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|An impulse of 'pure friendship'?
Written by Barbara
(10/3/2005 12:35 a.m.)
I am always struck by the fact that when Captain Wentworth pulls little Walter off Anne's back at the Cottage, and then entertains the child by studiously making noise with him, Anne's assumption is that "he meant to avoid hearing her thanks, and rather sought to testify that her conversation was the last of his wants"--rather than that he--literally--just wanted to keep the child off her back and continue helping her out.
Considering that and some of Anne's other suppositions about what the captain was thinking, it surprises me a little that she then takes his getting her a ride in the Crofts' carriage as 'an impulse of pure, though unacknowledged friendship' and not just that he was trying to get rid of her on the walk.
It is true that she is tired and that this was kind, as well as perceptive, of him to realize it and do something about it. But she has taken gestures like this in a negative way before, and I wonder what was different this time? Is it what she overheard on the walk--his interest in Charles' proposal to her and 'that degree of feeling and curiosity about her in his manner'?
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