More Regency Bagatelle:–

Mr Author turned toward Miss Darcy, sitting near him, and decided the likelihood of contretemps could well be tackled by the family, so he might exchange a word with her. “I understand you play the pianoforte, Miss Darcy. Whose music do you like to play?”

“Oh, I think Herr Haydn’s variations in F Minor are my favourite piece. Not that it is any way more…musical…than Herr Beethoven’s Sonata number fourteen– that is so popular nowadays. And deservedly so.”

“The Moonlight? I had best take care, Miss Darcy, or you will soon exhaust my musical knowledge.”

She laughed prettily. “Oh I expect you are being modest, Sir. Since you have come from foreign parts you perhaps know of Herr Beethoven’s composition in honour of the Duke of Wellington.”

“The victory of Vitoria? I’m surprised you have heard of it. It was only recently given its premiere in Vienna.”

“One hears much in rumour since the defeat of Napoleon’s armies at Leipzig, and we were lately in the city.”

City would mean London, of course: Mr Author glanced at Miss Austen, wondering if she showed interest in the conversation – it would be a great contrast to her ignoring the war in her novels. She glanced over with a slight smile but immediately turned back to the conversation between Gisel and the Darcys.

“And you have a definite interest, I can tell.”

Georgiana smiled. “Not a profound one I fear… but my brother spoke of such national affairs often when we were in the city.”

The continuation of their conversation was here interrupted by Mrs Bennet’s voice. “I did so hope that Mr Bingley and Jane would be here by now. They should not have undertaken such business at this time of the year… missing the opportunity to enjoy the first anniversary of their marriage with sister and best friend— and indeed, if they are hindered by any further delay, they may even risk losing part of the Christmas season here at Pemberly.”

Mr Bennet put out a hand to calm her. “Please do not fret so, Mrs Bennet. It may be that good houses with excellent grounds and estates are not allowed to languish disregarded so long in these parts as they have been in Hertfordshire.”

“Oh, Mr Bennet, how could you venture to say that good properties are so neglected in Hertfordshire.”

“They are looking for a home nearby?” Gisel asked.

Elizabeth turned her face from her mother and smiled. “We are hopeful. Mr Darcy sent a bailiff to look at an estate in Yorkshire and his report so interested my sister and her husband that they have gone north to inspect it themselves.”

Mrs Bennet almost wailed, “Yorkshire. How could they think to live so far from Longbourn?”

“It is but thirty miles from Pemberton,” Mr Darcy replied. “Mrs Bingley would be but a short day’s carriage ride from her sister.”

Mrs Bennet’s expression hardly sweetened. “Indeed, that close? I’m sure they will find their proximity a great comfort. Far be it for me to begrudge my daughters such happy convenience.”

Mr Bennet gestured with his wineglass. “ I believe I told you that before, Mrs Bennet. It could be that you have forgotten.”

“I’m sure that I must have. Would it be any wonder? What with the necessity for our own travel, and ensuring Kitty and Mary were well instructed how to conduct themselves in our absence — oh, how vexing that Mary felt too poorly to travel — I do hope she follows my instructions about her diet and rest – and if it were not for the kind attention and offer of Lady Lucas to keep an eye on them… we could never have been here ourselves.”

And so it was with such happy conversation that the latter part of the afternoon was whiled away until such time as it became necessary for the new guests to be shown their rooms to dress for dinner.

********

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One Response to “More Regency Bagatelle:–”

  1. joylene Says:

    Delightful.

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