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Mrs. Croft is smart (Mr. Shepherd calls her a better businesswoman than her husband), confident, and doesn’t take sass from anyone, not least her brother. When Captain Wentworth tries to argue that women are fragile flowers who should be spared from suffering the roughness of shipboard life, she counters that women are "rational creatures" and that "we none of us expect to be in smooth waters all our days" (8.45). Her no-nonsense attitude gives Anne an alternate model of adult femininity to what she sees in women like Lady Russell and Mrs. Musgrove.