A complete list of things to do in Georgian Britain (if you’re a middle class woman with no income and aren’t allowed to do much of anything anyway):
Walking is great, and it’s one of Elizabeth’s FAVE THINGS to do, but she, you know, prefers to do it alone, or at least with someone she likes. Mr. Darcy does not fall into that latter category. And yet, every time Elizabeth takes a walk around Hunsford, she runs into him! Like he’s doing it on purpose! What is this guy’s deal?? Surely someone who was hypothetically (see previous post!) in love with someone else wouldn’t go out of their way to deliberately annoy them. Hypothetically. Such are Elizabeth’s thoughts. She told him the first time they met that this was a favorite haunt of hers, HINT HINT, yet he insists on showing up. So Elizabeth is understandably apprehensive when she sees someone approaching her on her route one day. THANK GOD, it’s just Colonel Fitzwilliam, Darcy’s #1 wingman (“Have you met my friend, Darcy? He makes £10,000 a year!) Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth get to chatting about money, being rich, and how some people with money can really be assholes (guess who):
Lizzie: So, how long are you staying?
Fitzwilliam: Oh, it’s up to Darcy.
Fitz: He’s not so bad, really. He can get what he wants more easily than others, maybe…being rich, and all. And the eldest son. When you’re the youngest, like me, you don’t get very much of what you want of anything!
Lizzie: Oh, boo-hoo. Life must be so hard for you. You poor, slightly rich man.
Fitz: …Touché. So, maybe I’m better off than others! But there are some things—well, marriage, for instance! We can’t always marry where we like, always aiming our sights higher…even when our affections tend to someone more….at our own….you know…level.
Lizzie: *Blushing* Hmm. Well. Um, that’s nice. So, speaking of nothing at all, how much do you make?
Fitz: Oh, uh….
Jane didn’t think it was appropriate for the reader to know, so she changes the subject.
The subject shifts to Georgiana, Fitz revealing that he and Darcy share in Georgiana’s guardianship. Lizzie says she’s heard Georgiana can be a little difficult (Wickham, if you recall, said she was just as prideful as her brother), and Fitz’s reaction is basically: “……….huh??” Lizzie doesn’t want to make a thing of it, and assures him she’s heard very good things about Georgiana from Bingley’s sisters. Fitz mentions that he’s met Bingley, and that Darcy is rather protective of him. Lizzie wonders aloud if perhaps Darcy’s too protective of him.
Fitz: Well...there was this thing, recently…I mean, I don’t know if it was Bingley, Darcy never said, and if the news were to get around to the lady’s family…
Lizzie: I WON’T TELL A SOUL. SPILL THE TEA.
Fitz proceeds to relate to Lizzie the story of Darcy’s rescuing Bingley from what he believed to be an imprudent marriage, to someone who sounds suspiciously like Longbourn’s #1 Sweetheart, Jane Bingley! GASP.
After returning to the parsonage, Lizzie is so angry that she’s able to convincingly fake a stomach ache and get out of dinner at Rosings (something I used to do in middle school to get out of Algebra 1! Nice thinking, Lizzie!). She is furious; furious that Darcy was apparently congratulating himself over a job well done, furious that he had “objections against the lady”—Jane, the best person in the world! Of course, Lizzie concludes, he doesn’t have objections against her, he just has objections against members of their family working for a living! Of course, maybe their mother can be a little….but no, Darcy wouldn’t prioritize sense over dollars. His aunt is Lady Catherine. Come on.
Conclusion: Darcy is an absolute asshat. Lizzie would be totally fine with never seeing him again.
And guess who just walked in the door! That’s right, the asshat! (I’m amping up the irony a bit here, but seriously, Austen’s very good at it. Hello, last person in the world that I want to see right now? What could you possibly be here to do? Hahahahhahaha oh, Jane).
Darcy [awkwardly]: *clears throat* How….are you feeling?
Lizzie [coldly]: Fine.
Darcy: [Sits down. Says nothing for a few moments. Gets up. Walks around the room, still saying nothing. Five minutes pass, probably].
Darcy [Suddenly “in great agitation” comes toward Lizzie and says the line that is too famous for me to paraphrase]: 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.
Every reader since 1813: Oh my god!!! Oh my god, what!!
Darcy takes Lizzie’s stunned silence as encouragement, and continues on the subject of his affection for her in great detail—and how he feels this way despite her not being his type, despite her being an inferior match financially and socially, and despite doing everything he could not to like her! EMBARRASSING.
Lizzie: I know in these situations you’re supposed to feel grateful for the compliment, but I honestly dislike you so much that I don’t feel bad about completely shredding you. Even if you hadn’t been completely rude to me just now, did you seriously think you could get away with asking me to marry you after your separating Jane and Bingley? Don’t pretend like you had no part in it.
Darcy: I did have a part in it. I protected my friend from embarrassment and heartbreak; I don’t see that as a poor decision. Indeed, I should have followed my own advice (then I wouldn’t be having this terrible conversation!!).
Lizzie: And what about Mr. Wickham?
Darcy: [keeping it together quite valiantly] ……Yeeeeesss….what about him?
Lizzie: You know what about him!
Darcy: I can’t think of anything I’ve done to Wickham that he didn’t deserve.
Lizzie: Seriously? You’ve reduced him to near poverty, deprived him of the opportunities that were meant to be provided for him--
Darcy: You don’t really care about any of that. I was honest just now about the disadvantages in my marrying you. Your PRIDE was hurt. That’s why you’re rejecting me.
Elizabeth then levels up, and delivers the sickest burn that cannot possibly be paraphrased with any due justice:
Lizzie: [standing up] You are mistaken, Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way, than as it spared me the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentlemanlike manner.
Lizzie: You could not have made the offer of your hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it.
Lizzie: From the very beginning—from the first moment, I may almost say—of my acquaintance with you, your manners, impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such as to form the groundwork of disapprobation on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike; and I had not known you a month before I felt that you were the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed on to marry.
[A PREGNANT PAUSE]
Darcy: I’m so very sorry for bothering you. Get well soon. I’ll think I’ll just be. Going now. [He goes].
Lizzie: [MIC DROP]
 About £796,000 today, or $1,154,956. Annually! Has this been mentioned yet? Because damn.
 This image is hilarious to me
This week's chapters were written by our very own Helena Fisher-Welsh, who is playing Elizabeth Bennet in our upcoming production!
Next week: Oh, so you think you’ve heard the last from Human Disaster Fitzwilliam Darcy? Think again! He’s GONNA WRITE A LETTER. Elizabeth reacts…
Caitlin Lushington is the Co-Artistic Director of the Enso Theatre Ensemble, a teacher, director, and actress. Sometimes she works too hard, sometimes she forgets things, and she strives to put the car keys back in the same place every time. She drinks tea every morning from her TARDIS mug and "Mr. Tea" diffuser. She loves the morning and wishes she had a photographic memory, so she could remember the names of every person she meets.
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