Dear sister Kitty,
I am shocked, to say the least, by the contents of your last letter, and so, I have to say, is Mr Alcott. He is back from London, and do not be surprised, dear sister, that I told him, for I went for a long walk after receiving it and could not be helped from blurting it out to the first person I happened upon. You may well be glad it was him and not Mama or Maria. We both think your behaviour most unbecoming to a gentlewoman – he certainly will not have you now, and I declare that I should hardly know you if you are going to continue in this fashion. Lizzy and Darcy should throw you out, for being a silly girl if nothing else and maybe that will teach you to act in a more ladylike fashion in future. I advise you to forget this business, and to perhaps spend more time at home in quite reflection.
My sister Mary,
You may keep your clerk, and I don’t care one jot what he thinks of my behaviour, for I am in love! Miss Dashwood did not share your thoughts and she quite opened my eyes to my own folly. Why, all this time I have been in love with him, and not known for looking for his tiny flaws.
My clergyman – Taylor is his name, how silly of my not to have mentioned it before – rides even now towards Longbourne with the intent of asking Father for my hand, for we cannot bear to be apart even one second longer now that we have found each other. I had not seen him, all this time, for what he was, and that is very dear to my heart!
I hope you will not be very angry with me for ignoring your advice. I hope you will be a bridesmaid at my wedding, though I know you find such things tiresome. Miss Dashwood and Georgiana have already agreed, so do say you and Maria will complete the set? And would you be a dear and write to her asking her about it, for it seems silly for me to take the time when you have so many idle hours that need employment of some sort. Oh, but you mustn’t say anything until Mr Taylor has talked to Papa, of course.
I must go now, and write to Lydia with the good news. Lord, how jealous she will be of my handsome new husband when she meets him. And how lucky you shall be, to soon be the only Miss Bennet!
Dear sister Kitty,
I shall not be a bridesmaid at your wedding – for I am to be standing beside you getting married myself! Mother has decided that a double wedding is quite the most wonderful thing in the world – you recall how she felt when Jane and Lizzy were married – and urges you to come home at once that we may begin planning it. And if you cannot think which person I shall be standing up with, you are a bigger fool than most.
Do not be surprised, upon receiving this news, though I was myself. Mr Alcott happened to visit shortly after I read your letter, and he found me flushed with confusion and excitement.
“More news from your sister?” he asked, and when I informed him that you were hoping to be soon engaged, he suddenly went quite quiet. Mother, on hearing the news, retreated to her study to write you directions about the wedding clothes, and once we were left alone, which we have been so much lately that we have quite gotten used to it, Mr Alcott asked me how I should like being the only Miss Bennet. I said it would take some getting used to, and he then asked if I should like to become Mrs Alcott instead.
What could I say, sister dear, on realising his affection, but yes! While he went to Papa – who was quite shocked, by the by, at having two suitors call in such short a space of time – I realised that I had cared for him all along. I dare say I shall enjoy marriage – Uncle Phillips has promised James a small house of his own once we are married, with a large library. How very glad I am that I did not travel with you to Derbyshire, for whom could I have met there that is as well read as my Mr Alcott?
I will leave you now, for the house is in uproar and there are many other letters to write. I will call on Maria Lucas this afternoon, and ask her about being bridesmaid. I join mother in her plea that you come home shortly, as there are many plans to be made!