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, still more affected, was earnest and solemn in her reply; and, at length, by repeated
assurances that Mr. Darcy was really the object of her choice, 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, but had stood the test of many months’ suspense, and enumerating with energy all his good
qualities, she did conquer her father’s incredulity, and reconcile him to the match.
‘Well, my dear,’ said he, when she ceased speaking, ‘I have no more to say. If this be the case, he
deserves you. I could not have parted with you, my Lizzy, to any one less worthy.’
To complete the favourable impression, she then told him what Mr. Darcy had voluntarily done for
Lydia. He heard her with astonishment.
‘This is an evening of wonders, indeed! And so, Darcy did everything; 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 everything 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 few days before on his reading Mr. Collins’s letter; and after
laughing at her some time, allowed her at last 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 mind was now relieved from a very heavy weight; and, after half an hour’s quiet reflection
in her own room, she was able to join the others with tolerable composure. Everything was too recent for
gaiety, but the evening passed tranquilly away; there was no longer anything material to be dreaded, and
the comfort of ease and familiarity would come in time.
When her mother went up to her dressing-room at night, she followed her, and made the important
communication. Its effect was most extraordinary; for, on first hearing it, Mrs. Bennet sat quite still, and
unable to utter a syllable. Nor was it under many, many minutes, that she could comprehend what she
heard, though not in general backward to credit what was for the advantage of her family, or that came in
the shape of a lover to any of them. She began at length to recover, to fidget about in her chair, get up, sit
down again, wonder, 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! Everything that is charming!
Three daughters married! Ten thousand a year! Oh, Lord! what will become of me? I shall go distracted.’
This was enough to prove that her approbation need not be doubted; and Elizabeth, rejoicing that such
an effusion was heard only by herself, soon went away. But before she had been three minutes in her
room, her mother followed 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 license—you must and shall be married by a special license. But,
my dearest love, tell me what dish Mr. Darcy is particularly fond of, that I may have it to-morrow.’
This was a sad omen of what her mother’s behaviour to the gentleman himself might be; and Elizabeth
found that, though in the certain possession of his warmest affection, and secure of her relations’ consent,
there was still something to be wished for. But the morrow passed off much better than she expected; for
Mrs. Bennet luckily stood in such awe of her intended son-in-law, that she ventured not to speak to him,
unless it was in her power to offer him any attention, 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 soon assured her that he was rising every hour in his esteem.
‘I admire all my three sons-in-law highly,’ said he. ‘Wickham, perhaps, is my favourite; but I think I
shall like your husband quite as well as Jane’s.’
ELIZABETH’S spirits soon rising to playfulness again she wanted Mr. Darcy to account for his having
ever fallen in love with her. ‘How could you begin?’ said 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
know 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 an opening
of yours. My aunt’s intelligence had given me hope, and I was determined at once to know everything.’
‘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 consequences?’
‘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 was 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 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 confess how much her intimacy with Mr. Darcy had been over-rated,
Elizabeth had never yet answered Mrs. Gardiner’s long letter; but now, having that to communicate
which she knew would be most welcome, she was almost ashamed to find that her uncle and aunt had
already lost three days of happiness, and immediately 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 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 no 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
can be spared from me. You are all to come to Pemberley at Christmas. Yours, etc.
Mr. Darcy’s letter to Lady Catherine was in a different style, and still different from either was what
Mr. Bennet sent to Mr. Collins, in return for his last.
‘DEAR SIR—I must trouble you once more for congratulations. Elizabeth will soon be the
wife of Mr. Darcy. Console Lady Catherine as well as you can. But, if I were you, I would
stand by the nephew. He has more to give.—Yours sincerely,’ etc.
Miss Bingley’s congratulations to her brother on his approaching marriage were all that was
affectionate and insincere. She wrote even to Jane on the occasion, to express her delight, and repeat all
her former professions of regard. Jane was not deceived, but she was affected; and though feeling no
reliance on her, could not help writing her a much kinder answer than she knew was deserved.
The joy which Miss Darcy expressed on receiving similar information was as sincere as her brother’s in
sending it. Four sides of paper were insufficient to contain all her delight, and all her earnest desire of
being loved by her sister.
Before any answer could arrive from Mr. Collins, or any congratulations to Elizabeth from his wife, the
Longbourn family heard that the Collinses were come themselves to Lucas Lodge. The reason of this
sudden removal was soon evident. Lady Catherine had been rendered so exceedingly angry by the
contents of her nephew’s letter, that Charlotte, really rejoicing in the match, was anxious to get away till
the storm was blown over. At such a moment the arrival of her friend was a sincere pleasure to Elizabeth,
though in the course of their meetings she must sometimes think the pleasure dearly bought, when she
saw Mr. Darcy exposed to all the parading and obsequious civility of her husband. He bore it, however,
with admirable calmness. He could even listen to Sir William Lucas, when he complimented him on
carrying away the brightest jewel of the country, and expressed his hopes of their all meeting frequently
at St. James’s, with very decent composure. If he did shrug his shoulders, it was not till Sir William was
out of sight.
Mrs. Philips’s vulgarity was another, and, perhaps, a greater tax on his forbearance; and though Mrs.
Philips, as well as her sister, stood in too much awe of him to speak with the familiarity which Bingley’s
good humour encouraged, yet, whenever she did speak, she must be vulgar. Nor was her respect for him,
though it made her more quiet, at all likely to make her more elegant. Elizabeth did all she could to shield
him from the frequent notice of either, and was ever anxious to keep him to herself, and to those of her
family with whom he might converse without mortification; and though the uncomfortable feelings
arising from all this took from the season of courtship much of its pleasure, it added to the hope of the
future; and she looked forward with delight to the time when they should be removed from society so
little pleasing to either, to all the comfort and elegance of their family party at Pemberley.
HAPPY for all her maternal feelings was the day on which Mrs. Bennet got rid of her two most
deserving daughters. With what delighted pride she afterwards visited Mrs. Bingley, and talked of Mrs.
Darcy, may be guessed. I wish I could say, for the sake of her family, that the accomplishment of her
earnest desire in the establishment of so many of her children produced so happy an effect as to make her
a sensible amiable, well-informed woman for the rest of her life; though, perhaps, it was lucky for her
husband, who might not have relished domestic felicity in so unusual a form, that she still was
occasionally nervous and invariably silly.
Mr. Bennet missed his second daughter exceedingly; his affection for her drew him oftener from home
than anything else could do. He delighted in going to Pemberley, especially when he was least expected.
Mr. Bingley and Jane remained at Netherfield only a twelvemonth. So near a vicinity to her mother and
Meryton relations was not desirable even to his easy temper, or her affectionate heart. The darling wish
of his sisters was then gratified: he bought an estate in a neighbouring county to Derbyshire: and Jane
and Elizabeth, in addition to every other source of happiness, were within thirty miles of each other.
Kitty, to her very material advantage, spent the chief of her time with her two elder sisters. In society so
superior to what she had generally known, her improvement was great. She was not of so ungovernable a
temper as Lydia; and, removed from the influence of Lydia’s example, she became, by proper attention
and management, less irritable, less ignorant, and less insipid. From the further disadvantage of Lydia’s
society she was of course carefully kept; and though Mrs. Wickham frequently invited her to come and
stay with her, with the promise of balls and young men, her father would never consent to her going.
Mary was the only daughter who remained at home; and she was necessarily drawn from the pursuit of
accomplishments by Mrs. Bennet’s being quite unable to sit alone. Mary was obliged to mix more with
the world, but she could still moralise over every morning visit; and as she was no longer mortified by
comparisons between her sisters’ beauty and her own, it was suspected by her father that she submitted to
the change without much reluctance.
As for Wickham and Lydia, their characters suffered no revolution from the marriage of her sisters. He
bore with philosophy the conviction that Elizabeth must now become acquainted with whatever of his
ingratitude and falsehood had before been unknown to her; and, in spite of everything was not wholly
without hope that Darcy might yet be prevailed on to make his fortune. The congratulatory letter which
Elizabeth received from Lydia on her marriage explained to her that, by his wife at least, if not by
himself, such a hope was cherished. The letter was to this effect:—
‘My DEAR LIZZY—I wish you joy. If you love Mr. Darcy half so well as I do my dear
Wickham, you must be very happy. It is a great comfort to have you so rich; and when you
have nothing else to do, I hope you will think of us. I am sure Wickham would like a place
at court very much; and I do not think we shall have quite money enough to live upon
without some help. Any place would do of about three or four hundred a year; but, however,
do not speak to Mr. Darcy about it, if you had rather not.—Yours,’ etc.
As it happened that Elizabeth had much rather not, she endeavoured in her answer to put an end to
every entreaty and expectation of the kind. Such relief, however, as it was in her power to afford, by the
practice of what might be called economy in her own private expenses, she frequently sent them. It had
always been evident to her that such an income as their under the direction of two persons so extravagant
in their wants, and heedless of the future, must be very insufficient to their support; and whenever they
changed their quarters, either Jane or herself was sure of being applied to for some little assistance
towards discharging their bills. Their manner of living, even when the restoration of peace dismissed
them to a home, was unsettled in the extreme. They were always moving from place to place in quest of a
cheap situation, and always spending more than they ought. His affection for her soon sank into
indifference: hers lasted a little longer; and, in spite of her youth and her manners, she retained all the
claims to reputation which her marriage had given her.
Though Darcy could never receive him at Pemberley, yet, for Elizabeth’s sake, he assisted him further
in his profession. Lydia was occasionally a visitor there, when her husband was gone to enjoy himself in
London or Bath; and with the Bingleys they both of them frequently stayed so long that even Bingley’s
good humour was overcome, and he proceeded so far as to talk of giving them a hint to be gone.
Miss Bingley was very deeply mortified by Darcy’s marriage; but as she thought it advisable to retain
the right of visiting at Pemberley, she dropt all her resentment; was fonder than ever of Georgiana,
almost as attentive to Darcy as heretofore, and paid off every arrear of civility to Elizabeth.
Pemberley was now Georgiana’s home; and the attachment of the sisters was exactly what Darcy had
hoped to see. They were able to love each other, even as well as they intended. Georgiana had the highest
opinion in the world of Elizabeth; though at first she often listened with an astonishment bordering on
alarm at her lively, sportive manner of talking to her brother. Him who had always inspired in herself a
respect which almost overcame her affection she now saw the object of open pleasantry. Her mind
received knowledge, which had never before fallen in her way. By Elizabeth’s instructions she began to
comprehend that a woman may take liberties with her husband, which a brother will not always allow in
a sister more than ten years younger than himself.
Lady Catherine was extremely indignant on the marriage of her nephew; and as she gave way to all the
genuine frankness of her character, in her reply to the letter which announced its arrangement, she sent
him language so very abusive, especially of Elizabeth, that for some time all intercourse was at an end.
But at length, by Elizabeth’s persuasion, he was prevailed on to overlook the offence, and seek a
reconciliation; and, after a little further resistance on the part of his aunt, her resentment gave way, either
to her affection for him, or her curiosity to see how his wife conducted herself; and she condescended to
wait on them at Pemberley, in spite of that pollution which its woods had received, not merely from the
presence of such a mistress, but visits of her uncle and aunt from the city.
With the Gardiners they were always on the most intimate terms. Darcy, as well as Elizabeth, really
loved them; and they were both ever sensible of the warmest gratitude towards the persons who, by
bringing her into Derbyshire. had been the means of uniting them.
AUTHOR: Austen, Jane, 1775–1817.
TITLE: Pride and prejudice, by Jane Austen.
SERIES: The Harvard classics shelf of fiction, selected by Charles W. Eliot, with notes and introductions
by William Allan Neilson.
PUBLISHED: New York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1917.
PHYSICAL DETAILS: Vol. 3, Part 2, of 20; 21 cm.
OTHER AUTHORS: Eliot, Charles William, 1834–1926
Neilson, William Allan, 1869–1946, ed.
CITATION: Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Vol. III, Part 2. Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction. New
York: P.F. Collier & Son, 1917; Bartleby.com, 2001. www.bartleby.com/303/2/. [Date of Printout].
ELECTRONIC EDITION: Published November 2000 by Bartleby.com; © 2000 Copyright
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