A Circumstance Not To Be Envied
"Come inside, my dear. You must not spend all of your time looking at the gardens when you have
a wedding to plan."
"Yes, Mother. How long is it until the occasion?"
"Twenty-four days, and the main course is not yet planned! It will take us weeks just to obtain the necessary ingredients. What would the Duke think, to see us so poorly-prepared?"
"Surely he would hardly notice; is this not just so great an occasion for him as it is for me? He shall marry a Contessa less than one half his age, with a dowry to boot!"
"Marguerite, do not speak to me so. You know as well as I that he is acquiescing to this arrangement as a kindness to our family, not out of any obligation. You are fortunate that anyone has agreed to marry you, considering your father's mistakes."
"Please accept my humble apologies, Mother; I did not mean to question your decision. It's only that this is difficult for me. I... I shall go prepare the feast."
"See that you do. And Marguerite... do not make this any more frustrating than it already is. Remember, you're a very lucky young woman, to have such an influential Duke seeking your hand. It simply would not do to take unnecessary risks."