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dear Jane, Mr. Collins is a conceited, pompous, narrow-minded,
silly man; you know he is, as well as I do: and you must feel, as
well as I do, that the woman who marries him cannot have a
proper way of thinking. You shall not defend her, though it is
Charlotte Lucas. You shall not, for the sake of one individual,
change the meaning of principle and integrity, nor endeavor to
persuade yourself or me, that selfishness is prudence, and
insensibility of danger security for happiness.” “I must think your
language too strong in speaking of both,” replied Jane; “and I hope
you will be convinced of it, by seeing them happy together. But
enough of this. You alluded to something else. You mentioned two
instances. I cannot misunderstand you, but I entreat you, dear
Lizzy, not to pain me by thinking that person to blame, and saying
your opinion of him is sunk. We must not be so ready to fancy
ourselves intentionally injured. We must not expect a lively young
man to be always so guarded and circumspect. It is very often
nothing but our own vanity that deceives us. Women fancy
admiration means more than it does.” “And men take care that
they should.”

“If it is designedly done, they cannot be justified; but I have no
idea of there being so much design in the world as some persons
imagine.” “I am far from attributing any part of Mr. Bingley’s
conduct to design,” said Elizabeth; “but without scheming to do
wrong, or to make others unhappy, there may be error, and there
may be misery. Thoughtlessness, want of attention to other
people’s feelings, and want of resolution, will do the business.”
“And do you impute it to either of those?” “Yes; to the last. But if I
go on, I shall displease you by saying what I think of persons you
esteem. Stop me whilst you can.” “You persist, then, in supposing
his sisters influence him?” “Yes, in conjunction with his friend.” “I
cannot believe it. Why should they try to influence him? They can
only wish his happiness; and if he is attached to me, no other
woman can secure it.” “Your first position is false. They may wish
many things besides his happiness; they may wish his increase of
wealth and consequence; they may wish him to marry a girl who
has all the importance of money, great connections and pride.”
“Beyond a doubt, they do wish him to choose Miss Darcy,” replied
Jane; “but this may be from better feelings than you are supposing.
They have known her much longer than they have known me; no
wonder if they love her better. But, whatever may be their own
wishes, it is very unlikely they should have opposed their
brother’s. What sister would think herself at liberty to do it, unless
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