William & Eliza
This is just a short little piece; I was reading the Juvenilia, and thought it would be fun to parody Pride and Prejudice in the same form. =)
a novel in ten chapters
To the honourable Citizens of the Republic of Pemberley, in gratitude for hours of Enjoyment & Amusement, this Work is respectfully inscribed by their obedient humble Servant The Author.
CHAPTER THE FIRST
Eliza was an amiable Young Woman, charming, witty & handsome, whose favorite colour was Yellow; what particular Elements of the preceding information have any bearing on our Tale is left to Yourself Gentle Reader to determine. Eliza was in possession of four Siblings, none of whom were Brothers, therefore making it fairly probable that all four were Sisters.
Her sister Jane was the Eldest, & as such had reached a greater Age than the rest of her Sisters. She was beautifull & sweet, which must make You like her - in particular her Beauty.
Mary & Kitty were both younger than Eliza & have no bearing on My story except in providing two more Sisters for the witty Eliza. Be prepared with your smelling bottle, for they may hang themselves further on if the number of Characters becomes too Cumbersome.
Lydia was the youngest & very foolish. Her Beauty however must atone for this to some extent. It should also be pointed out that she prefered Tulips to Roses; remember this Fact, for it may prove useful later; it probably will not however.
Their parents were Mr. & Mrs. Bennet. This is important as well, for it not only reveals the names of these Persons (who are significant because without them we would not have Eliza, & might therefore have been forced to trace the Adventures & Misfortunes of Matilda Brumhurst), it also reveals Eliza's last name, which I neglected to provide earlier.
This then was the Bennet Family of Longbourn in Hertfordshire.
Our moving Tale begins when a Young, Handsome, Amiable, Sensible, Virtuous & (most importantly) Wealthy Gentleman lets the nearby Netherfield, bringing with him his Beauteous though Spiteful Sister, his Other Sister & her Hungry Husband, & his Young, Handsome, not-quite-so-Amiable, Sensible, Virtuous & (most importantly) Ridiculously Wealthy Freind.
"Oh! (said the Witty Eliza) I wish I had a partner," for they were at a Ball.
She then accidentally listened to a conversation between the Amiable Charles & his friend the Wealthy William Darcy. "Come my Friend (said the former) you should dance." "I will not," (replied the latter). "Look, there is the Sister of my Fair Partner Jane. I dare say she is Agreable, & I understand her favorite colour is Yellow." "That does speak well in her Favour, Charles; but she is not Handsome enough to tempt Me."
Had our Heroine been Matilda Brumhurst (whom you remember our Story would have followed were it not for the lucky Existence of Mr. & Mrs. Bennet) rather than the Witty Eliza, she would have left the Ball immediately & thrown herself upon her Dagger - & rightly so.
But Eliza settled upon the more Worthy Solution & resolved to Despise him for Ever.
The Wealthy William in spite of himself fell in love with the Witty Eliza although she was not aware of the Fact. This was greatly against the Dearest Wishes of Miss Bingley, who was determined to have his Virtue (& his Wealth) for Herself, and she therefore hated Eliza. The Amiable Charles fell in love with the Fair Jane with so violent a Passion that he would later be persuaded Otherwise.
During the course of these Interesting Events, the Bennet Family was graced with the presence of an Odious Cousin, upon whom the estate of Longbourn was entailed. The Chunky Collins had come seeking to marry one of Mr. Bennet's Eligible Daughters - of which, by the way, there remain only three; for the sake of my Convenience, you may forget the Existence of the Plain Mary & the Irrelevent Kitty. Chuse to believe that they hung themselves if you will; I shall not reveal whether they did or not.
Collins heralded them in the Grandest Manner with his Inferior Intelligence, Clumsy Wit, and Tender Sentiments (he was most eloquent in his Praise of his Patroness, Lady Catherine).
The next Addition to our Quite Necessary Cast is George Wickham, an officer in the Regiment stationed at the nearby town Meryton. He was Handsome indeed & prefered flirting to any other Occupation. Thus proved to be Desirable, he must of course be admired by our Heroine (whose favorite colour, do not forget, was yellow).
The Charming Wickham related Shocking Accounts of his Misfortunes at the Hand of William, accounts which would have thrown Matilda Brumhurst into fainting fits, had she not ended her Life already in the 2d Chapter. Eliza however was above such excessive Sensibility, & Wickham's narratives effected only a more intense Distaste in her for the Wealthy William, who will yet prove to be our Hero despite these Slanders.
The Amiable Charles, the Wealthy William, the Spiteful Sister, the Other Sister, & her Hungry Husband left Hertfordshire, leaving the Bennets in a state of Agony & Distress.
As if these Misfortunes were not enough, the Odious Collins proposed Marriage to Eliza, who refused him several times before he could be partly convinced of her Sincerity. Her Rejection displeased her Mother, who shed Bitter Tears & cursed her Daughter for Ever. "But Mamma (protested Eliza) he is Odious & Stupid & I hate him above every Man except perhaps Mr. Darcy." "What does any of that matter?" (asked that Woeful Woman). Eliza was determined however not to have Collins & as her Father supported her Decision, her Mother could only weep.
Collins, much Disappointed, might have ended his own Life were it not for the Bright Thought of returning to Lady Catherine, & the Tender Comforting he received from Eliza's freind Charlotte, whom he proposed to Immediately.
Eliza journeyed therefore to Hunsford to visit her Freind, the Suffering Charlotte. While there she was introduced to Lady Catherine of Rosings, whom she quite detested & so should You. William was there, for Lady Catherine was his Aunt; & he called on Eliza with his cousin the Desirable Colonel.
The Colonel related Startling News to Eliza - that he loved Tulips above any other Flower ("as does my Sister Lydia!" said Eliza), that his favorite colour was Green ("nay, mine is Yellow," she replied, & so it was), that his Freind Matilda Brumhurst had not long ago thrown herself upon a Dagger, and that his Cousin William had separated the Amiable Charles & the Fair Jane on purpose.
"Oh, how I detest him (thought she)," and she did, most Passionately.
Such were her Thoughts when William proposed Marriage to her, offering his Hand in the most unseemly Terms. "Be gone, I want none of you (exclaimed Eliza). You have brought about the Misfortunes of Wickham & the Unhappiness of my Beloved Sister. You are the last Man in the World whom I could ever marry."
William delivered a letter to her the next Morning, expressing himself in the most Logical & Civil Manner, explaining the situation so fully that Eliza could no longer doubt his Innocence: "Madam, you are mistaken in your Conjectures." (was the Substance of his Epistle)
"& so I have been! (exclaimed she) I suppose I do not hate him after all."
Eliza returned Home & left it soon again, for she traveled to the North with her most agreable Aunt & Uncle. They visited Pemberley, the home of the Wealthy William, and Eliza upon first seeing the Beautifull & Large Estate felt a Tender Stirring of Affection for its Affluent Owner.
He happened upon them, having returned a Day early from his Travels - a most convenient choice for the purpose of our Story, which I confess I contrived for that very Purpose. "Oh! (thought She) how well he looks in a Shirt that is not quite Dry." For indeed, his Shirt was not Dry, being instead Wet, owing to his impetuous Swim in his Lake.
She introduced him to her Aunt & Uncle whom he greeted most Cordially & as they left Eliza decided that his Great Estate & his Effective Wearing of a Damp Shirt made him seem not at all Disagreable.
Eliza & her Aunt & Uncle were invited to Pemberley again to Dine. Eliza found Miss Darcy most Agreable, especially upon discovering that her favorite colour was Yellow. She delighted them with her Majestic Performance on the Pianoforte, which was most enjoyed by the Winsome William, who gazed on her with a Loving Look that words fail to describe. Poor Matilda Brumhurst, being Dead & Buried, would never see such a Look directed at herself.
Eliza was much Disturbed the next Day by a Letter from the Fair Jane, relating to her the Horrific Circumstances involving her sister Lydia & the Wicked Wickham. "Oh Dear" exclaimed Eliza in the Intense Throes of Greif, at which point William was shewn in to her & informed of the Unhappy Situation.
Eliza went home immediately in the Saddest State.
Lydia was discovered however & was made to marry Wickham. Upon coming Home she betrayed the Secret that William had brought about the Convenient Marriage & paid the Enormous Debts of Wickham.
"I love him." Thought Eliza with a Sigh.
The Amiable Charles returned to Netherfield with his freind William & proposed to the Fair Jane who accepted him most Happily. William & Eliza walked together down the Path & Eliza said in the most Beauteous Language, "Sir I thank you for what you have done." "Really (said he) I did it for you. I still love you and hope you will marry me." He expressed these Sentiments so Poetically & Tenderly that Eliza could not refuse.
The Wealthy William clasped the Witty Eliza to his Bosom therefore and all was well. They were Married & lived happily Together for Ever.
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