Apparently the question of who would write the Reader’s Perspective this week was about to degenerate into virtual fisticuffs, but Evie and Dave resolved it by deciding to write it together. A dangerous precedent to allow them to work together – now they’re hatching all sorts of schemes! – Abigail
DM- My first reaction to Darcy’s letter to Elizabeth was, AWWW! Well done! To fix his insecure problem of forming a coherent sentence in Elizabeth’s presence, Elizabeth will have to, in private, plant a passionate kiss on him and convince him of her feelings toward him.
EC- I wholeheartedly agree and I believe that Darcy deserves some tangible relief to all of his woes. Can you see him, being assaulted with kisses from his Dearest and Loveliest Elizabeth? He may start looking like a Redbull commercial. Wings will pop out of his shoes and he may just float away in his ecstasy.
DM- LOL What a vision of Darcy! Would his arms be straight down his side with his hands fluttering like wings…? Of course he would be stiffly straight, but tilting from side to side with a silly look on his face. Ahh, a man in love!
EC- Oh yes and he would have that dumbfounded look on his face as if he were just slapped! Ok, enough of Darcy. If we go on any more about him our readers might hunt us down.
DM- On Lydia’s situation, she has been plucked and being unrepentant cannot return to Meryton without spilling the beans and ruining the family reputation. She appears to not care a whit about returning home. It should be easy for Gardiner, Colonel Fitzwilliam or Monty to come up with some poor sod that would take her away – for a price that of course would be paid by Darcy.
EC- I’m not sure that he would have to be paid off exactly. If we are going to send her to India (which seems to be what the majority of people have spoken of as a valid option), why don’t we have someone who has already lived in India take her off of the Gardener’s hands. He may have seen the custom of arranged marriages and felt like it would be much easier to arrange for a wife to be ready for him when he next returns to England than to hunt for one himself. Then it would be more of convincing him of her assets rather than purchasing her for someone who really should know better. The way I see it, if the poor sod is paid to marry her and then later realizes his mistake, he will only want more money later and throughout his life for her support and in the end wouldn’t be much better than Wickham.
DM- True, think you are right on no extra money – a sea captain would probably appreciate her abundant assets without anything else. Can he change her behavior, or would he want to?
EC- I’m not sure that he would care about any other assets.
DM- Wickham’s fate of being transported seems to transfer a bad egg someplace out of sight and mind – watch out Australia, you are getting a loser! Maybe he will cheat at cards while sailing in the middle of the Atlantic and be encouraged to swim, say, a hundred miles?
EC- I am all for transportation. Poor Theo is too nice to the man. To feel sorry for that pediphile is beyond words. Sure Lydia was out. But that doesn’t change the fact that she was 15. Georgie was 15 when he tried to run off with her too. Some may say that he did it purely for the Darcy income, but I think he must have been a sick man. Just look at his track record. There must have been other ways. Am I being too harsh?
DM- No, I just hate to allow him to escape without suffering the misery he bestowed on uncounted women – especially those without protection or resources. He needs to pay big time – Australia deserves better.
EC- Anything to say about anyone else?
It is mildly funny how Mrs Bennet and Lady Cathy are both inept beyond words! They have something in common after all.
DM- Like written by Maria Grace, Anne is acting as though a much younger age, and she has lost many years of growth. She would benefit from a girl’s school, but is too old? Possibly time someplace like Bath where she could be brought into society in small doses? Interesting that Anne is upward bound while Lydia’s future is headed for a dreary end.
EC- Anne would be wise to emulate the good example of Elizabeth. A girls school is out of the question, but what about small doses of Pemberley society? Like Kitty learning to be a lady. Elizabeth would have her own girls school… Kitty, Georgianna and Anne. Is there anyone else who would benefit by Elizabeths tutelage?
DM- What a handful that would be! A follower, shy, and bold. Would like to see what the writers would do with this mix! Good idea!
EC- Just for fun David and I have worked together our own version of what happens next…
On the ship Vanguard in the middle of the Atlantic..
Captain Jeffries asks, “Where away?”
“Port aft Captin”
“Of course it is aft man! We are carrying 5 knots!”
After looking through his glass, Captain Jeffries shakes his head, “Poor sod. No ways we can turn back, the current is against us. He is lost.”
After a glance to the sails, the captain asks, “Who was it Mister Purser?”
“Not sure Captain, I will do a roster to see who is missing.”
“No need Captin.” says seaman Jones.
“You saw him go in?”
“Aye Captin, he were takin a leak and forgets ta hold on. A real ‘lubber, that ‘un, Sir.”
“And who was the fool?”
“Wickham Sir. He were a transport cargo.”
“No great loss there I understand.” With a smirk, “Can he swim?”
With a loud guffaw, “Doesn’ matter Captin. No ways he kin swim a hunnert mile!”
“Mark it in the log Mister Purser. List it as Transport ‘Fool’ Wickham lost by his own hand.”
With a laugh, the seamen turn to their tasks and give George Wickham not another thought.
Lydia flopped on her bed in a horrifyingly unladylike manner.
“What right had uncle Gardiner to yell at me so? He is not my father and Papa would never raise his voice to me for I am Mama’s pet!”, Lydia thought to herself in a most self righteous way.
Being banished to her room after a childish display of pouting and screaming that could rival any three year olds tantrum, Lydia Bennett was forced to sit in the solitude of one of Mr. and Mrs. Gardiners finely furnished guest bedrooms and await her destiny. For the most part Lydia assumed that her destiny included fine clothing and jewelry, dancing and LOTS of fine men. She had no aspirations of sitting at home and knitting. She took down her hair, diligently dabbed her eye cream on her face and made all of the necessary preparations that a girl of 15 could make to insure that she remained beautiful for the rest of her gay life.
After the two harpies calm, they both realize they need to support each other. To that end, Lady Catherine advises Anne on the proper use of Arts and Allurements.
My silly daughter is doing it all wrong! She must have my instruction…
“Anne! Sit up straight! Those shawls you wore for all those years have been hiding your form for too long. Now, shoulders back! Yes, that is how to best present yourself. Breathe deeply and behave properly – but with pride in who you are, present your assets!”
“My Assets?” Anne Blushed profusely. Never had her decolletage been exposed to the world, always concealed with heavy layers of taffeta and lace.
Lady Catherine continues with an appraising eye, “Surprisingly you do have a fine bosom – nicely shaped and plump er, globes! Your new modeste has done wonders at finding that fine line between enticing and tart. However, you have no knowledge on the effective use of a garter!”
“A garter Mama?”
With an eye roll, ” Yes, daughter. For the correct gentleman, limits of affection need to be established and the garter is used to show him what is allowed! You start low on your limb and as the courtship and engagement continues, your garter rises – but no higher than a handspan above the knee!”
“But Mama, for the right gentleman… “
“No Anne, no exceptions until you are married. Then you may tie the garter around your waist and let him explore to find it!”
With a snicker, “But Mama that could take a long time.”
Smiling, “For your pleasure, I hope it does!”
EC- (I’m not sure that we are following Regency etiquette but this is fiction, right?)
DM- ( Fiction, yeah! That’s a good reason! Actually we guys have fantasies about garters – especially Regency ones with ribbon rather than boring elastic like today… )
“For now, you must concentrate on the present Anne! Much time has been lost and you must make haste to lure the correct gentleman. Who you are and your appearance will draw him in, but we must practice on securing him and getting the settlement signed!”
“But Mama! I have read so much about love. Should that not be foremost?”
With a huff, “Daughter, leave romance in the novels! You may develop feelings of affection for your husband, that is a matter of chance. Leave the concept of love for encounters in your bed.”
“You are shocked? Simply remember daughter that what happens in the bedroom, stays in the bedroom. Once you have the man, you must keep him. The use of Arts and Allurements do not stop at the wedding ceremony or you will find him wasting your dowry on presents to lightskirts and widows – it is better to keep him happy and content by your side. Remember, it is always warmer in winter snuggled close to your husband. Of course, if he does wander, you have options of your own to find warmth.”
“Yes, yes, I know. Appearances of proper behavior. Daughter, appearances are for show – our behavior in the family rooms is not for sharing outside the family. Only the highly paid personal servants have any idea what goes on behind closed doors! Louis was always such an attentive husband – for most of our marriage. He did have a wandering eye and eventually I had to settle for Andre. Yes, I mean our neighbor’s eldest son.”
With a sigh, “He has always known how to be so very attentive…”
“Mama, I had no idea…”
“We may discuss this further soon. For now, I need to write a note to arrange a meeting.”
“A note to Andre?”
“Yes Dear, a note to Andre.”
The next morning, Mr Gardiner brings a guest.
“Miss Lydia Bennet, please meet Captain James Carter. He commands one of the ships I deal with in my business. We have been friends for years.”
“A pleasure, Miss Bennet. My what a lovely frock you wear today.” Captain Carter bowed politely however never taking his eyes off the glistening moons which were nearly exposed to completion above the bodice of Lydia’s “Frock”.
How fortunate that she had overheard her uncle Gardiner speak of a gentleman caller. It was of course very disappointing that he was not a redcoat, however he was an officer and a Captain at that! And oh, what mighty fine legs he seemed to have under those breeches. Blushing, Lydia curtsied in reply.
“How do you do Captain Carter? Are you sailing again soon? Where are you off too?” In an almost tongue tied sort of way, Lydia actually pulled off polite conversation. Why on earth did she feel so warm all of the sudden?
“My next trip is to India, I leave within a week. It is a lush, exotic land – have you heard of it Miss Bennet?”
“I understand that my Uncle Gardiner has business there. Is it very far from London?” Lydia looked up at him through child like, yet alluring eyes.
Laughing, “Yes, quite! The sights are fantastic and there are amazing wild animals to view.” On Lydia’s widened eyes, Captain Carter hurries to sooth her. “Fear not, Miss Lydia, the animals are in captivity and it is safe. Living in India is quite comfortable. My house there has 30 servants to provide for my every need.”
“30 servants!” Who needs a redcoat when a staff of that size is available?! He must be very wealthy indeed! I bet even Darcy doesn’t have 30 servants! (silly girl.)
“Why yes, a young lady often has two or three personal servants, maids and the like.”
“And you? Are you looking for a lady for your Maids” Lydia’s Childlike face morphed into that of a seductive mistress.
“Yes, Miss Bennet. I particularly came to London to chose a wife. I very much admire the styling of your hair today. Would you consider a walk in the park near by? Properly escorted of course.”
“I’m sure we can get on without a chaperone.” Mischief danced in Lydia’s eyes
After twenty minutes they return from a turn around the park.
“I am engaged! Whee! He is to get a special license, we will be married tomorrow!
Aunt, have the maid pack my cases!”
Little did Lydia know, her cases had already been packed and the special license was already in hand.
While Lydia chatters with Mrs Gardiner, Mr Gardiner settles the necessary details protecting Lydia’s best interests under the circumstances.
Lydia being Lydia, would never again have to wonder if she was increasing. Now that she had a baby daddy, she could increase to her hearts content without having to hear those horrid lectures from her Aunt Gardener and Sister Elizabeth. And best of all She would be the first of all her sister to be wed. Glorious day!
After a hasty wedding, all is arranged. From the ship, Lydia waves goodbye to her relatives while holding tightly to the arm of her Captain husband. She is to have great adventures and rarely gives thought of writing her Mother – Captain Carter does keep the Gardiners informed of her many adventures – including the birth of their son nine months later.
Of course, Darcy and Elizabeth were married in a double wedding with Bingley and Jane.
EC- What happened to Richard and Anne?
DM – I am hoping Monty causes Richard some competition. Anne deserves some heavy courting and there could not be two more deserving men for her to choose between.
EC- I’m sure we would have some alarming garter discovery on the day of her engagement!
DM – Monty is already terrified of her, chasing her garter may do him in! Sounds like Richard may win by default. Who would think that Monty the Mountain would crumble…
EC- I kind of like the idea of Monty the Mountain ending up with a petite meek mannered girl. The ying to his yang.
As for Lady Catherine, I think that Anne would want her to move into Sir Lewis’ mistress’s townhouse, but Richard, thinking kindly of his aunt, won’t make her move there. They could use it as a threat every time she tries to stick her nose into other people’s business.
And as for Theo, well we shall have to wait and see what our esteemed authors have up their sleeves.
We’ve posted several weeks of Reader’s Perspectives and would like to know your opinions:
Come back next week for an all-new chapter of The Darcy Brothers and find out for yourselves what happens to Wickham and Lydia! – Abigail