Friday, January 23, 2015

Persuasion Read-Along: Chapter 9

“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; someone was taking him from her, though he had bent down her head so much, that his sturdy little hands were unfastened from around her neck, and he was resolutely borne away, before she knew that Captain Wentworth had done it.”

Ohhhhh, can I scream or squeal or—something???!!! No, I’m afraid that would hardly be decorous… But oh, I LOVE this chapter! It’s so utterly sweet I’m never able to decide between laughter or aching tears. And any time we have a hero with a child in his arms…

Hem! Yes, you understand me… ;)

But to look at the rest of this chapter: with Charles Hayter returning to Uppercross a further level of tension and confusion has been added to an already fairly well confused situation. We get some dialogue between Charles (Musgrove) and Mary on the subject, as well as Anne’s own generous opinion that either Henrietta or Louisa, “would, in all probability, make him (CW) an affectionate, good-humoured wife.” Absolutely no bitterness, despite all that she’s personally feeling and suffering!

Favorite lines/quotes:

“Captain Wentworth was come to Kellynch as to a home, to stay as long as he liked…” pg. 74

“…he (CW) could not but resolve to remain where he was, and take all the charms and perfections of Edward’s wife upon credit a little longer.” pg. 74

“…Admiral and Mrs. Croft were generally out of doors together, interesting themselves in their new possessions, their grass, and their sheep, and dawdling about in a way not endurable to a third person, or driving out in a gig, lately added to their establishment.” pg. 74

“The two families (Musgroves and Hayters) had always been on excellent terms, there being no pride on one side, and no envy on the other…” pg. 75

“Mr. and Mrs. Musgrove, either from seeing little, or from an entire confidence in the discretion of both their daughters, and of all the young men who came near them, seemed to leave every thing to take its chance.” pg. 75-76

“The surprise of finding himself almost alone with Anne Elliot, deprived his manners of their usual composure: he started…before he walked to the window to recollect himself and feel how he ought to behave.” pg. 79

“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…a confusion of varying, but very painful agitation…” pg. 81

“It was evident that Charles Hayter was not well inclined towards Captain Wentworth. She had a strong impression of his having said, in a vext tone of voice, after Captain Wentworth’s interference. “You ought to have minded me, Walter; I told you not to tease your aunt;” and could comprehend his regretting that Captain Wentworth should do what he ought to have done himself.” pg. 81

Possible discussion question/s:

~ Charles says that when his cousin inherits the estate at Winthrop, “he will make a different sort of place of it, and live in a very different sort of way; and with that property, he will never be a contemptible man.” How do you think this might tie together with the whole theme of class and social change in Persuasion?


  1. I loved this chapter as well. Although at the beginning I will admit that I was growing a bit annoyed with Captain Wentworth. His staying at Keyllnch was obviously to the displeasure and hurt of Anne, and yet he stays on. Not only does he stay, but he begins courting or at least flirting with Anne's two closest acquaintences. If he was so open to any sort of wife, could he have not found her somewhere else? His behavious makes it seem as though he is trying to prove independence to Anne, or perhaps even hurt her.

    Anyhow, my annoyances were all lifted by the charming episode at the end in which he saves Anne from her naughty nephew. This was one of the smalles and yet most delicate and romantic acts of chivalry I've witnessed in a Jane Austen book. I loved it!

    As I do not know how the romance with Charles playes out, I am not sure I could say what it all means. However, I have no doubt that this new love triangle (or perhaps it is more complicated than a triangle?) is going to have some meaning and social repercussions.

    1. Susanna,
      Since you mentioned it, I think I wondered that once as well....why CW didn't just move along. (Except, of course, that we would then have no story. And we none of us want that! ;))

      But anyhow, I'm so glad the annoyance lifted for you. Isn't that ending episode so entirely sweet and satisfying? Simply perfect. I'm so glad you loved it, too!

  2. Poor Anne, and poor Wentworth, being stuck alone in a room together. So much they could say to each other if only they weren't both convinced that the other one must be determined to dislike them forever! I want to bop them both on their heads and tell them to just stop being so determinedly unhappy!

    Okay, not exactly. Wentworth has to work through the last embers of his wounded pride and anger before he can be truly sensible. And Anne has to accept that she's got more to contribute to a man than her face and status. But still, sigh, I just want them to be happy.

    I love the Crofts. Have I mentioned that already? :-D

    The only line I marked that you didn't note is this:

    But neither Charles Hayter's feelings, nor anybody's feelings, could interest her, till she had a little better arranged her own.

    1. Hamlette,
      Well, not entirely alone....Charles Hayter's there after all (for most of it ;P) not to mention the boys. But yes, indeed---now I can hardly wait for Chapter 10!

      And yes, you did. ;) But we can say it every chapter if necessary. And it is. "The Crofts are entirely wonderful." :D

      And I actually looked at/debated about that line! And then I scrolled through the reams I'd already copied and....well....I had to drop it off. :P So glad you put it in!

  3. Well, I have to say that this chapter is far the best chapter I have read, and would like to reread.
    The scene at the end of the chapter when CW "rescues" Anne from the little rascal, Walter, so gently is sooooo romantic. I just knew it. Though hard as he might to keep his feelings for her under wraps, he just could not bear to see her suffer, even from this little tiger.

    As for Charles Hayter, I don't understand how not having sufficient fortune makes him "contemptible." Seriously..."contemptible"? Contemptible in the eyes of whom? His future wife? By JA's description, he seems like an pretty good guy. All I can say is that this status-and-fortune business was quite serious in those days.

    That said, the last paragraph in this chapter describing all the mixed emotions and thoughts running through Anne's mind after CW's rescue-her-from-Walter action was absolutely so eloquent and precise. How does one write like this?
    Is someone naturally born with this kind of writing talent or can even "normal" people learn to write so beautifully? If you get an English Lit degree, does writing of this level just flow from one's mind? I have always been so fascinated by writers and their ability to put their thoughts onto paper. - I really envy (not in a bad sense) writers.

    1. Kim,
      Isn't it lovely? *sigh*

      Yes, the status/fortune concern seems to have been huge back then. And I agree! I like Charles Hayter quite a bit, too. :)

      And oh my, I was smiling about the last part of your comment! It's a mind-boggling question, isn't it? I think some people are born naturally gifted and I think a lot comes from what they're fed---what they read. I don't know that an English Lit degree helps necessarily (a lot of the classic writers definitely didn't have one), but I suppose it could depend. Speaking from my own experience as a writer, though, I can attest it's a lot of work. Some days it flows and some days it doesn't, but in the end it's hugely satisfying! :)

  4. *SQUEE* I love this chapter too! The part where Wentworth takes the child from Anne's neck is such a sweet and romantic thing to do and I'm really annoyed that it hasn't been included into any of the adaptations. Grr! I think it's this exact part of the book where I really start to like Wentworth because he isn't really all that likeable near the very start is he? But here he starts to show affection and sensitivity towards Anne and I love it :)

    That's a great point about Anne having a generous attitude towards the Musgrove sisters. It's true. Anne doesn't think any unkind thoughts about them like Caroline Bingley would have done about Elizabeth Bennet.

    1. Hannah,
      About the adaptations: Oh, I know.....isn't it so sad??? I honestly think it's one of the sweetest and most romantic gestures in English literature. Maybe they could never get a small child to cooperate....but that doesn't seem likely. :P Ah, well.

      And you're right -- combined with his liveliness in the last chapter, I think this is definitely a turning point for him.

      And isn't that striking about Anne? It must have been so hard -- quite a level of deeply active charity to aspire to!


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