Pride and Precedence: Hallowe’en Party?


A continuing series by Persuasion’s Mary Musgrove

Oh, to be in a civilized place–such as Bath–for the dark and dreary months! But no, I must remain in Uppercross with my countrified in-laws. It has been five long years and still my husband’s father is hale and healthy, leaving Charles to languish. Whoever said “Days drag and years fly” has never had to wait for an inheritance. Or be confined with my husband’s dull and unsophisticated family.

Today Charles informs me, bold as you please, that he wishes to host an Hallowe’en Party. Not a proper party, such as a dinner with cards or dancing, but a festive autumn romp.

Hallowe’en celebrations are for children, and our eldest is barely four. Charles says that our guests will be adults dressed in costume. No, no, and no! An elegant masquerade ball–impossible to host in our pokey little house! –is the only proper costumed event!

Photo: Peter Dutton (Creative Commons Flickr)

Photo: Peter Dutton (Creative Commons Flickr)

I have no intention of making a fool of myself by dressing as a storybook character. But this is what Charles suggests that we do. How can he jest about being Jack Sprat, with me as his wife?

This is most unfair, because Charles’ mother is much fatter than I! But apparently she is dressing as a gypsy fortune teller, wrapping herself in scarves or some such thing. Will she read our palms? She shall never read mine!

Even worse, we are to amuse ourselves with traditional games: carving pumpkins, bobbing for apples, cutting a flour cake–such a mess! And for the unmarried guests (like my sisters, who thankfully will not be present),  looking through a mirror to see the face of one’s true love. Charles plans to serve apples, colcannon, pumpkin cake, and cider–can you imagine?  What would my father say to such vulgarity?

Charles claims that I will enjoy larking about with family and friends, instead of spending another stuffy evening in the drawing room. I think not. No one of breeding could possibly be amused by such an event. Where do husbands get ideas like these?

Most cordially,

Mary Elliot Musgrove
Daughter of Sir Walter Elliot, Bart.
Future Mistress of Uppercross

Have you discovered Mercy’s Embrace?
Romance, adventure, and Admiral Patrick McGillvary are waiting …

Mary’s “portrait” is Afternoon Stroll by Giovanni Boldini


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Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

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