They were not welcomed home very cordially by their mother.
Mrs. Bennet wondered at their coming, and thought them very
wrong to give so much trouble, and was sure Jane would have
caught cold again. But their father, though very laconic in his
expressions of pleasure, was really glad to see them; he had felt
their importance in the family circle. The evening conversation,
when they were all assembled, had lost much of its animation,
and almost all its sense by the absence of Jane and Elizabeth.
They found Mary, as usual, deep in the study of thorough-bass
and human nature; and had some extracts to admire, and some
new observations of threadbare morality to listen to. Catherine
and Lydia had information for them of a different sort. Much
had been done and much had been said in the regiment since the
preceding Wednesday; several of the officers had dined lately
with their uncle, a private had been flogged, and it had actually
been hinted that Colonel Forster was going to be married.