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|Sitting a Vigil
Written by Robbin
(10/13/2005 8:21 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Well she's not awake to appreciate his efforts, penned by Jenny Allan
"Nothing can be going on better than the child," said he (Charles), "so I told my father, just now, that I would come, and he thought me quite right. Your sister being with you, my love, I have no scruple at all. You would not like to leave him yourself, but you see I can be of no use. Anne will send for me if any thing is the matter…Mary, I (Anne) cannot wonder at your husband. Nursing does not belong to a man; it is not his province. A sick child is always the mother's property: her own feelings generally make it so." (Chapter 7)
What Captain Wentworth’s concerns might have been for Louisa before or more specifically what other’s thought or hoped they were is not really relevant at this time and I also feel he acts correctly for what his feelings and relationship to her are at present time. It would be wrong for Captain Wentworth to sit vigil for Louisa as it might give others an idea that his concerns are more than what they actually are. In S&S, Colonel Brandon is very emotional concerning Marianne’s illness because he does have a strong, lasting attachment to her and does sit vigil to no ones surprise and even he wishes to be employed, to do something and is consequently sent off to fetch her mother. Like the Colonel our Captain has done what it is in the office of a man to do and a family friend to do—escort ladies home and carry news to her parents. I also do not think the Musgroves expect the Captain to sit vigil, I seriously doubt if even Charles did after the initial shock was over and it appeared she would make a recovery, but slow. I think the quotes above show these sentiments very well.
Just a side note: On this reading of Persuasion I have come to appreciate Charles Musgrove more than I have in the past. The quote above where he addresses Mary as “my love” is very sweet and that he is able to use this endearment and I assume mean it despite Mary’s so obvious and annoying failings is a testament to his generous heart.
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