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Excerpt from Sweet Caresses – a letter written by Darcy to his sister Georgiana while he was staying at Netherfield Park.
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Netherfield Park, Hertfordshire
October --, 1811
My greetings this time come not only from me, but also from the other residents of Netherfield. Bingley wishes to extend an invitation for you to visit as well. I have informed him that you insisted on returning to Pemberley and have given your excuses, but he still wishes me to make it known that you may certainly join us if it is your desire to do so.
I must also pass along regards from Miss Bingley. She has said twice since I began this letter how much she wishes me to inform you. It is now my intention to write of anything which shall distract me from the eyes that are constantly upon me while here at Netherfield. You know how I dislike the attention.
As you might have guessed, we have made many a call to the local neighborhood in the few weeks since my arrival. You already know of the assembly we attended, as I wrote of my dancing four times in my last letter. Bingley and I were able to attend a dinner with the neighborhood gentlemen as well as the militia that are quartered here for the winter, and we returned to find that Miss Bingley’s guest for supper was ill. A room was prepared and she has remained here these last few days to recover. Bingley is all excitement as it is the angel of which I wrote about before that has caught his attention.
What a shock it was the following morning when, despite the puddles left by the rain the previous evening, Miss Bennet’s younger sister, Miss Elizabeth, arrived on foot. Miss Bingley is still talking of the six inches of mud on Miss Elizabeth’s petticoats. You should have seen Miss Bingley’s face when I said Miss Elizabeth’s features were only brightened by the exercise. I need not mention in too much detail how much like a codfish she may have looked.
Speaking of Miss Bingley, I have been asked to include how quite in raptures she is with your beautiful design for a table and that she thinks it infinitely superior to Miss Grantley’s table. I take it you have sent Miss Bingley a drawing of your project? Perhaps you could lend your artistic touch to the old table in the blue sitting room. It is full of scuffs and Mrs Reynolds has asked if I wish it to be sent out for repair. If you wish, you may inform her of my decision to let you paint it instead.
I apologize for my distraction in completing this letter. I place the blame on Miss Elizabeth as she has turned her teasing manner against Miss Bingley and it has been a pleasure to attend to the conversation the last few minutes. Now, however, it is time I retire, so I will continue my letter another time.
Once again we have had a pleasurable evening in the sitting room after supper. I thought reading the book you sent to me would be distraction enough from Miss Bingley’s attentions, but instead it only made me the focus of her inept attempts at discussing what I read.
Now I must find more on which to write, otherwise I fear I may be expected to attend to every whim of my hostess. She has decided to take a turn about the room. This may be enough of a distraction for my hand to rest for a few moments without Miss Bingley’s constant insistence on mending my quill.
Miss Elizabeth is severe in her teasing. So much so that she reminds me, though maybe just a little, of our cousin. You know the colonel could never pass up an opportunity to raise my ire, but the manner in which he does so leaves me with less of a desirable outcome than Miss Elizabeth. I know you will wish to hear an example of her teasing, so here it is.
I said, “The wisest and the best of men, nay, the wisest and best of their actions, may be rendered ridiculous by a person whose first object in life is a joke.” Miss Elizabeth’s reply was, “Certainly, there are such people, but I hope I am not one of them. I hope I never ridicule what is wise or good. Follies and nonsense, whims and inconsistencies do divert me, I own, and I laugh at them whenever I can. -- But these, I suppose, are precisely what you are without.”
It has given me quite the chuckle as I am certain she only teases to prove herself superior to Miss Bingley. It does not take much. As you can see from just this simple exchange, Miss Elizabeth has captured my attention with her teasing manner. Perhaps this is not something I should be speaking of to my little sister, but I cannot help but think of how changed our lives could be if, perhaps, we had someone like her in our family.
Nevertheless, it is time I retire for the evening. My objective in writing you this letter has been fulfilled in that it has kept Miss Bingley from constantly being at my side or wishing to speak of books she has not read. If only it could keep Bingley from his plans to have a ball. He is quite settled on sending around his cards as soon as the white soup has been prepared.
I await your return letter, knowing you will tell me of your own pleasures at Pemberley during this autumn season. Perhaps we should speak soon of our intentions for Christmas. Do you wish to remain there, or would you rather visit London?
Ever your brother,
What a fun and revealing letter from Darcy! I can only imagine what was going through Georgiana's mind as she read this letter. Wouldn't it have been diverting to have witnessed her reading of it?
Thank you for sharing the excerpt/letter with us Sarah. I am ready to continue with the rest of the story now!
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The giveaway is for one eBook of Sweet Caresses and it is international. Leave a comment, along with your contact info, to be included. We would love to hear your 'share in the conversation'. What do you think of this letter? Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM 6 August, 2015. Winner should be aware that eBook will not be sent until after the 10th of August. Thank you and Good luck to all!