Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Christmas at Pemberley - Part 2

This extract is taken from Darcy's Diary by Amanda Grange. It is from the end of the book, when Darcy and Elizabeth are married and living at Pemberley.

Thursday 25th December

We awoke to a smell of baking, and after breakfast we attended church. The weather was fine, so Elizabeth, Jane, Bingley and I decided to walk to the church whilst the rest of our guests were conveyed there by carriage.

‘This reminds me of the walks we took when Jane and I were newly engaged,’ said Bingley, as we crunched the frost beneath our feet, ‘although then it was not so cold.’

‘You and Jane were in the happy position of being acknowledged lovers. You could spend your time talking to each other and ignoring everyone else, whilst Elizabeth and I could not even sit together,’ I said.
‘But you managed to become lost in the country lanes whenever we were out of doors,’ said Bingley with a smile.
‘The lanes were very useful,’ said Elizabeth.

‘And our mother helped you a great deal, by insisting you occupied that man,’ said Jane.
‘I have never been so mortified in my life,’ said Elizabeth, but she was laughing as she said it.
We came to the church and went in. Our guests were already assembled, and no sooner did we enter than the service began. It was lively and interesting, full of the good cheer of the occasion. Lady Catherine complained about the hymns, the sermon, the candles and the prayer books, but I am persuaded that everyone else was uplifted by the service.

We had a splendid dinner, and afterwards we played at charades. Caroline chose Colonel Fitzwilliam as her partner, but Elizabeth thwarted her efforts to claim his attention later in the evening by inviting him to open the dancing with Anne. They made a lively couple, and disproved Lady Catherine’s dire warnings that Anne would suffer a coughing fit.

Kitty danced with Mr Hurst, and even Mary was persuaded to take to the floor, though she protested that dancing was not a rational activity and declared that she would much rather read a book.
When all our guests had retired, we went upstairs.
‘Tired?’ I asked.
Elizabeth lifted her hand above her head, and I saw she was holding a sprig of mistletoe.

If you'd like to read more extracts from Darcy's Diary, you can find them on my website.

Amanda Grange

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