Mr. Collins listened to her with the determined air of following his own inclination, and, when she ceased speaking, replied thus: “My dear Miss Elizabeth, I have the highest opinion in the world in your excellent judgement in all matters within the scope of your understanding; but permit me to say, that there must be a wide difference between the established forms of ceremony amongst the laity, and those which regulate the clergy; for, give me leave to observe that I consider the clerical office as equal in point of dignity with the highest rank in the kingdom—provided that a proper humility of behaviour is at the same time maintained.
Her ladyship, with great condescension, arose to receive them; and as Mrs. Collins had settled it with her husband that the office of introduction should be hers, it was performed in a proper manner, without any of those apologies and thanks which he would have thought necessary.
We accordingly went—and there I readily engaged in the office of pointing out to my friend the certain evils of such a choice.
They performed towards him every little office of affection and duty with gentleness, and he rewarded them by his benevolent smiles.
You know Torvald left his office when we were married?
I shall go into the inner office and shut the door, and I shall hear nothing; you can make as much noise as you please.
Spaulding, he came down into the office just this day eight weeks, with this very paper in his hand, and he says: “ ‘I wish to the Lord, Mr. Wilson, that I was a red-headed man.’
“There was nothing in the office but a couple of wooden chairs and a deal table, behind which sat a small man with a head that was even redder than mine.
You don’t comply with the conditions if you budge from the office during that time.’
At two o’clock he bade me good-day, complimented me upon the amount that I had written, and locked the door of the office after me.