Author's Note: Submitted with all due compliments and respect to Miss Austen and to those who have introduced us to the laments of Colonel Studmuffin, and those who have given us the many perfections of our heroes, Elizabeth and Darcy.
Bingley asserted that all young women were presented to him as being accomplished and that they all seemed to engage in a wide variety of activities.
"Your list of the common extent of accomplishments,'' said Darcy, "has too much truth. I cannot boast of knowing more than half a dozen, in the whole range of my acquaintance, that are really accomplished.''
"Then,'' observed Elizabeth, "you must comprehend a great deal in your idea of an accomplished woman.''
"Yes; I do comprehend a great deal in it.''
"Oh! certainly,'' cried Miss Bingley, "no one can be really esteemed accomplished, who does not greatly surpass what is usually met with. A woman must have a thorough knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to deserve the word; and besides all this, she must possess a certain something in her air and manner of walking, the tone of her voice, her address and expressions, or the word will be but half deserved. And, of course, she would not be worth writing about if she were not also a figure skating champion, an astute woman of business, a newspaper editorial writer, a champion swimmer, and a Starfleet officer.''
"All this she must possess,'' added Darcy, "and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading, the study of brain surgery, the mastery of chess, and a thorough knowledge of wines. She also must be a passionate nature lover, a formidable warrior princess, attractive even in the guise of a frog, and a person who can make my cousin, Anne De Bourgh, laugh and stand up to her mother.''
"I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished women. I rather wonder now at your knowing any. I never saw such a woman, I never saw such capacity, and taste, and application, and elegance, as you describe, united.''
Darcy replied, "Madam, it is only just that a woman be all of that and more. Have you any idea what standards I am held to?"