2nd April 1812
Has there been any progress in the matter of our brother’s engagement? I know I can depend upon you to make certain everything proceeds as it ought, and to prevent William from making a fool of himself any more than absolutely necessary. When the happy event occurs, pray do give Miss Bennet my best wishes, and tell her that I look forward with happy anticipation to her presence at the next occasion on which I am called into the royal presence. She will not, of course, know how very much I look forward to it, as I have high hopes she will be able to teach William at least a modicum of manners.
You were quite correct in your supposition that it was business which called me to Town. Mr. Garrow, who, as you no doubt are aware, was a barrister of some renown in his younger days before he became a member of Parliament, has been kind enough to take an interest in my career since my days at Lincoln’s Inn, and has referred a number of clients to me. I received a letter from him that day at Rosings informing me there was a case he most particularly wished me to take, but owing to a delay in London, the letter only reached me the day before the case was to be argued. Hence my sudden departure, for to repay Mr. Garrow’s generosity with failure to heed his request was simply not to be conceived of.
In any case, it went quite well. I dined with Mr. Garrow the evening I arrived and he put me through my paces, playing judge and opposing counsel at once. His mind is most inventive; I wish I might have seen him argue a case in his heyday! I understand it was quite a sight, and I am always amused to see the judge turn pale upon spotting his presence in the gallery. I am flattered beyond words when he says my argument of cases reminds him of his own. In any case, there are no better footsteps in which I could follow.
The case went well, a successful defense of a young woman falsely accused of theft. At one point, I thought the jury might go against us, but I was able to discover some discrepancies in her accuser’s story when I cross-examined him. It was the usual case, where he had threatened her with prosecution in order to secure her favors, but she, trusting in the law, refused his blackmail. I hope to see him brought up on charges soon. Mr. Garrow has already arranged a new situation for the girl with a family he trusts. But pray, do not tell William I am poisoning your innocent ears with tales of criminality! He would be most disturbed to discover I do so at your behest. That a young girl’s mind could possibly turn to such serious matters is quite beyond him, and by all means, do not tell him you find my stories as good as a Gothic novel!
I must be off now; Monty is taking me to the theatre to celebrate my victory.
Your affectionate brother, &c.