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Guest Post – Reader’s Perspective by Dave McKee — 67 Comments

  1. Thats a man for you always making trouble. Poor Susan Mason-Milks. But I am a fan of stirring the pot. I like your questions. I think Elizabeth will be angered over Darcy calling him self her betrothed. Theo will make it hard for there to be a resolution between brothers and it would be interesting indeed if the Colonel was torn between Jane and Anne.

    • Hello schilds! Am thinking Elizabeth will ring a peal over his head like a Billingsgate fishwife! Neither brother seems willing to be the first to relent – their animosity is so very strong. Hopefully the Colonel will give Bingley a nudge to step forward with Jane. There is no telling right now what Anne is going to do with all of London as her new playground!

  2. Oh, reading this is too much fun! I tweeted a few days ago and asked if I should torture Darcy a little more and all the responses were a resounding “No!” Poor Darcy! He has a lot to learn, but I think he’s starting to get it! Wow! That speech Regina wrote for him about wanting children running around the house. How could that not melt Elizabeth a little? On the other hand, he still has some things to explain – like Wickham.
    Thanks for this fun commentary!

    • Hi Susan! Was sure you would not mind a little tease! Yesterday I was mulling Darcy too. I think it is interesting that in this story, it is Elizabeth clinging to her pride and fears. Feel a little sorry for Darcy – the kind words he gets from Elizabeth come when she is trashed by laudanum or fever. Everyone seems to be telling her, “Loosen up! Give him a chance!” In Regency-speak of course.

      It is a little scary that even for a moment he would consider walking away from Elizabeth rather than reconcile with Theo. That speaks of such a long standing animosity. However will they breach such a barrier!

      Looking forward to Wednesday and finding out where you take the story!

  3. Wouldn’t the children try on the armor after they knock it over? Run around in the helm or gauntlets?

    If you really want trouble, send in Caroline! If this goes to Darcy House, she can be horrified between Lizzy “malingering” while trying to badmouth Jane, and the children give her palpitations… and perhaps a frog or mouse in her teacup.

    • Hi Niki! Oh you really added to the bedlam! Yesterday I thought also of them chasing around fighting with his fencing foils. You can just hear the shrieks of laughter vibrating off the walls! Picturing the servants chasing around after them. I had not thought of Caroline! I always picture her as the wicked witch of the East. You are right, the children would put her to rout, fleeing away with orange skirts flapping while shrieking, ” You are mad! You are all blooming mad!”

      Thanks so much for commenting!

  4. Such great ideas! Dave, you’re really looking for trouble! I do think Lady Catherine should throw a fit. She wouldn’t be worthy of being “the old bat” unless she interfered.

    I’m all for tossing the children into the mix as well. Lady Catherine, Caroline (great idea, Niki), the children and Wickham can all create as much disorder as possible, and Theo can come in and take charge while Darcy moons over Lizzy. (I don’t think the other authors will let me do this, though. Sigh).

    Monica

    • Hi Monica! I think Lady Catherine will have met her match with the children. She would not think to look before sitting in a chair. Puts her hands on the chair arms and .. sticks! Jam tarts are soo messy! Oops! The chair seat is sticky too!

      If Elizabeth would lighten up just a bit and give him the slightest encouragement, Darcy would be thinking special license. I agree Theo needs to come to Darcy’s rescue – in some important manner to change Darcy’s mind about his brother’s worth.

      There is lots of story left to tell – I can tell you are plotting your turn already! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. Mrs. Gardiner’s children misbehaving? She wouldn’t let them tear up the house, even for Lizzie’s sake! But tearing around in the kitchens….

    • Hello Leslie! Yes, I agree with you on the proper Mrs. Gardiner! “But Mama! Lizzy said we could! She said Mr. Darcy likes noisy children!” “Stop this wailing right now! We are for the kitchen for treats!” As soon as they go through the green door, out pop the other children each clanking around in parts of the suit of armour. Mr. Gardiner and Darcy peek out from the library, wink at the children, and retreat back to a very fine bottle of brandy.

      What grand possibilities and all for fun!

        • I did something like that in my novel. In that story, he astonished Elizabeth by reading to the children. It made her see him in a different light. It’s something I hadn’t thought of adding in here but it’s a great idea.

        • I would like Darcy to be caught by Lizzy as he shows the children what fun it is to roll pall mall balls the length of the ball room – trying to hit the armor helmet at the other end. What a racket that would make! Would imagine Darcy, Theo, and Colonel Fitzwilliam did that very same thing at their age.

  6. I like the idea about Lady C bringing Wickham into the mix. Then Theo can come back and take care of Wickham once and for all, explaining to E of her misconceptions of W’s character. Darcy looks better to her, and Theo looks better to Darcy…then things start going up hill!

    • Hi Kari! Wickham has his uses, but we all like it when he gets his comeuppance. I especially like the stories where Colonel Fitzwilliam quietly takes care of Wickham – in ways that fit his crimes… Theo would help! If she was in on the scheming, having Lady C reduced to living in the dower house is fitting for a lady with her pride and status.

      Theo is going to have to mature some more while Darcy needs to slightly shed the mantle of responsibility. I wonder if Elizabeth can work wonders with these two stubborn men!

      • Do remember that Theo is the one who decided earlier in the story that he needed to be kinder to Darcy. Darcy didn’t relent until he thought Theo was dying, and was the one to provoke the latest quarrel. It would be a lot to ask Theo to take being told he’s at fault for Elizabeth’s shooting and now wants to go off and play. Even then, he didn’t pick the fight he might have, just walked away.

        • So often with these two it is what they do not say that is most significant – you bend first! Both wearing perception blinkers. They seriously need a mediator and/or a massive personal crisis where family needs override personal pride – for both of them. Georgiana or Anne in trouble? Lady C plotting? More angst ahead! lol

  7. What I would like to know is how Anne and her cousins browbeat Lady Catherine into allowing her to go to London. Knowing Lady Catherine, she would not easily give way. And she will surely hatch up a plan to disrupt the union of Darcy and Elizabeth. I don’t like the idea of her and Wickham joining forces and create havoc but I agree with Niki that perhaps Caroline can be the one who stir up trouble.

    Bingley visiting the Gardiners is a surprise. I don’t anticipate any major obstacles for Jane and Bingley. Bingley clearly is crazy over her and Jane loves him. Nothing could block their path to happiness except maybe for Caroline’s schemes. I sure hope Bingley can put her in place or threaten to send her away if she could not accept Jane as her sister-in-law. Perhaps I’m thinking too far ahead.

    Now for Theo. Things can go either way but the ball is in Darcy’s hand to reconciliate with his younger brother. If Darcy does not attempt to heal the breach, it is not in Theo’s interest to do anything.

    • Hello Lúthien, as usual you have very astute observations! Possibly Anne was spirited away from Rosings? Lady Catherine would be severe on the servants for not alerting her – embarrassment on her part. I suspect she is packing for a trip to town now. Caroline and Wickham as a conspiring pair has interesting possibilities. I have confidence these writers would have fun with all three together! Wouldn’t it be fitting for that pair to marry – a tad harsh treatment for Caroline though.

      Since Bingley knows Darcy is in love and he has been firmly told to ‘get on with it’, he should make short work of a proposal. Watching Darcy’s current behavior, will Bingley have the courage to put Caroline in her place?

      Yesterday I wrote some thoughts about Theo – am concerned over the extreme animosity.
      Could Darcy be feeling a little jealousy towards Theo? Last chapter Darcy said he sometimes feels that he was born old. Basically he has always been in harness, carrying the weight of Pemberley like a yoke. As part of his reconciliation with Theo, could he transfer part of the Darcy empire over to his brother’s responsibility? Such as far flung properties, like horse stud farms or distant estates. Or, since he may prefer London, place him in charge of the Darcy investment assets. Something very responsible and very important to the continued success of the Darcy Family. Try to show trust in his brother.

      I am glad to see you share my concerns regarding the brothers. Thanks for commenting!

      • Your idea of Theo helping his big brother to take care of the family investment is brilliant, Dave. You have lots of good suggestions to add to the plot. Btw are you a writer or planning your first big break into JAFF scene?

        • Hello again! Having read tons of Regency novels, do remember stories where Darcy has gobs of investments in rail, shipping, etc. Investments are not the same as actually being in trade. sniff. LOL
          Since Theo is so tight with his horse, my first inclination was for him to run a stud farm within close proximity to Pemberley – trying to bring him close to home – he is the heir spare right now. If Darcy were injured who would be responsible for everything? Theo? Is he ready? Do you think the writers heard that idea?

          If you read any of my FB notes, you would notice the absolute lack of detail. I might mention a house has a doorway and nothing else. Most of the characters could be wearing sweatsuits and trainers since I give few personal touches. I like reading those things, like Maria Graces’ current post talking about all the dining detail, but no way would I attempt that! Am happy slinging scenarios and snippets. Will leave real writing to the pros!

  8. I’m pretty sure Darcy isn’t even fully aware of how Darcy feels about things. Some in the field of psychology got wayyy to bored one day and used the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator on fictional characters and typed Darcy as an INTJ. Coming from that field myself, I think they were right.

    Now you ask of course, what does that mean? Without all the gobbledygook speak, it means he is by his nature and extremely capable perfectionist who is intensely faithful and loyal, but his feelings run so deep that he may not even be aware of them himself. He’s as bad at recognizing the feelings of others as he is at recognizing his own and has no skills for dealing with any of them. hat’s why he offends people so easily. He just doesn’t get it. It is also why he needs Elizabeth so much as she does.

    INTJ types are among the lest common out there, making up 1-2% of the population, so people just don’t ‘get’ them, including their own families. So they have tough time fitting in.When someone does get them though, they will have an incredibly devoted friend who will go to the end of the world for them.

    So right now, Darcy desperately needs both Theo ad Elizabeth to ‘get’ him.

    That’s my take on it all, FWIW.

    • Hi Maria! It takes me a long while to write/rewrite these replies – feel very Darcyish in that way. Every time at work when we did the Myers-Briggs and sorted into tables by Type, as an INTJ myself I was sitting with just a couple others while the engineers would take up 2-3 tables for their type. It was always a surprise to everyone, but when they really analyzed the descriptions they could see that most everyone was pigeon-holed pretty accurately. There were always a couple chameleon managers who skewed their results to be in the same group as the boss – amusing really! Wickham would do that.

      That paragraph describing Darcy’s feelings sounds right to me. He ponders so much during a conversation, by the time he is ready to speak, everyone else has gone on to a new topic and he is left looking as if he is not interested. He is really, but keeps being frustrated at being too late to contribute. Can he not just be spontaneous and blurt out half-thought responses? Not a chance – against type!

      Believe you are spot on! Thanks for the discussion!

      • This sort of reminds me of Doc Martin. Is Doc MartIn really a modern p&p in disguise? Wouldn’t that be an interesting variation?

      • My middle son and I are also INTJ’s. Three out of four INTJ’s are men, so I’m really a very odd bird. Always nice to meet another odd duck

        • When in those Type meetings, the other tables would look at our small group, read descriptions, look at us again. Then you could see the light-bulb of understanding go on – they would suddenly see past dealings in a totally different light. After the meeting, I often had much better relationships with folks – better communication!

          quack!

  9. What strikes me now, with all the relatives swirling around, is that here’s a ton of external involvement pushing Darcy and Lizzy together, and forcing the reconciliation with Theo. Since both Darcy and Lizzy are at heart somewhat stubborn, I fear this will not get them where we want them if they are pushed into it by others. In the original P&P, a lot of this anguish of realizing that you’re wrong happens very personally, and Lizzy for example realizes she’s mistaken about Wickham but only she knows/acknowledges it and she changes her own mind about Darcy as a result. Which was more effective than all the nagging Charlotte or Jane could have done to have her give Darcy a chance. Now with all these friends and relatives giving advice and conniving to bring them together, I think she would be even more resistant to changing her mind.

    I think Darcy’s waffling over whether to reconcile with Theo is more that it has been such a difficult relationship for so long that he’s not sure if he could do it and be successful (maybe the perfectionist part of INTJ). As he is a very practical person, that’s probably very worrisome because Theo just doesn’t react the way Darcy can predict. But he’s willing to take on something impossible for Elizabeth.

    • Oh and I forgot to say, though, despite all the relatives swirling around, I think it would be hilarious to see children wreaking havoc through someone’s stately home, and making Lady C and Caroline both shriek with terror.

      • That is such a fun image! Sticky fingerprints on banisters, Ming vases full of water and frogs, acorns in tea cups, and of course, muddy foot prints ‘walking’ up the walls. I like anything that makes Lady C and Caroline shriek and turn tail!

    • Hello Kathy! Do agree with you on Elizabeth and her resistance to anyone forcing her opinion. I woke up a couple nights ago, and scribbled a quote. My wife has found some strange things on the grocery list lately. Do not think it is original and forget where I saw it, but matches your comment :

      Her ears are closed to advice unless she asks for it.

      Sounds like something Charlotte or Mrs. Gardiner would say – they are both very perceptive.

      Darcy and Theo are so very different in personality and experiences. Could they be considered strangers related by blood? Am afraid it is going to take something massive to break through where they recognize each others worth and point of view. Time will tell! Thanks for posting!

  10. What if Darcy barging in calling himself her betrothed actually makes Elizabeth’s heart flutter. But because she thinks she hates him she doesn’t like the feeling and tries to squash the emotion. She becomes closer to Theo out of desperation and convinces Theo and Darcy that she is in love with Theo (which was not her intention) and the boys do the honourable thing between them (must save the girls reputation) and set Elizabeth up to marry Theo. Poor sad Darcy but as long as she is a part of his family he will be able to protect her and insure her happiness. And isn’t it the best kind of reward seeing the ones you love happy and knowing that it was all your own doing?

    • Hi Evie! Are you trying to give Regina a challenge for the ‘Queen of Angst” title? LOL Darcy would not just be sad, he would be devastated. Having admitted to Mrs. Gardiner his violent affections, for him to be near the ‘happy’ couple would drive him over the brink. Not sure what he would do, but it would be extreme! I rate this idea as a double dose of angst! Well done!

  11. Elizabeth realizes that she is desperately in love with Darcy when confronted with her imminent matrimonial situation and doesn’t know what to do. She thinks Theo is in love with her (he’s really putting on a brave face for the sake of his brother, Elizabeth and his future life) and is afraid to hurt him but is so conflicted because she cannot possibly marry a man and love his brother.

    • Oh my! Now we are at a triple dose of angst! LOLOL Do you think the writers would be vying for the chance to write this chapter? I think so! Sounds like heart palpitations for all concerned! I will fall back on the JAFF canon that Elizabeth and Darcy MUST be a happy couple – eventually. Truly, the universe would implode if that does not happen! Thanks for commenting!

  12. Good jump-off questions, Dave!

    While I think there is still a need for the air to be cleared about Wickham and Darcy definitely needs to get his head screwed on straight about Theo, I think even headstrong Lizzy must come to terms with the circumstances.

    With the intro of this infection and sick room, I think things are set up nicely for a Marianne & Brandon scene. Darcy sort of has her at his mercy so if he can swallow pride, he can get some misunderstandings dealt with. I can see Georgie overhearing how Lizzy favors Wickham and dealing with that pack of lies herself. As to Col. Fitz and Jane, he is still in need of a rich bride so I don’t see her as a change on Lizzy.

    • Hi Sophia! I hope Lizzy remembers what she has said to Darcy, but being under laudanum, might she think it was a nightmare and try to back out? She showed disdain for Darcy at Rosings and now he arrogantly pushes past their agreement for a courtship first – am afraid she is going to be a real terror for a bit. If she pushes Darcy far enough, will he reluctantly step back?

      If they can tolerate each other’s pride, some real communication would help immensely! They keep squaring off at each other with hurtful sharp words. Maybe Theo can act as a mediator. Put mouth gags on both then let only one talk at a time.

      Here is a quote I posted in one of my notes – seems appropriate here.
      Darcy says in agony, “With every conversation, we seem to be at loggerheads and bashing each other in anger. It is so frustrating! I look at her, my brain turns to mush, and stupid things fall out of my mouth!!”

      Thanks for posting!

    • Well of course the world would sink into a black hole if they didn’t get together in the end. The fun is in making the characters (and the readers) squirm.

    • That is what I need, Sophia – a lovely line such as Alan Rickman utters in S&S 1995. “Give me an occupation, Miss Dashwood, or I shall run mad.” Unfortunately, Colonel Brandon is not so forceful in the original story.

  13. This is a tough one. Elizabeth should be absolutely furious with Darcy for declaring them betrothed, but perhaps be secretly pleased. I like the idea of the kids running around with the fencing foils and reeking some havoc while misses Gardner is tending to Lizzy when they move to Darcy house, per Mr Darcy’ssuggestion. I also agree that if and when Caroline and Mrs. C turn up they should at the time when the childrenare fooling around and that Darcy should be in the midst of the chaos playing with the children perhaps along with Colonel Fitzwilliam and and Georgianna as well as Anne. I think Mrs. C should hire Wickham to cause more problems such as possibly kidnapping Elizabeth. Theo & Darcy will somehow need to work things out but I am not too sure how. However it’s written it certainly will not be dull.

    • Hi Deborah! Aren’t these fun ideas? It is amazing to me that I totally blocked Caroline from mind – probably some orange aversion. Here is a snippet on how I wanted to dismiss Lady C:::

      Much later after Darcy negotiates a truce with the Gardiner children, he and Elizabeth take a stroll in Hyde Park to give her some much needed fresh air.

      In barges Lady Cathy in full battle armor, demanding to speak to her nephew immediately!
      The butler in an unflustered down-the-nose manner explains the lack of family at that moment. Unfortunately, Mr Bennet and Mrs Gardiner pass by the foyer and are instantly accosted as interlopers by the irate lady. With full confidence Mr Bennet and Mrs Gardiner whipsaw Lady Cathy back and forth until her head is in a whirl. Suddenly she realizes she is in her coach departing Darcy House. Mrs Gardiner and Mr Bennet wave good bye from the portico and arm in arm return to the house for a spot of tea.

      Caroline could be accompanying Lady C – that would work!

      I did not use the “K” word regarding the women – Was hoping someone would!
      It would be fun if they snatched all three, oh, add Jane, four!
      Thanks for commenting!

  14. I think I got it. Theo somehow finds out Lady C. hires Wickhamto kidnap Elizabeth and informs Darcy either before or after depending upon when he find the information. I think after might be better but not too long after.

    • Yes, after sounds better. Since Wickham and Theo used to be friends, maybe Wickham pumped Theo for information. After Elizabeth is gone, Theo realizes he was duped. Wonder if he would try to rescue her all by himself or would he bring Darcy into the picture? Good idea! I like Lady C being in trouble, she has caused enough so turn about is fair play!

  15. I think Theo should bring Darcy into the picture and explain he was duped by Wickham but Darcy should be furious and forbid Theo to help. Darcy should enlist Colonel Fitzwilliam’s help but Theo follows and is the catalyst thatturns the situation into Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam’s favor there by ensuring Darcy’s forgiveness & a reconciliation.

    • That sounds very good! Darcy finally seeing Theo as supporting the family. Would Theo come close to dying at Wickham’s hand but persevere? Darcy being scared of losing Theo may be the catalyst to adjust his stubborn attitude about his younger brother. Would you want Colonel Fitzwilliam to march Wickham off to his fate ( left to the readers imagination )? Most writers do not want blood on Darcy hands, but the Colonel, writers choice? Maybe we could have a vote on Wickham’s eventual fate.

  16. (waves) ISTJ here! (borderline INTJ)

    I also like the stories where Colonel Fitzwilliam quietly takes care of Wickham… permanently.

    Instead of angst, how about some comedy? What about having Mrs Bennet invite herself to the Gardiner home – hey, somebody needs to get Jane and Bings together! Or maybe Mrs Bennet heard about Lizzy’s engagement to William, so she figures NOW is her chance to push Lydia and Kitty (and Mary?) in the paths of other rich men.

    But Mama’s boisterous ways force Lizzy to take refuge with Georgiana at Darcy House, with Mrs Annesley as chaperone. The Gardiner cousins can visit. (Or Matlock House.)

    But Mrs Bennet will visit Darcy House, too, so she can measure the Darcy House drapes, etc. Theo earns the thanks of William and Lizzy by taming Mama Bennet, even after Lady Cat has failed to make Mrs Bennet tolerable.

    Theo will charm Kitty and Lydia, who completely forget about the Wickhead fellow. My money’s on Theo’s charm!

    • Hello June! Glad you made it today! Was reading your comment when I hit the Mrs. B part – I was the one with heart palpitations! That woman truly makes me shudder and cringe! Would run away if I met her counterpart in real life!! Hopefully Georgiana, Anne and Mrs. Gardiner take over Mrs. B and send her shopping for lace – checking out the latest shipments. In Dover. Paris. Istanbul.

      Hope you are happy! Can hardly type now! LOL

      Do agree on Theo charming Kitty and Lydia – maybe introducing them to his friend Sir Monty. Not a redcoat but bet he could perform introductions to a few. We do not know much about Sir Monty. Wonder what kind of person he is…. In my notes I have him as a womanizing lecher. Surely a friend of Theo’s would not be such a person. Would he?

      Thanks for commenting. The palpitations are subsiding… lol

      • Oh yes, forgot to mention –
        At the top of this post, I was teasing Susan as being a hanky waver.

        Actually she may have an occasional flutter with all these suggestions,
        but she would never shrilly shriek and any hanky waving would be done
        with grace, panache, and style!

        • Sigh, OK. He says grudgingly… At least there are ladies involved – hope we get to meet some of them. Fortune hunters! Theo compromises possible! Was hoping for another evil dude. Wickham could use some bad guy help. No evil lurking in dark shadows. Forgot – this is not a Gothic tale. Guess I will have to e-file all my Monty stuff. 😎

        • A different lady each week does not recommend him. He could still be added to the villain pile. After all, Theo used to hang out with Wick, and Monty’s Twitter profile calls him “rake par excellence” – he’s like a Wicky who has his own money. Well, at least some money…

          • (wave back) Would there be a significant difference between a cad like Wickham and a Monty rake?

            My thinking, which may be waaay off, is that Monty rake would have ethical morals that Wickham cad would not. My new pigeon-hole of Monty has him inviting ladies to an assignation – even gentlewomen – but not forcing or coercing them to participate. Monty would not pay directly, but would give generous gifts… He also, in my thinking, would never cheat at cards or cheat tradespeople. He just prefers a variety of feminine companionship on a short term basis. Would that make him a ‘good’ rake? Maybe an ‘ethical’ rake would be better. 🙂

            Nuts! I had to totally change my opinion (wish) on Monty. Was hoping there were evil tendencies not revealed yet. Maybe Bingley has a dark side… LOL

            • Difference between a cad and a rake…. hmmm…. perhaps a future chapter author might answer that question, especially since a cad like Wicky would not understand those differences. If Mrs Younge is around, she belongs in the villain pile.

  17. I think Theo should come close to lose his life but before losing consciousness shoulwecome was paid Wickham was paid off by….

    and Darcy should not finish him off, Elizabeth’s expectations of Honor and Colnel Fitzwilliam’s honor would not allow Darcy to put his life in danger for the son of a steward

    • So true! That has always been a question – not in this story yet but in general, since Wickham is not a gentleman, why is he treated as if he were. If a tenant had done what he did to Georgiana or any other woman at Pemberley or surrounds, would the tenant be treated leniently? The only thing I come up with is respect for the elder Darcy’s wishes, even if he was duped by Wickham.

      Theo would fall under the same honor umbrella as Darcy. Of course if there were other indiscretions, the Colonel should not have a problem finding volunteers to cart Wickham away to his fate.

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  19. Love the way you stir the pot, Dave, and the things that pop up are just too much fun 😉

    You’re right, once Elizabeth gets up she might not take it very well that Darcy jumped from ‘trial period’ straight into ‘I’m her betrothed’ – Hm! Really? Are you? But then again he’d say anything to gain admission and hear how bad things are with her!

    Looking forward to tomorrow, but I think I’ll peek very carefully, just in case the vote went with her saying Wickham’s name! That should throw the cat among the pigeons!

    • Hi Joana! I am betting on “William…” Was watching the count before the vote closed and Darcy was leading – poor guy! Throw him something! LOL

      We had a fun time Sunday – the hellion Gardiner children generated some hilarious posts. Everyone knows Mrs. Gardiner would jump through hoops to keep her kids from behaving like that.

      Susan posted that she has locked the story down – good thing – 7 hours!
      Hope the storms past you by this time! Cornwall got hammered. 🙁

    • Of course! Causing trouble is what guys do best! 🙂 Kidding of course.
      The story must have angst or it would be so flat but everyone is like you in wanting the bad parties to get justice and all the rest to live happy lives – especially Elizabeth and Darcy as a couple.

      Thank you for commenting!!

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