Dear Jane Austen Advice Column,
I'm Molly Gibson please and I am in need of some advice for I fear my heart shall break. I don't know what to say or do about this hateful - detestable news...Papa is going to be married again. And am I ever sorry for it! He tried to convince me it was for the best, he said I was to have a new mama and he a companion. But he does not understand, He had me. You don't know what we were to each other- at least, what he was to me. And the most painful part is I was sent out of the house that all this might be quietly arranged in my absence!
What am I to do? I did behave so badly to Papa this morning when he told me. Especially when he told me his choice of wife; a Mrs Kirkpatrick. Everyone thinks she was kind to me as a child - she let me sleep in her bed and then she forgot all about me. I don't think she cares about other people at all! I have been told that although this will be difficult, the more I try the happier I will become but I know that I shan't. It will be very dull when I shall have killed myself, as it were, and live only in trying to do, and be, as other people like. I don't see any end to it. I might as well never have lived. And as for happiness, well I feel I shall never be happy again.
What ever shall I do?
I make no apologies for my silence, because I know how little people think of letters and advice at such terrible times, though I doubt your day has been as hard as mine. My advice to you dear Molly is that you must not dwell on your own problems, for there are many people who have much worse problems. Take my poor self for example, I am so ill I can barely speak --or write for that matter. Oh, I do not think I ever was so ill in my life! And what is worse I still I have not seen a creature this whole morning. Even though those at the great house all know I am gravely ill and very unfit to be left alone, I am sure.
On the subject of a new mother-- dear me, I know simply everything about it for I gained a most fearsome mother-in law on my marriage to Charles. Mrs Musgrove never gives me the precedence which is due to a woman such as me and she spoils my children excessively. It it no wonder that I am so ill all the time, with a mother-in-law such as this. So beware dear, do not let your father remarry.
Oh! I must go, Charles is out shooting- He would go, though I told him how ill I was. Unfeeling soul, and I suppose it did not suit for the Miss Musgroves to visit...Oh! and I assure you, I have not seen a soul this whole long morning, though they should know what is due to me. But it cannot hurt to take a walk, perhaps I may chance upon them.
I kept this letter open, that I might have something further to say upon the subject of your predicament. I have thought long and hard, and in the case that your father does remarry and you develop some terrible illness due to your new mama, which will most likely be the case, I entreat you to visit me. I have quite a lovely and rather comfortable sofa which when lying upon may help to ease your pain--- though I have not had any success with it, but that is simply because my sore throats, you know, are always worse than anyone's.