An Engagement Announcement
When Darcy had left Netherfield the day after the ball, he had hoped to put his fancy for Miss Bennet behind him. After all, the rumor amongst the guest the previous evening was that soon Miss Elizabeth Bennet would be engaged to her cousin, Mr. Collins. Even if he had not heard Mrs. Bennet boasting about it to her neighbors at dinner (along with her expectations of a match between Bingley and Miss Jane Bennet), Caroline Bingley was thoughtful enough to inform Darcy of the coming nuptials--three times.
Upon his return from Hertfordshire the servants had found their master to be somewhat dejected, though Darcy would have denied this vigorously. This depression of spirits (so obvious to those around him) lasted until the following week.
He had come down to breakfast, as usual when he was home alone, in shirt sleeves. While sipping a cup of coffee, he read the newspaper. He turned to the announcements section. As he scanned the notices, he came across the one he had been unconsciously searching for, only the announcement read of the engagement between Mr. Collins and Miss Charlotte Lucas. He finished his breakfast (much to the relief of his chef, who been sending tempting morsels up to the dining room, only to have them returned cold and uneaten) and went to his room to finish dressing.
His demeanor had so remarkedly improved that it prompted his valet to say "I am glad you are more yourself this morning, sir, for you have been most blue-deviled since returning from Hertfordshire, I had began to fear you were taken ill."
"I am perfectly fine, nor have I been out of spirits," he had replied. His valet would have begged to differ but wisely kept his mouth shut.
It was not until the following morning when he was again reading the newspaper, that it dawned on him that for the past week he had been reading the engagement columns, something he had never done before. But why? He asked himself, as he sat back in the chair. Surely, it was no concerns of mine if Miss Bennet was or was not to marry her fool of a cousin, he told himself.
This will not do, he thought himself. I have to put her out of my mind. He began to mentally list all the reasons he should extinguish this infatuation.
Her mother, her lack of connections, her mother, her uncles in trade, her mother, her wayward sisters--her wayward younger sisters, he corrected, for he gave Jane credit for being above the rest, her mother, etc.
Yet it did not seem to help at all. Even though he kept repeating this list whenever he thought of Elizabeth (which was far more often than he like) he found that all her good qualities far outweighed his objections. Darcy began to fear that he truly lost his heart--could he really be in love with Elizabeth Bennet?
© 1997 Copyright held by the author.