PRÎD AND PREɈDIS: Ćaptrz 11 tu 20

Ćaptrz:
11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20


___

Ćaptr 11

n ɖ lediz rmuvd aftr dinr, Iliẓbʈ ran p t hr sistr, n siyñ hr wel gardd fṛm cold, atndd hr intu ɖ drw̃rūm, ẃr ś wz welcmd bî hr tū frendz wɖ mni pṛfeśnz v pleźr; n Iliẓbʈ hd nvr sìn ɖm so agriybl az ɖe wr jrñ ɖ aur ẃć pást bfr ɖ jntlṃn apird. Ɖer pǎrz v convseśn wr cnsidṛbl. Ɖe cd dscrîb an enttenmnt wɖ akṛsi, rlet an aṇcdot wɖ hymr, n laf at ɖer aqentns wɖ spirit.

Bt ẃn ɖ jntlṃn entrd, Jen wz no longr ɖ frst objict; Mis Bñli’z îz wr instntli trnd twd Darsi, n ś hd smʈñ t se t him bfr h hd advanst mni steps. H adrest himslf t Mis Benit, wɖ a p’lît cngrać̣leśn; Mr Hrst olso md hr a slît bǎ, n sd h wz “vri glad;” bt dfysnis n wormʈ rmend fr Bñli’z sałteśn. H wz fl v jô n atnśn. Ɖ frst haf-aur wz spent in pîlñ p ɖ fîr, lest ś śd sufr fṛm ɖ ćenj v rūm; n ś rmuvd at hiz dzîr t ɖ uɖr sîd v ɖ fîrples, ɖt ś mt b frɖr fṛm ɖ dor. H ɖen sat dǎn bî hr, n tōct scersli t enwn els. Iliẓbʈ, at wrc in ɖ oṗzit cornr, sw it ol wɖ gret dlît.

Ẃn ti wz ovr, Mr Hrst rmîndd hiz sistr-in-lw v ɖ cardtebl – bt in ven. Ś hd obtend prîṿt intelijns ɖt Mr Darsi dd nt wś fr cardz; n Mr Hrst sn faund īvn hiz opn ptiśn rjctd. Ś aśurd him ɖt nwn intndd t ple, n ɖ sîḷns v ɖ hol parti on ɖ subjict sīmd t jusṭfî hr. Mr Hrst hd ɖrfr nʈñ t d, bt t streć himslf on wn v ɖ sofaz n g t slīp. Darsi tc p a bc; Mis Bñli dd ɖ sem; n Msz Hrst, prinsipli okpaid in pleyñ wɖ hr breslits n rñz, jônd nǎ n ɖen in hr bruɖr’z convseśn wɖ Mis Benit.

Mis Bñli’z atnśn wz qt az mć ingejd in woćñ Mr Darsi’z progres ʈru hiz bc, az in rīdñ hr ǒn; n ś wz ppć̣li îɖr mcñ sm inqîri, or lcñ at hiz pej. Ś cd nt win him, hvr, t eni convseśn; h mirli ansrd hr qsćn, n réd on. At leñʈ, qt xōstd bî ɖ atmt t b aḿzd wɖ hr ǒn bc, ẃć ś hd onli ćozn bcz it wz ɖ secnd volym v hiz, ś gev a gret yōn n sd, “Hǎ pleznt it z t spend an īvnñ in ɖs we! I dcler aftr ol ɖr z no injômnt lîc rīdñ! Hǎ mć snr wn tîrz v enʈñ ɖn v a bc! Ẃn I hv a hǎs v mî ǒn, I śl b mizṛbl f I hv nt an xḷnt lîbrri.”

Nwn md eni rplî. Ś ɖen yōnd agn, ʈrù asd hr bc, n cast hr îz rnd ɖ rūm in qst fr sm aḿzmnt; ẃn hírñ hr bruɖr mnṣ́nñ a bōl t Mis Benit, ś trnd sudnli twdz him n sd:

“Bî ɖ bái, Ćarlz, r y riyli sirịs in medtetñ a dans at Neɖ̇fīld? I wd advîz y, bfr y dtrmin on it, t cnsult ɖ wśz v ɖ preznt parti; I am mć mstecn f ɖr r nt sm amñ s t hūm a bōl wd b rɖr a puniśmnt ɖn a pleźr.”

“F y mīn Darsi,” craid hr bruɖr, “h me g t bed, f h ćuzz, bfr it bginz – bt az fr ɖ bōl, it z qt a setld ʈñ; n az sn az Niclz hz md ẃît sūp inuf, I śl snd rnd mî cardz.”

“I śd lîc bōlz infiṇtli betr,” ś rplaid, “f ɖe wr carid on in a difṛnt manr; bt ɖr z smʈñ insufṛbli tīdịs in ɖ yźl proses v sć a mītñ. It wd śrli b mć mor raṣ́nl f convseśn instd v dansñ wr md ɖ ordr v ɖ de.”

“Mć mor raṣ́nl, mî dir Caṛlîn, I der se, bt it wd nt b nir so mć lîc a bōl.”

Mis Bñli md no ansr, n sn aftwdz ś got p n wōct abt ɖ rūm. Hr figr wz elignt, n ś wōct wel; bt Darsi, at hūm it wz ol emd, wz stl inflexbli stydịs. In ɖ desṗreśn v hr fīlñz, ś rzolvd on wn ef̣t mor, n, trnñ t Iliẓbʈ, sd:

“Mis Ilîza Benit, let m pswed y t folo mî xampl, n tec a trn abt ɖ rūm. I aśur y it z vri rfreśñ aftr sitñ so loñ in wn attyd.”

Iliẓbʈ wz s’prîzd, bt agrìd t it imīɉtli. Mis Bñli s’xidd no les in ɖ riyl objict v hr sviḷti; Mr Darsi lct p. H wz az mć awec t ɖ novlti v atnśn in ɖt qortr az Iliẓbʈ hrslf cd b, n unconśsli clozd hiz bc. H wz d’recli invîtd t jôn ɖer parti, bt h dclînd it, obzrvñ ɖt h cd imajn bt tū motivz fr ɖer ćuzñ t wōc p n dǎn ɖ rūm tgɖr, wɖ îɖr v ẃć motivz hiz jônñ ɖm wd inṭfir. “Ẃt cd h mīn? Ś wz dayñ t nǒ ẃt cd b hiz mīnñ?” – n asct Iliẓbʈ ẃɖr ś cd at ol unḍstand him?

“Nt at ol,” wz hr ansr; “bt dpnd upn it, h mīnz t b svir on s, n ǎr śrist we v dis’pôntñ him wl b t asc nʈñ abt it.”

Mis Bñli, hvr, wz inceṗbl v dis’pôntñ Mr Darsi in enʈñ, n prṣvird ɖrfr in rqîrñ an xpḷneśn v hiz tū motivz.

“I hv nt ɖ smōlist objx́n t xplenñ ɖm,” sd h, az sn az ś alaud him t spīc. “Y îɖr ćūz ɖs meʈ̇d v pasñ ɖ īvnñ bcz y r in ć uɖr’z confidns, n hv sīcrit aferz t dscus, or bcz y r conśs ɖt yr figrz apir t ɖ gretist advantij in wōcñ; f ɖ frst, I wd b cmplitli in yr we, n f ɖ secnd, I cn admîr y mć betr az I sit bî ɖ fîr.”

“Ǒ! śocñ!” craid Mis Bñli. “I nvr hŕd enʈñ so abomiṇbl. Hǎ śl w puniś him fr sć a spīć?”

“Nʈñ so īzi, f y hv bt ɖ incḷneśn,” sd Iliẓbʈ. “W cn ol pleg n puniś wn anɖr. Tīz him – laf at him. Intiṃt az y r, y mst nǒ hǎ it z t b dn.”

“Bt upn mî onr, I d nt. I d aśur y ɖt mî intiṃsi hz nt yt tòt m ɖt. Tīz cāmnis v manr n prezns v mînd! No, no; I fīl h me dfî s ɖr. N az t laftr, w wl nt xpoz ǎrslvz, f y plīz, bî atmtñ t laf wɖt a subjict. Mr Darsi me hug himslf.”

“Mr Darsi z nt t b laft at!” craid Iliẓbʈ. “Ɖt z an uncomn advantij, n uncomn I hop it wl cntiny, fr it wd b a gret los t m t hv mni sć aqentnsz. I dirli luv a laf.”

“Mis Bñli,” sd h, “hz gvn m mor credit ɖn cn b. Ɖ wîzist n ɖ bst v men – nê, ɖ wîzist n bst v ɖer ax́nz – me b rendrd r’dikyḷs bî a prsn huz frst objict in lîf z a joc.”

“Srtnli,” rplaid Iliẓbʈ – “ɖr r sć ppl, bt I hop I am nt wn v ɖm. I hop I nvr riḍkl ẃt z wîz n gd. Foliz n nonsns, ẃimz n incnsistnsiz, d dvrt m, I ǒn, n I laf at ɖm ẃnvr I cn. Bt ɖz, I s’poz, r prisîsli ẃt y r wɖt.”

“Phps ɖt z nt poṣbl fr enwn. Bt it hz bn ɖ studi v mî lîf t avôd ɖoz wìcnisz ẃć ofn xpoz a stroñ unḍstandñ t riḍkl.”

“Sć az vaṇti n prîd.”

“Yes, vaṇti z a wìcnis indd. Bt prîd – ẃr ɖr z a riyl s’pirioṛti v mînd, prîd wl b olwz undr gd reğleśn.”

Iliẓbʈ trnd awe t hîd a smîl.

“Yr xaṃneśn v Mr Darsi z ovr, I prizym,” sd Mis Bñli; “n pre ẃt z ɖ rzult?”

“I am prf̣cli cnvinst bî it ɖt Mr Darsi hz no dīfect. H ǒnz it himslf wɖt dsgîz.”

“No,” sd Darsi, “I hv md no sć pritnśn. I hv fōlts inuf, bt ɖe r nt, I hop, v unḍstandñ. Mî tmpr I der nt vǎć fr. It z, I b’liv, tù litl yīldñ – srtnli tù litl fr ɖ cnvīńns v ɖ wrld. I canot fget ɖ foliz n vîsz v uɖrz so sn az I òt, nr ɖer ofnsz agnst mslf. Mî fīlñz r nt puft abt wɖ evri atmt t muv ɖm. Mî tmpr wd phps b cōld rzntfl. Mî gd opińn wns lost, z lost fr evr.”

Ɖt z a felñ indd!” craid Iliẓbʈ. “Implacbl rzntmnt z a śêd in a caṛctr. Bt y hv ćozn yr fōlt wel. I riyli canot laf at it. Y r sef fṛm m.”

“Ɖr z, I b’liv, in evri disṗziśn a tndnsi t sm ptiklr īvl – a naćṛl dīfect, ẃć nt īvn ɖ bst edyceśn cn oṿcm.”

“N yr dīfect z t het evrbdi.”

“N yrz,” h rplaid wɖ a smîl, “z wilf̣li t misunḍstand ɖm.”

“D let s hv a litl ḿzic,” craid Mis Bñli, tîrd v a convseśn in ẃć ś hd no śer. “Luīza, y wl nt mînd mî wecñ Mr Hrst?”

Hr sistr hd nt ɖ smōlist objx́n, n ɖ piaṇforte wz opnd; n Darsi, aftr a fy momnts’ rec̣lex́n, wz nt sori fr it. H bgan t fīl ɖ denjr v peyñ Iliẓbʈ tù mć atnśn.


___

Ćaptr 12

I

n consiqns v an agrīmnt btwn ɖ sistrz, Iliẓbʈ rout ɖ nxt mornñ t ɖer muɖr, t beg ɖt ɖ carij mt b snt fr ɖm in ɖ cors v ɖ de. Bt Msz Benit, hu hd calkletd on hr dōtrz rmenñ at Neɖ̇fīld tl ɖ folowñ Tyzde, ẃć wd xacli finiś Jen’z wīc, cd nt brñ hrslf t rsiv ɖm wɖ pleźr bfr. Hr ansr, ɖrfr, wz nt pṛpiśs, at līst nt t Iliẓbʈ’s wśz, fr ś wz impeśnt t gt hom. Msz Benit snt ɖm wrd ɖt ɖe cd nt poṣbli hv ɖ carij bfr Tyzde; n in hr poșcript it wz add, ɖt f Mr Bñli n hiz sistr prest ɖm t ste longr, ś cd sper ɖm vri wel. Agnst steyñ longr, hvr, Iliẓbʈ wz poztivli rzolvd – nr dd ś mć xpct it wd b asct; n firfl, on ɖ contrri, az biyñ cnsidrd az intrudñ ɖmslvz nīdlisli loñ, ś rjd Jen t boro Mr Bñli’z carij imīɉtli, n at leñʈ it wz setld ɖt ɖer orijinl dzîn v līvñ Neɖ̇fīld ɖt mornñ śd b mnśnd, n ɖ rqst md.

Ɖ cḿṇceśn xîtd mni pṛfeśnz v cnsrn; n inuf wz sd v wśñ ɖm t ste at līst tl ɖ folowñ de t wrc on Jen; n tl ɖ moro ɖer gwñ wz dfŕd. Mis Bñli wz ɖen sori ɖt ś hd pṛpozd ɖ dle, fr hr jeḷsi n dslîc v wn sistr mć xidd hr afx́n fr ɖ uɖr.

Ɖ mastr v ɖ hǎs hŕd wɖ riyl soro ɖt ɖe wr t g so sn, n rpitidli traid t pswed Mis Benit ɖt it wd nt b sef fr hr – ɖt ś wz nt inuf rcuvrd; bt Jen wz frm ẃr ś flt hrslf t b rît.

T Mr Darsi it wz welcm intelijns – Iliẓbʈ hd bn at Neɖ̇fīld loñ inuf. Ś atractd him mor ɖn h lîct – n Mis Bñli wz unsivl t hr, n mor tizñ ɖn yźl t himslf. H wîzli rzolvd t b ptiklrli cerfl ɖt no sîn v adṃreśn śd  iscep him, nʈñ ɖt cd eḷvet hr wɖ ɖ hop v inflụnsñ hiz f’liṣti; snṣbl ɖt f sć an îdīa hd bn sjstd, hiz bhevyr jrñ ɖ last de mst hv mtirịl weit in cnfrmñ or cruśñ it. Stedi t hiz prṗs, h scersli spouc ten wrdz t hr ʈru ɖ hol v Saṭde, n ɖo ɖe wr at wn tîm left bî ɖmslvz fr haf-an-aur, h adhird most conśienśsli t hiz bc, n wd nt īvn lc at hr.

On Súnde, aftr mornñsrvis, ɖ seṗreśn, so agriybl t olmst ol, tc ples. Mis Bñli’z sviḷti t Iliẓbʈ incrist at last vri rapidli, az wel az hr afx́n fr Jen; n ẃn ɖe partd, aftr aśurñ ɖ latr v ɖ pleźr it wd olwz gv hr t si hr îɖr at Loñbōrn or Neɖ̇fīld, n imbresñ hr most tndrli, ś īvn śc handz wɖ ɖ formr. Iliẓbʈ tc līv v ɖ hol parti in ɖ lîvliist v spirits.

Ɖe wr nt welcmd hom vri corɉli bî ɖer muɖr. Msz Benit wundrd at ɖer cmñ, n ʈt ɖm vri roñ t gv so mć trubl, n wz śr Jen wd hv còt cold agn. Bt ɖer faɖr, ɖo vri l’conic in hiz xpreśnz v pleźr, wz riyli glad t si ɖm; h hd flt ɖer importns in ɖ faṃlisrcl. Ɖ īvnñconvseśn, ẃn ɖe wr ol asmbld, hd lost mć v its aṇmeśn, n olmst ol its sns bî ɖ absns v Jen n Iliẓbʈ.

Ɖe faund Mẹri, az yźl, dīp in ɖ studi v ʈuṛbeis n hymn nećr; n hd sm xtracts t admîr, n sm ny obẓveśnz v ʈredbér mraḷti t lisn t. Caʈ̇rin n Lidia hd inf̣meśn fr ɖm v a difṛnt sort. Mć hd bn dn n mć hd bn sd in ɖ rejimnt sins ɖ prisidñ Wenzde; sevṛl v ɖ ofisrz hd dînd lêtli wɖ ɖer uncl, a prîṿt hd bn flogd, n it hd acć̣li bn hintd ɖt Crnl Forstr wz gwñ t b marid.


___

Ćaptr 13

“I

 hop, mî dir,” sd Mr Benit t hiz wîf, az ɖe wr at brecfst ɖ nxt mornñ, “ɖt y hv ordrd a gd dinr tde, bcz I hv rīzn t xpct an adiśn t ǎr faṃliparti.”

“Hu d y mīn, mî dir? I nǒ v nbdi ɖt z cmñ, I am śr, unls Śarlót Lūc̣s śd hapn t cōl in – n I hop  dinrz r gd inuf fr hr. I d nt b’liv ś ofn siz sć at hom.”

“Ɖ prsn v hūm I spīc z a jntlmn, n a strenjr.”

Msz Benit’s îz sparcld. “A jntlmn n a strenjr! It z Mr Bñli, I am śr! Wel, I am śr I śl b xtrimli glad t si Mr Bñli. Bt – gd Lord! hǎ unluci! Ɖr z nt a bit v fiś t b got tde. Lidia, mî luv, rñ ɖ bel – I mst spīc t Hil ɖs momnt.”

“It z nt Mr Bñli,” sd hr huzbnd; “it z a prsn hūm I nvr sw in ɖ hol cors v mî lîf.”

Ɖs rǎzd a jenṛl astoniśmnt; n h hd ɖ pleźr v biyñ īgrli qsćnd bî hiz wîf n hiz fîv dōtrz at wns.

Aftr aḿzñ himslf sm tîm wɖ ɖer krioṣti, h ɖus xplend:

“Abt a munʈ ago I rsivd ɖs letr; n abt a fortnît ago I ansrd it, fr I ʈt it a ces v sm delic̣si, n rqîrñ rli atnśn. It z fṛm mî cuzn, Mr Colinz, hu, ẃn I am ded, me trn y ol ǎt v ɖs hǎs az sn az h plizz.”

“Ǒ! mî dir,” craid hiz wîf, “I canot ber t hír ɖt mnśnd. Pre d nt tōc v ɖt odịs man. I d ʈnc it z ɖ hardist ʈñ in ɖ wrld, ɖt yr istet śd b inteild awe fṛm yr ǒn ćildṛn; n I am śr, f I hd bn y, I śd hv traid loñ ago t d smʈñ or uɖr abt it.”

Jen n Iliẓbʈ traid t xplen t hr ɖ nećr v an inteil. Ɖe hd ofn atmtd t d it bfr, bt it wz a subjict on ẃć Msz Benit wz bynd ɖ rīć v rīzn, n ś cntinyd t rel bitrli agnst ɖ cruwlti v seṭlñ an istet awe fṛm a faṃli v fîv dōtrz, in fevr v a man hūm nbdi cerd enʈñ abt.

“It srtnli z a most iniqiṭs afer,” sd Mr Benit, “n nʈñ cn clir Mr Colinz fṛm ɖ gilt v inheṛtñ Loñbōrn. Bt f y wl lisn t hiz letr, y me phps b a litl sofnd bî hiz manr v xpresñ himslf.”

“No, ɖt I am śr I śl nt; n I ʈnc it z vri imprtinnt v him t rait t y at ol, n vri hiṗcriticl. I het sć fōls frendz. Ẃ cd h nt cīp on qoṛlñ wɖ y, az hiz faɖr dd bfr him?”

“Ẃ, indd; h dz sīm t hv hd sm fiłl scrūplz on ɖt hed, az y wl hír.”

“Hunsf̣d, nir Wstṛm, Cnt, 15th Octobr.

“Dir Sr, –

“Ɖ dis’grīmnt sbsistñ btwn yrslf n mî lêt onrd faɖr olwz gev m mć unīzinis, n sins I hv hd ɖ msfortyn t lūz him, I hv frīqntli wśt t hīl ɖ brīć; bt fr sm tîm I wz cept bac bî mî ǒn dǎts, firñ lest it mt sīm disrispctfl t hiz meṃri fr m t b on gd trmz wɖ enwn wɖ hūm it hd olwz plizd him t b at verịns. – ‘Ɖr, Msz Benit.’ – Mî mînd, hvr, z nǎ md p on ɖ subjict, fr hvñ rsivd orḍneśn at Īstr, I hv bn so forćṇt az t b dstnḡśt bî ɖ patṛnij v ɖ Rît Onṛbl Ledi Caʈ̇rin d’Brg, wido v Sr Luis d’Brg, huz bǎnti n bnefisns hz prifŕd m t ɖ vałbl recṭri v ɖs pariś, ẃr it śl b mî rnist indevr t dmin mslf wɖ gretfl rspct twdz hr lediśp, n b evr redi t pform ɖoz ráits n seriṃniz ẃć r insttytd bî ɖ Ćrć v Ñgḷnd. Az a clrjimn, morovr, I fīl it mî dyti t pṛmot n istabliś ɖ blesñ v pīs in ol faṃliz wɖn ɖ rīć v mî inflụns; n on ɖz grǎndz I flatr mslf ɖt mî preznt oṿćrz r hîli cmndbl, n ɖt ɖ srcmstans v mî biyñ nxt in ɖ inteil v Loñbōrn istet wl b cîndli oṿlct on yr sîd, n nt līd y t rjct ɖ ofrd olivbranć. I canot b uɖrwz ɖn cnsrnd at biyñ ɖ mīnz v inɉrñ yr emịbl dōtrz, n beg līv t apoḷjîz fr it, az wel az t aśur y v mî redinis t mc ɖm evri poṣbl amndz – bt v ɖs hiraftr. F y śd hv no objx́n t rsiv m intu yr hǎs, I pṛpoz mslf ɖ saṭsfax́n v wêtñ on y n yr faṃli, Munde, Nvmbr 18ʈ, bî for o’cloc, n śl probbli tresṗs on yr hosṗtaḷti tl ɖ Saṭde senît folowñ, ẃć I cn d wɖt eni incnvińns, az Ledi Caʈ̇rin z far fṛm objctñ t mî oceźnl absns on a Súnde, pṛvîdd ɖt sm uɖr clrjimn z ingejd t d ɖ dyti v ɖ de. – I rmen, dir sr, wɖ rspctfl complimnts t yr ledi n dōtrz, yr wel-wśr n frend,

“WIŁM COLINZ”

“At for o’cloc, ɖrfr, w me xpct ɖs pīs-mcñ jntlmn,” sd Mr Benit, az h foldd p ɖ letr. “H sīmz t b a most conśienśs n p’lît yuñ man, upn mî wrd, n I dǎt nt wl pruv a vałbl aqentns, ispeṣ́li f Ledi Caʈ̇rin śd b so induljnt az t let him cm t s agn.”

“Ɖr z sm sns in ẃt h sz abt ɖ grlz, hvr, n f h z dspozd t mc ɖm eni amndz, I śl nt b ɖ prsn t dscurij him.”

“Ɖo it z dificlt,” sd Jen, “t ges in ẃt we h cn mīn t mc s ɖ atonmnt h ʈncs ǎr dy, ɖ wś z srtnli t hiz credit.”

Iliẓbʈ wz ćīfli struc bî hiz xtrordnri defṛns fr Ledi Caʈ̇rin, n hiz cînd intnśn v criṣnñ, mariyñ, n beriyñ hiz p’riṣ́nrz ẃnvr it wr rqîrd.

“H mst b an oḍti, I ʈnc,” sd ś. “I canot mc him ǎt. – Ɖr z smʈñ vri pomṗs in hiz stîl. – N ẃt cn h mīn bî apoḷjîzñ fr biyñ nxt in ɖ inteil? – W canot s’poz h wd hlp it f h cd. – Cd h b a snṣbl man, sr?”

“No, mî dir, I ʈnc nt. I hv gret hops v fîndñ him qt ɖ rvrs. Ɖr z a mixćr v srviḷti n slf-importns in hiz letr, ẃć proṃsz wel. I am impeśnt t si him.”

“In pônt v compziśn,” sd Mẹri, “ɖ letr dz nt sīm dfctiv. Ɖ îdīa v ɖ olivbranć phps z nt hoļi ny, yt I ʈnc it z wel xprest.”

T Caʈ̇rin n Lidia, nɖr ɖ letr nr its raitr wr in eni dgri inṭrestñ. It wz nxt t imposbl ɖt ɖer cuzn śd cm in a scarlit cot, n it wz nǎ sm wīcs sins ɖe hd rsivd pleźr fṛm ɖ ssayti v a man in eni uɖr culr. Az fr ɖer muɖr, Mr Colinz’z letr hd dn awe mć v hr il wil, n ś wz pripẹrñ t si him wɖ a dgri v cmpoźr ẃć astoniśt hr huzbnd n dōtrz.

Mr Colinz wz puñćl t hiz tîm, n wz rsivd wɖ gret p’lîtnis bî ɖ hol faṃli. Mr Benit indd sd litl; bt ɖ lediz wr redi inuf t tōc, n Mr Colinz sīmd nɖr in nīd v incurijmnt, nr inclînd t b sîḷnt himslf. H wz a tōl, hevi-lcñ yuñ man v fîv-n-twenti. Hiz er wz grev n stetli, n hiz manrz wr vri forml. H hd nt bn loñ sītd bfr h compḷmntd Msz Benit on hvñ so fîn a faṃli v dōtrz; sd h hd hŕd mć v ɖer byti, bt ɖt in ɖs instns fem hd fōḷn śort v ɖ truʈ; n add, ɖt h dd nt dǎt hr siyñ ɖm ol in dy tîm dspozd v in marij. Ɖs gaḷntri wz nt mć t ɖ test v sm v hiz hírrz; bt Msz Benit, hu qoṛld wɖ no complimnts, ansrd most reḍli.

“Y r vri cînd, I am śr; n I wś wɖ ol mî hart it me pruv so, fr els ɖe wl b dsttyt inuf. Ʈñz r setld so odli.”

“Y alud, phps, t ɖ inteil v ɖs istet.”

“Ā! sr, I d indd. It z a grīṿs afer t mî pur grlz, y mst cnfes. Nt ɖt I mīn t fînd fōlt wɖ y, fr sć ʈñz I nǒ r ol ćans in ɖs wrld. Ɖr z no nwñ hǎ istets wl g ẃn wns ɖe cm t b inteild.”

“I am vri snṣbl, madm, v ɖ hardśp t mî fer cuznz, n cd se mć on ɖ subjict, bt ɖt I am cōśs v apirñ fwd n prisipitt. Bt I cn aśur ɖ yuñ lediz ɖt I cm priperd t admîr ɖm. At preznt I wl nt se mor; bt, phps, ẃn w r betr aqentd – ”

H wz inṭruptd bî a sumnz t dinr; n ɖ grlz smîld on ć uɖr. Ɖe wr nt ɖ onli objicts v Mr Colinz’z adṃreśn. Ɖ hōl, ɖ dînñrūm, n ol its frnićr, wr xamind n prezd; n hiz comndeśn v evrʈñ wd hv tućt Msz Benit’s hart, bt fr ɖ morṭfayñ supziśn v hiz vywñ it ol az hiz ǒn fyćr proṗti. Ɖ dinr tù in its trn wz hîli admîrd; n h begd t nǒ t ẃć v hiz fer cuznz ɖ xḷnsi v its ccñ wz owñ. Bt h wz set rît ɖr bî Msz Benit, hu aśurd him wɖ sm aspeṛti ɖt ɖe wr vri wel ebl t cīp a gd cc, n ɖt hr dōtrz hd nʈñ t d in ɖ cićn. H begd pardn fr hvñ dsplizd hr. In a sofnd ton ś dclerd hrslf nt at ol ofndd; bt h cntinyd t apoḷjîz fr abt a qortr v an aur.


___

Ćaptr 14

J

rñ dinr, Mr Benit scersli spouc at ol; bt ẃn ɖ srvnts wr wɖdrwn, h ʈt it tîm t hv sm convseśn wɖ hiz gest, n ɖrfr startd a subjict in ẃć h xpctd him t śîn, bî obzrvñ ɖt h sīmd vri forćṇt in hiz petṛnes. Ledi Caʈ̇rin d’Brg’z atnśn t hiz wśz, n cnsiḍreśn fr hiz cumf̣t, apird vri rmarcbl. Mr Benit cd nt hv ćozn betr. Mr Colinz wz eḷqnt in hr prêz. Ɖ subjict eḷvetd him t mor ɖn yźl s’lemṇti v manr, n wɖ a most importnt aspect h pṛtstd ɖt “h hd nvr in hiz lîf witnist sć bhevyr in a prsn v ranc – sć afbiḷti n condisnśn, az h hd himslf xpirịnst fṛm Ledi Caʈ̇rin. Ś hd bn greśsli plizd t apruv v bʈ v ɖ dscorsz ẃć h hd olrdi hd ɖ onr v prīćñ bfr hr. Ś hd olso asct him twîs t dîn at Rozñz, n hd snt fr him onli ɖ Saṭde bfr, t mc p hr pūl v qdril in ɖ īvnñ. Ledi Caʈ̇rin wz recnd prǎd bî mni ppl h ń, bt h hd nvr sìn enʈñ bt afbiḷti in hr. Ś hd olwz spocn t him az ś wd t eni uɖr jntlmn; ś md nt ɖ smōlist objx́n t hiz jônñ in ɖ ssayti v ɖ nebrhd nr t hiz līvñ ɖ pariś oceźṇli fr a wīc or tū, t vizit hiz rleśnz. Ś hd īvn condisndd t advîz him t mari az sn az h cd, pṛvîdd h ćoz wɖ dscreśn; n hd wns peid him a vizit in hiz humbl parṣnij, ẃr ś hd prf̣cli apruvd ol ɖ olṭreśnz h hd bn mcñ, n hd īvn vǎćseft t sjst sm hrslf – sm ślvz in ɖ clozit upsterz.”

“Ɖt z ol vri propr n sivl, I am śr,” sd Msz Benit, “n I der se ś z a vri agriybl wmn. It z a piti ɖt gret lediz in jenṛl r nt mor lîc hr. Dz ś liv nir y, sr?”

“Ɖ gardn in ẃć standz mî humbl abod z seṗretd onli bî a len fṛm Rozñz Parc, hr lediśp’s rezidns.”

“I ʈnc y sd ś wz a wido, sr? Hz ś eni faṃli?”

“Ś hz onli wn dōtr, ɖ éres v Rozñz, n v vri xtnsiv proṗti.”

“Ā!” sd Msz Benit, śecñ hr hed, “ɖen ś z betr of ɖn mni grlz. N ẃt sort v yuñ ledi z ś? Z ś hansm?”

“Ś z a most ćarmñ yuñ ledi indd. Ledi Caʈ̇rin hrslf sz ɖt, in pônt v tru byti, Mis d’Brg z far s’pirịr t ɖ hanṣmist v hr sx, bcz ɖr z ɖt in hr fīćrz ẃć marcs ɖ yuñ ledi v dstnḡśt brʈ. Ś z unforćṇtli v a sicli consttyśn, ẃć hz privntd hr fṛm mcñ ɖt progres in mni acumpliśmnts ẃć ś cd nt hv uɖrwz feld v, az I am informd bî ɖ ledi hu sūṗintndd hr edyceśn, n hu stl rzîdz wɖ ɖm. Bt ś z prf̣cli emịbl, n ofn condisndz t drîv bî mî humbl abod in hr litl feytn n poniz.”

“Hz ś bn prizntd? I d nt rmembr hr nem amñ ɖ lediz at cort.”

“Hr indifṛnt stet v hlʈ unhaṗli privnts hr biyñ in tǎn; n bî ɖt mīnz, az I tld Ledi Caʈ̇rin wn de, hz dprîvd ɖ Britiś cort v its brîtist orṇmnt. Hr lediśp sīmd plizd wɖ ɖ îdīa; n y me imajn ɖt I am hapi on evri oceźn t ofr ɖoz litl delic̣t complimnts ẃć r olwz axptbl t lediz. I hv mor ɖn wns obzrvd t Ledi Caʈ̇rin, ɖt hr ćarmñ dōtr sīmd born t b a dućis, n ɖt ɖ most eḷvetd ranc, instd v gvñ hr consiqns, wd b adornd bî hr. Ɖz r ɖ cnd v litl ʈñz ẃć plīz hr lediśp, n it z a sort v atnśn ẃć I cnsiv mslf pkłrli bǎnd t pe.”

“Y juj vri proprli,” sd Mr Benit, “n it z hapi fr y ɖt y pzes ɖ taḷnt v flaṭrñ wɖ delic̣si. Me I asc ẃɖr ɖz plizñ atnśnz pṛsid fṛm ɖ impuls v ɖ momnt, or r ɖ rzult v prīvịs studi?”

“Ɖe arîz ćīfli fṛm ẃt z pasñ at ɖ tîm, n ɖo I smtmz aḿz mslf wɖ sjstñ n arenjñ sć litl elignt complimnts az me b adaptd t ordnri oceźnz, I olwz wś t gv ɖm az unstudid an er az poṣbl.”

Mr Benit’s xpcteśnz wr fŭli ansrd. Hiz cuzn wz az absrd az h hd hopt, n h lisnd t him wɖ ɖ cīnist injômnt, mntenñ at ɖ sem tîm ɖ most reẓlut cmpoźr v cǎntinns, n, xpt in an oceźnl glans at Iliẓbʈ, rqîrñ no partnr in hiz pleźr.

Bî tītîm, hvr, ɖ dos hd bn inuf, n Mr Benit wz glad t tec hiz gest intu ɖ drw̃rūm agn, n, ẃn ti wz ovr, glad t invît him t rīd alǎd t ɖ lediz. Mr Colinz reḍli asntd, n a bc wz pṛdyst; bt, on bholdñ it (fr evrʈñ anǎnst it t b fṛm a srkletñ lîbrri), h startd bac, n begñ pardn, pṛtstd ɖt h nvr réd novlz. Citi stérd at him, n Lidia xclemd. Uɖr bcs wr pṛdyst, n aftr sm dliḅreśn h ćoz Fordîs’z Srmnz. Lidia gept az h opnd ɖ volym, n bfr h hd, wɖ vri mnotṇs s’lemṇti, réd ʈri pejz, ś inṭruptd him wɖ:

“D y nǒ, m’mā, ɖt mî uncl Filips tōcs v trnñ awe Rićd; n f h dz, Crnl Forstr wl hîr him. Mî ānt tld m so hrslf on Saṭde. I śl wōc t Meritn tmoro t hír mor abt it, n t asc ẃn Mr Deni cmz bac fṛm tǎn.”

Lidia wz bid bî hr tū eldist sistrz t hold hr tuñ; bt Mr Colinz, mć ofndd, leid asd hiz bc, n sd:

“I hv ofn obzrvd hǎ litl yuñ lediz r inṭrestd bî bcs v a sirịs stamp, ɖo ritn soļi fr ɖer beṇfit. It amezz m, I cnfes; fr, srtnli, ɖr cn b nʈñ so advntejs t ɖm az instrux́n. Bt I wl no longr imṗtyn mî yuñ cuzn.”

Ɖen trnñ t Mr Benit, h ofrd himslf az hiz antaġnist at bacgamn. Mr Benit axptd ɖ ćalinj, obzrvñ ɖt h actd vri wîzli in līvñ ɖ grlz t ɖer ǒn trîf̣lñ aḿzmnts. Msz Benit n hr dōtrz apoḷjîzd most siṿli fr Lidia’z inṭrupśn, n promist ɖt it śd nt ocŕ agn, f h wd rzym hiz bc; bt Mr Colinz, aftr aśurñ ɖm ɖt h bòr hiz yuñ cuzn no il wil, n śd nvr rznt hr bhevyr az eni afrunt, sītd himslf at anɖr tebl wɖ Mr Benit, n priperd fr bacgamn.


___

Ćaptr 15

M

r Colinz wz nt a snṣbl man, n ɖ dfiśnsi v nećr hd bn bt litl asistd bî edyceśn or ssayti; ɖ gretist part v hiz lîf hvñ bn spent undr ɖ gîdns v an ilitṛt n mîzrli faɖr; n ɖo h b’loñd t wn v ɖ yṇvrṣtiz, h hd mirli cept ɖ nesṣri trmz, wɖt formñ at it eni ysfl aqentns. Ɖ sbjx́n in ẃć hiz faɖr hd bròt him p hd gvn him orijiṇli gret hymiḷti v manr; bt it wz nǎ a gd dīl cǎnṭactd bî ɖ slf-cnsit v a wìc hed, livñ in rtîrmnt, n ɖ consiqnśl fīlñz v rli n unxpctd pṛspeṛti. A forćṇt ćans hd rec̣mndd him t Ledi Caʈ̇rin d’Brg ẃn ɖ livñ v Hunsf̣d wz vecnt; n ɖ rspct ẃć h flt fr hr hî ranc, n hiz veṇreśn fr hr az hiz petṛnes, mnġlñ wɖ a vri gd opińn v himslf, v hiz oʈoṛti az a clrjimn, n hiz rît az a rectr, md him oltgɖr a mixćr v prîd n obsīqịsnis, slf-importns n hymiḷti.

Hvñ nǎ a gd hǎs n a vri sfiśnt incm, h intndd t mari; n in sīcñ a recnsilieśn wɖ ɖ Loñbōrn faṃli h hd a wîf in vy, az h mnt t ćūz wn v ɖ dōtrz, f h faund ɖm az hansm n emịbl az ɖe wr reprizntd bî comn rport. Ɖs wz hiz plan v amndz – v atonmnt – fr inheṛtñ ɖer faɖr’z istet; n h ʈt it an xḷnt wn, fl v eliɉbiḷti n sūtblnis, n xesivli jenṛs n disinṭrestd on hiz ǒn part.

Hiz plan dd nt vẹri on siyñ ɖm. Mis Benit’s luvli fes cnfrmd hiz vyz, n istabliśt ol hiz strictist nośnz v ẃt wz dy t sīnioṛti; n fr ɖ frst īvnñ ś wz hiz setld ćôs. Ɖ nxt mornñ, hvr, md an olṭreśn; fr in a qortr v an aur’z tete-a-tete wɖ Msz Benit bfr brecfst, a convseśn bginñ wɖ hiz parṣnijhǎs, n līdñ naćṛli t ɖ avawl v hiz hops, ɖt a mistris mt b faund fr it at Loñbōrn, pṛdyst fṛm hr, amd vri cmplesnt smîlz n jenṛl incurijmnt, a cōśn agnst ɖ vri Jen h hd fixt on. “Az t hr yungr dōtrz, ś cd nt tec upn hr t se – ś cd nt poztivli ansr – bt ś dd nt  v eni prīṗześn; hr eldist dōtr, ś mst jst mnśn – ś flt it incumbnt on hr t hint, wz lîcli t b vri sn ingejd.”

Mr Colinz hd onli t ćenj fṛm Jen t Iliẓbʈ – n it wz sn dn – dn ẃl Msz Benit wz stŕñ ɖ fîr. Iliẓbʈ, īqli nxt t Jen in brʈ n byti, s’xidd hr v cors.

Msz Benit treźrd p ɖ hint, n trustd ɖt ś mt sn hv tū dōtrz marid; n ɖ man hūm ś cd nt ber t spīc v ɖ de bfr wz nǎ hî in hr gd gresz.

Lidia’z intnśn v wōcñ t Meritn wz nt fgotn; evri sistr xpt Mẹri agrìd t g wɖ hr; n Mr Colinz wz t atnd ɖm, at ɖ rqst v Mr Benit, hu wz most añśs t gt rid v him, n hv hiz lîbrri t himslf; fr ɖiɖr Mr Colinz hd foloud him aftr brecfst; n ɖr h wd cntiny, nomiṇli ingejd wɖ wn v ɖ larjist folios in ɖ c’lex́n, bt riyli tōcñ t Mr Benit, wɖ litl sseśn, v hiz hǎs n gardn at Hunsf̣d. Sć dwñz discmpozd Mr Benit xidñli. In hiz lîbrri h hd bn olwz śr v leźr n tranqiḷti; n ɖo priperd, az h tld Iliẓbʈ, t mīt wɖ foli n cnsit in evri uɖr rūm v ɖ hǎs, h wz yst t b fri fṛm ɖm ɖr; hiz sviḷti, ɖrfr, wz most promt in invîtñ Mr Colinz t jôn hiz dōtrz in ɖer wōc; n Mr Colinz, biyñ in fact mć betr fitd fr a wōcr ɖn a rīdr, wz xtrimli plizd t cloz hiz larj bc, n g.

In pomṗs nuʈñz on hiz sîd, n sivl asnts on ɖt v hiz cuznz, ɖer tîm pást tl ɖe entrd Meritn. Ɖ atnśn v ɖ yungr wnz wz ɖen no longr t b gend bî him. Ɖer îz wr imīɉtli wonḍrñ p in ɖ strīt in qst v ɖ ofisrz, n nʈñ les ɖn a vri smart bonit indd, or a riyli ny muzlin in a śopwindo, cd rcōl ɖm.

Bt ɖ atnśn v evri ledi wz sn còt bî a yuñ man, hūm ɖe hd nvr sìn bfr, v most jntlmnlîc apiṛns, wōcñ wɖ anɖr ofisr on ɖ uɖr sîd v ɖ we. Ɖ ofisr wz ɖ vri Mr Deni cnsrnñ huz rtrn fṛm Lundn Lidia cem t inqîr, n h baud az ɖe pást. Ol wr struc wɖ ɖ strenjr’z er, ol wundrd hu h cd b; n Citi n Lidia, dtrmind f poṣbl t fînd ǎt, léd ɖ we acrs ɖ strīt, undr pritns v wontñ smʈñ in an oṗzit śop, n forćṇtli hd jst gend ɖ pevmnt ẃn ɖ tū jntlṃn, trnñ bac, hd rīćt ɖ sem spot. Mr Deni adrest ɖm d’recli, n intritd pmiśn t intṛdys hiz frend, Mr Wicm, hu hd rtrnd wɖ him ɖ de bfr fṛm tǎn, n h wz hapi t se hd axptd a cmiśn in ɖer cōr. Ɖs wz xacli az it śd b; fr ɖ yuñ man wontd onli reɉmntlz t mc him cmplitli ćarmñ. Hiz apiṛns wz gretli in hiz fevr; h hd ol ɖ bst part v byti, a fîn cǎntinns, a gd figr, n vri plizñ adres. Ɖ intṛdux́n wz foloud p on hiz sîd bî a hapi redinis v convseśn – a redinis at ɖ sem tîm prf̣cli c’rect n un’symñ; n ɖ hol parti wr stl standñ n tōcñ tgɖr vri agriybli, ẃn ɖ sǎnd v horsz drù ɖer notis, n Darsi n Bñli wr sìn rîdñ dǎn ɖ strīt. On dstnḡśñ ɖ lediz v ɖ grūp, ɖ tū jntlṃn cem d’recli twdz ɖm, n bgan ɖ yźl sviḷtiz. Bñli wz ɖ prinsipl spocsmn, n Mis Benit ɖ prinsipl objict. H wz ɖen, h sd, on hiz we t Loñbōrn on prṗs t inqîr aftr hr. Mr Darsi c’roḅretd it wɖ a bǎ, n wz bginñ t dtrmin nt t fix hiz îz on Iliẓbʈ, ẃn ɖe wr sudnli arestd bî ɖ sît v ɖ strenjr, n Iliẓbʈ haṗnñ t si ɖ cǎntinns v bʈ az ɖe lct at ć uɖr, wz ol astoniśmnt at ɖ ifct v ɖ mītñ. Bʈ ćenjd culr, wn lct ẃît, ɖ uɖr red. Mr Wicm, aftr a fy momnts, tućt hiz hat – a sałteśn ẃć Mr Darsi jst deind t rtrn. Ẃt cd b ɖ mīnñ v it? It wz imposbl t imajn; it wz imposbl nt t loñ t nǒ.

In anɖr minit, Mr Bñli, bt wɖt sīmñ t hv notist ẃt pást, tc līv n roud on wɖ hiz frend.

Mr Deni n Mr Wicm wōct wɖ ɖ yuñ lediz t ɖ dor v Mr Fílips’z hǎs, n ɖen md ɖer bǎz, in spît v Mis Lidia’z presñ intritiz ɖt ɖe śd cm in, n īvn in spît v Msz Filips’z ʈrowñ p ɖ parlrwindo n lǎdli secndñ ɖ invteśn.

Msz Filips wz olwz glad t si hr nīsz; n ɖ tū eldist, fṛm ɖer rīsnt absns, wr ptiklrli welcm, n ś wz īgrli xpresñ hr s’prîz at ɖer sudn rtrn hom, ẃć, az ɖer ǒn carij hd nt fećt ɖm, ś śd hv noun nʈñ abt, f ś hd nt hapnd t si Mr Jǒnz’z śopbô in ɖ strīt, hu hd tld hr ɖt ɖe wr nt t snd eni mor dráfts t Neɖ̇fīld bcz ɖ Mis Benits wr cm awe, ẃn hr sviḷti wz clemd twdz Mr Colinz bî Jen’z intṛdux́n v him. Ś rsivd him wɖ hr vri bst p’lîtnis, ẃć h rtrnd wɖ az mć mor, apoḷjîzñ fr hiz intruźn, wɖt eni prīvịs aqentns wɖ hr, ẃć h cd nt hlp flaṭrñ himslf, hvr, mt b jusṭfaid bî hiz rleśnśp t ɖ yuñ lediz hu intṛdyst him t hr notis. Msz Filips wz qt ōd bî sć an xes v gd brīdñ; bt hr contmpleśn v wn strenjr wz sn pt t an end bî xcḷmeśnz n inqîriz abt ɖ uɖr; v hūm, hvr, ś cd onli tel hr nīsz ẃt ɖe olrdi ń, ɖt Mr Deni hd bròt him fṛm Lundn, n ɖt h wz t hv a l’ftennt’s cmiśn in ɖ ––śr. Ś hd bn woćñ him ɖ last aur, ś sd, az h wōct p n dǎn ɖ strīt, n hd Mr Wicm apird, Citi n Lidia wd srtnli hv cntinyd ɖ okpeśn, bt unluc̣li nwn pást windoz nǎ xpt a fy v ɖ ofisrz, hu, in cmparisn wɖ ɖ strenjr, wr bcm “stypid, dis’griybl feloz.” Sm v ɖm wr t dîn wɖ ɖ Filipsz ɖ nxt de, n ɖer ānt promist t mc hr huzbnd cōl on Mr Wicm, n gv him an invteśn olso, f ɖ faṃli fṛm Loñbōrn wd cm in ɖ īvnñ. Ɖs wz agrìd t, n Msz Filips pṛtstd ɖt ɖe wd hv a nîs cumf̣tbl nôzi gem v loṭriticits, n a litl bit v hot supr aftwdz. Ɖ prospect v sć dlîts wz vri ćirñ, n ɖe partd in ḿćl gd spirits. Mr Colinz rpitd hiz apoḷjiz in qitñ ɖ rūm, n wz aśurd wɖ unwiriyñ sviḷti ɖt ɖe wr prf̣cli nīdlis.

Az ɖe wōct hom, Iliẓbʈ rletd t Jen ẃt ś hd sìn pas btwn ɖ tū jntlṃn; bt ɖo Jen wd hv dfndd îɖr or bʈ, hd ɖe apird t b in ɖ roñ, ś cd no mor xplen sć bhevyr ɖn hr sistr.

Mr Colinz on hiz rtrn hîli graṭfaid Msz Benit bî admîrñ Msz Filips’z manrz n p’lîtnis. H pṛtstd ɖt, xpt Ledi Caʈ̇rin n hr dōtr, h hd nvr sìn a mor elignt wmn; fr ś hd nt onli rsivd him wɖ ɖ utmost sviḷti, bt īvn pôntidli includd him in hr invteśn fr ɖ nxt īvnñ, olɖo utrli uņoun t hr bfr. Smʈñ, h s’pozd, mt b atribytd t hiz cnx́n wɖ ɖm, bt yt h hd nvr met wɖ so mć atnśn in ɖ hol cors v hiz lîf.


___

Ćaptr 16

A

z no objx́n wz md t ɖ yuñ ppl’z ingejmnt wɖ ɖer ānt, n ol Mr Colinz’z scrūplz v līvñ Mr n Msz Benit fr a sngl īvnñ jrñ hiz vizit wr most steḍli rzistd, ɖ coć cnveid him n hiz fîv cuznz at a sūṭbl aur t Meritn; n ɖ grlz hd ɖ pleźr v hírñ, az ɖe entrd ɖ drw̃rūm, ɖt Mr Wicm hd axptd ɖer uncl’z invteśn, n wz ɖen in ɖ hǎs.

Ẃn ɖs inf̣meśn wz gvn, n ɖe hd ol tecn ɖer sīts, Mr Colinz wz at leźr t lc arnd him n admîr, n h wz so mć struc wɖ ɖ sîz n frnićr v ɖ apartmnt, ɖt h dclerd h mt olmst hv s’pozd himslf in ɖ smōl sumr brecfstparlr at Rozñz; a cmparisn ɖt dd nt at frst cnve mć gratif̣ceśn; bt ẃn Msz Filips unḍstd fṛm him ẃt Rozñz wz, n hu wz its pṛpraytr – ẃn ś hd lisnd t ɖ dscripśn v onli wn v Ledi Caʈ̇rin’z drw̃rūmz, n faund ɖt ɖ ćimnipìs alon hd cost et hundṛd pǎndz, ś flt ol ɖ fors v ɖ complimnt, n wd hardli hv rzntd a cmparisn wɖ ɖ hǎscīpr’z rūm.

In dscrîbñ t hr ol ɖ granjr v Ledi Caʈ̇rin n hr manśn, wɖ oceźnl dgreśnz in prêz v hiz ǒn humbl abod, n ɖ impruvmnts it wz rsivñ, h wz haṗli imploid untl ɖ jntlṃn jônd ɖm; n h faund in Msz Filips a vri atntiv lisnr, huz opińn v hiz consiqns incrist wɖ ẃt ś hŕd, n hu wz rzolvñ t rīteil it ol amñ hr nebrz az sn az ś cd. T ɖ grlz, hu cd nt lisn t ɖer cuzn, n hu hd nʈñ t d bt t wś fr an instṛmnt, n xamin ɖer ǒn indifṛnt iṃteśnz v ćîna on ɖ mantlpìs, ɖ inṭvl v wêtñ apird vri loñ. It wz ovr at last, hvr. Ɖ jntlṃn dd aproć, n ẃn Mr Wicm wōct intu ɖ rūm, Iliẓbʈ flt ɖt ś hd nɖr bn siyñ him bfr, nr ʈncñ v him sins, wɖ ɖ smōlist dgri v unrīzṇbl adṃreśn. Ɖ ofisrz v ɖ ––śr wr in jenṛl a vri creditbl, jntlmnlîc set, n ɖ bst v ɖm wr v ɖ preznt parti; bt Mr Wicm wz az far bynd ɖm ol in prsn, cǎntinns, er, n wōc, az ɖe wr s’pirịr t ɖ brōd-fest, stufi uncl Filips, briɖñ portwîn, hu foloud ɖm intu ɖ rūm.

Mr Wicm wz ɖ hapi man twdz hūm olmst evri fīmel î wz trnd, n Iliẓbʈ wz ɖ hapi wmn bî hūm h fîṇli sītd himslf; n ɖ agriybl manr in ẃć h imīɉtli fél intu convseśn, ɖo it wz onli on its biyñ a wet nît, md hr fīl ɖt ɖ coṃnist, dulist, most ʈredbér topic mt b rendrd inṭrestñ bî ɖ scil v ɖ spīcr.

Wɖ sć rîvlz fr ɖ notis v ɖ fer az Mr Wicm n ɖ ofisrz, Mr Colinz sīmd t snc intu inṣgnificns; t ɖ yuñ lediz h srtnli wz nʈñ; bt h hd stl at inṭvlz a cînd lisnr in Msz Filips, n wz bî hr woćflnis, most abundntli s’plaid wɖ cofi n mufin. Ẃn ɖ cardteblz wr plest, h hd ɖ oṗtyṇti v oblîjñ hr in trn, bî sitñ dǎn t ẃist.

“I nǒ litl v ɖ gem at preznt,” sd h, “bt I śl b glad t impruv mslf, fr in mî sićueśn in lîf – ” Msz Filips wz vri glad fr hiz cmplayns, bt cd nt wêt fr hiz rīzn.

Mr Wicm dd nt ple at ẃist, n wɖ redi dlît wz h rsivd at ɖ uɖr tebl btwn Iliẓbʈ n Lidia. At frst ɖr sīmd denjr v Lidia’z ingrosñ him intîrli, fr ś wz a most dtrmind tōcr; bt biyñ lîcwz xtrimli fond v loṭriticits, ś sn grù tù mć inṭrestd in ɖ gem, tù īgr in mcñ bets n xclemñ aftr prîzz t hv atnśn fr enwn in ptiklr. Alawñ fr ɖ comn dmandz v ɖ gem, Mr Wicm wz ɖrfr at leźr t tōc t Iliẓbʈ, n ś wz vri wilñ t hír him, ɖo ẃt ś ćīfli wśt t hír ś cd nt hop t b tld – ɖ hisṭri v hiz aqentns wɖ Mr Darsi. Ś derd nt īvn mnśn ɖt jntlmn. Hr krioṣti, hvr, wz unxpctidli rlivd. Mr Wicm bgan ɖ subjict himslf. H inqîrd hǎ far Neɖ̇fīld wz fṛm Meritn; n, aftr rsivñ hr ansr, asct in a heztetñ manr hǎ loñ Mr Darsi hd bn steyñ ɖr.

“Abt a munʈ,” sd Iliẓbʈ; n ɖen, unwilñ t let ɖ subjict drop, add, “H z a man v vri larj proṗti in Darbiśr, I unḍstand.”

“Yes,” rplaid Mr Wicm; “hiz istet ɖr z a nobl wn. A clir ten ʈǎznd p’anm. Y cd nt hv met wɖ a prsn mor ceṗbl v gvñ y srtn inf̣meśn on ɖt hed ɖn mslf, fr I hv bn cnctd wɖ hiz faṃli in a ptiklr manr fṛm mî inf̣nsi.”

Iliẓbʈ cd nt bt lc s’prîzd.

“Y me wel b s’prîzd, Mis Benit, at sć an asrśn, aftr siyñ, az y probbli mt, ɖ vri cold manr v ǎr mītñ yesṭde. R y mć aqentd wɖ Mr Darsi?”

“Az mć az I evr wś t b,” craid Iliẓbʈ vri wormli. “I hv spent for dez in ɖ sem hǎs wɖ him, n I ʈnc him vri dis’griybl.”

“I hv no rît t gv  opińn,” sd Wicm, “az t hiz biyñ agriybl or uɖrwz. I am nt qoḷfaid t form wn. I hv noun him tù loñ n tù wel t b a fer juj. It z imposbl fr m t b imparśl. Bt I b’liv yr opińn v him wd in jenṛl astoniś – n phps y wd nt xpres it qt so stroñli enẃr els. Hir y r in yr ǒn faṃli.”

“Upn mî wrd, I se no mor hir ɖn I mt se in eni hǎs in ɖ nebrhd, xpt Neɖ̇fīld. H z nt at ol lîct in Hartfdśr. Evrbdi z dsgustd wɖ hiz prîd. Y wl nt fînd him mor fevṛbli spocn v bî enwn.”

“I canot pritnd t b sori,” sd Wicm, aftr a śort inṭrupśn, “ɖt h or ɖt eni man śd nt b esṭmetd bynd ɖer dezts; bt wɖ him I b’liv it dz nt ofn hapn. Ɖ wrld z blîndd bî hiz fortyn n consiqns, or frîtnd bî hiz hî n impozñ manrz, n siz him onli az h ćuzz t b sìn.”

“I śd tec him, īvn on  slît aqentns, t b an il-tmprd man.” Wicm onli śc hiz hed.

“I wundr,” sd h, at ɖ nxt oṗtyṇti v spīcñ, “ẃɖr h z lîcli t b in ɖs cuntri mć longr.”

“I d nt at ol nǒ; bt I hŕd nʈñ v hiz gwñ awe ẃn I wz at Neɖ̇fīld. I hop yr planz in fevr v ɖ ––śr wl nt b afctd bî hiz biyñ in ɖ nebrhd.”

“Ǒ! no – it z nt fr m t b drivn awe bî Mr Darsi. F h wśz t avôd siyñ m, h mst g. W r nt on frendli trmz, n it olwz gvz m pen t mīt him, bt I hv no rīzn fr avôdñ him bt ẃt I mt pṛclem bfr ol ɖ wrld, a sns v vri gret il ysij, n most penfl rgrets at hiz biyñ ẃt h z. Hiz faɖr, Mis Benit, ɖ lêt Mr Darsi, wz wn v ɖ bst men ɖt evr briɖd, n ɖ truist frend I evr hd; n I cn nvr b in cumṗni wɖ ɖs Mr Darsi wɖt biyñ grīvd t ɖ soul bî a ʈǎznd tndr rec̣lex́nz. Hiz bhevyr t mslf hz bn scandḷs; bt I veṛli b’liv I cd fgiv him enʈñ n evrʈñ, rɖr ɖn hiz dis’pôntñ ɖ hops n dsgresñ ɖ meṃri v hiz faɖr.”

Iliẓbʈ faund ɖ inṭrest v ɖ subjict incris, n lisnd wɖ ol hr hart; bt ɖ delic̣si v it privntd frɖr inqîri.

Mr Wicm bgan t spīc on mor jenṛl topics, Meritn, ɖ nebrhd, ɖ ssayti, apirñ hîli plizd wɖ ol ɖt h hd yt sìn, n spīcñ v ɖ latr wɖ jntl bt vri inteliɉbl gaḷntri.

“It wz ɖ prospect v constnt ssayti, n gd ssayti,” h add, “ẃć wz mî ćīf indysmnt t entr ɖ ––śr. I ń it t b a most rspctbl, agriybl cōr, n mî frend Deni tmtd m frɖr bî hiz acǎnt v ɖer preznt qortrz, n ɖ vri gret atnśnz n xḷnt aqentnsz Meritn hd pṛkrd ɖm. Ssayti, I ǒn, z nesṣri t m. I hv bn a dis’pôntd man, n mî spirits wl nt ber soḷtyd. I mst hv implômnt n ssayti. A militri lîf z nt ẃt I wz intndd fr, bt srcmstansz hv nǎ md it eliɉbl. Ɖ ćrć òt t hv bn mî pṛfeśn – I wz bròt p fr ɖ ćrć, n I śd at ɖs tîm hv bn in pześn v a most vałbl livñ, hd it plizd ɖ jntlmn w wr spīcñ v jst nǎ.”

“Indd!”

“Yes – ɖ lêt Mr Darsi bqiɖd m ɖ nxt preznteśn v ɖ bst livñ in hiz gift. H wz mî godfaɖr, n xesivli ataćt t m. I canot d justis t hiz cîndnis. H mnt t pṛvîd fr m ampli, n ʈt h hd dn it; bt ẃn ɖ livñ fél, it wz gvn elsẃr.”

“Gd hevnz!” craid Iliẓbʈ; “bt hǎ cd ɖt b? Hǎ cd hiz wl b disrigardd? Ẃ dd y nt sīc līgl rdres?”

“Ɖr wz jst sć an informaḷti in ɖ trmz v ɖ bqst az t gv m no hop fṛm lw. A man v onr cd nt hv dǎtd ɖ intnśn, bt Mr Darsi ćoz t dǎt it – or t trīt it az a mirli cndiśnl rec̣mndeśn, n t asrt ɖt I hd forf̣td ol clem t it bî xtraṿgns, imprudns – in śort enʈñ or nʈñ. Srtn it z, ɖt ɖ livñ bcem vecnt tū yirz ago, xacli az I wz v an ej t hold it, n ɖt it wz gvn t anɖr man; n no les srtn z it, ɖt I canot akz mslf v hvñ riyli dn enʈñ t dzrv t lūz it. I hv a worm, ungardd tmpr, n I me hv spocn mî opińn v him, n t him, tù frīli. I cn rcōl nʈñ wrs. Bt ɖ fact z, ɖt w r vri difṛnt sort v men, n ɖt h hets m.”

“Ɖs z qt śocñ! H dzrvz t b pubḷcli dsgrest.”

“Sm tîm or uɖr h wl b – bt it śl nt b bî m. Tl I cn fget hiz faɖr, I cn nvr dfî or xpoz him.”

Iliẓbʈ onrd him fr sć fīlñz, n ʈt him hanṣmr ɖn evr az h xprest ɖm.

“Bt ẃt,” sd ś, aftr a pōz, “cn hv bn hiz motiv? Ẃt cn hv indyst him t bhev so cruwli?”

“A ʈura, dtrmind dslîc v m – a dslîc ẃć I canot bt atribyt in sm meźr t jeḷsi. Hd ɖ lêt Mr Darsi lîct m les, hiz sun mt hv bòrn wɖ m betr; bt hiz faɖr’z uncomn ataćmnt t m iṛtetd him, I b’liv, vri rli in lîf. H hd nt a tmpr t ber ɖ sort v comṗtiśn in ẃć w std – ɖ sort v prefṛns ẃć wz ofn gvn m.”

“I hd nt ʈt Mr Darsi so bad az ɖs – ɖo I hv nvr lîct him. I hd nt ʈt so vri il v him. I hd s’pozd him t b dspîzñ hiz felocrīćrz in jenṛl, bt dd nt sspct him v dsndñ t sć mliśs rvnj, sć injustis, sć inhymaṇti az ɖs.”

Aftr a fy minits’ rflex́n, hvr, ś cntinyd, “I d rmembr hiz bostñ wn de, at Neɖ̇fīld, v ɖ implacbiḷti v hiz rzntntmnts, v hiz hvñ an unfgivñ tmpr. Hiz disṗziśn mst b dredfl.”

“I wl nt trust mslf on ɖ subjict,” rplaid Wicm; “I cn hardli b just t him.”

Iliẓbʈ wz agn dīp in ʈt, n aftr a tîm xclemd, “T trīt in sć a manr ɖ godsun, ɖ frend, ɖ feṿrit v hiz faɖr!” Ś cd hv add, “A yuñ man, tù, lîc y, huz vri cǎntinns me vǎć fr yr biyñ emịbl” – bt ś cntntd hrslf wɖ, “n wn, tù, hu hd probbli bn hiz cmpańn fṛm ćîldhd, cnctd tgɖr, az I ʈnc y sd, in ɖ closist manr!”

“W wr born in ɖ sem pariś, wɖn ɖ sem parc; ɖ gretist part v ǎr yʈ wz pást tgɖr; inmets v ɖ sem hǎs, śẹrñ ɖ sem aḿzmnts, objicts v ɖ sem p’rentl cer.  faɖr bgan lîf in ɖ pṛfeśn ẃć yr uncl, Mr Filips, apirz t d so mć credit t – bt h gev p evrʈñ t b v ys t ɖ lêt Mr Darsi n dvotd ol hiz tîm t ɖ cer v ɖ Pmḅli proṗti. H wz most hîli istimd bî Mr Darsi, a most intiṃt, conf̣dnśl frend. Mr Darsi ofn acnolijd himslf t b undr ɖ gretist obḷgeśnz t mî faɖr’z activ sūṗintndns, n ẃn, imīɉtli bfr mî faɖr’z deʈ, Mr Darsi gev him a voḷntri promis v pṛvîdñ fr m, I am cnvinst ɖt h flt it t b az mć a dét v grattyd t him, az v hiz afx́n t mslf.”

“Hǎ strenj!” craid Iliẓbʈ. “Hǎ abomiṇbl! I wundr ɖt ɖ vri prîd v ɖs Mr Darsi hz nt md him just t y! F fṛm no betr motiv, ɖt h śd nt hv bn tù prǎd t b dsonist – fr dsoṇsti I mst cōl it.”

“It z wundrfl,” rplaid Wicm, “fr olmst ol hiz ax́nz me b trest t prîd; n prîd hd ofn bn hiz bst frend. It hz cnctd him nirr wɖ vrću ɖn wɖ eni uɖr fīlñ. Bt w r nn v s cnsistnt, n in hiz bhevyr t m ɖr wr strongr impulsz īvn ɖn prîd.”

“Cn sć abomiṇbl prîd az hiz hv evr dn him gd?”

“Yes. It hz ofn léd him t b libṛl n jenṛs, t gv hiz muni frīli, t dsple hosṗtaḷti, t asist hiz tennts, n rliv ɖ pur. Faṃliprîd, n fiłl prîd – fr h z vri prǎd v ẃt hiz faɖr wz – hv dn ɖs. Nt t apir t dsgres hiz faṃli, t djeṇret fṛm ɖ popylr qoḷtz, or lūz ɖ inflụns v ɖ Pmḅli Hǎs, z a pǎrfl motiv. H hz olso bruɖrli prîd, ẃć, wɖ sm bruɖrli afx́n, mcs him a vri cînd n cerfl gardịn v hiz sistr, n y wl hír him jenṛli craid p az ɖ most atntiv n bst v bruɖrz.”

“Ẃt sort v grl z Mis Darsi?”

H śc hiz hed. “I wś I cd cōl hr emịbl. It gvz m pen t spīc il v a Darsi. Bt ś z tù mć lîc hr bruɖr – vri, vri prǎd. Az a ćîld, ś wz afx́ṇt n plizñ, n xtrimli fond v m; n I hv dvotd aurz n aurz t hr aḿzmnt. Bt ś z nʈñ t m nǎ. Ś z a hansm grl, abt fiftīn or sixtīn, n, I unḍstand, hîli acumpliśt. Sins hr faɖr’z deʈ, hr hom hz bn Lundn, ẃr a ledi livz wɖ hr, n sūṗintndz hr edyceśn.”

Aftr mni pōzz n mni trîlz v uɖr subjicts, Iliẓbʈ cd nt hlp rvrtñ wns mor t ɖ frst, n seyñ:

“I am astoniśt at hiz intiṃsi wɖ Mr Bñli! Hǎ cn Mr Bñli, hu sīmz gd hymr itslf, n z, I riyli b’liv, trūli emịbl, b in frendśp wɖ sć a man? Hǎ cn ɖe sūt ć uɖr? D y nǒ Mr Bñli?”

“Nt at ol.”

“H z a swīt-tmprd, emịbl, ćarmñ man. H canot nǒ ẃt Mr Darsi z.”

“Probbli nt; bt Mr Darsi cn plīz ẃr h ćuzz. H dz nt wont abiḷtiz. H cn b a cnvrsbl cmpańn f h ʈncs it wrʈ hiz ẃl. Amñ ɖoz hu r at ol hiz īqlz in consiqns, h z a vri difṛnt man fṛm ẃt h z t ɖ les prospṛs. Hiz prîd nvr dzrts him; bt wɖ ɖ rić h z libṛl-mîndd, just, s’nsir, raṣ́nl, onṛbl, n phps agriybl – alawñ smʈñ fr fortyn n figr.”

Ɖ ẃistparti sn aftwdz brecñ p, ɖ pleyrz gaɖrd rnd ɖ uɖr tebl n Mr Colinz tc hiz steśn btwn hiz cuzn Iliẓbʈ n Msz Filips. Ɖ yźl inqîriz az t hiz s’xes wr md bî ɖ latr. It hd nt bn vri gret; h hd lost evri pônt; bt ẃn Msz Filips bgan t xpres hr cnsrn ɖr’pn, h aśurd hr wɖ mć rnist graṿti ɖt it wz nt v ɖ līst importns, ɖt h cnsidrd ɖ muni az a mir trîfl, n begd ɖt ś wd nt mc hrslf unīzi.

“I nǒ vri wel, madm,” sd h, “ɖt ẃn prsnz sit dǎn t a cardtebl, ɖe mst tec ɖer ćansz v ɖz ʈñz, n haṗli I am nt in sć srcmstansz az t mc fîv śilñz eni objict. Ɖr r undǎtidli mni hu cd nt se ɖ sem, bt ʈancs t Ledi Caʈ̇rin d’Brg, I am rmuvd far bynd ɖ nseṣti v rgardñ litl matrz.”

Mr Wicm’z atnśn wz còt; n aftr obzrvñ Mr Colinz fr a fy momnts, h asct Iliẓbʈ in a lo vôs ẃɖr hr rleśn wz vri intiṃtli aqentd wɖ ɖ faṃli v d’Brg.

“Ledi Caʈ̇rin d’Brg,” ś rplaid, “hz vri lêtli gvn him a livñ. I hardli nǒ hǎ Mr Colinz wz frst intṛdyst t hr notis, bt h srtnli hz nt noun hr loñ.”

“Y nǒ v cors ɖt Ledi Caʈ̇rin d’Brg n Ledi Án Darsi wr sistrz; consiqntli ɖt ś z ānt t ɖ preznt Mr Darsi.”

“No, indd, I dd nt. I ń nʈñ at ol v Ledi Caʈ̇rin’z cnx́nz. I nvr hŕd v hr xistns tl ɖ de bfr yesṭde.”

“Hr dōtr, Mis d’Brg, wl hv a vri larj fortyn, n it z b’livd ɖt ś n hr cuzn wl ynît ɖ tū istets.”

Ɖs inf̣meśn md Iliẓbʈ smîl, az ś ʈt v pur Mis Bñli. Ven indd mst b ol hr atnśnz, ven n yslis hr afx́n fr hiz sistr n hr prêz v himslf, f h wr olrdi slf-destind fr anɖr.

“Mr Colinz,” sd ś, “spīcs hîli bʈ v Ledi Caʈ̇rin n hr dōtr; bt fṛm sm ptiklrz ɖt h hz rletd v hr lediśp, I sspct hiz grattyd mslidz him, n ɖt in spît v hr biyñ hiz petṛnes, ś z an aṛgnt, cnsitd wmn.”

“I b’liv hr t b bʈ in a gret dgri,” rplaid Wicm; “I hv nt sìn hr fr mni yirz, bt I vri wel rmembr ɖt I nvr lîct hr, n ɖt hr manrz wr dicttorịl n insḷnt. Ś hz ɖ repyteśn v biyñ rmarcbli snṣbl n clevr; bt I rɖr b’liv ś d’rîvz part v hr abiḷtiz fṛm hr ranc n fortyn, part fṛm hr oʈorittiv manr, n ɖ rest fṛm ɖ prîd fr hr nefy, hu ćuzz ɖt evrwn cnctd wɖ him śd hv an unḍstandñ v ɖ frst clas.”

Iliẓbʈ alaud ɖt h hd gvn a vri raṣ́nl acǎnt v it, n ɖe cntinyd tōcñ tgɖr, wɖ ḿćl saṭsfax́n tl supr pt an end t cardz, n gev ɖ rest v ɖ lediz ɖer śer v Mr Wicm’z atnśnz. Ɖr cd b no convseśn in ɖ nôz v Msz Filips’z suprparti, bt hiz manrz rec̣mndd him t evrbdi. Ẃtvr h sd, wz sd wel; n ẃtvr h dd, dn gresf̣li. Iliẓbʈ wnt awe wɖ hr hed fl v him. Ś cd ʈnc v nʈñ bt v Mr Wicm, n v ẃt h hd tld hr, ol ɖ we hom; bt ɖr wz nt tîm fr hr īvn t mnśn hiz nem az ɖe wnt, fr nɖr Lidia nr Mr Colinz wr wns sîḷnt. Lidia tōct insesntli v loṭriticits, v ɖ fiś ś hd lost n ɖ fiś ś hd wún; n Mr Colinz in dscrîbñ ɖ sviḷti v Mr n Msz Filips, pṛtstñ ɖt h dd nt in ɖ līst rgard hiz losz at ẃist, ińṃretñ ol ɖ diśz at supr, n rpitidli firñ ɖt h crǎdd hiz cuznz, hd mor t se ɖn h cd wel manij bfr ɖ carij stopt at Loñbōrn Hǎs.


___

Ćaptr 17

I

liẓbʈ rletd t Jen ɖ nxt de ẃt hd pást btwn Mr Wicm n hrslf. Jen lisnd wɖ astoniśmnt n cnsrn; ś ń nt hǎ t b’liv ɖt Mr Darsi cd b so unwrɖi v Mr Bñli’z rgard; n yt, it wz nt in hr nećr t qsćn ɖ vraṣti v a yuñ man v sć emịbl apiṛns az Wicm. Ɖ posbiḷti v hiz hvñ indyrd sć uncîndnis, wz inuf t inṭrest ol hr tndr fīlñz; n nʈñ rmend ɖrfr t b dn, bt t ʈnc wel v ɖm bʈ, t dfnd ɖ conduct v ć, n ʈro intu ɖ acǎnt v axidnt or mstec ẃtvr cd nt b uɖrwz xplend.

“Ɖe hv bʈ,” sd ś, “bn dsivd, I der se, in sm we or uɖr, v ẃć w cn form no îdīa. Inṭrestd ppl hv phps misreprizntd ć t ɖ uɖr. It z, in śort, imposbl fr s t cnjcćr ɖ cōzz or srcmstansz ẃć me hv ełnetd ɖm, wɖt acćl blem on îɖr sîd.”

“Vri tru, indd; n nǎ, mî dir Jen, ẃt hv y got t se on bhaf v ɖ inṭrestd ppl hu hv probbli bn cnsrnd in ɖ biznis? D clir ɖm tù, or w śl b oblîjd t ʈnc il v smbdi.”

“Laf az mć az y ćūz, bt y wl nt laf m ǎt v mî opińn. Mî dirist Lizi, d bt cnsidr in ẃt a dsgresfl lît it plesz Mr Darsi, t b trītñ hiz faɖr’z feṿrit in sć a manr, wn hūm hiz faɖr hd promist t pṛvîd fr. It z imposbl. No man v comn hymaṇti, no man hu hd eni valy fr hiz caṛctr, cd b ceṗbl v it. Cn hiz most intiṃt frendz b so xesivli dsivd in him? Ǒ! no.”

“I cn mć mor īẓli b’liv Mr Bñli’z biyñ impozd on, ɖn ɖt Mr Wicm śd invnt sć a hisṭri v himslf az h gev m last nît; nemz, facts, evrʈñ mnśnd wɖt seriṃni. F it b nt so, let Mr Darsi contṛdict it. Bsdz, ɖr wz truʈ in hiz lcs.”

“It z dificlt indd – it z dstresñ. Wn dz nt nǒ ẃt t ʈnc.”

“I beg yr pardn; wn nz xacli ẃt t ʈnc.”

Bt Jen cd ʈnc wɖ srtnti on onli wn pônt – ɖt Mr Bñli, f h hd bn impozd on, wd hv mć t sufr ẃn ɖ afer bcem public.

Ɖ tū yuñ lediz wr sumnd fṛm ɖ śruḅri, ẃr ɖs convseśn pást, bî ɖ arîvl v ɖ vri prsnz v hūm ɖe hd bn spīcñ; Mr Bñli n hiz sistrz cem t gv ɖer prsnl invteśn fr ɖ loñ-xpctd bōl at Neɖ̇fīld, ẃć wz fixt fr ɖ folowñ Tyzde. Ɖ tū lediz wr dlîtd t si ɖer dir frend agn, cōld it an ej sins ɖe hd met, n rpitidli asct ẃt ś hd bn dwñ wɖ hrslf sins ɖer seṗreśn. T ɖ rest v ɖ faṃli ɖe peid litl atnśn; avôdñ Msz Benit az mć az poṣbl, seyñ nt mć t Iliẓbʈ, n nʈñ at ol t ɖ uɖrz. Ɖe wr sn gn agn, rîzñ fṛm ɖer sīts wɖ an activti ẃć tc ɖer bruɖr bî s’prîz, n huriyñ of az f īgr t iscep fṛm Msz Benit’s sviḷtiz.

Ɖ prospect v ɖ Neɖ̇fīld bōl wz xtrimli agriybl t evri fīmel v ɖ faṃli. Msz Benit ćoz t cnsidr it az gvn in complimnt t hr eldist dōtr, n wz ptiklrli flatrd bî rsivñ ɖ invteśn fṛm Mr Bñli himslf, instd v a seṛmońs card. Jen picćrd t hrslf a hapi īvnñ in ɖ ssayti v hr tū frendz, n ɖ atnśnz v ɖer bruɖr; n Iliẓbʈ ʈt wɖ pleźr v dansñ a gret dīl wɖ Mr Wicm, n v siyñ a confmeśn v evrʈñ in Mr Darsi’z lc n bhevyr. Ɖ hapinis antiṣpetd bî Caʈ̇rin n Lidia dpndd les on eni sngl ivnt, or eni ptiklr prsn, fr ɖo ɖe ć, lîc Iliẓbʈ, mnt t dans haf ɖ īvnñ wɖ Mr Wicm, h wz bî no mīnz ɖ onli partnr hu cd saṭsfî ɖm, n a bōl wz, at eni ret, a bōl. N īvn Mẹri cd aśur hr faṃli ɖt ś hd no disincḷneśn fr it.

“Ẃl I cn hv mî mornñz t mslf,” sd ś, “it z inuf – I ʈnc it z no sacṛfîs t jôn oceźṇli in īvnñ-ingejmnts. Ssayti hz clemz on s ol; n I pṛfes mslf wn v ɖoz hu cnsidr inṭvlz v recrieśn n aḿzmnt az dzîṛbl fr evrbdi.”

Iliẓbʈ’s spirits wr so hî on ɖs oceźn, ɖt ɖo ś dd nt ofn spīc uņessṛli t Mr Colinz, ś cd nt hlp ascñ him ẃɖr h intndd t axpt Mr Bñli’z invteśn, n f h dd, ẃɖr h wd ʈnc it propr t jôn in ɖ īvnñ’z aḿzmnt; n ś wz rɖr s’prîzd t fînd ɖt h enttend no scrūpl ẃtvr on ɖt hed, n wz vri far fṛm dredñ a rbyc îɖr fṛm ɖ Arćbiṣ́p, or Ledi Caʈ̇rin d’Brg, bî vnćrñ t dans.

“I am bî no mīnz v ɖ opińn, I aśur y,” sd h, “ɖt a bōl v ɖs cnd, gvn bî a yuñ man v caṛctr, t rspctbl ppl, cn hv eni īvl tndnsi; n I am so far fṛm objctñ t dansñ mslf, ɖt I śl hop t b onrd wɖ ɖ handz v ol mî fer cuznz in ɖ cors v ɖ īvnñ; n I tec ɖs oṗtyṇti v s’liṣtñ yrz, Mis Iliẓbʈ, fr ɖ tū frst dansz ispeṣ́li, a prefṛns ẃć I trust mî cuzn Jen wl atribyt t ɖ rît cōz, n nt t eni disrispct fr hr.”

Iliẓbʈ flt hrslf cmplitli tecn in. Ś hd fŭli pṛpozd biyñ ingejd bî Mr Wicm fr ɖoz vri dansz; n t hv Mr Colinz instd! hr lîvlinis hd nvr bn wrs tîmd. Ɖr wz no hlp fr it, hvr. Mr Wicm’z hapinis n hr ǒn wr pfors dleid a litl longr, n Mr Colinz’z pṛpozl axptd wɖ az gd a gres az ś cd. Ś wz nt ɖ betr plizd wɖ hiz gaḷntri fṛm ɖ îdīa it sjstd v smʈñ mor. It nǎ frst struc hr, ɖt ś wz s’lectd fṛm amñ hr sistrz az wrɖi v biyñ mistris v Hunsf̣d Parṣnij, n v asistñ t form a qdriltebl at Rozñz, in ɖ absns v mor eliɉbl vizitrz. Ɖ îdīa sn rīćt t cnvix́n, az ś obzrvd hiz incrisñ sviḷtiz twd hrslf, n hŕd hiz frīqnt atmt at a complimnt on hr wit n vivaṣti; n ɖo mor astoniśt ɖn graṭfaid hrslf bî ɖs ifct v hr ćarmz, it wz nt loñ bfr hr muɖr gev hr t unḍstand ɖt ɖ probbiḷti v ɖer marij wz xtrimli agriybl t hr. Iliẓbʈ, hvr, dd nt ćūz t tec ɖ hint, biyñ wel awer ɖt a sirịs dspyt mst b ɖ consiqns v eni rplî. Mr Colinz mt nvr mc ɖ ofr, n tl h dd, it wz yslis t qoṛl abt him.

F ɖr hd nt bn a Neɖ̇fīld bōl t priper fr n tōc v, ɖ yungr Mis Benits wd hv bn in a vri pitịbl stet at ɖs tîm, fr fṛm ɖ de v ɖ invteśn, t ɖ de v ɖ bōl, ɖr wz sć a s’xeśn v ren az privntd ɖer wōcñ t Meritn wns. No ānt, no ofisrz, no nyz cd b sòt aftr – ɖ vri śūrôzz fr Neɖ̇fīld wr got bî proxi. Īvn Iliẓbʈ mt hv faund sm trîl v hr peśns in weɖr ẃć toṭli sspndd ɖ impruvmnt v hr aqentns wɖ Mr Wicm; n nʈñ les ɖn a dans on Tyzde, cd hv md sć a Frîde, Saṭde, Súnde, n Munde indyṛbl t Citi n Lidia.


___

Ćaptr 18

T

l Iliẓbʈ entrd ɖ drw̃rūm at Neɖ̇fīld, n lct in ven fr Mr Wicm amñ ɖ clustr v red cots ɖr asmbld, a dǎt v hiz biyñ preznt hd nvr ocŕd t hr. Ɖ srtnti v mītñ him hd nt bn ćect bî eni v ɖoz rec̣lex́nz ɖt mt nt unrīzṇbli hv alarmd hr. Ś hd drest wɖ mor ɖn yźl cer, n priperd in ɖ hîist spirits fr ɖ conqest v ol ɖt rmend unṣbdyd v hiz hart, trustñ ɖt it wz nt mor ɖn mt b wún in ɖ cors v ɖ īvnñ. Bt in an instnt arouz ɖ dredfl sspiśn v hiz biyñ prṗsli omitd fr Mr Darsi’z pleźr in ɖ Bñliz’ invteśn t ɖ ofisrz; n ɖo ɖs wz nt xacli ɖ ces, ɖ abṣlut fact v hiz absns wz pṛnǎnst bî hiz frend Deni, t hūm Lidia īgrli aplaid, n hu tld ɖm ɖt Wicm hd bn oblîjd t g t tǎn on biznis ɖ de bfr, n wz nt yt rtrnd; adñ, wɖ a sgnificnt smîl, “I d nt imajn hiz biznis wd hv cōld him awe jst nǎ, f h hd nt wontd t avôd a srtn jntlmn hir.”

Ɖs part v hiz intelijns, ɖo unhŕd bî Lidia, wz còt bî Iliẓbʈ, n, az it aśurd hr ɖt Darsi wz nt les ansṛbl fr Wicm’z absns ɖn f hr frst s’mîz hd bn just, evri fīlñ v dspleźr agnst ɖ formr wz so śarpnd bî imīɉt dis’pôntmnt, ɖt ś cd hardli rplî wɖ tolṛbl sviḷti t ɖ p’lît inqîriz ẃć h d’recli aftwdz aproćt t mc. Atndns, fōrbeṛns, peśns wɖ Darsi, wz inɉri t Wicm. Ś wz rzolvd agnst eni sort v convseśn wɖ him, n trnd awe wɖ a dgri v il hymr ẃć ś cd nt hoļi s’mǎnt īvn in spīcñ t Mr Bñli, huz blînd parśiaḷti pṛvoct hr.

Bt Iliẓbʈ wz nt formd fr il hymr; n ɖo evri prospect v hr ǒn wz dstroid fr ɖ īvnñ, it cd nt dwel loñ on hr spirits; n hvñ tld ol hr grīfs t Śarlót Lūc̣s, hūm ś hd nt sìn fr a wīc, ś wz sn ebl t mc a voḷntri trnziśn t ɖ oḍtiz v hr cuzn, n t pônt him ǎt t hr ptiklr notis. Ɖ frst tū dansz, hvr, bròt a rtrn v dstres; ɖe wr dansz v mortif̣ceśn. Mr Colinz, ōcẉd n soḷm, apoḷjîzñ instd v atndñ, n ofn muvñ roñ wɖt biyñ awer v it, gev hr ol ɖ śem n miẓri ẃć a dis’griybl partnr fr a cupl v dansz cn gv. Ɖ momnt v hr rlis fṛm him wz xṭsi.

Ś danst nxt wɖ an ofisr, n hd ɖ rfreśmnt v tōcñ v Wicm, n v hírñ ɖt h wz yṇvrṣli lîct. Ẃn ɖoz dansz wr ovr, ś rtrnd t Śarlót Lūc̣s, n wz in convseśn wɖ hr, ẃn ś faund hrslf sudnli adrest bî Mr Darsi hu tc hr so mć bî s’prîz in hiz apḷceśn fr hr hand, ɖt, wɖt nwñ ẃt ś dd, ś axptd him. H wōct awe agn imīɉtli, n ś wz left t fret ovr hr ǒn wont v prezns v mînd; Śarlót traid t consol hr:

“I der se y wl fînd him vri agriybl.”

“Hevn fbid! Ɖt wd b ɖ gretist msfortyn v ol! T fînd a man agriybl hūm wn z dtrmind t het! D nt wś m sć an īvl.”

Ẃn ɖ dansñ rīc̣mnst, hvr, n Darsi aproćt t clem hr hand, Śarlót cd nt hlp cōṣ́nñ hr in a ẃispr, nt t b a simpltn, n alǎ hr fansi fr Wicm t mc hr apir unpleznt in ɖ îz v a man ten tîmz hiz consiqns. Iliẓbʈ md no ansr, n tc hr ples in ɖ set, amezd at ɖ digṇti t ẃć ś wz arîvd in biyñ alaud t stand oṗzit t Mr Darsi, n rīdñ in hr nebrz’ lcs, ɖer īql amezmnt in bholdñ it. Ɖe std fr sm tîm wɖt spīcñ a wrd; n ś bgan t imajn ɖt ɖer sîḷns wz t last ʈru ɖ tū dansz, n at frst wz rzolvd nt t brec it; tl sudnli fansiyñ ɖt it wd b ɖ gretr puniśmnt t hr partnr t oblîj him t tōc, ś md sm slît obẓveśn on ɖ dans. H rplaid, n wz agn sîḷnt. Aftr a pōz v sm minits, ś adrest him a secnd tîm wɖ: – “It z yr trn t se smʈñ nǎ, Mr Darsi. I tōct abt ɖ dans, n y òt t mc sm sort v rmarc on ɖ sîz v ɖ rūm, or ɖ numbr v cuplz.”

H smîld, n aśurd hr ɖt ẃtvr ś wśt him t se śd b sd.

“Vri wel. Ɖt rplî wl d fr ɖ preznt. Phps bî n bî I me obzrv ɖt prîṿt bōlz r mć plezntr ɖn public wnz. Bt  w me b sîḷnt.”

“D y tōc bî rūl, ɖen, ẃl y r dansñ?”

“Smtmz. Wn mst spīc a litl, y nǒ. It wd lc od t b intîrli sîḷnt fr haf an aur tgɖr; n yt fr ɖ advantij v sm, convseśn òt t b so arenjd, az ɖt ɖe me hv ɖ trubl v seyñ az litl az poṣbl.”

“R y cnsultñ yr ǒn fīlñz in ɖ preznt ces, or d y imajn ɖt y r graṭfayñ mîn?”

“Bʈ,” rplaid Iliẓbʈ arćli; “fr I hv olwz sìn a gret siṃlaṛti in ɖ trn v ǎr mîndz. W r ć v an unsośl, taṣtrn disṗziśn, unwilñ t spīc, unls w xpct t se smʈñ ɖt wl amez ɖ hol rūm, n b handd dǎn t posteṛti wɖ ol ɖ eclā v a provrb.”

“Ɖs z no vri strîcñ rzmbḷns v yr ǒn caṛctr, I am śr,” sd h. “Hǎ nir it me b t mîn, I canot pritnd t se. Y ʈnc it a feʈfl portrit undǎtidli.”

“I mst nt dsîd on mî ǒn pformns.”

H md no ansr, n ɖe wr agn sîḷnt tl ɖe hd gn dǎn ɖ dans, ẃn h asct hr f ś n hr sistrz dd nt vri ofn wōc t Meritn. Ś ansrd in ɖ afrṃtiv, n, unebl t rzist ɖ tmteśn, add, “Ẃn y met s ɖr ɖ uɖr de, w hd jst bn formñ a ny aqentns.”

Ɖ ifct wz imīɉt. A dīpr śêd v hauteur oṿspred hiz fīćrz, bt h sd nt a wrd, n Iliẓbʈ, ɖo blemñ hrslf fr hr ǒn wìcnis, cd nt g on. At leñʈ Darsi spouc, n in a cnstrend manr sd, “Mr Wicm z blest wɖ sć hapi manrz az me enśur hiz mcñ frendz – ẃɖr h me b īqli ceṗbl v rtenñ ɖm, z les srtn.”

“H hz bn so unluci az t lūz yr frendśp,” rplaid Iliẓbʈ wɖ emf̣sis, “n in a manr ẃć h z lîcli t sufr fṛm ol hiz lîf.”

Darsi md no ansr, n sīmd dzîṛs v ćenjñ ɖ subjict. At ɖt momnt, Sr Wiłm Lūc̣s apird clos t ɖm, mīnñ t pas ʈru ɖ set t ɖ uɖr sîd v ɖ rūm; bt on psivñ Mr Darsi, h stopt wɖ a bǎ v s’pirịr crṭsi t complimnt him on hiz dansñ n hiz partnr.

“I hv bn most hîli graṭfaid indd, mî dir sr. Sć vri s’pirịr dansñ z nt ofn sìn. It z evidnt ɖt y b’loñ t ɖ frst srclz. Alǎ m t se, hvr, ɖt yr fer partnr dz nt dsgres y, n ɖt I mst hop t hv ɖs pleźr ofn rpitd, ispeṣ́li ẃn a srtn dzîṛbl ivnt, mî dir Ilîza (glansñ at hr sistr n Bñli) śl tec ples. Ẃt cngrać̣leśnz wl ɖen flo in! I apil t Mr Darsi: – bt let m nt inṭrupt y, sr. Y wl nt ʈanc m fr dtenñ y fṛm ɖ bwićñ cnvrs v ɖt yuñ ledi, huz brît îz r olso upbrêdñ m.”

Ɖ latr part v ɖs adres wz scersli hŕd bî Darsi; bt Sr Wiłm’z aluźn t hiz frend sīmd t strîc him forṣbli, n hiz îz wr d’rectd wɖ a vri sirịs xpreśn twdz Bñli n Jen, hu wr dansñ tgɖr. Rcuṿrñ himslf, hvr, śortli, h trnd t hiz partnr, n sd, “Sr Wiłm’z inṭrupśn hz md m fget ẃt w wr tōcñ v.”

“I d nt ʈnc w wr spīcñ at ol. Sr Wiłm cd nt hv inṭruptd tū ppl in ɖ rūm hu hd les t se fr ɖmslvz. W hv traid tū or ʈri subjicts olrdi wɖt s’xes, n ẃt w r t tōc v nxt I canot imajn.”

“Ẃt ʈnc y v bcs?” sd h, smîlñ.

“Bcs – ǒ! no. I am śr w nvr rīd ɖ sem, or nt wɖ ɖ sem fīlñz.”

“I am sori y ʈnc so; bt f ɖt b ɖ ces, ɖr cn at līst b no wont v subjict. W me cmper ǎr difṛnt opińnz.”

“No – I canot tōc v bcs in a bōlrūm; mî hed z olwz fl v smʈñ els.”

“Ɖ preznt olwz okpîz y in sć sīnz – dz it?” sd h, wɖ a lc v dǎt.

“Yes, olwz,” ś rplaid, wɖt nwñ ẃt ś sd, fr hr ʈts hd wondrd far fṛm ɖ subjict, az sn aftwdz apird bî hr sudnli xclemñ, “I rmembr hírñ y wns se, Mr Darsi, ɖt y hardli evr fgev, ɖt yr rzntmnt wns crietd wz un’piẓbl. Y r vri cōśs, I s’poz, az t its biyñ crietd.”

“I am,” sd h, wɖ a frm vôs.

“N nvr alǎ yrslf t b blîndd bî preɉdis?”

“I hop nt.”

“It z ptiklrli incumbnt on ɖoz hu nvr ćenj ɖer opińn, t b s’kr v jujñ proprli at frst.”

“Me I asc t ẃt ɖz qsćnz tnd?”

“Mirli t ɖ iḷstreśn v yr caṛctr,” sd ś, indeṿrñ t śec of hr graṿti. “I am trayñ t mc it ǎt.”

“N ẃt z yr s’xes?”

Ś śc hr hed. “I d nt gt on at ol. I hír sć difṛnt acǎnts v y az puzl m xidñli.”

“I cn reḍli b’liv,” ansrd h grevli, “ɖt rports me vẹri gretli wɖ rspct t m; n I cd wś, Mis Benit, ɖt y wr nt t sceć mî caṛctr at ɖ preznt momnt, az ɖr z rīzn t fir ɖt ɖ pformns wd rflect no credit on îɖr.”

“Bt f I d nt tec yr lîcnis nǎ, I me nvr hv anɖr oṗtyṇti.”

“I wd bî no mīnz sspnd eni pleźr v yrz,” h coldli rplaid. Ś sd no mor, n ɖe wnt dǎn ɖ uɖr dans n partd in sîḷns; n on ć sîd dșaṭsfaid, ɖo nt t an īql dgri, fr in Darsi’z brest ɖr wz a tolṛbli pǎrfl fīlñ twdz hr, ẃć sn pṛkrd hr pardn, n d’rectd ol hiz angr agnst anɖr.

Ɖe hd nt loñ seṗretd, ẃn Mis Bñli cem twdz hr, n wɖ an xpreśn v sivl dsden acostd hr:

“So, Mis Ilîza, I hír y r qt dlîtd wɖ Jorj Wicm! Yr sistr hz bn tōcñ t m abt him, n ascñ m a ʈǎznd qsćnz; n I fînd ɖt ɖ yuñ man qt fgot t tel y, amñ hiz uɖr cḿṇceśn, ɖt h wz ɖ sun v old Wicm, ɖ lêt Mr Darsi’z stywd. Let m rec̣mnd y, hvr, az a frend, nt t gv implisit confidns t ol hiz asrśnz; fr az t Mr Darsi’z yzñ him il, it z prf̣cli fōls; fr, on ɖ contrri, h hz olwz bn rmarcbli cînd t him, ɖo Jorj Wicm hz trītd Mr Darsi in a most infṃs manr. I d nt nǒ ɖ ptiklrz, bt I nǒ vri wel ɖt Mr Darsi z nt in ɖ līst t blem, ɖt h canot ber t hír Jorj Wicm mnśnd, n ɖt ɖo mî bruɖr ʈt ɖt h cd nt wel avôd includñ him in hiz invteśn t ɖ ofisrz, h wz xesivli glad t fînd ɖt h hd tecn himslf ǎt v ɖ we. Hiz cmñ intu ɖ cuntri at ol z a most insḷnt ʈñ, indd, n I wundr hǎ h cd prizym t d it. I piti y, Mis Ilîza, fr ɖs dscuṿri v yr feṿrit’s gilt; bt riyli, cnsiḍrñ hiz dsent, wn cd nt xpct mć betr.”

“Hiz gilt n hiz dsent apir bî yr acǎnt t b ɖ sem,” sd Iliẓbʈ angṛli; “fr I hv hŕd y akz him v nʈñ wrs ɖn v biyñ ɖ sun v Mr Darsi’z stywd, n v ɖt, I cn aśur y, h informd m himslf.”

“I beg yr pardn,” rplaid Mis Bñli, trnñ awe wɖ a snir. “Xkz mî inṭfiṛns – it wz cîndli mnt.”

“Insḷnt grl!” sd Iliẓbʈ t hrslf. “Y r mć mstecn f y xpct t inflụns m bî sć a pōltri atac az ɖs. I si nʈñ in it bt yr ǒn wilfl ignṛns n ɖ malis v Mr Darsi.” Ś ɖen sòt hr eldist sistr, hu hd unḍtecn t mc inqîriz on ɖ sem subjict v Bñli. Jen met hr wɖ a smîl v sć swīt cmplesnsi, a glo v sć hapi xpreśn, az sfiśntli marct hǎ wel ś wz saṭsfaid wɖ ɖ ocuṛnsiz v ɖ īvnñ. Iliẓbʈ instntli réd hr fīlñz, n at ɖt momnt s’liṣtyd fr Wicm, rzntmnt agnst hiz eṇmiz, n evrʈñ els, gev we bfr ɖ hop v Jen’z biyñ in ɖ fẹrist we fr hapinis.

“I wont t nǒ,” sd ś, wɖ a cǎntinns no les smîlñ ɖn hr sistr’z, “ẃt y hv lrnt abt Mr Wicm. Bt phps y hv bn tù plezntli ingejd t ʈnc v eni ʈrd prsn; in ẃć ces y me b śr v mî pardn.”

“No,” rplaid Jen, “I hv nt fgotn him; bt I hv nʈñ saṭsfactri t tel y. Mr Bñli dz nt nǒ ɖ hol v hiz hisṭri, n z qt ignṛnt v ɖ srcmstansz ẃć hv prinsipli ofndd Mr Darsi; bt h wl vǎć fr ɖ gd conduct, ɖ proḅti, n onr v hiz frend, n z prf̣cli cnvinst ɖt Mr Wicm hz dzrvd mć les atnśn fṛm Mr Darsi ɖn h hz rsivd; n I am sori t se bî hiz acǎnt az wel az hiz sistr’z, Mr Wicm z bî no mīnz a rspctbl yuñ man. I am afred h hz bn vri imprūdnt, n hz dzrvd t lūz Mr Darsi’z rgard.”

“Mr Bñli dz nt nǒ Mr Wicm himslf?”

“No; h nvr sw him tl ɖ uɖr mornñ at Meritn.”

“Ɖs acǎnt ɖen z ẃt h hz rsivd fṛm Mr Darsi. I am saṭsfaid. Bt ẃt dz h se v ɖ livñ?”

“H dz nt xacli rec̣lect ɖ srcmstansz, ɖo h hz hŕd ɖm fṛm Mr Darsi mor ɖn wns, bt h b’livz ɖt it wz left t him cndiśṇli onli.”

“I hv nt a dǎt v Mr Bñli’z s’nseṛti,” sd Iliẓbʈ wormli; “bt y mst xkz mî nt biyñ cnvinst bî aśuṛnsz onli. Mr Bñli’z dfns v hiz frend wz a vri ebl wn, I der se; bt sins h z un’qentd wɖ sevṛl parts v ɖ stori, n hz lrnt ɖ rest fṛm ɖt frend himslf, I śl vnćr t stl ʈnc v bʈ jntlṃn az I dd bfr.”

Ś ɖen ćenjd ɖ discors t wn mor graṭfayñ t ć, n on ẃć ɖr cd b no difṛns v sntimnt. Iliẓbʈ lisnd wɖ dlît t ɖ hapi, ɖo modist hops ẃć Jen enttend v Mr Bñli’z rgard, n sd ol in hr pǎr t hîtn hr confidns in it. On ɖer biyñ jônd bî Mr Bñli himslf, Iliẓbʈ wɖdru t Mis Lūc̣s; t huz inqîri aftr ɖ plezntnis v hr last partnr ś hd scersli rplaid, bfr Mr Colinz cem p t ɖm, n tld hr wɖ gret xlteśn ɖt h hd jst bn so forćṇt az t mc a most importnt dscuṿri.

“I hv faund ǎt,” sd h, “bî a snğlr axidnt, ɖt ɖr z nǎ in ɖ rūm a nir rleśn v mî petṛnes. I hapnd t oṿhír ɖ jntlmn himslf mnṣ́nñ t ɖ yuñ ledi hu dz ɖ onrz v ɖ hǎs ɖ nemz v hiz cuzn Mis d’Brg, n v hr muɖr Ledi Caʈ̇rin. Hǎ wundrf̣li ɖz sort v ʈñz ocŕ! Hu wd hv ʈt v mî mītñ wɖ, phps, a nefy v Ledi Caʈ̇rin d’Brg in ɖs asmbli! I am most ʈancfl ɖt ɖ dscuṿri z md in tîm fr m t pe mî rspcts t him, ẃć I am nǎ gwñ t d, n trust h wl xkz mî nt hvñ dn it bfr. Mî totl ignṛns v ɖ cnx́n mst plīd mî apoḷji.”

“Y r nt gwñ t intṛdys yrslf t Mr Darsi!”

“Indd I am. I śl intrit hiz pardn fr nt hvñ dn it rlịr. I b’liv him t b Ledi Caʈ̇rin’z nefy. It wl b in mî pǎr t aśur him ɖt hr lediśp wz qt wel yesṭde senît.”

Iliẓbʈ traid hard t dswed him fṛm sć a scīm, aśurñ him ɖt Mr Darsi wd cnsidr hiz adresñ him wɖt intṛdux́n az an imprtinnt frīdm, rɖr ɖn a complimnt t hiz ānt; ɖt it wz nt in ɖ līst nesṣri ɖr śd b eni notis on îɖr sîd; n ɖt f it wr, it mst b’loñ t Mr Darsi, ɖ s’pirịr in consiqns, t bgin ɖ aqentns. Mr Colinz lisnd t hr wɖ ɖ dtrmind er v folowñ hiz ǒn incḷneśn, n, ẃn ś sīst spīcñ, rplaid ɖus:

“Mî dir Mis Iliẓbʈ, I hv ɖ hîist opińn in ɖ wrld in yr xḷnt jujmnt in ol matrz wɖn ɖ scop v yr unḍstandñ; bt pmit m t se, ɖt ɖr mst b a wîd difṛns btwn ɖ istabliśt formz v seriṃni amñst ɖ leyti, n ɖoz ẃć reğlet ɖ clrji; fr, gv m līv t obzrv ɖt I cnsidr ɖ clericl ofis az īql in pônt v digṇti wɖ ɖ hîist ranc in ɖ cñdm – pṛvîdd ɖt a propr hymiḷti v bhevyr z at ɖ sem tîm mntend. Y mst ɖrfr alǎ m t folo ɖ dictets v mî conśns on ɖs oceźn, ẃć līdz m t pform ẃt I lc on az a pônt v dyti. Pardn m fr nglectñ t profit bî yr advîs, ẃć on evri uɖr subjict śl b mî constnt gîd, ɖo in ɖ ces bfr s I cnsidr mslf mor fitd bî edyceśn n hbićl studi t dsîd on ẃt z rît ɖn a yuñ ledi lîc yrslf.” N wɖ a lo bǎ h left hr t atac Mr Darsi, huz rspśn v hiz advansz ś īgrli woćt, n huz astoniśmnt at biyñ so adrest wz vri evidnt. Hr cuzn prefist hiz spīć wɖ a soḷm bǎ n ɖo ś cd nt hír a wrd v it, ś flt az f hírñ it ol, n sw in ɖ mośn v hiz lips ɖ wrdz “apoḷji,” “Hunsf̣d,” n “Ledi Caʈ̇rin d’Brg.” It vxt hr t si him xpoz himslf t sć a man. Mr Darsi wz ayñ him wɖ unristrend wundr, n ẃn at last Mr Colinz alaud him tîm t spīc, rplaid wɖ an er v distnt sviḷti. Mr Colinz, hvr, wz nt dscurijd fṛm spīcñ agn, n Mr Darsi’z cntmt sīmd abundntli incrisñ wɖ ɖ leñʈ v hiz secnd spīć, n at ɖ end v it h onli md him a slît bǎ, n muvd anɖr we. Mr Colinz ɖen rtrnd t Iliẓbʈ.

“I hv no rīzn, I aśur y,” sd h, “t b dșaṭsfaid wɖ mî rspśn. Mr Darsi sīmd mć plizd wɖ ɖ atnśn. H ansrd m wɖ ɖ utmost sviḷti, n īvn peid m ɖ complimnt v seyñ ɖt h wz so wel cnvinst v Ledi Caʈ̇rin’z dsrnmnt az t b srtn ś cd nvr bsto a fevr unwrɖ̇li. It wz riyli a vri hansm ʈt. Upn ɖ hol, I am mć plizd wɖ him.”

Az Iliẓbʈ hd no longr eni inṭrest v hr ǒn t psy, ś trnd hr atnśn olmst intîrli on hr sistr n Mr Bñli; n ɖ tren v agriybl rflex́nz ẃć hr obẓveśnz gev brʈ t, md hr phps olmst az hapi az Jen. Ś sw hr in îdīa setld in ɖt vri hǎs, in ol ɖ f’liṣti ẃć a marij v tru afx́n cd bsto; n ś flt ceṗbl, undr sć srcmstansz, v indeṿrñ īvn t lîc Bñli’z tū sistrz. Hr muɖr’z ʈts ś plenli sw wr bnt ɖ sem we, n ś dtrmind nt t vnćr nir hr, lest ś mt hír tù mć. Ẃn ɖe sat dǎn t supr, ɖrfr, ś cnsidrd it a most unluci pvrsnis ẃć plest ɖm wɖn wn v ć uɖr; n dīpli wz ś vxt t fînd ɖt hr muɖr wz tōcñ t ɖt wn prsn (Ledi Lūc̣s) frīli, opnli, n v nʈñ els bt hr xpcteśn ɖt Jen wd sn b marid t Mr Bñli. It wz an aṇmetñ subjict, n Msz Benit sīmd inceṗbl v ftīg ẃl ińṃretñ ɖ advantjz v ɖ mać. Hiz biyñ sć a ćarmñ yuñ man, n so rić, n livñ bt ʈri mîlz fṛm ɖm, wr ɖ frst pônts v slf-grać̣leśn; n ɖen it wz sć a cumf̣t t ʈnc hǎ fond ɖ tū sistrz wr v Jen, n t b srtn ɖt ɖe mst dzîr ɖ cnx́n az mć az ś cd d. It wz, morovr, sć a proṃsñ ʈñ fr hr yungr dōtrz, az Jen’z mariyñ so gretli mst ʈro ɖm in ɖ we v uɖr rić men; n lastli, it wz so pleznt at hr tîm v lîf t b ebl t cnsîn hr sngl dōtrz t ɖ cer v ɖer sistr, ɖt ś mt nt b oblîjd t g intu cumṗni mor ɖn ś lîct. It wz nesṣri t mc ɖs srcmstans a matr v pleźr, bcz on sć oceźnz it z ɖ eticét; bt nwn wz les lîcli ɖn Msz Benit t fînd cumf̣t in steyñ hom at eni pirịd v hr lîf. Ś cncludd wɖ mni gd wśz ɖt Ledi Lūc̣s mt sn b īqli forćṇt, ɖo evidntli n trîumfntli b’livñ ɖr wz no ćans v it.

In ven dd Iliẓbʈ indevr t ćec ɖ r’pidti v hr muɖr’z wrdz, or pswed hr t dscrîb hr f’liṣti in a les ōḍbl ẃispr; fr, t hr inxpresbl vxeśn, ś cd psiv ɖt ɖ ćīf v it wz oṿhŕd bî Mr Darsi, hu sat oṗzit t ɖm. Hr muɖr onli scoldd hr fr biyñ nonsnsicl.

“Ẃt z Mr Darsi t m, pre, ɖt I śd b afred v him? I am śr w o him no sć ptiklr sviḷti az t b oblîjd t se nʈñ h me nt lîc t hír.”

“Fr hevn’z sec, madm, spīc lowr. Ẃt advantij cn it b fr y t ofnd Mr Darsi? Y wl nvr rec̣mnd yrslf t hiz frend bî so dwñ!”

Nʈñ ɖt ś cd se, hvr, hd eni inflụns. Hr muɖr wd tōc v hr vyz in ɖ sem inteliɉbl ton. Iliẓbʈ bluśt n bluśt agn wɖ śem n vxeśn. Ś cd nt hlp frīqntli glansñ hr î at Mr Darsi, ɖo evri glans cnvinst hr v ẃt ś dredd; fr ɖo h wz nt olwz lcñ at hr muɖr, ś wz cnvinst ɖt hiz atnśn wz inverịbli fixt bî hr. Ɖ xpreśn v hiz fes ćenjd graɉli fṛm indignnt cntmt t a cmpozd n stedi graṿti.

At leñʈ, hvr, Msz Benit hd no mor t se; n Ledi Lūc̣s, hu hd bn loñ yōnñ at ɖ reṗtiśn v dlîts ẃć ś sw no lîclihd v śẹrñ, wz left t ɖ cumf̣ts v cold ham n ćicn. Iliẓbʈ nǎ bgan t rvîv. Bt nt loñ wz ɖ inṭvl v tranqiḷti; fr, ẃn supr wz ovr, sññ wz tōct v, n ś hd ɖ mortif̣ceśn v siyñ Mẹri, aftr vri litl intriti, pripẹrñ t oblîj ɖ cumṗni. Bî mni sgnificnt lcs n sîḷnt intritiz, dd ś indevr t privnt sć a prūf v cmplesns, bt in ven; Mẹri wd nt unḍstand ɖm; sć an oṗtyṇti v xibtñ wz dlîtfl t hr, n ś bgan hr soñ. Iliẓbʈ’s îz wr fixt on hr wɖ most penfl snseśnz, n ś woćt hr progres ʈru ɖ sevṛl stanzaz wɖ an impeśns ẃć wz vri il rwordd at ɖer cloz; fr Mẹri, on rsivñ, amñst ɖ ʈancs v ɖ tebl, ɖ hint v a hop ɖt ś mt b priveld on t fevr ɖm agn, aftr ɖ pōz v haf a minit bgan anɖr. Mẹri’z pǎrz wr bî no mīnz fitd fr sć a dsple; hr vôs wz wìc, n hr manr afctd. Iliẓbʈ wz in aġniz. Ś lct at Jen, t si hǎ ś bòr it; bt Jen wz vri cmpozidli tōcñ t Bñli. Ś lct at hiz tū sistrz, n sw ɖm mcñ sînz v d’riźn at ć uɖr, n at Darsi, hu cntinyd, hvr, imṗtrbbli grev. Ś lct at hr faɖr t intrit hiz inṭfiṛns, lest Mẹri śd b sññ ol nît. H tc ɖ hint, n ẃn Mẹri hd finiśt hr secnd soñ, sd alǎd, “Ɖt wl d xtrimli wel, ćîld. Y hv dlîtd s loñ inuf. Let ɖ uɖr yuñ lediz hv tîm t xibit.”

Mẹri, ɖo pritndñ nt t hír, wz smẃt discnsrtd; n Iliẓbʈ, sori fr hr, n sori fr hr faɖr’z spīć, wz afred hr añzayti hd dn no gd. Uɖrz v ɖ parti wr nǎ aplaid t.

“F I,” sd Mr Colinz, “wr so forćṇt az t b ebl t sñ, I śd hv gret pleźr, I am śr, in oblîjñ ɖ cumṗni wɖ an er; fr I cnsidr ḿzic az a vri iṇsnt dvrśn, n prf̣cli cmpatbl wɖ ɖ pṛfeśn v a clrjimn. I d nt mīn, hvr, t asrt ɖt w cn b jusṭfaid in dvotñ tù mć v ǎr tîm t ḿzic, fr ɖr r srtnli uɖr ʈñz t b atndd t. Ɖ rectr v a pariś hz mć t d. In ɖ frst ples, h mst mc sć an agrīmnt fr tîɖz az me b beṇfiśl t himslf n nt ofnsiv t hiz petṛn. H mst rait hiz ǒn srmnz; n ɖ tîm ɖt rmenz wl nt b tù mć fr hiz pariśdytiz, n ɖ cer n impruvmnt v hiz dwelñ, ẃć h canot b xkzd fṛm mcñ az cumf̣tbl az poṣbl. N I d nt ʈnc it v lît importns ɖt h śd hv atntiv n cnsiłtri manrz twdz evrbdi, ispeṣ́li twdz ɖoz t hūm h oz hiz prifŕmnt. I canot aqit him v ɖt dyti; nr cd I ʈnc wel v ɖ man hu śd omit an oceźn v tsṭfayñ hiz rspct twdz enbdi cnctd wɖ ɖ faṃli.” N wɖ a bǎ t Mr Darsi, h cncludd hiz spīć, ẃć hd bn spocn so lǎd az t b hŕd bî haf ɖ rūm. Mni stérd – mni smîld; bt nwn lct mor aḿzd ɖn Mr Benit himslf, ẃl hiz wîf sirịsli cmndd Mr Colinz fr hvñ spocn so snṣbli, n obzrvd in a haf-ẃispr t Ledi Lūc̣s, ɖt h wz a rmarcbli clevr, gd cnd v yuñ man.

T Iliẓbʈ it apird ɖt, hd hr faṃli md an agrīmnt t xpoz ɖmslvz az mć az ɖe cd jrñ ɖ īvnñ, it wd hv bn imposbl fr ɖm t ple ɖer parts wɖ mor spirit or fînr s’xes; n hapi dd ś ʈnc it fr Bñli n hr sistr ɖt sm v ɖ xbiśn hd iscept hiz notis, n ɖt hiz fīlñz wr nt v a sort t b mć dstrest bî ɖ foli ẃć h mst hv witnist. Ɖt hiz tū sistrz n Mr Darsi, hvr, śd hv sć an oṗtyṇti v ridklñ hr rleśnz, wz bad inuf, n ś cd nt dtrmin ẃɖr ɖ sîḷnt cntmt v ɖ jntlmn, or ɖ insḷnt smîlz v ɖ lediz, wr mor intolṛbl.

Ɖ rest v ɖ īvnñ bròt hr litl aḿzmnt. Ś wz tizd bî Mr Colinz, hu cntinyd most prṣvirñli bî hr sîd, n ɖo h cd nt privel on hr t dans wɖ him agn, pt it ǎt v hr pǎr t dans wɖ uɖrz. In ven dd ś intrit him t stand p wɖ smbdi els, n ofr t intṛdys him t eni yuñ ledi in ɖ rūm. H aśurd hr, ɖt az t dansñ, h wz prf̣cli indifṛnt t it; ɖt hiz ćīf objict wz bî delic̣t atnśnz t rec̣mnd himslf t hr n ɖt h śd ɖrfr mc a pônt v rmenñ clos t hr ɖ hol īvnñ. Ɖr wz no arğwñ upn sć a project. Ś oud hr gretist rlif t hr frend Mis Lūc̣s, hu ofn jônd ɖm, n gd-nećrdli ingejd Mr Colinz’z convseśn t hrslf.

Ś wz at līst fri fṛm ɖ ofns v Mr Darsi’z frɖr notis; ɖo ofn standñ wɖn a vri śort distns v hr, qt disingejd, h nvr cem nir inuf t spīc. Ś flt it t b ɖ probbl consiqns v hr aluźnz t Mr Wicm, n rjôst in it.

Ɖ Loñbōrn parti wr ɖ last v ol ɖ cumṗni t dpart, n, bî a mnūvr v Msz Benit, hd t wêt fr ɖer carij a qortr v an aur aftr evrbdi els wz gn, ẃć gev ɖm tîm t si hǎ harṭli ɖe wr wśt awe bî sm v ɖ faṃli. Msz Hrst n hr sistr scersli opnd ɖer mǎɖz, xpt t cmplen v ftīg, n wr evidntli impeśnt t hv ɖ hǎs t ɖmslvz. Ɖe rpulst evri atmt v Msz Benit at convseśn, n bî so dwñ ʈrù a langr ovr ɖ hol parti, ẃć wz vri litl rlivd bî ɖ loñ spīćz v Mr Colinz, hu wz compḷmntñ Mr Bñli n hiz sistrz on ɖ eligns v ɖer enttenmnt, n ɖ hosṗtaḷti n p’lîtnis ẃć hd marct ɖer bhevyr t ɖer gests. Darsi sd nʈñ at ol. Mr Benit, in īql sîḷns, wz injoyñ ɖ sīn. Mr Bñli n Jen wr standñ tgɖr, a litl dtaćt fṛm ɖ rest, n tōct onli t ć uɖr. Iliẓbʈ prizrvd az stedi a sîḷns az îɖr Msz Hrst or Mis Bñli; n īvn Lidia wz tù mć ftīgd t utr mor ɖn ɖ oceźnl xcḷmeśn v “Lord, hǎ tîrd I am!” acumṗnid bî a vayḷnt yōn.

Ẃn at leñʈ ɖe arouz t tec līv, Msz Benit wz most presñli sivl in hr hop v siyñ ɖ hol faṃli sn at Loñbōrn, n adrest hrslf ispeṣ́li t Mr Bñli, t aśur him hǎ hapi h wd mc ɖm bî ītñ a faṃlidinr wɖ ɖm at eni tîm, wɖt ɖ seriṃni v a forml invteśn. Bñli wz ol gretfl pleźr, n h reḍli ingejd fr tecñ ɖ rliist oṗtyṇti v wêtñ on hr, aftr hiz rtrn fṛm Lundn, ẃiɖr h wz oblîjd t g ɖ nxt de fr a śort tîm.

Msz Benit wz prf̣cli saṭsfaid, n qitd ɖ hǎs undr ɖ dlîtfl psweźn ɖt, alawñ fr ɖ nesṣri preṗreśnz v setlmnts, ny caṛjz, n wedñcloɖz, ś śd undǎtidli si hr dōtr setld at Neɖ̇fīld in ɖ cors v ʈri or for munʈs. V hvñ anɖr dōtr marid t Mr Colinz, ś ʈt wɖ īql srtnti, n wɖ cnsidṛbl, ɖo nt īql, pleźr. Iliẓbʈ wz ɖ līst dir t hr v ol hr ćildṛn; n ɖo ɖ man n ɖ mać wr qt gd inuf fr hr, ɖ wrʈ v ć wz iclipst bî Mr Bñli n Neɖ̇fīld.


___

Ćaptr 19

Ɖ

 nxt de opnd a ny sīn at Loñbōrn. Mr Colinz md hiz decḷreśn in form. Hvñ rzolvd t d it wɖt los v tîm, az hiz līv v absns xtndd onli t ɖ folowñ Saṭde, n hvñ no fīlñz v difidns t mc it dstresñ t himslf īvn at ɖ momnt, h set abt it in a vri ordrli manr, wɖ ol ɖ obzrṿnsz, ẃć h s’pozd a reğlr part v ɖ biznis. On fîndñ Msz Benit, Iliẓbʈ, n wn v ɖ yungr grlz tgɖr, sn aftr brecfst, h adrest ɖ muɖr in ɖz wrdz:

“Me I hop, madm, fr yr inṭrest wɖ yr fer dōtr Iliẓbʈ, ẃn I s’lisit fr ɖ onr v a prîṿt ōdịns wɖ hr in ɖ cors v ɖs mornñ?”

Bfr Iliẓbʈ hd tîm fr enʈñ bt a bluś v s’prîz, Msz Benit ansrd instntli, “Ǒ dir! – yes – srtnli. I am śr Lizi wl b vri hapi – I am śr ś cn hv no objx́n. Cm, Citi, I wont y upsterz.” N, gaɖ̇rñ hr wrc tgɖr, ś wz heṣnñ awe, ẃn Iliẓbʈ cōld ǎt:

“Dir madm, d nt g. I beg y wl nt g. Mr Colinz mst xkz m. H cn hv nʈñ t se t m ɖt enbdi nīd nt hír. I am gwñ awe mslf.”

“No, no, nonsns, Lizi. I dzîr y t ste ẃr y r.” N upn Iliẓbʈ’s sīmñ riyli, wɖ vxt n imbaṛst lcs, abt t iscep, ś add: “Lizi, I insist upn yr steyñ n hírñ Mr Colinz.”

Iliẓbʈ wd nt opoz sć an injuñśn – n a momnt’s cnsiḍreśn mcñ hr olso snṣbl ɖt it wd b wîzist t gt it ovr az sn n az qaytli az poṣbl, ś sat dǎn agn n traid t cnsil, bî insesnt implômnt ɖ fīlñz ẃć wr dvîdd btwn dstres n dvrśn. Msz Benit n Citi wōct of, n az sn az ɖe wr gn, Mr Colinz bgan.

“B’liv m, mî dir Mis Iliẓbʈ, ɖt yr moḍsti, so far fṛm dwñ y eni dșrvis, rɖr adz t yr uɖr pfx́nz. Y wd hv bn les emịbl in mî îz hd ɖr nt bn ɖs litl unwilñnis; bt alǎ m t aśur y, ɖt I hv yr rspctd muɖr’z pmiśn fr ɖs adres. Y cn hardli dǎt ɖ pport v mî discors, hvr yr naćṛl delic̣si me līd y t dsmbl; mî atnśnz hv bn tù marct t b mstecn. Olmst az sn az I entrd ɖ hǎs, I sngld y ǎt az ɖ cmpańn v mî fyćr lîf. Bt bfr I am run awe wɖ bî mî fīlñz on ɖs subjict, phps it wd b advîẓbl fr m t stet mî rīznz fr mariyñ – n, morovr, fr cmñ intu Hartfdśr wɖ ɖ dzîn v s’lectñ a wîf, az I srtnli dd.”

Ɖ îdīa v Mr Colinz, wɖ ol hiz soḷm cmpoźr, biyñ run awe wɖ bî hiz fīlñz, md Iliẓbʈ so nir lafñ, ɖt ś cd nt yz ɖ śort pōz h alaud in eni atmt t stop him frɖr, n h cntinyd:

“Mî rīznz fr mariyñ r, frst, ɖt I ʈnc it a rît ʈñ fr evri clrjimn in īzi srcmstansz (lîc mslf) t set ɖ xampl v matriṃni in hiz pariś; secndli, ɖt I am cnvinst ɖt it wl ad vri gretli t mî hapinis; n ʈrdli – ẃć phps I òt t hv mnśnd rlịr, ɖt it z ɖ ptiklr advîs n rec̣mndeśn v ɖ vri nobl ledi hūm I hv ɖ onr v cōlñ petṛnes. Twîs hz ś condisndd t gv m hr opińn (unasct tù!) on ɖs subjict; n it wz bt ɖ vri Saṭde nît bfr I left Hunsf̣d – btwn ǎr pūlz at qdril, ẃl Msz Jncinsn wz arenjñ Mis d’Brg’z ftstūl, ɖt ś sd, ‘Mr Colinz, y mst mari. A clrjimn lîc y mst mari. Ćūz proprli, ćūz a jntlwŭmn fr  sec; n fr yr ǒn, let hr b an activ, ysfl sort v prsn, nt bròt p hî, bt ebl t mc a smōl incm g a gd we. Ɖs z mî advîs. Fînd sć a wmn az sn az y cn, brñ hr t Hunsf̣d, n I wl vizit hr.’ Alǎ m, bî ɖ we, t obzrv, mî fer cuzn, ɖt I d nt recn ɖ notis n cîndnis v Ledi Caʈ̇rin d’Brg az amñ ɖ līst v ɖ advantjz in mî pǎr t ofr. Y wl fînd hr manrz bynd enʈñ I cn dscrîb; n yr wit n vivaṣti, I ʈnc, mst b axptbl t hr, ispeṣ́li ẃn tmprd wɖ ɖ sîḷns n rspct ẃć hr ranc wl inevitbli xît. Ɖus mć fr mî jenṛl intnśn in fevr v matriṃni; it rmenz t b tld ẃ mî vyz wr d’rectd twdz Loñbōrn instd v mî ǒn nebrhd, ẃr I cn aśur y ɖr r mni emịbl yuñ wimin. Bt ɖ fact z, ɖt biyñ, az I am, t inherit ɖs istet aftr ɖ deʈ v yr onrd faɖr (hu, hvr, me liv mni yirz longr), I cd nt saṭsfî mslf wɖt rzolvñ t ćūz a wîf fṛm amñ hiz dōtrz, ɖt ɖ los t ɖm mt b az litl az poṣbl, ẃn ɖ meḷnc̣li ivnt tecs ples – ẃć, hvr, az I hv olrdi sd, me nt b fr sevṛl yirz. Ɖs hz bn mî motiv, mî fer cuzn, n I flatr mslf it wl nt snc m in yr istim. N nǎ nʈñ rmenz fr m bt t aśur y in ɖ most aṇmetd lanḡj v ɖ vayḷns v mî afx́n. T fortyn I am prf̣cli indifṛnt, n śl mc no dmand v ɖt nećr on yr faɖr, sins I am wel awer ɖt it cd nt b cmplaid wɖ; n ɖt wn ʈǎznd pǎndz in ɖ for p’ snts, ẃć wl nt b yrz tl aftr yr muɖr’z dsis, z ol ɖt y me evr b intîtld t. On ɖt hed, ɖrfr, I śl b yṇformli sîḷnt; n y me aśur yrslf ɖt no unjenṛs rproć śl evr pas mî lips ẃn w r marid.”

It wz abṣlutli nesṣri t inṭrupt him nǎ.

“Y r tù hesti, sr,” ś craid. “Y fget ɖt I hv md no ansr. Let m d it wɖt frɖr los v tîm. Axpt mî ʈancs fr ɖ complimnt y r peyñ m. I am vri snṣbl v ɖ onr v yr pṛpozlz, bt it z imposbl fr m t d uɖrwz ɖn t dclîn ɖm.”

“I am nt nǎ t lrn,” rplaid Mr Colinz, wɖ a forml wev v ɖ hand, “ɖt it z yźl wɖ yuñ lediz t rjct ɖ adresz v ɖ man hūm ɖe sīcṛtli mīn t axpt, ẃn h frst aplîz fr ɖer fevr; n ɖt smtmz ɖ rfyzl z rpitd a secnd, or īvn a ʈrd tîm. I am ɖrfr bî no mīnz dscurijd bî ẃt y hv jst sd, n śl hop t līd y t ɖ ōltr e’r loñ.”

“Upn mî wrd, sr,” craid Iliẓbʈ, “yr hop z a rɖr xtrordnri wn aftr mî decḷreśn. I d aśur y ɖt I am nt wn v ɖoz yuñ lediz (f sć yuñ lediz ɖr r) hu r so dẹrñ az t risc ɖer hapinis on ɖ ćans v biyñ asct a secnd tîm. I am prf̣cli sirịs in mî rfyzl. Y cd nt mc m hapi, n I am cnvinst ɖt I am ɖ last wmn in ɖ wrld hu cd mc y so. Nê, wr yr frend Ledi Caʈ̇rin t nǒ m, I am pswedd ś wd fînd m in evri rspct il qoḷfaid fr ɖ sićueśn.”

“Wr it srtn ɖt Ledi Caʈ̇rin wd ʈnc so,” sd Mr Colinz vri grevli – “bt I canot imajn ɖt hr lediśp wd at ol dis’pruv v y. N y me b srtn ẃn I hv ɖ onr v siyñ hr agn, I śl spīc in ɖ vri hîist trmz v yr moḍsti, icoṇmi, n uɖr emịbl qolif̣ceśn.”

“Indd, Mr Colinz, ol prêz v m wl b uņesṣri. Y mst gv m līv t juj fr mslf, n pe m ɖ complimnt v b’livñ ẃt I se. I wś y vri hapi n vri rić, n bî rfyzñ yr hand, d ol in mî pǎr t privnt yr biyñ uɖrwz. In mcñ m ɖ ofr, y mst hv saṭsfaid ɖ delic̣si v yr fīlñz wɖ rgard t mî faṃli, n me tec pześn v Loñbōrn istet ẃnvr it fōlz, wɖt eni slf-rproć. Ɖs matr me b cnsidrd, ɖrfr, az fîṇli setld.” N rîzñ az ś ɖus spouc, ś wd hv qitd ɖ rūm, hd Mr Colinz nt ɖus adrest hr:

“Ẃn I d mslf ɖ onr v spīcñ t y nxt on ɖ subjict, I śl hop t rsiv a mor fevṛbl ansr ɖn y hv nǎ gvn m; ɖo I am far fṛm akzñ y v cruwlti at preznt, bcz I nǒ it t b ɖ istabliśt custm v yr sx t rjct a man on ɖ frst apḷceśn, n phps y hv īvn nǎ sd az mć t incurij mî sūt az wd b cnsistnt wɖ ɖ tru delic̣si v ɖ fīmel caṛctr.”

“Riyli, Mr Colinz,” craid Iliẓbʈ wɖ sm wormʈ, “y puzl m xidñli. F ẃt I hv hiɖrtu sd cn apir t y in ɖ form v incurijmnt, I nǒ nt hǎ t xpres mî rfyzl in sć a we az t cnvins y v its biyñ wn.”

“Y mst gv m līv t flatr mslf, mî dir cuzn, ɖt yr rfyzl v mî adresz z mirli wrdz v cors. Mî rīznz fr b’livñ it r brīfli ɖz: It dz nt apir t m ɖt mî hand z unwrɖi v yr axptns, or ɖt ɖ istabliśmnt I cn ofr wd b eni uɖr ɖn hîli dzîṛbl. Mî sićueśn in lîf, mî cnx́nz wɖ ɖ faṃli v d’Brg, n mî rleśnśp t yr ǒn, r srcmstansz hîli in mî fevr; n y śd tec it intu frɖr cnsiḍreśn, ɖt in spît v yr maṇfold atrax́nz, it z bî no mīnz srtn ɖt anɖr ofr v marij me evr b md y. Yr porśn z unhaṗli so smōl ɖt it wl in ol lîclihd undu ɖ ifcts v yr luvlinis n emịbl qolif̣ceśnz. Az I mst ɖrfr cnclud ɖt y r nt sirịs in yr rjx́n v m, I śl ćūz t atribyt it t yr wś v incrisñ mî luv bî sspns, acordñ t ɖ yźl practis v elignt fīmelz.”

“I d aśur y, sr, ɖt I hv no pritnśnz ẃtvr t ɖt cnd v eligns ẃć cnsists in tormntñ a rspctbl man. I wd rɖr b peid ɖ complimnt v biyñ b’livd s’nsir. I ʈanc y agn n agn fr ɖ onr y hv dn m in yr pṛpozlz, bt t axpt ɖm z abṣlutli imposbl. Mî fīlñz in evri rspct fbid it. Cn I spīc plenr? D nt cnsidr m nǎ az an elignt fīmel, intndñ t pleg y, bt az a raṣ́nl crīćr, spīcñ ɖ truʈ fṛm hr hart.”

“Y r yṇformli ćarmñ!” craid h, wɖ an er v ōcẉd gaḷntri; “n I am pswedd ɖt ẃn sañśnd bî ɖ xpres oʈoṛti v bʈ yr xḷnt peṛnts, mî pṛpozlz wl nt fel v biyñ axptbl.”

T sć prsviṛns in wilfl slf-dspśn Iliẓbʈ wd mc no rplî, n imīɉtli n in sîḷns wɖdru; dtrmind, f h psistd in cnsiḍrñ hr rpitd rfyzlz az flaṭrñ incurijmnt, t aplî t hr faɖr, huz neġtiv mt b utrd in sć a manr az t b dsîsiv, n huz bhevyr at līst cd nt b mstecn fr ɖ afcteśn n coc̣tri v an elignt fīmel.


___

Ćaptr 20

M

r Colinz wz nt left loñ t ɖ sîḷnt contmpleśn v hiz s’xesfl luv; fr Msz Benit, hvñ dōdld abt in ɖ vsṭbyl t woć fr ɖ end v ɖ confṛns, no snr sw Iliẓbʈ opn ɖ dor n wɖ qc step pas hr twdz ɖ sterces, ɖn ś entrd ɖ brecfstrūm, n cngrać̣letd bʈ him n hrslf in worm trmz on ɖ hapi prospect v ɖer nirr cnx́n. Mr Colinz rsivd n rtrnd ɖz f’liṣteśnz wɖ īql pleźr, n ɖen pṛsidd t rlet ɖ ptiklrz v ɖer inṭvy, wɖ ɖ rzult v ẃć h trustd h hd evri rīzn t b saṭsfaid, sins ɖ rfyzl ẃć hiz cuzn hd stedfstli gvn him wd naćṛli flo fṛm hr baśfl moḍsti n ɖ jenyin delic̣si v hr caṛctr.

Ɖs inf̣meśn, hvr, startld Msz Benit; ś wd hv bn glad t b īqli saṭsfaid ɖt hr dōtr hd mnt t incurij him bî pṛtstñ agnst hiz pṛpozlz, bt ś derd nt b’liv it, n cd nt hlp seyñ so.

“Bt, dpnd upn it, Mr Colinz,” ś add, “ɖt Lizi śl b bròt t rīzn. I wl spīc t hr abt it d’recli. Ś z a vri hedstroñ, fūliś grl, n dz nt nǒ hr ǒn inṭrest bt I wl mc hr nǒ it.”

“Pardn m fr inṭruptñ y, madm,” craid Mr Colinz; “bt f ś z riyli hedstroñ n fūliś, I nǒ nt ẃɖr ś wd oltgɖr b a vri dzîṛbl wîf t a man in mî sićueśn, hu naćṛli lcs fr hapinis in ɖ marij stet. F ɖrfr ś acć̣li psists in rjctñ mî sūt, phps it wr betr nt t fors hr intu axptñ m, bcz f laybl t sć dīfects v tmpr, ś cd nt cntribyt mć t mî f’liṣti.”

“Sr, y qt misunḍstand m,” sd Msz Benit, alarmd. “Lizi z onli hedstroñ in sć matrz az ɖz. In evrʈñ els ś z az gd-nećrd a grl az evr livd. I wl g d’recli t Mr Benit, n w śl vri sn setl it wɖ hr, I am śr.”

Ś wd nt gv him tîm t rplî, bt huriyñ instntli t hr huzbnd, cōld ǎt az ś entrd ɖ lîbrri, “Ǒ! Mr Benit, y r wontd imīɉtli; w r ol in an upror. Y mst cm n mc Lizi mari Mr Colinz, fr ś vǎz ś wl nt hv him, n f y d nt mc hest h wl ćenj hiz mînd n nt hv hr.”

Mr Benit rezd hiz îz fṛm hiz bc az ś entrd, n fixt ɖm on hr fes wɖ a cām uncnsrn ẃć wz nt in ɖ līst oltrd bî hr cḿṇceśn.

“I hv nt ɖ pleźr v unḍstandñ y,” sd h, ẃn ś hd finiśt hr spīć. “V ẃt r y tōcñ?”

“V Mr Colinz n Lizi. Lizi dclerz ś wl nt hv Mr Colinz, n Mr Colinz bginz t se ɖt h wl nt hv Lizi.”

“N ẃt am I t d on ɖ oceźn? It sīmz an hoplis biznis.”

“Spīc t Lizi abt it yrslf. Tel hr ɖt y insist upn hr mariyñ him.”

“Let hr b cōld dǎn. Ś śl hír mî opińn.”

Msz Benit rañ ɖ bel, n Mis Iliẓbʈ wz sumnd t ɖ lîbrri.

“Cm hir, ćîld,” craid hr faɖr az ś apird. “I hv snt fr y on an afer v importns. I unḍstand ɖt Mr Colinz hz md y an ofr v marij. Z it tru?” Iliẓbʈ rplaid ɖt it wz. “Vri wel – n ɖs ofr v marij y hv rfyzd?”

“I hv, sr.”

“Vri wel. W nǎ cm t ɖ pônt. Yr muɖr insists upn yr axptñ it. Z it nt so, Msz Benit?”

“Yes, or I wl nvr si hr agn.”

“An unhapi oltrṇtiv z bfr y, Iliẓbʈ. Fṛm ɖs de y mst b a strenjr t wn v yr peṛnts. Yr muɖr wl nvr si y agn f y d nt mari Mr Colinz, n I wl nvr si y agn f y d.”

Iliẓbʈ cd nt bt smîl at sć a cncluźn v sć a bginñ, bt Msz Benit, hu hd pswedd hrslf ɖt hr huzbnd rgardd ɖ afer az ś wśt, wz xesivli dis’pôntd.

“Ẃt d y mīn, Mr Benit, in tōcñ ɖs we? Y promist m t insist upn hr mariyñ him.”

“Mî dir,” rplaid hr huzbnd, “I hv tū smōl fevrz t rqst. Frst, ɖt y wl alǎ m ɖ fri ys v mî unḍstandñ on ɖ preznt oceźn; n secndli, v mî rūm. I śl b glad t hv ɖ lîbrri t mslf az sn az me b.”

Nt yt, hvr, in spît v hr dis’pôntmnt in hr huzbnd, dd Msz Benit gv p ɖ pônt. Ś tōct t Iliẓbʈ agn n agn; cǒxt n ʈretnd hr bî trnz. Ś indevrd t s’kr Jen in hr inṭrest; bt Jen, wɖ ol poṣbl mîldnis, dclînd inṭfirñ; n Iliẓbʈ, smtmz wɖ riyl rṇstnis, n smtmz wɖ plêfl geyti, rplaid t hr atacs. Ɖo hr manr vẹrid, hvr, hr dtrṃneśn nvr dd.

Mr Colinz, mnẃl, wz medtetñ in soḷtyd on ẃt hd pást. H ʈt tù wel v himslf t comprihnd on ẃt motivz hiz cuzn cd rfyz him; n ɖo hiz prîd wz hrt, h sufrd in no uɖr we. Hiz rgard fr hr wz qt imajinri; n ɖ posbiḷti v hr dzrvñ hr muɖr’z rproć privntd hiz fīlñ eni rgret.

Ẃl ɖ faṃli wr in ɖs cnfyźn, Śarlót Lūc̣s cem t spend ɖ de wɖ ɖm. Ś wz met in ɖ vsṭbyl bî Lidia, hu, flayñ t hr, craid in a haf ẃispr, “I am glad y r cm, fr ɖr z sć fun hir! Ẃt d y ʈnc hz hapnd ɖs mornñ? Mr Colinz hz md an ofr t Lizi, n ś wl nt hv him.”

Śarlót hardli hd tîm t ansr, bfr ɖe wr jônd bî Citi, hu cem t tel ɖ sem nyz; n no snr hd ɖe entrd ɖ brecfstrūm, ẃr Msz Benit wz alon, ɖn ś lîcwz bgan on ɖ subjict, cōlñ on Mis Lūc̣s fr hr cmpaśn, n intritñ hr t pswed hr frend Lizi t cmplî wɖ ɖ wśz v ol hr faṃli. “Pre d, mî dir Mis Lūc̣s,” ś add in a meḷnc̣li ton, “fr nbdi z on mî sîd, nbdi tecs part wɖ m. I am cruwli yzd, nbdi fīlz fr mî pur nrvz.”

Śarlót’s rplî wz sperd bî ɖ entṛns v Jen n Iliẓbʈ.

“Ai, ɖr ś cmz,” cntinyd Msz Benit, “lcñ az uncnsrnd az me b, n cẹrñ no mor fr s ɖn f w wr at Yorc, pṛvîdd ś cn hv hr ǒn we. Bt I tel y, Mis Lizi – f y tec it intu yr hed t g on rfyzñ evri ofr v marij in ɖs we, y wl nvr gt a huzbnd at ol – n I am śr I d nt nǒ hu z t mnten y ẃn yr faɖr z ded. I śl nt b ebl t cīp y – n so I worn y. I hv dn wɖ y fṛm ɖs vri de. I tld y in ɖ lîbrri, y nǒ, ɖt I śd nvr spīc t y agn, n y wl fînd m az gd az mî wrd. I hv no pleźr in tōcñ t undytifl ćildṛn. Nt ɖt I hv mć pleźr, indd, in tōcñ t enbdi. Ppl hu sufr az I d fṛm nrṿs cmplents cn hv no gret incḷneśn fr tōcñ. Nbdi cn tel ẃt I sufr! Bt it z olwz so. Ɖoz hu d nt cmplen r nvr pitid.”

Hr dōtrz lisnd in sîḷns t ɖs ifyźn, snṣbl ɖt eni atmt t rīzn wɖ hr or suɖ hr wd onli incris ɖ iṛteśn. Ś tōct on, ɖrfr, wɖt inṭrupśn fṛm eni v ɖm, tl ɖe wr jônd bî Mr Colinz, hu entrd ɖ rūm wɖ an er mor stetli ɖn yźl, n on psivñ hūm, ś sd t ɖ grlz, “Nǎ, I d insist upn it, ɖt y, ol v y, hold yr tuñz, n let m n Mr Colinz hv a litl convseśn tgɖr.”

Iliẓbʈ pást qaytli ǎt v ɖ rūm, Jen n Citi foloud, bt Lidia std hr grǎnd, dtrmind t hír ol ś cd; n Śarlót, dtend frst bî ɖ sviḷti v Mr Colinz, huz inqîriz aftr hrslf n ol hr faṃli wr vri mînyt, n ɖen bî a litl krioṣti, saṭsfaid hrslf wɖ wōcñ t ɖ windo n pritndñ nt t hír. In a dǒlfl vôs Msz Benit bgan ɖ pṛjctd convseśn: “Ǒ! Mr Colinz!”

“Mî dir madm,” rplaid h, “let s b fr evr sîḷnt on ɖs pônt. Far b it fṛm m,” h prezntli cntinyd, in a vôs ɖt marct hiz dspleźr, “t rznt ɖ bhevyr v yr dōtr. Reẓgneśn t inevitbl īvlz z ɖ dyti v s ol; ɖ pkłr dyti v a yuñ man hu hz bn so forćṇt az I hv bn in rli prifŕmnt; n I trust I am rzînd. Phps nt ɖ les so fṛm fīlñ a dǎt v mî poẓtiv hapinis hd mî fer cuzn onrd m wɖ hr hand; fr I hv ofn obzrvd ɖt reẓgneśn z nvr so prfict az ẃn ɖ blesñ dnaid bginz t lūz smẃt v its valy in ǎr esṭmeśn. Y wl nt, I hop, cnsidr m az śowñ eni disrispct t yr faṃli, mî dir madm, bî ɖus wɖdrw̃ mî pritnśnz t yr dōtr’z fevr, wɖt hvñ peid yrslf n Mr Benit ɖ complimnt v rqstñ y t inṭpoz yr oʈoṛti in mî bhaf. Mî conduct me, I fir, b objx́ṇbl in hvñ axptd mî dsmiśn fṛm yr dōtr’z lips instd v yr ǒn. Bt w r ol laybl t err. I hv srtnli mnt wel ʈru ɖ hol afer. Mî objict hz bn t s’kr an emịbl cmpańn fr mslf, wɖ dy cnsiḍreśn fr ɖ advantij v ol yr faṃli, n f mî manr hz bn at ol reprihnsbl, I hir beg līv t apoḷjîz.”

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