• Published 13th Feb 2013
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Pride and Prejudice and Ponies - arglefumph

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

  • ...

Chapter 19

The agitation and tears which the subject occasioned brought on a headache, and it grew so much worse towards the evening that Rarity could entertain no notion of sleeping. She gave the barest of details to her father and sister, then spent the rest of the time seated at the sofa, thinking of what she had learned.

While settling herself, she was suddenly roused by the sound of the door-bell, and her spirits were a little fluttered by the idea of it being Colonel Fancypants, come to call late in the evening. But this idea was soon banished, and her spirits were very differently affected when, to her utter amazement, she saw Mr. Darcy walk into the room.

Darcy was clearly distressed, speaking in a hurried tone. He sat down for a few moments, and then getting up, walked around the room. Rarity was surprised, but said not a word. After a silence of several minutes, he came towards her in an agitated manner, and thus began:

"In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire you."

Rarity's astonishment was beyond expression. She stared, colored, doubted and was silent. Darcy considered this to be sufficient encouragement, and he began to profess his feelings for her. He spoke well, but he spoke inelegantly of her family, which awakened Rarity's deep-rooted dislike of the stallion. Her initial compassion for the pain he was to receive was soon replaced by anger and resentment. He had destroyed Fluttershy's chances of happiness? Very well. It was only fair that Rarity return the favor, by destroying Darcy's happiness.

He concluded by representing to her the strength of that attachment which, in spite of all his endeavors, he had found impossible to conquer. He expressed his hope that his attachment would be rewarded by the acceptance on her part. As he said this, she could easily see that he had no doubt of a favorable answer. He spoke of apprehension and anxiety, but his countenance expressed real security.

"You appear to have given this matter great thought," Rarity said. "Have you struggled greatly with your feelings for me?"

"I have," said he. "For weeks, I have tried to deny that which my heart desires."

"That is very lovely of you," Rarity said sweetly. "You tried your hardest to hate me as much as possible! Dear Darcy, you are quite the romantic!"

"I...I did not mean that—"

"I don't care what you mean to say. The answer is no. You are the foulest stallion I have ever met, and I would sooner pluck out my eyebrows than be courted by you."

Mr. Darcy, who was leaning against the mantelpiece with his eyes fixed on her face, seemed to catch her words with no less resentment than surprise. His complexion became pale with anger, and the disturbance of his mind was visible in every feature. He was struggling for the appearance of composure.

"What's wrong?" Rarity asked. "Don't you find pleasure in cruel rejection? You seemed to enjoy it well enough, when you ruined Fluttershy's life. I have heard that you and you alone drove my sister away from Big Macintosh, causing them endless grief. Can you deny it?"

"I...I do not rejoice in my success in that matter," Darcy said.

"Oh, but Fluttershy isn't the only pony whose life you have destroyed! What of Mr. Blueblood Wickham, the stallion who you cheated out of his inheritance? You have reduced him to his present state of poverty! You deprived him of the advantages which were his due, out of trivial jealousy!"

Rarity was going to continue and speak of Mr. Darcy's ugly mustached, but she was interrupted. "And this," cried Darcy, as he walked with quick steps across the room, "is your opinion of me! This is the estimation in which you hold me! I thank you for explaining it so fully. I can see why everypony says you are generous!"

"It is too generous of me, even to speak to a hateful pony like yourself," Rarity said. "From the very beginning—from the first moment, I may almost say—of my acquaintance with you, your manners impressed me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others. I believe you are incapable of having love for any pony other than yourself, and my dislike of you has grown to the point that within a month I have felt that you are the last stallion in the world whom I could ever be prevailed upon to marry."

"You have said quite enough, madam. I perfectly comprehend your feelings, and have now only to be ashamed of what my own have been. Forgive me for having taken up so much of your time."

And with these words he hastily left the room, and Rarity heard him the next moment open the front door and quit the cottage. The tumult of her mind was now painfully great. She knew not how to support herself, and she collapsed on the sofa. She cried to herself for a few moments, until a small cloth dropped on her horn.

"Huh?" Rarity asked. She grabbed the cloth, which was a hoofkerchief, and used it to dry her eyes. "Thank you, Sweetie Belle."

"See, I told you I can do levitation!"

"Yes, but you dropped it on her head," Mr. Bennet remarked. "Are you well, Rarity?"

"I-I'm fine," Rarity said. "It's...been a difficult night."

"So I heard," Mr. Bennet said. "You know, given the stressful situation here, I think it might be best if we avoided going to the wedding rehearsal tomorrow. We could go to downtown Canterlot instead. I believe that's where the Apple Family lives."

"I can see Applebloom again?" Sweetie Belle asked.

"Yes, and I can talk with Big Macintosh," Mr. Bennet said. "What say you, Rarity? Would you care to join us? There is no need of your staying here with...the unpleasant ponies in the estate."

"Yes, I-I would enjoy that very much," Rarity said.

"Excellent. In that case, I recommend you go to bed. The hour is late, and you have had quite enough excitement for one day."

"Thank you, Father," Rarity said, getting up off of the sofa.

Mr. Bennet embraced his daughter warmly. "I love you, Rarity. If you ever need to talk, I'm always here for you."

"Me too!" Sweetie Belle said, joining the family hug.

"I love you both so much," Rarity said. She took a deep breath. "And you need not concern yourselves with me. I followed the most logical and honorable course of action, and there is never any shame in that."

"It is my experience that matters of the heart are not always logical and honorable," Mr. Bennet smiled, "Mr. Darcy being a prime example. What possessed him to come here tonight? I was under the impression that he hated you."

"I have no idea what changed his mind," Rarity said honestly. "But since he is as odious as ever, my opinion of him remains unchanged."

Rarity left for her bedroom. After she was gone, Sweetie Belle asked her father if Rarity was going to turn down every stallion who asked for her favor.

"Perhaps. I never much cared for that stallion. I find it odd that he only refers to himself by his surname."