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would not put it into Lizzy’s head to be vexed by his ill-treatment,
for he is such a disagreeable man, that it would be quite a
misfortune to be liked by him. Mrs. Long told me last night that he
sat close to her for half-an-hour without once opening his lips.”
“Are you quite sure, ma’am?- is not there a little mistake?” said
Jane. “I certainly saw Mr. Darcy speaking to her.” “Aye-because
she asked him at last how he liked Netherfield, and he could not
help answering her; but she said he seemed very angry at being
spoke to.” “Miss Bingley told me,” said Jane, “that he never speaks
much, unless among his intimate acquaintance. With them he is
remarkably agreeable.” “I do not believe a word of it, my dear. If
he had been so very agreeable, he would have talked to Mrs. Long.
But I can guess how it was; everybody says that he is eat up with
pride, and I dare say he had heard somehow that Mrs. Long does
not keep a carriage, and had come to the ball in a hack chaise.” “I
do not mind his not talking to Mrs. Long,” said Miss Lucas, “but I
wish he had danced with Eliza.” “Another time, Lizzy,” said her
mother, “I would not dance with him, if I were you.” “I believe,
ma’am, I may safely promise you never to dance with him.” “His
pride,” said Miss Lucas, “does not offend me so much as pride
often does, because there is an excuse for it. One cannot wonder
that so very fine a young man, with family, fortune, everything in
his favor, should think highly of himself. If I may so express it, he
has a right to be proud.” “That is very true,” replied Elizabeth,
“and I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.”
“Pride,” observed Mary, who piqued herself upon the solidity of
her reflections, “is a very common failing, I believe. By all that I
have ever read, I am convinced that it is very common indeed; that
human nature is particularly prone to it, and that there are very
few of us who do not cherish a feeling of self-complacency on the
score of some quality or the other, real or imaginary. Vanity and
pride are different things, though the words are often used
synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride
relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would
have others think of us.” “If I were as rich as Mr. Darcy,” cried a
young Lucas, who came with his sisters, “I should not care how
proud I was. I would keep a pack of foxhounds, and drink a bottle
of wine every day.” “Then you would drink a great deal more than
you ought,” said Mrs. Bennet; “and if I were to see you at it, I
should take away your bottle directly.” The boy protested that she
should not; she continued to declare that she would, and the
argument ended only with the visit.
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