By morning Charles had returned, and Miss Bennett was so ill, he insisted on sending for the doctor. And then, what should happen, but Eliza Bennett! She walked over from Longbourn, in the mud, making a disgraceful exhibition of herself (I should hardly have believed it if I had not seen it with my own eyes--her petticoats were several inches plastered with mud, and her hair was all wild!), and all to pretend to feel a concern for her sister. Before I could say or do anything, Charles insisted that she stay until Miss Bennett felt well enough to go home. I was so angry, that it was all I could do to stay silent. To have our pleasant evenings ruined by the addition of Eliza Bennett, with her pert opinions and unconventional manners!
My worst fears have been quite realized. For one thing, Miss Eliza never fails to catch Mr. Darcy's attention, which is insupportable. They engaged in quite a skirmish of words the other evening, when I invited her to take a turn about the room with me (such exercise is usually so refreshing to me, but it depends upon one's company!), that I was soon very weary of it. I quiz Mr. Darcy about Miss Eliza whenever possible, but he takes it so coolly and indifferently that I cannot make him out.
To make matters worse than they were, we had a visit from the rest of the Bennett ladies (I use "ladies" in a general way, for I certainly do not consider them ladies!), which nearly drove me to distraction. What insufferable company I have had to bear with lately! Indeed, I do not see how much longer I shall be able to bear it. My only hope is that Miss Bennett will get well quickly...but I have forgotten! Even then we shall not be rid of them for long, for Charles has promised the younger Miss Bennets to give a ball here as soon as Miss Bennett is well enough! I have quite lost patience with Charles! He asks me to keep house for him, and then never asks my opinion on any matter of importance! Having a ball at one's home is much worse than merely attending one, for in the former case one is forced to be polite to everyone.