• 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.

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Chapter 20

"You have received a letter," said Mr. Bennet to Rarity the following morning. "Judging from the thickness of the envelope, it is a long letter indeed."

"Who is it from?" Rarity asked.

"Why, none other than Mr. Darcy, you favorite stallion in the entire world!"

"...He wrote me a letter."

"I would venture a guess that he writes better than he speaks," Mr. Bennet said. "He came here to deliver the letter himself, and he desires that you give him the honor of reading it."

With no expectation of pleasure, but with the strongest curiosity, Rarity opened the letter.

Rosings, Lady Chrysalis' Estate. April the Second, 8:00 AM.

To Miss Rarity Bennet:

Be not alarmed, madam, upon receiving this letter, for fear of its containing any repetition of those sentiments or renewal of those offers which were last night so disgusting to you. I write without any intention of paining you, or humbling myself, by dwelling on impossible wishes. I believe that, for the sake of your happiness and mine, the events of last night cannot be too soon forgotten. You must, therefore, forgive me for demanding your attention here, for I know that you will bestow it unwillingly.

Two offenses of a very different nature, and by no means of equal magnitude, you last night laid to my charge. The first mentioned was, that, regardless of the sentiments of either, I had detached Mr. Bingley from your sister, and the other, that I had, in defiance of honor and justice, ruined the immediate prosperity and blasted the prospects of Mr. Blueblood Wickham. You are correct in asserting that it would be a depravity to have willingly and wantonly thrown off the companion of my youth, the acknowledged favorite of my father, a young man who had scarcely any other dependence than on our patronage, and who had been brought up to expect its exertion. There could be no comparison between this atrocity and the separation of two young ponies, whose affection could only be the growth of a few weeks. I should have defended myself on both counts, but I was taken aback from the severity of that blame which was last night so liberally bestowed, respecting each circumstance. I shall hope to be secured in the future, when the following account of my actions and their motives has been read. If, in the explanation of them, I am under the necessity of relating feelings which may be offensive to yours, I can only say that I am sorry.

I had not been long in Ponyville, before I saw, in common with others, that Big Macintosh preferred your elder sister to any other young woman in the country. But it was not till the evening of the dance at Netherfield that I had any apprehension of his feeling a serious attachment. I have often seen Big Macintosh in love before, and I believed his regards towards Fluttershy were no greater than that which he had bestowed on other ponies. You will recall that I had the honor of dancing with you at the ball, at which point we were interrupted by Lady Luna, who gave us the accidental information that Big Macintosh's attentions to your sister had given rise to a general expectation of their marriage. She spoke of it as a certain event, of which the time alone could be undecided.

From that moment I observed my friend's behavior attentively, and I could then perceive that his partiality for Miss Bennet was beyond what I had ever witnessed in him. Your sister I also watched. Her look and manners were open, cheerful, and engaging as ever, but without any symptom of peculiar regard, and I remained convinced from the evening's scrutiny, that though she received his attentions with pleasure, she did not invite them by any participation of sentiment. The serenity of your sister's countenance and air was such as might have given the most acute observer a conviction that, however amiable her temper, her heart was not likely to be easily touched. If you have not been mistaken here, I must have been in an error. Your superior knowledge of your sister must make this probable, and if it be so, if I have been misled by such error to inflict pain on her, your resentment has not been unreasonable. I apologize most heartily.

Upon reflection, I can see that I was desirous of believing her indifferent, but this was not my primary reason for separating her from Big Macintosh, as I will venture to say that my investigations and decisions are not usually influenced by my hopes or fears. There were equal causes of repugnance, which I had first heard through rumor, then later verified myself during the dinner at Netherfield. You will recall, of course, that I was seated next to your mother, and I had ample opportunity to hear her thoughts on the match of Big Macintosh and Fluttershy. She frequently, almost uniformly, betrayed a total want of propriety in boldly proclaiming that the two would be wed, and the primary advantage of the match would be financial, with the secondary advantage being that you and your sisters could likewise be wed to rich stallions. Her tendency towards radically impolite behavior was shared by your pink sister, your dragon cousin, and occasionally even by your father.

Pardon me. It pains me to offend you, as I surely have done by describing, however briefly, the defects of your nearest relations. Let it give you consolation that, to have conducted yourselves so as to avoid any share of the like censure, is praise no less generally bestowed on you and your eldest sister. I will only say farther that from what passed that evening, my opinion of all parties was confirmed, and every inducement heightened which could have led me to preserve my friend from what I esteemed a most unhappy connection. His sister Applejack was equally uneasy with the match; our coincidence of feeling was soon discovered, and we were sensible that no time was to be lost in detaching her brother. He was scheduled to leave Ponyville for Canterlot on the day following, with the design of soon returning, and we impressed upon him the necessity of making his departure permanent.

The part which I acted is now to be explained. I readily engaged in the office of pointing out to my friend the certain evils of such a choice. I described, and enforced them earnestly. But, however this remonstrance might have staggered or delayed his determination, I do not suppose that it would ultimately have prevented the marriage, had it not been seconded by the assurance of your sister's indifference. He had before believed her to return his affection with sincere, if not with equal regard. To hear otherwise was a great shock to him, and though it pained me to see him so wounded, I cannot blame myself for having done thus much to protect my best friend.

On this subject I have nothing more to say, no other apology to offer. If I have wounded your sister's feelings, it was unknowingly done; and though the motives which governed me may to you very naturally appear insufficient, I have not yet learnt to condemn them. With respect to that other, more weighty accusation, of having injured Blueblood, I can only refute it by laying before you the whole of his connection with my family. Of what he has particularly accused me I am ignorant, but of the truth of what I shall relate, I can summon more than one witness of undoubted veracity.

Blueblood's father was a very respectable stallion, who had for many years the management of all the Pemberley estates, and whose good conduct in the discharge of his trust naturally inclined my father to be of service to him. My father liberally bestowed the same kindness of Blueblood, supporting him at school and afterwards at Canterbridge. My father was not only fond of this young man's society, whose manners were always engaging, but he had also the highest opinion of him. As for myself, it is many, many years since I first began to think of Blueblood in a very different manner. As a young stallion nearly the same age as himself, I had opportunities of seeing him in unguarded moments, in which he displayed vicious propensities and lack of principles, which he was careful to keep from the knowledge of my father. I perceive that Blueblood has created certain sentiments in you, Rarity, and I fear that here again, I shall give you pain, to what degree only you can tell. But your affection for him shall not prevent me from unfolding his real character.

My excellent father died about five years ago, and his attachment to Blueblood was to the last so steady, that in his will he particularly recommended it to me, to promote his advancement in the best manner that his profession might allow There was also a legacy of one thousand bits. His own father did not long survive mine, and within half a year from these events Blueblood wrote to inform me that he needed the thousand as soon as possible, saying that it was not unreasonable for him to expect the pecuniary advantage early, though he was not to receive it before having finished school. He claimed that he had the intention of using the funds to help him study the law. I wished, rather than believed, him to be sincere, and I was perfectly ready to accede to his proposal.

All connection between us seemed now dissolved. I thought too ill of him to invite him to Pemberley, or admit his society in town. In town I believe he chiefly lived, but his studying the law was a mere pretense, and being now free from all restraint, his life was a life of idleness and dissipation. For about three years I heard little of him, until he wrote to me again. His circumstances, he assured me, were exceedingly bad, and I had no difficulty in believing it. He had found the law a most unprofitable study, and he requested that I give him three thousand bits to secure a new livelihood for him, saying that I could not have forgotten my revered father's intentions. You will hardly blame me for refusing to comply with this entreaty, or for resisting every repetition of it. His resentment was in proportion to the distress of his circumstances. Doubtless, his abuse of me to others was as violent as his reproaches to myself. After this period every appearance of acquaintance was dropped. How he lived I know not. But last summer he was again most painfully obtruded on my notice.

I must now mention a circumstance which I would wish to forget myself, and which I would prefer not to mention to you or any other pony. Upon the death of our father, my sister Fleur was left to the guardianship of myself and my mother's nephew, Colonel Fancypants. About a year ago, she was placed in a boarding-school at Canterlot with a fine reputation for education. There also went Mr. Blueblood, undoubtedly by design, for there proved to have been a previous acquaintance between himself and the headmistress, Sunset Shimmer, in whose character we were most unhappily deceived. By her contrivance and aid, Blueblood so far recommended himself to Fleur, whose affectionate heart retained a strong impression of his kindness to her as a child, that she was persuaded to believe herself in love, and to consent to an elopement. She was then but fifteen, which must be her excuse.

I joined them unexpectedly a day or two before the intended elopement, and then Fleur, unable to support the idea of grieving and offending a brother whom she almost looked up to as a father, acknowledged the whole scheme to me. You may imagine what I felt and how I acted. Regard for my sister's credit and feelings prevented any public exposure, but I had no such qualms about dealing with Blueblood, who immediately left the place before I could reach him. Fleur was removed from Sunset Shimmer's care. Blueblood's chief object was unquestionably my sister's fortune, which is thirty thousand bits, but I cannot help supposing that the hope of revenging himself on me was a strong inducement. His revenge would have been complete indeed.

This, madam, is a faithful narrative of every event in which we have been concerned together, and if you do not absolutely reject it as false, you will, I hope, acquit me henceforth of cruelty towards Blueblood Wickham. I know not in what manner, under what form of falsehood he has imposed on you, but his success is perhaps not to be wondered at, ignorant as you previously were of everything concerning either. Detection could not be in your power, and suspicion certainly not in your inclination.

You may possibly wonder why all this was not told you last night; but I was not then master enough of myself to know what could or ought to be revealed. For the truth of everything here related, I can appeal more particularly to the testimony of Colonel Fancypants, who, from our near relationship and constant intimacy, and, still more, as one of the executors of my father's will, has been unavoidably acquainted with every particular of these transactions. If your abhorrence of me should make my assertions valueless, you cannot be prevented by the same cause from confiding in my cousin. That there may be the possibility of consulting him, I shall endeavor to find some opportunity of getting this letter in your hooves in the course of the morning. I will only add, God bless you.


"I have been the world's greatest fool," Rarity said.