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Chapter 8 (continued)
"But you, yourself, brought Mrs Harville, her sister, her cousin, and three children, round from Portsmouth to Plymouth. Where was this superfine, extraordinary sort of gallantry of yours then?"
"All merged in my friendship, Sophia. I would assist any brother officer's wife that I could, and I would bring anything of Harville's from the world's end, if he wanted it. But do not imagine that I did not feel it an evil in itself."
"Depend upon it, they were all perfectly comfortable."
"I might not like them the better for that perhaps. Such a number of women and children have no right to be comfortable on board."
"My dear Frederick, you are talking quite idly. Pray, what would become of us poor sailors' wives, who often want to be conveyed to one port or another, after our husbands, if everybody had your feelings?"
"My feelings, you see, did not prevent my taking Mrs Harville and all her family to Plymouth."
"But I hate to hear you talking so like a fine gentleman, and as if women were all fine ladies, instead of rational creatures. We none of us expect to be in smooth water all our days."
"Ah! my dear," said the Admiral, "when he had got a wife, he will sing a different tune. When he is married, if we have the good luck to live to another war, we shall see him do as you and I, and a great many others, have done. We shall have him very thankful to anybody that will bring him his wife."
"Ay, that we shall."
"Now I have done," cried Captain Wentworth. "When once married people begin to attack me with,--`Oh! you will think very differently, when you are married.' I can only say, `No, I shall not;' and then they say again, `Yes, you will,' and there is an end of it."
He got up and moved away.
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