Friday, November 14, 2008

Yes, Rhonda, There is a Mr. Darcy

Dear Miss Austen,

I have lived twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex me, except that I have yet to find one who inspires my deepest affections. All of the young men I meet seem more similar to either Mr. Collins or Mr. Wickham, to varying degrees. I would be satisfied with a Mr. Bingley, but need I despair of ever finding my Mr. Darcy? Does he exist outside of novels?
If you say it is so I will believe it.

Rhonda Watts

***

My dear Miss Watts,

Never despair! It is true that in novels the greatest powers of the mind are displayed, and the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour conveyed to the world in the best chosen language. Yet it remains that novels are not life, and this intelligence, I gather, is from what your despair would spring. But in this great universe the truest measure of a woman is not of the everyday details of her life, but of her grasp of the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Rhonda, there is a Mr. Darcy. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and friendship exist, and you know that they abound and give your life its greatest happiness. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Mr. Darcy. It would be as dreary as if there were no Miss Wattses. There would be no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. The eternal light with which the hope of young womanhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Mr. Darcy! You might as well not believe in love! You might go one and twenty years in the world searching for him, but even if you did not find him, what would that prove? No woman sees her Mr. Darcy until the time is right. The most real things in the world are those which we cannot see by searching.

You may have your Mr. Collinses and Mr. Wickhams and even your Mr. Bingleys, and hope that they are enough, but there does exist an affection which not the strongest man, or even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside the curtain and lead you to the affection you dream of. Is it all real? Ah, Miss Watts, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Mr. Darcy! Thank God he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Rhonda, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of womanhood.




Yours affectionately,
Jane Austen

3 comments:

trdub60 said...

"That's a very clever idea!"

Da' said...

I'm sorry. I just can't "hear" Ms. Austin doing the whole "Yes, Virginia, or Rhonda, or Silly Putty - whatever, there IS a Mr. Darcy....." Whenever I read anything remotely similar it's Sam Elliot's voice in my head.

Ronnie said...

This reminds me of our Fitzwilly notes in English class Sophomore year. Your blog is awesome.