Persuasion (Chapter 10, page 2 of 8)


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Chapter 10

"I cannot imagine why they should suppose I should not like a long
walk," said Mary, as she went up stairs. "Everybody is always
supposing that I am not a good walker; and yet they would not have been
pleased, if we had refused to join them. When people come in this
manner on purpose to ask us, how can one say no?"

Just as they were setting off, the gentlemen returned. They had taken
out a young dog, who had spoilt 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 the Miss Musgroves, who evidently considered the
walk as under their guidance.

Anne's object was, not to be in the way of anybody; 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 from
the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year
upon the tawny leaves, and withered hedges, and from repeating to
herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of
autumn, that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind
of taste and tenderness, that season which had drawn from every poet,
worthy of being read, some attempt at description, or some lines of
feeling. She occupied her mind as much as possible in such like
musings and quotations; but it was not possible, that when within reach
of Captain Wentworth's conversation with either of the Miss Musgroves,
she should not try to hear it; yet she caught little very remarkable.
It was mere lively chat, such as any young persons, on an intimate
footing, might fall into. He was more engaged with Louisa than with
Henrietta. Louisa certainly put more forward for his notice than her
sister. This distinction appeared to increase, and there 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 this morning; 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 assure you; but my sister makes nothing of it; she would as
lieve be tossed out as not."

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