Monday, February 1, 2010

Then and Now.

I love the movie Pride and Prejudice like every other girl on the planet. And I don't know why hearing these lines come out of Kiera Knightly mouth gives me such great joy, but it does.
The scene that I have chosen is when Lady Catherine shows up late at night. To ask Elizabeth if she has accepted a proposal of marriage from her nephew. I decided to show you the real dialogue and then show you my interpretation of how it would be said today. I'll let you read and see for yourself. Enjoy.

``I will not be interrupted. Hear me in silence.'' Lady Catherine said, ''My daughter and my nephew are formed for each other. They are descended, on the maternal side, from the same noble line; and, on the father's, from respectable, honourable, and ancient -- though untitled -- families. Their fortune on both sides is splendid. They are destined for each other by the voice of every member of their respective houses; and what is to divide them? The upstart pretensions of a young woman without family, connections, or fortune. Is this to be endured! But it must not, shall not be. If you were sensible of your own good, you would not wish to quit the sphere in which you have been brought up.''
Lady Catherine: "You do not belong on the same planet as my nephew."

``In marrying your nephew, I should not consider myself as quitting that sphere. He is a gentleman; I am a gentleman's daughter; so far we are equal.''
Miss Bennet: "Oh, I believe I am." That's none of your business."

``True. You are a gentleman's daughter. But who was your mother? Who are your uncles and aunts? Do not imagine me ignorant of their condition.''
Lady Catherine: "Pleassse."

``Whatever my connections may be,'' said Elizabeth, ``if your nephew does not object to them, they can be nothing to you.''
Miss Bennet: "If he doesn't mind...then why should you."

``Tell me once and for all, are you engaged to him?''
Lady Catherine: "I want to know...are you engaged to him?"

Though Elizabeth would not, for the mere purpose of obliging Lady Catherine, have answered this question, she could not but say, after a moment's deliberation,

``I am not.''
Miss Bennet: "No"

Lady Catherine seemed pleased.

``And will you promise me, never to enter into such an engagement?''
Lady Catherine: " won't."

``I will make no promise of the kind.''
Miss Bennet: "No, I won't."

``Miss Bennet I am shocked and astonished. I expected to find a more reasonable young woman. But do not deceive yourself into a belief that I will ever recede. I shall not go away till you have given me the assurance I require.''
Lady Catherine: "I am not leaving until you tell me you won't marry him."

``And I certainly never shall give it. I am not to be intimidated into anything so wholly unreasonable. Your ladyship wants Mr. Darcy to marry your daughter; but would my giving you the wished-for promise make their marriage at all more probable? Supposing him to be attached to me, would my refusing to accept his hand make him wish to bestow it on his cousin? Allow me to say, Lady Catherine, that the arguments with which you have supported this extraordinary application have been as frivolous as the application was ill-judged. You have widely mistaken my character, if you think I can be worked on by such persuasions as these. How far your nephew might approve of your interference in his affairs, I cannot tell; but you have certainly no right to concern yourself in mine. I must beg, therefore, to be importuned no farther on the subject.''
Miss Bennet: "Get the hell out of my house."

``Not so hasty, if you please. I have by no means done. To all the objections I have already urged, I have still another to add. I am no stranger to the particulars of your youngest sister's infamous elopement. I know it all; that the young man's marrying her was a patched-up business, at the expence of your father and uncles. And is such a girl to be my nephew's sister? Is her husband, is the son of his late father's steward, to be his brother? Heaven and earth! -- of what are you thinking? Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted?''
Lady Catherine: "I am not through here. don't think I don't know about the affairs of your family."

``You can now have nothing farther to say,'' she resentfully answered. ``You have insulted me in every possible method. I must beg to return to the house.''
Miss Bennet: "I'm done. Get out!"

And she rose as she spoke. Lady Catherine rose also, and they turned back. Her ladyship was highly incensed.

``You have no regard, then, for the honour and credit of my nephew! Unfeeling, selfish girl! Do you not consider that a connection with you must disgrace him in the eyes of everybody?''
Lady Catherine: "You are a tramp and not worthy of him."

``Lady Catherine, I have nothing farther to say. You know my sentiments.''
Miss Bennet: Crosses her arms against her chest and glares.

``You are then resolved to have him?''
Lady Catherine: "I know you want him?"

``I have said no such thing. I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me.''
Miss Bennet: "I will do whatever I damn well please."

``It is well. You refuse, then, to oblige me. You refuse to obey the claims of duty, honour, and gratitude. You are determined to ruin him in the opinion of all his friends, and make him the contempt of the world.''
Lady Catherine: "So your just going to ignore everything I've said. You will ruin his life."

``Neither duty, nor honour, nor gratitude,'' replied Elizabeth, ``have any possible claim on me, in the present instance. No principle of either would be violated by my marriage with Mr. Darcy. And with regard to the resentment of his family, or the indignation of the world, if the former were excited by his marrying me, it would not give me one moment's concern -- and the world in general would have too much sense to join in the scorn.''
Miss Bennet: "Don't concern yourself.I'm pretty sure the worlds population won't die if we choose to get married."

``And this is your real opinion! This is your final resolve! Very well. I shall now know how to act. Do not imagine, Miss Bennet, that your ambition will ever be gratified. I came to try you. I hoped to find you reasonable; but, depend upon it, I will carry my point.''
Lady Catherine: "I thought we could talk, but I was wrong."

In this manner Lady Catherine talked on, till they were at the door of the carriage, when, turning hastily round, she added, ``I take no leave of you, Miss Bennet. I send no compliments to your mother. You deserve no such attention. I am most seriously displeased.''
Lady Catherine: "Go ahead and ruin both your lives."

Today's speach is alot shorter, but it sure lacks the luster of the way people spoke back then. What do you think?


  1. This was a fun post! Love it!

  2. Man, who put a quarter in you? That was good.