The whist party soon afterwards breaking up, the players
gathered round the other table and Mr. Collins took his station
between his cousin Elizabeth and Mrs. Phillips. The usual
inquiries as to his success was made by the latter. It had not
been very great; he had lost every point; but when Mrs. Phillips
began to express her concern thereupon, he assured her with
much earnest gravity that it was not of the least importance, that
he considered the money as a mere trifle, and begged that she
would not make herself uneasy.
"I know very well, madam," said he, "that when persons sit down
to a card-table, they must take their chances of these things, and
happily I am not in such circumstances as to make five shillings
any object. There are undoubtedly many who could not say the
same, but thanks to Lady Catherine de Bourgh, I am removed
far beyond the necessity of regarding little matters."
Mr. Wickham's attention was caught; and after observing Mr.
Collins for a few moments, he asked Elizabeth in a low voice
whether her relation was very intimately acquainted with the
family of de Bourgh.