I. Surprising News
[EXT. LONGBOURN - DAY]
[Kitty and Lydia approach Longbourn and run the rest of the way into the house.]
LYDIA: Lizzy! Jane!
[INT. LONGBOURN, FRONT HALL - DAY]
[Kitty and Lydia enter as Jane and Elizabeth enter the house.]
LYDIA: What do you think? Mr Collins has made an offer of marriage to Charlotte Lucas.
[Elizabeth's eyes widen with surprise.]
KITTY: And she's accepted him.
ELIZABETH: Charlotte? Engaged to Mr Collins? Impossible.
[INT. LUCAS LODGE, DRAWING ROOM - DAY]
[Mr Collins talks to Sir William Lucas while Elizabeth takes tea with Charlotte.]
MR COLLINS: The fireplace in the great room at Rosings would be much larger than that. A fireplace of truly prodigious dimensions.
CHARLOTTE: But why should you be surprised, my dear Lizzy? Do you think it incredible that Mr Collins should be able to procure any woman's good opinion, because he was not so happy as to succeed with you?
ELIZABETH: Charlotte, I didn't mean…
[Elizabeth puts down her tea cup.]
ELIZABETH: I was surprised. But, Charlotte, if Mr Collins has been so fortunate as to secure your affections, I'm delighted for you both.
CHARLOTTE: I see what you're feeling. I'm not romantic, you know. I never was. I ask only a comfortable home; and, considering Mr Collins's character and situation in life, I am convinced that my chance of happiness with him is as fair as most people can boast on entering the marriage state.
MR COLLINS: My dear Charlotte.
[Mr Collins takes Charlotte's hand when he and Sir William come over.]
MR COLLINS: Cousin Elizabeth, you can see before you the happiest of men.
[Mr Collins smiles ridiculously.]
[INT. LONGBOURN, DRAWING ROOM - DAY]
[Elizabeth paces. Jane sits on the couch sewing. Elizabeth gives an exasperated sigh.]
ELIZABETH: 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.
JANE: Well, 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.
[Elizabeth shakes her head.]
JANE: And, as far as fortune goes, it is an eligible match.
ELIZABETH: Very eligible! You would never think of marrying a man like that, simply to secure your own comfort.
JANE: No, but, Lizzy, not everyone is the same.
[Jane sighs. Elizabeth walks over to another chair and sits down with a huge sigh.]
ELIZABETH: Dear Jane. I doubt that you will have to make a choice between marrying for love and marrying for more material considerations.
JANE: Though, you may, perhaps?
[Hill knocks on the door and enters with a letter and a smile.]
HILL: This came, just now, from Netherfield, Ma'am.
JANE: Thank you.
[Jane takes the letter and Hill curtsies before leaving and closing the door. Jane opens the letter.]
JANE: It is 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.
[Elizabeth leans forward, surprised and sad.]
[EXT. NETHERFIELD - DAY]
[The scene fades to servants carrying things out of Netherfield.]
MISS BINGLEY (V.O.): "My brother, Charles, at first thought that the business, which takes him to London, might be concluded in a few days."
[Bingley and Darcy ride out on horseback from Netherfield behind a coach.]
MISS BINGLEY (V.O.): "But we are 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."
[Miss Bingley and Mrs Hurst sit inside the carriage. Miss Bingley looks out at Darcy riding next to them.]
MISS BINGLEY (V.O.): "Mr Darcy, of course, is impatient to see his sister; and to confess the truth, I am scarcely less eager to meet her again."
[INT. GROSVENOR SQUARE HOUSE - DAY]
[Miss Darcy, on the arm of her brother, greets Mr. Bingley.]
MISS DARCY: Charles. It has been so long since you came to London.
MISS BINGLEY (V.O.): "From the hope I dare to entertain of her being, hereafter,"
[Mr. Bingley kisses Miss Darcy's hand, and Miss Bingley has a pleased look on her face.]
MISS BINGLEY (V.O.): "My sister."
[Caroline exchanges a pleased look with Louisa.]
MISS BINGLEY (V.O.): "Am I wrong, my dearest Jane, in indulging in the hope of an event, which will secure the happiness of so many?"
[INT. LONGBOURN, DRAWING ROOM - DAY]
JANE: Is it not clear enough? Caroline Bingley is convinced her brother is indifferent to me, and she means, most kindly, to put me on my guard. Oh, Lizzy, can there be any other opinion on the subject?
ELIZABETH: Well, 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.
[Jane sighs and shakes her head, lowering her gaze.]
ELIZABETH: Indeed, Jane, you ought to believe me.
[Elizabeth sits down next to Jane.]
ELIZABETH: No one who has seen you and Bingley together can doubt his affection.
JANE: I cannot believe Caroline is capable of wilful deceit.
JANE: All I can hope for, in this case, is that she is deceived herself.
ELIZABETH: Oh, hell! Believe her to be deceived, by all means, but she can hardly convince a man so much in love, that he is in love with someone else instead. If Bingley is not back by your side and dining at Longbourn within two weeks, I should be very much surprised.
[Elizabeth smiles at Jane. Jane smiles uncertainly back.]
[EXT. MERYTON - DAY]
[Kitty, Lydia and Elizabeth walk into the village.]
LYDIA: And I don't envy Charlotte Lucas in the slightest. Fancy wanting to marry a clergyman!
KITTY: He'll be reading to her from Foley's sermons every night.
LYDIA: Before they go to bed.
[Kitty and Lydia giggle.]
LYDIA: Oh, look at that hideous cloth! It would do very well for Mary, don't you think?
[Kitty and Lydia giggle.]
KITTY: Look! There's Denny and Carter!
KITTY: And Wickham.
[Kitty and Lydia wave.]
LYDIA: I suppose you'll keep Wickham all to yourself again, Lizzy.
KITTY: Well, of course she will, she is violently in love with him.
[Kitty and Lydia giggle.]
ELIZABETH: For heaven's sake, lower your voice.
LT. DENNY: Good afternoon to you, ladies.
[They all bow and curtsy.]
LT. DENNY: What a fortunate meeting, for we were about to walk towards Longbourn in search of you.
LYDIA: We came into town in search of you.
[Lydia giggles. Lydia takes Denny's hand while Carter takes Kitty's. Wickham is left behind with Elizabeth; they smile at each other and walk on.]
ELIZABETH: We were hoping we would see you at the Netherfield ball.
MR WICKHAM: And I was very sorry, indeed, to lose the pleasure of dancing with you there. But fate, it would seem…No. With you I must be entirely open. I decided that it would be wrong for me to there. I found as the time drew near, that I'd better not meet with Mr Darcy, seeing as it might arise unpleasant to more than myself.
ELIZABETH: I do understand, and I 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 discomforted.
MR WICKHAM: And, through him, your sister.
[Elizabeth looks up at Wickham, a little surprised.]
MR WICKHAM: I hear your cousin, Mr Collins, is engaged to be married.
ELIZABETH: Yes, to my good friend, Charlotte Lucas.
MR WICKHAM: I had thought that his intentions tended in another direction.
[Elizabeth looks up at Wickham and smiles in amusement.]
ELIZABETH: Perhaps they did, but they took a little turn to everybody's satisfaction.
[Wickham and Elizabeth laugh.]
MR WICKHAM: And relief.
ELIZABETH: I hope that you will stay and take tea with us. I should like to be able to introduce you to my mother and father.
MR WICKHAM: Thank you.
[EXT. LONGBOURN - DAY]
[Wickham, Denny, Carter, and the Bennets exit the front door. Lt. Denny talk with Mrs Bennet.]
MRS BENNET (laughs): Mr Denny. You know, I always had a soft spot for…and I'd give it a stroke and…
[They all laugh, and Elizabeth and Wickham smile at each other. The officers bow and walk off while the Bennets head back inside, but Lydia runs to the officers.]
[Denny turns around and Lydia whispers something to him that makes him laugh. Denny gives a little bow, and Lydia giggles as she returns to the house. The officers continue walking.]
[INT. LONGBOURN, DRAWING ROOM - DAY]
[Mr Bennet and Mary read, and Jane is sews, as Mrs Bennet, Elizabeth, Kitty, and Lydia enter.]
MRS BENNET: Oh, young George Wickham is such a charming young man, is he not, my dear?
MR BENNET: 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?
ELIZABETH: But I believe he's truly been treated contemptibly by Mr Darcy, father.
[Mrs Bennet nods. Mr Bennet regards Elizabeth.]
MR BENNET: Well, I daresay, he has, Lizzy. Though Darcy may turn out to be no more of a black-hearted villain than your average rich man who is used to his own way.
MARY: It behoves us all to take very careful thought before pronouncing an adverse judgment on any of our fellow men.
[Lydia rolls her eyes.]
LYDIA: Oh, Lord!
[Lydia takes a sweet.]
MRS BENNET: Well, I feel very sorry for poor Mr Wickham. And so becoming in his regimentals. I remember the time when I like a red coat myself well enough.
[Mary rolls her eyes, and the others smile.]
MRS BENNET: And I do still, in my heart.
[Mrs Bennet sits down.]
MRS BENNET: And there's no need to smile like that, Miss Lizzy.
[Mrs Bennet looks up.]
MRS BENNET: And 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 al in vain; it will all come to nothing. Oh, the poor young man, if only he had five, or six thousand a year, I would be happy to see him married to any of the girls.
[Jane looks sad, and sighs.]
MRS BENNET: But nothing turns out the way it should. And now, Mr. Bingley, of whom we all had such expectations, is gone off forever.
JANE: I have heard again from Caroline Bingley. It is now quite definite that they will stay in town for the whole winter.
ELIZABETH: I cannot believe it.
JANE: It is true.
MR BENNET: Come now, Jane, take comfort. Next to being married, a girl likes to be passed in love now and then. When is your turn to come, Lizzy? You can hardly bear to be long outdone by Jane. Well, here there are enough officers in Meryton to disappoint all the young ladies in the country. Let Wickham be your man. He's a pleasant fellow. He'd jilt you creditably.
ELIZABETH: Thank you, sir, but a less agreeable man would satisfy me. We must not all expect Jane's good fortune.
[Jane gets up and walks to the door.]
MR BENNET: True. It is a comfort to think that whatever of that kind made befall you, you have an affectionate mother who will always make the most of it.
[Elizabeth watches Jane leave sadly, and rises to follow her.]
MRS BENNET: 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 live to see her take my place in it.
MR BENNET: My dear, do not give way to such gloomy thoughts. Let us hope for better things.
[Mr Bennet puts away his newspaper and gets up.]
MR BENNET: Let us flatter ourselves, that I might outlive you.
[Mrs Bennet looks at him before he leaves, and then begins to cry.]
[INT.LONGBOURN, JANE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT]
[Jane is washing her hands in her nightgown, while Elizabeth sits on the bed, fully dressed.]
JANE: 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, and that is all. I have nothing to either hope or fear; and nothing to reproach him with. At least I have not had that pain.
[Elizabeth gets up to sit closer.]
ELIZABETH: Oh, my dear Jane. You are too good, your sweetness and disinterestedness are truly angelic.
JANE: Don't tease me, Lizzy.
ELIZABETH: Indeed, I do not tease you.
ELIZABETH: 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.
[Elizabeth thinks and then smiles.]
ELIZABETH: Jane, what if you were to go to town? I'm sure Aunt and Uncle Gardiner would be very happy to take you back to Gracechurch Street with them after Christmas.
JANE: And why would you have me go to London, Lizzy?
ELIZABETH: Oh, no reason. Change of scene and society?
II. Mr Wickham's Engagement
[EXT. LONGBOURN - DAY]
[A carriage rides up to Longbourn. The family comes out to meet it.]
MRS BENNET: Oh, why, you're so late! I'm sure I feared your coach had overset itself, or you had been attacked by robbers.
[Mrs Bennet and Mr Gardiner kiss each other on the cheek as Mr Bennet helps Mrs Gardiner out of the carriage and kisses her cheek.]
MR GARDINER: Nonsense! We have made very good time. How do you do, Fanny?
MRS BENNET: Oh, very ill, Edward, very ill. No one knows what I suffer with my nerves.
[Mrs Bennet and Mrs Gardiner kiss each other on the cheek.]
MRS BENNET: But then I never complain.
MR GARDINER: Aye, well, I suppose that's nice way to go about it, Fanny. Oh, very good, very good.
[Mr Gardiner and Mr Bennet shake hands. Lydia bursts into the group and puts her hand on a package in Mrs Gardiner's hands.]
LYDIA: Oh, what have you got there? Have you brought us some presents?
MRS GARDINER: I see you've not changed, Lydia.
LYDIA: Why, have I not grown?
[Mrs Gardiner laughs.]
MRS GARDINER: Jane.
[Mrs Gardiner and Jane kiss each other on the cheek.]
MR BENNET: Aye, in everything but good sense.
Mrs Gardiner; Lizzy, Lizzy.
[Mrs Gardiner and Elizabeth kiss each other on the cheek.]
MRS BENNET: Oh, get yourselves in; get yourselves in, for you've barely time for a change of clothes.
[Mr and Mrs Bennet are left with Mr Gardiner.]
MRS BENNET: We are bidden to the village this evening. Lord knows, I have no desire to be always going here and there at night. I should much rather sit at home and rest my poor nerves.
[INT. PHILIPS' HOUSE - EVENING]
[Maria sings softly and prettily while Mary plays the piano. Conversations stir in the room.]
MARIA: ♫ 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 power when we had gone astray... ♫
[Jane and Charlotte walk across the room.]
MARIA: ♫ Oh tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy... ♫
[Elizabeth laughs at something Mr Wickham said.]
MARIA: ♫ Oh tidings of comfort and joy♫
[Mrs Philips, Mrs Bennet, and Mrs Gardiner sit on a couch together.]
MRS BENNET: My poor Jane. I would not have you think I blame poor Jane at all.
[Jane sits rather quietly between Charlotte and Lady Lucas.]
MRS PHILIPS: Who could blame poor Jane for the matter? She is the dearest girl in the world.
MRS BENNET: And, as I was telling our dear sister, Mrs Gardiner, she did her best.
MRS PHILIPS: She would have got Bingley if she could.
MRS BENNET: She would. She did her best, and no one could do any more than that. But, oh, sister...
[Elizabeth laughs again.]
MRS BENNET: When I think about Lizzy.
MRS PHILIPS: It must be very hard, sister.
MRS BENNET: It is very hard, to think, she could have been Mr Collins's wife by now.
MRS PHILIPS: That would have given you such comfort.
MRS BENNET: Oh, those Lucases are such artful people, indeed.
MRS BENNET (whisper): They are all for what they can get.
MRS BENNET (to Mrs Gardiner): 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.
[Mrs Bennet indicates Mrs Gardiner's dress, but she turns cold and gets up and walks away with Mrs Philips when Elizabeth and Wickham approach.]
ELIZABETH: May I present Mr Wickham to you, Aunt?
MRS GARDINER: I understand you come from Derbyshire, Mr Wickham.
MR WICKHAM: Indeed, I do, Ma'am. Do you know the country?
MRS GARDINER: Oh, very well. I spent some of the happiest years of my life at Lambton.
MR WICKHAM: But that is not five miles from where I grew up, at Pemberley.
MRS GARDINER: Pemberley! Surely, Pemberley is the most handsome house in Derbyshire; and, consequently, in the whole world.
MR WICKHAM: I see you take my view of things, Ma'am. And, uh, are you acquainted with the family?
MRS GARDINER: No, not at all.
MR WICKHAM: I had the fortune to be the protégé of old Mr Darcy. He was the very best of men, Mrs Gardiner. I wish you could have known him.
LYDIA (playing cards): And a four on yours, and I'm out.
LYDIA: Lord, I've won again.
LYDIA: Oh, let's have some dancing now. I long for a dance.
[Lydia gets up and walks toward the dance floor and piano.]
LYDIA: Mary! Mary, play "Grimstock."
[Mary looks up indignantly, but Maria stands up and finds the proper music, smiling. Elizabeth and Wickham head for the dance floor.]
WOMAN (laughs): Oh, Mr Denny, Mr Chamberlayne
[Three pairs line up, and the dance begins. Mr and Mrs Bennet, Mr Gardiner, Mrs Philips, and Sir William watch. Sir William claps his hands.]
SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: Capital, capital. Fine girls, are they not, Mr Gardiner?
MR GARDINER: Indeed, they are, Sir William. The two eldest in particular, perhaps.
SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: Indeed, indeed, I think they would grace the court of St. James itself, but let us not forget the younger Miss Bennets.
MR BENNET: Aye, aye, they have arms and legs enough between them, and are three of the silliest girls in England.
[They all look at him. The dancing continues, and Mrs Gardiner enters slowly to watch, and then looks over at quiet Jane.]
[INT. PHILIPS' HOUSE - EVENING]
[Wickham dances with a ginger haired girl. Elizabeth watches the dancing with Charlotte.]
ELIZABETH: And when do you go into Kent?
CHARLOTTE: We shall spend the wedding night at Lucas Lodge, and then travel to Hunsford on Friday.
[They continue to watch and Elizabeth sighs. Charlotte suddenly turns and takes Elizabeth's hand, a little scared and desperate.]
CHARLOTTE: You will write to me Lizzy? I believe I'm not likely to leave Kent for some time. I shall depend on hearing from you very often.
ELIZABETH: And that you certainly shall.
CHARLOTTE: My father and Maria are to come to me in March. Lizzy, will you promise to be one of the party? Indeed, you will be as welcome as either of them.
ELIZABETH: Well, then how could I refuse? But, I'll only come if you guarantee me a glimpse of the famous chimneypiece at Rosings Park.
[Charlotte and Elizabeth laugh.]
CHARLOTTE: That, I think, you could scarcely avoid, even if you wished to.
[Maria rushes over to them.]
MARIA: Have you asked her, Charlotte? Is she to come to Hunsford with us?
[Mrs Gardiner joins them.]
MARIA: Good! Oh, I shall be half so frightened of Lady Catherine if you are with us, Lizzy.
[Maria turns to look at the ginger dancing.]
MARIA: Who is that girl dancing with Mr Wickham?
ELIZABETH: Her name is Mary King. She's come to stay with her Uncle in Meryton.
MARIA: Oh. She's not very pretty, is she?
CHARLOTTE: Beauty is not the only virtue, Maria. She has just inherited a fortune of 10,000 pounds, I understand.
MRS GARDINER: Now that is a definite virtue.
[They all laugh.]
[EXT/INT. LONGBOURN - DAY]
[The scene fades to Longbourn, where we see the family through the snowy, frosted windows. Everyone is wrapped up in blankets.]
MRS BENNET: It is very hard, very hard. I might feel sorry for Lizzy, though she endured little to deserve it.
LYDIA: For Wickham to pursue Miss. King all the way to Barnet just for her 10,000 pounds.
KITTY: I wish someone would die and leave me 10,000 pounds, then all the officers would be violently in love with me.
[Kitty and Lydia giggle.]
MRS BENNET: I'm sure they would, Kitty, my dear, I'm sure they would be.
KITTY: Did you think her pretty, Mamma?
MRS BENNET: No, indeed, she has nothing to any of you.
LYDIA: A little, short, freckled thing. Poor Wickham. How he must be suffering.
[Elizabeth sits on her window seat, reading a letter from Jane.]
JANE (V.O.): "January the twelfth. My dearest Lizzy, here we continue at Gracechurch Street to be quiet and comfortable; and my aunt and uncle could not be kinder or more attentive. All I lack here, dear Lizzy, is you to make me laugh at myself."
[Elizabeth smiles, and pulls the shawl higher on her shoulder.]
JANE (V.O.): "You will remember that, three weeks ago, when our aunt was going into that part of town,"
[EXT. LONDON, GROSVENOR STREET - DAY]
[Jane walks down a street and up to a very large and elegant house.]
JANE (V.O.): "I took the opportunity of calling on Miss Bingley in Grosvenor Street. I was very eager to see Caroline again, and I thought that she was glad to see me,"
[Miss Bingley, Mrs Hurst, and Jane sit down in a fancy room.]
JANE (V.O.): "Though a little out of spirits. She reproached me for giving her no notice of my coming to London…"
JANE: How is your brother?
JANE (V.O.): "…and thought it very strange that both my letters should have gone astray."
[The scene fades to Elizabeth reading the letter.]
ELIZABETH (sigh): Very strange, indeed.
[The scene fades back to the fancy room.]
JANE (V.O.): "My visit was not long…"
MISS BINGLEY: We will try and visit you as soon as possible, Miss Bennet, at Gracechurch Street. [The three stand up, and curtsy.]
JANE (V.O.): "…as Caroline and Mrs Hurst were going out."
MRS HURST: Goodbye Miss Bennet.
JANE (V.O.): "But, they gave me every promise of calling at Gracechurch Street in a day of two."
[Jane walks out. Miss Bingley and Mrs Hurst exchange a look, and Mrs Hurst sighs.]
[EXT/INT. LONDON, GRACECHURCH STREET/THE GARDINERS' HOUSE - DAY]
[Jane sits on the window seat, reading a book.]
JANE (V.O.): "I waited at home every morning for three weeks. And, at length, today she came."
[A carriage pulls up, and Miss Bingley steps out with a disdainful look at the house.]
JANE (V.O.): "I know, my dear Lizzy, you will be incapable of triumphing at my expense,"
[Jane smiles through the window.]
JANE (V.O.): "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."
[The Gardiner children come sit next to their mother, while Jane sits in another chair, and Miss Bingley looks around contemptuously.]
JANE (V.O.): "When I asked after her brother, she made it clear that he knows of my being in town,"
[Miss Bingley steps out of the house, looks disgustedly at the street, and steps into her carriage.]
JANE (V.O.): "but is much engaged at present, with Mr Darcy and his sister."
[Jane looks sadly out the window.]
JANE (V.O.): "I must conclude, then, that Mr. Bingley now no longer cares for me."
[The scene fades to Elizabeth, who sighs sadly.]
[EXT. COUNTRYSIDE/LONBOURN - DAY]
[The scene fades to Elizabeth walking in the country towards Longbourn in the spring. Lydia runs out to Elizabeth.]
LYDIA: Lizzy, come quick.
[Lydia takes Elizabeth's hand, and leads her inside.]
LYDIA: Denny and Carter are here, and guess who else? Wickham.
[EXT. LONGBOURN, PARK - DAY]
[Elizabeth and Wickham walk together.]
MR WICKHAM: I heard that you are going into Kent. I felt I could not let you go without calling to see you once.
ELIZABETH: I am very glad you did, I have missed our conversations. I hear I am to congratulate you on your forthcoming betrothal to Miss. King.
MR WICKHAM: I think you must despise me.
ELIZABETH: Oh, indeed, I do not, believe me. I understand, as my younger sisters are not yet able to, that handsome young men must something to live no, as well as the plain ones.
[Elizabeth and Wickham walk for a while.]
MR WICKHAM: Miss Bennet, I would wish you to believe me that, had circumstances been different…
ELIZABETH: 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.
MR WICKHAM: You are very forbearing.
ELIZABETH: I flatter myself, I am. I think Jane will be quite proud of me.
MR WICKHAM: I hope you and I, at least, will always be good friends.
ELIZABETH: I'm sure we shall, Mr Wickham.
III. A Proper Wife
[INT. LONGBOURN, STUDY - DAY]
[Commotion is distracting Mr Bennet from his reading, as Elizabeth is preparing to leave.]
Sarah: Be careful with that. That be delicate. There you go.
ELIZABETH: This one.
[Elizabeth points to some luggage, and then walks into the study when she notices her father watching her.]
MR BENNET: Well, Lizzy, on pleasure bent again. Never've thought of what your poor parents will suffer in your absence.
ELIZABETH: It is a pleasure I could well forego, father. As I think you know.
MR BENNET: Hm.
ELIZABETH: But I shall be happy to see Charlotte again.
MR BENNET: What of your cousin, Mr Collins? What of the famous Lady Catherine de Bourgh, herself? As a connoisseur of human folly I should have thought you impatient to be savouring these delights.
[Elizabeth smiles in amusement.]
ELIZABETH (chuckle): Of some delights, I believe sir, a little goes a long way.
[Mr Bennet nods.]
MR BENNET: Yes. Well, think of me, Lizzy. Till you or your sister, Jane, return I shall not hear two words of sense spoken together. You'll be very much missed, my dear.
[Mr Bennet holds out his hand, and Elizabeth goes to him and takes it and kisses it, and she kisses his forehead.]
MR BENNET: Very well, very well, go on now. Get along with you.
[Mr Bennet opens his book again, and gives a little smile as Elizabeth leaves.]
[EXT. COUNTRY ROAD, CARRIAGE - DAY]
[Maria, Sir William, and Elizabeth ride in a carriage toward Hunsford.]
SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: My Maria, all that land to the left of us belongs to Rosings Park.
MARIA: All of it?!
SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: Mm-hmm.
MARIA: Oh, Lady Catherine must be very rich, indeed.
SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: I believe so. I believe so. And she has many favours in her gift. Your sister has made a fortunate alliance. Hmhm. Yes, well, um, I believe the next turn takes us on to Hunsford.
[EXT. HUNSFORD - DAY]
[The carriage passes through a gate to a house, where Mr and Mrs Collins come out to meet them.]
MR COLLINS: Sir William, Maria, cousin Elizabeth, I am truly honoured to be able to welcome you to my humble abode. My dear sir.
SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: My dear Mr Collins.
[Mr Collins and Sir William shake hands and Elizabeth goes to Charlotte.]
MR COLLINS: I am deeply good to be able to make a happy welcome to the parsonage, which I would not be in the position to procure if not for the…
[Elizabeth and Charlotte kiss one another on the cheek.]
CHARLOTTE: I am happy to see you Elizabeth.
ELIZABETH: And I, you.
[INT. HUNSFORD - DAY]
[Mr Collins gives them a tour of his home.]
MR COLLINS: The staircase, I flatter myself, is eminently suitable for a clergyman in my position, being neither too shallow, nor too steep.
SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: Hm. (nods) As serviceable a staircase as I have ever seen, sir. Now, at St. James's court--
MR COLLINS: Though it is nothing, of course, to the staircases you see at Rosings. I say staircases, because there are several; and each, in its own way, very fine. And here, if you will permit me, cousin Elizabeth.
[Mr Collins waits for her and opens a door.]
MR COLLINS: This will be your bedchamber while you are with us. And, I trust, that you will find it comfortable and convenient.
ELIZABETH: Indeed, it is a very pleasant room.
MR COLLINS: Observe that closet, cousin Elizabeth. What do you say to that?
MR COLLINS: Is it not the very essence of practicality and convenience?
[Elizabeth gives Charlotte an amused look as Mr Collins goes to open the closet.]
MR COLLINS: Lady Catherine de Bourgh, herself, was kind enough to suggest that these shelves be fitted exactly as you see them there.
ELIZABETH: Shelves in the closet? Happy thought, indeed.
MR COLLINS: Oh, she is kindness itself. Nothing is too small to be beneath her notice. Is it not, my dear?
CHARLOTTE: She is a very attentive neighbour.
MR COLLINS: We dine at Rosings Park twice every week, and are never allowed to walk home.
SIR WILLIAM LUCAS: Well, that is generosity itself, is it not Maria?
MR COLLINS: Now, her ladyship's carriage is regularly ordered for us, ih, 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, Sir William, and Maria exit, leaving Elizabeth and Charlotte alone.]
[INT. HUNSFORD, PARLOUR - DAY]
[Charlotte and Elizabeth enter and look out the window at the gardens.]
CHARLOTTE: Mr Collins tends the gardens himself, and spends a good part of every day in them.
ELIZABETH: The exercise must be beneficial.
CHARLOTTE: Well, yes. I encourage him to be in his garden as much as possible.
[Elizabeth looks at Charlotte.]
CHARLOTTE: And then he has to walk to Rosings nearly every day.
ELIZABETH: So often? Is that necessary?
CHARLOTTE: Hmm, perhaps not, but I confess, I encourage him in that as well.
[Elizabeth looks at Charlotte, understanding her manipulation.]
ELIZABETH: Walking is very beneficial exercise.
CHARLOTTE: Oh, indeed, it is; and when he is 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.
ELIZABETH: And you prefer to sit in this parlour.
CHARLOTTE: Yes. So, it often happens that a whole day passes in which we have not spent more than a few minutes in each other's company.
ELIZABETH: I see.
CHARLOTTE: I find that I can bear the solitude very cheerfully. I find myself quite content with my situation, Lizzy.
[Charlotte looks at Elizabeth, who raises her eyebrows.]
[INT. HUNSFORD, ELIZABETH'S GUEST ROOM - DAY]
[Elizabeth reads in her guest room. Commotion breaks out in the house.]
MR COLLINS: Charlotte, my dear, come quickly.
CHARLOTTE: What is it, my dear?
MARIA: Lizzy! Lizzy!
[Maria opens the door, panting.]
MARIA: Come into the dining room, for there is such a sight to be seen!
[Maria does a full turn.]
MARIA: Make haste!
[Elizabeth smiles and follows Maria to the window.]
MARIA: Look, Lizzy, look!
ELIZABETH: Is this all? I expected at least that the pigs had got into the garden. It is nothing but Lady Catherine and her daughter.
[Elizabeth and Maria see the open carriage with red-coated footmen, and two women sitting in it talking to Mr and Mrs Collins.]
MARIA: No, Lizzy, that's old Mrs Jenkinson, not Lady Catherine, and with her is Miss Anne de Bourgh.
ELIZABETH: Well, she's abominably rude to keep Charlotte out of doors in all this wind.
MARIA: What a little creature she is.
ELIZABETH: I like her appearance.
ELIZABETH: She looks sickly and cross. Yes, she will do very well. She will make him a proper wife.
[Maria looks at her.]
MARIA: Who, Lizzy?
IV. Lady Catherine de Bourgh
[EXT. ROSINGS PARK - DAY]
[Charlotte, Maria, Sir William, Elizabeth, and Mr Collins are walking down a pebble path toward Rosings.]
MR COLLINS: There are thirty-two gardeners, and other gardeners. Mark the windows; there are sixty-four in all. Sixty-four. And I have it, on good authority, that the glazing alone originally an excess of six hundred pounds.
ELIZABETH: It is a very handsome building and prettily situated, sir, and by no means lacking in windows.
[Elizabeth reaches up to touch her bonnet.]
MR COLLINS: Oh, do not make yourself uneasy, my dear cousin, about your apparel. Lady Catherine is far from requiring that elegance of dress in us, which becomes herself and her daughter. She will not think the worse of you for being simply dressed. She likes to have the distinction of rank preserved.
ELIZABETH: Thank you, Mr Collins, that is a great comfort.
LADY CATHERINE: An apothecary will serve your needs quite adequately, and make sure it be no one but Nickleson, Mrs Collins. I shall be extremely angry if I hear that you have gone elsewhere.
CHARLOTTE: I assure you, I have no intention to, lady Catherine.
MR COLLINS: No, indeed, no, indeed. No intention at all.
LADY CATHERINE: Well.
[Miss Anne, Mrs Jenkinson, Charlotte, and Mr Collins sit on the couch to Lady Catherine's right, while Sir William, Elizabeth, and Maria sit on the couch to her left. Lady Catherine sits in her chair like it's a throne and she is holding court.]
LADY CATHERINE: Your friend appears to be quite a gentile, pretty sort of girl, Mrs Collins. Her father's estate is entailed on Mr Collins, I understand.
MR COLLINS: Yes, Ma'am, and I am, believe me--
LADY CATHERINE: Do you have brothers and sisters, Miss Bennet?
ELIZABETH: Yes, Ma'am, I am the second of five sisters.
LADY CATHERINE: Are any of your younger sister out?
ELIZABETH: Yes, Ma'am, all of them.
LADY CATHERINE: All?! What, all five out at once? The younger ones out before the older are married? Your youngest sisters must be very young.
ELIZABETH: Yes, Ma'am, my youngest is not sixteen.
LADY CATHERINE: Well.
[Lady Catherine raises her chin and turns her head.]
ELIZABETH: She is full young to be out much in company, but really, Ma'am, I think...
[Surprised, Lady Catherine slowly turns her head to look at Elizabeth.]
ELIZABETH: ...it would be really hard upon younger sister, that they not have their share of society and amusement, simply because their elder sisters have not the means, or inclination, to marry early.
[Charlotte looks pleased, Mr Collins surprised, Maria terrified, and Sir William dumbstruck.]
ELIZABETH: Sir William, wouldn't you agree?
Sir William: Er, well…
LADY CATHERINE: Upon my word, you give your opinion very decidedly for so young a person. Pray, what is your age?
ELIZABETH: With three younger sisters grown up, your ladyship can hardly expect me to own it.
LADY CATHERINE: Miss Bennet, you cannot be more than twenty, I am sure. Therefore, there is no need to conceal your age.
ELIZABETH: I am not one-and-twenty.
[Lady Catherine raises an eyebrow.]
LADY CATHERINE: Hmm. Mrs Collins, did I tell your Lady Betkoff's calling on me yesterday to thank me for sending her Miss. Pope. "Lady Catherine," said she, "you have given me a treasure." Yes.
[Lady Catherine laughs with a smile, looks at Elizabeth, and then scowls.]
LADY CATHERINE: Yes.
V. Severest Critic
[EXT. COUNTRYSIDE, HUNSFORD - DAY]
[Elizabeth, Charlotte, and Maria walk down a road.]
ELIZABETH: It is beautiful. I think I could grow almost as fond of these woods and hills as you have, Charlotte.
MARIA: 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.
ELIZABETH: No, nor I.
MR COLLINS: My dear!
[The three ladies turn around.]
MR COLLINS Maria! Cousin Elizabeth!
[Mr Collins runs weakly towards them, waving his hat and panting.]
MR COLLINS: Mr Darcy has arrived at Rosings, and with him, his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, the youngest son of the Earl of Matlock. And the gentlemen have vouchsafed us the greatest honour. They are coming to call on us at the parsonage.
CHARLOTTE: When, my dear?
MR COLLINS: Even now, Mrs Collins. Even now they are hard upon my heels. Make haste! Make haste!
[Maria takes off running, while Charlotte and Elizabeth begin walking back.]
CHARLOTTE: I think this must be due to you, Lizzy. Mr Darcy would never have come so soon to wait upon me.
ELIZABETH: You are mistaken, Charlotte, for I know he dislikes me as much as I do him.
MR COLLINS: Oh, make haste! Make haste!
[Mr Collins keeps waving his hat, beckoning them to hurry as he takes off running with Maria.]
[INT. HUNSFORD, PARLOUR - DAY]
[Colonel Fitzwilliam sits down across from Elizabeth in the parlour.]
COL. FITZWILLIAM: I am delighted to make your acquaintance at last, Miss Bennet.
ELIZABETH: At last, sir?
COL. FITZWILLIAM: Well, I've heard much of you, and none of the praise has been exaggerated, I assure you.
ELIZABETH: Oh, well, I can well believe that. Mr Darcy is my severest critic.
[Elizabeth notices Darcy watching her.]
COL. FITZWILLIAM: I hope we shall see you frequently at Rosings while we're there. I am fond of lively conversation.
ELIZABETH: Well, this you do not find at Rosings Park?
[Mr Collins is talking to Mr Darcy, whom Darcy ignores, but when Charlotte speaks to him Darcy looks at her and gives her a polite nod before going back to watching Elizabeth.]
COL. FITZWILLIAM (chuckles): Well, my aunt does talk a great deal, but seldom requires a response. My friend there speaks hardly a word when he comes into Kent. Though he is lively enough in other places.
[Elizabeth looks a bit surprised; and Darcy is watching her.]
COL. FITZWILLIAM: Nobody plays, nobody sings. I believe you play and sing, Miss Bennet.
ELIZABETH: Oh, a little, and very ill. I wouldn't wish to excite your anticipation.
COL. FITZWILLIAM: Oh, I am sure you are too modest, but any relief would be profoundly welcome, I assure you.
[Darcy continues to watch her. Elizabeth gives Darcy a sideways glance.]
ELIZABETH: C--can you tell me why Mr Darcy keeps staring at me? What do you think offends him?
[Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth of them look over at Darcy, and he stands up and walks over to them. The room goes silent as he pauses.]
MR DARCY: I hope you family is in good health.
ELIZABETH: I thank you, yes.
[There is a silent pause as Darcy continues looking at Elizabeth, and Col. Fitzwilliam casually shifts his gaze from Darcy to Elizabeth.]
ELIZABETH: My sister has been in town these three months, have you never happened to see her?
MR DARCY: No. No, I have not had that pleasure.
[Everyone watches him walk to the window, hands clasped behind his back. The Colonel turns back to Elizabeth who tilts her head.]
ELIZABETH: Mr Darcy and I, you see, are not the best of friends.
COL. FITZWILLIAM: Well, I am very surprised to hear that.
ELIZABETH: Why should you be? I always believe in first impressions, and his good opinion once lost, is lost forever.
[Darcy turns to look at her. Elizabeth smiles at the Colonel.]
ELIZABETH: So you see, it is a hopeless case, is it not, Colonel Fitzwilliam?
[Colonel Fitzwilliam smiles at Elizabeth and his shoulders shake with silent laughter. Darcy turns back to the window.]
[EXT. COUNTRYSIDE, HUNSFORD - DAY]
[Elizabeth goes for a walk and meets Darcy on a path in the woods. They stop and they look at each other, and then he continues riding without either of them speaking or acknowledging one another. Elizabeth raises her eyebrows and continues to walk.]
[INT. ROSINGS PARK - EVENING]
[Elizabeth plays moderately well on the piano. Col. Fitzwilliam sits next to her, leaning on the edge of the piano. Lady Catherine, Darcy, Charlotte, Maria, Miss Anne, Mrs Jenkinson, and Mr Collins listen to her playing in the next room. Elizabeth finishes the song.]
LADY CATHERINE: You will never play really well, Miss Bennet, unless you practice more. You may come to Rosings as often as you like and play on the pianoforte in Mrs. Jenkinson's room.
[Mrs Jenkinson nods.]
LADY CATHERINE: She would be in nobody's way in that part of the house.
ELIZABETH: Thank you, Ma'am.
LADY CATHERINE: There are few people in England, I suppose...
[Annoyed, Mr Darcy gets up and walks into the piano room.]
LADY CATHERINE: ...who have more true enjoyment in music than myself.
[Mrs. Jenkinson nods.]
LADY CATHERINE: Or a better taste.
[Mr Collins nods.]
LADY CATHERINE: And if I had ever learnt...
[Elizabeth starts up a few chords again.]
LADY CATHERINE: ...I should be a true proficient. And so would Anne...
[Elizabeth continues to play as Mr Darcy stares at her up close.]
ELIZABETH (chuckles): Do you mean to frighten me, Mr Darcy, by coming in all this state to hear me? But I won't be alarmed. My courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me.
[The Colonel smiles and Mr Darcy smirks.]
MR DARCY: I know you find great enjoyment in professing opinions which are not your own.
ELIZABETH: Your cousin would teach you not to believe a word I say, Colonel Fitzwilliam. That is ungenerous of him, is it not?
COL. FITZWILLIAM: It is, indeed, Darcy.
ELIZABETH: Impolitic too, for it provokes me to retaliate, and say somewhat of his behaviour in Hertfordshire, which may shock his relations.
[Darcy smiles in amusement. Elizabeth stops playing.]
MR DARCY: I am not afraid of you.
COL. FITZWILLIAM: What have you to accuse him of? I should dearly like to know how he behaves among strangers.
ELIZABETH: First time I ever saw Mr Darcy was at a ball, where he danced only four dances...
[The Colonel laughs.]
ELIZABETH: ...though gentlemen were scarce, and more than one lady was in want of a partner.
[Darcy fiddles with his signet ring, pondering her statement.]
ELIZABETH: I am sorry to pain you, but so it was.
COL. FITZWILLIAM: I can well believe it.
MR DARCY: I fear I am ill qualified to recommend myself to strangers.
ELIZABETH: Shall we ask him why?
[Elizabeth plays a few more chords.]
ELIZABETH: Why a man of sense and education, who has lived in the world, should be ill qualified to recommend himself to strangers?
[Elizabeth finishes the chords.]
MR DARCY: I'm…I have not that talent, which some possess, of conversing easily with strangers.
ELIZABETH: Well, I do not play this instrument so well as I should wish to, but I have always supposed that to be my own fault, because I would not take the trouble of practising.
[Darcy smiles and nods approvingly.]
MR DARCY: You are perfectly right. You have employed your time much better. No one admitted to the privilege of hearing you could think anything wanting. We, neither of us, perform to strangers.
[Darcy and Elizabeth continue regarding one another.]
LADY CATHERINE: What are you talking of?
[Darcy rolls his eyes in annoyance.]
LADY CATHERINE: What are you telling Miss Bennet? I must have my share in the conversation.
[INT. HUNSFORD, PARLOUR - DAY]
[Elizabeth writes a letter to Jane.]
ELIZABETH (V.O.): "As for the daughter, she is a pale, sickly creature with little conversation and no talent. I am sorry to be hard on any of our sex, but there it is."
[Elizabeth dips her pen in a bottle of ink.]
ELIZABETH (V.O.): "Mr Darcy shows no inclination for her, and treats her with the same contemptuous indifference that he shows to everyone. But Lady Catherine is clearly determined to have him for a son-in-law, and she is not a woman to be gainsaid."
[The door bell rings and Elizabeth puts down her pen and waves the paper to dry the ink before putting it at the bottom of a pile of stationary. A servant opens the door and Darcy enters.]
ELIZABETH (surprised): Mr Darcy.
[Darcy bows and Elizabeth nods to him. The servant bobs a curtsy before leaving, closing the door behind her.]
ELIZABETH: Mrs Collins and Maria are just now gone into Hunsford village with my cousin. You find me all alone this morning, Mr Darcy.
MR DARCY: No, I beg your pardon, I would not wish to intrude upon your privacy.
[Elizabeth looks for a chair facing him and sits down.]
ELIZABETH: I was just writing a letter to my sister, Jane, in London that is all.
MR DARCY: Ah.
[Darcy and Elizabeth look around awkwardly. Darcy pulls out a chair to face her and sits down, crossing is legs with his hat in one hand and gloves and a walking stick in the other.]
ELIZABETH: Mr. Bingley and his sisters were well, I hope, when you left London.
MR DARCY: Perfectly so, I thank you.
ELIZABETH: I understand Mr. Bingley has not much idea for ever returning to Netherfield.
MR DARCY: It is probable that he may spend very little time there in the future.
ELIZABETH: If he means to be there but little, it would be better for the neighbourhood that he should give the place up entirely.
MR DARCY: I should not be surprised if he were to give it up as soon as any eligible purchase offers.
[Darcy and Elizabeth stare off into the room, silent for a while.]
MR DARCY: It seems a very comfortable house.
MR DARCY: Lady Catherine, I believe, did a great deal to it when Mr Collins first came to Hunsford.
ELIZABETH: I believe she did. I'm sure she could not have bestowed her kindness on a more grateful recipient.
[Darcy chuckles and they both smile.]
MR DARCY: Mr Collins appears extremely fortunate in his choice of wife.
ELIZABETH: Yes, indeed, he is. Though, seen in a prudential light, it is a good match for her as well.
[Darcy is still smiling.]
MR DARCY: It must be very agreeable for her to be settled within so easy a distance of her family.
ELIZABETH: E--easy distance, do you call it? It's nearly fifty miles.
MR DARCY: What is fifty miles of good road? Yes, I call it a very easy distance.
ELIZABETH: Near and far are relative terms. I--it is possible for a woman to be settled to near her family.
MR DARCY: Yes, exactly.
[Darcy looks Elizabeth straight in the eye.]
MR DARCY: You would not wish to be always near Longbourn, I think.
[Elizabeth is stunned and confused, trying to sort out his implications. Darcy rises to leave.]
MR DARCY: I shall trespass on your time no longer.
MR DARCY: Please convey my regards to Mrs Collins and her sister.
[Elizabeth prepares to stand up.]
MR DARCY: Er, no, no. Please, don't trouble yourself.
[Darcy turns and leaves, shutting the door behind him. Elizabeth sighs and reflects on his visit, still confused.]
[EXT. COUNTRYSIDE, ROSINGS PARK - DAY]
[Elizabeth walks around Rosings Park with a letter in her hands.]
COL. FITZWILLIAM: Miss Bennet!
[The colonel walks towards her, removing his hat in salutation.]
ELIZABETH: Colonel Fitzwilliam!
[Elizabeth walks toward him.]
COL. FITZWILLIAM: I've been making the tour of the park, as I do every year. Shall we take this way together?
ELIZABETH: With pleasure.
[Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam begin walking.]
ELIZABETH: Do you know Mr. Bingley and his sisters?
COL. FITZWILLIAM: I know them a little. Bingley is a pleasant, gentlemanlike man. He's a great friend of Darcy's.
ELIZABETH: Oh, yes. Mr Darcy is uncommonly kind to Mr. Bingley and takes a prodigious deal of care of him.
COL. FITZWILLIAM: Oh, yes, I believe Darcy does take care of him. I, er, I understand that he congratulates himself on having lately saved Mr. Bingley the inconvenience of a most imprudent marriage.
ELIZABETH: Mr Darcy give his reason for this interference?
COL. FITZWILLIAM: I understand there were some very strong objections to the lady.
ELIZABETH: And why was he to be the judge?
COL. FITZWILLIAM: You are disposed to think his interference, officious?
ELIZABETH: I do not see what right Mr Darcy had to determine and direct in what manner his friend was to be happy, but, as you say, we know none of the particulars. Perhaps there was not much affection in the case.
COL. FITZWILLIAM: Mm, perhaps not, but if that were the case, it would lessen the honour of my cousin's triumph very sadly, don't you think?
[Elizabeth takes a deep breath, stops and looks around.]
COL. FITZWILLIAM: Oh, Miss Bennet, are you unwell?
ELIZABETH: A sudden headache. Perhaps I've walked too far today.
COL. FITZWILLIAM: Let us take the shorter way back.
[Colonel Fitzwilliam switches his gloves and walking stick to his other hand, and offers Elizabeth his arm,
She takes his arm and they walk back the way they came.]
[INT. HUNSFORD - DAY]
[Elizabeth sits on a chair in the front hall of the parsonage while Maria, Mr Collins, and Charlotte prepare to depart for Rosings.]
CHARLOTTE: You're sure Lizzy? Because I would willingly stay at home with you, and brave all Lady Catherine's displeasure.
MR COLLINS: My dear Charlotte, I beg you to consider…
ELIZABETH (sighs): I shall be quite all right. It's only a headache. It will pass. And, I'm sure, more speedily in quiet and solitude.
MR COLLINS: And I am quite sure, when all the circumstances are fully explained to Lady Catherine, she will not be angry. For she has, indeed, such Christian generosity of spirit…
CHARLOTTE: My dear, the time.
MR COLLINS: Oh, my dear, why did you not say before?
[Mr Collins takes his hat and walking stick from a servant, and they all exit quickly.]
MR COLLINS: I cannot begin to count the occasions on which her ladyship has impressed upon the sovereign importance on punctuality!
[Elizabeth closes her eyes as they leave and slowly walks into the next room.]
VI. Another Proposal
[INT. HUNSFORD, PARLOUR - DAY]
[Elizabeth sits in a chair at Hunsford, looking at some letters when the bell rings and she stands.]
SERVANT: This way, sir.
[The servant opens the door for Mr Darcy, who bows quickly.]
MR DARCY: Forgive me. I hope you are feeling better.
[Darcy walks past Elizabeth into the room without waiting for a reply.]
ELIZABETH: I am, thank you.
[Darcy turns to look at Elizabeth.]
ELIZABETH: Will you not sit down?
[Elizabeth sits in a chair and Mr Darcy uncomfortably looks at her, walks toward her, then turns and goes back to the mirror. Darcy turns to face her, and then sits in a chair, placing his hat on a tiny table. He folds his hands and looks at her. Elizabeth looks confused and curious. Darcy stands and walks to the corner before finally approaching her.]
MR DARCY (panting): In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.
[Elizabeth looks slightly down.]
MR DARCY: In declaring myself thus, I am fully aware that I will be going expressly against the wishes of my family, my friends, and, I hardly need add, my own better judgment.
[Elizabeth looks up at him.]
MR DARCY: The relative situation of our families is such that any alliance between us must be regarded as a highly reprehensible connection. Indeed, as a rational man, I cannot but regard it as such myself, but it cannot be helped.
[Elizabeth looks down, and her expression is slightly cross.]
MR DARCY: Almost from the earliest moments of our acquaintance, I have come to feel for you a passionate admiration and regard, which, despite all my struggles, has overcome every rational objection, and I beg you, most fervently, to relieve my suffering and consent to be my wife.
ELIZABETH: In such cases as these, I believe the established mode is to express a sense of obligation, but I cannot.
[Darcy holds his breath, hands clasped behind his back.]
ELIZABETH: I have never desired your good opinion, and you have certainly bestowed it most unwillingly. I am sorry to cause pain to anyone, but it was most unconsciously done, and I hope will be of short duration.
[Darcy looks upset and walks over to the mirror. He turns back to face her.]
MR DARCY: And this is all the reply I am to expect? I might wonder why, with so little effort at civility, I am rejected.
ELIZABETH: And I might wonder why, with so evident a desire to offend and insult me, you chose to tell me that you like me against your will, against your reason, and even against your character. Was this not some excuse for incivility, if I was uncivil?
[Elizabeth shakes her head.]
ELIZABETH: I have every reason in the world to think ill of you. Do you think any consideration would tempt me to accept the man who's been the means of ruining the happiness of a most beloved sister?
Can you deny that you have done it?
MR DARCY: 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.
ELIZABETH: But it is not merely that on which my dislike of you is founded. Long before it had taken place my dislike of you was decided when I heard Mr Wickham's story of your dealings with him. How can you defend yourself on that subject?
MR DARCY: And you take an eager interest in that gentleman's concerns!
[Darcy walks to the opposite corner.]
ELIZABETH: Who that knows what his misfortunes have been could help feeling an interest in him?
[Darcy turns around and paces back to the mirror.]
MR DARCY: His misfortunes. Yes, his misfortunes have been great indeed!
ELIZABETH: 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.
[Darcy tilts his head, his mouth open disbelievingly.]
MR DARCY: And this is your opinion of me?
[Darcy turns to her.]
MR DARCY: My faults by this calculation are heavy indeed.
[Darcy picks up his hat from the tiny table and walks toward the door. He stops to speak.]
MR DARCY: But perhaps these offences might have been overlooked had not your pride been hurt by the honest confession of the scruples which had long prevented my forming any 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 and just. Did you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections?
[Elizabeth stands up and faces her back to him.]
MR DARCY: To congratulate myself on the hope of relations whose condition in life is so decidedly below my own?
[Elizabeth turns back to face him.]
ELIZABETH: You're mistaken, Mr Darcy. The mode of your declaration merely spared me any concern I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner. You could not have made me the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it. From the very beginning, your manners impressed me with fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain for the feelings of others. I had not known you a month before I felt you were the last man in the world whom I could ever marry.
MR DARCY: You have 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.
[Darcy bows and leaves without looking back. Elizabeth sighs and lowers her head.]