Study Guide

Persuasion Chapter 19

By Jane Austen

Chapter 19

  • Even as Anne and the Admiral speak of inviting him, however, Captain Wentworth is already on his way to Bath.
  • One day Anne is out with Mr. Elliot, Elizabeth, and Mrs. Clay, and they go into a shop to get out of the rain.
  • Elizabeth manages to bum a ride from Lady Dalrymple in her carriage, but there is only room for two. Anne and Mrs. Clay do a Chip-n-Dale routine as to who can be more polite and self-sacrificing to give up the remaining seat and walk home with Mr. Elliot instead (which is what both of them really want), but Anne eventually wins that game and is set to go with Mr. Elliot while the other two ride in the carriage.
  • While this is all being settled and Mr. Elliot is going off to run an errand for Elizabeth, Anne sees Captain Wentworth out the window, walking down the street.
  • All goes black for Anne and her heart skips a beat, but she manages to recover herself before anyone else notices.
  • Soon Wentworth himself comes into the shop with a group of friends, and is surprised and embarrassed to see Anne.
  • They strike up an awkward conversation, even though Elizabeth pointedly ignores Wentworth.
  • As Elizabeth and Mrs. Clay go off to fly Air Dalrymple, Wentworth offers to walk Anne home, but she tells him that Mr. Elliot has already claimed that task.
  • At that moment, Mr. Elliot returns, and Wentworth recognizes him as the stranger who was so obviously checking Anne out way back in Lyme.
  • After Anne leaves with Mr. Elliot, the ladies in Wentworth’s group of friends discuss the rumor that the pair will marry, and say that they like Anne much better than her older sister even if most of the men rank them the other way around.
  • Mr. Elliot attempts to engage Anne in his usual pleasant conversation, but her mind is whirling with Wentworth.
  • Anne thinks about all the things she would like to know but doesn’t: what Wentworth is feeling, how long he is staying in Bath, and what Lady Russell will say once she finds out.
  • The next morning Anne is out with Lady Russell, but primarily on Wentworth watch. (It’s 10am…do you know where your Wentworth is?)
  • She finally sees him, and thinks that Lady Russell sees him too, but really the older woman is just trying to find a particularly sweet window arrangement that a friend had mentioned to her, and totally missed that Wentworth just walked by.
  • A few days pass with no Wentworth, as he moves in less fashionable circles than the Elliots.
  • But, at last, an opportunity arrives: there’s going to be a concert benefit for someone in Lady Dalrymple’s orbit, and Anne knows that Wentworth is fond of music…perhaps he will attend?
  • Anne even puts off Mrs. Smith this time so that she can go to the concert, in hopes of running into Wentworth.
  • Mrs. Smith, ever plugged in to the gossip, has some idea of what’s going on, and makes a prediction that Anne will soon have other concerns ranking above visiting her old friend.