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DARCY: (cont'd) I came to Rosings with the single object of seeing you...I had to see you
DARCY: I've fought against my better judgement, my family's expectation. . .
DARCY: (cont'd) The inferiority of your birth. . .my rank and circumstance.. (stumblingly) all those things...but I'm willing to put them aside...and ask you to end my agony...
LIZZIE: I don't understand...
DARCY: (with passion) I love you. Most ardently.
Lizzie stares at him.
DARCY: (cont'd) Please do me the honour of accepting my hand.
A silence. Lizzie struggles with the most painful confusion of feeling. Finally she recovers.
LIZZIE: (voice shaking) Sir, I appreciate the struggle you have been through, and I am very sorry to have caused you pain. Believe me, it was unconsciously done.
A silence. Gathering her shawl, she gets to her feet.
DARCY: (stares) Is this your reply?
LIZZIE: Yes, sir.
DARCY: Are you laughing at me?
DARCY: Are you rejecting me?
LIZZIE: (pause) I'm sure that the feelings which, as you've told me, have hindered your regard, will help you in overcoming it.
A terrible silence, as this sinks in. Neither of them can move. At last, Darcy speaks. He is very pale.
DARCY: Might I ask why, with so little endeavour at civility, I am thus repulsed?
LIZZIE: (trembling with emotion) I might as well enquire why, with so evident a design of insulting me, you chose to tell me that you liked me against your better judgement. If I was uncivil, that was some excuse -
DARCY: Believe me, I didn't mean.
LIZZIE: But I have other reasons, you know I have!
DARCY: What reasons?
LIZZIE: Do you think that anything might tempt me to accept the man who has ruined, perhaps for ever, the happiness of a most beloved sister?
Silence. Darcy looks as if he's been struck across the face.
LIZZIE: (cont'd) Do you deny it, Mr Darcy? That you've separated a young couple who loved each other, exposing your friend to the censure of the world for caprice, and my sister to its derision for disappointed hopes, and involving them both in misery of the acutest kind?
DARCY: I do not deny it.
LIZZIE: (blurts out) How could you do it?
DARCY: Because I believed your sister indifferent to him.
DARCY: I watched them most carefully, and realized his attachment was much deeper than hers.
LIZZIE: That's because she's shy!
DARCY: Bingley too is modest, and was persuaded that she didn't feel strongly for him.
LIZZIE: Because you suggested it!
DARCY: I did it for his own good.
LIZZIE: My sister hardly shows her true feelings to me! (pause, takes a breath) I suppose you suspect that his fortune had same bearing on the matter?
DARCY: ( sharply) No! I wouldn't do your sister the dishonour. Though it was suggested (stops)
LIZZIE: What was?
DARCY: It was made perfectly clear that...an advantageous marriage... (stops)
LIZZIE: Did my sister give that impression?
An awkward pause.
DARCY: (cont'd) There was, however, I have to admit... the matter of your family.
LIZZIE: Our want of connection? Mr Bingley didn't vex himself about that!
DARCY: No, it was more than that.
LIZZIE: How, sir?
DARCY: (pause, very uncomfortable) It pains me to say this, but it was the lack of propriety shown by your mother, your three younger sisters even, on occasion, your father. Forgive me.
Lizzie blushes. He has hit home. Darcy paces up and down.
DARCY: (cont'd) You and your sister I must exclude from this...
Darcy stops. He is in turmoil. Lizzie glares at him, ablaze.