小说:《傲慢与偏见》 第52章 (中英对照)

简.奥斯汀

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              第 52 章

伊莉莎白果然如愿以偿,很快就接到了回信。她一接到信,就跑到那清静的小树林里去,在一张长凳上坐下来,准备读个痛快,因为她看到信写得那么长,便断定舅母没有拒绝她的要求。

  亲爱的甥女:

  刚刚接到你的来信,我便决定以整个上午的时间来给你写回信,因为我估料三言两语不能够把我要跟你讲的话讲个明白。我得承认,你所提出的要求很使我诧异,我没有料到提出这个要求的竟会是你。请你不要以为我这是生气的话,我不过说,我实在想像不到你居然还要来问。如果你一定装作听不懂我的话,那只有请你原谅我失礼了。你舅父也跟我同样地诧异,我们都认为,达西所以要那样做,完全是为了你的缘故。如果你当真一点也不知道,那也只好让我来跟你说说明白了。就在我从浪搏恩回家的那一天,有一个意想不到的客人来见你舅父。那人原来就是达西先生,他跟你舅父关起门来,密谈了好几个钟头。等我到家的时候,事情已经过去了,我当时倒并没有象你现在这样好奇。他是因为发觉了你妹妹和韦翰的下落,特地赶来告诉嘉丁纳先生一声。他说,他已经看到过他们,而且跟他们谈过话……跟韦翰谈过好多次,跟丽迪雅谈过一次。据我看,我们离开德比郡的第二天,达西就动身赶到城里来找他们了。他说,事情弄到如此地步,都怪他不好,没有及早揭露韦翰的下流品格,否则就不会有哪一位正派姑娘会把他当作知心,会爱上他了。他概然引咎自责,认为这次的事情都得怪他当初太傲慢,因为他以前认为韦翰的品格自然而然会让别人看穿,不必把他的私人行为都一一揭露出来,免得使他自己有失体统,他认为这都是他自己一手造成的罪恶,因此他这次出面调停,设法补救实在是义不容辞。他自己承认他要干预这件事的动机就是如此。如果他当真别有用心,也不会使他丢脸。他在城里待了好几天才找到他们;可是他有线索可找,我们可没有。他也是因为自信有这点把握,才下定决心紧跟着我们而来。好像有一位扬吉太太,她早先做过达西小姐的家庭教师,后来犯了什么过错(他没有讲明)被解雇了,便在爱德华街弄了一幢大房子,分租过活。达西知道这位杨吉太太跟韦翰极其相熟,于是他一到城里,便上她那儿去打听他的消息。他花了两三天工夫,才从她那儿把事情探听明白。我想,杨吉太太早就知道韦翰的下落,可是不给她贿赂她决不肯讲出来。他们俩确实是一到伦敦便到她那里去,要是她能够留他们住,他们早就住在她那儿了。我们这位好心的朋友终于探听出了他们在某某街的住址,于是他先去看韦翰,然后他又非要看到丽迪雅不可。据他说,他第一件事就是劝丽迪雅改邪归正,一等到和家里人说通了,就赶快回去,还答应替她帮忙到底,可是他发觉丽迪雅坚决要那样搞下去,家里人一个都不在她心上。她不要他帮助,她无论如何也不肯丢掉韦翰。她断定他们俩迟早总要结婚,早一天迟一天毫无关系。于是他想,他第一次跟韦翰谈话的时候,明明发觉对方毫无结婚的打算,如今既是丽迪雅存着这样的念头,当然只有赶快促成他们结婚。韦翰曾经亲口承认,他当初所以要从民兵团里逃出来,完全是由于为赌债所逼,至于丽迪雅这次私奔所引起的不良后果,他竟毫不犹豫地把它完全归罪于她自己的愚蠢。他说他马上就要辞职,讲到事业前途,他简直不堪设想。他应该到一个什么地方去找份差事,可是又不知道究竟去哪儿,他知道他快要没有钱生活下去了。达西先生问他为什么没有立刻跟你妹妹结婚,虽然班纳特先生算不上什么大阔人,可是也能够帮他一些忙,他结婚以后,境况一定会有利一些。但是他发觉韦翰回答这话的时候,仍然指望到别的地方去另外攀门亲,以便扎扎实实地赚进一笔钱。不过,他目前的情况既是如此,如果有救急的办法,他也未始不会心动。他们见了好几次面,因为有好多地方都得当面商讨。韦翰当然漫天讨价,结果总算减少到一个合理的数目。他们之间一切都商谈好了,达西先生的下一个步骤就是把这件事告诉你舅父,于是他就在我回家的前一天晚上,到天恩寺街来进行第一次访问。当时嘉丁纳先生不在家;达西先生打听到你父亲那天还住在这儿,不过第二天早晨就要走。他以为你父亲不是象你舅父那样一个好商量的人,因此,决定等到你父亲走了以后,再来看你舅父。他当时没有留下姓名,直到第二天,我们还只知道有位某某先生到这儿来过,找他有事,星期六他又来了。那天你父亲已经走了,你舅父在家,正如我刚才说过的,他们俩便在一起谈了许久。他们星期天又见了面,当时我也看见他的。事情一直到星期一才完全谈妥。一谈妥之后,就派专人送信到浪搏恩来。但是我们这位贵客实在太固执。人们都纷纷指责他的错处,今天说他有这个错处,明天又说他有那个错处,可是这一个才是他真正的错处。样样事情都非得由他亲自来办不可;其实你舅父非常愿意全盘包办(我这样说并不是为了讨你的好,所以请你不要跟别人提起)。他们为这件事争执了好久,其实对当事人来说,无论是男方女方,都不配享受这样的对待。可是你舅父最后还是不得不依从他,以致非但不能替自己的外甥女稍微尽点力,而且还要无劳居功,这完全和他的心愿相违;我相信你今天早上的来信一定会使他非常高兴,因为这件掠人之美的事,从此可以说个清楚明白,使那应该受到赞美的人受到赞美。不过,丽萃,这件事只能让你知道,最多只能说给吉英听。我想你一定会深刻了解到,他对那一对青年男女尽了多大的力。我相信他替他偿还的债务一定远在一千镑以上,而且除了她自己名下的钱以外,另外又给她一千镑,还给他买了个官职。至于这些钱为什么得由他一个人付,我已经在上面说明理由。他说这都怪他自己不好,怪他当初考虑欠妥,矜持过分,以致叫人家不明了韦翰的人品,结果使人家上了当,把他当做好人。这番话或许真有几分道理;不过我却觉得,这种事既不应当怪他矜持过分,也不应当怪别人矜持过分。亲爱的丽萃,你应当明白,他的话虽然说得这样动听,我们要不是鉴于他别有苦心,你舅父决不肯依从他。一切事情都决定了以后,他便回到彭伯里去应酬他那些朋友,大家同时说定,等到举行婚礼的那天,他还得再到伦敦来,办理一切有关金钱方面的最后手续。现在我把所有的事情都讲给你听了。这就是你所谓会使你大吃一惊的一篇叙述;我希望至少不会叫你听了不痛快。丽迪雅上我们这儿来住,韦翰也经常来。他完全还是上次我在哈福德郡见到他时的那副老样子。丽迪雅待在我们这儿时,她的种种行为举止,的确叫我很不满,我本来不打算告诉你,不过星期三接到吉英的来信,我才知道她回家依然故态复萌,那么告诉了你也不会使你不什么新的难过。我几次三番一本正经地跟她说,她这件事做得大错特错,害得一家人都痛苦悲伤。哪里知道,我的话她听也不要听。有几次我非常生气,但是一记起了亲爱的伊莉莎白和吉英,看她们面上,我还是容忍着她。达西先生准时来到,正如丽迪雅所告诉你的,他参加了婚礼。他第二天跟我们在一起吃饭,星期三或星期四又要进城去。亲爱的丽萃,要是我利用这个机会说,我多么喜欢他(我以前一直没有敢这样说),你会生我的气吗?他对待我们的态度,从任何方面来说,都跟我们在德比郡的时候同样讨人喜爱。他的见识,他的言论,我都很喜欢。他没有任何缺点,只不过稍欠活泼;关于这一点,只要他结婚结得当心一些,娶个好太太,他也许会让她给教好的。我认为他很调皮,因为他几乎没有提起过你的名字。但是调皮倒好象成了时下的一种风气。如果我说得太放肆了,还得请你原谅,至少不要处罚我太厉害,将来连彭伯里也不许我去啊。我要把那个花园逛遍了,才会心满意足。我只要弄一辆矮矮的双轮小马车,驾上一对漂亮的小马就行了。我无法再写下去,孩子们已经嚷着要我要了半个钟头。

  你的舅母M嘉丁纳九月六日写于天恩寺街

  伊莉莎白读了这封信,真是心神摇荡。她这种心情,叫人家弄不明白她是高兴多于苦痛,还是苦痛多于高兴。她本来也曾隐隐约约、疑疑惑惑地想到达西先生可能会成全她妹妹的好事,可是又不敢往这方面多想,怕他不可能好心到这个地步;另一方面她又顾虑到,如果他当真这样做了,那又未免情意太重,报答不了人家,因此她又痛苦。如今这些揣测却成了千真万确的事实!想不到他那天竟会跟随着她和舅父母赶到城里去。他不惜担当起一切的麻烦和艰苦,来探索这件事。他不得不向一个他所深恶痛绝、极其鄙视的女人去求情。他不得不委曲求全,同一个他极力要加以回避、而且连名字也不愿意提起的人去见面,常常见面,跟他说理,规劝他,最后还不得不贿赂他。他这般仁至义尽,只不过是为了一个他既无好感又不器重的姑娘。她心里轻轻地说,他这样做,都是为了她。但是,再想到一些别的方面,她立刻就不敢再存这个希望。她马上感觉到,她本可以从虚荣心出发,认为他确实爱她,可是她哪能存着那么大的虚荣心,指望他会爱上一个已经拒绝过他的女人!他不愿意跟韦翰做亲戚,这种情绪本来也极其自然,又哪能指望他去迁就!何况是跟韦翰做连襟!凡是稍有自尊心的人,都容忍不了这种亲戚关系。毫无问题,他为这件事出了很大的力。她简直不好意思去想像他究竟出了多大的力。他所以要过问这件事,理由已经由他自己加以说明,你不必多费思索就可以深信无疑。他怪他自己当初做事欠妥,这自然讲得通;他很慷慨,而且有资格可以慷慨;虽然她不愿意认为他这次主要就是为了她,可是她也许可以相信,他对她依旧未能忘情,因此遇到这样一件与她心境攸关的事情,他还是愿意尽心竭力。一想起这样一个人对她们情意隆重,而她们却无法报答他,这真是痛苦,说不尽的痛苦。丽迪雅能够回来,能够保全了人格,这一切都得归功于他。她一想起自己以前竟会那样厌恶他,竟会对他那样出言唐突,真是万分伤心!她不胜自愧,同时又为他感到骄傲。骄傲的是,他竟会一本同情之心,崇尚义气,委曲求全。于是她把舅母信上恭维他的那段话读了又读,只觉还嫌说得不够,可是也足以叫她十分高兴。她发觉舅父母都断定她跟达西先生感情深切,推心置腹。她虽然不免因此而感到几分懊恼,却也颇为得意。

  这时已经有人走近前来,打断了她的深思,使她从座位上站起来;她刚要从另一条小径过去,只见韦翰却赶了上来。

  他走到她身边说道:”我怕打扰了你清静的散步吧,亲爱的姐姐!”

  她笑着回答道:”的确是这样,不过,打扰未必就不受欢迎。”

  ”要是这样,我真过意不去。我们一向是好朋友,现在更加亲近了。”

  ”你说得是。他们都出来了吗?”

  ”不知道。妈妈和丽迪雅乘着马车到麦里屯去了。亲爱的姐姐,听舅父母说起,你当真到彭伯里去玩过了。”

  她说,当真去过了。

  ”你这眼福几乎叫我嫉妒,可惜我又消受不了,否则,我到纽卡斯尔去的时候,也可以顺道一访。我想,你看到了那位年老的管家奶奶吧?可怜的雷诺奶奶!她从前老是那么喜欢我。不过,她当然不会在你面前提起我的名字。”

  ”她倒提到了。”

  ”她怎么说来着?”

  ”她说你进了军队,就怕……-就怕你情形不大好。路隔得那么远,传来的话十分靠不住。”

  ”当然罗,”他咬著嘴唇回答道。

  伊莉莎白满以为这一下可以叫他住嘴了;但是过不了一会儿,他又说道:

  ”上个月真出乎意料,在城里碰到了达西。我们见了好几次面。我不知道他到城里有什么事。”

  ”或许是准备跟德包尔结婚吧,”伊莉莎白说。”他在这样的季节到城里去,一定是为了什么特别的事。”

  ”毫无疑问。你在蓝白屯见到过他吗?听嘉丁纳夫妇说,你见到过他的。”

  ”见过,他还把我们介绍给他的妹妹。”

  ”你喜欢她吗?”

  ”非常喜欢。”

  ”真的,我听说她这一两年来有了很大的长进。以前看到他的时候,我真觉得她没有什么出息。你喜欢她,我很高兴。但愿她能够改好得像个人样。”

  ”她一定会那样;她那最容易惹祸的年龄已经过去了。”

  ”你们经过金泊屯村的吗?”

  ”我记不得是否到过那个地方。”

  ”我所以要提到那个地方,就因为我当初应该得到的一份牧师俸禄就在那儿。那是个非常好玩的地方!那所牧师住宅也好极了!各方面都适合我。”

  ”你竟喜欢讲道吗?”

  ”喜欢极了。我本当把它看作我自己本分的职务,即使开头要费点力气,过不了多久也就无所谓了。一个人不应该后悔;可是,这的确是我的一份好差事!这样安闲清静的生活,完全合乎我幸福的理想!只可惜已经事过境迁。你在肯特郡的时候,有没有听到达西谈起过这件事?”

  ”听到过的,而且我认为他的话很靠得住,听说那个位置给你是有条件的,而且目前这位施主可以自由处理。”

  ”你听到过!不错,这话也有道理;我开头就告诉过你,你可能还记得。”

  ”我还听说,你过去有一个时期,并不象现在这样喜欢讲道,你曾经慎重其事地宣布过,决计不要当牧师,于是这件事就此解决了。”

  ”你真听说过!这话倒不是完全没有根据。你也许还记得,我们第一次谈起这件事的时候,我也提起过的。”

  他们两人现在快要走到家门口了,因为她有意走得很快,要摔脱他;不过看在妹妹份上,她又不愿意使他生气,因此她只是和颜悦色地笑了笑,回答道:

  ”算了吧,韦翰先生;你要知道,我们现在已是兄弟姐妹。不要再为了过去的事去争论吧。但愿将来一直不会有什么冲突。”

  她伸出手来,他亲切而殷勤地吻了一下。他这时候简直有些啼笑皆非。他们就这样走进了屋子。

Chapter 52

ELIZABETH had the satisfaction of receiving an answer to her letter as soon as she possibly could. She was no sooner in possession of it than, hurrying into the little copse, where she was least likely to be interrupted, she sat down on one of the benches and prepared to be happy; for the length of the letter convinced her that it did not contain a denial.
“Gracechurch-street, Sept. 6.
MY DEAR NIECE,
I have just received your letter, and shall devote this whole morning to answering it, as I foresee that a little writing will not comprise what I have to tell you. I must confess myself surprised by your application; I did not expect it from you. Don’t think me angry, however, for I only mean to let you know that I had not imagined such enquiries to be necessary on your side. If you do not choose to understand me, forgive my impertinence. Your uncle is as much surprised as I am — and nothing but the belief of your being a party concerned would have allowed him to act as he has done. But if you are really innocent and ignorant, I must be more explicit. On the very day of my coming home from Longbourn, your uncle had a most unexpected visitor. Mr. Darcy called, and was shut up with him several hours. It was all over before I arrived; so my curiosity was not so dreadfully racked as your’sseems to have been. He came to tell Mr. Gardiner that he had found out where your sister and Mr. Wickham were, and that he had seen and talked with them both; Wickham repeatedly, Lydia once. From what I can collect, he left Derbyshire only one day after ourselves, and came to town with the resolution of hunting for them. The motive professed was his conviction of its being owing to himself that Wickham’s worthlessness had not been so well known as to make it impossible for any young woman of character to love or confide in him. He generously imputed the whole to his mistaken pride, and confessed that he had before thought it beneath him to lay his private actions open to the world. His character was to speak for itself. He called it, therefore, his duty to step forward, and endeavour to remedy an evil which had been brought on by himself. If he had another motive, I am sure it would never disgrace him. He had been some days in town, before he was able to discover them; but he had something to direct his search, which was more than we had; and the consciousness of this was another reason for his resolving to follow us. There is a lady, it seems, a Mrs. Younge, who was some time ago governess to Miss Darcy, and was dismissed from her charge on some cause of disapprobation, though he did not say what. She then took a large house in Edward-street, and has since maintained herself by letting lodgings. This Mrs. Younge was, he knew, intimately acquainted with Wickham; and he went to her for intelligence of him as soon as he got to town. But it was two or three days before he could get from her what he wanted. She would not betray her trust, I suppose, without bribery and corruption, for she really did know where her friend was to be found. Wickham indeed had gone to her on their first arrival in London, and had she been able to receive them into her house, they would have taken up their abode with her. At length, however, our kind friend procured the wished-for direction. They were in —- street. He saw Wickham, and afterwards insisted on seeing Lydia. His first object with her, he acknowledged, had been to persuade her to quit her present disgraceful situation, and return to her friends as soon as they could be prevailed on to receive her, offering his assistance, as far as it would go. But he found Lydia absolutely resolved on remaining where she was. She cared for none of her friends; she wanted no help of his; she would not hear of leaving Wickham. She was sure they should be married some time or other, and it did not much signify when. Since such were her feelings, it only remained, he thought, to secure and expedite a marriage, which, in his very first conversation with Wickham, he easily learnt had never been his design. He confessed himself obliged to leave the regiment, on account of some debts of honour, which were very pressing; and scrupled not to lay all the ill-consequences of Lydia’s flight on her own folly alone. He meant to resign his commission immediately; and as to his future situation, he could conjecture very little about it. He must go somewhere, but he did not know where, and he knew he should have nothing to live on. Mr. Darcy asked him why he had not married your sister at once. Though Mr. Bennet was not imagined to be very rich, he would have been able to do something for him, and his situation must have been benefited by marriage. But he found, in reply to this question, that Wickham still cherished the hope of more effectually making his fortune by marriage in some other country. Under such circumstances, however, he was not likely to be proof against the temptation of immediate relief. They met several times, for there was much to be discussed. Wickham of course wanted more than he could get; but at length was reduced to be reasonable. Every thing being settled between them, Mr. Darcy’s next step was to make your uncle acquainted with it, and he first called in Gracechurch-street the evening before I came home. But Mr. Gardiner could not be seen, and Mr. Darcy found, on further enquiry, that your father was still with him, but would quit town the next morning. He did not judge your father to be a person whom he could so properly consult as your uncle, and therefore readily postponed seeing him till after the departure of the former. He did not leave his name, and till the next day it was only known that a gentleman had called on business. On Saturday he came again. Your father was gone, your uncle at home, and, as I said before, they had a great deal of talk together. They met again on Sunday, and then I saw him too. It was not all settled before Monday: as soon as it was, the express was sent off to Longbourn. But our visitor was very obstinate. I fancy, Lizzy, that obstinacy is the real defect of his character, after all. He has been accused of many faults at different times, but this is the true one. Nothing was to be done that he did not do himself; though I am sure (and I do not speak it to be thanked, therefore say nothing about it), your uncle would most readily have settled the whole. They battled it together for a long time, which was more than either the gentleman or lady concerned in it deserved. But at last your uncle was forced to yield, and instead of being allowed to be of use to his niece, was forced to put up with only having the probable credit of it, which went sorely against the grain; and I really believe your letter this morning gave him great pleasure, because it required an explanation that would rob him of his borrowed feathers, and give the praise where it was due. But, Lizzy, this must go no farther than yourself, or Jane at most. You know pretty well, I suppose, what has been done for the young people. His debts are to be paid, amounting, I believe, to considerably more than a thousand pounds, another thousand in addition to her own settled upon her, and his commission purchased. The reason why all this was to be done by him alone, was such as I have given above. It was owing to him, to his reserve and want of proper consideration, that Wickham’s character had been so misunderstood, and consequently that he had been received and noticed as he was. Perhaps there was some truth in this; though I doubt whether his reserve, or anybody’sreserve, can be answerable for the event. But in spite of all this fine talking, my dear Lizzy, you may rest perfectly assured that your uncle would never have yielded, if we had not given him credit for another interest in the affair. When all this was resolved on, he returned again to his friends, who were still staying at Pemberley; but it was agreed that he should be in London once more when the wedding took place, and all money matters were then to receive the last finish. I believe I have now told you every thing. It is a relation which you tell me is to give you great surprise; I hope at least it will not afford you any displeasure. Lydia came to us; and Wickham had constant admission to the house. He was exactly what he had been when I knew him in Hertfordshire; but I would not tell you how little I was satisfied with her behaviour while she staid with us, if I had not perceived, by Jane’s letter last Wednesday, that her conduct on coming home was exactly of a piece with it, and therefore what I now tell you can give you no fresh pain. I talked to her repeatedly in the most serious manner, representing to her all the wickedness of what she had done, and all the unhappiness she had brought on her family. If she heard me, it was by good luck, for I am sure she did not listen. I was sometimes quite provoked, but then I recollected my dear Elizabeth and Jane, and for their sakes had patience with her. Mr. Darcy was punctual in his return, and as Lydia informed you, attended the wedding. He dined with us the next day, and was to leave town again on Wednesday or Thursday. Will you be very angry with me, my dear Lizzy, if I take this opportunity of saying (what I was never bold enough to say before) how much I like him. His behaviour to us has, in every respect, been as pleasing as when we were in Derbyshire. His understanding and opinions all please me; he wants nothing but a little more liveliness, and that, if he marry prudently, his wife may teach him. I thought him very sly; — he hardly ever mentioned your name. But slyness seems the fashion. Pray forgive me if I have been very presuming, or at least do not punish me so far as to exclude me from P. I shall never be quite happy till I have been all round the park. A low phaeton, with a nice little pair of ponies, would be the very thing. But I must write no more. The children have been wanting me this half hour. Your’s, very sincerely,
M. GARDINER.”
The contents of this letter threw Elizabeth into a flutter of spirits, in which it was difficult to determine whether pleasure or pain bore the greatest share. The vague and unsettled suspicions which uncertainty had produced of what Mr. Darcy might have been doing to forward her sister’s match, which she had feared to encourage as an exertion of goodness too great to be probable, and at the same time dreaded to be just, from the pain of obligation, were proved beyond their greatest extent to be true! He had followed them purposely to town, he had taken on himself all the trouble and mortification attendant on such a research; in which supplication had been necessary to a woman whom he must abominate and despise, and where he was reduced to meet, frequently meet, reason with, persuade, and finally bribe, the man whom he always most wished to avoid, and whose very name it was punishment to him to pronounce. He had done all this for a girl whom he could neither regard nor esteem. Her heart did whisper that he had done it for her. But it was a hope shortly checked by other considerations, and she soon felt that even her vanity was insufficient, when required to depend on his affection for her — for a woman who had already refused him — as able to overcome a sentiment so natural as abhorrence against relationship with Wickham. Brother-in-law of Wickham! Every kind of pride must revolt from the connection. He had, to be sure, done much. She was ashamed to think how much. But he had given a reason for his interference, which asked no extraordinary stretch of belief. It was reasonable that he should feel he had been wrong; he had liberality, and he had the means of exercising it; and though she would not place herself as his principal inducement, she could, perhaps, believe that remaining partiality for her might assist his endeavours in a cause where her peace of mind must be materially concerned. It was painful, exceedingly painful, to know that they were under obligations to a person who could never receive a return. They owed the restoration of Lydia, her character, every thing, to him. Oh! how heartily did she grieve over every ungracious sensation she had ever encouraged, every saucy speech she had ever directed towards him. For herself she was humbled; but she was proud of him. Proud that in a cause of compassion and honour, he had been able to get the better of himself. She read over her aunt’s commendation of him again and again. It was hardly enough; but it pleased her. She was even sensible of some pleasure, though mixed with regret, on finding how steadfastly both she and her uncle had been persuaded that affection and confidence subsisted between Mr. Darcy and herself.
She was roused from her seat, and her reflections, by some one’s approach; and before she could strike into another path, she was overtaken by Wickham.
“I am afraid I interrupt your solitary ramble, my dear sister?” said he, as he joined her.
“You certainly do,” she replied with a smile; “but it does not follow that the interruption must be unwelcome.”
“I should be sorry indeed, if it were. We were always good friends; and now we are better.”
“True. Are the others coming out?”
“I do not know. Mrs. Bennet and Lydia are going in the carriage to Meryton. And so, my dear sister, I find, from our uncle and aunt, that you have actually seen Pemberley.”
She replied in the affirmative.
“I almost envy you the pleasure, and yet I believe it would be too much for me, or else I could take it in my way to Newcastle. And you saw the old housekeeper, I suppose? Poor Reynolds, she was always very fond of me. But of course she did not mention my name to you.”
“Yes, she did.”
“And what did she say?”
“That you were gone into the army, and she was afraid had — not turned out well. At such a distance as that, you know, things are strangely misrepresented.”
“Certainly,” he replied, biting his lips. Elizabeth hoped she had silenced him; but he soon afterwards said,
“I was surprised to see Darcy in town last month. We passed each other several times. I wonder what he can be doing there.”
“Perhaps preparing for his marriage with Miss de Bourgh,” said Elizabeth. “It must be something particular, to take him there at this time of year.”
“Undoubtedly. Did you see him while you were at Lambton? I thought I understood from the Gardiners that you had.”
“Yes; he introduced us to his sister.”
“And do you like her?”
“Very much.”
“I have heard, indeed, that she is uncommonly improved within this year or two. When I last saw her, she was not very promising. I am very glad you liked her. I hope she will turn out well.”
“I dare say she will; she has got over the most trying age.”
“Did you go by the village of Kympton?”
“I do not recollect that we did.”
“I mention it, because it is the living which I ought to have had. A most delightful place! — Excellent Parsonage House! It would have suited me in every respect.”
“How should you have liked making sermons?”
“Exceedingly well. I should have considered it as part of my duty, and the exertion would soon have been nothing. One ought not to repine; — but, to be sure, it would have been such a thing for me! The quiet, the retirement of such a life would have answered all my ideas of happiness! But it was not to be. Did you ever hear Darcy mention the circumstance, when you were in Kent?”
“I have heard from authority, which I thought as good, that it was left you conditionally only, and at the will of the present patron.”
“You have. Yes, there was something in that; I told you so from the first, you may remember.”
“I did hear, too, that there was a time, when sermon-making was not so palatable to you as it seems to be at present; that you actually declared your resolution of never taking orders, and that the business had been compromised accordingly.”
“You did! and it was not wholly without foundation. You may remember what I told you on that point, when first we talked of it.”
They were now almost at the door of the house, for she had walked fast to get rid of him; and unwilling, for her sister’s sake, to provoke him, she only said in reply, with a good-humoured smile,
“Come, Mr. Wickham, we are brother and sister, you know. Do not let us quarrel about the past. In future, I hope we shall be always of one mind.”
She held out her hand; he kissed it with affectionate gallantry, though he hardly knew how to look, and they entered the house.

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  • 第 50 章

    班纳特先生远在好久以前,就希望每年的进款不要全部花光,能够积蓄一部分,让儿女往后不至于衣食匮乏;如果太太比他命长,衣食便也有了着落。拿目前来说,他这个希望比以往来得更迫切。要是他在这方面早就安排好了,那么这次丽迪雅挽回面子名誉的事,自然就不必要她舅舅为她花钱;也不必让舅舅去说服全英国最下流的一个青年给她确定夫妇的名分。


  • 班纳特先生回来两天了。那天吉英和伊莉莎白正在屋后的矮树林里散步,只见管家奶奶朝她俩走来,她们以为是母亲打发她来叫她们回去的,于是迎面走上前去。到了那个管家奶奶跟前,才发觉事出意外,原来她并不是来叫她们的。她对吉英说:"小姐,请原谅我打断了你们的谈话,不过,我料想你们一定获得了从城里来的好消息,所以我来大胆地问一问。"
  • 第 48 章

    第二天早上,大家都指望班纳特先生会寄信来,可是等到邮差来了,却没有带来他的片纸只字。家里人本来知道他一向懒得写信,能够拖延总是拖延;但是在这样的时候,她们都希望他能够勉为其难一些。既是没有信来,她们只得认为他没有什么愉快的消息可以报导,即使如此,她们也希望把事情弄个清楚明白。嘉丁纳先生也希望在动身以前能够看到几封信。

  •   第 47 章

    他们离开那个城镇的时候,舅父跟伊莉莎白说:"我又把这件事想了一遍,认真地考虑了一番,越发觉得你姐姐的看法很对。我认为无论是哪个青年,决不会对这样一位姑娘存着这样的坏心眼,她又不是无亲无靠,何况她就住在他自己的上校家里,因此我要从最好的方面去着想。难道他以为她的亲友们不会挺身而出吗?难道他还以为这一次冒犯弗斯脱上校以后,还好意思回到民兵团里去吗?我看他不见得会痴情到冒险的地步。"

  • 第 46 章

    伊莉莎白到蓝白屯的时候,因为没有立即接到吉英的来信,感到非常失望;第二天早上又感到同样的失望。可是到了第三天,她就再也不用焦虑了,再也不埋怨她的姐姐了,因为她这一天收到了姐姐两封信,其中一封注明曾经送错了地方。伊莉莎白并不觉得诧异,因为吉英确实把位址写得很潦草。

  •     第 45 章

    伊莉莎白现在认为,彬格莱小姐所以一向厌恶她,原因不外乎和她吃醋。她既然有了这种想法,便不禁觉得这次到彭伯里去,彬格莱小姐一定不会欢迎她;尽管如此,她倒想看看这一次旧雨重逢,那位小姐是否会多少顾全一些大体。

  • 第 44 章

    伊莉莎白料定达西先生的妹妹一到彭伯里,达西先生隔天就会带着她来拜访她,因此决定那天整个上午都不离开旅馆,至多在附近走走。

  • 第 43 章 (下)

    他们只相隔二十码路光景,他这样突然出现,叫人家简直来不及躲避。顷刻之间,四只眼睛碰在一起,两个人脸上都涨得血红。只见主人吃惊非凡,竟楞在那儿一动不动,但是他立刻定了一定心,走到他们面前来,跟伊莉莎白说话,语气之间即使不能算是十分镇静,至少十分有礼貌。

  • 第 43 章 (上)

    他们坐着车子一直向前去。彭伯里的树林一出现在眼前,伊莉莎白就有些心慌;等到走进了庄园,她更加心神不定。

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