Pride and Bigotry: An 18th Century Romance
“Yeah,” I reply as politely as I can, trying to pull my glove off as the carriage hits a rock. “But you do realise that like, Catholics are actually like, people.”
He looks at me, bemused. “Naturally I recognise the humanity of my fellow man, dear Eva.” I nod, wondering whether I’ve actually got through to him.
“So it’s actually like, really offensive of you to perpetuate stereotypes where they are hedonistic and sexually promiscuous. It’s kind of bigoted.” He stares at me now, as if I’d just told him that a man had landed on the moon.
“Where did you say you were from again, madam?” he says, wiping his brow. “I do not recognise your dialect. Perchance you are from the North?”
“That’s another thing!” I exclaim. “You’re like, so rude about the North. All the time. Honestly it’s super classist and I really think it’s kind of toxic behaviour.”
I roll my eyes. “Fine, let’s just leave that one. But you need to stop being rude about Catholics. And the North. And the poor. I can’t even.” There’s a long pause, and we ride on in silence, and I try to regain as much dignity as I can while admitting defeat with the glove still rigidly caught around my wrist.
“Forgive me, Eva, I have no intention of a quarrel.”
“It’s chill.” It wasn’t.
“I must confess, Miss Haddon, that I am entranced by your beauty and your nature. There are few women like you in London.”
“Oh yeah,” I reply sarcastically. “Because all women are like the same and awful and insulting them will totally be a compliment to me.”
This clearly alarms him. “I meant merely to express my feelings towards you.”
“Then can you like, do so without being completely misogynist? Thanks.”
“What is ‘misogynist’, dear Eva?”
I pause. “Yeah, this isn’t working, mate.” I look at him, watching his soul break in his eyes. “You’re totally hot and stuff, but you’re seriously not woke. I don’t even think you know what feminism is and it kind of really pisses me off.” He grabs my hand, intently, signalling for the carriage to stop. My glove is still awkwardly half off but he doesn’t seem to notice.
“Miss Eva, I barely understand a word on your tongue and I know you think me ignorant. But you enthrall me. I cannot marry you, my station forbids it, but I beg you to consent to become my mistress. I will treasure you as if you were my own wife.”
“Dude,” I reply, emphatically. “Ew. No.”
And with that, I left the carriage, leaving him gawping in amazement.