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WHEN they were gone, Elizabeth, as if intending to exasperate
herself as much as possible against Mr. Darcy, chose for her
employment the examination of all the letters which Jane had
written to her since her being in Kent. They contained no actual
complaint, nor was there any revival of past occurrences, or any
communication of present suffering. But in all, and in almost every
line of each, there was a want of that cheerfulness which had been
used to characterize her style, and which, proceeding from the
serenity of a mind at ease with itself and kindly disposed towards
every one, had been scarcely ever clouded. Elizabeth noticed every
sentence conveying the idea of uneasiness, with an attention which
it had hardly received on the first perusal. Mr. Darcy’s shameful
boast of what misery he had been able to inflict gave her a keener
sense of her sister’s sufferings. It was some consolation to think
that his visit to Rosings was to end on the day after the next,- and,
a still greater, that in less than a fortnight she should herself be
with Jane again, and enabled to contribute to the recovery of her
spirits, by all that affection could do.

She could not think of Darcy’s leaving Kent without remembering
that his cousin was to go with him; but Colonel Fitzwilliam had
made it clear that he had no intentions at all, and agreeable as he
was, she did not mean to be unhappy about him.

While settling this point, she was suddenly roused by the sound of
the doorbell, and her spirits were a little fluttered by the idea of its
being Colonel Fitzwilliam himself, who had once before called late
in the evening, and might now come to inquire particularly after
her. But this idea was soon banished, and her spirits were very
differently affected, when, to her utter amazement, she saw Mr.
Darcy walk into the room. In an hurried manner he immediately
began an inquiry after her health, imputing his visit to a wish of
hearing that she were better. She answered him with cold civility.
He sat down for a few moments, and then getting up, walked
about the room. Elizabeth was surprised, but said not a word.
After a silence of several minutes, he came towards her in an
agitated manner, and thus began“In vain have I struggled. It will
not do. My feelings will not be repressed.

You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love
you.” Elizabeth’s astonishment was beyond expression. She stared,
colored, doubted, and was silent. This he considered sufficient
encouragement; and the avowal of all that he felt, and had long felt
for her, immediately followed. He spoke well; but there were
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