Mr. Darcy’s P&P POV (the abridged version)
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Chapter 19-23 –
Well, the deed is done. I have saved Bingley from a most imprudent match.
I traveled to London from Netherfield with Bingley. For me it was to escape the snare that Miss Elizabeth Bennet was becoming, and for Bingley, it was to see to some business. As I feared, part of Bingley’s business was to make inquiries as to the settlement that would be expected for a man of his means to the daughter of a country squire. My friend was indeed infatuated by the charming but otherwise inadequate Miss Jane Bennet. Miss Bingley and Mrs. Hurst, who unsurprisingly followed us to Town, were beside themselves and petitioned me most passionately to talk sense into Charles. I agreed, and the disagreeable interview was done directly.
Bingley was at first quite put out by my questioning his intentions. However, when directly interrogated about the state of Miss Bennet’s affections, he could make no answer. Apparently, he owned some uncertainty about the level of her feelings, thinking her regard sincere but unequal. His doubts increased when I honestly could not alleviate his fears of her indifference. I pointed out the certain evils of choosing a lady with undesirable connections and intolerable relations, especially without any corresponding assurance of offsetting affection and love. Bingley’s disgust of making a marriage of convenience (which mirrors my own) and his reliance on my guidance made the unpleasant task of persuading him against Miss Bennet but the work of a moment.
I know I have done a great service for my friend. I just wish I did not feel so filthy.
Georgiana is somewhat improved. I think it is because of my return to Town. She misses me so, and I delight in her company, but she is so altered from the enchanting child who danced and sang throughout Pemberley—the girl I cherished, before Younge and… him. How dare he attempt to harm me through my sister! If there is a man on this Earth I hate, it is He Who Shall Not Be Named!
I fall back into gloomy thoughts, even as Advent begins. If only Miss Bennet loved Charles! Then, I could have no real objection. If only her connections were better. If only Mr. Bennet was a baronet. If only Elizabeth—
Gad, I must stop thinking about her!
Chapter 24-27 –
Christmas and the New Year have come and gone, but London remains the same—cold, dark, and unpleasant. Oh, how I wish I had returned to Pemberley, but the snows prevented such a journey. Besides, my Fitzwilliam cousins have demanded Georgiana and my attendance quite often. The earl and countess mean well, but their constant inquiries into the state of Georgiana’s well-being have taxed my powers of civility. I know I have offended my Uncle Matlock more than once, and I came near to insulting my dear aunt. Thank God Colonel Fitzwilliam was in residence! He was able to smooth the feathers my black humor ruffled.
I must admit that I am happy Fitzwilliam is home from the wars. There is no talk of his rejoining Wellington in Spain, thank the Lord. I can only hope that the troubles with colonies do not require his attention. Fitzwilliam has done his duty. My uncle, the earl, agrees with me and is using all his influence to protect him, despite Fitzwilliam’s protests. Ah, Fitz! Courage is a fine thing, but one can tempt fate once too often! Besides, Georgiana would be destroyed should misfortune befall my cousin.
As if the dismal weather was not enough, I was unsettled to learn that Miss Jane Bennet was in London and had called on the Bingleys. Fortunately, Bingley was not home at the time, and we were able to keep knowledge of her visit from him. What can Miss Bennet mean by it? She does not care for Bingley and she cannot be friends with his sisters (as if anyone could). Throwing herself in Bingley’s way is most unseemly. I had thought such arts and allurements were beneath her. Perhaps she was put up to it by her mother. Yes, that must be it. Bingley is well rid of that family.
Gad—another ball! The Season does not begin until March, but nothing stops the matchmaking mothers of the ton! I go to please my aunt, but all the ladies there pale in comparison with a certain lovely maiden in Hertfordshire. How I wish— Stop it, Darcy. That page has turned.
I must endeavor to persevere. How did the Bard put it?
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Chapter 28 & 29 –
The only good thing about my annual Easter visit to Rosings Park is that it takes me out of London right when the Season begins in earnest. I am glad to be done with it.
Apparently, so is Bingley. I have not seen much of my friend. He is in the north, in Scarborough, visiting family. I had thought he would lose himself in parties and balls in Town, in search of a new angel. That is certainly Miss Bingley’s idea, assuming that he does not fulfill her great desire of a match between her brother and my sister. I have no great opposition to such an eventuality, but only after Georgiana has been presented, and that is years away. By then, surely Bingley will be settled, and there is an end to all of Miss Bingley’s scheming. I know her true desire is to make Georgiana her sister by other means, and that shall never happen!
Still, a visit to Rosings is a high price to pay for escaping the clutches of the ton. My Aunt Catherine is sure to continue her campaign for a union of Rosings and Pemberley. I grow weary of the battle. Fitz says I should just declare my intention of never marrying my cousin Anne. One day I shall, though I dread my aunt’s reaction. I do own some affection for the old battle-axe. Sigh! Weeks of boring conversation lie before me.
Fitzwilliam is in a talkative mood, and we spend the hours in my carriage in conversation. He asks of Bingley’s dark mood, and I detail the service I performed for him, leaving out all names, of course. I know I have done right by my friend, but I wish no harm to the Bennets. It would be unfortunate indeed should word get back to them.
Ah, Rosings is in sight. Buck up, old boy. Let us be thankful for what we are about to receive.
TO BE CONTINUED…
It takes a real man to write historical fiction, so let me tell you a story.