Twilight Sparkle and Sweetie Belle were walking through town together. Sweetie had just finished her second magic lesson with Twilight, and she was making good progress. True, she couldn't levitate objects yet, but with some effort, she could consistently maintain a magic glow for ten seconds.

To Twilight's surprise, a white stallion with a loud Hawaiian shirt was waiting for them outside of the Carousel Boutique. "Sweetie Belle!" the stallion said, lowering down on his haunches.

"Daddy!" Sweetie Belle cried. She ran and hugged him.

The white stallion introduced himself as Sweetie Belle and Rarity's father. He eagerly shook hooves with Twilight. "Any friend of my daughters is a friend of mine," he said. "It's nice to meet you, Twilight."

"Where's Mom?" Sweetie Belle asked.

"Your mother is inside with Rarity," the stallion said. "You two go inside and chase her out, okay? If I have to wait much longer, I'll fall asleep standing up."

"Okay!" Sweetie Belle agreed. Twilight used her magic to open the front door of the Carousel Boutique, and the two unicorns waked inside. In the main room, Rarity was arguing loudly with a pink unicorn whose purple beehive hairdo was almost as gaudy as her husband's t-shirt. Twilight recognized her as a pony who had checked out a few travel books from the library.

"—saying that you need foals of your own!" the older unicorn said, glaring angrily at Rarity.

"Mother!" Rarity cried, stamping her foot. "I'm too young to have foals! Besides, I'm not even married yet!"

"And whose fault is that?" the older unicorn asked. "Last month, I set you up on a nice date with that farmer pony—"

"Which was an utter disaster!" Rarity protested. "Big Macintosh is my friend's brother!"

"How was I supposed to know that?" Rarity's mother asked.

"Gee, you could have asked, before you tricked me into dating him!" Rarity said.

Twilight grimaced, feeling uncomfortable to be watching this scene. She leaned a bit closer to Sweetie Belle. "Do they always do this?" Twilight whispered.

"Sometimes..." Sweetie Belle said.

The argument continued. "You can't fool me!" Rarity's mother said. "I heard rumors about some well-to-do unicorn from Canterlot coming to visit you last week!"

Rarity backed away at this. "That...that's personal," she said.

"You should have introduced him to me!" Rarity's mother said. "What was his name? I think it started with an 'F'. Flim? Flugelhorn? Fancy?"

Rarity's face was starting to turn a deeper shade of purple than her mane. Jumping in to her friend's aid, Twilight shouted, "Fitzwilliam Darcy!"

Both Rarity and her mother jumped backwards in surprise a bit at Twilight's outburst, and they turned to face her.

"Twilight, Sweetie Belle," Rarity said, in a voice which was a mix of exhaustion and frustration. "I didn't see you two come in! Mother was just leaving. Weren't you, Mother?"

Rarity's mother was not so easily distracted. "You're the librarian, aren'tcha?" she asked. "What was that name you said? Fits Durcy?"

"Rarity was meeting with Mr. Darcy," Twilight said. "He spends most of his time at his estate up in Pemberly."

Relief flooded Rarity's face, followed by a small grin. "His aunt, Lady Catherine, doesn't approve of our courtship," she said. "She thinks I'm too low-class."

"Hmph!" Rarity's mother said. She took a few steps over to Sweetie Belle and hugged her. "You two are the most wonderful daughters in the world. It doesn't matter if ponies look down on you for being poor. You're both high-class in my book."

Sweetie Belle muttered something about Diamond Tiara, while Rarity sighed deeply. "Yes, I know," Rarity said. "And no matter what I say, I do love you, Mother. Just...leave my love life alone, okay?"

"Only if you introduce me to this Mr. Darcy fellow," Rarity's mother said.

"I swear to Celestia that I will have Mr. Darcy over for dinner with our family, when he visits Ponyville," Rarity said, in her most sincere voice.

"That's all I wanted to hear!" Rarity's mother said happily. She started to leave the store, giving last-minute instructions to her daughters. "Take good care of Sweetie Belle this weekend, okay? Sweetie, no crusading. Rarity, no fashioning. Don't forget to do your homework, and treat each other well, okay? I love you both!"

"Bye, Mom!" Sweetie Belle said.

"Goodbye!" Rarity said, waving her hoof.

The instant Rarity's mother closed the door behind her, Rarity collapsed onto the nearest sofa. "Ugh," Rarity said, in an unladylike fashion. "How was the magic lesson, Sweetie?"

"Great!" Sweetie Belle said. "Twilight's really smart as a teacher! Maybe I'll get a magic cutie mark, just like her!"

Twilight chuckled nervously. "I'm not that good at magic..." she said.

"Thank you for helping out with my sister, Twilight," Rarity said. "And my mother. If you two hadn't come in—"

"Don't mention it," Twilight said. "We're just lucky your mom hasn't read Pride and Prejudice."

Rarity chuckled. "I do make an elegant Elizabeth Bennet, don't I?" she asked.

"Huh?" Sweetie Belle asked. "I don't understand."

"Mr. Darcy and Ms. Bennet are characters from a famous book," Rarity said. "If you want, I can read it to you sometime."

Sweetie Belle shrugged. "Sure, I guess," she said.

Rarity chatted a bit with Twilight, before the purple unicorn left to return to the library.

As the day went on, Rarity's thoughts kept returning to Pride and Prejudice. Now that Rarity thought about it, her life was a bit like that novel. She was from a family of all girls, and she had dreams of entering high society. Like Mr. Bennet, Rarity's father enjoyed telling jokes, and like Mrs. Bennet, Rarity's mother was overly obsessed with her daughters' love lives.

So that night, Rarity decided to read Pride and Prejudice to her little sister as a bedtime story. While Sweetie Belle got comfortable inside her blankets, Rarity picked up the book and began to read. "This is the story of a beautiful mare named Rarity Bennet, and how, to her great surprise, she found herself falling in love."

Sweetie Belle's nose wrinkled. "Is it really about a mare named Rarity?" she asked.

"It is now," Rarity smiled.