Wednesday, 30 June 2010
On Tenterhooks in -Shire
Posted by M.H. Forsyth
"Oh! She is the most beautiful creature I ever beheld! But there is one of her sisters sitting down just behind you, who is very pretty, and I dare say very agreeable. Do let me ask my partner to introduce you."
"Which do you mean?" and turning round he looked for a moment at Elizabeth, till catching her eye, he withdrew his own and coldly said: "She is tolerable, but not handsome enough to tempt me; I am in no humour at present to give consequence to young ladies who are slighted by other men. You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me."
Mr. Bingley followed his advice. Mr. Darcy walked off; and Elizabeth remained with no very cordial feelings toward him.
Even more incidentally, Pride and Prejudice was originally called First Impressions, and it was under that title that it was rejected for publication (publishers were as brilliant then as they are now).
In America the novel was first published as Elizabeth Bennet with P&P demoted to the position of subtitle.
Even more and more incidentally (and I promise I'll stop in after this) Pride and Prejudice is the origin of the phrase "my humble abode", which is how Mr Collins always describes his house.