"In vain have I struggled!", William Collins proclaimed, tears streaming down his face. "I have tried with all my heart to ignore your manifold attractions, your grace and beauty, your bashful modesty and the genuine delicacy of your character. But I find myself unable to deny the violence of my affection. How bitter is my misfortune to be so smitten with a woman who can never be mine. My love for you is my undoing!"

"Why do you say that I cannot be yours?", Georgiana Darcy replied. "For you have captured me completely. I am a country girl at heart, loving wildlife more than anything. From our first meeting, you reminded me so much of my very favorite animal! 'That man,' I thought to myself, 'is like a toad who walks upright. The most adorable toad I have ever seen.' No other man has ever pleased me so!", she said with delight.

"Oh, Miss Darcy!", he blubbered, his tears unabated. "Knowing that you return my feelings only increases my agony! My esteemed patroness, your noble aunt, Lady Catherine, has made it clear what type of bride I must seek. She has made it abundantly clear that my wife should be a woman of modest means. Modest means!", he wailed. "She would never approve of our love! There are thirty thousand reasons why she would be displeased!" He collapsed at her feet in a sobbing heap.

Georgiana laid a hand on his shoulder. "My dear Mr. Collins, those thirty thousand reasons can easily be done away. After a little . . . erm . . . adventure that I had this summer, I was made to sign a contract promising that if I elope with any man, I forfeit my entire dowry."

He looked up at her, hope dawning in his eyes. "Truly?", he said.

"Yes! We can be married at once, and afterward I shall be penniless!"

"Penniless?! Praise be!" He jumped to his feet. "Penniless! Oh, kind fate!" He danced a jig around the room.

"Then what are we waiting for, sir?" She rose and grasped his hand.

"TO SCOTLAND!", they both cried as they raced out the door.