Dear Diary, Tonight I left Longbourn hoping that I should have a most pleasant evening. Unfortunately my hopes were dashed in an outpouring of self-denigration by the other members of my family. Jane, of course, is the exception. I had hoped that Mr.
Wickham would be present but, on arriving, I was informed by Mr. Denny that he would not be attending. His words were, “I do not imagine his business would have called him away, if he had not wished to avoid a certain gentleman.
” I was livid. What was my purpose in coming to Netherfield, if not to meet with Mr. Wickham?My intention for the evening, that is, to enjoy his company, and hope that he might enjoy mine, would not be realized. The disappointment this evoked in me only led to anger towards a certain Mr. Darcy, undoubtedly the “certain gentleman” Mr.
Denny spoke of. Now no longer expecting an enjoyable evening, I resigned myself to informing Charlotte of my numerous grievances against Mr. Darcy. A short time later, Mr Collins approached me to claim his turn at the dances.
Being an abominable dancer, he had not thought it appropriate to even attempt to learn the steps of the Boulanger, the dance we would be partaking in. he mortification I suffered is beyond words. He often, unknowingly, moved in the wrong direction, or trampled on an unsuspecting foot.His profuse apologies became so exasperating that I felt it should have been better for him to concentrate on the attendance of his dance partner, rather than the grovelling excuses he poured out on those surrounding him.
When the misery of those dances ended for me, I returned to Charlotte to continue our conversation. Before I was even aware of it myself, Mr. Darcy had approached me, asked for me to join him on the dance floor, and I was accepting him.
Horrified as I was at my absence of mind at that particular moment, Charlotte applied some consolation, “I daresay you will find him very agreeable”. To me, the idea is so absurd that it is even laughable, that Mr. Darcy should be found agreeable to anyone, except perhaps the select group of individuals he deigns to call his friends, but humble petites-bourgeoisies such as myself surely could not appreciated the detached, refined manner for which his obsequious followers praise him.When we did begin our turn on the dance floor he remained in a solemn silence and despite my futile attempts at conversation, he continued his resolution to be entirely unsociable. When I voiced my feeling in this regard to him, we began a brief conversation about how similar our characters might appear, distant and silent in company. I soon broached the subject of Mr.
Wickham and at once his colour changed. He said nothing at first but finally and constrainedly he said, “Mr. Wickham is blessed with such happy manners as may ensure his making friends – whether he may be equally capable of retaining them is another matter. “He has been so unlucky as to lose your friendship,” I replied, and with spite, added, “and in a manner which he is likely to suffer from all his life.
” Sir. William Lucas interrupted us to speak to Darcy, and the conversation ventured towards books, and from there towards my thoughts at that time. I then began to ask questions to ascertain his character. Darcy seemed to take some offence at this – the irony! I told him what I was merely trying to do – I believe my words were “If I do not take your likeness now, I may never have another opportunity. ” To which he returned icily, “I would by no means suspend any pleasure of yours. “I had just separated from him when Miss. Bingley had the audacity to try and engage me in conversation about Mr. Wickham.
She told me, “…
As to Mr. Darcy’s using him ill, it’s perfectly false. I do not know the particulars, but I know very well that Darcy is not in the least to blame.
… His coming into the country at all is a most insolent thing indeed… I pity you, Miss Eliza.
.. one could not expect much better. ” I was furious at her presumptuousness.
The woman knew nothing, but had only taken the word of Darcy and now parroted it as if it were absolute truth. She had accused him of nothing more than being Darcy’s father’s steward.When I voiced this opinion to her, she sneered with contempt and said, “excuse my inference – it was kindly meant. ” Under my breath I muttered, “Insolent girl”, but with anger I turned and berated her, “You are much mistaken if you expect to influence me by such a paltry attack as this. I see nothing in it but your own wilful ignorance and the malice of Mr. Darcy.
” Still shaking with anger, I sought out Jane. She was smiling broadly, having had a most pleasant evening with Mr. Bingley. I enquired as to whether she had learned anything of Mr. Wickham.
She told me that she had nothing satisfactory to tell me, and that Mr.Bingley would vouch for the probity of his friend, and that she had been told that Mr. Wickham was “by no means a respectable young man”. I sighed, but yet I knew Mr. Bingley was too good a character to speak insincerely about another man.
I was sure he had simply taken his friend’s word at face value without question. He would think differently if he were acquainted with the other details of the story. I listened happily to Jane’s hope in regard to Mr. Bingley. However, later that evening, my mother spoke rather freely and uninhibitedly about Jane and Bingley’s marriage as if it were inevitable.I was greatly vexed, as she spoke so loudly as that Mr. Darcy, who was standing opposite could hear every word.
I could see quite plainly that his countenance was fixed upon mother, and his expression varied from contemptuous indignation to a grave placidity. This was not the end of my mortification. Mr. Collins also thought it fit to introduce himself to Mr. Darcy.
I tried in vain to dissuade him from this plan, but with his sense of superiority on account of his relations with Lady Catherine de Bourgh (I am reminded of a puppy and its owner), this was hard to do.He made a patronising comment on the soundness of my judgement before going forth to demean himself further in the presence of superior company. Mr. Darcy was shocked; yet spoke civilly, whilst his contempt rose visibly with every word Collins said. If this embarrassment were not enough, Mary had obviously decided that the Netherfield ball would be the opportune moment to exhibit her ability, or lack thereof, in playing the pianoforte. She played poorly and indeed tried to sing, completely oblivious to the disdain with which the assembled audience listened.
Finally my father was forced to intervene, publicly and awkwardly, and Mary’s interlude on the piano was ended. I left Netherfield tonight feeling humiliated and angry. I worry now that Jane’s prospects may have been limited by the shame brought upon our family by the antics of some of its members. I am still consumed with rage on account of the remarks made by Mr. Darcy and the sycophants who follow him (namely, Caroline Bingley).
Hopefully sleep will bring some peace to the tumult of emotion I am now experiencing. The mortification still smarts, but the fury, on behalf of Wickham, still burns.