerable. Besides, it will not much signify what one wears this summer, after the ——shire have left Meryton, and they are going in a fortnight.”

“Are they indeed!” cried Elizabeth, with the best satisfaction.

“They are going to be encamped near Brighton; and I do so want papa to take us all there for the summer! It would be such a delicious scheme; and I dare say would hardly cost anything at all. Mamma would like to go too of all things! Only think what a miserable summer else we shall have!”

“Yes,” thought Elizabeth, “that would be a delightful scheme indeed, and completely do for us at once. Good Heaven! Brighton, and a whole campful of soldiers, to us, who have been overset already by one poor regiment of militia, and the monthly balls of Meryton!”

“Now I have got some news for you,” mentioned Lydia, as they sat down at desk. “What do you think? It is excellent news—capital news—and about a certain person we all like!”

Jane and Elizabeth checked out one another, and the waiter was advised he needn’t keep. Lydia laughed, and mentioned:

“Aye, that is just like your formality and discretion. You thought the waiter must not hear, as if he cared! I dare say he often hears worse things said than I am going to say. But he is an ugly fellow! I am glad he is gone. I never saw such a long chin in my life. Well, but now for my news; it is about dear Wickham; too good for the waiter, is it not? There is no danger of Wickham’s marrying Mary King. There’s for you! She is gone down to her uncle at Liverpool: gone to stay. Wickham is safe.”

“And Mary King is safe!” added Elizabeth; “safe from a connection imprudent as to fortune.”

“She is a great fool for going away, if she liked him.”

“But I hope there is no strong attachment on either side,” mentioned Jane.

“I am sure there is not on his. I will answer for it, he never cared three straws about her—who could about such a nasty little freckled thing?”

Elizabeth was shocked to assume that, nevertheless incapable of such coarseness of expression herself, the coarseness of the sentiment was little apart from her personal breast had harboured and fancied liberal!

As quickly as all had ate, and the elder ones paid, the carriage was ordered; and after some contrivance, the entire get together, with all their packing containers, work-bags, and parcels, and the unwelcome addition of Kitty’s and Lydia’s purchases, have been seated in it.

“How nicely we are all crammed in,” cried Lydia. “I am glad I bought my bonnet, if it is only for the fun of having another bandbox! Well, now let us be quite comfortable and snug, and talk and laugh all the way home. And in the first place, let us hear what has happened to you all since you went away. Have you seen any pleasant men? Have you had any flirting? I was in great hopes that one of you would have got a husband before you came back. Jane will be quite an old maid soon, I declare. She is almost three-and-twenty! Lord, how ashamed I should be of not being married before three-and-twenty! My aunt Phillips wants you so to get husbands, you can’t think. She says Lizzy had better have taken Mr. Collins; but I do not think there would have been any fun in it. Lord! how I should like to be married before any of you; and then I would chaperon you about to all the balls. Dear me! we had such a good piece of fun the other day at Colonel Forster’s. Kitty and me were to spend the day there, and Mrs. Forster promised to have a little dance in the evening; (by the bye, Mrs. Forster and me are such friends!) and so she asked the two Harringtons to come, but Harriet was ill, and so Pen was forced to come by herself; and then, what do you think we did? We dressed up Chamberlayne in woman’s clothes on purpose to pass for a lady, only think what fun! Not a soul knew of it, but Colonel and Mrs. Forster, and Kitty and me, except my aunt, for we were forced to borrow one of her gowns; and you cannot imagine how well he looked! When Denny, and Wickham, and Pratt, and two or three more of the men came in, they did not know him in the least. Lord! how I laughed! and so did Mrs. Forster. I thought I should have died. And that made the men suspect something, and then they soon found out what was the matter.”

With such sorts of histories of their events and good jokes, did Lydia, assisted by Kitty’s hints and additions, endeavour to amuse her companions all the way in which to Longbourn. Elizabeth listened as little as she may, however there was no escaping the frequent point out of Wickham’s identify.

Their reception at dwelling was most type. Mrs. Bennet rejoiced to see Jane in undiminished magnificence; and greater than as soon as throughout dinner did Mr. Bennet say voluntarily to Elizabeth:

“I am glad you are come back, Lizzy.”

Their get together within the dining-room was giant, for nearly all of the Lucases got here to fulfill Maria and listen to the information; and varied have been the topics that occupied them: Lady Lucas was inquiring of Maria, after the welfare and poultry of her eldest daughter; Mrs. Bennet was doubly engaged, on one hand amassing an account of the current fashions from Jane, who sat a way under her, and, on the opposite, retailing all of them to the youthful Lucases; and Lydia, in a voice relatively louder than some other individual’s, was enumerating the varied pleasures of the morning to anyone who would hear her.

“Oh! Mary,” mentioned she, “I wish you had gone with us, for we had such fun! As we went along, Kitty and I drew up the blinds, and pretended there was nobody in the coach; and I should have gone so all the way, if Kitty had not been sick; and when we got to the George, I do think we behaved very handsomely, for we treated the other three with the nicest cold luncheon in the world, and if you would have gone, we would have treated you too. And then when we came away it was such fun! I thought we never should have got into the coach. I was ready to die of laughter. And then we were so merry all the way home! we talked and laughed so loud, that anybody might have heard us ten miles off!”

To this Mary very gravely replied, “Far be it from me, my dear sister, to depreciate such pleasures! They would doubtless be congenial with the generality of female minds. But I confess they would have no charms for me—I should infinitely prefer a book.”

But of this reply Lydia heard not a phrase. She seldom listened to anyone for greater than half a minute, and by no means attended to Mary in any respect.

In the afternoon Lydia was pressing with the remainder of the ladies to stroll to Meryton, and to see how all people went on; however Elizabeth steadily opposed the scheme. It shouldn’t be mentioned that the Miss Bennets couldn’t be at dwelling half a day earlier than they have been in pursuit of the officers. There was one more reason too for her opposition. She dreaded seeing Mr. Wickham once more, and was resolved to keep away from it so long as doable. The consolation to her of the regiment’s approaching elimination was certainly past expression. In a fortnight they have been to go—and as soon as gone, she hoped there could possibly be nothing extra to plague her on his account.

She had not been many hours at dwelling earlier than she discovered that the Brighton scheme, of which Lydia had given them a touch on the inn, was below frequent dialogue between her dad and mom. Elizabeth noticed straight that her father had not the smallest intention of yielding; however his solutions have been on the identical time so obscure and equivocal, that her mom, although typically disheartened, had by no means but despaired of succeeding finally.

Chapter 40

Elizabeth’s impatience to acquaint Jane with what had occurred may not be overcome; and at size, resolving to suppress each explicit by which her sister was involved, and making ready her to be shocked, she associated to her the following morning the chief of the scene between Mr. Darcy and herself.

Miss Bennet’s astonishment was quickly lessened by the robust sisterly partiality which made any admiration of Elizabeth seem completely pure; and all shock was shortly misplaced in different emotions. She was sorry that Mr. Darcy ought to have delivered his sentiments in a way so little suited to advocate them; however nonetheless extra was she grieved for the unhappiness which her sister’s refusal should have given him.

“His being so sure of succeeding was wrong,” mentioned she, “and certainly ought not to have appeared; but consider how much it must increase his disappointment!”

“Indeed,” replied Elizabeth, “I am heartily sorry for him; but he has other feelings, which will probably soon drive away his regard for me. You do not blame me, however, for refusing him?”

“Blame you! Oh, no.”

“But you blame me for having spoken so warmly of Wickham?”

“No—I do not know that you were wrong in saying what you did.”

“But you will know it, when I tell you what happened the very next day.”

She then spoke of the letter, repeating the entire of its contents so far as they involved George Wickham. What a stroke was this for poor Jane! who would willingly have gone via the world with out believing that a lot wickedness existed in the entire race of mankind, as was right here collected in a single particular person. Nor was Darcy’s vindication, although grateful to her emotions, able to consoling her for such discovery. Most earnestly did she labour to show the chance of error, and search to clear the one with out involving the opposite.

“This will not do,” mentioned Elizabeth; “you never will be able to make both of them good for anything. Take your choice, but you must be satisfied with only one. There is but such a quantity of merit between them; just enough to make one good sort of man; and of late it has been shifting about pretty much. For my part, I am inclined to believe it all Darcy’s; but you shall do as you choose.”

It was a while, nevertheless, earlier than a smile could possibly be extorted from Jane.

“I do not know when I have been more shocked,” mentioned she. “Wickham so very bad! It is almost past belief. And poor Mr. Darcy! Dear Lizzy, only consider what he must have suffered. Such a disappointment! and with the knowledge of your ill opinion, too! and having to relate such a thing of his sister! It is really too distressing. I am sure you must feel it so.”

“Oh! no, my regret and compassion are all done away by seeing you so full of both. I know you will do him such ample justice, that I am growing every moment more unconcerned and indifferent. Your profusion makes me saving; and if you lament over him much longer, my heart will be as light as a feather.”

“Poor Wickham! there is such an expression of goodness in his countenance! such an openness and gentleness in his manner!”

“There certainly was some great mismanagement in the education of those two young men. One has got all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it.”

“I never thought Mr. Darcy so deficient in the appearance of it as you used to do.”

“And yet I meant to be uncommonly clever in taking so decided a dislike to him, without any reason. It is such a spur to one’s genius, such an opening for wit, to have a dislike of that kind. One may be continually abusive without saying anything just; but one cannot always be laughing at a man without now and then stumbling on something witty.”

“Lizzy, when you first read that letter, I am sure you could not treat the matter as you do now.”

“Indeed, I could not. I was uncomfortable enough, I may say unhappy. And with no one to speak to about what I felt, no Jane to comfort me and say that I had not been so very weak and vain and nonsensical as I knew I had! Oh! how I wanted you!”

“How unfortunate that you should have used such very strong expressions in speaking of Wickham to Mr. Darcy, for now they do appear wholly undeserved.”

“Certainly. But the misfortune of speaking with bitterness is a most natural consequence of the prejudices I had been encouraging. There is one point on which I want your advice. I want to be told whether I ought, or ought not, to make our acquaintances in general understand Wickham’s character.”

Miss Bennet paused slightly, after which replied, “Surely there can be no occasion for exposing him so dreadfully. What is your opinion?”

“That it ought not to be attempted. Mr. Darcy has not authorised me to make his communication public. On the contrary, every particular relative to his sister was meant to be kept as much as possible to myself; and if I endeavour to undeceive people as to the rest of his conduct, who will believe me? The general prejudice against Mr. Darcy is so violent, that it would be the death of half the good people in Meryton to attempt to place him in an amiable light. I am not equal to it. Wickham will soon be gone; and therefore it will not signify to anyone here what he really is. Some time hence it will be all found out, and then we may laugh at their stupidity in not knowing it before. At present I will say nothing about it.”

“You are quite right. To have his errors made public might ruin him for ever. He is now, perhaps, sorry for what he has done, and anxious to re-establish a character. We must not make him desperate.”

The tumult of Elizabeth’s thoughts was allayed by this dialog. She had removed two of the secrets and techniques which had weighed on her for a fortnight, and was sure of a keen listener in Jane, every time she may want to speak once more of both. But there was nonetheless one thing lurking behind, of which prudence forbade the disclosure. She dared not relate the opposite half of Mr. Darcy’s letter, nor clarify to her sister how sincerely she had been valued by her good friend. Here was information by which nobody may partake; and he or she was smart that nothing lower than an ideal understanding between the events may justify her in throwing off this final encumbrance of thriller. “And then,” mentioned she, “if that very improbable event should ever take place, I shall merely be able to tell what Bingley may tell in a much more agreeable manner himself. The liberty of communication cannot be mine till it has lost all its value!”

She was now, on being settled at dwelling, at leisure to look at the true state of her sister’s spirits. Jane was not joyful. She nonetheless cherished a really tender affection for Bingley. Having by no means even fancied herself in love earlier than, her regard had all the heat of first attachment, and, from her age and disposition, better steadiness than most first attachments typically boast; and so fervently did she worth his remembrance, and like him to each different man, that each one her good sense, and all her consideration to the sentiments of her mates, have been requisite to verify the indulgence of these regrets which should have been injurious to her personal well being and their tranquillity.

“Well, Lizzy,” mentioned Mrs. Bennet sooner or later, “what is your opinion now of this sad business of Jane’s? For my part, I am determined never to speak of it again to anybody. I told my sister Phillips so the other day. But I cannot find out that Jane saw anything of him in London. Well, he is a very undeserving young man—and I do not suppose there’s the least chance in the world of her ever getting him now. There is no talk of his coming to Netherfield again in the summer; and I have inquired of everybody, too, who is likely to know.”

“I do not believe he will ever live at Netherfield any more.”

“Oh well! it is just as he chooses. Nobody wants him to come. Though I shall always say he used my daughter extremely ill; and if I was her, I would not have put up with it. Well, my comfort is, I am sure Jane will die of a broken heart; and then he will be sorry for what he has done.”

But as Elizabeth couldn’t obtain consolation from any such expectation, she made no reply.

“Well, Lizzy,” continued her mom, quickly afterwards, “and so the Collinses live very comfortable, do they? Well, well, I only hope it will last. And what sort of table do they keep? Charlotte is an excellent manager, I dare say. If she is half as sharp as her mother, she is saving enough. There is nothing extravagant in their housekeeping, I dare say.”

“No, nothing at all.”

“A great deal of good management, depend upon it. Yes, yes. they will take care not to outrun their income. They will never be distressed for money. Well, much good may it do them! And so, I suppose, they often talk of having Longbourn when your father is dead. They look upon it as quite their own, I dare say, whenever that happens.”

“It was a subject which they could not mention before me.”

“No; it would have been strange if they had; but I make no doubt they often talk of it between themselves. Well, if they can be easy with an estate that is not lawfully their own, so much the better. I should be ashamed of having one that was only entailed on me.”

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