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.