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tenderness, and a wish of saying more that might lead to the
mention of her, had he dared. He observed to her, at a moment
when the others were talking together, and in a tone which had
something of real regret, that it “was a very long time since he had
had the pleasure of seeing her”; and, before she could reply, he
added, “It is above eight months. We have not met since the 26

th of
November, when we were all dancing together at Netherfield.”
Elizabeth was pleased to find his memory so exact; and he
afterwards took occasion to ask her, when unattended to by any of
the rest, whether all her sisters were at Longbourn. There was not
much in the question, nor in the preceding remark; but there was a
look and a manner which gave them meaning.

It was not often that she could turn her eyes on Mr. Darcy himself;
but, whenever she did catch a glimpse, she saw an expression of
general complaisance, and in all that he said she heard an accent so
far removed from hauteur or disdain of his companions, as
convinced her that the improvement of manners which she had
yesterday witnessed, however temporary its existence might prove,
had at least outlived one day. When she saw him thus seeking the
acquaintance and courting the good opinion of people with whom
any intercourse a few months ago would have been a disgrace-
when she saw him thus civil, not only to herself,
but to the very relations whom he had openly disdained, and
recollected their last lively scene in Hunsford Parsonage,- the
difference, the change was so great, and struck so forcibly on her
mind, that she could hardly restrain her astonishment from being
visible. Never, even in the company of his dear friends at
Netherfield, or his dignified relations at Rosings, had she seen him
so desirous to please, so free from self-consequence or unbending
reserve, as now, when no importance could result from the success
of his endeavors, and when even the acquaintance of those to
whom his attentions were addressed would draw down the
ridicule and censure of the ladies both of Netherfield and Rosings.
Their visitors stayed with them above half-an-hour; and when they
arose to depart, Mr. Darcy called on his sister to join him in
expressing their wish of seeing Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, and Miss
Bennet, to dinner at Pemberley, before they left the country. Miss
Darcy, though with a diffidence which marked her little in the
habit of giving invitations, readily obeyed. Mrs. Gardiner looked at
her niece, desirous of knowing how she, whom the invitation most
concerned, felt disposed as to its acceptance, but Elizabeth had
turned away her head. Presuming, however, that this studied
avoidance spoke rather a momentary embarrassment than any
dislike of the proposal, and seeing in her husband, who was fond
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