"You appear to me, Mr. Darcy, to allow nothing for the influence offriendship and affection. A regard for the requester would often make onereadily yield to a request, without waiting for arguments to reason one into it.I am not particularly speaking of such a case as you have supposed about Mr.Bingley. We may as well wait, perhaps, till the circumstance occurs beforewe discuss the discretion of his behaviour thereupon. But in general andordinary cases between friend and friend, where one of them is desired bythe other to change a resolution of no very great moment, should you thinkill of that person for complying with the desire, without waiting to be arguedinto it？"
"Will it not be advisable, before we proceed on this subject, to arrangewith rather more precision the degree of importance which is to appertain tothis request, as well as the degree of intimacy subsisting between theparties？"
"By all means," cried Bingley; "let us hear all the particulars, notforgetting their comparative height and size; for that will have more weightin the argument, Miss Bennet, than you may be aware of. I assure you, that ifDarcy were not such a great tall fellow, in comparison with myself, I shouldnot pay him half so much deference. I declare I do not know a more awfulobject than Darcy, on particular occasions, and in particular places; at hisown house especially, and of a Sunday evening, when he has nothing to do." Mr. Darcy smiled; but Elizabeth thought she could perceive that he wasrather offended, and therefore checked her laugh. Miss Bingley warmlyresented the indignity he had received, in an expostulation with her brotherfor talking such nonsense.
"I see your design, Bingley," said his friend. "You dislike an argument,and want to silence this."
"Perhaps I do. Arguments are too much like disputes. If you and MissBennet will defer yours till I am out of the room, I shall be very thankful;and then you may say whatever you like of me."
"What you ask," said Elizabeth, "is no sacrifice on my side; and Mr.Darcy had much better finish his letter."
Mr. Darcy took her advice, and did finish his letter.
When that business was over, he applied to Miss Bingley and Elizabethfor an indulgence of some music. Miss Bingley moved with some alacrity tothe pianoforte; and, after a polite request that Elizabeth would lead the waywhich the other as politely and more earnestly negatived, she seated herself.