“It was evident that the gentleman, (completely a gentleman in manner) admired her exceedingly. Captain Wentworth looked round at her instantly in a way which shewed his noticing of it. He gave her a momentary glance, a glance of brightness, which seemed to say, “That man is struck with you, and even I, at this moment, see something like Anne Elliot again.”
When it comes to the Game of Love, nothing gets a guy’s attentions so fast as another guy noticing a girl. Even if the girl is not on a guy’s radar, she gets there fast when another eligible man enters the ring. Though Frederick is still emotionally prickly when it comes to Anne Elliot, the notice of a gentleman puts him in his place for a moment.
Is this a helping of macho preening with a small side of jealousy? Or, could this a dent in the armor Wentworth has spent years building up?
I say it’s both.
In the past few days Frederick’s come to know that Anne was proposed to by Charles Musgrove. Charles may not be a captain of the navy, but Charles has money and will come into a huge inheritance when his father dies. It is very likely that Musgrove has more to offer Anne materially than Frederick ever will. That’s got to be a stumbling block to Wentworth’s gold-braided ego.
And, she spent the evening talking with Benwick. Frederick had to see that they were well-matched intellectually. I think her intellect always drew him and to see it exercised with someone else was probably galling as well.
Now, a stranger is acknowledging that Anne Elliot is worth a second glance.
Time softens hurt feelings, unless you keep those angry muscles strong with regular workouts. I think Frederick thought about her occasionally, but for the most part left Anne’s memory in the past. Until Sophia wrote and told him where she was going to be living.
For weeks he relived the disdain of Sir Walter. Maybe there were fantasies of rubbing the old boy’s face in his twenty thousand pounds. He would also have relived moment Anne rejected him. I wrote Frederick with a slight mean-streak and so he might like the idea of her being taken down a peg or two. I do like to think that seeing her reduced circumstances initially gave him a bit of a kick, but that was soon gone as he watched her life play out before him.
I think he is coming to realize there is no villain. There is only a sad past.
And any sadness about the past will be taken into the new year, if we let it. What do you want to let go of this coming year? An old love affair? Money woes? Guilt over a felony conviction? Mine is pretty mundane, I want to be free of caring what is sifting through the mathematical maze that is Facebook. I spend too much time scrolling past cat pics and inspirational memes that only inspire guilt.
I’m hoping to do what Frederick eventually does, take a step forward and leave the past behind.
Have a happy and prosperous new year.
Take care–Susan Kaye