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Pride and Prejudice Script (1995), Part 1/6
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Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6


I. A Man of Good Fortune

[EXT. COUNTRYSIDE, NETHERFIELD - DAY]
[Two men ride on horseback across the country and stop some distance from a large manor to gaze at it.]

MR. BINGLEY: It’s a fair prospect.

MR DARCY: Pretty enough, I grant you.

MR BINGLEY: Oh, it’s nothing to Pemberley, I know, but I must settle somewhere. Have I your approval?

MR DARCY: You’ll find the society something savage.

MR BINGLEY: Country manners? I think they’re charming.

MR DARCY: Then you’d better take it.

MR BINGLEY: Thank you. I shall. I shall close with the attorney directly.

[The two men ride off to the manor. Elizabeth watches them from a hill far away. She begins to walk down the hill, but takes a slow turn to look around her before she goes skipping and running down the dirt road. She continues her walk, picking flowers. She walks past a horse and a colt, and walks down the lane towards Longbourn.]

--
[EXT/INT. LONGBOURN - DAY]
[An argument can be heard from outside the house.]

KITTY: Lydia, that’s mine!

LYDIA: It’s mine now. You’d never wear it anyway.

KITTY: I would, I wanted to wear it today! Look what you’ve done to it! Mamma! Mamma!

[Elizabeth hesitates to go inside. Instead, she walks outside to peek in her father’s library window.]

KITTY: Lydia has torn up my bonnet, made it up new, and says she will wear it to church! Tell her she shall not, Mamma!

LYDIA: I shall wear it, Mamma!

[Mr Bennet rolls his eyes, and gives Elizabeth a chuckling smile.]

LYDIA: I beg you would tell her so, for it’s all my own work, and she would be a fright in it, because she’s too plain to look well in it!

[Elizabeth smiles at her father, rolls her eyes, and walks away from the window.]

MRS BENNET: OH!

LYDIA: No, you shall not have it! Mamma, tell her it is so.

[Kitty tries to grab the bonnet, but misses, and chases Lydia around the table trying to get it. Lydia puts herself on the other side of their mother, who is sitting in a chair.]

MRS BENNET: Girls! Would you tear my nerves into shreds?! Oh, let her have it, Kitty, and be done.

KITTY: But it’s mine! You let her have everything that is mine.

MRS BENNET: Argh!

[Kitty runs out crying. Lydia puts on the bonnet. Kitty wipes her nose as she cries as she runs through the front hall, where Jane enters from another room and Elizabeth comes in from outside.]

MRS BENNET: Oh, what is to become of us all? Jane! Lizzy! Where are you?

[The Jane and Elizabeth exchange amused looks before heading to the drawing room. Elizabeth removes her hat as she walks.]

JANE: Here, Mamma.

ELIZABETH: Coming Mamma.

--
[EXT. LONBOURN LANE - DAY]
[Mrs Bennet talks with another woman outside out of church. Mr Bennet gives her a glance to come along as he and their daughters begin to walk home. Mrs Bennet rushes to catch up with him.]

MRS BENNET: My dear! Mr Bennet ! Wonderful news! Netherfield Park is let at last!

MR BENNET: Is it?

MRS BENNET: Yes, it is. For I have just had it from Mrs Long. And do you not want to know who had taken it?

MR BENNET: You want to tell me, and I have no objection to hearing it.

MRS BENNET: Why, then, 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 in chaise and four to see the place. His name is Bingley, and he will be in possession by Michaelmas, and he has 5,000 a year! What a fine thing for our girls.

[He stops and turns to looks at their daughters.]

MR BENNET: How so? Erm, how can it affect them?

MRS BENNET: Oh, Mr Bennet , how can you be so tiresome? You must know that I’m thinking of his marrying one of them.

MR BENNET: Hm.

[They continue walking.]

ELIZABETH: For a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.

[The Bennet girls giggle.]

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

[Lydia giggles and snorts.]

JANE: Lydia!

LYDIA: What a fine joke if he were to choose me!

KITTY: Or me!

[Lydia and Kitty giggle.]

MR BENNET: So, that is his design in settling here, to marry one of our daughters?

MRS BENNET: Design?! Oh, how can you talk such nonsense? But you know, he may very likely fall in love with one of them.

MR BENNET: Oh.

MRS BENNET: Therefore, you must visit him directly he comes.

MR BENNET: Visit him? Oh, no, no. I see no occasion for that.

MRS BENNET: Oh, Mr Bennet!

MR BENNET: Go yourself with the girls. Or, still better, send them by themselves.

MRS BENNET: By themselves?!

MR BENNET: Aye, for you’re as handsome as any of them. Mr Bingley might like you best of the party.

[Mrs Bennet gapes at her husband and Lydia giggles and snorts.]

ELIZABETH: Lydia.

--
[INT. LONGBOURN, FRONT HALL - DAY]
[The Bennets enter the house.]

MRS BENNET: Oh, what I try to do for you girls is ruined! Ruined!

[Mr Bennet takes off his hat and puts down his walking stick and walks off. Hill enters as he exits.]

MRS BENNET
Nobody thinks about your future but me!

[Mrs Bennet enters and Hill helps her remove her coat, while the other girls hand their hats and jackets to another servant.]

MRS BENNET: Oh, Hill! Oh, Hill! Hill, I am so distressed…for Mr Bennet says he will not visit Mr Bingley when he comes.

HILL: Oh, there, there now, Ma’am.

KITTY: Mamma, can’t you reason with him?

HILL: I daresay it will turn out to be well.

LYDIA: What are we going to do if we’re never allowed to meet anyone?

MRS BENNET: No, no, it will not! For he is bent on ruining us all!

KITTY: Do you think Mr Bingley is talked of so it won’t matter if we’ll be seeing him?

--
[INT. LONGBOURN, DRAWING ROOM - DAY]
[Mrs Bennet enters and Jane follows, trying to calm her.]

JANE: Mamma, I’m sure he is teasing you. He will call on Mr Bingley as sure as he would call on any new neighbour of ours.

[Mr Bennet stokes the fire. Hill rushes after Mrs Bennet, trying to fix her shawl before exiting.]

MRS BENNET: No, no, Jane, how can you say that? You heard him yourself, and you know that your father has a will of iron.

[Mrs Bennet finishes primping herself in front of the mirror and she and Jane sit down.]

MR BENNET: You’re in the right, my dear. But I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I shall write to Mr Bingley, informing him that I have five daughters, and he’s welcome to any of them that he chooses. They’re all silly and ignorant, like other girls. Well, Lizzy has a little more wit than the rest.

[Elizabeth enters and sits down, smiling with amusement.]

MR BENNET: But then, he may prefer a stupid wife, as others have done before him. There, will that do?

MRS BENNET: No, no! I beg you will not write at all of you…

[Mrs Bennet looks at her husband with annoyance.]

MRS BENNET: Oh, you take delight in vexing me!

[Mr Bennet smiles at her in amusement.]

MRS BENNET: You have no compassion on my poor nerves.

MR BENNET: You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They’ve been my old friends these twenty years at least.

MRS BENNET: You don’t know what I suffer!

MR BENNET: Well, I hope you will get over it, and live to see many young men of five thousand a year come into the neighbourhood.

MRS BENNET: It will be no use to us if twenty such should come since you will not visit them.

MR BENNET: Depend upon it my dear – when there are twenty, I’ll visit them all.

[Mr Bennet leaves, and Jane and Elizabeth tuck their chins down, smiling in amusement.]

MRS BENNET: There, you see Jane? He will not be prevailed upon. He’ll see us all ruined. Oh, if only we’d been able to have sons.

[Kitty enters and sits down.]

MARY: Misfortunes, we are told, are sent to test our fortitude, and may often reveal themselves as blessings in disguise.

[Lydia comes in and slouches into a chair with her hand on her stomach, complaining.]

LYDIA: Lord, I’m so hungry!

--
[INT. LONGBOURN, JANE’S BEDROOM - NIGHT]
[Jane brushes her hair in front of the mirror in her room. Jane and Elizabeth are wearing nightgowns. Elizabeth sighs.]

ELIZABETH: If I could love a man who would love me enough to take me for a mere £50 a year, I should be very well pleased.

JANE: Yes.

ELIZABETH: But such a man could hardly be sensible, and you know I could never love a man who was out of his wits.

[Jane chuckles.]

JANE: Oh, Lizzy. A marriage where either partner cannot love or respect the other…that cannot be agreeable…to either party.

ELIZABETH: As we have daily proof.

[Elizabeth rolls her eyes.]

ELIZABETH: But beggars, you know, cannot be choosers.

[Jane turns to Elizabeth, who is sitting on the bench at the end of Jane’s bed.]

JANE: We are not very poor, Lizzy.

ELIZABETH: With father’s estate entailed away from the female line, we have little but our charms to recommend us. One of us at least will have to marry very well. And since you are quite five times as pretty as the rest of us, and have the sweetest disposition, I fear the task will fall on you to raise our fortunes

JANE: But, Lizzy…I would wish…I should so much like…to marry for love.

ELIZABETH: And so you shall!

[Elizabeth goes to Jane and rests her head on top of Jane’s as they look in the mirror.]

ELIZABETH: I’m sure. Only, take care you fall in love with a man of good fortune.

[They chuckle.]

JANE: Well, I shall try…to please you. And you?

ELIZABETH: I am determined that nothing but the very deepest love will induce me into matrimony. So, I shall end an old maid, and teach your ten children to embroider cushions, and play their instruments very ill.

[They laugh. Elizabeth kisses the top of Jane’s head and exits.]

--
[INT. LONGBOURN, BEDROOM CORRIDOR - NIGHT]
[Elizabeth walks over to another door and knocks before opening it.]

ELIZABETH: Goodnight, Mamma.

MRS BENNET: My head is very ill tonight.

[Elizabeth closes the door and walks over to another bedroom.]

LYDIA: Lord, I said I wouldn’t dance with him if he was the last man in Meryton.

[Lydia and Kitty giggle.]

ELIZABETH: Goodnight, Lydia. Goodnight, Kitty.

LYDIA AND KITTY: Goodnight Lizzy.

[Elizabeth enters her room and shuts the door.]

--
[INT. LONGBOURN, LIBRARY - NIGHT]
[Mr Bennet goes over the finances. He shakes his head and sighs, and picks up a bottle of spirits.]

--
[INT. LONGBOURN, ELIZABETH’S BEDROOM - NIGHT]
[Elizabeth examines herself in the mirror. She blows out the candle.]

***


II. A Strong Constitution

[EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - DAY]
[Lydia, Kitty, and Mary walk in the distance. Lydia stops and waves, then Kitty waves, too.]

LYDIA: Lizzy!

[Elizabeth sees them as she walks down the road.]

LYDIA: Wait till you hear our news! Heh!

[Elizabeth waves back, smiling.]

--
[INT. LONGBOURN, DRAWING ROOM - DAY]
[Mr Bennet sits in his chair reading the newspaper. Lydia stands, while the others sit.]

LYDIA: Mr Bingley has come to Netherfield.

KITTY: And Sir William Lucas has called on him!

LYDIA: Save your breath to cool your porridge, Kitty. I will tell Mamma.

[Kitty begins to cough.]

MRS BENNET: I do not wish to know. What should we care for Mr Bingley since we are never to be acquainted with him?

LYDIA: But Mamma!

MRS BENNET: Oh, don’t keep coughing so, Kitty. For heaven’s sake, have a little compassion on my nerves!

[Lydia and Kitty speak at the same time.]

KITTY: I don’t cough for my own amusement!

LYDIA: He has thirty servants, forty servers, and he’s very handsome, and wears a blue coat.

KITTY: And he declared to Sir William that he loves to dance!

LYDIA: And he’s promised to come to the next ball!

KITTY: At the assembly rooms!

LYDIA: On Saturday!

KITTY: And bring six ladies and four gentlemen!

LYDIA: Nay, it was twelve ladies and seven gentlemen.

ELIZABETH (aside to Jane): Too many ladies.

[Elizabeth and Jane smile.]

MRS BENNET: Oh, Lydia, I beg you would stop for we are never to know Mr Bingley and it pains me to hear of him.

LYDIA: But Mamma!

MRS BENNET: I am sick of Mr Bingley!

MR BENNET: I’m sorry to hear that.

[He folds up his paper.]

MR BENNET: If I had known as much this morning, I should never have called on him.

[Mrs Bennet, Kitty, and Lydia turn to him in shock.]

MRS BENNET: You have called on him?!

MR BENNET: I am afraid we cannot escape the acquaintance now.

MRS BENNET: Ahahaha! My dear Mr Bennet, how good you are to us.

[Mr Bennet, pleased, chuckles. Elizabeth and Jane smile and chuckle silently.]

MR BENNET: Yeah, well, well.

MRS BENNET: Oh, girls, girls, is he not a good father? And never to tell us; what a good joke! Oh, and now you shall all dance with Mr Bingley.

[Mrs Bennet takes her youngest daughters’ hands and they laugh together. Mary does not look pleased, and puts her glasses back on to read.]

ELIZABETH: I hope he has a strong constitution, Mamma.

[Mrs Bennet, Kitty, and Lydia giggle.]

MR BENNET: And a fondness for silly young women.

MRS BENNET: Oh, Mr Bennet, nothing you say shall ever vex me again.

MR BENNET: I’m sorry to hear it.

[Mr Bennet gets up to leave.]

MR BENNET: Well, Kitty, I think you may cough as much as you choose now.

[Mrs Bennet, Kitty, and Lydia giggle excitedly.]

--
[EXT. MERYTON - EVENING]
[Two carriages pull up Lucas Lodge. In the background Mr and Mrs Hurst step out of one carriage. In the foreground, Mr Bingley steps out of another carriage and puts on a hat, followed by Mr Darcy, who puts on a hat, followed by Miss Caroline Bingley, who sidles up next to Darcy.]

MISS BINGLEY: Shall we be quite safe here, Mr Darcy, do you think?

MR HURST: Damn silly way to spend an evening.

--
[INT. LUCAS LODGE, BALLROOM - EVENING]
[Inside people are dancing and clapping to lively music, including the Bennets. The song finishes, the dancers clap, but everyone goes quiet with whispers when Bingley’s party enters. Sir William Lucas sees them and approaches them quickly.]

SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: Mr Bingley.

[Sir William bows.]

SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: Allow me the pleasure of welcoming you to our little assembly here.

MR BINGLEY: Sir William.

[Bingley bows.]

MR BINGLEY: I am very glad to see you. There is nothing that I love better than a country dance.

[Music starts up again, guests line up for the next dance, and Mr Bingley introduces Sir William to his sisters. Elizabeth rejoins her sisters and friend.]

ELIZABETH: Only two ladies, then, after all. Do you know who they are Charlotte?

CHARLOTTE: Mr Bingley’s sisters, I understand. One of them is married to the gentleman there, Mr Hurst.

JANE: The taller gentleman?

CHARLOTTE: No, the other.

JANE: Better and better.

[Elizabeth chuckles.]

JANE: Very elegant.

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

MRS BENNET (whispers): Lizzy! Jane! Come here!

[The two sisters go to their mother.]

MRS BENNET: You see that gentleman there? Lady Lucas has just told me he’s 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. 10,000 a year at least! Don’t you think he’s the handsomest man you’ve ever seen, girls?

ELIZABETH: Hmm. I wonder if he’d be quite so handsome if he was not quite so rich?

[They laugh and Sir William leads Bingley over to them.]

MRS BENNET (gasps): Lizzy, oh, lord, they’re coming over. Smile, girls, smile!

SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: Mrs Bennet, Mr Bingley has expressed a wish to become acquainted with you and your daughters.

MRS BENNET: Sir, that is very good of you. Aheh.

[Mrs Bennet, Jane, and Elizabeth curtsy. Mr Bingley bows.]

MRS BENNET: 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?

MR BINGLEY: There is nothing I love better, Madam. And if Miss Bennet is not otherwise engaged, may I be so bold as to claim the next two dances.

[Jane smiles at the compliment.]

JANE: I am not engaged, sir.

MR BINGLEY: Good.

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

[Mr Darcy stands behind Bingley. Elizabeth leans toward her mother to point it out to her.]

ELIZABETH: Mamma.

MRS BENNET (to Darcy): And you, sir? Are you fond of dancing, too?

[Darcy seems taken aback by the sudden question from a stranger. Bingley notices that she is talking to someone else, and realizes that Darcy must be behind him.]

MR BINGLEY: Oh, I beg your pardon. Mrs Bennet, may I present my friend, Mr Darcy.

[The Bennet women curtsy and Mr Darcy bows.]

MRS BENNET: You are very welcome to Hertfordshire, I am sure, sir. And I hope you have come here eager to dance, as your friend has.

MR DARCY: Thank you, Madam, I rarely dance.

MRS BENNET: Well, let this be one of the occasions, sir. For I wager you’ll not easily find such lively music, or such pretty partners.

[Mrs Bennet indicates Elizabeth. Mr Darcy bows and walks away. Elizabeth and Mrs Bennet are offended, and Mr Bingley’s smile fades as he turns and notices Mr Darcy’s absence. Bingley bows, the Bennets curtsy.]

MR BINGLEY: Erm, pray, excuse me Ma’am.

[Bingley follows Darcy.]

MRS BENNET: Well! Did you ever meet such a proud, disagreeable man?

ELIZABETH (low): Mamma, he will here you.

MRS BENNET: 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?

ELIZABETH: Well, the very rich can afford to give offence wherever they go. We need not care for his good opinion.

MRS BENNET: No, indeed.

ELIZABETH: Perhaps he’s not so very handsome, after all.

[Elizabeth smiles in amusement.]

MRS BENNET: No, indeed, quite ill favoured. Certainly nothing at all to Mr Bingley.

--
[INT. LUCAS LODGE, BALLROOM - EVENING]
[Bingley dances with Jane and shoots a smile at Darcy to project just how much fun he’s having. Darcy smirks in amusement, but then frowns as he catches sight of Mrs Bennet gossiping about him. Outside, servants are drinking and one does a little jig before falling into a watering station. Inside, the dance finishes and Bingley introduces Jane to his sisters. Mrs Bennet is pleased. Bingley dances with Jane again. Elizabeth and Mary sit together as they watch the dance.]

MARY: I wonder at Kitty and Lydia. They are so fond of dancing. I take little pleasure in a ball.

ELIZABETH: I would take more pleasure in this one if there were enough partners as agreeable as Jane’s.

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

ELIZABETH: And so they are when there are none others to be had. We shall have to be philosophers, Mary.

[The dance finishes. Bingley leads Jane to the Lucas girls and approaches Darcy as the next dance begins. Elizabeth watches them.]

MR BINGLEY: Come, Darcy, I must have you dance. I must. I hate to see you standing about in this stupid manner. Come, you’d much better dance.

MR DARCY: I certainly shall not. In an assembly such as this? It would be insupportable.

[Elizabeth looks at Darcy in disbelief.]

MR DARCY: Your sisters are engaged at present. You know perfectly well it would be a punishment for me to stand up with any other woman in the room.

MR BINGLEY: 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. And several of them uncommonly pretty, eh?

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

MR BINGLEY: 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.

MR DARCY: She is tolerable, I suppose, but she’s not handsome enough to tempt me.

[Elizabeth gapes.]

MR DARCY: Bingley, I’m in no humour to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. Go back to your partner, enjoy her smiles. You’re wasting your time with me.

[Bingley leaves. Elizabeth rises from her chair and walks past Darcy, smiling in amusement, to tell Charlotte what happened. Darcy watches Elizabeth as the two women laugh together. Dancing continues.]

***

III. Party At Lucas Lodge

--
[INT. LONGBOURN, DRAWING ROOM - NIGHT]
[Mr Bennet sits in his chair trying to read a book while Mrs Bennet talks about the party in excruciating detail.]

MRS BENNET: And Jane was so admired! There was nothing like it.

[The girls giggle. Lydia slouches onto the couch and Kitty sits down next to her.]

LYDIA: Ugh, Lord, I’m so fat.

KITTY: And Lydia and I danced every dance.

LYDIA: And Mary none.

[The girls giggle. Elizabeth enters after Mary. She closes the door and they join Jane at table.]

MRS BENNET: 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, you know, he danced with Lizzy; and then, what do you think he did next?

MR BENNET: Enough, enough Madam. For God’s sake let’s hear no more of his partners. Would he have sprained his ankle in the first dance!

MRS BENNET: Oh, and his sisters! Oh, such charming women! So elegant and obliging! Oh, I wish you had seen them. I daresay the lace on Mrs Hurst’s gown alone…

MR BENNET: No lace, no lace, Mrs Bennet, I beg you.

MRS BENNET: 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, you know, and flatly refused to stand up with her.

MR BENNET: Slighted my Lizzy, did he?

[Mr Bennet chuckles.]

ELIZABETH: I didn’t care for him either, father, so it is of little matter.

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

ELIZABETH: I believe Ma’am, I may safely promise you never to dance with Mr Darcy.

--
[INT. NETHERFIELD, DRAWING ROOM - NIGHT]

MISS BINGLEY: And so, none of the Hertfordshire ladies could please you, Mr Darcy?

MRS HURST: Not even famous Miss Bennet?

[Miss Bingley chuckles as she sits down next to her sister.]

MR BINGLEY: Well, I never met with pleasanter people, or prettier girls in my life.

MR DARCY: Bingley, you astonish me. I saw little beauty, and no breeding at all.

[Miss Bingley smirks with delight.]

MR DARCY: The, er, eldest Miss Bennet is, I grant you, very pretty.

MR BINGLEY: A fine concession. Come, man, admit it, she’s an angel.

MR DARCY: She smiles too much.

MISS BINGLEY: Oh, Jane Bennet is a sweet girl. Her mother!

[Bingley sighs, unable to argue.]

MISS BINGLEY: I heard Eliza Bennet described as a famous local beauty. What do you say to that, Mr Darcy?

MR DARCY: I should as soon call her mother a wit.

[The sisters laugh.]

MISS BINGLEY: Oh, Mr Darcy, that’s too cruel.

[Bingley gets up and goes to Darcy at the fireplace.]

MR BINGLEY: Darcy, I shall never understand why you go through the world determined to be displeased with everything and everyone in it.

MR DARCY: And I will never understand why you are in such a rage to approve of everything and everyone that you meet.

MR BINGLEY: Well, you shall not make me think ill of Miss Bennet, Darcy.

MISS BINGLEY: 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.

MRS HURST: No, no, nor I. You see, Mr Darcy, we are not afraid of you.

MR DARCY: I would not have you so.

[Mr Hurst snorts loudly as he wakes.]

MR HURST: What? Aye, very true, damn tedious waste of an evening. Well?

--
[EXT. LONGBOURN, GARDEN - DAY]
[Jane and Elizabeth pick flowers next to the house.]

JANE: He is just what a young man ought to be, Lizzy. Sensible, lively…and I never saw such happy manners.

ELIZABETH: Handsome too, which a young man ought to be if he possibly can. And he seems to like you very much, which shows good judgment. No, I give you leave to like him. You’ve liked many a stupider person.

JANE (chuckles): Dear Lizzy.

ELIZABETH: He could be happier in his choice of sisters and friends, though the sisters I suppose he cannot help.

JANE: Did you not like them?

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

JANE: At first, perhaps, but after a while I found them very pleasing. Miss Bingley is to keep house for her brother, and I’m sure they will be very charming neighbours.

ELIZABETH: One of them may be.

JANE: No, Lizzy, I’m sure you’re wrong. And even Mr Darcy, you know, may improve on closer acquaintance.

ELIZABETH: Do you mean he’ll be in humour to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men?

[Jane laughs.]

ELIZABETH: Never!

ELIZABETH (deep voice): “She is tolerable, I suppose...”

[They chuckle.]

ELIZABETH (deep voice): “But not handsome enough to tempt me.”

[They laugh.]

JANE: It was very wrong of him to speak so.

ELIZABETH: Ah, indeed, it was. Capital offence. Oh, look! Charlotte has come. Charlotte!

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

--
[INT. LUCAS LODGE - EVENING]
[Mary plays piano at the party. Sir William Lucas talks with Bingley’s sisters.]

SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: I hope this will be the first of many occasions when Lucas Lodge will be graced with your presence. Here, you see, we are all easy with no awkwardness of ceremony.

MISS BINGLEY: Quite.

[Mrs Bennet chats with her sister, Mrs Philips.]

MRS BENNET: Oh, yes, my dear, 5,000 a year.

[Mrs Philips oohs.]

MRS BENNET: Don’t you think him well? A most agreeable young man.

[Children giggle and run through the room.]

WOMAN: Now children, I want you to at least…

[A soldier bows to Colonel Foster.]

SOLDIER: Sir.

MAN: Here, what have we here?

[Kitty introduces a little girl to the officers.]

KITTY: This is Captain Carter

[Carter bows.]

KITTY: And this is…

[Mrs Bennet talks with the Forsters and Lady Lucas.]

MRS BENNET: And he would dance every dance with Jane. Nothing else would do. Everybody…

LADY LUCAS: And are you pleased with Hertfordshire, Colonel Foster?

COLONEL FORSTER: Very much so, Lady Lucas, and never more so than this evening. The regiment of infantry doesn’t find a ready welcome everywhere, I fear.

MRS BENNET: I think your officers will be very well pleased with Meryton, sir.

[The laughter of Lydia and Kitty, the officers, and the children catches their attention.]

MRS FORSTER: Denny and Sanderson seem well pleased already.

[The women giggle. Sir William continues to talk with Bingley’s sisters.]

SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: No doubt you attend assemblies at St. James’s Court, Miss Bingley?

MISS BINGLEY: We go but rarely, sir.

SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: Indeed, I am surprised. I should be happy to introduce you there, you know, at any time when I’m in town.

MISS BINGLEY: You’re too kind, sir.

[Miss Bingley and Mrs Hurst curtsy stiffly, Sir William bows, and the sisters walk away.]

SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: Well, well, good…ah, good, capital, capital.

MISS BINGLEY: Insufferable conceit to imagine that we’d need his assistance in society.

[The sisters sit down.]

MRS HURST: I am sure he is a very good sort of man, Caroline.

MISS BINGLEY: Ha. And I am sure he kept a very good sort of shop before his elevation to the knighthood.

[They cackle.]

MISS BINGLEY: Poor Darcy, what agonies he must be suffering.

[Music, conversation and laughter continue throughout the room. Elizabeth notices Darcy staring at her and looks away.]

ELIZABETH: Are you in Meryton to subdue the discontented populace, sir, or do you defend Hertfordshire against the French?

COLONEL FORSTER: Neither, Ma’am I trust. We hope to winter very peacefully at Meryton. My soldiers are in great need of training, and my officers, in ever-great need, of society.

[Elizabeth laughs.]

ELIZABETH: Then, as soon as you are settled, I hope you will give a ball.

MRS FORSTER: Oh, yes, my dear, do.

COLONEL FORSTER: You think a ball would be well received?

LYDIA: A ball? Who’s giving a ball? I long for a ball, and so does Denny.

KITTY: And Sanderson. Don’t you Sanderson?

SANDERSON: I—I-- I d--do indeed…

[Sanderson sniffles.]

SANDERSON: Most passionately.

LYDIA: Aw, little Sanderson, I knew you would.

KITTY: Make him give a ball, Mrs. Forster. We’ll dance with all the officers.

LYDIA: If Mary would only play something, we could dance with them now. Mary! Mary let’s have no more of that dull stuff. Play something jolly, we want to dance.

[The room goes silent as they watch the drama unfold.]

MARY: But there are still two movements. Mamma! Tell them it isn’t fair!

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

[Bingley’s sisters exchange a look. Darcy sighs.]

SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: I fear their taste is not as fine as yours and mine, Mary, but let us oblige them this once, eh? For there is no one here who plays as well as you.

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

LYDIA: Ough. Jane! Mr Bingley! Come and dance with us.

JANE: Not now, Lydia.

LYDIA: Oh.

SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: Capital, capital.

[A little girl and boy, Lydia, Kitty, and their partners line up to dance. Elizabeth chuckles.]

CHARLOTTE: I see that Mr Bingley continues his attentions to Jane, Lizzy.

[Elizabeth looks at Jane and Bingley talking closely together.]

ELIZABETH: I am very happy for her Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE: She does seem very well pleased with him.

ELIZABETH: I think if he continues so, she is in a fair way to be very much in love with him.

CHARLOTTE: And Mr Bingley, so you think he is in love?

ELIZABETH: Hmm, it is clear that he likes her very much.

CHARLOTTE: Then she should leave him in no doubt of her heart. She should show more affection, even than she feels, not less, if she is to secure him.

[Elizabeth laughs.]

ELIZABETH: Secure him? Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE: Well, Yes. She should secure him in as soon as may be.

ELIZABETH: Before she is sure of his character? Before she is even certain of her own regard for him?

CHARLOTTE: But of course. Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance, you know. There will always be vexation, and grief; and it is better to know in advance as little as possible of the defects of your marriage partner.

[Elizabeth shakes her head, holding in her laughter.]

ELIZABETH: Char…

CHARLOTTE: Is it not now?

ELIZABETH: You know it is not sound. You would never act like that yourself.

CHARLOTTE: Well, it seems that Jane will not. So we must hope that Mr Bingley will. I think he gets little encouragement from his sisters.

[Charlotte looks at Jane and Bingley.]

ELIZABETH: Or his friend.

[Charlotte and Elizabeth look at Darcy, and Darcy notices. Charlotte looks back and forth between Darcy and Elizabeth.]

CHARLOTTE: Mr Darcy looks at you a great deal, Lizzy.

ELIZABETH: I cannot think why. Unless he means to frighten me with his contempt. I wish he would not come into society. He only makes people uneasy.

[Charlotte laughs.]

SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: What a charming amusement for young people this is, Mr Darcy. Nothing like dancing, you know. One of the refinements of every polished society.

MR DARCY: And every unpolished society.

SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: Sir?

MR DARCY: Every savage can dance.

SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: Oh, yes…yes, quite.

[Lydia dances. She ducks and giggles loudly when a boy touches her hair.]

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

[Elizabeth heads toward the dancers and passes Sir William.]

SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: Capital, capital. Ah, 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.

ELIZABETH: 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.

MR DARCY: I would be very happy if you would do me the honour of dancing with me, Miss Bennet.

ELIZABETH: Thank you, but excuse me, I-I am not inclined to dance.

SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: Come, come, why not? When you see Mr Darcy has no objection, although he dislikes the amusement so much in general.

ELIZABETH: Mr Darcy is all politeness.

SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: He is. He is; and why should he not be, considering the inducement? For who could object to such a partner? Eh, Darcy?

ELIZABETH: I beg you would excuse me.

[Elizabeth curtsies and leaves. Darcy bows and watches her walk away.]

SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: Well, well. Oh, capital, Lydia, capital!

[Sir William laughs and walks to another part of the room. Miss Bingley comes up behind Darcy.]

MISS BINGLEY: I believe I can guess your thoughts at this moment.

MR DARCY: I should imagine not.

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

MR DARCY: No, indeed, my mind was more agreeably engaged. I have been meditating on the very great pleasure, which a pair of fine eyes in the face of a pretty woman can bestow.

[Miss Bingley looks down, surprised and flattered.]

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

MR DARCY: Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s.

[Miss Bingley watches Elizabeth smile and laugh as she talks with an officer.]

MISS BINGLEY: Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

[Miss Bingley chuckles somewhat, then steps back slowly, surprised.]

MISS BINGLEY: I am all astonishment.

[The song finishes with Darcy still gazing at Elizabeth.]


***


IV. Jane Takes Ill

--
[INT. LONGBOURN, DINING ROOM - MORNING]
[The Bennet family sits down to breakfast. A letter has just arrived for Jane.]

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

JANE: It is from Miss Bingley.

MRS BENNET: Oh. Oh, well…that is a good sign, too.

[Mrs Bennet gets up from the table and walks over to Jane.]

MRS BENNET: Give it to me.

[Mrs Bennet snatches the note from Jane.]

MRS BENNET: “My dear friend,”

[Mrs Bennet giggles.]

MRS BENNET: There now. “Dine with Louisa and me today.” Hmm, la-dee-da. La-dee-da, la-dee-da, la-dee-da. “…as the gentlemen are to dine with the officers.” Oh, that’s lucky. Still, you must go and make what you can of it. “Yours ever, Caroline Bingley.” Very elegant hand.

JANE: May I have the carriage, father?

MRS BENNET: The carriage? No, indeed! You must go on horseback, for it looks like rain. Then you will have to stay the night.

[Mrs Bennet giggles. Jane gapes as she looks at her mother in astonishment. Mr Bennet puts down his silverware and looks out the window at the weather.]

JANE: Mother!

MRS BENNET: Well, why do you look at me like that? Would you go all the way to Netherfield and back without seeing Mr Bingley? No, indeed. You will go on Nelly. That will do very well indeed. Ha-ha.

[Jane looks to her father for help, but he pulls the tablecloth to his mouth and shakes his head.]

--
[EXT. COUNTRYSIDE, NETHERFIELD - DAY]
[Jane rides through the pouring rain.]

--
[INT. LONGBOURN, DRAWING ROOM - EVENING]
[Elizabeth looks out the window at the rain.]

MRS BENNET: There, Lizzy, you see? It is all exactly as I planned.

[Lizzy looks at her mother, then back at the rain.]

--
[INT. NETHERFIELD, DINING ROOM - EVENING]
[Jane dines with the Bingley sisters with a blanket wrapped around her shoulders.]

MRS HURST: Now, let me see if I’ve got this right, Jane. Your mother’s sister is named Mrs Philips?

JANE: Yes.

MRS HURST: And Mr Philips’s estate is, erm…?

JANE: He lives in Meryton. He’s an attorney.

[Miss Bingley smiles and nods.]

MRS HURST: And your mother’s brother lives in London?

JANE: Yes, in Gracechurch Street.

MISS BINGLEY: In which part of London is Gracechurch Street, Jane?

JANE: I, erm…forgive me, I …

[Jane closes her eyes, gasps, and drops her elbow on the table as she supports her head with her hand.]

MISS BINGLEY: Fossett, get help. Miss Bennet is unwell.

[One of the servants bows and exits.]

--
[INT. LONGBOURN - MORNING]
[The Bennets eat breakfast, minus Jane.]

MR BENNET: 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.

MRS BENNET: Oh, nonsense! People do not die of little trifling colds. She will be very well taken care of.

ELIZABETH: Mamma, I think I must go to Netherfield.

MRS BENNET: Go to Netherfield? No, there is no call for that. Jane is very well where she is. And you know there is nothing for you in Netherfield. You had much better go to Meryton with your sisters and meet the officers.

LYDIA: Aye, Lizzy, for there are more than enough to go around.

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

MR BENNET: I suppose that is a hint for me to send for the carriage.

ELIZABETH: Oh, no, indeed, father, for I had much rather walk. It is barely three miles to Netherfield, and I’ll be back for dinner.

MRS BENNET: Walk three miles in all that dirt? You’ll not be fit to be seen.

ELIZABETH: Well, I shall be fit to see Jane, which is all I want. I am quite determined, mother.

KITTY: I know, Lizzy. Lydia and I will set you as far as Meryton.

LYDIA: Aye, let’s call on Denny early, before he is dressed. What shock he will get.

LYDIA AND KITTY (giggle): Ummmm.

MR BENNET: 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.

--
[EXT. MERYTON - DAY]
[Lydia, Kitty, and Elizabeth walk into Meryton.]

KITTY: Goodbye Lizzy.

LYDIA: Look, Kitty, isn’t that Captain Carter? Come on, make haste.

[Lydia and Kitty run off into town, while Elizabeth continues towards Netherfield.]

--
[EXT. COUNTRYSIDE, NETHERFIELD - DAY]
[Elizabeth climbs over a stile and hops into a patch of mud. She makes a “Well? Oh, well.” Expression and wipes her feet and continues walking. She walks around a tree in sight of Netherfield, and meets Darcy, who happens to be strolling her way. Darcy is startled.]

MR DARCY: Miss Bennet.

ELIZABETH: Mr Darcy.

[Elizabeth curtsies saucily.]

ELIZABETH: I am come to inquire after my sister.

MR DARCY: On foot?

ELIZABETH: As you see. Would you be so kind as to take me to her?

[Still amused, Darcy motions for her to join him walking back to the house.]

--
[INT. NETHERFIELD, JANE’S GUEST ROOM - DAY]
[Elizabeth sits on the edge of Jane’s sickbed.]

--
[INT. NETHERFIELD, DINING ROOM - DAY]
[The Bingleys and the Hursts sit down eat. Darcy stands drinking tea.]

MRS HURST: Well, we must allow her to be an excellent walker, I suppose. But her appearance this morning – she really looked almost wild.

MISS BINGLEY: I could hardly keep my countenance. What does she mean by scampering about the country because her sister has a cold? (chuckles) Her hair, Louisa!

MRS HURST: Well, her petticoat! I hope you saw her petticoat, Brother. Six inches deep in mud, I’m absolutely certain.

MR BINGLEY: I must confess, it quite escaped my notice. I thought she looked remarkably well.

MISS BINGLEY: You observed it, I’m sure, Mr Darcy.

MR DARCY: I did.

MISS BINGLEY: I’m inclined to think you wouldn’t wish your sister to make such an exhibition.

MR DARCY: Certainly not.

MISS BINGLEY: It seems to me to show an abominable sort of conceited independence, hm?

[Mrs Hurst nods in agreement.]

MR BINGLEY: It shows an affection for her sister that is very pleasing.

MISS BINGLEY: I’m afraid, Mr Darcy, that this escapade may have affected your admiration for her fine eyes.

[Miss Bingley smirks.]

MR DARCY: Not at all. They were brightened by the exercise.

[Darcy takes a sip of tea. Miss Bingley’s smirk freezes as she looks at Darcy and then her sister.]

MRS HURST: But Jane Bennet is a sweet girl. It’s very sad she should have such an unfortunate family, such low connections.

MISS BINGLEY: Their uncle, she told us, is in trade and lives in Cheapside.

MRS HURST: Well, perhaps we should call when we are next in town. [The sisters laugh.]

MR BINGLEY: They would be just as agreeable to me, had they uncles enough to fill all Cheapside.

MR DARCY: But with such connections they can have very little chance of marrying well, Bingley. That is the material point.

[A door opens and Elizabeth enters. Mr Bingley stands and faces her.]

MR BINGLEY: Miss Bennet. How does your sister do? Is she any better?

ELIZABETH: I am afraid that she is quite unwell, Mr Bingley.

MR BINGLEY: Let me send for Mr. Jones; and you must stay until your sister is recovered.

ELIZABETH: Oh, I would not wish to inconvenience you.

[Miss Bingley and Mrs Hurst exchange a look.]

MR BINGLEY: I wouldn’t hear of anything else. I’ll send to Longbourn for your clothes directly.

ELIZABETH: You’re very kind, sir.

[Bingley turns to a servant who bows, and exits.]

MR HURST: Is there any sport today, or not?


***


V. An Accomplished Woman

[EXT. COUNTRYSIDE, NETHERFIELD - DAY]
[A servant goes ahead with the dogs to scare up some birds for Bingley’s party to shoot.]

--
[INT. NETHERFIELD, JANE’S GUEST ROOM - DAY]
[Elizabeth gazes out the window (Jane can be seen in the mirror), then back at Jane, who smiles. Elizabeth smiles back and sighs.]

--
[EXT. COUNTRYSIDE, NETHERFIELD - EVENING]
[The sportsmen walk back, their coats billowing out behind them in the wind.]

--
[INT. NETHERFIELD, JANE’S GUEST ROOM - EVENING]
[Elizabeth finishes dressing for the evening and turns to Jane.]

ELIZABETH: There. Shall I disgrace you, do you think?

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

ELIZABETH: Oh, Jane…I had much rather stay here with you. The superior sisters wish me miles away.

[Elizabeth sits on the bed.]

ELIZABETH: Only your Mr Bingley is civil and attentive.

JANE: He is not my Mr Bingley, Lizzy.

ELIZABETH: Oh, I think he is. Or he very soon will be.

[Jane smiles and they chuckle.]

--
[INT. NETHERFIELD, STAIRCASE/BILLIARD ROOM - EVENING]
[Elizabeth descends the stairs, looking for her hosts, and is surprised by a servant.]

SERVANT: I believe you will find Mr Bingley is in the drawing room, Ma’am.

[The servant bows and leaves.]

ELIZABETH: Thank you.

[Elizabeth hears billiard balls striking in a nearby room and goes to look. She stops in the doorway of the billiard room as she realizes it’s only Mr Darcy. Darcy stands up straight and bows. Elizabeth turns and leaves without acknowledging him and he goes back to his game.]

--
[INT. NETHERFIELD, DRAWING ROOM - EVENING]
[Elizabeth sits on a loveseat reading as the Bingleys and Hursts play cards. Mr Darcy enters.]

MISS BINGLEY: Oh, Mr Darcy, come and advise me, for Mr Hurst carries all before him.

MR HURST: Ha!

[Mr Hurst slaps down a successful play, the sisters groan. Mr Darcy approaches Elizabeth.]

MR DARCY: May I inquire after your sister, Miss Bennet?

ELIZABETH: I thank you. I believe she is a little better.

MR DARCY: I am very glad to hear it.

[Mr Darcy walks over to a desk and sits down to write.]

MISS BINGLEY: Oh, Mr Hurst, I’m quite undone.

[Miss Bingley chuckles.]

MR HURST: Should have played the deuce.

MISS BINGLEY: He has undone us all, Mr Darcy.

MRS HURST: Will you join us, Miss Bennet?

ELIZABETH: I thank you, no.

MR HURST: You prefer reading to cards, do you? Singular.

MISS BINGLEY: Miss Bennet despises cards. She is a great reader, and has no pleasure in else.

[Mrs Hurst chuckles.]

ELIZABETH: Well, I deserve neither such praise, nor such censure. I am not a great reader, and take pleasure in many things.

[The others are quiet.]

MISS BINGLEY: And what do you do so secretly, sir?

[Darcy briefly turns to check that Miss Bingley is speaking to him.]

MR DARCY: It is no secret. I am writing to my sister.

MISS BINGLEY: Oh, dear Georgiana! Oh, how I long to see her. Is she much grown since the spring? Is she as tall as me?

[The siblings laugh.]

MR DARCY: She is now about Miss. Elizabeth Bennet’s height, or a little taller.

MISS BINGLEY: And so accomplished. Her performance at the pianoforte is exquisite. Do you play, Miss Bennet?

ELIZABETH: Aye, but very ill indeed.

MR BINGLEY: But all young ladies are accomplished. They sing, they draw, they dance, speak French and German, cover screens, and I know not what.

MR DARCY: There are not half a dozen who would satisfy my notion of an accomplished woman.

MISS BINGLEY: Oh, certainly. No woman can be really as deemed 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.

MR DARCY: And to all this she must yet add something more substantial in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.

ELIZABETH: I am no longer surprised at you knowing only six accomplished women, Mr Darcy.

[Darcy turns to regard Elizabeth.]

ELIZABETH: I rather wonder at you knowing any.

[Darcy puts down his pen and faces Elizabeth.]

MRS HURST: You are very severe upon your sex, Miss Bennet.

ELIZABETH: I must speak as I find.

MISS BINGLEY: Perhaps you have not had the advantage, Miss Bennet, of moving in society enough. There are many very accomplished young ladies amongst our acquaintance.

MR HURST: Come, come this is a fine way to play at cards. You’re all light.

MISS BINGLEY AND MRS HURST: Ugh.

[They all pitch in a few more chips.]

--
[EXT. NETHERFIELD, CARRIAGE - DAY]
[Mrs Bennet, Kitty, and Lydia ride to Netherfield. Mrs Bennet leans out the window.]

MRS BENNET: Look, girls. Is it not a fair prospect?

[The two girls lean out the window to look.]

--
[INT. NETHERFIELD, DRAWING ROOM - DAY]
[Miss Bingley closes the door as she enters.]

MISS BINGLEY: And now the mother. Are we to be invaded by every Bennet in the country? God, it’s too much to be borne.

[Miss Bingley goes to her sister, who takes her hand as she sits down. Mr Hurst tries to hurry to the door to escape before they enter, but the door opens.]

MR HURST: Oh, Lord.

[The Bennet troupe enters. Mr Bingley stands and hurries to step back and face them.]

MR BINGLEY: Mrs Bennet, you are very welcome.

[They bow and curtsy.]

MR BINGLEY: I hope you do not find Miss Bennet worse than you expected.

MRS BENNET: Indeed, I do, sir. She is very ill, indeed, and suffers a vast deal. Though with the greatest patience in the world, for she has the sweetest temper, Mr Bingley.

[Mr Hurst exits quietly.]

MRS BENNET: But she is a great deal too ill to be moved. We must trespass a little longer on your kindness.

MR BINGLEY: But of course.

MISS BINGLEY: Miss Bennet will receive every possible attention, Ma’am, I assure you.

MRS BENNET: You are very good. Well, you have a sweet room here. Aheh, I think you will never want to leave Netherfield, now you are come here.

MR BINGLEY: I believe I should be happy to live in the country forever. Wouldn’t you, Darcy?

MR DARCY: You would? You don’t find the society somewhat confined and unvarying for your taste?

MRS BENNET: Confined and unvarying? Indeed it is not, sir! The country is a vast deal pleasanter than town, whatever you may say about it.

[Annoyed, Darcy walks to the window.]

ELIZABETH: Mamma, you mistake Mr Darcy’s meaning.

MRS BENNET: Do I? Do I? He seems to think the country nothing at all.

ELIZABETH: Mamma…

MRS BENNET: Confined, unvarying. I would have him know we dine with four-and-twenty families.

[Bingley’s sisters snigger.]

ELIZABETH: Er, Mamma? Have you seen Charlotte Lucas since I came away?

MRS BENNET: Yes, she called yesterday with Sir William. What an agreeable man he is. That is my idea of good breeding.

[Elizabeth looks distressed and Mr Bingley glances anxiously at Darcy.]

MRS BENNET: And those persons who fancy themselves very important, and never open their mouths, quite mistake the matter.

[Mrs Bennet sits down in a chair.]

LYDIA: Er, Mr Bingley, did you not promise to give a ball at Netherfield as soon as you were settled here? It will be a great scandal if you don’t keep your word.

MR BINGLEY: I am perfectly ready to keep my engagement. And when your sister is recovered, you shall name the day of the ball, if you please.

LYDIA: Oh!

MRS BENNET: Oh! There now, Lydia, that’s a fair promise for you. That’s generosity for you. That’s what I call gentlemanly behaviour.

[Elizabeth sighs, closing her eyes.]


***


VI. A Man Without Fault

[INT. NETHERFIELD, BATHROOM/EXT. PARK – DAY]
[Mr Darcy bathes. Elizabeth walks towards Netherfield, then sees a large dog and runs after it. Mr Darcy gets out of his bath, puts on a robe, and sees Elizabeth out of the window playing tug-of-war with the dog.]

--
[INT. NETHERFIELD, DRAWING ROOM - EVENING]
[Mr Hurst is passed out on a couch while the rest of the group occupy themselves. Darcy and Elizabeth read, Miss Bingley pretends to read as she walks around the room. Mrs Hurst sits in a chair, and Bingley stands by the fire. Miss Bingley puts down the book and tries to catch Darcy’s attention by leaning over his book. She fails and strolls over to Elizabeth. Bingley sits down.]

MISS BINGLEY: Miss Eliza Bennet, let me persuade you to follow my example and take a turn about the room. It’s so refreshing.

[Miss Bingley glances over her shoulder at Darcy. Elizabeth closes her books and stands up and begins to walk arm in arm with Miss Bingley. Miss Bingley sighs.]

MISS BINGLEY: Will you not join us, Mr Darcy?

MR DARCY: That would defeat the object.

MISS BINGLEY: Well, what do you mean, sir? What on earth can he mean?

ELIZABETH: I think we would do better not to inquire.

MISS BINGLEY: Nay, we insist on knowing your meaning, sir.

MR DARCY: Why, that your figures appear to best advantage when walking, and that I might best admire them from my present position.

[Mrs Hurst laughs.]

MISS BINGLEY: Oh, shocking! Abominable reply. How shall we punish him, Miss. Eliza?

ELIZABETH (chuckles): Nothing so easy. Tease him. Laugh at him.

[They stop in front of Darcy, and Miss Bingley lets go of Elizabeth’s arm.]

MISS BINGLEY: Laugh at Mr Darcy? Impossible. He is a man without fault.

ELIZABETH: Is he indeed? A man without fault?

[Elizabeth looks at Darcy and raises her eyebrows in challenge.]

MR DARCY: That is not possible for anyone. But it has been my study to avoid those weaknesses, which expose a strong understanding to ridicule.

ELIZABETH: Such as…vanity, perhaps, hmm, and pride?

MR DARCY: Yes, vanity is a weakness indeed. But pride…where there is a real superiority of mind, pride will always be under good regulation.

[Elizabeth looks rather amused and triumphant.]

MR DARCY: I have faults enough, Miss Bennet, but I hope they are not of understanding. My temper I cannot vouch for. It might be called resentful. My good opinion, once lost, is lost forever.

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

MR DARCY: I believe every disposition has a tendency to some particular evil.

ELIZABETH: Your defect is a propensity to hate everyone.

MR DARCY: While yours is wilfully to misunderstand them.

MISS BINGLEY: Er, shall we have some music? Hmm?

[Miss Bingley goes to the piano and begins playing rapidly.]

--
[EXT. NETHERFIELD, CARRIAGE - MORNING]
[Elizabeth and Jane wait to depart.]

MR BINGLEY: Give your parents my warmest salutations. And tell your father he’s most welcome to come shooting with us anytime convenient.

JANE: Thank you, sir, you are very kind.

[Jane and Bingley beam at each other.]

MR BINGLEY: Goodbye.

JANE: Goodbye.

[Bingley steps back from the carriage and gazes at Jane.]

MR BINGLEY: Drive on, Roster.

[Bingley raises a hand in farewell.]

--
[INT. NETHERFIELD, DINING ROOM - MORNING]
[The Hursts and Miss Bingley eat. Darcy stands at the window, watching the carriage drive off.]

MISS BINGLEY: Oh, how pleasant it is to have one’s house to oneself again. But I fear Mr Darcy is the mourning the loss of Miss Eliza Bennet’s pert opinions and fine eyes.

MR DARCY: Quite the contrary, I assure you.

--
[EXT. NETHERFIELD, CARRIAGE - MORNING]

ELIZABETH: Oh, Jane. (sigh) 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.

[Jane and Elizabeth smile at each other.]

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6

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