Friday, April 13, 2007

The Journal of A Regency Lady 13

The Journal of A Regency Lady 13
May 16th
When we arrived home I discovered that a letter was waiting for me. It was from Lieutenant Jones. He had sent it to my home, because he believed that I should be there before he could come to London. It seems that he was hurt in a skirmish soon after he reached the scene of the riots and he was too ill to write until this time!

I was shaking by the time I had finished reading to the end of his letter. What should I do? I felt confused and distressed for had I known this was waiting for me I might not have accepted Lord Belmond. But I have given my promise and it would be impossible to draw back now. Besides, I am not certain I want to. It will be pleasant to be lady Belmond I think. And yet Lieutenant Jones writes with such warmth. From the tone of his letter I am almost certain that he means to ask me to marry him when he comes – and he says he shall visit as soon as he is properly well again.

I feel terrible! I know that I must have given him cause to hope. Indeed, I do like him very well. If only he had sent the letter to us in London! I am sure that at the very least I should have asked Lord Belmond for time, which means that I cannot truly love him – can I? If I did I would not feel so unsettled by this letter. I do not know what to do. How can I answer this letter? My promise is given to Harry and it would hurt him if I asked him to release me, to say nothing of my reputation. I cannot show it to Mama for she would blame me. The only person I can ask is my brother. I know Paul will not judge me.

I have not been able to speak to Paul about the letter. I saw him only for a short time and that was in company with his fiancĂ©e. He had waited only for Mama to return and give him her blessing before leaving to pay a short visit to Hester's home. He will return for my wedding, but that will be too late! I must make up my own mind what to do. I have no choice. I must go through with the wedding, because it would be so shameful if I did not – and I am fond of Harry. There are times when I think I love him, but at other times I do wonder what I might have said had Robert asked me first.

I think I must be a shallow sort of person, though I have never thought it – but how can I be torn this way when I have given my promise to Harry? If I had never met Lieutenant Jones everything would have been so wonderful, but now I am torn two ways. I know Mama has noticed something. She asked me if something was wrong but I could not tell her. I am too ashamed! I must write to Lieutenant Jones and tell him I am to be married, but it is the hardest thing I have ever had to do and I am not how to begin.

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