Jan. 25th, 2014

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[personal profile] alltoseek
POB doesn't often provide us with two POV's on the same scene, and this is such a fun scene to get both sides of:
This is where I come to sit when I cannot bear it any longer in the house,' she said, pointing to a little green-mouldy Grecian temple, leprous and scaling. 'And this is where Diana and I had our quarrel.'

'I never heard you had quarrelled.'

'I should have thought we could have been heard all over the county, at least. It was my fault; I was horrid that day. I had had Mr Bowles to endure all the afternoon, and I felt as though I had been flayed: so I went for a ride as far as Gatacre, and then came back here. But she should not have taunted me with London, and how she could see him whenever she liked, and that he had not gone down to Portsmouth the next day at all. It was unkind, even if I had deserved it. So I told her she was an ill-natured woman, and she called me something worse, and suddenly there we were, calling names and shouting at one another like a couple of fishwives - oh, it is so humiliating to remember. Then she said something so cruel about letters and how she could marry him any moment she chose, but she had no notion of a half-pay captain nor any other woman's leavings that I quite lost my temper, and swore I should thrash her with my riding-crop if she spoke to me like that. I should have, too: but then Mama came, and she was terribly frightened and tried to make us kiss and be friends. But I would not; nor the next day, either. And in the end Diana went away, to Mr Lowndes, that cousin in Dover.'


'I come from Mapes. They told me you were here.'

'Did they tell you of my battle with Sophie?'

'I understood there had been a disagreement.'

'She angered me with her mooning about the lake and her tragic airs - if she had wanted him, why did she not have him when she could? I do loathe and despise want of decision - shilly-shallying. And anyhow, she has a perfectly suitable admirer, an evangelical clergyman full of good works: good connections too, and plenty of money. I dare say he will be a bishop. But upon my word, Maturin, I never knew she had such spirit! She set about me like a tiger, all ablaze; and I had only quizzed her a little about Jack Aubrey. Such a set-to! There we were roaring away by the little stone bridge, with her mare hitched to the post, starting and wincing - oh, I don't know how long - a good fifteen rounds. How you would have laughed. We took ourselves so seriously; and such energy! I was hoarse for a week after. But she was worse than me - as loud as a hog in a gate, and her words tumbling over one another, in a most horrid passion. But I tell you what, Maturin, if you really want to frighten a woman, offer to slash her across the face with your riding whip, and look as if you meant it. I was quite glad when my aunt Williams came up, screeching and hallooing loud enough to drown the both of us. And for her part she was just as glad to send me packing, because she was afraid for the parson; not that I would ever have laid a finger on him, the greasy oaf. So here I am again, a sort of keeper or upper-servant to the Teapot. Will you drink some of his honour's sherry? You are looking quite glum, Maturin. Don't be mumchance, there's a good fellow. I have not said an unkind thing since you appeared: it is your duty to be gay and amusing. Though harking back, I was just as pleased to come away too, with my face intact: it is my fortune, you know...'