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really is. Some time hence it will be all found out, and then we may
laugh at their stupidity in not knowing it before. At present I will
say nothing about it.”

“You are quite right. To have his errors made public might ruin
him for ever.

He is now, perhaps, sorry for what he has done, and anxious to
reestablish a character. We must not make him desperate.” The
tumult of Elizabeth’s mind was allayed by this conversation. She
had got rid of two of the secrets which had weighed on her for a
fortnight, and was certain of a willing listener in Jane, whenever
she might wish to talk again of either. But there was still something
lurking behind, of which prudence forbad the disclosure. She
dared not relate the other half of Mr. Darcy’s letter, nor explain to
her sister how sincerely she had been valued by his friend. Here
was knowledge in which no one could partake; and she was
sensible that nothing less than a perfect understanding between the
parties could justify her in throwing off this last encumbrance of
mystery. “And then,” said she, “if that very improbable event
should ever take place, I shall merely be able to tell what Bingley
may tell in a much more agreeable manner himself. The liberty of
communication cannot be mine till it has lost all its value!” She was
now, on being settled at home, at leisure to observe the real state of
her sister’s spirits. Jane was not happy. She still cherished a very
tender affection for Bingley. Having never even fancied herself in
love before, her regard had all the warmth of first attachment, and,
from her age and disposition, greater steadiness than first
attachments often boast; and so fervently did she value his
remembrance, and prefer him to every other man, that all her good
sense, and all her attention to the feelings of her friends, were
requisite to check the indulgence of
those regrets which must have been injurious to her own health
and their tranquillity.

“Well, Lizzy,” said Mrs. Bennet one day, “what is your opinion
now of this sad business of Jane’s? For my part, I am determined
never to speak of it again to anybody. I told my sister Philips so the
other day. But I cannot find out that Jane saw anything of him in
London. Well, he is a very undeserving young man-and I do not
suppose there’s the least chance in the world of her ever getting
him now.

There is no talk of his coming to Netherfield again in the summer;
and I have inquired of everybody, too, who is likely to know.” “I
do not believe that he will ever live at Netherfield any more.” “Oh,
well! it is just as he chooses. Nobody wants him to come. Though I
shall always say that he used my daughter extremely ill; and if I
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