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Mrs. Gardiner about this time reminded Elizabeth of her promise
concerning that gentleman, and required information; and
Elizabeth had such to send as might rather give contentment to her
aunt than to herself. His apparent partiality had subsided, his
attentions were over, he was the admirer of some one else.
Elizabeth was watchful enough to see it all, but she could see it and
write of it without material pain. Her heart had been but slightly
touched, and her vanity was satisfied with believing that she
would have been his only choice, had fortune permitted it. The
sudden acquisition of ten thousand pounds was the most
remarkable charm of the young lady to whom he was now
rendering himself agreeable; but Elizabeth, less clear-sighted
perhaps in this case than in Charlotte’s, did not quarrel with him
for his wish of independence. Nothing, on the contrary, could be
more natural; and while able to suppose that it cost him a few
struggles to relinquish her, she was ready to allow it a wise and
desirable measure for both, and could very sincerely wish him

All this was acknowledged to Mrs. Gardiner; and after relating the
circumstances, she thus went on:- “I am now convinced, my dear
aunt, that I have never been much in love; for had I really
experienced that pure and elevating passion, I should at present
detest his very name, and wish him all manner of evil. But my
feelings are not only cordial towards him; they are even impartial
towards Miss King. I cannot find out that I hate her at all, or that I
am in the least unwilling to think her a very good sort of girl.
There can be no love in all this. My watchfulness has been
effectual; and though I should certainly be a more interesting object
to all my acquaintance were I distractedly in love with him, I
cannot say that I regret my comparative insignificance. Importance
may sometimes be purchased too dearly. Kitty and Lydia take his
defection much more to heart than I do. They are young in the
ways of the world, and not yet open to the mortifying conviction
that handsome young men must have something to live on as well
as the plain.”
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