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Kindly Relations Chapters 41 and 42

June 05, 2018 04:58PM
AN: We finish up part one and begin part two. Thank you again for your comments.
Chapter 41

Many friends and family arrived for the wedding over the next couple of days. Once again, friends stayed at various friends around Meryton. Longbourn and Lucas Lodge were both full as were many other houses. Most of those that had been at Charlotte’s wedding were there with the addition of the Musgroves and Wentworths. Just a few of the extended Fitzwilliams were missing.

Mrs. Phillips helped direct the efforts to create the atmosphere and feast that Mrs. Bennet had planned. Mary bore all the effusion and excess with quiet good will. This was all a tribute to her mother’s dreams. The morning of the wedding, Mary awoke with a hint of sadness that her mother could not see the realization of her dream. She thought, “Mama, I promise it will be wonderful, and Charles and I are so grateful for all you did. I hope you know that, wherever you are. Thank you.”

In the end, Jane and Elizabeth did not stand up with Mary’s other sisters and nieces, but they did help her dress. They were far enough along in pregnancy to feel uncomfortable in attending her. Jane said, “Oh, Mary, you look so beautiful. I know Mama would have loved the dress.”

Elizabeth added, “Yes, everything is just perfect.”

Mary said, “Thank you. It has certainly been a lot of work. I am glad Aunt Phillips could help make it all happen. I am not sure I could even though I was aware of most of her plans.”

Mrs. Bennet would have been well pleased at the spectacle that was Mary’s wedding. However, there were plenty of attendants. Musgrove also had many attendants. The church was filled with flowers as was Longbourn. As Mr. Bennet prepared to walk Mary down the aisle, he said, “Your mother would be so happy today. You look beautiful.”

“Thank you, Father. I hope she is watching us and happy. I had a little more lace added to the dress in her honor. It may be a little fancier than I would have chosen, but she planned well, and I wanted to honor her memory. It is certainly beautiful.”

“Your young man is very lucky. I shall miss you when you are off in Somerset.”

“You can visit us when we are in London, you know. I hope you will choose to do so.”

“It will certainly be easier than traveling to Somerset. Although I can visit when I drop Kitty and Lydia at school, it will not be the same as having you direct the household as you have done. Thank you for easing the transition for me. I love you, my dear.”

She leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. Then the processional started and they began the walk that would change the rest of her life. The glow in her eyes told everyone of her happiness in that direction.

After the ceremony, everyone gathered again at Longbourn for the feast Mrs. Bennet had planned. As Mrs. Phillips looked at the laden tables, she sighed. To Mrs. Gardiner, she said, “It is a shame that Fanny had to miss all of this.”

Mrs. Gardiner replied, “At least she had the fun of planning it. You did wonderfully well to make all her plans come true. Mary is very lucky you knew all that her mother wanted.”

“It has been bittersweet. But it has turned out very well. “

Mary heard this last as she joined them. “It certainly has, and we have you to thank for it, Aunt Anne. I could never have managed all of this without you. Thank you.”

“You are most welcome, my dear. This was very much your mother’s dream for you.”

Mrs. Gardiner said, “And you have made that dream come true.”

Mary said, “All that is left is to help Catherine and Lydia find good matches when they come out. I know all mother really wanted was for all of us to be happy and comfortable. So far, we seem to have achieved at least some of that. And look at how much the family has grown. It is wonderful to have so many new relations.”

Mrs. Phillips said, “Well, I have tried to follow through on everything that Fanny had planned. And just look at Jane and Elizabeth. By the end of the summer, we will have two new babies join the family.”

Elizabeth joined them during those comments. “Indeed we will. And it appears that John Lucas will soon follow us into marriage. One of the ladies in Kympton has finally succeeding in catching him, it appears. Lady Lucas has just informed me of his latest letter detailing his betrothal. He will marry shortly after we are home again. I know the young lady and am sure they will be very happy together.”

Mrs. Phillips, dearly loving all weddings, exclaimed, “Oh, how happy for the Lucases. Both Charlotte and John wed this year. And Charlotte has wed so well.”

Elizabeth said, “Yes, we have all done exceptionally well.” She glanced over at Georgiana, Lydia, Kitty, and Maria Lucas talking together. “Now, we have a respite until the others take their turn.”

Mrs. Gardiner said, “At least that will be a few years off.”

Mary looked at her own potential charges, Henrietta and Louisa, who were talking with Michael and Matthew Garret. “We hope so. It seems that we will all be in town watching over our younger sisters when the time comes.”

Elizabeth smiled. “Yes, if they all keep to that decision to come out together. We will all be able to work together to help them.”

Charlotte joined them. “Mary, your mother would be so pleased at how fancy your wedding was.”

Mary smiled in reply. “Yes, it was a bit like attending a fancy ball, wasn’t it. At least there were no chalked figures on the floor.”

They all chuckled at that thought. Mrs. Phillips said, “I am sure Mr. Decker would have frowned at that.”

Mrs. Gardiner spent some time visiting with Mrs. Garret. “Are you ready for Matthew to leave with the Wentworths?”

“Is any mother ever truly ready when her children leave? Were you when your oldest went off to school?”

“I suppose not.”

“However, even though I cannot be ready, I am pleased. He will start on the road to a secure future with an excellent commanding officer. I am sure Mrs. Wentworth will watch over him as well.”

Mrs. Gardiner said, “I am sure that is correct. Anne is one of the most caring individuals I have ever met.”

“Michael will miss his brother, but he will continue his preparations for Sandhurst another year or two. Will you be sending Rachel off to school or continue at home with her governess?”

“We were thinking to send her off to the same school her cousins have attended in Bath when she is twelve. That gives us a few more years at home. It seems we must always be looking ahead, doesn’t it?”

Those who had delayed their wedding trips all left after the breakfast shortly after Mary and Musgrove did. Mrs. Bennet would have been gratified at the success of wedding.

Chapter 42

Two and a half years later, when Parliament was seated in January, both Findlay and Musgrove returned with it. They had been re-elected when new elections were held at the dissolution of the previous Parliament. Both were pleased that their constituents felt they were doing well enough to return them to their seats.

As they gathered in the parlor in London, Mrs. Findlay said to Caroline, “Well, this should be an interesting season with both a new Parliament and the rest of your sisters coming out.”

Caroline smiled, “I expect we will be fully as busy as during my own season. When you add in all the children in the family, I believe our Sunday dinners will be quite chaotic.”

“With the passing of Lady Stevenson, where will you gather this year?”

“Elizabeth has asked us to come to Darcy House. Since she will have her sisters and Georgiana, it seems to make the most sense. She will certainly have her hands full.”

“When do they plan to arrive?”

“She plans to start slowly as her aunt did with her, so they arrive at the beginning of February. We should see them in ten days or so.”

“That is also when the Hursts arrive, is it not?”

“Yes. We will only be missing Charles and Jane. They are coming in the spring, about the beginning of April. With two little ones, they did not want any winter travel.”

“Ah yes. How are Charles Thomas and Jane Maria doing?”

“Jane says they are thriving. Both are going to use their second names to minimize confusion. It is so nice that all of us have children near in age. As the cousins grow older, they will have many playmates. So my Carl will have Tommy and Maria Bingley, Bennet Darcy, Hugh Beaumont, Eleanor Hurst, George Fitzwilliam, and Charlie Musgrove to play with along with Jenny Gardiner. The other Gardiner children will have fun helping with all these younger ones. It would be nice if the Viscount Milton’s boys ever came around, but it seems their mother leaves them at the estate when she comes to town. Of course, we do not see much of that family in any case. But at least they have an older cousin to watch over them in Rory Alleyn.”

Mrs. Findlay smiled at Caroline. “You have all done remarkably well. It will be nice to see everyone again this year. I am glad Charles and Jane are coming, even if it is later. They have not been here since Jane’s season.”

Caroline smiled. “It seems they do not really like town. I suspect I would be bored if I spent so much time in the country, but they love it.”

At the same time, the Musgroves settled into a comfortable townhouse they had rented not far from the Beaumont’s. Musgrove said, “This seems a nice enough place.”

Mary agreed. “Yes, it does although I will certainly miss Lady Stevenson and her townhouse. She was of so much help to me. Anne would have rented us her house to us this year if they were not expecting to be here sometime during the season. I hope they are here sooner rather than later. It seems longer than two and a half years since they were here last. I cannot wait to see Anne again.”

“Yes, our lives have changed so much. This season will be eventful with us bringing out Louisa and Henrietta. At least we have a couple of weeks before my parents bring them. Plenty of time for Charlie and the nurse to get accustomed to our new surroundings.”

Mary looked at him fondly. Her life was so much more interesting than she had ever hoped for as a girl. “Yes, helping present them to the queen will be very exciting. I hope we can visit Longbourn after Cassandra is delivered in March. What a surprise the new baby will be to Matthew when he returns with the Wentworths.”

“Your father seems to be very happy with his new wife.”

“Yes, I think Cassandra has been good for him. She is more of an intellectual than my mother was, and I think that is important for him. They seem to get on so well together.”

“I know he enjoyed having Michael at Longbourn before he left for Sandhurst this past autumn. How does it feel knowing you will have a brother or sister who is the same age as Charlie?”

“It is a little odd but nothing out of the way. It often happens that there is a second family such as Father will have. I hope they have more than the one. It will be good for Father. At least I no longer worry about him being alone as I did after our marriage. Cassandra is a wonderful addition to the family.”

Musgrove nodded in agreement. “She seems very nice. So, a light supper tonight and tomorrow we begin our rounds again.”

“Yes. I will pay morning visits. Lady Fitzwilliam is holding a dinner the next day. It will give us an opportunity to catch up with everyone. I will call upon her tomorrow. I will also visit Mary Beaumont and Caroline Findlay. Mary can update me on all of our London friends and will know who is already in town. Then I will visit Aunt Madeleine and Lady Harriet. It will be nice to see everyone again.”

“Will you take Charlie along?”

“This first time, yes. Of course I must show him off to our friends. At least he is a happy little boy. All but Lady Fitzwilliam have little ones he can spend time with while I visit with my friends. I imagine our nurses will all become friends as well by the end of the season.”

Since Charlie Musgrove was only about six months old, he and Hugh Beaumont, who was now a year old, could not yet really play. However, Charlie had been born at Uppercross the previous summer, so he must now be introduced to all of the Musgrove’s friends and relations in town.

When Mary Musgrove saw Hugh, her first comment was, “He has grown so much. He was even smaller than Charlie is when we left last spring. You did not bring him to the shooting party, so I had no idea how much he had grown. And you are looking very well.”

Mary Beaumont smiled. “Yes, he is getting big, isn’t he? I think I must bring him next time so that Lady Russell can meet him. If only she would come to town. We write regularly, but visiting only during your autumn shooting parties does not give us much time together. You look well also. Charlie seems to be doing well too. Do you have a good nurse to help you with him?”

“Thank goodness, I do. I did not bring her along today to see you, but I suspect that any time Charlie joins me in future, so will she. You still have the same nurse?”

“Yes, she is an immense help. With so many social demands, I do not know how I could manage without one. I will bring her and Hugh for the next trip. He is old enough to travel now. So, your new mother is to add to the family soon?”

“Yes, we are very happy about it. The new Mrs. Bennet has been wonderful for Father. If they should manage to have a boy, we will no longer have to worry about losing Longbourn through the entail. The cousin who currently stands to inherit called upon Father and Cassandra last autumn. He tried to engage the attentions of either Catherine or Lydia in order to repair the breach between our families. Catherine at least considered it, but Lydia was horrified by him. Their letters were quite amusing. He ended up marrying our neighbor Maria Lucas, the younger sister of Charlotte Fitzwilliam. Charlotte had planned to present her this year and give her a season along with our sisters, but now she will not. Maria knew she had the option, but she elected to marry and move to her own home rather than chance the season.”

Mary Beaumont considered a moment. “So if your new mother has only girls as your own mother did, a friend of yours would become the eventual mistress of Longbourn.”

Mary Musgrove agreed, “Yes, that is at least a consolation. The heir is a clergyman who thought to make peace between our families through a marriage. At least there are cordial relations again, which there were not when his father lived. They live in a small parish in Dorset. And with three of us so well married, there is no fear for the futures of my sisters now.”

All the friends were visited, Charlie displayed and cooed over, and Mary retired home well satisfied with her visits. It was always exciting to return to London and the more challenging and thought provoking atmosphere of their London friends. Somerset was fine, and Mary loved Uppercross, but the stimulation of London was something wonderful.

Kindly Relations Chapters 41 and 42

ShannaGJune 05, 2018 04:58PM

Re: Kindly Relations Chapters 41 and 42

EvelynJeanJune 07, 2018 01:20AM

Re: Kindly Relations Chapters 41 and 42

KateBJune 06, 2018 01:14PM

Re: Kindly Relations Chapters 41 and 42

BrigidJune 05, 2018 05:45PM

Re: Kindly Relations Chapters 41 and 42

ShannaGJune 05, 2018 06:04PM


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