The Certain Ills of Such a Choice, by P. O. Dixon

The Certain Ills of Such a Choice, by P. O. Dixon

“In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” – Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 34

Say what you will about Mr. Darcy’s first proposal to Elizabeth. Presumptuous—yes. Misguided—no doubt. Disdainful—well, sure, from Elizabeth’s perspective.

But what about Mr. Darcy? Was this not the truest illustration of his vulnerability on full display? His willingness to sacrifice for Elizabeth. Did the fact that he offered his hand in marriage with every expectation of a favorable reply negate the fact that he put himself out there only to discover he was not the one with the power in that situation? She was.

Poor Mr. Darcy. Left with no armor to protect him other than his wounded pride in such a tender moment. That sounds like vulnerability to me.

In that spirit, here’s another drabble (100-word short story). The story started out about unrequited love, but then I ended up being inspired by Darcy’s proposal to Elizabeth in Hunsford. Enjoy!

The ChoiceThe Choice

His destiny was to love and admire her from a distance. He had no choice—her circumstances in life being so beneath his own; it was laughable. It would not do.

But he did have a choice. He would have her. His scruples, his pride, the degradation of his own family because of hers. He confessed how he willingly cast all that aside, and without the slightest hint of interest or encouragement, he asked her to be his wife.

She answered with a look that could kill. Then, her words dealt the ultimate blow.

The choice wasn’t his—but hers.

What say you? Was this a case of vulnerability on Darcy’s part or something less sympathetic? Have your share in the conversation.

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Jean Stillman
Jean Stillman
May 1, 2022 7:14 AM

He was very vulnerable, and just did not realize how he had exposed his soft underbelly to a woman with the blade. Elizabeth did have all of the power in that moment. Loved this!

April 30, 2022 1:42 PM

I do concur. (Thanks for sharing this)

Admirably (though awfully ) honest. Some people are just too direct. They think that they already softened the blow but they didn’t. Mr D & Lizzy are both direct but honest and very expressive of their strong feelings. The truth hurts, but it is preferrable (to me) most of the time than pretty/nice words (softening the blow) or lying. It is hard to hide the truth to those you love/care for

April 30, 2022 1:32 PM

He definitely was vulnerable. It’s why I feel so sorry for him.

Caryl Kane
Caryl Kane
April 29, 2022 1:08 PM

Darcy laid his heart bare for sure!

cindie snyder
cindie snyder
April 28, 2022 7:00 PM

He was honest and told her his feelings. Lizz y is headstrong and probably told him a thing or two as well!lol

J. W. Garrett.
J. W. Garrett.
April 28, 2022 3:44 PM

He was honest, that’s for sure. You have to give him credit. He wanted her to know his struggles and that he had overcome them for her. However, in his case, honesty was not the best policy. LOL! Two worlds collided that day. A young country miss from lower gentry and the arrogant gent from the first circle Haute ton. Goodness. That was a sound heard around the world. Bless their hearts. He had NEVER encountered anyone like her. Thanks for this delightful post. I love the drabbles.

Linda A.
Linda A.
April 28, 2022 1:15 PM

He definitely laid bare ALL of his feelings, on multiple topics, and opened himself to the possibility of having those feelings harmed, but I don’t think he saw it as being vulnerable. He condescended to offer for her, with no fear of being rejected because he was offering for her and, since every other marriageable female would have snapped it up in a heartbeat, he didn’t have an inkling that he was throwing himself at her feet and was about to be stomped on. Then again, maybe he did know he was “vulnerable”, but his hubris outweighed the possibility of being hurt.

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