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to the fortune of their proprietor; but Elizabeth saw, with
admiration of his taste, that it was neither gaudy nor uselessly fine;
with less of splendor, and more real elegance, than the furniture of

“And of this place,” thought she, “I might have been mistress! With
these rooms I might now have been familiarly acquainted! Instead
of viewing them as a stranger, I might have rejoiced in them as my
own, and welcomed to them as visitors my uncle and aunt.- But
no,”- recollecting herself,- “that could never be; my uncle and aunt
would have been lost to me; I should not have been allowed to
invite them.”

This was a lucky recollection-it saved her from something like

She longed to inquire of the housekeeper whether her master was
really absent, but had not courage for it. At length, however, the
question was asked by her uncle; and she turned away with alarm,
while Mrs. Reynolds replied that he was, adding, “But we expect
him to-morrow, with a large party of friends.” How rejoiced was
Elizabeth that their own journey had not by any circumstance been
delayed a day!

Her aunt now called her to look at a picture. She approached and
saw the likeness of Mr. Wickham suspended, amongst several
other miniatures, over the mantelpiece. Her aunt asked her,
smilingly, how she liked it. The housekeeper came forward, and
told them it was the picture of a young gentleman, the son of her
late master’s steward, who had been brought up by him at his own
expense. “He is now gone into the army,” she added; “but I am
afraid he has turned out very wild.” Mrs. Gardiner looked at her
niece with a smile, but Elizabeth could not return it.

“And that,” said Mrs. Reynolds, pointing to another of the
miniatures, “is my master-and very like him. It was drawn at the
same time as the other-about eight years ago.”

“I have heard much of your master’s fine person,” said Mrs.
Gardiner, looking at the picture; “it is a handsome face. But, Lizzy,
you can tell us whether it is like or not.” Mrs. Reynolds’s respect
for Elizabeth seemed to increase on this intimation of her knowing
her master.

“Does that young lady know Mr. Darcy?” Elizabeth colored, and
said-“A little.” “And do not you think him a very handsome
gentleman, ma’am?” “Yes, very handsome.” “I am sure I know
none so handsome; but in the gallery upstairs you will see a finer,
larger picture of him than this. This room was my late master’s
favorite room, and these miniatures are just as they used to be then.
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