By Lady Blakh
Word Count: 992
Summary: The Scarlet Pimpernel writes a letter.
I hope that this letter finds you well. When it comes to myself, it seems to me that I am in heaven, and at the same time in hell. To put it simply – I have fallen in love. There is no way of denying it, even if I tried to in the beginning. And now, at last, I simply had to let someone know.
You are aware that I have spent a lot of time with Mademoiselle Marguerite St. Just and her brother these past months, after Fate let me be of assistance to him when he was attacked by the thugs of St. Cyr. And now I have fallen in love – hopelessly and irrevocably. I have never believed in love at first sight, and that is far from what has happened to me now. How many times have I not seen Mademoiselle St. Just onstage? But then she was only a brilliant actress – beautiful and captivating – but nothing more. No one could deny her beauty, nor her talent. But it is not love to be enchanted by a woman’s beauty or a romantic illusion onstage. I have had the privilege of making her acquaintance, and have come to know her – and God knows that I could spend the rest of my life to get to know her soul!
It is ironic, is it not? I came to Paris to leave behind the fiasco of my broken engagement with Mary de Courcy – and then, before even spending a week in Paris, I met the woman who I have now lost my heart to, utterly and completely. How strange Fate is! I must tell you about it. The simple truth is that I now have no greater desire or ambition in life than to make her my wife. However, the thought that it is all an impossible dream fills me with despair. I wonder why on earth she would fall in love with an English fop who could not write her a poem if his life depended on it.
Position and great wealth hold no attraction for her – rather the opposite. She is a republican who believes in equality, and she judges a man by his character, his talents, and intelligence rather than his social position. Therefore, she is not impressed with my position, and it is not my wealth that would make her consider my proposal, if I ever dared to utter the words to her. But for that I am glad. You know better than anyone else that I am absolutely repulsed by the thought that a woman would accept me as her husband solely because of my fortune and position, like Mary de Courcy did. You know the utter humiliation I experienced when I realised her true motives. She is a spoiled girl, but Marguerite is a woman, with a good heart and a gentle soul, and the only way I can hope to win her is through the honesty of my heart. One could say that we could not be any more different – and still, my heart tells me differently because it has found kinship in hers.
I feel blessed to have been accepted into her circle, even if I am truly out of my element among these intellectuals and artists, brilliant minds discussing art, music, and philosophy. However, I am happy just to be in her presence, though I yearn to be alone with her, so that I may perhaps give her a glimpse into my soul, in the hope of awaking the same feelings in her as I harbour in my own heart. I want to let her look deeper into my nature, but at the same time I fear it. I want to talk to her about important things, to utter words that come from my heart, and I want to talk about unimportant, silly things, just to make her laugh. I so love to make her laugh!
I have become her friend – and I shall be her friend until my dying day, if she wishes. If I could ever be more to her, I cannot know. But friendship, I think, must always be part of love. That is what I have come to realise. For the first time in my life I have met a woman in whom I can see a life companion, to share both joy and sorrow. That is what a marriage should be, but alas, for many of us it is just an impossible dream. Some men are forced to marry, and some men are free to choose but make the same mistake that I was so close to making – to marry the wrong woman, forever casting away the possibility of happiness.
And if we do find true love, but are spurned – could there be a greater despair? As I said, I feel like I am in heaven, and in the same time in hell. To be in her presence is the highest joy, but still it is torture. What good is love if it is only kept in one’s own heart? What is the meaning of worshipping a saint in heaven who you cannot touch, who will never rest in your arms? And yet, I could not bear my hopes being shattered if she turned me down, so I stay silent. God only knows how long this could go on!
Please, do not think that I have gone mad – although love is indeed a form of madness. I know that you, more than any other, will understand me. I may have acted like a fool in the recent past, but I consider myself a wiser man after that bitter lesson. And now, without a doubt, I can say that I know what it is to love. God help me!
Sir Percy Blakeney