I could transcribe this entire chapter, detailing all the fascinating little back and forth’s between the two Uppercross households, and all the little instances calling for general charity between such close neighbors and relatives… The lengthy description of Charles and Mary alone (treating of their housekeeping, management, and childrearing!) is so engaging.
And I love how Austen quietly and subtlety tells more about Anne and Wentworth’s love in that one short line about Anne’s exquisite musical performance: “…excepting one short period of her life, she had never, since the age of fourteen, never since the loss of her dear mother, known the happiness of being listened to, or encouraged by any just appreciation of real taste.”
Incidentally, it’s a masterful piece of foreshadowing as well. And speaking of foreshadowing…with the delightful visit of the Crofts to the cottage, all the final preparatory plot details are in place, the tension is building and I can hardly wait for Chapter 7!
“Mary was not so repulsive and unsisterly as Elizabeth, nor so inaccessible to all influence of hers… She was always on friendly terms with her brother-in-law; and in the children, who loved her nearly as well, and respected her a great deal more than their mother, she had an object of interest, amusement, and wholesome exertion.”
“One of the least agreeable circumstances of her 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…” pg. 45
“Anne hoped she had outlived the age of blushing; but the age of emotion she certainly had not. …She…was happy to feel, when Mrs. Croft’s next words explained it to be Mr. Wentworth of whom she spoke, 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 neighbor’s present state, with proper interest.” pg. 50
Possible discussion question/s:
Dick Musgrove (aboard Captain Wentworth’s frigate) “…had, under the influence of his captain, written the only 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.” How do you think this shows Captain Wentworth’s character?