"Don't keep coughing so, Kitty, for Heaven's sake! Have a little
compassion on my nerves. You tear them to pieces."
"Kitty has no discretion in her coughs," said her father; "she
times them ill."
"I do not cough for my own amusement," replied Kitty fretfully.
"When is your next ball to be, Lizzy?"
"Aye, so it is," cried her mother, "and Mrs. Long does not come
back till the day before; so it will be impossible for her to
introduce him, for she will not know him herself."
"Then, my dear, you may have the advantage of your friend, and
introduce Mr. Bingley to her."
"Impossible, Mr. Bennet, impossible, when I am not acquainted
with him myself; how can you be so teasing?"
"I honour your circumspection. A fortnight's acquaintance is
certainly very little. One cannot know what a man really is by
the end of a fortnight. But if we do not venture somebody else
will; and after all, Mrs. Long and her daughters must stand their
chance; and, therefore, as she will think it an act of kindness,
if you decline the office, I will take it on myself."