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|That did not mean it was unheard of...
Written by Moni
(10/15/2008 11:33 a.m.)
in consequence of the missive, A second proposal to the same woman?, penned by Martina
however, but I don't have any references at hand to prove it. So the point has to be left there for now. One good clue that a second proposal may have been offered is Anne's thoughtful consideration earlier in the novel, where she fully expected the Captain to return once he had achieved his indendence, as he went away to do. Since she followed the navy lists so faithfully, she knew of his achievements. It was in his power only to refresh the proposal, as she could not even write to him.
Handsome is as handsome does, in my book! For this man to repeatedly shun a former loved one, proudly display his prowess and achievements to all, and be forever the favourite in her own circle, where she is all but ignored, shows a decided lack of forethought. To hurt the woman he loved in this fashion ought to be beneath him. He accuses the Elliot family of excess of pride, but he flirts with the personality trait himself, delighted with his own power.
Here is a hint of Anne's state of mind and how it has been further affected, in Chapter 8 -
"It was a merry, joyous party, and ***no one seemed in higher spirits than Captain Wentworth***. She felt that he had every thing to elevate him, which general attention and deference, and ***especially the attention of all the young women could do***. The Miss Hayters, the females of the family of cousins already mentioned, were apparently admitted to the honour of being in love with him; and as for Henrietta and Louisa, they both seemed so entirely occupied by him, that nothing but the continued appearance of the most perfect good-will between themselves could have made it credible that they were not decided rivals. ***If he were a little spoilt by such universal, such eager admiration, who could wonder***?
These were some of the thoughts which occupied Anne, while her fingers were mechanically at work, proceeding for half an hour together, equally without error, and without consciousness. ***Once she felt that he was looking at herself, observing her altered features, perhaps, trying to trace in them the ruins of the face which had once charmed him***; and once she knew that he must have spoken of her: she was hardly aware of it till she heard the answer; but then she was sure of his having asked his partner whether Miss Elliot never danced? The answer was, "Oh! no, never; she has quite given up dancing. She had rather play. She is never tired of playing." Once, too, he spoke to her. She had left the instrument on the dancing being over, and he had sat down to try to make out an air which he wished to give the Miss Musgroves an idea of. Unintentionally she returned to that part of the room; he saw her, and instantly rising, said, with studied politeness --
"I beg your pardon, madam, this is your seat"; and though she immediately drew back with a decided negative, he was not to be induced to sit down again.
***Anne did not wish for more of such looks and speeches. His cold politeness, his ceremonious grace, were worse than any thing.***"
I know this section is long, and I do apologize, but it really shows the desperate state the former relationship has sunk to, and Anne is definitely outnumbered, her power lost. Had she chased him, she would've ended up absolutely humiliated, given the present scenery! ;-)
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