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Kindly Relations Chapters 47 and 48

June 15, 2018 03:43PM
AN: Glad you are enjoying the mix of characters from the different books.
Chapter 47

The next day, the Musgroves called at Darcy House just before Darcy left for his club. He wanted to greet Mary but had no desire to hear the chatter of five excited young women. He shook his head at the murmur coming from the parlor as he left. It would be a long season.

Mary and Elizabeth sat off to one side sharing news as the five young women caught up on everything that had happened since they left each other the previous spring. Letters were just not the same as talking face to face.

While the others caught up, Elizabeth asked, “So, how are you enjoying having your new sisters with you?”

“They are very excited to be here and were quite disappointed not to attract any particular admirers at their first card party. We are enjoying having them with us. Louisa in particular always reminds me of Lydia with her high spirits and exuberance.”

“One benefit of so many of us in town is there is always someone else to lend a hand. Do you think Anne Wentworth will be here soon?”

Mary smiled. “From what we have heard, probably not until March or April. However, it will be lovely to see her again. She has had so many adventures.”

“With Charles in Parliament, so have you. Yours are just not as dramatic as hers.”

“Yes, that’s true. It has been an adventure. Parliament is quite interesting, and I love these visits to London.”

The practice paid off-the girls all performed well at the soiree. The Musgrove girls performed together with Henrietta playing piano and Louisa singing. They chose a piece that was comfortable for both of them. Neither particularly enjoyed exhibiting, but they had practice enough to display well.

As they ceded the piano to another young woman and moved over toward their family, Georgiana said to them, “Oh, well done. Wish us luck. We will be there shortly.”

Louisa replied, “Thank you. You know you will do well. You always do.”

A young man standing nearby added, “Oh, but she is correct. You were very nice.”

Louisa looked at him and said, “Thank you, Mr. Cortland, isn’t it?”

He smiled, “Yes, it is Cortland. We met at the card party.”

“Oh, yes, of course.”

“So, do you enjoy singing? It sounded like it in your song.”

“Well, sometimes. But I am not very good. However, my playing is not even as good as my singing, hence our decision for my sister to play and me to sing.”

He raised an eyebrow in question and asked, “Are you sure you do not sing very well? I thought your performance very pleasing.”

“Thank you again. Now, enough about me, you must tell me something about yourself.”

They spoke quietly until the next performance began and once again when it was over. Mary watched them closely without seeming to see them. She turned to Elizabeth and said quietly, “Well, that is interesting. They were only introduced the one time and didn’t even play cards together.”

Elizabeth replied, “We must see if more comes of it. He seems a nice enough young man.”

Mary asked, “What do you know of him? We met him at Aunt Madeleine’s, so I know he is acceptable.”

“I believe his home is not far from Meryton, maybe ten miles or so closer to London. He has a small estate, two older sisters who have married fairly well, and lives at home with his mother. She is here in town with him but does not always attend all the activities as she is fairly shy and retiring. We met them when we had our come out.”

“Do the two sisters live near as well?”

“No. One lives in Scotland, the other seems to have moved abroad, Italy, I think.”

Mary said, “Well, we will see what develops.”

All of the girls performed credibly, but of all the exhibitions that night, Georgiana’s singing received the most acclaim.

As they entered their chamber that night, Darcy said, “Well, that was not too bad.”

Elizabeth chuckled, “What did you expect?”

“Oh, I knew they would all exhibit well enough, but it is the watching, waiting, and worrying.”

“So, how much worrying? “

“I noticed young Cortland paying attention to Louisa. At least our other sisters haven’t attracted any attention yet.”

“Mr. Cortland is a nice young man. Since my aunt introduced them, at least we know he would be a respectable match. Louisa could certainly do worse. But of course it is too soon to know if anything will come of it. Wills, you needn’t do any worrying yet. Just take it one day at a time.”

“But I do not want them to make a mistake in a partner. It would be tragic.”

“Should it seem that one is tending in that direction, we can always face it then. Do not borrow trouble. We can meet it should it arise.”

“So you always say. Well, I will try to follow your advice. You know it is not easy, don’t you?”

“Perhaps not, but we will do it together, my love. For now, there is nothing to worry about.” 

Chapter 48

Mrs. Cortland called at the Musgroves the next day. The visit was cordial and returned the following day. Mrs. Cortland decided that if her son decided upon Louisa, she could accept it. She truly enjoyed Mary and thought Louisa a bit exuberant for her taste, but she knew that her son would prefer someone more exciting like Louisa. If she could have chosen, she would opt for Henrietta who was much quieter.

After that first visit, when Louisa and Henrietta were alone in the music room practicing, Henrietta asked, “So, what think you of Mr. Cortland, Lou?”

“Still early days, Hettie. However, he seems nice enough. We must get to know each other better of course, but I think I am anticipating that. He is more interesting than many we have met.”

“At least Charles does not have to worry about him. It is nice that our family is ensuring that we meet acceptable young men. What would it be like if people were not watching out for us?”

“Well, that is nothing we need worry about.”

Louisa looked at her questioningly, “Are you still waiting for Charles Hayter or will you look around now?”

Henrietta considered, “I like Charles well enough. I am sure we could be happy. But, I think you are right that there might be something more. If I marry Charles, I will live near our parents. If I find someone else, who knows what adventures might await? I see how those others who have moved away are and wonder. Mary Beaumont is so happy here in London, so far away from home. Elizabeth Darcy, Jane Bingley, and Caroline Findlay, all of them seem so happy so far away from home.”

“So you might look beyond Charles?”

“I am more in favor of it than I was before coming to town.”

“Excellent. I am sure we will both be very happy. Charles is acceptable, but I think you can do much better.”

At the Darcys, the three girls had a similar conversation although there was not yet a specific young man to discuss for them.

Lydia said, “It is fun that it seems Louisa has an admirer. He is an attractive young man. He does not look as nice as someone in uniform, but he is good enough.”

Catherine laughed, “Oh uniforms, yes, they are fine indeed. However, unless they are senior officers, a uniform will be unable to take care of us in the proper style. One can dream though.”

Georgiana also laughed. “Oh, I do not think our family will allow anyone who cannot care for us into the circle. You need have no worries. Unless we run off with a servant, there are no young men to whom our family will introduce us who will not give us a fine life. We simply need to find someone we think we can find some happiness with.”

Catherine laughed, “That is all! But we Bennets have the example of our parents to show us how not to find happiness together. I am not sure we really know enough to foresee the kind of incompatibility that our parents shared.”

Lydia said, “We should probably talk to Elizabeth about that.”

Georgiana agreed, “That is an excellent idea.”

She went off to find Elizabeth to bring her back to her sisters, explaining as she brought her, “We are in need of some insight which we hope you have.”

Elizabeth smiled, “I will do my best.”

After they explained their concern, Elizabeth said, “Well, now. Father and Mother. You do not ask the easy ones, do you? I do not have all the answers, but I considered it quite a bit when I was doing my own searching. Mother was quite vivacious as a girl and her liveliness attracted Father. I understand that she became more and more concerned as she kept delivering girls. The entail caused her so much angst. She truly feared for our futures. It caused all her nerves. Now, she was uneducated and never understood why improving herself might help her find more happiness in life. Father, on the other hand, loves to read and learn new things. It is why he constantly worked to encourage us to improve ourselves. However, they became more and more frustrated with each other as time went on. So, what I learned from all that is: 1-you must have respect for your partner; 2-you must be able to talk to your partner; 3-you must be able to share. Mother and Father could never share. Wills and I can do all that as can Mary and Charles Musgrove and Jane and Charles Bingley. What it is you share does not matter as much as that you can. There are other kinds of marriages, however, and they can all work. But if you want one that is a partnership, this is my advice. I think that is what Father has found with Cassandra-they have so very much in common. I expect that they will be happier together than Mother and Father were.”

Catherine frowned. “But how do you know?”

Elizabeth smiled at her little sister. “You can never really know in advance. However, take the time to get to know him as best you can. Make the choice with your eyes wide open after a great deal of thought.”

Georgiana said, “We can do that. Lots of thought.”

Lydia asked, “But what about love?”

Elizabeth replied, “What about it?”

“Where does it come in?”

“Well, even though Father and Mother were not well suited, they did love each other. Love is more than just a feeling. It is also a way of acting toward others. Serving and working together usually helps deepen an affection. Now, you might be thinking only of physical attraction. That is, of course, very nice, but what happens when the person’s looks change over time?”

Lydia thought a moment. “I guess if his looks were all there was between us, the feeling might die.”

Elizabeth said, “That certainly happens. Look around you at all the different types of couples there are. Some are based on respect and affection, some on money or status, some on looks, some are simply business arrangements. What is important is that you and your partner are looking for the same type of partnership. If you want romance and affection and he wants only your dowry, well, that will bring unhappiness to you since he is not likely to meet your need. If you want rank and he wants your dowry, you can probably find a way to make it work. Have you all decided what you want?”

Georgiana answered for all three. “We have discussed it a great deal. We want respect and affection. We want men who will talk with us, discuss important things, and respect us.”

Catherine added, “We want men who think about important things and will discuss them with us.”

Lydia giggled, “But a uniform would not be an impediment either.”

They all chuckled. Elizabeth then said, “Does that answer your questions well enough?”

Catherine replied, “Yes, thank you, Elizabeth. It is more to think about as we meet all these potential choices.”

Kindly Relations Chapters 47 and 48

ShannaGJune 15, 2018 03:43PM

Re: Kindly Relations Chapters 47 and 48

BrigidJune 16, 2018 01:55AM

Re: Kindly Relations Chapters 47 and 48

EvelynJeanJune 15, 2018 06:27PM


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