“No!” he replied impressively, “there is nothing worth my staying for;” and he was gone directly.
Jealousy of Mr Elliot! It was the only intelligible motive. Captain Wentworth jealous of her affection! Could she have believed it a week ago; three hours ago! For a moment the gratification was exquisite. But, alas! there were very different thoughts to succeed. How was such jealousy to be quieted? How was the truth to reach him? How, in all the peculiar disadvantages of their respective situations, would he ever learn of her real sentiments? It was misery to think of Mr Elliot’s attentions. Their evil was incalculable.
“There is nothing worth my staying for.” On the one hand, this is a petulant thing to say as you storm away from the girl you’re trying to win. But, I understand it completely.
Weeks ago, in Lyme, Mr Elliot was the man who caused Frederick to notice Anne’s improving looks, even to the point of admitting there was something of the old Anne back in view.
After the kerfuffle with Louisa Musgrove is put to rest, Frederick high-tails it to Bath in hopes of making things right. I’m sure he spent those few days on the road, spinning scenarios of the coming reunion with Anne. It happens! They meet. She even steps forward, in a very public place, to acknowledge him, then, Mr Elliot!
The guy is everywhere. And then there is the latest Bath gossip that implies a mutual interest between the two. I’m sure the days between their meeting in Molland’s and the concert were full of dark thoughts.
Now comes the concert and Elliot’s excessive interest in Anne and his ease with her family. There can be no doubt that Frederick spent the interval imagining the worst.
I can identify. Dark thoughts and letting my imagination run riot is a pastime of mine. Taking every thought captive and wringing them into submission is also a part of my job description. It’s tough, particularly when you’re sure that the people you love don’t care as much about you as you do them. We all do this, right? So, we can all sympathize.
Frederick can imagine Anne is in love with him all day, but until the words are said, he’s just dreaming. What makes Frederick a fortunate man is Anne understands him perfectly. She knows he’s jealous of Elliot.
But just how does she get through that thick head?