Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Mixed Up Mashup: In The Rose Garden

Read the introduction:

Colin Firth 1995
Mr. Darcy paced impatiently. He knew she often walked here, and he suspected she would seek the solace of a solitary ramble on this particular morning. Such strong emotions as Miss Elizabeth Bennet had expressed the previous evening were far from customary to that lady: she would certainly require recuperation.. And so he remained where he was, striding back and forth through the grove, trying to conquer his own perturbation.

Catherine raced along as quickly as her skirts would carry her through the shrubbery. Speed was of the essence, though she just knew her sister must be mistaken. Mr. Tilney could not be here! No indeed! That could not be his hat she spotted through the wood, but she further quickened her pace nonetheless. His height! His cut of coat! But was he not too broad? No, it must be he, and her heart raced forward towards him as he turned, sensing her approach, to project his own greeting her way. But no! She halted, frozen in place, for it was not, after all, Mr. Tilney, but a complete stranger before her, of handsome but excessively stern countenance. Instinctively she turned in flight, but before she could dissapear whence she came, he called out, "Excuse me! Miss!"

Felicity Jones 2007
Manners well ingrained acknowledged his hail, and she turned inquiring eyes upon him, as he passed through the gate separating the Mr. Allen's estate from the parsonage.

He frowned. "You are not Miss Bennet."

"No, sir!" she replied, curiosity rising.

"Do you have a purpose here?" he pressed. "Forgive me if I intrude, but these are my aunt's grounds."

"You must be mistaken," she replied too readily. "This land belongs to the parsonage. My father is Rector," she continued, by way of explanation.

Mr. Darcy, being rather sleep deprived and depressed, was feeling more excitable than was his custom, and he replied in open horror, "Good god! It cannot be so!"

Miss Morland was affronted. "I have no reason to prevaricate, sir!"

"You are the daughter of Mr. Collins?"

"Certainly not! I am Mr. Morland's eldest daughter," she said in superior tones. "Who might you be? Mrs. Allen has no nephews your age."

"Mrs. Allen? I have no notion of any such person! This land belongs to Rosings," he gestured empirically towards the house, just visible through the trees, "the estate of Lady Catherine de Bourgh,"

"You are mistaken, sir!" she stubbornly insisted, though quite unsure from where the great house had appeared. "This land belongs to Fullerton, as it always has."

Darcy knew not what to make of such an assertion. He had never heard of Fullerton, and he was on the verge of concluding the young lady was out of her senses, when he suddenly had cause to doubt his own. There, right before him, where he was certain a path never before existed, came a young lady, elegantly dressed and of eager stride,

Gwyneth Paltrow  1996
"May I be of some assistance?" Emma inquired pleasantly, eying the two before her with approval. She knew not what two fashionable strangers were doing in Highbury, but she was pleased to see them. It had been a particularly dull morning, and such interesting persons, arguing in the middle of the lane, must provide diversion. When neither responded to her question, only staring at her most disconcertingly, she pressed on. "You appear as if you were lost," she explained, somewhat irritated that it should be necessary. "I know this country well and might be able to direct you."

"But," stammered Catherine, looking to the strange gentleman for confirmation of what she saw, "but, excuse me, but there was no a lane here before, was there?"

"Certainly not," affirmed Mr. Darcy, relieved enough to have his own senses confirmed that he dispensed with any examination of his measure. Other questions were more pressing, "How it comes here now, I cannot say, but it certainly is here ... " he paused in confusion " ... now."

Emma, quite out of patience, spoke her mind. "What nonesense is this? This path, or something very near like it, has been here more than 20 years," she asserted confidently, "and though I cannot bear witness to what proceeded that time, I think it is enough is to prove the path's existence just a few moments past."

Though he could not see where it led, Darcy thought he spotted a glimmer of light ahead. "Then tell me, Miss ... I am so sorry, ought we not introduce ourselves? I am Fitzwilliam Darcy, of Derbyshire, and this is Miss Morland, of Fullerton, I believe, and you are?"

"Miss Woodhouse!" she snapped, quite expecting to repress the man's impertinence. Her surprise when the name meant nothing to her companions was transparent.

Darcy saw her confusion and hurried to establish those facts he could. "Miss Woodhouse, I do not know from where you materialized, nor Miss Morland either, but I do know that this," he pointed again towards Rosings, "is the estate of my aunt, Lady Catherine de Bourgh. You can both see the house, can you not?"

"From where did it come?" exclaimed Emma in disbelief, but before the matter could be further investigated, an angry voice was heard approaching from the direction in which all three were gazing.

Judi Dench 2005
"I will not have it, sir! I cannot say how such a thing has come to be, but I warn you it will not be tolerated!"

Mr. Darcy had only just processed who it was that spoke so empirically when his aunt, accompanied by Charles Bingley, came into view.

The latter spotted his friend gratefully, but before he could express a word of greeting, Lady Catherine had commanded his attention.

"Darcy! There you are! You must assist me. This man has put a house on my lawn, and I insist that it must be removed at once!"

Simon Woods 2005
Darcy blinked at Charles, who hurried, as best he could, to explain the situation. "I do not know how it may have happened, Darcy! A marvel it is, but I am only leasing the house, you know, so I really cannot be held responsible for a thing like this." He gestured behind him, where the ramparts of a second house, quite next to Rosings, were suddenly visible.

"Am I to assume that is Netherfield Hall?" Darcy confirmed, adding dryly, "What is it doing in Kent?"

"This cannot be!" declared Miss Woodhouse. "We all saw that it was not there two minutes ago. And we are not in Kent, but Surrey! What can be happening?"

"Oh, dear!" a new female voice was heard to moan, and the entire assemblage turned to confront two newcomers: a young woman, perhaps slightly passed her prime, and an older gentleman, of extremely dignified appearance. "We cannot live in Surrey! It is far too close to London."

Valerie Gearon 1971
"Indeed my dear, you are quite right!" the man replied. "Nothing but merchants and tradesmen, seeking to gain a bit of respectability by purchasing the mere acre or two of land, at an easy distance from their shops and warehouses. Surrey will not do for us."

"Pardon me," declared an incensed Miss Woodhouse, "but I have heard it said that Surrey is the garden of England."

"Your point is highly irrelevant," chimed in Lady Catherine, not to be outdone in indignation, "as Rosings is in Kent. The De Bourghs have always hailed form Kent, and neither or I, nor my daughter, will reside anywhere else!"

Elizabeth Elliot sniffed disdainfully. "I do not what to think of this new company we have found ourselves in, Papa. Who might they be?"

Basil Dignam 1971
"I don't know my dear, but this gentleman certainly appears presentable," Sir Walter indicated to Darcy while eying his greatcoat. "My good sir, who is your tailor? He has done an excellent job with your capes."

Darcy wondered at such an inquiry amidst the state of confusion they were in. Disregarding it, he focused on the matter at hand. "Clearly we are experiencing a most odd phenomenon. Neither roads nor houses materialize out of nowhere, and whole counties have no means of collision."

"Perhaps I can help elucidate the matter," chimed in a tall gentleman, emerging from the shrubbery.

"Mr. Tilney!" Catherine cried in delight, approaching him with eager steps before she remembered to be embarrassed.

JJ Feild 2007
"My dear Miss Morland," he smiled upon her. "How happy I am to find you safe, if in highly unusual circumstances. My good ladies and gentleman," he addressed the, "while I have no scientific explanation for the strange phenomenon we are experiencing, I have gained some insight into the reason behind it. Though my explanation does not precisely conform to the laws of physics, unless this is some fantastic dream, I think it is the best for which we can hope. My own home is surprisingly close by, but as I look about me," he gestured to the many impressive estates now within view, "some of yours must be even more convenient. Might we adjourn to one, in order to discuss the matter? Whose is this?" he pointed to the closest edifice, a massive and meandering building that looked as if it would be far more comfortable in the neat grove for which it was built, rather than sitting in prominence upon the hill top.

"Why, that's Donwell Abbey!" cried Emma eagerly, expressing both her perplexity and relief. "Mr. Knightley will see us comfortable. Shall we proceed?"

But with so many great personages at hand, all determined to direct the situation as they saw fit, forward motion was hard to achieve. Perceiving Darcy's inclination to follow Miss Woodhouse, Lady Catherine eventually allowed herself to be persuaded, but Sir Walter posed a seemingly insurmountable barrier in his insistence that such a party's descention upon any house, let alone an abbey, would be an inexcusable breach of etiquette. No one disagreed, which is why he proved so hard to sway, but under such exceptional circumstances, it was concluded the faux pas would be overlooked. There was some further debate about the proper order in which they should proceed, requiring more introductions to determine, but once finally underway they speedily reached Donwell, where they were greeted by an understandably bewildered Mr. Knightley.

Jeremy Northam 1996
"Emma," he cried upon seeing her. "Perhaps you can explain what Hartfield is doing upon my lawns?"

"Oh dear," she replied, eyeing her family home with disapproval. "I do not know what is happening, Mr. Knightley, but all these people are misplaced, it seems. We came here to confer with you."

"I do have some notion of what is happening, sir," said Mr. Tilney. "Might we impose upon your hospitality?"

"By all means," Mr. Knightley replied, seeing in his expression, and that of Mr. Darcy, reasonable men determined to address the perplexing problem at hand. The rest of the assemblage, based on looks alone, he could not depend on. As if he were accustomed to entertaining such an assortment of personages, he opened his doors and called for tea.


More to follow. For context on what all this is about, please see my intro.

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