Some time ago, I wrote about how I am often inspired by Jane Austen quotes as well as my tendency to include them as the epigraph in my stories. I also have another practice I enjoy and that’s bolstering the titles of my books with pivotal scenes. In fact, I am always happiest when I am able to connect the story and its title in this way. I always hope readers find it enjoyable too.
Here are snippets from some of my favorite stories in which the books’ titles are contained within key scenes. Enjoy!
What impertinence, Darcy began to consider in recollection of her earlier retorts to his aunt as well as to himself. Does that young lady not comprehend what an honor it is for someone of her standing to dine here at Rosings? How impolitic of her to utter a single word in defense of George Wickham when it was made perfectly clear to her how thoroughly that man is abhorred. Darcy’s head was so full of the impertinent stranger in their midst that he hardly attended a word his cousin and that ridiculous Mr. Collins had to say. In no time at all, it seemed, it was necessary to reunite with the ladies.
The possibility that Darcy would come back to the parlor alongside his aunt’s vicar was unsupportable. As a consequence, he and his cousin languished behind until the parson was no longer in view. The colonel questioned his cousin’s hesitance.
“Why would I wish to afford such a courtesy to such an inconsequential man?” Darcy folded one arm over the other. “It is insulting enough that we should be forced to be in company with our aunt’s sycophantic vicar, but having to endure his impertinent relations is beyond the pale.”
“Darcy, old fellow, I would not be as fastidious as you for a kingdom. What objections can you have to the man’s relations? His wife is very pleasant.”
“That she may well be, but one cannot help questioning her thinking for marrying such a foolish man.”
“No doubt, the lady was guided by prudence. Since when is a woman’s soundness of mind to be questioned for her decision to marry for security?”
Darcy shrugged. “Fortunately, I have never had reason to think of such matters.”
“Indeed, but you will acknowledge that not everyone is so fortunate as you—present company included. But other than her friend being Mr. Collins’s cousin, how might you possibly object to the charming Miss Elizabeth Bennet? Is she not lovely?”
“She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me or to excuse her impertinence.”
“I hope you do not find what I am about to say too forward, even untoward. What I have to say is so very important. I do not want to waste another moment of my life without telling you.” He kissed her hand again and then gazed into her eyes. “I love you—most ardently. Please do me the honor of accepting my hand in marriage.”
“Mr. Darcy, I—I do not quite know what to say.”
“But—but what do the two of us really know about each other?” Elizabeth cried. “Do you not think you ought to wait until you have had the pleasure of meeting the rest of my family—my mama, my three younger sisters, Mary, Kitty, and Lydia, and even my aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Phillips and my aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner, before committing yourself in such a manner. I assure you that except for the latter two, my relations are nothing at all like my papa and my sister Jane.”
Gathering both her hands in his and resting them on his chest, Darcy said, “I very much wish to meet all your family, to spend time with them, and to get to know each and every one of them in their turn. But I assure you that whatever the result of such familial engagements, it will change nothing. From this day forward, I wish never to be parted from you again.”
“With so many uncertainties, how can you possibly be so confident?”
“My love, ever since I learned the truth, I have thought of little else other than the possibility of the two of us sharing our lives as one. By reason, by reflection, by everything, I mean for this to be my last day on Earth without you.”
Charlotte squeezed Elizabeth’s hand. “Of course, you did what you thought was best for all concerned. How can I fault you for that? I cannot, and I will not. But surely you see by now that none of that mattered to Mr. Darcy. As much as he may respect your family, surely in saving your sister and thereby your family’s reputation, he thought only of you.”
“I must confess that I would like to think so.”
“How can there be even the tiniest shred of doubt?”
“Oh, Charlotte, I hardly know what to think. I have neither seen nor heard from him since the day Jane and I received the devastating news in town, and he summarily sent us back to Longbourn.”
“Do you mean to say he arranged for your safe passage home just as a gentleman in love ought to do? No doubt urgent business prevented him from escorting you personally, and we now know precisely what that business entailed, do we not?
“Dearest Eliza,” Charlotte implored, “Mr. Darcy loves you. Anyone who has seen the way he looks at you knows that—just as you love him. Anyone who has observed the way you look at him would attest to that as well.
“The two of you are designed for each other. Mr. Darcy will come for you—I am willing to stake all that I hold dear on that. My greatest wish for the two of you is that when he does, you will welcome him with an open mind, an open heart, and best of all, with open arms. You both deserve each other’s love.”
“Marry me,” Darcy said.
“You would marry me merely to thwart Mr. Wickham. I know you despise the man, but—”
“—No!” Darcy declared, shaking his head. “I want to marry you because I love you.”
“You—you love me, Mr. Darcy?”
“I do—most ardently.”
“But when? How?”
“I cannot fix on the precise moment or the words which laid the foundation. I believe from the first moment I saw you, my heart was irrevocably gone. I was too stubborn to believe it. Too proud to think that I might so easily succumb to the malady that I often accused my friend Bingley of suffering.
“When I returned to town and learned soon thereafter of Collins’s marriage, I assumed it was to you, and I refused to ascertain the facts, knowing that it meant you were lost to me forever.
“But then, I learned from my aunt that he had married another, and for a brief moment in time my hope was restored, only to be shattered once again by the prospect of your being engaged to yet another—to someone who is truly unworthy of you.”
“Then, this is in part because of Mr. Wickham,” Elizabeth said.
“I cannot say that the thought of that vile man destroying all the wonderful things that make you uniquely you is not a compelling inducement. But knowing you are not officially engaged to even the most honorable man in all of England would not have prevented me from asking you to be my wife. I do not want to live my life without you, Miss Elizabeth. And from this day forward, I never wish for us to be parted again.”
“You amaze me by your courage, your strength, your love of family. It is I who should be apologising to you for the ill-considered words I spoke to you in Hunsford. I apologise for assuming you would welcome my proposal, and for compounding the offense by affirming that marriage to me meant that you subsequently would sever your ties with those who you hold dearest in the world. I came to you with every expectation of a favourable reply.
“You showed me how insufficient were all my pretensions to please a woman worthy of being pleased. No one has ever spoken to me the way you did, and I respect you even more because of it. It is one of the things I admire most about you.
“Had I truly appreciated the depth of your character, I would never have committed such an outrageous offense against you. Can you ever forgive me?”
“After what you did for Lydia and hence my family, thereby making it possible for Mr. Bingley and Jane to find their way back to each other, you need not ask me such a question, sir.”
“I hope you know that I would do anything for you, Miss Elizabeth. Should you ever be in need of anything at all, I shall forever be only a heartbeat away, willing and able to do your bidding.”
How she now realised what a material change her feelings towards him had undergone. Did she dare hope? Would a man, who had been refused once, risk a second refusal from the same woman?
“Mr. Darcy, I need—” Elizabeth stopped short of voicing her most heartfelt desire aloud. I need you to ask me again to be your wife. Please ask me again.
He moved directly in front of her, as if wanting her to have eyes only for him. “What is it?” Darcy took Elizabeth by the hand. Unable to stop himself, he turned her hand over and kissed her palm affectionately. “I am in your power.”
(UK English Spellings)
Comment for a chance to win an ebook edition of either of the books featured in today’s post. One lucky winner will be selected. One ebook will be awarded: winner’s choice. The giveaway contest ends at midnight EST on Tuesday, September 25, 2018. The winner will be announced on September 30.