Posted on: 2013-02-20
Elizabeth Bennet talked in her sleep. Almost incessantly. There were times that Elizabeth wondered how Jane always seemed to know what was on her mind, but had attributed it to the fact that her sister knew her very well. Since Elizabeth always either slept alone or with her sister Jane, there was no one else who knew about this nocturnal activity. Jane did not want to embarrass her sister, so never found it necessary to tell her. So it was that Elizabeth travelled to Kent to visit the new Mrs. Collins with no knowledge of her tendency.
Charlotte and Maria had gone into town, leaving Elizabeth alone at the parsonage. Remembering that the last time she had been alone she had received a very awkward visit from Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth decided to take a walk. While exploring the grounds she found a pleasant clearing next to a small brook. Intending to enjoy the scene for a few minutes, Elizabeth sat down, resting her back against a fallen log. Before long, she had fallen asleep.
As Elizabeth had matured, so had her dreams. She was still very innocent, but that did not stop her from dreaming about men, even if her imagination could not conjure up more than a kiss.
Elizabeth had no inclinations of marriage toward Colonel Fitzwilliam, but during her time at Hunsford Parish, her exposure to single men was very limited. She was still certain that she hated Mr. Darcy, so the good Colonel became the focus of her dreams from time to time.
This morning, while dozing in the clearing, she dreamed of being rescued from a runaway carriage by Colonel Fitzwilliam. Even in her dream, she thought that addressing him so formally in such a situation would not do, so addressed him simply as "Fitzwilliam" as she did not know his first name. (Really, does anybody?)
Mr. Darcy was taking a walk through the groves of Rosings Park. He had first tried to encounter Miss Elizabeth Bennet, but she was not to be found in her usual locations. While making his way back toward the house, he decided to visit a small clearing that he had enjoyed spending time in as a young boy.
When he entered the clearing he immediately noticed Elizabeth lying, unmoving on the ground. Concerned that harm had befallen her, he rushed to her side. As he drew closer it became clear that she was simply sleeping. He watched her for a moment, then began to withdraw, not wanting to disturb her.
As he backed away, he could not help but overhear her.
"Fitzwilliam, thank you for saving me," she whispered.
He froze. She was dreaming about him. And addressing him by his given name in her dreams. He had been dreaming about her for some time, but had not considered the possibility that she would be dreaming about him as well.
"How can I ever thank you, Fitzwilliam?"
With a smile on his face, Darcy left the clearing. He had been debating the merits of a proposal to Elizabeth for some time, but now that he was sure of what her response would be he vowed that he would ask her at the next opportunity. As he was so sure of her acceptance, he gave very little thought as to what he would actually say, dreaming instead of how they would engage themselves after the proposal had been made and accepted.
Needless to say, the next evening after leaving a very distraught Elizabeth Bennet in the parsonage, he was not only very upset at her accusations and refusal, but very confused as well.