Posted on Thursday, 7 December 2000
The morning following their "event-filled" visit to Almack's, the Ladies in Grosvenor Square were looking forward to the arrival of the Ladies from Gracechurch Street, along with the Countess of Matlock and the Viscountess Marsden, Marcus Edmond, Lord Fitzwilliam and the Honourable Nerissa Fitzwilliam, and the following Gentlemen; Lucas Collins, Daniel Collins and the Marquis of Thornewoond. As it was such a fine spring day, the Gardiner Children and their Nurse accompanied Mary and Kitty. Lizzie and Mr. Darcy were also to come, as it was to be a nice romp in the park, and a brief respite, as just the morning before, in the chaos of readying themselves for the Ladies from Grosvenor Square's first appearance at Almack's, an invitation to "a little soiree" in Berkeley Square, to be given by the Jerseys was received. So a romp in the park with the Gardiner Cousins was always a treat.
Masters Edward and Caleb Gardiner were most excited to show Mr. Darcy a very fine kite that they had only just finished constructing that morning, with their Father's help.
"Yes, lads, this is an extremely fine kite, with an exceptionally long tail. This will do very well. I see that you took my advice about long tails*" said Mr. Darcy, as he examined the kite.
The Ladies from Gracechurch Street were especially interested in knowing all about the visit to Almack's, and the carriage was filled with very feminine laughter as it made its way to the Park entrance.
Posted on Saturday, 9 December 2000
Arriving at the Park, the very large party that had come from Grosvenor Square, discovered Colonel Fitzwilliam, Mrs. James MacLeod, Jamie and Meggie, and Lord Marsden, who had promised Kate that he would try to finish up at Horse Guards as quickly as possible that morning, as he did not wish miss a romp in the Park. The Ladies, i. e. Lizzie, Kate and Lady Matlock were discussing the prior evening's visit to King Street with good humour, which brought a mock scold from the Countess.
"Truly, Katherine and Elizabeth, you will be thought ungrateful, if you were heard saying such things about Dear Sally and Dorothea's little establishment. I do look forward to the Jersey's soiree, Sally's evenings are always sad crushes. You will find yourself very amused." said the Countess, as her eldest son came over to the carriage to claim his wife.
"Bonny Kate, I have been deputised to ask if you would deign to play tag with Marc, Ness, Jamie, Meggie, Master Caleb and Miss Maria Elizabeth. Be also aware, Dear 'Kate of My Consolation' that you have been chosen to be it" said Lord Marsden, as he deftly jumped a safe distance from her, which made Kate all the more determined to catch her husband, and make him pay for playing her such a trick.
While the "adults" played with the children, Mary and Lucas and Georgiana and Lord Thornewood strolled along one of the paths. Lucas and Mary discussed a traveler's journal that Mary had found at Hatchards', and Georgiana and Lord Thornewood reminisced about this and that, when Lucas saw the gig making its way along the path.
"Strange, it is too early for the fashionable hour for riding or driving in the Park, and besides that gig looks extremely familiar." stated Georgiana.
Miss Darcy's words would soon prove to be true, as the gig got closer, Mary Bennet recognised that the couple driving were none other than the Reverend and Mrs. William Collins. A fact Mary quickly made known to Lucas, by the simple expedient of whispering it in his ear.
"You remember, I told you that he married Charlotte Collins, Lucas." whispered Mary.
"Your Sister's friend does not seem very happy, in fact, she seems to be put upon." replied Lucas.
Posted on Wednesday, 13 December 2000
"Yes she does, but recall, Cousin, I told you that Our Cousin, Mr. Collins is a very difficult person, and you did tell me of the letter you sent him." stated Mary, as the gig came closer to where the two couples stood.
"It just seems strange that I am finally going to make his acquaintance after all, despite his returning the letter I sent him, unopened." replied Lucas, noticing that Mary was trying to do her best to hide behind her taller cousin, so as not to be seen by her so distressing Cousin, but the Reverend Mr. William Collins spied her first, and greeted her in his most inimitable fashion. Yet as the gig stopped on the path, it was Charlotte Lucas Collins who recognised the young gentleman at Mary's side as the eldest son of the American branch of the "illustrious" Collins Family, as she immediately recalled his stay at Longbourn, when she was younger.
"Mary, I see that your Cousin has returned to England. My Mother wrote to me and mentioned that Lucas' younger brother also traveled to England, and that his stories of his travels West of the Mississippi in America have been most entertaining." said Charlotte Collins, to her former neighbor, cousin by-marriage.
"Oh yes, and since Daniel has come to Town, I have also heard some of his stories, and now I am more determined than ever to travel to America and see some of its wonders myself." stated Mary, in a tone of voice, she was sure that the Reverend Mr. William Collins heard perfectly.
That "worthy" man had gone uncharacteristically silent, and his face white, for he was shocked to see his "Great Lady Patroness' niece walking on the arm of a man he knew to be a "dangerous radical", and one of his "fair and still as yet unmarried cousins" on the arm of a "traitor, a heretic, and a disgrace to the name he bore, and the son of the same." Soon horrific thoughts came to the "worthy" vicar such as: What if his traitorous, heretical cousin was trying to convert his "fair, but impressionable cousin" to Methodism, Horrors!, and even more than that to spirit her away to live among the Red Indian savages!? Horrible thoughts like that and ones of the virtuous Miss Darcy being turned into a "radical" by Lord Thornewood, made the suddenly discomposed vicar wish to turn the gig, provided by his so "Kind and Condescending Patroness" for the commissions that had brought him to Town, and hurry back to the rooms he had taken for himself and his wife. This was not to be, as Mr. Darcy and Lizzie, with the Marsdens caught up the two younger couples, and Charlotte Collins warmly greeted her Dearest Lizzie, who returned the greeting, and asked after her health, as it was now obvious that the time for her confinement was nearing. , all this over Mr. Collins, who was loudly expounding on the commission that had brought Hunsford's "worthy Vicar" to Town. He babbled on about how his Great Lady Patroness had agreed that the sewing of altar cloths was the perfect punishment and deterrent for wantonness in the young ladies in his parish, especially the two sisters who had been discovered kissing their swains shamefully at Rosings' Harvest Home celebrations, and they had come to purchase the linens for the making of the new altar cloths.
Posted on Thursday, 28 December 2000
Seeing that her "worthy" husband was about to say something insulting about his young first cousin from America, Charlotte Lucas Collins, through the expediency of telling said husband that she wished to return to their rooms, as she needed a rest, which, first time father-to-be that he was, caused the Reverend Mr. William Zephaniah Collins to take the least little ache, pain or tiredness on Charlotte's part as having to do with the baby, and the fact that the time for Charlotte's confinement was growing ever near, the "worthy" vicar quickly made his apologies, and the gig hurried carefully away.
"Well done!" exclaimed Lord Marsden." It is obvious that Aunt Catherine's Vicar's wife is a person of very good sense."
"I was sure that my "worthy cousin" was going to say something about how you should not be seen on the arm of a traitor, a heretic, a disgrace to the name I bear, and the Son of the same, Cousin." said Lucas, in a tone that was meant for Mary's ears only, which elicited the appropriate response from that young Lady.
"Lucas! that is not fair of you, for I am sure that, while My Sisters and I did not have any dealings with Mr. Collins until last year, I am sure that is what he heard from his late Father, your Uncle Zechariah. Since he wished to "heal the breach" so to speak, with our Papa, it would have been most impolitic of him to repeat what his Papa must have said about Our Papa. Though I am sure that he was thinking such things when Lizzie rejected his suit." replied Mary, in a similar tone.
"I always believed that your Sister Elizabeth showed very good sense." said Lucas, with good natured laughter, which was to Mary, very infectious, and found herself joining him.
"What do you and Lucas find that is so amusing, Mary," asked Lizzie, curiously.
"Our Cousin has given you a compliment, Lizzie." replied Mary, as she whispered something in her next older Sister's ear, something that brought merry laughter to her rosy lips. A sound that made Mr. Darcy, to the feigned shock of all who were watching, kiss Lizzie thoroughly.
Posted on Wednesday, 2 May 2001
While Lizzie, Mr. Darcy, Lord and Lady Marsden, with Mary Bennet and Lucas Collins continued on their walks, Kitty played with her cousins and the other children. Aunt Gardiner's Cook had thoughtfully provided a parcel of stale bread to feed hungry ducks. Kitty was showing Maria Elizabeth the best way to throw the bread to the ducks, when she once again caught sight of the young man who looked like her old friend from the _____shire Militia; Captain Christopher Denny, except his Regimentals were different. As the young Gentleman came nigh to her, Kitty was able to confirm that it was indeed her old friend. Captain Denny greeted her first.
"Miss Catherine! are you enjoying your visit to Town? How are you enjoying the Season?" he asked.
"I am enjoying my visit in Town very well. Mary is enjoying the visit also. She is walking with our Cousin Lucas, he and his brother Daniel, My Father's godson are visiting from America," replied Kitty, who once again noticed the different Regimentals her friend wore." Denny! when did you leave the Militia and join the Regulars?"
"My Godfather passed away recently and left me enough money to purchase a commission in a Regulars regiment." replied Denny.
"I am sorry to hear of your godfather's passing, Denny." said Kitty, as she threw another bread-crust to the ducks, and in the process she almost slipped and fell into the Serpentine, but Denny quickly caught her.
"Are you all right, Miss Catherine?" asked Denny, in a concerned tone.
"I am all right now." replied Kitty, as she slowly backed away to a more proper distance.
"There is one thing, Miss Catherine, my Regiment has been ordered to Montreal." said Denny.
"When are you to leave, Denny?" asked Kitty, in a concerned tone.
"We are scheduled to take our ship, in three weeks." replied Denny.
"Denny, did I not see you at Astley's Amphitheater a fortnight ago?" asked Kitty, as she took her friend's proffered arm, having exhausted the supply of stale bread, Maria Elizabeth hurried to play with her new friend the Honourable Nerissa Fitzwilliam.
"I believe you did. You were there with your sisters and Mr. Darcy." replied Denny.
Posted on Sunday, 3 March 2002
"Denny, did you not think that the Gypsy riders* were quite wonderful? They were quite my most favorite part of the whole exhibition that night." exclaimed Kitty, in a tone of reminiscent wonder.
"Yes I did think the riders were wonderful. I enjoyed their act in the extreme" replied Denny, as they walked along the path. As they walked along, the couple soon met by the other couples. Lizzie greeted her sisters' old acquaintance happily, and introduced her sister-in-law to Captain Denny.
Colonel Fitzwilliam noted the change in Regimentals, from a militia regiment to a regulars regiment. He also recognized that this particular regiment was about to leave England for Montreal, for he had heard from his brother at Horse Guards, that a war with their erstwhile Colonies was surely inevitable, but this did not stop him from liking his Cousin's wife's cousin, as he just could not believe that he was a member of the same family that gave the "oh so worthy" Reverend William Collins to the world. The cousins were so disparate, and if he was not mistaken, Elizabeth's sister, Miss Mary was sure to be leaving England to return, to Pennsylvania, as the wife of the Reverend Lucas Collins.
"Denny, I see you've bought a commission in the Fourth, and will soon be leaving these shores." said Colonel Fitzwilliam.
"Yes I have, we are to leave for Montreal in three weeks." replied Denny.
As Lizzie had promised to call in Jermyn Street, she informed Mr. Darcy that she needed to return to Grosvernor Square to ready for that call.
*This is a reference to the unusual guest stars that found their way into my very first story," A Short Season Part One: Lizzie and Darcy's Story".
Posted on Tuesday, 26 March 2002
The morning of the day of the Jerseys soiree. Darcy House, Grosvenor Square.
As this was going to prove a very bust morning of the Ladies of Grosvenor Square, Mr. Darcy excused himself from the preparations they would need to make for that evening's entertainment at the Jerseys*(*The Jerseys are real Regency personages. They are the Fifth Earl and his Countess, the famous, or infamous, depending on how you view her, Lady Sally Jersey of Almack's fame. They are neighbours of the Matlocks in Berkeley Square)in Berkeley Square. He planned to go riding with his cousins in the park, and then go to Andre La Monte's to practise.
"I will miss you sorely, My Dearest William, but I know you wish to be away from all this silly female nonsense." said Lizzie, as she rose from the table in the Morning Room to receive her Dearest William's gentle kiss.
"My Dearest Elizabeth, I too will miss you sorely, but you and Georgiana need this time to ready yourself for the Jerseys' soiree tonight. I am going to be busy this morning, as I plan to meet with James, Marsden and young Collins. I must say, that I have enjoyed your cousin Lucas' company, he is certainly the opposite of his cousin, the "worthy Reverend Mr. Collins", but then I noticed that when I first made his acquaintance. A. N. This is a reference to "Lucas' Visit". New Dwiggies and BoI refugees will soon discover that I have a very perverse muse, that makes me do things like having Lucas meet Mr. Darcy before the events of P and P. LYLAS, Your Gentle Author. "said Mr. Darcy, as he also placed a brotherly kiss upon Miss Darcy's cheek.
"Good-bye, William, I hope you have a nice ride." said Georgiana, as she also rose from the table. Mr. Darcy called for his curricle and pair, and soon exited the house. The Ladies soon removed to their rooms, to ready themselves.
"Lizzie, you will enjoy tonight's soiree, with Kate and Marsden there, it will be quite interesting. I hope you are not feeling too tired." said Georgiana, knowing that Lizzie was in an interesting condition.
"I am fine, Dearest," replied Lizzie." We will just leave the Jerseys early, if I begin to tire."
While the Ladies readied themselves for the Jerseys' evening's entertainment, Mr. Darcy met with his cousins, Lucas Collins in the park for a ride. The exciting race that ensued was quite invigorating.
Posted on Sunday, 26 May 2002
While Lizzie and Georgiana readied themselves for the evening's soiree in Berkley Square, an express was sent from the Collinses' rooms, addressed to The Right Honourable Lady Catherine de Bourgh. In it he informed his Kind and Condescending Patroness of the fact that he had recently observed her niece, Miss Georgiana Darcy walking in the Park on the arm of someone he knew to be a dangerous radical. He also relayed his concerns for one of his "young and impressionable, still as yet unmarried fair cousins". He had heard something of his Cousin Mary's friendship with his Father's younger brother's oldest son from his Cousin Daniel's wife, apparently there had been a Mr. Quiggley-Smith, who had been quite interested in a match with his cousin, and yet she turned it and a chance to travel to the West Indies down, for no apparent reason, or so his cousin's wife gave him that impression. Mr. Collins mentioned Methodism, America and Red Indian Savages in his express and he was sure that would bring Lady Catherine to Town.
That "worthy" gentleman's belief was soon proved true, as, it did not take Lady Catherine de Bourgh long to make plans to journey to Town from Kent, just long enough for her to lay the short missive from her vicar down on the breakfast table, or so Miss Anne de Bourgh told her cousin Darcy, when they arrived in Grosvenor Square.
Lady Catherine de Bourgh's traveling coach was quickly on its way to Town. Anne and Miss Jenkins quietly discussed their own plans for amusing themselves while in Town, for the two had been successfully circumventing Lady Catherine's edicts on what she, Anne could or could not do with regards to her "precarious" health. Besides, Miss Anne de Bourgh had been corresponding with a Sir Giles Beacham, who had also been giving her advice on running an estate. She liked the way he handled things and now she had actually, by herself, hired a new manager for the home farm, for Mr. Higgins had grown quite old and much as she tried to explain to her mother that he needed to be pensioned off, Lady Catherine would not listen to her*
(*AN:For readers of "The Darcy's Christmas Miracle" you will recognise this as some of the seeds of rebellion that Mary Bennet had sown in Miss Anne de Bourgh, starting to sprout and grow to fruition.
Posted on Monday, 10 June 2002
Four days after the Jerseys soiree, Darcy was most surprised by Mr. Ames announcement that his Aunt had just arrived from Kent, accompanied by Miss Anne de Bourgh and Miss Jenkinson and they awaited his presence in the Drawing Room.
Darcy took some deep breaths and counted to at least forty as Benjamin, one of his footmen opened the Drawing Room door. He slowly entered the room, as he had had the presentiment that reason his Aunt was visiting in Grosvenor Square was not a social call, especially when he had the feeling that his Aunt's "worthy" vicar had been telling tales.
"Darcy! A report of a serious nature has reached me," exclaimed Lady Catherine de Bourgh, as her Nephew entered the Drawing Room.
"You have already heard that Lord Braxton has been taken up for treason, or was it the strange weather London has had of late. I did not think that news had traveled as far as Kent." replied Mr. Darcy, trying to get around his Aunt's exclamations.
"Nephew! I can see that you have come under the corrupting influence of that brazen hussy already," said Lady Catherine, in a more angry tone." I am referring to the report that reached me stating that your sister was seen in the Park, walking on the arm of Thornewood, a known radical."
"Georgiana is a sensible young woman and the ideas that Thornewood promotes make much sense. I have instituted many of them at Pemberley, and now Aunt, I must say that I do not take kindly to the references you have made to my wife, if you continue to refer to her in such a manner, I will be forced to not welcome you, for I shall not have my wife upset in any fashion at this time." replied Mr. Darcy, glad that Lizzie and Georgiana were calling on his cousin Rebecca MacLeod, assisting her in preparing for the journey to Scotland, after the quiet wedding ceremony that would be celebrated in two days and when one considered all that had happened within the last four days, his cousin and her children deserved some peace and quiet. Lizzie and Georgiana also needed the peace and quiet of Pemberley, especially in light of Lizzie's announcement.