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Admiral Croft is an example of a good man made better by a great wife (imagine what Homer Simpson would be like without Marge). Anne sees in their driving a symbol of their relationship: the Admiral has the reins, but it’s Mrs. Croft who keeps them from crashing. When Mrs. Croft mentions an incident from their early life together, she refers to him as "Captain Croft then" (8.53), allowing us to imagine that the Admiral and Mrs. Croft are what Wentworth and Anne might grow up into.