Section I, Next Section
Posted on Monday, 19-Oct-98
Mr. Darcy's return to Rosings from Hunsford Parsonage was greatly remarked on. Greatly remarked upon because he was in what appeared to be an uncharacteristic state of agitation. He hurried up to his bedchamber and completely ignored the fact that his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, was trying to gain his attention. So much so that after he entered, he slammed the door in his cousin's face. Upon entering his chamber, Mr. Darcy began to furiously pace up and down the length of his bedchamber. "How dare she, how dare she refuse me!" Darcy thundered loudly. Without thinking, Darcy picked up the little Chelsea figurine of a shepherdess from the little table by his bed, preparing to throw to.
As this was happening, a strange sight appeared in front of the tapestry above the fireplace. Darcy had known that tapestry all his life, as his own Mother had made it for her sister Lady Catherine. The tapestry was a depiction of an angel band, but if Darcy had turned about, he would have noticed a strange bright white light, and the two figures robed in white, who stood in the amidst that light. The first figure appeared to be a young woman of a slight build and petite height. She had rich red hair and if one could get close enough, one could see a light sprinkling of freckles. The other figure was also a woman, but older, her mahogany skin was lined with great age. Her hair was a mixture of black and grey.
"Tess, that poor man is in torment. Is that why we are here?" asked the first figure of the second. "Yes baby, he is your new assignment; Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley in Derbyshire," replied the second figure, reading from a small leather-bound memorandum.
"Tess he should not be this miserable then. He has all that he could want. He has a wee sister who loves him very much and he loves her. He has some very good friends, the best of whom he has just behaved badly to. Why is he in so much pain then?" asked the first figure.
"I know Monica baby. He has all that he could want, except a wife who loves him for himself and not for what he has. As for why he is so miserable, we are going to have to take a short trip back in time, Miss Wings, but first Mr. Darcy is going to have to calm down before he regrets his actions, especially if he throws what he has in his hand.
Mr. Darcy was about to throw the little china shepherdess, when he felt an almost feather like touch on his cheek. He turned to see where it came from, and saw what he had been about to do. He abruptly stopped, put the little figurine back on the little table, and barely choked out. "Forgive me Mama."
Posted on Tuesday, 27-Oct-98
With that, Tess and Monica disappeared from Mr. Darcy's bedchamber and were flying back through time. It did not take long for Tess and Monica to arrive at their destination. "Where are we and when are we, Tess?" asked Monica, as she looked around at what appeared to be a small parlour, plainly furnished.
"We have gone back one half hour and this is the local parsonage. Mr. Collins, his wife, and her sister are at Rosings for dinner, but not everyone has left the house. Just look around angel girl." replied Tess.
Monica looked around the parlour and noticed a young woman who was curled up on a sofa reading a letter. What first drew the younger Angel's attention, was the young woman's dark sparkling eyes. The next things were her lovely oval face, dark chestnut hair, slight build and a petite height similar to her own. "Tess, who is she? She is lovely," exclaimed Monica.
"That is Elizabeth Bennet and she is the second part of your new assignment, Miss Wings, but we will get to that later Angel girl. We came here to find out what upset Mr. Darcy," replied Tess.
Posted on Wednesday, 28-Oct-98
Tess had barely finished speaking, when Mr. Darcy entered the parlour. This allowed Monica the chance to observe Mr. Darcy more closely. He was tall and had curly brown hair. His eyes were a warm brown. He wore a blue coat of Bath superfine and buff coloured pantaloons, with a light blue waistcoat and an immaculately-white linen shirt. His neckcloth was tied in a simple knot.
When Elizabeth looked up from her letter, Monica could see an expression of utter amazement in her eyes, for Mr. Darcy was not who she had expected.
"Tess, who is Colonel Fitzwilliam?" asked Monica.
"The Colonel is Mr. Darcy's cousin and good friend, but he is not your concern, angel girl. God has other plans for him, as soon as he fully recovers from his wounds. Your concern right now is Mr. Darcy," replied the older Angel.
Posted on Wednesday, 04-Nov-98
Mr. Darcy asked after Elizabeth's health unhurriedly, explaining that he had come to call on the chance that she was feeling better. Monica observed that Elizabeth had replied with the coldest of civility which puzzled her. Monica watched as Mr. Darcy sat down for a few moments, then standing again to walk around the room. Both Angels noticed that Elizabeth was surprised, but said nothing. After noticing a silence of several minutes, Monica watched as Mr. Darcy came towards Elizabeth in an agitated manner, and began. "In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."
Monica noticed that Mr. Darcy's speech left Elizabeth greatly astonished, and watched as she stared, coloured, doubted and was silent. Monica listened to Mr. Darcy's speech and realized that Elizabeth had neither expected this speech, or had truly welcomed it. "Tess, she is not going to accept his proposal. Miss Bennet believes the worse of Mr. Darcy." said Monica, in a worried tone.
"That is because she has been listening to the wrong person to be telling her about Mr. Darcy. It was meant to show him in a very bad light, Miss Wings." replied Tess.
"Tess, why is it important for us to bring Mr. Darcy and Miss Bennet together, after what we have witnessed so far?" asked Monica, in her quiet, accented voice.
"I would have thought you knew that by now Angel girl. 'Who can find a virtuous woman, for her price is above rubies.'" Tess quoted from Proverbs.
Posted on Thursday, 12-Nov-98
"I know that Tess, but why Miss Bennet? She is going to have to have reasons to change her way of thinking of Mr. Darcy. Are you sure that finding a way to bring them to a right understanding is what is expected of me? I have been reading the information in your memorandum, and it seems so difficult," asked Monica, in a puzzled tone.
"God does not make mistakes, Angel girl. Mr. Darcy's parents had that kind of marriage. Mr. Darcy's father found his virtuous woman. That is all Mr. Darcy wishes. It was all that his parents wished for their son, Miss Wings," replied Tess.
Monica observed that Mr. Darcy spoke well, but there were feelings besides those of the heart to be detailed, and he was not more eloquent on the subject of tenderness than of pride. His sense of her inferiority--of its being a degradation--of the family obstacles which judgment had always opposed to inclination were dwelt on with a warmth which seemed due to consequence he was wounding, but was very unlikely to recommend his suit. Monica could see that, in spite of her feelings, Elizabeth could not be insensible to the compliment of such a man's affection, and though her intentions did not vary for an instant, she was at first sorry for the pain he was about to receive; till roused by resentment by his subsequent language, she lost all compassion in anger. Monica noted that Elizabeth tried however to compose herself to answer him in patience, when he should have done. He concluded with representing the strength of that attachment which in spite of all his endeavours, he had found impossible to conquer; and with expressing his hope that it would now be rewarded by her acceptance of his hand.
Monica realised, as did Miss Elizabeth Bennet, that she could easily see that he had no doubt of a favourable answer. He spoke of apprehension and anxiety, but his countenance expressed real security. Monica knew that such a circumstance would exasperate further, and when he ceased, Monica noticed how the colour rose in Elizabeth's cheeks, as she said,
"In cases such as this, it is I believe, the established mode to express a sense of obligation for the sentiments avowed, however unequally they may be returned. It is natural that obligation should be felt, and if I could feel gratitude, I would now thank you. But I cannot-I have never desired your good opinion, and you have never bestowed it unwillingly. It has been most unconsciously done, however, and I hope will be of short duration. The feelings which, you tell me have long prevented the acknowledgment of your regard can have little difficulty in overcoming it after this explanation."
Posted on Tuesday, 17-Nov-98
Monica noticed that, Mr. Darcy, who was leaning against the mantelpiece with his eyes fixed on her face, seemed to catch her words with no less resentment than surprise. His complexion became pale with anger, and the disturbance in his mind was visible in every feature. Monica noted that he was struggling for the appearance of composure, and he would not open his lips till he believed himself to have attained it. The pause, Monica noted, was to Elizabeth's feelings dreadful. At length, in a voice of forced calmness, he said,
"And this is all the reply which I am to have the honour of expecting! I might, perhaps, wish to be informed why, with so little endeavour at civility, I am thus rejected. But it is of small importance."
"I might as well inquire," said she, "why with so evident a design of offending and insulting me you chose to tell me that you liked me against your will, against your reason, and even against your character? Was not this some excuse for incivility, if I was uncivil? But I have other provocations You know I have. Had not my own feelings decided against you, had they been indifferent, or had they been favorable, do you think that any consideration would tempt me to accept the man who has been the means of ruining the happiness of a most beloved sister?"
Monica noted that as Elizabeth pronounced these words, Mr. Darcy changed colour; but the emotion was short, and he listened without attempting to interrupt he while she continued.
Posted on Saturday, 21-Nov-98
"I have every reason in the world to think ill of you. No motive can excuse the unjust and ungenerous part you acted there. You dare not, you cannot deny that you have been the principal, if not the only means of dividing them from each other, of exposing one to the censure of the world for caprice and instability, the other to its derision for disappointed hopes, and involving them both in misery of the acutest kind."
Monica noted that Elizabeth paused, and with no slight indignation that Mr. Darcy was listening with an air which proved him wholly unmoved by any feeling of remorse. Monica even noted that Mr. Darcy looked at Elizabeth with a smile of affected incredulity.
"Can you deny that you have done it?' she repeated.
Monica noted Mr. Darcy's assumed tranquillity when he replied, "I have no wish of denying that I did everything in my power to separate my friend from your sister, or that I rejoice in my success. Towards him I have been kinder than myself."
Monica noted that, Elizabeth disdained the appearance of noticing this civil reflection, but its meaning did not escape, nor was it likely to conciliate her.
"But it is not merely this affair," she continued, " on which my dislike is founded. Long before it had taken place, my opinion of you was decided. Your character was unfolded in the recital I received several months ago from Mr. Wickham. On this subject, what can you have to say? What imaginary act of friendship can you here defend yourself? or what misrepresentation, can you here impose on others?'
"You take an eager interest in that gentleman's concerns." said Darcy in what Monica noted was a less tranquil tone, and the heightened colour in his face.
"Who that knows what his misfortunes have been, can help feeling an interest in him?" Monica heard Elizabeth reply.
"His misfortunes!" repeated Mr. Darcy contemptuously, "yes, his misfortunes have been great indeed."
" And of your infliction," cried Elizabeth with energy. "You have reduced him to his present state of poverty, comparative poverty. You have withheld the advantages, which you must know, to have been designed for him. You have deprived him of the best years of his life, of that independence which was no less his due than his desert. You have done all this! and yet you can treat the mention of his misfortunes with contempt and ridicule." Monica heard, Elizabeth rely, her tone a valiant attempt at remaining calm.
Posted on Wednesday, 25-Nov-98
"And this!" Monica heard Darcy cry, as she watched as he walked with quick steps across the room, "is your opinion of me! This is the estimation in which you hold me! I thank you for explaining it so fully. My faults according to this are heavy indeed! But perhaps," added he, as Monica noted that Mr. Darcy stopped in his walk, and turned towards Elizabeth. "these offenses might have been overlooked, had not your pride been hurt by my honest confession of the scruples that had long prevented my forming any serious design. These bitter accusations might have been suppressed, had I with greater policy concealed my struggles, and flattered you into the belief of my being impelled by unqualified, unalloyed inclination; by reason, by reflection, by everything. But disguise of every sort is my abhorrence. Nor am I ashamed of the feelings I related. They were natural and just. Could you expect me to rejoice in the inferiority of your connections? To congratulate myself on the hope of relations whose condition in life is so decidedly beneath my own!?"
Monica could see that, Elizabeth could feel herself growing more angry every moment; yet Monica knew that she was trying to the utmost to speak with composure when she said,
"You are mistaken Mr. Darcy, if you suppose that the mode of your declaration affected me in any other way than as it spared me the concern which I might have felt in refusing you, had you behaved in a more gentleman-like manner."
Monica noticed that Mr. Darcy started at this, but he said nothing, so Elizabeth continued, "You could not have made me the offer of your hand in any way possible way that would have tempted me to accept it."
Monica noticed, Mr. Darcy's astonishment was again obvious to both herself and Elizabeth; when he looked at her with an expression of mingled incredulity and mortification. She went on.
"From the beginning, from the first moment I may almost say, of my acquaintance with you, your manners impressing me with the fullest belief of your arrogance, your conceit, and your selfish disdain of the feelings of others, were such to form the groundwork of disapprobation, on which succeeding events have built so immovable a dislike: and I had not known you a month before I felt you were the last man in the world whom I would ever be prevailed on to marry."
"You have said quite enough madam. I perfectly comprehend your feelings, and have now have now only to be ashamed of what my own have been. Forgive me for having taken up so much of your time, and accept my best wishes for your health and happiness."
Monica noticed that with these words, Mr. Darcy left the room, and heard him the next moment open the front door and quit the house. Mr. Darcy stood on the top step of the Parsonage, prepatory to leave, when he realized he had, in his haste to quit the Parsonage, forgotten his hat. He quietly reopened the door and reentered the Parsonage. He crossed the entry hall to the table where his hat lay. As he picked it up, Mr. Darcy could hear the soft sound of crying. It did not take Mr. Darcy long to realize just who was crying. He very quietly walked back to the doorway of the room he had so quickly left, where he observed Elizabeth Bennet curled up on the little sofa crying. He carefully left the Parsonage, once more, he stood on the top step, trying desperately to swallow the lump that appeared to have formed in his throat. Mr. Darcy reached his hand up to swipe at the tears that had come unbidden to his eyes.
Monica and Tess disappeared from the parlour at the Parsonage and were soon flying ahead through time, only this time on Tess' advice, the two Angels arrived some hours after they had made their first appearance in Darcy's bedchamber. Night had advanced quite far, but the older Angel instinctively knew that they were correct in arriving at this time. Monica observed that Darcy had fallen asleep in the chair by the fireplace, yet it was obvious to the younger Angel that it had not been a very restful sleep for him. Monica observed as Mr. Darcy toss about in his sleep.
"No!......No!......It is not like that ......... Please ......... No! .....Elizabeth!" Darcy cried out in his sleep. Again, Darcy felt that featherlike touch on his face, and he started awake. The bedchamber was so quiet that Darcy was able to hear the bells at Hunsford Church ringing the hour. It was four of the clock. Darcy rose from his chair and began to pace around his bedchamber. He paced up and down, back and forth. It almost seemed as though Darcy was determined to wear a path in the floor. He suddenly crossed to the writing desk, he took up the flint and steel, and quickly lit the candle and sat down. He reached down to pick up a book from the small stack that sat on the desk. Looking at the cover he perceived that it was a Bible, which surprised him, as he was almost sure that this belonged in his Aunt's library. Another surprising thing that happened was when he opened the book, the pages fell open to the thirty-first chapter of Proverbs. Just as automatically, Darcy's eyes strayed to the tenth verse. He ran his finger over the verse as he quietly mouthed the words. Darcy contemplated the verse he knew all his life, the last time he had heard the verse read was at his Mother's funeral. In his contemplation, Darcy wondered if this was too high a price to pay. He thought and thought of what he had said to Miss Elizabeth Bennet and what he she had said to him. It had disturbed him so much that he saw no remedy than to take up a sheet of paper, dip his pen in the ink, and began:
Posted on Thursday, 17 December 1998
"To Miss Elizabeth Bennet.
"Be not alarmed, Madam, on receiving this letter, by the apprehension of it's containing any repetition of those sentiments, or renewal of those offers, which were last night so disgusting to you......" As Darcy read over the beginning paragraphs of his letter, he felt that it was a good beginning. After he had his made his plea to Miss Elizabeth Bennet to hear him out, he began to lay before her his part in separating her sister from his friend Bingley.
"I had not long been in Hertfordshire, before I saw, in common with others, that Bingley preferred your eldest sister to any other young woman in the country......."
After explaining to Elizabeth just what his part had been in the whole affair, he also gave her to understand the part he had played that he was least proud of; the withholding from Bingley the information that Miss Bennet had been in Town.
Having written his letter thus far with seeming ease, Darcy knew that relating all his dealings with Wickham would be more difficult, as he truly did not know how much to reveal. He remembered Miss Elizabeth Bennet's accusations, to wonder just what his erstwhile childhood friend had told her of his dealings with him he knew not, though he had an idea of his motives. Dare he reveal to Elizabeth the story of Wickham's attempt to seduce his sister from Ramsgate? Would she believe him? over Wickham, after whatever he had told her about himself.
"With respect to that other more weighty accusation, of having injured Mr. Wickham, I can only refute it by laying before you the whole of his connection with my family......."
Darcy wrote of Wickham's being supported by his own father at public school and University, only it was he who discovered that Wickham had developed some depraved habits, for a man that had been destined for the church.
Posted on Wednesday, 23 December 1998
Darcy knew that relating the story of Wickham's attempted seduction of his sister would be the most difficult part of his revelations about his erstwhile childhood friend. Knowing exactly how Miss Elizabeth Bennet might take this, he mentioned his cousin, as someone to whom she might go for corroboration of the information that he had related in his letter. In all, before concluding his letter, Darcy had broken at least four quill tips. He sanded, folded, and sealed the letter, rose from his chair, crossed his chamber to his washstand. He poured some water into his basin and splashed his face with it. He snuffed his candle and rang for his valet, to prepare him for his morning ride, in the hopes of putting his letter in Miss Elizabeth's hands.
Returning to the Parsonage, Elizabeth woke up from what had been a very restless night. She came down to the morning room, where she was greeted by Charlotte, "Lizzie, are you well? You look pale."
"I just need some air. I will go out for a walk." replied Elizabeth. As she walked, she seemed to go at a very brisk pace, away from Rosings. In her still confused thoughts of Darcy's call the night before, she did not see the figure that was in the leading away from Rosings. Both Elizabeth and the figure collided.
"Forgive me, miss." said the young woman, who spoke with an Irish accent.
"No, forgive me, I was not watching where I was walking. My thoughts were elsewhere. I did not have a restful night." replied Elizabeth.
The young woman, Monica, said she was a maid at Rosings. She was on errand to Hunsford. The young woman smiled to herself. "Perhaps you will have a better day today, miss. What confused you might resolve itself. You may receive a letter explaining things. Do not dismiss the letter or it's writer." said Monica, as she hurried away, she said she must pick up Miss Anne's medicine.
Posted on Saturday, 9 January 1999
As Lizzie watched the maid hurry off, she wondered about what she had said to her about having a better day, that what had confused her thoughts would be resolved, that she would receive a letter today and not to dismiss the writer. Lizzie thought about the one glimpse she had had of the maid's face, it had been a lovely face, almost ethereal, like her sister Jane's. Her accent had also puzzled her for it was so unique that in the five weeks she had been in Kent, she would have remembered such a maid, especially in a house as Rosings. "How odd" thought Lizzie to herself, as she came even with the boundary that was the park paling. She soon passed one of the gates into the ground. After Lizzie had walked two or three times along that part of the lane, she was tempted by the pleasantness of the morning, to stop at the gate and look into the park. The five weeks which had now passed in Kent had made great difference in the country, and everyday was adding to verdure of the early trees.
Monica noticed, from where she had concealed herself, that Lizzie was on the point of continuing her walk, when she caught a glimpse of a gentleman within the sort of grove which edged the park; seeing Lizzie, he began moving towards her. Monica knew that it was Mr. Darcy, and Lizzie was fearful of it being the aforesaid gentleman, as she observed her direct retreat. Monica could see Mr. Darcy had advanced near enough to see her and recognise her. Monica watched as Mr. Darcy stepped forward with eagerness, and heard him call Lizzie's name. Monica saw that Lizzie had turned away, but on hearing her name being called, though it was now evident to Lizzie that it was Mr. Darcy, Lizzie moved again towards the gate. Mr. Darcy had, by that time, reached it also. Monica could see, as did Lizzie that Mr. Darcy was holding out a letter. Lizzie hesitated at first, before hearing again the maid's words about not dismissing the letter, or it's writer in her mind, Lizzie took the letter, as Darcy said with a look of haughty composure,
"I have been walking in the grove for some time in the hope of meeting you. Will you do me the honour of reading that letter?"
Even tho' the maid's words were still fresh in her mind, Mr. Darcy's words of the night before were also still fresh. "Mr. Darcy, I do not think that you could say anything more to me in this letter that we did not say last night." replied Lizzie.
Monica could hear and see that matters went not as she wished, as Tess appeared. "You are going to have to do something to prevent this from becoming another scene as last night, Angel girl. They are stubborn children." said Tess.
Elizabeth had not wished to dismiss Mr. Darcy, but seeing him so soon after what had transpired the evening before, had unnerved her. "Forgive me sir, for I did not expect you to seek my company again after what transpired between us last evening, let alone to put this letter into my hands personally.
Posted on Tuesday, 12 January
"A lesser man would have brought the letter to the parsonage, left it and would have had done, but you are not a lesser man. You knew that I would have dismissed both letter and writer, if you had taken that route and for that I admire you, for I detest cravenness. Tho' my feelings have not changed from last night, I will honour your request and read your letter sir." replied Lizzie. "Thank you madam. I know that you would have privacy, so I will leave you to read in peace." replied Mr. Darcy, as he bowed slightly, turned again into the plantation, and was soon out of sight.
Elizabeth expected no pleasure in reading Mr. Darcy's missive, but with the strongest curiosity, and a determination not to dismiss letter or writer, Elizabeth unsealed the letter, and to her still increasing wonder, perceived an envelope containing two sheets of letter paper written quite through in a close hand- The envelope was likewise full. Pursuing her way along the lane, she then began it. It was dated from Rosings at four o'clock in the morning*, and was as follows:
(At this point my gentle readers, I am going to spare you with another perusal of a letter you probably know by heart, besides which it is too long to copy all out.)
*I know that the letter in the book said eight o'clock, but as I have previously given you, my gentle readers the impression that Mr. Darcy had an extremely restless night, I have moved the time he started the letter back four hours.
Posted on Wednesday, 27 January 1999
Mr. Darcy's Townhouse, Grosvenor Square, Two Weeks later.
"Darcy! How could you forget that this was the afternoon we were to take Georgiana, Rebecca, and the twins to see the balloon ascension? Darcy, are you even paying any attention to me? Cousin it has been two weeks since we left Rosings, one would expect that you were glad to shake the dust of Kent off your boots. I know that you are not pining away for Cousin Anne, so I just do not understand your green melancholy. Darcy, you are worrying even Georgiana, and I am not going to be able to bear with you any longer if you do not snap out of it man!" Colonel Fitzwilliam told Mr. Darcy, in the tone of voice he used when lecturing one of his men.
"Did you say something, Cousin?" asked Mr. Darcy in a distracted tone.
"I have had enough of your sulks, I have more important business to attend to in Curzon Street*. I will return when you are in a better mood." said Colonel Fitzwilliam, as he rose from his chair and left his cousin's library. In a hurry to leave, he did not see Miss Darcy, who had just descended the stairs and almost collided with that young lady.
"Forgive me Cousin. I was in a hurry to leave and did not see you." said Colonel Fitzwilliam in an apologetic tone.
"It is my brother. He has been this way since your return from Kent. What happened to him there, Cousin James?" asked Miss Georgiana Darcy in a concerned tone.
"It is not for me to say, Cousin. I must be on my way now Georgie. I am for Curzon Street to see Cousin Rebecca and the twins. I will return for later this afternoon to take you to the balloon ascension." said Colonel Fitzwilliam, as he picked up his curly brimmed beaver hat and his gold-topped ebony walking stick. Normally, James Thomas Fitzwilliam was adverse to such affectations, but he still limped from the wound that he had sustained on the Peninsula.
"I will be ready, James. I will try to convince my brother that he needs must get out of his library and out into the spring air." said Miss Darcy.
Posted on Saturday, 30 January 1999
After Colonel Fitzwilliam's abrupt departure from his cousin's Townhouse, Georgiana Darcy knocked on the library door. "William, are you still in there, please unlock the door and speak to me. Please tell me about what happened in Kent. Was our Aunt pushing Cousin Anne at you again? We are all worried about you. Please just come out and we will go to Hyde Park and watch the balloon ascension with Cousin James, Cousin Rebecca, and the twins. Brother, you need to get out in the spring air. Today is too fine to stay cooped up in a stuffy room. Please William, whatever happened in Kent that has you this upset will come right again." Miss Darcy called through the door.
Within the library Darcy sat at his desk, his head laid down on his arms. He could hear his sister pleading with him. Yes, go ahead and tell your Sister what a mull you made of that proposal, Darcy. Tell her just what others think of her big brother. Tell her that you just lost the only chance at happiness, because you offered insult, instead of your heart to the only woman you could possibly love. The only woman who could fit your Father's ideal. Yes, go ahead and tell her.. Darcy could hear his conscience lecture him. "Georgiana, please, I just do not feel like going anywhere this afternoon. Please make my apologies to our Cousins when they arrive." Darcy replied, through the door. Knowing that there was more than one way to skin the proverbial cat, Miss Georgiana Darcy, being a clever and sometimes mischievous minx, as Colonel Fitzwilliam, and his older brother Lord Marsden would say, Georgiana decided to take another tack to get her brother out in the spring air.
Quickly Georgiana rang for a footman. "Benjamin, please bring pen, paper, and ink to the drawing room." that young Lady ordered quietly.
"Yes Miss." the footman replied. When Georgiana had what she wished, she quickly wrote a very short note, sanded, folded, and sealed it, then rang for a footman again. "Benjamin, I need you to take this note to Curzon Street and give it to Colonel Fitzwilliam. It is important. I am doing this for my brother, Benjamin." Miss Darcy told the footman.
"Aye Miss, I understands. The Master ain't been hisself sin' he an' the Colonel come back from Kent, if ye pardon me sayin' so." replied Benjamin.
Posted on Thursday, 4 February 1999
Twenty minutes later, a reply to the letter that Georgiana had written to Colonel Fitzwilliam had been delivered, along with a short note to that young lady from the aforesaid gentleman. Georgiana smiled at her cousin's accusations of her being an intriguer who would put the Countess Lieven to shame.
Ames, Darcy's butler knocked on the library door. "Sir, a message for you has just arrived from Curzon Street, I was told by Benjamin that your cousin told him that it was important that you read it," he called through the door.
"Bring it in Ames." said Darcy in a resigned tone. That stalwart gentleman unlocked the library door and brought the salver into the library and placed it on the desk and exited the room. Darcy picked up the letter, broke the seal, unfolded it, and read the following:
I hate to write to you of such bad news, but the lead horse of my barouche team has come up lame. I truly do not wish to disappoint the twins, as you would not wish to disappoint your godchildren, as this was to be a treat for them, I must prevail upon your kindness and ask you to bring our party to the park for the balloon ascension.
James T. Fitzwilliam
Tho' Darcy scented a ruse on both his sister's and his cousin's part to "get him out of his sulks", he did not wish to accuse those nearest and dearest to him of duplicity. He certainly would never have expected it of his sister, but he knew that somehow they had conspired together in this, even tho' they meant well. They truly did not wish to use guilt, but this outing was to be a treat for his Cousin Rebecca MacLeod's son and daughter. Rebecca was now in half-mourning and was just beginning to go about again. Slowly he rose from his chair, crossed the room to the door, unlocked it and exited. Upon entering the hall, he found Georgiana standing at the foot of the stairs dressed to go out.
"Forgive me, Dearest, if you just give me ten minutes, I will be ready to go out, if you would just call for the barouche," Darcy told Georgiana as he mounted the stairs. That young Lady watched as her brother ascended the stairs, a mischievous smile crossed her lips as Darcy reached the landing.
Posted on Saturday, 6 February 1999
Darcy changed his clothes hurriedly and was soon sitting in his barouche with his sister and were on their way to Curzon Street. For the most part it was a quiet ride. Darcy just could not say anything without accusing Georgiana of duplicity and he just did not wish to do that. He just decided to put on a pleasant face and enjoy the outing that he himself had actually proposed as a treat for his godchildren. When Darcy's barouche arrived in Curzon Street, he found Colonel Fitzwilliam, Rebecca MacLeod, and the twins waiting. The Colonel handed Rebecca and the twins into the barouche and the party was on its way to Hyde Park.
When the party arrived at the park, they found that good viewing spots were at a premium, but they soon found a likely spot. The ascension was a marvelous sight and the twins oohed and aahed appreciatively, but as the balloon began its ascent, Darcy's attention was broken by a figure who stood just to the right of the barouche. The figure stood with her back to Darcy, for the figure was a female, a female who looked familiar to him. "Miss Bennet!" he called out, but when the figure turned at the sound of his voice, Darcy found himself sadly disappointed for the figure turned out not to be that young lady.
After the balloon ascension, it was a very disconsolate Darcy who drove the barouche back to Grosvenor Square, after dropping his cousins in Curzon Street. Darcy's attention after his seeing the young lady who looked so much from behind like from Miss Elizabeth Bennet, he did not even see the two gentlemen who stood on the edge of the crowd. He also did not see that one gentleman had a curiously shaped sword at the throat of the second gentleman, nor could he hear him say, "Dinna even think about it Hadham", in a very thick Highland Scots accent.
Posted on Tuesday, 9 February 1999
"Cousin James, I do not think that going to the balloon ascension was a very good idea. It has been five days since, and William is still spending all his time in his library." Georgiana told her cousin when he had arrived in Grosvenor Square that morning in answer to her summons.
"I know, Georgie." replied Colonel Fitzwilliam, in a tender tone.
"My brother has been having the most awful bad dreams, dreams about a woman, a woman he calls Elizabeth. Do you know who he is calling for, James? I just do not know what to do. We used to be able to talk, my brother and I, now it is if he is a stranger. I worry that my foolish, foolish behaviour at Ramsgate caused this. Oh James, what can I do?" said Georgiana, as she broke down in tears and great sobbing.
"Shhhh Georgie, this has never been your fault. I do believe that I am beginning to understand, Sweetings. Now dry your eyes. You do not wish to arrive in Brook Street with your eyes all red." said the Colonel.
"Oh no, and have Cousin Kate think that I am just a watering pot, and quiz me about it the rest of my days, I think not, James." said Georgiana, bravely, wiping her eyes with her cousin's handkerchief.
"That's my brave girl. I will call Jennie and have her bring your bonnet and pelisse. Marcus Edmond and Ness have been asking for since they arrived in Town. I am sure that they will enjoy their romp in the park. Kate's cook has packed a luncheon in a basket for us." said Colonel Fitzwilliam.
"Thank you, James. Just let me tell William where I am going." said Georgiana, as she again called through the library door that she was leaving with Cousin James, and would be back in about two hours.
During the next few days, Darcy's melancholy grew worse, he would spend most of his waking hours and a good deal of his sleeping hours in his library. He told all who were nearest and dearest to him that he was busy with estate business, but in point of fact he spent most of the time wrestling with his conscience. The very few times that he had attempted to escape from his distress had been disastrous. He had invited Mr. Bingley, his sisters, and Mr. Hurst to accompany him and Georgiana to the theatre, but he did not get much enjoyment out of it, for he spent the entire night trying to avoid Miss Caroline Bingley's poor attempts at flirting with him. This left him in worse state than before, for it only made his temper short.
Another one of his attempts to escape from himself was when he decided to visit the warehouses to purchase a few gowns for Georgiana, his mistake was his choice of the warehouses he visited, for they were the property of Edward J. Gardiner Ltd. Knowing that that gentleman was the uncle of Miss Elizabeth Bennet, only made his conscience pick at him all the more. Darcy found a half dozen gown lengths of good India muslin, as he waited to pay for his purchases, he inexplicably fell into conversation with the warehouseman who had assisted him. "Tell me have you worked for Mr. Gardiner long?" asked Mr. Darcy in a curious tone.
"Aye Sir, that I 'av. I 'av worked for Mister Gard'ner these thirty years and more. I started workin' fer 'is Pa, an' I jus' kept on after Ol' Mister Gard'ner passed on. Does ye know Mister Gard'ner, Sir?" asked the warehouseman.
"No, I do not, tho' I heard of him in the autumn from Mr. Gardiner's nieces." replied Mr. Darcy.
"So you 'av met Miss Bennet an' Miss Lizzie. They spent many weeks with my master an' mistress in Gracechurch Street. Miss Lizzie is my favorite, she loved to play 'ere when she were a wee lass. She allua 'ad a smile fer her Mister Eli, as she called me," replied Mister Elijah Stokes.
This brought a half smile to Mr. Darcy's lips, as he quickly paid for his purchases and just as hurriedly left the warehouse. In leaving, he found himself driving in Gracechurch Street and found himself passing Number 20, a modest but fashionable-looking edifice, belonging to Mr. Edward J. Gardiner. As he passed by the house, the front door opened and the four children that Caroline Bingley had declared as unmannerly exited the house with someone who appeared to be their nurse. He imagined that they were heading for the park for a romp, just as Georgiana and James had taken Marcus Edmond, Nerissa, James Alexander, and Margaret Jean, just two days ago. As he watched the four children walk down the front stoop, in his imagination he saw Miss Elizabeth Bennet as a member of the party. He imagined that she enjoyed romping with children as much as she enjoyed romping with Bingley's dogs.
Posted on Wednesday, 17 February 1999
Darcy's days of misery and torment continued. Everywhere he went, Darcy found himself either imagining Miss Elizabeth Bennet in the same place or situation or thinking that he had seen the aforesaid young Lady in various places.
One of these moments was the morning that he had gone to Hatchards, to purchase some new music for Georgiana to go with the new pianoforte he had purchased for her. The instrument had already been sent down to Pemberley. Darcy had been looking through the music, trying to find a particular piece of music. "Excuse me, but I was wondering if you might help me find a certain piece of music," asked Mr. Darcy of the clerk.
"Which piece of music are you looking for, Sir ?" asked the clerk.
"I was at the opera a few nights ago and there was an aria that everyone loved, I think it goes like this," replied Darcy, as he hummed what he thought was the correct tune.
"Ah, I think I have just the one, Sir," replied the clerk, as he went through the music scores and selected a likely match.
"Yes I believe this is the one," replied Darcy, as he took the score from the clerk. Darcy read the title of the aria just to make sure it was the one, the title read: Voi Che Sapete. Darcy had enjoyed "The Marriage of Figaro", as had Georgiana.
Darcy had just added it to some sonatas and concertos that he had already picked out, when he started at the sound of very musical laughter, laughter that brought painful memories of Miss Elizabeth Bennet sharing something amusing with her friend Charlotte.
This time, as the time before in the park, Darcy was disappointed to discover that it was not the aforementioned young lady, but he was curious to discover what had amused the young lady he had heard laugh in the store. "Might you tell me just what amused that young Lady?" asked Darcy, as he placed purchases on the counter.
"This Sir." replied the clerk, picking up all three volumes of a novel.
"What novel is this? Is it new?" asked Darcy, in a curious tone, as he read the title.
"Yes it is new, in fact, it would appear that it is fast becoming the novel of the Season. I have received many requests for it." replied the clerk.
"Do you have any idea just who this Lady is who authored it?" asked Darcy curiously.
"No, and there is much speculation as to just who this Lady is. replied the clerk, matter of factly.
"Would a young Lady of sixteen enjoy this novel? There are no dungeons, black veils, or any of that nonsense is there? Not that my Sister does not enjoy a good scary story from time to time." asked Darcy.
"I believe she might. I have a copy of the British Critic that contains a review." said the clerk, giving the periodical to Darcy, who read the following: We....assure (our readers) that they may peruse these volumes not only with satisfaction, but with real benefits, for they may learn from them, if you please, many sober and salutary maxims for the conduct of life, exemplified in a very pleasing and entertaining narrative.*
As Darcy returned the periodical to the clerk and prepared to add the novel to his purchases, in his imagination's eye he could see himself sitting with Elizabeth in his library at Pemberley reading out loud to one another. You will never have that pleasure, Darcy and it is all your fault and you know it. You had your chance to offer your heart to your virtuous woman, but offered insult instead. Mr. Darcy closed his eyes against the onslaught of his conscience, as he struggled to count the correct amount of money for his purchases. With that done, he hurried out of Hatchards and returned to Grosvenor Square as quickly as possible.
Such was Fitzwilliam Darcy's life. Every day he found himself either in situations where he imagined himself and Miss Elizabeth Bennet sharing the moment, or he saw a young Lady who reminded him of the aforementioned young Lady, but Darcy always found himself making an idiot of himself for tho' the young Ladies he would see had features similar to Miss Elizabeth Bennet, there was always something wanting in the comparison.
The straw that broke the camel's back came one fine morning when Darcy went out to the park for a ride.
Darcy took his usual route when he rode in the park, but as he rode along, he became aware of the sound of a young child crying. It was not the obnoxious crying of a spoiled child, though. He rode a bit further on the path and he soon found a little girl who could not be above five years old standing in the path looking up into a tree at something. Darcy slowed his horse down and dismounted. Aware of the fact that he might seem intimidating to the little girl, he dropped down to one knee. "Here now, what is this? Why are you crying?" asked Darcy.
*This is an actual review of "Sense & Sensibility" from the British Critic.
Posted on Thursday, 18 February 1999
"Iiiiii it is M'randa, Sir," the little lass managed to sob out, before she began to cry again, tho' still looking up into the tree.
"Who is M'randa, little one?" asked Darcy, gently.
"I am not little, I am five. M'randa is my fav'rite doll. My big brother Neddie took her an' put her up in that tree. She is too high up for me to climb," replied the little girl.
"She is your favorite doll, I see. If you are not to be called little one, what should I call you?" asked Darcy, following the little girl's line of vision, he observed a doll perched on a branch of a tree.
"My name is M'ria 'Liz'beth, Sir. Yes, M'randa is my fav'rite doll, she is my fav'rite because my Cousin Lizzie made her for me," replied the little girl.
Darcy did not seem to hear, when Nemesis began to laugh, as he took off his coat, preparatory to climbing up to rescue the doll. Darcy gave his coat to the little girl to hold, while he performed this noble act. It did not take him long to reach the branch where the doll sat, but to retrieve the doll, Darcy had crawl down to the thinnest end. As he did this, Darcy heard the branch crack under his weight. At that, Darcy snatched up the doll and took the only route open for him to safely return to the ground, the same way that he used as a boy, he jumped. He landed hard and on all fours, a very undignified position for someone like Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley. As he stood to make sure that no bones were broken, the little girl ran over to him.
"Oh Sir, are you all right? Did you hurt yourself?" asked Maria Elizabeth.
"Yes I am lass. Here is your doll." said Darcy, as he returned an obviously well-loved rag doll to the little girl.
"Oh thank you, Sir," said Maria Elizabeth, as she took her doll from Darcy. This exchange was completed by a shy kiss on his cheek.
At that moment, Darcy began to hear the laughing of Nemesis, for even this little girl had the same dark sparkling eyes and chestnut hair as Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Darcy began to feel a lump grow in his throat, for did the little girl not say her Cousin Lizzie make the doll for her and he, himself had heard various friends and family members refer to Miss Elizabeth Bennet as Lizzie.
"Miss Maria Elizabeth! where are you?" a voice could be heard calling.
"I do believe that someone is calling you, lass," said Darcy.
"That is Nurse," replied Maria Elizabeth.
"I had better take you back to your Nurse then," said Darcy, as he took the little girl's hand, or rather the little girl took Darcy by the hand and led him toward the sound of the nurse's voice.
"Oh Miss Maria Elizabeth, where have you been? We have been searching the whole park for you." asked the Nurse.
"He got M'randa out of the tree, Nurse," replied Maria Elizabeth, showing the doll to her nurse and pointing to Mr. Darcy.
"Thank heavens I found you. Thank you, Sir. Whom should I tell Mrs. Gardiner, was it that came to her daughter's assistance?" asked the nurse.
At that moment, Nemesis laughed loudly, for it finally dawned on Darcy that there was a very good reason that the little girl reminded him of Miss Elizabeth Bennet, this was the younger of the two little girls he had observed exiting Number Twenty Gracechurch Street. Miss Maria Elizabeth was Miss Elizabeth Bennet cousin. "I would like to remain anonymous, for now," replied Mr. Darcy, as he tried to swallow the lump that had grown even larger.
In the short time that he had been in the company of Miss Maria Elizabeth Gardiner, he again began to see in his mind's eye, a little girl just like this one, only she was his and Elizabeth's. It will never be, will it Darcy? You know the reason why. She is your virtuous woman and you lost your chance at such happiness with the insult you offered. Darcy could hear his conscience taunt him. "Forgive me ma'am, but I really must leave." said Darcy, as he hurriedly turned to retrieve his horse. He began to prepare to mount, when the little girl again caught his attention, as she came running over to him.
"Oh Sir, M'randa wishes me to thank you for getting her down from that tree. I have told Neddie an' told him that M'randa does not like heights, but he put her up there any way," Maria Elizabeth told him in an innocently confidant tone.
This only served to add to Darcy's pain and torment, for this only made Darcy wonder if this was Miss Elizabeth Bennet at the age five. "Then I was glad to help her," said Mr. Darcy, in a quiet tone.
"Miss Adams, our governess told us how ladies always gave their knights a token. I do not know what a token is, but M'randa wishes to give you a kiss, but she will just kiss your cheek, because she is getting a cold." said Maria Elizabeth. Darcy again went down on one knee so that the little girl could hold the doll's face to his, while Miss Maria Elizabeth provided the smacking sound of a kiss.
This provided too much for Darcy, as he quickly mounted his horse and rode back to Grosvenor Square as fast as he was able. Entering the house, he placed his hat on the hall table and without knowing it, again he was ignoring all who were nearest and dearest to him as he hurriedly entered his library and barred the door behind him.
Posted on Saturday, 27 February 1999
.......remember William, what your Papa and I shared with one another is rarely found in marriages among those of our class, but do not settle for less. To your Papa I was his virtuous woman and he was willing to pay the high price for me because he truly loved me and I returned that love. Do not let others talk you into settling for less, I know that my Sister believes that there is an understanding between you and your Cousin Anne, but your Papa and I have never agreed to such an arrangement. Your Papa found his ideal, his virtuous woman. Do not give up the search for yours. If you believe that you have found her, consider if you are willing to pay that price to win her. Forgive me my son, for these little tear drops, for how does one say good-bye forever to a son who has made his parents proud. William, I love you and your sister very much. Remember all I have taught you, especially to strive not to be so reticent around strangers, for when you are a man you will need to deal with such on a daily basis.
Good-bye my son,
Your Dearest Mother
Darcy wiped the tears from his eyes as placed the letter down on his desk, after the fourth perusal. Did you really think that you would find something new in reading your Mother's last letter to you? His conscience taunted. "No I did not. D---!,d---!,d---!, Darcy you had the same sort of woman in Miss Elizabeth Bennet as your Father had in your Mother. If you had only been able to articulate a simple proposal to your virtuous woman, you would now have the love of Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Oh Lord, now I am conversing with myself and the whole household probably thinks I am a prime candidate for Bedlam," Darcy told himself, as he picked up the smaller of two jewel boxes that sat on his desk. Opening the box, he took out his Mother's betrothal ring. It was a lovely piece. It was an antique setting of a ruby of a tasteful size. Engraved on the inside of the band of the ring were the following words: "Her price is far above rubies. Pvbs 31:10." These were words he knew by heart and now the words had begun to prey on his conscience. "Is Elizabeth Bennet worth paying the price?" he asked himself, as he lay his head down on his desk and sobbed.
Posted on Tuesday, 2 March 1999
Two Hours later Mr. Darcy started awake to realise that he had fallen asleep at his desk. He then realised that he held something tight in one clenched hand. When he opened his hand he saw his mother's betrothal ring and on his desk lay the last letter he had ever received from his mother. The letter that was given to him the day his Father's will was read, along with the two jewelry boxes that contained the ring and the one that contained what had been the gift* his Father had given his Mother on the occasion of her first Christmas at Pemberley.
Darcy returned his Mother's ring to its box, but not before he read the inscription once more. He closed his eyes, willing the lump in his throat to go back down and the tears in his eyes not to fall. "Forgive me Mama, but that is too high a price for me to pay, but I am determined not to settle for less." Darcy thought to himself, as he took up paper and pen to reluctantly to start a letter to his solicitor.
As he was about to start his letter, Tess and Monica appeared in Mr. Darcy's library, tho' Mr. Darcy was oblivious to this. "Mr. Darcy is making a big mistake Angel girl. He is giving up, instead of fighting for Miss Elizabeth Bennet. She will be touring the countryside near Mr. Darcy's estate, you must bring them together and give her a chance to see that he is not the person that he was made out to be, Miss Wings." said Tess.
After Monica thought a few minutes, a very loud pounding could be heard on the library door. "Please Monsieur Antoine, you cannot see the Master like this." the voice of Mr. Ames could be heard pleading with Mr. Darcy's temperamental chef.
*The Christmas gift mentioned here was also mentioned in the scene where the Darcys were leaving for Vauxhall, in "A Short Season". This scene also included the butterboat comment.
Posted on Friday, 12 March 1999
"Monsieur Ames, I demand to see Monsieur Darcy. I how do you say it, cannot take such treatment any longer. I am the artiste in the kitchen. It is tres important that I see M. Darcy." said Monsieur Antoine, in ever louder tones.
"Monsieur Antoine, I cannot let you in to see him, the Master is in no mood for this." replied Mr. Ames, trying to prevent what could turn out to be an extremely large disaster, even tho' he knew that he would not be able to persuade the overwrought Frenchman to return to the kitchens.
"I win this time, Monsieur Ames." said the chef, as the butler reluctantly knocked on the library door and informed Mr. Darcy that M. Antoine wished to speak with him. After performing this task, he hurried away and even as Monsieur Antoine was serving his Master notice, there came a knock on the entrance to the servants hall. Answering the door, he found Matthew, who was an undergardener at Pemberley and brother of Miss Darcy's abigail; Jennie*
"Mister Ames, I needs tae see moi sister. Oim ta tell 'er that are ma is sick an' she needs ta go 'ome an' elp nurse 'er. Tell 'er that 'annah* can't git no more time off from the inn." that young man told Mr. Ames.
Posted on Tuesday, 16 March 1999
Just as Jennie finished with Georgiana's hair, there was a knock on Miss Darcy's bedchamber door. "Enter." said the aforesaid young lady. The door opened to reveal her brother's housekeeper; Mrs. Ames. "Good morning Mrs. Ames how is your cold this morning?" asked Georgiana.
"It is much better Miss. I hate to interrupt, Miss, but Mr. Ames would like to see Jennie in our parlour. Her brother, that is undergardener at Pemberley has come all the way from Derbyshire." said Mrs. Ames.
"You had better go and see what brings Matt, it is Matt, is it not Jennie? What brings Matt all the way from Pemberley to see you. It must be very important. I can finish up the rest of this by myself Jennie." said Miss Darcy.
Mrs. Ames and Jennie hurried down the backstairs to Mr. & Mrs. Ames' parlour, where the young abigail found her brother in a state of extreme agitation. "Jennie lass, mum is that sick, an' 'annah can't git no more time off from the inn, ye needs ta go home an' 'elp nurse 'er." said Matthew Dane, to his younger sister.
"Oh Mattie, how long 'as she bin sick?" asked Jennie.
"Sin' Sunday. She were took bad right af'er Church. 'Annah's bin 'elpin' but she is needed at the inn." said Matthew.
"Mr. Ames, I am need at 'ome, but I will be back as soon as me mum is better. I just needs ta pack, Mattie, but I first needs ta tell Miss Georgiana." said Jennie. The young abigail excused herself from the parlour and hurried back up to her young Mistress' bedchamber.
"That did not take long, Jennie. Why did your brother come all that way?" asked Georgiana.
"Oh Miss, I am that sorry, me mum is that sick an' 'annah can't git no more time off from the inn, so I needs ta go home and 'elp nurse 'er." replied Jennie.
Georgiana knew her abigail's mother as one of her brother's tenants. The Dane family had provided Pemberley with many of its staff. They were a good family. "Do you need any money for the stage, Jennie?" asked Georgiana.
Posted on Wednesday, 31 March 1999
"...........and good riddance to you, and your wandering hands, Monsieur Antoine." thought the combined female members of the staff of Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy's townhouse, as that gentleman left with a great slamming of the servants' door. M. Antoine, having served his master notice in such a dramatic notice, both Mr. Darcy and Miss Georgiana Darcy realised that they were short two very important members of their household staff, as Miss Darcy had soon informed her brother that her abigail; Jennie, had, had to return to Derbyshire with her brother.
"William, Jennie had to return to Pemberley, because Mrs. Dane has become very ill and her sister Hannah cannot get anymore time off from the inn at Lambton. I am going to need a substitute abigail until Jennie returns. We are going to have to send Mr. Ames to the Agency." Miss Darcy told her brother.
"It would seem that we are also in need of a cook, Dearest." said Mr. Darcy in a distracted tone. Mr. Darcy had just finished speaking when a discreet cough was heard in the doorway of the library. When brother and sister looked up they saw Mr. Ames, Mr. Darcy's stalwart butler.
"Excuse me sir, but I believe that the Agency has sent round a new cook and a substitute abigail for Miss Darcy. When they arrived I found that their references are excellent. The cook was once in the household of Lord & Lady Morecombe, they that came from America." said Mr. Ames.
Mr. Darcy smiled at the memory of going with his parents on a visit to Morecombe Park, when he was six years old, just before he was sent to Winchester. He remembered that his Lordship's cook was unusual in that she was African and had originally had been, while the family lived in America, a slave, but she was freed when they came to England, when they had inherited the title. The other strange thing was that his Lordship and his Lady were older and surely their cook had been pensioned off by the Great Nephew, Nathaniel, who had inherited the title two years ago. Yet he may have been wrong about that. He did remember that the food at Morecombe Park had been delicious, especially the biscuits and cherry tarts.
"What about the abigail, Ames?" asked Miss Darcy.
"I have my doubts, Miss. I do believe that this is her first situation, so have offered to take her on a trial basis. I believe that Mrs. Ames has taken her up to familiarize her with what her duties will be." said Mr. Ames.
Monica, in a quiet tone as she came back from being shown Miss Darcy's chambers said, "Tess, I do not know how being Miss Darcy's abigail will help her brother, but I will do what I can. I do know that we have prevented Mr. Darcy from writing that disastrous letter. I can see that Mr. Darcy needs to find the proper ground to meet Miss Elizabeth."
"You will find a way, Angel girl. I do know that Miss Elizabeth Bennet will be traveling to the Lakes with her Aunt and Uncle. We may find a way to keep them from going that far." said Tess in a knowing tone.
Posted on Wednesday, 14 April 1999
"No! no! no! That's not the way I meant it. Elizabeth! no! Elizabeth!" The horrible cries from her brother's bedchamber, had awakened Georgiana again. She knew that her brother was in torment, but until he explained what was tormenting him she would have no peace. It would be unseemly for her to go into her brother's bedchamber, so she could not go to him.
The cries for Miss Elizabeth Bennet had also awakened Monica. She quickly put on her dressing gown and entered Georgiana's bedchamber. "Oh Miss, I am sorry, I thought I heard you cry out." said Monica, as she crossed the room to Georgiana's bed.
"Monica, it is my brother. He has had the same bad dream since he and my cousin James returned from their visit to our Aunt, in Kent. He always calls for a woman called Elizabeth. He will not tell me of what occurred in Kent. We once were able to talk to one another, to tell each other things. Now I am afraid that something I did last summer has stopped him from trusting me. I did something so foolish, my behaviour was terrible. I believed myself to be in love with someone unworthy of me. I almost eloped with him from Ramsgate. Now he will not tell me anything." said Georgiana.
"Do you know who this Elizabeth might be, Miss?" asked Monica.
"When my brother was in Hertfordshire in autumn, he wrote me of meeting some of the young Ladies who lived in Meryton and wrote of three especially, a Miss Bennet and her sister, her name was, oh! my goodness, it was Elizabeth, he also wrote of meeting a friend of this Elizabeth's, a Miss Lucas. Oh Monica, do you suppose that this is the same Elizabeth? In the letter, my mentioned that this Elizabeth was very lovely and had a quick and witty mind. He said that he loved to have verbal battles with her." said Georgiana, half to Monica, half thinking aloud.
"I don't know Miss. Maybe you should ask him about her. Oh Miss, you look so cold, why don't I go down to the kitchen and make you my special hot chocolate." said Monica.
"Yes Monica, I would like that." said Georgiana, trying to think of how to ask her brother about what was troubling her. She wished she could help her brother, before they left for Pemberley, as she knew that they would be returning there soon
Posted on Wednesday, 21 April 1999
Though it was, as Georgiana was taught, unseemly to be overly familiar with servants, Georgiana found it very easy to speak with Monica. "We were once able to talk to one another, Monica. We could tell each other our secrets and now I am afraid that what happened last summer has broke the trust he once had in me. I did something so foolish, I believed myself to be in love with someone, but he only wished to hurt my brother. He was my Father's godson, and I knew him when I was a child. I am afraid that my brother does not trust me anymore. I am afraid that I caused my brother to be like this. I just wish we could talk with one another again." said Georgiana, as Monica finished up with her hair.
"Perhaps you will be to find a way to talk with your brother, Miss." replied Monica, as she left Georgiana's chamber.
After Monica left, Georgiana thought about what this very unusual woman had said. As she thought, a very sweet memory came to her of when she was a little girl, and of a sudden!-she knew just how she would get her brother to talk with her. First she would need to go down to the kitchens and speak to Cook. That was another thing she found surprising, since her bother and cousin returned from Kent, Georgiana hardly touched a bite of food, but Tess, as the new Cook was known, had been able to get her brother to eat, and her food was delicious.
Georgiana hurried down to the kitchens, and first approved the dinner menu, and then explained just what it was she needed Tess to make especially for a special tray she wished to be made up for the afternoon. "It is a surprise for my brother." Georgiana told Tess with a smile.
"I will do that for you Miss Darcy." replied Tess.
When Georgiana was through in the kitchens, she went back up to breakfast. After breakfast, as usual, Mr. Darcy disappeared into his library and Georgiana went to the music room, but not to play, for even music was a poor sort of consolation with her brother so sad. Instead, as soon as she entered the music room, she rang for a footman.
"Benjamin, please bring me: pen, paper, and ink." ordered Georgiana.
"Yes Miss." replied Benjamin. The footman soon returned with the items that his mistress had asked for, and departed again.
Quickly, Georgiana began to write what was from all appearances a short note, which she quickly sanded, folded, and sealed. She smiled as she read the address;
To Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy,
When she finished, she rang for Benjamin once more. "I have two things I wish for you to do. First, I need you to give this to Mr. Ames, and second, please ask Mr. Ames to come to the music room." ordered Miss Darcy.
"Yes Miss" replied Benjamin, as he took the letter from his mistress.
Very soon, Mr. Ames, the stalwart butler of Darcy House entered the music room to discover just what his young mistress needed. "Ames, I first need you to have Benjamin, Nat, and Sean to put a table in the conservatory, with four chairs. Secondly, I wish you to slide the note I had Benjamin give to you under the library at exactly half past three." said Georgiana.
"Yes Miss. I will do this, but I do not know how the Master will take it." replied Mr. Ames.
"I am doing this for my Brother. I am, as, you are all no doubt very worried about him." said Georgiana.
"Yes Miss. The whole staff has noticed that the Master is just not himself, if you pardon me for saying so." said Mr. Ames, as he left the music room to direct the footmen in their unusual task.
Georgiana smiled as she left the music room and returned upstairs to her bedchamber to change her dress. After Monica had finished redressing her hair. Georgiana, walked over to her bed and picked up the well loved doll that sat in front of her pillow. "Good afternoon, Lady Deborah, I know it has been quite a long time since you and I were asked to take tea with the Duchess, but this is important, I am doing this for my brother. I know you will help me. What's that Deborah, you have noticed that my brother is sad. Yes, he is sad, but I am trying to help him." said Georgiana, as she held the doll.
When Georgiana knew that all was in readiness, she and Deborah descended the stairs and went to the conservatory, where she found that all was as she had asked. She smiled a gentle smile to herself, as she placed her doll on one of the chairs. The chairs were just the chairs she had asked for. One was a very ornate and throne like, the others were more plain. Georgiana sat down and waited.
Posted on Thursday, 22 April 1999
When Mr. Darcy left the breakfast table that morning, he had informed Georgiana that he would be working on estate business. As it transpired, as usual, the whole morning was spent staring at his Mother's betrothal ring. His conscience berating him the whole time. At some point he had fallen asleep at his desk, and the sound of something being slipped under the library door. As Mr. Darcy reoriented himself, he noticed that the library clock said half past three. Looking across his desk to the door, Mr. Darcy noticed a folded missive. He rose from his chair and crossed the room to pick up the letter. When he turned the letter over, he noticed that it was directed to:
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy,
"Curious." thought Mr. Darcy, as he broke the seal and unfolded the letter. He recognised the handwriting as that of Georgiana's. It was as follows:
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy's presence is requested for tea in the conservatory at four of the clock, by The Duchess, Lady Georgiana, and Lady Deborah. We look forward to your being there.
Having read this, Mr. Darcy, both bit his lip to keep from laughing, and wiped at the tear that rolled down his face. "Good God, have I truly fallen so low in melancholy that my Sister must be forced to this? You have been neglecting her, and she is not a little girl anymore." he told himself, as he opened the library door.
Leaving the library, Mr. Darcy hurried up to his room, where even his valet had been made part of his Sister's scheme, for his newest afternoon coat, shirt, and pantaloons were all ready for him to put on, which he quickly did. Rushford, made sure that his Master was perfection itself, before he let him leave his presence. Rushford, having been Mr. Darcy's valet since his second year of University, knew of, but did not put it about, that his Master would actually deign to attend tea parties that his young Sister gave.
"Rushford, do you think that the Duchess will approve? I was surprised to receive that summons from her. The last I had heard, she had retired to the Dower House in the country." Darcy asked his valet, with a good humoured wink.
"I do not know sir. All I know is that Miss Georgiana's abigail, Monica, asked me to ready your new afternoon clothes." replied Rushford.
Leaving his bedchamber, Mr. Darcy hurried down to the conservatory. As he walked down the hall, he thought of the many times he had been summoned to tea by The Duchess. Mr. Darcy knew the truth that The Duchess had been a creation of Georgiana's imagination, and yet The Duchess had resided for many years in the nursery at Pemberley and had traveled to Town every spring for the Season. Lady Deborah, was Georgiana's favorite doll. As he was reminded of this, tears began to fall, for he was again reminded of Elizabeth, and how he had spoken to her. He wished he could just go back upstairs and send his regrets, but, as he knew, a summons from The Duchess was not to be gainsaid, and Mr. Darcy soon arrived at the door of the conservatory, where he was surprised to find Benjamin and Nathaniel, two of his footmen, standing by the door dressed in their best livery. He was just about to reach out to open the door to the conservatory, but Benjamin stopped him.
"I am tae announce ye, Sir." he said, as he opened the door. "Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley, to see Her Grace The Duchess," intoned Benjamin, in total seriousness.
Posted on Saturday, 24 April 1999
Even tho' Mr. Darcy knew that he was really only having tea with Georgiana, before he entered the conservatory, he wiped his boots on the back of his leg and made sure that there was nothing out of place, for The Duchess was a stickler. He then took a deep breath and entered the conservatory, where he saw Georgiana sitting at a table set for four. He quickly crossed the room and greeted all three Ladies. "Good afternoon your Grace." which was directed towards the throne like chair. "Good afternoon Lady Deborah." this was directed towards Georgiana's doll. "Good afternoon Lady Georgiana," which was directed towards his Sister.
"Good afternoon Mr. Darcy." said Georgiana, in a very dignified tone.
"You are looking well today, your Grace. I am surprised that you are here in Town. I was given to understand that you had retired to the Dower House. I do hope that your journey to Town has not tired you." said Mr. Darcy, in all seriousness, even tho' he knew that he was speaking to an empty chair. "As always, Lady Deborah, you look stunning." said Mr. Darcy, bowing over his Sister's doll's tiny hand. "Lady Georgiana, I humbly apologise that I have been neglecting you of late. I have been troubled in my mind about something, and I have forgotten that you are not a small child anymore." said Mr. Darcy, as he gently kissed his Sister's forehead.
"Thank you, William. Your apology is accepted. I would like to help ease your troubles if I am able." replied Georgiana, with a smile.
"You might be able to help." said Mr. Darcy, returning the smile.
"William, you have been having bad dreams that wake me at night. You are calling out for someone called Elizabeth, last night I recalled that while you were in Hertfordshire, you wrote me of meeting someone called Elizabeth. Is she who you call for in your dreams?" asked Georgiana.
Just how much does she know? Mr. Darcy thought to himself, as he took the proffered cup of tea. "Yes, she is Georgiana, I mean Lady Georgiana." replied Mr. Darcy, a little abashedly.
"You wrote that she has a quick and witty of mind and tongue, that you enjoy having verbal duels with one another. Tell me William, would I like her?" asked Georgiana.
"Yes, I believe you would. Please pass the biscuits, Lady Georgiana" asked Mr. Darcy, as his Sister passed the platter of biscuits that Tess had baked especially for this afternoon.
"William, is she someone whose company you were especially fond of?" asked Georgiana.
"Yes, I was especially fond of her company, and I was again in her company when James and I went into Kent, for a good friend of hers married Aunt Catherine's parson, who it turns out is a distant cousin of Miss Elizabeth's. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of trying to relate my feelings for her, and I insulted her in the process." replied Mr. Darcy.
Posted on Saturday, 1 May 1999
"You insulted her? My brother, insulting a Lady? That is not like you. How did this happen?" asked Georgiana, as she passed the tray of biscuits and cakes to her brother.
Mr. Darcy coloured at this and tried to decide just how much of what had happened between himself and Miss Elizabeth Bennet to tell his sister. "We spoke of many things one day and the importance of marriage came into the conversation, and I spoke to plainly about some members of her family, especially her maternal relatives. This and my misreading of Miss Elizabeth's older sister's feelings toward Mr. Bingley caused us to disagree. I thought that if I tried to justify my actions by writing my side in a letter it would be enough. Yet I am afraid that many of Miss Elizabeth's words have remained to haunt me. Have I ever appeared arrogant to you, Lady Georgiana? Has it ever seemed that I was inconsiderate of the feelings of others?" asked Mr. Darcy.
"I am not sure, William. You do seem to stand back and it is not easy for you to speak to people that you do not know well. I know that I have that problem myself. Reticence is something that we are both known for. Tho' I imagine that to Miss Elizabeth Bennet you seemed to be arrogant and inconsiderate of others. I know that I am not as worldly wise as you or Cousin James are, but I do think that one should behave towards others in the way we would wish to be treated. If one behaves in a genteel fashion, then background should not matter. Surely, if Miss Elizabeth and her older sister's behaviour is beyond reproach, than perhaps they had different examples of behaviour than their younger sisters." said Georgiana, as she poured her brother another cup of tea. As she did this she studied her brother's face, for it seemed as though there was something her brother was not telling her. Perhaps it was because of what had happened at Ramsgate the summer before. She would ask him of this later.
"Perhaps you are right, Dearest. Georgiana, are you looking forward to going home? Perhaps, Ariadne will have foaled by then." said Mr. Darcy speaking of his Sister's favorite mare. "Perhaps. I miss her." replied Georgiana.
"I will visit the Danes' cottage to see if Mrs. Danes has improved." said Georgiana, thinking of Jennie.
"Yes, and I should also. Dearest, I am sorry if you thought my behaviour had anything to do with last summer and Ramsgate. What happened there was not your fault. If I had known that he had had any connection with Mrs. Younge, I would have dismissed her on the spot." said Mr. Darcy, taking a ratafia cake from the platter.
"I know that now. It is just that since you and Cousin James returned from Kent, you just would not talk, and that just is not like you. William, could you tell me a bit more about Miss Elizabeth Bennet? Is she someone that I would like?" asked Georgiana.
"Yes I do believe that you would like her. She likes to dance, she sings and plays the pianoforte well. She also likes to take long walks and when she thought no one was watching she played fetch the stick with Antony, Mr. Bingley's dog. She also likes reading." said Mr. Darcy, thinking back to the night at Netherfield, when Caroline had brought up the subject of just what made a young Lady accomplished, as a not so subtle attempt at flirting with him.
"I am sorry that I will never have the chance to make her acquaintance. She seems to be just the sort I would want for a sister." said Georgiana, in a wistful tone.
"We will be leaving for home soon, Dearest. I have invited Mr. Bingley and his sisters and brother-in-law. We will have nice quiet summer." said Mr. Darcy, waiting for The Duchess to dismiss him from the tea table, as the Ladies wished to speak alone.
"Mr. Darcy, the Duchess says that you have stayed long enough, and that she is tired." said Georgiana.
Mr. Darcy rose from his chair, gently kissed his sister on the cheek. "Thank you for inviting me to tea, your Grace. I am glad to see you remain in such good health." said Mr. Darcy, as he crossed the conservatory to the door. He left the room and returned to the library, where he quickly wrote a short note to Colonel Fitzwilliam, asking him to meet him at Andre La Monte's fencing parlour two days hence.
Posted on Wednesday, 19 May 1999
Mr. Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam met at Andre Le Monte's fencing parlour as per his request. Colonel Fitzwilliam watched as his cousin threw himself wholeheartedly into his practice with M. Le Monte. It was as if he was struggling with something deep inside him. The Colonel knew that shortly after his cousin's father had died, he had made many visits here.
"I will conquer this!" he heard his cousin say in a loud determined tone.
"A clean hit." said M. Le Monte, as Darcy's foil found its mark. The two men saluted each other with their swords.
"Will M. Darcy be here again soon?" asked M. Le Monte.
"No, for I will be returning North in four days." replied Mr. Darcy.
"Darcy, you fought as if all the demons in h___ were after you." said his cousin, as Darcy cleaned up and changed his clothes.
"In way they were, Cousin. James, have I ever appeared to you as being indifferent to others?" asked Darcy.
"I am a fine one to ask, Cousin. I suffer from the same reticence that has plagued our family for years. As you know, I have strove to conquer that flaw in my character. Even Marsden suffered from it, but Kate made short work of that." replied Colonel Fitzwilliam.
"James, I would like to apologize for my behaviour of the last weeks. My mind has been troubled, and I did not know just how much of what caused this I could tell you without embarrassing myself. I know that I should have told you something about it in way back to Town from Kent, but I was too overcome by what happened." said Mr. Darcy.
"Apology accepted, Cousin." said Colonel Fitzwilliam. The two men left the fencing parlour and as they drove back to Grosvenor Square, they spoke of Mr. Darcy's plans to return to Pemberley for the summer.
"I am sure Georgie is looking forward to your return to Derbyshire, Cousin." said Colonel Fitzwilliam.
"Yes, she is. Her abigail's mother became ill, and had to return home to nurse her. She wishes to come to check on her health. I also have a mare in foal--Ariadne, Georgiana's favorite." replied Mr. Darcy.
As Mr. Darcy and his cousin were in their way to Mr. Darcy's townhouse, Tess and Monica spoke of how things were going. "Tess, it looks as though Mr. Darcy is coming out of his melancholia. They are returning to Pemberley soon, but how will we be able to bring Mr. Darcy and Miss Elizabeth together. I know that you said that she and her Aunt and Uncle are traveling to the Lakes." said Monica.
"I will take care of that, Angel girl." replied Tess.
"Mr. Darcy should have a reason to leave for Derbyshire early." said Monica.
"It has been taken care of, Miss Wings." replied Tess.
Tess' words were proven out, two days before Mr. Darcy and Georgiana were two leave for Pemberley. A messenger arrived at Darcy House, just as Mr. Darcy was sitting down to breakfast with Georgiana, Mr. Bingley, Miss Caroline Bingley, and the Hursts. The message was brought to Mr. Darcy, who opened it and read it quickly.
"It would seem that I am needed at Pemberley. I am asking that you have the care of my Sister and Miss Annesley, in your way to Derbyshire." said Mr. Darcy.
"I will be pleased to Darcy. Just so you know, Caroline is riding with Louisa." said Mr. Bingley, smiling, at the thought that he would be keeping his sister and her sharp comments from Miss Darcy.