Dear Miss Austin-Morris
Pray allow me to introduce myself and to beg your counsel in a matter of the heart which I have found greatly troubling of late.
I am a gentleman of four and thirty years, high born and with a considerable fortune. I live in an extremely agreeable, some would say sumptuous, manner in a large, well appointed house in Hertfordshire.
However, despite all these trappings of wealth I find myself miserable in the extreme. For you see madam, my heart no longer belongs to me. I have given it most wholeheartedly to a young woman who despises me and who shuns my presence at every turn.
She is one of five sisters, daughters to a local businessman, a thoroughly respectable family of moderate means for whom I have the utmost affection and respect.
Elizabeth, for that is indeed the name of my dear one, is the eldest sister, a beautiful creature of somewhat haughty bearing who spurns my society at every turn despite my most ardent entreaties.
I have endeavoured to curry her admiration by assisting her whenever possible in her times of greatest need. I have even aided her youngest sister, a flighty and foolish little thing, by exposing her faithless new husband as a carousing blackguard, a feckless adventurer who will surely lead the poor creature to ruin.
My own family’s equilibrium has also been greatly disturbed due to my unfettered, and quite hopeless regard for this lady. I have attracted the displeasure of my aunt, a wizened and taciturn harridan, and her daughter, a most disagreeable and unsightly creature, who baulk greatly against my attempts to pay my suit to my beloved one.
Despite all my efforts however, she remains cool of mien and is unmoved by my most earnest entreaties to become my wife. I therefore beg of you madame, offer me your most sought after advice and bring me succour in this most distressing matter.
I fear that if I do not make her mine I shall lose all hope and seek some kind of inner peace by joining my father’s regiment and will embark to foreign shores to fight, and if necessary die, for my King and country.
Without her you see madame, death holds no dominion over me and if I am to be slain in battle, then let it be known that her precious name will be the last words on my lips.
I Am Madame Your Most Humble Servant
My Dear Mr Darcy
Have you tried swimming across a lake fully-clothed before advancing towards this lady with your nob hanging out?
Your Servant Sir
Jane Austin-Morris (Miss)