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Chapter 6
Anne had not wanted this visit to Uppercross, to learn that a removal from one
set of people to another, though at a distance of only three miles, will often
include a total change of conversation, opinion, and idea. She had never been
staying there before, without being struck by it, or without wishing that other
Elliots could have her advantage in seeing how unknown, or unconsidered there,
were the affairs which at Kellynch Hall were treated as of such general publicity
and pervading interest; yet, with all this experience, she believed she must now
submit to feel that another lesson, in the art of knowing our own nothingness
beyond our own circle, was become necessary for her; for certainly, coming as
she did, with a heart full of the subject which had been completely occupying
both houses in Kellynch for many weeks, she had expected rather more curiosity
and sympathy than she found in the separate but very similar remark of Mr. and
Mrs. Musgrove: "So, Miss Anne, Sir Walter and your sister are gone; and what
part of Bath do you think they will settle in?" and this, without much waiting for an
answer; or in the young ladies' addition of, "I hope we shall be in Bath in the
winter; but remember, papa, if we do go, we must be in a good situation: none of
your Queen Squares for us!" or in the anxious supplement from Mary, of-- "Upon
my word, I shall be pretty well off, when you are all gone away to be happy at
She could only resolve to avoid such self-delusion in future, and think with
heightened gratitude of the extraordinary blessing of having one such truly
sympathising friend as Lady Russell.
The Mr. Musgroves had their own game to guard, and to destroy, their own
horses, dogs, and newspapers to engage them, and the females were fully
occupied in all the other common subjects of housekeeping, neighbours, dress,
dancing, and music. She acknowledged it to be very fitting, that every little social
commonwealth should dictate its own matters of discourse; and hoped, ere long,
to become a not unworthy member of the one she was now transplanted into.
With the prospect of spending at least two months at Uppercross, it was highly
incumbent on her to clothe her imagination, her memory, and all her ideas in as
much of Uppercross as possible.
She had no dread of these two months. Mary was not so repulsive and unsisterly
as Elizabeth, nor so inaccessible to all influence of hers; neither was there
anything among the other component parts of the cottage inimical to comfort.
She was always on friendly terms with her brother-in-law; and in the children,
who loved her nearly as well, and respected her a great deal more than their
mother, she had an object of interest, amusement, and wholesome exertion.
Charles Musgrove was civil and agreeable; in sense and temper he was
undoubtedly superior to his wife, but not of powers, or conversation, or grace, to
make the past, as they were connected together, at all a dangerous
contemplation; though, at the same time, Anne could believe, with Lady Russell,
that a more equal match might have greatly improved him; and that a woman of
real understanding might have given more consequence to his character, and
more usefulness, rationality, and elegance to his habits and pursuits. As it was,