Dear Miss Mary Bennet…

Yo girl, we need to talk. First of all, you must know that I have the greatest respect for you. You’re about five million times better at playing the piano than I am, and you have the patience to deal with Kitty and Lydia’s silliness every day. Still, I think you should know a few things.

1. You have become a very accomplished pianist, but you’re a bit of a snob. Calm down, sista, it’s okay to play a few jigs and reels once in a while. You may have taken youself out of the courting game, but there are other girls who need their opportunities to perform and dance so they can prove their abilities to throw parties as married women.

2. Mr. Collins wants to marry Lizzy, but they have nothing in common. You, my dear, would be the perfect wife for him. Just imagine: the two of you reading Fordyce together under a tree. You playing the piano while he writes next week’s sermon. Lady Catherine de Bourgh complimenting your interpretation of Vivaldi… Of course, you don’t have to imagine it if you just talk to him. Try it. I can promise you now that Lizzy will not mind.

3. Being the middle child in a family of girls who are either the most beautiful girls in the county or the most flirty teenagers at the parties must be hard, but you should remember that you have value independent of your sisters and your accomplishments. Forget what Lizzy says about you, and forget the comparisons between your sisters and you. You spend so much time in your own mind; I’m sure you have ideas you can share (in a safe place). You seem like a really deep person, and that’s a beautiful thing. Take pride in that, and don’t let the haters get you down.

Don’t give up, Mary. Everything’s going to work out in the end.


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