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MR. COLLINS’S triumph, in consequence of this invitation, was

The power of displaying the grandeur of his patroness to his
wondering visitors, and of letting them see her civility towards
himself and his wife, was exactly what he had wished for; and that
an opportunity of doing it should be given so soon, was such an
instance of Lady Catherine’s condescension, as he knew not how to
admire enough.

“I confess,” said he, “that I should not have been at all surprised by
her ladyship’s asking us on Sunday to drink tea and spend the
evening at Rosings. I rather expected, from my knowledge of her
affability, that it would happen. But who could have foreseen such
an attention as this? Who could have imagined that we should
receive an invitation to dine there (an invitation, moreover,
including the whole party) so immediately after your arrival!” “I
am the less surprised at what has happened,” replied Sir William,
“from that knowledge of what the manners of the great really are,
which my situation in life has allowed me to acquire. About the
court, such instances of elegant breeding are not uncommon.”
Scarcely anything was talked of the whole day or next morning but
their visit to Rosings. Mr. Collins was carefully instructing them in
what they were to expect, that the sight of such rooms, so many
servants, and so splendid a dinner, might not wholly overpower

When the ladies were separating for the toilette, he said to
Elizabeth“Do not make yourself uneasy, my dear cousin, about
your apparel. Lady Catherine is far from requiring that elegance of
dress in us which becomes herself and daughter. I would advise
you merely to put on whatever of your clothes is superior to the
rest-there is no occasion for anything more. Lady Catherine will
not think the worse of you for being simply dressed. She likes to
have the distinction of rank preserved.” While they were dressing,
he came two or three times to their different doors, to recommend
their being quick, as Lady Catherine very much objected to be kept
waiting for her dinner. Such formidable accounts of her ladyship,
and her manner of living, quite frightened Maria Lucas, who had
been little used to company, and she looked forward to her
introduction at Rosings with as much apprehension as her father
had done to his presentation at St. James’s.

As the weather was fine, they had a pleasant walk of about half a
mile across the park. Every park has its beauty and its prospects;
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