P&P200: Caroline’s Wedding Reflections
Caroline Bingley rolled her eyes heavenward and leant closer to her sister. “Double disaster, more like,” she whispered. Although she had no choice but to attend this farce, she did not have to make believe she liked it.
Her brother’s choice of bride was truly a disaster. He might have married a girl from one of the best families, someone who would have enhanced the prestige of the Bingley name… and perhaps added to the family’s fortune as well. What had they all been working for, after all, if not to raise themselves to where nobody would ever remember their humble origins again? Louisa had done her part, at great person sacrifice. But Charles! He was this minute throwing his one chance away on a nobody, and there was nothing she could do about it.
Caroline could not bear to watch her brother disgracing himself, but she did hazard a glance in Mr. Darcy’s direction… and a sigh. Were there any justice in the world, she would have been the one standing up beside him now, the one he was regarding so tenderly, the one to whom he plighted his highly covetable troth. It was unaccountable – and patently unfair – that after all her efforts, all her attentiveness, he should also prefer a Miss Bennet! It was not to be borne!
Had Darcy determined to marry Miss de Bourgh over herself, she might have understood, for then she would have been beaten by the undeniable claims of a noble bloodline and a superior fortune. But what did Miss Eliza Bennet have to boast of… except for those notorious “fine eyes”?
It was indeed a harsh blow, and one that was not to be recovered from anytime soon.