PRÎD AND PREɈDIS: Ćaptrz 1 tu 10

Ćaptrz:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


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Ćaptr 1

I

t z a truʈ yṇvrṣli acnolijd, ɖt a sngl man in pześn v a gd fortyn, mst b in wont v a wîf.

Hvr litl noun ɖ fīlñz or vyz v sć a man me b on hiz frst enṭrñ a nebrhd, ɖs truʈ z so wel fixt in ɖ mîndz v ɖ srǎndñ faṃliz, ɖt h z cnsidrd ɖ rîtfl proṗti v smwn or uɖr v ɖer dōtrz.

“Mî dir Mr Benit,” sd hiz ledi t him wn de, “hv y hŕd ɖt Neɖ̇fīld Parc z let at last?”

Mr Benit rplaid ɖt h hd nt.

“Bt it z,” rtrnd ś; “fr Msz Loñ hz jst bn hir, n ś tld m ol abt it.”

Mr Benit md no ansr.

“D y nt wont t nǒ hu hz tecn it?” craid hiz wîf impeśntli.

Y wont t tel m, n I hv no objx́n t hírñ it.”

Ɖs wz invteśn inuf.

“Ẃ, mî dir, y mst nǒ, Msz Loñ sz ɖt Neɖ̇fīld z tecn bî a yuñ man v larj fortyn fṛm ɖ norʈ v Ñgḷnd; ɖt h cem dǎn on Munde in a śêz n for t si ɖ ples, n wz so mć dlîtd wɖ it, ɖt h agrìd wɖ Mr Moris imīɉtli; ɖt h z t tec pześn bfr Miclṃs, n sm v hiz srvnts r t b in ɖ hǎs bî ɖ end v nxt wīc.”

“Ẃt z hiz nem?”

“Bñli.”

“Z h marid or sngl?”

“Ǒ! Sngl, mî dir, t b śr! A sngl man v larj fortyn; for or fîv ʈǎznd a yir. Ẃt a fîn ʈñ fr ǎr grlz!”

“Hǎ so? Hǎ cn it afct ɖm?”

“Mî dir Mr Benit,” rplaid hiz wîf, “hǎ cn y b so tîrsm! Y mst nǒ ɖt I am ʈncñ v hiz mariyñ wn v ɖm.”

“Z ɖt hiz dzîn in seṭlñ hir?”

“Dzîn! Nonsns, hǎ cn y tōc so! Bt it z vri lîcli ɖt h me fōl in luv wɖ wn v ɖm, n ɖrfr y mst vizit him az sn az h cmz.”

“I si no oceźn fr ɖt. Y n ɖ grlz me g, or y me snd ɖm bî ɖmslvz, ẃć phps wl b stl betr, fr az y r az hansm az eni v ɖm, Mr Bñli me lîc y ɖ bst v ɖ parti.”

“Mî dir, y flatr m. I srtnli hv hd mî śer v byti, bt I d nt pritnd t b enʈñ xtrordnri nǎ. Ẃn a wmn hz fîv groun-up dōtrz, ś òt t gv ovr ʈncñ v hr ǒn byti.”

“In sć cesz, a wmn hz nt ofn mć byti t ʈnc v.”

“Bt, mî dir, y mst indd g n si Mr Bñli ẃn h cmz intu ɖ nebrhd.”

“It z mor ɖn I ingej fr, I aśur y.”

“Bt cnsidr yr dōtrz. Onli ʈnc ẃt an istabliśmnt it wd b fr wn v ɖm. Sr Wiłm n Ledi Lūc̣s r dtrmind t g, mirli on ɖt acǎnt, fr in jenṛl, y nǒ, ɖe vizit no ny-cmrz. Indd y mst g, fr it wl b imposbl fr s t vizit him f y d nt.”

“Y r ovr-scrūpyḷs, śrli. I der se Mr Bñli wl b vri glad t si y; n I wl snd a fy lînz bî y t aśur him v mî harti cnsnt t hiz mariyñ ẃćvr h ćuzz v ɖ grlz; ɖo I mst ʈro in a gd wrd fr mî litl Lizi.”

“I dzîr y wl d no sć ʈñ. Lizi z nt a bit betr ɖn ɖ uɖrz; n I am śr ś z nt haf so hansm az Jen, nr haf so gd-hymrd az Lidia. Bt y r olwz gvñ hr ɖ prefṛns.”

“Ɖe hv nn v ɖm mć t rec̣mnd ɖm,” rplaid h; “ɖe r ol sili n ignṛnt lîc uɖr grlz; bt Lizi hz smʈñ mor v qcnis ɖn hr sistrz.”

“Mr Benit, hǎ cn y abyz yr ǒn ćildṛn in sć a we? Y tec dlît in vxñ m. Y hv no cmpaśn fr mî pur nrvz.”

“Y mstec m, mî dir. I hv a hî rspct fr yr nrvz. Ɖe r mî old frendz. I hv hŕd y mnśn ɖm wɖ cnsiḍreśn ɖz last twenti yirz at līst.”

“Ā, y d nt nǒ ẃt I sufr.”

“Bt I hop y wl gt ovr it, n liv t si mni yuñ men v for ʈǎznd a yir cm intu ɖ nebrhd.”

“It wl b no ys t s, f twenti sć śd cm, sins y wl nt vizit ɖm.”

“Dpnd upn it, mî dir, ɖt ẃn ɖr r twenti, I wl vizit ɖm ol.”

Mr Benit wz so od a mixćr v qc parts, sarcastic hymr, rzrv, n cprīs, ɖt ɖ xpirịns v ʈri-n-twenti yirz hd bn inṣfiśnt t mc hiz wîf unḍstand hiz caṛctr. Hr mînd wz les dificlt t dveḷp. Ś wz a wmn v mīn unḍstandñ, litl inf̣meśn, n unsrtn tmpr. Ẃn ś wz discntntd, ś fansid hrslf nrṿs. Ɖ biznis v hr lîf wz t gt hr dōtrz marid; its solis wz viẓtñ n nyz.


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Ćaptr 2

M

r Benit wz amñ ɖ rliist v ɖoz hu wêtd on Mr Bñli. H hd olwz intndd t vizit him, ɖo t ɖ last olwz aśurñ hiz wîf ɖt h śd nt g; n tl ɖ īvnñ aftr ɖ vizit wz peid ś hd no nolij v it. It wz ɖen dsclozd in ɖ folowñ manr. Obzrvñ hiz secnd dōtr imploid in trimñ a hat, h sudnli adrest hr wɖ:

“I hop Mr Bñli wl lîc it, Lizi.”

“W r nt in a we t nǒ ẃt Mr Bñli lîcs,” sd hr muɖr rzntf̣li, “sins w r nt t vizit.”

“Bt y fget, m’mā,” sd Iliẓbʈ, “ɖt w śl mīt him at ɖ asmbliz, n ɖt Msz Loñ promist t intṛdys him.”

“I d nt b’liv Msz Loñ wl d eni sć ʈñ. Ś hz tū nīsz v hr ǒn. Ś z a slfiś, hiṗcriticl wmn, n I hv no opińn v hr.”

“No mor hv I,” sd Mr Benit; “n I am glad t fînd ɖt y d nt dpnd on hr srvñ y.”

Msz Benit deind nt t mc eni rplî, bt, unebl t cnten hrslf, bgan scoldñ wn v hr dōtrz.

“D’nt cīp cofñ so, Citi, fr Hevn’z sec! Hv a litl cmpaśn on mî nrvz. Y ter ɖm t pìsz.”

“Citi hz no dscreśn in hr cofs,” sd hr faɖr; “ś tîmz ɖm il.”

“I d nt cof fr mî ǒn aḿzmnt,” rplaid Citi fretf̣li. “Ẃn z yr nxt bōl t b, Lizi?”

“Tmoro fortnît.”

“Ai, so it z,” craid hr muɖr, “n Msz Loñ dz nt cm bac tl ɖ de bfr; so it wl b imposbl fr hr t intṛdys him, fr ś wl nt nǒ him hrslf.”

“Ɖen, mî dir, y me hv ɖ advantij v yr frend, n intṛdys Mr Bñli t hr.”

“Imposbl, Mr Benit, imposbl, ẃn I am nt aqentd wɖ him mslf; hǎ cn y b so tizñ?”

“I onr yr srcmspx́n. A fortnît’s aqentns z srtnli vri litl. Wn canot nǒ ẃt a man riyli z bî ɖ end v a fortnît. Bt f w d nt vnćr smbdi els wl; n aftr ol, Msz Loñ n hr nīsz mst stand ɖer ćans; n, ɖrfr, az ś wl ʈnc it an act v cîndnis, f y dclîn ɖ ofis, I wl tec it on mslf.”

Ɖ grlz stérd at ɖer faɖr. Msz Benit sd onli, “Nonsns, nonsns!”

“Ẃt cn b ɖ mīnñ v ɖt imfatic xcḷmeśn?” craid h. “D y cnsidr ɖ formz v intṛdux́n, n ɖ stres ɖt z leid on ɖm, az nonsns? I canot qt agri wɖ y ɖr. Ẃt se y, Mẹri? Fr y r a yuñ ledi v dīp rflex́n, I nǒ, n rīd gret bcs n mc xtracts.”

Mẹri wśt t se smʈñ snṣbl, bt ń nt hǎ.

“Ẃl Mẹri z ajustñ hr îdīaz,” h cntinyd, “let s rtrn t Mr Bñli.”

“I am sic v Mr Bñli,” craid hiz wîf.

“I am sori t hír ɖt; bt ẃ dd nt y tel m ɖt bfr? F I hd noun az mć ɖs mornñ I srtnli wd nt hv cōld on him. It z vri unluci; bt az I hv acć̣li peid ɖ vizit, w canot iscep ɖ aqentns nǎ.”

Ɖ astoniśmnt v ɖ lediz wz jst ẃt h wśt; ɖt v Msz Benit phps s’pasñ ɖ rest; ɖo, ẃn ɖ frst tymult v jô wz ovr, ś bgan t dcler ɖt it wz ẃt ś hd xpctd ol ɖ ẃl.

“Hǎ gd it wz in y, mî dir Mr Benit! Bt I ń I śd pswed y at last. I wz śr y luvd yr grlz tù wel t nglect sć an aqentns. Wel, hǎ plizd I am! n it z sć a gd joc, tù, ɖt y śd hv gn ɖs mornñ n nvr sd a wrd abt it tl nǎ.”

“Nǎ, Citi, y me cof az mć az y ćūz,” sd Mr Benit; n, az h spouc, h left ɖ rūm, ftīgd wɖ ɖ rapćrz v hiz wîf.

“Ẃt an xḷnt faɖr y hv, grlz!” sd ś, ẃn ɖ dor wz śut. “I d nt nǒ hǎ y wl evr mc him amndz fr hiz cîndnis; or m, îɖr, fr ɖt matr. At ǎr tîm v lîf it z nt so pleznt, I cn tel y, t b mcñ ny aqentnsz evri de; bt fr yr secs, w wd d enʈñ. Lidia, mî luv, ɖo y r ɖ yungist, I der se Mr Bñli wl dans wɖ y at ɖ nxt bōl.”

“Ǒ!” sd Lidia stǎtli, “I am nt afred; fr ɖo I am ɖ yungist, I’m ɖ tōlist.”

Ɖ rest v ɖ īvnñ wz spent in cnjcćrñ hǎ sn h wd rtrn Mr Benit’s vizit, n dtrṃnñ ẃn ɖe śd asc him t dinr.


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Ćaptr 3

N

t ol ɖt Msz Benit, hvr, wɖ ɖ asistns v hr fîv dōtrz, cd asc on ɖ subjict, wz sfiśnt t drw fṛm hr huzbnd eni saṭsfactri dscripśn v Mr Bñli. Ɖe atact him in verịs wez – wɖ bérfest qsćnz, injīńs supziśnz, n distnt s’mîzz; bt h iludd ɖ scil v ɖm ol, n ɖe wr at last oblîjd t axpt ɖ secnd-hand intelijns v ɖer nebr, Ledi Lūc̣s. Hr rport wz hîli fevṛbl. Sr Wiłm hd bn dlîtd wɖ him. H wz qt yuñ, wundrf̣li hansm, xtrimli agriybl, n, t crǎn ɖ hol, h mnt t b at ɖ nxt asmbli wɖ a larj parti. Nʈñ cd b mor dlîtfl! T b fond v dansñ wz a srtn step twdz fōlñ in luv; n vri lîvli hops v Mr Bñli’z hart wr enttend.

“F I cn bt si wn v mî dōtrz haṗli setld at Neɖ̇fīld,” sd Msz Benit t hr huzbnd, “n ol ɖ uɖrz īqli wel marid, I śl hv nʈñ t wś fr.”

In a fy dez Mr Bñli rtrnd Mr Benit’s vizit, n sat abt ten minits wɖ him in hiz lîbrri. H hd enttend hops v biyñ admitd t a sît v ɖ yuñ lediz, v huz byti h hd hŕd mć; bt h sw onli ɖ faɖr. Ɖ lediz wr smẃt mor forćṇt, fr ɖe hd ɖ advantij v aṣtenñ fṛm an upr windo ɖt h wòr a blu cot, n roud a blac hors.

An invteśn t dinr wz sn aftwdz dspaćt; n olrdi hd Msz Benit pland ɖ corsz ɖt wr t d credit t hr hǎscīpñ, ẃn an ansr arîvd ẃć dfŕd it ol. Mr Bñli wz oblîjd t b in tǎn ɖ folowñ de, n, consiqntli, unebl t axpt ɖ onr v ɖer invteśn, ets. Msz Benit wz qt discnsrtd. Ś cd nt imajn ẃt biznis h cd hv in tǎn so sn aftr hiz arîvl in Hartfdśr; n ś bgan t fir ɖt h mt b olwz flayñ abt fṛm wn ples t anɖr, n nvr setld at Neɖ̇fīld az h òt t b. Ledi Lūc̣s qaytd hr firz a litl bî startñ ɖ îdīa v hiz biyñ gn t Lundn onli t gt a larj parti fr ɖ bōl; n a rport sn foloud ɖt Mr Bñli wz t brñ twelv lediz n sevn jntlṃn wɖ him t ɖ asmbli. Ɖ grlz grīvd ovr sć a numbr v lediz, bt wr cumf̣td ɖ de bfr ɖ bōl bî hírñ, ɖt instd v twelv h bròt onli six wɖ him fṛm Lundn – hiz fîv sistrz n a cuzn. N ẃn ɖ parti entrd ɖ asmblirūm it cnsistd v onli fîv oltgɖr – Mr Bñli, hiz tū sistrz, ɖ huzbnd v ɖ eldist, n anɖr yuñ man.

Mr Bñli wz gd-lcñ n jntlmnlîc; h hd a pleznt cǎntinns, n īzi, un’fctd manrz. Hiz sistrz wr fîn wimin, wɖ an er v dsîdd faśn. Hiz bruɖr-in-lw, Mr Hrst, mirli lct ɖ jntlmn; bt hiz frend Mr Darsi sn drù ɖ atnśn v ɖ rūm bî hiz fîn, tōl prsn, hansm fīćrz, nobl mȉn, n ɖ rport ẃć wz in jenṛl srkleśn wɖn fîv minits aftr hiz entṛns, v hiz hvñ ten ʈǎznd a yir. Ɖ jntlṃn pṛnǎnst him t b a fîn figr v a man, ɖ lediz dclerd h wz mć hanṣmr ɖn Mr Bñli, n h wz lct at wɖ gret adṃreśn fr abt haf ɖ īvnñ, tl hiz manrz gev a dsgust ẃć trnd ɖ tîd v hiz popylaṛti; fr h wz dscuvrd t b prǎd; t b abv hiz cumṗni, n abv biyñ plizd; n nt ol hiz larj istet in Darbiśr cd ɖen sev him fṛm hvñ a most fbidñ, dis’griybl cǎntinns, n biyñ unwrɖi t b cmperd wɖ hiz frend.

Mr Bñli hd sn md himslf aqentd wɖ ol ɖ prinsipl ppl in ɖ rūm; h wz lîvli n unrizrvd, danst evri dans, wz angri ɖt ɖ bōl clozd so rli, n tōct v gvñ wn himslf at Neɖ̇fīld. Sć emịbl qoḷtz mst spīc fr ɖmslvz. Ẃt a contrast btwn him n hiz frend! Mr Darsi danst onli wns wɖ Msz Hrst n wns wɖ Mis Bñli, dclînd biyñ intṛdyst t eni uɖr ledi, n spent ɖ rest v ɖ īvnñ in wōcñ abt ɖ rūm, spīcñ oceźṇli t wn v hiz ǒn parti. Hiz caṛctr wz dsîdd. H wz ɖ prǎdist, most dis’griybl man in ɖ wrld, n evrbdi hopt ɖt h wd nvr cm ɖr agn. Amñst ɖ most vayḷnt agnst him wz Msz Benit, huz dslîc v hiz jenṛl bhevyr wz śarpnd intu ptiklr rzntmnt bî hiz hvñ slîtd wn v hr dōtrz.

Iliẓbʈ Benit hd bn oblîjd, bî ɖ scerṣti v jntlṃn, t sit dǎn fr tū dansz; n jrñ part v ɖt tîm, Mr Darsi hd bn standñ nir inuf fr hr t hír a convseśn btwn him n Mr Bñli, hu cem fṛm ɖ dans fr a fy minits, t pres hiz frend t jôn it.

“Cm, Darsi,” sd h, “I mst hv y dans. I het t si y standñ abt bî yrslf in ɖs stypid manr. Y hd mć betr dans.”

“I srtnli śl nt. Y nǒ hǎ I dtst it, unls I am ptiklrli aqentd wɖ mî partnr. At sć an asmbli az ɖs it wd b inṣportbl. Yr sistrz r ingejd, n ɖr z nt anɖr wmn in ɖ rūm hūm it wd nt b a puniśmnt t m t stand p wɖ.”

“I wd nt b so fstidịs az y r,” craid Mr Bñli, “fr a cñdm! Upn mî onr, I nvr met wɖ so mni pleznt grlz in mî lîf az I hv ɖs īvnñ; n ɖr r sevṛl v ɖm y si uncomnli priti.”

Y r dansñ wɖ ɖ onli hansm grl in ɖ rūm,” sd Mr Darsi, lcñ at ɖ eldist Mis Benit.

“Ǒ! Ś z ɖ most bytifl crīćr I evr bheld! Bt ɖr z wn v hr sistrz sitñ dǎn jst bhnd y, hu z vri priti, n I der se vri agriybl. D let m asc mî partnr t intṛdys y.”

“Ẃć d y mīn?” n trnñ rnd h lct fr a momnt at Iliẓbʈ, tl caćñ hr î, h wɖdru hiz ǒn n coldli sd: “Ś z tolṛbl, bt nt hansm inuf t tmt m; I am in no hymr at preznt t gv consiqns t yuñ lediz hu r slîtd bî uɖr men. Y hd betr rtrn t yr partnr n injô hr smîlz, fr y r westñ yr tîm wɖ m.”

Mr Bñli foloud hiz advîs. Mr Darsi wōct of; n Iliẓbʈ rmend wɖ no vri cordịl fīlñz twd him. Ś tld ɖ stori, hvr, wɖ gret spirit amñ hr frendz; fr ś hd a lîvli, plêfl disṗziśn, ẃć dlîtd in enʈñ r’dikyḷs.

Ɖ īvnñ oltgɖr pást of plezntli t ɖ hol faṃli. Msz Benit hd sìn hr eldist dōtr mć admîrd bî ɖ Neɖ̇fīld parti. Mr Bñli hd danst wɖ hr twîs, n ś hd bn dstnḡśt bî hiz sistrz. Jen wz az mć graṭfaid bî ɖs az hr muɖr cd b, ɖo in a qaytr we. Iliẓbʈ flt Jen’z pleźr. Mẹri hd hŕd hrslf mnśnd t Mis Bñli az ɖ most acumpliśt grl in ɖ nebrhd; n Caʈ̇rin n Lidia hd bn forćṇt inuf nvr t b wɖt partnrz, ẃć wz ol ɖt ɖe hd yt lrnt t cer fr at a bōl. Ɖe rtrnd, ɖrfr, in gd spirits t Loñbōrn, ɖ vilij ẃr ɖe livd, n v ẃć ɖe wr ɖ prinsipl inhabitnts. Ɖe faund Mr Benit stl p. Wɖ a bc h wz rgardlis v tîm; n on ɖ preznt oceźn h hd a gd dīl v krioṣti az t ɖ ivnt v an īvnñ ẃć hd rezd sć splendid xpcteśnz. H hd rɖr hopt ɖt hiz wîf’s vyz on ɖ strenjr wd b dis’pôntd; bt h sn faund ǎt ɖt h hd a difṛnt stori t hír.

“Ǒ! mî dir Mr Benit,” az ś entrd ɖ rūm, “w hv hd a most dlîtfl īvnñ, a most xḷnt bōl. I wś y hd bn ɖr. Jen wz so admîrd, nʈñ cd b lîc it. Evrbdi sd hǎ wel ś lct; n Mr Bñli ʈt hr qt bytifl, n danst wɖ hr twîs! Onli ʈnc v ɖt, mî dir; h acć̣li danst wɖ hr twîs! n ś wz ɖ onli crīćr in ɖ rūm ɖt h asct a secnd tîm. Frst v ol, h asct Mis Lūc̣s. I wz so vxt t si him stand p wɖ hr! Bt, hvr, h dd nt admîr hr at ol; indd, nbdi cn, y nǒ; n h sīmd qt struc wɖ Jen az ś wz gwñ dǎn ɖ dans. So h inqîrd hu ś wz, n got intṛdyst, n asct hr fr ɖ tū nxt. Ɖen ɖ tū ʈrd h danst wɖ Mis Cñ, n ɖ tū forʈ wɖ Mrīa Lūc̣s, n ɖ tū fifʈ wɖ Jen agn, n ɖ tū sixʈ wɖ Lizi, n ɖ Boulanger – ”

“F h hd hd eni cmpaśn fr m,” craid hr huzbnd impeśntli, “h wd nt hv danst haf so mć! Fr God’z sec, se no mor v hiz partnrz. Ǒ ɖt h hd sprend hiz ancl in ɖ frst dans!”

“Ǒ! mî dir, I am qt dlîtd wɖ him. H z so xesivli hansm! N hiz sistrz r ćarmñ wimin. I nvr in mî lîf sw enʈñ mor elignt ɖn ɖer dresz. I der se ɖ lês upn Msz Hrst’s gǎn – ”

Hir ś wz inṭruptd agn. Mr Benit pṛtstd agnst eni dscripśn v fîṇri. Ś wz ɖrfr oblîjd t sīc anɖr branć v ɖ subjict, n rletd, wɖ mć bitrnis v spirit n sm xaɉreśn, ɖ śocñ rūdnis v Mr Darsi.

“Bt I cn aśur y,” ś add, “ɖt Lizi dz nt lūz mć bî nt sūtñ hiz fansi; fr h z a most dis’griybl, horid man, nt at ol wrʈ plizñ. So hî n so cnsitd ɖt ɖr wz no indyrñ him! H wōct hir, n h wōct ɖr, fansiyñ himslf so vri gret! Nt hansm inuf t dans wɖ! I wś y hd bn ɖr, mî dir, t hv gvn him wn v yr set-dǎnz. I qt dtst ɖ man.”


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Ćaptr 4

n Jen n Iliẓbʈ wr alon, ɖ formr, hu hd bn cōśs in hr prêz v Mr Bñli bfr, xprest t hr sistr jst hǎ vri mć ś admîrd him.

“H z jst ẃt a yuñ man òt t b,” sd ś, “snṣbl, gd-hymrd, lîvli; n I nvr sw sć hapi manrz! – so mć īz, wɖ sć prfict gd brīdñ!”

“H z olso hansm,” rplaid Iliẓbʈ, “ẃć a yuñ man òt lîcwz t b, f h poṣbli cn. Hiz caṛctr z ɖr-bî cmplit.”

“I wz vri mć flatrd bî hiz ascñ m t dans a secnd tîm. I dd nt xpct sć a complimnt.”

“Dd nt y? I dd fr y. Bt ɖt z wn gret difṛns btwn s. Complimnts olwz tec y bî s’prîz, n m nvr. Ẃt cd b mor naćṛl ɖn hiz ascñ y agn? H cd nt hlp siyñ ɖt y wr abt fîv tîmz az priti az evri uɖr wmn in ɖ rūm. No ʈancs t hiz gaḷntri fr ɖt. Wel, h srtnli z vri agriybl, n I gv y līv t lîc him. Y hv lîct mni a stypidr prsn.”

“Dir Lizi!”

“Ǒ! y r a gret dīl tù apt, y nǒ, t lîc ppl in jenṛl. Y nvr si a fōlt in enbdi. Ol ɖ wrld r gd n agriybl in yr îz. I nvr hŕd y spīc il v a hymn biyñ in yr lîf.”

“I wd nt wś t b hesti in snṣ́rñ enwn; bt I olwz spīc ẃt I ʈnc.”

“I nǒ y d; n it z ɖt ẃć mcs ɖ wundr. Wɖ yr gd sns, t b so oṇstli blînd t ɖ foliz n nonsns v uɖrz! Afcteśn v candr z comn inuf – wn mīts wɖ it evrẃr. Bt t b candid wɖt ostnteśn or dzîn – t tec ɖ gd v evrbdi’z caṛctr n mc it stl betr, n se nʈñ v ɖ bad – b’loñz t y alon. N so y lîc ɖs man’z sistrz, tù, d y? Ɖer manrz r nt īql t hiz.”

“Srtnli nt – at frst. Bt ɖe r vri plizñ wimin ẃn y cnvrs wɖ ɖm. Mis Bñli z t liv wɖ hr bruɖr, n cīp hiz hǎs; n I am mć mstecn f w śl nt fînd a vri ćarmñ nebr in hr.”

Iliẓbʈ lisnd in sîḷns, bt wz nt cnvinst; ɖer bhevyr at ɖ asmbli hd nt bn calkletd t plīz in jenṛl; n wɖ mor qcnis v obẓveśn n les playnsi v tmpr ɖn hr sistr, n wɖ a jujmnt tù un’seld bî eni atnśn t hrslf, ś wz vri litl dspozd t apruv ɖm. Ɖe wr in fact vri fîn lediz; nt dfiśnt in gd hymr ẃn ɖe wr plizd, nr in ɖ pǎr v mcñ ɖmslvz agriybl ẃn ɖe ćouz it, bt prǎd n cnsitd. Ɖe wr rɖr hansm, hd bn edycetd in wn v ɖ frst prîṿt semiṇriz in tǎn, hd a fortyn v twenti ʈǎznd pǎndz, wr in ɖ habit v spendñ mor ɖn ɖe òt, n v asośietñ wɖ ppl v ranc, n wr ɖrfr in evri rspct intîtld t ʈnc wel v ɖmslvz, n mīnli v uɖrz. Ɖe wr v a rspctbl faṃli in ɖ norʈ v Ñgḷnd; a srcmstans mor dīpli imprest on ɖer meṃriz ɖn ɖt ɖer bruɖr’z fortyn n ɖer ǒn hd bn aqîrd bî tred.

Mr Bñli inheṛtd proṗti t ɖ amǎnt v nirli a hundṛd ʈǎznd pǎndz fṛm hiz faɖr, hu hd intndd t prćs an istet, bt dd nt liv t d it. Mr Bñli intndd it lîcwz, n smtmz md ćôs v hiz cǎnti; bt az h wz nǎ pṛvîdd wɖ a gd hǎs n ɖ liḅti v a mánr, it wz dǎtfl t mni v ɖoz hu bst ń ɖ īzinis v hiz tmpr, ẃɖr h mt nt spend ɖ rmendr v hiz dez at Neɖ̇fīld, n līv ɖ nxt jeṇreśn t prćs.

Hiz sistrz wr añśs fr hiz hvñ an istet v hiz ǒn; bt, ɖo h wz nǎ onli istabliśt az a tennt, Mis Bñli wz bî no mīnz unwilñ t prizîd at hiz tebl – nr wz Msz Hrst, hu hd marid a man v mor faśn ɖn fortyn, les dspozd t cnsidr hiz hǎs az hr hom ẃn it sūtd hr. Mr Bñli hd nt bn v ej tū yirz, ẃn h wz tmtd bî an axdntl rec̣mndeśn t lc at Neɖ̇fīld Hǎs. H dd lc at it, n intu it fr haf-an-aur – wz plizd wɖ ɖ sićueśn n ɖ prinsipl rūmz, saṭsfaid wɖ ẃt ɖ ǒnr sd in its prêz, n tc it imīɉtli.

Btwn him n Darsi ɖr wz a vri stedi frendśp, in spît v gret opziśn v caṛctr. Bñli wz indird t Darsi bî ɖ īzinis, opņis, n ductiḷti v hiz tmpr, ɖo no disṗziśn cd ofr a gretr contrast t hiz ǒn, n ɖo wɖ hiz ǒn h nvr apird dșaṭsfaid. On ɖ streñʈ v Darsi’z rgard, Bñli hd ɖ frmist rlayns, n v hiz jujmnt ɖ hîist opińn. In unḍstandñ, Darsi wz ɖ s’pirịr. Bñli wz bî no mīnz dfiśnt, bt Darsi wz clevr. H wz at ɖ sem tîm hōti, rzrvd, n fstidịs, n hiz manrz, ɖo wel-bréd, wr nt invîtñ. In ɖt rspct hiz frend hd gretli ɖ advantij. Bñli wz śr v biyñ lîct ẃrvr h apird, Darsi wz cntińli gvñ ofns.

Ɖ manr in ẃć ɖe spouc v ɖ Meritn asmbli wz sfiśntli caṛcṭristic. Bñli hd nvr met wɖ mor pleznt ppl or pritịr grlz in hiz lîf; evrbdi hd bn most cînd n atntiv t him; ɖr hd bn no formaḷti, no stifnis; h hd sn flt aqentd wɖ ol ɖ rūm; n, az t Mis Benit, h cd nt cnsiv an enjl mor bytifl. Darsi, on ɖ contrri, hd sìn a c’lex́n v ppl in hūm ɖr wz litl byti n no faśn, fr nn v hūm h hd flt ɖ smōlist inṭrest, n fṛm nn rsivd îɖr atnśn or pleźr. Mis Benit h acnolijd t b priti, bt ś smîld tù mć.

Msz Hrst n hr sistr alaud it t b so – bt stl ɖe admîrd hr n lîct hr, n pṛnǎnst hr t b a swīt grl, n wn hūm ɖe wd nt objict t nǒ mor v. Mis Benit wz ɖrfr istabliśt az a swīt grl, n ɖer bruɖr flt oʈ̇rîzd bî sć comndeśn t ʈnc v hr az h ćouz.


___

Ćaptr 5

W

ɖn a śort wōc v Loñbōrn livd a faṃli wɖ hūm ɖ Benits wr ptiklrli intiṃt. Sr Wiłm Lūc̣s hd bn formrli in tred in Meritn, ẃr h hd md a tolṛbl fortyn, n rizn t ɖ onr v naithd bî an adres t ɖ cñ jrñ hiz meṛlti. Ɖ dstñśn hd phps bn flt tù stroñli. It hd gvn him a dsgust t hiz biznis, n t hiz rezidns in a smōl marcițǎn; n, in qitñ ɖm bʈ, h hd rmuvd wɖ hiz faṃli t a hǎs abt a mîl fṛm Meritn, dnoṃnetd fṛm ɖt pirịd Lūc̣s Loj, ẃr h cd ʈnc wɖ pleźr v hiz ǒn importns, n, unśacld bî biznis, okpî himslf soļi in biyñ sivl t ol ɖ wrld. Fr, ɖo iletd bî hiz ranc, it dd nt rendr him sūṗsiłs; on ɖ contrri, h wz ol atnśn t evrbdi. Bî nećr in’fnsiv, frendli, n oblîjñ, hiz preznteśn at St. Jemz’z hd md him crtịs.

Ledi Lūc̣s wz a vri gd cnd v wmn, nt tù clevr t b a vałbl nebr t Msz Benit. Ɖe hd sevṛl ćildṛn. Ɖ eldist v ɖm, a snṣbl, intelijnt yuñ wmn, abt twenti-sevn, wz Iliẓbʈ’s intiṃt frend.

Ɖt ɖ Mis Lūc̣sz n ɖ Mis Benits śd mīt t tōc ovr a bōl wz abṣlutli nesṣri; n ɖ mornñ aftr ɖ asmbli bròt ɖ formr t Loñbōrn t hír n t cḿṇcet.

Y bgan ɖ īvnñ wel, Śarlót,” sd Msz Benit wɖ sivl slf-cmand t Mis Lūc̣s. “Y wr Mr Bñli’z frst ćôs.”

“Yes; bt h sīmd t lîc hiz secnd betr.”

“Ǒ! y mīn Jen, I s’poz, bcz h danst wɖ hr twîs. T b śr ɖt dd sīm az f h admîrd hr – indd I rɖr b’liv h dd – I hŕd smʈñ abt it – bt I hardli nǒ ẃt – smʈñ abt Mr Robinsn.”

“Phps y mīn ẃt I oṿhŕd btwn him n Mr Robinsn; dd nt I mnśn it t y? Mr Robinsn’z ascñ him hǎ h lîct ǎr Meritn asmbliz, n ẃɖr h dd nt ʈnc ɖr wr a gret mni priti wimin in ɖ rūm, n ẃć h ʈt ɖ pritiist? n hiz anṣrñ imīɉtli t ɖ last qsćn: ‘Ǒ! ɖ eldist Mis Benit, bynd a dǎt; ɖr canot b tū opińnz on ɖt pônt.’”

“Upn mî wrd! Wel, ɖt z vri dsîdd indd – ɖt dz sīm az f – bt, hvr, it me ol cm t nʈñ, y nǒ.”

 oṿhírñz wr mor t ɖ prṗs ɖn yrz, Ilîza,” sd Śarlót. “Mr Darsi z nt so wel wrʈ liṣnñ t az hiz frend, z h? – pur Ilîza! – t b onli jst tolṛbl.”

“I beg y wd nt pt it intu Lizi’z hed t b vxt bî hiz il-trītmnt, fr h z sć a dis’griybl man, ɖt it wd b qt a msfortyn t b lîct bî him. Msz Loñ tld m last nît ɖt h sat clos t hr fr haf-an-aur wɖt wns oṗnñ hiz lips.”

“R y qt śr, mām? – z nt ɖr a litl mstec?” sd Jen. “I srtnli sw Mr Darsi spīcñ t hr.”

“Ai – bcz ś asct him at last hǎ h lîct Neɖ̇fīld, n h cd nt hlp anṣrñ hr; bt ś sd h sīmd qt angri at biyñ spouc t.”

“Mis Bñli tld m,” sd Jen, “ɖt h nvr spīcs mć, unls amñ hiz intiṃt aqentnsz. Wɖ ɖm h z rmarcbli agriybl.”

“I d nt b’liv a wrd v it, mî dir. F h hd bn so vri agriybl, h wd hv tōct t Msz Loñ. Bt I cn ges hǎ it wz; evrbdi sz ɖt h z īt p wɖ prîd, n I der se h hd hŕd smhǎ ɖt Msz Loñ dz nt cīp a carij, n hd cm t ɖ bōl in a hacśêz.”

“I d nt mînd hiz nt tōcñ t Msz Loñ,” sd Mis Lūc̣s, “bt I wś h hd danst wɖ Ilîza.”

“Anɖr tîm, Lizi,” sd hr muɖr, “I wd nt dans wɖ him, f I wr y.”

“I b’liv, mām, I me sefli promis y nvr t dans wɖ him.”

“Hiz prîd,” sd Mis Lūc̣s, “dz nt ofnd m so mć az prîd ofn dz, bcz ɖr z an xks fr it. Wn canot wundr ɖt so vri fîn a yuñ man, wɖ faṃli, fortyn, evrʈñ in hiz fevr, śd ʈnc hîli v himslf. F I me so xpres it, h hz a rît t b prǎd.”

“Ɖt z vri tru,” rplaid Iliẓbʈ, “n I cd īẓli fgiv hiz prîd, f h hd nt morṭfaid mîn.”

“Prîd,” obzrvd Mẹri, hu pı̏ct hrslf upn ɖ s’lidti v hr rflex́nz, “z a vri comn felñ, I b’liv. Bî ol ɖt I hv evr réd, I am cnvinst ɖt it z vri comn indd; ɖt hymn nećr z ptiklrli pron t it, n ɖt ɖr r vri fy v s hu d nt ćeriś a fīlñ v slf-cmplesnsi on ɖ scor v sm qoḷti or uɖr, riyl or imajinri. Vaṇti n prîd r difṛnt ʈñz, ɖo ɖ wrdz r ofn yzd sinoniṃsli. A prsn me b prǎd wɖt biyñ ven. Prîd rlets mor t ǎr opińn v ǎrslvz, vaṇti t ẃt w wd hv uɖrz ʈnc v s.”

“F I wr az rić az Mr Darsi,” craid a yuñ Lūc̣s, hu cem wɖ hiz sistrz, “I śd nt cer hǎ prǎd I wz. I wd cīp a pac v foxhǎndz, n drinc a botl v wîn a de.”

“Ɖen y wd drinc a gret dīl mor ɖn y òt,” sd Msz Benit; “n f I wr t si y at it, I śd tec awe yr botl d’recli.”

Ɖ bô pṛtstd ɖt ś śd nt; ś cntinyd t dcler ɖt ś wd, n ɖ arğmnt endd onli wɖ ɖ vizit.


___

Ćaptr 6

Ɖ

 lediz v Loñbōrn sn wêtd on ɖoz v Neɖ̇fīld. Ɖ vizit wz sn rtrnd in dy form. Mis Benit’s plizñ manrz grù on ɖ gdwil v Msz Hrst n Mis Bñli; n ɖo ɖ muɖr wz faund t b intolṛbl, n ɖ yungr sistrz nt wrʈ spīcñ t, a wś v biyñ betr aqentd wɖ ɖm wz xprest twdz ɖ tū eldist. Bî Jen, ɖs atnśn wz rsivd wɖ ɖ gretist pleźr, bt Iliẓbʈ stl sw sūṗsiłsnis in ɖer trītmnt v evrbdi, hardli xptñ īvn hr sistr, n cd nt lîc ɖm; ɖo ɖer cîndnis t Jen, sć az it wz, hd a valy az arîzñ in ol probbiḷti fṛm ɖ inflụns v ɖer bruɖr’z adṃreśn. It wz jenṛli evidnt ẃnvr ɖe met, ɖt h dd admîr hr n t hr it wz īqli evidnt ɖt Jen wz yīldñ t ɖ prefṛns ẃć ś hd bgun t entten fr him fṛm ɖ frst, n wz in a we t b vri mć in luv; bt ś cnsidrd wɖ pleźr ɖt it wz nt lîcli t b dscuvrd bî ɖ wrld in jenṛl, sins Jen ynîtd, wɖ gret streñʈ v fīlñ, a cmpoźr v tmpr n a yṇform ćirflnis v manr ẃć wd gard hr fṛm ɖ sspiśnz v ɖ imprtinnt. Ś mnśnd ɖs t hr frend Mis Lūc̣s.

“It me phps b pleznt,” rplaid Śarlót, “t b ebl t impoz on ɖ public in sć a ces; bt it z smtmz a dis’dvantij t b so vri gardd. F a wmn cnsilz hr afx́n wɖ ɖ sem scil fṛm ɖ objict v it, ś me lūz ɖ oṗtyṇti v fixñ him; n it wl ɖen b bt pur conṣleśn t b’liv ɖ wrld īqli in ɖ darc. Ɖr z so mć v grattyd or vaṇti in olmst evri ataćmnt, ɖt it z nt sef t līv eni t itslf. W cn ol bgin frīli – a slît prefṛns z naćṛl inuf; bt ɖr r vri fy v s hu hv hart inuf t b riyli in luv wɖt incurijmnt. In nîn cesz ǎt v ten a wimin hd betr śo mor afx́n ɖn ś fīlz. Bñli lîcs yr sistr undǎtidli; bt h me nvr d mor ɖn lîc hr, f ś dz nt hlp him on.”

“Bt ś dz hlp him on, az mć az hr nećr wl alǎ. F I cn psiv hr rgard fr him, h mst b a simpltn, indd, nt t dscuvr it tù.”

“Rmembr, Ilîza, ɖt h dz nt nǒ Jen’z disṗziśn az y d.”

“Bt f a wmn z parśl t a man, n dz nt indevr t cnsil it, h mst fînd it ǎt.”

“Phps h mst, f h siz inuf v hr. Bt, ɖo Bñli n Jen mīt tolṛbli ofn, it z nvr fr mni aurz tgɖr; n, az ɖe olwz si ć uɖr in larj mixt partiz, it z imposbl ɖt evri momnt śd b imploid in cnvrsñ tgɖr. Jen śd ɖrfr mc ɖ most v evri haf-aur in ẃć ś cn cmand hiz atnśn. Ẃn ś z s’kr v him, ɖr wl b mor leźr fr fōlñ in luv az mć az ś ćuzz.”

“Yr plan z a gd wn,” rplaid Iliẓbʈ, “ẃr nʈñ z in qsćn bt ɖ dzîr v biyñ wel marid, n f I wr dtrmind t gt a rić huzbnd, or eni huzbnd, I der se I śd adopt it. Bt ɖz r nt Jen’z fīlñz; ś z nt actñ bî dzîn. Az yt, ś canot īvn b srtn v ɖ dgri v hr ǒn rgard nr v its rīzṇblnis. Ś hz noun him onli a fortnît. Ś danst for dansz wɖ him at Meritn; ś sw him wn mornñ at hiz ǒn hǎs, n hz sins dînd wɖ him in cumṗni for tîmz. Ɖs z nt qt inuf t mc hr unḍstand hiz caṛctr.”

“Nt az y repriznt it. Hd ś mirli dînd wɖ him, ś mt onli hv dscuvrd ẃɖr h hd a gd aṗtît; bt y mst rmembr ɖt for īvnñz hv olso bn spent tgɖr – n for īvnñz me d a gret dīl.”

“Yes; ɖz for īvnñz hv inebld ɖm t aṣten ɖt ɖe bʈ lîc Vingt-un betr ɖn Comrs; bt wɖ rspct t eni uɖr līdñ caṛcṭristic, I d nt imajn ɖt mć hz bn unfoldd.”

“Wel,” sd Śarlót, “I wś Jen s’xes wɖ ol mî hart; n f ś wr marid t him tmoro, I śd ʈnc ś hd az gd a ćans v hapinis az f ś wr t b studiyñ hiz caṛctr fr a twelvmunʈ. Hapinis in marij z intîrli a matr v ćans. F ɖ disṗziśnz v ɖ partiz r evr so wel noun t ć uɖr or evr so similr bfrhnd, it dz nt advans ɖer f’liṣti in ɖ līst. Ɖe olwz cntiny t gro sfiśntli unlîc aftwdz t hv ɖer śer v vxeśn; n it z betr t nǒ az litl az poṣbl v ɖ dīfects v ɖ prsn wɖ hūm y r t pas yr lîf.”

“Y mc m laf, Śarlót; bt it z nt sǎnd. Y nǒ it z nt sǎnd, n ɖt y wd nvr act in ɖs we yrslf.”

Okpaid in obzrvñ Mr Bñli’z atnśnz t hr sistr, Iliẓbʈ wz far fṛm sspctñ ɖt ś wz hrslf bcmñ an objict v sm inṭrest in ɖ îz v hiz frend. Mr Darsi hd at frst scersli alaud hr t b priti; h hd lct at hr wɖt adṃreśn at ɖ bōl; n ẃn ɖe nxt met, h lct at hr onli t criṭsîz. Bt no snr hd h md it clir t himslf n hiz frendz ɖt ś hardli hd a gd fīćr in hr fes, ɖn h bgan t fînd it wz rendrd uncomnli intelijnt bî ɖ bytifl xpreśn v hr darc îz. T ɖs dscuṿri s’xidd sm uɖrz īqli morṭfayñ. Ɖo h hd dtctd wɖ a criticl î mor ɖn wn fełr v prfict siṃtri in hr form, h wz forst t acnolij hr figr t b lît n plizñ; n in spît v hiz asrtñ ɖt hr manrz wr nt ɖoz v ɖ faśṇbl wrld, h wz còt bî ɖer īzi plêflnis. V ɖs ś wz prf̣cli un’wer; t hr h wz onli ɖ man hu md himslf agriybl nẃr, n hu hd nt ʈt hr hansm inuf t dans wɖ.

H bgan t wś t nǒ mor v hr, n az a step twdz cnvrsñ wɖ hr himslf, atndd t hr convseśn wɖ uɖrz. Hiz dwñ so drù hr notis. It wz at Sr Wiłm Lūc̣s’z, ẃr a larj parti wr asmbld.

“Ẃt dz Mr Darsi mīn,” sd ś t Śarlót, “bî liṣnñ t mî convseśn wɖ Crnl Forstr?”

“Ɖt z a qsćn ẃć Mr Darsi onli cn ansr.”

“Bt f h dz it eni mor I śl srtnli let him nǒ ɖt I si ẃt h z abt. H hz a vri s’tiricl î, n f I d nt bgin bî biyñ imprtinnt mslf, I śl sn gro afred v him.”

On hiz aproćñ ɖm sn aftwdz, ɖo wɖt sīmñ t hv eni intnśn v spīcñ, Mis Lūc̣s dfaid hr frend t mnśn sć a subjict t him; ẃć imīɉtli pṛvocñ Iliẓbʈ t d it, ś trnd t him n sd:

“Dd y nt ʈnc, Mr Darsi, ɖt I xprest mslf uncomnli wel jst nǎ, ẃn I wz tizñ Crnl Forstr t gv s a bōl at Meritn?”

“Wɖ gret eṇji; bt it z olwz a subjict ẃć mcs a ledi eṇjetic.”

“Y r svir on s.”

“It wl b hr trn sn t b tizd,” sd Mis Lūc̣s. “I am gwñ t opn ɖ instṛmnt, Ilîza, n y nǒ ẃt foloz.”

“Y r a vri strenj crīćr bî we v a frend! – olwz wontñ m t ple n sñ bfr enbdi n evrbdi! F mî vaṇti hd tecn a ḿzicl trn, y wd hv bn invałbl; bt az it z, I wd riyli rɖr nt sit dǎn bfr ɖoz hu mst b in ɖ habit v hírñ ɖ vri bst pformrz.” On Mis Lūc̣s’z prṣvirñ, hvr, ś add, “Vri wel, f it mst b so, it mst.” N grevli glansñ at Mr Darsi, “Ɖr z a fîn old seyñ, ẃć evrbdi hir z v cors fmiłr wɖ: ‘Cīp yr breʈ t cūl yr porij’; n I śl cīp mîn t swel mî soñ.”

Hr pformns wz plizñ, ɖo bî no mīnz capitl. Aftr a soñ or tū, n bfr ś cd rplî t ɖ intritiz v sevṛl ɖt ś wd sñ agn, ś wz īgrli s’xidd at ɖ instṛmnt bî hr sistr Mẹri, hu hvñ, in consiqns v biyñ ɖ onli plen wn in ɖ faṃli, wrct hard fr nolij n acumpliśmnts, wz olwz impeśnt fr dsple.

Mẹri hd nɖr jīńs nr test; n ɖo vaṇti hd gvn hr apḷceśn, it hd gvn hr lîcwz a pdantic er n cnsitd manr, ẃć wd hv injrd a hayr dgri v xḷns ɖn ś hd rīćt. Iliẓbʈ, īzi n un’fctd, hd bn lisnd t wɖ mć mor pleźr, ɖo nt pleyñ haf so wel; n Mẹri, at ɖ end v a loñ cnćerto, wz glad t prćs prêz n grattyd bî Scoć n Îriś erz, at ɖ rqst v hr yungr sistrz, hu, wɖ sm v ɖ Lūc̣sz, n tū or ʈri ofisrz, jônd īgrli in dansñ at wn end v ɖ rūm.

Mr Darsi std nir ɖm in sîḷnt inḍgneśn at sć a mod v pasñ ɖ īvnñ, t ɖ xcluźn v ol convseśn, n wz tù mć ingrost bî hiz ʈts t psiv ɖt Sr Wiłm Lūc̣s wz hiz nebr, tl Sr Wiłm ɖus bgan:

“Ẃt a ćarmñ aḿzmnt fr yuñ ppl ɖs z, Mr Darsi! Ɖr z nʈñ lîc dansñ aftr ol. I cnsidr it az wn v ɖ frst rfînmnts v poliśt ssayti.”

“Srtnli, sr; n it hz ɖ advantij olso v biyñ in vog amñst ɖ les poliśt ssaytiz v ɖ wrld. Evri savij cn dans.”

Sr Wiłm onli smîld. “Yr frend pformz dlîtf̣li,” h cntinyd aftr a pōz, on siyñ Bñli jôn ɖ grūp; “n I dǎt nt ɖt y r an adept in ɖ sayns yrslf, Mr Darsi.”

“Y sw m dans at Meritn, I b’liv, sr.”

“Yes, indd, n rsivd no incnsidṛbl pleźr fṛm ɖ sît. D y ofn dans at St. Jemz’z?”

“Nvr, sr.”

“D y nt ʈnc it wd b a propr complimnt t ɖ ples?”

“It z a complimnt ẃć I nvr pe t eni ples f I cn avôd it.”

“Y hv a hǎs in tǎn, I cnclud?”

Mr Darsi baud.

“I hd wns hd sm ʈt v fixñ in tǎn mslf – fr I am fond v s’pirịr ssayti; bt I dd nt fīl qt srtn ɖt ɖ er v Lundn wd agri wɖ Ledi Lūc̣s.”

H pōzd in hops v an ansr; bt hiz cmpańn wz nt dspozd t mc eni; n Iliẓbʈ at ɖt instnt muvñ twdz ɖm, h wz struc wɖ ɖ ax́n v dwñ a vri gaḷnt ʈñ, n cōld ǎt t hr:

“Mî dir Mis Ilîza, ẃ r y nt dansñ? Mr Darsi, y mst alǎ m t priznt ɖs yuñ ledi t y az a vri dzîṛbl partnr. Y canot rfyz t dans, I am śr ẃn so mć byti z bfr y.” N, tecñ hr hand, h wd hv gvn it t Mr Darsi hu, ɖo xtrimli s’prîzd, wz nt unwilñ t rsiv it, ẃn ś instntli drù bac, n sd wɖ sm discmpoźr t Sr Wiłm:

“Indd, sr, I hv nt ɖ līst intnśn v dansñ. I intrit y nt t s’poz ɖt I muvd ɖs we in ordr t beg fr a partnr.”

Mr Darsi, wɖ grev pṛprayti, rqstd t b alaud ɖ onr v hr hand, bt in ven. Iliẓbʈ wz dtrmind; nr dd Sr Wiłm at ol śec hr prṗs bî hiz atmt at psweźn.

“Y xel so mć in ɖ dans, Mis Ilîza, ɖt it z cruwl t dnî m ɖ hapinis v siyñ y; n ɖo ɖs jntlmn dslîcs ɖ aḿzmnt in jenṛl, h cn hv no objx́n, I am śr, t oblîj s fr wn haf-aur.”

“Mr Darsi z ol p’lîtnis,” sd Iliẓbʈ, smîlñ.

“H z, indd; bt, cnsiḍrñ ɖ indysmnt, mî dir Mis Ilîza, w canot wundr at hiz cmplesns – fr hu wd objict t sć a partnr?”

Iliẓbʈ lct arćli, n trnd awe. Hr rzistns hd nt injrd hr wɖ ɖ jntlmn, n h wz ʈncñ v hr wɖ sm cmplesnsi, ẃn ɖus acostd bî Mis Bñli:

“I cn ges ɖ subjict v yr reṿri.”

“I śd imajn nt.”

“Y r cnsiḍrñ hǎ inṣportbl it wd b t pas mni īvnñz in ɖs manr – in sć ssayti; n indd I am qt v yr opińn. I wz nvr mor anoid! Ɖ inṣpidti, n yt ɖ nôz – ɖ nʈñnis, n yt ɖ slf-importns v ol ɖoz ppl! Ẃt wd I gv t hír yr stricćrz on ɖm!”

“Yr cnjcćr z toṭli roñ, I aśur y. Mî mînd wz mor agriybli ingejd. I hv bn medtetñ on ɖ vri gret pleźr ẃć a per v fîn îz in ɖ fes v a priti wmn cn bsto.”

Mis Bñli imīɉtli fixt hr îz on hiz fes, n dzîrd h wd tel hr ẃt ledi hd ɖ credit v inspîrñ sć rflex́nz. Mr Darsi rplaid wɖ gret intṛpidti:

“Mis Iliẓbʈ Benit.”

“Mis Iliẓbʈ Benit!” rpitd Mis Bñli. “I am ol astoniśmnt. Hǎ loñ hz ś bn sć a feṿrit? – n pre, ẃn am I t wś y jô?”

“Ɖt z xacli ɖ qsćn ẃć I xpctd y t asc. A ledi’z imaɉneśn z vri rapid; it jumps fṛm adṃreśn t luv, fṛm luv t matriṃni, in a momnt. I ń y wd b wśñ m jô.”

“Nê, f y r sirịs abt it, I śl cnsidr ɖ matr z abṣlutli setld. Y wl b hvñ a ćarmñ muɖr-in-lw, indd; n, v cors, ś wl olwz b at Pmḅli wɖ y.”

H lisnd t hr wɖ prfict indifṛns ẃl ś ćouz t entten hrslf in ɖs manr; n az hiz cmpoźr cnvinst hr ɖt ol wz sef, hr wit floud loñ.


___

Ćaptr 7

M

r Benit’s proṗti cnsistd olmst intîrli in an istet v tū ʈǎznd a yir, ẃć, unforćṇtli fr hiz dōtrz, wz inteild, in dfōlt v érz mel, on a distnt rleśn; n ɖer muɖr’z fortyn, ɖo ampl fr hr sićueśn in lîf, cd bt il s’plî ɖ dfiśnsi v hiz. Hr faɖr hd bn an atrni in Meritn, n hd left hr for ʈǎznd pǎndz.

Ś hd a sistr marid t a Mr Filips, hu hd bn a clarc t ɖer faɖr n s’xidd him in ɖ biznis, n a bruɖr setld in Lundn in a rspctbl lîn v tred.

Ɖ vilij v Loñbōrn wz onli wn mîl fṛm Meritn; a most cnvińnt distns fr ɖ yuñ lediz, hu wr yẓ́li tmtd ɖiɖr ʈri or for tîmz a wīc, t pe ɖer dyti t ɖer ānt n t a milinr’z śop jst ovr ɖ we. Ɖ tū yungist v ɖ faṃli, Caʈ̇rin n Lidia, wr ptiklrli frīqnt in ɖz atnśnz; ɖer mîndz wr mor vecnt ɖn ɖer sistrz’, n ẃn nʈñ betr ofrd, a wōc t Meritn wz nesṣri t aḿz ɖer mornñ aurz n frniś convseśn fr ɖ īvnñ; n hvr bér v nyz ɖ cuntri in jenṛl mt b, ɖe olwz cntrîvd t lrn sm fṛm ɖer ānt. At preznt, indd, ɖe wr wel s’plaid bʈ wɖ nyz n hapinis bî ɖ rīsnt arîvl v a mliśa rejimnt in ɖ nebrhd; it wz t rmen ɖ hol wintr, n Meritn wz ɖ hedqortrz.

Ɖer vizits t Msz Filips wr nǎ pṛductiv v ɖ most inṭrestñ intelijns. Evri de add smʈñ t ɖer nolij v ɖ ofisrz’ nemz n cnx́nz. Ɖer lojñz wr nt loñ a sīcrit, n at leñʈ ɖe bgan t nǒ ɖ ofisrz ɖmslvz. Mr Filips viẓtd ɖm ol, n ɖs opnd t hiz nīsz a stor v f’liṣti uņoun bfr. Ɖe cd tōc v nʈñ bt ofisrz; n Mr Bñli’z larj fortyn, ɖ mnśn v ẃć gev aṇmeśn t ɖer muɖr, wz wrʈlis in ɖer îz ẃn opozd t ɖ reɉmntlz v an ensîn.

Aftr liṣnñ wn mornñ t ɖer ifyźnz on ɖs subjict, Mr Benit cūli obzrvd:

“Fṛm ol ɖt I cn c’lect bî yr manr v tōcñ, y mst b tū v ɖ siliist grlz in ɖ cuntri. I hv sspctd it sm tîm, bt I am nǎ cnvinst.”

Caʈ̇rin wz discnsrtd, n md no ansr; bt Lidia, wɖ prfict indifṛns, cntinyd t xpres hr adṃreśn v Captin Cartr, n hr hop v siyñ him in ɖ cors v ɖ de, az h wz gwñ ɖ nxt mornñ t Lundn.

“I am astoniśt, mî dir,” sd Msz Benit, “ɖt y śd b so redi t ʈnc yr ǒn ćildṛn sili. F I wśt t ʈnc slîtñli v enbdi’z ćildṛn, it śd nt b v mî ǒn, hvr.”

“F mî ćildṛn r sili, I mst hop t b olwz snṣbl v it.”

“Yes – bt az it hapnz, ɖe r ol v ɖm vri clevr.”

“Ɖs z ɖ onli pônt, I flatr mslf, on ẃć w d nt agri. I hd hopt ɖt ǎr sntimnts cǒinsîdd in evri ptiklr, bt I mst so far difr fṛm y az t ʈnc ǎr tū yungist dōtrz uncomnli fūliś.”

“Mî dir Mr Benit, y mst nt xpct sć grlz t hv ɖ sns v ɖer faɖr n muɖr. Ẃn ɖe gt t ǎr ej, I der se ɖe wl nt ʈnc abt ofisrz eni mor ɖn w d. I rmembr ɖ tîm ẃn I lîct a red cot mslf vri wel – n, indd, so I d stl at mî hart; n f a smart yuñ crnl, wɖ fîv or six ʈǎznd a yir, śd wont wn v mî grlz I śl nt se nê t him; n I ʈt Crnl Forstr lct vri bcmñ ɖ uɖr nît at Sr Wiłm’z in hiz reɉmntlz.”

“M’mā,” craid Lidia, “mî ānt sz ɖt Crnl Forstr n Captin Cartr d nt g so ofn t Mis Wotsn’z az ɖe dd ẃn ɖe frst cem; ś siz ɖm nǎ vri ofn standñ in Clārc’s lîbrri.”

Msz Benit wz privntd rplayñ bî ɖ entṛns v ɖ ftmn wɖ a not fr Mis Benit; it cem fṛm Neɖ̇fīld, n ɖ srvnt wêtd fr an ansr. Msz Benit’s îz sparcld wɖ pleźr, n ś wz īgrli cōlñ ǎt, ẃl hr dōtr réd,

“Wel, Jen, hu z it fṛm? Ẃt z it abt? Ẃt dz h se? Wel, Jen, mc hest n tel s; mc hest, mî luv.”

“It z fṛm Mis Bñli,” sd Jen, n ɖen réd it alǎd.

“MÎ DIR FREND,—

“F y r nt so cmpaśṇt az t dîn tde wɖ Luīza n m, w śl b in denjr v hetñ ć uɖr fr ɖ rest v ǎr livz, fr a hol de’z tete-a-tete btwn tū wimin cn nvr end wɖt a qoṛl. Cm az sn az y cn on rsit v ɖs. Mî bruɖr n ɖ jntlṃn r t dîn wɖ ɖ ofisrz. – Yrz evr,

“CAṚLÎN BÑLI”

“Wɖ ɖ ofisrz!” craid Lidia. “I wundr mî ānt dd nt tel s v ɖt.”

“Dînñ ǎt,” sd Msz Benit, “ɖt z vri unluci.”

“Cn I hv ɖ carij?” sd Jen.

“No, mî dir, y hd betr g on horsbac, bcz it sīmz lîcli t ren; n ɖen y mst ste ol nît.”

“Ɖt wd b a gd scīm,” sd Iliẓbʈ, “f y wr śr ɖt ɖe wd nt ofr t snd hr hom.”

“Ǒ! bt ɖ jntlṃn wl hv Mr Bñli’z śêz t g t Meritn, n ɖ Hrsts hv no horsz t ɖerz.”

“I hd mć rɖr g in ɖ coć.”

“Bt, mî dir, yr faɖr canot sper ɖ horsz, I am śr. Ɖe r wontd in ɖ farm, Mr Benit, r ɖe nt?”

“Ɖe r wontd in ɖ farm mć of̣nr ɖn I cn gt ɖm.”

“Bt f y hv got ɖm tde,” sd Iliẓbʈ, “mî muɖr’z prṗs wl b ansrd.”

Ś dd at last xtort fṛm hr faɖr an acnolijmnt ɖt ɖ horsz wr ingejd. Jen wz ɖrfr oblîjd t g on horsbac, n hr muɖr atndd hr t ɖ dor wɖ mni ćirfl pṛgnostics v a bad de. Hr hops wr ansrd; Jen hd nt bn gn loñ bfr it rênd hard. Hr sistrz wr unīzi fr hr, bt hr muɖr wz dlîtd. Ɖ ren cntinyd ɖ hol īvnñ wɖt inṭmiśn; Jen srtnli cd nt cm bac.

“Ɖs wz a luci îdīa v mîn, indd!” sd Msz Benit mor ɖn wns, az f ɖ credit v mcñ it ren wr ol hr ǒn. Tl ɖ nxt mornñ, hvr, ś wz nt awer v ol ɖ f’liṣti v hr cntrîvns. Brecfst wz scersli ovr ẃn a srvnt fṛm Neɖ̇fīld bròt ɖ folowñ not fr Iliẓbʈ:

“MÎ DIRIST LIZI,—

“I fînd mslf vri unwel ɖs mornñ, ẃć, I s’poz, z t b impytd t mî gtñ wet ʈru yesṭde. Mî cînd frendz wl nt hír v mî rtrnñ tl I am betr. Ɖe insist olso on mî siyñ Mr Jǒnz – ɖrfr d nt b alarmd f y śd hír v hiz hvñ bn t m – n, xptñ a sor ʈrot n hedec, ɖr z nt mć ɖ matr wɖ m. – Yrz, ets.”

“Wel, mî dir,” sd Mr Benit, ẃn Iliẓbʈ hd réd ɖ not alǎd, “f yr dōtr śd hv a denjṛs fit v ilnis – f ś śd dî, it wd b a cumf̣t t nǒ ɖt it wz ol in psyt v Mr Bñli, n undr yr ordrz.”

“Ǒ! I am nt afred v hr dayñ. Ppl d nt dî v litl trîf̣lñ coldz. Ś wl b tecn gd cer v. Az loñ az ś stez ɖr, it z ol vri wel. I wd g n si hr f I cd hv ɖ carij.”

Iliẓbʈ, fīlñ riyli añśs, wz dtrmind t g t hr, ɖo ɖ carij wz nt t b hd; n az ś wz no hors-wmn, wōcñ wz hr onli oltrṇtiv. Ś dclerd hr reẓluśn.

“Hǎ cn y b so sili,” craid hr muɖr, “az t ʈnc v sć a ʈñ, in ol ɖs drt! Y wl nt b fit t b sìn ẃn y gt ɖr.”

“I śl b vri fit t si Jen – ẃć z ol I wont.”

“Z ɖs a hint t m, Lizi,” sd hr faɖr, “t snd fr ɖ horsz?”

“No, indd, I d nt wś t avôd ɖ wōc. Ɖ distns z nʈñ ẃn wn hz a motiv; onli ʈri mîlz. I śl b bac bî dinr.”

“I admîr ɖ activti v yr bnevḷns,” obzrvd Mẹri, “bt evri impuls v fīlñ śd b gîdd bî rīzn; n, in mî opińn, xrśn śd olwz b in pṛporśn t ẃt z rqîrd.”

“W wl g az far az Meritn wɖ y,” sd Caʈ̇rin n Lidia. Iliẓbʈ axptd ɖer cumṗni, n ɖ ʈri yuñ lediz set of tgɖr.

“F w mc hest,” sd Lidia, az ɖe wōct alñ, “phps w me si smʈñ v Captin Cartr bfr h gz.”

In Meritn ɖe partd; ɖ tū yungist rperd t ɖ lojñz v wn v ɖ ofisrz’ wîvz, n Iliẓbʈ cntinyd hr wōc alon, crosñ fīld aftr fīld at a qc pes, jumpñ ovr stailz n sprññ ovr pudlz wɖ impeśnt activti, n fîndñ hrslf at last wɖn vy v ɖ hǎs, wɖ wiri anclz, drti stocñz, n a fes glowñ wɖ ɖ wormʈ v x’sîz.

Ś wz śoun intu ɖ brecfstparlr, ẃr ol bt Jen wr asmbld, n ẃr hr apiṛns crietd a gret dīl v s’prîz. Ɖt ś śd hv wōct ʈri mîlz so rli in ɖ de, in sć drti weɖr, n bî hrslf, wz olmst increḍbl t Msz Hrst n Mis Bñli; n Iliẓbʈ wz cnvinst ɖt ɖe hld hr in cntmt fr it. Ś wz rsivd, hvr, vri p’lîtli bî ɖm; n in ɖer bruɖr’z manrz ɖr wz smʈñ betr ɖn p’lîtnis; ɖr wz gd hymr n cîndnis. Mr Darsi sd vri litl, n Mr Hrst nʈñ at ol. Ɖ formr wz dvîdd btwn adṃreśn v ɖ briłnsi ẃć x’sîz hd gvn t hr cmplex́n, n dǎt az t ɖ oceźn’z jusṭfayñ hr cmñ so far alon. Ɖ latr wz ʈncñ onli v hiz brecfst.

Hr inqîriz aftr hr sistr wr nt vri fevṛbli ansrd. Mis Benit hd slept il, n ɖo p, wz vri fīṿriś, n nt wel inuf t līv hr rūm. Iliẓbʈ wz glad t b tecn t hr imīɉtli; n Jen, hu hd onli bn wɖheld bî ɖ fir v gvñ alarm or incnvińns fṛm xpresñ in hr not hǎ mć ś loñd fr sć a vizit, wz dlîtd at hr entṛns. Ś wz nt īql, hvr, t mć convseśn, n ẃn Mis Bñli left ɖm tgɖr, cd atmt litl bsdz xpreśnz v grattyd fr ɖ xtrordnri cîndnis ś wz trītd wɖ. Iliẓbʈ sîḷntli atndd hr.

Ẃn brecfst wz ovr ɖe wr jônd bî ɖ sistrz; n Iliẓbʈ bgan t lîc ɖm hrslf, ẃn ś sw hǎ mć afx́n n s’liṣtyd ɖe śoud fr Jen. Ɖ apoʈ̇cri cem, n hvñ xamind hiz peśnt, sd, az mt b s’pozd, ɖt ś hd còt a vayḷnt cold, n ɖt ɖe mst indevr t gt ɖ betr v it; advîzd hr t rtrn t bed, n promist hr sm dráfts. Ɖ advîs wz foloud reḍli, fr ɖ fīṿriś simtmz incrist, n hr hed ect aktli. Iliẓbʈ dd nt qit hr rūm fr a momnt; nr wr ɖ uɖr lediz ofn absnt; ɖ jntlṃn biyñ ǎt, ɖe hd, in fact, nʈñ t d elsẃr.

Ẃn ɖ cloc struc ʈri, Iliẓbʈ flt ɖt ś mst g, n vri unwilñli sd so. Mis Bñli ofrd hr ɖ carij, n ś onli wontd a litl presñ t axpt it, ẃn Jen tsṭfaid sć cnsrn in partñ wɖ hr, ɖt Mis Bñli wz oblîjd t cnvrt ɖ ofr v ɖ śêz t an invteśn t rmen at Neɖ̇fīld fr ɖ preznt. Iliẓbʈ most ʈancf̣li cnsntd, n a srvnt wz dspaćt t Loñbōrn t aqent ɖ faṃli wɖ hr ste n brñ bac a s’plî v cloɖz.


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Ćaptr 8

A

t fîv o’cloc ɖ tū lediz rtîrd t dres, n at haf-past six Iliẓbʈ wz sumnd t dinr. T ɖ sivl inqîriz ẃć ɖen pord in, n amñst ẃć ś hd ɖ pleźr v dstnḡśñ ɖ mć s’pirịr s’liṣtyd v Mr Bñli’z, ś cd nt mc a vri fevṛbl ansr. Jen wz bî no mīnz betr. Ɖ sistrz, on hírñ ɖs, rpitd ʈri or for tîmz hǎ mć ɖe wr grīvd, hǎ śocñ it wz t hv a bad cold, n hǎ xesivli ɖe dslîct biyñ il ɖmslvz; n ɖen ʈt no mor v ɖ matr: n ɖer indifṛns twdz Jen ẃn nt imīɉtli bfr ɖm rstord Iliẓbʈ t ɖ injômnt v ol hr formr dslîc.

Ɖer bruɖr, indd, wz ɖ onli wn v ɖ parti hūm ś cd rgard wɖ eni cmplesnsi. Hiz añzayti fr Jen wz evidnt, n hiz atnśnz t hrslf most plizñ, n ɖe privntd hr fīlñ hrslf so mć an intrudr az ś b’livd ś wz cnsidrd bî ɖ uɖrz. Ś hd vri litl notis fṛm eni bt him. Mis Bñli wz ingrost bî Mr Darsi, hr sistr scersli les so; n az fr Mr Hrst, bî hūm Iliẓbʈ sat, h wz an indḷnt man, hu livd onli t īt, drinc, n ple at cardz; hu, ẃn h faund hr t prifŕ a plen diś t a ragu, hd nʈñ t se t hr.

Ẃn dinr wz ovr, ś rtrnd d’recli t Jen, n Mis Bñli bgan abyzñ hr az sn az ś wz ǎt v ɖ rūm. Hr manrz wr pṛnǎnst t b vri bad indd, a mixćr v prîd n imprtinns; ś hd no convseśn, no stîl, no byti. Msz Hrst ʈt ɖ sem, n add:

“Ś hz nʈñ, in śort, t rec̣mnd hr, bt biyñ an xḷnt wōcr. I śl nvr fget hr apiṛns ɖs mornñ. Ś riyli lct olmst wîld.”

“Ś dd, indd, Luīza. I cd hardli cīp mî cǎntinns. Vri nonsnsicl t cm at ol! Ẃ mst ś b scamṗrñ abt ɖ cuntri, bcz hr sistr hd a cold? Hr her, so untîdi, so blǎzi!”

“Yes, n hr peticot; I hop y sw hr peticot, six inćz dīp in mud, I am abṣlutli srtn; n ɖ gǎn ẃć hd bn let dǎn t hîd it nt dwñ its ofis.”

“Yr picćr me b vri xact, Luīza,” sd Bñli; “bt ɖs wz ol lost upn m. I ʈt Mis Iliẓbʈ Benit lct rmarcbli wel ẃn ś cem intu ɖ rūm ɖs mornñ. Hr drti peticot qt iscept mî notis.”

Y obzrvd it, Mr Darsi, I am śr,” sd Mis Bñli; “n I am inclînd t ʈnc ɖt y wd nt wś t si yr sistr mc sć an xbiśn.”

“Srtnli nt.”

“T wōc ʈri mîlz, or for mîlz, or fîv mîlz, or ẃtvr it z, abv hr anclz in drt, n alon, qt alon! Ẃt cd ś mīn bî it? It sīmz t m t śo an abomiṇbl sort v cnsitd indipndns, a most cuntritǎn indifṛns t dcoṛm.”

“It śoz an afx́n fr hr sistr ɖt z vri plizñ,” sd Bñli.

“I am afred, Mr Darsi,” obzrvd Mis Bñli in a haf ẃispr, “ɖt ɖs advnćr hz rɖr afctd yr adṃreśn v hr fîn îz.”

“Nt at ol,” h rplaid; “ɖe wr brîtnd bî ɖ x’sîz.” A śort pōz foloud ɖs spīć, n Msz Hrst bgan agn:

“I hv an xesiv rgard fr Mis Jen Benit, ś z riyli a vri swīt grl, n I wś wɖ ol mî hart ś wr wel setld. Bt wɖ sć a faɖr n muɖr, n sć lo cnx́nz, I am afred ɖr z no ćans v it.”

“I ʈnc I hv hŕd y se ɖt ɖer uncl z an atrni in Meritn.”

“Yes; n ɖe hv anɖr, hu livz smẃr nir Ćīpsîd.”

“Ɖt z capitl,” add hr sistr, n ɖe bʈ laft harṭli.

“F ɖe hd unclz inuf t fil ol Ćīpsîd,” craid Bñli, “it wd nt mc ɖm wn jot les agriybl.”

“Bt it mst vri mtirịli lesn ɖer ćans v mariyñ men v eni cnsiḍreśn in ɖ wrld,” rplaid Darsi.

T ɖs spīć Bñli md no ansr; bt hiz sistrz gev it ɖer harti asnt, n induljd ɖer mrʈ fr sm tîm at ɖ xpns v ɖer dir frend’z vulgr rleśnz.

Wɖ a rnywl v tndrnis, hvr, ɖe rtrnd t hr rūm on līvñ ɖ dînñparlr, n sat wɖ hr tl sumnd t cofi. Ś wz stl vri purli, n Iliẓbʈ wd nt qit hr at ol, tl lêt in ɖ īvnñ, ẃn ś hd ɖ cumf̣t v siyñ hr slīp, n ẃn it sīmd t hr rɖr rît ɖn pleznt ɖt ś śd g dǎnsterz hrslf. On enṭrñ ɖ drw̃rūm ś faund ɖ hol parti at lù, n wz imīɉtli invîtd t jôn ɖm; bt sspctñ ɖm t b pleyñ hî ś dclînd it, n mcñ hr sistr ɖ xks, sd ś wd aḿz hrslf fr ɖ śort tîm ś cd ste b’lo, wɖ a bc. Mr Hrst lct at hr wɖ astoniśmnt.

“D y prifŕ rīdñ t cardz?” sd h; “ɖt z rɖr snğlr.”

“Mis Ilîza Benit,” sd Mis Bñli, “dspîzz cardz. Ś z a gret rīdr, n hz no pleźr in enʈñ els.”

“I dzrv nɖr sć prêz nr sć snśr,” craid Iliẓbʈ; “I am nt a gret rīdr, n I hv pleźr in mni ʈñz.”

“In nrsñ yr sistr I am śr y hv pleźr,” sd Bñli; “n I hop it wl b sn incrist bî siyñ hr qt wel.”

Iliẓbʈ ʈanct him fṛm hr hart, n ɖen wōct twdz ɖ tebl ẃr a fy bcs wr layñ. H imīɉtli ofrd t feć hr uɖrz – ol ɖt hiz lîbrri afordd.

“N I wś mî c’lex́n wr larjr fr yr beṇfit n mî ǒn credit; bt I am an îdl felo, n ɖo I hv nt mni, I hv mor ɖn I evr lct intu.”

Iliẓbʈ aśurd him ɖt ś cd sūt hrslf prf̣cli wɖ ɖoz in ɖ rūm.

“I am astoniśt,” sd Mis Bñli, “ɖt mî faɖr śd hv left so smōl a c’lex́n v bcs. Ẃt a dlîtfl lîbrri y hv at Pmḅli, Mr Darsi!”

“It òt t b gd,” h rplaid, “it hz bn ɖ wrc v mni jeṇreśnz.”

“N ɖen y hv add so mć t it yrslf, y r olwz bayñ bcs.”

“I canot comprihnd ɖ nglect v a faṃli lîbrri in sć dez az ɖz.”

“Nglect! I am śr y nglect nʈñ ɖt cn ad t ɖ bytiz v ɖt nobl ples. Ćarlz, ẃn y bild yr hǎs, I wś it me b haf az dlîtfl az Pmḅli.”

“I wś it me.”

“Bt I wd riyli advîz y t mc yr prćs in ɖt nebrhd, n tec Pmḅli fr a cnd v modl. Ɖr z nt a fînr cǎnti in Ñgḷnd ɖn Darbiśr.”

“Wɖ ol mî hart; I wl bai Pmḅli itslf f Darsi wl sel it.”

“I am tōcñ v posbiḷtiz, Ćarlz.”

“Upn mî wrd, Caṛlîn, I śd ʈnc it mor poṣbl t gt Pmḅli bî prćs ɖn bî iṃteśn.”

Iliẓbʈ wz so mć còt wɖ ẃt pást, az t līv hr vri litl atnśn fr hr bc; n sn leyñ it hoļi asd, ś drù nir ɖ cardtebl, n steśnd hrslf btwn Mr Bñli n hiz eldist sistr, t obzrv ɖ gem.

“Z Mis Darsi mć groun sins ɖ sprñ?” sd Mis Bñli; “wl ś b az tōl az I am?”

“I ʈnc ś wl. Ś z nǎ abt Mis Iliẓbʈ Benit’s hît, or rɖr tōlr.”

“Hǎ I loñ t si hr agn! I nvr met wɖ enbdi hu dlîtd m so mć. Sć a cǎntinns, sć manrz! N so xtrimli acumpliśt fr hr ej! Hr pformns on ɖ piaṇforte z xqizit.”

“It z amezñ t m,” sd Bñli, “hǎ yuñ lediz cn hv peśns t b so vri acumpliśt az ɖe ol r.”

“Ol yuñ lediz acumpliśt! Mî dir Ćarlz, ẃt d y mīn?”

“Yes, ol v ɖm, I ʈnc. Ɖe ol pent teblz, cuvr scrīnz, n net prsz. I scersli nǒ enwn hu canot d ol ɖs, n I am śr I nvr hŕd a yuñ ledi spocn v fr ɖ frst tîm, wɖt biyñ informd ɖt ś wz vri acumpliśt.”

“Yr list v ɖ comn xtnt v acumpliśmnts,” sd Darsi, “hz tù mć truʈ. Ɖ wrd z aplaid t mni a wmn hu dzrvz it no uɖrwz ɖn bî netñ a prs or cuṿrñ a scrīn. Bt I am vri far fṛm agriyñ wɖ y in yr esṭmeśn v lediz in jenṛl. I canot bost v nwñ mor ɖn haf-a-duzn, in ɖ hol renj v mî aqentns, ɖt r riyli acumpliśt.”

“Nr I, I am śr,” sd Mis Bñli.

“Ɖen,” obzrvd Iliẓbʈ, “y mst comprihnd a gret dīl in yr îdīa v an acumpliśt wmn.”

“Yes, I d comprihnd a gret dīl in it.”

“Ǒ! srtnli,” craid hiz feʈfl asistnt, “nwn cn b riyli istimd acumpliśt hu dz nt gretli s’pas ẃt z yẓ́li met wɖ. A wmn mst hv a ʈura nolij v ḿzic, sññ, drw̃, dansñ, n ɖ modn lanḡjz, t dzrv ɖ wrd; n bsdz ol ɖs, ś mst pzes a srtn smʈñ in hr er n manr v wōcñ, ɖ ton v hr vôs, hr adres n xpreśnz, or ɖ wrd wl b bt haf-dzrvd.”

“Ol ɖs ś mst pzes,” add Darsi, “n t ol ɖs ś mst yt ad smʈñ mor sbstanśl, in ɖ impruvmnt v hr mînd bî xtnsiv rīdñ.”

“I am no longr s’prîzd at yr nwñ onli six acumpliśt wimin. I rɖr wundr nǎ at yr nwñ eni.”

“R y so svir upn yr ǒn sx az t dǎt ɖ posbiḷti v ol ɖs?”

“I nvr sw sć a wmn. I nvr sw sć cpaṣti, n test, n apḷceśn, n eligns, az y dscrîb ynîtd.”

Msz Hrst n Mis Bñli bʈ craid ǎt agnst ɖ injustis v hr implaid dǎt, n wr bʈ pṛtstñ ɖt ɖe ń mni wimin hu ansrd ɖs dscripśn, ẃn Mr Hrst cōld ɖm t ordr, wɖ bitr cmplents v ɖer in’tnśn t ẃt wz gwñ fwd. Az ol convseśn wz ɖr-bî at an end, Iliẓbʈ sn aftwdz left ɖ rūm.

“Iliẓbʈ Benit,” sd Mis Bñli, ẃn ɖ dor wz clozd on hr, “z wn v ɖoz yuñ lediz hu sīc t rec̣mnd ɖmslvz t ɖ uɖr sx bî unḍvalywñ ɖer ǒn; n wɖ mni men, I der se, it s’xidz. Bt, in mî opińn, it z a pōltri dvîs, a vri mīn art.”

“Undǎtidli,” rplaid Darsi, t hūm ɖs rmarc wz ćīfli adrest, “ɖr z a mīņis in ol ɖ arts ẃć lediz smtmz condisnd t implô fr captvetñ. Ẃtvr berz afiṇti t cunñ z dspicbl.”

Mis Bñli wz nt so intîrli saṭsfaid wɖ ɖs rplî az t cntiny ɖ subjict.

Iliẓbʈ jônd ɖm agn onli t se ɖt hr sistr wz wrs, n ɖt ś cd nt līv hr. Bñli rjd Mr Jǒnz biyñ snt fr imīɉtli; ẃl hiz sistrz, cnvinst ɖt no cuntri’dvîs cd b v eni srvis, rec̣mndd an xpres t tǎn fr wn v ɖ most eminnt fziśnz. Ɖs ś wd nt hír v; bt ś wz nt so unwilñ t cmplî wɖ ɖer bruɖr’z pṛpozl; n it wz setld ɖt Mr Jǒnz śd b snt fr rli in ɖ mornñ, f Mis Benit wr nt dsîdidli betr. Bñli wz qt uncumf̣tbl; hiz sistrz dclerd ɖt ɖe wr mizṛbl. Ɖe solist ɖer rećidnis, hvr, bî dyéts aftr supr, ẃl h cd fînd no betr rlif t hiz fīlñz ɖn bî gvñ hiz hǎscīpr d’rex́nz ɖt evri atnśn mt b peid t ɖ sic ledi n hr sistr.


___

Ćaptr 9

I

liẓbʈ pást ɖ ćīf v ɖ nît in hr sistr’z rūm, n in ɖ mornñ hd ɖ pleźr v biyñ ebl t snd a tolṛbl ansr t ɖ inqîriz ẃć ś vri rli rsivd fṛm Mr Bñli bî a hǎsmeid, n sm tîm aftwdz fṛm ɖ tū elignt lediz hu wêtd on hiz sistrz. In spît v ɖs amndmnt, hvr, ś rqstd t hv a not snt t Loñbōrn, dzîrñ hr muɖr t vizit Jen, n form hr ǒn jujmnt v hr sićueśn. Ɖ not wz imīɉtli dspaćt, n its contents az qcli cmplaid wɖ. Msz Benit, acumṗnid bî hr tū yungist grlz, rīćt Neɖ̇fīld sn aftr ɖ faṃlibrecfst.

Hd ś faund Jen in eni apaṛnt denjr, Msz Benit wd hv bn vri mizṛbl; bt biyñ saṭsfaid on siyñ hr ɖt hr ilnis wz nt alarmñ, ś hd no wś v hr rcuṿrñ imīɉtli, az hr resṭreśn t hlʈ wd probbli rmuv hr fṛm Neɖ̇fīld. Ś wd nt lisn, ɖrfr, t hr dōtr’z pṛpozl v biyñ carid hom; nɖr dd ɖ apoʈ̇cri, hu arîvd abt ɖ sem tîm, ʈnc it at ol advîẓbl. Aftr sitñ a litl ẃl wɖ Jen, on Mis Bñli’z apiṛns n invteśn, ɖ muɖr n ʈri dōtrz ol atndd hr intu ɖ brecfstparlr. Bñli met ɖm wɖ hops ɖt Msz Benit hd nt faund Mis Benit wrs ɖn ś xpctd.

“Indd I hv, sr,” wz hr ansr. “Ś z a gret dīl tù il t b muvd. Mr Jǒnz sz w mst nt ʈnc v muvñ hr. W mst tresṗs a litl longr on yr cîndnis.”

“Rmuvd!” craid Bñli. “It mst nt b ʈt v. Mî sistr, I am śr, wl nt hír v hr rmuvl.”

“Y me dpnd upn it, Madm,” sd Mis Bñli, wɖ cold sviḷti, “ɖt Mis Benit wl rsiv evri poṣbl atnśn ẃl ś rmenz wɖ s.”

Msz Benit wz pṛfys in hr acnolijmnts.

“I am śr,” ś add, “f it wz nt fr sć gd frendz I d nt nǒ ẃt wd bcm v hr, fr ś z vri il indd, n sufrz a vast dīl, ɖo wɖ ɖ gretist peśns in ɖ wrld, ẃć z olwz ɖ we wɖ hr, fr ś hz, wɖt xpśn, ɖ swītist tmpr I hv evr met wɖ. I ofn tel mî uɖr grlz ɖe r nʈñ t hr. Y hv a swīt rūm hir, Mr Bñli, n a ćarmñ prospect ovr ɖ gravl wōc. I d nt nǒ a ples in ɖ cuntri ɖt z īql t Neɖ̇fīld. Y wl nt ʈnc v qitñ it in a huri, I hop, ɖo y hv bt a śort līs.”

“Ẃtvr I d z dn in a huri,” rplaid h; “n ɖrfr f I śd rzolv t qit Neɖ̇fīld, I śd probbli b of in fîv minits. At preznt, hvr, I cnsidr mslf az qt fixt hir.”

“Ɖt z xacli ẃt I śd hv s’pozd v y,” sd Iliẓbʈ.

“Y bgin t comprihnd m, d y?” craid h, trnñ twdz hr.

“Ǒ! yes – I unḍstand y prf̣cli.”

“I wś I mt tec ɖs fr a complimnt; bt t b so īẓli sìn ʈru I am afred z pitifl.”

“Ɖt z az it hapnz. It dz nt folo ɖt a dīp, intric̣t caṛctr z mor or les estiṃbl ɖn sć a wn az yrz.”

“Lizi,” craid hr muɖr, “rmembr ẃr y r, n d nt run on in ɖ wîld manr ɖt y r sufrd t d at hom.”

“I dd nt nǒ bfr,” cntinyd Bñli imīɉtli, “ɖt y wr a studịr v caṛctr. It mst b an aḿzñ studi.”

“Yes, bt intric̣t caṛctrz r ɖ most aḿzñ. Ɖe hv at līst ɖt advantij.”

“Ɖ cuntri,” sd Darsi, “cn in jenṛl s’plî bt a fy subjicts fr sć a studi. In a cuntrinebrhd y muv in a vri cnfînd n unvẹriyñ ssayti.”

“Bt ppl ɖmslvz oltr so mć, ɖt ɖr z smʈñ ny t b obzrvd in ɖm fr evr.”

“Yes, indd,” craid Msz Benit, ofndd bî hiz manr v mnṣ́nñ a cuntrinebrhd. “I aśur y ɖr z qt az mć v ɖt gwñ on in ɖ cuntri az in tǎn.”

Evrbdi wz s’prîzd, n Darsi, aftr lcñ at hr fr a momnt, trnd sîḷntli awe. Msz Benit, hu fansid ś hd gend a cmplit vicṭri ovr him, cntinyd hr trîumf.

“I canot si ɖt Lundn hz eni gret advantij ovr ɖ cuntri, fr mî part, xpt ɖ śops n public plesz. Ɖ cuntri z a vast dīl plezntr, z it nt, Mr Bñli?”

“Ẃn I am in ɖ cuntri,” h rplaid, “I nvr wś t līv it; n ẃn I am in tǎn it z priti mć ɖ sem. Ɖe hv ć ɖer advantjz, n I cn b īqli hapi in îɖr.”

“Ai – ɖt z bcz y hv ɖ rît disṗziśn. Bt ɖt jntlmn,” lcñ at Darsi, “sīmd t ʈnc ɖ cuntri wz nʈñ at ol.”

“Indd, M’mā, y r mstecn,” sd Iliẓbʈ, bluśñ fr hr muɖr. “Y qt mstŭc Mr Darsi. H onli mnt ɖt ɖr wz nt sć a vrayti v ppl t b met wɖ in ɖ cuntri az in ɖ tǎn, ẃć y mst acnolij t b tru.”

“Srtnli, mî dir, nbdi sd ɖr wr; bt az t nt mītñ wɖ mni ppl in ɖs nebrhd, I b’liv ɖr r fy nebrhdz larjr. I nǒ w dîn wɖ for-n-twenti faṃliz.”

Nʈñ bt cnsrn fr Iliẓbʈ cd inebl Bñli t cīp hiz cǎntinns. Hiz sistr wz les delic̣t, n d’rectd hr îz twdz Mr Darsi wɖ a vri xpresiv smîl. Iliẓbʈ, fr ɖ sec v seyñ smʈñ ɖt mt trn hr muɖr’z ʈts, nǎ asct hr f Śarlót Lūc̣s hd bn at Loñbōrn sins hr cmñ awe.

“Yes, ś cōld yesṭde wɖ hr faɖr. Ẃt an agriybl man Sr Wiłm z, Mr Bñli, z nt h? So mć ɖ man v faśn! So jntīl n īzi! H hz olwz smʈñ t se t evrbdi. Ɖt z mî îdīa v gd brīdñ; n ɖoz prsnz hu fansi ɖmslvz vri importnt, n nvr opn ɖer mǎɖz, qt mstec ɖ matr.”

“Dd Śarlót dîn wɖ y?”

“No, ś wd g hom. I fansi ś wz wontd abt ɖ mins pîz. Fr mî part, Mr Bñli, I olwz cīp srvnts ɖt cn d ɖer ǒn wrc;  dōtrz r bròt p vri difṛntli. Bt evrbdi z t juj fr ɖmslvz, n ɖ Lūc̣sz r a vri gd sort v grlz, I aśur y. It z a piti ɖe r nt hansm! Nt ɖt I ʈnc Śarlót so vri plen – bt ɖen ś z ǎr ptiklr frend.”

“Ś sīmz a vri pleznt yuñ wmn.”

“Ǒ! dir, yes; bt y mst ǒn ś z vri plen. Ledi Lūc̣s hrslf hz ofn sd so, n envid m Jen’z byti. I d nt lîc t bost v mî ǒn ćîld, bt t b śr, Jen – wn dz nt ofn si enbdi betr lcñ. It z ẃt evrbdi sz. I d nt trust mî ǒn parśiaḷti. Ẃn ś wz onli fiftīn, ɖr wz a man at mî bruɖr Gardinr’z in tǎn so mć in luv wɖ hr ɖt mî sistr-in-lw wz śr h wd mc hr an ofr bfr w cem awe. Bt, hvr, h dd nt. Phps h ʈt hr tù yuñ. Hvr, h rout sm vrsz on hr, n vri priti ɖe wr.”

“N so endd hiz afx́n,” sd Iliẓbʈ impeśntli. “Ɖr hz bn mni a wn, I fansi, oṿcm in ɖ sem we. I wundr hu frst dscuvrd ɖ efic̣si v powtri in drîvñ awe luv!”

“I hv bn yst t cnsidr powtri az ɖ fūd v luv,” sd Darsi.

“V a fîn, stǎt, hlʈi luv it me. Evrʈñ nuṛśz ẃt z stroñ olrdi. Bt f it b onli a slît, ʈin sort v incḷneśn, I am cnvinst ɖt wn gd sonit wl starv it intîrli awe.”

Darsi onli smîld; n ɖ jenṛl pōz ẃć insyd md Iliẓbʈ trembl lest hr muɖr śd b xpozñ hrslf agn. Ś loñd t spīc, bt cd ʈnc v nʈñ t se; n aftr a śort sîḷns Msz Benit bgan rpitñ hr ʈancs t Mr Bñli fr hiz cîndnis t Jen, wɖ an apoḷji fr truḅlñ him olso wɖ Lizi. Mr Bñli wz un’fctidli sivl in hiz ansr, n forst hiz yungr sistr t b sivl olso, n se ẃt ɖ oceźn rqîrd. Ś pformd hr part indd wɖt mć greśsnis, bt Msz Benit wz saṭsfaid, n sn aftwdz ordrd hr carij. Upn ɖs signl, ɖ yungist v hr dōtrz pt hrslf fwd. Ɖ tū grlz hd bn ẃisṗrñ t ć uɖr jrñ ɖ hol vizit, n ɖ rzult v it wz, ɖt ɖ yungist śd tax Mr Bñli wɖ hvñ promist on hiz frst cmñ intu ɖ cuntri t gv a bōl at Neɖ̇fīld.

Lidia wz a stǎt, wel-groun grl v fiftīn, wɖ a fîn cmplex́n n gd-hymrd cǎntinns; a feṿrit wɖ hr muɖr, huz afx́n hd bròt hr intu public at an rli ej. Ś hd hî animl spirits, n a sort v naćṛl slf-consiqns, ẃć ɖ atnśn v ɖ ofisrz, t hūm hr uncl’z gd dinrz, n hr ǒn īzi manrz rec̣mndd hr, hd incrist intu aśuṛns. Ś wz vri īql, ɖrfr, t adres Mr Bñli on ɖ subjict v ɖ bōl, n abrupli rmîndd him v hiz promis; adñ, ɖt it wd b ɖ most śemfl ʈñ in ɖ wrld f h dd nt cīp it. Hiz ansr t ɖs sudn atac wz dlîtfl t ɖer muɖr’z ir:

“I am prf̣cli redi, I aśur y, t cīp mî ingejmnt; n ẃn yr sistr z rcuvrd, y śl, f y plīz, nem ɖ vri de v ɖ bōl. Bt y wd nt wś t b dansñ ẃn ś z il.”

Lidia dclerd hrslf saṭsfaid. “Ǒ! yes – it wd b mć betr t wêt tl Jen wz wel, n bî ɖt tîm most lîcli Captin Cartr wd b at Meritn agn. N ẃn y hv gvn yr bōl,” ś add, “I śl insist on ɖer gvñ wn olso. I śl tel Crnl Forstr it wl b qt a śem f h dz nt.”

Msz Benit n hr dōtrz ɖen dpartd, n Iliẓbʈ rtrnd instntli t Jen, līvñ hr ǒn n hr rleśnz’ bhevyr t ɖ rmarcs v ɖ tū lediz n Mr Darsi; ɖ latr v hūm, hvr, cd nt b priveld on t jôn in ɖer snśr v hr, in spît v ol Mis Bñli’z wiṭsizmz on fîn îz.


___

Ćaptr 10

Ɖ

 de pást mć az ɖ de bfr hd dn. Msz Hrst n Mis Bñli hd spent sm aurz v ɖ mornñ wɖ ɖ invlid, hu cntinyd, ɖo slǒli, t mnd; n in ɖ īvnñ Iliẓbʈ jônd ɖer parti in ɖ drw̃rūm. Ɖ lùtebl, hvr, dd nt apir. Mr Darsi wz raitñ, n Mis Bñli, sītd nir him, wz woćñ ɖ progres v hiz letr n rpitidli cōlñ of hiz atnśn bî meṣjz t hiz sistr. Mr Hrst n Mr Bñli wr at pīce, n Msz Hrst wz obzrvñ ɖer gem.

Iliẓbʈ tc p sm nīdlwrc, n wz sfiśntli aḿzd in atndñ t ẃt pást btwn Darsi n hiz cmpańn. Ɖ ppećl comndeśnz v ɖ ledi, îɖr on hiz handraitñ, or on ɖ īṿņis v hiz lînz, or on ɖ leñʈ v hiz letr, wɖ ɖ prfict uncnsrn wɖ ẃć hr prezz wr rsivd, formd a krịs daylog, n wz xacli in yńn wɖ hr opińn v ć.

“Hǎ dlîtd Mis Darsi wl b t rsiv sć a letr!”

H md no ansr.

“Y rait uncomnli fast.”

“Y r mstecn. I rait rɖr slǒli.”

“Hǎ mni letrz y mst hv oceźn t rait in ɖ cors v a yir! Letrz v biznis, tù! Hǎ odịs I śd ʈnc ɖm!”

“It z forćṇt, ɖen, ɖt ɖe fōl t mî lot instd v yrz.”

“Pre tel yr sistr ɖt I loñ t si hr.”

“I hv olrdi tld hr so wns, bî yr dzîr.”

“I am afred y d nt lîc yr pén. Let m mnd it fr y. I mnd pnz rmarcbli wel.”

“Ʈanc y – bt I olwz mnd mî ǒn.”

“Hǎ cn y cntrîv t rait so īvn?”

H wz sîḷnt.

“Tel yr sistr I am dlîtd t hír v hr impruvmnt on ɖ harp; n pre let hr nǒ ɖt I am qt in rapćrz wɖ hr bytifl litl dzîn fr a tebl, n I ʈnc it infiṇtli s’pirịr t Mis Grantli’z.”

“Wl y gv m līv t dfŕ yr rapćrz tl I rait agn? At preznt I hv nt rūm t d ɖm justis.”

“Ǒ! it z v no consiqns. I śl si hr in Jańri. Bt d y olwz rait sć ćarmñ loñ letrz t hr, Mr Darsi?”

“Ɖe r jenṛli loñ; bt ẃɖr olwz ćarmñ it z nt fr m t dtrmin.”

“It z a rūl wɖ m, ɖt a prsn hu cn rait a loñ letr wɖ īz, canot rait il.”

“Ɖt wl nt d fr a complimnt t Darsi, Caṛlîn,” craid hr bruɖr, “bcz h dz nt rait wɖ īz. H studiz tù mć fr wrdz v for siḷblz. D nt y, Darsi?”

“Mî stîl v raitñ z vri difṛnt fṛm yrz.”

“Ǒ!” craid Mis Bñli, “Ćarlz raits in ɖ most cerlis we imajiṇbl. H līvz ǎt haf hiz wrdz, n blots ɖ rest.”

“Mî îdīaz flo so rapidli ɖt I hv nt tîm t xpres ɖm – bî ẃć mīnz mî letrz smtmz cnve no îdīaz at ol t mî corispondnts.”

“Yr hymiḷti, Mr Bñli,” sd Iliẓbʈ, “mst dsarm rprūf.”

“Nʈñ z mor dsitfl,” sd Darsi, “ɖn ɖ apiṛns v hymiḷti. It z ofn onli cerlisnis v opińn, n smtmz an indirect bost.”

“N ẃć v ɖ tū d y cōl  litl rīsnt pìs v moḍsti?”

“Ɖ indirect bost; fr y r riyli prǎd v yr dīfects in raitñ, bcz y cnsidr ɖm az pṛsidñ fṛm a r’pidti v ʈt n cerlisnis v x’kśn, ẃć, f nt estiṃbl, y ʈnc at līst hîli inṭrestñ. Ɖ pǎr v dwñ enʈñ wɖ qcnis z olwz prîzd mć bî ɖ pzesr, n ofn wɖt eni atnśn t ɖ imṗfx́n v ɖ pformns. Ẃn y tld Msz Benit ɖs mornñ ɖt f y evr rzolvd upn qitñ Neɖ̇fīld y śd b gn in fîv minits, y mnt it t b a sort v paṇjiric, v complimnt t yrslf – n yt ẃt z ɖr so vri lōḍbl in a prisipitns ẃć mst līv vri nesṣri biznis undun, n cn b v no riyl advantij t yrslf or enwn els?”

“Nê,” craid Bñli, “ɖs z tù mć, t rmembr at nît ol ɖ fūliś ʈñz ɖt wr sd in ɖ mornñ. N yt, upn mî onr, I b’liv ẃt I sd v mslf t b tru, n I b’liv it at ɖs momnt. At līst, ɖrfr, I dd nt asym ɖ caṛctr v nīdlis prisipitns mirli t śo of bfr ɖ lediz.”

“I der se y b’livd it; bt I am bî no mīnz cnvinst ɖt y wd b gn wɖ sć s’leṛti. Yr cnduct wd b qt az dpndnt on ćans az ɖt v eni man I nǒ; n f, az y wr mǎntñ yr hors, a frend wr t se, ‘Bñli, y hd betr ste tl nxt wīc,’ y wd probbli d it, y wd probbli nt g – n at anɖr wrd, mt ste a munʈ.”

“Y hv onli pruvd bî ɖs,” craid Iliẓbʈ, “ɖt Mr Bñli dd nt d justis t hiz ǒn disṗziśn. Y hv śoun him of nǎ mć mor ɖn h dd himslf.”

“I am xidñli graṭfaid,” sd Bñli, “bî yr cnvrtñ ẃt mî frend sz intu a complimnt on ɖ swītnis v mî tmpr. Bt I am afred y r gvñ it a trn ẃć ɖt jntlmn dd bî no mīnz intnd; fr h wd srtnli ʈnc betr v m, f undr sć a srcmstans I wr t gv a flat dnayl, n rîd of az fast az I cd.”

“Wd Mr Darsi ɖen cnsidr ɖ raśnis v yr orijinl intnśnz az atond fr bî yr obstiṇsi in adhirñ t it?”

“Upn mî wrd, I canot xacli xplen ɖ matr; Darsi mst spīc fr himslf.”

“Y xpct m t acǎnt fr opińnz ẃć y ćūz t cōl mîn, bt ẃć I hv nvr acnolijd. Alawñ ɖ ces, hvr, t stand acordñ t yr repriznteśn, y mst rmembr, Mis Benit, ɖt ɖ frend hu z s’pozd t dzîr hiz rtrn t ɖ hǎs, n ɖ dle v hiz plan, hz mirli dzîrd it, asct it wɖt of̣rñ wn arğmnt in fevr v its pṛprayti.”

“T yīld reḍli – īẓli – t ɖ psweźn v a frend z no merit wɖ y.”

“T yīld wɖt cnvix́n z no complimnt t ɖ unḍstandñ v îɖr.”

“Y apir t m, Mr Darsi, t alǎ nʈñ fr ɖ inflụns v frendśp n afx́n. A rgard fr ɖ rqstr wd ofn mc wn reḍli yīld t a rqst, wɖt wêtñ fr arğmnts t rīzn wn intu it. I am nt ptiklrli spīcñ v sć a ces az y hv s’pozd abt Mr Bñli. W me az wel wêt, phps, tl ɖ srcmstans ocŕz bfr w dscus ɖ dscreśn v hiz bhevyr ɖr’pn. Bt in jenṛl n ordnri cesz btwn frend n frend, ẃr wn v ɖm z dzîrd bî ɖ uɖr t ćenj a reẓluśn v no vri gret momnt, śd y ʈnc il v ɖt prsn fr cmplayñ wɖ ɖ dzîr, wɖt wêtñ t b arğd intu it?”

“Wl it nt b advîẓbl, bfr w pṛsid on ɖs subjict, t arenj wɖ rɖr mor prisiźn ɖ dgri v importns ẃć z t aṗten t ɖs rqst, az wel az ɖ dgri v intiṃsi sbsistñ btwn ɖ partiz?”

“Bî ol mīnz,” craid Bñli; “let s hír ol ɖ ptiklrz, nt fgetñ ɖer cmpaṛtiv hît n sîz; fr ɖt wl hv mor weit in ɖ arğmnt, Mis Benit, ɖn y me b awer v. I aśur y, ɖt f Darsi wr nt sć a gret tōl felo, in cmparisn wɖ mslf, I śd nt pe him haf so mć defṛns. I dcler I d nt nǒ a mor ōfl objict ɖn Darsi, on ptiklr oceźnz, n in ptiklr plesz; at hiz ǒn hǎs ispeṣ́li, n v a Súnde īvnñ, ẃn h hz nʈñ t d.”

Mr Darsi smîld; bt Iliẓbʈ ʈt ś cd psiv ɖt h wz rɖr ofndd, n ɖrfr ćect hr laf. Mis Bñli wormli rzntd ɖ indigṇti h hd rsivd, in an xposć̣leśn wɖ hr bruɖr fr tōcñ sć nonsns.

“I si yr dzîn, Bñli,” sd hiz frend. “Y dslîc an arğmnt, n wont t sîḷns ɖs.”

“Phps I d. Arğmnts r tù mć lîc dspyts. F y n Mis Benit wl dfŕ yrz tl I am ǎt v ɖ rūm, I śl b vri ʈancfl; n ɖen y me se ẃtvr y lîc v m.”

“Ẃt y asc,” sd Iliẓbʈ, “z no sacṛfîs on mî sîd; n Mr Darsi hd mć betr finiś hiz letr.”

Mr Darsi tc hr advîs, n dd finiś hiz letr.

Ẃn ɖt biznis wz ovr, h aplaid t Mis Bñli n Iliẓbʈ fr an induljns v sm ḿzic. Mis Bñli muvd wɖ sm alacṛti t ɖ piaṇforte; n, aftr a p’lît rqst ɖt Iliẓbʈ wd līd ɖ we ẃć ɖ uɖr az p’lîtli n mor rṇstli neġtivd, ś sītd hrslf.

Msz Hrst sañ wɖ hr sistr, n ẃl ɖe wr ɖus imploid, Iliẓbʈ cd nt hlp obzrvñ, az ś trnd ovr sm ḿzic-bcs ɖt le on ɖ instṛmnt, hǎ frīqntli Mr Darsi’z îz wr fixt on hr. Ś hardli ń hǎ t s’poz ɖt ś cd b an objict v adṃreśn t so gret a man; n yt ɖt h śd lc at hr bcz h dslîct hr, wz stl mor strenj. Ś cd onli imajn, hvr, at last ɖt ś drù hiz notis bcz ɖr wz smʈñ mor roñ n reprihnsbl, acordñ t hiz îdīaz v rît, ɖn in eni uɖr prsn preznt. Ɖ supziśn dd nt pen hr. Ś lîct him tù litl t cer fr hiz apṛbeśn.

Aftr pleyñ sm Itałn soñz, Mis Bñli vẹrid ɖ ćarm bî a lîvli Scoć er; n sn aftwdz Mr Darsi, drw̃ nir Iliẓbʈ, sd t hr:

“D nt y fīl a gret incḷneśn, Mis Benit, t sīz sć an oṗtyṇti v dansñ a rīl?”

Ś smîld, bt md no ansr. H rpitd ɖ qsćn, wɖ sm s’prîz at hr sîḷns.

“Ǒ!” sd ś, “I hŕd y bfr, bt I cd nt imīɉtli dtrmin ẃt t se in rplî. Y wontd m, I nǒ, t se ‘Yes,’ ɖt y mt hv ɖ pleźr v dspîzñ mî test; bt I olwz dlît in oṿʈrowñ ɖoz cnd v scīmz, n ćītñ a prsn v ɖer prīmedtetd cntmt. I hv, ɖrfr, md p mî mînd t tel y, ɖt I d nt wont t dans a rīl at ol – n nǎ dspîz m f y der.”

“Indd I d nt der.”

Iliẓbʈ, hvñ rɖr xpctd t afrunt him, wz amezd at hiz gaḷntri; bt ɖr wz a mixćr v swītnis n arćnis in hr manr ẃć md it dificlt fr hr t afrunt enbdi; n Darsi hd nvr bn so b’wićt bî eni wmn az h wz bî hr. H riyli b’livd, ɖt wr it nt fr ɖ infirioṛti v hr cnx́nz, h śd b in sm denjr.

Mis Bñli sw, or sspctd inuf t b jeḷs; n hr gret añzayti fr ɖ rcuṿri v hr dir frend Jen rsivd sm asistns fṛm hr dzîr v gtñ rid v Iliẓbʈ.

Ś ofn traid t pṛvoc Darsi intu dslîcñ hr gest, bî tōcñ v ɖer s’pozd marij, n planñ hiz hapinis in sć an alayns.

“I hop,” sd ś, az ɖe wr wōcñ tgɖr in ɖ śruḅri ɖ nxt de, “y wl gv yr muɖr-in-lw a fy hints, ẃn ɖs dzîṛbl ivnt tecs ples, az t ɖ advantij v holdñ hr tuñ; n f y cn cumṗs it, d kr ɖ yungr grlz v runñ aftr ofisrz. N, f I me mnśn so delic̣t a subjict, indevr t ćec ɖt litl smʈñ, borḍrñ on cnsit n imprtinns, ẃć yr ledi pzesz.”

“Hv y enʈñ els t pṛpoz fr mî dmestic f’liṣti?”

“Ǒ! yes. D let ɖ portrits v yr uncl n ānt Filips b plest in ɖ gaḷri at Pmḅli. Pt ɖm nxt t yr gret-uncl ɖ juj. Ɖe r in ɖ sem pṛfeśn, y nǒ, onli in difṛnt lînz. Az fr yr Iliẓbʈ’s picćr, y mst nt hv it tecn, fr ẃt pentr cd d justis t ɖoz bytifl îz?”

“It wd nt b īzi, indd, t cać ɖer xpreśn, bt ɖer culr n śep, n ɖ îlaśz, so rmarcbli fîn, mt b copid.”

At ɖt momnt ɖe wr met fṛm anɖr wōc bî Msz Hrst n Iliẓbʈ hrslf.

“I dd nt nǒ ɖt y intndd t wōc,” sd Mis Bñli, in sm cnfyźn, lest ɖe hd bn oṿhŕd.

“Y yzd s abomiṇbli il,” ansrd Msz Hrst, “runñ awe wɖt telñ s ɖt y wr cmñ ǎt.”

Ɖen tecñ ɖ disingejd arm v Mr Darsi, ś left Iliẓbʈ t wōc bî hrslf. Ɖ paʈ jst admitd ʈri. Mr Darsi flt ɖer rūdnis, n imīɉtli sd:

“Ɖs wōc z nt wîd inuf fr ǎr parti. W hd betr g intu ɖ aṿny.”

Bt Iliẓbʈ, hu hd nt ɖ līst incḷneśn t rmen wɖ ɖm, lafñli ansrd:

“No, no; ste ẃr y r. Y r ćarmñli grūpt, n apir t uncomn advantij. Ɖ picćresc wd b spôlt bî admitñ a forʈ. Gdbî.”

Ś ɖen ran gêli of, rjôsñ az ś rambld abt, in ɖ hop v biyñ at hom agn in a de or tū. Jen wz olrdi so mć rcuvrd az t intnd līvñ hr rūm fr a cupl v aurz ɖt īvnñ.

Ćaptrz:
1–10 11–20 21–30 31–40 41–50 51–61