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Tuesday, September 21st, 2004
7:50 pm

mr_darcy
I have not written because, as I have said, I do not like to keep an account of my own thoughts. Thoughts and motives change so often that writing them down can only set up for embarrassement or frustration at a later date. Besides, my thoughts of late have been in such a muddle that I dared not try to sort it all out on paper. I suppose I feel vunerable, writing out my intermost feelings.

But I have determined (yet again) to write for Georgiana's sake, and write I shall, and make no apology for any inconsistencies held within these pages.

I was quite shocked a few weeks past when Bingley and I were riding in Meryton to see Wickham. Apparently he's taken up with the militia--the younger Bennett girls were speaking with him. I had hoped never to see him again. I cannot look at him but to cringe at his behaviour and how close he came to damaging the one person I hold so very dear. If only I could rid him from my life, if only he would stay away. I shall be on my guard now.

Bingley's ball has come and gone. I took no pleasure in all the country commoners invading the house, but bore it for the sake of my friend. I danced with Miss Elizabeth Bennet, and her conversation took a most peculiar turn. She tried to sketch my character. The pertinence she displays continues to shock me everytime we interact with one another. What possible reason could she have to figure out the depths of my character and person?
Sir William Lucas--poor man who thinks he's high in society--interrupted the dance to laugh with Miss Bennet, referring to an "upcoming event" they were all looking foward to. He looked towards someone as he spoke--towards Bingley and the elder Miss Bennet. Surely he could not mean there was a romantic attatchment between them!

Thankfully, what presumptuous persons in Meryton think is no longer an issue. We are all now safely in London, where, I hope, we shall stay for some time. I am glad Charles consented to move the household--I don't want his approving nature to cause him to fall in love with someone who so far beneath him. And for my own sake---I am glad to be away from Miss Bennet. She makes me feel like I don't know my own mind. I can't describe it really, but she discomfits me.

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7:22 pm

misselizabethb
Well, I take some small pride in the fact that my observations of the Bingley sisters have been proven right, although my dear sister is miserably unhappy just now. Mr. Bingley as gone to town on business, and (through the schemes of his sisters, I'm sure) plans to stay indefinitely. Poor dear Jane. If not for her I would be happy to see the Netherfield party gone--it means no more having to deal with Mr. Darcy.

My cousin's dinner with the Lucas family seems to have been highly profitable for him, although for Charlotte, I cannot say the same. My friend has consented to MARRY Mr. Collins.  I know that she's not romantic and dreamy as perhaps Lydia is, but truly!! How can one put SO much importance on material aspects as to induce such horrible decision that will affect the whole rest of one's life? Poor Charlotte. She cannot love him, I am sure, and she knows the great bounds of his stupidity. He's got to be one of the stupidest men in England, and yet she consents to marry him. I do not understand it. And no, unlike Mama would suggest, I am not rethinking my decision and regretting it. No indeed. But it IS astonishing to me that he should be able to secure the favourable attention of any well-thinking young lady. And, that Charlotte would accept him knowing full well that he had only just proposed to me. He's obviously not proposing because he loves the lady. Well, she has chosen, but I am sad at this turn of events because it means Charlotte and I can never be close again.

Now I have only Jane in whom to confide, and bless her--she is the one who needs a confidant now. She won't admit it, of course. She thinks that Mr. Bingley must be indifferent to her, and she is hurt by it. Oh Jane....no one in all of our connections could doubt that Mr. Bingley sincerely cares for my sister. His sisters desire him to marry Miss Darcy, and for Darcy to marry Miss Bingley. Jane capturing Mr. Bingley's heart threatened to foil their plans, that is all. I'm sure he will be back to Netherfield very soon.

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Friday, August 27th, 2004
5:03 pm

misselizabethb
I have not enough time to tell of one event before another happens!!
Quickly, now, back to the Netherfield Ball....

Miss Bingley "warned" me about Mr. Wickham. Apparently she felt his lowly descent to be a danger to me and she let me know she felt badly at the discovery of my favourite's guilt. That snobbish woman had nothing to accuse him of but being the son of Mr. Darcy's steward, and there is surely no blame to be laid because of that small detail. I let her know as much and she coldly bowed and walked away. She is insufferable!!
Jane tried to calm me, but interfering nosy people who have nothing to say but rattle their tongues in their head to hear the sound of their voice need not to try their words on me. My sister insists on seeing the best in Mr. Bingley's sisters but I can see straight through their elegance and I do not trust them the slightest bit.

As Jane was speaking to me, events surrounding the dinner seemed to me to plunge in to chaos. Mary practically ran to the piano forte to show off her music when Mr. Bingley asked his sister to play. Politeness dictated that Mary be allowed to play, but how embarrassing! Mama was talking in a very loud voice about plans for Mr. Bingley and Jane, and their marraige setting the rest of us up for rich men. Mary began another song, and Papa stopped her mid-chord, and made her relinquish her beloved spot in the center of attention. Then Mr. Collins stood up and began mindlessly talking to the company--of course no one was listening--and suggested that he oblige us all with an air. I'm sure we had all waited the entire evening for my cousin to play for us. I never thought I should be thankful for Mrs. Hurst but she intercepted Mr. Collin's traipse to the instrument and we were saved, momentarily, from a great embarrassment. I could not relax then, for Mr. Collins approached Mr. Darcy, without an introduction, and prattled on about Lady Catherine. I was humiliated and wishing the floor to swallow me up when Lydia and Kitty came literally running and giggling through the room with an officer's sword--the officer chasing the girls to retrieve his weapon. 

*sigh* I am sure I love my family very much but their behaviour can be so completely mortifying--what a lack of propriety was exhibited by all members of the Bennett family, excepting Jane and myself last night. I came home exhausted and needing separation from my family. Jane and Papa understand much, but there are times when I feel myself alone, separated from the rest, and unable to cross a chasm which exists between myself and my family.

************
When Mama called me, interrupting my last entry, nothing could have prepared me for what happened.

She left me with Mr. Collins, who wished to speak to me and I was forced to stay with him, without anyone else, though I'd asked Kitty not to leave my side. Poor girl, she cannot disobey Mama. I was not exactly frightened, but I then I knew what was coming as he approached me and I wished not to hear it. Yes, my cousin proposed to me. Mr. Collins, want to marry me. I cannot imagine how he could ever think the two of us to be suited for one another--we are as different as night and day. Can he not see the disdain I hold for him? I have never taken care to be polite or attentive, or to receive his attentions with pleasure. His proposal was, to say the least, pathetic, but in it's own little way, amusing. After spending a full 10 minutes describing his view on matrimony in general, on why he as a clergy should marry, of Lady de Bourgh's commands for him to marry, and explaining his own personal choice, he declared to me in "the most animated language" the "violence" of his "affection." I busied myself very intently with a vase of flowers because the thought of Mr. Collins, this strange, dull-witted man being overcome with violent affection struck me as incredibly amusing. I tried so very hard not to laugh that I missed an opportunity to put to rest any hopes he may have held.
The thought of accepting his proposal never once crossed my mind, and I wondered if he could indeed have had serious hopes of my acceptance! Indeed, when I had enough control over my amusement to thank him but decline, he entreated me four more times to say yes to his proposal. It took me five attempts to refuse, and he still entreated me. I could not remain with him another moment and left the room as he was talking.

Now I have been called to my father's study. Mama has insisted that I marry Mr. Collins or she will never speak with me again. My father is indeed a lifesaver--he put Mama in her place very soundly by giving me this ultimatum: "An unhappy alternative is before you, Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents.--Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do."
I do love my father, ever so much. I knew he would not force me to marry Mr. Collins--Father despises him as much as I do. But now we all must listen to Mama's cries of disapproval and anger. She fears that I have put the family in danger by not marrying Mr. Collins--now someone else will receive this home when Father dies--for of course, it is entailed to Mr. Collins.

My cousin has left the house--to dine with the Lucas family this evening. Charlotte came to visit, found the house in uproar, and graciously invited our poor cousin to Lucas Lodge. For that I am very grateful and I must thank her tomorrow. Now there is some quiet, for Mama is no longer grovelling and apologizing to my cousin, and he is no longer incessantly talking of the defects of my character. He apparently saw that I would not be suitable for him afterall---when he learned of my insistence in refusing his hand. What a man!

Good night! I think I have had enough excitement for one day!

current mood: distressed

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Wednesday, August 25th, 2004
5:34 pm

misselizabethb
I have so much to tell!

The ball was most interesting.

We arrived with a flurry of other guests, and were greeted by the Bingleys. Mr. Darcy kept himself away and would not greet the guests or speak with them. I do not understand how Mr. Bingley can put up with his friend's rudeness. Mr. Bingley drew away from his sisters so he could escort Jane into the ballroom. He very kindly let me take his other arm as well.

Mr. Wickham was not in attendance after all. His friend Mr. Denny let me know that it was because of his wish to avoid a certain person (Darcy, of course) that he made business call him into town. As much as I sincerely missed an opportunity to dance with Mr. Wickham, I admire him for this thoughtfulness. He did not have to avoid the meeting---after all, Mr. Dracy is at fault in this situation. But, we were gathered in Mr. Bingley's house and I would so hate to see Mr. Bingley publically embarrassed because of his friend. My respect for Mr. Wickham is now greater than it was before.

My dread of dancing with Mr. Collins did not prove false. It was most ridiculous--he knew not the steps and constantly went the wrong way, reached out for the wrong person, and I was never so eager for a dance to end. After I was free from my cousin, I went to talk with Charlotte, who was, as usual, standing by herself.  We discussed Mr. Bingley and Jane, and her advice was for Jane to show great affection--whether she truly felt it or not--in order to secure him! Dear Charlotte, I love her, indeed, but she has so little idea of what love should be! Her chief concerns are material ones. I could not put money or an estate above love for a person. Mr. Darcy interrupted our conversation to ask my hand for the next two dances. I was so utterly shocked, I could not come up with respectable refusal and so accepted. Now being bound to dance with yet another disagreeable man, I poured out the story of Wickham and Darcy to Charlotte. She encouraged me to acknowledge Mr. Darcy's singling me out. I know he paid me a compliment, but I don't care for his compliments at all. I should not throw myself at a man who was rich because he was rich.  Indeed, I should rather marry a peasant whom I loved dearly, than a rich man I could not stand. In any case, Mr. Darcy could never love me, so the matter is useless to discuss. Of course he asked me to dance, because Mr. Bingley demanded some small show of courtesy, I'm sure.

My dancing partner would not speak with me. I talked and he answered in monosyllables, and would not return conversation. I asked him about it and he was silent for a few minutes longer, then, with some effort at civility, asked me if we walked into town often. I could not refrain and said we had been making a new acquaintence when he met us last week. Mr. Darcy actually blushed!! He then had the audacity to say, "Mr. Wickham is blessed with such happy manners as may insure is making friends--whether he may be equally capable of reainting them is less certain." I replied that he was unlucky indeed, to lose Darcy's friendship, and would suffer from it. To this, Darcy had no answer. See, I am right. Mr. Wickham is not to blame.

Sir William stopped us and we were congratulating on our "fine dancing" and he intimated something about Bingley and Jane. I choose to ignore him as much as I can.

I, with one last attempt to keep conversation going during the dance, asked Mr. Darcy about his statement saying he never forgave once resentment was created. I asked him if he was careful when allowing resentment to form--he said he was. He asked me what the questions meant to seek, and I replied, "I'm attempting to sketch your character." He told me he did not wish me to try to figure out his character. The dance soon ended and he said, quite coldly, "I would by no means suspend any pleasure of yours," bowed, and walked away.

I've never met a man who confuses me so. He seems to have so many difference facets---yet all things I hear about him reflect his prideful manner.

Oh dear, Mama is calling. I shall finish later.

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Saturday, August 21st, 2004
1:19 pm

misselizabethb
I knew I should regret my teasing one day. I, meaning to joke, asked our burdensome cousin if he meant to attend the Netherfield Ball with us, if he felt it appropriate with his position as a clergyman. He HAS accepted and I am forced to dance at least the first two dances with him! Oohhh!! I wanted to dance those with Wickham, and now I must dance with my odious cousin. How embarrassing. I must watch my tongue after this!!

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Tuesday, August 17th, 2004
7:45 pm

misselizabethb
My sister is too good. She simply cannot see bad in people, and wants to vindicate both Wickham and Darcy. To believe Wickham, because she wishes not to think him dishonest; to vindicate Darcy because she cannot bear the implications for her (or soon-to-be) Mr. Bingley. I myself have no qualms as to what to think---Mr. Darcy has most obviously misused Wickham. There was truth in ALL of Mr. Wickham's looks, and I know of Darcy's pride firsthand. Indeed, there can be no other thought on the subject. Mr. Bingley can very likely have been imposed upon, I am sure Mr. Darcy could cover his behaviour when he wished to.

There shall be a ball at Netherfield on Tuesday night. My sisters are overly excited, as usual, but I admit I hold a bit of excitement as well. I shall only be too glad to see Wickham again. There is something very pleasing--open and honest about him. One may carry on lovely conversation and I very much enjoy his company.

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Thursday, May 20th, 2004
2:05 pm

janebennett
Mr. Collins has asked Lizzy to marry him! Of course she said no; Mama is simply beside herself. I do not blame my dear sister in the least, I only wish she had someone like my Mr. Bingley. Yes, I have called him *mine*. Maybe I am saying it too soon?

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Thursday, May 6th, 2004
8:30 pm

misselizabethb
Mr. Collins came with us to Aunt Phillips tonight. He babbled on about the grandness of Rosings Park, and we had to explain away a semi-insult to our Aunt. But I have a story of more interest than my poor ridiculous cousin....

This afternoon in Meryton, we came upon Lydia's Denny, much to her delight. He had with him a man named Wickham, a very pleasing man indeed. He is very handsome and friendly. While we were being introduced Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy came riding by. The manner of greeting between Wickham and Darcy was most cold, like the meeting of old enemies. Where can they have known each other? What could be the cause of such evident enmity between them?

I wondered this the entire afternoon, and had to wait but a little this evening at my Aunt's house. Mr. Wickham asked me if I had noticed the manner of greeting between the two men. I shall not disclose the whole story, for to write it out will make me angry over again, and I know I shall not forget it, but Mr. Darcy is responsible for Mr. Wickham's present state of poverty! They grew up together as boys and Mr. Darcy's father was to have given Mr. Wickham a living by the church---and Mr. Darcy let it go to someone else, and turned Wickham out of the house after his father died.

I had not thought Mr. Darcy as terrible as all this! Poor Mr. Wickham!! What he has had to suffer at the hands of Mr. Darcy, and yet he remains polite and unrevengeful. He behaves far better than I would in such a situation.

I cannot wait to talk it all over with Jane tomorrow!

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Thursday, April 29th, 2004
12:45 pm

misselizabethb
Gracious, Mr. Collins is an amusing man if only for his ridiculous manner and speech habits. Lady Catherine has herself a faithful little slave. He worships her, I think. As for his personality---well, I think he has not the gumption to have one truly of his own---he just believes and speaks and acts as Lady Catherine would have him to. At least, this is my perception. He seems so shallow, only concerned with his condescending patroness {I have heard those words six and twenty times this evening alone!} and eager to flatter us all. I believe he wants to leave us with a favourable impression of himself if only for Lady Catherine's sake. This visit shall be interesting----to be sure, Father baits Mr. Collins and makes me laugh. Every poke and mockery goes sailing above my cousin's head much to the amusment of my father and myself, but I fear laughing too hard. One would not like to be rude, outright!

He does not read novels, much to Kitty and Lydia's dismay, but loves Fordyce's Sermons. One might expect this, since he is a clergyman. Mary is in raptures, though she takes care not to show it.

******
Later: I fear this visit shall be more interesting than I had bargained for. It appears he has come hear to try to choose one of us girls for a wife!!! Mama is urging him on, and I believe he has picked me for his most unwelcome and embarrassing attentions are increasing far to greatly for my comfort. Oh dear!

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Thursday, March 25th, 2004
7:11 pm

janebennett
Our dear cousin Mr. Collins is here, and I must say, as much as I hate to speak poorly of others, he is a dim-witted man.

I was almost convinced he was singling me out when he first came, but I believe he's switched his sights to Lizzie. Poor dear, she certainly detests him!

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Thursday, March 18th, 2004
6:21 pm

mrsbennet
I am so disappointed. Mr. Bennet said we were to have a guest for dinner and I was *sure* it was Mr. Bingley. How exciting for him to call!! And because of Jane! But it was not Mr. Bingley. Instead it is our Mr. Bennet's despicable cousin Mr. Collins who will turn us out of our home if Mr. Bennet should die before we do. I do not want to see the man. Entailments are horrible things and I have no patience for those who accept them!

Well, he is coming--perhaps he will like one of the girls, and marry them!! Then Longbourn shall not be entailed away from the family! Ohh, surely he will like one of my daughters. Perhaps Lydia!!

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6:15 pm

misselizabethb
I still cannot make out Mr. Darcy's character, but soon I shall have another person to observe. This morning at breakfast Father told us that his cousin Mr. Collins (who will receive Longbourn after Father dies) will be paying us a visit. From his letter telling us so, I know that it should be quite an interesting visit. Our cousin sounds extremely verbose, and proud of his connections with a Lady Catherine de Bourgh of Hunsford. Rather pompous in my opinion. I mentioned this to Father and he believes Mr. Collins will not be a sensible man. Well, the man himself should be here within half an hour and we shall find out what sort of man he is.

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Monday, March 8th, 2004
8:34 am

mr_bingley
My, I had forgotten all about this journal! But I have been so distracted! So pleasantly engaged! For I have met an angel, the most perfect woman to walk the earth. She is the eldest Bennet girl, and never has a sweeter or more beautiful woman ever smiled; and she smiles at me! I first met her at that ball, and never a more gorgeous ball have I ever attended! The people were all so pleasant, so charming, so many pretty girls! But none of them are even on the same plane as dear, lovely Jane. Ah yes, I forget again, for I had not mentioned her name! and it is Jane, a name as wholesome and fine as the bearer of it. The ball closed far too early. I did manage to dance with all the girls - such wonderful company!! - but I danced twice with Miss Bennet. I could not resist her charms, nor could I long stay away from her beauty. She is as demure and good as any girl I have met, and unlike many girls, does not throw herself on any man; she needs not to! She attracts every man simply by existing. Even Darcy, who would not dance more than once each with my sisters, but was dull and stupid all evening. He would not even dance with Miss Elizabeth, who is a very pretty girl, though not, as Darcy was quick to point out, as pretty as Miss Bennet. Oh! She is the most beautiful creature I have ever beheld!

I have been rather pleased, for my sisters and Jane seem to be quite friends. But oh! it was a tragedy! poor Jane! I was so excessively sorry for her! She has just left and I am, though deeply sorry to see her go, very heartily glad she has recovered. But I digress! She came to see us, and rode on horseback, and in the rain. She naturally caught a most terrible cold! I of course called a physician and would not let her leave until she was better. But I have been well nigh distracted!! I could hardly bear it, and was most worried after her. Her good sister Elizabeth came to stay with us and look after Jane, and she was most attentive and sweet. I did my very best to make them both feel at home, and I certainly made sure they were as well provided for and as well-attended as possible. My sisters, whenever she was not in the room, criticized Elizabeth in every particular, but I defended her brightly, for not only is she good and kind and caring, as well as pretty, but she is the sister of the best woman alive. She may have relations in Cheapside, but why does that matter?? They are very well-mannered, and excessively agreeable! Darcy would not join in the critiquing, and indeed, from the way he looks at Elizabeth, and more, at the way he avoids her; I quite begin to think he thinks something of her, and is quite attracted. I do wish he would give in to it! A sprightly woman would be extremely good for him; morever, I know from experience, that love makes a man good and happy as nothing else can do. Oh! Jane! She is so perfect! I cannot wait to see her again!

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Saturday, March 6th, 2004
12:33 pm - A belated entry

janebennett
I have not had my journal for many days, but then, I was too ill to have been able to write much.

Caroline invited me to spend the day with her and her sisters, and Mama sent me over on horseback. The chilling rain made me quite ill, and I stayed at Netherfield for several days. Lizzy didn't enjoy herself at all.

Caroline and Mrs. Hurst were so sweet and attentive while I was ill, and I believe Mr. Bingley *does* care for me.

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Thursday, March 4th, 2004
10:25 pm

mrsbennet
I cannot get anything out of Jane, now that she is home---she will not tell me how much she saw of Bingley and what he has said to her!! Oh!! But I am sure the time there did not come to nothing. Mr. Bingley cannot resist her charm, and I made sure he knows of her sweet and gentle and patient nature!!

Well, Mr. Bingley has promised a ball soon, and I am sure he will honour Jane a great deal!! Ohhh, to have my eldest daughter married so well!!

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10:21 pm

mr_darcy
I am intensely relieved that the Miss Bennets have quitted to their home. Elizabeth Bennet is a most arresting woman. Her saucy manner in interacting with me, fascinates me a little more than I would wish. She demanded the other evening that I admit my faults to her. I owned that I tried my best to avoid weaknesses which lead to ridicule--and she said then to Miss Bingley that I voiced an opinion that I was without fault. I never had said such a thing---she twists what I say and makes it sound much different than what was intended and yet she does not lie. It puzzles me, and I do not like to be puzzled. I like to know my own mind, and be able to be in control of all my thoughts. Perhaps this is why I do not like to write them out--for I am forced to explain them. When we had ended our conversation, she had got out of me that my temper a resentful one and my good opinion is lost, it is gone forever. In the case of---but no, I shall not mention it---it is true though.

There is no reason for such a woman to be on my mind so much--yet it has plagued me a great deal these past few days. Well, she is gone to her own house now, and I shall only see her in company. I will not suffer from her pert opinions any longer. Soon, I hope I shall have the pleasure of persuading Bingley to go back to London.

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10:08 pm

misselizabethb
I have never been more glad to leave a place in my life. I am so happy to be back here in the privacy of my own room, and able to walk about the house and grounds without worrying of meeting Mr. Darcy or the Bingley sisters. (I realise that one of them no longer bears the name of Bingley, but it is much easier to name them as such.)

Two evenings before we left Netherfield, Jane was able to come downstairs to the drawing room after dinner. When the gentlemen joined us, I watched in pleasure at Mr. Bingley's attentions to my sister. He was so attentive, so painstakingly careful to every detail of her position--close to the fire, away from the door, warm, comfortable, etc. Indeed, I give her leave to like him as much as she wishes. I believe he is a fine man, very agreeable indeed. I still cannot say the same for the rest of the people at Netherfield. They simply do not improve upon living in the same house together, instead they are more horrid than ever. I cannot stand the pride they carry about them.

Mr. Darcy and I had a conversation later that evening---he would not be teased, and said the "study of his life" has been to "avoid those weaknesses which often expose a strong understanding to ridicule." I could scarcely conceal my astonishment. This man, who must be the proudest, the most vain, the most pompous, arrogant man (who is the talk of the town within a few weeks because of his manners) I have yet to meet, saying he avoids weaknesses which expose an understanding to ridicule. I could not help myself, and said, "Such us vanity, perhaps, and pride?" He said that pride --when there is a true superiority of the mind-- would always be under good regulation. He would not admit to having a fault! Miss Bingley interrupted and asked if my examination of her friend were over. Miss Bingley would do better to be quiet and stay out of affairs which do not concern her. I mentioned that he was a man without fault---THEN, he admitted that his temper was resentful. His good opinion, once lost, is lost forever. That would be his one fault. Well, I cannot laugh at it---resentful of offense from others is, though a failing, a normal fault to have.

I am going to put this book away for now. Jane has called for me. I am so glad to be back home again, even if Mama is upset that we did not stay longer at Netherfield.

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Tuesday, March 2nd, 2004
9:13 am - A dreadful state of affairs

miss_bingley
Upon opening my journal this morning I realize I have not written anything for some time, and I have resolved to remedy this. The last thing I had written was that Miss Bennett was coming to spend the day with Louisa and me, as Charles and Mr. Darcy were away. But the most dreadful thing happened! Miss Bennett rode over on horseback. I wonder her mother allowed it, but I suppose one cannot expect a person of such obvious low breeding, as Mrs. Bennett appears to be, to know what is proper at such times. To return to my story, it rained very hard on Miss Bennett's way over to Netherfield, and by afternoon she was quite ill. So of course, there was nothing to do but send her upstairs to rest for the night.

By morning Charles had returned, and Miss Bennett was so ill, he insisted on sending for the doctor. And then, what should happen, but Eliza Bennett! She walked over from Longbourn, in the mud, making a disgraceful exhibition of herself (I should hardly have believed it if I had not seen it with my own eyes--her petticoats were several inches plastered with mud, and her hair was all wild!), and all to pretend to feel a concern for her sister. Before I could say or do anything, Charles insisted that she stay until Miss Bennett felt well enough to go home. I was so angry, that it was all I could do to stay silent. To have our pleasant evenings ruined by the addition of Eliza Bennett, with her pert opinions and unconventional manners!

My worst fears have been quite realized. For one thing, Miss Eliza never fails to catch Mr. Darcy's attention, which is insupportable. They engaged in quite a skirmish of words the other evening, when I invited her to take a turn about the room with me (such exercise is usually so refreshing to me, but it depends upon one's company!), that I was soon very weary of it. I quiz Mr. Darcy about Miss Eliza whenever possible, but he takes it so coolly and indifferently that I cannot make him out.

To make matters worse than they were, we had a visit from the rest of the Bennett ladies (I use "ladies" in a general way, for I certainly do not consider them ladies!), which nearly drove me to distraction. What insufferable company I have had to bear with lately! Indeed, I do not see how much longer I shall be able to bear it. My only hope is that Miss Bennett will get well quickly...but I have forgotten! Even then we shall not be rid of them for long, for Charles has promised the younger Miss Bennets to give a ball here as soon as Miss Bennett is well enough! I have quite lost patience with Charles! He asks me to keep house for him, and then never asks my opinion on any matter of importance! Having a ball at one's home is much worse than merely attending one, for in the former case one is forced to be polite to everyone.

current mood: aggravated

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