A heroine takes an autumn walk

Her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn, that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness, that season which has drawn from every poet, worthy of being read, some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.

Her musings are interrupted by the sight of the man she loves flirting with another woman. After listening to a few minutes of their “lively chat,” our heroine, Anne Elliot,

could not immediately fall into a quotation again. The sweet scenes of autumn were for a while put by—unless some tender sonnet, fraught with the apt analogy of the declining year, with declining happiness, all gone together, blessed her memory.

But wait. that’s not all:

after another half mile of gradual ascent through large enclosures, where the ploughs at work, and the fresh-made path spoke the farmer, counteracting the sweets of poetical despondence, and meaning to have spring again . . . .

Jane Austen (you knew it was her, right? these quotes are from Persuasion) will not leave her heroine or the reader in despair. The world is too beautiful for that.

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