An over-furnished, over-heated chamber at Rosings Park 22nd March 1812
Do not be alarmed by this letter following on so soon after my last. There is naught amiss – though I remain kidnapped and resigned to my fate.
In my haste to send you word of our safe arrival, I omitted to ask you something: you made mention in passing that you felt our brother has been deeply unhappy since he returned from Hertfordshire at the end of last year. Much as it might seem that this would please me, I would not wish to see him troubled when I cannot honestly profess to having been the cause!
I wished to let you know that I too have seen something singular in his mood and behaviour these past few days, and it may be that Hertfordshire is the link, for it has only to be mentioned and his countenance alters (and we both know that it takes a great deal to crack that inscrutable mask he carries with him).
Is there, perchance, anything you can recall him saying, or putting in his correspondence during that time, that might lead us to the cause?
Your increasingly curious brother,
On the road to Rosings
As you have undoubtedly heard by now, our dear brother has kidnapped me and is dragging me off to Rosings to be tortured and tormented by Aunt Catherine over Easter. You know how she simply adores me.
Fortune has truly smiled on you, as William knows how frightened you are of Lady C and has allowed you to stay safely tucked away with Mrs. Annesley instead of making the annual Easter trek to Rosings. Speaking of your companion, please give her my greetings. She is a lovely lady indeed. You are probably so busy preparing for your come out that you will hardly notice my extended absence from town. Has Aunt Matlock been visiting frequently to assist with your training?
Seriously, dear little sister, you must listen to everything Mrs. Annesley and our aunt tell you even when you do not wish to. They are very wise ladies. I am looking forward to dancing with you at your come out ball in a few years so you had best pay close attention to your dancing master. I promise to practice with you when I am next in town.
It has been raining steadily since we left Pemberley, making travel very disagreeable. At least our brother has deigned to let me bring my new horse, Theseus, along behind the coach. Unfortunately, because of the inclement weather, I have not been able to ride for more than an hour or two a day. Instead I have had to endure William’s cheery company in the close quarters of the coach. (By the way, his new coach is quite nice inside and also well sprung for comfort.)
I am finding traveling with our brother even more trying than usual. I am weary of trying to find a subject on which we can converse without arguing or that does not provoke yet another lecture from him on my faults. I have now officially given up on that project and mainly read when the road is not too rough, or more often, I simply sleep. As you might imagine, I have slept so much that I will barely need a bed for the entire length of our stay at Rosings.
I know you carry on a lively correspondence with our Cousin Anne, but I hope I have your permission to give her your love when I see her. I will write again after we arrive and fill you in on all Lady C’s latest advice.
Your (tormented) brother,