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WITH no greater events than these in the Longbourn family, and
otherwise diversified by little beyond the walks to Meryton,
sometimes dirty and sometimes cold, did January and February
pass away. March was to take Elizabeth to Hunsford. She had not
at first thought very seriously of going thither; but Charlotte, she
soon found, was depending on the plan, and she gradually learned
to consider it herself with greater pleasure as well as greater
certainty. Absence had increased her desire of seeing Charlotte
again, and weakened her disgust of Mr. Collins.

There was novelty in the scheme, and as, with such a mother and
such uncompanionable sisters, home could not be faultless, a little
change was not unwelcome for its own sake. The journey would
moreover give her a peep at Jane; and, in short, as the time drew
near, she would have been very sorry for any delay. Everything,
however, went on smoothly, and was finally settled according to
Charlotte’s first sketch. She was to accompany Sir William and his
second daughter.

The improvement of spending a night in London was added in
time, and the plan became perfect as plan could be.

The only pain was in leaving her father, who would certainly miss
her, and who, when it came to the point, so little liked her going,
that he told her to write to him, and almost promised to answer her

The farewell between herself and Mr. Wickham was perfectly
friendly; on his side even more. His present pursuit could not
make him forget that Elizabeth had
been the first to excite and to deserve his attention, the first to listen
and to pity, the first to be admired; and in his manner of bidding
her adieu, wishing her every enjoyment, reminding her of what
she was to expect in Lady Catherine de Bourgh, and trusting their
opinion of her-their opinion of everybody-would always coincide,
there was a solicitude, an interest which she felt must ever attach
her to him with a most sincere regard; and she parted from him
convinced that, whether married or single, he must always be her
model of the amiable and pleasing.

Her fellow-travelers the next day were not of a kind to make her
think him less agreeable. Sir William Lucas, and his daughter
Maria, a good-humored girl, but as empty-headed as himself, had
nothing to say that could be worth hearing, and were listened to
with about as much delight as the rattle of the chaise. Elizabeth
loved absurdities, but she had known Sir William’s too long. He
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