I think of this story as a one-shot, but I gave each vignette a separate chapter to make it easier to comment on them.

The story is definitely complete. Believe me, you wouldn't want a continuation of this stuff.


Lady Catherine de Bourgh squirmed with anticipation as her visitor approached.

"How excited I was to receive your invitation," he grinned as he took her hand. "Ever since we met in London, I have been longing to see you again."

She blushed furiously and batted her eyelids at him. "As have I. You are the most agreeable gentleman I have ever met."

"When I look at you," Charles Bingley continued rapturously, "I see the face of an angel. An angel in a William Blake painting."

Fortunately, Lady Catherine was too besotted to ask which angel in which Blake painting* he was referring to.

"And the thing about you, sir, that won my heart, that caused me to forget the degradations of your birth, is how eager you are to be influenced by the advice of others. This, even more than your excessive smiles or your charming handwriting, showed me that I would find true happiness with you, for there is nothing I love more than giving advice, and you, my dear, you are the perfect recipient!"

"How right you are! It is just as my sister Caroline said to me the other day: 'Charles,' she said, 'if all your friends jumped off of a bridge, would you follow suit?' That is what she said. 'Caroline,' I told her, 'my friends are extremely wise. If they were convinced that jumping off of a bridge was a worthwhile pursuit, I would certainly heed their counsel.'"

"She sounds like such a dear girl! I hope that when we begin our future together you can bring her here to live with us at Rosings. I will settle her differences, silence her complaints, and scold her into harmony and plenty!"

"She will appreciate it to the utmost, I am sure. I will certainly need to bring her, as she has not yet found a husband," Mr. Bingley replied.

"Well, she will have no need of marriage now. She can be Anne's full-time caregiver and companion. We can dismiss Mrs. Jenkinson!"

"How perfect! And I shall no longer have to worry about buying an estate when I can live here and leave my money to our daughter Anne's children. Wait until I tell Caroline!"

"What a happy family we shall be!"

They gazed at each other, blissfully unaware of the nauseated looks on the faces of the servants.

* William Blake, The Good and Evil Angels 1795–?c. 1805