We all know that Mr. Darcy separated Mr. Bingley and Miss Jane Bennet, albeit with the best of intentions. We also know that he made up for his mistakes and apologized to Mr. Bingley and basically brought him back to Jane’s life. But what I have always wanted to know/read is if Mr. Darcy ever apologized to Jane. He is a proud man, but he is also just and I think his integrity would have compelled him to personally apologize to Jane.
I think once Jane forgives Mr. Darcy, which of course she does, the two can become great allies. Despite their differences in age, gender and station, I see great similarity between the two characters. They are both shy, although in Mr. Darcy’s case this shyness manifests itself in unapproachability. But they are both honest and trustworthy. And of course, their greatest similarity is that they both adore Elizabeth. I can imagine Mr. Darcy and Jane being a loving brother and sister after his marriage to Elizabeth.
Below is a short excerpt from my first novel, To Save and Protect, where Mr. Darcy actually apologizes to Jane for his interference in Bingley’s affairs. Of course, our dear, sweet Jane forgives him and shows him why she is Elizabeth’s favourite sister and best friend. Enjoy!
Bidding Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner goodbye and promising to call on them soon, Mr. Darcy offered his arm to Jane, as Elizabeth walked ahead of them, each of her hands held by an enthusiastic cousin. The children’s excitement and Elizabeth’s quick steps soon created a gap between them and the couple following behind at a slower pace.
“Miss Bennet,” Mr. Darcy addressed Jane gently, finally managing to withdraw his attention from his beloved’s pleasing form and her giggles as she interacted with the children. “I am glad to have a moment alone with you. I have been meaning to speak to you privately.”
“What can I do for you, Mr. Darcy?” Jane asked, hiding her surprise behind her usual gentle smile.
“I have done you a great injustice,” Mr. Darcy began.
“Mr. Darcy,” Jane said. “There is no need to—”
“Please, Miss Bennet,” Mr. Darcy interrupted. “Allow me to explain and to apologize. I do not expect you to forgive me but I need to confess my deeds and make amends if I can.”
Jane looked up at Mr. Darcy’s troubled face. That such a man was willing to humble himself and apologize was not something Jane could contemplate without giving him credit. “I will be happy to listen to what you have to say, sir,” Jane said with a gentle nod.
Mr. Darcy took a deep breath and began anew. “Last autumn, I advised my friend, Mr. Bingley, against offering for you. He was … is … in love with you. He asked for my advice and I discouraged him from pursuing you.”
“I do not blame you for your advice to your friend, Mr. Darcy. Mr. Bingley has the happy disposition to meet many lovely young ladies, many of whom, I am sure, can offer a great deal more than I can, by virtue of their rank and inheritance.”
“You are mistaken if you think I advised Bingley based on your rank or inheritance,” Mr. Darcy said, mortified by his own words. “Had I known your feelings were engaged, that you held my friend in deep affection and regard, I would never have interfered.”
Jane blushed with embarrassment and Mr. Darcy felt even more awkward.
“Forgive me,” Mr. Darcy said softly. “I know it is not proper for me to have such a conversation with you. I apologize for my forwardness and for making you feel uncomfortable.”
“I believe my discomfort is equally matched by your own, Mr. Darcy,” Jane replied after a moment. “That you put yourself through the trouble of discussing a topic, which I am sure, is by no means a comfortable one for you, speaks of your integrity and honor.”
Mr. Darcy looked down at Jane with deep appreciation, fully understanding why she was Elizabeth’s favorite sister and Bingley’s beloved angel. She was truly kind and selfless. To know he had caused such a person so much pain, albeit unknowingly, caused Mr. Darcy to feel even more guilty and ashamed. “I did not know you and I judged you unjustly,” he explained. “Elizabeth made me see how wrong I was when she explained your true feelings for my friend.”
Jane blushed again, both because of his reference to her feelings for Mr. Bingley, and because of his intimate use of Elizabeth’s Christian name.
“Mr. Bingley did not know about your staying in London,” Mr. Darcy continued. “His sister and I kept that information from him in the belief we were protecting him from the possibility of a loveless marriage. I am heartily ashamed of judging you so harshly.”
“Mr. Darcy,” Jane interrupted him, “what you did, although it caused me pain, was in the service of your friend. You owed me nothing.”
“You are wrong,” Mr. Darcy insisted. “I owed you the same generosity and understanding you are showing me now.”
“You saved Elizabeth’s life,” Jane said with great feeling. “You brought her back to us. Your love has made her the happiest I have ever seen her. You are to be my brother. I will accept your apology with all my heart. I will love you as a sister and I will be grateful for your love and protection.”
Mr. Darcy was overwhelmed by Jane’s words, by her love and her forgiving nature. “I have been the happiest of men since Elizabeth accepted my hand,” Mr. Darcy said when he was finally master of his emotions. “But now I see I am to be fortunate not only in my wife but also in my new sister. I am honored to be your brother, and you may be assured of my love and protection.”