Pride And Prejudice Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Pride And Prejudice script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Jane Austen movie starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Pride And Prejudice. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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Pride And Prejudice Script

            - It's a fair prospect. - Pretty enough, I grant you.

            It's nothing to Pemberley, I know.

            But I must settle somewhere. Have I your approval?

            - You'll find the society something savage. - Country manners? I think they're charming.

            - Then you'd better take it. - Thank you, I shall.

            I shall close with the attorney directly.

            I want to wear it today. Look what you've done to it!

            Mamma, mamma!

            Lydia has torn up my bonnet and says she will wear it to church. Tell her she shall not!

            I shall wear it, for it's all my own work. She'd be a fright in it. She's too plain to look well in it!

            - No, you shall not have it! - Lydia! Kitty! Girls!

            Would you tear my nerves into shreds? Let her have it, Kitty.

            But it's mine! You let her have everything that is mine!

            Oh, what is to become of us all? Jane, Lizzy, where are you?

            - Here, mamma. - Coming, mamma.

            My dear! Mr Bennet! Wonderful news!

            - Netherfield Park is let at last! - Is it?

            Yes, it is, for I have just had it from Mrs Long.

            - Do you not want to know who's taken it? - I have no objection to hearing it.

            It is taken by a young man of large fortune from the north of England.

            A "single" man of large fortune, my dear.

            He came down on Monday to see the place.

            His name is Bingley and he will be in possession by Michaelmas.

            "And" he has      a year!

            - What a fine thing for our girls! - How so? How can it affect them?

            Mr Bennet, why are you so tiresome? You know that I'm thinking of his marrying one of them.

            For a single man with a good fortune "must" be in want of a wife.

            Yes, he must indeed! And who better than one of our five girls?


            - What a fine joke if he chose me! - Or me!

            So that is his design in settling here? To marry one of our daughters?

            "Design"? How can you talk such nonsense?

            But he may fall in love with one of them.

            - Therefore you must visit him directly he comes. - No, no, I see no occasion for that.

            - Mr Bennet! - Go yourself with the girls.

            - Still better, send them by themselves. - By themselves?!

            Aye, for you're as handsome as any of them. Mr Bingley might like you best of the party.



            Oh, Hill!

            Hill, I am so distressed!

            Mr Bennet says he will not visit Mr Bingley when he comes.

            - There, there. - Can't you reason with him?

            - I daresay it'll all be well. - No, it will not!

            - For he is bent on ruining us all. - Mamma, he's teasing you.

            He will call on Mr Bingley. He calls on any new neighbour.

            Jane, how can you say that? You heard him!

            - You know your father has a will of iron. - You're in the right, my dear.

            I'll tell you what I'll do. I shall write to Mr Bingley,

            informing him that I have five daughters, and he is welcome to any of them.

            They're all silly and ignorant, like other girls.

            Well, Lizzy has more wit than the rest.

            But he may prefer a stupid wife, as others have done before him.

            - There, will that do? - No! I beg you will not write if you...

            You take delight in vexing me!

            You have no compassion on my poor nerves!

            You mistake me. I have a high respect for your nerves.

            They've been my old friends for    years.

            - You don't know what I suffer. - Well, I hope you'll get over it,

            and live to see many young men of      a year move here.

            It's no use if    such should come, since you won't visit them.

            Depend upon it, my dear. When there are    I'll visit them all.

            You see, Jane? He won't be prevailed upon. He'll see us all ruined.

             If only we'd been able to have sons!

              Misfortunes, we are told, are sent to test our fortitude,

              and may often reveal themselves as blessings in disguise.

              Lord, I'm so hungry!

              If I could love a man who would love me enough to take me for    pounds a year,

              I should be very well pleased.


              But such a man could hardly be sensible and I could never love a man who was out of his wits.

              Oh, Lizzy.

              A marriage... where either partner cannot love nor respect the other,

              that cannot be agreeable... to either party.

              As we have daily proof. But beggars, you know, cannot be choosers.

              We're not "very" poor, Lizzy.

              With father's estate withheld from the female line, we have only our charms.

              One of us at least will have to marry "very" well.

              And since you're five times as pretty as the rest of us,

              and have the sweetest disposition, the task will fall on you.

              But, Lizzy...

              I would wish...

              I should so much like... to marry for love.

              And so you shall, I'm sure.

              Only take care you fall in love with a man of good fortune.

              Well, I shall try. To please you.

              And you?

              I am determined that only the deepest love will induce me into matrimony.

              So... I shall end an old maid,

              and teach your    children to embroider cushions and play their instruments very ill.

              - Good night, mamma. - My head is very ill tonight.

              I said, I wouldn't dance with him if he was the last man in Meryton!

              - Good night, Lydia. Good night, Kitty. - Good night, Lizzy!


              Wait till you hear our news!

              - Mr Bingley has come! - Sir William Lucas called on him!

              - Save your breath. I will tell mamma. - I don't wish to know.

              Why care for Mr Bingley? We'll never be acquainted with him.

              But, mamma!

              Don't keep coughing so, Kitty! Have a little compassion on my nerves.

              - I don't cough for my own amusement. -    servants, and he's very handsome.

              - He declared that he loves to dance! - He said he'd come to the next ball!

              - At the Assembly Rooms! - On Saturday!

              - With six ladies and four gentlemen. - It was    ladies and seven gentlemen.

              - Too many ladies. - Lydia, I beg you would stop!

              We will never know Mr Bingley and it pains me to hear of him.

              - But mamma! - I'm sick of Mr Bingley!

              I'm sorry to hear that.

              If I'd known as much this morning, I should never have called on him.

              You have called on him?!

              I'm afraid we cannot escape the acquaintance now.

              My dear Mr Bennet! How good you are to us.

              - Well, well. - Girls, girls, is he not a good father?

              And never to tell us! What a good joke!

              And now you shall all dance with Mr Bingley!

              I hope he has a strong constitution!

              And a fondness for silly young women.

              My dear Mr Bennet, nothing you say shall ever vex me again.

              I'm sorry to hear it. Well, Kitty.

              I think you may cough as much as you choose now.

              - Shall we be quite safe here, Mr Darcy? - Damned silly way to spend an evening.

              Mr Bingley!

              Allow me the pleasure of welcoming you to our little assembly.

              Sir William, I am very glad to see you.

              There's nothing that I love better than a country dance.

              - Do you know who the two ladies are? - Mr Bingley's sisters, I understand.

              One is married to that gentleman, Mr Hurst.

              - The taller gentleman? - No, the other.

              Better and better!

              Very elegant.

              Better pleased with themselves than what they see, I think.

              Lizzy! Jane! Come here!

              You see that gentleman? Lady Lucas says he is Mr Bingley's oldest friend.

              His name is Darcy and he has a mighty fortune and a great estate in Derbyshire.

              Bingley's wealth is nothing to his!

                    a year! At least!

              Don't you think he's the handsomest man you've ever seen, girls?

              I wonder if he'd be as handsome if he weren't so rich.

              Oh, Lizzy! They're coming over. Smile, girls! Smile!

              Mrs Bennet.

              Mr Bingley would want to become acquainted with you and your daughters.

              Sir, that is very good of you.

              This is Jane, my eldest.

              And Elizabeth. And Mary sits over there.

              And Kitty and Lydia, my youngest, you see there dancing.

              - Do you like to dance yourself? - There is nothing I love better, madam.

              If Miss Bennet is not otherwise engaged,

              may I be so bold as to claim the next two dances?

              - I am not engaged, sir. - Good.

              You do us great honour, sir. Thank the gentleman, Jane.


              And you, sir? Are you fond of dancing, too?

              Oh, I beg your pardon. Mrs Bennet, may I present my friend, Mr Darcy?

              You are very welcome to Hertfordshire I am sure, sir.

              I hope you have come here eager to dance, as your friend has?

              Thank you, madam. I rarely dance.

              Let this be one of the occasions, sir,

              for I wager you'll not easily find such lively music or such pretty partners.

              Pray, excuse me, ma'am.

              Well! Did you ever meet such a proud disagreeable man!

              - He will hear you. - I don't care if he does.

              And his friend disposed to be so agreeable and everything charming.

              Who is he to think himself so far above his company?

              The very rich can afford to give offence wherever they go.

              - We need not care for his good opinion. - No, indeed!

              Perhaps he's not so very handsome after all?

              No, indeed! Quite ill-favoured.

              Certainly nothing at all to Mr Bingley!

              I'll show them!

              I wonder at Kitty and Lydia, that they are so fond of dancing.

              I take little pleasure in a ball.

              I would take pleasure, if there were enough partners as agreeable as Jane's.

              I believe the rewards of observation and reflection are much greater.

              Yes, when there are none others to be had.

              We shall have to be philosophers, Mary.

              Come, Darcy, I must have you dance!

              I must. I hate to see you standing about in this stupid manner!

              You had much better dance!

              I certainly shall not. At an assembly such as this? It would be insupportable.

              Your sisters are engaged.

              You know it would punish me to stand up with any other woman.

              Good God, Darcy! I wouldn't be as fastidious as you are for a kingdom!

              Upon my honour, I never met so many pleasant girls in my life!

              Several of them uncommonly pretty.

              You have been dancing with the only handsome girl in the room.

              Darcy, she is the most beautiful creature I ever beheld.

              Look, look!

              There's one of her sisters. She's very pretty too.

              I daresay very agreeable.

              She's tolerable, I suppose, but not handsome enough to tempt me.

              I'm in no humour to consider young ladies who are slighted by other men.

              Go back to your partner. Enjoy her smiles. You're wasting your time on me.

              Jane was so admired!

              There was nothing like it!

              - Oh, Lord! I'm so fagged! - Lydia and I danced every dance.

              And Mary none!

              And Mr Bingley favoured Jane above every other girl. For he danced the first two with her,

              and then the next with Charlotte Lucas, which vexed me greatly,

              but lo, there in the very next nothing would please him but to stand up with Jane again.

              And then he danced with Lizzy, and what do you think he did next?

              Enough, madam! For God's sake! Let's hear no more of his partners!

              Would he had sprained his ankle in the first dance!

              And his sisters! Oh, such charming women!

              So elegant and obliging! I wish you had seen them.

              - The lace on Mrs Hurst's gown... - No lace, Mrs Bennet, I beg you.

              But the man he brought with him! 'Mr Darcy', as he calls himself,

              is not worth our concern, though he may be the richest man in Derbyshire.

              The proudest, "the" most horrid, disobliging...

              He slighted poor Lizzy, and flatly refused to stand up with her.

              Slighted my Lizzy, did he?

              I didn't care for him either, so it's of little matter.

              Another time, Lizzy, I would not dance with him if he should ask you.

              I believe, ma'am, I may safely promise you "never" to dance with Mr Darcy.

              So none of the Hertfordshire ladies could please you, Mr Darcy?

              Not even the famous Miss Bennets?

              I never met with pleasanter people or prettier girls!

              You astonish me. I saw little beauty, and no breeding at all.

              The eldest Miss Bennet is, I grant you, very pretty.

              A fine concession! Admit it, she's an angel!

              - She smiles too much. - Jane Bennet is a sweet girl.

              But the mother!

              I heard Eliza Bennet described as a famous local beauty.

              - What do you say to that, Mr Darcy? - I should as soon call her mother a wit.

              That's too cruel!

              I don't understand why you go through the world

              determined to be displeased with everything and everyone.

              I will never understand why you approve of everything and everyone you meet.

              You shall not make me think ill of Miss Bennet.

              Indeed he shall not! I shall dare his disapproval and declare she is a dear sweet girl,

              despite her unfortunate relations, and I should not be sorry to know her better!

              No, nor I! You see, Mr Darcy, "we" are not afraid of you.

              I would not have you so.

              What? Aye, very true. Damned tedious waste of an evening.

              He's just what a young man ought to be.

              Sensible, lively, and I never saw such happy manners!

              Handsome too, which a young man ought to be if he possibly can.

              He seems to like you very much, which shows good judgement.

              You may like him. You've liked many a stupider person.

              Dear Lizzy!

              He could be happier in his choice of sisters and friends.

              - But the sisters he cannot help. - Did you not like them?

              Not at all. Their manners are quite different from his.

              At first, perhaps, but after a while they were pleasing.

              Miss Bingley is to keep house. They will be very charming neighbours.

              - One of them maybe. - No, Lizzy, I'm sure you're wrong.

              Even Mr Darcy may improve on closer acquaintance.

              Will he be in humour to consider young ladies who are slighted by other men?


              "She is tolerable, I suppose,

              but not handsome enough to tempt 'me'."

              - It was very wrong of him to speak so. - Indeed it was!

              Capital offence!

              Oh, look! Charlotte is come.


              Lizzy! My father is to give a party at Lucas Lodge and you are all invited!

              I hope Lucas Lodge will be graced with your presence on many occasions.

              Here, you see, we are all easy with no awkwardness or ceremony.


              Oh, yes, my dear.      a year!

              Don't they look well together? A most agreeable young man!

              And he would dance every dance with Jane. Nothing else would do!

              Are you pleased with Hertfordshire, Colonel Forster?

              Very much, Lady Lucas. Especially this evening.

              A regiment of infantry doesn't find a ready welcome everywhere.

              I think your officers will be very well pleased with Meryton.

              Denny and Sanderson seem well pleased already!

              No doubt you attend assemblies at St. James's Court?

              - We go but rarely, sir. - Indeed! I am surprised.

              I should be happy to introduce you there at any time when I'm in town.

              You're too kind, sir.

              Well! Well!

              Good, good.

              Capital! Capital!

              Insufferable conceit! To imagine that we would need his assistance in society.

              I am sure he is a good sort of man, Caroline.

              And I am sure he kept a good sort of shop before his elevation to the Knighthood.

              Poor Darcy. What agonies he must be suffering.

              Are you in Meryton to subdue the discontented populace, sir,

              or to defend Hertfordshire against the French?

              Neither, ma'am. We hope to winter peacefully at Meryton.

              My soldiers are in great need of training and my officers in ever great need of society.

              When you are settled, I hope you'll give a ball.

              - Oh, yes, my dear, do! - Would a ball be well received?

              Who's giving a ball? I long for a ball, and so does Denny!

              - And Sanderson. Don't you? - I d-do indeed.

              - Most passionately. - Little Sanderson, I knew you would!

              Make him give a ball! We'll dance with all the officers.

              If Mary would play something, we could dance now!

              Mary, no more dull stuff, play something jolly. We want to dance!

              But there are still two movements. Mamma! Tell them it isn't fair!

              Oh, play a jig, Mary. No one wants your concertos here.

              I fear their taste is not as fine as yours and mine, Mary,

              but let's oblige them this once. There is no one here who plays as well as you!

              Very well. Though you know it gives me little pleasure.

              - Jane, Mr Bingley, come and dance! - Not now, Lydia.

              Capital! Capital!

              Mr Bingley continues his attentions to Jane, Lizzy.

              - I'm very happy for her, Charlotte. - She seems well pleased with him.

              If he continues so, she's in a fair way to be in love with him.

              And Mr Bingley? Do you think he is in love?

              - It's clear that he likes her very much. - Then she should leave him in no doubt.

              She should show more affection than she feels, not less, if she is to secure him.

              - "Secure him"? Charlotte. - Yes, she should secure him soon!

              Before she is sure of his character and certain of her own regard for him?

              But of course! Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance.

              There will always be vexation and grief.

              It's better to know in advance as little as possible of the defects of your partner.

              Is it not?

              - You would never act like that yourself! - Well, it seems that Jane will not.

              So we must hope that Mr Bingley will.

              He gets little encouragement from his sisters.

              Or his friend.

              - Mr Darcy looks at you a great deal. - I can't think why!

              Unless to frighten me with his contempt.

              I wish he would not come into society. He only makes people uneasy.

              What a charming amusement for young people this is! Nothing like dancing!

              A refinement of every polished society.

              - And every unpolished society. - Sir?

              Every savage can dance.

              Oh, yes. Yes, quite.

              I should speak to my sister before she exposes us all to ridicule.

              Capital! Capital!

              Miss Eliza! Why are you not dancing?

              Mr Darcy, allow me to present this young lady to you as a very desirable partner.

              You cannot refuse to dance, I'm sure, when so much beauty is before you.

              Indeed, sir. I have not the least intention of dancing.

              Please don't suppose that I moved this way in order to beg for a partner.

              I would be happy if you would dance with me, Miss Bennet.

              Thank you.

              But excuse me, I... am not inclined to dance.

              Why not, when you see Mr Darcy has no objection?

              Although he dislikes the amusement in general.

              - Mr Darcy is all politeness. - He is!

              And why should he not be, considering the inducement?

              Who could object to such a partner? Eh, Darcy?

              I beg you would excuse me.

              Well, well... Oh, Capital, Lydia! Capital!

              I believe I can guess your thoughts at this moment.

              I should imagine not.

              You are thinking how insupportable it would be to spend many evenings in such tedious company.

              My mind was more agreeably engaged. I've been meditating on the pleasure,

              which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow.

              And may one dare ask whose are the eyes that inspired these reflections?

              Miss Elizabeth Bennet's.

              Miss Elizabeth Bennet?

              I am all astonishment.

              From Netherfield! Oh, Jane! Well, what does it say?

              - It is from Miss Bingley. - Oh, well, that is a good sign, too.

              Give it to me.

              "My dear friend!"

              There now!

              "Dine with Louisa and me today..."

              La di da, la di da, la di da, la di da...

              " the gentlemen are to dine with the officers." That's unlucky!

              Still, you must go and make what you can of it. "Yours ever, Caroline Bingley." Very elegant hand!

              - May I have the carriage, father? - The carriage! No, indeed.

              You must go on horseback, for it looks like rain.

              - Then you will have to stay the night. - Mother!

              Why do you look at me like that? Would you go there without seeing Mr Bingley?

              No, indeed.

              You will go on Nellie. That will do very well indeed!

              There, Lizzy. You see?

              It is all exactly as I planned.

              Now... let me see if I've got this right, Jane.

              Your mother's sister is named Mrs Philips?

              - Yes. - And Mr Philips' estate is...?

              He lives in Meryton.

              He's an attorney.

              And your mother's brother lives in London?

              Yes. In Gracechurch Street.

              In which part of London is Gracechurch Street, Jane?


              Forgive me, I...

              Fosset, get help. Miss Bennet is unwell.

              Well, my dear, if Jane should die of this fever,

              it will be comfort to know that it was all in pursuit of Mr Bingley, and under your orders.

              Oh, nonsense! People do not die of little trifling colds.

              - She will be very well taken care of. - I think I must go to Netherfield.

              No, there's no call for that!

              Jane is very well where she is. And you know there is nothing for you there.

              Go to Meryton with your sisters and meet the officers.

              Aye, there are more than enough to go around.

              I know that Jane would wish me to be with her.

              I suppose that's a hint for me to send for the carriage.

              No, father, I'd much rather walk.

              It's barely three miles to Netherfield and I'll be back for dinner.

              Walk three miles in all that dirt? You'll not be fit to be seen.

              I shall be fit to see Jane, which is all I want.

              I'm quite determined, mother.

              I know! Lydia and I will set you as far as Meryton.

              Aye, let's call on Denny early, before he is dressed. What a shock he will get!

              - Ammm! - Our life holds few distinctions, Mrs Bennet,

              but I think we may safely boast that here sit two of the silliest girls in the country.

              - 'Bye, Lizzy! - Isn't that Captain Carter? Make haste!

              - Miss Bennet. - Mr Darcy.

              I am come to enquire after my sister.

              - On foot? - As you see.

              Would you be so kind as to take me to her?

              Well, we must allow her to be an excellent walker, I suppose.

              But her appearance this morning! She really looked almost wild!

              I could hardly keep my countenance!

              Scampering about the country because her sister has a cold! Her hair, Louisa!

              Her petticoat! I hope you saw it, brother. Six inches deep in mud, I am certain!

              It escaped my notice. I thought she looked remarkably well.

              - You observed it, I'm sure, Mr Darcy. - I did.

              I'm inclined to think you wouldn't wish your sister to make such an exhibition.

              Certainly not.

              It seems to me to show an abominable sort of conceited independence.

              It shows a pleasing affection for her sister.

              Mr Darcy, has this escapade affected your admiration for her fine eyes?

              Not at all. They were brightened by the exercise.

              But "Jane" Bennet is a sweet girl!

              It's very sad she has such an unfortunate family, such low connections.

              Their uncle, she told us, is in trade, and lives in Cheapside!

              Perhaps we should call, when we are next in town.

              They'd be as agreeable, had they uncles enough to fill all Cheapside!

              With such connections they have little chance of marrying well, Bingley.

              "That" is the material point.

              Miss Bennet, how does your sister do? Is she any better?

              - I'm afraid that she is quite unwell. - Let me send for Mr Jones.

              - You must stay until she is recovered. - I would not wish to inconvenience you.

              I won't hear of anything else. I'll send to Longbourn for your clothes.

              You're very kind, sir.

              Is there any sport today, or not?

              Get in there!

              There. Shall I disgrace you, do you think?

              You look very pretty, Lizzy, as you are well aware.

              Oh, Jane.

              I'd much rather stay here with you.

              The Superior Sisters wish me miles away.

              Only your Mr Bingley is civil and attentive.

              - He's not "my" Mr Bingley. - Oh, I think he is.

              Or he very soon will be.

              I believe you will find Mr Bingley is in the drawing room, ma'am.

              Thank you.

              Mr Darcy, come and advise me. Mr Hurst carries all before him!

              - Ha! - Ooh!

              May I enquire after your sister, Miss Bennet?

              - Thank you. I believe she's a little better. - I am very glad to hear it.

              - Mr Hurst, I'm quite undone! - Should have played the deuce.

              He's undone us all, Mr Darcy!

              - Will you join us, Miss Bennet? - I thank you, no.

              You prefer reading to cards? Singular!

              Miss Bennet despises cards. She's a great reader and has no pleasure in anything else.

              I deserve neither such praise nor such censure.

              I am not a great reader and take pleasure in many things.

              And what do you do so secretly, sir?

              It's no secret. I'm writing to my sister.

              Dear Georgiana! I long to see her!

              Is she much grown since the Spring? Is she as tall as me?

              She's now about Miss Elizabeth Bennet's height, or a little taller.

              And so accomplished! Her performance at the pianoforte is exquisite!

              - Do you play, Miss Bennet? - Aye, but very ill indeed.

              All young ladies are accomplished! They sing, they draw, they dance,

              speak French and German, cover screens, and I know not what!

              Not half a dozen would satisfy me as accomplished.

              Certainly! No woman can be esteemed accomplished,

              who does not also possess a certain something in her air,

              in the manner of walking, in the tone of her voice, her address and expressions.

              And to this she must yet add something more substantial,

              in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.

              I'm no longer surprised at you knowing only six accomplished women.

              I wonder at your knowing any.

              You're severe upon your sex, Miss Bennet.

              I must speak as I find.

              Perhaps you haven't had the advantage of moving in society enough.

              There are many very accomplished young ladies amongst our acquaintance.

              Come, come! This is a fine way to play cards! You're all light!

              Look, girls! Is it not a fair prospect?

              And now the mother! Are we to be invaded by every Bennet in the country?

              It's too much to be borne!

              Mrs Bennet! Welcome! I hope you don't find Miss Bennet worse than expected.

              Indeed I do, sir! She's very ill indeed, and suffers a vast deal,

              though with the greatest patience in the world, for she has the sweetest temper.

              But she is much too ill to be moved. We must trespass a little longer on your kindness.

              But of course!

              Miss Bennet will receive every possible attention, I assure you.

              You are very good.

              Well, you have a sweet room here!

              I think you will never want to leave Netherfield.

              I'd be happy to live in the country forever. Wouldn't you, Darcy?

              You would? You don't find the society somewhat confined and unvarying?

              Confined and unvarying? Indeed it is not, sir!

              The country is a vast deal pleasanter than town, whatever you may say about it!

              Mamma, you mistake Mr Darcy's meaning.

              Do I? He seems to think the country nothing at all!

              - Mamma. - Confined, unvarying!

              I would have him know we dine with    families!

              Mamma? Have you seen Charlotte Lucas since I came away?

              Yes, she called yesterday with Sir William. What an agreeable man he is!

              "That" is my idea of good breeding.

              Those persons who fancy themselves very important, and never open their mouths,

              quite mistake the matter.

              Mr Bingley, did you not promise a ball when you were settled here?

              It will be a scandal if you don't keep your word.

              I am perfectly ready to keep my engagement. When your sister is recovered,

              you shall name the day of the ball, if you please.

              There, now, Lydia! That's a fair promise for you! That's generosity for you!

              That's what I call gentlemanly behaviour!

              Miss Eliza Bennet.

              Let me persuade you to follow my example and take a turn about the room. It's so refreshing!

              Will you not join us, Mr Darcy?

              - That would defeat the object. - What do you mean, sir?

              - What can he mean? - I think we would do better not to enquire.

              Nay, we insist on knowing your meaning, sir!

              That your figures are to best advantage when walking,

              and that I might best admire them from here.

              Shocking! Abominable reply!

              - How shall we punish him, Miss Eliza? - Nothing so easy. Tease him.

              - Laugh at him. - Laugh at Mr Darcy?


              - He is a man without fault. - Is he indeed?

              A man without fault?

              That is not possible for anyone.

              But it has been my study to avoid those weaknesses which expose ridicule.

              Such as vanity, perhaps, and pride?

              Yes, vanity is a weakness indeed.

              But pride...

              Where there is a superiority of mind, pride will always be under regulation.

              I have faults, but I hope they're not of understanding.

              My temper I cannot vouch for.

              It might be called resentful.

              My good opinion, once lost, is lost forever.

              That is a failing indeed, but I cannot laugh at it.

              I believe every disposition has a tendency to some evil.

              - Your defect is a propensity to hate everyone. - Yours is wilfully to misunderstand them.

              Some music?

              Give your parents my warmest salutations.

              Your father is most welcome to shoot with us at any time convenient.

              Thank you, sir. You are very kind.



              Drive on, Rossiter.

              How pleasant it is to have one's house to oneself again!

              But I fear Mr Darcy is mourning the loss of Miss Eliza Bennet's pert opinions and fine eyes.

              Quite the contrary, I assure you.

              Oh, Jane!

              I'm sorry to say it, but notwithstanding your excellent Mr Bingley,

              I've never been so happy to leave a place in my life!

             I hope, my dear,  you have ordered a good dinner today,

            because I have reason to expect an addition to our family party.

            Mr Bingley!

            Why, Jane, you sly thing, you never dropped a word!

            And no fish to be got!

            Lydia, my love, ring the bell. I must speak to Hill!

            It is not Mr Bingley. It is a person I never saw in the whole course of my life.

            - Colonel Forster! - Captain Carter!

            No, I know. Denny!

            About a month ago, I received this letter.

            About a fortnight ago, I answered it, for it was a case of some delicacy, requiring early attention.

            It is from my cousin, Mr Collins,

            who, when I am dead, may turn you all out of this house as soon as he pleases.

            Oh, my dear, pray don't mention that odious man!

            It is the hardest thing in the world, that your estate should be entailed away from your children.

            Indeed, my dear, nothing can clear Mr Collins of the iniquitous crime of inheriting Longbourn,

            but if you'll listen to his letter, you may be softened by how he expresses himself.

            "My dear sir, the disagreement subsisting between yourself and my late honoured father"

            always gave me much uneasiness, and since I have had the misfortune to lose him..."

            " lose him, I have frequently wished to heal the breach."

            There, Mrs Bennet. "My mind, however, is now made up on the subject..."

             ... for, having received my ordination  at Easter, I've been fortunate to be distinguished

             by the patronage of the Right Honourable  Lady Catherine de Bourgh,

             whose bounty and beneficience has preferred  me to the valuable rectory at Hunsford,

             where it's my endeavour to demean myself  with grateful respect towards her Ladyship.

             As a clergyman, moreover, I feel it my duty  to promote and establish

             the blessing of peace in all families  within the reach of my influence,

             and on these grounds I flatter myself that my  overtures of goodwill are highly commendable,

             and will not lead you to reject  the offered olive branch.

             I am, sir, keenly conscious of being the means  of injuring your amiable daughters,

             and assure you of my readiness to  make them every possible amends.

             I propose myself the satisfaction of waiting  on you and your family on Monday the   th...

            Have care, Dawkins!

             ... and shall probably trespass on your hospitality  till the Saturday sevenight following.

             I shall travel as far as the turnpike  in my own modest equipage,

             where I hope to catch the Bromley Post  at    minutes past ten,

             and thence to Watford, from whence  I shall engage a hired carriage to Longbourn.

             Where, God willing, you may expect me  by four in the afternoon.

            And here he comes.

            He must be an oddity, don't you think?

            If he's disposed to make our girls any amends, I shan't be the person to discourage him.

            - Can he be a sensible man, sir? - I think not, my dear.

            Indeed, I have great hopes of finding him quite the reverse.

            Mr Collins!

            You are very welcome!

            My dear Mr and Mrs Bennet!

            You seem very...

            ...fortunate in your patroness, sir.

            Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

            Indeed I am, sir. I have been treated with such affability, such condescension,

            as I would never have dared to hope for.

            I have been invited twice to dine at Rosings Park.

            That so? Amazing.

            Does she live near you, sir?

            The garden, in which stands my humble abode, is separated only by a lane from Rosings Park.

            Only a lane, eh? Fancy that, Lizzy.

            I think you said she was a widow, sir? Has she any family?

            She has one daughter, ma'am. The heiress of Rosings, and of very extensive property.

            And has she been presented at court?

            She is unfortunately of a sickly constitution which unhappily prevents her being in town.

            And by that means, as I told Lady Catherine myself one day,

            she has deprived the British Court of its brightest ornament.

            You may imagine, sir, how happy I am on every occasion to offer those little delicate compliments,

            which are always acceptable to ladies.

            That is fortunate for you, that you possess such an extraordinary talent for flattering with delicacy.

            May I ask whether these pleasing attentions proceed from the impulse of the moment,

            or are they the result of previous study?

            They arise chiefly from what is passing at the time, sir.

             I do sometimes amuse myself by writing down and arranging such little compliments

              as may be adapted to ordinary occasions.

              But I try to give them as unstudied an air as possible.



              I must confess myself quite overwhelmed with the charms of your daughters.

              Oh, you're very kind, sir. They are sweet girls, though I say it myself.

              Perhaps especially the eldest Miss Bennet?

              Ah, yes, Jane is admired wherever she goes.

              But I think I should tell you, I think it very likely she will be very soon engaged.

              - Ah. - As for my younger daughters, if any of them...

              In their case I know of no prior attachment at all.


              We're going to Meryton to see if Denny is returned from town!

              Perhaps you would care for a little exercise, Mr Collins?

              Indeed I would, Mrs Bennet.

              Cousin Elizabeth!

              Would you do me the great honour of walking with me into town?

              You visit your Aunt Philips in Meryton frequently, I understand?

              Yes, she is fond of company, but you'll find her gatherings poor affairs

              after the splendours of Rosings Park.

              No, I think not. I believe I possess the happy knack, much to be desired in a clergyman,

              of adapting myself to every kind of society, whether high or low.

              - That is fortunate indeed. - Yes, indeed, and though it is a gift of nature,

              constant study has enabled me, I flatter myself, to make a kind of art of it.

              There! I'm sure that's new in since Friday. Isn't it nice? Don't you think I'd look well in it?

              - Not as well as me. Come on! - No, I shan't.

              Jane! Come here. Look at this!

              Jane, I'm determined to have this bonnet!

              Look, there's Denny!

              - Where? - There. Look!

              - Who's with him? - Don't know.

              - He's handsome! - He might be if he were in regimentals.

              - A man looks nothing without regimentals! - They're looking over.

              Lizzy, isn't he mightily good-looking?

              - Denny! - Lydia!

              We thought you were still in town!

              There was nothing amusing enough to hold us there. May I introduce my friend George Wickham?

              Miss Bennet, Miss Elizabeth Bennet, Miss Mary Bennet,

              Miss Catherine Bennet and Miss Lydia Bennet.

              This is our cousin, Mr Collins.

              Do you stay long in Meryton, Mr Wickham?

              All winter, I'm happy to say. I've taken a commission in Colonel Forster's regiment.

              There, Lydia! He will be dressed in regimentals.

              And lend them much distinction, I dare say. Outswagger us all, eh, Wickham?

              You misrepresent me to these young ladies.

              - Shall you come with us to Aunt Philips tonight? - Denny is coming!

              It's only supper and cards.

              - I haven't been invited by Mr and Mrs Philips. - No one cares about that nowadays!

              If Mrs Philips extended the invitation to include me, I should be delighted.

              Look, Jane. It's Mr Bingley!

              How very fortunate! We were on our way to Longbourn to ask after your health.

              You're very kind, sir. I'm quite recovered, as you see.

              Yes. I'm very glad to know it.

              - Look, there's Denny! - And Chamberlayne.

              Such a variety of social intercourse.

              What a charming apartment you have here, Mrs Philips.

              Upon my word, it reminds me greatly of the small summer breakfast room at Rosings!

              Does it indeed, sir? I'm much obliged to you, I'm sure.

              I'm sure Mr Collins wishes to pay a compliment, Aunt.

              Does he? I see.

              Rosings Park, we must understand, is very grand indeed.

              Indeed it is!

              My dear Madam, if you thought I intended any slight

              on your excellent and very comfortable arrangements, I am mortified!

              Rosings Park is the residence of my noble patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

              Oh, now I understand.

              The chimney piece in the second drawing room alone cost     pounds!

              Now I see, there's no offence at all.

              Will you oblige me and sit down to a game of whist?

              I must confess I know little of the game, madam, but I shall be glad to improve myself.

              If my fair cousin will consent to release me?

              With all my heart, sir.

              Oh, Mr Collins!

              - What were trumps again? - Hearts, Mr Collins! Hearts.

              I must confess I thought I'd never escape your younger sisters.

              They can be very determined. Lydia especially.

              But they're pleasant girls. I find that society in Hertfordshire quite exceeds my expectations.

              I don't see Mr Bingley and his friends here.

              I think some of Mr Bingley's friends would consider it beneath their dignity.


              Have you known Mr Darcy long?

              - About a month. - I've known him all my life.

              - We played together as children. - But...

              Yes, you're surprised.

              Perhaps you noticed the cold manner of our greeting?

              I confess I did.

              Do you...

              Are you much acquainted with Mr Darcy?

              As much as I ever wish to be.

              I've spent three days in the same house with him, and I find him very disagreeable.

              I fear there are few who would share that opinion... except myself.

              But he's not at all liked in Hertfordshire. Everybody is disgusted with his pride.

              Do you know...

              - Does he intend to stay long at Netherfield? - I do not know.

              I hope his being in the neighbourhood will not affect your plans to stay.

              Thank you. But it is not for me to be driven away by Mr Darcy.

              If he wishes to avoid seeing me, he must go.

              We're not on friendly terms, but I have no reason to avoid him but one: He's done me great wrong.

              His father, the late Mr Darcy, was my Godfather, and one of the best men that ever breathed.

              My father was his steward,

              and when he died, old Mr Darcy cared for me, provided for me, loved me, I believe,

              as though I were his own son. He intended me for the church.

              And it was my dearest wish to enter into that profession.

              But after he died, and the living he'd promised me fell vacant,

              the son refused point blank to honour his father's promises.

              And so, you see, I have to make my own way in the world.

              This is quite shocking! I had not thought Mr Darcy as bad as this.

              To descend to such malicious revenge. He deserves to be publicly disgraced!

              Some day he will be, but not by me.

              Till I can forget his father, I can't defy or expose him.

              I wonder at the pride of this man. How abominable!

              You're more temperate than I'd be in your situation.

              Well, I have not the resentful temper that some men have.

              And my situation, you know, is not so bad. At present I have every cause for cheer!

              I can't bear to be idle,

              and my new profession gives me active employment.

              My fellow officers are excellent men.

              And now I find myself in a society as agreeable as any I've ever known.

              I absolutely forbid you to feel sorry for me!

              Lizzy? Lizzy, why should you feel sorry for Mr Wickham?

              Why? Because...

              Because I've not had a dance these three months together!

              Poor Mr Wickham! Well, you shall have one now.

              Mary, Mary! The Barley Mow!

              Oh, Mr Collins!

              I cannot believe it!

              Mr Darcy's respect for his father's wishes wouldn't allow him to behave in such an unChristian way.

              Lizzy, consider, how could his most intimate friends be so deceived in him?

              I could more easily imagine Mr Bingley being imposed upon,

              than to think that Mr Wickham could invent such a history!

              I believe you like Mr Wickham, Lizzy.

              I confess I "do" like him.

              I do not see how anyone could "not" like him.

              There's something very open and artless in his manner.

              He feels deeply, I believe,

              and yet has a natural merriment and energy, despite all this.

              Yes, Jane, I confess I like him very much.

              But after so short an acquaintance,

              do you think we should believe in him so implicitly?

              How could he be doubted?

              He gave me all the circumstances, Jane. Names, facts.

              And everything without ceremony.

              Let Mr Darcy contradict it! Besides, there was truth in all his looks.

              It is difficult, indeed.

              It is distressing. One does not know what to think.

              I beg your pardon, one knows "exactly" what to think!

               Oh, girls! Girls, we have all been  invited to a ball at Netherfield!

              - I love a ball! - So do I!

              This will be a compliment to you, Jane, you know.

              The invitation includes you, Mr Collins.

              But shall you accept, sir? Would it be entirely proper? Would your bishop approve?

              Your scruples do you credit, my dear cousin.

              I am of the opinion that a ball of this kind, given by a man of good character to respectable people,

              can have no evil tendency.

              And I am so far from objecting to dancing myself,

              that I shall hope to be honoured with the hands of all my fair cousins during the evening!

              And I take this opportunity of soliciting yours...

              ...Miss Elizabeth, for the first two dances!

              I dare say you'll be able to imagine the scope of the whole, Mr Wickham,

              when I tell you that the chimney piece alone, in the second drawing room,

              cost all of     pounds!

                  pounds, sir! I hazard a guess it must be a very large one?

              It is very large, indeed, sir.

              - Her Ladyship is fond of a good blaze, then? - Oh...

              Mr Collins!

              How fortunate! I must claim you for my sister Mary.

              She's found a passage in Fordyce's Sermons that she can't make out.

              - Well, I... - I believe it is of great doctrinal import, sir.

              - In that case... - You're very kind, sir.

              She's in the drawing room.

              Mr Collins' conversation is very...


              And there is plenty to be had of it, I assure you!

              - Have you made Mr Bingley's acquaintance yet? - No.

              But I'm disposed to approve of him. He has issued a general invitation to the officers for his ball,

              which has caused great joy in more than one quarter.

              - He must be a very amiable gentleman. - Oh, yes.

              He is eager to approve of everyone he meets, but he's a sensible man, with taste and judgement.

              I wonder very much how Mr Darcy could impose upon him. He cannot know what Mr Darcy is.

              Probably not. Mr Darcy can please what he chooses, if he thinks it worth his while.

              Among his equals in wealth and consequence, he can be liberal-minded,

              honourable, even agreeable.

              - I wonder you can speak of him so tolerantly. - He is not wholly bad.

              Tell me, what sort of girl is Miss Darcy?

              I wish I could call her amiable.

              As a child, she was affectionate and pleasing, and fond of me.

              I've devoted hours to her amusement, but she is grown too much like her brother. Very... proud.

              I never see her now. Since her father's death, her home has been in London.

              She is but    years old. Your sister Lydia's age.

              Lydia is   .

              I was amused by your cousin's reference to Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

              She's Mr Darcy's aunt, and her daughter Anne, who will inherit a large fortune,

              is destined to be Mr Darcy's bride.


              Poor Miss Bingley.

              Ah, you look very well, Lizzy!

              You'll never be as pretty as your sister Jane, but I will say you look very well indeed!

              Thank you, mamma.

              I hope you will pay Mr Collins every courtesy tonight, because he's been very attentive to you!

               Your gown is very unbecoming, too!

              - Then I shall ask Lizzy! - Lydia, what are you doing?

              - Go back in your room and dress yourself! - I have to ask Lizzy something!

              Lizzy, look. What do you think? Kitty says not, but I think it becomes me very well.

              - I wonder that you ask me. - You look very nice.

              Thank you.

              Don't keep Wickham to yourself. Kitty and I want to dance with him as well.

              I promise I shall not. Even if I wished to, I could not. I have to dance the first two with Mr Collins.

              Lord, yes. He's threatened to dance with us all!

              My dear Jane, how delightful to see you, and so well recovered!

              Louisa and I have been quite desolate without you, haven't we?

              - Mr Hurst? - What?

              - Oh, Mrs Bennet! - Delighted.

              - Mr Bennet. - Mrs Bennet, Mr Bennet! Quite delighted.

              - And "all" your daughters. - There's Denny!

              - And Chamberlayne! - And my cousin Mr Collins.

              May I congratulate you on your very elegant arrangements, ma'am?

              It puts me to mind greatly of... Perhaps you may have visited Rosings Park?

              Miss Bennet.

              Miss Bennet. You look quite remarkably well this evening.

              Thank you.

              I'm instructed to convey my friend Wickham's regrets that he cannot attend the ball.

              He's gone to town on a matter of urgent business,

              which probably became urgent as he wished to avoid a certain gentleman.

              Denny! I hope you're prepared to dance with us tonight!

              Forgive the intrusion. I would dance with both of your sisters at once if I could, but...

              Never mind that. Come on, Denny!


              I have so much to acquaint you with!

              Charlotte, may I present our cousin, Mr Collins? My friend, Miss Lucas.

              - How do you do, sir? - Miss Lucas.

              I'm indeed honoured to meet any friend of my fair cousins. So many agreeable young ladies!

              I'm quite enraptured!

              - Other way, Mr Collins! - Madam, a thousand apologies...

              My dear cousin, I apologize.

              - It's extraordinary! Are you sure it's true? - Charlotte, how could it be otherwise?

              Every circumstance confirms it. And Mr Darcy has boasted to me himself of his resentful...

              - Lizzy! - What?

              If you're not otherwise engaged, would you do me the honour of dancing the next with me?

              Why I... had not...

              I thank you. Yes.

              Why couldn't I think of an excuse? Hateful man! I promised myself I'd never dance with him.

              He pays you a great compliment in singling you out, Lizzy.

              Think what you are doing. You'd be a simpleton

              if you let your fancy for Wickham lead you to slight a man of ten times his consequence.

              I believe we must have "some" conversation, Mr Darcy.

              A very little will suffice.

              You should say something about the dance, perhaps.

              I might remark on the number of couples.

              - Do you talk by rule when you're dancing? - Sometimes it's best.

              Then we may enjoy the advantage of saying as little as possible.

              Do you consult your own feelings in this case, or seek to gratify mine?

              Both, I imagine.

              We are both unwilling to speak unless we expect to say something that will amaze the whole room.

              This is no striking resemblance of your own character, I'm sure.

              - Do you often walk into Meryton? - Yes, quite often.

              When you met us, we had just been forming a new acquaintance.

              Mr Wickham's happy manners enable him to make friends.

              Whether he is equally capable of keeping them, is less certain.

              He has been unlucky to lose your friendship in a way he'll suffer from all his life.

              Allow me to congratulate you, sir! Such superior dancing is rarely to be seen.

              I'm sure your fair partner is well worthy of you.

              I hope this pleasure is repeated often. Especially when a certain desirable event takes place.

              Eh, Miss Lizzy?

              - What congratulations will then flow in! - Sir, I...

              I understand! I'll not detain you longer from your bewitching partner!

              A great pleasure, sir. Capital! Capital!

              I remember hearing you once say that you hardly ever forgave.

              That your resentment once created was implacable.

              You're careful, aren't you, in allowing resentment to be created?

              I am.

              And never allow yourself to be blinded by prejudice?

              I hope not.

              May I ask to what these questions tend?

              Merely to the illustration of your character. I'm trying to make it out.

              - What is your success? - I don't get on at all.

              I hear such different accounts of you as to puzzle me exceedingly.

              I wish that you wouldn't attempt to sketch my character at the present moment.

              The performance should reflect no credit on either of us.

              If I don't take your likeness now, I may never have another opportunity!

              I would by no means suspend any pleasure of yours.

              Miss Eliza, I hear you're quite delighted with George Wickham.

              No doubt he forgot to tell you, among his other communications,

              that he was merely the son of old Wickham, the late Mr Darcy's steward!

              But, Eliza, as a friend,

              let me recommend you not to give credit to all his assertions.

              - Wickham treated Darcy in an infamous manner. - Has he? How?

              I don't remember the particulars, but I do know that Mr Darcy was not in the least to blame.

              I pity you, Eliza, for the discovery of your favourite's guilt,

              but really, considering his descent, one could not expect much better.

              His guilt and his descent appear by your account to be the same.

              You accuse him only of being the son of Mr Darcy's steward, which he informed me of himself.

              I beg your pardon.

              Excuse my interference. It was kindly meant.

              - Insolent girl! - Lizzy!

              I see nothing in her paltry attack but her own ignorance and the malice of Mr Darcy!

              Yes, but Lizzy...

              Mr Bingley said, that though he doesn't know the whole history,

              he fears that Mr Wickham is by no means a respectable young man.

              - Does he know Mr Wickham? - No.

              Well, then he just had his account from Mr Darcy.

              I don't doubt Mr Bingley's sincerity. Of course he would believe his friend.

              As to the other two gentlemen, I shall venture to think of them both as I did before.

              Shall we not have some music? I have a great desire for a song!

              Caroline, can we persuade you?

              Miss Mary Bennet.

              You've anticipated me.

              # Slumber, dear maid

              # Green Boughs will cover thee

              # Cometh breathe over thee

              # Where thou art laid

              # Slumber, dear maid...

              Lizzy! Look.

              But they haven't been introduced!

              - Can we not prevent him? - Too late.

              Mr Darcy. I have made a remarkable... I must say, an amazing discovery!

              I understand that you are the nephew of Lady Catherine de Bourgh of Rosings Park!

              Mr Darcy, I am happy to be able to inform you that her Ladyship was in the best of health...

              ...eight days ago.

              I'm glad to hear it.

              - And what is your name, sir? - My name is William Collins, Mr Darcy.

              And I have a very great honour to...

              Well. Well.

              # Green Boughs will cover thee

              # Cometh breathe over thee


              # Where thou art laid

              # My Mother bids me bind my hair

              # With bands of rosy hue

              That'll do extremely well, child. You've delighted us long enough.

              Let the other young ladies have time to exhibit.

              If I were so fortunate as to be able to sing,

              I should have great pleasure in obliging the company with an air.

              Indeed I should, for I consider music as a very innocent diversion,

              and perfectly compatible with the profession of a clergyman!

              Mr Collins is such a sensible, respectable young man.

              He's taken quite a fancy to Lizzy, and I don't think he could find a better wife.

              He favoured Jane at first, but Bingley was there before him. Now "there" will be a great marriage!

              And, of course, that will throw the girls into the path of other rich men!




              Lord! Denny, fetch me a glass of wine. I can scarce draw breath, I'm so fagged!

              And Chamberlayne and Denny again! Lydia only danced with him twice!

              - I thought Mary sang very ill. - Oh, yes. Poor Mary.

              - But she is determined to do it. - More fool her, I say.

              - Mr Collins trod on my frock and tore it. - Lizzy!

              Mr Collins, I'm sure there can be no objection!

              Kitty, don't leave me.

              - Lizzy, dear! - Why? It's only Mr Collins.

              Come, Kitty. I want you upstairs. Mr Collins has something to say to Lizzy!

              Dear Mamma, don't go. Mr Collins can have nothing to say that anyone could not hear.

              Lizzy. I insist that you stay where you are and hear Mr Collins!

              Come, Kitty! Come along.

              Believe me, my dear Miss Elizabeth, that your modesty adds to your other perfections.

              But you can hardly doubt the object of my discourse,

              however your feminine delicacy may lead you to dissemble.

              For, as almost as soon as I entered the house,

              I singled you out as the companion of my future life!

              But before I am run away by my feelings on this subject,

              perhaps it would be advisable for me to state my reasons for marrying.

              Mr Collins...

              My reasons for marrying are:

              First, I think it a right thing for every clergyman to set the example of matrimony in his parish.

              Secondly, that I am convinced it will add very greatly to my happiness.

              And thirdly, which perhaps I should have mentioned first,

              that it is the particular recommendation of my noble patroness Lady Catherine de Bourgh!

              "Mr Collins", she said, "you must marry".

              "Choose properly", she said. "Choose a gentlewoman for my sake,

              and for your own, let her be an active, useful sort of person, not brought up too high."

              "Find such a woman as soon as you can, bring her to Hunsford, and I will visit her!"

              And your wit and vivacity,

              I think, must be acceptable to her,

              when tempered with the silence and respect which her rank will inevitably excite.


              So much for my general intention in favour of matrimony. Now, as to my particular choice:

              My dear cousin,

              being, as I am, to inherit all this estate after the death of your father,

              I could not satisfy myself without resolving to choose a wife from among his daughters.

              And now nothing remains,

              but to assure you, in the most animated language, of the violence of my affections!

              - Mr Collins, please... - To fortune I am perfectly indifferent.

              I'm well aware that      pounds in the four per cents is all that you may be entitled to,

              but rest assured, I shall never reproach on that score when we are married!

              You are too hasty, sir!

              You forget that I've made no answer. Let me do so now. I thank you for your compliments.

              I am very sensible of the honour of your proposals, but...

     is impossible for me to accept them.

              I am by no means discouraged. Indeed not.

              I understand that young ladies often reject the addresses of the man they mean to accept,

              when he first applies for their favour, and therefore I shall hope, my dear cousin,

              to lead you to the altar before long.

              Upon my word, your hope is an extraordinary one in view of my declaration.

              I was perfectly serious in my refusal.

              You could not make me happy, and I am the last woman who could make you so.

              My dear Miss Elizabeth,

              my situation in life, my connection with the noble family of de Bourgh,

              are circumstances highly in my favour.

              Consider that it is by no means certain that another offer of marriage may be made to you.

              You cannot be serious in your rejection.

              I must attribute it to your wish of increasing my love by suspense,

              in the usual manner of elegant females.

              I assure you, sir,

              that I have no pretensions to the kind of elegance which consists in tormenting a respectable man.

              I thank you for the honour of your proposals, but to accept them is absolutely impossible.

              My feelings forbid it in every respect.

              - Can I speak plainer? - You are uniformly charming!

              And I am persuaded that when sanctioned by your excellent parents...

     proposals will not fail of being acceptable.

              Oh, Mr Bennet! You are wanted immediately.

              We are all in uproar!

              You must come and make Lizzy marry Mr Collins. She vows she won't have him,

              and if you don't make haste, Mr Collins will change his mind and won't have her!

              I have not the pleasure of understanding you. Of what are you talking?

              Of Mr Collins and Lizzy!

              Lizzy declares she will not have Mr Collins, and Mr Collins begins to say he will not have Lizzy!

              What am I to do on the occasion? It seems a hopeless business.

              Speak to Lizzy about it yourself! Tell her you insist upon her marrying him!

              Let her come in.

              Lizzy! Lizzy!

              Your father wishes to speak to you.

              Come here, my child.


              I understand Mr Collins has made you an offer of marriage.

              - Is this true? - Yes, sir.

              Very well. And this offer of marriage you have refused?

              - I have. - I see.

              Right, we now come to the point. Your mother insists on your accepting it.

              - Is it not so, Mrs Bennet? - Yes, or I will never see her again!

              An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth.

              From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents.

              Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr Collins.


              ...I will never see you again if you "do".

              Oh, Mr Bennet!

               Sit down, Miss Lizzy!  I insist upon you marrying Mr Collins!

              - Why, Charlotte, what do you do here? - I am come to see Elizabeth.

              Mr Collins has made Lizzy an offer, and what do you think? She won't have him!

              Then I am very sorry for him, though I couldn't say I'm surprised.

               If you don't,  I will never speak to you again!

              - I won't discuss the matter any longer. - Mr Collins!

              Mamma's beside herself. He says he won't stay another night.

              - I wonder, should I invite him to dine with us? - Aye, do! Do! Take him away and feed him.

              For he's been in high dudgeon all morning!

              - Oh, Mr Collins! - I am resigned.

              Resignation is never so perfect,

              as when the blessing denied begins to lose somewhat of its value in our estimation.

              Until tomorrow then, madam.

              I take my leave.

              Oh, Mr Collins!

            Lizzy! Jane!

            What do you think? Mr Collins has made an offer of marriage to Charlotte Lucas!

            She's accepted him!


            Engaged to Mr Collins?


            The fireplace in the great room at Rosings would be much larger than that.

            A fireplace of truly prodigious dimensions.

            But why should you be surprised, my dear Lizzy?

            Do you think it incredible that Mr Collins could procure any woman's good opinion,

            because he didn't succeed with you?

            Charlotte, I didn't mean...

            I "was" surprised.

            Charlotte, if Mr Collins has been so fortunate as to secure your affections,

            I'm delighted for you both.

            I see what you are feeling.

            I'm not romantic, you know.

            I never was. I ask only a comfortable home.

            And, considering Mr Collins' character and situation in life,

            I'm convinced my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most who enter the marriage state.

            My dear Charlotte!

            Cousin Elizabeth, you can see before you the happiest of men!

            Jane, it was such a humiliating spectacle!

            She knows she's marrying one of the stupidest men in England.

            I never believed her capable of that.

            Lizzy, you do not make allowances for differences of situation and temper.

            Our cousin Mr Collins is not the cleverest of men, perhaps, but he is respectable.

            He is not vicious, and as far as fortune goes, it's an eligible match.

            "Very" eligible! You wouldn't think of marrying a man like that, simply to secure your own comfort.

            No, but Lizzy, not everyone is the same.

            Dear Jane!

            I doubt that you will have to make a choice

            between marrying for love and marrying for more material considerations.

            Though you may, perhaps?

            - This came just now from Netherfield, ma'am. - Thank you.

            It's from Caroline Bingley.

            She writes...

            ...that the whole party will have left Netherfield by now, for London.

            And without any intention of coming back again.

             Charles first thought that his  business in London would only take a few days,

             but we're certain that this cannot be so.

             I am convinced that when Charles gets to town,  he will be in no hurry to leave it again.

             I do not pretend to regret anything I shall leave  in Hertfordshire, my dearest friend,

             except your society.

             Mr Darcy, of course, is impatient to see his sister.

             And to confess the truth,  I'm scarcely less eager to meet her again,

             from the hope I dare to entertain  of her being hereafter... my sister.

             Am I wrong, my dearest Jane,

             in indulging the hope of an event  which would secure the happiness of so many?

            Is it not clear enough?

            Caroline Bingley believes her brother is indifferent to me and she means to put me on my guard.

            - Can there be any other opinion on the subject? - Yes, there can!

            Miss Bingley sees that her brother is in love with you, and she wants him to marry Miss Darcy.

            She hopes to keep him in town and persuade you that he does not care about you.

            Indeed, Jane, you ought to believe me.

            No one who has seen you and Bingley together can doubt his affection.

            I cannot believe Caroline is capable of wilful deceit.

            All I can hope for is that she is deceived herself.

            Believe her to be deceived, by all means,

            but she can hardly convince a man so much in love that he's in love with someone else instead!

            If Bingley is not back by your side and dining at Longbourn within two weeks,

            I shall be very much surprised.

            I don't envy Charlotte in the slightest! Fancy marrying a clergyman!

            - He'll read from Fordyce's sermons every night. - Before they go to bed!

            Look at that hideous cloth! It would do very well for Mary.

            Look! There's Denny and Carter.

            - And Wickham! - I suppose you'll keep him all to yourself again?

            - Of course. She's violently in love with him! - For heaven's sake, lower your voice.

            Good afternoon to you, Ladies!

            How fortunate! We were going to Longbourn in search of you.

            We came into town in search of you!

            We hoped we would see you at the Netherfield ball.

            I was very sorry to lose the pleasure of dancing with you.

            But fate, it would seem...

             No. With you I must be entirely open. I decided that it would be wrong for me to be there.

              I found that I had better not meet with Mr Darcy.

              Scenes might arise unpleasant to more than myself.

              I understand and admire your forbearance.

              Not that it would give me a moment's concern to see Mr Darcy publicly set down,

              but in Mr Bingley's house... It would grieve me to see him embarrassed and discomfited.

              And through him, your sister.


              - I hear Mr Collins is engaged to be married. - Yes, to my good friend Charlotte Lucas.

              I had thought that his intentions tended in another direction.

              Perhaps they did, but they took a little turn, to everybody's satisfaction.

              And relief.

              I hope that you will stay and take tea with us.

              I should like to introduce you to my mother and father.

              Thank you.


              Oh, young George Wickham is such a charming young man, is he not, my dear?

              What? Oh, indeed he is.

              It was very good of him to entertain us so eloquently with stories about his misfortunes.

              With such narratives to hand, who would read novels?

              But I believe he has been treated contemptibly by Mr Darcy, father.

              I dare say he has. Though Darcy may be no more of a black-hearted villain

              than your average rich man, used to his own way.

              It behoves us all to take very careful thought

              before pronouncing an adverse judgement on any of our fellow men.


              I feel very sorry for poor Mr Wickham.

              And so becoming in his regimentals!

              I remember the time when I liked a red coat myself well enough.

              And I do still in my heart.

              And there's no need to smile like that, Miss Lizzy!

              Though Mr Wickham has taken a fancy to you, I'm sure you've done nothing to deserve it,

              after your dealings with Mr Collins! Well, it is all in vain, it will all come to nothing!

              The poor young man! If only he had five or six thousand a year,

              I'd be happy to see him marry any of the girls!

              But nothing turns out the way it should.

              And now Mr Bingley, of whom we all had such expectations, is gone off forever!


              I've heard again from Caroline Bingley.

              It's now definite that they will stay in town for the whole winter.

              I cannot believe it.

              It is true.

              Come now, Jane, take comfort.

              Next to being married, a girl likes to be crossed in love now and then.

              When is it your turn, Lizzy? You can't be long outdone by Jane,

              when here are officers enough in Meryton to disappoint all the young ladies in the country.

              Let Wickham be your man. He's a pleasant fellow. He would jilt you creditably.

              Thank you, sir, but a less agreeable man would do. We must not all expect Jane's good fortune.

              True, but it is a comfort to think... that whatever of that kind may befall you,

              you have an affectionate mother who will always make the most of it.

              I don't know what will become of us all, indeed I do not!

              And I cannot bear to think of Charlotte Lucas being mistress of this house!

              That I should be forced to make way for her, and see her take my place!

              My dear, don't give way to such gloomy thoughts. Let us hope for better things.

              Let us flatter ourselves that I might outlive you.

              You mustn't be anxious for me, Lizzy.

              He will be forgot,

              and we shall all be as we were before.

              But, I may remember him as...

              ...the most amiable man of my acquaintance.

              That is all.

              I have nothing either to hope or fear...

              ...and nothing to reproach him with. At least I have not had that pain.

              My dear Jane.

              You're too good. Your sweetness and disinterestedness are truly angelic.

              - Don't tease me, Lizzy. - Indeed I do "not" tease you.

              There are few people whom I really love, and even fewer of whom I think well.

              The more I see of the world, the more I am dissatisfied with it.

              Jane, what if you were to go to town?

              Aunt and Uncle Gardiner would gladly take you with them to Gracechurch Street after Christmas.

              - Why would you have me go to London, Lizzy? - No reason.

              A change of scene and society?

              Why are you so late?

              I'm sure I feared your coach had overset itself, or you had been attacked by robbers!

              Nonsense, we made good time. How do you do, Fanny?

              Very ill, Edward. No one knows what I suffer with my nerves.

              - But then I never complain. - That's the best way, Fanny. You're very good.

              - Have you brought us some presents? - I see you've not changed, Lydia.

              - Why, have I not grown? - Aye, in everything but good sense.


              Get yourselves in, get yourselves in, for you have barely time for a change of clothes!

              We are bidden to the Philips' this evening. I have no desire to be going here and there at night.

              I should much rather sit at home and rest my poor nerves.

              # God rest ye merry gentlemen, Let nothing you dismay,

              # Remember Christ our Saviour Was born on Christmas Day,

              # To save us all from Satan's pow'r...

              Aye, poor Jane. I would not have you think I blame poor Jane at all!

              Who could blame poor Jane for the matter? She is the dearest girl in the world!

              I was telling our dear sister, Mrs Gardiner, she did her best.

              - She would have got Bingley if she could. - She did her best, and no one could do more.

              But, oh, sister, when I think about Lizzy!

              - It must be very hard, sister. - It "is" very hard.

              - She could have been Mr Collins' wife by now! - That would have given you such comfort!

              Oh, those Lucases are such artful people indeed. They are all for what they can get!

              However, your coming just at this time is the greatest of comforts.

              And we are very pleased to hear what you tell us about the latest fashions for long sleeves.

              May I present Mr Wickham to you, Aunt?

              I understand you come from Derbyshire, Mr Wickham.

              - Indeed I do, ma'am. Do you know the country? - Very well.

              I spent some of the happiest years of my life at Lambton.

              Not five miles from where I grew up, at Pemberley!

              Pemberley! Surely it is the most handsome house in Derbyshire, and consequently in the world!

              I see you take my view of things, ma'am.

              - Are you acquainted with the family? - No.

              I had the good fortune to be the protégé of old Mr Darcy.

              He was the very best of men. I wish you'd known him.

              And a four on yours, and I'm out! Lord, I've won again!

              Let's have some dancing now. I long for a dance!


              Mary, play Grimstock.

              Capital! Capital!

              - Fine girls, are they not, Mr Gardiner? - Indeed they are, Sir William.

              - The two eldest in particular, perhaps? - Indeed, indeed.

              They would grace the court of St. James itself! But let's not forget the younger Miss Bennets!

              Aye, they have arms and legs enough between them,

              and are three of the silliest girls in England.

              When do you go into Kent?

              We shall spend the wedding night at Lucas Lodge, and then travel to Hunsford on Friday.

              You will write to me, Lizzy? I believe I am not likely to leave Kent for some time.

              - I shall depend on hearing from you very often. - That you certainly shall.

              My father and Maria are to come to me in March. Lizzy, will you promise to be one of the party?

              - You will be as welcome as either of them. - Then how could I refuse?

              But I'll only come if you guarantee me a glimpse of the famous chimney piece at Rosings Park!

              That you could scarcely avoid, even if you wished to!


              Have you asked her? Is she to come to Hunsford with us?

              - Yes. - Good!

              I shan't be half so frightened of Lady Catherine if you are with us, Lizzy!

              Who is that girl dancing with Mr Wickham?

              Her name is Mary King. She's come to stay with her uncle in Meryton.

              - She's not very pretty, is she? - Beauty is not the only virtue, Maria.

              She's just inherited a fortune of       pounds, I understand.

              Now that is a definite virtue!

              It is very hard. And I feel sorry for Lizzy, because she's done little to deserve it.

              For Wickham to pursue Miss King all the way to Barnet, just for her       pounds!

              I wish someone would die and leave me       pounds.

              - Then all the officers would love me! - I'm sure they would, Kitty dear.

              - Did you think her pretty, mamma? - No indeed, she has nothing to any of you.

              A little short freckled thing! Poor Wickham. How he must be suffering.

               January the   th.

               My dearest Lizzy, here we continue at  Gracechurch Street to be quiet and comfortable.

               Aunt and Uncle could not be kinder  or more attentive.

               All I lack here, dear Lizzy, is you,  to make me laugh at myself.

               Three weeks ago, when our Aunt was going to  that part of town,

               I took the opportunity of calling on Miss Bingley  in Grosvenor Street.

               I was very eager to see Caroline again.  And I thought she was glad to see me,

               though a little out of spirits. She reproached me  for giving her no notice of my coming to London,

               and I thought it very strange  that both my letters should have gone astray.

              Very strange indeed.

               My visit was not long, as Caroline  and Mrs Hurst were going out.

              Goodbye, Miss Bennet.

               They promised to call at Gracechurch Street  in a day or two.

               I waited at home every morning for three weeks,

               and at length, today she came.

               I know, my dear Lizzy, you will be incapable  of triumphing at my expense,

               when I confess I have been entirely deceived  in Miss Bingley's regard for me.

               She made it very evident  that she took no pleasure in seeing me.

               When I asked after her brother, she made it clear  that he knows of my being in town,

               but is much engaged at present  with Mr Darcy and his sister.

               I must conclude then,

               that Mr Bingley now no longer cares for me.

              Lizzy! Come quick! Denny and Carter are here.

              And guess who else? Wickham!

              I heard you were going into Kent. I felt I could not let you go without calling to see you once.

              I'm very glad you did. I've missed our conversations.

              I hear I am to congratulate you on your forthcoming betrothal to Miss King?

              You must despise me.

              Indeed I do not! I understand, as my younger sisters are not yet able to,

              that handsome young men must have something to live on, as well as the plain ones.

              Miss Bennet...

              ...I would wish you to believe me that... had circumstances been different...

              Had old Mr Darcy never had a son.

              Oh, yes.

              But life is full of these trials, as my sister Mary reminds us daily.

              I sincerely wish you every happiness in the world.

              - You are very forbearing. - I flatter myself I am!

              I think Jane would be quite proud of me.

              I hope you and I, at least, will always be good friends.

              I'm sure we shall, Mr Wickham.

              Well, Lizzy, on pleasure bent again.

              Never a thought of what your poor parents will suffer in your absence?

              It is a pleasure I could well forego, father, as I think you know.

              But I shall be happy to see Charlotte.

              What of your cousin Mr Collins and the famous Lady Catherine de Bourgh?

              As a connoisseur of human folly, I thought you impatient to be savouring these delights.

              Of some delights, I believe, sir, a little goes a long way.

              Yes. Well, think of me, Lizzy.

              Until you or your sister Jane return, I shall not hear two words of sense spoken together.

              You'll be very much missed, my dear.

              Very well, very well. Go along then. Get along with you.

              Aye, Maria. All that land to the left of us belongs to Rosings Park.

              All of it? Oh, Lady Catherine must be very rich indeed!

              I believe so, I believe so! And she has many favours in her gift.

              Your sister has made a fortunate alliance!

              Yes, well,

              I believe the next turn takes us on to Hunsford.

              Sir William! Maria!

              Cousin Elizabeth.

              I am truly honoured to be able to welcome you to my humble abode!

              - My dear Sir! - My dear Mr Collins!

              I am deeply honoured to make a humble welcome to the Parsonage...

              - I am happy to see you, Elizabeth. - And I you.

              The staircase, I flatter myself, is eminently suitable for a clergyman in my position,

              being neither too shallow nor too steep.

              As serviceable a staircase as I've ever seen, sir. At St. James' Court...

              Though it is nothing to the staircases you will see at Rosings.

              I say staircases, because there are several, and each in its way very fine.

              And here, if you would permit me, cousin Elizabeth.

              This will be your bedchamber, while you are with us.

              And I trust you will find it comfortable and convenient.

              - Indeed it is a very pleasant room. - Observe that closet, cousin Elizabeth.

              - What do you say to that? - Well...

              Is it not the very essence of practicality and convenience?

              Lady Catherine de Bourgh herself was kind enough to suggest that these shelves be fitted.

              Shelves in the closet... Happy thought indeed.

              She is kindness itself. Nothing is too small to be beneath her notice, is it not, my dear?

              - She is a very attentive neighbour. - We dine at Rosings Park twice every week!

              - And are never allowed to walk home. - That is generosity itself, is it not, Maria?

              Her ladyship's carriage is regularly ordered for us.

              I should say one of her ladyship's carriages, for she has several.

              And now, Sir William, you were kind enough to express a wish to see my gardens.

              Mr Collins tends the gardens himself, and spends a good part of every day in them.

              - The exercise must be beneficial. - Oh, yes.

              I encourage him to be in his garden as much as possible.

              - And he has to walk to Rosings nearly every day. - So often? Is that necessary?

              Perhaps not, but I confess I encourage him in that as well.

              - Walking is very beneficial exercise. - Oh, indeed it is.

              When he's in the house, he is mostly in his book room,

              which affords a good view of the road, whenever Lady Catherine's carriage should drive by.

              - And you prefer to sit in this parlour? - Yes.

              So, it often happens that a whole day passes

              in which we haven't spent more than a few minutes in each other's company.

              I see.

              I find that I can bear the solitude very cheerfully.

              I find myself...

              ...quite content with my situation, Lizzy.

              - Charlotte, come quickly! - What is it?

              Lizzy! Lizzy!

              Come into the dining room. There's such a sight to be seen! Make haste!

              Look, Lizzy, look!

              Is this all? I expected the pigs had got into the garden!

              - Here's only Lady Catherine and her daughter. - No, that's old Mrs Jenkinson.

              - With her is Miss Anne de Bourgh! - She's rude to keep Charlotte out in this wind!

              - What a little creature she is! - I like her appearance.

              She looks sickly and cross. Yes, she will do very well.

              She'll make him a proper wife.

              Who, Lizzy?

              Mark the windows.

              There are    in all.   !

              And I have it on good authority that the glazing alone originally cost in excess of     pounds!

              It's a very handsome building, and prettily situated, sir.

              And by no means lacking in windows.

              Do not make yourself uneasy, my dear cousin, about your apparel.

              Lady Catherine is far from requiring that elegance of dress, which becomes herself and her daughter.

              She won't think the worse of you for being simply dressed.

              - She likes to preserve the distinction of rank. - Thank you, Mr Collins, that is a great comfort.

              An apothecary will serve your needs quite adequately.

              Make sure it be no one but Nicholson, Mrs Collins.

              I shall be extremely angry if I hear you have gone elsewhere.

              - I have no intention to, Lady Catherine. - No indeed. No intention at all.


              Your friend appears to be quite a genteel pretty sort of girl, Mrs Collins.

              Her father's estate is entailed on Mr Collins, I understand.

              Yes, ma'am, and I am, believe me...

              Do you have brothers and sisters, Miss Bennet?

              - Yes, ma'am, I am the second of five sisters. - Are any of your younger sisters out?

              - Yes, ma'am, all of them. - All?

              What? All five out at once?

              The younger ones out before the older are married?

              Your youngest sisters must be very young?

              Yes, ma'am, my youngest is not sixteen.


              She is full young to be out much in company.

              But really, ma'am, I think it would be hard upon younger sisters,

              that they not have their share of society and amusement,

              simply because their elder sisters have not the means or inclination to marry early.

              Sir William, wouldn't you agree?

              - Well... - Upon my word!

              You give your opinion very decidedly for so young a person!

              Pray, what is your age?

              With three younger sisters grown up, your ladyship can hardly expect me to own it.

              Miss Bennet, you cannot be more than twenty, I am sure.

              Therefore there is no need to conceal your age!

              I am not one and twenty.

              Mrs Collins, did I tell you of Lady Metcalf's calling on me yesterday

              to thank me for sending her Miss Pope? "Lady Catherine", said she,

              "you have given me a treasure." Yes!


              It is beautiful.

              I could grow almost as fond of these woods and hills as you have.


              We have been here three weeks, and already we have dined at Rosings Park six times!

              - I would never have expected it to be so many! - No, nor I.

              My dear!

              Maria! Cousin Elizabeth!

              Mr Darcy is arrived at Rosings!

              And with him his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam! The younger son of the Earl of Matlock!

              They have vouchsafed us the greatest honour. They are coming to call upon us!

              - When, my dear? - Even now, Mrs Collins!

              They're hard upon my heels! Make haste!

              This must be due to you. Mr Darcy wouldn't come so soon to wait upon me.

              You're mistaken, for he dislikes me as much as I do him.

              Make haste! Make haste!

              - Delighted to make your acquaintance at last! - At last, sir?

              I've heard much of you, and the praise hasn't been exaggerated.

              I can well believe that. Mr Darcy is my severest critic.

              I hope we shall see you frequently at Rosings.

              - I'm fond of lively conversation. - This you do not find at Rosings Park?

              My aunt does talk a great deal, but seldom requires a response.

              My friend speaks hardly a word when he comes into Kent, though he's lively in other places.

              Nobody plays, nobody sings.

              - I believe you play and sing? - A little, and very ill.

              - I wouldn't wish to excite your anticipation. - I'm sure you're too modest.

              Any relief would be profoundly welcome.

              Can you tell me why Mr Darcy keeps staring at me? What do you think offends him?

              - I hope your family is in good health. - I thank you, yes.

              My sister has been in town these three months. Have you not seen her?


              No, I have not had that pleasure.

              - Mr Darcy and I are not the best of friends. - I'm surprised.

              Why should you be? I always believe in first impressions,

              and his good opinion once lost, is lost forever.

              So you see, it is a hopeless case, is it not, Colonel Fitzwilliam?

              You will never play really well, Miss Bennet, unless you practise more.

              You may come to Rosings as often as you like,

              and play on the pianoforte in Mrs Jenkinson's room.

              She would be in nobody's way in that part of the house.

              Thank you, ma'am.

              There are few people in England, I suppose, who have more true enjoyment in music than myself.

              Or a better taste.

              And if I had ever learnt, I should be a true proficient.

              And so would Anne.

              Do you mean to frighten me, Mr Darcy, by coming in all this state to hear me?

              I won't be alarmed.

              My courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me.

              I know you find great enjoyment in professing opinions which are not your own.

              Your cousin would teach you not to believe a word I say, Colonel Fitzwilliam.

              - That is ungenerous of him, is it not? - It is indeed, Darcy!

              Impolitic too, for it provokes me to retaliate

              and say somewhat of his behaviour in Hertfordshire, which may shock his relations.

              - I'm not afraid of you. - What can you accuse him of?

              I should like to know how he behaves among strangers!

              The first time I ever saw Mr Darcy was at a ball, where he danced only four dances,

              though gentlemen were scarce, and more than one lady was in want of a partner.

              - I'm sorry, but so it was. - I can well believe it!

              I fear I am ill qualified to recommend myself to strangers.

              Shall we ask him why?

              Why a man of sense and education, who has lived in the world,

              should be ill qualified to recommend himself to strangers?


              I have not that talent which some possess, of conversing easily with strangers.

              I do not play this instrument so well as I should wish to,

              but I have supposed that to be my own fault, because I would not take the trouble of practising!

              You are perfectly right. You have employed your time much better.

              No one privileged of hearing you could think anything wanting.

              We neither of us perform to strangers.

              What are you talking of? What are you telling Miss Bennet?

              I must have my share in the conversation!

               As for the daughter, she is a pale sickly  creature with little conversation and no talent.

               I'm sorry to be hard on any of our sex, but...

               Mr Darcy shows no inclination for her, and treats  her with the same indifference he shows everyone,

               but Lady Catherine is determined  to have him for a son-in-law,

               and she is not a woman to be gainsaid.

              Mr Darcy.

              Mrs Collins and Maria are just now gone into Hunsford village with my cousin.

              You find me all alone this morning, Mr Darcy.

              I beg your pardon. I would not wish to intrude upon your privacy.

              I was just writing a letter to my sister Jane in London.

              Mr Bingley and his sisters were well, I hope, when you left London?

              Perfectly so, I thank you.

              I understand Mr Bingley has not much idea for ever returning to Netherfield?

              It is probable that he may spend little time there in the future.

              If so, it would be better for the neighbourhood that he give up the place.

              I should not be surprised if he were to give it up, as soon as any eligible purchase offers.

              This seems a very comfortable house.

              Lady Catherine, I believe, did much to it when Mr Collins came.

              I believe she did. And she couldn't have bestowed her kindness on a more grateful recipient.

              Mr Collins appears extremely fortunate in his choice of wife.

              Yes, indeed he is. Though seen in a prudential light, it is a good match for her as well.

              It must be agreeable to her to live within easy distance of her family.

              Easy distance? It's nearly fifty miles!

              What is fifty miles of good road? Yes, an easy distance.

              Near and far are relative terms. It is possible for a woman to be settled too near her family.

              Yes, exactly.

              You would not wish to be always near Longbourn, I think.

              I shall trespass on your time no longer. Please convey my regards to Mrs Collins and her sister.

              No, no, please don't trouble yourself.

              - Miss Bennet! - Colonel Fitzwilliam.

              I've been making the yearly tour of the Park. Shall we take this way together?

              With pleasure.

              - Do you know Mr Bingley and his sisters? - A little.

              Bingley is a pleasant, gentleman-like man. He's a great friend of Darcy's.

              Yes. Mr Darcy is uncommonly kind to Mr Bingley, and takes a prodigious deal of care of him.

              Yes, I believe Darcy does take care of him.

              I... I understand that he congratulates himself

              on having saved Mr Bingley the inconvenience of a most imprudent marriage.

              Did Mr Darcy give his reasons for this interference?

              I understand there were some very strong objections to the lady.

              And why was he to be the judge?

              You're disposed to think his interference officious?

              I don't see what right Mr Darcy had to determine and direct in what way his friend was to be happy.

              But, as you say, we know none of the particulars.

              - Perhaps there was not much affection. - Perhaps not.

              But if that were the case, it lessens the honour of my cousin's triumph very sadly, don't you think?

              - Miss Bennet, are you unwell? - A sudden headache.

              Perhaps I have walked too far today.

              Let us take the shorter way back.

              You're sure? I would willingly stay at home with you, and brave all Lady Catherine's displeasure.

              My dear Charlotte, I beg you to consider...

              I shall be quite all right. It's only a headache. It will pass, and more speedily in quiet and solitude.

              I am quite sure, when all the circumstances are explained to Lady Catherine,

              she will not be angry, for she has indeed such Christian generosity of spirit...

              - My dear, the time! - My dear! Why did you not say before?

              I cannot begin to count the occasions

              on which her ladyship has impressed upon me the importance of punctuality...

              Forgive me. I hope you are feeling better.

              I am, thank you.

              Will you not sit down?

              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.

              In declaring myself thus I'm aware that I will be going expressly against the wishes of my family,

              my friends, and, I hardly need add, my own better judgement.

              The relative situation of our families makes any alliance between us a reprehensible connection.

              As a rational man I cannot but regard it as such myself, but it cannot be helped.

              Almost from the earliest moments, I have come to feel for you...

              ...a passionate admiration and regard,

              which despite my struggles, has overcome every rational objection.

              I beg you, most fervently, to relieve my suffering and consent to be my wife.

              In such cases as these, I believe the established mode is to express a sense of obligation.

              But I cannot.

              I have never desired your good opinion, and you have certainly bestowed it most unwillingly.

              I'm sorry to cause pain to anyone, but it was unconsciously done,

              and I hope will be of short duration.

              And this is all the reply I am to expect?

              I might wonder why, with so little effort at civility, I am rejected.

              I might wonder why, with so evident a desire to offend me,

              you chose to tell me that you like me against your will, your reason, and even against your character!

              Was this not some excuse for incivility if I was uncivil?

              I have every reason in the world to think ill of you.

              What could tempt me to accept the man who has ruined the happiness of a most beloved sister?

              Can you deny that you have done it?

              I have no wish to deny it.

              I did everything in my power to separate my friend from your sister and I rejoice in my success.

              Towards him I have been kinder than towards myself.

              It's not merely that on which my dislike of you is founded.

              Long before, my dislike was decided when I heard Mr Wickham's story of your dealings with him.

              - How can you defend yourself on that subject? - Such interest in that gentleman's concerns!

              Who that knows of his misfortunes, can help feeling an interest?

              His misfortunes! Yes, his misfortunes have been great indeed!

              And of your infliction! You have reduced him to his present state of poverty,

              and yet you can treat his misfortunes with contempt and ridicule!

              And this is your opinion of me?

              My faults by this calculation are heavy indeed.

              Perhaps these offences might have been overlooked, had not your pride been hurt

              by the confession of the scruples which long prevented my forming serious design on you.

              Had I concealed my struggles and flattered you.

              But disguise of every sort is my abhorrence.

              Nor am I ashamed of the feelings I related. They were natural.

              Did you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections?

              To congratulate myself on the hope of relations whose condition in life is so below my own?

              You are mistaken, Mr Darcy.

              Your declaration merely spared me any concern for refusing you, had you been more gentleman-like.

              You could not make me the offer of your hand in any way that would tempt me to accept it.

              From the beginning, your manners convinced me

              of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain for the feelings of others.

              Within a month, I felt you were the last man whom I could ever marry!

              You've said quite enough, madam.

              I perfectly comprehend your feelings...

              ...and now have only to be ashamed of what my own have been.

              Please forgive me for having taken up your time...

              ...and accept my best wishes for your health and happiness.

             You are the last man  whom I could ever marry!

             Do you think any consideration would  tempt me? Your arrogance, your conceit,

             and your selfish disdain for the feelings  of others!

             My opinion of you was decided when I heard  Mr Wickham's story of your dealings with him.

            Well at least in that I may defend myself.

             Could you expect me to rejoice  in the inferiority of your connections?

             To congratulate myself on the hope of relations  whose conditions in life is so below my own?

             You are mistaken, Mr Darcy.

             Your declaration merely spared me  the concern I might have felt in refusing you,

             had you behaved in a more  gentleman-like manner.

            Who's there, Fitzwilliam?

            - Darcy! We'd quite despaired of you! - Is that my nephew?

            Where have you been? Let him come in and explain himself!

            No. You will forgive me.

            - You'll forgive me. - Darcy, you are unwell?

            I'm very well, thank you, but I have a pressing matter of business. You'll forgive me.

            Make my apologies to Lady Catherine, Fitzwilliam.

             To Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

             Be not alarmed, madam, on receiving this letter,

             that it contains any repetition  of those sentiments or offers

             which were this evening so disgusting to you.

             But I must be allowed to defend myself  against the charges laid at my door.

             In particular those relating to Mr Wickham,

             which if true, would indeed be grievous,  but are wholly without foundation,

             and which I can only refute by laying before you  his connection with my family.

             Mr Wickham is the son of a very respectable  man, who had the management of our estates.

             My own father was fond of him  and held him in high esteem.

             We played together as boys.

             After his father's early death, my father  supported him at school and at Cambridge,

             and hoped he would make the church  his profession.

             But by then George Wickham's habits were  as dissolute as his manners were engaging.

             My own excellent father died five years ago.

             His attachment to Mr Wickham  was to the last so steady,

             that he desired that a valuable family living  might be his as soon as it was vacant.

             Mr Wickham declined any interest in the church  as a career,

             but requested, and was granted,  the sum of      pounds instead of the living.

             He expressed an intention of studying the law.  I wished, rather than believed him to be sincere.

            Thank you.

            I'm most exceedingly obliged.

             All connection between us  seemed now dissolved.


             Being now free from all restraint,

             his life was one of idleness and dissipation.

             How he lived, I know not.

             But last summer our paths crossed again,  under the most painful circumstances,

             which I myself would wish to forget.

             My sister, Georgiana,  who is more than ten years my junior,

             was left to the guardianship  of Colonel Fitzwilliam and myself.

             About a year ago, she was taken from school  to Ramsgate,

             and placed in the care of a Mrs Younge, in whose  character we were most unhappily deceived.

             And thither also went Mr Wickham,  undoubtedly by design.

             She was persuaded to believe herself in love,  and to consent to an elopement.

             She was then but fifteen years old.

             A day or two before the intended elopement,  I joined them unexpectedly.

             Unable to support the idea of grieving a brother  whom she looked up to almost as a father,

             she acknowledged the whole plan to me  at once.

             You may imagine what I felt and how I acted.

             Mr Wickham left the place immediately.


               Mr Wickham relinquished his object, which was  of course, my sister's fortune of      .

               A secondary motive must have been  to revenge himself on me.

               Had he succeeded, his revenge would have  been complete indeed.

               This, madam, is a faithful narrative  of all my dealings with Mr Wickham.

              You do look pale, Lizzy. Why don't you have some breakfast?

              - I'm sure it will do you good. - I am well, Charlotte.

              I've stayed indoors too long. Fresh air and exercise is all I need.

              The woods around Rosings are so beautiful at this time of year.

              Miss Bennet!

              Mr Darcy.

              I've been walking the grove some time in the hope of meeting you.

              Will you do me the honour of reading this letter?

               This, madam, is a faithful narrative  of my dealings with Mr Wickham,

               and for its truth I can appeal to the testimony  of Colonel Fitzwilliam,

               who knows every particular of these transactions.

               I know not under what form of falsehood  Mr Wickham imposed himself on you,

               but I hope you'll acquit me  of cruelty towards him.

              I found that I'd better not meet Mr Darcy. Scenes might arise, unpleasant to more than myself.

               The other charge levelled at me, is that  regardless of the sentiments of either party,

               I detached Mr Bingley from your sister.

               I have no wish to deny this, nor can I blame  myself for any of my actions in this matter.

               I had not long been in Hertfordshire  before I saw that Bingley admired your sister,

               but it was not until the dance at Netherfield  that I suspected a serious attachment.

               His partiality was clear, but though she received  his attentions with pleasure,

               I did not detect any symptoms  of peculiar regard.

               The serenity of her countenance convinced me  that her heart was not likely to be easily touched.

              Insufferable presumption!

               I did not wish to believe her to be indifferent.  I believed it on impartial conviction.

              Very impartial!

              You've missed the two gentlemen! They came to take their leave!

              Mr Darcy came here?

              He went away directly, but the Colonel waited for you over half an hour! Now they are gone abroad!

              I dare say we shall be able to bear the deprivation.

               As to my objections to the marriage, the  situation of your family, though objectionable,

               was nothing in comparison with the total want of  propriety so frequently betrayed by your mother,

               your younger sisters, and even occasionally  your father.

              That will do extremely well, child. You have delighted us long enough.

              Now there will be a great marriage!

              And you know, that will throw the girls into the paths of other rich men!

               My friend left Netherfield for London  on the following day.

               There I pointed out to him the certain evils of  his choice of your sister as a prospective bride.

               It was not difficult to convince him  of your sister's indifference to him.

               I cannot blame myself for having done thus much.

              For destroying all her hope of happiness? Yes, I'm sure you do not blame yourself. Hateful man!

               There is but one part of my conduct in the affair  on which I do not reflect with satisfaction.

              Astonish me!

               That I concealed from him  your sister's being in town.

               Perhaps this concealment was beneath me.

               It was done, however, for the best.

               On this subject I have nothing more to say,  and no other apology to offer.


              - Lizzy! - Charlotte, we will be late!


              I have endeavoured to count the times Lady Catherine has invited us since your arrival.

              I believe it may be as many as ten invitations!

              - Eleven, counting this one! - Eleven!

              There! You have indeed been favoured with peculiar condescension.

              - Do you not agree, Miss Elizabeth? - Oh... yes!

              How could anybody think otherwise?

              And this is your last invitation, on this visit, at least.

              It is truly a very cruel deprivation. I hardly know how I'll bear the loss of her ladyship's company!

              You feel it keenly!

              Yes, of course you do, my poor young cousin.

              They were such fine young men, and so particularly attached to me!

              They were excessively sorry to go, but so they always are!

              The dear Colonel rallied his spirits tolerably,

              but Darcy seemed to feel it most acutely.

              His attachment to Rosings certainly increases.

              You are very dull this evening, Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

              You have scarce spoke two words together. Are you so out of spirits?

              - No indeed, madam. - Of course you are, to be going away yourself.

              Who indeed would not be sad to be deprived of Rosings, and indeed of the gracious...

              You will write to your mother and say you wish to stay longer.

              - Surely she could spare you for another fortnight. - But my father cannot.

              He wrote to hurry my return.

              Your ladyship is very kind, but I believe we must leave as planned on Friday.

              Your father may spare you if your mother can.

              Daughters are never of much consequence to a father.

              And if you will stay another month complete,

              it will be in my power to take you as far as London myself, in the Barouche box!

              For I cannot bear the idea of two young women travelling post by themselves.

              It is highly improper!

              I am excessively attentive to all those things.

              My uncle is to send a servant for us when we change to the post.

              Your uncle! He keeps a manservant, does he?

              I'm very glad you have somebody who thinks of these things. Where will you change horses?

              - At Brom... - Bromley, of course.

              Mention my name at the Bell and they will attend you.

              Your ladyship is very kind.

              Indeed, we are all infinitely indebted to your ladyship's kindly bestowed solicitude...

              Yes, yes, but this is all extremely vexing!

              I'm quite put out.

              What are you doing? I thought the trunks went outside before breakfast.

              Lady Catherine was so severe about the only right way to place gowns, that I couldn't sleep,

              and I'm determined to start afresh!

              Maria, this is "your" trunk and "your" gowns.

              You may arrange them in any way you wish. Lady Catherine will never know!

              My dear sister, you'll have much to tell your father...

              Bring that one round here.

              Well, cousin...

     have seen for yourself now the happiness of our situation.

              Our intimacy at Rosings is a blessing of which few could boast!

              - Indeed they could not. - Indeed.

              Now you have seen our felicity. Perhaps you may think your friend has made a fortunate alliance.

              Perhaps more so than...

              - But on this point it will be as well to be silent. - You are very good.

              Only let me assure you that I can, from my heart, most cordially wish you equal felicity in marriage.

              Charlotte and I have but one mind and one way of thinking.

              We seem to have been designed for each other!

              Oh, Lizzy! It seems but a day or two since we first came!

              - And yet how many things have happened! - A great many, indeed.

              We have dined nine times at Rosings!

              Oh, how much I shall have to tell!

              How much I shall have to conceal.

              You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.



              To see your faces when you looked up!

              - You didn't expect we'd come to meet you. - No, we did not.

              There! Is not this nice? Cold ham, and pork, and salads, and every good thing!

              We mean to treat you, but you must lend us money, we spent ours. Look!

              - It's not pretty, but I thought I'd buy it anyway. - It's vile, isn't it?

              - Very ugly. What possessed you to buy it? - There were two or three much uglier!

              I shall pull it to pieces and see if I can make it up any better.

              It doesn't signify what anyone wears, for the regiment will be at Brighton the whole summer!

              - Our hearts are broken! - And papa refuses to take us to Brighton.

              - I'm glad to hear it. - Shouldn't you like to go to Brighton?

              - I should not. - She would.

              She would love it, when she hears the news about a certain person we know!

              - Shall we tell her? - Yes, and see if she blushes!

              - You may go. We'll call if you're needed again. - Very good, miss.

              Wickham is not to marry Mary King after all!

              She's been taken away to Liverpool and Wickham is safe!

              Perhaps we should say Mary King is safe.

              Was there a very strong attraction between them, do you think?

              Not on his side! I shouldn't think he cared three straws about her.

              Who could about such a nasty freckled little thing?

              Don't look at me like that, Lizzy. You think just as ill of her! Pass the celery, Kitty.

              Glad we came to meet you? It'll be merry on the journey home.

              - Kitty, you're squashing my bandbox! - You should have put it on the roof!

              - If you don't lollop about there is room. - I don't lollop, "you" do!

              Mr Darcy proposed! I can scarce believe it!

              Not that anyone admiring you should be astonishing.

              But he always seemed so severe, so cold, apparently.

              And yet he was in love with you all the time! Poor Mr Darcy.

              I cannot feel so much compassion for him.

              He has other feelings which will soon drive away any regard he felt for me.

              - You do not blame me for refusing him? - Blame you? Oh, no.

              But you do blame me for speaking so warmly of Wickham?

              No. How could you have known about his vicious character? If indeed he was so very bad.

              But I cannot believe Mr Darcy would fabricate such dreadful slander,

              involving his own sister too.

              No, it must be true.

              - Perhaps there has been some terrible mistake. - No, Jane. That won't do!

              You can't make them both good!

              There is just enough merit between them to make one good sort of man.

              And for my part I'm inclined to believe it's all Mr Darcy's.

              Poor Mr Darcy.

              Poor Mr Wickham! There is such an expression of goodness in his countenance.

              Yes. I'm afraid one has all the goodness, and the other all the appearance of it!

              But Lizzy, I am sure that when you first read that letter,

              you could not have made so light of it as you do now.

              Indeed I could not.

              I was very uncomfortable. Till that moment I never knew myself.

              And I had no Jane to comfort me.

              Oh, how I wanted you!

              There is one point on which I want your advice.

              Should our general acquaintance be informed of Wickham's true character?

              Surely there can be no occasion to expose him so cruelly.

              - What is your opinion? - That it oughtn't be attempted.

              Mr Darcy has not authorised me to make it public, especially as regards his sister.

              As for the rest, who would believe it?

              The general prejudice against Mr Darcy is so violent, and Wickham will soon be gone.

              - I believe we should say nothing at present. - Yes, I agree.

              Perhaps he is sorry now for what he has done, and is anxious to re-establish his character.

              We must not make him desperate.

              Oh, Jane! I wish I could think so well of people as you do.

              Won't you speak to papa, Lizzy, about our going to Brighton? You know he listens to your advice.

              You flatter me, Lydia. In any case, I shouldn't attempt to persuade him.

              I think it's a very good thing that the regiment is removed from Meryton,

              and that we are removed from the regiment.

              - Oh, Lizzy, how can you say such a thing? - Very easily, ma'am.

              If one company causes such havoc in our family, what would a whole campful of soldiers do?

              - A whole campful of soldiers! - I remember when I was a girl.

              I cried for two days when Colonel Miller's regiment went away.

              - I thought I should have broke my heart! - I shall break mine.

              And I!

              There, there, my dears. But your father is determined to be cruel.

              I confess I am.

              I'm sorry to be breaking hearts, but I have no intention of yielding.

              I shall not break my heart, papa.

              The pleasures of Brighton would have no charms for me. I should infinitely prefer a book.

              - Mrs Forster says she plans to go sea-bathing. - I am sure I should love to go sea-bathing!

              - A little sea-bathing would set me up forever! - And yet, I am unmoved.

              Well, well.

              I'm glad you are come back, Lizzy. I'm glad you are come back, Jane.

              I want to go to Brighton!

              You are not happy, Jane.

              - It pains me to see it. - It is just that I did...

              I'm afraid I still do prefer Mr Bingley to any other man I've met,

              and Lizzy, I did believe he...

              Well, I was mistaken, that is all.

              I am resolved to think of him no more.

              There. Enough.

              I shall be myself again, as if I had never set eyes on him.

              Truly, Lizzy, I promise. I shall be well.

              I shall be myself again. I shall be perfectly content.

              Well, Lizzy, what do you think now about this sad business of Jane's?

              I cannot find out that she saw anything of Bingley in London.


              An undeserving young man! And I don't suppose there's any chance of her getting him now.

              - If he should come back to Netherfield, though. - I think there's little chance of that, mamma.

              Oh, well. Just as he chooses.

              No one wants him to come!

              I shall always say he used my daughter extremely ill! If I was her, I would not have put up with it.

              My comfort is, she will die of a broken heart, and "then" he'll be sorry for what he's done!

              So, the Collinses live quite comfortable, do they?

              I only hope it will last.

              And I suppose they talk about having this house too when your father is dead?

              They look on it as quite their own, I dare say?

              They could hardly discuss such a subject in front of me.

              I make no doubt they talk about it constantly when they're alone!

              If they can be easy with an estate that is not lawfully their own, so much the better!

              I should be ashamed of having one that was only entailed upon me!

              Mamma, mamma! Lizzy!

              Guess what! You never will, so I'll tell you.

              Mrs Forster has invited me, as her particular friend, to go with her to Brighton.

              - Colonel Forster is to take a house for us! - I'm so happy!

              - What an honour, to be singled out! - Is it not unfair, Lizzy?

              Mrs Forster should have asked me as well.

              I may not be her dearest friend, but have as much right to be asked!

              And more too, for I am two years older!

              I'll buy her a present, I dare say. There's no call to be in a miff because Mrs Forster likes me best.

              Before you crow too loud, remember papa has not given you permission to go. Nor is he like to.

              Papa won't stop me. Not when I'm invited by the Colonel to be his wife's particular companion!

              I need new clothes, for I've nothing fit to wear, and there will be balls and parties!

              Of course you shall have new things! We wouldn't see you disgraced in front of all the officers!

              Oo! All the officers!

              I understand your concern, my dear, but consider:

              Lydia will never be easy until she has exposed herself in some public place,

              and here is an opportunity for her to do so, with very little expense or inconvenience to her family.

              If you were aware of the very great disadvantage to us all,

              which has already arisen from Lydia's unguarded and imprudent manner, you'd judge differently.

              Already arisen? Has she frightened away some of your lovers?

              Don't be cast down, Lizzy. Such squeamish youths are not worth your regret.

              - Oh come, Lizzy. - Indeed you are mistaken.

              I have no injuries to resent. I speak of general, not particular evils.

              Our... position as a family, our very respectability, is called into question by Lydia's wild behaviour.

              I must speak plainly. If you do not check her, she will soon be beyond the reach of amendment.

              She will become the most determined flirt that ever made herself and her family ridiculous!

              You know that Kitty follows wherever Lydia leads.

              Don't you see that they will be censured and despised wherever they are known?

              And that they will involve their sisters in their disgrace.

              Lizzy, come here.

              Don't make yourself uneasy, my love.

              Wherever you and Jane are known, you must be respected and valued.

              And you will not appear to any less advantage for having a couple or...

              ...I may say, three very silly sisters.

              We shall have no peace at Longbourn if Lydia does not go to Brighton.

              Colonel Forster is a sensible man.

              And luckily she's too poor to be an object of prey to a fortune hunter.

              Leave it now, Lizzy. I believe all will turn out well.

              We are so desolated, Colonel, that the regiment is to leave Meryton,

              but words cannot express what we feel about your kindness to our dear Lydia.

              Well, ma'am, it appears that Mrs Forster cannot do without her.

              Look at the pair of them. Thick as thieves! Lord knows what they find to talk about.

              But anything to keep the ladies happy. What do you say, Wickham?

              I say amen to that, sir.

              There's one lady I shall be very loath to part from.

              We must try to bear it. You are for Brighton, I'll be touring the Lakes with my aunt and uncle.

              I dare say we'll find ample sources of consolation and delight... in our different ways.

              Perhaps. How did you find Rosings?

              Interesting. Colonel Fitzwilliam was there with Mr Darcy. Are you acquainted with the Colonel?


              To some respects, yes, in former years. A very gentlemanly man.

              - How did you like him? - I liked him very much.

              His manners are very different from his cousin's.


              But I think Mr Darcy improves on closer acquaintance.


              In what respect?

              Has he acquired a touch of civility in his address? For I dare not hope he is improved in essentials.

              No. In essentials, I believe he is very much... as he ever was.


              I don't mean to imply that either his mind or his manners are changed for the better.

              Rather: My knowing him better improved my opinion of him.

              I see.

              Wickham. Wickham.

              - Come here. - At your service, ma'am!

              Yes, go, go.

              I would not wish you back again.

              - Goodbye, papa. Goodbye, mamma. - Lydia, my dear, we shall miss you most cruelly!

              I shall write every day of what I'm doing and make you wild with envy.

              - I can't help it! - I shall not envy her a jot!

              I must go. Goodbye, Jane. Goodbye, Lizzy!

              If I see any eligible beaux for you, I'll send word express!

              Lord, what a laugh if I should fall and break my head!

              I wish you would!

              Oh, my dear girl. Take every opportunity of enjoying yourself!

              Bye! Bye!

              Never mind, Kitty. I dare say, in a year or two you'll have got over it tolerably well.

              If anyone should ask for me, I shall be in my library, and not to be disturbed.

              Hello! I can see, I can see Alicia. Look how she has grown!

              You must be so tired.

              You have all grown! I think you've all grown since we last said goodbye!

              And very pretty too! Come into the house, then.

              Such a sweet, steady girl!

              Well, Lizzy!

              We bear you bad tidings. Not too grievous though, I hope.

              The guilt is mine. My business won't allow me time away to visit all the Lake country.

              We shall have to content ourselves with Derbyshire.


              But Derbyshire has many beauties, has it not?

              Indeed. To me Derbyshire is the best of all counties.

              You will judge for yourself whether Chatsworth is not the equal of Blenheim.

              And surely these southern counties have nothing to compare to the wild

               and untamed beauty of the Peaks.

              Nature and culture in harmony, you see, Lizzy.

              Wildness and artifice, and all in the one perfect county!

              I was born here, so I should never disagree with that!


              At Lambton, a town of no consequence, but to those fortunate enough to have lived in it.

              I think it the dearest place in the world!

              Then I shall not be happy till I have seen it.

              It has one further claim on your interest: It is but five miles from Pemberley,

              and owes much of its prosperity to that great estate.

              So near?

              Not that I or anyone of my acquaintance enjoyed the privilege of intimacy with that family.

              We moved in very different circles.

              A hit! Acknowledged. Very good, sir!

              - Enough, sir? - Enough. Thank you, Baines.

              - Will you come again tomorrow, sir? - No, I have business in the North.

              - I'll come tomorrow week. - Very good, sir. Bid you good day, sir.

              Thank you, Baines. Good day.

              I shall conquer this. I shall!

              Elizabeth, be careful!

              How could I face your father if you took a fall?


              - Thank you, Hannah. - You're welcome, sir.

              I should be quite happy to stay my whole life in Derbyshire!

              I'm happy to hear it. What do you say to visiting Pemberley tomorrow?

              - It's not more than a mile or two out of our way. - Do you especially wish to see it, aunt?

              I thought "you" would, having heard so much about it.

              The associations are not all unpleasant. Wickham passed all his youth there, you know.

              We have no business there.

              I should feel awkward to visit the place without a proper invitation.

              No more than Blenheim or Chatsworth. There was no awkwardness there.

              I shouldn't care for it myself, Lizzy, if it were merely a fine house, richly furnished.

              But the grounds are delightful. They have some of the finest woods in the country.

              - How far is Pemberley, my dear? - Not more than five miles, sir.

              - The grounds are very fine, are they not? - As fine as you'll see anywhere, ma'am.

              My oldest brother is an under-gardener there.

              - Is the family here for the summer? - No, ma'am.


              Perhaps we might visit Pemberley after all.

              I think we've seen woods and groves enough to satisfy even your enthusiasm for them, Lizzy!

              I confess I had no idea Pemberley was such a great estate.

              - Shall we reach the house itself before dark? - Be patient. Wait.


              Stop the coach!

              I think one would put up with a good deal to be mistress of Pemberley.

              The mistress of Pemberley "will" have to put up with a good deal, from what I hear.

              She's not likely to be anyone "we" know.

              - How do you like the house, Lizzy? - Very well.

              I don't think I've ever seen a place so happily situated.

              I like it very well indeed.

              Drive on!

              A pity then, its owner should be such a proud and disagreeable man.

              Yes, a great pity.

              Perhaps the beauty of the house renders its owner a little less repulsive, Lizzy?

              Yes, perhaps.

              Perhaps a "very" little.

              Well, shall we apply to the housekeeper to see inside the place?

              That's where Mrs Darcy used to write her letters every morning. It was her favourite room.

              This is the music room.

              - Charming! - What a lovely room!


              And there's a fine prospect from that window down towards the lake.

              - Look at this, my dear. - It's quite magnificent!

              Of all this I might have been mistress.

              This piano has just come down. It's a present from my master for Miss Georgiana.

              - Your master is from home, we understand. - Yes, but we expect him here tomorrow, sir.

              He is coming with a large party of friends and Miss Georgiana.

              This portrait was painted earlier this year, for her sixteenth birthday.

              She is a very handsome young lady!

              Oh, yes! The handsomest young lady that ever was seen.

              And so accomplished. She plays and sings all day long!


              Look at this picture.

              It reminds me very much of someone we know!

              This one, ma'am?

              That young gentleman was the son of the late Mr Darcy's steward, Mr Wickham.

              He is gone into the army now. But he's turned out very wild. Very wild indeed, I'm afraid.

              And that's my master. And very like him too.

              It's a handsome face, but I've never seen the original. Is it like him, Lizzy?

              - Does this young lady know the master? - Yes, a little.

              And he is a handsome gentleman, is he not, ma'am?

              - Yes, very handsome. - I'm sure I know none so handsome.

              - Nor so kind. - Indeed?

              Aye, sir. I've never had a cross word from him, and I've known him since he was four years old.

              I've observed that they that are good-natured as children, are good-natured when they grow up.

              - His father was an excellent man. - He was, ma'am. His son will be just like him.

              The best landlord, and the best master. Ask any of his tenants or his servants.

              Some call him proud. I fancy that's only because he don't rattle away, like other young men do.

              Now if you will follow me, there's a finer, larger portrait of him in the gallery upstairs.

              This way, sir, if you please.

              This fine account of Darcy is not quite consistent with his behaviour to poor Wickham.

              - Perhaps we might have been deceived there. - That's not likely, is it?




              - Would you not like to ride him, sir? - No, take him back to the stables.

              Mr Darcy.

              Miss Bennet. I...

              I did not expect to see you, sir. We understood the family were from home, or we should never have...

              I returned a day early. Excuse me, your parents are in good health?

              Yes, they are very well. I thank you, sir.

              I'm glad to hear it.

              How long have you been in this part of the country?

              But two days, sir.

              - Where are you staying? - Lambton Inn.

              Yes, of course.

              Well, I'm just arrived myself.

              And your parents are in good health? And all your sisters?

              Yes, they are all in excellent health, sir.

              Excuse me.

              - The man himself, I presume! - As handsome as in his portrait.

              - Though perhaps a little less formally attired. - We must leave here at once!

              - Of course, if you wish. - Oh, I wish we'd never come!

              - What must he think of me? - What did he say?

              Nothing of consequence. He enquired after my parents...

              Miss Bennet.

              Allow me to apologise for not receiving you properly. Were you leaving?

              - We were, sir. I think we must. - I hope you are not displeased with Pemberley?

              No, not at all.

              - Then you approve of it? - Very much. I think there are few who would not.

              Your good opinion is rarely bestowed, and therefore more worth the earning.

              Thank you.

              - Would you introduce me to your friends? - Certainly.

              Mr and Mrs Edward Gardiner, Mr Darcy. Mrs Gardiner is my aunt, Mr Darcy.

              My sister Jane stayed at their house in Cheapside when she was in London.

              Delighted to make your acquaintance, madam, sir. You're staying at Lambton, I hear.

              Yes, sir. I grew up there as a girl.

              Delightful village. I ran to Lambton as a boy almost every day in the horse-chestnut season.

              - There was one very fine tree there. - On the green, by the smithy!

              - Mr Gardiner, do you care for fishing? - Indeed I do, when I get the chance.

              You must fish in my trout stream. There are carp, tench and pike in the lake, for coarse fishing.

              I'll gladly provide you with rods and tackle, show you the best spots. Let's walk down now.

              Follow us to the lake. My man will show you.

              There's a place down there where we...

              Is this the proud Darcy you told us of? He is all ease and friendliness. No false dignity at all!

              I'm as astonished as you are. I can't imagine what has affected this transformation.

              Can you not?

              - Do you... - I...

              Pray continue.

              I was going to say again, sir, how very unexpected your arrival was.

              If we had known you were to be here, we should not have dreamt of invading your privacy.

              The housekeeper assured us you would not be here until tomorrow.

              Do not make yourself uneasy. I had planned it so myself,

              but I found I had business with my steward. I rode on ahead of the rest of the party.

              They will join me tomorrow.

              And among them are those who claim an acquaintance with you.

              It's Mr Bingley and his sisters.


              There is the other person in the party who more particularly wishes to know you.

              Will you allow me to...

              Do I ask too much to introduce my sister to you, during your stay at Lambton?

              I should be very happy to make her acquaintance.

              Thank you.

              Thank you.

              I hope we shall meet again very soon.

              Good day, Mr Gardiner. Mrs Gardiner.

              Good day, Miss Bennet.

            If you please, ma'am!

            There are two gentlemen and a lady waiting upon you in the parlour. One of them is Mr Darcy.

            Thank you. Tell them I shall come directly.

            Mr Darcy.

            - I hope that you have not been waiting long. - Not at all.

            May I introduce my sister Georgiana?

            Georgiana, this is Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

            - How do you do? - I'm very pleased to meet you, Miss Darcy.

            - I've heard so much about you. - And I about you.

            Mr Bingley is here with us, and very desirous to see you as well. He insisted on accompanying us.

            - May I summon him? - Of course! I should like to see him very much.

            I understand that you are fond of music, and play very well.

            Oh, no. Not play "very" well.

            I mean, but I am very fond of music. I should dearly love to hear you play and sing.

            My brother has told me he has rarely heard anything that gave him more pleasure.

            Well, you shall. But I warn you, your brother has grossly exaggerated my talents.

            - No doubt for some mischievous reason. - Oh, no. That could not be so.

            My brother never exaggerates. He always tells the absolute truth.

            Except that sometimes I think he is a little too kind to me.

            - An ideal elder brother, then. - Yes! I couldn't imagine a better or a kinder one.

            You make me feel quite envious. I have no brothers at all. Only four sisters.

            I should have liked to have a sister.

            Miss Bennet!

            I was so delighted when Darcy told me you were not five miles from Pemberley!

            How do you do?

            - I see you are well. - Very well, thank you.

            - Good, good, excellent! And your family? - Very well, sir.


            Pray, tell me. Are "all" your sisters still at Longbourn?

            All except one. My youngest sister is at Brighton.


            It seems too long...

   "is" too long, since I had the pleasure of speaking to you.

            - It must be several months. - It is above eight months at least.

            We have not met since the   th of November, when we were dancing together at Netherfield.

            I think you must be right.

            I don't think I can remember a happier time than those short months I spent in Hertfordshire.

            Miss Bennet, my sister has a request to make of you.

            Miss Bennet, my brother and I would be honoured

            if you and your aunt and uncle would be our guests at Pemberley for dinner.

            - Would tomorrow evening be convenient? - Thank you, we shall be delighted.

            I can answer for Mr and Mrs Gardiner. We have no fixed engagements.

            - And shall we hear you play? - If you insist upon it, yes, you shall.

            Absolutely marvellous!

            Will you not play again? You played that song so beautifully.

            Not very beautifully, not faithfully at all.

            You must have seen how I fudged and slurred my way through the difficult passages.

            - It's a beautiful instrument, though. - My brother gave it to me.

            - He is so good. I don't deserve it. - I am sure you do.

            Your brother thinks you do, and as you know, he is never wrong.

            Now, it's your turn. Oh, I absolutely insist!

            In front of all these people? I will play, but please don't make me sing.

            If you like.

            Pray, Miss Eliza, are the Militia still quartered at Meryton?

            No, they are encamped at Brighton for the summer.

            - That must be a great loss for your family. - We're enduring it as best we can, Miss Bingley.

            I should have thought "one" gentleman's absence might have caused particular pangs.

            I can't imagine who you mean.

            I understood that certain ladies found the society of Mr Wickham curiously agreeable.

             I'm so sorry. I'm neglecting you. How can you play with no one to turn the pages.

              There, allow me.

              How very ill Eliza Bennet looked this evening!

              I've never seen anyone so much altered as she is since the winter.

              - Quite so, my dear. - She is grown so brown and coarse.

              Louisa and I were agreeing that we should hardly know her. What do you say, Mr Darcy?

              I noticed no great difference.

              She is, I suppose, a little tanned. Hardly surprising when one travels in the summer.

              For my part, I must confess, I never saw any beauty in her face.

              Her features are not at all handsome. Her complexion has no brilliancy.

              Her teeth are tolerable, I suppose,

              but nothing out of the common way.

              And as for her eyes, which I have sometimes heard called fine,

              I could never perceive anything extraordinary in them.

              And in her air there is a self-sufficiency without fashion, which I find intolerable.

              I think...

              When we first knew her in Hertfordshire, how amazed we all were to find her a reputed beauty!

              I particularly recall you, Mr Darcy, one night after they had been dining at Netherfield,

              saying: "She a beauty? I should as soon call her mother a wit!"

              But afterwards she seemed to improve on you.

              I even believe you thought her rather pretty at one time.

              Yes, I did. That was only when I first knew her.

              For many months now I have considered her one of the handsomest women of my acquaintance.

              No, no, the green one.

              Yes, that will do.

              Good. No, never mind that.

              - If you please, ma'am. The post's just come. - Thank you, Hannah.

              A good girl, that. Very obliging.

              Two letters from Jane. At last! I had been wondering why we hadn't...

              This one was misdirected at first. No wonder, for she wrote the direction very ill, indeed!

              Would you be angry if I beg you to postpone our outing?

              Not at all! Of course you want to read your letters.

              We will walk to the church and call back in an hour.

              Thank you, you're very kind!

               My dearest Lizzy, I hope your journey  has been as delightful as you anticipated.

               We all miss you.  Our father most of all, I believe.

               I have hardly had time to write. My nephews  and nieces have taken almost every moment!

               But they are such dear children.

               Our mother indeed finds their exuberance  a little trying for her nerves.


               She spends much of the day above stairs  in her room, or with Mrs Philips.

               Dearest Lizzy,

               since writing the above, something has occurred  of a most unexpected and serious nature.

               But I'm afraid of alarming you.  Be assured we are all well.

               What I have to say relates to poor Lydia.


               An express came at twelve last night,  just as we were all gone to bed.

              Mr Bennet, what is it? Are we to be murdered in our beds?

               The letter was from Colonel Forster,

               to inform us that Lydia was gone off  to Scotland with one of his officers.

               To own the truth... with Wickham.

              Oh, Lydia!

              Oh, Mr Bennet, we are all ruined!

               You will imagine our surprise and shock.

               To Kitty, however, it does not seem  so wholly unexpected.

               I am very, very sorry.  So imprudent a match on both sides!

               But I'm willing to hope the best, and that  his character has been misunderstood.

              I wish I could believe it.

               His choice is disinterested at least. He must  know that our father can give him nothing.

              Yes, that is true.

              But how could he do this?

              She is silly enough for anything.

              But Wickham to love Lydia? Marry Lydia?

              There is one lady I shall be very loath to part from.

               We expect them soon returned from Gretna,  man and wife.

               I must conclude.  I cannot be away from our poor mother long.

               I shall write again as soon as I have news.

               My dearest Lizzy, I hardly know what to write,  but I have bad news!

               Imprudent as a marriage would be,  we now fear worse:

               That it has not taken place. That Wickham  never intended to marry Lydia at all!

              Great God, I knew it!

               - I cannot think so ill of him. - I can. Poor Lydia.

              Poor stupid girl!

               Colonel Forster said he feared  that Wickham was not to be trusted.

               She was then but fifteen years old.

               They were traced as far as Clapham. Father has  gone with Colonel Forster to try to discover them.

               I cannot help but beg you all  to come here as soon as possible!

              Oh, yes! Where is my uncle?

              If you please, ma'am.

              - Miss Bennet, I hope this... - I beg your pardon. I must find Mr Gardiner.

              - On business that cannot be delayed. - Good God! What is the matter?

              Of course I will not detain you, but let me go, or let the servant go and fetch Mr and Mrs Gardiner.

              - You cannot go yourself. - I must...

              Come. I insist. This will be for the best. Hello there!

              Have Mr and Mrs Gardiner fetched here at once.

              - They walked in the direction of... ...the church.

              Yes, sir, at once.

              - You are not well. May I not call a doctor? - No. I am well. I am well.

              Is there nothing you can take for your present relief?

              A glass of wine? Can I get you one? Truly, you look very ill.

              No, I thank you. There is nothing the matter with me. I am quite well.

              I am only distressed by some dreadful news, which I have just received from Longbourn.

              - I am sorry. Forgive me. - No, no.

              I have just received a letter from Jane, with such dreadful news.

              It cannot be concealed from anyone.

              My youngest sister has left all her friends,

              has eloped,

              has thrown herself into the power...

              ...of Mr Wickham.

              They have run away together from Brighton. You know him too well to doubt the rest.

              She has no money, no connections, nothing that can tempt him.

              When I think that I might have prevented it!

              I, who knew what he was!

              Had his character been known, this could not have happened.

              But it is all too late now.

              I am grieved, indeed. Grieved, shocked.

              - But is it certain? Absolutely certain? - Oh, yes.

              They left Brighton together on Sunday night.

              They were traced as far as London, but not beyond.

              - They are certainly not gone to Scotland. - What has been attempted to recover her?

              My father has gone to London.

              And Jane writes to beg my uncle's immediate assistance.

              I hope that we shall leave within half an hour. But what can be done?

              I know that nothing can be done.

              How is such a man to be worked on?

              How are they even to be discovered?

              I have not the smallest hope.

              She is lost forever, and our whole family must partake of her ruin and disgrace.

              I'm afraid you have long been desiring my absence.

              This unfortunate affair will, I fear,

              prevent my sister from having the pleasure of seeing you at Pemberley today.

              Oh, yes.

              Be so kind as to apologise for us to Miss Darcy.

              Say that urgent business calls us home immediately.

              And if you would be so kind... as to conceal the unhappy truth as long as possible.

              I know that it cannot be long.

              You may be assured of my secrecy.

              But I have stayed too long. I shall leave you now.

              Yes. Thank you.


              I shall never see him again.

              Even if what you say of Wickham is true, I still cannot believe this of Lydia.

              Ever since the militia came to Meryton, there's been nothing but love and officers in her head.

              We must not assume the worst. It may yet be that this is all a misunderstanding.

              Or just a passing folly that her friends can hush up and will in time be quite forgotten.

              - It is possible, Lizzy! - Indeed it is.

              Why would any young man form a design against a girl who is not unprotected or friendless,

              and who is staying in the Colonel's family?

              Look at it in any way you like. The temptation is not worth the risk.

              Not perhaps of risking his own interest.

              But I do believe him capable of risking everything else!

              You are very quiet this evening, Mr Darcy.

              I hope you're not pining for the loss of Miss Eliza Bennet.


              Excuse me.

              There she is! Mamma, mamma! Did you bring us anything?

              - Lizzy! I am so glad to see you. - Has anything been heard?

              Not yet, but now that our uncle has come, I hope all will be well. Father left for town on Tuesday,

              and we've only heard that he has arrived in safety.

              Mamma has been asking for you every five minutes.

              - How is she? - She has not yet left her room.

              And you look pale. Oh, Jane, how much you must have gone through!

              I am so happy to see you, Lizzy. Come.


              Oh, Lizzy!

              Oh, brother!

              We are all ruined forever!

              If only Mr Bennet had taken us all to Brighton, none of this would have happened!

              I blame those Forsters! I am sure there was some great neglect on their part,

              for she is not the kind of girl to do that sort of thing, if she had been properly looked after!

              - Mamma. - And now here is Mr Bennet gone away.

              I know he will fight Wickham, and then he will be killed, and then what is to become of us all?

              Those Collinses will turn us out before he is cold in his grave!

              And if you are not kind to us, brother, I don't know what we shall do!

              Sister, calm down. Nothing dreadful will happen!

              I'll be in London tomorrow, and we will consult as to what is to be done.

              Yes, yes, that is it! You must find them out, and if they be not married, you must make them marry.

              Above all, keep Mr Bennet from fighting!

              - Mamma, I am sure he does not mean to fight. - Oh yes, he does!

              And Wickham will kill him for sure, unless you can prevent it, brother!

              You must tell him what a dreadful state I'm in! How I have such tremblings and flutterings.

              Such spasms in my side and pains in my head and beatings at my heart,

              that I can get no rest either night or day!

              Sister, calm yourself.

              And tell Lydia not to give any directions about wedding clothes till she's seen me,

              for she does not know which are the best warehouses!

              This is the most unfortunate affair, and will probably be much talked of.

              Yes, thank you, Mary. I think we have all apprehended that much.

              We must stem the tide of malice,

              and pour into each other's wounded bosoms the balm of sisterly consolation.

              - Mary, pass the potatoes to your aunt Gardiner. - I beg your pardon?

              Never mind. I will.

              Thank you, Kitty.

              That's the first kind word I've had from anyone since Lydia went away.

              It is most unfair, for I have not done anything naughty!

              And I don't see that Lydia has done anything dreadful either.

              - Kitty, please! - Unhappy as the event must be for Lydia,

              we must draw from it this useful lesson: That loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable.

              My dear Mary, this is hardly helpful.

              For a woman's reputation is no less brittle than it is beautiful.

              Therefore we cannot be too guarded in our behaviour

              towards the undeserving of the other sex.

              Yes... thank you, Mary.

              Now, Jane... tell me everything about it that I have not already heard.

              What did Colonel Forster say?

              Had they no apprehension about anything before the elopement took place?

              Colonel Forster did own he suspected some partiality on Lydia's side,

              but nothing to give him any alarm.

              Lizzy, I feel I am to blame.

              I urged you not to make Wickham's bad conduct known. Now poor Lydia is suffering for it.

              No one else suspected him for a moment. I am, I am to blame!

              You are not to blame! No more than I, or Mr Darcy or anyone else deceived by Wickham.

              You have nothing to blame yourself for. Others are culpable, not you.

              She wrote a note for Mrs Forster before she went away.

              "My dear Harriet, you will laugh when you know where I am gone,

              and I can't help laughing myself at your surprise tomorrow morning, as soon as I am missed."

               I'm going to Gretna Green, and if you  can't guess with who, I'll think you a simpleton,

               for there is but one man in the world I love.  Don't send them word at Longbourn of my going.

               It will make the surprise all the greater, when I  write to them and sign my name Lydia Wickham!

               What a good joke it will be.  I can scarcely write for laughing!

              Thoughtless, thoughtless Lydia! What a letter to have written at such a moment.

              But at least she believed they were to be married, whatever he might persuade her to afterwards.

              Our poor father! How he must have felt it.

              I never saw anyone so shocked.

              He couldn't speak for ten minutes. Mother was in hysterics, and the house was in confusion.

              Lady Lucas has been very kind, offering her services.

              She had better had stayed home! Assistance is impossible, and condolence insufferable.

              Let her triumph over us at a distance and be satisfied!

              That is unkind.

              - I am sure she meant well. - Yes, perhaps she did.

              I am sorry. It's just that I can't help but be...

              Oh, Jane.

              Jane, do you not see that more things have been ruined by this business than Lydia's reputation?

               I have stayed too long. I shall leave you now.

              Come in!

              I thought you would not be in bed yet.

              I have been thinking about what you said this afternoon.

              That it is not only Lydia's reputation that has been ruined.

              I was angry and upset. I should not have said it. It does no good to dwell on it.

              You meant, I suppose, that you and I,

              and Mary and Kitty, have been tainted by association.

              That our chances of making a good marriage have been materially damaged by Lydia's disgrace.

              The chances of any of us making a good marriage were never very great.

              And now I should say, they are non-existent.

              No one will solicit our society after this. Mr Darcy made that very clear to me.

              Mr Darcy?

              Does he know our troubles?

              He happened upon me a moment after I first read your letter.

              He was very kind, very gentleman-like...

              ...but he made it very clear he wanted nothing more than to be out of my sight.

              He will not be renewing his addresses to me.

              He'll make very sure his friend doesn't renew his to you.

              I never expected Mr Bingley would renew his addresses. I am quite reconciled to that.

              Surely you do not desire Mr Darcy's attentions, do you?

              No, no. I never sought them.

              But you do think he was intending to renew them?

              - You think he is still in love with you? - I don't know.

              I don't know what he was two days ago.

              All I know is that now he, or any other respectable man, will want nothing to do with any of us.

              Lord! Look who's coming!

              - Who is it, Kitty? - Mr Collins, of course.

              I'm not going to sit with him for anyone!

              I had hoped to condole with your poor father and your mother.

              Father is still in London, and mother is not yet well enough to leave her room.

              Ah. Ah.

              I feel myself called on, not only by our relationship, but by my situation as a clergyman,

              to condole with you all on the grievous affliction you are now suffering under.

              Thank you, sir.

              It has often been said that a friend in need is a friend, indeed, sir.


              Be assured, ladies, that Mrs Collins and myself sincerely sympathise with you in your distress,

              which must be of the bitterest kind, proceeding from a cause which no time can remove.

              The death of your sister would have been a blessing in comparison.

              And it is more to be lamented, because there is reason to suppose,

              my dear Charlotte informs me,

              that this licentiousness of behaviour in your sister has proceeded from a faulty degree of indulgence,

              though I am inclined to think that her disposition must be naturally bad.

              Now, howsoever that may be, you are grievously to be pitied...

              We are very grateful, sir, for your...

     which opinion I am joined by Lady Catherine de Bourgh and her daughter,

              to whom I have related the affair in full.

              They agree with me in apprehending that this false step in one sister

              must be injurious to the fortunes of all the others.

              "For who", as Lady Catherine herself condescendingly says,

              "will connect themselves with such a family?"

              Who, indeed, sir.

              Now, perhaps, in view of that consideration, you may feel it would be unwise to stay any longer.

              Well, perhaps you are right.

              Yes, perhaps you are right, cousin Elizabeth.

              I always feel that a clergyman cannot be too careful.

              Especially one so fortunate as to enjoy the condescension and patronage of Lady Catherine.

              Your thoughtfulness does you credit, cousin Elizabeth.

              I am very, very sorry for you all!

              - Insufferable man! - I suppose he means well.

              You suppose wrongly, Jane.

              His purpose was to enjoy our misfortunes and congratulate himself on his own happy situation!

              I think it kind of him to condole with us.

              - Is he gone? - Yes.

              - Good! - Forever, with any luck.

              Here's aunt Philips! She can tell us the news from Meryton.

              - I doubt there's much we care to hear. - Mother will be pleased.

              Well, girls, here's a to-do.

              - Does your mother still keep to her bed? - No, but she keeps to her room.

              Well, well, the less the servants hear the better, I dare say.

              Come, let me to her, Jane, though Heaven knows I have no glad tidings for her.

              Every day I hear some new bad tale of Mr Wickham!

              Oh, Mr Wickham, that everybody praised to the skies!

              Mr Wickham, that half the town was mad in love with. All the time a villain!

              A very demon from hell sent to ruin us!

              I have heard he's run up debts with every reputable tradesman in the town.

              Oh, sister!

              - I have heard tales of gaming debts! - Oh, sister!

              Of drunken routs, in which more things were broken than heads and furniture, sister!

              Oh, sister, stop!

              Debauches, intrigues, seductions!

              They say there's hardly a tradesman in the town whose daughters were not meddled with!

              Now he's meddling with our dearest girl. The foul fiend!

              He shall be discovered and "made" to marry her!

              I have to say, sister, that I always distrusted his appearance of goodness.

              Aye, sister, so did I, and warned the girls!

              - Too smooth and plausible by half! - But would anybody listen to me?

              And now we are all, all ruined!

              Oh, my poor girl. My poor, poor Lydia!

              When shall we travel into Hertfordshire, my love?

              Come away from the window, dear. When I have settled my business affairs.

              These things always take longer than one thinks they will.

              - You're not unhappy, surely? - Lord, no!

              Just that I can't wait to see my mother's face! And my sisters'. Kitty will be so envious!

              How I shall laugh!

              I hope we shall be married from Longbourn. Then all my sisters will have to be my bridesmaids.

              Oh, I do wish we could go out into the town, and be seen at plays and assemblies.

              All in good time. Be patient, dear.

              Lord, it makes me want to burst out laughing

              when I think that I have done what none of my sisters has.

              And I the youngest of them all!

              Mother! Here is a letter from my uncle Gardiner!

              - Father is coming home today! - Does he bring Lydia?

              No. He and my uncle have not yet discovered where she is.

              - My uncle will continue his enquiries alone. - Coming home without poor Lydia?

              Who will fight Wickham and make him marry her, if he comes away?

              Oh, Jane, Jane, what is to become of us?

              Oh, oh, fetch my smelling salts! I feel my faintness coming upon me again!

              Not now, Jane. Not now, Lizzy.

              Mrs Younge.

              Should I go and get father? He has had nothing to eat since he came home.

              Let me. You take mother her tea.

              Well, Jane.


              Mary, Kitty.

              You look so tired, father.

              - It must have been a dreadful time for you. - Say nothing of that.

              Who should suffer but myself? It has been my own doing, and I ought to feel it.

              Oh, papa.

              You must not be so severe upon yourself.

              Let me, for once in my life, feel how much I have been to blame.

              I am not afraid of being overpowered by the impression. It will pass away soon enough.

              - Do you still suppose them to be in London, sir? - Yes, where else can they be so well concealed?

              Lydia always wanted to go to London!

              She is happy, then. And her residence there will probably be of some duration.


              I bear you no ill-will for being justified in your advice to me in May,

              which, considering the event, shows some greatness of mind, I think.

              I must take mamma her tea.

              She still keeps her state above stairs, does she?

              Good. It lends such an elegance to our misfortune! Another time I'll do the same.

              I'll sit in my library, in my nightcap and powdering gown, and I'll give as much trouble as I can.

              Or perhaps I may defer it, till Kitty runs away.

              I'm not going to run away. If I should go to Brighton, I would behave better than Lydia.

              You go to Brighton? I wouldn't trust you as near it as East Bourne. Not for fifty pounds!

              No, Kitty, I have at last learnt to be cautious, and you will feel the effects of it.

              No officer is ever to enter my house again. Or even to pass through the village!

              Balls will be absolutely prohibited, unless you stand up with one of your sisters!

              And you are never to stir out of doors until having spent ten minutes every day in a rational manner.

              Well, well, well, don't make yourself unhappy, my dear.

              If you are a good girl for the next ten years, I'll take you to a review at the end of them.

              Oh, dearest, shall we not go out tonight?

              Can we not go to the theatre?

              - Lord! What in the world is "he" doing here? - What?

              - What a joke! - Who is it?

              - You'll never guess! - Who is it?

              Mr Darcy.

              Come in.

              Thank you, Hill.

              Hill, what is it? Is Mrs Bennet asking for us?

              No, ma'am.

              I beg your pardon, but did you know an express come for master from Mr Gardiner?

              - When did it come, Hill? - Oh, about half an hour ago, ma'am.

              - Well, Lizzy? - Papa, what news?

              - What news from my uncle? - Yes, I've had a letter from him.

              - What news does it bring? Good or bad? - What is there of good to be expected?

              Perhaps you would like to read it yourself.

              Read it aloud, Lizzy. I hardly know what to make of it myself.

              "My dear brother, at last I am able to send tidings of my niece and Mr Wickham. I have seen them..."

              It's as I hoped! They are married!

              "They are not married, nor can I find there was any intention of being so,

              but if you will perform the engagements I have ventured to make for you, they will before long."

              - What engagements? - Read on.

              "All that is required is to assure your daughter her equal share of the      pounds she will inherit,

              and also allow her, during your life,     pounds per annum."

              So little? What about Wickham's debts?

              Read on.

              "Mr Wickham's circumstances are not so hopeless as they are generally believed to be."

              - There! - Read on, Lizzy!

              "There will be some little money, even when all his debts are discharged, to settle on my niece."

              - I cannot believe it. - Read on.

              "We've judged it best that my niece should be married from this house. I hope you approve."

              Kitty will be disappointed not to be a bridesmaid.

              "Send back your answer as soon as you can, with the explicit financial settlement. Yours," etc...

              How can it be possible he will marry her for so little?

              He must not be undeserving, as we thought. He must truly be in love with her, I think.

              You think that, Jane, if it gives you comfort.

              - Have you answered the letter? - No, but I must - and soon.

              And they must marry. Yet he is such a man.

              Yes, they must marry. There's nothing else to be done.

              There are two things I want to know:

              One is, how much money your uncle laid down to bring this about;

              and the other, how am I ever to repay him?

              I wish I had never spoken of this to Mr Darcy.

              Dear Lizzy, please do not distress yourself. I'm sure Mr Darcy will respect your confidence.

              I'm sure he will. That is not what distresses me.

              - What, then? - I don't know!

              How he must be congratulating himself on his escape!

              - How he must despise me now. - You never sought his love!

              Nor welcomed it when he offered it.

              If he has withdrawn his high opinion of you, why should you care?

              I don't know!

              I can't explain it.

              I know I shall probably never see him again.

              I cannot bear to think that he is alive in the world...

              ...and thinking ill of me.

             I knew it would come out right  in the end!

            My dear, dear Lydia! She will be married.

            My good, kind brother! I knew how it would be. I knew he would manage everything!

            Oh, but the clothes! And of course she must be married from Longbourn.

            This is all nonsense about her being married from Cheapside!

            She must be married in Longbourn church, where her friends can see her.

            That is not possible. You must see that.

            I do not see that! Why should I see that? Why should that be?

            She's been living with Mr Wickham in London. If she were to arrive home unmarried still...

            I suppose it must be, if you put it like that! But it is all very vexing.

            Your uncle has been most highhanded! Why should he take so much upon him?

            Mamma, we're greatly indebted to Mr Gardiner.

            He must have laid out a great deal of money to pay off Mr Wickham's debts.

            - More than we can ever repay. - Why should he not?

            - Who else should lay out money, but her uncle? - Mother!

            Oh, well! I am so happy! A daughter married. And only just sixteen.

            "Mrs Wickham". Oh, how well that sounds!

            Oh, but the wedding clothes!

            Lizzy, go down to your father and ask how much he will give her.

             Oh, Jane, as soon as I am dressed  I shall go to Meryton and tell my sister Philips!

             Ring the bell for Hill! An airing  will do me a great deal of good, I'm sure.

             And I shall call on Lady Lucas  and Mrs Long. Oh, Jane!

            - Papa.  - Jane, it's such wonderful news!

             Oh, where is Hill?  Oh, Hill, have you heard the good news?

            Shut the door, Lizzy.

             And you shall have a bowl of punch  to make merry at...

            Someone, at least, finds pleasure in these events.

            But considering what we thought only a few hours ago, it's not "so" bad, is it?

            - Do you think my uncle paid out much money? - I do.

            Wickham's a fool if he takes her with a farthing less than       pounds.


            Heaven forbid! How is half such a sum to be repaid?

            I wish I had laid by an annual sum to bribe worthless young men to marry my daughters,

            but I have not, I confess.

            The reason was, of course, that I intended to father a son.

            The son would inherit the estate, no part of which would be entailed away,

            so providing for my widow and any other children.

            By the time we had abandoned hope of producing an heir, it seemed a little late to begin saving.

            - You could not have foreseen this, father. - I should have taken better care of you all.

            The satisfaction of prevailing upon one of the most worthless young men in Britain,

            might then have rested in its proper place.

            As it is, the thing is done with extraordinary little inconvenience to myself.

            When you take into account what I shall save on Lydia's board and pocket allowance,

            I am scarcely ten pounds a year worse off.

            I am heartily ashamed of myself, Lizzy.

            But don't despair, it will pass...

            ...and no doubt more quickly than it should.

            Where is everyone?

            Dearly beloved. We are gathered here in the sight of God.

             Mr Wickham is to resign from  the Militia and go into a northern regiment.

             Happily some of his former friends are willing  to assist him in purchasing a commission.

             I have written to Colonel Forster to request that  he will satisfy Wickham's creditors in Brighton,

             for which I've pledged myself.

            "Perhaps you will be so good as to do the same for his creditors in Meryton,

            of whom I enclose a list according to his information."

            "I hope, at least, he has not deceived us." Let us all hope so.

            "As soon as they are married, they will journey directly to join his regiment in Newcastle,

            unless they are first invited to Longbourn."

            Oh, yes, my dear Mr Bennet, of course they must come here!

            I long to see my dear Lydia! And dear Wickham, too, of course.

            But it is shocking that poor Lydia should have been sent away from Brighton.

            Such a favourite among all the officers!

            There were several young men there that she liked very much.

            They will miss her as much as she will miss them. These northern officers may not be so pleasant.

            Dear Mrs Bennet, I'm sure our youngest daughter will find friends as silly as she in Newcastle.

            She has a talent for making a spectacle of herself wherever she goes.

            If they are to leave Brighton, they should come to Hertfordshire and reside in the neighbourhood.

             Haye Park might do, if the Gouldings would quit it.

              Or the great house at Stoke, if the drawing-rooms were larger.

              - Or Purvis Lodge. - Oh, no dear, not Purvis Lodge!

              The attics are dreadful!

              Mrs Bennet, before you take any, or all of these houses, let us come to a right understanding.

              Into one house in the neighbourhood they shall "never" have admittance.

               Mr and Mrs Wickham  will never be welcome to Longbourn.

              Lord! It seems an age since we were at Longbourn. Here you all are, just the same!

              My dear, dear Lydia, at last!

              Oh, I do believe you've grown! Oh, how we have missed you.

              We've been far too merry to miss any of you!

              Here we are! Haven't I caught myself a handsome husband?

              Indeed you have, my love! You are very welcome, sir.

              You are all goodness and kindness, ma'am, as always.

              Oh, let me give you a kiss, then!

              Well, shall we go in?

              No, Jane. I take your place now.

              You must go lower, because I am a married woman!

              "Mrs Wickham"!

              Lord, how droll that sounds!

              How do you like my husband, Lizzy? I believe you envy me. Was he not a favourite of yours once?

              Not at all.

              A pity we didn't all go to Brighton. I could have got husbands for all my sisters!

              Thank you, but I don't particularly like your way of getting husbands.

              Isn't my husband a fine horseman?

              Colonel Forster said he has as good a seat as any officer in the regiment.

              I wished he could wear his red coat at the wedding, and have a guard of honour,

              but the officers could not be spared from duty.

              There was no one there but my aunt and uncle and Mr Darcy.

              Mr Darcy?

              - Mr Darcy was at your wedding? - Oh, yes. Someone had to be groomsman.

              I had much rather it had been Denny or one of our friends... Oh, Lord!

              Oh, Lord, I forgot.

              I wasn't to say a word! And I promised them so faithfully.

              What'll Wickham say now?

              It was supposed to be a secret!

               My dear Aunt, pray write and let me  understand how he should have been there.

               Unless you, too, are bound in the secrecy  which Lydia seems to think necessary.

               My dear niece, I must confess myself  surprised by your letter.

               If you are in ignorance of the part that Mr Darcy  played in bringing about the marriage,

               let me enlighten you at once.  Mr Darcy paid us an unexpected visit...

               ... and so, my dear Lizzy,  Mr Darcy would brook no opposition.

               He insisted on doing everything himself  and bearing the entirety of the expense.

               Nothing was to be done  that he did not do himself.

               Your uncle, instead of being allowed to be of use  to his niece, had to accept having the credit of it.

              I must be allowed to insist on this.

              The fault is mine, and so must the remedy be.

              It was through my mistaken pride that Mr Wickham's character has not been made known.

              Had I not thought it beneath me to lay my private actions open,

              his character would have been exposed.

              Mr Darcy, I really believe you take too much upon yourself.

              I must insist on this, sir. I assure you that in this matter, argument is fruitless.

              The responsibility is mine. I must have it, sir. I shall not give way.

              My dear sister!

              - I'm afraid I'm interrupting your solitary reverie. - You are, indeed.

              But it doesn't follow that the interruption must be unwelcome.

              I should be sorry if it were. You and I were always good friends.


              Then shall we take a turn together, sister?

              I was surprised to see Darcy in town last month.

              We passed each other several times.

              I wonder what he could be doing there.

              Perhaps preparing for the wedding... with Miss de Bourgh.

              Yes. Yes, perhaps.

              Must have been something particular, to take him there this time of year.


              Did you see him while you were at Lambton? I understood from the Gardiners that you had.

              Yes. He introduced us to his sister.

              - Did you like her? - Yes, very much indeed.

              Well, I have heard that she is uncommonly improved within this last year or two.

              When I last saw her, she was not very promising.

              I'm glad you liked her. I hope she'll turn out well.

              I dare say she will. She has got over the most trying age.

              - Did you go by Kympton? - I don't recollect...

              I mention it because it was the living I should have had.

              How should you have liked making sermons?

              Exceedingly well.

              I did hear that there was a time when sermon making was not so palatable to you as at present.

              That you actually declared your resolution of never taking orders and were compensated accordingly.


              Oh come, Mr Wickham, we are brother and sister, you know.

              Let us not quarrel about the past.

              - Oh, Lydia, when shall we meet again? - Not these two or three years, perhaps.

              Not these two or three years. Oh, what shall I do?

              And Mr Bennet is so cruel as to refuse to take us into the North Country!

              - I should refuse to go in any case. - Hold your tongue, girl!

              Oh, Lydia! You will write to me often, won't you?

              I don't know. We married women don't have much time for writing.

              My sisters may write to me. They will have nothing better to do.

              - Oh, Lydia! Mr Wickham, take care of my girl! - I shall, ma'am, to the very best of my ability.

              And thank you, ma'am, and to you, sir, for your continued kindness and hospitality.

              And to you, my dear sisters-in-law. And now as dear to me as sisters ever could be.

              But, the carriage awaits. Duty and honour call me to the North. So, come, my dear!

              Let us say not farewell, but as the French have it:  Au revoir!

              He's as fine a fellow as ever I saw!

              He simpers and smirks, and makes love to us all.

              I am prodigiously proud of him. I defy even Sir William Lucas to produce such a son-in-law.

               Sister! Sister!  Have you heard the news?

               Mr Bingley is coming back to Netherfield,  and the whole town is talking about it!

              I do assure you, this news does not affect me, truly, Lizzy.

              I am glad of one thing. That he doesn't bring any ladies.

              If it is merely a shooting party, we shall not see him often.

              Not that I am afraid of myself... but I dread other people's remarks, Lizzy.

              Then I shall venture none... however sorely I am tempted.

              It is hard that the man can't come to a house he's legally rented, without raising all this speculation.

              That is just what I think.

              - Then we shall leave him to himself. - Yes.

              Stop it, Lizzy.

              Three days he has been in the neighbourhood, and still he shuns us!

              I say it's all your father's fault! He would not do his duty and call,

              so you shall die old maids, and we shall be turned out by the Collinses to starve in the hedgerows!

              You promised last year that if I went to see him, he'd marry one of my daughters,

              but it all came to nothing. I won't be sent on a fool's errand again!

              Mamma! Mamma, look! I think he is coming!

              Is it really him? I believe it must be!

              He is come, Jane! He is come at last.

              - Put on your blue gown. No, stay where you are! - Who's with him?

              I don't know, dear. Some acquaintance, I suppose!

              It looks like that man who used to be with him before. Mr... You know, that tall proud one.

              Mr Darcy!

              I believe it is.

              Well, any friend of Mr Bingley's will always be welcome here, to be sure.

              But I must say I hate the sight of him! But I am determined to be civil.

              If only because the man is a friend of Bingley's, but no more than civil. Sit up straight, Jane!

              Pull your shoulders back.

              A man could go a long way without seeing a figure like yours, if you'd make the most of it.

              Mr Bingley and Mr Darcy, ma'am.

              - Mr Bingley, you are very, very welcome. - How do you do, Mrs Bennet. I...

              It's far too long since you were here, and very kind of you to call.

              Mr Bennet, of course, would have paid his addresses before this, were it not...

              Well, here you are! I am delighted!

              And Mr Darcy, you are welcome, too.

              We began to be afraid you would never come back.

              People did say, you meant to quit the place by Michaelmas, but I hope that is not true.

              Ring the bell for tea, Kitty.

              A great many changes have taken place since you went away.

              Miss Lucas is married. And one of my own daughters!

              - You've heard of it or read it in the papers? - Yes, indeed...

              It was not put in properly. It only said: "Lately, George Wickham, Esq. To Miss Lydia Bennet",

              without a syllable said about who her father was, or where she lived!

              Now they are gone to Newcastle, and there they are to stay. I don't know how long.

              I expect you've heard he's gone into the regulars.

              Thank Heaven he has some friends, though perhaps not as many as he deserves!

              Do you mean to stay long in the neighbourhood on this visit?

              Our plans are not yet firmly settled,

              but I hope, I hope we shall stay some weeks.

              I hope very much we shall stay a few weeks.

              - At the very least. - When you've killed your own birds,

              I beg you would come here and shoot as many as you please on Mr Bennet's manor.

              I'm sure he'll be happy to oblige you!

              I suppose you may bring your friends, if you will.

              Now that this first meeting is over, I feel at ease.


              Now I know my own strength, and I shall never again be embarrassed by his coming.

              We shall be able to meet now as... common and indifferent acquaintances.

              Yes, very indifferent! Jane, take care.

              Don't think me to be in any danger now, Lizzy.

              I think you are in very great danger of making him as much in love with you as ever.

              You tell me now that she was in London all those months? And you concealed it from me?

              Yes. I can offer no justification.

              It was an arrogant presumption, based on a failure to recognise your true feelings and Miss Bennet's.

              I should never have interfered. It was wrong of me, Bingley, and I apologise.

              - You admit that you were in the wrong? - Utterly and completely.

              Then... I have you blessing?

              Do you need my blessing?

              No. But I should like to know I have it all the same.

              Then go to it.

              Bring me my horse at once. Quick, man!


              Jane! Oh, my dear Jane!

              - Mamma, what's the matter? - He is come!

              - Who is come? - Mr Bingley, of course!

              Make haste, make haste, hurry down! Oh, gracious, you are not half dressed!

              Hill! Hill!

              Oh, where is Hill?

              Never mind, Sarah. You must come to Miss Bennet this moment!

              - Come along and help her on with her gown! - Mamma! Mamma!

              Where is my new locket that Lydia brought me? Mary, have you seen it?

              I shouldn't know it if I saw it. I care nothing for such baubles.

              Oh, never mind your locket, girl! Jane, stir yourself. He is here, he is here!

              We will be down as soon as we can. Let Kitty go down, she is forwarder.

              Hang Kitty! What has she to do with it? Jane, be quick!

              Where is your muslin dress?

              Hill! Hill! Where is Hill?

              - So Mr Darcy is gone to town? - Yes, ma'am. He left quite early this morning.

              What's the matter, mamma?

              Why do you keep winking at me?

              - What am I to do? - Wink at you? Why should I wink at you, child?

              What a notion! Why should I be winking at my own daughter, pray?

              But now you ask, it puts me in mind. I do have something I would speak to you about.

              Come, come with me.

              And you, Mary. Come!

              Miss Elizabeth...

              You're needed upstairs.

              Please let me go to Jane. I promised I would stay with her.

              Stay where you are. Five more minutes will do the trick.

              - Oh, I am so sorry. - No. No, don't go, Lizzy.


              Oh, Lizzy!

              I'm so happy! It is too much!

              It is too much! Why can't everyone be as happy as I am?

              He loves me, Lizzy. He loves me!

              Of course he does!

              He told me he loved me all the time. He didn't believe...

              I must tell mamma. He is gone to papa already!

              Oh, Lizzy, could you believe things would end in this happy way?

              - I could, and I do! - I must go to my mother.

              Oh, Lizzy!

              To know I shall be giving such pleasure to all my dear family!

              How shall I bear so much happiness?

              Come back tomorrow, sir, if you can bear to. Come and shoot with me, if you will.

              There are few men whose society I can tolerate well. I believe you may be one of them.

              - Thank you, sir. I shall be very happy to. - Very well, very well. Get along with you.

              Till tomorrow, then!

              Jane, congratulations. You will be a very happy woman.

              Thank you, father.

              - I believe I shall. - Well, well, you're a good girl.

              I've no doubt you'll do very well together.

              You're each of you so complying that nothing will ever be resolved on.

              - Papa! - So easy that every servant will cheat you!

              - No, indeed! - So generous that you will exceed your income.

              Exceed their income! What are you talking about? Don't you know that he has      a year?!

              Oh, my dear, dear Jane! I am so happy!

              Oh, I knew how it would be! I was sure you could not be so beautiful for nothing.

              He is the handsomest man that was ever seen!

              Oh, Lizzy. If only I could see you as happy.

              If there were only such another man for you.

              If you were to give me forty such men...

              ...I could never be as happy as you.

              Till I have your goodness, I can never have your happiness.

              But... perhaps if I have very good luck,

              I may in time meet with another Mr Collins!

              Mamma, Lizzy, come and look! The most enormous carriage has arrived.

              What an extremely small hall!

              If you'll wait here, your ladyship, I'll tell my mistress you're here.

              No, I will not wait!

              Where is she? Is this the drawing-room?

              Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

              That lady, I suppose, is your mother.

              Yes, she is. Mamma, this is Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

              And that, I suppose, is one of your sisters.

              Yes, ma'am. She is my youngest girl but one. My youngest of all is lately married.

              You have a very small park here.

              And this must be a most inconvenient sitting-room for the evening in summer.

              Why, the windows are full west.

              Indeed, they are, your ladyship, but we never sit in here after dinner.

              - We have... - Miss Bennet.

              There seemed to be a prettyish kind of little wilderness on one side of your lawn.

              I should be glad to take a turn in it... if you would favour me with your company.

              You can be at no loss to understand the reason for my journey, Miss Bennet.

              You are mistaken, madam. I'm quite unable to account for the honour of seeing you here.

              Miss Bennet, you ought to know I am not to be trifled with.

              But however insincere you choose to be, you shall not find me so.

              A report of an alarming nature reached me two days ago.

              I was told, not only that your sister was to be most advantageously married,

              but that you, Miss Elizabeth Bennet, would be soon afterwards united to my nephew Mr Darcy!

              Though I know it must be a scandalous falsehood,

              I instantly resolved on setting off for this place, to make my sentiments known to you.

              If you believed it to be impossible, I wonder what your ladyship would propose by coming here?

              At once to insist upon having such a report universally contradicted!

              Your coming to Longbourn will be taken as a confirmation of it, if such a report exists.

              This is not to be borne. Miss Bennet, I insist on being satisfied!

              - Has my nephew made you an offer of marriage? - Your ladyship declared it to be impossible.

              It ought to be so, but your arts and allurements

              may have made him forget what he owes to himself and the family.

              - You may have drawn him in! - If I had, I should be the last to confess it.

              Miss Bennet, do you know who I am?

              I have not been accustomed to such language as this.

              I am almost the nearest relation he has, and I am entitled to know all his nearest concerns.

              But not to know mine, nor will such behaviour as this induce me to be explicit.

              Let me be rightly understood.

              This match, to which you have the presumption to aspire, can never take place.

              Mr Darcy is engaged to "my" daughter. Now, what have you to say?

              Only this: That if he is so, you can have no reason to suppose he'll make an offer to me.

              The engagement between them is of a peculiar kind.

              From their infancy they have been intended for each other.

              It was the favourite wish of his mother as well as hers.

              While she was in her cradle, we planned the union.

              And now to be prevented by the upstart pretensions of a young woman without family,

              connections or fortune? Is this to be endured? It shall not be!

              Your alliance would be a disgrace!

              Your name would never even be mentioned by any of us.

              These would be heavy misfortunes, indeed.

              Obstinate, headstrong girl! I am ashamed of you.

              I have not been in the habit of brooking disappointment!

              That will make your ladyship's situation at present more pitiable, but it will have no effect on me.

              I will not be interrupted!

              If you were sensible, you would not wish to quit the sphere in which you have been brought up!

              Lady Catherine, in marrying your nephew I should not consider myself as quitting that sphere.

              He's a gentleman, I'm a gentleman's daughter. So far we are equal.

              But who was your mother? Your uncles and aunts? Do not imagine me ignorant of their condition.

              If your nephew does not object to my connections, they can be nothing to you.

              Tell me once and for all, are you engaged to him?

              I am not.

              And will you promise me never to enter into such an engagement?

              I will make no promise of the kind, and I beg you not to importune me any further on the subject.

              Not so hasty, if you please! I have another objection.

              Your youngest sister's infamous elopement. I know it all!

              Is such a girl to be my nephew's sister-in-law?

              Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?

              You can have nothing further to say.

              You have insulted me by every possible method. I must beg to return to the house.

              You have no regard then, for the honour and credit of my nephew?

              Unfeeling, selfish girl!

              You refuse to oblige me?

              You refuse the claims of duty, honour, gratitude?

              You are determined to ruin him, and make him the contempt of the world!

              I am only resolved to act in a manner which will constitute my own happiness,

              without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me.

              And this is your final resolve?

              Very well. I shall know how to act!

              I take no leave of you, Miss Bennet.

              I send no compliments to your mother. You deserve no such attention.

              I am most seriously displeased. Drive on!

              Lizzy, Lizzy! I was going to look for you. Come into my room.

              I received a letter this morning, which has astonished me exceedingly.

              - From Mr Collins. - What can he have to say?

              He begins with congratulations on the approaching nuptials of my eldest daughter,

              but I shan't sport with your intelligence by reading his remarks on that topic.

              Ah, yes. Here, here, here.

              "Your daughter Elizabeth, it is presumed, will not long bear the name of Bennet,

              after her elder sister has resigned it, and the chosen partner of her fate

              may be reasonably looked up to as one of the most illustrious personages in the land."

              Can you guess who he means, Lizzy? Now it comes out.

              "My motive for cautioning you is as follows:

              His aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh, does not look on the match with a friendly eye."

              Mr Darcy, you see, is the man. Mr Darcy of all men!

              Who never looks at a woman except to see a blemish! Are you not diverted?


              Mr Darcy, who probably never looked at you in his life before!

              This is admirable! But Lizzy, you look as if you didn't enjoy it.

              You're not going to be "Missish" now, and pretend to be affronted by an idle report?

              Oh, no, I am excessively diverted. It's all so strange.

              What said Lady Catherine de Bourgh? I suppose she came to refuse her consent?

              What do we live for, but to make sport for our neighbours and laugh at them in our turn?

              True, true.

              Mr Bingley and Mr Darcy, ma'am.

              - Good day to you! - Mr Bingley.

              This is a fine day. Should we perhaps all walk to Meryton?


              Do you mind if I run to call on Maria Lucas?

              No, not at all.

              Mr Darcy.

              I can go no longer without thanking you for your kindness to my poor sister.

              Ever since I have known of it, I've been most anxious to tell you how grateful I am,

              for my family and for myself.

              You must not blame my aunt for telling me. Lydia betrayed it first,

              and then I couldn't rest till I knew everything.

              I know what trouble and what mortification it must have cost you.

              Please let me say this, please allow me to thank you,

              on behalf of all my family, since they don't know to whom they are indebted.

              If you will thank me, let it be for yourself alone.

              Your family owes me nothing. As much as I respect them, I believe I thought only of you.

              You're too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are what they were last April, tell me so.

              My affections and wishes are unchanged.

              But one word from you will silence me on this subject forever.

              Oh, my feelings...

              My feelings are...

              I am ashamed to remember what I said then.

              My feelings are so different.

              In fact, they are quite the opposite.

              Lady Catherine told me of her meeting with you.

              I may say that her disclosure had quite the opposite effect to the one she had intended.

              It taught me to hope, that I had scarcely ever allowed myself to hope before.

              Had you absolutely decided against me, you would have acknowledged it openly.

              Yes, you know enough of my frankness to believe me capable of that!

              After abusing you so to your face, I could have no scruple in abusing you to all your relations.

              What did you say of me that I did not deserve?

              My behaviour at the time was unpardonable. I can hardly think of it without abhorrence.

              Your reproof I shall never forget.

              "Had you behaved in a more gentleman-like manner."

              - How those words have tortured me! - I had no idea of their being taken such a way.

              I can easily believe it. You thought me devoid of every proper feeling, I am sure.

              The turn of your countenance I shall never forget.

              You said I could not have addressed you in any way that would have induced you to accept me.

              Do not repeat what I said then!

              No, I have been a selfish being all my life.

              As a child I was given good principles, but was left to follow them in pride and conceit.

              And such I might still have been, but for you.

              Dearest, loveliest Elizabeth!

              Engaged to Mr Darcy!

              No, you are joking. It is impossible!

              This is a wretched beginning! If you don't believe me, I'm sure no one else will.

              Indeed, I am in earnest. He still loves me, and we are engaged.

              It can't be true. I know how much you dislike him!

              No, it is all forgotten! Perhaps I didn't always love him as well as I do now.

              But... in such cases as these a good memory is unpardonable.

              Dearest Lizzy, do be serious.

              - How long have you loved him? - It's been coming on so gradually, I hardly know.

              But I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley!


              Are you out of your senses to be accepting this man, Lizzy?

              Have you not always hated him?

              - Papa... - I've given him my consent.

              He's the kind of man, indeed, to whom I should never dare refuse anything.

              But let me advise you to think the better of it. I know your disposition, Lizzy.

              My child, let me not have the grief of seeing you unable to respect your partner in life.

              He is rich, but will he make you happy?

              Have you objections apart from your belief in my indifference?

              None whatever. We all know him to be a proud, unpleasant sort of man,

              but this would be nothing if you really liked him.

              I do. I do like him.

              I love him.

              Indeed, he has no improper pride. He is perfectly amiable.

              If you only knew his generous nature.

              I didn't always love him,

              but I love him now so very dearly.

              He is truly the best man I have ever known.

              Well, my dear, if this be the case, he deserves you.

              I could not have parted with you to anyone less worthy, Lizzy.

              Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God, and in the face of this congregation,

              to join together this man and this woman...

              ...and this man and this woman

              in holy matrimony, which is an honourable estate,

              instituted by God in the time of man's innocency,

              signifying unto us the mystical union that is between Christ and His church,

              and therefore is not by any to be enterprised lightly, or wantonly,

              to satisfy man's carnal lusts and appetites,

              but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly,

              and in the fear of God, duly considering the causes for which matrimony was ordained.

              First, it was ordained for the procreation of children.

               Secondly, as a remedy against sin,

               and to avoid fornication.


              for the mutual society, help and comfort that the one ought to have of the other,

              both in prosperity and adversity,

              into which holy estate these persons present come now to be joined.

              Three daughters married!

              - Oh, Mr Bennet, God has been very good to us! - Yes, so it would seem.

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