• Published 13th Feb 2013
  • 1,196 Views, 69 Comments

Pride and Prejudice and Ponies - arglefumph

Rarity reads her favorite romance novel, Pride and Prejudice, to her little sister Sweetie Belle.

  • ...

Chapter 16

Spike and Twilight came to take the Bennets over to Lady Chrysalis' estate, although the estate at Rosings was so large that it could not possibly be missed. Twilight hugged Rarity, but when Spike moved in to hug her as well, he found himself on the end of a telekinetic shove.

"I've never met Lady Chrysalis before," Twilight said. "I wonder what she's like."

"Her ladyship is the most excellent product of high breeding and class," Spike said. "But she is also exceedingly generous, so don't make yourselves uneasy about your apparel. Lady Chrysalis will not look down upon you for having shoddy clothing."

"Shoddy clothing!" Rarity said.

"Your clothes are so cheap, it looks like you made them yourself," Spike said, shrugging. "Just put on whichever of your clothes is superior to the rest. There is no occasion for anything more."

Must...kill...Spike... Rarity thought slowly, seeing red. Mr. Bennet put a calming hoof on her shoulder.

As the weather was fine, they had a pleasant walk of about half a mile across Rosings Park. Every park has its beauty and its prospects, and Rarity saw much to be pleased with, although she could not be in such raptures as Spike expected the scene to inspire. An off-white stallion with a dark blue mane and a military uniform was walking around the grounds, and he trotted over when he saw the group.

"Ah, you must be the Bennets," the stallion said. "How do you do? I am Colonel Fancypants Darcy."

"Fancypants Darcy?" Sweetie Belle asked. "Where's your mustache and eye thingy?"

Colonel Fancypants laughed good-naturedly. "You're thinking of my cousin Fancypants," said he. "He doesn't arrive until tomorrow."

"...You and your cousin are both named Fancypants Darcy," Mr. Bennet said.

"It's a family name," Colonel Fancypants said.

"But you don't even wear pants!" Sweetie Belle said.

Rarity chuckled nervously. "Sweetie Belle, let's be polite to the Colonel."

"It's okay, I get that a lot," Colonel Fancypants said. "Would you like a tour before you—?"

"Obviously, the first thing they should do is meet Lady Chrysalis," Spike interrupted.

"Er, right," Colonel Fancypants said. He led the group inside the mansion, and Spike pointed out items of interest as they went through the entrance-hall, up a flight of stairs and through an ante-chamber before they reached the room where Lady Chrysalis was seated with her daughter, a unicorn named Trixie. Her ladyship, with great condescension, arose to receive them. Colonel Fancypants introduced everypony.

Lady Chrysalis was a jet-black unicorn, tall and large, with strongly-marked features which might have been beautiful once. Her green eyes were cruel, and her manners haughty; whatever she said was spoken in such an authoritative tone as marked her self-importance. Trixie was of the same ilk as her mother; her primary concern seemed to be making herself look great and powerful in comparison to all other ponies. While it was true that Trixie might have strong magical powers, she was a bit too pale and sickly to make her self-appointed prowess seem probable.

"Trixie is the reason why my cousin is arriving late," Colonel Fancypants whispered to Rarity. "She fancies him, and he wishes to avoid her."

Rarity smirked at this. Being pursued by Trixie and her formidable mother was a suitable punishment for Mr. Darcy, and indeed, it would go a long way towards explaining why he was generally unpleasant.

After the introductions were made, an unlively conversation followed. There was little to be done but to hear Lady Chrysalis talk, which she did without any intermission. One by one, she questioned Twilight and Spike about the minute details of their lives, and she gave a good deal of advice as to the management of their affairs. Spike was enraptured by the speeches, but Rarity soon came to the conclusion that Lady Chrysalis' main priority in life was dictating the lives of others.

"The reference section at the front of a library at all times," Lady Chrysalis told Twilight. "You must fix that horrid miscarriage of justice as soon as possible."

"Yes, your ladyship," Twilight said.

"Excellent," Lady Chrysalis said. She turned to the Bennets. "And you, Mr. Bennet. I am told that not all of your family is here today."

"That is correct," Mr. Bennet said, bowing slightly. "My wife has chosen to remain at home with three of my daughters."

"You have five daughters, then?" Lady Chrysalis asked. "Astounding! I take it they are all trained in the proper arts?"

"We have endeavored to help our children cultivate their unique talents, rather than put them all through the same program," Mr. Bennet said. "For example, Rarity likes to work with fashion and clothing design, while Sweetie Belle enjoys singing."

"Oh! Then at some time or other we shall be happy to hear you. Our instrument is a capital one, probably superior to—you shall try it some day."

"I, um...I don't play piano," Sweetie Belle admitted.

"What? You can sing, but not play piano?"

"With me, it is the opposite," Rarity said. "I can play, but I cannot sing."

"Why not all of you? You ought all to have learned. The Webbs all play, and their father has not so good an income as yours. How sufficient is your governess?"

"We never hired any governess," Mr. Bennet said.

"No governess! How was that possible! Five daughters brought up at home without a governess! I never head of such a thing. You must be quite a slave to your daughters' education."

"Sweetie Belle goes to Ponyville Elementary," Rarity said.

"Miss Cheerilee is our teacher, and she's nice!" Sweetie Belle said.

"Public school? No private tutors?"

"I have had private tutors all my life," Trixie said. "That is why I am so accomplished at magic."

"Indeed," Lady Chrysalis said. "I have never understood why some ponies insist upon living beyond their means. A pony should never have more children than they can afford."

"I find it curious you would say that," Mr. Bennet. "If money is all that matters when it comes to children, why do you only have one daughter, when you could easily afford to have twenty?"

"I beg your pardon!"

"Then I give you my pardon," Mr. Bennet said easily. "My wife and I love our daughters very dearly, and the enjoyment that our family brings more than compensates for the occasional pain in the pocketbook."

"I see," Lady Chrysalis said haughtily. "Are you the son of Mr. Roughshod Bennet?"

"That I am," Mr. Bennet said.

"I recognize you perfectly now," Lady Chrysalis said. "I met your parents once, thirty years ago. It is a shame that their son has not lived up to the Bennet family's expectations. But enough of speaking; let us have dinner."

Dinner was a silent affair for the Bennets, as Lady Chrysalis did not talk to any of them. Rather, Colonel Fancypants became the main participant of the table's discussion, which was to the pleasure of all, considering that he was the most pleasant member of the family. Instead of having the customary coffee after dinner, Lady Chrysalis dismissed everyone early.

"Fancypants, you must return for dinner tomorrow night," Lady Chrysalis ordered. "And you must return as well, Miss Rarity. Bring your designs for Twilight's wedding dress. I must ensure that there are no mistakes."

"I will, Aunt Chrysalis," Colonel Fancypants said.

"Lady Chrysalis," she corrected. "I need not see the rest of you until the wedding. Good night."

She turned and left the room quickly, as if she could not put enough space in between herself and Mr. Bennet. With a small "hmmph!", Trixie followed.

"Isn't she the greatest?" Spike asked. "So high class!"

"She's, um...strong willed?" Twilight asked. "I don't think her daughter likes me very much."

"They were different before my uncle died," Colonel Fancypants sighed. "Very well. Shall we proceed back to your cottage?"