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Love from the Gods - Part 1

September 18, 2022 10:24PM
Blurb: Pride, Prejudice and Soul-Marks. What happens when the person who is supposed to be your soul-mate doesn't even believe in soul-marks?

Hi, everyone! I suppose this is my latest "I know this is has been done a hundred times before but I can't resist doing my own version" story. It's not very long, so I'll post in two sections. Hope you enjoy!


LOVE FROM THE GODS
A Treatise

BEING
A THOROUGH RECORD AND EXAMINATION OF THE HISTORY, CAUSES AND REPORTED EXPERIENCE, INCLUDING CASE HISTORIES AND SCIENTIFIC STUDIES, OF THE NATURALLY OCCURRING PHENOMENON KNOWN AS “SOUL-MARKS.”

BY SIGMUND D. HEISENBAUER, DOCTOR OF NATURAL PHILOSOPHY

Introduction


The phenomenon of so-called “soul-marks,” also known as fate marks, lovers’ marks, angel kisses, et cetera, has long been known to English scholars, being mentioned in some of our earliest records. Some of our finest writers of literature have found inspiration in soul-marks: Chaucer himself makes reference to lovers markes, and Shakespeare’s famous comedy Fate’s Mark Mistaken depends its entire plot around their appearance. However, while no one can justly dispute the existence of such marks, there has latterly been doubt raised as to their significance, and whether trust in their ability to determine the course of true love, as the saying goes, belongs more properly in the realm of science or superstition.

Soul-marks, as they shall be referred to in this treatise, are small, irregularly shaped marks which appear suddenly and always in pairs, one mark each on the body of a man and a woman, upon their first meeting. There is some debate as to how soon the marks must appear, or what degree of proximity may constitute a first meeting (see ch. 2). The marks may appear on any part of the body, and so are not always noticed immediately, but each mark appears as the mirror opposite of its partner. Traditionally they are believed to indicate that the couple who has been marked are “soul mates,” destined, or chosen by God, to experience true and lasting romantic love. Among the Scottish, and some of the more traditional enclaves in England, the existence of matching soul-marks is considered as binding as marriage vows, and should one of the marked already be married, grounds for immediate annulment. This latter practice in particular has caused much controversy in the Church of England, as in the Roman Catholic Church before it, with ardent theologians arguing both for and against proper ecclesastical recognition (see ch 8). In one famous example, Henry VIII claimed to share a mark with Anne Bolyen, only to accuse her of fraud when he signed her death warrant.

While soul-marks remain popular and desired among the lower classes, to the extent that authorities have been forced to issue warnings against grifters who peddle false “marks” for sale (see ch. 5), among the upper classes they have fallen into increasing disfavour. Some believe that this is because the marks are simply not as common among the very wealthy, but others take it as the indicator of a more educated society: that while the marks undoubtedly exist, the imputation of their meaning up until now has all been fancy. The marks, they say, have no real significance, and the people who have them fall in love because they believe they ought to. A more enlightened view, they argue, points towards coincidence, perhaps a harmless contagion, or even deception by the Devil. See chapter 3 for a thorough explanation of the modern theories currently put forth by “soul-mark sceptics.”

Despite the widespread cultural, religious and social implications of the soul-marks, there has been no systematic attempt up until now to gather and organise the varying sources of knowledge we have about them, which is why this author….


~❤~ One

It was Mr. Darcy who noticed it first--or, that is, his valet did, when he came to shave him on the morning after the assembly ball. Darcy leaned back in his chair and tilted his chin; with a deft gesture, his man brushed the lather over his neck and face. Then, with a straight razor, he began removing it in smooth, even strokes, beginning on the left side of Mr. Darcy’s face, and working around to the right.

He was delicately scraping the area just below Darcy’s jaw on the right side of his face when he suddenly gasped, and the razor slipped before he pulled it back.

“Anders! What is going on?” Darcy raised a hand to the nick, and brought it back with a drop of blood on it.

“I beg your pardon, Mr. Darcy!” Anders rushed in to apply a cloth to it. “It was most inexcusable, please forgive me…. Only, I was so surprised by--Will you allow me to offer you congratulations, sir? I hope you will be very happy.”

Darcy stared at him. “Congratulations? For what?”

He coloured. “Well… for… for the mark.”

“Mark? What on earth are you talking about? What mark?”

The valet gulped, and picked up the small mirror sitting ready. “Forgive me, sir, I had assumed--but of course you would not have--how could you? Very maladroit, as the saying goes--Only it is a happy occasion, so I hope you will be pleased౼” Seeing the expression on his master’s face, he clamped his mouth shut, and held out the mirror.

Darcy frowned at his reflection, then as Anders adjusted the angle of it towards that side of his neck, he tilted his head, trained his eyes down, and౼”Dear heaven,” he muttered faintly.

There, peeking through the remains of the lather, dark against the smooth skin of his neck, a medium brown, irregularly shaped mark lay, just as if it had always been there. Darcy had only seen a few such marks in his lifetime, but he knew very well what it was. When he was younger he had indulged in dreams of acquiring one of his own, but when so many seasons passed without… His gaze narrowed on the roundish shape. It didn’t look like anything in particular, of course, except now that he thought about it, the shape did rather resemble౼

“Finish,” he said shortly, leaning his head back and staring at the ceiling. He knew very well what that mark resembled. It resembled a woman’s lips. It resembled a kiss.

Anders completed the shave in silence, and when Darcy dismissed him immediately afterwards, he did not protest, only gathered the shaving water and brushes and other equipment, and withdrew, leaving Darcy cravat-less and coatless, but alone.

Standing, Darcy went to the large mirror, and subjected the mark to further scrutiny. There was a sense of unreality. How could this have happened now, of all times, and at all places? It must have been the assembly last night--but that was impossible! How could there have been a woman there for him? Could it really be that his… soul-mate had been there? That he had stood near her, spoke to her, looked in her eyes? Darcy quickly reviewed every female he could recall coming into contact with the night before, and shook his head. Impossible. It was impossible--and yet, here the mark was, looking for all the world like it had been left by a lover’s embrace.

Someone pounded on the door, and Bingley’s voice called, “Darcy! Darcy, can I come in?”

Catching up a clean cravat Anderson had laid out, he wound it quickly around his neck before going to open the door. Bingley burst through. “Darcy! Look! Look!” He thrust his arm in Darcy’s face.

“Bingley!” He batted it away.

“No, Darcy, I mean it, look.” He pointed to a spot on his forearm, exposed by a rolled-up sleeve. There, to Darcy’s bemused amazement, was a reddish-brown mark that looked vaguely like a feather, or a leaf perhaps. Bingley beamed. “It was there this morning. It must have been there last night too, only I didn’t see it! It’s Miss Jane Bennet, it must be. Oh, I knew she was the loveliest creature imaginable!”

“Now, Bingley౼”

“I’m going to call on her this morning. Will you come with me?”

“I’m not sure that it is the best౼”

Bingley frowned at him in confusion. “Don’t you understand, Darcy? It’s a fate mark! A soul mark! It means I’ve found my perfect soul mate, and Miss Bennet is the only woman I met last night that౼”

“I know perfectly well what it is; I have seen them before. I only think you ought to be cautious about making assumptions, about Miss Bennet, or the significance of the mark. It would not do to trust too implicitly in this idea of fate, Bingley. When you come down to it, it’s just a mark, and any further meaning comes from us, not it.”

Bingley looked crestfallen. “Do you mean to say that soul-marks are not real?”

“Well, obviously they are real, but as to what they actually are౼”

“Every couple I’ve ever known who had soul marks were extremely happy. They all said the marks were right, and they were perfectly suited for each other.”

“Yes, of course if you believe that you are perfect, then you will probably౼”

“You can’t expect me to ignore this! I can’t just… pretend it doesn’t exist.”

Darcy sighed. “No, I know you will not be able to do that. And I do not mean to say that you should not discover who, but be cautious in committing yourself, I beg you! You must attempt to be rational.”

He grinned. “I’ll wager that you wouldn’t be half so rational if it were you! Very well, I will try to be cautious, but you must come with me to the Bennets! It will be the best place to start, anyway.”

Darcy wondered what he would do if it turned out that Miss Jane Bennet had a soul mark matching Darcy’s. She had been the best looking woman at the ball last night, after all. Though--he frowned--she smiled too much.

Sitting in the Bennets’ parlour a few hours later, though, he could observe for himself that all five of the Bennet sisters had pale, unblemished necks. He felt an initial sense of relief until he saw, there on Jane Bennet’s slender hand, the fern-leaf mark that matched Bingley’s. It was then that he remembered that just because the shape of the mark was the same, it did not mean the location of it would also be the same. Unless his--match, for want of a better term--had her mark on her face, neck or hand, he might have no way of identifying her. Not without publicising his own mark, that was, and Darcy had no intention of doing that.

Bingley, of course, was delighted. He had already, with many apologies, removed his coat and rolled up his sleeve to display his mark. Miss Bennet blushed, they both beamed, Mrs. Bennet exclaimed, the younger girls squealed, and Darcy would have been glad to beat a hasty retreat. Inadvertently, he found himself catching Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s eye. She looked arch, amused, and challenging. Coldly, he withdrew his gaze and turned it back to his friend. The danger to Bingley was acute. He would have to be very vigilant in watching out for his gullible friend.


~❤~ Two

Miss Elizabeth Bennet did not discover her mark until more than a week after the assembly ball. It was Sarah, the maid, who noticed it. Elizabeth had called for a hip bath, and as Sarah approached to empty a pitcher of warm water over her, she gasped. “Oh, Miss Lizzy!” she cried. “You’ve got it! You’ve got the angel kiss!”

Elizabeth looked over her shoulder. “Angel kiss? What do you mean?”

“It’s what we always call those soul-marks, miss. And if it doesn’t look just like a kiss! You’ve been blessed for sure, you and Miss Bennet. It’s got to be a sure sign of good luck, to both get marks, and so close together!”

Elizabeth had turned rather pale. “Where is it?”

“There, below your shoulder.”

She was quiet for a moment. “You’d better finish rinsing me off, Sarah.” Sarah did, then helped her out of the bath and into a dressing gown. Silently, she went to her mirror, pulled the dressing gown off her shoulder and turned until she could see its reflection. It was there, just above her shoulder blade, like a dark, almost bruising kiss--just as Sarah had said. How long it had been there, she could not say; she usually washed alone, and would have no cause to be studying her back in the mirror. The rest of the time, it had been covered by her shift.

“Sarah, would you find Miss Bennet and ask her to come to me here? And say nothing to anyone else!” She looked sternly at the excited maid.

“Oh, yes, Miss Lizzy! At once!” Sarah ran off.

Elizabeth dried her hair as she studied the reflection. Her heart pounded with excitement, but her native cynicism urged caution. This would not be as simple for her as it had been for Jane. She had no Mr. Bingley just waiting to claim her, as there was no other eligible man they had met recently. She had no idea who her match could be.

Jane appeared in a few minutes with Sarah, who scurried in after her, grinning from ear to ear.

“Yes, Lizzy, you needed me?” Elizabeth made a face at her, and showed her the mark. Jane gasped with delight. “Oh, Lizzy! How perfectly wonderful!” She embraced her. “We shall be happy together, both of us!”

“Well, I hope you may be right,” laughed Elizabeth. “Only there is a small difficulty. I have no idea who the man might be.”

“Well, he must be--he must be౼” Jane frowned in consternation. “He must be a gentleman of exceptional character!”

“No doubt, but how shall I find him?”

“You have only to think of who you met recently.”

“You have hit upon the very nature of the problem: I haven’t met anyone new, not since the assembly. Unless--oh dear, do you think it could be a man I just happened to pass on the street? Would brushing up against him be enough to trigger it? And if it is, how shall I ever find him again?” She looked at her sister with wide eyes. “Jane, do you think it’s possible there may be people all over England walking around with fate-marks concealed under their clothes, and no idea whatsoever how to find the person with the other one? What does one do, in such a case? Advertise in the paper?”

Jane clasped her hands. “I am sure we can find a simpler solution than that. There cannot be so many eligible men in Meryton, after all--if it even was there that you met him! Or perhaps he may come looking for you, like Bingley came for me. Any man must do that, do you not think? Once he knows he has his soul-mate nearby, he will not give up until he has found her.”

“I hope you might be right.”

“I know I am. Now, let us think about this logically.” Jane ushered Lizzy to the dressing table, and took up the brush to begin brushing out her damp curls. Sarah hovered in the background, trying to keep inconspicuously busy long enough that they would not send her away. “You said the last time you met someone new was at the assembly.”

“Yes.”

“And when is the last time you can be sure that you did not have your mark?”

Elizabeth frowned uncertainly.

“I helped you bathe a fortnight ago, and you didn’t have it then,” volunteered Sarah, then shut her mouth.

“Thank you, Sarah. So you have had it at most for two weeks, and very likely less time than that. It does sound rather like the assembly, Lizzy.”

“No, that’s impossible. Mr. Bingley and his party were the only new people that night; I knew everyone else, I think, or had at least attended assemblies with them before. Since then, there has been that dinner at the Golding’s, and we played cards at my aunt’s house; she didn’t have anyone new there, did she?”

Jane coughed delicately. “There is one possibility you are forgetting.”

“Who? Don’t say it’s the butcher’s cousin, Jane, for I shall think it a very low blow if you do.”

“Well… Mr. Bingley was not the only eligible gentleman in his party that night.”

Elizabeth looked at her in bewilderment.

“Mr. Darcy, Lizzy. I mean Mr. Darcy.”

Sarah gasped with excitement.

Elizabeth started to laugh. “I take back what I said about the butcher’s cousin! That was the low blow! Mr. Darcy indeed! As if I could ever have anything in common with such an unpleasant, arrogant man! If I thought he had my matching mark, I would hide mine and never admit to its existence.”

“He is Mr. Bingley’s dearest friend, and I am sure he would never show such esteem to a man who did not deserve it.”

“With all of Mr. Bingley’s excellent and amiable qualities, I cannot think him a discriminating man. His general good will is one reason he is such a perfect match for you, my dear, kind-hearted sister. However, I fear I am not nearly so tolerant. I would not be able to overlook Darcy’s faults as your beau does.”

“Still, I think you ought to consider it, Lizzy. He does watch you a great deal, you know.”

“I suppose he might find me slightly less objectionable than our sisters--or slightly more. I have often observed him watching other young women too, when we are in company. He seems to prefer observation to conversation.”

“Do you not think that is consistent with a man who is trying to find his soul-match?”

“I suppose. But as he has said nothing of the kind himself, I am not convinced. No, my lover must be a man of mystery for now.”

“Perhaps once he hears about your fate mark, he will…”

“No!” Lizzy’s eyes widened in alarm. “No, no, no! On no account must you tell anyone of this! Or you, Sarah!” She darted a stern glance at the maid. “You must promise me you will say nothing! My mother, especially, must not learn about it.”

“But Lizzy, how can you expect him to find you if he does not know?”

“If we are actually fated to love each other, then it shouldn’t be a problem. Mr. Bingley came straight to you, didn’t he? He was already more than half in love with you, after a single evening. Well,” she tossed her head, “when my soul-match is more than half in love with me, he may come and ask me, and then I will tell him. Until then, I do not wish to be the subject of gossip and speculation. I could not bear it, Jane! To hear Mama ask every young man she meets if he has my matching fate mark? I would do anything rather than endure that!”

Jane patted her hand. “Very well, dearest. I will say nothing--and I am sure that Sarah will keep the secret too. But be merciful, Lizzy. Whoever he is, he must be just as nervous and uncertain as you.” She smiled gently. “If you frighten him away, he might not dare to approach you at all, and then where would you be?”

Elizabeth laughed. “Am I so fearsome, then?”

“To a man in love, I think you could be very fearsome, yes.”



~❤~ Three


They met at the Lucas’s two days later. Elizabeth looked up from her conversation to find him standing nearby and watching her, and a sudden consciousness warmed her cheeks. Jane’s theory was absurd, but still….

Refusing to be intimidated, she turned towards him. “You appear to take an eager interest in lady’s fashions, Mr. Darcy.”

He shrugged. “No man who has been much in society can avoid such conversations. It is a subject upon which ladies are always animated.”

“Yes, but I am surprised that you would willingly stay to listen, when you might easily escape.” He did not reply, and after a moment she continued. “You are a participant in the London season, I am sure. Tell me, what do you think about the new long sleeves?”

His eyes flicked down to her arms, bare between her short, puffed sleeves and long gloves. “I do not think I care for them,” he said, and looked back at her eyes.

Was it her imagination, or did his gaze contain a particularly intense, searching quality? She opened her mouth and shut it again, suddenly unsure what to say.

“Your sister,” he said abruptly, and nodded towards Jane, standing next to Mr. Bingley across the room. “She seems quite… content at sharing a mark with Bingley.”

She smiled at the sight. “I would say they are both very content indeed at being matched together.”

“So it is your belief that those marks are indeed soul-marks? You subscribe to the common belief in their ability to confer attachment?”

“Confer it? I would not say they confer the attachment. Was not your friend delighted with my sister before he ever discovered his mark? And she was equally pleased with him. They did not need the marks to like each other.”

“Yes, but if the stories are correct, the marks must have appeared as soon as they met, though Bingley, at least, did not discover his until the next day. If indeed they have power, it must have been exercised over them immediately.”

“Is that what you believe౼that soul-marks, which are known as a naturally occurring phenomenon from ancient times, have some unnatural ability to cause people who would otherwise not have cared for each other to fall in love?”

“I have not said so. Rather, I was only attempting to describe the possibilities. It is important, I think, to understand the full implications of what one claims to believe, particularly in a matter so mysterious and delicate as these soul-marks.”

“Ah, I see! You are a sceptic. You do not believe that the marks have any real meaning or significance at all. You think, in fact, that your friend has been tricked into believing himself in love with my sister. Only, to whom are you to attribute this trick?” Elizabeth felt her indignation increasing as she spoke. “I can only think of one person, and that must be God Himself, since He is surely the only one capable of creating the marks. This is not very pious, sir. Does your local rector know you suspect the Divinity of such treacherous dealings?”

She thought for sure she would anger him, but he only smiled. “Again you have tasked me with opinions I have not expressed, Miss Bennet. May I say you seem to take particular pleasure in it? But I will not be provoked into agreement.”

She raised an eyebrow. “You have now disclaimed both belief and disbelief, Mr. Darcy. If your true opinion does not reside with either of those then where, pray, does it reside? What exactly do you believe about soul-marks?”

He hesitated, searching her eyes. “I don’t know,” he said at last, his voice low. “I was hoping you could tell me.”

Elizabeth’s mouth fell open, and her heart beat in her chest. Did he౼could he౼

Charlotte strode up, smiling. “My dear Eliza, I am going to open the instrument now, and you know what must follow.”

Blindly, she turned towards her friend, giving Mr. Darcy her shoulder. “You are a strange creature for a friend, Charlotte! Always wanting me to play and sing before everyone.” Beside her, she heard Darcy draw a deep breath, but she did not look at him again, could not look at him again. If she did, she would soon start to imagine all sorts of things that could not be possible.

~❤~❤~❤~

As the first strains of Miss Elizabeth Bennet’s song began, Darcy pressed his shoulders to the wall behind him, hands clenched beneath the fold of his arms, and set his eyes on her face. It was her. It had to be. There was no other woman, no lady at all among all the society here in Hertfordshire whom it could be but she.

How could this be possible? Elizabeth Bennet was nobody, nobody at all. Her father was an insignificant country gentleman, her mother was vulgar, her sisters were silly—she had no connections, nothing that would make her an acceptable match for a man such as he. She could not be his soul-mate. She could not be his match.

But she was lovely, and clever, and she sang so sweetly. And on the back of her shoulder, peeking just slightly over the lower cut of her evening gown, he had seen the very edge of a brown mark. It could be anything: a birthmark, an old burn, or even a lover’s mark in any shape whatsoever—but somehow, he did not think it was any of those. He thought he knew exactly what it was, exactly how it would look if he peeled the fabric back. He knew, and that knowledge terrified him.



~❤~ Four

Mr. Bingley had been calling very often at Longbourn, sometimes in company with his friend, but more often without. Word of his and Jane’s matching soul-marks had spread across the countryside in a matter of days, and now everyone treated them as if they were engaged already. Jane always disclaimed, with a modest blush, but Bingley never seemed anything other than pleased by it. Elizabeth was certain he would propose at the very soonest day that propriety would allow; they had known him less than a fortnight, after all. Not even soul-marks would justify an engagement on anything less than three weeks’ acquaintance.

Jane was happy. For herself, though, Elizabeth was in turmoil. The conversation with Mr. Darcy at the Lucas’s had only increased her anxiety, not lessened it. Surely, surely her mark-mate could not be a man she actively disliked, could it? Fate౼God౼could not be so capricious! For all her criticism of Darcy’s supposed impiety, she felt she was the one in true danger of blasphemy.

Jane was no help. “If he is the one you share a mark with, then there is nothing to worry about, is there? You have only to get to know him, and you will find him as perfect for you as my dear Bingley is for me!”

“But what if I don’t want to get to know him?”

“That is only because he did not make a good impression that first night. Once you have spent more time with him, you will see. He is perfectly agreeable among those he considers his friends, Mr. Bingley told me so himself. I am sure he will be even more pleasant to the woman he loves.”

Sarah was likewise unsympathetic. “I’ve never seen him myself, Miss Lizzy, but Gretchen as works up at Netherfield tells me he is ever so handsome! And so rich! They say he has ten thousand pounds a year, and a grand estate in Derbyshire. Gretchen says his man, Anders, is the finest London valet she’s ever met, and far a cut above the other servants.” She giggled. “Won’t the mistress be pleased when she finds out!”

On that depressing thought, Elizabeth set out for a walk. It was the afternoon after the party at Lucas Lodge, brisk and windy. She pulled her cloak around herself and trudged a little faster. Mentally she began to compile a list of factors both for and against it being Darcy.

For: He was the only single man she was aware of having met since she got her mark.

Against: She didn’t like him.

For: Despite his apparent contempt for company, he had been observing the local young ladies, and herself in particular, in a way that suggested he might be looking for something.

Against: He didn’t think she was pretty.

For: He initiated a conversation on the subject of soul-marks and had looked at her most particularly while doing it.

Against: Jane had asked Mr. Bingley if Darcy had a soul-mark and he said he didn’t think so.

For: There was no one else.

“Blast,” Elizabeth muttered under her breath. “Blast, blast, blast.”

“Miss Bennet!”

She swung around. Mr. Darcy was on his horse behind her. “Forgive me if I startled you,” he said. “I was just at Longbourn with Bingley.” He swung down.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Darcy.” She blinked at him.

He swallowed. “Good afternoon. Will you permit me to walk with you?”

Silently she indicated her acceptance, and he led his horse alongside her. Together, they continued along the path she had been walking.

“This is pretty country,” he said after a moment. “Have you always lived at Longbourn?”

“Yes, always. And you? Did you spend your childhood in Derbyshire?”

“I did. Until I went to Eton, of course.”

“Did you like school?”

“Not at first, but I grew to like it. You never went away to school yourself?”

“Never. I have heard your home౼Pemberley, is it? is very beautiful.”

“I certainly think it so. Did you know I have a sister?”

“No, pray tell, how old is she?”

“Only fifteen. That is the age of your youngest, isn’t it?”

“Yes, Lydia is fifteen. Is she your only sibling, or have you a younger brother or two?”

“No brothers. In that we are alike. Did you like having so many sisters?”

“Sometimes. We had capital adventures when we were young. Preparing for parties is still a great deal of fun, though I daresay my poor father might disagree with me. I don’t suppose your sister manages to be very loud, as there is only one of her?”

He smiled. “No, loud is not an adjective generally ascribed to Georgiana. What are your favourite books?”

“I’m afraid I am very much a creature of impulse, and will read whatever strikes my fancy in the moment. Right now I am reading Waverly and Pope. And yourself?”

Hamlet, Easton’s Geography of China, and an agricultural journal.”

“I read a geography of China last year, though it was not by Easton, I think. It was fascinating, and also a bit difficult to believe. Do you think they can really have a single wall that extends over thousands of miles?”

“I see no reason to doubt it. It is an astonishing achievement, but by no means impossible. The Chinese civilization is even older than ours, after all.”

“Perhaps you are right. Does governing such a large estate take a great deal of your time? From what I gather from my father, land management can be a vexing business.”

“I have an excellent steward so most of the vexation is his, but I do my best to stay informed, on both the condition of the estate and on modern theories of agriculture and animal husbandry౼your question pertains to the journal, I presume?”

“Certainly. Its purpose for a man such as yourself seems obvious.”

He nodded. “Have you ever been to London?”

“Many times. My mother’s brother, Mr. Gardiner, lives there, and I have often stayed with him and his wife.” She glanced sideways at him. “They are not people that you would know. My uncle is a tradesman, and his house is on Gracechurch Street.”

His jaw clenched, but he did not say anything at first.

“They are some of my favourite people in the world,” she said to air. “Sensible, well-bred and kind.”

“I am sure they are. You must forgive me౼” He turned towards his horse. “I have tarried too long and must be returning to Netherfield. Good day.” Before she could say anything more, he was on his horse and riding away.

Elizabeth went home in bitterness of spirit.
SubjectAuthorPosted

Love from the Gods - Part 1

Suzanne OSeptember 18, 2022 10:24PM

Re: Love from the Gods - Part 1

JessySeptember 22, 2022 07:34AM

Re: Love from the Gods - Part 1

Shannon KSeptember 20, 2022 07:41AM

Re: Love from the Gods - Part 1

KarenteaSeptember 19, 2022 03:37AM



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