第 42 章
HAD Elizabeth’s opinion been all drawn from her own family, she could not have formed a very pleasing picture of conjugal felicity or domestic comfort. Her father, captivated by youth and beauty, and that appearance of good humour which youth and beauty generally give, had married a woman whose weak understanding and illiberal mind had, very early in their marriage, put an end to all real affection for her. Respect, esteem, and confidence had vanished for ever; and all his views of domestic happiness were overthrown. But Mr. Bennet was not of a disposition to seek comfort, for the disappointment which his own imprudence had brought on, in any of those pleasures which too often console the unfortunate for their folly or their vice. He was fond of the country and of books; and from these tastes had arisen his principal enjoyments. To his wife he was very little otherwise indebted, than as her ignorance and folly had contributed to his amusement. This is not the sort of happiness which a man would in general wish to owe to his wife; but where other powers of entertainment are wanting, the true philosopher will derive benefit from such as are given.
Elizabeth, however, had never been blind to the impropriety of her father’s behaviour as a husband. She had always seen it with pain; but respecting his abilities, and grateful for his affectionate treatment of herself, she endeavoured to forget what she could not overlook, and to banish from her thoughts that continual breach of conjugal obligation and decorum which, in exposing his wife to the contempt of her own children, was so highly reprehensible. But she had never felt so strongly as now the disadvantages which must attend the children of so unsuitable a marriage, nor ever been so fully aware of the evils arising from so ill-judged a direction of talents; talents which rightly used, might at least have preserved the respectability of his daughters, even if incapable of enlarging the mind of his wife.
When Elizabeth had rejoiced over Wickham’s departure, she found little other cause for satisfaction in the loss of the regiment. Their parties abroad were less varied than before; and at home she had a mother and sister whose constant repinings at the dulness of every thing around them threw a real gloom over their domestic circle; and, though Kitty might in time regain her natural degree of sense, since the disturbers of her brain were removed, her other sister, from whose disposition greater evil might be apprehended, was likely to be hardened in all her folly and assurance by a situation of such double danger as a watering place and a camp. Upon the whole, therefore, she found what has been sometimes found before, that an event to which she had looked forward with impatient desire, did not, in taking place, bring all the satisfaction she had promised herself. It was consequently necessary to name some other period for the commencement of actual felicity; to have some other point on which her wishes and hopes might be fixed, and by again enjoying the pleasure of anticipation, console herself for the present, and prepare for another disappointment. Her tour to the Lakes was now the object of her happiest thoughts; it was her best consolation for all the uncomfortable hours which the discontentedness of her mother and Kitty made inevitable; and could she have included Jane in the scheme, every part of it would have been perfect.
“But it is fortunate,” thought she, “that I have something to wish for. Were the whole arrangement complete, my disappointment would be certain. But here, by my carrying with me one ceaseless source of regret in my sister’s absence, I may reasonably hope to have all my expectations of pleasure realized. A scheme of which every part promises delight, can never be successful; and general disappointment is only warded off by the defence of some little peculiar vexation.”
When Lydia went away, she promised to write very often and very minutely to her mother and Kitty; but her letters were always long expected, and always very short. Those to her mother contained little else, than that they were just returned from the library, where such and such officers had attended them, and where she had seen such beautiful ornaments as made her quite wild; that she had a new gown, or a new parasol, which she would have described more fully, but was obliged to leave off in a violent hurry, as Mrs. Forster called her, and they were going to the camp; — and from her correspondence with her sister, there was still less to be learnt — for her letters to Kitty, though rather longer, were much too full of lines under the words to be made public.
After the first fortnight or three weeks of her absence, health, good humour, and cheerfulness began to re-appear at Longbourn. Everything wore a happier aspect. The families who had been in town for the winter came back again, and summer finery and summer engagements arose. Mrs. Bennet was restored to her usual querulous serenity, and by the middle of June Kitty was so much recovered as to be able to enter Meryton without tears; an event of such happy promise as to make Elizabeth hope that by the following Christmas, she might be so tolerably reasonable as not to mention an officer above once a day, unless, by some cruel and malicious arrangement at the War-Office, another regiment should be quartered in Meryton.
The time fixed for the beginning of their Northern tour was now fast approaching; and a fortnight only was wanting of it, when a letter arrived from Mrs. Gardiner, which at once delayed its commencement and curtailed its extent. Mr. Gardiner would be prevented by business from setting out till a fortnight later in July, and must be in London again within a month; and as that left too short a period for them to go so far, and see so much as they had proposed, or at least to see it with the leisure and comfort they had built on, they were obliged to give up the Lakes, and substitute a more contracted tour; and, according to the present plan, were to go no farther northward than Derbyshire. In that county, there was enough to be seen to occupy the chief of their three weeks; and to Mrs. Gardiner it had a peculiarly strong attraction. The town where she had formerly passed some years of her life, and where they were now to spend a few days, was probably as great an object of her curiosity, as all the celebrated beauties of Matlock, Chatsworth, Dovedale, or the Peak.
Elizabeth was excessively disappointed; she had set her heart on seeing the Lakes; and still thought there might have been time enough. But it was her business to be satisfied — and certainly her temper to be happy; and all was soon right again.
With the mention of Derbyshire, there were many ideas connected. It was impossible for her to see the word without thinking of Pemberley and its owner. “But surely,” said she, “I may enter his county with impunity, and rob it of a few petrified spars without his perceiving me.”
The period of expectation was now doubled. Four weeks were to pass away before her uncle and aunt’s arrival. But they did pass away, and Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, with their four children, did at length appear at Longbourn. The children, two girls of six and eight years old, and two younger boys, were to be left under the particular care of their cousin Jane, who was the general favourite, and whose steady sense and sweetness of temper exactly adapted her for attending to them in every way — teaching them, playing with them, and loving them.
The Gardiners staid only one night at Longbourn, and set off the next morning with Elizabeth in pursuit of novelty and amusement. One enjoyment was certain — that of suitableness as companions; a suitableness which comprehended health and temper to bear inconveniences — cheerfulness to enhance every pleasure — and affection and intelligence, which might supply it among themselves if there were disappointments abroad.
It is not the object of this work to give a description of Derbyshire, nor of any of the remarkable places through which their route thither lay; Oxford, Blenheim, Warwick, Kenelworth, Birmingham, &c. are sufficiently known. A small part of Derbyshire is all the present concern. To the little town of Lambton, the scene of Mrs. Gardiner’s former residence, and where she had lately learned that some acquaintance still remained, they bent their steps, after having seen all the principal wonders of the country; and within five miles of Lambton, Elizabeth found from her aunt that Pemberley was situated. It was not in their direct road, nor more than a mile or two out of it. In talking over their route the evening before, Mrs. Gardiner expressed an inclination to see the place again. Mr. Gardiner declared his willingness, and Elizabeth was applied to for her approbation.
“My love, should not you like to see a place of which you have heard so much?” said her aunt. “A place too, with which so many of your acquaintance are connected. Wickham passed all his youth there, you know.”
Elizabeth was distressed. She felt that she had no business at Pemberley, and was obliged to assume a disinclination for seeing it. She must own that she was tired of great houses; after going over so many, she really had no pleasure in fine carpets or satin curtains.
Mrs. Gardiner abused her stupidity. “If it were merely a fine house richly furnished,” said she, “I should not care about it myself; but the grounds are delightful. They have some of the finest woods in the country.”
Elizabeth said no more — but her mind could not acquiesce. The possibility of meeting Mr. Darcy, while viewing the place, instantly occurred. It would be dreadful! She blushed at the very idea; and thought it would be better to speak openly to her aunt than to run such a risk. But against this there were objections; and she finally resolved that it could be the last resource, if her private enquiries as to the absence of the family were unfavourably answered.
Accordingly, when she retired at night, she asked the chambermaid whether Pemberley were not a very fine place, what was the name of its proprietor, and, with no little alarm, whether the family were down for the summer. A most welcome negative followed the last question — and her alarms being now removed, she was at leisure to feel a great deal of curiosity to see the house herself; and when the subject was revived the next morning, and she was again applied to, could readily answer, and with a proper air of indifference, that she had not really any dislike to the scheme.
To Pemberley, therefore, they were to go.
第 41 章
她们回得家来，眨下眼睛就过了一个星期，现在已经开始过第二个星期。过了这个星期，驻扎在麦里屯的那个民兵团就要开拔了，附近的年轻小姐们立刻一个个垂头丧气起来。几乎处处都是心灰意冷的气象。只有班纳特家的两位大小姐照常饮食起居，照常各干各的事。可是吉蒂和丽迪雅已经伤心到极点，便不由得常常责备两位姐姐冷淡无情。她们真不明白，家里怎么竟会有这样没有心肝的人！第 40 章
伊丽莎白非把那桩事告诉吉英不可了，再也忍耐不住了。于是她决定把牵涉到姐姐的地方，都一概不提，第二天上午就把达西先生跟她求婚的那一幕，拣主要情节说了出来，她料定吉英听了以后，一定会感到诧异。第 39 章
五月已经到了第二个星期，三位年轻小姐一块儿从天恩寺街出发，到哈德福郡的某某镇去，班纳特先生事先就跟她们约定了一个小客店，打发了马车在那儿接她们，刚一到那儿，她们就看到吉蒂和丽迪雅从楼上的餐室里望着她们，这表明车夫已经准时到了。这两位姑娘已经在那儿待了一个多钟头，高高兴兴地光顾过对面的一家帽子店，看了看站岗的哨兵，又调制了一些胡瓜沙拉。【大纪元3月6日报导】（中央社记者颜伶如旧金山五日专电）奥斯卡最佳电影配乐今晚由“断背山”赢得，击败了“傲慢与偏见”、“艺伎回忆录”等片。“断背山”这次入围奥斯卡八个奖项。第 38 章
星期六吃过早饭时，伊丽莎白和柯林斯先生在饭厅里相遇，原来他们比别人早来了几分钟。柯林斯先生连忙利用这个机会向她郑重话别，他认为这是决不可少的礼貌。第 37 章
第 36 章
当达西先生递给伊丽莎白那封信的时候，伊丽莎白如果并没有想到那封信里是重新提出求婚，那她就根本没想到信里会写些什么。既然一看见这样的内容，你可想而知，她当时想要读完这封信的心情是怎样迫切，她的感情上又给引起了多大的矛盾。她读信时的那种心情，简直无法形容。开头读到他居然还自以为能够获得人家的原谅，她就不免吃惊；再读下去，又觉得他处处都是自圆其说，而处处都流露出一种欲盖弥彰的羞惭心情。她一读到他所写的关于当日发生在尼日斐花园的那段事情，就对他的一言一语都存着极大的偏见。她迫不及待地读下去，因此简直来不及细细咀嚼；她每读一句就急于要读下一句因此往往忽略了眼前一句的意思。他所谓她的姐姐对彬格莱本来没有什么情意，这叫她立刻断定他在撒谎；他说那门亲事确确实实存在着那么些糟糕透顶的缺陷，这使她简直气得不想把那封信再读下去。他对于自己的所作所为，丝毫不觉得过意不去，这当然使她无从满意。他的语气真是盛气凌人，丝毫没有悔悟的意思。第 35 章
伊丽莎白昨夜一直深思默想到合上眼睛为止，今天一大早醒来，心头又涌起了这些深思默想。她仍然对那桩事感到诧异，无法想到别的事情上去；她根本无心做事，于是决定一吃过早饭就出去好好地透透空气，散散步。她正想往那条心爱的走道上走走去，忽然想到达西先生有时候也上那儿来，于是便住了步。她没有进花园，却走上那条小路，以便和那条有栅门的大路隔得远些。她仍旧沿着花园的围栅走，不久便走过了一道园门。第 33 章