Some Humble Correspondences
I write upon reading your most urgent letter of my opinion upon who wrote the epistle of Hebrews. I am, also, flattered by your most sincere thanks upon my visiting your home in regards to that most unfortunate event that has entangled your younger sister-which I will not pollute my pen to write here.
As to the doctrinal importance, I cannot say with any confidence who wrote the epistle.
Now, as to your most kind thanks upon my visiting. First, let me say that I came out of the generosity of my heart, which, I fear, may be finding no welcome home in the hearts of your neighbors or other relatives or relationships. Let me sympathize. Your situation is most pitiful and grave. My heart in its utmost goes out towards you. Next, let me say that it is of the utmost importance that a clergyman like myself, especially under the patronage of Lady Catherine de Bourgh, should sympathize with those in your position. Why, as her ladyship told me only yesterday, 'Mr. Collins, a clergyman who makes no room for sympathy in his heart is not a well equipped clergyman.' Indeed, those were her very words. I hope you will find comfort in them. I remain your most sorrowful onlooker, and well-wisher, though your situation is not likely to be elevated,
My Most Honorable and Gracious Lady Catherine de Bourgh-
It has alarmed me beyond comprehension that your own parasol was not there to greet you when you arrived at your most exquisite destination. Let me apologise for this outrageous event. Your shock, in discovering that it was not there, I can only think of in utter abhorrence. To know that, at any time, the lady who has, upon me, poured so many blessings and honours, might never again live to see her parasol not waiting for her, and that such an event should occur- should come under my employment as your most humble parson- is horrifying. I have ordered Dawkins to immediately send it-express! My horror in knowing your displeasure is too great to bear for long. May you write soon, relieving me from many mortifying and agonizing days of suspense. That is, only if your ladyship would see it fit to inform such as,
May I congratulate you on your second to youngest daughter's marriage. After two daughters being so advantageously married, it is good to see one married to one in such a fitting place. Is there nothing better than seeing a lady and gentleman in so similar positions of life married? Indeed, Lady Catherine said so herself, and wishes me to inform you that such is as all marriages should be. So kind is she in every detail, and, despite the fact that her grave displeasure lies on one of your daughters--but here I will stay myself. But that she might pay attention to such details even after her displeasure has been called upon, this is generosity in itself, sir. Best wishes, and that your last daughter to be married may be married so in that form of life in which she has been brought up. I remain your most wonderfully and exceedingly blessed cousin,
Your desire for advice on how to win your love is most humbly called to my attention. And, being of the clergy, I find it most fitting to supply you with some advice, which, I flatter myself most excessively here, I have found to be quite effective.
First, start by compliments, which I have supplied here, into which you may insert your own particular affection. I find it most effective to study these and to practice them beforehand, though keep them as unstudied as possible, while you do study them. Some may come with the moment.
'My dear __________, what a lovely staircase. Though it may not compare at all to the most renowned and well-known Lady Catherine de Bourgh's--she has several--it looks a beautiful, budding rose in comparison.'
'Your eyes look like ornaments--England's brightest ornaments.'
'This bridge is quite unstable. Lady Catherine de Bourgh, of whom you may have heard, would never have this tolerated. Let me steady you by taking your hand.'
'Look upon those windows--dirty with fog and city air. Not at all like the sixty-four windows of Lady Catherine de Bourgh's. Your eyes look like those clear windows, in all their beauty and majesty...your eyes look like England's brightest ornaments. Perhaps I have said that before, but it is only that it is too true.'
Then, when the time comes to propose I would suggest listing your reasons for marrying. Women like to know your reasons very plainly. Then, you may express yourself in your love. If she spurns you at first, be patient with her. Many women act in such a way. Best wishes,
I know you must be suffering from not having Lady Catherine as your most wonderful patron while on your trip to Longbourn, but hold on, dear heart. Send my slippers, would you? I seemed to have left them in your carrying bag from our last trip, and I am most seriously displeased. Lady Catherine orders that I wear them. This cold air may give me an illness that I may not soon recover from. Then, I shudder to think, what would come about? Lady Catherine is so attentive. I would not miss them had it not been for her concern. 'Mr. Collins, if we have you catch cold, then what would become of the parsonage?' I flatter myself in thinking that I might be missed so excessively. Lady Catherine herself said these words. I remain your devoted husband,
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