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Kindly Relations Chapters 29 and 30

May 15, 2018 08:15PM
AN:thanks again for your comments and input. You inspire me.
Chapter 29

On her wedding day, Anne awoke before anyone else was stirring. It was incredible to think of all the changes that had taken place since the previous summer-all thanks to Darcy marrying Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Without her mother’s fateful trip trying to break up the betrothal, she would still be subject to her mother’s authority and probably still be suffering with poor health. Although she did not expect she would ever have the energy of Elizabeth, she now had stamina and felt much better. She had enjoyed a season in London and found herself a husband who seemed to esteem her as much as she did him.

Soon, her maid entered bringing her some tea. They chatted as the maid helped Anne dress. Lady Fitzwilliam joined Anne shortly thereafter.

“My dear, I am so happy for you. Mr. Hatton will provide a very nice companion for you. Is there anything we can do for you today?”

“You have already done so much. I never expected to have such a chance as this. I look forward to a satisfying future now. Thank you for explaining all those things I had been worrying about. I am sure Mr. Hatton will treat me kindly. I am far less worried than I had been.”

“Good. Married life can be very gratifying. Just take the time to really become well acquainted and always consider how your words and actions might impact the other and you will find a degree of satisfaction.”

Mrs. Bennet was a little disappointed not to be invited to either of the London weddings although she was not particularly close to either bride. Since her daughters were, she thought she should be there. However, Mr. Bennet was adamant that there was no need to go to London. She would far better remain in Meryton to concentrate on preparations for Mary’s wedding in June. If she wanted involvement in another wedding, she could offer to assist Lady Lucas as she prepared for Charlotte’s.

As Anne had considered her cousins and friends for an attendant at her wedding, she had realized that the one she was really closest to was Mrs. Annesley, so she asked her. Mrs. Annesley was thrilled to help Anne in any way that she could. She joined Lady Fitzwilliam in Anne’s room.

“It is so kind of you to ask me to attend you today. You look quite beautiful. I believe you will have every happiness, Miss de Bourgh.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Annesley. I am grateful you are willing to stay on with me. You have become something between a mother and close friend these past months. I do not know what I will do when it comes time for you to join your son.”

Mrs. Annesley smiled. “I expect we will continue to remain close, my dear. One cannot ever really have too many true friends. I am sure I will visit, but we know that day is in the future for now.”

Lady Fitzwilliam added, “Indeed, for now, we must just concentrate on what a glorious day today is.”

Anne smiled, “Yes, it is, isn’t it?”

As the carriage headed to the church, Lord Fitzwilliam looked at his niece and thought of her parents who could not be there.

“Anne, I believe your father and mother would be very happy for you if they could join us today.”

“Thank you for your kind words. I believe Mother would in theory, but in practice, my choice to turn to someone other than her for advice would not please her. However, I do believe she would like me to be happy-and I mean to be.”

Mrs. Annesley helped with finishing touches before preceding Anne and Lord Fitzwilliam down the aisle. Anne handed her bouquet to Mrs. Annesley as she turned to face the minister with William Hatton at her side. She was amazingly happy.

When Lord Fitzwilliam took his seat next to his wife, he reached over and took her hand in his and gave it a squeeze. She glanced at him and saw that his face was suffused with emotion. He whispered, “Thank you for everything. I am so happy for Anne and owe it all to you.”

She whispered back, “We are both so happy for Anne.” She squeezed his hand again in return and was surprised that he did not free her hand until the ceremony was over.

The guests at the church offered best wishes to the happy couple before going on their ways. Some were off to the Fitzwilliam’s breakfast while those who were not as close to the family went to other activities.

After the ceremony, the breakfast at the Fitzwilliam’s was quite lavish, a definite contrast to how simple everything had been at church. Lord and Lady Hatton sat with the Fitzwilliams looking over the guests. Lord Hatton said, “I know Christopher and some of his friends look at this as simply an acquisition for William, but I know he truly cherishes your niece. I expect they will be very happy together.”

“At least Milton and your son came back for the ceremony. They are so involved in the races, I had some doubts as to whether they would be here.”

Lady Hatton said, “I told Christopher if he did not attend, he would regret it in his pocket. He understood the threat. However, he and Lord Milton left directly after the service. I expect they will be back at the races as soon as possible.”

Lady Fitzwilliam said, “I wish there were some way to help the older son learn the responsibility that the youngest often must. It would make life less worrisome.”

Lady Hatton agreed, “It would, but there does not seem to be anything we can do. Because they know they will inherit, they can do as they please when younger.”

Lord Hatton added, “Until they use up the allowance. We can refuse to pay off their debts once they surpass the allowance. At least there are a few threats available to us.”

Lord Fitzwilliam says, “I have had to resort to that measure. He now finds a way to keep within his budget.”

Anne and Hatton enjoyed visiting with their various guests. Because Lord Milton had left directly from church, Lady Milton had not bothered to come to the breakfast. As Hatton and Anne finished chatting with Charlotte and Major Fitzwilliam, Hatton said to Anne, “I have been friends with Richard for years just as my brother has with his. It is amazing how different brothers can be.”

Anne smiled. “I have reason to be grateful for that. Richard has always been kind to me, visited when I was confined at home, and written to me often. Harold, Lord Milton, never did so. Now I have you. I think perhaps the younger brothers are often nicer.”

Because they were staying for the other weddings, they had discussed where to live for their first two weeks. They had determined that it made more sense to stay at the Fitzwilliam’s. Since they were not traveling, they stayed to visit until all the guests had left the breakfast. They then retired to change. When they returned to the parlor, Anne said, “Thank you again. It was a lovely breakfast.”

Richard replied, “It was a lovely day. We are so happy for you, Anne and William. I think I shall like having William for a cousin.”

Hatton said, “We will enjoy having you and Miss Lucas visit us this summer. I think I will enjoy having you for a cousin as well.”

Mary Elliot and Mary Bennet enjoyed the simple ceremony contrasted to the elaborate breakfast. Mary Bennet said, “You know, if my mother were not planning everything, I would want something more like Anne had. The church was not so elaborately decorated as to detract from the beauty of the ceremony. The breakfast was wonderful with so many courses.”

Mary Elliot agreed. “We are doing something similar although our breakfast will not quite match this one. I would far rather have a nice time visiting with my friends than suffer through indigestion from overly rich food.”

Mary Bennet chuckled. “You may get some of that when my turn comes. Mother’s plans keep changing as she adds more delicacies, more decoration, more attendants, and just more. Aunt Madeleine has had to assure her that there is plenty of lace on my dress. Oh well, if it makes her happy, I do not mind too much.”

Mary Elliot said, “I just want everything to go by quickly so I can begin my new life. Grandmother has been wonderful about everything. Are you still planning to attend the dinner at the Findlay’s?”

“Yes, we all expect to be there. Your turn will be here before you know it. It is only a few more days.”

“I hope I am ready.”

The Hattons spent a quiet day at home with just the family. Late in the afternoon, Lady Fitzwilliam announced that she and Lord Fitzwilliam would be attending dinner at the Findlays. Richard was going to the Findlay’s as well since Charlotte would be there with the Darcys. Anne blushed to realize that she and Hatton would have some time to be alone together. Mrs. Annesley was careful to keep to her room after the breakfast was over. She was doing what she could to give the couple some privacy as well. The couple enjoyed the time alone becoming better acquainted.

Many friends called the next day, simply for the fun in calling Anne Mrs. Hatton rather than Miss de Bourgh. Anne blushed each time all morning, finally becoming somewhat accustomed to it by the end of calling hours. Richard received the male version of teasing about being a newlywed as he spent that morning at the club.

Chapter 30

Immediately after Anne’s wedding, Hugh Beamont’s family arrived in town. He and Mary stopped by to make introductions. Lord Beaumont said, “I am so pleased for Hugh. His letters have been singing your praise, Miss Elliot.”

Mary said, “How nice of him. I have certainly enjoyed becoming acquainted. He has told me a great deal about all of you, so I feel as if I know you. Mrs. Beaumont, I hear you have completed a number of updates at Edlington Beck and have made it far more beautiful. I congratulate you on your success.”

Mrs. Beaumont laughed. “As if Hugh would recognize it being more beautiful! But I thank you. And as we are to be sisters, please call me Ellen.”

“Well, then you must call me Mary, Ellen. I am just sorry we will live too far apart to become much better acquainted. We must write regularly to remedy that.”

Edmund said, “I will see that she does, sister.”

Ellen laughed again. “As far as I am concerned, the best way to correct our ignorance is for us two to do a little shopping together this afternoon. I am sure there is something you must need.”

Hugh and Edmund both chuckled. Lord Beaumont said, “Let me encourage you to do just that by giving each of you a little incentive.” He handed each a few bank notes.

Ellen said, “Father, that is not necessary, but we both thank you.”

Mary said, “Indeed we do.”

He replied, “Just buy yourselves something pretty and show it off to me before the wedding. That is all I ask.”

The ladies left together in the Beaumont carriage. Once they were gone, Lord Beaumont said, “My best wishes, son. She is lovely and very nice.”

Edmund agreed, “Thank you. It looks like she and Ellen may become friends.”

Hugh said, “I hope so. We still plan to come and visit home during August if that is still agreeable.”

Lord Beaumont said, “We are looking forward to it. Ellen has already held so many small entertainments, I feel as if I have reawakened. We must do something special when the two of you come to introduce her to our neighbors. If only you were not so far away.”

Hugh replied, “You must just come to town for part of the season. There is no other solution.”

The girls had a very pleasant shopping trip. They chatted and laughed their way through a number of shops, selecting a few trinkets and accessories. They became very good friends that afternoon.

As they were preparing to return home, Ellen asked, “Mary, is Sir Walter Elliot your father?”

Mary was surprised. “Why, yes he is. Do you know him?”

“I believe I met him and your sister last year. They were here in April, were they not?”

“Yes, they were.”

“I met them at a ball just before your other sister, Mrs. Wentworth I think, was married. You do not resemble her so I had not suspected it, but you mentioned something about home that reminded me of her.”

“Anne, Mrs. Wentworth, and I more closely resemble our mother. Elizabeth favors our father.”

“I believe she is quite a bit older than you, isn’t she?”

“A bit. They are here for the wedding, so you can renew the acquaintance if you wish.”

Ellen nodded. “I hope you will understand that I do not believe she and I can become friends as you and I are becoming.”

Mary chuckled. “I do not think Elizabeth has any friends like that. If you have no real wish for the acquaintance, you have my leave to ignore her. They are only here for the next five weeks and then return to Kellynch. Mr. Beaumont and I visited once and have encountered them a few days later, but that is all. Are you staying on after the wedding?”

“We thought we might as well take advantage of being in town. It also gives me a chance to look over the townhouse to consider what I might want to change next season.”

“Then we will have more time to become better acquainted. Of course, I will be able to see you again when we come to visit this summer.”

By the end of the shopping expedition, the two were very comfortable together. Mary anticipated that she and Ellen could have many fine days together whenever they were able to spend time in town. They easily managed to spend the bank notes that Lord Beaumont had supplied as well as a few more besides.

Just a couple of days later, it was Mary Elliot’s turn at the altar. As she donned her rose frock, she considered how it would be to become mistress of her own home, however modest. She decided she was prepared for the changes coming her way, although she was still a little uncertain about some specific marital duties. She hoped her grandmother was correct that patience and understanding with a little time would prove them pleasurable as well even if there was some discomfort at first. She blushed to think of it.

When Mary saw the new Mrs. Hatton at the church, she shed most of her nerves. Anne looked so happy, she almost glowed. If marriage could do that for someone, she had nothing to fear. As her father met her to escort her down the aisle, she knew she looked particularly well. He affirmed that when he said, “That dress is quite becoming to you. I am proud to walk with you.”

“Thank you.” Mary kept her thoughts to herself, but internally, she added, I know we look good together but there is more to life than that. It would be nice if you would wish me happy as grandmother did.

Sir Walter and Elizabeth were amazed at the number of people attending Mary’s wedding. They knew only about one third of those present. Sir Walter noticed a number of very well dressed, attractive, youngish women to whom he would like an introduction. From their dress, they must have comfortable finances. Elizabeth speculated on the rank of two or three gentlemen, wondering who might introduce her to them since Mary would be too busy. Perhaps Aunt Madeline or Grandmother? Elizabeth recognized the former Miss Fotheringale in Mrs. Edmund Beaumont and determined to cultivate Mary’s new sister who might be able to introduce some of those young men.

True to their promises, some of the Stevensons sat on each side of the chapel. However, there were enough friends that the Beaumont side was not lacking in well-wishers.

Once the ceremony was over, many joined the family at the Stevenson townhouse for breakfast. Mary and Beaumont chose to chat with each for a few moments before taking their seats to partake.

Elizabeth Elliot said to Ellen, “Mrs. Beaumont, how nice to see you again. When we met last year, I never suspected we would become sisters.”

Ellen smiled, “Neither did I. I have enjoyed becoming acquainted with your sister. I believe she will make my brother very happy.”

Elizabeth did not bother to reply to that comment. “Would you do me the favor to introduce me to those gentlemen over there? I do not believe I have met them before.”

Ellen sighed rather dramatically. “I wish I could, but I do not know them. I suspect you must ask your sister or her husband. They are rather fine-looking, are they not?”

“Well, thank you any way.” Elizabeth turned away in frustration. She finally asked Lady Stevenson to introduce her.

“Are you sure? None of them currently have titles,” said Lady Stevenson.

“Are any in line to inherit them?” asked Elizabeth.

“Well, yes.”

“Then, please introduce me.”

Lady Stevenson looked at her granddaughter for a moment and then agreed. Elizabeth exerted herself to appear charming and agreeable. After speaking with the gentlemen for some fifteen minutes, she felt sure that one or two of them would be calling upon her within the next few days. Perhaps Mr. Dudley would do. He claimed he had been unable to leave town with his friends and so was at loose ends. He would be here for another two or three days at least as his mother had need of him. She had been a close friend of the late Mrs. Beaumont and had requested his escort to this wedding.

When Mary Beaumont greeted Anne, she said, “You look so very happy, Mrs. Hatton. It appears that married life agrees with you.”

Anne smiled, “Mr. Hatton is an excellent companion. I anticipate a great deal of joy together. Even though we have postponed our wedding trip, the family is giving us time alone to become much better acquainted which has been very nice. We can talk in ways we never did before the wedding. I find I am even more pleased now than before we wed.”

“I hope I will find the same.”

“As Mr. Beaumont seems as kind as Mr. Hatton, I am sure you will.”

As she spent a few moments with Mary Bennet, the new Mrs. Beaumont said, a little wistfully, “I do wish the Wentworths could be here. Anne and I were never as close as the two of you were last year. I know some of that is due to circumstance, but I would dearly love to see her.”

Mary Bennet said, “I am sure she would be here if she could.”

“I know she would. I finally received a letter wishing me success in finding someone compatible. I had written shortly after arriving after grandfather’s death. I mentioned my hopes and wished she and I had had a chance to become better friends. She says that she will make time to call upon me when she is next in England.”

“Oh, I hope that means that we will hear from her soon as well. Did she sound happy? The Indies sounded so interesting in her last letter.”

“She said she finds life on board ship fascinating and has learned a great deal. She does sound quite happy. I wish I could have met the captain. He sounds like a very nice gentleman.”

“Yes, he seemed to be very much so. It is very lucky that Captain Fitzwilliam invited him to spend some of his leave with the Fitzwilliams so that he and Anne could come together again. I am glad they are still so happy together.”

Sir Walter managed to get introduced to some of the prettier young women but found none of them were interested in furthering the acquaintance. He overheard one young woman say to her mother, “He would do very well for you. He could easily be my father. Imagine!” He was incredulous at her response. He could not possibly look old enough to be her father even though he actually was that old. Surely he still looked as if he were a dozen years younger!

Unfortunately for Sir Walter and Elizabeth, Mary’s friends all had enough intelligence to have no interest in a further acquaintance with her father and sister after a short conversation. Neither could understand their lack of success with Mary’s friends and, as they returned to their quarters, determined that they hadn’t really been interested anyway. There was still the possibility of the Mr. Dudley. Perhaps he would call. Elizabeth once again heard herself referred to as someone who was now really passé when she heard some of Mary’s friends talking. She could not understand how anyone could think that given her looks. They must all be mistaken. Mary’s friends were really not worth knowing-they definitely showed their ignorance in their opinions.

Beaumont and Mary retired to his flat after a pleasant time with their friends. Wilson greeted them after the new footman opened the door. “Sir, madam, the staff would like to offer their felicitations. You are most welcome here, Mrs. Beaumont.”

Beaumont nodded his head, replying, “Thank you Wilson.”

“I also thank you Wilson. I think we will take a cup of tea in the parlor in thirty minutes, if you would please notify Mrs. Carter.”

“Very well, madam.”

They retired to their chambers to change. Mary’s things had been delivered and put away by her maid over the course of the past couple of days. She helped Mary change into a morning dress, saying, “Congratulations, Mrs. Beaumont. The service was lovely. Thank you for inviting me to attend. I hope the breakfast was as fine.”

“Thank you, Benson. Yes, we had a very nice time. We will be off for another wedding next week, then we can settle for a time before our own wedding trip. I hope you shall like it here.”

“Oh, I already do, ma’am. It is a very nice establishment.”

Mary found that her grandmother had been correct. Marital intimacies could be very pleasant. It was also nice to be in charge of her own home. Although she had done very little at Kellynch, her grandmother had helped her to understand her duties in the household as part of her social education this season. She had enjoyed those duties at her grandmother’s townhouse. She was a little nervous but generally pleased at her ability to direct her staff and manage her few social needs. It was not as difficult to manage the household as Elizabeth seemed to make it. Perhaps her sister was truly less competent than she had seemed. After all, look at those repairs that had remained undone in her quarters. It was quite enlightening to understand some of Elizabeth’s shortcomings and made Mary feel just a little more secure in her abilities.

Kindly Relations Chapters 29 and 30

ShannaGMay 15, 2018 08:15PM

Re: Kindly Relations Chapters 29 and 30

EvelynJeanMay 16, 2018 09:56AM


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