Five Best Romantic Pining Moments in Literature

In my humble opinion:
  1. (1) Persuasion, Jane Austen: Wentworth's letter to Anne declaring the constancy of his once scorned feelings.
  2. "I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone forever. I offer myself to you with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago.
    Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant."
  3. (2) Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte: Rochester is vulnerable for the first time and asks Jane if she feels anything for him the night before she leaves him for Ireland.
  4. "Are you anything akin to me, do you think, Jane?" I could risk no sort of answer by this time; my heart was full. "Because," he said, "I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you — especially when you are near to me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs,
  5. tightly & inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame.
    And if that boisterous channel, & two hundred miles or so of land some broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapt; and then I've a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly. As for you, - you'd forget me.
  6. (3) Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen: Elizabeth, convinced that Darcy would not connect himself to a family like the Bennets (what with Lydia's terrible elopement), realizes that she wanted and needed his regard and affection all along.
    “She was humbled, she was grieved; she repented, though she hardly knew of what. She became jealous of his esteem, when she could no longer hope to be benefited by it. She wanted to hear of him, when there seemed the least chance of gaining intelligence. She was convinced that she could have been happy with him, when it was no longer likely they should meet.”
  7. (4) Euphoria, Lily King: Andrew Bankston falls hopelessly in love with his anthropologist partner, Nell, who is married to Fen and pregnant. The three of them work closely together in 1930s Papua New Guinea and Bankston must watch Nell suffocate in her difficult marriage.
    "I try not to return to these moments very often, for I end up lacerating my young self for not simply kissing the girl. I thought we had time. Despite everything, I believed somehow there was time. Love's first mistake. Perhaps love's only mistake. She was married. She was pregnant. And what would it have mattered in the end? What would it have altered to have kissed her then, that night? Everything. Nothing. Impossible to know."
  8. (5) I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith: Cassandra's in love with Simon, who was in love with her sister Rose until Rose rejected him. On impulse he asks Cassandra to come to America with him and she refuses, despite wanting it more than anything.
  9. "I didn't make any mistake. I knew that when he nearly asked me to marry him it was only an impulse — just as when he kissed me on Midsummer Eve; a mixture of liking me very much and longing for Rose.
    A few hours ago, when I wrote that I could never mean anything to him, such a chance would have seemed heaven on earth. And surely I could give him — a sort of contentment? That isn't enough to give, not for the giver. It isn't a bit of use my pretending I'm not crying, because I am. Perhaps it would be really rather dull to be married and settled for life. Liar! It would be heaven... he said he would come back. Only the margin left to write on now. I love you, I love you, I love you."