Pride and Prejudice
by Jane Austen
Excerpt from Chapter 34
While settling this point, she was suddenly roused by the sound
of the door-bell, and her spirits were a little fluttered by the
idea of its being Colonel Fitzwilliam himself, who had once
before called late in the evening, and might now come to inquire
particularly after her. But this idea was soon banished, and
her spirits were very differently affected, when, to her utter
amazement, she saw Mr. Darcy walk into the room. In an
hurried manner he immediately began an inquiry after her health,
imputing his visit to a wish of hearing that she were better.
She answered him with cold civility. He sat down for a few
moments, and then getting up, walked about the room. Elizabeth
was surprised, but said not a word. After a silence of
several minutes, he came towards her in an agitated manner,
and thus began:
"In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not
be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire
and love you."
Elizabeth's astonishment was beyond expression. She stared,
coloured, doubted, and was silent. This he considered sufficient
encouragement; and the avowal of all that he felt, and had long
felt for her, immediately followed. He spoke well; but there
were feelings besides those of the heart to be detailed; and he
was not more eloquent on the subject of tenderness than of pride.
His sense of her inferiority--of its being a degradation--of the
family obstacles which had always opposed to inclination, were
dwelt on with a warmth which seemed due to the consequence he
was wounding, but was very unlikely to recommend his suit.