Part 1 – Such a Place as This
“If it is true that a young man’s … shall we say ‘proportions’ are commensurate with the size of his fortune, then there is all the more reason to pity our poor Lydia, even if her husband is so very handsome.”
Oh, how Elizabeth wished she were a magician that she might disappear. Better still, I would make Aunt Philips disappear. Any mention of the nefarious George Wickham in her betrothed’s presence was discomforting in and of itself. Of course, her aunt would have no way of knowing that Mr. Darcy had been the means of uniting Elizabeth’s youngest sister, Lydia, with the man who happened to be his worst enemy in order to save the Bennet family’s reputation after the careless couple’s shameful elopement. Even now, Mr. Darcy could barely countenance the sound of Wickham’s name.
Her aunt’s mentioning of Wickham’s unmentionables, regardless of the company, was unconscionable.
The second of five daughters, Miss Elizabeth Bennet could never boast of being on intimate terms with her aunt Philips. Elizabeth’s mother, Mrs. Frances Bennet, and her mother’s sister, Mrs. Agatha Philips, had always been as close as siblings could be. Now that Mrs. Bennet had been the means of affording her sister the honour of such venerable connections, Mrs. Philips was at Longbourn far more often than not. In fact, the only time that Mrs. Philips had not spent an evening with the Bennets of late was when the family had dined at Netherfield Park.
A woman of four and forty, who might once have been considered quite comely, Mrs. Philips imparted a knowing smile at Mrs. Bennet before continuing her speech. “It follows that our Lizzy shall be a very happy wife, indeed, with no reason at all to repine.”
Surely my embarrassment can be no worse. Elizabeth fought to suppress a grimace. Given Aunt Philips’s wont of vulgarity, I wonder that she makes no mention of the size of Mr. Bingley’s estate with hints of its relevance to matters ill-suited for mixed company.
True to form, Mrs. Philips’s eagle-eyed gaze swooped upon Elizabeth’s eldest sister. “The same might be said of Jane, I am sure.”
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