His plan did not vary on seeing them. Miss Bennet's lovely face
confirmed his views, and established all his strictest notions of
what was due to seniority; and for the first evening she was his
settled choice. The next morning, however, made an alteration;
for in a quarter of an hour's tete-a-tete with Mrs. Bennet before
breakfast, a conversation beginning with his parsonage-house,
and leading naturally to the avowal of his hopes, that a mistress
might be found for it at Longbourn, produced from her, amid
very complaisant smiles and general encouragement, a caution
against the very Jane he had fixed on. "As to her younger
daughters, she could not take upon her to say--she could not
positively answer--but she did not know of any prepossession;
her eldest daughter, she must just mention--she felt it
incumbent on her to hint, was likely to be very soon engaged."
Mr. Collins had only to change from Jane to Elizabeth--and it
was soon done--done while Mrs. Bennet was stirring the fire.
Elizabeth, equally next to Jane in birth and beauty, succeeded
her of course.
Mrs. Bennet treasured up the hint, and trusted that she might
soon have two daughters married; and the man whom she could
not bear to speak of the day before was now high in her good