Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Jane Bennet is unwell!

Lydia Bennet's Online Diary.
At this time of the year I always read Pride and Prejudice and I thought it would be fun to see what Lydia is thinking about all the goings on at Longbourn. Lydia's online diary starts just before Mr Bingley arrives and finishes where my novel, Lydia Bennet's Story, begins.

Wednesday, November 11th, 1801

Jane got drenched through yesterday and is now feeling far from well. My mother is very pleased that she is thrown together with Mr Bingley and I’ve half a mind that she hopes that gentleman is visiting my sick sister in her bedchamber.

Lizzy decided to visit Jane at Netherfield, so Catherine and I seized upon the opportunity to escape home at our earliest convenience. We made haste as fast as we could in order that we may see something of Captain Carter and said goodbye to Lizzy at Meryton.

We called on Mrs Nicolson (one of the officer’s wives) and found a merry party gathered in her parlour. Colonel Forster and Captain Carter, with Mr Denny, Mr Pratt and Mr Lansdown were sat in conversation with the lady and gentleman of the house and two of her friends, a Miss Isabella Fitzalan and a Miss Diana Cavendish who are visiting their old school friend for the winter.

Sadly, the gentlemen were just about to take their leave but Mrs Nicolson insisted that we stay to enjoy an introduction to her friends.

“Have you known Mrs Nicolson long?” asked Isabella. “She is so pleased to have made new friends in Meryton so quickly.”

“No, it has not been our pleasure to have met with Mrs Nicolson more than once before at Lucas Lodge,” I replied, “but we feel we have known her for ever, do we not, Kitty?”

“Emma is an adorable creature,” cried Diana, “we were all at school together and forged such friendships as will never leave us, I am sure. We are so pleased to be visiting her in Meryton and to be within such close proximity to all the officers is quite delightful!”

“Yes,” exclaimed Isabella, “and if I know you, Diana, it will not be long before you have lost your heart to a redcoat.”

“We could not believe our luck when the soldiers arrived, could we, Kitty?” I said. “They are all so handsome and charming. Indeed, we cannot wait until the next ball. I do hope you are going to be staying a while to enjoy some dancing with us.”

Isabella smiled. “Why, yes, indeed. Diana is determined to dance with as many of the officers as she can and has her eye on one already, I think.”

Diana blushed scarlet and declared it to be a falsehood, but added, “I cannot deny that I wish to dance with some of the officers, they are such dashing young men.”

As long as she leaves Captain Carter to me, I thought, she can dance with them all!

Mrs Nicolson has invited us to call on them all tomorrow and Isabella and Diana have promised to invite some of the officers. What fun to have such like-minded creatures on our doorstep!

A servant has called at Longbourn this afternoon with the news that Lizzy is staying at Netherfield too! It seems Jane cannot do without her and so Lizzy’s clothes have been despatched. If only we could be as sure of sending Mary there with the certain knowledge of her incarceration, Kitty and I would be in high spirits and resplendent solitude indeed!
I am transported with elation at the prospect of seeing Isabella and Diana again on the morrow!!

Lydia Bennet

Illustrations: Jane Bennet by Jane Odiwe, Pride and Prejudice frontispiece by H.M. Brock

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