Thanks to the realization yesterday that I do in fact have a favorite love letter, I’ve decided to share it with you. If this ruins your reading of Jane Austen’s “Persuasion,” I greatly apologize, but I have some doubts that it will. Rather, I hope it stirs a hunger in you to read some more. More importantly to find out why a letter such as this would be written. I’m serious, it is well worth reading. I find it especially so for single post 20-something women who aren’t so fanciful on marriage. Or rather, women like me, who aren’t willing to sacrifice on connection just to get married, especially as “their time is running out.” With that said, my favorite lover letter…
“I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own, than when you broke it eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone I think and plan. –Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? –I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, when they would be lost on others. –Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating in F.W.
I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look will be enough to decide whether I enter your father’s house this evening, or never.”
WHEW! Can you believe that? Did you just get chills? I did! I love that letter. If you were to wander into my bookshelf, you’d find the page marked in the corner. A mark of love, naturally.
Four more days to go until Valentine’s Day!