badewanne bei fieber kinder
chapter 1 sir walter elliot, of kellynch hall, insomersetshire, was a man who, for his own amusement, never took up any book but thebaronetage; there he found occupation for an idle hour, and consolation in a distressed one; there his faculties wereroused into admiration and respect, by contemplating the limited remnant of theearliest patents; there any unwelcome sensations, arising from domestic affairs changed naturally into pity and contempt ashe turned over the almost endless creations of the last century; and there, if everyother leaf were powerless, he could read
his own history with an interest whichnever failed. this was the page at which the favouritevolume always opened: "elliot of kellynch hall. "walter elliot, born march 1, 1760,married, july 15, 1784, elizabeth, daughter of james stevenson, esq. of south park, inthe county of gloucester, by which lady (who died 1800) he has issue elizabeth, born june 1, 1785; anne, born august 9,1787; a still-born son, november 5, 1789; mary, born november 20, 1791." precisely such had the paragraph originallystood from the printer's hands; but sir
walter had improved it by adding, for theinformation of himself and his family, these words, after the date of mary's birth-- "married, december 16, 1810,charles, son and heir of charles musgrove, esq. of uppercross, in the county ofsomerset," and by inserting most accurately the day of the month on which he had losthis wife. then followed the history and rise of theancient and respectable family, in the usual terms; how it had been first settledin cheshire; how mentioned in dugdale, serving the office of high sheriff, representing a borough in three successiveparliaments, exertions of loyalty, and
dignity of baronet, in the first year ofcharles ii, with all the marys and elizabeths they had married; forming altogether two handsome duodecimo pages,and concluding with the arms and motto:-- "principal seat, kellynch hall, in thecounty of somerset," and sir walter's handwriting again in this finale:-- "heir presumptive, william walter elliot,esq., great grandson of the second sir walter." vanity was the beginning and the end of sirwalter elliot's character; vanity of person and of situation.
he had been remarkably handsome in hisyouth; and, at fifty-four, was still a very fine man. few women could think more of theirpersonal appearance than he did, nor could the valet of any new made lord be moredelighted with the place he held in society. he considered the blessing of beauty asinferior only to the blessing of a baronetcy; and the sir walter elliot, whounited these gifts, was the constant object of his warmest respect and devotion. his good looks and his rank had one fairclaim on his attachment; since to them he
must have owed a wife of very superiorcharacter to any thing deserved by his own. lady elliot had been an excellent woman,sensible and amiable; whose judgement and conduct, if they might be pardoned theyouthful infatuation which made her lady elliot, had never required indulgence afterwards.--she had humoured, or softened,or concealed his failings, and promoted his real respectability for seventeen years;and though not the very happiest being in the world herself, had found enough in her duties, her friends, and her children, toattach her to life, and make it no matter of indifference to her when she was calledon to quit them.--three girls, the two
eldest sixteen and fourteen, was an awful legacy for a mother to bequeath, an awfulcharge rather, to confide to the authority and guidance of a conceited, silly father. she had, however, one very intimate friend,a sensible, deserving woman, who had been brought, by strong attachment to herself,to settle close by her, in the village of kellynch; and on her kindness and advice, lady elliot mainly relied for the best helpand maintenance of the good principles and instruction which she had been anxiouslygiving her daughters. this friend, and sir walter, did not marry,whatever might have been anticipated on
that head by their acquaintance. thirteen years had passed away since ladyelliot's death, and they were still near neighbours and intimate friends, and oneremained a widower, the other a widow. that lady russell, of steady age andcharacter, and extremely well provided for, should have no thought of a secondmarriage, needs no apology to the public, which is rather apt to be unreasonably discontented when a woman does marry again,than when she does not; but sir walter's continuing in singleness requiresexplanation. be it known then, that sir walter, like agood father, (having met with one or two
private disappointments in veryunreasonable applications), prided himself on remaining single for his dear daughters'sake. for one daughter, his eldest, he wouldreally have given up any thing, which he had not been very much tempted to do. elizabeth had succeeded, at sixteen, to allthat was possible, of her mother's rights and consequence; and being very handsome,and very like himself, her influence had always been great, and they had gone ontogether most happily. his two other children were of veryinferior value. mary had acquired a little artificialimportance, by becoming mrs charles
musgrove; but anne, with an elegance ofmind and sweetness of character, which must have placed her high with any people of real understanding, was nobody with eitherfather or sister; her word had no weight, her convenience was always to give way--shewas only anne. to lady russell, indeed, she was a mostdear and highly valued god-daughter, favourite, and friend. lady russell loved them all; but it wasonly in anne that she could fancy the mother to revive again. a few years before, anne elliot had been avery pretty girl, but her bloom had
vanished early; and as even in its height,her father had found little to admire in her, (so totally different were her delicate features and mild dark eyes fromhis own), there could be nothing in them, now that she was faded and thin, to excitehis esteem. he had never indulged much hope, he had nownone, of ever reading her name in any other page of his favourite work. all equality of alliance must rest withelizabeth, for mary had merely connected herself with an old country family ofrespectability and large fortune, and had therefore given all the honour and received
none: elizabeth would, one day or other,marry suitably. it sometimes happens that a woman ishandsomer at twenty-nine than she was ten years before; and, generally speaking, ifthere has been neither ill health nor anxiety, it is a time of life at whichscarcely any charm is lost. it was so with elizabeth, still the samehandsome miss elliot that she had begun to be thirteen years ago, and sir walter mightbe excused, therefore, in forgetting her age, or, at least, be deemed only half a fool, for thinking himself and elizabeth asblooming as ever, amidst the wreck of the good looks of everybody else; for he couldplainly see how old all the rest of his
family and acquaintance were growing. anne haggard, mary coarse, every face inthe neighbourhood worsting, and the rapid increase of the crow's foot about ladyrussell's temples had long been a distress to him. elizabeth did not quite equal her father inpersonal contentment. thirteen years had seen her mistress ofkellynch hall, presiding and directing with a self-possession and decision which couldnever have given the idea of her being younger than she was. for thirteen years had she been doing thehonours, and laying down the domestic law
at home, and leading the way to the chaiseand four, and walking immediately after lady russell out of all the drawing-roomsand dining-rooms in the country. thirteen winters' revolving frosts had seenher opening every ball of credit which a scanty neighbourhood afforded, and thirteensprings shewn their blossoms, as she travelled up to london with her father, for a few weeks' annual enjoyment of the greatworld. she had the remembrance of all this, shehad the consciousness of being nine-and- twenty to give her some regrets and someapprehensions; she was fully satisfied of being still quite as handsome as ever, but
she felt her approach to the years ofdanger, and would have rejoiced to be certain of being properly solicited bybaronet-blood within the next twelvemonth or two. then might she again take up the book ofbooks with as much enjoyment as in her early youth, but now she liked it not. always to be presented with the date of herown birth and see no marriage follow but that of a youngest sister, made the book anevil; and more than once, when her father had left it open on the table near her, had she closed it, with averted eyes, andpushed it away.
she had had a disappointment, moreover,which that book, and especially the history of her own family, must ever present theremembrance of. the heir presumptive, the very williamwalter elliot, esq., whose rights had been so generously supported by her father, haddisappointed her. she had, while a very young girl, as soonas she had known him to be, in the event of her having no brother, the future baronet,meant to marry him, and her father had always meant that she should. he had not been known to them as a boy; butsoon after lady elliot's death, sir walter had sought the acquaintance, and though hisovertures had not been met with any warmth,
he had persevered in seeking it, making allowance for the modest drawing-back ofyouth; and, in one of their spring excursions to london, when elizabeth was inher first bloom, mr elliot had been forced into the introduction. he was at that time a very young man, justengaged in the study of the law; and elizabeth found him extremely agreeable,and every plan in his favour was confirmed. he was invited to kellynch hall; he wastalked of and expected all the rest of the year; but he never came. the following spring he was seen again intown, found equally agreeable, again
encouraged, invited, and expected, andagain he did not come; and the next tidings were that he was married. instead of pushing his fortune in the linemarked out for the heir of the house of elliot, he had purchased independence byuniting himself to a rich woman of inferior birth. sir walter has resented it. as the head of the house, he felt that heought to have been consulted, especially after taking the young man so publicly bythe hand; "for they must have been seen together," he observed, "once at
tattersall's, and twice in the lobby of thehouse of commons." his disapprobation was expressed, butapparently very little regarded. mr elliot had attempted no apology, andshewn himself as unsolicitous of being longer noticed by the family, as sir walterconsidered him unworthy of it: all acquaintance between them had ceased. this very awkward history of mr elliot wasstill, after an interval of several years, felt with anger by elizabeth, who had likedthe man for himself, and still more for being her father's heir, and whose strong family pride could see only in him a propermatch for sir walter elliot's eldest
daughter. there was not a baronet from a to z whomher feelings could have so willingly acknowledged as an equal. yet so miserably had he conducted himself,that though she was at this present time (the summer of 1814) wearing black ribbonsfor his wife, she could not admit him to be worth thinking of again. the disgrace of his first marriage might,perhaps, as there was no reason to suppose it perpetuated by offspring, have been gotover, had he not done worse; but he had, as by the accustomary intervention of kind
friends, they had been informed, spokenmost disrespectfully of them all, most slightingly and contemptuously of the veryblood he belonged to, and the honours which were hereafter to be his own. this could not be pardoned. such were elizabeth elliot's sentiments andsensations; such the cares to alloy, the agitations to vary, the sameness and theelegance, the prosperity and the nothingness of her scene of life; such the feelings to give interest to a long,uneventful residence in one country circle, to fill the vacancies which there were nohabits of utility abroad, no talents or
accomplishments for home, to occupy. but now, another occupation and solicitudeof mind was beginning to be added to these. her father was growing distressed formoney. she knew, that when he now took up thebaronetage, it was to drive the heavy bills of his tradespeople, and the unwelcomehints of mr shepherd, his agent, from his thoughts. the kellynch property was good, but notequal to sir walter's apprehension of the state required in its possessor. while lady elliot lived, there had beenmethod, moderation, and economy, which had
just kept him within his income; but withher had died all such right-mindedness, and from that period he had been constantlyexceeding it. it had not been possible for him to spendless; he had done nothing but what sir walter elliot was imperiously called on todo; but blameless as he was, he was not only growing dreadfully in debt, but was hearing of it so often, that it became vainto attempt concealing it longer, even partially, from his daughter. he had given her some hints of it the lastspring in town; he had gone so far even as to say, "can we retrench?
does it occur to you that there is any onearticle in which we can retrench?" and elizabeth, to do her justice, had, in thefirst ardour of female alarm, set seriously to think what could be done, and had finally proposed these two branches ofeconomy, to cut off some unnecessary charities, and to refrain from newfurnishing the drawing-room; to which expedients she afterwards added the happy thought of their taking no present down toanne, as had been the usual yearly custom. but these measures, however good inthemselves, were insufficient for the real extent of the evil, the whole of which sirwalter found himself obliged to confess to
her soon afterwards. elizabeth had nothing to propose of deeperefficacy. she felt herself ill-used and unfortunate,as did her father; and they were neither of them able to devise any means of lesseningtheir expenses without compromising their dignity, or relinquishing their comforts ina way not to be borne. there was only a small part of his estatethat sir walter could dispose of; but had every acre been alienable, it would havemade no difference. he had condescended to mortgage as far ashe had the power, but he would never condescend to sell.no; he would never disgrace his name so
far. the kellynch estate should be transmittedwhole and entire, as he had received it. their two confidential friends, mrshepherd, who lived in the neighbouring market town, and lady russell, were calledto advise them; and both father and daughter seemed to expect that something should be struck out by one or the other toremove their embarrassments and reduce their expenditure, without involving theloss of any indulgence of taste or pride. > chapter 2
mr shepherd, a civil, cautious lawyer, who,whatever might be his hold or his views on sir walter, would rather have thedisagreeable prompted by anybody else, excused himself from offering the slightest hint, and only begged leave to recommend animplicit reference to the excellent judgement of lady russell, from whose knowngood sense he fully expected to have just such resolute measures advised as he meantto see finally adopted. lady russell was most anxiously zealous onthe subject, and gave it much serious consideration. she was a woman rather of sound than ofquick abilities, whose difficulties in
coming to any decision in this instancewere great, from the opposition of two leading principles. she was of strict integrity herself, with adelicate sense of honour; but she was as desirous of saving sir walter's feelings,as solicitous for the credit of the family, as aristocratic in her ideas of what was due to them, as anybody of sense andhonesty could well be. she was a benevolent, charitable, goodwoman, and capable of strong attachments, most correct in her conduct, strict in hernotions of decorum, and with manners that were held a standard of good-breeding.
she had a cultivated mind, and was,generally speaking, rational and consistent; but she had prejudices on theside of ancestry; she had a value for rank and consequence, which blinded her a littleto the faults of those who possessed them. herself the widow of only a knight, shegave the dignity of a baronet all its due; and sir walter, independent of his claimsas an old acquaintance, an attentive neighbour, an obliging landlord, the husband of her very dear friend, the fatherof anne and her sisters, was, as being sir walter, in her apprehension, entitled to agreat deal of compassion and consideration under his present difficulties.
they must retrench; that did not admit of adoubt. but she was very anxious to have it donewith the least possible pain to him and elizabeth. she drew up plans of economy, she madeexact calculations, and she did what nobody else thought of doing: she consulted anne,who never seemed considered by the others as having any interest in the question. she consulted, and in a degree wasinfluenced by her in marking out the scheme of retrenchment which was at last submittedto sir walter. every emendation of anne's had been on theside of honesty against importance.
she wanted more vigorous measures, a morecomplete reformation, a quicker release from debt, a much higher tone ofindifference for everything but justice and equity. "if we can persuade your father to allthis," said lady russell, looking over her paper, "much may be done. if he will adopt these regulations, inseven years he will be clear; and i hope we may be able to convince him and elizabeth,that kellynch hall has a respectability in itself which cannot be affected by these reductions; and that the true dignity ofsir walter elliot will be very far from
lessened in the eyes of sensible people, byacting like a man of principle. what will he be doing, in fact, but whatvery many of our first families have done, or ought to do? there will be nothing singular in his case;and it is singularity which often makes the worst part of our suffering, as it alwaysdoes of our conduct. i have great hope of prevailing. we must be serious and decided; for afterall, the person who has contracted debts must pay them; and though a great deal isdue to the feelings of the gentleman, and the head of a house, like your father,
there is still more due to the character ofan honest man." this was the principle on which anne wantedher father to be proceeding, his friends to be urging him. she considered it as an act ofindispensable duty to clear away the claims of creditors with all the expedition whichthe most comprehensive retrenchments could secure, and saw no dignity in anythingshort of it. she wanted it to be prescribed, and felt asa duty. she rated lady russell's influence highly;and as to the severe degree of self-denial which her own conscience prompted, shebelieved there might be little more
difficulty in persuading them to acomplete, than to half a reformation. her knowledge of her father and elizabethinclined her to think that the sacrifice of one pair of horses would be hardly lesspainful than of both, and so on, through the whole list of lady russell's too gentlereductions. how anne's more rigid requisitions mighthave been taken is of little consequence. lady russell's had no success at all: couldnot be put up with, were not to be borne. "what! every comfort of life knocked off!journeys, london, servants, horses, table-- contractions and restrictions every where! to live no longer with the decencies evenof a private gentleman!
no, he would sooner quit kellynch hall atonce, than remain in it on such disgraceful terms." "quit kellynch hall." the hint was immediately taken up by mrshepherd, whose interest was involved in the reality of sir walter's retrenching,and who was perfectly persuaded that nothing would be done without a change ofabode. "since the idea had been started in thevery quarter which ought to dictate, he had no scruple," he said, "in confessing hisjudgement to be entirely on that side. it did not appear to him that sir waltercould materially alter his style of living
in a house which had such a character ofhospitality and ancient dignity to support. in any other place sir walter might judgefor himself; and would be looked up to, as regulating the modes of life in whateverway he might choose to model his household." sir walter would quit kellynch hall; andafter a very few days more of doubt and indecision, the great question of whitherhe should go was settled, and the first outline of this important change made out. there had been three alternatives, london,bath, or another house in the country. all anne's wishes had been for the latter.
a small house in their own neighbourhood,where they might still have lady russell's society, still be near mary, and still havethe pleasure of sometimes seeing the lawns and groves of kellynch, was the object ofher ambition. but the usual fate of anne attended her, inhaving something very opposite from her inclination fixed on. she disliked bath, and did not think itagreed with her; and bath was to be her home. sir walter had at first thought more oflondon; but mr shepherd felt that he could not be trusted in london, and had beenskilful enough to dissuade him from it, and
make bath preferred. it was a much safer place for a gentlemanin his predicament: he might there be important at comparatively little expense. two material advantages of bath over londonhad of course been given all their weight: its more convenient distance from kellynch,only fifty miles, and lady russell's spending some part of every winter there; and to the very great satisfaction of ladyrussell, whose first views on the projected change had been for bath, sir walter andelizabeth were induced to believe that they should lose neither consequence norenjoyment by settling there.
lady russell felt obliged to oppose herdear anne's known wishes. it would be too much to expect sir walterto descend into a small house in his own neighbourhood. anne herself would have found themortifications of it more than she foresaw, and to sir walter's feelings they must havebeen dreadful. and with regard to anne's dislike of bath,she considered it as a prejudice and mistake arising, first, from thecircumstance of her having been three years at school there, after her mother's death; and secondly, from her happening to be notin perfectly good spirits the only winter
which she had afterwards spent there withherself. lady russell was fond of bath, in short,and disposed to think it must suit them all; and as to her young friend's health,by passing all the warm months with her at kellynch lodge, every danger would be avoided; and it was in fact, a change whichmust do both health and spirits good. anne had been too little from home, toolittle seen. her spirits were not high. a larger society would improve them.she wanted her to be more known. the undesirableness of any other house inthe same neighbourhood for sir walter was
certainly much strengthened by one part,and a very material part of the scheme, which had been happily engrafted on thebeginning. he was not only to quit his home, but tosee it in the hands of others; a trial of fortitude, which stronger heads than sirwalter's have found too much. kellynch hall was to be let. this, however, was a profound secret, notto be breathed beyond their own circle. sir walter could not have borne thedegradation of being known to design letting his house. mr shepherd had once mentioned the word"advertise," but never dared approach it
again. sir walter spurned the idea of its beingoffered in any manner; forbad the slightest hint being dropped of his having such anintention; and it was only on the supposition of his being spontaneously solicited by some most unexceptionableapplicant, on his own terms, and as a great favour, that he would let it at all.how quick come the reasons for approving what we like! lady russell had another excellent one athand, for being extremely glad that sir walter and his family were to remove fromthe country.
elizabeth had been lately forming anintimacy, which she wished to see interrupted. it was with the daughter of mr shepherd,who had returned, after an unprosperous marriage, to her father's house, with theadditional burden of two children. she was a clever young woman, whounderstood the art of pleasing--the art of pleasing, at least, at kellynch hall; andwho had made herself so acceptable to miss elliot, as to have been already staying there more than once, in spite of all thatlady russell, who thought it a friendship quite out of place, could hint of cautionand reserve.
lady russell, indeed, had scarcely anyinfluence with elizabeth, and seemed to love her, rather because she would loveher, than because elizabeth deserved it. she had never received from her more thanoutward attention, nothing beyond the observances of complaisance; had neversucceeded in any point which she wanted to carry, against previous inclination. she had been repeatedly very earnest intrying to get anne included in the visit to london, sensibly open to all the injusticeand all the discredit of the selfish arrangements which shut her out, and on many lesser occasions had endeavoured togive elizabeth the advantage of her own
better judgement and experience; but alwaysin vain: elizabeth would go her own way; and never had she pursued it in more decided opposition to lady russell than inthis selection of mrs clay; turning from the society of so deserving a sister, tobestow her affection and confidence on one who ought to have been nothing to her butthe object of distant civility. from situation, mrs clay was, in ladyrussell's estimate, a very unequal, and in her character she believed a very dangerouscompanion; and a removal that would leave mrs clay behind, and bring a choice of more suitable intimates within miss elliot'sreach, was therefore an object of first-
rate importance. chapter 3 "i must take leave to observe, sir walter,"said mr shepherd one morning at kellynch hall, as he laid down the newspaper, "thatthe present juncture is much in our favour. this peace will be turning all our richnaval officers ashore. they will be all wanting a home. could not be a better time, sir walter, forhaving a choice of tenants, very responsible tenants.many a noble fortune has been made during the war.
if a rich admiral were to come in our way,sir walter--" "he would be a very lucky man, shepherd,"replied sir walter; "that's all i have to remark. a prize indeed would kellynch hall be tohim; rather the greatest prize of all, let him have taken ever so many before; hey,shepherd?" mr shepherd laughed, as he knew he must, atthis wit, and then added-- "i presume to observe, sir walter, that, inthe way of business, gentlemen of the navy are well to deal with. i have had a little knowledge of theirmethods of doing business; and i am free to
confess that they have very liberalnotions, and are as likely to make desirable tenants as any set of people oneshould meet with. therefore, sir walter, what i would takeleave to suggest is, that if in consequence of any rumours getting abroad of yourintention; which must be contemplated as a possible thing, because we know how difficult it is to keep the actions anddesigns of one part of the world from the notice and curiosity of the other;consequence has its tax; i, john shepherd, might conceal any family-matters that i chose, for nobody would think it worththeir while to observe me; but sir walter
elliot has eyes upon him which it may bevery difficult to elude; and therefore, thus much i venture upon, that it will not greatly surprise me if, with all ourcaution, some rumour of the truth should get abroad; in the supposition of which, asi was going to observe, since applications will unquestionably follow, i should think any from our wealthy naval commandersparticularly worth attending to; and beg leave to add, that two hours will bring meover at any time, to save you the trouble of replying." sir walter only nodded.but soon afterwards, rising and pacing the
room, he observed sarcastically-- "there are few among the gentlemen of thenavy, i imagine, who would not be surprised to find themselves in a house of thisdescription." "they would look around them, no doubt, andbless their good fortune," said mrs clay, for mrs clay was present: her father haddriven her over, nothing being of so much use to mrs clay's health as a drive to kellynch: "but i quite agree with my fatherin thinking a sailor might be a very desirable tenant. i have known a good deal of the profession;and besides their liberality, they are so
neat and careful in all their ways! these valuable pictures of yours, sirwalter, if you chose to leave them, would be perfectly safe.everything in and about the house would be taken such excellent care of! the gardens and shrubberies would be keptin almost as high order as they are now. you need not be afraid, miss elliot, ofyour own sweet flower gardens being neglected." "as to all that," rejoined sir waltercoolly, "supposing i were induced to let my house, i have by no means made up my mindas to the privileges to be annexed to it.
i am not particularly disposed to favour atenant. the park would be open to him of course,and few navy officers, or men of any other description, can have had such a range; butwhat restrictions i might impose on the use of the pleasure-grounds, is another thing. i am not fond of the idea of my shrubberiesbeing always approachable; and i should recommend miss elliot to be on her guardwith respect to her flower garden. i am very little disposed to grant a tenantof kellynch hall any extraordinary favour, i assure you, be he sailor or soldier."after a short pause, mr shepherd presumed to say--
"in all these cases, there are establishedusages which make everything plain and easy between landlord and tenant.your interest, sir walter, is in pretty safe hands. depend upon me for taking care that notenant has more than his just rights. i venture to hint, that sir walter elliotcannot be half so jealous for his own, as john shepherd will be for him." here anne spoke-- "the navy, i think, who have done so muchfor us, have at least an equal claim with any other set of men, for all the comfortsand all the privileges which any home can
give. sailors work hard enough for theircomforts, we must all allow." "very true, very true. what miss anne says, is very true," was mrshepherd's rejoinder, and "oh! certainly," was his daughter's; but sir walter's remarkwas, soon afterwards-- "the profession has its utility, but ishould be sorry to see any friend of mine belonging to it.""indeed!" was the reply, and with a look of surprise. "yes; it is in two points offensive to me;i have two strong grounds of objection to
it. first, as being the means of bringingpersons of obscure birth into undue distinction, and raising men to honourswhich their fathers and grandfathers never dreamt of; and secondly, as it cuts up a man's youth and vigour most horribly; asailor grows old sooner than any other man. i have observed it all my life. a man is in greater danger in the navy ofbeing insulted by the rise of one whose father, his father might have disdained tospeak to, and of becoming prematurely an object of disgust himself, than in anyother line.
one day last spring, in town, i was incompany with two men, striking instances of what i am talking of; lord st ives, whosefather we all know to have been a country curate, without bread to eat; i was to give place to lord st ives, and a certainadmiral baldwin, the most deplorable- looking personage you can imagine; his facethe colour of mahogany, rough and rugged to the last degree; all lines and wrinkles, nine grey hairs of a side, and nothing buta dab of powder at top. 'in the name of heaven, who is that oldfellow?' said i to a friend of mine who was standing near, (sir basil morley).
'old fellow!' cried sir basil, 'it isadmiral baldwin. what do you take his age to be?''sixty,' said i, 'or perhaps sixty-two.' 'forty,' replied sir basil, 'forty, and nomore.' picture to yourselves my amazement; i shallnot easily forget admiral baldwin. i never saw quite so wretched an example ofwhat a sea-faring life can do; but to a degree, i know it is the same with themall: they are all knocked about, and exposed to every climate, and everyweather, till they are not fit to be seen. it is a pity they are not knocked on thehead at once, before they reach admiral baldwin's age."
"nay, sir walter," cried mrs clay, "this isbeing severe indeed. have a little mercy on the poor men.we are not all born to be handsome. the sea is no beautifier, certainly;sailors do grow old betimes; i have observed it; they soon lose the look ofyouth. but then, is not it the same with manyother professions, perhaps most other? soldiers, in active service, are not at allbetter off: and even in the quieter professions, there is a toil and a labourof the mind, if not of the body, which seldom leaves a man's looks to the naturaleffect of time. the lawyer plods, quite care-worn; thephysician is up at all hours, and
travelling in all weather; and even theclergyman--" she stopt a moment to consider what might do for the clergyman;--"and even the clergyman, you know is obliged to gointo infected rooms, and expose his health and looks to all the injury of a poisonousatmosphere. in fact, as i have long been convinced,though every profession is necessary and honourable in its turn, it is only the lotof those who are not obliged to follow any, who can live in a regular way, in the country, choosing their own hours,following their own pursuits, and living on their own property, without the torment oftrying for more; it is only their lot, i
say, to hold the blessings of health and a good appearance to the utmost: i know noother set of men but what lose something of their personableness when they cease to bequite young." it seemed as if mr shepherd, in thisanxiety to bespeak sir walter's good will towards a naval officer as tenant, had beengifted with foresight; for the very first application for the house was from an admiral croft, with whom he shortlyafterwards fell into company in attending the quarter sessions at taunton; andindeed, he had received a hint of the admiral from a london correspondent.
by the report which he hastened over tokellynch to make, admiral croft was a native of somersetshire, who havingacquired a very handsome fortune, was wishing to settle in his own country, and had come down to taunton in order to lookat some advertised places in that immediate neighbourhood, which, however, had notsuited him; that accidentally hearing--(it was just as he had foretold, mr shepherd observed, sir walter's concerns could notbe kept a secret,)--accidentally hearing of the possibility of kellynch hall being tolet, and understanding his (mr shepherd's) connection with the owner, he had
introduced himself to him in order to makeparticular inquiries, and had, in the course of a pretty long conference,expressed as strong an inclination for the place as a man who knew it only by description could feel; and given mrshepherd, in his explicit account of himself, every proof of his being a mostresponsible, eligible tenant. "and who is admiral croft?" was sirwalter's cold suspicious inquiry. mr shepherd answered for his being of agentleman's family, and mentioned a place; and anne, after the little pause whichfollowed, added-- "he is a rear admiral of the white.
he was in the trafalgar action, and hasbeen in the east indies since; he was stationed there, i believe, several years." "then i take it for granted," observed sirwalter, "that his face is about as orange as the cuffs and capes of my livery." mr shepherd hastened to assure him, thatadmiral croft was a very hale, hearty, well-looking man, a little weather-beaten,to be sure, but not much, and quite the gentleman in all his notions and behaviour; not likely to make the smallest difficultyabout terms, only wanted a comfortable home, and to get into it as soon aspossible; knew he must pay for his
convenience; knew what rent a ready- furnished house of that consequence mightfetch; should not have been surprised if sir walter had asked more; had inquiredabout the manor; would be glad of the deputation, certainly, but made no great point of it; said he sometimes took out agun, but never killed; quite the gentleman. mr shepherd was eloquent on the subject;pointing out all the circumstances of the admiral's family, which made him peculiarlydesirable as a tenant. he was a married man, and without children;the very state to be wished for. a house was never taken good care of, mrshepherd observed, without a lady: he did
not know, whether furniture might not be indanger of suffering as much where there was no lady, as where there were many children. a lady, without a family, was the very bestpreserver of furniture in the world. he had seen mrs croft, too; she was attaunton with the admiral, and had been present almost all the time they weretalking the matter over. "and a very well-spoken, genteel, shrewdlady, she seemed to be," continued he; "asked more questions about the house, andterms, and taxes, than the admiral himself, and seemed more conversant with business; and moreover, sir walter, i found she wasnot quite unconnected in this country, any
more than her husband; that is to say, sheis sister to a gentleman who did live amongst us once; she told me so herself: sister to the gentleman who lived a fewyears back at monkford. bless me! what was his name?at this moment i cannot recollect his name, though i have heard it so lately. penelope, my dear, can you help me to thename of the gentleman who lived at monkford: mrs croft's brother?" but mrs clay was talking so eagerly withmiss elliot, that she did not hear the appeal.
"i have no conception whom you can mean,shepherd; i remember no gentleman resident at monkford since the time of old governortrent." "bless me! how very odd! i shall forget my own name soon, i suppose. a name that i am so very well acquaintedwith; knew the gentleman so well by sight; seen him a hundred times; came to consultme once, i remember, about a trespass of one of his neighbours; farmer's man breaking into his orchard; wall torn down;apples stolen; caught in the fact; and afterwards, contrary to my judgement,submitted to an amicable compromise.
very odd indeed!" after waiting another moment--"you mean mr wentworth, i suppose?" said anne.mr shepherd was all gratitude. "wentworth was the very name! mr wentworth was the very man.he had the curacy of monkford, you know, sir walter, some time back, for two orthree years. came there about the year ---5, i take it. you remember him, i am sure.""wentworth? oh! ay,--mr wentworth, the curate ofmonkford.
you misled me by the term gentleman. i thought you were speaking of some man ofproperty: mr wentworth was nobody, i remember; quite unconnected; nothing to dowith the strafford family. one wonders how the names of many of ournobility become so common." as mr shepherd perceived that thisconnexion of the crofts did them no service with sir walter, he mentioned it no more;returning, with all his zeal, to dwell on the circumstances more indisputably in their favour; their age, and number, andfortune; the high idea they had formed of kellynch hall, and extreme solicitude forthe advantage of renting it; making it
appear as if they ranked nothing beyond the happiness of being the tenants of sirwalter elliot: an extraordinary taste, certainly, could they have been supposed inthe secret of sir walter's estimate of the dues of a tenant. it succeeded, however; and though sirwalter must ever look with an evil eye on anyone intending to inhabit that house, andthink them infinitely too well off in being permitted to rent it on the highest terms, he was talked into allowing mr shepherd toproceed in the treaty, and authorising him to wait on admiral croft, who stillremained at taunton, and fix a day for the
house being seen. sir walter was not very wise; but still hehad experience enough of the world to feel, that a more unobjectionable tenant, in allessentials, than admiral croft bid fair to be, could hardly offer. so far went his understanding; and hisvanity supplied a little additional soothing, in the admiral's situation inlife, which was just high enough, and not too high. "i have let my house to admiral croft,"would sound extremely well; very much better than to any mere mr--; a mr (save,perhaps, some half dozen in the nation,)
always needs a note of explanation. an admiral speaks his own consequence, and,at the same time, can never make a baronet look small. in all their dealings and intercourse, sirwalter elliot must ever have the precedence. nothing could be done without a referenceto elizabeth: but her inclination was growing so strong for a removal, that shewas happy to have it fixed and expedited by a tenant at hand; and not a word to suspenddecision was uttered by her. mr shepherd was completely empowered toact; and no sooner had such an end been
reached, than anne, who had been a mostattentive listener to the whole, left the room, to seek the comfort of cool air for her flushed cheeks; and as she walked alonga favourite grove, said, with a gentle sigh, "a few months more, and he, perhaps,may be walking here." chapter 4 he was not mr wentworth, the former curateof monkford, however suspicious appearances may be, but a captain frederick wentworth,his brother, who being made commander in consequence of the action off st domingo, and not immediately employed, had come intosomersetshire, in the summer of 1806; and
having no parent living, found a home forhalf a year at monkford. he was, at that time, a remarkably fineyoung man, with a great deal of intelligence, spirit, and brilliancy; andanne an extremely pretty girl, with gentleness, modesty, taste, and feeling. half the sum of attraction, on either side,might have been enough, for he had nothing to do, and she had hardly anybody to love;but the encounter of such lavish recommendations could not fail. they were gradually acquainted, and whenacquainted, rapidly and deeply in love. it would be difficult to say which had seenhighest perfection in the other, or which
had been the happiest: she, in receivinghis declarations and proposals, or he in having them accepted. a short period of exquisite felicityfollowed, and but a short one. troubles soon arose. sir walter, on being applied to, withoutactually withholding his consent, or saying it should never be, gave it all thenegative of great astonishment, great coldness, great silence, and a professed resolution of doing nothing for hisdaughter. he thought it a very degrading alliance;and lady russell, though with more tempered
and pardonable pride, received it as a mostunfortunate one. anne elliot, with all her claims of birth,beauty, and mind, to throw herself away at nineteen; involve herself at nineteen in anengagement with a young man, who had nothing but himself to recommend him, and no hopes of attaining affluence, but in thechances of a most uncertain profession, and no connexions to secure even his fartherrise in the profession, would be, indeed, a throwing away, which she grieved to thinkof! anne elliot, so young; known to so few, tobe snatched off by a stranger without alliance or fortune; or rather sunk by himinto a state of most wearing, anxious,
youth-killing dependence! it must not be, if by any fair interferenceof friendship, any representations from one who had almost a mother's love, andmother's rights, it would be prevented. captain wentworth had no fortune. he had been lucky in his profession; butspending freely, what had come freely, had realized nothing. but he was confident that he should soon berich: full of life and ardour, he knew that he should soon have a ship, and soon be ona station that would lead to everything he wanted.
he had always been lucky; he knew he shouldbe so still. such confidence, powerful in its ownwarmth, and bewitching in the wit which often expressed it, must have been enoughfor anne; but lady russell saw it very differently. his sanguine temper, and fearlessness ofmind, operated very differently on her. she saw in it but an aggravation of theevil. it only added a dangerous character tohimself. he was brilliant, he was headstrong. lady russell had little taste for wit, andof anything approaching to imprudence a
horror.she deprecated the connexion in every light. such opposition, as these feelingsproduced, was more than anne could combat. young and gentle as she was, it might yethave been possible to withstand her father's ill-will, though unsoftened by onekind word or look on the part of her sister; but lady russell, whom she had always loved and relied on, could not, withsuch steadiness of opinion, and such tenderness of manner, be continuallyadvising her in vain. she was persuaded to believe the engagementa wrong thing: indiscreet, improper,
hardly capable of success, and notdeserving it. but it was not a merely selfish caution,under which she acted, in putting an end to had she not imagined herself consulting hisgood, even more than her own, she could hardly have given him up. the belief of being prudent, and self-denying, principally for his advantage, was her chief consolation, under the misery ofa parting, a final parting; and every consolation was required, for she had to encounter all the additional pain ofopinions, on his side, totally unconvinced and unbending, and of his feeling himselfill used by so forced a relinquishment.
he had left the country in consequence. a few months had seen the beginning and theend of their acquaintance; but not with a few months ended anne's share of sufferingfrom it. her attachment and regrets had, for a longtime, clouded every enjoyment of youth, and an early loss of bloom and spirits had beentheir lasting effect. more than seven years were gone since thislittle history of sorrowful interest had reached its close; and time had softeneddown much, perhaps nearly all of peculiar attachment to him, but she had been too dependent on time alone; no aid had beengiven in change of place (except in one
visit to bath soon after the rupture), orin any novelty or enlargement of society. no one had ever come within the kellynchcircle, who could bear a comparison with frederick wentworth, as he stood in hermemory. no second attachment, the only thoroughlynatural, happy, and sufficient cure, at her time of life, had been possible to the nicetone of her mind, the fastidiousness of her taste, in the small limits of the societyaround them. she had been solicited, when about two-and-twenty, to change her name, by the young man, who not long afterwards found a morewilling mind in her younger sister; and lady russell had lamented her refusal; for
charles musgrove was the eldest son of aman, whose landed property and general importance were second in that country,only to sir walter's, and of good character and appearance; and however lady russell might have asked yet for something more,while anne was nineteen, she would have rejoiced to see her at twenty-two sorespectably removed from the partialities and injustice of her father's house, andsettled so permanently near herself. but in this case, anne had left nothing foradvice to do; and though lady russell, as satisfied as ever with her own discretion,never wished the past undone, she began now to have the anxiety which borders on
hopelessness for anne's being tempted, bysome man of talents and independence, to enter a state for which she held her to bepeculiarly fitted by her warm affections and domestic habits. they knew not each other's opinion, eitherits constancy or its change, on the one leading point of anne's conduct, for thesubject was never alluded to; but anne, at seven-and-twenty, thought very differently from what she had been made to think atnineteen. she did not blame lady russell, she did notblame herself for having been guided by her; but she felt that were any youngperson, in similar circumstances, to apply
to her for counsel, they would never receive any of such certain immediatewretchedness, such uncertain future good. she was persuaded that under everydisadvantage of disapprobation at home, and every anxiety attending his profession, alltheir probable fears, delays, and disappointments, she should yet have been a happier woman in maintaining theengagement, than she had been in the sacrifice of it; and this, she fullybelieved, had the usual share, had even more than the usual share of all such solicitudes and suspense been theirs,without reference to the actual results of
their case, which, as it happened, wouldhave bestowed earlier prosperity than could be reasonably calculated on. all his sanguine expectations, all hisconfidence had been justified. his genius and ardour had seemed to foreseeand to command his prosperous path. he had, very soon after their engagementceased, got employ: and all that he had told her would follow, had taken place. he had distinguished himself, and earlygained the other step in rank, and must now, by successive captures, have made ahandsome fortune. she had only navy lists and newspapers forher authority, but she could not doubt his
being rich; and, in favour of hisconstancy, she had no reason to believe him married. how eloquent could anne elliot have been!how eloquent, at least, were her wishes on the side of early warm attachment, and acheerful confidence in futurity, against that over-anxious caution which seems toinsult exertion and distrust providence! she had been forced into prudence in heryouth, she learned romance as she grew older: the natural sequel of an unnaturalbeginning. with all these circumstances, recollectionsand feelings, she could not hear that captain wentworth's sister was likely tolive at kellynch without a revival of
former pain; and many a stroll, and many a sigh, were necessary to dispel theagitation of the idea. she often told herself it was folly, beforeshe could harden her nerves sufficiently to feel the continual discussion of the croftsand their business no evil. she was assisted, however, by that perfectindifference and apparent unconsciousness, among the only three of her own friends inthe secret of the past, which seemed almost to deny any recollection of it. she could do justice to the superiority oflady russell's motives in this, over those of her father and elizabeth; she couldhonour all the better feelings of her
calmness; but the general air of oblivion among them was highly important fromwhatever it sprung; and in the event of admiral croft's really taking kellynchhall, she rejoiced anew over the conviction which had always been most grateful to her, of the past being known to those three onlyamong her connexions, by whom no syllable, she believed, would ever be whispered, andin the trust that among his, the brother only with whom he had been residing, had received any information of their short-lived engagement. that brother had been long removed from thecountry and being a sensible man, and,
moreover, a single man at the time, she hada fond dependence on no human creature's having heard of it from him. the sister, mrs croft, had then been out ofengland, accompanying her husband on a foreign station, and her own sister, mary,had been at school while it all occurred; and never admitted by the pride of some, and the delicacy of others, to the smallestknowledge of it afterwards. with these supports, she hoped that theacquaintance between herself and the crofts, which, with lady russell, stillresident in kellynch, and mary fixed only three miles off, must be anticipated, neednot involve any particular awkwardness.
chapter 5 on the morning appointed for admiral andmrs croft's seeing kellynch hall, anne found it most natural to take her almostdaily walk to lady russell's, and keep out of the way till all was over; when she found it most natural to be sorry that shehad missed the opportunity of seeing them. this meeting of the two parties provedhighly satisfactory, and decided the whole business at once. each lady was previously well disposed foran agreement, and saw nothing, therefore, but good manners in the other; and withregard to the gentlemen, there was such an
hearty good humour, such an open, trusting liberality on the admiral's side, as couldnot but influence sir walter, who had besides been flattered into his very bestand most polished behaviour by mr shepherd's assurances of his being known, by report, to the admiral, as a model ofgood breeding. the house and grounds, and furniture, wereapproved, the crofts were approved, terms, time, every thing, and every body, wasright; and mr shepherd's clerks were set to work, without there having been a single preliminary difference to modify of allthat "this indenture sheweth."
sir walter, without hesitation, declaredthe admiral to be the best-looking sailor he had ever met with, and went so far as tosay, that if his own man might have had the arranging of his hair, he should not be ashamed of being seen with him any where;and the admiral, with sympathetic cordiality, observed to his wife as theydrove back through the park, "i thought we should soon come to a deal, my dear, inspite of what they told us at taunton. the baronet will never set the thames onfire, but there seems to be no harm in him."--reciprocal compliments, which wouldhave been esteemed about equal. the crofts were to have possession atmichaelmas; and as sir walter proposed
removing to bath in the course of thepreceding month, there was no time to be lost in making every dependent arrangement. lady russell, convinced that anne would notbe allowed to be of any use, or any importance, in the choice of the housewhich they were going to secure, was very unwilling to have her hurried away so soon, and wanted to make it possible for her tostay behind till she might convey her to bath herself after christmas; but havingengagements of her own which must take her from kellynch for several weeks, she was unable to give the full invitation shewished, and anne though dreading the
possible heats of september in all thewhite glare of bath, and grieving to forego all the influence so sweet and so sad of the autumnal months in the country, did notthink that, everything considered, she wished to remain. it would be most right, and most wise, and,therefore must involve least suffering to go with the others.something occurred, however, to give her a different duty. mary, often a little unwell, and alwaysthinking a great deal of her own complaints, and always in the habit ofclaiming anne when anything was the matter,
was indisposed; and foreseeing that she should not have a day's health all theautumn, entreated, or rather required her, for it was hardly entreaty, to come touppercross cottage, and bear her company as long as she should want her, instead ofgoing to bath. "i cannot possibly do without anne," wasmary's reasoning; and elizabeth's reply was, "then i am sure anne had better stay,for nobody will want her in bath." to be claimed as a good, though in animproper style, is at least better than being rejected as no good at all; and anne,glad to be thought of some use, glad to have anything marked out as a duty, and
certainly not sorry to have the scene of itin the country, and her own dear country, readily agreed to stay. this invitation of mary's removed all ladyrussell's difficulties, and it was consequently soon settled that anne shouldnot go to bath till lady russell took her, and that all the intervening time should be divided between uppercross cottage andkellynch lodge. so far all was perfectly right; but ladyrussell was almost startled by the wrong of one part of the kellynch hall plan, when itburst on her, which was, mrs clay's being engaged to go to bath with sir walter and
elizabeth, as a most important and valuableassistant to the latter in all the business before her. lady russell was extremely sorry that sucha measure should have been resorted to at all, wondered, grieved, and feared; and theaffront it contained to anne, in mrs clay's being of so much use, while anne could beof none, was a very sore aggravation. anne herself was become hardened to suchaffronts; but she felt the imprudence of the arrangement quite as keenly as ladyrussell. with a great deal of quiet observation, anda knowledge, which she often wished less, of her father's character, she was sensiblethat results the most serious to his family
from the intimacy were more than possible. she did not imagine that her father had atpresent an idea of the kind. mrs clay had freckles, and a projectingtooth, and a clumsy wrist, which he was continually making severe remarks upon, inher absence; but she was young, and certainly altogether well-looking, and possessed, in an acute mind and assiduouspleasing manners, infinitely more dangerous attractions than any merely personal mighthave been. anne was so impressed by the degree oftheir danger, that she could not excuse herself from trying to make it perceptibleto her sister.
she had little hope of success; butelizabeth, who in the event of such a reverse would be so much more to be pitiedthan herself, should never, she thought, have reason to reproach her for giving nowarning. she spoke, and seemed only to offend. elizabeth could not conceive how such anabsurd suspicion should occur to her, and indignantly answered for each party'sperfectly knowing their situation. "mrs clay," said she, warmly, "neverforgets who she is; and as i am rather better acquainted with her sentiments thanyou can be, i can assure you, that upon the subject of marriage they are particularly
nice, and that she reprobates allinequality of condition and rank more strongly than most people. and as to my father, i really should nothave thought that he, who has kept himself single so long for our sakes, need besuspected now. if mrs clay were a very beautiful woman, igrant you, it might be wrong to have her so much with me; not that anything in theworld, i am sure, would induce my father to make a degrading match, but he might berendered unhappy. but poor mrs clay who, with all her merits,can never have been reckoned tolerably pretty, i really think poor mrs clay may bestaying here in perfect safety.
one would imagine you had never heard myfather speak of her personal misfortunes, though i know you must fifty times.that tooth of her's and those freckles. freckles do not disgust me so very much asthey do him. i have known a face not materiallydisfigured by a few, but he abominates them. you must have heard him notice mrs clay'sfreckles." "there is hardly any personal defect,"replied anne, "which an agreeable manner might not gradually reconcile one to." "i think very differently," answeredelizabeth, shortly; "an agreeable manner
may set off handsome features, but cannever alter plain ones. however, at any rate, as i have a greatdeal more at stake on this point than anybody else can have, i think it ratherunnecessary in you to be advising me." anne had done; glad that it was over, andnot absolutely hopeless of doing good. elizabeth, though resenting the suspicion,might yet be made observant by it. the last office of the four carriage-horseswas to draw sir walter, miss elliot, and mrs clay to bath. the party drove off in very good spirits;sir walter prepared with condescending bows for all the afflicted tenantry andcottagers who might have had a hint to show
themselves, and anne walked up at the same time, in a sort of desolate tranquillity,to the lodge, where she was to spend the first week.her friend was not in better spirits than herself. lady russell felt this break-up of thefamily exceedingly. their respectability was as dear to her asher own, and a daily intercourse had become precious by habit. it was painful to look upon their desertedgrounds, and still worse to anticipate the new hands they were to fall into; and toescape the solitariness and the melancholy
of so altered a village, and be out of the way when admiral and mrs croft firstarrived, she had determined to make her own absence from home begin when she must giveup anne. accordingly their removal was madetogether, and anne was set down at uppercross cottage, in the first stage oflady russell's journey. uppercross was a moderate-sized village,which a few years back had been completely in the old english style, containing onlytwo houses superior in appearance to those of the yeomen and labourers; the mansion of the squire, with its high walls, greatgates, and old trees, substantial and
unmodernized, and the compact, tightparsonage, enclosed in its own neat garden, with a vine and a pear-tree trained round its casements; but upon the marriage of theyoung 'squire, it had received the improvement of a farm-house elevated into acottage, for his residence, and uppercross cottage, with its veranda, french windows, and other prettiness, was quite as likelyto catch the traveller's eye as the more consistent and considerable aspect andpremises of the great house, about a quarter of a mile farther on. here anne had often been staying.she knew the ways of uppercross as well as
those of kellynch. the two families were so continuallymeeting, so much in the habit of running in and out of each other's house at all hours,that it was rather a surprise to her to find mary alone; but being alone, her being unwell and out of spirits was almost amatter of course. though better endowed than the eldersister, mary had not anne's understanding nor temper. while well, and happy, and properlyattended to, she had great good humour and excellent spirits; but any indispositionsunk her completely.
she had no resources for solitude; andinheriting a considerable share of the elliot self-importance, was very prone toadd to every other distress that of fancying herself neglected and ill-used. in person, she was inferior to bothsisters, and had, even in her bloom, only reached the dignity of being "a fine girl." she was now lying on the faded sofa of thepretty little drawing-room, the once elegant furniture of which had beengradually growing shabby, under the influence of four summers and two children; and, on anne's appearing, greeted her with--
"so, you are come at last!i began to think i should never see you. i am so ill i can hardly speak. i have not seen a creature the wholemorning!" "i am sorry to find you unwell," repliedanne. "you sent me such a good account ofyourself on thursday!" "yes, i made the best of it; i always do:but i was very far from well at the time; and i do not think i ever was so ill in mylife as i have been all this morning: very unfit to be left alone, i am sure. suppose i were to be seized of a sudden insome dreadful way, and not able to ring the
bell!so, lady russell would not get out. i do not think she has been in this housethree times this summer." anne said what was proper, and enquiredafter her husband. "oh! charles is out shooting.i have not seen him since seven o'clock. he would go, though i told him how ill iwas. he said he should not stay out long; but hehas never come back, and now it is almost one.i assure you, i have not seen a soul this whole long morning."
"you have had your little boys with you?""yes, as long as i could bear their noise; but they are so unmanageable that they dome more harm than good. little charles does not mind a word i say,and walter is growing quite as bad." "well, you will soon be better now,"replied anne, cheerfully. "you know i always cure you when i come. how are your neighbours at the greathouse?" "i can give you no account of them. i have not seen one of them to-day, exceptmr musgrove, who just stopped and spoke through the window, but without getting offhis horse; and though i told him how ill i
was, not one of them have been near me. it did not happen to suit the missmusgroves, i suppose, and they never put themselves out of their way.""you will see them yet, perhaps, before the morning is gone. it is early.""i never want them, i assure you. they talk and laugh a great deal too muchfor me. oh! anne, i am so very unwell!it was quite unkind of you not to come on thursday.""my dear mary, recollect what a comfortable
account you sent me of yourself! you wrote in the cheerfullest manner, andsaid you were perfectly well, and in no hurry for me; and that being the case, youmust be aware that my wish would be to remain with lady russell to the last: and besides what i felt on her account, i havereally been so busy, have had so much to do, that i could not very conveniently haveleft kellynch sooner." "dear me! what can you possibly have todo?" "a great many things, i assure you.more than i can recollect in a moment; but i can tell you some.
i have been making a duplicate of thecatalogue of my father's books and pictures. i have been several times in the gardenwith mackenzie, trying to understand, and make him understand, which of elizabeth'splants are for lady russell. i have had all my own little concerns toarrange, books and music to divide, and all my trunks to repack, from not havingunderstood in time what was intended as to the waggons: and one thing i have had to do, mary, of a more trying nature: going toalmost every house in the parish, as a sort of take-leave.i was told that they wished it.
but all these things took up a great dealof time." "oh! well!" and after a moment's pause,"but you have never asked me one word about our dinner at the pooles yesterday." "did you go then?i have made no enquiries, because i concluded you must have been obliged togive up the party." "oh yes! i went.i was very well yesterday; nothing at all the matter with me till this morning.it would have been strange if i had not gone."
"i am very glad you were well enough, and ihope you had a pleasant party." "nothing remarkable. one always knows beforehand what the dinnerwill be, and who will be there; and it is so very uncomfortable not having a carriageof one's own. mr and mrs musgrove took me, and we were socrowded! they are both so very large, and take up somuch room; and mr musgrove always sits forward. so, there was i, crowded into the back seatwith henrietta and louise; and i think it very likely that my illness to-day may beowing to it."
a little further perseverance in patienceand forced cheerfulness on anne's side produced nearly a cure on mary's. she could soon sit upright on the sofa, andbegan to hope she might be able to leave it by dinner-time. then, forgetting to think of it, she was atthe other end of the room, beautifying a nosegay; then, she ate her cold meat; andthen she was well enough to propose a little walk. "where shall we go?" said she, when theywere ready. "i suppose you will not like to call at thegreat house before they have been to see
you?" "i have not the smallest objection on thataccount," replied anne. "i should never think of standing on suchceremony with people i know so well as mrs and the miss musgroves." "oh! but they ought to call upon you assoon as possible. they ought to feel what is due to you as mysister. however, we may as well go and sit withthem a little while, and when we have that over, we can enjoy our walk." anne had always thought such a style ofintercourse highly imprudent; but she had
ceased to endeavour to check it, frombelieving that, though there were on each side continual subjects of offence, neitherfamily could now do without it. to the great house accordingly they went,to sit the full half hour in the old- fashioned square parlour, with a smallcarpet and shining floor, to which the present daughters of the house were gradually giving the proper air ofconfusion by a grand piano-forte and a harp, flower-stands and little tablesplaced in every direction. oh! could the originals of the portraitsagainst the wainscot, could the gentlemen in brown velvet and the ladies in bluesatin have seen what was going on, have
been conscious of such an overthrow of allorder and neatness! the portraits themselves seemed to bestaring in astonishment. the musgroves, like their houses, were in astate of alteration, perhaps of improvement. the father and mother were in the oldenglish style, and the young people in the new. mr and mrs musgrove were a very good sortof people; friendly and hospitable, not much educated, and not at all elegant.their children had more modern minds and manners.
there was a numerous family; but the onlytwo grown up, excepting charles, were henrietta and louisa, young ladies ofnineteen and twenty, who had brought from school at exeter all the usual stock of accomplishments, and were now likethousands of other young ladies, living to be fashionable, happy, and merry. their dress had every advantage, theirfaces were rather pretty, their spirits extremely good, their manner unembarrassedand pleasant; they were of consequence at home, and favourites abroad. anne always contemplated them as some ofthe happiest creatures of her acquaintance;
but still, saved as we all are, by somecomfortable feeling of superiority from wishing for the possibility of exchange, she would not have given up her own moreelegant and cultivated mind for all their enjoyments; and envied them nothing butthat seemingly perfect good understanding and agreement together, that good-humoured mutual affection, of which she had known solittle herself with either of her sisters. they were received with great cordiality. nothing seemed amiss on the side of thegreat house family, which was generally, as anne very well knew, the least to blame.
the half hour was chatted away pleasantlyenough; and she was not at all surprised at the end of it, to have their walking partyjoined by both the miss musgroves, at mary's particular invitation. chapter 6 anne had not wanted this visit touppercross, to learn that a removal from one set of people to another, though at adistance of only three miles, will often include a total change of conversation,opinion, and idea. she had never been staying there before,without being struck by it, or without wishing that other elliots could have heradvantage in seeing how unknown, or
unconsidered there, were the affairs which at kellynch hall were treated as of suchgeneral publicity and pervading interest; yet, with all this experience, she believedshe must now submit to feel that another lesson, in the art of knowing our own nothingness beyond our own circle, wasbecome necessary for her; for certainly, coming as she did, with a heart full of thesubject which had been completely occupying both houses in kellynch for many weeks, she had expected rather more curiosity andsympathy than she found in the separate but very similar remark of mr and mrs musgrove:"so, miss anne, sir walter and your sister
are gone; and what part of bath do you think they will settle in?" and this,without much waiting for an answer; or in the young ladies' addition of, "i hope weshall be in bath in the winter; but remember, papa, if we do go, we must be in a good situation: none of your queensquares for us!" or in the anxious supplement from mary, of--"upon my word, ishall be pretty well off, when you are all gone away to be happy at bath!" she could only resolve to avoid such self-delusion in future, and think with heightened gratitude of the extraordinaryblessing of having one such truly
sympathising friend as lady russell. the mr musgroves had their own game toguard, and to destroy, their own horses, dogs, and newspapers to engage them, andthe females were fully occupied in all the other common subjects of housekeeping,neighbours, dress, dancing, and music. she acknowledged it to be very fitting,that every little social commonwealth should dictate its own matters ofdiscourse; and hoped, ere long, to become a not unworthy member of the one she was nowtransplanted into. with the prospect of spending at least twomonths at uppercross, it was highly incumbent on her to clothe her imagination,her memory, and all her ideas in as much of
uppercross as possible. she had no dread of these two months. mary was not so repulsive and unsisterly aselizabeth, nor so inaccessible to all influence of hers; neither was thereanything among the other component parts of the cottage inimical to comfort. she was always on friendly terms with herbrother-in-law; and in the children, who loved her nearly as well, and respected hera great deal more than their mother, she had an object of interest, amusement, andwholesome exertion. charles musgrove was civil and agreeable;in sense and temper he was undoubtedly
superior to his wife, but not of powers, orconversation, or grace, to make the past, as they were connected together, at all a dangerous contemplation; though, at thesame time, anne could believe, with lady russell, that a more equal match might havegreatly improved him; and that a woman of real understanding might have given more consequence to his character, and moreusefulness, rationality, and elegance to his habits and pursuits. as it was, he did nothing with much zeal,but sport; and his time was otherwise trifled away, without benefit from books oranything else.
he had very good spirits, which neverseemed much affected by his wife's occasional lowness, bore with herunreasonableness sometimes to anne's admiration, and upon the whole, though there was very often a little disagreement(in which she had sometimes more share than she wished, being appealed to by bothparties), they might pass for a happy couple. they were always perfectly agreed in thewant of more money, and a strong inclination for a handsome present from hisfather; but here, as on most topics, he had the superiority, for while mary thought it
a great shame that such a present was notmade, he always contended for his father's having many other uses for his money, and aright to spend it as he liked. as to the management of their children, histheory was much better than his wife's, and his practice not so bad. "i could manage them very well, if it werenot for mary's interference," was what anne often heard him say, and had a good deal offaith in; but when listening in turn to mary's reproach of "charles spoils the children so that i cannot get them into anyorder," she never had the smallest temptation to say, "very true."
one of the least agreeable circumstances ofher residence there was her being treated with too much confidence by all parties,and being too much in the secret of the complaints of each house. known to have some influence with hersister, she was continually requested, or at least receiving hints to exert it,beyond what was practicable. "i wish you could persuade mary not to bealways fancying herself ill," was charles's language; and, in an unhappy mood, thusspoke mary: "i do believe if charles were to see me dying, he would not think therewas anything the matter with me. i am sure, anne, if you would, you mightpersuade him that i really am very ill--a
great deal worse than i ever own." mary's declaration was, "i hate sending thechildren to the great house, though their grandmamma is always wanting to see them,for she humours and indulges them to such a degree, and gives them so much trash and sweet things, that they are sure to comeback sick and cross for the rest of the day."and mrs musgrove took the first opportunity of being alone with anne, to say, "oh! miss anne, i cannot help wishing mrscharles had a little of your method with those children.they are quite different creatures with
you! but to be sure, in general they are sospoilt! it is a pity you cannot put your sister inthe way of managing them. they are as fine healthy children as everwere seen, poor little dears! without partiality; but mrs charles knows no morehow they should be treated--! bless me! how troublesome they aresometimes. i assure you, miss anne, it prevents mywishing to see them at our house so often as i otherwise should. i believe mrs charles is not quite pleasedwith my not inviting them oftener; but you
know it is very bad to have children withone that one is obligated to be checking every moment; "don't do this," and "don't do that;" or that one can only keep intolerable order by more cake than is good for them."she had this communication, moreover, from mary. "mrs musgrove thinks all her servants sosteady, that it would be high treason to call it in question; but i am sure, withoutexaggeration, that her upper house-maid and laundry-maid, instead of being in their business, are gadding about the village,all day long.
i meet them wherever i go; and i declare,i never go twice into my nursery without seeing something of them. if jemima were not the trustiest, steadiestcreature in the world, it would be enough to spoil her; for she tells me, they arealways tempting her to take a walk with them." and on mrs musgrove's side, it was, "i makea rule of never interfering in any of my daughter-in-law's concerns, for i know itwould not do; but i shall tell you, miss anne, because you may be able to set things to rights, that i have no very good opinionof mrs charles's nursery-maid: i hear
strange stories of her; she is always uponthe gad; and from my own knowledge, i can declare, she is such a fine-dressing lady, that she is enough to ruin any servants shecomes near. mrs charles quite swears by her, i know;but i just give you this hint, that you may be upon the watch; because, if you seeanything amiss, you need not be afraid of mentioning it." again, it was mary's complaint, that mrsmusgrove was very apt not to give her the precedence that was her due, when theydined at the great house with other families; and she did not see any reason
why she was to be considered so much athome as to lose her place. and one day when anne was walking with onlythe musgroves, one of them after talking of rank, people of rank, and jealousy of rank,said, "i have no scruple of observing to you, how nonsensical some persons are about their place, because all the world knowshow easy and indifferent you are about it; but i wish anybody could give mary a hintthat it would be a great deal better if she were not so very tenacious, especially if she would not be always putting herselfforward to take place of mamma. nobody doubts her right to have precedenceof mamma, but it would be more becoming in
her not to be always insisting on it. it is not that mamma cares about it theleast in the world, but i know it is taken notice of by many persons."how was anne to set all these matters to rights? she could do little more than listenpatiently, soften every grievance, and excuse each to the other; give them allhints of the forbearance necessary between such near neighbours, and make those hints broadest which were meant for her sister'sbenefit. in all other respects, her visit began andproceeded very well.
her own spirits improved by change of placeand subject, by being removed three miles from kellynch; mary's ailments lessened byhaving a constant companion, and their daily intercourse with the other family, since there was neither superior affection,confidence, nor employment in the cottage, to be interrupted by it, was rather anadvantage. it was certainly carried nearly as far aspossible, for they met every morning, and hardly ever spent an evening asunder; butshe believed they should not have done so well without the sight of mr and mrs musgrove's respectable forms in the usualplaces, or without the talking, laughing,
and singing of their daughters. she played a great deal better than eitherof the miss musgroves, but having no voice, no knowledge of the harp, and no fondparents, to sit by and fancy themselves delighted, her performance was little thought of, only out of civility, or torefresh the others, as she was well aware. she knew that when she played she wasgiving pleasure only to herself; but this was no new sensation. excepting one short period of her life, shehad never, since the age of fourteen, never since the loss of her dear mother, knownthe happiness of being listened to, or
encouraged by any just appreciation or realtaste. in music she had been always used to feelalone in the world; and mr and mrs musgrove's fond partiality for their owndaughters' performance, and total indifference to any other person's, gave her much more pleasure for their sakes,than mortification for her own. the party at the great house was sometimesincreased by other company. the neighbourhood was not large, but themusgroves were visited by everybody, and had more dinner-parties, and more callers,more visitors by invitation and by chance, than any other family.
there were more completely popular.the girls were wild for dancing; and the evenings ended, occasionally, in anunpremeditated little ball. there was a family of cousins within a walkof uppercross, in less affluent circumstances, who depended on themusgroves for all their pleasures: they would come at any time, and help play at anything, or dance anywhere; and anne, verymuch preferring the office of musician to a more active post, played country dances tothem by the hour together; a kindness which always recommended her musical powers to the notice of mr and mrs musgrove more thananything else, and often drew this
compliment;--"well done, miss anne! verywell done indeed! lord bless me! how those little fingers ofyours fly about!" so passed the first three weeks.michaelmas came; and now anne's heart must be in kellynch again. a beloved home made over to others; all theprecious rooms and furniture, groves, and prospects, beginning to own other eyes andother limbs! she could not think of much else on the29th of september; and she had this sympathetic touch in the evening from mary,who, on having occasion to note down the day of the month, exclaimed, "dear me, is
not this the day the crofts were to come tokellynch? i am glad i did not think of it before.how low it makes me!" the crofts took possession with true navalalertness, and were to be visited. mary deplored the necessity for herself."nobody knew how much she should suffer. she should put it off as long as shecould;" but was not easy till she had talked charles into driving her over on anearly day, and was in a very animated, comfortable state of imaginary agitation,when she came back. anne had very sincerely rejoiced in therebeing no means of her going. she wished, however to see the crofts, andwas glad to be within when the visit was
returned. they came: the master of the house was notat home, but the two sisters were together; and as it chanced that mrs croft fell tothe share of anne, while the admiral sat by mary, and made himself very agreeable by his good-humoured notice of her littleboys, she was well able to watch for a likeness, and if it failed her in thefeatures, to catch it in the voice, or in the turn of sentiment and expression. mrs croft, though neither tall nor fat, hada squareness, uprightness, and vigour of form, which gave importance to her person.
she had bright dark eyes, good teeth, andaltogether an agreeable face; though her reddened and weather-beaten complexion, theconsequence of her having been almost as much at sea as her husband, made her seem to have lived some years longer in theworld than her real eight-and-thirty. her manners were open, easy, and decided,like one who had no distrust of herself, and no doubts of what to do; without anyapproach to coarseness, however, or any want of good humour. anne gave her credit, indeed, for feelingsof great consideration towards herself, in all that related to kellynch, and itpleased her: especially, as she had
satisfied herself in the very first half minute, in the instant even ofintroduction, that there was not the smallest symptom of any knowledge orsuspicion on mrs croft's side, to give a bias of any sort. she was quite easy on that head, andconsequently full of strength and courage, till for a moment electrified by mrscroft's suddenly saying,-- "it was you, and not your sister, i find,that my brother had the pleasure of being acquainted with, when he was in thiscountry." anne hoped she had outlived the age ofblushing; but the age of emotion she
certainly had not."perhaps you may not have heard that he is married?" added mrs croft. she could now answer as she ought; and washappy to feel, when mrs croft's next words explained it to be mr wentworth of whom shespoke, that she had said nothing which might not do for either brother. she immediately felt how reasonable it was,that mrs croft should be thinking and speaking of edward, and not of frederick;and with shame at her own forgetfulness applied herself to the knowledge of their former neighbour's present state withproper interest.
the rest was all tranquillity; till, justas they were moving, she heard the admiral say to mary-- "we are expecting a brother of mrs croft'shere soon; i dare say you know him by name." he was cut short by the eager attacks ofthe little boys, clinging to him like an old friend, and declaring he should not go;and being too much engrossed by proposals of carrying them away in his coat pockets, &c., to have another moment for finishingor recollecting what he had begun, anne was left to persuade herself, as well as shecould, that the same brother must still be
in question. she could not, however, reach such a degreeof certainty, as not to be anxious to hear whether anything had been said on thesubject at the other house, where the crofts had previously been calling. the folks of the great house were to spendthe evening of this day at the cottage; and it being now too late in the year for suchvisits to be made on foot, the coach was beginning to be listened for, when theyoungest miss musgrove walked in. that she was coming to apologize, and thatthey should have to spend the evening by themselves, was the first black idea; andmary was quite ready to be affronted, when
louisa made all right by saying, that she only came on foot, to leave more room forthe harp, which was bringing in the carriage."and i will tell you our reason," she added, "and all about it. i am come on to give you notice, that papaand mamma are out of spirits this evening, especially mamma; she is thinking so muchof poor richard! and we agreed it would be best to have theharp, for it seems to amuse her more than the piano-forte.i will tell you why she is out of spirits. when the crofts called this morning, (theycalled here afterwards, did not they?),
they happened to say, that her brother,captain wentworth, is just returned to england, or paid off, or something, and is coming to see them almost directly; andmost unluckily it came into mamma's head, when they were gone, that wentworth, orsomething very like it, was the name of poor richard's captain at one time; i do not know when or where, but a great whilebefore he died, poor fellow! and upon looking over his letters andthings, she found it was so, and is perfectly sure that this must be the veryman, and her head is quite full of it, and of poor richard!
so we must be as merry as we can, that shemay not be dwelling upon such gloomy things." the real circumstances of this patheticpiece of family history were, that the musgroves had had the ill fortune of a verytroublesome, hopeless son; and the good fortune to lose him before he reached his twentieth year; that he had been sent tosea because he was stupid and unmanageable on shore; that he had been very littlecared for at any time by his family, though quite as much as he deserved; seldom heard of, and scarcely at all regretted, when theintelligence of his death abroad had worked
its way to uppercross, two years before. he had, in fact, though his sisters werenow doing all they could for him, by calling him "poor richard," been nothingbetter than a thick-headed, unfeeling, unprofitable dick musgrove, who had never done anything to entitle himself to morethan the abbreviation of his name, living or dead. he had been several years at sea, and had,in the course of those removals to which all midshipmen are liable, and especiallysuch midshipmen as every captain wishes to get rid of, been six months on board
captain frederick wentworth's frigate, thelaconia; and from the laconia he had, under the influence of his captain, written theonly two letters which his father and mother had ever received from him during the whole of his absence; that is to say,the only two disinterested letters; all the rest had been mere applications for money. in each letter he had spoken well of hiscaptain; but yet, so little were they in the habit of attending to such matters, sounobservant and incurious were they as to the names of men or ships, that it had made scarcely any impression at the time; andthat mrs musgrove should have been suddenly
struck, this very day, with a recollectionof the name of wentworth, as connected with her son, seemed one of those extraordinarybursts of mind which do sometimes occur. she had gone to her letters, and found itall as she supposed; and the re-perusal of these letters, after so long an interval,her poor son gone for ever, and all the strength of his faults forgotten, had affected her spirits exceedingly, andthrown her into greater grief for him than she had known on first hearing of hisdeath. mr musgrove was, in a lesser degree,affected likewise; and when they reached the cottage, they were evidently in want,first, of being listened to anew on this
subject, and afterwards, of all the reliefwhich cheerful companions could give them. to hear them talking so much of captainwentworth, repeating his name so often, puzzling over past years, and at lastascertaining that it might, that it probably would, turn out to be the very same captain wentworth whom theyrecollected meeting, once or twice, after their coming back from clifton--a very fineyoung man--but they could not say whether it was seven or eight years ago, was a newsort of trial to anne's nerves. she found, however, that it was one towhich she must inure herself. since he actually was expected in thecountry, she must teach herself to be
insensible on such points. and not only did it appear that he wasexpected, and speedily, but the musgroves, in their warm gratitude for the kindness hehad shewn poor dick, and very high respect for his character, stamped as it was by poor dick's having been six months underhis care, and mentioning him in strong, though not perfectly well-spelt praise, as"a fine dashing felow, only two perticular about the schoolmaster," were bent on introducing themselves, and seeking hisacquaintance, as soon as they could hear of his arrival.the resolution of doing so helped to form
the comfort of their evening. chapter 7 a very few days more, and captain wentworthwas known to be at kellynch, and mr musgrove had called on him, and come backwarm in his praise, and he was engaged with the crofts to dine at uppercross, by theend of another week. it had been a great disappointment to mrmusgrove to find that no earlier day could be fixed, so impatient was he to shew hisgratitude, by seeing captain wentworth under his own roof, and welcoming him to all that was strongest and best in hiscellars.
but a week must pass; only a week, inanne's reckoning, and then, she supposed, they must meet; and soon she began to wishthat she could feel secure even for a week. captain wentworth made a very early returnto mr musgrove's civility, and she was all but calling there in the same half hour. she and mary were actually setting forwardfor the great house, where, as she afterwards learnt, they must inevitablyhave found him, when they were stopped by the eldest boy's being at that momentbrought home in consequence of a bad fall. the child's situation put the visitentirely aside; but she could not hear of her escape with indifference, even in themidst of the serious anxiety which they
afterwards felt on his account. his collar-bone was found to be dislocated,and such injury received in the back, as roused the most alarming ideas. it was an afternoon of distress, and annehad every thing to do at once; the apothecary to send for, the father to havepursued and informed, the mother to support and keep from hysterics, the servants to control, the youngest child to banish, andthe poor suffering one to attend and soothe; besides sending, as soon as sherecollected it, proper notice to the other house, which brought her an accession
rather of frightened, enquiring companions,than of very useful assistants. her brother's return was the first comfort;he could take best care of his wife; and the second blessing was the arrival of theapothecary. till he came and had examined the child,their apprehensions were the worse for being vague; they suspected great injury,but knew not where; but now the collar-bone was soon replaced, and though mr robinson felt and felt, and rubbed, and lookedgrave, and spoke low words both to the father and the aunt, still they were all tohope the best, and to be able to part and eat their dinner in tolerable ease of mind;
and then it was, just before they parted,that the two young aunts were able so far to digress from their nephew's state, as togive the information of captain wentworth's visit; staying five minutes behind their father and mother, to endeavour to expresshow perfectly delighted they were with him, how much handsomer, how infinitely moreagreeable they thought him than any individual among their male acquaintance,who had been at all a favourite before. how glad they had been to hear papa invitehim to stay dinner, how sorry when he said it was quite out of his power, and how gladagain when he had promised in reply to papa and mamma's farther pressing invitations to
come and dine with them on the morrow--actually on the morrow; and he had promised it in so pleasant a manner, as if he feltall the motive of their attention just as he ought. and in short, he had looked and saideverything with such exquisite grace, that they could assure them all, their headswere both turned by him; and off they ran, quite as full of glee as of love, and apparently more full of captain wentworththan of little charles. the same story and the same raptures wererepeated, when the two girls came with their father, through the gloom of theevening, to make enquiries; and mr
musgrove, no longer under the first uneasiness about his heir, could add hisconfirmation and praise, and hope there would be now no occasion for puttingcaptain wentworth off, and only be sorry to think that the cottage party, probably, would not like to leave the little boy, togive him the meeting. "oh no; as to leaving the little boy," bothfather and mother were in much too strong and recent alarm to bear the thought; andanne, in the joy of the escape, could not help adding her warm protestations totheirs. charles musgrove, indeed, afterwards,shewed more of inclination; "the child was
going on so well, and he wished so much tobe introduced to captain wentworth, that, perhaps, he might join them in the evening; he would not dine from home, but he mightwalk in for half an hour." but in this he was eagerly opposed by hiswife, with "oh! no, indeed, charles, i cannot bear to have you go away. only think if anything should happen?"the child had a good night, and was going on well the next day. it must be a work of time to ascertain thatno injury had been done to the spine; but mr robinson found nothing to increasealarm, and charles musgrove began,
consequently, to feel no necessity forlonger confinement. the child was to be kept in bed and amusedas quietly as possible; but what was there for a father to do? this was quite a female case, and it wouldbe highly absurd in him, who could be of no use at home, to shut himself up. his father very much wished him to meetcaptain wentworth, and there being no sufficient reason against it, he ought togo; and it ended in his making a bold, public declaration, when he came in from shooting, of his meaning to dress directly,and dine at the other house.
"nothing can be going on better than thechild," said he; "so i told my father, just now, that i would come, and he thought mequite right. your sister being with you, my love, i haveno scruple at all. you would not like to leave him yourself,but you see i can be of no use. anne will send for me if anything is thematter." husbands and wives generally understandwhen opposition will be vain. mary knew, from charles's manner ofspeaking, that he was quite determined on going, and that it would be of no use toteaze him. she said nothing, therefore, till he wasout of the room, but as soon as there was
only anne to hear-- "so you and i are to be left to shift byourselves, with this poor sick child; and not a creature coming near us all theevening! i knew how it would be. this is always my luck.if there is anything disagreeable going on men are always sure to get out of it, andcharles is as bad as any of them. very unfeeling! i must say it is very unfeeling of him tobe running away from his poor little boy. talks of his being going on so well!
how does he know that he is going on well,or that there may not be a sudden change half an hour hence?i did not think charles would have been so unfeeling. so here he is to go away and enjoy himself,and because i am the poor mother, i am not to be allowed to stir; and yet, i am sure,i am more unfit than anybody else to be about the child. my being the mother is the very reason whymy feelings should not be tried. i am not at all equal to it.you saw how hysterical i was yesterday." "but that was only the effect of thesuddenness of your alarm--of the shock.
you will not be hysterical again.i dare say we shall have nothing to distress us. i perfectly understand mr robinson'sdirections, and have no fears; and indeed, mary, i cannot wonder at your husband.nursing does not belong to a man; it is not his province. a sick child is always the mother'sproperty: her own feelings generally make it so." "i hope i am as fond of my child as anymother, but i do not know that i am of any more use in the sick-room than charles, fori cannot be always scolding and teazing the
poor child when it is ill; and you saw, this morning, that if i told him to keepquiet, he was sure to begin kicking about. i have not nerves for the sort of thing." "but, could you be comfortable yourself, tobe spending the whole evening away from the poor boy?""yes; you see his papa can, and why should not i? jemima is so careful; and she could send usword every hour how he was. i really think charles might as well havetold his father we would all come. i am not more alarmed about little charlesnow than he is.
i was dreadfully alarmed yesterday, but thecase is very different to-day." "well, if you do not think it too late togive notice for yourself, suppose you were to go, as well as your husband.leave little charles to my care. mr and mrs musgrove cannot think it wrongwhile i remain with him." "are you serious?" cried mary, her eyesbrightening. "dear me! that's a very good thought, verygood, indeed. to be sure, i may just as well go as not,for i am of no use at home--am i? and it only harasses me. you, who have not a mother's feelings, area great deal the properest person.
you can make little charles do anything; healways minds you at a word. it will be a great deal better than leavinghim only with jemima. i shall certainly go; i am sure i ought ifi can, quite as much as charles, for they want me excessively to be acquainted withcaptain wentworth, and i know you do not mind being left alone. an excellent thought of yours, indeed,anne. i will go and tell charles, and get readydirectly. you can send for us, you know, at amoment's notice, if anything is the matter; but i dare say there will be nothing toalarm you.
i should not go, you may be sure, if i didnot feel quite at ease about my dear child." the next moment she was tapping at herhusband's dressing-room door, and as anne followed her up stairs, she was in time forthe whole conversation, which began with mary's saying, in a tone of greatexultation-- "i mean to go with you, charles, for i amof no more use at home than you are. if i were to shut myself up for ever withthe child, i should not be able to persuade him to do anything he did not like.anne will stay; anne undertakes to stay at home and take care of him.
it is anne's own proposal, and so i shallgo with you, which will be a great deal better, for i have not dined at the otherhouse since tuesday." "this is very kind of anne," was herhusband's answer, "and i should be very glad to have you go; but it seems ratherhard that she should be left at home by herself, to nurse our sick child." anne was now at hand to take up her owncause, and the sincerity of her manner being soon sufficient to convince him,where conviction was at least very agreeable, he had no farther scruples as to her being left to dine alone, though hestill wanted her to join them in the
evening, when the child might be at restfor the night, and kindly urged her to let him come and fetch her, but she was quite unpersuadable; and this being the case, shehad ere long the pleasure of seeing them set off together in high spirits. they were gone, she hoped, to be happy,however oddly constructed such happiness might seem; as for herself, she was leftwith as many sensations of comfort, as were, perhaps, ever likely to be hers. she knew herself to be of the first utilityto the child; and what was it to her if frederick wentworth were only half a miledistant, making himself agreeable to
others? she would have liked to know how he felt asto a meeting. perhaps indifferent, if indifference couldexist under such circumstances. he must be either indifferent or unwilling. had he wished ever to see her again, heneed not have waited till this time; he would have done what she could not butbelieve that in his place she should have done long ago, when events had been early giving him the independence which alone hadbeen wanting. her brother and sister came back delightedwith their new acquaintance, and their
visit in general. there had been music, singing, talking,laughing, all that was most agreeable; charming manners in captain wentworth, noshyness or reserve; they seemed all to know each other perfectly, and he was coming thevery next morning to shoot with charles. he was to come to breakfast, but not at thecottage, though that had been proposed at first; but then he had been pressed to cometo the great house instead, and he seemed afraid of being in mrs charles musgrove's way, on account of the child, andtherefore, somehow, they hardly knew how, it ended in charles's being to meet him tobreakfast at his father's.
anne understood it. he wished to avoid seeing her. he had inquired after her, she found,slightly, as might suit a former slight acquaintance, seeming to acknowledge suchas she had acknowledged, actuated, perhaps, by the same view of escaping introductionwhen they were to meet. the morning hours of the cottage werealways later than those of the other house, and on the morrow the difference was sogreat that mary and anne were not more than beginning breakfast when charles came in to say that they were just setting off, thathe was come for his dogs, that his sisters
were following with captain wentworth; hissisters meaning to visit mary and the child, and captain wentworth proposing also to wait on her for a few minutes if notinconvenient; and though charles had answered for the child's being in no suchstate as could make it inconvenient, captain wentworth would not be satisfiedwithout his running on to give notice. mary, very much gratified by thisattention, was delighted to receive him, while a thousand feelings rushed on anne,of which this was the most consoling, that it would soon be over. and it was soon over.in two minutes after charles's preparation,
the others appeared; they were in thedrawing-room. her eye half met captain wentworth's, abow, a curtsey passed; she heard his voice; he talked to mary, said all that was right,said something to the miss musgroves, enough to mark an easy footing; the room seemed full, full of persons and voices,but a few minutes ended it. charles shewed himself at the window, allwas ready, their visitor had bowed and was gone, the miss musgroves were gone too,suddenly resolving to walk to the end of the village with the sportsmen: the room was cleared, and anne might finish herbreakfast as she could.
"it is over! it is over!" she repeated toherself again and again, in nervous gratitude. "the worst is over!"mary talked, but she could not attend. she had seen him.they had met. they had been once more in the same room. soon, however, she began to reason withherself, and try to be feeling less. eight years, almost eight years had passed,since all had been given up. how absurd to be resuming the agitationwhich such an interval had banished into distance and indistinctness!what might not eight years do?
events of every description, changes,alienations, removals--all, all must be comprised in it, and oblivion of the past--how natural, how certain too! it included nearly a third part of her ownlife. alas! with all her reasoning, she found,that to retentive feelings eight years may be little more than nothing. now, how were his sentiments to be read?was this like wishing to avoid her? and the next moment she was hating herselffor the folly which asked the question. on one other question which perhaps herutmost wisdom might not have prevented, she was soon spared all suspense; for, afterthe miss musgroves had returned and
finished their visit at the cottage she hadthis spontaneous information from mary:-- "captain wentworth is not very gallant byyou, anne, though he was so attentive to me. henrietta asked him what he thought of you,when they went away, and he said, 'you were so altered he should not have known youagain.'" mary had no feelings to make her respecther sister's in a common way, but she was perfectly unsuspicious of being inflictingany peculiar wound. "altered beyond his knowledge." anne fully submitted, in silent, deepmortification.
doubtless it was so, and she could take norevenge, for he was not altered, or not for the worse. she had already acknowledged it to herself,and she could not think differently, let him think of her as he would. no: the years which had destroyed heryouth and bloom had only given him a more glowing, manly, open look, in no respectlessening his personal advantages. she had seen the same frederick wentworth. "so altered that he should not have knownher again!" these were words which could not but dwellwith her.
yet she soon began to rejoice that she hadheard them. they were of sobering tendency; theyallayed agitation; they composed, and consequently must make her happier. frederick wentworth had used such words, orsomething like them, but without an idea that they would be carried round to her. he had thought her wretchedly altered, andin the first moment of appeal, had spoken as he felt.he had not forgiven anne elliot. she had used him ill, deserted anddisappointed him; and worse, she had shewn a feebleness of character in doing so,which his own decided, confident temper
could not endure. she had given him up to oblige others.it had been the effect of over-persuasion. it had been weakness and timidity. he had been most warmly attached to her,and had never seen a woman since whom he thought her equal; but, except from somenatural sensation of curiosity, he had no desire of meeting her again. her power with him was gone for ever.it was now his object to marry. he was rich, and being turned on shore,fully intended to settle as soon as he could be properly tempted; actually lookinground, ready to fall in love with all the
speed which a clear head and a quick tastecould allow. he had a heart for either of the missmusgroves, if they could catch it; a heart, in short, for any pleasing young woman whocame in his way, excepting anne elliot. this was his only secret exception, when hesaid to his sister, in answer to her suppositions:--"yes, here i am, sophia, quite ready to make a foolish match. anybody between fifteen and thirty may haveme for asking. a little beauty, and a few smiles, and afew compliments to the navy, and i am a lost man.
should not this be enough for a sailor, whohas had no society among women to make him nice?"he said it, she knew, to be contradicted. his bright proud eye spoke the convictionthat he was nice; and anne elliot was not out of his thoughts, when he more seriouslydescribed the woman he should wish to meet with. "a strong mind, with sweetness of manner,"made the first and the last of the description."that is the woman i want," said he. "something a little inferior i shall ofcourse put up with, but it must not be much.
if i am a fool, i shall be a fool indeed,for i have thought on the subject more than most men." chapter 8 from this time captain wentworth and anneelliot were repeatedly in the same circle. they were soon dining in company togetherat mr musgrove's, for the little boy's state could no longer supply his aunt witha pretence for absenting herself; and this was but the beginning of other dinings andother meetings. whether former feelings were to be renewedmust be brought to the proof; former times must undoubtedly be brought to therecollection of each; they could not but be
reverted to; the year of their engagement could not but be named by him, in thelittle narratives or descriptions which conversation called forth. his profession qualified him, hisdisposition lead him, to talk; and "that was in the year six;" "that happened beforei went to sea in the year six," occurred in the course of the first evening they spent together: and though his voice did notfalter, and though she had no reason to suppose his eye wandering towards her whilehe spoke, anne felt the utter impossibility, from her knowledge of his
mind, that he could be unvisited byremembrance any more than herself. there must be the same immediateassociation of thought, though she was very far from conceiving it to be of equal pain. they had no conversation together, nointercourse but what the commonest civility required.once so much to each other! now nothing! there had been a time, when of all thelarge party now filling the drawing-room at uppercross, they would have found it mostdifficult to cease to speak to one another. with the exception, perhaps, of admiral andmrs croft, who seemed particularly attached
and happy, (anne could allow no otherexceptions even among the married couples), there could have been no two hearts so open, no tastes so similar, no feelings soin unison, no countenances so beloved. now they were as strangers; nay, worse thanstrangers, for they could never become acquainted. it was a perpetual estrangement.when he talked, she heard the same voice, and discerned the same mind. there was a very general ignorance of allnaval matters throughout the party; and he was very much questioned, and especially bythe two miss musgroves, who seemed hardly
to have any eyes but for him, as to the manner of living on board, dailyregulations, food, hours, &c., and their surprise at his accounts, at learning thedegree of accommodation and arrangement which was practicable, drew from him some pleasant ridicule, which reminded anne ofthe early days when she too had been ignorant, and she too had been accused ofsupposing sailors to be living on board without anything to eat, or any cook to dress it if there were, or any servant towait, or any knife and fork to use. from thus listening and thinking, she wasroused by a whisper of mrs musgrove's who,
overcome by fond regrets, could not helpsaying-- "ah! miss anne, if it had pleased heaven tospare my poor son, i dare say he would have been just such another by this time." anne suppressed a smile, and listenedkindly, while mrs musgrove relieved her heart a little more; and for a few minutes,therefore, could not keep pace with the conversation of the others. when she could let her attention take itsnatural course again, she found the miss musgroves just fetching the navy list(their own navy list, the first that had
ever been at uppercross), and sitting down together to pore over it, with theprofessed view of finding out the ships that captain wentworth had commanded."your first was the asp, i remember; we will look for the asp." "you will not find her there.quite worn out and broken up. i was the last man who commanded her.hardly fit for service then. reported fit for home service for a year ortwo, and so i was sent off to the west indies."the girls looked all amazement. "the admiralty," he continued, "entertainthemselves now and then, with sending a few
hundred men to sea, in a ship not fit to beemployed. but they have a great many to provide for;and among the thousands that may just as well go to the bottom as not, it isimpossible for them to distinguish the very set who may be least missed." "phoo! phoo!" cried the admiral, "whatstuff these young fellows talk! never was a better sloop than the asp inher day. for an old built sloop, you would not seeher equal. lucky fellow to get her! he knows there must have been twenty bettermen than himself applying for her at the
same time.lucky fellow to get anything so soon, with no more interest than his." "i felt my luck, admiral, i assure you;"replied captain wentworth, seriously. "i was as well satisfied with myappointment as you can desire. it was a great object with me at that timeto be at sea; a very great object, i wanted to be doing something.""to be sure you did. what should a young fellow like you doashore for half a year together? if a man had not a wife, he soon wants tobe afloat again." "but, captain wentworth," cried louisa,"how vexed you must have been when you came
to the asp, to see what an old thing theyhad given you." "i knew pretty well what she was beforethat day;" said he, smiling. "i had no more discoveries to make than youwould have as to the fashion and strength of any old pelisse, which you had seen lentabout among half your acquaintance ever since you could remember, and which at last, on some very wet day, is lent toyourself. ah! she was a dear old asp to me.she did all that i wanted. i knew she would. i knew that we should either go to thebottom together, or that she would be the
making of me; and i never had two days offoul weather all the time i was at sea in her; and after taking privateers enough to be very entertaining, i had the good luckin my passage home the next autumn, to fall in with the very french frigate i wanted.i brought her into plymouth; and here another instance of luck. we had not been six hours in the sound,when a gale came on, which lasted four days and nights, and which would have done forpoor old asp in half the time; our touch with the great nation not having muchimproved our condition. four-and-twenty hours later, and i shouldonly have been a gallant captain wentworth,
in a small paragraph at one corner of thenewspapers; and being lost in only a sloop, nobody would have thought about me." anne's shudderings were to herself alone;but the miss musgroves could be as open as they were sincere, in their exclamations ofpity and horror. "and so then, i suppose," said mrsmusgrove, in a low voice, as if thinking aloud, "so then he went away to thelaconia, and there he met with our poor boy. charles, my dear," (beckoning him to her),"do ask captain wentworth where it was he first met with your poor brother.i always forgot."
"it was at gibraltar, mother, i know. dick had been left ill at gibraltar, with arecommendation from his former captain to captain wentworth." "oh! but, charles, tell captain wentworth,he need not be afraid of mentioning poor dick before me, for it would be rather apleasure to hear him talked of by such a good friend." charles, being somewhat more mindful of theprobabilities of the case, only nodded in reply, and walked away. the girls were now hunting for the laconia;and captain wentworth could not deny
himself the pleasure of taking the preciousvolume into his own hands to save them the trouble, and once more read aloud the little statement of her name and rate, andpresent non-commissioned class, observing over it that she too had been one of thebest friends man ever had. "ah! those were pleasant days when i hadthe laconia! how fast i made money in her.a friend of mine and i had such a lovely cruise together off the western islands. poor harville, sister!you know how much he wanted money: worse than myself.he had a wife.
excellent fellow. i shall never forget his happiness.he felt it all, so much for her sake. i wished for him again the next summer,when i had still the same luck in the mediterranean." "and i am sure, sir," said mrs musgrove,"it was a lucky day for us, when you were put captain into that ship.we shall never forget what you did." her feelings made her speak low; andcaptain wentworth, hearing only in part, and probably not having dick musgrove atall near his thoughts, looked rather in suspense, and as if waiting for more.
"my brother," whispered one of the girls;"mamma is thinking of poor richard." "poor dear fellow!" continued mrs musgrove;"he was grown so steady, and such an excellent correspondent, while he was underyour care! ah! it would have been a happy thing, if hehad never left you. i assure you, captain wentworth, we arevery sorry he ever left you." there was a momentary expression in captainwentworth's face at this speech, a certain glance of his bright eye, and curl of hishandsome mouth, which convinced anne, that instead of sharing in mrs musgrove's kind wishes, as to her son, he had probably beenat some pains to get rid of him; but it was
too transient an indulgence of self-amusement to be detected by any who understood him less than herself; in another moment he was perfectly collectedand serious, and almost instantly afterwards coming up to the sofa, on whichshe and mrs musgrove were sitting, took a place by the latter, and entered into conversation with her, in a low voice,about her son, doing it with so much sympathy and natural grace, as shewed thekindest consideration for all that was real and unabsurd in the parent's feelings. they were actually on the same sofa, formrs musgrove had most readily made room for
him; they were divided only by mrsmusgrove. it was no insignificant barrier, indeed. mrs musgrove was of a comfortable,substantial size, infinitely more fitted by nature to express good cheer and goodhumour, than tenderness and sentiment; and while the agitations of anne's slender form, and pensive face, may be consideredas very completely screened, captain wentworth should be allowed some credit forthe self-command with which he attended to her large fat sighings over the destiny ofa son, whom alive nobody had cared for. personal size and mental sorrow havecertainly no necessary proportions.
a large bulky figure has as good a right tobe in deep affliction, as the most graceful set of limbs in the world. but, fair or not fair, there are unbecomingconjunctions, which reason will patronize in vain--which taste cannot tolerate--whichridicule will seize. the admiral, after taking two or threerefreshing turns about the room with his hands behind him, being called to order byhis wife, now came up to captain wentworth, and without any observation of what he might be interrupting, thinking only of hisown thoughts, began with-- "if you had been a week later at lisbon,last spring, frederick, you would have been
asked to give a passage to lady marygrierson and her daughters." "should i? i am glad i was not a week later then."the admiral abused him for his want of gallantry. he defended himself; though professing thathe would never willingly admit any ladies on board a ship of his, excepting for aball, or a visit, which a few hours might comprehend. "but, if i know myself," said he, "this isfrom no want of gallantry towards them. it is rather from feeling how impossible itis, with all one's efforts, and all one's
sacrifices, to make the accommodations onboard such as women ought to have. there can be no want of gallantry, admiral,in rating the claims of women to every personal comfort high, and this is what ido. i hate to hear of women on board, or to seethem on board; and no ship under my command shall ever convey a family of ladiesanywhere, if i can help it." this brought his sister upon him. "oh!frederick! but i cannot believe it of you.--all idlerefinement!--women may be as comfortable on board, as in the best house in england.
i believe i have lived as much on board asmost women, and i know nothing superior to the accommodations of a man-of-war. i declare i have not a comfort or anindulgence about me, even at kellynch hall," (with a kind bow to anne), "beyondwhat i always had in most of the ships i have lived in; and they have been fivealtogether." "nothing to the purpose," replied herbrother. "you were living with your husband, andwere the only woman on board." "but you, yourself, brought mrs harville,her sister, her cousin, and three children, round from portsmouth to plymouth.
where was this superfine, extraordinarysort of gallantry of yours then?" "all merged in my friendship, sophia. i would assist any brother officer's wifethat i could, and i would bring anything of harville's from the world's end, if hewanted it. but do not imagine that i did not feel itan evil in itself." "depend upon it, they were all perfectlycomfortable." "i might not like them the better for thatperhaps. such a number of women and children have noright to be comfortable on board." "my dear frederick, you are talking quiteidly.
pray, what would become of us poor sailors'wives, who often want to be conveyed to one port or another, after our husbands, ifeverybody had your feelings?" "my feelings, you see, did not prevent mytaking mrs harville and all her family to plymouth." "but i hate to hear you talking so like afine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures.we none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days." "ah! my dear," said the admiral, "when hehad got a wife, he will sing a different tune.
when he is married, if we have the goodluck to live to another war, we shall see him do as you and i, and a great manyothers, have done. we shall have him very thankful to anybodythat will bring him his wife." "ay, that we shall.""now i have done," cried captain wentworth. "when once married people begin to attackme with,--'oh! you will think very differently, when you are married.' i can only say, 'no, i shall not;' and thenthey say again, 'yes, you will,' and there is an end of it."he got up and moved away. "what a great traveller you must have been,ma'am!" said mrs musgrove to mrs croft.
"pretty well, ma'am in the fifteen years ofmy marriage; though many women have done more. i have crossed the atlantic four times, andhave been once to the east indies, and back again, and only once; besides being indifferent places about home: cork, and lisbon, and gibraltar. but i never went beyond the streights, andnever was in the west indies. we do not call bermuda or bahama, you know,the west indies." mrs musgrove had not a word to say indissent; she could not accuse herself of having ever called them anything in thewhole course of her life.
"and i do assure you, ma'am," pursued mrscroft, "that nothing can exceed the accommodations of a man-of-war; i speak,you know, of the higher rates. when you come to a frigate, of course, youare more confined; though any reasonable woman may be perfectly happy in one ofthem; and i can safely say, that the happiest part of my life has been spent onboard a ship. while we were together, you know, there wasnothing to be feared. thank god! i have always been blessed with excellenthealth, and no climate disagrees with me. a little disordered always the firsttwenty-four hours of going to sea, but
never knew what sickness was afterwards. the only time i ever really suffered inbody or mind, the only time that i ever fancied myself unwell, or had any ideas ofdanger, was the winter that i passed by myself at deal, when the admiral (captaincroft then) was in the north seas. i lived in perpetual fright at that time,and had all manner of imaginary complaints from not knowing what to do with myself, orwhen i should hear from him next; but as long as we could be together, nothing ever ailed me, and i never met with the smallestinconvenience." "aye, to be sure.yes, indeed, oh yes!
i am quite of your opinion, mrs croft," wasmrs musgrove's hearty answer. "there is nothing so bad as a separation.i am quite of your opinion. i know what it is, for mr musgrove alwaysattends the assizes, and i am so glad when they are over, and he is safe back again."the evening ended with dancing. on its being proposed, anne offered herservices, as usual; and though her eyes would sometimes fill with tears as she satat the instrument, she was extremely glad to be employed, and desired nothing inreturn but to be unobserved. it was a merry, joyous party, and no oneseemed in higher spirits than captain wentworth.
she felt that he had every thing to elevatehim which general attention and deference, and especially the attention of all theyoung women, could do. the miss hayters, the females of the familyof cousins already mentioned, were apparently admitted to the honour of beingin love with him; and as for henrietta and louisa, they both seemed so entirely occupied by him, that nothing but thecontinued appearance of the most perfect good-will between themselves could havemade it credible that they were not decided rivals. if he were a little spoilt by suchuniversal, such eager admiration, who could
wonder? these were some of the thoughts whichoccupied anne, while her fingers were mechanically at work, proceeding for halfan hour together, equally without error, and without consciousness. once she felt that he was looking atherself, observing her altered features, perhaps, trying to trace in them the ruinsof the face which had once charmed him; and once she knew that he must have spoken of her; she was hardly aware of it, till sheheard the answer; but then she was sure of his having asked his partner whether misselliot never danced?
the answer was, "oh, no; never; she hasquite given up dancing. she had rather play.she is never tired of playing." once, too, he spoke to her. she had left the instrument on the dancingbeing over, and he had sat down to try to make out an air which he wished to give themiss musgroves an idea of. unintentionally she returned to that partof the room; he saw her, and, instantly rising, said, with studied politeness-- "i beg your pardon, madam, this is yourseat;" and though she immediately drew back with a decided negative, he was not to beinduced to sit down again.
anne did not wish for more of such looksand speeches. his cold politeness, his ceremonious grace,were worse than anything. chapter 9 captain wentworth was come to kellynch asto a home, to stay as long as he liked, being as thoroughly the object of theadmiral's fraternal kindness as of his wife's. he had intended, on first arriving, toproceed very soon into shropshire, and visit the brother settled in that country,but the attractions of uppercross induced him to put this off.
there was so much of friendliness, and offlattery, and of everything most bewitching in his reception there; the old were sohospitable, the young so agreeable, that he could not but resolve to remain where he was, and take all the charms andperfections of edward's wife upon credit a little longer.it was soon uppercross with him almost every day. the musgroves could hardly be more ready toinvite than he to come, particularly in the morning, when he had no companion at home,for the admiral and mrs croft were generally out of doors together,
interesting themselves in their newpossessions, their grass, and their sheep, and dawdling about in a way not endurableto a third person, or driving out in a gig, lately added to their establishment. hitherto there had been but one opinion ofcaptain wentworth among the musgroves and their dependencies. it was unvarying, warm admirationeverywhere; but this intimate footing was not more than established, when a certaincharles hayter returned among them, to be a good deal disturbed by it, and to thinkcaptain wentworth very much in the way. charles hayter was the eldest of all thecousins, and a very amiable, pleasing young
man, between whom and henrietta there hadbeen a considerable appearance of attachment previous to captain wentworth'sintroduction. he was in orders; and having a curacy inthe neighbourhood, where residence was not required, lived at his father's house, onlytwo miles from uppercross. a short absence from home had left his fairone unguarded by his attentions at this critical period, and when he came back hehad the pain of finding very altered manners, and of seeing captain wentworth. mrs musgrove and mrs hayter were sisters.they had each had money, but their marriages had made a material difference intheir degree of consequence.
mr hayter had some property of his own, butit was insignificant compared with mr musgrove's; and while the musgroves were inthe first class of society in the country, the young hayters would, from their parents' inferior, retired, and unpolishedway of living, and their own defective education, have been hardly in any class atall, but for their connexion with uppercross, this eldest son of course excepted, who had chosen to be a scholarand a gentleman, and who was very superior in cultivation and manners to all the rest. the two families had always been onexcellent terms, there being no pride on
one side, and no envy on the other, andonly such a consciousness of superiority in the miss musgroves, as made them pleased toimprove their cousins. charles's attentions to henrietta had beenobserved by her father and mother without any disapprobation. "it would not be a great match for her; butif henrietta liked him,"-- and henrietta did seem to like him. henrietta fully thought so herself, beforecaptain wentworth came; but from that time cousin charles had been very muchforgotten. which of the two sisters was preferred bycaptain wentworth was as yet quite
doubtful, as far as anne's observationreached. henrietta was perhaps the prettiest, louisahad the higher spirits; and she knew not now, whether the more gentle or the morelively character were most likely to attract him. mr and mrs musgrove, either from seeinglittle, or from an entire confidence in the discretion of both their daughters, and ofall the young men who came near them, seemed to leave everything to take itschance. there was not the smallest appearance ofsolicitude or remark about them in the mansion-house; but it was different at thecottage: the young couple there were more
disposed to speculate and wonder; and captain wentworth had not been above fouror five times in the miss musgroves' company, and charles hayter had but justreappeared, when anne had to listen to the opinions of her brother and sister, as towhich was the one liked best. charles gave it for louisa, mary forhenrietta, but quite agreeing that to have him marry either could be extremelydelightful. charles "had never seen a pleasanter man inhis life; and from what he had once heard captain wentworth himself say, was verysure that he had not made less than twenty thousand pounds by the war.
here was a fortune at once; besides which,there would be the chance of what might be done in any future war; and he was surecaptain wentworth was as likely a man to distinguish himself as any officer in thenavy. oh! it would be a capital match for eitherof his sisters." "upon my word it would," replied mary. "dear me!if he should rise to any very great honours!if he should ever be made a baronet! 'lady wentworth' sounds very well. that would be a noble thing, indeed, forhenrietta!
she would take place of me then, andhenrietta would not dislike that. sir frederick and lady wentworth! it would be but a new creation, however,and i never think much of your new creations." it suited mary best to think henrietta theone preferred on the very account of charles hayter, whose pretensions shewished to see put an end to. she looked down very decidedly upon thehayters, and thought it would be quite a misfortune to have the existing connectionbetween the families renewed--very sad for herself and her children.
"you know," said she, "i cannot think himat all a fit match for henrietta; and considering the alliances which themusgroves have made, she has no right to throw herself away. i do not think any young woman has a rightto make a choice that may be disagreeable and inconvenient to the principal part ofher family, and be giving bad connections to those who have not been used to them. and, pray, who is charles hayter?nothing but a country curate. a most improper match for miss musgrove ofuppercross." her husband, however, would not agree withher here; for besides having a regard for
his cousin, charles hayter was an eldestson, and he saw things as an eldest son himself. "now you are talking nonsense, mary," wastherefore his answer. "it would not be a great match forhenrietta, but charles has a very fair chance, through the spicers, of gettingsomething from the bishop in the course of a year or two; and you will please to remember, that he is the eldest son;whenever my uncle dies, he steps into very pretty property. the estate at winthrop is not less than twohundred and fifty acres, besides the farm
near taunton, which is some of the bestland in the country. i grant you, that any of them but charleswould be a very shocking match for henrietta, and indeed it could not be; heis the only one that could be possible; but he is a very good-natured, good sort of a fellow; and whenever winthrop comes intohis hands, he will make a different sort of place of it, and live in a very differentsort of way; and with that property, he will never be a contemptible man--good,freehold property. no, no; henrietta might do worse than marrycharles hayter; and if she has him, and louisa can get captain wentworth, i shallbe very well satisfied."
"charles may say what he pleases," criedmary to anne, as soon as he was out of the room, "but it would be shocking to havehenrietta marry charles hayter; a very bad thing for her, and still worse for me; and therefore it is very much to be wished thatcaptain wentworth may soon put him quite out of her head, and i have very littledoubt that he has. she took hardly any notice of charleshayter yesterday. i wish you had been there to see herbehaviour. and as to captain wentworth's liking louisaas well as henrietta, it is nonsense to say so; for he certainly does like henrietta agreat deal the best.
but charles is so positive! i wish you had been with us yesterday, forthen you might have decided between us; and i am sure you would have thought as i did,unless you had been determined to give it against me." a dinner at mr musgrove's had been theoccasion when all these things should have been seen by anne; but she had staid athome, under the mixed plea of a headache of her own, and some return of indispositionin little charles. she had thought only of avoiding captainwentworth; but an escape from being appealed to as umpire was now added to theadvantages of a quiet evening.
as to captain wentworth's views, she deemedit of more consequence that he should know his own mind early enough not to beendangering the happiness of either sister, or impeaching his own honour, than that he should prefer henrietta to louisa, orlouisa to henrietta. either of them would, in all probability,make him an affectionate, good-humoured wife. with regard to charles hayter, she haddelicacy which must be pained by any lightness of conduct in a well-meaningyoung woman, and a heart to sympathize in any of the sufferings it occasioned; but if
henrietta found herself mistaken in thenature of her feelings, the alternation could not be understood too soon. charles hayter had met with much todisquiet and mortify him in his cousin's behaviour. she had too old a regard for him to be sowholly estranged as might in two meetings extinguish every past hope, and leave himnothing to do but to keep away from uppercross: but there was such a change as became very alarming, when such a man ascaptain wentworth was to be regarded as the probable cause.
he had been absent only two sundays, andwhen they parted, had left her interested, even to the height of his wishes, in hisprospect of soon quitting his present curacy, and obtaining that of uppercrossinstead. it had then seemed the object nearest herheart, that dr shirley, the rector, who for more than forty years had been zealouslydischarging all the duties of his office, but was now growing too infirm for many of them, should be quite fixed on engaging acurate; should make his curacy quite as good as he could afford, and should givecharles hayter the promise of it. the advantage of his having to come only touppercross, instead of going six miles
another way; of his having, in everyrespect, a better curacy; of his belonging to their dear dr shirley, and of dear, good dr shirley's being relieved from the dutywhich he could no longer get through without most injurious fatigue, had been agreat deal, even to louisa, but had been almost everything to henrietta. when he came back, alas! the zeal of thebusiness was gone by. louisa could not listen at all to hisaccount of a conversation which he had just held with dr shirley: she was at a window,looking out for captain wentworth; and even henrietta had at best only a divided
attention to give, and seemed to haveforgotten all the former doubt and solicitude of the negotiation. "well, i am very glad indeed: but i alwaysthought you would have it; i always thought you sure. it did not appear to me that--in short, youknow, dr shirley must have a curate, and you had secured his promise.is he coming, louisa?" one morning, very soon after the dinner atthe musgroves, at which anne had not been present, captain wentworth walked into thedrawing-room at the cottage, where were only herself and the little invalidcharles, who was lying on the sofa.
the surprise of finding himself almostalone with anne elliot, deprived his manners of their usual composure: hestarted, and could only say, "i thought the miss musgroves had been here: mrs musgrove told me i should find them here," before hewalked to the window to recollect himself, and feel how he ought to behave. "they are up stairs with my sister: theywill be down in a few moments, i dare say," had been anne's reply, in all the confusionthat was natural; and if the child had not called her to come and do something for him, she would have been out of the roomthe next moment, and released captain
wentworth as well as herself. he continued at the window; and aftercalmly and politely saying, "i hope the little boy is better," was silent. she was obliged to kneel down by the sofa,and remain there to satisfy her patient; and thus they continued a few minutes,when, to her very great satisfaction, she heard some other person crossing the littlevestibule. she hoped, on turning her head, to see themaster of the house; but it proved to be one much less calculated for making matterseasy--charles hayter, probably not at all better pleased by the sight of captain
wentworth than captain wentworth had beenby the sight of anne. she only attempted to say, "how do you do?will you not sit down? the others will be here presently." captain wentworth, however, came from hiswindow, apparently not ill-disposed for conversation; but charles hayter soon putan end to his attempts by seating himself near the table, and taking up the newspaper; and captain wentworth returnedto his window. another minute brought another addition. the younger boy, a remarkable stout,forward child, of two years old, having got
the door opened for him by some onewithout, made his determined appearance among them, and went straight to the sofa to see what was going on, and put in hisclaim to anything good that might be giving away. there being nothing to eat, he could onlyhave some play; and as his aunt would not let him tease his sick brother, he began tofasten himself upon her, as she knelt, in such a way that, busy as she was aboutcharles, she could not shake him off. she spoke to him, ordered, entreated, andinsisted in vain. once she did contrive to push him away, butthe boy had the greater pleasure in getting
upon her back again directly."walter," said she, "get down this moment. you are extremely troublesome. i am very angry with you.""walter," cried charles hayter, "why do you not do as you are bid?do not you hear your aunt speak? come to me, walter, come to cousincharles." but not a bit did walter stir. in another moment, however, she foundherself in the state of being released from him; some one was taking him from her,though he had bent down her head so much, that his little sturdy hands were
unfastened from around her neck, and he wasresolutely borne away, before she knew that captain wentworth had done it.her sensations on the discovery made her perfectly speechless. she could not even thank him.she could only hang over little charles, with most disordered feelings. his kindness in stepping forward to herrelief, the manner, the silence in which it had passed, the little particulars of thecircumstance, with the conviction soon forced on her by the noise he was studiously making with the child, that hemeant to avoid hearing her thanks, and
rather sought to testify that herconversation was the last of his wants, produced such a confusion of varying, but very painful agitation, as she could notrecover from, till enabled by the entrance of mary and the miss musgroves to make overher little patient to their cares, and leave the room. she could not stay.it might have been an opportunity of watching the loves and jealousies of thefour--they were now altogether; but she could stay for none of it. it was evident that charles hayter was notwell inclined towards captain wentworth.
she had a strong impression of his havingsaid, in a vext tone of voice, after captain wentworth's interference, "youought to have minded me, walter; i told you not to teaze your aunt;" and could comprehend his regretting that captainwentworth should do what he ought to have done himself. but neither charles hayter's feelings, noranybody's feelings, could interest her, till she had a little better arranged herown. she was ashamed of herself, quite ashamedof being so nervous, so overcome by such a trifle; but so it was, and it required along application of solitude and reflection
to recover her. chapter 10 other opportunities of making herobservations could not fail to occur. anne had soon been in company with all thefour together often enough to have an opinion, though too wise to acknowledge asmuch at home, where she knew it would have satisfied neither husband nor wife; for while she considered louisa to be ratherthe favourite, she could not but think, as far as she might dare to judge from memoryand experience, that captain wentworth was not in love with either.
they were more in love with him; yet thereit was not love. it was a little fever of admiration; but itmight, probably must, end in love with some. charles hayter seemed aware of beingslighted, and yet henrietta had sometimes the air of being divided between them. anne longed for the power of representingto them all what they were about, and of pointing out some of the evils they wereexposing themselves to. she did not attribute guile to any. it was the highest satisfaction to her tobelieve captain wentworth not in the least
aware of the pain he was occasioning.there was no triumph, no pitiful triumph in his manner. he had, probably, never heard, and neverthought of any claims of charles hayter. he was only wrong in accepting theattentions (for accepting must be the word) of two young women at once. after a short struggle, however, charleshayter seemed to quit the field. three days had passed without his comingonce to uppercross; a most decided change. he had even refused one regular invitationto dinner; and having been found on the occasion by mr musgrove with some largebooks before him, mr and mrs musgrove were
sure all could not be right, and talked, with grave faces, of his studying himselfto death. it was mary's hope and belief that he hadreceived a positive dismissal from henrietta, and her husband lived under theconstant dependence of seeing him to- morrow. anne could only feel that charles hayterwas wise. one morning, about this time charlesmusgrove and captain wentworth being gone a-shooting together, as the sisters in thecottage were sitting quietly at work, they were visited at the window by the sistersfrom the mansion-house.
it was a very fine november day, and themiss musgroves came through the little grounds, and stopped for no other purposethan to say, that they were going to take a long walk, and therefore concluded mary could not like to go with them; and whenmary immediately replied, with some jealousy at not being supposed a goodwalker, "oh, yes, i should like to join you very much, i am very fond of a long walk;" anne felt persuaded, by the looks of thetwo girls, that it was precisely what they did not wish, and admired again the sort ofnecessity which the family habits seemed to produce, of everything being to be
communicated, and everything being to bedone together, however undesired and inconvenient. she tried to dissuade mary from going, butin vain; and that being the case, thought it best to accept the miss musgroves' muchmore cordial invitation to herself to go likewise, as she might be useful in turning back with her sister, and lessening theinterference in any plan of their own. "i cannot imagine why they should suppose ishould not like a long walk," said mary, as she went up stairs. "everybody is always supposing that i amnot a good walker; and yet they would not
have been pleased, if we had refused tojoin them. when people come in this manner on purposeto ask us, how can one say no?" just as they were setting off, thegentlemen returned. they had taken out a young dog, who hadspoilt their sport, and sent them back early. their time and strength, and spirits, were,therefore, exactly ready for this walk, and they entered into it with pleasure. could anne have foreseen such a junction,she would have staid at home; but, from some feelings of interest and curiosity,she fancied now that it was too late to
retract, and the whole six set forward together in the direction chosen by themiss musgroves, who evidently considered the walk as under their guidance. anne's object was, not to be in the way ofanybody; and where the narrow paths across the fields made many separations necessary,to keep with her brother and sister. her pleasure in the walk must arise fromthe exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawnyleaves, and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant ofautumn, that season of peculiar and
inexhaustible influence on the mind oftaste and tenderness, that season which had drawn from every poet, worthy of being read, some attempt at description, or somelines of feeling. she occupied her mind as much as possiblein such like musings and quotations; but it was not possible, that when within reach ofcaptain wentworth's conversation with either of the miss musgroves, she should not try to hear it; yet she caught littlevery remarkable. it was mere lively chat, such as any youngpersons, on an intimate footing, might fall into.
he was more engaged with louisa than withhenrietta. louisa certainly put more forward for hisnotice than her sister. this distinction appeared to increase, andthere was one speech of louisa's which struck her. after one of the many praises of the day,which were continually bursting forth, captain wentworth added:--"what glorious weather for the admiral and my sister! they meant to take a long drive thismorning; perhaps we may hail them from some of these hills.they talked of coming into this side of the
country. i wonder whereabouts they will upset to-day. oh! it does happen very often, i assureyou; but my sister makes nothing of it; she would as lieve be tossed out as not." "ah!you make the most of it, i know," cried louisa, "but if it were really so, i shoulddo just the same in her place. if i loved a man, as she loves the admiral,i would always be with him, nothing should ever separate us, and i would rather beoverturned by him, than driven safely by anybody else."
it was spoken with enthusiasm."had you?" cried he, catching the same tone; "i honour you!"and there was silence between them for a little while. anne could not immediately fall into aquotation again. the sweet scenes of autumn were for a whileput by, unless some tender sonnet, fraught with the apt analogy of the declining year,with declining happiness, and the images of youth and hope, and spring, all gonetogether, blessed her memory. she roused herself to say, as they struckby order into another path, "is not this one of the ways to winthrop?"
but nobody heard, or, at least, nobodyanswered her. winthrop, however, or its environs--foryoung men are, sometimes to be met with, strolling about near home--was theirdestination; and after another half mile of gradual ascent through large enclosures, where the ploughs at work, and the freshmade path spoke the farmer counteracting the sweets of poetical despondence, andmeaning to have spring again, they gained the summit of the most considerable hill, which parted uppercross and winthrop, andsoon commanded a full view of the latter, at the foot of the hill on the other side.
winthrop, without beauty and withoutdignity, was stretched before them an indifferent house, standing low, and hemmedin by the barns and buildings of a farm- yard. mary exclaimed, "bless me! here iswinthrop. i declare i had no idea!well now, i think we had better turn back; i am excessively tired." henrietta, conscious and ashamed, andseeing no cousin charles walking along any path, or leaning against any gate, wasready to do as mary wished; but "no!" said charles musgrove, and "no, no!" cried
louisa more eagerly, and taking her sisteraside, seemed to be arguing the matter warmly. charles, in the meanwhile, was verydecidedly declaring his resolution of calling on his aunt, now that he was sonear; and very evidently, though more fearfully, trying to induce his wife to gotoo. but this was one of the points on which thelady shewed her strength; and when he recommended the advantage of restingherself a quarter of an hour at winthrop, as she felt so tired, she resolutely answered, "oh! no, indeed! walking up thathill again would do her more harm than any
sitting down could do her good;" and, inshort, her look and manner declared, that go she would not. after a little succession of these sort ofdebates and consultations, it was settled between charles and his two sisters, thathe and henrietta should just run down for a few minutes, to see their aunt and cousins, while the rest of the party waited for themat the top of the hill. louisa seemed the principal arranger of theplan; and, as she went a little way with them, down the hill, still talking tohenrietta, mary took the opportunity of looking scornfully around her, and sayingto captain wentworth--
"it is very unpleasant, having suchconnexions! but, i assure you, i have never been in thehouse above twice in my life." she received no other answer, than anartificial, assenting smile, followed by a contemptuous glance, as he turned away,which anne perfectly knew the meaning of. the brow of the hill, where they remained,was a cheerful spot: louisa returned; and mary, finding a comfortable seat forherself on the step of a stile, was very well satisfied so long as the others all stood about her; but when louisa drewcaptain wentworth away, to try for a gleaning of nuts in an adjoining hedge-row,and they were gone by degrees quite out of
sight and sound, mary was happy no longer; she quarrelled with her own seat, was surelouisa had got a much better somewhere, and nothing could prevent her from going tolook for a better also. she turned through the same gate, but couldnot see them. anne found a nice seat for her, on a drysunny bank, under the hedge-row, in which she had no doubt of their still being, insome spot or other. mary sat down for a moment, but it wouldnot do; she was sure louisa had found a better seat somewhere else, and she wouldgo on till she overtook her. anne, really tired herself, was glad to sitdown; and she very soon heard captain
wentworth and louisa in the hedge-row,behind her, as if making their way back along the rough, wild sort of channel, downthe centre. they were speaking as they drew near.louisa's voice was the first distinguished. she seemed to be in the middle of someeager speech. what anne first heard was--"and so, i made her go. i could not bear that she should befrightened from the visit by such nonsense. what! would i be turned back from doing athing that i had determined to do, and that i knew to be right, by the airs andinterference of such a person, or of any person i may say?
no, i have no idea of being so easilypersuaded. when i have made up my mind, i have madeit; and henrietta seemed entirely to have made up hers to call at winthrop to-day;and yet, she was as near giving it up, out of nonsensical complaisance!" "she would have turned back then, but foryou?" "she would indeed.i am almost ashamed to say it." "happy for her, to have such a mind asyours at hand! after the hints you gave just now, whichdid but confirm my own observations, the last time i was in company with him, ineed not affect to have no comprehension of
what is going on. i see that more than a mere dutiful morningvisit to your aunt was in question; and woe betide him, and her too, when it comes tothings of consequence, when they are placed in circumstances requiring fortitude and strength of mind, if she have notresolution enough to resist idle interference in such a trifle as this. your sister is an amiable creature; butyours is the character of decision and firmness, i see. if you value her conduct or happiness,infuse as much of your own spirit into her
as you can.but this, no doubt, you have been always doing. it is the worst evil of too yielding andindecisive a character, that no influence over it can be depended on.you are never sure of a good impression being durable; everybody may sway it. let those who would be happy be firm. here is a nut," said he, catching one downfrom an upper bough, "to exemplify: a beautiful glossy nut, which, blessed withoriginal strength, has outlived all the storms of autumn.
not a puncture, not a weak spot anywhere. this nut," he continued, with playfulsolemnity, "while so many of his brethren have fallen and been trodden under foot, isstill in possession of all the happiness that a hazel nut can be supposed capableof." then returning to his former earnest tone--"my first wish for all whom i am interested in, is that they should be firm. if louisa musgrove would be beautiful andhappy in her november of life, she will cherish all her present powers of mind."he had done, and was unanswered. it would have surprised anne if louisacould have readily answered such a speech:
words of such interest, spoken with suchserious warmth! she could imagine what louisa was feeling. for herself, she feared to move, lest sheshould be seen. while she remained, a bush of low ramblingholly protected her, and they were moving on. before they were beyond her hearing,however, louisa spoke again. "mary is good-natured enough in manyrespects," said she; "but she does sometimes provoke me excessively, by hernonsense and pride--the elliot pride. she has a great deal too much of the elliotpride.
we do so wish that charles had married anneinstead. i suppose you know he wanted to marryanne?" after a moment's pause, captain wentworthsaid-- "do you mean that she refused him?" "oh! yes; certainly.""when did that happen?" "i do not exactly know, for henrietta and iwere at school at the time; but i believe about a year before he married mary. i wish she had accepted him.we should all have liked her a great deal better; and papa and mamma always think itwas her great friend lady russell's doing,
that she did not. they think charles might not be learned andbookish enough to please lady russell, and that therefore, she persuaded anne torefuse him." the sounds were retreating, and annedistinguished no more. her own emotions still kept her fixed.she had much to recover from, before she could move. the listener's proverbial fate was notabsolutely hers; she had heard no evil of herself, but she had heard a great deal ofvery painful import. she saw how her own character wasconsidered by captain wentworth, and there
had been just that degree of feeling andcuriosity about her in his manner which must give her extreme agitation. as soon as she could, she went after mary,and having found, and walked back with her to their former station, by the stile, feltsome comfort in their whole party being immediately afterwards collected, and oncemore in motion together. her spirits wanted the solitude and silencewhich only numbers could give. charles and henrietta returned, bringing,as may be conjectured, charles hayter with the minutiae of the business anne could notattempt to understand; even captain wentworth did not seem admitted to perfectconfidence here; but that there had been a
withdrawing on the gentleman's side, and a relenting on the lady's, and that they werenow very glad to be together again, did not admit a doubt. henrietta looked a little ashamed, but verywell pleased;--charles hayter exceedingly happy: and they were devoted to each otheralmost from the first instant of their all setting forward for uppercross. everything now marked out louisa forcaptain wentworth; nothing could be plainer; and where many divisions werenecessary, or even where they were not, they walked side by side nearly as much asthe other two.
in a long strip of meadow land, where therewas ample space for all, they were thus divided, forming three distinct parties;and to that party of the three which boasted least animation, and leastcomplaisance, anne necessarily belonged. she joined charles and mary, and was tiredenough to be very glad of charles's other arm; but charles, though in very goodhumour with her, was out of temper with his mary had shewn herself disobliging to him,and was now to reap the consequence, which consequence was his dropping her arm almostevery moment to cut off the heads of some nettles in the hedge with his switch; and when mary began to complain of it, andlament her being ill-used, according to
custom, in being on the hedge side, whileanne was never incommoded on the other, he dropped the arms of both to hunt after a weasel which he had a momentary glance of,and they could hardly get him along at all. this long meadow bordered a lane, whichtheir footpath, at the end of it was to cross, and when the party had all reachedthe gate of exit, the carriage advancing in the same direction, which had been some time heard, was just coming up, and provedto be admiral croft's gig. he and his wife had taken their intendeddrive, and were returning home. upon hearing how long a walk the youngpeople had engaged in, they kindly offered
a seat to any lady who might beparticularly tired; it would save her a full mile, and they were going throughuppercross. the invitation was general, and generallydeclined. the miss musgroves were not at all tired,and mary was either offended, by not being asked before any of the others, or whatlouisa called the elliot pride could not endure to make a third in a one horsechaise. the walking party had crossed the lane, andwere surmounting an opposite stile, and the admiral was putting his horse in motionagain, when captain wentworth cleared the hedge in a moment to say something to hissister.
the something might be guessed by itseffects. "miss elliot, i am sure you are tired,"cried mrs croft. "do let us have the pleasure of taking youhome. here is excellent room for three, i assureyou. if we were all like you, i believe we mightsit four. you must, indeed, you must." anne was still in the lane; and thoughinstinctively beginning to decline, she was not allowed to proceed. the admiral's kind urgency came in supportof his wife's; they would not be refused;
they compressed themselves into thesmallest possible space to leave her a corner, and captain wentworth, without saying a word, turned to her, and quietlyobliged her to be assisted into the carriage.yes; he had done it. she was in the carriage, and felt that hehad placed her there, that his will and his hands had done it, that she owed it to hisperception of her fatigue, and his resolution to give her rest. she was very much affected by the view ofhis disposition towards her, which all these things made apparent.this little circumstance seemed the
completion of all that had gone before. she understood him.he could not forgive her, but he could not be unfeeling. though condemning her for the past, andconsidering it with high and unjust resentment, though perfectly careless ofher, and though becoming attached to another, still he could not see her suffer,without the desire of giving her relief. it was a remainder of former sentiment; itwas an impulse of pure, though unacknowledged friendship; it was a proofof his own warm and amiable heart, which she could not contemplate without emotions
so compounded of pleasure and pain, thatshe knew not which prevailed. her answers to the kindness and the remarksof her companions were at first unconsciously given. they had travelled half their way along therough lane, before she was quite awake to what they said.she then found them talking of "frederick." "he certainly means to have one or other ofthose two girls, sophy," said the admiral; "but there is no saying which. he has been running after them, too, longenough, one would think, to make up his mind.ay, this comes of the peace.
if it were war now, he would have settledit long ago. we sailors, miss elliot, cannot afford tomake long courtships in time of war. how many days was it, my dear, between thefirst time of my seeing you and our sitting down together in our lodgings at northyarmouth?" "we had better not talk about it, my dear,"replied mrs croft, pleasantly; "for if miss elliot were to hear how soon we came to anunderstanding, she would never be persuaded that we could be happy together. i had known you by character, however, longbefore." "well, and i had heard of you as a verypretty girl, and what were we to wait for
besides? i do not like having such things so long inhand. i wish frederick would spread a little morecanvass, and bring us home one of these young ladies to kellynch. then there would always be company forthem. and very nice young ladies they both are;i hardly know one from the other." "very good humoured, unaffected girls,indeed," said mrs croft, in a tone of calmer praise, such as made anne suspectthat her keener powers might not consider either of them as quite worthy of herbrother; "and a very respectable family.
one could not be connected with betterpeople. my dear admiral, that post! we shallcertainly take that post." but by coolly giving the reins a betterdirection herself they happily passed the danger; and by once afterwards judiciouslyputting out her hand they neither fell into a rut, nor ran foul of a dung-cart; and anne, with some amusement at their style ofdriving, which she imagined no bad representation of the general guidance oftheir affairs, found herself safely deposited by them at the cottage.