Thursday, 3 June 2010

A Tongue in Cheek Blog in the Style of Jane Austen! June 4th 2010 – Part eleven PRIDE and PREJUDICE- Take two!

I was sitting in my bed chamber writing my correspondence at the bureau when I was rudely interrupted by my overexcited sister Michelle.
“He is come........he is come!” Michelle announced with a heaving bosom.
“Who is come?” I asked.
“Mr Firth is downstairs in the morning room waiting to see you!”
I glanced out of the bay-window and saw the stable lad leading Mr Firth’s fine, grey mare towards the stable block.
“He is a proud and most, disagreeable, man.” I huffed. “I should be perfectly content to stay in my room!”
“Please do not be so severe, sister.” Michelle said with a frown. “Why are you so out of spirits?”
“What would you have me do?” I said becoming increasingly diverted.
“You should go down and receive him.” Michelle said calmly. “I will come and chaperone for you.”
“Oh I wish I could think so well of people as you do, sister.”
“Amen to that.” Michelle said. “Come now, we will keep him waiting if we do not make haste.”
I nodded to Michelle even though I thought Mr Firth was one of the haughtiest and most aloof men I had ever had the misfortune to meet. I took a glimpse in the looking-glass before following Michelle from the room.
Mr Firth stood up as we entered and bowed from his waist. “Ladies, it is my pleasure to see you.”
We curtsied briefly.
“Mr Firth, please be seated.” I told him.
We all sat ourselves down in an uncomfortable, yet polite silence.
“I passed your younger sister Zoe walking out with a tall gentleman on the road to the village but five minutes since.” Mr Firth uttered breaking the unease.
“Oh yes, she was being escorted to the new, moving picture theatre by an acquaintance of ours.” I told him.
“Who was the gentleman?” He asked with interest.
“It was Master Chris Woods of the Grange.” Michelle said.
Mr Firth frowned. “I have heard his head is turned by the sight of a fine ankle. I am sure you do not want your sister’s reputation to be plunged into the gutter!”
Michelle became quite vexed. “I am sure our sister’s reputation will stay intact, sir.”
“I remember you saying that your good opinion once lost, is lost forever!” I told him. “What have you against our family friend?”
“I did not want to expose you to worry ladies.” He apologised. “I fear you should learn he is known to be a scoundrel and a cad. I would not let my sister Mabel, walk out alone with him.”
“Indeed Mr Firth, I do not think Zoe will come to any harm as our uncle and aunt will be meeting them there.” I said softly.
“What is the name of the moving picture?” Mr Firth asked.
“Bridget Jones’s Diary.” Michelle informed him.
“How will never catch on.” He laughed.
“I am sure you are right, sir.” I agreed.
The room fell into another silence.
“There is a fine prospect from the window to the lake, Miss Scott.” Mr Firth said suddenly. “I have a great fondness for lakes!”
“Indeed.” I said with a coy smile.
“Would you like to take tea, Mr Firth?” Michelle asked.
“I thank you, but no.” He said stroking his sideburns.
I looked across at his bottle-green velvet jacket and his tight, white, breeches and came quite close to having the vapours!
“Mr Firth, would you be agreeable as to tell me why you are wearing a wet shirt?” I asked him.
“It is nothing of consequence, Miss Scott.”
“Please be accommodating and indulge my curiosity.”
A smile played on his lips. “It is something I have to endure Miss Scott. I cannot pass a lake without being overcome with an odd compulsion to leap into the is laughable is it not?”
“Indeed it is, sir.” I said with a smile. “Is that duckweed dangling from your breeches?”
“I believe so, Miss Scott.”
“Mr Firth, will you be attending the ball at the assembly rooms above ‘Pedro’s Pizza’ next week?” Michelle asked him.
“No Madam, I regret I will not.”
“Do you not like dancing, sir?” I asked.
“I believe I have not a hint of enthusiasm for it at all, Miss Scott.”
“Could it be that you are not an accomplished dancer, Mr Firth? Perhaps you are not interested in making connections of any sort?” I teased.
“Any savage can dance Miss Scott.” He said. “I have not the inclination to try to impress the ladies of the parish with my break-dancing moves!”
I hid a smile as I imagined the proud Mr Firth break-dancing to the pianoforte.
“Pray tell me sir, are your family quite well?” Michelle asked.
“I thank you yes they are all favoured with good health.”
Michelle smiled at the handsome acquaintance.
“I fear I should take my leave of you.” Mr Firth said as he arose from the chair. “I have heard word that there is a good deal on chicken thighs and ‘Pork Scratchings’ at Harrods!”
I exchanged a worried glance with my sister, knowing not the meaning of his strange speech.
“So soon Mr Firth, cannot we tempt you to try our baps?” Michelle asked. “They are fresh this very morning.”
“I thank you but no, I must hurry before the food hall closes its doors.”
“I did not know you held such an attraction to chicken thighs!” I said softly.
“Indeed I am accessibly attentive to all those things.” He said. “Before I go Miss Scott, may I be so bold as to speak alone with you?”
“I am afraid you shall not, sir!” Michelle scolded.
“I am sorry to displease you Madam.” Mr Firth said. “I take no delight in vexing you but I must speak alone with your sister.”
“Do you not know it is most improper?” I said quickly.
“It is a matter of delicacy and extreme importance, Miss Scott.” He continued.
“Michelle, would you trouble yourself as to go to the potting shed?” I asked politely as I straightened my full skirt. “Perhaps you could do something inspirational with a marrow!”
Michelle nodded and wafted serenely from the room.
“Miss Scott I am afraid this cannot be concealed.” Mr Firth said walking towards me.
“Mr Firth please do not ridicule me, I am not scared of your presence.”
“I would not have you so, Miss Scott.” He said as his eyes smouldered. “Do you not know what I must ask of you?”
“Indeed I do not sir........pray tell me why you appear to be so ill favoured with life?”
“Miss Scott.......dearest Miss Scott in vain I have struggled, it will not do. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you. I have come to feel for you a passionate regard and I beg you to relieve me of my pain and consent to be my wife.”
“Well slap my bum and call me a biscuit!” I shouted.
“Oh Miss Scott, you have bewitched me body and soul.” He said, preoccupied with his proposal.
“But Mr Firth is it not true that you have given your heart to another?”
“Pray excuse me but I know not to whom you refer?”
I frowned. “Miss Susan Boyle, I believe is the lady’s name!”
“She is tolerable I suppose but not handsome enough to tempt me.”
“Are you denying your dalliance with Miss Boyle?”
“I am Miss Scott.” Mr Firth looked furtive and uneasy. “I admit I have trifled with the karaoke machine with the lady but nothing else of consequence I can assure you!”
“I see, but still I cannot marry you.” I said with a sigh.
“Would I speak with your father, Miss Scott?”
“That is not possible father is no longer of this world.”
“I am grieved indeed!” He said sadly. “Pray tell me what has happened? I had the utmost respect for your father.”
“I thank you, Mr Firth.” I said sadly. “It is with regret that I must inform you he was savaged by an insane tiger at the zoological gardens in Regents Park.”
“That is a tragedy, Miss Scott.” Mr Firth said.
“It was indeed disturbing to be told your father had been a meal to a murderous pussy.”
We stood looking at each other, the uncomfortable silence returned once more.
Could it be I had misjudged this fine gentleman with his buttocks of steel?
“Surely it would not be an arrogant assumption for me to propose an offer of marriage to you?”
“I am sorry sir but I am betrothed to another.”
“And this is all the reply I can expect of you?” Mr Firth asked. “Pray tell me to whom you are engaged?”
“It is Major Huge Grunt of Oxfordshire.” I told him. “We shall be married before the month of September is out.”
“I suppose I should wish you well in your forthcoming nuptials.” He picked up his gloves and hat from the dresser. “Please forgive me in taking up your time........I wish you good luck, health and happiness.”
“Thank you sir, I am sorry for your suffering, it was not my aim.”
“I have no injuries to resent, madam.” Mr Firth said. “I see your heart is not easily touched, but if you decide not to throw yourself into the power of Major Huge Grunt, I will be honoured to renew our acquaintance.”
“I thank you, but I have not the smallest chance of yielding.”
“Then I must go madam, I fear you have long been requiring my absence and I do not wish to become tiresome!”
“Yes Mr Firth......good morrow to you.”
In an instant he was gone leaving the faint fragrance of Calvin Klein’s ‘Man’ (very popular with the ladies of the parish).
Of course I had told Mr Firth a falsehood. Indeed I was not engaged to Major Huge Grunt and nor would I want to be! I am not afflicted by false modesty but I knew I could not be Mr Firth’s wife; it would make me the most envied woman in the parish that is true ,but I fear he could not keep me in the manner I had become accustomed . I knew he would not be able to lavish me with sexy whale bone corsets, red wine and endless bags full of ‘Tom Thumb’ pips! So with a heavy heart I sent him away to sow his wild oats across the hills and dales of the county! In a few weeks my suffering would cease, even though I would have liked to play the quaint parlour game of ‘hide the sausage’ with him. I daresay I would bear my deprivation! My depression would soon be eased with a few games of Bingo down at the Co-op.
P.D. Scott xx
I would like to thank Miss Austen for the use of some of her dialogue, especially that old classic ‘slap my bum and call me a biscuit!’
Back to reality next blog!

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