PRÎD AND PREɈDIS: Ćaptrz 51 tu 61

Ćaptrz:
51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61

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Ćaptr 51

Ɖ

er sistr’z wedñde arîvd; n Jen n Iliẓbʈ flt fr hr probbli mor ɖn ś flt fr hrslf. Ɖ carij wz snt t mīt ɖm at –– , n ɖe wr t rtrn in it bî dinrtîm. Ɖer arîvl wz dredd bî ɖ eldr Mis Benits, n Jen mor ispeṣ́li, hu gev Lidia ɖ fīlñz ẃć wd hv atndd hrslf, hd ś bn ɖ culprit, n wz rećid in ɖ ʈt v ẃt hr sistr mst indyr.

Ɖe cem. Ɖ faṃli wr asmbld in ɖ brecfstrūm t rsiv ɖm. Smîlz dect ɖ fes v Msz Benit az ɖ carij drouv p t ɖ dor; hr huzbnd lct impenitṛbli grev; hr dōtrz, alarmd, añśs, unīzi.

Lidia’z vôs wz hŕd in ɖ vsṭbyl; ɖ dor wz ʈroun opn, n ś ran intu ɖ rūm. Hr muɖr stept fwdz, imbrest hr, n welcmd hr wɖ rapćr; gev hr hand, wɖ an afx́ṇt smîl, t Wicm, hu foloud hiz ledi; n wśt ɖm bʈ jô wɖ an alacṛti ẃć śoud no dǎt v ɖer hapinis.

Ɖer rspśn fṛm Mr Benit, t hūm ɖe ɖen trnd, wz nt qt so cordịl. Hiz cǎntinns rɖr gend in osteṛti; n h scersli opnd hiz lips. Ɖ īzi aśuṛns v ɖ yuñ cupl, indd, wz inuf t pṛvoc him. Iliẓbʈ wz dsgustd, n īvn Mis Benit wz śoct. Lidia wz Lidia stl; untemd, un’baśt, wîld, nôzi, n firlis. Ś trnd fṛm sistr t sistr, dmandñ ɖer cngrać̣leśnz; n ẃn at leñʈ ɖe ol sat dǎn, lct īgrli rnd ɖ rūm, tc notis v sm litl olṭreśn in it, n obzrvd, wɖ a laf, ɖt it wz a gret ẃl sins ś hd bn ɖr.

Wicm wz nt at ol mor dstrest ɖn hrslf, bt hiz manrz wr olwz so plizñ, ɖt hd hiz caṛctr n hiz marij bn xacli ẃt ɖe òt, hiz smîlz n hiz īzi adres, ẃl h clemd ɖer rleśnśp, wd hv dlîtd ɖm ol. Iliẓbʈ hd nt bfr b’livd him qt īql t sć aśuṛns; bt ś sat dǎn, rzolvñ wɖn hrslf t drw no limits in fyćr t ɖ impydns v an impydnt man. Ś bluśt, n Jen bluśt; bt ɖ ćīcs v ɖ tū hu cōzd ɖer cnfyźn sufrd no verieśn v culr.

Ɖr wz no wont v discors. Ɖ brîd n hr muɖr cd nɖr v ɖm tōc fast inuf; n Wicm, hu hapnd t sit nir Iliẓbʈ, bgan inqîrñ aftr hiz aqentns in ɖt nebrhd, wɖ a gd hymrd īz ẃć ś flt vri unebl t īql in hr rplîz. Ɖe sīmd ć v ɖm t hv ɖ hapiist meṃriz in ɖ wrld. Nʈñ v ɖ past wz rec̣lectd wɖ pen; n Lidia léd voḷntṛli t subjicts ẃć hr sistrz wd nt hv aludd t fr ɖ wrld.

“Onli ʈnc v its biyñ ʈri munʈs,” ś craid, “sins I wnt awe; it sīmz bt a fortnît I dcler; n yt ɖr hv bn ʈñz inuf hapnd in ɖ tîm. Gd greśs! ẃn I wnt awe, I am śr I hd no mor îdīa v biyñ marid tl I cem bac agn! ɖo I ʈt it wd b vri gd fun f I wz.”

Hr faɖr liftd p hiz îz. Jen wz dstrest. Iliẓbʈ lct xpresivli at Lidia; bt ś, hu nvr hŕd nr sw enʈñ v ẃć ś ćouz t b insnsbl, gêli cntinyd, “Ǒ! m’mā, d ɖ ppl hir’bts nǒ I am marid tde? I wz afred ɖe mt nt; n w oṿtic Wiłm Goldñ in hiz curicl, so I wz dtrmind h śd nǒ it, n so I let dǎn ɖ sîdglas nxt t him, n tc of mî gluv, n let mî hand jst rest upn ɖ windofrem, so ɖt h mt si ɖ rñ, n ɖen I baud n smîld lîc enʈñ.”

Iliẓbʈ cd ber it no longr. Ś got p, n ran ǎt v ɖ rūm; n rtrnd no mor, tl ś hŕd ɖm pasñ ʈru ɖ hōl t ɖ dînñparlr. Ś ɖen jônd ɖm sn inuf t si Lidia, wɖ añśs p’red, wōc p t hr muɖr’z rît hand, n hír hr se t hr eldist sistr, “Ā! Jen, I tec yr ples nǎ, n y mst g lowr, bcz I am a marid wmn.”

It wz nt t b s’pozd ɖt tîm wd gv Lidia ɖt imbaṛsmnt fṛm ẃć ś hd bn so hoļi fri at frst. Hr īz n gd spirits incrist. Ś loñd t si Msz Filips, ɖ Lūc̣sz, n ol ɖer uɖr nebrz, n t hír hrslf cōld “Msz Wicm” bî ć v ɖm; n in ɖ mīntîm, ś wnt aftr dinr t śo hr rñ, n bost v biyñ marid, t Msz Hil n ɖ tū hǎsmeidz.

“Wel, m’mā,” sd ś, ẃn ɖe wr ol rtrnd t ɖ brecfstrūm, “n ẃt d y ʈnc v mî huzbnd? Z nt h a ćarmñ man? I am śr mî sistrz mst ol envi m. I onli hop ɖe me hv haf mî gd luc. Ɖe mst ol g t Braitn. Ɖt z ɖ ples t gt huzbndz. Ẃt a piti it z, m’mā, w dd nt ol g.”

“Vri tru; n f I hd mî wl, w śd. Bt mî dir Lidia, I d’nt at ol lîc yr gwñ sć a we of. Mst it b so?”

“Ǒ, lord! yes; – ɖr z nʈñ in ɖt. I śl lîc it v ol ʈñz. Y n ppā, n mî sistrz, mst cm dǎn n si s. W śl b at Nycasl ol ɖ wintr, n I der se ɖr wl b sm bōlz, n I wl tec cer t gt gd partnrz fr ɖm ol.”

“I śd lîc it bynd enʈñ!” sd hr muɖr.

“N ɖen ẃn y g awe, y me līv wn or tū v mî sistrz bhnd y; n I der se I śl gt huzbndz fr ɖm bfr ɖ wintr z ovr.”

“I ʈanc y fr mî śer v ɖ fevr,” sd Iliẓbʈ; “bt I d nt ptiklrli lîc yr we v gtñ huzbndz.”

Ɖer vizitrz wr nt t rmen abv ten dez wɖ ɖm. Mr Wicm hd rsivd hiz cmiśn bfr h left Lundn, n h wz t jôn hiz rejimnt at ɖ end v a fortnît.

Nwn bt Msz Benit rgretd ɖt ɖer ste wd b so śort; n ś md ɖ most v ɖ tîm bî viẓtñ abt wɖ hr dōtr, n hvñ vri frīqnt partiz at hom. Ɖz partiz wr axptbl t ol; t avôd a faṃlisrcl wz īvn mor dzîṛbl t sć az dd ʈnc, ɖn sć az dd nt.

Wicm’z afx́n fr Lidia wz jst ẃt Iliẓbʈ hd xpctd t fînd it; nt īql t Lidia’z fr him. Ś hd scersli nīdd hr preznt obẓveśn t b saṭsfaid, fṛm ɖ rīzn v ʈñz, ɖt ɖer ilopmnt hd bn bròt on bî ɖ streñʈ v hr luv, rɖr ɖn bî hiz; n ś wd hv wundrd ẃ, wɖt vayḷntli cẹrñ fr hr, h ćouz t ilop wɖ hr at ol, hd ś nt flt srtn ɖt hiz flît wz rendrd nesṣri bî dstres v srcmstansz; n f ɖt wr ɖ ces, h wz nt ɖ yuñ man t rzist an oṗtyṇti v hvñ a cmpańn.

Lidia wz xidñli fond v him. H wz hr dir Wicm on evri oceźn; nwn wz t b pt in comṗtiśn wɖ him. H dd evrʈñ bst in ɖ wrld; n ś wz śr h wd cil mor brdz on ɖ frst v Sptmbr, ɖn enbdi els in ɖ cuntri.

Wn mornñ, sn aftr ɖer arîvl, az ś wz sitñ wɖ hr tū eldr sistrz, ś sd t Iliẓbʈ:

“Lizi, I nvr gev y an acǎnt v mî wedñ, I b’liv. Y wr nt bî, ẃn I tld m’mā n ɖ uɖrz ol abt it. R nt y krịs t hír hǎ it wz manijd?”

“No riyli,” rplaid Iliẓbʈ; “I ʈnc ɖr canot b tù litl sd on ɖ subjict.”

“La! Y r so strenj! Bt I mst tel y hǎ it wnt of. W wr marid, y nǒ, at St. Clemnt’s, bcz Wicm’z lojñz wr in ɖt pariś. N it wz setld ɖt w śd ol b ɖr bî ilevn o’cloc. Mî uncl n ānt n I wr t g tgɖr; n ɖ uɖrz wr t mīt s at ɖ ćrć. Wel, Munde mornñ cem, n I wz in sć a fus! I wz so afred, y nǒ, ɖt smʈñ wd hapn t pt it of, n ɖen I śd hv gn qt dstractd. N ɖr wz mî ānt, ol ɖ tîm I wz dresñ, prīćñ n tōcñ awe jst az f ś wz rīdñ a srmn. Hvr, I dd nt hír abv wn wrd in ten, fr I wz ʈncñ, y me s’poz, v mî dir Wicm. I loñd t nǒ ẃɖr h wd b marid in hiz blu cot.”

“Wel, n so w brecfstd at ten az yźl; I ʈt it wd nvr b ovr; fr, bî ɖ bái, y r t unḍstand, ɖt mî uncl n ānt wr horid unpleznt ol ɖ tîm I wz wɖ ɖm. F y’l b’liv m, I dd nt wns pt mî ft ǎt v dorz, ɖo I wz ɖr a fortnît. Nt wn parti, or scīm, or enʈñ. T b śr Lundn wz rɖr ʈin, bt, hvr, ɖ Litl Ʈiytr wz opn. Wel, n so jst az ɖ carij cem t ɖ dor, mî uncl wz cōld awe upn biznis t ɖt horid man Mr Ston. N ɖen, y nǒ, ẃn wns ɖe gt tgɖr, ɖr z no end v it. Wel, I wz so frîtnd I dd nt nǒ ẃt t d, fr mî uncl wz t gv m awe; n f w wr bynd ɖ aur, w cd nt b marid ol de. Bt, luc̣li, h cem bac agn in ten minits’ tîm, n ɖen w ol set ǎt. Hvr, I rec̣lectd aftwdz ɖt f h hd bn privntd gwñ, ɖ wedñ nīd nt b pt of, fr Mr Darsi mt hv dn az wel.”

“Mr Darsi!” rpitd Iliẓbʈ, in utr amezmnt.

“Ǒ, yes! – h wz t cm ɖr wɖ Wicm, y nǒ. Bt greśs m! I qt fgot! I òt nt t hv sd a wrd abt it. I promist ɖm so feʈf̣li! Ẃt wl Wicm se? It wz t b sć a sīcrit!”

“F it wz t b sīcrit,” sd Jen, “se nt anɖr wrd on ɖ subjict. Y me dpnd upn mî sīcñ no frɖr.”

“Ǒ! srtnli,” sd Iliẓbʈ, ɖo brnñ wɖ krioṣti; “w wl asc y no qsćnz.”

“Ʈanc y,” sd Lidia, “fr f y dd, I śd srtnli tel y ol, n ɖen Wicm wd b angri.”

On sć incurijmnt t asc, Iliẓbʈ wz forst t pt it ǎt v hr pǎr, bî runñ awe.

Bt t liv in ignṛns on sć a pônt wz imposbl; or at līst it wz imposbl nt t trî fr inf̣meśn. Mr Darsi hd bn at hr sistr’z wedñ. It wz xacli a sīn, n xacli amñ ppl, ẃr h hd apaṛntli līst t d, n līst tmteśn t g. Cnjcćrz az t ɖ mīnñ v it, rapid n wîld, hurid intu hr bren; bt ś wz saṭsfaid wɖ nn. Ɖoz ɖt bst plizd hr, az plesñ hiz conduct in ɖ noblist lît, sīmd most improbbl. Ś cd nt ber sć sspns; n hesṭli sizñ a śīt v pepr, rout a śort letr t hr ānt, t rqst an xpḷneśn v ẃt Lidia hd dropt, f it wr cmpatbl wɖ ɖ sīcṛsi ẃć hd bn intndd.

“Y me reḍli comprihnd,” ś add, “ẃt mî krioṣti mst b t nǒ hǎ a prsn uncnctd wɖ eni v s, n (cmpaṛtivli spīcñ) a strenjr t ǎr faṃli, śd hv bn amñst y at sć a tîm. Pre rait instntli, n let m unḍstand it – unls it z, fr vri cojnt rīznz, t rmen in ɖ sīcṛsi ẃć Lidia sīmz t ʈnc nesṣri; n ɖen I mst indevr t b saṭsfaid wɖ ignṛns.”

“Nt ɖt I śl, ɖo,” ś add t hrslf, az ś finiśt ɖ letr; “n mî dir ānt, f y d nt tel m in an onṛbl manr, I śl srtnli b rdyst t trics n straṭjmz t fînd it ǎt.”

Jen’z delic̣t sns v onr wd nt alǎ hr t spīc t Iliẓbʈ prîṿtli v ẃt Lidia hd let fōl; Iliẓbʈ wz glad v it; – tl it apird ẃɖr hr inqîriz wd rsiv eni saṭsfax́n, ś hd rɖr b wɖt a conf̣dant.

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Ćaptr 52

I

liẓbʈ hd ɖ saṭsfax́n v rsivñ an ansr t hr letr az sn az ś poṣbli cd. Ś wz no snr in pześn v it ɖn, huriyñ intu ɖ litl cops, ẃr ś wz līst lîcli t b inṭruptd, ś sat dǎn on wn v ɖ benćz n priperd t b hapi; fr ɖ leñʈ v ɖ letr cnvinst hr ɖt it dd nt cnten a dnayl.

“Gresćrć Strīt, Spt. 6.

“MÎ DIR NĪS,

“I hv jst rsivd yr letr, n śl dvot ɖs hol mornñ t anṣrñ it, az I fōrsi ɖt a litl raitñ wl nt cmprîz ẃt I hv t tel y. I mst cnfes mslf s’prîzd bî yr apḷceśn; I dd nt xpct it fṛm y. D’nt ʈnc m angri, hvr, fr I onli mīn t let y nǒ ɖt I hd nt imajnd sć inqîriz t b nesṣri on yr sîd. F y d nt ćūz t unḍstand m, fgiv mî imprtinns. Yr uncl z az mć s’prîzd az I am – n nʈñ bt ɖ b’lif v yr biyñ a parti cnsrnd wd hv alaud him t act az h hz dn. Bt f y r riyli iṇsnt n ignṛnt, I mst b mor xplisit.

“On ɖ vri de v mî cmñ hom fṛm Loñbōrn, yr uncl hd a most unxpctd vizitr. Mr Darsi cōld, n wz śut p wɖ him sevṛl aurz. It wz ol ovr bfr I arîvd; so mî krioṣti wz nt so dredf̣li ract az yrz sīmz t hv bn. H cem t tel Mr Gardinr ɖt h hd faund ǎt ẃr yr sistr n Mr Wicm wr, n ɖt h hd sìn n tōct wɖ ɖm bʈ; Wicm rpitidli, Lidia wns. Fṛm ẃt I cn c’lect, h left Darbiśr onli wn de aftr ǎrslvz, n cem t tǎn wɖ ɖ reẓluśn v huntñ fr ɖm. Ɖ motiv pṛfest wz hiz cnvix́n v its biyñ owñ t himslf ɖt Wicm’z wrʈlisnis hd nt bn so wel noun az t mc it imposbl fr eni yuñ wmn v caṛctr t luv or cnfîd in him. H jenṛsli impytd ɖ hol t hiz mstecn prîd, n cnfest ɖt h hd bfr ʈt it bnʈ him t le hiz prîṿt ax́nz opn t ɖ wrld. Hiz caṛctr wz t spīc fr itslf. H cōld it, ɖrfr, hiz dyti t step fwd, n indevr t reṃdi an īvl ẃć hd bn bròt on bî himslf. F h hd anɖr motiv, I am śr it wd nvr dsgres him. H hd bn sm dez in tǎn, bfr h wz ebl t dscuvr ɖm; bt h hd smʈñ t d’rect hiz srć, ẃć wz mor ɖn w hd; n ɖ conśsnis v ɖs wz anɖr rīzn fr hiz rzolvñ t folo s.

“Ɖr z a ledi, it sīmz, a Msz Yúñ, hu wz sm tîm ago guṿnes t Mis Darsi, n wz dsmist fṛm hr ćarj on sm cōz v disapṛbeśn, ɖo h dd nt se ẃt. Ś ɖen tc a larj hǎs in Edẉd Strīt, n hz sins mntend hrslf bî letñ lojñz. Ɖs Msz Yúñ wz, h ń, intiṃtli aqentd wɖ Wicm; n h wnt t hr fr intelijns v him az sn az h got t tǎn. Bt it wz tū or ʈri dez bfr h cd gt fṛm hr ẃt h wontd. Ś wd nt btre hr trust, I s’poz, wɖt brîḅri n c’rupśn, fr ś riyli dd nǒ ẃr hr frend wz t b faund. Wicm indd hd gn t hr on ɖer frst arîvl in Lundn, n hd ś bn ebl t rsiv ɖm intu hr hǎs, ɖe wd hv tecn p ɖer abod wɖ hr. At leñʈ, hvr, ǎr cînd frend pṛkrd ɖ wśt-fr d’rex́n. Ɖe wr in –– Strīt. H sw Wicm, n aftwdz insistd on siyñ Lidia. Hiz frst objict wɖ hr, h acnolijd, hd bn t pswed hr t qit hr preznt dsgresfl sićueśn, n rtrn t hr frendz az sn az ɖe cd b priveld on t rsiv hr, of̣rñ hiz asistns, az far az it wd g. Bt h faund Lidia abṣlutli rzolvd on rmenñ ẃr ś wz. Ś cerd fr nn v hr frendz; ś wontd no hlp v hiz; ś wd nt hír v līvñ Wicm. Ś wz śr ɖe śd b marid sm tîm or uɖr, n it dd nt mć sigṇfî ẃn. Sins sć wr hr fīlñz, it onli rmend, h ʈt, t s’kr n xṗdît a marij, ẃć, in hiz vri frst convseśn wɖ Wicm, h īẓli lrnt hd nvr bn hiz dzîn. H cnfest himslf oblîjd t līv ɖ rejimnt, on acǎnt v sm déts v onr, ẃć wr vri presñ; n scrūpld nt t le ol ɖ il consiqnsz v Lidia’z flît on hr ǒn foli alon. H mnt t rzîn hiz cmiśn imīɉtli; n az t hiz fyćr sićueśn, h cd cnjcćr vri litl abt it. H mst g smẃr, bt h dd nt nǒ ẃr, n h ń h śd hv nʈñ t liv on.

“Mr Darsi asct him ẃ h hd nt marid yr sistr at wns. Ɖo Mr Benit wz nt imajnd t b vri rić, h wd hv bn ebl t d smʈñ fr him, n hiz sićueśn mst hv bn beṇfitd bî marij. Bt h faund, in rplî t ɖs qsćn, ɖt Wicm stl ćeriśt ɖ hop v mor ifcć̣li mcñ hiz fortyn bî marij in sm uɖr cuntri. Undr sć srcmstansz, hvr, h wz nt lîcli t b prūf agnst ɖ tmteśn v imīɉt rlif.

“Ɖe met sevṛl tîmz, fr ɖr wz mć t b dscust. Wicm v cors wontd mor ɖn h cd gt; bt at leñʈ wz rdyst t b rīzṇbl.

“Evrʈñ biyñ setld btwn ɖm, Mr Darsi’z nxt step wz t mc yr uncl aqentd wɖ it, n h frst cōld in Gresćrć Strīt ɖ īvnñ bfr I cem hom. Bt Mr Gardinr cd nt b sìn, n Mr Darsi faund, on frɖr inqîri, ɖt yr faɖr wz stl wɖ him, bt wd qit tǎn ɖ nxt mornñ. H dd nt juj yr faɖr t b a prsn hūm h cd so proprli cnsult az yr uncl, n ɖrfr reḍli pspond siyñ him tl aftr ɖ dparćr v ɖ formr. H dd nt līv hiz nem, n tl ɖ nxt de it wz onli noun ɖt a jntlmn hd cōld on biznis.

“On Saṭde h cem agn. Yr faɖr wz gn, yr uncl at hom, n, az I sd bfr, ɖe hd a gret dīl v tōc tgɖr.

“Ɖe met agn on Súnde, n ɖen I sw him tù. It wz nt ol setld bfr Munde: az sn az it wz, ɖ xpres wz snt of t Loñbōrn. Bt ǎr vizitr wz vri obstiṇt. I fansi, Lizi, ɖt obstiṇsi z ɖ riyl dīfect v hiz caṛctr, aftr ol. H hz bn akzd v mni fōlts at difṛnt tîmz, bt ɖs z ɖ tru wn. Nʈñ wz t b dn ɖt h dd nt d himslf; ɖo I am śr (n I d nt spīc it t b ʈanct, ɖrfr se nʈñ abt it), yr uncl wd most reḍli hv setld ɖ hol.

“Ɖe batld it tgɖr fr a loñ tîm, ẃć wz mor ɖn îɖr ɖ jntlmn or ledi cnsrnd in it dzrvd. Bt at last yr uncl wz forst t yīld, n instd v biyñ alaud t b v ys t hiz nīs, wz forst t pt p wɖ onli hvñ ɖ probbl credit v it, ẃć wnt sorli agnst ɖ gren; n I riyli b’liv yr letr ɖs mornñ gev him gret pleźr, bcz it rqîrd an xpḷneśn ɖt wd rob him v hiz boroud feɖrz, n gv ɖ prêz ẃr it wz dy. Bt, Lizi, ɖs mst g no farɖr ɖn yrslf, or Jen at most.

“Y nǒ priti wel, I s’poz, ẃt hz bn dn fr ɖ yuñ ppl. Hiz déts r t b peid, amǎntñ, I b’liv, t cnsidṛbli mor ɖn a ʈǎznd pǎndz, anɖr ʈǎznd in adiśn t hr ǒn setld upn hr, n hiz cmiśn prć̣st. Ɖ rīzn ẃ ol ɖs wz t b dn bî him alon, wz sć az I hv gvn abv. It wz owñ t him, t hiz rzrv n wont v propr cnsiḍreśn, ɖt Wicm’z caṛctr hd bn so misunḍstd, n consiqntli ɖt h hd bn rsivd n notist az h wz. Phps ɖr wz sm truʈ in ɖs; ɖo I dǎt ẃɖr hiz rzrv, or enbdi’z rzrv, cn b ansṛbl fr ɖ ivnt. Bt in spît v ol ɖs fîn tōcñ, mî dir Lizi, y me rest prf̣cli aśurd ɖt yr uncl wd nvr hv yīldd, f w hd nt gvn him credit fr anɖr inṭrest in ɖ afer.

“Ẃn ol ɖs wz rzolvd on, h rtrnd agn t hiz frendz, hu wr stl steyñ at Pmḅli; bt it wz agrìd ɖt h śd b in Lundn wns mor ẃn ɖ wedñ tc ples, n ol munimatrz wr ɖen t rsiv ɖ last finiś.

“I b’liv I hv nǎ tld y evrʈñ. It z a rleśn ẃć y tel m z t gv y gret s’prîz; I hop at līst it wl nt aford y eni dspleźr. Lidia cem t s; n Wicm hd constnt admiśn t ɖ hǎs. H wz xacli ẃt h hd bn, ẃn I ń him in Hartfdśr; bt I wd nt tel y hǎ litl I wz saṭsfaid wɖ hr bhevyr ẃl ś stêd wɖ s, f I hd nt psivd, bî Jen’z letr last Wenzde, ɖt hr conduct on cmñ hom wz xacli v a pìs wɖ it, n ɖrfr ẃt I nǎ tel y cn gv y no freś pen. I tōct t hr rpitidli in ɖ most sirịs manr, reprizntñ t hr ol ɖ wicidnis v ẃt ś hd dn, n ol ɖ unhapinis ś hd bròt on hr faṃli. F ś hŕd m, it wz bî gd luc, fr I am śr ś dd nt lisn. I wz smtmz qt pṛvoct, bt ɖen I rec̣lectd mî dir Iliẓbʈ n Jen, n fr ɖer secs hd peśns wɖ hr.

“Mr Darsi wz puñćl in hiz rtrn, n az Lidia informd y, atndd ɖ wedñ. H dînd wɖ s ɖ nxt de, n wz t līv tǎn agn on Wenzde or Ʈrzde. Wl y b vri angri wɖ m, mî dir Lizi, f I tec ɖs oṗtyṇti v seyñ (ẃt I wz nvr bold inuf t se bfr) hǎ mć I lîc him. Hiz bhevyr t s hz, in evri rspct, bn az plizñ az ẃn w wr in Darbiśr. Hiz unḍstandñ n opińnz ol plīz m; h wonts nʈñ bt a litl mor lîvlinis, n ɖt, f h mari prūdntli, hiz wîf me tīć him. I ʈt him vri slî; – h hardli evr mnśnd yr nem. Bt slînis sīmz ɖ faśn.

“Pre fgiv m f I hv bn vri prizymñ, or at līst d nt puniś m so far az t xclud m fṛm P. I śl nvr b qt hapi tl I hv bn ol rnd ɖ parc. A lo feytn, wɖ a nîs litl per v poniz, wd b ɖ vri ʈñ.

“Bt I mst rait no mor. Ɖ ćildṛn hv bn wontñ m ɖs haf aur.

“Yrz, vri s’nsirli,

“M. GARIDNR.”

Ɖ contents v ɖs letr ʈrù Iliẓbʈ intu a flutr v spirits, in ẃć it wz dificlt t dtrmin ẃɖr pleźr or pen bòr ɖ gretist śer. Ɖ veg n unsetld sspiśnz ẃć unsrtnti hd pṛdyst v ẃt Mr Darsi mt hv bn dwñ t fwd hr sistr’z mać, ẃć ś hd fird t incurij az an xrśn v gdnis tù gret t b probbl, n at ɖ sem tîm dredd t b just, fṛm ɖ pen v obḷgeśn, wr pruvd bynd ɖer gretist xtnt t b tru! H hd foloud ɖm prṗsli t tǎn, h hd tecn on himslf ol ɖ trubl n mortif̣ceśn atndnt on sć a rsrć; in ẃć supḷceśn hd bn nesṣri t a wmn hūm h mst aboṃnet n dspîz, n ẃr h wz rdyst t mīt, frīqntli mīt, rīzn wɖ, pswed, n fîṇli brîb, ɖ man hūm h olwz most wśt t avôd, n huz vri nem it wz puniśmnt t him t pṛnǎns. H hd dn ol ɖs fr a grl hūm h cd nɖr rgard nr istim. Hr hart dd ẃispr ɖt h hd dn it fr hr. Bt it wz a hop śortli ćect bî uɖr cnsiḍreśnz, n ś sn flt ɖt īvn hr vaṇti wz inṣfiśnt, ẃn rqîrd t dpnd on hiz afx́n fr hr – fr a wmn hu hd olrdi rfyzd him – az ebl t oṿcm a sntimnt so naćṛl az abhoṛns agnst rleśnśp wɖ Wicm. Bruɖr-in-lw v Wicm! Evri cnd v prîd mst rvolt fṛm ɖ cnx́n. H hd, t b śr, dn mć. Ś wz aśemd t ʈnc hǎ mć. Bt h hd gvn a rīzn fr hiz inṭfiṛns, ẃć asct no xtrordnri streć v b’lif. It wz rīzṇbl ɖt h śd fīl h hd bn roñ; h hd liḅraḷti, n h hd ɖ mīnz v x’sîzñ it; n ɖo ś wd nt ples hrslf az hiz prinsipl indysmnt, ś cd, phps, b’liv ɖt rmenñ parśiaḷti fr hr mt asist hiz indevrz in a cōz ẃr hr pīs v mînd mst b mtirịli cnsrnd. It wz penfl, xidñli penfl, t nǒ ɖt ɖe wr undr obḷgeśnz t a prsn hu cd nvr rsiv a rtrn. Ɖe oud ɖ resṭreśn v Lidia, hr caṛctr, evrʈñ, t him. Ǒ! hǎ harṭli dd ś grīv ovr evri ungreśs snseśn ś hd evr incurijd, evri sōsi spīć ś hd evr d’rectd twdz him. Fr hrslf ś wz humbld; bt ś wz prǎd v him. Prǎd ɖt in a cōz v cmpaśn n onr, h hd bn ebl t gt ɖ betr v himslf. Ś réd ovr hr ānt’s comndeśn v him agn n agn. It wz hardli inuf; bt it plizd hr. Ś wz īvn snṣbl v sm pleźr, ɖo mixt wɖ rgret, on fîndñ hǎ stedfstli bʈ ś n hr uncl hd bn pswedd ɖt afx́n n confidns sbsistd btwn Mr Darsi n hrslf.

Ś wz rǎzd fṛm hr sīt, n hr rflex́nz, bî smwn’z aproć; n bfr ś cd strîc intu anɖr paʈ, ś wz oṿtecn bî Wicm.

“I am afred I inṭrupt yr solitri rambl, mî dir sistr?” sd h, az h jônd hr.

“Y srtnli d,” ś rplaid wɖ a smîl; “bt it dz nt folo ɖt ɖ inṭrupśn mst b unwelcm.”

“I śd b sori indd, f it wr. W wr olwz gd frendz; n nǎ w r betr.”

“Tru. R ɖ uɖrz cmñ ǎt?”

“I d nt nǒ. Msz Benit n Lidia r gwñ in ɖ carij t Meritn. N so, mî dir sistr, I fînd, fṛm ǎr uncl n ānt, ɖt y hv acć̣li sìn Pmḅli.”

Ś rplaid in ɖ afrṃtiv.

“I olmst envi y ɖ pleźr, n yt I b’liv it wd b tù mć fr m, or els I cd tec it in mî we t Nycasl. N y sw ɖ old hǎscīpr, I s’poz? Pur Renldz, ś wz olwz vri fond v m. Bt v cors ś dd nt mnśn mî nem t y.”

“Yes, ś dd.”

“N ẃt dd ś se?”

“Ɖt y wr gn intu ɖ armi, n ś wz afred hd – nt trnd ǎt wel. At sć a distns az ɖt, y nǒ, ʈñz r strenjli misreprizntd.”

“Srtnli,” h rplaid, bîtñ hiz lips. Iliẓbʈ hopt ś hd sîḷnst him; bt h sn aftwdz sd:

“I wz s’prîzd t si Darsi in tǎn last munʈ. W pást ć uɖr sevṛl tîmz. I wundr ẃt h cn b dwñ ɖr.”

“Phps pripẹrñ fr hiz marij wɖ Mis d’Brg,” sd Iliẓbʈ. “It mst b smʈñ ptiklr, t tec him ɖr at ɖs tîm v yir.”

“Undǎtidli. Dd y si him ẃl y wr at Lamtn? I ʈt I unḍstd fṛm ɖ Gardinrz ɖt y hd.”

“Yes; h intṛdyst s t hiz sistr.”

“N d y lîc hr?”

“Vri mć.”

“I hv hŕd, indd, ɖt ś z uncomnli impruvd wɖn ɖs yir or tū. Ẃn I last sw hr, ś wz nt vri proṃsñ. I am vri glad y lîct hr. I hop ś wl trn ǎt wel.”

“I der se ś wl; ś hz got ovr ɖ most trayñ ej.”

“Dd y g bî ɖ vilij v Cimtn?”

“I d nt rec̣lect ɖt w dd.”

“I mnśn it, bcz it z ɖ livñ ẃć I òt t hv hd. A most dlîtfl ples! – Xḷnt Parṣnij Hǎs! It wd hv sūtd m in evri rspct.”

“Hǎ śd y hv lîct mcñ srmnz?”

“Xidñli wel. I śd hv cnsidrd it az part v mî dyti, n ɖ xrśn wd sn hv bn nʈñ. Wn òt nt t rpîn; – bt, t b śr, it wd hv bn sć a ʈñ fr m! Ɖ qayt, ɖ rtîrmnt v sć a lîf wd hv ansrd ol mî îdīaz v hapinis! Bt it wz nt t b. Dd y evr hír Darsi mnśn ɖ srcmstans, ẃn y wr in Cnt?”

“I hv hŕd fṛm oʈoṛti, ẃć I ʈt az gd, ɖt it wz left y cndiśṇli onli, n at ɖ wil v ɖ preznt petṛn.”

“Y hv. Yes, ɖr wz smʈñ in ɖt; I tld y so fṛm ɖ frst, y me rmembr.”

“I dd hír, tù, ɖt ɖr wz a tîm, ẃn srmn-mcñ wz nt so paḷtbl t y az it sīmz t b at preznt; ɖt y acć̣li dclerd yr reẓluśn v nvr tecñ ordrz, n ɖt ɖ biznis hd bn compṛmîzd acordñli.”

“Y dd! n it wz nt hoļi wɖt fǎndeśn. Y me rmembr ẃt I tld y on ɖt pônt, ẃn frst w tōct v it.”

Ɖe wr nǎ olmst at ɖ dor v ɖ hǎs, fr ś hd wōct fast t gt rid v him; n unwilñ, fr hr sistr’z sec, t pṛvoc him, ś onli sd in rplî, wɖ a gd-hymrd smîl:

“Cm, Mr Wicm, w r bruɖr n sistr, y nǒ. D nt let s qoṛl abt ɖ past. In fyćr, I hop w śl b olwz v wn mînd.”

Ś hld ǎt hr hand; h cist it wɖ afx́ṇt gaḷntri, ɖo h hardli ń hǎ t lc, n ɖe entrd ɖ hǎs.

___

Ćaptr 53

M

r Wicm wz so prf̣cli saṭsfaid wɖ ɖs convseśn ɖt h nvr agn dstrest himslf, or pṛvoct hiz dir sistr Iliẓbʈ, bî intṛdysñ ɖ subjict v it; n ś wz plizd t fînd ɖt ś hd sd inuf t cīp him qayt.

Ɖ de v hiz n Lidia’z dparćr sn cem, n Msz Benit wz forst t sbmit t a seṗreśn, ẃć, az hr huzbnd bî no mīnz entrd intu hr scīm v ɖer ol gwñ t Nycasl, wz lîcli t cntiny at līst a twelvmunʈ.

“Ǒ! mî dir Lidia,” ś craid, “ẃn śl w mīt agn?”

“Ǒ, lord! I d’nt nǒ. Nt ɖz tū or ʈri yirz, phps.”

“Rait t m vri ofn, mî dir.”

“Az ofn az I cn. Bt y nǒ marid wimin hv nvr mć tîm fr raitñ. Mî sistrz me rait t m. Ɖe wl hv nʈñ els t d.”

Mr Wicm’z adyz wr mć mor afx́ṇt ɖn hiz wîf’s. H smîld, lct hansm, n sd mni priti ʈñz.

“H z az fîn a felo,” sd Mr Benit, az sn az ɖe wr ǎt v ɖ hǎs, “az evr I sw. H simprz, n smrcs, n mcs luv t s ol. I am pṛdiɉsli prǎd v him. I dfî īvn Sr Wiłm Lūc̣s himslf t pṛdys a mor vałbl sun-in-lw.”

Ɖ los v hr dōtr md Msz Benit vri dul fr sevṛl dez.

“I ofn ʈnc,” sd ś, “ɖt ɖr z nʈñ so bad az partñ wɖ wn’z frendz. Wn sīmz so f’lorn wɖt ɖm.”

“Ɖs z ɖ consiqns, y si, Madm, v mariyñ a dōtr,” sd Iliẓbʈ. “It mst mc y betr saṭsfaid ɖt yr uɖr for r sngl.”

“It z no sć ʈñ. Lidia dz nt līv m bcz ś z marid, bt onli bcz hr huzbnd’z rejimnt hapnz t b so far of. F ɖt hd bn nirr, ś wd nt hv gn so sn.”

Bt ɖ spiṛtlis cndiśn ẃć ɖs ivnt ʈrù hr intu wz śortli rlivd, n hr mînd opnd agn t ɖ ajteśn v hop, bî an articl v nyz ẃć ɖen bgan t b in srkleśn. Ɖ hǎscīpr at Neɖ̇fīld hd rsivd ordrz t priper fr ɖ arîvl v hr mastr, hu wz cmñ dǎn in a de or tū, t śūt ɖr fr sevṛl wīcs. Msz Benit wz qt in ɖ fijits. Ś lct at Jen, n smîld n śc hr hed bî trnz.

“Wel, wel, n so Mr Bñli z cmñ dǎn, sistr,” (fr Msz Filips frst bròt hr ɖ nyz). “Wel, so mć ɖ betr. Nt ɖt I cer abt it, ɖo. H z nʈñ t s, y nǒ, n I am śr I nvr wont t si him agn. Bt, hvr, h z vri welcm t cm t Neɖ̇fīld, f h lîcs it. N hu nz ẃt me hapn? Bt ɖt z nʈñ t s. Y nǒ, sistr, w agrìd loñ ago nvr t mnśn a wrd abt it. N so, z it qt srtn h z cmñ?”

“Y me dpnd on it,” rplaid ɖ uɖr, “fr Msz Niclz wz in Meritn last nît; I sw hr pasñ bî, n wnt ǎt mslf on prṗs t nǒ ɖ truʈ v it; n ś tld m ɖt it wz srtn tru. H cmz dǎn on Ʈrzde at ɖ lêtist, vri lîcli on Wenzde. Ś wz gwñ t ɖ bćr’z, ś tld m, on prṗs t ordr in sm mìt on Wenzde, n ś hz got ʈri cupl v ducs jst fit t b cild.”

Mis Benit hd nt bn ebl t hír v hiz cmñ wɖt ćenjñ culr. It wz mni munʈs sins ś hd mnśnd hiz nem t Iliẓbʈ; bt nǎ, az sn az ɖe wr alon tgɖr, ś sd:

“I sw y lc at m tde, Lizi, ẃn mî ānt tld s v ɖ preznt rport; n I nǒ I apird dstrest. Bt d’nt imajn it wz fṛm eni sili cōz. I wz onli cnfyzd fr ɖ momnt, bcz I flt ɖt I śd b lct at. I d aśur y ɖt ɖ nyz dz nt afct m îɖr wɖ pleźr or pen. I am glad v wn ʈñ, ɖt h cmz alon; bcz w śl si ɖ les v him. Nt ɖt I am afred v mslf, bt I dred uɖr ppl’z rmarcs.”

Iliẓbʈ dd nt nǒ ẃt t mc v it. Hd ś nt sìn him in Darbiśr, ś mt hv s’pozd him ceṗbl v cmñ ɖr wɖ no uɖr vy ɖn ẃt wz acnolijd; bt ś stl ʈt him parśl t Jen, n ś wevrd az t ɖ gretr probbiḷti v hiz cmñ ɖr  hiz frend’z pmiśn, or biyñ bold inuf t cm wɖt it.

“Yt it z hard,” ś smtmz ʈt, “ɖt ɖs pur man canot cm t a hǎs ẃć h hz līġli hîrd, wɖt rezñ ol ɖs spekleśn! I wl līv him t himslf.”

In spît v ẃt hr sistr dclerd, n riyli b’livd t b hr fīlñz in ɖ xpcteśn v hiz arîvl, Iliẓbʈ cd īẓli psiv ɖt hr spirits wr afctd bî it. Ɖe wr mor dstrbd, mor unīql, ɖn ś hd ofn sìn ɖm.

Ɖ subjict ẃć hd bn so wormli cánvst btwn ɖer peṛnts, abt a twelvmunʈ ago, wz nǎ bròt fwd agn.

“Az sn az evr Mr Bñli cmz, mî dir,” sd Msz Benit, “y wl wêt on him v cors.”

“No, no. Y forst m intu viẓtñ him last yir, n promist, f I wnt t si him, h śd mari wn v mî dōtrz. Bt it endd in nʈñ, n I wl nt b snt on a fūl’z eṛnd agn.”

Hiz wîf reprizntd t him hǎ abṣlutli nesṣri sć an atnśn wd b fṛm ol ɖ neḅrñ jntlṃn, on hiz rtrnñ t Neɖ̇fīld.

“’tiz an eticét I dspîz,” sd h. “F h wonts ǎr ssayti, let him sīc it. H nz ẃr w liv. I wl nt spend mî aurz in runñ aftr mî nebrz evri tîm ɖe g awe n cm bac agn.”

“Wel, ol I nǒ z, ɖt it wl b abomiṇbli rūd f y d nt wêt on him. Bt, hvr, ɖt ś’nt privnt mî ascñ him t dîn hir, I am dtrmind. W mst hv Msz Loñ n ɖ Goldñz sn. Ɖt wl mc ʈrtīn wɖ ǎrslvz, so ɖr wl b jst rūm at tebl fr him.”

Cnsold bî ɖs reẓluśn, ś wz ɖ betr ebl t ber hr huzbnd’z inṣviḷti; ɖo it wz vri morṭfayñ t nǒ ɖt hr nebrz mt ol si Mr Bñli, in consiqns v it, bfr ɖe dd. Az ɖ de v hiz arîvl drù nir, –

“I bgin t b sori ɖt h cmz at ol,” sd Jen t hr sistr. “It wd b nʈñ; I cd si him wɖ prfict indifṛns, bt I cn hardli ber t hír it ɖus ppć̣li tōct v. Mî muɖr mīnz wel; bt ś dz nt nǒ, nwn cn nǒ, hǎ mć I sufr fṛm ẃt ś sz. Hapi śl I b, ẃn hiz ste at Neɖ̇fīld z ovr!”

“I wś I cd se enʈñ t cumf̣t y,” rplaid Iliẓbʈ; “bt it z hoļi ǎt v mî pǎr. Y mst fīl it; n ɖ yźl saṭsfax́n v prīćñ peśns t a sufrr z dnaid m, bcz y hv olwz so mć.”

Mr Bñli arîvd. Msz Benit, ʈru ɖ asistns v srvnts, cntrîvd t hv ɖ rliist tîdñz v it, ɖt ɖ pirịd v añzayti n fretf̣lnis on hr sîd mt b az loñ az it cd. Ś cǎntd ɖ dez ɖt mst inṭvin bfr ɖer invteśn cd b snt; hoplis v siyñ him bfr. Bt on ɖ ʈrd mornñ aftr hiz arîvl in Hartfdśr, ś sw him, fṛm hr dresñrūm windo, entr ɖ paḍc n rîd twdz ɖ hǎs.

Hr dōtrz wr īgrli cōld t ptec v hr jô. Jen reẓlutli cept hr ples at ɖ tebl; bt Iliẓbʈ, t saṭsfî hr muɖr, wnt t ɖ windo – ś lct, – ś sw Mr Darsi wɖ him, n sat dǎn agn bî hr sistr.

“Ɖr z a jntlmn wɖ him, m’mā,” sd Citi; “hu cn it b?”

“Sm aqentns or uɖr, mî dir, I s’poz; I am śr I d nt nǒ.”

“La!” rplaid Citi, “it lcs jst lîc ɖt man ɖt yst t b wɖ him bfr. Mr ẃt’s-hiz-nem. Ɖt tōl, prǎd man.”

“Gd greśs! Mr Darsi! – n so it dz, I vǎ. Wel, eni frend v Mr Bñli’z wl olwz b welcm hir, t b śr; bt els I mst se ɖt I het ɖ vri sît v him.”

Jen lct at Iliẓbʈ wɖ s’prîz n cnsrn. Ś ń bt litl v ɖer mītñ in Darbiśr, n ɖrfr flt fr ɖ ōcẉdnis ẃć mst atnd hr sistr, in siyñ him olmst fr ɖ frst tîm aftr rsivñ hiz xplaṇtri letr. Bʈ sistrz wr uncumf̣tbl inuf. Ć flt fr ɖ uɖr, n v cors fr ɖmslvz; n ɖer muɖr tōct on, v hr dslîc v Mr Darsi, n hr reẓluśn t b sivl t him onli az Mr Bñli’z frend, wɖt biyñ hŕd bî îɖr v ɖm. Bt Iliẓbʈ hd sorsz v unīzinis ẃć cd nt b sspctd bî Jen, t hūm ś hd nvr yt hd curij t śo Msz Gardinr’z letr, or t rlet hr ǒn ćenj v sntimnt twdz him. T Jen, h cd b onli a man huz pṛpozlz ś hd rfyzd, n huz merit ś hd unḍvalyd; bt t hr ǒn mor xtnsiv inf̣meśn, h wz ɖ prsn t hūm ɖ hol faṃli wr indétd fr ɖ frst v beṇfits, n hūm ś rgardd hrslf wɖ an inṭrest, f nt qt so tndr, at līst az rīzṇbl n just az ẃt Jen flt fr Bñli. Hr astoniśmnt at hiz cmñ – at hiz cmñ t Neɖ̇fīld, t Loñbōrn, n voḷntṛli sīcñ hr agn, wz olmst īql t ẃt ś hd noun on frst witṇsñ hiz oltrd bhevyr in Darbiśr.

Ɖ culr ẃć hd bn drivn fṛm hr fes, rtrnd fr haf a minit wɖ an adiśnl glo, n a smîl v dlît add lustr t hr îz, az ś ʈt fr ɖt spes v tîm ɖt hiz afx́n n wśz mst stl b unśecn. Bt ś wd nt b s’kr.

“Let m frst si hǎ h bhevz,” sd ś; “it wl ɖen b rli inuf fr xpcteśn.”

Ś sat intntli at wrc, strîvñ t b cmpozd, n wɖt dẹrñ t lift p hr îz, tl añśs krioṣti carid ɖm t ɖ fes v hr sistr az ɖ srvnt wz aproćñ ɖ dor. Jen lct a litl pelr ɖn yźl, bt mor sdet ɖn Iliẓbʈ hd xpctd. On ɖ jntlṃn’z apirñ, hr culr incrist; yt ś rsivd ɖm wɖ tolṛbl īz, n wɖ a pṛprayti v bhevyr īqli fri fṛm eni simtm v rzntmnt or eni uņesṣri cmplesns.

Iliẓbʈ sd az litl t îɖr az sviḷti wd alǎ, n sat dǎn agn t hr wrc, wɖ an īgrnis ẃć it dd nt ofn cmand. Ś hd vnćrd onli wn glans at Darsi. H lct sirịs, az yźl; n, ś ʈt, mor az h hd bn yst t lc in Hartfdśr, ɖn az ś hd sìn him at Pmḅli. Bt, phps h cd nt in hr muɖr’z prezns b ẃt h wz bfr hr uncl n ānt. It wz a penfl, bt nt an improbbl, cnjcćr.

Bñli, ś hd lîcwz sìn fr an instnt, n in ɖt śort pirịd sw him lcñ bʈ plizd n imbaṛst. H wz rsivd bî Msz Benit wɖ a dgri v sviḷti ẃć md hr tū dōtrz aśemd, ispeṣ́li ẃn cntrastd wɖ ɖ cold n seṛmońs p’lîtnis v hr crtsi n adres t hiz frend.

Iliẓbʈ, ptiklrli, hu ń ɖt hr muɖr oud t ɖ latr ɖ preẓveśn v hr feṿrit dōtr fṛm iṛmījbl inf̣mi, wz hrt n dstrest t a most penfl dgri bî a dstñśn so il aplaid.

Darsi, aftr inqîrñ v hr hǎ Mr n Msz Gardinr dd, a qsćn ẃć ś cd nt ansr wɖt cnfyźn, sd scersli enʈñ. H wz nt sītd bî hr; phps ɖt wz ɖ rīzn v hiz sîḷns; bt it hd nt bn so in Darbiśr. Ɖr h hd tōct t hr frendz, ẃn h cd nt t hrslf. Bt nǎ sevṛl minits ilapst wɖt brññ ɖ sǎnd v hiz vôs; n ẃn oceźṇli, unebl t rzist ɖ impuls v krioṣti, ś rezd hr îz t hiz fes, ś az ofn faund him lcñ at Jen az at hrslf, n frīqntli on no objict bt ɖ grǎnd. Mor ʈtflnis n les añzayti t plīz, ɖn ẃn ɖe last met, wr plenli xprest. Ś wz dis’pôntd, n angri wɖ hrslf fr biyñ so.

“Cd I xpct it t b uɖrwz!” sd ś. “Yt ẃ dd h cm?”

Ś wz in no hymr fr convseśn wɖ enwn bt himslf; n t him ś hd hardli curij t spīc.

Ś inqîrd aftr hiz sistr, bt cd d no mor.

“It z a loñ tîm, Mr Bñli, sins y wnt awe,” sd Msz Benit.

H reḍli agrìd t it.

“I bgan t b afred y wd nvr cm bac agn. Ppl dd se y mnt t qit ɖ ples intîrli at Miclṃs; bt, hvr, I hop it z nt tru. A gret mni ćenjz hv hapnd in ɖ nebrhd, sins y wnt awe. Mis Lūc̣s z marid n setld. N wn v mî ǒn dōtrz. I s’poz y hv hŕd v it; indd, y mst hv sìn it in ɖ peprz. It wz in Ɖ Tîmz n Ɖ Curịr, I nǒ; ɖo it wz nt pt in az it òt t b. It wz onli sd, ‘Lêtli, Jorj Wicm, Isq. t Mis Lidia Benit,’ wɖt ɖr biyñ a siḷbl sd v hr faɖr, or ɖ ples ẃr ś livd, or enʈñ. It wz mî bruɖr Gardinr’z drw̃ p tù, n I wundr hǎ h cem t mc sć an ōcẉd biznis v it. Dd y si it?”

Bñli rplaid ɖt h dd, n md hiz cngrać̣leśnz. Iliẓbʈ derd nt lift p hr îz. Hǎ Mr Darsi lct, ɖrfr, ś cd nt tel.

“It z a dlîtfl ʈñ, t b śr, t hv a dōtr wel marid,” cntinyd hr muɖr, “bt at ɖ sem tîm, Mr Bñli, it z vri hard t hv hr tecn sć a we fṛm m. Ɖe r gn dǎn t Nycasl, a ples qt norʈẉd, it sīmz, n ɖr ɖe r t ste I d nt nǒ hǎ loñ. Hiz rejimnt z ɖr; fr I s’poz y hv hŕd v hiz līvñ ɖ ––śr, n v hiz biyñ gn intu ɖ reğlrz. Ʈanc Hevn! h hz sm frendz, ɖo phps nt so mni az h dzrvz.”

Iliẓbʈ, hu ń ɖs t b levld at Mr Darsi, wz in sć miẓri v śem, ɖt ś cd hardli cīp hr sīt. It drù fṛm hr, hvr, ɖ xrśn v spīcñ, ẃć nʈñ els hd so ifcć̣li dn bfr; n ś asct Bñli ẃɖr h mnt t mc eni ste in ɖ cuntri at preznt. A fy wīcs, h b’livd.

“Ẃn y hv cild ol yr ǒn brdz, Mr Bñli,” sd hr muɖr, “I beg y wl cm hir, n śūt az mni az y plīz on Mr Benit’s mánr. I am śr h wl b vastli hapi t oblîj y, n wl sev ol ɖ bst v ɖ cuviz fr y.”

Iliẓbʈ’s miẓri incrist, at sć uņesṣri, sć ofiśs atnśn! Wr ɖ sem fer prospect t arîz at preznt az hd flatrd ɖm a yir ago, evrʈñ, ś wz pswedd, wd b heṣnñ t ɖ sem vxeśs cncluźn. At ɖt instnt, ś flt ɖt yirz v hapinis cd nt mc Jen or hrslf amndz fr momnts v sć penfl cnfyźn.

“Ɖ frst wś v mî hart,” sd ś t hrslf, “z nvr mor t b in cumṗni wɖ îɖr v ɖm. Ɖer ssayti cn aford no pleźr ɖt wl aton fr sć rećidnis az ɖs! Let m nvr si îɖr wn or ɖ uɖr agn!”

Yt ɖ miẓri, fr ẃć yirz v hapinis wr t ofr no compnseśn, rsivd sn aftwdz mtirịl rlif, fṛm obzrvñ hǎ mć ɖ byti v hr sistr rīcindld ɖ adṃreśn v hr formr luvr. Ẃn frst h cem in, h hd spocn t hr bt litl; bt evri fîv minits sīmd t b gvñ hr mor v hiz atnśn. H faund hr az hansm az ś hd bn last yir; az gd-nećrd, n az un’fctd, ɖo nt qt so ćati. Jen wz añśs ɖt no difṛns śd b psivd in hr at ol, n wz riyli pswedd ɖt ś tōct az mć az evr. Bt hr mînd wz so biẓli ingejd, ɖt ś dd nt olwz nǒ ẃn ś wz sîḷnt.

Ẃn ɖ jntlṃn rouz t g awe, Msz Benit wz mîndfl v hr intndd sviḷti, n ɖe wr invîtd n ingejd t dîn at Loñbōrn in a fy dez tîm.

“Y r qt a vizit in mî dét, Mr Bñli,” ś add, “fr ẃn y wnt t tǎn last wintr, y promist t tec a faṃlidinr wɖ s, az sn az y rtrnd. I hv nt fgot, y si; n I aśur y, I wz vri mć dis’pôntd ɖt y dd nt cm bac n cīp yr ingejmnt.”

Bñli lct a litl sili at ɖs rflex́n, n sd smʈñ v hiz cnsrn at hvñ bn privntd bî biznis. Ɖe ɖen wnt awe.

Msz Benit hd bn stroñli inclînd t asc ɖm t ste n dîn ɖr ɖt de; bt, ɖo ś olwz cept a vri gd tebl, ś dd nt ʈnc enʈñ les ɖn tū corsz cd b gd inuf fr a man on hūm ś hd sć añśs dzînz, or saṭsfî ɖ aṗtît n prîd v wn hu hd ten ʈǎznd a yir.

___

Ćaptr 54

A

z sn az ɖe wr gn, Iliẓbʈ wōct ǎt t rcuvr hr spirits; or in uɖr wrdz, t dwel wɖt inṭrupśn on ɖoz subjicts ɖt mst dedn ɖm mor. Mr Darsi’z bhevyr astoniśt n vxt hr.

“Ẃ, f h cem onli t b sîḷnt, grev, n indifṛnt,” sd ś, “dd h cm at ol?”

Ś cd setl it in no we ɖt gev hr pleźr.

“H cd b stl emịbl, stl plizñ, t mî uncl n ānt, ẃn h wz in tǎn; n ẃ nt t m? F h firz m, ẃ cm hiɖr? F h no longr cerz fr m, ẃ sîḷnt? Tizñ, tizñ, man! I wl ʈnc no mor abt him.”

Hr reẓluśn wz fr a śort tîm invoḷntṛli cept bî ɖ aproć v hr sistr, hu jônd hr wɖ a ćirfl lc, ẃć śoud hr betr saṭsfaid wɖ ɖer vizitrz, ɖn Iliẓbʈ.

“Nǎ,” sd ś, “ɖt ɖs frst mītñ z ovr, I fīl prf̣cli īzi. I nǒ mî ǒn streñʈ, n I śl nvr b imbaṛst agn bî hiz cmñ. I am glad h dînz hir on Tyzde. It wl ɖen b pubḷcli sìn ɖt, on bʈ sîdz, w mīt onli az comn n indifṛnt aqentns.”

“Yes, vri indifṛnt indd,” sd Iliẓbʈ, lafñli. “Ǒ, Jen, tec cer.”

“Mî dir Lizi, y canot ʈnc m so wìc, az t b in denjr nǎ?”

“I ʈnc y r in vri gret denjr v mcñ him az mć in luv wɖ y az evr.”

Ɖe dd nt si ɖ jntlṃn agn tl Tyzde; n Msz Benit, in ɖ mnẃl, wz gvñ we t ol ɖ hapi scīmz, ẃć ɖ gd hymr n comn p’lîtnis v Bñli, in haf an aur’z vizit, hd rvîvd.

On Tyzde ɖr wz a larj parti asmbld at Loñbōrn; n ɖ tū hu wr most añśsli xpctd, t ɖ credit v ɖer puñćuaḷti az sportsṃn, wr in vri gd tîm. Ẃn ɖe rperd t ɖ dînñrūm, Iliẓbʈ īgrli woćt t si ẃɖr Bñli wd tec ɖ ples, ẃć, in ol ɖer formr partiz, hd b’loñd t him, bî hr sistr. Hr prūdnt muɖr, okpaid bî ɖ sem îdīaz, forbòr t invît him t sit bî hrslf. On enṭrñ ɖ rūm, h sīmd t heẓtet; bt Jen hapnd t lc rnd, n hapnd t smîl: it wz dsîdd. H plest himslf bî hr.

Iliẓbʈ, wɖ a trîumfnt snseśn, lct twdz hiz frend. H bòr it wɖ nobl indifṛns, n ś wd hv imajnd ɖt Bñli hd rsivd hiz sañśn t b hapi, hd ś nt sìn hiz îz lîcwz trnd twdz Mr Darsi, wɖ an xpreśn v haf-lafñ alarm.

Hiz bhevyr t hr sistr wz sć, jrñ dinr tîm, az śoud an adṃreśn v hr, ẃć, ɖo mor gardd ɖn formrli, pswedd Iliẓbʈ, ɖt f left hoļi t himslf, Jen’z hapinis, n hiz ǒn, wd b spīḍli s’krd. Ɖo ś derd nt dpnd upn ɖ consiqns, ś yt rsivd pleźr fṛm obzrvñ hiz bhevyr. It gev hr ol ɖ aṇmeśn ɖt hr spirits cd bost; fr ś wz in no ćirfl hymr. Mr Darsi wz olmst az far fṛm hr az ɖ tebl cd dvîd ɖm. H wz on wn sîd v hr muɖr. Ś ń hǎ litl sć a sićueśn wd gv pleźr t îɖr, or mc îɖr apir t advantij. Ś wz nt nir inuf t hír eni v ɖer discors, bt ś cd si hǎ sldm ɖe spouc t ć uɖr, n hǎ forml n cold wz ɖer manr ẃnvr ɖe dd. Hr muɖr’z ungreśsnis, md ɖ sns v ẃt ɖe oud him mor penfl t Iliẓbʈ’s mînd; n ś wd, at tîmz, hv gvn enʈñ t b priṿlijd t tel him ɖt hiz cîndnis wz nɖr uņoun nr unfelt bî ɖ hol v ɖ faṃli.

Ś wz in hops ɖt ɖ īvnñ wd aford sm oṗtyṇti v brññ ɖm tgɖr; ɖt ɖ hol v ɖ vizit wd nt pas awe wɖt ineḅlñ ɖm t entr intu smʈñ mor v convseśn ɖn ɖ mir seṛmońs sałteśn atndñ hiz entṛns. Añśs n unīzi, ɖ pirịd ẃć pást in ɖ drw̃rūm, bfr ɖ jntlṃn cem, wz wirism n dul t a dgri ɖt olmst md hr unsivl. Ś lct fwd t ɖer entṛns az ɖ pônt on ẃć ol hr ćans v pleźr fr ɖ īvnñ mst dpnd.

“F h dz nt cm t m, ɖen,” sd ś, “I śl gv him p fr evr.”

Ɖ jntlṃn cem; n ś ʈt h lct az f h wd hv ansrd hr hops; bt, alas! ɖ lediz hd crǎdd rnd ɖ tebl, ẃr Mis Benit wz mcñ ti, n Iliẓbʈ porñ ǎt ɖ cofi, in so clos a cnfedṛsi ɖt ɖr wz nt a sngl vecnsi nir hr ẃć wd admit v a ćer. N on ɖ jntlṃn’z aproćñ, wn v ɖ grlz muvd closr t hr ɖn evr, n sd, in a ẃispr:

“Ɖ men ś’nt cm n part s, I am dtrmind. W wont nn v ɖm; d w?”

Darsi hd wōct awe t anɖr part v ɖ rūm. Ś foloud him wɖ hr îz, envid evrwn t hūm h spouc, hd scersli peśns inuf t hlp enbdi t cofi; n ɖen wz inrejd agnst hrslf fr biyñ so sili!

“A man hu hz wns bn rfyzd! Hǎ cd I evr b fūliś inuf t xpct a rnywl v hiz luv? Z ɖr wn amñ ɖ sx, hu wd nt pṛtst agnst sć a wìcnis az a secnd pṛpozl t ɖ sem wmn? Ɖr z no indigṇti so abhoṛnt t ɖer fīlñz!”

Ś wz a litl rvîvd, hvr, bî hiz brññ bac hiz coficup himslf; n ś sizd ɖ oṗtyṇti v seyñ:

“Z yr sistr at Pmḅli stl?”

“Yes, ś wl rmen ɖr tl Crisṃs.”

“N qt alon? Hv ol hr frendz left hr?”

“Msz Anzli z wɖ hr. Ɖ uɖrz hv bn gn on t Scarḅra, ɖz ʈri wīcs.”

Ś cd ʈnc v nʈñ mor t se; bt f h wśt t cnvrs wɖ hr, h mt hv betr s’xes. H std bî hr, hvr, fr sm minits, in sîḷns; n, at last, on ɖ yuñ ledi’z ẃisṗrñ t Iliẓbʈ agn, h wōct awe.

Ẃn ɖ tīʈñz wr rmuvd, n ɖ cardteblz plest, ɖ lediz ol rouz, n Iliẓbʈ wz ɖen hopñ t b sn jônd bî him, ẃn ol hr vyz wr oṿʈroun bî siyñ him fōl a victim t hr muɖr’z r’paṣti fr ẃistpleyrz, n in a fy momnts aftr sītd wɖ ɖ rest v ɖ parti. Ś nǎ lost evri xpcteśn v pleźr. Ɖe wr cnfînd fr ɖ īvnñ at difṛnt teblz, n ś hd nʈñ t hop, bt ɖt hiz îz wr so ofn trnd twdz hr sîd v ɖ rūm, az t mc him ple az unsxesf̣li az hrslf.

Msz Benit hd dzînd t cīp ɖ tū Neɖ̇fīld jntlṃn t supr; bt ɖer carij wz unluc̣li ordrd bfr eni v ɖ uɖrz, n ś hd no oṗtyṇti v dtenñ ɖm.

“Wel grlz,” sd ś, az sn az ɖe wr left t ɖmslvz, “Ẃt se y t ɖ de? I ʈnc evrʈñ hz pást of uncomnli wel, I aśur y. Ɖ dinr wz az wel drest az eni I evr sw. Ɖ venisn wz rostd t a trn – n evrbdi sd ɖe nvr sw so fat a hōnć. Ɖ sūp wz fifti tîmz betr ɖn ẃt w hd at ɖ Lūc̣sz’ last wīc; n īvn Mr Darsi acnolijd, ɖt ɖ partṛjz wr rmarcbli wel dn; n I s’poz h hz tū or ʈri Frenć ccs at līst. N, mî dir Jen, I nvr sw y lc in gretr byti. Msz Loñ sd so tù, fr I asct hr ẃɖr y dd nt. N ẃt d y ʈnc ś sd bsdz? ‘Ā! Msz Benit, w śl hv hr at Neɖ̇fīld at last.’ Ś dd indd. I d ʈnc Msz Loñ z az gd a crīćr az evr livd – n hr nīsz r vri priti bhevd grlz, n nt at ol hansm: I lîc ɖm pṛdiɉsli.”

Msz Benit, in śort, wz in vri gret spirits; ś hd sìn inuf v Bñli’z bhevyr t Jen, t b cnvinst ɖt ś wd gt him at last; n hr xpcteśnz v advantij t hr faṃli, ẃn in a hapi hymr, wr so far bynd rīzn, ɖt ś wz qt dis’pôntd at nt siyñ him ɖr agn ɖ nxt de, t mc hiz pṛpozlz.

“It hz bn a vri agriybl de,” sd Mis Benit t Iliẓbʈ. “Ɖ parti sīmd so wel s’lectd, so sūṭbl wn wɖ ɖ uɖr. I hop w me ofn mīt agn.”

Iliẓbʈ smîld.

“Lizi, y mst nt d so. Y mst nt sspct m. It morṭfîz m. I aśur y ɖt I hv nǎ lrnt t injô hiz convseśn az an agriybl n snṣbl yuñ man, wɖt hvñ a wś bynd it. I am prf̣cli saṭsfaid, fṛm ẃt hiz manrz nǎ r, ɖt h nvr hd eni dzîn v ingejñ mî afx́n. It z onli ɖt h z blest wɖ gretr swītnis v adres, n a strongr dzîr v jenṛli plizñ, ɖn eni uɖr man.”

“Y r vri cruwl,” sd hr sistr, “y wl nt let m smîl, n r pṛvocñ m t it evri momnt.”

“Hǎ hard it z in sm cesz t b b’livd!”

“N hǎ imposbl in uɖrz!”

“Bt ẃ śd y wś t pswed m ɖt I fīl mor ɖn I acnolij?”

“Ɖt z a qsćn ẃć I hardli nǒ hǎ t ansr. W ol luv t instruct, ɖo w cn tīć onli ẃt z nt wrʈ nwñ. Fgiv m; n f y psist in indifṛns, d nt mc m yr conf̣dant.”

___

Ćaptr 55

A

 fy dez aftr ɖs vizit, Mr Bñli cōld agn, n alon. Hiz frend hd left him ɖt mornñ fr Lundn, bt wz t rtrn hom in ten dez tîm. H sat wɖ ɖm abv an aur, n wz in rmarcbli gd spirits. Msz Benit invîtd him t dîn wɖ ɖm; bt, wɖ mni xpreśnz v cnsrn, h cnfest himslf ingejd elsẃr.

“Nxt tîm y cōl,” sd ś, “I hop w śl b mor luci.”

H śd b ptiklrli hapi at eni tîm, ets., ets.; n f ś wd gv him līv, wd tec an rli oṗtyṇti v wêtñ on ɖm.

“Cn y cm tmoro?”

Yes, h hd no ingejmnt at ol fr tmoro; n hr invteśn wz axptd wɖ alacṛti.

H cem, n in sć vri gd tîm ɖt ɖ lediz wr nn v ɖm drest. In ran Msz Benit t hr dōtr’z rūm, in hr dresñgǎn, n wɖ hr her haf finiśt, crayñ ǎt:

“Mî dir Jen, mc hest n huri dǎn. H z cm – Mr Bñli z cm. H z, indd. Mc hest, mc hest. Hir, Sẹra, cm t Mis Benit ɖs momnt, n hlp hr on wɖ hr gǎn. Nvr mînd Mis Lizi’z her.”

“W wl b dǎn az sn az w cn,” sd Jen; “bt I der se Citi z forẉdr ɖn îɖr v s, fr ś wnt upsterz haf an aur ago.”

“Ǒ! hañ Citi! ẃt hz ś t d wɖ it? Cm b qc, b qc! Ẃr z yr saś, mî dir?”

Bt ẃn hr muɖr wz gn, Jen wd nt b priveld on t g dǎn wɖt wn v hr sistrz.

Ɖ sem añzayti t gt ɖm bî ɖmslvz wz viẓbl agn in ɖ īvnñ. Aftr ti, Mr Benit rtîrd t ɖ lîbrri, az wz hiz custm, n Mẹri wnt upsterz t hr instṛmnt. Tū obsṭclz v ɖ fîv biyñ ɖus rmuvd, Msz Benit sat lcñ n wncñ at Iliẓbʈ n Caʈ̇rin fr a cnsidṛbl tîm, wɖt mcñ eni impreśn on ɖm. Iliẓbʈ wd nt obzrv hr; n ẃn at last Citi dd, ś vri iṇsntli sd, “Ẃt z ɖ matr m’mā? Ẃt d y cīp wncñ at m fr? Ẃt am I t d?”

“Nʈñ ćîld, nʈñ. I dd nt wnc at y.” Ś ɖen sat stl fîv minits longr; bt unebl t west sć a preśs oceźn, ś sudnli got p, n seyñ t Citi, “Cm hir, mî luv, I wont t spīc t y,” tc hr ǎt v ɖ rūm. Jen instntli gev a lc at Iliẓbʈ ẃć spouc hr dstres at sć prīmedteśn, n hr intriti ɖt ś wd nt gv in t it. In a fy minits, Msz Benit haf-opnd ɖ dor n cōld ǎt:

“Lizi, mî dir, I wont t spīc wɖ y.”

Iliẓbʈ wz forst t g.

“W me az wel līv ɖm bî ɖmslvz y nǒ;” sd hr muɖr, az sn az ś wz in ɖ hōl. “Citi n I r gwñ upsterz t sit in mî dresñrūm.”

Iliẓbʈ md no atmt t rīzn wɖ hr muɖr, bt rmend qaytli in ɖ hōl, tl ś n Citi wr ǎt v sît, ɖen rtrnd intu ɖ drw̃rūm.

Msz Benit’s scīmz fr ɖs de wr inifcćl. Bñli wz evrʈñ ɖt wz ćarmñ, xpt ɖ pṛfest luvr v hr dōtr. Hiz īz n ćirflnis rendrd him a most agriybl adiśn t ɖer īvnñparti; n h bòr wɖ ɖ il-jujd ofiṣ́snis v ɖ muɖr, n hŕd ol hr sili rmarcs wɖ a fōrbeṛns n cmand v cǎntinns ptiklrli gretfl t ɖ dōtr.

H scersli nīdd an invteśn t ste supr; n bfr h wnt awe, an ingejmnt wz formd, ćīfli ʈru hiz ǒn n Msz Benit’s mīnz, fr hiz cmñ nxt mornñ t śūt wɖ hr huzbnd.

Aftr ɖs de, Jen sd no mor v hr indifṛns. Nt a wrd pást btwn ɖ sistrz cnsrnñ Bñli; bt Iliẓbʈ wnt t bed in ɖ hapi b’lif ɖt ol mst spīḍli b cncludd, unls Mr Darsi rtrnd wɖn ɖ stetd tîm. Sirịsli, hvr, ś flt tolṛbli pswedd ɖt ol ɖs mst hv tecn ples wɖ ɖt jntlmn’z cncuṛns.

Bñli wz puñćl t hiz apôntmnt; n h n Mr Benit spent ɖ mornñ tgɖr, az hd bn agrìd on. Ɖ latr wz mć mor agriybl ɖn hiz cmpańn xpctd. Ɖr wz nʈñ v prizumśn or foli in Bñli ɖt cd pṛvoc hiz riḍkl, or dsgust him intu sîḷns; n h wz mor cḿnic̣tiv, n les xntric, ɖn ɖ uɖr hd evr sìn him. Bñli v cors rtrnd wɖ him t dinr; n in ɖ īvnñ Msz Benit’s invnśn wz agn at wrc t gt evri bodi awe fṛm him n hr dōtr. Iliẓbʈ, hu hd a letr t rait, wnt intu ɖ brecfstrūm fr ɖt prṗs sn aftr ti; fr az ɖ uɖrz wr ol gwñ t sit dǎn t cardz, ś cd nt b wontd t cǎnṭact hr muɖr’z scīmz.

Bt on rtrnñ t ɖ drw̃rūm, ẃn hr letr wz finiśt, ś sw, t hr infiṇt s’prîz, ɖr wz rīzn t fir ɖt hr muɖr hd bn tù injīńs fr hr. On oṗnñ ɖ dor, ś psivd hr sistr n Bñli standñ tgɖr ovr ɖ harʈ, az f ingejd in rnist convseśn; n hd ɖs léd t no sspiśn, ɖ fesz v bʈ, az ɖe hesṭli trnd rnd n muvd awe fṛm ć uɖr, wd hv tld it ol. Ɖer sićueśn wz ōcẉd inuf; bt hrz ś ʈt wz stl wrs. Nt a siḷbl wz utrd bî îɖr; n Iliẓbʈ wz on ɖ pônt v gwñ awe agn, ẃn Bñli, hu az wel az ɖ uɖr hd sat dǎn, sudnli rouz, n ẃisṗrñ a fy wrdz t hr sistr, ran ǎt v ɖ rūm.

Jen cd hv no rzrvz fṛm Iliẓbʈ, ẃr confidns wd gv pleźr; n instntli imbresñ hr, acnolijd, wɖ ɖ lîvliist imośn, ɖt ś wz ɖ hapiist crīćr in ɖ wrld.

“’tiz tù mć!” ś add, “bî far tù mć. I d nt dzrv it. Ǒ! ẃ z nt evrbdi az hapi?”

Iliẓbʈ’s cngrać̣leśnz wr gvn wɖ a s’nseṛti, a wormʈ, a dlît, ẃć wrdz cd bt purli xpres. Evri sntns v cîndnis wz a freś sors v hapinis t Jen. Bt ś wd nt alǎ hrslf t ste wɖ hr sistr, or se haf ɖt rmend t b sd fr ɖ preznt.

“I mst g instntli t mî muɖr;” ś craid. “I wd nt on eni acǎnt trîfl wɖ hr afx́ṇt s’liṣtyd; or alǎ hr t hír it fṛm enwn bt mslf. H z gn t mî faɖr olrdi. Ǒ! Lizi, t nǒ ɖt ẃt I hv t rlet wl gv sć pleźr t ol mî dir faṃli! hǎ śl I ber so mć hapinis!”

Ś ɖen hesnd awe t hr muɖr, hu hd prṗsli brocn p ɖ cardparti, n wz sitñ upsterz wɖ Citi.

Iliẓbʈ, hu wz left bî hrslf, nǎ smîld at ɖ r’pidti n īz wɖ ẃć an afer wz fîṇli setld, ɖt hd gvn ɖm so mni prīvịs munʈs v sspns n vxeśn.

“N ɖs,” sd ś, “z ɖ end v ol hiz frend’z añśs srcmspx́n! v ol hiz sistr’z fōlshd n cntrîvns! ɖ hapiist, wîzist, most rīzṇbl end!”

In a fy minits ś wz jônd bî Bñli, huz confṛns wɖ hr faɖr hd bn śort n t ɖ prṗs.

“Ẃr z yr sistr?” sd h hesṭli, az h opnd ɖ dor.

“Wɖ mî muɖr upsterz. Ś wl b dǎn in a momnt, I der se.”

H ɖen śut ɖ dor, n, cmñ p t hr, clemd ɖ gd wśz n afx́n v a sistr. Iliẓbʈ oṇstli n harṭli xprest hr dlît in ɖ prospect v ɖer rleśnśp. Ɖe śc handz wɖ gret cordiaḷti; n ɖen, tl hr sistr cem dǎn, ś hd t lisn t ol h hd t se v hiz ǒn hapinis, n v Jen’z pfx́nz; n in spît v hiz biyñ a luvr, Iliẓbʈ riyli b’livd ol hiz xpcteśnz v f’liṣti t b raśṇli fǎndd, bcz ɖe hd fr besis ɖ xḷnt unḍstandñ, n sūpr-xḷnt disṗziśn v Jen, n a jenṛl siṃlaṛti v fīlñ n test btwn hr n himslf.

It wz an īvnñ v no comn dlît t ɖm ol; ɖ saṭsfax́n v Mis Benit’s mînd gev a glo v sć swīt aṇmeśn t hr fes, az md hr lc hanṣmr ɖn evr. Citi simprd n smîld, n hopt hr trn wz cmñ sn. Msz Benit cd nt gv hr cnsnt or spīc hr apṛbeśn in trmz worm inuf t saṭsfî hr fīlñz, ɖo ś tōct t Bñli v nʈñ els fr haf an aur; n ẃn Mr Benit jônd ɖm at supr, hiz vôs n manr plenli śoud hǎ riyli hapi h wz.

Nt a wrd, hvr, pást hiz lips in aluźn t it, tl ɖer vizitr tc hiz līv fr ɖ nît; bt az sn az h wz gn, h trnd t hiz dōtr, n sd:

“Jen, I cngrać̣let y. Y wl b a vri hapi wmn.”

Jen wnt t him instntli, cist him, n ʈanct him fr hiz gdnis.

“Y r a gd grl;” h rplaid, “n I hv gret pleźr in ʈncñ y wl b so haṗli setld. I hv nt a dǎt v yr dwñ vri wel tgɖr. Yr tmprz r bî no mīnz unlîc. Y r ć v y so cmplayñ, ɖt nʈñ wl evr b rzolvd on; so īzi, ɖt evri srvnt wl ćīt y; n so jenṛs, ɖt y wl olwz xid yr incm.”

“I hop nt so. Imprudns or ʈtlisnis in munimatrz wd b unpardṇbl in m.”

“Xid ɖer incm! Mî dir Mr Benit,” craid hiz wîf, “ẃt r y tōcñ v? Ẃ, h hz for or fîv ʈǎznd a yir, n vri lîcli mor.” Ɖen adresñ hr dōtr, “Ǒ! mî dir, dir Jen, I am so hapi! I am śr I ś’nt gt a wnc v slīp ol nît. I ń hǎ it wd b. I olwz sd it mst b so, at last. I wz śr y cd nt b so bytifl fr nʈñ! I rmembr, az sn az evr I sw him, ẃn h frst cem intu Hartfdśr last yir, I ʈt hǎ lîcli it wz ɖt y śd cm tgɖr. Ǒ! h z ɖ hanṣmist yuñ man ɖt evr wz sìn!”

Wicm, Lidia, wr ol fgotn. Jen wz bynd comṗtiśn hr feṿrit ćîld. At ɖt momnt, ś cerd fr no uɖr. Hr yungr sistrz sn bgan t mc inṭrest wɖ hr fr objicts v hapinis ẃć ś mt in fyćr b ebl t dspns.

Mẹri ptiśnd fr ɖ ys v ɖ lîbrri at Neɖ̇fīld; n Citi begd vri hard fr a fy bōlz ɖr evri wintr.

Bñli, fṛm ɖs tîm, wz v cors a dêli vizitr at Loñbōrn; cmñ frīqntli bfr brecfst, n olwz rmenñ tl aftr supr; unls ẃn sm barbṛs nebr, hu cd nt b inuf dtstd, hd gvn him an invteśn t dinr ẃć h ʈt himslf oblîjd t axpt.

Iliẓbʈ hd nǎ bt litl tîm fr convseśn wɖ hr sistr; fr ẃl h wz preznt, Jen hd no atnśn t bsto on enwn els; bt ś faund hrslf cnsidṛbli ysfl t bʈ v ɖm in ɖoz aurz v seṗreśn ɖt mst smtmz ocŕ. In ɖ absns v Jen, h olwz ataćt himslf t Iliẓbʈ, fr ɖ pleźr v tōcñ v hr; n ẃn Bñli wz gn, Jen constntli sòt ɖ sem mīnz v rlif.

“H hz md m so hapi,” sd ś, wn īvnñ, “bî telñ m ɖt h wz toṭli ignṛnt v mî biyñ in tǎn last sprñ! I hd nt b’livd it poṣbl.”

“I sspctd az mć,” rplaid Iliẓbʈ. “Bt hǎ dd h acǎnt fr it?”

“It mst hv bn hiz sistr’z dwñ. Ɖe wr srtnli no frendz t hiz aqentns wɖ m, ẃć I canot wundr at, sins h mt hv ćozn so mć mor advntejsli in mni rspcts. Bt ẃn ɖe si, az I trust ɖe wl, ɖt ɖer bruɖr z hapi wɖ m, ɖe wl lrn t b cntntd, n w śl b on gd trmz agn; ɖo w cn nvr b ẃt w wns wr t ć uɖr.”

“Ɖt z ɖ most unfgivñ spīć,” sd Iliẓbʈ, “ɖt I evr hŕd y utr. Gd grl! It wd vx m, indd, t si y agn ɖ dyp v Mis Bñli’z pritndd rgard.”

“Wd y b’liv it, Lizi, ɖt ẃn h wnt t tǎn last Nvmbr, h riyli luvd m, n nʈñ bt a psweźn v  biyñ indifṛnt wd hv privntd hiz cmñ dǎn agn!”

“H md a litl mstec t b śr; bt it z t ɖ credit v hiz moḍsti.”

Ɖs naćṛli intṛdyst a paṇjiric fṛm Jen on hiz difidns, n ɖ litl valy h pt on hiz ǒn gd qoḷtz. Iliẓbʈ wz plizd t fînd ɖt h hd nt btreid ɖ inṭfiṛns v hiz frend; fr, ɖo Jen hd ɖ most jenṛs n fgivñ hart in ɖ wrld, ś ń it wz a srcmstans ẃć mst preɉdis hr agnst him.

“I am srtnli ɖ most forćṇt crīćr ɖt evr xistd!” craid Jen. “Ǒ! Lizi, ẃ am I ɖus sngld fṛm mî faṃli, n blest abv ɖm ol! F I cd bt si y az hapi! F ɖr wr bt sć anɖr man fr y!”

“F y wr t gv m forti sć men, I nvr cd b so hapi az y. Tl I hv yr disṗziśn, yr gdnis, I nvr cn hv yr hapinis. No, no, let m śift fr mslf; n, phps, f I hv vri gd luc, I me mīt wɖ anɖr Mr Colinz in tîm.”

Ɖ sićueśn v aferz in ɖ Loñbōrn faṃli cd nt b loñ a sīcrit. Msz Benit wz priṿlijd t ẃispr it t Msz Filips, n ś vnćrd, wɖt eni pmiśn, t d ɖ sem bî ol hr nebrz in Meritn.

Ɖ Benits wr spīḍli pṛnǎnst t b ɖ luciist faṃli in ɖ wrld, ɖo onli a fy wīcs bfr, ẃn Lidia hd frst run awe, ɖe hd bn jenṛli pruvd t b marct ǎt fr msfortyn.

___

Ćaptr 56

W

n mornñ, abt a wīc aftr Bñli’z ingejmnt wɖ Jen hd bn formd, az h n ɖ fīmelz v ɖ faṃli wr sitñ tgɖr in ɖ dînñrūm, ɖer atnśn wz sudnli drwn t ɖ windo, bî ɖ sǎnd v a carij; n ɖe psivd a śêz n for drîvñ p ɖ lōn. It wz tù rli in ɖ mornñ fr vizitrz, n bsdz, ɖ eqpij dd nt ansr t ɖt v eni v ɖer nebrz. Ɖ horsz wr post; n nɖr ɖ carij, nr ɖ liṿri v ɖ srvnt hu prisidd it, wr fmiłr t ɖm. Az it wz srtn, hvr, ɖt smbdi wz cmñ, Bñli instntli priveld on Mis Benit t avôd ɖ cnfînmnt v sć an intruźn, n wōc awe wɖ him intu ɖ śruḅri. Ɖe bʈ set of, n ɖ cnjcćrz v ɖ rmenñ ʈri cntinyd, ɖo wɖ litl saṭsfax́n, tl ɖ dor wz ʈroun opn n ɖer vizitr entrd. It wz Ledi Caʈ̇rin d’Brg.

Ɖe wr v cors ol intndñ t b s’prîzd; bt ɖer astoniśmnt wz bynd ɖer xpcteśn; n on ɖ part v Msz Benit n Citi, ɖo ś wz prf̣cli uņoun t ɖm, īvn infirịr t ẃt Iliẓbʈ flt.

Ś entrd ɖ rūm wɖ an er mor ɖn yẓ́li ungreśs, md no uɖr rplî t Iliẓbʈ’s sałteśn ɖn a slît incḷneśn v ɖ hed, n sat dǎn wɖt seyñ a wrd. Iliẓbʈ hd mnśnd hr nem t hr muɖr on hr lediśp’s entṛns, ɖo no rqst v intṛdux́n hd bn md.

Msz Benit, ol amezmnt, ɖo flatrd bî hvñ a gest v sć hî importns, rsivd hr wɖ ɖ utmost p’lîtnis. Aftr sitñ fr a momnt in sîḷns, ś sd vri stifli t Iliẓbʈ,

“I hop y r wel, Mis Benit. Ɖt ledi, I s’poz, z yr muɖr.”

Iliẓbʈ rplaid vri cnsîsli ɖt ś wz.

“N ɖt I s’poz z wn v yr sistrz.”

“Yes, madm,” sd Msz Benit, dlîtd t spīc t Ledi Caʈ̇rin. “Ś z mî yungist grl bt wn. Mî yungist v ol z lêtli marid, n mî eldist z smẃr abt ɖ grǎndz, wōcñ wɖ a yuñ man hu, I b’liv, wl sn bcm a part v ɖ faṃli.”

“Y hv a vri smōl parc hir,” rtrnd Ledi Caʈ̇rin aftr a śort sîḷns.

“It z nʈñ in cmparisn v Rozñz, mî ledi, I der se; bt I aśur y it z mć larjr ɖn Sr Wiłm Lūc̣s’z.”

“Ɖs mst b a most incnvińnt sitñrūm fr ɖ īvnñ, in sumr; ɖ windoz r fl wst.”

Msz Benit aśurd hr ɖt ɖe nvr sat ɖr aftr dinr, n ɖen add:

“Me I tec ɖ liḅti v ascñ yr lediśp ẃɖr y left Mr n Msz Colinz wel.”

“Yes, vri wel. I sw ɖm ɖ nît bfr last.”

Iliẓbʈ nǎ xpctd ɖt ś wd pṛdys a letr fr hr fṛm Śarlót, az it sīmd ɖ onli probbl motiv fr hr cōlñ. Bt no letr apird, n ś wz cmplitli puzld.

Msz Benit, wɖ gret sviḷti, begd hr lediśp t tec sm rfreśmnt; bt Ledi Caʈ̇rin vri reẓlutli, n nt vri p’lîtli, dclînd ītñ enʈñ; n ɖen, rîzñ p, sd t Iliẓbʈ,

“Mis Benit, ɖr sīmd t b a pritiiś cnd v a litl wilḍnis on wn sîd v yr lōn. I śd b glad t tec a trn in it, f y wl fevr m wɖ yr cumṗni.”

“G, mî dir,” craid hr muɖr, “n śo hr lediśp abt ɖ difṛnt wōcs. I ʈnc ś wl b plizd wɖ ɖ hrṃtij.”

Iliẓbʈ obeid, n runñ intu hr ǒn rūm fr hr paṛsol, atndd hr nobl gest dǎnsterz. Az ɖe pást ʈru ɖ hōl, Ledi Caʈ̇rin opnd ɖ dorz intu ɖ dînñparlr n drw̃rūm, n pṛnǎnsñ ɖm, aftr a śort srve, t b dīsnt lcñ rūmz, wōct on.

Hr carij rmend at ɖ dor, n Iliẓbʈ sw ɖt hr wêtñ-wmn wz in it. Ɖe pṛsidd in sîḷns alñ ɖ gravl wōc ɖt léd t ɖ cops; Iliẓbʈ wz dtrmind t mc no ef̣t fr convseśn wɖ a wmn hu wz nǎ mor ɖn yẓ́li insḷnt n dis’griybl.

“Hǎ cd I evr ʈnc hr lîc hr nefy?” sd ś, az ś lct in hr fes.

Az sn az ɖe entrd ɖ cops, Ledi Caʈ̇rin bgan in ɖ folowñ manr: –

“Y cn b at no los, Mis Benit, t unḍstand ɖ rīzn v mî jrni hiɖr. Yr ǒn hart, yr ǒn conśns, mst tel y ẃ I cm.”

Iliẓbʈ lct wɖ un’fctd astoniśmnt.

“Indd, y r mstecn, Madm. I hv nt bn at ol ebl t acǎnt fr ɖ onr v siyñ y hir.”

“Mis Benit,” rplaid hr lediśp, in an angri ton, “y òt t nǒ, ɖt I am nt t b trîfld wɖ. Bt hvr inṣnsir y me ćūz t b, y śl nt fînd m so. Mî caṛctr hz evr bn seḷbretd fr its s’nseṛti n francnis, n in a cōz v sć momnt az ɖs, I śl srtnli nt dpart fṛm it. A rport v a most alarmñ nećr rīćt m tū dez ago. I wz tld ɖt nt onli yr sistr wz on ɖ pônt v biyñ most advntejsli marid, bt ɖt y, ɖt Mis Iliẓbʈ Benit, wd, in ol lîclihd, b sn aftwdz ynîtd t mî nefy, mî ǒn nefy, Mr Darsi. Ɖo I  it mst b a scandḷs fōlshd, ɖo I wd nt injr him so mć az t s’poz ɖ truʈ v it poṣbl, I instntli rzolvd on setñ of fr ɖs ples, ɖt I mt mc mî sntimnts noun t y.”

“F y b’livd it imposbl t b tru,” sd Iliẓbʈ, cuḷrñ wɖ astoniśmnt n dsden, “I wundr y tc ɖ trubl v cmñ so far. Ẃt cd yr lediśp pṛpoz bî it?”

“At wns t insist upn hvñ sć a rport yṇvrṣli contṛdictd.”

“Yr cmñ t Loñbōrn, t si m n mî faṃli,” sd Iliẓbʈ cūli, “wl b rɖr a confmeśn v it; f, indd, sć a rport z in xistns.”

“F! D y ɖen pritnd t b ignṛnt v it? Hz it nt bn industrịsli srkletd bî yrslvz? D y nt nǒ ɖt sć a rport z spred abrōd?”

“I nvr hŕd ɖt it wz.”

“N cn y lîcwz dcler, ɖt ɖr z no fǎndeśn fr it?”

“I d nt pritnd t pzes īql francnis wɖ yr lediśp. Y me asc qsćnz ẃć I śl nt ćūz t ansr.”

“Ɖs z nt t b bòrn. Mis Benit, I insist on biyñ saṭsfaid. Hz h, hz mî nefy, md y an ofr v marij?”

“Yr lediśp hz dclerd it t b imposbl.”

“It òt t b so; it mst b so, ẃl h rtenz ɖ ys v hiz rīzn. Bt yr arts n alurmnts me, in a momnt v infaćueśn, hv md him fget ẃt h oz t himslf n t ol hiz faṃli. Y me hv drwn him in.”

“F I hv, I śl b ɖ last prsn t cnfes it.”

“Mis Benit, d y nǒ hu I am? I hv nt bn acustmd t sć lanḡj az ɖs. I am olmst ɖ nirist rleśn h hz in ɖ wrld, n am intîtld t nǒ ol hiz dirist cnsrnz.”

“Bt y r nt intîtld t nǒ mîn; nr wl sć bhevyr az ɖs, evr indys m t b xplisit.”

“Let m b rîtli unḍstd. Ɖs mać, t ẃć y hv ɖ prizumśn t aspîr, cn nvr tec ples. No, nvr. Mr Darsi z ingejd t mî dōtr. Nǎ ẃt hv y t se?”

“Onli ɖs; ɖt f h z so, y cn hv no rīzn t s’poz h wl mc an ofr t m.”

Ledi Caʈ̇rin heztetd fr a momnt, n ɖen rplaid:

“Ɖ ingejmnt btwn ɖm z v a pkłr cnd. Fṛm ɖer inf̣nsi, ɖe hv bn intndd fr ć uɖr. It wz ɖ feṿrit wś v hiz muɖr, az wel az v hrz. Ẃl in ɖer credlz, w pland ɖ yńn: n nǎ, at ɖ momnt ẃn ɖ wśz v bʈ sistrz wd b acumpliśt in ɖer marij, t b privntd bî a yuñ wmn v infirịr brʈ, v no importns in ɖ wrld, n hoļi un’laid t ɖ faṃli! D y pe no rgard t ɖ wśz v hiz frendz? T hiz tasit ingejmnt wɖ Mis d’Brg? R y lost t evri fīlñ v pṛprayti n delic̣si? Hv y nt hŕd m se ɖt fṛm hiz rliist aurz h wz destind fr hiz cuzn?”

“Yes, n I hd hŕd it bfr. Bt ẃt z ɖt t m? F ɖr z no uɖr objx́n t mî mariyñ yr nefy, I śl srtnli nt b cept fṛm it bî nwñ ɖt hiz muɖr n ānt wśt him t mari Mis d’Brg. Y bʈ dd az mć az y cd in planñ ɖ marij. Its cmpliśn dpndd on uɖrz. F Mr Darsi z nɖr bî onr nr incḷneśn cnfînd t hiz cuzn, ẃ z nt h t mc anɖr ćôs? N f I am ɖt ćôs, ẃ me nt I axpt him?”

“Bcz onr, dcoṛm, prūdns, nê, inṭrest, fbid it. Yes, Mis Benit, inṭrest; fr d nt xpct t b notist bî hiz faṃli or frendz, f y wilf̣li act agnst ɖ incḷneśnz v ol. Y wl b snśrd, slîtd, n dspîzd, bî evrwn cnctd wɖ him. Yr alayns wl b a dsgres; yr nem wl nvr īvn b mnśnd bî eni v s.”

“Ɖz r hevi msfortynz,” rplaid Iliẓbʈ. “Bt ɖ wîf v Mr Darsi mst hv sć xtrordnri sorsz v hapinis nesseṛli ataćt t hr sićueśn, ɖt ś cd, upn ɖ hol, hv no cōz t rpîn.”

“Obstiṇt, hedstroñ grl! I am aśemd v y! Z ɖs yr grattyd fr mî atnśnz t y last sprñ? Z nʈñ dy t m on ɖt scor? Let s sit dǎn. Y r t unḍstand, Mis Benit, ɖt I cem hir wɖ ɖ dtrmind reẓluśn v cariyñ mî prṗs; nr wl I b dswedd fṛm it. I hv nt bn yst t sbmit t eni prsn’z ẃimz. I hv nt bn in ɖ habit v brŭcñ dis’pôntmnt.”

Ɖt wl mc yr lediśp’s sićueśn at preznt mor pitịbl; bt it wl hv no ifct on m.”

“I wl nt b inṭruptd. Hír m in sîḷns. Mî dōtr n mî nefy r formd fr ć uɖr. Ɖe r dsndd, on ɖ mtrnl sîd, fṛm ɖ sem nobl lîn; n, on ɖ faɖr’z, fṛm rspctbl, onṛbl, n enćnt – ɖo untîtld – faṃliz. Ɖer fortyn on bʈ sîdz z splendid. Ɖe r destind fr ć uɖr bî ɖ vôs v evri membr v ɖer rspctiv hǎzz; n ẃt z t dvîd ɖm? Ɖ upstart pritnśnz v a yuñ wmn wɖt faṃli, cnx́nz, or fortyn. Z ɖs t b indyrd! Bt it mst nt, śl nt b. F y wr snṣbl v yr ǒn gd, y wd nt wś t qit ɖ sfir in ẃć y hv bn bròt p.”

“In mariyñ yr nefy, I śd nt cnsidr mslf az qitñ ɖt sfir. H z a jntlmn; I am a jntlmn’z dōtr; so far w r īql.”

“Tru. Y r a jntlmn’z dōtr. Bt hu wz yr muɖr? Hu r yr unclz n ānts? D nt imajn m ignṛnt v ɖer cndiśn.”

“Ẃtvr mî cnx́nz me b,” sd Iliẓbʈ, “f yr nefy dz nt objct t ɖm, ɖe cn b nʈñ t y.”

“Tel m wns fr ol, r y ingejd t him?”

Ɖo Iliẓbʈ wd nt, fr ɖ mir prṗs v oblîjñ Ledi Caʈ̇rin, hv ansrd ɖs qsćn, ś cd nt bt se, aftr a momnt’s dliḅreśn:

“I am nt.”

Ledi Caʈ̇rin sīmd plizd.

“N wl y promis m, nvr t entr intu sć an ingejmnt?”

“I wl mc no promis v ɖ cnd.”

“Mis Benit, I am śoct n astoniśt. I xpctd t fînd a mor rīzṇbl yuñ wmn. Bt d nt dsiv yrslf intu a b’lif ɖt I wl evr rsid. I śl nt g awe tl y hv gvn m ɖ aśuṛns I rqîr.”

“N I srtnli nvr śl gv it. I am nt t b intiṃdetd intu enʈñ so hoļi unrīzṇbl. Yr lediśp wonts Mr Darsi t mari yr dōtr; bt wd mî gvñ y ɖ wśt-fr promis mc ɖer marij at ol mor probbl? S’pozñ him t b ataćt t m, wd mî rfyzñ t axpt hiz hand mc him wś t bsto it on hiz cuzn? Alǎ m t se, Ledi Caʈ̇rin, ɖt ɖ arğmnts wɖ ẃć y hv s’portd ɖs xtrordnri apḷceśn hv bn az frivḷs az ɖ apḷceśn wz il-jujd. Y hv wîdli mstecn mî caṛctr, f y ʈnc I cn b wrct on bî sć psweźnz az ɖz. Hǎ far yr nefy mt apruv v yr inṭfiṛns in hiz aferz, I canot tel; bt y hv srtnli no rît t cnsrn yrslf in mîn. I mst beg, ɖrfr, t b imṗtynd no farɖr on ɖ subjict.”

“Nt so hesti, f y plīz. I hv bî no mīnz dn. T ol ɖ objx́nz I hv olrdi rjd, I hv stl anɖr t ad. I am no strenjr t ɖ ptiklrz v yr yungist sistr’z infṃs ilopmnt. I nǒ it ol; ɖt ɖ yuñ man’z mariyñ hr wz a paćt-up biznis, at ɖ xpns v yr faɖr n unclz. N z sć a grl t b mî nefy’z sistr? Z hr huzbnd, z ɖ sun v hiz lêt faɖr’z stywd, t b hiz bruɖr? Hevn n rʈ! – v ẃt r y ʈncñ? R ɖ śêdz v Pmḅli t b ɖus p’lūtd?”

“Y cn nǎ hv nʈñ frɖr t se,” ś rzntf̣li ansrd. “Y hv insultd m in evri poṣbl meʈ̇d. I mst beg t rtrn t ɖ hǎs.”

N ś rouz az ś spouc. Ledi Caʈ̇rin rouz olso, n ɖe trnd bac. Hr lediśp wz hîli insnst.

“Y hv no rgard, ɖen, fr ɖ onr n credit v mî nefy! Unfīlñ, slfiś grl! D y nt cnsidr ɖt a cnx́n wɖ y mst dsgres him in ɖ îz v evrbdi?”

“Ledi Caʈ̇rin, I hv nʈñ frɖr t se. Y nǒ mî sntimnts.”

“Y r ɖen rzolvd t hv him?”

“I hv sd no sć ʈñ. I am onli rzolvd t act in ɖt manr, ẃć wl, in mî ǒn opińn, consttyt mî hapinis, wɖt refṛns t y, or t eni prsn so hoļi uncnctd wɖ m.”

“It z wel. Y rfyz, ɖen, t oblîj m. Y rfyz t obe ɖ clemz v dyti, onr, n grattyd. Y r dtrmind t ruin him in ɖ opińn v ol hiz frendz, n mc him ɖ cntmt v ɖ wrld.”

“Nɖr dyti, nr onr, nr grattyd,” rplaid Iliẓbʈ, “hv eni poṣbl clem on m, in ɖ preznt instns. No prínsipl v îɖr wd b vayletd bî mî marij wɖ Mr Darsi. N wɖ rgard t ɖ rzntmnt v hiz faṃli, or ɖ inḍgneśn v ɖ wrld, f ɖ formr wr xîtd bî hiz mariyñ m, it wd nt gv m wn momnt’s cnsrn – n ɖ wrld in jenṛl wd hv tù mć sns t jôn in ɖ scorn.”

“N ɖs z yr riyl opińn! Ɖs z yr fînl rzolv! Vri wel. I śl nǎ nǒ hǎ t act. D nt imajn, Mis Benit, ɖt yr ambiśn wl evr b graṭfaid. I cem t trî y. I hopt t fînd y rīzṇbl; bt, dpnd upn it, I wl cari mî pônt.”

In ɖs manr Ledi Caʈ̇rin tōct on, tl ɖe wr at ɖ dor v ɖ carij, ẃn, trnñ hesṭli rnd, ś add, “I tec no līv v y, Mis Benit. I snd no complimnts t yr muɖr. Y dzrv no sć atnśn. I am most sirịsli dsplizd.”

Iliẓbʈ md no ansr; n wɖt atmtñ t pswed hr lediśp t rtrn intu ɖ hǎs, wōct qaytli intu it hrslf. Ś hŕd ɖ carij drîv awe az ś pṛsidd upsterz. Hr muɖr impeśntli met hr at ɖ dor v ɖ dresñrūm, t asc ẃ Ledi Caʈ̇rin wd nt cm in agn n rest hrslf.

“Ś dd nt ćūz it,” sd hr dōtr, “ś wd g.”

“Ś z a vri fîn-lcñ wmn! n hr cōlñ hir wz pṛdiɉsli sivl! fr ś onli cem, I s’poz, t tel s ɖ Colinzz wr wel. Ś z on hr rod smẃr, I der se, n so, pasñ ʈru Meritn, ʈt ś mt az wel cōl on y. I s’poz ś hd nʈñ ptiklr t se t y, Lizi?”

Iliẓbʈ wz forst t gv intu a litl fōlshd hir; fr t acnolij ɖ substns v ɖer convseśn wz imposbl.

___

Ćaptr 57

Ɖ

 discmpoźr v spirits ẃć ɖs xtrordnri vizit ʈrù Iliẓbʈ intu, cd nt b īẓli oṿcm; nr cd ś, fr mni aurz, lrn t ʈnc v it les ɖn insesntli. Ledi Caʈ̇rin, it apird, hd acć̣li tecn ɖ trubl v ɖs jrni fṛm Rozñz, fr ɖ sol prṗs v brecñ of hr s’pozd ingejmnt wɖ Mr Darsi. It wz a raṣ́nl scīm, t b śr! bt fṛm ẃt ɖ rport v ɖer ingejmnt cd oriɉnet, Iliẓbʈ wz at a los t imajn; tl ś rec̣lectd ɖt hiz biyñ ɖ intiṃt frend v Bñli, n hr biyñ ɖ sistr v Jen, wz inuf, at a tîm ẃn ɖ xpcteśn v wn wedñ md evrbdi īgr fr anɖr, t s’plî ɖ îdīa. Ś hd nt hrslf fgotn t fīl ɖt ɖ marij v hr sistr mst brñ ɖm mor frīqntli tgɖr. N hr nebrz at Lūc̣s Loj, ɖrfr (fr ʈru ɖer cḿṇceśn wɖ ɖ Colinzz, ɖ rport, ś cncludd, hd rīćt Ledi Caʈ̇rin), hd onli set ɖt dǎn az olmst srtn n imīɉt, ẃć ś hd lct fwd t az poṣbl at sm fyćr tîm.

In rvolvñ Ledi Caʈ̇rin’z xpreśnz, hvr, ś cd nt hlp fīlñ sm unīzinis az t ɖ poṣbl consiqns v hr psistñ in ɖs inṭfiṛns. Fṛm ẃt ś hd sd v hr reẓluśn t privnt ɖer marij, it ocŕd t Iliẓbʈ ɖt ś mst meḍtet an apḷceśn t hr nefy; n hǎ h mt tec a similr repriznteśn v ɖ īvlz ataćt t a cnx́n wɖ hr, ś derd nt pṛnǎns. Ś ń nt ɖ xact dgri v hiz afx́n fr hiz ānt, or hiz dpndns on hr jujmnt, bt it wz naćṛl t s’poz ɖt h ʈt mć hayr v hr lediśp ɖn ś cd d; n it wz srtn ɖt, in ińṃretñ ɖ miẓriz v a marij wɖ wn, huz imīɉt cnx́nz wr so unīql t hiz ǒn, hiz ānt wd adres him on hiz wìcist sîd. Wɖ hiz nośnz v digṇti, h wd probbli fīl ɖt ɖ arğmnts, ẃć t Iliẓbʈ hd apird wìc n r’dikyḷs, cntend mć gd sns n solid rīẓnñ.

F h hd bn weṿrñ bfr az t ẃt h śd d, ẃć hd ofn sīmd lîcli, ɖ advîs n intriti v so nir a rleśn mt setl evri dǎt, n dtrmin him at wns t b az hapi az digṇti unblemiśt cd mc him. In ɖt ces h wd rtrn no mor. Ledi Caʈ̇rin mt si him in hr we ʈru tǎn; n hiz ingejmnt t Bñli v cmñ agn t Neɖ̇fīld mst gv we.

“F, ɖrfr, an xks fr nt cīpñ hiz promis śd cm t hiz frend wɖn a fy dez,” ś add, “I śl nǒ hǎ t unḍstand it. I śl ɖen gv ovr evri xpcteśn, evri wś v hiz constnsi. F h z saṭsfaid wɖ onli rgretñ m, ẃn h mt hv obtend mî afx́nz n hand, I śl sn sīs t rgret him at ol.”

Ɖ s’prîz v ɖ rest v ɖ faṃli, on hírñ hu ɖer vizitr hd bn, wz vri gret; bt ɖe oblîjñli saṭsfaid it, wɖ ɖ sem cnd v supziśn ẃć hd apizd Msz Benit’s krioṣti; n Iliẓbʈ wz sperd fṛm mć tizñ on ɖ subjict.

Ɖ nxt mornñ, az ś wz gwñ dǎnsterz, ś wz met bî hr faɖr, hu cem ǎt v hiz lîbrri wɖ a letr in hiz hand.

“Lizi,” sd h, “I wz gwñ t lc fr y; cm intu mî rūm.”

Ś foloud him ɖiɖr; n hr krioṣti t nǒ ẃt h hd t tel hr wz hîtnd bî ɖ supziśn v its biyñ in sm manr cnctd wɖ ɖ letr h hld. It sudnli struc hr ɖt it mt b fṛm Ledi Caʈ̇rin; n ś antiṣpetd wɖ dsme ol ɖ consiqnt xpḷneśnz.

Ś foloud hr faɖr t ɖ fîrples, n ɖe bʈ sat dǎn. H ɖen sd,

“I hv rsivd a letr ɖs mornñ ɖt hz astoniśt m xidñli. Az it prinsipli cnsrnz yrslf, y òt t nǒ its contents. I dd nt nǒ bfr, ɖt I hd tū dōtrz on ɖ brinc v matriṃni. Let m cngrać̣let y on a vri importnt conqest.”

Ɖ culr nǎ ruśt intu Iliẓbʈ’s ćīcs in ɖ instnteńs cnvix́n v its biyñ a letr fṛm ɖ nefy, instd v ɖ ānt; n ś wz unditrmind ẃɖr most t b plizd ɖt h xplend himslf at ol, or ofndd ɖt hiz letr wz nt rɖr adrest t hrslf; ẃn hr faɖr cntinyd:

“Y lc conśs. Yuñ lediz hv gret peṇtreśn in sć matrz az ɖz; bt I ʈnc I me dfî īvn yr sgaṣti, t dscuvr ɖ nem v yr admîrr. Ɖs letr z fṛm Mr Colinz.”

“Fṛm Mr Colinz! n ẃt cn h hv t se?”

“Smʈñ vri mć t ɖ prṗs v cors. H bginz wɖ cngrać̣leśnz on ɖ aproćñ nupślz v mî eldist dōtr, v ẃć, it sīmz, h hz bn tld bî sm v ɖ gd-nećrd, goṣpñ Lūc̣sz. I śl nt sport wɖ yr impeśns, bî rīdñ ẃt h sz on ɖt pônt. Ẃt rlets t yrslf, z az foloz: ‘Hvñ ɖus ofrd y ɖ s’nsir cngrać̣leśnz v Msz Colinz n mslf on ɖs hapi ivnt, let m nǎ ad a śort hint on ɖ subjict v anɖr; v ẃć w hv bn advtîzd bî ɖ sem oʈoṛti. Yr dōtr Iliẓbʈ, it z prizymd, wl nt loñ ber ɖ nem v Benit, aftr hr eldr sistr hz rzînd it, n ɖ ćozn partnr v hr fet me b rīzṇbli lct p t az wn v ɖ most ilustrịs prṣnijz in ɖs land.’

“Cn y poṣbli ges, Lizi, hu z mnt bî ɖs? ‘Ɖs yuñ jntlmn z blest, in a pkłr we, wɖ evrʈñ ɖ hart v mortl cn most dzîr, – splendid proṗti, nobl cindṛd, n xtnsiv patṛnij. Yt in spît v ol ɖz tmteśnz, let m worn mî cuzn Iliẓbʈ, n yrslf, v ẃt īvlz y me incŕ bî a prisipitt cloźr wɖ ɖs jntlmn’z pṛpozlz, ẃć, v cors, y wl b inclînd t tec imīɉt advantij v.’

“Hv y eni îdīa, Lizi, hu ɖs jntlmn z? Bt nǎ it cmz ǎt:

“‘Mî motiv fr cōṣ́nñ y z az foloz. W hv rīzn t imajn ɖt hiz ānt, Ledi Caʈ̇rin d’Brg, dz nt lc on ɖ mać wɖ a frendli î.’

Mr Darsi, y si, z ɖ man! Nǎ, Lizi, I ʈnc I hv s’prîzd y. Cd h, or ɖ Lūc̣sz, hv pićt on eni man wɖn ɖ srcl v ǎr aqentns, huz nem wd hv gvn ɖ lî mor ifcć̣li t ẃt ɖe rletd? Mr Darsi, hu nvr lcs at eni wmn bt t si a blemiś, n hu probbli nvr lct at y in hiz lîf! It z admṛbl!”

Iliẓbʈ traid t jôn in hr faɖr’z plezntri, bt cd onli fors wn most rluctnt smîl. Nvr hd hiz wit bn d’rectd in a manr so litl agriybl t hr.

“R y nt dvrtd?”

“Ǒ! yes. Pre rīd on.”

“‘Aftr mnṣ́nñ ɖ lîclihd v ɖs marij t hr lediśp last nît, ś imīɉtli, wɖ hr yźl condisnśn, xprest ẃt ś flt on ɖ oceźn; ẃn it bcem apaṛnt, ɖt on ɖ scor v sm faṃli-objx́nz on ɖ part v mî cuzn, ś wd nvr gv hr cnsnt t ẃt ś trmd so dsgresfl a mać. I ʈt it mî dyti t gv ɖ spīdiist intelijns v ɖs t mî cuzn, ɖt ś n hr nobl admîrr me b awer v ẃt ɖe r abt, n nt run hesṭli intu a marij ẃć hz nt bn proprli sañśnd.’ Mr Colinz morovr adz, ‘I am trūli rjôst ɖt mî cuzn Lidia’z sad biznis hz bn so wel huśt p, n am onli cnsrnd ɖt ɖer livñ tgɖr bfr ɖ marij tc ples śd b so jenṛli noun. I mst nt, hvr, nglect ɖ dytiz v mî steśn, or rfren fṛm dclerñ mî amezmnt at hírñ ɖt y rsivd ɖ yuñ cupl intu yr hǎs az sn az ɖe wr marid. It wz an incurijmnt v vîs; n hd I bn ɖ rectr v Loñbōrn, I śd vri strenẏsli hv opozd it. Y òt srtnli t fgiv ɖm, az a Crisćn, bt nvr t admit ɖm in yr sît, or alǎ ɖer nemz t b mnśnd in yr hírñ.’ Ɖt z hiz nośn v Crisćn fgivnis! Ɖ rest v hiz letr z onli abt hiz dir Śarlót’s sićueśn, n hiz xpcteśn v a yuñ olivbranć. Bt, Lizi, y lc az f y dd nt injô it. Y r nt gwñ t b misiś, I hop, n pritnd t b afruntd at an îdl rport. Fr ẃt d w liv, bt t mc sport fr ǎr nebrz, n laf at ɖm in ǎr trn?”

“Ǒ!” craid Iliẓbʈ, “I am xesivli dvrtd. Bt it z so strenj!”

“Yes – ɖt z ẃt mcs it aḿzñ. Hd ɖe fixt on eni uɖr man it wd hv bn nʈñ; bt hiz prfict indifṛns, n yr pôntd dslîc, mc it so dlîtf̣li absrd! Mć az I aboṃnet raitñ, I wd nt gv p Mr Colinz’z corispondns fr eni cnsiḍreśn. Nê, ẃn I rīd a letr v hiz, I canot hlp gvñ him ɖ prefṛns īvn ovr Wicm, mć az I valy ɖ impydns n hipocṛsi v mî sun-in-lw. N pre, Lizi, ẃt sd Ledi Caʈ̇rin abt ɖs rport? Dd ś cōl t rfyz hr cnsnt?”

T ɖs qsćn hiz dōtr rplaid onli wɖ a laf; n az it hd bn asct wɖt ɖ līst sspiśn, ś wz nt dstrest bî hiz rpitñ it. Iliẓbʈ hd nvr bn mor at a los t mc hr fīlñz apir ẃt ɖe wr nt. It wz nesṣri t laf, ẃn ś wd rɖr hv craid. Hr faɖr hd most cruwli morṭfaid hr, bî ẃt h sd v Mr Darsi’z indifṛns, n ś cd d nʈñ bt wundr at sć a wont v peṇtreśn, or fir ɖt phps, instd v hiz siyñ tù litl, ś mt hv fansid tù mć.

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Ćaptr 58

I

nstd v rsivñ eni sć letr v xks fṛm hiz frend, az Iliẓbʈ haf xpctd Mr Bñli t d, h wz ebl t brñ Darsi wɖ him t Loñbōrn bfr mni dez hd pást aftr Ledi Caʈ̇rin’z vizit. Ɖ jntlṃn arîvd rli; n, bfr Msz Benit hd tîm t tel him v ɖer hvñ sìn hiz ānt, v ẃć hr dōtr sat in momntri dred, Bñli, hu wontd t b alon wɖ Jen, pṛpozd ɖer ol wōcñ ǎt. It wz agrìd t. Msz Benit wz nt in ɖ habit v wōcñ; Mẹri cd nvr sper tîm; bt ɖ rmenñ fîv set of tgɖr. Bñli n Jen, hvr, sn alaud ɖ uɖrz t ǎtstrip ɖm. Ɖe lagd bhnd, ẃl Iliẓbʈ, Citi, n Darsi wr t entten ć uɖr. Vri litl wz sd bî îɖr; Citi wz tù mć afred v him t tōc; Iliẓbʈ wz sīcṛtli formñ a despṛt reẓluśn; n phps h mt b dwñ ɖ sem.

Ɖe wōct twdz ɖ Lūc̣sz, bcz Citi wśt t cōl upn Mrīa; n az Iliẓbʈ sw no oceźn fr mcñ it a jenṛl cnsrn, ẃn Citi left ɖm ś wnt boldli on wɖ him alon. Nǎ wz ɖ momnt fr hr reẓluśn t b x’ktd, n, ẃl hr curij wz hî, ś imīɉtli sd:

“Mr Darsi, I am a vri slfiś crīćr; n, fr ɖ sec v gvñ rlif t mî ǒn fīlñz, cer nt hǎ mć I me b wūndñ yrz. I cn no longr hlp ʈancñ y fr yr unxampld cîndnis t mî pur sistr. Evr sins I hv noun it, I hv bn most añśs t acnolij t y hǎ gretf̣li I fīl it. Wr it noun t ɖ rest v mî faṃli, I śd nt hv mirli mî ǒn grattyd t xpres.”

“I am sori, xidñli sori,” rplaid Darsi, in a ton v s’prîz n imośn, “ɖt y hv evr bn informd v ẃt me, in a mstecn lît, hv gvn y unīzinis. I dd nt ʈnc Msz Gardinr wz so litl t b trustd.”

“Y mst nt blem mî ānt. Lidia’z ʈtlisnis frst btreid t m ɖt y hd bn cnsrnd in ɖ matr; n, v cors, I cd nt rest tl I ń ɖ ptiklrz. Let m ʈanc y agn n agn, in ɖ nem v ol mî faṃli, fr ɖt jenṛs cmpaśn ẃć indyst y t tec so mć trubl, n ber so mni mortif̣ceśnz, fr ɖ sec v dscuṿrñ ɖm.”

“F y wl ʈanc m,” h rplaid, “let it b fr yrslf alon. Ɖt ɖ wś v gvñ hapinis t y mt ad fors t ɖ uɖr indysmnts ẃć léd m on, I śl nt atmt t dnî. Bt yr faṃli o m nʈñ. Mć az I rspct ɖm, I b’liv I ʈt onli v y.”

Iliẓbʈ wz tù mć imbaṛst t se a wrd. Aftr a śort pōz, hr cmpańn add, “Y r tù jenṛs t trîfl wɖ m. F yr fīlñz r stl ẃt ɖe wr last Epril, tel m so at wns.  afx́nz n wśz r unćenjd, bt wn wrd fṛm y wl sîḷns m on ɖs subjict fr evr.”

Iliẓbʈ, fīlñ ol ɖ mor ɖn comn ōcẉdnis n añzayti v hiz sićueśn, nǎ forst hrslf t spīc; n imīɉtli, ɖo nt vri fluwntli, gev him t unḍstand ɖt hr sntimnts hd unḍgn so mtirịl a ćenj, sins ɖ pirịd t ẃć h aludd, az t mc hr rsiv wɖ grattyd n pleźr hiz preznt aśuṛnsz. Ɖ hapinis ẃć ɖs rplî pṛdyst, wz sć az h hd probbli nvr flt bfr; n h xprest himslf on ɖ oceźn az snṣbli n az wormli az a man vayḷntli in luv cn b s’pozd t d. Hd Iliẓbʈ bn ebl t incǎntr hiz î, ś mt hv sìn hǎ wel ɖ xpreśn v hart-flt dlît, dfyzd ovr hiz fes, bcem him; bt, ɖo ś cd nt lc, ś cd lisn, n h tld hr v fīlñz, ẃć, in pruvñ v ẃt importns ś wz t him, md hiz afx́n evri momnt mor vałbl.

Ɖe wōct on, wɖt nwñ in ẃt d’rex́n. Ɖr wz tù mć t b ʈt, n flt, n sd, fr atnśn t eni uɖr objicts. Ś sn lrnt ɖt ɖe wr indétd fr ɖer preznt gd unḍstandñ t ɖ ef̣ts v hiz ānt, hu dd cōl on him in hr rtrn ʈru Lundn, n ɖr rlet hr jrni t Loñbōrn, its motiv, n ɖ substns v hr convseśn wɖ Iliẓbʈ; dwelñ imfaticli on evri xpreśn v ɖ latr ẃć, in hr lediśp’s aprihnśn, pkłrli dnotd hr pvrsnis n aśuṛns; in ɖ b’lif ɖt sć a rleśn mst asist hr indevrz t obten ɖt promis fṛm hr nefy ẃć ś hd rfyzd t gv. Bt, unluc̣li fr hr lediśp, its ifct hd bn xacli cntrẹriwîz.

“It tòt m t hop,” sd h, “az I hd scersli evr alaud mslf t hop bfr. I ń inuf v yr disṗziśn t b srtn ɖt, hd y bn abṣlutli, irevcbli dsîdd agnst m, y wd hv acnolijd it t Ledi Caʈ̇rin, francli n opnli.”

Iliẓbʈ culrd n laft az ś rplaid, “Yes, y nǒ inuf v mî francnis t b’liv m ceṗbl v ɖt. Aftr abyzñ y so abomiṇbli t yr fes, I cd hv no scrūpl in abyzñ y t ol yr rleśnz.”

“Ẃt dd y se v m, ɖt I dd nt dzrv? Fr, ɖo yr akześnz wr il-fǎndd, formd on mstecn preṃsz, mî bhevyr t y at ɖ tîm hd meṛtd ɖ svirist rprūf. It wz unpardṇbl. I canot ʈnc v it wɖt abhoṛns.”

“W wl nt qoṛl fr ɖ gretr śer v blem anxt t ɖt īvnñ,” sd Iliẓbʈ. “Ɖ conduct v nɖr, f stricli xamind, wl b iriproćbl; bt sins ɖen, w hv bʈ, I hop, impruvd in sviḷti.”

“I canot b so īẓli recnsîld t mslf. Ɖ rec̣lex́n v ẃt I ɖen sd, v mî cnduct, mî manrz, mî xpreśnz jrñ ɖ hol v it, z nǎ, n hz bn mni munʈs, inxpresbli penfl t m. Yr rprūf, so wel aplaid, I śl nvr fget: ‘hd y bhevd in a mor jntlmnlîc manr.’ Ɖoz wr yr wrdz. Y nǒ nt, y cn scersli cnsiv, hǎ ɖe hv torćrd m; – ɖo it wz sm tîm, I cnfes, bfr I wz rīzṇbl inuf t alǎ ɖer justis.”

“I wz srtnli vri far fṛm xpctñ ɖm t mc so stroñ an impreśn. I hd nt ɖ smōlist îdīa v ɖer biyñ evr flt in sć a we.”

“I cn īẓli b’liv it. Y ʈt m ɖen dvôd v evri propr fīlñ, I am śr y dd. Ɖ trn v yr cǎntinns I śl nvr fget, az y sd ɖt I cd nt hv adrest y in eni poṣbl we ɖt wd indys y t axpt m.”

“Ǒ! d nt rpit ẃt I ɖen sd. Ɖz rec̣lex́nz wl nt d at ol. I aśur y ɖt I hv loñ bn most harṭli aśemd v it.”

Darsi mnśnd hiz letr. “Dd it,” sd h, “dd it sn mc y ʈnc betr v m? Dd y, on rīdñ it, gv eni credit t its contents?”

Ś xplend ẃt its ifct on hr hd bn, n hǎ graɉli ol hr formr preɉdisz hd bn rmuvd.

“I ń,” sd h, “ɖt ẃt I rout mst gv y pen, bt it wz nesṣri. I hop y hv dstroid ɖ letr. Ɖr wz wn part ispeṣ́li, ɖ oṗnñ v it, ẃć I śd dred yr hvñ ɖ pǎr v rīdñ agn. I cn rmembr sm xpreśnz ẃć mt justli mc y het m.”

“Ɖ letr śl srtnli b brnt, f y b’liv it isnśl t ɖ preẓveśn v mî rgard; bt, ɖo w hv bʈ rīzn t ʈnc mî opińnz nt intîrli unoltṛbl, ɖe r nt, I hop, qt so īẓli ćenjd az ɖt implîz.”

“Ẃn I rout ɖt letr,” rplaid Darsi, “I b’livd mslf prf̣cli cām n cūl, bt I am sins cnvinst ɖt it wz ritn in a dredfl bitrnis v spirit.”

“Ɖ letr, phps, bgan in bitrnis, bt it dd nt end so. Ɖ ady z ćaṛti itslf. Bt ʈnc no mor v ɖ letr. Ɖ fīlñz v ɖ prsn hu rout, n ɖ prsn hu rsivd it, r nǎ so wîdli difṛnt fṛm ẃt ɖe wr ɖen, ɖt evri unpleznt srcmstans atndñ it òt t b fgotn. Y mst lrn sm v mî f’loṣfi. Ʈnc onli v ɖ past az its rmembṛns gvz y pleźr.”

“I canot gv y credit fr eni f’loṣfi v ɖ cnd. Yr retṛspx́nz mst b so toṭli vôd v rproć, ɖt ɖ cntntmnt arîzñ fṛm ɖm z nt v f’loṣfi, bt, ẃt z mć betr, v iṇsns. Bt wɖ m, it z nt so. Penfl rec̣lex́nz wl intrud ẃć canot, ẃć òt nt, t b rpeld. I hv bn a slfiś biyñ ol mî lîf, in practis, ɖo nt in prínsipl. Az a ćîld I wz tòt ẃt wz rît, bt I wz nt tòt t c’rect mî tmpr. I wz gvn gd prínsiplz, bt left t folo ɖm in prîd n cnsit. Unforćṇtli an onli sun (fr mni yirz an onli ćîld), I wz spôlt bî mî peṛnts, hu, ɖo gd ɖmslvz (mî faɖr, ptiklrli, ol ɖt wz bnevlnt n emịbl), alaud, incurijd, olmst tòt m t b slfiś n oṿberñ; t cer fr nn bynd mî ǒn faṃlisrcl; t ʈnc mīnli v ol ɖ rest v ɖ wrld; t wś at līst t ʈnc mīnli v ɖer sns n wrʈ cmperd wɖ mî ǒn. Sć I wz, fṛm et t et n twenti; n sć I mt stl hv bn bt fr y, dirist, luvliist Iliẓbʈ! Ẃt d I nt o y! Y tòt m a lésn, hard indd at frst, bt most advntejs. Bî y, I wz proprli humbld. I cem t y wɖt a dǎt v mî rspśn. Y śoud m hǎ inṣfiśnt wr ol mî pritnśnz t plīz a wmn wrɖi v biyñ plizd.”

“Hd y ɖen pswedd yrslf ɖt I śd?”

“Indd I hd. Ẃt wl y ʈnc v mî vaṇti? I b’livd y t b wśñ, xpctñ mî adresz.”

“Mî manrz mst hv bn in fōlt, bt nt intnśṇli, I aśur y. I nvr mnt t dsiv y, bt mî spirits mt ofn līd m roñ. Hǎ y mst hv hetd m aftr ɖt īvnñ?”

“Het y! I wz angri phps at frst, bt mî angr sn bgan t tec a propr d’rex́n.”

“I am olmst afred v ascñ ẃt y ʈt v m, ẃn w met at Pmḅli. Y blemd m fr cmñ?”

“No indd; I flt nʈñ bt s’prîz.”

“Yr s’prîz cd nt b gretr ɖn mîn in biyñ notist bî y. Mî conśns tld m ɖt I dzrvd no xtrordnri p’lîtnis, n I cnfes ɖt I dd nt xpct t rsiv mor ɖn mî dy.”

“Mî objict ɖen,” rplaid Darsi, “wz t śo y, bî evri sviḷti in mî pǎr, ɖt I wz nt so mīn az t rznt ɖ past; n I hopt t obten yr fgivnis, t lesn yr il opińn, bî letñ y si ɖt yr rprūfs hd bn atndd t. Hǎ sn eni uɖr wśz intṛdyst ɖmslvz I cn hardli tel, bt I b’liv in abt haf an aur aftr I hd sìn y.”

H ɖen tld hr v Jorjana’z dlît in hr aqentns, n v hr dis’pôntmnt at its sudn inṭrupśn; ẃć naćṛli līdñ t ɖ cōz v ɖt inṭrupśn, ś sn lrnt ɖt hiz reẓluśn v folowñ hr fṛm Darbiśr in qst v hr sistr hd bn formd bfr h qitd ɖ ín, n ɖt hiz graṿti n ʈtflnis ɖr hd arizn fṛm no uɖr struglz ɖn ẃt sć a prṗs mst comprihnd.

Ś xprest hr grattyd agn, bt it wz tù penfl a subjict t ć, t b dwelt on farɖr.

Aftr wōcñ sevṛl mîlz in a leźrli manr, n tù bizi t nǒ enʈñ abt it, ɖe faund at last, on xaṃnñ ɖer woćz, ɖt it wz tîm t b at hom.

“Ẃt cd bcm v Mr Bñli n Jen!” wz a wundr ẃć intṛdyst ɖ dscuśn v ɖer aferz. Darsi wz dlîtd wɖ ɖer ingejmnt; hiz frend hd gvn him ɖ rliist inf̣meśn v it.

“I mst asc ẃɖr y wr s’prîzd?” sd Iliẓbʈ.

“Nt at ol. Ẃn I wnt awe, I flt ɖt it wd sn hapn.”

“Ɖt z t se, y hd gvn yr pmiśn. I gést az mć.” N ɖo h xclemd at ɖ trm, ś faund ɖt it hd bn priti mć ɖ ces.

“On ɖ īvnñ bfr mî gwñ t Lundn,” sd h, “I md a cnfeśn t him, ẃć I b’liv I òt t hv md loñ ago. I tld him v ol ɖt hd ocŕd t mc mî formr inṭfiṛns in hiz aferz absrd n imprtinnt. Hiz s’prîz wz gret. H hd nvr hd ɖ slîtist sspiśn. I tld him, morovr, ɖt I b’livd mslf mstecn in s’pozñ, az I hd dn, ɖt yr sistr wz indifṛnt t him; n az I cd īẓli psiv ɖt hiz ataćmnt t hr wz un’beitd, I flt no dǎt v ɖer hapinis tgɖr.”

Iliẓbʈ cd nt hlp smîlñ at hiz īzi manr v d’rectñ hiz frend.

“Dd y spīc fṛm yr ǒn obẓveśn,” sd ś, “ẃn y tld him ɖt mî sistr luvd him, or mirli fṛm mî inf̣meśn last sprñ?”

“Fṛm ɖ formr. I hd naroli obzrvd hr jrñ ɖ tū vizits ẃć I hd lêtli md hir; n I wz cnvinst v hr afx́n.”

“N yr aśuṛns v it, I s’poz, carid imīɉt cnvix́n t him.”

“It dd. Bñli z most un’fctidli modist. Hiz difidns hd privntd hiz dpndñ on hiz ǒn jujmnt in so añśs a ces, bt hiz rlayns on mîn md evrʈñ īzi. I wz oblîjd t cnfes wn ʈñ, ẃć fr a tîm, n nt unjustli, ofndd him. I cd nt alǎ mslf t cnsil ɖt yr sistr hd bn in tǎn ʈri munʈs last wintr, ɖt I hd noun it, n prṗsli cept it fṛm him. H wz angri. Bt hiz angr, I am pswedd, lastd no longr ɖn h rmend in eni dǎt v yr sistr’z sntimnts. H hz harṭli fgivn m nǎ.”

Iliẓbʈ loñd t obzrv ɖt Mr Bñli hd bn a most dlîtfl frend; so īẓli gîdd ɖt hiz wrʈ wz invałbl; bt ś ćect hrslf. Ś rmembrd ɖt h hd yt t lrn t b laft at, n it wz rɖr tù rli t bgin. In antiṣpetñ ɖ hapinis v Bñli, ẃć v cors wz t b infirịr onli t hiz ǒn, h cntinyd ɖ convseśn tl ɖe rīćt ɖ hǎs. In ɖ hōl ɖe partd.

___

Ćaptr 59

“M

î dir Lizi, ẃr cn y hv bn wōcñ t?” wz a qsćn ẃć Iliẓbʈ rsivd fṛm Jen az sn az ś entrd ɖer rūm, n fṛm ol ɖ uɖrz ẃn ɖe sat dǎn t tebl. Ś hd onli t se in rplî, ɖt ɖe hd wondrd abt, tl ś wz bynd hr ǒn nolij. Ś culrd az ś spouc; bt nɖr ɖt, nr enʈñ els, awecnd a sspiśn v ɖ truʈ.

Ɖ īvnñ pást qaytli, unmarct bî enʈñ xtrordnri. Ɖ acnolijd luvrz tōct n laft, ɖ un’cnolijd wr sîḷnt. Darsi wz nt v a disṗziśn in ẃć hapinis oṿfloz in mrʈ; n Iliẓbʈ, ajtetd n cnfyzd, rɖr ń ɖt ś wz hapi ɖn flt hrslf t b so; fr, bsdz ɖ imīɉt imbaṛsmnt, ɖr wr uɖr īvlz bfr hr. Ś antiṣpetd ẃt wd b flt in ɖ faṃli ẃn hr sićueśn bcem noun; ś wz awer ɖt nwn lîct him bt Jen; n īvn fird ɖt wɖ ɖ uɖrz it wz a dslîc ẃć nt ol hiz fortyn n consiqns mt d awe.

At nît ś opnd hr hart t Jen. Ɖo sspiśn wz vri far fṛm Mis Benit’s jenṛl habits, ś wz abṣlutli increɉḷs hir.

“Y r jocñ, Lizi. Ɖs canot b! – ingejd t Mr Darsi! No, no, y śl nt dsiv m. I nǒ it t b imposbl.”

“Ɖs z a rećid bginñ indd! Mî sol dpndns wz on y; n I am śr nbdi els wl b’liv m, f y d nt. Yt, indd, I am in rnist. I spīc nʈñ bt ɖ truʈ. H stl luvz m, n w r ingejd.”

Jen lct at hr dǎtñli. “Ǒ, Lizi! it canot b. I nǒ hǎ mć y dslîc him.”

“Y nǒ nʈñ v ɖ matr. Ɖt z ol t b fgot. Phps I dd nt olwz luv him so wel az I d nǎ. Bt in sć cesz az ɖz, a gd meṃri z unpardṇbl. Ɖs z ɖ last tîm I śl evr rmembr it mslf.”

Mis Benit stl lct ol amezmnt. Iliẓbʈ agn, n mor sirịsli aśurd hr v its truʈ.

“Gd Hevn! cn it b riyli so! Yt nǎ I mst b’liv y,” craid Jen. “Mî dir, dir Lizi, I wd – I d cngrać̣let y – bt r y srtn? fgiv ɖ qsćn – r y qt srtn ɖt y cn b hapi wɖ him?”

“Ɖr cn b no dǎt v ɖt. It z setld btwn s olrdi, ɖt w r t b ɖ hapiist cupl in ɖ wrld. Bt r y plizd, Jen? Śl y lîc t hv sć a bruɖr?”

“Vri, vri mć. Nʈñ cd gv îɖr Bñli or mslf mor dlît. Bt w cnsidrd it, w tōct v it az imposbl. N d y riyli luv him qt wel inuf? Ǒ, Lizi! d enʈñ rɖr ɖn mari wɖt afx́n. R y qt śr ɖt y fīl ẃt y òt t d?”

“Ǒ, yes! Y wl onli ʈnc I fīl mor ɖn I òt t d, ẃn I tel y ol.”

“Ẃt d y mīn?”

“Ẃ, I mst cnfes ɖt I luv him betr ɖn I d Bñli. I am afred y wl b angri.”

“Mî dirist sistr, nǎ b sirịs. I wont t tōc vri sirịsli. Let m nǒ evrʈñ ɖt I am t nǒ, wɖt dle. Wl y tel m hǎ loñ y hv luvd him?”

“It hz bn cmñ on so graɉli, ɖt I hardli nǒ ẃn it bgan. Bt I b’liv I mst det it fṛm mî frst siyñ hiz bytifl grǎndz at Pmḅli.”

Anɖr intriti ɖt ś wd b sirịs, hvr, pṛdyst ɖ dzîrd ifct; n ś sn saṭsfaid Jen bî hr soḷm aśuṛnsz v ataćmnt. Ẃn cnvinst on ɖt articl, Mis Benit hd nʈñ frɖr t wś.

“Nǎ I am qt hapi,” sd ś, “fr y wl b az hapi az mslf. I olwz hd a valy fr him. Wr it fr nʈñ bt hiz luv v y, I mst olwz hv istimd him; bt nǎ, az Bñli’z frend n yr huzbnd, ɖr cn b onli Bñli n yrslf mor dir t m. Bt Lizi, y hv bn vri slî, vri rzrvd wɖ m. Hǎ litl dd y tel m v ẃt pást at Pmḅli n Lamtn! I o ol ɖt I nǒ v it t anɖr, nt t y.”

Iliẓbʈ tld hr ɖ motivz v hr sīcṛsi. Ś hd bn unwilñ t mnśn Bñli; n ɖ unsetld stet v hr ǒn fīlñz hd md hr īqli avôd ɖ nem v hiz frend. Bt nǎ ś wd no longr cnsil fṛm hr hiz śer in Lidia’z marij. Ol wz acnolijd, n haf ɖ nît spent in convseśn.

“Gd greśs!” craid Msz Benit, az ś std at a windo ɖ nxt mornñ, “f ɖt dis’griybl Mr Darsi z nt cmñ hir agn wɖ ǎr dir Bñli! Ẃt cn h mīn bî biyñ so tîrsm az t b olwz cmñ hir? I hd no nośn bt h wd g a-śūtñ, or smʈñ or uɖr, n nt dstrb s wɖ hiz cumṗni. Ẃt śl w d wɖ him? Lizi, y mst wōc ǎt wɖ him agn, ɖt h me nt b in Bñli’z we.”

Iliẓbʈ cd hardli hlp lafñ at so cnvińnt a pṛpozl; yt wz riyli vxt ɖt hr muɖr śd b olwz gvñ him sć an epiʈet.

Az sn az ɖe entrd, Bñli lct at hr so xpresivli, n śc handz wɖ sć wormʈ, az left no dǎt v hiz gd inf̣meśn; n h sn aftwdz sd alǎd, “Msz Benit, hv y no mor lenz hir’bts in ẃć Lizi me lūz hr we agn tde?”

“I advîz Mr Darsi, n Lizi, n Citi,” sd Msz Benit, “t wōc t Ocm Mǎnt ɖs mornñ. It z a nîs loñ wōc, n Mr Darsi hz nvr sìn ɖ vy.”

“It me d vri wel fr ɖ uɖrz,” rplaid Mr Bñli; “bt I am śr it wl b tù mć fr Citi. W’nt it, Citi?” Citi ǒnd ɖt ś hd rɖr ste at hom. Darsi pṛfest a gret krioṣti t si ɖ vy fṛm ɖ Mǎnt, n Iliẓbʈ sîḷntli cnsntd. Az ś wnt upsterz t gt redi, Msz Benit foloud hr, seyñ:

“I am qt sori, Lizi, ɖt y śd b forst t hv ɖt dis’griybl man ol t yrslf. Bt I hop y wl nt mînd it: it z ol fr Jen’z sec, y nǒ; n ɖr z no oceźn fr tōcñ t him, xpt jst nǎ n ɖen. So, d nt pt yrslf t incnvińns.”

Jrñ ɖer wōc, it wz rzolvd ɖt Mr Benit’s cnsnt śd b asct in ɖ cors v ɖ īvnñ. Iliẓbʈ rzrvd t hrslf ɖ apḷceśn fr hr muɖr’z. Ś cd nt dtrmin hǎ hr muɖr wd tec it; smtmz dǎtñ ẃɖr ol hiz wlʈ n granjr wd b inuf t oṿcm hr abhoṛns v ɖ man. Bt ẃɖr ś wr vayḷntli set agnst ɖ mać, or vayḷntli dlîtd wɖ it, it wz srtn ɖt hr manr wd b īqli il-adaptd t d credit t hr sns; n ś cd no mor ber ɖt Mr Darsi śd hír ɖ frst rapćrz v hr jô, ɖn ɖ frst viymns v hr disapṛbeśn.

In ɖ īvnñ, sn aftr Mr Benit wɖdru t ɖ lîbrri, ś sw Mr Darsi rîz olso n folo him, n hr ajteśn on siyñ it wz xtrim. Ś dd nt fir hr faɖr’z opziśn, bt h wz gwñ t b md unhapi; n ɖt it śd b ʈru hr mīnz – ɖt ś, hiz feṿrit ćîld, śd b dstresñ him bî hr ćôs, śd b filñ him wɖ firz n rgrets in dspozñ v hr – wz a rećid rflex́n, n ś sat in miẓri tl Mr Darsi apird agn, ẃn, lcñ at him, ś wz a litl rlivd bî hiz smîl. In a fy minits h aproćt ɖ tebl ẃr ś wz sitñ wɖ Citi; n, ẃl pritndñ t admîr hr wrc sd in a ẃispr, “G t yr faɖr, h wonts y in ɖ lîbrri.” Ś wz gn d’recli.

Hr faɖr wz wōcñ abt ɖ rūm, lcñ grev n añśs. “Lizi,” sd h, “ẃt r y dwñ? R y ǎt v yr snsz, t b axptñ ɖs man? Hv nt y olwz hetd him?”

Hǎ rṇstli dd ś ɖen wś ɖt hr formr opińnz hd bn mor rīzṇbl, hr xpreśnz mor modṛt! It wd hv sperd hr fṛm xpḷneśnz n pṛfeśnz ẃć it wz xidñli ōcẉd t gv; bt ɖe wr nǎ nesṣri, n ś aśurd him, wɖ sm cnfyźn, v hr ataćmnt t Mr Darsi.

“Or, in uɖr wrdz, y r dtrmind t hv him. H z rić, t b śr, n y me hv mor fîn cloɖz n fîn caṛjz ɖn Jen. Bt wl ɖe mc y hapi?”

“Hv y eni uɖr objx́n,” sd Iliẓbʈ, “ɖn yr b’lif v mî indifṛns?”

“Nn at ol. W ol nǒ him t b a prǎd, unpleznt sort v man; bt ɖs wd b nʈñ f y riyli lîct him.”

“I d, I d lîc him,” ś rplaid, wɖ tirz in hr îz, “I luv him. Indd h hz no impropr prîd. H z prf̣cli emịbl. Y d nt nǒ ẃt h riyli z; ɖen pre d nt pen m bî spīcñ v him in sć trmz.”

“Lizi,” sd hr faɖr, “I hv gvn him mî cnsnt. H z ɖ cnd v man, indd, t hūm I śd nvr der rfyz enʈñ, ẃć h condisndd t asc. I nǎ gv it t y, f y r rzolvd on hvñ him. Bt let m advîz y t ʈnc betr v it. I nǒ yr disṗziśn, Lizi. I nǒ ɖt y cd b nɖr hapi nr rspctbl, unls y trūli istimd yr huzbnd; unls y lct p t him az a s’pirịr. Yr lîvli taḷnts wd ples y in ɖ gretist denjr in an unīql marij. Y cd scersli iscep dscredit n miẓri. Mî ćîld, let m nt hv ɖ grīf v siyñ y unebl t rspct yr partnr in lîf. Y nǒ nt ẃt y r abt.”

Iliẓbʈ, stl mor afctd, wz rnist n soḷm in hr rplî; n at leñʈ, bî rpitd aśuṛnsz ɖt Mr Darsi wz riyli ɖ objict v hr ćôs, bî xplenñ ɖ grajl ćenj ẃć hr esṭmeśn v him hd unḍgn, rletñ hr abṣlut srtnti ɖt hiz afx́n wz nt ɖ wrc v a de, bt hd std ɖ tst v mni munʈs’ sspns, n ińṃretñ wɖ eṇji ol hiz gd qoḷtz, ś dd concr hr faɖr’z incṛdyḷti, n recnsîl him t ɖ mać.

“Wel, mî dir,” sd h, ẃn ś sīst spīcñ, “I hv no mor t se. F ɖs b ɖ ces, h dzrvz y. I cd nt hv partd wɖ y, mî Lizi, t enwn les wrɖi.”

T cmplit ɖ fevṛbl impreśn, ś ɖen tld him ẃt Mr Darsi hd voḷntṛli dn fr Lidia. H hŕd hr wɖ astoniśmnt.

“Ɖs z an īvnñ v wundrz, indd! N so, Darsi dd evrʈñ; md p ɖ mać, gev ɖ muni, peid ɖ felo’z déts, n got him hiz cmiśn! So mć ɖ betr. It wl sev m a wrld v trubl n icoṇmi. Hd it bn yr uncl’z dwñ, I mst n wd hv peid him; bt ɖz vayḷnt yuñ luvrz cari evrʈñ ɖer ǒn we. I śl ofr t pe him tmoro; h wl rant n storm abt hiz luv fr y, n ɖr wl b an end v ɖ matr.”

H ɖen rec̣lectd hr imbaṛsmnt a fy dez bfr, on hiz rīdñ Mr Colinz’z letr; n aftr lafñ at hr sm tîm, alaud hr at last t g – seyñ, az ś qitd ɖ rūm, “F eni yuñ men cm fr Mẹri or Citi, snd ɖm in, fr I am qt at leźr.”

Iliẓbʈ’s mînd wz nǎ rlivd fṛm a vri hevi weit; n, aftr haf an aur’z qayt rflex́n in hr ǒn rūm, ś wz ebl t jôn ɖ uɖrz wɖ tolṛbl cmpoźr. Evrʈñ wz tù rīsnt fr geyti, bt ɖ īvnñ pást tranqli awe; ɖr wz no longr enʈñ mtirịl t b dredd, n ɖ cumf̣t v īz n fmiliaṛti wd cm in tîm.

Ẃn hr muɖr wnt p t hr dresñrūm at nît, ś foloud hr, n md ɖ importnt cḿṇceśn. Its ifct wz most xtrordnri; fr on frst hírñ it, Msz Benit sat qt stl, n unebl t utr a siḷbl. Nr wz it undr mni, mni minits ɖt ś cd comprihnd ẃt ś hŕd; ɖo nt in jenṛl bcwd t credit ẃt wz fr ɖ advantij v hr faṃli, or ɖt cem in ɖ śep v a luvr t eni v ɖm. Ś bgan at leñʈ t rcuvr, t fijit abt in hr ćer, gt p, sit dǎn agn, wundr, n bles hrslf.

“Gd greśs! Lord bles m! onli ʈnc! dir m! Mr Darsi! Hu wd hv ʈt it! N z it riyli tru? Ǒ! mî swītist Lizi! hǎ rić n hǎ gret y wl b! Ẃt pinmuni, ẃt juwlz, ẃt caṛjz y wl hv! Jen’z z nʈñ t it – nʈñ at ol. I am so plizd – so hapi. Sć a ćarmñ man! – so hansm! so tōl! – Ǒ, mî dir Lizi! pre apoḷjîz fr mî hvñ dslîct him so mć bfr. I hop h wl oṿlc it. Dir, dir Lizi. A hǎs in tǎn! Evrʈñ ɖt z ćarmñ! Ʈri dōtrz marid! Ten ʈǎznd a yir! Ǒ, Lord! Ẃt wl bcm v m. I śl g dstractd.”

Ɖs wz inuf t pruv ɖt hr apṛbeśn nīd nt b dǎtd: n Iliẓbʈ, rjôsñ ɖt sć an ifyźn wz hŕd onli bî hrslf, sn wnt awe. Bt bfr ś hd bn ʈri minits in hr ǒn rūm, hr muɖr foloud hr.

“Mî dirist ćîld,” ś craid, “I cn ʈnc v nʈñ els! Ten ʈǎznd a yir, n vri lîcli mor! ’tiz az gd az a Lord! N a speśl lîsns. Y mst n śl b marid bî a speśl lîsns. Bt mî dirist luv, tel m ẃt diś Mr Darsi z ptiklrli fond v, ɖt I me hv it tmoro.”

Ɖs wz a sad omn v ẃt hr muɖr’z bhevyr t ɖ jntlmn himslf mt b; n Iliẓbʈ faund ɖt, ɖo in ɖ srtn pześn v hiz wormist afx́n, n s’kr v hr rleśnz’ cnsnt, ɖr wz stl smʈñ t b wśt fr. Bt ɖ moro pást of mć betr ɖn ś xpctd; fr Msz Benit luc̣li std in sć ō v hr intndd sun-in-lw ɖt ś vnćrd nt t spīc t him, unls it wz in hr pǎr t ofr him eni atnśn, or marc hr defṛns fr hiz opińn.

Iliẓbʈ hd ɖ saṭsfax́n v siyñ hr faɖr tecñ penz t gt aqentd wɖ him; n Mr Benit sn aśurd hr ɖt h wz rîzñ evri aur in hiz istim.

“I admîr ol mî ʈri sons-in-law hîli,” sd h. “Wicm, phps, z mî feṿrit; bt I ʈnc I śl lîc yr huzbnd qt az wel az Jen’z.”

___

Ćaptr 60

I

liẓbʈ’s spirits sn rîzñ t plêflnis agn, ś wontd Mr Darsi t acǎnt fr hiz hvñ evr fōḷn in luv wɖ hr. “Hǎ cd y bgin?” sd ś. “I cn comprihnd yr gwñ on ćarmñli, ẃn y hd wns md a bginñ; bt ẃt cd set y of in ɖ frst ples?”

“I canot fix on ɖ aur, or ɖ spot, or ɖ lc, or ɖ wrdz, ẃć leid ɖ fǎndeśn. It z tù loñ ago. I wz in ɖ midl bfr I ń ɖt I hd bgun.”

“Mî byti y hd rli wɖstd, n az fr mî manrz – mî bhevyr t y wz at līst olwz borḍrñ on ɖ unsivl, n I nvr spouc t y wɖt rɖr wśñ t gv y pen ɖn nt. Nǎ b s’nsir; dd y admîr m fr mî imprtinns?”

“Fr ɖ lîvlinis v yr mînd, I dd.”

“Y me az wel cōl it imprtinns at wns. It wz vri litl les. Ɖ fact z, ɖt y wr sic v sviḷti, v defṛns, v ofiśs atnśn. Y wr dsgustd wɖ ɖ wimin hu wr olwz spīcñ, n lcñ, n ʈncñ fr yr apṛbeśn alon. I rǎzd, n inṭrestd y, bcz I wz so unlîc ɖm. Hd y nt bn riyli emịbl, y wd hv hetd m fr it; bt in spît v ɖ penz y tc t dsgîz yrslf, yr fīlñz wr olwz nobl n just; n in yr hart, y ʈuṛli dspîzd ɖ prsnz hu so asidẏsli cortd y. Ɖr – I hv sevd y ɖ trubl v acǎntñ fr it; n riyli, ol ʈñz cnsidrd, I bgin t ʈnc it prf̣cli rīzṇbl. T b śr, y ń no acćl gd v m – bt nbdi ʈncs v ɖt ẃn ɖe fōl in luv.”

“Wz ɖr no gd in yr afx́ṇt bhevyr t Jen ẃl ś wz il at Neɖ̇fīld?”

“Dirist Jen! hu cd hv dn les fr hr? Bt mc a vrću v it bî ol mīnz. Mî gd qoḷtz r undr yr pṛtx́n, n y r t xaɉret ɖm az mć az poṣbl; n, in rtrn, it b’loñz t m t fînd oceźnz fr tizñ n qoṛlñ wɖ y az ofn az me b; n I śl bgin d’recli bî ascñ y ẃt md y so unwilñ t cm t ɖ pônt at last. Ẃt md y so śî v m, ẃn y frst cōld, n aftwdz dînd hir? Ẃ, ispeṣ́li, ẃn y cōld, dd y lc az f y dd nt cer abt m?”

“Bcz y wr grev n sîḷnt, n gev m no incurijmnt.”

“Bt I wz imbaṛst.”

“N so wz I.”

“Y mt hv tōct t m mor ẃn y cem t dinr.”

“A man hu hd flt les, mt.”

“Hǎ unluci ɖt y śd hv a rīzṇbl ansr t gv, n ɖt I śd b so rīzṇbl az t admit it! Bt I wundr hǎ loñ y wd hv gn on, f y hd bn left t yrslf. I wundr ẃn y wd hv spocn, f I hd nt asct y! Mî reẓluśn v ʈancñ y fr yr cîndnis t Lidia hd srtnli gret ifct. Tù mć, I am afred; fr ẃt bcmz v ɖ moṛl, f ǎr cumf̣t sprñz fṛm a brīć v promis? fr I òt nt t hv mnśnd ɖ subjict. Ɖs wl nvr d.”

“Y nīd nt dstres yrslf. Ɖ moṛl wl b prf̣cli fer. Ledi Caʈ̇rin’z unjusṭfaybl indevrz t sepṛt s wr ɖ mīnz v rmuvñ ol mî dǎts. I am nt indétd fr mî preznt hapinis t yr īgr dzîr v xpresñ yr grattyd. I wz nt in a hymr t wêt fr eni oṗnñ v yrz. Mî ānt’s intelijns hd gvn m hop, n I wz dtrmind at wns t nǒ evrʈñ.”

“Ledi Caʈ̇rin hz bn v infiṇt ys, ẃć òt t mc hr hapi, fr ś luvz t b v ys. Bt tel m, ẃt dd y cm dǎn t Neɖ̇fīld fr? Wz it mirli t rîd t Loñbōrn n b imbaṛst? or hd y intndd eni mor sirịs consiqns?”

“Mî riyl prṗs wz t si y, n t juj, f I cd, ẃɖr I mt evr hop t mc y luv m. Mî avaud wn, or ẃt I avaud t mslf, wz t si ẃɖr yr sistr wr stl parśl t Bñli, n f ś wr, t mc ɖ cnfeśn t him ẃć I hv sins md.”

“Śl y evr hv curij t anǎns t Ledi Caʈ̇rin ẃt z t bfōl hr?”

“I am mor lîcli t wont mor tîm ɖn curij, Iliẓbʈ. Bt it òt t b dn, n f y wl gv m a śīt v pepr, it śl b dn d’recli.”

“N f I hd nt a letr t rait mslf, I mt sit bî y n admîr ɖ īṿņis v yr raitñ, az anɖr yuñ ledi wns dd. Bt I hv an ānt, tù, hu mst nt b longr nglectd.”

Fṛm an unwilñnis t cnfes hǎ mć hr intiṃsi wɖ Mr Darsi hd bn ovŗetd, Iliẓbʈ hd nvr yt ansrd Msz Gardinr’z loñ letr; bt nǎ, hvñ ɖt t cḿṇcet ẃć ś ń wd b most welcm, ś wz olmst aśemd t fînd ɖt hr uncl n ānt hd olrdi lost ʈri dez v hapinis, n imīɉtli rout az foloz:

“I wd hv ʈanct y bfr, mî dir ānt, az I òt t hv dn, fr yr loñ, cînd, saṭsfactri, dītel v ptiklrz; bt t se ɖ truʈ, I wz tù cros t rait. Y s’pozd mor ɖn riyli xistd. Bt  s’poz az mć az y ćūz; gv a lūs rein t yr fansi, indulj yr imaɉneśn in evri poṣbl flît ẃć ɖ subjict wl aford, n unls y b’liv m acć̣li marid, y canot gretli ŕ. Y mst rait agn vri sn, n prêz him a gret dīl mor ɖn y dd in yr last. I ʈanc y, agn n agn, fr nt gwñ t ɖ Lecs. Hǎ cd I b so sili az t wś it! Yr îdīa v ɖ poniz z dlîtfl. W wl g rnd ɖ Parc evri de. I am ɖ hapiist crīćr in ɖ wrld. Phps uɖr ppl hv sd so bfr, bt nt wn wɖ sć justis. I am hapịr īvn ɖn Jen; ś onli smîlz, I laf. Mr Darsi sndz y ol ɖ luv in ɖ wrld ɖt h cn sper fṛm m. Y r ol t cm t Pmḅli at Crisṃs. Yrz, ets.”

Mr Darsi’z letr t Ledi Caʈ̇rin wz in a difṛnt stîl; n stl difṛnt fṛm îɖr wz ẃt Mr Benit snt t Mr Colinz, in rplî t hiz last.

“DIR SR,

“I mst trubl y wns mor fr cngrać̣leśnz. Iliẓbʈ wl sn b ɖ wîf v Mr Darsi. Consol Ledi Caʈ̇rin az wel az y cn. Bt, f I wr y, I wd stand bî ɖ nefy. H hz mor t gv.

“Yrz s’nsirli, ets.”

Mis Bñli’z cngrać̣leśnz t hr bruɖr, on hiz aproćñ marij, wr ol ɖt wz afx́ṇt n inṣnsir. Ś rout īvn t Jen on ɖ oceźn, t xpres hr dlît, n rpit ol hr formr pṛfeśnz v rgard. Jen wz nt dsivd, bt ś wz afctd; n ɖo fīlñ no rlayns on hr, cd nt hlp raitñ hr a mć cîndr ansr ɖn ś ń wz dzrvd.

Ɖ jô ẃć Mis Darsi xprest on rsivñ similr inf̣meśn, wz az s’nsir az hr bruɖr’z in sndñ it. For sîdz v pepr wr inṣfiśnt t cnten ol hr dlît, n ol hr rnist dzîr v biyñ luvd bî hr sistr.

Bfr eni ansr cd arîv fṛm Mr Colinz, or eni cngrać̣leśnz t Iliẓbʈ fṛm hiz wîf, ɖ Loñbōrn faṃli hŕd ɖt ɖ Colinzz wr cm ɖmslvz t Lūc̣s Loj. Ɖ rīzn v ɖs sudn rmuvl wz sn evidnt. Ledi Caʈ̇rin hd bn rendrd so xidñli angri bî ɖ contents v hr nefy’z letr, ɖt Śarlót, riyli rjôsñ in ɖ mać, wz añśs t gt awe tl ɖ storm wz bloun ovr. At sć a momnt, ɖ arîvl v hr frend wz a s’nsir pleźr t Iliẓbʈ, ɖo in ɖ cors v ɖer mītñz ś mst smtmz ʈnc ɖ pleźr dirli bòt, ẃn ś sw Mr Darsi xpozd t ol ɖ p’redñ n obsīqịs sviḷti v hr huzbnd. H bòr it, hvr, wɖ admṛbl cāmnis. H cd īvn lisn t Sr Wiłm Lūc̣s, ẃn h compḷmntd him on cariyñ awe ɖ brîtist juwl v ɖ cuntri, n xprest hiz hops v ɖer ol mītñ frīqntli at St. Jemz’z, wɖ vri dīsnt cmpoźr. F h dd śrug hiz śoldrz, it wz nt tl Sr Wiłm wz ǎt v sît.

Msz Filips’z vlgaṛti wz anɖr, n phps a gretr, tax on hiz fōrbeṛns; n ɖo Msz Filips, az wel az hr sistr, std in tù mć ō v him t spīc wɖ ɖ fmiliaṛti ẃć Bñli’z gd hymr incurijd, yt, ẃnvr ś dd spīc, ś mst b vulgr. Nr wz hr rspct fr him, ɖo it md hr mor qayt, at ol lîcli t mc hr mor elignt. Iliẓbʈ dd ol ś cd t śīld him fṛm ɖ frīqnt notis v îɖr, n wz evr añśs t cīp him t hrslf, n t ɖoz v hr faṃli wɖ hūm h mt cnvrs wɖt mortif̣ceśn; n ɖo ɖ uncumf̣tbl fīlñz arîzñ fṛm ol ɖs tc fṛm ɖ sīzn v cortśp mć v its pleźr, it add t ɖ hop v ɖ fyćr; n ś lct fwd wɖ dlît t ɖ tîm ẃn ɖe śd b rmuvd fṛm ssayti so litl plizñ t îɖr, t ol ɖ cumf̣t n eligns v ɖer faṃliparti at Pmḅli.

___

Ćaptr 61

H

api fr ol hr mtrnl fīlñz wz ɖ de on ẃć Msz Benit got rid v hr tū most dzrvñ dōtrz. Wɖ ẃt dlîtd prîd ś aftwdz viẓtd Msz Bñli, n tōct v Msz Darsi, me b gést. I wś I cd se, fr ɖ sec v hr faṃli, ɖt ɖ acumpliśmnt v hr rnist dzîr in ɖ istabliśmnt v so mni v hr ćildṛn pṛdyst so hapi an ifct az t mc hr a snṣbl, emịbl, wel-informd wmn fr ɖ rest v hr lîf; ɖo phps it wz luci fr hr huzbnd, hu mt nt hv reliśt dmestic f’liṣti in so unyźl a form, ɖt ś stl wz oceźṇli nrṿs n inverịbli sili.

Mr Benit míst hiz secnd dōtr xidñli; hiz afx́n fr hr drù him of̣nr fṛm hom ɖn enʈñ els cd d. H dlîtd in gwñ t Pmḅli, ispeṣ́li ẃn h wz līst xpctd.

Mr Bñli n Jen rmend at Neɖ̇fīld onli a twelvmunʈ. So nir a vsiṇti t hr muɖr n Meritn rleśnz wz nt dzîṛbl īvn t hiz īzi tmpr, or hr afx́ṇt hart. Ɖ darlñ wś v hiz sistrz wz ɖen graṭfaid; h bòt an istet in a neḅrñ cǎnti t Darbiśr, n Jen n Iliẓbʈ, in adiśn t evri uɖr sors v hapinis, wr wɖn ʈrti mîlz v ć uɖr.

Citi, t hr vri mtirịl advantij, spent ɖ ćīf v hr tîm wɖ hr tū eldr sistrz. In ssayti so s’pirịr t ẃt ś hd jenṛli noun, hr impruvmnt wz gret. Ś wz nt v so unguvṇbl a tmpr az Lidia; n, rmuvd fṛm ɖ inflụns v Lidia’z xampl, ś bcem, bî propr atnśn n manijmnt, les iritbl, les ignṛnt, n les insipid. Fṛm ɖ frɖr dis’dvantij v Lidia’z ssayti ś wz v cors cerf̣li cept, n ɖo Msz Wicm frīqntli invîtd hr t cm n ste wɖ hr, wɖ ɖ promis v bōlz n yuñ men, hr faɖr wd nvr cnsnt t hr gwñ.

Mẹri wz ɖ onli dōtr hu rmend at hom; n ś wz nesseṛli drwn fṛm ɖ psyt v acumpliśmnts bî Msz Benit’s biyñ qt unebl t sit alon. Mẹri wz oblîjd t mix mor wɖ ɖ wrld, bt ś cd stl moṛlîz ovr evri mornñvizit; n az ś wz no longr morṭfaid bî cmpaṛsnz btwn hr sistrz’ byti n hr ǒn, it wz sspctd bî hr faɖr ɖt ś sbmitd t ɖ ćenj wɖt mć rluctns.

Az fr Wicm n Lidia, ɖer caṛctrz sufrd no reṿluśn fṛm ɖ marij v hr sistrz. H bòr wɖ f’loṣfi ɖ cnvix́n ɖt Iliẓbʈ mst nǎ bcm aqentd wɖ ẃtvr v hiz ingrattyd n fōlshd hd bfr bn uņoun t hr; n in spît v evrʈñ, wz nt hoļi wɖt hop ɖt Darsi mt yt b priveld on t mc hiz fortyn. Ɖ cngrać̣letri letr ẃć Iliẓbʈ rsivd fṛm Lidia on hr marij, xplend t hr ɖt, bî hiz wîf at līst, f nt bî himslf, sć a hop wz ćeriśt. Ɖ letr wz t ɖs ifct:

“MÎ DIR LIZI,

“I wś y jô. F y luv Mr Darsi haf az wel az I d mî dir Wicm, y mst b vri hapi. It z a gret cumf̣t t hv y so rić, n ẃn y hv nʈñ els t d, I hop y wl ʈnc v s. I am śr Wicm wd lîc a ples at cort vri mć, n I d nt ʈnc w śl hv qt muni inuf t liv upn wɖt sm hlp. Eni ples wd d, v abt ʈri or for hundṛd a yir; bt hvr, d nt spīc t Mr Darsi abt it, f y hd rɖr nt.

“Yrz, ets.”

Az it hapnd ɖt Iliẓbʈ hd  rɖr nt, ś indevrd in hr ansr t pt an end t evri intriti n xpcteśn v ɖ cnd. Sć rlif, hvr, az it wz in hr pǎr t aford, bî ɖ practis v ẃt mt b cōld icoṇmi in hr ǒn prîṿt xpnsz, ś frīqntli snt ɖm. It hd olwz bn evidnt t hr ɖt sć an incm az ɖerz, undr ɖ d’rex́n v tū prsnz so xtraṿgnt in ɖer wonts, n hīdlis v ɖ fyćr, mst b vri inṣfiśnt t ɖer s’port; n ẃnvr ɖe ćenjd ɖer qortrz, îɖr Jen or hrslf wr śr v biyñ aplaid t fr sm litl asistns twdz dsćarjñ ɖer bílz. Ɖer manr v livñ, īvn ẃn ɖ resṭreśn v pīs dsmist ɖm t a hom, wz unsetld in ɖ xtrim. Ɖe wr olwz muvñ fṛm ples t ples in qst v a ćīp sićueśn, n olwz spendñ mor ɖn ɖe òt. Hiz afx́n fr hr sn sunc intu indifṛns; hrz lastd a litl longr; n in spît v hr yʈ n hr manrz, ś rtend ol ɖ clemz t repyteśn ẃć hr marij hd gvn hr.

Ɖo Darsi cd nvr rsiv him at Pmḅli, yt, fr Iliẓbʈ’s sec, h asistd him frɖr in hiz pṛfeśn. Lidia wz oceźṇli a vizitr ɖr, ẃn hr huzbnd wz gn t injô himslf in Lundn or Baʈ; n wɖ ɖ Bñliz ɖe bʈ v ɖm frīqntli stêd so loñ, ɖt īvn Bñli’z gd hymr wz oṿcm, n h pṛsidd so far az t tōc v gvñ ɖm a hint t b gn.

Mis Bñli wz vri dīpli morṭfaid bî Darsi’z marij; bt az ś ʈt it advîẓbl t rten ɖ rît v viẓtñ at Pmḅli, ś dropt ol hr rzntmnt; wz fondr ɖn evr v Jorjana, olmst az atntiv t Darsi az hirtufōr, n peid of evri arir v sviḷti t Iliẓbʈ.

Pmḅli wz nǎ Jorjana’z hom; n ɖ ataćmnt v ɖ sistrz wz xacli ẃt Darsi hd hopt t si. Ɖe wr ebl t luv ć uɖr īvn az wel az ɖe intndd. Jorjana hd ɖ hîist opińn in ɖ wrld v Iliẓbʈ; ɖo at frst ś ofn lisnd wɖ an astoniśmnt borḍrñ on alarm at hr lîvli, sportiv, manr v tōcñ t hr bruɖr. H, hu hd olwz inspîrd in hrslf a rspct ẃć olmst oṿcem hr afx́n, ś nǎ sw ɖ objict v opn plezntri. Hr mînd rsivd nolij ẃć hd nvr bfr fōḷn in hr we. Bî Iliẓbʈ’s instrux́nz, ś bgan t comprihnd ɖt a wmn me tec liḅtiz wɖ hr huzbnd ẃć a bruɖr wl nt olwz alǎ in a sistr mor ɖn ten yirz yungr ɖn himslf.

Ledi Caʈ̇rin wz xtrimli indignnt on ɖ marij v hr nefy; n az ś gev we t ol ɖ jenyin francnis v hr caṛctr in hr rplî t ɖ letr ẃć anǎnst its arenjmnt, ś snt him lanḡj so vri abysiv, ispeṣ́li v Iliẓbʈ, ɖt fr sm tîm ol inṭcors wz at an end. Bt at leñʈ, bî Iliẓbʈ’s psweźn, h wz priveld on t oṿlc ɖ ofns, n sīc a recnsilieśn; n, aftr a litl frɖr rzistns on ɖ part v hiz ānt, hr rzntmnt gev we, îɖr t hr afx́n fr him, or hr krioṣti t si hǎ hiz wîf cnductd hrslf; n ś condisndd t wêt on ɖm at Pmḅli, in spît v ɖt p’luśn ẃć its wŭdz hd rsivd, nt mirli fṛm ɖ prezns v sć a mistris, bt ɖ vizits v hr uncl n ānt fṛm ɖ siti.

Wɖ ɖ Gardinrz, ɖe wr olwz on ɖ most intiṃt trmz. Darsi, az wel az Iliẓbʈ, riyli luvd ɖm; n ɖe wr bʈ evr snṣbl v ɖ wormist grattyd twdz ɖ prsnz hu, bî brññ hr intu Darbiśr, hd bn ɖ mīnz v ynîtñ ɖm.

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