Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Quote: My Favorite Scene from Pride & Prejudice

"I am not to be intimidated . . ."

I finished Pride & Prejudice! Today I'm sharing a portion of my favorite scene.

The illustrious Lady Catherine De Bourgh has made a special trip to Longbourn to confront Elizabeth. A rumor has reached Lady Catherine that her nephew, Darcy, and Elizabeth are engaged. She is furious! She asserts that Darcy was intended from birth to marry her daughter, Anne. 

This scene comes as a surprise. Lady Catherine is the last visitor anyone would expect at Longbourn. She is out of her element and quite sour about it. What proceeds is an epic battle between two women. It's loaded with contrast, it's amusing, and, as we later discover, it propels the plot to a happy conclusion!

The following is just a slice -- I resisted the urge to post the whole chapter:
"You are a gentleman's daughter. But who was your mother? Who are your aunts and uncles? Do not imagine me ignorant of their condition."
"Whatever my connections may be," said Elizabeth, "if your nephew does not object to them, they can be nothing to you."
"Tell me once and for all, are you engaged to him?"
Though Elizabeth would not, for the mere purpose of obliging Lady Catherine, have answered this question, she could not but say, after a moment's deliberation, "I am not."
Lady Catherine seemed pleased.
"And will you promise me never to enter into such an engagement?"
"I will make no promise of the kind."
"Miss Bennet, I am shocked and astonished. I expected to find a more reasonable young woman. But do not deceived yourself into a belief that I will ever recede. I will not go away until you give me the assurance I require."
"And I certainly never shall give it. I am not to be intimidated into anything so wholly unreasonable."
 Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice (ch. 56)

What is your favorite scene from Pride & Prejudice?


  1. This is also my favorite scene. Just a dandy!

    1. Really?! :)
      I thought it was hilarious AND significant.

    2. This is my favorite too. I just read it last night. I love the banter on both sides

  2. This is my FAVORITE! It makes me smile. :) Have a blessed weekend.

    1. Glad you liked it too! A blessed weekend to you and yours as well! :)

  3. I loved that scene, too!! But I think my very favorite is soon afterwards, in chapter 58, when Darcy returns to Longbourn, and Elizabeth reveals how her feelings have changed.
    Love, love, love it!! : )

    1. Oh! Yes! [long sigh] A wonderful conclusion! It's nice to occasionally read a classic book with a happy, tidy ending, isn't it? A genuine treat! :)

  4. I mentioned a couple of my favorites in a comment to yoru earlier post, but here'a another: When Caroline invites Lizzie to take a turn about the room while darcy looks on:

    He was directly invited to join their party, but he declined it, observing that he could imagine but two motives for their chusing to walk up and down the room together, with either of which motives his joining them would interfere. What could he mean?


    "I have not the smallest objection to explaining them," said he, as soon as she allowed him to speak. "You either chuse this method of passing the evening because you are in each other's confidence, and have secret affairs to discuss, or because you are conscious that your figures appear to the greatest advantage in walking; -- if the first, I should be completely in your way, and if the second, I can admire you much better as I sit by the fire."

    Yep, tease the young women and then sit back and enjoy the view. Who says Darcy's a stick in the mud?

    1. Oh!Shocking!


      Thanks, Tim, for asking the question that got me thinking about my favorite scene.

      Here's your comment from before:

      "Lady C's diatribe was good. For me, I always crack up when Mr. C is proposing to Lizzie. That and when Mr. Bennet is yanking the guy's chain at the dinner table.

      In a different vein, I also love the scene at the Inn where Lizzie has just received Jane's letter and Darcy walks in. He handles it all so well. I don't know why people would ever doubt that he was already trying to figure out a way to take care of things for her. It's all over the page!"

  5. One of the scenes I like best is when Darcy, Georgiana, and Bingley visit Elizabeth at the inn, because it brings together so many feelings! Darcy is clearly trying to make the best possible impression on Elizabeth and show her that he IS a gentleman; Bingley is enjoying his reunion with Elizabeth and trying to find out how Jane is doing; Elizabeth and Georgiana are sizing one another up favourably; and Elizabeth is trying to cope with her own rush of emotions. The novel doesn't actually give us a great deal to go on in terms of dialogue (the BBC movie fleshes it out so nicely!) but I like this part:

    "Elizabeth, on her side, had much to do. She wanted to ascertain the feelings of each of her visitors, she wanted to compose her own, and to make herself agreeable to all; and in the latter object, where she feared most to fail, she was most sure of success, for those to whom she endeavoured to give pleasure were prepossessed in her favour. Bingley was ready, Georgiana was eager, and Darcy determined, to be pleased."

    This meeting gives us as readers a hint that everything might just work out after all.

    1. You are right! There is a lot going on under the surface in this scene. And yes, now that you mention it, I can even see a bit of joyful foreshadowing! As I mentioned to Sandy above -- I really enjoyed the happy ending. There hasn't been many of those so far on the WEM list!


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