"Yes--the late Mr. Darcy bequeathed me the next presentation
of the best living in his gift. He was my godfather, and
excessively attached to me. I cannot do justice to his kindness.
He meant to provide for me amply, and thought he had done it;
but when the living fell, it was given elsewhere."
"Good heavens!" cried Elizabeth; "but how could that be?
How could his will be disregarded? Why did you not seek legal
"There was just such an informality in the terms of the bequest
as to give me no hope from law. A man of honour could not have
doubted the intention, but Mr. Darcy chose to doubt it--or to
treat it as a merely conditional recommendation, and to assert that
I had forfeited all claim to it by extravagance, imprudence--in
short anything or nothing. Certain it is, that the living became
vacant two years ago, exactly as I was of an age to hold it, and
that it was given to another man; and no less certain is it, that
I cannot accuse myself of having really done anything to deserve
to lose it. I have a warm, unguarded temper, and I may have
spoken my opinion of him, and to him, too freely. I can recall
nothing worse. But the fact is, that we are very different sort
of men, and that he hates me."