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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library - Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen


117

CHAPTER XXVIII

EVERY object in the next dayís journey was new and interesting to
Elizabeth; and her spirits were in a state of enjoyment; for she had
seen her sister looking so well as to banish all fear for her health,
and the prospect of her northern tour was a constant source of
delight.

When they left the high road for the lane to Hunsford, every eye
was in search of the Parsonage, and every turning expected to
bring it in view. The paling of Rosings Park was their boundary on
one side. Elizabeth smiled at the recollection of all that she had
heard of its inhabitants.

At length the Parsonage was discernible. The garden sloping to the
road, the house standing in it, the green pales, and the laurel
hedge, everything declared they were arriving. Mr. Collins and
Charlotte appeared at the door, and the carriage stopped at the
small gate which led by a short gravel walk to the house amidst the
nods and smiles of the whole party. In a moment they were all out
of the chaise, rejoicing at the sight of each other. Mrs. Collins
welcomed her friend with the liveliest pleasure, and Elizabeth was
more and more satisfied with coming when she found herself so
affectionately received. She saw instantly that her cousinís manners
were not altered by his marriage; his formal civility was just what
it had been, and he detained her some minutes at the gate to hear
and satisfy his inquiries after all her family. They were then, with
no other delay than his pointing out the neatness of the entrance,
taken into the house; and as soon as
they were in the parlor he welcomed them a second time, with
ostentatious formality, to his humble abode, and punctually
repeated all his wifeís offers of refreshment.

Elizabeth was prepared to see him in his glory; and she could not
help fancying that in displaying the good proportion of the room,
its aspect and its furniture, he addressed himself particularly to
her, as if wishing to make her feel what she had lost in refusing
him. But though everything seemed neat and comfortable, she was
not able to gratify him by any sigh of repentance, and rather
looked with wonder at her friend that she could have so cheerful
an air with such a companion.

When Mr. Collins said anything of which his wife might
reasonably be ashamed, which certainly was not unseldom, she
involuntarily turned her eye on Charlotte.

Once or twice she could discern a faint blush; but in general
Charlotte wisely did not hear. After sitting long enough to admire
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