Skep's Place


Chapter 34: Much Ado About Pride

The Collinses go to dine with Lady Catherine that evening, but Elizabeth is just so mad at Mr. Darcy she can't even. She pulls out all the letters she received from Jane and reads through them again; although Jane never says so, Elizabeth can tell by her tone that she was extremely hurt by how Mr. Bingley ghosted her, and that makes her hate Mr. Darcy all the more.

Then Mr. Darcy shows up at the house, entirely out-of-the-blue. And after some awkward small talk, he says the following:

"In vain have I 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."

Since Elizabeth is understandably too dumbfounded to respond to this, Darcy continues on, really selling himself by saying he doesn't even care about her low social status or how her family kind of sucks or how she doesn't really fit his brand; he's willing to degrade himself by marrying her anyway.

Elizabeth, who—at best—might have felt a little sorry for having to hurt Mr. Darcy's feelings, is no longer having any of it after being belittled like that. She tells him, I think generally you're supposed to at least thank the other person for their interest before you shoot them down, but you suck SO HARD that I can't even take this as a compliment. Thankfully, you have all those other parts of you that told you I wasn't a good match, so you should be able to bounce back pretty quick.

Mr. Darcy, who expected nothing less than a "yes, zero question, I am forever indebted to you for this proposal", can only manage to respond by wondering how the hell anybody could turn him down, although claims not to actually expect a reply. Elizabeth replies anyway, telling him, look, despite your excellent come-on—top marks on that by the way—you ruined my sister's chance at happiness. I can never forgive you for that. Unless you want to try denying it?

But Mr. Darcy sheepishly admits that yes, he advised Mr. Bingley to ditch Jane, and that he felt justified in doing so.

Emboldened, Elizabeth then adds to her list of grievances, citing his despicable treatment of Mr. Wickham and how he had robbed the man of his inheritance. Losing his temper now at her criticisms, he then supposes that these reasons wouldn't have mattered if he'd been a little more tactful in his proposal. However, Elizabeth counters by telling him that, even if he hadn't led off by basically called her trailer trash, there was absolutely nothing he could have said to her that would have ever made her accept him.

Mr. Darcy simply apologizes for being so presumptuous and storms out.

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