PRIDE AND PREJUDICE – Chapters 41-50


Chapter 41

The first week of their return was quickly gone. The second started. It was the final of the regiment’s keep in Meryton, and all of the younger girls within the neighbourhood have been drooping apace. The dejection was virtually common. The elder Miss Bennets alone have been nonetheless capable of eat, drink, and sleep, and pursue the same old course of their employments. Very steadily have been they reproached for this insensibility by Kitty and Lydia, whose personal distress was excessive, and who couldn’t comprehend such hard-heartedness in any of the household.

“Good Heaven! what is to become of us? What are we to do?” would they typically exclaim within the bitterness of woe. “How can you be smiling so, Lizzy?”

Their affectionate mom shared all their grief; she remembered what she had herself endured on an analogous event, five-and-twenty years in the past.

“I am sure,” mentioned she, “I cried for two days together when Colonel Miller’s regiment went away. I thought I should have broken my heart.”

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“I am sure I shall break mine,” mentioned Lydia.

“If one could but go to Brighton!” noticed Mrs. Bennet.

“Oh, yes!—if one could but go to Brighton! But papa is so disagreeable.”

“A little sea-bathing would set me up forever.”

“And my aunt Phillips is sure it would do me a great deal of good,” added Kitty.

Such have been the type of lamentations resounding perpetually via Longbourn House. Elizabeth tried to be diverted by them; however all sense of delight was misplaced in disgrace. She felt anew the justice of Mr. Darcy’s objections; and by no means had she been a lot disposed to pardon his interference within the views of his good friend.

The Power of Self-Discipline

But the gloom of Lydia’s prospect was shortly cleared away; for she obtained an invite from Mrs. Forster, the spouse of the colonel of the regiment, to accompany her to Brighton. This invaluable good friend was a really younger girl, and really these days married. A resemblance in good humour and good spirits had beneficial her and Lydia to one another, and out of their threemonths’ acquaintance they’d been intimate two.

The rapture of Lydia on this event, her adoration of Mrs. Forster, the delight of Mrs. Bennet, and the mortification of Kitty, are scarcely to be described. Wholly inattentive to her sister’s emotions, Lydia flew about the home in stressed ecstasy, calling for everybody’s congratulations, and laughing and speaking with extra violence than ever; while the luckless Kitty continued within the parlour repined at her destiny in phrases as unreasonable as her accent was peevish.

“I cannot see why Mrs. Forster should not ask me as well as Lydia,” mentioned she, “Though I am not her particular friend. I have just as much right to be asked as she has, and more too, for I am two years older.”

In useless did Elizabeth try and make her cheap, and Jane to make her resigned. As for Elizabeth herself, this invitation was so removed from thrilling in her the identical emotions as in her mom and Lydia, that she thought of it because the dying warrant of all risk of widespread sense for the latter; and detestable as such a step should make her have been it identified, she couldn’t assist secretly advising her father to not let her go. She represented to him all of the improprieties of Lydia’s common behaviour, the little benefit she may derive from the friendship of such a lady as Mrs. Forster, and the chance of her being but extra imprudent with such a companion at Brighton, the place the temptations have to be higher than at residence. He heard her attentively, after which mentioned:

“Lydia will never be easy until she has exposed herself in some public place or other, and we can never expect her to do it with so little expense or inconvenience to her family as under the present circumstances.”

“If you were aware,” mentioned Elizabeth, “of the very great disadvantage to us all which must arise from the public notice of Lydia’s unguarded and imprudent manner—nay, which has already arisen from it, I am sure you would judge differently in the affair.”

“Already arisen?” repeated Mr. Bennet. “What, has she frightened away some of your lovers? Poor little Lizzy! But do not be cast down. Such squeamish youths as cannot bear to be connected with a little absurdity are not worth a regret. Come, let me see the list of pitiful fellows who have been kept aloof by Lydia’s folly.”

“Indeed you are mistaken. I have no such injuries to resent. It is not of particular, but of general evils, which I am now complaining. Our importance, our respectability in the world must be affected by the wild volatility, the assurance and disdain of all restraint which mark Lydia’s character. Excuse me, for I must speak plainly. If you, my dear father, will not take the trouble of checking her exuberant spirits, and of teaching her that her present pursuits are not to be the business of her life, she will soon be beyond the reach of amendment. Her character will be fixed, and she will, at sixteen, be the most determined flirt that ever made herself or her family ridiculous; a flirt, too, in the worst and meanest degree of flirtation; without any attraction beyond youth and a tolerable person; and, from the ignorance and emptiness of her mind, wholly unable to ward off any portion of that universal contempt which her rage for admiration will excite. In this danger Kitty also is comprehended. She will follow wherever Lydia leads. Vain, ignorant, idle, and absolutely uncontrolled! Oh! my dear father, can you suppose it possible that they will not be censured and despised wherever they are known, and that their sisters will not be often involved in the disgrace?”

Mr. Bennet noticed that her complete coronary heart was within the topic, and affectionately taking her hand mentioned in reply:

“Do not make yourself uneasy, my love. Wherever you and Jane are known you must be respected and valued; and you will not appear to less advantage for having a couple of—or I may say, three—very silly sisters. We shall have no peace at Longbourn if Lydia does not go to Brighton. Let her go, then. Colonel Forster is a sensible man, and will keep her out of any real mischief; and she is luckily too poor to be an object of prey to anybody. At Brighton she will be of less importance even as a common flirt than she has been here. The officers will find women better worth their notice. Let us hope, therefore, that her being there may teach her her own insignificance. At any rate, she cannot grow many degrees worse, without authorising us to lock her up for the rest of her life.”

With this reply Elizabeth was compelled to be content material; however her personal opinion continued the identical, and he or she left him upset and sorry. It was not in her nature, nonetheless, to extend her vexations by dwelling on them. She was assured of getting carried out her responsibility, and to worry over unavoidable evils, or increase them by anxiousness, was no a part of her disposition.

Had Lydia and her mom identified the substance of her convention together with her father, their indignation would hardly have discovered expression of their united volubility. In Lydia’s creativeness, a go to to Brighton comprised each risk of earthly happiness. She noticed, with the artistic eye of fancy, the streets of that homosexual bathing-place coated with officers. She noticed herself the thing of consideration, to tens and to scores of them at current unknown. She noticed all of the glories of the camp—its tents stretched forth in beauteous uniformity of strains, crowded with the younger and the homosexual, and dazzling with scarlet; and, to finish the view, she noticed herself seated beneath a tent, tenderly flirting with at the least six officers without delay.

Had she identified her sister sought to tear her from such prospects and such realities as these, what would have been her sensations? They may have been understood solely by her mom, who might need felt almost the identical. Lydia’s going to Brighton was all that consoled her for her melancholy conviction of her husband’s by no means desiring to go there himself.

But they have been completely unaware of what had handed; and their raptures continued, with little intermission, to the very day of Lydia’s leaving residence.

Elizabeth was now to see Mr. Wickham for the final time. Having been steadily in firm with him since her return, agitation was fairly effectively over; the agitations of formal partiality completely so. She had even learnt to detect, within the very gentleness which had first delighted her, an affectation and a sameness to disgust and weary. In his current behaviour to herself, furthermore, she had a recent supply of displeasure, for the inclination he quickly testified of renewing these intentions which had marked the early a part of their acquaintance may solely serve, after what had since handed, to impress her. She misplaced all concern for him to find herself thus chosen as the thing of such idle and frivolous gallantry; and whereas she steadily repressed it, couldn’t however really feel the reproof contained in his believing, that nonetheless lengthy, and for no matter trigger, his attentions had been withdrawn, her vainness could be gratified, and her desire secured at any time by their renewal.

On the final day of the regiment’s remaining at Meryton, he dined, with different of the officers, at Longbourn; and so little was Elizabeth disposed to half from him in good humour, that on his making some inquiry as to the way wherein her time had handed at Hunsford, she talked about Colonel Fitzwilliam’s and Mr. Darcy’s having each spent three weeks at Rosings, and requested him, if he was acquainted with the previous.

He regarded stunned, displeased, alarmed; however with a second’s recollection and a returning smile, replied, that he had previously seen him typically; and, after observing that he was a really gentlemanlike man, requested her how she had preferred him. Her reply was warmly in his favour. With an air of indifference he quickly afterwards added:

“How long did you say he was at Rosings?”

“Nearly three weeks.”

“And you saw him frequently?”

“Yes, almost every day.”

“His manners are very different from his cousin’s.”

“Yes, very different. But I think Mr. Darcy improves upon acquaintance.”

“Indeed!” cried Mr. Wickham with a glance which didn’t escape her. “And pray, may I ask?—” But checking himself, he added, in a gayer tone, “Is it in address that he improves? Has he deigned to add aught of civility to his ordinary style?—for I dare not hope,” he continued in a decrease and extra severe tone, “that he is improved in essentials.”

“Oh, no!” mentioned Elizabeth. “In essentials, I believe, he is very much what he ever was.”

While she spoke, Wickham regarded as if scarcely figuring out whether or not to rejoice over her phrases, or to mistrust their which means. There was a one thing in her countenance which made him pay attention with an apprehensive and anxious consideration, whereas she added:

“When I said that he improved on acquaintance, I did not mean that his mind or his manners were in a state of improvement, but that, from knowing him better, his disposition was better understood.”

Wickham’s alarm now appeared in a heightened complexion and agitated look; for a couple of minutes he was silent, until, shaking off his embarrassment, he turned to her once more, and mentioned within the gentlest of accents:

“You, who so well know my feeling towards Mr. Darcy, will readily comprehend how sincerely I must rejoice that he is wise enough to assume even the appearance of what is right. His pride, in that direction, may be of service, if not to himself, to many others, for it must only deter him from such foul misconduct as I have suffered by. I only fear that the sort of cautiousness to which you, I imagine, have been alluding, is merely adopted on his visits to his aunt, of whose good opinion and judgement he stands much in awe. His fear of her has always operated, I know, when they were together; and a good deal is to be imputed to his wish of forwarding the match with Miss de Bourgh, which I am certain he has very much at heart.”

Elizabeth couldn’t repress a smile at this, however she answered solely by a slight inclination of the pinnacle. She noticed that he needed to interact her on the outdated topic of his grievances, and he or she was in no humour to indulge him. The remainder of the night handed with the look, on his facet, of common cheerfulness, however with no additional try to tell apart Elizabeth; they usually parted finally with mutual civility, and presumably a mutual need of by no means assembly once more.

When the social gathering broke up, Lydia returned with Mrs. Forster to Meryton, from whence they have been to set out early the following morning. The separation between her and her household was slightly noisy than pathetic. Kitty was the one one who shed tears; however she did weep from vexation and envy. Mrs. Bennet was diffuse in her good needs for the felicity of her daughter, and spectacular in her injunctions that she mustn’t miss the chance of having fun with herself as a lot as doable—recommendation which there was each motive to consider could be effectively attended to; and within the clamorous happiness of Lydia herself in bidding farewell, the extra light adieus of her sisters have been uttered with out being heard.

Chapter 42

Had Elizabeth’s opinion been all drawn from her family, she couldn’t have shaped a really pleasing opinion of conjugal felicity or home consolation. Her father, captivated by youth and sweetness, and that look of fine humour which youth and sweetness usually give, had married a lady whose weak understanding and intolerant thoughts had very early of their marriage put an finish to all actual affection for her. Respect, esteem, and confidence had vanished for ever; and all his views of home happiness have been overthrown. But Mr. Bennet was not of a disposition to hunt consolation for the frustration which his personal imprudence had introduced on, in any of these pleasures which too typically console the unlucky for his or her folly or their vice. He was keen on the nation and of books; and from these tastes had arisen his principal enjoyments. To his spouse he was little or no in any other case indebted, than as her ignorance and folly had contributed to his amusement. This is just not the type of happiness which a person would normally want to owe to his spouse; however the place different powers of leisure are wanting, the true thinker will derive profit from comparable to are given.

Elizabeth, nonetheless, had by no means been blind to the impropriety of her father’s behaviour as a husband. She had all the time seen it with ache; however respecting his talents, and grateful for his affectionate therapy of herself, she endeavoured to neglect what she couldn’t overlook, and to banish from her ideas that continuous breach of conjugal obligation and decorum which, in exposing his spouse to the contempt of her personal kids, was so extremely reprehensible. But she had by no means felt so strongly as now the disadvantages which should attend the youngsters of so unsuitable a wedding, nor ever been so absolutely conscious of the evils arising from so ill-judged a route of abilities; abilities, which, rightly used, would possibly at the least have preserved the respectability of his daughters, even when incapable of enlarging the thoughts of his spouse.

When Elizabeth had rejoiced over Wickham’s departure she discovered little different trigger for satisfaction within the lack of the regiment. Their events overseas have been much less diversified than earlier than, and at residence she had a mom and sister whose fixed repinings on the dullness of all the things round them threw an actual gloom over their home circle; and, although Kitty would possibly in time regain her pure diploma of sense, because the disturbers of her mind have been eliminated, her different sister, from whose disposition higher evil is perhaps apprehended, was more likely to be hardened in all her folly and assurance by a state of affairs of such double hazard as a watering-place and a camp. Upon the entire, subsequently, she discovered, what has been generally discovered earlier than, that an occasion to which she had been trying with impatient need didn’t, in happening, deliver all of the satisfaction she had promised herself. It was consequently needed to call another interval for the graduation of precise felicity—to have another level on which her needs and hopes is perhaps mounted, and by once more having fun with the pleasure of anticipation, console herself for the current, and put together for one more disappointment. Her tour to the Lakes was now the thing of her happiest ideas; it was her greatest comfort for all of the uncomfortable hours which the discontentedness of her mom and Kitty made inevitable; and will she have included Jane within the scheme, each a part of it will have been good.

“But it is fortunate,” thought she, “that I have something to wish for. Were the whole arrangement complete, my disappointment would be certain. But here, by carrying with me one ceaseless source of regret in my sister’s absence, I may reasonably hope to have all my expectations of pleasure realised. A scheme of which every part promises delight can never be successful; and general disappointment is only warded off by the defence of some little peculiar vexation.”

When Lydia went away she promised to jot down fairly often and really minutely to her mom and Kitty; however her letters have been all the time lengthy anticipated, and all the time very quick. Those to her mom contained little else than that they have been simply returned from the library, the place such and such officers had attended them, and the place she had seen such stunning ornaments as made her fairly wild; that she had a brand new robe, or a brand new parasol, which she would have described extra absolutely, however was obliged to go away off in a violent hurry, as Mrs. Forster known as her, they usually have been going off to the camp; and from her correspondence together with her sister, there was nonetheless much less to be learnt—for her letters to Kitty, although slightly longer, have been a lot too filled with strains below the phrases to be made public.

After the primary fortnight or three weeks of her absence, well being, good humour, and cheerfulness started to reappear at Longbourn. Everything wore a happier facet. The households who had been on the town for the winter got here again once more, and summer time finery and summer time engagements arose. Mrs. Bennet was restored to her common querulous serenity; and, by the center of June, Kitty was a lot recovered as to have the ability to enter Meryton with out tears; an occasion of such completely happy promise as to make Elizabeth hope that by the next Christmas she is perhaps so tolerably cheap as to not point out an officer above as soon as a day, until, by some merciless and malicious association on the War Office, one other regiment ought to be quartered in Meryton.

The time mounted for the start of their northern tour was now quick approaching, and a fortnight solely was wanting of it, when a letter arrived from Mrs. Gardiner, which without delay delayed its graduation and curtailed its extent. Mr. Gardiner could be prevented by enterprise from setting out until a fortnight later in July, and have to be in London once more inside a month, and as that left too quick a interval for them to go thus far, and see a lot as they’d proposed, or at the least to see it with the leisure and luxury they’d constructed on, they have been obliged to surrender the Lakes, and substitute a extra contracted tour, and, in line with the current plan, have been to go no farther northwards than Derbyshire. In that county there was sufficient to be seen to occupy the chief of their three weeks; and to Mrs. Gardiner it had a peculiarly sturdy attraction. The city the place she had previously handed some years of her life, and the place they have been now to spend just a few days, was in all probability as nice an object of her curiosity as all of the celebrated beauties of Matlock, Chatsworth, Dovedale, or the Peak.

Elizabeth was excessively upset; she had set her coronary heart on seeing the Lakes, and nonetheless thought there might need been time sufficient. But it was her enterprise to be happy—and definitely her mood to be completely happy; and all was quickly proper once more.

With the point out of Derbyshire there have been many concepts related. It was unimaginable for her to see the phrase with out pondering of Pemberley and its proprietor. “But surely,” mentioned she, “I may enter his county with impunity, and rob it of a few petrified spars without his perceiving me.”

The interval of expectation was now doubled. Four weeks have been to cross away earlier than her uncle and aunt’s arrival. But they did cross away, and Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, with their 4 kids, did at size seem at Longbourn. The kids, two women of six and eight years outdated, and two youthful boys, have been to be left below the actual care of their cousin Jane, who was the final favorite, and whose regular sense and sweetness of mood precisely tailored her for attending to them in each means—educating them, taking part in with them, and loving them.

The Gardiners stayed just one night time at Longbourn, and set off the following morning with Elizabeth in pursuit of novelty and amusement. One enjoyment was sure—that of suitableness of companions; a suitableness which comprehended well being and mood to bear inconveniences—cheerfulness to reinforce each pleasure—and affection and intelligence, which could provide it amongst themselves if there have been disappointments overseas.

It is just not the thing of this work to present an outline of Derbyshire, nor of any of the outstanding locations via which their route thither lay; Oxford, Blenheim, Warwick, Kenilworth, Birmingham, and so forth. are sufficiently identified. A small a part of Derbyshire is all the current concern. To the little city of Lambton, the scene of Mrs. Gardiner’s former residence, and the place she had these days discovered some acquaintance nonetheless remained, they bent their steps, after having seen all of the principal wonders of the nation; and inside 5 miles of Lambton, Elizabeth discovered from her aunt that Pemberley was located. It was not of their direct street, nor greater than a mile or two out of it. In speaking over their route the night earlier than, Mrs. Gardiner expressed an inclination to see the place once more. Mr. Gardiner declared his willingness, and Elizabeth was utilized to for her approbation.

“My love, should not you like to see a place of which you have heard so much?” mentioned her aunt; “a place, too, with which so many of your acquaintances are connected. Wickham passed all his youth there, you know.”

Elizabeth was distressed. She felt that she had no enterprise at Pemberley, and was obliged to imagine a disinclination for seeing it. She should personal that she was bored with seeing nice homes; after going over so many, she actually had no pleasure in advantageous carpets or satin curtains.

Mrs. Gardiner abused her stupidity. “If it were merely a fine house richly furnished,” mentioned she, “I should not care about it myself; but the grounds are delightful. They have some of the finest woods in the country.”

Elizabeth mentioned no extra—however her thoughts couldn’t acquiesce. The risk of assembly Mr. Darcy, whereas viewing the place, immediately occurred. It could be dreadful! She blushed on the very concept, and thought it will be higher to talk brazenly to her aunt than to run such a threat. But in opposition to this there have been objections; and he or she lastly resolved that it might be the final useful resource, if her personal inquiries to the absence of the household have been unfavourably answered.

Accordingly, when she retired at night time, she requested the chambermaid whether or not Pemberley weren’t a really advantageous place? what was the title of its proprietor? and, with no little alarm, whether or not the household have been down for the summer time? A most welcome detrimental adopted the final query—and her alarms now being eliminated, she was at leisure to really feel quite a lot of curiosity to see the home herself; and when the topic was revived the following morning, and he or she was once more utilized to, may readily reply, and with a correct air of indifference, that she had not likely any dislike to the scheme. To Pemberley, subsequently, they have been to go.

Chapter 43

Elizabeth, as they drove alongside, watched for the primary look of Pemberley Woods with some perturbation; and when at size they turned in on the lodge, her spirits have been in a excessive flutter.

The park was very massive, and contained nice number of floor. They entered it in one among its lowest factors, and drove for a while via a ravishing wooden stretching over a large extent.

Elizabeth’s thoughts was too full for dialog, however she noticed and admired each outstanding spot and standpoint. They progressively ascended for half-a-mile, after which discovered themselves on the high of a substantial eminence, the place the wooden ceased, and the attention was immediately caught by Pemberley House, located on the alternative facet of a valley, into which the street with some abruptness wound. It was a big, good-looking stone constructing, standing effectively on rising floor, and backed by a ridge of excessive woody hills; and in entrance, a stream of some pure significance was swelled into higher, however with none synthetic look. Its banks have been neither formal nor falsely adorned. Elizabeth was delighted. She had by no means seen a spot for which nature had completed extra, or the place pure magnificence had been so little counteracted by an ungainly style. They have been all of them heat of their admiration; and at that second she felt that to be mistress of Pemberley is perhaps one thing!

They descended the hill, crossed the bridge, and drove to the door; and, whereas inspecting the nearer facet of the home, all her apprehension of assembly its proprietor returned. She dreaded lest the chambermaid had been mistaken. On making use of to see the place, they have been admitted into the corridor; and Elizabeth, as they waited for the housekeeper, had leisure to surprise at her being the place she was.

The housekeeper got here; a respectable-looking aged girl, a lot much less advantageous, and extra civil, than she had any notion of discovering her. They adopted her into the dining-parlour. It was a big, effectively proportioned room, handsomely fitted up. Elizabeth, after barely surveying it, went to a window to take pleasure in its prospect. The hill, topped with wooden, which they’d descended, receiving elevated abruptness from the gap, was a ravishing object. Every disposition of the bottom was good; and he or she regarded on the entire scene, the river, the bushes scattered on its banks and the winding of the valley, so far as she may hint it, with delight. As they handed into different rooms these objects have been taking totally different positions; however from each window there have been beauties to be seen. The rooms have been lofty and good-looking, and their furnishings appropriate to the fortune of its proprietor; however Elizabeth noticed, with admiration of his style, that it was neither gaudy nor uselessly advantageous; with much less of splendour, and extra actual magnificence, than the furnishings of Rosings.

“And of this place,” thought she, “I might have been mistress! With these rooms I might now have been familiarly acquainted! Instead of viewing them as a stranger, I might have rejoiced in them as my own, and welcomed to them as visitors my uncle and aunt. But no,”—recollecting herself—”that could never be; my uncle and aunt would have been lost to me; I should not have been allowed to invite them.”

This was a fortunate recollection—it saved her from one thing very like remorse.

She longed to inquire of the housekeeper whether or not her grasp was actually absent, however had not the braveness for it. At size nonetheless, the query was requested by her uncle; and he or she turned away with alarm, whereas Mrs. Reynolds replied that he was, including, “But we expect him to-morrow, with a large party of friends.” How rejoiced was Elizabeth that their very own journey had not by any circumstance been delayed a day!

Her aunt now known as her to have a look at an image. She approached and noticed the likeness of Mr. Wickham, suspended, amongst a number of different miniatures, over the mantelpiece. Her aunt requested her, smilingly, how she preferred it. The housekeeper got here ahead, and instructed them it was an image of a younger gentleman, the son of her late grasp’s steward, who had been introduced up by him at his personal expense. “He is now gone into the army,” she added; “but I am afraid he has turned out very wild.”

Mrs. Gardiner checked out her niece with a smile, however Elizabeth couldn’t return it.

“And that,” mentioned Mrs. Reynolds, pointing to a different of the miniatures, “is my master—and very like him. It was drawn at the same time as the other—about eight years ago.”

“I have heard much of your master’s fine person,” mentioned Mrs. Gardiner, trying on the image; “it is a handsome face. But, Lizzy, you can tell us whether it is like or not.”

Mrs. Reynolds respect for Elizabeth appeared to extend on this intimation of her figuring out her grasp.

“Does that young lady know Mr. Darcy?”

Elizabeth colored, and mentioned: “A little.”

“And do not you think him a very handsome gentleman, ma’am?”

“Yes, very handsome.”

“I am sure I know none so handsome; but in the gallery up stairs you will see a finer, larger picture of him than this. This room was my late master’s favourite room, and these miniatures are just as they used to be then. He was very fond of them.”

This accounted to Elizabeth for Mr. Wickham’s being amongst them.

Mrs. Reynolds then directed their consideration to one among Miss Darcy, drawn when she was solely eight years outdated.

“And is Miss Darcy as handsome as her brother?” mentioned Mrs. Gardiner.

“Oh! yes—the handsomest young lady that ever was seen; and so accomplished!—She plays and sings all day long. In the next room is a new instrument just come down for her—a present from my master; she comes here to-morrow with him.”

Mr. Gardiner, whose manners have been very straightforward and nice, inspired her communicativeness by his questions and remarks; Mrs. Reynolds, both by satisfaction or attachment, had evidently nice pleasure in speaking of her grasp and his sister.

“Is your master much at Pemberley in the course of the year?”

“Not so much as I could wish, sir; but I dare say he may spend half his time here; and Miss Darcy is always down for the summer months.”

“Except,” thought Elizabeth, “when she goes to Ramsgate.”

“If your master would marry, you might see more of him.”

“Yes, sir; but I do not know when that will be. I do not know who is good enough for him.”

Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner smiled. Elizabeth couldn’t assist saying, “It is very much to his credit, I am sure, that you should think so.”

“I say no more than the truth, and everybody will say that knows him,” replied the opposite. Elizabeth thought this was going fairly far; and he or she listened with rising astonishment because the housekeeper added, “I have never known a cross word from him in my life, and I have known him ever since he was four years old.”

This was reward, of all others most extraordinary, most reverse to her concepts. That he was not a good-tempered man had been her firmest opinion. Her keenest consideration was woke up; she longed to listen to extra, and was grateful to her uncle for saying:

“There are very few people of whom so much can be said. You are lucky in having such a master.”

“Yes, sir, I know I am. If I were to go through the world, I could not meet with a better. But I have always observed, that they who are good-natured when children, are good-natured when they grow up; and he was always the sweetest-tempered, most generous-hearted boy in the world.”

Elizabeth virtually stared at her. “Can this be Mr. Darcy?” thought she.

“His father was an excellent man,” mentioned Mrs. Gardiner.

“Yes, ma’am, that he was indeed; and his son will be just like him—just as affable to the poor.”

Elizabeth listened, questioned, doubted, and was impatient for extra. Mrs. Reynolds may curiosity her on no different level. She associated the topics of the photographs, the size of the rooms, and the worth of the furnishings, in useless. Mr. Gardiner, extremely amused by the type of household prejudice to which he attributed her extreme commendation of her grasp, quickly led once more to the topic; and he or she dwelt with power on his many deserves as they proceeded collectively up the nice staircase.

“He is the best landlord, and the best master,” mentioned she, “that ever lived; not like the wild young men nowadays, who think of nothing but themselves. There is not one of his tenants or servants but will give him a good name. Some people call him proud; but I am sure I never saw anything of it. To my fancy, it is only because he does not rattle away like other young men.”

“In what an amiable light does this place him!” thought Elizabeth.

“This fine account of him,” whispered her aunt as they walked, “is not quite consistent with his behaviour to our poor friend.”

“Perhaps we might be deceived.”

“That is not very likely; our authority was too good.”

On reaching the spacious foyer above they have been proven into a really fairly sitting-room, these days fitted up with higher magnificence and lightness than the residences under; and have been knowledgeable that it was however simply completed to present pleasure to Miss Darcy, who had taken a liking to the room when final at Pemberley.

“He is certainly a good brother,” mentioned Elizabeth, as she walked in direction of one of many home windows.

Mrs. Reynolds anticipated Miss Darcy’s delight, when she ought to enter the room. “And this is always the way with him,” she added. “Whatever can give his sister any pleasure is sure to be done in a moment. There is nothing he would not do for her.”

The picture-gallery, and two or three of the principal bedrooms, have been all that remained to be proven. In the previous have been many good work; however Elizabeth knew nothing of the artwork; and from comparable to had been already seen under, she had willingly turned to have a look at some drawings of Miss Darcy’s, in crayons, whose topics have been normally extra fascinating, and likewise extra intelligible.

In the gallery there have been many household portraits, however they may have little to repair the eye of a stranger. Elizabeth walked in quest of the one face whose options could be identified to her. At final it arrested her—and he or she beheld a hanging resemblance to Mr. Darcy, with such a smile over the face as she remembered to have generally seen when he checked out her. She stood a number of minutes earlier than the image, in earnest contemplation, and returned to it once more earlier than they quitted the gallery. Mrs. Reynolds knowledgeable them that it had been taken in his father’s lifetime.

There was definitely at this second, in Elizabeth’s thoughts, a extra light sensation in direction of the unique than she had ever felt on the peak of their acquaintance. The commendation bestowed on him by Mrs. Reynolds was of no trifling nature. What reward is extra invaluable than the reward of an clever servant? As a brother, a landlord, a grasp, she thought of how many individuals’s happiness have been in his guardianship!—how a lot of delight or ache was it in his energy to bestow!—how a lot of fine or evil have to be completed by him! Every concept that had been introduced ahead by the housekeeper was beneficial to his character, and as she stood earlier than the canvas on which he was represented, and glued his eyes upon herself, she considered his regard with a deeper sentiment of gratitude than it had ever raised earlier than; she remembered its heat, and softened its impropriety of expression.

When the entire home that was open to common inspection had been seen, they returned downstairs, and, taking depart of the housekeeper, have been consigned over to the gardener, who met them on the hall-door.

As they walked throughout the corridor in direction of the river, Elizabeth turned again to look once more; her uncle and aunt stopped additionally, and whereas the previous was conjecturing as to the date of the constructing, the proprietor of it himself all of a sudden got here ahead from the street, which led behind it to the stables.

They have been inside twenty yards of one another, and so abrupt was his look, that it was unimaginable to keep away from his sight. Their eyes immediately met, and the cheeks of each have been overspread with the deepest blush. He completely began, and for a second appeared immovable from shock; however shortly recovering himself, superior in direction of the social gathering, and spoke to Elizabeth, if not by way of good composure, at the least of good civility.

She had instinctively turned away; however stopping on his strategy, obtained his compliments with a humiliation unimaginable to be overcome. Had his first look, or his resemblance to the image they’d simply been inspecting, been inadequate to guarantee the opposite two that they now noticed Mr. Darcy, the gardener’s expression of shock, on beholding his grasp, should instantly have instructed it. They stood somewhat aloof whereas he was speaking to their niece, who, astonished and confused, scarcely dared elevate her eyes to his face, and knew not what reply she returned to his civil inquiries after her household. Amazed on the alteration of his method since they final parted, each sentence that he uttered was rising her embarrassment; and each concept of the impropriety of her being discovered there recurring to her thoughts, the jiffy wherein they continued have been among the most uncomfortable in her life. Nor did he appear far more comfy; when he spoke, his accent had none of its common sedateness; and he repeated his inquiries as to the time of her having left Longbourn, and of her having stayed in Derbyshire, so typically, and in so hurried a means, as plainly spoke the distraction of his ideas.

At size each concept appeared to fail him; and, after standing just a few moments with out saying a phrase, he all of a sudden recollected himself, and took depart.

The others then joined her, and expressed admiration of his determine; however Elizabeth heard not a phrase, and wholly engrossed by her personal emotions, adopted them in silence. She was overpowered by disgrace and vexation. Her coming there was essentially the most unlucky, essentially the most ill-judged factor on the planet! How unusual it should seem to him! In what a disgraceful gentle would possibly it not strike so useless a person! It may appear as if she had purposely thrown herself in his means once more! Oh! why did she come? Or, why did he thus come a day earlier than he was anticipated? Had they been solely ten minutes sooner, they need to have been past the attain of his discrimination; for it was plain that he was that second arrived—that second alighted from his horse or his carriage. She blushed repeatedly over the perverseness of the assembly. And his behaviour, so strikingly altered—what may it imply? That he ought to even communicate to her was superb!—however to talk with such civility, to inquire after her household! Never in her life had she seen his manners so little dignified, by no means had he spoken with such gentleness as on this surprising assembly. What a distinction did it provide to his final tackle in Rosings Park, when he put his letter into her hand! She knew not what to assume, or account for it.

They had now entered a ravishing stroll by the facet of the water, and each step was bringing ahead a nobler fall of floor, or a finer attain of the woods to which they have been approaching; however it was a while earlier than Elizabeth was wise of any of it; and, although she answered mechanically to the repeated appeals of her uncle and aunt, and appeared to direct her eyes to such objects as they identified, she distinguished no a part of the scene. Her ideas have been all mounted on that one spot of Pemberley House, whichever it is perhaps, the place Mr. Darcy then was. She longed to know what in the intervening time was passing in his thoughts—in what method he considered her, and whether or not, in defiance of all the things, she was nonetheless pricey to him. Perhaps he had been civil solely as a result of he felt himself comfy; but there had been that in his voice which was not like ease. Whether he had felt extra of ache or of delight in seeing her she couldn’t inform, however he definitely had not seen her with composure.

At size, nonetheless, the remarks of her companions on her absence of thoughts aroused her, and he or she felt the need of showing extra like herself.

They entered the woods, and bidding adieu to the river for some time, ascended among the greater grounds; when, in spots the place the opening of the bushes gave the attention energy to wander, have been many charming views of the valley, the alternative hills, with the lengthy vary of woods overspreading many, and infrequently a part of the stream. Mr. Gardiner expressed a want of going spherical the entire park, however feared it is perhaps past a stroll. With a triumphant smile they have been instructed that it was ten miles spherical. It settled the matter; they usually pursued the accustomed circuit; which introduced them once more, after a while, in a descent amongst hanging woods, to the sting of the water, and one among its narrowest components. They crossed it by a easy bridge, in character with the final air of the scene; it was a spot much less adorned than any they’d but visited; and the valley, right here contracted right into a glen, allowed room just for the stream, and a slim stroll amidst the tough coppice-wood which bordered it. Elizabeth longed to discover its windings; however after they had crossed the bridge, and perceived their distance from the home, Mrs. Gardiner, who was not a fantastic walker, may go no farther, and thought solely of returning to the carriage as shortly as doable. Her niece was, subsequently, obliged to submit, they usually took their means in direction of the home on the alternative facet of the river, within the nearest route; however their progress was gradual, for Mr. Gardiner, although seldom capable of indulge the style, was very keen on fishing, and was a lot engaged in watching the occasional look of some trout within the water, and speaking to the person about them, that he superior however little. Whilst wandering on on this gradual method, they have been once more stunned, and Elizabeth’s astonishment was fairly equal to what it had been at first, by the sight of Mr. Darcy approaching them, and at no nice distance. The stroll right here being right here much less sheltered than on the opposite facet, allowed them to see him earlier than they met. Elizabeth, nonetheless astonished, was at the least extra ready for an interview than earlier than, and resolved to look and to talk with calmness, if he actually meant to fulfill them. For just a few moments, certainly, she felt that he would in all probability strike into another path. The concept lasted whereas a turning within the stroll hid him from their view; the turning previous, he was instantly earlier than them. With a look, she noticed that he had misplaced none of his latest civility; and, to mimic his politeness, she started, as they met, to admire the great thing about the place; however she had not obtained past the phrases “delightful,” and “charming,” when some unfortunate recollections obtruded, and he or she fancied that reward of Pemberley from her is perhaps mischievously construed. Her color modified, and he or she mentioned no extra.

Mrs. Gardiner was standing somewhat behind; and on her pausing, he requested her if she would do him the honour of introducing him to her associates. This was a stroke of civility for which she was fairly unprepared; and he or she may hardly suppress a smile at his being now searching for the acquaintance of a few of these very individuals in opposition to whom his satisfaction had revolted in his provide to herself. “What will be his surprise,” thought she, “when he knows who they are? He takes them now for people of fashion.”

The introduction, nonetheless, was instantly made; and as she named their relationship to herself, she stole a sly take a look at him, to see how he bore it, and was not with out the expectation of his decamping as quick as he may from such disgraceful companions. That he was stunned by the connection was evident; he sustained it, nonetheless, with fortitude, and so removed from going away, turned again with them, and entered into dialog with Mr. Gardiner. Elizabeth couldn’t however be happy, couldn’t however triumph. It was consoling that he ought to know she had some relations for whom there was no have to blush. She listened most attentively to all that handed between them, and gloried in each expression, each sentence of her uncle, which marked his intelligence, his style, or his good manners.

The dialog quickly turned upon fishing; and he or she heard Mr. Darcy invite him, with the best civility, to fish there as typically as he selected whereas he continued within the neighbourhood, providing on the similar time to provide him with fishing sort out, and stating these components of the stream the place there was normally most sport. Mrs. Gardiner, who was strolling arm-in-arm with Elizabeth, gave her a glance expressive of surprise. Elizabeth mentioned nothing, however it gratified her exceedingly; the praise have to be all for herself. Her astonishment, nonetheless, was excessive, and frequently was she repeating, “Why is he so altered? From what can it proceed? It cannot be for me—it cannot be for my sake that his manners are thus softened. My reproofs at Hunsford could not work such a change as this. It is impossible that he should still love me.”

After strolling a while on this means, the 2 girls in entrance, the 2 gents behind, on resuming their locations, after descending to the brink of the river for the higher inspection of some curious water-plant, there chanced to be somewhat alteration. It originated in Mrs. Gardiner, who, fatigued by the train of the morning, discovered Elizabeth’s arm insufficient to her assist, and consequently most well-liked her husband’s. Mr. Darcy took her place by her niece, they usually walked on collectively. After a brief silence, the girl first spoke. She wished him to know that she had been assured of his absence earlier than she got here to the place, and accordingly started by observing, that his arrival had been very surprising—”for your housekeeper,” she added, “informed us that you would certainly not be here till to-morrow; and indeed, before we left Bakewell, we understood that you were not immediately expected in the country.” He acknowledged the reality of all of it, and mentioned that enterprise along with his steward had occasioned his coming ahead just a few hours earlier than the remainder of the social gathering with whom he had been travelling. “They will join me early to-morrow,” he continued, “and among them are some who will claim an acquaintance with you—Mr. Bingley and his sisters.”

Elizabeth answered solely by a slight bow. Her ideas have been immediately pushed again to the time when Mr. Bingley’s title had been the final talked about between them; and, if she would possibly choose by his complexion, his thoughts was not very otherwise engaged.

“There is also one other person in the party,” he continued after a pause, “who more particularly wishes to be known to you. Will you allow me, or do I ask too much, to introduce my sister to your acquaintance during your stay at Lambton?”

The shock of such an software was nice certainly; it was too nice for her to know in what method she acceded to it. She instantly felt that no matter need Miss Darcy might need of being acquainted together with her have to be the work of her brother, and, with out trying farther, it was passable; it was gratifying to know that his resentment had not made him assume actually sick of her.

They now walked on in silence, every of them deep in thought. Elizabeth was not snug; that was unimaginable; however she was flattered and happy. His want of introducing his sister to her was a praise of the best sort. They quickly outstripped the others, and after they had reached the carriage, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner have been half 1 / 4 of a mile behind.

He then requested her to stroll into the home—however she declared herself not drained, they usually stood collectively on the garden. At such a time a lot might need been mentioned, and silence was very awkward. She needed to speak, however there gave the impression to be an embargo on each topic. At final she recollected that she had been travelling, they usually talked of Matlock and Dove Dale with nice perseverance. Yet time and her aunt moved slowly—and her persistence and her concepts have been almost worn out earlier than the tete-a-tete was over. On Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner’s developing they have been all pressed to enter the home and take some refreshment; however this was declined, they usually parted on all sides with utmost politeness. Mr. Darcy handed the women into the carriage; and when it drove off, Elizabeth noticed him strolling slowly in direction of the home.

The observations of her uncle and aunt now started; and every of them pronounced him to be infinitely superior to something they’d anticipated. “He is perfectly well behaved, polite, and unassuming,” mentioned her uncle.

“There is something a little stately in him, to be sure,” replied her aunt, “but it is confined to his air, and is not unbecoming. I can now say with the housekeeper, that though some people may call him proud, I have seen nothing of it.”

“I was never more surprised than by his behaviour to us. It was more than civil; it was really attentive; and there was no necessity for such attention. His acquaintance with Elizabeth was very trifling.”

“To be sure, Lizzy,” mentioned her aunt, “he is not so handsome as Wickham; or, rather, he has not Wickham’s countenance, for his features are perfectly good. But how came you to tell me that he was so disagreeable?”

Elizabeth excused herself in addition to she may; mentioned that she had preferred him higher after they had met in Kent than earlier than, and that she had by no means seen him so nice as this morning.

“But perhaps he may be a little whimsical in his civilities,” replied her uncle. “Your great men often are; and therefore I shall not take him at his word, as he might change his mind another day, and warn me off his grounds.”

Elizabeth felt that they’d completely misunderstood his character, however mentioned nothing.

“From what we have seen of him,” continued Mrs. Gardiner, “I really should not have thought that he could have behaved in so cruel a way by anybody as he has done by poor Wickham. He has not an ill-natured look. On the contrary, there is something pleasing about his mouth when he speaks. And there is something of dignity in his countenance that would not give one an unfavourable idea of his heart. But, to be sure, the good lady who showed us his house did give him a most flaming character! I could hardly help laughing aloud sometimes. But he is a liberal master, I suppose, and that in the eye of a servant comprehends every virtue.”

Elizabeth right here felt herself known as on to say one thing in vindication of his behaviour to Wickham; and subsequently gave them to grasp, in as guarded a way as she may, that by what she had heard from his relations in Kent, his actions have been able to a really totally different development; and that his character was certainly not so defective, nor Wickham’s so amiable, as they’d been thought of in Hertfordshire. In affirmation of this, she associated the particulars of all of the pecuniary transactions wherein they’d been related, with out really naming her authority, however stating it to be comparable to is perhaps relied on.

Mrs. Gardiner was stunned and anxious; however as they have been now approaching the scene of her former pleasures, each concept gave method to the appeal of recollection; and he or she was an excessive amount of engaged in stating to her husband all of the fascinating spots in its environs to consider the rest. Fatigued as she had been by the morning’s stroll they’d no sooner dined than she set off once more in quest of her former acquaintance, and the night was spent within the satisfactions of a intercourse renewed after a few years’ discontinuance.

The occurrences of the day have been too filled with curiosity to go away Elizabeth a lot consideration for any of those new associates; and he or she may do nothing however assume, and assume with surprise, of Mr. Darcy’s civility, and, above all, of his wishing her to be acquainted along with his sister.

Chapter 44

Elizabeth had settled it that Mr. Darcy would deliver his sister to go to her the very day after her reaching Pemberley; and was consequently resolved to not be out of sight of the inn the entire of that morning. But her conclusion was false; for on the very morning after their arrival at Lambton, these guests got here. They had been strolling in regards to the place with a few of their new associates, and have been simply returning to the inn to decorate themselves for eating with the identical household, when the sound of a carriage drew them to a window, they usually noticed a gentleman and a woman in a curricle driving up the road. Elizabeth instantly recognizing the livery, guessed what it meant, and imparted no small diploma of her shock to her relations by acquainting them with the honour which she anticipated. Her uncle and aunt have been all amazement; and the embarrassment of her method as she spoke, joined to the circumstance itself, and most of the circumstances of the previous day, opened to them a brand new concept on the enterprise. Nothing had ever advised it earlier than, however they felt that there was no different means of accounting for such attentions from such 1 / 4 than by supposing a partiality for his or her niece. While these newly-born notions have been passing of their heads, the perturbation of Elizabeth’s emotions was at each second rising. She was fairly amazed at her personal discomposure; however amongst different causes of disquiet, she dreaded lest the fondness of the brother ought to have mentioned an excessive amount of in her favour; and, greater than generally anxious to please, she naturally suspected that each energy of pleasing would fail her.

She retreated from the window, terrified of being seen; and as she walked up and down the room, endeavouring to compose herself, noticed such seems of inquiring shock in her uncle and aunt as made all the things worse.

Miss Darcy and her brother appeared, and this formidable introduction befell. With astonishment did Elizabeth see that her new acquaintance was at the least as a lot embarrassed as herself. Since her being at Lambton, she had heard that Miss Darcy was exceedingly proud; however the remark of a only a few minutes satisfied her that she was solely exceedingly shy. She discovered it troublesome to acquire even a phrase from her past a monosyllable.

Miss Darcy was tall, and on a bigger scale than Elizabeth; and, although little greater than sixteen, her determine was shaped, and her look womanly and sleek. She was much less good-looking than her brother; however there was sense and good humour in her face, and her manners have been completely unassuming and mild. Elizabeth, who had anticipated to search out in her as acute and unembarrassed an observer as ever Mr. Darcy had been, was a lot relieved by discerning such totally different emotions.

They had not lengthy been collectively earlier than Mr. Darcy instructed her that Bingley was additionally coming to attend on her; and he or she had barely time to precise her satisfaction, and put together for such a customer, when Bingley’s fast step was heard on the steps, and in a second he entered the room. All Elizabeth’s anger in opposition to him had been lengthy completed away; however had she nonetheless felt any, it may hardly have stood its floor in opposition to the unaffected cordiality with which he expressed himself on seeing her once more. He inquired in a pleasant, although common means, after her household, and regarded and spoke with the identical good-humoured ease that he had ever completed.

To Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner he was scarcely a much less fascinating personage than to herself. They had lengthy wished to see him. The complete social gathering earlier than them, certainly, excited a vigorous consideration. The suspicions which had simply arisen of Mr. Darcy and their niece directed their remark in direction of every with an earnest although guarded inquiry; they usually quickly drew from these inquiries the complete conviction that one among them at the least knew what it was to like. Of the girl’s sensations they remained somewhat unsure; however that the gentleman was overflowing with admiration was evident sufficient.

Elizabeth, on her facet, had a lot to do. She needed to determine the emotions of every of her guests; she needed to compose her personal, and to make herself agreeable to all; and within the latter object, the place she feared most to fail, she was most positive of success, for these to whom she endeavoured to present pleasure have been prepossessed in her favour. Bingley was prepared, Georgiana was keen, and Darcy decided, to be happy.

In seeing Bingley, her ideas naturally flew to her sister; and, oh! how ardently did she lengthy to know whether or not any of his have been directed in a like method. Sometimes she may fancy that he talked lower than on former events, and a few times happy herself with the notion that, as he checked out her, he was attempting to hint a resemblance. But, although this is perhaps imaginary, she couldn’t be deceived as to his behaviour to Miss Darcy, who had been arrange as a rival to Jane. No look appeared on both facet that spoke explicit regard. Nothing occurred between them that would justify the hopes of his sister. On this level she was quickly happy; and two or three little circumstances occurred ere they parted, which, in her anxious interpretation, denoted a recollection of Jane not untinctured by tenderness, and a want of claiming extra which may result in the point out of her, had he dared. He noticed to her, at a second when the others have been speaking collectively, and in a tone which had one thing of actual remorse, that it “was a very long time since he had had the pleasure of seeing her;” and, earlier than she may reply, he added, “It is above eight months. We have not met since the 26th of November, when we were all dancing together at Netherfield.”

Elizabeth was happy to search out his reminiscence so actual; and he afterwards took event to ask her, when unattended to by any of the remaining, whether or not all her sisters have been at Longbourn. There was not a lot within the query, nor within the previous comment; however there was a glance and a way which gave them which means.

It was not typically that she may flip her eyes on Mr. Darcy himself; however, each time she did catch a glimpse, she noticed an expression of common complaisance, and in all that he mentioned she heard an accent so faraway from hauteur or disdain of his companions, as satisfied her that the advance of manners which she had yesterday witnessed nonetheless non permanent its existence would possibly show, had at the least outlived sooner or later. When she noticed him thus searching for the acquaintance and courting the nice opinion of individuals with whom any intercourse just a few months in the past would have been a shame—when she noticed him thus civil, not solely to herself, however to the very relations whom he had brazenly disdained, and recollected their final vigorous scene in Hunsford Parsonage—the distinction, the change was so nice, and struck so forcibly on her thoughts, that she may hardly restrain her astonishment from being seen. Never, even within the firm of his pricey associates at Netherfield, or his dignified relations at Rosings, had she seen him so wanting to please, so free from self-consequence or unbending reserve, as now, when no significance may outcome from the success of his endeavours, and when even the acquaintance of these to whom his attentions have been addressed would draw down the ridicule and censure of the women each of Netherfield and Rosings.

Their guests stayed with them above half-an-hour; and after they arose to depart, Mr. Darcy known as on his sister to hitch him in expressing their want of seeing Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, and Miss Bennet, to dinner at Pemberley, earlier than they left the nation. Miss Darcy, although with a diffidence which marked her little within the behavior of giving invites, readily obeyed. Mrs. Gardiner checked out her niece, desirous of figuring out how she, whom the invitation most involved, felt disposed as to its acceptance, however Elizabeth had turned away her head. Presuming nonetheless, that this studied avoidance spoke slightly a momentary embarrassment than any dislike of the proposal, and seeing in her husband, who was keen on society, an ideal willingness to just accept it, she ventured to interact for her attendance, and the day after the following was mounted on.

Bingley expressed nice pleasure within the certainty of seeing Elizabeth once more, having nonetheless a fantastic deal to say to her, and plenty of inquiries to make in any case their Hertfordshire associates. Elizabeth, construing all this right into a want of listening to her communicate of her sister, was happy, and on this account, in addition to some others, discovered herself, when their guests left them, able to contemplating the final half-hour with some satisfaction, although whereas it was passing, the enjoyment of it had been little. Eager to be alone, and terrified of inquiries or hints from her uncle and aunt, she stayed with them solely lengthy sufficient to listen to their beneficial opinion of Bingley, after which hurried away to decorate.

But she had no motive to concern Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner’s curiosity; it was not their want to drive her communication. It was evident that she was significantly better acquainted with Mr. Darcy than they’d earlier than any concept of; it was evident that he was very a lot in love together with her. They noticed a lot to curiosity, however nothing to justify inquiry.

Of Mr. Darcy it was now a matter of tension to assume effectively; and, so far as their acquaintance reached, there was no fault to search out. They couldn’t be untouched by his politeness; and had they drawn his character from their very own emotions and his servant’s report, with none reference to another account, the circle in Hertfordshire to which he was identified wouldn’t have acknowledged it for Mr. Darcy. There was now an curiosity, nonetheless, in believing the housekeeper; they usually quickly turned wise that the authority of a servant who had identified him since he was 4 years outdated, and whose personal manners indicated respectability, was to not be rapidly rejected. Neither had something occurred within the intelligence of their Lambton associates that would materially reduce its weight. They had nothing to accuse him of however satisfaction; satisfaction he in all probability had, and if not, it will definitely be imputed by the inhabitants of a small market-town the place the household didn’t go to. It was acknowledged, nonetheless, that he was a liberal man, and did a lot good among the many poor.

With respect to Wickham, the travellers quickly discovered that he was not held there in a lot estimation; for although the chief of his considerations with the son of his patron have been imperfectly understood, it was but a well known incontrovertible fact that, on his quitting Derbyshire, he had left many money owed behind him, which Mr. Darcy afterwards discharged.

As for Elizabeth, her ideas have been at Pemberley this night greater than the final; and the night, although because it handed it appeared lengthy, was not lengthy sufficient to find out her emotions in direction of one in that mansion; and he or she lay awake two complete hours endeavouring to make them out. She definitely didn’t hate him. No; hatred had vanished way back, and he or she had virtually as lengthy been ashamed of ever feeling a dislike in opposition to him, that might be so known as. The respect created by the conviction of his invaluable qualities, although at first unwillingly admitted, had for a while ceased to be repugnant to her feeling; and it was now heightened into considerably of a friendlier nature, by the testimony so extremely in his favour, and bringing ahead his disposition in so amiable a light-weight, which yesterday had produced. But above all, above respect and esteem, there was a motive inside her of goodwill which couldn’t be neglected. It was gratitude; gratitude, not merely for having as soon as cherished her, however for loving her nonetheless effectively sufficient to forgive all of the petulance and acrimony of her method in rejecting him, and all of the unjust accusations accompanying her rejection. He who, she had been persuaded, would keep away from her as his biggest enemy, appeared, on this unintended assembly, most wanting to protect the acquaintance, and with none indelicate show of regard, or any peculiarity of method, the place their two selves solely have been involved, was soliciting the nice opinion of her associates, and bent on making her identified to his sister. Such a change in a person of a lot satisfaction thrilling not solely astonishment however gratitude—for to like, ardent love, it have to be attributed; and as such its impression on her was of a kind to be inspired, as certainly not unpleasing, although it couldn’t be precisely outlined. She revered, she esteemed, she was grateful to him, she felt an actual curiosity in his welfare; and he or she solely needed to know the way far she wished that welfare to rely upon herself, and the way far it will be for the happiness of each that she ought to make use of the facility, which her fancy instructed her she nonetheless possessed, of bringing on her the renewal of his addresses.

It had been settled within the night between the aunt and the niece, that such a hanging civility as Miss Darcy’s in coming to see them on the very day of her arrival at Pemberley, for she had reached it solely to a late breakfast, must be imitated, although it couldn’t be equalled, by some exertion of politeness on their facet; and, consequently, that it will be extremely expedient to attend on her at Pemberley the next morning. They have been, subsequently, to go. Elizabeth was happy; although when she requested herself the rationale, she had little or no to say in reply.

Mr. Gardiner left them quickly after breakfast. The fishing scheme had been renewed the day earlier than, and a optimistic engagement manufactured from his assembly among the gents at Pemberley earlier than midday.

Chapter 45

Convinced as Elizabeth now was that Miss Bingley’s dislike of her had originated in jealousy, she couldn’t assist feeling how unwelcome her look at Pemberley have to be to her, and was curious to know with how a lot civility on that woman’s facet the acquaintance would now be renewed.

On reaching the home, they have been proven via the corridor into the saloon, whose northern facet rendered it pleasant for summer time. Its home windows opening to the bottom, admitted a most refreshing view of the excessive woody hills behind the home, and of the gorgeous oaks and Spanish chestnuts which have been scattered over the intermediate garden.

In this home they have been obtained by Miss Darcy, who was sitting there with Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley, and the girl with whom she lived in London. Georgiana’s reception of them was very civil, however attended with all of the embarrassment which, although continuing from shyness and the concern of doing incorrect, would simply give to those that felt themselves inferior the assumption of her being proud and reserved. Mrs. Gardiner and her niece, nonetheless, did her justice, and pitied her.

By Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley they have been seen solely by a curtsey; and, on their being seated, a pause, awkward as such pauses should all the time be, succeeded for just a few moments. It was first damaged by Mrs. Annesley, a genteel, agreeable-looking girl, whose endeavour to introduce some type of discourse proved her to be extra really well-bred than both of the others; and between her and Mrs. Gardiner, with occasional assist from Elizabeth, the dialog was carried on. Miss Darcy regarded as if she wished for braveness sufficient to hitch in it; and generally did enterprise a brief sentence when there was least hazard of its being heard.

Elizabeth quickly noticed that she was herself intently watched by Miss Bingley, and that she couldn’t communicate a phrase, particularly to Miss Darcy, with out calling her consideration. This remark wouldn’t have prevented her from attempting to speak to the latter, had they not been seated at an inconvenient distance; however she was not sorry to be spared the need of claiming a lot. Her personal ideas have been using her. She anticipated each second that among the gents would enter the room. She wished, she feared that the grasp of the home is perhaps amongst them; and whether or not she wished or feared it most, she may scarcely decide. After sitting on this method 1 / 4 of an hour with out listening to Miss Bingley’s voice, Elizabeth was roused by receiving from her a chilly inquiry after the well being of her household. She answered with equal indifference and brevity, and the opposite mentioned no extra.

The subsequent variation which their go to afforded was produced by the doorway of servants with chilly meat, cake, and a wide range of all of the best fruits in season; however this didn’t happen until after many a major look and smile from Mrs. Annesley to Miss Darcy had been given, to remind her of her submit. There was now employment for the entire social gathering—for although they may not all speak, they may all eat; and the gorgeous pyramids of grapes, nectarines, and peaches quickly collected them around the desk.

While thus engaged, Elizabeth had a good alternative of deciding whether or not she most feared or wished for the looks of Mr. Darcy, by the emotions which prevailed on his coming into the room; after which, although however a second earlier than she had believed her needs to predominate, she started to remorse that he got here.

He had been a while with Mr. Gardiner, who, with two or three different gents from the home, was engaged by the river, and had left him solely on studying that the women of the household meant a go to to Georgiana that morning. No sooner did he seem than Elizabeth properly resolved to be completely straightforward and unembarrassed; a decision the extra essential to be made, however maybe not the extra simply stored, as a result of she noticed that the suspicions of the entire social gathering have been woke up in opposition to them, and that there was scarcely an eye fixed which didn’t watch his behaviour when he first got here into the room. In no countenance was attentive curiosity so strongly marked as in Miss Bingley’s, regardless of the grins which overspread her face each time she spoke to one among its objects; for jealousy had not but made her determined, and her attentions to Mr. Darcy have been certainly not over. Miss Darcy, on her brother’s entrance, exerted herself far more to speak, and Elizabeth noticed that he was anxious for his sister and herself to get acquainted, and forwarded as a lot as doable, each try at dialog on both facet. Miss Bingley noticed all this likewise; and, within the imprudence of anger, took the primary alternative of claiming, with sneering civility:

“Pray, Miss Eliza, are not the ——shire Militia removed from Meryton? They must be a great loss to your family.”

In Darcy’s presence she dared not point out Wickham’s title; however Elizabeth immediately comprehended that he was uppermost in her ideas; and the varied recollections related with him gave her a second’s misery; however exerting herself vigorously to repel the ill-natured assault, she presently answered the query in a tolerably indifferent tone. While she spoke, an involuntary look confirmed her Darcy, with a heightened complexion, earnestly taking a look at her, and his sister overcome with confusion, and unable to elevate up her eyes. Had Miss Bingley identified what ache she was then giving her beloved good friend, she undoubtedly would have avoided the trace; however she had merely meant to discompose Elizabeth by bringing ahead the thought of a person to whom she believed her partial, to make her betray a sensibility which could injure her in Darcy’s opinion, and, maybe, to remind the latter of all of the follies and absurdities by which some a part of her household have been related with that corps. Not a syllable had ever reached her of Miss Darcy’s meditated elopement. To no creature had it been revealed, the place secrecy was doable, besides to Elizabeth; and from all Bingley’s connections her brother was significantly anxious to hide it, from the very want which Elizabeth had way back attributed to him, of their changing into hereafter her personal. He had definitely shaped such a plan, and with out which means that it ought to have an effect on his endeavour to separate him from Miss Bennet, it’s possible that it would add one thing to his vigorous concern for the welfare of his good friend.

Elizabeth’s collected behaviour, nonetheless, quickly quieted his emotion; and as Miss Bingley, vexed and upset, dared not strategy nearer to Wickham, Georgiana additionally recovered in time, although not sufficient to have the ability to communicate any extra. Her brother, whose eye she feared to fulfill, scarcely recollected her curiosity within the affair, and the very circumstance which had been designed to show his ideas from Elizabeth appeared to have mounted them on her increasingly more cheerfully.

Their go to didn’t proceed lengthy after the query and reply above talked about; and whereas Mr. Darcy was attending them to their carriage Miss Bingley was venting her emotions in criticisms on Elizabeth’s particular person, behaviour, and gown. But Georgiana wouldn’t be part of her. Her brother’s advice was sufficient to make sure her favour; his judgement couldn’t err. And he had spoken in such phrases of Elizabeth as to go away Georgiana with out the facility of discovering her in any other case than pretty and amiable. When Darcy returned to the saloon, Miss Bingley couldn’t assist repeating to him some a part of what she had been saying to his sister.

“How very ill Miss Eliza Bennet looks this morning, Mr. Darcy,” she cried; “I never in my life saw anyone so much altered as she is since the winter. She is grown so brown and coarse! Louisa and I were agreeing that we should not have known her again.”

However little Mr. Darcy might need preferred such an tackle, he contented himself with coolly replying that he perceived no different alteration than her being slightly tanned, no miraculous consequence of travelling in the summertime.

“For my own part,” she rejoined, “I must confess that I never could see any beauty in her. Her face is too thin; her complexion has no brilliancy; and her features are not at all handsome. Her nose wants character—there is nothing marked in its lines. Her teeth are tolerable, but not out of the common way; and as for her eyes, which have sometimes been called so fine, I could never see anything extraordinary in them. They have a sharp, shrewish look, which I do not like at all; and in her air altogether there is a self-sufficiency without fashion, which is intolerable.”

Persuaded as Miss Bingley was that Darcy admired Elizabeth, this was not the very best methodology of recommending herself; however offended persons are not all the time sensible; and in seeing him finally look considerably nettled, she had all of the success she anticipated. He was resolutely silent, nonetheless, and, from a dedication of constructing him communicate, she continued:

“I remember, when we first knew her in Hertfordshire, how amazed we all were to find that she was a reputed beauty; and I particularly recollect your saying one night, after they had been dining at Netherfield, ‘She a beauty!—I should as soon call her mother a wit.’ But afterwards she seemed to improve on you, and I believe you thought her rather pretty at one time.”

“Yes,” replied Darcy, who may comprise himself not, “but that was only when I first saw her, for it is many months since I have considered her as one of the handsomest women of my acquaintance.”

He then went away, and Miss Bingley was left to all of the satisfaction of getting compelled him to say what gave nobody any ache however herself.

Mrs. Gardiner and Elizabeth talked of all that had occurred throughout their go to, as they returned, besides what had significantly them each. The look and behavior of everyone they’d seen have been mentioned, besides of the one who had largely engaged their consideration. They talked of his sister, his associates, his home, his fruit—of all the things however himself; but Elizabeth was longing to know what Mrs. Gardiner considered him, and Mrs. Gardiner would have been extremely gratified by her niece’s starting the topic.

Chapter 46

Elizabeth had been deal upset in not discovering a letter from Jane on their first arrival at Lambton; and this disappointment had been renewed on every of the mornings that had now been spent there; however on the third her repining was over, and her sister justified, by the receipt of two letters from her without delay, on one among which was marked that it had been missent elsewhere. Elizabeth was not stunned at it, as Jane had written the route remarkably sick.

They had simply been getting ready to stroll because the letters got here in; and her uncle and aunt, leaving her to take pleasure in them in quiet, set off by themselves. The one missent should first be attended to; it had been written 5 days in the past. The starting contained an account of all their little events and engagements, with such information because the nation afforded; however the latter half, which was dated a day later, and written in evident agitation, gave extra necessary intelligence. It was to this impact:

“Since writing the above, dearest Lizzy, something has occurred of a most unexpected and serious nature; but I am afraid of alarming you—be assured that we are all well. What I have to say relates to poor Lydia. An express came at twelve last night, just as we were all gone to bed, from Colonel Forster, to inform us that she was gone off to Scotland with one of his officers; to own the truth, with Wickham! Imagine our surprise. To Kitty, however, it does not seem so wholly unexpected. I am very, very sorry. So imprudent a match on both sides! But I am willing to hope the best, and that his character has been misunderstood. Thoughtless and indiscreet I can easily believe him, but this step (and let us rejoice over it) marks nothing bad at heart. His choice is disinterested at least, for he must know my father can give her nothing. Our poor mother is sadly grieved. My father bears it better. How thankful am I that we never let them know what has been said against him; we must forget it ourselves. They were off Saturday night about twelve, as is conjectured, but were not missed till yesterday morning at eight. The express was sent off directly. My dear Lizzy, they must have passed within ten miles of us. Colonel Forster gives us reason to expect him here soon. Lydia left a few lines for his wife, informing her of their intention. I must conclude, for I cannot be long from my poor mother. I am afraid you will not be able to make it out, but I hardly know what I have written.”

Without permitting herself time for consideration, and scarcely figuring out what she felt, Elizabeth on ending this letter immediately seized the opposite, and opening it with the utmost impatience, learn as follows: it had been written a day later than the conclusion of the primary.

“By this time, my dearest sister, you have received my hurried letter; I wish this may be more intelligible, but though not confined for time, my head is so bewildered that I cannot answer for being coherent. Dearest Lizzy, I hardly know what I would write, but I have bad news for you, and it cannot be delayed. Imprudent as the marriage between Mr. Wickham and our poor Lydia would be, we are now anxious to be assured it has taken place, for there is but too much reason to fear they are not gone to Scotland. Colonel Forster came yesterday, having left Brighton the day before, not many hours after the express. Though Lydia’s short letter to Mrs. F. gave them to understand that they were going to Gretna Green, something was dropped by Denny expressing his belief that W. never intended to go there, or to marry Lydia at all, which was repeated to Colonel F., who, instantly taking the alarm, set off from B. intending to trace their route. He did trace them easily to Clapham, but no further; for on entering that place, they removed into a hackney coach, and dismissed the chaise that brought them from Epsom. All that is known after this is, that they were seen to continue the London road. I know not what to think. After making every possible inquiry on that side London, Colonel F. came on into Hertfordshire, anxiously renewing them at all the turnpikes, and at the inns in Barnet and Hatfield, but without any success—no such people had been seen to pass through. With the kindest concern he came on to Longbourn, and broke his apprehensions to us in a manner most creditable to his heart. I am sincerely grieved for him and Mrs. F., but no one can throw any blame on them. Our distress, my dear Lizzy, is very great. My father and mother believe the worst, but I cannot think so ill of him. Many circumstances might make it more eligible for them to be married privately in town than to pursue their first plan; and even if he could form such a design against a young woman of Lydia’s connections, which is not likely, can I suppose her so lost to everything? Impossible! I grieve to find, however, that Colonel F. is not disposed to depend upon their marriage; he shook his head when I expressed my hopes, and said he feared W. was not a man to be trusted. My poor mother is really ill, and keeps her room. Could she exert herself, it would be better; but this is not to be expected. And as to my father, I never in my life saw him so affected. Poor Kitty has anger for having concealed their attachment; but as it was a matter of confidence, one cannot wonder. I am truly glad, dearest Lizzy, that you have been spared something of these distressing scenes; but now, as the first shock is over, shall I own that I long for your return? I am not so selfish, however, as to press for it, if inconvenient. Adieu! I take up my pen again to do what I have just told you I would not; but circumstances are such that I cannot help earnestly begging you all to come here as soon as possible. I know my dear uncle and aunt so well, that I am not afraid of requesting it, though I have still something more to ask of the former. My father is going to London with Colonel Forster instantly, to try to discover her. What he means to do I am sure I know not; but his excessive distress will not allow him to pursue any measure in the best and safest way, and Colonel Forster is obliged to be at Brighton again to-morrow evening. In such an exigence, my uncle’s advice and assistance would be everything in the world; he will immediately comprehend what I must feel, and I rely upon his goodness.”

“Oh! where, where is my uncle?” cried Elizabeth, darting from her seat as she completed the letter, in eagerness to observe him, with out shedding a second of the time so valuable; however as she reached the door it was opened by a servant, and Mr. Darcy appeared. Her pale face and impetuous method made him begin, and earlier than he may get well himself to talk, she, in whose thoughts each concept was outmoded by Lydia’s state of affairs, rapidly exclaimed, “I beg your pardon, but I must leave you. I must find Mr. Gardiner this moment, on business that cannot be delayed; I have not an instant to lose.”

“Good God! what is the matter?” cried he, with extra feeling than politeness; then recollecting himself, “I will not detain you a minute; but let me, or let the servant go after Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner. You are not well enough; you cannot go yourself.”

Elizabeth hesitated, however her knees trembled below her and he or she felt how little could be gained by her making an attempt to pursue them. Calling again the servant, subsequently, she commissioned him, although in so breathless an accent as made her virtually unintelligible, to fetch his grasp and mistress residence immediately.

On his quitting the room she sat down, unable to assist herself, and looking out so miserably sick, that it was unimaginable for Darcy to go away her, or to chorus from saying, in a tone of gentleness and commiseration, “Let me call your maid. Is there nothing you could take to give you present relief? A glass of wine; shall I get you one? You are very ill.”

“No, I thank you,” she replied, endeavouring to get well herself. “There is nothing the matter with me. I am quite well; I am only distressed by some dreadful news which I have just received from Longbourn.”

She burst into tears as she alluded to it, and for a couple of minutes couldn’t communicate one other phrase. Darcy, in wretched suspense, may solely say one thing indistinctly of his concern, and observe her in compassionate silence. At size she spoke once more. “I have just had a letter from Jane, with such dreadful news. It cannot be concealed from anyone. My younger sister has left all her friends—has eloped; has thrown herself into the power of—of Mr. Wickham. They are gone off together from Brighton. You know him too well to doubt the rest. She has no money, no connections, nothing that can tempt him to—she is lost for ever.”

Darcy was mounted in astonishment. “When I consider,” she added in a but extra agitated voice, “that I might have prevented it! I, who knew what he was. Had I but explained some part of it only—some part of what I learnt, to my own family! Had his character been known, this could not have happened. But it is all—all too late now.”

“I am grieved indeed,” cried Darcy; “grieved—shocked. But is it certain—absolutely certain?”

“Oh, yes! They left Brighton together on Sunday night, and were traced almost to London, but not beyond; they are certainly not gone to Scotland.”

“And what has been done, what has been attempted, to recover her?”

“My father is gone to London, and Jane has written to beg my uncle’s immediate assistance; and we shall be off, I hope, in half-an-hour. But nothing can be done—I know very well that nothing can be done. How is such a man to be worked on? How are they even to be discovered? I have not the smallest hope. It is every way horrible!”

Darcy shook his head in silent acquiescence.

“When my eyes were opened to his real character—Oh! had I known what I ought, what I dared to do! But I knew not—I was afraid of doing too much. Wretched, wretched mistake!”

Darcy made no reply. He appeared scarcely to listen to her, and was strolling up and down the room in earnest meditation, his forehead contracted, his air gloomy. Elizabeth quickly noticed, and immediately understood it. Her energy was sinking; all the things should sink below such a proof of household weak spot, such an assurance of the deepest shame. She may neither surprise nor condemn, however the perception of his self-conquest introduced nothing consolatory to her bosom, afforded no palliation of her misery. It was, quite the opposite, precisely calculated to make her perceive her personal needs; and by no means had she so actually felt that she may have cherished him, as now, when all love have to be useless.

But self, although it will intrude, couldn’t engross her. Lydia—the humiliation, the distress she was bringing on all of them, quickly swallowed up each personal care; and overlaying her face together with her handkerchief, Elizabeth was quickly misplaced to all the things else; and, after a pause of a number of minutes, was solely recalled to a way of her state of affairs by the voice of her companion, who, in a way which, although it spoke compassion, spoke likewise restraint, mentioned, “I am afraid you have been long desiring my absence, nor have I anything to plead in excuse of my stay, but real, though unavailing concern. Would to Heaven that anything could be either said or done on my part that might offer consolation to such distress! But I will not torment you with vain wishes, which may seem purposely to ask for your thanks. This unfortunate affair will, I fear, prevent my sister’s having the pleasure of seeing you at Pemberley to-day.”

“Oh, yes. Be so kind as to apologise for us to Miss Darcy. Say that urgent business calls us home immediately. Conceal the unhappy truth as long as it is possible, I know it cannot be long.”

He readily assured her of his secrecy; once more expressed his sorrow for her misery, wished it a happier conclusion than there was at current motive to hope, and leaving his compliments for her relations, with just one severe, parting look, went away.

As he quitted the room, Elizabeth felt how inconceivable it was that they need to ever see one another once more on such phrases of cordiality as had marked their a number of conferences in Derbyshire; and as she threw a retrospective look over the entire of their acquaintance, so filled with contradictions and varieties, sighed on the perverseness of these emotions which might now have promoted its continuance, and would previously have rejoiced in its termination.

If gratitude and esteem are good foundations of affection, Elizabeth’s change of sentiment shall be neither inconceivable nor defective. But if in any other case—if regard springing from such sources is unreasonable or unnatural, as compared of what’s so typically described as arising on a primary interview with its object, and even earlier than two phrases have been exchanged, nothing may be mentioned in her defence, besides that she had given considerably of a trial to the latter methodology in her partiality for Wickham, and that its sick success would possibly, maybe, authorise her to hunt the opposite much less fascinating mode of attachment. Be that as it might, she noticed him go together with remorse; and on this early instance of what Lydia’s infamy should produce, discovered further anguish as she mirrored on that wretched enterprise. Never, since studying Jane’s second letter, had she entertained a hope of Wickham’s which means to marry her. No one however Jane, she thought, may flatter herself with such an expectation. Surprise was the least of her emotions on this growth. While the contents of the primary letter remained in her thoughts, she was all shock—all astonishment that Wickham ought to marry a woman whom it was unimaginable he may marry for cash; and the way Lydia may ever have connected him had appeared incomprehensible. But now it was all too pure. For such an attachment as this she might need adequate charms; and although she didn’t suppose Lydia to be intentionally partaking in an elopement with out the intention of marriage, she had no issue in believing that neither her advantage nor her understanding would protect her from falling a straightforward prey.

She had by no means perceived, whereas the regiment was in Hertfordshire, that Lydia had any partiality for him; however she was satisfied that Lydia needed solely encouragement to connect herself to anyone. Sometimes one officer, generally one other, had been her favorite, as their attentions raised them in her opinion. Her affections had frequently been fluctuating however by no means with out an object. The mischief of neglect and mistaken indulgence in direction of such a woman—oh! how acutely did she now really feel it!

She was wild to be at residence—to listen to, to see, to be upon the spot to share with Jane within the cares that should now fall wholly upon her, in a household so deranged, a father absent, a mom incapable of exertion, and requiring fixed attendance; and although virtually persuaded that nothing might be completed for Lydia, her uncle’s interference appeared of the utmost significance, and until he entered the room her impatience was extreme. Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner had hurried again in alarm, supposing by the servant’s account that their niece was taken all of a sudden sick; however satisfying them immediately on that head, she eagerly communicated the reason for their summons, studying the 2 letters aloud, and dwelling on the postscript of the final with trembling power, although Lydia had by no means been a favorite with them, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner couldn’t however be deeply bothered. Not Lydia solely, however all have been involved in it; and after the primary exclamations of shock and horror, Mr. Gardiner promised each help in his energy. Elizabeth, although anticipating no much less, thanked him with tears of gratitude; and all three being actuated by one spirit, all the things regarding their journey was speedily settled. They have been to be off as quickly as doable. “But what is to be done about Pemberley?” cried Mrs. Gardiner. “John told us Mr. Darcy was here when you sent for us; was it so?”

“Yes; and I told him we should not be able to keep our engagement. That is all settled.”

“What is all settled?” repeated the opposite, as she bumped into her room to organize. “And are they upon such terms as for her to disclose the real truth? Oh, that I knew how it was!”

But needs have been useless, or at the least may solely serve to amuse her within the hurry and confusion of the next hour. Had Elizabeth been at leisure to be idle, she would have remained sure that each one employment was unimaginable to 1 so wretched as herself; however she had her share of enterprise in addition to her aunt, and amongst the remaining there have been notes to be written to all their associates at Lambton, with false excuses for his or her sudden departure. An hour, nonetheless, noticed the entire accomplished; and Mr. Gardiner in the meantime having settled his account on the inn, nothing remained to be completed however to go; and Elizabeth, after all of the distress of the morning, discovered herself, in a shorter house of time than she may have supposed, seated within the carriage, and on the street to Longbourn.

Chapter 47

“I have been thinking it over again, Elizabeth,” mentioned her uncle, as they drove from the city; “and really, upon serious consideration, I am much more inclined than I was to judge as your eldest sister does on the matter. It appears to me so very unlikely that any young man should form such a design against a girl who is by no means unprotected or friendless, and who was actually staying in his colonel’s family, that I am strongly inclined to hope the best. Could he expect that her friends would not step forward? Could he expect to be noticed again by the regiment, after such an affront to Colonel Forster? His temptation is not adequate to the risk!”

“Do you really think so?” cried Elizabeth, brightening up for a second.

“Upon my word,” mentioned Mrs. Gardiner, “I begin to be of your uncle’s opinion. It is really too great a violation of decency, honour, and interest, for him to be guilty of. I cannot think so very ill of Wickham. Can you yourself, Lizzy, so wholly give him up, as to believe him capable of it?”

“Not, perhaps, of neglecting his own interest; but of every other neglect I can believe him capable. If, indeed, it should be so! But I dare not hope it. Why should they not go on to Scotland if that had been the case?”

“In the first place,” replied Mr. Gardiner, “there is no absolute proof that they are not gone to Scotland.”

“Oh! but their removing from the chaise into a hackney coach is such a presumption! And, besides, no traces of them were to be found on the Barnet road.”

“Well, then—supposing them to be in London. They may be there, though for the purpose of concealment, for no more exceptional purpose. It is not likely that money should be very abundant on either side; and it might strike them that they could be more economically, though less expeditiously, married in London than in Scotland.”

“But why all this secrecy? Why any fear of detection? Why must their marriage be private? Oh, no, no—this is not likely. His most particular friend, you see by Jane’s account, was persuaded of his never intending to marry her. Wickham will never marry a woman without some money. He cannot afford it. And what claims has Lydia—what attraction has she beyond youth, health, and good humour that could make him, for her sake, forego every chance of benefiting himself by marrying well? As to what restraint the apprehensions of disgrace in the corps might throw on a dishonourable elopement with her, I am not able to judge; for I know nothing of the effects that such a step might produce. But as to your other objection, I am afraid it will hardly hold good. Lydia has no brothers to step forward; and he might imagine, from my father’s behaviour, from his indolence and the little attention he has ever seemed to give to what was going forward in his family, that he would do as little, and think as little about it, as any father could do, in such a matter.”

“But can you think that Lydia is so lost to everything but love of him as to consent to live with him on any terms other than marriage?”

“It does seem, and it is most shocking indeed,” replied Elizabeth, with tears in her eyes, “that a sister’s sense of decency and virtue in such a point should admit of doubt. But, really, I know not what to say. Perhaps I am not doing her justice. But she is very young; she has never been taught to think on serious subjects; and for the last half-year, nay, for a twelvemonth—she has been given up to nothing but amusement and vanity. She has been allowed to dispose of her time in the most idle and frivolous manner, and to adopt any opinions that came in her way. Since the ——shire were first quartered in Meryton, nothing but love, flirtation, and officers have been in her head. She has been doing everything in her power by thinking and talking on the subject, to give greater—what shall I call it? susceptibility to her feelings; which are naturally lively enough. And we all know that Wickham has every charm of person and address that can captivate a woman.”

“But you see that Jane,” mentioned her aunt, “does not think so very ill of Wickham as to believe him capable of the attempt.”

“Of whom does Jane ever think ill? And who is there, whatever might be their former conduct, that she would think capable of such an attempt, till it were proved against them? But Jane knows, as well as I do, what Wickham really is. We both know that he has been profligate in every sense of the word; that he has neither integrity nor honour; that he is as false and deceitful as he is insinuating.”

“And do you really know all this?” cried Mrs. Gardiner, whose curiosity as to the mode of her intelligence was all alive.

“I do indeed,” replied Elizabeth, colouring. “I told you, the other day, of his infamous behaviour to Mr. Darcy; and you yourself, when last at Longbourn, heard in what manner he spoke of the man who had behaved with such forbearance and liberality towards him. And there are other circumstances which I am not at liberty—which it is not worth while to relate; but his lies about the whole Pemberley family are endless. From what he said of Miss Darcy I was thoroughly prepared to see a proud, reserved, disagreeable girl. Yet he knew to the contrary himself. He must know that she was as amiable and unpretending as we have found her.”

“But does Lydia know nothing of this? can she be ignorant of what you and Jane seem so well to understand?”

“Oh, yes!—that, that is the worst of all. Till I was in Kent, and saw so much both of Mr. Darcy and his relation Colonel Fitzwilliam, I was ignorant of the truth myself. And when I returned home, the ——shire was to leave Meryton in a week or fortnight’s time. As that was the case, neither Jane, to whom I related the whole, nor I, thought it necessary to make our knowledge public; for of what use could it apparently be to any one, that the good opinion which all the neighbourhood had of him should then be overthrown? And even when it was settled that Lydia should go with Mrs. Forster, the necessity of opening her eyes to his character never occurred to me. That she could be in any danger from the deception never entered my head. That such a consequence as this could ensue, you may easily believe, was far enough from my thoughts.”

“When they all removed to Brighton, therefore, you had no reason, I suppose, to believe them fond of each other?”

“Not the slightest. I can remember no symptom of affection on either side; and had anything of the kind been perceptible, you must be aware that ours is not a family on which it could be thrown away. When first he entered the corps, she was ready enough to admire him; but so we all were. Every girl in or near Meryton was out of her senses about him for the first two months; but he never distinguished her by any particular attention; and, consequently, after a moderate period of extravagant and wild admiration, her fancy for him gave way, and others of the regiment, who treated her with more distinction, again became her favourites.”

It could also be simply believed, that nonetheless little of novelty might be added to their fears, hopes, and conjectures, on this fascinating topic, by its repeated dialogue, no different may detain them from it lengthy, throughout the entire of the journey. From Elizabeth’s ideas it was by no means absent. Fixed there by the keenest of all anguish, self-reproach, she may discover no interval of ease or forgetfulness.

They travelled as expeditiously as doable, and, sleeping one night time on the street, reached Longbourn by supper time the following day. It was a consolation to Elizabeth to think about that Jane couldn’t have been wearied by lengthy expectations.

The little Gardiners, attracted by the sight of a chaise, have been standing on the steps of the home as they entered the paddock; and, when the carriage drove as much as the door, the joyful shock that lighted up their faces, and displayed itself over their complete our bodies, in a wide range of capers and frisks, was the primary pleasing earnest of their welcome.

Elizabeth jumped out; and, after giving every of them a hasty kiss, hurried into the vestibule, the place Jane, who got here working down from her mom’s house, instantly met her.

Elizabeth, as she affectionately embraced her, while tears stuffed the eyes of each, misplaced not a second in asking whether or not something had been heard of the fugitives.

“Not yet,” replied Jane. “But now that my dear uncle is come, I hope everything will be well.”

“Is my father in town?”

“Yes, he went on Tuesday, as I wrote you word.”

“And have you heard from him often?”

“We have heard only twice. He wrote me a few lines on Wednesday to say that he had arrived in safety, and to give me his directions, which I particularly begged him to do. He merely added that he should not write again till he had something of importance to mention.”

“And my mother—how is she? How are you all?”

“My mother is tolerably well, I trust; though her spirits are greatly shaken. She is up stairs and will have great satisfaction in seeing you all. She does not yet leave her dressing-room. Mary and Kitty, thank Heaven, are quite well.”

“But you—how are you?” cried Elizabeth. “You look pale. How much you must have gone through!”

Her sister, nonetheless, assured her of her being completely effectively; and their dialog, which had been passing whereas Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner have been engaged with their kids, was now put an finish to by the strategy of the entire social gathering. Jane ran to her uncle and aunt, and welcomed and thanked them each, with alternate smiles and tears.

When they have been all within the drawing-room, the questions which Elizabeth had already requested have been after all repeated by the others, they usually quickly discovered that Jane had no intelligence to present. The sanguine hope of fine, nonetheless, which the benevolence of her coronary heart advised had not but abandoned her; she nonetheless anticipated that it will all finish effectively, and that each morning would deliver some letter, both from Lydia or her father, to clarify their proceedings, and, maybe, announce their marriage.

Mrs. Bennet, to whose house all of them repaired, after a couple of minutes’ dialog collectively, obtained them precisely as is perhaps anticipated; with tears and lamentations of remorse, invectives in opposition to the villainous conduct of Wickham, and complaints of her personal sufferings and ill-usage; blaming everyone however the particular person to whose ill-judging indulgence the errors of her daughter should principally be owing.

“If I had been able,” mentioned she, “to carry my point in going to Brighton, with all my family, this would not have happened; but poor dear Lydia had nobody to take care of her. Why did the Forsters ever let her go out of their sight? I am sure there was some great neglect or other on their side, for she is not the kind of girl to do such a thing if she had been well looked after. I always thought they were very unfit to have the charge of her; but I was overruled, as I always am. Poor dear child! And now here’s Mr. Bennet gone away, and I know he will fight Wickham, wherever he meets him and then he will be killed, and what is to become of us all? The Collinses will turn us out before he is cold in his grave, and if you are not kind to us, brother, I do not know what we shall do.”

They all exclaimed in opposition to such terrific concepts; and Mr. Gardiner, after common assurances of his affection for her and all her household, instructed her that he meant to be in London the very subsequent day, and would help Mr. Bennet in each endeavour for recovering Lydia.

“Do not give way to useless alarm,” added he; “though it is right to be prepared for the worst, there is no occasion to look on it as certain. It is not quite a week since they left Brighton. In a few days more we may gain some news of them; and till we know that they are not married, and have no design of marrying, do not let us give the matter over as lost. As soon as I get to town I shall go to my brother, and make him come home with me to Gracechurch Street; and then we may consult together as to what is to be done.”

“Oh! my dear brother,” replied Mrs. Bennet, “that is exactly what I could most wish for. And now do, when you get to town, find them out, wherever they may be; and if they are not married already, make them marry. And as for wedding clothes, do not let them wait for that, but tell Lydia she shall have as much money as she chooses to buy them, after they are married. And, above all, keep Mr. Bennet from fighting. Tell him what a dreadful state I am in, that I am frighted out of my wits—and have such tremblings, such flutterings, all over me—such spasms in my side and pains in my head, and such beatings at heart, that I can get no rest by night nor by day. And tell my dear Lydia not to give any directions about her clothes till she has seen me, for she does not know which are the best warehouses. Oh, brother, how kind you are! I know you will contrive it all.”

But Mr. Gardiner, although he assured her once more of his earnest endeavours within the trigger, couldn’t keep away from recommending moderation to her, as effectively in her hopes as her concern; and after speaking together with her on this method until dinner was on the desk, all of them left her to vent all her emotions on the housekeeper, who attended within the absence of her daughters.

Though her brother and sister have been persuaded that there was no actual event for such a seclusion from the household, they didn’t try and oppose it, for they knew that she had not prudence sufficient to carry her tongue earlier than the servants, whereas they waited at desk, and judged it higher that one solely of the family, and the one whom they may most belief ought to comprehend all her fears and solicitude on the topic.

In the dining-room they have been quickly joined by Mary and Kitty, who had been too busily engaged of their separate residences to make their look earlier than. One got here from her books, and the opposite from her toilette. The faces of each, nonetheless, have been tolerably calm; and no change was seen in both, besides that the lack of her favorite sister, or the anger which she had herself incurred on this enterprise, had given extra of fretfulness than common to the accents of Kitty. As for Mary, she was mistress sufficient of herself to whisper to Elizabeth, with a countenance of grave reflection, quickly after they have been seated at desk:

“This is a most unfortunate affair, and will probably be much talked of. But we must stem the tide of malice, and pour into the wounded bosoms of each other the balm of sisterly consolation.”

Then, perceiving in Elizabeth no inclination of replying, she added, “Unhappy as the event must be for Lydia, we may draw from it this useful lesson: that loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable; that one false step involves her in endless ruin; that her reputation is no less brittle than it is beautiful; and that she cannot be too much guarded in her behaviour towards the undeserving of the other sex.”

Elizabeth lifted up her eyes in amazement, however was an excessive amount of oppressed to make any reply. Mary, nonetheless, continued to console herself with such type of ethical extractions from the evil earlier than them.

In the afternoon, the 2 elder Miss Bennets have been capable of be for half-an-hour by themselves; and Elizabeth immediately availed herself of the chance of constructing any inquiries, which Jane was equally wanting to fulfill. After becoming a member of normally lamentations over the dreadful sequel of this occasion, which Elizabeth thought of as all however sure, and Miss Bennet couldn’t assert to be wholly unimaginable, the previous continued the topic, by saying, “But tell me all and everything about it which I have not already heard. Give me further particulars. What did Colonel Forster say? Had they no apprehension of anything before the elopement took place? They must have seen them together for ever.”

“Colonel Forster did own that he had often suspected some partiality, especially on Lydia’s side, but nothing to give him any alarm. I am so grieved for him! His behaviour was attentive and kind to the utmost. He was coming to us, in order to assure us of his concern, before he had any idea of their not being gone to Scotland: when that apprehension first got abroad, it hastened his journey.”

“And was Denny convinced that Wickham would not marry? Did he know of their intending to go off? Had Colonel Forster seen Denny himself?”

“Yes; but, when questioned by him, Denny denied knowing anything of their plans, and would not give his real opinion about it. He did not repeat his persuasion of their not marrying—and from that, I am inclined to hope, he might have been misunderstood before.”

“And till Colonel Forster came himself, not one of you entertained a doubt, I suppose, of their being really married?”

“How was it possible that such an idea should enter our brains? I felt a little uneasy—a little fearful of my sister’s happiness with him in marriage, because I knew that his conduct had not been always quite right. My father and mother knew nothing of that; they only felt how imprudent a match it must be. Kitty then owned, with a very natural triumph on knowing more than the rest of us, that in Lydia’s last letter she had prepared her for such a step. She had known, it seems, of their being in love with each other, many weeks.”

“But not before they went to Brighton?”

“No, I believe not.”

“And did Colonel Forster appear to think well of Wickham himself? Does he know his real character?”

“I must confess that he did not speak so well of Wickham as he formerly did. He believed him to be imprudent and extravagant. And since this sad affair has taken place, it is said that he left Meryton greatly in debt; but I hope this may be false.”

“Oh, Jane, had we been less secret, had we told what we knew of him, this could not have happened!”

“Perhaps it would have been better,” replied her sister. “But to expose the former faults of any person without knowing what their present feelings were, seemed unjustifiable. We acted with the best intentions.”

“Could Colonel Forster repeat the particulars of Lydia’s note to his wife?”

“He brought it with him for us to see.”

Jane then took it from her pocket-book, and gave it to Elizabeth. These have been the contents:


“You will snigger when you already know the place I’m gone, and I can’t assist laughing myself at your shock to-morrow morning, as quickly as I’m missed. I’m going to Gretna Green, and in case you can’t guess with who, I shall assume you a simpleton, for there may be however one man on the planet I like, and he’s an angel. I ought to by no means be completely happy with out him, so assume it no hurt to be off. You needn’t ship them phrase at Longbourn of my going, if you don’t prefer it, for it is going to make the shock the higher, once I write to them and signal my title ‘Lydia Wickham.’ What joke will probably be! I can hardly write for laughing. Pray make my excuses to Pratt for not protecting my engagement, and dancing with him to-night. Tell him I hope he’ll excuse me when he is aware of all; and inform him I’ll dance with him on the subsequent ball we meet, with nice pleasure. I shall ship for my garments once I get to Longbourn; however I want you’ll inform Sally to fix a fantastic slit in my labored muslin robe earlier than they’re packed up. Good-bye. Give my like to Colonel Forster. I hope you’ll drink to our good journey.

“Your affectionate good friend,


“Oh! thoughtless, thoughtless Lydia!” cried Elizabeth when she had completed it. “What a letter is this, to be written at such a moment! But at least it shows that she was serious on the subject of their journey. Whatever he might afterwards persuade her to, it was not on her side a scheme of infamy. My poor father! how he must have felt it!”

“I never saw anyone so shocked. He could not speak a word for full ten minutes. My mother was taken ill immediately, and the whole house in such confusion!”

“Oh! Jane,” cried Elizabeth, “was there a servant belonging to it who did not know the whole story before the end of the day?”

“I do not know. I hope there was. But to be guarded at such a time is very difficult. My mother was in hysterics, and though I endeavoured to give her every assistance in my power, I am afraid I did not do so much as I might have done! But the horror of what might possibly happen almost took from me my faculties.”

“Your attendance upon her has been too much for you. You do not look well. Oh that I had been with you! you have had every care and anxiety upon yourself alone.”

“Mary and Kitty have been very kind, and would have shared in every fatigue, I am sure; but I did not think it right for either of them. Kitty is slight and delicate; and Mary studies so much, that her hours of repose should not be broken in on. My aunt Phillips came to Longbourn on Tuesday, after my father went away; and was so good as to stay till Thursday with me. She was of great use and comfort to us all. And Lady Lucas has been very kind; she walked here on Wednesday morning to condole with us, and offered her services, or any of her daughters’, if they should be of use to us.”

“She had better have stayed at home,” cried Elizabeth; “perhaps she meant well, but, under such a misfortune as this, one cannot see too little of one’s neighbours. Assistance is impossible; condolence insufferable. Let them triumph over us at a distance, and be satisfied.”

She then proceeded to inquire into the measures which her father had meant to pursue, whereas on the town, for the restoration of his daughter.

“He meant I believe,” replied Jane, “to go to Epsom, the place where they last changed horses, see the postilions and try if anything could be made out from them. His principal object must be to discover the number of the hackney coach which took them from Clapham. It had come with a fare from London; and as he thought that the circumstance of a gentleman and lady’s removing from one carriage into another might be remarked he meant to make inquiries at Clapham. If he could anyhow discover at what house the coachman had before set down his fare, he determined to make inquiries there, and hoped it might not be impossible to find out the stand and number of the coach. I do not know of any other designs that he had formed; but he was in such a hurry to be gone, and his spirits so greatly discomposed, that I had difficulty in finding out even so much as this.”

Chapter 48

The complete social gathering have been in hopes of a letter from Mr. Bennet the following morning, however the submit got here in with out bringing a single line from him. His household knew him to be, on all widespread events, a most negligent and dilatory correspondent; however at such a time they’d hoped for exertion. They have been compelled to conclude that he had no pleasing intelligence to ship; however even of that they’d have been glad to make sure. Mr. Gardiner had waited just for the letters earlier than he set off.

When he was gone, they have been sure at the least of receiving fixed data of what was happening, and their uncle promised, at parting, to prevail on Mr. Bennet to return to Longbourn, as quickly as he may, to the nice comfort of his sister, who thought of it as the one safety for her husband’s not being killed in a duel.

Mrs. Gardiner and the youngsters have been to stay in Hertfordshire just a few days longer, as the previous thought her presence is perhaps serviceable to her nieces. She shared of their attendance on Mrs. Bennet, and was a fantastic consolation to them of their hours of freedom. Their different aunt additionally visited them steadily, and all the time, as she mentioned, with the design of cheering and heartening them up—although, as she by no means got here with out reporting some recent occasion of Wickham’s extravagance or irregularity, she seldom went away with out leaving them extra dispirited than she discovered them.

All Meryton appeared striving to blacken the person who, however three months earlier than, had been virtually an angel of sunshine. He was declared to be in debt to each tradesman within the place, and his intrigues, all honoured with the title of seduction, had been prolonged into each tradesman’s household. Everybody declared that he was the wickedest younger man on the planet; and everyone started to search out out that they’d all the time distrusted the looks of his goodness. Elizabeth, although she didn’t credit score above half of what was mentioned, believed sufficient to make her former assurance of her sister’s break extra sure; and even Jane, who believed nonetheless much less of it, turned virtually hopeless, extra particularly because the time was now come when, if they’d gone to Scotland, which she had by no means earlier than completely despaired of, they have to perhaps have gained some information of them.

Mr. Gardiner left Longbourn on Sunday; on Tuesday his spouse obtained a letter from him; it instructed them that, on his arrival, he had instantly came upon his brother, and persuaded him to come back to Gracechurch Street; that Mr. Bennet had been to Epsom and Clapham, earlier than his arrival, however with out gaining any passable data; and that he was now decided to inquire in any respect the principal lodges on the town, as Mr. Bennet thought it doable they could have gone to one among them, on their first coming to London, earlier than they procured lodgings. Mr. Gardiner himself didn’t anticipate any success from this measure, however as his brother was keen in it, he meant to help him in pursuing it. He added that Mr. Bennet appeared wholly disinclined at current to go away London and promised to jot down once more very quickly. There was additionally a postscript to this impact:

“I have written to Colonel Forster to desire him to find out, if possible, from some of the young man’s intimates in the regiment, whether Wickham has any relations or connections who would be likely to know in what part of town he has now concealed himself. If there were anyone that one could apply to with a probability of gaining such a clue as that, it might be of essential consequence. At present we have nothing to guide us. Colonel Forster will, I dare say, do everything in his power to satisfy us on this head. But, on second thoughts, perhaps, Lizzy could tell us what relations he has now living, better than any other person.”

Elizabeth was at no loss to grasp from whence this deference to her authority proceeded; however it was not in her energy to present any data of so passable a nature because the praise deserved. She had by no means heard of his having had any relations, besides a father and mom, each of whom had been lifeless a few years. It was doable, nonetheless, that a few of his companions within the ——shire would possibly be capable of give extra data; and although she was not very sanguine in anticipating it, the appliance was a one thing to stay up for.

Every day at Longbourn was now a day of tension; however essentially the most anxious a part of every was when the submit was anticipated. The arrival of letters was the grand object of each morning’s impatience. Through letters, no matter of fine or dangerous was to be instructed could be communicated, and each succeeding day was anticipated to deliver some information of significance.

But earlier than they heard once more from Mr. Gardiner, a letter arrived for his or her father, from a distinct quarter, from Mr. Collins; which, as Jane had obtained instructions to open all that got here for him in his absence, she accordingly learn; and Elizabeth, who knew what curiosities his letters all the time have been, regarded over her, and browse it likewise. It was as follows:


“I really feel myself known as upon, by our relationship, and my state of affairs in life, to condole with you on the grievous affliction you are actually struggling below, of which we have been yesterday knowledgeable by a letter from Hertfordshire. Be assured, my pricey sir, that Mrs. Collins and myself sincerely sympathise with you and all of your respectable household, in your current misery, which have to be of the bitterest sort, as a result of continuing from a trigger which no time can take away. No arguments shall be wanting on my half that may alleviate so extreme a misfortune—or that will consolation you, below a circumstance that have to be of all others essentially the most afflicting to a guardian’s thoughts. The dying of your daughter would have been a blessing as compared of this. And it’s the extra to be lamented, as a result of there may be motive to suppose as my pricey Charlotte informs me, that this licentiousness of behaviour in your daughter has proceeded from a defective diploma of indulgence; although, on the similar time, for the comfort of your self and Mrs. Bennet, I’m inclined to assume that her personal disposition have to be naturally dangerous, or she couldn’t be responsible of such an enormity, at so early an age. Howsoever that could be, you’re grievously to be pitied; wherein opinion I’m not solely joined by Mrs. Collins, however likewise by Lady Catherine and her daughter, to whom I’ve associated the affair. They agree with me in apprehending that this false step in a single daughter shall be injurious to the fortunes of all of the others; for who, as Lady Catherine herself condescendingly says, will join themselves with such a household? And this consideration leads me furthermore to replicate, with augmented satisfaction, on a sure occasion of final November; for had it been in any other case, I will need to have been concerned in all of your sorrow and shame. Let me then advise you, pricey sir, to console your self as a lot as doable, to throw off your unworthy little one out of your affection for ever, and depart her to reap the fruits of her personal heinous offense.

“I am, dear sir, etc., etc.”

Mr. Gardiner didn’t write once more until he had obtained a solution from Colonel Forster; after which he had nothing of a pleasing nature to ship. It was not identified that Wickham had a single relationship with whom he stored up any connection, and it was sure that he had no close to one dwelling. His former acquaintances had been quite a few; however since he had been within the militia, it didn’t seem that he was on phrases of explicit friendship with any of them. There was nobody, subsequently, who might be identified as possible to present any information of him. And within the wretched state of his personal funds, there was a really highly effective motive for secrecy, along with his concern of discovery by Lydia’s relations, for it had simply transpired that he had left gaming money owed behind him to a really appreciable quantity. Colonel Forster believed that greater than a thousand kilos could be essential to clear his bills at Brighton. He owed deal on the town, however his money owed of honour have been nonetheless extra formidable. Mr. Gardiner didn’t try to hide these particulars from the Longbourn household. Jane heard them with horror. “A gamester!” she cried. “This is wholly unexpected. I had not an idea of it.”

Mr. Gardiner added in his letter, that they could anticipate to see their father at residence on the next day, which was Saturday. Rendered spiritless by the ill-success of all their endeavours, he had yielded to his brother-in-law’s entreaty that he would return to his household, and depart it to him to do no matter event would possibly recommend to be advisable for persevering with their pursuit. When Mrs. Bennet was instructed of this, she didn’t specific a lot satisfaction as her kids anticipated, contemplating what her anxiousness for his life had been earlier than.

“What, is he coming home, and without poor Lydia?” she cried. “Sure he will not leave London before he has found them. Who is to fight Wickham, and make him marry her, if he comes away?”

As Mrs. Gardiner started to want to be at residence, it was settled that she and the youngsters ought to go to London, on the similar time that Mr. Bennet got here from it. The coach, subsequently, took them the primary stage of their journey, and introduced its grasp again to Longbourn.

Mrs. Gardiner went away in all of the perplexity about Elizabeth and her Derbyshire good friend that had attended her from that a part of the world. His title had by no means been voluntarily talked about earlier than them by her niece; and the type of half-expectation which Mrs. Gardiner had shaped, of their being adopted by a letter from him, had led to nothing. Elizabeth had obtained none since her return that would come from Pemberley.

The current sad state of the household rendered another excuse for the lowness of her spirits pointless; nothing, subsequently, might be pretty conjectured from that, although Elizabeth, who was by this time tolerably effectively acquainted together with her personal emotions, was completely conscious that, had she identified nothing of Darcy, she may have borne the dread of Lydia’s infamy considerably higher. It would have spared her, she thought, one sleepless night time out of two.

When Mr. Bennet arrived, he had all the looks of his common philosophic composure. He mentioned as little as he had ever been within the behavior of claiming; made no point out of the enterprise that had taken him away, and it was a while earlier than his daughters had braveness to talk of it.

It was not until the afternoon, when he had joined them at tea, that Elizabeth ventured to introduce the topic; after which, on her briefly expressing her sorrow for what he will need to have endured, he replied, “Say nothing of that. Who should suffer but myself? It has been my own doing, and I ought to feel it.”

“You must not be too severe upon yourself,” replied Elizabeth.

“You may well warn me against such an evil. Human nature is so prone to fall into it! No, Lizzy, let me once in my life feel how much I have been to blame. I am not afraid of being overpowered by the impression. It will pass away soon enough.”

“Do you suppose them to be in London?”

“Yes; where else can they be so well concealed?”

“And Lydia used to want to go to London,” added Kitty.

“She is happy then,” mentioned her father drily; “and her residence there will probably be of some duration.”

Then after a brief silence he continued:

“Lizzy, I bear you no ill-will for being justified in your advice to me last May, which, considering the event, shows some greatness of mind.”

They have been interrupted by Miss Bennet, who got here to fetch her mom’s tea.

“This is a parade,” he cried, “which does one good; it gives such an elegance to misfortune! Another day I will do the same; I will sit in my library, in my nightcap and powdering gown, and give as much trouble as I can; or, perhaps, I may defer it till Kitty runs away.”

“I am not going to run away, papa,” mentioned Kitty fretfully. “If I should ever go to Brighton, I would behave better than Lydia.”

You go to Brighton. I would not trust you so near it as Eastbourne for fifty pounds! No, Kitty, I have at last learnt to be cautious, and you will feel the effects of it. No officer is ever to enter into my house again, nor even to pass through the village. Balls will be absolutely prohibited, unless you stand up with one of your sisters. And you are never to stir out of doors till you can prove that you have spent ten minutes of every day in a rational manner.”

Kitty, who took all these threats in a severe gentle, started to cry.

“Well, well,” mentioned he, “do not make yourself unhappy. If you are a good girl for the next ten years, I will take you to a review at the end of them.”

Chapter 49

Two days after Mr. Bennet’s return, as Jane and Elizabeth have been strolling collectively within the shrubbery behind the home, they noticed the housekeeper coming in direction of them, and, concluding that she got here to name them to their mom, went ahead to fulfill her; however, as a substitute of the anticipated summons, after they approached her, she mentioned to Miss Bennet, “I beg your pardon, madam, for interrupting you, but I was in hopes you might have got some good news from town, so I took the liberty of coming to ask.”

“What do you mean, Hill? We have heard nothing from town.”

“Dear madam,” cried Mrs. Hill, in nice astonishment, “don’t you know there is an express come for master from Mr. Gardiner? He has been here this half-hour, and master has had a letter.”

Away ran the ladies, too wanting to get in to have time for speech. They ran via the vestibule into the breakfast-room; from thence to the library; their father was in neither; they usually have been on the purpose of searching for him up stairs with their mom, after they have been met by the butler, who mentioned:

“If you are looking for my master, ma’am, he is walking towards the little copse.”

Upon this data, they immediately handed via the corridor as soon as extra, and ran throughout the garden after their father, who was intentionally pursuing his means in direction of a small wooden on one facet of the paddock.

Jane, who was not so gentle nor a lot within the behavior of working as Elizabeth, quickly lagged behind, whereas her sister, panting for breath, got here up with him, and eagerly cried out:

“Oh, papa, what news—what news? Have you heard from my uncle?”

“Yes I have had a letter from him by express.”

“Well, and what news does it bring—good or bad?”

“What is there of good to be expected?” mentioned he, taking the letter from his pocket. “But perhaps you would like to read it.”

Elizabeth impatiently caught it from his hand. Jane now got here up.

“Read it aloud,” mentioned their father, “for I hardly know myself what it is about.”

“Gracechurch Street, Monday, August 2.


“At last I am able to send you some tidings of my niece, and such as, upon the whole, I hope it will give you satisfaction. Soon after you left me on Saturday, I was fortunate enough to find out in what part of London they were. The particulars I reserve till we meet; it is enough to know they are discovered. I have seen them both—”

“Then it is as I always hoped,” cried Jane; “they are married!”

Elizabeth learn on:

“I’ve seen them each. They usually are not married, nor can I discover there was any intention of being so; however if you’re keen to carry out the engagements which I’ve ventured to make in your facet, I hope it won’t be lengthy earlier than they’re. All that’s required of you is, to guarantee to your daughter, by settlement, her equal share of the 5 thousand kilos secured amongst your kids after the decease of your self and my sister; and, furthermore, to enter into an engagement of permitting her, throughout your life, 100 kilos each year. These are circumstances which, contemplating all the things, I had no hesitation in complying with, so far as I assumed myself privileged, for you. I shall ship this by specific, that no time could also be misplaced in bringing me your reply. You will simply comprehend, from these particulars, that Mr. Wickham’s circumstances usually are not so hopeless as they’re usually believed to be. The world has been deceived in that respect; and I’m completely happy to say there shall be some little cash, even when all his money owed are discharged, to decide on my niece, along with her personal fortune. If, as I conclude would be the case, you ship me full powers to behave in your title all through the entire of this enterprise, I’ll instantly give instructions to Haggerston for getting ready a correct settlement. There won’t be the smallest event on your coming to city once more; subsequently keep quiet at Longbourn, and depend upon my diligence and care. Send again your reply as quick as you’ll be able to, and watch out to jot down explicitly. We have judged it greatest that my niece ought to be married from this home, of which I hope you’ll approve. She involves us to-day. I shall write once more as quickly as something extra is set on. Yours, and so forth.,


“Is it possible?” cried Elizabeth, when she had completed. “Can it be possible that he will marry her?”

“Wickham is not so undeserving, then, as we thought him,” mentioned her sister. “My dear father, I congratulate you.”

“And have you answered the letter?” cried Elizabeth.

“No; but it must be done soon.”

Most earnestly did she then entreaty him to lose no extra time earlier than he wrote.

“Oh! my dear father,” she cried, “come back and write immediately. Consider how important every moment is in such a case.”

“Let me write for you,” mentioned Jane, “if you dislike the trouble yourself.”

“I dislike it very much,” he replied; “but it must be done.”

And so saying, he turned again with them, and walked in direction of the home.

“And may I ask—” mentioned Elizabeth; “but the terms, I suppose, must be complied with.”

“Complied with! I am only ashamed of his asking so little.”

“And they must marry! Yet he is such a man!”

“Yes, yes, they must marry. There is nothing else to be done. But there are two things that I want very much to know; one is, how much money your uncle has laid down to bring it about; and the other, how am I ever to pay him.”

“Money! My uncle!” cried Jane, “what do you mean, sir?”

“I mean, that no man in his senses would marry Lydia on so slight a temptation as one hundred a year during my life, and fifty after I am gone.”

“That is very true,” mentioned Elizabeth; “though it had not occurred to me before. His debts to be discharged, and something still to remain! Oh! it must be my uncle’s doings! Generous, good man, I am afraid he has distressed himself. A small sum could not do all this.”

“No,” mentioned her father; “Wickham’s a fool if he takes her with a farthing less than ten thousand pounds. I should be sorry to think so ill of him, in the very beginning of our relationship.”

“Ten thousand pounds! Heaven forbid! How is half such a sum to be repaid?”

Mr. Bennet made no reply, and every of them, deep in thought, continued silent until they reached the home. Their father then went on to the library to jot down, and the ladies walked into the breakfast-room.

“And they are really to be married!” cried Elizabeth, as quickly as they have been by themselves. “How strange this is! And for this we are to be thankful. That they should marry, small as is their chance of happiness, and wretched as is his character, we are forced to rejoice. Oh, Lydia!”

“I comfort myself with thinking,” replied Jane, “that he certainly would not marry Lydia if he had not a real regard for her. Though our kind uncle has done something towards clearing him, I cannot believe that ten thousand pounds, or anything like it, has been advanced. He has children of his own, and may have more. How could he spare half ten thousand pounds?”

“If he were ever able to learn what Wickham’s debts have been,” mentioned Elizabeth, “and how much is settled on his side on our sister, we shall exactly know what Mr. Gardiner has done for them, because Wickham has not sixpence of his own. The kindness of my uncle and aunt can never be requited. Their taking her home, and affording her their personal protection and countenance, is such a sacrifice to her advantage as years of gratitude cannot enough acknowledge. By this time she is actually with them! If such goodness does not make her miserable now, she will never deserve to be happy! What a meeting for her, when she first sees my aunt!”

“We must endeavour to forget all that has passed on either side,” mentioned Jane: “I hope and trust they will yet be happy. His consenting to marry her is a proof, I will believe, that he is come to a right way of thinking. Their mutual affection will steady them; and I flatter myself they will settle so quietly, and live in so rational a manner, as may in time make their past imprudence forgotten.”

“Their conduct has been such,” replied Elizabeth, “as neither you, nor I, nor anybody can ever forget. It is useless to talk of it.”

It now occurred to the ladies that their mom was in all probability completely unaware of what had occurred. They went to the library, subsequently, and requested their father whether or not he wouldn’t want them to make it identified to her. He was writing and, with out elevating his head, coolly replied:

“Just as you please.”

“May we take my uncle’s letter to read to her?”

“Take whatever you like, and get away.”

Elizabeth took the letter from his writing-table, they usually went up stairs collectively. Mary and Kitty have been each with Mrs. Bennet: one communication would, subsequently, do for all. After a slight preparation for excellent news, the letter was learn aloud. Mrs. Bennet may hardly comprise herself. As quickly as Jane had learn Mr. Gardiner’s hope of Lydia’s being quickly married, her pleasure burst forth, and each following sentence added to its exuberance. She was now in an irritation as violent from delight, as she had ever been fidgety from alarm and vexation. To know that her daughter could be married was sufficient. She was disturbed by no concern for her felicity, nor humbled by any remembrance of her misconduct.

“My dear, dear Lydia!” she cried. “This is delightful indeed! She will be married! I shall see her again! She will be married at sixteen! My good, kind brother! I knew how it would be. I knew he would manage everything! How I long to see her! and to see dear Wickham too! But the clothes, the wedding clothes! I will write to my sister Gardiner about them directly. Lizzy, my dear, run down to your father, and ask him how much he will give her. Stay, stay, I will go myself. Ring the bell, Kitty, for Hill. I will put on my things in a moment. My dear, dear Lydia! How merry we shall be together when we meet!”

Her eldest daughter endeavoured to present some reduction to the violence of those transports, by main her ideas to the obligations which Mr. Gardiner’s behaviour laid all of them below.

“For we must attribute this happy conclusion,” she added, “in a great measure to his kindness. We are persuaded that he has pledged himself to assist Mr. Wickham with money.”

“Well,” cried her mom, “it is all very right; who should do it but her own uncle? If he had not had a family of his own, I and my children must have had all his money, you know; and it is the first time we have ever had anything from him, except a few presents. Well! I am so happy! In a short time I shall have a daughter married. Mrs. Wickham! How well it sounds! And she was only sixteen last June. My dear Jane, I am in such a flutter, that I am sure I can’t write; so I will dictate, and you write for me. We will settle with your father about the money afterwards; but the things should be ordered immediately.”

She was then continuing to all of the particulars of calico, muslin, and cambric, and would shortly have dictated some very plentiful orders, had not Jane, although with some issue, persuaded her to attend until her father was at leisure to be consulted. One day’s delay, she noticed, could be of small significance; and her mom was too completely happy to be fairly so obstinate as common. Other schemes, too, got here into her head.

“I will go to Meryton,” mentioned she, “as soon as I am dressed, and tell the good, good news to my sister Philips. And as I come back, I can call on Lady Lucas and Mrs. Long. Kitty, run down and order the carriage. An airing would do me a great deal of good, I am sure. Girls, can I do anything for you in Meryton? Oh! Here comes Hill! My dear Hill, have you heard the good news? Miss Lydia is going to be married; and you shall all have a bowl of punch to make merry at her wedding.”

Mrs. Hill started immediately to precise her pleasure. Elizabeth obtained her congratulations amongst the remaining, after which, sick of this folly, took refuge in her personal room, that she would possibly assume with freedom.

Poor Lydia’s state of affairs should, at greatest, be dangerous sufficient; however that it was no worse, she had should be grateful. She felt it so; and although, in trying ahead, neither rational happiness nor worldly prosperity might be justly anticipated for her sister, in trying again to what they’d feared, solely two hours in the past, she felt all some great benefits of what they’d gained.

Chapter 50

Mr. Bennet had fairly often wished earlier than this era of his life that, as a substitute of spending his complete earnings, he had laid by an annual sum for the higher provision of his kids, and of his spouse, if she survived him. He now wished it greater than ever. Had he completed his responsibility in that respect, Lydia needn’t have been indebted to her uncle for no matter of honour or credit score may now be bought for her. The satisfaction of prevailing on some of the nugatory younger males in Great Britain to be her husband would possibly then have rested in its correct place.

He was significantly involved {that a} explanation for so little benefit to anybody ought to be forwarded on the sole expense of his brother-in-law, and he was decided, if doable, to search out out the extent of his help, and to discharge the duty as quickly as he may.

When first Mr. Bennet had married, financial system was held to be completely ineffective, for, after all, they have been to have a son. The son was to hitch in slicing off the entail, as quickly as he ought to be of age, and the widow and youthful kids would by which means be offered for. Five daughters successively entered the world, however but the son was to come back; and Mrs. Bennet, for a few years after Lydia’s delivery, had been sure that he would. This occasion had finally been despaired of, however it was then too late to be saving. Mrs. Bennet had no flip for financial system, and her husband’s love of independence had alone prevented their exceeding their earnings.

Five thousand kilos was settled by marriage articles on Mrs. Bennet and the youngsters. But in what proportions it ought to be divided amongst the latter relied on the need of the dad and mom. This was one level, with regard to Lydia, at the least, which was now to be settled, and Mr. Bennet may don’t have any hesitation in acceding to the proposal earlier than him. In phrases of grateful acknowledgment for the kindness of his brother, although expressed most concisely, he then delivered on paper his good approbation of all that was completed, and his willingness to fulfil the engagements that had been made for him. He had by no means earlier than supposed that, may Wickham be prevailed on to marry his daughter, it will be completed with so little inconvenience to himself as by the current association. He would scarcely be ten kilos a 12 months the loser by the hundred that was to be paid them; for, what together with her board and pocket allowance, and the continuous presents in cash which handed to her via her mom’s palms, Lydia’s bills had been little or no inside that sum.

That it will be completed with such trifling exertion on his facet, too, was one other very welcome shock; for his want at current was to have as little hassle within the enterprise as doable. When the primary transports of rage which had produced his exercise in searching for her have been over, he naturally returned to all his former indolence. His letter was quickly dispatched; for, although dilatory in endeavor enterprise, he was fast in its execution. He begged to know additional particulars of what he was indebted to his brother, however was too offended with Lydia to ship any message to her.

The excellent news unfold shortly via the home, and with proportionate pace via the neighbourhood. It was borne within the latter with first rate philosophy. To ensure, it will have been extra for the benefit of dialog had Miss Lydia Bennet come across the city; or, because the happiest different, been secluded from the world, in some distant farmhouse. But there was a lot to be talked of in marrying her; and the good-natured needs for her well-doing which had proceeded earlier than from all of the spiteful outdated girls in Meryton misplaced however somewhat of their spirit on this change of circumstances, as a result of with such an husband her distress was thought of sure.

It was a fortnight since Mrs. Bennet had been downstairs; however on this completely happy day she once more took her seat on the head of her desk, and in spirits oppressively excessive. No sentiment of disgrace gave a humid to her triumph. The marriage of a daughter, which had been the primary object of her needs since Jane was sixteen, was now on the purpose of accomplishment, and her ideas and her phrases ran wholly on these attendants of chic nuptials, advantageous muslins, new carriages, and servants. She was busily looking via the neighbourhood for a correct state of affairs for her daughter, and, with out figuring out or contemplating what their earnings is perhaps, rejected many as poor in measurement and significance.

“Haye Park might do,” mentioned she, “if the Gouldings could quit it—or the great house at Stoke, if the drawing-room were larger; but Ashworth is too far off! I could not bear to have her ten miles from me; and as for Pulvis Lodge, the attics are dreadful.”

Her husband allowed her to speak on with out interruption whereas the servants remained. But after they had withdrawn, he mentioned to her: “Mrs. Bennet, before you take any or all of these houses for your son and daughter, let us come to a right understanding. Into one house in this neighbourhood they shall never have admittance. I will not encourage the impudence of either, by receiving them at Longbourn.”

An extended dispute adopted this declaration; however Mr. Bennet was agency. It quickly led to a different; and Mrs. Bennet discovered, with amazement and horror, that her husband wouldn’t advance a guinea to purchase garments for his daughter. He protested that she ought to obtain from him no mark of affection no matter on the event. Mrs. Bennet may hardly realize it. That his anger might be carried to such some extent of inconceivable resentment as to refuse his daughter a privilege with out which her marriage would scarcely appear legitimate, exceeded all she may consider doable. She was extra alive to the shame which her need of latest garments should replicate on her daughter’s nuptials, than to any sense of disgrace at her eloping and dwelling with Wickham a fortnight earlier than they befell.

Elizabeth was now most heartily sorry that she had, from the misery of the second, been led to make Mr. Darcy acquainted with their fears for her sister; for since her marriage would so shortly give the right termination to the elopement, they could hope to hide its unfavourable starting from all those that weren’t instantly on the spot.

She had no concern of its spreading farther via his means. There have been few individuals on whose secrecy she would have extra confidently depended; however, on the similar time, there was nobody whose information of a sister’s frailty would have mortified her a lot—not, nonetheless, from any concern of drawback from it individually to herself, for, at any charge, there appeared a gulf impassable between them. Had Lydia’s marriage been concluded on essentially the most honourable phrases, it was to not be supposed that Mr. Darcy would join himself with a household the place, to each different objection, would now be added an alliance and relationship of the closest sort with a person whom he so justly scorned.

From such a connection she couldn’t surprise that he would shrink. The want of procuring her regard, which she had assured herself of his feeling in Derbyshire, couldn’t in rational expectation survive such a blow as this. She was humbled, she was grieved; she repented, although she hardly knew of what. She turned jealous of his esteem, when she may not hope to be benefited by it. She needed to listen to of him, when there appeared the least probability of gaining intelligence. She was satisfied that she may have been pleased with him, when it was not possible they need to meet.

What a triumph for him, as she typically thought, may he know that the proposals which she had proudly spurned solely 4 months in the past, would now have been most gladly and gratefully obtained! He was as beneficiant, she doubted not, as essentially the most beneficiant of his intercourse; however whereas he was mortal, there have to be a triumph.

She started now to understand that he was precisely the person who, in disposition and skills, would most swimsuit her. His understanding and mood, although not like her personal, would have answered all her needs. It was an union that will need to have been to the benefit of each; by her ease and liveliness, his thoughts might need been softened, his manners improved; and from his judgement, data, and information of the world, she will need to have obtained advantage of higher significance.

But no such completely happy marriage may now educate the admiring multitude what connubial felicity actually was. An union of a distinct tendency, and precluding the potential of the opposite, was quickly to be shaped of their household.

How Wickham and Lydia have been to be supported in tolerable independence, she couldn’t think about. But how little of everlasting happiness may belong to a few who have been solely introduced collectively as a result of their passions have been stronger than their advantage, she may simply conjecture.

Mr. Gardiner quickly wrote once more to his brother. To Mr. Bennet’s acknowledgments he briefly replied, with assurance of his eagerness to advertise the welfare of any of his household; and concluded with entreaties that the topic would possibly by no means be talked about to him once more. The principal purport of his letter was to tell them that Mr. Wickham had resolved on quitting the militia.

“It was greatly my wish that he should do so,” he added, “as quickly as his marriage was mounted on. And I believe you’ll agree with me, in contemplating the removing from that corps as extremely advisable, each on his account and my niece’s. It is Mr. Wickham’s intention to enter the regulars; and amongst his former associates, there are nonetheless some who’re ready and keen to help him within the military. He has the promise of an ensigncy in General ——’s regiment, now quartered within the North. It is a bonus to have it so removed from this a part of the dominion. He guarantees pretty; and I hope amongst totally different individuals, the place they might every have a personality to protect, they may each be extra prudent. I’ve written to Colonel Forster, to tell him of our current preparations, and to request that he’ll fulfill the varied collectors of Mr. Wickham in and close to Brighton, with assurances of speedy cost, for which I’ve pledged myself. And will you give your self the difficulty of carrying related assurances to his collectors in Meryton, of whom I shall subjoin an inventory in line with his data? He has given in all his money owed; I hope at the least he has not deceived us. Haggerston has our instructions, and all shall be accomplished in per week. They will then be part of his regiment, until they’re first invited to Longbourn; and I perceive from Mrs. Gardiner, that my niece could be very desirous of seeing you all earlier than she leaves the South. She is effectively, and begs to be dutifully remembered to you and her mom.—Yours, and so forth.,


Mr. Bennet and his daughters noticed all some great benefits of Wickham’s removing from the ——shire as clearly as Mr. Gardiner may do. But Mrs. Bennet was not so effectively happy with it. Lydia’s being settled within the North, simply when she had anticipated most pleasure and satisfaction in her firm, for she had certainly not given up her plan of their residing in Hertfordshire, was a extreme disappointment; and, apart from, it was such a pity that Lydia ought to be taken from a regiment the place she was acquainted with everyone, and had so many favourites.

“She is so fond of Mrs. Forster,” mentioned she, “it will be quite shocking to send her away! And there are several of the young men, too, that she likes very much. The officers may not be so pleasant in General ——’s regiment.”

His daughter’s request, for such it is perhaps thought of, of being admitted into her household once more earlier than she set off for the North, obtained at first an absolute detrimental. But Jane and Elizabeth, who agreed in wishing, for the sake of their sister’s emotions and consequence, that she ought to be seen on her marriage by her dad and mom, urged him so earnestly but so rationally and so mildly, to obtain her and her husband at Longbourn, as quickly as they have been married, that he was prevailed on to assume as they thought, and act as they wished. And their mom had the satisfaction of figuring out that she would be capable of present her married daughter within the neighbourhood earlier than she was banished to the North. When Mr. Bennet wrote once more to his brother, subsequently, he despatched his permission for them to come back; and it was settled, that as quickly because the ceremony was over, they need to proceed to Longbourn. Elizabeth was stunned, nonetheless, that Wickham ought to consent to such a scheme, and had she consulted solely her personal inclination, any assembly with him would have been the final object of her needs.

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The Power of Self-Discipline

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