When the news about Lydia's scandal first came, Mary wasn't so very surprised as the rest of her family were, she may have never spoke about anything but books, but, as it was beautifully put in one of the books she read, "Not everything that is known, is told", and she, cleverest, educated, Mary Bennet, have known it all the time, she never spoke a word about it, because, as she meditated weeks ago, nobody would listen. Mamma would be angry, Papa and Lizzy would tease, they always did, they never thought about listening to her seriously, and Kitty would be vexed with the mentioning of her sister's doing, and therefore her own, as a wrong thing. Her only hope was Jane, but Jane, kind and attentive as she was, would never admit that Lydia, or anybody, behaved wrong. Besides, Jane always made her uneasy, Jane was an angel: Beautiful, kind, affectionate, she was all the things Mary wasn't, and never could be, Mary was ugly, and couldn't think well of anything but great philosophers, all the world seemed to hate Mary, while all the world loved Jane, it wasn't fair! Mary read many great books about justice, and none of them made her think the world was a fair place. She tried everything she could think about, and everything she read about, to be admired and loved, but people didn't seem to admire education as much as they did beauty, and every piece of education in the world couldn't make her look prettier, she was sure to die an old maid with no friends or people that, using Lydia's wild way of expressing herself, would care three straws about her. Nobody ever understood her, and nobody ever will.
Mentioning Lydia brought her back to reality, which was not less bitter than her thoughts. If she had ever fancied herself able to find a husband, that would love her in spite of her ugliness, now she lost all hopes, she knew perfectly well that sensible men don't want to marry women that their sisters were involved in such a great scandal. Hopeless Mary returned to nursing her weeping mother with a great sigh.
the end © 1997 Copyright held by the author.