As you know, Dear Reader, I have for many a fortnight employed the feeble forces of my mind to contemplate the vexatious state of my tender heart regarding prospects for a promising match, wondering whence of late this plague of unsuitable suitors. Now, at last, Heaven’s cherubim have parted the clouds on the horizon of my mind’s estate, and illuminated a path for me to follow.
All I need to find my Heart’s Dear One is to slip into the pages of a 19th Century British Novel.
I was graced with this pleasant notion on a recent afternoon whilst viewing the credits of the film Jane Eyre.
‘Twas then I resolved to put quill to paper and compose a missive to those who might seek my hand, thence to be posted on a matchmaking website.
I enclose the letter. I do hope it pleases you:
“Bring me a cloak, a rainstorm, muddy skirts and a flushed face framed with tendrils of titian hair. I’ll need a hillside to tumble down or at least some decent bracken to trip me up so that my beloved can discover me in a state of radiant dishevelment.
“I must be feverish or at least mildly sprained of limb so that my stalwart angel can sweep me off the ground and carry me to the nearest manor house whereupon he will command the candle-bearing housekeeper to summon the doctor immediately.
“He must have a horse, his own raven mane, a scowling visage concealing a heart of smoldering intent, a baronial home and many many pounds.
“I will require a humble station in life, dubious prospects, a plain but discernible beauty that is most radiant when bathed in natural, preferably stormy, light, and a noble nature most ably displayed in flashing eyes and forthright speech, especially in chance romantic encounters whilst strolling through gardens or trudging across the moors tugging at my cloak to keep it from snagging on rocks.
“My heart’s own one and I will endure the sweet pain of at least one quarrel, and I will shed a few hidden tears in the wake of a false rumor of his engagement to another young lady whose father can settle upon her more riches than my modest imagination can conceive. This demoiselle will dance with my beloved at a country ball, or a lavish London party, while a woman of somewhat advanced years and devious disposition, perhaps my dear one’s sister, importunes him to turn his fathomless dark eyes away from me and toward another more fortunate one.
“My rival must possess a collection of fine coquettish frocks and a beguiling head of curls that look silly in contrast to my simple coif. She will speak in a mewling voice like a hungry kitten and have a penchant for sweets, small dogs and ornate carriages. She will not like to get her tiny silk slippers wet.
“At long last, after I learn that the strumpet whom I feared had stolen my heart’s desire has run off with one, or possibly three, of Her Majesty’s lieutenants, I will unburden my soul of its sweet agony and be united with my smoldering darling.
“When at last we find each other by a mossy garden wall, he will flatten my modest bodice against his beautifully tailored jacket, while my skirts billow becomingly in the breeze. The exquisite pressure of his scowling lips will cause my face to blush and my tiny frame to faint in his crushing embrace.
“On our wedding day, angels will scatter the clouds, bells will peal and adorable urchins will shower us with rose petals as we rush to our waiting carriage and home to the rapture of our nuptial bed and seductive softness of our identical night dresses.”
So, Dear Reader, you have now seen into the chambers of my foolish heart. If it pleases you, grant me the happiness of knowing your prayers and good wishes will accompany my missive on its mission.