Dear Georgiana - a short story
Posted on Tuesday, 20 April 2004
Miss Georgiana Darcy
The Darcy House
173 Brook Street
21 October, 1805
It gladdens me to know that you continue in good health, and that the weather in London has delayed its winter wrath for you to enjoy a lingering autumn there.
Your letter of the 2nd of October related your enjoyment of at last conquering Mozart’s Sonata ‘Alla Turca’ Minuet that you had been struggling over these past weeks. When I return to London it shall be my pleasure to hear you play it as I am confident your talents will give the piece an extraordinary flair. I am delighted you have been so diligent in your studies and have developed such an attachment to Mrs. Annesley. She is a wonderful companion for you to aid you in strengthening your self confidence. It does you credit to have overcome your adversities of late, and I am extremely proud that you are my sister.
As for myself, Bingley has installed us in a pleasant enough manor house in the middle of Hertfordshire, just beyond the boundaries of the small village of Meryton. There are similarities to Derbyshire with its vast array of countryside in which I can often wander. It has not the ruggedness about it as seen in the north, but the new stallion seemed to enjoy the change of scenery as we traveled, and he afforded me the relief from riding in the carriage with Bingley’s sisters and brother who accompanied him.
If there were merely the enjoyments of the estate to give me pleasure, I would be perfectly content, for, as you know, society in such a small community is quite confined and unvarying for my taste. But alas, Bingley is more inclined to socialize with all his newly acquired neighbors, and has on more than one occasion included me in his activities. As his guest I feel obligated to do as he bids, though I feel uncomfortable in the more public venues and feel as if it were I who was on exhibit rather than he.
There have been but a few incidents that made this venture into the country somewhat palatable. Several of Bingley’s neighbors have visited him to make his acquaintance, most of whom are eccentric but a harmless lot. They have extended invitations for dinner parties, all of which Bingley naturally wishes to accept in order to get to know them better. I have seen fit to accompany him on several however much it pains me to do so.
The last few engagements, however, have brought me into the company of a young woman who I find genuinely diverting. When first I saw her I have to admit that I was not in the best of moods and hardly gave her my attention. When she rose and glided past me towards the corner of the room to chat with her friends, I was taken by the exquisite manner of her carriage. And when she laughed in the most musical of ways at some private remark, I was captivated by it, and only then took the time to truly notice how her eyes shown with such mirth as I have never seen since mother died.
Her intelligence became apparent as I overheard her speak with an authority and knowledge on matters that should have been beyond the realm of a country gentleman’s daughter. My assumption is that she must find enjoyment in reading the works of many of the more recent authors as well as some of the classics. I feel that she is someone with whom I could have intelligent conversations in this otherwise abysmal place.
She acts so oddly as compared to the women of the ton who faun over me and flatter me to acquiesce to their wishes. She even had the audacity to refuse to stand up with me when I agreed to dance with her. Dear sister, I wish I could describe the look of surprise on her face when Sir William offered his encouragements. Her eyes were dancing even if her feet would not oblige me, and she almost smiled before retreating behind the pianoforte being played by one of her younger sisters.
Her material situation is such that there could be nothing more than a casual acquaintance on my part. And to this I am perfectly content due to the lack of propriety by some of the others of her family. She and her older sister seem to be the only members who know how to behave in polite society, but perhaps such raucousness is more acceptable in this part of the country.
I will admit only to you, dear Georgiana, that she is a most remarkable woman whom I would be glad to know better before Bingley tires of the place and decides to leave at a moment’s notice. He has seen fit to occupy his time at present with the elder sister who is quite handsome. Knowing him as I do, he will surely be enamored for a short duration, but I am certain he will not be successful in his hopeless pursuit of her. By my observations I can safely say that her serene countenance precludes her forming any serious attachment to him, and he will become dissuaded soon enough. In the mean while I will to endeavor to converse with her younger sister.
I will close this letter before Miss Bingley again requests me to send you her well wishes, adding with such sincerity that she misses you terribly and hopes to see you directly when she returns to London. I know how much that expectation will lighten your day.
I remain as ever, your affectionate and loyal brother,
**I tried to find a Mozart sonata for this story and came across this on the web:
There are three MIDI’s you can listen to on center of page. I chose the middle one for Georgiana, but listen to the other ones and to see if you recognize where both pieces were played in P&P2.