Persuasion (Chapter 10, page 1 of 13)


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Chapter 10

Other opportunities of making her observations could not fail to occur.
Anne had soon been in company with all the four together often enough
to have an opinion, though too wise to acknowledge as much at home,
where she knew it would have satisfied neither husband nor wife; for
while she considered Louisa to be rather the favourite, she could not
but think, as far as she might dare to judge from memory and
experience, that Captain Wentworth was not in love with either. They
were more in love with him; yet there it was not love. It was a little
fever of admiration; but it might, probably must, end in love with
some. Charles Hayter seemed aware of being slighted, and yet Henrietta
had sometimes the air of being divided between them. Anne longed for
the power of representing to them all what they were about, and of
pointing out some of the evils they were exposing themselves to. She
did not attribute guile to any. It was the highest satisfaction to her
to believe 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 never thought of any claims of
Charles Hayter. He was only wrong in accepting the attentions (for
accepting must be the word) of two young women at once.

After a short struggle, however, Charles Hayter seemed to quit the
field. Three days had passed without his coming once to Uppercross; a
most decided change. He had even refused one regular invitation to
dinner; and having been found on the occasion by Mr Musgrove with some
large books before him, Mr and Mrs Musgrove were sure all could not be
right, and talked, with grave faces, of his studying himself to death.
It was Mary's hope and belief that he had received a positive dismissal
from Henrietta, and her husband lived under the constant dependence of
seeing him to-morrow. Anne could only feel that Charles Hayter was
wise.

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