“Hmm … I wonder what one would want to fix on one’s behavior if one would want to be a more well-mannered, educated young lady with good wife-potential in 2019?” Jane asked herself in the darkest of dawns while getting her pen ready to write down a couple of notes before midnight:
1. Complain less. You want to be the heroine, not the heroine’s best friend.
2. Nurture your love for the home. Remember that there isn’t any better place on earth, and your papá wouldn’t like all the traveling that you constantly find yourself day-dreaming about.
3. If not dancing, then submit all your remaining love and commitment in the pianoforte. Stick to duets and light afternoon-background music. It will charm both your life and others.
4. Whenever you find yourself in confusion or in doubt, take a long walk. It is the second best remedy after books.
5. Do not take carriages with people you hardly know. Stick to family. One never knows what situation one might find oneself in!
6. Avoid any kind of romance when it comes to handsome men with sideburns – before investigating his past thoroughly. Better be safe than sorry.
7. Take a chance on love, or take no chance at all. Better to remain single, than unhappy in a marriage.
8. Seriously. Stop reading stories that end in tragedy for your sister, Cassandra. She’ll only grow fonder of staying in her despair. Rather, try searching for books with happy endings, and if you can’t seem to find one, write one yourself.
9. That hero-character that you’ve been daydreaming about for years now – you know, the one who acts all proud and arrogant in the beginning, but ends up being the sweetest, most humble creature on earth – yeah that one; Make him come alive this year. Write that character down in your notebook. Who knows, it might end up becoming a novel …?
10. If you’re in search of a true lady-friend, try looking for someone who can write a long letter with delicacy and ease.
11. Don’t focus on the time you mispronounced a word or sang a false tune in the company of refined gentlemen. Make it a rule to think only of the past as its remembrance gives you pleasure.
12. Do not fall into a passive rage next time you hear something about being a failed daughter or ending up an old maid. The very point of having a mother is learning to accept her flaws – and if the subject of matrimony matters as much to her as writing does to you, try to understand her next time.
13. Not everyone’s lives are meant to be meddled with. So next time you feel like telling someone they shouldn’t marry a farmer, hold your tongue. Things aren’t always what they look like from the outside.
Jane Austen ...
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