Pride and Prejudice : BBC 1995版傲慢与偏见

I. Dinner At Pemberley

[Elizabeth walks toward the inn. Hannah leans out an upstairs to talk to Elizabeth.]

HANNAH: If you please, Ma’am. There’s two gentlemen and a lady waiting upon you in the parlour. One of the gentlemen is Mr Darcy.

[Elizabeth pauses for a moment and then smiles.]

ELIZABETH: Thank you. Tell them I shall come directly.

[Hannah goes back inside, and Elizabeth enters; her hat and gloves are off when she enters the room; Darcy sees her and stands up quickly, a girl in a light blue bonnet can be seen in the connecting room.]


[Darcy bows. The girl in the other part of the room looks at them, and Elizabeth curtsies.]

ELIZABETH: I hope that you have not been waiting long.

MR DARCY: Not at all. May I…introduce my sister Georgiana?

[Darcy steps back and indicates his sister. Elizabeth walks to her.]

MR DARCY: Georgiana, this is Miss Elizabeth Bennet.

[Elizabeth and Georgiana curtsy.]

GEORGIANA: How do you do?

ELIZABETH: I’m very pleased to meet you, Miss Darcy. I’ve heard so much about you.

GEORGIANA: And I about you.

MR DARCY: Mr Bingley is here with us…

[Elizabeth looks at him.]

MR DARCY: …and very desirous to see you as well.

[Darcy is amused.]

MR DARCY: He insisted on accompanying us. May I summon him?

ELIZABETH: Of course! I should like to see him very much.

[Darcy smiles and bows before leaving. Elizabeth watches him go before turning to Georgiana and smiling.]

MR DARCY: I understand that you are fond of music, and play very well.

GEORGIANA: Oh, no, not play very well. I mean…But I am very fond of music. I should dearly love to hear you play and sing. My brother has told me he has rarely heard anything that gave him more pleasure.

[Elizabeth smiles.]

ELIZABETH: Well, you shall, but I warn you, your brother has grossly exaggerated my talents. No doubt for some mischievous reason of his own.

GEORGIANA: Oh, no. That could not be so. My brother never exaggerates. He always tells the absolute truth. Except that sometimes I think he is a little too kind to me.

ELIZABETH: An ideal elder brother, then.

GEORGIANA: Oh, yes. I could not imagine a better or a kinder one.

ELIZABETH: You make me feel quite envious. I have no brothers at all, only four sisters.

GEORGIANA: I should have liked to have a sister.

MR BINGLEY: Miss Bennet.

[Bingley walks in.]

MR BINGLEY: I can’t tell you how delighted I was when Darcy told me you were not five miles from Pemberley. How do you do?

[They bow and curtsy.]

MR BINGLEY: But I can see that you’re well.

ELIZABETH: Very well, indeed, thank you.

MR BINGLEY: Good. Good. Excellent. And your family?

ELIZABETH: Very well, sir.


[Elizabeth nods.]

MR BINGLEY: Pray, tell me, are all your sisters still at Longbourn?

ELIZABETH: All except one.

[Bingley waits expectantly.]

ELIZABETH: My youngest sister is at Brighton.


[He looks at Georgiana, who curtsies to Elizabeth and walks over to Darcy; Bingley sighs.]

MR BINGLEY: It seems too long…It is too long since I had the pleasure of speaking to you.

ELIZABETH: It must be several months.

MR BINGLEY: It is above eight months at least. Uh, we have not met since the 26th of November, when we were dancing together at Netherfield.

ELIZABETH (chuckles): I think you must be right.

MR BINGLEY: Do you know, I don’t think I can remember a happier time than those short months I spent in Hertfordshire.

MR DARCY: Miss Bennet.

[Elizabeth looks at the Darcys.]

MR DARCY: My sister has a request to make of you.

[Georgiana steps closer.]

GEORGIANA: Miss Bennet, my brother and I would be honoured if you and your aunt and uncle would be our guests at Pemberley for dinner. Would tomorrow evening be convenient?

[Elizabeth sighs happily, and smiles.]

ELIZABETH: Thank you. We shall be delighted.

[The others smile.]

ELIZABETH: I can answer for Mr and Mrs Gardiner, we have no fixed engagements.

GEORGIANA: And shall we hear you play?

ELIZABETH: If you insist upon it, yes, you shall.

[Darcy watches Elizabeth play the piano with an enraptured smile on his face. Georgiana stands beside Elizabeth. Bingley sits in a chair, Mrs Gardiner sits on the couch nearby, listening attentively, while Mrs Hurst and Miss Bingley sit next to one another, Miss Bingley slightly nodding her head to the melody.]

ELIZABETH: ♫ Say ye who borrow love’s fleeting spell. What is this sorrow naught can dispel? What is this sorrow naught can dispel? What is this sorrow naught can dispel?♫

[As the song ends, Mr Gardiner glances with a smile at Darcy, who sits on the other end of a couch with him, and everyone claps.]

MR BINGLEY: Absolutely marvellous.

[Clapping finishes as Mr Hurst sets down his drink.]

GEORGIANA: Will you not play again? You played that song so beautifully.

ELIZABETH: Oh, not very beautifully. Not faithfully at all. You must have seen how I fudged or slurred my way through the difficult passages. (sigh) It is a beautiful instrument though.

GEORGIANA: My brother gave it to me this week.

[Georgiana glances at Darcy.]

GEORGIANA: He is so good. I don’t deserve it.

ELIZABETH (smiles): Oh, I’m sure you do. Your brother thinks you do…

[Elizabeth and Georgiana look at Darcy.]

ELIZABETH: …and, as you know, he is never wrong.

[Darcy notices that they are watching him.]

MR BINGLEY: …indeed, I can’t say, but all the same, I’m sure…

ELIZABETH: Now, it is your turn.

[Elizabeth gets up, and Georgiana looks hesitant.]

ELIZABETH: Oh, I absolutely insist.

[Georgiana sits down at the instrument.]

GEORGIANA: In front of al these people? I will play, but please don’t make me sing.

[Elizabeth sets up the music sheets.]

ELIZABETH: If you like.

[Georgiana begins to play as Elizabeth walks toward the couches.]

MISS BINGLEY: Pray, Miss Eliza, are the militia still quartered at Meryton?

ELIZABETH: No, they are encamped at Brighton for the summer.

MISS BINGLEY: That must be a great loss for your family.

ELIZABETH: We are enduring it as best we can, Miss Bingley.

MISS BINGLEY: I should have thought one gentleman’s absence might have caused particular pangs.

ELIZABETH: I can’t imagine who you mean.

MISS BINGLEY: I understood that certain ladies found the society of Mr Wickham…

[Georgiana looks up, wincing and stops playing.]

MISS BINGLEY: …curiously agreeable.

[Darcy uncrosses his legs, and makes to get up, but Elizabeth rushes over to Georgiana.]

ELIZABETH: I’m so sorry…

[Georgiana continues to play.]

ELIZABETH: I’m neglecting you. How can you play with no one to turn the pages?

[Elizabeth adjusts them and Darcy sits back down, watching them.]

ELIZABETH: There. Allow me.

[She looks slowly up at Darcy, and catches his eyes, his enraptured expression returning; they gaze at each other fondly.]

[Mr Bingley waves and he, Georgiana, and Mr Darcy say goodbye to Elizabeth and the Gardiners as their carriage takes off; Georgiana switches from her brothers arms to Bingley’s as he offers it to her to go inside, but Darcy walks a few steps and watches their carriage drive down the torch-lit path.]

[Mr Hurst lies asleep on a couch next to Mrs Hurst, and Miss Bingley sits opposite them. Darcy enters from outside, followed by Bingley. Darcy pours a drink.]

MISS BINGLEY: How very ill Eliza Bennet looked this evening. I’ve never, in my life, seen anyone so much altered as she is since the winter.

Mrs Hurst: Quite so, my dear.

[Darcy hands the glass to Bingley.]

MISS BINGLEY: She’s grown so brown and coarse.

[Louisa agrees with her through hmm’s, Darcy pours himself a drink.]

MISS BINGLEY: Louisa and I were agreeing that we should hardly know her. What do you say, Mr Darcy?

MR DARCY: I noticed no great difference.

[Darcy walks toward the fireplace.]

MR DARCY: She is, I suppose, a little tanned. Hardly surprising when one travels in the summer.

MISS BINGLEY: Mmm. For my part, I must confess,

[Miss Bingley rises from the couch.]

MISS BINGLEY: I never saw any beauty in her face. Her features are not at all handsome. Her complexion has no brilliancy.

[Darcy walks to and sits on the couch Miss Bingley vacated.]

MISS BINGLEY: Oh, her teeth are tolerable, I suppose, but…nothing out of the common way. (chuckle) And as for her eyes, which I have sometimes heard called “fine,” I could never perceive anything extraordinary in them. And in her air altogether there’s a self-sufficiency without fashion, which I find intolerable.

MR BINGLEY: I think…um…

MISS BINGLEY: I remember, when we first knew her…


MISS BINGLEY: …in Hertfordshire, how amazed we all were to find her a reputed beauty. I particularly recall you, Mr Darcy, one night after they’d been dining at Netherfield, saying, “She a beauty? I should as soon call her mother a wit.”

[The sisters laugh. Mr Darcy takes a sip of his drink.]

MISS BINGLEY: Oh, but afterwards, she seemed to improve on you. I even believe you thought her rather pretty at one time.

[Darcy looks at Miss Bingley.]

MR DARCY: Yes, I did.

[Darcy stands.]

MR DARCY: That was only when I first knew her. For it has been many months now that I have considered her one of the handsomest women of my acquaintance.

[He looks defiantly at Miss Bingley, who appears unnerved.]

[Darcy walks through the dark house with a single candle, and a couple dogs, smiling occasionally. Darcy enters the music room and leans against the fireplace mantle, placing the candle on top. Darcy looks over at the pianoforte, remembering the fond look Elizabeth gave him.]

[Darcy’s servant brings him several options of jackets, holding up the black one, as he fixes his cravat in front of the mirror.]

MR DARCY: Uh, no, no, the green one. Yes, that will do.

[Darcy puts on the jacket.]


[The servant begins fixing Darcy’s collar.]

MR DARCY: Never mind.

[The manservant stops. Darcy clears his throat.]

II. Dreadful News

[Darcy rides away from the house on a white horse.]

[Elizabeth and the Gardiners are about to go out when Hannah knocks and enters the parlour.]

HANNAH: If you please, Ma’am. The post’s just come.

[Elizabeth takes the post.]

ELIZABETH: Thank you, Hannah.

[Hannah curtsies and leaves.]

MR GARDINER: A good girl, that. Very Obliging.

ELIZABETH: Two letters from Jane. At last! I’d been wondering why we hadn’t…

[Elizabeth notices the writing on one.]

ELIZABETH: This one was misdirected at first. No wonder, for she wrote the direction very ill, indeed. [She smiles.] Would you be very angry if I beg you to postpone our outing?

MRS GARDINER: Not at all. Of course you want to read your letters. Your uncle and I will walk to the church and call back for you in an hour.

ELIZABETH: Thank you. You’re very kind.

[The Gardiners leave. Elizabeth sits down to read her letters.]

JANE (V.O.): “My dearest Lizzy: I hope your journey has been as delightful as you anticipated. We all miss you, our father most of all, I believe. I confess, I’ve hardly had time to write. My nephews and nieces have commandeered almost every moment, but they are such dear children. Our mother, indeed, finds their exuberance a little trying for her nerves. “


JANE (V.O.): “She spends much of the day above stairs in her room, or with Mrs Philips. Oh, dearest Lizzy, since writing the above something has occurred of a most unexpected and serious nature. But I’m afraid of alarming you.”

[Elizabeth leans forward.]

JANE (V.O.): “Be assured, we are all well. What I have to say relates to poor Lydia.”


[The scene fades to a man riding a horse towards Longbourn.]

JANE (V.O.): “An express came at twelve last night, just as we were all gone to bed.”

[The man jumps off and knocks on the door. Mr Bennet comes to it wearing his nightcap, gown, a jacket, and holding a candle.]

MRS BENNET: Oh, Mr Bennet, what is it?! Are we to be murdered in our beds?!

[Mr Bennet opens the door and takes the note, hands Hill the candle and digs in a coin purse to pay the messenger.]

MR BENNET: Thank you.

[Kitty comes to the hall with a candle as well, the others already assembles around Mr Bennet, who is reading the letter aloud.]

JANE (V.O.): “The letter was from Colonel Forster to inform us that Lydia was gone off to Scotland with one of his officers.”

[The Bennets all gasp.]

JANE (V.O.): “To own the truth, with Wickham.”

MRS BENNET: Oh! Oh, Lydia!

[Mrs Bennet starts to collapse and Mary and Jane support her to a chair.]

MRS BENNET: Oh, Mr Bennet, we are all ruined!

JANE (V.O.): “You will imagine our surprise and shock. To kitty, however, it does not seem so wholly unexpected.”

[Kitty looks solemn and sighs. Mr Bennet gives Kitty a stern look, while Mrs Bennet sobs loudly.]

[The scene fades to an upset Elizabeth reading the letter.]

JANE (V.O.): “I am very, very sorry. So imprudent a match on both sides. But I am willing to hope the best, and that his character has been misunderstood.”

[Elizabeth shakes her head.]

ELIZABETH: I wish I could believe it.

JANE (V.O.): “His choice is disinterested, at least. He must know that our father can give him nothing.”

ELIZABETH: Yes, that is true.

[Elizabeth sheds a tear.]

ELIZABETH: But how could he do this? She is silly enough for anything. But Wickham love Lydia? Marry Lydia?

[The scene fades to Elizabeth’s last meeting with Wickham.]

MR WICKHAM: There is one lady I shall be very loath to part from.

[Wickham turns to Lydia, and Lydia gives him a curious look.]

[The scene fades back to Elizabeth.]

JANE (V.O.): “We expect them soon, returned from Greta, man and wife. But I must conclude. I cannot be away from our poor mother long. I shall write again as soon as I have news.”

[Elizabeth opens the second letter.]

JANE: “My dearest Lizzy: I hardly know what to write, but I have bad news. Imprudent as a marriage would be, we now fear worse–that it has not taken place. That Wickham never intended to marry Lydia at all.”

ELIZABETH (gasp): Great God! I knew it.

JANE (V.O.): “I cannot think so ill of him.”

ELIZABETH: I can. Oh, poor Lydia. Poor, stupid girl.

JANE (V.O.): “Colonel Forster said he feared that Wickham was not a man to be trusted.”

MR DARCY: She was then but fifteen years old.

JANE (V.O.): “They were traced as far as Clapham, and to London our father has gone with Colonel Forster to try to discover them. Dearest Lizzy, I cannot help but beg you all to come here as soon as possible.”

[Elizabeth closes the letter.]

ELIZABETH: Oh, yes. Where is my uncle?

[Elizabeth gets from the table and walks quickly to the door, but Hannah opens it from the other side before she can get there.]

HANNAH: If you please, Ma’am.

[Mr Darcy enters and bows. Elizabeth curtsies, and Hannah leaves.]

MR DARCY: Miss Bennet, I hope this…

ELIZABETH: I beg your pardon. I must find Mr Gardiner this moment on business that cannot be delayed. I have not an instant to lose.

[Mr Darcy looks concerned.]

MR DARCY: Good God, what is the matter?

[Elizabeth sniffs.]

MR DARCY: Of course, I will not detain you for a moment, but let me go, or let the servant go and fetch Mr and Mrs Gardiner. You are not well, you cannot go yourself.

ELIZABETH: No, I must.

[Darcy takes Elizabeth’s arm and turns her toward the table.]

MR DARCY: Come, I insist, this will be for the best.

[Darcy shouts towards the door.]

MR DARCY: Hello there!

[Hannah enters, worried.]

MR DARCY: Would you have Mr and Mrs Gardiner fetched here at once.

[Darcy leads Elizabeth to a chair.]

MR DARCY: They walked in the direction of…

[Darcy looks to Elizabeth.]

ELIZABETH: The church.

[Darcy turns to Hannah.]

MR DARCY: …the church.

HANNAH: Yes, sir, at once.

[Hannah curtsies and closes the door with a last concerned look at them. Darcy puts down his hat and riding stick and sits down across from Elizabeth, taking her hand.]

MR DARCY: You are not well. May I not call a doctor?

ELIZABETH: No. I am well.

[Darcy sighs.]

ELIZABETH: I am well.

MR DARCY: Is there nothing you can take for your present relief?

[Elizabeth shakes her head, looking at her hands and crying.]

MR DARCY: A…glass of wine? Can I get you one? Truly, you look very ill.

[Elizabeth sniffs and dabs her cheek with a handkerchief.]

ELIZABETH: No, I thank you. There is nothing the matter with me. I am quite well.

[Darcy breathes hard.]

ELIZABETH: I am only distressed by some dreadful news, which I have just received from Longbourn.

[The last three words come out as a sob, and she drops her head. Mr Darcy places his fist to his mouth, distressed by her despair. Elizabeth raises her head, trying to regain her composure.]

ELIZABETH: I’m sorry, forgive me.

MR DARCY (tender whisper): No, no.

[Darcy shakes his head and touches her arm.]

ELIZABETH: I’ve just received a letter from Jane…with such dreadful news. It cannot be concealed from anyone. My youngest sister has left all her friends…has eloped. Has thrown herself into the power…of Mr Wickham.

[Darcy looks grave.]

ELIZABETH: They have run away together from Brighton. You know him too well to doubt the rest.

[Darcy shivers.]

ELIZABETH: She has no money, no connections. Nothing that can tempt him.

[He stands up abruptly, his back to her, and walks a few steps, rubs his hands on his face and then drops them.]

ELIZABETH: When I think that I might have prevented it. I, who knew what he was. Had his character been known, this could not have happen…

[Elizabeth looks down, crying. She looks at Darcy’s back.]

ELIZABETH: But it is all too late now.

MR DARCY: I am grieved indeed. Grieved, shocked.

[Darcy turns to face her.]

MR DARCY: But is it certain, absolutely certain?

ELIZABETH: Oh, yes. They left Brighton together on Sunday night.

[Elizabeth breathes hard, and dabs her eyes again.]

ELIZABETH: There were traced as far as London, but not beyond. They are certainly not gone to Scotland.

[Darcy walks to the window, and clasps his hands behind his back.]

MR DARCY: And what has been done? What has been attempted to recover her?

ELIZABETH: My father has gone to London, and Jane writes to beg my uncle’s immediate assistance. I hope that we shall leave within half an hour.

[Darcy turns to her.]

ELIZABETH: But what can be done?

[Elizabeth shakes her head.]

ELIZABETH: I know, very well, that nothing can be done. How is such a man to be worked on?

[Elizabeth looks at him.]

ELIZABETH: How are they even to be discovered? I have not the smallest hope. She is lost forever, and our whole family must partake of her ruin and disgrace.

[Darcy looks at her distressfully before regaining composure.]

MR DARCY: I am afraid you have long been desiring my absence. This unfortunate affair will, I fear, prevent my sister’s having the pleasure of seeing you at Pemberley today.

[Elizabeth looks at Darcy.]

ELIZABETH: Oh, yes. Be so kind as to apologize for us to Miss Darcy. Say that urgent business calls us home immediately. And if you would be so kind as to conceal the unhappy truth as long as possible. I know that it cannot be long.

MR DARCY: You may be assured of my secrecy. But I have stayed too long.

[He walks over and picks up his hat and riding stick.]

MR DARCY: I shall leave you now.

[Elizabeth stands.]

ELIZABETH: Yes. Thank you.

[Elizabeth curtsies and Darcy bows.]


[Darcy turns to leave, gives her a last look, and then closes the door.]

ELIZABETH: I shall never see him again.

[Elizabeth and the Gardiners exit the inn. Their carriage is being prepared for their journey.]

MRS GARDINER: Even if what you say of Wickham is true, I still cannot believe this of Lydia.

ELIZABETH: Ever since the militia were quartered at Meryton, there has been nothing but love, flirtation, and officers in her head!

[Elizabeth wipes her tears away with her gloved fingers.]

MRS GARDINER: You must not assume the worst. It may be that this is all a misunderstanding, or just a passing folly that her friends can hush up, and will in time be quite forgotten.

[Elizabeth shakes her head.]

MRS GARDINER: It is possible, Lizzy.

MR GARDINER: Indeed, it is. Why would any young man form a design against a girl who’s by no means unprotected or friendless? And who’s actually staying in the colonel’s family? Look at it any way you like,

[Mr Gardiner leads Mrs Gardiner into the carriage.]

MR GARDINER: The temptation is not worth the risk.

[Elizabeth pauses before entering the coach.]

ELIZABETH: Not, perhaps, a risk in his own interest; but I do believe him capable of risking everything else.

[Elizabeth enters the carriage.]

[Darcy sits rather pensively while his sister plays the pianoforte. Bingley, Miss Bingley, and Mrs Hurst clap when the song finishes, and both Mr and Miss Bingley stand up. Mr Bingley goes to talk to Georgiana, and Miss Bingley to get a refreshment.]

MISS BINGLEY: You are very quiet this evening, Mr Darcy. I sincerely hope you’re not pining for the loss of Miss Eliza Bennet.

[Miss Bingley sits back down.]

MR DARCY (agitated): What?

[His guests look up, startled.]

MR DARCY: Excuse me.

[Darcy stands quickly and walks out, to the surprise of everyone’s. The sisters exchange a curious look.]

III. Tainted By Association

[The Gardiner children play horseshoes at Longbourn when their parents and Elizabeth return in their carriage and they go to meet it.]

BOY: There she is.

GIRL: Mamma!

BOY: Mamma!

[Elizabeth steps out and kisses Alicia’s cheek, and the Gardiners greet their children as Elizabeth goes to the house and hugs Jane in the front hall.]

JANE: Oh, Lizzy. I am so glad to see you.

[Jane takes her hat.]

ELIZABETH: Has anything been heard?

JANE: No, not yet, but now our uncle is come, I hope everything will be well. Our father left for town on Tuesday. And we’ve heard from him only once since then to tell us he has arrived in safety.

[Elizabeth remover her gloves.]

JANE: Mamma has been asking for you every five minutes since daybreak.

ELIZABETH: Ohh! And how is she?

JANE: She has not yet left her room.

[Elizabeth removes her scarf and unbuttons her coat.]

ELIZABETH: And you look pale. Oh, Jane,

[Removes her coat.]

ELIZABETH: How much you must have gone through.

JANE: I am so happy to see you, Lizzy. Come.


[Elizabeth removes the last over scarf and hurries to their mother’s room as Mr Gardiner enters the house; Jane and the travelling party enter Mrs Bennet’s bedroom where she sits, fanning herself with her handkerchief, still in her nightgown; Mary and Kitty are there with her.]

MRS BENNET: Oh! Oh, Lizzy! Oh, brother…

[Elizabeth and Mr Gardiner take her hands, and her brother kisses it.]

MRS BENNET: We are all ruined forever.

[Mrs Bennet sniffs loudly, and Mr Gardiner sits down.]

MRS BENNET: If only Mr Bennet had taken us all to Brighton, none of this would have happened. I blame those Forsters. I am sure there was some great neglect on their part, for she is not the kind of girl to do that sort of thing it she had been properly looked after.


MRS BENNET: And now here is Mr Bennet gone away. And I know he will fight Wickham, and then he will be killed. And then what is to become of us all? Those Collinses will turn us out before his is cold in his grave. And if you are not kind to us, brother, I don’t know what we shall do.

[Mr Gardiner takes Mrs Bennet’s hands.]

MR GARDINER: Sister, calm down. Nothing dreadful will happen. I shall be in London tomorrow morning, and there we will consult as to what is best to be done.

MRS BENNET: Yes! Yes, that is it! You must find them out, and if they be not married you must make them marry. But, above all, keep Mr Bennet from fighting.

JANE: Mamma, I’m sure he does not mean to fight.

MRS BENNET: Oh, yes! Yes, he does! And-and Wickham will kill him sure unless you can prevent it, brother. You must tell him what a dreadful state I’m in. And how I have such tremblings and flutterings all over me; such spasms in my side, and pains in my head, and beatings at my heart that I can get no rest either night or day.

MR GARDINER: Sister, calm yourself.

MRS BENNET: And tell Lydia not to give any directions about wedding clothes till she has seen me.

[Jane, Elizabeth, and Mr Gardiner are all a bit impatient with Mrs Bennet.]

MRS BENNET: For she does not know which are the best warehouses.

[Mrs Bennet sobs.]

[Mr Darcy rides in a coach.]

[The Gardiners and the remaining Bennet daughters sit down to eat.]

MARY: This is the most unfortunate affair, and will probably be much talked of.

ELIZABETH: Yes. Thank you, Mary. I think we have all apprehended that much.

MARY: But we must stem the tide of malice, and pour into each other’s wounded bosoms the balm of sisterly consolation.

JANE: Mary, pass the potatoes to your Aunt Gardiner.

MARY: I beg your pardon?

[Mr Gardiner offers a plate of something to Elizabeth and she shakes her head.]

KITTY: Oh, never mind, I will.

[Kitty picks up the plate and passes it.]

MRS GARDINER: Thank you, Kitty.

KITTY: And that’s the first kind word I’ve had from anyone since Lydia went away. It is most unfair, for it is not as if I have done anything naughty. And I don’t see that Lydia has done anything so very dreadful either.

JANE: Kitty, please!

MARY: Unhappy as the event must be for Lydia, we must draw from it this useful lesson that loss of virtue in a female is irretrievable.

MRS GARDINER: My dear Mary, this is hardly helpful.

MARY: For a woman’s reputation is no less brittle than it is beautiful and, therefore, we cannot be too guarded in our behaviour towards the undeserving of the other sex.

ELIZABETH: Yes. Thank you Mary.

[Mary gives a pleased smile, but Elizabeth looks at Jane.]

[Jane stands by a window, and Elizabeth enters and walks to her.]

ELIZABETH: Now, Jane, tell me everything about it that I’ve not already heard. What did Colonel Forster say? Had they no apprehension about anything before the elopement took place?

JANE: Colonel Forster did own he suspected some partiality on Lydia’s side, but nothing to give him any alarm. Lizzy, I feel I am to blame, for it was I who urged you not to make Wickham’s bad conduct known. And now poor Lydia is suffering for it. No one else suspected him for a moment. I am…I am to blame.

ELIZABETH: You are not to blame. No more than I, or Mr Darcy, or anyone else deceived by Wickham. You have nothing to blame yourself for. Others are culpable, not you.

[Jane looks down briefly and takes a piece of paper from inside a book she’s holding.]

JANE: She wrote a not for Mrs Forster before she went away.

[Elizabeth takes it and opens it, sitting down as she reads it out loud.]

ELIZABETH: “My dear Harriet, you will laugh when you know where I am gone, and I cannot help laughing myself at your surprise tomorrow morning as soon as I am missed.”

[The scene fades to Lydia rushing off in the night.]

LYDIA (V.O.): “I am going to Gretna Green, and if you cannot guess with whom…”

[Lydia waves to Wickham and he waves back as he stands by a waiting coach.]

LYDIA (V.O.): “Then I shall think you a simpleton. For there is but one man in the world I love.”

[They go to each other on the step.]

LYDIA (V.O.): “Don’t send them word at Longbourn of my going. It will make the surprise all the greater when I write to them and sign my name Lydia Wickham. What a good joke it will be. I can scarce write for laughing.”

[Wickham leads her to the coach and they get in, and they throw their arms around one another as the coach drives off.]

[The scene fades back to Elizabeth and Jane.]

ELIZABETH: Thoughtless, thoughtless Lydia. What a letter to have written at such a moment. But at least it shows she believed Wickham’s purpose was marriage, whatever he might have persuaded her to afterwards. Our poor father…

[Elizabeth folds up the letter and hands it to Jane.]

ELIZABETH: How he must have felt it.

[Jane sits down next to Elizabeth.]

JANE: I never saw anyone so shocked. He could not speak a word for fully ten minutes. Our mother was taken ill with the hysterics and the whole house was in confusion. Lady Lucas has been very kind, offering her services.

ELIZABETH: She had better had stayed home.

[Elizabeth gets up, angry.]

ELIZABETH: Assistance is impossible and condolence insufferable. Let her triumph over us at a distance and be satisfied.

[Elizabeth opens the door.]

JANE: Lizzy, that is unkind.

[Elizabeth steps back between the doorframe and the door.]

JANE: I’m sure she meant well.

ELIZABETH: Yes, perhaps she did. I am sorry. It’s just that I can’t help but be…

[Elizabeth looks at Jane.]

ELIZABETH: Oh, Jane. Jane, do you not see that more things have been ruined by this business than Lydia’s reputation?

[Jane’s brow is furrowed, and she looks down as Elizabeth exits.]

[Elizabeth sits down at her mirror in her nightgown.]

MR DARCY (V.O.): I have stayed too long.

[Elizabeth imagines Darcy’s face in her mirror.]

MR DARCY: I shall leave you now.

[Someone knocks on her door, and Elizabeth looks over, and pulls her shall closer around her.]


[Jane enters in her nightgown.]

JANE: I thought you would not be in bed yet.

[Jane closes the door and walks over to Elizabeth, taking her hand.]

JANE: I’ve been thinking about what you said this afternoon. That it is not only Lydia’s reputation that has been ruined.

ELIZABETH: I was angry and upset. I should not have said it. It does no good to dwell on it.

JANE: You meant, I suppose, that you and…and Mary and Kitty…have been tainted by association; that out chances of making a good marriage have been materially damaged by Lydia’s disgrace.

[Elizabeth pats Jane’s hand and goes to sit on her bed.]

ELIZABETH: The chances of any of us making a good marriage were never very great; now I should say…they are non-existent. No one will solicit our society after this. Mr Darcy made that very clear to me.

JANE: Mr Darcy? Does he know our troubles?

[Jane sits on the bed.]

ELIZABETH: He happened upon me a moment after I first read your letter. He was very kind, very gentleman-like, but he made it very clear he wanted nothing more than to be out of my sight.

[Elizabeth puffs a breath and takes Jane’s hand.]

ELIZABETH: He will not be renewing his addresses to me. He will make very sure his friend does not renew his to you.

JANE: I never expected Mr Bingley would renew his addresses, Lizzy. I am quite reconciled to that. But surely you do not desire Mr Darcy’s attentions, do you?

[Jane and Elizabeth chuckle.]

ELIZABETH: No. No. I never sought them.

JANE: But you do think he was intending to renew them? You think he is still in love with you?

ELIZABETH: I don’t know. I don’t know what he was two days ago. All I know is that now, he…or any other respectable man will want nothing to do with any of us.

[Elizabeth looks at Jane who looks down.]

IV. No Glad Tidings

[Mr Darcy walks through the streets, talking with a man in an apron.]

MAN: Get some ale for that gentleman.

[Mr Darcy takes a tankard off a tray of a servant and takes a large swig.]

MAN: Come on, hurry up.

[Kitty is playing with a ball attached to a string and a cup outside, when she sees a carriage coming.]

KITTY: Oh, Lord.

[Kitty runs over Mary, who is reading a book.]

KITTY: Look who’s coming.

MARY: Who is it, Kitty?

KITTY: Mr Collins, of course.

[Mary puts down her book.]

KITTY: Well, I’m not going to sit with him for anyone.

[Kitty looks around and runs for the park area behind the brick wall and Mr Collins’s carriage drives by.]

[Mr Collins stands as Jane, Elizabeth, and Mary enter and line up in front of the couch.]

MR COLLINS: I had hoped to condole with your poor father and your mother.

JANE: Our father is still in London, sir, and our mother is not yet well enough to leave her room.


[He clears his throat and the girls sit down.]

MR COLLINS: I feel myself called on, not only by our relationship, but by my situation as a clergyman to condole with you all on the grievous affliction you are now suffering under.

JANE: Thank you, sir.

MARY: It has often been said that a friend in need is a friend, indeed, sir.

MR COLLINS: Yes. Be assured, ladies, that Mrs Collins and myself sincerely sympathize with you in your present distress, which must be of the bitterest kind; proceeding from a cause, which no time can remove. The death of your sister would have been a blessing in comparison.

[Elizabeth and Jane are both offended, but Jane tensely places her hand over Elizabeth’s to gently calm her anger.]

MR COLLINS: And it is more to be lamented, because there is reason to suppose, my dear Charlotte informs me, that this licentiousness of behaviour in your sister has proceeded from a faulty degree of indulgence. Though I am inclined to think that her disposition must be naturally bad. Now, howsoever that may be, you are grievously to be pitied.

[Still tense, Elizabeth and Jane stand up at the same time.]

JANE: We are very grateful, sir, for your…

MR COLLINS: In which opinion I am joined by Lady Catherine de Bourgh and her daughter…

[Elizabeth and Jane sit back down together.]

MR COLLINS: …to whom I have related the affair in full. They agree with me in apprehending that this false step in one sister must be injurious to the fortunes of all the others.

[Kitty peaks through the window outside to see if he is gone, and then goes off again.]

MR COLLINS: “For who,” as Lady Catherine herself condescendingly says, “will connect themselves with such a family?”

[Mr Collins is about to sit down, but Elizabeth stands up quickly and he must straighten back up again.]

ELIZABETH: Who, indeed, sir? [She clasps her hands behind her back and takes a step forward.] And now, perhaps, in view of that consideration, you may feel that it would be unwise to for you to stay any longer now.

[He releases his breath.]

MR COLLINS: Well…Well, perhaps you are right. Yes, perhaps you are right, Cousin Elizabeth.

[Elizabeth nods.]

ELIZABETH: I always feel that a clergyman cannot be too careful.

[Jane stands.]

ELIZABETH: Especially one so fortunate as to enjoy the condescension and the patronage of Lady Catherine de Bourgh.

MR COLLINS: Your thoughtfulness does you credit, Cousin Elizabeth.

[Mr Collins backs up and Mary stands.]

MR COLLINS: I am very, very sorry for you all.

[Mr Collins nods and climbs into the carriage. Elizabeth and Jane walk by the carriage. Elizabeth turns around sharply.]

ELIZABETH: Insufferable man.

[They walk away from the carriage as it takes off.]

JANE: I suppose he means well.

ELIZABETH: Humph, you suppose wrongly, Jane. His purpose in coming was to enjoy our misfortunes, and congratulate himself on his own happy situation.

MARY: I think it very kind of him to visit and condole with us.

[They wave to the carriage. Kitty peaks out from behind the wall behind them.]

KITTY: Is he gone?

[Jane and Elizabeth turn.]

ELIZABETH (sigh): Yes.

KITTY (sigh): Good.

ELIZABETH: Forever, with any luck.

[Kitty looks over and sees a woman coming down the road towards them.]

KITTY: Look, here’s Aunt Philips! She can tell us the news from Meryton.

ELIZABETH: I doubt there’s much to tell we’d care to hear.

JANE: Our mother will be pleased to see her.

MRS PHILIPS: Well, girls, here’s a to-do. Does your mother still keep to her bed?

JANE: She is not in bed, but she keeps to her room.


[Mrs Philips nods.]

MRS PHILIPS: Well, the less the servants hear, the better, I daresay. Come, let me to her, Jane. Though, heaven knows, I’ve no glad tidings for her.

[They head towards the house.]

[Mrs Philips and Mrs Bennet gossip.]

MRS PHILIPS: And not a day goes by but I hear some new bad tale of Mr Wickham.

MRS BENNET: Oh, Mr Wickham, that everybody praised to the skies; Mr Wickham, that half the town was mad in love with, all the time a villain.

[Mrs Philips nods.]
MRS BENNET: A very demon from hell, sent to ruin us.

MRS PHILIPS: I have heard he’s run up debts with every reputable tradesman in the town.

MRS BENNET (whisper): Oh, sister.

MRS PHILIPS: I have heard tales of gaming debts…

MRS BENNET: Oh, sister.

MRS PHILIPS: …of drunken routs…in which more things were broken beyond repair than heads and furniture, sister.

MRS BENNET: Oh, sister, stop.

MRS PHILIPS: Debauches, intrigues, seductions; they say there’s hardly a tradesman in the town whose daughters were not meddles with.

MRS BENNET: Oh! And now he’s meddling with our dearest girl. The foul fiend! Well, he shall be discovered and made to marry her.

MRS PHILIPS: I have to say, sister, that I always distrusted his appearance of goodness.

MRS BENNET: Aye, sister, do did I, and warned the girls.

MRS PHILIPS: Too smooth and plausible by half.

MRS BENNET: But would anybody listen to me?

[Mrs Philips shakes her head.]

MRS BENNET: And now we are all, all ruined. Oh, my poor girl. My poor, poor Lydia.

V. So Well Concealed

[Lydia sits at a window looking out and humming, while Wickham sits in a chair.]

LYDIA: When shall we travel into Hertfordshire, my love?

MR WICKHAM: Come away from the window, dear. When I’ve settled my business affairs. These things always take longer than one thinks they will.

[Wickham dips a quill in ink.]

MR WICKHAM: You’re not unhappy, surely?

LYDIA: Lord, no.

[Lydia stands.]

LYDIA: Just that I can’t wait to see my mother’s face. And my sisters. Kitty will be so envious. (giggle) How I shall laugh. I hope we shall be married from Longbourn. Then all my sisters will have to be my bridesmaids.

[Wickham gives Lydia a look before looking back to his paper.]

LYDIA: Oh, I do wish we could go out into the town…

[Lydia walks over to Wickham and fondles his hair.]

LYDIA: …and be seen at plays and assemblies.

MR WICKHAM: All in good time.

[Wickham pats Lydia’s hand.]

MR WICKHAM: Be patient, dear.

[Lydia giggles and Wickham pours himself a drink.]

LYDIA: Lord, it makes me want to burst out laughing when I think that I have done what none of my sisters has. And I the youngest of them all. (giggle)

[Jane runs up the stairs to her mother’s room.]

JANE: Mother! Here is a letter from my Uncle Gardiner! Father is coming home today.

[Mrs Bennet stands.]

MRS BENNET: And does he bring Lydia?


[Mrs Benent flops back into her chair.]


JANE: They have not yet discovered where she is. My uncle will continue his enquiries alone.

MRS BENNET: What? Coming home without poor Lydia? But who will fight Wickham and make him marry her if he comes away? Oh, Jane. Jane, what is to become of us? Oh! Oh, fetch my smelling salts. I feel my faintness coming upon me again.

[Jane picks up a tiny bottle and opens it.]


[Jane puts if under her mother’s nose. Mrs Bennet sniffs it and snaps her head back from the sharp smell.]


[Jane recovers the bottle and the mother continues crying.]

[Mr Bennet steps out of a coach in the rain and walks past Jane and Lizzy into the house.]

MR BENNET: Not now, Jane. Not now, Lizzy. [He reaches back and touches Elizabeth’s hand; he removes his hat and cloak and drops his walking stick before going into his study and closing the door; Elizabeth and Jane watch him silently and then look at each other.]

[In a dark, crowded street, Mr Darcy walks down until a serving girl beckons him.]

GIRL: Excuse me…

[Darcy says something to her and she points to some place down the street. Darcy drops some money into her palm and walks off in the direction she pointed. Darcy taps his walking stick on a door and a servant woman opens the door. Another woman standing there gasps at the sight of Mr Darcy, and the servant tries to close the door, but Darcy steps in the way and enters.]

MR DARCY: Mrs Younge…

[Jane and Elizabeth are holding books that they are not reading, while Mary and Kitty sew.]

JANE: Should I go and get father? He’s had nothing to eat since he came home.

ELIZABETH: Let me. Uh, you take mother her tea.

[Jane and Elizabeth stand just as the door opens and their father walks in with a grave face. He sits down in his chair and sighs. They all watch him.]

MR BENNET: Well, Jane. Elizabeth. Mary. Kitty.

[Elizabeth sits down with a sigh.]

ELIZABETH: You looks so tired, father. It must have been a dreadful time for you.

MR BENNET: Say nothing of that. Who should suffer but myself? It has been my own doing, and I ought to feel it.

JANE: Oh, Papa.

ELIZABETH: Oh, you must not be so severe upon yourself.

MR BENNET: No, Lizzy, let me, for once in my life, feel how much I have been to blame. I am not afraid of being overpowered by the impression. Hm. It will pass away soon enough.

ELIZABETH: Do you still suppose them to be in London, sir?

MR BENNET: Yes. Where else can they be so well concealed?

KITTY: And Lydia always wanted to go to London.

MR BENNET: She is happy, then. And her residence there will probably be of some duration.

[Mr Bennet leans forward to take Elizabeth’s hand.]

MR BENNET: Lizzy, I bear you no ill will for being justified in your advice to me in May, which, considering the event, shows some greatness of mind, I think.

[Mr Bennet leans back again.]

JANE: I must take Mamma her tea.

[Jane gets up and pours some tea.]

MR BENNET: She still keeps her state above stairs, does she? Ha, good. It lends such an elegance to our misfortune. Another time, I’ll do the same. I’ll sit in my library, in my nightcap and powdering gown, and I’ll give as much trouble as I can. Perhaps I may defer it till Kitty runs away.

KITTY: I’m not going to run away, Papa. If I should go to Brighton I would behave better than Lydia.

MR BENNET: You go to Brighton? I wouldn’t trust you as near it as Eastbourne. Not for ₤50. No, Kitty, I have at last learnt to be cautious, and you will feel the effects of it. (loud) No officer is ever again to enter my house again, or even to pass through the village. Balls will be absolutely prohibited, unless you stand up with one of your sisters.

[Kitty begins to cry.]

MR BENNET: And you are never to stir out of doors until you can prove you’ve spent ten minutes of every day in a rational manner.

[Mr Bennet goes over to Kitty and touches her on the shoulder.]

MR BENNET: Well, well, well, don’t make yourself unhappy, my dear. If you’re a good girl for the next ten years, I’ll take you to a revue at the end of them.

[Kitty begins to sob.]

[Mr Darcy has a piece of paper of an address and consults it while walking through some alleyways and looks up at a building; Lydia gets up from her bed, in a nightgown, and walks to the window; Wickham is sitting in a chair having a drink.]

LYDIA: Oh, dearest, shall we not go out tonight? Can we not go to the theatre?

[Wickham tilts his head back and sighs.]

LYDIA: Lord! What in the world is he doing here?

[Wickham turns to Lydia.]


LYDIA: Ha. What a joke.

MR WICKHAM: Who? Who is it?

LYDIA: You will never guess.

MR WICKHAM (irritated): Who is it?

LYDIA (indignantly): Mr Darcy.

VI. Express from Mr Gardiner

[A courier rides to Longbourn. Hill looks out the window and comes to take the note from him and pay him. The courier gets back on his horse as she goes inside, knocks on Mr Bennet’s study door.]

MR BENNET: Come in.

[Hill enters and gives Mr Bennet the letter.]

MR BENNET: Thank you, Hill.

[Hill curtsies and leaves.]

[Hill comes out the back with a basket to take down the drying laundry, but slows and puts it down. She approaches Elizabeth and Jane who are picking berries.]

JANE: Yes, Hill, what is it? Is Mrs Bennet asking for one of us?

Hill: Oh, no, Ma’am. I-I beg your pardon, but…did you know an express come for master for Mr Gardiner?

ELIZABETH: When did it come, Hill?

Hill: Oh, about half an hour ago, Ma’am.

[Elizabeth puts down her basket and the two take off running. They go across the grounds to under a tree where Mr Bennet is pacing. Elizabeth gets there first.]

MR BENNET: Well, Lizzy.

ELIZABETH (panting): Papa…What news? What news have you heard from my uncle?

MR BENNET: Yes, yes, I’ve had a letter from him.

[Mr Bennet pulls it out from his vest pocket.]

ELIZABETH: What d– news does it bring – good or bad?

MR BENNET: Heh, what is there of good to be expected?

[Mr Bennet hands Elizabeth the letter.]

MR BENNET: Perhaps you would like to read it yourself.

[ELizabeth and Jane sit down on a stone bench and huddle closely to read it together.]

MR BENNET: Read it aloud, Lizzy. I hardly know what to make of it myself.

ELIZABETH: “My dear brother, at last I am able to send tidings of my niece and Mr Wickham. (smiles) I have seen them both.”

JANE: It is as I always hoped! They are married!

[Elizabeth’s smile fades.]

ELIZABETH: “They are not married.”

[Jane’s smile fades.]

ELIZABETH: “Nor can I find there was any intention of being so, but if you are willing to perform the engagements I have ventured to make on your side, I hope it will not be long before they are.”

[They look at their father.]

ELIZABETH: Wha–what engagements?

MR BENNET: Read on.

ELIZABETH: “All that is required of you is to assure your daughter her equal share of ₤5,000 she will inherit on your death, and also allow her during you life…₤100 per annum.”

[Elizabeth looks at her father.]

ELIZABETH: So little? What about Wickham’s debts?

MR BENNET: Ahem, read on.

ELIZABETH: “You will easily comprehend Mr Wickham’s circumstances are not so hopeless as they are generally believed to be.”

[The girls smile at their father.]

JANE: There.

MR BENNET: Read on, Lizzy!

ELIZABETH: “I am happy to say there will be some little money, even when all his debts are discharged to settle on my niece.”

[Elizabeth finishes the sentence, surprised, and looks up at her father.]

ELIZABETH: I cannot believe it.

MR BENNET: Heh, read on.

ELIZABETH: “We have judged it best that my niece should be married from this house, of which I hope you will approve.”

JANE: Oh, poor Kitty will be disappointed not to be a bridesmaid.

ELIZABETH: “Send back your answer as soon as you can, and be sure to write explicitly as to the financial settlement. Yours, et cetera.”

[Elizabeth takes a breath, thinking about the letter.]

ELIZABETH: How can it be possible he will marry her for so little?

JANE: He must not be undeserving as we thought. He must truly be in love with her, I think.

MR BENNET: You think that, Jane, if it gives you comfort.

ELIZABETH: Have you answered the letter?

MR BENNET: No, but I must, and soon.

[Elizabeth stands up, thinking.]

ELIZABETH: And they must marry. Yet, he is such a man.

MR BENNET: Yes, yes, they must marry.

[Mr Bennet stands.]

MR BENNET: There is nothing else to be done. But there are two things I very much want to know. One is, how much money your uncle laid down to bring this about. And the other…how am I ever to repay him?

[Elizabeth wears a very nice nightgown and, and Jane also wears a nightgown drying her newly washed hair.]

ELIZABETH: I wish I had never spoken a word of this whole affair to Mr Darcy.

JANE: Dear Lizzy, please do not distress yourself. I’m sure that Mr Darcy will respect your confidence.

ELIZABETH: I’m sure he will. That is not what distresses me.

JANE: What then?

ELIZABETH: I don’t know. How he must be congratulating himself on his escape.

[Jane smiles.]

ELIZABETH: How he must despise me now.

JANE: But, Lizzy, you never sought his love, nor welcomed it when he offered it. If he has withdrawn his high opinion of you now, why should you care?

[Elizabeth lets out a frustrated sigh, shaking her head.]

ELIZABETH: I don’t know. I can’t explain it. I know I shall probably never see him again.

[Elizabeth shakes her head again.]

ELIZABETH: I cannot bear to think that he is alive in the world…and thinking ill of me.

[The scene ends with Darcy’s grave face.]


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