Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lydia's Valentine

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.


February 14th, 1802

Rebecca the housemaid came to our door this morning with a breakfast treat of rolls and a cup of chocolate. She set down the tray, put more coal on the fire and then stood before the bed looking for all the world as if she bore it on her shoulders.
“Begging your pardon, Miss Lydia,” she whispered, looking about her as if she expected us to be intruded upon at any moment, “Forgive me if I have done wrong, but I thought it would be best not to hand this over to you in front of your mother and father. I found this letter addressed to you lying on the hall carpet, just poked under the door. I hope that’s right, miss,” she added, and took from her grubby pocket, a letter, sealed with red wax.

“Oh, Rebecca!” I exclaimed as I took in the seal that was formed into the shape of a heart. “Do stay. If you promise not to breathe a word, I shall read it to you.”
Kitty chose this moment to awake and as I produced the letter with a flourish and waved the heart under her nose, she squealed, expressing both her excitement and dismay at never having had any valentine ever profess his love on paper and asserted that she probably never would.

The seal was carefully broken to reveal a poem written in miniature script and decorated with a border of hearts pricked out with a pin.

Oh! Thou unkind one! prithee tell
Why thus from me, in haste, you go?
None else can love thee half so well,
Then do not, do not leave me so.
If fate ordains that we must part,
And I must ev’ry joy resign;
Then grief will quickly break that heart,
Which, while it throbs, shall still be thine.

“It must be from Captain Carter!” shrieked Kitty. “It can be no other. Oh, Lydia, he must love you very much to take the trouble to write and tell you.”
“How can it be the Captain, Kitty?” I cried, despairing at her stupidity. “He has just got engaged, as you well know, and besides, I can distinguish his handwriting and this is not it. In any case, I cannot imagine Richard Carter pricking out a decoration to save my life!”
“Unless he had a hand in its making,” chimed in Rebecca who had been staring mute and afraid to speak lest we sent her away.
“And if not, then it must be from someone else!” Kitty exclaimed, grabbing the letter and peering intently at the handwriting. “I swear there is something familiar about this writing, but I cannot think why that should be. I feel sure I have seen it somewhere before.”

We are all intrigued but I am certain that this proclamation of love has nothing to do with Captain Carter and has come from another quarter. How I am to find out I do not know but, I shall be most careful to observe the manners of all my gentlemen acquaintances when next in Meryton. No doubt my valentine will give me a sign. I must admit this little escapade has cheered me up beyond measure and I feel most excited at the prospect of a valentine beau!

Lydia Bennet

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