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ELIZABETH awoke the next morning to the same thoughts and
meditations which had at length closed her eyes. She could not yet
recover from the surprise of what had happened; it was impossible
to think of anything else; and, totally indisposed for employment,
she resolved, soon after breakfast, to indulge herself in air and
exercise. She was proceeding directly to her favorite walk, when
the recollection of Mr. Darcy’s sometimes coming there stopped
her, and instead of entering the park, she turned up the lane, which
led her farther from the turnpike-road.

The park paling was still the boundary on one side, and she soon
passed one of the gates into the ground.

After walking two or three times along that part of the lane, she
was tempted, by the pleasantness of the morning, to stop at the
gates and look into the park.

The five weeks which she had now passed in Kent had made a
great difference in the country, and every day was adding to the
verdure of the early trees. She was on the point of continuing her
walk, when she caught a glimpse of a gentleman within the sort of
grove which edged the park; he was moving that way; and, fearful
of its being Mr. Darcy, she was directly retreating. But the person
who advanced was now near enough to see her, and stepping
forward with eagerness, pronounced her name. She had turned
away; but on hearing herself called, though in a voice which
proved it to be Mr. Darcy, she moved again towards the gate. He
had by that time reached it also, and, holding out a letter, which
she instinctively took, said, with a look of haughty composure, “I
have been walking in the grove
some time in the hope of meeting you. Will you do me the honor of
reading that letter?” And then, with a slight bow, turned again into
the plantation, and was soon out of sight.

With no expectation of pleasure, but with the strongest curiosity,
Elizabeth opened the letter, and, to her still-increasing wonder,
perceived an envelope containing two sheets of letter-paper,
written quite through, in a very close hand. The envelope itself was
likewise full. Pursuing her way along the lane, she then began it. It
was dated from Rosings, at eight o’clock in the morning, and was
as follows:

“Be not alarmed, madam, on receiving this letter, by the
apprehension of its containing any repetition of those sentiments or
renewal of those offers which were last night so disgusting to you.
I write without any intention of paining you, or humbling myself,
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