P&P missing scene -- The Gift
It was during one of Darcy's many visits to Longbourn in the period before their wedding, that Darcy accompanied Lizzy and her sisters to Meryton. Elizabeth had some provisions to purchase at the milliner's as the seamstresses were busy with her wedding clothes.
The shopkeeper asked Elizabeth whether she'd like to add the purchase to her balance. Elizabeth kept a small balance at the shop which she cleared through her regular allowance with her father. They left the shop and she took Darcy's arm as they strolled back to Longbourn.
"Elizabeth, I would be glad to clear your balance at the shop, if you wish," said Darcy, "After all, in a few short weeks you shall have all the advantages of becoming my wife in any shop at Lambton or London or anywhere."
Elizabeth didn't know what to say. She realized he was just being kind and that, of course, within a few weeks she would have to adjust to a very different way of life and yet she felt strangely mortified by the offer. It must have showed in her features and Darcy asked her if anything was the matter.
"Lizzy, of course I will only do as you wish in this matter, it does not signify, but you must allow me the pleasure of giving you a gift now and then. Is that not the established mode between an engaged man and his future wife?"
"Of course, Mr. Darcy forgive me. But if you must give me a gift any small trinket will do. You must allow my father the pleasure of bearing my expenses for a few more weeks before the wedding." Elizabeth smiled. She tried to shake her uncomfortable feelings.
They walked on in silence. Darcy knew Elizabeth hadn't fully expressed her feelings and could sense her embarrassment. "My dearest Elizabeth, you must forgive me. I should not have made the offer, I have offended you in some way. Trying to behave in a more considerate manner is still a very new experience for me, as you know. I will stumble every now and then and I look to you to correct me."
"Oh please, Mr. Darcy do not feel that you have offended me; not in the least", urged Elizabeth. "It is just that I often feel the great difference in our positions and it what I bring to our future together. After all, I bring so little contribution. You know my father cannot give me much and though I find the subject distasteful myself, I still feel conscious that I come into this marriage with very little."
"Oh, Elizabeth, do not feel any anxiety in this area." Darcy tried to comfort Elizabeth. "You know that I have more than enough with Pemberley. Surely, Pemberley is an expensive estate to maintain. And there are other properties besides that demand attention. However, I have been fortunate in that all my investments provide more than enough to maintain themselves and a profit besides. And, as you know, though I live in a style according to my position I have never lived extravagantly. I do not look to marry to add to my fortune. If that is all that I wanted, surely, I could have done that at any time."
Elizabeth smiled inwardly as she understood the merit of what he said. She thought of Lady De Bourgh's plans and Miss Bingley both of whom would have gladly added to his fortunes.
"Indeed", said Elizabeth, "there must have been opportunity enough for you. But you preferred to marry me because I did not want you in spite of your fortune even though I had none of my own. I did not figure you to be such an imprudent man." Elizabeth had begun to tease Mr. Darcy as she grew more comfortable with his feelings and as he began to understand her teasing.
"You understand me perfectly Elizabeth."
As they reached Longbourn, Darcy asked Elizabeth to take a seat for a minute in the garden with him before they proceeded back into the house and the family commotion therein. He took a small packet from his coat and presented in to Elizabeth. Elizabeth was surprised, she recognized that the packet must be a gift for her. Her heart swelled with affection and her eyes grew bright with gratitude.
"Mr. Darcy, you have a gift for me after all. How wonderful."
"Save your gratitude for afterwards at least. You have not even opened it." Darcy eagerly awaited her reaction as she opened the wrapping and the package.
She pulled out a lovely pendant and chain. "Its beautiful, Mr. Darcy. Such a lovely gift -- your first gift to me. I shall treasure it certainly". And her countenance expressed everything she could not say with words as she looked at Mr. Darcy. Yet Mr. Darcy pointed out she hadn't really seen the full nature of the gift, "Turn it around, look at the engraving on the other side."
She turned over the pendant and engraved in it were her initials, his initials, the date and the phrase "From the last man in the world." At first Elizabeth was puzzled until she remembered his proposal to her in Kent and her assertion that he was the last man she ever thought of marrying.
"Oh, Mr. Darcy, how could you recall those words." She scolded him good-naturedly but she was pleased that even though they had not yet married, she had begun to influence him already and that he too had begun to learn to tease her in the way she teased him.
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