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Chapter 12

  • In consequence of an agreement between the sisters, Elizabeth wrote the nex_orning to their mother, to beg that the carriage might be sent for them i_he course of the day. But Mrs. Bennet, who had calculated on her daughter_emaining at Netherfield till the following Tuesday, which would exactl_inish Jane's week, could not bring herself to receive them with pleasur_efore. Her answer, therefore, was not propitious, at least not to Elizabeth'_ishes, for she was impatient to get home. Mrs. Bennet sent them word tha_hey could not possibly have the carriage before Tuesday; and in he_ostscript it was added, that if Mr. Bingley and his sister pressed them t_tay 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 themselve_eedlessly long, she urged Jane to borrow Mr. Bingley's carriage immediately,
  • and at length it was settled that their original design of leaving Netherfiel_hat morning should be mentioned, and the request made.
  • The communication excited many professions of concern; and enough was said o_ishing them to stay at least till the following day to work on Jane; and til_he morrow their going was deferred. Miss Bingley was then sorry that she ha_roposed the delay, for her jealousy and dislike of one sister much exceede_er 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 fo_er—that she was not enough recovered; but Jane was firm where she fel_erself to be right.
  • To Mr. Darcy it was welcome intelligence—Elizabeth had been at Netherfiel_ong enough. She attracted him more than he liked—and Miss Bingley was uncivi_o  _her_ , and more teasing than usual to himself. He wisely resolved to b_articularly 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 th_ast day must have material weight in confirming or crushing it. Steady to hi_urpose, he scarcely spoke ten words to her through the whole of Saturday, an_hough they were at one time left by themselves for half-an-hour, he adhere_ost 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 ver_apidly, as well as her affection for Jane; and when they parted, afte_ssuring the latter of the pleasure it would always give her to see her eithe_t Longbourn or Netherfield, and embracing her most tenderly, she even shoo_ands with the former. Elizabeth took leave of the whole party in th_iveliest of spirits.
  • They were not welcomed home very cordially by their mother. Mrs. Benne_ondered 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 ver_aconic in his expressions of pleasure, was really glad to see them; he ha_elt their importance in the family circle. The evening conversation, whe_hey were all assembled, had lost much of its animation, and almost all it_ense by the absence of Jane and Elizabeth.
  • They found Mary, as usual, deep in the study of thorough-bass and huma_ature; and had some extracts to admire, and some new observations o_hreadbare morality to listen to. Catherine and Lydia had information for the_f a different sort. Much had been done and much had been said in the regimen_ince the preceding Wednesday; several of the officers had dined lately wit_heir uncle, a private had been flogged, and it had actually been hinted tha_olonel Forster was going to be married.