Two very different letters that might have been sent at the beginning and the end of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
I have taken a house at last! It is a fine house in a most pleasant country neighbourhood and I mean to be in it by Michaelmas.
Caroline has agreed to keep house for me and I am certain she will approve my choice. You may recall her wanting me to purchase an estate, but as I have not quite made choice of my county, this place will do famously for the present time.
The house is called Netherfield and it is full of every comfort. Save a few adjustments it suits my taste in every way. Do not ask me whether it is elegant, I do not pretend to know. I daresay Caroline will take it upon herself to make it so.
The nearby town is charming. So small one could know everyone by sight. It is a delight to me.
You will be pleased with the grounds especially I am sure. They are nothing to Pemberly, but they are very pretty. If you would come to me you could judge for yourself. Indeed I wish you would! Join me when Caroline does and we shall be a merry party. Louisa says she has half a mind to come down also, if her husband might be persuaded. I do hope she does, for then we will be five altogether and just the number for comfortable evenings at home. Netherfield has the pleasantest drawing room.
I remain, etc.
PS. It is a good thing I forgot to send this letter when I finished it for I have just had word that Mr and Mrs Hurst will come down when Caroline does, so you certainly must come. Indeed you must, because I remember very well that I made you promise me at the beginning of the year to visit me as soon as I had secured a place for you to come to. Do not say I did no such thing for if I did not I certainly meant to do it and that must be enough. So do come with me when I come to town in October. Adieu!
To Mrs. Elizabeth Darcy,
Dear Madam, allow me to congratulate you on your marriage. I wish you and my cousin every happiness and from what I have seen of your disposition I think it very likely you shall have it.
You know perhaps that I am not in the habit of letter writing, but I deemed the exertion necessary as my dear mother has resolved against any communication in response to the happy news of your nuptuals. Let it not be said that Pemberly and Rosings do not keep up the correspondence to be expected from two such great estates so particularly connected.
Another motive I must owe to my mother, of a more delicate nature. She has informed me that shortly before your engagement to my cousin, she spoke to you personally. During this conversation she informed you of an arrangement between her and my honoured aunt, the late Lady Anne. Let me therefore repeat my congratulations, so that you may believe them to be most sincere.
Pray do not attribute to me any of the feelings that at this moment plague my mother. I have always liked my cousin and I am quite prepared to like him better still from this point forward.
I have confidence in the fact that my honoured mother will allow no other match to be great enough for me. Therefor I can with most comfortable feelings assure you and your husband will in future always be most welcome at Rosings, of which I will always be mistress.
Sincerely, the hon. Miss De Bourgh.