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Catherine to require them, for Mr. Darcy had brought with him a
Colonel Fitzwilliam, the younger son of his uncle Lord __, and, to
the great surprise of all the party, when Mr. Collins returned, the
gentlemen accompanied him. Charlotte had seen them from her
husband’s room, crossing the road, and immediately running into
the other, told the girls what an honor they might expect, adding“I
may thank you, Eliza, for this piece of civility. Mr. Darcy would
never have come so soon to wait upon me.” Elizabeth had scarcely
time to disclaim all right to the compliment, before their approach
was announced by the door-bell, and shortly afterwards the three
gentlemen entered the room. Colonel Fitzwilliam, who led the
way, was about thirty, not handsome, but in person and address
most truly the gentleman. Dr.

Darcy looked just as he had been used to look in Hertfordshire-
paid his compliments, with his usual reserve, to Mrs. Collins, and
whatever might be his feelings towards her friend, met her with
every appearance of composure. Elizabeth merely curtseyed to
him, without saying a word.

Colonel Fitzwilliam entered into conversation directly with the
readiness and ease of a well-bred man, and talked very pleasantly;
but his cousin, after having addressed a slight observation on the
house and garden to Mrs. Collins, sat for some time without
speaking to anybody. At length, however, his civility was so far
awakened as to inquire of Elizabeth after the health of her family.
She answered him in the usual way, and, after a moment’s pause,
“ My eldest sister has been in town these three months. Have you
never happened to see her there?” She was perfectly sensible that
he never had; but she wished to see whether he would betray any
consciousness of what had passed between the Bingleys and Jane,
and she thought he looked a little confused as he answered that he
had never been so fortunate as to meet Miss Bennet. The subject
was pursued no farther, and the gentlemen soon afterwards went
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