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feelings besides those of the heart to be detailed, and he was not
more eloquent on the subject of tenderness than of pride. His sense
of her inferiority-of its being a degradation-of the family obstacles
which judgment had always opposed to inclination, were dwelt on
with a warmth which seemed due to the consequence he was
wounding, but was very unlikely to recommend his suit.

In spite of her deeply-rooted dislike, she could not be insensible to
the compliment of such a man’s affection, and though her
intentions did not vary for an instant, she was at first sorry for the
pain he was to receive; till, roused to resentment by his subsequent
language, she lost all compassion in anger. She tried, however, to
compose herself to answer him with patience, when he should
have done. He concluded with representing to her the strength of
that attachment which, in spite of all his endeavors, he had found
impossible to conquer; and with expressing his hope that it would
now be rewarded by her acceptance of his hand.

As he said this, she could easily see that he had no doubt of a
favorable answer.

He spoke of apprehension and anxiety, but his countenance
expressed real security. Such a circumstance could only exasperate
farther, and, when he ceased, the color rose into her cheeks, and
she said“In such cases as this, it is, I believe, the established mode
to express a sense of obligation for the sentiments avowed,
however unequally they may be returned. It is natural that
obligation should be felt, and if I could feel gratitude, I would now
thank you. But I cannot-I have never desired your good opinion,
and you have certainly bestowed it most unwillingly. I am sorry to
have occasioned pain to any one. It has been most unconsciously
done, however, and I hope will be of short duration. The feelings
which, you tell me, have long prevented the acknowledgment of
your regard, can have little difficulty in overcoming it after this

Mr. Darcy, who was leaning against the mantel-piece with his eyes
fixed on her face, seemed to catch her words with no less
resentment than surprise. His complexion became pale with anger,
and the disturbance of his mind was visible in every feature. He
was struggling for the appearance of composure, and would not
open his lips till he believed himself to have attained it. The pause
was to Elizabeth’s feelings dreadful. At length, in a voice of forced
calmness, he said“And this is all the reply which I am to have the
honor of expecting! I might, perhaps, wish to be informed why,
with so little endeavor at civility, I am thus rejected. But it is of
small importance.” “I might as well inquire,” replied she, “why
with so evident a design of offending and insulting me, you chose
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