Beginning, Section II
Posted on: 2010-08-02
As soon as the front door was heard to close, Darcy ordered, "Mr Wight will you fetch Miss Bennet and Mrs Wright here at once."
The Master penned a note of the next instructions for Mr Wright and was just finishing it when Elizabeth entered, followed by Mr and Mrs Wright. "Mr and Mrs Wright, give us a few minutes please."The servants dipped their head in obedience and went into the hall.
"Elizabeth how is Anne?" Darcy asked.
"Not very good. Katie, her maid, said it was one of her bad days, but she is now in bed starting to warm up and the doctor is sent for."
"You are very efficient my dear, but can you organise a wedding for tonight."
"You know that together we can. You did get the special licence yesterday?"
"Yes. Let Mr and Mrs Wright back in, my wife to be, and get this organised."
Darcy explained to the Wrights that Aunt Catherine was allowing Anne to stay so she would be compromised by being in the house with him and the only way to prevent that was for Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam's wedding to occur that very night. "So we have a wedding to prepare for if we aim for everyone to be ready by six o'clock. Mr Wright see to this list and then return to me."
Mr Wright then left. "Elizabeth, Mrs Wright the ball room would be the ideal venue. You have to decorate and organise the menu, purchase any additional things you need. Where is Georgie?"
"She is sitting with Anne waiting for the doctor. I found her upstairs hiding from your Aunt."
"So she knows what is going on then."
"She knows about Anne, yes. The wedding no."
"I will go and speak with her after I have got these missives written, and before I go and speak with the minister. Can we all meet for lunch at one so we can see how preparations are going?"
"That sounds like a good plan." Elizabeth said with a smile. "Mrs Wright shall we take a look at the ballroom first? That will give me some ideas, and then we can go to the kitchen to see cook about a menu."
"Mrs Wright, here are a few additional chores." He handed her a piece of paper, and upon looking them over, knew they were things the new mistress was not to know about.
"Yes, sir." Mrs. Wright demurred.
They entered the ballroom and Mrs Wright opened the curtains at both ends of the room to let some light in. The room was big and cold and still quite dark. "Does it need a lot of candles to light it up?"
"Yes it does, Miss."
"Where is the kitchen accessed through?"
"The door at this end, Miss."
"Then we should have the tables for dinner at this end, and the ceremony at the other end. If the staff could start by cleaning setting the fires, so it will be toasty warm tonight, and setting up the tables, we can go and get the menu organised." Mrs Wright liked this girl already. She was organised, thought ahead, and tried not to do too much at once.
They headed to the kitchen and Mrs Wright introduced her to Phillip the chef and his team. "Phillip, we have a small wedding supper to prepare for tonight. The party includes four children aged two, four, six and eight. What do we have available in the house already." They went to the storage room and saw all the items available, and over a cup of tea went through the previous menus. Elizabeth decided on a simple but elegant three course menu. Mrs Wright and Elizabeth left Phillip and his team to work on lunch and the wedding supper.
The next stop was all the storage of decorations, china, silverware, candles and the rest. Mrs Wright told Elizabeth, "The ballroom had not been used in over fourteen years; since the late mistress's death. The ribbons and the like have likely deteriorated, but we could easily get some new ones."
"At lunch I will find out which waist coat and coat Fitzwilliam is wearing and show that and my dress to whomever will get the ribbon so that they will be able to match them."
They decided on the dinner service and serving dishes patterns, the cutlery and the table candelabras, and the tea service. Then they headed back to the ballroom to check on progress.
To their delight, the room was already much warmer. Elizabeth explained where the table for the supper should be arranged, and where the ceremony would take place. She asked for a small table with lace tablecloth over a linen cloth for the signing of the register. When we get the ribbons, we could put mix the colours together on the ends of the chairs, on the table, the little table, and from the wall candelabras. "I will have to go back to my uncles this afternoon to get ready so I won't see the finished look until tonight. I think we have covered everything in here"
Mrs. Write smiled and nodded.
Elizabeth joined Fitzwilliam and Georgiana for lunch and they discussed how their day was going. Elizabeth gave her report on the ballroom, the supper menu, and that all the other preparations were underway.
Georgiana reported that the doctor had visited and that Anne was very under nourished. This had weakened her and made her susceptible to any other illness going around. They had to keep anyone away that had even a cold, and needed to put her on a strict diet to build her back up again, but it would take a while.
Fitzwilliam reported that the minister was organised for six o'clock . Suzie was helping Molly set up Elizabeth's things from Gracechurch Street in the mistress's room now, and they were expecting her after lunch. He added that he had a surprise for her up there.
After lunch, Darcy escorted Elizabeth to the mistress's chamber. Elizabeth was surprised to find all her things unpacked and set out how she liked them.
Molly and Suzie were there unpacking the final things and Darcy asked Molly to get out the dress. She brought out a beautiful beaded ivory gown. "This was my mother's bridal gown. She was about the same size as you. I know you haven't had time to get your own gown, so if this is any use, feel free to wear it. It is up to you."
"Thank you, Fitzwilliam! It is very thoughtful of you. I will try it on now to see if it fits."
"I shall leave you then."
"Before you disappear, can you show Suzie the coat and waistcoat you will be wearing so she can get ribbons for the ballroom to match us?" Darcy showed Suzie the items while Molly helped Elizabeth try on the gown. It was almost the perfect fit. There was only a little tuck needed at the waist in either side seam to make it perfect.
Molly sat down to sew the gown while Suzie went shopping for the ribbons.
Elizabeth checked on Anne, who was sleeping. Sleep sounded like a good idea at this stage as she could not do anything till Suzie returned with the ribbon. She asked Molly to wake her when Suzie returned.
At three o'clock, she was refreshed, and asked Molly to have her bath ready at five o'clock.
Elizabeth stuck her head in Anne's door. Anne was awake this time, so Elizabeth went in for a chat; they became friends fast. Anne was impressed with how quickly the wedding plans were taking place.
After fifteen minutes, Elizabeth left to go and put the ribbons up in the ballroom. She was just finishing the last one when Fitzwilliam came in to get her for tea. "This room looks beautiful Elizabeth! You have done a wonderful job. I think you have done so well you deserve a cup of tea and a surprise."
"Surprise? I like the sound of that." Elizabeth replied.
He led her to the drawing room and when he opened the door there stood "Papa" she said racing over to give him a big hug "Mama" as she hugged her "Jane" and a long hug for her favourite sister "Mary" hugging her "Kitty and Lydia" hugging them together. She then turned to Fitzwilliam with tears in her eyes "Thank you that is the best surprise. I thought they would miss out."
"I could not have married you without them here. I would have delayed it up till midnight to give them a chance to get here."
"Oh now I will have to go and set more place settings."
"Mrs Wright was waiting for you to leave the room to add them."
"And we will need to get rooms ready for them,"
"Every guest room is ready so you can put your guests where ever you wish. You have seen them all, chose whichever you like. I will warn you that Richard normally has the last on the left, and will just assume it is ready for him."
"You want me to give them which rooms."
"You have been mistress of this house since this morning. Don't deny it. Without you Anne may have frozen to death in the coach this morning, and most of the wedding would not be organised. The staff, have had nothing but praise for how well you organised it all."
At this she went red and dipped her head in embarrassment. "Thank you," she said. From this brief exchange, Elizabeth's family could see how much the couple loved each other.
Elizabeth turned to her mother. "You must be tired after your journey mama."
"I am a bit," Mrs. Bennet admitted.
"I will show you and papa to your rooms then." As she passed Mrs Wright in the hall she said, "Can we have the baths prepared in the blue suites; Papa to the east."
"Oh Lizzy you have a wonderful home here." Mrs Bennet said.
"I don't know that our daughter has noticed the house, she only has eyes for the owner."
"Well, Fitzwilliam is pretty good on the eyes papa."
"Will we reach our room before it is time for the wedding do you think?"
"No more of your cheek papa or I won't show you the library tomorrow."
"Oh I give in then."
"Papa you are in here." She opened the door to his room. Leaving him there, she walked her mother to the adjoining room. "Mama this is your room."
"Lizzy I must speak to you about your wedding night." Mrs Bennet said in a loud whisper.
"Mama Aunt Gardiner has already spoken to me about it, and there is no time now. I have to show my sisters their rooms." She managed to escape before a big lecture from her mother.
Elizabeth showed her sisters to their rooms and was back in her room in time for her bath. Molly was just putting the final touches to her hair when there was a knock at the adjoining door. "Molly can you see what he wants? I will be in the dressing room. I don't want him to see me till I enter the ballroom."
Molly came back in to the dressing room with a box in her hand. "Master sent this in for you to wear miss." She opened the velvet box to reveal a pearl necklace.
"It is beautiful Molly, could you put it on?" The pearls perfectly matched his mother's gown. She was ready. Elizabeth sent Molly to see how everyone else was progressing, and to have her father sent to when everyone was ready. It was another ten minutes before Mr. Bennet arrived.
Her father took one look at her and a tear came to his eye. "Not my little Lizzy anymore. You are a beautiful grown woman who is leaving her old papa for a life with a rich, dashing, young man, who I can see loves you as much as I do."
"Thank you, papa," she said and kissed him on the cheek.
"We should go. We don't want to keep him waiting."
As they entered the ballroom, everyone turned to see them. They had all admired her work in getting the ballroom ready, and now they all turned to admire Elizabeth. She was well worth admiring; even Jane did not outshine her tonight. They walked to where Darcy was waiting.
"Wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife," the minister said with little preamble. "To live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honour and keep her in sickness and in health and forsaking all others keep thee only unto her so long as you both shall live?"
"I will." Darcy answered.
"Wilt thou have this man to thy wedded husband, to live together after God's ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou obey him and serve him love honour and keep him in sickness and in health and forsaking all other keep thee only unto him so long as ye both shall live?"
"I will." Elizabeth replied.
"Who giveth this woman to be married to this man?" Mr Bennet took her hand from his arm kissed her check and whispered "goodbye my child" and gave her hand to Darcy.
"I, Fitzwilliam George Darcy, take thee, Elizabeth Rose Bennet, to my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth."
"I, Elizabeth Rose Bennet, take thee, Fitzwilliam George Darcy, to my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish and to obey till death us do part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I plight thee my troth."
"With this ring, I thee wed, with this body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow: in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost Amen." Fitzwilliam placed the ring on Elizabeth's finger.
And in the end, Darcy was allowed to kiss his bride. It was only a short chaste kiss, but one he had waited five and a half years for. They signed the register and Bingley and Jane added their signatures.
All the family came up to them to congratulate them. They then sat down to the wedding supper. Everyone was enjoying themselves, even Anne had managed to come down for the wedding and the supper. She turned to Elizabeth at one stage. "Thank you Elizabeth for all you have done for me today. Thank you for marrying William. I believe you will be very happy together."
"You are welcome, Anne. Now you have to get better for us."
Anne smiled. "I will try."
Aunt Gardiner came to talk to Elizabeth. "Oh Aunt, I am sorry I have had to run off and leave you at this time. Will you be able to cope with the household again?"
"I have started to feel better the last couple of mornings, and I have just been talking to Mary. She said Mr Collins had come back for a week before Christmas, and she thought she could possibly like him enough to marry him. However, she has decided that after observing you and Mr Darcy, that it is not enough for her, and if he asks again, she will say no. So I think our Mary would benefit from some time with us."
"I am sure she would. We will be in town for a while, while Anne recuperates. We can have her come and spend some days with us. She would benefit from Georgiana at the pianoforte."
"That would be good for her, Lizzy. I think we will have to take some tired children home soon."
"Aunt, I understand that the nursery has been prepared for them. They can stay the night to save disturbing them. Just send some clothes early tomorrow morning."
"Oh Lizzy, that is a lovely offer, but you do not need to be dealing with the children on the first morning of your marriage."
"We already have a house full of guests. It is not your typical wedding night."
"Thank you, Lizzy. You have prepared for everything today."
"The experience of running your household for the last month was invaluable." Elizabeth replied gratefully. "I could not have done this without it."
"Are you ready for the challenges of Pemberley? There the house alone is four times the size of this, and then Lambton and Kympton villages rely on the estate also."
"I am glad to have had these smaller experiences first and build myself up to it."
"If this wedding is anything to go by you will be fine."
Just then Elizabeth saw some musicians come in to the ballroom and set up down at the end. She looked towards her husband - yes, husband, she thought to herself - she could call him that now. Reading her mind, he walked over to her then. "I thought we might have some dancing. If I ask you a third time, I might be lucky enough for you to say yes."
"And If I don't?" she challenged raising her eyebrow.
"Then, I will need to remind my wife that she just this evening vowed to obey me."
"I suppose I can't argue with that. You are now particularly acquainted with me, so as it would not make it impossible for you to ask."
"My dear, I intend to become fully acquainted with my wife later tonight."
"I believe you have bested me this time, husband."
"I will savour this victory as they are rare when I cross verbal swords with you my love." He grinned. "Are you prepared for the scandalous waltz?"
"I don't know how." Elizabeth stuttered.
"I will show you the basic steps and then you follow my lead."
"I will follow you where ever you lead me dancing or not."
"Then let us show them how it's done."
He led her to the dance floor, showed her the steps and where to place her hands, and when the music began, they began to waltz around the floor. They were soon joined by Richard with Georgiana and Bingley with Jane. Bingley was showing Jane the same way Darcy had shown Elizabeth, and soon there were three couples spinning around the room.
As the dance finished Darcy asked what Elizabeth thought. "It requires much more energy. I am glad it is shorter, and it is very intimate. I would not like to dance it with anyone, but my husband."
The musicians played a few more lighter tunes to dance to, but due to a lack of male partners - there were only five of them - some ladies had to take male places.
When Elizabeth was sitting out one, and allowing her husband to dance with Mary, her mother came over to her. "Lizzy my dear this has been a lovely wedding and everything looks beautiful. You must have spent some time planning it."
"In truth, mama, we planned to marry from Longbourn on the twenty first of January, but we knew Lady Catherine would probably cause trouble, so we had done the settlements and gained a special licence so we could marry at any time if we needed to. I only began shopping yesterday, so I didn't have a gown or anything else ready. When I arrived at nine this morning to go shopping again with Georgiana, Lady Catherine's carriage was out the front with a sick Anne in it. I knew I could not leave her out there, but by bringing her in, her mother was prepared to leave her here in the hope that by being in the house with William, he would have to marry her. So at half passed nine, we began planning a wedding."
"You got all this ready in eight hours?"
"You are a very clever girl then."
"We had a very good team effort. My husband did a lot of little surprises like bringing my family and getting my things moved over."
"I can see he loves you very much."
"Yes he does. And now you can stop worrying about hedgerows and allow my sisters to find that same sort of love for themselves."
"Yes Lizzy, but it has been my way of life since Jane turned fifteen."
"And it didn't help we found each other without your help. You may need to take up a new hobby." Elizabeth teased.
"What if I take up making baby clothes?"
"Sounds like you have taken up papas teasing." And they both laughed.
Eventually the Gardiners went home, and the guests began turning in. William walked Elizabeth to her door. Took her hand and brought it to his lips, kissing first the back of her fingers, but then turning it over to kiss her palm. "May I come to you tonight?"
"If you don't there could be a problem."
"And what is that?"
"You promised earlier we would become fully acquainted."
"So I did. Would half an hour be long enough?"
"Yes and not a minute longer." Darcy smiled at her with his dimples, as Elizabeth entered the room.
Half an hour later, changed into his nightshirt, robe and slippers, William knocked at the connecting door and was bid to enter.
Elizabeth stood in a very revealing clinging nightgown. William was speechless and did not move from the door way.
Elizabeth walked over to him, and asked if he was going to shut the door. He managed to do so.
Elizabeth took him by the hand and brought him into the room. The touch of her hand awakened him to the fact this was real and not a dream. He pulled back on her arm to bring her in front of him and wrapped his other arm around her. He looked into her eyes and he could see the love flowing out of them. "I love you dearest, loveliest, Elizabeth."
"I love you too William." He lowered his head and raised her chin till eventually their lips met softly and gently. Then he opened his mouth slightly and deepened the kiss.
They separated needing air. "I have waited five years for another kiss from you." He said.
"Was it worth the wait?" she asked raising that eyebrow.
"Yes, but I don't want to wait any longer for the next." He said lowering his head to meet her lips again. This time when he opened his mouth, he licked her lips with his tongue and she opened her mouth, and their tongues danced around their mouths together.
Coming up for air again Elizabeth commented, "Now, if you had kissed me like that five years ago, I would have accepted your proposal." He chuckled.
"'Then I have five years to make up for." He slowly kissed her again and this time it increased with passion until they slowly and gently became fully acquainted.
Posted on: 2010-08-16
The next morning Darcy awoke to find the lovely body of his wife in his arms, with her back along his chest. There was only one problem. She was no longer naked; she had put her nightgown back on, though he didn't remember her doing so. He must have slept soundly. He leant up on his elbow to look at her face better and noticed another lump in the bed. In Elizabeth's arms lay a sleeping Henry. That would explain the nightgown, he thought. I wonder where my nightshirt ended up. Looking around he found it around the bed post near his feet; Elizabeth must have put it there for him. He pulled his arm out from under her got out of bed put on his nightshirt, robe and slippers and went to stoke the fire. He then removed his robe and slippers and got back into bed, put his arm back under Elizabeth. She wiggled back to snuggle against him, but her warm leg came in contact with his cold foot and the shock woke her up. She turned her face to look at him, "My dearest husband your feet are cold."
"Well since we have company, I thought I should dress, which required me to leave the warm comfort of my wife's body, and the warm blankets. So, while I was up, I stoked up the fire for the room to be warm when you get out of bed."
"You were doing well till you put your cold feet on me."
"I am sorry my dear."
"We will need to get up and dressed before the children begin to wake up and see if the clothes have arrived for them."
"We can wait for a few minutes can't we? Mrs Darcy, I need to catch up with a few more kisses."
"Yes a few minutes and a few kisses would be good." Soon Darcy was out of bed and calling for her maid and his valet. She was dressed when he returned, had piled the children's clothes on the base of the bed, and began sorting through them, separating them for each child. Darcy stood behind her and wrapped an arm around either side of her and took each item from the pile and handing then to her. He picked up Henry's shirt "It is hard to remember that until last night this room has not been used since Georgie was this size. It was so long ago."
"You still miss your mother."
"Yes, but I hope it won't be long and there will be another mother in here." He said as he rubbed his hand over her lower belly. "We may have made you that last night."
"I hope," she said quietly. "That you don't just," she was having trouble saying it, "assume that," she sighed, how could she say it.
Darcy looked at her. "What is it my love? You can tell me anything."
"Most gentlemen and their wives sleep in separate bed chambers."
"Yes my love, is that what you want?"
"Not unless that is what you want." She answered quietly.
"No it is not what I want. I know we did not have much time from our engagement to wedding to discuss how we were going to live as husband and wife, or what we will do about the running of the households and estates, and lots more things, so we will have to now sort all those things out as we go. Starting now, we will discuss everything openly, honestly and frankly with each other. Is that reasonable to you."
"That sounds like the most reasonable way to deal with things."
"Then I will begin by saying that I would like to wake up every morning with my wife in my arms, preferably still naked."
"She would have been this morning if Henry had not woken in the night. I heard him crying and he would not settle in the strange bed, so I had to bring him back with us. But I did wake naked and wrapped in the arms of my naked husband, and I liked it."
"You little minx." Just then Henry began to wake. "You have been saved by a waking child, but be forewarned for tonight."
"I look forward to it," she said handing him Henry's clothes. "You can begin practicing for your son by dressing Henry."
"I had another sort of practice in mind."
"So did I," she said walking through the door to the nursery. Darcy just shook his head.
When the children were dressed, Lizzy asked, "Should I have some breakfast sent up to the nursery?"
"No," Darcy answered, "if I am going to share breakfast with all our other guests, and not just my wife, I might as well get practice sharing it with children." Elizabeth just shook her head.
They were about to head out the door when Henry put his hands up to Darcy who picked him up. William stood on his foot, holding his leg, and the girls, much more ladylike, took cousin Lizzy's hands. As they headed down the hall, Katie came out of Anne's room. "Is Anne awake already?"
"No not yet."
"Let her sleep as long as possible this morning as we will have to take her shopping this afternoon."
"Shopping already? Are you sure you didn't marry me for my money?"
"No, This is a necessity. Your Aunt did not bring any clothes with them. Yesterday, Anne slept in one of Georgie's nightgowns, and wore one of my new gowns last night, and I have given her another for today."
"Oh Elizabeth, I did not realise or I could have had one of the maids get some of mother's things out. Aunt Catherine was really planning for me to compromise her completely."
"Yes, I am afraid so, but we were one step ahead of her."
They arrived in the breakfast room to find only Mr Bennet there, who was not quite prepared for the site of his very proper son in law with a four year old wrapped around his leg, and tickling a two year old he carried. "You are quick Darcy. Yesterday was only your wedding night, and this morning you come down with children already."
"Just practicing," he replied, glancing at his wife who just shook her head.
"You haven't taken long getting to know these youngsters though."
"In truth sir, I have known these two all their lives, and the girls five years. William is my namesake, and Henry is my god son."
"So you are the friend from Derbyshire. Is there anything else I should know?" He watched as Darcy and Elizabeth looked at each other and she nodded.
"Would you join us in the study after breakfast? Do not be worried, this bit of information should ease your mind."
Elizabeth got the children all something for breakfast. And they all sat down to eat. Colonel Fitzwilliam and Mary both joined them before they finished.
As Mr Bennet, Mr Darcy and Mrs Darcy were leaving the table, Elizabeth turned to Mary. "Would you take the children to the drawing room and tell them a story or something till we are finished?"
The three went to the study and sat down. Darcy handed Bennet the copy of the settlement papers for him to look at. After reading for a while he looked up at Darcy. "How?" his one word question.
For the next hour, Darcy told Mr Bennet about all his various estates in Scotland and Derbyshire the estate in Ireland that weresold, his investments, and the outcomes of those investments. Mr Bennet was even more impressed with his son in law. "But that still doesn't explain the money coming supposedly from Elizabeth."
"After what happened at Lambton, Gardiner put a thousand pounds for each of your daughters into a trust for investments. If anything happened to you, he would have to take care of them. Their thousand pounds is now sixteen thousand pounds. I also put a thousand pounds in a trust for Elizabeth that Gardiner knew about, so that if anything happened to one of us, the other could still get it to her, even though at the time I did not know her name. The difference in the final amounts between the two is every time I had to give Wickham money, I put the same amount in the investment to see what Wickham could have had."
"That is a lot of money in a short time."
"Yes. And now we can have many sons, and they will all get an estate and significant investments very good by heirs standards, down to a fifth son with many daughters."
"No chance of you exceeding your income."
"No, but my wife is going to start to try today, as the ladies are going shopping this afternoon."
"The seven young ladies could share a carriage couldn't they?"
"Yes, but Mrs Bennet would miss out."
"I will take her shopping with me in another coach and we will just happen to lose the other coach and not be able to find them. We will take the children back and shop in the places she knows, and you girls can shop in the best part of town, since Darcy's paying."
"Thank you papa. I was dreading taking mama."
"It can't be that bad." Darcy queried.
"Your wife would regularly come home unhappy and remove half the lace and trimmings from her gowns."
"I would have to agree, it would detract from her natural beauty."
"Thank you." She replied. He smiled.
"Now, I was promised to be shown this famous library."
"This is only the little one. Wait till you see Pemberley next Christmas."
"Do I have to wait that long?"
"Unfortunately, we are going to be in town for some time getting Anne well and sorting out Rosings for her. Then we are going to have a honeymoon. As you can see, we aren't even sure how much of it we will see before next winter.
"Then we will be there for Christmas for sure."
They went to the library and after leaving Mr. Bennet comfortable, returned to the drawing room where most of the family was found. Beth and William came running over to them. "Cousin William, can you tell us a story? Mary doesn't know how to do the voices like you and cousin Lizzy," Beth said.
"Then Mary had better listen this time so she will know how for next time." Lizzy replied.
When Mrs Bennet joined soon after, she was surprised to see her very proud son in law surrounded by children, telling them the story of Beauty and the beast, doing all the voices and everything. As he finished, Mr Bennet was standing in the door way and asked, "I suppose if I look long enough I will find that in your library."
"Both the original French La Belle et la BÍte by Madame Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve and the 1757 English translation are in there." Darcy replied.
"Is this any reflection on your and Lizzy's relationship? Lydia chimed. Because we all know she hated you after the assembly at Meryton."
"Lydia." Jane admonished.
Lizzy and Darcy both laughed. "Tact papa next lesson" Lizzy replied.
"Lydia your sister had every right to hate me, especially after what I said and how I acted, but I am not the same man I was then. Elizabeth has made me a better man, but I don't think there is one person in this room who has not benefited from Elizabeth's love and care over the last couple of months."
"I don't know what I have done for the Colonel."
"More than you know, Elizabeth." He replied.
The Gardiner children were taken to the nursery by Suzie.
"Lizzy are you willing to tell your mother and sisters your story." Mr Bennet asked.
"I am willing for them to know it all, but I can't tell it. William can tell them, he was there."
He began, "On the day my father died... she kissed me."
"Oohh." Kitty and Lydia cooed at the same time.
"A week later .... If he felt marriage would safe guard her reputation then I would marry her instead, but she refused.
"What?" Mrs Bennet exclaimed. "You refused an offer of marriage?"
"Mama, we did not love each other at the time, and if you will remember, we married yesterday, so the outcome is still the same."
"Wickham's father passed.... until our paths met last summer at Ramsgate." Darcy stopped and looked up at his sister she nodded for him to continue.
Elizabeth held her hand as Darcy continued, Georgiana went to Ramsgate.... Wickham left the place.
"This was only two months before we went to Hertfordshire?" Bingley asked.
"Yes. Georgiana's new companion sent me off as she thought I was making things worse."
"No wonder you did not want to dance! You didn't want to be there and you had to put up with my sister fawning over you."
"Then, on the day we went to check if Jane was any better, we met the Bennet ladies just meeting a new acquaintance."
"Yes, Mr Wickham," Lydia said "It was him," as realisation dawned.
"That was when we remembered our prior meetings. Elizabeth was shocked, so I walked her home while Bingley escorted you all away. I then had to explain everything to Mr Bennet who knew none of this." We decided to get Elizabeth away before he recognised her, and I came to find Richard to see about getting Wickham transferred, so the next day I saw Elizabeth safely to London."
"But she went by post and you went to Pemberley." Bingley said.
"I said I was going home. I did not say which home."
"And I said I was taking Elizabeth to the coach stop. Well Darcy's coach stopped there. You met up with him at the Phillip's the next night, and Charlotte, Jane and I kept him busy with cards as Wickham had shortlisted his next victim: Maria Lucas, Kitty or Lydia." Mr Bennet added.
"Elizabeth was seeing Georgie daily and talking helping each other through this. Then the day of your ball, they went for a walk across the road in the park and ran in to him again. We were able to arrest him, and he faced disciplinary action, and was transferred to a unit in India.
"As we saw each other with Georgie and the Gardeners, Elizabeth's opinion of me changed enough that when she got her second letter from Jane with Caroline's letter in it, she came to me for help in finding out the truth.
"So Georgie hosted her first dinner with the Gardiner's, Elizabeth, Bingley's and Hursts."
"Darcy humbled Caroline by showing her everyone else in the room had a gentleman for a father, except our family, therefore she was the lowest ranked in the room. Elizabeth showed her for the liar she is, by bringing out her letters to Jane, so I finished her off by cutting off her allowance." Bingley said in triumph.
"After our joint success I requested a private interview the next morning, at which time I proposed and was accepted. I then rode to Longbourn and was granted consent. Knowing my Aunt would cause trouble if she knew, we didn't announce it, but planned to marry on the twenty first of January. We prepared the settlement and special licence just in case. Someone wrote to my Aunt, so she turned up on the doorstep and Anne was left in the cold coach. Elizabeth came to go shopping with Georgie, and she took everything under control and brought Anne in. When my aunt learned Anne was in the house, she left her here with no clothes in the hope I would marry her to save her reputation. Instead, Elizabeth and I married and no reputations were hurt. That brings us up to date."
"Not quite cousin. As now you are married and unable to marry Anne, we can announce our engagement, that we have had to keep secret for three years, if we can borrow your ballroom on Friday." Colonel Fitzwilliam announced.
"We would be happy to host your wedding, but to do so, your bride requires food and clothes. As soon as lunch is done we are going shopping."
"Richard if Aunt Catherine finds out about both weddings, she could drain the Rosings accounts so there would be nothing left for Anne to inherit."
"Darcy, you are right. While the ladies are shopping, we had better go to the bank, the solicitor and get the special license."
"That will fill in our afternoon. Do you wish to join us Bingley?"
"Yes, I will if you don't mind me coming along."
"Not at all. You are most welcome to accompany us."
That evening at dinner, Mr Bennet stood up. "If I could have your attention please, they say that one wedding leads to another, so two engagement announcements the day after a wedding, should not be such a surprise. I have the pleasure in announcing the betrothal of my daughter Jane to Charles Bingley."
Everyone was congratulating them and asked when the wedding would be.
"We know that four here have to be in Kent in late January, so we thought just before it, January 20th."
"Mr Bingley, that only gives me three weeks to prepare for it!" Mrs. Bennet objected loudly.
"Mrs Bennet, your daughter prepared a wedding in 8 hours. You have three weeks, plenty of time." Her husband teased her.
"We will have to start shopping tomorrow Jane."
"Mama, Jane started shopping today, and has already ordered her gown." Lizzy replied.
"Lizzy, you don't know where to get the best bargains, and which warehouses to go to."
"No mama, but we don't need warehouses. We shopped on Bond Street today with the most well informed, creative, design savvy, colour matcher I have ever had the pleasure of shopping with. Another day with Georgie and Anne and Jane and I will all have our trousseaus finished."
"You sound like you are as organised as always Lizzy." Mr. Bennet remarked proudly.
"I hope so papa. I have another wedding in two morning's time to be ready for."
As they lay in bed that night, Elizabeth wrapped in William's embrace, "I feel like I have hardly seen you all day." He said.
"I know what you mean, but this is only short term. We have the rest of our lives ahead of us."
"My dear, Anne and Richard are not going to have anything beside his pay to live on, nowhere to live, and no carriage to travel in until January 22nd."
"They can stay with us until then. I do not mind, when it is just them us Georgie and Mrs Annesley. It will be quieter."
"Oh Elizabeth, you are so kind, caring and understanding. I do not deserve you."
"You are all those things too, and I don't deserve you either, but God has blessed us with each other and I am not one to argue with his decisions."
"We need to be prepared for Aunt Catherine turning up on Friday. What do you think?"
"If she turns up after they are married, have the servants welcome her in and see what she does."
Friday January 3rd 1812
On Friday morning, Elizabeth was up early checking on the final details for the wedding which was at eight o'clock. When she was sure all was ready, she went back up stairs to bathe and dress. When she was done, she went to check on Anne who was just having her hair finished. "Oh Anne, you look beautiful."
"Elizabeth, I am so nervous and worried my mother might turn up in the middle of it. What will I do?"
"Stop worrying and think of the man about to become you husband. We will take care of the rest."
"Ok. Elizabeth, I think I am ready."
"I will bring William up when I have everyone in the ballroom."
Elizabeth and Darcy entered Anne's room ten minutes later. "Thank you for giving me away, William."
"After our nonexistent engagement, it sort of makes sense that I give you away to the man you love."
They walked in to the ballroom and down the aisle to Richard who was in his full dress uniform. The ceremony was finished, and they were signing the register when Lady Catherine, Lord and Lady Matlock walked in. Darcy was just adding his signature as the first witness, after the bride and groom, when Lady Catherine spoke. "What is going on here?"
"Your daughter's wedding." Darcy answered.
"You have married her then nephew?"
"Yes, I have," answered Richard. "No, I have not," answered Darcy.
"Make up your mind! Which is it? Did you or didn't you marry her?"
"Mother you are not listening; you never listen. You answer your own questions, so this time listen to me. I married my cousin Richard."
"No! This cannot be! You were engaged to Darcy."
"No mother. Richard and I have been engaged for three years, and are now married. We love each other, just as William and Elizabeth love each other. You could never force us to marry when our hearts belonged to others."
"Darcy cannot marry this country chit! She is a nobody! Her relations are not of the gentry, she has no dowry, and her sister almost eloped last summer with that stewards son! I know it all." Lady Catherine stated.
Darcy and the Colonel both looked at the Earl in disgust, knowing he must have shared that information with his sister. Both men made a mental note not to go to the Earl for advice in the future. "That is enough Aunt you will not speak against my wife."Darcy stated.
"You cannot be married to her already."
"Did you not read our wedding announcement in the Times this morning? It tells all the details of Tuesday's wedding."
"No! Are the shades of Pemberley to be thus polluted by elopement?"
"If Pemberley shades are polluted, it was by me Aunt." A voice said from behind her. Lady Catherine turned to see Georgiana standing there. Elizabeth moved to Georgiana's side to support her, after signing her name in the register.
"What do you mean by this Georgiana?"
"It was not Elizabeth's sister, but William's, me."
"This was your brother's neglect. I knew he should not have been your guardian. I tried to contest your father's will. I will do it now and you can live with me at Rosings."
"It was not my brother's neglect. He did everything to prevent it, and stopped it before it happened. It was my naivety that led me astray. William has been the most diligent, kind, loving guardian that a young girl could have; neither of my Aunts has been approachable for me. Not once have you or Uncle ever come and asked if I am alright, or was there anything I wanted to talk about, or told me that if I need to talk to someone you'll be there for me. Well don't bother to start that now, as my brother has given me the most wonderful, caring, kind, loving sister. So I don't need any of you now." With that said Georgiana collapsed in to Elizabeth's arms.
Colonel Fitzwilliam turned to his parents "Mother, father may I present my wife." He took Anne by the hand towards his mother and father.
"How dare you do this to us! We had Lady Sarah Grey and her fifty thousand pounds picked out for you. And Anne was for William. Now he has married a mercenary woman! Neither of you have brought anything to the family." Lord Matlock stated.
"Did you hear the statement you just made? You wanted to bring money and title to the family. You have shown yourself to be the mercenary one uncle. My wife, if she was mercenary, would have married me five years ago, when I first asked. We all four of us have married for love, love that is strong, that will see us through the hard times better than any money or title ever could." Darcy responded.
Richard and Anne came to stand on the left of William. Seeing this, Elizabeth brought Georgiana and they stood to the right of him.
"This generation of the family will stand together in love."Darcy stated.
Mary saw this and stood and walked to join them. Jane and Bingley walked towards them, and then Kitty and Lydia quietly and solemnly walked out to join them.
Mr and Mrs Bennet, Mr and Mrs Gardiner moved to stand beside the group, facing the Aunts and Uncle. "We support this generation who stand for what is right." Mr Bennet said.
After some time Lady Catherine said, "You will not get Rosings."
"On the contrary Aunt, Rosings is Anne's. You, Richard and I only manage it till the twenty second."
"There will be nothing left by then."
"You can't do anything."
"I will clean out the bank account and sell off the assets."
"The bank account is frozen till the twenty second, and the solicitors have the full listing of assets. Anything not there on the twenty second will be reported to the local magistate as stolen goods." Fitzwilliam replied.
"We will see about that." Lady Catherine turned and walked out the door.
Lord Matlock turned to walk out dragging his wife. "I am disappointed in you boys."
"They are not boys, they are honest men." Mr Bennet replied.
After they had left the room, everyone took a deep breath and breathed out slowly. "Now where were we before we were so rudely interrupted." Richard asked.
"I had just signed the register, so Elizabeth must now sign." Anne replied.
"No I signed hen you started talking, to make sure it was legal, in case they challenged." Elizabeth replied. "So now we can celebrate with breakfast. We all should have worked up an appetite after that."
They all laughed at that, congratulated Anne and Richard, and then moved to the table to eat.
After sitting at the table for a little while, Richard noticed Anne had not eaten much. "Anne darling are you well."
"Yes, Richard, just not hungry."
"Watch out. Mother Elizabeth is on the other side of you. Her job is to fatten you up; you know she will make you eat."
"What is wrong Anne? Can you not stomach it." Elizabeth asked.
"It seems a bit rich for how my stomach feels."
"Could you handle some broth instead?"
"That might be better."
"I will go and get you some then." Elizabeth went down to the kitchen herself to Phillip and thanked the kitchen staff for the wonderful breakfast foods while she was there. It was those little things that endeared her to the staff. They were as loyal to her as to the master, even after only a few days. She took the broth back up to Anne.
Anne was able to enjoy the broth, and it did give her energy to get through till after lunch, when she had a nap till tea time.
Dinner that night was the last that the Bennets and Bingley would be there for. They were heading home in the morning, so it was decided that the girls would have a meeting like Lizzy and Jane use to do. So, on the mistress's bed sat Elizabeth, Jane, Mary, Kitty, Lydia, Georgiana and Anne talking and giggling.
"Mary, Lydia, and Kitty, I am so proud of the way you handled the whole situation this morning. you are growing up to be lovely young ladies."
"Lizzy, we have you to thank for papa taking time with us. It has been wonderful for me; I did not know geography could be so interesting." Lydia replied.
"Nor I poetry," Kitty added.
"I am sorry I have not had the time to spend with you two while you are here. You will have to come and visit me at Pemberley on your own so we can have some quality time together."
Both Kitty and Lydia agreed.
"Sisters, that includes you Anne, I would like to be called Catherine instead of Kitty. It is more grown up."
"Then Catherine you shall be now."
The girls started to leave. "Anne can I see you for a minute" Elizabeth asked.
When the others had left she closed the door "Anne has anyone spoken to you about the wedding night?"
"No Elizabeth. I was worried I am not prepared."
"There is nothing to worry about, Anne." Elizabeth started and she explained it all to her. When she was almost finished, there was a knock at the interconnecting door. "I will come in there when we are finished William." She said. "Anne, the most important thing is open honest communication. It has served us well over these four days. As we had a very short engagement, we are still getting to know one another."
"Thanks Elizabeth, for everything you have done so far."
"What do you mean by so far?"
"You will have to help me sort out everything with the household at the end of the month at Rosings."
"We may be able to start some things when it is quieter next week. Now we had better not keep our husbands waiting."
Anne left, and Elizabeth knocked on the door to the master bed chamber, but there was no answer so Elizabeth opened the door and slowly went in. She had taken a few steps into the room before she could find her husband sitting on the chaise reading. She sat down next to him, and he lifted his arm and she snuggled in to him.
"Read me one?" she asked seeing it was poetry.
He read her one, whispering the lines of love in her ear. After it was finished she stood up, moved over to the master bed, turned back the covers, and came back to where her husband sat. She put her arms around his neck and kissed him. He put his arms around her waist and carried her to his bed.
When Elizabeth woke in the morning, William was leaning up on one arm looking at her. He moved a lock of hair from her face. "You are beautiful to watch" he said.
"You look pretty good yourself of a morning, even with your whiskers." She replied. "This bed is more comfortable than mine. We should sleep here every night."
"We might use yours when you might need your maid, like when we have a child."
"That sounds like a good plan."
"We had best plan to farewell our guests. To do so, we need to get out of bed."
"Soon," she said, and kissed him again.
Posted on: 2010-08-25
They stood in the hall. "Thank you Darcy for sending for us; you don't know how much it means to us." Mr Bennet said.
"Yes I do. I know what she means to you, and she is very precious to you and me both." They shook hands.
"Goodbye mama, we will see you in a few weeks."
Elizabeth and Darcy walked back into the drawing room to Richard, Anne, Georgiana and Mrs Annesley. "So what do you ladies have planned for today?"
"We had not planned anything, but sitting still for five minutes would be high on my priority list today." Elizabeth replied.
"Elizabeth, you have not had an easy first few days of marriage. I apologise this is not how it was suppose to be, to have a houseful of guests and another wedding to organise." Colonel Fitzwilliam chagrined.
"It is no trouble at all, Richard. We will have our honeymoon later that is all."
"We need to start thinking about introducing you ladies to society as our wives in the next two weeks as we will miss the main part of the season when we are at Rosings. If Richard and I go to Angelo's for some fencing and have lunch at our club, we can let people know we are in town and see who else is here."
"That sounds like a good idea, Darcy. Will we go now?"
"Yes, then we will be home for tea."
Richard and William left for Angelo's, and Georgiana and Mrs Annsley went off to form a study plan for the next few months. "Anne, come up to my sitting room and we can talk."
Seated in the chairs in front of the fire, they talked about anything and everything. Elizabeth told Anne of growing up in a full house of girls, and Anne told Elizabeth of a big empty house alone. "Tell me about Rosings, Anne?"
Anne described the house, the gardens, the grounds and the park, her favourite spots, and memories of playing with her cousins. Anne spoke of how life was different when her father was still alive. "He died about a year before Uncle Darcy. When Uncle Darcy knew he was dying, he asked my father to make William and Richard the executors of his will instead of himself and Lord Matlock so they would be able to help mother manage the place without mother wasting away all my inheritance. That is why they came to visit every year, but none of the rest of the family bothered."
Anne talked about the staff and who she thought she trusted and who she did not. "You should make two lists of them, including their positions. Use my writing desk. You should also make a list of what you will allow your mother to take to the dowager house."
Once Anne had done that, Elizabeth had a look at the list. Since both the housekeeper and steward were on the not loyal list, that would make it harder. "Is there any amongst your loyal staff that could act as housekeeper?"
"Elizabeth could Mrs Wright train Katie to be housekeeper?"
"That is a brilliant idea! Let us go and find them so they can start this afternoon."
When their husbands came home that afternoon, and they all sat down for tea, William asked "So what have you ladies been doing today?"
"We have started training a new housekeeper."
"Elizabeth you haven't fired Mrs Wright already have you?" William asked sarcastically.
"No my dear, I would be lost without her, but Rosings will need a new one so Mrs Wright is training Katie. You will also need a steward ready. We made a list of Rosings staff and where their loyalty is, with Anne or her mother."
"You have done well then. We met a number of our friends from Cambridge and we have organised to accept visitors on Monday afternoon so we can introduce you to them and their wives. There won't be any trouble in meeting any of them; they can't be influenced by the older generation."
"We have all had a productive day then."
Monday January 6th 1812
"Well that all appeared to go well Ladies," Colonel Fitzwilliam said.
"Yes they all seemed nice enough. We shall return some calls later this week."
"The Mackenzie's estate is next to ours in Scotland, we may see them up there this summer."
"It will be good to get to know them better since they are neighbours."
"Speaking of neighbours we should really introduce you to a few around here. We will have to have a dinner party before we leave for Bingley's wedding."
"I thought Mr Darcy did not like all these social gatherings."
"Elizabeth, I think I should warn you. My cousin does not like these types of things, but he knows his duty so has always attended, just sometimes grudgingly, and he puts on his mask and prepares to ward off the women."
"Well at least he won't have to worry about the matchmaking mamas anymore."
"At least not till Georgie comes out and all the young men turn up on the doorstep. Then watch the scowl on his face." They all laughed.
Friday January 17th 1812
"A line of carriages began the journey from London to Longbourn. The first carriage contained Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam - no longer a colonel after resigning his commission - with them were Miss Darcy and Mrs Annsley. The following carriage contained Mr and Mrs Darcy and the two little Gardiner boys, and the final carriage contained Mr and Mrs Gardiner, Mary, Amy, and Beth. They arrived at Longbourne a few hours later, where they were greeted by the Bennet family, Mr Bingley, Mr and Mrs Hurst, and Miss Bingley. William and Elizabeth looked at each other and out again. This was unexpected. Yes, they had known she was coming for the wedding, but to have her at Longbourn, and waiting out the front for their arrival, that was another thing altogether.
After all were out of the carriages and welcomed, they moved inside. William and Elizabeth were surprised again when Miss Bingley came over and congratulated them. It almost seemed genuine, and yet, there was something not right. She was the perfect hostess at Netherfield and was cordial to Elizabeth at all times, which was new. Late Sunday afternoon, William began to see Miss Bingley was up to her old fawning routine, when she had followed him into the library. This was neither the time nor the place for putting up with her rubbish, and it took all his effort to not bite her head off over it.
On the morning of Jane and Charles' wedding, Lizzy woke up not feeling very well. "I will wait with you till Molly gets here. Will you be well enough to go to the wedding?" William asked her.
"I should be better after a bath."
When Molly came to the door, William let her in "Molly my wife is unwell this morning I leave her in your capable hands."
"Thank you sir, I will do my best to get her well." Darcy moved to the door connecting to his room, a room he had not used for more than the dressing room in the whole time he had been here.As he looked about, he noticed the bed was not in its fresh made, never been slept on state. and there appeared to be a lump in it. He turned back in to Elizabeth's room. "Molly could you go and get the master of the house, and bring him to this chamber door here."
After Molly left, William told Elizabeth that there was someone in the bed in the other chamber. When Bingley arrived he was surprised that Darcy had called him using his wife's maid and not his valet. "I have spent the night in my wife's chambers and called for her maid this morning. I did not leave her until her maid arrived because she is not feeling well this morning. When Molly arrived, I went to go into the adjoining chamber to call my valet. When I opened the door, I noticed the bed looked different and there appears to be someone in it. I only took one step into the room so I don't know who it is, but I suspect it may be your sister as she offered to be my mistress yesterday."
"Oh Darcy, I am sorry if it is. I thought she had changed. Could all four of us go in together?"
"Yes Bingley we will back you up." William, Charles, Elizabeth and Molly all stepped into the room.
"Allow me." said Elizabeth.
Standing next to the bed she said harshly, "What are you doing in my husband's chamber?"
Caroline woke up not noticing the others as they were on the other side of the bed. "Mrs Darcy! Oh no! You've caught me. I spent the night with your husband. Since you have your monthly courses, he had to turn elsewhere for satisfaction."
"Really? Is that so? And were you able to satisfy him?"
"Of course, I was."
"So you admit that you are my husband's mistress. Yet we know you lie, as we have seen you lie before."
"What do you mean we?"
"I, my husband, and your brother," Elizabeth answered, indicating with her hand where the others stood."
Caroline turned to where the others stood and went white. "I suggest you return to your room and pack your bags Caroline. You will be returning to the north with our Aunt and Uncle after the wedding. That is, if they will have you. Otherwise you are on your own. I do not want you under my roof, and after I tell Louisa I doubt she will either. You have one minute to be out of this room." The four went back in Elizabeth's room. "Elizabeth, I am so sorry! I don't know why she has done this."
"She doesn't really want my husband, only Pemberley, so I can't understand what she hoped to achieve."
The wedding of Jane and Charles took place in a different venue than the last two weddings, a church, but the decorations were simple and the wedding breakfast scrumptious. At the end, a procession of carriages headed back to London, to leave the newlyweds their house in peace. That would be a novel wedding night of late.
During the wedding breakfast, Mr Collins had asked Mary for a turn in the garden where he proposed and she turned him down. So he was heading home to Hunsford wifeless. Again. What would Lady Catherine say?
But there was little fear. Lady Catherine was more concerned with what was going to happen on Wednesday.
Wednesday January 22nd 1812
Another line of coaches left London again, this time heading south to Kent. They stop at Bromley to change horses, and then continued on. Before midday, they arrived at Rosings Park. Alighting from the carriages were Mr and Mrs Darcy, Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam, Molly, Katie, Pierson, Jones, Mr Johnson and his son James, from the solicitors office in London, and Mr Mackay the new steward.
"How does it feel to be back home, Anne?"Elizabeth asked.
"It feels strange because today it becomes my home, that I will be in charge of, and not the home where my mother rules."
"Shall we all go in then?" William said. Linking arms with his wife and Anne, they walk in four abreast.
The four were shown into the drawing room where Lady Catherine was waiting for them. "What is she doing here?"
"Mrs Darcy is my best friend, and she is here at my request mother."
"She is just a little fortune hunter come to see what else she can get."
"No mother, she is the lady who took me in when my mother left me sick and cold in a coach in London. She is the one that has cared for me, made sure I ate properly, started walking with me for exercise, and that has made a sickly, dominated daughter into the strong healthy Mistress of Rosings that I am today. This morning I have signed the papers with the solicitors to become the rightful mistress of Rosings as I am now in control of my inheritance. I will now give the orders. Mother you may go to your room and pack your things for your move to the dowager house."
"I will not be ordered about as a child!"
"I had to put up with it all these years, so will you. Mrs Jenkinson can go as your companion if you wish, but you will be in the dowager house tonight.
"Mrs Wilkinson, can you line the staff up in the hall please?" In five minutes they were lined up in the hall. "Elizabeth can you divide the staff as per this list and send them to their tasks."
Elizabeth went out into the hall and divided the group to the two lists. The list for the dowager house was then divided to those cleaning and preparing the house, and those helping Lady Catherine pack. The other group was taken into the dining room.
Elizabeth returned to the drawing room. "First group dispatched to duties, second await you in the dining room."
"Shall we husband?" Anne said to Richard. "We have staff to instruct." Anne took Richards offered arm and headed out to the dining room. Once in the dining room, Richard addressed the room. I hope you all know that Anne and I were married on January 3rd. You may not know that I have resigned my commission, and am now just a Mister. Today, control of Rosings passed to the rightful heir Anne. You are the staff that is to be kept on here; the others have gone to the dowager house with Lady Catherine. Before you say there is no Steward or Housekeeper amongst you, allow me to introduce the new steward of Rosings, Mr Mackay, who has trained under Mr Dixon at Pemberley, and Mrs Katie Fielding has been trained to take on the role of housekeeper. There may seem like there are not enough of you to get the work done, but we hope with some better organisation you should make an efficient team within a month.
"Now, the most import jobs for today are to set up the green suites in the guest wing for Mr and Mrs Darcy, and for now, the yellow suites in the family wing. We will renovate the master suites next week. Lunch for six people would be good at one, and dinner at seven. There will be a lot of things being moved out to the dowager house. Once that is all gone, we will reorganise tasks." Anne announced. Then they returned to the drawing room after checking that a coach was ready. "Mother, the coach is waiting out the front to take you to the dowager house so you can supervise the placement of everything. Would you like me to walk you out."
"No. I am perfectly able to get out there on my own, thank you." She stood and with as much dignity as she could muster, walked from the room out the front door to the waiting coach. The four watched from the window. "That was easier than I thought it would be." William said. "Now my dear, would you like a tour of the main rooms of the house."
"Yes, or I am bound to get lost in a house this size." Elizabeth answered.
"Wait till you get to Pemberley then." Anne said
"It can't be bigger than this."
William smiled and Richard laughed. "Elizabeth, it is half this size again" Anne said.
"Oh dear. What have I got myself into?"
Posted on: 2010-08-31
After lunch Darcy and Richard went on horseback around the estate with the steward to acquaint him with all the different areas of the estate. Anne and Elizabeth took the phaeton to go and check on the tenants and let them know of the changes at the main house.
The tenants appreciated the new mistress actually coming to see them as the previous mistress never did. In fact the only time any of them saw her was at church and that was not for very long, as she was the last to arrive and the first to leave. The tenants were about to notice some big changes, Elizabeth's trained eye from visiting the Longbourn tenants, with and later for her father. Had trained her to easily spot things in the houses that needed attention and how the families were coping, those who were genuinely in need and those who would not help themselves, but just expected things done for them. For three days the gentlemen went out with the steward and the ladies visited the tenants and organised the household. On Friday afternoon they all met for tea in the study and Elizabeth gave the three men a detailed written report of all the tenant houses. Anne told them how things were coming along in the main house and the men reported on the areas that were available to farm and then began
working out their plantings for the upcoming season, including the area for the potato experiment that Darcy was carrying out on all his estates and Mr Bennet had agreed to do at Longbourn. Six types of potatoes were being imported from South America to try which types suited the different climates and soils on the different estates.
Darcy read his wife's report first turned to his wife nodded and smiled approvingly then handed it to his cousin. When Richard had finished reading it he handed it to Mr Mackay who on completing it turned to Darcy and said, "The tenants at Pemberley will be well cared for if this report is any indication."
"I know I can't wait to take her to meet them all, to see what she can find that I have missed." He turned to his wife with a smile of pride in her abilities. "She has a very good eye for the detail our whole tour of the estates will be interesting."
After two weeks at Rosings, Mr and Mrs Darcy left to return to town for a fortnight. During their time in town they attended a number of dinners hosted by some of Darcy's friends from Cambridge. One of the dinners was hosted by Lord and Lady Worthington; their second son had attended Cambridge with Darcy and Richard and their first son with Richard's older brother Mark. Darcy introduced his wife to Mr and Mrs Fitzwilliam "I am so glad to meet you at last Mrs Darcy, I have been keen to meet the Lady who stole my cousins heart and in so doing put Aunt Catherine in her place."
"I do not believe I put her in her place, we left that for Anne who moved her mother to the dowager house."
"What, she has moved out of Rosings? I don't believe it."
"Yes, if you wish to show Anne and your brother some support I believe they would appreciate a visit from you both cousin." Darcy replied.
"Darcy I envy you and Richard, even though he is a second son he now has an estate to run. I am now thirty and my father does not look like handing over the responsibilities anytime soon, I may be fifty before I get to have my turn at running the place."
"Early inheritance is not always enviable; I had a lot of responsibilities when most of our friends here were worrying about the next social engagement. I was worrying about the welfare of a much younger sister the tenants and staff."
The ladies then began to speak to each other. "Where do you spend most of your time Mrs Fitzwilliam?" Elizabeth asked.
"We have a home on one of the lesser Matlock estates in Derbyshire called Green brook we spend most of the year there."
"Is it anywhere near Pemberley?"
"Mark, how far are we from Pemberley?"
"It is about fifteen miles away."
"That is not far, I hope we may see you when we return from Scotland in the summer. Do you have any children, Mrs Fitzwilliam?"
"We have a one year old boy Henry. Please call me Rebecca we are cousins now."
"Only if you call me Lizzy, and promise to visit me at Pemberley. After a house full of girls it may be too quiet with just Georgie and me."
"We will definitely visit, and my husband is Mark. When are you going to Pemberley?"
"We leave next week I am so looking forward to see it I have waited five years to do so."
"I am sure you will love it, why have you waited so long."
"I first met Fitzwilliam on the day his father passed away, and heard all about it then so I have longed to see it ever since, I never dreamed that I could be mistress of Pemberley someday."
"And I could never dream of anyone else being its mistress." Darcy smiles at his wife and lifted her hand to his mouth and kissed it, "Mark how is your mother and father?"
"You mean after two unexpected family weddings they were not invited to?"
"Yes, what is their opinion now?"
"Mother thinks it is wonderful and would have stayed at Richard and Anne's wedding if she could have. Father is put out not so much that you didn't marry Anne, but that through both marriages nothing was gained for the improvement of the family. I myself think that two happy marriages, is enough for the family to gain."
"I thank you we are all four of us very happy and Elizabeth, through her connections has brought more to the family than your father will ever know."
"That will serve the old boy right he should stop interfering in what he knows nothing about. Sometimes I wonder how mother puts up with him."
"That is what comes of marriages of convenience I am afraid."
"You were lucky your parents married for love, you and Georgie benefited from that." Mark stated.
"It did have a drawback though. My parent's quest for children and resulted in my mother's death." Darcy replied.
"Have you known one another for a while? Most of the ton, think you only met a few weeks before the wedding, and you had to marry."Mark queried.
"They can think what they like, but we will prove their rumours untrue in time."
"I look forward to witnessing that, there are so many that could do with a set down."
"Yes there are, but it is not our place to do the setting down we will leave that to a higher power." Darcy finished.
A week after the dinner party, the Darcy coach was making its way into Pemberley with its four weary travellers. As it reached the crest of the hill where the house is first visible, Darcy ordered the coach to stop and handed Elizabeth out. The coach drove on to the house. Elizabeth looked at the house. They were right it is one and a half times the size of Rosings. Beautifully set against the hillside with the lake in front. It did not look out of place against the natural surroundings. "William, words do not do it justice, but if I had seen it five years ago I might have said yes back then."
"Oh yes, I see your mercenary side coming out."
As Elizabeth started to make an impertinent reply she was stopped by her husband taking her in his arms and kissing her soundly. "I have always wanted to stop that impertinent tongue of yours with my own. It has taken eight weeks of marriage before I finally have you alone to be able to do it."
"Sometimes you talk too much now kiss me like that again."
"With pleasure," and he bent down to kiss her again. When they eventually came up for air they started to walk to the house hand in hand. By the time they reached the house all the servants were out the front to meet them.
Darcy introduced his wife to Mrs Reynolds the housekeeper, who then introduced her to the staff. Mrs Reynolds was pleased to see her talking to some of the staff, asking about their duties and how long they have been doing that job. Darcy just stood back behind his wife smiling. Mrs Annesley and Georgiana had gone to the drawing room for tea and were pouring it when they arrived.
They retired early that night, after three days on the road they were all exhausted. The next morning, Darcy went for an early ride to inspect the grounds and the work that had been done while he was away. It felt good to be home. Although they would be leaving again in a few weeks to tour the other estates, he planned to make the most of this time here to show Elizabeth all he could of the grounds before they went. He had a gentle mare in the stables she would be able to ride; he had given her lessons daily at Rosings. He would continue here and at the other estates, so by the time they returned she should be competent and able to join him regularly for a morning ride.
He returned to the house for breakfast with his wife. Then they parted again him to his study to meet with the steward Mr Dixon and Elizabeth for a tour of the house with Mrs Reynolds. They toured all the principle rooms then went down to the kitchen to meet Mrs Walsh the cook. Elizabeth looked at the previous menus and then was shown to the storage rooms containing all the preserved harvest. Elizabeth was surprised at the variety of fruits grown at Pemberley and asked for a list of what was in storage, so she would remember to have all those different goodies on the menu at times. Mrs Reynolds was unsure what to think initially of the new Mrs Darcy. She asked unusual questions and things she wanted to see, but when all the questioning was finished in no time she had given Mrs Reynolds a complete menu for the coming week. Mrs Reynolds had to admire how much the new mistress understood of the running of the household in such a short time. "I look forward to helping with the next harvest and preservation season" Elizabeth told the kitchen staff before they left them.
After completing the tour Elizabeth asked, "Is there any part of the house we have not covered?"
"Only the conservatory," she replied.
"I will see it with the gardener though so that does not matter at the moment, thank you for all your help today ,I hope I have not kept you from other work for too long."
"Not at all Mrs Darcy, my first duty is to you and helping you settle in."
"I will be in my sitting room if anyone is looking for me."
"Yes Mrs Darcy."
Elizabeth sat at her writing desk and pulled out the journal she had begun at Darcy house and wrote down all the things that she had remembered from her tour about the rooms and what made each unique and individual. With a map of where they were, she could chose the appropriate room for her guests she also recorded, the types of preserves and listed the fruit that gets harvested at Pemberley leaving space next to each to write the dates of the harvest. She was nearly finished when there was a knock at the door. "Enter" she said without looking up. The person entered and came to stand next to her before speaking.
"Are you so busy my love you have forgotten to eat?"
"Oh" Elizabeth said as she looked up at her husband.
"What have you been doing that has you so engrossed that you forget to join your husband for lunch?"
"I am just putting down in my journal all the information I have learnt this morning about Pemberley." Elizabeth replied.
"Mrs Reynolds was very impressed with the way you put together a week's menu in a few minutes."
"The menu is easy once you know what is available. It took half an hour of touring the storage area and looking through previous menus of what Mrs Walsh could cook first though."
"And now you have recorded all that information here so things will be easier in the future."
"Yes, but there is so much more outside to learn and explore then add to my journal and I will do this for all the estates as I did for Darcy house. If we don't want to be in trouble with the housekeeper and cook we should go for lunch."
"Only after I show you how much I appreciate you." He said and bent down to kiss her.
After lunch they walked through the gardens close to the house it was still a bit cool for a long ramble so they walked to the stable and dairy shed and chicken coop, introducing Elizabeth to the animals including her mare, Blossom. Once they were finished at the animals they returned to the house through the conservatory. Darcy picked her a rose from one of the potted roses and removed the thorns before giving it to her. She smelt it and thanked him with a kiss. Elizabeth was intrigued by one of the plants she had never seen anything like it. Darcy explained it was a tropical fruit called pineapple and it took a couple of years to grow even in the conservatory. Elizabeth looked forward to her first taste of it when it was ripe. hopefully this summer.
Posted on: 2010-09-07
A week after arriving at Pemberley Darcy was working in his study when Mrs Reynolds came to the door. "Sir, your wife just ran from your father's favourite room in tears to the mistress's chamber."
"Thank you." Darcy quickly went up to his own chamber and moved to the adjoining door he could hear Elizabeth crying on the other side. He opened the door and saw her curled up on the bed. He walked over and touched her shoulder. She flew up into his arms and he sat down on the bed with her on his lap just holding her. As she started to calm he took out his handkerchief and gently wiped her eyes and kissed her. "Now will you tell me what all these tears are for?"
"The scoundrel is in that sitting room." Darcy wondered how that could be when he was on his way to India, but then he remembered that his father had had a miniature of him in that room.
"Elizabeth, that room is exactly as my father left it I have not changed it and I hardly enter it, therefore I had forgotten about the miniature. My love, I will burn the miniature to be rid of it and we should redecorate the room."
"William I do not want to go about changing things that hold memories for you of growing up here with your family, but the picture has to go, burn it outside I don't want the fumes from him polluting our home."
"Our home. That is right, and we need to make some changes. These master suites have not been changed since my parents moved into them when grandfather died when I was eight nearly twenty years ago. It is time we made them our own. Tomorrow we can go in to Lambton and see what they have in the way of paper for the walls and material for drapes and linen. Then the staff can work on those things while we are away."
"If you think it is necessary, Master of Pemberley."
"I do, Mistress of Pemberley. If you will get Georgiana and meet me in the front hall in quarter of an hour, we will permanently remove the scoundrel from Pemberley."
A quarter hour later, the three set off in a carriage; Elizabeth and Georgiana were not sure where they were going. The coach stopped at the gate to Pemberley and Elizabeth saw a fire just outside the gate. "I meant outside the house, not the estate."
"He is being finally removed from Pemberley, never to darked our doorways or thoughts again." He held out the miniature to the two ladies. "You two should cast him into the fire and out of our lives for good." Elizabeth and Georgiana took hold of the picture and threw it into the flames. A sense of relief descended on all three and they returned to the house.
Three weeks later, the happy couple finally headed off for some time away from relatives, not totally alone, but close enough. They travelled up to Scotland via the Derbyshire estates, staying almost a week at each, touring the running of the house and grounds. They would spend equal time riding and walking with Elizabeth making notes in her journal, and Darcy taking notes of things that he and Elizabeth believed improvements could be made. At the beginning of April, they headed north again for a four day journey to the Scottish estate. They had been there nearly a fortnight when Elizabeth fainted while they were out walking. Despite her protests, Darcy carried her back to the house and up to her chambers. Not wishing to leave her, he began helping her change into her nightgown to put her to bed, thinking she was over doing it. "Fitzwilliam" she protested "I am fine."
"You are not. You have been doing too much, sorting out all the problems with this estate. I should have come here more often to check on things. I have neglected it, and now you are suffering for it."
"I don't think my suffering has anything to do with neglect on your side. I think it is because of your diligence."
"What do you mean?"
"You have been very diligent in worshiping with your body, and I have been nauseas this week, and have not had my monthly courses since we arrived at Pemberley."
"You think you may be with child?"
"Yes. Conceived at home, at Pemberley, but we won't know for sure until it quickens in a couple of months."
With that he placed his hand on her lower belly, "You may be carrying our child in here. Oh Liz! I am so happy! I love you so much my darling."
"I am happy too Will, but we must not get too carried away until it quickens. I love you, and I want so much to be carrying your child."
"Our Child," he said and began kissing her tenderly then passionately. He put her to bed, but she didn't get to rest for a while. "Do you think we should start heading home before you get too sick?" He asked. So they planned to start their return in two days time.
On the morning they were to leave, Darcy awoke early and prepared all the final things for leaving, including seeing the trunks loaded on the coaches, before he went to awaken Elizabeth. When he returned to their room, he heard her vomiting in the dressing room. He went in and gently pulled her hair back out of the way and rubbed her back till she had finished. He then got a towel and wet a corner and wiped her face. When he was sure she would be well, he called for her maid to help her dress, and he went to the cook to get some broth and bread, biscuits and fruit to take with them for Elizabeth to eat when she was up to it. The basket of food was placed on the opposite seat in the coach and Fitzwilliam tucked his wife under his arm so she was using his chest as a pillow and curled up on the seat next to him she slept most of the week long journey back to Pemberley, not once did he let her out of his sight unless he left her in Molly's capable hands.
Once they were home, they established a new routine around Elizabeth's times of sickness. They were very pleased with how the master suites turned out. They would now turn their attention to the small nursery off the mistress's chamber, and then the nursery at the end of the family wing.
By early July, Elizabeth had been feeling well enough to start going for more rambles with her husband. He spent the time showing her some of his favourite spots. As they passed the family cemetery, Darcy pointed out the graves of his mother, father, and a tiny one next to them. "That is my little brother George. He and Wickham were born the same day, but my brother died the next. I think that is why father did all he did for Wickham; in memory of his own George who didn't live. He pointed to another. That is another sister; she was a stillborn, less than a year before Georgie. I think the two pregnancies so close together left my mother so weak that she just couldn't go on after Georgie was born."
Just then Darcy heard Elizabeth's sudden intake of breath. Turning to her he said, "What is the matter?"
"I think I felt it move."
"Just here." She took his hand and placed it on the left side of her belly. The child kicked its leg straight out, and Darcy felt his child move for the first time.
"I felt it." He smiled at his wife.
"We did. The next generation made itself known while we stand in the presence of its ancestors."
"The past the present and the future Darcy's of Pemberley."
On a cold winter morning in late November, Mark and Darcy sat in the Library at Pemberley waiting as they had done all through the night. Darcy was often pacing the room. When suddenly the door opened and Rebecca walked in, they both looked up at her, Darcy with a very anxious face. He was worried about losing Elizabeth the same way he had his mother. The labour had taken so long he could not wait. He was out of his seat and heading for the door. He turned back anxiously to Rebecca who was grinning like a cat that got the cream. She said only one word, "go."
Darcy knocked on the door to his wife's bedchamber and Mrs Reynolds let him in. "I will leave you with your family now sir." She said and left. He turned to look about the room there was no one there but his wife sitting up in the bed with a child at her breast feeding. He walked around to the side of the bed near her.
"So what do you have there? Mrs Darcy."
"I am feeding a son of yours."
"My heir," he asked with a smiling face.
"No," she replied.
"What do you mean not my heir?"
"Your heir is laying here next to me," she replied, moving the child she was feeding so he could see there was a second child bundled up next to her under the coverlet of the bed. "This is your second born, twin boys." She said smiling up at him. Shocked, all he could do for a minute was grin back at her.
"And how is my darling wife?"
"Exhausted, but very content," she smiled back at him.
"You can come and nurse your son if you like."
"I would rather not disturb them and just curl up in bed with you all if it is all right with you."
"Of course it is. I don't ever want to wake up without you here, now go and change quickly."
As he was coming back into the room the heir decided to wake for a feed. As his brother was still feeding, he would have to wait. Darcy picked up his heir and started talking to him calming him down while he was waiting. "I know we had chosen to name a boy Bennet William, do you want to call the heir that still or do you want to call him Bennet and his brother William and think of other second names."
"I would like Bennet Edward and William Thomas, if you like that."
"I think that would be wonderful, do you like that Ben?" he said to his son. They swapped over and Elizabeth fed Ben, while Darcy burped William. When Ben had finished feeding, and William was asleep, Elizabeth lay down to sleep with William next to her. After burping Ben, Fitzwilliam lay down with Ben next to him and the happy family went to sleep.
Darcy stood on Christmas eve before all the members of the family. There was Mr and Mrs Bennet, Mary, Catherine and Lydia, Mr and Mrs Bingley, Mr and Mrs Gardiner, Amy, Beth, William, Henry and Jane, Mr and Mrs Mark Fitzwilliam and Henry, Mr and Mrs Richard Fitzwilliam, Mr and Mrs Darcy, Bennet, William and Georgiana. "Family, I would like to raise a toast to an amazing lady who only three and a half weeks ago gave birth to two healthy boys and still insisted that everyone come for Christmas. Nothing would be any trouble. I look back over the last year and wonder how I ever lived. Without her, I would be lost, the estate would be in chaos, and Georgiana would not giggle so much. I ask you to raise you glasses to our esteemed hostess, my wife, Mrs Darcy."
"Mrs Darcy" they said in reply. She smiled in response.
Mr Bennet then stood and asked everyone to raise their glass to the man who had seen them all through one of the worst seasons. "I give you Mr Darcy and his amazing potato experiment."
"Mr Darcy and potatoes," they responded.
Bingley then stood to announce that Jane was expecting their first child. Then Richard stood to announce that Anne was expecting their first child, and Mark stood to announce Rebecca was expecting their second child.
"Ah you are all just playing catch up now," announced Mrs Darcy and they all laughed.
Catherine Bennet remained at Pemberley through the winter and enjoyed the company of the local parson whom she married at the end of March.
Mary returned to Longbourn and eventually married a clerk in her uncle's practice.
Bingley and Jane decided that Netherfield was too close to Mrs Bennet, and decided to lease the closest of Darcy's Derbyshire estates. They moved to it straight after Catherine's wedding, leaving Netherfield free for the Gardiners.
Lydia returned to Pemberley following Catherine's wedding, and then went on the Darcy's trip to the other estates which had become an annual spring journey. Neither missed the Season, which occurred at the same time as their journey, having decided the little season was enough society for them.
Lydia took quite a fancy to travelling and seeing places she had heard about and found in the atlas. So much so, that at the age of twenty, she started to use some of the interest earned on her investment money and travelled with a widowed Countess throughout Europe. She decided to never marry and just spend her life seeing new places.
Georgiana, after coming out two years later, decided that if she was to marry it would be for love and since no gentleman appealed to her she never married, but stayed at Pemberley to help Elizabeth with her large family five boys in a row Bennet, William, Albert, Henry and Steven and then three girls Beth, Anne and Jane they were raised in a very disciplined and loving environment no visiting the children in the nursery for their parents. Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy were very much hands on, loving, instructing parents and all their children had good principles and character. As the Darcy boys grew their father would deal with his correspondence by placing each letter in piles by which estate it was related to and each of the boys would read the letter and their father's response and learnt about the estate they would inherit even when not there. He would also devote a week solely with that son on the estate during their spring tour north. When they were married they took over the running of their estate, but Darcy kept managing the investments and Pemberley. Bennet while waiting to take over the management of Pemberley taught his uncle Bingley how to manage an estate after he finally gave up leasing and purchased an estate about thirty miles from Pemberley.
Lady Catherine and Lord and Lady Matlock reconciled with Anne and Richard with the birth of their granddaughter Catherine, they later had Charles also.
Bingley and Jane had Elizabeth, Beatrice, June, Alice and Dorothy, before William was born. Due to the fact that both their parents only saw the best in everyone and were a bit indulgent of them, their parents described them as angels and their Aunts and Uncles as brats.
Rebecca died while giving birth to little Rebecca and against all the urging of his father Mark chose to be like his uncle George Darcy and raise his children on his own with only the help of his staff. It was a good thing his father had not passed on already and left him with the added responsibility of running all the estates at that time. When he did take over the running of them when Rebecca was eleven years old the estates were in such poor state, because of the old farming practices and lack of income from other sources, it took him the next ten years with a lot of advice from Darcy and his brother to get them running as efficiently as the Pemberley and Rosings estates.
Caroline Bingley never married and remained in the north with her widowed Aunt and Became the 'Miss Bates' of that small village.
Louisa and Geoffrey Hurst were eventually able to have a son Geoffrey Jnr in 1818 it was not until he was ten years old that his father was able to inherit his estate, but his habits were so ingrained by that time that he left the running of it to his steward and preferred to spend more time in town unfortunately the steward was embezzling funds from the estate and the owner had no way of knowing when his son took over he did not know any better and the estate became bankrupt during his life time.
Mr Collins never found anyone to marry him and spent most of his time consoling Lady Catherine before she was reconciled to her daughter after that even she wanted nothing to do with him.