Posted on Friday, 6 June 2008
As the clock chimed two in the afternoon, the inhabitants of Longbourn along with the Netherfield party, minus Mr. and Mrs. Hurst, gathered together in the drawing room. They all either sat quietly or when the anxiety of waiting became too much strolled about the room. No one said a word as not one of them could take their mind off the upcoming altercation. Time ticked by and still Lady Catherine did not arrive at the hour she had appointed. Two thirty ticked by and the silence became stifling as they all wondered at the Lady's tardiness. Some of the ladies retrieved fans to relieve themselves of the sudden increase in temperature as the room felt considerably warmer than earlier. Finally, at three o'clock they heard the approach of a carriage soon followed by the sounds of Mrs. Hill answering the door and speaking quietly to two others.
Everyone took a deep breath as the door opened to admit -- Mr. and Mrs. Collins. Everyone blinked.
Mr. Collins broke the momentary silence by approaching Lord Fitzwilliam. After executing a bow, he started off, "I must thank you for your most kind intervention on behalf of my wife and I. We are most thankful for your recommending me for the living in Cumberland. Although we regret to move so far from my dear Charlotte's family, we are most grateful and look forward to the life we will have there. Thank you again for your considerate beneficence." He bowed again causing everyone to roll their eyes at his antics, but the earl simply gave a slight half-bow in return while struggling to keep the smile that tugged at his lips off his face. His wife raised an eyebrow at his attempts to keep a straight face.
"You are most welcome, Mr. Collins. I am sure you will find my friend's patronage much to your liking. He was most happy to provide the living to you especially under the present circumstances."
"Indeed it was most timely and most considerate of him to offer us so much condescension even to the point arranging to move our possessions immediately."
At this point, Charlotte cut in, "Truly my dear, they have been very generous, but, dear, have you forgotten what you wanted to say to your cousins? I am sure you told me you wanted to tell them something."
"Oh yes indeed. Thank you, Charlotte my love. I had almost forgotten due to my happiness."
Clearing his throat, he straightened and addressed the group, turning to face each one in turn, "I hope you will all be gracious to accept my humble apologies over my previous behavior. I assure you, I would not have challenged this change in circumstance although at first I did question it, but I was left with no choice. Lady Catherine threatened to take away the living of Hunsford1 if I refused to bow to her wishes. What choice did I have? If I had defied her, my Charlotte would no longer have a home and with . . . ahem . . . with other considerations, it was impossible to refuse."
Although amused with his cousin's obvious inability to be specific, Mr. Bennet felt at liberty to accept his verbose apology.
"Thank you cousin for your apology and please understand that we hold no ill will toward you for these unfortunate events and accept your apology."
"You are most gracious, sir, and might I congratulate your family on having your son returned to you after so many years."
"Thank you, Mr. Collins; your congratulations are much appreciated."
Seeing that her husband was about to start a long winded response, Charlotte stepped in again, "My dear, now might be a good time to inform them of the reason for Lady Catherine's delay."
"Oh yes indeed, dear. We came to also inform you that Lady Catherine is busy packing as she will not be spending any more time at Lucas Lodge. She is to move to the inn. She was almost finished packing and was to come straight here afterward so she should not be long."
Although he was as long winded as usual, they all noticed his lack of deference for his former patroness1 .
Mr. and Mrs. Collins' visit lasted only a few more short minutes as neither wished to remain to witness the upcoming confrontation. Before they returned to Lucas Lodge, Charlotte promised to visit before they left for their new home in Cumberland.
Thus, everyone found themselves waiting again. This wait, though, proved quite short as less than ten minutes after the Collins' departure, Lady Catherine arrived. The inhabitants of the drawing room were not surprised to be on the receiving end of Lady Catherine's glare as she entered the room angrily2 .
Looking around the room, Lady Catherine de Bourgh pursed her lips and scowled. Finally, she turned back to her brother.
"So, Edmund, you decided to interfere."
"No more than you, sister."
"I was not interfering! I was defending the family from this . . . this attempt to remove a member of our family and join him to a family of no position!"
"Really, sister? Considering that it is my family that it involves, not to mention the Bennets' and Collins', I do not see how it concerns you at all."
"I am a member of your family!"
"True, but not one who can command my nearest relations."
"I am your sister and thus one of your nearest relations!"
"But my wife and children come first, Catherine! I will not let you usurp their position in my life. After all, you remember that we were never particularly close as children."
"Maybe not, but family is still family!"
"Again I concede, but you still have no right to interfere in this matter. It has already been resolved to the participants' satisfaction. Now, please drop this Catherine."
"I will not drop this! Since you obviously refuse to give way in keeping your son in our family, I know how to act. As Richard is no longer a part of our family, he is also no longer suitable as a guardian for Georgiana. She should then be handed over into my care especially as her brother has only this very morning refused to oblige me by refusing to help me stop this ridiculous situation!" She paused for breath and to look over to where a pale Miss Darcy stood partially behind her brother who greeted her with an uncompromising stare. Ignoring her nephew with the exception of a smug look thrown momentarily at him, she addressed her niece, "Georgiana, come here!" When she did not move, Lady Catherine grew angrier and her smug smile vanished, "I said come here!"
She started toward her niece when Darcy spoke in a cold calm manner that left no room to be disregarded, "You will leave my sister alone, Aunt. She does not have to come with you and she will not. You have no right to take over her care or to question my ability to care for her. If you persist in this action, I will have no choice but to cut off all contact with you3 . Do you understand?"
Lady Catherine grew furious with this response, "I will have none of that, Darcy! She needs female supervision! You are not qualified to care for her as you still allow contact with Richard. Not only that, but you are totally unconcerned with the company she keeps with these Bennets as you are so besotted you cannot see what is happening. Be aware, Darcy, that I will not leave until I have Georgiana with me and have your promise to announce your marriage to Anne4! "
A quiet voice spoke from behind her, "You will not get it, Mother."
The Lady spun around in shock at hearing her daughter's quiet but determined voice. Seeing her daughter standing at the door with a young man standing behind her, she vacillated between shock and anger.
"Anne, what are you doing here talking such nonsense? I left you at Rosings, where you should be resting instead of running all over the country."
Anne leaned on the gentleman's arm obviously tired5 , "I came here to stop this silly obsession you have, mother. I will not marry Cousin Darcy nor will you take his sister from his care."
"How dare you defy me! Do you have no respect toward your mother?"
"As much as I respect and honour you, mother, I cannot in good conscience allow you to continue in this manner. My cousin and I do not wish to marry and there is no promise or agreement that will be broken if we do not despite your wishes and beliefs to the contrary4 . It is clear he loves another and I am happy for him. She will make him a very happy man one day, I hope." At this she glanced briefly at Elizabeth who blushed and then she turned and smiled at her cousin. "Besides that, you have no right to take Georgiana away. Even I know that Uncle Darcy never had any intentions of allowing you custody of her. I am sure they have documented proof of that."
Spinning back to face Darcy, she saw him pick up a document from the table and raise it up till she could see it next to his face. He raised an eyebrow at the irate look his Aunt aimed at him at having been out maneuvered again. Turning back to her daughter, she turned her rage on her.
"And who is this man you have come with?"
Although the gentleman looked a little uncomfortable due to his feeling like an intruder from the time of his entrance, he looked Lady Catherine in the eye. It was clear he would not back down to the great Lady.
Anne looked back up at his face and smiled affectionately and he looked down long enough to return it. Returning her gaze to her mother, Anne smiled, "He is Mr. Andrew James of ______ Park and my fiancé."
Her mother's face went purple, "Your what? He is not your fiancé and never will be. You get away from my daughter, you . . . you . . ."
Mr. James simply raised an eyebrow, "On the contrary, I will not. Apparently you are unaware that your daughter is of age and does not need your consent although it would be much appreciated."
"I will never give my consent to this match. You hear me Anne! You will be penniless. You will have none of your inheritance, I will see to that!"
Angry at his sister's continued threats, Edmund Fitzwilliam stepped in, "Actually, Catherine, you have no power to do that. Anne was the legal heir to your husband6 , not you. Thus, she owns Rosings and all other properties and has the legal right to all finances generated from those properties. It would be in your best interest not to fight this for if you do, you may discover yourself living in the small cottage in the countryside Sir Lewis left to you in his will instead of at the Grand estate of Rosings Park."
"Besides that, mother, Andrew is far from penniless himself. His estate equals my cousin's at a clear ten thousand pounds a year. I dare say we will be fine without my fortune."
Lady Catherine saw that she was defeated from every side, but unfortunately could not show it graciously. Storming out of the room, pushing passed her daughter and her daughter's fiancé, she marched out to her carriage and left. No one knew where she was going and only two people cared -- her daughter and her brother.
Despite her earlier bravery in challenging her mother's tyranny, Anne stood with tears in her eyes. Her fiancé immediately started to comfort her. Before anyone else could do anything, Mrs. Bennet bustled over to them.
"Oh, you poor dear. Please come and take a seat and I will have some tea and refreshment brought in."
She led the upset Miss de Bourgh and her fiancé to a seat near the window while Mary quickly rang for tea. Although Anne was only able to express her thanks by a small weak smile, Mr. James made up for it.
"I must thank you for your kindness. Anne has had a difficult time dealing with all of this."
"It is nothing I assure you." She paused as she noticed Lady Fitzwilliam approach. Smiling at her, she excused herself as she knew Miss de Bourgh's Aunt and Uncle wanted to speak privately with her.
"Anne, it is so good to see you here and all right, but how did you get here?"
She blushed, "I took one of my mother's carriages and went to find Andrew at the nearby estate where he was visiting a friend. He insisted on accompanying me for which I am very grateful. I was so nervous. He left me at my father's townhouse which I had sent ahead to have opened and he stayed at his own last night and we continued our journey today. I know that it was not the best option, but I could no longer remain still and do nothing."
"I understand dear and am very pleased with what you did." Glancing over at the young man who she could tell clearly loved her niece, she addressed him, "I am sure sir that you will do all in your ability to make my niece happy."
"Indeed I shall. She is a lovely young woman with many dreams to help others and do good. I hope that I may endeavor to help her achieve those dreams." He looked at Anne in admiration. It seemed he was one of few who could look beyond Anne's sickly appearance5 and see the good and intelligent young woman she really was inside, but had been unable to show. He turned back to his fiancée's Aunt, "I hope this means that you and your husband will give us your blessing."
Lady Elizabeth Fitzwilliam laughed as she glanced over at her husband who appeared to be having a conversation with Darcy and Mr. Bennet but stood stiffly while discretely eyeing the young man engaged to his niece, "Oh, I do not think that will be a problem, but I do think my husband will feel a little put out if you do not ask his consent to marry his niece."
Anne smiled, "Oh yes, please do, Andrew. I know it will please my Uncle a great deal. He never had any daughters of his own and he has been like a father to me since my own passed away. Please Andrew?"
"I could never refuse you this pleasure, Anne."
The two ladies watched as he walked over to Anne's Uncle and requested a private audience. It was not long before the two were ensconced in Mr. Bennet's library.
Once the door shut and he had assured himself of Georgiana's peace of mind, Darcy walked over to his cousin.
"Anne, thank you. Your help is more than appreciated. I am sorry, though that it came at the cost of your relationship with your mother."
"I think that was rather inevitable cousin. As soon as you married another, my mother would have planned to match me with whoever she deemed appropriate in respect to fortune and position. I could not have accepted it. I love my mother, but I cannot obey her decisions regarding marriage. I love Andrew. He is a decent and honorable man and that is all that really matters to me."
Darcy smiled at the smile that drifted across his cousin's face at the mere mention of her fiancé. "I am happy you have found someone, Anne." He reached over and took her hands in his, "Congratulations, I hope you will both be very happy."
"Thank you. You do not know how much that means to me."
Before any more could be said the door opened and out came a smiling Edmund Fitzwilliam and Andrew James.
"My dear niece, you will be a very happy woman indeed!"
Beaming, Anne looked at her uncle, "I know I will."
The rest of the Longbourn party congratulated them. Despite the happy salutation, all felt the stress of the events of the day and Anne, in particular, felt fatigued.
Mr. Bingley and his sister immediately offered rooms for the new couple at Netherfield which were gratefully accepted. As Anne de Bourgh was in desperate need of rest, Mrs. Bennet led her to a guest room where she could nap until rested enough to travel the short distance to the other estate. Meanwhile, Miss Bingley dispatched a note to Netherfield to have the rooms prepared before their arrival later.
When Anne was better recovered, Mrs. Bennet asked everyone to stay for dinner, but they all wished to return to Netherfield especially to allow Anne to settle in her room. Thus, the Bingleys, Darcys, Anne de Bourgh and her fiancé left for Netherfield while those remaining at Longbourn either retired to their rooms with a simple meal or had a casual meal in the dining room. Several chose to stroll in the garden after the meal and contemplate the day's events.
Most of the inhabitants of the two estates rested well that evening due to the final outcome of the troubles of the past few weeks and all looking forward to a more pleasurable future. Two couples continued to think over their future happiness together. Several contemplated how their family would change while one mind stayed awake considering a certain lady's fine eyes and wondering when she might return his affections and hoping it might be soon.
1) Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 1 Chapter 13-15
2) Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 3 Chapter 14
3) Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 3 Chapter 19
4) 4) Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 1 Chapter 16; Volume 2 Chapter 7; Volume 3 Chapter 14
5) Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 1 Chapter 14; Volume 2 Chapter 5-6 & 8
6) Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 1 Chapter 14 & 16
Posted on 2008-07-04
The first few days after the confrontation with Lady Catherine were spent in solitude by the inhabitants of both Netherfield and Longbourn. At the former estate, Darcy and his sister spent time acquainting themselves with their cousin's fiancé.
Anne detailed everything about her and Mr. James including how they met. She had laughed at the look on her elder cousin's face when she acknowledged his curiosity on that subject before he ever enquired or hinted. She told them of how her mother had finally relented and allowed her to stay with Lady Metcalfe and allow Mrs. Jenkinson to visit her niece1 when Lady Catherine had to travel the previous autumn. During that time, Lady Metcalfe's step-son came to visit and brought his friend Mr. Andrew James with him. Even though he had come to visit his friend, Andrew had taken the time to talk to her during the rest of her stay. Before she left to return home, it had been decided not to inform her mother of her new friendship and budding attachment as she was sure she would disapprove. Lady Metcalfe was also thankful that they would not mention the additional guests as Lady Catherine had made her views of her daughter meeting strangers very clear as well as the consequence of any deviation from her orders.
However, they did manage to meet when Anne could escape Rosings in her phaeton without Mrs. Jenkinson which was a rare occurrance2 . Both had been terrified the day Mrs. Jenkinson discovered their secret meetings until the lady gently warned them to be careful for Anne's reputation's sake as well as avoiding a confrontation with Lady Catherine. Their relief at the other lady's willingness to remain silent on their meetings had only been overcome by their curiosity at why she did so. Mrs. Jenkinson had only sighed and said she knew Lady Catherine's wish for Anne to marry her cousin3 would never happen and she wished that Anne could find some happiness which would be denied her if her mother had her way.
After her cousin Richard's and Miss Elizabeth's sudden removal from Rosings, Anne and Andrew had come to an understanding when he proposed. However, each knew the difficulties they would face if and when Andrew approached her mother and they decided to keep their engagement secret until such time as they could approach her uncle for help in dealing with her mother. However, when the situation with Richard cropped up, they found themselves having to delay their request. Neither had wanted to burden the Fitzwilliams with more difficulties in light of the new turn of events.
Mrs. Jenkinson helped Anne send her letter informing Andrew of the new situation and he had come to stay with his friend as he had earlier. Thus, he was an easy distance from Anne in order to reach her quickly if things became too difficult.
She left the story off there as they knew the rest from her explanation to her Uncle. Darcy and Georgiana happily congratulated them again.
Soon after her relating the events leading up to her engagement, Anne de Bourgh became Mrs. Anne James via special license4. Her Uncle and Aunt Fitzwilliam had agreed to allow the marriage to take place so soon. She and Mr. Andrew James married in Hertfordshire as the majority of Anne's family was already there and not likely to leave or want to leave in the near future. The ceremony was simple with only the Bennets, Fitzwilliams, Darcys, Bingleys and Hursts in attendance. Her uncle stood in for her father and gave her away.
Soon after the ceremony, the happy couple took their leave to begin their wedding trip during which they hoped to visit his sister who lived in Yorkshire with three small children of her own and had thus been unable to come on such short notice.
After attending the deBourgh-James wedding, the Bennets and Fitzwilliams settled back into the routine they began after Lady Catherine's visit. Like their Netherfield counterparts, they had also spent a single day at leisure before settling back into any actual work. It had been decided sometime earlier that Richard needed to learn about the management of Longbourn, but the other concerns had pushed that aside. Now that peace reigned again, Mr. Bennet and Lord Fitzwilliam took Richard out each day to show him the particulars of the estate as well as detailing the management of each section. They also called on each of the tenants introducing Richard to them and vice versa. It could be said that the tenants were pleased with the new heir to Longbourn. In the evening, they spent much time in Mr. Bennet's library going over the past accounts. As he became more familiar with the workings of Longbourn, Richard ventured to voice a few ideas that came to mind. The two other gentlemen were more than pleased with them and Mr. Bennet planned to put a couple of those ideas immediately into action. He also insisted that since they were Richard's ideas he should be the one to manage them and manage them he did.
During this same time period, Elizabeth finally found time to corner her brother. After some minutes explaining her feelings about his interference to him, Richard truly looked contrite. After apologizing with all sincerity, brother and sister returned to the rest of the family. Elizabeth joined their sisters in various activities and Richard re-joined Mr. Bennet and Lord Fitzwilliam in the study to continue learning about the estate.
At the same time as the Bennets settled into their current routine and enjoyed the relative calm of the present, Mr. and Mrs. Collins announced their two pieces of news which spread throughout Meryton with great rapidity. Many congratulations were sent their way along with much disappointment at their leaving by the end of the following week. Many of the ladies expressed their concern for Charlotte living so far away with her first child coming and no one of her family with her. This left Lady Lucas in a quandary as she desperately wanted to ensure Charlotte's every comfort at this time and she also wanted to keep Maria in the neighbourhood. She had seen her daughter's interest in the Bennet heir and supposed some slight interest on his side and hoped their being in constant company might increase any regard each had for the other. However, her concern over her eldest daughter and the upcoming birth of her first grandchild won out and it was decided that Maria would accompany her sister and Mr. Collins to Cumberland and stay with them for the foreseeable future.
After the Collins' departure for the north, the Bennets and Mr. Bingley agreed it was time to announce the gentleman's and Jane's engagement. Inviting a number of guests, all close friends or family like the Philips's, as well as all those remaining at Netherfield, the Bennets hurried to prepare for the dinner. Longbourn had never hosted so many at one time. Between the two estates inhabitants they already had fifteen people and when they added the Philips's, the Lucas's, the Longs and several others, they had over twenty-five people.
When the time came for the meal, everyone was pleased. However, the real enjoyment came at the end of the meal when Mr. Bennet announced his eldest daughter's engagement to Mr. Bingley5. Everyone who had not known previously congratulated them heartily and those that had known smiled happily.
Soon the news of the engagement spread throughout Meryton and many congratulations flowed into both estates as well as numerous invitations.
It was at the many outings, parties and dinners that Darcy and Elizabeth found themselves often in each other's company6. They talked a great deal about many things. Darcy even managed to dance a couple of times with Elizabeth as well as with Jane and his own sister. Elizabeth felt an ever increasing regard for the gentleman and felt more secure in it being a true feeling now that her brother had ended his matchmaking or so she thought.
The increasing attachment between the two could not be missed by anyone who witnessed them together. The many mothers and their daughters and other female relatives who harboured any hopes of a match with the gentleman quickly relinquished those same desires as they saw the attentions the very changed Mr. Darcy bestowed upon Miss Elizabeth Bennet of Longbourn. They sighed more deeply when the lady's brother hinted at the likelihood of soon hearing of an engagement between his friend and his sister. However, the ladies did not sigh long as they redirected their interest onto the brother of the lady who had unknowingly dashed their hopes. The brother made a quick tactical retreat.
Due to all the changes the Bennet family had endured, Mr. Bingley and Jane agreed to set their wedding for the first of September in order to provide the family with a more lengthy time to adjust to yet another change even though the couple preferred an earlier date. Thus, many visits and calls were paid between the two estates.
It was during this time that Mr. Darcy managed to call at Longbourn unaccompanied.
Normally, Mrs. Bennet would invite the gentleman into the parlour and call for her son, daughters and husband and the Fitzwilliams in order to visit5. However, the lady noted his glances and the nervousness betrayed by the way he held his hat. Knowing who he was looking for and who he particularly wanted to see, she asked him if he might be interested in learning about the particular rose his sister had been interested in on her last visit so that he would know what to purchase. After receiving a blank look, she smiled and added that Elizabeth would be happy to help him and directed him to the garden where both the rose and her daughter currently were.
Smiling slightly as he relaxed a little, Mr. Darcy thanked her and followed her directions and left immediately for the garden. Mrs. Bennet smiled as she returned to the drawing room and peaked through the curtains which allowed an excellent view of the garden. It was not long before she saw the gentleman approach her daughter who was sitting on one of the benches reading.
Mr. Darcy entered the garden and after a moments perusal spotted his object. Smiling a little at the lovely picture she made he started walking toward her. Just before he reached her, she looked up and although surprised she smiled and her eyes sparkled.
"Why Mr. Darcy! It is good to see you again so soon. Are you here with Mr. Bingley?"
"Ah, no. I came alone. I wanted to speak to you if I may."
"Of course you may." She slid to one side of the bench and gestured for him to join her. Nervously7, he approached and sat next to her before Elizabeth continued, "Is there something I can help you with?"
"Ah, yes. Er. . . no . . . I mean to say . . ." Here he paused as he considered how to answer her question, "In a way, yes you can. In fact, you are the only one who can help me."
As he paused again, she looked at him and for the first time took in how nervous he looked. Although he obviously struggled to look and act calm, his eyes and sometimes his voice could not hid it. Wondering at first what could possibly make him thus, she continued to think on it until one possibility came to mind and she blushed hoping that that was indeed the reason behind his nervousness.
Finally, Mr. Darcy found the courage to speak again, "Miss Elizabeth, surely you must know . . . know that I care very much for you7. My sister also cares a great deal for you. Indeed, she considers you to be like a sister to her9." He paused here as he looked her in the eye, "I know I would like to make it a reality."
Elizabeth blushed deeply but remained silent as Mr. Darcy continued. "Elizabeth, might you . . . could you possibly return my affections and my deepest love and consent to become my wife7?"
After he finished speaking, Elizabeth boldly took his hand in hers before looking up at him with a brilliant smile and sparkling eyes, "I already return your feelings and most happily accept."
The smile that lit up the gentleman's face spoke more than any words could of his happiness and joy at gaining not only the affections and love of the young lady that possessed his heart but also at gaining her hand in marriage8.
While the happy couple simply enjoyed the sensation of being newly engaged, they were unaware of those observing their happiness. Richard and Kitty walked away from the hedge they were hiding behind unable to get the grins off their faces. At the same time, four people pulled away from the drawing room window equally happy. Mr. Bennet and Lord Fitzwilliam returned to the former's library speculating on how long before Mr. Darcy would approach Mr. Bennet. Simultaneously, Mrs. Bennet and Lady Fitzwilliam contemplated how much they would have to change in order to make the one wedding they had been planning a double wedding as they sipped their tea.
It did not take long for Mr. Darcy to seek consent nor did it take long to receive it. Suffice it to say the following evening was a joyous one and when the question of a date came up everyone agreed that a double wedding would be best making the two sisters and their fiancés extremely happy.
Thus, the next two months passed in a haze of activity as all prepared for the upcoming wedding. Some of the ladies in Meryton hoped to make it a triple wedding if only they could catch the handsome Longbourn heir. However, the gentleman in question deftly avoided every attempt to ensare him and the wedding remained a double and not the longed after triple.
The first of September dawned clear and bright with hardly a cloud in sight much to the pleasure of the inhabitants of Netherfield and Longbourn. Throughout the day, everyone noticed how both brides glowed with happiness while the grooms beamed at having the ladies they loved become their wives. The wedding day proved to be all happiness and joy and the feeling did not dissipate even after the happy couples left for their wedding trips.
As for Mr. Richard Fitzwilliam-Bennet, as he was now called, he felt the pleasure and joy of a brother seeing his sisters so happily married as well as that of gaining for a brother, the cousin he had always considered as one. Unknown to him, however and much to the envy of many of the Meryton ladies, Lady Lucas took note of his attentions to Maria who had returned for the wedding and busily began making similar plans for her daughter and himself.
The wedding also provided the opportunity for Charles and Alice Fitzwilliam to meet Richard's family. Suffice it to say the children were absolutely adored by one and all.
Among the other guests were the newly wedded Mr. and Mrs. James who wished the happy couples the same kind of joy they now shared. They also extended an invitation to the couples to visit Mr. James' estate whenever they found it convenient to do so.
One person, however, was conspicuous by her absence. Still incensed over the overthrow of all her plans, Lady Catherine refused to attend9. However, as time passed, she began to feel the loneliness of living at Rosings alone without her daughter. Struggling between her pride and loneliness, she finally gave in and accepted one of her daughter's many invitations to visit. To say she was shocked at the changes in Anne as well as the sight of how well situated she was would be a gross understatement. She could not deny the improvements in her daughter's health nor the obvious happiness she felt. Grudgingly, she eventually admitted that her daughter had chosen better for herself that she had for her. Eventually, Anne managed to form a reconciliation between her mother and the rest of the family9.
The next few years would be happy ones for the Darcys, Bennets, Bingleys, Fitzwilliams and James's. Many visits back and forth would take place between the families especially when it came time to welcome the first members of the next generation.
1 ) Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 2 Chapter 6
2 ) Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 1 Chapter 14; Volume 2 Chapter 5;
3 ) Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 1 Chapter 16; Volume 2 Chapter 7; Volume 3 Chapter 14
4 ) Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 3 Chapter 17
5 ) Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 3 Chapter 13
6 ) Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 3 Chapter 16 & 17
7 ) Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 2 Chapter 11; Volume 3 Chapter 16
8 ) Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 3 Chapter 16
9 ) Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Volume 3 Chapter 19