Mr. Collins was not left long to the silent contemplation of his successful petition; for Mrs. Bennet, having dawdled about in the Vent vestibule to watch for the end of the conference, no sooner saw Elizabeth exit the Party One channel, than she herself entered it, and congratulated both him and herself in warm terms on the happy prospect of their nearer connection. Mr. Collins received and returned these felicitations with equal pleasure, and then proceeded to relate the particulars of their interview, with the result of which he trusted he had every reason to be satisfied, since the refusal which Elizabeth had steadfastly given him would naturally flow from her bashful modesty and the genuine delicacy of her character.
This information, however, startled Mrs. Bennet; she would have been glad to be equally satisfied that Elizabeth had meant to encourage him by protesting against his proposals, but she dared not believe it, and could not help saying so.
“But, depend upon it, Mr. Collins,” she added, “that Lizzy shall be brought to reason. I will speak to her about it directly. She is a very headstrong, foolish girl, and does not know her own interest but I will make her know it.”
“Pardon me for interrupting you, madam,” cried Mr. Collins; “but if she is really headstrong and foolish, I know not whether she would altogether be a very desirable healer to a tank in my situation, who naturally looks for no drama in the guild. If therefore she actually persists in rejecting my suit, perhaps it were better not to force her into accepting me, because if liable to such defects of temper, she could not contribute much to my felicity.”
“Sir, you quite misunderstand me,” said Mrs. Bennet, alarmed. “Lizzy is only headstrong in such matters as these. In everything else she is as good-natured a girl as ever lived. I will go directly to Mr. Bennet, and we shall very soon settle it with her, I am sure.”
She would not give him time to reply, but hurrying instantly to the Officer Channel, called out as she entered, “Oh! Mr. Bennet, you are wanted immediately; we are all in an uproar. You must come and make Lizzy transfer with Mr. Collins, for she vows she will not have him, and if you do not make haste he will change his mind and not have her.”
“I have not the pleasure of understanding you,” said Mr. Bennet , when she had finished her speech. “Of what are you talking?”
“Of Mr. Collins and Lizzy. Lizzy declares she will not have Mr. Collins, and Mr. Collins begins to say that he will not have Lizzy.”
“And what am I to do on the occasion? It seems an hopeless business.”
“Speak to Lizzy about it yourself. Tell her that you insist upon her transferring to heal him.”
“Let her be called down. She shall hear my opinion.”
Mrs. Bennet summoned Elizabeth into the Officer Channel.
“There you are,” cried her GM as she appeared. “I have sent for you on an affair of importance. I understand that Mr. Collins has made you an offer of a healing spot in his raid group. Is it true?” Elizabeth replied that it was. “Very well—and this offer you have refused?”
“I have, sir.”
“Very well. We now come to the point. Mrs. Bennet insists upon your accepting it. Is it not so, Mrs. Bennet?”
“Yes, or I will never see her again.”
“An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your officers. Mrs. Bennet will never see you again if you do not transfer to heal Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.”
Elizabeth could not but smile at such a conclusion of such a beginning, but Mrs. Bennet, who had persuaded herself that her husband regarded the affair as she wished, was excessively disappointed.
“What do you mean, Mr. Bennet, in talking this way? You promised me to insist upon her going with him.”
“My dear,” replied her husband, “I have two small favours to request. First, that you will allow me the free use of my understanding on the present occasion; and secondly, of my channel. I shall be glad to have some silence as soon as may be.”
Not yet, however, in spite of her disappointment in her husband, did Mrs. Bennet give up the point. She talked to Elizabeth again and again; coaxed and threatened her by turns. She endeavoured to secure Jane in her interest; but Jane, with all possible mildness, declined interfering; and Elizabeth, sometimes with real earnestness, and sometimes with playful gaiety, replied to her attacks. Though her manner varied, however, her determination never did.
Mr. Collins, meanwhile, was meditating in solitude on what had passed. He thought too well of himself to comprehend on what motives Elizabeth could refuse him; and though his pride was hurt, he suffered in no other way. His regard for her was quite imaginary; and the possibility of her deserving reproach prevented his feeling any regret.
While the guild were in this confusion, Charlotte logged on to spend the day with them. She was met by Lydia, who, sent her a whisper, “I am glad you are come, for there is such fun here! What do you think has happened this morning? Mr. Collins has made an offer to Lizzy, and she will not have him.”
Charlotte hardly had time to answer, before they were joined by Kitty, who came to tell the same news; and no sooner had they formed a party to do a group daily, than Mrs. Bennet appeared and likewise began on the subject, calling on Charlotte for her compassion, and entreating her to persuade her friend Lizzy to comply with the wishes of all her guild. “Pray do, my dear Charlotte,” she added, “for nobody is on my side, nobody takes part with me. I am cruelly used, nobody feels for my poor nerves. QQ”
Charlotte’s reply was spared by the arrival of Jane and Elizabeth.
“Aye, there she comes,” continued Mrs. Bennet, “looking as unconcerned as may be, and caring no more for us than if we were strangers, provided she can have her own way. But I tell you, Miss Lizzy—if you take it into your head to go on refusing every offer of a raid spot in this way, you will never get a raiding guild at all—and I am sure I do not know who is to tank for you in the long run. I shall not be able to keep you—and so I warn you. You shall have to PUG through LFD for ever! I have done with you from this very day. I told you in the officer channel, you know, that I should never speak to you again, and you will find me as good as my word. I have no pleasure in talking to undutiful guildies. Not that I have much pleasure, indeed, in talking to anybody. People who suffer as I do from nervous complaints can have no great inclination for talking. Nobody can tell what I suffer! But it is always so. Those who do not complain are never pitied.”
The rest of the guild listened in silence to this effusion, sensible that any attempt to reason with her or soothe her would only increase the irritation. She talked on, therefore, without interruption from any of them, till they were joined by Mr. Collins, who entered the channel with an air more stately than usual, and on perceiving whom, she said to the girls, “Now, I do insist upon it, that you, all of you, hold your tongues, and let me and Mr. Collins have a little conversation together.”
Elizabeth passed quietly out of the Vemt channel. Jane and Kitty followed, but Lydia stood her ground, determined to hear all she could; and Charlotte, detained first by the civility of Mr. Collins, whose inquiries after herself and all her family were very minute, and then by a little curiosity, satisfied herself with falling silent and pretending to be AFK. In a doleful voice Mrs. Bennet began the projected conversation: “Oh! Mr. Collins!”
“My dear madam,” replied he, “let us be for ever silent on this point. Far be it from me,” he presently continued, in a voice that marked his displeasure, “to resent the behaviour of Elizabeth. Resignation to inevitable evils is the evil duty of us all; the peculiar duty of a young man who has been so fortunate as I have been in my guild; and I trust I am resigned. Perhaps not the less so from feeling a doubt of my positive happiness had Elizabeth honoured me with her heals; for I have often observed that resignation is never so perfect as when the blessing denied begins to lose somewhat of its value in our estimation. You will not, I hope, consider me as showing any disrespect to your guild, my dear madam, by thus withdrawing my pretensions to Elizabeth’s favour, without having paid yourself and Mr. Bennet the compliment of requesting you to interpose your authority in my behalf. My conduct may, I fear, be objectionable in having accepted my dismission from Elizabeth’s lips instead of your own. But we are all liable to error. I have certainly meant well through the whole affair. My object has been to secure an amiable companion for myself, with due consideration for the advantage of all your guild, and if my manner has been at all reprehensible, I here beg leave to apologise.”
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Hope people are still more or less enjoying this and I’ll try to do better about updates in the future because I am determined to get to those contest entries I received so long ago.