My love of Autumn harkens back to my childhood days, growing up with a charming view of the Peaks of Otter, and frequent family drives to the Blue Ridge Parkway to admire the fall foliage up close. Memories. For me, this is indeed the most wonderful time of year.
While in search of an autumn-themed material for this month’s post, I came across a video excerpt from one of my book babies, To Refuse Such a Man. It’s an ‘oldie but goodie’ which features a beautiful array of fall colors as well as an engaging exchange between Darcy and Elizabeth. The written excerpt is included below as well.
Elizabeth paced the garden path. The warm autumn sun on her face was doing its best to chase away her melancholy—all in vain. That odious man who called himself a parson had effectively blackmailed her into considering his proposal by summoning her dearest sister’s name. She racked her brain for some means of escaping what she was certain would be a most unwelcome prospect for herself as well as her sister. Could she put her cousin off until Mr. Bingley returned?
What if he never returns? What if he returns and still does not make Jane an offer of marriage?
The sound of a gentleman clearing his throat interrupted Elizabeth’s silent deliberations. She covered her face with both hands and exhaled a pained breath. My life as I know it is over!
Nevertheless, she knew what she must do. Dropping her hands, she turned, fully prepared to accept her sentence.
There he stood: his countenance handsome and his eyes questioning, the exact opposite of the man she had been expecting—nay dreading—to see in that instance.
“Miss Elizabeth, I have been walking about the garden for some time hoping for a private audience with you.”
“There is something important I must say to you. I have already spoken with your father, and I have obtained his permission to speak with you. You see, a matter of the utmost concern was brought to my attention last evening—one that involves you.” He now stood directly before her.
Elizabeth studied the gentleman in silence. Gone was the man whose cultivated aloofness typically defined his countenance. In his place was a man whose eyes bore uncertainty, his voice tenderness.
“I know what I am about to say to you might seem rather untoward, but decades from now when you look back at this moment, my greatest wish is that you will remember it fondly.”
“Miss Elizabeth, I admire you—most ardently. Will you please do me the honor of accepting my hand?”
Astounded, Elizabeth colored. She stared. Although rendered speechless by his avowal, her mind raced as a thousand thoughts competed for their share of attention. One pounded more forcefully than the rest. Even if there was no proposal from Mr. Collins threatening to destroy her every prospect for felicity, how might she reasonably deny such a petition from a man of Mr. Darcy’s consequence?
For a woman of my circumstances to refuse such a man, were it made known, would undoubtedly render me imprudent, selfish and heedless of the greater good of my family.
How was it even possible that such a man was in her power, and she did not know it? Not once had she sought his approbation and yet somehow she had managed to secure it to her greatest advantage. Even now, she was not certain she wanted it. Still, she could not be insensible to the compliment of such a man’s affection.
Finding her voice, she said, “Sir, in such cases as this, it is, I believe, the established mode to express a sense of obligation for the sentiments avowed, however—”
Darcy’s countenance reflected his disbelief. “Are you rejecting me?”
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