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situation of such double danger as a watering-place and a camp.
Upon the whole, therefore, she found, what has been sometimes
found before, that an event to which she had looked forward with
impatient desire did not, in taking place, bring all the satisfaction
she had promised herself. It was consequently necessary to name
some other period for the commencement of actual felicity-to have
some other point on which her wishes and hopes might be fixed,
and by again enjoying the pleasure of anticipation, console herself
for the present, and prepare for another disappointment. Her tour
to the Lakes was now the object of her happiest thoughts; it was
her best consolation for all the uncomfortable hours which the
discontentedness of her mother and Kitty made inevitable; and
could she have included Jane in the scheme, every part of it would
have been perfect.

“But it is fortunate,” thought she, “that I have something to wish
for. Were the whole arrangement complete, my disappointment
would be certain. But here, my carrying with me one ceaseless
source of regret in my sister’s absence, I may reasonably hope to
have all my expectations of pleasure realized. A scheme of which
every part promises delight can never be successful; and the
general disappointment is only warded off by the defense of some
little peculiar vexation.” When Lydia went away, she promised to
write very often and very minutely to her mother and Kitty; but
her letters were always long expected, and always very short.
Those to her mother contained little else than that they were just
returned from the library, where such and such officers had
attended them, and where she had seen such beautiful ornaments
as made her quite wild; that she had a new gown, or a new
parasol, which she would have described more fully, but was
obliged to leave off in a violent hurry, as Mrs. Forster called her,
and they were going to the camp; and from her correspondence
with her sister there was still less to be learnt-for her letters to
Kitty, though rather longer, were much too full of lines under the
words to be made public.

After the first fortnight or three weeks of her absence, health, good
humor, and cheerfulness began to reappear at Longbourn.
Everything wore a happier aspect. The families who had been in
town for the winter came back again, and summer finery and
summer engagements arose. Mrs. Bennet was restored to her usual
querulous serenity; and, by the middle of June, Kitty was so much
recovered as to be able to enter Meryton without tears; an event of
such happy promise as to make Elizabeth hope that by the
following Christmas she might be so tolerably reasonable as not to
mention an officer above once a day, unless, by some cruel and
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