Mr. Collins returned most punctually on Monday fortnight, but
his reception at Longbourn was not quite so gracious as it had
been on his first introduction. He was too happy, however, to
need much attention; and luckily for the others, the business
of love-making relieved them from a great deal of his company.
The chief of every day was spent by him at Lucas Lodge, and he
sometimes returned to Longbourn only in time to make an
apology for his absence before the family went to bed.
Mrs. Bennet was really in a most pitiable state. The very
mention of anything concerning the match threw her into an
agony of ill-humour, and wherever she went she was sure of
hearing it talked of. The sight of Miss Lucas was odious to
her. As her successor in that house, she regarded her with
jealous abhorrence. Whenever Charlotte came to see them,
she concluded her to be anticipating the hour of possession;
and whenever she spoke in a low voice to Mr. Collins, was
convinced that they were talking of the Longbourn estate, and
resolving to turn herself and her daughters out of the house,
as soon as Mr. Bennet were dead. She complained bitterly of
all this to her husband.