Thursday, February 12, 2015

Persuasion Read-Along: Chapter 17

Here Mrs. Smith is introduced and we get a glimpse of Anne standing up to her family, fighting for what she knows to be right and doing it all with such extreme respect! And we later have Lady Russell arguing Mr. Elliot’s cause, which leads to one of my favorite eulogies on some of the differences between him and CW.

We also get this observation: “Mr Elliot is an exceedingly agreeable man, and in many respects I think highly of him," said Anne; "but we should not suit.” Love is such a mystery… Sometimes everything would seem to be perfectly aligned between two people and nothing happens—while in a quite different direction there are obstacles and cold water and roadblocks galore and it hangs on stubbornly.

Favorite lines/quotes:

“Twelve years had changed Anne from the blooming, silent, unformed girl of fifteen, to the elegant little woman of seven-and-twenty, with every beauty except bloom, and with manners as consciously right as they were invariably gentle…” pg. 150

“Call it gossip, if you will, but when Nurse Rooke has half an hour's leisure to bestow on me, she is sure to have something to relate that is entertaining and profitable: something that makes one know one's species better. One likes to hear what is going on, to be au fait as to the newest modes of being trifling and silly.” pg. 152

“Lady Russell said not another word, willing to leave the matter to its own operation; and believing that, could Mr Elliot at that moment with propriety have spoken for himself!--she believed, in short, what Anne did not believe. The same image of Mr Elliot speaking for himself brought Anne to composure again. The charm of Kellynch and of “Lady Elliot” all faded away. She never could accept him. And it was not only that her feelings were still adverse to any man save one; her judgement, on a serious consideration of the possibilities of such a case was against Mr Elliot. Though they had now been acquainted a month, she could not be satisfied that she really knew his character. That he was a sensible man, an agreeable man, that he talked well, professed good opinions, seemed to judge properly and as a man of principle, this was all clear enough. He certainly knew what was right, nor could she fix on any one article of moral duty evidently transgressed; but yet she would have been afraid to answer for his conduct. She distrusted the past, if not the present…

…Mr Elliot was rational, discreet, polished, but he was not open. There was never any burst of feeling, any warmth of indignation or delight, at the evil or good of others. This, to Anne, was a decided imperfection. Her early impressions were incurable. She prized the frank, the open-hearted, the eager character beyond all others. Warmth and enthusiasm did captivate her still. She felt that she could so much more depend upon the sincerity of those who sometimes looked or said a careless or a hasty thing, than of those whose presence of mind never varied, whose tongue never slipped.” pg. 157-158

Possible discussion question/s:

~ It says Anne felt “she could so much more depend upon the sincerity of those who sometimes looked or said a careless or a hasty thing, than of those whose presence of mind never varied, whose tongue never slipped.” Leaving allowance, of course, for all of us striving hard and wanting never to have our tongues slip—do you tend to agree with this statement?


  1. SO MUCH RESPECT FOR ANNE. Not only is she willing to give up prestige and the opinion of fancy people to stay with an old friend, but her views on people and the importance of vulnerability were just so on point. 10 points for Anne! This chapter was kinda slow, but oh did it make me respect her more.

    1. Susanna,
      I agree. Anne's amazing! ;)

  2. It's my experience that a person who is guarded must be guarding something. Whereas a person who can be unguarded has less to hide. So yes, I agree with Anne.

    Other lines I marked:

    "There is so little real friendship in the world!" (Still sadly true.)

    "Anne could have said much... but her sense of personal respect to her father prevented her." (Someone who can respect Sir Walter has indeed a high capability for respecting. Is it any wonder she would have taken her surrogate mother's warnings and doubts so much to heart?)

    1. Hamlette,
      Yes. And I also think someone can be reserved and not hiding anything, but with a reserved person it can be so hard to decide if you've really cracked their shell---if you really "know" them.

      And good point connecting her respect with how she took Lady Russell's advice! She reminds me here of the line about her mother near the beginning---how she respected her husband and by her respect made him more respectable in the eyes of the world. It's definitely different here as it's a father-daughter relationship, but the broad principles seem to apply.


Challenging questions and thoughts are most welcome! Please just keep all comments wholesome and God-honoring. Also, if someone else has left a comment you’d like to reply to/interact with—do feel free!