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She wished, she feared that the master of the house might be
amongst them; and whether she wished or feared it most, she
could scarcely determine. After sitting in this manner a quarter of
an hour without hearing Miss Bingley’s voice, Elizabeth was
roused by receiving from her a cold inquiry after the health of her
family. She answered with equal indifference and brevity, and the
other said no more.

The next variation which their visit afforded was produced by the
entrance of servants with cold meat, cake, and a variety of all the
finest fruits in season; but this did not take place till after many a
significant look and smile from Mrs. Annesley to Miss Darcy had
been given, to remind her of her post. There was now employment
for the whole party-for though they could not all talk, they could
all eat; and the beautiful pyramids of grapes, nectarines, and
peaches soon collected them round the table.

While thus engaged, Elizabeth had a fair opportunity of deciding
whether she most feared or wished for the appearance of Mr.
Darcy, by the feelings which prevailed on his entering the room;
and then, though but a moment before she had believed her wishes
to predominate, she began to regret that he came.

He had been some time with Mr. Gardiner, who, with two or three
other gentlemen from the house, was engaged by the river, and
had left him only on learning that the ladies of the family intended
a visit to Georgiana that morning. No sooner did he appear than
Elizabeth wisely resolved to be perfectly easy and unembarrassed;-
a resolution the more necessary to be made, but perhaps not the
more easily kept, because she saw that the suspicions of the whole
party were awakened against them, and that there was scarcely an
eye which did not watch his behavior when he first came into the
room. In no countenance was attentive curiosity so strongly
marked as in Miss Bingley’s, in spite of the smiles which
overspread her face whenever she spoke to one of its objects; for
jealousy had not yet made her desperate, and her attentions to Mr.
Darcy were by no means over.

Miss Darcy, on her brother’s entrance, exerted herself much more
to talk, and Elizabeth saw that he was anxious for his sister and
herself to get acquainted, and forwarded as much as possible,
every attempt at conversation on either side. Miss Bingley saw all
this likewise; and, in the imprudence of anger, took the first
opportunity of saying, with sneering civility“Pray, Miss Eliza, are
not the __shire Militia removed from Meryton? They must be a
great loss to your family.”

In Darcy’s presence she dared not mention Wickham’s name; but
Elizabeth instantly comprehended that he was uppermost in her
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