|[||music|||||Bohemian Like You-The Dandy Warhols||]|
Title: For It Is Madness To Do Otherwise
Disclaimer: It's not real. Nope, not at all. If tried to say it was I'd probably be slapped with a law suit for slander and defamation.
Summary: Darren and Daniel are aware of the line they've crossed, and they're having a hell of a time rectifying the situation.
Pairing: Darren and Daniel
Genre: so AU it's mind-boggling
Rating: pg-13 for kissage and some below the waist touching
Chapter one can be found here
For weeks afterwards Darren and Daniel were awkward around each other. For all his professed knowledge, Malcolm never noticed the new tentativeness between the two. George wasn’t interested in watching his fellows (only heckling them), and he too never noticed the strangeness.
Doyle however was another matter altogether. After two weeks of noticing Darren blush whenever he was in Daniel’s presence, Daniel trying his absolute best not to look at Darren, and the two of them just generally being ridiculous, Doyle decided to take matters into his own hands.
After Greek one afternoon, Doyle cornered Daniel, separating him from the hordes of scurrying boys making their way to classes. From the look on the icy-blond’s face, Daniel was smart enough not to protest, thus proving just how intimidating the slight boy could be.
“What exactly is happening with you, Daniel?” he pressed the taller boy for answers.
“Ahem,” Daniel was a little flabbergasted at the sudden onslaught. “Well, a failing mark in Greek is happening to me.”
Doyle rolled his eyes and grabbed Daniel by the shirtsleeve, tugging him down the corridor. Daniel allowed himself to be pulled as he ran through the responses he could come up with in answer to Doyle’s question.
“Explain yourself!” Doyle stated when they stopped in a secluded nook off of the main hall.
“Only the truth now.” Doyle crossed his arms.
Daniel sighed and turned away from the shorter blond. There had to be millions of reasons Daniel that explained why Daniel was uncomfortable around Darren. However, Daniel couldn’t think of any of them, and he was not easily made uneasy. Doyle would likely see through any story he attempted to bumble through.
Doyle sighed. “I won’t tell anybody, not even that oaf, George, on my honor.”
“Doyle, I just think you should know that this changes everything.”
“Did you tup Darren’s mother?” Doyle teased.
Daniel turned back around. “We kissed.”
Doyle blinked. “You kissed his mother?”
“What? No!” Daniel nearly shouted in protest. “I kissed him!”
Doyle took a step backwards in surprise. “Daniel . . .”
“And God, I want to do it again,” Daniel breathed. He turned back to Doyle expecting recriminations and looks of horror on the other boy’s face.
Doyle cleared his throat. “Well, this makes producing an heir more difficult.”
Daniel laughed somewhat hysterically and closed his eyes. “It was only one time. I—”
“Daniel,” Doyle interrupted. “I have absolutely no desire to kiss young men. I don’t think it’s going to be only one time.”
Daniel laughed again, this time self-deprecatingly, as he sank back against the corridor wall. “You’re right, of course.”
Doyle smirked. “Of course.” He eyed his dispirited friend. “No one can find out.”
Daniel leveled a look upon his friend. “Actually, I was planning on writing a composition on my predilection for the Greek way and delivering it to Norland myself.”
Doyle just huffed and changed the subject, a slightly sickened look on his face. “You don’t—You haven’t—”
“What? Had naughty thoughts about you?” Daniel laughed genuinely this time. “No, Doyle, I can’t say that I have.”
Doyle breathed out. “That wasn’t what I was going to say!”
“Mmm.” Daniel raised an eyebrow, clearly not believing the other blond. “So now what do we do?”
“As long as you can keep your hands off of nubile young boys,” Doyle cracked, “we should be perfectly fine!”
The tall blond snorted. “Let’s get to class, yeah?”
Ever since the kiss that Darren knew would never happen again he’d been spending more and more time in the library. Even though it wasn’t going to happen again, he told himself he needed to know everything about what boys did with other boys. He was a veritable font of knowledge when it came to girls, he had first-hand experience. However, though he knew the bawdy jokes and rumors that circulated about what men did with each other, he was still a little hazy on the details of such liaisons. However, from the way people talked it sounded like neither of the two parties involved could derive much enjoyment from that!
Daniel walked into the library one free period when Darren was busily “researching”. The dark-haired boy looked up from his books and flushed. He tossed the leather bound volume he’d been reading back on to the table and shuffled through some papers, trying to pretend he’d had no relation to them. Daniel eyed the books, mostly Greek classics, and from the look on the other boy’s face Darren could tell that Daniel was aware of what he was attempting to do.
Darren coughed and looked down at his papers again.
The tall blond had made a resolution to stay away from him. If anybody besides Doyle found out about the two of them, God knows what would happen. It would certainly reflect very badly on Daniel’s family. However the minute he’d spied the blush staining Darren’s cheeks, he just couldn’t help himself.
As he walked behind Darren’s book covered table, he picked up a copy of the Iliad and pretended to leaf through it. Darren still sat at the table, but he craned his neck around to see behind him. The green-eyed boy leaned down to set the book on the table. Daniel turned his face at the last moment and brushed his lips across Darren’s ear.
“You might try a history of King James I, he preferred the company of men,” he whispered as he pulled back. Darren’s eyes slammed shut, the rough edge of Daniel’s voice setting his nerves alight. When Darren opened his eyes again, Daniel was gone. Darren took in a lungful of air and gripped the table. Well, if Daniel could make him feel like this just by whispering to him, maybe doing that with him would feel good.
Daniel was still chuckling at the expression on Darren’s face when he got back to his room. He unlocked the door, noting that his roommate, Phillip Cartright, wasn’t in attendance or the door would have been open. Daniel sighed in relief. Phillip was always so quiet that he drove Daniel mad.
As suspected, Phillip wasn’t in the room. But James was.
“I suppose I shouldn’t ask how you got in here, Jamie.”
“No, I suppose you shouldn’t.” James grinned. “Hurry up, Jones. Exams are tomorrow, and I have no desire to fail them.”
“Why yes, my Lord.” Daniel rolled his eyes and smiled. “How terrible of me to make you wait.”
“Oh, don’t. You rank me, you know.”
Daniel sighed, the subject of his rank and birth a rather tiresome one. “So what’s the trouble?”
Jamie smiled enigmatically when Daniel turned away. “Well this vector quantity business is rather beyond me . . .”
Darren and Daniel continued to be reticent around each other. Daniel was still trying his hardest to stay away from Darren and Darren was letting him. Unfortunately it wasn’t easy. They had the same friends, they were in the same house, and, because they were in the same form, the same classes. Not only that, he enjoyed Darren’s company. He was, in fact, starting to equate Darren with his much beloved chocolate: when you had it, you only wanted more.
Doyle continuously made subtle gibes whenever he spent time with the Daniel. Often times in class where any attempt Daniel could have made at revenging himself would have been very badly received. Darren himself didn’t make it easy for Daniel to ignore him when he started sucking on the end of a fountain pen one day in maths. Or when it started raining the day they had village privileges and Darren’s fashionable white linen had been molded to his body and Darren had been forced to walk beside him pretending nothing was out of the ordinary. That is, that nothing was out of the ordinary for his heart rate, or the color of his face. Darren, thankfully, seemed to notice neither.
That had been a few weeks ago. Currently the group of friends was studying the Great Schism for an history exam in Doyle and George’s room. Darren, Malcolm, and Doyle had been at if for hours but Daniel and George had only recently showed up, both of them being the less academically inclined ones of the group.
“Look here, St. Tarcissus, the patron saint of homosexual soldiers1, died in the arms of his warrior lover.” Doyle was at it again. Daniel looked up from his own heavy tome and chucked a spare piece of wadded up parchment at his friend.
George laughed raucously both at the exchange and the newly discovered saint. “Daniel, you ought to tell your brother to look him up.”
Daniel smiled weakly and when he looked at Darren out of the corner of his eye, he saw the other boy was blushing hotly.
Darren hoped nobody would suddenly look at him in reference to Doyle’s comment and scrabbled for something, anything to say. He finally managed a terribly eloquent, “What?”
“My brother, Oliver, bought his colors2 two years ago.”
“Yeah, and became a right arse, afterwards,” George added.
Daniel snorted. “He’s always been a right arse!”
“I didn’t know you had an older brother.” Darren looked at Daniel who was sitting on the floor leaning against the wall, book propped across his knees.
Daniel nodded. “Mmm, two in fact.”
Doyle shut the text he was leafing through. “Daniel likes to pretend they don’t exist.”
Daniel grumbled and went back to studying.
“I need another book in the library.” Malcolm said suddenly, getting to his feet.
Doyle stood as well. “As do I.” The two boys were walking to the door when Doyle turned around. “Stay on your half of the room, George, and try not to break anything.”
George mad an irritated sound in the back of his throat. “Quiet, you. I’m leaving too. The new kitchen maid promised me extra marchpane3.”
“Glutton,” Doyle shot back, still standing in the doorway.
The rail thin George smiled. “Proud of it.” Then he minced out into the wood-paneled corridor, past Doyle, who rolled his eyes and then left himself. Darren and Daniel were left very much alone. Daniel got to his feet and took George’s vacated space upon the bed next to the doorway. Darren looked up at him as the taller boy made the move and looked away again quickly. The two didn’t speak, although there was a lot that probably needed to be said between the two of them.
Finally Darren sighed. “We can’t keep doing this.”
Daniel looked up from the book he was pretending to read. “I know I—”
Darren got to his feet, crossed the room, and pulled the other boy toward him, sealing their lips together tightly. Daniel was so shocked that for a second he didn’t react, but then he got his bearings about him and pushed the book on his lap aside, allowing Darren to kneel on the floor between his thighs as they kissed furiously.
Daniel’s tongue in his mouth began a rhythmic in an out motion that mimicked the act that Darren had been spending so much time trying to learn about. He tried to ignore how Daniel’s trick sent shockwaves straight to his groin. He gripped Daniel’s thighs with both hands, attempting to anchor himself, as their mouths tangled. Daniel’s fingers were gliding up the side of his neck, and Darren arched into the touch, suddenly wanting Daniel’s hands on him everywhere.
He pulled back, inhaling much needed air, as Daniel continued to touch his skin. When he opened his eyes, the other youth’s gaze was smoldering and Darren nearly moaned aloud when Daniel ran his tongue across his lips.
“This could get us into so much trouble,” Daniel breathed. Darren’s eyes slid closed at the husky quality to Daniel’s voice.
“I thought you liked risks,” Darren responded slowly, knowing that he’d kick himself for sounding so depraved later. Daniel was kissing a path over his cheekbone, his strong fencer’s hand at Darren’s chin.
Daniel’s chuckle was low and menacingly sexy, he didn’t respond, only captured Darren’s mouth in another kiss. Darren ran his hand up Daniel’s inner thigh, only sort of knowing that this was really affirming exactly what he was doing with another boy. His fingers brushed across Daniel’s semi-erect cock through the material of his trousers. Daniel broke the kiss, arching his neck back, and biting his lip before a moan escaped.
“This is not a brilliant idea,” Darren sighed as he watched Daniel in fascination. “Is it?”
Daniel’s eyes were half-lidded, one hand upon Daniel’s shoulder, he waited a beat before answering, “I should think not.”
Barely a second later they heard a hand on the doorknob and had only just enough time to spring apart.
When Doyle entered the room he saw Darren sitting on the floor, his blush suffused face buried in a book. Daniel was sitting on George’s bed with his legs crossed, trying to look innocent.
Doyle looked back and forth between the two, knowing something must have happened. He was after all in possession of a brain.
Doyle glared at the two boys. “Tell me you stayed off my bed.”
Darren looked up and blinked. “Yes, Doyle. What would we do with your bed? Rub our boots on the sheets?”
Daniel tried to hide a grin at Doyle’s horrified expression.
The next day English class was as boring as it ever was, so much so that Darren eyes were watering from yawning so often. After an intensely dull lecture about the correct use of the comma, the professor had sort of fallen into his desk chair and was waiting for his students to amuse themselves.
After a moment of awkward silence, Daniel spoke up. “So, may we leave then?”
“What was that, Jones?” Master Sheelings asked squinting at the tall blond in the back row.
“May we leave?” Daniel asked again, his head resting on his fist.
“Well, I . . .” Master Sheelings was a little unsure of how to proceed. Let the students leave class? Norland would never agree to that. “Well, I suppose you could go to the library, read book or two.”
The boys looked at each other and shrugged. Daniel was the first to stand.
“Right, to the library then, lads.” He winked at his fellow classmates and then walked out of the room. Suddenly the room was a cacophony of shuffled papers, shouting boys, and chairs creaking back. Master Sheelings was amazed to find himself suddenly alone in his room. He blinked. Well, he certainly hadn’t realized how much all of the boys liked the library. He shrugged; Norland certainly couldn’t fault him for encouraging their exploration of literature. Now, at least, he had all the time in the world to take a nap before the first formers came in and they were undeniably hell.
Daniel and Darren walked outdoors on the grounds in the crisp November air. Darren probably should have gone with Doyle and Malcolm, because whenever he was in Daniel’s presence he couldn’t seem to keep his hands or mouth off of the other boy. Darren also despised the cold more than anything else, but he couldn’t help thinking at the moment that the cool air felt excellent on his face. Or maybe he just liked being wherever Daniel was. That was a scary thought.
He turned to the blond walking beside him. “I can’t believe Sheelings just let us go! Now we’ve got more than an hour till maths.” Darren laughed.
Daniel made a face. “But now I can’t think of anything to do.”
Darren looked at his friend and object of affection and laughed again. As he watched the other boy straighten his collar points4, he realized he hadn’t been voluntarily alone with Daniel since the first time they’d kissed. He was really starting to remember why: that whole young men are not supposed to love other young men theory.
However, before Darren even really knew what he was doing, he’d whacked Daniel’s arm, yelled, “Your it!” and run off.
Darren was halfway across the lawn before the stunned blond even reacted. Daniel sighed and shook his head before sprinting after his friend who was currently laughing maniacally.
Darren could barely control his outburst of hilarity as he wended his way through a copse of beeches. He could hear Daniel gaining on him as the taller and undoubtedly faster boy’s feet crunched through the leaves littering the ground.
He dashed around the trunks gasping, already winded from laughing and running in tandem. He didn’t hear Daniel behind him anymore and he paused for a second hoping he’d lost him. Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, he spied a black blur speeding towards him. He attempted to whirl out of the way, but was only a fraction of second too late. Daniel had pounced on him, knocking them both to the ground.
The air rushed out of Darren’s lungs as they made contact with the grass. Daniel’s collapsing on top of him had nearly collapsed his lung. When he got his breath back he struggled against the taller stronger boy, who was laughing nearly as enthusiastically as he had been. Finally, Darren was able to take advantage of the green-eyed young man’s weakness and roll the two of them over. Daniel only laughed harder as they wrestled on the ground, getting dirt on the fine wool of their trousers and leaves in their coats.
“The look on your face,” Daniel said between laughs, now on top of Darren again. Darren sighed and rolled his eyes, attempting to shove Daniel off. The blond boy grabbed the offending hands and pinned them next to Darren’s head and he continued chuckling.
“Oh, no, Count, anything but that!” Darren said in a falsetto voice as he peered up at the other boy.
Daniel made a face at him, “What on earth—”
“My sister reads these horrid novels where some count is always ravishing the maid, who then is so pure that he marries her!” Darren explained, with Daniel continuing to lean over him.
“Fancies herself a Pamela5?” Darren made a sound of distaste and Daniel grinned. “Well, it’s a good thing that I’m not a count.”
“So I don’t have to worry about you ravishing me?” Darren hoped that didn’t sound like disappointment in his voice.
“So that you don’t have to pretend you have to be pure to ensnare me in a marriage contract,” Daniel’s eyes were suddenly intense.
Darren paused for a moment, simply staring back up at the handsome boy looming over him, who always managed to cause funny feelings in the pit of his stomach. “I’m not a maid,” he answered weakly.
“Yes,’ Daniel laughed, his eyes running over Darren’s chest, “I’d noticed that.”
Darren hooked his leg around Daniel’s in a move that his cousin Rupert had taught him and flipped them both over.
“Hah, now what Master Jones?” He pinned Daniel’s wrists in the same manner the other boy had pinned his.
“I suppose I shall simply have to lie here until you get bored and get off of me!”
“That’s not fun at all!” Darren whispered before ghosting his lips over Daniel’s. The other boy arched beneath him. It seemed like it was inevitable, they couldn’t prevent the growing need to touch each other. But then that could have just been because they were young men.
Maybe all boys felt this way about whomever they were attracted to, Daniel thought as he gave himself over to the pleasurable sensation of Darren assaulting his mouth with his tongue. He’d done a lot of kissing, and he never remembered it feeling quite so mind-consuming as it was with Darren. With Darren’s touch at his wrists and his tongue swirling around his mouth, Daniel just couldn’t think. All he knew was that he needed more. Needed to feel Darren’s hands on his skin and not the blasted layers of fabric they always wore.
Their legs had gotten tangled up so that Daniel could barely tell who belonged to what. He struggled against Darren’s grip on his wrists, desperately wanting to touch the blue-eyed torturer who lay above him. Darren only seemed to grin into the rough kiss they shared, before pulling back slightly to smile enigmatically down at the blond beneath him.
“Well, since I have the Count at my mercy . . .” he leaned down again to suck on Daniel’s kiss swollen lower lip.
“I think your taking this metaphor rather far,” Daniel replied when the other boy pulled back again, breathing in sharply as Darren’s lips brushed across his cheek bones and the sensitive spot just below his ear. Daniel knew he must be a right state, his collar and kerchief were completely undone, his great coat and weskit6 were in disarray, and god only knew what state his trousers were in. However, he couldn’t bring himself to care. He imagined that later when he actually had to deal with it, he’d be a little irritated but now, oh god, now there was only Darren’s tongue on his pulse point.
Daniel thrust his hips upwards to meet Darren’s. He’d completely lost control of his body, he just never wanted Darren to stop. Darren himself was completely involved in the feel of Daniel’s hard body writhing beneath him. Every wriggle brought Daniel into dangerously close contact with Darren’s cock, and the torturous friction was killing his concentration.
Daniel cursed all the fabric that lay between them. At the moment, living in the desert climes of Africa was starting to sound really nice. One never had to bother with weskits and collar points and other such nonsense there. Darren finally let go of his wrists in favor of pushing the thick fabric of his outer coat out of the way. Daniel ran his hands down the thighs that currently straddled his hips, noting the powerful muscles that flexed as Darren moved over him. As much as Darren swore he wasn’t an athlete, his entire body suggested otherwise.
Darren was attempting to work his hands under the many layers Daniel was wrapped in when he came in contact with a hard solid object. He hoped to god that wasn’t part of Daniel. Pulling himself upwards to inspect the new found curiosity, he was confronted by the sighted of a heavy gold watch hanging off the weskit pocket.
“Great Christ!” Darren rolled himself up off of Daniel. “We have five minutes to get to maths!”
Daniel, who’d pulled his disheveled self up onto his elbows when Darren had moved away, fell back onto the ground. “Ugh, there’s always something.”
Darren and Daniel dashed into maths, grass stains on their knees and elbows. Master Kelly, looked up from the blackboard where he was deriving an equation.
“So glad you could join us, Jones!” Kelly snarked at his pupil. “Oh, and you too Mr. Hayes!”
“Sorry, sorry, Master Kelly,” Daniel offered as he slid into his desk.
Kelly turned back to board. “Did you have an encounter with the local rowdies, Jones?”
“Hardly, Sir.” Daniel put his chin on his fist.
“Oh? You and Mr. Hayes decided that the passing period was an excellent time to affect a brawl then?”
Darren hid face in his hands. That wasn’t exactly what he’d have called it. He completely missed the significant look Doyle sent his way.
“You impugn my honor, Master Kelly,” Daniel laughed.
Master Kelly turned around and gave Daniel a look. “Whatever honor it is you have left, Jones? Oh, never mind. Get to work on those theorems and show me that brilliance that has, as of yet, not been beaten out of your head on the dueling courts.”
Darren sighed, glad that Daniel was Master Kelly’s favorite pupil. Lord knew the mathematics master had little hope for Darren who found the problem solving part tedious and the ‘one right-answer’ to the problems incredibly narrow-minded. Or at least, that was his excuse every time he received low marks in the subject.
Doyle was contemplating as he worked through a problem. Despite Daniel’s proclamation that he would, in the future, avoid Darren and whatever trouble being with Darren entailed, he did not seem to be doing a very good job of it. Hardly surprising, Daniel was very bad at doing what was best for him. This meant one of two things, either Darren and Daniel would be caught or at the very least put in a very compromising position or Doyle could warn Darren off.
He genuinely liked the new boy. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was he’d genuinely liked Daniel since the first form. And besides, if Daniel and Darren stayed apart it was not like Darren couldn’t still run with their crowd. Daniel was often so busy, between fencing and working to get passing grades and generally being his sociable self, that it would hardly cripple Darren’s friendship with the rest of the boys.
Doyle resolved to speak with Darren after dinner that night, hoping that his speech would not fall on deaf ears.
Darren was working through some particularly boring trigonometry problems when he heard a knock at the door.
“Malcolm, you need to stop forgetting your key!” Darren called out, not looking up from his calculations and his fiddling about with a slide-rule. “Anyway, I left the door unlocked, expecting that we, once again, would find ourselves in this situation.”
The door opened and shut, Darren still worked on his problems, completely ignoring the boy standing in his rooms.
“Oh, the things I could do with such knowledge,” Doyle said as he threw himself down on Darren’s bed. He sniffed at Darren’s pillow-case. “Hmm, lavender? You really are a complete princess!”
Darren turned about in his chair, eyebrow raised. He was taller and broader in the shoulders than Doyle, and his facial features were nowhere near as pretty as the other boy’s. He wondered if Doyle realized how hypocritical that pronouncement sounded. “I don’t suppose you have come here to be constructive, like give me the answers to this stupid problem have you?”
Doyle laughed. “I should say not! I would never do something so plebian as to let some-one copy my work.”
“Oh yes, noble Doyle, shuns copying of any form except, of course, when it involves geography,” Darren retorted.
“That’s different, geography’s useless. I’m not planning on being a cartographer or an adventurer of any sort. Besides Malcolm has top marks in the class, he might as well share the wealth.”
Darren sighed. “Well, I’m not planning to be the next Isaac Newton. By that logic you must give me the answers.”
“Oh sure, Darren, let me hand them right over!” Doyle shot back sarcastically. “Besides, I haven’t done them yet.”
Darren snorted. “Why are you here then? Surely your bed is just as serviceable as mine.”
“I would like to speak plainly on certain matters,” Doyle replied, not looking at his dark-haired friend.
“Speak plainly? You don’t know how!” Darren’s incredulity was clear in his voice.
“Right, well, I’ll take that as your permission, then.” Doyle sat up on the bed. “Listen, Darren, I don’t presume to understand what goes on between you and Daniel.”
Darren’s expression grew stony but he didn’t interrupt. Clearly Daniel had told the other boy. He couldn’t think why.
“However, he’s my friend. He comes from a very well-thought of family and the thought of what might happen to him if he showed any signs of being, well, odd is what necessitates my visit to you.”
“Indeed,” Darren’s voice had grown cold.
“I didn’t come here to pass judgment on you Darren or to imply that you corrupted him—”
“Doyle, you’re not my bloody solicitor! Speak to me like an actual person would.” Darren interrupted.
“All right,” Doyle said softly. “You need to stay away from him.”
“And this oddness you speak of, it’s all my fault?” Darren stood up and stalked to the window.
“Hardly! Daniel doesn’t really realize what it all could mean if you were caught in flagrante delicto!” Doyle practically shouted. “Or he doesn’t care if he does realize!”
“He’s not a child, Doyle!” Darren replied frostily.
“No, but he’s never been good about following the rules! Darren, if you care about him, you have got to let him alone.”
Darren closed his eyes and leaned his forehead against the window-pane. “I’m trying. You can hardly believe that this doesn’t have consequences for me as well.”
“I don’t believe that. It’s just that I don’t know your family. I know Daniel’s all too well.” Doyle got to his feet and made his way to the door. “Think about what I said,” the platinum blond stated before exiting the room.
Darren sighed and gripped the window-sill with white knuckled hands. He liked Daniel, but most of all he liked how he felt around Daniel. However, Doyle had a point, actually, Doyle had more than a point. He was right, for Daniel’s sake as well as his own, he had to be a little more serious about not going anywhere near his friend.
He wasn’t so sure why a sick feeling was welling up in him at the thought.
1 I am not making this up. I wonder how exactly the current diocese explains that away. “Oh yes, we made a gay guy a saint and then a patron of other gay guys, but we still hate gay guys and think they should be bludgeoned to death!”
2 To buy ones colors is to become a commissioned officer in the British army. Oliver would have entered at the rank of ensign (better known as first Lieutenant), but would probably refer to himself as a subaltern, which comprised of all officers below the rank of Captain.
4The style at the time for men was to wear starched white collars that came up just under the chin. Like so. Having collar points that were too low was practically considered a transgression against humanity. Daily movement could cause the shirt’s collar to shift about and so in order to look their very rakish best, young men were often found tugging on them.
5 I’m sure we’ve all heard about these novels. Darren’s sister, and quite possibly most of the English curriculum at the time would also have read Pamela or Virtue, Rewarded written by Samuel Richardson. Written in 1741, the bestseller was a novel of the exact situation Darren described above. I’ve never read it, but I’m told it’s roughly 700 pages of boredom and misconceptions about women. Henry Fielding’s satire of Pamela called An Apology For The Life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews is supposedly far more interesting.
6What we ordinary people would call a vest. The full “technical term” is a Waist Coat, but you know, that’s too long for those proper British to say, so they make it into Weskit.