The "Cancelled Chapters" of Persuasion
The following are the last two chapters of Persuasion as Jane Austen originally wrote them. She was apparently dissatisfied with them, and rewrote them as they were published, but the manuscript pages were passed on to Anna Austen Lefroy, Jane's niece, and were eventually published in part by James Edward Austen-Leigh, her nephew, as part of the second edition of his Memoir in 1871. The full text of the cancelled chapters was published by R.W. Chapman in 1926. The manuscript, the only original manuscript from the six major novels still extant, is now in the possession of the British Museum.
The first chapter replaces the existing Volume II, Chapter X (22) and XI (23), and the second chapter is pretty much the same as the existing Chapter XII (24). The chapters are offered as written by Jane Austen in first-draft form, complete with abbreviations and little attention to proper grammar or spelling.
With all this knowledge of Mr E--& this authority to impart it, Anne left Westgate Buildgs--her mind deeply busy in revolving what she had heard, feeling, thinking, recalling & forseeing everything; shocked at Mr Elliot--sighing over future Kellynch, and pained for Lady Russell, whose confidence in him had been entire.--The Embarrassment which much be felt from this hour in his presence!--How to behave to him?--how to get rid of him?--what to do by any of the Party at home?--where to be blind? where to be active?--It was altogether a confusion of Images & Doubts--a perplexity, an agitation which she could not see the end of--and she was in Gay St & still so much engrossed, that she started on being addressed by Adml Croft, as if he were a person unlikely to be met there. It was within a few steps of his own door.--"You are going to call upon my wife, said he, she will be very glad to see you."--Anne denied it "No--she really had not time, she was in her way home"--but while she spoke, the Adml had stepped back & knocked at the door, calling out, "Yes, yes do go in; she is all alone. go in & rest yourself."--Anne felt so little disposed at this time to be in company of any sort, that it vexed her to be thus constrained--but she was obliged to stop. "Since you are so very kind, said she, I will just ask Mrs Croft how she does, but I really cannot stay 5 minutes.--You are sure she is quite alone."--The possibility of Capt. W. had occurred--and most fearfully anxious was she to be assured--either that he was within or that he was not; which, might have been a question.--"Oh! yes, quite alone--Nobody but her Mantuamaker with her, & they have been shut up together this half hour, so it must be over soon."--"Her Mantua maker!--then I am sure my calling now, wd be most inconvenient.--Indeed you must allow me to leave my Card & be so good as to explain it afterwards to Mrs C." "No, no, not at all, not at all. She will be very happy to see you. Mind--I will not swear that she has not something particular to say to you--but that will all come out in the right place. I give no hints.--Why, Miss Elliot, we begin to hear strange things of you--(smiling in her face)--But you have not much the Look of it--as Grave as a little Judge." --Anne blushed.--"Aye, aye, that will do. Now, it is right. I thought we were not mistaken." She was left to guess at the direction of his Suspicions; --the first wild idea had been of some disclosure from his Br in law--but she was ashamed the next moment--& felt how far more probable that he should be meaning Mr E.--The door was opened--& the Man evidently beginning to deny his Mistress, when the sight of his Master stopped him. The Adml enjoyed the joke exceedingly. Anne thought his triumph over Stephen rather too long. At last however, he was able to invite her upstairs, & stepping before her said--"I will just go up with you myself & shew you in--. I cannot stay, because I must go to the P. Office, but if you will only sit down for 5 minutes I am sure Sophy will come--and you will find nobody to disturb you--there is nobody but Frederick here--" opening the door as he spoke.--Such a person to be passed over as a Nobody to her!--After being allowed to feel quite secure--indifferent--at her ease, to have it burst on her that she was to be the next moment in the same room with him!--No time for recollection!--for planning behaviour, or regulating manners!--There was time only to turn pale, before she had passed through the door, & met the astonished eyes of Capt. W---. who was sitting by the fire pretending to read & prepared for no greater surprise than the Admiral's hasty return.--Equally unexpected was the meeting, on each side. There was nothing to be done however, but to stifle feelings & be quietly polite;--and the Admiral was too much on the alert, to leave any troublesome pause.--He repeated again what he had said before about his wife & everybody--insisted on Anne's sitting down & being perfectly comfortable, was sorry he must leave her himself, but was sure Mrs Croft wd be down very soon, & wd go upstairs & give her notice directly.--Anne was sitting down, but now she arose again--to entreat him not to interrupt Mrs C--& re-urge the wish of going away & calling another time.--But the Adml would not hear of it;--and if she did not return to the charge with unconquerable Perseverance, or did not with a more passive Determination walk quietly out of the room--(as certainly she might have done) may she not be pardoned?--If she had no horror of a few minutes Tête-`-Tête with Capt. W---, may she not be pardoned for not wishing to give him the idea that she had?--She reseated herself, & the Adml took leave; but on reaching the door, said, "Frederick, a word with you, if you please."--Capt. W--- went to him; and instantly, before they were well out of the room, the Adml continued--"As I am going to leave you together, it is but fair I should give you something to talk of--& so, if you please--" Here the door was very firmly closed; she could guess by which of the two; and she lost entirely what immediately followed; but it was impossible for her not to distinguish parts of the rest, for the Adml on the strength of the Door's being shut was speaking without any management of voice, tho' she cd hear his companion trying to check him.--She could not doubt their being speaking of her. She heard her own name & Kellynch repeatedly--she was very much distressed. She knew not what to do, or what to expect--and among other agonies felt the possibility of Capt. W---'s not returning into the room at all, which after her consenting to stay would have been--too bad for Language.--They seemed to be talking of the Admls Lease of Kellynch. She heard him say something of "the Lease being signed or not signed"--that was not likely to be a very agitating subject--but then followed, "I hate to be at an uncertainty--I must know at once--Sophy thinks the same." Then, in a lower tone, Capt. W--- seemed remonstrating--wanting to be excused--wanting to put something off. "Phoo, Phoo--answered the Admiral now is the Time. If you will not speak, I will stop & Speak myself."--"Very well Sir, very well Sir, followed with some impatience from his companion, opening the door as he spoke.--"You will then--you promise you will?" replied the Admiral, in all the power of his natural voice, unbroken even by one thin door.--"Yes--Sir--Yes." And the Adml was hastily left, the door was closed, and the moment arrived in which Anne was alone with Capt. W---. She could not attempt to see how he looked; but he walked immediately to a window, as if irresolute & embarrassed;--and for about the space of 5 seconds, she repented what she had done--censured it as unwise, blushed for it as indelicate.--She longed to be able to speak of the weather or the Concert--but could only compass the releif of taking a Newspaper in her hand.--The distressing pause was soon over however; he turned round in half a minute, and coming towards the table where she sat, said, in a voice of effort & constraint--"You must have heard too much already Madam to be in any doubt of my having promised Adml Croft to speak to you on some particular subject--& this conviction determines me to do it--however repugnant to my--to all my sense of propriety, to be taking so great a liberty.--You will acquit me of Impertinence I trust, by considering me as speaking only for another, and speaking by Necessity;--and the Adml is a Man who can never be thought Impertinent by one who knows him as you do--. His Intentions are always the kindest & the Best;--and you will perceive that he is actuated by none other, in the application which I am now with--with very peculiar feelings--obliged to make."--He stopped--but merely to recover breath;--not seeming to expect any answer.--Anne listened, as if her Life depended on the issue of his Speech.--He proceeded, with a forced alacrity.--"The Adml, Madam, was this morning confidently informed that you were--upon my word I am quite at a loss, ashamed--(breathing & speaking quick)--the awkwardness of giving Information of this sort to one of the Parties--You can be at no loss to understand me--It was very confidently said that Mr Elliot--that everything was settled in the family for an Union between Mr Elliot--& yourself. It was added that you were to live at Kellynch--that Kellynch was to be given up. This, the Admiral knew could not be correct--But it occurred to him that it might be the wish of the Parties--And my commission from him Madam, is to say, that if the Family wish is such, his Lease of Kellynch shall be cancel'd, & he & my sister will provide themselves with another home, without imagining themselves to be doing anything which under similar circumstances wd not be done for them.--This is all Madam.--A very few words in reply from you will be sufficient.--That I should be the person commissioned on this subject is extraordinary!--and beleive me Madam, it is no less painful.--A very few words however will put an end to the awkwardness & distress we may both be feeling." Anne spoke a word or two, but they were un-intelligible--And before she could command herself, he replied,--"If you only tell me that the Adml may address a Line to Sir Walter, it will be enough. Pronounce only the words, he may.--I shall immediately follow him with your message.--" This was spoken, as with a fortitude which seemed to meet the message.--"No Sir--said Anne--There is no message.--You are misin--the Adml is misinformed.--I do justice to the kindness of his Intentions, but he is quite mistaken. There is no Truth in any such report."--He was a moment silent.--She turned her eyes towards him for the first time since his re-entering the room. His colour was varying--& he was looking at her with all the Power & Keenness, which she beleived no other eyes than his, possessed. "No Truth in any such report!--he repeated.--No Truth in any part of it?"--"None."--He had been standing by a chair--enjoying the releif of leaning on it--or of playing with it;--he now sat down--drew it a little nearer to her--& looked, with an expression which had something more than penetration in it, something softer;--Her Countenance did not discourage.--It was a silent, but a very powerful Dialogue;--on his side, Supplication, on her's acceptance.--Still, a little nearer--and a hand taken and pressed--and "Anne, my own dear Anne!"--bursting forth in the fullness of exquisite feeling--and all Suspense & Indecision were over.--They were re-united. They were restored to all that had been lost. They were carried back to the past, with only an increase of attachment & confidence, & only such a flutter of present Delight as made them little fit for the interruption of Mrs Croft, when she joined them not long afterwards.--She probably, in the observations of the next ten minutes, saw something to suspect--& tho' it was hardly possible for a woman of her description to wish the Mantuamaker had imprisoned her longer, she might be very likely wishing for some excuse to run about the house, some storm to break the windows above, or a summons to the Admiral's Shoemaker below.--Fortune favoured them all however in another way--in a gentle, steady rain--just happily set in as the Admiral returned & Anne rose to go.--She was earnestly invited to stay dinner;--a note was dispatched to Camden Place--and she staid, staid till 10 at night. And during that time, the Husband & wife, either by the wife's contrivance, or by simply going on in their usual way, were frequently out of the room together--gone up stairs to hear a noise, or down stairs to settle their accounts, or upon the Landing place to trim the Lamp.--And these precious moments were turned to so good an account that all the most anxious feelings of the past were gone through.--Before they parted at night, Anne had the felicity of being assuredin the first place that--(so far from being altered for the worse!)--she had gained inexpressibly in personal Loveliness; & that as to Character--her's was now fixed on his Mind as Perfection itself--maintaining the just Medium of Fortitude & Gentleness;--that he had never ceased to love & prefer her, though it had been only at Uppercross that he had learn't to do her Justice--& only at Lyme that he had begun to understand his own sensations;--that at Lyme he had received Lessons of more than one kind;--the passing admiration of Mr Elliot had at least roused him, and the scenes on the Cobb & at Capt. Harville's had fixed her superiority. In his preceding attempts to attach himself to Louisa Musgrove, (the attempts of Anger & Pique)--he protested that he had continually felt the impossibility of really caring for Louisa, though till that day, till the leisure for reflection which followed it, he had not understood the perfect excellence of the Mind, with which Louisa's could so ill bear a comparison, or the perfect, the unrivalled hold it possessed over his own.--There he had learnt to distinguish between the steadiness of Principle & the Obstinacy of Self-will, between the Darings of Heedlessness, & the Resolution of a collected Mind--there he had seen everything to exalt in his estimation the Woman he had lost, & there begun to deplore the pride, the folly, the madness of resentment which had kept him from trying to regain her, when thrown in his way. From that period to the present hiad his penance been the most severe.--he found that he was considered by his friend Harville, as an engaged Man. The Harvilles entertained not a doubt of a mutual attachment between him & Louisa--and though this to a degree, was contradicted instantly--it yet made him feel that perhaps by her family, by everybody, by herself even, the same idea might be held--and that he was not free in honour--though, if such were to be the conclusion, too free alas! in Heart.--He had never thought justly on this subject before--he had not sufficiently considered that his excessive Intimacy at Uppercross must have it's danger of ill consequence in many ways, and that while trying whether he cd attach himself to either of the Girls, he might be exciting unpleasant reports, if not, raising unrequired regard!--He found, too late, that he had entangled hismelf--and that precisely as he became thoroughly satisfied of his not caring for Louisa at all, he must regard himself as bound to her, if her feelings for him, were what the Harvilles supposed.--It determined him to leave Lyme--& await her perfect recovery 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 Crofts at Kellynch, & act as he found requisite.--He had remained in Shropshire, lamenting the Blindness of his own Pride, & the blunders of his own Calculations, till at once released from Louisa by the astonishing felicity of her engagement with Benwicke. Bath, Bath--had instantly followed, in Thought; & not long after, in fact. To Bath, to arrive with Hope, to be torn by Jealousy at the first sight of Mr E---, 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 & very delightful in the description of what he had felt at the Concert.--The Eveng 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 E's appearing & tearing her away, & 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 & smiling--& feel all the horrible Eligibilities & 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 supports 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--the indelible, immoveable Impression of what Persuasion had once done, was not it all against me?"--
"You should have distinguished--replied Anne--You should not have suspected me now;--The case so different, & my age so different!--If I was wrong, in yeilding to Persuasion once, remember that it was to Persuasion exerted on the side of Safety, not of Risk. When I yeilded, I thought it was to Duty.--But no Duty could be called in aid here.--In marrying a Man indifferent to me, all Risk would have been incurred, & all Duty violated."--"Perhaps I ought to have reasoned thus, he replied, but I could not.--I could not derive benefit from the later knowledge of your Character which I had acquired, I could not bring it into play, it was overwhelmed, buried, lost in those earlier feelings, which I had been smarting under Year after Year.--I could think of you only as one who had yeilded, who had given me up, who had been influenced by any one rather than by me--I saw you with the very Person who had guided you in that year of Misery--I had no reason to think her of less authority now;--the force of Habit was to be added."--"I should have thought, said Anne, that my Manner to yourself, might have spared you much, or all of this."--"No--No--Your manner might be only the ease, which your engagement to another Man would give.--I left you with this beleif.--And yet--I was determined to see you again.--My spirits rallied with the morning, & I felt that I had still a motive for remaining here.--The Admirals news indeed, was a revulsion. Since that moment, I have been decided what to do--and had it been confirmed, this would have been my last day in Bath."
There was time for all this to pass--with such Interruptions only as enhanced the charm of the communication--and Bath cd scarcely contain any other two Beings at once so rationally & so rapturously happy as during that eveng occupied the Sopha of Mrs Croft's Drawing room in Gay St.
Capt. W.--had taken care to meet the Adml as he returned into the house, to satisfy him as to MrE--- & Kellynch;--and the delicacy of the Admiral's good nature kept him from saying another word on the subject to Anne.--He was quite concerned lest he might have been giving her pain by touching a tender part. Who could say?--She might be liking her Cousin, better than he liked her.--And indeed, upon recollection, if they had been to marry at all why should they have waited so long?--
When the Eveng closed, it is probably that the Adml received some new Ideas from his Wife;--whose particularly friendly manner in parting with her, gave Anne the gratifying persuasion of her seeing & approving.
It had been such a day to Anne!--the hours which had passed since her leaving Camden Place, had done so much!--She was almost bewildered, almost too happy in looking back.--It was necessary to sit up half the Night & lie awake the remainder to comprehend with composure her present state, & pay for the overplus of Bliss, by Headake & Fatigue.--
WHO can be in doubt of what followed?--When any two Young People take it into their heads to marry, they are pretty sure by perseverance to carry their point--be they ever so poor, or ever so imprudent, or ever so little likely to be necessary to each other's ultimate comfort. This may be bad Morality to conclude with, but I beleive it to be Truth--and if such parties succeed, how should a Capt. W--- & an Anne E---, with the advantage of maturity of Mind, consciousness of Right, & one Independant Fortune between them, fail of bearing down every opposition? They might in fact, have born down a great deal more than they met with, for there was little to distress them beyond the want of Graciousness & Warmth. Sir W. made no objections, & Elizth did nothing worse than look cold & unconcerned.--Capt. W--- with £25,000-- & as high in his Profession as Merit & Activity cd place him, was no longer nobody. He was now esteemed quite worthy to address the Daughter of a foolish spendthrift Baronet, who had not the Principle or sense enough to maintain himself in the Situation in which Providence had placed him, & who cd give his Daughter but a small part of the share of ten Thousand pounds which must be her's hereafter.--Sir Walter indeed tho' he had no affection for his Daughter & no vanity flattered to make him really happy on the occasion, was very far from thinking it a bad match for her.--On the contrary when he saw more of Capt. W.-- & eyed him well, he was very much struck by his personal claims & felt that his superiority of appearance might be not unfairly balanced against her superiority of Rank; and all this, together with his well-sounding name, enabled Sir W. at last to prepare his pen with a very good grace for the insertion of the Marriage in the volume of Honour.--The only person among them whose opposition of feelings cd excite any serious anxiety, was Lady Russel.--Anne knew that Lady R--- must be suffering some pain in understanding & relinquishing Mr E--- & be making some struggles to become truly acquainted with & do justice to Capt. W.--This however, was what Lady R--- had now to do. She must learn to feel that she had been mistaken with regard to both--that she had been unfairly influenced by appearances in each--that, because Capt. W.'s manners had not suited her own ideas, she had been too quick in suspecting them to indicate a Character of dangerous Impetuosity, & that because Mr Elliot's manners had precisely pleased her in their propriety & correctness, their general politeness & suavity, she had been to quick in receiving them as the certain result of the most correct opinions & well regulated Mind.--There was nothing less for Lady R. to do than to admit that she had been pretty completely wrong, & to take up a new set of opinions & hopes.--There is a quickness of perception in some, a nicety in the discernment of character--a natural Penetration in short which no Experience in others can equal--and Lady R. had been less gifted in this part of Understanding than her young friend;--but she was a very good Woman; & if her second object was to be sensible & well judging, her first was to see Anne happy. She loved Anne better than she loved her own abilities--and when the awkwardness of the Beginning was over, found little hardship in attaching herself as a Mother to the Man who was securing the happiness of her Child. Of all the family, Mary was probably the one most immediately gratified by the circumstance. It was creditable to have a Sister married, and she might flatter herself that she had been greatly instrumental to the connection, by having Anne staying with her in the Autumn; & as her own Sister must be better than her Husbands Sisters, it was very agreable that Captn W--- should be a richer Man than either Capt. B. or Charles Hayter.--She had something to suffer perhaps when they came into contact again, in seeing Anne restored to the rights of Seniority & the Mistress of a very pretty Landaulet--but she had a future to look forward to, of powerful consolation--Anne had no Uppercross Hall before her, no Landed Estate, no Headship of a family, and if they could but keep Capt. W--- from being made a Baronet, she would not change situations with Anne.--It would be well for the Eldest Sister if she were equally satisfied with her situation, for a change is not very probable there.--She had soon the mortification of seeing Mr E. withdraw, & no one of proper condition has since presented himself to raise even the unfounded hopes which sunk with him. The news of his Cousin Anne's engagement burst on Mr Elliot most unexpectedly. It deranged his best plan of domestic Happiness, his best hopes of keeping Sir Walter single by the watchfulness which a son in law's rights wd have given--But tho' discomfited & disappointed, he cd still do something for his own interest & his own enjoyment. He soon quitted Bath and on Mrs Clay's quitting it likewise soon afterwards & being next heard of, as established under his Protection in London, it was evident how double a Game he had been playing, & how determined he was to save himself from being cut out by one artful woman at least.--Mrs Clay's affections had overpowered her Interest, & she had sacrificed for the Young Man's sake, the possibility of scheming longer for Sir Walter;--she has Abilities however as well as Affections, and it is now a doubtful point whether his cunning or hers may finally carry the day, whether, after preventing her from being the wife of Sir Walter, he may not be wheedled & caressed at last into making her the wife of Sir William.--
It cannot be doubted that Sir Walter & Eliz: were shocked & mortified by the loss of their companion & the discovery of their deception in her. They had their great cousins to be sure, to resort to for comfort--but they must long feel that to flatter & follow others, without being flattered & followed themselves is but a state of half enjoyment.
Anne, satisfied at a very early period, of Lady Russel's meaning to love Capt. W--- as she ought, had no other alloy to the happiness of her prostpects, than what arose from the consciousness of having no relations to bestow on him which a Man of Sense could value.--There, she felt her own Inferiority keenly.--The disproportion in their fortunes was nothing;--it did not give her a moment's regret;--but to have no Family to receive & estimate him properly, nothing of respectability, of Harmony, of Goodwill to offer in return for all the Worth & all the prompt welcome which met her in his Brothers & Sisters, was a source of as lively pain, as her Mind could well be sensible of, under circumstances of otherwise strong felicity.--She had but two friends in the World, to add to his List, Lady R. & Mrs Smith.--To those, however, he was very well-disposed to attach himself. Lady R--- inspite of all her former transgressions, he could now value from his heart;--while he was not obliged to say that he beleived her to have been right in originally dividing them, he was ready to say almost anything else in her favour;--& as for Mrs Smith, she had claims of various kinds to recommend her quickly & permanently.--Her recent good offices by Anne had been enough in themselves--and their marriage, instead of depriving her of one friend secured her two. She was one of their first visitors in their settled Life--and Capt. Wentworth, by putting her in the way of recovering her Husband's property in the W. Indies, by writing for her, & acting for her, & seeing her through all the petty Difficulties of the case, with the activity & exertion of a fearless Man, & a determined friend, fully requited the services she had rendered, or had ever meant to render, to his Wife. Mrs Smith's enjoyments were not spoiled by this improvement of Income, with some improvement of health, & the acquisition of such friends to be often with, for her chearfulness & mental Activity did not fail her, & while those prime supplies of Good remained, she might have bid defiance even to greater accessions of worldly Prosperity. She might have been absolutely rich & perfectly healthy, & yet be happy.--Her spring of Felicity was in the glow of her Spirits--as her friend Anne's was in the warmth of her Heart.--Anne was Tenderness itself;--and she had the full worth of it in Captn Wentworth's affection. His Profession was all that could ever make her friends wish that Tenderness less; the dread of a future War, all that could dim her Sunshine.--She gloried in being a Sailor's wife, but she must pay the tax of quick alarm, for belonging to that Profession which is--if possible--more distinguished in it's Domestic Virtues, than in it's National Importance.--