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Elizabeth, be careful! How could I face your father if you took a fall?
Oh, thank you, Hannah.
You’re welcome, sir.
I think I should be quite happy to stay my whole life in Derbyshire.
I’m happy to hear it. Now, what do you say to visiting Pemberley tomorrow? It’s not directly in our way, but no more than a mile or two out of it.
Do you especially wish to see it, Aunt?
I should have thought you would, having heard so much about it. And the associations are not all unpleasant. Wickham passed all his youth there, you know.
We have no business there. I should feel awkward to visit the place without a proper invitation.
No more than Blenheim or Chatsworth. There was no awkwardness there.
I shouldn’t care for it myself, Lizzy, if it were merely a – a fine house, richly furnished. But the grounds are delightful. They have some of the finest woods in the country.
Ah, how far are we from Pemberley, my dear?
Not more than five miles, sir.
The grounds are very fine, are they not?
As fine as you’ll see anywhere, Ma’am. My oldest brother is an under-gardener there.
Is the family here for the summer?
Perhaps we might visit Pemberley after all.
MR GARDINER: I think we’ve seen woods and groves enough to satisfy even your enthusiasm for them, Lizzy.
ELIZABETH: I confess, I had no idea Pemberley was such a great estate. Shall we reach the house itself before dark, do you think?
MRS GARDINER: Be patient, wait.
MRS GARDINER: There.
MR GARDINER: Stop the coach!
MRS GARDINER: I think one would be willing to put up with a good deal to be mistress of Pemberley.
MR GARDINER: The mistress of Pemberley will have to put up with a good deal, from what I hear.
MRS GARDINER: She’s not likely to be anyone we know.
MRS GARDINER: How do you like the house, Lizzy?
ELIZABETH: Very well. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a place so happily situated. I like it very well, indeed.
MR GARDINER: Drive on. Pity then its owner should be such a proud and disagreeable man.
ELIZABETH: Yes, a great pity.
MRS GARDINER: Perhaps the beauty of the house renders its owner a little less repulsive, Lizzy?
ELIZABETH: Yes, perhaps.
ELIZABETH: Perhaps a very little.
MR GARDINER: Well…shall we apply to the housekeeper to see inside the place?
MRS REYNOLDS: That’s where Miss Darcy used to write her letters every morning. It was her favourite room.
MRS REYNOLDS: This is the music room.
MRS GARDINER: Charming.
MR GARDINER: What a lovely room this is.
MRS GARDINER: Delightful.
MRS REYNOLDS: And there’s a fine prospect from that window down towards the lake.
MRS GARDINER: Look at this, my dear.
MR GARDINER: Oh, it’s quite magnificent.
ELIZABETH: Of all this, I might have been mistress.
MRS REYNOLDS: This piano has just come down. It’s a present from my master for Miss Georgiana.
MR GARDINER: Your master is from home, we understand.
MRS REYNOLDS: Yes, but we expect him here tomorrow, sir.
MRS REYNOLDS: He is coming with a large party of friends.
MRS REYNOLDS: And Miss Georgiana. This portrait was painted earlier this year for her sixteenth birthday.
MR GARDINER: Ah! She is a very handsome young lady.
MRS REYNOLDS: Oh, yes! The handsomest young lady that ever was seen. And so accomplished. She plays and sings all day long!
MRS GARDINER: Lizzy! Look at this picture! It reminds me very much of someone we know!
MRS REYNOLDS: This one, Ma’am? That young gentleman was the son of the late Mr Darcy’s steward, Mr Wickham. He is gone into the army now, but he’s turned out very wild. Very wild, indeed, I’m afraid. And that’s my master. And very like him, too.
MRS GARDINER: It is a handsome face, but I’ve never seen the original. Is it like him, Lizzy?
MRS REYNOLDS: Oh! Does this young lady know the master?
ELIZABETH: Yes, a little.
MRS REYNOLDS: Oh, and he is a handsome gentleman, is he not, Ma’am?
ELIZABETH: Yes, very handsome.
MRS REYNOLDS: Mm. I’m sure I know none so handsome. Nor so kind.
MR GARDINER: Indeed?
MRS REYNOLDS: Aye, sir, I’ve never had a cross word from him in my life. And I’ve known him since he was four years old. But then, I’ve always observed that they that are good-natured when they are children are good-natured when they grow up.
MRS GARDINER: His father was an excellent man.
MRS REYNOLDS: He was, Ma’am. And his son will be just like him; the best landlord, and the best master.
MRS REYNOLDS: Ask any of his tenants or his servants. Some people call him proud, but I fancy that’s only because he don’t rattle away like other young men do.
MRS REYNOLDS: Now, if you will follow me, there’s a finer, larger portrait of him in the gallery upstairs. This way, sir, if you please.
MRS GARDINER: This fine account of Darcy is not quite consistent with his behaviour to poor Wickham.
ELIZABETH: Perhaps we might have been deceived there.
MRS GARDINER: That’s not likely, is it?
MR GARDINER: Oh!
MRS GARDINER: Oh!
MR GARDINER: Magnificent.
MRS REYNOLDS: There.
GROOM: Would you like to ride him, sir?
MR DARCY: No, no, no, take him back to the stables.
ELIZABETH: Mr Darcy!
MR DARCY: Miss Bennet. I…
ELIZABETH: I did not expect to see you…sir. We understood all the family were from home, or we should never have presumed…
MR DARCY: Er, I returned a day early. Excuse me; your parents are in good health?
ELIZABETH: Er, yes. They are very well. I thank you, sir.
MR DARCY: I’m glad to hear it. How long have you been in this part of the country?
ELIZABETH: But two days, sir.
MR DARCY: And where are you staying?
ELIZABETH: At the inn at Lambton.
MR DARCY: Oh, yes, of course. Mm…Well, I’m…I’m just arrived myself. Mm…And your parents are in good health? An…And all your sisters?
ELIZABETH: Yes. They are all in excellent health, sir.
MR DARCY: Excuse me.
MR GARDINER: The man himself, I presume.
MRS GARDINER: And just as handsome as in his portrait. Though, perhaps, a little less formally attired.
ELIZABETH: We must leave here at once.
MRS GARDINER: Why, of course, if you wish.
ELIZABETH: Oh, I wish we’d never come. What must he think of me?
MRS GARDINER: Was he displeased? What did he say?
ELIZABETH: Nothing of consequence. He inquired after my parents…
MR DARCY: Miss Bennet.
MR DARCY: Please allow me to apologize for not receiving you properly just now. You are not leaving?
ELIZABETH: We were, sir, I think we must.
MR DARCY: I hope you’re not displeased with Pemberley.
ELIZABETH: No, not at all.
MR DARCY: Then you approve of it?
ELIZABETH: Very much.
ELIZABETH: But I think there are few who would not approve.
MR DARCY: But your good opinion is rarely bestowed and, therefore, more worth the earning.
ELIZABETH: Thank you.
MR DARCY: Would you do me the honour of introducing me to your friends?
ELIZABETH: Mr and Mrs Edward Gardiner, Mr Darcy.
ELIZABETH: Mrs Gardiner is my aunt, Mr Darcy. My sister Jane stayed at their house in Cheapside when she was lately in London.
MR DARCY: Delighted to make your acquaintance, Madam.
MR DARCY: Delighted, sir.
MR DARCY: You’re staying in Lambton, I hear.
MRS GARDINER: Yes, sir. I grew up there as a girl.
MR DARCY: Delightful village. I remember running from Pemberley to Lambton as a boy almost every day in the horse chestnut season. There was one very fine tree there, I remember.
MRS GARDINER: On the green, by the smithy.
MR DARCY: The very one.
MR DARCY: Mr Gardiner, do you care for fishing?
MR GARDINER: Indeed, I do, sir, when I get the chance of it.
MR DARCY: If you have time, sir, you must come and fish in my trout stream.
MR DARCY: Or there are carp, tench, and pike in the lake here, if your bent runs to coarse fishing. I could provide you with rods and tackle, show you the best spots. Let us walk down now. (to the carriage driver) Follow us to the lake. (to Mr Gardiner) My man will show you.
MR DARCY: There’s a place down there where we used to tickle them out…
MRS GARDINER: Is this the proud Darcy you told us of? He is all ease and friendliness, no false dignity at all.
ELIZABETH: I’m as astonished as you are. I can’t imagine what has affected this transformation.
MRS GARDINER: Can you not?
MR DARCY: Miss Bennet.
MR DARCY: Er, do you…
MR DARCY: Pray, continue.
Of some delights, I believe sir, a little goes a long way.
MR DARCY: I beg you, do not make yourself uneasy. I had planned it so myself; but I found I had business with my steward, and so rode on ahead of the rest of the party without informing anyone. They will join me tomorrow; and among them are those who…claim an acquaintance with you. It’s, Mr Bingley and his sisters.
MR DARCY: There’s the other person in the party who, more particularly, wishes to know you.
MR DARCY: Will you allow me to…hem…Do I ask too much to introduce my sister to you during your stay at Lambton?
ELIZABETH: I should be very happy to make her acquaintance.
MR DARCY: Thank you.
ELIZABETH: Thank you.
MR DARCY: I hope we shall meet again very soon.
MR DARCY: Good day, Mr Gardiner. Mrs Gardiner.
MR DARCY: Good day, Miss Bennet.