Persuasion (Chapter 6, page 1 of 9)


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Chapter 6

Anne had not wanted this visit to Uppercross, to learn that a removal
from one set of people to another, though at a distance of only three
miles, will often include a total change of conversation, opinion, and
idea. She had never been staying there before, without being struck by
it, or without wishing that other Elliots could have her advantage in
seeing how unknown, or unconsidered there, were the affairs which at
Kellynch Hall were treated as of such general publicity and pervading
interest; yet, with all this experience, she believed she must now
submit to feel that another lesson, in the art of knowing our own
nothingness beyond our own circle, was become necessary for her; for
certainly, coming as she did, with a heart full of the subject which
had been completely occupying both houses in Kellynch for many weeks,
she had expected rather more curiosity and sympathy than she found in
the separate but very similar remark of Mr and Mrs Musgrove: "So, Miss
Anne, Sir Walter and your sister are gone; and what part of Bath do you
think they will settle in?" and this, without much waiting for an
answer; or in the young ladies' addition of, "I hope we shall be in
Bath in the winter; but remember, papa, if we do go, we must be in a
good situation: none of your Queen Squares for us!" or in the anxious
supplement from Mary, of--"Upon my word, I shall be pretty well off,
when you are all gone away to be happy at Bath!"

She could only resolve to avoid such self-delusion in future, and think
with heightened gratitude of the extraordinary blessing of having one
such truly sympathising friend as Lady Russell.

The Mr Musgroves had their own game to guard, and to destroy, their own
horses, dogs, and newspapers to engage them, and the females were fully
occupied in all the other common subjects of housekeeping, neighbours,
dress, dancing, and music. She acknowledged it to be very fitting,
that every little social commonwealth should dictate its own matters of
discourse; and hoped, ere long, to become a not unworthy member of the
one she was now transplanted into. With the prospect of spending at
least two months at Uppercross, it was highly incumbent on her to
clothe her imagination, her memory, and all her ideas in as much of
Uppercross as possible.

She had no dread of these two months. Mary was not so repulsive and
unsisterly as Elizabeth, nor so inaccessible to all influence of hers;
neither was there anything among the other component parts of the
cottage inimical to comfort. 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.

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