Persuasion (Chapter 7, page 1 of 7)


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Chapter 7

A very few days more, and Captain Wentworth was known to be at
Kellynch, and Mr Musgrove had called on him, and come back warm in his
praise, and he was engaged with the Crofts to dine at Uppercross, by
the end of another week. It had been a great disappointment to Mr
Musgrove to find that no earlier day could be fixed, so impatient was
he to shew his gratitude, by seeing Captain Wentworth under his own
roof, and welcoming him to all that was strongest and best in his
cellars. But a week must pass; only a week, in Anne's reckoning, and
then, she supposed, they must meet; and soon she began to wish that she
could feel secure even for a week.

Captain Wentworth made a very early return to Mr Musgrove's civility,
and she was all but calling there in the same half hour. She and Mary
were actually setting forward for the Great House, where, as she
afterwards learnt, they must inevitably have found him, when they were
stopped by the eldest boy's being at that moment brought home in
consequence of a bad fall. The child's situation put the visit
entirely aside; but she could not hear of her escape with indifference,
even in the midst of the serious anxiety which they afterwards felt on
his account.

His collar-bone was found to be dislocated, and such injury received in
the back, as roused the most alarming ideas. It was an afternoon of
distress, and Anne had every thing to do at once; the apothecary to
send for, the father to have pursued and informed, the mother to
support and keep from hysterics, the servants to control, the youngest
child to banish, and the poor suffering one to attend and soothe;
besides sending, as soon as she recollected it, proper notice to the
other house, which brought her an accession rather of frightened,
enquiring companions, than of very useful assistants.

Her brother's return was the first comfort; he could take best care of
his wife; and the second blessing was the arrival of the apothecary.
Till he came and had examined the child, their apprehensions were the
worse for being vague; they suspected great injury, but knew not where;
but now the collar-bone was soon replaced, and though Mr Robinson felt
and felt, and rubbed, and looked grave, and spoke low words both to the
father and the aunt, still they were all to hope the best, and to be
able to part and eat their dinner in tolerable ease of mind; and then
it was, just before they parted, that the two young aunts were able so
far to digress from their nephew's state, as to give the information of
Captain Wentworth's visit; staying five minutes behind their father and
mother, to endeavour to express how perfectly delighted they were with
him, how much handsomer, how infinitely more agreeable they thought him
than any individual among their male acquaintance, who had been at all
a favourite before. How glad they had been to hear papa invite him to
stay dinner, how sorry when he said it was quite out of his power, and
how glad again when he had promised in reply to papa and mamma's
farther pressing invitations to come and dine with them on the
morrow--actually on the morrow; and he had promised it in so pleasant a
manner, as if he felt all the motive of their attention just as he
ought. And in short, he had looked and said everything with such
exquisite grace, that they could assure them all, their heads were both
turned by him; and off they ran, quite as full of glee as of love, and
apparently more full of Captain Wentworth than of little Charles.

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