Mr. Darcy’s P&P POV (the abridged version)
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Chapter 9 –
Good lord, Mrs. Bennet has descended upon Netherfield with her two youngest daughters—the two most foolish ones! She makes herself at home, and after the barest of comments about Miss Bennet’s health, she sets herself to charming Bingley—as transparent a match marker as I have ever met! The two children say nothing and sit bored.
Hah! Miss Elizabeth calls Bingley out on his foolish boast. She is a quick study, a surprising ability here in the middle of nowhere, but it is still nothing compared to London. Oh, here is Mrs. Bennet again—apparently she cannot live without Bingley’s complete attention.
“I cannot see that London has any great advantage over the country, for my part, except the shops and public places. The country is a vast deal pleasanter, is not it, Mr. Bingley?”
“When I am in the country, I never wish to leave it; and when I am in town, it is pretty much the same. They have each their advantages, and I can be equally happy in either.”
“Aye— that is because you have the right disposition. But that gentleman,” Mrs. Bennet turns to me, “seemed to think the country was nothing at all.”
How dare she insult me so!
Miss Elizabeth, her face flushed, tries to smooth things over and points out there is not such a variety of people to be met with in the country as in London.
“Certainly, my dear, nobody said there were. But as to not meeting with many people in this neighborhood, I believe there are few neighborhoods larger. I know we dine with four and twenty families!”
I have more than four and twenty families working for me, you silly woman! Explain to me again how is it that Mrs. Bennet can walk and breathe at the same time? *Sigh* The brilliancy in Miss Elizabeth’s eyes are somewhat diminished by her mother’s lack of understanding of the world.
What is that Miss Elizabeth is saying? Poetry?
“I wonder who first discovered the efficacy of poetry in driving away love!”
Now that is amusing! “I have been used to consider poetry as the food of love.”
“Of a fine, stout, healthy love it may. Everything nourishes what is strong already. But if it be only a slight, thin sort of inclination, I am convinced that one good sonnet will starve it entirely away.”
Only my good breading stops me from laughing out loud! If I did not know better, I would think Miss Elizabeth is flirting with me! If only her family were not so ridiculous, I—
Stop that kind of thinking right now, Darcy!
Chapter 10 –
I must write to Georgiana to see how she is getting on, but prowling Caroline gives me no peace! Cease the complements, woman! Gad, does she think me so shallow and vain that veneration for my handwriting will establish her as Mistress of Pemberley? If she was not Charles’ sister, I would have nothing to do with her.
Take Miss Elizabeth’s example. She is barely of gentle birth, yet knows how to comport herself in company. If you wish to leave your roots in trade behind, Caroline, learn from Miss Elizabeth.
There goes Charles again with his indirect boasting. Now I have lost my train of thought, blast him! Miss Elizabeth takes his side.
“To yield readily—easily—to the persuasion of a friend is no merit with you.”
Of course not. “To yield without conviction is no compliment to the understanding of either.” We fall into a nice little discussion until—
“By all means,” cries Bingley, “let us hear all the particulars, not forgetting their comparative height and size, for that will have more weight in the argument, Miss Bennet, than you may be aware of. I assure you that, if Darcy were not such a great tall fellow in comparison with myself, I should not pay him half so much deference. I declare I do not know a more awful object than Darcy on particular occasions and in particular places, at his own house especially and of a Sunday evening when he has nothing to do.”
Well, excuse me for disliking idleness! The lives of many people depend on my diligence! *Sigh* Do not get upset, Darcy. Let it go; Bingley means nothing by it. Find your happy place and get back to your letter.
I am in a better mood. My duty to my sister is done, and the music from the ladies is very fine. An exhilaration takes me.
“Do not you feel a great inclination, Miss Bennet, to seize such an opportunity of dancing a reel?” Why in the world did I say that?
Miss Elizabeth smiles but makes no answer. Perhaps she did not hear me.
“Oh, I heard you before, but I could not immediately determine what to say in reply. You wanted me, I know, to say ‘Yes,’ that you might have the pleasure of despising my taste, but I always delight in overthrowing those kind of schemes and cheating a person of their premeditated contempt. I have, therefore, made up my mind to tell you that I do not want to dance a reel at all—and now despise me if you dare.”
Her answer is so sweet and arch, I cannot take offense. “Indeed I do not dare.” I barely hide my smile. Truly, I have no idea why I would make such an outlandish request. I hate exhibition. In fact, I think Miss Elizabeth has done me good service and saved me from my own folly.
I must remember her connections are awful! Miss Elizabeth will never do!
The next day proves to me that Caroline is jealous of Miss Elizabeth. Her catty comments in the garden were evidence of this. She is wasting her time; I shall not marry Miss Elizabeth Bennet. But because Miss Elizabeth is lacking, it does not follow that Miss Bingley is suitable. Even if I was agreeable to a connection with a woman of such inferior birth as she, her character would destroy utterly any tender feelings.
Oh, there is Louisa and Miss Elizabeth. Hmm, this path is not wide enough for all of us. We had best go by the avenue—
“No, no, stay where you are,” Miss Elizabeth laughs. “You are charmingly grouped, and appear to uncommon advantage. The picturesque would be spoilt by admitting a fourth. Good-bye.”
*Sigh* That lady has more good breeding in her little finger than Caroline and Louisa have in their bodies combined.
TO BE CONTINUED…
It takes a real man to write historical fiction, so let me tell you a story.
I will be joining fellow Au Au authors:
Regina Jeffers, Abigail Reynolds, Colette Saucier (physically),
Marsha Altman, Sharon Lathan, Susan Mason-Milks, Sally Smith O’Rourke, and Shannon Winslow (remotely),
along with many other wonderful JA writers at the ACJ Decatur Book Festival, Labor Day Weekend, September 1 and 2, 2012, in beautiful downtown Decatur, Georgia. I hope you see many of you there!