The clock ticked slowed as the young man shuffled his hands nervously. He was fine looking boy, aged three and twenty years this coming June. He smiled sheepishly at his mother and she sighed.
"Are you so very sure that you are in love with this young woman?" she asked incredulously.
"Mamma, how could you even think that I do not love her? She is a very angel sent from heaven above!" the boy cried passionately.
"But William, you only met her two months ago. She is a beautiful girl, but I cannot help but object to this wild idea unless you both are sure!"
"Mamma," her son said quietly, getting up from his chair to take her hands, "I have never been more sure about anything in all my life."
"Well then, I suppose you are getting married soon, then, we shall have the begin preparing the wedding!" her mother cried joyously. "Oh Will, I have always looked forward to the this day so much." She gave him a soft kiss on his curly head and then rose to leave the room.
The proud mother left her sitting room to find her husband (who was no doubt somewhere in the library), and along the way she meet with her other three sons.
"Well?" the youngest of them inquired, "Has Will earned your approval?"
"Send out the word that William is to be married next December at Christmas time to Miss Elizabeth Holland!"
The mother's announcement was met with many cheers and hurrahs, and slapping of William on the back. The mother smiled at her children and then slipped into the library where her husband awaited her to tell him the good news.
The news spread quickly in the village. Young William Darcy engaged to be married, and just twenty-three in June! Wonders never ceased to end, what with the temper he had and the oddness of the family.
"Aye, they are a queer bunch, them up at Pemberley. And 'tis no surprise, what with four sons and one daughter (and a feisty one, at that)," the old widow said, nodding her head as her wrinkled fingers knitted faster than the eye could see.
"And they are all so handsome, so very handsome!" croaked the bakers wife as she sewed a patch on a small stocking.
"Ah, indeed, nowhere in England could there ever be a more handsome family. But what could you expect with the mother and her long brown hair and the father with his curls? 'Twas a match made in heaven, that was," the widow sighed and the bakers wife giggled.
"What I would've given to be at their weddin', and what I wouldn't give to be at young Williams! Such a fine boy, such a pity they are nobility, or one of their sons would do for my Mary. And finer landlords there never was, or ever will be!"
A stout young lady (obviously the baker's daughter) walked into the room, her hands full of freshly cooked bread. "Talkin' about the Darcy's again are we? Such a fine family, but so odd!"
"Aye, very odd indeed," the two old women shook their heads. "Always galloping about the countryside, always traveling here and there. And them with their confounded ways of greeting their tenants. Once Mrs. Darcy called me Rose, as if I were the dearest friend in the world!" the baker's wife shook her head.
"Aye, you know there is something wrong when the nobility acts civil to their tenants. 'Tis not natural, I tell ye, not natural at all!"