...Inspired by my love of Jane Austen novels...
Cassandra Chiswell was the younger daughter of a
most affectionate, too oft indulgent father. She had, in consequence of
her much elder sister's marriage, been mistress of his house from a
young age. Her mother had died too long ago for her to have more than
an indistinct remembrance; and her place had been supplied by an
excellent woman as governess, who had fallen little short of a mother
Miss Chiswell was a handsome and clever girl; a desirable match for
many young men given her status and generous endowment. Yet up to her
age of twenty had rebuffed all hinted proposals of marriage. She was of
independent mind and none had captivated it. Due to her privileged
position, she was afforded more preference than most young women.
Cassandra had the unspoken luxury of marrying for love and not comfort,
with deference to her social standing, of course.
Nonetheless, she was not immune from the sentimental feelings of the
fairer sex, as there was one young man who piqued her interest. Daniel
Tubville, son of a Leicester clergyman was one and twenty. While
erudite and ambitious to learn, he had not yet fixed upon his
profession. Still, Cassandra was drawn to his person more so than other
men of his age.
One evening in her year of twenty, sharing dinner with her father at
Stedmeath, her father displayed an uncharacteristic weariness. So she
spared no exertions to hearten her father's happier flow of ideas, and
hoped, by the help of backgammon, to get her father tolerably through
the evening. The backgammon table was placed; but two visitors
immediately afterwards walked in and made it unnecessary.
Mr. Tubville, a sensible man of nearly fifty, was a very old friend of
the family having been connected with the Chiswells as a well-respected
man of the clergy and village gentry. He lived a short walk from
Leicester, and was always welcome at Steadmeath. He also shared with
Mr. Chiswell the status of long time widower. This night, he was
accompanied by his son Daniel, the main focus of Cassandra's fondness.
Daniel had been a keen sportsman in his formative years and was
particularly interested in field sports. But given that his education
had occupied much time of late, his waistband was most clearly
strained, as were the buttons tying up his waistcoat. Cassandra noted
this with feverish delight. She had judged her prior suitors to be to
thin of face and slight of body. But the younger Tubville being so
handsome and robust a young man, he could not escape her notice.
As to temper, the even sweetness of it made him seem born for
contentment: tender, naturally polite, and gentle-mannered. He had all
those humble qualities that compose the softer social merit with every
grace of modesty and good nature. But, as nothing but the beauty of his
person had at first attracted her regard and fixed her passion, she had
this night full occasion to discover his lovely character in
The Elder Mr. Tubville spoke of his son's learning and his possible
succession into his own calling. The younger Tubville oft glancing at
Cassandra, while having known her from infancy still felt unease in her
presence. She had the reputation of being a forthright young lady,
challenging his glimpses with gazes of her own. And yet he did not know
that she thought of nothing beyond the exquisite pleasure of possessing
him. For Cassandra, the evening ended too soon.
Less than a fortnight had passed from the delightful evening of the
Tubvilles' visit when Cassandra acquired a ghastly cough that kept her
confined to bed for days. Feeling improved and longing for an
excursion, she ventured about the Steadmeath acreage, beyond the
entrance of the valley, where the country was wild, swelling and
Cassandra was certain that the fresh air would convalesce her spirits,
yet this sense of vigor and quest obscured the looming dark skies.
T'was not long before she found herself atop a great hillock; a
considerable journey from her dry domicile, water drenching her every
fiber. She attempted to dash down this mighty rise that she may find
dry shelter more hastily but her foot caught a hidden furrow and she
fell with all the force of the storm onto the soft earth. Her sobs
blended with the rain until she saw a sizeable young man on a great
horse in the distance.
Barely conscious when he came to her, her eyes fixed on the sweet round
face that had touched her dreams for many nights. She attempted to rise
for him, but she was out of herself and on the threshold of collapse.
Daniel Tubville caught Cassandra in his arms, lifting her from the
He brushed her sodden tresses from her pleasing yet ashen visage and
easily lifted her small frame to his steed, her lithe body supported by
his round middle. They galloped with full force to Steadmeath. Despite
her weakened condition, that his quaking bulk pressed against her body
went far to comfort her. He swiftly delivered Cassandra to her
governess, Mrs. Langholm. With much alarm, she was whisked away from
Daniel and accordingly could be attended to further by the family
Another fortnight passed before Cassandra was suitably strong to
receive visitors. The one most inquiring as to her condition was Daniel
Tubville. His entrance into her sitting room did much to brighten her
previously sullen mood. His clothing adorned his body in a far less
restricting fashion than in prior months, yet he seemed of slightly
greater proportions. She surmised rightly that he had undoubtedly been
to the Haberdashery of late.
The two young people conversed quietly for a turn. She humbly thanked
him for having rescued her from the unfortunate fall that weakened her.
And upon her claim that she had become too slight in her recent
illness, Daniel stated in reddened bashfulness that he must have
compensated for her loss with his expansion, patting his own growing
rotundity. Cassandra clasped her hands to her own middle and declared
much to Daniel's surprise that his compensations were met by her
Upon overhearing this flattery, Cassandra's governess decided it was
grounds for rest and suggested the younger Tubville take leave of Miss
Chiswell for the moment. She suggested he call again and he agreed with
a smile and the tip of his hat.
As Mrs. Langholm helped her to her quarters, she whispered to the girl
that she sensed the younger Mr. Tubville as having great affection for
Miss Chiswell. Cassandra became giddy at the notion and labored her
governess to speak more on the topic. But the governess charged her to
her bed and bid her bye.
Within days Cassandra was back amongst her community at their house of
worship. She sat with her father close to the lectern so as to have
sight of this young man she felt such affection for. And she studied
him habitually. From his plump hands to his substantial legs, his dark
eyes to his tightened trousers, she could not wrench her eyes away from
his soft beauty.
After the service her father invited the Tubvilles to dinner for a
continuation of intelligent theological discussion. Back at Stedmeath,
Cassandra fussed about the pending dinner, requesting an especially
rich and nourishing dinner for the gentlemen whom would be in
attendance; but the kitchen staff graciously bid her to the garden to
choose appropriate flowers for the occasion.
Mrs. Langholm knew why she needed added assistance preparing her curls
and petticoat for their afternoon visitors. Cassandra gushed in
private, bidding not to speak of her hopes to receive a word of promise
someday from the younger Mr. Tubville. Yet Mrs. Langholm was not
surprised by her interest in such a stout boy, as the late Mr. Langholm
captured her own heart with much the same proportions of body.
Daniel stood in the vestibule looking magnificent, Cassandra thought.
He had consumed much at dinner and placed his hand on his frontage to
bear his breadth. The young people walked about the Chiswell portrait
room, as the two elder men, content with brandywine and engrossed in
debate, remained in the parlor.
Among these portraits, she wished to paint his figure. A whole length
of a manly beauty in full view: a round face without a fault, glowing
with all the bloom and vernal freshness of an age in which beauty is of
either sex. The parting of his full lips when he spoke seemed to exhale
an air sweeter and purer than what it drew in. Such force did it cost
her to refrain from the ever tempted kiss!
His soft hair and thick neck connected his head to a body of the most
perfect form, in which all the strength of manhood was concealed and
softened to appearances by the plumpness of his flesh. Nor did his
shirt hinder her from observing that exactness of shape, in the
rounding swell and fall of his middle towards the loins. She imagined
his thighs, finely fashioned with a florid fatness, gradually tapering
away to his knees, pillars worthy to support that beauteous frame.
Alas, the evening ended without event, save the hastened heartbeats of
these two young creatures. Cassandra was left to wish for another
moment with her Prince Daniel. Yet the girl was unaware that this
Prince of hers also felt a strong admiration for her wit as well as her
In the following weeks, her father began to query the girl about her
intentions of a match, given her age and societal position. She perhaps
had the option to never marry if she wished, but her father wanted to
see her contented and protected from idle talk, given his advancing
age. However, Cassandra was silent on the topic, feeling her father
should be spared of the matters of a woman's heart.
At the same time, having great fondness for the Tubvilles, Mr. Chiswell
granted a parsonage to the younger Tubville as the elder Tubville was
also advancing in age, and could not continue alone with the spiritual
demands of the increasing village. Cassandra was delighted for Daniel
to find a settled place for his talents and understood that he was in a
better position to take a wife for himself.
With this turn of events, Cassandra began to travel on longer walks to
the rectory where Daniel was preparing himself to assume his new
capacity. She would visit him to discuss matters of spiritual and
seasonal importance. And he always received her with bewildered joy and
Mr. Tubville took notice of the budding intimacy between Daniel and
Cassandra. The elder Tubville was a man of experience in matters of the
heart and his suspicion of Cassandra's intentions grew. He went to see
Mr. Chiswell to discuss the delicate situation. He wanted to test Mr.
Chiswell's feelings before advising his son on offering any proposals.
Mr. Chiswell was a bit surprised by Mr. Tubville's observations. He had
seen no evidence that his daughter's heart had been captured by any
gent. While he didn't speak it, his skepticism was furthered by his
belief that his daughter, being a spirited and independent young woman
would not be inclined to do more than platonically befriend a quiet,
portly young man of the clergy.
Nonetheless, his intentions for Cassandra were that she ought to marry
as her heart wished, not adhering to an archaic belief that she must
marry higher than herself. Her property was secure and would more
likely continue to be if she were to marry a man with a solid
profession than a scoundrel with precarious credentials and few upright
pursuits. A man like Daniel Tubville would keep her protected from
scandal while allowing her high spirits to develop as they wished.
With the matter settled between the two gentlemen, Mr. Tubville was
able to discuss the situation with his son. However, his son, while
elated with the notion that her father would not object to the match,
was certain Cassandra would not be inclined to accept a proposal of
marriage from him. He knew many of the townspeople had gossiped that
she would be matched with the recent heir Mr. James Flatley or the
dashingly handsome Mr. George Edward. Additionally, she was known to be
much sought after by more suitors than Mr. Flatley and Mr. Edward.
Yet Cassandra spent her spare moments making baskets of Daniel's
favorite pleasures, from breads and honey to confections and creams.
The staff of Stedmeath dutifully helped prepare these treats under her
direction. Her visits to Daniel armed with mounds of provisions became
a near daily event. She had often heard that a man could be won through
the culinary charms of a young woman. Daniel's plump appearance and
gluttonous tendencies gave her reason to believe they were destined for
And Daniel felt a passion and longing for Cassandra as well. He always
thought her the most handsome woman of Leicester, but he was growing to
love the way her eyes sparkled and her laugh chimed. She was both
agreeable and mysterious in one breath. He wanted more than anything to
have her as his chosen. Yet he feared losing her friendship in a
And then one day that spring, she grew frustrated with his hesitation
and asked him if he ever planned to marry. He responded that yes, he
would one day, if he found a girl who would appreciate and love him
despite his growing fatness.
Met with such occasion of this topic so special to her, Cassandra
responded, "but wouldn't you rather she appreciated and loved your form
and not in spite of it?"
Daniel reddened. "Tis not a girl in the realm whom would feast her eyes
on a squab fat gentleman like myself. She may be agreeable to marriage,
but not to my size."
Surprised by his candor, Cassandra gasped, "but sir, you are so very
And with that exclamation, she realised how unladylike and impolite her
words and tone had been and hurried home in shame. And she feared
revealing more, as such immodest suggestions already revealed did not
befit a young lady of society like herself.
Daniel was vexed by her rash statement and hurried departure. And after
three days passed with no visit from his darling Cassandra, he became
more confused. He understood that she enjoyed his company, but was
still unclear about her true feelings for him. Finally, his want of her
visits became too great and he called on her at Stedmeath to resolve
They took a turn through the Stedmeath gardens, chatting lightly about
the fortunate stretch of weather the village had been experiencing that
month. In an enclosed patch of gladiolas, Cassandra knelt down to
examine the newly yawning flora. Daniel stopped and looked down at her,
then she up at him. At that moment he had never felt such love for
another. And she felt the seconds pass like minutes as her heart
Daniel softly asked Cassandra if she were inclined to be a settled
woman someday. She replied that she was, provided the right man were
inclined to request her hand. She was flushed and excited by Daniel's
words. He took her hand and looked her in the eyes with his own.
She looked upon his round countenance with such admiration that he
finally felt the visual approval she had long been showing him.
"Cassandra Chiswell, I deeply and ardently admire... and love you."
She felt weak in the knees, hearing what she had so longed to hear.
They embraced for a first kiss that exhaled his soul from his lips. She
became weaker with his full middle pressed into her bosom as if she
were melting like dew in the sun's heat. Realizing their momentary
indiscretion, Daniel held his arm out for her to escort her back to
Steadmeath in a more decorous manner. He immediately requested a
private meeting with Mr. Chiswell.
They sat in his study for a few minutes silently, when finally Daniel
spoke. "Sir, it is with great respect for you and your family that I
humbly request your permission to take your daughter's hand in
marriage, that is if she will have a practical man of modest means such
Knowing the younger Mr. Tubville to be of sound morality and
disposition, Mr. Chiswell graciously consented to the match, provided
his daughter was amenable. Her happiness was of the utmost importance,
he reminded Daniel. To that Daniel agreed that he felt absolutely the
The elder Tubville was thrilled with the match and gave his son the
ring of his long-deceased wife, knowing it would fit Miss Chiswell
rightly, given Daniel's mother was a diminutive girl akin to Cassandra.
The couple married in a delightful ceremony and a short celebration
followed. Daniel and Cassandra were hasty to embark upon the knowledge
of each other in passion and love. That evening, with his lips to hers,
he bore her. With soft fears and tender wishes, to the bed; where in
his passionate impatience he would undress her, first unpinning her
handkerchief and gown, and unlacing her stays; her petticoats and shift
were soon taken up, and the very touch of his hand opened a way for
And to end the evening most radiantly, Cassandra had an immense feast
prepared for her generously proportioned new husband, as she had most
joyfully given up to Daniel the whole charge of her future happiness.
© 2015 Ashblonde /