Chapter 1 Posted on Friday, 28 January 2000
It was a beautiful autumn morning when Mr. Collins woke up in his bed in Longbourn's guestroom. "What a beautiful day it is" he said to himself "I couldn't imagine a better day to make my proposals to my fair cousin Elizabeth. I dare say she will be delighted by my affections."
He got up and after reading his morning prayer, he started to look after the speech he had written last night for this special occasion.
"Where can it be?", he thought, "Where can I have put it? Such great speech cannot and must not become lost, it would in fact be quite unforgivable. And it must be found at once, because I have not yet learned it by hard, and that is very important. What would Miss Elizabeth think of me if I started to stammer in the middle of my proposal? And more importantly (this I should, of course, have thought of first), what would Lady Catherine say if she heard?!? No, I must find it!"
With that said Mr. Collins quickly dressed and left his room in search of the speech.
More than an hour he spent by going around the house, trying to find what he had lost. He even scared the servants by going to their rooms to look for the speech, in case some of them had stolen his mighty work to use it for his own needs. Or even worse, somebody could have sold it with good price to someone who appreciated good literature, his speech was, after all, very well written ( at least in his own opinion ).
But finally he realized, "Oh no, I can't find it anywhere! What will Lady Catherine say if she hears that I have lost a speech, which contained so many comments about her gracefulness? I must go to my room at once and pray, pray that she will never find out the truth."
And so Mr. Collins ran as quickly as he could (and that was not very quickly) to his room and finally reached it huffing and puffing. There he kneeled before his bed and started: "Dear Lord..." But he didn't need to pray long, for almost as soon as he began, he noticed a piece of paper under his pillow. "The speech!!! I have found it! Now Lady Catherine will never have to know and I can go to propose Miss Elizabeth!"
And so he did, only two hours later when he had learned his speech and come up with some new compliments, which she knew were very much appreciated among young ladies.
It was afternoon when Mr. Collins was finally ready to go in search of Mrs. Bennet and her daughter Miss Elizabeth
Fortunately for Mr. Collins, he didn't have to make a long search at this time, but was, instead, lucky enough to find Mrs. Bennet, Elizabeth and Kitty seated around a table in the drawing room.
*Oh, there they are* he thought to himself *Now I must not forget anything: remember the speech, calm down, say compliments...*
Here Mr. Collins' thoughts were interrupted when Mrs. Bennet noticed him (obviously Lizzy had noticed him as well, but for some reason didn't feel like saying anything) and exclaimed "Oh, Mr. Collins! Please, do join us!"
"It would be my pleasure.", Mr. Collins replied ,"Indeed I would like to stay the whole day in your and your amiable daughters' gracious company, but I fear I must, instead, ask your favour in a matter of great importance."
"Anything you want, Mr. Collins." said Mrs. Bennet favourably
"May I hope, Madam, for your consent for the honour of a private audience with my fair cousin Miss Elizabeth?"
"Oh dear!--Yes--certainly--I am sure Lizzy will be very happy-- I am sure she can have no objection.", said Mrs. Bennet in great enthusiasm, "Come, Kitty, I want you upstairs" After saying this, Mrs. Bennet rushed away, grabbing Kitty with her, stopping only for a short while when she noticed that Lizzy was heading out of door. "I will not have this, Lizzy. I insist upon your hearing Mr. Collins!"
*Now this is it,* thought Mr. Collins while Mrs. Bennet was scolding her daughter, *Now I will a chance to make Miss Elizabeth to fall for my charms. Indeed, I don't think anyone could resist me when I have Lady Catherine as my noble patroness.*
He chuckled and then started his speech after realizing that Mrs. Bennet had left.
I do not think I need to tell you what happened then, but I may say that after some five minutes he came out of the room being most seriously displeased, as Lady Catherine would say.
And do I even need to mention that the next night he spent tossing and turning in his bed, thinking what would Lady Catherine say if he came back without a wife?