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degree of credit. Indeed, Mr. Darcy, it is very ungenerous in you to
mention all that you knew to my disadvantage in Hertfordshire-
and, give me leave to say, very impolitic too-for it is provoking me
to retaliate, and such things may come out as will shock your
relations to hear.” “I am not afraid of you,” said he, smilingly.
“Pray let me hear what you have to accuse him of,” cried Colonel

“I should like to know how he behaves among strangers.” “You
shall hear then-but prepare yourself for something very dreadful.
The first time of my ever seeing him in Hertfordshire, you must
know, was at a balland at this ball, what do you think he did? He
danced only four dances! I am sorry to pain you-but so it was. He
danced only four dances, though gentlemen were scarce; and, to
my certain knowledge, more than one young lady was sitting
down in want of a partner. Mr. Darcy, you cannot deny the fact.”

“I had not at that time the honor of knowing any lady in the
assembly beyond my own party.” “True; and nobody can ever be
introduced in a ballroom. Well, Colonel Fitzwilliam, what do I play
next? My fingers wait your orders.” “Perhaps,” said Darcy, “I
should have judged better, had I sought an introduction; but I am
ill qualified to recommend myself to strangers.” “Shall we ask your
cousin the reason of this?” said Elizabeth, still addressing Colonel
Fitzwilliam. “Shall we ask him why a man of sense and education,
and who has lived in the world, is ill qualified to recommend
himself to strangers?” “I can answer your question,” said
Fitzwilliam, “without lying to him. It is because he will not give
himself the trouble.” “I certainly have not the talent which some
people possess,” said Darcy, “of conversing easily with those I
have never seen before. I cannot catch their tone of conversation, or
appear interested in their concerns, as I often see done.” “My
fingers,” said Elizabeth, “do not move over this instrument in the
masterly manner which I see so many women’s do. They have not
the same force or rapidity, and do not produce the same
expression. But then I have always supposed it to be my own fault-
because I would not take the trouble of practicing. It is not that I do
not believe my fingers as capable as any other woman’s of superior

Darcy smiled and said, “You are perfectly right. You have
employed your time much better. No one admitted to the privilege
of hearing you can think anything wanting. We neither of us
perform to strangers.” Here they were interrupted by Lady
Catherine, who called out to know what they were talking of.
Elizabeth immediately began playing again. Lady Catherine
approached, and, after listening for a few minutes, said to
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