She staggered a great man. He was reeling. She was overwhelmed.
Fitzwilliam Darcy, standing irritably at the edge of the Meryton assembly, declines to dance with Elizabeth Bennet. In a mood of revulsion, he rejects her without concern of being overheard. Country pretensions are always in need of squashing and what better way to make clear he would not partner anyone outside his party? However, when he looks over at her, she does not appear humbled at all. She is secretly laughing at him!
Elizabeth Bennet is perversely delighted to encounter such an outrageous snob as Mr. Darcy. When he approaches her with a stiff, graceless apology, she coolly brushes him off believing that, like most annoyances, he will go away when properly snubbed. But no! The man would then put out his hand and, not wishing to create a scene, compels her to stand up with him.
They go through the steps of the dance mutually disdainful and each intent upon wounding the other. But by the time the musicians end their tune, Darcy and Elizabeth have traded barbs with such accuracy they are unaccountably amused and engaged. Will this most inconvenient flirtation drive them apart, or, like silver buckles, are they a matched pair?