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ELIZABETH’S impatience to acquaint Jane with what had
happened could no longer be overcome; and at length, resolving to
suppress every particular in which her sister was concerned, and
preparing her to be surprised, she related to her the next morning
the chief of the scene between Mr. Darcy and herself.

Miss Bennet’s astonishment was soon lessened by the strong
sisterly partiality which made any admiration of Elizabeth appear
perfectly natural; and all surprise was shortly lost in other feelings.
She was sorry that Mr. Darcy should have delivered his sentiments
in a manner so little suited to recommend them; but still more was
she grieved for the unhappiness which her sister’s refusal must
have given him.

“His being so sure of succeeding was wrong,” said she, “and
certainly ought not to have appeared; but consider how much it
must increase his disappointment!” “Indeed,” replied Elizabeth, “I
am heartily sorry for him; but he has other feelings, which will
probably soon drive away his regard for me. You do not blame me,
however, for refusing him?” “Blame you! Oh, no.” “But you blame
me for having spoken so warmly of Wickham?” “No-I do not
know that you were wrong in saying what you did.”

“But you will know it, when I have told you what happened the
very next day.” She then spoke of the letter, repeating the whole of
its contents as far as they concerned George Wickham. What a
stroke was this for poor Jane! who would willingly have gone
through the world without believing that so much wickedness
existed in the whole race of mankind, as was here collected in one
individual. Nor was Darcy’s vindication, though grateful to her
feelings, capable of consoling her for such discovery. Most
earnestly did she labor to prove the probability of error, and seek
to clear one without involving the other.

“This will not do,” said Elizabeth; “you never will be able to make
both of them good for anything. Take your choice, but you must be
satisfied with only one. There is but such a quantity of merit
between them; just enough to make one good sort of man; and of
late it has been shifting about pretty much. For my part, I am
inclined to believe it all Mr. Darcy’s; but you shall do as you
choose.” It was some time, however, before a smile could be
extorted from Jane.

“I do not know when I have been more shocked,” said she.
“Wickham so very bad! It is almost past belief. And poor Mr.
Darcy! Dear Lizzy, only consider what he must have suffered. Such
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