London, 10 June 1812
Dear Mrs. Reynolds,
Hah! I knew you could not rest without a full description of William’s nuptials. I doubt you will ever get a satisfactory account from my brother, since apparently he saw nothing but his bride during the entire event. I never thought to see him so besotted! I will refer you to Georgiana for any detailed description of the lace and silk involved, but I will tell you the bride looked lovely. I suppose I should say the brides looked lovely, since Miss Elizabeth’s eldest sister Jane wed William’s friend Bingley in the same ceremony. A double wedding was a wise choice in this case, since I doubt the mother of the brides could have survived such excitement twice. Such a fluttering of nerves and handkerchiefs you have never seen! You would have dosed her in an instant with your special tincture of lemon balm.
Mrs. Bennet, I am sorry to say, was sufficiently recovered by the time of the wedding breakfast to consider the fate of her remaining unmarried daughters. You might think marrying off three daughters in two months, she could rest on her laurels for a time, but no. That woman is terrifying! At every turn, she would push her unmarried daughter Miss Katherine in front of me, apparently in the hope that William’s condition might be contagious to me. Alas, the new Mrs. Darcy is by far the most interesting of Mrs. Bennet’s brood, and Miss Katherine is merely a washed-out version of her elder sisters. I must confess I flirted a little with the other Bennet daughter, Miss Mary, who earned my sympathy via the misfortune of being the only plain one in the family and generally disregarded by the rest. It was most satisfying to see a little color in her cheeks afterwards as a result, but I had to take to my heels when Mrs. Bennet approached yet again with Miss Katherine. Mr. Bennet, in the meantime, seems to be determined to take on my old avocation of needling William for his own amusement. As an expert on the subject, I must say he shows some promise!
Naturally our family provided its share of the entertainment as well. Colonel Fitzwilliam was in attendance since, as he said, unless he witnessed it with his own eyes, he would never truly believe William had taken on a leg-shackle. Miss de Bourgh insisted upon coming as well, which was hardly surprising as she has taken to insisting upon going to any event any of us attend. I live in fear she will turn up in my club one of these days! But she was well behaved, at least by her own standards, which is to say she only made half a dozen outrageous utterances. While she did stare fixedly at my friend Monty’s cravat, she managed to restrain herself from taking any direct action. As for Monty, he could not miss the wedding because he is determined to put in an appearance anywhere Georgiana might happen to be. He is only doing so to annoy me, I believe, but I had my revenge. I told Mrs. Bennet he was a wealthy baronet and unmarried. He could not turn tail and run quickly enough!
Then it was all over. William and Elizabeth departed, still starry-eyed. I rode back with Monty and the colonel, where we proceeded to enjoy an evening you would disapprove of, thanks to two bottles of William’s finest port which Richard had been clever enough to liberate from Darcy House the previous day.
As for William and me, our truce remains in effect, and I anticipate his new bride will not permit any change in that status. You will be amazed when I return to Pemberley at Christmas – at William’s insistence, I might add, although your plum pudding may have something to do with it as well – at how civil we have become, something I once thought quite impossible. I can see you shaking your head and murmuring, “I told you so, Master Theophilus!”
Postscript – You are not under any circumstances to allow the cook to leave before she has written down her receipt for ginger cakes!