Baby, it’s cold outside


“…as he had stood in a shop on Bond-street he had counted eighty-seven women go by, one after another, without there being a tolerable face among them. It had been a frosty (foggy) morning, to be sure, a sharp frost, which hardly one woman in a thousand could stand the test of.”

I know, it’s not frost. But, we do have fog in the Portland area so it applies in a hazy way.

Of course the quote is Sir Walter showing off his intellectual prowess again. What is your favorite comment, observation, or aside from the Sage of Somerset?

I have to laugh when he asks Anne, on her arrival in Bath, if Mary still has a red nose. And goes on to say that, “If I thought it would not tempt her to go out in sharp winds, and grow coarse, I would send her a new hat and pelisse.” Such economy of thought  and finance. And what a man to be protecting his daughter’s complexion AND his pocketbook at the same time.

There’s a reason he’s a gentleman.


About these ads

8 thoughts on “Baby, it’s cold outside

  1. Robin Helm

    I like Admiral Croft’s line upon seeing Sir Walter’s bedroom at Kellynch. He says there’s such an abundance of mirrors that there’s “simply no getting away from oneself.” That’s the true measure of Sir Walter.

    1. Susan Kaye Post author

      Good catch, Robin. I think like Laura Hile, Jane Austen found Sir Walter such a useful character that she added so many little bits and bobs about him that he is one of the more fully sketched characters of the novel.

      1. Laura Hile

        Jane’s humorous descriptions of Sir Walter are most entertaining. Even so, I was taken aback to reread the first chapters of Persuasion this afternoon, for I am now older than Sir Walter … and Lady Russell. Horrors! Never mind that I extended his fictional life by three books, I am in Sir Walter’s eyes hopelessly ancient. And unfashionable.

        We hear the man’s first lengthy speech below, an apt illustration of how taken up he is with his two favorite topics: social precedence and appearance. (I have formatted Jane’s paragraph as modern fiction would be.)

        “One day last spring, in town, I was in company with two men, striking instances of what I am talking of, Lord St. Ives, whose father we all know to have been a country curate, without bread to eat; I was to give place to Lord St. Ives, and a certain Admiral Baldwin, the most deplorable looking personage you can imagine, his face the colour of mahogany, rough and rugged to the last degree, all lines and wrinkles, nine grey hairs of a side, and nothing but a dab of powder at top.–

        ‘In the name of heaven, who is that old fellow?’ said I, to a friend of mine who was standing near, (Sir Basil Morley.)

        ‘Old fellow!’ cried Sir Basil, ‘it is Admiral Baldwin. What do you take his age to be?’

        ‘Sixty,’ said I, ‘or perhaps sixty-two.’

        ‘Forty,’ replied Sir Basil, ‘forty, and no more.’

        “Picture to yourselves my amazement; I shall not easily forget Admiral Baldwin. I never saw quite so wretched an example of what a sea-faring life can do; but to a degree, I know it is the same with them all: they are all knocked about, and exposed to every climate, and every weather, till they are not fit to be seen. It is a pity they are not knocked on the head at once, before they reach Admiral Baldwin’s age.”

        1. Susan Kaye Post author

          And yet, he’s pretty impressed with Wentworth upon closer inspection. Sir Walter, or SW as he’s known in our shorthand, is just one of those people who likes being one of and only with, the pretty people.

          At least he’s open about it.

          1. Laura Hile

            Indeed, he’d be lining up for The Millionaire Matchmaker, don’t you think? Sadly, he’d be merely a contestant, and a needy one at that. At a swimsuit mixer he’d be in his element, the better to exhibit his fine form and bronzed tan. And that all-important SIR WALTER nametag.

            1. Susan Kaye Post author

              We could hope for a big, gaudy necklace of rhinestones that spell it out, or perhaps a big “SW” grill. I vote for the teeth bling so that he’d be so busy getting people to look he might cease to speak.

Why yes, we DO want a piece of your mind. ;-)

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s