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|Did Sophia write the Letter?
Written by Robbin
(10/19/2009 1:21 a.m.)
In his confession (Ch. 44) Willoughby says Sophia was the author of the cruel letter he sent to Marianne saying “I had only the credit of servilely copying such sentences as I was ashamed to put my name to”. In looking at the text, some of the phrases strike me as something Willoughby rather than Sophia would say. Would Sophia have him entreat forgiveness, hope his friendship with the Dashwoods would not be broken, say he regretted returning the letters and lock of hair? It is really difficult for me to understand why Sophia would have Willoughby say he regretted returning the lock of hair. If Sophia is as jealous and malicious as Willoughby asserts then why would she have him write an actual letter to Marianne at all. Why not just put the mementos into a package and return it to Marianne as she requested in her last letter to Willoughby? Would Sophia really have him close the letter “I am, dear Madam, Your most obedient humble Servant”? Are these rather common things to say in a letter? Did Sophia write the letter or is Willoughby just unwilling to admit that he wrote it? (:D)
Willoughby’s letter, Ch. 29:
Bond Street, January .
MY DEAR MADAM, -- I have just had the honour of receiving your letter, for which I beg to return my sincere acknowledgments. I am much concerned to find there was anything in my behaviour last night that did not meet your approbation; and though I am quite at a loss to discover in what point I could be so unfortunate as to offend you, I entreat your forgiveness of what I can assure you to have been perfectly unintentional. I shall never reflect on my former acquaintance with your family in Devonshire without the most grateful pleasure, and flatter myself it will not be broken by any mistake or misapprehension of my actions. My esteem for your whole family is very sincere; but if I have been so unfortunate as to give rise to a belief of more than I felt, or meant to express, I shall reproach myself for not having been more guarded in my professions of that esteem. That I should ever have meant more you will allow to be impossible, when you understand that my affections have been long engaged elsewhere, and it will not be many weeks, I believe, before this engagement is fulfilled. It is with great regret that I obey your commands of returning the letters, with which I have been honoured from you, and the lock of hair, which you so obligingly bestowed on me.
I am, dear Madam,
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