Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница

Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница

“Pride,” observed Mary, who piqued herself upon the solidity of her reflections, “is a very common failing, I believe. By all that I have ever read, I am convinced that it is very common indeed; that human nature is particularly prone to it, and that there are very few of us who do not cherish a feeling of self-complacency on the score of some quality or other, real or imaginary. Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница, vanity to what we would have others think of us.”

“If I were as rich as Mr. Darcy,” cried a young Lucas, who came with his sisters, “I should not care how proud I was. I would keep a pack of foxhounds, and drink a bottle of wine a day.”

“Then you would drink a great deal more than you ought,” said Mrs. Bennet; “and if I were to see you at it, I should take away your bottle directly.”

The boy protested that she should not; she continued to declare that she would, and the argument ended only Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница with the visit.

Chapter 6

The ladies of Longbourn soon waited on those of Netherfield. The visit was soon returned in due form. Miss Bennet’s pleasing manners grew on the goodwill of Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley; and though the mother was found to be intolerable, and the younger sisters not worth speaking to, a wish of being better acquainted with them was expressed towards the two eldest. By Jane, this attention was received with the greatest pleasure, but Elizabeth still saw superciliousness in their treatment of everybody, hardly excepting even her sister, and could not like them; though their kindness Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница to Jane, such as it was, had a value as arising in all probability from the influence of their brother’s admiration. It was generally evident whenever they met, that he did admire her and to her it was equally evident that Jane was yielding to the preference which she had begun to entertain for him from the first, and was in a way to be very much in love; but she considered with pleasure that it was not likely to be discovered by the world in general, since Jane united, with great strength of feeling Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница, a composure of temper and a uniform cheerfulness of manner which would guard her from the suspicions of the impertinent. She mentioned this to her friend Miss Lucas.

“It may perhaps be pleasant,” replied Charlotte, “to be able to impose on the public in such a case; but it is sometimes a disadvantage to be so very guarded. If a woman conceals her affection with the same skill from the object of it, she may lose the opportunity of fixing him; and it will then be but poor consolation to believe the world equally in the dark. There is so Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница much of gratitude or vanity in almost every attachment, that it is not safe to leave any to itself. We can all begin freely—a slight preference is natural enough; but there are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement. In nine cases out of ten a women had better show more affection than she feels. Bingley likes your sister undoubtedly; but he may never do more than like her, if she does not help him on.”

“But she does help him on, as much as her nature will allow. If I can Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница perceive her regard for him, he must be a simpleton, indeed, not to discover it too.”

“Remember, Eliza, that he does not know Jane’s disposition as you do.”

“But if a woman is partial to a man, and does not endeavour to conceal it, he must find it out.”

“Perhaps he must, if he sees enough of her. But, though Bingley and Jane meet tolerably often, it is never for many hours together; and, as they always see each other in large mixed parties, it is impossible that every moment should be employed in conversing together Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница. Jane should therefore make the most of every half-hour in which she can command his attention. When she is secure of him, there will be more leisure for falling in love as much as she chooses.”

“Your plan is a good one,” replied Elizabeth, “where nothing is in question but the desire of being well married, and if I were determined to get a rich husband, or any husband, I dare say I should adopt it. But these are not Jane’s feelings; she is not acting by design. As yet, she cannot even be certain of the degree Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница of her own regard nor of its reasonableness. She has known him only a fortnight. She danced four dances with him at Meryton; she saw him one morning at his own house, and has since dined with him in company four times. This is not quite enough to make her understand his character.”



“Not as you represent it. Had she merely dined with him, she might only have discovered whether he had a good appetite; but you must remember that four evenings have also been spent together—and four evenings may do a great deal.”

“Yes; these four Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница evenings have enabled them to ascertain that they both like Vingt-un better than Commerce; but with respect to any other leading characteristic, I do not imagine that much has been unfolded.”

“Well,” said Charlotte, “I wish Jane success with all my heart; and if she were married to him to-morrow, I should think she had as good a chance of happiness as if she were to be studying his character for a twelvemonth. Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance. If the dispositions of the parties are ever so well known to each other or ever so Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница similar beforehand, it does not advance their felicity in the least. They always continue to grow sufficiently unlike afterwards to have their share of vexation; and it is better to know as little as possible of the defects of the person with whom you are to pass your life.”

“You make me laugh, Charlotte; but it is not sound. You know it is not sound, and that you would never act in this way yourself.”

Occupied in observing Mr. Bingley’s attentions to her sister, Elizabeth was far from suspecting that she was herself becoming an Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница object of some interest in the eyes of his friend. Mr. Darcy had at first scarcely allowed her to be pretty; he had looked at her without admiration at the ball; and when they next met, he looked at her only to criticise. But no sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she hardly had a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes. To this discovery succeeded some others equally mortifying. Though he had detected with a critical eye Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница more than one failure of perfect symmetry in her form, he was forced to acknowledge her figure to be light and pleasing; and in spite of his asserting that her manners were not those of the fashionable world, he was caught by their easy playfulness. Of this she was perfectly unaware; to her he was only the man who made himself agreeable nowhere, and who had not thought her handsome enough to dance with.

He began to wish to know more of her, and as a step towards conversing with her himself, attended to her conversation with others. His doing Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница so drew her notice. It was at Sir William Lucas’s, where a large party were assembled.

“What does Mr. Darcy mean,” said she to Charlotte, “by listening to my conversation with Colonel Forster?”

“That is a question which Mr. Darcy only can answer.”

“But if he does it any more I shall certainly let him know that I see what he is about. He has a very satirical eye, and if I do not begin by being impertinent myself, I shall soon grow afraid of him.”

On his approaching them soon afterwards, though without seeming to have any Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница intention of speaking, Miss Lucas defied her friend to mention such a subject to him; which immediately provoking Elizabeth to do it, she turned to him and said:

“Did you not think, Mr. Darcy, that I expressed myself uncommonly well just now, when I was teasing Colonel Forster to give us a ball at Meryton?”

“With great energy; but it is always a subject which makes a lady energetic.”

“You are severe on us.”

“It will be her turn soon to be teased,” said Miss Lucas. “I am going to open the instrument, Eliza, and you know what follows.”

“You Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница are a very strange creature by way of a friend!—always wanting me to play and sing before anybody and everybody! If my vanity had taken a musical turn, you would have been invaluable; but as it is, I would really rather not sit down before those who must be in the habit of hearing the very best performers.” On Miss Lucas’s persevering, however, she added, “Very well, if it must be so, it must.” And gravely glancing at Mr. Darcy, “There is a fine old saying, which everybody here is of course familiar with Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница: ‘Keep your breath to cool your porridge’; and I shall keep mine to swell my song.”

Her performance was pleasing, though by no means capital. After a song or two, and before she could reply to the entreaties of several that she would sing again, she was eagerly succeeded at the instrument by her sister Mary, who having, in consequence of being the only plain one in the family, worked hard for knowledge and accomplishments, was always impatient for display.

Mary had neither genius nor taste; and though vanity had given her application, it had given her likewise a pedantic air and Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница conceited manner, which would have injured a higher degree of excellence than she had reached. Elizabeth, easy and unaffected, had been listened to with much more pleasure, though not playing half so well; and Mary, at the end of a long concerto, was glad to purchase praise and gratitude by Scotch and Irish airs, at the request of her younger sisters, who, with some of the Lucases, and two or three officers, joined eagerly in dancing at one end of the room.

Mr. Darcy stood near them in silent indignation at such a mode of passing the evening Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница, to the exclusion of all conversation, and was too much engrossed by his thoughts to perceive that Sir William Lucas was his neighbour, till Sir William thus began:

“What a charming amusement for young people this is, Mr. Darcy! There is nothing like dancing after all. I consider it as one of the first refinements of polished society.”

“Certainly, sir; and it has the advantage also of being in vogue amongst the less polished societies of the world. Every savage can dance.”

Sir William only smiled. “Your friend performs delightfully,” he continued after a pause, on seeing Bingley Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница join the group; “and I doubt not that you are an adept in the science yourself, Mr. Darcy.”

“You saw me dance at Meryton, I believe, sir.”

“Yes, indeed, and received no inconsiderable pleasure from the sight. Do you often dance at St. James’s?”

“Never, sir.”

“Do you not think it would be a proper compliment to the place?”

“It is a compliment which I never pay to any place if I can avoid it.”

“You have a house in town, I conclude?”

Mr. Darcy bowed.

“I had once had some thought of fixing in town myself—for Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница I am fond of superior society; but I did not feel quite certain that the air of London would agree with Lady Lucas.”

He paused in hopes of an answer; but his companion was not disposed to make any; and Elizabeth at that instant moving towards them, he was struck with the action of doing a very gallant thing, and called out to her:

“My dear Miss Eliza, why are you not dancing? Mr. Darcy, you must allow me to present this young lady to you as a very desirable partner. You cannot refuse to dance, I am Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница sure when so much beauty is before you.” And, taking her hand, he would have given it to Mr. Darcy who, though extremely surprised, was not unwilling to receive it, when she instantly drew back, and said with some discomposure to Sir William:

“Indeed, sir, I have not the least intention of dancing. I entreat you not to suppose that I moved this way in order to beg for a partner.”

Mr. Darcy, with grave propriety, requested to be allowed the honour of her hand, but in vain. Elizabeth was determined; nor did Sir William at all shake her purpose by his Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница attempt at persuasion.

“You excel so much in the dance, Miss Eliza, that it is cruel to deny me the happiness of seeing you; and though this gentleman dislikes the amusement in general, he can have no objection, I am sure, to oblige us for one half-hour.”

“Mr. Darcy is all politeness,” said Elizabeth, smiling.

“He is, indeed; but, considering the inducement, my dear Miss Eliza, we cannot wonder at his complaisance—for who would object to such a partner?”

Elizabeth looked archly, and turned away. Her resistance had not injured her with the gentleman Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница, and he was thinking of her with some complacency, when thus accosted by Miss Bingley:

“I can guess the subject of your reverie.”

“I should imagine not.”

“You are considering how insupportable it would be to pass many evenings in this manner—in such society; and indeed I am quite of your opinion. I was never more annoyed! The insipidity, and yet the noise—the nothingness, and yet the self-importance of all those people! What would I give to hear your strictures on them!”

“You conjecture is totally wrong, I assure you. My mind was more agreeably engaged. I Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница have been meditating on the very great pleasure which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow.”

Miss Bingley immediately fixed her eyes on his face, and desired he would tell her what lady had the credit of inspiring such reflections. Mr. Darcy replied with great intrepidity:

“Miss Elizabeth Bennet.”

“Miss Elizabeth Bennet!” repeated Miss Bingley. “I am all astonishment. How long has she been such a favourite?—and pray, when am I to wish you joy?”

“That is exactly the question which I expected you to ask. A lady’s imagination Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony, in a moment. I knew you would be wishing me joy.”

“Nay, if you are serious about it, I shall consider the matter is absolutely settled. You will be having a charming mother-in-law, indeed; and, of course, she will always be at Pemberley with you.”

He listened to her with perfect indifference while she chose to entertain herself in this manner; and as his composure convinced her that all was safe, her wit flowed long.

Chapter 7

Mr. Bennet’s property consisted almost entirely in an Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница estate of two thousand a year, which, unfortunately for his daughters, was entailed, in default of heirs male, on a distant relation; and their mother’s fortune, though ample for her situation in life, could but ill supply the deficiency of his. Her father had been an attorney in Meryton, and had left her four thousand pounds.

She had a sister married to a Mr. Phillips, who had been a clerk to their father and succeeded him in the business, and a brother settled in London in a respectable line of trade.

The village of Longbourn was only one Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница mile from Meryton; a most convenient distance for the young ladies, who were usually tempted thither three or four times a week, to pay their duty to their aunt and to a milliner’s shop just over the way. The two youngest of the family, Catherine and Lydia, were particularly frequent in these attentions; their minds were more vacant than their sisters’, and when nothing better offered, a walk to Meryton was necessary to amuse their morning hours and furnish conversation for the evening; and however bare of news the country in general might be, they always contrived to Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница learn some from their aunt. At present, indeed, they were well supplied both with news and happiness by the recent arrival of a militia regiment in the neighbourhood; it was to remain the whole winter, and Meryton was the headquarters.

Their visits to Mrs. Phillips were now productive of the most interesting intelligence. Every day added something to their knowledge of the officers’ names and connections. Their lodgings were not long a secret, and at length they began to know the officers themselves. Mr. Phillips visited them all, and this opened to his nieces a store of felicity unknown before Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница. They could talk of nothing but officers; and Mr. Bingley’s large fortune, the mention of which gave animation to their mother, was worthless in their eyes when opposed to the regimentals of an ensign.

After listening one morning to their effusions on this subject, Mr. Bennet coolly observed:

“From all that I can collect by your manner of talking, you must be two of the silliest girls in the country. I have suspected it some time, but I am now convinced.”

Catherine was disconcerted, and made no answer; but Lydia, with perfect indifference, continued to express her admiration Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница of Captain Carter, and her hope of seeing him in the course of the day, as he was going the next morning to London.

“I am astonished, my dear,” said Mrs. Bennet, “that you should be so ready to think your own children silly. If I wished to think slightingly of anybody’s children, it should not be of my own, however.”

“If my children are silly, I must hope to be always sensible of it.”

“Yes—but as it happens, they are all of them very clever.”

“This is the only point, I flatter myself, on which we do Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница not agree. I had hoped that our sentiments coincided in every particular, but I must so far differ from you as to think our two youngest daughters uncommonly foolish.”

“My dear Mr. Bennet, you must not expect such girls to have the sense of their father and mother. When they get to our age, I dare say they will not think about officers any more than we do. I remember the time when I liked a red coat myself very well—and, indeed, so I do still at my heart; and if a smart young colonel, with Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница five or six thousand a year, should want one of my girls I shall not say nay to him; and I thought Colonel Forster looked very becoming the other night at Sir William’s in his regimentals.”

“Mamma,” cried Lydia, “my aunt says that Colonel Forster and Captain Carter do not go so often to Miss Watson’s as they did when they first came; she sees them now very often standing in Clarke’s library.”

Mrs. Bennet was prevented replying by the entrance of the footman with a note for Miss Bennet; it came from Netherfield, and Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница the servant waited for an answer. Mrs. Bennet’s eyes sparkled with pleasure, and she was eagerly calling out, while her daughter read,

“Well, Jane, who is it from? What is it about? What does he say? Well, Jane, make haste and tell us; make haste, my love.”

“It is from Miss Bingley,” said Jane, and then read it aloud.

“MY DEAR FRIEND,—

“If you are not so compassionate as to dine to-day with Louisa and me, we shall be in danger of hating each other for the rest of our lives, for a whole day’s tete-a-tete between Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница two women can never end without a quarrel. Come as soon as you can on receipt of this. My brother and the gentlemen are to dine with the officers.—Yours ever,

“CAROLINE BINGLEY”

“With the officers!” cried Lydia. “I wonder my aunt did not tell us of that .”

“Dining out,” said Mrs. Bennet, “that is very unlucky.”

“Can I have the carriage?” said Jane.

“No, my dear, you had better go on horseback, because it seems likely to rain; and then you must stay all night.”

“That would be a good scheme,” said Elizabeth, “if you were Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница sure that they would not offer to send her home.”

“Oh! but the gentlemen will have Mr. Bingley’s chaise to go to Meryton, and the Hursts have no horses to theirs.”

“I had much rather go in the coach.”

“But, my dear, your father cannot spare the horses, I am sure. They are wanted in the farm, Mr. Bennet, are they not?”

“They are wanted in the farm much oftener than I can get them.”

“But if you have got them to-day,” said Elizabeth, “my mother’s purpose will be answered.”

She did at last extort from her Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница father an acknowledgment that the horses were engaged. Jane was therefore obliged to go on horseback, and her mother attended her to the door with many cheerful prognostics of a bad day. Her hopes were answered; Jane had not been gone long before it rained hard. Her sisters were uneasy for her, but her mother was delighted. The rain continued the whole evening without intermission; Jane certainly could not come back.

“This was a lucky idea of mine, indeed!” said Mrs. Bennet more than once, as if the credit of making it rain were all her own. Till the next Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница morning, however, she was not aware of all the felicity of her contrivance. Breakfast was scarcely over when a servant from Netherfield brought the following note for Elizabeth:

“MY DEAREST LIZZY,—

“I find myself very unwell this morning, which, I suppose, is to be imputed to my getting wet through yesterday. My kind friends will not hear of my returning till I am better. They insist also on my seeing Mr. Jones—therefore do not be alarmed if you should hear of his having been to me—and, excepting a sore throat and headache, there is not much the Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница matter with me.—Yours, etc.”

“Well, my dear,” said Mr. Bennet, when Elizabeth had read the note aloud, “if your daughter should have a dangerous fit of illness—if she should die, it would be a comfort to know that it was all in pursuit of Mr. Bingley, and under your orders.”

“Oh! I am not afraid of her dying. People do not die of little trifling colds. She will be taken good care of. As long as she stays there, it is all very well. I would go and see her if I could have the carriage Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница.”

Elizabeth, feeling really anxious, was determined to go to her, though the carriage was not to be had; and as she was no horsewoman, walking was her only alternative. She declared her resolution.

“How can you be so silly,” cried her mother, “as to think of such a thing, in all this dirt! You will not be fit to be seen when you get there.”

“I shall be very fit to see Jane—which is all I want.”

“Is this a hint to me, Lizzy,” said her father, “to send for the horses?”

“No, indeed, I do not wish to Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница avoid the walk. The distance is nothing when one has a motive; only three miles. I shall be back by dinner.”

“I admire the activity of your benevolence,” observed Mary, “but every impulse of feeling should be guided by reason; and, in my opinion, exertion should always be in proportion to what is required.”

“We will go as far as Meryton with you,” said Catherine and Lydia. Elizabeth accepted their company, and the three young ladies set off together.

“If we make haste,” said Lydia, as they walked along, “perhaps we may see something of Captain Carter Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница before he goes.”

In Meryton they parted; the two youngest repaired to the lodgings of one of the officers’ wives, and Elizabeth continued her walk alone, crossing field after field at a quick pace, jumping over stiles and springing over puddles with impatient activity, and finding herself at last within view of the house, with weary ankles, dirty stockings, and a face glowing with the warmth of exercise.

She was shown into the breakfast-parlour, where all but Jane were assembled, and where her appearance created a great deal of surprise. That she should have walked three miles Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница so early in the day, in such dirty weather, and by herself, was almost incredible to Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley; and Elizabeth was convinced that they held her in contempt for it. She was received, however, very politely by them; and in their brother’s manners there was something better than politeness; there was good humour and kindness. Mr. Darcy said very little, and Mr. Hurst nothing at all. The former was divided between admiration of the brilliancy which exercise had given to her complexion, and doubt as to the occasion’s justifying her coming so far alone. The latter was Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница thinking only of his breakfast.

Her inquiries after her sister were not very favourably answered. Miss Bennet had slept ill, and though up, was very feverish, and not well enough to leave her room. Elizabeth was glad to be taken to her immediately; and Jane, who had only been withheld by the fear of giving alarm or inconvenience from expressing in her note how much she longed for such a visit, was delighted at her entrance. She was not equal, however, to much conversation, and when Miss Bingley left them together, could attempt little besides expressions of gratitude for Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница the extraordinary kindness she was treated with. Elizabeth silently attended her.

When breakfast was over they were joined by the sisters; and Elizabeth began to like them herself, when she saw how much affection and solicitude they showed for Jane. The apothecary came, and having examined his patient, said, as might be supposed, that she had caught a violent cold, and that they must endeavour to get the better of it; advised her to return to bed, and promised her some draughts. The advice was followed readily, for the feverish symptoms increased, and her head ached Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница acutely. Elizabeth did not quit her room for a moment; nor were the other ladies often absent; the gentlemen being out, they had, in fact, nothing to do elsewhere.

When the clock struck three, Elizabeth felt that she must go, and very unwillingly said so. Miss Bingley offered her the carriage, and she only wanted a little pressing to accept it, when Jane testified such concern in parting with her, that Miss Bingley was obliged to convert the offer of the chaise to an invitation to remain at Netherfield for the present. Elizabeth most thankfully consented, and a servant was dispatched to Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница Longbourn to acquaint the family with her stay and bring back a supply of clothes.

Chapter 8

At five o’clock the two ladies retired to dress, and at half-past six Elizabeth was summoned to dinner. To the civil inquiries which then poured in, and amongst which she had the pleasure of distinguishing the much superior solicitude of Mr. Bingley’s, she could not make a very favourable answer. Jane was by no means better. The sisters, on hearing this, repeated three or four times how much they were grieved, how shocking it was to have a bad Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница cold, and how excessively they disliked being ill themselves; and then thought no more of the matter: and their indifference towards Jane when not immediately before them restored Elizabeth to the enjoyment of all her former dislike.

Their brother, indeed, was the only one of the party whom she could regard with any complacency. His anxiety for Jane was evident, and his attentions to herself most pleasing, and they prevented her feeling herself so much an intruder as she believed she was considered by the others. She had very little notice from any but him. Miss Bingley was engrossed Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница by Mr. Darcy, her sister scarcely less so; and as for Mr. Hurst, by whom Elizabeth sat, he was an indolent man, who lived only to eat, drink, and play at cards; who, when he found her to prefer a plain dish to a ragout, had nothing to say to her.

When dinner was over, she returned directly to Jane, and Miss Bingley began abusing her as soon as she was out of the room. Her manners were pronounced to be very bad indeed, a mixture of pride and impertinence; she had no conversation, no style, no Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница beauty. Mrs. Hurst thought the same, and added:

“She has nothing, in short, to recommend her, but being an excellent walker. I shall never forget her appearance this morning. She really looked almost wild.”

“She did, indeed, Louisa. I could hardly keep my countenance. Very nonsensical to come at all! Why must she be scampering about the country, because her sister had a cold? Her hair, so untidy, so blowsy!”

“Yes, and her petticoat; I hope you saw her petticoat, six inches deep in mud, I am absolutely certain; and the gown which had been let down to hide Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница it not doing its office.”

“Your picture may be very exact, Louisa,” said Bingley; “but this was all lost upon me. I thought Miss Elizabeth Bennet looked remarkably well when she came into the room this morning. Her dirty petticoat quite escaped my notice.”

“You observed it, Mr. Darcy, I am sure,” said Miss Bingley; “and I am inclined to think that you would not wish to see your sister make such an exhibition.”

“Certainly not.”

“To walk three miles, or four miles, or five miles, or whatever it is, above her ankles in dirt, and alone, quite alone! What could Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница she mean by it? It seems to me to show an abominable sort of conceited independence, a most country-town indifference to decorum.”

“It shows an affection for her sister that is very pleasing,” said Bingley.

“I am afraid, Mr. Darcy,” observed Miss Bingley in a half whisper, “that this adventure has rather affected your admiration of her fine eyes.”

“Not at all,” he replied; “they were brightened by the exercise.” A short pause followed this speech, and Mrs. Hurst began again:

“I have a excessive regard for Miss Jane Bennet, she is really a very sweet girl, and I Спасибо, что скачали книгу в бесплатной электронной библиотеке Royallib.ru 2 страница wish with all my heart she were well settled. But with such a father and mother, and such low connections, I am afraid there is no chance of it.”

“I think I have heard you say that their uncle is an attorney on Meryton.”

“Yes; and they have another, who lives somewhere near Cheapside.”

“That is capital,” added her sister, and they both laughed heartily.

“If they had uncles enough to fill all Cheapside,” cried Bingley, “it would not make them one jot less agreeable.”

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