Here we go, round 3! First the letter, and then my responses...I wrote two. :)
Dear Period Drama Advice Column,
I received a proposal from a dear friend of mine, John Chivery. I refused him because I do not love him. I am very fond of John, but I could never feel that way about him. I wish I could; it distresses me to see him unhappy, but I can't love him -- not in that way, not to be his wife. I would rather stay and look after my father than marry someone I do not love. I hope he will find a good wife one day because he deserves one. I am in love with another man, Arthur Clennam, but he is in love with someone else who I don't know. And now because I refused John, everybody is unhappy or angry with me. What should I do?Response #1 --
Miss Dorrit –
Ah, ‘tis a sad thing you have done, refusing John -- provided he's rich. My sister did something similar once…there was a young man named Charles Musgrove who proposed to her in the prettiest manner! We were all convinced that she should marry him, as he had some money and some land! Alas, Anne refused him, claiming she did not love him – just as you have done! Charles went on to marry our younger sister, Mary. I do not believe that Anne was in love with anyone else though…oh, when she was younger there was a young man named Wentworth, but she was wise and turned him away. He had a penchant for the sea, you know. We are all immensely glad that she did not marry him, and we have not seen him since. There is a rumor, however, that he is visiting Uppercross, where Charles and Mary live, and Anne is currently visiting. But it has been many years since Wentworth and Anne had any contact, and we think that nothing shall come of it.
As to your own sorry case, I can only hope that perhaps someday, you will come across a wealthy young man who will fall in love with you! Is this Arthur Clennam rich? You must put out all your charms if he is, and do your best with everything you have to make him wish to marry you!
If you need more advice, do write again.
Miss Elizabeth Elliott, daughter of Sir Walter Elliott
Response #2 --
My dear Amy,
You were quite right to refuse him. Men who are a dear friend are rarely rich, I’ve noticed! And if he is not your equal in society, how could you ever marry him? It would be quite terrible, I’m sure. I am truly sorry if he is unhappy because of your refusal, but men must learn that women are not always delighted to accept any and every offer of marriage given to them. You must continue to search for the man who is right for you, one with a nice house and fine manners, and naturally, a good source of income. There is a young man here, named Mr. Elton, who I believe you would like. He is the vicar of our parish here in Highbury. Unfortunately, my dear friend Harriet Smith is in love with him, and so I fear he is taken. However, I am quite adept at matchmaking, and should I come across any other eligible young men, I will most certainly write to you!
Is Mr. Clennam of a good family and income? He is not a farmer, is he? You see, my dear little friend Harriet was at one point quite enamored with a common farmer called Robert Martin. He was even so bold as to propose, and I fear she very nearly accepted – but we averted that tragedy, for if she had, she I could not have visited her. Simply imagine: Miss Emma Woodhouse going to see Mrs. Robert Martin of Abbey Mill Farm! It would have been terrible, and I would never have done it.
There is a rumor here of a Frank Churchill coming soon…my governess married Mr. Churchill’s father. Thus I know that he is of good family, and a fine income. If he is eligible and good for a young lady of means (for such I assume you are), I will let you know. You and your father may come and stay with my father and me… we would love to be have you. I assume that your father would, after all, not wish you to travel alone – I know my father would not.
Comment and tell me which you like best! :)