Their first meeting was a not a success. She thought him too proud. He thought her, well, vulgar.
The path of true love never did run smooth. Her eyes worked their magic, and he fell for her charms. Despite the handicap of her mother, a proposal was issued.
Declined! The ARROGANCE of the man.
The opportunity for redemption arrived when he was able to rescue her sister. Who doesn’t love the “I-can-look-after-you” display of bravado?
Marriage ensued; a happily after ending?
but Gordon Lawrie added the following later that day:-
Robb & Steele, W.W.S., (Solicitors)
Dear Ms Baird,
We act on behalf of our client Mrs Bennett, wife of Mr Bennett and mother of, amongst others Jane and Elizabeth. In your recent report of the events leading up to the marriage of Ms Elizabeth Bennett and Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy, you refer to Mrs Bennett as 'handicapped'.
Mrs Bennett wishes to make it clear that she fully sound of mind and body, and demands your immediate retraction.
I look forward to your immediate reply,
J. Austen (solicitor)
Next day, Emma offered this defence:-
Dear Ms Austen, thank you for your letter. My use of the word "handicap" was not intended to imply that Mrs Bennet was not of sound mind and body. I know full well this esteemed lady thrives, despite early 19th century privations. My use of the word was intended to convey her - well, vulgarity, which any right-thinking male might baulk at when contemplating marriage to her daughter.
I hope this settles the matter.
E Baird (plagiarist).
On the day after, 13th July, Saundra Rees stated:-
Dear Ms. Austen and Ms. Baird,
While the meaning of "handicap" was understood as Ms. Baird used it, I would remind Ms. Austen that Mrs. Bennet was quite vocal in expounding on the extremely delicate condition of her nerves and that on several occasions (especially the unfortunate episode with her youngest daughter Lydia) she was quite disabled by their impinging on her ability to function normally. Thus I would contend that Mrs. Bennet was NOT in fact "fully sound of mind and body."
Mrs. Gardiner (sister to Mrs. Bennet)
On 16th July, the theme was still going, this time from Cate Lloyd:-
Most esteemed friends,
Lady Catherine has authorised me to offer a fresh perspective on the communiqués between Miss Baird, Miss Austen and their various legal representatives.
Having visited with Mrs Bennet, I can certainly bear witness to the manifestation of her nervous complaints. I am, however, regretfully, able throw illumination upon their cause.
The true source is her obstinate, headstrong daughter, Miss Elizabeth Bennet.
Had she but agreed to marry me, the added burden upon Mrs Bennet of the prospect of losing her home would have been relieved, and thus her innately cheerful nature restored.
Mr (William) Collins.
The nonsense carried on. Saundra Rees again, by now it's the 17th...
While I did point out the source of Mrs. Bennet's nervous disorder, I would not have anyone believe it would have been better had Miss Bennet accepted your generous offer. Miss Lucas is clearly better suited to your disposition and position in life.
To this day I find myself most displeased over the way Miss Bennet wormed her way into my nephew's life, making him forget all he owed to himself, his family, honour, decorum, prudence, interest, duty, and gratitude. My dear, sweet Anne is bereft.
Could anyone in my position ever forgive her?
Lady Catherine deBourgh
Then Eric Smith (I said it must be something about Pride & Prejudice) – in his own unique style – joined in on the same day....
Miss Austen's Omnipresence
Some of the waitresses made no secret of their disdain for us. I doubt we ever dropped more than fifteen percent on a bill, which I suppose could annoy any waitress, particularly considering we were regulars and thus always occupied space. Sometimes the ladies pretended not to notice we were there. So Loretta, a thin young woman with a crazy frosted die job, waited on us even when we weren’t sitting in her station. She was like Elizabeth Bennet’s big sister, Jane—Okay, not beautiful like Jane, but she saw only the best in people. It was a knack.
Gordon Lawrie was inspired by Eric's contribution to try to précis the whole thing, US-style...
Pride And Prejudice, Finger-Lickin' Style
I remember the day Bingley and the Darcy guy hit town like it were yesterday. Bingley was looking for chicks; the Darcy guy was harder to read. Soon they'd landed with the Bennet girls, although neither Ol' Man Bennet nor his wife had any swing with their daughters.
Anyway, Bingley and the eldest girl Jane hung out, but the next one, called Lizzie, was tougher. Hot with a Winchester. But Darcy pulled her; Lizzie picked up a bad apple in that guy Wickham and Darcy rode to the rescue.
These days Darcy and Lizzie live on that big ranch Pemberley.
Back on the main event, Cate Lloyd added this. By now the theme's been going for a week:-
Dear Lady Catherine,
I am exceedingly mortified, most esteemed Patroness, to have written anything so improper as to have caused such great dismay.
I do agree completely with your opinions: my wife’s complaisance has fortunately surprised me; Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s excessive individuality simply continues to alarm.
As to Lady Anne’s grief, I offer Proverbs as comfort: “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
I shall give consideration to your need for justified unforgiveness in next Sunday’s sermon.
Mr (William) Collins.
(Mrs Collins also sends her best regards.)
Saundra Rees (sorry, Lady Catherine) graciously acknowledged this letter immediately:-
Dear Mr. Collins,
As always you show charming consideration. My felicitations to your wife.
Lady Catherine de Bourgh
Then there was a "dramatic re-enactment" story from Saundra Rees:-
The Theatre, The Theatre
Pride & Prejudice opened last night. It's a good show and went well except for the few normal glitches, but it's a long show. Hopefully, the audience is entertained enough to not get restless.
Lots of compliments on my Lady Catherine wig. Nobody commenting on what a good job I did emoting over anger at Elizabeth though. Isn't that what an actor really wants to hear?
By curtain, we're all exhausted and it's late. Time to change into my own clothes and get outta here. Uh-oh, here come a couple of costume ladies. A new costume to try on! Really?
Now, from Gordon Lawrie, a Scots version of the whole thing:-
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE N' A SINGLE DEEP-FRIED MARS BAR, A' WI' SALT'nVINEGAR PLEASE
Bingley and Darcy swanned in lookin' fur lumber. Bingley got aff wi' Jane Bennett; Lizzie telt Darcy tae awa'n bile his heid. Yon Bennet lassies, mind, were ootae control. But Darcy 'n Lizzie? Ach, wan wis as bad as the ither. Meanwhile Collins, who'd bag off wi' onythin in skirts, ended up wi Charlotte.
Onywise, they a' skirled aboot dancin' awhile, there wis sum stuff wi' Lydia and a nyaff ca'd Wickham so Darcy paid them tae get married. Lizzie was fair cowpit, married Darcy and ended in yon big hoose!
In Scotland there'd have been a pagger fur sure.
On Tuesday 22nd July, Cate Lloyd offered this groundbreaking "Strine" version of Pride And Prejudice:-
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: AN OUTBACK COURTSHIP
Darce and Bingo parked the ute. The B&S was going off .
After ten minutes, Darce reckoned they were Bogans. That Bennet woman was a two-pot screamer.
But… a single bloke’s got to do etc.
So Bingo eyed up Janey. Darce put the hard word on her sister, Liz.
Deadset. Tall poppy syndrome.
Then Liz pissed Collins off, so Darce had another crack.
Liz called him FIGJAM.
Still, Darce helped Liz’s sister after she got off with that dropkick, Wicksy.
Liz gave Lady C. a gobful. Turns out, she thinks Darce is a top bloke.
She’ll be right.
BAILED: left in a hurry, often angrily
B&S: Bachelors’ and Spinsters’ Ball, a social gathering designed to give young singles living in the remote outback the chance to meet
BINGO etc: polysyllabic names are reduced to shorter nicknames; but single-syllable names, like Jane, are elongated. This demonstrates Australia’s great sense of egalitarianism. (However, not even an Australian can do something witty with ‘Mr Collins’.)
BOGANS: scruffy, uncouth people
DEADSET: without doubt, often used in frustration
DROPKICK: despicable loser
FIGJAM: an acronym for F*#k I’m Good, Just Ask Me
GAVE A GOBFUL: verbally abused someone, usually with some justification
GOING OFF: rowdy, good fun
GOT OFF: use your imagination
HAD ANOTHER CRACK: had another go
PISSED SOMEONE OFF: callously brushed them aside
PUT THE HARD WORD ON: chatted up
SHE'LL BE RIGHT: a positive outcome is assured. (This is sometimes used ironically.)
STRINE: Swarms of flying insects in the bush means one’s mouth remains closed. Everything is said via the nose. Consequently, this is the outback pronunciation of ‘Australian’.
TALL POPPY SYNDROME: figuratively, lopping the heads of those that stand out above the crowd. More egalitarianism.
TWO-POT SCREAMER: a person whose modest tolerance for alcohol is evident after just two beers
UTE: a small utility vehicle with a driver’s cabin and a large tray on the back
Who knows, there may be more?