Five Things Mary Bennet Knew That She Never Told
: Five Things Mary Bennet Knew That She Never Told AnyoneAuthor
: Jedi ButtercupRating
: Pride & PrejudiceNotes
: Not mine. Spoilers for the Jane Austen novel. Requested by beatrice_otter.
Five Things Mary Bennet Knew That She Never Told Anyone1) Regarding Mr. & Mrs. Bennet
Of all the five Bennet daughters, Mary was the only one given a bedroom of her own. Jane and Lizzy, the beautiful and clever daughters, were as perfectly amiable toward one another as they were to Meryton society, and Kitty and Lydia were also frequently of one mind, though considerably more silly; they fell into natural pairs. None would rather have shared a room with their singular sister, and in truth, Mary preferred it that way.
As a result of this arrangement, however, Mary was the only daughter in a position to hear the tread of their father's footstep in the middle of the night, carried through the walls, or her mother's incongruous giggles as she admitted him to her bedchamber.
Whatever else they appeared to show in public, Mary never doubted that her parents loved one another still.2) Regarding Longbourne
Longbourne, while not an ancient estate, predated Mary's father by some number of years, and at some point in its history certain information about its construction had apparently been lost.
Mary employed the secret closet in her rooms many times over the years, chiefly to keep her more personal letters and possessions safe from her sisters, and none of her family ever suspected its presence. She was tempted to tell Mrs. Collins about it when she took residence many years later, after Mr. Bennet perished; but Mary's pride still smarted from Mr. Collins' refusal to consider *her* as a marital partner before looking to the neighbors, and she decided to hold it secret still.
It was a small thing to triumph in, and she knew herself to be wrong to do so, but it was *hers* as so few things in her childhood had been, and she could not bring herself to give it up.3) Regarding Mr. & Mrs. Darcy
Mary visited Pemberly only once, with her father, some months after Lizzy and Mr. Darcy were wed. There were no other guests at the time, save Mr. Darcy's younger sister, of whom Mary had heard much good and whom she intended to quiz about her education during the visit.
There were large spaces of time each afternoon, however, when Miss Darcy practised her piano, Mr. Bennet dozed in the library, and Mr. and Mrs. Darcy were not to be found. In search of her own entertainment, Mary wandered the grounds with a book, disregarding the servants' careful admonishments to keep to the front paths.
She had known her sister to be an-- animated-- creature, but never would she have expected of the unbending Mr. Darcy what she then espied in a small clearing in the woods on the far side of the lake! She was not close enough to see any detail beyond the firm, and very white, buttocks of her new brother, and fled before her presence could be noticed in return.
She blushed bright red at random intervals for the remainder of her visit, and whenever the subject of a visit came up thereafter while she remained under her mother's roof, she always found excuses to stay at home.4) Regarding Herself
Mary was not the prettiest of the five Bennet sisters, though in any other company she would never have been termed 'plain'; to make matters worse, she had neither the easiest manners nor the most open temperament. In short, she appeared to little advantage when amongst them, and she had little opportunity to appear anywhere without them whilst all five still lived at home. Small wonder, then, that she took such pains to differentiate herself from them whenever she could.
She knew the others thought she was oblivious to her own ridiculousness. But how else was she to make herself visible? Perhaps a man of education but not wit, or one of musical learning who might enjoy improving another's art, might thereby notice her and seek her out.5) Regarding Mr. Phillips' Clerk
Anything-- and everything-- about her uncle's clerk not already known to his mother or the public, was *hers* the instant her hand was given him in marriage.
Mary did not intend to be one of those wives who gossiped about their husbands in the village square! She treasured her knowledge of him to her bosom, and faced the world with the secret smile of new brides everywhere.