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Pride and Prejudice Script (1995), Part 4/6

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


I. Mr Wickham's Past

[EXT/INT. HUNSFORD - DAY]
[Mr Darcy leaves Mr Collins’s parsonage, adjusting his gloves and carrying his hat as he meditates on Elizabeth’s words. Elizabeth cries as she paces in the parlour. She lets out a frustrated “Argh!” as she thinks about what Mr Darcy said.]

--
[EXT. ROSINGS PARK - DAY]
[Mr Darcy walks down the path toward the house.]

ELIZABETH (V.O.): You are the last man in the world whom I could ever marry. Do you think that any consideration would tempt me? Your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish distain for the feelings for others. My opinion of you was decided when I heard Mr Wickham’s story of your dealings with him.

MR DARCY: Well, at least in that I may defend myself.

--
[INT. HUNSFORD, PARLOUR - DAY]
[Elizabeth sits in a chair.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections? To congratulate myself on hope of relations whose condition in life is so decidedly below my own?

[Elizabeth scoffs and turns her head.]

--
[INT. ROSINGS PARK - DAY]
[Mr Darcy walking in Rosings.]

ELIZABETH (V.O.): You are mistaken, Mr Darcy. The mode of your declaration merely spared me the concern I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner.

[Mr Darcy stops in the doorway, quite downcast as he mulls over Elizabeth's last words, but Colonel Fitzwilliam walks into the room. Their aunt calls from the room the colonel just emerged from.]

LADY CATHERINE: Who’s there Fitzwilliam?

COL. FITZWILLIAM: Darcy! We had quite despaired of you.

LADY CATHERINE: Is that my nephew? Where have you been?

[Fitzwilliam chuckles.]

LADY CATHERINE: Let him come in and explain himself.

MR DARCY: Er, no.

[Fitzwilliam smiles.]

MR DARCY: You will forgive me. You will forgive me.

[Darcy takes off up the stairs.]

COL. FITZWILLIAM: Darcy, you are unwell?

[Darcy stops half way up, and turns slightly.]

MR DARCY: I am very well, thank you, but I have a pressing matter of business.

[Fitzwilliam is surprised and curious.]

MR DARCY: You will forgive me.

[Darcy bolts up the rest of the stairs.]

MR DARCY: Make my apologies to Lady Catherine, Fitzwilliam.

[The Colonel watches Darcy go, and Lady Catherine enters the hall as they hear Darcy's door close.]

--
[INT. ROSINGS PARK, DARCY'S GUEST ROOM - DAY]
[Darcy enters and turns around. He sighs, thinking. He turns around, walks to the desk, sits down, opens a drawer, and pulls out some paper and a pen, dipping it in ink.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "To Miss Elizabeth Bennet,"

[Darcy dips for more ink and pauses before writing again.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "Be not alarmed, Madam, on receiving this letter, that it contain any repetition of those sentiments, or renewal of those offers which were, this evening, so disgusting to you."

[Darcy pauses, puts down the pen, and leans back with a sigh.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "But I must be allowed to defend myself against the charges laid at my door. In particular, those relating to Mr Wickham, which, if true, would, indeed, be grievous; but are wholly without foundation, and which I can only refute by laying before you his connection with my family."

[Darcy stands up and walks to the window, leaning on the frame as he looks out.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "Mr Wickham is the son of a very respectable man who had the management of our family estates, and my own father was fond of him, and held him in high esteem."

--
[EXT. PEMBERLEY, LAKE - DAY]
[The scene fades to two boys with fishing poles, dogs, and a servant.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "We played together as boys."

[The childhood Darcy and Wickham rush down to a lake.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "After his father’s early death, my father supported him at school, and afterwards, at Cambridge,"

--
[INT. UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE - DAY]
[Mr Darcy walk down a corridor with a vaulted roof wearing a black scholarly cap and gown with books under his arm.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "...and hoped he would make the church his profession. But, by then, George Wickham’s habits were as dissolute as his manners were engaging."

[Darcy opens a door and finds a half-dressed woman in Wickham’s lap. The girl runs away, and Darcy steps back, displeased, as Wickham stands up unashamed.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "My own excellent father died five years ago."

--
[INT. PEMBERLEY - DAY]
[Wickham waits in a hallway holding a top hat and walking stick.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "And his attachment to Mr Wickham was, to the last, so steady that he desired that a valuable family living might be his as soon as it was vacant."

[A servant steps out of a room, and bows to Wickham to come in.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "Mr Wickham declined any interest in the church as a career, but requested, and was granted, the sum of 3,000 pounds instead of the living."

[The servant closes the door behind him, and Mr Darcy writes out the sum of money, while Wickham paces.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "He expressed an intention of studying the law. I wished, rather than believed, him to be sincere."

[Darcy hands Wickham the check.]

MR WICKHAM: Thank you.

[Darcy looks displeased as Wickham leaves.]

MR WICKHAM: I am most exceedingly obliged.

[Wickham bows and exits.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "All connection between us seemed, now, dissolved."

[In the hall, Wickham meets Darcy’s sister.]

MR WICKHAM: Georgiana.

[Wickham takes Georgiana's hand and kisses it, looking into her eyes. He gives her a charming smile and leaves her awestruck.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "Being now free from all restraint,"

--
[INT. ROSINGS PARK, DARCY'S GUEST ROOM - DAY]
[Fades to Darcy writing the letter.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "...his life was one of idleness and dissipation."

[Darcy stops, and looks distressed, and he no longer has on his overcoat.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "How he lived, I know not, but last summer our paths crossed again under the most painful circumstances, which I, myself, would wish to forget. My sister, Georgiana, who is more than ten years my junior, was left to the guardianship of Colonel Fitzwilliam and myself."

[Darcy briefly closes his eyes.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "About a year ago, she was taken from school to Ramsgate."

--
[EXT. RAMSGATE - DAY]
[Fades to Georgiana standing on a rocky shore, looking out to sea.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "And placed in the care of a Mrs Younge,"

[Mrs Younge stands behind Georgiana. Wickham arrives. Georgiana turns around and smiles at him.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "...in whose character we were most unhappily deceived. And, thither also went Mr Wickham undoubtedly by design."

[Wickham goes down to Georgiana and takes her hand.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "She was persuaded to believe herself in love, and to consent to an elopement. She was then but fifteen years old."

[Wickham and Georgiana walk arm in arm. Darcy rides to Ramsgate in an open carriage.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "A day or two before the intended elopement, I joined them unexpectedly."

[Darcy exits the carriage, looks out at the sea and sees Mr Wickham standing close to his sister. Georgiana turns and sees Darcy and smiles. They rush to each other and hug.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "Unable to support the idea of grieving a brother, whom she looked up to, almost as a father, she acknowledged the whole plan to me at once."

--
[INT. PEMBERLEY - DAY]
[Georgiana waits outside a room.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "You may imagine what I felt, and how I acted."

[Mr Wickham exits and leaves with one glance at Georgiana. Darcy stands resolutely in the room Wickham just left, his hands clasped behind his back.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "Mr Wickham left the place immediately."

[Georgiana looks at her brother tearfully.]

MR DARCY: Come.

[Georgiana walks to him slowly. Darcy holds out an arm to her and she steps into his embrace.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "Mr Wickham relinquished his object, which was, of course, my sister’s fortune of £30,000."

--
[INT. ROSINGS PARK, DARCY'S GUEST ROOM - NIGHT]
[The scene fades to Darcy writing.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "A secondary motive must have been to revenge himself on me. Had he succeeded, his revenge would have been complete, indeed. This, Madam, is a faithful narrative of all my dealings with Mr Wickham."

[Darcy drops his pen and leans back with a sigh. He rests his head back on the chair, very distressed, before leaning forward with determination, dipping his pen in ink.]

***


II. Mr Darcy's Letter

[INT. ROSINGS PARK, DARCY'S GUEST ROOM - MORNING]
[Darcy washes his face in a silver basin. He dries off, now wearing no vest. He sighs and walks over to the desk, snuffs out the shortened candle with his fingers. The letter lies on the desk embossed with his wax seal.]

--
[INT. HUNSFORD, DINING ROOM - MORNING]
[Mr and Mrs Collins and Maria sit down to breakfast. Elizabeth walks in wearing a jacket and holding a hat.]

CHARLOTTE: Oh, you do look pale, Lizzy. Why don’t you have some breakfast? I’m sure it will do you good.

ELIZABETH: oh, no, I’m well, Charlotte. I--I think I’ve stayed indoors too long. Fresh air and exercise is all I need. The woods around Rosings are so beautiful at this time of year.

[Mr Collins wants to speak, but can’t with his mouthful of food. Elizabeth exits.]

--
[EXT. HUNSFORD, GROVE - DAY]
[Elizabeth walks on a hill, swinging her hat. She turns all the way around to see if anyone is around before taking off at a run. She slows back down to a walking pace, but stops and turns around when she sees Mr Darcy. Her last step cracks a twig and Darcy turns around and approaches her.]

MR DARCY: Miss Bennet.

[Elizabeth has no choice but to stop and face him.]

ELIZABETH: Mr Darcy.

MR DARCY: I’ve been walking the grove some time in hope of meeting you.

[Mr Darcy holds out his letter.]

MR DARCY: Will you do me the honour of reading this letter?

[Elizabeth takes it and Darcy bows and leaves. Elizabeth watches him go, looks down at the letter, and then finds a place to sit to read it.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "This, Madam, is a faithful narrative of all my dealings with Mr Wickham. And for its truth, I can appeal to the testimony of Colonel Fitzwilliam, who knows every particular of these transactions. I know not under what form of falsehood Mr Wickham imposed himself on you, but I hope you will acquit me of cruelty towards him."

--
[EXT. MERYTON - DAY]
[Flashback memory.]

MR WICKHAM: I found as the time drew near that I had better not meet with Mr Darcy. Scenes might arise unpleasant to more than myself.

--
[EXT. HUNSFORD, GROVE - DAY]
[The scene fades back to Elizabeth reading.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "The other charge levelled at me is that, regardless of the sentiments of either party, I detached Mr Bingley from your sister. I have no wish to deny this, nor can I blame myself for any of my actions in this matter."

[Elizabeth takes a deep, angry breath.]

ELIZABETH: Oh!

[Elizabeth folds the letter, picks up her hat, and continues walking.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "I had not long been in Hertfordshire before I saw that Bingley admired your sister, but it was not until the dance at Netherfield that I suspected a serious attachment."

--
[INT. NETHERFIELD BALL - EVENING]
[The scene fades to Darcy’s perspective of Jane and Mr Bingley dancing.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "His partiality was clear, but, though she received his attentions with pleasure,"

[Bingley and Jane talk in the dining room at the Netherfield ball.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "I did not detect any symptoms of peculiar regard. The serenity of her countenance convinced me that her heart was not likely to be easily touched."

--
[EXT. HUNSFORD, GROVE - DAY]
[The scene fades back to Elizabeth walking.]

ELIZABETH: Insufferable presumption!

MR DARCY (V.O.): "I did not believe her to be indifferent because I wished it. I believed it on impartial conviction."

ELIZABETH: Oh, very impartial!

--
[EXT. HUNSFORD - DAY]
[Elizabeth reaches the parsonage. Maria runs out to her excitedly.]

MARIA: You have missed the two gentlemen. They came to take their leave!

ELIZABETH: Mr Darcy came here?

MARIA: Yes, but he went away again directly; but the colonel waited for you for over half an hour! And now they are both gone out of the country!

ELIZABETH: I daresay we shall be able to bear the deprivation.

MARIA: Hmm.

[Elizabeth enters the house, followed by Maria.]

--
[INT. HUNSFORD, ELIZABETH'S GUEST ROOM - DAY]
[Elizabeth hurries up the stairs, leaving a confused Maria behind her. Elizabeth goes to her guest room, closes the door, and sits in a chair to read the letter further.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "As to my objections to the marriage, the situation of your family, though objectionable, was nothing in comparison with the total want of propriety so frequently betrayed by your mother, your younger sisters, and even occasionally, your father."

[Elizabeth stops reading and reflects on the scenes from the Netherfield ball disaster.]

--
[INT. NETHERFIELD, DINING ROOM - EVENING]
[Mary plays and sings terribly.]

MARY: ♫ Where thou art late… ♫

[Mr Bennet approaches the piano very sternly.]

MR BENNET: That will do extremely well, child. You have delighted us long enough.

[Mrs Bennet stuffs food into her mouth, and Kitty and Lydia run through the dining room giggling.]

MRS BENNET: Now, there will be a great marriage! And, you know, that will throw the girls into the path of other rich men.

[Mrs Bennet nods enthusiastically, oblivious to her loud impropriety.]

--
[INT. HUNSFORD, ELIZABETH'S GUEST ROOM - DAY]
[The scene fades back to Elizabeth. She closes her eyes and sighs, and then continues to read.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "My friend left Netherfield for London the following day."

--
[INT. LONDON, GROSVENOR STREET HOUSE - DAY]
[The scene fades to Miss Bingley, Mrs Hurst, and Mr Darcy looming over Mr Bingley as they persuade him.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "There I engaged in the office of pointed out to him the certain evils of his choice of your sister as a prospective bride. It was not difficult to convince him of your sister’s indifference to him. I cannot blame myself for having done thus much."

--
[INT. HUNSFORD, ELIZABETH'S GUEST ROOM - DAY]
[The scene fades back to Elizabeth.]

ELIZABETH: For destroying all her hope of happiness? Yes, I am sure you do not blame yourself, hateful man!

MR DARCY (V.O.): "There is but one part of my conduct in the affair on which I do not reflect with satisfaction."

ELIZABETH: Oh, really? Astonish me.

MR DARCY (V.O.): "That is, that I concealed from him your sister’s being in town."

--
[INT. LONDON, GROSVENOR STREET HOUSE - DAY]
[The scene fades to Jane exiting the house while Darcy watches her from the balcony.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): "Perhaps this concealment was beneath me. It is done, however, and it was done for the best. On this subject, I have nothing more to say, and no other apology to offer."

--
[INT. HUNSFORD, ELIZABETH'S GUEST ROOM - DAY]
[The scene fades back to Elizabeth.]

ELIZABETH: Insufferable!

CHARLOTTE (distant): Lizzy!

MR COLLINS (distant): Charlotte, my dear, we will be late.

CHARLOTTE (distant): Lizzy!

[Elizabeth hesitates, and then gets up.]

--
[EXT. ROSINGS PARK - DAY]
[The party walks down the path toward the house.]

MR COLLINS: I have been attempting to recollect the number of times Lady Catherine de Bourgh has invited us since your arrival here. I believe it may be as many as ten invitations.

MARIA: Eleven, counting this one.

MR COLLINS: Eleven, there. You have, indeed, been favoured with peculiar condescension. Do you not agree, Miss Elizabeth?

ELIZABETH: Oh, yes.

MR COLLINS: Indeed. How could anybody think otherwise? And this is to be your last invitation…on this visit at least.

ELIZABETH: Yes, it is truly a very cruel deprivation. Indeed, I hardly know how I shall bear the loss of Lady Catherine’s company.

MR COLLINS: Oh, you feel it keenly. Yes, of course you do, my poor young cousin.

--
[INT. ROSINGS PARK - DAY]

LADY CATHERINE: They were such fine young men, and so particularly attached to me. They were excessively sorry to go, but so they always are. The dear Colonel rallied his spirits tolerably, but Darcy seemed to feel it most acutely. His attachment to Rosings certainly increases.

[Elizabeth keeps her eyes downcast and Lady Catherine notices.]

LADY CATHERINE: You are very dull this evening, Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

[Elizabeth looks up at Lady Catherine.]

LADY CATHERINE: You have scarce spoke two words together. Are you so out of spirits?

ELIZABETH: No, indeed, Madam.

LADY CATHERINE: But of course you are…to be going away yourself.

MR COLLINS: Who, indeed, would not be sad to be deprived of Rosings, and, indeed, of the gracious condescen…

LADY CATHERINE: You will write to your mother and tell her you wish to stay a little longer. She could certainly spare you for another fortnight.

ELIZABETH: But my father cannot.

[Maria stares at Elizabeth.]

ELIZABETH: He wrote last week to hurry my return. Your ladyship is very kind, but I believe we must leave as planned, on Friday.

LADY CATHERINE: Oh, your father may spare you if your mother can. Daughters are never of much consequence to a father, and if you will stay another month complete, it will be in my power to take you as far as London myself in the barouche box. For I cannot bear the idea of two young women travelling post. By themselves? It is highly improper. I am excessively attentive to all those things.

ELIZABETH: My uncle is to send a servant for us when we change to the post.

LADY CATHERINE: Oh…your uncle. He keeps a manservant, does he? I’m very glad you have somebody who thinks of these things. Where will you change horse?

ELIZABETH: At Brom–

LADY CATHERINE: Oh, Bromley, of course. Mention my name at the bell, and they will attend you.

ELIZABETH: Your ladyship is very kind.

MR COLLINS: Indeed, we are all infinitely indebted to your ladyship’s kindly bestowed solicitude…

LADY CATHERINE: Yes, yes, but this is all extremely vexing. I am quite put out!

--
[INT. HUNSFORD, MARIA'S GUEST ROOM - DAY]
[Elizabeth enters in her travel clothes while Maria re-packs her clothes.]

ELIZABETH: Why, Maria, what are you doing? I thought the trunks went outside before breakfast.

MARIA: But Lady Catherine was so severe last evening about the only right way to place gowns, that I couldn’t sleep. And I am determined to start afresh.

[Elizabeth smiles in amusement.]

ELIZABETH: Maria, this is your trunk; these are your gowns. You may arrange them in any way you wish. (whisper) Lady Catherine will never know.

[Maria turns to look at her in uncertain surprise.]

--
[EXT. HUNSFORD - DAY]
[Charlotte directs the servants as they arrange the luggage on the carriage as the others say their farewells.]

MR COLLINS: Well, my dear sister, you will have much to tell your father and mother…

CHARLOTTE: Bring that one around here.

MARIA: Indeed, Scarcely a day has passed without some new kindness.

MR COLLINS: …from Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

CHARLOTTE: Do make sure they’re secure.

[Mr Collins approaches Elizabeth.]

MR COLLINS: Well, cousin, you have seen for yourself now the happiness of our situation. Our intimacy at Rosings is a blessing of which few could boast.

ELIZABETH: Indeed, they could not.

MR COLLINS: Indeed. And now you have witnessed our felicity, perhaps you may think that your friend has made a very fortunate alliance. Perhaps more so than…But on this point, it will be as well to be silent.

ELIZABETH: You are very good.

[Mr Collins inclines his head.]

MR COLLINS: Only let me assure you that I can, from my heart, most cordially wish you equal felicity in marriage. My dear Charlotte and I have but one mind and one way of thinking. We seem to have been designed for each other.

[Charlotte looks over, and Mr Collins gives her a ridiculous smile and silly little finger wave.]

--
[INT. COUNTRY ROAD, CARRIAGE - DAY]
[Elizabeth and Maria ride in the carriage with a man and a woman servant.]

MARIA: Oh, Lizzy, it seems but a day or two since we first came, and yet how many things have happened.

ELIZABETH: A great many, indeed.

MARIA: We have dined nine times at Rosings. Oh, how much I shall have to tell.

[Maria and Elizabeth smile.]

ELIZABETH: How much I shall have to conceal.

[Elizabeth leans forward to look out the window, but pictures Mr Darcy in her mind.]

MR DARCY: You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.

[Elizabeth turns sharply away from the window. The carriage travels down the road.]

--
[EXT. BROMLEY - DAY]
[The carriage enters a village and stops in front of an inn. Lydia and Kitty appear in a window above them. Lydia opens the window and waves.]

LYDIA: Lizzy! Lizzy!

[Elizabeth looks up as she steps out of the carriage. She smiles and waves. Lydia motions for them to come in and closes the window.]

--
[INT. BROMLEY, INN - DAY]
[The girls climb the stairs and enter a small, sparsely decorated dining room.]

LYDIA: Lord, to see your faces when you looked up at the window. I’ll wager you didn’t expect we’d come to meet you, did you?

ELIZABETH: No, we did not.

[Elizabeth enters, unbuttoning her coat.]

LYDIA: There. Is not this nice? Cold ham and pork and salads and every good thing.

[Elizabeth and Maria remove their travelling garments.]

LYDIA: And we mean to treat you all, oh, but you must lend us the money. We spent all ours, look.

[Lydia picks up a bonnet.]

LYDIA: I don’t think it’s very pretty, but I thought I might as well buy it as not.

KITTY: It’s vile, isn’t it, Lizzy?

[Kitty giggles.]

ELIZABETH: Very ugly. What possessed you to buy it, Lydia?

LYDIA: Well, there were two or three much uglier in the shop. I shall pull it to pieces as soon as we get home and see if I can make it up any better.

[Lydia tosses the bonnet onto a chair.]

LYDIA: Well, it doesn’t signify what anyone wears, for the regiment will leave Meryton and will be at Brighton for the whole summer. Our hearts are broken.

KITTY: We want Papa to take us all to Brighton for the summer, but her said that he will not.

ELIZABETH: I’m glad to hear it.

MARIA: Oh, but shouldn’t you like to go to Brighton, Lizzy?

ELIZABETH: Indeed, I should not.

LYDIA: Oh, she would. She would love it above all things when she hears the news about a certain person we all know. Shall we tell her, Kitty?

KITTY: Yes, and watch to see if she blushes.

[Kitty and Lydia giggle. Elizabeth looks at the serving man waiting by the table.]

ELIZABETH: You may go now. We’ll call you if you’re needed again.

Servant: Very good, Ma’am.

[The girls watch him leave and wait until he closes the door.]

LYDIA: Wickham is not to marry Mary King after all. She’s been taken away by her uncle to Liverpool, and Wickham is safe.

ELIZABETH: Perhaps we should say Mary King is safe.

MARIA: But was there a very strong attraction between them, do you think?

LYDIA: Not on his side, I’m sure. I shouldn’t think he cared three straws about her. Who could about such a nasty, freckled little thing? Don’t look at me like that, Lizzy. I know you think as ill of her as I do. Pass the celery, Kitty. Aren’t you glad we came to meet you? We shall be such a merry party on the journey home.

--
[EXT. COUNTRY ROAD, CARRIAGE - DAY]
[Shouts come from the carriage on their way home.]

LYDIA: Kitty, you’re squashing my bandbox!

KITTY: I can’t help it! You should have put it on the roof. There isn’t room for it.

LYDIA: It’s the way you sit. If you didn’t lollop about, there’d be plenty of room for us all, and the bandbox.

KITTY: I do not lollop! You do! Ow!

***


III. Appearance of Goodness

[INT. LONGBOURN, JANE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT]
[Jane and Elizabeth are in their nightgowns, and Jane gets under the covers.]

JANE: Mr Darcy proposed? I can scarce believe it. Not that anyone’s admiring you should be astonishing.

[Elizabeth smiles.]

JANE: But he always seems so sever. So cold, apparently. And yet he was in love with you all the time. Poor Mr Darcy.

ELIZABETH: I confess, I cannot feel so much compassion for him. He has other feelings, which will soon drive away any regard e felt for me. You do not blame me for refusing him?

JANE: Blame you? Oh, no.

[Elizabeth looks down.]

ELIZABETH: But you do blame me for speaking so warmly of Wickham?

JANE: No. How could you have known about his vicious character? If, indeed, he was so very bad. But I cannot believe Mr Darcy would fabricate such a dreadful slander, involving his own sister, too. No, it must be true. Perhaps there has been some terrible mistake.

[Elizabeth laughs.]

ELIZABETH: No, Jane, that won’t do. You’ll never be able to make them both good. There is just enough merit between them to make one good sort of man. And, for my part, I am inclined to believe it’s all Mr Darcy’s.

JANE: Poor Mr Darcy. Poor Mr Wickham. There is such an expression of goodness in his countenance.

ELIZABETH: Yes, I’m afraid one has all the goodness, and the other, all the appearance of it.

JANE: But, Lizzy, I’m sure when you first read that letter, you could not have made so light of it as you do now.

ELIZABETH: Indeed, I could not. I was very uncomfortable. Till that moment, I never knew myself. And I had no Jane to comfort me. Oh, how I wanted you.

[Elizabeth gives Jane a hug, and they both draw back with a sigh.]

ELIZABETH: There is one point on which I want your advice. Should our general acquaintance be informed of Wickham’s true character?

JANE: Surely there can be no occasion to expose him so cruelly. What is your own opinion?

ELIZABETH: That it ought not to be attempted. Mr Darcy has not authorized me to make it public. Especially as regards his sister. And, for the rest, who would believe it? The general prejudice against Mr Darcy is so violent, and Wickham will soon be gone. I believe we should say nothing about it at present.

JANE: Yes, I agree. Perhaps he is sorry now for what he has done, and is anxious to re-establish his character in the world. We must not make him desperate.

ELIZABETH: Oh, Jane, I wish I could think so well of people as you do.

--
[INT. LONGBOURN, DINING ROOM - MORNING]
[The Bennets sit down to breakfast.]

LYDIA: Won’t you speak to Papa, Lizzy, about our going to Brighton? You know he listens to your advice.

ELIZABETH: You flatter me, Lydia, but, in any case, I shouldn’t attempt to persuade him. I think it’s a very good thing that the regiment should be removed from Meryton, and that we should be removed from the regiment.

MRS BENNET: Oh, Lizzy, how can you say such a thing?!

ELIZABETH: Very easily, mum. If one poor company of militia can cause such havoc in our family, what would a whole camp full of soldiers do?

LYDIA (dreamily): A whole camp full of soldiers.

MRS BENNET: Hmm, I remember when I was a girl. I cried for two days together when Colonel Miller’s regiment went away. I thought I should have broke my heart.

LYDIA: Well, I’m sure I shall break mine.

KITTY: And I.

MRS BENNET: There, there, my dears. But your father is determined to be cruel.

MR BENNET: I confess, I am. I’m sorry to be breaking so many hearts, but I’ve not the smallest intention of yielding.

MARY: I shall not break my heart, Papa. The pleasures of Brighton would have no charms for me. I should infinitely prefer a book.

LYDIA: Ohh!

KITTY: Mrs Forster says she plans to go sea-bathing.

LYDIA: I’m sure I should love to go sea-bathing.

[Lydia tries to entreat her father, who is taking a sip of his drink.]

MRS BENNET: A little sea-bathing would set me up forever.

[Mr Bennet wipes his mouth with his napkin.]

MR BENNET: And yet, I am unmoved. Well, well, I’m glad you’re come back, Lizzy.

[Mr Bennet stands up.]

MR BENNET: I’m glad you’re come back, Jane.

[Mr Bennet leaves. Jane gives Elizabeth an amused look. Lydia whines, and stomps her foot.]

LYDIA: I want to go to Brighton!

[Lydia throws down her knife and fork, and puts her hands in her lap, throws her napkin on the table, and pouts.]

--
[EXT. LONGBOURN, GARDENS - DAY]
[Elizabeth approaches Jane, who is clipping flowers for a bouquet and putting them in basket on her arm. Elizabeth also has a basketful of flowers. She watches Jane.]

ELIZABETH: You are not happy, Jane. It pains me to see it.

JANE: It is just that I did…I’m afraid I still do prefer Mr Bingley to any other man I’ve ever met. And Lizzy…I did believe he…Well, I was mistaken. That is all. I’m resolved to think of him no more. There. Enough. I shall be myself again, as if I had never set eyes on him.

[Jane walks over and takes Elizabeth’s hand.]

JANE: Truly, Lizzy, I promise I shall be well. I shall be myself again. I shall be perfectly content.

[Jane turns and walks back to the house. Mrs Bennet approaches Elizabeth, a basket and scissors in her hand.]

MRS BENNET: Well, Lizzy, what do you think now about this sad business of Jane’s? I cannot find out that she saw anything of Bingley in London. Well…he’s a very undeserving young man. And I don’t suppose there’s the least chance of her getting him now. If he should come back to Netherfield, though…

ELIZABETH: I think there’s little chance of that, Mamma.

MRS BENNET: Oh, well, just as he chooses. No one wants him to come. Oh, I shall always say he used my daughter extremely ill. And, if I was her, I would not have put up with it. Well, my comfort is she will die of a broken heart, and then he’ll be sorry for what he’s done. So, the Collinses live quite comfortable, do they? Well, I only hope it will last. And I suppose they talk about having this house, too when your father is dead. They look on it as quite their own, I daresay.

[Elizabeth smiles.]

ELIZABETH: They could hardly discuss such a subject in front of me, Mamma.

MRS BENNET: Well, I make no doubt they talk about it constantly when they’re alone. Well, if they can be easy with an estate that is not lawfully their own, so much the better. I should be ashamed of having one that was only entailed upon me.

LYDIA: Mamma!

[Lydia and Kitty run out of the house towards them.]

LYDIA: Mamma! Lizzy! Guess what?! You never will, so I’ll tell you.

[Lydia has a letter in her hands.]

LYDIA: Mrs Forster has invited me as her particular friend to go with her to Brighton.

MRS BENNET: Oh!

LYDIA: Colonel Forster is to take a house for us.

MRS BENNET: Oh, Lydia, I am so happy! Oh, what an honour to be so singled out!

KITTY: Is it not unfair, Lizzy? Mrs Forster should have asked me as well as Lydia. I may not be her particular friend, but I’ve just as much right to be asked as she has.

LYDIA (taunts): Ha, ha, ha, ha!

KITTY: And more, too, for I’m two years older.

[Kitty turns and leaves in a hurry.]

LYDIA: Well, I shall buy her a present, I daresay. There’s no call for her to be in a miff, because Mrs Forster likes me above anyone.

ELIZABETH: Lydia, before you crow too loud over your sister, remember Papa has not given you permission to go, and nor is he like to.

LYDIA: But Papa won’t stop me going. Not when I’ve been specially invited by the colonel of the regiment to be his wife’s particular companion.

[Lydia and Mrs Bennet giggle.]

LYDIA: Oh, Mamma, I shall have to be bought new clothes, for I’ve nothing fit to wear, and there will be balls and parties every night.

MRS BENNET: Well, of course you shall have new things. We wouldn’t see you disgraced in front of all the officers.

LYDIA: Ooh, all the officers. Ooh!

[Lydia and Mrs Bennet giggle.]

--
[INT. LONGBOURN, STUDY - DAY]
[Elizabeth paces in front of her father.]

MR BENNET: Look, I understand your concern, my dear. But consider…Lydia will never be easy until she has exposed herself in some public place, and here is an opportunity for her to do so, at very little expense or inconvenience to her family.

ELIZABETH: If you were aware, father, of the very great disadvantage to us all, which must arise from Lydia’s unguarded and imprudent manner, which has already arisen from it, I’m sure you would judge differently.

MR BENNET: Already arisen? Well, has she frightened away some of your lovers?

[Elizabeth looks sharply away.]

MR BENNET: Now, don’t be cast down, Lizzy, such squeamish youths are not worth your regret. Oh, come, Lizzy.

ELIZABETH: Indeed, you are mistaken. I have no injuries to resent. I speak of general, not particular, evils. Our…position as a family, our very respectability is called into question by Lydia’s wild behaviour.

[Mr Bennet regards Elizabeth.]

ELIZABETH: Excuse me, I must speak plainly. If you do not take the trouble to check her, she will soon be beyond the reach of amendment. Her character will be fixed as the most determined flirt that ever made herself and her family ridiculous.

[Mr Bennet looks a bit dubiously at Elizabeth. He thinks she is overreacting.]

ELIZABETH: You know that Kitty follows wherever Lydia leads. Don’t you see that they will be censured and despised wherever they are known? And that they will involve their sisters in their own disgrace?

MR BENNET: Lizzy, Lizzy, come here.

[Elizabeth doesn’t want to be comforted, but Mr Bennet takes her arm and she sits down with her father, not looking at him.]

MR BENNET: Don’t make yourself uneasy, my love. Wherever you and Jane are known you must be respected and valued.

[Elizabeth sighs.]

MR BENNET: And you will not appear to any less advantage for having a couple or, I may say, three very silly sisters. We shall have no peace at Longbourn if Lydia does not go to Brighton.

[Elizabeth withdraws her hand from her father’s grasp.]

MR BENNET: Colonel Forster is a sensible man.

[Elizabeth looks at him.]

MR BENNET: And luckily, she’s too poor to be an object of prey to a fortune hunter.

[Mr Bennet stands. Elizabeth is about to speak, but he holds up his hand.]

MR BENNET: Now, leave it now, Lizzy. I believe all will turn out well.

[Mr Bennet sits down in is desk chair.]

--
[INT. LONGBOURN, DRAWING ROOM - DAY]
[Officers visit with the Bennets. Col. Forster, Mr Bennet, and Mr Wickham stand around Mrs Bennet, who is sitting.]

MRS BENNET: We are so desolated, Colonel, that the regiment is to leave Meryton. But words cannot express what we feel about your kindness to our dear Lydia.

COL. FORSTER: Well, Ma’am, it appears that Mrs Forster cannot do without her.

[Lydia and Mrs Forster giggle together.]

COL. FORSTER: Look at the pair of them. Thick as thieves.

[An officer says something to Lydia and Mrs Forster, and they burst out giggling.]

COL. FORSTER: Lord knows what they find to talk about, but anything to keep the ladies happy. What do you say, Wickham?

MR WICKHAM: Well, I say amen to that, sir. [Wickham bows to them and crosses the room to Elizabeth.] There’s one lady I shall be very loath to part from.

ELIZABETH: Well, we must bear it as best we can. You are for Brighton; I shall be touring the lakes with my aunt and uncle. I daresay, we shall find ample sources of consolation and delight…in our different ways.

MR WICKHAM: Perhaps. How did you find Rosings?

ELIZABETH: Very interesting. Colonel Fitzwilliam was there with Mr Darcy. Are you at all acquainted with the colonel?

MR WICKHAM: I, erm…to some respects, yes, in former years. Very gentlemanly man. How did you like him?

ELIZABETH: I liked him very much, indeed.

MR WICKHAM: His manners are very different from his cousin’s.

ELIZABETH: Yes. But I think Mr Darcy improves on closer acquaintance.

MR WICKHAM: Indeed? In what respect? Has he acquired a touch of civility in his address? For I dare not hope he has improved in essentials.

ELIZABETH: No. In essentials, I believe he is very much as he ever was.

MR WICKHAM: Ah.

ELIZABETH: I don’t mean to imply that either his mind or his manners are changed for the better. Rather, my knowing him better improved my opinion of him.

MR WICKHAM: I see.

Mrs Forster: Wickham? Wickham? Come here. At your service, Ma’am.

ELIZABETH: Yes, go, go. I would not wish you back again.

[Elizabeth takes a sip of her tea.]

***


IV. Summer Travels

[EXT. LONGBOURN - DAY]
[The Bennets exit the front door to see Lydia off in her carriage.]

LYDIA: Bye, Papa. Goodbye, Mamma.

MRS BENNET: Oh, Lydia, my dear. We shall miss you most cruelly.

LYDIA: Well, I shall write every day of what I am doing, and make you wild with envy.

KITTY: Oh!

LYDIA: Well, I can’t help it.

MARY: I shall not envy her a jot.

LYDIA: Well, I must go. Goodbye, Jane. Goodbye, Lizzy. If I see any eligible beaus for you, I’ll send you word express. Ooh!

[Lydia trips on the carriage step.]

MRS BENNET: Oh!

LYDIA: Oh, Lord, what a laugh if I should fall and break my head.

[Mrs Bennet giggles as Lydia steps into the carriage.]

KITTY: I wish you would.

MRS BENNET: Oh, my dear girl, take every opportunity of enjoying yourself.

[Mrs Bennet smiles and waves at Lydia. Lydia nods while Kitty wipes away a tear.]

LYDIA: Bye, goodbye.

[Lydia and her family wave to each other as the carriage drives off, and Kitty begins to cry.]

MR BENNET: Well, never mind, Kitty. I daresay, in a year or two, you’ll have got over it tolerably well.

[Kitty begins to sob.]

MR BENNET: If anyone should ask for me, I shall be in my library. And not to be disturbed.

[The Bennets turn to enter the house.]

--
[EXT. LONGBOURN - DAY]
[A carriage carrying the Gardiners comes up to Longbourn, and Jane and Elizabeth exit the house and wave.]

ELIZABETH: Hello!

JANE: Hello! I can see…I can see Alicia. Look how she’s grown! Hello!

ELIZABETH: Oh! You must be so tired.

Alicia: Hello.

JANE: Hello, Alicia.

[Jane kisses Alicia's cheek.]

JANE: How you’ve all grown! I think you’ve all grown since we last said goodbye!

[The Gardiner children gather around Jane.]

JANE: And very prettily too, come into the house then.

[Jane leads the children inside.]

MRS GARDINER: Such a sweet, steady girl. Oh, Lizzy!

[Lizzy kisses her aunt's cheek.]

MRS GARDINER: Oh!

[Elizabeth and her uncle kiss one another’s cheek.]

MRS GARDINER: We bear you bad tidings, not too grievous, though, I hope.

MR GARDINER: The guilt is mine. My business won’t allow me time away to visit all the lake country. We shall have to content ourselves with Derbyshire.

ELIZABETH: Oh. But Derbyshire has many beauties, has it not?

MRS GARDINER: Indeed, to me, Derbyshire is the best of all counties. You will judge for yourself whether Chatsworth is not the equal of Blenheim. And surely the southern counties have nothing to compare to the wild and untamed beauty of the Peaks.

[Shows the Peaks, where their carriage is later driving down a road.]

MR GARDINER: Nature and culture in harmony, you see, Lizzy. Wildness and artifice, and all in the one perfect county.

MRS GARDINER: Well, I was born and grew up here, so I should never disagree with that.

ELIZABETH: Where, exactly?

MRS GARDINER: At Lambton, a little town of no consequence to anyone, except those fortunate enough to have lived in it. I think it the dearest place in the world.

ELIZABETH: Then I shall not be happy till I have seen it.

MRS GARDINER: It has one further claim on your interest: It is but five miles from Pemberley, and owes much of its prosperity to that great estate.

ELIZABETH: So near?

MRS GARDINER: Not that I, or any of my acquaintance, enjoyed the privilege of intimacy with that family. We moved in very different circles.

--
[INT. FENCING CLUB - DAY]
[Mr Darcy fences with an older man who’s wearing a protective jacket, while other men stand around.]

BAINES: A hit, acknowledged. Very good, sir. Enough, sir?

[Darcy walks away and leans on a large column, sweating and panting from the exercise.]

MR DARCY: Enough. Thank you, Baines.

BAINES: Will you come again tomorrow, sir, at ten?

MR DARCY: Not tomorrow, I have business in the north. I’ll come back tomorrow week.

BAINES: Very good, sir. Bid you good day, sir.

[Darcy and Baines shake hands.]

MR DARCY: Thank you, Baines. Good day.

[Baines walks away, and Mr Darcy walks down a few steps before pausing.]

MR DARCY: I shall conquer this. I shall.

[Darcy leaves.]

--
[EXT. DERBYSHIRE COUNTRYSIDE - DAY]
[Elizabeth walks in the hills. Her aunt calls out from a distance.]

MRS GARDINER: Elizabeth, be careful! How could I face your father if you took a fall?

[Elizabeth turns and looks at the vast scenery below her.]

ELIZABETH (sigh): Beautiful!

--
[INT. THE BULL INN, PARLOUR - DAY]
[Elizabeth and the Gardiners sit down to eat at the inn. A maid serves them.]

MRS GARDINER: Oh, thank you, Hannah.

HANNAH: You’re welcome, sir.

[Elizabeth sighs.]

ELIZABETH: I think I should be quite happy to stay my whole life in Derbyshire.

MRS GARDINER: I’m happy to hear it. Now, what do you say to visiting Pemberley tomorrow? It’s not directly in our way, but no more than a mile or two out of it.

ELIZABETH: Do you especially wish to see it, Aunt?

MRS GARDINER: I should have thought you would, having heard so much about it. And the associations are not all unpleasant. Wickham passed all his youth there, you know.

ELIZABETH: We have no business there. I should feel awkward to visit the place without a proper invitation.

MR GARDINER: No more than Blenheim or Chatsworth. There was no awkwardness there.

MRS GARDINER: I shouldn’t care for it myself, Lizzy, if it were merely a - a fine house, richly furnished. But the grounds are delightful. They have some of the finest woods in the country.

MR GARDINER: Ah, how far are we from Pemberley, my dear?

HANNAH: Not more than five miles, sir.

MRS GARDINER: The grounds are very fine, are they not?

HANNAH: As fine as you’ll see anywhere, Ma’am. My oldest brother is an under-gardener there.

ELIZABETH: Is the family here for the summer?

HANNAH: No, Ma’am.

[Hannah smiles and exits.]

MRS GARDINER: Well?

ELIZABETH (smiling): Perhaps we might visit Pemberley after all.

--
[EXT. PEMBERLEY, GROUNDS - DAY]
[Elizabeth and the Gardiners’ open carriage travelling down a road to Pemberley.]

MR GARDINER: I think we’ve seen woods and groves enough to satisfy even your enthusiasm for them, Lizzy.

ELIZABETH: I confess, I had no idea Pemberley was such a great estate. Shall we reach the house itself before dark, do you think?

[Elizabeth smiles.]

MRS GARDINER: Be patient, wait.

[The house comes into view.]

MRS GARDINER: There.

MR GARDINER: Stop the coach!

[The coach stops. Elizabeth sighs, stunned. Mrs Gardener watches her with a smile.]

MRS GARDINER: I think one would be willing to put up with a good deal to be mistress of Pemberley.

MR GARDINER: The mistress of Pemberley will have to put up with a good deal, from what I hear.

MRS GARDINER: She’s not likely to be anyone we know.

[Mrs Gardener looks back at Elizabeth, who is still staring at the house.]

MRS GARDINER: How do you like the house, Lizzy?

ELIZABETH: Very well. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a place so happily situated. I like it very well, indeed.

MR GARDINER: Drive on. Pity then its owner should be such a proud and disagreeable man.

ELIZABETH (chuckles): Yes, a great pity.

MRS GARDINER: Perhaps the beauty of the house renders its owner a little less repulsive, Lizzy?

ELIZABETH: Yes, perhaps.

[Elizabeth chuckles]

ELIZABETH: Perhaps a very little.

MR GARDINER: Well…shall we apply to the housekeeper to see inside the place?

[Elizabeth nods and smiles. The carriage drives to the gate.]

--
[INT. PREMBERLEY, STUDY - DAY]
[The housekeeper leads Elizabeth and the Gardiners on a tour of the house.]

MRS REYNOLDS: That’s where Mrs Darcy used to write her letters every morning. It was her favourite room.

[The housekeeper leads them into the next room.]

[INT. PEMBERLEY, MUSIC ROOM - DAY]

MRS REYNOLDS: This is the music room.

[The Gardiners gasp softly.]

MRS GARDINER: Charming.

MR GARDINER: What a lovely room this is.

MRS GARDINER: Delightful.

MRS REYNOLDS: And there’s a fine prospect from that window down towards the lake.

[Elizabeth walks to the window.]

MRS GARDINER: Look at this, my dear.

MR GARDINER: Oh, it’s quite magnificent.

[Elizabeth looks out the window.]

ELIZABETH: Of all this, I might have been mistress.

MRS REYNOLDS: This piano has just come down. It’s a present from my master for Miss Georgiana.

MR GARDINER: Your master is from home, we understand.

MRS REYNOLDS: Yes, but we expect him here tomorrow, sir.

[Elizabeth looks at the housekeeper.]

MRS REYNOLDS: He is coming with a large party of friends.

[Elizabeth is surprised.]

MRS REYNOLDS: And Miss Georgiana. This portrait was painted earlier this year for her sixteenth birthday.

[Elizabeth and Mr Gardiner regard the painting.]

MR GARDINER: Ah! She is a very handsome young lady.

MRS REYNOLDS: Oh, yes! The handsomest young lady that ever was seen. And so accomplished. She plays and sings all day long!

[Mrs Gardiner looks over a glass case in the next room.]

MRS GARDINER: Lizzy! Look at this picture! It reminds me very much of someone we know!

MRS REYNOLDS: This one, Ma’am? That young gentleman was the son of the late Mr Darcy’s steward, Mr Wickham. He is gone into the army now, but he’s turned out very wild. Very wild, indeed, I’m afraid. And that’s my master. And very like him, too.

MRS GARDINER: It is a handsome face, but I’ve never seen the original. Is it like him, Lizzy?

MRS REYNOLDS: Oh! Does this young lady know the master?

ELIZABETH: Yes, a little.

MRS REYNOLDS: Oh, and he is a handsome gentleman, is he not, Ma’am?

ELIZABETH: Yes, very handsome.

MRS REYNOLDS: Mm. I’m sure I know none so handsome. Nor so kind.

MR GARDINER: Indeed?

MRS REYNOLDS: Aye, sir, I’ve never had a cross word from him in my life. And I’ve known him since he was four years old. But then, I’ve always observed that they that are good-natured when they are children are good-natured when they grow up.

MRS GARDINER: His father was an excellent man.

MRS REYNOLDS: He was, Ma’am. And is son will be just like him; the best landlord, and the best master.

[Mrs Gardiner glances at Elizabeth with a furrowed brow.]

MRS REYNOLDS: Ask any of his tenants or his servants. Some people call him proud, but I fancy that’s only because he don’t rattle away...

[Elizabeth smiles.]

MRS REYNOLDS: ...like other young men do.

[Mrs Gardiner looks thoughtful and confused.]

MRS REYNOLDS: Now, if you will follow me, there’s a finer, larger portrait of him in the gallery upstairs. This way, sir, if you please.

[Mrs Gardiner steps closer to Elizabeth and whispers.]

MRS GARDINER: This fine account of Darcy is not quite consistent with his behaviour to poor Wickham.

ELIZABETH: Perhaps we might have been deceived there.

MRS GARDINER: That’s not likely, is it?

[They begin to walk up the stairs.]

***


V. Chance Encounter

[EXT. PEMBERLEY, LAKE - DAY]
[Mr Darcy rides down the road to Pemberley. He slows to a stop and looks at his house through the trees before he rides to a pond a little out of sight and dismounts. Darcy removes his hat and gloves.]

--
[INT. PEMBERLEY, GALLERY - DAY]
[The housekeeper leads Elizabeth and the Gardiners to the gallery.]

MR GARDINER: Oh!

MRS GARDINER: Oh!

MR GARDINER: Magnificent.

[They look around at the portraits and the hall as the housekeeper leads them to a particular painting.]

MRS REYNOLDS: There.

[Elizabeth looks up at the dignified portrait of Darcy.]

--
[EXT. PEMBERLEY, LAKE - DAY]
[The original Darcy walks closer to the lake, removing his jacket, his cravat, and his vest as his sits down on the grass.]

--
[INT. PEMBERLEY, GALLERY - DAY]
[Elizabeth smiles as she admires Darcy's portrait.]

--
[EXT. PEMBERLEY, LAKE - DAY]
[Darcy walks down to the murky green water, pauses to think for a moment and then dives in.]

--
[EXT. PEMBERLEY, GARDENS - DAY]
[Elizabeth and the Gardiners walk through the gardens alone.]

--
[EXT. PEMBERLEY, GROUNDS - DAY]
[Darcy walks to the house wearing his boots and soaking wet clothes. He carries his riding stick, hat, and outer clothes while a man servant leads his horse.]

GROOM: Would you like to ride him, sir?

MR DARCY: No, no, no, take him back to the stables.

[The servant leaves with Darcy's horse and Darcy continue on towards the house.]

--
[EXT. PEMBERLEY, GROUNDS - DAY]
[Elizabeth walks down a slight hill. She hears the rustle of a nearby tree and is shocked to see Darcy emerge. Darcy walks several paces before realizing it’s her, and then stops short in surprise.]

ELIZABETH: Mr Darcy!

MR DARCY: Miss Bennet. I…

ELIZABETH (uncomfortable): I did not expect to see you…sir. We understood all the family were from home, or we should never have presumed…

MR DARCY (uncomfortable): Er, I returned a day early. Excuse me; your parents are in good health?

ELIZABETH: Er, yes. They are very well. I thank you, sir.

MR DARCY: I’m glad to hear it. How long have you been in this part of the country?

ELIZABETH: But two days, sir.

MR DARCY: And where are you staying?

ELIZABETH: At the inn at Lambton.

MR DARCY: Oh, yes, of course. Mm…Well, I’m…I’m just arrived myself. Mm…And your parents are in good health? An…And all your sisters?

ELIZABETH (chuckles): Yes. They are all in excellent health, sir.

[Darcy fidgets with his riding stick, looking around awkwardly.]

MR DARCY: Excuse me.

[Darcy bows, and continues towards the house. Elizabeth takes a heaving breath, while the Gardiners walk down to her. Elizabeth doesn’t move or look at them.]

MR GARDINER: The man himself, I presume.

MRS GARDINER: And just as handsome as in his portrait. Though, perhaps, a little less formally attired.

[Elizabeth gasps, raising her arms, and turns towards the house.]

ELIZABETH: We must leave here at once.

[Elizabeth takes off at a quick pace.]

MRS GARDINER: Why, of course, if you wish.

ELIZABETH: Oh, I wish we’d never come. What must he think of me?

MRS GARDINER: Was he displeased? What did he say?

ELIZABETH: Oh!

[Elizabeth shakes her hands.]

ELIZABETH: Nothing of consequence. He inquired after my parents…

***


VI. A Good Opinion

[EXT. PEMBERLEY - DAY]
[Darcy opens the door and rushes down the stairs, completely re-dressed. He buttons up the front of his jacket as he looks around for Elizabeth and the Gardiners. Darcy steps out of the courtyard to where their carriage awaits just as Elizabeth rushes towards it.]

MR DARCY: Miss Bennet.

[Elizabeth turns around, and Darcy continues walking to her.]

MR DARCY: Please allow me to apologize for not receiving you properly just now. You are not leaving?

ELIZABETH: We were, sir, I think we must.

MR DARCY: I hope you’re not displeased with Pemberley.

ELIZABETH: No, not at all.

[Darcy smiles.]

MR DARCY: Then you approve of it?

[Elizabeth smiles.]

ELIZABETH: Very much.

[Elizabeth turns serious again.]

ELIZABETH: But I think there are few who would not approve.

MR DARCY (smiling): But your good opinion is rarely bestowed and, therefore, more worth the earning.

ELIZABETH: Thank you.

[Darcy looks over his shoulder at the Gardiners who are standing several paces away.]

MR DARCY: Would you do me the honour of introducing me to your friends?

ELIZABETH: Certainly.

[Elizabeth leads Darcy to her aunt and uncle.]

ELIZABETH: Mr and Mrs Edward Gardiner, Mr Darcy.

[Mr Gardiner removed his hat.]

ELIZABETH: Mrs Gardiner is my aunt, Mr Darcy. My sister Jane stayed at their house in Cheapside when she was lately in London.

MR DARCY (bows): Delighted to make your acquaintance, Madam.

[Mrs Gardiner curtsies.]

MR DARCY: Delighted, sir.

[Darcy and Mr Gardiner bow.]

MR DARCY: You’re staying in Lambton, I hear.

MRS GARDINER: Yes, sir. I grew up there as a girl.

MR DARCY: Delightful village. I remember running from Pemberley to Lambton as a boy almost every day in the horse chestnut season. There was one very fine tree there, I remember.

[Elizabeth keeps her head tilted down, but shifts her attention back and forth between Mr Darcy and no point in particular.]

MRS GARDINER: On the green, by the smithy.

MR DARCY: The very one.

[Darcy and Mrs Gardiner smile.]

MR DARCY: Mr Gardiner, do you care for fishing?

MR GARDINER: Indeed, I do, sir, when I get the chance of it.

MR DARCY: If you have time, sir, you must come and fish in my trout stream.

[Elizabeth is surprised, and looks sideways at Darcy.]

MR DARCY: Or there are carp, tench, and pike in the lake here, if your bent runs to coarse fishing. I could provide you with rods and tackle, show you the best spots. Let us walk down now. (to the carriage driver) Follow us to the lake. (to Mr Gardiner) My man will show you.

[Darcy walks to view the lake with Mr Gardiner, the women follow arm in arm.]

MR DARCY: There’s a place down there where we used to tickle them out…

MRS GARDINER: Is this the proud Darcy you told us of? He is all ease and friendliness, no false dignity at all.

ELIZABETH: I’m as astonished as you are. I can’t imagine what has affected this transformation.

MRS GARDINER: Can you not?

[Mrs Gardiner takes the arm of her husband, and Darcy turns to Elizabeth.]

MR DARCY: Miss Bennet.

[Darcy invites her to walk down a path with him.]

MR DARCY: Er, do you…

ELIZABETH: Er…

MR DARCY: Pray, continue.

[The Gardiners notice them leaving and follow some distance behind. Elizabeth has her arms clasped behind her back, and Darcy fiddles with his ring.]

ELIZABETH: I was going to say again, sir, how very unexpected your arrival was. If we had known you were to be here, we should not have dreamt of invading your privacy. The housekeeper assured us you would not be here until tomorrow.

MR DARCY: I beg you, do not make yourself uneasy. I had planned it so myself; but I found I had business with my steward, and so rode on ahead of the rest of the party without informing anyone. They will join me tomorrow; and among them are those who…claim an acquaintance with you. It’ s, Mr Bingley and his sisters.

[Darcy and Elizabeth regard each other briefly, and then she turns her head away.]

ELIZABETH: Oh.

[They walk up a short set of stairs.]

MR DARCY: There’s the other person in the party who, more particularly, wishes to know you.

[Darcy clasps his hands behind his back, and Elizabeth clasps her arms again.]

MR DARCY: Will you allow me to…hem…Do I ask too much to introduce my sister to you during your stay at Lambton?

ELIZABETH: I should be very happy to make her acquaintance.

MR DARCY: Thank you.

[They continue walking down the lane lined with a row of trees on either side.

--
[EXT. PEMBERLEY, CARRIAGE ROAD - DAY]
[Mr Darcy hands Elizabeth into the open carriage. Elizabeth looks at him as she sits.]

ELIZABETH: Thank you.

MR DARCY: I hope we shall meet again very soon.

[Darcy pulls adjusts the front of his jacket and clasps his hands behind his back.]

MR DARCY: Good day, Mr Gardener. Mrs Gardiner

[Darcy nods to each in turn, and then pauses, looking at Elizabeth.]

MR DARCY: Good day, Miss Bennet.

[Darcy bows and steps back and watches the carriage drive away. Elizabeth turns back to look at Darcy as he shrinks into the distance.]

Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6
Tags: pride and prejudice (1995)
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