The Writer's Block
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The Writer's Block
Teatime with Austen
Changed Hearts at Rosings Park - P&P, Regency
Topic: Changed Hearts at Rosings Park - P&P, Regency (Read 8641 times)
Changed Hearts at Rosings Park - P&P, Regency
February 10, 2011, 12:08:45 PM »
Changed Hearts at Rosings Park
Lady Catherine was more than a little hard of hearing, but not a word of complaint was to be heard from her daughter, Anne, or nephews, Fitzwilliam Darcy and Colonel Fitzwilliam, as her deficit often worked to their advantage, especially when attending Sunday services.
Although Richard was a military man, he had gone to church without a plan—not so William and Anne. Upon entering the vestibule of the old stone church, Darcy and his petite cousin had hung back just long enough so that Lady Catherine had reached for the colonel’s arm to escort her to the de Bourgh family pew, and it was Richard who had to sit next to the grande dame of Rosings Park. With an additional degree of separation provided by Anne’s companion, Mrs. Jenkinson, it was possible for the pair to talk freely.
At the best of times, Anne knew well that William had great difficulty sitting still. So the length of a church service was a test of endurance for him, and it showed on his face.
“William, the service has barely begun, and you already have a furrowed brow.”
Darcy had heard similar comments from his nurse and mother from the time he was a little boy. He was convinced that he had come out of his mother’s womb frowning, and since it was something imposed on him by Nature, he ignored Anne’s remark.
“I am sure I know that man,” Darcy said, staring at Mr. Collins. “Yes, I do know him. I met him while I was visiting with Charles Bingley at his new country house. Mr. Collins is related to the Bennet family, and I was frequently in their company during my time in Hertfordshire. But I had no idea he was your mother’s new vicar.” There was a reason why Darcy did not know it. He was an expert at identifying—and avoiding—those who engaged in tedious discourse, and he had recognized that flaw in Mr. Collins merely by walking past him at Sir William Lucas’s home. “If I had known that that man was Lady Catherine’s pastor, I would have arranged my visit for Monday through Saturday, thus avoiding him altogether.”
“With Dr. Anglum retired, I am surprised that you did not do it anyway,” Anne whispered, aware of William’s intolerance for preaching in general. He was always mumbling under his breath, “Get to the point. Get to the point.”
“Mr. Collins has recently returned from Hertfordshire where he visited with his cousins and came back with a wife,” Anne said while looking straight ahead, so as not to attract her mother’s attention.
“And who is this wife?” Darcy asked with some alarm.
“She sits over there,” and Anne nodded in Mrs. Collins’s direction. “Her maiden name was Charlotte Lucas, and my mother and I like her very much. I enjoy her conversation while Mama appreciates her frugal housekeeping and her deference to rank. She is a sensible woman and a good helpmeet to Mr. Collins, and his parishioners have made her welcome.”
“Let us hope that some of her good sense rubs off on her husband.”
Although Lady Catherine could not hear the two cousins, Colonel Fitzwilliam could, and he was doing his best to find out what they were talking about. Because he was being left out of the conversation, he kept leaning forward in an attempt to eavesdrop, and his actions had drawn the attention of his aunt, who pulled him back by his coat. Finally, Lady Catherine tapped the floor with her cane, indicating her disapproval for whatever was going on, thus bringing Anne and Darcy’s conversation to an end.
As soon as the service was over, the colonel, another notorious fidgeter, was out the door, quickly followed by Darcy.
“What were you and Anne talking about?” the colonel asked as soon as the cousins had emerged into the daylight.
Richard looked disappointed. “Oh bother! I thought it was something interesting.”
“The reason we were talking about the parson is because I have previously met his wife, and it would be impolite not to acknowledge the acquaintance.” Darcy gave his cousin a long look to let him know that it would be rude of him as well not to seek an introduction.
“Because you are seeking her out, I may assume that she is not as tedious as her husband,” the colonel said, and the pair made their way over to the former Charlotte Lucas.
“Mrs. Collins, may I offer my congratulations on your marriage,” Darcy said, after introducing the colonel. “For the past two months, I have been at my estate in Derbyshire, and I did not know that you and Mr. Collins had married. My source for such information would have been Mr. Bingley, but he is a reluctant correspondent. But then so am I.”
“Thank you for your good wishes, Mr. Darcy. Since you and Mr. Bingley have not been corresponding, you may not have heard the latest news from Meryton. Even so, I am confident it will come as no surprise when you hear that there is every expectation that Miss Jane Bennet will soon become engaged to your friend, Mr. Bingley.”
“No surprise at all,” Darcy said, smiling. “Because Bingley is not one to hide his joyful countenance under a bushel, I knew of his high regard for the lady, and I congratulate him on making an excellent match. I am quite sure that they will be happy as their tempers are so alike, and both are so complying, that nothing will ever be resolved between them,” and Charlotte nodded in agreement.
“And Mr. and Mrs. Bennet, they are well? And Miss Bennet’s sisters are in good health?” Darcy asked.
Charlotte had been anticipating a question about the Bennets, but doubted very much that Mr. Darcy was interested in the senior Bennets or in Lydia, Mary, or Kitty. His questions were merely a roundabout way of finding out about Lizzy. During his time in Hertfordshire, his interest in her friend had been too marked to go unnoticed, except, that is, by Lizzy. Charlotte had tried to convince her friend that Mr. Darcy admired her, but her efforts met with little success. Lizzy insisted that not only did the gentleman not admire her, but that he actually disliked her. She had supported her argument by reminding Charlotte of their barbed exchanges during her stay at Netherfield Park. Lizzy made particular mention of Mr. Darcy’s remarks concerning what constituted an accomplished lady. The gentleman had agreed with Caroline’s extensive list of requirements for anyone to be worthy of such praise, including a knowledge of music, singing, drawing, dancing, and the modern languages, to which Mr. Darcy had added “an improvement of her mind through extensive reading.”
Elizabeth considered herself to be competent on the pianoforte. She had a pleasant voice, danced well, and drew adequately. But with the exception of dancing, she did not consider herself to be a proficient in any discipline. As far as the modern languages were concerned, her French was sketchy and her German non-existent, and she read for amusement and not for the improvement of her mind, which she recognized as something of a personal failing. Even so, she had been hurt by Mr. Darcy’s remark. Because had not given herself the trouble of practicing on the pianoforte or devoting herself to the many hours required to master a foreign language, his pointed comment had found its mark.
Charlotte agreed with Lizzy that a degree of tension existed between Mr. Darcy and her, but she had arrived at a completely different conclusion as to its cause.
“As far as I know, all of the Bennets are in good health,” Charlotte answered, “but we shall be able to learn that for ourselves as Elizabeth Bennet will be arriving on Tuesday for a month’s visit.” The gentleman’s expression told Charlotte everything she needed to know about the source of unease between Lizzy and Mr. Darcy.
That evening, after dinner, the three cousins and Lady Catherine gathered in the reception room of Rosings Park. Darcy disliked this room more than any other in the manor house. With its dark colors and monstrous tapestries, depicting violent tales from Greek mythology, it was the antithesis of Pemberley with its airy spaces and soft colors. To make matters worse, it was an absolute cavern with the same unique acoustics as St. Paul’s whispering gallery. A person might need to shout to someone sitting nearby, but could hear a whisper from across the room, a unique quality that was well known to Anne and her cousins, but not to most visitors. The great lady proved this architectural anomaly by bellowing to those sitting across from her the subject she wished to discuss: Mr. Collins’s homily on the importance of marriage. As was the case with every sermon, it had been read, edited, and approved by the great lady before the parson had been allowed to climb into the pulpit and preach on it.
“Richard, why have you not married?” his aunt asked. “Whenever I am in London, everyone speaks of my handsome nephew, Colonel Fitzwilliam, and how dashing a figure you are in your regimentals.”
The colonel grumbled. This question would never be asked of her other nephew, and Richard knew the reason why. For years, it had been Lady Catherine’s fondest wish that Fitzwilliam Darcy marry Anne, but the matter had been finally and irrevocably settled last Easter when both Anne and William had informed her that their love was of a fraternal nature and that they would never wed.
“Your name is mentioned along with the daughters of some of England’s finest families,” Lady Catherine continued. “Why is it that you have not chosen a bride from among them?”
“If you are referring to Anne Stockbridge, Aunt, please have mercy. Surely, I may have a wife who is better looking than my horse.”
“That was unkind,” his aunt said, but even she couldn’t suppress a smile at his comment because of the truth of it.
“Additionally, as you well know, I must marry someone who is well dowered. Except for the ridiculously small annuity left to by my dear Papa, everything else went to Antony, who manages his money as well as the Prince Regent manages his allowance.”
“Please do not be disrespectful of the prince, Richard. He now reigns in his poor father’s place and merits our fealty and respect.”
“One has to be worthy of respect before one can be disrespectful,” Richard muttered, but then gave his aunt a big smile so that she might think he had agreed with her. “As to the matter of my marriage, this year’s crop of debutantes was not the best. Of course, I am speaking of their lack of dowries sufficient to meet my habits of expense. It is a problem because I will shortly be resigning my commission.”
“Why?” Anne and Lady Catherine chimed in as one.
“Because the beast has been slain. Napoleon is now the Emperor of St. Helena, a god-forsaken island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. All talk is now of peace, and rightly so, but a peacetime army is the killer of careers.”
“Caroline Bingley is available.” Darcy suggested. “Her brother tells me that upon her marriage she is to inherit £20,000.”
“But what would I do for money during the second year of our marriage?” Richard answered, and Lady Catherine chuckled at his remark. “Besides, she only has eyes for you, Darcy.”
“And who is Miss Caroline Bingley?” Lady Catherine asked.
“An attractive and accomplished lady who is the sister of my good friend, Charles Bingley, whom you have not met,” and never will, Darcy thought. His aunt regarded people like the Bingleys as the thin edge of the wedge, parvenus whose sole purpose in life was to marry into families of Britain’s elite.
“Surely, you would not be tempted, Fitzwilliam,” Lady Catherine said. “Women of the middling sort use their arts and allurements to make a man forget what he owes to himself and to his family. In subtle ways, this person may very well try to draw you in, and, therefore, you must be on your guard.”
Subtle ways? Darcy thought. There was nothing subtle about Caroline Bingley. Her desire to become Mrs. Darcy was embarrassingly obvious, and her sharp tongue, used on anyone who interfered in the pursuit of that goal, was a lethal weapon. “Ma’am, I may safely promise you never to marry Miss Bingley.”
Anne, who had said nothing, watched her cousins in amusement. As much as Richard talked about money, he really did want to marry for love. After watching the disaster that was his brother’s arranged marriage to the daughter of an earl unfold over a dozen years, he had told Anne in confidence that he would be prepared to give up a great deal in order to marry a woman who would speak to his heart.
William was another matter. He was a walking contradiction. He placed a great deal of emphasis on status, but had befriended Mr. Bingley, the son of a man who had made his fortune in trade. A handsome dowry would definitely be welcomed, but not if the bearer was Caroline Bingley. Although he expected a great deal from his sister by way of accomplishments, he had walked away from a possible courtship with Miss Letitia Moreland, who had the voice of an angel and was considered to be one of the finest musicians in London, and beautiful as well. So Anne would very much like to know what was required of the lady who would capture Fitzwilliam Darcy’s heart.
* * *
Charlotte and Elizabeth were walking the grounds of Rosings Park when they saw two horsemen riding in the direction of the parsonage.
“Do you know those gentlemen, Charlotte, as I believe they are here to pay a call on you?”
“Yes, the gentleman on the roan is Colonel Fitzwilliam, the younger brother of Earl Fitzwilliam and a great favorite of Lady Catherine’s, and you already know the man on the black horse. It is Mr. Darcy.”
“Oh, I had forgotten that Mr. Darcy is Lady Catherine’s nephew,” Lizzy said in an unconvincing voice.
“You cannot fool me, Lizzy. Mr. Collins mentions the connection between aunt and nephew at least once a day. But may I ask that you wait here and engage the gentlemen in conversation so that I might run ahead and ask Cook to make some tea. And, Lizzy, please do be kind to poor Mr. Darcy.”
“Poor Mr. Darcy!” she called after her retreating friend. “You mean, poor Elizabeth. But I shall be all politeness as I can see that the gentleman he has brought with him is very handsome.”
Upon seeing Elizabeth, the two men dismounted and approached with reins in hand. “Miss Elizabeth, may I introduce my cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, of the Royal Fusiliers.”
Yes, please do introduce him, Lizzy thought. What a handsome man: golden hair, cornflower blue eyes, and an excellent build. Of course, the reason why he was in the army was because he was the younger son of an earl and would have limited financial resources. Well, maybe they could spend time together commiserating about their poverty and limited prospects. Actually, any subject would do.
“After church on Sunday, Mrs. Collins mentioned that you would be visiting,” Mr. Darcy began.
“And you came anyway, Mr. Darcy? Into the breach, so to speak?”
Darcy started laughing. “I can assure you that it is no hardship on my part, Miss Elizabeth, and, Richard, this is probably a good time to warn you of Miss Elizabeth’s rapier wit and incisive comments. She will always have the upper hand in any conversation, so be prepared to concede defeat.”
“Colonel Fitzwilliam, your cousin will give you a very pretty notion of me. I am particularly unlucky in meeting with a person so well able to expose my real character in a part of the world where I had hoped to pass myself off with some degree of credit.” Turning to Mr. Darcy, she continued, “You should be more careful, sir, as such comments will provoke me to retaliate. But for the time being you are safe as here is Charlotte with some refreshments.”
During tea, Elizabeth shared the news of Jane and Charles’s approaching engagement with the gentlemen. “I have come from London where my sister and I were staying with my mother’s brother and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Gardiner of Gracechurch Street. A frequent visitor to their home was Mr. Bingley, and he made it quite plain that as soon as Jane returns to Longbourn, he will be hard on her heels so that he might ask my father for her hand in marriage.” Lizzy looked to Mr. Darcy to see how he would receive word that his friend was to marry her sister.
“Mrs. Collins mentioned that such news would shortly be forthcoming, and I am very happy for my friend and your sister. They complement each other greatly.”
Was Mr. Darcy really pleased by Charles’s choice of wife, Lizzy wondered? Wasn’t this the same gentleman who had told his friend that he would not dance with any of the local beauties at the Meryton assembly? His exact words still echoed in her mind: “At an assembly such as this, it would be insupportable. There is not another woman in the room whom it would not be a punishment to me to stand up with,” which, of course, included Lizzy and Jane.
“I shall write to Bingley directly and offer him my congratulations,” Darcy said.
From the warmth of his statement, Lizzy had to believe that Mr. Darcy was sincere in offering his good wishes. “You must be patient, Mr. Darcy. There is the matter of an official proposal to be made.”
“In that case, I shall write to my friend and encourage him to find a way to get Miss Bennet to Hertfordshire as soon as possible so that Bingley might speak with your father.”
This statement served the purpose of removing all doubt from Lizzy’s mind as to whether the gentleman approved of the match. But she wondered where this charming Mr. Darcy had been during their time together at Netherfield Park when they had crossed swords on several occasions?
After tea, Mr. Darcy accepted Charlotte’s invitation to tour the parsonage. As a child, he had often visited with the former pastor, Dr. Anglum, who had shared Darcy’s interest in Arthurian legends. At the end of each visit, the good parson would hand out sweets to the young Darcy, and it was a treasured childhood memory. While Mr. Darcy spoke to Charlotte about the parsonage’s former resident, the colonel and Lizzy went out into the garden, and they fell easily into conversation. But Charlotte noticed that whenever they passed a window, Darcy would look out into the garden.
“It is good to know that not everyone in the Fitzwilliam family despises conversation,” Lizzy said to the colonel.
“You are, of course, referring to the taciturn Fitzwilliam Darcy. With the exception of Anne, who rarely gets a word in edgewise because of her mother, William really is odd man out in our family. Miss Darcy, William’s sister, is a lively creature of eighteen years and enjoys a good conversation, my two sisters will talk your ears off, and as for my brother, Lord Fitzwilliam, it would be easier to stop a coach and six on a bend in the road than to get Antony to stop talking.”
“I am afraid my presence will only exacerbate Mr. Darcy’s reluctance to speak. We were in each other’s company quite often during his stay at the home of Charles Bingley, and in an unfortunate exchange, I made an unkind remark. He responded by accusing me of willfully misunderstanding him.”
“Well, I am surprised to hear it as he speaks very highly of you, and Darcy is very stingy with his compliments.”
“True. Very true,” Lizzy said.
“I should add that it is he who suggested that we visit today.”
“I am sure that is because he wished to speak with Mrs. Collins. She is quiet and polite, and neither argues nor debates, exactly the type of woman your cousin prefers.”
“I am not sure that I can agree with that statement as Darcy really does enjoy a good argument,” the colonel insisted. “Perhaps, the difficulty is that he is not used to having his opinions challenged by a woman. I mean by a female who is not his relation.”
“Which would account for his puzzled expression,” Lizzy said.
By that time, Mr. Darcy and Charlotte had come into the garden, and Mr. Darcy indicated that it was time for them to return to Rosings Park or their aunt would send a servant after them.
“I must take my leave, Miss Elizabeth, but…,” and turning to the colonel, he said, “I am afraid I have neglected to mention that everyone is invited to dine at Rosings this evening. Is that agreeable, Mrs. Collins?”
“Mr. Collins is at present in the village visiting with an ailing parishioner,” Charlotte explained, “but I know of no fixed engagements for this evening.”
After the gentlemen left, Charlotte asked, “What are we to make of Mr. Darcy coming to pay a call on us at the parsonage, Elizabeth?”
“I honestly don’t know,” Lizzy answered, thoroughly perplexed.
Charlotte started to laugh. “Oh, Lizzy, your expression is perfect. With your quizzical brow, you look exactly like Mr. Darcy.”
* * *
When Mr. Darcy had said that the Collinses and Elizabeth had been invited to dine, that is exactly what had occurred. No cards, no playing on the pianoforte, no after-dinner conversation. Eat, drink, and be gone.
Despite the lack of entertainment, Lizzy had found the evening to be illuminating. Lady Catherine’s conversation was more like an inquisition than polite discourse, and since she had been warned by Charlotte of Her Ladyship’s habit of poking her nose into everyone else’s affairs, it was not unexpected. It was Mr. Darcy’s responses that Lizzy found surprising.
The gentleman had remained silent during that part of the conversation when generalities were being discussed. How many sisters did Lizzy have? Four. Were any of them married? Not at the present time. Where had they been educated? At home and by their grandmother. Did her father keep a carriage and did he have a manservant? Yes and yes. Mother’s maiden name. Gardiner. Do you play the pianoforte? A little. But then the questions became more personal.
“Are any of your younger sisters out,” Lady Catherine asked.
“Yes, ma’am, all of them.”
“All of them? How very odd! The younger ones out before the elder are married!”
“But really, ma’am, I think it would be very hard upon younger sisters that they should not have their share of society and amusement because the elder sisters may not have the means or inclination to marry early. It does nothing to promote sisterly affection.”
“Upon my word,” said her Ladyship, “you give your opinion very decidedly for so young a person,” and that is when Mr. Darcy spoke.
“Which I am sure you admire, Lady Catherine, since you have frequently mentioned that you have voiced your own opinions since the time you first came out into society and how Lord de Bourgh admired you because of it. Furthermore, Miss Elizabeth mentioned that all of her sisters are out, but what she did not say is that the Bennets’ neighborhood consists of about four and twenty families and that they are all good friends of long standing. It is not as if Mrs. Bennet has given permission for her younger daughters to run wild in London, and they must stand up with their older sisters.
“As for Miss Elizabeth playing the pianoforte ‘a little,’ I must respectfully disagree. Having heard the lady play, I can say that anyone admitted to the privilege of hearing her cannot think anything is wanting. As for her voice, there is a naturalness in her expression that I find is sometimes lacking in those who have been trained by the best masters in London.”
All eyes turned, first to Lady Catherine, to hear what she would say in response to William’s speech, and then to Lizzy, when Her Ladyship chose to say nothing. They found Lizzy in a similar state, but when she did find her voice, she was so shocked that she thanked Mr. Darcy for his compliments in words that were little more than a whisper.
“Then you must come to Rosings again, Miss Elizabeth, so that we might hear you play and sing,” Anne said. William’s robust defense of Elizabeth and his showering the lady with so many compliments had piqued Anne’s interest. Was it possible that during his time in Hertfordshire that William had fallen in love? She would certainly like to think so as she liked Elizabeth very much.
“Yes, you must come, and since Mrs. Collins has no instrument at the parsonage,” Lady Catherine added, “you are very welcome to come to Rosings every day and play on the pianoforte in Mrs. Jenkinson’s room. You will be in nobody’s way in that part of the house.”
“Thank you, ma’am,” Lizzy said, and it was only her smile that prevented the nephew from saying something to his aunt.
* * *
Before Charlotte and Mr. Collins had married, Lizzy had scant time to observe the couple together, but the little she had witnessed had caused her stomach to churn. The prospective groom had fawned and cooed and attached himself to Charlotte’s side like a malignancy. It was little different at Hunsford Lodge. He wanted Elizabeth to know what she had sacrificed by refusing him, and in making his point, he had itemized everything in the house, like a shopkeeper taking inventory. But much worse than that was his habit of talking incessantly about Lady Catherine and Rosings Park, and although embarrassing, Charlotte had borne it all with dignity and equanimity—until tonight. While her husband wished to re-examine and comment upon every minute of his time spent with Her Ladyship, Charlotte was keen to talk to her friend about Mr. Darcy’s behavior during supper. In her impatience, she had rolled her eyes and drummed her fingers on the table, to absolutely no effect. The desired discussion would have to wait until morning.
When Lizzy came down for breakfast, Charlotte was waiting for her and immediately handed her her pelisse and bonnet. “We must hurry before Mr. Collins comes downstairs.” They were soon out the door, headed in the direction of a duck pond enclosed by a grove of chestnut trees where they would be safe from prying eyes.
“There is something you should know, Lizzy,” Charlotte said, as they made haste down the lane. “I am well aware that Mr. Collins can be exasperating, but I must tell you that I am perfectly content with my situation. My husband is kind, considerate, and wants me to be happy, and I want to make him happy and provide him with a comfortable home. When I left Hertfordshire, I did not know if I had made the right decision by accepting his offer of marriage, but rest assured, I know it now. You must understand that Mr. Collins knows what it is like to be a lowly, underpaid curate, and he is keenly aware that his patroness has honored him by offering him the living here at Rosings, thus accounting for his excessive praise of Lady Catherine. I know all of this, but last night I was ready to throttle him. All I wanted was for him to go to bed so that I might talk to you about Mr. Darcy, but he would not. But here we are,” Charlotte said, pointing to a bench resting in a recess between two giant trees. “Now, tell me, what do you think about Mr. Darcy’s performance last night?”
Lizzy pondered her question for a minute. “It is a good thing you did not have an opportunity to ask me about our evening at Rosings last night as I could not have given you a proper answer. But having had some time to reflect, I have come to the conclusion that Mr. Darcy thought I was in danger of suffocating under the weight of all of Lady Catherine’s questions, and as a gentleman, he sought to rescue me.”
“And it is my opinion that when Lady Catherine agreed to my practicing on the pianoforte in Mrs. Jenkinson’s room, she was actually trying to be kind. By using the instrument in the servant’s area, I could come and go as I pleased without anyone paying any attention to me. However, she did put it badly, and her voice is rather harsh...”
“Lizzy, are you deliberately being obtuse?” Charlotte asked, while interrupting her friend. “I am not talking about your practicing on the pianoforte. Did you not notice how Mr. Darcy looked at you through the whole of dinner? He was leaning over so far in your direction, so that he might hear what you were saying to the colonel that he nearly put his elbow in his soup. And you should have seen the look on his face when Lady Catherine asked you all of those questions. He frowned at her for being so nosy and smiled at you for handling yourself so well.”
“I agree that he was looking at me quite a lot,” Lizzy answered, “but this is my interpretation of his reason for doing so. While his aunt poked and prodded, he wore the same expression he did while listening to my mother itemize Jane’s attributes and talents or when Mama indicated to Mr. Bingley that his marked attention to my sister had not gone unnoticed by her. In her own way, Lady Catherine was very helpful as my mother benefits by comparison.”
“Your mother! You actually think Mr. Darcy was thinking about your mother!” an exasperated Charlotte answered. “Really, Lizzy, can you truly be so blind? Mr. Darcy admires you—greatly.”
“Charlotte, if you are inferring that his interest in me is romantic, you are very wrong, and once we return to the parsonage, I shall show you the latest copy of The Insider in which Mr. Darcy’s name is mentioned in connection with four ladies, all of the highest social standing.”
“If his name was mentioned in connection with one lady, I might agree with you, but four ladies? I don’t think so,” Charlotte said, shaking her head at her friend’s inability to see what was right in front of her face. “Mr. Darcy is not the type of person to carry on a flirtation with four ladies. In my opinion, it is one or none. And you can no longer say that Mr. Darcy does not like you as it is obvious that he likes you very much.”
“Yes, I will admit his opinion of me has changed, but for what reason, I do not know.”
“Well, you will have an opportunity to find out because I am sure we will be invited to dine at Rosings soon because if Anne De Bourgh does not see to it, Mr. Darcy will.”
* * *
Lizzy was intrigued by this new Mr. Darcy and was looking forward to seeing him at church on Sunday, but he was not there. After the service, Anne de Bourgh explained that the colonel and Mr. Darcy had gone to Briarwood, the Fitzwilliam ancestral estate in Kent, to visit with Richard’s brother, Lord Fitzwilliam.
“However, as soon as they return, Mama and I would like for you to dine at Rosings, and we shall have an evening of cards. And if you are agreeable, Miss Elizabeth, we would ask that you play a tune for us.”
Upon Darcy and the colonel’s return, the Collinses and Elizabeth were again invited to dine at Rosings, and Lady Catherine was to send her carriage for them. Lizzy immediately decided to wear her favorite dress, a green muslin trimmed in lace. Although she had worn it to the assembly, it was unlikely that Mr. Darcy would remember it as he had made a real effort not to look at her at all.
Supper was little different from the first time Lizzy had dined at Rosings, except that the questions veered from the personal back to the general: the size of Meryton, what goods were available in the shops, the number of dances at the assembly hall, the highest person of rank in the neighborhood.
“If I didn’t know better, I would think my aunt was contemplating opening a shop in your village,” the colonel whispered to Elizabeth and chuckled under his breath. “I think your best selling point was that Meryton was large enough to accommodate a milliner’s shop and that it was on the London road.”
Lizzy laughed at the thought of Lady Catherine as a shopkeeper, but she had no doubt that she would be a successful merchant. If necessary, she would have a clerk drag patrons into the shop right off the street. “Possibly a tearoom like Twinning’s might suit.”
“Lady Catherine would be a courtier,” Mr. Darcy said and smiled at their surprised looks. “In that way, she would have everyone dressing in the same manner as she did when she made her debut at the court of a young George III. In her shop, she would sell only brocade and velvet, to be trimmed with fur, and we would see the return of trains and panniers and women walking sideways through doorways as my mother once did.”
“What are you speaking of? What are you saying, Fitzwilliam?” Lady Catherine’s voice came booming across the room, startling Charlotte, who was not yet used to the unusual acoustics of the great room.
“We were speaking of the latest fashions and how we wished for a return of brocades and panels and the other folderol that my mother wore when she was young,” Richard quickly answered.
“Absolute nonsense, Richard. You care nothing for ladies fashion.”
“I was merely trying to amuse Miss Elizabeth,” the colonel countered.
“Is this true, Fitzwilliam? You were speaking of fashion?”
“Yes, Lady Catherine. We were talking about the marked differences in fashion between the generations.”
“And what did Miss Elizabeth have to say?”
“Very little,” the colonel answered. “Darcy was talking so much that she didn’t have an opportunity to offer her opinion.”
Lady Catherine harrumphed at the idea of Darcy out-talking Richard. “Well, I shall have my share of the conversation because there are few subjects of greater interest to me than fashion.”
“But among the few is music. Shall we ask Miss Elizabeth to play?” Darcy asked.
Lizzy was reluctant to oblige. At supper, she had heard nothing but praise for the superior fingering of Georgiana Darcy and Lady Catherine’s superior natural taste. But Lizzy need not have worried. Lady Catherine listened only to half a song before returning to the subject of Mrs. Collins’s meat purchases. Apparently, Her Ladyship had a spy in the village who had reported that the vicar’s wife had purchased a whole leg of lamb. With only two of them at table, according to Lady Catherine, there was no reason for such a large piece of meat. No consideration was given to other uses for the lamb or the fact that the servants had to be fed as well as ailing congregants.
The colonel drew a chair near to the pianoforte and sat down, but it was a mere moment before Mr. Darcy walked over to the instrument and stationed himself in such a way so that he had a full view of Elizabeth.
“If you mean to frighten me, Mr. Darcy, by coming in all this state to hear me, I should warn you that there is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened. My courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me.”
“You could not really believe that I have come with any design of alarming you. I have had the pleasure of your acquaintance long enough to know that you find great enjoyment in occasionally professing opinions that are not your own.”
“Your cousin will give you a very pretty notion of me, and I warn you, Mr. Darcy, that such words might cause me to retaliate.”
“I am not afraid of you,” he said, smiling.
“Oh, this should be interesting,” Colonel Fitzwilliam said. “I would like to know how my cousin behaves among strangers.”
She had been prepared to tell the colonel that he was about to hear something dreadful, but before proceeding, Elizabeth looked at Mr. Darcy, and he returned her look. There was something hopeful in his countenance that caused her to banish all thoughts of reprimanding him for not seeking introductions from amongst Mr. Bingley’s new neighbors. Instead, she provided him with a reason for not doing so.
“Perhaps, Mr. Darcy does not have the talent of conversing easily with those he has never seen before.”
“Are you saying that Darcy, a man of sense and education, is ill qualified to recommend himself to strangers?” the colonel asked in a teasing voice.
“Possibly. There are those who cannot catch the tone of a conversation as easily as some do. We cannot all be gifted conversationalists or there would be no one to listen to our opinions.”
“Miss Elizabeth, I do believe you are making excuses for my cousin,” the colonel answered.
“No, I don’t think so. It is because I know him better that I may speak with greater understanding.” Darcy looked at her in such a way that conveyed something much more than gratitude.
* * *
Lizzy was pleased with how the evening had gone. She had handled herself quite well with Lady Catherine and had sung well enough so that Her Ladyship had complimented her on her voice. She had also had an opportunity to spend some time with Anne, who was the antithesis of Lady Catherine, but Lizzy already knew that. What she had not known was that Anne De Bourgh liked to tease her mother.
The after-dinner discussion had returned to Colonel Fitzwilliam’s marriage prospects. Every nominee offered by his aunt for a walk down the aisle with her nephew was quickly dismissed with terse responses: Abigail Montesquieu was too old; Mary Kendall, too young. Alice Weatherby had overly large hands, while Catherine Allenby had scars from a childhood disease. Penelope Underwood had two left feet, etc., etc.
“Was Elspeth Tamlyn mentioned?” Anne asked. “She is beautiful and so very talented.”
Lady Catherine nearly choked on her coffee. “Over my dead body,” she said, her chest fully puffed out.
“But, Mama, it would be quite entertaining to have an actress in the family.”
“By Jove, that is an excellent suggestion, Anne,” Richard answered, and then he winked at his cousin.
“What do you think, William?” Anne asked Darcy.
“I am all for it. There are rumors that rates to Drury Lane will be raised substantially this season, and since it is likely that Richard would receive free subscriptions for all her performances, it is certainly worth considering.”
“William, have you gone mad? Do you know nothing of her reputation as a…,” Lady Catherine sputtered before she realized that the joke was at her expense. “Shame on all of you,” she said. “Mr. and Mrs. Collins, Miss Elizabeth, do you see how I am mistreated by my daughter and nephews?” All shared in a hearty laugh, except Mr. Collins, who could not imagine any circumstance that would merit laughing at his patroness.
With Mr. Darcy joining in on Anne’s joke, Lizzy saw yet another side of the gentleman from Derbyshire. Since he was completely at ease with his company, he was perfectly amiable and not averse to teasing or being teased. She liked this Mr. Darcy very much, and she thought of how much her opinion had changed since their first meeting at the assembly. But then a dark thought crossed her mind. Perhaps, she liked this Mr. Darcy too much, and since a union between the two was impossible, she felt a sadness descend. And when she looked at Anne, and then at Charlotte, she realized that the change in her feelings for Mr. Darcy was noticeable, and she promised herself that she would be more cautious and not wear her heart on her sleeve.
* * *
With Mr. Collins present at breakfast, Charlotte had been unable to say anything to Elizabeth about the previous night’s entertainment, but Lizzy’s looks spoke volumes. But what did it matter anyway? Mr. Darcy was the grandson of an earl and the lord of Pemberley Manor, and she was merely a gentleman’s daughter. An unbridgeable divide existed between them. So as soon as Charlotte and Mr. Collins departed for their weekly shopping excursion to the village, Lizzy put on her cloak and bonnet so that she might go for a long walk in the park.
Lizzy made her way to the formal French gardens that ran the entire width of the south side of Rosings. Hidden among the ornamental hedges were numerous benches where one could sit quietly, or in her case, where one could think about what it was like to be in love. And after last evening, and with the memory of Mr. Darcy’s look in the forefront of her mind, there was no doubt that she had fallen in love with the gentleman from Derbyshire.
From the moment of their first encounter in Kent, Lizzy had felt her opinion regarding Mr. Darcy beginning to change, and with each meeting, she felt something wonderful—and humbling—growing in her bosom. Unlike Jane, who had imagined herself to be in love on at least one previous occasion, Lizzy never had. Although of a romantic inclination, she was of a practical nature as well and did not allow herself to fancy a gentleman who was not in a position to provide for her. With her meager dowry and a dearth of gentlemen in the neighborhood, there were few who could entertain the thought of a courtship, except for Mr. Collins, and his proposal could not be forgotten soon enough.
With her mind burdened by the knowledge that Mr. Darcy was beyond her reach, Lizzy wandered aimlessly through the garden, paying little attention to the natural beauty around her. It was a partly cloudy day, but even with its brief appearance, the sun and the length of her walk had tired her, and so she made her way to a bench flanked by two marble angels. After removing her bonnet and using it as a pillow, she rested her head against the pedestal and soon drifted off to sleep.
* * *
From previous statements made by Anne and Lady Catherine, Darcy knew that the Collinses were creatures of habit, and that come Saturday, they would go into the village to do their shopping for the week. He imagined that going from the butcher shop to the green grocer and to retrieve the post would be of little interest to Elizabeth, and knowing of her love of Nature, he was guessing that she would prefer a walk in the park to remaining indoors at the parsonage. In fact, he was counting on it.
Two weeks earlier, when Darcy had learned from Mrs. Collins on Sunday that Elizabeth was to visit her friend at Hunsford Lodge come Tuesday, it seemed as if minutes were hours, and hours were days before he would see her. When the day of her visit had finally arrived, Darcy had cajoled the colonel into going with him to Hunsford Lodge, explaining that since Elizabeth’s sister would soon become engaged to Charles Bingley, a visit was necessary. The colonel, who was in no hurry to get back in the saddle after a lengthy morning ride, had replied, “Bingley is to marry the Miss Elizabeth’s sister? So what?”
Darcy’s response: “So what? So get your lazy frame out of that chair, and let us go to the parsonage now.” That should have been sufficient reason for the colonel to become suspicious of Darcy’s reasons for the call. But Richard had pictured a certain type of lady for Fitzwilliam Darcy, and Elizabeth Bennet did not meet those specifications.
But she certainly met Darcy’s criteria for the perfect woman. After watching her fend off Lady Catherine’s aggressive inquiries with grace, he had felt the deepest respect for her, and when she had chosen not to make him appear foolish in front of Richard, he was flooded with a feeling of warmth and good will unlike anything he had ever known. And although Darcy considered Elizabeth to be one of the handsomest women of his acquaintance, so much of her beauty shown from within—in the way she smiled and laughed and teased. He remembered the night at Netherfield when she had confessed a fondness for follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies, and he also recalled how he had dismissed such notions as things to be avoided as they invited ridicule. But he had changed his mind about that, and so many other things, almost as soon as Elizabeth had arrived in Kent.
And while visiting His Lordship at Briarwood, every moment that was not claimed by his children, Sophia and Amelia, had been spent thinking of Elizabeth and her dark eyes, flawless skin, full mouth, and lovely shoulders. His musings would have gone further if he had not, with great determination, banished them from his mind. But it was at Briarwood, during their separation, that he realized that he had fallen in love with Elizabeth, and he was both pleased and humbled by such knowledge.
Darcy desperately needed to speak with Elizabeth, and so he wandered the parkland looking for her. He was beginning to think he had guessed wrong and that she had chosen to remain at Hunsford Park, when a bit of blue cloth from her cloak caught his eye. Once he realized that she was asleep, he immediately stepped off the gravel and onto the grass. He had been admiring her lovely profile, when a slight movement by Elizabeth warned him that she was starting to awaken, and he quickly retraced his steps so that it would appear as if he was just coming down the walk.
Believing that the sound created by Mr. Darcy’s steps were those of the workers in the garden, Lizzy stood up and stretched to relieve her aching muscles acquired from maintaining such an awkward position. She was in full stretch, with her hands extended to the heavens, when Mr. Darcy appeared. She quickly dropped her hands to her side and said, “Mr. Darcy, you are not the gardener.”
“Considering that Mr. Garvey has at least twenty years on me, is a foot shorter than I am, and has gray whiskers, I am surprised that you should make that mistake.” And then Mr. Darcy smiled.
Oh, that smile, Lizzy thought. Did he have any idea of the effect it had on her? Of course, he did not. He would be surprised to learn that he had any effect on her at all, and what would he think if he knew that she had fallen in love with him? No, no, no, he must never know of it or every time she saw him, her embarrassment would be acute. She must pretend that they were indifferent acquaintances, and if she succeeded in doing so, she might have an acting career to rival that of Elspeth Tamlyn.
“Other than the lack of height and whiskers, I could easily mistake you for Mr. Garvey. At least, from a distance, let us say the length of Rosings Park.” And Lizzy smiled at him.
Oh, that smile, Darcy thought. Did she have any idea the effect it had on him? He suspected that she did. Since her arrival in Kent, his attentions had been obvious, and Anne had made mention of it. Unfortunately, she had done so within Richard’s hearing, and the teasing had been unmerciful.
“Fitzwilliam Darcy! In love with a farmer’s daughter! With every unmarried woman between the ages of sixteen and thirty trying to win your affection, you give your heart to a lady unknown to London society. And how clever of you to keep her hidden in Hertfordshire where no one would hear of your alliance,” Richard said, laughing heartily at the thought of his cousin falling so deeply in love that he was disregarding his own advice as to whom the perfect bride for Mr. Darcy would be.
“Richard, before you order the champagne for the toasts, may I point out that there is no ‘alliance.’ Elizabeth and I have not exchanged one sentence that could be interrupted as the beginning of a courtship.”
“Then get on with it, man! She is a lovely creature with an abundance of wit and charm. As your wife, she will do you credit, and just imagine the reaction of our dear aunt. Oh, feathers will fly, and heads will roll! In my book, that is worth all the trouble that will follow.”
“Anything for your amusement,” Darcy had said, but he did smile. Despite the differences in their rank, Richard and Anne had recognized Elizabeth’s many attributes, and when all was said and done, Aunt Catherine would accept her—eventually. He was quite sure of this as she would never risk an estrangement from her dear sister’s only son. But he was equally sure that, as Richard had said, “Feathers would fly.” Hopefully, heads would not roll, as he was quite comfortable with where his head was at present.
“Miss Elizabeth, do you favor a walk?” Darcy asked.
“I do, sir,” she said, accepting his offered arm.
“Shall we walk to the upper gardens? They are less formal, but I suspect that that is your preference.”
“You are correct, sir. Although Longbourn has nothing on the scale of the gardens here at Rosings, we do have a lovely area on the south side of the house. Jane, Mary, and I spend a lot of time there, and we are not afraid to get our hands dirty.”
“Which does not surprise me. I well remember the day that you walked three miles from Longbourn to Netherfield to care for your sister. It had rained that morning, and the paths were muddy, and it was quite chilly as well.”
“And I arrived with my petticoat stained with six inches of mud.”
“Ah, so you heard Miss Bingley’s remark,” Darcy said with a tone indicating his regret.
“I did. And I also heard you say that you would not allow your sister to appear in such a state.”
“That remark was unfortunate. However, if you knew something of my relationship with my sister, it might explain what appears to be a harsh comment.” With Elizabeth’s encouragement, he continued. “Five years ago, I was in the Highlands with Colonel Fitzwilliam when I received a message from Pemberley that my father was unwell. Before I could get home to Derbyshire, he had succumbed to his illness. With his death, I found myself to be the guardian of my thirteen-year old sister.
“Unnerved by the realization that any decision I made on Georgiana’s behalf might very well affect the rest of her life, I bumbled my way through the first three years of her guardianship, saying ‘no’ more often than ‘yes’ because it was easier to do that. However, as time passed, I wanted to be less of a father figure and more of a brother, and so I gave her wider latitude in what she could do. Last year, a most regrettable event occurred, in which a man who had been brought up at the Darcy expense at Pemberley, had proposed an elopement in order to secure my sister’s fortune. Fortunately, the elopement was prevented and there were no lasting consequences, but because of what had very nearly happened, I became even more guarded in my decisions regarding her. Because of what I have just related, I know that I would not have permitted Georgiana to walk from Longbourn to Netherfield, and I said as much to Miss Bingley. Taken in that context, perhaps, my statement may appear less boorish.”
“Yes, it does make a difference,” Lizzy agreed, and she nodded her head in understanding.
“Even though this information is very general, I would ask that you not repeat this conversation to anyone. The wound is still quite raw.”
“Of course, I shall honor your request. But there may be some benefit because it is possible that your sister may be a better person for her experience. I believe that we very often learn more from our mistakes than from what we do right. For instance, I was wrong to have judged you so harshly after the assembly, which led to some rather unfortunate exchanges between us at Netherfield.”
“And if I had behaved better at the assembly, no remarks would have been forthcoming in the first place.”
By that time, they had reached the very peak of the path and looked down on undulating lawn with an exquisite petite garden and a Greek temple at its heart, contrasting greatly with the formal French gardens closer to the manor house.
“My mother and Aunt Catherine were educated at a convent school near Versailles, and they spent many hours in the palace gardens. As a result, they developed a deep love for formal gardens, but when Mama married my father, he was of a different mind.”
“Ah, I see. Your mother’s preference was for the French style, while your father favored the English garden. But you have not declared your preference.”
“I must confess that I find a French garden lacking in imagination. On the other hand, Pemberley has rolling hills, bridges spanning coursing streams, lily ponds, Greek temples, and other follies to entice the visitor to explore the whole of the park, not just what one can see from the terrace.
“One time, when Richard and I were boys, we rolled down the newly hewn lawn at Pemberley, and the grass adhered to every inch of our bodies. And so we ran straightaway to the lake with the intention of stri… with the intention of striding into the water to soak our feet,” Darcy said, finishing with a sputter.
“Well, when I was a young girl, I enjoyed running without my bonnet and with my hair flying and the wind at my back, and Jane and I enjoyed ourselves immensely. Of course, it is nothing compared to your… um… striding into the water.” Darcy and Lizzy burst out laughing at his failed attempt to hide the fact that those two boys on a long-ago summer had shed all of their clothing before diving into the lake.
“But in addition to the more natural gardens that my father and I favored, Pemberley also boasts several acres of French gardens and a maze, and when you come to Pemberley, you must tell me which you prefer.”
“When I come to Pemberley? That is an unlikely event, sir,” Lizzy answered.
“To the contrary, I think it is almost a certainty,” Darcy said emphatically.
“Mr. Darcy, we move in such different circles. I do not believe our paths will cross very often.”
“Nonsense,” he said too harshly, but he was confused by this turn in the conversation. She should be pleased that he was inviting her to Pemberley, and at this point, his reasons for doing so should be evident. “I am the son of a gentleman, and you are a gentleman’s daughter. We are equal.”
Lizzy gave a slight laugh. “Yes, but some people are more equal than others.” When he appeared not to understand her remark, she continued, “Mr. Darcy, you are the grandson of an earl. Your aunt has informed me that your ancestors arrived in England with the Conqueror, and you have ties to the monarchy. Society would not look kindly on such a friendship.”
“I care nothing about what other people think,” he answered, completely dismissing her statement.
“Mr. Darcy, I thank you for your kindness. However, it would be impossible for me to accept an invitation to Pemberley, and I ask that you accept my decision without further comment.” Looking in the direction of the manor house, she continued, “I think it would be best if you returned to Rosings, and I should go back to the parsonage. I am sure the Collinses have returned from the village and must be wondering where I am.”
“Well, if that is your wish, then I shall leave.” A greatly puzzled Mr. Darcy walked toward Rosings, kicking the gravel from the path and slapping his hat against his leg in pure frustration. What the devil was that all about? Did she not understand that the reason he wished for her to go to Pemberley was so that he might make her an offer of marriage?
He came to a stop and looked back up the hill trying to catch a glimpse of her retreating figure, but then he realized that she had not moved from the spot where she had been so dismissive of his offer. Well, since she had squashed all of his hopes, he must leave Rosings. However, he must first take proper leave of her, and he retraced his steps and made his way back up the hill.
* * *
Lizzy sat in stunned silence. Because Mr. Darcy was destined to marry someone of rank and wealth, it would be inappropriate for her to accept an invitation to his home. Did he not see that? And she felt hot tears pouring down her cheeks.
Lizzy heard the crunch of the gravel. “Oh, no! Mr. Darcy is coming back.” Elizabeth turned away and dried her eyes, but it was too late.
“Elizabeth,” he said in a quiet voice. “Why are you crying?” and he sat down next to her.
As she had anticipated, a new wave of tears cascaded down her cheeks, and she accepted his offered handkerchief in order to stem the flow.
“I believe you to be a kind man, Mr. Darcy. So, perhaps, you are unaware of the possible effects that your offer may cause. In the country, if a man invites a woman to visit his home, there are expectations. I could not bear the speculation such news would invite, and when nothing came of it, I would be a source of gossip for the amusement of others. I would ask that you spare me that.”
It was then that Darcy understood the reasons for her refusal to come to Pemberley and for her tears. Without a declaration of love or a hint of a shared life together, she had viewed his offer no differently than if he had invited Caroline Bingley or the Hursts to Pemberley.
“Elizabeth, I have not been clear as to my intentions, so please allow me to do so now,” and he took her hands in his. “I love you. I love everything about you, including your dirty petticoat and your independence in walking about the countryside. I admire how you speak your mind and your impertinence and the way you handle my cantankerous aunt. I especially love the way all of your emotions are reflected in your eyes. And your smile? I cannot tell you what joy it brings. Shall I go on?”
“Yes, of course, you may go on, but first, are you really and truly in love with me?” she asked through her tears.
“Hasn’t it been obvious since your arrival in Kent? At the parsonage, I could not take my eyes off of you. At Rosings, nothing could make me leave your side while you played the pianoforte. And did you not notice how I stood out on the front portico and watched as the carriage took you away from me?” When Lizzy nodded at the memories he had painted, he continued. “Elizabeth, it is a humbling experience to give one’s heart to another, but that is exactly what I have done. And now I ask that you consent to be my wife.”
Lizzy could not find the proper words for a response as nothing was adequate to the moment, and she placed her hand over his and nodded her accent. After putting his hand on her cheek, Darcy caressed it with his thumb and brought her lips to unite with his own, and then he pulled her to him so that her head rested against his heart.
After the couple had discussed the evolution of their love and plans for their nuptials, Lizzy had a terrifying thought. What would Lady Catherine say? Oh, Lord! Had he thought about such things?
“As a matter of fact, I have. Lady Catherine must be told about our engagement. What I propose is that after your visit with Mr. and Mrs. Collins has come to an end, you will return to Hertfordshire and share our good news with your family, and I shall go to London and tell Georgiana all about you. Of course, she will want to meet you, and so I shall bring her to Longbourn where I will ask your father’s permission to marry his daughter. After that, and with fifty miles of good road between Lady Catherine and us, I shall write to her and tell her of our engagement.”
“Mr. Darcy, are you implying that you are intimidated by your Aunt Catherine?”
“Oh, no! I am not implying that at all. I am stating it straight out. My aunt will send up howls of protest and stomp about the house, pointing her cane at her unknowing servants. But Anne will write to me as soon as it is safe to return to Kent. I should think that that will occur before our fifth wedding anniversary.”
After they had stopped laughing, Mr. Darcy pulled Elizabeth to her feet and embraced her, and in that moment, the morning sun broke through the overhanging trees and showered them with its rays, and both agreed that it was a most auspicious start to their life together.
Thank you for reading my short story. Your comments below will be appreciated. Mary
Last Edit: May 02, 2011, 04:46:40 PM by Mary Simonsen
Re: Changed Hearts at Rosings Park - P&P, Regency
Reply #1 on:
April 11, 2011, 08:47:48 PM »
I loved the tenderness of the last scenes. A much more jolly relationship between the cousins than portrayed in the original.
Re: Changed Hearts at Rosings Park - P&P, Regency
Reply #2 on:
April 12, 2011, 05:21:01 PM »
I like to flesh out Anne and Richard. I've done Louisa as well in another story. Thanks again for reading. Mary
The Writer's Block
Teatime with Austen
Changed Hearts at Rosings Park - P&P, Regency
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