Happy for all her maternal feelings was the day on which Mrs. Bennet got ri_f her two most deserving daughters. With what delighted pride she afterward_isited Mrs. Bingley, and talked of Mrs. Darcy, may be guessed. I wish I coul_ay, for the sake of her family, that the accomplishment of her earnest desir_n the establishment of so many of her children produced so happy an effect a_o make her a sensible, amiable, well-informed woman for the rest of her life;
though perhaps it was lucky for her husband, who might not have relishe_omestic felicity in so unusual a form, that she still was occasionall_ervous and invariably silly.
Mr. Bennet missed his second daughter exceedingly; his affection for her dre_im oftener from home than anything else could do. He delighted in going t_emberley, especially when he was least expected.
Mr. Bingley and Jane remained at Netherfield only a twelvemonth. So near _icinity to her mother and Meryton relations was not desirable even to _his_asy temper, or _her_ affectionate heart. The darling wish of his sister_as then gratified; he bought an estate in a neighbouring county t_erbyshire, and Jane and Elizabeth, in addition to every other source o_appiness, were within thirty miles of each other.
Kitty, to her very material advantage, spent the chief of her time with he_wo elder sisters. In society so superior to what she had generally known, he_mprovement was great. She was not of so ungovernable a temper as Lydia; and,
removed from the influence of Lydia's example, she became, by proper attentio_nd management, less irritable, less ignorant, and less insipid. From th_urther disadvantage of Lydia's society she was of course carefully kept, an_hough Mrs. Wickham frequently invited her to come and stay with her, with th_romise of balls and young men, her father would never consent to her going.
Mary was the only daughter who remained at home; and she was necessarily draw_rom the pursuit of accomplishments by Mrs. Bennet's being quite unable to si_lone. Mary was obliged to mix more with the world, but she could stil_oralize over every morning visit; and as she was no longer mortified b_omparisons between her sisters' beauty and her own, it was suspected by he_ather that she submitted to the change without much reluctance.
As for Wickham and Lydia, their characters suffered no revolution from th_arriage of her sisters. He bore with philosophy the conviction that Elizabet_ust now become acquainted with whatever of his ingratitude and falsehood ha_efore been unknown to her; and in spite of every thing, was not wholl_ithout hope that Darcy might yet be prevailed on to make his fortune. Th_ongratulatory letter which Elizabeth received from Lydia on her marriage,
explained to her that, by his wife at least, if not by himself, such a hop_as cherished. The letter was to this effect:
"MY DEAR LIZZY,
"I wish you joy. If you love Mr. Darcy half as well as I do my dear Wickham,
you must be very happy. It is a great comfort to have you so rich, and whe_ou have nothing else to do, I hope you will think of us. I am sure Wickha_ould like a place at court very much, and I do not think we shall have quit_oney enough to live upon without some help. Any place would do, of abou_hree or four hundred a year; but however, do not speak to Mr. Darcy about it,
if you had rather not.
As it happened that Elizabeth had _much_ rather not, she endeavoured in he_nswer to put an end to every entreaty and expectation of the kind. Suc_elief, however, as it was in her power to afford, by the practice of wha_ight be called economy in her own private expences, she frequently sent them.
It had always been evident to her that such an income as theirs, under th_irection of two persons so extravagant in their wants, and heedless of th_uture, must be very insufficient to their support; and whenever they change_heir quarters, either Jane or herself were sure of being applied to for som_ittle assistance towards discharging their bills. Their manner of living,
even when the restoration of peace dismissed them to a home, was unsettled i_he extreme. They were always moving from place to place in quest of a chea_ituation, and always spending more than they ought. His affection for he_oon sunk into indifference; hers lasted a little longer; and in spite of he_outh and her manners, she retained all the claims to reputation which he_arriage had given her.
Though Darcy could never receive _him_ at Pemberley, yet, for Elizabeth'_ake, he assisted him further in his profession. Lydia was occasionally _isitor there, when her husband was gone to enjoy himself in London or Bath;
and with the Bingleys they both of them frequently staid so long, that eve_ingley's good humour was overcome, and he proceeded so far as to talk o_iving them a hint to be gone.
Miss Bingley was very deeply mortified by Darcy's marriage; but as she though_t advisable to retain the right of visiting at Pemberley, she dropt all he_esentment; was fonder than ever of Georgiana, almost as attentive to Darcy a_eretofore, and paid off every arrear of civility to Elizabeth.
Pemberley was now Georgiana's home; and the attachment of the sisters wa_xactly what Darcy had hoped to see. They were able to love each other even a_ell as they intended. Georgiana had the highest opinion in the world o_lizabeth; though at first she often listened with an astonishment borderin_n alarm at her lively, sportive, manner of talking to her brother. He, wh_ad always inspired in herself a respect which almost overcame her affection,
she now saw the object of open pleasantry. Her mind received knowledge whic_ad never before fallen in her way. By Elizabeth's instructions, she began t_omprehend that a woman may take liberties with her husband which a brothe_ill not always allow in a sister more than ten years younger than himself.
Lady Catherine was extremely indignant on the marriage of her nephew; and a_he gave way to all the genuine frankness of her character in her reply to th_etter which announced its arrangement, she sent him language so very abusive,
especially of Elizabeth, that for some time all intercourse was at an end. Bu_t length, by Elizabeth's persuasion, he was prevailed on to overlook th_ffence, and seek a reconciliation; and, after a little further resistance o_he part of his aunt, her resentment gave way, either to her affection fo_im, or her curiosity to see how his wife conducted herself; and sh_ondescended to wait on them at Pemberley, in spite of that pollution whic_ts woods had received, not merely from the presence of such a mistress, bu_he visits of her uncle and aunt from the city.
With the Gardiners, they were always on the most intimate terms. Darcy, a_ell as Elizabeth, really loved them; and they were both ever sensible of th_armest gratitude towards the persons who, by bringing her into Derbyshire,