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Chapter 1

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters. "My dear Mr. Bennet," said his lady to him one day, "have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?" Mr. Bennet replied that he had not. "But it is," returned she; "for Mrs. Long has just been here, and she told me all about it." Mr. Bennet made no answer. "Do you not want to know who has taken it?" cried his wife impatiently. "You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it." This was invitation enough. "Why, my dear, you must know, Mrs. Long says that Netherfield is taken by a young man of large fortune from the north of England; that he came down on Monday in a chaise and four to see the place, and was so much delighted with it, that he agreed with Mr. Morris immediately; that he is to take possession before Michaelmas, and some of his servants are to be in the house by the end of next week." "What is his name?" "Bingley." "Is he married or single?" "Oh! Single, my dear, to be sure! A single man of large fortune; four or five thousand a year. What a fine thing for our girls!" "How so? How can it affect them?" "My dear Mr. Bennet," replied his wife, "how can you be so tiresome! You must know that I am thinking of his marrying one of them." "Is that his design in settling here?" "Design! Nonsense, how can you talk so! But it is very likely that he may fall in love with one of them, and therefore you must visit him as soon as he comes." "I see no occasion for that. You and the girls may go, or you may send them by themselves, which perhaps will be still better, for as you are as handsome as any of them, Mr. Bingley may like you the best of the party." "My dear, you flatter me. I certainly have had my share of beauty, but I do not pretend to be anything extraordinary now. When a woman has five grown-up daughters, she ought to give over thinking of her own beauty."

Capitolul I
Este un adevr universal recunoscut c un burlac, posesor al unei averi frumoase, are nevoie de o nevasta. Orict de putin cunoscute ar ii simmintele sau vederile unui asemenea brbat atunci cnd apare pentru prima oar ntr-un loc, acest adevr cate att de nrdcinat n minile celor din jur, nct burlacul este socotit ca proprietate de drept a uneia sau alteia dintre fiicele familiilor din vecintate. Drag domnule Bennet, i spuse doamna sa ntro zi, ai aflat c Netherfield Park a fost n sfrit nchiriat ? Domnul Bennet rspunse c nu a aflat. Dar a fost. i replic ea; cci doamna Long a trecut tocmai pe aci i mi-a povestit totul dea- fira-pr. Domnul Bennet nu ddu nici un rspuns. Nu vrei s tii cine l-a nchiriat? strig nerbdtoare soia sa. Dumneata vrei neaprat s mi-o spui i eu n-am nimic mpotriv s-o aud. Aceast invitaie a fost de ajuns. Ei bine, dragul meu, trebuie s tii c doamna Long zice c Netherfiel a fost luat de un tnr putred de bogat, din nordul Angliei; c a sosit luni ntr-un cupeu cu patru cai ca s vad locul i a fost att de ncntat, nct a i czut la nvoial cu domnul Morris; c trebuie s se instaleze nainte de sfntul Mihail i c vreo civa dintre servitorii si vor veni acolo, pn la sfritul sptmnii viitoare. Cum se numete ? Bingley. E nsurat sau burlac ? Oh ! burlac, dragul meu, sigur! Burlac i putred de bogat: patru sau cinci mii pe an. Ce lucru minunat pentru fetele noastre ! Cum aa? Ce legtur are asta cu ele ? Dragul meu Bennet, i rspunse soia, cum poi fi att de scitor? tii, desigur, c m gndesc c-o s se nsoare cu una dintre ele. Cu scopul sta se stabilete oare aici ? Scopul? Ce absurditate! Cum poi vorbi astfel? Dar este foarte posibil s se ndrgosteasc de una dintre ele i de aceea trebuie s-i faci o vizit, ndat ce va sosi. Nu cred c e cazul. Dumneata i fetele putei merge, sau le poi trimite singure, ceea ce ar fi nc i mai bine, deoarece, dat fiind c eti tot att de frumoas ca oricare dintre ele. s-ar putea ca domnul Bingley s te plac cel mai mult. Dragul meu, m mguleti. Desigur am avut i eu epoca mea de frumusee, dar nu pretind c a mai fi cine tie ce acum. Cnd o femeie are cinci fete mari trebuie sa renunte sa se mai gandeasca la

"In such cases, a woman has not often much beauty to think of." "But, my dear, you must indeed go and see Mr. Bingley when he comes into the neighbourhood." "It is more than I engage for, I assure you." "But consider your daughters. Only think what an establishment it would be for one of them. Sir William and Lady Lucas are determined to go, merely on that account, for in general, you know, they visit no newcomers. Indeed you must go, for it will be impossible for us to visit him if you do not." "You are over-scrupulous, surely. I dare say Mr. Bingley will be very glad to see you; and I will send a few lines by you to assure him of my hearty consent to his marrying whichever he chooses of the girls; though I must throw in a good word for my little Lizzy." "I desire you will do no such thing. Lizzy is not a bit better than the others; and I am sure she is not half so handsome as Jane, nor half so goodhumoured as Lydia. But you are always giving her the preference." "They have none of them much to recommend them," replied he; "they are all silly and ignorant like other girls; but Lizzy has something more of quickness than her sisters." "Mr. Bennet, how can you abuse your own children in such a way? You take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion for my poor nerves." "You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these last twenty years at least." "Ah, you do not know what I suffer." "But I hope you will get over it, and live to see many young men of four thousand a year come into the neighbourhood." "It will be no use to us, if twenty such should come, since you will not visit them." "Depend upon it, my dear, that when there are twenty, I will visit them all." Mr. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and caprice, that the experience of three-and-twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understand his character. Her mind was less difficult to develop. She was a woman of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When she was discontented, she fancied herself nervous. The business of her life was to get her daughters married; its solace was visiting and news.

propria-i frumusee. Adeseori, n asemenea cazuri, o femeie nu prea mai are cine tie ce frumusee la care s se gndeasc. Dar dragul meu, trebuie s-i faci neaprat o vizit domnului Bingley cnd va deveni vecinul nostru. E mai mult dect i pot promite, crede-m. Dar gndete-te la fiicele dumitale. Gndete-te numai ce situaie ar fi pentru una dintre ele. Sir William i Lady Lucs snt hotri s se duc numai cu scopul acesta, cci n general, tii bine, nu fac vizite noilor venii. Trebuie, trebuie s te duci pentru c, dac dumneata nu te vei duce, nou ne va fi imposibil s-i facem o vizit. Eti exagerat de scrupuloas, crede-m. Domnul Bingley va fi, desigur, foarte fericit s v cunoasc; i voi trimite prin dumneata cteva rnduri i-l voi asigura de consimmntul meu total la cstoria lui cu una dintre fetele mele care i va plcea: totui, trebuie s pun o vorb bun pentru mica mea Lizzy. Nu vreau s faci una ca asta. Lizzy nu e cu nimic mai bun dect celelalte i snt convins c nu-i nici pe jumtate frumoas ca Jane, nici pe jumtate vesel ca Lydia. Dumneata ns o preferi totdeauna pe ea. Nici una dintre ele nu prea are cu ce s se laude, rspunse domnul Bennet. Snt toate prostue i ignorante ca i alte fete! Lizzy e ns mai istea dect surorile ci. Domnule Bennet, cum poi vorbi aa de urt de copiii dumitale? i face plcere s m jigneti. Nai nici un pic de mil de bieii mei nervi. Te neli, scumpa mea. Am un mare respect pentru nervii dumitale. Snt vechile mele cunotine. Te aud pomenindu-i, cu mare consideraie, de cel puin douzeci de ani. Ah, nu tii ct sufr ! Sper ns c-i va trece i c vei tri s vezi muli tineri domni cu un venit de patru mii pe an instalndu-se prin vecintate. Nu ne va fi de nici un folos, de-ar veni i douzeci din tia, dac nu vrei s le faci o vizit. Conteaz pe mine, scumpa mea: atunci cnd vor fi douzeci, i voi vizita pe toi, deodat. Domnul Bennet era un amestec att de ciudat de agerime, sarcasm, rezerv i capriciu, nct douzeci i trei de ani de via conjugal au fost prea puini pentru soia sa ca s-i neleag firea. Firea ei nu era att de greu de descifrat. Era o femeie cu o inteligen redus, prea puine cunotine i o dispoziie instabil. Cnd era nemulumit, i nchipuia c este nervoas. Scopul vieii sale era s-i mrite fetele; plcerea vieii sale vizitele i noutile.

Chapter 2 Mr. Bennet was among the earliest of those who waited on Mr. Bingley. He had always intended to visit him, though to the last always assuring his wife that he should not go; and till the evening after the visit was paid she had no knowledge of it. It was then disclosed in the following manner. Observing his second daughter employed in trimming a hat, he suddenly addressed her with: "I hope Mr. Bingley will like it, Lizzy." "We are not in a way to know what Mr. Bingley likes," said her mother resentfully, "since we are not to visit." "But you forget, mamma," said Elizabeth, "that we shall meet him at the assemblies, and that Mrs. Long promised to introduce him." "I do not believe Mrs. Long will do any such thing. She has two nieces of her own. She is a selfish, hypocritical woman, and I have no opinion of her." "No more have I," said Mr. Bennet; "and I am glad to find that you do not depend on her serving you." Mrs. Bennet deigned not to make any reply, but, unable to contain herself, began scolding one of her daughters. "Don't keep coughing so, Kitty, for Heaven's sake! Have a little compassion on my nerves. You tear them to pieces." "Kitty has no discretion in her coughs," said her father; "she times them ill." "I do not cough for my own amusement," replied Kitty fretfully. "When is your next ball to be, Lizzy?" "To-morrow fortnight." "Aye, so it is," cried her mother, "and Mrs. Long does not come back till the day before; so it will be impossible for her to introduce him, for she will not know him herself." "Then, my dear, you may have the advantage of your friend, and introduce Mr. Bingley to her." "Impossible, Mr. Bennet, impossible, when I am not acquainted with him myself; how can you be so teasing?" "I honour your circumspection. A fortnight's acquaintance is certainly very little. One cannot know what a man really is by the end of a fortnight. But if we do not venture somebody else will; and after all, Mrs. Long and her daughters must stand their chance; and, therefore, as she will think it an act of kindness, if you decline the office, I will take it on myself." The girls stared at their father. Mrs. Bennet said only, "Nonsense, nonsense!"

Capitolul II Domnul Bennet a fost printre primii care s-au dus la domnul Bingley. Avusese tot timpul intenia s-i fac aceast vizit dei, pn n ultima clip, o asigurase pe soia sa c nu se va duce; i, pn n seara zilei n care fcuse vizita, ea nu tiuse nimic. Atunci i se dezvlui totul n felul urmtor: vzndu-i cea de a doua fiic ocupata cu dichisitul unei plrii, domnul Bennet i se adres deodat astfel: Sper c-i va plcea domnului Bingley, Lizzy. Nu suntem n situaia de a ti ce i place domnului Bingley, rspunse mama nciudat, deoarece nu-i putem face o vizit. Dar uii, mam. spuse Elizabeth, c-l vom ntilni la reuniuni i c doamna Long a promis s ni-l prezinte. Nu cred c doamna Long va face aa ceva. Are ea nsi dou nepoate. E o femeie egoist, fals, nu dau doi bani pe ea. Nici eu. spuse domnul Bennet. i m bucur c nu vei avea nevoie de serviciile ei. Doamna Bennet nu binevoi s dea vreun rspuns; dar incapabil s se stpneasc, ncepu s dojeneasc pe una dintre fete. Nu mai tot tui, Kitty, pentru numele Domnului! Ai puin mil de nervii mei. Ma calci pe nervi. Kitty nu-i deloc discret cu tusea ei, spuse tatl. Tuete cnd nu trebuie. Nu tuesc de plcere, spuse Kitty necjit. Cnd are loc balul tu viitor, Lizzy ? De mine n dou sptmni. Da, aa e, ntri mama. i doamna Long nu se va ntoarce dedt n ajun. aa c-i va fi imposibil s ni-l prezinte pentru c nu-l va cunoate nici ea. Atunci, draga mea, s-ar putea s ai superioritate fat de prietena dumitale i s i-l prezini dumneata. Imposibil, domnule Bennet, imposibil, cnd eu nsmi nu-l cunosc. Cum poi fi att de scitor ? Apreciez prudena dumitale. O cunotin de dou sptmni este, cert, foarte puin. Nu poi cunoate adevrata fire a unui om dup numai dou sptmani. Dar, dac noi nu indrznim, altcineva o va face: i, la urma urmelor, doamna Long i nepoatele sale trebuie s-i ncerce i ele norocul, i de acea, cum domnia sa va considera faptul c renuni s-i fac acest oficiu drept un act de gentilee, voi prelua eu aceast sarcin. Fetele i privir tatl ncremenite. Doamna Bennet spuse, numai : Prostii, prostii" !

"What can be the meaning of that emphatic exclamation?" cried he. "Do you consider the forms of introduction, and the stress that is laid on them, as nonsense? I cannot quite agree with you there. What say you, Mary? For you are a young lady of deep reflection, I know, and read great books and make extracts." Mary wished to say something sensible, but knew not how. "While Mary is adjusting her ideas," he continued "let us return to Mr. Bingley." "I am sick of Mr. Bingley," cried his wife. "I am sorry to hear that; but why did not you tell me that before? If I had known as much this morning I certainly would not have called on him. It is very unlucky; but as I have actually paid the visit, we cannot escape the acquaintance now." The astonishment of the ladies was just what he wished; that of Mrs. Bennet perhaps surpassing the rest; though, when the first tumult of joy was over, she began to declare that it was what she had expected all the while. "How good it was in you, my dear Mr. Bennet! But I knew I should persuade you at last. I was sure you loved your girls too well to neglect such an acquaintance. Well, how pleased I am! and it is such a good joke, too, that you should have gone this morning and never said a word about it till now." "Now, Kitty, you may cough as much as you choose," said Mr. Bennet; and, as he spoke, he left the room, fatigued with the raptures of his wife. "What an excellent father you have, girls!" said she, when the door was shut. "I do not know how you will ever make him amends for his kindness; or me, either, for that matter. At our time of life it is not so pleasant, I can tell you, to be making new acquaintances every day; but for your sakes, we would do anything. Lydia, my love, though you are the youngest, I dare say Mr. Bingley will dance with you at the next ball." "Oh!" said Lydia stoutly, "I am not afraid; for though I am the youngest, I'm the tallest." The rest of the evening was spent in conjecturing how soon he would return Mr. Bennet's visit, and determining when they should ask him to dinner. Chapter 3 Not all that Mrs. Bennet, however, with the assistance of her five daughters, could ask on the subject, was sufficient to draw from her husband any satisfactory description of Mr. Bingley. They attacked him in various wayswith barefaced questions, ingenious suppositions, and distant surmises; but he eluded the skill of them all, and they were at last obliged to accept the second-hand intelligence of their neighbour, Lady Lucas. Her report was highly favourable.

Care poate fi sensul acestei exclamaii emfatice? se repezi el. Consideri formalitatea prezentrii i importana care i se d drept o prostie? Nu prea pot fi ele de acord cu dumneata n chestiunea aceasta. Ce spui, Mary? Cci tu eti o domnioar cu idei profunde, tiu. Citeti cri serioase i scoi citate din ele. Mary ar fi dorit s spun ceva foarte inteligent, dar nu tiu ce. n timp ce Mary i pune ideile la punct, continu el, s ne ntoarcem la domnul Bingley. M-am sturat de domnul Bingley, replic soia sa. mi pare ru s aud aa ceva; dar de ce nu mi-ai spus-o mai nainte? Dac tiam acest lucru azidiminea, desigur, nu i-a fi fcut vizita. Ce ghinion! Dar cum i-am fcut ntradevr aceast vizit, nu mai putem s-l evitm. Uimirea doamnelor fu tocmai ceea ce dorise el, uimirea doamnei Bennet depind, poate, pe a tuturor, dei, dup ce primul val de bucurie trecu, ea le declar c tot timpul se ateptase la asta. Ce bun ai fost dragul meu Bennet! tiam eu c te voi convinge pn la urm. Eram sigur c-i iubeti fetele prea mult ca s nu iei n consideraie o asemenea cunotin. Vai. Ce ncintat snt! i ce fars grozav, s te fi dus azi-dimineat i s nu ne spui un singur cuvnt pn acum. Acum, Kitty, poi tui cit vrei, spuse domnul Bennet i, rostind aceste vorbe, prsi camera, stul de exaltarea soiei sale. Ce tat minunat avei, fetelor ! spuse ea. dup ce se nchise ua. Nu tiu cum i-ai putea mulumi ndeajuns pentru buntatea lui: ca i mie, de altfel. La vrsta noastr nu este prea plcut pot s v-o spun s faci mereu cunotine noi; de dragul vostru ns nu tiu ce n-am face ! Lvdia, puiorul meu. dei eti cea mai mic, snt sigur c domnul Bingley va dansa cu tine la balul urmtor. Oh! fcu Lydia energic, n-am nici o grij, cci dei snt cea mai mic eu snt cea mai nalt dintre toate. Restul serii l-au petrecut ntrebndu-se cit de repede va ntoarce domnul Bingley vizita domnului Bennet i plnuind cnd s-I invite la mas. Capitolul III Toate ntrebrile pe care doamna Bennet, cu ajutorul celor cinci fiice ale sale, le-a putut pune cu privire la domnul Bingley, n-au fost totui de ajuns pentru a-i smulge soului su o descriere mulumitoare a acestuia. L-au atacat n fel i chip cu ntrebri directe, cu insinuri istee i aluzii ocolite - dar el le-a dejucat cu dibcie toat iscusina i, pn la urm, au fost silite s accepte informaiile primite de la vecina lor, Lady Lucas. Raportul acesteia era mai mult dect favorabil

Sir William had been delighted with him. He was quite young, wonderfully handsome, extremely agreeable, and, to crown the whole, he meant to be at the next assembly with a large party. Nothing could be more delightful! To be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love; and very lively hopes of Mr. Bingley's heart were entertained. "If I can but see one of my daughters happily settled at Netherfield," said Mrs. Bennet to her husband, "and all the others equally well married, I shall have nothing to wish for." In a few days Mr. Bingley returned Mr. Bennet's visit, and sat about ten minutes with him in his library. He had entertained hopes of being admitted to a sight of the young ladies, of whose beauty he had heard much; but he saw only the father. The ladies were somewhat more fortunate, for they had the advantage of ascertaining from an upper window that he wore a blue coat, and rode a black horse. An invitation to dinner was soon afterwards dispatched; and already had Mrs. Bennet planned the courses that were to do credit to her housekeeping, when an answer arrived which deferred it all. Mr. Bingley was obliged to be in town the following day, and, consequently, unable to accept the honour of their invitation, etc. Mrs. Bennet was quite disconcerted. She could not imagine what business he could have in town so soon after his arrival in Hertfordshire; and she began to fear that he might be always flying about from one place to another, and never settled at Netherfield as he ought to be. Lady Lucas quieted her fears a little by starting the idea of his being gone to London only to get a large party for the ball; and a report soon followed that Mr. Bingley was to bring twelve ladies and seven gentlemen with him to the assembly. The girls grieved over such a number of ladies, but were comforted the day before the ball by hearing, that instead of twelve he brought only six with him from Londonhis five sisters and a cousin. And when the party entered the assembly room it consisted of only five altogetherMr. Bingley, his two sisters, the husband of the eldest, and another young man. Mr. Bingley was good-looking and gentlemanlike; he had a pleasant countenance, and easy, unaffected manners. His sisters were fine women, with an air of decided fashion. His brother-in-law, Mr. Hurst, merely looked the gentleman;

Sir William rmsese ncntat. Domnul Bingley era tnr, foarte chipe, extrem de simpatic i pentru a ncununa totul avea intenia s vin la viitoarea reuniunea cu un grup mare de prieteni. Nimic nu putea fi mai ncnttor! A iubi dansul nsemna un prim pas ctre a te ndrgosti; i inima domnului Bingley strnea foarte vii sperane. Dac mi-a putea vedea una dintre fete fericit cstorit la Netherfield, spuse doamna Bennet soului su, i pe toate celelalte tot att de bine mritate, n-a mai avea ce dori. Dup cteva zile. domnul Bingley ntoarse vizita i petrecu cu domnul Bennet, n bibliotec, vreo zece minute. Nutrise sperana de a fi admis n prezena tinerelor domnioare, de a cror frumusee auzise attea; dar l vzu numai pe tatl lor. Doamnele au fost ceva mai avantajate pentru c ele avur norocul s constate de la o fereastr de sus c tnrul purta o hain albastr i clrea pe un cal negru. Curnd dup aceasta i se trimise o invitaie la mas, iar doamna Bennet alctuise deja un meniu cave sa fac cinste artei sale de gospodin, cnd sosi un rspuns ce amna totul. Domnul Bingley era obligat s fie n ora n ziua urmtoare i, ca atare, i era imposibil s accepte onoarea ce i se fcuse etc. ... Doamna Bennet fu foarte dezamgit. Nu-i putea nchipui ce treburi avea la ora, att de curnd dup sosirea lui n Hertfortshire; i ncepu s se team c s-ar putea ca domnul Bingley s zboare mereu dintr-un loc n altul i s nu se stabileasc niciodat la Netherfield, cum ar fi trebuit s fac. Lady Lucas i-a linitit puin temerile sugerndu-i c dnsul plecase la Londra numai ca s-i aduc prietenii la bal; i n curnd se zvoni c domnul Bingley urma s vin cu dousprezece doamne i apte domni. Fetele s-au ntristat auzind de numrul att de mare de doamne; dar s-au consolat n ajunul balului, cnd au aflat c, n loc de dousprezece, a venit de la Londra numai cu ase persoane cele cinci surori ale sale i un vr. Cnd ns grupul i-a fcut apariia n salon, se compunea numai din cinci, cu totul domnul Bingley, cele dou surori ale sale. soul surorii celei mari i nc un brbat tnr. Domnul Bingley era chipe i avea maniere de domn; o inut frumoas i o purtare simpl, neafectat. Surorile sale erau femei subiri, cu un aer foarte la mod. Cumnatul lui, domnul Hurst, prea s fie un domn;

but his friend Mr. Darcy soon drew the attention of the room by his fine, tall person, handsome features, noble mien, and the report which was in general circulation within five minutes after his entrance, of his having ten thousand a year. The gentlemen pronounced him to be a fine figure of a man, the ladies declared he was much handsomer than Mr. Bingley, and he was looked at with great admiration for about half the evening, till his manners gave a disgust which turned the tide of his popularity; for he was discovered to be proud; to be above his company, and above being pleased; and not all his large estate in Derbyshire could then save him from having a most forbidding, disagreeable countenance, and being unworthy to be compared with his friend. Mr. Bingley had soon made himself acquainted with all the principal people in the room; he was lively and unreserved, danced every dance, was angry that the ball closed so early, and talked of giving one himself at Netherfield. Such amiable qualities must speak for themselves. What a contrast between him and his friend! Mr. Darcy danced only once with Mrs. Hurst and once with Miss Bingley, declined being introduced to any other lady, and spent the rest of the evening in walking about the room, speaking occasionally to one of his own party. His character was decided. He was the proudest, most disagreeable man in the world, and everybody hoped that he would never come there again. Amongst the most violent against him was Mrs. Bennet, whose dislike of his general behaviour was sharpened into particular resentment by his having slighted one of her daughters. Elizabeth Bennet had been obliged, by the scarcity of gentlemen, to sit down for two dances; and during part of that time, Mr. Darcy had been standing near enough for her to hear a conversation between him and Mr. Bingley, who came from the dance for a few minutes, to press his friend to join it. "Come, Darcy," said he, "I must have you dance. I hate to see you standing about by yourself in this stupid manner. You had much better dance." "I certainly shall not. You know how I detest it, unless I am particularly acquainted with my partner. At such an assembly as this it would be insupportable. Your sisters are engaged, and there is not another woman in the room whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with."

dar prietenul su, domnul Darcy, atrase atenia ntregului salon prin distincia persoanei sale nlimea, trsturile frumoase, expresia nobila i prin zvonul care, cinci minute dup ce intrase, era pe buzele tuturor, c ar avea zece mii pe an. Domnii au declarat c era un brbat de toat frumuseea; doamnele, c era mult mai frumos dect domnul Bingley; i a fost privit cu mare admiraie cam jumtate din seara aceea, pn cnd comportarea lui a produs o indignare care a rsturnat valul popularitii ctigate, pentru c descoperiser c era mndru, c se credea superior celorlali, c era imposibil de mulumit; i nici toat marea lui moie din Derbyshire nu l-a mai putut atunci salva de a fi socotit un om cu o purtare dezagreabil, respingtoare: era de necomparat cu prietenul su. Domnul Bingley fcuse imediat cunotin cu toate persoanele mai importante din salon, fusese plin de viat, expansiv; dansase fiecare dans, i pruse ru c balul se sfrsise att de devreme i spusese c va da el nsui un bal la Netherfield. Asemenea nsuiri griau de la sine. Ce contrast ntre el i prietenul su! Domnul Darcy a dansat numai o dat-cu doamna Hurst i o dat cu domnioara Bingley, a refuzat s fie prezentat vreunei alte doamne i i-a petrecut restul serii nvrtindu-se prin salon i aruncnd o vorb, cnd i cnd, cte unuia din grupul su. Se lmuriser asupra caracterului su. Era omul cel mai nfumurat, cel mai antipatic din lume i toi sperau c nu va mai veni pe acolo niciodat. Printre cei mai pornii mpotriva lui era doamna Bennet, a crei indignare fal de purtarea domnului Darcy, n general, se ascuise pn la o ranchiun personal, din cauza afrontului adus uneia dintre fiicele sale. Elizabeth Bennet fusese obligat s piard dou dansuri, din cauz c erau prea puini domni; i, n acel timp, domnul Darcy se aflase destul de aproape pentru ca s aud, intmpltor, o conversaie dintre el i domnul Bingley care venise de la dans. pentru o clip, spn a insista pe lng prietenul su s danseze i ei. Haide, Darcy, i spuse, te rog, vino. Nu pot s sufr s te vd stnd deoparte, singur, n felul acesta stupid. Ai face mult mai bine s dansezi. Nici nu m gndesc. tii cit detest acest lucru, afar doar de cazul cnd mi cunosc foarte bine partenera. ntr-o adunare ca aceasta mi-ar fi insuportabil. Surorile tale snt angajate i n tot salonul nu exist o alt fata cu care s pot dansa, fr s nsemne o pedeaps pentru mine. N-a putea fi att de mofturos ca tine, exclam Bingley, pentru nimic n lume! Pe cuvntul meu, n-am ntalnit n viaa mea attea fete

"I would not be so fastidious as you are," cried Mr. Bingley, "for a kingdom! Upon my honour, I never met with so many pleasant girls in my life as I have this evening; and there are several of them you see uncommonly pretty." "You are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room," said Mr. Darcy, looking at the eldest Miss Bennet. "Oh! She is the most beautiful creature I ever beheld! But there is one of her sisters sitting down just behind you, who is very pretty, and I dare say very agreeable. Do let me ask my partner to introduce you." "Which do you mean?" and turning round he looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said: "She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me; I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me." Mr. Bingley followed his advice. Mr. Darcy walked off; and Elizabeth remained with no very cordial feelings toward him. She told the story, however, with great spirit among her friends; for she had a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous. The evening altogether passed off pleasantly to the whole family. Mrs. Bennet had seen her eldest daughter much admired by the Netherfield party. Mr. Bingley had danced with her twice, and she had been distinguished by his sisters. Jane was as much gratified by this as her mother could be, though in a quieter way. Elizabeth felt Jane's pleasure. Mary had heard herself mentioned to Miss Bingley as the most accomplished girl in the neighbourhood; and Catherine and Lydia had been fortunate enough never to be without partners, which was all that they had yet learnt to care for at a ball. They returned, therefore, in good spirits to Longbourn, the village where they lived, and of which they were the principal inhabitants. They found Mr. Bennet still up. With a book he was regardless of time; and on the present occasion he had a good deal of curiosity as to the event of an evening which had raised such splendid expectations. He had rather hoped that his wife's views on the stranger would be disappointed; but he soon found out that he had a different story to hear. "Oh! my dear Mr. Bennet," as she entered the room, "we have had a most delightful evening, a most excellent ball. I wish you had been there. Jane was so admired, nothing could be like it. Everybody said how well she looked; and Mr. Bingley thought her quite beautiful, and danced with her twice! Only think of that, my dear; he actually danced with her twice! and she was the only creature in the room that he asked a second time.

drgue ca n seara asta; i cteva dintre ele, vezi, snt neobinuit de frumoase. Tu dansezi cu singura fat frumoas din aceast incapere, spuse domnul Darcy, privind-o pe cea mai mare dintre domnioarele Bennet. Oh! Este fptura cea mai frumoas pe care am vzut-o vreodat ! Este ns colo, chiar n spatele tu, una dintre surorile ei care-i foarte drgu i, cred, foarte plcut. Te rog d-mi voie s-i cer partenerei mele s i te prezinte. Despre care vorbeti? i ntorcndu-se, o priv o clip pe Elizabeth, pn ce, intalnindu-i privirea, i plec ochii i rspunse cu rceal: E acceptabil, dar nu destul de frumoas ca s m tenteze pe mine. Si n momentul de faa, nu am poft s dau atenie tinerelor domnioare neglijate de ali brbai. Ai face mai bine s te ntorci la partenera ta, s te bucuri de zmbetele ei deoarece cu mine i pierzi timpul. Bingley i urm sfatul. Darcy se ndeprt, iar Elizabeth rmsese cu sentimente nu prea cordiale pentru el. Povesti totui cu mult haz aceasl intmplare prietenelor sale, cci avea o fire vioaie, glumea, care se amuza de orice lucru ridicol. n general, seara trecu n mod plcut pentru toat familia. Doamna Bennet i vzuse fiica cea mare mult admirat de oaspeii de la Netherfield. Domnul Bingley dansase cu ea de dou ori i surorile lui o remarcaser. Jane era tot att de ncntat de toate acestea, ca i mama ei, dar ntrun fel mai rezervat. Elizabeth se bucura de bucuria Janei. Mary auzise cum fusese prezentat domnioarei Bingley, ca cea mai cultivat fat din mprejurimi; Catherine i Lydia fuseser destul de norocoase i nu duseser lips de parteneri, singurul lucru dup cum li se spusese de care trebuiau s se preocupe la un bal. S-au ntors deci toate bine dispuse la Longbourn satul in care triau i unde treceau drept locuitorii cei mai de vaz. L-au gsit pe domnul Bennet nc treaz. Cu o carte n mn, el uita de timp: i, in cazul acesta. era i foarte curios s afle ce se ntmplase ntr-o sear ca aceea, care iscase sperane att de frumoase. Ar fi preferat, mai degrab, ca soia lui s fie dezamgit de noul venit, dar i ddu seama imediat c va avea de ascultat cu totul alt poveste. Oh! dragul meu Bennet, strig ea de cum deschise ua, am avut o sear ncnttoare, un bal nemaipomenit. Cit a fi vrut s fii acolo! Jane a fost att de admirat; ce putea fi mai bine! Toi au spus c arat foarte bine i domnul Bingley a gsito tare frumoas: a dansat cu ea de dou ori. Gndete-te numai la asta. dragul meu! ntr-adevr ea a fost singura din tot salonul pe care a invitat-o i a doua oar. n primul rnd a poftit-o pe domioara Lucas. M-am simit att de jignit cnd l-am vzut pornind cu ea; dar, nu a plcut-o deloc

First of all, he asked Miss Lucas. I was so vexed to see him stand up with her! But, however, he did not admire her at all; indeed, nobody can, you know; and he seemed quite struck with Jane as she was going down the dance. So he inquired who she was, and got introduced, and asked her for the two next. Then the two third he danced with Miss King, and the two fourth with Maria Lucas, and the two fifth with Jane again, and the two sixth with Lizzy, and the Boulanger" "If he had had any compassion for me," cried her husband impatiently, "he would not have danced half so much! For God's sake, say no more of his partners. Oh that he had sprained his ankle in the first dance!" "Oh! my dear, I am quite delighted with him. He is so excessively handsome! And his sisters are charming women. I never in my life saw anything more elegant than their dresses. I dare say the lace upon Mrs. Hurst's gown "Here she was interrupted again. Mr. Bennet protested against any description of finery. She was therefore obliged to seek another branch of the subject, and related, with much bitterness of spirit and some exaggeration, the shocking rudeness of Mr. Darcy. "But I can assure you," she added, "that Lizzy does not lose much by not suiting his fancy; for he is a most disagreeable, horrid man, not at all worth pleasing. So high and so conceited that there was no enduring him! He walked here, and he walked there, fancying himself so very great! Not handsome enough to dance with! I wish you had been there, my dear, to have given him one of your set-downs. I quite detest the man."

ntr-adevr, nimeni nu poate s-o plac, tii, i a prut nnebunit de Jane cnd a vzut-o dansnd. Aa c a ntrebat cine e i a rugat s-i fie prezentat i i-a cerut urmtoarele dou dansuri. In al treilea rnd, dou le-a dansat cu domnioara King; si n al patrulea rnd, dou cu Mary Lucas; i n al cincilea, dou cu Jane, din nou; i n al aselea, dou cu Lizzy; i Boulanger-ul'... Dac ar fi avut niic mil de mine, exclam soul enervat, n-ar fi dansat nici pe jumtate ct zici c-a dansat. Pentru numele Domnului, nu-mi mai pomeni de partenerele sale! Doamne, de ce nu i-a scrntit glezna de la primul dans! Vai, dragul meu ! continu doamna Bennet, snt ncntat de el! Este att de frumos! i surorile lui snl fermectoare! N-am vzut n viata mea ceva mai elegant dect rochiile lor. Cred c dantela de pe toaleta doamnei Hurst... Aci fu din nou ntrerupt. Domnul Bennet protest mpotriva oricrei descrieri a vreunei gteli, iar ea fu astfel obligat s caute un alt aspect al subiectului i povesti, plin de amrciune i cu oarecare exagerare, groaznica bdrnie a domnului Darcy. Dar te pot asigura, adaug ea, c Lizzy n-are prea mult de pierdut dac nu corespunde gustului su; pentru c este un om grozav de antipatic, oribil, i care nu merit s te osteneti s-i placi. Att de distant, att de trufa, de nesuferit! Se foia ici, se foia colo, nchipuindu-i c-i cine tie ce! Nu destul de frumoas pentru a dansa cu el! tare a mai fi vrut s fi fost dumneata acolo, dragul meu, s-i fi spus una cum tii dumneata. Eu l detest. Capitolul 4 Cnd Jane i Elizabeth rmaser singure, Jane, care era mai nainte foarte rezervat n elogierea domnului Bingley, i mrturisi ct l admira. Este tocmai cum trebuie s fie un brbat; cu bun sim, spiritual, plin de via. i n-am mai vzut asemenea maniere perfecte! Atta simplitate i atta buna cretere! Este i frumos, adaug Elizabeth, cum ar trebui de altfel s fie orice tnr, dac poate ! Prin aceasta, caracterul lui devine desvrit, Am fost tare mgulit cnd m-a poftit a doua oar la dans. Nu m-am ateptat la un asemenea compliment Nu te-ai ateptat? Eu da. Dar asta este marea deosebire dintre noi: pe tine, complimentele pe care le primeti te iau totdeauna prin surprindere; pe mine, niciodat. Ce putea fi mai firesc dect s te pofteasc nc o dat? i orb s fi fost i tot ar fi trebuit s vad c erai de o cinci ori mai frumoas dect oricare dintre femeile din salon. Deci fr recunotin pentru galanteria lui, n cazul sta. Aa...domnul Bingley este, categoric, foarte drgu i i dau voie s-l placi. i-au plcut muli alii

Chapter 4 When Jane and Elizabeth were alone, the former, who had been cautious in her praise of Mr. Bingley before, expressed to her sister just how very much she admired him. "He is just what a young man ought to be," said she, "sensible, good-humoured, lively; and I never saw such happy manners!so much ease, with such perfect good breeding!" "He is also handsome," replied Elizabeth, "which a young man ought likewise to be, if he possibly can. His character is thereby complete." "I was very much flattered by his asking me to dance a second time. I did not expect such a compliment." "Did not you? I did for you. But that is one great difference between us. Compliments always take you by surprise, and me never. What could be more natural than his asking you again? He could not help seeing that you were about five times as pretty as every other woman in the room. No thanks to his gallantry for that. Well, he certainly is very agreeable, and I give you leave to like him. You have liked many a stupider person."

"Dear Lizzy!" "Oh! you are a great deal too apt, you know, to like people in general. You never see a fault in anybody. All the world are good and agreeable in your eyes. I never heard you speak ill of a human being in your life." "I would not wish to be hasty in censuring anyone; but I always speak what I think." "I know you do; and it is that which makes the wonder. With your good sense, to be so honestly blind to the follies and nonsense of others! Affectation of candour is common enoughone meets with it everywhere. But to be candid without ostentation or designto take the good of everybody's character and make it still better, and say nothing of the badbelongs to you alone. And so you like this man's sisters, too, do you? Their manners are not equal to his." "Certainly notat first. But they are very pleasing women when you converse with them. Miss Bingley is to live with her brother, and keep his house; and I am much mistaken if we shall not find a very charming neighbour in her." Elizabeth listened in silence, but was not convinced; their behaviour at the assembly had not been calculated to please in general; and with more quickness of observation and less pliancy of temper than her sister, and with a judgement too unassailed by any attention to herself, she was very little disposed to approve them. They were in fact very fine ladies; not deficient in good humour when they were pleased, nor in the power of making themselves agreeable when they chose it, but proud and conceited. They were rather handsome, had been educated in one of the first private seminaries in town, had a fortune of twenty thousand pounds, were in the habit of spending more than they ought, and of associating with people of rank, and were therefore in every respect entitled to think well of themselves, and meanly of others. They were of a respectable family in the north of England; a circumstance more deeply impressed on their memories than that their brother's fortune and their own had been acquired by trade. Mr. Bingley inherited property to the amount of nearly a hundred thousand pounds from his father, who had intended to purchase an estate, but did not live to do it. Mr. Bingley intended it likewise, and sometimes made choice of his county; but as he was now provided with a good house and the liberty of a manor, it was doubtful to many of those who best knew the easiness of his temper, whether he might not spend the remainder of his days at Netherfield, and leave the next generation to purchase.

Lizzy drag ! Oh, tii, tu prea eti dispus s iubeti oamenii n general. Nu vezi nici un defect la nimeni. Toi oamenii snt buni i drgui n ochii ti. Niciodat n viaa mea, nu te-am auzit vorbind de ru pe cineva. Doresc din toat inima s nu m grbesc cnd judec pe cineva; dar totdeauna cred ceea ce spun. tiu c aa este; i tocmai asta e minunea. Cu bunul tu sim, s fii att de sincer oarb la neroziile i prostia celorlali! A vrea s pari sincer este un lucru destul de obinuit, l ntlneti la tot pasul. Dar s fii sincer fr ostentaie, fr vreun anumit scop, s iei partea bun din firea fiecruia, s o faci i mai bun i s nu pomeneti nimic de prile proaste numai tu poi s-o faci. Eh, i-i plac i surorile acestui tnr, nu ? Manierele lor nu snt la nlimea alor lui. Desigur nu, la prima vedere; sunt ns femei foarte drgue cnd stai de vorb cu ele. Domnioara Bingley va locui la fratele ei i-i va duce gospodria; i, dac nu m nel, vom avea n ca o vecin ncnttoare. Elizabeth o ascult n tcere, dar nu fu convins: prin felul cum se purtaser la petrecere, nu urmriser, n general, s se fac agreabile. Cu un spirit de observaie mai viu, cu o fire mai puin, ngduitoare dect a sorei sale i, de asemeni, cu un discernmnt nealterat de vreun interes personal, Elizabeth era foarte puin dispus s le aprobe. Erau, ntr-adevr, femei foarte fine, nu le lipsea buna dispoziie cnd erau mulumite, nici darul de a se face plcute cnd o doreau; dar erau mandre i ncrezute. Erau destul de frumoase; fuseser educate ntr-unul dintre cele mai bune pensioane din ora: aveau o avere de douzeci de mii de lire ; obinuiau s cheltuiasc mai mult dect ar fi trebuit i s frecventeze oameni din nalta societate; erau deci ndreptite, n toate privinele, s gndeasc bine despre ele i ru despre alii. Fceau parte dintr-o familie respectabil din nordul Angliei fapt ntiprit n minile lor mai adnc dect mprejurarea c averea fratelui lor i a lor proprie fusese dobndit prin nego. Domnul Bingley motenise de la tatl su o avere care se ridica la aproape o sut de mii de lire: acesta avusase intenia s cumpere o moie, dar nu a trit s-o fac. Domnul Bingley avea i el aceeai intenie, i uneori alegea chiar i regiunea; dar deoarece dispunea acum de o cas bun i de toate libertile vieii de conac, muli dintre cei care i cunoteau foarte bine firea comod se ntrebau dac nu-i va petrece restul zilelor la Netherfield, lsnd generaiei urmtoare sarcina de a cumpra moia.

His sisters were anxious for his having an estate of his own; but, though he was now only established as a tenant, Miss Bingley was by no means unwilling to preside at his tablenor was Mrs. Hurst, who had married a man of more fashion than fortune, less disposed to consider his house as her home when it suited her. Mr. Bingley had not been of age two years, when he was tempted by an accidental recommendation to look at Netherfield House. He did look at it, and into it for half-an-hourwas pleased with the situation and the principal rooms, satisfied with what the owner said in its praise, and took it immediately. Between him and Darcy there was a very steady friendship, in spite of great opposition of character. Bingley was endeared to Darcy by the easiness, openness, and ductility of his temper, though no disposition could offer a greater contrast to his own, and though with his own he never appeared dissatisfied. On the strength of Darcy's regard, Bingley had the firmest reliance, and of his judgement the highest opinion. In understanding, Darcy was the superior. Bingley was by no means deficient, but Darcy was clever. He was at the same time haughty, reserved, and fastidious, and his manners, though well-bred, were not inviting. In that respect his friend had greatly the advantage. Bingley was sure of being liked wherever he appeared, Darcy was continually giving offense. The manner in which they spoke of the Meryton assembly was sufficiently characteristic. Bingley had never met with more pleasant people or prettier girls in his life; everybody had been most kind and attentive to him; there had been no formality, no stiffness; he had soon felt acquainted with all the room; and, as to Miss Bennet, he could not conceive an angel more beautiful. Darcy, on the contrary, had seen a collection of people in whom there was little beauty and no fashion, for none of whom he had felt the smallest interest, and from none received either attention or pleasure. Miss Bennet he acknowledged to be pretty, but she smiled too much. Mrs. Hurst and her sister allowed it to be so but still they admired her and liked her, and pronounced her to be a sweet girl, and one whom they would not object to know more of. Miss Bennet was therefore established as a sweet girl, and their brother felt authorized by such commendation to think of her as he chose.

Surorile lui erau foarte dornice ca domnul Bingley s-j aib propria sa moie. Cu toate c el se stabilise acum numai n calitate de chiria, domnioara Binglcy nu era ctui de puin refractar s se aeze n capul mesei lui; i nici doamna Hurst, care se cstorise cu un brbat mai mult elegant dect bogat, nu era mai puin dispus s considere casa fratelui su drept a ei proprie, cnd i convenea. Abia trecuser doi ani de cnd domnul Bingley devenise major c a i fost ispitit de o recomandarie ntmpltoare s arunce o privire la Netherfield House. i ntr-adevr, a aruncat o privire la cas, i n cas, timp de o jumtate de or; i-au plcut poziia i camerele principale, a fost mulumit de cele spuse de propietar despre avantajele locuinei, i a luat-o pe loc. ntre el i Darcy exista o prietenie trainic, n pofida unor mari deosebiri de caracter. Bigley i era drag lui Darcy pentru firea sa blnd, maleabil, deschis, dei nu s-ar fi putut gsi fire care s prezinte un contrast mai izbitor cu a sa proprie i dei niciodat nu prea nemulumit de ceea ce era el nsui. Bingley avea cea mai mare ncredere n tria afeciunii lui Darcy, iar despre judecata acestuia, prerea cea mai nalt. Inteligena lui Darcy era superioar. Lui Bingley nu-i lipsea n nici o privin nimic, dar Darcy era detept. Era n acelai timp seme, rezervat i pretenios ; i felul su de a fi dei era binecrescut nu era atrgtor. n aceast privin prietenul su i era mult superior. Oriunde ar fi aprut, Bingley cucerea ; Darcy jignea mereu. Felul n care au discutat despre petrecerea de la Meryton este destul de gritor. Bingley nu mai ntlnise niciodat n viaa sa oameni mai drgui sau fete mai frumoase; toi fuseser nespus de amabili i ateni cu el; nu existase nici formalism, nici rigiditate; se simise imediat ca ntre vechi cunotine, iar n ceea ce privete pe domnioara Bennet, nu-i putea nchipui un nger mai frumos dect ea. Darcy, dimpotriv, nu vzuse dect o colecie de oameni la care nu gsise nimic agreabil i nimic distins; nu simise pentru nici unul dintre ei nici cel mai mic interes; nici unul nu-i dduse atenie i compania nici unuia dintre ei nu-i fcuse vreo plcere. A recunoscut c domnioara Bennet era drgu, dar a gsit c zmbea prea mult. Doamna Hurst i sora sa au fost de acord cu toate acestea; totui, au plcut-o i au admirat-o; i au declarat c e o fat drgu, una pe care n-aveau obieciuni s-o cunoasc mai ndeaproape. Domnioara Bennet a fost deci consacrat ca o fat drgu, iar fratele lor s-a simit autorizat, datorit acestei laude, s se gndeasc la ea ct dorea.

Chapter 5 Within a short walk of Longbourn lived a family with whom the Bennets were particularly intimate. Sir William Lucas had been formerly in trade in Meryton, where he had made a tolerable fortune, and risen to the honour of knighthood by an address to the king during his mayoralty. The distinction had perhaps been felt too strongly. It had given him a disgust to his business, and to his residence in a small market town; and, in quitting them both, he had removed with his family to a house about a mile from Meryton, denominated from that period Lucas Lodge, where he could think with pleasure of his own importance, and, unshackled by business, occupy himself solely in being civil to all the world. For, though elated by his rank, it did not render him supercilious; on the contrary, he was all attention to everybody. By nature inoffensive, friendly, and obliging, his presentation at St. James's had made him courteous. Lady Lucas was a very good kind of woman, not too clever to be a valuable neighbour to Mrs. Bennet. They had several children. The eldest of them, a sensible, intelligent young woman, about twenty-seven, was Elizabeth's intimate friend. That the Miss Lucases and the Miss Bennets should meet to talk over a ball was absolutely necessary; and the morning after the assembly brought the former to Longbourn to hear and to communicate. "You began the evening well, Charlotte," said Mrs. Bennet with civil self-command to Miss Lucas. "You were Mr. Bingley's first choice." "Yes; but he seemed to like his second better." "Oh! you mean Jane, I suppose, because he danced with her twice. To be sure that did seem as if he admired herindeed I rather believe he didI heard something about itbut I hardly know whatsomething about Mr. Robinson." "Perhaps you mean what I overheard between him and Mr. Robinson; did not I mention it to you? Mr. Robinson's asking him how he liked our Meryton assemblies, and whether he did not think there were a great many pretty women in the room, and which he thought the prettiest? and his answering immediately to the last question: 'Oh! the eldest Miss Bennet, beyond a doubt; there cannot be two opinions on that point.'" "Upon my word! Well, that is very decided indeedthat does seem as ifbut, however, it may all come to nothing, you know."

Capitolul V Cale de o mic plimbare de la Longbourn, locuia o familie cu care familia Bennet era deosebit de strns legat. Sir William Lucas se ocupase n trecut cu negoul la Meryton, unde fcuse o avere frumuic i se ridicase la rangul de cavaler printr-o suplic adresat regelui, pe vremea cnd era primar. Rangul i se urcase, poate, la cap. i provocase sila pentru ocupaia i reedina sa ntrun trguor i, prsindu-le pe amndou, se strmutase cu familia ntr-o cas, cam la o mil de Meryton, numit de atunci Lucas Lodge, unde putea cugeta cu plcere la propria sa importan i desctuat de treburi, se putea ocupa exclusiv cu politeea fa de toat lumea. Cu toate c se simea mbtat de rangul su, lucrul acesta nu-l fcea trufa; din contr, era numai amabilitate fa de fiecare. Inofensiv, prietenos i ndatoritor din fire, prezentarea sa la Palatul St. James l fcuse i curtenitor. Lady Lucas era o femeie foarte cumsecade, nu prea deteapt, i deci o vecin preioas pentru doamna Bennet. Aveau mai muli copii. Cel mai mare, o tnr fat cam de douzeci i apte de ani, inteligent i cu mult bun sim, era prietena intim a Elizabethei. Fiind absolut necesar ca domnioarele Bennet i domnisoarele Lucas s se ntlneasc pentru a comenta un bal, dimineaa urmtoare petrecerii le aduse pe cele dinti la Longbourn ca s aud i s se fac auzite. Dumneata ai nceput seara bine, Charlotte, i spuse doamna Bennet, cu o politicoas stpnire de sine, domnioarei Lucas. Dumneata ai fost prima aleas a domnului Bingley. Da, dar se pare ca i-a plcut cea de-a doua mai mult. Ah, vrei s spui Jane, probabil pentru c a dansat de doua ori cu ea. Cu siguran, asta prea a fi admiraie. Cred c, de fapt, a admirat-o. Am auzit ceva despre asta, dar nu prea tiu bine ce ceva n legtur cu domnul Robinson. Poate v gndii la conversaia auzit de mine din ntmplare, ntre domnul Bingley i domnul Robinson: nu v-am pomenit nimic despre asta? Domnul Robinson l-a ntrebat cum i plceau petrecerile noastre la Meryton i dac nu era de prere c la serat se aflau o mulime de femei drgue, i pe care o socotea- cea mai drgu, iar el i-a rspuns prompt la ultima ntrebare: ..Oh. cea mai mare dintre domnioarele Bennet, fr ndoial nu pot exista dou preri n chestiunea asta". Pe cuvntul meu ! Dar a fost un rspuns foarte hotrt; asta. ntr-adevr, pare s nsemne c... totui, poate s nu duc la nimic, tii.

"My overhearings were more to the purpose than yours, Eliza," said Charlotte. "Mr. Darcy is not so well worth listening to as his friend, is he?poor Eliza!to be only just tolerable." "I beg you would not put it into Lizzy's head to be vexed by his ill-treatment, for he is such a disagreeable man, that it would be quite a misfortune to be liked by him. Mrs. Long told me last night that he sat close to her for half-anhour without once opening his lips." "Are you quite sure, ma'am?is not there a little mistake?" said Jane. "I certainly saw Mr. Darcy speaking to her." "Ayebecause she asked him at last how he liked Netherfield, and he could not help answering her; but she said he seemed quite angry at being spoke to." "Miss Bingley told me," said Jane, "that he never speaks much, unless among his intimate acquaintances. With them he is remarkably agreeable." "I do not believe a word of it, my dear. If he had been so very agreeable, he would have talked to Mrs. Long. But I can guess how it was; everybody says that he is eat up with pride, and I dare say he had heard somehow that Mrs. Long does not keep a carriage, and had come to the ball in a hack chaise." "I do not mind his not talking to Mrs. Long," said Miss Lucas, "but I wish he had danced with Eliza." "Another time, Lizzy," said her mother, "I would not dance with him, if I were you." "I believe, ma'am, I may safely promise you never to dance with him." "His pride," said Miss Lucas, "does not offend me so much as pride often does, because there is an excuse for it. One cannot wonder that so very fine a young man, with family, fortune, everything in his favour, should think highly of himself. If I may so express it, he has a right to be proud." "That is very true," replied Elizabeth, "and I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine." "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, vanity to what

Cele auzite de mine au fost mai cu tlc dect cele auzite de tine. Eliza, spuse Charlotte. Domnul Darcy merit mai puin s fie auzit dect prietenul su. aa e? Biata Eliza! auzi, s fie doar acceptabila' V rog s nu-i vri lui Lizzy n cap c trebuie s fie vexat de bdrnia lui; este un om att de antipatic, nct ar fi o adevrat nenorocire s fii preuit de el. Doamna Long mi-a spus seara trecut c a stat o jumtate de or, chiar ling ea. fr s deschid gura mcar o singur dat. Eti absolut sigur, mama? Nu e o mic greeal la mijloc? ntreb Jane. Snt sigur c lam vzut pe domnul Darcy vorbindu-i. Da... pentru c ea l-a ntrebat n cele din urm, cum i place la Netherfield, i el n-a avut ncotro i a trebuit s rspund, dar ea zicea c a prut furios ca i se adresase cuvntul. Domnioara Bingley mi-a spus, interveni Jane, c niciodat nu vorbete mult. Afar doar cnd e cu vechile sale cunotine. Cu acestea este deosebit de drgu. Nu cred o iota, draga mea. Dac ar ii fost atit drgut, ar fi vorbit cu doamna Long. Dar pot s-mi nchipui ce s-a ntmplat. Toi spun c-i mindru de nu-i ajungi cu prjina la nas. Cred c o fi auzit, cumva, c doamna Long nu are trsur i c a venit la bal ntr-un cupeu nchiriat. Nu-mi pas c n-a vorbit cu doamna Long, spuse domnioara Lucas, dar a fi vrut s fi dansat cu Eliza. Altdat, Lizzy, spuse mama sa a refuza s dansez cu el, dac a fi n locul tau. Cred, doamn, c-i pot promite linitit c nu voi dansa cu el niciodat. Mndria lui, interveni domnioara Lucas, pe mine nu m supr, aa cum supr adeseori mndria, pentru c are o scuz. Nu te poi mira cnd un tnr att de fin de familie, cu avere, cu tot ce-i poate dori cineva, se crede att de mult. Dac m pot exprima astfel, el are dreptul s fie mndru. Este foarte adevrat, replic Elizabelh, i a putea foarte uor s iert mndria lui, dac n-ar fi clcat-o n picioare pe a mea. Mndria, remarc Mary, care se flea cu seriozitatea refleciilor ei, este un simmnt foarte obinuit cred. Din tot ce am citit pn acum snt convins c este foarte obinuit; c natura omeneasc este deosebit de nclinat ctre acest simmnt i c foarte puini sntem aceia care nu nutrim un sentiment de automulumire pentru vreo nsuire sau alta, real sau imaginar. Orgoliul i mndria snt lucruri diferite, dei adesea cuvintele snt folosite ca sinonime. Cineva poate fi mndru fr a fi orgolios. Mndria e legat mai mult de prerea noastr despre noi nine; orgoliul, de ceea ce ne-ar plcea s gndeasc alii despre noi.

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 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 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, 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 much of gratitude or vanity in almost every attachment, that it is not safe to leave any to itself. We can all begin freelya 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

Dac a fi bogat ca domnul Darcy, exclam unul dintre tinerii Lucas, care venise cu surorile sale, nu mi-ar psa ct snt de mndru. A ine o hait de ogari i a bea o sticl de vin n fiecare zi. - Atunci, ai bea cu mult mai mult dect ar trebui, spuse doamna Bennet. i, dac te-a vedea fcndo, i-a lua pe loc sticla din fa. Biatul o asigur c n-ar face-o; ea continu s susin ca ar iace-o i discuia nu se termin dect o dat cu sfarsitul vizitei Capitolul VI Doamnele din Longbourn s-au prezentat curind la cele din Netherfield. Vizita a fost ntoars dup toate regulile. Bunele maniere ale domnioarei Bennet nfloreau, ncurajate de bunvoina doamnei Hurst i a domnioarei Bingley; i, dei pe mam au gsit-o de netolerat i pe felele mai mici nevrednice s le adreseze o vorb, i-au exprimat totui dorina, fa de cele dou mai mari, de a le cunoate" mai bine. Jane a primit aceast atenie cu cea mai mare plcere; dar Elizabeth vedea totui ct de arogant se poart cu ele, fcnd cu greu excepie pentru sora ei i nu Ie putea simpatiza; totui, amabilitatea lor fade Jane.. att ct era, avea valoare datorndu-se, dup toate probabilitile, admiraiei fratelui lor pentru Jane. Era foarte limpede ori de cte ori se ntlneau c domnul Bingley o plcea cu adevrat; dar Elizabethei i era tot att de limpede c Jane ceda pornirii pe care o simise pentru el din prima clip i c era pe cale s .se ndrgosteasc de-a binelea; i spunea de asemenea cu plcere c era imposibil ca lumea s afle ceva, deoarece Jane unea o mare putere de simire cu stpnirea de sine i cu o fire ponderat, care o puteau pune la adpost de bnuielile inoportunilor. Ea i mprti toate astea prietenei sale. domnioara Lucas. Este, poate, agreabil, replic Charloite. s fii n stare n asemenea caz, s te poi stpini n faa lumii; dar este uneori o greeal s fii att de reinut. Dac o femeie i ascunde sentimentele cu aceeai iscusin i fa de obiectul afeciunii sale, poate pierde prilejul de a-l captiva; i atunci, n-ar fi dect o slab consolare s crezi c nu tie nimic. Aproape n fiecare ataament exist de mult gratitudine sau vanitate, c nu e bine s le lai n voia lor. Sntem toi n atare sa facem nceputul singuri o uoar preferin este destul de fireasc; dar prea puini dintre noi snt n stare s se ndrgosteasc cu adevrat, fr ncurajare. In nou cazuri din zece e mai bine ca o femeie s arate mai mult afeciune dect simte. Nendoielnic, Bingley o place pe sora ta; dar s-ar

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 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. Jane should therefore make the most of every halfhour 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 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 togetherand four evenings may do a great deal." "Yes; these four 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 tomorrow, 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 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 putea ca niciodat s nu fac mai mult dect s-o plac dac ea nu-l ajut puin. Dar ea l ajut, aft ct i permite firea. Dac eu mi pot da seama de interesul ei pentru el. Bingley ar trebui s fie un nerod s nu-l observe. Nu uita, Eliza, c el nu cunoate firea Janei aa cum o cunoti tu. Dar dac o femeie are o nclinaie pentru un brbat i nu ncearc s i-o ascund, el trebuie s-i dea seama de acest lucru. Poate c trebuie, dac o vede ndeajuns... dei Bingley i Jane se ntlnesc destul de des. nu snt niciodat mult timp mpreun; i cum se vd ntotdeauna ntr-o societate numeroas, este imposibil s foloseasc fiecare clip pentru a sta mpreun de vorb. De aceea ar trebui ca Jane s profite ct mai mult de fiecare moment n care-i poate capta atenia. Cnd va fi sigur de el, va avea timp destul s se ndrgosteasc i ea ct o vrea. Planul tu e bun, i rspunse Elizabeth, ct vreme nu ai n vedere altceva dect dorina de a te mrita bine; i dac m-a hotr s-mi gsesc un brbat bogat sau, pur i simplu un brbat, oricare, cred c a adopta planul tu. Dar nu acestea snt simmintele Janei; ea nu are un scop anume. Deocamdat nu poate fi nc sigur de seriozitatea pornirii ei, sau dac aceasta este un lucru nelept. Il cunoate doar de dou sptmni. A dansat cu el la Meryton patru dansuri; l-a vzut ntr-o diminea acas la el i de atunci a cinat n compania lui de patru ori. Nu este deloc suficient pentru a-i cunoate firea. Nu, aa cum prezini tu lucrurile. Din faptul c au cinat mpreun, ar fi putut afla numai dac el are poft de mncare sau nu; dar trebuie s-i aminteti c au petrecut, de asemenea, patru seri mpreun i patru seri pot nsemna foarte mult. Da: aceste patru seri le-au dat posibilitatea s constate c amndurora le place Douzeci i unu mai mult dect Comeru1, ns n privina vreunei alte nsuiri caracteristice, nu-mi nchipui s-i fi putut dezvlui mare lucru. Ei bine, spuse Charlotte. i doresc Janei, din toat inima, noroc. Dac ar fi s se mrite cu el miine cred c ar avea tot attea anse de fericire cte ar avea dac l-ar studia fin timp de dousprezece luni. Fericirea n csnicie este numai o chestiune de noroc. Fptul c n momentul cstoriei partenerii i cunosc foarte bine firea, sau faptul c au firi foarte asemntoare nu le mrete ctui de puin ansele de fericire. Dup cstorie, deosebirile dintre ei se vor accentua de ajuns pentru ca s-i aib partea lor de suferin; i e mai bine s cunoti cit mai puin posibil defectele omului cu care-i vei petrece viaa.

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 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 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 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 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."

M faci s rid, Charlotte; dar asta nu e o judecat sntoas. tii bine c nu e un lucru sntos i c tu nsi nu ai proceda astfel. Fiind foarte prins s observe ateniile domnului Bingley fa de sora sa, Elizabeth era departe de a bnui c i ea devenise un obiect demn de un oarecare interes n ochii prietenului acestuia. La nceput, domnul Darcy admisese, cu greutate, c era drgu; la bal o privise cu indiferen: i cnd se ntlniser din nou, o privise numai pentru a-i aduce critici. Dar nici nu apucase bine s se lmureasc i s-i lmureasc prietenii c Elizabeth n-avea o singur trstur ca lumea pe chipul ei, c a i nceput s gseasc acelai chip neobinuit de inteligent, datorit expresiei frumoase din ochii ei ntunecai. Acestei descoperiri i-au urmat altele tot att de vexante pentru el. Dei, cu un ochi critic, descoperise n nfiarea ei mai mult declt o singur abatere de la perfecta simetrie, a fost obligat s constate c avea o siluet zvelt i plcut: i. dei afirma c manierele ei nu erau cele obinuite n lumea bun. fusese captivat de ncnttoarea lor naturalee. Elizabeth era total incontient de acest lucru; pentru ea, Darcy era omul care nu se fcea plcut nicieri i care n-o socotise destul de frumoasa pentru a o invita la dans. Darcy ncepu s doreasc s-o cunoasc mai bine i nainte de a sta el nsui de vorb cu ea, ca un prim pas, ncepu s asculte discuiile ei cu altii. Faptul acesta atrase atenia Elizabcthei. Asta s-a petrecut la reedina lui Sir William Lucas, unde se organizase o mare reuniune. Ce-o fi vrnd domnul Darcy, o ntreb Elizabeth pe Charlotte, c st i ascult conversaia mea cu colonelul Forster ? Aceasta este o ntrebare la care nu-i poate rspunde dect domnul Darcy. Dac va mai continua astfel, l voi face desigur s priceap c tiu ce urmrete. Are o privire foarte ironic i, dac nu ncep prin a fi eu nsmi impertinent, n curnd m voi teme de el. Puin mai trziu, n timp ce dnsul se apropia de ele. fr s aib ns aerul c dorete s participe la conversaie, domnioara Lucas spuse prietenei sale: Te desfid s deschizi un asemenea subiect fa de domnul Darcy. Aceasta fu o provocare pentru Elizabeth, care se ntoarse ctre el i-i spuse : Nu credei, domnule Darcy, c m-am exprimat remarcabil de bine adineauri, cnd l-am tot scit pe colonelul Forster s ne dea un bal la Meryton ? Cu o mare hotrre! Dar acesta este un subiect care ntotdeauna face pe o doamn s fie hotrt ! Sntei pornit mpotriva noastr.

"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 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: '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 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, 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 join the group; "and I doubt not that you are an adept in the science yourself, Mr. Darcy."

n curnd va fi rmdul ei s fie scit, interveni domnioara Lucas. M duc s deschid pianul, Eliza; tii ce urmeaz. Ca prieten, eti o fptur tare ciudat, dorind mereu s m produc n faa oricui i a tuturor. Dac vanitatea mea ar avea veleiti muzicale, ai fi de nepreuit; dar, aa cum stau lucrurile, a dori s nu m produc n faa acelora care snt obinuii s se delecteze cu cei mai buni artiti. Totui, la insistenele domnioarei Lucas, adug: Foarte bine, dac trebuie s fie aa, aa s fie; i cu o cuttur grav spre domnul Darcy: E un vechi i minunat proverb pe care-l cunosc, desigur, toi cei de fa : ,ine-ti rasuflarea ca s ai cu ce-i rci fiertura''. Eu o in pe a mea ca s-mi nal cntecul. Interpretarea ei fu plcut, dar prin nimic excepional. Dup vreo dou cntece .i nainte de a fi putui rspunde rugminilor unora de a mai cnta fu nlocuit la pian cu nerbdare de sora ei Mary care, fiind singura uric dintre fetele Bennet, se strduia din greu s-i desvreasc educaia i cunotinele i era mereu dornica s i le etaleze. Mary nu avea nici talent, nici gust; i dei ambiia o fcuse silitoare i dduse n acelai timp un aer pedant i ncrezut, care ar fi dunat chiar i cuiva ajuns la un grad de perfeciune mai mare dect cel atins de ea. Elizabcth, simpl i natural, fusese ascultat cu mult mai multa plcere, dei nu cntase nici pe jumtate att de bine; pe cnd Mary, la sfritul unui lung concerto, fu bucuroas s vneze preuire i mulumiri, cntnd melodii scoiene i irlandeze, la cererea surorilor sale mai mici care impreun cu tinerii Lucas i doi, trei ofieri, se porniser nerbdtoare s danseze ntrun capt al salonului. Domnul Darcy edea n preajma lor, ntr-o tcut indignare fa de modul acesta de a petrece seara, fr nici un fel de conversaie; era prea cufundat n propriile sale gnduri Nici nu bg de seam c alturi de el se afla Sir William Lucas, pn ce acesta nu-i vorbi. Ce petrecere ncnttoare pentru tineret, domnule Darcy! Pn la urm, nimic nu se compar cu dansul. l socotesc ca pe una dintre primele manifestri de rafinament ale societilor omeneti civilizate. Avei dreptate, Sir, i mai prezint n plus avantajul de a fi foarte ,,la mod" n societile mai puin civilizate ale lumii fiecare slbatic tie sa danseze ! Sir William zmbi doar. Prietenul dumneavoastr danseaz splendid, continu el dup o pauz, cnd l vzu pe Bingley intrnd n dans, i nu m ndoiesc c sntei i dvs, domnule Darcy adeptul acestei arte.

"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 myselffor 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 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 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 complaisancefor who would object to such a partner?" Elizabeth looked archly, and turned away. Her resistance had not injured her with the gentleman, 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

Cred c m-ai vzut dansnd la Meryton, Sir. Da, ntr-adevr, i nu mic mi-a fost plcerea privindu-v. Dansai adesea la St. James? Niciodat, Sir. __ Nu credei c ar fi un omagiu ce se cuvine acelei case ? __ Este un omagiu pe care nu-l aduc niciodat vreunei case cnd pot evita s-o fac. Avei o reedin la Londra, neleg. Domnul Darcy se nclin. __ Am avut cndva de gnd s m instalez i eu acolo. pentru c mi place o societate aleas, dar nu am fost destul de sigur c aerul Londrei i va prii Ladyei Lucas. Se opri ateptnd un rspuns, dar interlocutorul lui nu era dispus s i-l dea i, cum n clipa aceea Elizabeth se ndrepta ctre ei, i trecu prin minte s fac un mare act de galanterie i ii strig: Scump domnioar Eiiza, de ce nu dansai? Domnule Darcy. v rog s-mi ngduii s v prezint, n persoana acestei tinere domnioare, o ncnttoare partener Nu putei refuza s dansai, snt sigur, cnd avei n fat atta frumusee! i, lund mna fetei, ar fi pus-o ntr-u lui Darcy care, dei surprins peste msur, ar fi dorit sa i-o ia, cnd Elizabeth i-o retrase brusc i-i spuse lui Sir William cu oarecare nervozitate : Credei-m, Sir, nu am nici cea mai mic intenii s dansez. V implor s nu presupunei c am venit spre dumneavoastr ca s solicit un partener. Cu mult cuviin, domnul Darcy ceru favoarea unui dans, dar a fost zadarnic. Elizabeth era hotrt ; i zadarnice au fost i toate ncercrile lui Sir William de a o ndupleca. Sntei desvrit la dans, domnioar Eliza, i este o cruzime s m lipsii de fericirea de a v admira i dei domnului Darcy i displace, n general, acest amuzament, snt convins c nu are nimic mpotriv s ne ndaioreze timp de o jumtate de or. Domnul Darcy este numai amabilitate, spuse Elizabeth surznd. Este, ntr-adevr; i dac inem seama de obiectul tentaiei, drag domnioar Eliza, nu ne putem mira de complezena sa cci cine ar putea obiecta ceva unei asemenea partenere ? Elizabeth se ndeprt cu o privire trengreasc. Refuzul ei nu-l supr pe domnul Darcy, care se gndea tocmai la ea cu oarecare bunvoin, cnd fu acostat de domnioara Bingley, Pot s v spun de ce ai czut pe gnduri. Cred c nu putei. V gndii ct de insuportabil ar fi s petrecei multe seri n acest fel, ntr-o astfel de societate; i, ntr-adevr, snt cu totul de prerea dumneavoastr. Nu m-am plictisit niciodat att!

mannerin such society; and indeed I am quite of your opinion. I was never more annoyed! The insipidity, and yet the noisethe nothingness, and yet the self-importance of all those people! What would I give to hear your strictures on them!" "Your conjecture is totally wrong, I assure you. My mind was more agreeably engaged. I 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 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 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 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

i toi aceti oameni insipizi i totui zgomotoi, mruni i totui plini de ei! Ce n-a da s aud sarcasmele dumneavoastr la adresa lor/ Presupunerea dumneavoastr este total greit, va asigur. Gndul meu luneca pe un fga mult mai plcut.. Meditam la marea plcere pe care i-o pot da doi ochi frumoi pe chipul unei femei drgue. Domnioara Bingley i ainti ndat privirile pe faa lui i i ceru s-i spun ce doamn reuise s-i inspire asemenea reflecii. Domnul Darcy i rspunse cu mult ndrzneal : Domnioara Elizabeth Bennet. Domnioara Elizabeth Bennet, repet domnioara Bingley. Snt uluit ! De cnd se bucur de aceast favoare ? i, m rog, cnd s v prezint urrile mele de fericire? Chiar aceasta este ntrebarea pe care m ateptam s-o punei. Imaginaia unei doamne este foarte aprins; sare de la admiraie la dragoste i de la dragoste la cstorie, ntr-o clip. tiam c vei fi gata s-mi prezentai urrile dumneavoastr. Oh ! nu ! Dac luai lucrurile att de serios, voi considera chestiunea perfect rezolvat. Vei avea, ntr-adevr, o soacr fermectoare i va fi desigur mereu preztent, la Pemberley mpreun cu dumneavoastr. Darcy o acultase cu o total indiferen n timp ce dnsa se amuz n acest fel pe tema ce-i alesese; i deoarece calmul lui o convinsese c nu era nici un pericol, spiritele domnioarei Bingley se revrsar n continuare. Capitolul VII Averea domnului Bennet se compunea, aproape n ntregime, dintr-o moie cu un venit de dou mii de lire anual care, ns, din nenorocire pentru fiicele lui, fusese lsat prin testament n lips de motenitori direci de parte brbteasc unei rude ndeprtate, iar averea doamnei Bennei, avere frumuic pentru situaia ei, putea cu greu compensa veniturile insuficiente ale soului. Tatl ei fusese avocat la Meryton i i lsase motenire patru mii de lire. Doamna Bennet avea o sor mritat cu un oarecare domn Philips, care fusese secretarul tatlui ei i i succedase n afaceri, i un frate stabilit la Londra, ntr-o ramur comercial respectabil. Satul Longbourn era situat la numai o mil de Meryton; distana foarte potrivit pentru tinerele domnioare care erau atrase ntr-acolo de trei, patru ori pe sptmn pentru a-i ndeplini ndatoririle fa de mtua lor i fa de o modist chiar peste drum. Cele dou fete mai mici, Catherine i Lydia erau deosebit de asidue n aceste atenii: aveau i mai puin minte dect suro-

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 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. 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 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." "Yesbut as it happens, they are all of them very clever." "This is the only point, I flatter myself, on which we do not agree. I had hoped that our sentiments coincided in every particular, but I must so far 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 welland, indeed, so I do still at my heart; and if a smart young colonel, with five

surorile lor i, cnd nu gseau nimic mai bun de fcut, o plimbare pan la Meryton era lucrul cel mai potrivit ca s le umple orele de diminea i s le dea material de conversaii pentru sear: i orict de srac n tiri era, n general, inutul, ele tot izbuteau s stoarc ceva de la mtua lor. In prezent, erau ntr-adevr doldora i de veti i de bucurie cci tocmai venise n apropiere un regiment de miliie care urma s rmn acolo toat iama, iar cartierul general al ei a era in Meryton. Acum, vizitele la doamna Philips erau pentru fete grozav de interesante: In fiecare zi cunotinele cu privire la nume1e i relaiile ofierilor sporeau. In scurt timp rind. au nceput si cunoasc pe ofiteri personal. Domnul Philips ii vizita deseori ceea ce deschidea, pentru nepoatele sale o surs de fericire necunoscut mai nainte. Nu mai vorbeau dect despre ofieri; averea domnului Bingley, care ddea fiori doamnei Bennet, nu avea nici un pre n ochii lor, n comparaie cu uniforma unui stegar. Dup ce le ascult o diminea ntreag efuziunile pe aceast tem, domnul Bennet remarc cu rceal: Dup ct pot s-mi dau seama din felul vostru de a vorbi, cred c sntei dou dintre cele mai neroade fete de pe aici. O cam bnuiam eu, dar acum m-am convins. Catherine se tulbur i nu mai spuse nimic , dar Lydia, total indiferenta, continu s-i exprime admiraia pentru cpitanul Carter i sperana de a-l ntlni n cursul zilei, deoarece n dimineaa urmtoare acesta pleca la Londra. Tare m mir. dragul meu. zise doamna Bennet. c eti att de repede dispus s-i crezi copiii nerozi. Dac a vrea s gndesc ru de copiii cuiva, n-a alege totui pentru asta propriii mei copii. Dac ai mei snt nite nerozi, sper s rmn mereu contient de asta. - Da, dar se ntmpl c ai notri snt toi foarte detepi. Acesta este singurul punct ndrznesc s-o cred n care nu suntem de aceeai prere. Am sperat ntotdeauna c prerile noastre vor coincide pn n cele mai mici amnunte, dar n chestiunea asta snt silit s fiu n dezacord cu dumneata, cci le socotesc pe cele dou mezine ale noastre cum nu se poate mai znatece. Drag domnule Bennet, nu trebuie s te atepi s aib mintea tatlui sau mamei lor. Cnd vor atinge vrsta noastr, snt sigur c nu se vor mai gtndi la ofieri, cum nici noi nu ne gndim. Miamintesc de vremurile cnd i mie mi plcea grozav o tunic stacojie i, ntr-adevr, in adancul inimii mi place i acum ; i dac un tnr colonel iste, cu cinci, ase mii pe an mi-ar cere pe

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 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 today 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 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 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 father an acknowledgment that the horses were engaged and Jane was therefore obliged to go on horseback, and her mother attended her to the door with many

dintre fete, n-am s-i spun ba ! Iar deunzi, la Sir William, colonelul Forster mi s-a prut tare chipe n uniforma lui. Mam, strig Lydia, mtua mi-a spus c domnul colonel Forster i domnul cpitan Carter nu se mai duc la domnioara Watson att de des ca la nceput, cnd au venit aici; i vede acum mereu la bazar la Clarke. Doamna Bennet nu-i mai putu rspunde fiindc tocmai atunci intrase valetul cu un bilet pentru domnioara Bennet; fusese trimis de la Netherfield i aductorul atepta rspuns. Cu ochii acnteind de plcere, doamna Bennet repezi ntrebare dup ntrebare, n timp ce Jane citea: Vai, Jane, de la cine e? Despre ce e vorba? Ce zice el Vai, Jane, grbete-te i spune-ne, grbete-te. inimioara mea. Este de la domnioara Bingley, rspunse Jane; apoi l citi cu glas tare. DRAGA MEA PRIETEN, Dac nu ai atta mil inct s vii astzi s iei masa cu mine i cu Luiza, riscm s ne dumnim pe tot restul vieilor noastre, cci un tete--tete de o zi ntreag, ntre dou femei, nu poate s se sfreasc fr o ceart. Vino ct poi mai repede dup primirea biletului. Fratele meu i ceilali domni vor lua masa n ora cu domnii ofieri. Cu toat dragostea, CAROLINE BINGLEY Cu ofierii ! exclam Lydia; cum de nu mi-a spus mtua nimic despre una ca asta ? Ia masa n ora, interveni doamna Bennet. Mare ghinion ! , Pot s iau trsura ? ntreb Jane. Nu, draga mea, e mai bine s te duci clare, pentru c vremea e a ploaie i atunci o s trebuiasc s rmai acola toat noaptea. Bun plan! exclama Elizabeth, dac ai fi sigur c nu se vor oferi s-o trimit napoi cu trsura lor. Oh ! domnii vor lua cupeul domnului Bingley ca s se duca la Meryton $i familia Hurst nu are cai pentru ai lor. Mi-ar place mult mai mult s merg cu trsura. Dar, draga mea, tata nu se poate lipsi de cai. snt sigur. E nevoie de ei la cmp; nu este aa domnule Bennet ? E nevoie de ei la cmp mult mai des dect i pot avea, Dar dac i ai pentru astzi, interveni Elizabeth, scopul mamei este atins. Pn la urm, l fcu pe tatl ei s recunoasc ntr-adevr c nu se putea lipsi de cai; Jane fu astfel silit s plece clare, iar mama sa o conduse pn la u cu multe i vesele preziceri de vreme proast. Speranele sale se mplinir; nici nu plecase Jane bine, c se i porni ploaia.

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 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. Jonestherefore do not be alarmed if you should hear of his having been to meand, excepting a sore throat and headache, there is not much the 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." 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 Janewhich 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 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 a and Lydia. Elizabeth accepted their

Surorile se temeau pentru ea, dar mama lor era ncntat. Ploaia continu fr ncetare toat seara. Fr ndoial, Jane nu se putea ntoarce. Ce idee grozav am avut! se luda mereu doamna Bennet, ca i cnd meritul de a fi dezlnuit ploaia era cu totul al ei. Pn a doua zi de diminea, ea n-a fost totui contient de ntreaga valoare a mainaiilor sale. Nici nu terminaser bine micul dejun, cnd un servitor de la Netherfield se prezent cu un bileel pentru Elizabeth. SCUMPA MEA LIZZY, M-am simit foarte ru astzi de diminea, ceea ce trebuie pus, cred, pe seama ploii de ieri care m-a udat pn la piele. Dragele mele prietene nici nu vor s aud s m ntorc acas pn nu m voi simi bine. Ele insist, de asemenea, s m vad domnul Jones, aa c nu v alarmai dac vei auzi c a fost chemat aici. n afar de durerea de cap i o durere n gt, nu mai am nimic, Ei bine, scumpa mea, spuse domnul Bennet, cnd Elizabeth sfri de citit biletul, dac fiica dumitale se va mbolnvi grav, dac se va ntmpla chiar sa moar, vom avea mngierea de a ti c lotul a fost din ordinul dumitale, n goan dup domnul Bingley. Oh ! nu m tem deloc c-o s moar. Oamenii nu mor din cauza unui fleac de rceal. Va fi foarte bine ngrijit. Atta vreme ct rmne acolo, toate snt cum nu se poate mai bine. M-a duce s-o vd dac a putea avea trsura. Elizabeth, fiind ntr-adevr ngrijorat, se hotr s plece la Jane, dei trsura nu era disponibil; i, cum nu clrea, singura soluie era s se duc pe jos. Ea le mprti hotrrea luat. Cum poi fi att de nesbuit nct s-i treac mcar prin minte aa ceva, pe noroiul sta! Strig doamna Bennet. E nepotrivit s te ari astfel acolo. E foarte potrivit s vd cum arat Jane i asta e tot ce doresc. Lizzy, mi dai a nelege, o ntreb tatl ei, c-ar trebui s uimit dup cai ? Nu, deloc. Pot foarte bine s merg pe jos. Distana nu nseamn nimic cnd ai un motiv serios; nu snt dect trei mile. Voi fi napoi pentru mas. Iti admir bunvoina, se amestec Mary, dar orice impuls ar trebui s fie controlat de raiune: i, dupa prerea mea, strdania ar trebui s fie ntotdeauna n proporie cu ceea ce doreti s obii. Te vom conduce pn la Meryton, spuser Catherine i Lydia.

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 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 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 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 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 acutely Elizabeth

Elizabeth accepta propunerea i cele trei domnioare pornir mpreun. Dac ne grbim, adug Lydia pe in timp ce mergeau poate il vo vedea pe cpitanul Carter, nainte s plece La Meryton se desprir; surorile mai mici se ndreptar nspre locuina soiei unuia dintre ofieri, iar Elizabeth i continu drumul singur, strbtnd cmp dup cmp. srind cu nerbdare peste prleazuri i smrcuri; n cele din urm, ajunse n faa casei, cu gleznele obosite, ciorapii murdari i un chip strlucind de nferbntarea mersului. A fost condus n sufrageria mic, unde erau toi ai casei, n afar de Jane, i unde apariia Elizabethei strni mare uimire. Pentru doamna Hurst i domnioara Bingley era de neconceput ca ea s fi fcut, la ora aceea, singur i pe o vreme imposibil, trei mile pe jos; Elizabeth era convins c o dispreuiau din aceast cauz. Au primit-o totui cu mult politee, iar n purtarea fratelui lor era ceva mai mult dect simpla politee era bunvoin i amabilitate. Domnul Darcy n-a spus nuai nimic, iar domnul Hurst, absolut nimic. Cel dinii se simea mprit ntre un simmnt de admiraie pentru strlucirea pe care efortul o dduse chipului ei i unul de ndoial, ntrebnduse dac mprejurarea merita ca ea s vin de att de departe, singur. Cel de-al doilea domn se gndea numai la micul su dejun. Elizabeth ntreb despre sntatea surorii ei, dar nu primi un rspuns prea mulumitor. Domnioara Bennet dormise prost; i, cu toate c se sculase, avea febr mare i nu se simea destul de bine pentru a putea prsi camera. Elizabeth fu bucuroas s fie condus imediat la ea. Jane, pe care numai frica de a nu provoca temeri sau ngrijorri o mpiedicase s scrie ce dor i era de sora ei, fu ncntat s-o vad. Nu a fost ns n stare s stea mult de vorb; i cnd domnioara Bingey iei, lsndu-le singure, ea nu putu spune cine tie ce; i exprim numai recunotina pentru deosebita gentilee eu care fusese tratat. Elizabeth se ocup n tcere de bolnav. Dup micul dejun, venir la ele surorile: Elizabeth ncepu i ea s le ndrgeasc, vznd cit afeciune i solicitudine ii artau Janei. Sosi apoi i spierul care dup ce examina bolnava, spuse ceea ce era de la sine neles c aceasta rcise foarte tare i c trebuiau s ncerce s nving rul. O sftui s se ntoarc din nou n pat i promise s-i trimit doctorii. Jane urma imediat sfatul, cci i se ridicase temperatura i o durea capul ngrozitor. Elisabeth nu o mai prsi nici mcar o singur clip, si nici celelalte doamne nu lipsir mult de ling ea;

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 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 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 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 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."

domnii ieiser i ele nu aveau de fapt nimic altceva de fcut. Cnd ceasul btu ora trei, Elizabeth simi c era timpul s plece i pomeni fr s fie prea ncntata de lucrul acesta. Domnioara Bingley i oferi trsura i Elizabeth atepta ca aceasta s mai struie puin nainte de a primi, cnd Jane manifesta o asemenea ngrijorare la gndul de a se despri de sora ei nct domnioara Bingley se vzu obligat s schimbe propunerea de a-i oferi trsura n invitaia de a rmne, pentru moment, la Netherfield. Elizabeth accept plin de recunotin i un servitor fu apoi trimis la Longboum pentru a ntiina familia c va rmne acolo i pentru a le aduce veminte de schimb. Capitolul VIII La orele cinci, cele dou doamne se retraser ca s se schimbe pentru masa de sear i la ase i jumtate Elizabeth fu poftit la cin. Ea nu putu da un rspuns mbucurtor potopului de ntrebri politicoase, printre care le remarc, nentat. pe cele pline de o cald solicitudine ale domnului Bingley, Jane nu se simea deloc mai bine. La auzul acestei veti, surorile repetar de trei, patru ori c erau grozav de mhnite, c era grozav de neplcut s fii grav rcit i c le displcea teribil cnd erau ele nsele bolnave pe urm nu se mai gndir nici un moment la acest lucru; indiferena lor fa de Jane cnd aceasta nu era de fa, o fcea pe Elizabeth s resimt vechea ei antipatie pentru ele. Fratele lor era, ntr-adevr, singurul din familie pe care-l putea privi cu plcere. ngrijorarea lui pentru Jane era vdit, iar ateniile fa de ea nsi, ncnttoare: acestea o mpiedicar s se simt att de nepoftit pe ct credea c este n ochii celorlali. Nimeni, n afar de el, nu o lua n seam. Domnioara Bingley era preocupat de domnul Darcy; sora ei, nu mai puin; n ceea ce-l privea pe domnul Hurst, lng care edea Elizabeth, acesta era un brbat indolent, care nu tria decit pentru mncare, butur i jocul de cri i care, aflnd c dnsa prefera o mncare simpl n locul unui ragout\ nu mai gsi ce s-i spun. Cnd se sfri cina, Elizabeth se rentoarse lng Jane i, cum se nchise ua n urma ei, domnioara Bingley se porni s-o vorbeasc de ru. Purtarea Elizabethei fu calificat ca foarte rea, ntr-adevr un amestec de mndrie i impertinen; nu avea nici conversaie, nici stil, nici gust i nu era nici frumoas. La fel gndea i doamna Hurst care adug: Pe scurt, n-are nici o calitate, n afar de aceea c este un as al mersului pe jos. N-am sa uit in viaa mea apariia ei aici astzi de diminea. ntradevr arta ca o slbatic.

"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 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 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 an excessive regard for Miss Jane Bennet, she is really a very sweet girl, and I 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 in 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." "But it must very materially lessen their chance of marrying men of any consideration in the world," replied Darcy. To this speech Bingley made no answer; but his sisters gave it their hearty assent, and indulged their mirth for some time at the expense of their dear friend's vulgar relations. With a renewal of tenderness, however, they returned to her room

on leaving the dining-parlour, and sat with her Chiar aa, Luiza. Cu greu mi-am putut pstra seriozitatea. O neghiobie, s vin aici. De ce m rog. a trebuit s- goneasc peste empuri, pentru o rceal a surorii ei? Cu. prul n aa neornduial, att de rvit! Da, i juponul; sper c i-ai vzut juponul. Tvlit prin noroi, de un lat de palm sunt absolut sigur; i fusta lsat n jos ca s-l ascund, fr s izbuteasc. Portretul fcut de tine. Luiza, s-ar putea s fie foarte exact, spuse Bingley, dar eu nu am bgat nimic de seam, Mi s-a prut c domnioara Eliza Bennet arta nespus de bine, azi-diminea cnd a intrat aici. Nici n-am observat juponul murdar. Dumneata I-ai remarcat, de bun seam, domnule Darcy, spuse domnioara Bingley, i nclin s cred c nu i-ar plcea s-o vezi pe sora dumitale prezentndu-se astfel. Desigur, nu. Auzi, s mearg trei mile sau patru, sau cinci, sau cte or fi, cu noroiul treendu-i peste glezne, i singur, singur de tot ! Ce-a vrut s arate cu asta? Mi se pare c asta dovedete un gen oribil de independen plin de nfumurare i o indiferen, cu totul provincial, fa de etichet. Dovedete dragoste pentru sora ei, ceea ce este ncnttor, interveni Bingley. M tem, domnule Barcy, remarc aproape n oapt domnioara Bingley, c aceast ntmplare a alterat, ntructva, admiraia dumitale pentru ochii ei frumoi. Deloc, replic el, efortul le dduse i mai multa strlucire. Urm o mic tcere, apoi doamna Hurst relu firul. O preuiesc foarte mult pe Jane Bennet este ntr-adevr o fat tare drgu i doresc din toat inima s se cptuiasc bine, dar, cu asemenea prini i cu rude att de modeste, m tem c nu prea are anse. Te-am auzit cred spunnd c au un unchi, avocat la Meryton. Da, i mai au unul care locuiete pe undeva prin apropiere de Cheapside. Asta este culmea! adug sora ei i izbucnir n hohote de rs. Dac ar avea atia unchi cit s umple ntregul Cheapside, exclam Bingley, asta tot nu le-ar face, nici cu o iot, mai puin fermectoare. Le-ar micora ns simitor ansele de a se mrita cu brbai cu o oarecare greutate n lume, replic Darcy. Bingley nu rspunse nimic; surorile lui ns l aprobar cu entuziasm i continuar s fac haz pe seama vulgaritii rudelor dragei lor prietene. Totui, cnd ieir din sufragerie, s-au dus iari pline de tandree n camera bolnavei, unde au

on leaving the dining-parlour, and sat with her till summoned to coffee. She was still very poorly, and Elizabeth would not quit her at all, till late in the evening, when she had the comfort of seeing her sleep, and when it seemed to her rather right than pleasant that she should go downstairs herself. On entering the drawingroom she found the whole party at loo, and was immediately invited to join them; but suspecting them to be playing high she declined it, and making her sister the excuse, said she would amuse herself for the short time she could stay below, with a book. Mr. Hurst looked at her with astonishment. "Do you prefer reading to cards?" said he; "that is rather singular." "Miss Eliza Bennet," said Miss Bingley, "despises cards. She is a great reader, and has no pleasure in anything else." "I deserve neither such praise nor such censure," cried Elizabeth; "I am not a great reader, and I have pleasure in many things." "In nursing your sister I am sure you have pleasure," said Bingley; "and I hope it will be soon increased by seeing her quite well." Elizabeth thanked him from her heart, and then walked towards the table where a few books were lying. He immediately offered to fetch her othersall that his library afforded. "And I wish my collection were larger for your benefit and my own credit; but I am an idle fellow, and though I have not many, I have more than I ever looked into." Elizabeth assured him that she could suit herself perfectly with those in the room. "I am astonished," said Miss Bingley, "that my father should have left so small a collection of books. What a delightful library you have at Pemberley, Mr. Darcy!" "It ought to be good," he replied, "it has been the work of many generations." "And then you have added so much to it yourself, you are always buying books." "I cannot comprehend the neglect of a family library in such days as these." "Neglect! I am sure you neglect nothing that can add to the beauties of that noble place. Charles, when you build your house, I wish it may be half as delightful as Pemberley." "I wish it may." "But I would really advise you to make your purchase in that neighbourhood, and take Pemberley for a kind of model. There is not a finer county in England than Derbyshire." "With all my heart; I will buy Pemberley itself if Darcy will sell it." "I am talking of possibilities, Charles."

unde au rmas pn ce au fost poftite la cafea. Jane se simea nc foarte ru i Elizabeth n-o mai ls singur, nici o clip, pn seara trziu, cnd avu mngierea de a-i vedea sora dormind, i atunci i se pru mai curnd potrivit, dect plcut, s coboare n salon. Cnd intr, i gsi pe toi jucnd ,,100" - i fu imediat poftit s ia parte la joc; dar, bnuind c jucau tare, se scuz pretextnd starea surorii sale i spunnd c-i va petrece puinul timp ct va rmne jos, cu o carte. Domnul Hurst o privi mirat. Preferai cititul, jocului de cri? Foarte ciudat . se mir el. Domnioara Eliza Bennet, interveni domnioara Bingley, dispreuiete jocul de cri. E o mare cititoare i nu gsete plcere n nimic altceva. Nu merit nici asemenea preuire, nici asemenea critic. Nu snt o mare cititoare i gsesc plcere n multe alte lucruri. n a v ngriji sora, snt sigur, spuse Bingley. Sper c plcerea dumneavoastr va fi curnd i mai mare, vznd-o iar sntoas. Elizabeth i mulumi din toat inima, apoi se ndrept spre o mas pe care se aflau cteva cri. El se oferi s-i mai aduc altele tot ceea ce se gsea n biblioteca sa. Ce mult a dori s am o colecie mai mare, spre bucuria dumneavoastr i cinstea mea: snt ns cam lene i, dei nu am multe cri, am mai multe dect am rsfoit vreodat. Elizabeth l asigur c se putea perfect mulumi cu cele care se gseau acolo. Snt uimit, spuse domnioara Bingley, c tatl meu a lsat o colecie att de mic de cri. Ce bibliotec minunat avei la Pemberley, domnule Darcy ! Ar trebui s fie bun, rspunse el, cci reprezint strdania multor generaii. i apoi, dumneata nsui ai mbogit-o att! Mereu cumperi cri. Nu pot concepe s-i neglijezi biblioteca personal, n zilele noastre. S-o neglijezi! Snt sigur c nu neglijai nimic din ce ar putea aduga ceva la frumuseile acelei nobile reedine. Charles, cnd ii vei construi casa ta, a dori s fie mcar pe jumtate att de ncnttoare pe ct e Pemberley. i eu la fel. Te-a sftui s cumperi un loc n vecintate i s iei Pemberley ca model; n Anglia nu exist inut mai minunat ca Derbyshire. Cu drag inim. Voi cumpra chiar reedina Pemberley, dac Darcy mi-o vinde. Vorbesc de ceea ce e posibil, Charles.

"Upon my word, Caroline, I should think it more possible to get Pemberley by purchase than by imitation." Elizabeth was so much caught with what passed, as to leave her very little attention for her book; and soon laying it wholly aside, she drew near the card-table, and stationed herself between Mr. Bingley and his eldest sister, to observe the game. "Is Miss Darcy much grown since the spring?" said Miss Bingley; "will she be as tall as I am?" "I think she will. She is now about Miss Elizabeth Bennet's height, or rather taller." "How I long to see her again! I never met with anybody who delighted me so much. Such a countenance, such manners! And so extremely accomplished for her age! Her performance on the pianoforte is exquisite." "It is amazing to me," said Bingley, "how young ladies can have patience to be so very accomplished as they all are." "All young ladies accomplished! My dear Charles, what do you mean?" "Yes, all of them, I think. They all paint tables, cover screens, and net purses. I scarcely know anyone who cannot do all this, and I am sure I never heard a young lady spoken of for the first time, without being informed that she was very accomplished." "Your list of the common extent of accomplishments," said Darcy, "has too much truth. The word is applied to many a woman who deserves it no otherwise than by netting a purse or covering a screen. But I am very far from agreeing with you in your estimation of ladies in general. I cannot boast of knowing more than half-a-dozen, in the whole range of my acquaintance, that are really accomplished." "Nor I, I am sure," said Miss Bingley. "Then," observed Elizabeth, "you must comprehend a great deal in your idea of an accomplished woman." "Yes, I do comprehend a great deal in it." "Oh! certainly," cried his faithful assistant, "no one can be really esteemed accomplished who does not greatly surpass what is usually met with. A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half-deserved." "All this she must possess," added Darcy, "and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading."

Pe cinstea mea, Caroline, cred c e mult mai posibil s capei Pemberley-ul cumprndu-l, dect copiindu-l. Elizabeth era att de prins de ceea ce se petrecea, nct nu se prea putea concentra asupra crii; aa c o ls curnd deoparte, se apropie de masa de joc i se aez ntre domnul Bingley i sora lui mai mare, ca s priveasc jocul. Domnioara Darcy a crescut mult de astprim-var? continu domnioara Bingley; este oare cit mine de nalt ? Cred c da. E cam de nlimea domnioarei Elizabeth Bennet; chiar mai nalt. Ce dor mi e s-o vd din nou! N-am ntlnit niciodat pe cineva care s m fi ncntat mai mult. Ce nfiare, ce maniere, i att de desvrit pentru vrsta ei. Cnt dumnezeiete la pian. Snt uluit, spuse Bingley, cum de reuesc toate tinerele domnioare s fie att de desvrite. Desvrite! Toate tinerele domnioare! Dragul meu Charles, ce vrei s spui ? Da, toate, cred. Toate picteaz msue, i mbrac paravane, i mpletesc pungue. Nu cunosc una care s nu tie s fac toate astea i, pe cuvnt, nu mi s-a ntmplat s mi se vorbeasc pentru prima oar de vreo domnioar, fr s mi se spun ct e de desvrit. Lista dumitale cuprinznd enumerarea nsuirilor comune attor domnioare, spuse Darcy, este mult prea adevrat. Cuvntul este ns folosit pentru o mulime de femei care nu-l merit dect pentru c mbrac paravane i mpletesc pungue; dar eu personal snt departe de a fi de acord cu acest fel de a aprecia doamnele n general. Nu m pot luda c a avea, printre toate cunotinele mele, mai mult de o jumtate de duzin care s fie cu adevrat desvrite. Nici eu, snt convins, conchise domnioara Bingley. Atunci, remarc Elizabeth, desigur c ideea dumneavoastr despre o femeie desvrit este foarte cuprinztoare. Da. Foarte cuprinztoare! repet Darcy. Oh! desigur, strig susintoarea-i devotat, nimeni nu poate fi considerat desvrit, dac nu depete ceea ce poi ntlni n mod obinuit. O femeie trebuie s cunoasc bine muzica, pictura, cntul, dansul i limbile moderne, pentru a merita acest calificativ; i, n afar de acestea toate, trebuie s aib nc un nu tiu ce n nfiarea ei, n felul ei de a merge, n tonul glasului, n inuta i felul su de a se exprima: altfel nu merit calificativul acesta dect pe jumtate. Trebuie s posede ntr-adevr toate aceste nsuiri, confirm Darcy; i la acestea toate, mai trebuie totui s adauge nc ceva i mai esenial: mbogirea minii sale prin lectura neintrerupta.

"I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished women. I rather wonder now at your knowing any." "Are you so severe upon your own sex as to doubt the possibility of all this?" "I never saw such a woman. I never saw such capacity, and taste, and application, and elegance, as you describe united." Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley both cried out against the injustice of her implied doubt, and were both protesting that they knew many women who answered this description, when Mr. Hurst called them to order, with bitter complaints of their inattention to what was going forward. As all conversation was thereby at an end, Elizabeth soon afterwards left the room. "Elizabeth Bennet," said Miss Bingley, when the door was closed on her, "is one of those young ladies who seek to recommend themselves to the other sex by undervaluing their own; and with many men, I dare say, it succeeds. But, in my opinion, it is a paltry device, a very mean art." "Undoubtedly," replied Darcy, to whom this remark was chiefly addressed, "there is a meanness in all the arts which ladies sometimes condescend to employ for captivation. Whatever bears affinity to cunning is despicable." Miss Bingley was not so entirely satisfied with this reply as to continue the subject. Elizabeth joined them again only to say that her sister was worse, and that she could not leave her. Bingley urged Mr. Jones being sent for immediately; while his sisters, convinced that no country advice could be of any service, recommended an express to town for one of the most eminent physicians. This she would not hear of; but she was not so unwilling to comply with their brother's proposal; and it was settled that Mr. Jones should be sent for early in the morning, if Miss Bennet were not decidedly better. Bingley was quite uncomfortable; his sisters declared that they were miserable. They solaced their wretchedness, however, by duets after supper, while he could find no better relief to his feelings than by giving his housekeeper directions that every attention might be paid to the sick lady and her sister. Chapter 9 Elizabeth passed the chief of the night in her sister's room, and in the morning had the pleasure of being able to send a tolerable answer to the inquiries which she very early received from Mr. Bingley by a housemaid, and some time afterwards from the two elegant ladies who

Nu m mir faptul c nu cunoatei dect ase femei desvrite. In aceste condiii, m-ar mira s cunoatei mcar una. Sntei att de pornit mpotriva propriului dumneavoastr sex, nct v ndoii de aceast posibilitate ? Eu nu am vzut niciodat o astfel de femeie. Eu nu am vzut niciodat mbinate laolalt atta har i gust, i hrnicie, i distincie... Doamna Hurst i domnioara Bingley se revoltar de injusteea ndoielii exprimate de Elizabeth i continuau amndou s protesteze, spunnd c ele cunoteau o mulime de femei care corespundeau acestei descrieri, cnd domnul Hurst le cheam la ordine, cu reprouri amare pentru lipsa lor de atenie la joc. Intervenia lui puse capt oricrei conversaii i, dup cteva clipe, Elizabeth iei din salon. Eliza Bennet, spuse domnioara Bingley, cnd usa se nchise n urma ei, este una dintre acele domnioare care doresc s se pun n valoare n faa sexului opus prin subaprecierea propriului lor sex, i sistemul reuete, cred, cu muli brbai; dar, dup prerea mea, acesta este un mijloc vrednic de dispre, un procedeu josnic. Fr ndoial, rspunse Darcy, cruia i fusese mai ales adresat aceast remarc, josnicie exist n toate mijloacele pe care doamnele i ngduie uneori s le foloseasc pentru a captiva. Tot ce are afinitate cu viclenia e vrednic de dispre. Domnioara Bingley n~a fost destul de mulumit de rspunsul lui, pentru a mai continua discuia pe aceast tem. Elizabeth reveni numai pentru a-i informa c sora ei se simea mai ru i c nu putea pleca de ling ea. Bingley porunci s fie chemat imediat domnul Jones: surorile lui ns, convinse c avizul unui spier de ar nu putea fi de nici un folos, au fost de prere s fie trimis un curier la ora, dup unul dintre doctorii cei mai renumii. Elizabeth nici nu a vrut s aud de aa ceva, dar nu se mpotrivea propunerii fratelui lor i hotrr ca, a doua zi dis-de-diminea, s fie chemat domnul Jones, n cazul c sora ei nu se va simi incontestabil mai bine. Bingley era foarte abtut; surorile sale s-au declarat nenorocite. Cu toate acestea, dup cin, i-au alinat durerea cntnd duete: el ns nu a putut gsi o mai bun uurare a durerii sale dect dnd instruciuni menajerei s aib toat grija de bolnav i de sora ei. Capitolul IX Elizabeth petrecu mai toat noaptea n camera surorii sale i dimineaa avu bucuria de a putea da un rspuns mulumitor despre sntatea Janei, domnului Bingley care s-a interesat foarte devreme printr-o jupineas i niel mai trziu, celor dou elegante cameriste ale surorilor lui.

waited on his sisters. In spite of this amendment, however, she requested to have a note sent to Longbourn, desiring her mother to visit Jane, and form her own judgement of her situation. The note was immediately dispatched, and its contents as quickly complied with. Mrs. Bennet, accompanied by her two youngest girls, reached Netherfield soon after the family breakfast. Had she found Jane in any apparent danger, Mrs. Bennet would have been very miserable; but being satisfied on seeing her that her illness was not alarming, she had no wish of her recovering immediately, as her restoration to health would probably remove her from Netherfield. She would not listen, therefore, to her daughter's proposal of being carried home; neither did the apothecary, who arrived about the same time, think it at all advisable. After sitting a little while with Jane, on Miss Bingley's appearance and invitation, the mother and three daughters all attended her into the breakfast parlour. Bingley met them with hopes that Mrs. Bennet had not found Miss Bennet worse than she expected. "Indeed I have, sir," was her answer. "She is a great deal too ill to be moved. Mr. Jones says we must not think of moving her. We must trespass a little longer on your kindness." "Removed!" cried Bingley. "It must not be thought of. My sister, I am sure, will not hear of her removal." "You may depend upon it, Madam," said Miss Bingley, with cold civility, "that Miss Bennet will receive every possible attention while she remains with us." Mrs. Bennet was profuse in her acknowledgments. "I am sure," she added, "if it was not for such good friends I do not know what would become of her, for she is very ill indeed, and suffers a vast deal, though with the greatest patience in the world, which is always the way with her, for she has, without exception, the sweetest temper I have ever met with. I often tell my other girls they are nothing to her. You have a sweet room here, Mr. Bingley, and a charming prospect over the gravel walk. I do not know a place in the country that is equal to Netherfield. You will not think of quitting it in a hurry, I hope, though you have but a short lease." "Whatever I do is done in a hurry," replied he; "and therefore if I should resolve to quit Netherfield, I should probably be off in five minutes. At present, however, I consider myself as quite fixed here." "That is exactly what I should have supposed of you," said Elizabeth.

Totui, n ciuda acestei mbuntiri, ea ceru s se trimit un bileel la Longbourn, dorind ca mama ei s vin s-o vad pe Jane i s judece chiar dnsa ce trebuie fcut. Biletul a fost imediat expediat i tot att de urgent s-au ndeplinit i cele cuprinse n el. Doamna Bennet nsoit de mezinele sale, a ajuns la Netherfield ndat dup micul dejun. Dac ar fi gsit-o pe Jane cu adevrat n pericol, ar fi fost tare nenorocit; dar vznd-o, i ddu seama c boala fiicei sale nu era ngrijortoare i nu prea dorea ca Jane s se fac bine att de repede, deoarece nsntoirea nsemna plecarea ei de la Netherfield. Nici nu vru s aud prin urmare de rugmintea fiicei sale de a fi luat acas; i nici spiterul, care sosise cam n acelai timp cu doamna Bennet, nu a fost de acord. Dup ce sttu puin cu Jane, la invitaia personal a domnioarei Bingley, mama i cele trei fiice o nsoir n sufrageria mic. Bingley le ntmpin exprimndu-i sperana c doamna Bennet nu o gsise pe fiica ei mai ru dect se ateptase. Ba da, domnule, sun rspunsul. E mult prea bolnav pentru a putea fi luat acas. Domnul Jones zice c nici nu trebuie s ne gndim s o lum de aici. Trebuie s abuzm nc puin de gentileea dumneavoastr. S-o luai de aici ! strig Bingley. Nici nu poate fi vorba de aa ceva. Sora mea, snt sigur, nici nu vrea s aud de acest lucru Putei conta, doamn, spuse domnioara Bingley cu o rece politee, c domnioara Bennet se va bucura de toat atenia posibil ct vreme se va afla la noi. Doamna Bennet nu mai contenea cu mulumirile. Snt ncredinat, adug ea, c dac n-ar fi avut prieteni att de buni nu tiu ce s-ar fi ales de ea; deoarece este ntr-adevr foarte bolnav i sufer teribil de mult dar cu cea mai mare rbdare posibil, c aa e felul ei, pentru c are n toate mprejurrile firea cea mai dulce pe care am vzuto vreodat. Adesea le spun celorlalte fiice ale mele c nu snt nici la degetul ei mic. Avei o camer tare draguta, domnule Bingley. i o privelite nenttoare nspre crarea aceasta cu pietri. Nu tiu, n tot tinutul, un loc care s se compare cu Netherfield. Sper c nici nu v trece prin minte s plecai curand de aici, dei avei un contract pe termen scurt. Tot ceea ce fac, fac n grab, rspunse Bingley. Deci, dac ar fi s m hotrsc s plec din Netherfield, as zbura, probabil, n cinci minute. Deocamdat m consider totui stabilit aici. Chiar aa mi-am nchipuit c sunteti, exclam Elizabeth

"You begin to comprehend me, do you?" cried he, turning towards her. "Oh! yesI understand you perfectly." "I wish I might take this for a compliment; but to be so easily seen through I am afraid is pitiful." "That is as it happens. It does not follow that a deep, intricate character is more or less estimable than such a one as yours." "Lizzy," cried her mother, "remember where you are, and do not run on in the wild manner that you are suffered to do at home." "I did not know before," continued Bingley immediately, "that you were a studier of character. It must be an amusing study." "Yes, but intricate characters are the most amusing. They have at least that advantage." "The country," said Darcy, "can in general supply but a few subjects for such a study. In a country neighbourhood you move in a very confined and unvarying society." "But people themselves alter so much, that there is something new to be observed in them for ever." "Yes, indeed," cried Mrs. Bennet, offended by his manner of mentioning a country neighbourhood. "I assure you there is quite as much of that going on in the country as in town." Everybody was surprised, and Darcy, after looking at her for a moment, turned silently away. Mrs. Bennet, who fancied she had gained a complete victory over him, continued her triumph. "I cannot see that London has any great advantage over the country, for my part, except the shops and public places. The country is a vast deal pleasanter, is it not, Mr. Bingley?" "When I am in the country," he replied, "I never wish to leave it; and when I am in town it is pretty much the same. They have each their advantages, and I can be equally happy in either." "Ayethat is because you have the right disposition. But that gentleman," looking at Darcy, "seemed to think the country was nothing at all." "Indeed, Mamma, you are mistaken," said Elizabeth, blushing for her mother. "You quite mistook Mr. Darcy. He only meant that there was not such a variety of people to be met with in the country as in the town, which you must acknowledge to be true." "Certainly, my dear, nobody said there were; but as to not meeting with many people in this neighbourhood, I believe there are few neighbourhoods larger. I know we dine with

ncepei s m cunoatei, nu? spuse Bingley ntorcandu-se catre ea. Oh ! Da ! Cred c v cunosc perfect. A dori s pot lua afirmaia dumneavoastr drept un compliment; dar s fii att de transparent m tem c e jalnic. Asta e dupa cum se-ntmpl. Nu nseamn c o fire ascuns, complicat, merit o mai nalt sau o mai mic preuire dect o fire ca a dumneavoastr. Lizzy, strig mama sa, adu-i aminte unde te afli i nu-i lua nasul la purtare, aa cum i ngduim s faci acas. N-am tiut, continu Bingley imediat, c v ocupati cu studiul firii oamenilor. Trebuie s fie un studiu amuzant. Da, iar firile complicate snt cele mai amuzante. Ele prezint, cel puin, acest avantaj. - Viaa la ar, interveni Darcy, i poate oferi n general prea puine subiecte pentru un asemenea studiu La tav te miti ntr-o societate foarte restrns i lipsita de variaie. Dar oamenii se schimb att de mult, nct mereu, mereu poi observa ceva nou la ei. Da, cu adevrat, se amestec doamna Bennet, jignit de felul lui de a vorbi despre viaa la ar. V asigur c se ntmpl din astea tot att de mult i la ar ca si la ora. Toat lumea rmase surprins, iar Darcy, dup ce o privi un moment, se ntoarse tcut ntr-alt parte. Doamna Bennet, care-i nchipuia c repurtase o totala victorie asupra lui, continu triumftoare : In ceea ce m privete, nu gsesc c Londra ar prezenta cine tie ce avantaje, n afar de magazine i localuri publice. Viaa la ar este infinit mai plcuta nu-i aa, domnule Bingley ? Cnd snt la ar, rspunse el, nici nu mi-ar treci prin minte s plec de acolo, iar cnd snt la ora, simt cam acelai lucru. Au fiecare avantajele lor i pot fi tot att de fericit i ntr-o parte i-n cealalt. Da, pentru c sntei aa cum trebuie s fie un om, dar domnul de colo i-i arunc ochii nspre Darcy pare s cread c viaa la ar nu nseamn aboslut nimic. Vai. mam, te neli! spuse Elizabeth, roind pentru mama sa. L-ai neles total greit pe domnul Darcy. Dansul a vrut s spun c la ar nu gseti o gam att de variat de oameni ca la ora, ceea ce trebuie s recunoti c este adevrat, Sigur, draga mea. n-a zis nimeni c gseti ; dar n ceea ce privete ocazia de a ntlni mult lume aici, cred c snt puine localiti mai mari. Eu una tiu c sntem n vizit cu douzeci i patru de familii.

four-and-twenty families." Nothing but concern for Elizabeth could enable Bingley to keep his countenance. His sister was less delicate, and directed her eyes towards Mr. Darcy with a very expressive smile. Elizabeth, for the sake of saying something that might turn her mother's thoughts, now asked her if Charlotte Lucas had been at Longbourn since her coming away. "Yes, she called yesterday with her father. What an agreeable man Sir William is, Mr. Bingley, is not he? So much the man of fashion! So genteel and easy! He has always something to say to everybody. That is my idea of good breeding; and those persons who fancy themselves very important, and never open their mouths, quite mistake the matter." "Did Charlotte dine with you?" "No, she would go home. I fancy she was wanted about the mince-pies. For my part, Mr. Bingley, I always keep servants that can do their own work; my daughters are brought up very differently. But everybody is to judge for themselves, and the Lucases are a very good sort of girls, I assure you. It is a pity they are not handsome! Not that I think Charlotte so very plainbut then she is our particular friend. "She seems a very pleasant young woman." "Oh! dear, yes; but you must own she is very plain. Lady Lucas herself has often said so, and envied me Jane's beauty. I do not like to boast of my own child, but to be sure, Jane one does not often see anybody better looking. It is what everybody says. I do not trust my own partiality. When she was only fifteen, there was a man at my brother Gardiner's in town so much in love with her that my sister-in-law was sure he would make her an offer before we came away. But, however, he did not. Perhaps he thought her too young. However, he wrote some verses on her, and very pretty they were." "And so ended his affection," said Elizabeth impatiently. "There has been many a one, I fancy, overcome in the same way. I wonder who first discovered the efficacy of poetry in driving away love!" "I have been used to consider poetry as the food of love," said Darcy. "Of a fine, stout, healthy love it may. Everything nourishes what is strong already. But if it be only a slight, thin sort of inclination, I am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away." Darcy only smiled; and the general pause which ensued made Elizabeth tremble lest her mother should be exposing herself again. She

Numai respectul pentru Elizabeth l fcu pe Bingley s se stpineasc. Sora lui fu mai puin delicat i-i ndrept ochii ctre domnul Darcy, cu un surs foarte expresiv. Elizabeth, pentru a spune ceva care s schimbe gndurile mamei sale, o ntreb dac Charlotte Lucas mai trecuse pe la Longbourn de cnd plecase ea de acas. Da, a venit ieri cu tatl ei. Ce om ncnttor e Sir William; nu este aa, domnule Bingley? Un brbat att de elegant! Att de amabil i de degajat. Gsete ntotdeauna un cuvnt de spus, tuturor. Asta este ideea mea despre bun-cretere; iar persoanele acelea care se cred foarte importante i nu-i dezlipesc niciodat buzele se nal amarnic.

Charlotte a luat masa la noi ? Nu, a inut mori s plece acas. mi nchipui c aveau nevoie de ea pentru pateuri. In ceea ce m privete, domnule Bingley, eu in slugi care se pricep s fac treab. Fetele mele snt crescute altfel. Dar fiecare face cum l taie capul i domnioarele Lucas snt un soi foarte bun de fete, v asigur. Ce pcat c nu snt artoase! Nu c eu a socoti-o pe Charlotte att de urt; i- pe urm, ea este prietena noastr intim. Pare a fi o fat agreabli, interveni Bingley. Vai. da! Dar trebuie s recunoatei c e foarte urt. Lady Lucas a spus i ea adeseori lucrul sta i m invidiaz pentru frumuseea Janei. Nu-mi place s m flesc cu propriii mei copii, dar, la drept vorbind, Jane nu se vede des fat mai frumoas. Aa spune toat lumea. Nu m iau dup ce simt eu. Cnd avea numai cincisprezece ani, un domn care sttea la fratele meu, n ora, se ndrgostise att de tare de Jane, nct cumnat-mea eia sigur c-o s-o cear nainte s plece de la ei. Totui n-a cerut-o. Poate a gsit c era prea tnr. A scris totui, nite versuri despre ea; i tare drgue mai erau. i cu asta s-a sfrit i dragostea lui, interveni Elizabeth nerbdtoare. Muli s-au vindecat n acest fel, mi nchipui. M ntreb cine o fi descoperit eficacitatea versurilor n alungarea dragostei. Am fost obinuit s conaider versurile ca o hrana pentru dragoste, spuse Darcy. Poate, pentru o dragoste frumoas, puternic, sntoas. Totul hrnete ceea ce este deja viguros. Dar, dac e vorba numai de o nclinaie uoar, superficial, snt convins c un singur sonet e de ajuns s-o distrug. Darcy zmbi doar, i linitea general ce urm o fcu pe Elizabeth s tremure de team c mama ei se va compromite din nou. Ar fi vrut s spun ceva, dar nu gsi nimic de spus.

longed to speak, but could think of nothing to say; and after a short silence Mrs. Bennet began repeating her thanks to Mr. Bingley for his kindness to Jane, with an apology for troubling him also with Lizzy. Mr. Bingley was unaffectedly civil in his answer, and forced his younger sister to be civil also, and say what the occasion required. She performed her part indeed without much graciousness, but Mrs. Bennet was satisfied, and soon afterwards ordered her carriage. Upon this signal, the youngest of her daughters put herself forward. The two girls had been whispering to each other during the whole visit, and the result of it was, that the youngest should tax Mr. Bingley with having promised on his first coming into the country to give a ball at Netherfield. Lydia was a stout, well-grown girl of fifteen, with a fine complexion and good-humoured countenance; a favourite with her mother, whose affection had brought her into public at an early age. She had high animal spirits, and a sort of natural self-consequence, which the attention of the officers, to whom her uncle's good dinners, and her own easy manners recommended her, had increased into assurance. She was very equal, therefore, to address Mr. Bingley on the subject of the ball, and abruptly reminded him of his promise; adding, that it would be the most shameful thing in the world if he did not keep it. His answer to this sudden attack was delightful to their mother's ear: "I am perfectly ready, I assure you, to keep my engagement; and when your sister is recovered, you shall, if you please, name the very day of the ball. But you would not wish to be dancing when she is ill." Lydia declared herself satisfied. "Oh! yesit would be much better to wait till Jane was well, and by that time most likely Captain Carter would be at Meryton again. And when you have given your ball," she added, "I shall insist on their giving one also. I shall tell Colonel Forster it will be quite a shame if he does not." Mrs. Bennet and her daughters then departed, and Elizabeth returned instantly to Jane, leaving her own and her relations' behaviour to the remarks of the two ladies and Mr. Darcy; the latter of whom, however, could not be prevailed on to join in their censure of her, in spite of all Miss Bingley's witticisms on fine eyes.

Dup o scurt tcere, doamna Bennet, rencepu si mulumeasc domnului Bingley pentru amabilitatea ce-i arta Janei, scuzndu-se c-l deranja i cu prezena Elizei. Domnul Bingley i rspunse ca o fireasc politee i o sili pe sora lui mai mica sa fie de asemeni politicoas i s spun ceea ce se cuvenea. Ea i fcu datoria fr prea mult bunvoin: dar doamna Bennei se simi mulumit i, curnd dup aceasta, ceru s-i vin trsura. La acest semnal, cea mai mic dintre fiicele sale se ridic. Tot timpul vizitei, cele dou fete uotiser ntre ele i hotrser ca mezina s-i aminteasc domnului Bingley promisiunea fcut la venirea lui n localitate, de a da un bal la Netherfield.

Lydia era o fat de cincisprezece ani, voinic, avea un ten frumos si o fire vesel; era preferata mamei sale care, din slbiciune, o scosese prea devreme n lume. Era zburdalnic i avea un fel de siguran de sine innascuta: aceasta se transformase n ndrzneala, datorit ateniilor ofierilor ncurajai de propria ei frivolitate i de mesele copioase oferite de unchiul ei Era deci foarte indicat s-i vorbeasc domnului Binglei despre: bal i ii aminti, cu bruschee, de promisiunea fcuta adugnd c ar fi un lucru tare ruinos dac nu i-ar fi respectat-o. Rspunsul lui la acest atac neateptat fu o ncntare pentru urechile doamnei Bennet. Snt cu totul gata, v asigur, s-mi in promisiunea; i, cnd sora dumneavoastr se va nsntoi, va trebui dac v face plcere s fixai precis ziua balului. Dar nu cred ca ai dori s dansai, atta vreme ct dnsa este suferind. Lydia se declar mulumit. Oh, da, ar fi mult mai bine s ateptm ca Jane sa se nsntoeasc i, foarte probabil, pn atunci domnul cpitan Carter va fi napoi la Meryton. i dup ce vei da dumneavoastr balul, adug ea, am s insist s dea i el unul. Am s-i spun domnului colonel Forster c ar fi ruinos dac n-ar face-o. Apoi, doamna Bennet i fiicele sale plecar, iar Elizabeth se ntoarse numaidect la Jane, lsnd pe cele dou doamne i pe domnul Darcy s comenteze purtarea ei i a familiei sale: totui nu-l putur determina s nceap s-o ponegreasc pe ea, n pofida tuturor sarcasmelor domnioarei Bingley asupra ochilor frumoi.

Chapter 10 The day passed much as the day before had done. Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley had spent some hours of the morning with the invalid, who continued, though slowly, to mend; and in the evening Elizabeth joined their party in the drawing-room. The loo-table, however, did not appear. Mr. Darcy was writing, and Miss Bingley, seated near him, was watching the progress of his letter and repeatedly calling off his attention by messages to his sister. Mr. Hurst and Mr. Bingley were at piquet, and Mrs. Hurst was observing their game. Elizabeth took up some needlework, and was sufficiently amused in attending to what passed between Darcy and his companion. The perpetual commendations of the lady, either on his handwriting, or on the evenness of his lines, or on the length of his letter, with the perfect unconcern with which her praises were received, formed a curious dialogue, and was exactly in union with her opinion of each. "How delighted Miss Darcy will be to receive such a letter!" He made no answer. "You write uncommonly fast." "You are mistaken. I write rather slowly." "How many letters you must have occasion to write in the course of a year! Letters of business, too! How odious I should think them!" "It is fortunate, then, that they fall to my lot instead of yours." "Pray tell your sister that I long to see her." "I have already told her so once, by your desire." "I am afraid you do not like your pen. Let me mend it for you. I mend pens remarkably well." "Thank youbut I always mend my own." "How can you contrive to write so even?" He was silent. "Tell your sister I am delighted to hear of her improvement on the harp; and pray let her know that I am quite in raptures with her beautiful little design for a table, and I think it infinitely superior to Miss Grantley's." "Will you give me leave to defer your raptures till I write again? At present I have not room to do them justice." "Oh! it is of no consequence. I shall see her in January. But do you always write such charming long letters to her, Mr. Darcy?" "They are generally long; but whether always charming it is not for me to determine."

Capitolul X Ziua trecu cam tot cum trecuse i cea dintai. Doamna Hurst i domnioara Bingley petrecur, n cursul dimineii, cteva ore cu bolnava care continua, dei ncet, s se refac; iar seara, Elizabeth se altur grupului din salon. Totui masa de ,,100'' nu mai apru. Domnul Darcy scria o scrisoare, iar domnioara Bingley, stnd ling el, i1 privea cum scrie i-i sustrgea mereu atenia cu mesaje pentru sora lui. Domnul Hurts i domnul Bingley jucau pichet, iar doamna Hurst le urmrea jocul. Elizabeth se apuc s brodeze ceva i se amuza destu1 de bine, observnd cele ce se petreceau ntre domnul i domnioara Bingley. Nentreruptele ei laude, cand pentru caligrafia lui, cnd pentru rndurile lui drepte, cand pentru lungimea scrisorii, i perfecta indiferen cu care erau primite aceste complimente fceau un dialog ciudat; i toate se potriveau, ntocmai, cu prerea pe care o avea Elizabeth despre ei amndoi. Ce ncntat va fi domnioara Darcy s primeasc o astfel de scrisoare! Darcy nu rspunse. Scriei neobinuit de repede. V nelai; scriu destul de ncet. Ce multe scrisori avei prilejul s scriei n cursul unui an scrisori de afaceri, de asemeni! Ce odioase cred c snt ! Mare noroc deci c ele cad n sarcina mea i nu a dumneavoastr. V rog, spunei surorii dumneavoastr c mi-e dor de dnsa. La rugmintea dumneavoastr, i-am spus-o deja o dat. M tem c nu sntei mulumit de pana1 dumneavoastr. Dai-mi voie s v-o pregtesc eu. tiu s pregtesc splendid pana de scris. Mulumesc, dar ntotdeauna mi-o pregtesc singur Cum de reuii s scriei att de uniform? El tcu. Spunei surorii dumneavoastr c snt incntata de progresul pe care-l face la harp i, v rog, aducei-i la cunotin c am rmas extaziat de micul i frumosul ei model pentru msu i c-l gsesc infinit superior celui fcut de domnioara Grantley. mi ngduii oare s amn extazul dumneavoastr pentru scrisoarea viitoare? Acum nu mai am loc s-i fac cinstea cuvenit. Oh! Nu are nici o importan. O voi vedea pe domnioara Darcy n luna ianuarie. Ii scriei totdeauna scrisori att de fermectoare i de lungi, domnule Darcy ? Da, ele snt n general lungi; dac snt sau nu fermectoare ntotdeauna, nu snt eu acela care s-o

"It is a rule with me, that a person who can write a long letter with ease, cannot write ill." "That will not do for a compliment to Darcy, Caroline," cried her brother, "because he does not write with ease. He studies too much for words of four syllables. Do not you, Darcy?" "My style of writing is very different from yours." "Oh!" cried Miss Bingley, "Charles writes in the most careless way imaginable. He leaves out half his words, and blots the rest." "My ideas flow so rapidly that I have not time to express themby which means my letters sometimes convey no ideas at all to my correspondents." "Your humility, Mr. Bingley," said Elizabeth, "must disarm reproof." "Nothing is more deceitful," said Darcy, "than the appearance of humility. It is often only carelessness of opinion, and sometimes an indirect boast." "And which of the two do you call my little recent piece of modesty?" "The indirect boast; for you are really proud of your defects in writing, because you consider them as proceeding from a rapidity of thought and carelessness of execution, which, if not estimable, you think at least highly interesting. The power of doing anything with quickness is always prized much by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance. When you told Mrs. Bennet this morning that if you ever resolved upon quitting Netherfield you should be gone in five minutes, you meant it to be a sort of panegyric, of compliment to yourselfand yet what is there so very laudable a precipitance which must leave very necessary business undone, and can be of no real advantage to yourself or anyone else?" "Nay," cried Bingley, "this is too much, to remember at night all the foolish things that were said in the morning. And yet, upon my honour, I believe what I said of myself to be true, and I believe it at this moment. At least, therefore, I did not assume the character of needless precipitance merely to show off before the ladies." "I dare say you believed it; but I am by no means convinced that you would be gone with such celerity. Your conduct would be quite as dependent on chance as that of any man I know; and if, as you were mounting your horse, a friend were to say, 'Bingley, you had better stay till next week,' you would probably do it, you would probably not goand at another word, might stay a month."

poat spune. Pentru mine e lege c cineva care e n stare s scrie cu uurin o scrisoare lung nu poate s scrie prost. Complimentul acesta nu merge pentru Darcy. Caroline. interveni fratele ei, cci el nu scrie uor. i alege cu prea mare grij cuvintele; nu este aa. Darcy ? Felul meu de a scrie se deosebete mult de al tu. Oh! exclam domnioara Bingley, Charles scrie in modul cel mai neglijent cu putin. Jumtate din cuvinte nu le scrie deloc, iar restul le mzglete, Ideile mi curg att de repede, net nu am timpul s le exprim; i din cauza asta, adeseori, scrisorile mele nu transmit nici o idee celor crora le scriu. Modestia dumneavoastr, domnule Bingley, spuse Elizabeth, dezarmeaz firete dezaprobarea. Nimic nu este mai neltor, spuse Darcy, dect falsa modestie. Ea nseamn adesea neglijent n opinii i, uneori, laud indirect. i n care dintre aceste dou intr ultima mea nensemnat prob de modestie? Laud indirect, cci te mandreti cu defectele tale la scris, deoarece eti convins c ele provin dintr-o rapiditate de gndire i neglijen n transpunere care, dac nu e de admirat, este crezi tu deosebit de interesant. Capacitatea dea face ceva cu rapiditate este ntotdeauna mult preuit de cel care o are i care adesea nu d nici o atenie imperfeciunii execuiei. Cnd i-ai spus doamnei Bennet azi-diminea c, dac te-ai hotr vreodat s pleci din Netherfield, ai face-o in cinci minute, ai vrut s sune totul ca un panegiric, ca un elogiu pe care -l aduceai singur; totui, ce gseti att de ludabil ntr-o grab care poate lsa nefcute treburi foarte importante i care nu poate fi de real folos nici ie, nici nimnui ? Ei ! strig Bingley, asta e chiar prea de tot, s-i aminteti seara de toate nzbtiile spuse dimineaa! i totui, pe cuvntul meu de cinste, am crezut c e adevrat ceea ce am spus despre mine i aa cred i acum; prin urmare, cel puin nu mi-am atribuit calitatea de om inutil grbit numai i numai pentru a m luda n faa doamnelor. Presupun c aa ai crezut, dar nu snt deloc conc ai pleca att de grabnic. Purtarea ta ar depinde de mprejurri, exact ca a oricruia dintre oamenii pe care-i cunosc, i dac, n clipa cnd ai ncleca, un prieten i-ar spune: Bingley ar fi mai bine s rmii pn sptmna viitoare'', probabil c ai faceo, probabil ca nu ai pleca; i dac i-ar mai spune o vorb, s-ar putea s mai rmii o lun.

"You have only proved by this," cried Elizabeth, "that Mr. Bingley did not do justice to his own disposition. You have shown him off now much more than he did himself." "I am exceedingly gratified," said Bingley, "by your converting what my friend says into a compliment on the sweetness of my temper. But I am afraid you are giving it a turn which that gentleman did by no means intend; for he would certainly think better of me, if under such a circumstance I were to give a flat denial, and ride off as fast as I could." "Would Mr. Darcy then consider the rashness of your original intentions as atoned for by your obstinacy in adhering to it?" "Upon my word, I cannot exactly explain the matter; Darcy must speak for himself." "You expect me to account for opinions which you choose to call mine, but which I have never acknowledged. Allowing the case, however, to stand according to your representation, you must remember, Miss Bennet, that the friend who is supposed to desire his return to the house, and the delay of his plan, has merely desired it, asked it without offering one argument in favour of its propriety." "To yield readilyeasilyto the persuasion of a friend is no merit with you." "To yield without conviction is no compliment to the understanding of either." "You appear to me, Mr. Darcy, to allow nothing for the influence of friendship and affection. A regard for the requester would often make one readily yield to a request, without waiting for arguments to reason one into it. I am not particularly speaking of such a case as you have supposed about Mr. Bingley. We may as well wait, perhaps, till the circumstance occurs before we discuss the discretion of his behaviour thereupon. But in general and ordinary cases between friend and friend, where one of them is desired by the other to change a resolution of no very great moment, should you think ill of that person for complying with the desire, without waiting to be argued into it?" "Will it not be advisable, before we proceed on this subject, to arrange with rather more precision the degree of importance which is to appertain to this request, as well as the degree of intimacy subsisting between theparties?" "By all means," cried Bingley; "let us hear all the particulars, not forgetting their comparative height and size; for that will have more weight in the argument, Miss Bennet, than you may be aware of. I assure you, that if Darcy were not such a great tall fellow, in comparison with myself, I should not pay him half so much

N-ai dovedit cu asta, interveni Elizabetb, dect c domnul Bingley nu s-a preuit ndeajuns. Dumneavoastr l-ai ludat acum mai mult decat a fcut-o el nsui. V snt foarte recunosctor, spuse Bingley, pentru c ati transformat cele spuse de prietenul meu ntr-o preuire adus firii mele blajine. M tem ns c dai lucrurilor o ntorstur la care acest domn nici nu s-a gndit; prerea lui despre mine ar fi mai bun dac, n mprejurarea pomenit, a refuza net i a da pinteni calului, gonind cit mai repede. Ar considera atunci domnul Darcy c bruscheea primei dumneavoastr hotrri e compensat de ncpanarea cu care v inei de ea ?! Pe cuvntul meu, nu v pot explica acest lucru. Darcy trebuie s spun singur ce are de spus. V ateptai acum s justific preri pe care v place s le numii ale mele, dar pe care nu le-am recunoscut niciodat ca atare. Lund totui cazul ca fiind asa cum l prezentai dumneavoastr, nu trebuie s uitai, domnioar Bennet, c am presupus c prietenul cate dorete ntoarcerea celuilalt din drum i amnarea hotririi lui de a pleca n-a fcut dect s-i exprime dorina, i-a cerut aceasta fr un singur argument justificator. A ceda fr ezitare simplu la insistena unui prieten nu are nici un merit n ochii dumneavoastr. A ceda fr a fi convins nu este un compliment pentru nelegerea nici unuia dintre ei. mi pare, domnule Darcy, c nu punei pre pe nrurirea pe care o au prietenia i dragostea. Preuirea pe care o ai pentru solicitant te poate adesea face s-i ndeplineti cererea fr s mai atepi argumente care sa te conving. Nu vorbesc despre un caz anume, ca acela pe care l-ai imaginat dumneavoastr referitor la domnul Bingley. Poate c ar fi mai bine s ateptm s se iveasc mprejurarea, nainte de a discuta libertatea lui de aciune. Dar n general i-n cazuri obinuite, ntre prieteni, cnd unul dintre ei dorete ca cellalt s schimbe o hotrre fr prea mare importan, ai avea o proast prere despre acela care e de acord cu dorina prietenului su, fr s atepte s fie convins cu argumente? Nu ar fi cazul ca, nainte de a discuta aceasta tem, s determinm, cu ceva mai mult precizie, gradul de importan al cererii respective, precum i gradul de apropiere dintre prieteni ? Oh, desigur, spuse Bingley, s auzim tot, toate amnuntele; s nu lsm deoparte nlimea i grosimea lor comparativ, pentru c acestea, domnioar Bennet, au n discuie mai mult greutate dect v dai dumneavoastr seama. V asigur c, dac Darcy n-ar fi un om att de mare i

deference. I declare I do not know a more awful object than Darcy, on particular occasions, and in particular places; at his own house especially, and of a Sunday evening, when he has nothing to do." Mr. Darcy smiled; but Elizabeth thought she could perceive that he was rather offended, and therefore checked her laugh. Miss Bingley warmly resented the indignity he had received, in an expostulation with her brother for talking such nonsense. "I see your design, Bingley," said his friend. "You dislike an argument, and want to silence this." "Perhaps I do. Arguments are too much like disputes. If you and Miss Bennet will defer yours till I am out of the room, I shall be very thankful; and then you may say whatever you like of me." "What you ask," said Elizabeth, "is no sacrifice on my side; and Mr. Darcy had much better finish his letter." Mr. Darcy took her advice, and did finish his letter. When that business was over, he applied to Miss Bingley and Elizabeth for an indulgence of some music. Miss Bingley moved with some alacrity to the pianoforte; and, after a polite request that Elizabeth would lead the way which the other as politely and more earnestly negatived, she seated herself. Mrs. Hurst sang with her sister, and while they were thus employed, Elizabeth could not help observing, as she turned over some musicbooks that lay on the instrument, how frequently Mr. Darcy's eyes were fixed on her. She hardly knew how to suppose that she could be an object of admiration to so great a man; and yet that he should look at her because he disliked her, was still more strange. She could only imagine, however, at last that she drew his notice because there was something more wrong and reprehensible, according to his ideas of right, than in any other person present. The supposition did not pain her. She liked him too little to care for his approbation. After playing some Italian songs, Miss Bingley varied the charm by a lively Scotch air; and soon afterwards Mr. Darcy, drawing near Elizabeth, said to her: "Do not you feel a great inclination, Miss Bennet, to seize such an opportunity of dancing a reel?" She smiled, but made no answer. He repeated the question, with some surprise at her silence. "Oh!" said she, "I heard you before, but I could not immediately determine what to say in reply.

i de falnic n comparaie cu mine, nu a avea pentru el nici jumtate din deferenta pe care o am. V declar c nu cunosc ceva mai oribil dect Darcy, n anumite mprejurri i n anumite locuri acasa la el n special ntr-o sear de duminic n care nu are nimic de fcut. Domnul Darcy zmbi; Elizabeth avu impresia c se simea jignit i de aceea i stpni rsul. Domnioara Bingley fu foarte afectat de afrontul pe care l primise domnul Darcy i i - mustr fratele pentru absurditile spuse. Vd cam ce urmreti, Bingley, ii spuse prietenul su, Nu-i plac discuiile i doreti s-o nbui pe cea de acum. - Poate c nu-mi plac. Discutiile seamn prea mult cu disputele. Dac tu i domnioara Bingley ai amna-o pe cea de fa pn ce voi iei din camer, v-a rmne foarte ndatorat; dup aceea putei spune despre mine tot ce vrei. Ceea ce dorii, spuse Elizabeth, nu reprezint nici un sacrificiu din partea mea; iar domnul Darcy ar face mult mai bine s-i sfreasc scrisoarea. Domnul Darcy i urm sfatul i se apuc ndat descris. Cnd sfri, ceru domnioarei Bingley i Elizabethei favoarea de a asculta puin muzic. Domnioara Bingley se ndrept cu vioiciune spre pian i, dup o politicoas invitaie adresat Elizabethei de a cnta prima, ceea ce aceasta refuz cu tot atta politee, dar mai hotrt, se aez ea nsi. Doamna Hurst cnt mpreun cu sora ei, i n timp ce ele erau ocupate n acest fel, Elizabeth, care rsfoia nite caiete de note de pe pian, nu putu s nu remarce ce des se fixau ochii domnului Darcy asupra ei. i venea greu s presupun c ea putea constitui obiectul admiraiei unui brbat att de important, dar era nc i mai ciudat ca el s-o priveasc pentru c nu o plcea. In cele din urm, nu putu totui s-i nchipuie dect c i atrsese atenia deoarece, conform ideilor lui era n ea ceva mai nepotrivit i mai de reprobat dect n oricare altul dintre cei prezeni. Presupunerea aceasta nu o ndurera. Domnul Darcy i plcea prea puin ca s-i pese de aprobarea lui. Dup ctev cntece italiene, domnioara Bipgley aduse o variaie cu un vioi cntec scoian i atunci domnul Darcy, apropiindu-se de Elizabeth. i spuse: Domnioar Bennet, nu v tenteaz foarte tare sa profitai de acest prilej pentru a dansa o Scoian? Ea surise, dar nu rspunse nimic. Oarecum surprins de tcerea ei Darcy repet ntrebarea. Oh, v-am auzit, dar n-am putut hotr imediat e rspuns s v dau. tiu c doreai s v spun

You wanted me, I know, to say 'Yes,' that you might have the pleasure of despising my taste; but I always delight in overthrowing those kind of schemes, and cheating a person of their premeditated contempt. I have, therefore, made up my mind to tell you, that I do not want to dance a reel at alland now despise me if you dare." "Indeed I do not dare." Elizabeth, having rather expected to affront him, was amazed at his gallantry; but there was a mixture of sweetness and archness in her manner which made it difficult for her to affront anybody; and Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her. He really believed, that were it not for the inferiority of her connections, he should be in some danger. Miss Bingley saw, or suspected enough to be jealous; and her great anxiety for the recovery of her dear friend Jane received some assistance from her desire of getting rid of Elizabeth. She often tried to provoke Darcy into disliking her guest, by talking of their supposed marriage, and planning his happiness in such an alliance. "I hope," said she, as they were walking together in the shrubbery the next day, "you will give your mother-in-law a few hints, when this desirable event takes place, as to the advantage of holding her tongue; and if you can compass it, do cure the younger girls of running after officers. And, if I may mention so delicate a subject, endeavour to check that little something, bordering on conceit and impertinence, which your lady possesses." "Have you anything else to propose for my domestic felicity?" "Oh! yes. Do let the portraits of your uncle and aunt Phillips be placed in the gallery at Pemberley. Put them next to your great-uncle the judge. They are in the same profession, you know, only in different lines. As for your Elizabeth's picture, you must not have it taken, for what painter could do justice to those beautiful eyes?" "It would not be easy, indeed, to catch their expression, but their colour and shape, and the eyelashes, so remarkably fine, might be copied." At that moment they were met from another walk by Mrs. Hurst and Elizabeth herself. "I did not know that you intended to walk," said Miss Bingley, in some confusion, lest they had been overheard. "You used us abominably ill," answered Mrs. Hurst, "running away without telling us that you were coming out."

da" ca s avefi satisfacia de a-mi dispreui gustul; dar mie mi face ntotdeauna plcere s dejoc astel de planuri i salipsesc oamenii de satisfacia unui dispre remeditat M-am hotrt deci s v spun c nu doresc ctui de puin s dansez o Scoian i, cum, dispreuii-m, dac ndrznii. Cu adevrat, nu ndrznesc. Elizabeth, care se ateptase s-l fi jgnit, rmase uluit de gentileea lui; era ns n felul ei de a fi un amestec de drglenie i maliiozitate care o fceau incapabil de a jigni pe cineva; iar Darcy nu fusese n viaa lui vrjit de o femeie, cum era acum de ea. Era cu adevrat convins c, dac nu ar fi fost la mijloc inferioritatea rudelor ei, dnsul s-ar fi aflat oarecum n pericol. Domnioara Bingley vzuse sau bnuia ndeajuns pentru a fi geloas, i marea ei ngrijorare pentru nsntoirea dragei sale prietene Jane era alimentat, ntru-ctva, de dorina de a se vedea scpat de sora acesteia. ncerca adesea s-l fac pe Darcy s se dezguste de Elizabeth, vorbind despre presupusa lor cstorie i despre fericirea ce-l atepta ntr-o asemenea alian. Sper, i spuse a doua zi, pe cnd se plimbau mpreun printre boschete, c atunci cnd fericitul eveniment va avea loc, i vei da soacrei dumneavoastr a nelege ce folositor este s-i in gura; i, dac puteti reui, lecuiti-le pe fetele mai mici de a se ine dupa ofieri. i, dac-mi pot ngdui s atac un subiect atat de delicat, ncercai s stvilii acel ceva minuscul, la limita dintre orgoliu i impertinen, din firea doamnei dumneavoastr. Mai avei i altceva s-mi propunei pentru fericirea mea conjugal ? Oh! da! Dai ordin s se atrne n galeria de la Pemberley portretele unchiului i mtuii Philips. Punei-le lng cel al unchiului dumneavoastr, fratele bunicului, judectorul. Snt n aceeai profesiune tii numai pe poziii diferite. Ct privete portretul dragei dumneavoastr Elizabeth, nu ncercai s comandai vreunul; ce pictor ar putea oare izbuti s redea frumuseea ochilor ei ? Nu ar fi deloc uor s le prinzi expresia; dar forma i culoarea i genele att de minunate ar putea fi zugrvite. n clipa aceea se ntlnir cu doamna Hurst i cu Elizabeth, care apruser de pe o alt alee. N-am tiut c avei intenia s facei o plimbare. spuse domnioara Bingley, destul de ncurcat, de teama sa nu fi fost auzita. Ce spui? Voi cum ati procedat, rspunse doamna Hurst, disprnd fr s ne spunei c ieii s v plimbai!

Then taking the disengaged arm of Mr. Darcy, she left Elizabeth to walk by herself. The path just admitted three. Mr. Darcy felt their rudeness, and immediately said: "This walk is not wide enough for our party. We had better go into the avenue." But Elizabeth, who had not the least inclination to remain with them, laughingly answered: "No, no; stay where you are. You are charmingly grouped, and appear to uncommon advantage. The picturesque would be spoilt by admitting a fourth. Good-bye." She then ran gaily off, rejoicing as she rambled about, in the hope of being at home again in a day or two. Jane was already so much recovered as to intend leaving her room for a couple of hours that evening. Chapter 11 When the ladies removed after dinner, Elizabeth ran up to her sister, and seeing her well guarded from cold, attended her into the drawing-room, where she was welcomed by her two friends with many professions of pleasure; and Elizabeth had never seen them so agreeable as they were during the hour which passed before the gentlemen appeared. Their powers of conversation were considerable. They could describe an entertainment with accuracy, relate an anecdote with humour, and laugh at their acquaintance with spirit. But when the gentlemen entered, Jane was no longer the first object; Miss Bingley's eyes were instantly turned toward Darcy, and she had something to say to him before he had advanced many steps. He addressed himself to Miss Bennet, with a polite congratulation; Mr. Hurst also made her a slight bow, and said he was "very glad;" but diffuseness and warmth remained for Bingley's salutation. He was full of joy and attention. The first half-hour was spent in piling up the fire, lest she should suffer from the change of room; and she removed at his desire to the other side of the fireplace, that she might be further from the door. He then sat down by her, and talked scarcely to anyone else. Elizabeth, at work in the opposite corner, saw it all with great delight. When tea was over, Mr. Hurst reminded his sister-in-law of the card-tablebut in vain. She had obtained private intelligence that Mr. Darcy did not wish for cards; and Mr. Hurst soon found even his open petition rejected. She assured him that no one intended to play, and the silence of the whole party on the subject seemed to justify her. Mr. Hurst had therefore nothing to

Apoi, lund braul liber al domnului Darcy, o ls pe Elisabeth s mearg singur. Crarea era numai pentru trei persoane. Domnul Darcy simi mojicia lor i spuse nadat: Crarea nu-i destul de marc pentru noi toi. Am face mai bine s trecem pe alee. Elizabeth, ns, pe care n-o trgea deloc inima s rmn cu ei, le spuse rznd: Nu, nu ! Rmnei unde sntei. Formai un grup nenttor i aprei neobinuit de avantajai. Pitorescul ar ii stricat prin intervenia unui al patrulea. La revedere Fugi vesel de ling ei i, strbtnd parcul, se bucura la gndul c ntr-o zi-dou va fi din nou acas. Jane se simea destul de n putere i avea de gnd s ias vreo dou ore din camer, spre sear.

Capitolul XI Dup mas, cnd doamnele plecara din sufragerie, Elizabeth fugi la sora ei i, dup ce o nfofoli bine, o conduse n salon, unde fu ntmpinat de cele dou prietene ale sale cu multe manifestri de bucurie; Elizabeth nu le mai vzuse niciodat atit de drgue ca n ceasul petrecut mpreun, nainte de apariia domnilor. Aveau o imens capacitate de a conversa i erau n stare s descrie cu precizie o petrecere, s povesteasc cu mult umor o anecdot i s fac haz de cunoscui. Cnd ns aprur domnii, Jane nu mai reprezenta centrul ateniei lor: n aceeai clip, ochii domnioarei Bingley se ntoarser ctre Darcy i, nainte ca acesta s fi fcut civa pai, ea i avu ceva s-i spun. Acesta se adresa direct domnioarei Bennet, felicitnd-o cu politee; domnul Hurst se nclin i el uor, spunnd c era foarte bucuros" Salutul lui Bingley fu ns plin de cldur i senin. A fost vesel i foarte atent cu ea. Prima jumtate de 'or o petrecu and focul pentru ca Jane s nu sufere din cauza schimbrii camerei; i, la dorina lui, ea trecu de cealalt parte a cminului, ca s fie mai departe de u. Apoi, se aez ling ea i aproape c nu mai vorbi cu nimeni altul. Elizabeth, brodind n colul opus, urmrea totul ncantat.

Dup ceai, domnul Hurst i reaminti cumnatei sale de masa do joc; zadarnic ns. Ea tia, din observaile sale c domnul Darey nu voia s joace, i domnul Hurst i vzu refuzat chiar i dorina direct exprimat. Domnioara Bingley l asigur c nu avea nimeni intenia s joace i cerea ntregului grup prea s-i confirme spusele. Domnul Hurst, prin urmare, nu avu altceva de

but to stretch himself on one of the sofas and go to sleep. Darcy took up a book; Miss Bingley did the same; and Mrs. Hurst, principally occupied in playing with her bracelets and rings, joined now and then in her brother's conversation with Miss Bennet. Miss Bingley's attention was quite as much engaged in watching Mr. Darcy's progress through his book, as in reading her own; and she was perpetually either making some inquiry, or looking at his page. She could not win him, however, to any conversation; he merely answered her question, and read on. At length, quite exhausted by the attempt to be amused with her own book, which she had only chosen because it was the second volume of his, she gave a great yawn and said, "How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library." No one made any reply. She then yawned again, threw aside her book, and cast her eyes round the room in quest for some amusement; when hearing her brother mentioning a ball to Miss Bennet, she turned suddenly towards him and said: "By the bye, Charles, are you really serious in meditating a dance at Netherfield? I would advise you, before you determine on it, to consult the wishes of the present party; I am much mistaken if there are not some among us to whom a ball would be rather a punishment than a pleasure." "If you mean Darcy," cried her brother, "he may go to bed, if he chooses, before it beginsbut as for the ball, it is quite a settled thing; and as soon as Nicholls has made white soup enough, I shall send round my cards." "I should like balls infinitely better," she replied, "if they were carried on in a different manner; but there is something insufferably tedious in the usual process of such a meeting. It would surely be much more rational if conversation instead of dancing were made the order of the day." "Much more rational, my dear Caroline, I dare say, but it would not be near so much like a ball." Miss Bingley made no answer, and soon afterwards she got up and walked about the room. Her figure was elegant, and she walked well; but Darcy, at whom it was all aimed, was still inflexibly studious. In the desperation of her feelings, she resolved on one effort more, and, turning to Elizabeth, said:

fcut dect s se lungeasc pe una dintre canapele i sa adoarm. Darcy lu o carte n mn. Domnioara Bingley, Ia fel; iar doamna Hurst, tot jucndu-se cu brrie i inelele sale, se amesteca din cnd n cnd n conversaia dintre fratele ei i domnioara Bennet. Domnioara Bingley era aproape tot att de preocupat de progresul fcut de domnul Darcy n lectura crii pe ct si de propria ei carte: i punea tot timpul ntrebri si se uita la pagina la care ajunsese el. Totui nu-l putu atrage ntr-o conversaie; el i rspundea doar la ntrebri i continua s citeasc. n cele din urm, epuizat de ncercarea de a se amuza cu cartea ce o alesese numai pentru c era volumul al doilea al crii pe care o citea el, csc puternic i spuse: Ce plcut este s petreci o sear n acest fel! V mrturisesc c, n cele din urm, nu exist bucurie mai mare dect cititul! Te saturi de orice, mult mai repede dect de o carte. Cnd voi avea casa mea, voi fi nenorocit dac nu voi avea o bibliotec excepional. Nimeni nu rspunse nimic. Ea csc din nou, zvirli cartea deoparte i i roti ochii prin camer, cutnd o alt distracie; dnd l auzi pe fratele su pomenindu-i domnitoarei Bennet de un bal, se ntoarse brusc ctre e i-i spuse : Apropo, Charles, te gndeti serios s dai o serat la Netherlield? Te-a sftui, nainte de a lua o hotrre s-i consuli i pe ceilali de aici. Snt sigur c se aflu printre noi unii pentru care un bal ar nsemna mai curnd o pedeaps, dect o plcere. Dac te gndeti la Darcy, exclam fratele ei, poate s se duc la culcare nainte s nceap balul, n caz c prefer asta; ct despre bal, e lucru aproape hotrt i, de ndat ce Nicholls1 va fi preparat destul crem de legume2, voi trimite invitaiile. Mi-ar plcea balurile infinit mai mult, replic ea. dac ar fi altfel organizate; modul lor obinuit de desfurare este ns insuportabil de plicticos. Ar fi, desigur, mult mai raional dac, n locul dansului, conversaia ar fi pe ordinea de zi. Mult mai raional, draga mea Caroline; nu zic nu: dar nu ar mai semna a bal. Domnioara Bingley nu rspunse nimic; se ridic apoi curnd i ncepu s se plimbe prin salon. Avea o siluet elegant i se mica frumos; ns Darcy, pentru care fcea toate astea, continua cu ncpnare s citeasc Exasperat, domnioara ingley se hotr s mai fac o sforare i, nlorendu-se ctre Elizabeth, i spuse:

Menajera domnului Bingley. Crem de sparanghel, ciuperci etc dreas cu smntn. Se obinuia n trecut s fie servit la supeuri i este i astzi un fel de mancare foarte obisnuit in Anglia pentru masa de seara

"Miss Eliza Bennet, let me persuade you to follow my example, and take a turn about the room. I assure you it is very refreshing after sitting so long in one attitude." Elizabeth was surprised, but agreed to it immediately. Miss Bingley succeeded no less in the real object of her civility; Mr. Darcy looked up. He was as much awake to the novelty of attention in that quarter as Elizabeth herself could be, and unconsciously closed his book. He was directly invited to join their party, but he declined it, observing that he could imagine but two motives for their choosing to walk up and down the room together, with either of which motives his joining them would interfere. "What could he mean? She was dying to know what could be his meaning?"and asked Elizabeth whether she could at all understand him? "Not at all," was her answer; "but depend upon it, he means to be severe on us, and our surest way of disappointing him will be to ask nothing about it." Miss Bingley, however, was incapable of disappointing Mr. Darcy in anything, and persevered therefore in requiring an explanation of his two motives. "I have not the smallest objection to explaining them," said he, as soon as she allowed him to speak. "You either choose this method of passing the evening because you are in each other's confidence, and have secret affairs to discuss, or because you are conscious that your figures appear to the greatest advantage in walking; if the first, I would be completely in your way, and if the second, I can admire you much better as I sit by the fire." "Oh! shocking!" cried Miss Bingley. "I never heard anything so abominable. How shall we punish him for such a speech?" "Nothing so easy, if you have but the inclination," said Elizabeth. "We can all plague and punish one another. Tease himlaugh at him. Intimate as you are, you must know how it is to be done." "But upon my honour, I do not. I do assure you that my intimacy has not yet taught me that. Tease calmness of manner and presence of mind! No, no; I feel he may defy us there. And as to laughter, we will not expose ourselves, if you please, by attempting to laugh without a subject. Mr. Darcy may hug himself." "Mr. Darcy is not to be laughed at!" cried Elizabeth. "That is an uncommon advantage, and uncommon I hope it will continue, for it would be a great loss to me to have many such acquaintances. I dearly love a laugh."

Domniar Eliza Bennet, d-mi voie s strui s-mi urmezi exemplul i s te miti putin prin salon. Te asigur c este foarte nviortor, dupu ce ai stat att pe loc. Elizabeth fu surprins, dar accept imediat. Domnioara Bingley avu succes i n ceea ce priveste scopul real al acestei gentilei: domnul Darcy i ridic privirea. Era i el tot att de surprins ca i Elizabcth de neateptata atenie venind din partea domnioarei Bingley i, fr si dea scama, nchise cartea. Fu poflit s se alture grupului lor, dar refuz, remarcnd c nu-i putea nchipui dect dou motive pentru care se plimbau prin salon, iar dac el ar veni cu ele ar duna i unuia i celuilalt. Domnioara Bingley murea s tie ce voia s spun i o ntreb pe Elizabeth dac ea nelegea ceva. Nu, nimic, rspunse Elizabeth; e clar ns c vrea s fie sever cu noi i modul cel mai sigur de a-l necji este s nu-l ntrebm nimic. Domnioara Bingley ns nu era n stare s-l necjeasc pe domnul Darcy n nici un fel, i insist s i se explice cele dou motive. N-am nimic mpotriv s vi le explic, spuse el, ndat ce domnioara Bingley i ngdui s vorbeasc. Ai ales acest fel de a v petrece seara, fie pentru c sntei una confidenta celeilalte i avei secrete de discutat, fie pentru c tii c siluetele dumneavoastr snt puse n valoare cnd v micai: dac~i vorba de primul motiv, v-a stnjeni; dac-i vorba de al doilea, v pot admira mai bine de la locul meu, de lng foc. Oh! E scandalos! exclam domnioara Bingley. N-am mai auzit ceva att de ngrozitor. Cum s-l pedepsim pentru asemenea cuvinte ? Nimic mai simplu; numai s-o dorii, rspunse Elizabeth. Putem toi s ne chinuim, s ne pedepsim unii pe alii. Scii-l, rdei de el. Sntei att de intimi, nct trebuie s tii cum s-o facei. Dar pe cuvntul meu c nu tiu. V asigur c intimitatea noastr nu m-a nvat nc acest lucru. S sci calmul nsui i prezena de spirit! Nu, nu! Simt c la punctul acesta vom fi btute. Ct privete rsul, nu ne putem face ridicole dac nu v este cu suprare ncercnd s rdem de el fr nici un motiv. Domnul Darcy se poate felicita. Nu se poate rde de domnul Darcy! se mir Elizabeth. Aceasta este o prerogativ foarte neobinuit i neobinuit sper s rmn, cci pentru mine ar fi o mare pierdere dac-a avea multe cunotine de felul acesta. Ador rsul. Domnioara Bingley, interveni domnul Darcy, imi acord prea mult credit. Cei mai nelepi i mai buni dintre oameni

"Miss Bingley," said he, "has given me more credit than can be. The wisest and the best of mennay, the wisest and best of their actions may be rendered ridiculous by a person whose first object in life is a joke." "Certainly," replied Elizabeth"there are such people, but I hope I am not one of them. I hope I never ridicule what is wise and good. Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies, do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can. But these, I suppose, are precisely what you are without." "Perhaps that is not possible for anyone. But it has been the study of my life to avoid those weaknesses which often expose a strong understanding to ridicule." "Such as vanity and pride." "Yes, vanity is a weakness indeed. But pride where there is a real superiority of mind, pride will be always under good regulation." Elizabeth turned away to hide a smile. "Your examination of Mr. Darcy is over, I presume," said Miss Bingley; "and pray what is the result?" "I am perfectly convinced by it that Mr. Darcy has no defect. He owns it himself without disguise." "No," said Darcy, "I have made no such pretension. I have faults enough, but they are not, I hope, of understanding. My temper I dare not vouch for. It is, I believe, too little yielding certainly too little for the convenience of the world. I cannot forget the follies and vices of others so soon as I ought, nor their offenses against myself. My feelings are not puffed about with every attempt to move them. My temper would perhaps be called resentful. My good opinion once lost, is lost forever." "That is a failing indeed!" cried Elizabeth. "Implacable resentment is a shade in a character. But you have chosen your fault well. I really cannot laugh at it. You are safe from me." "There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evila natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome." "And your defect is to hate everybody." "And yours," he replied with a smile, "is willfully to misunderstand them." "Do let us have a little music," cried Miss Bingley, tired of a conversation in which she had no share. "Louisa, you will not mind my waking Mr. Hurst?" Her sister had not the smallest objection, and the pianoforte was opened; and Darcy, after a few moments' recollection, was not sorry for it. He began to feel the danger of paying Elizabeth

ba nu! cele mai nelepte i mat bune dintre faptele lor pot fi ridiculizate de cineva al crui prim scop n viat este hazul. Desigur, replic Elizabeth, exist asemenea oameni, dar sper c nu fac parte dintre ei. Sper s nu ridiculizez niciodat ceea ce este inelept sau bun. Nerozia l prostia, capriciul i inconsecvena m amuz copios. O recunosc; rid de ele ori de cte ori pot. Dar astea, presupun, snt exact deectele pe care dumneavoastr nu le avei. Poate c nu-i cu putin ca un om s nu le aib. Dar a fost totdeauna scopul vieii mele s evit acele slbiciuni care expun o minte sntoas ridicolului. Defecte ca orgoliul i mndria. Da, orgoliul este ntr-adevr un defect. Mndria ns, acolo unde exist o minte cu adevrat superioar, mndria va fi ntotdeauna inut n fru. Elizabeth se ntoarse pentru a-i ascunde un suras. Ai terminat, cred, analizarea caracterului domnului Darcy, spuse domnioara Bingley, i care este, rm rog, rezultatul ? M-am convins pe deplin c domnul Darcy nu are nici un defect, O recunoate el nsui, fr nconjur. Nu, rspunse Darcy, nu am avut asemenea pretenie. Am destule defecte, dar nu snt, sper, ale raiunii. Pentru firea mea, nu pun mina n foc. Este, cred, prea puin ngduitoare; sigur, prea puin, pentru a conveni celorlali. Nu pot uita prostiile i pcatele oamenilor att de repede pe ct ar trebui, i nici ofensele pe care mi le aduc. Nu m las impresionat de orice ncercare ce s-ar face de a m emoiona. Caracterul meu ar putea fi numit ranchiunos. Buna mea prere o data pierdut, este pierdut pentru vecie. Acesta este ntr-adevr un pcat, strig Elizabeth. Ranchiuna implacabil este o pata pe firea cuiva. Dar v-ai ales bine pcatul. Cu adevrat, nu pot rde de el in ceea ce m privete, suntei n siguran. Exist, cred, n fiecare dintre noi, o nclinaie pentru un pcat anume, un defect firesc pe care nici educaia cea mai perfect nu-l poate nbui. i al dumneavoastr este tendina de a-i dispreui pe toti. i al dumneavoastr, replic Darcy cu un suris, este de a-i nelege pe toi greit, cu bun tiin. S facem puin muzic, interveni domnioara Bingley, stul de o conversaie la care nu-i dduse contribuia. Louiza, n-ai s te superi dac-l voi trezi pe domnul Hurst? Sora sa nu avu nici cea mai mic obiecie; pianul fu deschis i Darcy, dup ce se reculese timp de cteva clipe, nu regret deloc acest lucru. ncepea s simt c era periculos s se preocupe

too much attention. Chapter 12 In consequence of an agreement between the sisters, Elizabeth wrote the next morning to their mother, to beg that the carriage might be sent for them in the course of the day. But Mrs. Bennet, who had calculated on her daughters remaining at Netherfield till the following Tuesday, which would exactly finish Jane's week, could not bring herself to receive them with pleasure before. Her answer, therefore, was not propitious, at least not to Elizabeth's wishes, for she was impatient to get home. Mrs. Bennet sent them word that they could not possibly have the carriage before Tuesday; and in her postscript it was added, that if Mr. Bingley and his sister pressed them to stay longer, she could spare them very well. Against staying longer, however, Elizabeth was positively resolved nor did she much expect it would be asked; and fearful, on the contrary, as being considered as intruding themselves needlessly long, she urged Jane to borrow Mr. Bingley's carriage immediately, and at length it was settled that their original design of leaving Netherfield that morning should be mentioned, and the request made. The communication excited many professions of concern; and enough was said of wishing them to stay at least till the following day to work on Jane; and till the morrow their going was deferred. Miss Bingley was then sorry that she had proposed the delay, for her jealousy and dislike of one sister much exceeded her affection for the other. The master of the house heard with real sorrow that they were to go so soon, and repeatedly tried to persuade Miss Bennet that it would not be safe for herthat she was not enough recovered; but Jane was firm where she felt herself to be right. To Mr. Darcy it was welcome intelligence Elizabeth had been at Netherfield long enough. She attracted him more than he likedand Miss Bingley was uncivil to her, and more teasing than usual to himself. He wisely resolved to be particularly careful that no sign of admiration should now escape him, nothing that could elevate her with the hope of influencing his felicity; sensible that if such an idea had been suggested, his behaviour during the last day must have material weight in confirming or crushing it. Steady to his purpose, he scarcely spoke ten words to her through the whole of Saturday, and though they were at one time left by themselves for half-an-hour, he adhered most

prea mult de Elizabeth. Capitolul XII Ca urmare a nelegerii dintre cele dou surori, a doua zi de diminea Elizabeth scrise mamei lor, rugnd-o s trimit trsura s le ia acas, n cursul zile; ns doamna Bennet, care socotise c fetele vor rmne Ia Neiherfield pn marea urmtoare, ceea ce ar fi fcut o sptmn ntreag pentru Jane, nu se putea hotr s le primeasc mai devreme, cu plcere. Rspunsul su, deci, nu a fost satisfctor, n tot cazul nu pentru Elizabeth care era nerbdtoare s se ntoarc acas Doamna Bennet le trimise vorb c nu putea s dispun de trsur nainte de mari i adug ntr-un postscriptum c dac domnul Bingley i sora lui insistau s le mai rein, ea se putea foarte bine lipsi de ele. Elizabeth ns, era absolut hotrt s nu mai rmn acolo i nici nu se prea astepta la asemenea insistene; din conlr temndu-se c ederea lor putea fi socotit inutil de lunga, strui pe lang Jane ca s-l roage ea pe domnul Bingley s le dea imediat trsura; hotrr deci s vorbeasc n cursul dimineii despre intenia lor de a pleca de la Netherfield i s cear i trsura. Hotarrea lor provoc din partea surorilor domnului Bingley multe demonstraii de regret i insistar destul pentru a o convinge pe Jane s rmn pn a doua zi. Plecarea fu deci amanat pentru ziua urmtoare. Domnioarei Binglcy i prea ru c propusese aceast amnare cci gelozia i antipatia ei pentru una dintre surori depeau cu mult afeciunea pentru cealalt. Stpnul casei afl, cu sincer mhnire, c plecau att de curnd i ncerc, n repetate rnduri, s-o conving pe domnioara Bennet c nu era un lucru cuminte din partea ei, c nu se refcuse destul, dar Jane era neclintit atunci cnd simea c are dreptate. Pentru domnul Dascy, vestea fu binevenit; Elizabeth sttuse destul la Netherfield. l atrgea mai mult dect dorea, iar domnioara Bingley era nepoliticoas cu ea i mai scitoare dect de obicei cu el. Darcy lu hotrrea neleapt de a fi deosebit de atent ca, mai ales acum, s nu-i scape vreun gest de admiraie, nimic care ar putea trezi n Elizabeth sperana de a nsemna ceva pentru fericirea lui, contient c, dac n mintea ei i-a putut face loc un asemenea gnd, purtarea lui din ultima zi trebuia s aib toat fora de a-l confirma sau zdrobi. Neclintit n hotrrea lui, abia dac i spuse zece cuvinte n tot cursul zilei de smbt i, dei la un moment dat rmaser singuri o jumtate de or, el i vzu contiincios de lectur i nu-i arunc nici mcar o privire.

conscientiously to his book, and would not even look at her. On Sunday, after morning service, the separation, so agreeable to almost all, took place. Miss Bingley's civility to Elizabeth increased at last very rapidly, as well as her affection for Jane; and when they parted, after assuring the latter of the pleasure it would always give her to see her either at Longbourn or Netherfield, and embracing her most tenderly, she even shook hands with the former. Elizabeth took leave of the whole party in the liveliest of spirits. They were not welcomed home very cordially by their mother. Mrs. Bennet wondered at their coming, and thought them very wrong to give so much trouble, and was sure Jane would have caught cold again. But their father, though very laconic in his expressions of pleasure, was really glad to see them; he had felt their importance in the family circle. The evening conversation, when they were all assembled, had lost much of its animation, and almost all its sense by the absence of Jane and Elizabeth. They found Mary, as usual, deep in the study of thorough-bass and human nature; and had some extracts to admire, and some new observations of threadbare morality to listen to. Catherine and Lydia had information for them of a different sort. Much had been done and much had been said in the regiment since the preceding Wednesday; several of the officers had dined lately with their uncle, a private had been flogged, and it had actually been hinted that Colonel Forster was going to be married. Chapter 13 "I hope, my dear," said Mr. Bennet to his wife, as they were at breakfast the next morning, "that you have ordered a good dinner today, because I have reason to expect an addition to our family party." "Who do you mean, my dear? I know of nobody that is coming, I am sure, unless Charlotte Lucas should happen to call inand I hope my dinners are good enough for her. I do not believe she often sees such at home." "The person of whom I speak is a gentleman, and a stranger." Mrs. Bennet's eyes sparkled. "A gentleman and a stranger! It is Mr. Bingley, I am sure! Well, I am sure I shall be extremely glad to see Mr. Bingley. Butgood Lord! how unlucky! There is not a bit of fish to be got to-day. Lydia, my love, ring the bellI must speak to Hill this moment." "It is not Mr. Bingley,"

Duminic, dup slujba religioas, avu loc desprirea att de plcut aproape pentru toi. Amabilitatea domnioarei Bingley fa de Eiizabeth, ca i afeciunea ei pentru Jane crescuser, spre sfrit, foarte simitor i, cnd s-au desprit, dup ce o asigur pe aceasta din urm de plcerea ce-i va face ntotdeauna s se vad, fie la Longbourn, fie la Netherfield, i dup ce o mbria cu toata cldura, ddu chiar mina cu cea dintai. Elizabeth i lu rmas bun de la toi, n cea mai perfect stare de spirit. Acas, nu fur ntmpinate cu prea mult cldur de mama lor. Doamna Bennet fu surprins c s-au ntors. Spuse c au fcut ru s pun oamenii pe foc i c era sigur c Jane rcise iari. Tatl lor ns, dei foarte laconic n exprimarea bucuriei sale, era foarte vesel s le vad acas; le simise mult lipsa. Conversaiile de sear cnd se stringeau cu toii, pierduser mult din viociune, i aproape c nu-i mai aveau rostul dac lipseau Jane i Elizabeth. Au gsit-o pe Mary, ca de obicei, adncit n studiul armoniei i contrapunctului i al naturii omeneti, i-au trebuit s admire noi extrase i s asculte noi remarci de etic rsuflat. Catherine i Lydia aveau de dat veti de alt natur. Multe se mai ntmplaser i multe se spuseser n regiment, de miercurea trecut; civa dintre ofieri cinaser, n ultimei zile, la unchiul lor; un soldat fusese btut cu Meiul; i se zvonise c domnul colonel Forster era pe cale s se nsoare. Capitolul XIII Sper, scumpa mea spuse domnul Bennet soiei sale, a doua zi de diminea, la micul dejun, c ai comandat o mas bun pentru astzi, deoarece am motive s atept un adaos la grupul nostru familial. La cine te gndeti, dragul meu? Snt sigur c nu tiu s vin cineva, afar doar dac nu s-o ntmpla s trerc pe aici Charlotte Lucas i sper c mesele mele snt destul de bune pentru dlnsa. Nu cred s aib multe prnzuri de astea acas la ea. Persoana despre care vorbesc este un domn i un strin. Ochii doamnei Bennet scnteiar, Un domn i un strin! E domnul Bingley, snt sigur. Vai, Jane, n-ai lsat s-i scape o vorb despre asta, ireat ce eti! Ei bine, snt, desigur, foarte fericit s-l primesc pe domnul Bingley. Dar, Doamne Dumnezeule ce nenorocire! Nu s-a gsit o bucic de pete, astzi. Lydia, sufleelul meu, sun te rog. Trebuie s vorbesc imediat cu Hill3.

Menajera doamnei Bennet.

"It is not Mr. Bingley," said her husband; "it is a person whom I never saw in the whole course of my life." This roused a general astonishment; and he had the pleasure of being eagerly questioned by his wife and his five daughters at once. After amusing himself some time with their curiosity, he thus explained: "About a month ago I received this letter; and about a fortnight ago I answered it, for I thought it a case of some delicacy, and requiring early attention. It is from my cousin, Mr. Collins, who, when I am dead, may turn you all out of this house as soon as he pleases." "Oh! my dear," cried his wife, "I cannot bear to hear that mentioned. Pray do not talk of that odious man. I do think it is the hardest thing in the world, that your estate should be entailed away from your own children; and I am sure, if I had been you, I should have tried long ago to do something or other about it." Jane and Elizabeth tried to explain to her the nature of an entail. They had often attempted to do it before, but it was a subject on which Mrs. Bennet was beyond the reach of reason, and she continued to rail bitterly against the cruelty of settling an estate away from a family of five daughters, in favour of a man whom nobody cared anything about. "It certainly is a most iniquitous affair," said Mr. Bennet, "and nothing can clear Mr. Collins from the guilt of inheriting Longbourn. But if you will listen to his letter, you may perhaps be a little softened by his manner of expressing himself." "No, that I am sure I shall not; and I think it is very impertinent of him to write to you at all, and very hypocritical. I hate such false friends. Why could he not keep on quarreling with you, as his father did before him?" "Why, indeed; he does seem to have had some filial scruples on that head, as you will hear." "Hunsford, near Westerham, Kent, 15th October. "Dear Sir, "The disagreement subsisting between yourself and my late honoured father always gave me much uneasiness, and since I have had the misfortune to lose him, I have frequently wished to heal the breach; but for some time I was kept back by my own doubts, fearing lest it might seem disrespectful to his memory for me to be on good terms with anyone with whom it had always pleased him to be at variance. 'There, Mrs. Bennet.'My mind, however, is now made up on the subject, for having received ordination at Easter, I have been so fortunate as to

Nu este domnul Bingley, o ntrerupse soul su, este cineva pe care nu l-am vzut n viaa mea. Lucrul acesta strni o uimire general, iar el avu plcerea s fie chestionat cu zel de soia i cele cinci fiice ale sale, deodat. Dup ce se amuz un timp de curiozitatea lor, le ddu urmtoarea explicaie: Acum aproape o lun, am primit, aceast scrisoare i, acum aproape dou sptmni, am rspuns la ea fiindc am socotit c este o chestiune oarecum delicat, care necesit mult atenie. Este o scrisoare de la vrul meu, domnul Collins, care dup moartea mea v poate da afar din aceast cas, cnd i-o plcea. Vai, dragul meu, strig soia, nu pot s-aud pomenindu-se de asta. M rog dumitale, nu-mi vorbi de omul asta odios. Socot c este lucrul cel mai groaznic din lume ca moia dumitale s fie lsat motenire altuia, i nu propriilor notri copii, i te asigur c, n locul dumitale, a fi ncercat de mult s fac ceva n chestia asta. Jane i Elizabeth ncercar s-i explice natura unui astfel de legat4. ncercaser adesea i mai nainte, dar era un subiect ce o depea pe doamna Bennet, cate continua s blesteme cruzimea atestrii unei moii n defavoarea unei familii cu cinci fete i n favoarea unuia de care nu-i psa nimnui. Este, desigur, un act de mare nedreptate, spuse domnul Bennet, iar pe domnul Collins nimic nu-l poate salva de vina de a moteni proprietatea Longbourn. Dar, daca vrei s-i asculi scrisoarea, s-ar putea ca felul lui a spune lucrurile s te liniteasc puin. Nu! Snt sigur c n-am s m linitesc i cred c e o mare obrznicie i o mare ipocrizie din parte lui ca i-a scris. Detest asemenea prieteni fali. Ce-l mbie a oare s continue s se rzboiasc mai departe cu noi aa cum a fcut i tatl su, naintea lui? Ei bine n chestiunea asta pare s aib, cu adevrat unele scrupule filiale, aa cum vei auzi chiar acum. Hunsford lng Westerhaxn Kent Octombrie, 15 Scumpe domn, Neplcerile existente ntre dumneavoastr i al meu defunct prea stimat tat m-au nemulumit foarte tare i, de cnd am avut nefericirea de a-l pierde, am fost adesea nsufleit de dorina unei reconcilieri; m-au reinut, un timp, ns, propriile mele ndoieli, team fiindu-mi c a fi n termeni buni cu cineva cu care dnsul a binevoit a fi n discordie, ar putea prea o lips de respect fa de memoria domniei sale ! - Iata, doamna Bennet Acum ns m-am hotrt n privina aceasta, fiind

Dar fcut prin testament

be distinguished by the patronage of the Right Honourable Lady Catherine de Bourgh, widow of Sir Lewis de Bourgh, whose bounty and beneficence has preferred me to the valuable rectory of this parish, where it shall be my earnest endeavour to demean myself with grateful respect towards her ladyship, and be ever ready to perform those rites and ceremonies which are instituted by the Church of England. As a clergyman, moreover, I feel it my duty to promote and establish the blessing of peace in all families within the reach of my influence; and on these grounds I flatter myself that my present overtures are highly commendable, and that the circumstance of my being next in the entail of Longbourn estate will be kindly overlooked on your side, and not lead you to reject the offered olive-branch. I cannot be otherwise than concerned at being the means of injuring your amiable daughters, and beg leave to apologise for it, as well as to assure you of my readiness to make them every possible amends but of this hereafter. If you should have no objection to receive me into your house, I propose myself the satisfaction of waiting on you and your family, Monday, November 18th, by four o'clock, and shall probably trespass on your hospitality till the Saturday se'ennight following, which I can do without any inconvenience, as Lady Catherine is far from objecting to my occasional absence on a Sunday, provided that some other clergyman is engaged to do the duty of the day.I remain, dear sir, with respectful compliments to your lady and daughters, your well-wisher and friend, "WILLIAM COLLINS" "At four o'clock, therefore, we may expect this peace-making gentleman," said Mr. Bennet, as he folded up the letter. "He seems to be a most conscientious and polite young man, upon my word, and I doubt not will prove a valuable acquaintance, especially if Lady Catherine should be so indulgent as to let him come to us again." "There is some sense in what he says about the girls, however, and if he is disposed to make them any amends, I shall not be the person to discourage him." "Though it is difficult," said Jane, "to guess in what way he can mean to make us the atonement he thinks our due, the wish is certainly to his credit." Elizabeth was chiefly struck by his extraordinary deference for Lady Catherine, and his kind intention of christening, marrying, and burying his parishioners whenever it were required.

fiind hirotonisit de Pate, am avut marele noroc de a fi distins cu protecia nlimii sale Lady Catherine de Bourgh, vduva lui Sir Lewis de Bourgh, datorit mrinimiei i buntii creia am fost recomandat pentru rangul de rector5 al acestei parohii, unde m voi strdui, n mod neprecupeit, s m comport cu un respect plin de recunotin fa de senioria sa, fiind totdeauna gata s ndeplinesc ritualul i ceremoniile instituite de Biserica Anglican. Ca un om al bisericii simt c este de datoria mea s promovez i s instaurez binecuvntarea pcii n sinul tuturor familiilor din sfera mea de influen i, pe aceste temeiuri, m mndresc c prezenta mea ofert de bun nelegere este demn de toat lauda i c mprejurarea c snt motenitorul testamentar al proprietii Longbourn va fi trecut cu vederea de ctre domnia voastr i c nu vei fi ispitit s refuzai ramura de mslin ce vi se ntinde. Nu pot fi dect afectat de faptul c snt instrumentul unor neajunsuri pentru amabilele dumneavoastr fiice i v solicit ngduina de ami cere iertare pentru aceasta i de a v asigura de dorina mea de a le aduce orice reparare posibil a prejudiciilor create dar despre aceasta, mai trziu. Dac nu avei nici o opunere n a m primi n casa domniei-voastre, mi-am propus marea bucurie de a v prezenta res-pectele mele, domniei-voastre i familiei domniei-voastre, luni, noiembrie optsprezece, la orele patru, i de a abuza de ospitalitatea domniei-voastre, pn smbta ce urmeaz, ceea ce pot face fr nici o mpiedicare, deoarece Lady Catherine este departe de a se mpotrivi unei absene ocazionale n ziua de duminic, numai ca un alt preot s fie angajat pentru slujba din acea zi. Cu respectuoase omagii pentru doamna i fiicele domniei-voastre, rrnn, scumpe domn, al domniei-voastre voitor-de-bine i prieten. William Collins La orele patru deci, putem atepta pe acest domn fctor de pace, spuse domnul Bennet n timp ce mpturea la loc scrisoarea. Pe cuvntul meu, pare s fie un tnr foarte scrupulos i amabil i nu m ndoiesc c se va dovedi a fi o cunotin preioas, n special dac Lady Catherine va fi att de ngduitoare i-l va lsa s mai vin pe la noi. E totui oarecare bun sim n cele ce spune n privina fetelor i, dac este dispus s repare cumva prejudiciile create, n-am s fiu eu aceea care s-l mpiedic. Dei, spuse Jane, este greu s ghiceti n ce mod are de gnd s fac ndreptrile care crede c ni se cuvin, dorina, asta i face cinste. Elizabeth fu profund uimit de marele lui respect pentru Lady

Ecleziast care administreaz o parohie anglican i este beneficiar al daniilor

"He must be an oddity, I think," said she. "I cannot make him out.There is something very pompous in his style.And what can he mean by apologising for being next in the entail?We cannot suppose he would help it if he could. Could he be a sensible man, sir?" "No, my dear, I think not. I have great hopes of finding him quite the reverse. There is a mixture of servility and self-importance in his letter, which promises well. I am impatient to see him." "In point of composition," said Mary, "the letter does not seem defective. The idea of the olive-branch perhaps is not wholly new, yet I think it is well expressed." To Catherine and Lydia, neither the letter nor its writer were in any degree interesting. It was next to impossible that their cousin should come in a scarlet coat, and it was now some weeks since they had received pleasure from the society of a man in any other colour. As for their mother, Mr. Collins's letter had done away much of her ill-will, and she was preparing to see him with a degree of composure which astonished her husband and daughters. Mr. Collins was punctual to his time, and was received with great politeness by the whole family. Mr. Bennet indeed said little; but the ladies were ready enough to talk, and Mr. Collins seemed neither in need of encouragement, nor inclined to be silent himself. He was a tall, heavy-looking young man of fiveand-twenty. His air was grave and stately, and his manners were very formal. He had not been long seated before he complimented Mrs. Bennet on having so fine a family of daughters; said he had heard much of their beauty, but that in this instance fame had fallen short of the truth; and added, that he did not doubt her seeing them all in due time disposed of in marriage. This gallantry was not much to the taste of some of his hearers; but Mrs. Bennet, who quarreled with no compliments, answered most readily. "You are very kind, I am sure; and I wish with all my heart it may prove so, for else they will be destitute enough. Things are settled so oddly." "You allude, perhaps, to the entail of this estate." "Ah! sir, I do indeed. It is a grievous affair to my poor girls, you must confess. Not that I mean to find fault with you, for such things I know are all chance in this world. There is no knowing how estates will go when once they come to be entailed."

Catherine i de intenia-i binevoitoare de a-i boteza, cununa i ngropa enoriaii ori de cte ori va fi nevoie. Trebuie s fie un fenomen, cred, spuse ea. Nu mi-l pot nchipui. Este ceva att de pompos n stilul lui! i ce-o fi vrnd s spun cu scuzele pentru faptul c e motenitor testamentar? Nu-mi nchipui c-ar face ceva, dac i-ar fi posibil. S-ar putea s fie un om cu bun sim, Sir ? Nu, draga mea, nu cred. M atep s-l gsesc tocmai contrariul. In scrisoarea lui este un amestec de servilism i laud de sine, care promite multe. Snt nerbdtor s-I cunosc. Din punctul de vedere al compunerii, interveni Mary, scrisoarea lui nu pare s aib cusururi. Ideea cu ramura de mslin nu este poate nou de tot, cred totui c este bine exprimal. Pentru Catherine i Lydia, nici scrisoarea, nici autorul ei nu prezentau vreun interes. Era mai mult ca imposibil ca vrul lor s apar ntr-o tunic stacojie i, de sptamni ntregi, nu se mai puteau bucura de societatea unui brbat dac purta alt culoare. Ct despre mama lor, scrisoarea domnului Collins estompase mult din reaua ei voina i se pregtea s-l primeasc cu o linite care i-a uimit pe soul i pe fiicele sale. Domnul Collins sosi punctual si fu primit de ntreaga familie cu mult politete. Domnul Bennet vorbi ntr-adevr foarte putin, dar doamnele erau destul de dispuse la vorb, iar domnul Collins nu prea nici s aib nevoie de ncurajare i nici s fie inclinat spre tcere. Era un tnr nalt, greoi, n vrst de douzeci i cinci de ani. Avea un aer grav, impozant i ceremonios. De-abia se aezase i i i fcu doamnei Bennet complimente pentru fiicele sale att de frumoase; i spuse c a auzit mult despre frumuseea lor, dar c, n cazul de fa, faima nu era la nlimea adevrului i, adug el, nu se ndoia c, la timpul potrivit, mama le va vedea pe toate bine rostuite la casa lor. Galanteria aceasta n-a prea fost pe placul unora dintre auditoare, dar doamna Bennet, care nu fcea nazuri la nici un compliment, rspunse pe loc : Sntei foarte amabil, domnule, nu m ndoiesc, i doresc din toat inima s fie aa cci, altfel, vor rmine tare nevoiae. Lucrurile snt att de ciudat aezate. Facei aluzie, probabil, la motenirea acestei proprieti. Oh, domnule, aa e, ntr-adevr. Este un lucru tare trist pentru bietele mele copile, trebuie s-o recunoatei. Nu c vreau s v fac vinovat pe dumneavoastra pentru c, tiu, asemenea lucruri in de ntmplare n via. Nu se poate ti ce se ntmpl cu moiile, n lips de motenitori legali, direci.

"I am very sensible, madam, of the hardship to my fair cousins, and could say much on the subject, but that I am cautious of appearing forward and precipitate. But I can assure the young ladies that I come prepared to admire them. At present I will not say more; but, perhaps, when we are better acquainted" He was interrupted by a summons to dinner; and the girls smiled on each other. They were not the only objects of Mr. Collins's admiration. The hall, the dining-room, and all its furniture, were examined and praised; and his commendation of everything would have touched Mrs. Bennet's heart, but for the mortifying supposition of his viewing it all as his own future property. The dinner too in its turn was highly admired; and he begged to know to which of his fair cousins the excellency of its cooking was owing. But he was set right there by Mrs. Bennet, who assured him with some asperity that they were very well able to keep a good cook, and that her daughters had nothing to do in the kitchen. He begged pardon for having displeased her. In a softened tone she declared herself not at all offended; but he continued to apologise for about a quarter of an hour. Chapter 14 During dinner, Mr. Bennet scarcely spoke at all; but when the servants were withdrawn, he thought it time to have some conversation with his guest, and therefore started a subject in which he expected him to shine, by observing that he seemed very fortunate in his patroness. Lady Catherine de Bourgh's attention to his wishes, and consideration for his comfort, appeared very remarkable. Mr. Bennet could not have chosen better. Mr. Collins was eloquent in her praise. The subject elevated him to more than usual solemnity of manner, and with a most important aspect he protested that "he had never in his life witnessed such behaviour in a person of ranksuch affability and condescension, as he had himself experienced from Lady Catherine. She had been graciously pleased to approve of both of the discourses which he had already had the honour of preaching before her. She had also asked him twice to dine at Rosings, and had sent for him only the Saturday before, to make up her pool of quadrille in the evening. Lady Catherine was reckoned proud by many people he knew, but he had never seen anything but affability in her. She had always spoken to him as she would to any other gentleman; she made not the smallest objection to his joining in the society of the neighbourhood nor to his leaving the parish occasionally for a week

Snt foarte contient, doamn, de necazurile frumoaselor mele verioare i~a putea spune multe n chestiunea asta, dac nu m-a teme s nu par ndrzne i pripit. Pot s le admir. Acum, nu am s spun mai mult, dai cand ne vom cunoate mai bine, poate... Domnul Collins fu ntrerupt erau poftii la mas. i fetele i zmbir una alteia; ele nu erau singurele inte ale admiraiei domnului Collins. Salonul, sufrageria i toat mobila fur examinate i admirate; iar laudele lui pentru fiecare lucru ar fi nclzit inima doamnei Bennet dac nu ar fi fost presupunerea chinuitoare c le cerceta pe toate ca pe nite viitoare posesiuni. Cina, la rndul ei, fu de asemenea rriult ludat i musafirul rug s i se spun creia dintre frumoasele sale verioare se datora gustul excelent al bucatelor. Aici ns fu pus la punct de doamna Bennet care-l asigur, oarecum scoroas, c erau foarte bine n stare s in o buctreas bun i c fiicele ei nu aveau ce cuta n buctrie. Domnul Collins i ceru iertare pentru c o indispusese. Doamna Bennet declar, pe un ton mai moale, c nu se simea deloc jignit; dar el continu s se scuze aproximativ un sfert de ceas. Capitolul XIV In timpul mesei, domnul Bennet aproape c nu deschiso gura ; dar end servitorii s-au retras, crezu c era timpv.! s fac puin conversaie cu oaspetele su i atac, n acest scop, un subiect n care se atepta ca domnul Collins S strluceasc, spunndu-i c prea s fi avut mare noroc cu protectoarea lui. Grija i consideraia Lady-ei Catherin* de Bourgh pentru dorinele i confortul lui preau excepionale. Domnul Bennet nu ar fi putut alese mai binr. Domnul Collins o lud cu elocvent. Subiectul acesta l fcu s se comporte i mai solemn dect i era felul i, c\> un aer foarte important, declar c n viaa lui nu mai . vzuse o asemenea purtare Ia o persoan de rang atto afabilitate i condescenden ct i artase lui Lady Catherine. Dnsa binevoise, n mod graios, s aprobe ambele predici pe care el avusese onoarea s le in n prezena domniei sale. ] poftise, de asemenea, de dou ori s ia masa la Rosings i chiar smba trecuta, seara, trimisese dup el s fie al patrulea la o partid de cadril1. Muli o socoteau pe Lady Catherine trufa, tia el, dar dnsul, personal, nu gsise niciodat la dnsa dect afabilitate. Vorbise ntotdeauna cu el aa cum ar fi fcut-o cu oricare itilom ; nu artase nici cea rr;ai mic mpotrivire ca el frecventeze societatea din vecintate sau s plece oci-mal din parohie pentru o sptmn-dou, s-i vad ru-:le.

Domnia sa binevoise chiar s-l sftuiasc s se nsoare ct mai repede cu putin, cu condiia s fac o ale-re chibzuit ; i o dat venise n vizit n umila lui cas irohia, unde aprobase n ntregime toate modificrii* rute de ei i binevoise sa sugereze ea nsi unele schimbri nite rafturi n dulapuri, ia etaj.