Authorís Note: This is a companion piece to Mrs Collins, nee Bennet, but can be read on its own.
Chap 1 -- Visiting Hunsford
Posted on 2013-07-21
Every object in the next day's journey was new and interesting to Elizabeth; when her travelling coach left the high road for the lane to Hunsford, her eyes were in search of the Parsonage, and every turning expected to bring it in view. The paling of Rosings Park was the boundary on one side. Elizabeth smiled at the recollection of all that she had heard of its inhabitants.
At length the Parsonage was discernible. The garden sloping to the road, the house standing in it, the green pales, and the laurel hedge, everything declared she was arriving. Her sister and Mr. Collins appeared at the door, and the carriage stopped at the small gate which led by a short gravel walk to the house amidst the nods and smiles of the whole party. In a moment Elizabeth was out of the chaise, the sisters greatly rejoicing at the sight of each other. Mrs. Collins welcomed her sister with the warmest delight, and Elizabeth, looking earnestly in her face, was relieved and pleased to see it as lovely and serene as ever. She was more and more glad with coming when she found herself so very affectionately received. She wondered whether her brother-in-law's manners would be in any way altered by his marriage. His civility was still rather formal, when he addressed her as his dear sister Elizabeth and declared how much both he and her sister had been looking forward to her visit.
She was then, with no other delay than his pointing out the neatness of the entrance, taken into the house; and as soon as they were in the parlour he welcomed her a second time to his home. For some minutes, his inquiries after herself and all the rest of the family at Longbourn were very minute, but when his wife pointed out that her sister must be rather tired after her journey and that they could talk over all the news in more detail from Longbourn later, he punctually repeated his wife's offers of refreshment.
Elizabeth was prepared to see him in his glory; as he displayed the good proportion of the room, its aspect and its furniture. But though everything seemed neat and comfortable, she still rather looked with wonder at her sister that she could have so serene an air with such a companion. When Mr. Collins said anything of which his wife might reasonably be ashamed, which was not quite unseldom, she involuntarily turned her eye on her sister. Once or twice she thought that she could discern a faint blush; but in general her sister wisely did not hear. After sitting long enough to admire every article of furniture in the room, from the sideboard to the fender, to give an account of her journey, and of all that had happened in London, Mr. Collins invited them to take a stroll in the garden, which was large and well laid out, and to the cultivation of which he attended himself. To work in his garden was one of his most respectable pleasures; and Elizabeth admired the command of countenance with which her sister talked of the healthfulness of the exercise, and owned she encouraged it as much as possible. Here, leading the way through every walk and cross walk, and scarcely allowing her an interval to utter the praises he asked for, every view was pointed out with a minuteness which left beauty entirely behind. He could number the fields in every direction, and could tell how many trees there were in the most distant clump. But of all the views which his garden, or which the country or the kingdom could boast, none were to be compared with the prospect of Rosings, afforded by an opening in the trees that bordered the park nearly opposite the front of his house. It was a handsome modern building, well situated on rising ground.
From his garden Mr. Collins would have led them round his two meadows; but since the two ladies did not have the proper shoes to encounter the remains of the white frost, they turned back; Mrs Collins took her sister over the house, having assured her husband that he need not trouble himself to do so, and that she could manage without his help. The house was perhaps rather small, but very well built and convenient; and everything was fitted up and arranged with a neatness and consistency of which Elizabeth gave her sister all the credit. When Mr. Collins could be forgotten, there was really a great air of comfort throughout, and considering her sister's serenity and the constant complacency in her air and manner, Elizabeth wondered if he must be often forgotten.
She had already learnt that Lady Catherine was still in the country. It was spoken of again while they were at dinner, when Mr. Collins joining in, observed --
"Yes, my dear sister, you will have the honour of seeing Lady Catherine de Bourgh on the ensuing Sunday at church, and I need not say you will be delighted with her. She is all affability and condescension, and I doubt not but you will be honoured with some portion of her notice when service is over. I have scarcely any hesitation in saying that she will include you in every invitation with which she honours us during your stay here. Her behaviour to your sister is charming. We dine at Rosings twice every week, and are never allowed to walk home. Her ladyship's carriage is regularly ordered for us. I should say, one of her ladyship's carriages, for she has several."
"Lady Catherine is a very respectable, sensible woman indeed," added her sister, "and a most attentive neighbour."
"Very true, my dear, that is exactly what I say. She is the sort of woman whom one cannot regard with too much deference."
The evening was spent chiefly in talking over their family at Longbourn and the Hertfordshire news, and telling again what had been already written; and when it closed, Elizabeth, in the solitude of her chamber, had to meditate upon her sister's degree of contentment, to understand her address in guiding, and composure in bearing with, her husband, and to acknowledge that it was all done very well. She had also to anticipate how her visit would pass, the quiet tenor of their usual employments, the vexatious interruptions of Mr. Collins, and the gaieties of their intercourse with Rosings. A lively imagination soon settled it all.
About the middle of the next day, after Mr Collins returned from his almost daily walk to Rosings, as she was in her room getting ready for her walk, he no sooner entered the house when he called after her and began to congratulate her on her good fortune, which his wife explained by letting her know that they were asked to dine at Rosings the next day.
Chap 2 - Dinner At Rosings
Mr Collins scarcely talked of anything else for the whole day or next morning, but their visit to Rosings. He was carefully instructing his sister-in-law in what she was to expect, that the sight of such rooms, so many servants, and so splendid a dinner, might not wholly overpower her.
As the weather was fine they had a pleasant walk of about half a mile across the park. Every park has its beauty and its prospects; and Elizabeth saw much to be pleased with, though she could not be in such raptures as Mr. Collins expected the scene to inspire, and was but slightly affected by his enumeration of the windows in front of the house, and his relation of what the glazing altogether had originally cost Sir Lewis De Bourgh.
From the entrance-hall, of which Mr. Collins pointed out, with a rapturous air, the fine proportion and finished ornaments, they followed the servants through an antechamber, to the room where Lady Catherine and her companion, Mrs. Jenkinson were sitting. Her ladyship, with great condescension, arose to receive them; and as Mrs. Collins had settled it with her husband that the office of introducing her sister should be her's, it was performed in a proper manner, without any of those apologies and thanks which he would have thought necessary.
Elizabeth found herself quite equal to the scene, and could observe her ladyship and her companion, Mrs Jenkinson, quite composedly. -- Lady Catherine was a tall, large woman, with strongly marked features, which might once have been handsome. Her air was not conciliating, nor was her manner of receiving them such as to make her visitors forget their inferior rank. She was not rendered formidable by silence; but whatever she said was spoken in so authoritative a tone as marked her self-importance. As for Mrs. Jenkinson, there was nothing remarkable in her appearance, and she was chiefly engaged in listening to her ladyship.
The dinner was exceedingly handsome, and there were all the servants and all the articles of plate which Mr. Collins had promised; and, as he had likewise foretold, he took his seat at the bottom of the table, by her ladyship's desire, and looked as if he felt that life could furnish nothing greater.
During dinner and after they returned to the drawing-room, there was little to be done but to hear Lady Catherine talk, which she did without much intermission till coffee came in, delivering her opinion on every subject in so decisive a manner as proved that she was not used to have her judgment controverted. She inquired into Mrs Collins' domestic concerns familiarly and minutely, and gave her a great deal of advice as to the management of them all; told her how everything ought to be regulated in so small a family as her's, and instructed her as to the care of her cows and her poultry. Elizabeth found that nothing was beneath this great Lady's attention, which could furnish her with an occasion of dictating to others. When tea was over, the card-table was placed. Lady Catherine was again the chief speaker -- stating the mistakes of the others, or relating some anecdote of herself.
When Lady Catherine had played as long as she chose, the table was broke up, the carriage was offered to Mrs. Collins, gratefully accepted, and immediately ordered. The party then gathered round the fire to hear Lady Catherine determine what weather they were to have on the morrow. From these instructions they were summoned by the arrival of the coach; and with many speeches of thankfulness on Mr. Collins's side, they departed. As soon as they had driven from the door, Elizabeth was called on by her brother-in-law to give her opinion of all that she had seen at Rosings, which, for her sister's sake, she made more favourable than it really was.
The entertainment of dining at Rosings was repeated about twice a week; and every such entertainment was the counterpart of the first. Their other engagements were few; as the style of living of the neighbourhood in general was beyond the Collinses' reach. This, however, was no evil to Elizabeth, and upon the whole she spent her time comfortably enough; there were half hours of pleasant conversation with her sister, and the weather was so fine for the time of year, that she had often great enjoyment out of doors.
Chap 3 -- Visitors at Rosings
In this quiet way, the first fortnight of her visit soon passed away. Easter was approaching, and the week preceding it was to bring important additions to the family at Rosings, which in so small a circle must be most significant. Elizabeth had heard, soon after her arrival, that Lady Catherine's daughter and son-in-law Mr. and Mrs Darcy were expected there in the course of a few weeks, together with another nephew of Lady Catherine's, a Colonel Richard Fitzwilliam, the younger son of the Earl of Matlock. Lady Catherine talked of their coming with the greatest satisfaction, spoke of her daughter in terms of the greatest pride and affection and of her son-in-law in terms of the highest admiration. Elizabeth thought that there were not many of her acquaintance whom she did not prefer to Mr Darcy, but she looked forward with some curiosity to see Mrs Darcy, and she might be amused to observe how well-suited Mr Darcy and his wife were. During their dinner at Rosings on the week preceding the Darcys' visit, Lady Catherine had talked a great deal about the marriage between her daughter and Mr Darcy.
"From my daughter's infancy, she has been intended for her cousin Darcy. It was my favourite wish, as well as the favourite wish of his mother, my sister the late Lady Anne Darcy. While little Anne was in her cradle, we planned the union. My daughter and my nephew have always been formed for each other. They are descended, on the maternal side, from the same noble line; and, on the father's, from respectable, honourable, and ancient--though untitled--families. Their fortune on both sides is splendid. They have been destined for each other by the voice of every member of their respective houses, who are all delighted by their union."
Their arrival was soon known at the Parsonage, for Mr. Collins was walking the whole morning within view of the lodges opening into Hunsford Lane, in order to have the earliest assurance of it; and after making his bow as the carriage turned into the park, hurried home with the great intelligence. On the following morning he hastened to Rosings to pay his respects, and when Mr. Collins returned, Mr and Mrs Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam, accompanied him.
Colonel Fitzwilliam was about thirty, not handsome, but in person and address most truly the gentleman. Mr. Darcy looked just as he had been used to look in Hertfordshire more than a year ago, and paid his compliments, with his usual reserve, to Mrs. Collins. Elizabeth was quite astonished at Mrs Darcy's appearance, for she was quite a small, delicate looking woman. There was neither in figure nor face any resemblance to her mother; her features, though not plain, were insignificant; and she had little to say for herself or others beyond the most commonplace inquiry or remark.
Unlike Mr and Mrs Darcy, who after addressing some slight observations on the house and garden to Mrs Collins, did not have much to say, Colonel Fitzwilliam entered into conversation directly with the readiness and ease of a well-bred man, and talked very pleasantly.
Colonel Fitzwilliam's manners were very much admired at the parsonage, and the sisters both felt that he must add considerably to the pleasure of their engagements at Rosings. It was some days, however, before they received any invitation thither, for while her daughter, son-in-law and nephew were in the house, they could not be necessary; and it was not till Easter-day, almost a week after the visitors' arrival, that they were honoured by such an attention, and then they were merely asked on leaving church to come there in the evening. For the last week they had seen very little of either Lady Catherine or the Darcys, but Colonel Fitzwilliam had called at the parsonage more than once during the time.
The invitation was accepted of course, and at a proper hour they joined the party in Lady Catherine's drawing room. Colonel Fitzwilliam seemed really glad to see them; any thing was a welcome relief to him at Rosings; and Mrs. Collins's pretty sister had moreover caught his fancy very much. He now seated himself by her, and talked so agreeably of Kent and Hertfordshire, of travelling and staying at home, of new books and music, that Elizabeth had never been half so well entertained in that room before.
On the next morning Colonel Fitzwilliam called at the Parsonage, and found a temptation from this period of walking thither almost every day. He called at various times of the morning, now and then accompanied by his aunt or his cousin Mrs Darcy, but only once or twice by Mr Darcy. It was plain to them all that Colonel Fitzwilliam came because he had pleasure in their society, a persuasion which of course recommended him still more.
Mrs Collins' observed Col Fitzwilliams' evident admiration of her sister, but she did not want her sister to get her hopes up, from the danger of raising expectations which might only end in disappointment; for she had not forgotten her own disappointed hopes over a year ago, the year before Mr Collins had visited Longbourn, when she had found out that charming and attentive young men were not always to be relied upon. She thus gently cautioned her sister about Col Fitzwilliam, saying :
"Col Fitzwilliam is a very agreeable gentleman, and he seems to admire you Lizzy, but - I don't want you to get hopes and expectations that might end in disappointment. We must not expect a lively young man to be always so guarded and circumspect, it is unfortunate that sometimes our own vanity deceives us. We often fancy admiration to mean more than it does."
Elizabeth felt that she understood her sister's feelings, and thanked her for her caution, assuring her that:
"At present I am not in love with Col Fitzwilliam; no, I certainly am not. But he is certainly a very agreeable man, so different from his disagreeable cousin. I think Mr and Mrs Darcy suit each other very well, don't you? They are both so reserved and hardly ever have anything to say in company. Before meeting Mrs Darcy, I was wondering how Mr Darcy would have got along with a younger version of Lady Catherine as his wife, but Mrs Darcy is not at all like her mother! As for Col Fitzwilliam, he has a very well-informed mind as well as agreeable manners, and I intend to enjoy his company while he is here, but I assure you that I won't make myself unhappy over him if nothing further results from our acquaintance, so do not make yourself uneasy, my dear sister."
Her sister assured her that she was satisfied, while Elizabeth silently reflected to herself that although it was true that she was not in love with Col Fitzwilliam, she could easily fall in love with him if he were to become attached to her.
Chap 4 - Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam
Elizabeth always enjoyed walking out of doors, and her favourite walk, where she frequently went while Mr Collins and her sister were calling on Lady Catherine, was along the open grove which edged that side of the park, where there was a nice sheltered path, which no one seemed to value but herself, and where she felt beyond the reach of Lady Catherine's curiosity. These days however, more than once did Elizabeth in her ramble within the Park, unexpectedly meet Colonel Fitzwilliam. She happened to mention to him that it was a favourite haunt of hers.-- it occurred again a second time, and even a third. On these occasions it was not merely a few enquiries and a short conversation and then away, but he always thought it necessary to turn back and walk with her. His company was always pleasant, and after the third time, it was no longer unexpected when, as she walked, she again met Col Fitzwilliam coming towards her.
"I have been making the tour of the Park," he said, "as I generally do every year, and intend to close it with a call at the Parsonage. Are you going much farther?"
"No, I should have turned in a moment."
And accordingly she did turn, and they walked towards the Parsonage together.
"Do you certainly leave Kent on Saturday?" said she.
"Yes--but I am at my cousins' disposal as I am travelling with them. They have great power of choice because they are rich, and many others are poor. A journey of fifty miles is a very easy distance to Darcy -- because there is fortune to make the expense of travelling unimportant, distance becomes no evil. I speak feelingly. A younger son, you know, must be inured to self-denial and dependence."
"In my opinion, the younger son of an Earl can know very little of either. Now, seriously, what have you ever known of self-denial and dependence? When have you been prevented by want of money from going wherever you chose, or procuring any thing you had a fancy for?"
"These are home questions--and perhaps I cannot say that I have experienced many hardships of that nature. But in matters of greater weight, I may suffer from the want of money. Younger sons cannot marry where they like."
"Unless where they like women of fortune, which I think they very often do."
"Our habits of expense make us too dependant, and there are not many in my rank of life who can afford to marry without some attention to money."
"Is this," thought Elizabeth, "meant for me?" and she coloured at the idea; but, exerting to recover herself, said in a lively tone, "And pray, what is the usual price of an Earl's younger son? Unless the elder brother is very sickly, I suppose you would not ask above fifty thousand pounds."
He answered her in the same style, and the subject dropped. To interrupt a silence which might make him suspect that she was affected with what had passed, she soon spoke again,
"You and your cousins very often travel together?"
"I've always been intimate with my cousin Darcy" said Colonel Fitzwilliam, "moreover, I am joined with him in the guardianship of Miss Darcy."
"Are you, indeed? And pray what sort of guardians do you make? Does your charge give you much trouble? Young ladies of her age are sometimes a little difficult to manage, and if she has the true Darcy spirit, she may like to have her own way."
As she spoke, she observed him looking at her earnestly, and the manner in which he immediately asked her why she supposed Miss Darcy likely to give them any uneasiness, convinced her that she had somehow or other got pretty near the truth. She directly replied,
"You need not be frightened. I never heard any harm of her; and I dare say she is one of the most tractable creatures in the world. She is a very great favourite with some ladies of my acquaintance, Mrs. Hurst and Miss Bingley. I think I have heard you say that you know them."
"I know them a little. Miss Bingley has recently become engaged to Mr Rushworth of Sotherton - a gentleman whose estate in Northamptonshire is quite as extensive as my cousin's estate in Derbyshire. Their brother is a pleasant gentleman-like man--he is a great friend of Darcy's."
"Oh! yes," said Elizabeth drily--"Mr. Darcy is uncommonly kind to Mr. Bingley, and takes a prodigious deal of care of him."
"Care of him!--Yes, I really believe Darcy does take care of him in those points where he most wants care. From something that he once told me last year, I have reason to think Bingley very much indebted to him. But I ought to beg his pardon, for he told me in confidence, I have no right to speak about it."
"What is it you mean?"
"It is a circumstance which Darcy, of course, would not wish to be generally known, because if it were to get round to the lady's family, it would be an unpleasant thing."
"You may depend upon my not mentioning it."
" What Darcy told me was merely this; that he congratulated himself on having saved his friend from the inconveniences of a most imprudent marriage. From what I know of Bingley, he is certainly the kind of easy-going young man to get into a scrape of that sort."
"Did Mr. Darcy give you his reasons for this interference?"
"I understood that there were some very strong objections against the lady."
"And what arts did he use to separate them?"
"He did not talk to me of his own arts," said Fitzwilliam smiling. "He only told me what I have now told you."
Elizabeth made no answer, and walked on, her heart swelling with indignation. After watching her a little, Fitzwilliam asked her why she was so thoughtful.
"I am thinking of what you have been telling me," said she. "Your cousin's conduct does not suit my feelings. Why was he to be the judge?"
"You are rather disposed to call his interference officious?"
"I do not see what right Mr. Darcy had to decide on the propriety of his friend's inclination, or why, upon his own judgment alone, he was to determine and direct in what manner that friend was to be happy." "But," she continued, recollecting herself, "as we know none of the particulars, it is not fair to condemn him. It is not to be supposed that there was much affection in the case."
"That is not an unnatural surmise," said Fitzwilliam, "but it is lessening the honour of my cousin's triumph very sadly."
This was spoken jestingly, but it appeared to her so just a picture of Mr. Darcy that she would not trust herself with an answer; and, therefore, abruptly changing the conversation, talked on indifferent matters till they reached the parsonage. There, shut into her own room as soon as their visitor left them, she could think without interruption of all that she had heard.
That Mr Darcy had been concerned in the measures taken to separate Mr. Bingley and Jane more than a year ago, she had never doubted; but she had always attributed to Miss Bingley the principal design and arrangement of them. If his own vanity, however, did not mislead him, he was the cause, his pride and caprice were the cause, of all that Jane had suffered when Mr Bingley left her, and that had left Jane with such altered views of matrimony and of men, that she had later accepted Mr Collins , insisting that she could find some respect for a well-meaning but heavy young man, after being disappointed by a charming, agreeable young man.
"There were some very strong objections against the lady," were Colonel Fitzwilliam's words, and these strong objections probably were, her having one uncle who was a country attorney, and another who was in business in London.
"To Jane herself," she exclaimed, "there could have been no possibility of objection. All loveliness and goodness as she has always been! Her understanding excellent, her mind improved, and her manners captivating. Neither could any thing be urged against my father, who, though with some peculiarities, has abilities which Mr. Darcy himself need not disdain, and respectability which he will probably never reach." When she thought of her mother, indeed, her confidence gave way a little, but she would not allow that any objections there had material weight with Mr. Darcy, whose pride, she was convinced, would receive a deeper wound from the want of importance in his friend's connections, than from their want of sense; and she was quite decided at last, that he had been partly governed by this worst kind of pride, and partly by the wish of retaining Mr. Bingley for his sister.
Jane now seemed to be tolerably content with her lot, but how far was she really, married to such a man, who although perfectly respectable, was so lacking in intelligence, as Mr Collins! The agitation and tears which the subject occasioned brought on a headache; and it grew so much worse towards the evening that, added to her unwillingness to see Mr. Darcy, it determined her not to attend her sister and brother-in-law to Rosings, where they were engaged to drink tea.
Chap 5 - Fitzwilliam's proposal
When she was sitting alone that evening, she also remembered that Colonel Fitzwilliam had apparently made it clear that he had no intentions at all; it added to her dejection, she remembered her sister's caution, and she firmly told herself that agreeable as he was, she did not mean to be unhappy about him. If Mr Darcy did not approve of Jane for his friend Mr Bingley, he certainly would not approve of Jane's sister for his cousin!
While settling this point, she was suddenly roused by the sound of the door bell, and her spirits were much fluttered when she saw Colonel Fitzwilliam himself walk into the room. He seemed quite unlike his usual self, he told her in a hurried manner, that he had come to enquire particularly after her, imputing his visit to a wish of hearing that she were better. She answered him as calmly as she could, assuring him that she was feeling better. He sat down for a few moments, and then getting up, walked about the room. Elizabeth was surprised, but said not a word. After a silence of several minutes, he came towards her in an agitated manner, and thus began,
"In vain have I 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 started and coloured, and the avowal of all that he felt for her soon followed. He believed he had fallen in love with her, he said from the first moment that he saw her.
"And then I told myself that it would not do, that as a younger son, I could not afford to marry without some attention to money, as I told you this afternoon. But the thought of leaving, of not seeing you again - I cannot bear that. After all, it is not that I am actually poor, although as I am used to living with others who are richer than myself, I am relatively poor when compared to my elder brother and my cousins the Darcy. But if you will be content with what I have - of course we cannot expect to keep up with my brother and the Darcys, but I don't think it would upset you to be unable to keep up with Lady Fitzwilliam and Mrs Darcy. I must learn to give up my habits of expense, and if you will help me to practise reasonable economy, we should be able to live very comfortably together - at least as comfortably as your sister and brother-in-law , and they are very comfortable, aren't they? I can provide for you at least quite as well as Mr Collins provides for your sister."
"Oh! Col Fitzwilliam you could give me much more than what Mr Collins could ever give to my sister!" exclaimed Elizabeth, thinking of the contrast between Col Fitzwilliam's agreeable manners and well-informed mind and Mr Collins heavy manners and lack of sense. "But are you really sure you want to marry me, that you would not later regret my lack of fortune? And what would your family say?"
"I am very sure - I have fallen so deeply in love with you that my only regret would be if you refuse me, I fear what you might think of me after my foolish words this afternoon about not marrying without some attention to money".
"And your family?"
"They could have no possible objection, my parents might have thought it would be advisable for me to marry a woman with some money, but that was for my sake - when I assure them that I love you and will be very happy with you, they would be satisfied."
"I am not so sure that some at least of your relatives would have no objection, indeed I am very sure that your cousin Mr Darcy would object very strongly to your marrying me," said Elizabeth drily.
Col Fitzwilliam was astonished--
"My cousin Darcy? What does he has to do anything about my marriage? He is not my father or elder brother; he is not even a Fitzwilliam!"
"Well, since he disapproved of his friend Mr Bingley marrying my sister, I'm sure he would not approve of his cousin marrying me".
"You mean - oh my goodness - can you possible mean that the supposedly imprudent match that he prevented Mr Bingley from making was with your sister? But that's impossible!"
"It is not impossible at all, it was exactly what happened. Mr Bingley paid marked attentions to my sister when he was in Hertfordshire, such attentions as to have raised a general expectation of their becoming engaged, and then suddenly he and his party left for London and never returned. About a year later my father's heir Mr Collins visited us and proposed to my sister. She accepted him, having by then given up all her previous romantic ideals of marriage."
"But - what possible objection could my cousin have against your sister and your family? Mrs Collins is everything that a lady should be, and you and your sister are the daughters of a gentleman."
"My mother has a brother-in-law who is a country attorney in Meryton, and a brother who is in business in London and lives in Gracechurch Street near Cheapside."
"But the Bingleys' own fortune had been acquired through trade! The daughter of a gentleman should be more than good enough for Mr Bingley. I could not have believed this of my cousin. He may be a little proud, but I have always known him to be a just and principled gentleman. When he told me that he had prevented his friend from making an imprudent marriage, I had imagined her to have been some vulgar, unworthy young woman. Anyway, if this is Darcy's view - it should be completely disregarded, it is quite ridiculous. Please don't allow it to trouble you. Dearest, loveliest Elizabeth, will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?"
"Oh! Col Fitzwilliam, it will give me great pleasure and happiness to be your wife".The End