``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 repaired to her room 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 asleep, and when it appeared to her rather right than pleasant that she should go down stairs herself. On entering the drawing-room 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 soon be increased by seeing her quite well.''

Elizabeth thanked him from her heart, and then walked towards a table where a few books were lying. He immediately offered to fetch her others; all 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 look 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.''

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.