I'm participating again in Miss Elizabeth Bennet's delightful Period Drama Advice Event. This time, the advice-seeking letter comes from one of my favorite period drama characters of all time. So I decided to reciprocate by writing an advice letter from another of my favorite characters... I only hope I did him justice. At least a little.
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?
My dear Miss Dorrit,
Asking me for advice, what? Sink me, I'm far too embarrassed... well, if you insist.
How very troubling this all sounds. 'Twould seem your friend Mr. Chivery is in some distress, and though you might at first be inclined to go to the rescue, I would not advise it. It sounds as though the man isn't even capable of tying his own cravat.
You will think now, Miss Dorrit, that I am not serious, but I tell you I am. Deadly serious. And if you think I don't know the meaning of love... well, you are wrong on that point. Quite wrong. You cannot marry a man you do not love, mademoiselle, and you will only set yourself up for unhappiness. No, no, it will not do. You must refuse this Mr. Chivery as kindly as you can; it is not fair to him if you cannot love him as he loves you. Or is, love, too, a crime these days?
I' faith, mademoiselle, I do wish I could see your face as you read this letter and the contrast between the beginning and the end. Let that be a lesson to you, Miss Dorrit. Never take anyone for granted.
You needn't ask for my identity-- I am a phantom, my lady. Nothing more than a phantom.
They seek him here, they seek him there
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere
Is he in heaven? or is he in hell?
That demmed elusive Pimpernel!