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PAGES __PRIDE AND PREJUDICE crit ees what she shinks is a tender scene, and turns auay copy, ‘ber hand shielding ber eyes, as if not 10 look.) “MS BENNET [gayly]. Congratulations to you both! [She taker [eLizaeTH sweeps ont UC, into tbe garden. MRS BENNET [moving quickly U C, looking after ber}. Lizzy! ‘Came back here at once. [She turns back 10 MR. COLLINS swith concern.] Depend on it, she shall be brought to reason. MR. COLLINS [at € stage, questioningly}. She seems verp— debiite, MAS. BENNET [angrily]. She is a very headstcong, foolish girl! ‘Mn, COLLINS [perking up at bis, and beginning to back down). ‘Headstrong? Foolish? (MRS, BENNET, She takes aftec hee father in that respect. But 1 will being the stubborn gil to reason. Mn. COLLINS [edging toward the door u x]. Stubboro, too? Pethaps—if she has such defects of temper, perhaps it would be better not to force her into accepting me. Mas. BENNET [realizing she Bas gone 100 far, moving after MR. ‘COLLINS, srying 10 bold bim back). You misunderstand re! [Linzy is only headstrong in such matters as these. In every- ‘thing else, she is as sweet-natured a girl as ever lived. MR. COLLINS [at the door u x]. Some other time, my dear Mrs. Bronet, [e. contins bows abruptly and hurries out UR. Mas. BEN- NET, with @ wail of dismay, burvies Ut, and pounds on the door) ms, BENNNET. Mr, Bennet! Mr, Benoet! [oe BENNET comes in UL] ex smoes [inp Wt som? eR, BENET [crossing UC and calling off}. Elizabeth! Come here drectiy! [He turns and moves to in front of the sete] ‘ns, DENNET. Tell ber that you insist upon her marrying him. [etizanenit comer in uC and crosses to © stage] ELIZABETH, Yes, Father? aan, peer, I understand Mr. Collins has made you an offer 12 unhappy alternative is day on, you must be a strangee to one of your patents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not macry Me, Colline—aed I will never see you again if you dof ons, BeNNEr whirls about and garps. MR. BENNET starts briskly toward tbe library UL. ELIZABETH smiles with re- Hef) CURTAIN Act Two—Scene Two AT RISE OF CURTAIN: The sane is the same. It is the ‘next afternoon. MRS. BENNET is seated on the setee, sewing. MARY is seated in the armchair att stage, reading.) mas, ewer [plimively, as the curtain rise. 1 tell you, ‘Mary, nobody takes my part. many [not looking up]. Yes, Mama. Mans, BENNeT, I am emelly used, Nobody feels for my poor nerves. many. Yes, Mama, [She adds hasily.] 1 mean, no, Mama. ns, BENNET [annoyed]. I thought you, a least, might under- ns. BENNET. Mr. Collins has been acting so strangely since he senumed from the Lady Lucas’ yesterday. I feat that Chalote das, BENNET [Henly]. She is twenty-seven, and must feel quite desperate. Dear me, if my own daughters do not appreciate sy efforts — [stizanera and Jans come in ua. JANE carries ber needle work,} ns. BENNET. Hee she comes now, looking as unconcerned 28 ‘one may be. JANE, Please, Mama, don't continue to plague Lizry. [sane sits dowm next fo MRS. BENNET and takes out ber needlework, LiZADETH stops at the desh 10 pick up a book:] crn PRIDE AND PREJUDICE TAGES: ‘uns, BENNET. I tell you, Miss Lizzy, if you take it into your head to go on refusing every offer of marriage in this way, you will never get a husband. ‘ELIZABETH, Do I seem worried? [She sits in the armebair RC ‘with ber book.] Mans, BENWET. [shall not be able to keep you when your father is dead. JANE, Don't you think you have talked about it enough? If father dies, Jan, Please, Mama! MRS, BENNET [Jo JANE]. At least, I can console myself that ‘you have found favor with Mr. Bingley. Do you think he ‘will declare himself soon? I have done everything I can to shutry him along, [ans lowers Ber bead: ‘Buizaperit, Now, you are embarrassing Jane. [rm comes in u x sith a note] iit [coming fo €]. A note has just beea delivered from Neth swt. For Miss Jane. JANE [rising and taking the note]. Thack you, Hill. [1m curtses and goes out U R. SANE stands at € stage, oper ing the note:] sums, BENET. Read it aloud, Jane. [yan reads the note silently. She seems stricken.) -as. BENNET, From Miss Bingley, I dare say. What elegant ‘Miss Bingley. If you will excuse JANE [glancing at the note again]. It seems to have been & ‘veryo=sudden decision. ‘uns, BENNET, Mr. Bingley said he makes up his mind io a ‘hurry—but—no! Jane, it can’t be true. uzaneret [boily, soving to C]. It's all Mr. Darcy's doing. 1 ‘warrant. Many. But why should he interfere? urzaneTH. If your nose wasn't always butied in a book, you'd realize how proud he is. He considers our Jane nat rich ot srand enoagh for Mr. Bingley. Mas, BENNET [ith a shudder], That odious Mr. Darcy! \JANE, Caroline says she hopes we may meet agin at some future time, and regrets that they could not call to bid me farewell, ‘muizapeTHs, Oh, does she? ‘ante (ber soice breaking). She hints there is an attachment ‘between Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy's young sister, murzanerx. I doa't believe it! No one who has seen you two together can doubt his affection for you. That, too, is Mr. Darcy's plao—to wed bis sister to Mr. Bingley. | ans, BENET [erossing DR, putting ber arm around JANE}. ‘My poor, dear Jane. Come to your room and I will put cold compresses on your forehead. Jane [breaking away], Please, Mama, I'd rather be alone. [Pith a sob, ance burvies out DRY “Many [following ber], Pechaps I can console her with some of, ‘my extracts, [wane goes ont D8] euzaperet [pacing 10 the fireplace}. Believe me, Mr. Darcy is at the back of this. ks, DENNET [coming fo C]. He wouldo't dare! ELIZABETH [moving 1a left of the settee]. He has, He and Miss Bingley between them. [Lvota and CATHERINE hurry in UR. LYDIA is jubilant, but ‘CATHERINE is on the verge of teers.) ‘caTuenive [‘earfully, following ber}. "The regiment has been ordered to Brighton! ‘EuzasiTH. At last ove may take a walk to Meryton without seambling over an officer. [She sits in the armchair at age] ‘caTHEnINE. How con you joke about it? [She flings berself down in the armcbsir %.¢ and baries ber bead in ber arms.) ns, BENNET [crossing 60 her and patting ber shoulder]. Poot litte Kitty! Well do I remember how I ctied for two days ‘when Colonel Mill's regiment went away. My heatt was broken. [She sighs.)