Bridgerton (2020) s02e05 Episode Script

An Unthinkable Fate

1 Miss Sharma.
Viscount Bridgerton.
We thought perhaps you'd not be joining us.
Your Majesty.
Nothing could keep me from my beautiful bride.
Now, tell me of your wedding plan.
There is no talk of a special license, I would hope.
Of course not, Your Majesty.
I believe a modest family affair would be most fitting.
Perhaps back in the country, at Aubrey Hall.
In the country? No, that will not do.
You must have it here in town.
In fact, I shall host the nuptials myself.
- That is most generous, Ma'am.
- Most generous.
- But not at all necessary.
- Nonsense.
She is my diamond, after all.
It is only right that I give you both a wedding worthy of that title.
Besides, one could almost credit me myself with bringing about this most illustrious match.
I shall oversee every detail.
Let that gossipmonger try to get the better of me now.
Can you believe it, Didi? It is like a fairytale come true.
You deserve nothing less, Bon.
Nothing less for a true love match.
My apologies, Your Majesty.
The frenzy of competition.
The thrilling delight of hazarding your all.
I am referring not to the lure of London's luxurious gaming halls but to a gamble with far higher stakes.
For once that particular wager is placed, it cannot easily be undone.
A fact which, I am sure, is met with both regret and sheer relief.
and I shall sing between each one.
For goodness' sake.
Anyone would think our siblings had beaten Napoleon himself on the battlefield instead of finding someone with whom to dutifully march down an aisle.
With all the hubbub about Prudence's engagement, my mama has rather forgotten I exist.
She is quite happy Cousin Jack has ensured our family's future.
I must admit, so am I.
Don't touch.
You can look at it.
And the baker is still awaiting payment.
As is, apparently, the coalman.
The new Lord Featherington was supposed to restore our fortunes, and yet here I am, unable to scratch together sixpence yet again.
Our financial predicament is entirely your doing, Lady Featherington.
If you hadn't forced me into this ill-starred engagement, we'd soon be living comfortably on Miss Cowper's ample dowry.
Oh, go on.
Blame me for taking you at your word when you spoke of your great fortune in rubies.
Had you thought to confide your plans, then I would not be considering dismissing the servants that I have just rehired.
All of that would be solved if you would simply call off the wedding and allow me to set my cap at Miss Cowper again.
And leave my poor Prudence jilted? When her reputation's already been called into question? No, it is far too late for that, my lord.
No, you must continue in this engagement.
I will think of something.
Well, you'd better think fast.
You must be one of our new fellows.
Is it really so evident? Conserve that youthful vigor.
Soon you shall be just as jaded as the rest of us.
After all, one form is much like another, do you not think? It is not yet right.
See how the cuffs are an inch too short? Very well, sir.
There is plenty of time to adjust it to your liking.
The wedding is not for another month.
- There is still much to do.
- Will Miss Edwina live with us? Indeed.
After the wedding, she'll be the lady of the house and responsible for you all.
Lord, help her.
Which reminds me, our carriages must be polished to a shine, and the horses' manes braided.
We should bring out the finest silver.
The queen may be hosting everything at the palace, but we must be ready to entertain here.
And what of us, Brother? Should we also be polished and braided for the big day? We'll all be on display.
Perhaps you might even scrub your hands for the occasion? I've been occupied at the academy.
- What about Miss Edwina's sister? - What about her? Will she come to live with us, too? Oh, I do hope so.
It'll be a boon to have another intelligent woman in the house.
Another? Mm.
You're overcounting.
Eloise, I shall need your help today.
There is the dinner to plan with Lady Danbury to welcome the Sharmas into the family.
And then the engagement ball next week I am sorry, Mama, but, uh, I am attending a lecture this afternoon.
Flower arranging.
Penelope's mama is forcing her to go, and you've wanted me to find more ladylike pursuits.
For how long have you cared about flower arranging? I am an open-minded woman.
I can care about many things.
I do wonder about the trim.
Is it too much? Nothing is too much now that the queen is hosting.
Let me show you the French tulle.
Oh yes.
Did I tell you we will be married by the archbishop himself? Several times.
We must find you a dress too.
- I have plenty of dresses.
- This one must be special.
After all, this wedding is as much your triumph as mine.
Whatever you said to the viscount at Aubrey Hall, Didi, it clearly swayed him to declare himself.
I - I cannot claim credit.
- I shall bestow it, all the same.
It will be so exciting living in London.
The viscount said there might even be snow this winter.
- Won't that be exciting? - You must enjoy it without me, Bon.
Recall I am to set sail soon after you wed.
But you will return to visit, of course.
And when the viscount and I are blessed with children, you shall be their favorite aunt.
Think of us all together as a family.
I do not know why Miss Edwina's betrothal is so special.
She's quite overshadowed my happy news.
A fact we may well be glad of.
Put those silks down.
Cotton will do for your trousseau.
Has my maid yet delivered that dress that needs altering, Madame Delacroix? I received your latest.
It's been a busy week, has it not? Indeed.
The ton are quite ravenous for news of the upcoming nuptials.
Perhaps Lady Whistledown will report that I have been entrusted with our diamond's wedding ensemble.
Tell me, are my musings not offering you sufficient business? Indeed.
But why should there be limits to a woman's ambitions? I would think you, of all people, would understand.
There is always more to be achieved.
Thank you, Clara.
That will be all.
Lord Bridgerton? Miss Sharma.
Lord Bridgerton and his guest are waiting.
I see that.
Thank you.
This is the jeweler.
We are here to have Miss Edwina's betrothal ring altered to fit.
My apologies, but my sister and my mother have not yet returned home.
Of course.
Then we shall trouble you no further.
Is that cake? It is indeed.
- Lemon? - Pardon? I fancy a good lemon.
Might I offer you some refreshment, Mr Brookes.
Only if you insist.
I mean, it would be churlish to refuse.
Tea, three spoons of sugar, and perhaps some sandwiches too, thank you.
It is fine weather we are having, is it not? You wish to speak to me of the weather? Is there another topic of conversation that'd be more appropriate? There is nothing appropriate about what you're doing proceeding with this engagement.
On the contrary, I believe it is the most proper outcome for all.
And what of everything that passed between us at Aubrey Hall? Nothing passed between us.
I am a gentleman.
Is that so? Need I remind you, sir, if anyone other than your sister discovered us in the library that night, then we, too, would be obliged to wed.
Nothing happened.
Would the two of us being obliged to marry be the outcome you desire? Of course not.
Then let us both be glad we have avoided such an unthinkable fate.
I say, Miss Sharma, do you and your sister happen to share gloves? I Yes, on occasion.
I knew it.
I can take the measure of a hand at 20 paces.
We may use your finger to size the ring.
- Oh, I beg your pardo - That shan't be necessary.
Nonsense! Thank you.
It is a beautiful piece.
It is the ring my father gave to my mother before they were wed.
- Lord Bridgerton? - They came to, uh, alter the ring.
Uh, Mr.
Brookes insisted.
Just a moment.
It appears to be stuck.
- Well, Edwina is here now.
- Yes.
- Kate, are you - Yes, almost.
Just, uh Just another There.
- All yours.
- Ah.
Here you all are.
I have news.
Lord and Lady Sheffield sent word they are in London.
Our grandparents? Indeed.
It seems they read the engagement announcement and wish to make your acquaintance.
And, uh, that of your future husband, of course.
- I should be delighted to meet them.
- They are already in town? They arrived last night.
- Is something wrong? - Not at all.
I shall invite them to the engagement dinner tomorrow.
I'm sure it will be a most joyous reunion after all these years.
Yes, Lady Mary? Indeed.
- Hmm.
I shall look forward to it.
- Ah.
- Are you ready to promenade? - I am, my lord.
I suddenly feel a headache coming on.
Lady Danbury, would you be so kind as to chaperone my daughter? Of course.
Miss Sharma and I would be glad of the fresh air.
Oh, I should really stay with Mama.
You will escort me.
Whoa! I wish you every happiness.
How could you invite the Sheffields to dinner when you know full well the pain my mother has suffered after their rejection of her? Indeed.
Which is why I shall not answer their impoliteness with my own.
And besides, is this not the reconciliation you wished for? Edwina returned to the bosom of the Sheffield family to reclaim the fortune you so desperately need? Yes, but not until after the wedding.
Edwina is still in the dark about the conditions of their favor.
And if the Bridgertons were to learn of it, they might feel As if you contrived a match for your own concealed ends and might call off the wedding? I have to wonder if you might not secretly rejoice were the viscount to break the engagement.
Why would you ever say such a thing? They are betrothed.
The viscount made a charming proposal, your sister gave her giddy acceptance, and in the eyes of society, and, might I add, the Queen of England herself, they are as good as wed.
Only a very great scandal would prevent this marriage from proceeding now.
The kind of scandal that would send alarms through the entire ton and be a stain from which the penniless Sharma family would never recover.
Only a fool would jeopardize the marriage now.
So I ask you, Miss Sharma, are you that fool? No.
I did not think so.
Lady Danbury.
What a pleasure to see you here today.
Miss Sharma, perhaps you would be so kind as to accompany me on a turn around the lake? I am rather tired.
She would be delighted.
You're still angry with me over that business at the races.
I wish to apologize and throw myself at your mercy.
Very well, my lord.
A turn would be most pleasant.
What a handsome couple they make.
Pardon me? Mr.
Dorset and my sister.
I noticed that he was quite smitten with her the last time they met.
Perhaps he will convince her to stay in England, after all.
She barely knows the gentleman.
Nor did I you, at first.
But love moves swiftly, does it not? Miss Edwina, you must tell me your favorite colors, so I may plan to incorporate them in the ornamentation for your engagement ball.
You are too kind, Lady Bridgerton.
I am certain your taste is superb.
to honor both Bridgerton and Sharma families, now that we are to be joined.
- Is that not so, Anthony? - Absolutely.
Look at me! Your sister seems happy.
That is one way of putting it.
The new Lord Featherington seems an interesting fellow.
A man of commerce, is he not? Yes.
He has ruby mines in America.
They are flourishing, I hear.
Perhaps I should introduce myself.
After all, everyone else is finding some purpose to their lives.
Anthony is to be married.
Benedict has his artistic pursuits.
And, well, here I am feeding the ducks.
I am sure the ducks are most grateful.
You have a good deal of time and plentiful opportunities to make your mark.
As Eloise would no doubt remind me.
Where is your sister? I have not seen her out today.
She mentioned something about flower arranging with you today, in fact.
I am meeting her later.
- Mr.
- Mm.
This is the place.
Doesn't look like a place for shopping to me.
I am collecting a unique gift for my brother's wedding.
Miss? Miss! It is our right to be treated not merely as chattels.
Surely talk of rights must draw on Locke's Treatise.
You and your treatise! If you've ever worked an honest day's labor, you know how little such grand talk serves the working man.
Now, if I may be permitted to continue, I should like to propose to this assembly the radical idea that it is not best for women to rely for their education on what falls to them by chance from their husbands and brothers.
Hear! Hear! Is it not thrilling? You.
I told you, I don't know anything about your Whistledown gossip.
It is not her I seek today, but the exchange of ideas with like-minded men and women on subjects beyond the trivial concerns of polite society.
Ideas that you yourself invited me to consider.
So, you're an admirer of my work? I would not go so far.
It is serviceable, I suppose.
And yet you have come far.
You're a long way from Mayfair for writings that are merely serviceable.
Luckily for me, there is a thrilling invention called a carriage that may convey a lady from one place to another.
It is a marvel, to be sure.
What's your name? - Eloise Bridgerton.
- Pleased to meet you, Miss Eloise.
I'm Theo Sharpe.
I know.
You know? As I know, there are several errors in your arguments that I must bring to your attention.
Have you a pencil? Never mind.
You may borrow mine.
to marry you, did she not? Allow me to continue.
It is most refreshing on the water.
These days, it is hard to find even a moment of peace.
One of the things I enjoyed most when I visited India.
Many think it a bustling, noisy place, but I found the country most tranquil in nature.
There's a river just outside the home where I grew up.
On hot days, I would sneak away to soak my feet.
The turtles and I became quite good friends.
Sounds idyllic.
It is.
Which is why I'm counting the days until I may return home.
I had assumed you would remain in England now that your sister is to be viscountess.
My mother and Edwina will remain here.
I shall journey back alone.
An adventure, indeed.
You have plans for your arrival? I shall teach.
Become a governess, as you call it here.
It will be most fulfilling.
Enjoying an independent life, running my own household.
And perhaps playing host to old friends? I've long thought to return to India myself since there is much to be learned from their medical practice.
If your travels do lead you there, then I would be most happy to show you the places I know.
I should be working at the club, Alice.
Not taking a stroll.
This is work.
We need more gentlemen members, and here they are.
Word of your prowess crossed the Atlantic.
You got the better of McKellan in just two rounds, is that not so? That was a long time ago.
I've been known to plant a few facers in the ring myself.
Ah, but not up to your abilities, I'm sure.
You must pay a visit to Will's club and talk more.
You'll find it enlivening and has a warm welcome for all.
That may be the most tempting invitation I've had in some time.
Uh, Lord Featherington, a word? Excuse me.
Need I remind you that the answer to our family's predicament will not be found disporting yourself in places of public resort? Nor will it be solved by running up yet more bills at the modiste.
I just saw the latest accounts.
You are supposed to be finding a way out of this mess, not drowning us even deeper in debt.
Keep your voice down.
Are you trying to ruin us all? Not when you are already making such fine work of it yourself.
I see you are smiling, Didi.
See the amusements London has to offer.
There's water, too, in India.
My sister spares no opportunity to find reasons for me to stay.
I may well join her in her endeavors.
That knot will never hold.
It is perfectly adequate.
Then I must question your nautical skills, Dorset.
Allow me.
Pardon me.
Miss Sharma.
Lord Bridgerton.
Oh my! Are you hurt? Not at all! The water is a rather welcoming refreshment, is it not, Bridgerton? Whoo! Refreshing indeed.
Come now.
It is not proper to stare.
Penelope, what are you doing here? I thought we were to walk, as we usually do.
My apologies.
I had quite forgotten.
Uh, well you missed quite the scene at the lake yesterday.
My brother's impromptu swim? I heard about it.
Where were you? Alas, I was forced to occupy my day with tedious wedding errands, which Mama has listed me for yet again.
I'm sorry, but I cannot stroll with you today.
- I shall see you tomorrow, then.
- Of course.
Pardon me.
Miss? Miss Eloise seems to have misplaced her reticule when she was out yesterday.
I'll be happy to retrieve it.
Where exactly did she visit? You'll not find it again, miss.
I warned her, the streets of Bloomsbury aren't fit for a lady.
- What are you doing? - Ah, Lord Featherington.
Brookes here is just taking a look at some jewelry for me.
It is a fine piece, is it not? Indeed.
Uh, this is not a good time.
- He should return at another date.
- Nonsense.
He's here now.
And it is no trouble, is it? No.
I was only planning to have the jewels cleaned, but tell me, what might a necklace such as that fetch? If it is of great value, I shall have to take more care.
Well, I would require my proper tools for a definitive valuation, but I'd say you should take very great care, indeed.
It is rare to see stones this fine.
Now, is that not something? Thank you for your expert services, Mr.
I shall be in communication with you should I require anything further.
No cake, then? - Another time.
- Mm-hmm.
Need I remind you, those are as counterfeit as a two-pound note.
Quality counterfeits.
If they're good enough to fool that nibbling owl of a man, then we may well make it through the season yet.
I do hope you know what you're playing at.
Well, there is no need to dismiss any staff, after all, Mrs.
Let us pray he's got a whole trunk of them, ma'am.
One bauble does not a fortune make.
I declare, that's rather good.
I am skilled at more than simply standing naked, Mister Bridgerton.
I do not doubt it.
Then perhaps inform the academy.
Although two of the founding members are women, we are still not yet allowed to enter the classroom.
At least, not while we are clothed.
So you work as a model as a way of learning from the lectures? - Ingenious.
- Care to take a turn? It is harder than it looks.
Like so? How long must I stay like this? That depends.
What I really need is a study of the male form.
The naked form.
What say you? It is a lovely spot, is it not? It reminds me of the courtyard at the palace where we used to live.
So calming.
Calming, yes.
Nobody would blame you if you were to take sick, Mama, and send apologies for missing the dinner tonight.
Lady Danbury has made it quite clear that it is necessary for all of us to attend.
When was the last time you saw them? The night your dear father asked for my hand in marriage, I believe.
Lord Sheffield made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that he did not support the match.
So I had a choice to make between my family and my heart.
And did you ever regret that choice? From the very first moment, your father and I were drawn together.
It is a very powerful thing to meet someone and feel that you know them.
In a way unlike any other.
Still a rather high price to pay for love, I would think.
Do not fret.
Even my parents' presence cannot mar the happiness that is the occasion.
I had always hoped that you and Edwina would be spared the choice between affluence and love, and now you shall.
Edwina is to wed her heart's desire.
And you have always wanted nothing more than your freedom.
Of course, Mama.
We shall all be perfectly happy.
Lord and Lady Sheffield's return is certainly a surprise.
But it shall be pleasant to see the family reconciled, will it not? I will be finished in a moment, Mother.
We shall not be late.
It is not that.
I have been watching you all week.
I I told myself I would support your choice, but I must admit, I am finding it quite difficult to continue to stay silent.
You have been anything but silent.
This is your betrothal, Anthony.
Your marriage.
To the woman that shall replace me as head of this household, might I add.
You question Miss Edwina's suitability for the role? I question the example you are setting your siblings, marrying a woman for whom you clearly hold no great tenderness or love.
Why will you not accept that the love match between you and father was the exception, not the rule? Because I wish for you two to know the joy of an exceptional marriage.
You should be excited to wed Miss Edwina, but for all I have seen, you act as if you are approaching the gallows instead.
If this is not what you want, you must say something now, Anthony, before What I want is beside the point.
I could never dishonor Miss Edwina by begging off now.
You are right.
A gentleman cannot take back his word.
But a woman may.
It happens all the time with young ladies, swept up in the dizziness of receiving a proposal before the reality of marriage becomes clear.
If Miss Edwina were to call off the engagement, no one would find fault with her.
And you would not be dishonoring her in the slightest, releasing her from the obligation before any vows were exchanged.
She does not wish to end the engagement.
But does she know your true feelings on the matter? My feelings are of no concern.
What matters is my responsibility, which has always been to wed.
My darling If you have doubts, do not simply set them aside.
This is the most important choice you will ever make.
And it would break my heart to see you spend the rest of your life in regret.
I dare say it would break your father's heart too.
You seem distracted, Didi.
It's, uh, just a headache.
From, uh From all the excitement these days.
Is that all that ails you? I have seen how ill at ease you are with the viscount.
I was hoping we had put all that behind us now that Anthony is to be my husband.
He's asked you to call him by his given name? No, not yet.
But it sounds fine, does it not? Do you think the Sheffields will like this dress? My stomach is in a knot, I am so excited to meet them.
Before you do, there is something I must tell you about your grandparents, and how they have, in fact, influenced our trip Our guests have arrived.
You may spare me the instruction, Lady Danbury.
I know I am to be on my best behavior.
You think me an unfeeling harridan, but perhaps it would surprise you to learn that I am hosting this dinner for your sake.
Your sister's betrothal may be the end of certain hopes you harbored regarding the viscount, but access to the Sheffield fortune would certainly be a fine reward, would it not? A life of independence is no mere consolation.
Indeed, many would think it the better prize.
After passion cools and fate intervenes, who else is a woman left with but herself? Hmm.
Come along.
Our guests are waiting.
Ah, Lord and Lady Sheffield, it has been too long.
May I present Miss Sharma and Miss Edwina Sharma.
Oh, my dear, look at you.
Isn't she quite as lovely as the report said? You are too kind.
I'm most happy to make your acquaintance.
We have been waiting so many years to meet you.
I wish to know everything about you.
Do you enjoy dancing? Music? You must accompany us to the opera.
We have a fine box which has been gathering dust.
Indeed, it has been too long since we've seen you both in town, Lord and Lady Sheffield.
- Yes.
- Yes, indeed, it has.
- Father.
- Mm.
I do enjoy the opera.
My sister Kate is the one who introduced me to it.
Shall we go through to dinner? Oh, yes.
Come with me, child.
And, of course, you must be our guests at the Sheffield manor.
It is nothing compared to the estates at Aubrey Hall, to be sure, but I think it a most pretty part of Hertfordshire.
Do you shoot? We have a fine stock of birds, and you are always welcome.
Thank you for the invitation.
I do enjoy shooting.
Well As does Kate.
The two of them almost bagged a stag on our trip to the country.
How unusual.
Do they teach young ladies to shoot in India? Only the fortunate ones.
Uh, Lord and Lady Sheffield, how long do you plan to remain in town? Oh, we shall stay for the wedding.
The queen herself overseeing my granddaughter's nuptials.
Her Majesty is kind to be so forgiving after everything that has happened.
Now, now.
We are all family here.
Oh, yes, of course we are.
Even after our daughter so callously rejected the match we had found for her.
- My dear, we agreed - An earl, no less, with 12,000 acres.
Any other young lady would've fallen to her knees in gratitude that her parents were showing such care.
This sauce is delicious, Lady Danbury.
Have your cook give mine the recipe.
It is the gooseberry, I believe.
Lady Sheffield, you've got quite the sweet tooth, I do recall? And all for what? A mere clerk, was he? And with a child from a previous marriage to God-knows-who.
My mother has a name.
Lady Sheffield, I must ask We could not show our faces in society for years.
Not that she should care.
She simply sailed away from all of us with that man, robbing us of our grandchild.
I have two daughters with whom you have had every opportunity to form a connection.
But the choice to shun us was yours alone.
I beg your pardon And do not think I took it lightly, being cast out by the only family I had ever known.
I was heartbroken, indeed.
But in time, I came to see that, in your cruelty, you did us all a great service.
I hardly think this a proper dinner conversation.
I quite agree.
Please, collect When you cast me out, what you did was set me free.
Free to raise my daughters far from your constant judgment and craven demands that they should chase wealth and titles above all else! You are a fine one to talk.
You speak of scorning riches, and yet you have come crawling back to snatch at our fortune.
- Lady Danbury is right - Believe me, I want nothing from you.
Oh, you may not, but your daughter certainly does.
Mama? The trust fund we have set up for her.
The condition of which clearly states that she must marry a man of good English breeding to inherit.
You did not think we would allow another generation to pollute the Sheffield name, did you? Didi, what are they talking about? - What have you done? - Anthony, did you know about this? I shall explain everything.
I see this one has inherited your penchant for avoiding the truth.
Or that's something she inherited from her father.
That is enough.
I can only think you've been exiled from good society because of your deficient manners rather than any other sin.
Since the moment you arrived, you have failed to show the proper respect for the Sharma family, and I will not stand for it.
- I declare - I will not stand for it.
Lady Mary has done admirably in raising her daughters.
They are intelligent, kind, loyal women.
And a credit to both their parents.
And since you clearly do not wish to jeopardize your social standing by associating with such company, I suggest you do not.
You may leave at once! You cannot be serious! Please send for Lord and Lady Sheffield's carriage.
They can wait outside.
And do not trouble yourselves for an invitation for the wedding, for you shall not receive one.
This is beyond the pale.
And if you think you shall inherit a single sovereign now, you are sorely mistaken.
Lord Bridgerton, Lady Bridgerton.
- I must apologize - We should take our leave.
Thank you for the evening, Lady Danbury.
It was quite enlightening.
My lord Good evening.
- You lied to me.
- Please, Bon.
Lord Bridgerton! Lord Bridgerton, I beg a word! - We must be going.
- Please.
Mother, I shall meet you at the house.
You must know.
Edwina is innocent in all of this.
She had no idea.
Coming to England, finding her a match.
I only wished the best for her.
- You cannot be angry at her.
- I am not.
It is clear she was as much in the dark as I was about your schemes.
- They were not schemes.
- I take it there'll be no dowry.
Now that the Sheffields have withdrawn their support.
You care about a dowry? It is because of what you just did that the Sheffields withdrew it.
It is regrettable, to be sure.
But clearly, both Miss Edwina and I have been misled, and it is best to call off this doomed engagement before it is the cause of any more strife.
Of course, I'd never besmirch her reputation.
My mother and Lady Danbury will make a plan There shall be no plan.
I do not understand.
Why are you suggesting this? All along, you have been set on marrying my sister, despite my every objection, might I add, and now you intend to cast her aside.
Why? And do not talk to me of dowries, sir, for we both know you have no need of it.
So, tell me, what has she done? She has done nothing.
It is you.
You have made this match impossible.
- But I am leaving for India.
- And it is not far enough! Do you think that there is a corner of this Earth that you could travel to far away enough to free me from this torment? I am a gentleman.
My father raised me to act with honor, but that honor is hanging by a thread that grows more precarious with every moment I spend in your presence.
You are the bane of my existence.
And the object of all my desires.
Night and day, I dream of you.
And what I Do you even know all the ways a lady can be seduced? The things I could teach you.
I did not ask for this.
To be plagued by these feelings.
Hiding from my sister.
Being driven to distraction every time you enter the room.
Then you agree.
It is insupportable.
If I wed your sister, it will bind me and you together for eternity, and I will spend every day of my marriage wanting you, dreaming of you, dreading the day when my last thread of honor finally snaps.
Is that the future that you want for us? For your sister? I must go.
Must we sit around like statues? I wish to be at a ball, showing off my new fiancé.
Varley? Are you certain we've not received any invitations you may have overlooked for the evening? No, ma'am.
There's been nothing.
Perhaps the circumstances of Prudence's engagement has us on the outs yet again.
So this is my fault? I did not say that.
It's not as if you arranged to meet Cousin Jack in that orangery, did you? We should merely be happy we still have a cook and a lady's maid each, yes, Mama? Not a single invitation since arriving back from the country.
I shall alert the postal clerk.
This is no joke.
We are meant to be a distinguished family.
But for years, I have suffered the indignities of the ton's disdain, for one reason or another.
They liked us well enough when they thought you a plum catch, but now that you are spoken for, ah, we are outcasts again.
All the more reason to end this sham of an engagement.
It is not an option.
Lord Cowper.
What business did he have with you? He wishes to invest in the mines.
Several of them do.
Bored gentlemen with too much time and money on their hands.
- Take it.
- The mines are worthless.
There are no rubies to be found.
How are they to know the difference? Board a ship to the Americas? You are serious.
The future of this family hangs in the balance, my lord.
I've never been more serious in my life.
Get them to invest.
Take every pound that they offer.
Our fortunes will be restored.
Prudence shall have a fine wedding, and I shall never have to suffer the disdain of the ton again.
Edwina? Ever since the viscount has been courting me, I have sensed you were not being entirely truthful.
And now I know I was right.
This business with the Sheffields and their fortune, you did not trust me enough to tell me what was really going on.
I am truly sorry, Bon, for keeping both you and Mama in the dark.
After Appa died, I took it upon myself to manage our affairs.
I wrote to the Sheffields, and after learning of their stipulations, I saw an answer to all our troubles.
I thought I was doing the right thing by keeping you free from this burden.
But you must know, it has weighed on me every day.
I am not a little girl anymore, Kate.
I am a grown woman now, ready to be a wife.
Yes, I know.
If Lord Bridgerton does not wish to end our engagement then the Sheffield fortune would not matter, would it? Once I am married to the viscount, there will be ample funds to provide for all of us.
He is as generous as he is wealthy.
I am sure the viscount will provide for you and Mama too.
He He might.
But But, Edwina, this should not be your burden.
What burden would it be to marry the person I love? You love him? Watching how nobly he defended us at dinner tonight, how could I not? I want nothing more than to be his wife.
His viscountess.
But he will have to forgive us.
Do you think he will? That I do not know.
I shall not be long.
Do not tell me you've traveled at this ungodly hour to offer more corrections of my writing? It was the only time I could leave without being seen.
And, on the contrary, I've come to ask for your discernment.
Is that so? Do not look so pleased.
It is a rare occurrence that I doubt shall be repeated.
I have questions about the writings in this pamphlet.
Well, the ideas can tax a fragile mind.
Or perhaps your means of communicating them leaves much to be desired.
Or perhaps you have not seen enough of the world to make sense of them yet.
More than laws or faith, I have often thought it the bond that holds our fragile society together.
Duty to rank and title.
Fidelity to one's family name.
It demands both utter obedience and total sacrifice.
But what happens when such duty is in conflict with the heart's true desire? Why, then, there is the potential for a considerable scandal, indeed.
The only question is, will the parties in question heed my warning? Or is it already too late to turn back to duty and away from desire? Miss Sharma.
I see you continue here with your morning rides.
As do you, it seems.
I couldn't sleep.
Nor could I.
Have you decided what you will do? Long have I wrestled with it, but I see no other option.
I will talk with Miss Edwina today and see my way to ending things.
It is the only way to ensure that the two of us can be rid of this impossible situation.
Once the engagement is over, our paths need never cross again.
It will be as if we had never met.
You cannot.
You cannot do that.
- Miss Sharma - You cannot break my sister's heart.
She is all things good and true.
A kinder soul you will never find.
She has loved me as well as any sister could, and I could not live with myself if I robbed her of her happiness and the future she deserves.
I I do not understand.
You have been against this union from the start.
I was wrong! I will not be the cause of you losing your honor any more than I can stand to see Edwina in pain.
You once saw her as your perfect match.
You will find your way to believing it again.
Please, Lord Bridgerton.
You must keep your word.
You must marry my sister.
You must marry her as soon as you can, because this feeling that plagues us so, it will pass.
It will become tenable, it will become bearable, and soon enough, it will be as if we never felt it at all.
Mere passion.
It must because it has to.
Very well.
I shall see that the wedding shall take place as soon as possible.

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