小说:《傲慢与偏见》 第56章 (中英对照)

简.奥斯汀
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              第 56 章

有一天上午,大约是彬格莱和吉英订婚之后的一个星期,彬格莱正和女眷们坐在饭厅里,忽然听到一阵马车声,大家都走到窗口去看,只见一辆四马大轿车驶进园里来。这么一大早,理当不会有客人来,再看看那辆马车的配备,便知道这位访客决不是他们的街坊四邻。马是驿站上的马,至于马车本身,车前待从所穿的号服,他们也不熟悉。彬格莱既然断定有人来访,便马上劝班纳特小姐跟他避开,免得被这不速之客缠住,于是吉英跟他走到矮树林里去了。他们俩走了以后,另外三个人依旧在那儿猜测,可惜猜不出这位来客是谁。最后门开了,客人走进屋来,原来是咖苔琳德包尔夫人。

  大家当然都十分诧异,万万想不到会有这样出奇的事。班纳特太太和吉蒂跟她素昧生平,可是反而比伊莉莎白更其感到宠幸。

  客人走进屋来的那副神气非常没有礼貌。伊莉莎白招呼她,她只稍微侧了一下头,便一屁股坐下来,一句话也不说。她走进来的时候,虽然没有要求人家介绍,伊莉莎白还是把她的名字告诉了她母亲。

  班纳特太太大为惊异,不过,这样一位了不起的贵客前来登门拜访,可又使她得意非凡,因此她便极其有礼貌地加以招待。咖苔琳夫人不声不响地坐了一会儿工夫,便冷冰冰地对伊莉莎白说:

  ”我想,你一定过得很好吧,班纳特小姐。那位太太大概是你母亲?”

  伊莉莎白简简单单地回答了一声正是。

  ”那一位大概就是你妹妹吧?”

  班纳特太太连忙应声回答:”正是,夫人,”她能够跟这样一位贵夫人攀谈,真是得意。”这是我第四个女儿。我最小的一个女儿最近出嫁了,大女儿正和她的好朋友在附近散步,那个小伙子不久也要变成我们自己人了。”

  咖苔琳夫人没有理睬她,过了片刻才说:”你们这儿还有个小花园呢。”

  ”哪能比得上罗新斯,夫人,可是我敢说,比威廉卢卡斯爵士的花园却要大得多。”

  ”到了夏天,这间屋子做起居室一定很不适宜,窗子都朝西。”

  班纳特太太告诉她说,她们每天吃过中饭以后,从来不坐在那儿,接着又说:

  ”我是否可以冒昧请问你夫人一声,柯林斯夫妇都好吗?”

  ”他们都很好,前天晚上我还看见他们的。”

  这时伊莉莎白满以为她会拿出一封夏绿蒂的信来;她认为咖苔琳夫人这次到这里来,决不可能为了别的原因。可是并不见夫人拿信出来,这真叫她完全不明白是怎么回事了。班纳特太太恭恭敬敬地请贵夫人随意用些点心,可是咖苔琳夫人什么也不肯吃,谢绝非常坚决,非常没有礼貌,接着又站起来跟伊莉莎白说:

  ”班纳特小姐,你们这块草地的那一头,好象颇有几分荒野的景色,倒很好看。我很想到那儿去逛逛,可否请你陪我一走?”

  只听得她母亲连忙大声对她说:”你去吧,乖孩子,陪着夫人到各条小径上去逛逛。我想,她一定会喜欢我们这个幽静的小地方。”

  伊莉莎白听从了母亲的话,先到自己房间里去拿了一把阳伞,然后下楼来侍候这位贵客。两人走过穿堂,咖苔琳夫人打开了那扇通到饭厅和客厅的门,稍稍打量了一下,说是这屋子还算过得去,然后继续向前走。

  她的马车停在门口,伊莉莎白看见了车子里面坐着她的待女。两人默默无声地沿着一条通到小树林的鹅卵石铺道往前走。伊莉莎白只觉得这个老妇人比往常更傲慢,更其令人讨厌,因此拿定主张,决不先开口跟她说话。

  她仔细瞧了一下老妇人的脸,不禁想道:”她哪一点地方象她姨侄?”

  一走进小树林,咖苔琳夫人便用这样的方式跟她谈话:

  ”班纳特小姐,我这次上这儿来,你一定知道我是为了什么原因。你心里一定有数,你的良心一定会告诉你,我这次为什么要来。”

  伊莉莎白大为惊讶。

  ”夫人,你实在想错了,我完全不明白你这次怎么这样看得起我们,会到这种地方来。”

  夫人一听此话,很是生气:”班纳特小姐,你要知道,我是决不肯让人家来跟我开玩笑的。尽管你怎样不老实,我可不是那样。我是个有名的老实坦白的人,何况遇到现在这桩事,我当然更要老实坦白。两天以前,我听到一个极其惊人的消息。我听说不光是你姐姐将要攀上一门高亲,连你,伊莉莎白班纳特小姐,也快要攀上我的姨侄,我的亲姨侄达西先生。虽然我明知这是无稽的流言,虽然我不会那样看不起他,相信他真会有这种事情,我还是当机立断,决定上这儿来一次,把我的意思说给你听。”

  伊莉莎白又是诧异,又是厌恶,满脸涨得通红。”我真奇怪,你既然认为不会有这种事情,何必还要自找麻烦,跑到这么远的地方来?请问你老人家究竟有何见教?”

  ”我一定要你立刻向大家去辟谣。”

  伊莉莎白冷冷地说:”要是外界真有这种传说,那么你赶到浪搏恩来看我和我家里人,反而会弄假成真。”

  ”要是真有这种传说!你难道存心要假痴假呆不成?这不全是你自己拚命传出去的吗?难道你不知道这个消息已经闹得满城风雨了吗?”

  ”我从来没有听见过。”

  ”你能不能说一声这是毫无根据?”

  ”我并不冒充我也像你老人家一样坦白。你尽管问好了,我可不想回答。”

  ”岂有此理!班纳特小姐,我非要你说个明白不可。我姨侄向你求过婚没有?”

  ”你老人家自己刚刚还说过,决不会有这种事情。”

  ”不应该有这种事情;只要他还有头脑,那就一定不会有这种事情。可是你千方百计地诱惑他,他也许会一时痴迷忘了他应该对得起自己,对得起家里人。你可能已经把他迷住了。”

  ”即使我真的把他迷住了,我也决不会说给你听。”

  ”班纳特小姐,你知道我是谁吗?你这种话真讲得不成体统。我差不多是他最亲近的长辈,我有权利过问他一切的切身大事。”

  ”你可没有权利过问我的事,而且你这种态度也休想把我逼供出来。”

  ”好好儿听我把话说明白。你好大胆子,妄想攀这门亲,那是绝对不会成功……一辈子也不会成功的。达西先生早跟我的女儿订过婚了。好吧,你还有什么话要说?”

  ”只有一句话要说……如果他当真如此,那你就没有理由认为他会向我求婚。”

  咖苔琳夫人迟疑了一会儿,然后回答道:

  ”他们的订婚,跟一般情形两样。他们从小就配好了对,双方的母亲两相情愿。他们在摇篮里的时候,我们就打算把他们配成一对;眼见他们小俩口子就要结婚,老姐妹俩的愿望就要达到,却忽然来了个出身卑贱、门户低微的小妮子从中作梗,何况这个小妮子跟他家里非亲非眷!难道你丝毫也不顾全他亲人的愿望?丝毫也不顾全他跟德包尔小姐默认的婚姻?难道你一点儿没有分寸,一点儿也不知廉耻吗?难道你没有听见我说过,他一生下来,就注定了要跟他表妹成亲的吗?”

  ”我以前确实听到过。可是我管它做什么?如果你没有别的理由反对我跟你姨侄结婚,我也决不会因此却步。你们姐妹俩费尽了心思筹画这段婚姻,成功不成功可要看别人。如果达西先生既没有责任跟他表妹结婚,也不愿意跟她结婚,那他为什么不能另外挑一个?要是他挑中了我,我又为什么不能答应他?”

  ”无论从面子上讲,从礼节规矩上讲……不,从利害关系来讲,都不允许这么做。不错,班纳特小姐,确是为了你的利害关系着想。要是你有意跟大家都过不去,你就休想他家里人或是他的亲友们看得起你。凡是和他有关的人,都会斥责你,轻视你,厌恶你。你们的结合是一种耻辱;甚至我们连你的名字都不肯提起。”

  ”这倒真是大大的不幸,”伊莉莎白说。”可是做了达西先生的太太必然会享受到莫大的幸福,因此,归根结底,完全用不到懊丧。”

  ”好一个不识好歹的小丫头!我都为你害臊!今年春天我待你那么殷勤,你就这样报答我吗?难道你也没有一点儿感恩之心?让我们坐下来详谈。你应该明白,班纳特小姐,我既然上这儿来了,就非达到目的不可;谁也阻不住我。任何人玩什么花巧,我都不会屈服。我从来不肯让我自己失望。”

  ”那只有更加使你自己难堪,可是对我毫无影响。”

  ”我说话不许人家插嘴!好好儿听我说。我的女儿和我的姨侄是天造天设的一对。他们的母系都是高贵的出身,父系虽然没有爵位,可也都是极有地位的名门世家。两家都是豪富。两家亲戚都一致认为,他们俩系前生注定的姻缘;有谁能把他们拆散?你这样一个小妮子,无论家世、亲戚、财产,都谈不上,难道光凭着你的痴心妄想,就可以把他们拆散吗?这象什么话!这真是太岂有此理!假如你脑子明白点,为你自己的利益想一想,你就不会忘你自己的出身啦。”

  ”我决不会为了要跟你姨侄结婚,就忘了我自己的出身。你姨侄是个绅士,我是绅士的女儿,我们正是旗鼓相当。”

  ”真说得对。你的确是个绅士的女儿。可是你妈是个什么样的人?你的姨父母和舅父母又是什么样的人?别以为我不知道他们底细。”

  ”不管我亲戚是怎么样的人,”伊莉莎白说。”只要你姨侄不计较,便与你毫不相干。”

  ”爽爽快快告诉我,你究竟跟他订婚了没有?”

  伊莉莎白本来不打算买咖苔琳夫人的情面来回答这个问题,可是仔细考虑了一会儿以后,她不得不说了一声:

  ”没有。”

  咖苔琳夫人显得很高兴。

  ”你愿意答应我,永远不跟他订婚吗?”

  ”我不能答应这种事。”

  ”班纳特小姐,我真是又惊骇又诧异。我没有料到你是这样一个不讲理的小妮子。可是你千万把头脑放清楚一些,别以为我会让步。非等到你答应了我的要求,我就不走。”

  ”我当然决不会答应你的。这种荒唐到极点的事,你休想吓得我答应。你只是一心想要达西先生跟你女儿结婚;可是,就算我如了你的意,答应了你,你以为他们俩的婚姻就靠得住了吗?要是他看中了我,就算我拒绝他,难道他因此就会去向他表妹求婚吗?说句你别见怪的话,咖苔琳夫人,你这种异想天开的要求真是不近情理,你说的许多话又是浅薄无聊。要是你以为你这些话能够说得我屈服,那你未免太看错人啦。你姨侄会让你把他的事干涉到什么地步,我不知道,可是你无论如何没有权利干涉我的事。因此我请求你不要再为这件事来勉强我了。”

  ”请你不必这样性急。我的话根本没有讲完。除了我已经说过的你那许多缺陷以外,我还要加上一件。别以为我不知道你那个小妹妹不要脸私奔的事。我完全晓得。那个年轻小伙子跟她结婚,完全是你爸爸和舅舅花了钱买来的。这样一个臭丫头,也配做我姨侄的小姨吗?她丈夫是他父亲生前的账房的儿子,也配和他做连襟吗?上有天下有地!你究竟是打是什么主意?彭伯里的门第能够这样给人糟蹋吗?”

  伊莉莎白恨恨地回答道:”现在你该讲完了,你也把我侮辱得够了。我可要回家去啦。”

  她一面说,一面便站起身来。咖苔琳夫人也站了起来,两人一同回到屋子里去。老夫人真给气坏了。

  ”那么,你完全不顾全我姨侄的身份和面子啦!好一个没有心肝、自私自利的小丫头!你难道不知道,他跟你结了婚,大家都要看不起他吗?”

  ”咖苔琳夫人,我不想再讲了。你已经明白了我的意思。”

  ”那么,你非要把他弄到手不可吗?”

  ”我并没有说这种话。我自有主张,怎么样做会幸福,我就决定怎么样做,你管不了,任何象你这样的局外人也都管不了。”

  ”好啊。你坚决不肯依我。你完全丧尽天良,不知廉耻,忘恩负义。你决心要叫他的朋友们看不起他,让天下人都耻笑他。”

  伊莉莎白说:”目前这件事情谈不到什么天良、廉耻、恩义。我跟达西先生结婚,并不触犯这些原则。要是他跟我结了婚,他家里人就厌恶他,那我毫不在乎;至于说天下人都会生他的气,我认为世界上多的是知义明理的人,不见得个个都会耻笑他。”

  ”这就是你的真心话!这就是你坚定不移的主张!好啊。现在我可知道该怎么应付了。班纳特小姐,别以为你的痴心妄想会达到目的。我不过是来试探试探你,没想到你竟不可理喻。等著瞧吧,我说得到一定做得到。”

  咖苔琳夫人就这样一直讲下去,走到马车跟前,她又急急忙忙掉过头来说道:

  ”我不向你告辞,班纳特小姐。我也不问候你的母亲。你们都不识抬举。我真是十二万分不高兴。”

  伊莉莎白不去理她,也没有请她回到屋子里去坐坐,只管自己不声不响地往屋里走。她上楼的时候,听到马车驶走的声音。她母亲在化妆室门口等她等得心急了,这会儿一见到她,便连忙问她为什么咖苔琳夫人不回到屋子里来休息一会儿再走。

  女儿说:”她不愿意进来,她要走。”

  ”她是个多么好看的女人啊!她真太客气,竟会到我们这种地方来!我想,她这次来,不过是为了要告诉我们一声,柯林斯夫妇过得很好。她或许是到别的什么地方去,路过麦里屯,顺便进来看看你。我想,她没有特别跟你说什么话吧?”

  伊莉莎白不得不撒了个小谎,因为她实在没有办法把这场谈话的内容说出来。

Chapter 56

ONE morning, about a week after Bingley’s engagement with Jane had been formed, as he and the females of the family were sitting together in the dining room, their attention was suddenly drawn to the window, by the sound of a carriage; and they perceived a chaise and four driving up the lawn. It was too early in the morning for visitors, and besides, the equipage did not answer to that of any of their neighbours. The horses were post; and neither the carriage, nor the livery of the servant who preceded it, were familiar to them. As it was certain, however, that somebody was coming, Bingley instantly prevailed on Miss Bennet to avoid the confinement of such an intrusion, and walk away with him into the shrubbery. They both set off, and the conjectures of the remaining three continued, though with little satisfaction, till the door was thrown open and their visitor entered. It was Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
They were of course all intending to be surprised; but their astonishment was beyond their expectation; and on the part of Mrs. Bennet and Kitty, though she was perfectly unknown to them, even inferior to what Elizabeth felt.
She entered the room with an air more than usually ungracious, made no other reply to Elizabeth’s salutation than a slight inclination of the head, and sat down without saying a word. Elizabeth had mentioned her name to her mother on her ladyship’s entrance, though no request of introduction had been made.
Mrs. Bennet, all amazement, though flattered by having a guest of such high importance, received her with the utmost politeness. After sitting for a moment in silence, she said very stiffly to Elizabeth,
“I hope you are well, Miss Bennet. That lady, I suppose, is your mother.”
Elizabeth replied very concisely that she was.
“And that I suppose is one of your sisters.”
“Yes, madam,” said Mrs. Bennet, delighted to speak to a Lady Catherine. “She is my youngest girl but one. My youngest of all is lately married, and my eldest is somewhere about the grounds, walking with a young man who, I believe, will soon become a part of the family.”
“You have a very small park here,” returned Lady Catherine after a short silence.
“It is nothing in comparison of Rosings, my lady, I dare say; but I assure you it is much larger than Sir William Lucas’s.”
“This must be a most inconvenient sitting room for the evening, in summer; the windows are full west.”
Mrs. Bennet assured her that they never sat there after dinner, and then added,
“May I take the liberty of asking your ladyship whether you left Mr. and Mrs. Collins well.”
“Yes, very well. I saw them the night before last.”
Elizabeth now expected that she would produce a letter for her from Charlotte, as it seemed the only probable motive for her calling. But no letter appeared, and she was completely puzzled.
Mrs. Bennet, with great civility, begged her ladyship to take some refreshment; but Lady Catherine very resolutely, and not very politely, declined eating any thing; and then, rising up, said to Elizabeth,
“Miss Bennet, there seemed to be a prettyish kind of a little wilderness on one side of your lawn. I should be glad to take a turn in it, if you will favour me with your company.”
“Go, my dear,” cried her mother, “and shew her ladyship about the different walks. I think she will be pleased with the hermitage.”
Elizabeth obeyed, and running into her own room for her parasol, attended her noble guest down stairs. As they passed through the hall, Lady Catherine opened the doors into the dining-parlour and drawing-room, and pronouncing them, after a short survey, to be decent looking rooms, walked on.
Her carriage remained at the door, and Elizabeth saw that her waiting-woman was in it. They proceeded in silence along the gravel walk that led to the copse; Elizabeth was determined to make no effort for conversation with a woman who was now more than usually insolent and disagreeable.
“How could I ever think her like her nephew?” said she, as she looked in her face.
As soon as they entered the copse, Lady Catherine began in the following manner: —
“You can be at no loss, Miss Bennet, to understand the reason of my journey hither. Your own heart, your own conscience, must tell you why I come.”
Elizabeth looked with unaffected astonishment.
“Indeed, you are mistaken, Madam. I have not been at all able to account for the honour of seeing you here.”
“Miss Bennet,” replied her ladyship, in an angry tone, “you ought to know, that I am not to be trifled with. But however insincere you may choose to be, you shall not find me so. My character has ever been celebrated for its sincerity and frankness, and in a cause of such moment as this, I shall certainly not depart from it. A report of a most alarming nature reached me two days ago. I was told that not only your sister was on the point of being most advantageously married, but that you, that Miss Elizabeth Bennet, would, in all likelihood, be soon afterwards united to my nephew, my own nephew, Mr. Darcy. Though I know it must be a scandalous falsehood, though I would not injure him so much as to suppose the truth of it possible, I instantly resolved on setting off for this place, that I might make my sentiments known to you.”
“If you believed it impossible to be true,” said Elizabeth, colouring with astonishment and disdain, “I wonder you took the trouble of coming so far. What could your ladyship propose by it?”
“At once to insist upon having such a report universally contradicted.”
“Your coming to Longbourn, to see me and my family,” said Elizabeth coolly, “will be rather a confirmation of it; if, indeed, such a report is in existence.”
“If! Do you then pretend to be ignorant of it? Has it not been industriously circulated by yourselves? Do you not know that such a report is spread abroad?”
“I never heard that it was.”
“And can you likewise declare, that there is no foundation for it?”
“I do not pretend to possess equal frankness with your ladyship. You may ask questions which I shall not choose to answer.”
“This is not to be borne. Miss Bennet, I insist on being satisfied. Has he, has my nephew, made you an offer of marriage?”
“Your ladyship has declared it to be impossible.”
“It ought to be so; it must be so, while he retains the use of his reason. But your arts and allurements may, in a moment of infatuation, have made him forget what he owes to himself and to all his family. You may have drawn him in.”
“If I have, I shall be the last person to confess it.”
“Miss Bennet, do you know who I am? I have not been accustomed to such language as this. I am almost the nearest relation he has in the world, and am entitled to know all his dearest concerns.”
“But you are not entitled to know mine; nor will such behaviour as this, ever induce me to be explicit.”
“Let me be rightly understood. This match, to which you have the presumption to aspire, can never take place. No, never. Mr. Darcy is engaged to my daughter. Now what have you to say?”
“Only this; that if he is so, you can have no reason to suppose he will make an offer to me.”
Lady Catherine hesitated for a moment, and then replied,
“The engagement between them is of a peculiar kind. From their infancy, they have been intended for each other. It was the favourite wish of his mother, as well as of her’s. While in their cradles, we planned the union: and now, at the moment when the wishes of both sisters would be accomplished in their marriage, to be prevented by a young woman of inferior birth, of no importance in the world, and wholly unallied to the family! Do you pay no regard to the wishes of his friends? To his tacit engagement with Miss De Bourgh? Are you lost to every feeling of propriety and delicacy? Have you not heard me say that from his earliest hours he was destined for his cousin?”
“Yes, and I had heard it before. But what is that to me? If there is no other objection to my marrying your nephew, I shall certainly not be kept from it by knowing that his mother and aunt wished him to marry Miss De Bourgh. You both did as much as you could in planning the marriage. Its completion depended on others. If Mr. Darcy is neither by honour nor inclination confined to his cousin, why is not he to make another choice? And if I am that choice, why may not I accept him?”
“Because honour, decorum, prudence, nay, interest, forbid it. Yes, Miss Bennet, interest; for do not expect to be noticed by his family or friends, if you wilfully act against the inclinations of all. You will be censured, slighted, and despised, by every one connected with him. Your alliance will be a disgrace; your name will never even be mentioned by any of us.”
“These are heavy misfortunes,” replied Elizabeth. “But the wife of Mr. Darcy must have such extraordinary sources of happiness necessarily attached to her situation, that she could, upon the whole, have no cause to repine.”
“Obstinate, headstrong girl! I am ashamed of you! Is this your gratitude for my attentions to you last spring? Is nothing due to me on that score? Let us sit down. You are to understand, Miss Bennet, that I came here with the determined resolution of carrying my purpose; nor will I be dissuaded from it. I have not been used to submit to any person’s whims. I have not been in the habit of brooking disappointment.”
“That will make your ladyship’s situation at present more pitiable; but it will have no effect on me.”
“I will not be interrupted. Hear me in silence. My daughter and my nephew are formed for each other. They are descended, on the maternal side, from the same noble line; and, on the father’s, from respectable, honourable, and ancient — though untitled — families. Their fortune on both sides is splendid. They are destined for each other by the voice of every member of their respective houses; and what is to divide them? The upstart pretensions of a young woman without family, connections, or fortune. Is this to be endured! But it must not, shall not be. If you were sensible of your own good, you would not wish to quit the sphere in which you have been brought up.”
“In marrying your nephew, I should not consider myself as quitting that sphere. He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman’s daughter; so far we are equal.”
“True. You are a gentleman’s daughter. But who was your mother? Who are your uncles and aunts? Do not imagine me ignorant of their condition.”
“Whatever my connections may be,” said Elizabeth, “if your nephew does not object to them, they can be nothing to you.”
“Tell me once for all, are you engaged to him?”
Though Elizabeth would not, for the mere purpose of obliging Lady Catherine, have answered this question, she could not but say, after a moment’s deliberation,
“I am not.”
Lady Catherine seemed pleased.
“And will you promise me, never to enter into such an engagement?”
“I will make no promise of the kind.”
“Miss Bennet I am shocked and astonished. I expected to find a more reasonable young woman. But do not deceive yourself into a belief that I will ever recede. I shall not go away till you have given me the assurance I require.”
“And I certainly never shall give it. I am not to be intimidated into anything so wholly unreasonable. Your ladyship wants Mr. Darcy to marry your daughter; but would my giving you the wished-for promise make their marriage at all more probable? Supposing him to be attached to me, would my refusing to accept his hand make him wish to bestow it on his cousin? Allow me to say, Lady Catherine, that the arguments with which you have supported this extraordinary application have been as frivolous as the application was ill-judged. You have widely mistaken my character, if you think I can be worked on by such persuasions as these. How far your nephew might approve of your interference in his affairs, I cannot tell; but you have certainly no right to concern yourself in mine. I must beg, therefore, to be importuned no farther on the subject.”
“Not so hasty, if you please. I have by no means done. To all the objections I have already urged, I have still another to add. I am no stranger to the particulars of your youngest sister’s infamous elopement. I know it all; that the young man’s marrying her was a patched-up business, at the expence of your father and uncles. And is such a girl to be my nephew’s sister? Is her husband, is the son of his late father’s steward, to be his brother? Heaven and earth! — of what are you thinking? Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?”
“You can now have nothing farther to say,” she resentfully answered. “You have insulted me in every possible method. I must beg to return to the house.”
And she rose as she spoke. Lady Catherine rose also, and they turned back. Her ladyship was highly incensed.
“You have no regard, then, for the honour and credit of my nephew! Unfeeling, selfish girl! Do you not consider that a connection with you must disgrace him in the eyes of everybody?”
“Lady Catherine, I have nothing farther to say. You know my sentiments.”
“You are then resolved to have him?”
“I have said no such thing. I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me.”
“It is well. You refuse, then, to oblige me. You refuse to obey the claims of duty, honour, and gratitude. You are determined to ruin him in the opinion of all his friends, and make him the contempt of the world.”
“Neither duty, nor honour, nor gratitude,” replied Elizabeth, “have any possible claim on me, in the present instance. No principle of either would be violated by my marriage with Mr. Darcy. And with regard to the resentment of his family, or the indignation of the world, if the former were excited by his marrying me, it would not give me one moment’s concern — and the world in general would have too much sense to join in the scorn.”
“And this is your real opinion! This is your final resolve! Very well. I shall now know how to act. Do not imagine, Miss Bennet, that your ambition will ever be gratified. I came to try you. I hoped to find you reasonable; but, depend upon it, I will carry my point.”
In this manner Lady Catherine talked on, till they were at the door of the carriage, when, turning hastily round, she added, “I take no leave of you, Miss Bennet. I send no compliments to your mother. You deserve no such attention. I am most seriously displeased.”
Elizabeth made no answer; and without attempting to persuade her ladyship to return into the house, walked quietly into it herself. She heard the carriage drive away as she proceeded up stairs. Her mother impatiently met her at the door of the dressing-room, to ask why Lady Catherine would not come in again and rest herself.
“She did not choose it,” said her daughter, “she would go.”
“She is a very fine-looking woman! and her calling here was prodigiously civil! for she only came, I suppose, to tell us the Collinses were well. She is on her road somewhere, I dare say, and so, passing through Meryton, thought she might as well call on you. I suppose she had nothing particular to say to you, Lizzy?”
Elizabeth was forced to give into a little falsehood here; for to acknowledge the substance of their conversation was impossible.
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  •    第 55 章  

    这次拜访以后,没有过几天,彬格莱先生又来了,而且只有他一个人来。他的朋友已经在当天早上动身上伦敦去,不过十天以内就要回来。他在班府上坐了一个多钟头,显然非常高兴。班纳特太太留他吃饭,他一再道歉,说是别处已经先有了约会。

  •  第 54 章

    他们一走,伊莉莎白便到屋外去留达,好让自己精神舒畅一下,换句话说,也就是不停去想那些足以使她精神更加沉闷的念头。达西先生的行为叫她惊奇,也叫她烦恼。

  • 第 53 章

    韦翰先生对于这场谈话完全感到满意,从此他便不再提起这件事,免得自寻苦恼,也免得惹他亲爱的大姨伊莉莎白生气;伊莉莎白见他居然给说得不再开口,也觉得很高兴。

  • 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。

  • 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。

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