Chapter 10THE day passed much as the day before had done. Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley had spent some hours of the morning with the invalid, who continued, though slowly, to mend; and in the evening Elizabeth joined their party in the drawing room. The loo table, however, did not appear. Mr. Darcy was writing, and Miss Bingley, seated near him, was watching the progress of his letter, and repeatedly calling off his attention by messages to his sister. Mr. Hurst and Mr. Bingley were at piquet, and Mrs. Hurst was observing their game.
Elizabeth took up some needlework, and was sufficiently amused in attending to what passed between Darcy and his companion. The perpetual commendations of the lady either on his hand-writing, or on the evenness of his lines, or on the length of his letter, with the perfect unconcern with which her praises were received, formed a curious dialogue, and was exactly in unison with her opinion of each.
``How delighted Miss Darcy will be to receive such a letter!''
He made no answer.
``You write uncommonly fast.''
``You are mistaken. I write rather slowly.''
``How many letters you must have occasion to write in the course of the year! Letters of business too! How odious I should think them!''
``It is fortunate, then, that they fall to my lot instead of to yours.''
``Pray tell your sister that I long to see her.''
``I have already told her so once, by your desire.''
``I am afraid you do not like your pen. Let me mend it for you. I mend pens remarkably well.''
``Thank you -- but I always mend my own.''
``How can you contrive to write so even?''
He was silent.
``Tell your sister I am delighted to hear of her improvement on the harp, and pray let her know that I am quite in raptures with her beautiful little design for a table, and I think it infinitely superior to Miss Grantley's.''
``Will you give me leave to defer your raptures till I write again? -- At present I have not room to do them justice.''
``Oh! it is of no consequence. I shall see her in January. But do you always write such charming long letters to her, Mr. Darcy?''
``They are generally long; but whether always charming, it is not for me to determine.''
``It is a rule with me, that a person who can write a long letter, with ease, cannot write ill.''
``That will not do for a compliment to Darcy, Caroline,'' cried her brother -- ``because he does not write with ease. He studies too much for words of four syllables. -- Do not you, Darcy?''
``My stile of writing is very different from yours.''
|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.|