Persuasion 200: Everyone talks to Anne


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Never had Anne had so many seeking her ear and her counsel. But as much as things were different, many things remained unchanged.

Anne pulled her shawl around her shoulders more tightly and slipped outside, the sun still so low on the horizon, only the servants were about. A fresh breeze teased, begging her to come out and partake of the morning, a far more appealing invitation than Mary’s snores filtering from her open window. The violent, rasping roar had kept her up most of the night and it would be a pleasure to be free of it, even for a short time, before it was replace by Mary’s whining, nasal voice.

Anne hurried along the path that led to Uppercross’ gardens. There were few better places to enjoy the first rays of daylight. Mrs. Musgrove kept a spectacular array of flowers. Something always seemed to be blooming and filling the air with fragrance, a very cheerful place to seek solace for her frazzled nerves.

How very different Uppercross was to Kellynch, so very different. Neither her father nor Elizabeth cared one whit about her or her opinion. Unless they wanted something of her, no one spoke to her. Of course it was a trial…but perhaps there was some redeeming value in the isolation after all. She chuckled under her breath.

In some ways this place was quite the opposite. It appeared Uppercross was populated by those who wished desperately to talk to her. That was new and novel. But it was quite familiar in that its inhabitants, willing as they were to speak, rarely if ever listened.

The difference was quite remarkable and took some effort to become accustomed to. Everyone, literally everyone, had to seek her out to express an opinion to her, sometimes under the guise of seeking hers. Not that any of them actually paused long enough to allow her to reply. Odder still, her silence was more often than not credited to her as some form of wisdom and great compassion when in truth all she had done was hold her piece and nod.

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