Pride and Prejudice. Episode 7

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February 14, 2012: Pride and Prejudice. Episode 7On the following Monday, Mrs. Bennet had the pleasure of receiving her brother and his wife, who came, as usual, to spend the Christmas as Longbourn. Mr. Gardiner was a sensible, gentlemanlike man, greatly superior to his sister, as well by nature as education. The Netherfield ladies would have had difficulty in believing that a man who lived by trade, and within view of his own warehouse, could have been so well bred and agreeable.

Mrs. Gardiner, who was several years younger than Mrs. Bennet and Mrs. Philips, was an amiable, intelligent, elegant woman, and a great favourite with her Longbourn nieces. Between the two eldest and herself especially there subsisted a very particular regard. They had frequently been staying with her in town.

MRS. GARDINER’S caution to Elizabeth was punctually and kindly given on the first favourable opportunity of speaking to her alone: after honestly telling her what she thought, she thus went on:—

February 14, 2012: Pride and Prejudice. Episode 7_a‘You are too sensible a girl, Lizzy, to fall in love merely because you are warned against it; and, therefore, I am not afraid of speaking openly. Seriously, I would have you be on your guard. Do not involve yourself, or endeavour to involve him, in an affection which the want of fortune would make so very imprudent. I have nothing to say against him: he is a most interesting young man; and if he had the fortune he ought to have, I should think you could not do better. But as it is—you must not let your fancy run away with you. You have sense, and we all expect you to use it. Your father would depend on your resolution and good conduct, I am sure. You must not disappoint your father.’

‘My dear aunt, this is being serious indeed.’

‘Yes, and I hope to engage you to be serious likewise.’

‘Well, then, you need not be under any alarm. I will take care of myself, and of Mr. Wickham too. He shall not be in love with me, if I can prevent it.’

The wedding took place: the bride and bridegroom set off for Kent from the church door, and everybody had as much to say or to hear on the subject as usual.

February 14, 2012: Pride and Prejudice. Episode 7_bFebruary 14, 2012: Pride and Prejudice. Episode 7_cFebruary 14, 2012: Pride and Prejudice. Episode 7_d

February 14, 2012: Pride and Prejudice. Episode 7_e
Elizabeth soon heard from her friend, and their correspondence was as regular and frequent as it ever had been: that it should be equally unreserved was impossible. Elizabeth could never address her without feeling that all the comfort of intimacy was over; and, though determined not to slacken as a correspondent, it was for the sake of what had been rather than what was. Charlotte’s first letters were received with a good deal of eagerness: there could not but be curiosity to know how she would speak of her new home, how she would like Lady Catherine, and how happy she would dare pronounce herself to be; though, when the letters were read, Elizabeth felt that Charlotte expressed herself on every point exactly as she might have foreseen. She wrote cheerfully, seemed surrounded with comforts, and mentioned nothing which she could not praise. The house, furniture, neighbourhood, and roads, were all to her taste, and Lady Catherine’s behavior was most friendly and obliging.

To be continued next Tuesday!

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