He smiled, and assured her that whatever she wished him to say
should be said.
"Very well. That reply will do for the present. Perhaps by and
by I may observe that private balls are much pleasanter than
public ones. But now we may be silent."
"Do you talk by rule, then, while you are dancing?"
"Sometimes. One must speak a little, you know. It would look
odd to be entirely silent for half an hour together; and yet for
the advantage of some, conversation ought to be so arranged, as
that they may have the trouble of saying as little as possible."
"Are you consulting your own feelings in the present case, or do
you imagine that you are gratifying mine?"
"Both," replied Elizabeth archly; "for I have always seen a great
similarity in the turn of our minds. We are each of an unsocial,
taciturn disposition, unwilling to speak, unless we expect to say
something that will amaze the whole room, and be handed down
to posterity with all the eclat of a proverb."
"This is no very striking resemblance of your own character,
I am sure," said he. "How near it may be to mine, I cannot
pretend to say. You think it a faithful portrait undoubtedly."