A Conversation Between Lovers
Mr and Mrs Darcy sat opposite one another enjoying a late supper alone. They were highly contented, for that day Mr Darcy had consented to allow Mr ----- to become his brother. The consent was given for the marriage of Mr ----- to Miss Darcy after an extensive courtship, during which time more than one terrified suitor had been considered and rejected for the position. Georgiana little enjoyed this period of her life, but now that all was settled she began to believe she may become quite cheerful, for her betrothed was a kind and generous man who she was certain would make her happy, for Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth had declared it so. At dinner that evening Georgiana had been quiet for she had been reflecting on her great fortune at having such an attentive brother. Though Darcy's interference in choosing his sister's mate may have been seen as officious by some, to Georgiana it was welcome, for she knew full well she should not have been capable of making such an important decision if reliant on her own judgment. Her brother's demands, once softened by her sister's advice was sure to guarantee her felicity in marriage. It was with these happy thoughts she had retired early for the night to leave her brother and his wife to themselves.
"Well Mr Darcy, I believe we may congratulate ourselves. Mr ----- is a charming young man, and your sister I think will be very happy," spoke the lady, for it is customary to congratulate oneself when a deed is complete.
"I trust she will. Mr -----'s family and fortune will see Georgiana very well settled," replied the husband. "It is lucky that we should have such a skill for making happy marriages," he smiled upon his wife.
"Indeed it is my dear." She paused, smiled, and observing her husband's complacent, contented look and the practical view he took on his sister's betrothal, continued in playful tone. "It is lucky for us that Mr ----- was in possession of such a great fortune was it not? Tell me my dear, should he have been welcomed into the family so warmly had he not been so wealthy, or indeed of such a grand family himself?"
Her husband considered this for a time before answering in a similar tone, "I wonder at you asking such a question my dear, my sister is from a noble line, with a fine fortune herself." He paused, then added, "Of course she must have made a match equal to her own situation, as must every sane person endeavour to do. It is their duty.
"I do not doubt your words, my love," continued his wife, "but surely it in precisely such a case as this where there is a great fortune and a noble line together there is nothing to be gained by marrying likewise. In this case, a man, or woman may marry as they choose, with little or no concern to fortune."
With a broad smile across his features, Darcy congratulated his wife, "I believe you are quite correct my dear; an accurate and intelligent observation. I believe these very thoughts were in my mind when I selected you as a prospective bride."
"And I imagine my thoughts were not dissimilar when I decided on yourself for my husband," Darcy raised an eyebrow so his wife continued, "for I know how much you value good sense, husband. As a woman of small fortune, I had little choice but to secure a man of good fortune. We are quite a remarkably sensible couple do you not agree?"
Darcy took up the assault in mock sobriety. "You wound me, Elizabeth. You tell me now after all this time that you married, nay secured me, for my fortune without consideration for my person. Do you then fail to love me also, this cannot be! I chose a wife for the pleasure of her company; I truly believed she chose me for the same."
"Come now Fitzwilliam" soothed Elizabeth, moving around the table and taking a seat on her husband's lap. "You should not have wanted different; you should not have liked a silly wife, her head bent on romance with no concern for reality. In any case I do not recall mentioning that I did not love you, merely that I married you for your wealth, and all the varied and wonderful gifts that come with it."
"Oh, this is fine," smiled Darcy placing his arms around his wife. "So now I find it is the gifts that you adore. Pray tell me, my love, which of these gifts do you love the best, the jewels perhaps?"
"Oh no," cried she, "it is certainly not the jewels."
"I shall ask what is wrong with my jewels to affect such a decisive slight another time. It is then perhaps the gowns?"
"Wrong again. What thoughts have I for fine gowns, husband?"
"Not gowns or jewels, but it must certainly be the walking boots!"
"It was not what I was specifically thinking of, husband, but since you mention it, they are the most comfortable I have ever owned."
"Then I give in," sighed he. "You will have to tell me for I cannot guess."
The lady then leaned in, close to her husband, brought her lips to his ear and whispered the gifts she loved the best. We shall not enquire into the words she spoke, for a secret she made them and a secret they will stay. The effect on the man we can divulge for it was plain for anyone to see, anyone who happened to be watching, that is. First a smile played on his lips, the utterance of an "Oh!" so low it counted as little less than a growl, shortly a full on grin could not be repressed, and the man's chest seemed to puff significantly as he pulled his lovely wife closer still.
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