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Jane Austen >> Pride and Prejudice (page 71)


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 farther 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 moralize 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 every thing, 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 LlZZY, I wish you joy. If you love Mr. Darcy half as 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.

Your's, &c."

As it happened that Elizabeth had much rather not, she endeavoured in her answer to put an end to every intreaty 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 expences, she frequently sent them. It had always been evident to her that such an income as theirs, 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 were 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 sunk into indifference; her's 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 farther 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 staid 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. He, 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 farther 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 the 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.

<FINIS>

Chronology of PrideandPrejudice, according to MacKinnon and Chapman 1811 Before Michaelmas (Sept. 29): Bingley takes possession of Netherfield.

Tues 15 Oct. Mr. Collins's letter.

Tues 12 Nov. Jane is invited to dine at Netherfield Wed 13 Nov. Her illness.

Thurs 14 Nov. Mrs. Bennet at Netherfield. Elizabeth remains.

Fri 15 Nov. Darcy begins to feel his danger.

Sat 16 Nov. Darcy adheres to his book.

Sun 17 Nov. The sisters leave Netherfield.

Mon 18 Nov. Arrival of Mr. Collins Tues 19 Nov. First appearance of Wickham.

Wed 20 Nov. Supper with the Philipses.

Thurs 21 Nov. The Bingleys visit Longbourn.

Fri 22 Nov- Mon 25 Nov. A succession of rain.

Tues 26 Nov. The ball at Netherfield.

Wed 27 Nov. Mr. Collins proposes; Bingley goes to London.

Thurs 28 Nov. The Bingleys leave Netherfield.

Fri 29 Nov. Mr. Collins at Lucas Lodge.

Sat 30 Nov. Mr. Collins returns to Hunsford.

Tues 3 Dec. His promised letter of thanks arrives.

Mon 16 Dec. His return to Longbourn.

Sat 21 Dec. His departure.

Mon 23 Dec. The Gardiners come for Christmas.

Mon 30 Dec. They leave, taking Jane.

1812 Early in Jan. Mr. Collins at Lucas Lodge.

Mon 6 Jan. Jane has been a week in town.

Tues 7 Jan. She calls in Grosvenor-street.

Wed 8 Jan. Charlotte says good-bye.

Thurs 9 Jan. The wedding.

Late in Jan. Four weeks pass away without Jane's seeing Bingley.

Early in March Elizabeth goes to London.

?Thurs 5 March Arrival at Hunsford ?Fri 6 March Miss de Bourgh at the Parsonage.

?Sat 7 March They dine at Rosings.

?Thurs 12 March Sir William leaves.

?Thurs 19 March End of Elizabeth's first fortnight.

Mon 23 March Darcy and Fitzwilliam arrive.

Tues 24 March They call at the Parsonage.

Jane has been in town (almost) three months.

Fri 25 March It was doubtless on Good Friday that Darcy was `seen at church'.

Sun 29 March, Easter Day The evening is spent at Rosings.

Thurs 9 April Elizabeth's conversation with Colonel Fitzwilliam. Darcy proposes.

Fri 10 April Darcy's letter. Elizabeth has spent five weeks in Kent.

Sat 11 April Fitzwilliam and Darcy leave Kent, after a stay of `nearly three weeks' Fri 17 April The evening spent at Rosings.

Sat 18 April Elizabeth goes to town, after a visit of six weeks (and a few days).

Early in May Jane, Elizabeth, and Maria Lucas return to Longbourn.

Late in May The ----shire regiment, with Lydia, removes to Brighton.

June Lydia's sixteenth birthday.

Mid-June Northern tour is postponed to mid-July.

Sat 1 Aug. Lydia's elopement.

Sun 2 Aug. Colonel Forster sends an express to Longbourn.

Mon 3 Aug. Colonel Forster comes to Longbourn. The Gardiners and Elizabeth at Lambton.

Tues 4 Aug. Mr. Bennet goes to town. The Gardiners and Elizabeth tour Pemberley.

Wed 5 Aug. Colonel Forster back at Brighton. Mr. Bennet writes to Jane. Darcy and his sister visit Elizabeth. Bingley says it is `above eight months' since 26 Nov.

Thurs 6 Aug. The Gardiners and Elizabeth at Pemberley.

Fri 7 Aug. Elizabeth hears from Jane. The dinner at Pemberley is cancelled, and the Gardiners and Elizabeth leave Lambton.

Sat 8 Aug. They arrive at Longbourn. Darcy leaves Derbyshire for London.

Sat 9 Aug. Mr. Gardiner leaves Longbourn.

Tues 11 Aug. Mrs. Gardiner hears from her husband.

Fri 14 Aug. Darcy calls in Gracechurch-street.

Sat 15 Aug. Mr. Bennet returns. Mr. Gardiner goes back to town. Darcy calls again, having ascertained that Mr. Bennet is gone.

Sun 16 Aug. Darcy sees Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner.

Title: Pride and Prejudice
Author: Jane Austen
Viewed 160546 times

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