THE FABULOUS HIGH-TECH AUSTENBLOG WORLD HQ, April 12, 2010 – The Editrix would like to officially announce that from this day forward, Captain Frederick Wentworth, R.N. is to be referred to as Sir Ratty McFinkleton.* ** +
Why? Because he is a ratfink.
A person regarded as contemptible, obnoxious, or otherwise undesirable.
Why do we say so? Read this! READ IT!
On one other question which perhaps her utmost wisdom might not have prevented, she was soon spared all suspense; for, after the Miss Musgroves had returned and finished their visit at the Cottage she had this spontaneous information from Mary: —
“Captain Wentworth is not very gallant by you, Anne, though he was so attentive to me. Henrietta asked him what he thought of you, when they went away, and he said, `You were so altered he should not have known you again.'”
Mary had no feelings to make her respect her sister’s in a common way, but she was perfectly unsuspicious of being inflicting any peculiar wound.
“Altered beyond his knowledge.” Anne fully submitted, in silent, deep mortification. Doubtless it was so, and she could take no revenge, for he was not altered, or not for the worse. She had already acknowledged it to herself, and she could not think differently, let him think of her as he would. No: the years which had destroyed her youth and bloom had only given him a more glowing, manly, open look, in no respect lessening his personal advantages. She had seen the same Frederick Wentworth.
“So altered that he should not have known her again!” These were words which could not but dwell with her. Yet she soon began to rejoice that she had heard them. They were of sobering tendency; they allayed agitation; they composed, and consequently must make her happier.
Honestly, it’s enough to break your heart. “Altered beyond his knowledge,” indeed. RATFINK, I SAY.
*Yes we know we said McFinkelson on Twitter, but we changed our mind. Work with us here.
**We thought about calling him Grudgey McGrudgerson as well, but that doesn’t quite get across the extent of our anger at Sir Ratty.
+Don’t worry, we’ll get over it, right around the Long Walk, judging by past experience.
6 thoughts on “An Announcement”
I always figured he was covering right then. It’s like when you see your ex at a party, and someone asks about him and you say, “What? Didn’t notice. I haven’t thought about him in ages. He looks awful. Has he put on weight?”, but of course you’re lying through your teeth.
Also, I don’t know if I can work with Sir Ratty, because then I might get him mixed up with Rat-faced Boy, which is my name for Mr. Elliot. 🙂
I just reread Persuasion, too! Here’s the part that jumped out at me this time (from the Long Walk), “He enquired after you very particularly; asked even if you were personally altered, little suspecting that to my eye you could never alter.” Ha!
It goes on to say that “Anne smiled, and let it pass.” I’m no Anne Elliot. I never would have let it pass.
I cannot bring myself on board with Ratty. The Letter conquers all for me.
I agree with Emily, above. The captain is playing emotional defense; immature yes, but he probably felt like an idiot even as he was saying it. I also think in a way it speaks to the depth of his feeling for Anne that so many years later, the wound is still deep and raw enough that resentment has not been conquered.
I so admire Anne Elliot for her quiet grace, though I would find it too difficult to emulate her restraint. I can imagine that in Anne’s shoes, Lizzy Bennet would never let the Captain get away with the comment cited by Tina. Lizzy’s “lively playful disposition” would get the better of her and I do believe she might be tempted by the Sir Ratty moniker 🙂
I adore Anne Elliot and, I must confess, that the older I get, the less patience I have for Elizabeth Bennet. Elizabeth is just a little too pleased with herself and her abilities. But Anne is just wonderful. I’m a woman of a certain age, but I still want to be Anne Elliot when I grow up.
Anne has long been my favorite Austen “heroine.” Lizzy would be the kind of friend it would be fun to go out for a drink with; Anne is the one you want to have by your side for the important things in life.
Anne was the first ratfink in the relationship.
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