Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Responces From Harold & Hamley


Miss Elizabeth Bennet has posted the second letter in her Period Drama Advice Event and this time it's from Mr. Edward Ferrars. 

As soon as I read his letter I had not once but three answers in mind, this letter really inspired me! But I've written two letters and will perhaps write the third if I have time and can get my thoughts together. 

Here's Miss Elizabeth's original letter asking for advice:


Dan Stevens as Edward Ferrars
Dear Period Drama Advice Column,
I find myself in a predicament. Four years ago, I became secretly engaged to a woman named Lucy Steele, the niece of my tutor in Exeter. I thought myself in love, but it was a foolish, idle inclination on my side. I have recently met my sister's sister-in-law, Elinor, and I like her a great deal. I find myself in love with her, but I cannot break my commitment to Lucy. If I were free, I would tell her that my heart is and always will be hers. Her friendship has been the most important of my life. My mother also wants me to marry the rich Miss Morton with 50,000 pounds: all I want, all I've ever wanted is the quiet of a private life, but my mother wants me distinguished. Do you think I am doing the right thing in keeping my promise to Lucy despite all of this?
Sincerely,
Edward Ferrars

*******

And now here are two of my answers:

Answer One - Harold Skimpole, Charles Dickens's Bleak House

Nathaniel Parker as Harold Skimpole
Dear Mr. Ferrars (may I call you Ned?),
Why you poor dear fellow, what a predicament! I feel for you, truly I do, but I must speak plainly for I am a child. I advise breaking with this Miss Steele directly. And if this young lady attempts a legal battle I would recommend my friend Mr. Vholes, a most respectable lawyer.
Romantic commitments are all good in their way but you must think of your own health and comfort sir! Has this Miss Elinor any fortune to speak of? If she has none I dare say she will be as good as you say and will understand if you try for Miss Morton with the 50,000 pounds. But what do I know? As far as worldly matters are concerned I am but a child, a perfect child.
I perfectly understand your desire for the quiet of a private life, sir. I myself have no aptitude for worldly matters at all. I covet nothing, possessions are nothing to me, I live as innocently as a child. I was educated in the medical profession you know, and practiced it for a while. But never having had a head for details and a positive aversion to all that blood I gave it up. I believe I am the idlest man in existence! And there’s no use asking me what my family finds to live on for I really have no idea. Oh yes, my dear fellow, I do have a wife and children, well half a dozen I should say, or more. And I love them very dearly but how can I look after them? for I have no aptitude for work of any kind - none whatsoever. Indeed I rather need someone to look after me! But my excellent friends are always so kind, among whom Mr. John Jarndyce is one of the very best and kindest.
I do hope your predicament works itself out which I am sure it will. Pray give my compliments to that lovely young creature Miss Morton. And when you are married to that good lady pray remember me for I am a child, but a child.
Ever Your Devoted Friend,
Harold Skimpole

*******

Answer Two - Squire Hamley, Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters

Michael Gambon as Squire Hamley
Dear Mr. Ferrars,
You always have a duty to your family but this Miss Elinor reminds me of my dear friend little Molly Gibson. Such a sweet girl, Molly, such a kind friend to my dear wife before she dies. She is one in a hundred, is Molly, very like my own daughter would have been had she lived. If Miss Elinor is such a young woman you must not worry about fortune sir but marry her at once! Some may say that an engagement is an engagement, but did I say it was an elephant sir? No, do not conceal your engagement or your secret plans from your parents until it is too late for them to help you. Whatever your family’s hopes for you distinguishing yourself I am sure they would rather you be happy, even if you take it into your head to marry a Frenchwoman! And besides all this in my experience a quiet private life is always best. My advise to you is to marry this Miss Elinor and settle down in some quiet profession where you can live peacefully and keep a few chickens and a cow for the children.
I must go dress for dinner now. While my wife was alive I became accustomed to her fine London ways and have been unable to break the habit now that she’s gone.
Sincerely,
Squire Hamley. Hamley Hall







8 comments:

Miss Elizabeth Bennet said...

Thank you for your entries! When I read Squire Hamley's letter, I cracked up at the elephant part! One of the most memorable lines in Wives and Daughters!

Mom Wald said...

It is wonderful to have a venue for intelligent and creative conversations about classic literature in all of its different forms, however, I do not have something creative or smart to say today.

I just want to share something with folks who have a chance of understanding me.

Harold Skimpole should be shot. That's it. Shot to free all of those he comes into contact with from being contaminated by his sniveling, conniving, leaching, sneaking, disgusting ways. Shot, to free his unseen wife from being anchored to a waste of humanity.

Anyone who would be foolish enough to take advice from a weasel such as he should have their head examined.

Eva-Joy said...

I've nominated you for the Helpful Blogger Award! Check out the details here - http://elinorandemma.wordpress.com/2012/03/06/helpful-blogger-award/

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

Mom Wald,
I know what you mean about Harold Skimpole! I had fun writing his letter because he is such a ridiculous character but he'd also so frustrating that I wanted to hit him every other line while I was writing!
I definitely wouldn't take advice from him but it was fun writing the letter all the same. :)

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

Eva-Joy,
Thank you! You are so sweet!

Elizabeth said...

oh! you stole my idea! i was going to write a letter from Squire Hamley too! oh well, its a good idea you did it before i did. :) I would have spoilt it...you have made yours very lovely! :) and you said everything i would have! "Did i say an engagement was an elephant?" that's what i was going to say...and i was going to close "I muss go and dress for dinner now" as my ending too! :) Good job Miss Laurie! :)

Miss Laurie of Old-Fashioned Charm said...

Elizabeth,
Great minds think alike! Squire Hamley is such a dear man! :)

Melody said...

Delightful, very delightful, Ladybird! =) I could hear the character's voices so well. Great job! They both MMG. ;)

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