Love Letters

18 Mar

Dearest Simone,

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 forever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own, than when you almost 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 unconstant. 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, but I can distinguish the tones of that 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. I must go uncertain of my fate but I shall return to follow your party as soon as possible. A word, a look will be neough to decide whether I enter your father’s house this evening or never.

Wentworth
~from Persuasion by Jane Austen (1775-1817)

I dont know what to say. I feel dizzy, oh I think I am going to faint. Water, I need water!

Nah, that letter wasnt addressed to me (I wish!) it was addressed to the character of Anne Elliot, another one of Austen’s admirable heroine immortalised in her book “Persuasion”, later adapted to a tv-movie starring Amanda Root as Anne Elliot and Ciaran Hinds as the dashing Captain Wentworth. From this scene in the book, a new entry about love letters will be discussed in my blog.

I have only received one love letter in my life. I may not have received flowers but, hey I can proudly say, somebody wrote me a love letter. It was when I just turned 19. I can still remember how the sender even gave it a subject and I was overwhelmed with the content in all its pages. It seems so long ago now, I have fallen in and out of love with different people since but have yet to receive another love letter. Since the advent of electronic mail, we seem to be losing sight of what actually a love letter can do to any recipient, the thrill of opening the envelope, turning the pages, stopping to take a deep breath and then clutching the missive close to heart, – I was made an emissary to one and I saw the effect it has made, which is not really possible with email, from which you stare at from your computer screen. I was made an emissary to one and I saw the effect it has made, and this is what this post is about.

Oh, what I would give to receive a letter with a declaration of someone’s love.

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4 Responses to “Love Letters”

  1. Sheila March 20, 2006 at 5:19 pm #

    ok, you have to stop this! you’re insane. ima have to tell caesar about you. where is my antony?

  2. Pedro Vecino March 21, 2006 at 12:03 am #

    With every new thing dies a charming old one.

    Stop reading Jane Austen, she is boring! Stevenson is far better.

  3. Monette March 21, 2006 at 12:11 am #

    Pedro, Pedro, Pedro, after all this time, have I not taught you anything???

    Men!!!! LOL

  4. Simone December 4, 2007 at 12:30 pm #

    I revisited Persuasion recently and it just gave me another realization. Do you remember this exchange of lines between Capt. Harville and Anne whilst Wentworth was nearby supposedly writing a letter but was really eavesdropping?

    Captain Harvile: Poor Phoebe, she would not have forgotten him so soon. It was not in her nature.

    Anne Elliot: It would not be in the nature of any woman who truly loved.

    Captain Harvile: Do you claim that for your sex?

    Anne Elliot: We do not forget you as soon as you forget us. We cannot help ourselves. We live at home, quiet, confined, and our feelings prey upon us. You always have business of some sort or other to take you back into the world.

    Captain Harvile: I won’t allow it to be any more man’s nature than women’s to be inconstant or to forget those they love or have loved. I believe the reverse. I believe… Let me just observe that all histories are against you, all stories, prose, and verse. I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which did not have something to say on women’s fickleness.

    Anne Elliot: But they were all written by men.

    And then of course Captain Wentworth wrote her the letter that you now see above. If you haven’t read or seen Persuasion (BBC’s 1995 version of course) I urge you to do it now, somehow in Austen’s novels true love exists.

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