Thursday, 4 February 2010

Incense and Insensibility

This week's sentence was from George Eliot's 'Middlemarch'

It was:
'I suppose it would be unprofessional,' said Rosamond, dimpling.

Incense and Insensibility

'I suppose it would be unprofessional,' said Rosamond, dimpling. 'Though I am sure a gentleman of Doctor Whimper's generosity of spirit would understand the delicacy of my situation, might he not, Mama?'
Mrs. Fingering nodded her assent, adding for emphasis a curlicue traced vaguely in the air with her lorgnette.
Momentarily nonplussed by the physical manifestation of the verb to 'dimple' as applied to Rosamond, Jonquil could merely spuffle, silently cursing the tautness of the Regency trouser. Had Rosamond at this point added a simper to her dimpling he would have found himself in an impossible situation vis-a-vis his social standing.
Avoiding those limpid pools and fluttering lashes and fixing his gaze firmly upon the aspidistra he managed to stutter his astonished acquiescence. That Rosamond would consent to accept his hand in marriage was beyond his wildest aspirations and, left to his own inadequate devices he would never have dared ask, but to be summoned by the girl's mother and to all intents and purposes to be ordered to marry her left him in such as state as to be barely able to gibber.

Kitty rolled her eyes. Since coming of age, her sister had launched into the quest for a husband with far more enthusiasm than was strictly considered decent. Displaying the delicacy, forethought and social subtlety of a rutting baboon, these past few weeks had found her dallying disgracefully with all manner of unsuitable suitors. From Squire to swineherd and all points in between, Rosamond had ravaged the village like the Plague in petticoats, culminating in her being discovered by Papa the previous night in flagrante delicto, riding the rector across the billiard table in the back room of The Splayed Pig.

Clearly something had to be done.
Now it seemed this dim doctor was Rosamond's sole chance of matrimony and, snivelling cretin that he was, Kitty still found it in her heart to pity the poor deluded fool.
At that very moment, as Jonquil knelt before his intended bride, the door burst open and there, towering and glowering, stood Squire Garth bearing the red-faced rector in a headlock.
His blazing eyes accused the fragrant tormentor.
'Vile strumpet!' he bellowed, 'Uncommon whore!'
Mrs. Fingering gaped, aghast, her lorgnette plopping unnoticed into her tea.

'Dare I read on, Miss Austen?' sighed her publisher.
Jane stared at her shoes, cheeks flushed with shame. She tried dimpling but regrettably she had never developed the knack and instead appeared merely colicky.
'Frankly, my dear, as a follow-up to Sense And Sensibility, this is unpublishable. It looks for all the world as if you wrote it on your journey up to London.'
Jane could only congratulate him on his perspicacity.
How could she tell him the truth: that she had perfidiously purloined the manuscript of Sense and Sensibility from notorious local roué Mister D'arcy?
What awful price might D'arcy extract from her were she to confess and to beg a follow-up from him?
Jane sighed, sadly.
If only she had learned to dimple.

8 comments:

Vanda said...

This is so awesome! I've long thought Jane Austen should be saucier. Could you write and R rated version of Emma? Please?

I have also learned several new words. You make me feel ashamed of the sorry state of my vocabulary.

dive said...

Vanda: I think I'll leave the R-Rated stuff to Lulu after reading her erotic tale this week, though the thought of a pornographic Pride and Prejudice entices.

Dear Prudence said...

Wow, this took me a long time to get through because I had to keep copy and pasting words into the online dictionary so I could understand what the heck you were saying! Thanks for the lesson! Well done.

dive said...

Ah, those old bodice-ripping Regency writers did enjoy tongue-ing their way around a bit of vocabulary, Prudence.
Ahem.

Scout said...

Oh, wonderful! You are so good with twists to your stories.

"like the Plague in petticoats" is a perfect word picture.

dive said...

It scares the heck out of me, Robyn. Hee hee.

Lulubelle B said...

Delightful! I giggled throughout!

dive said...

Thank you, Lulu.
I must confess I am proud of the piece solely because, after I had finished it I realised that I had named a character Kitty Fingering, the delight of which shall stay with me for some time to come.