I Will Speak To Your Father Tonight
Elizabeth waited on pins and needles for Mr Darcy to return from her fathers study, where he had gone to ask for permission to marry her. She sucked again on her finger where she had pricked herself with her embroidery needle.
At last he returned and with a smile walked over to admire her work and whisper, "Go to your father, he wishes to speak to you."
Elizabeth walked quickly to her fathers hideaway. She knew he would be much surprised by Mr Darcy's request for she had said nothing to her family of her growing friendship with him, not even Jane, until last night.
As she entered the room Mr Bennet looked at her over his spectacles. "Lizzie what are you thinking of, have you really accepted this man's proposal of marriage."
"Yes, Father, I have, she answered, yesterday."
"But have you not always hated him for his excessive pride and arrogance, I do not understand this Elizabeth, how can you accept the hand of a man you despise. Is that not why you refused Mr Collins."
"Do not speak of our cousin in the same breath as my Fitzwilliam, she said sharply. I have indeed accepted Mr Darcy's proposal, I have become well aquainted with Mr Darcy these past few month's and indeed he has no improper pride but is a man of great generosity and kindness. Please do not speak so of him ever again."
"I have given him my permission, he is not a man to whom I would ever dare say no. You have my blessing, if you truly like him."
"Oh Father, I do like him, I love him. I was very wrong in my first assestment of him. I fear my own pride prevented me from seeing what a fine man he really is. I was stung by his refusal to dance with me the first night we met and even though Jane tried to convince he was a worthy man, I would not listen. My vanity stood in the way."
"Well if you are sure in your heart you have my permission, of course, dearest Lizzie."
Smiling fondly at his favorite daughter he opened the door and told the boy outside to fetch Mr Darcy.
As Mr Darcy walked to the library Jane and Bingley moved to be close to the door, to Mrs Bennets consternation.
"Jane, Mr Bingley, what is going on, why are Lizzie and Mr Darcy going in and out of your father's study. What has Mr Darcy done to our Lizzie, I am sure it is something dreadful for your father to call him on it twice. My poor, poor, Lizzie, what she has suffered at the hands of that man."
As Darcy entered the study he looked immediatly to Elizabeth and was rewarded with the smile he loved so dearly.
"Well, Mr Darcy you have my permission to mary my Lizzie at anytime. She has convinced me of her deep and abiding love for you, so I can offer no objection to your marriage."
Darcy's face lit up like a sunrise as he was across the room in two steps, "You love me," he gasped, "you love me."
Elizabeth laughed, "Of course I love you, do you think I would marry a man I do not love and respect with all my heart."
Forgetting that there was anyone in the room but the two of them Darcy folded her in his arms and kissed her ardently. When she returned it with an ardor to equal his he lost all sense of time and place and kissed her again and again."
"Ahem, ahem, Mr Bennet said, excuse me."
Going to the door he opened it to find Jane and Bingley standing just outside.
"Please come in you two, he smiled, perhaps you can pryze them apart, I seem to have little success myself," as he walked out closing the door after them.
Jane and Charles rushed into the room crying, "Lizzie, Darcy, we are so happy for you. I cannot tell you how wonderful this is, we must have a double wedding."
"You must practice some restraint though, Darcy, Bingley laughed. What would people think, Fitzwilliam Darcy kissing a girl so ardently, and them not yet married. Your reputation as a man always in complete control of his emotions would be ruined."
They all laughed heartily at that and again burst into shouts of laughter as they hear Mrs Bennet outside the door asking, "Mr Bennet what is going on in there I demand to know, what has that dreadful Mr Darcy been up to now."
"Come away and sit down Mrs Bennet, Lizzie will explain all to you when our guests have gone home."
"But Mr Bennet My nerves are on edge now, I am sure I shall faint if I get no answers from you," they heard as Mrs Bennets voice faded while her husband led her away.
Elizabeth knocked on her mothers door.
"Mama, it is Elizabeth, I wish to speak to you," she said.
"Come, in, come in my poor, dear Lizzie, your father said you would wish to speak to me. What has that dreadful Mr. Darcy done to you, my poor dear child, how I detest that man. Wait until I am seated before you give your dreadful news, I am sure that my nerves will be better able to handle what you have to say if I am seated."
As she too her seat she again said, I really loathe that man, now Lizzie tell me all."
"Oh dear me Mama, then you would not wish me to marry Mr. Darcy, but I fear it is too late now Mama. I consented to become his wife yesterday and Father has given his consent tonight, so you see Mama I cannot refuse to marry him now. Think of what a scandal it would cause if I were to change my mind after he has already started making plans for me to visit his house in town. I fear you shall have to bear it as best you can, Mama, perhaps Mr. Jones can give you some new powders for your nerves, or perhaps Mr. Darcy can have some sent from London for you."
Mrs Bennet sat in her chair eyes bulging in shock for a full three minutes before getting up, making three circles around the chair before sitting down again, all the while her mouth opening and closing like a fish out of water and making little squeaking sounds. After four more trips around the chair she was able to collect herself enough to let out a squeal, "Lizzie! My dear, Lizzie to marry Mr. Darcy, I vow it is better than a Lord. How rich you shall be, Lizzie! What carriages, what fine silks and laces, what jewels! Oh, Lizzie I am so happy, Mr. Darcy so handsome, so rich. Of course, I have always liked him in my heart. Your must find out his favorite dishes, Lizzie, that I might have cook prepare everything for him when he comes to dine. OHHH Lizzie, I cannot believe it, Mr. Darcy, so fine, so elegant."
"I am very tired tonight, Mama, so I shall say goodnight, " Elizabeth said with a shake of her head as she turned and left the room.
She had not even finished taking the pins out of her hair when her mother burst into her room.
"Oh Lizzie, my favorite child, I am so excited, we must get a special licence. It is only fitting when one marries a man such as Mr. Darcy. We must rise early tomorrow, dear Lizzie. We must go to tell Mrs. Long and your Aunt Phillips, but first we must go to tell Lady Lucas."
"Lady Lucas how proud she was that her Charlotte married Lady Catherine DeBourgh's clergyman. How she did overlord us. Of course he was good enough for Charlotte, but I knew that my Lizzie was meant for a far greater man than Mr. William Collins."
"I seem to remember you insisting very loudly that I must marry our cousin," Lizzie smiled.
"Oh, pish tosh, I was only trying to alleviate the man's pain at your refusal of his proposal. I knew you were meant for far, far, better than him."
"My Lizzie, married to the richest man in England, and so tall and so very very handsome. I can scarce wait to visit his estate in Derbyshire. Lizzie you are a sly one, to have a man such as Mr. Darcy courting you and not say a word to your parents. I should be very angry with you, but I am far to happy to think about that now."
"Mama I am ver tired, could we please talk about this in the morning, Elizabeth interupted, perhaps your nerves will be better by then.
"Nerves, my nerves are fine dear Lizzie, but you are right, you must get your beauty sleep, we cannot have you looking worn when our dear Mr. Darcy arrives tomorrow, can we."
"I shall leave you now my dear, until the morrow, we have so much to plan, two daughter married to rich men. How soon do you think you can find young men with at least five thousand a year for Kitty and Mary. Well, perhaps not Mary, but Kitty is very pretty and very lively. I am sure you can find someone for her. Who is to know though there may be a scholarly young man among Mr. Darcy's aquaintances who would find Mary interesting."
"Goodnight, Mama, Lizzie sighed as she pushed her mother toward the door, if you do not get to bed soon you will not get up in time to make your calls before the gentlemen come to call."
"Of course you are right, daughter, she gasped for breath, How jealous Lady Lucas will be of me and Mrs Long will be positively green with envy. Oh Lizzie, my dear, dear girl, how happy you have made your mama."
Elizabeth closed the door and pushed the latch, "I fear I have unloosed a tiger, she sighed, my poor, Fitzwilliam what he will have to suffer the next few weeks.
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