Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
had often heard him speak so affectionately of his sister as to prove
him capable of some amiable feeling; that had his actions been
what Wickham represented them, so gross a violation of
everything right could hardly have been concealed from the world;
and that friendship between a person capable of it, and such an
amiable man as Mr. Bingley, was incomprehensible.
She grew absolutely ashamed of herself. Of neither Darcy nor
Wickham could she think without feeling that she had been blind,
partial, prejudiced, absurd.
“How despicably have I acted!” she cried; “I, who have prided
myself on my discernment! I, who have valued myself on my
abilities! who have often disdained the generous candor of my
sister, and gratified my vanity in useless or [blameable] distrust.
How humiliating is this discovery! yet, how just a humiliation!
Had I been in love, I could not have been more wretchedly blind.
But vanity, not love, has been my folly. Pleased with the preference
of one, and offended by the neglect of the other, on the very
beginning of our acquaintance, I have courted prepossession and
ignorance, and driven reason away, where either were concerned.
Till this moment I never knew myself.” From herself to Jane-from
Jane to Bingley, her thoughts were in a line which soon brought to
her recollection that Mr. Darcy’s explanation there had appeared
very insufficient, and she read it again. Widely different was the
effect of a second perusal. How could she deny that credit to his
assertions, in one instance, which she had been obliged to give in
the other. He declared himself to have been totally unsuspicious of
her sister’s attachment; and she could not help remembering what
Charlotte’s opinion had always been. Neither could she deny the
justice of his description of Jane. She felt that Jane’s feelings,
though fervent, were little displayed, and that there was a constant
complacency in her air and manner not often united with great
When she came to that part of the letter in which her family were
mentioned in terms of such mortifying, yet merited reproach, her
sense of shame was severe.
The justice of the charge struck her too forcibly for denial, and the
to which he particularly alluded as having passed at the
Netherfield ball, and as confirming all his first disapprobation,
could not have made a stronger impression on his mind than on
The compliment to herself and her sister was not unfelt. It soothed,
but it could not console her for the contempt which had thus been
self-attracted by the rest of her family; and as she considered that