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									Chapter XI of Volume II (Chap. 34)
 WHEN they were gone, Elizabeth, as if intending to exasperate herself as much as
possible against Mr. Darcy, chose for her employment the examination of all the letters
which Jane had written to her since her being in Kent. They contained no actual
complaint, nor was there any revival of past occurrences, or any communication of
present suffering. But in all, and in almost every line of each, there was a want of
that cheerfulness which had been used to characterize her style, and which, proceeding
from the serenity of a mind at ease with itself, and kindly disposed towards every one,
had been scarcely ever clouded. Elizabeth noticed every sentence conveying the idea of
uneasiness with an attention which it had hardly received on the first perusal. Mr.
Darcy's shameful boast of what misery he had been able to inflict gave her a keener
sense of her sister's sufferings. It was some consolation to think that his visit to
Rosings was to end on the day after the next, and a still greater that in less than a
fortnight she should herself be with Jane again, and enabled to contribute to the
recovery of her spirits by all that affection could do.
She could not think of Darcy's leaving Kent without remembering that his cousin was to
go with him; but Colonel Fitzwilliam had made it clear that he had no intentions at all,
and agreeable as he was, she did not mean to be unhappy about him.
While settling this point, she was suddenly roused by the sound of the door bell, and
her spirits were a little fluttered by the idea of its being Colonel Fitzwilliam
himself, who had once before called late in the evening, and might now come to enquire
particularly after her. But this idea was soon banished, and her spirits were very
differently affected, when, to her utter amazement, she saw Mr. Darcy walk into the
room. In an hurried manner he immediately began an enquiry after her health, imputing
his visit to a wish of hearing that she were better. She answered him with cold
civility. He sat down for a few moments, and then getting up, walked about the room.
Elizabeth was surprised, but said not a word. After a silence of several minutes, he
came towards her in an agitated manner, and thus began,
``In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must
allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.''
Elizabeth's astonishment was beyond expression. She stared, coloured, doubted, and was
silent. This he considered sufficient encouragement, and the avowal of all that he felt
and had long felt for her immediately followed. He spoke well, but there were feelings
besides those of the heart to be detailed, and he was not more eloquent on the subject
of tenderness than of pride. His sense of her inferiority -- of its being a degradation
-- of the family obstacles which judgment had always opposed to inclination, were dwelt
on with a warmth which seemed due to the consequence he was wounding, but was very
unlikely to recommend his suit.
In spite of her deeply-rooted dislike, she could not be insensible to the compliment of
such a man's affection, and though her intentions did not vary for an instant, she was
at first sorry for the pain he was to receive; till, roused to resentment by his
subsequent language, she lost all compassion in anger. She tried, however, to compose
herself to answer him with patience, when he should have done. He concluded with
representing to her the strength of that attachment which, in spite of all his
endeavours, he had found impossible to conquer; and with expressing his hope that it
would now be rewarded by her acceptance of his hand. As he said this, she could easily
see that he had no doubt of a favourable answer. He spoke of apprehension and anxiety,
but his countenance expressed real security. Such a circumstance could only exasperate
farther, and when he ceased, the colour rose into her cheeks, and she said,
``In such cases as this, it is, I believe, the established mode to express a sense of
obligation for the sentiments avowed, however unequally they may be returned. It is
natural that obligation should be felt, and if I could feel gratitude, I would now
thank you. But I cannot -- I have never desired your good opinion, and you have
certainly bestowed it most unwillingly. I am sorry to have occasioned pain to any one.
It has been most unconsciously done, however, and I hope will be of short duration. The
feelings which, you tell me, have long prevented the acknowledgment of your regard, can
have little difficulty in overcoming it after this explanation.''
Mr. Darcy, who was leaning against the mantle-piece with his eyes fixed on her face,
seemed to catch her words with no less resentment than surprise. His complexion became
pale with anger, and the disturbance of his mind was visible in every feature. He was
struggling for the appearance of composure, and would not open his lips, till he
believed himself to have attained it. The pause was to Elizabeth's feelings dreadful.
At length, in a voice of forced calmness, he said,
``And this is all the reply which I am to have the honour of expecting! I might,
perhaps, wish to be informed why, with so little endeavour at civility, I am thus
rejected. But it is of small importance.''
``I might as well enquire,'' replied she, ``why, with so evident a design of offending
and insulting me, you chose to tell me that you liked me against your will, against
your reason, and even against your character? Was not this some excuse for incivility,
if I was uncivil? But I have other provocations. You know I have. Had not my own
feelings decided against you, had they been indifferent, or had they even been
favourable, do you think that any consideration would tempt me to accept the man, who
has been the means of ruining, perhaps for ever, the happiness of a most beloved
sister?''
As she pronounced these words, Mr. Darcy changed colour; but the emotion was short, and
he listened without attempting to interrupt her while she continued.
``I have every reason in the world to think ill of you. No motive can excuse the unjust
and ungenerous part you acted there. You dare not, you cannot deny that you have been
the principal, if not the only means of dividing them from each other, of exposing one
to the censure of the world for caprice and instability, the other to its derision for
disappointed hopes, and involving them both in misery of the acutest kind.''
She paused, and saw with no slight indignation that he was listening with an air which
proved him wholly unmoved by any feeling of remorse. He even looked at her with a smile
of affected incredulity.
``Can you deny that you have done it?'' she repeated.
With assumed tranquillity he then replied, ``I have no wish of denying that I did every
thing in my power to separate my friend from your sister, or that I rejoice in my
success. Towards him I have been kinder than towards myself.''
Elizabeth disdained the appearance of noticing this civil reflection, but its meaning
did not escape, nor was it likely to conciliate, her.
``But it is not merely this affair,'' she continued, ``on which my dislike is founded.
Long before it had taken place, my opinion of you was decided. Your character was
unfolded in the recital which I received many months ago from Mr. Wickham. On this
subject, what can you have to say? In what imaginary act of friendship can you here
defend yourself? or under what misrepresentation, can you here impose upon others?''
``You take an eager interest in that gentleman's concerns,'' said Darcy in a less
tranquil tone, and with a heightened colour.
``Who that knows what his misfortunes have been, can help feeling an interest in him?''
``His misfortunes!'' repeated Darcy contemptuously; ``yes, his misfortunes have been
great indeed.''
``And of your infliction,'' cried Elizabeth with energy. ``You have reduced him to his
present state of poverty, comparative poverty. You have withheld the advantages, which
you must know to have been designed for him. You have deprived the best years of his
life, of that independence which was no less his due than his desert. You have done all
this! and yet you can treat the mention of his misfortunes with contempt and
ridicule.''
``And this,'' cried Darcy, as he walked with quick steps across the room, ``is your
opinion of me! This is the estimation in which you hold me! I thank you for explaining
it so fully. My faults, according to this calculation, are heavy indeed! But perhaps,''
added he, stopping in his walk, and turning towards her, ``these offences might have
been overlooked, had not your pride been hurt by my honest confession of the scruples
that had long prevented my forming any serious design. These bitter accusations might
have been suppressed, had I with greater policy concealed my struggles, and flattered
you into the belief of my being impelled by unqualified, unalloyed inclination -- by
reason, by reflection, by every thing. But disguise of every sort is my abhorrence. Nor
am I ashamed of the feelings I related. They were natural and just. Could you expect me
to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections? To congratulate myself on the hope
of relations, whose condition in life is so decidedly beneath my own?''
Elizabeth felt herself growing more angry every moment; yet she tried to the utmost to
speak with composure when she said,
``You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration
affected me in any other way, than as it spared me the concern which I might have felt
in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentleman-like manner.''
She saw him start at this, but he said nothing, and she continued,
``You could not have made me the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have
tempted me to accept it.''
Again his astonishment was obvious; and he looked at her with an expression of mingled
incredulity and mortification. She went on.
``From the very beginning, from the first moment I may almost say, of my acquaintance
with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your
conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form that
ground-work of disapprobation, on which succeeding events have built so immoveable a
dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in
the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.''
``You have said quite enough, madam. I perfectly comprehend your feelings, and have now
only to be ashamed of what my own have been. Forgive me for having taken up so much of
your time, and accept my best wishes for your health and happiness.''
And with these words he hastily left the room, and Elizabeth heard him the next moment
open the front door and quit the house.
The tumult of her mind was now painfully great. She knew not how to support herself,
and from actual weakness sat down and cried for half an hour. Her astonishment, as she
reflected on what had passed, was increased by every review of it. That she should
receive an offer of marriage from Mr. Darcy! that he should have been in love with her
for so many months! so much in love as to wish to marry her in spite of all the
objections which had made him prevent his friend's marrying her sister, and which must
appear at least with equal force in his own case, was almost incredible! It was
gratifying to have inspired unconsciously so strong an affection. But his pride, his
abominable pride, his shameless avowal of what he had done with respect to Jane, his
unpardonable assurance in acknowledging, though he could not justify it, and the
unfeeling manner in which he had mentioned Mr. Wickham, his cruelty towards whom he had
not attempted to deny, soon overcame the pity which the consideration of his attachment
had for a moment excited.
She continued in very agitating reflections till the sound of Lady Catherine's carriage
made her feel how unequal she was to encounter Charlotte's observation, and hurried her
away to her room.伊丽莎白等柯林斯夫妇走了以后,便把她到肯特以来所收到吉英的信,全都拿出
来一封 封仔细阅读,好象是为了故意要跟达西做冤家做到底似的。信上并没有写什么真正埋怨的
话,既没有提起过去的事情,也没有诉说目前的。她素性娴静,心肠仁爱,因此她的文笔从 来不带
一些阴暗的色彩,总是欢欣鼓舞的心情跃然纸上,可是现在,读遍了她所有的信,甚 至读遍了她每
一封信的字里行间,也找不出这种欢欣的笔调。伊丽莎白只觉得信上每一句话 都流露着不安的心情,
因为她这一次是用心精读的,而上一次她却读得很马虎,所以没有注 意到这种地方。达西先生恬不
知耻地夸口说,叫人家受罪是他的拿手好戏,这使她愈发深刻 地体会到姐姐的痛苦。想到达西后天
就要离开罗新斯,她总算可以稍觉安慰,而更大的安慰 是,不到两个星期,她又可以和吉英在一起
了,而且可以用一切感情的力量去帮助她重新振 作起精神来。
一想起达西就要离开肯特,便不免记起了他的表兄弟也要跟着他一起走;可是费茨威廉 已经表明他
自己决没有什么意图,因此,他虽然挺叫人喜欢,她却不至于为了他而不快活。 她正在转着这种念
头,突然听到门铃响,她以为是费茨威廉来了,心头不由得跳动起来,因 为他有一天晚上就是来得
很晚的,这回可能是特地来问候她。但是她立刻就知道猜错了,出 乎她的意料,走进屋来的是达西
先生,于是她情绪上又是另一种感觉。他立刻匆匆忙忙问她 身体好了没有,又说他是特地来听她复
元的好消息的。她客客气气地敷衍了他一下。他坐了 几分钟,就站起身来,在房间里踱来踱去。伊
丽莎白心里很奇怪,可是嘴上一言未发。沉默 了几分钟以后,他带着激动的神态走到她跟前说:
“我实在没有办法死捱活撑下去了。这怎么行。我的感情也压制不住了。请允许我告诉 你,我多么
敬慕你,多么爱你。”
伊丽莎白真是说不出的惊奇。她瞪着眼,红着脸,满腹狐疑,闭口不响。他看这情形, 便认为她是
在怂恿他讲下去,于是立刻把目前和以往对她的种种好感全都和盘托出。他说得 很动听,除了倾诉
爱情以外,又把其他种种感想也源源本本说出来了。他一方面千言万语地 表示深情密意,但是另一
方面却又说了许许多多傲慢无礼的话。他觉得她出身低微,觉得自 己是迁就她,而且家庭方面的种
种障碍,往往会使他的见解和他的心愿不能相容并存──他 这样热烈地倾诉,虽然显得他这次举动
的慎重,却未必能使他的求婚受到欢迎。
尽管她对他的厌恶之心根深蒂固,她究竟不能对这样一个男人的一番盛情,漠然无动于 中;虽说她
的意志不曾有过片刻的动摇,可是她开头倒也体谅到他将会受到痛苦,因此颇感 不安,然而他后来
的那些话引起了她的怨恨,她那一片怜惜之心便完全化成了愤怒。不过, 她还是竭力镇定下来,以
便等他把话说完,耐心地给他一个回答。未了,他跟她说,他对她 的爱情是那么强烈,尽管他一再
努力克服,结果还是克服不了,他又向她表明自己的希望, 说是希望她表接受他的求婚。她一下子
就看出他说这些话的时候,显然自认为她毫无问题会 给他满意的回答。他虽然口里说他自己又怕又
急,可是表情上却是一副万无一失的样子。这 只有惹起她更加激怒;等他讲完话以后,她就红着脸
说:
“遇到这一类的事情,通常的方式是这样的:人家对你一片好心好意,你即使不能给以 同样的报答,
也得表示一番感激,我现在就得向你表示谢意。可惜我没有这种感觉。我从来 不稀罕你的抬举,何
况你抬举我也是十分勉强。我从来不愿意让任何人感到痛苦,纵使惹得 别人痛苦,也是根本出于无
心,而且我希望很快就会事过境迁。你跟我说,以前你顾虑到种 种方面,因此没有能够向我表明你
对我的好感,那么,现在经过我这番解释之后,你一定很 容易把这种好感克制下来。”
达西先生本是斜倚在壁炉架上,一双眼睛盯住了她看,听到她这番话,好象又是气愤又 是惊奇。他
气得脸色铁青,从五官的每一个部位都看得出他内心的烦恼。他竭力装出镇定的 样子,一直等到自
以为已经装象了,然后才开口说话。这片刻的沉默使伊丽莎白心里非常难 受。最后达西才勉强沉住
了气说道:
“我很荣幸,意得到你这样一个回答!也许我可以请教你一下,为什么我竟会遭受到这 样没有礼貌
的拒绝?不过这也无关紧要。”
“我也可以请问一声,”她回答道,“为什么你明明白白存心要触犯我,侮辱我,嘴上 却偏偏要说
什么为了喜欢我,意违背了你自己的意志,违背了你自己的理性,甚至违背了你 自己的性格?要是
我果真没有礼貌,那么,这还不够作为我没有礼貌的理由吗?可是我还有 别的气恼。你也知道我有
的,就算我对你没有反感,就算我对你毫无芥蒂,甚至就算我对你 有好感吧,那么请你想一想,一
个毁了我最亲爱的姐姐幸福,甚至永远毁了她的幸福的人, 怎么会打动我的心去爱他呢?”
达西先生听了她这些话,脸色大变;不过这种感情的激动,只有一会儿就过去了,他听 着她继续说
下去,一些不想打岔。
“我有足够的理由对你怀着恶感。你对待那件事完全无情无义,不论你是出于什么动 机,都叫人无
可原谅。说起他们俩的分离,即使不是你一个人造成的,也是你主使的,这你 可不敢否认,也不能
否认。你使得男方被大家指责为朝三暮四,使女方被大家嘲笑为奢望空 想,你叫他们俩受尽了苦
痛。”
她说到这里,只见他完全没有一点儿悔恨的意思,真使她气得非同小可。他甚至还假装 出一副不相
信的神气在微笑。
“你能否认你这样做过吗?”她又问了一遍。
他故作镇静地回答道:“我不想否认。我的确用心了一切办法,拆散了我朋友和你姐姐 的一段姻缘;
我也不否认,我对自己那一次的成绩觉得很得意。我对他总算比对我自己多尽 了一份力。”
伊丽莎白听了他这篇文雅的调整词令,表面上并不愿意显出很注意的样子。这番话的用 意她当然明
白,可是再也平息不了她的气愤。
“不过,我还不止在这一件事情上面厌恶你,”她继续说道,“我很早就厌恶你,对你 有了成见。
几个月以前听了韦翰先生说的那些话,我就明白了你的品格。这件事你还有什么 可说的?看你再怎
样来替你自己辩护,把这件事也异想天开地说是为了维护朋友?你又将怎 么样来颠倒是非,欺世盗
名?”
达西先生听到这里,脸色变得更厉害了,说话的声音也不象刚才那么镇定,他说:“你 对于那位先
生的事的确十分关心。”
“凡是知道他的不幸遭遇的人,谁能不关心他?”
“他的不幸遭遇!”达西轻蔑地重说了一遍。“是的,他的确太不幸啦。”
“这都是你一手造成的,”伊丽莎白使劲叫道。“你害得他这样穷──当然并不是太 穷。凡是指定
由他享有的利益,你明明知道,却不肯给他。他正当年轻力壮,应该独立自 主,你却剥夺了他这种
权利。这些事都是你做的,可是人家一提到他的不幸,你还要鄙视和 嘲笑。”
“这就是你对我的看法!”达西一面大声叫嚷,一面向屋子那头走去。“你原来把我看 成这样的一
个人!谢谢你解释得这样周到。这样看来,我真是罪孽孽深重!不过,”他止住 了步,转过身来对
她说:“只怪我老老实实地把我以前一误再误、迟疑不决的原因说了出 来,所以伤害了你自尊心,
否则你也许就不会计较我得罪你的这些地方了。要是我耍一点儿 手段,把我内心矛盾掩藏起来,一
昧恭维你,叫你相信我无论在理智方面、思想方面、以及 种种方面,都是对你怀着无条件的、纯洁
的爱,那么,你也许就不会有这些苛刻的责骂了。 可惜无论是什么样的装假,我都痛恨。我刚才所
说出的这些顾虑,我也并不以为可耻。这些 顾虑是自然的,正确的。难道你指望我会为你那些微贱
的亲戚而欢欣鼓舞吗?难道你以为, 我要是攀上了这么些社会地位远不如我的亲戚,倒反而会自己
庆幸吗?”
伊丽莎白愈来愈忿怒,然而她还是尽量平心静气地说出了下面这段话:
“达西先生,倘若你有礼貌一些,我拒绝了你以后,也许会觉得过意不去,除此以外, 倘若你以为
这样向我表白一下,会在我身上起别的作用,那你可想错了。”
他听到这番话,吃了一惊,可是没有说什么,于是她又接着说下去:
“你用尽一切办法,也不能打动我的心,叫我接受你的求婚。”
他又显出很惊讶的样子,他带着痛苦和诧异的神气望着她。她继续说下去:
“从开头认识你的时候起,几乎可以说,从认识你的那一刹那起,你的举止行动,就使 我觉得你十
足狂妄自大、自私自利、看不起别人,我对你不满的原因就在这里,以后又有了 许许多多事情,使
我对你深恶痛绝;我还没有认识你一个月,就觉得象你这样一个人,哪怕 天下男人都死光了,我也
不愿意嫁给你。”
“你说得够了,小姐,我完全理解你的心情,现在我只有对我自己那些顾虑感到羞耻。 请原谅我耽
搁了你这么多时间,请允许我极其诚恳地祝你健康和幸福。”
他说了这几句话,便匆匆走出房间。隔了一忽儿,伊丽莎白就听到他打开大门走了。她 心里纷乱无
比。她不知道如何撑住自己,她非常软弱无力,便坐在那儿哭了半个钟头。她回 想到刚才的一幕,
越想越觉得奇怪。达西先生竟会向她求婚,他竟会爱上她好几个月了!竟 会那样地爱她,要和她结
婚,不管她有多少缺点,何况她自己的姐姐正是由于这些缺点而受 到他的阻挠,不能跟他朋友结婚,
何况这些缺点对他至少具有同样的影响──这真是一件不 可思议的事!一个人能在不知不觉中博得
别人这样热烈的爱慕,也足够自慰了。可是他的傲 慢,他那可恶的傲慢,他居然恬不知耻地招认他
自己是怎样破坏了吉英的好事,他招认的时 候虽然并不能自圆其说,可是叫人难以原谅的是他那种
自以为是的神气,还有他提到韦翰先 生时那种无动于中的态度,他一点儿也不打算否认对待韦翰的
残酷──一想到这些事,纵使 她一时之间也曾因为体谅到他一番恋情而触动了怜悯的心肠,这时候
连丝毫的怜悯也完全给 抵消了。
她这样回肠百转地左思右想,直到后来听得咖苔琳夫人的马车声,她才感觉到自己这副 模样儿见不
得夏绿蒂,便匆匆回到自己房里去。

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