Thither to Lyme

The Cobb stairs, Lyme Regis, EnglandTHITHER

Captain Wentworth’s anxiety to see him (Captain Harville) had determined him to go immediately to Lyme. He had been there for four-and-twenty hours. His acquittal was complete, his friendship warmly honoured, a lively interest excited for his friend, and his description of the fine country about Lyme so feelingly attended to by the party, that an earnest desire to see Lyme themselves, and a project for going thither was the consequence. The Narrator on Captain Wentworth, Persuasion, Chapter 11

Thither! What a distinguised word not often seen in the 21st. century. By happy coincedence, I was recently watching the movie You’ve Got Mail, and the character Kathleen Kelly played by Meg Ryan makes reference to being lost in Jane Austen’s language and uses thither as an example. Smart girl! She too appreciates our Jane.

When Captain Wentworth and his party go thither to Lyme, we anticipate a happy outing with friends to the seaside. Our heroine Anne Elliot has resigned herself to the fact that she has lost the love of Captain Wentworth, as his attentions have been directed tword a younger lady, Louisa Musgrove.  What a heavy heart she must have taken with her to Lyme, to witness the man that she has silently loved for eight years court another lady.

My heart is so low for her at this point that I want her to go thither from the place!

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