Jane Austen’s Persuasion tends to get lost in the shadow of Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility, but I dare any woman to hear or read Captain Wentworth’s letter and not fall in love with him. His letter which is a mixture of hope and despair pulls at the heart and every time I read or hear it, I can hardly wait for Frederick’s and Anne’s reconciliation. Even though it does not appear in its entirety, watch 2007’s Persuasion to hear Rupert Penry-Jones deliver a beautiful dramatization of the letter.
Here is it in its entirety below:
“I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as 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 forever. 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 tone 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, in F.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.”
Do you think it’s swoon worthy?