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perhaps have heard of such a place as Gracechurch Street, but he
would hardly think a month’s ablution enough to cleanse him from
its impurities, were he once to enter it; and depend upon it, Mr.
Bingley never stirs without him.” “So much the better. I hope they
will not meet at all. But does not Jane correspond with his sister?
She will not be able to help calling.” “She will drop the
acquaintance entirely.” But in spite of the certainty in which
Elizabeth affected to place this point, as well as the still more
interesting one of Bingley’s being withheld from seeing Jane, she
felt a solicitude on the subject which convinced her, on
examination, that she did not consider it entirely hopeless. It was
possible, and sometimes she thought it probable, that his affection
might be reanimated, and the influence of
his friends successfully combated by the more natural influence of
Jane’s attractions.

Miss Bennet accepted her aunt’s invitation with pleasure; and the
Bingleys were no otherwise in her thoughts at the same time, than
as she hoped by Caroline’s not living in the same house with her
brother, she might occasionally spend a morning with her, without
any danger of seeing him.

The Gardiners stayed a week at Longbourn; and what with the
Philipses, the Lucases, and the officers, there was not a day without
its engagement. Mrs. Bennet had so carefully provided for the
entertainment of her brother and sister, that they did not once sit
down to a family dinner. When the engagement was for home,
some of the officers always made part of it-of which officers Mr.
Wickham was sure to be one; and on these occasions, Mrs.
Gardiner, rendered suspicious by Elizabeth’s warm commendation
of him, narrowly observed them both.

Without supposing them, from what she saw, to be very seriously
in love, their preference of each other was plain enough to make
her a little uneasy; and she resolved to speak to Elizabeth on the
subject before she left Hertfordshire, and represent to her the
imprudence of encouraging such an attachment.

To Mrs. Gardiner, Wickham had one means of affording pleasure,
unconnected with his general powers. About ten or a dozen years
ago, before her marriage, she had spent a considerable time in that
very part of Derbyshire to which he belonged. They had, therefore,
many acquaintance in common; and though Wickham had been
little there since the death of Darcy’s father, five years before,
it was yet in his power to give her fresher intelligence of her former
friends than she had been in the way of procuring.
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