PRIDE AND PREJUDICE – Chapters 51-61

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE – Chapters 51-61


Chapter 51

Their sister’s wedding ceremony day arrived; and Jane and Elizabeth felt for her in all probability greater than she felt for herself. The carriage was despatched to fulfill them at ——, they usually have been to return in it by dinner-time. Their arrival was dreaded by the elder Miss Bennets, and Jane extra particularly, who gave Lydia the sentiments which might have attended herself, had she been the offender, and was wretched within the considered what her sister should endure.

They got here. The household have been assembled within the breakfast room to obtain them. Smiles decked the face of Mrs. Bennet because the carriage drove as much as the door; her husband regarded impenetrably grave; her daughters, alarmed, anxious, uneasy.

Lydia’s voice was heard within the vestibule; the door was thrown open, and he or she bumped into the room. Her mom stepped forwards, embraced her, and welcomed her with rapture; gave her hand, with an affectionate smile, to Wickham, who adopted his woman; and wished them each pleasure with an alacrity which shewed little question of their happiness.

Their reception from Mr. Bennet, to whom they then turned, was not fairly so cordial. His countenance relatively gained in austerity; and he scarcely opened his lips. The straightforward assurance of the younger couple, certainly, was sufficient to impress him. Elizabeth was disgusted, and even Miss Bennet was shocked. Lydia was Lydia nonetheless; untamed, unabashed, wild, noisy, and fearless. She turned from sister to sister, demanding their congratulations; and when at size all of them sat down, regarded eagerly around the room, took discover of some little alteration in it, and noticed, with amusing, that it was an ideal whereas since she had been there.


Wickham was by no means extra distressed than herself, however his manners have been all the time so pleasing, that had his character and his marriage been precisely what they ought, his smiles and his straightforward deal with, whereas he claimed their relationship, would have delighted all of them. Elizabeth had not earlier than believed him fairly equal to such assurance; however she sat down, resolving inside herself to attract no limits in future to the impudence of an impudent man. She blushed, and Jane blushed; however the cheeks of the 2 who prompted their confusion suffered no variation of color.

There was no need of discourse. The bride and her mom might neither of them speak quick sufficient; and Wickham, who occurred to take a seat close to Elizabeth, started inquiring after his acquaintance in that neighbourhood, with humoured ease which she felt very unable to equal in her replies. They appeared every of them to have the happiest reminiscences on the planet. Nothing of the previous was recollected with ache; and Lydia led voluntarily to topics which her sisters wouldn’t have alluded to for the world.

“Only think of its being three months,” she cried, “since I went away; it seems but a fortnight I declare; and yet there have been things enough happened in the time. Good gracious! when I went away, I am sure I had no more idea of being married till I came back again! though I thought it would be very good fun if I was.”

Her father lifted up his eyes. Jane was distressed. Elizabeth regarded expressively at Lydia; however she, who by no means heard nor noticed something of which she selected to be insensible, gaily continued, “Oh! mamma, do the people hereabouts know I am married to-day? I was afraid they might not; and we overtook William Goulding in his curricle, so I was determined he should know it, and so I let down the side-glass next to him, and took off my glove, and let my hand just rest upon the window frame, so that he might see the ring, and then I bowed and smiled like anything.”

Elizabeth might bear it now not. She obtained up, and ran out of the room; and returned no extra, until she heard them passing via the corridor to the eating parlour. She then joined them quickly sufficient to see Lydia, with anxious parade, stroll as much as her mom’s proper hand, and listen to her say to her eldest sister, “Ah! Jane, I take your place now, and you must go lower, because I am a married woman.”

It was to not be supposed that point would give Lydia that embarrassment from which she had been so wholly free at first. Her ease and good spirits elevated. She longed to see Mrs. Phillips, the Lucases, and all their different neighbours, and to listen to herself referred to as “Mrs. Wickham” by every of them; and in the meanwhile, she went after dinner to point out her ring, and boast of being married, to Mrs. Hill and the 2 housemaids.

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“Well, mamma,” mentioned she, once they have been all returned to the breakfast room, “and what do you think of my husband? Is not he a charming man? I am sure my sisters must all envy me. I only hope they may have half my good luck. They must all go to Brighton. That is the place to get husbands. What a pity it is, mamma, we did not all go.”

“Very true; and if I had my will, we should. But my dear Lydia, I don’t at all like your going such a way off. Must it be so?”

“Oh, lord! yes;—there is nothing in that. I shall like it of all things. You and papa, and my sisters, must come down and see us. We shall be at Newcastle all the winter, and I dare say there will be some balls, and I will take care to get good partners for them all.”

“I should like it beyond anything!” mentioned her mom.

“And then when you go away, you may leave one or two of my sisters behind you; and I dare say I shall get husbands for them before the winter is over.”

“I thank you for my share of the favour,” mentioned Elizabeth; “but I do not particularly like your way of getting husbands.”

Their guests have been to not stay above ten days with them. Mr. Wickham had acquired his fee earlier than he left London, and he was to hitch his regiment on the finish of a fortnight.

No one however Mrs. Bennet regretted that their keep could be so quick; and he or she made the more often than not by visiting about together with her daughter, and having very frequent events at dwelling. These events have been acceptable to all; to keep away from a household circle was much more fascinating to comparable to did assume, than comparable to didn’t.

Wickham’s affection for Lydia was simply what Elizabeth had anticipated to search out it; not equal to Lydia’s for him. She had scarcely wanted her current remark to be glad, from the rationale of issues, that their elopement had been introduced on by the power of her love, relatively than by his; and he or she would have puzzled why, with out violently caring for her, he selected to elope together with her in any respect, had she not felt sure that his flight was rendered vital by misery of circumstances; and if that have been the case, he was not the younger man to withstand a possibility of getting a companion.

Lydia was exceedingly keen on him. He was her expensive Wickham each time; nobody was to be put in competitors with him. He did each factor greatest on the planet; and he or she was certain he would kill extra birds on the primary of September, than any physique else within the nation.

One morning, quickly after their arrival, as she was sitting together with her two elder sisters, she mentioned to Elizabeth:

“Lizzy, I never gave you an account of my wedding, I believe. You were not by, when I told mamma and the others all about it. Are not you curious to hear how it was managed?”

“No really,” replied Elizabeth; “I think there cannot be too little said on the subject.”

“La! You are so strange! But I must tell you how it went off. We were married, you know, at St. Clement’s, because Wickham’s lodgings were in that parish. And it was settled that we should all be there by eleven o’clock. My uncle and aunt and I were to go together; and the others were to meet us at the church. Well, Monday morning came, and I was in such a fuss! I was so afraid, you know, that something would happen to put it off, and then I should have gone quite distracted. And there was my aunt, all the time I was dressing, preaching and talking away just as if she was reading a sermon. However, I did not hear above one word in ten, for I was thinking, you may suppose, of my dear Wickham. I longed to know whether he would be married in his blue coat.”

“Well, and so we breakfasted at ten as usual; I thought it would never be over; for, by the bye, you are to understand, that my uncle and aunt were horrid unpleasant all the time I was with them. If you’ll believe me, I did not once put my foot out of doors, though I was there a fortnight. Not one party, or scheme, or anything. To be sure London was rather thin, but, however, the Little Theatre was open. Well, and so just as the carriage came to the door, my uncle was called away upon business to that horrid man Mr. Stone. And then, you know, when once they get together, there is no end of it. Well, I was so frightened I did not know what to do, for my uncle was to give me away; and if we were beyond the hour, we could not be married all day. But, luckily, he came back again in ten minutes’ time, and then we all set out. However, I recollected afterwards that if he had been prevented going, the wedding need not be put off, for Mr. Darcy might have done as well.”

“Mr. Darcy!” repeated Elizabeth, in utter amazement.

“Oh, yes!—he was to come there with Wickham, you know. But gracious me! I quite forgot! I ought not to have said a word about it. I promised them so faithfully! What will Wickham say? It was to be such a secret!”

“If it was to be secret,” mentioned Jane, “say not another word on the subject. You may depend upon my seeking no further.”

“Oh! certainly,” mentioned Elizabeth, although burning with curiosity; “we will ask you no questions.”

“Thank you,” mentioned Lydia, “for if you did, I should certainly tell you all, and then Wickham would be angry.”

On such encouragement to ask, Elizabeth was compelled to place it out of her energy, by operating away.

But to reside in ignorance on such a degree was unimaginable; or a minimum of it was unimaginable to not strive for data. Mr. Darcy had been at her sister’s wedding ceremony. It was precisely a scene, and precisely amongst folks, the place he had apparently least to do, and least temptation to go. Conjectures as to the which means of it, speedy and wild, hurried into her mind; however she was glad with none. Those that greatest happy her, as putting his conduct within the noblest gentle, appeared most unbelievable. She couldn’t bear such suspense; and rapidly seizing a sheet of paper, wrote a brief letter to her aunt, to request an evidence of what Lydia had dropt, if it have been suitable with the secrecy which had been supposed.

“You may readily comprehend,” she added, “what my curiosity must be to know how a person unconnected with any of us, and (comparatively speaking) a stranger to our family, should have been amongst you at such a time. Pray write instantly, and let me understand it—unless it is, for very cogent reasons, to remain in the secrecy which Lydia seems to think necessary; and then I must endeavour to be satisfied with ignorance.”

“Not that I shall, though,” she added to herself, as she completed the letter; “and my dear aunt, if you do not tell me in an honourable manner, I shall certainly be reduced to tricks and stratagems to find it out.”

Jane’s delicate sense of honour wouldn’t enable her to talk to Elizabeth privately of what Lydia had let fall; Elizabeth was glad of it;—until it appeared whether or not her inquiries would obtain any satisfaction, she had relatively be with out a confidante.

Chapter 52

Elizabeth had the satisfaction of receiving a solution to her letter as quickly as she probably might. She was no sooner in possession of it than, hurrying into the little copse, the place she was least more likely to be interrupted, she sat down on one of many benches and ready to be completely happy; for the size of the letter satisfied her that it didn’t comprise a denial.

“Gracechurch road, Sept. 6.


“I’ve simply acquired your letter, and shall commit this complete morning to answering it, as I foresee {that a} little writing won’t comprise what I’ve to inform you. I have to confess myself shocked by your utility; I didn’t anticipate it from you. Don’t assume me indignant, nevertheless, for I solely imply to let you understand that I had not imagined such inquiries to be vital on youraspect. If you don’t select to know me, forgive my impertinence. Your uncle is as a lot shocked as I’m—and nothing however the perception of your being a celebration involved would have allowed him to behave as he has finished. But if you’re actually harmless and ignorant, I should be extra specific.

“On the very day of my coming dwelling from Longbourn, your uncle had a most sudden customer. Mr. Darcy referred to as, and was shut up with him a number of hours. It was throughout earlier than I arrived; so my curiosity was not so dreadfully racked as yours appears to have been. He got here to inform Mr. Gardiner that he had came upon the place your sister and Mr. Wickham have been, and that he had seen and talked with them each; Wickham repeatedly, Lydia as soon as. From what I can gather, he left Derbyshire solely someday after ourselves, and got here to city with the decision of attempting to find them. The motive professed was his conviction of its being owing to himself that Wickham’s worthlessness had not been so nicely referred to as to make it unimaginable for any younger lady of character to like or open up to him. He generously imputed the entire to his mistaken satisfaction, and confessed that he had earlier than thought it beneath him to put his non-public actions open to the world. His character was to talk for itself. He referred to as it, due to this fact, his obligation to step ahead, and endeavour to treatment an evil which had been introduced on by himself. If he had one othermotive, I’m certain it could by no means shame him. He had been some days on the town, earlier than he was in a position to uncover them; however he had one thing to direct his search, which was greater than we had; and the consciousness of this was another excuse for his resolving to observe us.

“There is a girl, it appears, a Mrs. Younge, who was a while in the past governess to Miss Darcy, and was dismissed from her cost on some reason for disapprobation, although he didn’t say what. She then took a big home in Edward-street, and has since maintained herself by letting lodgings. This Mrs. Younge was, he knew, intimately acquainted with Wickham; and he went to her for intelligence of him as quickly as he obtained to city. But it was two or three days earlier than he might get from her what he needed. She wouldn’t betray her belief, I suppose, with out bribery and corruption, for she actually did know the place her buddy was to be discovered. Wickham certainly had gone to her on their first arrival in London, and had she been in a position to obtain them into her home, they’d have taken up their abode together with her. At size, nevertheless, our form buddy procured the wished-for course. They have been in —— road. He noticed Wickham, and afterwards insisted on seeing Lydia. His first object together with her, he acknowledged, had been to steer her to stop her current disgraceful state of affairs, and return to her associates as quickly as they might be prevailed on to obtain her, providing his help, so far as it could go. But he discovered Lydia completely resolved on remaining the place she was. She cared for none of her associates; she needed no assist of his; she wouldn’t hear of leaving Wickham. She was certain they need to be married a while or different, and it didn’t a lot signify when. Since such have been her emotions, it solely remained, he thought, to safe and expedite a wedding, which, in his very first dialog with Wickham, he simply learnt had by no means been his design. He confessed himself obliged to depart the regiment, on account of some money owed of honour, which have been very urgent; and scrupled to not lay all of the ill-consequences of Lydia’s flight on her personal folly alone. He meant to resign his fee instantly; and as to his future state of affairs, he might conjecture little or no about it. He should go someplace, however he didn’t know the place, and he knew he ought to don’t have anything to reside on.

“Mr. Darcy requested him why he had not married your sister without delay. Though Mr. Bennet was not imagined to be very wealthy, he would have been in a position to do one thing for him, and his state of affairs should have been benefited by marriage. But he discovered, in reply to this query, that Wickham nonetheless cherished the hope of extra effectually making his fortune by marriage in another nation. Under such circumstances, nevertheless, he was not more likely to be proof towards the temptation of rapid reduction.

“They met a number of occasions, for there was a lot to be mentioned. Wickham in fact needed greater than he might get; however at size was decreased to be affordable.

“Every factor being settled between them, Mr. Darcy’s subsequent step was to make your uncle acquainted with it, and he first referred to as in Gracechurch road the night earlier than I got here dwelling. But Mr. Gardiner couldn’t be seen, and Mr. Darcy discovered, on additional inquiry, that your father was nonetheless with him, however would stop city the following morning. He didn’t decide your father to be an individual whom he might so correctly seek the advice of as your uncle, and due to this fact readily postponed seeing him until after the departure of the previous. He didn’t go away his identify, and until the following day it was solely recognized {that a} gentleman had referred to as on enterprise.

“On Saturday he got here once more. Your father was gone, your uncle at dwelling, and, as I mentioned earlier than, that they had quite a lot of speak collectively.

“They met once more on Sunday, after which I noticed him too. It was not all settled earlier than Monday: as quickly because it was, the specific was despatched off to Longbourn. But our customer was very obstinate. I fancy, Lizzy, that obstinacy is the actual defect of his character, in any case. He has been accused of many faults at completely different occasions, however this is the true one. Nothing was to be finished that he didn’t do himself; although I’m certain (and I don’t converse it to be thanked, due to this fact say nothing about it), your uncle would most readily have settled the entire.

“They battled it collectively for a very long time, which was greater than both the gentleman or woman involved in it deserved. But finally your uncle was compelled to yield, and as a substitute of being allowed to be of use to his niece, was compelled to place up with solely having the possible credit score of it, which went sorely towards the grain; and I actually consider your letter this morning gave him nice pleasure, as a result of it required an evidence that might rob him of his borrowed feathers, and provides the reward the place it was due. But, Lizzy, this should go no farther than your self, or Jane at most.

“You know fairly nicely, I suppose, what has been finished for the younger folks. His money owed are to be paid, amounting, I consider, to significantly greater than a thousand kilos, one other thousand along with her personal settled upon her, and his fee bought. The cause why all this was to be finished by him alone, was comparable to I’ve given above. It was owing to him, to his reserve and need of correct consideration, that Wickham’s character had been so misunderstood, and consequently that he had been acquired and seen as he was. Perhaps there was some fact in this; although I doubt whether or not his reserve, or anyone’s reserve, will be answerable for the occasion. But despite all this effective speaking, my expensive Lizzy, you could relaxation completely assured that your uncle would by no means have yielded, if we had not given him credit score for one other curiosity within the affair.

“When all this was resolved on, he returned once more to his associates, who have been nonetheless staying at Pemberley; but it surely was agreed that he needs to be in London as soon as extra when the marriage occurred, and all cash issues have been then to obtain the final end.

“I consider I’ve now instructed you each factor. It is a relation which you inform me is to offer you nice shock; I hope a minimum of it won’t afford you any displeasure. Lydia got here to us; and Wickham had fixed admission to the home. He was precisely what he had been, after I knew him in Hertfordshire; however I’d not inform you how little I used to be glad together with her behaviour whereas she staid with us, if I had not perceived, by Jane’s letter final Wednesday, that her conduct on coming dwelling was precisely of a bit with it, and due to this fact what I now inform you may give you no contemporary ache. I talked to her repeatedly in probably the most severe method, representing to her all of the wickedness of what she had finished, and all of the unhappiness she had introduced on her household. If she heard me, it was by good luck, for I’m certain she didn’t pay attention. I used to be generally fairly provoked, however then I recollected my expensive Elizabeth and Jane, and for his or her sakes had persistence together with her.

“Mr. Darcy was punctual in his return, and as Lydia knowledgeable you, attended the marriage. He dined with us the following day, and was to depart city once more on Wednesday or Thursday. Will you be very indignant with me, my expensive Lizzy, if I take this chance of claiming (what I used to be by no means daring sufficient to say earlier than) how a lot I like him. His behaviour to us has, in each respect, been as pleasing as once we have been in Derbyshire. His understanding and opinions all please me; he needs nothing however a bit extra liveliness, and that, if he marry prudently, his spouse could train him. I believed him very sly;—he rarely talked about your identify. But slyness appears the style.

“Pray forgive me if I’ve been very presuming, or a minimum of don’t punish me as far as to exclude me from P. I shall by no means be fairly completely happy until I’ve been all around the park. A low phaeton, with a pleasant little pair of ponies, could be the very factor.

“But I have to write no extra. The kids have been wanting me this half hour.

“Yours, very sincerely,


The contents of this letter threw Elizabeth right into a flutter of spirits, wherein it was troublesome to find out whether or not pleasure or ache bore the best share. The imprecise and unsettled suspicions which uncertainty had produced of what Mr. Darcy might need been doing to ahead her sister’s match, which she had feared to encourage as an exertion of goodness too nice to be possible, and on the similar time dreaded to be simply, from the ache of obligation, have been proved past their biggest extent to be true! He had adopted them purposely to city, he had taken on himself all the difficulty and mortification attendant on such a analysis; wherein supplication had been essential to a girl whom he should abominate and despise, and the place he was decreased to fulfill, incessantly meet, cause with, persuade, and eventually bribe, the person whom he all the time most wished to keep away from, and whose very identify it was punishment to him to pronounce. He had finished all this for a lady whom he might neither regard nor esteem. Her coronary heart did whisper that he had finished it for her. But it was a hope shortly checked by different concerns, and he or she quickly felt that even her self-importance was inadequate, when required to rely on his affection for her—for a girl who had already refused him—as in a position to overcome a sentiment so pure as abhorrence towards relationship with Wickham. Brother-in-law of Wickham! Every type of satisfaction should revolt from the connection. He had, to make certain, finished a lot. She was ashamed to assume how a lot. But he had given a cause for his interference, which requested no extraordinary stretch of perception. It was affordable that he ought to really feel he had been fallacious; he had liberality, and he had the technique of exercising it; and although she wouldn’t place herself as his principal inducement, she might, maybe, consider that remaining partiality for her may help his endeavours in a trigger the place her peace of thoughts should be materially involved. It was painful, exceedingly painful, to know that they have been below obligations to an individual who might by no means obtain a return. They owed the restoration of Lydia, her character, each factor, to him. Oh! how heartily did she grieve over each ungracious sensation she had ever inspired, each saucy speech she had ever directed in the direction of him. For herself she was humbled; however she was pleased with him. Proud that in a reason for compassion and honour, he had been in a position to get the higher of himself. She learn over her aunt’s commendation of him repeatedly. It was hardly sufficient; but it surely happy her. She was even wise of some pleasure, although combined with remorse, on discovering how steadfastly each she and her uncle had been persuaded that affection and confidence subsisted between Mr. Darcy and herself.

She was roused from her seat, and her reflections, by some one’s method; and earlier than she might strike into one other path, she was overtaken by Wickham.

“I am afraid I interrupt your solitary ramble, my dear sister?” mentioned he, as he joined her.

“You certainly do,” she replied with a smile; “but it does not follow that the interruption must be unwelcome.”

“I should be sorry indeed, if it were. We were always good friends; and now we are better.”

“True. Are the others coming out?”

“I do not know. Mrs. Bennet and Lydia are going in the carriage to Meryton. And so, my dear sister, I find, from our uncle and aunt, that you have actually seen Pemberley.”

She replied within the affirmative.

“I almost envy you the pleasure, and yet I believe it would be too much for me, or else I could take it in my way to Newcastle. And you saw the old housekeeper, I suppose? Poor Reynolds, she was always very fond of me. But of course she did not mention my name to you.”

“Yes, she did.”

“And what did she say?”

“That you were gone into the army, and she was afraid had—not turned out well. At such a distance as that, you know, things are strangely misrepresented.”

“Certainly,” he replied, biting his lips. Elizabeth hoped she had silenced him; however he quickly afterwards mentioned:

“I was surprised to see Darcy in town last month. We passed each other several times. I wonder what he can be doing there.”

“Perhaps preparing for his marriage with Miss de Bourgh,” mentioned Elizabeth. “It must be something particular, to take him there at this time of year.”

“Undoubtedly. Did you see him while you were at Lambton? I thought I understood from the Gardiners that you had.”

“Yes; he introduced us to his sister.”

“And do you like her?”

“Very much.”

“I have heard, indeed, that she is uncommonly improved within this year or two. When I last saw her, she was not very promising. I am very glad you liked her. I hope she will turn out well.”

“I dare say she will; she has got over the most trying age.”

“Did you go by the village of Kympton?”

“I do not recollect that we did.”

“I mention it, because it is the living which I ought to have had. A most delightful place!—Excellent Parsonage House! It would have suited me in every respect.”

“How should you have liked making sermons?”

“Exceedingly well. I should have considered it as part of my duty, and the exertion would soon have been nothing. One ought not to repine;—but, to be sure, it would have been such a thing for me! The quiet, the retirement of such a life would have answered all my ideas of happiness! But it was not to be. Did you ever hear Darcy mention the circumstance, when you were in Kent?”

“I have heard from authority, which I thought as good, that it was left you conditionally only, and at the will of the present patron.”

“You have. Yes, there was something in that; I told you so from the first, you may remember.”

“I did hear, too, that there was a time, when sermon-making was not so palatable to you as it seems to be at present; that you actually declared your resolution of never taking orders, and that the business had been compromised accordingly.”

“You did! and it was not wholly without foundation. You may remember what I told you on that point, when first we talked of it.”

They have been now virtually on the door of the home, for she had walked quick to do away with him; and unwilling, for her sister’s sake, to impress him, she solely mentioned in reply, with a good-humoured smile:

“Come, Mr. Wickham, we are brother and sister, you know. Do not let us quarrel about the past. In future, I hope we shall be always of one mind.”

She held out her hand; he kissed it with affectionate gallantry, although he hardly knew the right way to look, they usually entered the home.

Chapter 53

Mr. Wickham was so completely glad with this dialog that he by no means once more distressed himself, or provoked his expensive sister Elizabeth, by introducing the topic of it; and he or she was happy to search out that she had mentioned sufficient to maintain him quiet.

The day of his and Lydia’s departure quickly got here, and Mrs. Bennet was compelled to undergo a separation, which, as her husband certainly not entered into her scheme of their all going to Newcastle, was more likely to proceed a minimum of a twelvemonth.

“Oh! my dear Lydia,” she cried, “when shall we meet again?”

“Oh, lord! I don’t know. Not these two or three years, perhaps.”

“Write to me very often, my dear.”

“As often as I can. But you know married women have never much time for writing. My sisters may write to me. They will have nothing else to do.”

Mr. Wickham’s adieus have been far more affectionate than his spouse’s. He smiled, regarded good-looking, and mentioned many fairly issues.

“He is as fine a fellow,” mentioned Mr. Bennet, as quickly as they have been out of the home, “as ever I saw. He simpers, and smirks, and makes love to us all. I am prodigiously proud of him. I defy even Sir William Lucas himself to produce a more valuable son-in-law.”

The lack of her daughter made Mrs. Bennet very uninteresting for a number of days.

“I often think,” mentioned she, “that there is nothing so bad as parting with one’s friends. One seems so forlorn without them.”

“This is the consequence, you see, Madam, of marrying a daughter,” mentioned Elizabeth. “It must make you better satisfied that your other four are single.”

“It is no such thing. Lydia does not leave me because she is married, but only because her husband’s regiment happens to be so far off. If that had been nearer, she would not have gone so soon.”

But the spiritless situation which this occasion threw her into was shortly relieved, and her thoughts opened once more to the agitation of hope, by an article of stories which then started to be in circulation. The housekeeper at Netherfield had acquired orders to arrange for the arrival of her grasp, who was coming down in a day or two, to shoot there for a number of weeks. Mrs. Bennet was fairly within the fidgets. She checked out Jane, and smiled and shook her head by turns.

“Well, well, and so Mr. Bingley is coming down, sister,” (for Mrs. Phillips first introduced her the information). “Well, so much the better. Not that I care about it, though. He is nothing to us, you know, and I am sure I never want to see him again. But, however, he is very welcome to come to Netherfield, if he likes it. And who knows what may happen? But that is nothing to us. You know, sister, we agreed long ago never to mention a word about it. And so, is it quite certain he is coming?”

“You may depend on it,” replied the opposite, “for Mrs. Nicholls was in Meryton last night; I saw her passing by, and went out myself on purpose to know the truth of it; and she told me that it was certain true. He comes down on Thursday at the latest, very likely on Wednesday. She was going to the butcher’s, she told me, on purpose to order in some meat on Wednesday, and she has got three couple of ducks just fit to be killed.”

Miss Bennet had not been in a position to hear of his coming with out altering color. It was many months since she had talked about his identify to Elizabeth; however now, as quickly as they have been alone collectively, she mentioned:

“I saw you look at me to-day, Lizzy, when my aunt told us of the present report; and I know I appeared distressed. But don’t imagine it was from any silly cause. I was only confused for the moment, because I felt that I should be looked at. I do assure you that the news does not affect me either with pleasure or pain. I am glad of one thing, that he comes alone; because we shall see the less of him. Not that I am afraid of myself, but I dread other people’s remarks.”

Elizabeth didn’t know what to make of it. Had she not seen him in Derbyshire, she might need supposed him able to coming there with no different view than what was acknowledged; however she nonetheless thought him a fan of Jane, and he or she wavered as to the larger likelihood of his coming there with his buddy’s permission, or being daring sufficient to come back with out it.

“Yet it is hard,” she generally thought, “that this poor man cannot come to a house which he has legally hired, without raising all this speculation! I will leave him to himself.”

In spite of what her sister declared, and actually believed to be her emotions within the expectation of his arrival, Elizabeth might simply understand that her spirits have been affected by it. They have been extra disturbed, extra unequal, than she had usually seen them.

The topic which had been so warmly canvassed between their dad and mom, a couple of twelvemonth in the past, was now introduced ahead once more.

“As soon as ever Mr. Bingley comes, my dear,” mentioned Mrs. Bennet, “you will wait on him of course.”

“No, no. You forced me into visiting him last year, and promised, if I went to see him, he should marry one of my daughters. But it ended in nothing, and I will not be sent on a fool’s errand again.”

His spouse represented to him how completely vital such an consideration could be from all of the neighbouring gents, on his returning to Netherfield.

“‘Tis an etiquette I despise,” mentioned he. “If he wants our society, let him seek it. He knows where we live. I will not spend my hours in running after my neighbours every time they go away and come back again.”

“Well, all I know is, that it will be abominably rude if you do not wait on him. But, however, that shan’t prevent my asking him to dine here, I am determined. We must have Mrs. Long and the Gouldings soon. That will make thirteen with ourselves, so there will be just room at table for him.”

Consoled by this decision, she was the higher in a position to bear her husband’s incivility; although it was very mortifying to know that her neighbours may all see Mr. Bingley, in consequence of it, earlier than they did. As the day of his arrival drew close to,—

“I begin to be sorry that he comes at all,” mentioned Jane to her sister. “It would be nothing; I could see him with perfect indifference, but I can hardly bear to hear it thus perpetually talked of. My mother means well; but she does not know, no one can know, how much I suffer from what she says. Happy shall I be, when his stay at Netherfield is over!”

“I wish I could say anything to comfort you,” replied Elizabeth; “but it is wholly out of my power. You must feel it; and the usual satisfaction of preaching patience to a sufferer is denied me, because you have always so much.”

Mr. Bingley arrived. Mrs. Bennet, via the help of servants, contrived to have the earliest tidings of it, that the interval of hysteria and fretfulness on her aspect is perhaps so long as it might. She counted the times that should intervene earlier than their invitation might be despatched; hopeless of seeing him earlier than. But on the third morning after his arrival in Hertfordshire, she noticed him, from her dressing-room window, enter the paddock and trip in the direction of the home.

Her daughters have been eagerly referred to as to partake of her pleasure. Jane resolutely saved her place on the desk; however Elizabeth, to fulfill her mom, went to the window—she regarded,—she noticed Mr. Darcy with him, and sat down once more by her sister.

“There is a gentleman with him, mamma,” mentioned Kitty; “who can it be?”

“Some acquaintance or other, my dear, I suppose; I am sure I do not know.”

“La!” replied Kitty, “it looks just like that man that used to be with him before. Mr. what’s-his-name. That tall, proud man.”

“Good gracious! Mr. Darcy!—and so it does, I vow. Well, any friend of Mr. Bingley’s will always be welcome here, to be sure; but else I must say that I hate the very sight of him.”

Jane checked out Elizabeth with shock and concern. She knew however little of their assembly in Derbyshire, and due to this fact felt for the awkwardness which should attend her sister, in seeing him virtually for the primary time after receiving his explanatory letter. Both sisters have been uncomfortable sufficient. Each felt for the opposite, and naturally for themselves; and their mom talked on, of her dislike of Mr. Darcy, and her decision to be civil to him solely as Mr. Bingley’s buddy, with out being heard by both of them. But Elizabeth had sources of uneasiness which couldn’t be suspected by Jane, to whom she had by no means but had braveness to shew Mrs. Gardiner’s letter, or to narrate her personal change of sentiment in the direction of him. To Jane, he might be solely a person whose proposals she had refused, and whose advantage she had undervalued; however to her personal extra intensive data, he was the individual to whom the entire household have been indebted for the primary of advantages, and whom she regarded herself with an curiosity, if not fairly so tender, a minimum of as affordable and simply as what Jane felt for Bingley. Her astonishment at his coming—at his coming to Netherfield, to Longbourn, and voluntarily searching for her once more, was virtually equal to what she had recognized on first witnessing his altered behaviour in Derbyshire.

The color which had been pushed from her face, returned for half a minute with an extra glow, and a smile of enjoyment added lustre to her eyes, as she thought for that area of time that his affection and desires should nonetheless be unshaken. But she wouldn’t be safe.

“Let me first see how he behaves,” mentioned she; “it will then be early enough for expectation.”

She sat intently at work, striving to be composed, and with out daring to elevate up her eyes, until anxious curiosity carried them to the face of her sister because the servant was approaching the door. Jane regarded a bit paler than regular, however extra sedate than Elizabeth had anticipated. On the gents’s showing, her color elevated; but she acquired them with tolerable ease, and with a propriety of behaviour equally free from any symptom of resentment or any pointless complaisance.

Elizabeth mentioned as little to both as civility would enable, and sat down once more to her work, with an eagerness which it didn’t usually command. She had ventured just one look at Darcy. He regarded severe, as regular; and, she thought, extra as he had been used to look in Hertfordshire, than as she had seen him at Pemberley. But, maybe he couldn’t in her mom’s presence be what he was earlier than her uncle and aunt. It was a painful, however not an unbelievable, conjecture.

Bingley, she had likewise seen for an immediate, and in that quick interval noticed him wanting each happy and embarrassed. He was acquired by Mrs. Bennet with a level of civility which made her two daughters ashamed, particularly when contrasted with the chilly and ceremonious politeness of her curtsey and deal with to his buddy.

Elizabeth, notably, who knew that her mom owed to the latter the preservation of her favorite daughter from irremediable infamy, was damage and distressed to a most painful diploma by a distinction so unwell utilized.

Darcy, after inquiring of her how Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner did, a query which she couldn’t reply with out confusion, mentioned scarcely something. He was not seated by her; maybe that was the rationale of his silence; but it surely had not been so in Derbyshire. There he had talked to her associates, when he might to not herself. But now a number of minutes elapsed with out bringing the sound of his voice; and when often, unable to withstand the impulse of curiosity, she raised her eyes to his face, she as usually discovered him Jane as at herself, and incessantly on no object however the floor. More thoughtfulness and fewer nervousness to please, than once they final met, have been plainly expressed. She was dissatisfied, and indignant with herself for being so.

“Could I expect it to be otherwise!” mentioned she. “Yet why did he come?”

She was in no humour for dialog with anybody however himself; and to him she had hardly braveness to talk.

She inquired after his sister, however might do no extra.

“It is a long time, Mr. Bingley, since you went away,” mentioned Mrs. Bennet.

He readily agreed to it.

“I began to be afraid you would never come back again. People did say you meant to quit the place entirely at Michaelmas; but, however, I hope it is not true. A great many changes have happened in the neighbourhood, since you went away. Miss Lucas is married and settled. And one of my own daughters. I suppose you have heard of it; indeed, you must have seen it in the papers. It was in The Times and The Courier, I know; though it was not put in as it ought to be. It was only said, ‘Lately, George Wickham, Esq. to Miss Lydia Bennet,’ without there being a syllable said of her father, or the place where she lived, or anything. It was my brother Gardiner’s drawing up too, and I wonder how he came to make such an awkward business of it. Did you see it?”

Bingley replied that he did, and made his congratulations. Elizabeth dared not elevate up her eyes. How Mr. Darcy regarded, due to this fact, she couldn’t inform.

“It is a delightful thing, to be sure, to have a daughter well married,” continued her mom, “but at the same time, Mr. Bingley, it is very hard to have her taken such a way from me. They are gone down to Newcastle, a place quite northward, it seems, and there they are to stay I do not know how long. His regiment is there; for I suppose you have heard of his leaving the ——shire, and of his being gone into the regulars. Thank Heaven! he has some friends, though perhaps not so many as he deserves.”

Elizabeth, who knew this to be levelled at Mr. Darcy, was in such distress of disgrace, that she might hardly hold her seat. It drew from her, nevertheless, the exertion of talking, which nothing else had so effectually finished earlier than; and he or she requested Bingley whether or not he meant to make any keep within the nation at current. A number of weeks, he believed.

“When you have killed all your own birds, Mr. Bingley,” mentioned her mom, “I beg you will come here, and shoot as many as you please on Mr. Bennet’s manor. I am sure he will be vastly happy to oblige you, and will save all the best of the covies for you.”

Elizabeth’s distress elevated, at such pointless, such officious consideration! Were the identical honest prospect to come up at current as had flattered them a 12 months in the past, each factor, she was persuaded, could be hastening to the identical vexatious conclusion. At that immediate, she felt that years of happiness couldn’t make Jane or herself amends for moments of such painful confusion.

“The first wish of my heart,” mentioned she to herself, “is never more to be in company with either of them. Their society can afford no pleasure that will atone for such wretchedness as this! Let me never see either one or the other again!”

Yet the distress, for which years of happiness have been to supply no compensation, acquired quickly afterwards materials reduction, from observing how a lot the fantastic thing about her sister re-kindled the admiration of her former lover. When first he got here in, he had spoken to her however little; however each 5 minutes gave the impression to be giving her extra of his consideration. He discovered her as good-looking as she had been final 12 months; pretty much as good natured, and as unaffected, although not fairly so chatty. Jane was anxious that no distinction needs to be perceived in her in any respect, and was actually persuaded that she talked as a lot as ever. But her thoughts was so busily engaged, that she didn’t all the time know when she was silent.

When the gents rose to go away, Mrs. Bennet was conscious of her supposed civility, they usually have been invited and engaged to dine at Longbourn in a number of days time.

“You are quite a visit in my debt, Mr. Bingley,” she added, “for when you went to town last winter, you promised to take a family dinner with us, as soon as you returned. I have not forgot, you see; and I assure you, I was very much disappointed that you did not come back and keep your engagement.”

Bingley regarded a bit foolish at this reflection, and mentioned one thing of his concern at having been prevented by enterprise. They then went away.

Mrs. Bennet had been strongly inclined to ask them to remain and dine there that day; however, although she all the time saved an excellent desk, she didn’t assume something lower than two programs might be ok for a person on whom she had such anxious designs, or fulfill the urge for food and satisfaction of 1 who had ten thousand a 12 months.

Chapter 54

As quickly as they have been gone, Elizabeth walked out to get better her spirits; or in different phrases, to dwell with out interruption on these topics that should deaden them extra. Mr. Darcy’s behaviour astonished and vexed her.

“Why, if he came only to be silent, grave, and indifferent,” mentioned she, “did he come at all?”

She might settle it on no account that gave her pleasure.

“He could be still amiable, still pleasing, to my uncle and aunt, when he was in town; and why not to me? If he fears me, why come hither? If he no longer cares for me, why silent? Teasing, teasing, man! I will think no more about him.”

Her decision was for a short while involuntarily saved by the method of her sister, who joined her with a cheerful look, which confirmed her higher glad with their guests, than Elizabeth.

“Now,” mentioned she, “that this first meeting is over, I feel perfectly easy. I know my own strength, and I shall never be embarrassed again by his coming. I am glad he dines here on Tuesday. It will then be publicly seen that, on both sides, we meet only as common and indifferent acquaintance.”

“Yes, very indifferent indeed,” mentioned Elizabeth, laughingly. “Oh, Jane, take care.”

“My dear Lizzy, you cannot think me so weak, as to be in danger now?”

“I think you are in very great danger of making him as much in love with you as ever.”

They didn’t see the gents once more until Tuesday; and Mrs. Bennet, in the intervening time, was giving option to all of the completely happy schemes, which the great humour and customary politeness of Bingley, in half an hour’s go to, had revived.

On Tuesday there was a big occasion assembled at Longbourn; and the 2 who have been most anxiously anticipated, to the credit score of their punctuality as sportsmen, have been in superb time. When they repaired to the dining-room, Elizabeth eagerly watched to see whether or not Bingley would take the place, which, in all their former events, had belonged to him, by her sister. Her prudent mom, occupied by the identical concepts, forbore to ask him to take a seat by herself. On getting into the room, he appeared to hesitate; however Jane occurred to look spherical, and occurred to smile: it was determined. He positioned himself by her.

Elizabeth, with a triumphant sensation, regarded in the direction of his buddy. He bore it with noble indifference, and he or she would have imagined that Bingley had acquired his sanction to be completely happy, had she not seen his eyes likewise turned in the direction of Mr. Darcy, with an expression of half-laughing alarm.

His behaviour to her sister was such, throughout supper time, as confirmed an admiration of her, which, although extra guarded than previously, persuaded Elizabeth, that if left wholly to himself, Jane’s happiness, and his personal, could be speedily secured. Though she dared not rely on the consequence, she but acquired pleasure from observing his behaviour. It gave her all of the animation that her spirits might boast; for she was in no cheerful humour. Mr. Darcy was virtually as removed from her because the desk might divide them. He was on one aspect of her mom. She knew how little such a state of affairs would give pleasure to both, or make both seem to benefit. She was not close to sufficient to listen to any of their discourse, however she might see how seldom they spoke to one another, and the way formal and chilly was their method every time they did. Her mom’s ungraciousness, made the sense of what they owed him extra painful to Elizabeth’s thoughts; and he or she would, at occasions, have given something to be privileged to inform him that his kindness was neither unknown nor unfelt by the entire of the household.

She was in hopes that the night would afford some alternative of bringing them collectively; that the entire of the go to wouldn’t go away with out enabling them to enter into one thing extra of dialog than the mere ceremonious salutation attending his entrance. Anxious and uneasy, the interval which handed within the drawing-room, earlier than the gents got here, was wearisome and uninteresting to a level that just about made her uncivil. She regarded ahead to their entrance as the purpose on which all her likelihood of delight for the night should rely.

“If he does not come to me, then,” mentioned she, “I shall give him up for ever.”

The gents got here; and he or she thought he regarded as if he would have answered her hopes; however, alas! the women had crowded around the desk, the place Miss Bennet was making tea, and Elizabeth pouring out the espresso, in so shut a confederacy that there was not a single emptiness close to her which might admit of a chair. And on the gents’s approaching, one of many women moved nearer to her than ever, and mentioned, in a whisper:

“The men shan’t come and part us, I am determined. We want none of them; do we?”

Darcy had walked away to a different a part of the room. She adopted him together with her eyes, envied everybody to whom he spoke, had scarcely persistence sufficient to assist anyone to espresso; after which was enraged towards herself for being so foolish!

“A man who has once been refused! How could I ever be foolish enough to expect a renewal of his love? Is there one among the sex, who would not protest against such a weakness as a second proposal to the same woman? There is no indignity so abhorrent to their feelings!”

She was a bit revived, nevertheless, by his bringing again his espresso cup himself; and he or she seized the chance of claiming:

“Is your sister at Pemberley still?”

“Yes, she will remain there till Christmas.”

“And quite alone? Have all her friends left her?”

“Mrs. Annesley is with her. The others have been gone on to Scarborough, these three weeks.”

She might consider nothing extra to say; but when he wished to converse together with her, he might need higher success. He stood by her, nevertheless, for some minutes, in silence; and, finally, on the younger woman’s whispering to Elizabeth once more, he walked away.

When the tea-things have been eliminated, and the card-tables positioned, the women all rose, and Elizabeth was then hoping to be quickly joined by him, when all her views have been overthrown by seeing him fall a sufferer to her mom’s rapacity for whist gamers, and in a number of moments after seated with the remainder of the occasion. She now misplaced each expectation of delight. They have been confined for the night at completely different tables, and he or she had nothing to hope, however that his eyes have been so usually turned in the direction of her aspect of the room, as to make him play as unsuccessfully as herself.

Mrs. Bennet had designed to maintain the 2 Netherfield gents to supper; however their carriage was unluckily ordered earlier than any of the others, and he or she had no alternative of detaining them.

“Well girls,” mentioned she, as quickly as they have been left to themselves, “What say you to the day? I think every thing has passed off uncommonly well, I assure you. The dinner was as well dressed as any I ever saw. The venison was roasted to a turn—and everybody said they never saw so fat a haunch. The soup was fifty times better than what we had at the Lucases’ last week; and even Mr. Darcy acknowledged, that the partridges were remarkably well done; and I suppose he has two or three French cooks at least. And, my dear Jane, I never saw you look in greater beauty. Mrs. Long said so too, for I asked her whether you did not. And what do you think she said besides? ‘Ah! Mrs. Bennet, we shall have her at Netherfield at last.’ She did indeed. I do think Mrs. Long is as good a creature as ever lived—and her nieces are very pretty behaved girls, and not at all handsome: I like them prodigiously.”

Mrs. Bennet, briefly, was in very nice spirits; she had seen sufficient of Bingley’s behaviour to Jane, to be satisfied that she would get him finally; and her expectations of benefit to her household, when in a cheerful humour, have been to this point past cause, that she was fairly dissatisfied at not seeing him there once more the following day, to make his proposals.

“It has been a very agreeable day,” mentioned Miss Bennet to Elizabeth. “The party seemed so well selected, so suitable one with the other. I hope we may often meet again.”

Elizabeth smiled.

“Lizzy, you must not do so. You must not suspect me. It mortifies me. I assure you that I have now learnt to enjoy his conversation as an agreeable and sensible young man, without having a wish beyond it. I am perfectly satisfied, from what his manners now are, that he never had any design of engaging my affection. It is only that he is blessed with greater sweetness of address, and a stronger desire of generally pleasing, than any other man.”

“You are very cruel,” mentioned her sister, “you will not let me smile, and are provoking me to it every moment.”

“How hard it is in some cases to be believed!”

“And how impossible in others!”

“But why should you wish to persuade me that I feel more than I acknowledge?”

“That is a question which I hardly know how to answer. We all love to instruct, though we can teach only what is not worth knowing. Forgive me; and if you persist in indifference, do not make me your confidante.”

Chapter 55

A number of days after this go to, Mr. Bingley referred to as once more, and alone. His buddy had left him that morning for London, however was to return dwelling in ten days time. He sat with them above an hour, and was in remarkably good spirits. Mrs. Bennet invited him to dine with them; however, with many expressions of concern, he confessed himself engaged elsewhere.

“Next time you call,” mentioned she, “I hope we shall be more lucky.”

He needs to be notably completely happy at any time, and so forth. and so forth.; and if she would give him go away, would take an early alternative of ready on them.

“Can you come to-morrow?”

Yes, he had no engagement in any respect for to-morrow; and her invitation was accepted with alacrity.

He got here, and in such superb time that the women have been none of them dressed. In ran Mrs. Bennet to her daughter’s room, in her dressing robe, and together with her hair half completed, crying out:

“My dear Jane, make haste and hurry down. He is come—Mr. Bingley is come. He is, indeed. Make haste, make haste. Here, Sarah, come to Miss Bennet this moment, and help her on with her gown. Never mind Miss Lizzy’s hair.”

“We will be down as soon as we can,” mentioned Jane; “but I dare say Kitty is forwarder than either of us, for she went up stairs half an hour ago.”

“Oh! hang Kitty! what has she to do with it? Come be quick, be quick! Where is your sash, my dear?”

But when her mom was gone, Jane wouldn’t be prevailed on to go down with out one among her sisters.

The similar nervousness to get them by themselves was seen once more within the night. After tea, Mr. Bennet retired to the library, as was his customized, and Mary went up stairs to her instrument. Two obstacles of the 5 being thus eliminated, Mrs. Bennet sat wanting and winking at Elizabeth and Catherine for a substantial time, with out making any impression on them. Elizabeth wouldn’t observe her; and when finally Kitty did, she very innocently mentioned, “What is the matter mamma? What do you keep winking at me for? What am I to do?”

“Nothing child, nothing. I did not wink at you.” She then sat nonetheless 5 minutes longer; however unable to waste such a valuable event, she abruptly obtained up, and saying to Kitty, “Come here, my love, I want to speak to you,” took her out of the room. Jane immediately gave a have a look at Elizabeth which spoke her misery at such premeditation, and her entreaty that she wouldn’t give in to it. In a couple of minutes, Mrs. Bennet half-opened the door and referred to as out:

“Lizzy, my dear, I want to speak with you.”

Elizabeth was compelled to go.

“We may as well leave them by themselves you know;” mentioned her mom, as quickly as she was within the corridor. “Kitty and I are going up stairs to sit in my dressing-room.”

Elizabeth made no try and cause together with her mom, however remained quietly within the corridor, until she and Kitty have been out of sight, then returned into the drawing-room.

Mrs. Bennet’s schemes for today have been ineffectual. Bingley was each factor that was charming, besides the professed lover of her daughter. His ease and cheerfulness rendered him a most agreeable addition to their night occasion; and he bore with the ill-judged officiousness of the mom, and heard all her foolish remarks with a forbearance and command of countenance notably grateful to the daughter.

He scarcely wanted an invite to remain supper; and earlier than he went away, an engagement was shaped, mainly via his personal and Mrs. Bennet’s means, for his coming subsequent morning to shoot together with her husband.

After today, Jane mentioned no extra of her indifference. Not a phrase handed between the sisters regarding Bingley; however Elizabeth went to mattress within the completely happy perception that each one should speedily be concluded, except Mr. Darcy returned inside the acknowledged time. Seriously, nevertheless, she felt tolerably persuaded that each one this should have taken place with that gentleman’s concurrence.

Bingley was punctual to his appointment; and he and Mr. Bennet spent the morning collectively, as had been agreed on. The latter was far more agreeable than his companion anticipated. There was nothing of presumption or folly in Bingley that might provoke his ridicule, or disgust him into silence; and he was extra communicative, and fewer eccentric, than the opposite had ever seen him. Bingley in fact returned with him to dinner; and within the night Mrs. Bennet’s invention was once more at work to get each physique away from him and her daughter. Elizabeth, who had a letter to put in writing, went into the breakfast room for that goal quickly after tea; for because the others have been all going to take a seat all the way down to playing cards, she couldn’t be needed to counteract her mom’s schemes.

But on returning to the drawing-room, when her letter was completed, she noticed, to her infinite shock, there was cause to concern that her mom had been too ingenious for her. On opening the door, she perceived her sister and Bingley standing collectively over the fireside, as if engaged in earnest dialog; and had this led to no suspicion, the faces of each, as they rapidly turned spherical and moved away from one another, would have instructed all of it. Their state of affairs was awkward sufficient; however hers she thought was nonetheless worse. Not a syllable was uttered by both; and Elizabeth was on the purpose of going away once more, when Bingley, who in addition to the opposite had sat down, abruptly rose, and whispering a number of phrases to her sister, ran out of the room.

Jane might haven’t any reserves from Elizabeth, the place confidence would give pleasure; and immediately embracing her, acknowledged, with the liveliest emotion, that she was the happiest creature on the planet.

“‘Tis too much!” she added, “by far too much. I do not deserve it. Oh! why is not everybody as happy?”

Elizabeth’s congratulations got with a sincerity, a heat, a delight, which phrases might however poorly specific. Every sentence of kindness was a contemporary supply of happiness to Jane. But she wouldn’t enable herself to stick with her sister, or say half that remained to be mentioned for the current.

“I must go instantly to my mother;” she cried. “I would not on any account trifle with her affectionate solicitude; or allow her to hear it from anyone but myself. He is gone to my father already. Oh! Lizzy, to know that what I have to relate will give such pleasure to all my dear family! how shall I bear so much happiness!”

She then hastened away to her mom, who had purposely damaged up the cardboard occasion, and was sitting up stairs with Kitty.

Elizabeth, who was left by herself, now smiled on the rapidity and ease with which an affair was lastly settled, that had given them so many earlier months of suspense and vexation.

“And this,” mentioned she, “is the end of all his friend’s anxious circumspection! of all his sister’s falsehood and contrivance! the happiest, wisest, most reasonable end!”

In a couple of minutes she was joined by Bingley, whose convention together with her father had been quick and to the aim.

“Where is your sister?” mentioned he rapidly, as he opened the door.

“With my mother up stairs. She will be down in a moment, I dare say.”

He then shut the door, and, coming as much as her, claimed the great needs and affection of a sister. Elizabeth actually and heartily expressed her delight within the prospect of their relationship. They shook palms with nice cordiality; after which, until her sister got here down, she needed to take heed to all he needed to say of his personal happiness, and of Jane’s perfections; and despite his being a lover, Elizabeth actually believed all his expectations of felicity to be rationally based, as a result of that they had for foundation the wonderful understanding, and super-excellent disposition of Jane, and a basic similarity of feeling and style between her and himself.

It was a night of no widespread delight to all of them; the satisfaction of Miss Bennet’s thoughts gave a glow of such candy animation to her face, as made her look handsomer than ever. Kitty simpered and smiled, and hoped her flip was coming quickly. Mrs. Bennet couldn’t give her consent or converse her approbation in phrases heat sufficient to fulfill her emotions, although she talked to Bingley of nothing else for half an hour; and when Mr. Bennet joined them at supper, his voice and method plainly confirmed how actually completely happy he was.

Not a phrase, nevertheless, handed his lips in allusion to it, until their customer took his go away for the night time; however as quickly as he was gone, he turned to his daughter, and mentioned:

“Jane, I congratulate you. You will be a very happy woman.”

Jane went to him immediately, kissed him, and thanked him for his goodness.

“You are a good girl;” he replied, “and I have great pleasure in thinking you will be so happily settled. I have not a doubt of your doing very well together. Your tempers are by no means unlike. You are each of you so complying, that nothing will ever be resolved on; so easy, that every servant will cheat you; and so generous, that you will always exceed your income.”

“I hope not so. Imprudence or thoughtlessness in money matters would be unpardonable in me.”

“Exceed their income! My dear Mr. Bennet,” cried his spouse, “what are you talking of? Why, he has four or five thousand a year, and very likely more.” Then addressing her daughter, “Oh! my dear, dear Jane, I am so happy! I am sure I shan’t get a wink of sleep all night. I knew how it would be. I always said it must be so, at last. I was sure you could not be so beautiful for nothing! I remember, as soon as ever I saw him, when he first came into Hertfordshire last year, I thought how likely it was that you should come together. Oh! he is the handsomest young man that ever was seen!”

Wickham, Lydia, have been all forgotten. Jane was past competitors her favorite little one. At that second, she cared for no different. Her youthful sisters quickly started to make curiosity together with her for objects of happiness which she may in future be capable of dispense.

Mary petitioned for using the library at Netherfield; and Kitty begged very laborious for a number of balls there each winter.

Bingley, from this time, was in fact a day by day customer at Longbourn; coming incessantly earlier than breakfast, and all the time remaining until after supper; except when some barbarous neighbour, who couldn’t be sufficient detested, had given him an invite to dinner which he thought himself obliged to just accept.

Elizabeth had now however little time for dialog together with her sister; for whereas he was current, Jane had no consideration to bestow on anybody else; however she discovered herself significantly helpful to each of them in these hours of separation that should generally happen. In the absence of Jane, he all the time connected himself to Elizabeth, for the pleasure of speaking of her; and when Bingley was gone, Jane continually sought the identical technique of reduction.

“He has made me so happy,” mentioned she, one night, “by telling me that he was totally ignorant of my being in town last spring! I had not believed it possible.”

“I suspected as much,” replied Elizabeth. “But how did he account for it?”

“It must have been his sister’s doing. They were certainly no friends to his acquaintance with me, which I cannot wonder at, since he might have chosen so much more advantageously in many respects. But when they see, as I trust they will, that their brother is happy with me, they will learn to be contented, and we shall be on good terms again; though we can never be what we once were to each other.”

“That is the most unforgiving speech,” mentioned Elizabeth, “that I ever heard you utter. Good girl! It would vex me, indeed, to see you again the dupe of Miss Bingley’s pretended regard.”

“Would you believe it, Lizzy, that when he went to town last November, he really loved me, and nothing but a persuasion of my being indifferent would have prevented his coming down again!”

“He made a little mistake to be sure; but it is to the credit of his modesty.”

This naturally launched a panegyric from Jane on his diffidence, and the little worth he placed on his personal good qualities. Elizabeth was happy to search out that he had not betrayed the interference of his buddy; for, although Jane had probably the most beneficiant and forgiving coronary heart on the planet, she knew it was a circumstance which should prejudice her towards him.

“I am certainly the most fortunate creature that ever existed!” cried Jane. “Oh! Lizzy, why am I thus singled from my family, and blessed above them all! If I could but see you as happy! If there were but such another man for you!”

“If you were to give me forty such men, I never could be so happy as you. Till I have your disposition, your goodness, I never can have your happiness. No, no, let me shift for myself; and, perhaps, if I have very good luck, I may meet with another Mr. Collins in time.”

The state of affairs of affairs within the Longbourn household couldn’t be lengthy a secret. Mrs. Bennet was privileged to whisper it to Mrs. Phillips, and he or she ventured, with none permission, to do the identical by all her neighbours in Meryton.

The Bennets have been speedily pronounced to be the luckiest household on the planet, although only some weeks earlier than, when Lydia had first run away, that they had been typically proved to be marked out for misfortune.

Chapter 56

One morning, a couple of week after Bingley’s engagement with Jane had been shaped, as he and the females of the household have been sitting collectively within the dining-room, their consideration was abruptly drawn to the window, by the sound of a carriage; they usually perceived a chaise and 4 driving up the garden. It was too early within the morning for guests, and moreover, the equipage didn’t reply to that of any of their neighbours. The horses have been submit; and neither the carriage, nor the livery of the servant who preceded it, have been acquainted to them. As it was sure, nevertheless, that any person was coming, Bingley immediately prevailed on Miss Bennet to keep away from the confinement of such an intrusion, and stroll away with him into the shrubbery. They each set off, and the conjectures of the remaining three continued, although with little satisfaction, until the door was thrown open and their customer entered. It was Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

They have been in fact all desiring to be shocked; however their astonishment was past their expectation; and on the a part of Mrs. Bennet and Kitty, although she was completely unknown to them, even inferior to what Elizabeth felt.

She entered the room with an air greater than often ungracious, made no different reply to Elizabeth’s salutation than a slight inclination of the pinnacle, and sat down with out saying a phrase. Elizabeth had talked about her identify to her mom on her ladyship’s entrance, although no request of introduction had been made.

Mrs. Bennet, all amazement, although flattered by having a visitor of such excessive significance, acquired her with the utmost politeness. After sitting for a second in silence, she mentioned very stiffly to Elizabeth,

“I hope you are well, Miss Bennet. That lady, I suppose, is your mother.”

Elizabeth replied very concisely that she was.

“And that I suppose is one of your sisters.”

“Yes, madam,” mentioned Mrs. Bennet, delighted to talk to Lady Catherine. “She is my youngest girl but one. My youngest of all is lately married, and my eldest is somewhere about the grounds, walking with a young man who, I believe, will soon become a part of the family.”

“You have a very small park here,” returned Lady Catherine after a brief silence.

“It is nothing in comparison of Rosings, my lady, I dare say; but I assure you it is much larger than Sir William Lucas’s.”

“This must be a most inconvenient sitting room for the evening, in summer; the windows are full west.”

Mrs. Bennet assured her that they by no means sat there after dinner, after which added:

“May I take the liberty of asking your ladyship whether you left Mr. and Mrs. Collins well.”

“Yes, very well. I saw them the night before last.”

Elizabeth now anticipated that she would produce a letter for her from Charlotte, because it appeared the one possible motive for her calling. But no letter appeared, and he or she was utterly puzzled.

Mrs. Bennet, with nice civility, begged her ladyship to take some refreshment; however Lady Catherine very resolutely, and never very politely, declined consuming something; after which, rising up, mentioned to Elizabeth,

“Miss Bennet, there seemed to be a prettyish kind of a little wilderness on one side of your lawn. I should be glad to take a turn in it, if you will favour me with your company.”

“Go, my dear,” cried her mom, “and show her ladyship about the different walks. I think she will be pleased with the hermitage.”

Elizabeth obeyed, and operating into her personal room for her parasol, attended her noble visitor downstairs. As they handed via the corridor, Lady Catherine opened the doorways into the dining-parlour and drawing-room, and saying them, after a brief survey, to be respectable wanting rooms, walked on.

Her carriage remained on the door, and Elizabeth noticed that her waiting-woman was in it. They proceeded in silence alongside the gravel stroll that led to the copse; Elizabeth was decided to make no effort for dialog with a girl who was now greater than often insolent and unpleasant.

“How could I ever think her like her nephew?” mentioned she, as she regarded in her face.

As quickly as they entered the copse, Lady Catherine started within the following method:—

“You can be at no loss, Miss Bennet, to understand the reason of my journey hither. Your own heart, your own conscience, must tell you why I come.”

Elizabeth regarded with unaffected astonishment.

“Indeed, you are mistaken, Madam. I have not been at all able to account for the honour of seeing you here.”

“Miss Bennet,” replied her ladyship, in an indignant tone, “you ought to know, that I am not to be trifled with. But however insincere you may choose to be, you shall not find me so. My character has ever been celebrated for its sincerity and frankness, and in a cause of such moment as this, I shall certainly not depart from it. A report of a most alarming nature reached me two days ago. I was told that not only your sister was on the point of being most advantageously married, but that you, that Miss Elizabeth Bennet, would, in all likelihood, be soon afterwards united to my nephew, my own nephew, Mr. Darcy. Though I know it must be a scandalous falsehood, though I would not injure him so much as to suppose the truth of it possible, I instantly resolved on setting off for this place, that I might make my sentiments known to you.”

“If you believed it impossible to be true,” mentioned Elizabeth, colouring with astonishment and disdain, “I wonder you took the trouble of coming so far. What could your ladyship propose by it?”

“At once to insist upon having such a report universally contradicted.”

“Your coming to Longbourn, to see me and my family,” mentioned Elizabeth coolly, “will be rather a confirmation of it; if, indeed, such a report is in existence.”

“If! Do you then pretend to be ignorant of it? Has it not been industriously circulated by yourselves? Do you not know that such a report is spread abroad?”

“I never heard that it was.”

“And can you likewise declare, that there is no foundation for it?”

“I do not pretend to possess equal frankness with your ladyship. You may ask questions which I shall not choose to answer.”

“This is not to be borne. Miss Bennet, I insist on being satisfied. Has he, has my nephew, made you an offer of marriage?”

“Your ladyship has declared it to be impossible.”

“It ought to be so; it must be so, while he retains the use of his reason. But your arts and allurements may, in a moment of infatuation, have made him forget what he owes to himself and to all his family. You may have drawn him in.”

“If I have, I shall be the last person to confess it.”

“Miss Bennet, do you know who I am? I have not been accustomed to such language as this. I am almost the nearest relation he has in the world, and am entitled to know all his dearest concerns.”

“But you are not entitled to know mine; nor will such behaviour as this, ever induce me to be explicit.”

“Let me be rightly understood. This match, to which you have the presumption to aspire, can never take place. No, never. Mr. Darcy is engaged to my daughter. Now what have you to say?”

“Only this; that if he is so, you can have no reason to suppose he will make an offer to me.”

Lady Catherine hesitated for a second, after which replied:

“The engagement between them is of a peculiar kind. From their infancy, they have been intended for each other. It was the favourite wish of his mother, as well as of hers. While in their cradles, we planned the union: and now, at the moment when the wishes of both sisters would be accomplished in their marriage, to be prevented by a young woman of inferior birth, of no importance in the world, and wholly unallied to the family! Do you pay no regard to the wishes of his friends? To his tacit engagement with Miss de Bourgh? Are you lost to every feeling of propriety and delicacy? Have you not heard me say that from his earliest hours he was destined for his cousin?”

“Yes, and I had heard it before. But what is that to me? If there is no other objection to my marrying your nephew, I shall certainly not be kept from it by knowing that his mother and aunt wished him to marry Miss de Bourgh. You both did as much as you could in planning the marriage. Its completion depended on others. If Mr. Darcy is neither by honour nor inclination confined to his cousin, why is not he to make another choice? And if I am that choice, why may not I accept him?”

“Because honour, decorum, prudence, nay, interest, forbid it. Yes, Miss Bennet, interest; for do not expect to be noticed by his family or friends, if you wilfully act against the inclinations of all. You will be censured, slighted, and despised, by everyone connected with him. Your alliance will be a disgrace; your name will never even be mentioned by any of us.”

“These are heavy misfortunes,” replied Elizabeth. “But the wife of Mr. Darcy must have such extraordinary sources of happiness necessarily attached to her situation, that she could, upon the whole, have no cause to repine.”

“Obstinate, headstrong girl! I am ashamed of you! Is this your gratitude for my attentions to you last spring? Is nothing due to me on that score? Let us sit down. You are to understand, Miss Bennet, that I came here with the determined resolution of carrying my purpose; nor will I be dissuaded from it. I have not been used to submit to any person’s whims. I have not been in the habit of brooking disappointment.”

That will make your ladyship’s situation at present more pitiable; but it will have no effect on me.”

“I will not be interrupted. Hear me in silence. My daughter and my nephew are formed for each other. They are descended, on the maternal side, from the same noble line; and, on the father’s, from respectable, honourable, and ancient—though untitled—families. Their fortune on both sides is splendid. They are destined for each other by the voice of every member of their respective houses; and what is to divide them? The upstart pretensions of a young woman without family, connections, or fortune. Is this to be endured! But it must not, shall not be. If you were sensible of your own good, you would not wish to quit the sphere in which you have been brought up.”

“In marrying your nephew, I should not consider myself as quitting that sphere. He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman’s daughter; so far we are equal.”

“True. You are a gentleman’s daughter. But who was your mother? Who are your uncles and aunts? Do not imagine me ignorant of their condition.”

“Whatever my connections may be,” mentioned Elizabeth, “if your nephew does not object to them, they can be nothing to you.”

“Tell me once for all, are you engaged to him?”

Though Elizabeth wouldn’t, for the mere goal of obliging Lady Catherine, have answered this query, she couldn’t however say, after a second’s deliberation:

“I am not.”

Lady Catherine appeared happy.

“And will you promise me, never to enter into such an engagement?”

“I will make no promise of the kind.”

“Miss Bennet I am shocked and astonished. I expected to find a more reasonable young woman. But do not deceive yourself into a belief that I will ever recede. I shall not go away till you have given me the assurance I require.”

“And I certainly never shall give it. I am not to be intimidated into anything so wholly unreasonable. Your ladyship wants Mr. Darcy to marry your daughter; but would my giving you the wished-for promise make their marriage at all more probable? Supposing him to be attached to me, would my refusing to accept his hand make him wish to bestow it on his cousin? Allow me to say, Lady Catherine, that the arguments with which you have supported this extraordinary application have been as frivolous as the application was ill-judged. You have widely mistaken my character, if you think I can be worked on by such persuasions as these. How far your nephew might approve of your interference in his affairs, I cannot tell; but you have certainly no right to concern yourself in mine. I must beg, therefore, to be importuned no farther on the subject.”

“Not so hasty, if you please. I have by no means done. To all the objections I have already urged, I have still another to add. I am no stranger to the particulars of your youngest sister’s infamous elopement. I know it all; that the young man’s marrying her was a patched-up business, at the expence of your father and uncles. And is such a girl to be my nephew’s sister? Is her husband, is the son of his late father’s steward, to be his brother? Heaven and earth!—of what are you thinking? Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?”

“You can now have nothing further to say,” she resentfully answered. “You have insulted me in every possible method. I must beg to return to the house.”

And she rose as she spoke. Lady Catherine rose additionally, they usually turned again. Her ladyship was extremely incensed.

“You have no regard, then, for the honour and credit of my nephew! Unfeeling, selfish girl! Do you not consider that a connection with you must disgrace him in the eyes of everybody?”

“Lady Catherine, I have nothing further to say. You know my sentiments.”

“You are then resolved to have him?”

“I have said no such thing. I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me.”

“It is well. You refuse, then, to oblige me. You refuse to obey the claims of duty, honour, and gratitude. You are determined to ruin him in the opinion of all his friends, and make him the contempt of the world.”

“Neither duty, nor honour, nor gratitude,” replied Elizabeth, “have any possible claim on me, in the present instance. No principle of either would be violated by my marriage with Mr. Darcy. And with regard to the resentment of his family, or the indignation of the world, if the former were excited by his marrying me, it would not give me one moment’s concern—and the world in general would have too much sense to join in the scorn.”

“And this is your real opinion! This is your final resolve! Very well. I shall now know how to act. Do not imagine, Miss Bennet, that your ambition will ever be gratified. I came to try you. I hoped to find you reasonable; but, depend upon it, I will carry my point.”

In this way Lady Catherine talked on, until they have been on the door of the carriage, when, turning rapidly spherical, she added, “I take no leave of you, Miss Bennet. I send no compliments to your mother. You deserve no such attention. I am most seriously displeased.”

Elizabeth made no reply; and with out trying to steer her ladyship to return into the home, walked quietly into it herself. She heard the carriage drive away as she proceeded up stairs. Her mom impatiently met her on the door of the dressing-room, to ask why Lady Catherine wouldn’t are available once more and relaxation herself.

“She did not choose it,” mentioned her daughter, “she would go.”

“She is a very fine-looking woman! and her calling here was prodigiously civil! for she only came, I suppose, to tell us the Collinses were well. She is on her road somewhere, I dare say, and so, passing through Meryton, thought she might as well call on you. I suppose she had nothing particular to say to you, Lizzy?”

Elizabeth was compelled to offer into a bit falsehood right here; for to acknowledge the substance of their dialog was unimaginable.

Chapter 57

The discomposure of spirits which this extraordinary go to threw Elizabeth into, couldn’t be simply overcome; nor might she, for a lot of hours, study to consider it lower than incessantly. Lady Catherine, it appeared, had truly taken the difficulty of this journey from Rosings, for the only goal of breaking off her supposed engagement with Mr. Darcy. It was a rational scheme, to make certain! however from what the report of their engagement might originate, Elizabeth was at a loss to think about; until she recollected that his being the intimate buddy of Bingley, and her being the sister of Jane, was sufficient, at a time when the expectation of 1 wedding ceremony made everyone keen for an additional, to provide the thought. She had not herself forgotten to really feel that the wedding of her sister should convey them extra incessantly collectively. And her neighbours at Lucas Lodge, due to this fact (for via their communication with the Collinses, the report, she concluded, had reached Lady Catherine), had solely set that down as virtually sure and rapid, which she had regarded ahead to as potential at some future time.

In revolving Lady Catherine’s expressions, nevertheless, she couldn’t assist feeling some uneasiness as to the potential consequence of her persisting on this interference. From what she had mentioned of her decision to forestall their marriage, it occurred to Elizabeth that she should meditate an utility to her nephew; and the way he may take an analogous illustration of the evils connected to a connection together with her, she dared not pronounce. She knew not the precise diploma of his affection for his aunt, or his dependence on her judgment, but it surely was pure to suppose that he thought a lot increased of her ladyship than she might do; and it was sure that, in enumerating the miseries of a wedding with one, whose rapid connections have been so unequal to his personal, his aunt would deal with him on his weakest aspect. With his notions of dignity, he would in all probability really feel that the arguments, which to Elizabeth had appeared weak and ridiculous, contained a lot good sense and stable reasoning.

If he had been wavering earlier than as to what he ought to do, which had usually appeared possible, the recommendation and entreaty of so close to a relation may settle each doubt, and decide him without delay to be as completely happy as dignity unblemished might make him. In that case he would return no extra. Lady Catherine may see him in her means via city; and his engagement to Bingley of coming once more to Netherfield should give means.

“If, therefore, an excuse for not keeping his promise should come to his friend within a few days,” she added, “I shall know how to understand it. I shall then give over every expectation, every wish of his constancy. If he is satisfied with only regretting me, when he might have obtained my affections and hand, I shall soon cease to regret him at all.”

The shock of the remainder of the household, on listening to who their customer had been, was very nice; however they obligingly glad it, with the identical type of supposition which had appeased Mrs. Bennet’s curiosity; and Elizabeth was spared from a lot teasing on the topic.

The subsequent morning, as she was going downstairs, she was met by her father, who got here out of his library with a letter in his hand.

“Lizzy,” mentioned he, “I was going to look for you; come into my room.”

She adopted him thither; and her curiosity to know what he needed to inform her was heightened by the supposition of its being in some method related with the letter he held. It abruptly struck her that it is perhaps from Lady Catherine; and he or she anticipated with dismay all the resultant explanations.

She adopted her father to the hearth place, they usually each sat down. He then mentioned,

“I have received a letter this morning that has astonished me exceedingly. As it principally concerns yourself, you ought to know its contents. I did not know before, that I had two daughters on the brink of matrimony. Let me congratulate you on a very important conquest.”

The color now rushed into Elizabeth’s cheeks within the instantaneous conviction of its being a letter from the nephew, as a substitute of the aunt; and he or she was undetermined whether or not most to be happy that he defined himself in any respect, or offended that his letter was not relatively addressed to herself; when her father continued:

“You look conscious. Young ladies have great penetration in such matters as these; but I think I may defy even your sagacity, to discover the name of your admirer. This letter is from Mr. Collins.”

“From Mr. Collins! and what can he have to say?”

“Something very a lot to the aim in fact. He begins with congratulations on the approaching nuptials of my eldest daughter, of which, it appears, he has been instructed by a number of the good-natured, gossiping Lucases. I shall not sport together with your impatience, by studying what he says on that time. What pertains to your self, is as follows: ‘Having thus provided you the honest congratulations of Mrs. Collins and myself on this completely happy occasion, let me now add a brief trace as regards to one other; of which we now have been marketed by the identical authority. Your daughter Elizabeth, it’s presumed, won’t lengthy bear the identify of Bennet, after her elder sister has resigned it, and the chosen companion of her destiny could also be fairly regarded as much as as one of the vital illustrious personages on this land.’

“Can you possibly guess, Lizzy, who is meant by this?” ‘This younger gentleman is blessed, in a peculiar means, with each factor the guts of mortal can most need,—splendid property, noble kindred, and intensive patronage. Yet despite all these temptations, let me warn my cousin Elizabeth, and your self, of what evils you could incur by a precipitate closure with this gentleman’s proposals, which, in fact, you’ll be inclined to take rapid benefit of.’

“Have you any concept, Lizzy, who this gentleman is? But now it comes out:

“‘My motive for cautioning you is as follows. We have cause to think about that his aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, doesn’t look on the match with a pleasant eye.’

Mr. Darcy, you see, is the man! Now, Lizzy, I think I have surprised you. Could he, or the Lucases, have pitched on any man within the circle of our acquaintance, whose name would have given the lie more effectually to what they related? Mr. Darcy, who never looks at any woman but to see a blemish, and who probably never looked at you in his life! It is admirable!”

Elizabeth tried to hitch in her father’s pleasantry, however might solely drive one most reluctant smile. Never had his wit been directed in a way so little agreeable to her.

“Are you not diverted?”

“Oh! yes. Pray read on.”

“‘After mentioning the likelihood of this marriage to her ladyship last night, she immediately, with her usual condescension, expressed what she felt on the occasion; when it became apparent, that on the score of some family objections on the part of my cousin, she would never give her consent to what she termed so disgraceful a match. I thought it my duty to give the speediest intelligence of this to my cousin, that she and her noble admirer may be aware of what they are about, and not run hastily into a marriage which has not been properly sanctioned.’ Mr. Collins moreover adds, ‘I am truly rejoiced that my cousin Lydia’s sad business has been so well hushed up, and am only concerned that their living together before the marriage took place should be so generally known. I must not, however, neglect the duties of my station, or refrain from declaring my amazement at hearing that you received the young couple into your house as soon as they were married. It was an encouragement of vice; and had I been the rector of Longbourn, I should very strenuously have opposed it. You ought certainly to forgive them, as a Christian, but never to admit them in your sight, or allow their names to be mentioned in your hearing.’ That is his notion of Christian forgiveness! The rest of his letter is only about his dear Charlotte’s situation, and his expectation of a young olive-branch. But, Lizzy, you look as if you did not enjoy it. You are not going to be missish, I hope, and pretend to be affronted at an idle report. For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours, and laugh at them in our turn?”

“Oh!” cried Elizabeth, “I am excessively diverted. But it is so strange!”

“Yes—that is what makes it amusing. Had they fixed on any other man it would have been nothing; but his perfect indifference, and your pointed dislike, make it so delightfully absurd! Much as I abominate writing, I would not give up Mr. Collins’s correspondence for any consideration. Nay, when I read a letter of his, I cannot help giving him the preference even over Wickham, much as I value the impudence and hypocrisy of my son-in-law. And pray, Lizzy, what said Lady Catherine about this report? Did she call to refuse her consent?”

To this query his daughter replied solely with amusing; and because it had been requested with out the least suspicion, she was not distressed by his repeating it. Elizabeth had by no means been extra at a loss to make her emotions seem what they weren’t. It was essential to chortle, when she would relatively have cried. Her father had most cruelly mortified her, by what he mentioned of Mr. Darcy’s indifference, and he or she might do nothing however surprise at such a need of penetration, or concern that maybe, as a substitute of his seeing too little, she might need fancied an excessive amount of.

Chapter 58

Instead of receiving any such letter of excuse from his buddy, as Elizabeth half anticipated Mr. Bingley to do, he was in a position to convey Darcy with him to Longbourn earlier than many days had handed after Lady Catherine’s go to. The gents arrived early; and, earlier than Mrs. Bennet had time to inform him of their having seen his aunt, of which her daughter sat in momentary dread, Bingley, who needed to be alone with Jane, proposed their all strolling out. It was agreed to. Mrs. Bennet was not within the behavior of strolling; Mary might by no means spare time; however the remaining 5 set off collectively. Bingley and Jane, nevertheless, quickly allowed the others to outstrip them. They lagged behind, whereas Elizabeth, Kitty, and Darcy have been to entertain one another. Very little was mentioned by both; Kitty was an excessive amount of afraid of him to speak; Elizabeth was secretly forming a determined decision; and maybe he is perhaps doing the identical.

They walked in the direction of the Lucases, as a result of Kitty wished to name upon Maria; and as Elizabeth noticed no event for making it a basic concern, when Kitty left them she went boldly on with him alone. Now was the second for her decision to be executed, and, whereas her braveness was excessive, she instantly mentioned:

“Mr. Darcy, I am a very selfish creature; and, for the sake of giving relief to my own feelings, care not how much I may be wounding yours. I can no longer help thanking you for your unexampled kindness to my poor sister. Ever since I have known it, I have been most anxious to acknowledge to you how gratefully I feel it. Were it known to the rest of my family, I should not have merely my own gratitude to express.”

“I am sorry, exceedingly sorry,” replied Darcy, in a tone of shock and emotion, “that you have ever been informed of what may, in a mistaken light, have given you uneasiness. I did not think Mrs. Gardiner was so little to be trusted.”

“You must not blame my aunt. Lydia’s thoughtlessness first betrayed to me that you had been concerned in the matter; and, of course, I could not rest till I knew the particulars. Let me thank you again and again, in the name of all my family, for that generous compassion which induced you to take so much trouble, and bear so many mortifications, for the sake of discovering them.”

“If you will thank me,” he replied, “let it be for yourself alone. That the wish of giving happiness to you might add force to the other inducements which led me on, I shall not attempt to deny. But your family owe me nothing. Much as I respect them, I believe I thought only of you.”

Elizabeth was an excessive amount of embarrassed to say a phrase. After a brief pause, her companion added, “You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever.”

Elizabeth, feeling all of the greater than widespread awkwardness and nervousness of his state of affairs, now compelled herself to talk; and instantly, although not very fluently, gave him to know that her sentiments had undergone so materials a change, because the interval to which he alluded, as to make her obtain with gratitude and pleasure his current assurances. The happiness which this reply produced, was comparable to he had in all probability by no means felt earlier than; and he expressed himself on the event as sensibly and as warmly as a person violently in love will be imagined to do. Had Elizabeth been in a position to encounter his eye, she might need seen how nicely the expression of heartfelt delight, subtle over his face, turned him; however, although she couldn’t look, she might pay attention, and he instructed her of emotions, which, in proving of what significance she was to him, made his affection each second extra beneficial.

They walked on, with out figuring out in what course. There was an excessive amount of to be thought, and felt, and mentioned, for consideration to another objects. She quickly learnt that they have been indebted for his or her current good understanding to the efforts of his aunt, who did name on him in her return via London, and there relate her journey to Longbourn, its motive, and the substance of her dialog with Elizabeth; dwelling emphatically on each expression of the latter which, in her ladyship’s apprehension, peculiarly denoted her perverseness and assurance; within the perception that such a relation should help her endeavours to acquire that promise from her nephew which she had refused to offer. But, unluckily for her ladyship, its impact had been precisely contrariwise.

“It taught me to hope,” mentioned he, “as I had scarcely ever allowed myself to hope before. I knew enough of your disposition to be certain that, had you been absolutely, irrevocably decided against me, you would have acknowledged it to Lady Catherine, frankly and openly.”

Elizabeth colored and laughed as she replied, “Yes, you know enough of my frankness to believe me capable of that. After abusing you so abominably to your face, I could have no scruple in abusing you to all your relations.”

“What did you say of me, that I did not deserve? For, though your accusations were ill-founded, formed on mistaken premises, my behaviour to you at the time had merited the severest reproof. It was unpardonable. I cannot think of it without abhorrence.”

“We will not quarrel for the greater share of blame annexed to that evening,” mentioned Elizabeth. “The conduct of neither, if strictly examined, will be irreproachable; but since then, we have both, I hope, improved in civility.”

“I cannot be so easily reconciled to myself. The recollection of what I then said, of my conduct, my manners, my expressions during the whole of it, is now, and has been many months, inexpressibly painful to me. Your reproof, so well applied, I shall never forget: ‘had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner.’ Those were your words. You know not, you can scarcely conceive, how they have tortured me;—though it was some time, I confess, before I was reasonable enough to allow their justice.”

“I was certainly very far from expecting them to make so strong an impression. I had not the smallest idea of their being ever felt in such a way.”

“I can easily believe it. You thought me then devoid of every proper feeling, I am sure you did. The turn of your countenance I shall never forget, as you said that I could not have addressed you in any possible way that would induce you to accept me.”

“Oh! do not repeat what I then said. These recollections will not do at all. I assure you that I have long been most heartily ashamed of it.”

Darcy talked about his letter. “Did it,” mentioned he, “did it soon make you think better of me? Did you, on reading it, give any credit to its contents?”

She defined what its impact on her had been, and the way steadily all her former prejudices had been eliminated.

“I knew,” mentioned he, “that what I wrote must give you pain, but it was necessary. I hope you have destroyed the letter. There was one part especially, the opening of it, which I should dread your having the power of reading again. I can remember some expressions which might justly make you hate me.”

“The letter shall certainly be burnt, if you believe it essential to the preservation of my regard; but, though we have both reason to think my opinions not entirely unalterable, they are not, I hope, quite so easily changed as that implies.”

“When I wrote that letter,” replied Darcy, “I believed myself perfectly calm and cool, but I am since convinced that it was written in a dreadful bitterness of spirit.”

“The letter, perhaps, began in bitterness, but it did not end so. The adieu is charity itself. But think no more of the letter. The feelings of the person who wrote, and the person who received it, are now so widely different from what they were then, that every unpleasant circumstance attending it ought to be forgotten. You must learn some of my philosophy. Think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.”

“I cannot give you credit for any philosophy of the kind. Your retrospections must be so totally void of reproach, that the contentment arising from them is not of philosophy, but, what is much better, of innocence. But with me, it is not so. Painful recollections will intrude which cannot, which ought not, to be repelled. I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle. As a child I was taught what was right, but I was not taught to correct my temper. I was given good principles, but left to follow them in pride and conceit. Unfortunately an only son (for many years an only child), I was spoilt by my parents, who, though good themselves (my father, particularly, all that was benevolent and amiable), allowed, encouraged, almost taught me to be selfish and overbearing; to care for none beyond my own family circle; to think meanly of all the rest of the world; to wish at least to think meanly of their sense and worth compared with my own. Such I was, from eight to eight and twenty; and such I might still have been but for you, dearest, loveliest Elizabeth! What do I not owe you! You taught me a lesson, hard indeed at first, but most advantageous. By you, I was properly humbled. I came to you without a doubt of my reception. You showed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased.”

“Had you then persuaded yourself that I should?”

“Indeed I had. What will you think of my vanity? I believed you to be wishing, expecting my addresses.”

“My manners must have been in fault, but not intentionally, I assure you. I never meant to deceive you, but my spirits might often lead me wrong. How you must have hated me after thatevening?”

“Hate you! I was angry perhaps at first, but my anger soon began to take a proper direction.”

“I am almost afraid of asking what you thought of me, when we met at Pemberley. You blamed me for coming?”

“No indeed; I felt nothing but surprise.”

“Your surprise could not be greater than mine in being noticed by you. My conscience told me that I deserved no extraordinary politeness, and I confess that I did not expect to receive more than my due.”

“My object then,” replied Darcy, “was to show you, by every civility in my power, that I was not so mean as to resent the past; and I hoped to obtain your forgiveness, to lessen your ill opinion, by letting you see that your reproofs had been attended to. How soon any other wishes introduced themselves I can hardly tell, but I believe in about half an hour after I had seen you.”

He then instructed her of Georgiana’s enjoyment of her acquaintance, and of her disappointment at its sudden interruption; which naturally resulting in the reason for that interruption, she quickly learnt that his decision of following her from Derbyshire in quest of her sister had been shaped earlier than he quitted the inn, and that his gravity and thoughtfulness there had arisen from no different struggles than what such a goal should comprehend.

She expressed her gratitude once more, but it surely was too painful a topic to every, to be dwelt on farther.

After strolling a number of miles in a leisurely method, and too busy to know something about it, they discovered finally, on inspecting their watches, that it was time to be at dwelling.

“What could become of Mr. Bingley and Jane!” was a surprise which launched the dialogue of their affairs. Darcy was delighted with their engagement; his buddy had given him the earliest data of it.

“I must ask whether you were surprised?” mentioned Elizabeth.

“Not at all. When I went away, I felt that it would soon happen.”

“That is to say, you had given your permission. I guessed as much.” And although he exclaimed on the time period, she discovered that it had been just about the case.

“On the evening before my going to London,” mentioned he, “I made a confession to him, which I believe I ought to have made long ago. I told him of all that had occurred to make my former interference in his affairs absurd and impertinent. His surprise was great. He had never had the slightest suspicion. I told him, moreover, that I believed myself mistaken in supposing, as I had done, that your sister was indifferent to him; and as I could easily perceive that his attachment to her was unabated, I felt no doubt of their happiness together.”

Elizabeth couldn’t assist smiling at his straightforward method of directing his buddy.

“Did you speak from your own observation,” mentioned she, “when you told him that my sister loved him, or merely from my information last spring?”

“From the former. I had narrowly observed her during the two visits which I had lately made here; and I was convinced of her affection.”

“And your assurance of it, I suppose, carried immediate conviction to him.”

“It did. Bingley is most unaffectedly modest. His diffidence had prevented his depending on his own judgment in so anxious a case, but his reliance on mine made every thing easy. I was obliged to confess one thing, which for a time, and not unjustly, offended him. I could not allow myself to conceal that your sister had been in town three months last winter, that I had known it, and purposely kept it from him. He was angry. But his anger, I am persuaded, lasted no longer than he remained in any doubt of your sister’s sentiments. He has heartily forgiven me now.”

Elizabeth longed to watch that Mr. Bingley had been a most pleasant buddy; so simply guided that his value was invaluable; however she checked herself. She remembered that he had but to study to be laughed at, and it was relatively too early to start. In anticipating the happiness of Bingley, which in fact was to be inferior solely to his personal, he continued the dialog until they reached the home. In the corridor they parted.

Chapter 59

“My dear Lizzy, where can you have been walking to?” was a query which Elizabeth acquired from Jane as quickly as she entered their room, and from all of the others once they sat all the way down to desk. She had solely to say in reply, that that they had wandered about, until she was past her personal information. She colored as she spoke; however neither that, nor anything, woke up a suspicion of the reality.

The night handed quietly, unmarked by something extraordinary. The acknowledged lovers talked and laughed, the unacknowledged have been silent. Darcy was not of a disposition wherein happiness overflows in mirth; and Elizabeth, agitated and confused, relatively knew that she was completely happy than felt herself to be so; for, moreover the rapid embarrassment, there have been different evils earlier than her. She anticipated what could be felt within the household when her state of affairs turned recognized; she was conscious that nobody preferred him however Jane; and even feared that with the others it was a dislike which not all his fortune and consequence may do away.

At night time she opened her coronary heart to Jane. Though suspicion was very removed from Miss Bennet’s basic habits, she was completely incredulous right here.

“You are joking, Lizzy. This cannot be!—engaged to Mr. Darcy! No, no, you shall not deceive me. I know it to be impossible.”

“This is a wretched beginning indeed! My sole dependence was on you; and I am sure nobody else will believe me, if you do not. Yet, indeed, I am in earnest. I speak nothing but the truth. He still loves me, and we are engaged.”

Jane checked out her doubtingly. “Oh, Lizzy! it cannot be. I know how much you dislike him.”

“You know nothing of the matter. That is all to be forgot. Perhaps I did not always love him so well as I do now. But in such cases as these, a good memory is unpardonable. This is the last time I shall ever remember it myself.”

Miss Bennet nonetheless regarded all amazement. Elizabeth once more, and extra severely assured her of its fact.

“Good Heaven! can it be really so! Yet now I must believe you,” cried Jane. “My dear, dear Lizzy, I would—I do congratulate you—but are you certain? forgive the question—are you quite certain that you can be happy with him?”

“There can be no doubt of that. It is settled between us already, that we are to be the happiest couple in the world. But are you pleased, Jane? Shall you like to have such a brother?”

“Very, very much. Nothing could give either Bingley or myself more delight. But we considered it, we talked of it as impossible. And do you really love him quite well enough? Oh, Lizzy! do anything rather than marry without affection. Are you quite sure that you feel what you ought to do?”

“Oh, yes! You will only think I feel more than I ought to do, when I tell you all.”

“What do you mean?”

“Why, I must confess that I love him better than I do Bingley. I am afraid you will be angry.”

“My dearest sister, now be serious. I want to talk very seriously. Let me know every thing that I am to know, without delay. Will you tell me how long you have loved him?”

“It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began. But I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley.”

Another entreaty that she could be severe, nevertheless, produced the specified impact; and he or she quickly glad Jane by her solemn assurances of attachment. When satisfied on that article, Miss Bennet had nothing additional to want.

“Now I am quite happy,” mentioned she, “for you will be as happy as myself. I always had a value for him. Were it for nothing but his love of you, I must always have esteemed him; but now, as Bingley’s friend and your husband, there can be only Bingley and yourself more dear to me. But Lizzy, you have been very sly, very reserved with me. How little did you tell me of what passed at Pemberley and Lambton! I owe all that I know of it to another, not to you.”

Elizabeth instructed her the motives of her secrecy. She had been unwilling to say Bingley; and the unsettled state of her personal emotions had made her equally keep away from the identify of his buddy. But now she would now not conceal from her his share in Lydia’s marriage. All was acknowledged, and half the night time spent in dialog.

“Good gracious!” cried Mrs. Bennet, as she stood at a window the following morning, “if that disagreeable Mr. Darcy is not coming here again with our dear Bingley! What can he mean by being so tiresome as to be always coming here? I had no notion but he would go a-shooting, or something or other, and not disturb us with his company. What shall we do with him? Lizzy, you must walk out with him again, that he may not be in Bingley’s way.”

Elizabeth might hardly assist laughing at so handy a proposal; but was actually vexed that her mom needs to be all the time giving him such an epithet.

As quickly as they entered, Bingley checked out her so expressively, and shook palms with such heat, as left little question of his good data; and he quickly afterwards mentioned aloud, “Mrs. Bennet, have you no more lanes hereabouts in which Lizzy may lose her way again to-day?”

“I advise Mr. Darcy, and Lizzy, and Kitty,” mentioned Mrs. Bennet, “to walk to Oakham Mount this morning. It is a nice long walk, and Mr. Darcy has never seen the view.”

“It may do very well for the others,” replied Mr. Bingley; “but I am sure it will be too much for Kitty. Won’t it, Kitty?” Kitty owned that she had relatively keep at dwelling. Darcy professed an ideal curiosity to see the view from the Mount, and Elizabeth silently consented. As she went up stairs to prepare, Mrs. Bennet adopted her, saying:

“I am quite sorry, Lizzy, that you should be forced to have that disagreeable man all to yourself. But I hope you will not mind it: it is all for Jane’s sake, you know; and there is no occasion for talking to him, except just now and then. So, do not put yourself to inconvenience.”

During their stroll, it was resolved that Mr. Bennet’s consent needs to be requested in the midst of the night. Elizabeth reserved to herself the appliance for her mom’s. She couldn’t decide how her mom would take it; generally doubting whether or not all his wealth and grandeur could be sufficient to beat her abhorrence of the person. But whether or not she have been violently set towards the match, or violently delighted with it, it was sure that her method could be equally unwell tailored to do credit score to her sense; and he or she might no extra bear that Mr. Darcy ought to hear the primary raptures of her pleasure, than the primary vehemence of her disapprobation.

In the night, quickly after Mr. Bennet withdrew to the library, she noticed Mr. Darcy rise additionally and observe him, and her agitation on seeing it was excessive. She didn’t concern her father’s opposition, however he was going to be made sad; and that it needs to be via her means—that she, his favorite little one, needs to be distressing him by her alternative, needs to be filling him with fears and regrets in disposing of her—was a wretched reflection, and he or she sat in distress until Mr. Darcy appeared once more, when, him, she was a bit relieved by his smile. In a couple of minutes he approached the desk the place she was sitting with Kitty; and, whereas pretending to admire her work mentioned in a whisper, “Go to your father, he wants you in the library.” She was gone immediately.

Her father was strolling in regards to the room, wanting grave and anxious. “Lizzy,” mentioned he, “what are you doing? Are you out of your senses, to be accepting this man? Have not you always hated him?”

How earnestly did she then want that her former opinions had been extra affordable, her expressions extra average! It would have spared her from explanations and professions which it was exceedingly awkward to offer; however they have been now vital, and he or she assured him, with some confusion, of her attachment to Mr. Darcy.

“Or, in other words, you are determined to have him. He is rich, to be sure, and you may have more fine clothes and fine carriages than Jane. But will they make you happy?”

“Have you any other objection,” mentioned Elizabeth, “than your belief of my indifference?”

“None at all. We all know him to be a proud, unpleasant sort of man; but this would be nothing if you really liked him.”

“I do, I do like him,” she replied, with tears in her eyes, “I love him. Indeed he has no improper pride. He is perfectly amiable. You do not know what he really is; then pray do not pain me by speaking of him in such terms.”

“Lizzy,” mentioned her father, “I have given him my consent. He is the kind of man, indeed, to whom I should never dare refuse anything, which he condescended to ask. I now give it to you, if you are resolved on having him. But let me advise you to think better of it. I know your disposition, Lizzy. I know that you could be neither happy nor respectable, unless you truly esteemed your husband; unless you looked up to him as a superior. Your lively talents would place you in the greatest danger in an unequal marriage. You could scarcely escape discredit and misery. My child, let me not have the grief of seeing you unable to respect your partner in life. You know not what you are about.”

Elizabeth, nonetheless extra affected, was earnest and solemn in her reply; and at size, by repeated assurances that Mr. Darcy was actually the thing of her alternative, by explaining the gradual change which her estimation of him had undergone, relating her absolute certainty that his affection was not the work of a day, however had stood the check of many months’ suspense, and enumerating with power all his good qualities, she did conquer her father’s incredulity, and reconcile him to the match.

“Well, my dear,” mentioned he, when she ceased talking, “I have no more to say. If this be the case, he deserves you. I could not have parted with you, my Lizzy, to anyone less worthy.”

To full the beneficial impression, she then instructed him what Mr. Darcy had voluntarily finished for Lydia. He heard her with astonishment.

“This is an evening of wonders, indeed! And so, Darcy did every thing; made up the match, gave the money, paid the fellow’s debts, and got him his commission! So much the better. It will save me a world of trouble and economy. Had it been your uncle’s doing, I must and would have paid him; but these violent young lovers carry every thing their own way. I shall offer to pay him to-morrow; he will rant and storm about his love for you, and there will be an end of the matter.”

He then recollected her embarrassment a number of days earlier than, on his studying Mr. Collins’s letter; and after laughing at her a while, allowed her finally to go—saying, as she quitted the room, “If any young men come for Mary or Kitty, send them in, for I am quite at leisure.”

Elizabeth’s thoughts was now relieved from a really heavy weight; and, after half an hour’s quiet reflection in her personal room, she was in a position to be a part of the others with tolerable composure. Every factor was too latest for gaiety, however the night handed tranquilly away; there was now not something materials to be dreaded, and the consolation of ease and familiarity would are available time.

When her mom went as much as her dressing-room at night time, she adopted her, and made the essential communication. Its impact was most extraordinary; for on first listening to it, Mrs. Bennet sat fairly nonetheless, and unable to utter a syllable. Nor was it below many, many minutes that she might comprehend what she heard; although not normally backward to credit score what was for the benefit of her household, or that got here within the form of a lover to any of them. She started at size to get better, to fidget about in her chair, rise up, sit down once more, surprise, and bless herself.

“Good gracious! Lord bless me! only think! dear me! Mr. Darcy! Who would have thought it! And is it really true? Oh! my sweetest Lizzy! how rich and how great you will be! What pin-money, what jewels, what carriages you will have! Jane’s is nothing to it—nothing at all. I am so pleased—so happy. Such a charming man!—so handsome! so tall!—Oh, my dear Lizzy! pray apologise for my having disliked him so much before. I hope he will overlook it. Dear, dear Lizzy. A house in town! Every thing that is charming! Three daughters married! Ten thousand a year! Oh, Lord! What will become of me. I shall go distracted.”

This was sufficient to show that her approbation needn’t be doubted: and Elizabeth, rejoicing that such an effusion was heard solely by herself, quickly went away. But earlier than she had been three minutes in her personal room, her mom adopted her.

“My dearest child,” she cried, “I can think of nothing else! Ten thousand a year, and very likely more! ‘Tis as good as a Lord! And a special licence. You must and shall be married by a special licence. But my dearest love, tell me what dish Mr. Darcy is particularly fond of, that I may have it to-morrow.”

This was a tragic omen of what her mom’s behaviour to the gentleman himself is perhaps; and Elizabeth discovered that, although within the sure possession of his warmest affection, and safe of her relations’ consent, there was nonetheless one thing to be wished for. But the morrow handed off a lot better than she anticipated; for Mrs. Bennet fortunately stood in such awe of her supposed son-in-law that she ventured to not converse to him, except it was in her energy to supply him any consideration, or mark her deference for his opinion.

Elizabeth had the satisfaction of seeing her father taking pains to get acquainted with him; and Mr. Bennet quickly assured her that he was rising each hour in his esteem.

“I admire all my three sons-in-law highly,” mentioned he. “Wickham, perhaps, is my favourite; but I think I shall like your husband quite as well as Jane’s.”

Chapter 60

Elizabeth’s spirits quickly rising to playfulness once more, she needed Mr. Darcy to account for his having ever fallen in love together with her. “How could you begin?” mentioned she. “I can comprehend your going on charmingly, when you had once made a beginning; but what could set you off in the first place?”

“I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.”

“My beauty you had early withstood, and as for my manners—my behaviour to you was at least always bordering on the uncivil, and I never spoke to you without rather wishing to give you pain than not. Now be sincere; did you admire me for my impertinence?”

“For the liveliness of your mind, I did.”

“You may as well call it impertinence at once. It was very little less. The fact is, that you were sick of civility, of deference, of officious attention. You were disgusted with the women who were always speaking, and looking, and thinking for your approbation alone. I roused, and interested you, because I was so unlike them. Had you not been really amiable, you would have hated me for it; but in spite of the pains you took to disguise yourself, your feelings were always noble and just; and in your heart, you thoroughly despised the persons who so assiduously courted you. There—I have saved you the trouble of accounting for it; and really, all things considered, I begin to think it perfectly reasonable. To be sure, you knew no actual good of me—but nobody thinks of that when they fall in love.”

“Was there no good in your affectionate behaviour to Jane while she was ill at Netherfield?”

“Dearest Jane! who could have done less for her? But make a virtue of it by all means. My good qualities are under your protection, and you are to exaggerate them as much as possible; and, in return, it belongs to me to find occasions for teasing and quarrelling with you as often as may be; and I shall begin directly by asking you what made you so unwilling to come to the point at last. What made you so shy of me, when you first called, and afterwards dined here? Why, especially, when you called, did you look as if you did not care about me?”

“Because you were grave and silent, and gave me no encouragement.”

“But I was embarrassed.”

“And so was I.”

“You might have talked to me more when you came to dinner.”

“A man who had felt less, might.”

“How unlucky that you should have a reasonable answer to give, and that I should be so reasonable as to admit it! But I wonder how long you would have gone on, if you had been left to yourself. I wonder when you would have spoken, if I had not asked you! My resolution of thanking you for your kindness to Lydia had certainly great effect. Too much, I am afraid; for what becomes of the moral, if our comfort springs from a breach of promise? for I ought not to have mentioned the subject. This will never do.”

“You need not distress yourself. The moral will be perfectly fair. Lady Catherine’s unjustifiable endeavours to separate us were the means of removing all my doubts. I am not indebted for my present happiness to your eager desire of expressing your gratitude. I was not in a humour to wait for any opening of yours. My aunt’s intelligence had given me hope, and I was determined at once to know every thing.”

“Lady Catherine has been of infinite use, which ought to make her happy, for she loves to be of use. But tell me, what did you come down to Netherfield for? Was it merely to ride to Longbourn and be embarrassed? or had you intended any more serious consequence?”

“My real purpose was to see you, and to judge, if I could, whether I might ever hope to make you love me. My avowed one, or what I avowed to myself, was to see whether your sister were still partial to Bingley, and if she were, to make the confession to him which I have since made.”

“Shall you ever have courage to announce to Lady Catherine what is to befall her?”

“I am more likely to want more time than courage, Elizabeth. But it ought to be done, and if you will give me a sheet of paper, it shall be done directly.”

“And if I had not a letter to write myself, I might sit by you and admire the evenness of your writing, as another young lady once did. But I have an aunt, too, who must not be longer neglected.”

From an unwillingness to admit how a lot her intimacy with Mr. Darcy had been over-rated, Elizabeth had by no means but answered Mrs. Gardiner’s lengthy letter; however now, having that to speak which she knew could be most welcome, she was virtually ashamed to search out that her uncle and aunt had already misplaced three days of happiness, and instantly wrote as follows:

“I would have thanked you before, my dear aunt, as I ought to have done, for your long, kind, satisfactory, detail of particulars; but to say the truth, I was too cross to write. You supposed more than really existed. But now suppose as much as you choose; give a loose rein to your fancy, indulge your imagination in every possible flight which the subject will afford, and unless you believe me actually married, you cannot greatly err. You must write again very soon, and praise him a great deal more than you did in your last. I thank you, again and again, for not going to the Lakes. How could I be so silly as to wish it! Your idea of the ponies is delightful. We will go round the Park every day. I am the happiest creature in the world. Perhaps other people have said so before, but not one with such justice. I am happier even than Jane; she only smiles, I laugh. Mr. Darcy sends you all the love in the world that he can spare from me. You are all to come to Pemberley at Christmas. Yours, etc.”

Mr. Darcy’s letter to Lady Catherine was in a special fashion; and nonetheless completely different from both was what Mr. Bennet despatched to Mr. Collins, in reply to his final.


“I have to bother you as soon as extra for congratulations. Elizabeth will quickly be the spouse of Mr. Darcy. Console Lady Catherine in addition to you’ll be able to. But, if I have been you, I’d stand by the nephew. He has extra to offer.

“Yours sincerely, etc.”

Miss Bingley’s congratulations to her brother, on his approaching marriage, have been all that was affectionate and insincere. She wrote even to Jane on the event, to specific her delight, and repeat all her former professions of regard. Jane was not deceived, however she was affected; and although feeling no reliance on her, couldn’t assist writing her a a lot kinder reply than she knew was deserved.

The pleasure which Miss Darcy expressed on receiving related data, was as honest as her brother’s in sending it. Four sides of paper have been inadequate to comprise all her delight, and all her earnest need of being cherished by her sister.

Before any reply might arrive from Mr. Collins, or any congratulations to Elizabeth from his spouse, the Longbourn household heard that the Collinses have been come themselves to Lucas Lodge. The cause of this sudden elimination was quickly evident. Lady Catherine had been rendered so exceedingly indignant by the contents of her nephew’s letter, that Charlotte, actually rejoicing within the match, was anxious to get away until the storm was blown over. At such a second, the arrival of her buddy was a honest pleasure to Elizabeth, although in the midst of their conferences she should generally assume the pleasure dearly purchased, when she noticed Mr. Darcy uncovered to all of the parading and obsequious civility of her husband. He bore it, nevertheless, with admirable calmness. He might even take heed to Sir William Lucas, when he complimented him on carrying away the brightest jewel of the nation, and expressed his hopes of their all assembly incessantly at St. James’s, with very respectable composure. If he did shrug his shoulders, it was not until Sir William was out of sight.

Mrs. Phillips’s vulgarity was one other, and maybe a larger, tax on his forbearance; and although Mrs. Phillips, in addition to her sister, stood in an excessive amount of awe of him to talk with the familiarity which Bingley’s good humour inspired, but, every time she did converse, she should be vulgar. Nor was her respect for him, although it made her extra quiet, in any respect more likely to make her extra elegant. Elizabeth did all she might to defend him from the frequent discover of both, and was ever anxious to maintain him to herself, and to these of her household with whom he may converse with out mortification; and although the uncomfortable emotions arising from all this took from the season of courtship a lot of its pleasure, it added to the hope of the long run; and he or she regarded ahead with delight to the time when they need to be faraway from society so little pleasing to both, to all of the consolation and class of their household occasion at Pemberley.

Chapter 61

Happy for all her maternal emotions was the day on which Mrs. Bennet removed her two most deserving daughters. With what delighted satisfaction she afterwards visited Mrs. Bingley, and talked of Mrs. Darcy, could also be guessed. I want I might say, for the sake of her household, that the accomplishment of her earnest need within the institution of so a lot of her kids produced so completely happy an impact as to make her a smart, amiable, well-informed lady for the remainder of her life; although maybe it was fortunate for her husband, who won’t have relished home felicity in so uncommon a type, that she nonetheless was often nervous and invariably foolish.

Mr. Bennet missed his second daughter exceedingly; his affection for her drew him oftener from dwelling than anything might do. He delighted in going to Pemberley, particularly when he was least anticipated.

Mr. Bingley and Jane remained at Netherfield solely a twelvemonth. So close to a neighborhood to her mom and Meryton relations was not fascinating even to his straightforward mood, or her affectionate coronary heart. The darling want of his sisters was then gratified; he purchased an property in a neighbouring county to Derbyshire, and Jane and Elizabeth, along with each different supply of happiness, have been inside thirty miles of one another.

Kitty, to her very materials benefit, spent the chief of her time together with her two elder sisters. In society so superior to what she had typically recognized, her enchancment was nice. She was not of so ungovernable a mood as Lydia; and, faraway from the affect of Lydia’s instance, she turned, by correct consideration and administration, much less irritable, much less ignorant, and fewer insipid. From the additional drawback of Lydia’s society she was in fact fastidiously saved, and although Mrs. Wickham incessantly invited her to come back and keep together with her, with the promise of balls and younger males, her father would by no means consent to her going.

Mary was the one daughter who remained at dwelling; and he or she was essentially drawn from the pursuit of accomplishments by Mrs. Bennet’s being fairly unable to take a seat alone. Mary was obliged to combine extra with the world, however she might nonetheless moralize over each morning go to; and as she was now not mortified by comparisons between her sisters’ magnificence and her personal, it was suspected by her father that she submitted to the change with out a lot reluctance.

As for Wickham and Lydia, their characters suffered no revolution from the wedding of her sisters. He bore with philosophy the conviction that Elizabeth should now turn out to be acquainted with no matter of his ingratitude and falsehood had earlier than been unknown to her; and despite each factor, was not wholly with out hope that Darcy may but be prevailed on to make his fortune. The congratulatory letter which Elizabeth acquired from Lydia on her marriage, defined to her that, by his spouse a minimum of, if not by himself, such a hope was cherished. The letter was to this impact:


“I want you pleasure. If you like Mr. Darcy half in addition to I do my expensive Wickham, you should be very completely happy. It is a good consolation to have you ever so wealthy, and when you don’t have anything else to do, I hope you’ll consider us. I’m certain Wickham would love a spot at court docket very a lot, and I don’t assume we will have fairly cash sufficient to reside upon with out some assist. Any place would do, of about three or 4 hundred a 12 months; however nevertheless, don’t converse to Mr. Darcy about it, in the event you had relatively not.

“Yours, etc.”

As it occurred that Elizabeth had a lot relatively not, she endeavoured in her reply to place an finish to each entreaty and expectation of the sort. Such reduction, nevertheless, because it was in her energy to afford, by the apply of what is perhaps referred to as financial system in her personal non-public expences, she incessantly despatched them. It had all the time been evident to her that such an revenue as theirs, below the course of two individuals so extravagant of their needs, and heedless of the long run, should be very inadequate to their assist; and every time they modified their quarters, both Jane or herself have been certain of being utilized to for some little help in the direction of discharging their payments. Their method of dwelling, even when the restoration of peace dismissed them to a house, was unsettled within the excessive. They have been all the time transferring from place to position in quest of an inexpensive state of affairs, and all the time spending greater than they ought. His affection for her quickly sunk into indifference; hers lasted a bit longer; and despite her youth and her manners, she retained all of the claims to fame which her marriage had given her.

Though Darcy might by no means obtain him at Pemberley, but, for Elizabeth’s sake, he assisted him additional in his career. Lydia was often a customer there, when her husband was gone to get pleasure from himself in London or Bath; and with the Bingleys they each of them incessantly staid so lengthy, that even Bingley’s good humour was overcome, and he proceeded as far as to speak of giving them a touch to be gone.

Miss Bingley was very deeply mortified by Darcy’s marriage; however as she thought it advisable to retain the best of visiting at Pemberley, she dropt all her resentment; was fonder than ever of Georgiana, virtually as attentive to Darcy as heretofore, and paid off each arrear of civility to Elizabeth.

Pemberley was now Georgiana’s dwelling; and the attachment of the sisters was precisely what Darcy had hoped to see. They have been in a position to love one another even in addition to they supposed. Georgiana had the best opinion on the planet of Elizabeth; although at first she usually listened with an astonishment bordering on alarm at her full of life, sportive, method of speaking to her brother. He, who had all the time impressed in herself a respect which just about overcame her affection, she now noticed the thing of open pleasantry. Her thoughts acquired information which had by no means earlier than fallen in her means. By Elizabeth’s directions, she started to grasp {that a} lady could take liberties together with her husband which a brother won’t all the time enable in a sister greater than ten years youthful than himself.

Lady Catherine was extraordinarily indignant on the wedding of her nephew; and as she gave option to all the real frankness of her character in her reply to the letter which introduced its association, she despatched him language so very abusive, particularly of Elizabeth, that for a while all intercourse was at an finish. But at size, by Elizabeth’s persuasion, he was prevailed on to miss the offence, and search a reconciliation; and, after a bit additional resistance on the a part of his aunt, her resentment gave means, both to her affection for him, or her curiosity to see how his spouse carried out herself; and he or she condescended to attend on them at Pemberley, despite that air pollution which its woods had acquired, not merely from the presence of such a mistress, however the visits of her uncle and aunt from the town.

With the Gardiners, they have been all the time on probably the most intimate phrases. Darcy, in addition to Elizabeth, actually cherished them; they usually have been each ever wise of the warmest gratitude in the direction of the individuals who, by bringing her into Derbyshire, had been the technique of uniting them.

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