Had she not imagined herself consulting his good, even more than her own, she could hardly have given him up. The belief of being prudent, and self-denying, principally for his advantage, was her chief consolation, under the misery of a parting, a final parting; and every consolation was required, for she had to encounter all the additional pain of opinions, on his side, totally unconvinced and unbending, and of his feeling himself ill used by so forced a relinquishment. He had left the country in consequence.
Persuasion, Chapter 4
This evening, my dog and I started listening to Persuasion. He seemed to like it — he fell asleep on the bed. I sat and listened and cross-stitched to my heart’s content. I forgot both how much I love this book, and how much I enjoy this craft.
First — Anne Elliot, I think life will be ok if my life (at 27) somehow reconciles itself as yours does. It’s been a few years since I read Persuasion, so I forgot how absent Anne is from the first three chapters (indicative of her family’s treatment of her) and how subtly Wentworth is introduced. Perhaps books like this shouldn’t give me an odd kind of hope, but they do. Strangely enough, I’ve realized that somewhere I both internalized and rejected the idea that if you aren’t betrothed by nineteen, you’re an old maid.
Second — I’ve never completed a perfect cross-stitch. I mess something up, inevitably. I miscount. I skip a stitch. I get so impatient that I can’t finish. Now, I’ve got 5 kits lying around my room, waiting to be completed and sewn into a pillowcase. I’m having a need to make pillowcases. Pillowcases and quilts. I wouldn’t begin to have enough beds for the pillowcases and quilts I want to make.
Anyways, I paused at chapter 4 to get a drink, and because I was struck by Anne’s recollection of Wentworth. So simple. So straightforward. So much like how I’ve felt so often in my life. Before I started chapter 5, I realized my dog had wandered off. I called him: “Bungee! Come back! We have more of Persuasion to listen to!” In he trotted and waited to be lifted onto the bed. Once he got settled, paws tucked underneath him, we began.
(The recording I’m listening to can be found here. It’s extremely enjoyable.)