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Miss Elizabeth Bennet from Elegance of Fashion is hosting a Period Drama Advice Event.  This is the third letter and my answer.  Let me know what you think.

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?

Amy Dorrit


Dear Miss Dorrit,

Mother and I were so pleased to see your lovely letter in the newspaper’s advice column this morning.  Mother was so pleased.  She said “I never saw a better letter in my life.”  And then I said, “But mother, remember Jane’s letters.”  Jane’s letters are always so fine, you see.  Speaking of Jane’s letters, she really ought to be writing this letter because her handwriting is so even – not unlike Miss Woodhouse’s handwriting.  Sometimes Mother can read Jane’s handwriting, especially after kind Mr. Frank Churchill fixed her spectacles.  They were quite good as new.  And Mother can always hear Jane much better than she can hear me – Jane has such a clear voice…now where was I?

Oh, yes, your predicament.  I really have no experience in such matters, having never been proposed to myself, but I will try as best I can.  Jane really should have written this letter although I do not believe she has ever been proposed to.  However, she is a young lady like yourself.  And Miss Woodhouse would also be an excellent person to write to you.  She has a great history of matchmaking – did you know that Mr. and Mrs. Weston were married because of her?  But of course you couldn’t know, not having lived in Highbury…maybe you should visit us in Highbury. 

I’m sure Miss Woodhouse could find you an excellent husband.  But no, you don’t want to leave your poor father.  Maybe I can persuade Miss Woodhouse to write and advise you.  She is so kind – she sent us a beautiful hindquarter of pork the other day…Mother was quite enraptured and I was too of course.  Dear me, how I ramble on so!  It must be tiresome.

I will show Miss Woodhouse your letter as soon as possible and ask her if perhaps she could advise you.  I am so pleased to be of service to you, Miss Dorrit.

Very sincerely,

Miss Bates