Skep's Place

 

Chapter 19: Much Ado About Not Taking a Goddamn Hint


The morning after the ball, Mr. Collins decides he's not going to waste any more time, and asks for a private audience with Elizabeth. Elizabeth knows full well what this means and begs her mother not to leave the room, but Mrs. Bennet insists that she sit there and listen to what Mr. Collins has to say.

Mr. Collins tells her, look, I know you're smart enough not to misread my intentions, so I won't beat around the bush. He then proceeds to beat around the bush, enumerating the reasons why he came here to select a wife. This is an extremely long paragraph that can basically be boiled down to "Lady Catherine told me to marry" and "I was feeling guilty about inheriting the Bennet estate".

As he goes on to say that he's not materialistic enough to require a dowry from Mr. Bennet, Elizabeth stops him, saying, okay, before we get too far ahead of ourselves here... no.

However, Mr. Collins dismisses her, saying, oh, I know how girls are these days, they all say "no" at first just so they can watch us guys grovel a little bit. No worries, I get it.

To this, Elizabeth replies, good lord, who would risk the possibility of not being asked a second time just to play that game? I assure you I'm not one of those ladies; and furthermore, I don't even like you, and I'm pretty sure you don't actually like me, and I'm definitely certain that Lady Catherine de Bourgh wouldn't like me, since you seem to need mommy's approval on everything.

Mr. Collins assures her that, no, Lady Catherine would totally like you, and I'll even hype you up before you meet her; but Elizabeth keeps going, telling him that he really ought to try actually listening to her for once, that she is not going to make him happy; and also, don't even feel bad about the damn estate anymore because you've done all anybody could have asked of you, and you can have it with my blessing.

But even as she turns to leave, Mr. Collins tells her, like I said earlier, I know you're just doing the customary thing of rejecting me first try, and I hope that next time I ask, your answer will be more favorable.

Elizabeth asks him, if you won't accept that I'm flat-out telling you "no", then what the hell am I supposed to say to actually reject you?

Mr. Collins then tells her, look, I don't actually believe you're rejecting me, and I'll tell you why. First, I mean, come on, look at me, I'm really cool. Second, I've got a sufficient living and I have some great connections since I've got Lady Catherine on side, which are things you don't have but will eventually have to worry about obtaining somehow; and although you're a very desirable lady there's no guarantee anybody else will ever ask you to marry them. So you have no logical reason to actually turn me down.

Elizabeth reiterates that she's not the type of girl to play games and would rather prefer to be taken seriously; but Mr. Collins replies that she'll surely be persuaded by her parents, if not by him.

At this point, Elizabeth does the only sensible thing, which is to walk away entirely.

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