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My Dearest Miss Kirk,

You have my fondest congratulations and well wishes for both you and Mr. Rivenhall.  I have no doubt that while the next few months may try your patience, test your planning and decision making abilities, and bring up unpredictable sources of vexation, the two of you shall be very happy with one another’s company for eternity.  And with that, I too must seek for good tidings.  This past weekend I too entered into the happy stage of engagement. 

Close Up

Close Up

May we both be able to deal with the upcoming months with grace, elegance, and, if all else fails, Triple Choc-Choc-Choc-Chocolate Chunk and Uncle Bubba’s Big Belly Butter Brickle.  Or not, since we will both be needed to look radiant in our wedding dresses.  Hmm…I shall let you know when I come up with a suitable alternative.

Until then, yours joyously,

Miss Pevensie

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My dearest girl,

No amount of pondering illuminates the answer...

No amount of pondering illuminates the answer...

Your letter was such a flight of conflicting hopes and fears that I don’t know where to begin!  All I can say is that if you prefer this gentleman’s company (and I think I can guess who he is in spite of your maddening failure to provide more information) that it might be indicative of your continuing affections for him, as much as we both know you like to deny you have them.  But a word of caution, my love.  He is a perfectly charming man, in spite of his membership in some of the less than desirable Clubs ones finds about town, and has hundreds of good points (a handsome face, intelligence, wit,  delightful manners and address &c.) but I would encourage you to remember the reasons you named for breaking off the understanding.  They are neither light nor negligible.  I will never offer advice unasked for, so do not think I try to influence you either way, I merely wish you to remember the whole of this history and not just the good or the bad.

As for the philosophy behind your question, no one knows the answer.  How to remain oneself while opening one’s heart and mind to another; the age old dilemma of women.  If I may suggest, however, to think of accepting praise, affection, or even love as being conquered seems backwards (come now, you’ve read all the medieval romances, generally when a man showers attention upon a lady it means she has conquered him).  And thinking of being conquered is indeed out of fashion, whatever handbag you wear that attitude with.  Men dislike being considered castles to be breached just as any woman does.  It simply isn’t in good taste, and frankly it’s insulting to either sex to be assaulted, even metaphorically

Perhaps, my love, you need to actually accept the idea that you deserve gentleness, affection, and adoration.  It goes against the grain, I know, but I assure you Mrs. Elliot and I already think you do.  We often wish you would stop seeing it as an insult, it’s not very generous towards those who wish to show you their affection but are rebuffed at each turn.  Besides, ladies deserve to be adored.  And despite our venomous opinions in some of our angrier moments, so do worthy gentlemen.  Be kind to the men, my darling, but most of all, be kind to yourself! 

Any wiser advice I fear is beyond my scope, but if more visits to our favorite haunts to gossip and dissect this gentleman are necessary I remain, my dear,

Fondly and willingly yours,
Miss Kirk

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