Saturday, 2 October 2010

Jane Austen Quote of the Week 128

This weekend I chose a passage from Persuasion again, Chapter 9, when Anne Elliot was taking care of Little Walter (her nephew, Charles’ brother) and Captain Wentworth came into the room. Direct quote was taken from Pemberley.

There being nothing to be eat, he could only have some play; and as his aunt would not let him tease his sick brother, he began to fasten himself upon her, as she knelt, in such a way that, busy as she was about Charles, she could not shake him off. She spoke to him, ordered, entreated, and insisted in vain. Once she did contrive to push him away, but the 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 cousin Charles."

But not a bit did Walter stir.

In another moment, however, she found herself 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 was resolutely 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 her relief, the manner, the silence in which it had passed, the little particulars of the circumstance, with the conviction soon forced on her by the noise he was studiously making with the child, that he meant to avoid hearing her thanks, and rather sought to testify that her conversation was the last of his wants, produced such a confusion of varying, but very painful agitation, as she could not recover from, till enabled by the entrance of Mary and the Miss Musgroves, to make over her little patient to their cares, and leave the room.

There’s no particular quote I’d like to emphasize here, but the whole passage is amazing because it shows how the presence of a child can reconnect Anne and Wentworth, two lovers who became strangers because of the past. I can understand why people choose to have children then, although it should not be the only reason for an established relationship, of course.

Pic: Sally Hawkins as Anne Elliot (P2007) from Penny for Your Dreams

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