No matter how much you would like to believe otherwise, Mr. Darcy is, and always has been, all about the Benjamins…or King George IIIs, as the case may be. Take away his £10,000 a year and his only appearance in Pride and Prejudice would have been in the form of a letter to Charles Bingley somewhere in Chapter 3:
It is with great sadness that I must write to inform you that I will not be able to join you at Netherfield Park this summer. As you may know, my dear sister, Georgiana, was recently married to George Wickham and, as a result, I have become indebted to Mr. Wickham for reasons I cannot disclose even to you, my dear friend.
As this financial obligation exceeds the modest income provided by my late father’s estate, I have been forced to take a position as a file clerk at the firm of Crumpet, Muffin, Biscuit, and Scone, Ltd., in Cheapside. And since I have only been with the firm for a few months, I have not yet accrued sufficient “vacation days” to allow for a trip at this time. Perhaps next year.
I was so looking forward to this summer. As my current economic situation allows me little contact with the fairer sex, I was hoping that my visit to Netherfield, with its attendant parties and dances, would enable me to finally meet some pretty girl with dark eyes, a pleasing figure, and a lively playful disposition.
Instead, you will spend the summer at Netherfield attending parties where you will no doubt monopolize the only handsome girl in the room and I will spend the summer in London being slighted by women who are in no humour to give consequence to a file clerk.