In Friday Feature posts, I’ll be including an excerpt from one of my previously published works. I hope you enjoy!
Georgiana seized upon the privacy. She turned to Elizabeth and asked, “Lizzy, have you ever been in love?”
Elizabeth was a bit taken aback by the question but realized Georgiana likely had no other young ladies to speak to on those sorts of subjects. With sisterly affection she answered, “No, Georgiana, I have not. I have admired a few gentlemen but never felt the lasting affection of love.”
“How can you say for sure you did not?”
“Well, I realized my feelings were based upon the excitement of attention. The gentlemen did not inspire deeper feelings and upon reflection of their character they were found wanting.
“The best kind of love grows from a steady friendship, supported by respect and esteem. One should feel safe and cherished in a unique way not experienced in other relationships. Does that make sense?”
“I think so. And how are you sure love is returned?”
“Well, these are things I have not truly experienced but I have noticed love is selfless. A person who is in love will be attuned to their beloved’s desires. What would be a sacrifice for themselves will give them delight, if it pleases their beloved.”
“I see. Thank you, Lizzy. And you have truly never been in love? You are too beautiful!”
Elizabeth laughed. “You really must stop saying so, for you are feeding my vanity. Now, I will answer your question. Truly I have never been in love before. Besides, my appearance has nothing to do with if I have been in love and it certainly has done nothing to inspire love in others. Any attraction gentlemen have felt for me dies when they see Jane, or even before if I speak too freely.”
“Lizzy, how can you not see how beautiful and wonderful you are?”
“I am not afflicted with false modesty when I say you shall see I pale in comparison to Jane. My temperament is not as sweet as hers, nor is it as lively as Lydia’s.
“You will easily see I am meant to be the spinster friend to all the gentlemen of Hertfordshire; all the more for them to become closer to Jane. My mother, for all her faults, is quite correct in her assessment of my marital prospects, even if she lacks tact in how it is presented.”
Trying to not display her sadness at feeling so unaccepted she turned the subject back towards Georgiana, “Why do you ask all these questions?”
“I thought I had been in love and believed he loved me, but then I later learned he most decidedly did not love me. But I see from your examples I was never truly in love either. I have wanted to ask someone so I could be sure next time.”
“Yes, this is a subject that one would want to ask a lady and not a brother one looks to almost as a father.”
“Exactly. Though, I believe he is gaining experience in matters of the heart.” They had turned just then and espied Mr. Darcy waiting for them and so no reply could be made.
Elizabeth found it difficult to account for the sinking in her heart she felt at Georgiana’s last words.
It is a wonder a man as handsome, wealthy, intelligent and kind as he is still unattached in the first place. Yes, some great lady has rightly earned his admiration. I knew it must be so and I have no right to repine. I am not the sort of woman he would want.
The Gentleman’s Impertinent Daughter is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and iBooks.
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