*- The only characters that are mine are the Darcy children and Sir Edward and John Maxwell. The rest with respect and affection belong to Miss Austen.
“Mr. Darcy to see you, Mr. Bennet” Hill knocked on the study door.
“Darcy, my boy, this is a pleasure. Where is Lizzy?” Mr. Bennet asked as his son in law sat down, looking for his daughter as Hill closed the door behind her.
“Lizzy is home, I have come to speak on a personal matter. I am in need of counsel”.
“Then tell me what I may do for you?” Mr. Bennett asked.
“It is about Fanny…” Darcy started.
“Fanny has captured the attention of a young man and you are unsure on how to proceed”.
Mr. Bennet smiled thinking of his oldest granddaughter, Frances Jane Darcy, known to her family as Fanny. She was the second of the Darcy’s three children and the only daughter, in between her brothers, William and Charles. Fanny favored her mother in both temperament and looks, making her a favorite of her father and grandfather.
Before Darcy could proceed, Mr. Bennet continued “You forget, sir, that I have five daughters, four of my son in laws, yourself included, asked for permission to marry them”.
“Then tell me what to do. I had hoped this might have been easier after Georgiana married, but I did not think this day would come so quickly” Mr. Bennett could see the storm of confusion in Darcy’s eyes.
“Tell me, Darcy, what is this young man like? Is he worthy of Fanny?”.
“Lizzy believes so; she has done her best to convince me that John would be a good husband for Fanny. His father is Sir Edward Maxwell, their property adjoins Pemberley, and John will inherit from his father one day. John and Fanny have known each other since they were children. It seems almost inevitable that they should marry”.
“Then I shall tell you what my father told me” Mr. Bennet clapped his left hand onto Darcy’s shoulder “What matters is that John and Fanny are happy. They will disagree every now and then, as I am sure you and Lizzy have over the years. But if they are willing to compromise and their love is strong enough, I see no reason to disapprove of the marriage”.
Darcy remained silent, the tension still brewing in his eyes.
“If she is happy with him, Darcy, do not deny her. Having a daughter who is happily married is far better than having a daughter who is resentful and angry”.
Two months later, the church bells rang, announcing the newly married Mr. and Mrs. John Maxwell.
An hour before the coach was to arrive to take John and Fanny to their honeymoon, Fanny approached her grandfather.
“Are you happy, child?” he asked.
“I am, grandfather”.
“When you come back from Brighton, you must come to Longbourne and visit your old grandfather”.
“I will, grandfather” he kissed her forehead as Fanny heard her new husband calling to her.
Across the room, Mr. Bennet raised his glass to his son in law, who raised it silently in kind.