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Pride and Prejudice

Hallmark Playhouse

Pride and Prejudice 

Jul 08 1948





CAST

LOCAL ANNOUNCER (2 lines)

ANNOUNCER 

JAMES HILTON, host 

MRS. BENNET

MR. BENNET

MR. BINGLEY 

JANE BENNET 

MR. DARCY

SIR WILLIAM

ELIZABETH BENNET

LADY CATHERINE 

LYDIA BENNET 





LOCAL ANNCR: Central Standard Time; at the tone, nine o'clock.


SOUND: TONE


ANNOUNCER: Remember, a Hallmark card -- when you care enough to send the very best. 


MUSIC: THEME UP AND UNDER 


ANNOUNCER: Tonight from Hollywood, the makers of Hallmark Greeting Cards bring you an exciting dramatization of an unforgettable story on THE HALLMARK PLAYHOUSE. 


MUSIC: UP AND OUT 


ANNOUNCER: Tonight's story was chosen from the whole world of fiction by one of the world's most popular authors, whose knowledge of stories that will entertain you and stir your imagination is universally recognized. Hallmark is proud to present the distinguished novelist, Mr. James Hilton. 


SOUND: APPLAUSE 


HILTON: Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Tonight our choice on THE HALLMARK PLAYHOUSE is a classic that most people have read in book form or else seen on the screen -- "Pride and Prejudice" by the famous English novelist Jane Austen.


Now, Jane Austen was a very interesting woman. She lived just over a hundred years ago; she never married, and her life in an English village was quiet, and, you might say, uneventful. Yet she had the kind of mind that people ever since have liked to commune with. Indeed, there are many people today who, if they were asked which writer of all time they would like to know personally, would say, "Jane Austen."


And there's another interesting thing about her. She lived during the Napoleonic Wars, when England was threatened with invasion just as perilously as a few years ago. And she lived also within a few miles of the English Channel, on the other side of which the enemy armies were encamped. Yet, in all the novels she wrote -- and they were all about the England of her own times -- she never once mentioned the war that was in progress. Her concern was not with major problems, such as war, but with life's little perplexities of emotion and conduct. 


ANNOUNCER: Pardon me, Mr. Hilton. You said, "life's little perplexities of emotion and conduct"? 


HILTON: Yes, the simple everyday things of life. Why do you ask? 


ANNOUNCER: Because those are the things that concern so many people -- the very things for which a Hallmark Card is so very often the ideal answer. There are Hallmark Cards, you see, for every occasion that calls for a friendly greeting, a word of good cheer, or a word of sympathy. Hallmark Cards that say just what you want to say, the way you want to say it. Now, Mr. Hilton and our dramatized presentation of "Pride and Prejudice." 


MUSIC: AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN UNDER, OUT WITH A FLOURISH AT [X]


HILTON: Jane Austen begins her celebrated novel "Pride and Prejudice" with these words--


MRS. BENNET: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife. 


HILTON: That was Mrs. Bennet speaking, wife of Mr. Bennet, of the estate known as Longburn in England, and the mother of five daughters. Mrs. Bennet made her rather astounding statement one beautiful spring morning, and then she turned to her esteemed husband and continued-- [X]


MRS. BENNET: My dear Mr. Bennet, have you heard that someone's taken Netherfield Park at last? 


MR. BENNET: I have not. 


MRS. BENNET: But they have. Mrs. Long has just been there and she told me all about it. 


MR. BENNET: Mmm? 


MRS. BENNET: Aren't you going to ask me who's taken it? 


MR. BENNET: (UNINTERESTED) Uh, yes, my dear. Who has taken it? 


MRS. BENNET: (DRY) Well, Mr. Bennet, since you're so eager to know-- Mrs. Long says that Netherfield's been taken by a young man of large fortune from the North of England. He's to take possession almost immediately. 


MR. BENNET: What's his name? 


MRS. BENNET: His name is Bingley. Oh, beautiful name, isn't it? (LOVINGLY) "Bingley." It has a positively bell-like quality. Wedding bell. 


MR. BENNET: Is he married or single? 


MRS. BENNET: Oh, single, my dear, single! You don't think I'd have time to be so interested if he were married, do you? (SAVORING THE VERY IDEA) Oh, Bingley, a single man of large fortune. What a fine thing for our girls! Of course he must marry one of them. Now, I want you to call on him as soon as he arrives. 


MR. BENNET: Mrs. Bennet, I really have some pressing matters to attend to. And if you don't mind, I'd like to have my library to myself. 


MRS. BENNET: (HURT) Mr. Bennet, how can you speak to me in such a manner? You have no sympathy for my poor nerves whatever!


MR. BENNET: My dear, pardon the contradiction, but I have the highest possible respect for your nerves. They're my old friends. They've lived with us for the past twenty years. 


MRS. BENNET: (IMPATIENT) Will you call on Mr. Bingley? 


MR. BENNET: Madam, I'll do anything to get my library to myself -- even murder. 


MRS. BENNET: Very well, Mr. Bennet. You needn't get violent about it. I shall leave you immediately. 


MR. BENNET: Oh, thank you, Mrs. Bennet. For that mercy, much thanks! 


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN CONTINUES UNDER--


HILTON: So, Mr. Bennet called on Mr. Bingley and paid his respects. And shortly after, they were all invited to a ball at Netherfield. And there Mr. Bingley met the Bennet girls, and chose a partner. 


MUSIC: HAS CHANGED TO DANCE ORCHESTRA


BINGLEY: Would you do me the honor, Miss Jane? 


JANE: Why, thank you, Mr. Bingley. It would be a pleasure. 


MRS. BENNET: (PLEASED, LOW) Oh, he's asked her to dance, Mr. Bennet. Oh, Jane will make such a lovely bride. Bless her heart. 


HILTON: On the whole, it was a highly successful evening. Although towards the middle of it, it was completely ruined for Elizabeth Bennet. Her partner had left her for a moment, and she was sitting by herself watching the dancers, when she overheard Mr. Bingley speaking to his house guest, Mr. Darcy. 


BINGLEY: Darcy! Why don't you join the dancers? You've been sitting in that one spot all evening. 


DARCY: Thank you. I'm quite satisfied just as I am. There's not a woman in the room whom it would not be a punishment for me to stand up with. 


BINGLEY: Oh, you can't mean that. Why, I've never seen such a collection of pretty girls in my life. 


DARCY: You're dancing with the only handsome girl in the room. 


BINGLEY: Jane Bennet? She is beautiful, isn't she? 


DARCY: (AGREES) Ummm. 


BINGLEY: (LOW) But there's her sister, Elizabeth. She's sitting just behind you. Let me present you to her. 


MUSIC: ORCHESTRA FINISHES ITS TUNE BEHIND--


DARCY: Sorry, old man, but I'm not in a good enough humor to feel like putting up with young women who've been slighted by other men. Leave me alone, Bingley, I'm content as I am. 


BINGLEY: Well, that, of course, is up to you. 


MUSIC: UP, FOR A BRIEF TRANSITION ... THEN, ANOTHER DANCE ORCHESTRA CONTINUES UNDER


HILTON: It's not difficult to understand why Elizabeth Bennet became quite prejudiced against Mr. Darcy. Now, here's what happened. The next time Elizabeth and Darcy met was at an informal party at a friend's. The Bennets were all there and so was Mr. Bingley. Elizabeth was just crossing the room when her old friend, Sir William, stopped her. 


SIR WILLIAM: Elizabeth, my dear, how charming you look this evening. 


ELIZABETH: Thank you, Sir William. 


SIR WILLIAM: Oh, Mr. Darcy, have you met this young lady? 


DARCY: Well, briefly. 


SIR WILLIAM: You must let me present her to you as a most desirable dancing partner. 


DARCY: May I have the pleasure, Miss Bennet? 


ELIZABETH: Thank you, Mr. Darcy, but I wouldn't dream of inconveniencing you. 


DARCY: It would be no inconvenience, I assure you. 


ELIZABETH: I was about to say, Mr. Darcy, that I wouldn't dream of inconveniencing you -- or myself. I'm afraid I'm not in a good enough humor to feel like putting up with gentlemen who have been slighted by other women. 


SIR WILLIAM: (SHOCKED) Why, Elizabeth! 


MUSIC: ORCHESTRA FINISHES ITS TUNE BEHIND--


ELIZABETH: Sorry, Sir William. (MOVING OFF) If you'll excuse me, I was just going into the garden for a breath of air. 


SIR WILLIAM: (BEWILDERED, TO DARCY) Well, I - I certainly don't know what to make of that! 


DARCY: (CALMLY) Excuse me, Sir William. 


SOUND: DARCY'S FOOTSTEPS ACROSS WOODEN FLOOR ... DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES ... THEN DARCY'S FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL 


DARCY: Miss Bennet?


ELIZABETH: (DISPLEASED) Oh. Mr. Darcy.


DARCY: Don't you know it takes two people to appreciate the moonlight?


ELIZABETH: What amazing conceit you have, Mr. Darcy, to think that you could add anything to the moonlight. ...


DARCY: (CHUCKLES) You overheard what I said the other night. 


ELIZABETH: You weren't being particularly discreet. I'm confident a great many people heard you. 


DARCY: I apologize. I'm sorry if I offended you. 


ELIZABETH: You seem to have quite a talent for being offensive. 


DARCY: May I be permitted to say that you are rather adept at that yourself? 


ELIZABETH: Then why do you bother to seek my company? 


DARCY: (LOSES HIS TEMPER) At this moment, I can't imagine why! 


ELIZABETH: I'll be glad to leave you the garden to yourself. 


DARCY: No. I'll leave. (MOVING OFF, SHARPLY) Excuse me, Miss Bennet. 


ELIZABETH: (EQUALLY SHARP) I'll be happy to, Mr. Darcy. 


MUSIC: FOR PUNCTUATION ... THEN DANCE ORCHESTRA UNDER--


MRS. BENNET: Look at Mr. Bingley and Jane -- those precious darlings, dancing together, Mr. Bennet. Oh, they're sweet. Sweet! Oh, good evening, Mr. Darcy. Are you enjoying the evening? 


DARCY: Not particularly, Mrs. Bennet. Your daughter Elizabeth is in the garden if you're looking for her. 


MRS. BENNET: Oh, not just now, Mr. Darcy. Look at Jane and Mr. Bingley dancing together. Don't they make a handsome couple? She'll make a lovely mistress for Netherfield Park. 


MR. BENNET: Madam, he only asked for a dance; not for an alliance. 


MUSIC: OUT BEHIND--


MRS. BENNET: Such a nice young man. Charming, well-mannered, well off. Ohhh, everything to recommend the match. Wouldn't you say so, Mr. Darcy? 


DARCY: (CURT) Goodnight, Mrs. Bennet; (MORE POLITE) Mr. Bennet. 


MRS. BENNET: What a rude young man. Wasn't he rude, Mr. Bennet? 


MR. BENNET: Mrs. Bennet, I want you to herd up your daughters so I can take them home. 


MRS. BENNET: (WORRIED) Oh, Mr. Bennet! 


MR. BENNET: No, no, no, don't start crying, Mrs. Bennet. Tears will not move me. I'm sleepy and I wish to go to bed. 


MRS. BENNET: But Jane and Mr. Bingley--? 


MR. BENNET: Small chance of you getting them married tonight, Mrs. Bennet. ... So kindly collect the girls and let us take our leave of this dreary affair. I've done my duty to my daughters this evening; now I intend to do my duty to myself. 


MRS. BENNET: Very well, Mr. Bennet, but I think--


MR. BENNET: Stop right there, Mrs. Bennet. Any statement that you preface with the words "I think" is erroneous from that point on. 


MUSIC: TRANSITION 


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL 


BINGLEY: Darcy, what are you doing out here in the garden at this hour? It will be dawn soon. 


DARCY: Oh, I was thinking about going to Italy. I promised my sister I'd come over while she was there, you know. And now seems to be just as good a time as any to go. 


BINGLEY: But we've just arrived here. 


DARCY: Why don't you come with me? 


BINGLEY: I'm just beginning to get acquainted. 


DARCY: I know. That's why I think it'd be a good idea if you came. 


BINGLEY: You, uh, don't like the Bennets? 


DARCY: (ICY) I think Mrs. Bennet stalks every unmarried young man that comes into her sight like a tiger stalking its prey. And right now she's got her eye on you, my friend. 


BINGLEY: Really? (CHUCKLES) Well, I saw you talking to Miss Elizabeth Bennet, Darcy. How did you like her? 


DARCY: I dis-liked her so much, it's rather frightening. 


BINGLEY: Huh. Why is it frightening? 


DARCY: I haven't puzzled that out yet. All I know is I think you and I better get on the first boat to Italy. 


BINGLEY: All right. I'm with you. I'm certainly not going to stay down here with just my sister for company. If you're resolved on going, I'm going with you. 


SOUND: ROOSTER CROWS 


DARCY: It's dawn. We'd better get some sleep. 


BINGLEY: (YAWNS) Nice girls, the Bennet girls. 


DARCY: (YAWNS) Yes. In a terrifying sort of way. 


MUSIC: TRANSITION 


SOUND: ROOSTER CROWS 


MR. BENNET: Mrs. Bennet, it's morning. You've been charging up and down all night. Elizabeth wants to go to bed and get to sleep. So do I. 


MRS. BENNET: Mr. Bennet, if you don't care anything about the future of your daughters, I do. These things must be planned in advance and acted upon accordingly. Now, Jane, of course, will marry Mr. Bingley. And I insist Elizabeth must marry your cousin, Mr. Collins. 


ELIZABETH: Mother, I've told you. I'm not in love with Mr. Collins. 


MRS. BENNET: Elizabeth, I can't wait for you to fall in love with him. ... You could just marry him and fall in love when you get around to it. ... If you don't, I shall cease speaking to you from this moment. 


MR. BENNET: Well, now, Elizabeth, an unhappy alternative seems to be before you. From this day, you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never speak to you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never speak to you again if you do. 


MRS. BENNET: Mr. Bennet, this is most unfair of you! Here I am working my brain to the bone -- the very bone! -- trying to get husbands for these girls. And as fast as I lead them in, they show them out. 


ELIZABETH: I'm sorry, mother, but I just can't marry Mr. Collins. 


MRS. BENNET: Very well, Elizabeth. You've hurt your mother -- deeply and unforgettably. 


ELIZABETH: I'm very sorry, mother. 


MRS. BENNET: Go to your room and reflect on your willful behavior. 


ELIZABETH: Yes, mother. (MOVING OFF) But I won't marry Mr. Collins! 


MRS. BENNET: (AN APPEAL) Mr. Bennet! 


MR. BENNET: Don't look at me, madam. I won't marry him either! ...


MRS. BENNET: (SOBS) Oh, Mr. Bennet! 


MR. BENNET: Now can we go to bed, Mrs. Bennet? 


MRS. BENNET: Elizabeth's going to be an old maid! 


MR. BENNET: Well, I'd rather be an old maid than be married to Mr. Collins! 


MRS. BENNET: Nothing is worse than being an old maid, Mr. Bennet. Absolutely nothing! The securing of a husband is woman's primary purpose in life. Oh, what shall I do?! What shall I do?!


MUSIC: TRANSITION 


SOUND: FOOTSTEPS ON PATH BRIEFLY ... OUT WITH--


DARCY: Miss Bennet? 


ELIZABETH: (STARTLED) Oh! 


DARCY: I hoped I'd find you out walking this morning. 


ELIZABETH: (POLITE) Mr. Darcy.


DARCY: So glad we chanced to meet. I walked over to say goodbye. 


ELIZABETH: Oh? I thought you'd planned to stay here some months. 


DARCY: We had a sudden change of plans. Bingley and I are sailing for Italy on Monday. 


ELIZABETH: Really? 


DARCY: My sister, Georgiana, is over there now. She and Bingley have always been good friends-- 


ELIZABETH: I understand perfectly, Mr. Darcy. 


DARCY: I don't think you do. Miss Bennet, if I managed to have a little less pride, do you think you could manage to be a little less prejudiced? You and I might become rather good friends if we gave one another a chance. 


ELIZABETH: You? And I? Friends? Don't be absurd. 


DARCY: I'm sorry you think it absurd, because I think you are a fine and beautiful woman, whatever I may think of the schemes and plottings of your mother and sister. 


ELIZABETH: (HIGHLY OFFENDED) Schemes and plottings?! You forget yourself, Mr. Darcy!


DARCY: What's your own word for your mother's behavior, Miss Bennet? You must know that she's been telling everyone within earshot that Miss Jane and Bingley were as good as engaged. She's a designing woman. And she and your sister have obviously set out to trick Bingley into marriage by fair means or otherwise. 


ELIZABETH: Why, you contemptible--! 


SOUND: ELIZABETH SLAPS DARCY IN THE FACE


DARCY: (BEAT, COOL) Good day, Miss Bennet. 


ELIZABETH: Good day, Mr. Darcy! 


MUSIC: FOR PUNCTUATION AND TRANSITION 


MRS. BENNET: (DISTRESSED) Oh, Mr. Bennet! Now I've got to start all over again! I declare I could just burst into tears -- absolute tears! 


MR. BENNET: Madam, I will be glad to excuse you indefinitely.


MRS. BENNET: (EXHALES) My only comfort is that I'm sure Jane will die of a broken heart. And then that man will be sorry for what he's done. Oh, Mr. Bennet, think of it! Five daughters and not a husband in sight! 


MUSIC: CURTAIN 


SOUND: BRIEF APPLAUSE


ANNOUNCER: You're listening to "Pride and Prejudice," a story selected for you by James Hilton and presented on THE HALLMARK PLAYHOUSE.


Before we start the second act, I'd like to show you how consistent quality makes great names. For example, in sixteenth-century Italy, there lived a silversmith who took great pride in his work and it wasn't long before people began to notice that the most exquisitely beautiful candlesticks, medallions, and other works of art invariably bore the name Cellini. Yes, the name of Benvenuto Cellini soon became a great name because of the consistently high quality of everything he produced. And when the people of that day would receive some fine gift wrought in silver, their joy would be doubled when they discovered it bore that magic name.


So it was then, and so it is today. We receive more than ordinary pleasure from any fine product when it bears the name of a maker who is noted for consistently high-quality craftsmanship. Take the name Hallmark on a greeting card, for instance. People have learned that all cards bearing that name are consistently high in quality -- always warm, sincere, and friendly -- because the Hallmark folks aren't making just cards; they're making Hallmark Cards, cards that have a wonderful way of saying just what you want to say, the way you want to say it. And those who receive Hallmark Cards from you are even more pleased when they look on the back -- as you did -- and find those three important words, "A Hallmark Card." Those are the words that tell your friends you cared enough to send the very best. 


Now, here's James Hilton with the second act of "Pride and Prejudice."


MUSIC: AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND HILTON-- 


HILTON: And now, let's return to the England of Jane Austen and her immortal story, "Pride and Prejudice." It's almost like a portrait of that century, although Mrs. Bennet and her five daughters have been seen in every century. As we pick up the story, Mrs. Bennet is reading a note that has just been handed her. 


MUSIC: OUT WITH A FLOURISH


MRS. BENNET: (HYSTERICAL) Oooooohhh! 


MR. BENNET: (EXASPERATED) Mrs. Bennet, what is the matter now? 


MRS. BENNET: It's Lydia! She's run off with a soldier! Look at this note! (WEEPS) Oh, my baby! My precious! Marriage without her mother there, God bless her. (STOPS WEEPING ABRUPTLY) Mr. Bennet, he will marry her, won't he? 


MR. BENNET: Does she say where they were going? Here give me that note. 


MRS. BENNET: She says London! 


MR. BENNET: London! Now what will we do? How will we ever find her in London? 


MUSIC: TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND HILTON-- 


HILTON: While Mrs. Bennet was crying, and Mr. Bennet was pacing his study, Elizabeth -- who was visiting her aunt and uncle in Kent -- was receiving a most unexpected caller. 


ELIZABETH: (UNCOMFORTABLE) Why, Mr. Darcy! I thought you and Mr. Bingley planned to remain in Italy for some time. 


DARCY: (AWKWARD) No, we, uh-- We had a change of plans. I, uh-- I only just heard you were in Kent. I wanted to pay my respects. My own estate is only a mile or so from here, you know. 


ELIZABETH: Yes, I know. 


DARCY: Bingley's my house guest at the moment. I hope you'll come over and visit us. 


ELIZABETH: I'm leaving for home in the morning. I trust that all is well with Mr. Bingley. 


DARCY: Miss Bennet, I feel I must say that I'm not here because I believe I can alter any of the things I said at our last meeting. My feelings toward your mother remain the same. And yet, in spite of them, I must tell you that no matter how I've struggled against it, (SLOWLY, GENUINELY) I must admit how deeply, and how completely, I do love you and admire you. 


ELIZABETH: (QUIETLY IMPRESSED) Mr. Darcy--


DARCY: Elizabeth, I offer you my devotion, and a name of honor through many generations. 


ELIZABETH: (DEFENSIVE) The name "Bennet" has not been precisely a dishonorable name, Mr. Darcy. 


DARCY: I never meant to suggest it was. 


ELIZABETH: Mr. Darcy, I have never asked for either your good opinion or your love, and I'm amazed that you have chosen to bestow them on me. If I caused you pain, forgive me. Whatever pain I caused you can be nothing to the unhappiness my sister has endured the past week! 


DARCY: Well, Bingley has a mind of his own, you know. In the final counting, he'll do what he means to do. You cannot think the affairs of other people the issue between you and me. 


ELIZABETH: The only issue between you and me has been our own two selves from the moment of our meeting, Mr. Darcy. You never have been at a loss to express your distaste for my family, and I think it would be extremely inadvisable of you even to consider joining it. I assure you that you are the last man in the world whom I could ever be prevailed upon to marry!


DARCY: You've said quite enough, Miss Bennet. I comprehend your feelings perfectly. And I'm only ashamed of what my own have been. Forgive me for taking up so much of your time, and accept my best wishes for your health and happiness. 


MUSIC: TRANSITION 


SOUND: DOOR OPENS, THEN FOOTSTEPS IN


BINGLEY: Oh, there you are, Darcy. I thought you'd never get home. There's bad news from Longburn. 


DARCY: Bad news? 


BINGLEY: Lydia Bennet has run off with Wickham. 


DARCY: Wickham? 


BINGLEY: Yes, the son of your housekeeper. 


DARCY: That's impossible! What opportunity would Wickham have of meeting the Bennets? 


BINGLEY: Wickham's with the regiment now and they were stationed near Longburn. 


DARCY: Oh. You know I haven't seen Wickham for years. I'd best leave for Longburn immediately. I may be able to help in some way. 


BINGLEY: I'll go with you. 


DARCY: You know, it's too bad. The Bennets are a fine family. And Elizabeth will be so distressed. 


BINGLEY: (CHUCKLES) Well, I must say it's extremely easy to see which way the wind blows with you, Darcy.


DARCY: No. But it is extremely easy to see which way the wind should have blown. 


MUSIC: TRANSITION 


ELIZABETH: Oh, it's good to be home. The garden's lovely this time of year, isn't it, Jane? 


JANE: Yes, it is. I wonder if father and Mr. Darcy have reached London yet. 


ELIZABETH: Father and--? Did you say "Mr. Darcy"? 


JANE: Didn't mother tell you? 


ELIZABETH: No, she didn't. 


JANE: But Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley arrived several hours before you did, and they set out immediately for London. Evidently, mother was too excited to tell you. 


ELIZABETH: Why should Mr. Darcy go with father? 


JANE: I don't know. They didn't explain anything. They just left in a great hurry. 


ELIZABETH: I wish Mr. Darcy would stop concerning himself in our affairs. 


SOUND: CARRIAGE APPROACHES


JANE: Whose carriage is that? 


ELIZABETH: I don't know; I never saw it before. 


SOUND: CARRIAGE STOPS BEHIND--


JANE: Oh, look -- at the seal on the door. 


ELIZABETH: There's a woman getting out. 


CATHERINE: (OFF, TO DRIVER) I won't be long. (CALLS) Miss Bennet? Miss Elizabeth Bennet? 


ELIZABETH: Yes?


CATHERINE: (CLOSER) I am Lady Catherine de Bourgh. This, I suppose, is one of your sisters. 


ELIZABETH: My sister Jane. 


CATHERINE: My business is with Miss Elizabeth Bennet. I'm sure you understand the reason for my journey here. 


ELIZABETH: I'm afraid I don't, Lady Catherine. 


CATHERINE: I have been informed by a completely unverified rumor that you may soon be united to my nephew -- my own nephew! -- Mr. Darcy. While I am sure that this is a scandalous falsehood, I have come here to insist that the report be universally contradicted -- immediately. Mr. Darcy is going to marry my daughter. They have been engaged since they were born. 


ELIZABETH: (ICY) Then kindly give them my congratulations. 


CATHERINE: Has my nephew made you an offer of marriage? 


ELIZABETH: If Mr. Darcy is betrothed to your daughter, how could he possibly make an offer to me? 


CATHERINE: Don't change the subject! Are you engaged to him or are you not? 


ELIZABETH: (BEAT, SIMPLY) I am not. 


CATHERINE: Good. Will you promise me never to enter into such an engagement? 


ELIZABETH: (DEFIANT) I certainly will not! 


CATHERINE: Miss Bennet, I am shocked and astonished. I am leaving at once. But do not think I will not carry my point. I shall find other means of dealing with you. I am leaving, Miss Bennet. But I take no leave of you or your sister. And I send no compliments to your mother. I am seriously displeased! 


ELIZABETH: (WEAKLY) I understand, Lady Catherine. 


JANE: (BEAT, AS CATHERINE EXITS, LOW) Elizabeth, why on earth did you refuse to give such an easy promise? 


MUSIC: TROUBLED ... UNDER-- 


ELIZABETH: (SOMBER, SLOW) I suddenly realized, Jane -- sometimes pride is a luxury it is better to do without.


JANE: (SYMPATHETIC) Oh, Elizabeth! 


ELIZABETH: There's only one hope now. I hope Darcy realizes that, too.


MUSIC: UP FOR A TRANSITION ... THEN OUT 


MRS. BENNET: (DELIGHTED) Oh, Lydia, my baby! How very sweet you look! 


LYDIA: Mrs. Wickham is my name now, mother. 


MRS. BENNET: Oh, to be sure, Mrs. Wickham. "Mrs. Wickham"! (CHUCKLES) Ohhh, what a lovely, lovely name! 


MR. BENNET: Mrs. Bennet, Mr. Wickham is in the carriage waiting for Mrs. Wickham. They have a long drive ahead of them if they're to join the regiment tonight! 


LYDIA: Where did Mr. Darcy go? 


MR. BENNET: Oh, he's out walking around the grounds somewhere. 


LYDIA: Oh, do thank him again. If it hadn't been for him, I don't know what we would have done. He paid Wickie's debts and gave us the money to start out on. 


MRS. BENNET: How did you find them, Mr. Bennet? 


LYDIA: Wickie had stayed in London before and Mr. Darcy had the address. 


MRS. BENNET: Oh. I wish you'd let Mr. Wickham come into the house, Mr. Bennet. 


MR. BENNET: No, Mrs. Bennet. I've been forced to let him in the family, but I see no reason why I should be forced to let him in the house. 


LYDIA: But he's such a darling, daddy. 


MR. BENNET: He's a darling good-for-nothing, that's what he is! 


MRS. BENNET: Oh! Don't speak of him that way, Mr. Bennet! Remember he's our Lydia's husband. 


LYDIA: Will you tell Jane and Elizabeth goodbye for me, and tell them I'll be over to see them next week? 


MR. BENNET: Where are those girls? 


MRS. BENNET: Well, Elizabeth is alone, but Jane-- (GIDDY, PLEASED) Ohhhh, Jane is walking with Mr. Bingley! 


MUSIC: TRANSITION


ELIZABETH: Jane darling, I'm so happy for you. 


BINGLEY: You'd better be happy for me, too -- because I'm the luckiest man in the world! 


JANE: I know I'm the luckiest girl. I still can't believe you love me. 


BINGLEY: Oh, Darcy kept after me, you know. All the time we were in Italy he was saying, "As long as you are sure, go back and get her. Don't let her get away from you." 


ELIZABETH: (EAGERLY) Where is he? 


BINGLEY: Oh, uh, he's walking around in the garden somewhere. Why don't you find him while Jane and I go and speak to Mr. Bennet? 


ELIZABETH: I think I will. 


SOUND: ELIZABETH'S FOOTSTEPS ON GRAVEL 


ELIZABETH: (CALLS) Mr. Darcy? (NO ANSWER) Mr. Darcy? (NO ANSWER; SEES HIM) Oh, Mr. Darcy. 


DARCY: Miss Elizabeth. 


ELIZABETH: I - I have so many things to thank you for, I don't know where to begin. 


DARCY: I haven't done anything that any good friend would not do. I - I'm sorry for some of the things I said about your family. I'm afraid it doesn't speak too well for my manners. I'm also afraid that my bringing-up was a bit on the snobbish side. 


ELIZABETH: (DISMISSIVE) Oh, we've got off to a bad beginning--


DARCY: Yes. 


ELIZABETH: I'm sure neither of us meant half the things we've said. 


DARCY: (AGREES) Mm hm.


MUSIC: INCREASINGLY ROMANTIC ... UNDER--


DARCY: Elizabeth, my Aunt Catherine tells me that there's a scandalous rumor afloat about you and me. 


ELIZABETH: She told me, too. She was here the other day and asked me to promise not to marry you. 


DARCY: What did you say? 


ELIZABETH: Well, naturally, I said I couldn't promise any such thing. 


DARCY: Why did you say that? 


ELIZABETH: I said that -- just in case -- you should ask me again. 


DARCY: Miss Bennet, will you do me the very great honor of becoming my wife? 


ELIZABETH: Mr. Darcy, nothing would give me greater pleasure, or greater happiness. 


DARCY: (LOVINGLY) Oh, my dearest. Oh, my darling. 


MUSIC: UP AND OUT 


MRS. BENNET: (HYSTERICAL) Ohhhh, Mr. Bennet! 


MR. BENNET: (EXASPERATED) Mrs. Bennet, I'm very sleepy. What on earth are you crying about now? 


MRS. BENNET: Lydia's married, and Jane and Elizabeth soon will be. And the other two girls might go at any moment. Ohhhh, Mr. Bennet, I've lost my babies! 


MR. BENNET: Madam, you confuse me and confound me completely. 


MRS. BENNET: That's because you've never been a mother, Mr. Bennet. 


MR. BENNET: Sometimes, Mrs. Bennet, I feel like yours.


MRS. BENNET: (AMUSED) Ohhhh, why, Mr. Bennet. Now let me see. I wonder if Mr. Bingley doesn't know some nice boy for Mary? 


MR. BENNET: (QUICKLY) Uh, good night, Mrs. Bennet. Please may I get some sleep tonight? 


MRS. BENNET: Yes, Mr. Bennet, I think you've earned a good night's sleep. Ohhh, good night -- pleasant dreams -- good night. 


MR. BENNET: (WITH FINALITY) Good night


MUSIC: BRIEF TRANSITION ... THEN UNDER--


HILTON: Mr. Bennet is very tired, and so let us just linger long enough to tell you that everyone lived happily ever after, as was the custom in those days. And let us wish Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Bennet a most pleasant good night, and put Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" back on the bookshelf to read again some day. 


MUSIC: UP, FOR A GRAND FINISH 


SOUND: APPLAUSE 


ANNOUNCER: In a moment, James Hilton will return to tell you about next week's story. 


Meantime, I'd like to remind you that there's nothing like one of those charming Hallmark Dolls from the Land of Make-Believe to make a child's eyes light up with joy. There are sixteen dolls in all -- Little Miss Muffet, Cinderella, Little Boy Blue, and thirteen other childhood favorites. Each one wears a hat topped off by a jaunty plume that's a real feather. Each doll stands up by itself. And each one has a clever rhymed story about the doll inside. But that's not all. No, indeed! There's also a big, beautiful album to put them in. 


The Hallmark Dolls are as easy to send as any Hallmark greeting card, and cost only twenty-five cents each. And the big Hallmark Doll Collector's Album -- which you'd expect to cost at least a dollar -- is also only twenty-five cents when you buy one or more of the Hallmark Dolls. That means you can give some little friend of yours the album with three dolls in it to start a collection for only one dollar. See all sixteen of the charming and colorful Hallmark Dolls and the beautiful new Hallmark Doll Collector's Album tomorrow at the store where you buy your Hallmark greeting cards.


Now, here again is James Hilton.


HILTON: Next week, we have a [?] story called "Girls Are Like Boats" by Charles Rawlings, a story which we are proud to offer on the air for the first time, and I think you'll like it, so do try to be with us. Until then, this is James Hilton saying good night.


MUSIC: UNDER


SOUND: BRIEF APPLAUSE 


ANNOUNCER: Tonight's story was adapted for radio by Jean Holloway. The music was arranged and conducted by Lyn Murray. 


To be doubly sure of the finest quality, always look on the back of your cards for those three identifying words, "A Hallmark Card." Remember, Hallmark Cards -- when you care enough to send the very best. 


Next Thursday night, James Hilton presents his story selection for the week, the first radio performance of the amazing story "Girls Are Like Boats" by Charles Rawlings. And the following week, Mr. Hilton has selected "The Citadel" by A. J. Cronin. 


So, until then, this is Frank Goss saying goodnight to you all. This program has come to you from the Hallmark Playhouse. This is CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System. 


SOUND: BRIEF APPLAUSE 


LOCAL ANNCR: This is KMBC, Kansas City, Missouri.

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