I do assure you, Sir, that I have no pretension whatever of that kind of elegance which consists in tormenting a respectable man. I would rather be paid the compliment of being believed sincere. I thank you again and again for the honour you have done me in your proposals, but to accept them is absolutely impossible. My feelings in every respect forbid it. Can I speak plainer? Do not consider me now as an elegant female intending to plague you, but as a rational creature speaking the truth from her heart.
If gratitude and esteem are good foundations of affection, Elizabeth's change of sentiment will be neither improbable nor faulty. But if otherwise--if regard springing from such sources is unreasonable or unnatural, in comparison of what is so often described as arising on a first interview with its object, and even before two words have been exchanged, nothing can be said in her defence, except that she had given somewhat of a trial to the latter method in her partiality for Wickham, and that its ill success might, perhaps, authorise her to seek the other less interesting mode of attachment.
The contents of this letter threw Elizabeth into a flutter of spirits in which it was difficult to determine whether pleasure or pain bore the greatest share. The vague and unsettled suspicions which uncertainty had produced of what Mr. Darcy might have been doing to forward her sister's match which she had feared to encourage as an exertion of goodness too great to be probable and at the same time dreaded to be just from the pain of obligation were proved beyond their greatest extent to be true He had followed them purposely to town he had taken on himself all the trouble and mortification attendant on such a research in which supplication had been necessary to a woman whom he must abominate and despise and where he was reduced to meet frequently meet reason with persuade and finally bribe the man whom he always most wished to avoid and whose very name it was punishment to him to pronounce. He had done all this for a girl whom he could neither regard nor esteem. Her heart did whisper that he had done it for her. But it was a hope shortly checked by other considerations and she soon felt that even her vanity was insufficient when required to depend on his affection for her—for a woman who had already refused him—as able to overcome a sentiment so natural as abhorrence against relationship with Wickham. Brother-in-law of Wickham Every kind of pride must revolt from the connection. He had to be sure done much. She was ashamed to think how much. But he had given a reason for his interference which asked no extraordinary stretch of belief. It was reasonable that he should feel he had been wrong he had liberality and he had the means of exercising it and though she would not place herself as his principal inducement she could perhaps believe that remaining partiality for her might assist his endeavours in a cause where her peace of mind must be materially concerned. It was painful exceedingly painful to know that they were under obligations to a person who could never receive a return. They owed the restoration of Lydia her character every thing to him. Oh how heartily did she grieve over every ungracious sensation she had ever encouraged every saucy speech she had ever directed towards him. For herself she was humbled but she was proud of him. Proud that in a cause of compassion and honour he had been able to get the better of himself. She read over her aunt's commendation of him again and again. It was hardly enough but it pleased her. She was even sensible of some pleasure though mixed with regret on finding how steadfastly both she and her uncle had been persuaded that affection and confidence subsisted between Mr. Darcy and herself.
Y ahora te doy ese consentimiento a ti, si es que estás decidida a unirte a él. Pero déjame aconsejarte que lo pienses bien. Conozco tu temperamento, Lizzy. Sé que no podrías ser feliz ni respetable si no quisieras de verdad a tu marido, si no lo miraras como a alguien superior. Tu inteligencia y tu ingenio te expondrían a grandes peligros en un matrimonio desigual. Difícilmente escaparías al descrédito y la desdicha. Hija mía, no me inflijas el dolor de verte incapaz de respetar a tu compañero en la vida. No sabes bien el riesgo que corres.
May I ask you what these questions tend?''Merely to the illustration of your character,' said she, endeavouring to shake off her gravity. 'I am trying to make it out.''And what is your success?'She shook her head. 'I do not get on at all. I hear such different accounts of you as puzzle me exceedingly.
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 they day.''Much more rational, my dear Caroline, I dare say, but it would not be near so much like a ball.
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; 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.
I particularly recollect your saying one night, after they had been dining at Netherfield, 'SHE a beauty!--I should as soon call her mother a wit.' But afterwards she seemed to improve on you, and I believe you thought her rather pretty at one time." "Yes," replied Darcy, who could contain himself no longer, "but THAT was only when I first saw her, for it is many months since I have considered her as one of the handsomest women of my acquaintance.
Who says great literatue has to be written by men? Who says great literature has to be about scary, creepy stuff like adulterers being punished and black slaves breaking loose and giant whales eating people? Why can't literature just be stories about women? Refined, respectable women have just as much to say as ignorant black slaves or bloodthirsty Indians or mad white whaling captains. Why do we have to pretend those people's lives matter more than our own?
Unhappy as the event must be for Lydia, we may draw from it this useful lesson: that loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable; that one false step involves her in endless ruin; that her reputation is no less brittle than it is beautiful; and that she cannot be too much guarded in her behaviour towards the undeserving of the other sex.