26th March 1812
So much has occurred since we last corresponded; I do not know where to begin. I will leave the biggest event to last in order to keep you in a fever of anticipation.
The first important event has been that I met my aunt’s protégée, a man she has taken under her large bat wing. He a clergyman by the name of Collins who is so obligingly servile ‘tis a wonder he does not throw himself to the floor at the old bat’s feet. I may yet have a use for Mr. Collins. He has so far provided me with an excuse for laughter by becoming tangled in a holly bush, which resulted in such panic and mayhem that even Darcy (I promised myself I will no longer call him Prince William) found it droll. So you can imagine how ludicrous this personage must be!
I know you are thinking that I have turned into a veritable country bumpkin, thinking it worth the cost of ink, paper, and franking a letter to pen such nonsense, but since it is Lady Catherine who is providing all three, I feel no qualms about writing what claptrap I choose.
The second event which provided some entertainment is that I rescued a young lady’s bonnet. You may think that equally trivial and insignificant, but when you hear my third point you will realize the supreme importance of this occurrence.
For now I come to the meat of the matter. I have discovered the root cause of my brother’s transformation into a bull ready to charge at a rag. I will admit that your extraordinary insight into the human heart once more hit its mark. As you suspected, there is a young lady involved, and she is none other than Miss B., the lady whose bonnet I rescued. So you see, Monty, I have not yet taken leave of my good senses, though I do admit I am close. A few more days with Lady Catherine may well turn me into wild lunatic fit only for Bedlam.
But there is more to come, and here is where I require your exemplary wisdom in such matters. I do not yet believe the young lady’s feelings are engaged. The question is, should I allow matters to take their course (which could only lead to a certain party’s disappointment) or should I employ my arts of persuasion and try to influence both parties with the hope of a more favorable outcome?
Awaiting a letter from you with the utmost urgency – or else I shall go out on the fields with the sheep and begin bleating.
Postscript: do not be surprised to run into my brother in Town. He has gone there on business and left me at the mercy of the Tyrant.