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IT was the second week in May, in which the three young ladies set
out together from Gracechurch Street for the town of __, in
Hertfordshire; and, as they drew near the appointed inn where Mr.
Bennet’s carriage was to meet them, they quickly perceived, in
token of the coachman’s punctuality, both Kitty and Lydia looking
out of a dining-room upstairs. These two girls had been above an
hour in the place, happily employed in visiting an opposite
milliner, watching the sentinel on guard, and dressing a [salad]
and cucumber.

After welcoming their sisters, they triumphantly displayed a table
set out with such cold meat as an inn larder usually affords,
exclaiming, “Is not this nice? is not this an agreeable surprise?”
“And we mean to treat you all,” added Lydia; “but you must lend
us the money, for we have just spent ours at the shop out there.”
Then, showing her purchases-“Look here, I have bought this
bonnet. I do not think it is very pretty; but I thought I might as well
buy it as not. I shall pull it to pieces as soon as I get home, and see
if I can make it up any better.” And when her sisters abused it as
ugly, she added, with perfect unconcern, “Oh! but there were two
or three much uglier in the shop; and when I have bought some
prettier-colored satin to trim it with fresh, I think it will be very
tolerable. Besides, it will not much signify what one wears this
summer, after the __shire have left Meryton, and they are going in
a fortnight.”

“Are they indeed!” cried Elizabeth, with the greatest satisfaction.
“They are going to be encamped near Brighton; and I do so want
papa to take us all there for the summer! It would be such a
delicious scheme, and I dare say would hardly cost anything at all.
Mamma would like to go too of all things! Only think what a
miserable summer else we shall have!” “Yes,” thought Elizabeth,
“that would be a delightful scheme indeed, and completely do for
us at once. Good Heaven! Brighton, and a whole campful of
soldiers, to us, who have been overset already by one poor
regiment of militia, and the monthly balls of Meryton!” “Now I
have got some news for you,” said Lydia, as they sat down at table.
“What do you think? It is excellent news-capital news-and about a
certain person that we all like!” Jane and Elizabeth looked at each
other, and the waiter was told that he need not stay. Lydia
laughed, and said“Aye, that is just like your formality and
discretion. You thought the waiter must not hear, as if he cared! I
dare say he often hears worse things said than I am going to say.
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