Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
to tell me that you liked me against your will, against your reason,
and even against your character? Was not this some excuse for
incivility, if I was uncivil? But I have other provocations. You know
I have. Had not my own feelings decided against you-had they
been indifferent, or had they even been favorable, do you think
that any consideration would tempt me to accept the man who has
been the means of ruining, perhaps for ever, the happiness of a
most beloved sister?” As she pronounced these words, Mr. Darcy
changed color; but the emotion was short, and he listened without
attempting to interrupt her while she continued“I have every
reason in the world to think ill of you. No motive can excuse the
unjust and ungenerous part you acted there. You dare not, you
cannot deny that you have been the principal, if not the only means
of dividing them from
each other-of exposing one to the censure of the world for caprice
and instability, the other to its derision for disappointed hopes, and
involving them both in misery of the acutest kind.” She paused,
and saw with no slight indignation that he was listening with an
air which proved him wholly unmoved by any feeling of remorse.
He even looked at her with a smile of affected incredulity.
“Can you deny that you have done it?” she repeated. With
assumed tranquillity he then replied, “I have no wish of denying
that I did everything in my power to separate my friend from your
sister, or that I rejoice in my success. Towards him I have been
kinder than towards myself.” Elizabeth disdained the appearance
of noticing this civil reflection, but its meaning did not escape, nor
was it likely to conciliate her.
“But it is not merely this affair,” she continued, “on which my
dislike is founded. Long before it had taken place my opinion of
you was decided. Your character was unfolded in the recital which
I received many months ago from Mr.
Wickham. On this subject, what can you have to say? In what
imaginary act of friendship can you here defend yourself? or under
what misrepresentation can you here impose upon others?” “You
take an eager interest in that gentleman’s concerns,” said Darcy, in
a less tranquil tone, and with a heightened color.
“Who that knows what his misfortunes have been, can help feeling
an interest in him?” “His misfortunes!” repeated Darcy
contemptuously; “yes, his misfortunes have been great indeed.”
“And of your infliction,” cried Elizabeth with energy. “You have
reduced him to his present state of poverty-comparative poverty.
You have withheld the advantages which you must know to have
been designed for him. You have deprived the best years of his life
of that independence which was no less his due than his desert.