My Dearest Frederick,
What a strange correspondence ours is! Your letter took four months to reach me but I was very happy to receive it nevertheless.
I must congratulate you with your promotion although it is no surprise to me, dearest. I always knew you would rise to great heights in the Navy for you are diligent, brave and loyal. His Majesty’s Navy could not have a more devoted servant than you, my love. I am very proud of you as you are now Lieutenant Frederick Wentworth. How good that sounds!
It rejoices me to hear that you have made a new friend in Lieutenant Hargraves. It is of the uttermost importance that one has a good friend to stand by one if needed. I am sure you delight in the knowledge that he is as avid a reader as you are. Does he favours the same authors as you or does he have a different taste? I am curious to hear all about the lieutenant in your next letter.
It pains and, at the same time, consoles me when you say that you have little time to dwell on your memories. No doubt, you mean memories of me and our time together. I am not that fortunate, my love. Our shared memories are all that remains to me to brighten up the dullness of my existence.
Without you to fill my thoughts, I would die of boredom and misery, dearest.
My family is, as always, in pursuit of idle, useless pleasures, such as balls and hunting parties, or going to Bath to take the waters. I loathe Bath, I really do! It is such a dull, bleak town, filled with vain, boring people! Nothing really intelligent is ever discussed. Only the usual, well-trodden subjects keep arising, on and on, and nothing ever changes.
I have managed to stay at home these past months under the pretence that I had to give support to my sister Mary, who is expecting her first child. You will remember Mary, I am sure. She was always of poorer health than I and now, she is suffering great discomforts in her pregnancy. Her husband, Mr Charles Musgrove, is very pleased to have me at their house, so that I can assist my sister when she needs me.
Will that be my lot in life, then?
To be the spinster aunt who must fly to the rescue of her married sisters when they summon her? I sometimes find myself rebelling against such a fate but I do not know how I could escape it. Through the years, I have learned that one cannot fight against Fate, nor is it to one’s advantage to do so. It only brings one the displeasure and anger of one’s family which is bad for everyone.
I fervently hope your next letter will reach me sooner, my love. I do miss your writings so.