I have always taken great delight in vexing people. In fact, together with reading the weekly news and finding calmness and solitude with a good book, it is one of my favourite pastimes in life.
Naturally some people are more pleasing and humorous to tease than others. I could not play my old pranks on my two eldest daughters, Jane and Lizzy. Jane is too dear and sweet to be seen upset and Lizzy is too clever to be tricked. She'll only make things worse and tease back, funny girl. I unashamedly and officially call Lizzy my favourite of the feminine Bennet bunch.
My dear wife and my three youngest daughters - the two youngest in particular - are indeed delightful to tease. They never realise that it is my sardonic humour and sarcastic wit playing up and take all I say for granted! All!
I have lately played a very witty joke on them. Aye, it was so good that even my little Lizzy got fooled this time.
I pretended to flatly refuse to visit the famous Mr Bingley (I do not know why the whole town is talking of him - what is there to say about the poor man, pray?) - while I, in real life, had long before sent him a letter with an invitation.
My wife - having both her nerve and smelling salts attacks - was pleading and begging, saying that our lives would be ruined if I didn't do it. I went on, not saying anything in particular, mumbling something which made poor Mrs Bennet even more hysteric than she had been, from behind my newspaper, which, of course, I wasn't really reading.
Lydia and Kitty, otherwise entitled as the two silliest girls of England, were doing the same as Mrs Bennet, only a little more cheerful, commenting coquettishly about the arrival of the officers now and then through their pleads.
Be it not as it may, Mrs Bennet suddenly cried out that she was sick of Mr Bingley. So was I, but I did not say so, and decided it would be the right time to put an end to my joke. I said I was sorry to hear that she was sick of Mr Bingley because I had written to him this morning. I said it was too late to escape the acquaintance now.
Mrs Bennet and the two silliest girls of England where hence even more astonished than I had delightfully anticipated when I had thought of the joke. My wife even kissed me - she was certainly overdoing it all. As I left the room to go to read in the library, I heard them hooting and howling in parlour.
Aye, aye, my joke has turned out my better than I had expected. What a triumph!
(This was written by myself and can therefore not be copied without my permission.)