One False Step : Louisa Musgrove thought she had hit on a sure method of winning Captain Wentworth’s affections.
One False Step

From ‘Persuasion’ (1817), by Jane Austen (1775-1817).

Anne Elliot has no expectation that Captain Wentworth will ever forgive her for turning down his proposal of marriage eight years before. Nonetheless, the Captain’s attentions to young Louisa Musgrove have been noted, and events on the promenade at Lyme in Dorset complicate matters further.

THERE was too much wind to make the high part of the new Cobb pleasant for the ladies, and they agreed to get down the steps to the lower, and all were contented to pass quietly and carefully down the steep flight, excepting Louisa; she must be jumped down them by Captain Wentworth.

In all their walks, he had had to jump her from the stiles; the sensation was delightful to her. The hardness of the pavement for her feet, made him less willing upon the present occasion; he did it, however.

She was safely down, and instantly, to show her enjoyment, ran up the steps to be jumped down again. He advised her against it, thought the jar too great; but no, he reasoned and talked in vain, she smiled and said, “I am determined I will:” he put out his hands; she was too precipitate by half a second, she fell on the pavement on the Lower Cobb, and was taken up lifeless!

From ‘Persuasion’ (1817), by Jane Austen (1775-1817).

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Jane Austen (15) Extracts from Literature (94) Persuasion (novel) (3) Fiction (84)

Picture: © Chris Talbot, Geograph. Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0. View original
Steps leading from the upper walkway of the Cobb to the lower, on the western side of Lyme Bay in Dorset. Louisa Musgrove sought to engage Captain Wentworth’s affections by being ‘jumped down’ from the top step, as he had jumped her down from gates and stiles.
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