Persuasion (Chapter 6, page 2 of 9)

Previous Page
Next Page

Chapter 6

Charles Musgrove was civil and agreeable; in sense and temper he was
undoubtedly superior to his wife, but not of powers, or conversation,
or grace, to make the past, as they were connected together, at all a
dangerous contemplation; though, at the same time, Anne could believe,
with Lady Russell, that a more equal match might have greatly improved
him; and that a woman of real understanding might have given more
consequence to his character, and more usefulness, rationality, and
elegance to his habits and pursuits. As it was, he did nothing with
much zeal, but sport; and his time was otherwise trifled away, without
benefit from books or anything else. He had very good spirits, which
never seemed much affected by his wife's occasional lowness, bore with
her unreasonableness sometimes to Anne's admiration, and upon the
whole, though there was very often a little disagreement (in which she
had sometimes more share than she wished, being appealed to by both
parties), they might pass for a happy couple. They were always
perfectly agreed in the want of more money, and a strong inclination
for a handsome present from his father; but here, as on most topics, he
had the superiority, for while Mary thought it a great shame that such
a present was not made, he always contended for his father's having
many other uses for his money, and a right to spend it as he liked.

As to the management of their children, his theory was much better than
his wife's, and his practice not so bad. "I could manage them very
well, if it were not for Mary's interference," was what Anne often
heard him say, and had a good deal of faith in; but when listening in
turn to Mary's reproach of "Charles spoils the children so that I
cannot get them into any order," she never had the smallest temptation
to say, "Very true."

One of the least agreeable circumstances of her residence there was her
being treated with too much confidence by all parties, and being too
much in the secret of the complaints of each house. Known to have some
influence with her sister, she was continually requested, or at least
receiving hints to exert it, beyond what was practicable. "I wish you
could persuade Mary not to be always fancying herself ill," was
Charles's language; and, in an unhappy mood, thus spoke Mary: "I do
believe if Charles were to see me dying, he would not think there was
anything the matter with me. I am sure, Anne, if you would, you might
persuade him that I really am very ill--a great deal worse than I ever

Previous Page
Next Page

Rate This Book

Current Rating: 3.3/5 (548 votes cast)

Review This Book or Post a Comment