Pride and Prejudice 2005 Adaptation Movie Script

Pride and Prejudice
Screenplay by Deborah Moggach

Shooting script 28th June 2004


FADE UP ON: A YOUNG WOMAN, as she walks through a field of tall, meadow grass. She is reading a novel entitled 'First Impressions'.

This is LIZZIE BENNET, 20, good humoured, attractive, and nobody's fool. She approaches Longbourn, a fairly run down 17th Century house with a small moat around it. Lizzie jumps up onto a wall and crosses the moat by walking a wooden plank duck board, a reckless trick learnt in early childhood. She walks passed the back of the house where, through an open window to the library, we see her mother and father, MR and MRS BENNET.

MRS BENNET: My dear Mr Bennet, have you heard that Netherfield Park is let at last?

We follow Lizzie into the house, but still overhear her parents' conversation.

MRS BENNET: (cont'd) Do you not want to know who has taken it? MR BENNET: As you wish to tell me, I doubt I have any choice in the matter.


As Lizzie walks through the hallway, we hear the sound of piano scales plodding through the afternoon. She walks down the entrance hall past the room where MARY (18) the bluestocking of the family, is practising, and finds KITTY (16) and LYDIA (15) are listening at the door to the library. Lizzie pokes Lydia.

LIZZIE: Liddy! Kitty - what have I told you about listening at - LYDIA: Never mind that, there's a Mr Bingley arrived from the North
KITTY: - with more than one chaise
LYDIA: - and five thousand a year!
LIZZIE: Really?
LYDIA: And he's single!

JANE, the eldest and very beautiful if rather naive sister, materializes at Lizzie's elbow.

JANE: Who's single?
LIZZIE: A Mr Bingley, apparently.
KITTY: Shhhh!

She clamps her ear to the door.

LIZZIE: Oh, really Kitty.

Lydia leans in, whilst Jane and Lizzie strain to hear without appearing t_.


Mr Bennet is trying to ignore Mrs Bennet.

MRS BENNET: What a fine thing for our girls!
MR BENNET: How can it affect them?
MRS BENNET: My dear Mr Bennet, how can you be so tiresome! You know that he must marry one of them.
MR BENNET: Oh, so that is his design in settling here?

Mr Bennet takes a plant he's been looking at from his table and walks out of the library into the corridor, where the girls are gathered, Mrs Bennet following.

MR BENNET (cont'd) Good heavens. People.


He walks through the girls to the drawing room pursued by Mrs Bennet.

MRS BENNET: - So you must go and visit him at once.


Mr Bennet walks to a table and places the plant in the light. Mary is still practising the piano. The girls flock behind him.

LYDIA: Are you listening? You never listen.

KITTY: You must, Papa!
MRS BENNET: At once!
MR BENNET: There is no need, for I already have.

The piano stops. A frozen silence. They all stare.

MRS BENNET: You have?
JANE: When?
MRS BENNET: How can you tease me, Mr Bennet? Have you no compassion for my poor nerves?
MR BENNET: You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for them; they have been my constant companions these twenty years.
MRS BENNET Is he amiable?
MARY: Who?
KITTY Is he handsome?
MARY: Who?
LYDIA: He's sure to be handsome.
LIZZIE: ( ironically) With five thousand a year, would not matter if he had warts and a leer.
MR BENNET: I will give my hearty consent to his marrying whichever of the girls he chooses. Warts and all.
MARY: Who's got warts?
LYDIA: So will he come to the ball tomorrow?
MR BENNET: I believe so.

Lydia and Kitty shriek with excitement and jump up and down.

KITTY: (to Jane) I have to have your spotted muslin, Jane!
LYDIA: No, I need it! It makes Kitty look like a pudding.
KITTY: - Oh please Jane, I'll lend you my green slippers.

They both look' onto Jane and pull at her arms. Mr Bennet winks at Lizzie.


A wide shot of the house as we continue to hear the girls argue over what they will wear.


The local subscription dance is in full swing, (Dance 1) . It's a rough-and-ready, though enthusiastic affair: yeoman farmers, small-time squires with their ruddy-cheeked daughters.

Lydia and Kitty are dancing.

LYDIA: I can't breathe. How am I going to dance all night if I can't breathe?
KITTY: My toes hurt already.

Lizzie and Jane are a little apart from their family. Jane looks breathtaking.

LIZZIE: Well, if every man in this room does not end the evening in love with you then I am no judge of beauty.
JANE: Or men.
LIZZIE: Oh, they are far too easy to judge.
JANE: They are not all bad.
LIZZIE: Humourless poppycocks, in my limited experience.
JANE: One of these days, Lizzie, someone will catch your eye and then you'll have to watch your tongue.

She stops speaking and stares. A dazzling group enters the room: George Bingley (25) a good hearted soul but prone to bumbling embarrassment when his enthusiasms get the better of him, his sister Caroline (23) a victim of every latest fashion, counting herself superior to most company she encounters, and finally, Mr Fitzwilliam Darcy (27) dashing, brooding with an introversion which could be misconstrued as hauteur. They are dressed in the highest modes.

The music and dancing stops as the local people turn and stare. The newcomers - creatures from another world - make quite a stir. Darcy surveys the hall. He catches lizzie's eye. She stares, with a kind of surprised shock. Caroline Bingley turns to Darcy.

CAROLINE: Oh dear, we are a long way from Grosvenor Square, are we not, Mr Darcy?

He does indeed look superior to the assembled company.

SIR WILLIAM LUCAS (53) a hale but unsophisticated member of the self-made gentry, hurries to greet the new arrivals. He leads them down the center of the dance floor towards the best seats in the room, stopping occasionally to introduce them to various parties.

Lizzie's great friend Charlotte Lucas, Sir william's daughter - an intelligent, sensible woman in her late twenties, comes to Lizzie's side.

LIZZIE: So which of the painted peacocks is our Mr Bingley?
CHARLOTTE: He is on the right, and on the left is his sister.
LIZZIE: And the person with the quizzical brow?
CHARLOTTE: That is his good friend, 'Mr Darcy.
LIZZIE: He looks miserabIe, poor soul.
CHARLOTTE: MiserabIe he may be, but poor he most certainly is not.
LIZZIE: TeIl me.
CHARLOTTE: Ten thousand a year and he owns half of Derbyshire.
LIZZIE The miserable half?

They share a complicit giggle.

Sir William Lucas arrives with Darcy and the Bingley's to introduce his daughter Charlotte and the Bennet family. Behind them the music and dancing re-start where they left off.

SIR WILLIAM: (to Mr Bingley) My eldest daughter you know, Mrs Bennet, Miss Jane Bennet, Elizabeth and Miss Mary Bennet.

MRS BENNET: It is a pleasure. I have two others but they are already dancing.

Mr Bingley is transfixed by Jane and gazes openly at her.

MR BINGLEY: Delighted to make your acquaintance.
SIR WILLIAM: And may I introduce Mr Darcy. (Significant look) - of Pemberley, in Derbyshire!

A stiff bow from Darcy, Lizzie smiles, Darcy does not.


Moments later. Lizzie is standing in a small group with Jane, Bingley, Miss Bingley and Darcy.

JANE: How do you like it here in Hertfordshire, Mr Bingley?
MR BINGLEY: (smiling at Jane shyly) Very much.
LIZZIE: The library at Netherfield, I've heard, is one of the finest in the country.
MR BINGLEY: Yes, it fills me with guilt.

He looks at Jane and a little blush starts around his collar.

BINGLEY: Not a good reader, you see. I prefer being out of doors. I mean, I can read, of course and, and I'm not suggesting you can't read outdoors - of course JANE: I wish I read more, but there always seems so many other things to do.
BINGLEY: That's exactly what I meant.

He beams at Jane, gratefully. The first dance ends. Lydia and Kitty rush past in a state of high excitement.

LYDIA: Mama! You will never ever ever ever believe what I'm about to tell you! MR BENNET: You've decided to take the veil?

Lydia ignores him.

MRS BENNET: Tell me quickly, my love
LYDIA: ( shrieking) The regiment are coming!

Mrs Bennet shrieks too. Mr Bennet winces.

KITTY: They're to be stationed the whole winter! Stationed in the village, just right there!

Now all three Bennet females shriek and Lydia actually jumps up and down.

LYDIA: Officers! Officers as far as the eye can see!
KITTY: How will we meet them?
LYDIA: It's easy. You just walk up and down in front of them and drop something.

Lydia pantomimes the actions for Kitty.

LYDIA (cont' d) They pick it up. You say 'Oh thank you sir' and blush prettily and then you're introduced!

Couples begin to form for the next dance. Mr Bingley turns to Jane.

MR BINGLEY: May I have the honour?

They leave to dance (Dance 2). Lizzie addresses Darcy as much to distract him from her family as for any other reason.

LIZZIE: Do you dance Mr Darcy?
DARCY: Not if I can help it.

Lizzie, Darcy and Miss Bingley stand in uncompanionable silence.

On the dance floor Mr Bingley is dancing with Jane. Ris ears are bright pink. Mrs Bennet, with a group of other mothers, watches the young couple with rather too obvious a satisfaction.

MRS BENNET: That dress becomes her does it not. Though of course my Jane needs little help from couturiers.

Lizzie wanders through the throng. She looks at Bingley and Jane dancing - Jane is calm and demure, Bingley clearly smitten


Later. Darcy is joined by an exhilarated Bingley.

MR BINGLEY: Upon my word I've never seen so many pretty girls in my life.
DARCY: You are dancing with the only handsome girl in the room.
BINGLEY: Oh, she is the most beautiful creature I ever beheld, but her sister Lizzie is very agreeable.

They have stopped at the edge of the dance floor but have not seen Lizzie and Charlotter who are hiding behind a pillar. Lizzie starts to smile.

DARCY: Perfectly tolerable, I dare say, but not handsome enough to tempt me.

Lizzie stops smiling.

DARCY: (cont' d) You had better return to your partner and enjoy her smiles, for you are wasting your time with me.

Bingley goes off.

CUT TO: Lizzie and Charlotte.

CHARLOTTE: Count your blessings, Lizzie. If he liked you, you'd have to talk to him.
LIZZIE: Precisely. As it is, I would not dance with him for all of Derbyshire, let alone the miserable half.

Charlotte smiles at her friend, but sees nonetheless that she is stung.


Later, (Dance 3). Bingley politely dancing with Charlotte. As he does so, he catches sight of Jane dancing with somebody else. A look of pure longing, but he cannot dance every dance wit4 her. Lizzie too is dancing and clocks this.

Lydia and Kitty are exuberantly dancing too, laughing and chatting. Darcy stands watching, a look of infinitely superior boredom on his fine features. .


Bingley is standing with Jane, Lizzie, Mrs Bennet and Da_cy. (Dance 4) .

BINGLEY: (to Lizzie) Your friend Miss Lucas is a most amusing young woman.
LIZZIE: Yes! I adore her.
MRS BENNET: It is a pity she is not more handsome.
MRS BENNET: But Lizzie will never admit she is plain. (to Bingley) Of course it is my Jane Who is considered the beauty of the county.
JANE: Oh! Mama, please!
MRS BENNET: When she was only fifteen there was a gentleman so much in love with her that I was sure he would make her an offer. However, he did write her some very pretty verses.
LIZZIE: (impatiently) And that put paid to it. I wonder who first discovered the power of poetry in driving away love?
DARCY: I thought that poetry was the food of love.
LIZZIE: Of a fine, stout love it may. But if it is only a vague inclination, I am convinced that one poor sonnet will kill it stone dead.

Darcy looks at Lizzie with a glimmering of interest.

DARCY: So what do you recommend, to encourage affection?

Lizzie turns and looks at Darcy square on.

LIZZIE: Dancing. Even if ones partner is barely tolerable.

She gives him a dazzling smile. Darcy looks startled. He has no idea she heard him. Now it is histurn to blush.

End on a wide shot of the assembly rooms and the dance continuing.


Lizzie and Jane are both in the same bed under the covers. They are too excited to sleep. Jane puts on an extra pair of socks to keep herself warm.

JANE: Mr Bingley is just what a young man ought to be: Sensible, good humoured LIZZIE: (completing the list) Handsome, conveniently rich
JANE: You know perfectly weIl I do not believe marriage should be driven by thoughts of money.
LIZZIE: I agree entirely, only the deepest love will persuade me into matrimony, which is why I will end up an old maid.
JANE: Do you really believe he liked me, Lizzie?
LIZZIE: Jane, he danced with you most of the night and stared at you for the rest of it. But I give you leave to like him. You've liked many a stupider person.
JANE: Lizzie!
LIZZIE: You're a great deal too apt to like people in general, you know. All the world is good and agreeable in your eyes.
JANE: Not his friend. I still cannot believe what he said about you.
LIZZIE: Mr Darcy? I could more easily forgive his vanity had he not wounded mine. But no matter. I doubt we shall ever speak again.

We move away from the bed and out through the window to take in the starry night sky.


Mrs Bennet presides over breakfast with an endless description of the ball. Mary is doing some needle work, whilst Lydia, Kitty and Jane blearily eat.

MRS BENNET: ...and then he danced the third with Miss Lucas. Poor thing, it is a shame she is not more handsome. There's a spinster in the making and no mistake. The fourth with a Miss King of little standing. And the fifth again with Jane.
MR BENNET: If he'd had any compassion for me he would have sprained his ankle in the first set.
MRS BENNET: Oh, Mr Bennet! The way you carry on, anybody would think the girls looked forward to a grand inheritance.

Lizzie rolls her eyes at Mr Bennet, they've heard this speech many times before.

MR BENNET: Kitty, be so kind as to pass the butter.
MRS BENNET: As you well know, Mr Bennet, when/ you die, which may in fact be very soon
MR BENNET: As soon as I can manage it.
MRS BENNET: - our girls will be left without a roof over their head nor a penny to their name. LIZZIE: Oh Mother, please! It's ten in the morning.

Betsy, the maid, enters the room and interrupts Mrs Bennet's babbling.

BETSY: A letter addressed to Miss Bennet, Ma'am. From Netherfield Hall.
MRS BENNET: Praise the Lord! We are saved.

Mrs Hill gives the letter to Jane.

MRS BENNET (cont'd) Make haste, Jane, make haste. 0 happy day!

Mrs Bennet takes Jane's toast from her hand and whips her napkin off.

JANE: It is from Caroline.

Mrs Bennet is stopped in her tracks.

JANE: (cont'd) She has invited me to dine with her. (pause) Her brother will be dining out.

MRS BENNET Dining out?
JANE: Can I take the carriage?
MRS BENNET: Out where? Let me see that.

She tweaks the letter from Jane's grasp.

JANE: It is too far too walk.
MRS BENNET: Unaccountable of him. Dining out, indeed.
LIZZIE: Mama! The carriage? For Jane? MRS BENNET Certainly not. She'll go on horseback.
LIZZIE/JANE Horseback?


Jane rides through the countryside. A distant rumble of thunder. She looks up...



A louder rumble of thunder. Betsy hastily pulls clothes from a line, it's bucketing down heavily now. Lizzie runs through the garden. She pulls a towel from the washing line as she passes.


Mr and Mrs Bennet look out at the pouring rain. Lizzie rushes in with the towel and begins drying her hair with it. Through in the kitchen we can see Mr and Mrs Hill

MRS BENNET: Excellent. Now she will have to stay the night. Exactly as I predicted.
MR BENNET: Good grief, woman. Your matchmaking skills are becoming positively occult.
LIZZIE: Though I don't think, Mama, you can reasonably take credit for making it rain. Let's hope she doesn't catch her death.


A footman opens the great doors to find Jane standing there soaked. She sneezes.


Lizzie reads a letter. Kitty and Lydia are also present.

LIZZIE: "And my kind friends will not hear of me returning home until I am better - but do not be alarmed excepting a sore throat, a fever, and a headache there is nothing wrong with me." I hope you're satisfied, Mother.
MR BENNET: Well, my dear, if your daughter does die it will be a comfort to know it was all in pursuit of Mr Bingley.
MRS BENNET: People do not die of colds.
LIZZIE: Though she might well perish with the shame of having such a mother.

Mr Bennet laughs, but Lizzie is genuinely angry.

LIZZIE: (cont'd) I am going to Netherfield at once.

She stomps out.


Lizzie strides _cross vast muddy fields, slipping as she goes. Netherfield is in view on the horizon. She s_ops to take it in, then carries on down an even more muddy track.


In the large grand dining room Caroline and Darcy are eating breakfast. It's very formal, in fact frigid, compared to the volatile Bennet household. Darcy is reading the newspaper, Caroline is reading a letter.

CAROLINE: (puts down the letter) Apparently, -Lady Bathurst is redecorating her ballroom in the French style. A little unpatriotic, don't you think?

Mr Darcy is about to answer when the door opens. A footman appears, his face rigid with disapproval.

FOOTMAN: Miss Lizzie Bennet.

Lizzie comes in, her face flushed, her skirt covered in mud. She looks ravishing. Darcy stares at her, then guickly rises to his feet. Caroline Bingley, astonished, looks her up and down.

CAROLINE: Good Lord, Miss Bennet. Have you walked here?
LIZZIE: I have. I'm so sorry. How is my sister?
DARCY: (more kindly) She�s upstairs. (to footman) Show Miss Bennet the way, Alfred.

Lizzie leaves. A beat.

CAROLINE: Goodness, did you see her petticoat? Six inches deep in mud!

No response.

CAROLINE (cont'd) And her hair, so blowsy and untidy!
DARCY: I think her concern for her sister does her credit.

A little pause, Caroline recovers.

CAROLINE: Oh yes, it's shocking to have a bad cold. I dislike excessively being ill myself.


Lizzie races up the stairs to meet Bingley half way. His face lights up when he sees her.

BINGLEY: Miss Lizzie! Oh I'm so glad to see you
LIZZIE: How is she?
BINGLEY: She has a violent cold, but we shall get the better of it. I will have a bed made up for you. You must be our guest here until Jane recovers.


Lizzie goes into the bedroom where Jane lies in bed, feverish and ill. The blinds are drawn.


Jane's face lights up. Lizzie kisses her.

JANE: Lizzie! Oh, your face is so cold. They're being so kind to me, I feel such a terrible imposition.
LIZZIE: Don't worry. I don't know who is more pleased at your being here, Mama or Mr Bingley.

Bingley enters.

LIZZIE (cont'd) Thank you, for tending to my sister so diligently, it seems she is in better comfort here than she would be at home.
BINGLEY: It is a pleasure - I mean - not a pleasure that she's ill, of course not, but a pleasure that she's here - being ill.


Caroline berates her brother.

CAROLINE: Stay!? She is a perfectly sweet girl but save being an excellent walker, there is very little to recommend her as a house-guest.
BINGLEY: I thought she showed remarkable spirit coming all this way.
CAROLINE: The eldest Miss Bennet, as you know, I hold in excessive regard but as for the rest of them

She walks down two steps and then turns back.

CAROLINE: (cont'd) You do realise their uncle is in trade? In Cheapside?
BINGLEY: (irritably) If they had uncles enough to fill all Cheapside it would not make them one jot less agreeable, Caroline.


Mr Bennet is admiring a huge boar which has been delivered to cover his sows. Mr Hill, the manservant stands with him. Mrs Bennet bustles up looking smug.

MRS BENNET: It's all going according to plan. He's head-over-heels already, now all he needs is a little encouragement.

MR BENNET: Who's that, my blossom?
MRS BENNET: Oh don't torment me, Mr Bennet. I mean Mr Bingley, as you well know, and he doesn't mind a bit that she hasn't a penny for he has enough for the two of them.

Kitty and Lydia rush past as the distant sounds of drums and trumpet mingle with the snipping of Giles's shears.

MRS BENNET (cont'd) Wait for me!

Mr Bennet gazes at their departing figures, sucking his teeth with relief. He turns back to the boar.

27 EXT. MERYTON VILLAGE - DAY. _ Mrs Bennet and her two daughters rush down the street into the village. Dogs bark, children run alongside as a regiment of soldiers march through the street. Geese scatter, shopkeepers stand in their doorways. The two Bennet girls simper at the hands of the young soldiers. Mrs Bennet, flushed and excited, runs panting behind them. Lydia deliberately drops her handkerchief. One of the soldiers stands on it. She is appalled.


Lizzie is reading a book. Darcy is writing a letter. Bingley is sat nervously. Caroline, obviously bored, wanders the room looking for distraction. She looks over Darcy's shoulder.

CAROLINE: You write uncommonly fast, Mr Darcy.
DARCY: (without looking up) You are mistaken. I write rather slowly.

Caroline lingers, annoyingly.

CAROLINE: How many letters you must have occasion to write, Mr Darcy. Letters of business too. How odious I should think them!
DARCY: It is fortunate, then, that they fall to my lot instead of yours.
CAROLINE: Please tell your sister that I long to see her.
DARCY: I have already told her once, by your desire.

Lizzie looks across from her book.

CAROLINE: I do dote on her, I was quite in raptures at her beautiful little design for a table.
DARCY: Perhaps you will give me leave to defer your raptures till I write again. At present I have not enough room to do them justice.

Mr Bingley now pacing anxiously around the room.

BINGLEY: It's amazing, how young ladies have the patience to be so accomplished.
CAROLINE: What do you mean, Charles?
BINGLEY: They all paint tables, and embroider cushions and play the piano. I never heard of a young lady, but people say she is accomplished.
DARCY: The word is indeed applied too liberally. I cannot boast of knowing more than half a dozen women, in all my acquaintance, that are truly accomplished.
CAROLINE: Nor I, to be sure!
LIZZIE: Goodness! You must comprehend a great deal in the idea.
DARCY: I do.
CAROLINE: Absolutely. She must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing and the modern languages, to deserve the word. And something in her air and manner of walking.
DARCY: And of course she must improve her mind by extensive reading.

Lizzie closes her book.

LIZZIE: I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished w6men. I rather wonder now at your knowing any.
DARCY: Are you so severe on your own sex?
LIZZIE: I never saw such a woman. She would certainly be a fearsome thing to behold.

Pause. Darcy goes back to his letter. Caroline picks up a book. Pauses. Puts it down. She walks over to Lizzie.

CAROLINE: Miss Bennet, let us take a turn about the room.

Lizzie, surprised, gets up. Caroline links her arm and they start walking up and down.

CAROLINE: (cont'd) It's refreshing, is it not, after sitting so long in one attitude?
LIZZIE: And it's a small kind of accomplishment, I suppose.

Darcy meets Lizzie's eye, briefly. He doesn't know how to cope with the idea that she's laughing at him. Caroline turns to Darcy.

CAROLINE: Mr Darcy, will you join us?
DARCY: (shakes his head) You can only have two motives, Caroline, and I would interfere with either.
CAROLINE: (to Lizzie, archly) What can he mean?
LIZZIE: Our surest way of disappointing him will be to ask nothing about it. CAROLINE: (to Darcy) Please tell us!
DARCY: Either you are in each other's confidence and have secret affairs to discuss, or you are conscious that your figures appear to the greatest advantage by walking. If the first, I should get in your way. If the second, I can admire you much better from here.
CAROLINE: Oh, shocking! How shall we punish him for such a speech?
LIZZIE: We could always laugh at him.
CAROLINE: Oh no, Mr Darcy is not to be teased! LIZZIE: Are you too proud, Mr Darcy? And would you consider pride a fault or a virtue?
DARCY: That I couldn't say.
LIZZIE: Because we're doing our best to find a fault in you.
DARCY: Maybe, it's that I find it hard to forgive the follies and vices of others, or their offences against myself. My good opinion, once lost, is lost forever.
LIZZIE: Oh dear, I cannot tease you about that. What a shame, for I dearly love to laugh. CAROLINE: (small smile) A family trait I think.

Lizzie smiles, sweetly. Caroline glances at Darcy, expecting to have triumphed, but he's just looking put-out.

29 INT. JANE'S BEDROOM - NETHERFIELD - MORNING. Jane is asleep in bed. Lizzie is awake in a small cot bed next to Jane. She gets up.

30 EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - MORNING. Darcy gallops through the countrysidel still looking putout.


Lizzie stands on the edge of the formal garden looking out onto to the rustic parkland. Suddenly Darcy emerges over the crest of a hilI and gallops towards the house. He pulls the horse to a halt as he sees Lizzie. With his wet hair flattened against his head and his face soaked in sweat he looks for a second like a mysterious and beautiful boy. They lock eyes for a brief moment before Lizzie turns in a shiver and walks away.


Lizzie enters the room and goes to Jane's bed. Jane is waking up.

LIZZIE: Jane, do you think you might feel weIl enough to leave today?


The doors open. The Footman as before:

FOOTMAN: A Mrs Bennet, a Miss Bennet, a Miss Bennet and a Miss Bennet, sir.

CAROLINE: Are we to receive every Bennet in the country?

Mrs Bennet, Lydia, Mary and Kitty are introduced to Caroline, Bingley and Darcy. Lizzie holds her breath as her mother launches into familiar form.

MRS BENNET: What an excellent room you have sir. Such expensive furnishings. I hope you intend to stay here, Mr Bingley.
BINGLEY: Absolutely I find the country very diverting. Don't you agree, Darcy?
DARCY: I find it perfectly adequate even if society is a little less varied than in town.
MRS BENNET: Less varied? Not at all! We dine with four and twenty families of all shapes and sizes. Sir William Lucas for instance is a very agreeable man. A good deal less self-important than some people of half his rank.

Lizzie cringes.

LYDIA: Mr Bingley, is it true that you have promised to hold a ball here at Netherfield?
BINGLEY: A ball?
LYDIA: It would be an excellent way to meet new friends. You could invite the militia. They are excellent company.
KITTY: Oh do hold a ball.
LIZZIE: (trying to stop Bingley being bamboozled) Kitty�
BINGLEY: When your sister has recovered you shall name the day.
MARY: I think a Ball is a perfectly irrational way to gain new acquaintance. It would be better if conversation instead of dancing were the order of the day.
CAROLINE: Indeed much more rational but rather less like a ball.
LIZZIE: Thank you, Mary.
BINGLEY: (to Mrs Bennet) Please let me show you to Jane, you will find her quite recovered.


The Bennet's carriage awaits. The Bingleys are gathered to see the Bennets off. Jane is radiant - in the peak of the health that only love brings.

JANE: (to the Bingleys) I don't know how to thank you.

Bingley beams bashfully.

BINGLEY: You're welcome anytime you feel the least bit poorly. I mean - you're welcome at any time, but not any less welcome if you know you're -

He hands her into the carriage, still babbling. Jane remains demure.

LIZZIE: (to Caroline) Thank you, for such stimulating company. It has been most instructive.
CAROLINE: Not at all. The pleasure is all mine.

Lizzie looks at Darcy, who bows wordlessly.

LIZZIE: Mr Darcy.
DARCY Miss Bennet.

Maintaining his glacial exterior, Darcy moves forward and, before Bingley can do so, hands Lizzie into her carriage.

She gives him a surprised glance as their hands meet and then, unaccountably, blushes. Bingley starts to wave violently as the carriage draws off. Darcy turns without a second glance. Caroline watches him narrowly.

BINGLEY: Goodbye. Goodbye.


The family are all squeezed in rather too tightly.

MRS BENNET: What a high and mighty man that Mr Darcy is, quite eaten up with pride.

Lizzie is still confused by the touch of his hand and frowns to herself.


The Bennet's carriage is stopped in its tracks by a company of the Militia who are crossing in front of them.


A few of the soldiers look in at the Bennet girls with some interest. Leading them is WICKHAM, a very handsome blonde officer. Lydia spots him and swoons.

LYDIA: I can't believe it! They're close enough to touch! KITTY: I think one of them just winked at me_ LYDIA: Oh! See! The blonde! Oh, be still my beating heart!

LIZZIE: (to the coachman) Thomas, can't you drive around them?

To loud protest from Lydia and Kitty the carriage veers off.


As the Bennet girls come into the house, Lydia eulogizing the Militia, they meet Mr Bennet.

LYDIA: There was one with great long lashes, like a cow, did you see him? He looked right at me.

MR BENNET: I hope, my dear, that you have ordered a good dinner today, because I have reason to expect an addition to our family party.

Mr Bennet holds up a letter. 39 INT. CARRIAGE - COMING THROUGH MERYTON - DAY.

MR COLLINS (late twenties) an overweening sychophant, nervous and unctuous in equal measure, sits in his black garb, hunched uncomfortably as he comes through town.

MR COLLINS (V.O.) Dear sir, the disagreement over the entail to me of the Longbourn estate, has been a subject of torment which I wish to heal. Having received ordination this Easter and being so fortunately distinguished by the patronage of the Right Honorable Lady Catherine de Bourgh..."

Mr Collins's voice fades out as his carriage wipes through frame revealing Lizzie and Charlotte on their way to the butchers.

LIZZIE: His name is Mr Collins. He's the dreaded cousin.
CHARLOTTE: Who's to inherit?
LIZZIE: Indeed. Everything, apparently. He may leave us our stays, but even my piano stool belongs to Mr Collins.
LIZZIE: He can turn us out of the house as soon as he pleases.
LIZZIE: Because the estate is entailed to him and not to us poor females.

A cart passes, crammed with sheep going to slaughter. They baa plaintively.


Mr Collins is ushered in by the manservant, Giles. He looks around his fut ure home with interest.

Mr and Mrs Bennet greet him.

MR COLLINS: (deep bow ) Mr Collins, at your service.


The Bennets and Mr Collins are seated formally for supper. Mr Collins is served some food.

MR COLLINS What a superbly featured room and what excellent boiled potatoes. It is many years since I had such an exemplary vegetable. To which of my fair cousins should I compliment the excellence of the cooking?
MRS BENNET: Mr Collins, we are perfectly able to keep a cook.
MR COLLINS: What a blessing.l am honoured to have, as my patroness, Lady Catherine de Bourg, you have heard of her, I presume?

Mrs Bennet shakes her head.

MR COLLINS: (cont'd) My small rectory abuts her estate, Rosings Park, and she of ten condescends to drive by my humble dwelling in her little phaeton and ponies.

A pause. Lizzie catches her father's eye.

MRS BENNET: Does she have any family?
MR COLLINS: One daughter, the heiress of it all and a creature of such superior graces she seems born to greatness. (little cough) These are the kind of little, delicate compliments that are always acceptable to ladies, and which I conceive myself particularly bound to pay.
MR BENNET: (gravely) How happy for you, Mr Collins, to possess the talent for flattering with such delicacy.

Mr Collins nods with satisfaction.

LIZZIE: Do these pleasing attentions proceed from the impulse of the moment or are they the result of previous study?

Jane kicks Lizzie under the table. Lizzie tries not to laugh at Mr Collins' answer.

MR COLLINS: They arise chiefly from what is passing at the time, and though I sometimes amuse myself with arranging such little elegant compliments, I always wish to give them as unstudied an air as possible.
LIZZIE: Believe me, no one would suspect your manners to be rehearsed.

Lydia suddenly lets off a little explosion of hysteria. A fierce look from Lizzie quells it and Kitty pats her on the back solicitously.

MR COLLINS: After dinner I thought I might read to you all for an hour or two. I have with me Fordyce's sermons, which speak eloquently on all matters moral. (to Jane) Do you know Fordyce's sermons Miss Bennet?


We can see the girls and Mr Bennet gathered by the fire through the doorway. Mr Collins leaves the room and takes Mrs Bennet aside to a very discreet conference, out of hearing of anyone else.

MR COLLINS: Mrs Bennet. You do know I have been bestowed by the good grace of Lady Catherine de Bourg a parsonage of no mean size.
MRS BENNET: I have become aware of the facto
MR COLLINS: Well, it is my avowed hope that soon I may find a mistress for it, and I have to inform you that the eldest Miss Bennet has captured my special attention.

Mr Collins looks lasciviously into the room.

MRS BENNET: Mr Collins, unfortunately it incumbent on me to hint that eldest Miss Bennet is - very soon to be engaged.
MR COLLINS: Engaged!
MRS BENNET: But Miss Lizzie next to her in both age and beauty would make anyone an excellent partner. Do not you agree, Mr Collins?

Mr Collins looks through the doorway at Lizzie

MR COLLINS: Indeed. Indeed. A very agreeable alternative.


Mr Collins appears through a door to the yard. He spots Jane and Lizzie and advance towards them.

LlZZIE: No, no! Quick! This way!

She pulls Jane across the duck board spanning the moat. Mr Collins comes out into the back garden. The girls are nowhere to be seen. He looks around, puzzled, as we reveal Lizzie and Jane hiding behind the moat wall.


Lizzie, holding Jane's hand, is still running and laughing as she goes. Jane is grumbling, holding onto her bonnet.

JANE: Oh do stop, Lizzie, l've got no more breath!

Lizzie slows, turning around to laugh at Jane, then turning back and practically winding the tall, blonde officer spotted earlier by Lydia. He stands before her, holding a handkerchief that's down fluttered from her sleeve, a witty curl on his exquisite mouth.

WICKHAM Yours, I believe?

Lizzie is, for a moment, speechless, but then nods and takes the kerchief as Kitty and Lydia rush up from behind Wickham.

LYDIA: Oh how perfect you are, Mr Wickham!
KITTY: He picked up my glove, too. Did you drop yours on purpose, Lizzie? LYDIA: Mr Wickham's a lieutenant.
WICKHAM: An enchanted lieutenant.
JANE: What are you up to, Liddy?
LYDIA: We just happened to be looking for some ribbon
KITTY: White, for the ball!
WICKHAM: Shall we all look for some ribbon together?

Wickham's wry tone tells Lizzie that he perfectly understands her silly sisters.


They come into the shop. The others go towards the counter. Wickham hangs back, and smiles a complicit, witty smile at Lizzie.

WICKHAM: I shan't even browse. I can't be trusted. I have very poor taste in ribbons.
LIZZIE: (gravely) Only a man truly confident of himself would admit that.
WICKHAM: No, it's true. And buckles. When it comes to buckles, I'm lost.
LIZZIE: Dear oh dear. You must be the shame of the regiment.
WICKHAM: A laughing-stock.
LIZZIE: What do your superiors do with you?
WICKHAM: Ignore me. I'm of next to no importance, so it's easily done.

On the contrary, Wickham is almost impossible to ignore. Lizzie tears her eyes from his winsome features as Lydia grabs her sleeve. .

LYDIA: Lizzie, lend me some money!
LIZZIE: You already owe me a fortune, Liddy.
WICKHAM: Allow me to oblige.
LIZZIE: No! Please - Mr Wickham

Wickham gives Lizzie a smile and moves away to the counter.


Wickham is escorting the girls home. He's scything down cow-parsley with his sword, as Lydia and Kitty wave yards of ribbon about. It's impossible not to admire the cut of Wickham's jib as darts athletically about the undergrowth. Lizzy is almost as fizzly as her sisters. Jane watches them all with her benevolent smile.

WICKHAM: Take that, you cur! And that, and that!

More cow-parsley bites the dust.

LIZZIE: I pity the French.
WICKHAM: Oh so do I. Miserable bunch. Small, swarthy and that tinvEmperor.

Lizzie laughs.

JANE Look! Mr Bingley.

Mr Bingley and Darcy are riding towards them. Bingley pulls in his horse, jumps down and hurries over, his open friendly face filled with delight. Darcy stays astride, staring at Wickham, who suddenly sheaths his sword and looks at the ground. Lizzie watches him. His eyes dart up to Darcy and away again. Darcy's face is dark and closed.

BINGLEY: I was on my way to your house.
LYDIA: Mr Bingley, how do you like my ribbons for your ball?

Bingley is gazing at Jane.

BINGLEY Very beautiful.
LYDIA: She is! Look at her! She's blooming
JANE: Lydia!

But Lydia dances around Bingley like Squirrel Nutkin, waving her ribbons in his face.

LYDIA: Be sure to invite Mr Wickham, he's a credit to his profession.

Darcy turns and rides off without a word. Lizzie watches, fascinated as Wickham recovers himself.

JANE: Lydia you can't invite people to other people's ball.
BINGLEY: Of course you must come, Mr Wickham. Ladies, excuse me. Enjoy the day.

Bingley bows, principally to Jane, and jumps back on his horse. Lizzie turns to Wickham, but he has walked ahead. The mood of the day has changed completely and Lizzie starts to follow him thoroughly puzzled. 47 EXT. ROAD TO MERYTON - DAY.

Rather tired after their strenuous flirting, Lydia and Kitty haved linked arms with Jane and moaning about the walk as they pass us.

KITTY: My feet hurt.
LYDIA: I hate this walk. It's always too far.
JANE: Nearly there.

Lizzie is walking next to Wickham, who's looking depressed.

LIZZIE: Will you come to the Netherfield ball then, Mr Wickham?
WICKHAM: Ah. Perhaps. How long has Mr Darcy been a guest there?
LIZZIE: About a month. Forgive me but are you acquainted with him? With Mr Darcy?
WICKHAM: Indeed, I have been connected with his family since infancy.

Lizzie is genuinely surprised.

WICKHAM: (cont'd) You may well be surprised, Miss Bennet, especially given our cold greeting this afternoon.
LIZZIE: I hope your plans in favour of Meryton will not be affected by your difficult relations with the gentleman.
WICKHAM: Oh no - it is not for me to be driven away. If he wishes to avoid seeing me, he must go not I.


LIZZIE: I must ask you Mr Wickham, what is the manner of your disapproval of Mr Darcy?
WICKHAM: Do you really want to hear?

Lizzie tries not to nod too vehemently.

WICKHAM (cont'd) He ruined me.

She stares at him.

LIZZIE: How so?
WICKHAM: My father managed his estate. We grew up together, Darcy and I. His father treated me like a second son. Oh he was the kindest of men and bequeathed me the best living in his gift, for I had my heart set on joining the church. But when he died Darcy ignored his wishes and gave the living to another man.
LIZZIE: Why did he do that?
WICKHAM: Out of jealousy, for his father loved me more than he loved him.
LIZZIE: Cruel! Cruel! Are you sure?
WICKHAM: (nods) And out of pride, for he considered me too lowly to be worth his consideration.

Pause. Lizzie gazes at him with horror and sympathy.


We pan through the bedrooms as the Bennet girls prepare for the Netherfield balI. Betsy is helping Lydia and Kitty into their dresses, they are both wearing white.

LYDIA: Aggghh!
KITTY Breathe in!


We move to the quieter preparations of Jane and Lizzie. Jane is taking the curlers out of Lizzie's hair. We have never seen Lizzie pay such attention to her appearance.

JANE: - I still think there must have been a misunderstanding.
LIZZIE: (exasperated laugh) Oh Jane, do you never think ill of anybody?
JANE: How could Mr Darcy do such a thing? I will discover the truth from Mr Bingley at the balI this evening.
LIZZIE: If it is not true let Mr Darcy contradict it himself. But until he does, I hope never to encounter him.
JANE: Poor, unfortunate Mr Wickham.
LIZZIE: On the contrary, he is twice the man Darcy is.
JANE: And let us hope, a rather more willing dancer.

Jane leaves Lizzie at the mirror taking very particular care of her toilette. She smiles to herself.


A long queue has formed to gain entrance to the ball. There are hundreds of guests. All the women are dressed in shades of off-white. The men are either in red officer uniform or dressed in black and white. We move up the queue to the front door where Bingley and Caroline are greeting their guests.

The Bennets are next in line and step up. Bingley beams at Jane.

BINGLEY: You're here! I'm so pleased.
JANE: And so am I.
BINGLEY: How are you, Miss Elizabeth?

Lizzie is not paying attention, instead she is searching over Mr Bingley's shoulder for a sight of Wickham.

BINGLEY: (cont'd) Are you looking for someone?
LIZZIE: No, no not at all, admiring the general splendour.
JANE: It is breath-taking, Mr Bingley.

The Bennet's are forced to move on into the house. Mrs Bennet talks while we focus on Lizzie searching the sea of red coats.

MRS BENNET: I dare say, I have never met a more pleasant gentleman in all my years. Did you see how he dotes on her! Dear, dear Jane. Always doing what is best for her family.

Lizzie slips away into the next room. She walks into the dining room, which has been converted into a ball room and where numerous couples are dancing while others crowd the edges to watch. Lizzie thinks she sees Mr Wickham among the dancers, she moves to get a clearer view. The MAN turns round - but is not Wickham.

Charlotte approaches her through the crowd.

LIZZIE: Have you seen Mr Wickham?

Charlotte shakes her head.

CHARLOTTE Perhaps he is through here.


Lizzie and Charlotte enter the drawing room. Jane appears and catches lizzie's arm.

JANE: He's not here. Apparently otherwise detained.

The disappointment is palpable.

LIZZIE: Detained?

Mr Collins arrives, breathless. He smiles eagerly at Lizzie.

MR COLLINS: There you are.
LIZZIE: Mr Collins. What a pleasant surprise.
MR COLLINS Perhaps you will do me the honour, Miss Lizzie?
LIZZIE: Oh. I didn't think you danced, Mr Collins.
MR COLLINS: I do not consider it incompatible with the office of a clergyman to indulge in such an innocent diversion.

Lizzie tries to smile politely.

MR COLLINS: (cont'd) In fact several people, her ladyship included, have complimented me on my lightness of foot.

Lizzie's smile congeals.


Lizzie dances with Mr Collins. The style of the dance is not unlike English Country dancing.

MR COLLINS: To be sure/ dancing is of little consequence to me, but it does afford the opportunity to lavish one's partner with delicate attentions which is my primary object of the evening.

Lizzie turns as part of the dance and for a moment she dances beside Jane.

JANE: Apparently your Mr Wickham has been called on some business to town, though my informer told me he would have been less inclined to be engaged had it not been for the presence at Netherfield of a certain gentleman.

Jane indicates towards where Darcy stands watching them.

LIZZIE: That gentleman barely warrants the name.

The dance leads Lizzie back to Mr Collins.

MR COLLINS: It is my intention, if I may be so bold to remain close to you throughout the evening.


Lizzie and Charlotte come out of the drawing room laughing and run straight into Mr Darcy.

DARCY: May I have the next dance, Miss Elizabeth?

Lizzie is stunned.

LIZZIE: You may.

Darcy walks away.

LIZZIE: (cont'd) Did I just agree to dance with Mr Darcy?
CHARLOTTE: I dare say you will find him very amiable, Lizzie.
LIZZIE: Which would be most inconvenient since I have sworn to loathe him for all eternity.


Lizzie dances face to face with Darcy. Neither can speak. They dance for a moment in silence.

LIZZIE: I love a Sarabande.
DARCY: Indeed. Most invigorating.

They continue, for a moment, in silence.

LIZZIE It is your turn to say something, Mr Darcy - I talked about the dance, now you ought to remark on the size of the room or the number of couples.
DARCY: I am perfectly happy to oblige, please advise me of what you would like most to hear.
LIZZIE: That reply will do for the present. Perhaps by and bye I may observe that private balls are much pleasanter than public ones. But for now we may be silent.
DARCY: Do you talk as a rule while dancing?
LIZZIE: (slightly irritable) No, no - I prefer to be unsociable and taciturn. That makes it all so much more enjoyable, don't you think?

Darcy ponders this critique of his social skills a moment.

DARCY: Tell me, do you and your sisters very of ten walk to Meryton?

They are suddenly parted by the choreography of the dance. We stay with Lizzie who is whisked round the floor by AN ELDERLY MAN, who smiles at her toothlessly. Lizzie looks back at Darcy who is dancing with Lydia. He stare at Lizzie as he dances. Lizzie smiles at her current partner in embarrassment.

LIZZIE: Very mild weather we've been having.
ELDERLY MAN: (deaf as a post) I prefer them soft-boiled.

The dance spins again and she is back with Darcy.

LIZZIE: Yes, we of ten walk to Meryton it is a great opportunity to meet new people. In fact when you met us we had just had the pleasure of forming a new acquaintance.
DARCY: Mr Wickham is blessed with such happy manners he is sure of making friends - whether he is capable of retaining them is less certain.
LIZZIE: He has been so unlucky as to lose your friendship. And I dare say that is an irreversible event?
DARCY: It is.

Darcy's face is closing up. But he can't help himself.

DARCY: (cont'd) Why do you ask such a question?
LIZZIE: To make out your character, Mr Darcy.
DARCY: And what have you discovered?
LIZZIE: Very little.

The dance finishes.

LIZZIE: (cont'd) I hear such different accounts of you as puzzle me exceedingly.
DARCY: I hope to afford you more clarity in the future.

They bow to each other, the tension between them almost palpable. Lizzie moves quickly away, deeply unsettled. A breathless Mr Collins appears.

MR COLLINS: Is that Mr Darcy, of Pemberley in Derbyshire?
LIZZIE I believe so.
MR COLLINS: But I must make myself known to him immediately!
LIZZIE: But sir
MR COLLINS: He is the nephew of my esteemed patroness, Lady Catherine.
LIZZIE: (surprised) He is?

Mr Collins starts making his way determinedly towards Darcy.

LIZZIE: (cont'd) Please, Mr Collins! He'll consider it an impertinence

Lizzie watches from a distance, with acute embarrassment, as Mr Collins interrupts Darcy. Darcy does not notice him, so Mr Collins raises his voice.


The room around him stops. Darcy is surprised and turns round. In dumbshow we see, during the conversation, Mr Collins point Lizzie out to Darcy, who looks horrified by Mr Collins's obsequiousness.

Caroline sidles up to Lizzie.

CAROLINE: What interesting relatives you have, Miss Bennet.

Lizzie walks away into another room.


MONTAGE: A blurry vision of the goings-on as the night passes. Kitty and Lydia giggling insanely. Mary singing, badly, at the piano. Mrs Bennett tipping a glass of punch over someone. Mr Bennett snoozing behind a pillar. Mrs Bennett watching Jane and Bingley. Darcy passes behind her and overhears.

MRS BENNETT: Oh yes, we fully expect a most advantageous marriage.

Bingley staring at, Jane, who sits, demure as ever, watching a dance. Elizabeth and Charlotte watching Jane.

CHARLOTTE: She should move fast. Snap him up. There is plenty of time to get to know them after you're married.

Caroline dancing with Darcy. She chats on. He is silent. Mr Collins following Lizzie about like some ancient duckling. Lizzie escaping onto the terrace and trying to calm down and breathe.



Day light creeps through the curtains. Lydia and Kitty have dragged the last surviving fiddle player into hall and propped against door frame. He now plays as they dance with each other. Mrs Bennet is sprawled on a sofa. Jane sitting demurely. Collins looking longingly at Lizzie. Bingley is standing, the perfect host, but obviously willing the Bennets to leave. Mrs Bennet holds court.

MRS BENNET: I have never had such a good time in my life. Mr Bingley you must have such a ball once a month at least.

Caroline who is standing with her brother, yawns ostentatiously.

LIZZIE: Mother. I really think it is time to go.
MRS BENNET: Don't be impertinent. Our hosts are perfectly happy with our company, are you not, Mr Bingley? I hope I can entice you to Longbourn to sample our hospitality. We would make sure you had 3 or 4 courses at least.

She holds out her glass for a top up and carries on.

MRS BENNET: (cont'd) So tell me Mr Bingley. Whom did you like least of all your guests this evening?
LIZZIE Really. This is enough.

Darcy looking down at Lizzie from a staircase. He turns and walks away.


Bingley and Caroline are waving off the Bennett carriage. Bingley is grey with fatigue. Caroline looks at his plaintive expression and then looks at the departing carriage

CAROLINE: My dear Charles - you can't be serious.

Bingley shoots her a look and goes into the house in a huff.

MRS BENNET: (V.O.) We will be having a wedding here at Netherfield in less than three months, if you ask me. Mr Bennet? Mr Bennet!


The Bennets eat in silence. Jane yawns. Mrs Bennet moans she is hungover. Mr Collins comes in, in a state of agitation. They look at him. He sits, hesitates, then asks:

MR COLLINS: Mrs Bennet - I was hoping, if it would not trouble you, that I might solicit a private audience with Miss Lizzie in the course of the morning.

Lizzie is open mouthed.

MRS BENNET: Oh! Yes. Certainly - Lizzie would be very happy indeed. Everyone. Out. Mr Collins would like a private audience with your sister.

Everyone looks in amazement.

LIZZIE: Wait. I beg you. Mr Collins can have nothing to say to me that anybody need not hear.
MRS BENNET: No. Nonsense, Lizzy. I desire you will stay where you are. Everyone else, to the drawing room. Mr Bennet.

Mrs Bennet whooshes everyone out, winks at Mr Collins then shuts the door before Lizzie has time to do anything. Lizzie looks at Mr Collins who looks at her earnestly. There is a horrible pause of intense embarrassment.

MR COLLINS: Dear Miss Elizabeth, 1 am sure my attentions have been too marked to be mistaken. Almost as soon as I entered the house I singled you out as the companion of my future life.

Lizzie stares at him, astonished.

MR COLLlNS: (cont'd) But before I am run away with my feelings perhaps I may state my reasons for marrying. Firstly, that it is the duty of a clergyman to set the example of matrimony in his parish. Secondly, that I am convinced it will add greatly to my happiness, and, thirdly, that it is at the urging of my esteemed patroness Lady Catherine that I select a wife.

We hear a kick and Kitty screech from behind the door.

MRS BENNET: (V.O.) Sshhh.

MR COLLINS My object in coming to Longbourn was to choose such a one from Mr Bennet's daughters, for I am to inherit the estate and such an alliance will surely suit everyone. (drops to his knee) And now nothing remains for me but to assure you in the most animated language of the violence of my affections.
LIZZIE: Mr Collins
MR COLLINS: And that no reproach on the subject of fortune will cross my lips once we are married.
LIZZIE: You are too hasty, sir! You forget that I have made no answer.
MR COLLINS: (unperturbed) I must add, that Lady Catherine will thoroughly approve, when I speak to her of your modesty, economy and other amiable qualities.
LIZZIE: Sir, I am honoured by your proposal, but regret I must decline it.
MR.COLLINS: (momentarily taken aback, but recovering) I know ladies don't seek to seem too eager.
LIZZIE: (in some desperation) Mr Collins, I am perfectly serious. You could not make happy and I'm convinced I'm the last woman in the world who could make you happy.
MR COLLINS: (pause) I flatter myself, cousin, that your refusal is merely a natural delicacy. And as it is by no means certain that another offer of marriage may ever be made to you.
LIZZIE: (rising, deeply affronted) Mr Collins -
MR COLLINS: I must conclude that you simply seek to increase my love by suspense, according to the usual practice of elegant females.
LIZZIE: Sir! I am not the sort of female to torment a respectable man. Please understand me - I cannot accept you!

Lizzie storms out of the room and out of the house. Mrs Bennet crashes in through another door, hot on the tail of Lizzie.

MRS BENNET: Oh headstrong, foolish child
MR COLLINS: Head strong?
MRS BENNET: - don't worry Mr Collins, we shall have this little hiccup dealt with immediately.

Mrs Bennet goes after Lizzie. Mr Collins watches through a window as Lizzie is pursued by her mother. 60 INT. LIBRARY - LONGBOURN - THE SAME.

Mrs Bennet marches into the library. Mr Bennet looks up in shock.

MRS BENNET: Oh Mr Bennet. We are all in a uproar. You must come and make Lizzie marry Mr Collins, for she vows she will not have him.

Mr Bennet stares at Mrs Bennet blankly.

MRS BENNET: (cont'd) Mr Collins has proposed to Lizzie. But Lizzie declares she will not have him, and now the danger is Mr Collins may not have Lizzie.
MR BENNET: And what am I to do?

Mrs Bennet drags Mr Bennet to his feet.

MRS BENNET Speak to Lizzie.

They march to find Lizzie, passing Mr Collins in the dining room.


Mr Bennet and Mrs Bennet confront Lizzie, who has been waiting in the drawing room. Perhaps the other girls form an audience from the stairs, Mr Collins looks on sheepishly from the breakfast room.

MRS BENNET: Tell her that you insist upon them marrying.
LIZZIE: Papa, please - !
MRS BENNET: You will have this house!
LIZZIE: I can't marry him!
MRS BENNET: You'll save y6ur sisters from destitution!
LIZZIE: I can't!
MRS BENNET: Go back now and say you've changed your mind!
MRS BENNET Think of your family!
LIZZIE: You can/t make me!
MRS BENNET: Mr Bennet, say something!
MR BENNET: (to Lizzie) SO, your mother insists on you marrying Mr Collins.
MRS BENNET: Yes, or I shall never see her again!
MR BENNET: Well Lizzie. From this day on 'you must be a stranger to one of your parents.
MRS BENNET: (to Lizzie) - who will maintain you when your father is dead?
MR BENNET: Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.
MRS BENNET: Mr Bennet!
LIZZIE: Thank you, papa.

Lizzie turns around and walks into the hall.


Lizzie walks through the other sisters who are gathered at the door but stops when she reaches Jane sitting on the stairs. Her face is white. There's a letter in her hand. Mrs Bennet charges out and speaks to anyone who will listen.

MRS BENNET: Oh, ungrateful child! I shall never speak to her again! Not that I have much pleasure in talking to anybody. People who suffer as I do from nervous complaints can have no inclination for talking. Nobody can tell what I suffer...

She jabbers on but her voice fades. We're with Jane, rereading the letter.

LIZZIE: What's wrong, Jane?

Close on Jane's pale face. She's staring at the letter.

MRS BENNET: (distant) But it is always so. Those who complain are never pitied. . .


Bingley, Caroline and Darcy sit grimly in a carriage as it drives away from Netherfield. Darcy looks severe and stern, Caroline can't help a little smirk on her face. Bingley looks back longingly.


The footman walks back into the house. Inside the furniture is being covered with dust sheets. The footman closes the heavy doors.


Lizzie is packing a case for Jane while Jane sits on the bed.

LIZZIE: I don't understand. What would take him from Netherfield? Why would he not know when he was to return?
JANE: Read it. I don't mind.

Jane passes Lizzie the letter.

LIZZIE: "Mr Darcy is impatient to see his sister and we are scarcely less eager to meet her again. I really do not think Georgiana Darcy has her equal for beauty, elegance and accomplishments, so much so I must hope to hereafter call her my sister."
JANE: Is that not clear enough?
LIZZIE: Caroline sees that her brother is in love with you and has taken him off to persuade him otherwise.
JANE: But I know her to be incapable of wilfully deceiving anyone. It is far more likely that he does not love me and never has.

Lizzie slams shut the lid of the case with rather more force than is necessary.

LIZZIE: He loves you, Jane. Do not give up. Go to our aunt and uncle's in London. Let it be known you are there and I am sure he will come to you.


Jane is in a carriage. Mrs Bennet kisses her goodbye through the window as all the Bennet's look on.

MRS BENNET: Give my love to my sister. And try not to be a burden, dear.

Jane's carriage moves away and the family wave. Mr Bennet talks to Lizzie.

MR BENNET: Poor Jane. However, a girl likes to be crossed in love now and then. It gives her something to think of, and a sort of distinction among her companions.
LIZZIE: (dryly) I'm sure that will cheer her up, Papa.


Lizzie is making the bed and tidying Jane's belongings.

DISSOLVE TO: Lizzie sits on the bed. There is a knock at the door and Charlotte enters.

CHARLOTTE: My dear Lizzie, I've come here to tell you the news. Mr Collins and I are engaged.

Lizzie stands up very suddenly.

LIZZIE: Engaged?
LIZZIE: To be married?
CHARLOTTE: Yes of course, Lizzie, what other kind of engaged is there?

Lizzie just stares at her. Charlotte, who is in a state, makes an impatient gesture towards her.

CHARLOTTE: (cont'd) Oh for heavens sake, Lizzie, don't look at me like that. There's no earthly reason why I shouldn't be as happy with him as any other.
LIZZIE: But he's ridiculous.
CHARLOTTE: Oh hush. Not all of us can afford to be romantic. I've been offered a comfortable home and protection, there's a lot to be thankful for.
LIZZIE: Charlotte
CHARLOTTE: I'm twenty-seven years old. I'm plain and I have no money and no prospects. I'm already a burden to my parents and I'm frightened. So don't judge me, Lizzie, don't you dare judge me.

In something of passion, Charlotte leaves the room. Lizzie makes a kind of choking noise in her throat, but she doesn't cry.

We hear the sound of the militia drums...


The militia are leaving Meryton. Hundreds of soldiers and officers in the red coats marching out of the village to the sound of' pipes and drums. The villagers are out to bid them farewell. Lydia and Kitty run through the crowds very distraught. They find Lizzie coming in the other direction.

LYDIA: They're leaving for Brighton. I want to die.
LIZZIE: All of them?
KITTY: They got the call this morning.
LYDIA: Not a word of warning!

Lydia wails. Lizzie searches the red coats for Wickham. She spots him, he glances across at her I she gives a pathetic wave and he's gone. Lydia and Kitty chase the last of the officers, the crowds disappear and Lizzie is left alone. We begin to hear Lizzie reading a letter in voice over.

LIZZIE: (V.O.) Dear Charlotte, I am so glad the house, furniture,neighbourhood and roads are all to your taste

Lizzie's pattens make a lonely clopping as she walks away.


Lizzie's carriage arrives at a smallish but charming rectory in Kent. This is Hunsford, Charlotte's new home. She rushes out and greets Lizzie, kissing her nervously.

LIZZIE: (V.O.)- and that Lady Catherine's behaviour is friendly and obliging. As for the favour you ask, it is no favour at all, I would be glad to visit you at your earliest convenience.

Mr Collins bows and ushers her in.

MR COLLINS Welcome to our humble abode.


Mr Collins carries Lizzie's luggage into the narrow hall.

CHARLOTTE: My dear, I think our guest is tired after her journey.
MR COLLINS: My wife encourages me to spend as much time in the garden as possible, for the sake of my health.

A beat. Lizzie glances at Charlotte, who remains impassive.

MR COLLINS: (cont'd) I plan many improvements, of course. I intend to throw out a bow and plant a lime walk. (sharp look at Lizzie) Oh yes, I flatter myself that any young lady would be happy to be the mistress of such a house.

A tiny nod from Lizzie. She understands perfectly. 71 INT. CHARLOTTE'S PARLOUR - HUNSFORD - DAY.

Lizzie and Charlotte are at last alone. They sit down in a charming little parlour that faces the front of the house. Charlotte pours out tea.

CHARLOTTE: We shall not be disturbed here, this parlour is for my own particular use. (a beat). Oh Lizzie, it's such a pleasure, to run my own home!

Lizzie nods uncomfortably.

MR COLLINS (OOV) Charlotte! Come here!

Charlotte jumps up and rushes to the window.

LIZZIE: ( alarmed) What's happened?
MR COLLINS: (OOV) Charlotte!
CHARLOTTE: (jumps up) Has the pig escaped again?

Outside in the lane, Mr Collins stands, bowing: at a carriage.

CHARLOTTE: (cont'd) Oh! It's Lady Catherine. Come and see, Lizzie!

Lizzie goes to the window, unnerved by her friends enthusiasm. Mr Collins rushes back towards the house and talks to them through an open window.

MR COLLINS: Great news! Great news! We have an invitation to visit Rosings this evening from Lady Catherine de Bourg.
CHARLOTTE How wonderful!

Lizzie tries to feign pleasure.

MR COLLINS: Do not make yourself uneasy, my dear cousin, about your apparel.
CHARLOTTE: Just put on whatever you've brought that's best.
MR COLLINS: Lady Catherine has never been averse to the truly humble.

Lizzie stares at them both in disbelief.


Lizzie, Charlotte and Mr Collins walk hurriedly across a bridge towards the great house. The grey building looms ominously above them. It is grand without being elegant.

MR COLLINS: One of the most extraordinary sights in all Europe, is it not. The glazing alone cost upwards of twenty thousand pounds.

73 INT. GLAZED PASSAGE PAST KITCHEN - ROSINGS - EVENING Mr Collins leads Lizzie and Charlotte past a vast steaming kitchen.


The salon at Rosings is spectacularly grand; hideously so. Heavy furniture, rows of SERVANTS. The three guests are shown in by the footman. Again, Mr Collins scrapes the floor with his bow.

MR COLLINS: Your Ladyship. (to the daughter) Miss de Bourg.

LADY CATHERINE is a haughty, officious battle-axe. Her daughter, MISS DE BOURG, is a sickly, irritable-looking creature.

LADY CATHERINE: So you are Elizabeth Bennet.
LIZZIE I am, your ladyship.
LADY CATHERINE: (looking her up and down) Hmm. (indicates her daughter) This is my daughter.
CHARLOTTE: (eagerly) It' s very kind of you to ask us to dine, Lady Catherine.

Lady Catherine ignores her.

MR COLLINS: (whispers to Lizzie) The chimneypiece alone cost 400 pounds.

But Lizzie doesn't hear. Darcy walks into the room. freezes. Another man, FITZWILLIAM, is with him.

LIZZIE: Mr Darcy! What are you doing here?
MR COLLINS: Mr Darcy! (another deep bow). I had no idea we would have the honour...

A stiff bow from Darcy, who looks at Mr Collins as if he's something brought in by the dog. He turns to Lizzie, trying to collect himself.

DARCY: (bows ) Miss Elizabeth... I'm a guest here.
LADY CATHERINE: (surprised and not delighted) You know my nephew?
LIZZIE: Yes, madam, I had the pleasure of meeting your nephew in Hertfordshire.

Fitzwilliam, a much more easy-going chap, introduces himself.

FITZWILLIAM: Colonel Fitzwilliam. How do you do?

He bows. Lizzie returns his smile gratefully. They move towards the dining room. Mr Collins leans towards Lizzie.

MR COLLINS: (whispering) You know Mr Darcy is as good as engaged to Miss de Bourg?
LIZZIE: Really? Caroline will be disappointed to hear that. (looks at the girl, and whispers to Charlotte) What a miserabIe little thing! They should suit each other perfectly.

But Charlotte's uneasy smile confirms to Lizzie that she has lost her friend in more ways than one.


The dining room is laid for a very grand dinner - footmen waiting, thousands of candles. Lady Catherine seats herself at the he and of the table.

LADY CATHERINE: Mr Collins! You can't sit next to your wife, get up. Move over there.

After an awkward shuffle, Lizzie finds herself sitting next to Darcy. Only her own discomfort prevents her from noticing Darcy is by no means master of his responses to her.

MR DARCY: I trust your family is in good health, Miss Bennet?
LIZZIE They are, thank you. (pause) My eldest sister is currently in London, perhaps you happened to see her there?
MR DARCY: (awkward pause) I haven't been fortunate enough, no.

Lizzie looks at him. He colours slightly. Lady Catherine addresses Lizzie in a loud voice, from the head of the table.

LADY CATHERINE: Do you play the pianoforte, Miss Bennet?
LIZZIE: A little, ma'am, and very poorly.
LADY CATHERINE: Oh. Do you draw?
LIZZIE: No, not at all.
LADY CATHERINE: Your sisters, do they draw?
LIZZIE: Not one.
LADY CATHERINE: Has your governess left you?
LIZZIE: We never had a governess.

Mr Collins squirms in embarrassment. Darcy watches Lizzie, keenly.

LADY CATHERINE: No governess? Five daughters brought up at home without a governess, I never heard such a thing! Your mother must have been quite a slave to your education.
LIZZIE: (can't help smiling at this) Not at all, Lady Catherine.
LADY CATHERINE: Mmmm. Are any of your younger sisters out in society?
LIZZIE: Yes, ma'am. All.
LADY CATHERINE: All! What, five out at once? Very odd! And you only the second the younger ones out before the elders are married! Your youngest sisters must be very young.
LIZZIE: Yes, my youngest is not sixteen. But I think it would be very hard on younger sisters, not to have their share of amusement because the elder is still unmarried. And to be kept back on such a motive! It would hardly encourage sisterly affection.
LADY CATHERINE: Upon my word, you give your opinion very decidedly for so young a person. Pray, what is your age?
LIZZIE: (smiles) With three younger sisters grown up, your Ladyship can hardly expect me to own to it.

Lady Catherine looks astonished. Mr Collins shifts in his seat, Lizzie's enjoying herself and Darcy's having great difficulty concealing his admiration.


Dinner is over and they are drinking coffee. Darcy moves towards Lizzie but Lady Catherine interrupts, by shouting from her seat.

LADY CATHERINE: Come, Miss Bennet, and play for us!
LIZZIE: No, I beg you
LADY CATHERINE: Music is my delight. In fact there are few people in England who have more true enjoyment of music than myself, or better natural taste. If I had ever learnt, I should have been a prodigy. (indicates daughter) So would Anne, if her health would have allowed her.
LIZZIE: Lady Catherine, I am not afflicted with false modesty and when I say I play poorly ...
MR COLLINS: (hisses) Come come, Lizzie, her ladyship demands it!

Lizzie reluctantly sits down at the piano and starts to play. Lady Catherine takes no notice and talks loudly over the music.

LADY CATHERINE: How does Georgiana get along, Darcy?
DARCY: She plays very well.
LADY CATHERINE: I hope she practises. No excellence can be acquired without constant practice. I have told Mrs Collins this. (turns to Charlotte) Though you have no instrument of your own you are very welcome to come to Rosings and play on the piano in the housekeeper's room. CHARLOTTE: Thank you, your ladyship. LADY CATHERINE: You would be in nobody's way, you know, in that part of the house.

Darcy flinches at her bad manners. He moves away to the piano where Lizzie is playing - not that terribly well, it must be said. She's nervous, plays a wrong chord and then gets angry with herself and focusses.

LIZZIE: You mean to frighten me, Mr Darcy, by coming in all your state to hear me, but I won't be alarmed even though your sister does play so well.
DARCY: I am well enough acquainted with you, Miss Bennet, to know I cannot alarm you even should I wish it.

A beat. They eye each other warily. Colonel Fitzwilliam joins them.

FITZWILLIAM: (indicating Darcy) What was my friend like, in Hertfordshire?
LIZZIE: You really care to know?

The colonel nods.

LIZZIE: (cont'd) Prepare yourself for something very dreadful. (stops playing) The first time I saw him, at the Assembly, he danced with nobody at all - even though gentlemen were scarce and there was more than one young lady who was sitting down without a partner.
DARCY: (colouring) I knew nobody beyond my own party.
LIZZIE: (smiles sweetly) True, aMRS.nd nobody can be introduced in a ballroom.

LADY CATHERINE: Fitzwilliam! I need you!

Fitzwilliam moves away. Darcy and Lizzie are alone. Darcy's struggling with his pride which suddenly gives way.

DARCY: I do not have the talent of conversing easily with people I have never met before.
LIZZIE: Perhaps you should take your aunt's advice and practice.

Darcy flinches. Lizzie turns away from him and carries on playing. Darcy gazes at the curve of her neck.


Lizzie is writing a letter in the drawing room. She starts "Dear Jane..." The doorbell rings in the background, she thinks nothing of it and continues. The maid opens the door to the drawing room and Mr Darcy enters.

LIZZIE: (astonished) Mr Darcy!

An awkward pause.

LIZZIE: (cont'd) Please, do be seated. (pause) I'm afraid Mr and Mrs Collins are gone on business to the village.

A pause. What on earth does Mr Darcy want? He paces up and down.

DARCY: This is a charming house. I believe my aunt did a great deal to it when Mr Collins first arrived.
LIZZIE: I believe so - and she could not have bestowed her kindness on a more grateful subject.

Another pause.

DARCY: Mr Collins seems very fortunate in his choice of wife.
LIZZIE: He is indeed lucky to have found one of the few sensible women who would have accepted him.

Darcy sits down.

LIZZIE (cont'd) Shall I call for some tea?
DARCY: No. Thank you.

The sound of the front door, and voices. Darcy jumps up.

DARCY: (cont'd) Good day, Miss Bennet. It's been a pleasure.

He bows to her and leaves. Lizzie sits there, bemused and intrigued.

CUT TO: Charlotte, in the hallway, taking off her bonnet. Darcy hurries past her, with a swift bow, and leaves abruptly. Charlotte gazes after him in surprise. Charlotte heads to the drawing room where she finds Lizzie still sitting thinking.

CHARLOTTE: What on earth have you done to poor Mr Darcy?
LIZZIE: I have no idea.

Truly, she doesn't.


Mr Collins, in his vestments, stands in the pulpit delivering his sermon. Lady Catherine sits in the front row with her miserable-looking daughter and DOWNTRODDEN GOVERNESS. Lizzie sits a little way behind with Colonel Fitzwilliam. They talk in whispers.

LIZZIE: How long do you plan to stay in Kent, Colonel?
FITZWILLIAM: As long as Darcy chooses. I am at his disposal.
LIZZIE: Everyone appears to be at his disposal. I wonder he does not marry and secure a lasting convenience of that kind.

Fitzwilliam looks at Lizzie, curious about her brittle tone.

FITZWILLIAM: She would be a lucky woman.
LIZZIE: Really?
FITZWILLIAM: Darcy is a most loyal companion. From what I heard, on our journey here, he recently came to the rescue of one of his friends just in time.

Darcy glances across from the adjacent pew.

LIZZIE What happened?
FITZWILLIAM: He saved the man from an imprudent marriage.
LIZZIE: (faltering slightly) Who was the man?
FITZWILLIAM: His closest friend. Charles Bingley.

A silence.

LIZZIE: Did Mr Darcy give you his reasons for this interference?
FITZWILLIAM: There were apparently strong objections to the lady.
LlZZlE: What kind of objections? Her lack of fortune?
FlTZWlLLlAM: I think it was her family that was considered unsuitable.
LlZZlE: So he separated them?
FlTZWlLLlAM: 1 believe so. I know nothing else.

Lizzie grows pale. She turns to look at Darcy.


Lizzie walks across the park - anywhere, she hardly cares. She is in a turmoil of misery and fury. lt starts to rain.


Based on the novel by Jane Austen



A Grecian summer house by the lake. The rain is now bucketing down. Lizzie hurries into the summer house and sits down, heavily, on a bench.

A man approaches, across the park. He draws nearer. lt's Darcy. Lizzie stiffens. He's hurrying towards her. Sodden, breathless, he comes into the summer house. He is far too agitated to notice her upset face.

DARCY: Miss Bennet, I have struggled in vain but I can bear it no longer... The past months have been a torment...

He pauses, unable to speak. Lizzie stares at him in astonishment. He struggles on.

DARCY: (cont'd) I came to Rosings with the single object of seeing you...l had to see you
LlZZlE: Me?
DARCY: l'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.
LIZZIE Indifferent?
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.

LIZZIE: (icy) And what about Mr Wickham?
DARCY: Mr Wickham?
LIZZIE: What excuse can you give for your behaviour to him?
DARCY: You take an eager interest in that gentleman's concerns!
LIZZIE: He told me of his misfortunes.
DARCY: Oh yes, his misfortunes have been very great indeed!
LIZZIE: You have ruined his chances, and yet treat him with sarcasm?
DARCY: So this is your opinion of me! Thank you for explaining so fully. Perhaps these offences might have been overlooked, if your pride had not been hurt -
LIZZIE: My pride?
DARCY: - by my honesty in admitting scruples about our relationship. Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your circumstances?
LIZZIE: And those are the words of a gentleman? From the first moment I met you, your arrogance and conceit, your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, made me realize that you were the last man in the world I could ever be prevailed upon to marry.

Darcy recoils, as if slapped. A terrible silence.

DARCY: Forgive me, madam, for taking up so much of your time.

He leaves, abruptly.

Lizzie watches him stride away, through the rain. What has she done?


Lizzie comes in soaked to the skin. Charlotte runs to her.

LIZZIE: I was caught off-guard.

She starts to laugh. There's a hysterical note to it and Charlotte bustles her away in some alarm.


Charlotte attends to Lizzie who has changed and is drying her hair, a shawl around her shoulders.

CHARLOTTE Shall I call the doctor?
LIZZIE: No! Charlotte, I shall be quite all right. Please, give Lady de Bourgh my apologies. You must not keep her waiting.

Mr Collins clatters up the stairs.

MR COLLINS: (popping his head around the door) Come on. We shall be late!

Charlotte leaves, reluctantly and goes downstairs. CUT TO: Lizzie walks down the upstairs corridor.


Lizzie is in the drawing room, she looks at a book on the table. It is Fordyce's Sermons. She puts it down and walks to the mirror and stares at herself. The daylight moves and fades as seamlessly the scene turns to night. Lizzie puts her face into her hands and rubs it wearily. When she looks up Darcy is reflected behind her. They stare at each other without speaking. Finally...

DARCY: I came to leave you this.

He places a letter on the table behind her. Lizzie does not turn but watches him through the mirror.

DARCY: (cont'd) I shall not renew the sentiments which were so disgusting to you, but if I may, I will address the two offences you have laid against me.

Lizzie cannot bring herself to look at Darcy. She stares at the little imperfections on the surface of the mirror.

DARCY: (cont'd) My father provided for Mr Wickham a valuable living.

As Lizzie turns she realizes Darcy has gone. Darcy's voice carries.

DARCY: (V.O.) (cont'd) But upon his death, however, Mr Wickham told me that he had no intention of taking orders and would I recompense him to the tune of 3000 pounds so he could go to town and study the law.

Lizzie tears open the envelope, her hands shaking, and reads the letter, as Darcy's voice carries on.

DARCY: (V.O.) (cont'd) This I did, though by now I had some doubts about his character. These were confirmed by reports that he had sunk into a life of idleness, gambling and dissipation. The money was soon used up, whereupon he wrote demanding more money which I refused, after which he severed all acquaintance -

Holding the letter she looks out of the window to see Darcy riding away.

DARCY: (V.O.) (cont'd) But last summer he unwillingly obtruded on my notice when he connived a relationship with my sister whom he attempted to persuade to elope with him. His objective was her inheritance of thirty thousand pounds. She was fifteen.


Darcy rides at recklessly through a thick wood.

DARCY: (V.0.) As to the other matter, that of your sister and Mr Bingley. Though the motives which governed me may to you appear insufficient, they were in the service of a friend.


Lizzie with the letter. Charlotte walks in. Lizzie is shaking.

CHARLOTTE: Lizzie! Are you alright?
LIZZIE: I hardly know.


Lizzie arrives back at Longbourn. She climbs down from her carriage and looks at the house from across the moat. Lizzie walks around the front of the house, through a window she sees Jane sitting quietly alone at her needle work. She takes a deep breath and enters.


Mrs. Bennet, is taking Lizzie's coat from her.

MRS BENNET: How fortunate you have arrived, your aunt and uncle are here to deliver Jane from London.
LIZZIE: How is Jane?
MRS BENNET: She's in the drawing room.

Lizzie enters the drawing room.


Lizzie and Jane sit together. Jane is all smiles, but behind her eyes is a sadness unseen before. Lizzie is equally unable to unburden herself.

JANE: I am quite over him, Lizzie. If he passed in the street I would hardly notice. London is so diverting.
LIZZIE: Oh Jane?
JANE: It's true. So much to entertain. What news from Kent?
Lizzie: Nothing. At least, not much to entertain.

Lizzie tries to smile. There is a crash as the younger sisters enter the house. Kitty rushes into the drawing room crying her eyes out, she is followed by Lydia and Mrs. Bennet.

KITTY: Lizzie, tell mama, tell her!
LYDIA: (smugly) Mrs. Forster has invited me.
KITTY: (wails) Why didn't she ask me as well?
LIZZIE: Kitty, what's happened?
LYDIA: - because I'm better company.
KITTY: I've just as much right as Lydia
MRS BENNET: Oh, if I could but go to Brighton
KITTY: - and more so, because I'm two years older!

Lizzie looks to Jane.

JANE: Lydia has been invited to Brighton with the Foresters.
MRS BENNET: A little sea-bathing would set me up very nicely.
LYDIA: I shall dine with the officers every night!

An anguished wail from Kitty.

MRS BENNET: I cried for two days when Colonel Miliar's regiment went away. I thought I should have broke my heart.
LIZZIE: Mother! Are you all mad?

She glares at them, deeply upset - by them, by everything.


Lizzie confronts her father.

LIZZIE: Please Papa, don't let her go!
MR BENNET: Lydia will never be easy till she has exposed herself in some public place or other, and we can never expect her to do it with so little inconvenience as under the present circumstances.
LIZZIE: (with great emotion) If you, dear father, will not take the trouble to check her, she will be fixed forever as the silliest and most determined flirt who ever made her family ridiculous. And Kitty will follow, as she always does.
MR BENNET: We shall have no peace until she goes.
LIZZIE: (really angry now) Peace! Is that all you care about?
MR BENNET: Colonel Forster is a sensible man and will keep her out of any real mischief, and she is far too poor to be an object of prey to anyone.
LIZZIE: Father, it's dangerous!
MR BENNET: I'm sure the officers will find women better worth their while. Let us hope, in fact, that her stay in Brighton will teach her her own insignificance. At any rate she can hardly grow any worse, without authorizing us to lock her up for the rest of her life.

Lizzie gazes at her father - will nothing touch him? He gave up on Lydia long ago. For this, just now, she hates him.

LIZZIE: No wonder our family is treated with contempt.

She leaves, tears stinging her eyes. Her father looks puzzled at her outburst.


Lizzie is preparing a late supper for MR AND MRS GARDINER, her aunt and uncle. Mrs. Gardiner is a kindly woman and Mr. Gardiner talks with a London accent. Mary is also helping.

MRS GARDINER: Lizzie dear, you would be very welcome to accompany us?
MR GARDINER: Oh yes. We plan to journey through the Peak .District. You'd be most welcome.
MARY: Oh, the glories of nature! What are men, compared to rocks and mountains?
LIZZIE: Believe me, men are either eaten up with arrogance or stupidity. And if they are amiable they're so easily led that they have no minds of their own whatsoever.
MRS GARDINER: Take care, my love, that savors strongly of bitterness.

Lizzie looks at her, surprised at the sting of truth.


Lizzie and Jane lie next to each other in the darkness ._


LIZZIE: I saw Mr. Darcy when I was in Rosings.
JANE: Why did you not tell me? Did he mention Mr. Bingley?
LIZZIE No. He did not.


Sunlight flickers through the trees lining the road. Lizzie has her eyes shut and feels the wind on her face. She opens her eyes...


A ravishing landscape of savage and romantic beauty scudding clouds, mountains, wild rocky outcrops. Lizzie is walking freely, the wind in her hair. As she nears the peak of a promontory, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner are below making their way towards her. They smile at her. She strides off determined to reach the very top. When she gets there she stands with her arms outstretched, her head back laughing into the wind. The view is -magnificent. She breathes deeply.


The Gardiner's and Lizzie are eating supper. An air of high spirits. At the next table, another amiable tourist couple are also tucking into their food.

WOMAN: (indicating her husband) He's been taking the waters at Buxton. (laughs) Hasn't done him a jot of good.
HER HUSBAND: But we've had a fine time, haven't we dear?
WOMAN: We've visited Haddon, Dovedale, Pemberley
MRS GARDINER: Pemberley?
WOMAN: Just two miles from here.

Close, very close, on Lizzie's face.

HER HUSBAND: One of the best houses in the country.
MR GARDINER: (to Lizzie) Aren't you acquainted with the owner, Mr. Darcy?
MRS GARDINER: well, we shall go there tomorrow, Lizzie.
LIZZIE: I would rather stay here.
MRS GARDINER: Stay here?
LIZZIE: (very uncomfortable) I must own that I'm tired of great houses. All those carpets and curtains...
MRS GARDINER: But you liked Haddon. You liked those damask velvet drapes and you liked -
LIZZIE: - if Pemberley is anything like Mr. Darcy, I am sure I will not be able to bear it.

Mrs. Gardiner looks at Lizzie _curiously.

WOMAN: The grounds alone are worth a visit.
MR GARDINER: Let us not make a fuss. If the girl does not want to go there is little point in persuading her.


Lizzie is preparing for bed. The CHAMBERMAID fills her washbowl and starts to leave.

LIZZIE: I hear that Pemberley is not far from here.
MAID: Yes, madam.
LIZZIE: You see something of the owner, do you, in town?
MAID: Not for some months, madam, he's still in London, I believe.

A pause. Close on Lizzie's face. Struggling with profound, irresistible curiosity.


The carriage enters the gates of Pemberley. Lizzie is alert, her eyes bright with curiosity. The parkland is wild and rocky. . Deer graze, rooks wheel in the sky. A sense of freedom and liberation. As the carriage drives over the top of a hill, close on Lizzie's face. She gasps. The Gardiner's gasp. A huge, wide shot of Pemberley House. It's vast, breathtakingly beautiful, set in great boulder-strewn park lands. A mans ion built of golden stone, glowing in the sunlight.

MRS GARDINER: Imagine being mistress of all this. It is as big as all Cheapside.
MR GARDINER: But less picturesque.

Lizzie is lost in admiration.


Lizzie and the Gardiners are shown in by the housekeeper, MRS REYNOLDS. They pass through the front hall.


Mrs. Reynolds witters on with descriptions of each room as the party travel the grand staircase. Lizzie falls back as she admires the exquisite painted ceiling.

MRS GARDINER: (to Lizzie) Keep up.


Lizzie is apart from the rest of the group as she wanders through the stunning collection of marble sculptures. In the background we hear the Gardiners and Mrs. Reynolds.

MR GARDINER: Is your master much at Pemberley?
MRS REYNOLDS: Not as much as I would wish, sir, for he dearly loves it here.
MRS GARDINER: If he should marry, you might see more of him.
MRS REYNOLDS: Yes madam, but I do not know when that will be, I do not know a lady who, is good enough for him.
MR GARDINER What do you mean?

Lizzie stops, confronted by a marble bust of Darcy. They stand face to face looking at each other. Lizzie listens to Mrs. Reynolds.

MRS REYNOLDS: I've known Mr. Darcy since he was a boy. He was always a kind and generous person even then. Not everyone can see it, because he does not make a meal of it like a lot of young men nowadays. But he is the most sweet-tempered and kind-hearted man I have ever known.

Mrs. Reynolds and the Gardiners appear by her side.

MRS REYNOLDS: (cont'd) This is my master - Mr. Darcy.
MRS GARDINER: A handsome face. Lizzie, is it a true likeness of him?
MRS REYNOLDS: Does this young lady know Mr. Darcy?
LIZZIE: Only a little.
MRS REYNOLDS: And do you not think him a handsome man, Miss?
LIZZIE: Yes, yes I daresay he is.

Mrs. Reynolds moves the Gardiners on to another sculpture, but Lizzie stays, staring at Darcy's likeness.

MRS REYNOLDS: And this is his sister, Miss Georgiana. She plays and sings all day long.

We realize that in the distance we have heard music.

LIZZIE: Are they at home?

Lizzie turns to find that the Gardiners and Mrs. Reynolds have disappeared. She follows them out.


Lizzie wanders into the drawing room in search of the others. The music is louder in this room. She walks to the French windows and looks out. In the bright sunlight the view of the gardens and valley beyond is exquisite. Suddenly Lizzie recognizes the tune (perhaps it is one she has played earlier - but this time it is played exquisitely). There is a door, slightly ajar, in the far corner of the room, from where the music seems to be coming. Her curiosity gets the better of her and she approaches the door. She steels herself a moment, then discreetly peeps in.

Through the gap she sees GEORGIANA DARCY, a beautiful sixteen year old, playing the piano with great fluency and pass ion. Captivated by the music, Lizzie stops and listens.

A MAN steps into view. Lizzie strains to see him, but he is obscured by shadows. He approaches Georgiana and puts his hands over her eyes. She immediately stops playing and shrieks uproariously, before standing to kiss him. As they embrace, the sunlight hits his face. It's Darcy_

He turns and sees Lizzie watching him. For a moment they both stare at each other frozen with surprise. Lizzie turns and runs across the room and out through the French windows.


Lizzie runs across the lawn but is stopped in her tracks by Darcy's voice.

DARCY: Miss Bennet!

Darcy catches up with her. They stand, not knowing what to do.

LIZZIE: I thought you were in London.
DARCY: (stupidly) No? I'm not.

Another silence. Then they both speak at once.

DARCY - ELIZABETH: I came here a day early - We wouldn't have come
DARCY: - some business with my steward -.
ELIZABETH: - had we known you were here

They stop. He gazes at her with great emotion.

LIZZIE: (cont'd) I'm visiting Derbyshire with my uncle and aunt.

Lizzie sounds about ten years old.

DARCY: (trying to recover) And are you having a pleasant trip?
LIZZIE: Very pleasant. Tomorrow we go to Matlock.
DARCY: Tomorrow? (disappointed). Are you staying at Lambton?
LIZZIE: Yes. At the Rose and Crown.

Another pause. She extends her hand.

LIZZIE: (cont'd) I'm so sorry to intrude. They said the house was open for visitors. I had no idea...

She shakes his hand and starts to walk away.

DARCY: May I see you to the village?
LIZZIE: Oh no! I'm very fond of walking.
DARCY: Yes. Yes, I know.
LIZZIE Goodbye, Mr. Darcy.

She hurries away. He gazes after her.

103 EXT. PATH - PEAK DISTRICT - DAY.  Now she is out of-sight Lizzie collapses on a stone wall. She is utterly undone. She clutches at herself, trying to draw breath into her winded soul. A herd of cattle pass, she stands and walks in the opposite direction.


It's that night. Lizzie comes downstairs, for supper. And stops. Through a gap in the door to the restaurant she sees Mr. Darcy talking to her aunt and uncle.

DARCY: I shall send my carriage at noon

After a moment, Darcy leaves and Lizzie approaches the table.

MRS GARDINER: Lizzie, I've just met Mr. Darcy! Why didn't you tell us you had seen him? He's asked us to dine with him tomorrow - He was very civil, was he not?
MR GARDINER: Very civil.
MRS GARDINER: Not at all like you painted him.
LIZZIE: (stares) To dine with him?
MRS GARDINER: - there is something pleasing about his mouth, when he speaks.

Mrs. Gardiner watches Lizzie's reaction most carefully.

MR GARDINER: You don't mind delaying our journey for another day?

Lizzie shakes her head, dumbly.

MRS GARDINER: He particularly wishes you to meet his sister.
LIZZIE: His sister?


A footman escorts Lizzie and the Gardiner's through the stupendous library., no From the drawing room, the sound of a piano playing. Lizzie is filled with trepidation; we can almost feel her heart racing. The footman opens the double doors to reveal the magnificent drawing room. Darcy is there. Darcy's sister Georgiana plays the piano. She jumps up and hurries over.

DARCY: My sister, Miss Georgiana...

They smile and bob. Georgiana is a friendly, sweet girl.

GEORGIANA: Miss Elizabeth, my brother has told me so much about you. I feel as if we are friends already.
LIZZIE: Oh, thank you.

Not knowing what to do with this information, Lizzie looks about.

LIZZIE: (cont'd) What a beautiful pianoforte.
GEORGIANA: My brother gave it to me. (smiles at him) He shouldn't have.
DARCY: Yes I should.
GEORGIANA: Oh very well then.
DARCY: She's easily persuaded, is she not?

Darcy and Georgiana smile at each other with affection.

LIZZIE: Your unfortunate brother once had to put up with my playing for a whole evening.

Georgiana turns huge innocent eyes upon Lizzie.

GEORGIANA: But he says you play so well!

Lizzie, astounded, looks at Darcy, who gives a small, rather sweet shrug.

LIZZIE: Then he has perjured himself most profoundly.

Darcy laughs.

DARCY: I said played "quite well".
LIZZIE: Quite well is not verywell. I am satisfied.

Georgiana looks between them, intrigued and aware, instinctively, of the enormous attraction between them. Darcy notices and makes an effort to be normal.

DARCY: Your uncle is fond of fishing, I hear.
LIZZIE: Yes, very.
DARCY: Can you persuade him to borrow a rod this afternoon? For the lake here is very well stocked and its occupants left in peace for far too long.
LIZZIE: That is a kindness he will never forget, Sir.

She smiles gratefully, openly and Darcy has to look away.

GEORGIANA: Do you play duets, Miss Lizzie?
LIZZIE: Only when forced.
GEORGIANA: Brother, you must force her.

Lizzie looks at Darcy - they smile at each other, a shy smile, a truce. 106 EXT. DERBYSHIRE - DUSK

Darcy is driving Lizzie and the Gardiner's back to Lambton. The rugged landscape looks even more beautiful and dramatic in the dusk light. Lizzie sits up with Darcy who holds the reins, while Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner sit comfortably in the carriage. Mr. Gardiner smiles broadly at two large fish that lie beside him.'

LIZZIE: It is so beautiful up here. I will be sorry to leave.

Darcy smiles at her.

LIZZIE: (cont'd) You have been a most gracious host. I'm sure my aunt and uncle will talk of nothing else for days.
DARCY: I have recently thought a great deal about how I appear and act to others.

Lizzie looks at him, a serious last look as though she wants to record his features properly.

LIZZIE: It does you credit, sir.


The party arrive back at the inn.

MR GARDINER: (quietly to Lizzie) What a capital fellow.
MRS GARDINER: Thank you so much Mr. Darcy.

Darcy is about to take his leave when the maid brings Lizzie a letter.

MAID: (to Lizzie) For you, madam.
LIZZIE: (delighted) It's from Jane.

She rips open the letter.


Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner are sitting, looking grim. Darcy is pacing, equally' concerned. Lizzie walks in with the letter, she tries to speak, chokes a sob and walks out again. With great difficulty, Darcy restrains himself from following her. He sits down. Lizzie comes in again. He stands up. She waves the letter about and tries to speak once more, but has to leave the room.


Lizzie comes in again very quickly.

LIZZIE: No, I'm perfectly well. Truly.

She takes a deep breath. Darcy's face is a picture of tender concern. Mrs. Gardiner watches him, too.

LIZZIE: (cont'd) It is the most dreadful news. Lydia has run away - with Mr. Wickham. They are gone together from Brighton to Lord knows where. She has no money, no connections, I fear she is lost forever.
DARCY: (quietly to Lizzie) This is my fault - if only I had exposed Wickham when I should.
LIZZIE: No, it is my fault. I might have prevented all of it merely by being open with my sisters.

Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner look at each other perplexed.

MRS GARDINER: Has anything been done to recover her?
LIZZIE: Father has gone to London. But I know very well that nothing can be done. We have not the smallest hope.
DARCY: Would I could help you.
LIZZIE: Sir, I think it is too late.
MR GARDINER: I am afraid we must go at once I will join Mr. Bennet and find Lydia before she ruins the family forever.
DARCY: This is grave indeed. I will leave you. Goodbye.

Darcy pauses at the door, looks back at Lizzie and then is gone.


The Gardiner's carriage racing through the night.


Lizzie, Jane, Mary and Kitty are gathered around Mrs. Bennet who has taken to her bed.

MRS BENNET: Why did the Forsters let her out of their sight? I always said they were unfit to have charge of her.
MARY: (smugly) And now she is ruined.
MRS BENNET: You are all ruined. Who will take you now with a fallen sister? Poor Mr. Bennet will now have to fight the perfidious Wickham and then be killed
LIZZIE: He hasn't found him yet, Mama.
MRS BENNET: - and the Mr. Collins' will turn us out before he is cold in his grave
JANE: Do not be alarmed, mama. Our uncle is helping in the search.
MRS BENNET: Lydia must know what this will do to my nerves, such flutterings and spasms all over me. . .

It is clear Mrs. Bennet is truly suffering. Lizzie strokes her hand.


Mr. Bennet walks down a busy London street, he is utterly lost. He stops and stands still against the passing pedestrian traffic. He tries to address a passer by.

MR BENNET: Excuse me.

They ignore him. He tries again

MR. BENNET: (cont'd) Excuse me I, I am looking for...

Mr. Bennet takes out a piece of paper.


Mr. Bennet Walks timidly into the stables. Steam rises off the horses, men shout as they labour. It is extremely threatening. Mr. Bennet stops at the threshold, gulps.

MR BENNET: I am. . . (his voice breaks up - he clears his throat) I am looking for a Mr. Wickham.


Lizzie and Jane are outside Mrs. Bennet's room. From inside we hear a moan.

MRS BENNET: (O.S.) We are ruined. Ruined.
KITTY: How long is this going to go on for?
LIZZIE: Don't judge her, Kitty. It is, after all, hardest on her.

They walk downstairs.


Lizzie and Kitty walk into the drawing room. Jane and Mary are busying themselves.

LIZZIE: The difficulty is not knowing anything.
JANE: Look. It's Papa!


The girls rush into the library. Mr. Bennet slumps at his desk.

KITTY: - who is to fight Wickham and make him marry Lydia, now you've come home?
MR BENNET: For God's sake let me be! (to Lizzie) Lizzie, help me with my boots.

Lizzie pulls off his boots for him.

JANE: You suppose them to be still in London?
MR BENNET: (nods ) Where else could they be so well concealed?
LIZZIE: Oh father, I'm so sorry.
MR BENNET: It's been my own doing.
LIZZIE: You mustn't be too severe on yourself.
MR BENNET: No Lizzie. Let me once in my life feel how much I have been to blame. (wan smile) I am not afraid of being overpowered by the experience. It will pass away soon enough.


We move through a grotty attic corridor. Doors on either side lead to poor over crowded garrets. Children peer out at us. We reach the door we're looking for.

Inside Lydia and Wickham sit, snuggled close beside the fire in their room. They're eating a meal with relish. Giggling, Lydia feeds him a mouthful.

A knock at the door. They freeze, like naughty children.


The girls have a letter. Kitty grabs it from Jane, Mary grabs it from Kitty, before she has a chance to open it, Jane grabs it from Mary.

JANE: It's to Papa. It's in Uncle's writing.

Mr. Bennet snatches the letter.

MR BENNET: As it is addressed to me...

He tears it open and begins to read, squinting because he has forgotten his glasses.

MR BENNET: (cont'd) He's found them.
KITTY: Are they married?
MR BENNET: (squinting at the letter) Just wait. I can't make out his script.

Lizzie snatches it.

LIZZIE: Give it to me. (she reads)
KITTY: Are they married?
LIZZIE: They will be, if father will settle a hundred pounds a year on her. That is Wickham's condition.
KITTY: A hundred pounds!
LIZZIE: You will agree to this, father?

The letter is passed around the other girls.

MR BENNET: Of course I will agree. But how much your uncle has laid on this wretched man already is anybody's guess.
KITTY: What do you mean, Father?
MR BENNET: No man in his senses would marry Lydia on so slight a temptation as a hundred a year.
LIZZIE: Ah, I see.
JANE: See what?
MR BENNET: Your uncle is very generous.
LIZZIE: Do you think it a large sum?
MR BENNET: Wickham's a fool if he takes her for less than ten thousand pounds.
JANE: Ten thousand! Heaven forbid!


Close on Mrs. Bennet's face as she springs out of bed. Pure, triumphant joy.

MRS BENNET: Lydia married! And at fifteen too! Ring the bell, Kitty! I must put on my things and tell Lady Lucas! Oh to see her face! And tell the servants they will have a bowl of punch!

The other Bennets are assembled.

LIZZIE: We should thank our uncle, Mama.
MRS BENNET: And so he should help! He's much richer than us, and he hasn't got any children.

Lizzie looks at her mother in perfect astonishment as she gets out of bed.

MRS BENNET: (cont'd) A daughter, married!
LIZZIE: Is that all you think about?
MRS BENNET: When you have five daughters, Lizzie, tell me what else will occupy your thoughts and then perhaps you will understand.
LIZZIE: (in desperation) You don't know what he's like.

MRS BENNET: Now where will they live? Purvis Lodge might do. Ashworth is vacant of course, but it's too far off, I couldn't be as to have her ten miles from me
MR BENNET: Before you take any of these houses, Mrs. Bennet, let us be clear. Into one house she will never be welcome.

Mrs. Bennet stares at him.


Lydia's triumphant face. The cat that's got the cream. She climbs out of a carriage with Wickham. Her mother kisses her, effusively. Mr. Bennet coldly bows.

LYDIA: - and then we passed Sarah Sims in her carriage so I took off my glove and let my hand just rest on the window frame, so she might see the ring, and then bowed and smiled like anything!

Kitty shrieks with envy. Lizzie moves away, she cannot bear it. Wickham catches her eye, but she ignores him. 120 INT. DINING ROOM - LONGBOURN - DAY.

They are taking their seats for dinner. Betsy the maid has laid the food on the table. Lydia holds up her hand, to display her ring to Betsy.

LYDIA: You must all go to Brighton, for that is the place to get husbands! I hope you have half my good luck.

LIZZIE: (furious) Lydia!

Wickham looking uncomfortable. He's talking to the stony faced Mr. Bennet.


WICKHAM: I've been enlisted in a regiment in the north of England, sir.
MR BENNET: (nods coldly) I'm glad to hear of it.
WICKHAM: Near Newcastle. We shall travel there next week.
KITTY: Can I come and stay with you?
MR BENNET: That is out of the question.


Lydia, rattling on to Lizzie.

LYDIA: Well, Monday morning came and I was in such a fuss
LIZZIE: I don't want to hear
LYDIA: - there was my aunt, preaching and talking away just as if she was reading a sermon, she was horrid unpleasant
LIZZIE: Can't you understand why?
LYDIA: - but I didn't hear a word because I was thinking of my dear Wickham. I longed to know whether he would be married in his blue coat.

CUT TO: Mary turning to Wickham.

MARY: The north of England, I believe, boasts some spectacular scenery.


Lydia burbling on, to a stony-faced Lizzie.

LYDIA: - and then my uncle was called away from the church on business and I thought - who is to be our best man if he doesn't come back? Lucky he did come back or I would have had to ask Mr. Darcy
LIZZIE: (stares) Mr. Darcy?
LYDIA: (claps her hand to her mouth) I forgot! I shouldn't have said a word!
LIZZIE: Mr. Darcy was at your wedding?
LYDIA: (whispers) He was the one that discovered us! He knew where to find Wickham, you see. (hisses) But don't tell anyone! He told me not to tell!

Lizzie stares at her. Darcy at her wedding?

LIZZIE: Mr. Darcy?
LYDIA: Oh stop it, Lizzie. Mr. Darcy's not half as high and mighty as you, sometimes.


Lydia, croquet mallet in hand, drags her new husband across the lawn. Kitty follows.

LYDIA: Come on, Wickham! You've got to play.
KITTY: Yes, come on!

Wickham has the look of a trapped man. His eyes flicker between the girls with a slightly panicked rhythm.

Lizzie comes into the garden, looking for her younger sister: Wickham detaches himself and comes over to her. A rueful smile.

WICKHAM: I hope we can be even better friends, now we're brother and sister.

An attempt at a twinkling smile, but Lizzie is now immune to his charm. She nods, briefly.

WICKHAM: (cont'd) I hear you visited Pemberley. My dear old home.
LIZZIE: (nods ) I met Mr. Darcy's sister.
WICKHAM: (a beat) Did you like her?
LIZZIE: Very much. (looks at him) We found a great deal to talk about.

A beat. Wickham looks deeply uneasy. He bows and leaves. Lizzie hurries up to Lydia and draws her aside.

LIZZIE: (cont'd) (low voice) Why was Mr. Darcy there?
LYDIA: I'm not supposed to tell.

Lizzie abandons her pride. She takes Lydia's hand.

LIZZIE: Please, Lydia! Please, please tell me.
LYDIA: Because he paid for it.
LIZZIE: (stares) For what?
LYDIA: (carelessly) The wedding, Wickham's commission. Everything.
LIZZIE: Everything?
KITTY: (calls) Lydia! It's your turn!

Lydia moves to go.

LYDIA: People kept saying Wickham owed them money, it was so tedious. So Darcy settled his debts but I don't really like him, do you?

Lizzie pulls her back.

LIZZIE: Why? Why did he do it?
LYDIA: (shrugs) I don't know, do I? Anyway you're not to tell because it's supposed to be our uncle who paid, and he wouldn't have minded paying, either,_because I'm his favorite.

She leaves. Giggles and shrieks from the other girls. Lizzie looks blank with shock.


Close on Darcy's grimly determined face. Drawing back, we see that he is walking down a street in Mayfair. Mr. Bingley emerges from his front door, carrying a silver topped cane.


Mr. Darcy and Bingley talk in earnest as they walk along the street. Bingley looks stunned by what Darcy is relaying to him. We witness the dumbshow of Darcy confessing that he has wronged Jane Bennet.


Lydia and Wickham are leaving. Mr. Bennet stands at a distance. Mrs. Bennet sobs as Giles takes out the luggage.

MRS BENNET: Write to me of ten, my dear!
WICKHAM: (to Lizzie) I hope we'll have the pleasure?

He smiles winningly. Lizzie just looks at him. His smile falters and he turns into the carriage.

LYDIA: Married women never have much time for writing. My sisters may write to me! They'll have nothing else to do.

MRS BENNET: Oh there is nothing so bad as parting with ones children! One seems so forlorn without them.

Mrs. Bennet is genuinely bereft. Lizzie is about to say something but thinks the better of it and instead, gives her mother a hug. 124 EXT. MERYTON VILLAGE - DAY.

Lizzie and Jane are out shopping with their mother and sisters. Their housekeeper, Mrs. Hill, comes out of the butchers shop.

MRS HILL: Did you hear the news, madam? Mr. Bingley is returning to Netherfield.

A stunned silence. Lizzie glances at Jane. She drops her eyes.

MRS BENNET: Mr. Bingley?

Mrs. Hill indicates a woman in the butcher's shop.

MRS HILL: Mrs. Nichols is ordering a haunch of pork, for she expects him tomorrow.
MRS BENNET: Tomorrow? (recovering) Not that I care about it. Mr. Bingley is nothing to us and I'm sure I never want to see him again. (moves away) No, we shall not mention a word about it. (comes back to Mrs. Hill) Is it quite certain he is coming?
MRS HILL: Yes, madam. I believe he is alone, his sister remains in town.
MRS BENNET: Hm. Why he thinks we should be interested, I have no idea. Come along, girls.

Their mother goes into the draper's shop. Jane pauses at the threshold.

JANE: It's all right, Lizzie. I'm just glad that he comes alone, because then we shall see less of him. Not that I'm afraid of myself, but I dread other people's remarks.

A brave smile. Lizzie is not convinced. They go into the shop. 125 EXT. LONGBOURN -DAY. Mr. Bingley rides towards Longbourn, a look of slight trepidation in his eyes. Darcy now comes into view riding along side him. They cross the moat bridge.


Mary is practicing her scales. Jane and Lizzie are sitting at their work, with their mother. Kitty rushes in.

KITTY: He is here! He is here, he's at the door! Mr. Bingley!
MRS BENNET: Oh my goodness! Everybody behave naturally.

Jane completely freezes. Everybody else goes into a fluster.

MRS BENNET: (cont'd) Whatever you do, do not appear -overbearing.

Kitty looks out through a window.

KITTY: Look. There's someone with him. Mr. what's-his-name. The pompous one from before.

Lizzie looks through the window at Darcy, her heart leaps to her mouth.

MRS BENNET: Mr. Darcy indeed! The very insolence of it. What does he think of coming here?

Lizzie returns to her seat, Mrs. Bennet hurries over to Jane and pinches her cheeks.

JANE: Mama!
MRS BENNET: (to Mary - who is still playing) Stop that racket and sit down! Find yourself some work! Oh Lord. I shall have a seizure, I'm sure I shall.

They sit there, frozen, pretending to sew. The drawing room door opens and Mrs. Hill shows in the two men. They bow. Bingley smiles warmly at Jane, who blushes. Lizzie glances at Darcy. His face is strained. Mrs. Bennet is all smiles for Bingley. She ignores Darcy.

MRS BENNET: (cont'd) How very glad we are to see you, Mr. Bingley! There are a great many changes since you went away. Miss Lucas is married and settled. And one of my own daughters too, you will have seen it in the papers though it was not put in as it ought to have been. Very short, nothing about her family.
BINGLEY: (smiles) I did hear of it, and offer my congratulations.
MRS BENNET: - but it's very hard to have my Lydia taken away from me. Mr. Wickham has been transferred to Newcastle, where ever that is. Thank heaven he has some friends.

Mrs. Bennet shoots a frosty glance at Mr. Darcy. This is more than Lizzie can bear.

LIZZIE: Do you hope to stay long in the country, Mr. Bingley?
BINGLEY: Just a few weeks. For the shooting.
MRS BENNET: When you have killed all your own birds, Mr. Bingley, I beg you will come here and shoot as many as you please.
MR BINGLEY: Thank you
MRS BENNET: - Mr. Bennet will be vastly happy to oblige you, and will save all the best of the covies for you.
MR BINGLEY: Excellent.
LIZZIE: Are you well, Mr. Darcy?
DARCY: Quite well, thank you.
LIZZIE: Well, I hope the weather stays fine, for your sport.
DARCY: I return to town tomorrow.
LIZZIE: (a pause) So soon? MRS BENNET : My Jane looks well, does she not?

Mr. Bingley stands up abruptly.

BINGLEY: She does indeed. Well, I must be going, I suppose. Darcy

Darcy cannot quite believe it. He gives Bingley a harsh stare, Bingley has not completed his task.

BINGLEY: (cont' d) It was very pleasant to see you all again. Lizzie, Miss Jane..

Bingley can almost not bear to look Jane in the eye as he acknowledges them all very briefly and bolts for the door. Mrs. Bennet fusses around him.

MRS BENNET: You must come again. For when you were in town last winter you promised to take a family dinner with us. I have not forgot you see. At least three courses.

Bingley and Darcy take their leave, leaving the Bennets sitting in silence all looking at once another. Kitty is fit to burst out laughing, Lizzie and Jane horrified by the awkward visit.


Bingley is pacing backwards and forwards in despair muttering to himself. Darcy looks at him in extreme frustration.

DARCY: What were you thinking of?

It's as if Bingley has not heard. He keeps pacing up and down.


The family is now spread around the room. Kitty's at the window. Jane and Lizzie are sat close on a sofa. Mrs. Bennett muttering things like "most peculiar" to anyone who'll listen. Mary plinking out a dreary arpeggio or two.

JANE: Well, I'm glad that's over. We can now meet as indifferent acquaintances.
LIZZIE: (laughing) Oh yes?
JANE: You cannot think me so weak as to be in danger now.
LIZZIE: I think you are in great danger of making him as much in love with you as ever.
JANE: I'm sorry, though, that he came with Mr. Darcy.
LIZZIE: Don't say that.
JANE: Why ever not?

Lizzie looks at her sister in anguish.

LIZZIE: Oh Jane, I have been so blind.
JANE: (stares) What do you mean?

The door bell rings.

KITTY: (at the window) It is him. He's back. He's come again.

A stunned reaction.


Everyone has regained the same positions. They hear Bingley's voice at the door and he comes, for once, absolutely in control of his facial colouring.

BINGLEY: I know this is all very untoward, but I would like to request the privilege of speaking to Miss Jane

They all look at him. He stands his ground, takes another deep breath and continues steadily.

BINGLEY :(cont' d)- alone.
MRS BENNET: Everybody to the kitchen. Immediately. Except you, Jane, of course. Oh, Mr. Bingley. It is so good to see you again so soon.

She ushers everyone out, not before squeezing Jane's hand. Now Jane and Bingley are alone.

BINGLEY: First. I have to tell you that I have been an unmitigated and comprehensive ass.

Jane starts to speak but Bingley steps towards her and she stops.


129 INT/EXT. HALLWAY - LONGBOURN - THE SAME. Mrs. Bennet, Kitty, Mary and Mr. Bennet are all jostling for a position at the door in order to overhear events inside.

MARY: Ssssshhh!

Lizzie is apart from her family. She cannot bear to be there. She walks down the corridor and out of the house into the garden. Through a window she sees Bingley on one knee, her eyes fill with tears as she walks away from the house.


Bingley looks at Jane, desperately worried. A pause.

JANE: Yes. A hundred times - yes.

Mrs. Bennet and the girls throw open the double doors to the drawing room and come crashing in. Bingley and Jane beam at them.

MRS BENNET: Thank the Lord for that. I thought it would never happen.


Lizzie is sits under a tree. It seems the only sensible thing to do.


Darcy looks down at Longbourn.


Through a window we see Mrs. Bennet lying in her bed, while Mr. Bennet lies, fully clothed on top of the bed covers.

MR BENNET: I am sure they will do well together, their tempers are much alike. They will be cheated assiduously by their servants, and be so generous with the rest, they will always exceed their income.
MRS BENNET: Exceed their income? He has five thousand a year! I knew she could not be so beautiful for nothing.

Mr. Bennett looks at her with great affection and with perhaps a memory of the great beauty she once was. She doesn't notice.

The camera moves from Mrs. Bennet's bedroom window to Mary's window - where we see Mary reading a corrective book out loud to Kitty - then from her window to Lizzie and Jane's.


Jane and Lizzie lie in bed.

JANE: Can you die of happiness? You know, he was totally ignorant of my being in town last spring!
LIZZIE: How did he account for it?
JANE: He thought me indifferent!
LIZZIE: Unfathomable.
JANE: No doubt poisoned by his pernicious sister.
LIZZIE: Bravo! That is the most unforgiving speech you've ever made.
JANE: Oh Lizzie, if I could but see you so happy. If there were such another man for you!

There is a noise outside.

LIZZIE: Perhaps Mr. Collins has a cousin.It's no less than I deserve.
What is that?

More noise, it sounds like a carriage, then aloud banging on the door downstairs. The girls look at each other.


Mr. Bennet, Mrs. Bennet and the girls lit by only candles have gathered. The door bangs again.

MARY: Maybe he's changed his mind.

Timidly, Mr. Bennet opens the door revealing a baleful looking Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Everyone gasps.

LIZZIE: Lady Catherine!

Lady Catherine does not acknowledge her, but comes in uninvited, inspecting the assembled company of aghast Bennets. She waves a dismissive hand towards the girls.

LADY CATHERINE: The rest of your offspring, I presume.

MRS BENNET: All but one, the youngest has been lately married your ladyship. And my eldest was only proposed to yesterday afternoon.
LADY CATHERINE: You have a very small garden, madam.
MR BENNET: (tentatively) Could I offer you a cup of tea perhaps, your Ladyship?
LADY CATHERINE: Absolutely not! I must speak to Miss Elizabeth alone, as a matter of urgency.

The Bennets all look at each other, bewildered by this strange turn of events.


Lizzie leads the way into the drawing room - holding a candle. Lady Catherine walks in. The door closes behind them. Lizzie puts the candle down on a small table. They sit, facing each other.

LADY CATHERINE: You can be at no loss, Miss Bennet, to understand why I am here.

Lit only by the oil lamp Lady Catherine resembles a flickering ghoul.

LIZZIE: Indeed you are mistaken. I cannot account for this honour at all.
LADY CATHERINE: Miss Bennet, I warn you, I am not to be trifled with. A report of a most alarming nature has reached me that you intend to be united with my nephew, Mr. Darcy.

Lizzie stares at her, amazed.

LADY CATHERINE (cont'd) I know this to be a scandalous falsehood, though not wishing to injure him by supposing it possible, I instantly set off to make my sentiments known.

Lizzie's spirit rises within her.

LIZZIE: If you believed it impossible, I wonder you took the trouble of coming so far.
LADY CATHERINE: To hear it contradicted, Miss Bennet.
LIZZIE: (coolly) Your coming here will be rather a confirmation, surely, if indeed such a report exists. LADY CATHERINE: If? Do you then pretend to be ignorant of it? Has it not been industriously circulated by yourself?
LIZZIE: I have never heard of it.
LADY CATHERINE: And can you declare there is no foundation for it?
LIZZIE: I do not pretend to possess equal frankness with your ladyship. You may ask the questions, which I may not choose to answer.
LADY CATHERINE: This is not to be borne. Has my nephew made you an offer of marriage?
LIZZIE: Your Ladyship declared it to be impossible.
LADY CATHERINE: Let me be understood. Mr. Darcy is engaged to my daughter. Now what have you to say?
LIZZIE: Only this - if that is the case you can have no reason to suppose he will make an offer to me.
LADY CATHERINE: Oh, obstinate girl! This union has been planned since their infancy. Do you think it can be prevented by a young woman of inferior birth and whose own sister's elopement resulted in the scandalously patched-up marriage, only achieved at the expense of your uncle? Heaven and earth, are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted? Now tell me once and for all, are you engaged to him?
LIZZIE: I am not.
LADY CATHERINE: And will you promise never to enter into such an engagement?
LIZZIE: I will not. And I certainly never shall. You have insulted me in every possible way and can now have nothing further to say. I must ask you to leave immediately. Good night.

Lizzie throws open the door, revealing the family outside.

LADY CATHERINE: I have never been thus treated in my entire life.

Lady Catherine storms past the family and out into the night. Lizzie is standing shaking with the excitement of having stood so firmly up for herself.

MR BENNET: Lizzie, what on earth is going on?
LIZZIE: Just a small misunderstanding.

She walks past them to bed.

LIZZIE: For once in your life. Just leave me alone.

Everyone looks shocked by Lizzie's reaction.


Jane is fast asleep, Lizzie more awake than she's ever been. She quietly climbs out of bed and creeps out of the room.

138 INT. KITCHEN - LONGBOURN - THE SAME. Lizzie sits at the table in her nightie, her father's great coat slung around her shoulders. The candle gutters out. She looks out at the green dawn.


Lizzie creeps out into the garden and wanders through the early morning mist, as the sun starts to rise.


Lizzie has lost track of herself and is walking beyond the Longbourn grounds. The mist is starting to evaporate and through the departing strands she sees a figure emerging. She stops, suddenly conscious of herself and frightened. Then she realizes it is Darcy - unshaven, red-eyed, slightly wild looking - but still Darcy.

They both stop and stare at each other for a second.

LIZZIE: I couldn't sleep
DARCY: Nor I. My aunt?

He stops, looking wretched.

LIZZIE Yes. She was here.
DARCY: How can I ever make amends for such behavior?
LIZZIE: After what you have done for Lydia and for all I know, for Jane also, it is I who should be making amends.

Darcy looks at her for one deep moment.

DARCY: You must know - surely you must know, that it was all for you.

Lizzie is still as stone.

DARCY: (cont' d) You are too generous to trifle with me. I believe you spoke with my Aunt last night, and it has taught me to hope as I had scarcely allowed myself before. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me forever.

Lizzie is silent.

DARCY: (cont'd) If, however, your feelings have changed. .

Darcy looks at her. Something in her eyes gives him confidence.

DARCY: (cont' d) I could, I would have to tell you, you have bewitched me body and soul and I love and love and love you. And never wish to be parted from you from this day on.

Lizzie looks at him very serious, very simple.

LIZZIE: Well, then.

Darcy takes a step towards her, one hand stretched out. Lizzie takes hold of his fingers.

LIZZIE: (cont'd) You're cold.

She kisses his thumb. He sweeps her into his arms on a sound that's half a laugh, half a sob.


The place is in an uproar. Jane, Mary, Kitty, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet are all gathered, fretting terribly about Lizzie's whereabouts. Through a window we see Lizzie lead Darcy along the duck board plank across the moat. Lizzie enters the house, everybody starts.

MRS BENNET: Lizzie, where have you been? We thought something had happened to you.

Darcy follows Lizzie in.

MRS BENNET: (cont'd) Mr. Darcy! What on earth are you doing here?

Lizzie takes Mr. Darcy's hand.

LIZZIE: Mr. Darcy has come to speak with Papa.

Everyone is stunned.


Lizzie paces outside the door of the library, waiting. After a while Darcy emerges, he gives Lizzie the briefest of smiles and leaves the door open. Lizzie walks in. Her father is in a state of shock.

MR BENNET: Lizzie, are you out of your senses? I thought you hated the man.
LIZZIE: No, Papa.
MR BENNET: He is rich, to be sure, and you will have more fine carriages than Jane. But will that make you happy?
LIZZIE: (uncomfortable) Have you no other objection than your belief in my indifference?
MR BENNET: None at all. We all know him to be a proud, unpleasant sort of fellow, but this would be nothing if you really liked him.
LIZZIE: (tears in her eyes) I do like him! (with passion) I love him! He's not proud. I was wrong, entirely wrong about him. You don't know him, Papa.. if I told you what he's really like. What he's done.
MR BENNET : What has he done?

CUT TO: 143 EXT. GARDEN - LONGBOURN - THE SAME. At a window Mrs. Bennet and the girls watch as Darcy, in an agony, paces up and down the lawn. He looks at the library window.


Mr. Bennet stares at his daughter.

MR BENNET: Good Lord. I must pay him back.
LIZZIE: (shakes her head) No, you mustn't tell anyone! He wouldn't want it. (pause) We misjudged him, me more than anyone. In every way, not just in this matter. I've been nonsensical. He's been a fool! About Jane, about so many things. Then so have I... (breathless pause) You see, he and I are so similar.. .we're both so stubborn. . . (shaky laugh) Oh Papa. . .

Mr. Bennet gazes at his daughter. He still can't quite take it in.

MR BENNET: You do love him, don't you?
LIZZIE: (nods) Very much.

He looks at her earnestly, searching her face. He loves his daughter very deeply. What he sees leaves him in no doubt.

MR BENNET: I cannot believe that anyone can deserve you, but it seems I am over-ruled. So I heartily give my consent.

Lizzie jumps up and puts her arms around him.

MR BENNET: (cont'd) I could not have parted with you, my Lizzie, to any one less worthy.
LIZZIE: Oh thank you!

She starts to rush out.

MR BENNET: (calls out after her) And if any young men come for Mary or Kitty, send them in, for I am quite at leisure.


We see a man's greatcoat walking away from camera and WIDEN to reveal Lizzie's hair caught up in the collar of the coat as she turns to someone with a heart-stopping smile.

WIDEN FURTHER to reveal Darcy at her side, in night-shirt and breeches, both of them looking as though they've just flung themselves out of bed... which is precisely the case.

We follow as Darcy helps Lizzie clamber onto a fallen tree which they both sit astride, bare feet swinging, looking alternatively at the amazing views of Pemberley and each other.

DARCY: And how are you today, my dear?
LIZZIE: Very well, only I wish you would not call me "my dear".
LIZZIE: It's what my father always calls my mother when he's cross about something.
DARCY: What endearments am I allowed?
LIZZIE: Let me think. Lizzie for everyday. My Pearl for Sundays and Goddess Divine - but only on special occasions.
DARCY: And what shall I call you when I'm cross? Mrs. Darcy? LIZZIE: (suddenly serious) Oh no. You can only call me Mrs. Darcy when you are entirely and perfectly and incandescently happy.

He takes her face between his hands.

DARCY: And how are you this morning Mrs. Darcy?

Lizzie smiles as he kisses every inch of her face and in between each kiss, murmurs "Mrs. Darcy".

We PULL AWAY as this happens, seeing them now looking for all the world like two children, utterly at ease and with nothing to hide from each other.

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