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Persuasion

Jane Austen

Chapters 19–20

Chapters 17–18

Chapters 19–20, page 2

page 1 of 2
Summary

Chapter 19

Captain Wentworth arrives in Bath and Anne sees him the very next day when she is out walking. She is with Elizabeth, Mrs. Clay, and Mr. Elliot in town when it starts to rain. Mr. Elliot asks Lady Dalrymple if she will escort the ladies home in her carriage. Lady Dalrymple agrees but since she only has room for two of them, Anne decides to walk home with Mr. Elliot. They meet Captain Wentworth while in a store waiting for Lady Dalrymple's carriage.

Captain Wentworth is shocked to see her. He speaks to Anne and they talk of the Musgroves. Elizabeth would not acknowledge Captain Wentworth, as she thought him beneath her; this pains Anne. Elizabeth and Mrs. Clay leave to enter the carriage. On finding that there is no room for Anne, Captain Wentworth offers her his services and his umbrella. But Mr. Elliot at that moment returns to take Anne by the arm and whisk her out of the store. The people who accompany Captain Wentworth guess that there is something between Mr. Elliot and Anne.

The next morning, Anne is walking with Lady Russell when they see Captain Wentworth on the opposite side of the street. Though she knows that Lady Russell must see him, she makes no comment.

Anne grows tired of the private parties she must always attend with her family's friends, but she looks forward to an upcoming concert for the benefit of one of Lady Dalrymple's friends. Captain Wentworth is sure to be at this concert. She tells Mrs. Smith about the upcoming concert and Mrs. Smith makes a cryptic remark that she thinks she may not have many more visits from Anne.

Chapter 20

The Elliot family goes to the concert, which all the important people in Bath will attend. Captain Wentworth enters, and Anne is pleased that her father and Elizabeth choose to acknowledge him. Wentworth stops to talk with Anne, compliments her on her level-headedness in Lyme, and expresses his good wishes for Louisa and Captain Benwick. He also tells Anne that he has some doubts about their marriage, Louisa being not nearly intellectual enough for Benwick. He is surprised that Benwick has been able to get over the death of his first love, Fanny Harville, so quickly.

Anne is very happy after her conversation with Captain Wentworth, but she is unable to sit near him during the concert. Instead, she sits next to Mr. Elliot and is asked by him to translate the Italian in their program. He compliments her excessively, hints that he was told of her fine character before he met her, and expresses his hope that her name may never change. He implies a marriage between himself and Anne. Although she is surprised, Anne is thinking instead of Captain Wentworth and how to get near enough to talk to him again. He is distant and will not come over to talk with her.

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