It’s Christmas 1797. Darcy and his cousins Richard and D’Arcy Fitzwilliam have been given reluctant permission to stage a Christmas farce in hopes of cheering Lady Anne.
–An excerpt from Young Master Darcy: A Lesson in Honour.
“The doors are closed; they’re all inside!” Richard reported back from his post at the stairs. Earlier, they had raided the attic trunks for costumes, and Richard, as Lord Misrule, was tricked out in a coat from a much earlier time. Its hems almost swept the floor, but the unfashionably large brass buttons that adorned it and the voluminous pockets made it perfect for his part. An old-fashioned wig flowed almost to his waist to complete his costume, but his brother had not been satisfied.
“Where did you get those” Richard had looked suspiciously at the jars D’Arcy brought out.
“Something from school…never mind, just be still!” D’Arcy had commanded as he powdered his brother’s face white and painted red rouge circles on his cheeks, mouth, and the tip of his nose and then had finished him off with a black patch at the corner of his mouth.
D’Arcy adjusted the pillows strapped under the green cloak that proclaimed him Father Christmas, as did the “beard” fashioned from the stuff of an old mattress. Darcy joined Richard in the hall. As befitted the character of Black Peter, Father Christmas’s assistant, Darcy was dressed in a mis-match of old clothes pinned all over with colourful ribbons. His face was smudged black with cork and he sported an old red stocking, bedecked at the end with sleigh bells, as a cap.
“Are we ready?” Lord Misrule waved the thin, gilded chair leg that served as his sceptre.
“Yes, and you both look perfectly ridiculous!” laughed Father Christmas as they glided down the stairs. Continue reading