TTR/ LWT: Storytime - Pride and Petulance
by Vicky Jewitt
(In which Sarah Jane is forced to play the piano and the Brigadier has
to propose *and* write a letter, while certain other gentlemen have
too much fun.)
Longbourn was in uproar, so Charlotte Lucas helpfully invited Mr
Collins to join her family and next thing anyone knew, they were
engaged. Before she left, Charlotte made Elizabeth promise to visit
her. And in the meantime, the party at Netherfield left with no word
as to when they where coming back, dashing all Jane's hopes.
JANE / LIZ
If only that were the end of it!
LIZZY / SARAH
I do think I should have told 'Charlotte' that she was marrying the
>From all accounts, she's not the first...
Anyway, I have an idea that will solve all your problems. You can go
and visit our Aunt and Uncle in Cheapside and in between babysitting,
you can visit Mr and Miss Bingley.
Really, Liz, you're not getting into the spirit of this, are you? I'm
the one who has to end up with the Brigadier.
[The NARRATOR coughs]
I do swear I shall never be able to read this book again!
Sorry. It's just not my sort of thing.
Well, ask for Frankenstein next time, or a science textbook.
Jane departed for London and soon it was Elizabeth's turn to go with
Sir William and Maria Lucas to visit Charlotte and Mr Collins. Her
father was none too pleased at losing his favourite daughters.
MARY / ZOE
I like that? Why are *they* his favourites? I'm far and away the
KITTY / JAMIE [having fallen into a settled gloom]
I don't want to be his favourite daughter. This is no sort of story
to be stuck in. There ought to be a battle with all those - soldiers
here. I'm fed up with wearing dresses. I'm *not being in any more of
LYDIA / JO
If you're going to argue about it, I really think I should be his
MR BENNET / THIRD DOCTOR
Now, Lizzy, remember to take every care when staying with that so-
called Mr Collins. Don't trust him for an instant and if he starts
showing his true colours, run!
Oh, if he starts trying to hypnotise you, nursery rhymes will stop
Now don't fuss, Father. I'm sure he'll behaviour himself. He seems
to be enjoying this.
I don't think I approve of any of this...
Lizzy and Maria Lucas went to visit Charlotte and Mr Collins at
My dear Cousin Elizabeth, welcome to my humble abode.
How nice to see you again!
MARIA LUCAS [played by a passing CLANGER] merely jumps up and down
It was not long before they were invited to dine at Rosings Park, with
Lady Catherine de Bourgh.
(LIZZY, MR COLLINS, CHARLOTTE and MARIA arrive at a grand dining
room. MARIA is still squeaking.)
LADY CATHERINE (the SECOND DOCTOR in drag)
Well, come on in everyone!
Oh, I swear it's getting worse!
Maybe it's just that particular TARDIS crew? Perhaps Kitty should
have words with Lady Catherine here...
After dinner, Elizabeth was interrogated by Lady Catherine.
LADY CATHERINE [adjusting 'her' lacy cap]
This is fun, isn't it? Well, Miss Bennet, do you play and sing?
And do all your sisters play and sing?
One of them does.
LADY CATHERINE [hiding a chuckle]
I take it that's not dear little Kitty? Do any of you draw?
LADY CATHERINE [falling off 'her' chair in undignified shock]
What NONE of you? That is very strange. Oh, dear, my wig seems to be
[LIZZY helps LADY C adjust it].
Well, we never had a governess.
Quite right, too. Who wants to be bothered with all this educational
LIZZY [prompting LADY C]
If you had known my mother -
I don't know your mother.
Lady Catherine, I believe you have strong views on governesses.
LADY C [nodding]
Yes, oh, yes, indeed. Why should five girls be pestered with a
LIZZY [giving up]
Why don't you ask if my younger sisters are out?
LADY C [after a cautious pause]
So, are all your younger sisters 'out', or is it only Kitty?
LIZZY [after opening and shutting her mouth for a moment]
[In a small voice] They're all out at once.
All! What all five out at once? Very odd! Surely your younger
sisters must be very young?
The youngest is not yet sixteen. But really, Ma'am, I think it would
be very hard on younger sisters to have to wait until their elder
sisters had married - I don't think it would promote sisterly
affection or delicacy of mind.
Upon my word, you give your opinion very decidedly for so young a
person. Pray, what is your age?
With three younger sisters grown up, your Ladyship can hardly expect
me to own it.
[LADY C falls off 'her' chair in indignation again]
Not long afterwards, Lady Catherine's nephew, Mr Darcy, arrived with
his cousin Colonel Fitzwilliam. After a week or so of Lady
Catherine's company, Lizzy was almost pleased to see them both at
Rosings Park, when they next went to dine.
COLONEL FITZWILLIAM [Professor Jones, prepared to enjoy himself]
You promised me you'd play the piano, love.
LIZZY [seated at the piano]
Oh help. That was reckless of me.
Couldn't they have got one of those things that plays itself? We've
already had to put up with your other 'sister's efforts.
I will not be alarmed though your sister does play so well. There is
a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the
will of others. My courage always rises with every attempt to
I have no wish to alarm you. I believe you find great enjoyment in
professing opinions which in fact are not your own.
LIZZY [laughs, still trying not to play]
[to FITZWILLIAM] Your cousin will give you a very pretty notion of me,
and teach you not to believe a word I say, but it is very impolitic,
for it provokes me to retaliate, and such things may come out, as will
shock your relations to hear.
I'm not afraid of you.
Let me hear what you have to accuse him of. I should like to know how
he behaves himself among strangers.
LIZZY [playing the occasional note]
Prepare yourself for something very dreadful. The first time of my
ever seeing him was at a ball - and what do you think he did? He
danced only four dances, though gentlemen were scarce! I am sorry to
pain you, but so it was. Mr Darcy, you cannot deny the fact.
I didn't dance at all that first time. Would you stand up with Miss
Winters and Miss Hawthorne? Sullivan and I got out of there pretty
Shocking! [Stepping into the breach left by the Brig] I suppose he
couldn't have been introduced to anyone?
No - no one can ever be introduced in a ball room.
I am ill-qualified to recommend myself to strangers.
LIZZY [to COL FITZ]
Shall we ask your cousin the reason of this? Why a man of sense and
education, who has lived in the world, and fought off alien monsters,
is ill-qualified to recommend himself to strangers?
COL FITZ [with enthusiasm]
Oh, I'd say I can answer that one. It's because he doesn't go to the
trouble of it. It's very, very bad, Darcy!
Standing around making idle chit-chat is not my scene. I never
thought I'd find myself in a dratted Austen novel, either. Can we get
to the next part before someone *else* has to murder a song on the
LIZZY [determined to get her lines out regardless]
I'm not as good at playing the piano as other women -
Well, that's true enough.
- But I always supposed it to be my own fault for not taking the
trouble of practising.
You have employed your time much better. No one who has had the
privilege of encountering your journalistic skills can think anything
wanting. We both think alien invasions of higher priority than piano
LIZZY [shutting the piano lid with a snap]
This *was* my favourite book! You're all ruining it!
Oh, don't stop playing, love! How about 'Land of my Fathers'?
Now you're taking liberties with the script. I don't know about you,
but I want to reach the end of this as soon as possible, Professor
I believe that's Colonel Fitzwilliam, Fitzwilliam.
Some days later, out walking in the grounds of Rosings Park, Elizabeth
met Colonel Fitzwilliam.
Hello there! Nice to see you again, love.
And you. I hear you and Mr Darcy are leaving Kent on Saturday.
Yes. Although it's up to Darcy. I just do what I'm told.
He does like to have his own way, doesn't he?
So do we all. He just has the means to get away with it, what with
being so fabulously rich and all that. Now, I am just a poor, younger
son of an Earl, who would ideally like to marry a rich girl with
connections that could take him up the Amazon if need be. I couldn't
marry just anyone, you know.
Yes, although I don't think the younger son of an Earl knows too much
about poverty. But I suppose, unless your older brother is very
sickly, you would not ask above 50,000 pounds.
A small price to pay for a project that could benefit the whole world.
Colonel Fitzwilliam, I don't think -
Listen, the man was in the army and must have some other interests?
Why not something along those lines? Besides, everyone should work.
I refuse to play a free loading aristocrat!
Hooray. Can't you tell me how great a friend Mr Darcy is to Mr
Aye, he is that indeed.
Oh! Yes. Mr Darcy is uncommonly kind to Mr Bingley, and takes a
prodigious deal of care of him.
Yes, so I've heard. In fact, I think Mr Bingley is highly in debt to
Oh, come on, you can't tell me that Harry and the Brig have been off
No, deeply obliged to him, that kind of thing. I hear he saved him
from a disastrous marriage - there were strong objections to the lady.
I think that's plain interfering! He's worse than I imagined. Now
I'm extremely upset and you had better take me home.
Of course. You did get my subtle hint that I won't be proposing to
you, didn't you?
Well, that's something to be thankful for; everyone else is!
One day, Lizzy, alone at the Collins's, found Mr Darcy had come to
call on her...
MR DARCY [as Lizzy opens the door]
I'm afraid I've come to propose.
I've been staying here as a guest of the Master and the President of
Earth, with a Clanger hanging round me. And that's after the Master
himself proposed. I believe I might be able to cope, so go ahead and
get it over with.
I don't think I can.
Oh, come on, Brig! There's some nice lines in this -
Have you seen how insulting this proposal is? And the fellow's
supposed to be the hero of the book! I don't know about the Master,
but I find it hard to imagine it could be worse.
Well, he did tell me that he met Jane Austen.
NARRATOR [interrupting swiftly]
Mr Darcy, if you don't propose we may all be stuck here forever and
I've got some bored toddlers who might tear the creche apart if we
If I must, I must. Please don't take any of this personally, Miss
Of course not, Brig.
In vain have I struggled. It will not do - dammit, Miss Smith, I
won't do it!
Mr Darcy proposed to Lizzy, not forgetting to dwell on her inferiority
and other such charming matters during his speech - and seemed
perfectly sure of her reply.
DARCY [in heartfelt gratitude]
In such cases as this, it is, I believe -
Are you going to do the whole speech? I have some very fidgety
toddlers here and we need to move on swiftly.
DARCY [seizing on the NARRATOR'S intervention]
And this is all the reply I am to have?
No, I was going to say the rest!
I'd like to know why, with so little civility, I am to be rejected.
Then you shouldn't tell me you liked me against your will, your
reason, and even against your character. Was that not some excuse for
It sounds like the honest truth to me.
I know, but we're getting there now. I could never marry the man who
had been the means of ruining the happiness of a most beloved sister!
Which one are we talking about here?
Jane, of course. You interfered between her and Mr Bingley!
Well, Bingley's terrified of the girl. I don't see why he should
marry just because you think they should. I observed for myself and I
didn't think she liked him much, either.
And as for what Mr Wickham said about you -
Oh, not Mr Wickham. I suppose he enjoyed telling you nonsense about
His misfortunes have been great!
Oh, great indeed! He should have thought of that before he turned
traitor. So this is what you think of me. Thank you, Miss Bennet,
everything is perfectly clear now.
Oh no, Mr Darcy. Your method of proposing merely spared me any
concern I might have felt in refusing you had you behaved in a more
gentleman-like manner. You could not have made me the offer of your
hand in any possible way that would have tempted me to accept it.
And stop laughing, both of you!
The next morning, Elizabeth received a letter from Mr Darcy,
explaining his actions in separating Mr Bingley and her sister - and
his dealings with Mr Wickham...
DARCY / BRIGADIER [reading the letter aloud]
Mr Wickham is the son of a very respectable man, whose good conduct
naturally inclined my father to be of service to him, and his kindness
was liberally bestowed on George Wickham, his godson.
MR WICKHAM / MIKE YATES
Jolly good of your Dad to send me to school and Cambridge with you,
Darcy, old fellow!
[MR DARCY / BRIGADIER glares at him.]
MR DARCY V/O
My father was not only fond of this young man, whose manners were
always engaging, he also hoped the church would be his profession and
intended to provide for him in it.
One of those endless GENERALS who turn up and make life difficult for
the Brigadier is talking cheerfully to WICKHAM.
So, I said, really, it was just a pimple on my bottom last night...
[GENERAL laughs hysterically while DARCY glares.]
I, however, saw his vicious propensities.
[WICKHAM kicks at a poor, defenceless, puppy (K9) while gambling and
drinking - DARCY is still glaring.]
I saw the poor company he kept.
MAN [unidentified extra, approaching WICKHAM]
I say, has anyone told you about something called 'Operation Golden
No, but it sounds like my kind of fun.
My excellent father died about five years ago, leaving a valuable
family living that might be his as soon as it fell vacant. There was
also a legacy of 1,000 pounds.
WICKHAM [waving the paper about]
Now should I splash this on expensive clothes, the football pools, the
horses or the lottery? Or just wine, women and song?
Captain Yates, I'm beginning to be a bit disturbed by your enjoyment
of this story!
Just trying to play my part properly, sir.
He claimed he wanted to become a lawyer instead and 1,000 pounds were
hardly sufficient to see him through his studies. He wished for some
more immediate pecuniatry advantage, rather than the preferment that
would not now be of any use to him. I rather wished than believed him
to be sincere, but at any rate, I was perfectly ready to accede to his
WICKHAM [taking a cheque from DARCY]
Thanks, Darcy. You won't regret this when I'm a hot shot lawyer at
one of the London courts.
I don't want to know. Just take your 3,000 pounds and don't let me
see you hanging around Pemberley again!
Next time I heard from him was when the living had fallen vacant and
he had suddenly decided he did want to be ordained.
WICKHAM [looking saintly]
I don't know how I could have thought I wished to waste my years
studying the law when I was so obviously meant to be a vicar.
Naturally, I refused this request. And every repetition of it.
However, in the meantime, he renewed his acquaintance with my sister,
Georgiana, staying with a Mrs Younge in Ramsgate for the summer.
Hello, Georgiana. Nice to see you again - you've grown!
GEORGIANA / VICTORIA [blushing]
How nice to see you, Mr Wickham. You were always kind to me when I
was a child.
Who wouldn't be? Now, you may be an heiress of 30,000 pounds, but I
won't let that stand in our way. How about an elopement?
Oh, dear, I'm not terribly sure. I really feel I should ask my
Oh, all right then.
Georgiana was persuaded to believe herself in love and to consent to
an elopment. She was then but fifteen. However, when I turned up two
days before the event, she confided the whole in me, unable to support
the idea of grieving and offending a brother whom she almost looked up
to as a father. You may imagine what I felt and how I acted.
[GEORGIANA sobs as DARCY chases WICKHAM down the sea front.]
This, madam, is a faithful narrative of every event in which we have
been concerned together. If you ask Colonel Fitzwilliam, he will
confirm the truth of everything here related. I will only add, God
To be continued as Jo demands to go to Brighton with the soldiers, and
the truth behind the Fourth Doctor's casting deal is finally revealed