Here is the latest installment of my PERSUASION tweets for Chapters 22 and the first part of 23, complete with teasers and faux-commercial breaks.
[Amanda Root as Anne Elliot and Ciáran Hinds as Captain Frederick Wentworth in the stunning 1995 film adaptation of PERSUASION.]
Anne is now repulsed by the disingenuous Mr. Elliot—how to reveal the truth about him to her fam is the question…
Meanwhile, Mrs. Clay encourages Elizabeth Elliot in her delusions that SHE is Mr. Elliot's object. Dream on, sister.
And the Oscar goes to… Mrs. Clay for pretending to like Mr. Elliot's visits despite his trying to sabotage her.
Anne about to expose Mr. Elliot to Lady R (mind out of gutter, please) when Mary and Charles Musgrove unexpectedly arrive.
"Anne was really glad to see them; and the others were not so sorry but that they could put on a decent air of welcome."
Anne visits Mary & hub at their hotel: They're w/Mr. & Mrs. Musgrove, Henrietta, & Capt H. & then-DRUMROLL: HE arrives.
HE being, of course, Capt. Frederick Wentworth. Clutch the pearls. Tho' convinced he has feelings for her, Anne frets.
She fears "that the same unfortunate persuasion, which had hastened him away from the Concert Room, still governed. "
"Surely," Anne thinks, "if there be constant attachment on each side, our hearts must understand each other ere long."
"We are not boy and girl, to be...misled by every moment's inadvertence, and wantonly playing with our own happiness."
"And yet, a few minutes afterwards," they fall prey "to inadvertencies and misconstructions of the most mischievous kind."
Mary spots Mr. Elliot from a window and makes Anne look—and Anne can feel how Capt W makes all the wrong assumptions.
Anne wins points w/Capt W when Charles proposes skipping the Elliots' boring card party, & Anne wishes she could.
"You have not been long enough in Bath," says Capt W to Anne, "to enjoy the evening parties of the place."
"Oh! no," says Anne. "The usual character of them has nothing for me. I am no card-player."
"You were not formerly, I know," says Capt W. "You did not use to like cards; but time makes many changes."
"'I am not yet so much changed,' cried Anne, and stopped, fearing she hardly knew what misconstruction."
"After waiting a few moments he said... 'It is a period, indeed! Eight years and a half is a period.'"
And then, "the door was thrown open for Sir Walter and Miss Elliot, whose entrance seemed to give a general chill."
"The comfort, the freedom...of the room was over, hushed...to meet the heartless elegance of her father and sister."
Elizabeth issues her party invitation to all, including the formerly snubbed Capt W—he'll look well in her drawing room.
Anne cannot believe that Capt W will accept her sister's invite "as an atonement for all the insolence of the past."
Anne goes home, intent on "harassing herself with the never-ending question": Will Capt W come to the party or not?"
Next morning: Anne returns to the Musgroves' hotel, where Capt W is busily writing a letter for Capt Harville.
At the other table, Mrs. Musgrove is telling Mrs. Croft about Henrietta's engagment—she's happy it won't be a long one.
Mrs. Croft agrees: "To begin without knowing…there will be the means of marrying, I hold to be very unsafe and unwise."
It is, adds Mrs. Croft, "what I think all parents should prevent as far as they can." Anne sees Capt W's reaction to this.
His "pen ceased to move, his head was raised..and he turned round...to give a look, one quick, conscious look at her."
Coming up in PERSUASION: Do women love longer than men, or are men just as faithful?
"Look here," says Capt Harville to Anne, showing her a miniature painting of Capt Benwick. "You may guess who it is for."
"But," (in a deep tone,) "it was not done for her...do you remember our walking together at Lyme, and grieving for him?"
"This was drawn…in compliance with a promise to my poor sister…and I have now the charge of getting it...set for another!"
"'He undertakes it;' (looking towards Captain Wentworth,) 'he is writing about it now.'"
"And with a quivering lip he wound up the whole by adding, 'Poor Fanny! she would not have forgotten him so soon!'"
"No," replied Anne... "That I can easily believe." Capt. Harville: "It was not in her nature. She doted on him."
"It would not be the nature of any woman who truly loved."
Still to come in PERSUASION: Anne speaks the words that launch the letter that makes 2 centuries of readers believe. In love. & 2nd chances.
This Twitter presentation of PERSUASION is brought to you by Gowland: "For a clearer, fresher way to withstand a baronet's gaze."
Persuasion, Ch.23 continues:
"We certainly do not forget you as soon as you forget us." (a kind way to say men hv attention-deficit-romance-disorder.)
"We cannot help ourselves. We live at home, quiet, confined, and our feelings prey upon us."
Men have work to occupy their minds, Anne adds. They are "forced on exertion." But not Benwick, says Capt Harville.
Anne: "It must be nature, man's nature, which has done the business for Captain Benwick." Capt. Harville disagrees.
"I will not allow it to be more man's nature than woman's to be inconstant... I believe the reverse," says Capt. Harville.
Men's bodies are stronger, & so are their feelings, says he. That may be, says Anne, "but…ours are the most tender."
Anne thinks men endure much in the world. " It would be hard, indeed...if woman's feelings were to be added to all this."
Which is right about when Capt W drops his pen, and Anne suspects he's been straining to hear her conversation.
Capt Harville & Anne agree that it can never be proved; books point to women's inconstancy, but they were written by men.
And then, Capt Harville puts in one last eloquent plea for his sex, to prove how strongly men love their women and kids.
"If I could explain…all that a man can bear and do, and glories to do, for the sake of these treasures of his existence! "
"I speak, you know, only of such men as have hearts!" pressing his own with emotion." [Don't you love this guy?]
"Oh!" cried Anne eagerly, "I hope I do justice to all that is felt by you, and by those who resemble you."
"God forbid that I should undervalue the warm and faithful feelings of any of my fellow-creatures!"
"I should deserve utter contempt if I dared to suppose that true attachment and constancy were known only by woman."
"All the privilege I claim for my own sex (it is not a very enviable one)...is that of loving longest, when..hope is gone."
This Twitter presentation of PERSUASION has been brought to you by Gowland: "When letting the blinds down is not enough."
Persuasion, Ch23 continues:
"You are a good soul," says Captain Harville to Anne affectionately. "There is no quarreling with you." He & Capt W leave.
Anne is baffled by Capt W's manner. " …from him not a word, nor a look! He had passed out of the room without a look!"
And then he's back—forgot his gloves—and crossing to Anne, places a letter before her "with eyes of glowing entreaty."
"Hastily collecting his gloves," he's gone again—"the work of an instant!" Anne's feelings are "almost beyond expression."
"On the contents of that letter depended all which this world could do for her. Anything was possible..."
And so "her eyes devoured the following words: 'I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you...'
"You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever."
"I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago."
"Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you."
Still to come in PERSUASION: More of The Letter. Till then, fans and smelling salts at the ready.