ExceedinglyJane.com by Ed S.
Home Dialogues PenPals AnneDeG Helen MissGreerGarson
The "After Pride and Prejudice" Series
Part 3 -- Mrs. Bennet arrives at Pemberley
My word, Pemberley is immense!
I keep getting lost in this place. I was twenty minutes late for dinner the other night. Lizzy had to send out a search party for me. They finally found me wandering down some dark hall on the second floor, near the Rose Room. I couldn't even find a staircase. And I wasn't even sure what floor I was on.
Oh, but I came upon a lovely little green room with a sweet little vanity table and a cedar chest and a beautiful view of the lake. When I'm old and infirm and finally thrown out of Longbourn, I'd like to live out my golden years in this little room. Of course I haven't been able to find that room again, try as I might, but I'm sure it's around here somewhere.

Where are the servants when you need them? Lizzy says there are more than forty servants in the house at any one time. I've scarcely seen half a dozen in total. The girl who makes up my room is an absolute phantom. But she does a good job I dare say. She leaves scarcely a thing for my Sarah to do.
I don't think there's an estate as vast as this in all of Hertfordshire. Jane's house is nothing compared to Lizzy's. I'll have to write to her.
No, no. That might make Jane jealous. I'll write to Lydia. After all, her husband spent his youth here, so I'm sure Lydia would like to hear all about it.
Mrs. Reynolds made quite the face when I mentioned Lydia's husband to her, probably because his name is scrawled all over that wall in the Orange Room. Perhaps that's why Lizzy hasn't invited Lydia and her husband here yet. Well, boys will be boys, won't they? Maybe my Sarah can remove those stains, and then Mr. Darcy might actually smile at me for once.
Not that Mr. Darcy is rude to me or anything, but he still hasn't managed to converse with me yet. I have the feeling he might be a little bit intimidated by his new mother-in-law. And he still won't refer to me directly. Instead of calling me "Mrs. Bennet," or "Mother," he just asks Lizzy if "your mother" would like a glass of wine or a chair by the fire. Some day I'm going to call him "Fitzwilliam" right to his face and see what happens.

Mr. Darcy's sister is a sweet girl. At least she is when I'm around. Who knows what mischief she gets up to in this huge mansion of hers. I don't understand why she won't let Mary use the new pianoforte in the blue parlour. I dare say that Mary is just as proficient on the pianoforte as Miss Georgiana is. It's quite annoying when those two are playing in different rooms at the same time and each of my ears has to put up with a different cacophony.
Kitty and Anne de Bourgh might as well be sewn into the same dress. I don't think the two of them have been more than four feet apart since we arrived. They're always conspiring over something or other, like that ten-pound note they found under a tree this morning. Instead of arguing over who should keep it, they each insisted that the other one should use it to buy a gift for the other one. I still can't decide if they're being selfish or generous -- it's all so confusing. I say they should use the ten pounds to hire someone to map out the house.

I'm certainly glad I have Lady Catherine to talk to. My husband has been so grouchy lately, probably because of what I told Lady Catherine in the carriage. But it's one of my funniest stories, and I didn't want to let Lady Catherine outdo me with that story about her husband and the broken carriage wheel. I'm going to tell Jane that story.
I always knew that Lady Catherine and I would get along famously if we ever met. And I've already worn out two pairs of shoes on the walks that she takes me on. She knows the grounds of Pemberley like the back of her hand. She even showed me the spot where she first met her husband, near those three tall oak trees. I think I was able to see those trees from my little green room. She wasn't at all happy when I recognized her nickname that was carved into the middle tree, but after all, my own husband used to call me "knickernapper" in those days. Well, it was quite common in the '80's, wasn't it?
Poor Lizzy looks so bored at the dinner table. It's the same routine every evening. Lady Catherine keeps me busy, Kitty and Anne conspire in a corner, Mary and Georgiana fight over music, and the gentlemen whisper about God knows what. And Lizzy the poor dear just sits there and plays with her food. Maybe we can get Mr. Bingley's sister Caroline to come up here and keep her company. I believe Miss Bingley was quite attentive to Lizzy back in Hertfordshire. I'll write to Jane about it.
Next: Mr. Bennet tries to settle in at Pemberley