Mrs. Bennet was prevented replying by the entrance of the
footman with a note for Miss Bennet; it came from Netherfield,
and the servant waited for an answer. Mrs. Bennet's eyes
sparkled with pleasure, and she was eagerly calling out, while
her daughter read,
"Well, Jane, who is it from? What is it about? What does he
say? Well, Jane, make haste and tell us; make haste, my love."
"It is from Miss Bingley," said Jane, and then read it aloud.
"MY DEAR FRIEND,--
"If you are not so compassionate as to dine to-day with Louisa
and me, we shall be in danger of hating each other for the rest
of our lives, for a whole day's tete-a-tete between two women
can never end without a quarrel. Come as soon as you can on
receipt of this. My brother and the gentlemen are to dine with
the officers.--Yours ever,
"With the officers!" cried Lydia. "I wonder my aunt did not tell
us of that."
"Dining out," said Mrs. Bennet, "that is very unlucky."