First, allow me to extend my apologies for the informality of the above address. The intimacy of the salutation is uncomfortable I assure you, I preferring “Miss Austen” as the proper format when a married gentlemen composes a missive to an unmarried lady who is not kin, that in and of itself a breach of protocol I have never committed. However, my wife, Mrs. Darcy, has conveyed to me with all the elements of command she possesses, and since you are familiar with the former Miss Bennet then you comprehend my meaning, that “Dear Jane” is allowable in this express instance. Frankly I was rather taken aback by her leniency as my wife, you probably are not surprised to discover since you originally created her character, flawed as it is, has a moderate jealous streak, a fact proven true during a particularly unpleasant, albeit humorous, episode while vacationing near Greater Yarmouth.
As I suspected, writing those sentences has annoyed Mrs. Darcy, who was, of course, standing over my shoulder to “assist” me in this letter’s wording, and she has now exited the room. Fortunately I am highly adept at softening my beloved wife’s temper with those arts of persuasion gifted to me, presumably by you although I appreciate that subsequent pens have enhanced my attributes beyond what you undoubtedly imagined. Revealed within that last statement is a far allotment of arrogance and pride, I do confess, attributes tempered over the course of time but remaining to a certain degree, especially in regards to the relationship I share with Mrs. Darcy.
This latter topic is the main point of this letter. Although it may be deduced from the previous paragraphs that it was Mrs. Darcy’s superb arts of persuasion, no less effective upon me than mine are upon her, that caused me to write this letter, that would be an error in assumption. In point of fact I am pleased to apply my ink saturated steel tipped pen to parchment and endeavor to express my deepest, sincerest thanks to the artist who created the story of my life.
In the case of me and Mrs. Darcy, trials and tribulations, prejudices and prideful attitudes, mysteries and misunderstanding abounded as is necessary for an enthralling tale designed to provoke readers. Indeed I applaud you for weaving with literary brilliance rivaling the greatest masters of storytelling. Nevertheless, my appreciation for how you chose to conclude my story is tenfold that attained from a finely wrought tale of adventure or intrigue. Novels of woe or doom may titillate upon occasion yet I judge that none satisfy the reader as profoundly as those that end upon the classic supposition that the characters went on to live “happily ever after.”
For my particular situation I can attest that my satisfaction in the ending granted me, dear lady authoress, is immense. My reward, as undeserving as I am, in being bestowed the love of my dearest, loveliest Elizabeth was more than sufficient.
Yet, to my unending delight, generations of gratified readers eventually succumbed to the stirrings of discontentment that often roil within our breast when we realize that indeed the story has ended and we are no longer as gratified as we initially supposed. We then muse upon what hidden tales could have been told or what might have transpired in the months subsequent to the fatal “the end.” Many talented souls have bravely taken the quill from your hand as it were and dipped deeply into the inkwell to thus etch upon the paper page their vision of the rest of the story.
Therefore, my precious wife and I have not been left to dwell in the dark abyss of vague imaginings but have been given lives abundantly lived in a host of ways, none as fulfilling as the evolution and joyous consummation of our marriage in true felicity. Indeed it feels as if we shall eternally live on.
Thus, and in conclusion, although I delight in teasing my wife – she who has so thoroughly delighted in teasing me since the earliest days of our acquaintance and has taught me the pleasure in such frivolity – writing this letter to you, even with the informal “Dear Jane” address, is not a challenge or chore or displeasing proposition but rather an honor as it provides me the opportunity to extend my humble appreciation for creating us in the first place.
Your servant, Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy, Master of Pemberley
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