Elizabeth was much too embarrassed to say a word. After a short pause, her companion added, "You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject forever." Elizabeth feeling all the more than common awkwardness and anxiety of his situation, now forced herself to speak; and immediately, though not very fluently, gave him to understand, that her sentiments had undergone so material a change, since the period to which he alluded, as to make her receive with gratitude and pleasure, his present assurances.

– Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice, Chapter 58. If at first your don’t succeed…the climax of Austen’s classic story of love and misunderstanding arrives with Mr. Darcy’s famous second proposal and Elizabeth’s acceptance of it. Moments before Elizabeth learned that Darcy intervened to save Lydia because of his affection for Elizabeth. She is speechless with embarrassment, and Darcy uses the opportunity to propose again. Elizabeth clearly wasn’t ready to receive Darcy’s first proposal and his declaration of "how ardently I admire and love you." That proposal was also clumsily presented by Darcy, who spoke of how he struggled to repress his feelings and referred to Elizabeth’s inferior social position and family obstacles. But what an insulted Elizabeth didn’t understand then was that Darcy was trying to explain how he loved her in spite of her position and family connections. The second time round when Darcy proposes and Elizabeth accepts, it is more a conversation of equals instead of one or the other thinking that they are superior. Class is not a barrier. Also Darcy’s less prideful second proposal suggests no expectation on his part that Elizabeth will automatically accept him, as clearly was the expectation first time round. Elizabeth sees Darcy in a different light now as well, her stubbornness and prejudice against him having given way to a deeper understanding of his true character: honest and noble and a person of integrity. She has matured and grown to this point where she is ready to accept him.