Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/175

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143
CANCELLED CHAPTER OF ‘PERSUASION’

elsewhere. He would gladly weaken, by any fair means, whatever sentiments or speculations concerning him might exist; and he went therefore into Shropshire, meaning after a while to return to the Cross at Kellynch, and act as he found requisite. He had remained in Shropshire, lamenting the Blindness of his own Pride, and the Blunders of his own Calculations, till at once released from Louisa by the astonishing felicity of her engagement with Benwick. Bath, Bath—had instantly followed, in Thought; and not long after, in fact. At Bath, to arrive with Hope, to be torn by Jealousy at the first sight of Mr. Elliot, to experience all the changes of each at the Concert, to be miserable by this morning’s circumstantial report, to be now more happy than Language could express, or any heart but his own be capable of.

He was very eager and very delightful in the description of what he had felt at the Concert. The Evening seemed to have been made up of exquisite moments: the moment of her stepping forward in the Octagon Room to speak to him, the moment of Mr. Elliot’s appearing and tearing her away, and one or two subsequent moments, marked by returning hope, or increasing Despondence, were all dwelt on with energy. ‘To see you,’ cried he, ‘in the midst of those who could not be my well-wishers, to see your Cousin close by you, conversing and smiling, and feel all the horrible Eligibilities and Proprieties of the Match!—to consider it as the certain wish of every being who could hope to influence you, even if your own feelings were reluctant, or indifferent; to consider what powerful support would be his! Was not it enough to make the fool of me, which my behaviour expressed? How could I look on without agony? Was not the very sight of the Friend who sat behind you—was not the recollection of what had been—the knowledge of her Influence