I never saw quite so wretched an example of what a sea-faring life can do: but to a degree, I know it is the same with them all; they are all knocked about, and exposed to every climate, and every weather, till they are not fit to be seen. It is a pity they are not knocked on the head at once, before they reach Admiral Baldwin’s age.
Anne always contemplated them as some of the happiest creatures of her acquaintance; but still, saved as we all are, by some comfortable feeling of superiority from wishing for the possibility of exchange, she would not have given up her own more elegant and cultivated mind for all their enjoyments; and envied them nothing but that seemingly perfect good understanding and agreement together, that good-humoured mutual affection, of which she had known so little herself with either of her sisters.
Every young lady may feel for my heroine in this critical moment, for every young lady has at some time or other known the same agitation. All have been, or at least all have believed themselves to be, in danger from the pursuit of some one they wished to avoid; and all have been anxious for the attentions of someone they wished to please.
There is safety in reserve, but no attraction. One cannot love a reserved person.
My new favorite title is How Jane Austen Ruined My Life. I don’t have the courage to read it, though. I’m afraid to discover she’s ruined mine as well.