Happy Valentine's Day to all of you, my Janeite friends all over the world. Here's a poll for you in this especially romantic day in the year. Which is the most romantic finale in Jane Austen's novels?
Choose your favourite one after reading/watching this post, vote in the poll, then leave your comment and e-mail address and you'll have a chance to win the cute Regency gifts below created and offered by Masha Laurence at Etsy.
Masha was born and raised in Moscow, Russia, where her parents worked at the Bolshoi Theatre. From her youngest days, many of which were spent backstage and in the costume hall she aquired passionate love of costumes and everything to do with ballet and opera. Her other passion is books, the classics in particular, that is why her artwork generally reflects period costumes and scenes from her favorite books. She now lives in the US, love being married to a real life Mr.Knightley and has 4 wonderful and crazy kids.
Visit her site and enjoy her lovely creations.
Now have a look at the gifts!
1. Set of bookmarks Captain Wentworth & Ann Elliot
2. Darcy and Elizabeth - Card
3. Henry Tilney - bookmark
"He felt himself bound as much in honour as in affection to Miss Morland, and believing that heart to be his own which he had been directed to gain, no unworthy retraction of a tacit consent, no reversing decree of unjustifiable anger, could shake his fidelity, or influence the resolutions it prompted." (chapter 30)
SENSE AND SENSIBILITY
"Elinor could sit it no longer. She almost ran out of the room, and as soon as the door was closed, burst into tears of joy, which at first she thought would never cease. Edward, who had till then looked any where, rather than at her, saw her hurry away, and perhaps saw--or even heard, her emotion; for immediately afterwards he fell into a reverie, which no remarks, no inquiries, no affectionate address of Mrs. Dashwood could penetrate, and at last, without saying a word, quitted the room, and walked out towards the village--leaving the others in thegreatest astonishment and perplexity on a change in his situation, so wonderful and so sudden;--a perplexity which they had no means of lessening but by their own conjectures. Unaccountable, however, as the circumstances of his release might appear to the whole family, it was certain that Edward was free; and to what purpose that freedom would be employed was easily pre-determined by all;--for after experiencing the blessings of ONE imprudent engagement, contracted without his mother's consent, as he had already
done for more than four years, nothing less could be expected of him in the failure of THAT, than the immediate contraction of another ". (chapter 49)
PRIDE AND PREJUDICE
"If you _will_ thank me," he replied, "let it be for yourself alone. That the wish of giving happiness to you might add force to the other inducements which led me on, I shall not attempt to deny. But your _family_ owe me nothing. Much as I respect them, I believe I thought only of _you_."
Elizabeth was too much embarrassed to say a word. After a short pause, her companion added, "You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. _My_affections and wishes are unchanged, but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever."
Elizabeth, feeling all the more than common awkwardness and anxiety of his situation, now forced herself to speak; and immediately, though not very fluently, gave him to understand that her sentiments had undergone
so material a change, since the period to which he alluded, as to make her receive with gratitude and pleasure his present assurances." (chapter 58)
You will not ask me what is the point of envy.--You are determined, I see, to have no curiosity.--You are wise--but _I_ cannot be wise. Emma, I must tell you what you will not ask, though I may wish it unsaid the next moment."
"As a friend!"--repeated Mr. Knightley.--"Emma, that I fear is a word--No, I have no wish--Stay, yes, why should I hesitate?—I have gone too far already for concealment.--Emma, I accept your offer--Extraordinary as it may seem, I accept it, and refer myself to you as a friend.--Tell me, then, have I no chance of ever succeeding?"
He stopped in his earnestness to look the question, and the expression of his eyes overpowered her.
"My dearest Emma," said he, "for dearest you will always be, whatever the event of this hour's conversation,
my dearest, most beloved Emma--tell me at once. Say 'No,' if it is to be said."--She could really say nothing.
"You are silent," he cried, with great animation; "absolutely silent! at present I ask no more."
"I cannot make speeches, Emma:" he soon resumed; and in a tone of such sincere, decided, intelligible tenderness as was tolerably convincing.--"If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am.--You hear nothing but truth from me.—I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.--Bear with the truths I would tell you now, dearest Emma, as well as you have borne with them. The
manner, perhaps, may have as little to recommend them. God knows, I have been a very indifferent lover.--But you understand me.--Yes, you see, you understand my feelings--and will return them if you can. At present, I ask only to hear, once to hear your voice." (chapter 49 pp.370-373)
Edmund had greatly the advantage of her in this respect. He had not to wait and wish with vacant affections for an object worthy to succeed her in them. Scarcely had he done regretting Mary Crawford, and observing to Fanny how impossible it was that he should ever meet with such another woman, before it began to strike him whether a very different kind of woman might not do just as well, or a great deal better: whether Fanny
herself were not growing as dear, as important to him in all her smiles and all her ways, as Mary Crawford had ever been; and whether it might not be a possible, an hopeful undertaking to persuade her that her warm
and sisterly regard for him would be foundation enough for wedded love. With such a regard for her, indeed, as his had long been, a regard founded on the most endearing claims of innocence and helplessness, and
completed by every recommendation of growing worth, what could be more natural than the change? Loving, guiding, protecting her, as he had been doing ever since her being ten years old, her mind in so great a degree
formed by his care, and her comfort depending on his kindness, an object to him of such close and peculiar interest, dearer by all his own importance with her than any one else at Mansfield, what was there now
to add, but that he should learn to prefer soft light eyes to sparkling dark ones. And being always with her, and always talking confidentially, and his feelings exactly in that favourable state which a recent disappointment gives, those soft light eyes could not be very long in obtaining the pre-eminence.
Having once set out, and felt that he had done so on this road to happiness, there was nothing on the side of prudence to stop him or make his progress slow; no doubts of her deserving, no fears of opposition of
taste, no need of drawing new hopes of happiness from dissimilarity of temper. Her mind, disposition, opinions, and habits wanted no half-concealment, no self-deception on the present, no reliance on
future improvement. Even in the midst of his late infatuation, he had acknowledged Fanny's mental superiority. What must be his sense of it now, therefore? She was of course only too good for him; but as nobody
minds having what is too good for them, he was very steadily earnest in the pursuit of the blessing, and it was not possible that encouragement from her should be long wanting. Timid, anxious, doubting as she was, it
was still impossible that such tenderness as hers should not, at times, hold out the strongest hope of success, though it remained for a later period to tell him the whole delightful and astonishing truth. His happiness in knowing himself to have been so long the beloved of such a heart, must have been great enough to warrant any strength of language in which he could clothe it to her or to himself; it must have been a delightful happiness. But there was happiness elsewhere which no description can reach. Let no one presume to give the feelings of a young woman on receiving the assurance of that affection of which she has scarcely allowed herself to entertain a hope.
Their own inclinations ascertained, there were no difficulties behind,
no drawback of poverty or parent.
The letter, with a direction hardly legible, to "Miss A. E.--," was evidently the one which he had been folding so hastily. While supposed to be writing only to Captain Benwick, he had been also addressing her! On the contents of that letter depended all which this world could do for her. Anything was possible, anything might be defied rather than suspense. Mrs. Musgrove had little arrangements of her own at her own table; to their protection she must trust, and sinking into the chair which he had occupied, succeeding to the very spot where he had leaned and written, her eyes devoured the following words:"I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, inF. W."I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never." (volume II chapter XI)
And now here's my Valentine's poll. Cast your vote, then tell us all about your choice in your comment. I can't vote but I want to tell you what I'd choose in the poll : Captain Wentworth's letter. Persuasion finale. Isn't it the most piercinlgy romantic letter ever written? But I also love Mr Knightley's sweet revelation of his feelings: "I cannot make speeches, Emma" ... Sweet, indeed. Don't forget to add your e-mail address to have the chance to win the lovely gifts offered by Masha at Etsy: 1. Persuasion Set of Bookmarks 2. Pride and Prejudice Card 3. Henry Tilney Bookmark. The name of the winner will be announced on Wednesday 16th February. The giveaway is open worldwide.