Posted on: 2009-12-22
Mr Bennet was a former ESL teacher, but had to take an early retirement, so One Day in May saw Mr and Mrs Bennet Take Two spring breaks. The first was to Mare's Nest, a short distance from Everingham. After their First Glimpse of the district, they took a second journey to the area using Racecars. Jane Austen and the Monon Trail was the objective of this visit. They had a wonderful time, choosing Between the Night and the Morrow to Live, and Let Diets wait for another day.
"What a Moving Day" said Mrs Bennet when they had returned to their home.
"The Benefits of Retrenching, my dear" replied Mr Bennet. "We can now this sort of break more often - I must compliment you on your choice of destination."
Amelia Bennet was delighted with This Piece of Civility. "I am Excessively Attentive to such details. Now did I tell you about my sister Celia?"
"So you are over your Estrangement?" Mr Bennet rolled his eyes. The sisters had fallen out over some circumspect Sardines and Diaries that documented it, subsequently published by Anne and the Gunning Gazette.
Mrs Bennet did not even notice her husband's comments and immediately began her tirade, barely drawing breath. "That is all in the past. Her Loose Lips have disclosed that Netherfield Park is let at last! The Little Particulars of the Circumstance are that the park has been let by a rich young Man of Means with great Connections, though his best friend is said to have An Unforgiving Temper".
"Sounds like a little too much Pride and Education" smirked Mr Bennet, looking up from his novel. When are they to arrive?"
"Another Day in May, and they are to stay at least Four Evenings at Netherfield on their first visit!" replied his wife excitedly. "It will be a good thing for our girls."
"In A Perfect World would it be A Mother's Favourite Wish to see one of her daughters married to one of the young rich men?" asked her husband.
"The End is Where we Start From" she retorted. "I just wish to see all of our girls marry well. All That This Entails is A Better Course of Action to ensure that Somebody's Natural Daughter, such as Jane, or even Kitty and Thorn, have Pleasant Days, otherwise The Naked Truth is that they may be Paying the Price of a poor match, or even have Untimely Regrets in a marriage" warbled Mrs Bennet.
"If we could we have said An Heir is Born things would have been quite different. It would have resulted in Changes in our Families. A Whole New World would have resulted in The Family Circle. The Cousins, such as Miss Martin, and The Musgroves may have had a Cousin Harry! Heaven help us if he had been known as Harold the Horribly Hairy!" replied her husband chuckling.
"Well, it was only A Most Afflicting Ailment that prevented us achieving A Father's Resolution to have a son. There have been too many Tears on Christmas Eve about it. The Healing Hands were insufficient."
"Too Much Information, Mrs Bennet" replied her husband. "Are you suggesting that such A Case of Catastrophe could have been avoided by a Bodyswap?" What steps do we need to avoid further Regrets and Resolutions? When Tragedy Strikes, we no longer have to worry about any entails, our daughters are well educated, so there should be No More Tears."
"You place too much value on The Price of a Good Education" she retorted.
Her husband had asked "Can there be any other opinion on the subject - you place too much on Dreams Such as These".
"Passion and Prudence are required my dear Mr Bennet. Love and Prejudice have nothing to do with it. More is required rather than An Engaging Friendship. Not every Gentleman can ensure that there is Nothing Wanting in a relationship."
"They Know Enough Who Know How To Learn" stated her husband in mock frustration.
"Oh, some things are better left Seen and Unseen", she wailed. "While Mixed Matches can result in Duels of Every Sort, when An Officer and an Honest Man are involved there should be no Burnt Bridges." Her temper changed and she suddenly shrieked. "I know, this Christmas, I will put some Mistletoe in Austen Place, that way the girls can take advantage of the rich young men when they return to Netherfield."
"And what makes you so sure that they will return for Christmas?" asked her husband, the Kinghorn of the Castle Bennet.
"I hear they are to study The Hamilton Documents, and the Lost Discovery of What Really Happened at Waterloo. However, once they meet Jane, I am sure that will be sufficient reason for them to come back."
"Well, just ensure that the mistletoe is in place before the Midnight Ride of Santa, Dear. At least it should be more successful for our girls than The 2008 Christmas Poem" he chuckled.
"You know that poem was meant for you alone, it had nothing to do with the girls." Despite her maturing years she still managed a becoming blush.
There were those who thought the Bennet's were An Unfashionable Couple, however their love remained strong, surviving their Ah (R5) five Babies, and Bodies that were no longer as youthful as in the past. Amelia Bennet had come a long way from her start in life as one of The Dairy Maid's Daughters.
Of all their daughters, Jane was considered the Fairest of them All. When Jane had met the man who had let Netherfield, their romance rivalled P&P in the Fandom. Together they made The Perfect Pair. This had over the intervening months resulted in an engagement. Another of their party, one Fitzwilliam Ebenezer Darcy had proposed to Jane's sister Elizabeth, having been attracted by her fine eyes and lively temperament. Darcy's Rash Proposal was unsuccessful. Due to some arrogant presumptions on his part, and some prejudiced opinions on hers, he was flatly, and not very ceremoniously refused.
The attraction of his fiancé Jane drew Mr Bingley back to spend another Four Evenings at Netherfield over Christmas. He was accompanied by his sisters Caroline and Louisa, and Louisa's husband, a Dr Hurst. Mr Darcy and his sister Georgiana, and their cousin, Richard Fitzwilliam also came back to Netherfield for Christmas.
Mr Bennet was not pleased that his wife's predictions had so far come to fruition.
"I Told You So" Mrs Bennet had no hesitation in saying. Amelia Bennet loved it when she was right.
And so it transpired that by Christmas Eve Netherfield Park was occupied by a number of young men. Some spoken for, and others hoping to be so.
While He Was Sleeping, Fitzwilliam Ebenezer Darcy, had dreamt of Lilacs, the smell he most associated with Elizabeth Bennet. He had hoped that he had addressed Elizabeth's admonishments that she had loudly and most vehemently been vocalised. He hoped he would have a second chance at happiness.
Darcy's romance was also the subject discussion between Darcy's best friend, and The Cousin known as Richard Fitzwilliam and Charles Bingley. Bingley was heard to utter "Lets hope Darcy Changes Tactics, otherwise he will be worse than ever before. Remember The Last Adventure?"
Richard Fitzwilliam replied "All that his failed proposal resulted in was Caprice and Instability."
Nodding in agreement Charles Bingley then said "We are on the Edge of a Grey Enigma."
Darcy's cousin replied "We could always consider some Variations – a series of what if's."
"Such as?" asked Bingley.
"I am not sure if Elizabeth Bennet believes in fairy tales. Could we turn Darcy into a frog?"
"What Miss Bennet and the Frog? That would be taking the fairy tale thing too far. How about have him sing her some Songs from the Heart?
"Land sakes man – you know Darcy can't hold a tune to save his life" replied the Colonel.
"We want him to win her for all our sakes. Georgiana's Tale of her brother's behaviour in the months since his proposal to Elizabeth left a lot to be desired."
All the men could do was hope that Darcy would be more successful on his second attempt.
A party was to be held at Austen Place on Christmas Eve. The gentlemen from Netherfield and their relatives in residence were invited to the festivities.
Darcy, Upon Leaving Netherfield arrived at the Bennet's, and immediately was ushered into the hallway. With the Greatest of Expectations, Mrs Bennet took matters into her own hands leaving Darcy under the Mistletoe in Austen Place, and shoved Elizabeth in his general direction.
"It's Mr Popularity!" teased Elizabeth when she bumped into the distinguished gentleman. Even she had to admit that she had long considered that he was All Too Handsome. Darcy wasted no time at all in kissing her deeply. And after that kiss under the mistletoe…well that was enough to make Elizabeth melt and change her mind."
"Please, Elizabeth!" Darcy pleaded, intoxicated by their passionate kiss. "Accept my hand – I am now Better for Loving You. I take Great Pleasure in the Power of Choice when it comes to taking a wife."
"Ah, so now you try An Endeavour at Civility?" She asked coyly, trying to recover her senses.
"I am always most exceedingly civil, in fact I wish to make you An Honourable Offer."
"I had originally thought you were a member of The Misogynist's Club"
"That was just a ploy to prevent A Regency Lady in New York from pursuing me."
"So you are willing to Take A Chance on Me accepting your hand this time?"
"Most definitely, although I do need to ask. Will it take Twelve Days of Persuasion for you to accept me?"
"I think not. Just a sprinkling of Stardust in The English Night Sky."
"Then let us go out now and view The English Night Sky while we can make our escape."
"Just the Two of Us?" she queried.
"Just the Two of Us, I have no wish to share you with anyone. I do not wish to say Goodnight Elizabeth just yet" whispered Darcy.
What he did not know was that some people were spying on Darcy's Adventure. Through the Looking Glass Charles Bingley could see that is was likely that his friend would soon become his brother. His thoughts were in the right direction.
This time, Darcy's Rash Proposal, and its subsequent success had meant that he arrived without a ring. However The Pendant, a Christmas gift he had selected for Elizabeth, would make an ideal interim substitute. Part by Part he would supplement Elizabeth's jewellery until she had a collection rivalling Princesses, Peas, and Other Imponderables.
Mrs. Bennet's Thoughts Upon Hearing Of Elizabeth's Engagement To Darcy were fortunately not overheard by the newly engaged couple, but had not been heard by the Fourth Sister Kitty , nicknamed The Butterfly.
The reaction of the other sisters of the newly engaged was quite different. They added a festive blog to their preferred web sites, but chose to name their pieces in different ways. Georgiana Darcy entitled hers Georgiana's Tale, while Mary Bennet took a more formal approach 'Mary Bennet Reflects On Christmas.'
Jane married Bingley and Darcy married Elizabeth, and they all lived happily ever after.
Meanwhile, Darcy told Elizabeth how she was the only one he had ever loved saying "You Were The First."
Caroline's Project Pride and Prejudice had failed, the Ode to Mr Darcy had not been appreciated, and she now thought that she would seek fame through authorship, commencing The Caroline Bingley Diaries. If Bridget Jones could become famous that way, so could she. Charles Bingley's second sister was quite miffed when her older sister Louisa pointed out that she could be sued for copying another author directly, and laughed it off by saying "that would make An Amusing Dispute!"
Louisa Hurst stopped eating her Fudge long enough to beg her sister to reconsider, then gave up as she was The Girl Who Did Not Know Angst. It was the only way she could survive living with her youngest sister while they were growing up. Frustrated with Caroline she said "Have it your own way. You may as well write Pride and Prejudice meets Shrek!"
"How can you say such a thing! Emma's Experiments with Pride, Prejudice and Prussians was successful."She retorted.
"I don't think you should give up on love just yet – you can always hope that Sir Walter Sends a Valentine" said Louise suggestively.
"Sir Walter sends everyone a Valentine. There is nothing special about that. He even sent one to that leprechaun."
"Sir Walter and the Leprechaun?"
"I suppose she is not really a leprechaun."
"Who do you mean?"
"Oh that girl, what's her name?" Caroline pondered for a few moments before remembering. "That's it – Autumn Raye. She was always the shortest girl in our classes at Colbey Green, so she was nicknamed leprechaun."
"That was rather unkind."
"No more unkind than the name I was called. My nickname was The Ferris Wheel."
Louisa had to stifle a giggle before having to ask "I had not heard that one. Can I ask why?"
"I was told that it was when I became angry I would spin my arms about like a ferris wheel.
Louisa would have to wait until later to tell her husband about Caroline's nickname. Dr Hurst was presently at the hospital with his colleagues as there was Nothing to Keep Them From Their Appointed Rounds. She could see that Caroline was agitated so chose to steer the conversation back in another direction. "Tell me more about Autumn Raye - it is quite an unusual name."
"Well, The Nanny's Story was that her mother was French, made famous in a tale called L'Histoire de la Rose Blanche, though we could never find the book. We called it The Mystery of Colbey Green."
Louisa Hurst had heard enough – "Caroline, I am going to bed – this is definitely not An A-muse-ing Little Christmas Tale!"