Sir William Lucas introduced Messrs Bingley and Darcy to a simpering Mrs Bennet, and Miss Bennet and Miss Elizabeth Bennet.
Mrs Bennet, not unaware of the substantial fortunes of the two gentlemen present brought up the subject of dancing and delivered an oh-so-subtle hint as to the immediate availability of her daughters.
Mr Bingley, totally entranced with Jane's beauty and manner addressed Miss Bennet thus: "If you are not otherwise engaged, would you do me the honour of ...." He hesitated. "Marrying me?"
Mrs Bennet gasped and clutched at her heart.
Darcy looked appalled and approached to snap his friend out of the spell woven by Miss Bennet, only to be caught by an amused look from the fine eyes of Miss Elizabeth Bennet. He stopped dead in his tracks, his knees turned to jelly and his brain to treacle. He heard himself address Miss Elizabeth Bennet: "If you are not otherwise engaged, would you do me the honour of...." He hesitated not. "Marrying me?"
Through the haze of his bewitched mind, he heard the sound of a scream and a thump as Mrs Bennet's nerves finally overcame her and she hit the ground insensible.
Elizabeth and Jane addressed the gentlemen, "We should accept your kind offer sirs, or we will just waste the next four hundred pages arguing."