Heather Moll chose such a lovely excerpt as one of her favorite romantic scenes. It is from her book, His Choice of a Wife. What do you think? Pretty swoon-worthy, isn’t it!
Elizabeth had always been aware that her immediate connections were unequal to Mr. Darcy’s in behavior, but the display he had just witnessed was appalling. If he had been wavering before, he must certainly consider giving her up now. While in London, she had thought his affections and wishes were still unshaken, but she could not now be secure.
They walked towards Lucas Lodge where Lydia and Jane left them. Mr. Darcy had not spoken since he quit the drawing room, and she dreaded what was to come. She feared to speak to him lest her emotions should overmaster her, for her regret at the idea of the loss of Mr. Darcy was formidable now that she had begun to appreciate him. While her regard for him was ever increasing, her power over him must be equally diminished after her family’s behavior.
“Your mother is misinformed.” His steady voice interrupted her silent heartache.
“How do you mean?”
“She implied you lack your sisters’ attractiveness and vivacity, and I would therefore not take your notice. I know not what I may do to inform her that you are of frequent notice to me, but I have for many months now considered you to be the handsomest woman of my acquaintance.”
Elizabeth stopped and looked up at him in astonishment.
“Do you not have sufficient confidence in my affections to believe me?” he asked.
She could hardly say, since she questioned the strength of her own precious feelings for him, that of course she could doubt his. “We are so very different. You have splendid property and noble connections, and I cannot offer you the like. My mother’s behavior to you bordered on uncivil, and all your doubts concerning my family’s lack of propriety and inferiority—”
He seized her hand and pressed it fervently into his chest. “I have no doubts about my intentions towards you. I may have considered your family’s situation and behavior, but there was no reason for me to speak of them when I was petitioning for your hand, and I am ashamed. I do beg you to forgive me.”
Elizabeth nodded, but Mr. Darcy was not done.“I would have you know my every thought and feeling, had I the right to confide them to you. For the present, you need to know that, when I am assured your regard for me matches what I continue to feel for you, I will ask you again to be my wife.”
When Mr. Darcy last made an avowal of all he felt for her, he had no doubt of a favorable response. The way he now looked on her made Elizabeth believe he was truly apprehensive she would ever accept his hand, and she strove to give him an understanding of her intensifying attachment to him.
“I have never been more sensible of your good character. I have a real interest in your happiness, and I want it to depend a great deal on me. I ought to tell you, however awkward it may be, that I feel marriage is much more than an anxious concern for the well-being of one’s companion.”
“After all that has passed between us, I am grateful that you at least now have an interest in my happiness.” Elizabeth’s heart raced while Mr. Darcy still held a gentle grasp on her hand. Whatever feelings she had for him, they were more than simply wishing him health and happiness. She could see him as a devoted husband, a doting father, and a responsible landlord who cared for the happiness of everyone in his care. “What else do you feel an equal marriage of respect ought to entail?”
“I believe that marriage must entail love and depth of attachment.”
“You are a romantic.” It was not a question, and he was not wrong. “Do you—is it possible you could—do I have any reason to hope—”
Mr. Darcy gave a joyful smile; Elizabeth could never remember seeing him so vibrant. His dark eyes never left hers as he removed her glove and raised her bare hand to his lips. He kissed her delicate wrist and then turned her hand to bestow the lightest of kisses on each of her fingertips. Elizabeth forgot to breathe.
Darcy is such a romantic man. Don’t you just love to read scenes that depict his happiness in love? No wonder Elizabeth forgot to breathe! I can see why this is one of your favorite scenes, Heather. It is beautifully done! Thank you for sharing with us.
If you haven’t read His Choice of a Wife by Heather Moll, we invite you to give it a try.
Previous posts from the authors’ favorite scenes are: