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see him again. In her own past behavior, there was a constant
source of vexation and regret; and in the unhappy defects of her
family, a subject of yet heavier chagrin. They were hopeless of
remedy. Her father, contented with laughing at them, would never
exert himself to restrain the wild giddiness of his youngest
daughters; and her mother, with manners so far from right herself,
was entirely insensible of the evil. Elizabeth had frequently united
with Jane in an endeavor to check the imprudence of Catherine and
Lydia; but while they were supported by their mother’s
indulgence, what chance could there be of improvement?
Catherine, weak-spirited, irritable, and completely under Lydia’s
guidance, had been always affronted by their advice; and Lydia,
self-willed and careless, would scarcely give them a hearing. They
were ignorant, idle, and vain. While there was an officer in
Meryton, they would
flirt with him; and while Meryton was within a walk of
Longbourn, they would be going there for ever.

Anxiety on Jane’s behalf was another prevailing concern; and Mr.
Darcy’s explanation, by restoring Bingley to all her former good
opinion, heightened the sense of what Jane had lost. His affection
was proved to have been sincere, and his conduct cleared of all
blame, unless any could attach to the implicitness of his confidence
in his friend. How grievous then was the thought that, of a
situation so desirable in every respect, so replete with advantage,
so promising for happiness, Jane had been deprived, by the folly
and indecorum of her own family!

When to these recollections was added the development of
Wickham’s character, it may be easily believed that the happy
spirits which had seldom been depressed before, were now so
much affected as to make it almost impossible for her to appear
tolerably cheerful.

Their engagements at Rosings were as frequent during the last
week of her stay as they had been at first. The very last evening
was spent there; and her ladyship again inquired minutely into the
particulars of their journey, gave them directions as to the best
method of packing, and was so urgent on the necessity of placing
gowns in the only right way, that Maria thought herself obliged, on
her return, to undo all the work of the morning, and pack her trunk

When they parted, Lady Catherine, with great condescension,
wished them a good journey, and invited them to come to
Hunsford again next year; and Miss de Bourgh exerted herself so
far as to curtsey and hold out her hand to both.
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