Marriage, Writing, and Romanticism: Wordsworth and Austen After War 9781503627277

Marriage, Writing, and Romanticism studies marriage in two sets of literary texts from the Regency decade: the novels of

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Marriage, Writing, and Romanticism: Wordsworth and Austen After War
 9781503627277

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Marriage, Writing, and Romanticism

Marriage, Writing, and Romanticism WORDSWORTH AND AUSTEN AFTER WAR

Eric C Walker

STANFORD STANFORD,

UNIVERSITY CALIFORNIA

PRESS

Stanford University Press Stanford, California

© 2009 by the Board ofTrustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system without the prior written permission of Stanford University Press.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Walker, Eric C. Marriage, writing, and romanticism : Wordsworth and Austen after war I Eric C. Walker. p. em. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-o-8047-6092-8 (cloth : alk. paper) ISBN 978-o-8047-7365-2 (pbk. : alk. paper) 1. Wordsworth, William, I77o-r8so--Criticism and interpretation. 2. Austen, Jane, I775-r8r7-Criticism and interpretation. 3· Marriage in literature. 4. English literature19th century-History and criticism. 5· Marriage-Great Britain-History-r8th century. 6. Romanticism-Great Britain. I. Title. PR5892.M3W35 2009 82!'. 7--dc22 2008041320 Typeset by Bruce Lundquist in n/14 Adobe Garamond

In memory of Julia Hesson and now, for Joi ;-r!:l:m ~O!:l1' ~~m~ ~'

!:lnnn lZlP' m~T1J' w~n;-r: Psalm ofDavidJO:II

Contents

Acknowledgments A Note on Texts

IX XIII

I.

Mapping Marriage

2.

The Muse ofindifference

22



Marriage and the End of War

70



Marriage and Siblings

97



Marriage and Friends

130

6.

Marriage

179

Appendix

229

Notes

239

\¥0rks Cited

263

Index

277

Acknowledgments

Like Southcott's Shiloh, this is a book of overlong gestation. Should it too prove but a stale dropsy, that will be in spite of the generous efforts of many who have befriended it along the way, especially James Butler, Jack Stillinger, the late Paul Magnuson, the late Jonathan Wordsworth, Bruce Graver, Marilyn Gaull, the late Carl Ketcham, Philip Shaw, Stephen Behrendt, Brennan O'Donnell, Jennifer Crewe, Jon Kulka, and, with timely utterance, William Galperin. Anonymous readers at PMLA and Stanford University Press offered important help. At Florida State, Ralph Berry early on steered me and many others to the work of Stanley Cavell, Robert Olen Butler generously supports academic publishing, and John Fenstermaker offers steady backing. It has been a privilege to share the teaching of Romanticism over many years with Jim O'Rourke. Linda Bree at Cambridge University Press kindly supplied references from Sanditon proofs at a late stage of production. At Stanford, Emily-Jane Cohen has provided exemplary editorial care, the blessings of which have included the production skills of Sarah Crane Newman, Carolyn Brown, and Cynthia Lindlo£ I am very grateful to them all. But this work owes its most substantial and long-standing intellectual and professional debts to Mark Reed, who long ago thought it worth the while. I bid it go with the consolation that he holds in mind a better book that still eludes this one. A number of students in a series of Austen seminars have been a rich source of ideas as they suffered early forms of this work: Bonnie Woodbery, Jane Gardner Hinckley, Joanna Owens, Claudia Trew, Harry McCandless, Lightsey Darst, Meghan Burke, Steve Weathers, Katie Yaun, Kelly Bryan Smith, Kathryn Meehan, and Sarah Brandeberry. My gratitude to the lot.

X

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I am indebted to the staffs of the following libraries and research collections for skilled assistance over many years: Wilson Library and Davis Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Strozier Library, Florida State University; Olin Library and Kroch Rare Books and Manuscripts Library, Cornell University; the Wordsworth Library, Grasmere; Alderman Library, University of Virginia; Perkins Library, Duke University; Bodleian Library, Oxford; the British Library; Harnett Rare Book Library, University of Georgia; the library of George Washington Vanderbilt, Biltmore Estate, Asheville, North Carolina. Materials related to a number of arguments in this book have appeared in various journals over the years, and I am especially grateful to the editors and staffs of these periodicals: Studies in English Literature, journal

of English and Germanic Philology, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, The Wordsworth Circle, and European Romantic Review. In particular, I am grateful for permission to adapt and reprint portions of material that originally appeared in different forms in the following publications: Portions of Chapters r and 2 appeared in "The Muse of Indifference," PMLA 102 (January 2005): 97-II8. Portions of Chapter 3 appeared in "Wordsworth, Warriors, and Naming," Studies in Romanticism 29 (1990): 312-34; in "Wordsworth, Wellington, and Myth," in History and Myth: Essays on English Romantic Literature, ed. Stephen Behrendt (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1990), 13456; and in "Marriage and the End of War," in Romantic Wars: Studies in Culture and Conflict, I79J-I822, ed. Philip Shaw (Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 2000), 208-26. An early run at some of the arguments in Chapter 6 and the Appendix appeared in "Wordsworth's 'Haunted Tree' and 'Yew-Trees' Criticism," Philological Quarterly 79 (1988): 47-66. I am grateful to the Wordsworth Trust for permission to quote unpublished manuscript materials in the Wordsworth Library, Grasmere. I would be remiss not to acknowledge a larger debt to the Trustees of the Wordsworth collection for their generous contributions to the Cornell Wordsworth Edition, which supplies the foundation of so much of this work. I am especially indebted to the late Robert Woof and to Jeff Cowton for their assistance in Grasmere.

AC KN 0 W LEDG ME N TS

XI

Quotations from Philip Larkin's "The Whitsun Weddings" are reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux, and Faber and Faber Ltd. Copyright the Estate of Philip Larkin. Figure I, "A New Map of the Land of Matrimony," is reproduced by permission of the British Library.

A Note on Texts

Citations to Austen's writing and to Wordsworth's writing are keyed in the text to the following volumes in The Cambridge Edition ofthe Works ofjane Austen (2005-8), Janet Todd, general editor (Cambridge University Press), and The Cornell Wordsworth Edition (1975-2007), Stephen Parrish, general editor (Cornell University Press).

The Cambridge Austen Sense and Sensibility, ed. Edward Copeland (2006) Pride and Prejudice, ed. Pat Rogers (2006) Mansfield Park, ed. John Wiltshire (2005) Emma, ed. Richard Cronin and Dorothy McMillan (2005) Persuasion, ed. Janet Todd and Antje Blank (2oo6) Northanger Abbey, ed. Barbara Benedict with Deirdre Le Faye (2006) Later Manuscripts, ed. Janet Todd and Linda Bree (for Sanditon) (2008) Parenthetical references take this form: volume, chapter, page number (III.12.179); Sanditon references are by chapter and page number.

The Cornell Wordsworth Of the twenty-one volumes in the Cornell series, citations to the following five are keyed within the text; citations to material in the other Cornell volumes appear in the notes. Butler: Lyrical Ballads and Other Poems, I797-r8oo, ed. James Butler and Karen Green (1992)

XIV

A N 0 T E 0 N

T EXTS

Curtis I: Poems, in Two Volumes, and Other Poems, I8oo-I807, ed. Jared Curtis (1983) Reed I and II: The Thirteen-Book Prelude, ed. Mark L. Reed,

2

vols. (1991)

Ketcham: Shorter Poems, I807-I82o, ed. Carl Ketcham (1989) Curtis II: Last Poems, I82I-I8so, ed. Jared Curtis (1999) Parenthetical references take this form: editor's name and page number (Butler 221).

Marriage, Writing, and Romanticism

ONE

Mapping Marriage

Torched by William Godwin in 1793 as "the worst of all laws," marriage in the Romantic period pitches tents along the fault line between two foundational Western marriage narratives. As the fiction fades that marriage is sacramental, the "triumph of the narrative of bourgeois romance," in Anthony Appiah's phrase, nimbly inflects ancient stories of the human pair. Catholic in its elective affinities, affective marriage sponsors, early on, the separate spheres of nineteenth-century domesticity and, two centuries later, beckons same-sex couples to claim the married human pair as the best theater in which to pursue the pursuit of happiness.' In their heydays on either side of the Enlightenment, sacramental and affective narratives overwrite each other bundled with a jumble of other marriage tales: marriage is a kinship ritual, a biological imperative, the engine of property transfer, a legal contract, slavery, a civic duty, the reenactment of the maternal dyad, coverture, the machine of population management, companionship, legal rape, the crucible of post-Cartesian identity-even, lately, longevity's best bet, according to health bulletins alerting a workout culture that married human beings outlast everyone else. Because it runs along the border between two

2

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principal Western marriage blueprints, the Romantic period offers a telling history in which to study the habitations ofWestern marriage. In 1996, the U.S. Congress suffered one of its latest spasms about conjugality and passed yet another "Defense of Marriage Act," which this time clamored to protect marriage against an unexpected crowd of queer gatecrashers instead of the usual modern suspects shuffling out the disaffected back way. This federal law excluding people eager to marry coincided with a lockdown experiment in state legislation making marriage more difficult for the unhappy to escape, which simply underscores one of the abiding puzzles of modern marriage: like a dearly beloved bad habit, it is at once irresistible and unbearable. In Britain, three legislative attempts to police marriage bracket the Romantic period. Hardwicke's Marriage Act of 1753 aimed to corral extra-ecclesiastical and clandestine English marriages; at the other end of the Romantic century, the Marriage Act of 1836 recognized nonconformist marriage, and the Divorce Act of 1857 began to pry open divorce as an option for ordinary people. 2 For most of the Romantic century, official marriage was a narrowly prescribed legal action based almost exclusively in the established church and, once on the books, effectively unbreakable. But in the culture, marriage threatened to put itself asunder, in spectacular ways. The Romantic attack on marriage usually begs attention in the immediate wake of revolution in 1789. Godwin's excoriation in the late chapters of An Enquiry Concerning Political justice ("the institution of marriage is a system of fraud") headlines a decade of Jacobin verse and fiction in which, at the outset, a dangerously postconjugal moment in gospel narrative becomes a bitterly anticonjugal war cry in the final sentence of Mary Wollstonecraft's Mary (1788): "She thought she was hastening to that world where there is neither marrying, nor giving in marriage.'' 3 But in this book, I focus the crisis of Romantic-period marriage in a later decade, the Regency, especially after the end of war in 1814-15. Whereas the 1797 marriage ofWollstonecraft and Godwin seemed to cinch marriage as the last infirmity of a radical mind, the most gaudy sign that marriage is not feast but famine blazes at the apex of establishment culture rather than in the polemics of radical culture. The bad marriage in 1795 between Frederick George Augustus, Prince of Wales, and Princess Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick-Wolfenbiittel turned tabloid bad when the Prince of Wales became Prince Regent in 18u and roiled for a decade to notorious boil in the divorce trial of Queen Caroline in 1820. This dystopic canopy of Regency marriage darkens the celebratory final words of Jane Austen's Emma

MAPPING

MARRIAGE

3

in 1815, "the perfect happiness of the union," especially when readers notice that the novel is dedicated to the Prince Regent, an anxious postwar maneuver by which the book's famous benediction also risks a curse. This book studies Romantic-period marriage chiefly in two sets of literary texts from the Regency decade, the hypercanonical fiction of a woman writer, Jane Austen, who ducks marriage in her own life and appears to write about nothing else, and a set of noncanonical, postwar poems by a canonical male poet, William Wordsworth, who seems to have disappeared into marriage but appears never to write about it. Unlike Austen's fiction and his own earlier work, the Wordsworth texts presented here are generally unfamiliar. In 1820, Wordsworth produced one of the most fugitive books ever assembled in his publishing lifetime, a collectively bound volume of new verse that I argue forms a book of marriage. The Austen texts, on the other hand, although familiar, still splendidly resist closing words. By working familiar Austen materials against unfamiliar Wordsworth texts, I hope to bring these unremarked verse texts into the critical conversation about Romantic and post-Romantic marriage and to cast light from a new angle on the always more complicated map of marriage in Austen's fiction. 4 Although Wordsworth and Austen are this book's headline figures, they keep company throughout with a host of other Romantic writers. As I argue in Chapter 2, Romantic writers in general confront a new outrage, the impossibility of writing about anything other than marriage, and the pool of examples for any book on Romanticism and marriage thus exceeds abundancy. In this book, from the culture of sensibility, Ann Yearsley and Anna Letitia Barbauld frame core problems of Romantic marriage writing. While William Godwin pushes anticonjugal discourse to absolute limits, Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft contest the costs and benefits of companionship as an emergent conjugal model. On the Continent, Hegel and Kierkegaard pose the challenges of Romantic marriage writing in their most vivid and telling forms; Schlegel and Schelling supply competing templates for marriage writing of irony and indifference. Several chapters highlight Coleridge's tattered map of marriage in his 1817 publications. In the last chapter, Keats arrives on the postwar scene, navigating a metropolitan marriage culture that erupts in the royal divorce trial in 1820. This book builds upon two indispensable scholarly projects completed in the new century, the twenty-one volumes of The Cornell Wordsworth Edition, in progress since 1975, and the nine-volume Cambridge Edition of the Works ofjane Austen, the first full scholarly edition of her novels since

4

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R. W. Chapman's Oxford volumes, which now seem a world removed. The wealth of textual detail authoritatively on offer in these editions underwrites this book's regular attention to what Susan Wolfson calls "the local particularities of events in form," especially at the levels of word, phrase, and sentence. 5 To bring to view what he calls the "uncanniness" of Austen's writing, William Galperin endorses just such a method of close reading, a necessary "reduction to particularity."6 By hewing closely to the language of these texts throughout, I aim toward a better sense of how, in William Keach's formulation, "stylistic practices themselves register, bear the pressure of, political forces." 7 In a series of readings that the gatekeepers of method might style a brand of indexical formalism, I attend throughout to structures of signification generated by diction, syntax, grammar, figure, trope, literary form, publishing convention, and book culture. 8 In Chapter 2, for example, I take an introductory run at a single sentence in Persuasion, prompted by the opaque phrase "to walk for her life" and its syntactic and semantic puzzles. These conundrums ripple out from this phrase with measurable effects in the surrounding sentence, paragraph, novel, and entire body of fiction. In subsequent chapters, my readings of Austen often launch with triggers in the lexical field such as attachment and inducement (or sink and ease), words that Austen deploys in unique affective registers. These readings also build upon the evidence generated by electronic search engines, which open up the lexical range of Austen's fiction in new ways that surpass print-based concordances.9 The Wordsworth evidence that underwrites this book dwells in different kinds of sources. The minute particulars that I remark in Wordsworth-the invitation to an intimate other to "rest," the description of a tree as "obnoxious"-reside in a tangled mass of manuscripts and print materials organized and reported in complex formats in the Cornell volumes. From these densely woven editorial nests, I excavate a set of fugitive forms that define one of Wordsworth's most elusive lifetime publications, a collectively bound book of marriage unnoticed when it appeared in r82o and sequestered still.

THE ARGUMENT

The chapters that follow shape an argument that, at greatest stretch, takes this abbreviated form: modern marriage-that is, postsacramental marriage-is the site of a representational crisis as wide as writing itself Creat-

MAPPING

MARRIAGE

5

ing an impossible dilemma, the habit of modern marriage is to lodge this doubly outrageous bid: marriage is the only tale to tell-and, as if that insult could be topped, it is a tale that is untellable. Two phrases from late-Romantic theory on the Continent mark a signpost for this impasse: Hegel's r82I assertion that marriage is "life in its totality" and Kierkegaard's 1843 observation that "conjugal love does not come with any outward sign." Among several modern students of marriage and representation whose work I discuss in the next chapter, Stanley Cavell offers especially helpful work to define the nature and effects of this unpromising union, and I draw on his readings of marriage in detail in Chapter 2. In the course of his remarks on "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," Cavell offers a set of sentences that may be taken as the germ of this study. Romantic texts exhibit a new incommensurability of marriage and representation: "If marriage is the name of our only present alternative to the desert-sea of skepticism, then for this very reason this intimacy cannot be celebrated, or sanctified; there is no outside to it. You may describe it as lacking its poetry; as if intimacy itself, or the new pressure upon it, lacked expression." 10 The double bind is that, first, modern marriage strives to name the place where all must live-or, terrifyingly, not at all. Worse, the very claim of ubiquity works to deny this compulsory dwelling a language that, because distinct and set apart, can be understood as a language, and marriage thus eludes or thwarts representation. Compounding the problem, the individual and the group, the one and the many, form a closed foundational system of mutual difference, eliding the couple. Lacking a fixed opposite in this system, the pair disappears into a synonym for either of the other two terms, even as marriage bids to name the place all must inhabit. Hence there are signs for the longings of the single self, and signs whereby the tribe does business, but signs seem lacking to report from the places whence the human pair disappears, or the couple passes as a solitary or a crowd. Of course there is marriage everywhere in Western writing, but my claim is instead that, for writing, like the Ancient Mariner's drop to drink, modern marriage remains everywhere just out of reach even as it claims to be the very element in which, married or unmarried, everyone must drift, or brightly sail, or founder. Given the reams of attention devoted to the sociology of marriage, it is remarkable how often in the reading of literary culture marriage either slips by unremarked or, more often, becomes a token for different debates about self or society. The best new criticism continues to pose a writer such as Wordsworth either by himself or among

6

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the multitude, and marriage in such method is fated to remain just another name for either attitude, in Wordsworth's case either a cover story for the egotistical sublime or, later, the domestic trace of a civic function like collecting stamp duties. 11 To limit the understanding of the Romantic subject to the tyrannies (or freedoms) of only self or tribe is to risk ignoring another site of identity, conjugality, that is bewilderingly empty of signs and simultaneously full to excess. Let me emphasize that the following chapters do not aim to remystify the ineffable as it migrates from the sacred to the nuptial in the tectonic shift from sacramental marriage to affective marriage. The threateningly twinned claims of ubiquity and silence more than suffice to refuse the celebration of marriage as some simple safe haven. Romanticperiod marriage comes to focus far more typically in disturbing guise, as in Mary Hays's confrontation in Memoirs of Emma Courtney (1796) with the outrage that marriage to one other, and one other only, demands the death of all others. 12 Or in the relentless confrontation in Austen's fiction with the outrage that not to marry is to cease to be. To wed demands death; not to wed demands death. At what cost, such marriage? The Romantic period offers a historical moment when marriage, unmoored during the Enlightenment from its older master narrative, has not yet fully settled into the unremarked unremarkability that marks its modern triumph. In addition to hugely popular books of conjugal boosterism such as Hannah More's Coelebs in Search of a Wife {1809), the shelves of Regency marriage writing bulge with post-Godwinian anticonjugality, including Percy Bysshe Shelley's attacks on matrimony as a "chain" and Byron's famous tirades to the point that "wedlock's the devil!" 13 Rather than replay the debates between the polemically conjugal and the polemically anticonjugal, the following chapters aim to focus a different type of marriage writing outside this forensic opposition. Instead of celebrating or attacking marriage, the kind of writing that I study in Wordsworth and Austen is writing that, finding itself inescapably at sea about marriage, would seek to figure out conjugality, in several senses, but confesses itself in a variety of forms perplexed, stymied, or otherwise balked by the nuptial, for better or for worse. If, in Cavell's terms, there is no outside to modern marriage-it lacks its poetry, in his phrase-then this writing takes its origin in that very absence and lack. What to call these new forms of marriage writing? A back-formation from epithalamium, "epithalamic" has been working since the mideighteenth century to name writing that celebrates marriage. But on the antimarriage end, there is a telling gap in the lexical record: there is no term

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7

corresponding to "epithalamic" for antimarriage discourse. This absence points to two important features of the histories of marriage and marriage writing. First, that arguments against conjugality march beneath no banner testifies to the empire of conjugality-it is the franchise, the only game in town. But the lack of a generic name also suggests, deceptively, that there is no set of objects requiring a name, when in fact the catalogue of antimarriage writing swells volumes. Marriage culture thus preempts any kind of genuinely fugitive response by making it appear that antimarriage writing, by virtue of its namelessness, is the silent and invisible antagonist, when in fact it is loud and looming, complicitly. Anticonjugal writing, in other words, does not, despite appearances, stand outside the marriage system but constitutes a countervailing, subtending pillar. To remark the unsettled linguistic ground of the marriage settlement, I have settled in these pages upon "indifference." As I discuss in Chapter 2, the term "indifference" inhabits the discourse surrounding Romantic marriage in two key areas. First, it is a prominent marker in the language of sensibility, where at telling moments, as in Ann Yearsley's 1787 poem "To Indifference," it signifies a desire to stand outside the closed field of conjugal affect. Second, "indifference" signifies a primary gambit in F. W. J. von Schelling's system of transcendental idealism at the turn of the century, a maneuver whereby Schelling tries to establish an outside to closed epistemologies and ontologies. This coincidence of Archimedean strategies in two very different forms of Romantic discourse suggests that the cultural history of indifference is a useful lens to focus the fugitive and the elusive. It is worth emphasizing again that my aim is not to define some compromising middle ground of nuptial discourse between extremes of celebration and condemnation. The deployment of indifference in these pages is entirely distinct from a Carlyleian "center of indifference" between a Yea or a Nay, between embracing or shunning marriage. Refusing as imponderable the question whether marriage is good or bad, writing that invokes the muse of indifference may be overbrimmed with marriages-Austen's fiction, to take a famous case-but constitute on the whole a pervasively ironic contest with conjugality, a relationship between representational form and social practice of a different order from that of the idioms of endorsement or attack. Or marriage may appear to be generally absent from this writingWordsworth's later Regency poetry, to take an obscure case-but therein constitutes a series of formal attempts to wrestle with compulsory conjugality on its own baffling grounds of ubiquity and silence. Read with and

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against one another, the Regency publications ofWordsworth and Austen bring to attention the inscrutability of modern marriage. In addition to these larger arguments about marriage, writing, and Romanticism, this book aims to make a number of specific contributions to Austen studies and Wordsworth studies. To read Austen's postwar fiction in close company with Wordsworth's poetry is to glimpse how the subject of her fiction inclines from marriage toward a bias called remarriage, a word that Marianne Dashwood would dismiss as a contradiction in terms and that Stanley Cavell installs at the core of his understanding of postChristian marriage. In terms of Romantic conjugal theory, such a reading locates Austen on a Kierkegaardian map of contingency and risk instead of the imperial map of Hegelian totality; Austen's life's work appears increasingly oppositional, in William Galperin's sense of the term, rather than epithalamic (or anticonjugal, for that matter). I also shape the book to address the question of the dividing mark in Austen's career, the division between earlier and later fiction. Recent studies have turned to narratology or to the history of Austen's reading to gain purchase on this question; I want to add to these borders an emphasis on the end of war in 1814-15. 14 When peace breaks out, the stakes of marriage top up spectacularly: six of the Prince Regent's nine single siblings married between 1815 and 1818. Emma, Persuasion, and Sanditon all stand on the far side of a quarter century of war, in a moment when marriage at last and suddenly trumps conquest as the guarantor of meaning. Before I argue that Wordsworth also writes along a Cavellian bias of remarriage, the prior burden of my argument is to demonstrate that Wordsworth writes about marriage at all. As I study Wordsworth's postwar poetry, I bring to attention an unknown book of poetry, an unknown poem to his wife, an unknown response to Coleridge, and an unknown response to Keats. Like all headlines, these phrases are an admixture of truth and exaggeration, but they will serve their purpose if they persuade readers to spend time with the following pages.

A MAP

OF

CHAPTERS

The argument proceeds in a series of five chapters. In quick preview, Chapter 2, "The Muse of Indifference," supplies a history and theory of Romantic-period marriage. Chapter 3, "Marriage and the End ofWar," puts

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9

the case that marriage becomes the defining site of cultural crisis when war ends in 1814-15. In Chapters 4 and 5, "Marriage and Siblings" and "Marriage and Friends," I turn to two competing forms of the human pair, sibling couples and the pairings called friendship. In Chapter 6, "Marriage," I turn to a case of what Romantic marriage theory would argue is impossible-the representation of a marriage from within that marriage-and conclude with the open question of marriage and ease in the wake of war. In Chapters 3 through 6, the Wordsworth material follows a chronological arc from his earliest postwar publication in 1816 to the fourth and final 1820 publication that makes up the "third volume" book of marriage. While foregrounding Austen's postwar compositions-Emma, Persuasion, and Sanditon-the Austen sections in each chapter range widely through all the novels, taking their cues from topics at issue in the Wordsworth material. Throughout the book, my arguments cut against the grain of two venerable, deep-seated critical commonplaces: the assumption that Austen's fiction is systemically epithalamic and the assumption that Wordsworth's poetry deteriorates inexorably after the first decade of the nineteenth century. Chapter 2 prepares the ground for this series of paired readings in two ways. The bulk of the chapter is devoted to the history and theory of Romantic and post-Romantic marriage; I follow those arguments with introductory readings of Austen and Wordsworth that sample and foreground a set of core questions about marriage and writing that run throughout the book. When I take up in the first part of the chapter Godwinian and post-Godwinian historiographical models that supply important arguments about marriage as an instrument of social and economic injustice, I propose that there are limits to these models as tools of literary analysis and understanding. I thus shift to different sites in Romantic writing where the stakes of conjugality are posed in ways that help open new readings of Austen and Wordsworth. My understanding of Romantic-period marriage as a cultural and representational crisis comes into focus in texts of Hegel and Kierkegaard, in the marriage theory in Philosophy of Right in 1821 and the marriage debate in 1843 in Either/Or, the biggest book about marriage from the Romantic century. In search of a name for new forms of marriage writing, this excursion into Continental marriage theory backtracks chronologically to the nexus of conjugality and Romantic irony in Schlegel's Athenaeum Fragments and Schelling's scattered fragments about indifference. This section concludes with a reading of what I consider the most compelling body of post-Romantic marriage theory, the work of Stanley

10

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Cavell. When Cavell constructs marriage as an elusive identity formation he styles "the mutual acknowledgement of separateness," he orients marriage away from celebratory models of unity toward a fugitive, contingent model called remarriage. Chapter 3 bears the burden of my argument that marriage becomes the battlefield of meaning when peace breaks out. In readings of three texts published in the wake of war-Emma (1815), Wordsworth's Waterloo poems (1816), and Persuasion (1817)-I explore the connection between Jerome Christensen's observation that the revolutionary and Napoleonic wars constituted a quarter-century "suspension of dailiness" and Cavell's claim that marriage is a key figure for the ordinary. The long crisis that is war disrupts marriage in two ways: wartime emergency puts the ordinary at risk and postpones the problem of the answerability of marriage to peace. That war imposes separation and death is a brutal but familiar tale. The failure of marriage to signify peace, on the other hand, defies a conventional cultural logic that would install marriage triumphant after the watershed events of 1814-15. In the wake of Waterloo, marriage moves instead from brokenness to inscrutable silence. The understandable opposition between war and marriage yields to what is unexpected, the immiscibility of marriage and peace, even (and especially) while marriage stakes its claim to be the necessary form of identity and freedom just here, at the end of war. What divides Austen's earlier and later fiction? The end of war. What marks the unremarked turn to marriage in Wordsworth's poetry? The end of war. In Chapters 4 and 5, I turn to two cognate forms of the human pair, the sibling couple and friendship. Chapter 4 takes its departure from the erasure ofWilliam Price, Fanny's brother, in the 1999 Patricia Rozema film of Mansfield Park. The novel expresses a troubled understanding that siblings must be shipped out to clear the way for the marriage settlement, which issues in a narrative grammar for the book in which the sibling pair must be end-stopped before spousal sentences can be generated. To underscore the antisororal outrages imposed upon Anne Elliot in Persuasion, Austen stretches to the rare English word unsisterly to describe sibling pairings. The conjugal pair over the course of all the novels becomes especially heedless of siblings, regardless of their proximity; there is a breach forced by marriage. I argue that this distance is an effect of a rhetoric of indifference that simultaneously represents and resists the narrowing of the promise of human freedom to the conjugal. In the Wordsworth section of Chapter 4 I turn

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II

to two "third volume" poems addressed to Dorothy Wordsworth-known (if at all) as the "Lycoris" set-to explore how, post-Waterloo, Wordsworth reshapes the figure of the sister among the "third volume" texts that, taken together, think through in new ways the habitation of marriage. As deployed by Wordsworth, the name "Lycoris" is a triple pseudonym grounded in a set oflost texts, and I read this arresting hiddenness as a signature form of the manifest elusiveness that marks a rhetoric of indifference. Chapter 5 argues that in Austen's fiction marriage plots mix indifferently with courses of true friendship that rarely run smooth. Whereas the epithalamic discourse of modern marriage celebrates the mutuality of conjugal companionship, Austen's fiction puts into question the zero-sum game of modern marriage and modern friendship, whereby the new companionship inside marriage demands a diminishment of friendship outside. The most inscrutable conjunction of marriage and friendship in Austen occurs in the last half of Persuasion, where the renewed friendship between Anne Elliot and Mrs. Smith not only helps stage nuptial resolution but survives, sentence by relentless sentence, as a hearthlike feature of the Wentworth marriage itself I interpret the obstinate syntactic roominess of this marriage as another measure of the odd exceptionality of the match, proving the emerging cultural rule that sets conjugal companionship against companions. In the Wordsworth section of Chapter 5, I turn to one of the most famous friendships in literary Romanticism, the relationship between Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Wordsworth's response to the postwar publication of Biographia Literaria and Sibylline Leaves registers in several places, almost all of which have been overlooked as textual events in this long dialogue. In many of the unremarked new poems of Wordsworth's "third volume" in 1820, multiple figurations of marriage engage in dialogic forms a Coleridgean discourse on marriage in his two famous 1817 publications. But Wordsworth's most extensive response to Coleridge has remained longest out of sight. As Mark Reed has recently demonstrated, in 1819 Wordsworth comprehensively revised The Prelude, still known in the family circle simply as "the poem to Coleridge." What Reed terms the "C-stage" Prelude moves front and center in Chapter 5 in two ways. Like the "third volume," the curious textual history of the C-stage Prelude is a sign in the bibliographic code of the fugitive shape of marriage in the writing of these years. The poem to Coleridge, "this gift I for thee design," was deposited in 1819 in an atypically ornate and unauthoritative manuscript copy, MS. C, that I speculate was initiated and then abandoned as

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a wedding gift for Lord Lonsdale's family. The most visible sign of the revisionary labor prompted by the copying of MS. C is the 1820 publication of "Vaudracour and Julia," excised from Book Nine. Chapter 5 concludes with a reading of this "third volume" poem in the company of two longer narrative poems bound into that book, Peter Bell and The Waggoner, both published separately in 1819. In 1842, Henry Crabb Robinson jotted down a sequence of five poems that Wordsworth suggested was a way of reading his marriage to Mary Hutchinson Wordsworth. That conjugal history is itself tantalizingly figured in one of the most intriguing documents of its own archive, a letter William wrote to Mary on June 3, 1812, one of the batch of "love letters" discovered in 1977. 15 An eavesdropper might be tempted to the callow jest that the letter is so hot it ignited spontaneously. Mary, however, explains that her candle burned the corner as she revisited the letter in bed, so William's account of what Mary in response calls the "progress" of their love survives only in this singed fragment: [T]he fever of thought & longing & affection & desire is strengthening in me, and I am sure will be beginning to make me wakeful and to consume me. Last night I suffered; and this morning I tremble with sensations that almost overpower me. I think of you by the waters & under the shades of the Wye, and the visions of nature & the music of [ ] raptures oflove, the love I felt for thee [ ] not venture to tell what he felt [ ] which inspired me as an honoured & cherished [ ] and lastly as a [ ], as an expecting Bride [ ] Husband seated for ever on the [ ] as a Father, and a long tried sharer of [ ] and pleasures;-each and all of these [ ] existence have passed through my mind, & they [ ] over again my past self, & thy past self also, participating every sentiment of thy heart & being, as far as Nature would allow what thou hast been, from the hour of our first walks near Penrith till our last parting at Chester, and till thy wanderings upon Wye, & till this very moment when I am writing. 16 Accidental combustion renders explicit what otherwise might be obscured by the extraordinary intimacy of the document: even when readers think to behold the thing itself, conjugal language pulses with gaps and silences, lacunae generated not by the structure of language but in the case of nuptial discourse by the impossible demand on marriage to generate the meaning on which all else rests. In Chapter 6, I attempt what bedrock modern marriage theory stipulates is impossible: to read representations of the marriage between Mary Hutchinson and William Wordsworth generated from within

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that marriage. In addition to the five texts that Crabb Robinson jotted down in 1842, there are at least a dozen other verse texts that form part of the lifetime record of the marriage. I propose to add to this larger list two "third volume" poems that define this 1820 fugitive book of marriage. Following Mary Moorman's overlooked suggestion, I argue that Wordsworth's least unfamiliar late-Regency work, the River Duddon sonnets, are in an elusive and thereby foundational way addressed to Mary Wordsworth, memorializing from the far side of tragedy a brief tour of the Duddon that the pair stole time for alone in September 18n, just prior to the 1812 deaths of two of their five children, Catherine and Thomas. But the bulk of the chapter is devoted to a virtually unknown blank verse lyric of 1819. Published in the River Duddon volume under the provocatively empty title "To ," the poem was retitled almost immediately in the 1820 Miscellaneous Poems as "The Haunted ."Whose name is missing from that blank remains an open Tree. To question; I propose that the radical undecidability of the poem's act of address urges with ironic force that it join the train ofWordsworth's lifelong series of poems attendant upon Mary Hutchinson. The shaped absence of this poem's title in the "third volume," "To ,"inscribes, in the emptied telos of the unnamed other, the indifferent form of spousal verse, words that readers are simultaneously invited to (over)hear and turned away from. In like manner, the "third volume" in which that poem fleetingly appears invites the assembly of a book of poems even while that gesture is simultaneously withdrawn by a new collected edition of the life's work. The poem's invisibility in the history of Wordsworth criticism I read as the triumph of its method. Especially because Wordsworth's "third volume" book of marriage calls into question the culture's prevailing postwar definition of marriage as the cynosure of refuge and rest, in the Austen section of Chapter 6 I turn to the play of the peacetime signifier "ease" in Emma and the final fragment Sanditon. A crush of postwar weddings surrounds Austen's postbellum fiction-in the midst of the nuptial fire sale of unmarried royal siblings, the Reverend James Stanier Clarke, who negotiated the dedication to Emma, not only tried to float subjects for a new novel but suggested that Austen should dedicate her next novel to the new husband of the young Princess Charlotte, whose 1816 wedding was the headline royal nuptial event after Waterloo. In her postwar fiction, Austen tests the limits of peace through the lens of a paronomastic condition, ease. In Emma, ease of manner fails to be a reliable index of a supremely desirable condition, ease of mind. As Austen's later fictions confront a male monopoly on ease, Sanditon foregrounds

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the question of ease and gender in representational forms such as Scott's verse and, in another medium, spousal portraits. In the last sentence of fiction Austen wrote, the dowager Lady Denham arranges these pictures to unsettle, uneasily, the long resting places of her two dead husbands. In his most famous nuptial figures, Wordsworth hijacks Edmund Spenser's phrase "spousal verse" to figure the relationship not between two human beings but mind and nature. These "Prospectus" verses were published at the head of The Excursion in bold quarto form in 1814: Paradise, and groves Elysian, Fortunate Fields-like those of old Sought in the Atlantic Main, why should they be A history only of departed things, Or a mere fiction of what never was? For the discerning intellect of Man, When wedded to this goodly universe In love and holy passion, shall find these A simple produce of the common day. -I, long before the blissful hour arrives, Would chaunt, in lonely peace, the spousal verse Of this great consummation. 17 When the words for marriage become divorced from marriage, what language remains for the postsacramental pair? In the wake of The Excursion and its priestly blessing of the "great consummation" of mind and nature, Wordsworth shapes over the next half decade a body of marriage verse barely caught in the corner of the eye, fleetingly assembled in 1820 in a collectively bound volume dispersed even at the moment it is joined together. Just as this fugitive book slips in and out of sight as a bibliographical figure for the elusive shape of postwar marriage writing, so the lyric "To--rests but briefly therein, the best Wordsworthian example I can locate, in form, figure, and theme, of a kind of writing that pauses in the vacated spaces of spousal verse, returning Spenser's phrase from mind to marriage. Emerging in what Cavell observes is its manifest lack thereof, the poetry of modern marriage takes necessary root in its own unavailability. To understand marriage and writing as agonistic enables a new view of the peculiar show poetry puts on in Austen's fiction. A locus of the old confusion that deposited Austen's books in the syllabus a half century before their time, the severely diminished stature of poetry in the novels is not a sign of her failure to connect with the riches of Romanticism but a telling Romantic

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sign of the limits of Romantic discourse. As versified affect spills all over the culture during the decades of Austen's life, the running joke throughout her fiction is double pronged and perfectly serious: poetry is a scarce commodity, and, worse, what exists is dead set against the conjugally affective. When early in Pride and Prejudice Mrs. Bennet recalls for the party at Netherfield a former lover of Jane who never proposed but "wrote some verses on her, and very pretty they were," Elizabeth scampers in: "And so ended his affection" (!.9.49). There endeth the lesson, although the passage skips along to other jokes about food and love. Just before Louisa Musgrove's plunge from the Cobb at Lyme Regis in Persuasion, Anne Elliot and Captain Benwick discuss poetry. Captain Benwick, widowed before marriage (he mourns the death of his fiancee), is wallowing in verse, an easy prey for "impassioned descriptions of hopeless agony" and "lines which imaged a broken heart, or a mind destroyed by wretchedness." Anne Elliot adjusts his diet, advising "a larger allowance of prose in his daily study": "[S]he ventured to hope he did not always read only poetry; and to say, that she thought it was the misfortune of poetry, to be seldom safely enjoyed by those who enjoyed it completely; and that the strong feelings which alone could estimate it truly, were the very feelings which ought to taste it but sparingly" (I.II.I08). In this rare discussion of verse in Austen's prose, poetry is dangerous, but the nature of that danger is not dear. Pointing beyond indulgence in emotional excess, the context of the conversation suggests that the danger of poetry is linked with the brokenness of Captain Benwick's marriage prospects. What little poetry there is in Austen lines up with the preconjugal, as with Jane Bennet's hapless suitor, or, as in Captain Benwick's curious and unfortunate case, with the odd coincidence of preconjugality and postconjugality. The commensurability of marriage and poetry, on the other hand, is a hugely signifying absence in Austen's fiction, where the name "poetry" thus testifies to a new divorce between marriage and writing. After the end of war, the "spousal verse" troped otherwise in The Excursion returns in fugitive forms, sequestered in Wordsworth's "third volume" or hidden in plain sight in Austen's novels.

MAPS

OF MARRIAGE

The offbeat graphic genre known as whimsical maps or cartographical curiosities includes a variety of memorable performances, such as Saul Steinberg's "View of the World from 9th Avenue," published as a New Yorker cover in

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1976, and William Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha map in Absalom, Absalom! 18

Some of the earliest instances of this genre are marriage maps, which began to circulate in the latter decades of the eighteenth century, marking the new imperial energies of affective marriage. From 1775 in Leipzig, for example, Gottfried Burger's map of a "Kingdom of Love" (Das Reich der Liebe) charts a meandering river's course from the Land of Youth to the Land of Disappointed Love, the Land of Lust, and the Land of Blessedness. Such allegorical marriage maps became extremely popular during the nineteenth century. Titles alone suffice: "MAP of MATRIMONY on Mercator's Projection, Shewing to Timid Lovers the Orbit of Affection to the True Haven of Conjugal Happiness"; "MAP Showing Course of the TRUELOVE RIVER." An 188o "Map of Matrimony" from London charts a cloudier landscape, including a "Province of Jewellers and Milliners," a "Town of Discontent," and "Feeland (inhabited by Lawyers)." In mid-twentieth-century America, this subgenre sank to its decadence in heart-shaped maps in McCall's magazine in 1960: a "Geographical Guide to a Man's Heart with Obstacles and Entrances Clearly Marked" paired with a "Geographical Guide to a Woman's Heart Emphasizing Points oflnterest to the Romantic Traveler." Two years before her May 1774 marriage, Anna Letitia Aiken published, anonymously, a print titled ''A New Map of the Land of Matrimony," the popularity of which is underscored by a reprint issued near the turn of the century (Figure 1). She subsequently yoked this print with a wedding-day address to her husband, Rochemont Barbauld, "To Mr. Barbauld, with a Map of the Land of Matrimony"-a verse text that remained private and unpublished, however, until the posthumous Works ofAnna Letitia Barbauld in 1825, seventeen years after the violent breakup of the marriage and Rochemont Barbauld's suicide in 1808. 19 An important early British instance of this graphic genre, Barbauld's marriage map offers signposts that speak to the problem of finding a language outside marriage. Drawn "from the latest survey," the map designs a sweeping western "Ocean of Love" that surrounds an eastern "Land of Matrimony," the seascapes and landscapes of which are crowded with jokes about the pitfalls and pratfalls of pairing off: "Rocks of Jealousy," "Henpeck Bay," "Inclination River," "Gulph of Reproach," "Settlement Island," and the like. Among the map's

F 1G

u R E r. A New Map of the Land of Matrimony. © British Library Board. All

rights reserved. Maps cc 5291.

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many conventional tokens of the affective (Esteem, Jealousy, Constancy, Prudence, Repentance, Scorn, Pity, and so on), one feature of the landscape sounds an especially curious note: from the map's right edge, in the far east of the Land of Matrimony, stares a "Dead Lake of Indifference." Whereas the fertile crescent of Barbauld 's Land of Matrimony is a river named "Amour" swelling toward the Ocean of Love, the map posits the polar opposite of the living waters of Love not as some desert place called Hate but as a dead sea going nowhere named Indifference. The opposition of love and indifference is rendered explicit and structurally foundational in the map's prominent compass, in the legend of which "Love" at the south and "Indifference" at the north form the literal poles of this geography of conjugal affect. Barbauld's matrimonial map locates indifference in the binding logic of an ethical imperative: to love is to marry, which is to be alive; to be indifferent is not to marry, which is to be dead. Marjorie Levinson has recently nominated "indifference" as the salient quality of a Romantic discourse that, because of its unwillingness to cooperate with "our own enlightening agendas," enables a critique of critique, a way forward from the complacency of stalled historicist consensus. Borrowing a term from theoretical biology, she introduces "autopoiesis" as a new way to get at the passivity of old Romantic familiars such as the idiot boy, the leech-gatherer, the discharged soldier, the old man traveling. The terms "indifference" and "autopoiesis" focus for Levinson a "fantasy of quiet being" that she locates in a gallery of Romantic solitaries. 20 I want to suggest that conjugality is the occluded social form in which this fantasy circulates in Romantic and post-Romantic culture. "Indifference" names both the outside and inside of marriage. In Barbauld's preconjugal map, indifference, which is the death of self, is to be unmarried. In the map of Romantic-period marriage generally, indifference, which is the death of all others, is to be married, to disappear into the reciprocity of a single other. Postsacramental marriage promulgates this terrifyingly twinned fantasy in a bewildering array of forms that simultaneously demand and refuse expression. Modern marriage thwarts the wish to map conjugal discourse by pressing its outrageous claim that such an endeavor would have to map all writing. Under the cover of this impossible prospect, marriage recedes into the loud silence that inscrutably marks its empire. Among a post-Romantic welter of forms epithalamic and forms anticonjugal, oppositional performances will come into better focus with a more exact sense of the forms of indifference

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in Romantic writing. A sketch of such a list might begin with Emily Dickinson's verse, which beckons powerfully in advance of the lapidary lark that is Marianne Moore's 1923 modernist masterpiece "Marriage," her longest poem. The agon of marriage in Sylvia Plath's and Ted Hughes's poetry also merits better understanding of marriage and representation than what current models offer, a forensic straitjacket of epithalamic and anticonjugal restraints. 21 Supervisory culture maps marriage on almost every occasion applicants are required to fill in the blanks. In the U.S. Census for the year 2000, after questions to try to determine "sex" and "race," conjugality is queried in this manner: "7. What is this person's marital status? I A. Now married I B. Widowed I C. Divorced I D. Separated I E. Never Married." 22 In these pigeonholes, marriage is the default human condition, the norm against which all else is a deviation. 23 Although most U.S. government forms now substitute the term "single" for the category that used to be called "unmarried," no form has ever referred to marriage as "unsingle," just as this census form fails to imagine "never married" as "always single." With the incest taboo lodged in the legal code, postsacramental marriage has had the leisure to expand the biological contest between exogamy and endogamy to ways of staging identity. The choice not to marry is stigmatized as a suspicious form of endogamy, whereby remaining single is tarnished as a confused way of marrying one's self, an adult failure to venture outside the gene pool of identity, to evolve beyond onanistic forms of adolescent self-infatuation. Conversely, simply to marry is to launch on the great adventure of exogamy, to embrace the exotic thrills of other, different selves. But not too much adventure: only one other self at a time. And only the right kinds of difference: transracial and syngendered taboos run deep. Postmodern skill at trumping identity categories of race, class, gender, and nation has outrun the agility to get outside marriage, because these other categories render themselves open to critique by claiming to be natural and necessary, whereas marriage has always been an identity category where choice is palpable-you may appear to have been born Latina, or born working class, or born female, or born a Kurd, but no one is born married. You choose it. Unless, of course, you have no choice. Compulsory conjugality is harder to pin down as a binding code in the second degree because it packages itself as a primary form of freedom in the first degree. In writing of the Romantic century, when the boundaries of postsacramental marriage get mixed up with the boundary conditions of other

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identity categories, gender most often queers the pitch, and this book regularly attends to that border territory. Although the world of marriage in Austen and Wordsworth is almost exclusively of the middling classes, there are moments when plebeian marriage irrupts into the narrative, such as the marriage prospects of the tenant farmer Robert Martin in Emma. Wordsworth's 1820 "third volume" contains two earlier poems published separately in 1819, Peter Bell and The Waggoner, both of which spotlight plebeian culture. The eponymous hero of Peter Bell is a polygamous itinerant potter, and I read his curious conjugal fate and the marital fortunes of the ragged band in The Waggoner in Chapter 5, to attend to the border of marriage and class. One of the most vexed historiographical puzzles in the study of plebeian marriage in this period is the practice of wife-selling. By his own account, E. P. Thompson used to get mugged by audiences on the North American lecture circuit in the late 1970s when he tried to present his conclusions about this topic, which he finally published in 1993 as "The Sale ofWives." Construed by these outraged audiences as an especially brutal instance of patriarchal marriage operating a system of chattel slavery, wife-selling, Thompson intrepidly argued, is better understood as a form of laboringclass divorce ritual purposefully and necessarily flying below the radar of the legal system. 24 One of the problems of this debate is the skimpy evidence; a pseudonymous contribution to Notes and Queries in 1863 argued a connection between wife-selling and the end of war in 1815: There have been several notices of wife-selling in your columns, but I do not remember seeing any account of the peculiar circumstances under which the custom became a settled legal point in the minds of the labouring population. When the war was over in 1815, and a great number of soldiers disbanded, many of them found, on reaching what had been their homes, that their wives had married again, and that a new family had sprung up to which the unfortunate soldier or sailor had no claim. In some of these cases certainly nobody was to blame. The wife had heard from more or less certain sources that her husband had been killed in such a battle, and after a decent interval had got another; all parties were in the wrong; all were to be pitied, but what was to be done? I don't suppose that the thing originated then, for such events must have occurred in former wars; but any way, the fact of taking a wife to the market, and selling her by auction was considered as effectual a way of dissolving the vinculum as if it had been done in the House of Lords itself. The second husband became the purchaser for a nominal sum, twopence or sixpence, the first was free to marry again, and all parties were content. In the manufacturing districts in 1815 and 1816 hardly a market-day passed without such sales month after month. The authorities shut their

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eyes at the time, and the people were confirmed in the perfect legality of the proceeding, as they had already been satisfied of its justice. 25 This is a peculiar image of postwar marriage, to say the least. The closing assertion "all parties were content" cannot escape its earlier shadow, "all parties were in the wrong," and it is an entirely unconvincing stretch to call such ceremonies epithalamic. But the especially odd thing is that they are not anticonjugal, either. Wounded in wartime, marriage keeps limping right along, an undaunted veteran. Adam Phillips, the British psychotherapist and essayist, puts the postsacramental blind trust in conjugality this way: "Like a magnet that collects our virtues and vices, monogamy makes the larger abstractions real, as religion once did. Faith, hope, trust, morality; these are domestic matters now. Indeed, we contrast monogamy not with bigamy or polygamy but with infidelity, because it is our secuhr religion. God may be dead, but the faithful couple won't lie down." 26 In a similar mood, Stanley Cavell suggests that we dwell in an in-between time, after religion (because, as he puts it, nothing is any longer common to our Gods), and before philosophy, because, again in Cavell's words, we are not yet interested in our new lives. 27 I submit that marriage is the interest that bids most forcefully to name that in-between time, after religion and before philosophy. Early on, it maps in paradigmatically indifferent forms in the Regency writing of Austen and Wordsworth.

TWO

The Muse of Indifference

The term "indifference" exhibits a remarkable shift in two places in Romantic culture, a radical displacement from its semantic roots of compromising mediation to an oppositional perch outside closed systems. At pivotal moments in women's poetry in late eighteenth-century Britain, "indifference" marks a smuggling operation beyond the boundaries of sensibility and marriage culture; a cognate maneuver appears in F. W. J. von Schelling's philosophy at the turn of the century, where "indifference" leverages an outside to closed epistemologies and ontologies. Taking a cue from these separate Romantic instances, I adopt "indifference" to signify forms of writing that work in fugitive ways outside the forensic borders of marriage culture, which constrain marriage writing in forms either epithalamic or anticonjugal. These texts do not write narrowly for or against marriage as, outrageously, freedom's necessary form, but, more widely, write against the foundational grain of a pervasive marriage culture that would preempt the question of freedom as well as the subjects and forms of writing. This chapter maps an emergent rhetoric of indifference within the

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framework of a larger topic, the history and theory of Romantic and post-Romantic marriage. The first section takes up Godwin, Wollstonecraft, Hegel, Kierkegaard, and assorted modern conjugal theorists, including, at the best reach of such work, Stanley Cavell. Two sample readings follow from Romantic marriage writing, first from Austen and then from Wordsworth. These readings aim to highlight core issues in Romantic marriage theory, especially the absolutist mandate attending matrimony-marriage trumps all other narratives-and the concomitant incommensurability of marriage and representation: triumphant, marriage refuses narration. In response to this cultural double bind, forms of indifference bear a family resemblance to what Anne-Lise Franc;:ois defines as "the literature of uncounted experience," the texts of which exhibit "a mode of recessive action that takes itself away as it occurs." 1 At their best and most revealing-in Austen and in Wordsworth-the marriage albums produced by Romantic culture interrogate the perplexing means and impossible ends of their own incessant making.

HISTORY,

THEORY,

ROMANTIC-PERIOD

AND MARRIAGE

Most marriage writing in the Romantic period dwells within the forensic boundaries that demarcate and enforce marriage culture, producing marriage writing that is either epithalamic or anticonjugal. Following the late-Enlightenment path blazed by William Godwin, anticonjugal theory continues to protest against marriage in vigorous style to our day, even as the matrimonial engine purrs along, unfazed. Rowdy, invitingly readable, and often courageous, anticonjugal accounts of the "wo that is in mariage" nevertheless do not stand outside the marriage system but form an essential support, a countervailing, subtending pillar. Compulsory conjugality receives high-theoretical formulation in Hegel's Philosophy ofRight in I821. Most epithalamic writing only loosely applies Hegel, however; defenses of modern marriage almost always fall back on the weak form of the epithalamic argument, companionship. As Kierkegaard is among the earliest to point out, a major obstacle for epithalamic writing is that it is boring-but that is no barrier to sales, as mall bookstalls attest as well as the Regency publication history ofbooks like Hannah More's Coelebs in Search ofa Wife.

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When Kierkegaard plays out the debate between anticonjugal and epithalamic attitudes in Either/Or in 1843, the representational roadblock that is Romantic marriage comes into arresting focus: the siren song of identity, marriage always clams up. Kierkegaard's critique of Schlegel prompts my argument that the anticonjugal postures of Romantic irony do not supply discursive ground to limn the unavailable beyond of the marriage empire. Two oppositional occasions in Romantic writing-Schelling's philosophy at the turn of the century and women's poetry in Britain in the latter decades of the eighteenth century-suggest that the term "indifference" usefully names writing that points to the outside of modern marriage. Itself a latter-day form of the rhetoric of indifference, the work of Stanley Cavell on Shakespeare, Romanticism, and film, which I turn to at the end of this first section, constitutes one of the most illuminating bodies of post-Romantic marriage theory.

Godwin, Wollstonecraft, and the Companionate Marriage In the study of Romantic culture, readers are again and again left pondering with Elinor Dashwood "the strange unsuitableness which often existed between husband and wife" (Sense and Sensibility, L21.136). A generation before Austen, in a century in which divorce was impossible except for a very privileged few, Samuel Johnson remarked the irony that marriage is "so far from being natural" that "all the motives which [two people] have for remaining in that connection, and the restraints which civilized society imposes to prevent separation, are hardly sufficient to keep them together." In Rasselas in 1759, Johnson through a different lens registers how single people "labor under a known sense of inferiority" and stand "as the outlaws of human nature." 2 In the Johnsonian ledger, humanity cannot live with marriage and cannot live without it. In 1793, William Godwin turns to conjugality in the closing pages of An Enquiry Concerning Political justice and sputters with incredulity: "It is absurd to expect that the inclinations and wishes of two human beings should coincide through any long period of time. To oblige them to act and to live together, is to subject them to some inevitable portion of thwarting, bickering and unhappiness."" While Godwin in his later years took digamous refuge in remarriage with his second attachment, Mary Jane Clairmont, other voices post-Waterloo continued to preach Godwinian

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anticonjugality. In "Epipsychidion" in 1819, Percy Bysshe Shelley casts a cold eye on matrimony: I never was attached to that great sect, Whose doctrine is, that each one should select Out of the crowd a mistress or a friend, And all the rest, though fair and wise, commend To cold oblivion, though it is the code Of modern morals, and the beaten road Which those poor slaves with weary footsteps tread, Who travel to their home among the dead By the broad highway of the world, and so With one chained friend, perhaps a jealous foe, The dreariest and the longest journey go. 4 Marriage is for Shelley a death camp on all sides, as the conjugally dead drag onward to "their home among the dead," surrounded by the excluded ("all the rest") whose deaths have been ordained by the severance from the tribe that is pairing of£ The celebratory stasis of marriage in the epithalamic tradition, the idea of marriage as refuge, as fixed abode, Shelley shifts to the grave, toward which marriage ceaselessly trudges in a death march. Godwin's late-Enlightenment labor to dismantle marriage takes fierce aim at "the evil of marriage as it is practised in European countries." Censure spills forth absolutely: "The institution of marriage is a system of fraud. . .. Marriage is law, and the worst of all laws. . . . Add to this, that marriage is an affair of property, and the worst of all properties . . . the most odious of all monopolies." Godwin proclaims that the path to a brave new postconjugal world is a fresh new track without pitfall: "The abolition of marriage will be attended with no evils" (2:849-50). In her attack on marriage a year earlier in Vindication ofthe Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft, though fierce in her antagonisms, had been cooler in her utopian enthusiasms. Although marriage in the Vindication is regularly an evil on a Godwinian scale, a system of "slavery" and "legal prostitution," Wollstonecraft wryly cautions that the abolition of marriage is more easily proclaimed (especially by male philosophers) than accomplished: "How women are to exist in that state where there is neither marrying nor giving in marriage, we are not told." 5 Throughout the Vindication, Wollstonecraft deploys a double edge in the presentation of marriage, which appears not only as a massive social evil but also, in theory, as "the foundation of almost

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every social virtue" (165}, "the cement of society" (283), and "the parent of those endearing charities which draw man from the brutal herd" (317). Godwin and Wollstonecraft part company about companionship as the new cornerstone of postsacramental marriage. Godwin sees the companionable ideal as dangerously symptomatic of affect, of the unreasonable "partiality" he everywhere wants to stamp out: "The supposition that I must have a companion for life, is the result of a complication of vices. It is the dictate of cowardice, and not of fortitude. It flows from the desire of being loved and esteemed for something that is not desert" (2:849). Rejecting any motive to action grounded in affect, this attack on conjugal companionship near the end of the book brings full circle the famous attack on gratitude in the opening pages of the Enquiry. Wollstonecraft, on the other hand, sees the emerging social ideal of companionship as a decided improvement in the relationships between women and men: "Contending for the rights of woman, my main argument is built on this simple principle, that if she be not prepared by education to become the companion of man, she will stop the progress of knowledge and virtue" (86}. Whereas Godwin reads companionship as diminishment, as the hobbling effect of affect, Wollstonecraft reads companionship as enlargement for women, as the enabling effect of reason: "Marriage will never be held sacred till women, by being brought up with men, are prepared to be their companions rather than their mistresses.... So convinced am I of this truth, that I will venture to predict that virtue will never prevail in society till the virtues of both sexes are founded on reason" (283). In radical rhetoric in the 1790s, conjugal companionship dons a double guise along gender lines, both snare and emancipation. The work of historians such as Lawrence Stone has long established the "companionate marriage" as a routine analytic category in the social history of marriage in the Romantic century. 6 Although acknowledging the Wollstonecraftian argument that companionship is some kind of step in some kind of right direction for women, students of marriage in the period more often inflect conjugal companionship along Godwinian lines, as a form of false consciousness. Godwin's analysis of marriage in Part III of the Enquiry is subordinate to a larger and for many readers more urgent topic, property, and most accounts of marriage in the Romantic period highlight how affective conjugality provided a new way to perpetuate economic inequality and injustice. Cultural histories of Romantic-period marriage tell remarkably similar tales: how romantic companionship, the idea

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of the "loving confluence of two lives," in Anthony Appiah's phrase, becomes at the advent of early industrial capitalism an impressively effective cover story for the economic and social engines it helps drive. A number of studies unravel how conjugality especially combines economic and gender inequality? Jurgen Habermas epitomizes these arguments in his analysis of how the private sphere of the "patriarchal conjugal family ... played its precisely defined role in the process of the reproduction of capital": The independence of the property owner in the market and in his own business was complemented by the dependence of the wife and children on the male head of the family; private autonomy in the former realm was transformed into authority in the latter and made any pretended freedom of individuals illusory. Even the contractual form of marriage, imputing the autonomous declaration of will on the part of both partners, was largely a fiction, especially since a marriage, to the extent that the family owned capital, could not remain unaffected by considerations regarding the latter's preservation and augmentation. The jeopardy into which the idea of the community of love was thereby put, up to our own day, occupied the literature (and not only the literature) as the conflict between marriage for love and marriage for reason, that is, for economic and social considerations. 8 Habermas is alert to the ways in which modern conjugal equality sold itself as a seductive package, combining the affective mutuality of romantic companionship with the socioeconomic equity of contract, a model of postsacramental marriage that is disassembled within Romanticism by Hegel and in our time by Carol Pateman. In Habermas's account, literature is the very place where conjugal narratives are made to appear to struggle, where the dominant tale of "marriage for love" is contested by a counternarrative of the (generally oppressive) economic and social motivations of marriage. But the contest is predetermined: the narrative of romantic companionship is already primary precisely because it facilitates a particular set of economic and social structures. The limited role of imaginative writing in this account is to shore up the illusion of freedom. The Enlightenment project to demystify marriage still packs the picket line with various voices-high theory, highbrow journalism, even hard science. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari analyze how conjugality, "aregime for the pairing of people," functions as a "repressive machine" rather than a "revolutionary machine." 9 Julia Kristeva registers the demise of affective conjugality: "Contemporary mores, whipped up by the pill and artificial insemination, increasingly dissociate sexuality and reproduction.

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They will render the eternal couple socially and scientifically useless, and do the same for marriage as a social necessity that insured optimal conditions for the reproduction of the species." 10 Laura Kipnis ransacks the "marital gulags" that imprison the "miserable classes"; to contest the "marital panopticon," she proposes adultery as a "counterlogic to the prevailing system," as a "counterlogic to the couple dyad." 11 In an essay commissioned for the millennium, "Why Marriage?," the novelist Jane Smiley argues that capitalism no longer sells only attachment but now disattachment and reattachment as well: "Late capitalism has evidently decided that what is best ... is serial monogamy, frequent changes of employment, and a high degree of instability.... [T]he inherent instability of marriage is to be promoted rather than suppressed. Capitalism doesn't decide between promiscuity and monogamy but promotes both of them frenetically, knowing, like stockbrokers, that there is more money to be made by churning a portfolio than by holding on to it." 12 Whereas early industrial capitalism depended upon and labored to enforce rock-solid marriage, late capitalism toggles back and forth between marriage and separation, marriage and divorce, marriage and separation. Lifetime fidelity as a conjugal norm is also being disassembled by the fieldwork of evolutionary biology. Scrutinizing the behavior of dozens of species-cave bat bugs, hoary marmots, rock ptarmigans-Judith Lipton and David Barash report "what the latest research has been revealing about the surprisingly weak biological underpinnings of monogamy." From their opening paragraph: "In attempting to maintain a social and sexual bond consisting exclusively of one man and one woman, aspiring monogamists are going against some of the deepest-seated evolutionary inclinations with which biology has endowed most creatures, Homo sapiens included .... [T]here is powerful evidence that human beings are not 'naturally' monogamous, as well as proof that many animals, once thought to be monogamous, are not." 13 Lipton and Barash include in their data the opening sentence of Pride and Prejudice, which focuses for their empirical gaze the single male in want of a mate and the unmated females of the neighborhood who consider him their property: "Less universally acknowledged is the appeal of material resources to those daughters themselves, an appeal that may be so great that a man 'in possession of a good fortune' may obtain copulations even if he is not single, or not 'in want of a wife.' In short, females may be inclined toward EPCs [Extra-Pair Copulations] even if they are not prospecting for genes-if the material rewards are sufficient" (91). Here is new fieldwork evidence to the question of Elizabeth Bennet's seriousness when

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she teases Jane about the moment when Darcy began to look good: "I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley" (II1.17.414). In Jane Smiley's alert observations about how late capitalism has found a new market edge in being simultaneously faithful and unfaithful to fidelity, what has not changed is that conjugality, whether stable or unstable, is the constitutive action of the system, coming or going. At the end of her essay, Smiley is willing to bet on an old idea, romantic companionship, in opposition to capitalism: "The social redemption of marriage in our time is precisely in intimacy as a countervailing force against the chaotic isolation promoted by free-market capitalism." 14 Lipton and Barash, too, after dismantling the biological basis of monogamy, fall back on the venerable claim of companionship. From the book's penultimate paragraph:

Homo sapiens is a rather long-lived species, and thus, along with monogamy's contribution to child-rearing, gene-assuring, resource-sharing, and predatorprotecting, it is possible to glimpse yet another benefit of this peculiar mating system: By establishing a durable, long-term relationship with someone who not only cares, but also shares an expanding history, who understands one's strengths, weaknesses, joys, and despairs, the successful monogamist assures himself and herself a companion for life. (192) In its etymological bare bones, companionship ("bread-together-condition") is a curiously understated argument for a choice of life that presses with such urgency: marriage supplies the regular proximity of another human being in the vicinity of food. Those who are wedded to companionship as the one unshakable truth of marriage might be given pause to recall that, in Pride and Prejudice, it is Mr. Collins who most warmly embraces that ideal, as he makes his pitch to Elizabeth Bennet: ''Almost as soon as I entered the house I singled you out as the companion of my future life" (l.19.118). Charlotte Lucas's performance of companionship as Mrs. Collins is to arrange the rooms of the house to render Mr. Collins as seldom proximate as possible. But to debate the merits of companionship, or any other argument for or against marriage, is to miss a larger point: the unchecked tide of texts epithalamic and texts anticonjugal tells just this, that marriage still calls the shots and runs the show. As Kristeva acknowledges, the Enlightenment project to dispense with marriage, although it has spun off all new freedoms, appears unlikely to achieve its goal: "Nevertheless, couples, held

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in contempt, have come together again." Hence for Kristeva a very old question remains open: "What is it that leads love to dream of an eternal couple?" 15 To recast that question as a problem of writing: why keep telling the story of a couple? To understand marriage writing as necessarily forensic is to limit the range of answers to that question, which shortchanges Romantic marriage writing.

Hegel and Marriage: "Life in Its Totality" If companionship is the weak epithalamic argument, Hegel in r82r offers the strong version: marriage is the necessary door through which the Individual passes into History. This argument has a contorted afterlife in the mouths of modern legislators generally unaware of Hegel, who are fond of sonorous phrases about "the foundation of society" as they voice support for marriage laws that, in a nice contradiction, are intended to deny access to marriage. Dwelling overlong on the telos of Hegelian marriage is sufficient to damp the most ardent desire. But before Hegel's argument hurries onward to its monumental topics, the State and History, the analysis of marriage in the early pages of Philosophy of Right spins off a number of epistemological and ontological claims that map authoritatively the modern empire of marriage. Hegel launches his account of marriage in Philosophy of Right by discarding for analysis the love plot in literature: "But those works of modern art, dramatic and other, in which the love of the sexes is the main interest, are pervaded by a chill despite the heat of the passion they portray, for they associate the passion with accident throughout and represent the entire dramatic interest as if it rested solely on the characters as these individuals; what rests on them may indeed be of infinite importance to them, but is of none whatever in itself." 16 Hegel is unequivocal that there is something else going on in marriage that the romance narrative fails to explain, something other than "the contingency of feeling and private inclination" (164) or "the contingency of passion and the transience of particular caprice" (163). What makes marriage central to human experience is not that it guarantees the company of another person at the feed trough, or even that it facilitates the accumulation of capital (shared or unshared), but that it changes identity; it alters consciousness: "marriage's specifically ethical character ... consists in this, that the consciousness of the parties is crystallized out of its physical and subjective mode and lifted to the thought

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of what is substantive" (164). In Hegel's narrative "The Ethical Life," to marry is to be born again, and he thus proclaims the conjugal imperative in its most explicit high-theoretical form in the period: "Our objectively appointed end and so our ethical duty is to enter the married state" (162). Most absolutely, "the life involved in it is life in its totality" (161). As Carole Pateman argues, Hegel's attention to what happens to consciousness in marriage renders him "the most profound critic of contract" from within the postsacramental traditionP In Hegel's words, marriage "is precisely a contract to transcend the standpoint of contract, the standpoint from which persons are regarded in their individuality as self-subsistent units" (163). Hegel has his eye on the new forms of consciousness that emerge in marriage, where the "self-subsistent units" that are the individuals of contract theory are "transcended": On the subjective side, marriage may have a more obvious source in the particular inclination of the two persons who are entering upon the marriage tie, or in the foresight and contrivance of the parents, and so forth. But its objective source lies in the free consent of the persons, especially in their consent to make themselves one person, to renounce their natural and individual personality to this unity of one with the other. From this point of view, their union is a self-restriction, but in fact it is their liberation, because in it they attain their substantive self-consciousness. (162) Hegel's initial emphasis on the new identities forged in marriage as "one person," "this unity of one with the other," appears at first glance a parallel instance in German theory of the English common law doctrine of coverture, where, infamously, that one person of marriage is the husband. But as Pateman points out, although Hegel's account of marriage is at last "fatally compromised" (173) by his assumption of "a sexually differentiated consciousness" (179), that compromise is not emphasized here at the outset of Hegel's account but later, at the turn in the argument from marriage to the family and thence to civil society. The last sentence in the excerpt is a crucial moment in Hegel's argument, for in it he proposes that there are not one but three new identities produced in marriage: not only the newly corporate form of "one person" but also new forms of identity ("their liberation") for the two individuals, what Hegel calls "substantive selfconsciousness," a phrase with complex roots in the arguments about identity in the Phenomenology ofSpirit. The oppressive and conventional fiction of "one person" in Hegel's account is a critical soft target; what renders his

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take on marriage formidable and full of terror is the final step, the definition of a complex mode of identity, synonymous with human freedom, that is unavailable elsewhere. In Johnson's phrase from Rasselas, single people stand as "the outlaws of human nature." In the Hegelian tally, they are the living dead.

Kierkegaard, Marriage, and Romantic Irony How did the empire write back? A rallying place is the agon of conjugality that defines Kierkegaard's inaugural moment as a writer, with his 1841 thesis The Concept ofIrony followed in a matter of days by his broken engagement and, a little more than a year later, the publication of Either/ Or, the biggest book about marriage from Romanticism, early or late. Kierkegaard's stereoscopic preoccupation with marriage and irony helps pose the question of what to call writing that digs in its heels against marriage culture as a whole, neither epithalamic nor narrowly anticonjugal. A number of these oppositional gambits resemble stock moves of Romantic irony, but I argue later that Romantic irony is itself a species of stock anticonjugal discourse. The term "indifference" has nearly as slippery a history in Romantic writing as "irony," but I settle on it to identify new forms of marriage writing prompted by two moments in Romantic discourse: the prominence of the term in women's poetry in the latter decades of the eighteenth century in Britain, where "indifference" aims beyond the horizon of modern coupledom; and Schelling's deployment of a cognate German form to gain a foothold outside closed philosophical systems. At the same time that Schelling in Germany employs die Indijferenz with Archimedean design, women's texts in the period deploy indifference as a response to the specific problem of the pair, which Hegel declares to be the defining form of human freedom. In Either/Or, two long sections, "The Diary of a Seducer" and the first portion of Judge Wilhelm's response, "The Esthetic Validity of Marriage," enact and parody late-Romantic forms of anticonjugal and epithalamic writing. 'The Diary of a Seducer," the most famous section of the book, transposes anticonjugality from its ethical register in Enlightenment discourse-marriage is unjust-to an aesthetic key: marriage is boring. Seduction, on the other hand, is interesting. Johannes, the seducer, savors various pleasures of the moment, drawing seduction to an exquisite precipice just this side of marriage: "A question that has frequently been the subject of my

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consideration is: which situation, which moment, may be regarded as the most seductive? ... I claim that it is the wedding-day, and especially a particular moment. When she is standing there adorned as a bride ... when the bridegroom awaits-then the moment is present. Soon it is too late." 18 Everywhere in the book, the problem of pairing off-via seduction or marriage-is inseparable from the problem of representation, from questions of poetry and of irony. Poetry marks seduction, not marriage. Kierkegaard encloses a first level of irony within the seducer's anticonjugal method, as Johannes relishes an earlier moment in his dalliance with Cordelia, the moment when two lovers declare that they are all in all for the other: "It is no wonder that the poets always portray this intimate moment, this beautiful moment .... A little irony makes this moment's second moment one of the most interesting; it is a spiritual undressing. One must be poet enough not to disturb the ceremony yet the joker must always be sitting in ambush." 19 To Johannes, poetry dwells in such preconjugal moments that, at their best, are the doubled moments produced by irony ("this moment's second moment"), where (male) consciousness inhabits simultaneously two selves, both actor and witness, poet and joker. The poetry of seduction is a set piece of Romantic irony, a form of simultaneous making and unmaking. Judge Wilhelm in counterattack zeroes in on Johannes's fetish for the moment. The exclusive truth of what Marianne Dashwood in Sense and Sensibility proclaims as "first attachment" now becomes matter for expansive theorizing in a long analysis of the romantic attachment to "first infatuation" or "first love": "you cannot be said to hate marriage; as yet your thought has never actually gone that far, at least not without being scandalized by it, and so you must forgive me for assuming that you have not given full consideration to the subject. What you prefer is the first infatuation" (ll:6-7). As Judge Wilhelm labors to demonstrate not the goodness but the "esthetic validity" of marriage, his argument hangs on a different understanding of conjugality and temporality. The beauty of marriage, he claims, inheres in the durational, not in the moment; this line of argument leads him to a set of observations about the incommensurability of marriage and representation: "Romantic love can be portrayed very well in the moment; marital love cannot, for an ideal husband is not one who is ideal once in his life but one who is that every day" (ll:135). In Either/Or, the two opponents, Johannes the Seducer and Judge Wilhelm, one anticonjugal and one epithalamic, nevertheless agree on this: there is a new divorce between marriage and representation. The Seducer locates poetry outside marriage,

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in an elsewhere called seduction; the Judge in counterattack stipulates that marriage itself resists poetry, from the inside. Judge Wilhelm then complicates his argument about temporality by stressing the distinction between "outer" and "inner" experience, the latter of which is the durational order that eludes representation: "But this history that proves to be incommensurable even for poetry is the inner history" (ll:137). Again, most absolutely: "This love cannot be portrayed. It always moves inward and spends itself (in the good sense) in time, but that which is to be portrayed by reproduction must be lured forth, and its time must be foreshortened .... Marital love does not come with external signs" (ll:139-40; emphasis added). The head-on collision between Hegelian absolutism-marriage is "life in its totality"-and the consensus of voices in Either/Or-marriage and writing are incommensurable-threatens to bring representational traffic to a dead halt: all narration aspires to the silent condition of marriage. This dilemma achieves sharpest definition in philosophical texts late in the Romantic century; the earliest attempts to work around the representational roadblock that is postsacramental marriage also appear, post-Romantically, within Romanticism, by means of indifference. The ironic ways of indifference stand outside Romantic irony, however, the foundational texts of which depend upon the anticonjugal postures that flourish inside the marriage system. When Kierkegaard launches his critique of Schlegel and Romantic irony in 1841, he does not take aim at the various Fragments texts that conventionally define Romantic irony, such as fragment 69 from the Ideas: "Irony is the clear consciousness of eternal agility, of an infinitely teeming chaos." 2° Kierkegaard focuses instead on Lucinde, the novel-a tale of seduction-that Schlegel published at the same time as the Fragments. This choice of texts signals that conjugality is itself centrally at issue in the construction of Romantic irony. As Kierkegaard puts it in his analysis of Lucinde in The Concept ofIrony, "If we examine more closely what Schlegel was combating with his irony, presumably no one will deny that there was and is much in the ingress, progress, and egress of the marriage relationship that deserves a correction such as this and that makes it natural for the subject to want to be liberated." 21 Julius, the hero of Lucinde, is a card-carrying Romantic ironist: "I want to attempt to shape raw chance and mold it to the purpose. No purpose, however, is more purposeful for myself and for this work, for my love for it and for its own structure, than to destroy at the very outset all that part we call 'order,'

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remove it, and claim explicitly and affirm actually the right to a charming confusion." 22 In a section titled ''Allegory of Impudence," personified Wit addresses Julius and renders clear that Romantic irony achieves selfdefinition in terms dictated by conjugality: "Create, discover, transform, and retain the world and its eternal forms in the perpetual variation of new marriages and divorces." Although marriage everywhere lines up in the novel with the old "order," it is to be replaced not by extraconjugal or postconjugal forms, but by what Julius elsewhere hails as the "sublime frivolity" of the new romantic conjugal pair dedicated to "perpetual variation," to the "daring chaos," the "charming confusion" that names the structure of both the novel and the relationship it narrates. Romantic irony, in short, is both deeply conjugal and polemically anticonjugal-it cannot live with marriage and cannot live without it. Critical preoccupation with the headline moments in the Fragments about irony and Romantic poetry has sidelined Athenaeum Fragment 34, a long piece on marnage: Almost all marriages are simply concubinages, liaisons, or rather provisional experiments and distant approximations of a true marriage whose real essence, judged not according to the paradoxes of any old system but according to all spiritual and worldly laws, consists of the fusion of a number of persons into one person. A nice idea, but one fraught with a great many serious difficulties. For this reason, if for no other, the will should be given as much free rein as possible, since after all the will has some say in any decision of whether an individual is to remain independent or become only an integral part of a common personality. It's hard to imagine what basic objection there could be to a marriage a quatre. But when the state tries to keep even unsuccessful trial-marriages together by force, then, in so doing, it impedes the possibility of marriage itself, which might be helped by means of new and possibly more successful experiments. 23 The brave new world of experimental marriage will not be content with just two becoming one but sets its sights higher, on "a number of persons" becoming one, because it is, after all, "hard to imagine what basic objection there could be to a marriage aquatre"-a line that scandalized the contemporary audience of the Fragments much more than chatter about poets and chaos. But the attack on the "old system" attacks just half of the system, the number of persons becoming one. The goal of becoming one, of becoming "an integral part of a common personality," stands unchallenged, apart from the deadpan aside "a nice idea, but one fraught with a great many

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serious difficulties." Although the text gestures toward the chance that "an individual" might "remain independent," it nevertheless invests its bedrock idea of freedom in "the possibility of marriage." In its brief compass, it even supplies an extensive taxonomy of marriage: trial-marriage, true marriage, marriage a quatre, experimental marriage, approximate marriage, concubinage marriage, liaison marriage. Latter-day Romantic ironists at the millennium have extended the list to include starter marriage, encore marriage, green card marriage, icebreaker marriage, drive-through marriage, and rebound marriage. 24 Conjugality rules.

Indifference, Schelling, and Sensibility Deeply complicit with compulsory conjugality, Romantic irony fails to supply discursive ground to limn the unavailable beyond of modern marriage. To name the writing that attempts to work around and outside the unlimited boundaries of the marriage empire, I turn to a different Romantic signifier, "indifference," because of its strategic coincidence in two very different scenes of Romantic writing, the discourse of sensibility in late eighteenth-century Britain and Schelling's post-Kantian "System of Identity" at the turn of the century in Germany. Departing from its common sense of mediating neutrality, the term "indifference" in both these instances marks crucial Ranking maneuvers in the efforts to think about marriage culture and human freedom. The terror in the Hegelian account of marriage is the thought that human identity only comes alive in marriage, where two individuals each achieve what is unavailable elsewhere, "substantive self-consciousness," which is their "liberation." Although Schelling's work is dogged by Hegel's famous put-down ("the night in which all cows are black") and by Kierkegaard's disappointment in his Berlin lectures in 1841-42, his work in scattered, often unpublished texts in the early decades of the century remains a challenging early labor to think outside the defining paradigms of subject-object dualism, of identity and difference, of the real and the ideal, of freedom and necessity. "Indifference" is a crucial term in Schelling's moves to rethink these paradigms, as Alberto Toscano indicates in his summary of Schelling's maneuvers: they mark "the definitive abandonment of any project maintaining itself within the strictures of Kantian dualism, even in terms of thinking difference from an original polarity of .

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subject-object, in favour of a thinking wholly concerned with thinking

from indifference." 25 A sense of the place of indifference in Schelling's system, what Jason Wirth describes as "God self-differentiating," is conveyed by this passage from the 1804 "System of Philosophy in General," in which Schelling outlines an account of "the law according to which infinity follows from God in an infinite manner": The true schema of the immediate consequences from the idea of God would therefore be as follows: God as the archetype is the absolute identity that comprehends the real and the ideal universes. The immediate consequence of the real and ideal universes as such is the indifference of the affirming and affirmed, a difference that finds its expression twice, once in the Real and once in the Ideal (for the absolute identity is proper to neither one). From this indifference, then, there follow, in descending order, the affirmation or the Ideal in its relative dominance over the affirmed or the Real, and the affirmed or Real in its relative dominance over the affirmation or the Ideal; both of these follow in equal measure from the indifference within the Real and the Ideal. This very schema may be repeated into infinity. 26 Schelling's work remains compelling for many not for its God-language but because it supplies a radical way to think about freedom. Because marriage is one of the most comprehensive social forms assumed by necessity in Romantic and post-Romantic culture, Schelling's work to get at freedom by means of a beyond denominated "indifference" offers a vocabulary to think about writing that confronts the unavailable beyond of postsacramental conjugality. In the words of David Ferris, Schelling supplies a difficult way to think about freedom that, in terms of conjugality, would not be limited to a forensic horizon within which the only question is whether or not the individual is enslaved in marriage, which produces marriage writing that is necessarily either anticonjugal or epithalamic: No longer does literature serve as a mediating device and no longer is the individual the principal stake of the argument. Instead, what is undertaken is a complete reorientation of freedom away from its imprisonment within the opposition between determinism and free will. No longer is freedom defined as the mere presence or absence of a will. In place of this opposition which offers no alternative, Schelling conceives of a freedom without which neither determinism nor free will could be supposed. So conceived, Schelling has, in effect, opened the question of how the world and the place of the individual in it has been thoughtY

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Marriage culture would close off this question, "how the world and the place of the individual in it has been thought." The rhetoric and poetics of indifference endeavor to keep it open. Schelling was drawn to the term "indifference" in contemporary experiments with magnetism, where it designated a midpoint where neither pole exerts force. It had long been available analogously in British culture; Johnson defines indifference as "1. neutrality; suspension; equipoise or freedom from motives on either side; 2. Impartiality," with illustrations from Locke, Bacon, Addison, Swift, and Hooker. 28 As Schelling takes a scientific term that designates a mediate position and reworks it to leverage an outside to established philosophical systems, so the term "indifference" in Britain in the last half of the eighteenth century undergoes a similar shift in the culture of sensibility, where it moves from its semantic roots of mediation to name the desire to escape entirely the closed circle of affect known as sensibility. In Jerome McGann's words, "nothing is more characteristic of the poetry of sensibility than its dialectical relation to 'Indifference."' 29 McGann's primary example is Frances Greville's poem "A Prayer for Indifference" from the 1750s, in which the world of"treacherous sense" (l. 29), the prison-round of "pleasure" and "pain," is set against a plea for "calm repose" (l. 48) conveyed by "the nymph Indifference" (l. 36). An even more sustained example of how indifference signifies the beyond of sensibility is Ann Yearsley's poem "To Indifference" (1787), where the distressed speaker is "tost on extreme, I From bliss to pointed woe" (II. 7-8). 30 Yearsley first argues that sensibility oppresses precisely because it demands nothing but polar extremes, with no place for mediate terms: "To SENSIBILITY, what is not bliss I Is woe. No placid medium's ever held I Beneath her torrid line" (II. 30-32). But then Yearsley performs her key gambit, which is to abandon the fruitless search for a "placid medium." To escape the system, Yearsley plucks indifference from its middling ground and sets it outside, over and against sensibility: "Then leave me, Sensibility! be gone, I Thou chequer' d angel! Seek the soul refin' d: I I hate thee! And thy long progressive brood I Of joys and mis'ries. Soft indiff'rence, come!" (II. 44-47). The poem closes with a vision of the unmoving place where the speaker will receive indifference: In this low cottage thou shalt be my guest, Till Death shuts out the hour: here down I'll sink With thee upon my couch of homely rush, Which fading forms of Friendship, Love, or Hope,

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Must ne'er approach. Ah!-quickly hide, thou pow'r, Those dead intruding images! Oh, seal The lids of mental sight, lest I abjure My freezing supplication.-ALL is still. (II. 48-55) The problem in these last lines is that marriage culture codes the "low cottage" where "ALL is still" as the telos of the marriage plot, the idea of conjugal refuge. Yearsley's escape is cut short by a nuptial trope that returns the poem against its expressed wishes to a world of sensibility pervasively conditioned by conjugality; the fugitive from coupledom is at the last still a bride, now of quietness and slow time. "Indifference" in these poems marks not a final escape but a fugitive gesture beyond the boundaries of sensibility and marriage culture. In the company of these poems addressed to indifference, Anna Letitia Barbauld's "New Map of the Land of Matrimony" renders explicit the traffic between sensibility and conjugality. Of the dozens of terms for affect in Barbauld's print, "indifference" comes closest to naming a place off the map of marriage, just as Greville and Yearsley urge it as the rallying cry to flee sensibility. That Barbauld construes a "Dead Lake of Indifference" casts a chill over Yearsley's cot where "ALL is still," suggesting that the fixed spot of the marriage settlement comes packaged in Romantic culture with a death threat. For Yearsley, to be still is to be indifferent, which is to escape the turmoil of sensibility. In the culture, to be still is to marry, to slip offstage at the end of the marriage plot to the domiciliary refuge that marks the end of representation. The reprint of Barbauld's image (Figure r) adds "Union City" as the ultimate port for the "vessels bound to the land of matrimony." This new figure not only underscores the homology between marriage and nation building at the end of the century but it also anticipates a Hegelian landscape where freedom and marriage pair off in necessary union. In an oppositional swerve, Stanley Cavell in our time maps a rereading of marriage not as union but as a rite of separation.

Post-Romantic Marriage Theory Bound together in the closed forensic round that maintains marriage culture, anticonjugal and epithalamic texts fill an enormous mill with complicated wheels. This book does not aim to derive some impossible algorithm

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to winnow all Romantic and post-Romantic marriage writing into epithalamic and anticonjugal subsets on the one hand and indifferent traces on the other. One threat posed by post-Hegelian conjugality is a nightmare of repetition, of example without end: every story is necessarily, one way or another, a story about marriage. Instead of pursuing what could only be a madly iterated calibration, I foreground here two theoretical forms of postRomantic marriage writing, which as they address the problem of marriage also necessarily foreground the problem of representing the problem that is marnage. In 1996, the British psychotherapist and essayist Adam Phillips published a curious mini-book titled Monogamy. The small-format volume is unpaginated and consists instead of 121 numbered passages, printed in a large font with generous use of the blankness of the small pages. 31 To use Austen's idiom, the book is materially a "small miniature," a recalcitrant shape indifference often assumes to tackle this formidable subject. Some aphoristic entries are as brief as a sentence or two, others running at most a short page or two: "Everybody, one might say, is left out of being someone else. But that is no comfort. Coupledom is as close as you can get" (no. n6). To audiences that insisted on parsing Monogamy as either epithalamic or anticonjugal, Phillips responded that it sets aside such questions in pursuit of a different topic: "the difficulty of simply thinking and talking about monogamy." 32 Many of the sentences thus turn about problems of marriage, language, and writing. Sometimes the burden is Hegelian totality: "To talk about monogamy is to talk about virtually everything that might matter" ("Preface"). Sometimes the burden is Kierkegaardian silence: '\~e have virtually no language, other than banality, to describe the couple who have been happy together for a long time" (no. 74). Or in another entry: "Partner, spouse, wife, husband, cohabitee. The problem of monogamy is that we have never found the words for it" (no. 42). In addition to the words that conjugality both summons and lacks, Monogamy ponders the motives and consequences of marriage as a narrative act: "We are daunted by other people making us up, by the number of people we seem to be. We become frantic trying to keep the numbers down, trying to keep the true story of who we really are in circulation. This, perhaps more than anything else, drives us into the arms of one special partner. Monogamy is a way of getting the versions of ourselves down to a minimum" (no. 7). Marriage in Monogamy is not about breaking bread together-companionship-but about trying to get a handle on words together. Stories about marriage and the stories told in marriage are

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still inescapably the stories of a single self: "To describe a couple is to write an autobiography. Because we begin our lives in a couple, and are born of a couple, when we talk about couples we are telling the stories of our lives" (no. 24). In such a view, autobiography and the marriage novel-paradigmatically, in Romantic writing, Wordsworth and Austen-are versions of each other.

Cavell and Marriage In a review of Phillips's writing that bridges psychoanalysis, literature, and philosophy, Stanley Cavell has observed that "I find this invitation to philosophy congenial and find this way of writing attractive." 33 Unlike that of Phillips, Cavell's own substantial body of writing on marriage is not collected in a single text. With strategic obliquity, Cavell has approached marriage on a variety of occasions and from a variety of angles, many of which also set themselves against the prescribed subject boundaries of formal academic philosophy: in writing on Shakespeare, on British and American Romanticism, on film, on opera. This body of work constitutes in that very variety of platforms a rhetoric of indifference, a kind of marriage writing that performs even as it defines the unavailable beyond of compulsory conjugality. Carol Pateman at one point paraphrases Hegelian marriage as "the dialectic of mutual acknowledgment" (177). This phrase verges directly on language Cavell uses to wrestle with conjugality, although it does not appear that the special sense in which Cavell deploys the term "acknowledgment" is encompassed by Pateman's use of the word. Like Hegel, Cavell is clear that preoccupation with the affective narrative leaves interpretation shorthanded, as in this ground-clearing observation from his reading of Othello in The Claim ofReason: "Love is at most a necessary not a sufficient condition for marr.ying." 34 And again like Hegel, Cavell is most interested in those other motives that have to do not with the hoarding of capital or with meal sharing but with the effects of marriage on consciousness, at one point phrasing his reading of marriage in explicit parallel with Hegel: the marriage texts he studies, Cavell says, "may be understood as parables of a phase of the development of consciousness at which the struggle is for the reciprocity or equality of consciousness between a woman and a man, a study of the conditions under which this fight for recognition (as Hegel put it) or demand for acknowledgment (as I have put it) is a struggle for mutual freedom, especially of the views each holds of the other." 35

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In A Pitch of Philosophy, Cavell puts the relationship between marriage and skepticism as it has emerged in his work in convenient summary form: "The significance in the fact that skepticism is narratively figured as an assault on marriage has been my theme since, out of the study of such assaults in film melodrama and in Shakespearean tragedy and romance, I could say that marriage, in its idea of mutual, diurnal devotion, is a figure for the ordinary, the everyday exactions of the world." 36 The ordinary is one of the names Cavell uses for the condition of human finitude that skepticism finds disappointing on its two fronts, knowledge of the world and knowledge of other minds. Marriage is thus a difficult form of lived ("diurnal," "everyday") skepticism, as Cavell often puts the matter, or a way of responding again and again to the failures of knowledge (which occur over and over) not with an alternative to knowledge but with what Cavell calls an "interpretation" of the idea of knowledge, what circulates in his system as the key concept of "acknowledgment." 37 This cluster of ideas and terms-acknowledgment, repetition, the diurnal, the ordinary-comes together in what could stand as Cavell's central sentence on marriage, at the close of a set of comments on the film Woman of the Year that round off the essay "The Uncanniness of the Ordinary": Marriage here is being presented as an estate meant not as a distraction from the pain of constructing happiness from a helpless, absent world, but as the scene in which the chance for happiness is shown as the mutual acknowledgment of separateness, in which the prospect is not for the passing of years (until death parts us) but for the willing repetition of days, willingness for the everyday (until our true minds become unreadable to one another). 38 The essential phrase "mutual acknowledgment of separateness" expresses both a debt to and a set of crucial distinctions from Hegel's attention to the new kinds of identity formation in marriage. As in Hegel, the romance narrative is dismissed as a siren song, an illusory "distraction from the pain of constructing happiness from a helpless, absent world." But the difference between Cavell and Hegel on marriage dwells in the very different emphasis accorded ideas of "unity" and "separation" in the two accounts, as both wrestle with an idea of"freedom" (Cavell) or "liberation" (Hegel) that tries to imagine an alternative to the very real fear that marriage may only be, as in the Godwinian ledger, a form of enslavement. Pateman's paraphrase of the process of multiple identity formation in Hegelian marriage sounds

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several degrees too Cavellian, attributing to Hegel's text some key differences that Cavell works to establish. In Pateman's symmetrical phrases, Hegelian marriage, the "mutual recognition of two lovers," "both unifies and differentiates" so that in marriage each partner "gains a deeper sense of unity with the other and sense of autonomy of the sel£" But in Hegel's text of marriage in the Philosophy ofRight, the idea of unity formed in marriage quickly overwhelms the putatively complementary process of enhanced autonomy, which effectively disappears as the argument prepares the way for the march onward to the family, civic society, and the state. In the marriage section, Hegel builds to a proclamation of "the complete mutual surrender of the parties to one another" (164; emphasis added). To the extent that Hegelian "mutual recognition" (Pateman's inflection of the key Hegelian term) shades into "mutual surrender" (Hegel's phrase), it stands apart from what Cavell aims at with the dearly related but crucially different phrase "mutual acknowledgment of separateness." Cavell's phrase is actually redundant to the extent that Cavellian "acknowledgment," as I understand it, carries with it a sense of the inescapable persistence of the separate self: to acknowledge in Cavell's lexicon, to respond to the disappointments of knowledge of the world and of other minds, is to be by definition separate, both from the world and from other minds. Even-and especially?-when it is the one other mind in a pair. Sharply distinct from Hegel's emphasis on unity, Cavell's emphasis on separation as the key component of marriage is set forth in its most challenging form at the conclusion of his reading of The Winter's Tale, where he reads the play's final scene, the startling reunion of the royal couple Hermione and Leontes, "as, among other things, a wedding ceremony." It is a ceremony, however, of separation: Then let us emphasize that this ceremony of union takes the form of a ceremony of separation, thus declaring that the question of two becoming one is just half the problem; the other half is how one becomes two. It is separation that Leontes' participation in parturition grants-that Hermione has, that there is, a life beyond his, and that she can create a life beyond his and hers, and beyond plenitude and nothingness. The final scene of The Winters Tale interprets this creation as their creation by one another. 39 In Cavell's several studies of marriage, these are the very best things that are said of that human action, that "mutual acknowledgment of separateness." Marriage stages, radically, for a pair of individuals "their creation

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by one another" and points to the possibility of a livable response to the divorces-from the world, from other human beings-imposed by skepticism, the possibility "to find in oneself the life of the world" in the "willing repetition of days, willingness for the everyday," a quotidian habitation in which identity is not surrendered but remains separate, although altered, in the acknowledging self. It should be stressed that marriage in Cavell is nowhere simply Utopia found. Cavell is keenly aware of the illusions epithalamic thinking about marriage is liable to, noting dryly that a utopia of just two people may not be exactly what was in mind when the utopian quest set out. 40 Or as he puts it more recently, "So many terrible charges can be brought against the institution of modern, or say, bourgeois, marriage, that it can sometimes seem a wonder that sensible people who have a choice in the matter continue to seek its blessings and accept its costs." 41 That marriage continues to beckon and to fail in nearly equal measure is a powerful double sign of the durability of human disappointment. In other words, that marriage still plainly entices humanity on such a scale is itself, from Cavell's perspective, a sign of a crisis of identity somewhere else, not to begin to mention the failures of marriage itself. Cavell's reading of"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" brings to a point the challenge to writing posed by postsacramental conjugality. The poem expresses a skeptical version of marriage as a form of lived skepticism; in Cavell's account, it verges upon a performance that might be calledCavell floats the term-an "antithalamion": "I would not call the poem an Antithalamion, but it is a fair enough warning about the stakes in play." 42 At the end of the poem, what Cavell finds startling is the way marriage, the human couple, is placed in unsuccessful "competition" with the other two ways identity lines up, either by itself or in groups. Here are the two stanzas near the end of the poem that especially catch his eye: 0 sweeter than the marriage-feast, 'Tis sweeter far to me, To walk together to the kirk With a goodly company!To walk together to the kirk, And all together pray, While each to his great Father bends, Old men, and babes, and loving friends, And youths and maidens gay! 43

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Cavell's gloss on these stanzas proceeds this way: "Why is the marriage deserted, that is, why are all and each found place for while a pair or a couple are not? Does God, among all the things he made and loves, not love, or no longer make, marriages? And shall there be no more marriages? How does the Mariner's tale compete with marriage?" Cavell then paraphrases the following "moral" that he finds the poem driving toward as it takes on the character of an antithalamion: However inviting the merry din of marriage, however essential to the hope of the social, it is no longer a sacrament, neither sponsored by God nor ratifiable by society as society stands, but is a new mystery to which outsiders, however close in kin, are irrelevant. Nor can the new bonds which must reconstitute a legitimate public, which means overcome our drifts into privacy, be secured by marriage as it stands. To marry now is to be willing to have a further adventure of aloneness, without solitude but also without society; as if marriage is a further investment of our narcissism, as children so typically are. If marriage is the name of our only present alternative to the desert-sea of skepticism, then for this very reason this intimacy cannot be celebrated, or sanctified; there is no outside to it. You may describe it as lacking its poetry; as if intimacy itself, or the new pressure upon it, lacked expression. No wonder you cannot tell who is married. 44 Although marriage may be, as in Hegel, "essential to the hope of the social," it cannot accomplish that Hegelian task; it is powerless to "reconstitute a legitimate public." The pair, in other words, will not function as a metonym for the tribe. Nor, crucially, for the individual. The couple is its own peculiar territory that is not a utopian solution but all too often a new form of an old problem, narcissism. When Cavell styles marriage as a "new mystery," the tone is far from celebratory. To observe that marriage "lacks its poetry" or that it "lacks expression" is not to recycle the ineffability of sacramental tradition, to establish a new nuptial sublime. Plenty of that is alive and kicking in the epithalamic tradition, as in this claim in a recent popular memoir: "There is in marriage a mysterious center, a core of whirling emotions, a very private and strange kind of poem that rises in the days and nights that pass." 45 To try to gaze at the "core" of marriage is to look in exactly the wrong direction, whereas to observe with Cavell that there is no outside to marriage is to gain, fleetingly, a toehold on that very beyond. It is a maneuver that belongs to the rhetoric of indifference, a poetics founded on the dilemma that modern marriage lacks its poetry.

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In a late passage in Monogamy, Adam Phillips poses conjugality not in its positive Hegelian form-to marry is to be born again-but in its negative form, as threat: not to marry is to risk death, in two ways: The opposite of monogamy is not just promiscuity, but the absence or the impossibility of relationship itself. Indeed, one reason monogamy is so important to us is that we are so terrorised by what we imagine are the alternatives to it. The other person we fear most is the one who does not believe in the universal sacredness of-usually heterosexual-coupledom. As homophobia, xenophobia, all the phobias tell us: if we don't choose monogamy our fate will be isolation or the chaos of impersonality. A threat, that is to say, not a promise. Abandonment and exclusion, or getting too mixed up with, and by, other people. In unguarded circulation, or stranded. In other words, we do not know whether we want monogamy, but we do know that we fear excess: an excess of solitude and an excess of company. We are not, of course, naturally monogamous. We are the animals for whom something is too much. (no. 98) Rendering vivid the cost of Hegelian absolutism, Monogamy outruns the evolutionary biologists who, having demonstrated to empirical eyes the obvious-monogamy is not natural-are willing to nestle back down in the explanatory power of companionship. Starting its thinking where they end, Monogamy instead frames the Cavellian couple, lacking its poetry, frozen between the terrors of the only other ways to try to be human, alone or in a crowd.

AUSTEN, AND

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HAPPINESS

In the second volume of Persuasion, Anne Elliot in Bath glimpses Admiral and Mrs. Croft at every turn, and this exemplary couple always forms for her "a most attractive picture of happiness" (II.6.183). That compact phrase expresses in miniature the reception history of Austen's fiction, especially as it is launched by the formulaic language of closing words, novel by novel. But to look at all closely at these pictures of happiness is to register how the novels relentlessly question the motives and methods of their own formation. Alert readers of Austen have long observed a doubled movement of presentation and counterpresentation, a dynamic that has been studied under various rubrics-irony, oppositionality-but

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that I propose also to study as a rhetoric of indifference. 46 The awkward possibility that it is impossible to make pictures of happiness emerges especially in passages where Austen inclines marriage toward remarriage, as a mode of what Kierkegaard theorizes as repetition, which term for him speaks to a new incommensurability of marriage and representation. Yet these impossible pictures abound at every turn; in the Austen section that follows, I tease out the resulting textual cross-purposes in a single sentence in Persuasion, where syntax and semantics work stylistically against their own primary grains, a countermovement of indifference. In the Wordsworth section that concludes the chapter, I pinpoint indifference not in the syntactic slipknots of a single sentence but in a bibliographical nonevent, the elusive artifact of "uniform printing" that is the "third volume" book of marriage.

Marriage and "Second Attachments" "One could not be in love twice," Peter Walsh laments to Sally Seton at Clarissa Dalloway's party, near the end ofVirginia Woolf's novel, a theory that puts him in the good company of Hamlet, in the words the Prince plants in the mouth of the Player Queen: "The instances that second marriage move I Are base respects of thrift, but none of love." 47 Sociologists now scrutinize as "remarriage" the phenomenon of serial conjugality that formerly stumped sacramentalists as a riddle called digamy or deuterogamy, a memorable instance of which occurs in gospel narrative when Sadducees try to trip up Jesus about a woman who was married to seven brothers in a row: "Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven?" (Matthew 22:28). The puzzles of pairing off more than once that now collect around the question of divorce circulate in Austen's fiction under yet another heading, the question of "second attachments." Woolf's Peter Walsh glumly confesses an affective gospel whose eager apostles indude Marianne Dashwood, to whom conjugal affection is a precious commodity spent once only. Early in Sense and Sensibility, Colonel Brandon remarks to Elinor Dashwood that Marianne is not merely a judge but a metaphysician of marriage: '"Your sister, I understand, does not approve of second attachments.' 'No,' replied Elinor, 'her opinions are all romantic.' 'Or rather, as I believe, she considers them impossible to exist.' 'I believe she does. But how she contrives it without reflecting on the character of her own father, who had himself two wives, I know not'" (I.n.66). Because

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the Dashwood sisters are children of the second marriage, the joke targets more than Marianne's blinkered thinking about her father. If Marianne is right and second attachments are "impossible to exist," Marianne herself is an existential impossibility. Here the joke dovetails with the ironic ground of Austen's fiction: because the novels never imagine a single woman who writes, Austen contrives a richly populated fictional world in which she herself does not exist. Performatively, the novels are of a self-canceling piece with Marianne Dashwood's conjugal theory. Typical of Austen's jokes, the stakes are steep. Colonel Brandon reframes the question of second attachments in an apparently lighthearted language of trespass and violation: "Does your sister make no distinction in her objections against a second attachment? or is it equally criminal in every body? Are those who have been disappointed in their first choice, whether from the inconstancy of its object, or the perverseness of circumstances, to be equally indifferent during the rest of their lives?" "Upon my word, I am not acquainted with the minutia of her principles. I only know that I never yet heard her admit any instance of a second attachment's being pardonable." (I.n.67) The new spin to the joke is whether Marianne's attachment to the theory of single attachments is subject to the scientific desideratum of falsification, in which case she will have to reattach herself to a second theory. As Colonel Brandon remarks, to be a postattachment fugitive is to be, in his word, "indifferent," whereby "indifference" names the beyond of conjugality-a remarkable usage in Austen because the word in her fiction almost always signifies in its ordinary senses of neutrality and compromising apathy. 48 In the unempirical world of Marianne Dashwood, "attachment" signifies synecdochically the entire category of the affective. To be attached, and to be attached once only, is the only way to know affect, to be differentiated-to be a subject, in short, inconstant or otherwise. As Colonel Brandon's language stipulates, it is the law. Marianne Dashwood's theory of single attachment expresses the imperative driving postsacramental conjugality, which Hegel issues in high-theoretical form: marriage is the only way to claim a fully human self Marianne Dashwood's doctrine against remarriage echoes another famous moment of Romantic absolutism, Byron's declaration that there is no such thing as revision: "I am like the tyger (in poesy) if I miss my first

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Spring-1 go growling back to my jungle. There is no second." 49 One of the ways Austen has traditionally been set apart from her Romantic contemporaries is the absence of manuscript materials. Whereas The Prelude spills over a manuscript and print record of six decades, Austen's sentences appear in what is only available as both first and final form. The last chapters of Persuasion are one of the very few places where evidence survives of a compositional second attachment, the subject of which is the second attachment-or reattachment? match or rematch?-between Anne Elliot and Captain Frederick Wentworth. 50 This manuscript history prompts a way to frame the book itself: Persuasion recasts the question of marriage as the question of remarriage. When marriage is defined as remarriage, as repetition, two large questions move to the fore: the impossibility of representing marriage, and the impossibility of marriage itself Persuasion is the only other novel in which the issue of "second attachments" is rendered explicit with that phrase. Of Anne Elliot, the narrator early in the novel observes, "No second attachment, the only thoroughly natural, happy, and sufficient cure, at her time of life, had been possible to the nice tone of her mind, the fastidiousness of her taste, in the small limits of the society around them" (1.4.30-31). Unlike Marianne Dashwood, this narrator considers a "second attachment" to be beneficial and restorative, a potential "cure." But the notion of a therapeutic second act is surrounded in the sentence by a negative parenthesis ("No second attachment ... had been possible"): the very idea of such a cure comes packaged with its unavailability. Persuasion suggests that a primary impediment to second attachments takes the form of a gendered double standard. Anne Elliot, never married, is twenty-seven, at the fabled "years of danger"; her older family friend Lady Russell and her father, Sir Walter Elliot, are both widowed: "That Lady Russell, of steady age and character, and extremely well provided for, should have no thought of a second marriage, needs no apology to the public, which is rather apt to be unreasonably discontented when a woman does marry again, than when she does not; but Sir Walter's continuing in singleness requires explanation" (l.1.5). The authority enforcing the rule of single attachments is no longer a single headstrong Dashwood daughter but "the public," whose "unreasonable" standard is by that very term challenged as it is acknowledged. The gendered nature of the double standard signals the special pressures on women in this marriage market: because a woman's identity depends on the marriage

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choice, there is no elbowing a second run through the marriage queue, ahead of those still waiting upon marriage and the selfhood it confers. Sir Walter, on the other hand, although overextended at the bank, assumes the eminently marriageable position of Charles Bingley in Austen's most famous sentence: "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a widower, in possession of a good estate and a tide (if a little short of cash), must be in want of a wife." But the double standard that appears to privilege men-women get one roll of the matrimonial dice, men many-is simultaneously undone: Lady Russell is, like Emma Woodhouse, happily self-sufficient with "no thought of a second marriage," and Sir Walter, like Bingley, has the definitional tables turned on him by being identified by what he lacks. Whereas there are abundant instances of the word single throughout Austen's novels, this sentence that directs attention to Sir Walter Elliot's "singleness" is the only instance of that form of the word in Austen's fiction, rendering comically explicit the ontological pressure ("being in singleness") that everywhere lurks behind an apparently simple matrimonial observation ("he is single"), the comedy dwelling in the fact that the philosophical stakes are raised so explicitly for such a vapid character. Just as Persuasion ratchets up "single" into "singleness," so it everywhere poses the question of marriage as a question of remarriage. A remarkably large number of characters are on the far side of attachment: Anne Elliot has loved and lost; Sir Walter Elliot is a widower; Lady Russell is a widow; Captain Wentworth has loved and lost; William Elliot is a widower; Mrs. Smith is a widow; Mrs. Clay has returned, mysteriously, "from an unprosperous marriage" (!.2.17); Captain Benwick has been widowed before marriage. Although Samuel Johnson most famously stigmatized second attachments-''A second marriage represents the triumph of hope over experience"-he protested that his aphorism was intended only particularly, and that, to the contrary, subsequent marriages generally are primary evidence of the desirability of conjugality-else why do it again and again? 51 On a number of occasions, and especially in his readings of the Hollywood films he calls "comedies of remarriage," Cavell argues that marriage is most usefully understood as a mode of repetition. 52 There is no such thing as marriage: there is only remarriage, day after day. Here, then, is one more feature of the joke at Marianne Dashwood's expense. She has it just backwardnot only are second attachments possible but there are nothing but second attachments.

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Persuasion: Sophia Croft Walks for Her Life With so many characters in Persuasion beyond marriage but poised to return for a second try, the conjugal field needs a magnet, a good-looking pair. Admiral and Mrs. Croft fill the bill, admirably. In the first of the novel's two volumes, the Crofts as individuals stand in pointed contrast to the mannered hollowness of Sir Walter and Elizabeth Elliot. At his introduction, the Admiral endears himself to both children and readers by "good-humoured notice" of the two Musgrove boys, who are within minutes "clinging to him like an old friend" (I.6.50, 53). Mrs. Croft's "vigour of form" expresses "manners [that] were open, easy, and decided, like one who had no distrust of herself, and no doubts of what to do" (l.6.52). The marriage is singled out for admiration by an ideal of companionship, a widespread model of modern marriage the explanatory force of which I discount in the first section of this chapter. As Mrs. Croft catalogues her voyages with her husband around the globe, she concludes, "While we were together, you know, there was nothing to be feared ... as long as we could be together, nothing ever ailed me, and I never met with the smallest inconvenience" (I.8.76-77). In addition to togetherness, the Croft marriage is marked by Mrs. Croft's intelligence and skill. When they negotiate the lease for the Elliot home, Sir Walter's lawyer reports, "And a very wellspoken, genteel, shrewd lady, she seemed to be.... [She] asked more questions about the house, and terms, and taxes, than the admiral himself, and seemed more conversant with business" (l.3.25). This picture of happiness bids fair to be taken as exemplary, as the very model of conjugal bliss. The Croft ideal ends in Volume I with a memorable comic twist that brings to the fore their special status not as model married couple, however, but as representational icon. On their daily country drives, the Crofts are in the apparently happy habit of flipping their gig. It is Mrs. Croft's quietly deferential skill that averts being capsized ("My dear admiral, that post!we shall certainly take that post") while giving Anne a ride home: "But by coolly giving the reins a better direction herself, they happily passed the danger; and by once afterwards judiciously putting out her hand, they neither fell into a rut, nor ran foul of a dung-cart," a "style of driving" that Anne "imagined no bad representation of the general guidance of their affairs" (l.10.99). The badness of the representation is the guilty narrative pleasure of slapstick and the temptation to imagine an accident with a dungcart, among all other traffic possibilities. It is also "no bad" representation,

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its goodness residing in two special features of the Croft marriage, equality and companionship. But with the phrase "no bad representation," the narrative emphasis enlarges from ideal conjugality to take in representational practice itself The problem of marriage shares space with a companionate puzzle, the problem of representing the problem that is conjugality. These well-known scenes from the first volume of Persuasion establish the background for a less remarked piece of the novel that is the most extensive passage of honorifics devoted to the Croft marriage. Midway in the second volume, as Anne Elliot and the narrator watch the Crofts navigate the streets of Bath, the novel devotes an entire paragraph to the Croft marnage: The Crofts knew quite as many people in Bath as they wished for, and considered their intercourse with the Elliots as a mere matter of form, and not in the least likely to afford them any pleasure. They brought with them their country habit of being almost always together. He was ordered to walk, to keep off the gout, and Mrs. Croft seemed to go shares with him in every thing, and to walk for her life, to do him good. Anne saw them wherever she went. Lady Russell took her out in her carriage almost every morning, and she never failed to think of them, and never failed to see them. Knowing their feelings as she did, it was a most attractive picture of happiness to her. She always watched them as long as she could; delighted to fancy she understood what they might be talking of, as they walked along in happy independence, or equally delighted to see the Admiral's hearty shake of the hand when he encountered an old friend, and observe their eagerness of conversation when occasionally forming into a little knot of the navy, Mrs. Croft looking as intelligent and keen as any of the officers around her. (I1.6.182-83) The paragraph collects and highlights the ideal qualities of the Croft marriage scattered through the first volume-altogether, to Anne, "a most attractive picture of happiness." The married couple are "almost always together ... Mrs. Croft looking as intelligent and keen as any of the officers around her." This thematic emphasis on togetherness and equality seems to cinch the Croft marriage as a textbook example of the new companionate marriage. 53 The mutuality and balance of companionship are fortified by the diction, by multiplied phrases such as "go shares" and "equally delighted," and these qualities are even underpinned by the syntax, by the balanced periodicity of Austen's style ("she never failed to think of them, and never failed to see them"). It is a seductive picture of happiness, and in the first volume, Louisa Musgrove is the character most vocally impressed

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by the Croft ideal: "If I loved a man, as she loves the Admiral, I would be always with him, nothing should ever separate us" (I.10.91). As the narrator later observes of Anne, it is almost enough to spread purification and perfume all the way. But Louisa Musgrove is the Marianne Dashwood of this novel-she is the Musgrove sister who takes the headstrong plunge from the Cobb at Lyme. Her attachment to the Croft ideal, what Elinor Dashwood calls in Marianne "romantic," is the image of an attachment that readers are also tempted to share. But does the very excess of Louisa Musgrove's admiration signal a cautionary counterinvitation? What is there not to like about the Croft marriage? It is far from a new idea to invoke the multiple valenc~s opened up by Austen's style, but the particulars of that multiplicity bear special scrutiny here, in pursuit of a new argument about the relationship between the forms of that style and marriage culture. At a glance, the Croft paragraph offers effects both plainly epithalamic and potentially anticonjugal, but there is also an excess, a tertium quid, that eludes that deceptively absolute forensic division. Here is a quick rundown of the Croft paragraph that limits it to arguments either for or against matrimony. At an epithalamic extreme, most simplemindedly-as in the view of Mrs. Bennet and many modern legislators-any marriage, the Crofts' included, is good, categorically. A more progressive form of the epithalamic is that this Croft marriage is good precisely because it is the new companionate marriage of mutuality and equality. A more complex (or less na"ive) form of the progressive reading highlights the working compromise of old and new: the fresh framework of mutuality is stabilized, residually, by the gracious subordination of one party to the other, even when she holds the reins. But that last reading points to the way to begin to read the paragraph anticonjugally: even this (ideal?) marriage offers only the appearance of mutuality, a facade that still demands the subordination of wife to husband, and as such it is only a new form of imprisonment to deceive young victims such as Louisa Musgrove, who winds up married to a morose sailor who reads too much bad poetry. The Croft marriage certainly looks very good-0 happy happy love!-but there are also countersigns of the excess whereby, for Louisa Musgrove, enthusiasm yields accident and physical peril, a repetition of Marianne Dashwood's nearly fatal fever (a burning forehead and a parching tongue). The paragraph is open to gestures in both these directions, I want to suggest,

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but in overall service of yet another attitude, neither epithalamic nor anticonjugal, an attitude that I define under the rubric of indifference. That attitude comes to a focus in the third sentence of the paragraph, where the periodicity of Austen's style is most crisply deployed: "He was ordered to walk, to keep off the gout, and Mrs. Croft seemed to go shares with him in every thing, and to walk for her life, to do him good." In this sentence, theme and style seem to stroll hand in hand: man and woman, husband and wife who "go shares in every thing," are joined and balanced in two independent clauses attended by a train of parallel infinitive phrases arranging the couple in the mutuality of mirrored syntactic order: blessed be the linguistic ties that bind. But if a reader lingers over this sentence and begins to look at it as long as Anne Elliot watches the Crofts, its picture of happiness starts to get tangled up in knots. What happens to the reader who reads and rereads the sentence, who performs a series of subsequent attachments? 54 How does the sentence bear repetition? To read this sentence as also working against its own several primary grains is to see the consummate multiplicity of Austen's style placing marriage at an ironic remove I propose to read as a rhetoric of indifference. At least three features of the sentence invite a reader to pause and reread. First, attention divides very unequally between the halves of this (equal?) pair; second, the grammar of the punctuation yields a nagging uncertainty about purposive action; third, the curious idiom "to walk for her life" recedes into an unintelligibility not unlike the songs of solitary reapers in unknown tongues. The normative force of the sentence is, again, its semantic and stylistic equilibrium: Admiral and Mrs. Croft go shares in every thing. Here in Bath, they cohabit a compound sentence: He was ordered to walk, to keep off the gout, and Mrs. Croft seemed to go shares with him in every thing, and to walk for her life, to do him good. An initial sign of disequilibrium running counter to the normative current of the sentence is simply quantitative: in the two independent clauses, Mrs. Croft gets a great deal more attention than the Admiral. Her equal share is twice as large. But her much larger share nevertheless seems placed at his service. Here lurks the slippery task of reading the grammar of Austen's punctuation: when does a comma signify coordination, and when does it signify subordination? 55 Both Admiral and Mrs. Croft are said "to walk,"

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bur the Admiral walks for his health (not hers}: the normative reading of the first comma in the sentence, after the first infinitive "to walk," is to signify the elision of "in order," and the comma thus marks a subordinate, causal relation between the first two infinitives: not "to walk [and] to keep off the gout," but "to walk [in order] to keep off the gout." Mrs. Croft, on the other hand, walks for the Admiral: "to do him good." Or so the sentence ends. Sorting out her three infinitive phrases, however, is a trickier matter than sorting out his two. In the second independent clause, "Mrs. Croft seemed [A] to go shares with him in every thing, and [B) to walk for her life, [C) to do him good." Does the last comma of the sentence ("to walk for her life, to do him good") signify coordination or subordination-"To walk for her life [and] to do him good" or "to walk for her life [in order] to do him good"? The normative reading of the sentence urges subordination: balanced parataxis is most exactly performed when the two clearly subordinate infinitive phrases that form the predicate of the first clause ("to walk, to keep off the gout") are duplicated by two subordinate infinitive phrases at the end of the second clause ("to walk for her life, to do him good"). That last comma must surely signify the elision of a subordinating connector: to walk for her life [in order] to do him good. But this stable verbal duplication is simultaneously unsettled by a number of verbal features of the second independent clause. There is not only verbal excess in the second clause as a whole, but there is a curious excess in the linchpin infinitive between the two clauses, "to walk." For the Admiral, it is simply and plainly "to walk." For Mrs. Croft, however, it is "to walk for her life." What is the sense of the excess phrase "for her life?" "To walk" a reader can understand, but what exactly, in a preaerobics age, does the entire phrase "to walk for her life" signify? Should it be paraphrased "to walk as a style of living" (as opposed to Austen's reclusive recumbents, such as Lady Bertram}? Might "for her life" be paraphrased "for herself," to run momentarily counter to the governing semantic and syntactic subordination of the two infinitives: "to walk for herself, in order to do him good"? Or paraphrased "for her lifetime," in the sense of "for the rest of her life": "to walk for the rest of her life, to do him good"? The most common meaning of the phrase "for her life" in writing of the period is a legal sense; in wills and other documents, a woman is left the use of property or an income "for her life," signifying "for her lifetime" or "for the term of her life." 56 Might the sentence thereby gesture toward this legal context?-which could then cut opposite ways: either pointing toward a woman's independence, however

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limited or temporary, or pointing toward the fact that even a woman's independence is always already limited and temporary. And is it too much to catch a whiff of some kind of unknown danger in a proverbial echo: to run for your life? The phrase "for her life" is unique in Austen. 57 The puzzle of its meaning nudges the final comma of the sentence a notch or two off an unwaveringly subordinate line. Sophia Croft walks, and she walks for her life (whatever that means), and she walks in order to do her husband good. Admiral Croft, on the other hand, walks in order to keep off the gout, clearly and simply. This simultaneously balanced and off-balance state of affairs is called going shares in every thing. To use Austen's idiom, it both does and does not signify. The knot that is the third sentence entangles other features of the paragraph. The one other image of walking poses the Crofts "walk[ing] along in happy independence." But independence from what, exactly? They are childless, which Mr. Shepherd, the Elliot lawyer, stipulates is ideal: Admiral Croft is "a married man, and without children; the very state to be wished for" (!.3.24). But Mr. Shepherd's concern is not the richness of conjugal identity, or the well-being of society, but the wear and tear on the furniture. Whereas modern conjugality transfigures "childless" into "child-free," the new companionate ideal of the Romantic century remained unequivocally procreative. The Crofts are on this score a clear exception rather than a new rule, pictured in a very different light from another of the slim supply of ideal couples in Austen, the Gardiners in Pride and Prejudice, whose four children welcome their parents home with "joyful surprise that lighted up their faces" (III.5 .315). Rather than a family sign, "independence" is most typically a financial marker in Austen. In Persuasion, for example, William Elliot, Sir Walter's scheming heir, "purchased independence by uniting himself to a rich woman of inferior birth" (l.1.8), and the chief obstacle to the match between Anne Elliot and Wentworth in their youth was his impecuniousness, "the independence which alone had been wanting" (I.7.63). The Crofts, then, in their "happy independence" are well-off, without children, always together, and mobile. But at the cost of isolation? The paragraph opens with a sentence that sounds not a little deadpan: "The Crofts knew quite as many people in Bath as they wished for" (II.7.182). Beyond each other, that would be exactly how many other people? The rest of the opening sentence eliminates an entire set of people, the Elliot family, as though the

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paragraph might move on to catalogue all the other people this modern self-sufficient couple can do without. But just as the portrait dallies with isolation, the paragraph ends with an image of chosen community, the "little knot of the navy" that stands to the Crofts as family. Whereas the knot that is a proverbial figure of the marriage tie signifies a centripetal force-the couple drawn tightly together to a center-the only other time the phrase "happy independence" occurs in Austen, it signifies centrifugally. Early in Mansfield Park, on the tour of Mr. Rushworth's Sotherton estate, once the young crowd escapes the house to the grounds, in their relief they "all dispersed about in happy independence" (1.9.105). In the language of a popular critique of anticommunitarian isolation, happy independence in Mansfield Park is a figure for the dubious pleasures of bowling alone. The happy independence of the Crofts in Persuasion points to the paradoxical force of conjugality, a drawing together that is simultaneously a drawing apart, a form of paired life that other Romantic writers understand as not unlike a form of death. As Anne Elliot gazes at the Crofts in this paragraph, they form for her "a most attractive picture of happiness." But how reliable are such marriage portraits? In the very next paragraph, the novel draws special attention to a false picture, a misrepresentation. 58 Anne encounters Admiral Croft "standing by himself, at a printshop window, with his hands behind him, in earnest contemplation of some print" (II.7.I83). The Admiral is astonished by the unseaworthiness of the "shapeless old cockleshell" that passes for a boat in the picture: "what queer fellows your fine painters must be." Beyond a joke about the Admiral's pragmatic credentials as an art critic, the passage renders explicit the arresting effect of pictures, true and false: "Here I am, you see, staring at a picture. I can never get by this shop without stopping." To form a picture is to put a stop to the very motion that defines the Crofts. But the stasis of the picture enables and invites Admiral Croft's multiple visits, his repetition and rereading of the pictured scene-a series of multiple attachments whereby heard melodies and those unheard clash and compete. The focus of the narrative again shifts from social praxiswhether marriage or shipbuilding-to the questionably reliable work of representation. A still picture behaves as a distressingly mobile conjugal signifier in a climactic scene in the novel. While Wentworth writes his torch-song letter to Anne ("You pierce my soul" [II.II.257]), across the crowded room Anne

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and Captain Harville begin the conversation that ends with Anne's famous declaration about the male control of narrative: "Look here," said he, unfolding a parcel in his hand, and displaying a small miniature painting, "do you know who that is?" "Certainly, Captain Benwick." "Yes, and you may guess who it is for. But (in a deep tone) it was not done for her. Miss Elliot, do you remember our walking together at Lyme, and grieving for him? I little thought then-but no matter. This was drawn at the Cape. He met with a clever young German artist at the Cape, and in compliance with a promise to my poor sister, sat to him, and was bringing it home for her. And I have now the charge of getting it properly set for another." (II.u.252) Motivated by the prospect of one marriage, Benwick's well-traveled portrait is now on the move again, forming, to Captain Harville's mingled distress and joy, a second attachment. In its regular counterpoint of stasis and motion, of attachment and reattachment, the novel suggests that the task of "getting it properly set"-both in a marriage and in a book-is easier said than done. For those who could afford the wedding rituals such as a new coach, the customary wedding portrait of the time was not the couple but the bride, separately, and the groom, separately. In Sense and Sensibility, Mrs. Palmer reports the details of Willoughby's wedding plans to the embittered Dashwood circle: "She could soon tell at what coachmaker's the new carriage was building, by what painter Mr. Willoughby's portrait was drawn, and at what warehouse Miss Grey's clothes might be seen" (II.I0.244). Although marriage is the very time to take a likeness, the portrait of the couple is constructed elsewhere (if at all), beyond the boundaries of these representations. Austen's pictures of happiness withhold the very thing they are most valued for; Kierkegaard argues that such representations cannot do otherwise. Initiated by Henry Austen's "Biographical Notice" prefixed to the four-volume set of Northanger Abbey and Persuasion in December 1817, the attempt to set a picture of Jane Austen taps a halting way by means fleeting and indirect, a silhouette of a parent here, a daguerreotype of an aged sibling there. The two undisputed images that survive are both by sister Cassandra, one a small unfinished watercolor that is the only image of Austen's face, the second another small watercolor in which a female figure, seated outdoors, turns its back to the viewer. 59 The face, obscured from even profile view by the flapping ribbons of the bonnet, faces elsewhere.

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The first portrait ofWilliam Wordsworth and Mary Hutchinson as a married couple was not taken until 1839, nearly four decades after their r8o2 marriage. The picture is a miniature, on ivory, the very image Austen uses to lowball her own writing, her own pictures of happiness: "a little bit of ivory, two inches wide, on which I work with a brush so fine as to produce little effect after much labour."60 Although there are no iconic images from the first thirty-five years of the Wordsworth marriage, the first image of the solitary Wordsworth to be engraved and reproduced for circulation was taken in 1817. But in r820, there were significant additions of a different kind to this iconographical history. Wordsworth was twice pictured very publicly in crowded settings, in Haydon's Christ's Entry and in an engraved image of the divorce trial of Queen Caroline. Both these images speak to the manifold yet elusive ways in which Wordsworth's figure began to be constructed matrimonially in postwar Regency culture. Wordsworth's response to the representational double bind of Romantic-period conjugality-marriage, now the master narrative, imperiously refuses narration-is a fugitive book of marriage offered with little notice in 1820.

Haydon's Christ's Entry On March 25, 1820, the day of the election of a new Parliament required by the death of George III in January, a painted image of William Wordsworth debuted in London, in the great room of the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly hired by the penniless Benjamin Robert Haydon for the opening of his canvas Christ's Triumphant Entry into jerusalem. Haydon's motives mixed the pecuniary and the nuptial; he hoped this public display would earn enough money to pay his considerable debts, which would free him to marry a Devonshire widow he had fallen for in I8r6, Mary Hyman. A production at which Haydon had labored two years longer than his courtship, Christ's Entry is an imposing performance, twelve feet by fifteen feet, in which Wordsworth stands to the right-head bowed, eyes averted-in a crowd of remarkable onlookers: among the latter-day, Keats, Hazlitt, Voltaire, Newton, and the engraver Richard Sharp (a forehead and one eye only with which, according to Haydon, he awaited the second coming of Joanna Southcott) and, among the biblical population, Lazarus, St. John, a Roman centurion, and the penitent woman and her demon-filled daughter.

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In addition to private previews such as that inadvertently supplied the hapless Stamp Office official at Haydon's Immortal Dinner in 1817, evidence suggests that over thirty thousand London visitors paid to see the 1820 exhibit before Haydon took the picture to Edinburgh and Glasgow later in the year. 61 A conventional reading of the painting poses a pious Wordsworth against Voltaire the skeptic, an arrangement that echoed Wordsworth's caustic representation of Voltaire in The Excursion in 1814. But the painting also invites attention to another perdurable way of picturing the poet, Wordsworth's isolation in the crowd. William Hazlitt in 1823 noted the "drooping weight of thought and expression" in Haydon's image of Wordsworth, which to many of those thirty thousand viewers surely struck a chord with the ascendant construction of the "wordsworth ian or egotistical sublime," to recirculate Keats's private turn of phrases Hazlitt launched in his London lectures. 62 Wordsworth gazing down while Christ passes in the rapt upward eyes of everyone else in the crowd is a notable early moment in a series of nineteenth-century images that extends through Carlyle's picture of Wordsworth in a dinner crowd: "far off, beautifully screened in the shadow of his vertical green circle ... sat Wordsworth, silent, slowly but steadily gnawing some portion of what I judged to be raisins, with his eye and attention placidly fixed on these and these alone." Carlyle's picture is a miniature of many narratives of Wordsworth's life, which typically exploit the contrast between the reclusive One and the invisible Many. Unlike the elision of the couple in those tales, however, Carlyle keeps at least the corner of his eye on the Wordsworth marriage. But his picture of Mary Wordsworth comes at a severe price as he refigures the raisins Wordsworth was munching: "his wife, a small, withered, puckered, winking lady, who never spoke."63 Carlyle caricatures as the desiccated taciturnity of a single individual what Kierkegaard argues is a systemic effect, the withdrawal of marriage into silence. What does Wordsworth avert his eyes from in Christ's Entry? While fashionable London debated the merits of Haydon's head of Christ, London wits directed attention to the picture's other central image, the ass, one remarking to Haydon that "the ass is the saviour of the picture." These gleemongers surely would not have missed the irony of that beast's proximity in the picture to Wordsworth, who had published the previous spring, to their elation, Peter Bell, a poem about a scurrilous potter whose redemption is effected by a strange encounter with an ass. The hubbub over the

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publication of Peter Bell in April 1819 presents sharply competing figures of conjugality. A primary sign of the eponymous hero's viciousness as he peddles pots hither and yon is heroic polygamy: "He had a dozen wedded wives."64 Although it is unlikely John Hamilton Reynolds knew the plot of the poem, his "anticipatory" parody of Peter Bell two weeks ahead of the book pegged Wordsworth as uxorious, at the opposite end of the scale of conjugal fidelity: "I do doat on my dear wife."65 Wordsworth's fair attitude of devotion in Christ's Entry in 1820 enters a cultural field primed to read his figure matrimonially. The poet's bowed head in Haydon's painting is a sign of how he seemed to be disappearing not only into orthodox piety and the egotistical sublime but especially into the inscrutability of self-sufficient marriage. From that angle, it is worth remarking that one of the other things Wordsworth's averted eyes do not see in the painting is the most prominent figure in the right foreground, just below the poet. There Haydon poses the Samaritan woman from gospel narrative with whom Jesus gets into a remarkable conversation about spirit by way of a loaded question about her superabundance of husbands, her multiple attachments.

The Trial of Queen Caroline Three months after Haydon's March 1820 extravaganza, London experienced another Triumphal Entry. Landing at Dover the previous day, her carriage pulled by town crowds as she stepped westward through Canterbury, Sittingbourne, Rochester, and Danford, Queen Caroline on June 6 came at last to the prospect of London that opens from Shooter's Hill, the spot where Don Juan is moved in 1823 to salute, moments before being mugged, the nation's "chaste wives, pure lives."66 She was met by an adoring London crowd eager to pain Old Corruption by celebrating the arrival, after six rowdy years abroad, of the new queen, pugnaciously come to claim her rights as consort beside a new king who was now furious enough to push his government to a divorce action in Parliament, a raucous cause that came to a head on Friday, November IO, the final day in the House of Lords of the third reading of the Bill of Pains and Penalties against her. 67 In a small watercolor by James Stephanoff purporting to represent that day's event-the government's effective abandonment of the bill-amid a crowd of onlookers jammed below the bulging galleries especially erected for this Romantic Trial of the Century, the head ofWordsworth appears, gazing on the scene of the queen's triumph. 68

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What kind of a picture is this of Wordsworth, posed as a spectator at the last chapter of the most spectacularly bad of an abundance of Romantic bad marriages? There is much in the image of the trial scene that would discomfort him, especially in his caricatured posture as Tory tergiversator. Notably afflicting would be the glory of the queen's chief advocate, Henry Brougham, the despised antagonist in the 1818 Westmorland election. Lurking over nearly all images of the trial, the new king's empty throne in the dark background illuminates the sexual hypocrisy on all sides of the question, so that the whole affair might have been written off back at Rydal Mount as a very unpretty piece of paganism. Earlier in the summer, however, Henry Crabb Robinson recorded that, for one evening at least, Wordsworth "talked of the Queen liberally." 69 It is certainly too great a stretch to accommodate this Whiggish gesture to the radical queenite underworld well documented of late. 70 Press accounts of the trial published elaborate diagrams of the chamber with keyed rosters of the daily spectators; the oppositional press took relish in lists annotated with the sexual conduct of the government supporters. In Stephanoff's reckoning, Wordsworth peers forth from the thick of the crowd-or at least there is a glimpse of his head, which would be unrecognizable without the character key that accompanied the published engraving. Press practice coded such keys as maps of matrimony. In Stephanoff's small rendering of several hundred figures, a pinpoint of Wordsworthian conjugality gazes upon the uproar of the emptiest of Romantic marriages. A tiny icon of fidelity? As Wordsworth in London witnessed the spectacle of Caroline the queen, would not his thoughts have turned to another Caroline who was both stranger and married French daughter, in whose company he had spent much of October in Paris?

Paris and Annette A third and final image of Wordsworth beckons from 1820. Unlike the very public display of Haydon's painting in March, or the very public moment of the queen's Pyrrhic triumph in November, this is a very private moment in October that was nevertheless staged at a conspicuously public space, the Louvre. Mary Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, and William Wordsworth paused in Paris for much of October on their way home after a "tour of the continent," as Wordsworth's 1822 book title would subsequently memorialize it, a tour that at the last minute had also turned into a

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wedding trip for the family cousin Thomas Monkhouse and his bride, Jane Horrocks. On their second day in Paris, at I:oo P.M. on October 2 (two days before her wedding anniversary), Mary Hutchinson Wordsworth, the poet's wife for eighteen years, was introduced at the Louvre to Annette Vallon, his first attachment a decade before the marriage. During this Paris sojourn, Mary Wordsworth also met for the first time William's twenty-eightyear-old first child, Caroline Wordsworth Baudouin; Caroline's husband of four years, Jean Baptiste Baudouin; and William's first two grandchildren, Louise Dorothee (age four) and Anne Leonide (nine months). These last three William was also encountering for the first time-a brief Romantic performance of the blended family, as modern marriage manuals like to put the matter of children from this marriage, children from that. Traces of this family reunion are scanty, the family album fragmentary at best. Dorothy Wordsworth's journal, for example, which details the Continental tour from its commencement in London on July 10, breaks off at the arrival in Paris, on Sunday, October I: "Mr. Eustace Baudouin met us at the door of our lodgings;-and here ends my Journal." Mary Wordsworth also kept a journal of the tour; her unpublished account extends one more day, through the morning of October 2: "Made ourselves as neat as our several wardrobes would allow,-Mr R [Henry Crabb Robinson] & myself went to breakfast at a Caffee-where we had Chocolate & Tea, for which we paid three francs, one sou-W & D went to Mons. Baudouin's1 wished to write, in my own room, so Mr R. left me to pay his visits, we are all to meet at the Louvre at I oclock.-1 must now write to Sarah, & believe I shall here close these my imperfect notices." 71 There are a few subsequent jottings in Mary's notebook, but apart from scattered correspondence there is little record of the three weeks in Paris. The truncated journal record tempts many readers to pose the women of the Wordsworth circle drawing the curtains and circling the wagonsDorothy's published exit is nothing if not abrupt. But Mary's leave-taking phrase, "these my imperfect notices," points to perplexity as much as evasion: beyond the imperfect notice that writing takes of any experience, writing is especially not up to the task of mapping this new land of matrimony. But to write at this moment is also, for this woman and wife, imperative, in language that leaps ahead to Woolf: "I wished to write, in my own room." Whereas the journal record goes silent, poetry supplies two scraps of imperfect notice of the weeks in Paris. Another woman from the past whom Mary and William were both meeting for the first time was Helen Maria

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Williams, to whom William in 1791 on his way to Paris-and not soon after, Annette-had carried a letter of introduction from Charlotte Smith, unused in the event. Now, thirty years later when they at last greeted one another, Wordsworth honored the subject of his first-published poem by reciting from memory her 1790 "Sonnet to Hope." The close of the poem declares a chastened farewell to the illusory visions of time past: But come not glowing in the dazzling ray Which once with dear illusions charmed my eye; Oh, strew no more, sweet flatterer! on my way The flowers I fondly thought too bright to die. Visions less fair will soothe my pensive breast, That asks not happiness, but longs for rest! 72 The social circle of this October 1820 performance might render an eavesdropper nervous. In the proximity of Annette, what would hearers make of the banished "charms" of the "dear illusions" of time past, "the flowers I fondly thought too bright to die"? In the proximity of Mary, would anyone wince at what replaces those bright flowers of the past, the "visions less fair" of time present? For Helen Maria Williams, the desired "rest" that is the poem's ultimate term and value would now in 1820 signify the pain of a bereaved spouse. (John Hurford Stone, Williams's companion, had died in 1818.) In performance in 1820, the poem's figures risk a minefield of conjugal reference: hope, charm, happiness, and rest are now, post-Waterloo, all matrimonial markers. Helen Maria Williams responded to this tribute by sending manuscript copies of two recent compositions in a letter to Mary Wordsworth. One is a long wedding poem-is there any other kind?-which is the overdetermined text Mary took overdetermined notice of. When published in 1823, the poem was titled "The Charter; addressed to my nephew Athanase C. L. Coquerel, on his wedding day, 1819." Echoing to very different ends Blake's maneuver in "London," the governing conceit of the poem, announced in the title, is an extended play on the parallels between marriage and civic life: "This compact, that for ever binds I In holy links two kindred minds, I Their happiness the mutual barter, I This solemn league we'll call a CHARTER!" Hegel in 1821 puts this argument in its most ambitious theoretical form when he installs marriage as the initiatory phase of the ethical life, the first moment of the passage from the individual to the state. But Mary Wordsworth's attention to "The Charter" focuses a reading of marriage not

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as initiatory, as in Hegel, but as durational, as Kierkegaard's Judge Wilhelm argues, not as a passing stage to be transcended but as repetition, as the habitual place of"lengthen'd years unbroken." Here is Mary Wordsworth's interpretation, in her reply to Williams: "The 12 lines toward the conclusion of 'The Charter' have most particularly affected me-l mean those beginning 'For not alone with blooming Youth'-they have dwelt upon my tongue ever since I read them-The Couplet 'For then the hand' etc to my mind is exquisite." 73 Mary Wordsworth's reading specifies a somatic dwelling, a resting place of verbal repetition, for a text that celebrates the human construction of the dwelling called marriage, a place where attachment happens not once but only again and again. The couplet Mary singles out represents aging flesh encircled by the "nuptial ring." The nuptial ring she might well have been wearing in 1820 features in a heralded moment in Dorothy Wordsworth's journal: "On Monday 4th October 1802, my Brother William was married to Mary Hutchinson. I slept a good deal of the night & rose fresh & well in the morning-at a little after 8 o clock I saw them go down the avenue towards the Church. William had parted from me up stairs. I gave him the wedding ring-with how deep a blessing! I took it from my forefinger where I had worn it the whole of the night before-he slipped it again onto my finger and blessed me fervently." 74 Nearly as well traveled as Captain Benwick's miniature in Persuasion, the Wordsworth ring is capable of signifying multiple attachments. Pamela Woof notes that William probably bought this ring in Calais in August 1802, where he and Dorothy traveled after William's ten-year absence from France to meet Annette and the tenyear-old Caroline. This fleeting, unceremonious encirclement of a family fragment on the French coast was repeated vividly and ceremonially two months later on the morning of the 1802 wedding and is now repeated in yet another form in Paris in October 1820 with a briefly assembled but burgeoning family circle (in ironic juxtaposition to the "shrivell' d" flesh enclosed by the nuptial ring): Mary, Annette, Dorothy, William, Caroline, Jean-Baptiste, Louise Dorothee, Anne Leonide. On the road like Admiral and Mrs. Croft, the Wordsworth family pauses at rest, forming away from home a home on the move, pictured in a momentary stasis that arrests the casual viewer, who, like Admiral Croft outside the printshop window in Bath, can never pass by without stopping, without taking note of these imperfect notices.

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Wordsworth's Book ofMarriage, I82o This extended Wordsworth family held fleetingly together for a few weeks in the Paris autumn of 1820 points to another elusive performance in Wordsworth's life in 1820: his peculiar manner of affiliating his published books of poetry. In April 1820, Wordsworth published a collection of new poems, most of them written since 1815: The River Duddon, a Series of Sonnets; Vaudracour and julia; and Other Poems. An "Advertisement" centered on the third page labored to create a place for this new book in the growing family of Wordsworth's published poems: "This Publication, together with 'The Thanksgiving Ode,' Jan. 18. 1816, 'The Tale of Peter Bell,' and 'The Waggoner,' completes the third and last volume of the Author's Miscellaneous Poems." These four separate books of poems published in the half decade after Waterloo cohabit in this "third and last volume," one of the most fugitive books Wordsworth ever produced.7 5 If a reader in 1820 wanted to take the author's cue and bind together all four books published since 1815 in a "third volume" to stand beside the two-volume collected Poems of 1815, the River Duddon volume also included a tipped-in spine label ("Wordsworth's I Poems: I Including The I River Duddon I Vol. III") and a separate title page for the collective binding on which the family of books threatened to grow even more unwieldy: "Poems by William Wordsworth: Including The River Duddon; Vaudracour and Julia; Peter Bell; The Waggoner; A Thanksgiving Ode; and Miscellaneous Pieces. Vol. III." Are book titles, tipped-in spine labels, collective title pages, and advertisements for collective binding schemes sufficiently ceremonial for a wedding of sorts to be performed, for a family of texts, briefly, to be encircled? Wordsworth's "third volume" scheme is elusive in multiple senses: aside from the collector's fact that only a handful of these books survive today, this elaborately ad hoc manner of enclosing books within the family circle in April was immediately overtaken in July 1820 by Wordsworth's publication of a new four-volume second collected edition, The Miscellaneous Poems of William Wordsworth. The fleetingly familial texts of the "third volume" are not allowed to rest there long, rooted up almost as soon as they are published and immediately dispersed throughout the larger cathedral architecture of the life's work, which Wordsworth had announced in The Excursion in 1814. I propose to hold open for the time of this book Wordsworth's bibliographically shaped space of April 1820, just prior to the nearly simultaneous movement of these poems in July into separate sta-

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tions in the sacramentalized precincts of the collected life's work. The very elusiveness of the "third volume" is a signifying structure: this collectively bound book offers itself as a macrosyntactic form in which over and over, in the shapes of the poems shaped by that slight container, a fugitive fact in Wordsworth's poetry, marriage, puts in a variety of fleeting appearances. To read with and against the grain ofWordsworth's own metaphors, the "third volume" is a strikingly unvisited wedding chapel unremarked among the other "little cells, oratories, and sepulchral recesses" Wordsworth offered as figures for his shorter pieces in the cathedral called The Recluse?6 The "third volume" is Wordsworth's fugitive book of marriage. No wonder De Quincey thought the Wordsworth marriage was a contradiction in terms. Readers from De Quincey forward have shared the experience of Philip Larkin on his Whitsun journey south: "at first, I didn't notice what a noise I The weddings made." 77 Throughout the "third volume," Wordsworth refigures in remarkably oblique forms a variety of conjugal attachments: the marriage of Arthur Wellesley and Kitty Pakenham, the marriage of Caroline Wordsworth and Jean-Baptiste Baudouin, the marriage of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Sara Fricker, the first attachment ofWilliam Wordsworth and Annette Vallon, the subsequent attachment ofWilliam Wordsworth and Mary Hutchinson. Among the "Other Poems" in the River Duddon volume in April 1820 is an overlooked blank verse lyric, "To ," the best example I can fix, in form, figure, and theme, of Wordsworth's performance of a poetics of indifference. This unnoticed poem is the primary focus of the Wordsworth section in Chapter 6. Here, in preview with Austen, I want to call attention to the way in which the poem foregrounds and challenges the trope of marriage as domiciliary refuge, as bower of bliss. Among the many attitudes human pairs assume in the "third volume," "To "(Ketcham 281-82) represents an invitation to one other human being to pause, for just a moment-to rest, to make a habitable dwelling in a most unlikely setting. (There is actually no sure way to tell from the outside that the human relationship depicted in the poem is in fact a marriage, but I take that very uncertainty, cued by Cavell-"no wonder you cannot tell who is married"-as trapdoor evidence that what is set forth in the poem is indeed a marriage.) "To " is populated by just two people. Other members of the tribe-parents, siblings, children, friends-are simply absent from this landscape for this moment, a singling out of the pair, the human couple, as the social form where the stakes of identity are now

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played. The speaker alone with one other stands on a "tuft of heath" (which is now "attired I In the whole fulness of its bloom") beneath a "venerable Tree," a "time-dismantled Oak," and turns to his companion: "0 Lady! fairer in thy Poet's sight I Than fairest spiritual Creature of the groves, I Approach-and, thus invited, crown with rest I The noon-tide hour." In Chapter 6, I read the "rest" to which the speaker invites the fair Lady in "in the shadow of the longing expressed for the empty places of "To "appointed rest" in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," a set of figures that Coleridge elaborately decorated in the marginal glosses added in 1817. Here at the "noon-tide hour" is a resting place for just two people, the "brief space" of a pausal moment together, in a phrase from the poem's final line. The poem concludes with a pointed contrast between this momentarily conjured noon-tide resting space out on the heath beneath the wizened tree, "this old Trunk"-whose exposed location {"this elevated ridge") is emphasized-and a very different image of arboreal shelter down below those vulnerable heights: But no wind Sweeps now along this elevated ridge; Not even a zephyr stirs;-the obnoxious Tree Is mute,-and, in his silence, would look down On thy reclining form with more delight Than his Coevals, in the sheltered vale Seem to participate, the whilst they view Their own far-stretching arms and leafy heads Vividly pictured in some glassy pool, That, for a brief space, checks the hurrying stream! In Chapter 6, I read the image of the "sheltered vale" at the end of " as a valedictory trope, as a Virgilian farewell, within the "To boundaries of this poem, to a long line of Wordsworthian figures of intimate refuge, now questioned as illusory. The poem supplies instead a new and extraordinarily unusual image of the human pair, an "obnoxious Tree" posed in mute "silence" and "delight" over the "reclining form" of the other at rest. I read the arresting adjective obnoxious in its radical sense, which was still primary as late as the early nineteenth century but which has subsequently faded from use: "exposed to harm," ob-noxa, "at risk." 78 The poem thereby proposes, by means of a fugitive semantic near rhyme, the unusual synonymity of the "rest" of this pair with the "risk" of exposed places in the landscape. The extraordinary elusiveness of this moment-

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bibliographically, biographically, semantically, prosodically-is an exemplary instance of what I aim to signify by the term "indifference." Always at the happy risk of ceaseless motion, Admiral Croft and Sophia Croft are fixed by Anne Elliot in the stasis of a "most attractive picture of happiness." The formulaic satisfaction of the marriage plot depends upon the clear image of the sheltered vale whence a marriage tends, the necessary stipulation of domiciliary refuge, a matter that Austen typically does not leave unsettled: Delaford, Pemberley, Mansfield, Hartfield, all loom large-if not unambiguously-in final paragraphs. Until Persuasion, that is: it is entirely unclear where Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth will cast anchor. The only glancing reference at the end of the book to the unnamed resting place of their marriage is the observation that Anne's friend Mrs. Smith "was their earliest visitor in their settled life" (II.12.274). Settled where? The reader waits in vain to hear the name of a Donwell Abbey, a Kellynch Hall. The blank space of the marriage refuge in Persuasion signals that the paradigmatic stasis of conjugality shifts in this last novel from the telos of the marriage plot to the repetitive play of the representational medium itself, where as soon as it is glimpsed, it is unsettled. Not marriage but remarriage, day after day. The quest for a foregrounded fixed abode-some bower of bliss whence narrative drives with the singleminded determination of coupledom-yields to the foregrounded quest to fix an abode, an ever-unfinished task that is always only taken up over and over, again and again. In a rhetoric of indifference, marriage is never fixed-to praise or to blame-but only pauses to rest in the haphazard pictures, the imperfect notices of fugitive forms that pose as many riddles as they solve. What men or gods are these? What maidens loth? The map of marriage in the Romantic period resists interpretation even as it is with marble men and maidens overwrought. And never more so than in 1815, at the end of war.

THREE

Marriage and the End ofWar

In the autumn of 1814, the following advertisement ran in the London papers, over the names of its patroness, the Duchess ofYork, and (not inappropriately denominated) her several vice-patronesses, including the Duchess of Richmond and the Marchionesses of Buckingham and Landsdowne: "SUBSCRIPTION of the WOMEN of GREAT BRITAIN and IRELAND, to commemorate the SERVICES of the DUKE of WELLINGTON, by an appropriate monument." 1 Linda Colley has recounted the subsequent misadventures of this scheme and its negotiations of the warrior's body parts selected for Hyde Park display; to supplement her fine account of this curious episode in the history of war and gender, it is only necessary to underscore the brazen irony of the word services in the advertisement, which in Wellington's philandering case implodes the barrier between conquests on the battlefield and in the bedroom. 2 When the Cato Street conspirators a few years later defended themselves by equating Wellington's mistreatment of his wife with his authoritarian politics-the duke is to nation as the duke is to spouse-the billboard on which Wellington's conjugal life had been plastered since the Duke of York scandals in 1809 became at last an eyesore.

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This chapter turns to stories told about conjugality in the immediate wake of war. In 1815, Britain had been at war for nearly three decades. As Jerome Christensen has argued, "[W]artime episodes cannot assume their just order of significance except in terms of a historical narrative that cannot be responsibly undertaken, let alone convincingly completed, until the war ends." 3 For Christensen, the narrative that aimed to trump all others in 1815 was a version of the recurrent "end of history" argument, the argument ofliberal progress in which "commerce first conquered conquest" (10). The end of war is a time when wartime identity cards are reshuffled and redealt, repositioning for peacetime both the individual and the tribe: "Wartime puts extraordinary pressure on those partitions between the spaces of the private and the public, the individual and society.... Peace is when war is over, a kind of time which is aftermath, a time of demobilization, a time when groups seek to be determined, when the crowd takes to the streets and the silent soldiers seek their voice" (5-7). Still missing from this incisive account, however, is the pair. According to the 1863 Notes and Queries contributor I quote at the end of Chapter I, not a few of those silent soldiers first spoke up back at home in the peculiar divorce ritual known as wifeselling. In addition to resettling affairs of the self and affairs of the tribe, the end of war marks a moment when the unsettled couple faces the question whether to settle back down. Christensen's observation that the war years constituted in Britain a quarter-century "suspension of dailiness" prompts the investigation in this chapter into the ways in which dailiness tries to sputter back to life in the second half of the Regency. Stanley Cavell's argument that marriage is the central figure in Western discourse for the quotidian suggests another narrative of the end of war, another foundational argument justifying three decades of national emergency. This rationale is so pervasive as to remain generally unstated this side of Hegel: What is the war all about? To make the world safe for conjugality. The emptiness of this fiction echoes loudly in the history of the bad marriage between Princess Caroline and the Prince ofWales, a union that had floundered nearly as long as the war itsel£ Yet the fiction retains its power to shape modern critical narratives about the war. A typical tale is that war culture contributed to the construction of domestic sphere ideology by building a myth of the (virtuous) public male warrior defending the (virtuous) private female home. 4 But this version of events assumes that such myth was not always seen as threadbare. There is much evidence that this fiction circulated as a palpable fiction. The cultural scene is deeply

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ironic, in other words, replayed at the millennium by the spectacularly impudent ironies of one of the most notoriously philandering U.S. chief executives signing in 1996, with a warm embrace, a "Defense of Marriage Act." For the conjugal myth to flex real muscle, it needs its fantasy forms: Prinny and Caroline collapsing after Waterloo in each other's blissful state arms, the Duke of Wellington retiring devotedly to the Pemberley world of Stratfield Saye with a devoted Kitty. War is, infamously, anticonjugal: spouses die; separated spouses sleep around and split up. But the cultural cover story is that these threats to marriage are the necessary price to purchase peacetime marriage. The immiscibility of war and marriage buys a peace the sign of which is a matrimonial paradise regained. Marriage is, ideally, the constitutive sign of peace-the end of war in a double sense, both terminus and telos. Postwar nuptial celebrations look very odd, however, such as the sudden shower of wife-selling ceremonies or the royal nuptial fire sale of the Prince Regent's superabundant siblings. The many neo-Godwinian attacks on matrimony post-Waterloo illustrate an obvious point, that the war had settled nothing about what Godwin had scorched in 1793 as a "still augmenting stream of abuse" and "the most odious of all monopolies" (2:850). A crucial instance of cultural perplexity in 1815 is the intractability of one of the key narratives necessary to make sense of the history of the previous quarter century. After a review of the odd circumstances of Wordsworth's 1816 Thanksgiving Ode set of poems, which initiates materially the form of the 1820 "third volume," I offer a reading of Wordsworth's most resonant Waterloo text, "Dion," as a tragedy in Cavell's sense, as the narrative form skepticism takes figured as a contest with marriage. My reading of Austen in this chapter surrounds Persuasion with a troop of other military moments in the fiction, including the late inflection of Waterloo as a real estate development joke in Sanditon. Persuasion is typically read as the very postwar epithalamium that I am arguing is unavailable; by reading the Anne Elliot-Frederick Wentworth marriage in close tandem with Emma, I offer a way to think of both novels under the sign of indifference. Read with and against one another, the postwar publications of Austen and Wordsworth behave in ways Christensen calls anachronistic, bringing to attention the inscrutability of modern marriage at precisely the moment when the conjugal myth fails to justify a war nominally fought to restore it triumphant.

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WORDSWORTH AFTER WATERLOO

For Wordsworth, the war ended with a wedding-but it was, characteristically, a ceremony he did not attend. He was, however, the father of the bride. On February 28, 1816, Caroline Wordsworth-YaHoo, the twenty-four-yearold daughter of Annette Vallon and William Wordsworth, married JeanBaptiste Baudouin in Paris. Annette and Caroline had hoped the wedding would occur immediately after the war, in the autumn of 1814, to follow the engagement as soon as possible. Dorothy Wordsworth, who planned to be there on behalf of the English branch of the family, managed to put off the French relatives until the spring of 1815, when she could better arrange her travels; the return of Bonaparte then scotched that itinerary. In the event, no one from the Wordsworth family made it to Paris until 1820. In lieu of an album or a video, the Wordsworths had to make do with Annette's epistolary account of the festivities, as circulated by Dorothy: "Thirty persons were present to dinner, ball and supper. The deputies of the department and many other respectable people were there-the Bride was dressed in white Sarsenet with a white veil.-'was the admiration of all who beheld her but her modesty was her best ornament.' She kept her veil on the whole of the day-how truly French this is!"5 Meanwhile, the bride's absent father was busy composing his own peculiar ornament, a palimpsest of distant military victory and distant matrimonials. In his correspondence, Wordsworth remarks that the poem prominent in his mind at this moment was Spenser's "Epithalamion," that "Song made in lieu of many ornaments I With which my love should duly have been dect.'' 6 Instead of writing an explicit nuptial ornament for his daughter, however, he followed Spenser's surrogate lead and produced a set ofWaterloo victory odes and other miscellaneous pieces that were published in May 1816 in a thin octavo volume titled Thanksgiving Ode, january I8, I8I6, with Other Short Pieces, Chiefly Referring to Recent Public Events. The recent private event of a Paris wedding remained invisible to the few readers who purchased this small book, which establishes the backbone of the 1820 "third volume" book of marriage.

Wordsworth and Wellington In these postwar poems, Wordsworth transfigures the private epithalamic occasion into a conjugal performance directed in an extraordinarily oblique

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manner at the hero of the hour, the Duke of Wellington. Reigniting a battle first engaged in the Convention ofCintra pamphlet in 1809, Wordsworth's attack on Wellington emerges full-blown in the Thanksgiving Ode volume as a pervasive antonomastic rhetoric that performs a shaped unwillingness to join the postwar ceremonies of heroic naming, ceremonies on gaudy display in productions such as Walter Scott's The Field oJWaterloo and Southey's laureate performance, The Poet's Pilgrimage to Waterloo. Still at that time Sir Arthur Wellesley, Wellington first appears in Wordsworth's writing in letters of late September 1808, which express his dismay at the course of recent military action in the peninsula. During the next year, this warm contempt was translated into the arguments ofWordsworth's longest prose work, Concerning the Relations ofGreat Britain, Spain,

and Portugal, to Each Other, and to the Common Enemy, at This Crisis; and Specifically as Affected by the Convention of Cintra, published in the spring of 1809? In this work, Wordsworth is regularly dismissive of Wellington's character. Wordsworth's disdain for Wellington as a soldier and politician soon doubled up with his disdain for Wellington as a spouse. The Cintra proceedings in London in the fall of 1808-Wellington and his two fellow generals, Sir Hew Dalrymple and Sir Harry Burrard, were called before a board of inquiry that sat in November and December-were barely resolved when the Duke ofYork sex scandal exploded in the House of Commons in January 1809. Mary Anne Clarke, the mistress of the duke, who was commander-in-chief of the army, had been selling commissions on the side, and the question before Parliament was whether the duke knew her business as well as her person. While writing the Cintra pamphlet in the early months of 1809, Wordsworth feverishly followed the London papers, brimming with news and gossip about the army and Clarke, whom Wordsworth tags in his correspondence with the disparaging epithet "the Duke and his Doxy." 8 Sexual scandal swirled all about the very highest levels of the army all through the winter of 1808-9, and Wellington became mired in the thick of it. Although Harriette Wilson's famous claims about Wellington's favors during these months did not erupt into public scandal until 1825 ("Publish and be damned!"), the several prominent Wellesley brothers were almost all putting on a miserable conjugal show widely witnessed. 9 Wellington himself privately complained that his older brother Richard, Lord Wellesley, the former governor-general of India, was doing his best to derail his high government career by his indiscriminate "whoring." 10 In March 1809, Lady Charlotte Wellesley, the wife ofWellington's youngest

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brother, Henry, eloped with Lord Paget, one of the most renowned cavalry officers in the army, both of them deserting not only spouses but numerous children. 11 Wellington always managed to maintain a facade of discreet mystery about his own infidelities, but it is clear that Wordsworth and many others had soon written him off on that score. On his next visit to London, in the spring of 1812, Wordsworth met Wellington's wife, Kitty Pakenham, Lady Wellesley. He avidly reported this encounter in letters to Mary in Wales, noting that he had been in company with "the Countess of Wellington," whom he tags as "Wife or rather Widow bewitched." This celebrity snapshot is surrounded by a litany of complaint about Wellington as a "debauchee," as "licentiously connected," kin to "that profligate man Lord Wellesley." 12 Such bits of evidence have typically served as biographical fodder that builds the picture of the cold Wordsworth of"a pretty piece of paganism" fame, but I read these comments otherwise, as figures in a cultural text of much perplexity. What ruffles Wordsworth's feathers is less male infidelity-there is plenty of that to go around-than the failure of marriage to hold firm as a necessarily stable sign. If the representational system demands conjugal harmony as the sign of victory and peace, where in prospect are the signs of victory? Where in prospect are the signs of peace? At the end of war in August 1815, two months after final victory at Waterloo, the Wordsworth family joined the Southey family and a gaggle of other Lakers in a blazing nighttime triumphal celebration on the summit of Skiddaw, high above Keswick. 13 Composed the following winter after a tour of the battlefield, Southey's laureate performance, The Poet's Pilgrimage to Waterloo, adopts Skiddaw as the central organizing image. Invoked in topographical specificity to open the poem, the peak is transfigured at the end into a mount of vision upon which Southey locates and recalls the August celebrations: ''And in our triumph taught the startled night I To ring with Wellington's victorious name." 14 In like manner, Walter Scott's The Field of Waterloo applauds the roster of names "mark' d on thy roll of blood" and builds the last two stanzas (of twenty-three) to happy alliterative coupling, "Wellington" to conclude one stanza and "Waterloo" the other. 15 Wordsworth may have suffered Wellington huzzahs high on Skiddaw in August 1815, but such a blessing is conspicuously absent from his own body of Waterloo poetry, which sustains a remarkable refusal to celebrate the warrior's name. The naming conventions Wordsworth circumvents are on prominent display not only from the Southey and Scott workshops but in a prose work Wordsworth was avidly reading at the time, the journalist John

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Scott's Paris Revisited, in I8I5, by Way of Brussels: Including a Walk over the Field ofBattle at Waterloo. This book was as close as Wordsworth could get not only to the Belgian battlefield but to the Parisian scene of his daughter's wedding. Wordsworth's interest encouraged Scott to ask the poet to vet some verse the journalist was drafting on Waterloo, which features yet another celebration of Wellington. Wellington comes off extraordinarily well in John Scott's prose, where he is an object of unqualified veneration. Wordsworth admired Scott's account of contemporary European politics, but he demurred on one key issue, a "personal question [that] is the only material point in your books in which I differ from you": "I wish that I could think as favourably as you do of the Duke of Wellington. Since his first debut in Portugal I have watched his course as carefully as my opportunities allowed me to do; and notwithstanding the splendour of those actions at the head of which he has been placed, I am convinced that there is no magnanimity in his nature ... depend upon it, the constitution of his mind is not generous, nor will he pass with posterity for a hero." 16 Case closed: Wellington passes for a hero nowhere in Wordsworth's writing in these years. Southey in his Quarterly Review essays on Wellington and Waterloo not only dismissed attacks on Wellington's command but issued a blanket blessing: Wellington "exhibited personal behaviour as perfect as his conduct as general." 17 In the Thanksgiving Ode poems, Wordsworth maintains peculiar distance from any such absolute forms of the party line. Strikingly unlike the Waterloo verse productions of Southey, Walter Scott, and Byron, Wordsworth's Waterloo poems retail no snapshots of the battle, newsworthy or otherwise. The magnanimity Wordsworth denies Wellington in his correspondence with John Scott appears as the chief cause of victory in the "Thanksgiving Ode," the eponymous text of the 1816 volume. In stanza three the verses turn to the causes of Allied victory: Have we not conquered?-By the vengeful sword? Ah no, by dint of Magnanimity; That curbed the baser passions, and left free A loyal band to follow their liege Lord, Clear-sighted Honour. (Ketcham 182) The enjambed appositive, "Honour," defeats the wish that the "liege Lord" will be given human name. Later in the same stanza, it again seems

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that the text is preparing to name names, in the manner of formulaic Waterloo verse: Who to the murmurs of an earthly string Of Britain's acts would sing He with enraptured voice will tell Of One whose spirit no reverse could quell; Of one that mid the failing never failed. (Ketcham 182) In his 1896 edition ofWordsworth's poetry, William Knight could notresist improving the text and named the absent "One" with an asterisk and a footnote: Wellington. 18 Wordsworth himself emphatically never did so, and the subsequent verses make it clear that "Britain" alone is antecedent. In like manner throughout the volume, the desire to hear the warrior's celebrated name is regularly thwarted. Rhetorically, antonomasia-substitute naming-is the book's constitutive trope. A recent biographer alertly observes that the Thanksgiving Ode poems are "empty of human beings," but his remark has the tone of puzzled complaint. 19 That vacancy, however, is precisely their point. The "Thanksgiving Ode" is simultaneously about a victory whose human hero Wordsworth refuses to name and about a daughter's wedding he fails to attend. The "Thanksgiving Ode" offers an arsenal of surprises. Wordsworth himself remarked to Southey that he suspected the following stanza would sound particularly discordant against prevailing triumphalist clamor: 20 And thus is missed the sole true glory That can belong to human story! At which they only shall arrive Who through the abyss of weakness dive: The very humblest are too proud of heart: And one brief day is rightly set apart To Him who lifteth up and layeth low; For that Almighty God to whom we owe, Say not that we have vanquished-but that we survive. (Ketcham 183) Announced by the title, the fiction of the poem is that it is spoken on "the morning of the day appointed for a general thanksgiving, January 18, 1816" (Ketcham 180). The speaker calls regular attention to the human custom whereby "one brief day is rightly set apart," but the "one day" in the poem's

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buried field of reference exceeds military and government specifications and points silently to the Paris matrimonial morning of February 28, 1816. The opening thirty-five-line stanza of the "Thanksgiving Ode" is the most elaborate aubade in Wordsworth's poetry, ending with this apostrophe to the Sun: -Divinest object, which the uplifted eye Of mortal man is suffered to behold; Thou, who upon yon snow-dad Heights hast poured Meek splendour, nor forget'st the humble Vale, Thou who dost warm Earth's universal mould,And for thy bounty wert not unadored By pious men of old; Once more, heart-cheering Sun, I bid thee hail! Bright be thy course to-day, let not this promise fail! (Ketcham r8r) Preternaturally keen-eyed readers might have noticed that the ode's preoccupation with the "to-day" of its occasion echoes in its aubade Spenser's spousal plea to the god of the Sun to grant an epithalamic boon: "let this day this one day be myne." Faire Sun, shew forth thy favourable ray, And let thy lifull heat not fervent be For feare of burning her sunshyny face, Her beauty to disgrace. 0 fayrest Phoebus, father of the Muse, If ever I did honour thee aright, Or sing the thing, that mote thy mind delight, Doe not thy servant's simple boone refuse, But let this day let this one day be myne, Let all the rest be thine. Then I thy soverayne prayses loud wil sing, That all the woods shal answer and theyr Eccho ring. 21 Just as the Thanksgiving Ode volume offers a host of antonomastic substitutes for the unnamed national hero, so the named occasion of the title poem substitutes a national day for a private day in late February 1816 that brought to a matrimonial close the poet's lived history with revolutionary France.

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"Dion" and Marriage As Philip Larkin glimpses rail-station wedding parties on his Whitsun journey south, he spins a nuptial image that speaks to the peculiar excess of the victory poems in the Thanksgiving Ode volume: "fathers had never known I Success so huge and wholly farcical." 22 Kitted up in an ill-fitting tux to celebrate both Waterloo and a wedding, the proud father stumbles his way-much to the glee of Shelley and others-into infamously astonishing rhetorical pits such as "Yea, Carnage is thy Daughter!" 23 The tide poem's sustained refusal to name real daughters and real heroes builds enormous pressure for simple human signification by its end, a pressure only partly relieved by the publication in the 1820 River Duddon volume of a poem written at the same time as Wordsworth's other Waterloo verse, a poem in which the war years are brought to focus in the person of a single human being. That person, however, is disconcertingly remote, a figure from classical history, Dion. As Wordsworth's chief exercise in the well-trod late-Enlightenment genre of "parallel history," "Dion" has long prompted much ink spilling in pursuit of Dion's contemporary referent: Napoleon? Beaupuy? Nelson? John Wordsworth? the poet himself? Wellington? 24 I compound previous sins on this score by returning to the fray: in the light of Wordsworth's severe judgment of Wellington's habits as a spouse, I offer here a reading of the narrative that is "Dion," a tale of a bright warrior's failure, as a tragedy in the special sense put forward by Cavell in his readings of Shakespeare and film, as the narrative form skepticism takes "figured as an assault on marriage." 25 In this key Wordsworthian post-Waterloo instance, marriage fails to perform the celebratory postwar role the culture demands. Wordsworth calls careful attention to his source text with the notation "See Plutarch" immediately below the poem's title (Ketcham 217). For readers whose Plutarch is rusty, Dion's tale in brief runs this way: A pupil of Plato, Dion of Syracuse is the virtuous rival to the tyrant Dionysius. After his triumphant return from exile, Dion yields to the temptation to allow his allies to assassinate his new rival, Heraclides. Tormented by guilt, Dion is then himself assassinated. These bare bones of the narrative have drawn attention to public, world-stage events-such as Napoleon's complicity in the plot to assassinate the Due D'Enghien-in the quest to fill the contemporary blank that is Dion's name. What has not been remarked is the

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extent to which Plutarch's narrative is shaped as a domestic tragedy, and it is thus worth the effort to track the passages in which Dion's tragedy hangs on the question of marriage. The breach between Dion and Dionysius is sealed by the tyrant's maltreatment of Dion's wife. In the language of North's 1579 translation that Wordsworth used: "[Dion] shewed him selfe an open enemie unto Dionysius, but specially when he heard how he had handled his wife. ... After Dion was exiled, Dionysius returning Plato back againe, he willed him secretlie to feele Dions minde, whether he would not be angrie that his wife [Arete] should be married to an other man" (emphasis added). 26 In spite of Plato's advice that Dion "would be marvelous angrie" if he pursued his plan, Dionysius marries Arete "against her will, unto one of his friends called Timocrates" (145). The engine of the plot is thus the conjugal myth that the end of war is to preserve, protect, and defend marriage: "Dion from thenceforth disposed him selfe altogether unto warre" (146). Dion is victorious, and Plutarch's tale stages a teary postwar reunion between the victorious Dion and Arete: "Arete following [Dion's sister] weeping, being verie fearefull how she should call and salute her husband, having lyen with an other mann .... [T]he water stoode in Dions eyes: so, he gently and lovingly taking his wife Arete by the hand, so he gave her his sonne, and willed her to go home to his house" (174-75). So Princess Caroline would be called home from her Italian rambles to the regal hearths of Carlton House and Brighton Palace; so Arthur Wellesley and Kitty Pakenham would together choose fabrics to decorate the country mansion bestowed by a grateful nation. It is no accident that one of the most widely circulated photographic images in the history of that medium is an end-of-war icon of the heterosexual pair, the 1945 Alfred Eisenstaedt Times Square photograph that stages a spontaneously eager "V-J Day Kiss" between returning sailor and homefront nurse. 27 But Plutarch's tale does not end in blissful postwar reunion. Conjugality triumphant and Dion's virtue prove incompatible, and the narrative spirals downward into multiple deaths and betrayals. After Dion's assassination, Plutarch's text ends with a bleak series of images of broken families. Its final words: Now for Aristomache and Arete, they were taken out of prison: and Icetes Syracusan, gave them charge that caried them away, to kill them as they went, and to throw them over bord into the sea. Some say, that the two women, and the little young boy, were cast alive into the sea. But this reward

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of the sinfull act that he committed, returned againe upon him selfe, as it had done before unto others. For he was taken up by Timoleon that put him to deathe: and besides, the Syracusans did also kill two of his daughters in revenge of the unfaithfulness he had shewed unto Dion. (181) Framed as the wholesale destruction of families, the narrative's tragic end figures the incommensurability of marriage and the very peace it is taken to signify. Wordsworth's choice of this Plutarch narrative at this moment registers the postsacramental pressure on marriage to supply the meaning upon which all else rests. Plutarch's tale of Dion in postwar, post-Waterloo circulation measures how marriage fails to end the war by forging satisfactorily the foundational communitarian unit, the couple. Marriage is severely qualified throughout Plutarch's narrative. Even before Dian's enemy breaks up his marriage and precipitates war, "there ranne a rumor abroade (whether it were true, or invented by Dions enemies) that he liked not his marriage, and coulde not live quietlie with his wife" (145). Why not? No philanderer, Dian's failure is quite the opposite: he is too enamored of his solitude. Plutarch notes that Dion "by nature had a certeine hawtinesse of mind and severitie, and he was a sower man to be acquainted with" (134). Plato thus warns Dion "that he should beware of obstinacie, the companion of solitarinesse, that bringeth a man in the ende to be forsaken of everie one" (134). But Dian's "severity" and "obstinacy" persist after his victorious return to Syracuse, and the nightmare visions that come upon him after he assents to the assassination of his new rival are represented as the torments of solitude: "sitting late one evening all alone ... being in a deep thought with him selfe ... he saw a monstrous great woman, like unto one of the furies shewed in playes, and saw her sweeping of the house with a broome" (178). Wordsworth was especially taken by this image and amplified it at elaborate length in his poem: it occupies nearly 40 of 130 lines in the poem's first draft (Ketcham 213-17). The image of tormented domesticity-a Fury with a broom-signifies not the torments of domesticity but the failure of conjugality to resolve the failures of solitude, of severity, of obstinacy. In the poem's opening stanza, Dion is represented in extended metaphor as a majestic swan "on Locarno's lake" where sails "the mute creature without visible Mate" (Ketcham 217-18; emphasis added). The problem of identity is framed as the sufficiency of solitude; in Wordsworth's version, Plato helps Dion before his fall steer a moderate course where he is "not too elate I With self-sufficing solitude" (Ketcham 218). Wordsworth turns the tearful reunion with Arete in Plutarch into a Triumphal Entry celebration that

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resembles nothing so much as that wedding ceremony he missed in Paris; Dion enters Syracuse "in a white, far-beaming, corslet clad!" (Ketcham 218), recalling Wordsworth's first-born child "dressed in white Sarsenet with a white veil." Nevertheless, solitude remains for Dion the elation that is ultimately and simultaneously his abjection, the blessing and the curse that "bringeth a man in the ende to be forsaken of everie one." In the poem's first draft, Wordsworth indicates that the disappointments of conjugality are simultaneously, at this post-Waterloo moment, a sign of the failure of war to accomplish its end; Dion's tale is "Proof, for the historian's page and poet's lays, I That Peace, even Peace herself, is fugitive" (Ketcham 214). Haughty of mind, severe, obstinate, solitary: Wellington? Wordsworth himself? Keats for one was alert to how writer and warrior ghosted one another: "I begin to think that detracting from [Wellington] as well as from Wordsworth is the same thing." 28 Although it is almost certain that Keats was thinking chiefly ofTory politics, I want to hold open the possibility that a point of twinned identity a poet would have been especially alert to is language. In the extended metaphor that opens the original text of the "Dion" verses, the nuptial solitude of the swan is yoked with silence: "the mute creature without visible mate" (Ketcham 217; emphasis added). Wellington was famously taciturn and blunt; his official dispatches recounting Waterloo, widely circulated in the press as soon as they hit London, were faulted rhetorically for their flat understatement. Almost lost among the headline postbattle debates (Did Napoleon surprise Wellington? If the Prussians had not appeared, was Wellington done for?), a comic issue in the contest for fit language was Wellington's choice to name the battle Waterloo-Waterloo!?-when the splendid topographic alternative "La Belle-Alliance" offered itself euphoniously, as Southey privately complained.29 Yet Southey publicly praised the "noble simplicity" of Wellington's language. Wordsworth, another taciturn sort and master of litotes, would have nothing of this form of the party line. Where Wellington's language falls short of his subject, Wordsworth's language in the Thanksgiving Ode volume alarms readers as it falls compensatorily beyond events in rhetorical excess. The poems tumble all over themselves to supply the words the hero of the hour seems unable to speak and to supply shadows of parental words not spoken at a Paris wedding that had to wait for the end of war. Wellington has too few words and Wordsworth too many: there seem to be no fit words to signify peace, and wedded bliss, and victory. In the late winter weeks of 1816 when Wordsworth was missing the wedding

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of his firstborn child and composing his Waterloo poems, London chatter was full of Captain James Wedderburn-Webster and his wife, Lady Frances (of Byronic fame), who were suing the St. james's Chronicle for libel for spreading the gossip of her affair with Wellington, a trial that was a dress rehearsal for the pyrotechnics of the divorce trial of Queen Caroline in 1820. 30 Just when peace needs to settle down to a good wedding, marriage fidgets in peculiar ways all over the map.

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Among its many victims, war mangles marriages, a tale told over and over in this century of wars. In this section, I read conjugality in Emma, written and published in the wake of war, as skewered by the buried narrative of Jane Bates and her husband, Lieutenant Fairfax, two rare war casualties in Austen's major fiction. Jane Fairfax the elder is, remarkably, the one war widow in Austen's novels, and I argue that her almost unnoticed fate is recast as the novel's reluctance to endorse conjugality in simple, untroubled forms. 31 As Austen's exemplary postwar novel, Persuasion lies under a double burden: not only to close the marriage plot with a wedding but also to put a nuptial period to war itself Grief for victims of war becomes an occasion for the ridiculous in Persuasion, in the guise of Mrs. Musgrove's "large fat sighings" (l.8.73) over the loss of her son, the late but little lamented poor Richard, whose death the narrator elsewhere styles "good fortune" (l.6.54). In the company of its paired publication, Northanger Abbey, and the final fragment, Sanditon, Persuasion calls into question not only affected displays of postwar maternal grief but another fantasy of proper form, the domiciliary refuge that in its fixity mirrors the stability of marriage itself in the representational system. Austen's last two novels stage ironic contests with the cultural command that marriage and peace march down the postwar aisle hand in hand.

Emmaandwtlr In Emma, all roads lead to Box Hill. I read that episode as an elusively hypermilitarized moment in Austen's fiction, a battlefield manque that foregrounds latter-day skirmishes between two offspring of failed or tragic military marriages. When Miss Bates takes one on the chin from Emma,

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that wounding replays how military culture marched right past the young Henrietta Bates, withholding the "distinction" of marriage, otherwise known in the Hegelian nightmare as life in its totality. Like "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," Emma begins with a wedding that feels to the inmates of Hartfield like a funeral. Grief is a comparatively rare emotion in Austen, and when it does appear, it is far from uncomplicated. In the first pages of the second volume of the novel a character dies of grief, an affective state that at the opening of the novel is a piece of comic inversion, occasioned by matrimony: "It was Miss Taylor's loss which first brought grief It was on the wedding-day of this beloved friend that Emma first sat in mournful thought of any continuance ... she had then only to sit and think of what she had lost" (l.r.4). In addition to fretting about snow flurries and poultry pilfering, Mr. Woodhouse is the grief-stricken character most adamantly set against marriage: "Matrimony, as the origin of change, was always disagreeable" (I.r.6). Not once but twice in the first chapter he pleads to his unmarried younger daughter, "Pray do not make any more matches" (I.r.9-I0). Although the text tempts readers to discount these anticonjugal sentiments as one more harmless twitch of valetudinarianism, Mr. Woodhouse nevertheless manages to sound not unlike Hamlet: "I say, we will have no moe marriage." In response to what he calls this "grievous business" (I.rr.rm), Mr. Woodhouse seeks relief in untimely utterances asking Emma to cut out matchmaking, to which proposal she is willing to yield in the one instance closest to home: "I promise you to make none for myself, papa" (l.r.ro). But Emma's vow not to take vows is more than a private understanding between father and daughter. Not unlike Mr. Collins, who after snaring Charlotte Lucas "was longing to publish his prosperous love" (L22.138), Emma is very happy to publish abroad her happiness outside marriage. In addition to cutting off the importunate Mr. Elton with her final answer, "I have no thoughts of matrimony at present" (I.IP43), Emma is a voluble analyst of her happily unmarried state to Harriet Smith: I have none of the usual inducements of women to marry. Were I to fall in love, indeed, it would be a different thing! but I never have been in love; it is not my way, or my nature; and I do not think I ever shall. And, without love, I am sure I should be a fool to change such a situation as mine. Fortune I do not want; employment I do not want; consequence I do not want: I believe few married women are half as much mistress of their husband's house, as I am of Hartfield. (l.10.90-91)

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To respond to Emma as a conjugal theorist inviting rebuttal is to be trapped into understanding the novel as engaging in a conventional setup, whereby anticonjugal and extraconjugal opinion is indulged only to increase pleasure when it is trumped by the epithalamic. To pause and debate with Emma the merits of marriage is to miss the point of the many passages early in the book in which Emma sets not so much her mind against marriage, but her mouth. As Mr. Knightley complains to Mrs. Weston, "[S]he always declares she will never marry" (1.5.41). When Knightley rules that this declaration "means just nothing at all" (1.5.41), he is warming up to cry foul on her words at Box Hill. Knightley's rules, however, exceed even Knighdey's rule; even though he means only that Emma does not mean what she says, when he says that the declaration never to marry "means just nothing at all," his words beyond his control point to a gap in meaning in which a statement in the form "X declares X will never marry" does not signify. Conjugality, not Knighdey, rules. At its end, the novel spells out the form of the sentence that, in contrast, claims to mean not nothing but everything: "N. takes M. for better, for worse" (lll.17.505).

The Battle ofBox Hill It is the sound of a name that begins to incline Emma toward marriage. "Now, it so happened that in spite of Emma's resolution of never marrying, there was something in the name, in the idea of Mr. Frank Churchill, which always interested her" (I.14.I28). At Box Hill, Emma enlists on Frank Churchill's behalf, taking up Frank's "commission" to find him a wife, "a commission to touch every favourite feeling" (III.7.406). Conjugality in the novel comes to a crisis in military form in the Box Hill episode, a battlefield shot through with a language of "commands" and "orders" and littered with the wounded. Miss Bates, Frank Churchill, Jane Fairfax, and Emma Woodhouse all fail to leave the field unbloodied. Wellington himself could not have composed a drier dispatch than Austen's preview of casualties: "in the general amount of the day there was a deficiency" (111.7.399). Whereas Emma's mouth inflicts the most public of the injuries on Miss Bates, the first people in the novel to spurn Miss Bates are military men. 32 As he rebukes Emma at Box Hill, Knighdey remarks that Miss Bates "has sunk from the comforts she was born to" (III.7.408), and those "comforts" have to be inferred from the fact that they belonged to the eldest daughter of a former vicar ofHighbury. In one of the few references to her early life,

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the narrator notes that, in pointed contrast to the famous opening phrases describing Emma, Miss Bates "had never boasted either beauty or cleverness. Her youth had passed without distinction, and her middle of life was devoted to the care of a failing mother, and the endeavor to make a small income go as far as possible" (!.3.20). Emma's protestations to the contrary, the only form of "distinction" that counts for young unmarried women in Highbury is marriage. To have one's youth "pass without distinction" is to be passed over, to fail to be the object of a pass. 33 Opportunity for Miss Bates, however, had not always been lacking. Quickening the nuptial pulse of the neighborhood, the army once came to town-when, moreover, younger sister Jane scored: "The marriage of Lieut. Fairfax, of the - - - regiment of infantry, and Miss Jane Bates, had had its day of fame and pleasure, hope and interest" (I1.2.174). But like the day at Box Hill, that wedding day is also fundamentally out of order, because it belonged by right first to Henrietta Bates, not Jane Bates. Mr. Collins in Pride and Prejudice knows nothing if not the rules: when a man with a mind to marry hits town, oldest daughters are first in line, owed "what was due to seniority" (1.7.79). Unlike the Bates sisters in Emma, the Woodhouse sisters have followed proper form: Isabella, the oldest, is already married, and now Emma must assume her (indifferent) place in the conjugal queue. When Miss Bates at Box Hill takes one on the chin from Emma, "it could not anger, though a slight blush showed that it could pain her" (Il1.7.403). The marriage of her younger sister to an officer is an antecedent event at which Hetty Bates could not be angered-indeed, it was a day of fame and pleasure, hope and interest-though it could most decidedly pain her. Lydia Bennet in Pride and Prejudice is the vehicle for the richest fantasy of military coupling in the published fiction: In Lydia's imagination, a visit to Brighton comprised every possibility of earthly happiness. She saw with the creative eye of fancy, the streets of that gay bathing place covered with officers. She saw herself the object of attention, to tens and to scores of them at present unknown. She saw all the glories of the camp; its tents stretched forth in beauteous uniformity oflines, crowded with the young and the gay, and dazzling with scarlet; and to complete the view, she saw herself seated beneath a tent, tenderly flirting with at least six officers at once. (I1.18.258) Rather than conjugal order, the order of military life sponsors a vision of conjugal carnival. Instead of pairing off with a single officer, Lydia might

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forge attachments "to tens and to scores of them"-or at least six at once. The term that connects the splendid disorder of Lydia's campy vision with the skirmishes at Box Hill is a word that Austen uses sparingly in the fiction, flirtation. Of the verbal high jinks between Frank Churchill and Emma at Box Hill, the narrator comments: "in the judgment of most people looking on it must have had such an appearance as no English word but flirtation could very well describe. 'Mr. Frank Churchill and Miss Woodhouse flirted together excessively.' They were laying themselves open to that very phrase-and to having it sent off in a letter to Maple Grove by one lady, to Ireland by another" (III.7.400). Outside Lady Susan, where the term is riotously deployed, forms of the word flirt cluster about only three moments in the fiction: Henry Crawford's disruptions in Mansfield Park, Lydia Bennet's military free-for-all, and Frank Churchill's war games at Box Hill, witnessed by correspondents ready to file dispatches from the front lines. Henry Crawford is not an insignificant item in this set; his entrance to the world of Mansfield Park is prominently marked by the irregularities of military conjugality, the "vicious conduct" of his foster parent, Admiral Crawford, who, after the death of his wife, "chose to bring his mistress under his own roof" (1.4.47). Although it is easy to overlook or forget, Frank Churchill comes from a military marriage broken by death, placing him, like Henry Crawford, in a surrogate family. Frank Churchill's military past is narrated early in the book: Mr. Weston was a native of High bury, ... and had satisfied an active cheerful mind and social temper by entering into the militia of his county, then embodied. Captain Weston was a general favourite; and when the chances of his military life had introduced him to Miss Churchill, of a great Yorkshire family, and Miss Churchill fell in love with him, nobody was surprized except her brother and his wife, who had never seen him, and who were full of pride and importance, which the connection would offend. (!.2.13) In the novels, the "chances of military life" typically signify not conjugal harmony but conjugal disruptions. Although Mr. Weston in his early Highbury singleness and later Highbury remarriage is geniality itself, within these parentheses is the shadowy interlude of his first attachment, his military marriage: "It was an unsuitable connection, and did not produce much happiness .... They lived beyond their income ... when his wife died after a three years' marriage, he was rather a poorer man than at first, and with a child to maintain" (L2.I3-14). Foster tokens in the military system, Henry

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Crawford and Frank Churchill share a history of the disordered nuptial nest of military marriage, the most sustained image of which in the fiction is the marriage of Wickham and Lydia Bennet, which the final paragraphs of Pride and Prejudice remind readers is "unsettled in the extreme" (III.I9-429). Although she suffers what the novel calls her most direct "attack" in the alphabet game a few evenings before Box Hill, Jane Fairfax is again a victim of Frank Churchill's antic disposition at Box Hill-where now, however, she counterattacks with loaded sentences about the unwisdom of a "hasty and imprudent attachment" on the part of couples who are at the "mercy of chance," words that readers-and Mr. Weston himself, who is right there to hear them-can take to refer not only to Frank and Jane and their secret Weymouth history but to Frank's father's unhappy first marriage, the result of the "chances of military life" (III.y.405). Jane Fairfax also comes from a military marriage broken by death, placing her in a surrogate family. There are two Jane Fairfaxes in the book, as readers scramble to learn from only a few sentences at the opening of the second chapter of the second volume: Jane Fairfax was an orphan, the only child of Mrs. Bates's youngest daughregiment of infantry, and ter. The marriage of Lieut. Fairfax, of the Miss Jane Bates, had had its day of fame and pleasure, hope and interest; but nothing now remained of it, save the melancholy remembrance of him dying in action abroad-of his widow sinking under consumption and grief soon afterwards-and this girl. (I1.2.174) That is all. But the redundant names point to what is at work: the long crisis of identity that is Jane Fairfax the younger's life-she is the "nothing" that now remains-is war by another name. Claudia Johnson supplies the template for this way of thinking about Emma, in her remarks on the redundancy of the tales of the two Elizas in Sense and Sensibility-the narratives of the mother and daughter, both named Eliza, who have been abused and discarded, the first by Colonel Brandon's brother and the second by Willoughby. 34 Johnson's telling point is that readers require only one of these tales to imagine the unhappy fate that threatens romantic young women like Marianne Dashwood; the effect of the double narratives, however, underscored by the identical names, is that all women in the world of the book might as well be called Eliza. It is the one and only tale. So, too, all the women of High bury might as well be named Jane Fairfax. To the many unsettled women in the main narrative-Jane Fairfax,

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Miss Taylor/Mrs. Weston, Miss Bates, Harriet Smith-1 would add from the backstory the first Mrs. Weston and the first Jane Fairfax, who cast long military shadows over the fate of their offspring at Box Hill_35 The logic of names in Emma argues that the heralded crisis of identity that is an Austen novel-what's a girl to do, other than marry?-is not a peacetime condition but a state of wartime emergency. Emma puts into question the logic of the national agenda of the previous quarter century: what was all that fighting all about, if not to make the world safe for marriage? It is Mr. Weston, a survivor of an unhappy military marriage, who tries to entertain the vexed troops at Box Hill with a play on Emma's name: "What two letters of the alphabet are there, that express perfection?" (III.7.404). More explicitly than any of Austen's other novels, Emma stages questions of identity by means of names, and in especially curious ways. 36 In a famous passage, Emma declines to use George Knightley's proper name-"Impossible!-1 never can call you any thing but 'Mr. Knightley'"-except once, "in the building in which N. takes M. for better, for worse" (III.I7.505). If suspicion lingers that the national agenda is not at issue in the novel, readers need only ponder the place of those contested names in the book's publication history. As the novel was in press, Austen learned, to her simultaneous pleasure and discomfort, that the Prince Regent-soon to be George IV-was an interested reader of her fiction, and that he would not be displeased to receive the dedication of her next work. Austen is on record in her correspondence as considering the Prince Regent, conjugally, as the Big Creep. In February r813 she wrote to Martha Lloyd: I suppose all the World is sitting in Judgement upon the Princess of Wales's letter. Poor Woman, I shall support her as long as I can, because she is a Woman, & because I hate her Husband-but I can hardly forgive her for calling herself "attached and affectionate" to a Man whom she must detest-& the intimacy said to subsist between her & Lady Oxford is bad.-I do not know what to do about it;-but if I must give up the Princess, I am resolved at least always to think that she would have been respectable, if the Prince had behaved only tolerably by her at first. 37 There was a Aurry of correspondence with John Murray about the proper form of the language of the dedication, which in the event enacts the novel's coy reticence with proper names: Emma is dedicated, at Murray's direction, not to "Frederick George Augustus, The Prince Regent," but to "To His Royal Highness The Prince Regent" by "His Royal Highness's Dutiful and

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Obedient Humble Servant, the Author," whose name is also withheld, as always by Austen.-18 In the autumn of 1815, Austen nervously allowed the dedication to go forward, in the anxious confidence that what the dedication gave, the now spectacular irony of the novel's final words-"the perfect happiness of the union" (III.r9.528)-would simultaneously take away so cleanly that George himself would hardly notice-you might as well call all the men in this book George. 19 If the end of war is to make the world safe for conjugality, the spectacularly broken marriage of the Prince Regent and Princess Caroline rendered that fiction palpably empty, and the opportunity to engraft the image of the royal conjugal mess on the happy nuptials of Emma Woodhouse and George Knightley was clearly too good to resist. As George Knightley himself rules about Mr. Weston's joke on Emma's name at Box Hill, "Perfiction should not have come quite so soon" (III.7.404). The formulaic timeliness of the perfection declared in the final sentence of the novel is set up to point to a national time that drums on out of joint. Peace and perfection remain fugitive.

W"ar and the Marriage Settlement Among Austen's books, these topics place Persuasion most urgently at issue. The Anne Elliot-Frederick Wentworth marriage, most often taken to be a celebratory sign of peace, constitutes instead a reinscription of marriage as a new kind of postbellum puzzle. In addition to its stock marriage mix of comically imperfect pairs and more menacing matches, Persuasion invites attention for its unusual degree of apparently epithalamic energy. The Croft marriage in event and the Wentworth marriage in prospect both look very inviting. Unlike the epithalamic fantasy on which Pride and Prejudice borders, however, the epithalamic in Persuasion is refigured to contest the grounds of conventional nuptial celebration. Marriage in Pride and Prejudice invests hugely in the rootedness of conjugality, in the idea that marriage signifies a domiciliary refuge that in its fantasy forms, such as Pemberley, would refuse mutability. Marriage in Persuasion, on the other hand, is always on the move; the Crofts are never long in any one place, and the Wentworths seem bound for a sea that Coleridge in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" divorces from marriage. What Persuasion celebrates, in other words-peripatetic marriage, seafaring marriage-is culturally oxymoronic. In her last finished novel, Austen balks at the elusiveness of modern marriage by figuring a set of elusive marriages.

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In the final paragraphs of Pride and Prejudice, Pemberley exerts relentless centripetal force. As Austen herself otherwise follows form at the end of Sense and Sensibility, a conventional wrap-up for the marriage plot is to tick off the leave-taking conjugal status of a novel's entire set of central characters, calibrated on a scale of "happiness." But in the last chapter of Pride and Prejudice, readers encounter instead a topographical exit survey of everyone-and it is pretty much everyone-who is drawn to the Darcy domicile. Mr. Bennet "delighted in going to Pemberley, especially when he was least expected" (IILI9.427); Kitty Bennet visits extensively, "to her very material advantage" (II1.19.427); Lydia Wickham is allowed to come, when Wickham is elsewhere; Miss Bingley gets over her "mortification" because "she thought it advisable to retain the right of visiting at Pemberley" (111.19.430); Georgiana Darcy now lives there; Lady Catherine gets over her "indignation" and "condescended to wait on them at Pemberley, in spite of that pollution which its woods had received" (IILI9.430); and the Gardiners, with whom "they were always on the most intimate terms" (III.19.431), import to Pemberley that pollution from the city. Whereas Donwell Abbey goes unmentioned in the last chapter of Emma, replaced by the comic compromise of Hartfield, Pemberley is the nuptial rock upon which all repose-and upon which everything consequently rests. Even short of the hyperbole with which Pemberley anchors the close of Pride and Prejudice, the other novels name with care conjugal settlements: Barton and Delaford, Mansfield, Hartfield, Woodston. Such faithful narrative housekeeping renders the more remarkable the choice not to specify in any way the nature of the "settled life" into which the last paragraphs of Persuasion dismiss Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth. 40 To read Persuasion as supplying Austen's epithalamic period to a quarter century of war is to ignore the fact that the celebrated nuptial space-the thalamos, the bridal chamber-is nowhere to be found. The stability of the conjugal pair at Pemberley is shaped in pointed contrast to the (un)exemplary military couple in Pride and Prejudice, the Wickhams, who in the final paragraphs scamper around outside the circle drawn about the center that is the Darcy manor: "Their manner of living, even when the restoration of peace dismissed them to a home, was unsettled in the extreme. They were always moving from place to place" (II1.19.429; emphasis added). That last sentence is an exact description of Admiral and Mrs. Croft in Persuasion. The model for the Elliot-Wentworth marriage is the Croft marriage, a marriage that has been spent in no fixed peacetime

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spot but on the wartime move: "'What a great traveller you must have been, ma'am!' said Mrs. Musgrove to Mrs. Croft. 'Pretty well, ma'am, in the fifteen years of my marriage; though many women have done more. I have crossed the Atlantic four times, and have been once to the East Indies, and back again; and only once, besides being in different places about home-Cork, and Lisbon, and Gibraltar"' (!.8.76). "Home" in Sophia Croft's definition is any port in a storm, which effectively scatters the myth of the domiciliary refuge. Even when the Crofts rent a nominally peacetime port, they cannot rest at Kellynch Hall and soon hit the road, first launching out to see Mrs. Croft's parson brother in Shropshire and then landing in Bath for the last half of the novel, a roaming style that simply continues their wartime habits. But whereas the rootlessness of Lydia Wickham and Lieutenant Wickham is clearly pejorative, the mobility of Sophia Croft and Admiral Croft seems admirable. What explains the shift, the apparent double standard? A prevailing understanding is that the Croft and Wentworth marriages refigure in a postwar mode of emergent bourgeois professionalism the residual landed virtues of Pemberley. 41 Marriage and virtue, once fixed, are now free to wander. But I want to suggest that Austen shapes Persuasion to contest epithalamic formulae on several fronts. The fugitive Wentworth nuptial nest not only turns the book's back on older forms of conjugal celebration, but the succeeding forms of mobile marriage are themselves unsettled by figure, diction, and syntax, as I argue in Chapter 2. Louisa Musgrove not only likes the Croft marriage but likes it several degrees too much; Sophia Croft not only walks to do the Admiral good but walks for her life, whatever that signifies; Admiral Croft not only likes pictures but likes them so much that they arrest the very motion that defines him as he halts day after day to try to figure out how representational forms get it wrong, not right. To substitute mobility for fixity as the foundation of marriage is to continue to insist upon a fixed conjugal foundation. To understand the Wentworth marriage as a postwar Pemberley-to-go is to continue to credit the centripetal force of the marriage refuge. In its elaborate counterpoint of motion and stasis, Persuasion instead works toward a style of marriage writing that inclines marriage toward remarriage, attachment toward reattachment, over and over, day after day, sentence after sentence, novel after novel. It unsettles the marriage settlement. A pair of moments in Northanger Abbey and Sanditon will help illustrate the courtship dance throughout Austen's fiction with the settled nuptial spot. Persuasion was published late in 1817 in a four-volume set with Northanger

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Abbey, a much earlier text, where the fantasy of the marital home as fixed domiciliary refuge is on prominent display just on the edge of parody. Late in the novel, Catherine Morland visits what all signs suggest will be her new matrimonial home, the Woodston parsonage where Henry Tilney is already installed. Master of hyperbole, Catherine judges the sitting room to be "the most comfortable room in the world" on her way to the drawing room, which is "the prettiest room in the world" (II.IL219-20). But the house itself, where the party moves from interior to interior, is not the ultimate retreat. From the drawing-room windows, Catherine catches sight of the refuge within the refuge: "Oh! what a sweet little cottage there is among the trees-apple trees too! It is the prettiest cottage!" (II.n.22o). Catherine Morland's vision of the nuptial cottage as a bower of bliss operates in vivid contrast to the rootlessness of the Croft marriage and the elusive home of the Wentworth marriage in Persuasion. In Sanditon, the final fragment dose on the heels of Persuasion, Mr. Parker introduces Charlotte Heywood to Sanditon old and Sanditon new. As they draw near to the coast, Mr. Parker points out the landmarks. In his promotional enthusiasm, Mr. Parker has left behind the old family conjugal home-sheltered, fixed-and has moved his marriage spot over the hill to the beach, with a new postwar dwelling that commands a prospect of new resort riches and the sea: "One other Hill brings us to Sanditon-modern Sanditon-a beautiful Spot.-Our Ancestors, you know, always built in a hole.-Here were we, pent down in this little contracted Nook, without Air or View, only one mile and three quarters from the noblest expanse of Ocean between the South foreland and the Land's end, and without the smallest advantage from it. You will not think I have made a bad exchange, when we reach Trafalgar House-which by the bye, I almost wish I had not named Trafalgar-for Waterloo is more the thing now. However, Waterloo is in reserve-and if we have encouragement enough this year for a little Crescent to be ventured on-(as I trust we shall) then, we shall be able to call it Waterloo Crescentand the name joined to the form of the Building, which always takes, will give us the command of Lodgers-. In a good Season we should have more applications than we could attend to."-"It was always a very comfortable House"-said Mrs. Parker, looking at it through the back window with something like the fondness of regret. (4.156) Instead of sponsoring honorifically a new openness and freedom of postwar marriage, Waterloo is instead a real estate development joke. Whereas Mr. Parker unfailingly boosts the new, Mrs. Parker is strung out between

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nostalgia for a sheltered stability (which may have been more elusive than she recalls) and the uncertain benefits of her modern marriage habitation, Trafalgar House, "on the most elevated spot on the Down." At Trafalgar House, postwar marriage is even bigamous, at least figuratively: "Sanditon was a second Wife and four Children to [Mr. Parker]-hardly less dearand certainly more engrossing" (2.148). In tune with the "proper air of confusion" (!.5.43) that the modern young Musgrove girls are introducing to the Great House in Uppercross in Persuasion, Mr. Parker, husband and tycoon, is a Romantic ironist of the old school. Persuasion and its surrounding texts resist the inscription of marriage as the sign and seal of peace. Just as the tribulations of Jane Fairfax and Emma Woodhouse are war by another name, the penultimate sentence of Persuasion, as it sketches Anne Elliot's future, reminds readers that war is never over and done with: "the dread of a future war [was] all that could dim her sunshine" (II.12.275). As Wordsworth puts this state of affairs in the first draft of"Dion," "Peace, even Peace herself, is fugitive." So too marriage, and the writing that would take its measure.

POSTSCRIPT:

BOX HILL,

FORTIFIED

Day-trippers to Box Hill in recent years will have discovered that it is now topped by an abandoned fort, most of which is inhabited by bats, but a few outbuildings of which serve the latest occupying force, the National Trust, as a tea room and garden shop, flogging Austen doodads. Built in 1899, the fort was one of thirteen London Mobilisation Centres designed to support a line of fieldworks south of the metropolis in a London Defence Scheme begun in 1889 and finished in I903. Late-Victorian invasion anxiety capped a century of debate jump-started by the invasion scare of I803, at the collapse of the Peace of Amiens. Pitt in parliamentary debate in 1803 pushed just such a scheme as the Box Hill fortifications: "If by erection of earthworks such as I am recommending, you can delay the progress of the enemy for three days it may make the difference between the safety and the destruction of the Capital," an idea that Wellington endorsed post-Waterloo, when asked how best to defend London: "An army in the field, aided by all the means of fortification which experience in war, and science can suggest." 42 High ground south of London, such as Box Hill, is a locus of domestic military strategy throughout the century; it is the site, real and imagined,

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of military contest. The celebration of things English in Emma is anchored in prospective views, as offered by the grounds of Donwell Abbey the day before the excursion to Box Hill: "It was a sweet view-sweet to the eye and the mind. English verdure, English culture, English comfort, seen under a sun bright, without being oppressive" (lll.6.391). The next day such a view is topped off by the "fine prospects" at Box Hill, which even the disgruntled party greet with "a burst of admiration" (lll.7.399), those "beautiful views beneath her" that Emma at last forlornly wishes she could attend to, peacelike, in a state of "tranquil observation" that has been demolished by the skirmishes of the day (II1.7.407). High ground like Box Hill not only surveys the dear-bought native land to defend but affords the earliest possible view of the approaching enemy-late in the century, Germany, and in the time of Emma, France. And war is always, already, about marriage. The invasion scare of 1803 did not immediately plunk a fort on top of Box Hill, but it did produce an antecedent set of famous Romantic-period fortifications, the 103 Martello Towers built on the south coast between 1805 and 1812. Before the towers could be built, the Admiralty threw up an ad hoc set of coastal defenses and delivered orders to Austen's favorite sailor brother, Captain Frank Austen, to return to duty in May 1803. 43 While holding off the French at Ramsgate in 1803, Captain Austen met among his charges the daughter of a local shopkeeper, Mary Gibson, whom he would marry in 1806, after collecting prize money for later action in the West Indies. As his career later flourished, Admiral Sir Francis Austen's happy naval marriage stands in pointed contrast to an earlier pre-Ramsgate moment in his military career, when, in the early spring of 1795, as Lieutenant Frank Austen, he served on the HMS Lark in the British fleet that escorted Princess Caroline across the war-threatened and storm-tossed North Sea from Brunswick to a landing at Gravesend and her disastrous royal marriage six weeks later. Lord Malmesbury left this account of the first encounter at Carlton House between Caroline Amelia Elizabeth and Frederick George Augustus: "She very properly, in consequence of my saying to her it was the right mode of proceeding, attempted to kneel to him. He raised her (gracefully enough), and embraced her, said barely one word, turned round, retired to a distant part of the apartment, and calling me to him, said, 'Harris, I am not well; pray get me a glass ofbrandy."' 44 After an absence of eight years in service in India, when Arthur Wellesley was reintroduced to Kitty Pakenham in 1806, the story goes that he turned round and whispered to his brother

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Gerald, the clergyman who was to marry them two days later, "She has grown ugly, by Jove!" 45 To these gossipy bad moments in Romantic marriage, I add one last shadowy scene from the other side of the ledger. On the morning of December 3, 1802, Jane Austen, after saying Yes the night before to a proposal of marriage from Harris Bigg-Wither, turned round, said No, and fled the Bigg-Wither estate in distress. 46 Five months later, the Peace of Amiens, that pause in the war during which Wordsworth married, came to an end. It would be another dozen years until the end of war.

FOUR

Marriage and Siblings

In 1782, Mary Hutchinson, then twelve, lived for a year with her Hutchinson grandparents in their home village of Bishopton in County Durham, where her grandmother nourished a brewery in the old extended family home. Writing about these events seventy years later, Mary Wordsworth foregrounds a wedding day, a nuptial occasion marked not by union but by disruption and displacement, as in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." While all the other family members were elsewhere in the village at the wedding ceremonies of a great-uncle, Mary and her grandmother scurried to pack up and vacate the premises before the wedded couple-the new master and mistress-returned to claim their spousal home, exclusively. At once centripetal and centrifugal, marriage doubles up homecoming and diaspora. 1 The most famous tale of this kind from the Wordsworth circle is Mary Hutchinson's own wedding day on October 4, 1802, when Dorothy Wordsworth's journal stages the marriage of William and Mary as a necessary divorce between William and Dorothy, which in turn looks remarkably like a sibling wedding: "William had parted from me up stairs. I

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gave him the wedding ring-with how deep a blessing! I took it from my forefinger where I had worn it the whole of the night before-he slipped it again onto my finger and blessed me fervently." 2 Heavily overscored in manuscript, this hyperventilated scene between one pair of siblings has itself overscored a duplicate nuptial separation that occurs in Dorothy's journal several sentences later, the leave-taking of Mary Hutchinson from her large family of siblings at Sockbridge: "As soon as we had breakfasted we departed. It rained when we set off. Poor Mary was much agitated when she parted from her Brothers & Sisters & her home." On two family fronts, Hutchinson and Wordsworth, the vexed simultaneity of sibling intimacy and sibling separation defines this touchstone performance of Romantic marriage. 3 Like Mary Hutchinson, Jane Austen and William Wordsworth shared lives shaped by large sets of siblings, and especially by sisters. These lodestar relationships with Cassandra Austen and Dorothy Wordsworth urge sibling intimacy as a lens to focus the unsettling effects of the marriage settlement. Marriage culture stakes out the pair as the defining ground of identity and freedom in competition with two primary alternatives, single life and tribal life. But it also vies with two other foundational forms of the pair: sibling intimacy, which I take up in this chapter, and friendship, which I take up in the next. This pressure of the conjugal against sibling attachment is legible in telling ways in the forms of Austen's and Wordsworth's texts, which set themselves against that heft in various forms of indifference. The Austen section of this chapter takes its departure from the erasure of William Price, Fanny's brother, in the 1999 Patricia Rozema film of Mansfield Park. Two passages in Austen's fiction are most conspicuously self-reflexive about the contest between conjugality and sibling intimacy: a long paragraph about William and Fanny in Mansfield Park and the closing sentences of Sense and Sensibility, where Austen's indifferent style works paradigmatically. The Price siblings fantasize about a lifetime together in a cottage, a domestic space that the culture codes as the new scene of conjugal intimacy and that Austen uses in complexly parodic ways throughout her fiction. The lexical fields surrounding the cottage and its associated sinkings show Romantic culture transferring formerly blunt economic signifiers to registers of affective fantasy: the hardscrabble life of the laborer's cot to which the unprosperous or the vicious sink becomes during Romanticism the scene of a nuptial disappearance devoutly to be wished. In the arc of Austen's publishing span, the new Romantic form of

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affective sinking shifts from an inaugural moment of sibling intimacy in Sense and Sensibility to a closing moment of spousal pairing in Persuasion. I argue that this distance is an effect of a rhetoric of indifference that simultaneously represents and resists the narrowing of the promise of human freedom to the conjugal. The Wordsworth section of this chapter launches a three-part engage." In this chapter dement with the blank verse lyric of 1819, "To voted to sibling pairs, I take up Wordsworth's post-Waterloo texts addressed to Dorothy Wordsworth, two poems in the 1820 "third volume" known (if at all) as the "Lycoris" set. 4 The weight of marriage culture registers in the complex textual history and densely pseudonymous rhetoric of the "Lycoris" poems, which I locate in the larger context of mutagenic events in Wordsworth's poetry generally. These are textual moments when draft verses like stem-cell matter divide and differentiate into separate poems devoted to separate ends, such as the sibling text of 1817 "To the Same" (the second of the "Lycoris" pieces) and the spousal text of 1819, "To ."As deployed by Wordsworth, the name "Lycoris" is a triple pseudonym grounded in a set of lost texts, and I read this arresting hiddenness as a signature form of the manifest elusiveness that characterizes a rhetoric of indifference.

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Terry Castle gets it right in her 1995 review essay on Austen's letters, which drew splutters of outrage for its arguments about Austen and homosocial desire: "Sororal or pseudo-sororal attachments are arguably the most immediately gratifying human connections in Austen's imaginative universe." 5 As Castle observed in response to the brushfires occasioned by her essay, it would require the dimmest of dim readers to miss the significance of sister pairs in the fiction, especially early on: Marianne and Elinor Dashwood, Jane and Elizabeth Bennet, the "pseudo-sororal" bond that builds between Catherine Morland and Eleanor Tilney. Because these sister ties are central in the early novels, a long-standing puzzle of Austen studies is why they shrink in the later fiction. Emma Woodhouse's sister is a decidedly marginal character, and Persuasion labels the conduct of Anne Elliot's sisters "unsisterly," which crisply dispenses with affective sorority in that book. I want to approach the problem of sorority in the novels by a different sibling route, a brother and sister pair, William Price and Fanny Price

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in Mansfield Park. The very first couple in Austen's published fiction is just such a sibling pair, in the third sentence of Sense and Sensibility: "The late owner of this estate was a single man, who lived to a very advanced age, and who for many years of his life, had a constant companion and housekeeper in his sister" (LI.J). The opening sentence of the next novel also locks in on a single man with a good fortune, but already the place of the sister has been emptied into the want of a wife.

William Price Ships Out As true of most adaptations, films of Austen novels are often most revealing in their omissions. Lady Middleton, for example, whose vocation in Sense and Sensibility is "doing nothing" (ll.14.28o), is scrubbed from the 1995 Emma Thompson screenplay, which at once catches and misses the point of the book. 6 Lady Middleton is unquestionably a "nothing," so there is warrant to delete her, but an audience needs to see her "doing nothing" in order to register that fact and make meaning of it. So, too, the Patricia Rozema film of Mansfield Park erases William Price, just as the book must dispatch him before Fanny can pair off with cousin Edmund: "William was gone, William was gone" is a litany that sets a necessary condition for the book's nuptial close, and the film takes the book (too closely) at its word? But the Rozema film does not erase sibling intimacy when it wipes out William. Far from it: the film relocates the intensity of the Fanny-William pair in another sibling pair, Fanny and her sister Susan. As the screenplay understands, sorority is a more legible form of sibling intimacy in Austen's fiction, the ur-formation of which is the biographical pair, Jane and Cassandra. But in the novel, the surrogate pair for Jane and Cassandra is instead Fanny and William. What the book thereby expresses, and what the film misses, is the troubled understanding that siblings must be shipped out to clear the way for the marriage settlement. As Edmund Bertram discovers early on in Fanny's residence at Mansfield Park, the attachment between Fanny and William is unusually strong: "On pursuing the subject, he found that dear as all these brothers and sisters generally were, there was one among them who ran more in her thoughts than the rest. It was William whom she talked of most and wanted most to see. William, the eldest, a year older than herself, her constant companion and friend" (l.2.1y). When as a young adult William the sailor spends a fortnight on leave at Mansfield Park, Fanny achieves a state of perfect hap-

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piness, but on the near side of marriage. The novel devotes a long passage to an analysis of this bliss: Fanny had never known so much felicity in her life, as in this unchecked, equal, fearless intercourse with the brother and friend, who was opening all his heart to her, telling her all his hopes and fears .... An advantage this, a strengthener of love, in which even the conjugal tie is beneath the fraternal. Children of the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply; and it must be by a long and unnatural estrangement, by a divorce which no subsequent connection can justify, if such precious remains of the earliest attachments are ever entirely outlived. Too often, alas! it is so.-Fraternallove, sometimes almost every thing, is at others worse than nothing. But with William and Fanny Price, it was still a sentiment in all its prime and freshness, wounded by no opposition of interest, cooled by no separate attachment, and feeling the influence of time and absence only in its increase. (II.6.273-74) This passage stands out in Austen for a number of reasons. Chief among these is its diction, by which it expresses an extraordinary degree of theoretical self-reflexiveness about what it styles the "conjugal" and the "fraternal." The word conjugal is rare in Austen (there is no "conjugality"); it is entirely absent from several novels (Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion), and in Pride and Prejudice it appears only in the opening of the chapter in which Elizabeth Bennet ponders the failure of her parents' marriage (11.19.262). Similarly, the word fraternal is rare in Austen, nor is there any instance of sororal or sorority (neither of which appears in Johnson's Dictionary).8 When the exotic terms "conjugal" and "fraternal" are thus yoked in contest in a single sentence, the fiction brings to a remarkably focused theoretical point an opposition that everywhere conditions it. In the paragraph as a whole, identity is repeatedly relational, a matter of "connections," "ties," "attachments," "divorces," "estrangements." The paragraph gestures toward a normative developmental pattern in which sibling and spousal attachments are instrumentally sequential: early sibling relationships supply the tutorial template for later spousal pairing. But the odd emptiness of the marriage euphemism "subsequent connection" undermines the easy resolution promised by normative sequence-this dull phrase (which occurs nowhere else in Austen) is even repeated for ironic emphasis in the same sentence. The contest between the names "brother" and "subsequent connection" is, linguistically, no contest. The "fraternal"

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and the "conjugal," sibling pairs and spousal pairs, resist the coordinating grammar of sequence and insist upon the kind of subordination reported here, in which one "tie" must be located "beneath" the other. This counterlogic of subordination issues in a narrative grammar for the book as a whole in which the sibling pair must be end-stopped before spousal sentences can be generated. Before turning to the language with which William Price is dispatched, it is useful to glance at a more prominent passage in the fiction where siblings and spouses are yoked uneasily together, the concluding words of Sense and Sensibility. Here is the tricky confluence of sibling and conjugal currents navigated by the Dashwood sisters in the final sentence of that novel: "Between Barton and Delaford, there was that constant communication which strong family affection would naturally dictate;-and among the merits and the happiness of Elinor and Marianne, let it not be ranked as the least considerable, that though sisters, and living almost within sight of each other, they could live without disagreement between themselves, or producing coolness between their husbands" (III.I4·431). This textbook example of an Austen litotes models how that favored trope underwrites a rhetoric of indifference. Dodging expectation by the uncertainty whether the announced "happiness" conventionally resolving the marriage plot is here grounded in conjugality or sorority, the sentence doubles up rhetorical and conceptual litotes: fast on the heels of the governing grammatical understatement-"let it not be ranked as the least considerable"-the language directs the departing reader to puzzle through the obligatory epithalamic proclamation of happiness in terms of the absence of qualities that belong to the anticonjugal brief, "disagreement" and "coolness." To call a marriage "not unhappy" is a simple template of indifference, sidestepping-not mediating-both the epithalamic "happy" and the anticonjugal "unhappy." Austen's novels perform this trope writ large as they stage fundamentally ironic contests with compulsory conjugality. In terms of the interests of this chapter, I want to stress that this rhetorical template is grounded in the contest between spouses and siblings. In Sense and Sensibility, siblings and spouses coexist oppositionally in the backward structure of a litotes. In Mansfield Park, the sibling has to be shipped out. Twice William Price is written out of the book. The language of the two departure scenes is worth quoting at length in order to see how in both passages Austen uses as a refrain the subdued but nevertheless executionary phrase "William was gone" to signify the finality of the severed

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sibling connection, the phrases in the first scene preparing the way for the ultimate leave-taking of the second. The first passage occurs at the end ofWilliam's visit to Mansfield Park, on the morning after the ball in Volume II: The ball was over and the breakfast was soon over too; the last kiss was given, and William was gone. Mr. Crawford had, as he foretold, been very punctual, and short and pleasant had been the meal. After seeing William to the last moment, Fanny walked back into the breakfast-room with a very saddened heart to grieve over the melancholy change; and there her uncle kindly left her to cry in peace, conceiving perhaps that the desired chair of each young man might exercise her tender enthusiasm, and that the remaining cold pork bones and mustard in William's plate, might but divide her feelings with the broken egg-shells in Mr. Crawford's. She sat and cried con amore as her uncle intended, but it was con amore fraternal and no other. William was gone, and she now felt as if she had wasted half his visit in idle cares and selfish solicitudes unconnected with him. (Il.I1.327; emphasis added) The absurdity lurking just below the surface of staged contests between siblings and spouses registers here in a wonderland face-off worthy of Alice between cold pork bones and broken eggshells. Sir Thomas's faith in a normative "division" of affection, a coordinate grammar, is undermined by its fantastic objects: food scraps and empty chairs. There will be no equal division: the "fraternal and no other" is the nominal victor, but it is a literally empty triumph. William was gone. He is the ontological equivalent of a gnawed bone or an unoccupied piece of furniture. The book requires William to suffer a second exit. He joins Fanny for her journey home to Portsmouth in Volume Ill, where they hope she can visit his ship at leisure and learn more firsthand about his life at sea: Before the week ended, it was all disappointment. In the first place, William was gone. The Thrush had had her orders, the wind had changed, and he was sailed within four days from their reaching Portsmouth; and during those days, she had seen him twice, in a short and hurried way, when he had come ashore on duty. There had been no free conversation, no walk on the ramparts, no visit to the dock-yard, no acquaintance with the Thrushnothing of all that they had planned and depended on. Every thing in that quarter failed her, except William's affection. His last thought on leaving home was for her. He stepped back again to the door to say, "Take care of Fanny, mother. She is tender, and not used to rough it like the rest of us. I charge you, take care of Fanny."

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William was gone;-and the home he had left her in was-Fanny could not conceal it from herself-in almost every respect, the very reverse of what she could have wished. (III.8.449-50; emphasis added) William is now gone from the book for good, and the way is dear for Fanny to pair off as spouse. But at a price: Austen's repeated casting of the sentence with the predicate adjective ("William was gone") instead of the syntactically equivalent pluperfect ("William had gone") enforces semantically William's transformation from active presence to absent object. No motion has he now, no force. What only remains to be determined is the nature of "the home he had left her in." For Fanny, that future now takes the form of the question of the spousal home, which Austen often brings to a point in the emergent figure of the cottage.

Love in a Hut Mansfield Park frames the question of home for Fanny as the choice between Mansfield and Portsmouth: "When she had been coming to Portsmouth, she had loved to call it her home, had been fond of saying that she was going home; the word had been very dear to her; and so it still was, but it must be applied to Mansfield. That was now the home. Portsmouth was Portsmouth; Mansfield was home" (1Il.I4.499). But this conspicuous opposition between the natal home and what will become at the end of the book the spousal home glosses over a third option, the sibling home. The language the book uses to present this sibling place identifies it figurally with the spousal home. On their journey together to Portsmouth, William and Fanny imagine a future together: Of pleasant talk between the brother and sister, there was no end. Every thing supplied an amusement to the high glee ofWilliam's mind, and he was full of frolic and joke, in the intervals of their higher-toned subjects, all of which ended, if they did not begin, in praise of the Thrush, conjectures how she would be employed, schemes for an action with some superior force, which (supposing the first lieutenant out of the way-and William was not very merciful to the first lieutenant) was to give himself the next step as soon as possible, or speculations upon prize money, which was to be generously distributed at home, with only the reservation of enough to make the little cottage comfortable, in which he and Fanny were to pass all their middle and latter life together. (III. 7·433)

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Like the cold pork bones and broken eggshells that express the (absurd) division of Fanny's affective life, Austen's style here again risks parody, similar to the ways in which Wordsworth's poetry risks bathos. 9 The image of the "little cottage" as the lifelong retreat for the sibling pair is simultaneously a palpable fantasy and an entirely serious (but impossible) option, as the book makes clear in its necessary dispatch of William. Underscoring this doubleness, the passage divides William's topics into two sets, "frolic and joke" and "higher-toned subjects." To which does the idea of the "little cottage" belong-if not both? As Emma Woodhouse might put it, the ridiculous and the good are most fortunately blended in the nodal nuptial figure of the cottage. During Austen's lifetime, the figure of the cottage shifted from an exclusively economic signifier to a complex mix of the economic and the affective. A cottage is historically, as in Johnson's definition, a "mean habitation," the dwelling of a laborer. 10 But by the middle of the nineteenth century, it had become the fashionable equivalent of domiciliary denim. The emergent allure of the cottage is generated not only by the surplus wealth of early industrial capitalism looking for a place to hang its leisure hat but also, crucially, by conjugality on the imperial move. The cottage beckons with a local habitation (to which sweet names can be attached) to the newly self-sufficient conjugal pair on the hunt for their bower of bliss. Austen performs two maneuvers with the figure of the cottage. Several books employ a primarily economic register, either the oldest sediment of the laborer's hut (as in Emma) or the economic layering of the estate of the landed gentry, whereby economically dependent subordinates cluster in cottages proximate to the mansion house (as in Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion). But the cottage also appears in its new affective register, where Austen employs the figure sometimes with simple parodic effect or sometimes in more complex forms that risk parody, as in the case at point in Mansfield Park. The exceptional absence of the figure in any form from Pride and Prejudice indicates how in that book the fantasy of the conjugal refuge has been vested in the material and affective prize that is Pemberley, a nuptial reward that beggars the belief of the two oldest Bennet sisters when they are alone together in a scene of sibling intimacy. In Emma, the narrative preserves the oldest class-based inscription of the cottage as the site of economic abjection when Emma Woodhouse makes her philanthropic rounds through Highbury: "In the present instance, it

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was sickness and poverty together which she came to visit; and after remaining there as long as she could give comfort or advice, she quitted the cottage ... stopping to look once more at all the outward wretchedness of the place, and recall the still greater within" (I.10.93). This kind of slumming is an unusual image in Austen, however; far more typical is the image of the cottage as a marker of economic subordination within the much more narrowly circumscribed social segment of the landed estate, such as Mrs. Norris's dependent residence at Mansfield and the installation of the Dashwood women at Barton Cottage in Sense and Sensibility. Austen's most detailed attention to this structure is the passage describing the village of Uppercross and the two dwellings of the Musgrove family in Persuasion: Uppercross was a moderate-sized village, which a few years back had been completely in the old English style, containing only two houses superior in appearance to those of the yeoman and labourers; the mansion of the squire, with its high walls, great gates, and old trees, substantial and unmodernized, and the compact, tight parsonage, enclosed in its own neat garden, with a vine and a pear-tree trained round its casements; but upon the marriage of the young 'squire, it had received the improvement of a farm-house elevated into a cottage, for his residence, and Uppercross Cottage, with its veranda, French windows, and other prettiness, was quite as likely to catch the traveller's eye as the more consistent and considerable aspect and premises of the Great House, about a quarter of a mile farther on. (!.5-38-39) The key feature to remark of this passage is that it is marriage that occasions "the improvement of a farm-house elevated into a cottage.'' Genteel culture nurses a normative instinct to link the familial transformations of conjugality to the rearrangement of the cottaged estate. Against that grain, Austen sets in motion other material in other novels. One of the expressively negative forms of the narrative setup of Sense and Sensibility is that it is a death, not a marriage, that lands the Dashwood women in Barton Cottage. Similarly, it is the death of Mr. Norris early in Mansfield Park that occasions Mrs. Norris's removal from the parsonage at Mansfield to a dependent cottage where "she could do very well without him" (l.3.26). So much for love in a hut. Pride and Prejudice is, remarkably, the one Austen novel in which the word cottage does not appear. This silence suggests that the book is unwilling to render explicit the audacity of its fantasy: Pemberley is the new conjugal cottage. This unexpressed idea jostles the belief of the book's own characters, a scene of skeptical opposition that Austen fixes in a scene of

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sibling intimacy. There is, discursively, no easy room for Pemberley in the sororal space shared by Jane and Elizabeth Bennet. At night she opened her heart to Jane. Though suspicion was very far from Miss Bennet's general habits, she was absolutely incredulous here. "You are joking, Lizzy. This cannot bel-engaged to Mr. Darcy! No, no, you shall not deceive me. I know it to be impossible." "This is a wretched beginning indeed! My sole dependence was on you; and I am sure nobody else will believe me, if you do not. Yes, indeed, I am in earnest. I speak nothing but the truth." ... "My dearest sister, now be serious. I want to talk very seriously. Let me know every thing that I am to know, without delay. Will you tell me how long you have loved him?" "It has been coming on so gradually, that I hardly know when it began. But I believe I must date it from my first seeing his beautiful grounds at Pemberley." Another intreaty that she would be serious, however, produced the desired effect[.] ... All was acknowledged, and half the night spent in conversation. (III.I7-4IJ-I5) The pressure of the conjugal on sibling intimacy issues in this scene in the unstable toggling between the ludic and the "serious," recalling the antic mixture of "frolic" and the "high-toned" in William Price's carriage talk with his sister. One of the deep ironies of Pride and Prejudice is that, according to an emergent language of conjugal affect, Pemberley represents a form of life that, like a cottage, Elizabeth Bennet must not rise to (as Lady Catherine would obstinately not have it), but sink to.

The Art ofSinking The most famous scenes of sibling intimacy in Austen appear in the first published novel, Sense and Sensibility. In Eve Sedgwick's large claims, the representation of the relationship between Elinor and Marianne Dashwood generates the illusion of interiority itself for the project of prose fiction. 11 To round off the Austen section of this chapter, I turn to the language of the most intense of these scenes, Marianne's near-fatal fever. A touchstone of affect in this early sibling scene, "to sink" functions in the last novel, Persuasion, as a touchstone of affect in spousal pairing. Formerly abject, sinking gears up its oxymoronic climb to modern elation during Romanticism. Slipping free of its root associations with the sewer and vice, to sink is now, upon occasion, to soar, and it will not be long before Joyce's Stephen Dedalus will court ecstasy out in the sink with whiffs of horse piss and rotted straw. Evidence of this shift collects around the fiction

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of Ann Radcliffe. A remarkable number of first citations of non pejorative or honorific senses of"to sink"-to sink into deep thought, to sink into reverie, to sink into repose-are attributed in the OED to The Mysteries of Udolpho in 1794. 12 Yearsley's 1787 plea to Indifference to flee with her to "this low cottage" is couched in these very terms: "here down I'll sink I With thee upon my couch of homely rush." 13 As a laboring-class writer, Yearsley always risked sinking back below the cultural radar, no more so than when her diction reminded readers of her homely, low-lying origins in the precincts of cottages and their guttering sinks. Yearsley's "sink" risks not only class but gender stigma, a sign of fatigue coded as stereotypical female weakness. But the interesting feature of Yearsley's usage is that it skirts both these fetters as it aims at the emergent sense of sink as Romantic withdrawal, as sublime negation. The way is being cleared for Keats (for whom such diction is similarly risky) three decades later to stand alone on the brink of the wide world and think "Till love and fame to nothingness do sink." 14 In Austen, forms of sink almost always signify in long-established social, ethical, and affective registers. But there are two moments in Austen that work the new Radcliffean vein of sink: the sibling scene of Marianne Dashwood's near-fatal fever in Sense and Sensibility and the spousal scene of Wentworth's torch-song letter to Anne Elliot in Persuasion. The distance between the two is a primary measure of the postwar weight of the conjugal. On the occasion of her illness in the last volume of Sense and Sensibility, Marianne Dashwood is again and again described in the stillness of sleep, which is an atypical condition in Austen. The narrative twice directs readers to witness Marianne sinking into the stasis of a sleep that both mimics and defeats death. In the first instance, Elinor Dashwood tends to her sister: "carefully administering the cordials prescribed, [she] saw her with satisfaction sink at last into a slumber, from which she expected the most beneficial effects" (III.7.350). Several pages later, after the last crisis of that strong disease, Elinor "saw Marianne at six o'clock sink into a quiet, steady, and to all appearance comfortable, sleep" (111.7-356). The signifying force of these several sinkings then comes to a focus in Elinor's reaction: Elinor could not be cheerful. Her joy was a different kind, and led to anything rather than to gaiety. Marianne restored to life, health, friends, and to her doating mother, was an idea to fill her heart with sensations of exquisite comfort, and expand it in fervent gratitude;-but it led to no outward demonstrations of joy, no words, no smiles. All within Elinor's breast was satisfaction, silent and strong. (III.7.356)

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The "satisfaction" that Elinor achieves in sibling form is a surrogate form of marriage ("silent and strong"), and an endangered one at that. The long narrative of Marianne's illness confesses the specter of the spousal in its preoccupation with an unusual language of "sleep," "slumber," "repose," and "sinking," which is a field of signifiers that points inexorably at the promise of rest and stasis that marriage culture on the imperial move claims exclusively for spousal pairing. But at a cost, one sign of which is the progressive diminishment of sibling pairs in the course of Austen's fiction. So much so that the last novel, Persuasion, is, in a word, unsisterly. It is Austen's word, which she uses only this once in all the fiction, to supply a cold caption to an introductory snapshot of Anne Elliot's two sisters: "Mary was not so repulsive and unsisterly as Elizabeth" (I.6.46)Y In Persuasion, unsisterliness moves front and center as a constitutive trope of the narrative. Concomitantly, affective sinking is in this last novel tagged to the spousal instead of the sibling pair. The revised ending of Persuasion shows significant changes in the weight of stasis in the Anne Elliot-Frederick Wentworth narrative. In the original ending, the two finally pair off in private conversation, face-to-face. They are alone together in a Bath sitting room, but it is a jumpy scene. Anne is seated, while Wentworth paces the room, walking and talking before finally sitting down to cut the deal: "It was a silent, but a very powerful Dialogue;-on his side, Supplication, on her's acceptance.... They were re-united.''l6 In the revised and published version, the two must instead negotiate a busy room filled with siblings and friends, which heightens the contrast of the two pulling apart and withdrawing together. Anne goes to one corner with Captain Harville and winds up in the famous conversation about men, women, and history writing. Across a crowded room, Wentworth writes his sizzling letter ("You pierce my soul") and departs, and Anne in suspense takes up the warm document. The language of the revised narrative hones in on the spousal fix about to be locked in by the letter's contents: "Sinking into the chair which he had occupied, succeeding to the very spot where he had leaned and written, her eyes devoured the following words" (III.II.257). In this remarkable attention to the spatiality of the scene, the terms "sink" and "spot" organize the experience. Anne has arrived (alone) in the bower of bliss, the sublime retreat into coupledom. There is a whiff of parody even here: Anne fixed in the chair just exited by Wentworth is only a degree or two removed from Fanny Price fixated on empty chairs, pork bones, and eggshells. In the letter, Wentworth tells

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Anne how he is even at the moment of writing listening to her across the room: "You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice, when they would be lost on others" (II.I1.258). Audible only to one another (which means intelligible only to one another), their shared language is poised to disappear, to sink into the private significations of the marriage spot. These moments of sinking in Persuasion, now devoted fully to conjugality, stand at an indifferent remove from the sinkings of Sense and Sensibility, where they are markers of sibling intimacy. In their second attachment, what the book refers to as their "re-union" (II.II.26I), Anne and Wentworth are "heedless of every group around them." The book then supplies a remarkably detailed catalogue of those excluded groups: "seeing neither sauntering politicians, bustling housekeepers, flirting girls, nor nursery-maids and children" (II.I1.261-62). The 1995 Roger Michell film of the novel stages this moment to fine effect, the carnival of a Bath street scene yielding to the solitary couple on an emptied thoroughfare. 17 This closing emphasis on tribal exclusions should not obscure the fact that the conjugal pair over the course of all the novels becomes especially heedless of siblings, regardless of their proximity. There is a breach forced by marriage. In Persuasion, the most proximate rival pairing at the end of the novel is not with a sibling but with a friend, a form of the couple I turn to in the next chapter.

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In Mansfield Park, Fanny Price maintains a refuge in the mansion house, her "nest of comforts": The room was most dear to her, and she would not have changed its furniture for the handsomest in the house, though what had been originally plain, had suffered all the ill-usage of children-and its greatest elegancies and ornaments were a faded footstool of Julia's work, too ill done for the drawingroom, three transparencies, made in a rage for transparencies, for the three lower panes of one window, where Tintern Abbey held its station between a cave in Italy, and a moonlight lake in Cumberland; a collection of family profiles thought unworthy of being anywhere else, over the mantlepiece, and by their side and pinned against the wall, a small sketch of a ship sent four years ago from the Mediterranean by William, with H.M.S. Antwerp at the bottom, in letters as tall as the main-mast. (l.I6.178-79)

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A remarkable number of representational practices surround Fanny in her retreat: decorative upholstery, transparencies, profiles, sketches-a world replete with images. At the end of this Mansfield Park description, the topic located at the problematic limits of representation is sibling intimacy, the bond between William and Fanny that issues in the proud and boyish drawing of the ship with "letters as tall as the main-mast." The burden of my argument throughout this chapter is that the weight of conjugal pairing renders sibling ties an especially disrupted representational site. Poised in Fanny Price's window between a cave in Italy and a moonlight lake in Cumberland, Tintern Abbey has long held a central station where Romantic criticism debates the limits of representation. In this Wordsworth section, I relocate the address to the sister in that hypercanonical text in a new and unfamiliar context, the "third volume" book of marriage in 1820. A quick measure of the pressure that marriage culture exerts on sibling intimacy is the rhetorical distance between an address to an intimate styled "my dear, dear Sister" in 1798 and an address to the same sororal intimate now styled "Lycoris" in 1820. In the River Duddon volume in 1820, a stanzaic poem titled "Ode to Lycoris" is followed by a blank verse poem, "To the Same." In this chapter, I focus on the second of this pair. The 1820 published text of "To the Same" emerges from draft material that is intricately interwoven with figures that Wordsworth transfers to a separate blank verse poem in the River Duddon volume, "To ,"which is the centerpiece of my argument in Chapter 6. The signifying force of the key tropes in these 1820 blank verse texts comes into sharpest focus by scrutiny of a tangled mass of manuscript material, some proximate from the years 1817-20 and some stretching back to the Goslar winter of 1798-99 and the shaping of the text that became "Nutting" in the second edition of Lyrical Ballads in 18oo. These manuscript and print materials offer an unusual opportunity to study in precise detail the fissure between representations of sibling intimacy and spousal intimacy, a fault line opened up throughout Romantic culture by marriage on the imperial move.

The Travels of"Travelling" In the spring of 1802, Dorothy Wordsworth and William Wordsworth had been living for two years the cottage life only dreamed of by Fanny Price and William Price, in the old inn known as Dove Cottage in Town End, Grasmere. On May 4, 1802, after morning work on the "Leech-Gatherer,"

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Dorothy and William struck out from Grasmere north toward Keswick, meeting Coleridge midway at Wytheburn. The day ends with verse: "Reached home at about 10 o'clock. The Lloyds had been here in our absence. We went soon to bed. I repeated verses to William while he was in bed-he was soothed & I left him. 'This is the Spot' over & over again." 18 The verses that Dorothy repeats to William are known as "Travelling," from the title given them in a notebook copy prepared at this same time for Sara Hutchinson: This is the spot:-how mildly does the Sun Shine in between these fading leaves! the air In the habitual silence of this wood Is more than silent: and this bed of heath 5 Where shall we find so sweet a resting-place! Come!-let me see thee sink into a dream Of quiet thoughts,-protracted till thine eye Be calm as water, when the winds are gone And no one can tell whither.-My sweet Friend! 10 We two have had such happy hours together That my heart melts in me to think of it. (Butler 307)

Never published by Wordsworth in this form, these verses nevertheless circulated extensively among family and friends in finished form as well as in Dorothy's recitations. This r8o2 text of "Travelling" presents filiations that extend forward and backward in Wordsworth's compositional history. Draft antecedents dwell in the "Nutting" manuscripts in 1799-r8oo, as part of the various drafts of the "introductory" part of that poem that were never published. Then in 1817, after the end of war, Wordsworth began to rework "Travelling" in several manuscript drafts toward a single new poem. But the material splits up in 1820. Figures from the second half of 'Travelling" arrive at published form as part of the blank verse poem "To the Same," which follows the stanzaic "Ode to Lycoris" in the River Duddon volume. But figures from the first half of "Travelling" arrive at published form in a separate text, the blank verse poem "To " in the River Duddon volume, which in Chapter 6 I argue is addressed to Mary Wordsworth. Figure 2 is a map of this tangled textual genealogy, from 1799 to 1820. In this chapter, I am most interested in the final fork at the bottom of the figure, the split of draft material into two different blank verse poems in the r820 "third volume." This fork supplies one of the most detailed places

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"I would not strike a flower" Two-part Prelude draft material, 1799 dearest maiden = OW

Multiple "Nutting" drafts, 1799-r8oo dearest maiden = OW

Published "Nutting," r8oo dearest maid = OW

MS. poem 'Travelling" (by 1802) My ~~•

"""d" DW

MS. r8o5 Prelude Book XI Maid= MHW

~

Multiple "Lycoris" drafts, r8r7-19 dearest friend = OW

j Stanzaic "Ode to Lycoris" ......:----•~ "To the Same" (published r820) (published r82o) dearest friend = OW Lycoris = OW FIGuRE

l MS. C-stage Prelude, 1819 Book XI text revised Maid= MHW

"To--" (r8r9; published r820) Lady = MHW (?)

2. Blank verse texts, "Nutting" to "Lycoris."

in Romantic writing to witness the divorce (literally a fork in the road) between sibling figures and spousal figures, a parallel instance in the Wordsworth archives of the distance traversed in Austen's fiction between the sinkings of the Dashwood sisters in Sense and Sensibility and the picture of Anne Elliot late in Persuasion, in diction resonant of"Travelling": "Sinking into the chair which he had occupied, succeeding to the very spot where he had leaned and written" (II.n.257). To focus the split between sibling and spousal texts in the "third volume," in the next section I track the manuscript history of a central figure, "rest," which extends from the earliest to

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the latest texts, moving from sibling origins to a final spousal setting. In my reading of the 1820 text "To the Same," I turn at the end to the peculiarity of the name "Lycoris" as a late form of sibling address in this long sequence of texts, a striking instance ofWordsworth's poetics of indifference.

Resting and Sinking in the "Nutting" and "Lycoris" Drafts In the winter of 1798-99 in Germany, Wordsworth began work on the blank verse pieces that became the earliest two-book form of The Prelude, including multiple sets of draft verses that surround the text published as "Nutting" in 18oo. One of these manuscript pages concludes with two figures, a "maiden" and "rest," that remain key to the history of these "Nutting" and "Lycoris" materials for the next two decades: "Then dearest maiden on whose lap I rest I My head [ ] do not deem that these I Are idle sympathies."19 This is the earliest proximate figuration of the "dearest Maiden" who is addressed at the end of the published "Nutting" text in 1800 and the "rest" to which the speaker invites a beloved other in "To " in 1820. In the "Nutting" and "Lycoris" drafts and published texts, the person who is addressed is styled variously "maiden," "maid," "friend," "Lucy" (once only, in draft), and "Lycoris." 20 Long-standing critical consensus is that all these names in the sequence point to Dorothy. But with one exception: the "Maid" from one passage in the "Nutting" drafts (Dorothy) who is rewritten in Book XI of The Prelude is in that poem, by consensus, no longer Dorothy but now Mary Hutchinson Wordsworth. (See the first fork on the right-hand side of Figure 2, which is material that I discuss in detail in Chapter 5.) I argue that the same shift occurs again in "To " in 1820. A key sign of that fork is that the figure of "rest" disappears from its central station in the "Lycoris" drafts and migrates to a text that I read as different in kind, "To ." This shift poses an impossible relational calculus, a hard form of the burden of the mystery: for such (sibling) loss, abundant (spousal) recompense? The figure of rest dwells everywhere in the "Nutting" and "Lycoris" verses. It is both inaugural and foundational. It appears as both action ("Come rest," "Rest, here") and as landscape ("Where shall we find so sweet a resting-place?"), diction with prominent parallels elsewhere in Wordsworth's verse, such as the figure of the halted traveler central to Geoffrey Hartman's reading ("Nay, Traveller! rest"). 21 "Rest" in the "Nutting" and "Lycoris" manuscripts is regularly coupled with "sink," in Wordsworth's

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habitual employment of that term in the new Romantic sense of sublime withdrawal. In light of the foundational ubiquity of the figure of rest in these materials, what is most striking in the following history is its disappearance from the ultimate poem in the sibling sequence, the second of the "Lycoris" pair, "To the Same," published in 1820. In the earliest form of the verses that become "Travelling" in 1802 and "To the Same" in 1820, the inaugural figure is the invitation "Come rest." In later stages, Wordsworth greatly expands the spatial figure of the resting place. Here, however, at the outset, what is stressed is instead action (or, more precisely, the arrest of action) and its effect: stasis, a dreamlike calm, the "still" cessation of motion. From the "Nutting" manuscripts: Come rest on this light bed of purple heath And let me see thee sink to a dream Of gentle thoughts till once again thine eye Be like the heart of love and happiness, Yet still as water when the winds are gone And no man can tell whither. (Butler 302) These verses are the first conjunction of the pair of actions to rest and to sink. To rest is to create the conditions to sink, a state of meditative calm that recalls the trancelike "blessed mood" of "aspect more sublime" prompted by the (absent) landscape in "Tintern Abbey": the breath of this corporeal frame, And even the motion of our human blood Almost suspended, we are laid asleep In body, and become a living soul: While with an eye made quiet by the power Of harmony, and the deep power of joy, We see into the life of things. (Butler 117, ll. 44-50) The figure of the "eye made quiet" in "Tintern Abbey" anticipates the "eye I Calm as water when the winds are gone" in "Travelling," with this important difference: the scene of sublime withdrawal in "Tintern Abbey" belongs to the male speaker, pointedly contrasted later in the poem with the "wild eyes" and "wild ecstasies" of the sister. In "Tintern Abbey," the sibling figure is never posed at rest. To the contrary, she is the very figure of restlessly unbounded wandering: "Therefore let the moon I Shine on thee

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in thy solitary walk; I And let the misty mountain winds be free I To blow against thee" (Butler II9-20, ll. 135-38). This gendered tension in "Tintern Abbey" between an interiorized stasis of sublime withdrawal and an externalized sublime boundlessness plays out in the "Nutting" and "Lycoris" materials in a figural tension between shelter and expanse that Wordsworth ratchets up every time he returns to these materials. In a subsequent manuscript copy of the "Nutting" materials, there is a rejected draft revision that takes the passage cited previously several long strides toward the "Travelling" form of these verses. The focus shifts from the act of resting to the place of rest. The revision adds a new "spot" figure that soon functions in Dorothy's journal as the placeholder for the entire set of verses ("This is the spot"). This revision also rewrites the "Come rest" invitation as the spatial figure of "resting-place," replacing the inaugural formula with the medial phrase "Come, let us sink." The action that is thus foregrounded is sinking, which takes "resting" (now missing as verb) well along the way to the goal of sublime negation. The spot in which we are hath other joys For hearts like thine: how mildly does the sun Shine in between the fading leaves! the air In the habitual silence of this wood Is more than silent, and this bed of heath, Where shall we find so sweet a resting-place? Come, let us sink into a dream Of quiet thoughts! Protracted till thine eye Be calm as water when the winds are gone And no one can tell whither. (Butler 305) This deleted draft is the only place in these materials where the invitation to rest or to sink is phrased in the plural: "Come, let us sink." In "Tintern Abbey," the sister is imagined as moving at large in unbounded space in contrast to her sibling in the motionless place of meditative refuge. In this MS. 24 text, the invitation "Come, let us sink" relocates both siblings together in the place of sublime withdrawal. But in a second shift, the speaker in "Travelling" (and in all later forms of these verses) sinks by proxy by watching his sister sink: "Come, let me see thee sink." This latter move both duplicates and reverses the proxy structure of "Tintern Abbey," where the unmoving male speaker with "eye made quiet" looks to his restless sister to "catch from thy wild eyes these gleams I Of past existence" (Butler 120, II. 149-50).

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In the lengthy multiple drafts of the "introductory" verses to "Nutting" in which the earliest instances of the "TravellingiLycoris" verses are embedded, Wordsworth regularly juxtaposes two primary forms of Romantic sublimity. Immediately before the shift to the scene of sublime withdrawal, which is marked by figures of resting and sinking, the sister is by contrast, as in "Tintern Abbey," a figure in a scene of sublime boundlessness: "a houseless being in a human shape," with a "keen look" of "eagerness" and a "cheek ... rich with a tempestuous bloom," "one who comes I From regions far beyond the Indian hills" (MS. 15; Butler 302). When the "Travelling" verses are separated out from these longer materials as a discrete whole in 1802, sublime boundlessness disappears and the focus is entirely on the place of sublime retreat, which comes to a point in the new nodal figure of invitation: "This is the spot." This paring down is important to notice because, fifteen years later in the "Lycoris" drafts that rewrite "Travelling," Wordsworth returns with even greater force to the governing figural contrast between the housed and the unhoused. In the "Nutting" and "Lycoris" materials, the nodal spot, the resting place, is figured variously as nook, bower, grove, shade, or wood. In the Lyrical Ballads "Nutting" text, the place of refuge is conspicuously sexualized: "the hazels rose I Tall and erect, with milk-white dusters hung, I A virgin scene!" (and more of that ilk), a set of overheated figures that has dominated much recent discussion of the poem (Butler 218-20). 22 What has been less remarked is that the sequence of verses surrounding the published "Nutting," from the Goslar drafts to the "third volume" texts in 1820, locates these figures of untamed sexual desire within a larger set of restless, unhoused figures: what seeks shelter is not only desire but, in the Hegelian turn, self-consciousness on the prowl for its freedom in the human pair, whether that beckons in the sibling couple or the spousal couple. In a "Nutting" draft passage that appears only in MS. 16 (and that is later adapted in Book XI of The Prelude), what finds liberation in "these shades" is not only desire and identity but poetry. 23 For the "Poet," the resting place and its "cool umbrage" supply "most necessary care," "restor[ing] the springs of his exhausted frame"; the shaded "dome of leaves" is thus "to his verse I Propitious" (Butler 305-7). I emphasize this figural connection between the shaded spot of sublime withdrawal and the generative power of poetry because these same tropes appear not in celebratory but in valedictory form in Virgil's Tenth Eclogue, Wordsworth's primary source for the sororal name "Lycoris." Under the weight of the conjugal imperative, the restless wanderings of desire, identity, and poetry shift

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from sibling to spousal settlements, a transit registered in various forms of indifference in Wordsworth's "third volume." In 1817, after the end of war, Wordsworth returns to these hypercluttered "Nutting" materials, fifteen years after "Travelling." New work toward what is at first a single new poem survives in two manuscripts (DC MSS. 86 and 84) in multiple draft forms. Wordsworth abandons the opening phrase from "Travelling," "This is the spot," and returns to the oldest opening phrase of the set of verses ("Come rest"), a second attachment to the earliest form of these verses. Here is the first run at a new poem, from DC MS. 86 in 1817, a text that bears special scrutiny: Here let us rest-here, where the gentle beams Of noontide stealing in between the boughs Illuminate their faded leaves;-the air In the habitual silence of this wood 5 Is more than silent; and this tuft of heath Deck' d with the fullness of its flowers presents As beautiful a couch as e'er was framed. Come-let us venture to exchange the pomp Of widespread landscape for the internal wealth IO Of quiet thought-protracted till thine eye Be calm as water when the winds are gone And no one can tell whither. Dearest Friend! We two have had such blissful hours together That were power granted to replace them (fetched 15 From out the pensive shadows where they lie) In the first warmth of their original sunshine, Loth should I be to use it. Passing sweet Are the domains of tender memory! (Ketcham 251-52) As editors have noted, most of this draft after line 8 winds up in the published text of the "Lycoris" sequel "To the Same" in 1820. But what has not been remarked is that several figures in the first seven lines go elsewhere, ." Because this 1817 manuscript text lies far to the 1819 poem "To off the beaten path of Wordsworth criticism, I offer first a brief reading along its grain, a reading that features new inflections of meanings whose kindred forms in earlier canonical texts have been vigorously worked crosswise in recent Wordsworth studies. I then run my own doubled reading back against this text's primary forms, but with a different purpose: to register the weight of the conjugal.

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Whereas "Travelling" in 1802 locks in on reclusive retreat, in this 1817 draft Wordsworth foregrounds the two competing forms of Romantic sublimity that organize "Tintern Abbey," the sheltered and the boundless. One measure of this new emphasis is the pruning of diction from the "Nutting" drafts that highlights withdrawal: there is no "sinking" in this new draft, nor any "resting-place." In their opposite place, a new phrase, "pomp I Of widespread landscape," signifies the contrasting emphasis on expanse, which Wordsworth will soon elaborately inflate in the 1820 published text of "To the Same." In a standard Wordsworthian gambit, this 1817 draft frames in its opening an external scene of value ("beauty," "fullness") only to transform it into a more valued interior ("internal wealth"), the "quiet" and "calm" of the waters of the naturalized sublime. The idealized and naturalized sublime meet in the "pensive shadows" of mind at the end of the text, a figure that transvalues the gently shadowed landscape at the opening. The draft's new ultimate word memory puts at issue the resting place for what "Tintern Abbey" calls the "mansion" and the "dwelling-place" of memory. Wordsworth's habitual strategy to defer value by means of a comparative grammar, which is the familiar structure of "Tintern Abbey" ("more deep seclusion," "aspect more sublime," "something far more deeply interfused," etc.), is again his method here to conjure even more value from this landscape: "the air I In the habitual silence of this wood I Is more than silent." This hypersilent shade yields to the interiorized "domains" of shaded memory, which in "Tintern Abbey" is for the sister the fit "dwelling-place," the "mansion for all lovely forms." The sister who is a "houseless being" in a "Nutting" draft is here invited, as in "Tintern Abbey," to find her domain, her mansion, her dwelling-place in mind. But these familiar Wordsworthian settlements still hold at arm's length an urgently unsettled question: with whom to take one's rest? The restlessness of these verses in postwar draft and publication speaks to the pressure of that impossible choice, especially in the form urged by conjugal culture: with what one other, alone? In a separate and subsequent 1817 manuscript of these verses (DC MS. 84), Wordsworth takes another run at the "Come rest" opening to the new poem at the top of a manuscript page, also reintroducing the figure of the "resting-place": Here let us rest here where the gentle beams Of noontide stealing in between the boughs Illuminate their faded leaves the air In the habitual silence of this wood

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Is more than silent and this [?blooming] slope Where shall we find [?so ?sweet ?a] resting place. (Ketcham 476-77) These six lines are then heavily deleted, and the manuscript page shifts to a new and entirely different opening phrase, "Enough of climbing toil," which is the published opening of the "Lycoris" poem "To the Same" in 1820 (see the following discussion). A complete new draft follows of the text that will be published as "To the Same" on two manuscript pages (DC MS. 84, 6r and 6v), a draft in which, like the published text to which it is a close antecedent, the figure of "rest" goes missing-perplexingly, I would stress. But not before Wordsworth in the same manuscript attempts several last times to recuperate for "To the Same" this foundational trope, which is now increasingly at risk. The two manuscript pages (6r and 6v) that present the new, penultimate draft of"To the Same" are followed by a full page (7r) of separate draft material that never found its way into the published text (Ketcham 480-81). Three times on this forgotten page Wordsworth tries to rework the deleted "Here let us rest" opening to the poem. A third of the way down the page, these fragmentary phrases appear: "Here, Rest, then, here I And let me." Then halfway down the page, he takes another run at these phrases: "Rest here I And let me see [?sink]." These drafts clearly try to salvage for the poem the "rest" and "sink" connection, while other draft material throughout the page seems to try to rework, pejoratively, figures of sublime boundlessness: "pomp I Of sea and land" and "aery [?novelties]." Then, at the bottom right-hand corner of the page, following more rejected draft, is a third fitful start at reworking the abandoned opening: "Rest here." This obscure manuscript page of fragmentary, unadapted material with roots in the deepest layers of "Nutting" sediment yields a paradoxical refrain for the restless history of the entire long sequence of verses: "Rest, here-Rest, here-Rest, here." In the light of all these materials stretching back to 1799, the most remarkable feature of the 1820 published text "To the Same" is that the explicit figure of "rest," which is ubiquitous (to the point of obsession) in its long manuscript history, is entirely missing-gone, absent, vanished, deleted, lost. Here is the full text of "To the Same" as it appears in the River Duddon volume in 1820. Lines 21-24 are the oldest core from the "Nutting" manuscripts that first settled in finished form in the second half of "Travelling." As rest disappears from the poem (either as verb or noun),

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the decoupled figure sink now reenters the field as its trace element (l. 21). The refuge spot (the anchor word in "Travelling" that has also disappeared), which has been a bower, a nook, a grove, a wood, a shaded resting place, is now styled, arrestingly, a "dim Egerian grotto" (l. 18):

To the Same. Enough of climbing toil!-Ambition treads Here, as in busier scenes, ground steep and rough, Oft perilous, always tiresome; and each step, As we for most uncertain gain ascend 5 Toward the clouds, dwarfing the world below, Induces, for its old familiar sights, Unacceptable feelings of contempt, With wonder mixed-that Man could e'er be tied, In anxious bondage, to such nice array IO And formal fellowship of petty things! Oh, 'tis the heart that magnifies this life, Making a truth and beauty of her own! And moss-grown alleys, circumscribing shades, And gurgling rills, assist her in the work 15 More efficaciously than realms outspread, As in a map, before the adventurer's gaze, Ocean and earth contending for regard! Lo! there a dim Egerian grotto fringed With ivy-twine, profusely from its brows 20 Dependent,-enter without further aim; And let me see thee sink into a mood Of quiet thought-protracted till thine eye Be calm as water when the winds are gone And no one can tell whither. Dearest Friend! 25 We two have known such happy hours together That, were power granted to replace them (fetched From out the pensive shadows where they lie) In the first warmth of their original sunshine, Loth should I be to use it; passing sweet 30 Are the domains of tender memory! (Ketcham 252-53) In figure and diction, Wordsworth ratchets up yet again the tension between sublime boundlessness and sublime withdrawal. The 1817 draft phrase "pomp of widespread landscape" (now deleted) underwrites an elaborate new introduction in the first ten lines as the speaker and his companion

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"ascend I Toward the clouds" (ll. 4-5). This "climbing toil" (l. 1) yields vast prospect: "realms outspread, I As in a map, before the adventurer's gaze, I Ocean and earth contending for regard!" (ll. 15-17). But the quest for sublimity, the "work" (l. 14) that "magnifies this life" (1. u), is unfulfilled in boundless prospect. This movement upward and outward is elaborately staged only to turbocharge its opposite motion, the withdrawal inward through "moss-grown alleys, circumscribing shades, I And gurgling rills" (ll. 13-14). As the work of ascent has been given embellished treatment in the first half of the poem (ll. 1-17), so the shift to withdrawal comes packaged ornately at the poem's midway turn with the text's second classical lens, on the heels of the (indirect) reference to Lycoris in the poem's title: "Lo! there a dim Egerian grotto" (1. 18). In a further revision of this striking new figure in 1827, Wordsworth makes it clear that the new image of refuge is literally a cave ("that dim cave"), which points to the fact that this elaborately new figure ("Egerian grotto") is also one of the very oldest in all these verses (Ketcham 254). In the "Nutting" manuscripts, the earliest draft of the language of withdrawal that journeys through "Travelling" to the final section of this 1820 poem is set not in a grove or nook or bower, but in a cave. A deleted passage in the base text of DC MS. 15 (from the period 1799-1800) preserves the embryonic form of all these verses: "while in the cave we sat, thy face I Was still as water when the winds are gone I And no one can tell whither" (Butler 547). After deleting these lines, Wordsworth drafted a second version lower on the page, adding now for the first time the invitation to rest: While in the cave we sate this noon Oh! what a countenance was thine come here And rest on this light bed of purple heath and let me see thine eye As at that moment, rich with happiness And still as water when the winds are gone And no man can tell whither. (Butler 547) Then, in blank space at the bottom of the previous manuscript page, Wordsworth drafted a third early version of the cave image, which separated it from the "Travelling" diction (which follows eight new verses later): While in the cave we sat thou didst o'erflow With love even for the unsubstantiai clouds

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And silent incorporeal colours spread Over the surface of the earth and sky. (Butler 302) Here in early miniature is the core opposition between refuge and expanse that, twenty years later, structures "To the Same." But the same sibling pair in the same landscape is now in 1820 reflected in a series of mirroring couples: sister and brother are also Lycoris and Gallus, who are also in shaded withdrawal Egeria and Numa, the legendary Roman king who from his divine consort, the nymph Egeria, received nightly counsel in her wooded retreat. Wordsworth purchases two effects with these allusions: he underscores the couple as the base unit of identity, and he draws upon both classical sources for figures of shaded refuge and retreat. But the crux is this: the Virgilian source paradoxically locates those honorific figures under the sign of valediction.

Lycoris, Cytheris, Volumnia: Dorothy One of the great puzzles of these many texts addressed to Dorothy Wordsworth is the distance between a plain name such as "my dear, dear Sister" in 1798 and the ornate handle "Lycoris" in 1820. In the wake ofWaterloo, Dian was not the only classical warrior to attract Wordsworth's attention. Unlike Dion and Wellington, the Roman general Gallus was also a poet, famed for his love poems to his mistress Cytheris-but these poems are all lost. A trope survived, however. According to tradition, Gallus used the name "Lycoris" as a pseudonym for Cytheris. The name is preserved in two places in classical texts, in a passage in Ovid and twice in Virgil's Eclogues. 24 According to the received interpretation, "Lycoris" is thus a name that signifies the signifying practice of pseudonymous naming. But in addition to its remarkable status as a second-order pseudonym, its chain of deferrals is even longer: "Cytheris" was itself a stage name (she was an actress, mime, and courtesan) for Volumnia, her slave name. "Lycoris" in Wordsworth's practice is thus a triple pseudonym: Dorothy is named pseudonymously Lycoris, which is a pseudonym for the actress Cytheris, which is the stage name taken pseudonymously by the slave Volumnia-which acts of naming were originally performed in a set of now-lost texts. Like some labyrinthine compositional fiction rigged by a Kierkegaard or a Nabokov, these exponentially fugitive forms when they reappear in Wordsworth's verse after Waterloo index the pressure of conjugality on sibling intimacy.

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Wordsworth was an accomplished classicist who could draw upon a lifetime's study for such figures. 25 But there was also a proximate event that piqued his interest. Wordsworth's friend Francis Wrangham, with whom he had worked on imitations from Juvenal in the mid-1790s, published a new translation of the Eclogues in 1815. 26 In the stanzaic "Ode to Lycoris" in 1820, Wordsworth calls attention to the semantic force of the pseudonym in a tribute to Dorothy as the cornerstone of his identity: "Lycoris (if such name befit I Thee, thee my life's celestial sign!)" (Ketcham 243, ll. 27-28). The Gallus-Lycoris relationship is featured in most detail in Virgil's Tenth Eclogue, and those details are curiously relevant and perplexing. 27 Amid their manifold complexities, Wordsworth's "Lycoris" texts and their deep roots in the "Nutting" manuscripts plainly celebrate two things, again and again: sibling intimacy and sublime withdrawal, both of which are signified by the shaded refuge, in its various figurations (nook, bower, grove, cave, grot). But the recalcitrant puzzle is this: in Virgil, these same prominent landscape figures are not celebratory but valedictory. In the Tenth Eclogue, the Gallus-Lycoris relationship is broken; she has gone with another. Gallus speaks elegiacally to Lycoris about a way of life that has ended. What is now dosed is figured as the invitation to dwell in a spot of secluded rest: "Hie gelidi fontes, hie mollia prata, Lycori; I Hie nemus; hie ipso tecum consumerer aevo" (Here are cool springs, soft mead and grove, Lycoris; I Here might our lives with time have worn away). 28 Virgil renders the valediction even more urgent by having Gallus voice a double farewell to Lycoris and to poetry, his love of both of which flourished in the wooded retreat: "lam neque Hamadryades rursus nee carmina nobis I Ipsa placent; ipsae rursus concedite, silvae" (Now neither Hamadryads, no, nor songs I Delight me more: ye woods, away with you!). In these acts of naming, greeting, and farewell, the stakes are high: the possibility of poetry itself is inextricably bound up with the quest for fit dwellings for identity, which for decades in Wordsworth seeks its freedom in the sibling pair, but which postwar exhibits the pressure to yield to the spousal. At the end ofVirgil's poem, the speaker crisply issues a call to depart the shade, using forms of "umbra" three times in two verses (emphasis added): "Surgamus: solet esse gravis cantantibus umbra, I Iuniperi gravis umbra; nocent et frugibus umbrae" (Come, let us rise: the shade is wont to be I Baneful to singers; baneful is the shade I Cast by the juniper, crops sicken too I In shade). A vivid measure of the ironic distance between Virgil's valedictory tenor and Wordsworth's bandit vehicle is the stark semantic op-

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position of the Virgilian invitation "Surgamus" (Let us rise) and the buried Wordsworthian refrain "Rest, here.'' 29 From the 1799 Goslar drafts through "To the Same" in 1820, Wordsworth consistently represents the shaded retreat as the longed-for dwelling place of the sibling pair, which locus of sublime withdrawal is also the very wellspring of poetry. This foundational nexus of poetry, shelter, and the sibling pair is both celebrated and put at risk in the "third volume" book of marriage in 1820. In the Tenth Eclogue, the shaded retreat is unpropitious, a figuration that Wordsworth will employ in the dosing verses of"To ,"the poem I argue is addressed to Mary Wordsworth. It is a new figure at radical odds with the long train of "Nutting" and "Lycoris" verses. The name "Lycoris" in Virgil's Tenth Eclogue unambiguously signifies a leave-taking, a farewell. When Wordsworth attaches that name to the verses titled "To the Same" in the River Duddon volume, the Virgilian valediction functions in two ways. The most immediate is to locate, elusively, the honorific content of "To the Same" under the fugitive sign of an ironic withholding of the very celebration on offer. The second is to signal, again elusively, that Wordsworth restages the Virgilian valediction elsewhere in the "third volume," not in the two "Lycoris" poems, which are built ," which I argue is on a celebratory sibling foundation, but in "To built on spousal ground. In its multiple pseudonymous deferrals, the name "Lycoris" is a metonym for the elaborate network of sibling invitations, celebrations, dedications, and farewells that extend from Wordsworth's earliest compositions through the many representations of marriage that take fugitive form in 1820. In pointed contrast to the manifest artifice of names such as "Lycoris" and "Egeria," the sister in the text of"To the Same" in 1820 is still addressed in the plain speech of "Tintern Abbey": "Dearest Friend!" (1. 24). The 1820 text is a poem that in several senses is addressed "To the Same." But with great difference. In the landscape at the opening of "Tintern Abbey," the figure of the "Hermit's cave, where by his fire I The Hermit sits alone" is an image of solitary seclusion. In the "Nutting" and "Lycoris" materials, the sister who in "Tintern Abbey" is wild and boundless is paired with her sibling in that very scene of sublime retreat. The scene is suffused with desire for rest, but "rest" is manifestly absent, resting elsewhere in the 1820 book of marriage. This unsettled state of affairs indexes, in these elusively indifferent forms, the absolutist claims of conjugality.

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Mutagenesis, Replication Forks, and Wordsworth's Poetry In June 1812, while William was in London trying to patch up his quarrel with Coleridge, Mary Wordsworth visited a branch of her family in Wales and made her way for her first time to the Wye valley and Tintern Abbey. Her language in letters to William inhabits the language of his signature poem. Anticipating her visit, she writes that "every object which I see that gives me pleasure will be ten thousand times more dear to me for thy sake," a sentence that casts itself in the language of the last line of "Tintern Abbey" ("More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!"). 30 Pronouns are doing busy duty here: the ultimate phrase "thy sake" in "Tintern Abbey" is William speaking to Dorothy, while the quoted "thy sake" in 1812 is Mary speaking to William. After seeing Tintern Abbey, Mary continues to quote the poem: "With a beating heart did I greet the Wye-0 Sylvan Wye thou Wanderer through the Woods" (197-98). William's letter in response renders explicit the palimpsest of intimacy forged by Mary's visit and language: "[I] repeated a 100 times to my self the passage [')0 Sylvan Wye thou Wanderer through the Woods,' thinking of past times, & Dorothy, dear Dorothy, and you my Darling" (227). William speaking to Dorothy in 1798 becomes in 1812 the language in which Mary speaks to William, which in response is the language in which William speaks to Mary about Dorothy and Mary. This "Tintern Abbey" example points up a general lesson: in Wordsworth's writing, the same diction, figures, and tropes work now sororally, now spousally. In another 1820 blank verse text separate from the "Lycoris" set, the speaker on a heath-covered height invites a female companion, who is unnamed in the title of the poem ("To "),to sit and "crown with rest" the noon hour. Coming from the long history of the "Nutting" and "Lycoris" manuscripts, it is not unreasonable to conjecture that this unidentified figure is, more likely than not, Dorothy Wordsworth. But I argue instead that it is Mary Wordsworth, and I think the difference is important because it expresses a great deal about marriage, writing, and Romanticism. Before turning in the next two chapters to other evidence and arguments that the 1819 poem "To " is addressed to Mary Wordsworth, I want to attend more generally to a structural phenomenon in Wordsworth's poetry, the several places in his poetry where draft verses divide into two separate signifying structures in subsequent separate poems. Molecular genetics offers a model to help understand such alterations in

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Wordsworth's poetry. I have in mind the case when a set of stem-cell draft verses subsequently branches into two {or more) separate poems, with this important characteristic: each of the new texts exhibits both features of the original and entirely new features. A "replication fork" is the term for the site on DNA where "bidirectional" replication takes place, where one strand of DNA becomes two. The process is known as "semiconservative replication" because the two new strands each preserve a separate piece of the original strand as each also adds new structures. But the two new strands are also termed "antiparallel" to signify that, although they originate in separate pieces of a common source, they now differ in kind. 31 Such mutagenic events-bidirectional, semiconservative, antiparallel-are notable in several places in Wordsworth's poetry, especially when draft verses figure a "maid" or "friend" who then becomes in one new figuration a sign for Dorothy Wordsworth and in another a sign for Mary Hutchinson. There are a number of such mutagenic events throughout Wordsworth's poetry. For example, twenty-five lines of stem-cell blank verse drafted in 1796-97, which are headed in manuscript "Description of a Beggar," branch into two very different poems, "Old Man Travelling" in the 1798 Lyrical Ballads and "The Old Cumberland Beggar" in the 18oo Lyrical Ballads. 32 Two poems published in Poems, in Two Volumes in 1807, "To a Highland Girl" and "She was a Phantom of delight," also exhibit this mutagenic relationship. This latter example is worth looking at in more detail because it presents a case in which a female figure of one identity in original materials is subsequently transfigured into two separate, distinct, "antiparallel" identities in two later texts. One of the two later figures is Mary Wordsworth. In the 1843 Fenwick note to "She was a Phantom of delight" Wordsworth commented, "The germ of this poem was four lines composed as a part of the verses on the Highland Girl. Though beginning in this way, it was written from my heart as is sufficiently obvious." 33 Both poems were written in 1803-4; "To a Highland Girl" is based on events recounted in Dorothy Wordsworth's "Recollections" of the 1803 Scotland tour, which presents striking images of a Highland woman whose family hosted William and Dorothy in late August: "a tall fine-looking woman, neatly dressed in a dark-coloured gown, with a white handkerchief tied round her head." 34 This replication fork illustrates two important facts about Mary Wordsworth's place in William's poetry. One, the poem about Mary takes its origin elsewhere, in figurations of a Highland woman. Two, Wordsworth

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is reticent and euphemistic about Mary as a signified object in his poetry, especially in the Fenwick notes. I argue that there are two more such replication forks in the "Nutting" and "Lycoris" materials (see Figure 2). Previously recognized in the scholarship, the first stems from the draft verses known as "I would not strike a flower" in the very earliest Prelude materials. As Wordsworth revises these verses toward the never-published "introductory" section of"Nutting," portions of these verses become figures for Dorothy, including the "Travelling" address to "My sweet Friend!" A "Maid" in another portion of these verses becomes a figure for Mary Hutchinson Wordsworth in Book XI of the r8o5 Prelude, a transformation that I discuss in the next chapter, in the context of the 1819 C-stage revision of The Prelude. The second split, however, has gone unnoticed. Although editors have registered that the 1817 manuscript revisions of the 1802 "Travelling" verses become figures in an address to Dorothy in "To the Same," what has not been remarked is that separate portions of these same r8r7 draft verses become figures in a separate poem, a text that I argue is addressed to Mary Wordsworth, the 1819 "To--The pressure of conjugality on sibling intimacy shapes in these manuscripts and publications a set of alterations that fit a mutagenic model: bidirectional (one text becomes two), semiconservative (each new text exhibits separate characteristics from the shared stem material), and antiparallel (the two new texts are separate and distinct). 35 The elusiveness of these forms also signs itself in the puzzling history of the manuscripts of the stanzaic "Ode to Lycoris" and "To - - Almost all of the three dozen new poems published in the River Duddon volume also survive in manuscript versions, most in two chief sources, DC MSS. 83 and 84. These drafts sometimes take multiple and complex forms, such as the several texts that contribute to the making of the "Lycoris" sequel "To the Same." But these chief manuscript sources of the River Duddon poems preserve no copy of the stanzaic "Ode to Lycoris," which survives in manuscript only in an archival byway, a set of Wordsworth's verses fair-copied in a notebook by a family friend, Mary Barker. 36 That fact alone would not bear notice, were it not that alone among the three new blank verse poems published in 1820, there is no surviving manuscript of the 1819 "To ," in any known location." 7 Like an Austen novel, it exists only in final and finished form, in a manifest elusiveness that rests on the shifting ground of sibling and spousal forms in Wordsworth's poetry.

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FINAL REST

Like Elinor Dashwood, who provided watchful care of the fevered sinkings of her sister, Cassandra Austen supplied her sister her last resting place. The account is Cassandra's letter to their niece Fanny Knight on July 20, 18I7, the day after Jane Austen's death: [S] he was in a state of quiet insensibility by seven oclock at the latest. From that time till half past four when she ceased to breathe, she scarcely moved a limb, so that we have every reason to think, with gratitude to the Almighty, that her sufferings were over. A slight motion of the head with every breath remaind till almost the last. I sat close to her with a pillow in my lap to assist in supporting her head, which was almost off the bed, for six hours,-fatigue made me then resign my place to Mrs J.A. for two hours & a half when I took it again & in about one hour more she breathed her last. I was able to close her eyes myself & it was a great gratification to me to render her these last services. 38 For other rogue singles like Austen, these last services are sometimes performed by a friend. Joseph Severn left this account of John Keats's last hours in Rome in February 1821. In late afternoon, "[T]he approaches of death came on. 'Severn-1-lift me up-1 am dying-1 shall die easy-don't be frightened-be firm, and thank God it has come!' I lifted him up in my arms. The phlegm seemed boiling in his throat, and increased until n, when he gradually sunk into death-so quiet-that I still thought he slept." 39 Paired to the end by someone other than a spouse, Austen and Keats, outlaws of conjugal culture, sink at last to what Wordsworth calls "the spot which no vicissitude can find." 40 These almost unbearably intimate accounts of deaths watched over by a sibling or a friend stand in sharp contrast to the distance that defines the most widely circulated account of the death of Wordsworth in Aprilr850. I use the version of that tale shaped by Mary Moorman: About noon, Frances Arnold, the youngest of Dr. Arnold's children, then a girl of seventeen, walked across from Fox How with one of her sisters to the hill-side just opposite Rydal Mount. Inevitably their eyes were drawn to the house where all their thoughts were gathered. As they looked, someone began to draw the curtains across the windows. Then they knew that Mary's vigil was over and that Wordsworth was dead. 41 The problem for writing is that marriage culture has long before this moment drawn the curtains about the spousal pair, at elusive rest.

FIVE

Marriage and Friends

Like Mr. and Mrs. Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, who are saddled with five unmarried daughters, William, Earl of Lonsdale-Wordsworth's patronand Augusta, Lady Lonsdale, turned the corner after Waterloo with all six adult children still on their hands, all unmarried. But not for long. With the timing of Lydia Bennet, the youngest Lowther child, Lady Caroline, twenty-three, stole a march on her five older siblings and married first out of the postwar gate-pairing off with Lord William Powlett in July 1815, barely a month after Waterloo. Lady Anne, the next-youngest sister, married Sir John Beckett in January 1817, followed closely by the family's younger son, Lieutenant Colonel the Honorable Henry Lowther (a veteran of service with Wellington in the Peninsula), who married Lady Lucy Sherard in June 1817. That left still unmarried the three oldest siblings: William, Viscount Lowther, the first son, and the two oldest Lowther children, Lady Elizabeth and Lady Mary, who turned thirty-one and thirty in the year of Waterloo, edging perilously at war's end beyond the "years of danger," as Austen tags an unmarried woman's late twenties in the opening chapter of Persuasion (I.q). 1

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This flurry of postwar Lowther weddings speaks to a puzzle in Wordsworth studies. In the latter months of 1818 and well into 1819, Wordsworth directed the production of an elegant new copy of the unpublished Prelude, but the question of why he did so remains open. In the Wordsworth section of this chapter, I argue that this shapely copy ofWordsworth's most important unpublished poem was designed to be a wedding gift to the Lowther family, on the likely prospect that one of the older children-including the male heir-would soon trail the younger siblings to the busy postwar altar. This preparation of what is now known as MS. C of The Prelude prompted Wordsworth to undertake what Mark Reed has recently identified as a fullscale revision of the epic known in the family as "the poem to Coleridge." Inscribing itself as "this Gift I Which I for Thee design," The Prelude is one of the most important documents of friendship in Romantic writing. 2 The 1819 alteration of the poem offers a new opportunity to study the contest in postwar culture between marriage and friendship, a primary alternative form of the human pair. In the course of a long life filled with notable friendships, Wordsworth's most intense friendship outside his family was without doubt his relationship with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The many studies of the dialogue between Coleridge and Wordsworth typically concentrate on texts from the early period, the joint "great decade" 1795-1805. 3 In this chapter, I refocus the two writers in a post-Waterloo moment filled with unexamined texts in which the discourse of friendship alters fundamentally in contest with marriage. In his twinned 1817 publications, Sibylline Leaves and Biographia Literaria, Coleridge redraws a tattered postwar map of marriage. Wordsworth's response to this battle-scarred conjugal landscape registers in several overlooked places, including many of the new poems published in the 1820 "third volume." But Wordsworth's most extensive response to Coleridge's postwar publications, his 1819 revision of The Prelude, has remained longest out of sight. What Reed terms the "C-stage" Prelude moves front and center in this chapter in two ways. Before reading a series of C-stage alterations that foreground the agon of marriage and friendship, I attend to the curious textual history of the C-stage Prelude itself. Like the peculiar bibliographical artifact that is the "third volume," the enigmatic history of MS. Cis a sign in the bibliographic code of the fugitive shape of marriage in postwar writing. In Austen's fiction, tales of true friendship that rarely run smooth chafe oppositionally against the central marriage plots. Austen's fiction puts into question the zero-sum game of modern marriage and modern friendship,

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whereby the new companionship heralded inside marriage demands a diminishment of friendship outside. Tracking Austen's curiously fierce attachment to the affective signifier "attachment," I offer a preliminary reading of the famous breakup of the friendship between Elizabeth Bennet and Charlotte Lucas to introduce my primary example from the postwar fiction, the vexing friendship between Anne Elliot and Mrs. Smith in Volume II of Persuasion, which not only helps stage nuptial resolution but survives syntactically as a peculiarly hearthlike feature of the Wentworth marriage itself I interpret the striking roominess of this marriage as another measure of the odd exceptionality of the Wentworth match, proving the emerging cultural rule that sets conjugal companionship against companions.

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1819-20

Soon after Coleridge's death in 1834, Wordsworth remarked that Coleridge was "the most wonderful man that he had ever known," language that returns in kind Coleridge's tribute forty years earlier, soon after they first met in 1795: "T. Poole's opinion ofWordsworth is-that he is the greatest Man, he ever knew-I coincide." 4 The textual fruits of that friendship were early and abundant, and have long been subject to scrutiny. But after Coleridge returned from Malta in 1806, broken in health, the bad moments in the biographical record elbow the textual dialogue into the wings: the spotlight falls not on poems speaking to one another but on cold scenes of estrangement and silence-as when Coleridge, on his final visit to Cumbria in 1812, furiously drives his cart past the Wordsworth door without stopping, astonishing his children. Later that year, Charles Lamb and Henry Crabb Robinson helped patch up the bitter falling-out, in the shaky manner of all truce talks. But it is not until 1815, at the end of war, that the textual dialogue begins a new stage, in forms that have received much less study. When peace breaks out, the subject that demands attention, here as elsewhere, is marriage-and in characteristically fugitive forms.

Coleridge's Map ofMarriage, I8I7 Desperate to gain a hold on his addiction, Coleridge in 1815 plunged into work to publish a collected edition of his poetry, to which he planned to attach a new prose preface. Although printing began in the fall of 1815,

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Coleridge's books did not emerge until the summer of 1817, now in the form of one volume of poems, Sibylline Leaves, and the two-volume Biographia Literaria. It is conventional to interpret these postwar publications retrospectively, as belated end points in the long dialogue between the two writers. But I read them here prospectively, as forms of marriage writing that establish important grounds for Wordsworth's fugitive book of marriage in 1820. Coleridge's 1817 books map the battle-scarred landscape of Coleridgean marriage-and Wordsworth responds in various long-overlooked places in 1819 and 1820. In chapter 3 of the Biographia, at the tail end of an argument about "Principles of modern criticism," Coleridge turns to a discussion of Robert Southey. In a long note attached to the last sentence of the chapter, Coleridge quotes a passage attacking himself that had been appended in 1799 to George Canning's poem "The New Morality" (1798) in The Beauties ofthe Anti-jacobin: [T]he writer concludes with these words; "since this time he has left his native country, commenced citizen of the world, left his poor children fotherless, and his wife destitute. Ex his disce, his friends LAMB and SOUTHEY." With severest truth it may be asserted, that it would not be easy to select two men more exemplary in their domestic affections, than those whose names were thus printed at full length as in the same rank of morals with a denounced infidel and fugitive, who had left his children fotherless and his wife destitute! [emphasis in originalP This is Sara Fricker Coleridge's single (unnamed) appearance in the Biographia, and the ironies are thick. In the guise of a defense of the character of his estranged brother-in-law, Coleridge foregrounds his own distant German holiday from his family in 1798-99, only to call attention to the far more proximate but unstated truth that, back home in his "native country," he has lived formally separated from his wife for more than a decade. The repeated and repeatedly emphasized phrase "wife destitute" protests several degrees too much, both in its unexpressed hope that some readers might know that he had settled his Wedgworth annuity on Mrs. Coleridge and in the hope that the figure of destitution will be understood to signify financially-and only financially. 6 If it would be hard to single out two men "more exemplary in their domestic affections" than Southey and Lamb, the confession clearly begged by this thought is the severe truth that it would be hard to select a man less exemplary on that score than Coleridge.

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Although the Coleridge who had published The Statesman's Manual in 1816 is no longer liable to the charge of theological infidelity, the label "matrimonial fugitive" sticks. Coleridge scrambles to defend marriage in one other passage in the Biographia, only to achieve again the opposite effect. In chapter II, "An affectionate exhortation to those who in early life feel themselves disposed to become authors," Coleridge points to Boccaccio's argument about Dante and the handicap of a wife: "Instead of the vehement and almost slanderous dehortation from marriage, which the Misogyne, Boccaccio addresses to literary men, I would substitute the simple advice: be not merely a man of letters!" (1:229). Although he tries to erase it by the end of the sentence, Coleridge himself introduces the subject of marriage-and even goes to the trouble of coining a new English form, "misogyne," in the sentence that professes to turn attention away from this sore subject? The unquoted Boccaccio text that shadows Coleridge's sentence expresses nuptial regret and anticonjugal longing: "Let philosophers leave [marriage] to the rich and foolish, to nobles and to peasants, and let them take their delight with philosophy, a much better bride than any" (1:229). The exhortation to young authors in chapter II comes packaged with a peculiarly Coleridgean dehortation from marriage. On Coleridge's map, marriage is shattered territory. In footnotes and allusions dense with irony, marriage puts in a fleeting but foundational appearance in the fragmentary performance that is the Biographia as a whole. At the level of form, Coleridge's prose expresses by means of his characteristic omissions, sublocations, indirections, and fragmentations the brokenness of marriage in his corner of Romantic culture. So, too, in Sibylline Leaves, published separately from but with the Biographia in July 1817. In a middle section of seventeen texts set apart as "Love-Poems," Coleridge includes a brief poem titled "The Happy Husband. A Fragment," which is the most literally appropriate use of that loaded subtitle anywhere in Coleridge's verse. 8 This four-stanza poem, which J. C. C. Mays calls "something of a mystery," contrasts the impermanence of "passing life," which offers only a "giddy moment" and "transient joys," with the permanence of marriage, which is expressed by the "pledge," "promise," and "dedication" of the spousal name-"Wife" in the text and "Husband" in the title. 9 The unexpressed content that the poem thereby risks expressing is the severe truth (in Coleridge's phrase) of marital pledges and marital promises broken and unfulfilled. This tattered state of Coleridgean marriage is most legible in Sibylline Leaves in revised forms

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of the two long poems that frame the volume, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" at the front and, to open the final section of poems, "Dejection: An Ode." The charge of abandoning his "native country" in the Anti-]acobin in 1799 must have stung Coleridge in multiple ways. In addition to the belated response in the Biographia, Coleridge tries to rehabilitate this very figure in the new marginal glosses added to the "Rime" in 1817. Near the end of the poem, the Ancient Mariner catches his first glimpse of home: "Oh! dream of joy! ... Is this mine own countree?" In 1817, this stanza is now glossed in the margin: ''And the ancient Mariner beholdeth his native country." 10 This brief gloss late in the text echoes prior figures in the most spectacular new passage inscribed in the margins, the long gloss added to the lines in "Part the fourth" that invoke lunar homelessness: "The moving Moon went up the sky, I And no where did abide." The new voice in the margin spirals off in reverie: "In his loneliness and fixedness, he yearneth towards the journeying Moon, and the stars that still sojourn, yet still move onward; and every where the blue sky belongs to them, and is their appointed rest, and their native country, and their own natural homes, which they enter unannounced, as lords that are certainly expected, and yet there is a silent joy at their arrival" (19). These figures are usually read as stock tokens of high Romantic displacement and deferral, but I want to argue that, in the signifying system of Coleridge's 1817 publications, the elusive "native country" also has a very specific referent: marriage, the place of"appointed rest" in the culture at large. At the end of the poem, the Wedding Guest, sadder and wiser, "[t]urned from the bridegroom's door," and I take that turn as troping the poem itself, in the light of Stanley Cavell's reading (which I discuss in Chapter 2): "I would not call the poem an Antithalamion, but it is a fair enough warning about the stakes in play." Cavell's ''Ancient Mariner" expresses in nodal form the crisis of post-Cartesian, post-Christian marriage, which shatters under the outrageous burden to guarantee meaning. The "joy" that the Ancient Mariner expresses at the sight of his "own countree" and that greets the homecoming stars is the figure at central issue in "Dejection: An Ode," which in its first published incarnation had appeared in a London newspaper on Wordsworth's wedding day on October 4, 1802, which also happened to be-when else?-Coleridge's wedding anniversary (his seventh). 11 In Sibylline Leaves in 1817, "Dejection" is the opening text of the final section, "Odes and Miscellaneous Poems." The 1802 and 1817 published versions of the poem trope marriage as the master

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figure for the relationship not between two human beings but between the human and the natural: "Joy, Lady! is the spirit and the power, I Which wedding Nature to us gives in dow'r I A new Earth and new Heaven"; "in our life alone does nature live: I Ours is her wedding-garment, ours her shroud!" 12 But in the manuscript version of the poem, which Coleridge read to William and Dorothy in the spring of 1802, these nuptial figures late in the poem achieve their force as transformations of earlier images of Coleridge's miserable marriage to another human being: E'er I was wedded, tho' my path was rough, The joy within me dallied with distress .... But now Ill-tidings bow me down to Earth- ... I speak not now of those habitual Ills, That wear out Life, when two unequal minds Meet in one House, and two discordant WillsThis leaves me, where it finds, Past cure and past Complaint! (31)

In like substitutory manner, Wordsworth pledges marriage not to the human pair but to the figure of mind and nature in the "Prospectus" verses published in 1814: "I, long before the blessed hour arrives, I Would sing in solitude the spousal verse I Of this great consummation." 13 But in the full textual archive, real marriages stubbornly push back against these troping maneuvers. This pressure of the conjugal against the figural is legible in the extraordinary substitutions Coleridge offers for the ode's apostrophic object: from a poem addressed in manuscript to Sara Hutchinson by name, to a poem addressed to Wordsworth (as "Wordsworth" in one manuscript version, "William" in another, "Edmund" in the 1802 wedding-day publication), to the 1817 text addressed to "Dear Lady! friend devoutest of my choice," in which penultimate line the grammatically absolute category "friend devoutest" is a prominently mobile signifier. In a recent reading of "Dejection" as an exemplary instance of the "praise poem," Susan Stewart argues that "odes give birth to poets." 14 The terror Coleridge wrestles with in the tangled history of "Dejection" is the looming Hegelian edict that marriage alone gives birth to human beings. In a letter to R. P. Gillies in September 1817, Wordsworth acknowledged that he had been "skimming" parts of the newly published Biographia; the evidence of revisions in his 1820 collected edition argues that he paid more than casual attention to Coleridge's commentary. 15 Words-

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worth's copy of Sibylline Leaves contains annotations in the hand of Mrs. James Gilman, which identifies the copy as one of a set whose distribution Coleridge directed in the late summer of 1817, so it is almost certain that Wordsworth had both books in hand soon after their July publication. 16 When Wordsworth caught wind of Coleridge's publishing plans in 1815, he wrote asking Coleridge not to publish the 1806 blank verse poem we now know as "To William Wordsworth," which was Coleridge's response to hearing Wordsworth read the "poem on his own life": "Let me beg out of kindness to me that you relinquish the intention of publishing the Poem addressed to me after hearing mine to you. The commendation would be injurious to us both, and my work when it appears, would labour under a great disadvantage in consequence of such a precursorship of Praise." 17 When Wordsworth dipped into his copy of Sibylline Leaves two years later, he found, contrary to his expressed wish, that very poem, now with the title "TO A GENTLEMAN," subtitled "Composed on the night after his recitation of a Poem on the Growth of an Individual Mind." 18 Opening "Friend of the Wise!" Coleridge's poem closes with a vision of the circle of friends gathered at Coleorton in December 1806: "and round us both I That happy vision of beloved Faces." In the manuscript version that Wordsworth knew, this image extends one more line: "All, whom I deepliest love, in one room all!" 19 Gathered at Coleorton in December were Coleridge, Wordsworth, Sara Hutchinson, Mary Wordsworth, and Dorothy Wordsworth. At the center of this domestic round in 1806, truing its circle, are two friends ("round us both"), not a spousal pair. But the center would not hold. The "poem to Coleridge" is the great monument of that friendship, already passing. In revision in 1819, it bears truant marks of the shifting circles of marriage and friendship on record in Biographia Literaria and Sibylline Leaves.

Gift Wrapping the "Poem to Coleridge" Produced mainly in 1819, MS. C of Wordsworth's The Prelude is the most eye-catching of the poem's several manuscripts. The first manuscript of the poem transcribed by someone outside the inner family circle, MS. C was copied by Wordsworth's young stamp-office clerk, John Carter, in a large octavo volume much more physically impressive than the poem's two previous complete manuscripts (A and B) dated 1804-5. Like MS. B, MS. C has a spectacular title page executed in sweeping flourishes decorating the

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copperplate script, the elaborate finish of which is at comic odds with its provisional content: fJ) ({)y{), 11

,Jliik, 1/r•!f.wr/ ~ ()/{1/;a 111

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. i}J;/r!rr-,J.Jnl k• /,;,; . himrl

vi. .!1:73r./rwrlrr This MS. C title page (1819) makes two small but significant revisions to the MS. B form (1805), both of which alterations the poem's most recent editor judges to be "authorial, not scribal." 20 Where MS. B has "Title not yet fixed upon" (emphasis added), which is faithful to the poem's shaping spirit of "something evermore about to be," MS. C, prepared after fifteen years without a title, settles for the blunter "Tide not fixed upon." But the second change is even more telling for my purposes: where MS. B has "Addressed to I S. T. Coleridge," MS. C spells out the poem's foundational human relationship before it names its object: "Addressed to his Friend I S. T. Coleridge" (emphasis added). MS. C is a puzzling artifact. In Mark Reed's words, it is a "fair copy unique, among family fair copies ofWordsworth's major poems, in its degree of unauthoritativeness." 21 In his edition of The Thirteen-Book Prelude in the Cornell series, Reed's history of this odd manuscript draws two main conclusions important here: first, the occasion prompting the preparation of MS. C remains elusive; second, it is nevertheless clear that the preparation of MS. C inspired Wordsworth to undertake a full-scale revision of the poem in 1819, most of the evidence of which is to be found not in MS. C but in alterations deposited in the margins of MSS. A and B. Reed identifies and collects these elusive 1819 changes, producing what he terms a "Cstage" text of the poem as it stood in 1819, illustrating what an authoritative rescension would have looked like at that time. 22 These "C-stage" alterations supply the basis of my reading of The Prelude that follows, in which I argue that this epic grounded in friendship shifts in revision in response to the tidal pull of postwar marriage. Before turning to the C-stage Prelude passages themselves, however, I want to return to the open question of what prompted the production of

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MS. C, which I think supplies an important signpost to the stakes in play in the C-stage revisions. Reed explains and then discounts the possibility that the "physically elegant" manuscript was intended as a gift for any one of a number of aristocratic friends, perhaps Sir George and Lady Beaumont or someone in Lord Lonsdale's family such as Lady Mary Lowther (1:78-79). Reed inclines instead toward the "stronger possibility" that the eye-catching nature of the artifact is better explained by the identity of the copiest, John Carter, the young stamp-office assistant: such a project would supply him not only "an elaborate exercise of his clerkly training in copperplate autography" but also "an imposing symbol of familiar intimacy" with his new employer (!:79). I want to argue that the postwar marriage boom in the culture at large and the corresponding nuptial high tide in the Lowther family are strong clues that MS. C began life as a gift for the occasion of a Lowther family wedding, on the hoped-for and not unlikely prospect that one (or more) of the three older children-especially Viscount Lowther and Lady Marywould soon marry as the Regency decade drew to a close. During the electioneering years of 1818 and 1819, Wordsworth was in almost daily contact with the Lowther family, exchanging letters with Lord Lonsdale, calling at Lowther Castle, and hosting Viscount Lowther, Colonel Lowther, and Colonel Lowther's new wife at Rydal Mount. In September 1818, Dorothy Wordsworth reports to Catherine Clarkson that "a few weeks ago Lord Lowther spent three days with us and my sister and I liked him very much." 23 In addition to the venality of Henry Brougham (the opponent in the Westmorland election), an A-list topic behind the scenes at Rydal Mount would surely have been Lowther dynastic succession: when would Viscount Lowther join his three younger siblings and perform his matrimonial duty? As Dorothy remarks of the heir in the same letter, "he must now perceive that much will be and is already required of him." The Viscount's oldest sister, Lady Elizabeth, is never mentioned in these letters, but the yet-unmarried Lady Mary Lowther was a favorite ofWordsworth's. He frequently inquires about her health at the close of letters to her father and brother, and, as Reed notes (I:79), she vied with her father to get her hands on Wordsworth's books of poetry. In the event, MS. C was unfinished and remained with the Wordsworth family-fair copy breaks off abruptly in the middle of Book XII, and the manuscript was used in later decades in further revision of The Prelude. Why it was left unfinished also remains unknown. At least part of the reason is

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that, as Reed explains, the text became entangled with the elaborate process of revision that it ignited. But also in the event, Viscount Lowther failed to marry. He did busy himself extranuptially, however: his first illegitimate child was born to a Paris opera singer in 1818. (If known, might yet another French child have been an awkward topic at Rydal Mount?) But there was one last Lowther wedding at the close of the decade: in September 1820, Lady Mary married Major-General Lord Frederick Cavendish Bentinck. As Reed notes, Wordsworth presented Lady Mary with a different manuscript gift at just this time, a specially prepared holograph album of anthology verse chosen by him and copied by Sara Hutchinson: A Selection from the Poems of Anne, Countess of Winchelsea; and Extracts of Similar Character from Other Writers; the Whole Transcribed by a Female Friend. 24 This gift album to the one remaining Lowther offspring to marry makes it clear that Wordsworth considered a new manuscript book to be an appropriate present with a wedding in prospect, and MS. C began life and was aborted during the previous year as just such a fine object. Lady Mary's gift book, moreover, is a book about-what else?-marriage. The first selection in the custom-made anthology is "Petition for an Absolute Retreat," by Anne, Countess of Winchelsea, a poem that expresses in exemplary fashion the desire for the refuge of marriage: Give me there (since heaven has shewn It was not good to be alone) A partner suited to my mind, Solitary, pleased, and kind; Who, partially, may something see Preferred to all the world in me. This conjugal theme remains prominent throughout the volume, even to an amorous key in selections such as Waller's "Go lovely Rose!": "Bid her come forth I Suffer herself to be desired I And not blush so to be admired." Coleridge had published "Dejection" as a peculiar kind of wedding present in the London newspapers on October 4, 1802. Wordsworth responds to the 1817 republication of this odd token of friendship in his 1819 C-stage alteration of "the poem to Coleridge," a labor prompted, it seems likely to me, by the soon-abandoned idea to offer a copy of the text as a wedding gift to a new family of friends outside the old charmed circle. MS. C breaks off in the middle of Book XII with a verse the language of which comes trailing not a little circumstantial irony: "A gift, to use

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a term which they would use" (XILI88). The 1805 Prelude text is about eighty-five hundred lines; in Reed's estimate, about one-third of that total is subject to some kind of alteration (addition, deletion, modification) in Cstage revision (1:82). From this large body of evidence, I focus now on three examples: a salute to Coleridge at the end of Book X, a passage about Mary Hutchinson Wordsworth in Book XI with mutagenic roots in the "Nutting" drafts about Dorothy Wordsworth, and the revision and removal from Book IX of the "Vaudracour and Julia" narrative and its publication in the River Duddon volume in 1820, where it assumes headline space in the "third volume" book of marriage.

Coleridge on Etna: Prelude X At the end of Book X, the speaker of the poem, burdened by a long meditation on the failure of revolution, turns his thoughts to the absent Coleridge in Sicily in late 1804. The closing lines of Book X imagine the Sicilian scenes where Coleridge might be restored to health. Figure 3 reproduces the final lines of Book X (Book XI in 1850) as they appear in three distinct stages of the poem in the Cornell series: in the AB-stage reading text (familiar as "1805"), in the C-stage reading text ("1819"), and in the revised D reading text (from 1839, but more familiar as "1850"). 25 There are remarkable differences among the three; the 1805 passage of twelve verses swells to more than double that length in the 1819 alteration, a spectacle pared back measurably in the 1850 published text. I read those alterations as primary marks of the postwar contest between marriage and friendship. The 1805 Prelude passage is grounded in the domestic circle of the Wordsworth family, "this calm fireside" inclusive of"those I love, and mine," a figure that is echoed by the image of the charmed domestic circle in Coleridge's r8o6 response poem. But even as the final verse paragraph is grounded in this stable image, what is radically at issue is the nature and location of home, the ultimate word of the passage (which also concludes Book X). Such a word, in such a place, cannot do otherwise than to put into play Coleridge's homelessness, on multiple fronts: cultural, political, physical, metaphysical, and-with increasing pressure to stand synecdochically for all these other forms-conjugal. Wordsworth reestablishes this closing emphasis on "home" in the 1850 text. Meanwhile, however, the passage changes dramatically in 1819,

r8o5

Thus I soothe The pensive moments by this calm fireside And find a thousand fancied images That chear the thoughts of those I love, and mine. Our prayers have been accepted: thou wilt stand, Not as an Exile but a Visitant On Etna's top; by pastoral Arethuse (Or, if that Fountain be indeed no more Then near some other Spring, which by the name Thou gratulatest, willingly deceived) Shalt linger as a gladsome Votary, And not a~ pining for his home. Reed !:294 (emphasis added)

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3· Coleridge on Etna, Prelude X.

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Thus I soothe The pensive moments by this calm fireside And find a thousand bounteous images That chear the thoughts of those I love, and mine, Teaching our souls to flow, though by a rough And bitter world surrounded, as, uminged With aught injurious to her native freshness Flowed Arethusa under briny waves Of the Sicilian Sea. Delicious Fount! Our prayers have been accepted; at thy side Lingers (or if thou be indeed no more, Then near some other Spring which by thy name He gratulateth, willingly deceived) Lingers my Frin1JI, a gladsome Votary And not a~ pining for his home In queru/guslassitude.-To Erna's top Foot-quickening Health shall guide him, there to stand No exile but a joyful V'uitant A Conqueror wresting from the dwindled earth And the invaded heavens, capacious thoughts, Far-stretching views, magnificent designs WOrthy ofPoets, who attuned their Harps In woods and echoing caves for discipline Of Heroes, and in reverence to the Gods Mid Temples served by sapient Priests, and served By Vtrgim crown'd with roses which their hands, At day break, gathered from the dewy fields. Reed lbor-2 (emphasis added)

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Thus I soothe The pensive moments by this calm fire side, And find a thousand bounteous images To chear the thoughts of those I love, and mine; Our prayers have been accepted, thou wilt stand On Etna's summit above earth and sea Triumphant, winningfrom the invaded heavms Thoughts without bound, magnificmt designs WOrthy ofPoets who attuned the Harp ln wood or echoing cave, for discipline Of Heroes; or, in reverence to the Gods, Mid Temples served by sapient Priests and choirs Of Virgins crowned with roses. Not in vain Those temples, where they in their ruins yet Survive for inspiration, shall attract Thy solitary strps. And on the brink Thou wilt recline of pastoral Arethuse; Or, if that fountain be in truth no more, Then near some other Spring which by the name Thou gratulatest, willingly deceived, I see thee linger, a glad Votary And not a~ pining for his ~Owen 230--31 (emphasis added)

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under multiple pressures. The C-stage passage is an anxious mixture of deep affection and frustrated concern, an ambivalence long at work in the relationship between the two poets. In 1819, Coleridge is singled out as "Friend" for the only time in the three versions of the passage, at the same time that the poem's new title page spells out Coleridge as "Friend." These reminders may have been helpful, for there is in 1819, contrastingly, a frosty moment of unique diction in the textual dialogue. Wordsworth tests a cold phrase, "querulous lassitude," used only this once to describe Coleridge, in never-published draft revision. In Latinate precision, the phrase expresses, with Latinate imperiousness, Wordsworth's longstanding complaint about Coleridge, the unfortunate circulation of which had opened the breach in 1810. It is not casual diction: on the evidence of the old Lane Cooper concordance (based on the final lifetime forms of all the published poems), Wordsworth never used the word querulous, and lassitude appears only twice. 26 This hard edge in the diction is accompanied by a shift in rhetoric; for the only time in the three versions, Coleridge in 1819 is addressed in the third person ("He gratulateth"), a new distance that is dismantled in the 1850 return to the second-person rhetoric ("Thou gratulatest") of the 1805 passage. But the most remarkable feature of the 1819 alteration is the final set of new verses, some of which survive in 1850, but no longer located at the close of the passage. In its over-the-top figurations, the 1819 ending echoes the rhetoric of Coleridge's most elaborate new marginal glosses in the 1817 text of the "Ancient Mariner." The C-stage Prelude in 1819 shows Wordsworth in call-and-response form. In Coleridge's glossing manner, Wordsworth spins an elaborate chain of clauses at the end of the passage to invoke the wandering Coleridge: the "thoughts," "views," and "designs" that Coleridge will "wrest" from his surroundings on the top of Etna are "worthy of Poets"and there the matter could rest, in simple compliment. But no: Wordsworth piles modifying clause upon modifying clause, with superabundant images of harps, heroes, temples, sapient priests, virgins, roses, daybreak, and dewy fields. Such hypersubordinating visionariness encodes the homelessness of the postconjugal Coleridge-his separation from the culture's place of "appointed rest" and his own "native country"-by means of its elaborate surrogate figures of places of refuge, its "woods," "echoing caves," and "Temples." When the 1850 text restores to ultimate place the troubled figure of "home," Wordsworth in revision also deletes the 1819 images of "day break" and "dewy fields," which figure at the close of the 1819 passage

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a time of promise before the brokenness of Coleridge's marriage. In the shadow of Coleridge's death in 1834, the 1850 text adds figures of "ruins" and "solitary steps," in an altogether more chastened tone.

Sister, Wife, and Friend: Prelude XI The most lapidary record of the circle of loved ones radiating around the friendship between Coleridge and Wordsworth is the "Rock ofNames," the Thirlmere stone once located midway between Grasmere and Keswick, on which are carved the initials of Sara Hutchinson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, Mary Wordsworth, and John Wordsworth (conspicuous in her absence is Sara Fricker Coleridge). 27 Twice in The Prelude, in Book VI and Book XIII, Wordsworth turns to the dynamics of an inner core of this already segregated group, the significance to him, as a set, of the three human beings-sister, wife, and friend-who have shaped his life most intensely. In the examples that follow, I again track a set of changes to a poem grounded in friendship that registers the increasing heft of marriage in the poet's experience. The centerpiece of this section of my argument is the 1819 revision to a Book XI passage about Mary Hutchinson Wordsworth, but I begin the discussion with the circle of loved ones in Book VI, and I conclude with later revisions to the "glad preamble" that opens Book I. In Book VI, before Wordsworth turns to his journey over the Alps, he reviews his vacation rambles in the summer of 1787. The cast of characters includes Dorothy Wordsworth, Mary Hutchinson, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, but the set is assembled in a complicated manner, by means of what Wordsworth calls a "strong confusion." Dorothy is the first to be summoned onstage: [I] was blest Between those sundry wanderings with a joy Above all joys, that seem' d another morn Risen on mid-noon, the presence, Friend, I mean Of that sole Sister, she who hath been long Thy Treasure also, thy true Friend and mine, Now, after separation desolate Restor' d to me-such absence that she seem' d A gift then first bestow' d. (r8os.6.2ro-r8; Reed I:r82)

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By means of the Miltonic language ("another morn I Risen on mid-noon"), Dorothy's entrance is presented as Edenic. Dorothy is styled both "Sister" and "Friend," under which latter heading she joins Coleridge, who as apostrophic "friend" is already present as the rhetorical ground of this passage. Wordsworth then adds another figure to the circle, Mary Hutchinson: Another Maid there was, who also breath' d A gladness o'er that season, then to me By her exulting outside look of youth And placid under countenance first endeared, That other Spirit, Coleridge, who is now So near to us, that meek confiding heart, So reverenced by us both. (1805.6.233-39; Reed l:r83) The phrase "first endeared" echoes "first bestow'd" in the Dorothy verses, thereby encircling Mary within the Edenic moment. The irony is that this originary circle of loved ones both includes Coleridge and does not yet indude Coleridge, who stands at its center only in the rhetorical present of the poem's moment of address in 1804: "0 Friend! we had not seen thee at that time; I And yet a power is on me and a strong I Confusion, and I seem to plant Thee there" (1805.6.246-48; Reed I:I83). The poem seeks in this section to establish an affective template on which friendship, sibling love, and marriage are not exclusionary but isomorphic forms: when any two of the charmed circle are gathered together, there also dwell all the others. Other passages in the poem bear the marks of the difficulty if not impossibility of such an ideal, what Wordsworth calls, in a peculiar and arresting phrase, his "strong confusion." In Book XI, after his account of his romance with the sterility of Godwinian rationalism, and immediately before the shift to the "spots of time" section that concludes the book, Wordsworth includes a lengthy tribute to an unnamed "maid" who suffered no such trials. Figure 4 reproduces the three distinct stages of this passage (1805, 1819, 1850), as well as a brief passage from the "Nutting" manuscripts from which it emerges. Wordsworth's "strong confusion" when he represents his beloved circle of intimates registers in two ways concerning this passage: in the critical history of editorial efforts to identify the "maid," and in the revisions to the passage, especially as they resonate with later revisions to the "glad preamble" that opens Book I of the "poem to Coleridge."

"Nutting" draft, 1799 But some there are, and such as I haw /mown Far happier, chiefly one beloved maitf; For she is Nature's inmate, and her heart Is everywhere, even the unnoticed heath That o'er the mountain spreads its prodigal bells Lives in her love; friends also more than one Are hers who feel among the woods and hills A kindred joy. Buder 312-13 (emphasis added) 1805 Amid the curns and counter-turns, the strife And various trials of our complex being, As we grow up such rhraldom of that sense Seems hard to shun: and yet I knew a Maid, Who, young as I was then, conversed with (hings In higher style: from appetites like these She, gentle l'm'llllll! as well she might, Was whollv tree, far less did critic rules Or barren ,intermeddling subtleties Perplex her mind; buc wise as Women are \X!hen genial circumstance hath favor'd them, She welcom'd what was given and craved no more. \Vhatever scene was present co her eyes, That was the best. co that she was attuned Through her humility and lowliness, 1\nd rhrough a perfect happiness of soul Whose variegated feelings were in this Sisters, that chey were each some new delight: For she was Naturei inmate. Her the birds And every flower she met with, could they bur Have known her would have lov'd. Methoughr such/

/[ Of sweetness did her presence breathe around That all rhe trees, and all the silent hills And every thing she look'd on should have had An intimation how she bore herself Towards rhem and to all creatures. God delights In such a being; lor her common rhoughrs Are piety; her life is~ Reed I:299-300 (emphasis added)

!819 Amid the turns and counter-turns, the strife And various trials of our complex being, As we grow up such thraldom of that sense Seems hard ro shun: and yet I /mew a Maid, Who, rhough her years ran parallel with mine, Did then converse with objects of the sense In loftier style: from appetites like these The gentle Yilitimlwas wholly free, Far less did rules prescribed by passive rasre Or barren intermeddling subdedes Perplex her mind; bur wise as Women are When genial circumstance hath favor'd them, She welcom'd whar was given and craved no more. Whatever scene was present to her eyes, That was rhe best. to rhat she was attuned Through her humility and lowliness, And through a perfect happiness of soul Whose variegated feelings were in this Sisters, that they were each some new delight: For she was Nature's fupil Her rhe birds And every Hower she mer with, could rhey but Have known her would have lov'd. Merhought such/

/charm Of sweetness did her presence breathe around Thar all rhe trees, and all the silent hills And every rhing she look'd on should have had An intimation how she bore herself Towards rhem and ro all creatures. God delighrs In such a being; for her common rhoughrs Are piety, her life is grJJJinuk. Reed ll:207-8 (emphasis added)

r8so (XII) Amid the turns and counter-curns, the strife And various trials of our complex being, As we grow up, such thraldom of that sense Seems hard ro shun. And yet I knew a Mqjd, A young~ who escaped these bonds; Far less did rules prescribed by passive taste Or barren intermeddling subtleties Perplex her mind; but, wise as women are When genial circumstance hath favoured them, She welcomed what was given and craved no more; Whate'er the scene presented to her view, That was the best, ro rhat she was attuned By her benign simplicity of life And through a perfect happiness of Soul \'ifhose variegated feelings were in this Sisters, that rhey were each some new delight. Birds in rhe bower, and lambs in the green field, Could they have known her, would have loved;/ /methoughr Her very presence such a sweetness breached That flowers, and trees, and even the silent hills And every thing she looked on should have had An imimarion how she bore herself Towards rhem and ro all creatures. God delights In such a being; for her common thoughts Are piety, her life is grJIIiJJHk. Owen 237 (emphasis added)

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The debate about the identity of the unnamed "maid" in Prelude XI warrants detailed review for this reason: the question "Dorothy or Mary?" is precisely the question that still hangs unsettled over the 1819 blank verse "To ,"the centerpiece of my argument in Chapter 6. In his groundbreaking 1926 edition of The Prelude (which first published the 1805 text of the poem), Ernest de Selincourt identified the "maid" in this Prelude passage as Dorothy Wordsworth. Helen Darbishire disputed this identification in her 1959 revision of his Oxford edition: "I differ here from Professor de Selincourt, who identifies this maid with Dorothy. Everything points to Mary Hutchinson." 28 Subsequent editions have followed Darbishire's lead; both the Norton edition in 1979 and the Cornell Wordsworth edition of the thirteen-book poem (1991) include brief notes identifying the maid as Mary Hutchinson, without discussion. 29 W. J. B. Owen in his edition of the fourteen-book poem in the Cornell series (1987) comments in a note that "consensus and evidence point to Mary Hutchinson," a phrase that preserves a trace of the fact that the identification was once considered an open question. 30 De Selincourt's good reason to name Dorothy was rooted in his knowledge of the "Nutting" manuscripts, from which language that anchors the Prelude passage is adopted ("I knew a Maid ... For she was Nature's Inmate"). In the first volume of his Chronology in 1967, Mark Reed gave the most detailed attention to the connection between the "Nutting" manuscripts and this Prelude passage. In the "Nutting" manuscripts, the lines in Figure 4 at the top of the page occur in a long passage that, in Reed's words, "draws on" earlier draft materials but that also "implies a different conception of the maiden" from those materials and "can definitely be regarded as separate from 'Nutting' by this time [18oo], and probably intended as a separate poem," which "eventually contributed" to the Book XI Prelude passage. 31 This endorsement of Darbishire's 1959 revision of De Selincourt underwrites the "consensus" that now in all subsequent editions identifies the "maid" as Mary Hutchinson, without question. My only contribution to this debate is to view this process of composition as exemplary rather than exceptional. As I argue in Chapter 4, Wordsworth's poetry regularly exhibits such mutagenic transformations, and the shift from Dorothy in the "Nutting" manuscripts to Mary in Prelude XI offers itself as a typical replication fork in the poetry, with features that may be described as bidirectional (manuscript verses go to two new texts), F 1G

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Mary Hutchinson, Prelude XI.

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semiconservative (different parts of the source text go to the two new texts), and antiparallel (the two new texts are different in kind). In this epic poem grounded in friendship, the shift from sibling object to spousal object also may be understood as an effect of what Wordsworth refers to as his "strong confusion," a process of mind whereby the boundaries of space and time normally separating friends, siblings, and spouses become permeable, regularly transgressed in this poem by acts of memory and imagination. In a revolutionary age, friendship as utopian category bids to be a great equalizer. 32 Outside The Prelude, however, the boundaries of affective ties constantly alter. To turn now to the 1819 revisions to this Book XI passage about Mary Hutchinson, I want to draw attention to the several different forms of Cstage alterations generally. Whereas the Coleridge revision in Book X features a substantial set of new verses, and whereas my final example in this Wordsworth section, the "Vaudracour and Julia" narrative, presents the most dramatic instance of a large-scale deletion, elsewhere the C-stage revisions are often small-scale matters of a few words altered here and there over comparatively long stretches of verse. These small-scale alterations often reverberate loudly, however; such is the case, I suggest, with the changes to the "I knew a Maid" passage in Book XI and to the "glad preamble" to the entire poem. In 1819, Wordsworth alters only a few words in a twentyeight-verse passage. But the key phrase hooking the passage to the "Nutting" manuscripts, "Nature's inmate," becomes in 1819 "Nature's Pupil," commencing a process of erasure accomplished by the later deletion of the entire phrase, which is absent from the 1850 text. Even more remarkable, the ultimate term of the passage, "blessedness," becomes in 1819 "gratitude." The rhetorical placement of this word exerts summary force over the entire passage. "Blessedness" brings to a point many features of the section: the "wise" maid is "free" from the "thraldom" of the hyperrational, and her state of being is named with a phrase that usually lodges in the final sentences of an Austen novel: "perfect happiness." But Wordsworth in 1819 alters emphasis, not just to a different moment in the cycle of gift exchange but to the opposite moment in the cycle, from the Maid as receiver of gifts ("blessedness") to the Maid as, reciprocally, giver of gifts ("gratitude"). Blessedness is a necessary but not sufficient condition for gratitude, which is a more comprehensive description of being that shifts inflection from passive reception to active response. As gift-exchange theorists argue, such active response is the key to sustain the gift cycle: paradoxically, the gift is

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received only when it stays in motion, when it is given away. 33 Rooted in blessedness, gratitude as response becomes the new privileged term. This 1819 spousal shift from "blessedness" to "gratitude" resonates m later revisions to the "glad preamble" that opens the poem. Figure 5 presents three distinct stages of the opening of Book I as they appear in the Cornell series (again styled for convenience 1805, 1819, and 1850). The 1850 text of the "glad preamble" presents a set of alterations that now anticipate and introduce (even as they respond to) the altered presentations of both Coleridge and Mary Hutchinson in later sections of the poem. The shifting dynamics of the poem's core affective ties are legible in late revisions to these famous opening lines, where the fault line, especially between friendship and marriage, leaves fugitive marks. The "glad preamble" to The Prelude did not change radically over the long history of the poem's composition, but there is a significant amount of altered diction that points to the contest between friendship and marriage. I am interested, specifically, in the addition, in D-stage, of the terms "Visitant" and "grateful" and the deletion of the terms "Friend" and "Captive." "Visitant" in 1850 appears new, and prominently, in line 2. It had been a key appositive in the earlier versions of both the Coleridge and the Mary Hutchinson passages ("a Visitant I On Etna's top"; "She, gentle Visitant"); it disappears from both sets of verses in 1850, when it is relocated in the second line of the entire poem. In strong confusion, that D-stage language now locates Coleridge and Mary Hutchinson proleptically in the figures of the opening of the poem, even as the evidence of that prior connection is erased in the later passages. Simultaneously, two terms prominently connected to Coleridge in the Book X passage, "Friend" (in 1819) and "Captive" (in all three versions: "And not a Captive pining for his home"), are now deleted from the "glad preamble," muting these prior verbal ties to the friendship upon which the poem is founded. Finally, the D-stage opening adds "grateful" at line 6 in explicit response to the "blessing" that opens the poem in its inaugural phrase. As we have just seen, "gratitude" as the successively privileged response to "blessedness" had first been highlighted in the poem's compositional history in the 1819 revision to the Mary Hutchinson verses in Book XI. The aggregate weight of these many small changes over vast tracts of verse is to push the poem over time ever closer to a limit it cannot cross, the beyond of which is the silent territory of marriage, an affective tie that both duplicates and stands at odds with friendship. The opening lines of The Prelude

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Oh there is blessing in this gentle breeze That blows from the green fields and from the clouds

Oh there is blessing in this gentle breeze That blows from the green fields and &om the clouds

And from the sky: it beats against my cheek And seems half conscious of the joy it gives. 0 welcome Messenger! 0 welcome Friend! A Captive greets thee, coming from a house Of bondage, &om yon City's walls set free, A prison where he hath been long immured. Now I am free, enfranchis'd and at large, May fix my habitation where I will.

And from the sky: it beats against my cheek And seems half conscious of the joy it gives. 0 welcome Messenger! 0 welcome Friend! A Captive greers thee, issuing from a house Of bondage, from yon City's walls set free, A prison where he hath been long immured. Now I am free, enfranchis'd and at large,

What dwelling shall receive me? In what Vale Shall be my harbour? Underneath what grove Shall I take up my home, and what sweet stream Shall with its murmurs lull me to my rest? The earth is all before me: with a heart Joyous, nor scar'd at its own liberty I look about, and should the guide I chuse Be nothing better than a wandering cloud I cannot miss my way. Reed l.Jo7 (emphasis added)

F

r G u R E 5· The opening of The Prelude.

May fix my habitation where I will. What dwelling shall receive me? In what Vale Shall be my harbour? Underneath what grove Shall I take up my home, and what sweet stream Shall with its murmurs lull me to my rest? The earth is all before me: with a heart Joyous, nor scar'd at its own liberty I look about, and should the chosen guide Be nothing better than a vagrant cloud I cannot miss my way. Reed II.r3 (emphasis added)

0 there is blessing in this gentle Breeze A visitant that, while he fans my cheek, Doth seem half-conscious of the joy he brings From the green fields, and from yon azure sky. Whate' er his mission, the soft breeze can come To none more grJl!§jjd than to me; escaped From the vast City, where I long have pined A discontented Sojourner-Now free, Free as a bird to settle where I will. What dwelling shall receive me? in what vale Shall be my harbour? underneath what grove Shall I take up my home? and what clear stream Shall with its murmur lull me into rest? The earth is all before me: with a heart Joyous, nor scared at its own liberty, I look about; and should the chosen guide Be nothing better than a wandering cloud, I cannot miss my way. Owen 27-28 (emphasis added)

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are more often noted for the elision of the human pair: Milton's plural ending for his couple "hand in hand"-"the world was all before them"-becomes Wordsworth's solitary beginning, "The earth is all before me." 34 But the questions that the speaker celebrates in the "glad preamble" are framed with words that the culture increasingly insists belong not to the solitary self but to the nuptial pair alone, where-and only where-the "rest" this speaker seeks is to be found: where to "settle"? In what "dwelling" or "habitation"? In what "home"? Hegel in 1821 locates the freedom this speaker proclaims ("Now I am free") in the "substantive self-consciousness" ("which is their liberation") created only in marriage. The sheltered landscape figures that anchor Wordsworth's dream of rest in the "glad preamble"-vale, grove, and stream-are called into question outside The Prelude in 1819, in the blank verse poem "To ,"which I read in the next chapter as a spin-off of the C-stage revision of the poem, where marriage and friendship rest together both sympathetically and uneasily. Over the course of its long compositional history, the texts of The Prelude bear marks of an increasingly urgent and impossible question: what algorithm could possibly sort out the different claims, always altering, of friendship, and sibling love, and marriage?

Vaudracour and julia: Prelude IX The tragic story of a pair of friends and lovers, Vaudracour and Julia, fills nearly four hundred verses at the end of Book IX in the 1805 Prelude text. In C-stage revision in 1819, Wordsworth cuts it from the poem. Unlike other C-stage deletions, however, he published a revised version almost immediately, as the text with second billing in his book of new poems in April 1820: The River Duddon, a Series ofSonnets; Vaudracour and julia; and Other Poems. A fugitive from The Prelude, "Vaudracour and Julia" pauses in 1820 in another fugitive form, the "third volume" binding in idea four books of poems: the Thanksgiving Ode volume from 1816, the River Duddon volume from 1820, and two narrative poems published in separate small octavo volumes in 1819, Peter Bell and The Waggoner. In this section, I read "Vaudracour and Julia" in the special company of its companion pieces in the "third volume." Although "Vaudracour and Julia" has an extensive critical bibliography, it has not been read among the company it keeps when it was published, where I frame it as one of a set of poems about problems of marriage, narrative, and class. 35 In the Biographia in 1817, Coleridge, long absconded from his own ruined marriage, buried

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a reference to Boccaccio to the effect that marriage should be abandoned to "nobles and to peasants," to the high and low. 36 This gesture exposes an excluded middle, as though Hamlet's anticonjugal cry were to be amended: Let there be no more marriage-(for the middling sort). I understand this exclusionary wish as a sign of the emergent dilemma of marriage and representation. In the empire of marriage, the necessary nuptial tales that simultaneously refuse to be told are particularly the province of bourgeois marriage, an expanding middle ground where compulsory conjugality anchors its imperative. 37 The narrative refusals of bourgeois marriage leave marks, however; busy in the periphery of marriage discourse, nuptial tales of the high and the low stand in for the narratively evacuated space ofbour. . gems marnage. As "third volume" narratives, "Vaudracour and Julia," Peter Bell, and The Waggoner are all prominently inflected along class lines. 38 In "Vaudracour and Julia," Wordsworth recasts the impossibility of his thoroughly middling attachment with Annette Vallon as an insuperable class barrier between the two fictional lovers. In Peter Bell, a poem long recognized as in conversation with Coleridge, the wild vagrant Peter is heroically polygamous, the disastrous effects of which occasion his remorse and transformation. In The Waggoner, Horatio Nelson puts in a cameo appearance, which brings to the poem the class scandal of his abandoned marriage and notorious affair with a blacksmith's daughter, who had scrambled to the lower rungs of the aristocracy as Emma, Lady Hamilton. In response to the brokenness of Coleridgean marriage on view in his 1817 publications, Wordsworth's "third volume" in 1820 offers a complementarily bleak narrative landscape of marriage failures, an uninviting prospect that is nevertheless held at a distance as a set of tales of the high and the low. When William Wordsworth hooked up with Annette Vallon in Orleans in 1792, it was a meeting of social equals: an Englishman from a family of lawyers and clerics, a Frenchwoman from a family of surgeonbarbers, lawyers, and clerics. 39 The divisions, little as they mattered to hotblooded youth, were instead religious and national (an English Protestant and a French Catholic) and, nascently, political (Wordsworth on a revolutionary incline for a few years yet, Annette increasingly royalist). But in the poem, the chasm is class. In the 1805 version of the tale, the narrator is unequivocal that class antagonism is the root of the tragedy. A dozen lines into the episode, readers are told that Vaudracour's father, firmly anchored in the "Nobility" (r8o5.9·567), will not countenance a match out-

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side his kind: "The Father of the young Man, who had place I Among that order, spurn' d the very thought I Of such alliance" (1805-9·568-70). When Vaudracour persists in his wooing, the patriarch plays his trump card, a lettre de cachet, an infamous arrest warrant widely abused by the aristocracy in prerevolutionary France: "The Father threw out threats that by a mandate I Bearing the private signet of the State I He should be baffled in his mad intent" (1805-9.666-68). And baffled he is: locked up at least twice, Vaudracour kills a soldier, witnesses Julia forced to enter a convent, retreats to a wilderness corner of his family estate with their infant (who dies), and wastes away in solitary imbecility. Revising in 1819, Wordsworth underscores the class difference. In 1805, Wordsworth introduces Vaudracour by name at the sixth line of the tale (9.561) as "Young Vaudracour"; in 1819, this phrase becomes "The highborn Vaudracour" (1820.8). In 1805, Julia is introduced a few lines later: "from Parents sprung I Not mean in their condition; but with rights I Unhonour' d of Nobility" (9.565-67). This is altered with sledgehammer emphasis in 1819: "Plebeian was the stock, I Plebeian, though ingenuous, the stock, I From which her graces and her honours sprung" (1820.14-16). Diction of such denotative class precision as "plebeian" and "ingenuous" is rare in Wordsworth; in this 1819 phrasing, the repeated "plebeian" signifies how hard the poem is laboring to express the brokenness of this pairing with the language of class. Sociological details such as the lettre de cachet (Wordsworth stops just short of using the French phrase) are matched by close attention to the "law and custom" of marriage (62), which is also unusual in its degree in this text. Vaudracour seeks only "honorable wedlock" (6o), for example, and a reader will seek in vain for the word wedlock in Wordsworth's 1815 collected Poems. In the 1805 text, Wordsworth locates the language of the poem squarely in the midst of the legal debates about marriage in the Romantic century: Oft at this time he wrote Requesting, since he knew that the consent Of Julia's Parents never could be gain' d To a clandestine marriage, that his Father Would from the birth-right of an eldest Son Exclude him, giving but, when this was done, A sanction to his nuptials: vain request, To which no answer was return' d. (9.828-35)

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This is the only instance of the word clandestine in Wordsworth's poetry. During his lifetime, the word was used almost exclusively in the context of marriage law, to designate the "secret spousals" (Wordsworth's 1819 phrase) banned by Hardwicke's 1753 Marriage Act, which was designed to consolidate marriage as a church-based bourgeois ritual by taming the lawlessness of marriage customs that crossed and threatened class borders. 40 The language of "Vaudracour and Julia" thus nervously navigates the margins of plebeian marriage, a world that instead of the narratively emptied space of bourgeois marriage, which is populated by a solitary couple, teems with communitarian forms, both fair and foul: bidding weddings, penny weddings, broomstick marriages, the "living tally," the divorce rituals of wifeselling, the polygamy of itinerant potters such as Peter Bell. 41 Even as it dallies with a narrative language based in class, "Vaudracour and Julia" yearns for the silent retreats of bourgeois marriage. Wordsworth's pair of star-cross' d lovers indulge the fantasy of conjugal seclusion in textbook terms: "together they could then take flight I To some remote and solitary place I Where they might live with no one to behold I Their happiness, or to disturb their love" (9.651-54). This fantasy is heightened in 1819: "Bride and Bridegroom then would flee I To some remote and solitary place, I Shady as night and beautiful as heaven, I Where they may live, with no one to behold I Their happiness, or to disturb their love" (1820.107-11; emphasis added). This conjugal vanishing act becomes at the end of the poem Vaudracour's bitter and solitary end: "a last request I That a retreat might be assigned to him I Where in forgotten quiet he might dwell I ... To a Lodge that stood I Deep in a forest" (1820.268-74). Vaudracour's aristocratic "Lodge" need only be remodeled as an upwardly mobile "Cot" to render explicit how his reclusive solitude is a tragically negative image of the paired withdrawals that bid to define all marriage of the middling sort. The identity stakes of bourgeois marriage are relentless in their exclusionary pressure: not only are siblings and friends pushed out of the frame, but everyone else, too, including children. As Cavell puts the matter in his reading of the "Ancient Mariner," marriage has become for the solitary couple, alone together, a mode of being "to which outsiders, however close in kin, are irrelevant." 42 As they tarry outside middling marriage with tales of the high and low, Wordsworth's "third volume" narratives signal this flanking maneuver by their refusal to rule children out of bounds. The refusals in these tales are costly, however: children and mothers perish or vanish, with alarming regularity. At key moments in all three narratives,

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these poems pose a creche-mother, father, infant-the family tales of all of which end badly. In "Vaudracour and Julia," the place of "rest" is not to exclusion spousal, but, briefly, maternal and familial. The birth of a child only momentarily spurs Vaudracour to thoughts of action: oftener was he seen Propping a pale and melancholy face Upon the Mother's bosom; resting thus His head upon one breast, while from the other The Babe was drawing in its quiet food. (r820.2I3-I7)

Although swaddled into the poem, the child is nevertheless irrelevant, in Cavell's phrase, and expires in a peremptory manner that startles all readers. OfVaudracour in his solitude at the end of the poem we learn: It consoled him here To attend upon the Orphan, and perform Obsequious service to the precious Child, Which, after a short time, by some mistake, Or indiscretion of the Father, died. (1820.277-81)

I read this blunt exit as consonant with the poem's ambivalent status as both a tale of class antagonism and a tale of nuptial fantasy of the middling sort. The very presence of a child points to the insufficiency of the exclusionary pair; the swift erasure of that same child registers the inexorable force of exclusionary pairing. In Peter Bell, another broken creche expresses the vagrant Peter's remorse for the damage he has caused in the wake of his dozen marriages all over the kingdom. A "Carl as wild and rude ... As ever ran a felon's race," the itinerant potter is a sadder and a wiser man by the end of the poem, when he repents his "lawless" ways. 43 Among his multiple transgressions, he is most "stung" with guilt for his treatment of"A sweet and playful Highland girl" to whom he "Had pledg' d his troth before the altar I To love her as his wedded wife." But before she can give birth to their child, she "learn' dhow Peter liv' d" and "died of a broken heart" (1819.936-65). The narrative roots of this poem about abandoned wives and children lie in the immediate wake ofWordsworth's time with Annette Vallon; the connection is Wordsworth's wanderings along the Wye in 1793, when according to his 1843

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Fenwick note he encountered the "wild rover" upon whom he based the character ofPeter. 44 In both "Vaudracour and Julia" and Peter Bell, Wordsworth transplants oblique accounts of his French love affair, both of which poems relocate the tale outside the boundaries of middling marriage. Composed in the annus mirabilis of the 1798 Lyrical Ballads, Peter Bell has long been recognized as a fugitive companion piece to "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." Although there is no explicit reference to Coleridge in the book, Wordsworth's long-delayed publication of Peter Bell in 1819 is nevertheless the most public piece of his response to Coleridge's 1817 publications, which helps explain Coleridge's agitation when he caught wind of John Hamilton Reynolds's prepublication parody in the spring of 1819. In the received view, Peter Bell presents Wordsworth's investment in "humble" life in dialogic response to Coleridge's supernatural experiments in the Lyrical Ballads period. I want to argue instead that marriage is the foundational investment in the ordinary in Peter Bell; what is significant is not "humble" life as such, as an end in itself, but the grounding of the plot in conjugality. Especially in the light of Cavell's reading of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" as an "antithalamion," Peter Bell comes into new focus as a tensely complementary companion piece to Coleridge's poem. When the narrator introduces the fact of Peter's polygamy, marriage is simultaneously superabundant (as in the Hegelian nightmare) and nowhere to be found (as in the Kierkegaardian): He had a dozen wedded wives.Nay start not!-wedded wives-and twelve But how one wife could e'er come near him, In simple truth I cannot tell. (1819.290-93)

To superimpose Cavell's account of the "Ancient Mariner," there is room in this world for a crowd of spouses, and there is room for the single self, but the space for the married pair remains conspicuously vacant. When John Hamilton Reynoids ridiculed Wordsworth as uxorious in his "anticipatory" parody of Peter Bell ("I do doat on my dear wife"), the attack posed the Wordsworth pair as a target image of smugly self-sufficient bourgeois marriage, even as the parody romped merrily with Wordsworth's fondness for tales of the low and forlorn. 45 As marriage of the middling sort swells to dominate the human pair in silent empire, Wordsworth in Peter Bell clings to plebeian culture as narrative ground that preserves some mea-

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sure of purchase, however oblique, on the recalcitrant tales of marriage. By means of their class status, both the wild rover Peter Bell and the highborn Vaudracour supply vagrant marriage tales in the "third volume" book of marriage in 1820. In The Waggoner, the third narrative ofWordsworth's 1820 set, the characteristic creche forms around the wife and child of a discharged sailor whom Benjamin the waggoner encounters in his stormy night journey between Grasmere and Keswick. 46 When Benjamin and the sailor yield to the temptation to join a rousing party in a local inn, the poem builds a mock-epic image of the conjugal and familial separations of war: "All care with Benjamin is gone- I ... I And he [the sailor] hath now forgot his Wife, I Hath quite forgotten her" (73). While the sailor's wife and baby sleep on after the storm safe (but forgotten) in Benjamin's wagon, the warrior "pair," filling now the space of the conjugal couple, reenact Nelson's military triumphs for the crowd gathered inside the Cherry Tree. The sailor rigs an intricate model of the Vanguard, Nelson's flagship at the Nile, which sets the stage for Benjamin's cutty-sark moment of enthusiastic forgetfulness. Benjamin's employer has put him on a short leash because of his exceeding fondness for the pleasures of an inn, which he has vowed to forgo this evening. But in the flush of naval victory, Benjamin falls and leads a toast to Nelson: "A Bowl, a Bowl of double measure," I Cries Benjamin, "a draught of length, I To Nelson, England's pride and treasure" (77). In the "third volume" in 1820, these comic images of military heroism stand shoulder to shoulder with the circumlocutory attack on Wellington and his spousal failures in the Thanksgiving Ode volume. Although Nelson is named and celebrated, the conjunction of his image with the figure of the vagabond ex-sailor and his wandering family casts a sobering matrimonial shadow over the festivities, a cloud brewed by class suspicion. Even at the time of the poem's composition in 1806, in the immediate wake of Trafalgar, the nation was busy ignoring Nelson's dying wishes, which commended to the care of the country his mistress, Emma, Lady Hamilton, and their illegitimate daughter, HoratiaY In order to toast Nelson as hero, the nation was more than eager to read past his abandonment of his normative bourgeois marriage to Fanny Nisbet to pursue his passion for Emma Hamilton, who had no social capital to spend after Nelson's death. The daughter of a village blacksmith in Cheshire, Emma Hart had survived a wild ride through the rough side of London to marry, to her surprise, an aging diplomat in Naples, only to step outside that marriage to Sir William

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Hamilton to entrance the hero of the age, whose own marriage died on the vine at home in Britain. Her low origins and this trail of broken marriages trumped a dead hero's desire to leave his treasure to the nation. By the time of the publication of The Waggoner in 1819, Emma Hamilton had come to a grim death in 1815 in Calais, where, hounded by debts, bloated, and drink-sodden, she fled for refuge with Horatia at the end of war. The last snapshots from her family album pose her alone with her unacknowledged daughter on the coast of France, in the same spot where Wordsworth had ventured during a pause in war in 1802 to meet Annette and their ten-yearold child on the eve of his marriage to Mary Hutchinson. Wordsworth's "third volume" book of marriage in 1820 collects a remarkable set of broken and abandoned pairings, historical and fictional: Coleridge and Sara Fricker, Wellington and Kitty Pakenham, Wordsworth and Annette Vallon, Vaudracour and Julia, Dion and Arete, Peter Bell and his Highland bride (of many), Nelson and Fanny Nisbet, Nelson and Emma Hamilton. In Paris in October 1820, where Mary Wordsworth was introduced to Annette Vallon, the Wordsworth family several times called on Lady Mary Lowther, now on her wedding trip as Lady Bentinck, the last of the Lowther children to be married in the wake of Waterloo, those many weddings that prompted Wordsworth to begin rewriting "the poem to Coleridge" in the long light of marriage. Also taking refuge in Paris during these weeks was Maria Fitzherbert, who had long since espoused in secret the Prince of Wales, now king. Mrs. Fitzherbert was wisely avoiding the uproar attendant on the divorce trial of Queen Caroline as it came to a boil in London, the very image of the perfect happiness of postwar unions. From his perch in Highgate, Coleridge followed the trial closely. In two letters to Thomas Allsop in October, he comments that he had toyed with the idea of publishing about her case, but that Dr. Gilman had dissuaded him. 48 Instead, there is long notebook entry (item 4730) in October 1820 on love and reciprocity. Stipulating that "no human Individual is self-sufficing," Coleridge tests different inflections of his core phrase: "this Self-insufficiency" and "this instinctive Sense of Self-insufficingness." A human being is in Coleridge's definition "but half of a complete Being." "Love," therefore, "is the Desire of all my Being to be united to some other Individual (conceived as alone capable of perfecting my Being), by all the means which Nature, Reason, & Duty, permit or dictate."49 To pair off in marriage is the only chance to achieve "completion" or "perfection" of being, what Hegel in the next year will define

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as "substantive self-consciousness," which is for the two individuals "their liberation." Even in its dearest forms, friendship cannot begin to compete with such imperial claims.

AUSTEN,

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FRIENDSHIP

"There is so little real friendship in the world," remarks Mrs. Smith to her "old school-fellow" Anne Elliot in Persuasion, on the occasion of their reunion in Bath (II.p69, 165). One way to understand the deficit remarked by Mrs. Smith is to view it as a bookkeeping operation that locates marriage in the matching surplus column. Such an interpretive template graphs a zero-sum calculation: as marriage increases, friendship decreases. Speaking of his relationship with Wordsworth, Coleridge puts the matter in just such terms, according to De Quincey: "He told me himself; and this was his peculiar inference from the case, and what he made its moral,-that married people rarely retain much capacity of friendship." 50 This contest between marriage and friendship frames the dilemma faced by Emma Woodhouse in the opening chapter of Emma, on the "melancholy" occasion of the marriage of Miss Taylor, "a friend and companion such as few possessed": "How was she to bear the change?-lt was true that her friend was going only half a mile from them; but Emma was aware that great must be the difference between a Mrs. Weston only half a mile from them, and a Miss Taylor in the house" (!.1.4-5). Emma frets that marriage has cost her a friend and companion. But a counter way of understanding the relationship between marriage and friendship erases the difference between them. A commonplace of recent historical understanding, the model of the companionate marriage often constructs marriage and friendship as isomorphic forms, smudging the boundary between a matched set of conjugal companions and other modes of companionship outside marriage. When Emma ponders the "difference" between Miss Taylor and Mrs. Weston, to think of marriage as companionship is to frame this difference as a difference of degree only. But marriage in its imperial mode, in its high Hegelian form, would pose this difference radically, as a difference in kind. The birth of Mrs. Weston requires the death of Miss Taylor, and Mr. Woodhouse and Emma sniff the threatening air of this transformation when they suffer Miss Taylor's wedding day as a funeral.

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The companionate marriage ideal inflects the spousal pau In both open and closed forms. The progressive image of companionship projects a seamless world of friendship inside and outside marriage. 51 But there is also a closed form that sets the new companionship inside marriage against competing forms of extraconjugal companionship. Rather than endorse marriage as either an open form of friendship or the exclusive haunt of something mysterious called true companionship, Austen's fiction navigates oppositionally an economy of marriage and friendship in which both these claims have currency. Marriage both duplicates and stands at odds with friendship; marriage and friendship rest together both sympathetically and uneasily. To gain purchase on the contested territory of marriage and friendship in Austen, in this section I move outside the overdetermined domains of"companionship" and "friendship" to focus on diction that belongs especially to Austen: the world of "attachment," a peculiar term in Austen's affective lexicon that has been mothballed by later culture. 52 My main example from the postwar fiction is the puzzling reattachment between Mrs. Smith and Anne Elliot in Persuasion. But first, I turn to Elizabeth Bennet's friend Charlotte Lucas, who rushes in to form a conjugal attachment where all others fear to tread.

Friendship, Attachment, and Unaccountability As I argue in Chapter 2, the terms "first attachment" and "second attachment" gesture in Austen toward a post-Romantic understanding of marriage as a mode of what Kierkegaard will call repetition and what Cavell invites us to think of as remarriage. In this chapter, I am interested in the migrations of the word attachment between marriage and friendship. Austen's attachment to this term sets her apart from almost all other English writers. The word attachment appears over a hundred times in her published fiction, a raw fact rendered significant, I would submit, in light of the fact that it is a word never used-never used-by Milton, Wordsworth, Blake, Keats, Dickinson, or Joyce, and used only once or twice by writers such as Richardson, James, Wharton, or Woolf. 53 The words attach and attachment long signified in English chiefly in the legal sense of an arrest. 54 But in the mid-eighteenth century, the word began to be used to define features of affective life, popping up in such form in Goldsmith and Burke, for example, and it is clear that it soon gained limited currency in the culture of sensibility. Although (surprisingly) there are no instances in Sterne,

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there are a handful of examples in Evelina, Wollstonecraft's Vindication, and The Mysteries of Udolpho. But even though other women writers in the late eighteenth century increasingly use the word, none begins to approach the scale of usage in Austen, where there is a riot of attachment. Austen uses "attachment" to name a huge range of affective ties to objects, places, ideas, and persons, and to define manifold kinds and degrees of affective investment in all of these things. Piggybacking on biological categories (mother, sister, daughter), marriage culture constructs affective categories that also claim absolute, determined boundaries: companion, friend, wife, husband. To unsettle this system, Austen puts "attachment" into play in a style that digs in its heels against these arbitrary boundaries. To cite but one example of this tactic, in Persuasion Captain Wentworth speaks to Anne Elliot about his friend Captain Benwick's engagement to his friend Captain Harville's sister Fanny Harville, who has died before the marriage. The structural terms of the scene run like this (bear with me here): a man who has just ducked being paired off to a headstrong young woman is speaking to the woman who once declined his proposal of marriage about (1) his bereaved friend, who is now suddenly engaged to the woman the speaker has just escaped being paired with, and about (2) that bereaved friend's previous engagement to their mutual friend's dead sister. What language might suffice to map that affective jungle? Here is the sentence Austen offers, from Captain Wentworth: "His attachment to her was indeed attachment" (I1.8.199). Such cartography sends Anne Elliot and the reader spinning in tautological circles.55 In the two readings that follow of the contest between the attachment called marriage and the attachment called friendship, both Austen texts risk hyperbole in order to destabilize overeasy accounts of marriage and friendship. And they risk hyperbole at opposite extremes: in Pride and Prejudice, a friend vanishes after marriage, which contests the closed form of the companionate marriage ideal. In Persuasion, a friend fails to exit after marriage, which contests the open form. These narrative extremes expose an empty cultural center where marriage and friendship fail to pair off as homologous forms of attachment. An example of intimacy and the value of human pairing early in Pride and Prejudice, the friendship between Elizabeth Bennet and Charlotte Lucas quickly comes to the test. As Elizabeth remarks when Charlotte maneuvers her into the unwanted way of Darcy at a dance, "You are a very strange creature by way of a friend!" (!.6.27). Charlotte's strangeness takes

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the form of ditching her attachment to Elizabeth for an attachment to Mr. Collins, after which she fades to a vanishing point well before the novel ends. The attachment between Elizabeth and Charlotte swings wildly between extremes, in the forms of the language itself. Early in Pride and Prejudice, to Charlotte, Elizabeth is the one "whose friendship she valued beyond that ofany other person" (!.22.138; emphasis added, here and in the following quotations). The benefits of this friendly pairing continue to take absolute verbal form: Elizabeth "told all her griefs to Charlotte Lucas" (!.18.101) and "owed her greatest reliefto her friend Miss Lucas" (I.18.II4). As so often in Austen, however, these absolute signs build a structure ("perfect happiness") not to celebrate it but to put pressure upon it. After the marriage, the absolute grammatical terms signifying the friendship flip to absolute grammatical expressions of the breach opened up by conjugality: "Elizabeth felt persuaded that no real confidence could ever subsist between them again" (!.23.144). "Elizabeth could never address her without feeling that all the comfort of intimacy was over" (II.3.165). On this playing field, friendship and marriage pair off in a zero-sum game. The term "attachment" pops up at two key moments in this contest in Pride and Prejudice. In the wake of her tidy conjugal deal, Charlotte works to make meaning of her new affective state: "Mr. Collins to be sure was neither sensible nor agreeable; his society was irksome, and his attachment to her must be imaginary. But still he would be her husband" (!.22.137-38). In this passage, the idea of" imaginary attachment" does double duty. The primary job is to express Charlotte's levelheaded gaze at the rote emptiness of Mr. Collins's actions; that his attachment to her "must be imaginary" signifies her knowledge that it is only nominally an attachment. Although the sentence foregrounds deferentially the idea of male attachment (his attachment to her), the gaze of the language also falls on Charlotte's futureher attachment to him-which also "must be imaginary," but in a different sense. The binding force of the nominal attachment called marriage is a cold prospect in the moment, but in a few chapters alert readers glimpse the real forms into which Charlotte will shape that imaginary: a floor plan of the marriage abode that renders Mr. Collins as seldom proximate as possible, and her encouragement of his skills as a gardener, which occupies him without the walls of that abode. In "Dejection," Coleridge laments the loss of his "shaping spirit of lmagination." 56 Having attached herself to a severely bounded form, Charlotte Lucas puts the imaginary to work, shaping her surround.

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Elizabeth Bennet, however, cannot do the sums. "It is unaccountable! in every view it is unaccountable!" (II. I. I 53). One of the things that Elizabeth cannot solve is an equation that would factor both friendship and marriage. The word unaccountable entered the English language in Milton to describe the failure of the human pair, in the language of the Divorce tract: "The unaccountable and secret reasons of disaffection between man and wife." 57 As in this instance in Pride and Prejudice, Austen uses the word unaccountable especially when the conjugal pair does not compute: it is Emma's word for the match between Harriet Smith and Robert Martin, for example (IILI9.525), and Mr. Weston's word to break the news about the secret engagement between Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax (III.10.427). Such intractable conjugal puzzles are everywhere in Austen, often stumbling over the factor called friendship. Charlotte Lucas the friend disappears into Mrs. Collins the spouse, and Mr. Collins, who does have a way with words, puts the sum to Elizabeth in these terms: "My dear Charlotte and I have but one mind and one way of thinking" (11.15.239). This is the bad conjugal math known as coverture ("they two shall be one Aesh") with idealist vengeance ("one mind"). It is unaccountable. Austen phrases these old sums in new language. In debates about motives to action in the empire of marriage, Austen pairs "attachment" with older and more familiar ethical markers to forge new ethical perspectives. Early in the novel, Elizabeth and Charlotte debate Jane Bennet's behavior. The issue is Jane's uniformly pleasant underexpressiveness, the risk she may be running that Bingley may not notice her regard for him. Charlotte argues a very simple and clear position: if Jane does not make her affection noticeable, she risks losing Bingley. But Charlotte stakes her argument that Jane should be more demonstrative on a curiously opaque statement of principle, which hangs upon the nature of "attachment": "There is so much of gratitude or vanity in almost every attachment, that it is not safe to leave any to itself" (I.6.24). Because the context of this aphorism is a debate about how men in the attachment market interpret female behavior, Charlotte's sense seems to be this: a woman in this marriage market runs the risk of her actions being interpreted by men as either proper deference to being noticed ("gratitude") or improper self-centeredness ("vanity"), neither of which is effective to "fix" a mate (Charlotte's word) in permanent attachment. Because "gratitude" and "vanity" are set in opposition, Charlotte's aphorism suggests a binary understanding of human action: any attachment may be understood as grounded either in less self-regarding motive (gratitude) or

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in something more self-centered (vanity). The challenge to such a theory of attachment is the vexed status of "gratitude" in the culture and in Austen's fiction. In the wake of the Jacobin assault on gratitude as false consciousness, Austen's novels almost never endorse this action as necessarily, unproblematically good; in Claudia Johnson's helpful phrasing, gratitude circulates in Austen most typically as "burden." 58 Charlotte Lucas's grammar of motives for attachment boils down to this: on the one hand, selfinterest (her own marriage?); on the other, a kind of self-subordination that might incline toward selflessness but, then again, is just as likely to be the culturally mandated garb of female deference to male power. We have grown accustomed to read the tale of Charlotte Lucas as a tale of the high price a woman is willing to pay for economic security. I have been arguing that, obscured by the immense idiocy of Mr. Collins, an additional function of the Lucas-Collins subplot is to register oppositionally a contest of attachments. The attachment of marriage dismantles the attachment of friendship. Charlotte Lucas the friend first disappears into marriage, and then Charlotte Collins the married person disappears narratologically. Charlotte's ghostly afterlife in the remainder of the novel is almost entirely epistolary. 59 When the Lydia scandal erupts, Mr. Collins writes in sympathy to Mr. Bennet and claims to speak for Charlotte, who now appears in the guise of an informer on her friends: "there is reason to suppose, as my dear Charlotte informs me, that this licentiousness of behaviour in your daughter, has proceeded from a faulty degree of indulgence" (III.6.327)-a sentiment shared by Elizabeth but that even Elizabeth keeps to herself When Lady Catherine calls on Elizabeth late in the novel, the old friendship between Charlotte and Elizabeth haunts the moment. Charlotte has not only disappeared into epistolarity but now disappears from epistolarity itself: "Elizabeth now expected that she would produce a letter for her from Charlotte, as it seemed the only probable motive for her calling. Bur no letter appeared, and she was completely puzzled" (III.14.390). Elizabeth's puzzlement refers immediately to the occasion of Lady Catherine's visit, but it also signifies more generally her wonder that her intimate friend has vanished. There is one last glimpse of Charlotte, in Mr. Collins's last letter, as reported to Elizabeth by Mr. Bennet: "The rest of his letter is only about his dear Charlotte's situation, and his expectation of a young olive-branch. But, Lizzy, you look as if you did not enjoy it" (III.rs.403). That final "it" refers contextually to Elizabeth's discomfort that at any moment she is going to have to tell her father that she is engaged to a man he still thinks she de-

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spises. But in resonant ambiguity that same "it" (which Elizabeth looks as if she did not enjoy) cannot escape reference to the proximate content of the sentence it follows: the image of a pregnant Charlotte. The shared enjoyments of friendship are long gone, replaced by the dutiful attachments of marriage. The final chapter of Pride and Prejudice totes up the attachments of every significant character in the novel to Elizabeth, Darcy, and Pemberley, in a series of precisely calibrated measurements. But there is not a word in that last chapter-not a word-about Mr. and Mrs. Collins. Altering absolutely her attachment to Elizabeth Bennet by her attachment to Mr. Collins, Charlotte Lucas is abandoned by the novel to the attachments of her parish, her poultry, and her olive branch. Elizabeth gets it just right, at the outset: the passage from friendship to marriage is unaccountable.

The Puzzle ofMrs. Smith in Persuasion Measured with friendship, modern marriage inclines toward a pattern that is progressive and linear: marriage succeeds upon and replaces friendship. Both sibling pairs and friendship pairs supply apprenticeships for the ultimate act of pairing, marriage. One way this model of marriage as telos becomes complicated in Austen's fiction occurs when friendship, instead of disappearing, circles back around in tales of reunion. Friendship slips its anticipatory fetters and behaves instead as repetition. In Northanger Abbey, for example, Austen stages the meeting in Bath of two old "school-fellows," a pair of friends and former intimates who have not seen each other in years. At an assembly room, Mrs. Thorpe and Mrs. Allen encounter one another: Mrs. Allen immediately recognized the features of a former school-fellow and intimate, whom she had seen only once since their respective marriages, and that many years ago. Their joy on this meeting was very great, as well it might since they had been contented to know nothing of each other for the last fifteen years. Compliments on good looks now passed; and, after observing how time had slipped away since they were last together, how little they had thought of meeting in Bath, and what a pleasure it was to see an old friend, they proceeded to make inquiries and give intelligence as to their families, sisters, and cousins, talking both together, far more ready to give than to receive information, and each hearing very little of what the other said. (1.4.24) To read this pair of former friends as simply a set of addlepated chatterboxes is to overlook how the language of this paragraph also expresses the

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general effects of marriage on friendship, regardless of the superficiality of this particular pair. Once married, the two friends have seen each other "only once." Once married, "they had been contented to know nothing of each other." Once married, "how little they had thought of meeting." Once married, when they do happen to be "talking both together," they now talk past one another, "each hearing very little of what the other said." The moral of this tale rests in the words De Quincey attributes to Coleridge: "married people rarely retain much capacity of friendship." Instead, they disappear. But these two old friends nevertheless come back together, and disap~ pearance is complicated by reappearance. Other details also nudge the story slightly offline: whereas Mrs. Allen accompanies her husband to Bath, Mrs. Thorpe, a widow, is on the far side of marriage. At the end of chapter 4, a few more facts emerge about Mrs. Thorpe, but these backstory details barely register, as they are subordinated to the book's running joke about narrative method: Mrs. Thorpe was a widow, and not a very rich one; she was a good-humoured, and a very indulgent mother. Her eldest daughter had great personal beauty, and the younger ones, by pretending to be as handsome as their sister, imitating her air, and dressing in the same style, did very well. This brief account of the family is intended to supersede the necessity of a long and minute detail from Mrs. Thorpe herself, of her past adventures and sufferings, which might otherwise be expected to occupy the three or four following chapters; in which the worthlessness of lords and attornies might be set forth, and conversations, which had passed twenty years before, be minutely repeated. (!.4.26-27)

well~ meaning woman,

Although Mrs. Allen and Mrs. Thorpe are largely creatures of comic caricature, and although the tale of Mrs. Thorpe is sketched only faintly in the margins of the narrative, the bare bones of that tale are worth remarking: she is a widow of limited means, whose experience of "adventures and suffering" includes the "worthlessness of lords and attornies" (the latter of whom are charged with managing affairs of property), and she encounters in Bath a "former school-fellow," an "old friend" who was once an "intimate." I dwell on these details because they apply equally to a far more central and familiar tale-the story of Anne Elliot's friend Mrs. Smiththat appears at the other end of the four volumes of Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, published together in December r8r7. In this pair of novels, marriage at first behaves toward friendship according to rule: marriage

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transforms friends into former friends. But even as that rule is being laid down, it is unsettled. Former friends pop back up, often as needy widows. What now? Austen employs the term "school-fellow" only twice, to introduce Mrs. Thorpe in Northanger Abbey and Mrs. Smith in Persuasion. Soon after Anne Elliot arrives in Bath, "she had called on her former governess, and had heard from her of there being an old school-fellow in Bath, who had the two strong claims on her attention, of past kindness and present suffering" (II.p65). In the exceptional case of the widowed Mrs. Smith, marriage does not cancel friendship but multiplies it. From the penultimate paragraph of the novel, here is the tail end of a sentence referring to the effect of the marriage of Anne and Wentworth on Mrs. Smith: "their marriage, instead of depriving her of one friend, secured her two" (II.12.274). But before she becomes tallied in an atypical surplus, Mrs. Smith herself supplies the motto for the rule of scarcity governing marriage and friendship: "There is so little real friendship in the world" (II.p69). In this section, I argue that the story of Mrs. Smith unsettles the marriage settlement that otherwise seals this last novel's drive toward narrative settlement. As in the previous section, I focus on the play of the term "attachment" to define the stakes of the contest between marriage and friendship. Postwar, Austen turns to a new form of the unaccountability of marriage and friendship. Before attending to the ways in which the novel foregrounds this puzzling friendship by means of the term "attachment," it will be helpful to review in summary the manner and matter of the Mrs. Smith narrative. The story of Mrs. Smith emerges in two separated chapters of the final volume of Persuasion (II.5 and Il.9). Two structural features of the relationship between Anne Elliot and Mrs. Smith repay emphasis at the outset. First, their friendship is founded on a complementary isolation from other people. Anne and Miss Hamilton met at school in Bath as isolated loners: "Anne had gone unhappy to school, grieving for the loss of a mother whom she had dearly loved, feeling her separation from home" (II.p65). Miss Hamilton, three years older, remained at school "from the want of near relations and a settled home" (II.p65). Now, a dozen years later, Mrs. Smith is a widow, poor, and crippled, with no family ties: "She had no child to connect her with life and happiness again, no relations to assist in the arrangement of perplexed affairs" (II.p67). Anne, similarly, although a dutiful servant of her dysfunctional family, especially lacks the sororal ties that gird Dashwood and Bennet sisters in the early novels. The mutual isolation

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of this friendship renders it not unlike a marriage in its exclusivity. A second feature of the friendship that echoes the conjugal is that it is not a new relationship but a reunion. As I argue in Chapter 2, Persuasion is a novel that is notable for its focus not on marriage but remarriage. Similarly, Anne Elliot does not make a new friend in Bath but busies herself "renewing" an old friendship. The language emphasizes repetition: "The visit was paid, their acquaintance re-established, their interest in each other more than rekindled" (II.s.r66). Renewing, reestablishing, and rekindling their friendship, Anne then revisits Mrs. Smith: "In the course of a second visit she talked with great openness, and Anne's astonishment increased" (II.p67). In the world of Persuasion, there are only second attachments. Yet even as this friendship inclines toward the form of the conjugal, it also stands in competition with marriage, as Mrs. Smith understands when she pleads to Anne: "Do not forget me when you are married, that's all" (11.9.212). Mrs. Smith needs to be remembered because she needs Anne's help in a material cause. In a complicated backstory, readers learn that her husband had been a friend ofWilliam Elliot, who then led the young married Smiths (not unwillingly) into ruin. At the death of Charles Smith, Mr. Elliot refused to act as executor of the will and "would do nothing" about what the first of the two chapters about Mrs. Smith refers to only as her "perplexed affairs." In the second chapter devoted to Mrs. Smith, these perplexed affairs are finally spelled out: There was one circumstance in the history of her grievances of particular irritation. She had good reason to believe that some property of her husband in the West Indies, which had been for many years under a sort of sequestration for the payment of its own incumbrances, might be recoverable by proper measures; and this property, though not large, would be enough to make her comparatively rich. But there was nobody to stir in it. Mr. Elliot would do nothing, and she could do nothing herself, equally disabled from personal exertion by her state of bodily weakness, and from employing others by her want of money. (II.9.227) The only other reference in the novel to this "property of her husband in the West Indies" is in the penultimate paragraph of the novel, which salutes Captain Wentworth for "putting her in the way of recovering her husband's property in the West Indies, by writing for her, acting for her, and seeing her through all the petty difficulties of the case" (I1.12.274). As with Fanny Price's questions about abolition in Mansfield Park, multiple lines of argument are wound tightly in these few phrases, which have been read both

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pejoratively (Mrs. Smith is complicit in the slave trade) and honorifically (Mrs. Smith makes a bid for women's independent property rights). 60 What is dear is that Mrs. Smith hopes to use her rekindled friendship with Anne Elliot to leverage herself up and out of abject poverty, by means some read as just and others as unjust. Bracketing off the particular politics of the slave trade or women's property rights, the point I want to stress is how the novel uses these topics to raise the stakes of quotidian questions of friendship and marriage. In the first chapter of the Mrs. Smith narrative, Anne Elliot and Mrs. Smith debate the possibility of what they and the narrator call "disinterested attachment," a question that Mrs. Smith pairs with the possibility of friendship. This sense of attachment as friendship runs both parallel and counter to the book's dominant sense of "true attachment," which is unequivocally conjugal. By this chain of terms and questions, the novel ponders the degree to which marriage itself is a fundamentally selfinterested action, at necessary odds with friendship. In the first of the two chapters devoted to Mrs. Smith, ethical questions about self-interest are framed as a question of friendship, which is located in the language of the larger novel in a web of competing "attachments," especially the conjugal. Mrs. Smith describes Nurse Rooke to Anne in language that gears up their first conversation to a focus on human motive generally: "Hers is a line for seeing human nature" (ll.p68). Early in this chapter, the narrator speaks in the same generalizing language of Mrs. Smith, who "had seen too much of the world, to expect sudden or disinterested attachment any where" (ll.p68). Even as it names an ideal of "disinterested attachment," the novel tallies such a human quality as scarce, if not extinct. Anne Elliot, however, has a much rosier opinion of her fellow human beings and several paragraphs later spins a warm description of how human nature, put to the test in a "sick chamber," shows itself to advantage: "What instances must pass before them of ardent, disinterested, self-denying attachment, of heroism, fortitude, patience, resignation-of all the conflicts and all the sacrifices that ennoble us most" (11.5.169). Anne Elliot hooks the form of attachment called "disinterested" first to passion (it is "ardent") and then to an explicit negation of self: "self-denying." Skeptical, Mrs. Smith responds "more doubtingly" to what she deflates as Anne's "elevated style." Of"human nature" she observes, "generally speaking it is its weakness and not its strength that appears in a sick chamber; it is selfishness and impatience rather than generosity and fortitude that one hears of. There is so little real friendship in the world!" (ll.p69). In Mrs. Smith's account, the

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regular triumphs of selfishness over generosity shove "friendship" onto the endangered species list, where it joins in scarcity "disinterested attachment." Is marriage a form of such victory, in which self-interest annuls friendship? The term "attachment" circulates in Persuasion in three ways: one, in tension, divided between self-interest and selflessness; second, as a sign of conjugal pairing, which becomes the term's major key in the book; and third, in a minor key, as a sign of the pairings of friendship, which unsettles the resolution of the major marriage key. What Mrs. Smith and Anne Elliot attack in William Elliot as "selfishness" makes its first appearance in the book as Sir Walter Elliot's attachment to himself, "the constant object of his warmest respect and devotion" (l.1.4). In the fifth paragraph of the first chapter, the attachment of conjugality that produced Anne Elliot is the secondary effect of-subsequent to and caused by-Sir Walter's primary self-attachment to his own fine physical appearance and bloodline: "His good looks and his rank had one fair claim on his attachment; since to them he must have owed a wife of very superior character to any thing deserved by his own" (l.1.4). "Vanity" is the name by which the novel crisply writes off Sir Walter on this same page: "Vanity was the beginning and the end of Sir Walter Elliot's character; vanity of person and of situation" (l.1.4). Late in the novel, vanity and generosity are opposed in the persons of Elizabeth Elliot and Anne Elliot, and "attachment" flips positions in the opposition, now naming not self-attachment but selfless ideal: "Elizabeth arm in arm with Miss Carteret, and looking on the broad back of the dowager Viscountess Dalrymple before her, had nothing to wish for which did not seem within her reach; and Anne-but it would be an insult to the nature of Anne's felicity, to draw any comparison between it and her sister's; the origin of one all selfish vanity, of the other all generous attachment" (II.8.201). The curious feature of this sentence (which also ends a paragraph) is that "attachment" hangs at the end without a named object: attachment to what? In the moral system deployed by the novel, where the opposing term in this sentence, vanity, has earlier been defined as attachment exclusively to self, this "attachment" stipulates a very large unnamed object: everything other than self The phrase "generous attachment" verges upon an ontological description of Anne Elliot's relationship to the world at large, reminiscent of the summary statement in The Prelude about Mary Hutchinson: "Her life is gratitude." But "attachment" resists being so largely tethered as to be untethered. In Persuasion as a whole, "attachment" inclines relentlessly toward the con-

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jugal. Evidence of this tendency is concentrated in a series of examples early in the novel, all focused in the fourth chapter on Anne Elliot and her history with Frederick Wentworth. The first instance deploys "attachment" elegiacally, to signify their failure to pair off in marriage: "Her attachment and regrets had, for a long time, clouded every enjoyment of youth, and an early loss of bloom and spirits had been their lasting effect" (1.4.30). Then "attachment" is inflected to signify the special power of conjugal pairing: "More than seven years were gone since this little history of sorrowful interest had reached its close; and time had softened down much, perhaps nearly all of peculiar attachment to him" 0.4.30). Next, "attachment" indicates that, for Anne Elliot (and for almost everyone else in this book), marriage signifies remarriage: "No second attachment, the only thoroughly natural, happy, and sufficient cure, at her time of life, had been possible to the nice tone of her mind, the fastidiousness of her taste, in the small limits of the society around them" 0-4-30-31). Finally, the elegiac tone sounds once more, as Anne Elliot is posed as a sadder and wiser Marianne Dashwood: "How eloquent could Anne Elliot have been! how eloquent, at least, were her wishes on the side of early warm attachment, and a cheerful confidence in futurity, against that over-anxious caution which seems to insult exertion and distrust Providence!" (!.4.32). Peculiar attachment, second attachment, early warm attachment: all are conjugal. These many early references to conjugal attachment circle back around late in the novel, when Anne and Wentworth sort out their reattachment. Wentworth explains that he did not understand how deeply he had entangled himself with Louisa Musgrove until he gauged the reaction of his naval friends, who thought of them as attached: "'I found,' said he, 'that I was considered by Harville an engaged man! That neither Harville nor his wife entertained a doubt of our mutual attachment. I was startled and shocked"' (11.11.263). Wentworth's friends read the conjugal story wrong; his "warm attachment" for Anne has instead "revived,'' come back to life. When Wentworth gallantly claims that "to my eye you could never alter," Anne understands that time and conjugal attachment are incommensurate, a point that Judge Wilhelm will argue in Either/Or: "Anne smiled, and let it pass. It was too pleasing a blunder for reproach. It is something for a woman to be assured, in her eight-and-twentieth year, that she has not lost one charm of earlier youth: but the value of such homage was inexpressibly increased to Anne, by comparing it with former words, and feeling it to be the result, not the cause of a revival of his warm attachment" (ll.11.264).

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Revival and repetition, furthermore, are not diminishment (the boredom of Kierkegaard's Seducer, faced with a form that "could never alter") but increase (the "aesthetic validity of marriage" of Judge Wilhelm): "There they returned again into the past, more exquisitely happy, perhaps, in their re-union, than when it had been first projected; more tender, more tried, more fixed in a knowledge of each other's character, truth, and attachment; more equal to act, more justified in acting" (II.II.26I). Often discounted for some clumsy twists, the plot of the second volume of Persuasion also manifests a simple symmetry that sets up the problem of the ending: a reunion of the attachment called friendship effects the reunion of the attachment called marriage. At which point friendship, having performed (again) its apprenticeship, should disappear. But in this last novel, it instead hangs around. Before turning to that ending, where friendship fails to know when to go home, I need to add to the mix one last example in the book of "attachment" inflected conjugally. "Attachment" features prominently in the famous debate between Captain Harville and Anne Elliot on the topic of "woman's inconstancy," which helps stage one of the most intensely conjugal moments in all of Austen's fiction (II.n.254). After Anne rules books out of evidence in the debate ("Men have had every advantage of us, in telling their own story"), she moves to a middle ground in the argument: "God forbid that I should undervalue the warm and faithful feelings of any of my fellow-creatures. I should deserve utter contempt if I dared to suppose that true attachment and constancy were known only by woman" (II.I1.255-56; emphasis added). The phrase "true attachment and constancy" then supplies the verbal hook between Anne and Wentworth as Anne sinks into the spot occupied by the words of the letter he writes while she speaks. While Harville and Anne continue to talk, across a crowded room Wentworth writes to the moment: "You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice, when they would be lost on others-Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating in I F.W." (II.I1.258; emphasis added). As I argue in Chapter 4, this scene presents the shift to a conjugal register of two terms, "sink" and "spot," that earlier in the fiction signify sibling bonds: "sinking into the chair which he had occupied, succeeding to the very spot where he had leaned and written, her eyes devoured the following words" (II.II.257). This is the only instance of any form of the word devour in Austen's fiction; the

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173

scene is narrated with language of unique intensity. Voracious conjugality makes a feast of both sibling ties and friendship. Almost lost in this press of attachments between marriage and attachment are the diminished instances in the novel when attachment denotes friendship. Early in the novel, readers learn of the "strong attachment" of friendship between Lady Elliot and Lady Russell (l.r.5). ''Attachment" also names the fellow-feeling Anne observes between Wentworth and his fellow navy officers in Lyme: "There was so much attachment to Captain Wentworth in all this, and such a bewitching charm in a degree of hospitality so uncommon, so unlike the usual style of give-and-take invitations, and dinners of formality and display" (I.n.105). In the Bath chapters, the navy continues to be an image of the seamlessness of conjugal pairing and friendship. When Anne Elliot watches Admiral and Mrs. Croft navigate the streets of Bath, she sees no boundary between marriage and friendship: Anne is "delighted to see the Admiral's hearty shake of the hand when he encountered an old friend, and observe their eagerness of conversation when occasionally forming into a little knot of the navy, Mrs. Croft looking as intelligent and keen as any of the officers around her" (II.6.183). But after Anne and Wentworth have sealed their reattachment out on the streets of Bath, unlike the Crofts they retreat into exclusivity, and are described in a very different relationship to other sets of people outside the pair: ''And there, as they slowly paced the gradual ascent, heedless of every group around them, seeing neither sauntering politicians, bustling house-keepers, flirting girls, nor nursery-maids and children, they could indulge in those retrospections and acknowledgments ... which were so poignant and so ceaseless in interest" (II.rr.261-62). This conjugal moment now defines "interest" as interest in one other person, exclusively, which obliterates all others: "heedless of every group around them." Roger Michell's 1995 film of the novel has a deft hand with these sentences; the various "groups" of the Bath streets are suddenly a carnival parade when just as suddenly the crowd vanishes and the camera follows Anne and Wentworth "as they slowly paced the gradual ascent," alone together. 61 Except that they are not. The subordinate attachment of friendship trails Mrs. Smith right into the marriage that wraps up the book. In the earlier Mrs. Smith chapters, the narrator and Anne emphasize a particularly striking quality of the crippled Mrs. Smith, a power "which carried her out of herself" (II.p67). In the moral terms of the novel as a whole, this statement is a high compliment, and had it accompanied her out of the novel, all would be well. But this power also carries Mrs. Smith right

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F R I END S

into the Wentworth married home: "She was their earliest visitor in their settled life" (II.r2.274). As I argue in Chapter 2, this is a peculiar sentence at the end of an Austen novel. This book ducks a job the other novels never fail to perform: it does not locate the spot of that settlement, in the least detail. Except to say that Mrs. Smith shows up. Like a guest who does not know when to go home, Mrs. Smith is a major preoccupation of the novel in its closing paragraphs. But I am not inclined to sum her up in the terms of several recent readings, as, pejoratively, a self-interested cog in colonialist machinery, or, honorifically, along any one of several utopian vectors-as a story, for example, of emergent property rights for women, or of a "third sphere" of self-sufficient women, or of the openness of the new companionate marriage, which welcomes old companions into the new marriage circle rather than shuts them out. Although that last reading is a plausible construction of much evidence in the last chapter, it falls short of explaining the curious manner in which that evidence unfolds. In the narrative behavior of the final paragraphs, the novel digs in its heels against pressures both to rule friends out of the conjugal frame or to blend them without hitch into the companionate marriage settlement. Austen's typical practice in a final chapter is to sign off on all the major characters, one by one, in a steady progression that marches along paragraph by paragraph. Especially because Charlotte Lucas Collins is absent from the last chapter of Pride and Prejudice, it is instructive to compare raw lists of the paragraphs in the final chapters of these two books with the corresponding character whose final location defines the job of that paragraph. Here are the eleven paragraphs of the last chapter of Pride and Prejudice: ' I.

Mrs. Bennet

' 2.

Mr. Bennet

' 3· Bingley and Jane

' 4· Kitty Bennet

'5·

Mary Bennet

'7·

Wickham and Lydia

'6. Wickham and Lydia ' 8. Miss Bingley

' 9· Georgianna Darcy

' ro. Lady Catherine

' n. the Gardiners

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175

It is important to recall that the other structural principle of this chapter is to locate each of these characters in relation to Pemberley, the settlement spot that looms large over all these pages. Here, in similar style, are the twelve paragraphs of the final chapter of Persuasion, where there is no settlement spot. This list is expanded also to spell out the subjects of the six sentences that constitute the last paragraph: ,- I.

Sir Walter Elliot

,- 2. Sir Walter Elliot

,- 3· Lady Russell ,- 4· Lady Russell ,- 5· Mary Musgrove

,- 6. Elizabeth Elliot ,- 7· William Elliot ,- 8. Mrs. Clay ,- 9· Sir Walter and Elizabeth Elliot ,- 10.

Anne Elliott and Captain Wentworth (the last sentence turns to Mrs. Smith)

,- n. Mrs. Smith ,- 12.

sentence I. Mrs. Smith sentence 2. Mrs. Smith sentence 3· Mrs. Smith and Anne Elliot sentence 4· Anne Elliot sentence 5· Anne Elliot sentence 6. Anne Elliot

There is much that is odd here. Not only do readers not know where Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth will settle but Mrs. Smith is the subject of roughly three-quarters of the final two paragraphs of the novel. In the last clause of the antepenultimate paragraph, Mrs. Smith is brought back to the fore: "as for Mrs. Smith, she had claims of various kinds to recommend her quickly and permanently" (II.r2.274). In the next paragraph, she will be named "visitor," but the transitory sense of that word plays off against the endurance signified by the closing word of the sentence and the paragraph that reintroduce her: permanently. Such a quality is usually reserved at the end of the marriage plot for conjugal celebrations. But here it shifts to friendship.

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FRIEN DS

The two sentences of the penultimate paragraph are all about Mrs. Smith. The first sentence offers the atypical rule of surplus: "Her recent good offices by Anne had been enough in themselves; and their marriage, instead of depriving her of one friend, secured her two" (I1.12.274). The first clause of the second sentence then supplies the atypical (un)specification of the conjugal settlement spot: "She was their earliest visitor in their settled life" (ll.12.274). Anne and Miss Hamilton had first become necessary to one another because of Miss Hamilton's "want of a settled home" (II.p65). That lack is now filled, with someone else's marriage. The long second clause then relates how Captain Wentworth acts for her in the cause of "recovering her husband's property in the West Indies," which "fully requited the services which she had rendered, or ever meant to render, to his wife" (ll.12.274). At the tail end of a great deal oflast-minute attention, those final words would seem more than sufficient to round off the tale of Mrs. Smith. Mrs. Smith is now "fully requited," both in property and narrative. On to the conjugal couple. But no: the final paragraph of the novel keeps the tale of Mrs. Smith ticking right along. The first sentence opens with a lengthy clause: "Mrs. Smith's enjoyments were not spoiled by this improvement of income, with some improvement of health, and the acquisition of such friends to be often with, for her cheerfulness and mental alacrity did not fail her" (11.12.274). Surely that's enough. But no: the sentence has a second clause. "[A]nd while these prime supplies of good remained, she might have bid defiance even to greater accessions of worldly prosperity" (IL12.274). That must settle it, at last. But no: yet another sentence follows. "She might have been absolutely rich and perfectly healthy, and yet be happy" (ll.12.274). Perfectly and happy are words that are reserved for the blessed couple in conventional close to the marriage plot, but here Mrs. Smith snags them. And the novel is still not done with her. Mrs. Smith gets one last clause, before attention turns, with a sense of afterthought, to Anne: "Her spring of felicity was in the glow of her spirits, as her friend Anne's was in the warmth of her heart" (11.12.274). Paragraph by paragraph, sentence by sentence, clause by clause, there is excess in these last pages that functions recalcitrantly, disruptively, oppositionally, in the manner of the excess in the phrase attached to Sophia Croft: "to walk for her life." Such excess starts to look like a bit of the book's genetic code. "Do not forget me when you are married," says Mrs. Smith (II.9.212). At its close, the novel remembers her with a vengeance. Under the pressure of postwar audit, these books of marriage and friendship resist easy balance.

MARRIAGE AND

POSTSCRIPT:

"A

BEHAVIOUR OF

BACHELOR's MARRIED

COMPLAINT

FRIENDS

OF

177

THE

PEOPLE"

Charles Lamb's marital history is most remarkable as a surrogate performance. Although he proposed marriage once, he paired off for life with his sister Mary, in what he famously called their "double singleness." 62 Devoted not only to his sister but to his wide circle of friends, Lamb was a lively student of the fault line between marriage and friendship. In his essay "A Bachelor's Complaint of the Behaviour of Married People," first published in I8n in Hunt's Reflector, Lamb spells out "what oftenest offends me at the houses of married persons." 63 Like Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth on the streets of Bath, "heedless of every group around them," married couples freeze everyone else out: "The very act of separating themselves from the rest of the world, to have the fuller enjoyment of each other's society, implies that they prefer one another to all the world" (289-90). Lamb falls in with Samuel Johnson's observation in Rasselas that single people "labor under a known sense of inferiority." Married couples, says Lamb, "carry this preference [for one another] so undisguisedly, they perk it up in the faces of us single people so shamelessly, you cannot be in their company a moment without being made to feel, by some indirect hint or open avowal, that you are not the object of this preference" (290). Lamb then turns to the special case of marriage and friendship: If the husband be a man with whom you have lived on a friendly footing before marriage, if you did not come in on the wife's side,-if you did not sneak into the house in her train, but were an old friend in fast habits of intimacy before their courtship was so much as thought on,-look about you-your tenure is precarious-before a twelve-month shall roll over your head, you shall find your old friend gradually grow cool and altered towards you, and at last seek opportunities of breaking with you. (296) In Lamb's account, as elsewhere, marriage spells the death of friendship. Lamb's essay supplies an embarrassing blurb for Austen's novels, when they are marketed as boxed sets of epithalamic icons: "The display of married happiness ... is throughout pure, unrecompensed, unqualified insult" (29I). One of the reasons Wordsworth held back The Prelude was his anticipation that it risked being received as insult; in his words, "it is a thing unprecedented in literary history, for a man to talk so much about himsel£" 64 When Wordsworth builds a book of marriage after Waterloo, it takes the fugitive

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form facilitated by "uniform printing," its bibliographical oddity consonant with the fugitive peculiarity of MS. C of The Prelude. In the 1820 "third volume," the dedication page of The Waggoner salutes "Charles Lamb, Esq., MY DEAR FRIEND." Elsewhere in that book of marriage, Wordsworth turns to the very pairing-his own marriage-that had of necessity put at risk his friendships with Coleridge, Lamb, and indeed all others.

S I X

Marriage

In November 1851, eighteen months after the death of her husband, an eighty-one-year-old Mary Wordsworth began jotting down "scraps" of memories of her family life for her son William. Writing in a fugitive manner "upon the back of your letter, not to waste good paper," she begins with tales of her 1802 wedding, an event far more familiar in the words of Dorothy Wordsworth. 1 In 1802, Mary's parents had been dead for more than a dozen years, and the head of her extended family was now her bachelor uncle, Henry Hutchinson. Because Uncle Henry had already tagged the young William Wordsworth as a "Vagabond," Mary recalls that she "knew it would be useless, or worse than useless to ask his consent but ... in duty bound I wrote to inform him of the intention, and craved his good wishes, or perhaps his Blessing, but I do not remember the words." Uncle Henry responded only with silence, "and we never met for several years." This family blessing was not the only thing withheld from Mary at her wedding. She next tells about a set of prosperous cousins in Newcastle, another bachelor and his three "Maiden sisters": "Before my marriage, we were in

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correspondence, when I lived with your Uncle Thomas, and they used to send me little presents now and then." Not so at her marriage: I also respectfully informed them of the coming Event. Their reply was, "they hoped I had my Uncle's consent." Not being able to respond to this hope favourably, I heard no more ofthem. And your dear Father used to joke with me on the non-arrival of the expected Silver Coffee Pot (which as that was the marriage present they sent to my cousins Hutchinson), I naturally thought they would have presented to me; at the same time I used to express a wish that something might come, to remember them by, more suited to our Establishment. The disappointment, brought its reward, by the many jocund sallies of wit your dear Father used to launch upon my blasted expectations; and we have done very well without a Silver Coffee Pot to this day. Whether it was in consequence of our friends thinking us an improvident Pair, I do not know-but it is a fact that we did not receive a single Wedding Present. 2 Mary Wordsworth evidently did not rank as a wedding present the publication of Coleridge's "Dejection" in the London papers on the morning of her wedding, with its lament for his divorce from "the Spirit and the Power I That wedding Nature to us gives in dower." The figures of the "Vagabond" and the "improvident Pair" in her narrative cut against the grain of marriage as shelter and refuge, inflecting conjugality instead as heedlessness and homelessness. Under the signs of nonarrival and silence, Mary Wordsworth's wedding pattern might be styled "blasted expectations." Although the rhetorical stakes are not pitched nearly as high as in the "Ancient Mariner," marriage here, too, runs the risk of assuming a blasted rather than a blessed guise. A synonym for a curse, the word blast maps a telling linguistic crossroads of marriage and topography, a key juncture of conjugality and landscape. Austen employs the "blasted" idiom once in reference to marriage, when in Pride and Prejudice Darcy responds to Elizabeth's charge that he had "blasted the prospects of Mr Wickham" (11.12.218). Austen uses this form of the word only one other time, in its widespread arboreal derivative, when Edward Ferrars in Sense and Sensibility distances himself from picturesque principles: "I do not like crooked, twisted, blasted trees" (1.!8.84). A "blast" in most prevalent period usage was a hard wind; in the first book of The Prelude, for example, the young Wordsworth climbing his native crags is "suspended by the blast which blew amain" (1805.345). 3 As in Edward Ferrars's language, the past participle typically described landscapes that bore hard marks oflong exposure, such as, in pedigreed usage, the "blasted heath" in the opening scenes of Macbeth. In the "spots of time" passage

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m The Prelude, a "blasted hawthorn," the "one blasted tree," composeswith wind, "sleety rain," a stray sheep, and a "naked wall"-the "bleak music" the speaker feeds on for life when he revisits in memory his father's death. In Mary Wordsworth's memory, to trope the landscape of marriage as blasted, however fleetingly, is to admit exposure and risk. In the Wordsworth section of this chapter, I bring front and center to the argument of this book an overlooked poem about a blasted tree, which I read as a poem about marriage. In order to read the 1819 blank verse poem "To "(which Wordsworth later retitled "The Haunted Tree. To "), I locate it within the history of representations of the marriage of Mary Hutchinson and William Wordsworth, with a special focus on how that human pairing is figured in poetry, at the limits of the task that Kierkegaard's Judge Wilhelm declares to be impossible and that his Seducer declares to be the only writing that matters (but only if it stops just short of marriage). To the many representations of marriage always and only fleetingly on offer in Wordsworth's "third volume" book of marriage, I add in this last chapter two texts that form a key part of that fugitive book: first, in an introductory discussion, the River Duddon sonnets, and second, in detail, the 1819 blank verse "To--In the Austen section of this chapter, I return to two texts, Emma and the final fragment, Sanditon. Especially in these two postwar texts, Austen addresses the fallout of peace through the lens of a paronomastic condition, "ease." Postbellum marriage culture urges the claim that the conjugal pair holds an exclusive patent on ease, a claim registered in the Duddon sonnets in the speaker's call to his beloved to join him in a secluded spot of refuge and rest: "here dwells soft ease." Just as Wordsworth immediately questions that very claim in the 1819 lyric "To ," so Austen surrounds "ease" in Emma and in Sandi ton with structures of indifference, culminating in a set of ludic contests for the place of ease, figured ultimately as the best spot by the fire.

WORDSWORTH AND THE

"To

BLANK VERSE

," 1819

Because the primary Wordsworth focus of this chapter is the unfamiliar blank verse poem "To ," here is a complete text of the poem as it appeared in the River Duddon volume in April 1820. When Wordsworth

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republished the poem in his new collected edition in July 1820, he retitled it "The Haunted Tree. To ." In the rare notice it has attracted, the poem circulates under the first half of that revised title ("The Haunted Tree"), without the subtitle. I instead regularly refer to the poem as "To - - - " t o keep in view its first published form in the "third volume" book of marriage.

To---

5

ro

15

20

25

30

Those silver clouds collected round the sun His mid-day warmth abate not, seeming less To overshade than multiply his beams By soft reflection-grateful to the sky, To rocks, fields, woods. Nor doth our human sense Ask, for its pleasure, screen or canopy More ample than that time-dismantled Oak Spreads o'er this tuft of heath: which now, attired In the whole fulness of its bloom, affords As beautiful a couch as e'er on earth Was fashioned; whether by the hand of art That Eastern Sultan, amid flowers enwrought On silken tissue, might diffuse his limbs In languor; or, by Nature, for repose Of panting Wood-nymph weary of the chace. 0 Lady! fairer in thy Poet's sight Than fairest spiritual creature of the groves, Approach-and, thus invited, crown with rest The noon-tide hour:-though truly some there are Whose footsteps superstitiously avoid This venerable Tree; for, when the wind Blows keenly, it sends forth a creaking sound, Above the general roar of woods and crags; Distinctly heard from far-a doleful note As if (so Grecian shepherds would have deem' d) The Hamadryad, pent within, bewailed Some bitter wrong. Nor is it unbelieved, By ruder fancy, that a troubled Ghost Haunts this old Trunk; lamenting deeds of which The flowery ground is conscious. But no wind Sweeps now along this elevated ridge; Not even a zephyr stirs;-the obnoxious Tree Is mute,-and, in his silence, would look down On thy reclining form with more delight

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35

183

Than his Coevals in the sheltered vale Seem to participate, the whilst they view Their own far-stretching arms and leafy heads Vividly pictured in some glassy pool, That, for a brief space, checks the hurrying stream! (Ketcham 281-82)

After revising the tide for the July 1820 second collected edition, Wordsworth made only one other substantial change to the body of the poem. For its republication in his third collected edition in 1827, he added one verse, "0 lovely Wanderer of the trackless hills," between lines 33 and 34 of the 1820 text. There is one other especially important signifier in its postpublication textual history, however. In the 1820 collected edition, Wordsworth located "To " in the primary category "Poems of the Imagination," the only one of the three new postwar blank verse poems placed in that group, first assembled in 1815. 4 "To " was never removed from the privileged "Imagination" category; it is also one of only two new blank verse poems (the other a short descriptive piece from 1836) added to "Poems of the Imagination" after 1815. 5 I produce these facts not to close off an argument about the quality of the verse but to register the special status of the poem in the ways Wordsworth handles it, especially because "To--has long settled into a silent byway in the Wordsworth archive. There is nothing else like it in Wordsworth's poetry.

The History ofa Marriage In 1819, Percy Bysshe Shelley coined the word unsexual to describe Wordsworth. The target of Shelley's satire in Peter Bell the Third is styled a "solemn and unsexual man."6 In the J. H. Reynolds parody of Peter Bell earlier in the year, Wordsworth is instead uxorious: "I do doat on my dear wife." Caught in a crossfire, Wordsworth is excluded both from pairing off and from everything except pairing off The idea ofWordsworth and marriage in 1819 elicits only hyperbolic responses, where marriage is either impossible or domineering. I take this rhetorical effect as a sign of the elusiveness of marriage, available to post-Waterloo representation only in caricature. The contrasting pictures by Shelley and Reynolds confess the same impossible task, writing about marriage with anything other than tools of exaggeration. Upping the ante of late-Regency satire, Thomas De Quincey in 1839 launched in strongest form the influential argument that Wordsworth's

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marriage was a contradiction in terms: "To us who, in after years, were Wordsworth's friends, or at least intimate acquaintances ... the most interesting circumstance in this marriage, the one which perplexed us exceedingly, was the possibility that it should ever have been brought to bear. For we could not conceive ofWordsworth as submitting his faculties to the humilities and devotion of courtship .... [N]ever could he, in any emphatic sense, have been a lover." 7 De Quincey's skepticism forms the backdrop to most subsequent accounts of the Wordsworth marriage; even very sympathetic biographies are underwritten by an air of puzzlement when the topic turns to the Wordsworth marriage. 8 In belated sequel to Emile Legouis's publication of the Annette Vallon story in 1922, the 1977 discovery and publication of two sets of "love letters" between Mary and William in 1810 and 1812 seemed to promise a new period in the study of the Wordsworth marriage. 9 But that new study remains largely unrealized; the Wordsworth marriage rests opaque. In the recovered letters, marriage is a story the two participants tell one another about themselves, over and over again, day after day, with a heightened self-consciousness of the temporality of the tale. The most telling example of this feature is the text that ignited in Mary's bed, which I spotlight in Chapter 1. As I argue there, this passage and its literally accidental gaps are emblematic of the crux of modern marriage writing: a document that seems to speak, exceptionally, from deep within the impervious quiet of marriage is nevertheless riddled with silent blanks. But in this chapter, I want to argue that those blanks are readable, in this sense: although the words are gone, these blanks signify as (missing) markers in-and by their absence draw attention to-what is clearly a temporal sequence, a narrated history. The history of this marriage dwells in documents in which the marriage itself is already figured as a history, whose subjects are extraordinarily conscious of its temporality as they construct it day by day, moment by moment (Wordsworth ends that day's version of the tale with the phrase "till this very moment when I am writing"). Mary elsewhere in the love letters calls their mode of representation "repetition," which Kierkegaardian term calls attention to how these love letters as form convey a powerful sense of the dailiness of the experience. 10 Wordsworth cannot do otherwise than write about marriage. The culture claims he never does. In 1842, Henry Crabb Robinson reported that Wordsworth spoke of how a series of poems "should be read in succession as exhibiting the different phases of his affection for his wife." 11 In spite of the (secondhand)

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authority ofWordsworth's invitation, however, there are two simple reasons not to limit to Robinson's brief list the reading of the Wordsworth marriage in Wordsworth's poetry: Wordsworth later assembled a very different set of poems about Mary, and there are many other poems clearly written to Mary or about Mary that appear in neither set. 12 One of the many texts missing from Robinson's list is the sequence of sonnets in the title of the April 1820 publication that completes the "third volume" book of marriage: The River Duddon; Vaudracour and julia; and Other Poems. Taking my cue from Mary Moorman's overlooked observation that the Duddon sonnets are "in a special way an offering to Mary," in the next section I consider the case that the Duddon sequence, one of the headline texts of the "third volume," is an important document in the history of the Wordsworth marriage. 13

The River Duddon Sonnets On a Friday morning in early September r8n, Mary Wordsworth and her husband bid good-bye to their servant Fanny and two of their five children, Catherine, age three, and Thomas, five, who had been with them at the southwest Cumbrian seaside for the past month, in hopes of improved health for the two children, especially for the lame Catherine. 14 For the next two days, until they arrived home on Sunday morning, Mary and William were alone together not only for the first time in their month at the beach but also for one of the rare intervals since the birth of their first child in r8o3. On Friday September 6, the pair worked their way back up the Duddon Valley from Duddon Bridge through Ulpha to Seathwaite, where they spent the night. On Saturday September 7, they took the high crossing over Walna Scar from Seathwaite and the Duddon to the Caniston Valley, spending Saturday night in Yewdale and arriving home Sunday morning. Here is William's account of that brief excursion in a letter to Sara Hutchinson in Wales, later in September r8n: Mary and I returned from Duddon Bridge, up the Duddon and through Seathwaite, the children with Fanny taking the direct road through Coniston. We dined in the Porch of Ulpha Kirk, and passed two Hours there and in the beautiful churchyard. Our pace was so slow and our halts so many and long that it was half past 4 in the afternoon before we reached New Field (the public House in Seathwaite) though we had left Duddon Bridge at nine. The next day we took a long time to reach Eugh-Dale, over that

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long and steep ascent you will remember to have passed with Coleridge and me a few years ago. 15 The month at the beach worked well enough that in the same letter, Wordsworth reports that the family has already booked a spot for the next summer: "We have made an arrangement for all the family's being received next year, the greatest part of us in a house close to the sea shore, with a noble beach in front at low water." But such a grand family holiday was not to be. By the summer of 1812, Catherine had died in early June while her parents were in London and Wales, and Thomas would be dead within a few more months. The deaths of Catherine and Thomas Wordsworth in 1812 were a wrenching experience in the marriage. The trauma is most evident in the poetry in texts such as "Maternal Grief," Book III of The Excursion (the grief of the Solitary and his wife), and, most famously, the sonnet "Surprized by joy." 16 I propose adding to that set the thirty-three sonnets published as "The River Duddon. A Series of Sonnets" in the River Duddon volume in April 1820, a way of thinking about these poems that runs counter to prevailing accounts of the sequence. Because its method is forthrightly topographical, the Duddon sequence comes packaged editorially and critically with detailed inventories of the landscape, emphasizing Wordsworth's experience of the Duddon as an experience of place, on multiple occasions-and not, notably, of other people, on any particular occasion. In the words of their Cornell Wordsworth editor, the Duddon sonnets are remarkable for their "absence of human companionship," an echo of another editor's complaint that the Waterloo poems are "empty of human beings." 17 But in both cases, the emptiness and the absence are the point. Against the topographical surface grain of the Duddon sonnets, in the Fenwick note Wordsworth tells several vivid tales of human company on his Duddon visits. Most tellingly, the 1843 note concludes his series of anecdotes by drawing close to the I8II visit and then turning away, to break off Here is the end of that long note: "I have many affecting remembrances connected with this stream. These I forbear to mention, especially things that occurred on its banks during the later part of that visit to the seaside [in I8II]." 18 Forbearance is a constitutive trope of the poems published in 1820, withholding at a formal distance the trauma of the children's deaths in 1812 and the tragic gap between that trauma and the marriage journey that closed the summer I8II idyll. In Dominick LaCapra's terms, the deaths of the children are a historical trauma, a discrete experience

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of loss. In contrast, marriage is a foundational response to what LaCapra defines as transhistorical trauma, the quotidian experience of absence. The Duddon sonnets offer a record of the limits of marriage as an everyday mode of what LaCapra terms "learning to live with" absence, especially when that marriage has also suffered the assaults of a historical trauma. 19 In the Duddon sequence, a medial subset of midday poems foregrounds the pastoral moment of noonday repose, which is precisely the moment of "To ,"composed a few months later. One of the few images in Wordsworth's letter reporting the r8n tour tracks the pace of the married pair on their September day along the Duddon, which is notable for its moments of rest: "our halts so many and long." Just such a pause occasions the twenty-fourth sonnet in the r82o set, which, unlike many of the other poems, draws special attention to its topic in its title, "The Resting-Place." 20 It is the resting moment just past noon when, cloudless and breezeless, the landscape is "sultry" (l. r) and the solitary speaker seeks the place of "re" a few months later, the speaker, no longer solipose" (l. 3). In "To tary but now paired off, invites a beloved other to "crown with rest I The noon-tide hour," the breezeless time of"mid-day warmth." Given the nearly identical pastoral setups of the two sets of verses, what is most immediately remarkable about the Duddon sequence is the absence of any other human being. But this very absence is exactly the subject of the very next sonnet (25), which is a very peculiar text. The solitary speaker, now at noonday rest, indulges what can only be called a fantasy of how his absent beloved"The One for whom my heart shall ever beat I With tenderest love" (11. 4-5)-might be transported into his presence. He supplies a blueprint of the desired machinery that risks risibility: perhaps "some benignant Minister of air" might "Lift, and encircle with a cloudy chair" (ll. 2-3) his absent beloved, "and the cherish' d burden bear I O'er hill and valley to this dim retreat" (ll. 7-8). (There is even a Plan B: "or, if a safer seat I Atween his downy wings be furnished, there I Would lodge her" [11. 5-7].) With their desire for safe lodging and benign encirclement, these odd images clearly (if curiously) express anxiety about the well-being of the absent beloved and spring from what the last poem in the subset explicitly names the "mind of absence" (sonnet 27, l. 12). 21 In the Duddon sequence, the physical separation of speaker and beloved, which is brought to a focused point in this medial subset, points to the incommensurability of two prior experiences, the paired togetherness of the September r8n journey and the 1812 deaths of the two children so closely associated with that same Duddon interlude.

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As the speaker in the twenty-fifth sonnet laments the absent "companionship" of his beloved (l. w), he summons her in mind to a resting place that is figured as shelter and refuge: "here dwells soft ease" (l. w). That place of refuge, which the twenty-fifth poem calls "this dim retreat" (l. 8), is described in detail in "The Resting-Place": "This Nook, with woodbine hung and straggling weed, I Tempting recess as ever pilgrim chose, I Half grot, half arbour, proffers to enclose I Body and mind, from molestation freed, I In narrow compass-narrow as itself (ll. 5-9). Such a sanctuary is the very place of sublime withdrawal that organizes the blank verse "Lycoris" sequel in 1817, the "dim Egerian grotto fringed I With ivy-twine, profusely from its brows I Dependent." Here, instead of the interiorized stasis of meditative calm in "To the Same" (which travels back to "Travelling" and the "Nutting" drafts), this safe haven temptingly affords refuge from molestation, a rare word (in any form) in Wordsworth's lexicon. In the one other verse record of the Duddon beach excursion of 18n, the "Epistle to Sir George Beaumont," molest is the atypical verb Wordsworth selects to figure the "assaults" that threaten any "brood" sheltered in the domiciliary "nest" (Ketcham 93). This chain of signifiers is a form of forbearance, of restraint: the poems turn to face even as they abstain from foregrounding the deaths of children. In the Duddon sonnets, a pair of bereaved parents, a speaker and his absent beloved, stand separately with the gentlemen of Cyprus in Othello before the blast that threatens the Venetian Aeet, who "never did like molestation view I On the enchafed Rood" (Act 2, Scene I, II. 16-17). Nine months after their September 18n journey together along the Duddon, Mary Wordsworth made her first visit to Tintern Abbey, while William was in London. Her letter to William laments their separation, only in less elaborate style than the twenty-fifth Duddon sonnet: "0 William what enchanting scenes have we passed through ... only I must say longings to have you by my side have this day been painful to me beyond expression." When she arrives at the abbey, just past midnoon, she takes her place of rest: "I sate a long time alone in a deep nich & I would have given the World to have had thee by my side" (219-20). But such sanctuaries are emphatically not from molestation free. The manuscripts of the love letters that report Mary's excited travels along the Wye also contain her later sorrowful annotations: Mem. We returned from this proposed journey-to meet a letter bringing the acct. of the death of our dear Child Catharine, which was followed by

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her Father. What a blow to our happiness. Our first sorrow which had overtaken our married life-My Companion in his Fathers absence darling Thos was taken from us in Deer. of the same year 1812. M W The Duddon sonnets simultaneously approach and withhold these traumatic events and their associated memories. In "The Resting-Place" subset, forbearance yields forms of absence that constitute a caesura in the Duddon sequence, the pause, both in theme and performance, that gives shape to what precedes and follows. A few months later, the emptied telos that is the title of "To - - is a kindred form of shaped absence, as is the very form-fugitive, fleeting, elusive, notional-of the "third volume" in which both poems first appear. Before reading the strikingly different kind of resting place on offer ,"there is a necessary preliminary: the mystery of the missing in "To name. I labor under no illusion that Shakespeare's sonnets refuse understanding until the Dark Lady is at last pinpointed as Emilia Lanier, or Mary Fitton, or Lucy Negro, or someone yet unknown. But I am also confident that "Tintern Abbey" is better understood when the apostrophized "friend" and "sister" is identified as Dorothy Wordsworth. My argument that the " is Mary Wordsworth depends name missing from the title "To upon a forbidding amount of compositional, bibliographical, and biographical details, on several different fronts. I summarize my argument in the following discussion, but I have placed the full exposition of that case in the Appendix, in order not to delay the reading of this extraordinary poem.

The Puzzle ofApostrophic Form in "To - - - " When Wordsworth republished "To "in July 1820, in the new fourvolume second collected edition, he retitled the poem. The new main title, "The Haunted Tree," redirects attention from the blank name of the "third volume" title to a natural object. But Wordsworth did not erase the original ,"remains the subtitle in all subsequent title. The original title, "To reprintings of the poem, and that particular combination of title and subtitle is an extremely rare form among the huge set ofWordsworth's titles. 22 The point I want to stress is that this poem's apostrophic form remains foundational, although Wordsworth subordinated the announcement of that form almost immediately when he republished the poem. Only in the "third volume" does the poem begin with the simple, unmodified act of address-the object of which is missing.

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And it still is. Alone among Wordsworth's apostrophic poems, the 1819 blank verse "To "has never yielded the name of its addressee. 23 The Cornell Wordsworth editors sign off on this recalcitrant question with a brief note to the line in the text (16) that modifies the blank with the epithet "Lady": the poem "leave[s] the identity of the lady quite uncertain." 24 Contrary to Wordsworth's many different practices by which he always fills these kinds of blanks in his poetry (see the Appendix for details), Words."It worth never supplies a name to fill the blank in the tide of"To remains an exception to every rule a reader can define about how Wordsworth constructs, publishes, revises, and annotates such apostrophic texts. " Among Wordsworth's apostrophic poems, the 1819 blank verse "To . . . Is sut genens. My point is that the emptied telos in this poem's tide is not a footnote or philological cul-de-sac but an urgent and special puzzle. Apart from the unlikely possibility that the poem is addressed to no one in particular, there are three plausible candidates to fill the blank in the title: Lady Mary Lowther, Dorothy Wordsworth, and Mary Wordsworth. 2 s I argue these separate cases in that order in the Appendix, assembling evidence in each instance both for and against the question. In one sense this entire book has been designed to buttress my conclusion that this poem is addressed to Mary Wordsworth-and to understand why Wordsworth never says so. There are two special features of the history of "To " that I want to underscore here as a summary of the forensic matter in the Appendix: its exceptionality and its silence. As I demonstrate in the many exhibits in the appear Appendix, these two mutually dependent features of "To in multiple forms on multiple occasions, but here I cast them in summary guise by highlighting two representative facts: "To " is the most substantial new blank verse text Wordsworth ever added to the "Poems of the Imagination" after the end of war in 1815; it is also Wordsworth's only major apostrophic text that never names its object of address. "To--is a poem marked formally as major in kind and consistently shaped by deliberate reticence, with silence by design. I interpret the exceptionality and silence of "To " as signature features of modern marriage writing. The impossibility of deciding beyond all doubt that the 1819 blank verse "To "is addressed to Mary Wordsworth may be understood to express the liability of modern marriage, as that crisis is put by Stanley Cavell: "If marriage is the name of our only present alternative to the desert-sea of

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skepticism, then for that very reason this intimacy cannot be celebrated, or sanctified; there is no outside to it. You may describe it as lacking its poetry; as if intimacy itself, or the new pressure upon it, lacked expression. No wonder you cannot tell who is married." 26 Or cannot tell, with absolute certainty, when a spouse is speaking to a spouse. If the human relationship figured in "To "is a marriage-and I am persuaded that it is-such a conclusion only marks the beginning of interpretation. In "To - - the key figure of "rest" is no longer a trope of permanence and stasis but a trope of contingency and risk. In Cavell's terms, the human relationship on offer in the poem is not marriage, but remarriage.

"To

"and the Poetics ofIndifference

The following reading of "To " breaks out in three parts. Because the poem is unfamiliar, I begin with close work along the grain of the text's own figures and diction and pair the poem by way of contrast with the 1799 poem "To M. H.," from the "Poems on the Naming of Places." In form, "To " is by design an exercise in pastoral; in a second stage of the reading, I turn to the poem's Virgilian occasion, the Tenth Eclogue, to bring to view the ways in which the poem is an interrupted pastoral, to employ Geoffrey Hartman's resonant phrase for a foundational structure in Wordsworth's poetryY To work back against the grain of the text, I turn at the end to the ways in which the language of"To engages postwar metropolitan marriage culture. "To " is populated by just two people. Other members of the tribe are simply absent from this landscape for this moment, a singling out of the pair as the social form where the stakes of identity are played, for the space of this poem. The speaker ("thy poet") and the "Lady" he addresses are located on "this elevated ridge" (l. 31), where there is a "tuft of heath" which is "now, attired I In the whole fulness of its bloom" (ll. 8-9), the "now" indicating that the temporal present of the poem is to be understood in contrast to an unstated "then," which past time the poem figures in several complex ways. Ridges are by definition elevated; the poem risks redundancy ("this elevated ridge") in order to emphasize height, which other parts of the poem will trope as exposure, in pointed contrast to images of sheltered sanctuary. The most notable feature of this exposed ridge is a tree, described in four phrases in the poem, in this sequence: a "time-dismantled Oak" (l. 7),

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"This venerable Tree" (1. 21), "this old Trunk" (1. 29) and-most arrestingly-"the obnoxious Tree" (I. 32). It is an aged tree, "time-dismantled," which phrase signifies that the tree has been literally stripped of its cloaking mantle, its protective, sheltering cover. The detail on offer is that this is an old tree barely in leaf (as the Keats of a Grecian urn might have it), if at all. The larger topic in the poem is shade, or peculiar forms thereof: the first sentence directs attention to the ways in which a particular set of clouds at a particular moment do not shade but "overshade" (1. 3) the sun in a benign process of "soft reflection" (1. 4)-instead of normal diminishment (shade), unexpected increase ("multiply"). 28 That first sentence then introduces a second scene of shade that is also, paradoxically, not shade: the shade provided by an old tree shorn of its protective cover. But this lack of shade is sufficient in the "now" of the poem: "human sense" does not require ("Ask") any additional ("More ample") shade or shelter ("screen or canopy") than what is produced by the "time-dismantled Oak" (II. 5-7). All the images in the first ten lines of the poem work to describe the tree as stripped down, worn, and aged: a blasted thing. Rounding off the opening set of figures, the very next image of "the whole fulness of its bloom" (1. 9) is explicitly not the tree but, in pointed contrast to arboreal bareness, the blooming surface of the earth beneath it, the "tuft of heath" (I. 8), the "Bowery ground" of line 30. The heath in full bloom on the ridge beneath the timeworn tree anticipates the poem's ultimate contrasting image of vegetative fullness, the "leafy heads" {1. 37) of the flourishing trees down below the ridge in a "sheltered vale" (l. 35). The poem is very precise about how time has marked these two separate sets of trees, high and low. The flourishing trees ("far-stretching arms") down below do not prosper by virtue of youthfulness, in temporal contrast to the old tree on the ridge {"venerable Tree," "this old Trunk"). The two sets of trees are instead, eye-catchingly, "Coevals" (1. 35), explicitly of the same age. But whereas time and blasting weather ("when the wind I Blows keenly") have dismantled the old tree on the ridge, its chronological peers down below flourish by virtue of their protected location in the "sheltered vale." The "far-stretching arms and leafy heads" of these sheltered trees are stock figures of shaded sanctuary, in pointed contrast to the peculiar forms of nonshade already in play in the poem: the amplifying clouds of the opening sentence, the "screen or canopy" (which isn't much of either) of an old bare tree. Among other significations, "canopy" refers to the topmost branches of a tree, what in a different poem Wordsworth describes as "a

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hoary oak's thin canopy." 29 With a "canopy" that is unsheltering shelter, the poem prepares the way for the contrasting image of the "leafy heads" (1. 37) of the flourishing trees in the sheltered vale. In the poem's most striking piece of diction, the old tree on the ridge is set apart from its sheltered peers as "obnoxious." Wordsworth uses the word in its older primary sense of"exposed to harm," ob-noxa, "at risk." 30 This older sense was still primary as late as the early nineteenth century, but this sense of vulnerability, by which the word was used to describe things of value and worth, has since been replaced by the current primary sense of well-deserved risk, of noxiousness. In other words, whereas obnoxious now signifies offensive behavior, it formerly signified the risks incurred by benign (if ill-advised, or ill-placed) action. For example, in an r812 letter, Wordsworth, alarmed, realizes that he has written very intimately to Mary in Wales on a franked cover already addressed elsewhere; he has committed to the wrong paper "some tender and overflowing expressions of Love which were meant for no eyes but thine." Covering his tracks, he remarks that he has now "blotted the sheet so that it is impossible to make out the obnoxious expressions." 31 "Tender and overflowing expressions of Love" are "obnoxious" when th~y risk exposure to the wrong audience. In the 1819 poem, "obnoxious" in the sense of exposed (the bare tree on the ridge) is pointed against "sheltered" in the sense of protected (the flourishing trees down below). To use Wordsworth's r8o8 phrase chastising a reader who paid only casual attention to a poem's details, the "object of the poem" depends upon the core topographical contrast between protected vale and exposed ridge, between "sheltered" and "obnoxious." 32 The human pair pauses on the elevated ridge, distinct and separate from the sheltered vale. On that exposed height, the speaker invites a "Lady" to "crown with rest I The noon-tide hour" (ll. 18-19). The risks of that exposed location are held at a temporal distance in the two phrases that specify the "now" of the poem, which is meteorologically and seasonally benign: "no wind I Sweeps now" on the height (II. 30-31), and there is even (temporary) comfort there: the ground cover is "now, attired I In the whole fulness of its bloom" (II. 8-9). What kind of resting place is this elevated ridge with its obnoxious, time-dismantled tree? In the River Duddon sonnets composed only a few months previously, the "resting-place" singled out in the title of the twenty-fourth poem is, topographically, a deeply secluded, deeply sheltered spot of refuge. Throughout Wordsworth's writing, this is the overwhelmingly dominant pattern: moments of repose

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are everywhere embedded in figures of distinctly (sometimes extremely) recessed sanctuary-shaded nooks, groves, bowers, niches, caves, grots. In the opening verses of The Prelude, to use but one prominent example, the speaker makes his life's choice of"one sweet vale" from the vantage of"the shelter' d grove where I was couch' d," a "green shady place" where, alone, he has come to rest, escaped from the city. Instead of uncomplicated safe harbor, threats and disturbances regularly stalk these figures of sanctuary. Most famously disrupted is the "bower" of "Nutting," the "shady nook" where the speaker "luxuriates" alone "beneath the shady trees" before he erupts and sunders the "quiet being" of the sheltered space. In the 1819 ''To ,"the "delight" attributed to the pair resting on the ridge also does not rest easy, for the poem is filled with the unshakable residue of the past, consciousness of "some bitter wrong" dogging the "troubled Ghost" that is the timeworn tree. Wordsworthian shelter is never impregnable shelter, "from molestation freed," in the language of the wish expressed in the Duddon sonnet called "the resting-place." But these vulnerable places of refuge are nevertheless almost always places of sheltered withdrawal. Not so in "To--The many figures of recessed sanctuary associated with "Nutting" and its manuscripts arrive in the 1820 "third volume" most explicitly in the "Lycoris" sequel "To the Same," which I discuss in Chapter 4· There, the shelter takes the extreme form of a "dim Egerian grot" at the same time that the signature invitation to "rest" disappears. Here, I want to call attention to a kindred set of figures of refuge from conjugal rather than sibling settings. In the 1812 letters, for example, William in London writes to Mary in Wales, "Oh what an age seems it till we shall be again together under the shade of the green trees, by the rippling of the waters" (230)-written on the very day when, unknown to them, their daughter Catherine was dying at home in Grasmere. In the burned letter that narrates the "progress" of their love, Wordsworth exclaims, "I think of you by the waters & under the shades of the Wye," and when Mary arrives at Tintern Abbey, she reports that she retreated to a "deep nich," where "I would have given the World to have had thee by my side" (220). The most explicit text linking conjugality and sanctuary in Wordsworth's poetry is the blank verse lyric "ToM. H.," one of the "Poems on the Naming of Places," written in late 1799 and, with "Nutting," published in the second edition of Lyrical Ballads in 18oo. As the Fenwick note observes, the poem was written "two years before our marriage." In the 1842 Crabb Robinson list, it is the first

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poem Wordsworth mentions to exhibit the "different phases" of his "affection for his wife."

ToMH Our walk was far among the antient trees: There was no road nor any wood-man's path, But the thick umbrage, checking the wild growth Of weed or sapling, on the soft green turf 5 Beneath the branches of itself had made A track which brought us to a slip of lawn And a small bed of water in the woods. All round this pool both flocks and herds might drink On its firm margin, even as from a well IO Or some stone-bason which the Herdsman's hand Had shaped for their refreshment, nor did sun Or wind from any quarter ever come But as a blessing to this calm recess, This glade of water and this one green field. 15 The spot was made by Nature for herself: The travellers know it not, and 'twill remain Unknown to them; but it is beautiful And if a man should plant his cottage near, Should sleep beneath the shelter of its trees, 20 And blend its waters with his daily meal, He would so love it that in his death-hour Its image would survive among his thoughts, And therefore, my sweet Mary, this still nook With all its beeches we have named from You. The phrase "if a man should plant his cottage near" picks up very early images from Wordsworth's juvenilia, such as the "Anacreon" imitation in 1786: "The pathway winding through the dale, I The cot, the seat of Peace and Love, I Peeping through the tufted grove." 33 This youthful fantasy of conjugal refuge becomes in "To M. H." a hallowed "spot" (1. 15) distinguished as densely shaded sanctuary, a place where "thick umbrage" (1. 3) provides refuge "beneath the branches" (1. 5), the "shelter of its trees" (1. 19). It is a place of "calm recess" (1. 13), a phrase that in the poem's one surviving manuscript fragment is "deep recess." 34 This "still nook" (1. 23) is also distinguished by a "pool" (l. 8), "a small bed of water in the woods" (1. 7) on the margins of which there are no blasted, time-dismantled, obnoxious trees: "nor did sun I Or wind from any quarter ever come I But

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as a blessing" (ll. n-13)-even when the wind blows keenly. In the 1819 "To ,"these many figures of conjugal refuge in 'ToM. H." are the very figures of sanctuary collected in the image of "the sheltered vale" that concludes the poem:

35

But no wind Sweeps now along this elevated ridge; Not even a zephyr stirs;-the obnoxious Tree Is mute,-and, in his silence, would look down On thy reclining form with more delight Than his Coevals in the sheltered vale Seem to participate, the whilst they view Their own far-stretching arms and leafy heads Vividly pictured in some glassy pool, That, for a brief space, checks the hurrying stream!

But here's the rub. In the 1819 poem, this ultimate place of sanctuary is a place of illusion: the flourishing trees in the sheltered vale with its "glassy pool" only "seem to participate" the "delight" attributed instead to the lady and her poet on the elevated ridge, with its blasted tree. 35 In "To--there are two deferrals operating redundantly to privilege the pair on the exposed ridge: the scene on the ridge is first defined to be the place of "more delight," and then what (lesser) delight belongs to the vale is categorically dismissed as illusory. The comparative language of "more delight" in line 34 repeats an earlier grammar of privilege in the moment of invitation: "0 Lady! fairer in thy Poet's sight I Than fairest spiritual creature of the groves" (ll. 16-q). The pair on the ridge are first privileged comparatively in contrast to another arboreal figure, "groves," that anticipates the sheltered vale. 36 For the pair on the ridge, the phrase "fairer ... Than fairest" also aims toward a difference not of degree but of kind. The language leapfrogs the logic of comparative degree to take the expression literally off the scale. On the elevated ridge at this moment, this lady and her poet are a pair different in kind from those taking refuge in a grove or sheltered vale. My argument is that a meaningful name for this difference is (re)marriage. That case also draws upon two other major categories of images in the poem, figures of myth and figures of luxury. Groves was the English word (of uncertain etymology) long used to describe woods that were the haunt of gods and goddesses, and here the word is exactly that, the shelter for "spiritual creatures." 37 Built upon the poem's core topographical opposition between vulnerable ridge and vale of illusory shelter, figures of myth

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(the "Hamadryad," most conspicuously) and figures of luxury (the "Eastern Sultan," most conspicuously) open the poem, obliquely, into multiple iterations of history, both personal and public. I take up myth and the poet's personal history in the context of the poem's rewriting of pastoral; I take up luxury and contemporary history in the context of the poem's response to metropolitan marriage culture.

Virgil's Tenth Eclogue: Lycoris, the Hamadryad, and the Farewell to Pastoral In February r8r9, Wordsworth wrote to his old friend Francis Wrangham, with whom he had collaborated on an unfinished Juvenal imitation in 1795-97. Now a cleric and scholar, Wrangham printed fifty copies of his translation of Virgil's Eclogues in r8r5. Wordsworth was studying his copy in the late winter of 1819: "I ought to have thanked you before for your versions of Virgil's Eclogues, which reached me at last. I have lately compared it line for line with the original, and think it very well done." 38 In terms of Wordsworth's own new work, the Virgil text that dearly occupied him most was the Tenth Eclogue, the final poem in the set. There are two unmistakable traces of the Tenth Eclogue in Wordsworth's verse at this time: the unusual name "Lycoris," which I discuss in Chapter 4, and the word Hamadryad. "Hamadryad" is a rare lexical item even in classical texts; its appearance in the Tenth Eclogue is its only instance in Virgil, which is one of only a handful of instances throughout Greek and Latin literature. The word Hamadryad also appears only once in Wordsworth's poetry, in the r8r9 "To ," composed only a few months after Wordsworth was scrutinizing Virgil's text and Wrangham's new translation. A demonstrably proximate part of the foundation of that poem, the Tenth Eclogue offers a way to understand "To " as valediction. As it refigures in arresting ways what Geoffrey Hartman calls the "pausal moment" that is poetry, "To " bids farewell to the idea of the human pair as shelter in order to greet an idea of the pair as finding its rest, paradoxically, in risk:~ 9 As I discuss with these same examples in Chapter 4, Virgil's Tenth Eclogue is a poem offered to the warrior-poet Gallus to assuage "the anguish of his heart." His love, Lycoris, has left him for another; the poem first shapes a procession of Arcadian gods who attempt to bring comfort. But Gallus is inconsolable; he pictures despondently the sheltered retreat where he and his love might have found repose, but which is now only an

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abandoned dream: "Hie gelidi fontes, hie mollia prata, Lycori; I hie nemus; hie ipso tecum consumerer aevo" (Here are cool springs, soft mead and grove, Lycoris; I Here might our lives with time have worn away). 40 At the end of Gallus's long lament that fills the bulk of the poem, these figures of longing build to the poem's first valediction, in the voice of Gallus: "lam neque Hamadryades rursus nee carmina nobis I ipsa placent; ipsae rurus concedite, silvae" (Now neither Hamadryads, no, nor songs I Delight me more: ye woods, away with you!). Gallus turns his back on the allure of the sheltered retreat, the grove and woods (nemus and silvae) that signify for him the togetherness of the pair. When the closing frame returns to the poet's voice, the poem speaks at the last a second farewell, a second valediction. Again, the place to be abandoned is the shaded retreat. Here once more are the antepenultimate and penultimate verses (with emphasis added): "Surgamus: solet esse gravis cantantibus umbra, I luniperi gravis umbra; nocent et frugibus umbrae" (Come, let us rise: the shade is wont to be baneful to singers; I Baneful is the shade cast by the juniper, crops sicken too in shade). 41 In Paul Alpers's summation, "these lines are usually regarded as a farewell to pastoral, mainly because of the striking emphasis on the harmfulness of the shade that elsewhere in the Eclogues is a sign of pastoral ease and the peacefulness of evening."42 In this Virgilian context, the figure of the "sheltered vale" at the end of "To " performs a valediction to the poet's long and complex affective investment in figures of shaded retreat and to the deep necessary association of poetic power with those same figures. "To " is a pastoral that by means of its spatial signs transforms its temporality into a postpastoral moment. Formulaically pastoral, the "now" of"To "is a summer noon: the "mid-day warmth" of the sun in the first two lines is underscored as "the noon-tide hour" (l. 19) at the moment of invitation to the Lady. In "Summer: The Second Pastoral," Alexander Pope supplies a template for the spatial dimension of such noontime pastoral temporality: "Where'er you walk, cool gales shall fan the glade, I Trees, where you sit, shall crowd into a shade."4-' By the venerable logic of pastoral convention, the poet of "To " should retreat with his Lady to the "sheltered vale" of ultimate figure. But the pair takes its rest instead on the elevated ridge, the place of exposure and risk. The warm pastoral noon of the poem, the "now" first marked at line 8 ("now, attired"), is also still and calm, emphasized by the second "now" of the text: "But no wind I Sweeps now along this elevated ridge" (ll. 30-31). This placid present comes to ulti-

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mate topographical point in an image of still water, the "glassy pool" (l. 38) in the sheltered vale. Whereas in the "Travelling" verses the image of still water expresses the ideal of meditative retreat that is the special gift attributed to Dorothy Wordsworth ("calm as water when the winds are gone"), the shaded pool in "To " is emptied of that human value, just as the final landscape is emptied of human presence. The flourishing trees, Narcissus-like, gaze delightedly only at their own reflections. This poem poses the human pair elsewhere at rest. The Virgilian name "Lycoris" brings to focus the extraordinarily complex textual and biographical nature of this valediction. In a separate blank verse text ("To the Same") in the River Duddon volume, which is the second poem of a pair explicitly addressed in the title of the first to Dorothy as Lycoris, Wordsworth at long last assembles in published form the series of verses begun in 1799 that celebrate again and again the powerful attraction to the sibling poet of withdrawal, stasis, and shelter. But those same honor." Echoing ific figures are rewritten at a valedictory remove in "To only from its Virgilian source in "To ," the name "Lycoris," which Wordsworth elsewhere turns to explicit sibling purposes, haunts by absence the text of "To " as a sign of a pattern recognizable outside these poems: sibling affect, which endures, is nevertheless fundamentally altered under the pressure of other forms of human pairing. The absolutist claims of marriage especially redraw the landscapes of human affect. The obnoxious tree on the elevated ridge marks the newly privileged postpastoral spot. The unexpressed "then" of the poem's stilled pastoral "now" is by multiple implication a time of storm, which the poem spells out at lines 21-22: "when the wind I Blows keenly." As storms dismantle the venerable tree over time, the other primary effect of that agitated past is audible, the noise of the old tree in the blast, which is remarkable as superambient sound: "it sends forth a creaking sound, I Above the general roar of woods and crags" (ll. 22-23). The poem pitches that sound, rhetorically and grammatically, as a puzzle of interpretation. First comes a stipulation: the "creaking" (l. 21) of the tree is sorrowful, a "doleful note" (l. 24). But what might such sorrowful sound mean? Two possibilities follow, both mythic: ''As if (so Grecian shepherds would have deem' d) I The Hamadryad, pent within, bewailed I Some bitter wrong. Nor is it unbelieved, I By ruder fancy, that a troubled Ghost I Haunts this old Trunk; lamenting deeds of which I The flowery ground is conscious" (ll. 25-30). The two separate answers (Hamadryad and Ghost) supply distinction without difference. In

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either case, whether named in ornate Virgilian echo or "by ruder fancy," the radical fiction, both pastoral and quintessentially Wordsworthian, is that nature is explicitly "conscious." That consciousness is furthermore defined as consciousness of trauma: "some bitter wrong" that is "bewailed," "deeds" that require "lamenting." As always in Wordsworth's most complex moments, there is a fundamental link between wound and word. 44 In the blasting winds of time past, the haunted tree has sung of guilt and sorrow. By this point and by these means, the poem finesses its primary metamorphosis: first separate, the human poet and the haunted tree are now one. In the four lines that bring the poem to its medial pause in line 19, it is a human "Poet" who greets his Lady on the elevated ridge: "0 Lady! fairer in thy Poet's sight I Than fairest spiritual creature of the groves, I Approachand, thus invited, crown with rest I The noon-tide hour" (II. 16-19). When the poem turns at line 19 to the auditory figures of time past, the boundary between the natural and the human begins to be erased. In the blasting winds of time past, this is a tree that is vocal, emitting a "creaking sound" (1. 22) that is immediately shaped, humanly, as a "doleful note" (I. 24). The following figures of myth-the Hamadryad and the Ghost-extend the prosopopoeia launched by "doleful" with the auditory figures "bewailed" (1. 26) and "lamenting" (1. 29). When the noise of the old tree is first described in line 22, the language is just shy of human agency: "it sends forth a creaking sound" (emphasis added). But a dozen lines later, having passed through multiple forms of prosopopoeia, the old tree now rests in "his silence" (emphasis added), gazing at the Lady ("look down I On thy reclining form") with the human agency earlier exercised by the human poet at the moment of invitation and greeting. And at just this subsequent turn when the poem stakes its largest investment in the fiction of speaking nature, the creaking old tree goes silent in the windless now of the poem's present. The poet who speaks this poem is thus troped as that resonant Wordsworthian figure, the silent poet, who is now, at the moment of rest, mute: "But no wind I Sweeps now along this elevated ridge; I Not even a zephyr stirs;-the obnoxious Tree I Is mute,-and, in his silence, would look down I On thy reclining form with more delight I Than his Coevals in the sheltered vale I Seem to participate" (II. 30-36). Unlike its kindred figure in the opening stanza of "Dion" ("The mute creature without visible mate"), this creature rests mute in the silence of the human pair. Three months after its first resting place in the River Duddon volume, 'To "took up lifelong residence

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in "Poems of the Imagination," the primary text of which primary group poses the mute poet by the grave of his own prior self, the boy ofWinander to whom the sudden "pauses of deep silence" of "responsive" nature deliver "a gentle shock of mild surprize." 45 The mute poet's temporally doubled consciousness in "There was a Boy" echoes in "To " in multiple forms. In both poems, the temporal divide between the soundings of time past and the mute gaze of time present plays out across a spatial divide. In "There was a Boy," lakeside yields to churchyard; in "To ,"sheltered vale dwells in valedictory opposition to elevated ridge. The silent poet of "To " bids adieu to (and thus acknowledges yet again) the deep sources of his poetry in withdrawal and secluded repose, scenes of which have long resonated in his verse in both sibling and conjugal inflections. If only for the "brief space" (1. 39) of the poem, this farewell enables the momentary greeting of a new resting place for the mute poet. As in "There was a Boy," it is a vulnerable place of shock and surprise, sometimes mild and gentle, sometimes keenly blasting. Unlike "There was a Boy," it is the place of the human pair, momentarily at rest and always at risk. The animism of troubled ghosts and spirited groves in "To 1s stilled in the pausal now of the poem even as it continues to haunt and animate the verse: the empirical measure "no wind I Sweeps now" is quietly trailed by the mythic coda "Not even a zephyr stirs" (ll. 30-32). Attending to such moments elsewhere in Wordsworth's poetry, Geoffrey Hartman defines these structures as marks of "the emergence of the gentle out of the haunted mind." 46 But new myths always succeed old, and their manifold inflections shape human experience with energies both vital and oppressive. When peace breaks out in r8r4 and r8r5, British culture stares down the post-Enlightenment myth that marriage is life in its totality, in Hegel's r821 edict. ("Unhelpful Hymen!" dismisses Marianne Moore in 1923.) The special problem for the writer is that, in Cavell's terms, modern marriage lacks its poetry, coming into focus at best only fleetingly and obliquely. "strikes me as such a pausal moment, a resting place that does "To not exempt the human pair from time in sheltered withdrawal but acknowledges time to be the risk-filled medium in which the pair lives and moves and has its being, a medium marked as the "hurrying stream" in the final phrase of the poem. Kierkegaard would call the succession of such paired moments repetition; Cavell calls it remarriage. In both their accounts, silence marks the conjugal spot. "To " is a poem defined by everwidening circles of silence. At its center is the mute pair on the elevated

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ridge, gentle Poet and fair Lady. The silence of the original title haunts the " in 1820, he poem to this day. When Wordsworth publishes "To locates the poem in a fugitive collective volume that is almost nowhere to be found. The silence surrounding the poem in the history ofWordsworth criticism speaks the triumph of its consummately self-troping method: "though truly some there are I Whose footsteps superstitiously avoid I This venerable Tree" (II. 19-21). Is "To " a moment from a marriage? We have only the poet's words for it-and his silences.

Keats, the Hamadryad, and Metropolitan Marriage Culture In June 1820, William and Mary Wordsworth arrived in London for a month's visit on their way to the Continent and the October rendezvous with Annette Vallon and Caroline Baudouin in Paris. Queen Caroline also burst back into the capital in early June, igniting the urban hullabaloo that would sizzle through the final days of her divorce trial in early November. Escorting a pair of newlywed cousins, the Wordsworth Continental touring party lapped up the latest gossip about the royal marital train wreck. As Henry Crabb Robinson notes in his travel journal, when the group booked rooms at the inn at Lugano on the Italian-Swiss border in late August, some of the party landed in the very suite that had lately accommodated Caroline and her lover Count Bergami, a set of rooms that included (as Robinson the lawyer points out) a discreet and convenient passageway between bedchambers. To Austen and Coleridge, only the extravagant decadence of the Prince Regent could trump the wild excesses of the Princess ofWalesY To Wordsworth in 1816, the hardships of the postwar economic depression were especially exacerbated by the infamously luxurious habits of the head of state: "the blame of unnecessary expenditure, wherever that exists, rests with the Prince Regent." 48 One lightning rod of such luxury was the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, the construction of which was renewed postwar in high Oriental style under the hand of the architect John Nash, who was otherwise busy rebuilding London's royal west end for the Regent. Shelley in December 1819 remarked that "Hell is a city much like London." 49 Wordsworth in January 1820 struck a note not entirely dissimilar, pausing in a letter to a London correspondent to swat "the dunces and malignants with which London swarms." In the same letter, Wordsworth asked after Keats: "How is Keates, he is a youth of promise too great for the sorry company he keeps." 50 During Wordsworth's London visit in June,

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Keats, worn with illness, declined an invitation to dine with him in better company: "I was too careful of my health to risk being out at night." 51 When Wordsworth returned to London in early November, two days before the climax of Queen Caroline's divorce trial, Keats had departed for Italy six weeks earlier. But the two poets still rested together on the large canvas of Haydon's Christ's Triumphant Entry into Jerusalem, which opened to public view in March 1820 in Piccadilly. I foreground these 1820 forms of fugitive companionship between the two poets because they are usually eclipsed by more vivid tales from Wordsworth's visit to London in December 1817 and January r8r8. At Benjamin Robert Haydon's "Immortal Dinner" on December 27, Keats buried his laughter in books as a tipsy Charles Lamb demanded to inspect the phrenological organs of the Stamp Office official who had tracked Wordsworth down on embarrassingly wrong turf. Haydon had arranged the first meeting between the two poets only a few days earlier, when Keats recited the "Hymn to Pan" from the first book of Endymion. Haydon's account of this meeting many years later reported Wordsworth's response to these verses in language that has often been flung back against the older poet: "a very pretty piece of paganism." Preoccupation with that single phrase has effectively blocked other ways of thinking about Wordsworth's response to Keats. 52 Rarely do discussions of this exchange look closely at the language of Keats's poem or, even more rarely, the language of the poetry Wordsworth composed in the months following his introduction to Keats in London. 53 In the set piece from Endymion, Keats's description of the "enmossed realms" of Pan (l.251) resonates in terms of the pedigreed figures of densely shaded retreat throughout Wordsworth's poetry, which are put under special pressure in the figure of the "sheltered vale" in "To " in 1819. In this section, I propose to bring to focus Wordsworth's r8r9 "To " as a dialogic response to Keats and the "Hymn to Pan." It helps to recall at the outset of such a tally that Keats's verses are themselves a response to Wordsworth's account of pagan myth in Book IV of The Excursion, published in 1814: "Once more to distant Ages of the world I Let us revert, and place before our thoughts I The face which rural Solitude might wear I To the unenlightened Swains of pagan Greece" (IV, II. 84346). Wordsworth brings this Excursion passage to a dose with the figure of "Pan himself, I The simple Shepherd's awe-inspiring God!" (IV, II. 88283).54 Three years later in London, Wordsworth heard these opening verses

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of a "Hymn to Pan," straight from the mouth of Keats: "0 thou, whose mighty palace roof doth hang I From jagged trunks, and overshadoweth I Eternal whispers, glooms, the birth, life, death I Of unseen flowers in heavy peacefulness; I Who lov'st to see the hamadryads dress I Their ruffled locks where meeting hazels darken" (I, II. 232-37). 55 If the topic figure of Pan were not alone sufficient to engage Wordsworth's attention, the verb hang, whose sense is enjambed at the end of the first verse, would certainly have aroused the poet's interest, only two years after his extended discussion of that same favored trope in the "Preface" to the 1815 Poems. 56 The dialogic character ofWordsworth's 1819 poem is most readily apparent in its diction, which is also remarkable for the abundance of items that Wordsworth uses nowhere else in a lifetime's published work-"obnoxious," "hamadryad," "overshade"-or uses in only one or two other instances: "coevals," the old transitive form of "participate," the unwordsworthian "silken." The most telling connection between the two texts is the word hamadryad. "Dryads" are conjured at key moments in Keats's odes and elsewhere in his verse in that short form, but the fifth line of the "Hymn to Pan" is the only instance of the rare form hamadryad in Keats's poetry-and Wordsworth just happens to use that exotic Virgilian item exactly once in his long compositional career, eighteen months later, prompted not only by Wrangham's translation but by Keats's 1817 performance. A more muted connection appears in the verbs overshadoweth and overshade in the opening verses of both poems. In the second half of the second verse of the "Hymn to Pan," the pentasyllabic overshadoweth swells (from the hypo metric but semantically equivalent option o'ershadow) to fill out half the meter of Keats's decasyllabic line. Wordsworth responds to Keats's metrically spotlighted diction in the opening verses of "To " with another unique form in his lexicon, overshade: "Those silver clouds collected round the sun I His mid-day warmth abate not, seeming less I To overshade than multiply his beams I By soft reflection" (II. 1-4). In the language historically, overshade is a dependent form of overshadow, the former word appearing not only more frequently in verse, but also in the more typical elided form o'ershade, as in Raphael's direction to Adam in Book V of Paradise Lost: "lead on then where thy bower I O'ershades" (V, ll. 375-76). Wordsworth uses this traditional form o'ershade a handful of times in both early and late poems, but he uses the poetically atypical overshade only this once, underscoring its full trisyllabic form with syllabic and metrical duplication in the partner verb multiply that immediately trails it. On the heels of Keats's hypersyllabic

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and metrically emphasized overshadoweth, Wordsworth responds in kind. 57 But whereas Keats's "overshadoweth" anchors a scene that celebrates Pan's densely shaded retreat, Wordsworth's "overshade" introduces forms of shade and shelter that are subordinate to a resting place of exposure and risk. After "overshade" and before "hamadryad," Wordsworth in "To--forms a phrase that is as close to Keats's diction as he ever shifts his language: "silken tissue" (13). Silken is emphatically nonstandard Wordsworth; he uses the word only one other time, in The Borderers in 1796-97, to describe a "silken tunic." In the far less extensive Keats archive, there are two dozen instances of "silken." Keats's usage is most familiar in texts that Wordsworth could have known only after 1819, such as the several memorable instances in "Eve of St. Agnes" ("silken Samarcand") and the heifer in "Grecian Urn" with "silken flanks." But "silken" also appears in multiple prominent places in Keats's 1817 Poems, an inscribed copy of which he had sent to Wordsworth. There are fish with "silken fins," for example, in the four-stanza "Imitation of Spenser" (a text likely to attract the eye of an older poet sampling the work of the new generation), and "silken curtains" flutter in the first sonnet in the book's set of seventeen, which group includes the tribute to Wordsworth as one of the "great spirits now on earth ... sojourning." 58 Wordsworth's phrase "silken tissue" appears in the long "that reworks the vintage language from the "Nutsentence of"To ting" manuscripts: Nor doth our human sense Ask, for its pleasure, screen or canopy More ample than that time-dismantled Oak Spreads o'er this tuft of heath: which now, attired In the whole fulness of its bloom, affords As beautiful a couch as e'er on earth Was fashioned; whether by the hand of art That Eastern Sultan, amid flowers enwrought On silken tissue, might diffuse his limbs In languor; or, by Nature, for repose Of panting Wood-nymph weary of the chace. (II. 5-15)

In the few published accounts of "To ," this section of the poem receives the bulk of commentary. And understandably so, because these verses are where the poem seems to hail historicizing method most vocally, especially in the figures of the "Oak" in line 7 and the "Eastern Sultan"

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in line 12. These readings bear quick review as alternatives to my proposal to read "To---" as designed to distance itself from metropolitan marriage culture in unremarked dialogue with Keats, mediated by Virgilian pastoral. In these readings, the identification of the tree in "To as an "Oak" trumps all its other attributes in the poem ("time-dismantled," "obnoxious," "mute''). The governing assumption is that an oak in an 1819 poem from an electioneering agent for the Lowther interest necessarily signifies in a primary Burkean register. Thus in one account "the tree as an object of nature is turned into a symbol of Wordsworth's conservative political ideas"· (which include a "militarily strong state"). 59 In a more nuanced account, the tree is again "an image of the English gentry's authority, rooted, paternalist, like Burke's tree-like constitution." Although this latter essay is entirely incurious about the identity of the "Lady" to whom the poem is addressed, it nevertheless locates much meaning in her posture, reclined at rest on the blooming heath, beneath the gaze of the male poet: "She is, of course, in a subordinate position as were all women and most men in the oak-like paternalist constitution that Burke and Wordsworth supported." 60 As the tribute to Burke added to The Prelude in 1832 memorably illustrates, Wordsworth knew very well how to play the widespread trope linking Burkean politics and oaklike virtues: "I see him, old but vigorous in age, I Stand, like an Oak whose stag-horn branches start I Out of its leafy brow, the more to awe I The younger brethren of the grove." 61 Yet this touchstone passage also reads curiously against the full set of arboreal figures in "To ." In both texts, Wordsworth works a contrast between a single tree and a set of trees. In the Burke passage in 1832, the plural set consists of ephebes, "younger brethren of the grove." But in "To - - in 1819, the flourishing trees in the sheltered vale are "Coevals'' of the timedismantled oak, explicitly of the same age. Are they, too, mature Burkean brethren, as they prosper with their "far-stretching arms and leafy heads"? Here is a stanza that Wordsworth added in 1819 to the fifth and last of the "Hermit's Cell Inscriptions," composed in 1818 and published in the River Duddon volume in 1820: "The umbrageous Oak, in pomp outspread, I Full oft, when storms the welkin rend, I Draws lightning down upon the head /It promis' d to defend" (Ketcham 271). In these verses composed during ," the flourishing oak is a trope of false sethe same months as "To curity and even danger, consonant with the illusory delight of the trees also "in pomp outspread" in the sheltered vale at the end of"To ."The

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conspicuously Latinate "umbrageous" marks Wordsworth's reengagement with the Eclogues during these months, especially the prominent valedictory forms of shade at the close of the Tenth Eclogue. The oak tree ("quercus") is a regular figure throughout the Eclogues; the inaugural oak in Virgil's set appears in verse 17 of the First Eclogue: "de caelo tactus ... quercus," which signifies "the oak struck down by lightning," an ill omen. In the received account, Burkean oaks claim to supply, authoritatively and paternalistically, strong shelter. But the Virgilian-inflected oaks that Wordsworth adapts in r8r9 are instead figures either of illusory shelter or exposure and risk. In "To ," the flourishing trees in the sheltered vale are "vividly pictured in some glassy pool." Although "glassy" here signifies in its primary sense of "smooth and unruffled," enabling the vivid reflection, another sense hovers over the word, shading it in a counterdirection of "lifeless," as in the fixed look of a "glassy" eye (OED, sense 2). Wordsworth elsewhere invokes this latter sense in the image of illusory peace in the first stanza of "Peele Castle": "Thy Form was sleeping on a glassy sea" (l. 4). Prompted by the drowning ofJohn Wordsworth, this r8o6 poem dismisses such a peaceful scene ("A Picture had it been of lasting ease") as "the fond delusion of my heart" (ll. 25, 29). 62 In "To " in r8r9, Wordsworth again contrasts an image of illusory refuge with a chastened image of risk and exposure. It may seem too great a stretch to call the "sheltered vale" " a metropolitan figure, but the images in that at the close of "To scene of luxurious plenty ("far-stretching arms and leafy heads") and illusory ease ("some glassy pool") echo the language and figures surrounding the "Eastern Sultan" earlier in the poem, which carry strong metropolitan inflections. In that section, the Keats ian figure of "silken tissue" decorates "As beautiful a couch as e'er on earth I Was fashioned," which large field of reference immediately gravitates toward contemporary metropolitan culture in the figure of the "Eastern Sultan" (l. 12). Although I do not read Burke as foregrounded in this poem's mute, obnoxious oak, with other readers I glimpse the Prince Regent in the figure of the Eastern Sultan, for whom Nash was artfully rebuilding London and fashioning the Royal Pavilion at Brighton into an Oriental pleasure dome. 63 This "couch" invites the Sultan to "diffuse his limbs I In languour" (ll. 13-14). Although it has lost some of its punch, the word languour signifies not admirable ease but, pejoratively, "lassitude, habitual faintness, weakness, slackness, dullness." 64 In the literary culture of the early nineteenth century, there was a sense in which "silken" also signified enervating luxury. In illustration, the OED

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cites the Prologue to Act II of Henry V: "Now all the youth of England are on fire I And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies." By these various lexical and figurative means, "To " shapes itself at an indifferent remove from metropolitan marriage culture, presided over by a potentate of luxurious excess who was enmeshed in the sorriest of sorry marriages, a culture that had also bred a young poet whom Wordsworth admired and thought "of promise too great for the sorry company he keeps." When Keats recited the "Hymn to Pan" in London in December 1817, Wordsworth took good notice. In muted response and admonitory tribute, "To " transfigures Pan's shaded sanctuary into a set of figures that oppose the illusions of languid shelter to the vulnerable place of the pair, briefly at rest and always at risk. Another measure of the distance that defines the poem's foundational opposition between elevated ridge and sheltered vale is the contrast between the "reclining form'' (l. 34) of the Lady at rest on the exposed ridge and the poem's other images of languid ease, which include not only the diffused limbs of the Sultan but the "repose I Of panting Wood-nymph weary of the chace" (II. 14-15). In this figure, Wordsworth dialogically revisits his own Excursion passage on Pan, the ur-text that Keats was working against in the "Hymn to Pan." In that Excursion passage in Book IV, myths spring from encounters between the landscape and "the lonely Herdsman ... in indolent repose," the thirsting "Traveller," or the "nightly Hunter," who gazes at the moon: And hence, a beaming Goddess with her Nymphs, Across the lawn and through the darksome grove, (Not unaccompanied with tuneful notes By echo multiplied from rock or cave) Swept in the storm of chase, as Moon and Stars Glance rapidly along the clouded heavens, When winds are blowing strong. (IV, II. 865-71) 65

This scene of "Nymphs" and "chase," of "joyous sport," was soon soured at Rydal Mount by William Hazlitt, who quoted this very section of The Excursion in his unsympathetic review ("all country people hate each other"). 66 In retaliation, Wordsworth sent Charles Lamb the scoop on Hazlitt's sexual escapades in Keswick in 1802, when he had been run out of town. Lamb writing back to Wordsworth then mixes a delightful brew

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out of the whole mess: "The "scapes' of the great god Pan, who appeared among your mountains some dozen years since, and his narrow chance of being submerged by the swains, afforded me much pleasure. I can conceive the water nymphs pulling for him. He would have been another Hylas." 67 When Wordsworth visited London in 1817, he refused to see Hazlitt and clearly considered him some of that "sorry company" surrounding Keats. In the (in)famous response to Keats's recitation of the "Hymn to Pan," Marjorie Levinson hears in the inflection of"pagan" as "paganism" the gap between a metropolitan sexual ethos and a Wordsworthian erotic. With "paganism," she argues, Wordsworth "contrastively conjures the austere, holistic, deeply qualitative hedonism which is Wordsworth's Pagan." 68 Wordsworth found that version of pagan-prominently expressed in Book IV of The Excursion-increasingly at risk as it recirculated in metropolitan culture. "To " reclaims and rewrites Wordsworth's pagan in a distinctively Wordsworthian idiom. The "delight" the mute poet declares in the presence of the reclining form of the Lady is a Wordsworthian erotic placed by design at a distance from corrupted metropolitan forms. 69 Enclosing these many human and mythic figures in its midst, "To " opens and closes with two sets of natural figures empty of human form. In both the first and last sentences, the topic is how nature generates images of itself. In the final verses, the flourishing trees in the sheltered vale are "vividly pictured" in the glassy pool, but those vivid pictures mirror only themselves: "the whilst they view I Their own far-stretching arms and leafy heads" (ll. 36-37). In the poem's first sentence, there is a very different process of image-making at work: "Those silver clouds collected round the sun I His mid-day warmth abate not, seeming less I To overshade than multiply his beams I By soft reflection-grateful to the sky, I To rocks, fields, woods." In contrast to the narcissistic mechanics of"vividly pictured," the phrase "soft reflection" names a generative power that multiplies blessings. The work of prosopopoeia commences this early in the poem, very quietly: nature responds with gratitude to the multiplied beams of this "soft reflection," which are "grateful to the sky, I To rocks, fields, woods." In the 1819 C-stage Prelude revision to the passage about Mary Hutchinson in Book XI, Wordsworth revises the final line to read "her life is gratitude." In the De Quincey account, Mary Wordsworth is housebound and silent, only able to say, over and over, "God bless you." Like marriage itself, such obnoxious forms of perpetual benediction and soft reflection circulate in Regency and post-Regency representation only in caricature.

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In the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly, Wordsworth and Keats were posed together in 1820 on the canvas Benjamin Robert Haydon exhibited to raise money for his marriage. During Wordsworth's 1817 visit, Haydon sketched a vivid chalk drawing of the poet. In contrast to the abundant laureatelike images of Wordsworth that multiplied over the next several decades, this 1817 image-loose collar, hair askew-was branded by the family as the "Brigand." 70 A brigand is the lowest order of military riffraff, hard to distinguish from the criminal. As Mary Wordsworth recalls her marriage from the distance of half a century, the young William Wordsworth was written off by her family as a "Vagabond," a label that continued to define his place in the marriage, even after the end of war. Enduring blasted expectations, the Wordsworth married pair were not pictured together until 1839, nearly forty years after the wedding. A distant form, this first icon of the marriage is painted on a little bit of ivory, two inches wide.

AUSTEN AT EASE:

EMMA AND

SANDITON

The command "to stand at ease" became a set phrase of British military language during the Napoleonic wars, first appearing in dictionaries of military life soon after 18oo.71 In 1814 and 1815, the nation tried to puzzle out what it meant to stand at ease after a quarter century of wartime emergency. As the economy tanked, weddings broke out all over. Four out of six unmarried Lowther siblings marched to the altar between 1815 and 1820. Even more alacritously, the royal family paired off at an alarming rate post-Waterloo. Of the Prince Regent's twelve siblings, nine remained single at war's end. "Mud from a muddy spring," in Shelley's disdainful phrase, six of those single royal siblings, all middle-aged, married between 1815 and 1818.72 But the headline royal marriage post-Waterloo belonged to the next generation. Three months after Wordsworth's first child married in Paris, in May 1816 the twenty-year-old Princess Charlotte married at Carlton House Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-while her mother, unleashed in 1814, roamed abroad. In the first explosions of peace in the summer of 1814, her father tried to bully Charlotte to pair off with Prince William of Orange, whom she considered irredeemably ugly. Prince Leopold became the fallback option, and his Russian cavalry regiment fortunately arrived too late to be in danger at Waterloo in June 1815, preserving Leopold for conjugal duty.

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At the tail end of her correspondence with the Reverend James Stanier Clarke about the Prince Regent's interest in her fiction and the requisite dedication to Emma, Austen suffered Clarke's attempts to draw her into the royal wedding celebrations in the late winter of 1816: "The Prince Regent has just left us for London; and having been pleased to appoint me Chaplain and Private English Secretary to the Prince of Cobourg, I remain here with His Serene Highness & a select Party until the Marriage. Perhaps when you again appear in print you may chuse to dedicate your Volumes to Prince Leopold." 73 Among other failings, Clarke was clueless that Austen had just published with Emma her first novel already dedicated to the special puzzle of postwar marriage. In Persuasion, which Austen finished writing in August 1816 (and did not dedicate to Prince Leopold), prominent attention to "the peace" has overshadowed the fact that Emma was also almost entirely a postwar composition, written between late January 1814 and March 1815. In this final section, I return to the riddle of marriage and peace in two Austen texts, Emma and the final fragment, Sanditon. In both postwar texts, Austen tests the limits of peace through the lens of a paronomastic condition, ease?4 In the wake of the bad ends of the military marriages of Captain Weston and Lieutenant Fairfax, Emma tracks how the offspring of those two wartime marriages, Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax, fail to rest at ease. Especially in the case of Frank Churchill, ease of manner fails to be a reliable index of a supremely desirable condition, ease of mind. The framework of the marriage plot imposes yet again a generic governing question, whether an individual's best shot at ease is to marry. Suspicious of a gendered alliance between ease and luxury, Emma declines to resolve that question as it encounters, at nearly every turn, a male monopoly on ease. In Sanditon, Austen foregrounds how this problem of ease and gender circulates post-Waterloo in representational codes, spotlighting a verse from Walter Scott that plays out in a richly ironic doubleness deftly excised from Scott's source text. Among the postwar projectors and legacy hunters who scurry about in Austen's final fragment, the figure who is most comically at ease is Lady Denham, who is on the prosperously far side of not one but two marriages. At the close of the fragment, in the last sentences of fiction Austen wrote, the marriageable Charlotte Heywood witnesses how Lady Denham frames her two dead husbands in a curious truce on the wall, in an order that upends the prerogatives of male ease in marriage.

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At ease in Bath after peace, Admiral Croft in Persuasion turns his skills to art criticism. Gazing at the print of an unseaworthy vessel, he comments to Anne Elliot: "And yet here are two gentlemen stuck up in it mightily at their ease, and looking about them at the rocks and mountains, as if they were not to be upset the next moment, which they certainly must be" (I1.6.183-84). In the pictures of happiness that are the novels themselves and for which this print serves as ironic synecdoche, ease is a temporary, illusory state. Part of the joke is that the couple at risk is a pair of gentlemen, whose male privilege ("mightily at their ease") is only precariously assumed.75 But the joke also targets how representational praxis typically gets things wrong. In this instance, ease is a counterfeit currency, a fraudulent picture of false stasis and safety. No matter how many marriages try to seal the bargain, peace, never permanent, is always uneasily at risk.

Emma: ~Mind Lively and at Ease" In Austen's earlier fiction, objects are as likely to be at ease as people or nations. A well-oiled lock slides with ease, a carriage rides with ease, a dining room fits "eighteen couple[s]" with ease, the eight parts of speech combine with ease. Increasingly, however, the focus turns to human beings. Hearts are at ease or are not at ease, or conduct exhibits well-bred ease, lack of ease, or presumptuous ease. In Emma, peacetime yields a state of domestic affairs in which ease of manner rests uneasily with ease of mind. The two characters who are most regularly at ease-but also most regularly ill at ease-are Frank Churchill and Mr. Woodhouse, for both of whom marriage is a severe obstacle. In Emma, "ease" is a gendered conundrum. When Emma at last greets Frank Churchill in Volume II, her radar locks in on his ease: "She felt immediately that she should like him; and there was a well-bred ease of manner, and a readiness to talk, which convinced her that he came intending to be acquainted with her, and that acquainted they soon must be" (II.p04-5). Served up in such language, Frank Churchill joins a favored bloodline of ease in the fiction, such as Colonel Fitzwilliam in Pride and Prejudice. This gold standard is only confirmed and enforced by fraudulent forms, such as the self-centeredness of a Willoughby, whose "own ease was, in every particular, his ruling principle," or the deceit of a William Elliot, who "for his own interest or ease, would be guilty of any cruelty, or any treachery" (II.9.215). In Emma, however, ease of manner is less a sign of virtue, real or coun-

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terfeit, than a burden, and Frank is unable to keep it up. As the narrative unfolds, his uneasy mind puts his easy manners at risk. As the book edges toward the crisis at Box Hill in Volume III, Frank's ease of manner evaporates at the Westons' dance: "Frank was standing by [Emma], but not steadily; there was a restlessness, which shewed a mind not at ease" (III.2.346). The phrase "a mind not at ease" operates in pointed contrast to the celebrated description of Emma gazing at the center of Highbury ("a mind lively and at ease"), the language of which I will turn to in a moment. In the postbellum truce talks after the battle of Box Hill and the revelation of the secret engagement, Frank Churchill sues for peace. In his long letter to Mrs. Weston, "uneasiness" is the condition at repeated issue. The first instance defines his abuse of Jane Fairfax: "when I recollect all the uneasiness I occasioned her, and how little I deserve to be forgiven, I am mad with anger." Careless, he confesses that he failed to notice, "without any uneasiness," his failure to mail his reply to her letter breaking off the engagement. Nimble as always, however, Frank, undaunted, declares victory, in the very terms of his misdeeds: "But it is done; we are reconciled, dearer, much dearer, than ever, and no moment's uneasiness can ever occur between us again" (III.I4.483). In the last phrase of this sentence, Austen in peak form laminates hyperbole and litotes in a single figure. Frank's hyperbolic vision of the perpetual peace of marriage is held in check by his own language, which tugs a rhetorical leash on conjugal utopia with litotes: the ideal of "ease" offers itself backward as "no uneasiness." In pointed contrast to Frank Churchill's "restlessness, which shewed a mind not at ease," Emma earlier foregrounds a scene in which "ease" is, remarkably, not conjugal but solitary and self-sufficient. The most powerful moment of that extraconjugal attitude is not any one of Emma's many practiced speeches against matrimony but a scene when two girls go shopping. As Harriet Smith lingers long over a purchase at Ford's, Emma goes to the door and gazes at the traffic ofHighbury: Emma went to the door for amusement.-Much could not be hoped from the traffic of even the busiest part of Highbury;-Mr. Perry walking hastily by, Mr. William Cox letting himself in at the office door, Mr. Cole's carriage horses returning from exercise, or a stray letter-boy on an obstinate mule, were the liveliest objects she could presume to expect; and when her eyes fell only on the butcher with his tray, a tidy old woman travelling homewards from a shop with her full basket, two curs quarelling over a dirty bone, and a string of dawdling children round the baker's little bow-window eyeing

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the gingerbread, she knew she had no reason to complain, and was amused enough; quite enough still to stand at the door. A mind lively and at ease, can do with seeing nothing, and can see nothing that does not answer. (II.9.251) In the wake of the many useful things that have been said about this extraordinary last sentence, I want to focus on the two qualities that define this momentarily self-sufficient mind, liveliness and ease. Only one other sentence in Austen's fiction combines these same two honorific qualities, so it is instructive to pair the two sentences by way of contrast. This other sentence occurs in Pride and Prejudice, at a crucial moment in Elizabeth Bennet's realization that her identity depends absolutely upon her conjugal future with Darcy: "It was an union that must have been to the advantage of both; by her ease and liveliness, his mind might have been softened, his manners improved, and from his judgment, information, and knowledge of the world, she must have received benefit of greater importance" (II1.8.344). In contrast to the emphasis in Emma on self-sufficiency, the sentence in Pride and Prejudice stakes its interests in "ease" and "liveliness" forthrightly in the conjugal. Yet even that sentence folds itself into the marriage settlement in curiously unsettled ways. Not unlike the Persuasion sentence about the Croft marriage that I put under the microscope in Chapter 2, the diction and syntax of this Pride and Prejudice sentence yield a conjugal calculus that is balky, an algorithm of marriage that seems unaccountable. Like the Croft marriage ("go shares in every thing"), the language framing this marriage aims at equality and proportionality, in a "union" that is defined by shared benefit ("the advantage of both"). But as in the Croft sentence, equal portion plays out unequally. In the Pride and Prejudice sentence, Elizabeth Bennet contributes two items to the marriage, ease and liveliness, but Darcy antes up three: judgment, information, and knowledge of the world. (Is the emphasis that he has more to give, or that she has the better part of the bargain?) His profit in the marriage will be deposited in two named accounts, "mind" and "manners," but her profit goes offshore in a curiously opaque phrase that risks evasiveness and euphemism: "benefit of greater importance." The material comforts of Pemberley? Ease of mind? One measure of the distance between Austen's earlier and later fiction is that in Emma, Austen's first peacetime novel, the figure of "a mind lively and at ease" is not deployed in a sentence framing the conjugal pair but in an exceptional snapshot of solitary self-sufficiency. The scene of Emma Woodhouse momentarily at ease by herself counters the careless hyperbole of Frank Churchill's cavalier assumption that the only way "no moment's

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uneasiness can ever occur again" follows when two are paired off in marriage. The narrator later adopts the cover of Frank's questionably absolute style to dart away, indifferent, in her final words: "the perfect happiness of the union." After sandblasting Emma at Box Hill with a verdict of "badly done, indeed!" George Knightley issues a similar sentence on Frank's letter, both style and substance: "This is very bad" (III.15·487). As Mr. Knightley in his severity nevertheless understands, Jane Fairfax's loss of ease is the primary cost of Frank's restlessness. Knightley continues: "He had induced her to place herself, for his sake, in a situation of extreme difficulty and uneasiness, and it should have been his first object to prevent her from suffering unnecessarily" (111.15.487). To put this case more generally, the price of male ease is female distress. Often packaged with "good breeding," ease of manner is a fundamentally gendered quality throughout Austen's fiction. The exemplary cases are typically male, the Colonel Fitzwilliams of the world. When the fiction stigmatizes false ease, the guilty party is either a man who fails his responsibilities, such as Willoughby or William Elliot, or a woman. In Emma, Mrs. Elton is a primary target. Emma plots her first skirmish with this intruder in language that echoes her first meeting with Frank: "She would not be in a hurry to find fault, but she suspected that there was no elegance;-ease, but not elegance" (11.14.291). These phrases replay Elinor Dashwood's recoil from Lucy Steele in Sense and Sensibility: "Elinor thought it wisest to make no answer to this, lest they might provoke each other to an unsuitable increase of ease and unreserve" (ll.2.172). As a type, Mrs. Elton outruns Lucy Steele when Mrs. Elton passes sentence on the very violations she commits better than anyone else. Lacking only the easy familiarity of his baptismal name, she announces her approval of Mr. Woodhouse: "I admire all that quaint, old-fashioned politeness; it is much more to my taste than modern ease; modern ease often disgusts me" (II.q.J26). Part of the comedy in this remark is that Mrs. Elton gets her terms of evaluation exactly wrong. Rather than a residual alternative to the "modern ease" that Mrs. Elton herself displays most egregiously, Mr. Woodhouse is far more often the parodic paragon of male ease, which is regularly set in opposition to a woman's uneasiness. In many comic ways the most unmanly of the males in Emma, Mr. Woodhouse is the person who is most regularly at ease in Emma-or, more precisely, the person for whose precarious ease everyone else is most studious. The phrase "Mr. Woodhouse was quite at ease" regularly anchors his

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valetudinarian moments in the novel. But the running joke is that his ease is never easily accomplished. A typical scene of quartermasterly production is the excursion to Donwell Abbey to pick strawberries: Under a bright mid-day sun, at almost Midsummer, Mr. Woodhouse was safely conveyed in his carriage, with one window down, to partake of this al-fresco party; and in one of the most comfortable rooms in the Abbey, especially prepared for him by a fire all the morning, he was happily placed, quite at his ease, ready to talk with pleasure of what had been achieved, and advise every body to come and sit down, and not to heat themselves. (III.6. 388) Etched by the exact notation "one window down," the fussiness of the travel arrangements introduces a picture of male ease as benign absurdity. Only Mr. Woodhouse could manage, in high summer, to invite people to escape the sun by joining him inside by a fire, in order "not to heat themselves." When Frank Churchill finally shows up, hot, late, and ill at ease, "he sat down, at the greatest possible distance from the slight remains of Mr. Woodhouse's fire, looking very deplorable" (395). But in spite of Frank's overheated moodiness, Jane Fairfax suffers the most at Donwell Abbey, in sharp contrast to Mr. Woodhouse's ease. The proximate cause of her distress is Mrs. Elton, who insists on settling, then and there, Jane's imminent future as a governess: "How Jane could bear it at all, was astonishing to Emma. She did look vexed" (390). Breaking away from the rest of the party, Jane meets Emma "with a look of escape" (393) and "spoke with great agitation" (394): "Miss Woodhouse, we all know at times what it is to be wearied in spirits. Mine, I confess, are exhausted" (394). Her parting words, which "seemed to burst from an overcharged heart," are a plea to be left alone, in which a woman's solitude now lines up, not with liveliness and ease, but with dismay and perturbation. Meanwhile, back by the fire, Mr. Woodhouse at his ease entertains Emma with the toys that have been arranged for him, "fortunate in having no other resemblance to a child, than in total want of taste of what he saw" (393). Although Mr. Woodhouse is usually mocked very gently by the narrator, the severity of a phrase such as "total want of taste" is an index of the tension of the Donwell Abbey scene, which is brought to an uneasy point in the vexed, agitated exhaustion of Jane Fairfax, longing to escape. Questionable forms of male ease are further unsettled in Emma under the sign of luxury, a word that operates far more extensively in Austen's

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later fiction than in the earlier novels. In Emma, the word luxury defines forms of questionable ease. Miss Churchill, Captain Weston's first unhappy wife, was unable to detach herself from the "luxuries of her former home" (!.2.14). Mrs. Elton has sacrificed much to attach herself to High bury, since she had previously been "accustomed to every luxury at Maple Grove" (ll.14.298)-most of which her new acquaintances hear about in unhappy detail. The most egregious example of the ill effects of luxury appears to be expressed by Mr. Knightley's cool estimation of Frank Churchill's bad breeding, at the dose of Volume 1: "It is a great deal more natural than one could wish, that a young man, brought up by those who are proud, luxurious, and selfish, should be proud, luxurious, and selfish too" (1.!8.156-57). But Knightley himself cannot escape the stigma of luxury, although there is no Knightley in the narrative to pass sentence on him. The questioning structure is instead the traffic between one of the famous riddles in Volume I and a seemingly offhand remark by Mr. Knightley to Mr. Woodhouse early in Volume II, in both of which "luxury" is paired with "ease." The riddle is the item labored overnight by Mr. Elton to seduce Emma, who misreads the text as about Harriet. Here is the first stanza (the two words of the solution are court and ship): "My first displays the wealth and pomp of kings I Lords of the earth! their luxury and ease. I Another view of man, my second brings, I Behold him there, the monarch of the seas!" (1.9.76). Regardless of Mr. Elton's failed proposition and Emma's failed interpretation, these verses independently figure male power in its most celebrated national military form, as naval might: "monarch of the seas!" Enlisted in that figure of supreme male power is the image of the royal court as the epitome of "luxury and ease." This foregrounded phrase sets up an odd exchange between Mr. Woodhouse and Mr. Knightley early in Volume II. In Emma's presence, Mr. Knightley is speaking to Mr. Woodhouse, passing sentence on the previous evening, when Jane Fairfax had visited Hartfield: "I do not know a more luxurious state, sir, than sitting at one's ease to be entertained a whole evening by two such young women" (II.p82). Of all people, here is Knightley both echoing Mr. Elton's attempt at seductive verse and, worse, modeling the very hyperbole that characterizes Frank Churchill's overeasy style ("no moment's uneasiness can ever occur between us again"). A whiff of surplus spins Knightley's sentence toward a male iteration of Lydia Bennet's campy beach fantasy in Pride and Prejudice, at carnival with her many admirers ("at least six officers at once")?6 At the end of Emma, the ideal on sale is that these same two men, at their ease,

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will be entertained their whole lifetimes by-not both, but one of these two women. But in either case, before or after marriage, such luxurious arrangements do not neatly signify, leaving recalcitrantly open the question of how a nation under such luxurious lords defines itself at ease. The last uneasy moment in Emma belongs, appropriately, to Mr. Woodhouse. Four paragraphs from the end of the novel, in spite of all the efforts to prepare him for the marriage, "Still, however, he was not happy" (111.19.527). It gets worse; victimized by turkey rustlers, in the book's antepenultimate paragraph, "He was very uneasy" (528). This is rather late for unhappiness and uneasiness to threaten the perfect happiness of the marriage plot, just as Mrs. Smith lingers overlong in the last sentences of Persuasion. Ease is at last accomplished, however, under the shield of male power: "But for the sense of his son-in-law's protection, [Mr. Woodhouse] would have been under wretched alarm every night of his life. The strength, resolution, and presence of mind of the Mr. Knightleys, commanded his fullest dependance. While either of them protected him and his, Hartfield was safe" (528). In the language of wartime, "alarm" signifies the call to battle, as in the phrase "the tax of quick alarm" in the last sentence of Persuasion. Spared from "wretched alarm," Hartfield and Mr. Woodhouse are safe and at ease. Meanwhile, the nation at peace shuns Emma Hamilton and Horatio Nelson's love child, the philandering Wellington returns to his dismal marriage, and Princess Caroline launches herself on her randy rambles, all wrapped up in the perfect happiness of the union, a nuptial state where, as the Frank Churchills of the world are quick to assert, no moment's uneasiness can ever occur again. To which the Mr. Knightleys of the world respond: This is very-good? Or bad?

Sandi ton: "Oh! Woman in Our Hours ofEase" In Sanditon, her third postwar narrative of the nation at ease, Austen reshuffles the deck to render the default condition of her characters not ease but literally dis-ease, illusory or otherwise. The hyperactive and hypochondriacal Parker siblings display parodic forms of ease that are challenged ethically in a core question of ease and gender, focused in a quotation from Walter Scott's poetry. In the last sentences of the fragment, the last two males at ease are dead, framed and rearranged to her ease and advantage by their digamous spouse, Lady Denham, who holds the power to decide a spatial question of no small import in the world of Austen's fiction: Who

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occupies the best seat by the fire? At this fragmentary end, Austen's fiction unsettles one last time the formulaic closing of the marriage settlement, in a manner similar to the questions that hang over the finished books: Why should the primary issue be whether Mr. Woodhouse will take his ease at Donwell Abbey or Hartfield? Who is welcome-and unwelcome-at Pemberley, and why does Charlotte Collins make neither list? Why is the happiness of married sisters at Barton and Delaford packaged with the idea of disagreements and coolness? Mrs. Smith is the first visitor to the new Wentworth couple just where? At the end of the marriage plot, and at the end of war, who determines who gets the best seat by the fire? Sanditon opens with a traffic accident and unfolds in a setting that nurses ailments and illness and swells with miscommunications, misunderstandings, and misquotations, what D. A. Miller styles the tale's "morbidity culture." 77 Just as Mr. Parker has gotten lost looking to recruit a physician, so the marriage plot immediately takes a wrong turn on its generic hunt for sheltered retreat and refuge, signified by the cottage. After his carriage overturns in the opening paragraph, the injured Mr. Parker surveys his surroundings: "'There, I fancy lies my cure'-pointing to the neat-looking end of a Cottage, which was seen romantically situated among wood on a high Eminence at some little Distance-'Does not that promise to be the very place?'" (1.138). In the sense of"cure" as the place for the care of souls, the cottage is a privileged spatial token in marriage culture for the cure of human identity, otherwise ill at ease: it promises to be the very place, reserved for the pair. But Austen immediately undermines the figure. Like Admiral Croft scoffing at a print in a Bath shop window, Mr. Heywood (Mr. Parker's rescuer) disabuses him of his romantic vision: "But as to that Cottage, I can assure you Sir that it is in fact-{in spite of its spruce air at this distance-) as indifferent a double Tenement as any in the Parish, and that my Shepherd lives at one end, and three old women at the other" (1.140). Longing for a cottage "romantically situated," marriage culture rests uneasily in the spatial configuration of a semidetached duplex with a shepherd at one end and three old women at the other. This unsettled topography of the marriage plot continues to unfold on the ensuing journey to Sanditon. As they pass by the old sheltered family home on the way over one last hill to the postwar risk of Trafalgar House, on an exposed height above the beach, Mrs. Parker gazes at the old home "through the back window with something like the fondness of regret" (4.156). Of the five adult Parker siblings who are introduced in Sanditon, only

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one is already married, so the book appears to be rolling out the carpet for the kind of nuptial crush that defines the culture post-Waterloo. But the Parkers are a curiously unmarriageable bunch, a blend of both ease and restlessness: "They had Charitable hearts and many amiable feelingsbut a spirit of restless activity, and the glory of doing more than anybody else, had their share in every exertion of Benevolence" (10.192). 78 When Mr. Parker's sister Diana arrives at Sanditon, the narrative singles out both her pinball energy and "the ease of the Lady," who has "an agreable face, and a very animated eye;-her manners resembling her Brother's in their ease and frankness" (9.186). When her brother Sidney Parker shows up late in the fragment, smart money tags him as the male object of the romance plot, not the least because he oozes ease like a Frank Churchill or a Willoughby: "Sidney Parker was about seven or eight and twenty, very good-looking, with a decided air of Ease and Fashion, and a lively countenance" (12.207). But as the fragment breaks off, it is unclear whether Sidney Parker will turn out to be a Captain Wentworth or a William Elliot. In his brother's estimation, "He lives too much in the World to be settled; that is his only fault.-He is here and there and every where" (4.158). As in Emma, postwar ease couples uneasily with restlessness. In the snapshot of the third Parker brother, Austen riffs on Mr. Woodhouse's addiction to the ease of a good seat by a good fire. Arthur Parker's hypochondria is not valetudinarian, however, but that of a young man of marrying age; he is "quite as tall as his Brother and a great deal StouterBroad made and Lusty-and with no other look of an Invalide, than a sodden complexion" (10.193).l 9 On the first evening when these various characters are drawn together at Sanditon, Arthur Parker's chief skills are not conversational but culinary, as he turns to his cherished fire to brew himself strong cocoa and toast his bread to perfection. These gustatory obsessions distract him from his expected course and duty, which is to pay proper attention to Charlotte Heywood: When they were all finally seated, after some removals to look at the Sea and the Hotel, Charlotte's place was by Arthur, who was sitting next to the Fire with a degree of Enjoyment which gave a good deal of merit to his civility in wishing her to take his Chair.-There was nothing dubious in her manner of declining it, and he sat down again with much satisfaction. She drew back her Chair to have all the advantage of his Person as a screen, and was very thankful for every inch of Back and Shoulders beyond her pre-conceived idea. (I0.194-195)

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Austen borrows a phrase from Wollstonecraft to dismiss Arthur Parker and his obsession with his cocoa pot, toasting iron, and fire: "A good deal of Earthy Dross hung about him." 80 Not benignly beyond marriage like Mr. Woodhouse, Arthur Parker perched with "much satisfaction" by the fire is an alarmingly ridiculous image of male ease. Charlotte Heywood is resourceful, however, and seizes "all the advantage of his person" to preserve, however precariously, her own comfort. In the surrounding narrative, taking all the advantage of their persons is precisely what Lady Denham has been up to with her two dead spouses, who at the end of the fragment are arranged in uncomfortable ease in upended proximity to a fire whose arrangements she controls. The most absurd male in Sanditon is Sir Edward Denham, the nephew of Lady Denham's second husband and heir to the threadbare Denham estate. Strapped for cash, he is on the conjugal make; Mr. Parker reports that Sir Edward "is running up a tasteful little Cottage Ornee, on a strip of Waste Ground Lady D. has granted him, which I have no doubt we shall have many a Candidate for, before the end even of this Season" (chap. 3). By the logic of Sanditon, however, that cottage is likely to host not the spousal pair but a shepherd at one end and surplus single women at the other. Literary criticism is the primary vehicle of Sir Edward's absurdity, in two hilarious brews of "all the newest-fashioned hard words," one on contemporary poetry and one on the novel. In his first conversation with Charlotte Heywood, Sir Edward waxes bizarre about poetry: She could not but think him a Man of Feeling-till he began to stagger her by the number of his Quotations, and the bewilderment of some of his sentences.-"Do you remember," said he, "Scott's beautiful Lines on the Sea?-Oh! what a description they convey!-They are never out of my Thoughts when I walk here.-That Man who can read them unmoved must have the nerves of an Assassin!-Heaven defend me from meeting such a Man un-armed."-"What description do you mean?"-said Charlotte. "Iremember none at this moment, of the Sea, in either of Scott's Poems."-"Do not you indeed?-Nor can I exactly recall the beginning at this momentBut-you cannot have forgotten his description ofWoman.'Oh! Woman in our Hours of Ease-' Delicious! Delicious!-Had he written nothing more, he would have been Immortal." (7.174-75) In the opening scene of the Parkers' carriage accident, the unromantic Mr. Heywood dismisses Mr. Parker's attempt to quote poetry as especially

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useless when what is needed is a bandage: "Apply any Verses you like to it-But I want to see something applied to your Leg" (I.I45). Introduced as entirely beside the point, poetry keeps missing the mark in the clumsy hands of Sir Edward Denham, Man of Feeling. But the joke gets better, and more serious, when Sir Edward finally produces an actual line from Scott, the overdetermined figures of which-women and ease-are very much to the point and very much on the mark. To readers who do not have the sixth Canto of Marmion immediately to mind, the pronoun in the quotation "our hours of ease" toggles indeterminately: whose hours of ease? Women's? Men's? In the context of Sir Edward's confused readings, the question could go either way. But in Scott's source text, the bardic speaker is male, and the topic is male ease. Here is the larger passage from Marmion: "0, Woman! in our hours of ease, I Uncertain, coy, and hard to please, I And variable as the shade I By the light quivering aspen made; I When pain and anguish wring the brow, I A ministering angel thou!" (Canto VI, stanza XXX). 81 In Scott, the phrase "hours of ease" signifies peacetime, the cessation of war and conflict ("pain and anguish"). In Emma, Persuasion, and Sanditon, the question is precisely what to do with the hours of ease that follow the end of war. Marriage culture after Waterloo promulgates the faith that the immiscibility of war and marriage yields to peacetime conjugal concord. But in Scott's text, the opposite condition prevails: men and women are at loggerheads "in our hours of ease," ruled by male complaints of female obstreperousness. It is in wartime instead that women find their proper place as angels ministering to male suffering. Charlotte Heywood is not amused by this muddle of bad ideas: "why he should talk so much Nonsense, unless he could do no better, was unintelligible" (7.146). By such means, Sanditon unsettles the overeasy postwar equation between peace and marriage. The woman most at ease in Sanditon is the "great lady," Lady Denham ("Every neighborhood should have a great lady"). Introducing her early as "a very rich old Lady, who had buried two Husbands," the fragment later breaks off with an image of how she arranges these two dead spouses, in their hours of ease. Lady Denham's case bears scrutiny here at the end to focus again a larger topic, remarriage. Marriage culture seeks to suppress the question "Why marry?" because to admit the question is to admit the possibility not to marry, which is unthinkable. But the question has a way of sneaking in, especially when circumstances inflect it as repetition: "Why marry again?" Thirty years after Austen, Kierkegaard's Judge Wilhelm

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argues that the daily repetitions of marriage place it beyond representation. In our time, Cavell argues that such repetition defines marriage, so there is, paradoxically, no such thing as marriage, but only remarriage, again and again. Marriage understood as remarriage thus cuts to the heart of the problem of marriage and writing, constrained in its postsacramental straitjacket: the great tease of identity in our time, marriage both seduces and spurns representation. If marriage is all there is to talk about, it can only be recycled over and over, again and again, in forms either oblivious or recalcitrantly alert to their own representational dilemma. In alert forms such as, preeminently, Austen's narratives, the repetition that defines both marriage and its representation comes fleetingly into reflexive focus when a subset of characters faces the question not to marry, but to remarry. With Sense and Sensibility in I8II, Austen's published fiction opens with remarriage, the second marriage of Mr. Henry Dashwood, the father by that second marriage of Elinor and Marianne, who self-annihilatingly denies the possibility of second marriages. Because divorce was not an available option to most of the population during the Romantic century, cases of remarriage in Austen of necessity feature widows and widowers. But there is a further rule of scarcity at work that renders the instances of remarriage additionally rare and remarkable: only widowers are allowed back on the marriage market, a double standard rendered most explicit in the comments on the marriage prospects of the widow Lady Russell and the widower Sir Walter Elliot in the opening chapter of Persuasion. Hence, in Sense and Sensibility there is no thought that Mrs. Dashwood might marry again, although she is much closer in age to Colonel Brandon than her daughter is, nor does the merry widow Mrs. Jennings aim to pair off again as she makes the rounds in London. Men, on the other hand, get to go round again, and the fiction in several instances spotlights these remarriages. Like Sense and Sensibility, Emma opens with a second marriage, the wedding of Miss Taylor and Mr. Weston, a widower whose unhappy first marriage bears faded military colors. The question hovering over the opening chapters of Persuasion is whether the widower Sir Walter might yield to the charms of the suspicious Mrs. Clay, who has herself "returned from an unprosperous marriage." If the apparently widowed Mrs. Clay were to remarry, she would be an exception to the rule, a possibility that renders even more remarkable the hinted prospect that William Elliot might stake his inheritance chances on removing her by marriage from Sir Walter's orbit. 82 In Austen's fiction generally, widows remain widows. But not Lady Denham; she is the only woman in

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Austen's fiction to marry twice, which alone is good reason to scrutinize her story. Here, then, is the backstory to the digamous Lady Denham and her two husbands, from the beginning of chapter 3· Lady D. had been a rich Miss Brereton, born to Wealth but not to Education. Her first husband had been a Mr. Hollis, a man of considerable Property in the Country, of which a large share of the Parish of Sandi ton, with Manor and Mansion House made a part. He had been an elderly Man when she married him;-her own age about thirty.-Her motives for such a Match could be little understood at the distance of forty years, but she had so well nursed and pleased Mr. Hollis, that at his death he left her everything-all his Estates, and all at her Disposal. After a widowhood ofsome years, she had been induced to marry again. The late Sir Harry Denham, of Denham Park in the Neighbourhood of Sandi ton had succeeded in removing her and her large Income to his own Domains, but he could not succeed in the views of permanently enriching his family, which were attributed to him. She had been too wary to put anything out of her own Power-and when on Sir Harry's Decease she returned again to her own House at Sanditon, she was said to have made this boast to a friend, "that though she had got nothing but her Title from the Family, still she had given nothing for it." For the Title, it was supposed that she had married-and Mr. P. acknowledged there being just such a degree of value for it apparent now, as to give her conduct that natural explanation. (emphasis added) (3.157) Having once married, why does someone marry again? Come to think of it, why does anyone marry in the first place? Lady Denham's case illustrates how the question of remarriage smuggles back on the table the inadmissible question of marriage itself. Concerning Lady Denham's first marriage, to Mr. Hollis, the narrator comments that "her motives ... could be little understood at the distance of forty years," a phrase that leaves open the question whether her motives could be understood at any time. In the event, it appears she married Mr. Hollis for his property, but who is to say? But her second marriage bears readier and "natural explanation": "For the Title, it was supposed that she had married." Such a self-interested motive for remarriage makes a tidy tale when it is paired with a self-interested motive for marriage the first time round: Lady Denham married first for property, then for prestige. Case closed. But there is one other explanatory phrase in the narrative that eludes this neat verdict: "After a widowhood of some years, she had been induced to marry again." 83 What does it signify, to be "induced to marry again," or

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(come to think of it) to be "induced to marry" in the first place? The verb "induce" is prominent in Austen's lexicon, often in discussions of affect. Especially in such affective contexts, however, modern readers risk reading past the word, because in just the years Austen employs induce to discuss affect, the word begins a major shift to an almost entirely scientific register (think induction). The long history of the verb, literally "to lead into," through Austen doubles up senses of "to persuade" and "to cause," so the verb in Austen points squarely to the manifold powers of marriage culture. There is an etiological force in induce that combines with but exceeds persuasion alone. In the following sentence from Persuasion, for example, Austen with induce is not just offering a synonym for persuade: "Anne could just acknowledge within herself such a possibility of having been induced to marry [William Elliot], as made her shudder at the idea of the misery which must have followed" (II.9.228). Anne Elliot's shudder is a seismic graph of a marriage culture whose imperatives exceed the persuasions for and against particular marriage options. When Emma Woodhouse proclaims that "I have none of the usual inducements of women to marry" (I.10.90), she underestimates the force from which she claims exemption. Although Lady Denham marries a second time, Austen's fiction still never tells the story of a woman in a second marriage. Both spouses are dead, and Lady Denham's ease is the ease of a woman not only beyond marriage but beyond remarriage. At the end of the fragment, Charlotte Heywood and Mrs. Parker tour Sanditon House, the home of Lady Denham's first marriage to Mr. Hollis, to which she has returned from Denham Park, title in hand, after her second. Like Elizabeth Bennet on her tour of Pemberley, Charlotte Heywood contemplates the character of the absent resident by reading the signs of ambient representations. Here are the last words of Sanditon, the final words of Austen's fiction: [A]s Lady D. was not there, Charlotte had leisure to look about, and to be told by Mrs. P. that the whole-length Portrait of a stately Gentleman, which placed over the Mantlepeice, caught the eye immediately, was the picture of Sir H. Denham-and that one among many Miniatures in another part of the room, little conspicuous, represented Mr. Hollis.-Poor Mr. Hollis!-It was impossible not to feel him hardly used; to be obliged to stand back in his own House and see the best place by the fire constantly occupied by Sir H. D. (12.209) In their long hours of ease, Lady Denham's two dead husbands are still alive and kicking in that last sentence, keeping watchful eyes on each other

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from their frozen vantage points, upended by Lady Denham. The miniature whose form "represented" Mr. Hollis is in the culture a conventional engine for a conjugal match and in Austen's correspondence a famous figure for the novels themselves. In the representational forms foregrounded in this scene, what is at stake is marriage, always and already, but there is also a hint of a representational beyond not constrained by the empire of marriage: the miniature representing Mr. Hollis is only "one among many ... in another part of the room." What those other images represent, in another wing of the house of fiction, we simply do not know, within the boundaries of this narrative. But more than one reader has indulged the thought that Charlotte Heywood might be poised to turn her back on a marriage culture whose inducements are impossible to elude. 84 Meanwhile, Sir H. D., at his ease, gets "the best place by the fire," a spot usually commandeered by the Mr. Woodhouses and Arthur Parkers of Austen's fiction. In Sense and Sensibility, Mrs. Jennings prescribes just such a spot to heal Marianne Dashwood's broken heart: "Marianne was to have the best place by the fire, was to be tempted to eat by every delicacy in the house, and to be amused by the relation of all the news of the day" (ll.8.219). When Fanny Price in Mansfield Park at last receives "that too great indulgence and luxury of a fire upstairs," she sits by it "wondering at the past and present; wondering at what was yet to come," grateful for "the felicity of having a fire to sit over and think of it" (lll.2.379). Writing to Cassandra in November 1813, on the cusp of peacetime, Austen notes that on society evenings she is now spared the courtship rituals of musical performance and dance: "By the bye, as I must leave off being young, I find many Douceurs in being a sort of Chaperon for I am put on the Sofa near the Fire & can drink as much wine as I like." 85 Nabbing the best place by the fire, for a brief space the novelist settles into a resting place with a mind lively and at ease, off the map of the marriageable, in splendidly engaged indifference.

Reference Matter

APPENDIX

The Puzzle of Apostrophic Form in the 1819 "To---"

William Wordsworth composed the thirty-nine-line blank verse poem "To---" in 1819 and published it by that simple, spare title in the volume The River Duddon in April 1820. He republished the poem three months later in the four-volume Miscellaneous Poems of William Wordsworth, his second collected edition. In that publication, Wordsworth retitled the poem "The Haunted Tree. To---" and placed it in the category "Poems of the Imagination." That rare Wordsworth title form (a noun phrase followed by an apostrophic formula} remained the poem's title through the rest ofWordsworth's numerous lifetime editions and reprintings. Wordsworth also never removed the poem from the "Poems of the Imagination," where it is one of the longest blank verse lyrics, after "Tintern Abbey" and "Nutting" and longer than "There was a Boy" and "Yew-Trees." Alone among Wordsworth's apostrophic texts, the name missing from the blank in the title "To---" is still missing. That absence is the subject of this Appendix. Apart from his many poems addressed to natural or artificial objects, Wordsworth wrote many dozens of apostrophic poems to other human beings over the course of his long compositional career. 1 Although there are a number of such texts that do not announce that form in their titles ("Tintern Abbey" and The Prelude, to cite but two examples from the top of the list}, Wordsworth regularly employs the apostrophic formula "To X" in the titles of many of these poems, such as "To Joana," "To a Friend," "To a Child," "To B. R. Haydon," and so on. In about two dozen instances of this set, Wordsworth withholds the name and titles a poem "To---" on first publication. 2 In the full textual archive over Wordsworth's lifetime, however, those blanks never go unfilled. His habitual practice is subsequently to supply the name in one of two ways: he spells out the name in a revised title in a reprinting of the poem in a later collected edition, or he later specifies the name in the Fenwick notes (or in some other conversational record}. Or both. The pattern is clear: Wordsworth always fills these blanks, sooner or later. But with one outstanding exception: the 1819 blank verse "To---." That blank is never filled. Elsewhere I discount the possibilities that the poem is a left-handed Virgilian exercise addressed to no one in particular, or that the "Lady" named antonomastically in the text of the poem is a syncretic figure of purposeful indeterminacy, such as the "Lucy" of the Lucy poems. The purpose of this Appendix is to examine the

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evidence for and against the three most plausible candidates for the identity of the "Lady" of line 16 of the poem, whose name remains missing from the title: Lady Mary Lowther, Dorothy Wordsworth, and Mary Hutchinson Wordsworth.

To

: Lady Mary Lowther

In 1819, Lady Mary Lowther, thirty-four, the second-oldest child of Wordsworth's patron, Lord Lonsdale, was a year shy of her 1820 marriage to Major-General Lord Frederick Cavendish Bentinck. At Christmas 1819, Wordsworth presented her with a gift album of anthologized poems, selected by him and copied by Sara Hutchinson; the collection was prefaced by a new sonnet addressed to her, which was also published in the River Duddon volume in April 1820. Lady Mary was an enthusiast for Wordsworth's poetry, and during the Paris sojourn of October 1820, Wordsworth and his family several times called upon the newlywed Lord and Lady Bentinck, who were on the Continent on their wedding trip. 3 Given these connections, might the "Lady" apostrophized in line 16 of "To - - - " be Lady Mary Lowther? (At least one of the very few critics who have attended to the poem thinks it not unlikely.) 4 Elsewhere in his poetry, Wordsworth used the epithet "Lady" for many women, including his wife, Mary; his sister-in-law, Sara Hutchinson; and a host of others: Lady Fitzgerald, Lady Fleming, Jane Wallas Penfold, Lady Beaumont, Lady Lonsdale, and, late in his career, Queen Victoria. As a piece of evidence by itself, the epithet "Lady" in Wordsworth's poetry settles only a few categorical features of identity-gender, and, in a very broad sense, class (ranging from the economically marginal Sara Hutchinson to the monarch). Among members of the family circle, Mary Wordsworth is named "Lady" in an 1845 poem, which takes its title from its first line: "What heavenly smiles! 0 Lady mine I Through my very heart they shine." 5 Sara Hutchinson is named "Lady" in an 1827 sonnet, "To S. H.," which is about her spinning wheel: "She who was feigned to spin our vital thread I Might smile, 0 Lady! on a task once dear I To household virtue." 6 Among family intimates, only Dorothy Wordsworth is not addressed as "Lady" in the body of a poem. Of Wordsworth's aristocratic friends, two were especially important to him, Lady Beaumont and Lady Lonsdale, and the two poems that he addressed to them are marked by signature rhetoric. Both poems use the epithet "Lady!" as the opening word, with onomastic flourish. Midway between these two poems, the 1819 sonnet addressed to Lady Mary Lowther commences in precisely this form: "Lady! I rifled a Parnassian Cave." 7 Not so the opening of "To - - - . " Rhetorically, the blank verse "To - - - " stands entirely separate from this habitual mold. The sonnet to Lady Mary Lowther was also titled simply "To---" in the River Duddon volume in 1820, lining it up on that score with the blank verse "To - - - . " 8 But the histories of the titles of the two poems immediately part company, in significant fashion. The sonnet addressed to Lady Mary is retitled "To the Lady Mary Lowther" in the Miscellaneous Poems published three months

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later, in July 1820. Furthermore, in several more instances in that second collected edition, Wordsworth takes the trouble to supply names in revised titles of apostrophic texts that had previously offered only blanks. Why is this pattern worthy of notice? Wordsworth also retitles the 1819 blank verse "To---" in the 1820 Miscellaneous Poems, so it is clear that he attended to the title of this poem at exactly the time when he was elsewhere in the same edition supplying names in several revised titles for previously empty blanks. But in marked contrast to these other examples, the new title for the blank verse "To---" does not provide the withheld name. The revised title is instead "The Haunted Tree. To---." That blank is never filled. Nor, I would emphasize, is it ever erased. Its emptiness does not appear to be neglect or oversight, but design-and exceptional design at that. There are only two pieces of information about "To---" in the Fenwick note in 1843, which I quote in its entirety: "r8r9. This tree grew in the park of Rydal, and I have often listened to its creaking as described." 9 Wordsworth maintained a regular correspondence with the Lowther family especially during the electioneering years of r8r8-2o, frequently inquiring at the end of a letter to Lord Lonsdale about Lady Mary's health, which apparently kept her in London during the summer of 1818. This correspondence offers a detailed record of the few times when a member of the Lowther family-Viscount Lowther, the oldest son, and his brother Colonel Lowther, also a candidate for office-called at Rydal Mount during these years. When Lord Lonsdale and his family were at Lowther Castle during the summers, standard form was that Wordsworth would visit them there rather than receive them at Rydal. In a letter to Joanna Hutchinson in Wales in September 1819, Dorothy Wordsworth notes that "we have had no remarkable persons this summer." 10 My point is that there is no record that Lady Mary Lowther visited Rydal during the summer of 1819, and such a visit would have been worthy of notice in the several accounts of seasonal comings and goings in the correspondence. Although this silence does not rule out a visit by Lady Mary to Rydal and Rydal Park, it renders it much less likely. Furthermore, the poem, which according to the Fenwick note is set "in the park of Rydal," describes an extraordinarily intimate occasion. The speaker and the lady are alone together. Responding to the speaker's invitation to rest, the lady stretches out so that the poem poses "thy reclining form," an echo of the figure earlier in the poem of "limbs diffused in languour." The unmarried daughter of the poet's aristocratic patron, in fact or even in polite fiction? Unlikely, I think." When Wordsworth is out alone on the fells with a woman, it is with a family member: Dorothy, or Mary, or Sara Hutchinson, or his daughter Dora. In 1819, Dora, then fifteen, is simply too young for this poem, which is about time and age. 12 Lady Mary, who was well past Austen's "years of danger," was nevertheless still on the near side of marriage in 1819. The very evidence that points in her possible direction-the gift album, the sonnet at Christmas r819, and her imminent wedding-suggests that the blank verse "To---" spins off from the Prelude revision, which I conjecture was occasioned by Wordsworth's first idea for a Lowther family wedding gift. As I discuss in Chapter 5, the C-stage Prelude

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revision in the late spring and early summer of 1819 shows Wordsworth preoccupied with the representation of three key figures in his life: his friend, Coleridge; his wife, Mary; his sister, Dorothy. The possibility that "To---" is addressed to Dorothy Wordsworth is a much stronger case than any I can piece together for Lady Mary Lowther.

To

: Dorothy Wordsworth

The extraordinary intimacy of "To - - - " is entirely consonant with other poems addressed to Dorothy Wordsworth, especially "Travelling" and the other draft materials from the "Nutting" manuscripts that end up in the blank verse "Lycoris" sequel in 1817. The Cornell editors offer Dorothy as their one guess for the blank title and the unidentified "Lady," pegging conjecture to an 1827 revision (the only substantial revision Wordsworth ever made to the poem's text): "The line added in 1827, '0 lovely Wanderer of the trackless hills,' suggests DW, but not conclusively."13 The supplementary epithet "Wanderer" is at the very least incommensurate with Lady Mary Lowther; the anchor epithet "Lady" also does not exclude Dorothy. But to my eye the best evidence for Dorothy goes unremarked by the Cornell editors: several phrases in "To---" are transported directly from the language of the "Nutting" and "Lycoris" manuscripts, which I discuss in Chapter 4· Rather than interpret this evidence as the strongest case for Dorothy, however, I read it as a sign of Wordsworth's characteristic mutagenic procedures, especially with verses that, in their final forms, become poetry about Mary Hutchinson. Of the two epithets, "Lady" is a slightly less complicated case, offering equivocal evidence at best. Unlike his practice with his wife, Mary, Wordsworth never elsewhere used the epithet "Lady" in direct address to Dorothy in the body of a poem. In 1793, Wordsworth's first book publication, the quarto An Evening Walk, is on the title page described as "An Epistle; in Verse, Addressed to a Young Lady." "Lady" is never the form of address in the poem, however; in the very first line, Wordsworth substitutes what later becomes, in "Tintern Abbey,'' his most familiar form of address to Dorothy: "Far from my dearest friend, 'tis mine to rove." 14 The closest connection between Dorothy and the name "Lady" in the body of a poem is in the highly problematic terrain of the Lucy poems, which pose longstanding puzzles of identity. In "Three years she grew in sun and shower," in which the death of "Lucy" is reported, "Nature" declares "This Child I to myself will take, I She shall be mine, and I will make I A Lady of my own." 15 But among the many other names for Dorothy in forms of direct address elsewhere in Wordsworth's poetry-Emma, Emmeline, friend, dearest friend, sister, maiden, dearest maid, Lycoris-"Lady" simply does not appear. Nor does the epithet "wanderer" settle the question of identity. The name "Wanderer" in Wordsworth's poetry designates most prominently a key (male) character in The Excursion. Elsewhere, it is hard to say who is not a wanderer in Wordsworth's poetry, at one time or another. Just from the earlier poetry, there are Ruth, the old Cumberland beggar, Lucy Gray, the leech-gatherer, and

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more or less all of the characters in The Prelude (such as the "three chance wanderers" in the Snowdon episode)-and these are just the familiar examples. Because the De Quincey biographical tradition constructs Mary Wordsworth as housebound, it is important to note the evidence that includes Mary in the wide circle of Wordsworth's wanderers. 16 Here is Mary to William in the love letters in r812 (she is in Wales; he is in London): "I am writing in the sunshine, the pool dancing before me-what would I not give to wander with thee in the opposite meadow that looks so green & so beautiful," language that she repeats a few days later: "were you but here to wander with me, & enjoy the joys of this heavenly season." 17 The Duddon journey alone together in September r8n was not just a stroll in the meadow. The high passage over Walna Scar from the Duddon Valley to Coniston is particularly arduous, if evidence is needed of Mary out wandering with William on the "trackless hills." Considered strictly by itself, the line added to "To---" in r827 stands without question as a fine description of Dorothy Wordsworth, as she is known in her journals and letters: "0 lovely Wanderer of the trackless hills." What I cannot locate is any place elsewhere in the poetry where Wordsworth attaches the epithet "Wanderer" to Dorothy. The closest is in "Tintern Abbey," where the speaker, the River Wye, and Dorothy are arranged in a series of metonymic substitutions, so that the line apostrophizing the Wye describes all three: "0 Sylvan Wye thou wanderer through the woods." 18 But exactly that "Tintern Abbey" verse becomes mutagenically complicated in the archival record of the language Wordsworth used with Mary and with Dorothy. In Chapter 4, I discuss the rewriting of "Tintern Abbey" in the r812 love letters between William and Mary; here I want to focus especially on the figure of the "wanderer" in that rewriting and what light it might shed on the question of identity in "To---." As Mary in Wales prepares to visit the Wye and Tintern Abbey, William in London singles out the wanderer figure in the poem: "0 Sylvan Wye thou Wanderer through the Woods how often has my Spirit turned to thee!-I shall now have a thousand added reasons to think of this Stream with tenderness when I know that you are pacing its banks." 19 Writing back, Mary in call-and-response form returns the wanderer figure: "With a beating heart did I greet the Wye-0 Sylvan Wye thou Wanderer thro the Woods!-0 what a verdant bed does it rest in where we first came in sight of it!" 20 William then renders explicit the traffic among the wanderer figure, Dorothy, and Mary: "That very evening, viz Tuesday, I had been reading at Lamb's the Tintern abbey, and repeated a roo times to my self the passage 0 Sylvan Wye thou Wanderer through the wood, thinking of past times, & Dorothy, dear Dorothy, and you my Darling."21 This is the same long letter that, on a later leaf, contains the burned corner narrating the "progress" of the marriage. As William nears the end of that narrative, he draws it to the present moment with the figure of Mary as wanderer: "till thy wanderings upon Wye." 22 In mutagenic performance, the r812 correspondence rewrites "Tintern Abbey" in a new register wherein Mary as wanderer both shares space with and succeeds Dorothy as wanderer.

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In sum, the two epithets, "Lady" and "Wanderer," do not settle beyond a doubt the question for or against Dorothy. But there is much better evidence for Dorothy elsewhere in the text of "To - - - . " Here are the phrases and figures from the "Nutting," "Travelling," and "Lycoris" draft materials that reappear in "To - - - " in r819 (these connections are unremarked by the Cornell editors, who focus the question of identity on the two epithets). In earliest form, from the "Nutting" drafts in 1799: "Come rest on this light bed of purple heath." Then in "Travelling" in r8o2: "this bed of heath I Where shall we find so sweet a restingplace!" (II. 4-5). And then in the "Lycoris" drafts in r8r7: "Here let us rest ... this tuft of heath I Deck' d with the fullness of its Rowers presents I As beautiful a couch as e'er was framed." This sequence and its history are then transported into the blank verse "To---" in 1819: this tuft of heath: which now, attired In the whole fulness of its bloom, affords As beautiful a couch as e'er on earth Was fashioned ... thus invited, crown with rest The noon-tide hour. Far more explicitly than the "wanderer" revision in r827, these verses point most invitingly to Dorothy as the "Lady" addressed in "To---." Case closed? Not so quickly. The traffic between the "Lycoris" drafts and "To---" is a good bit more tangled, in this specific sense: the significance of what material migrates to "To---" is modified by what related material does (and does not) travel to the final published "Lycoris" text "To the Same." In this larger context, I want to spotlight three features of the revisionary traffic from the "Nutting" and "Lycoris" drafts to the 1819 text of "To---." First is the direct transfer of phrases and figures noted previously, which seems at first glance straightforward. The second is more puzzling, however: the key figure of "rest" in "To---" simultaneously disappears from the "Lycoris" sequel "To the Same." That disappearance is curious; as I discuss in detail in Chapter 4, the invitation to rest is an anchor trope all the way through the long history of these "Lycoris" texts, and then it is erased at the end. 23 Third and most puzzling, the central honorific figure in the "Nutting" and "Lycoris" drafts-the secluded refuge, the shaded spot, the sanctuary-is refigured pejoratively in "To---" as a place of illusion. This third change is the crux of the issue. In the "Nutting" and "Lycoris" materials that extend through two decades of work, Wordsworth invariably celebrates the secluded refuge. The "spot" of invitation in "Travelling" ("This is the spot") is elsewhere in the "Nutting" manuscripts an unmistakable figural antecedent of the "sheltered vale" in the closing lines of "To---." In those "Nutting" drafts, the refuge is figured as "the covert of these shades," the "cool umbrage" of "this dome ofleaves." 24 In the blank verse "Lycoris" sequel published in r820, this ideal of sanctuary is figured first as "moss-grown alleys, circumscribing shades"

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before it reaches its most enclosed form, a cave, the "dim Egerian grotto" where the speaker invites his sister to withdraw into meditative stasis in the language of "Travelling," which is preserved in its 1802 form: "let me see thee sink into a mood I Of quiet thought-protracted till thine eye I Be calm as water when the winds are gone I And no one can tell whither." There is unbroken continuity in Wordsworth's honorific use of these figures from 1799 to 1820, from the "Nutting" drafts to the "Lycoris" sequel "To the Same." But when the invitation to "rest" that always accompanies these figures shifts at the very end of their history from the "Lycoris" materials to "To - - - , " something puzzling happens. Like "To the Same," "To---" builds to an ultimate image of a sanctuary, a "sheltered vale" with its "glassy pool," which is the iteration in this text of these pedigreed tropes of refuge, sanctuary, and enclosure. Here, however, is the puzzle: the figure of shelter in "To---" is very plainly not honorific. It is instead, pejoratively, a place of illusion. In sharp contrast, the honorific landscape on offer in "To---" is not a sanctuary, a place of seclusion, retreat, and refuge, but, dramatically to the contrary, a place of exposure: "this elevated ridge" where an old "time-dismantled" tree is "obnoxious," exposed to harm: at risk. This risky place of exposure is also the new and unusual place of "rest," the anchor figure removed, perplexingly, from "To the Same." I see two possibilities in these patterns. Either Wordsworth in "To---" is at the very least contravening (not to say recanting or repudiating) a set of cherished figures that represent some of his oldest and deepest values, while these same figures and values are simultaneously celebrated in a separate blank verse text ("To the Same") addressed to his sister in the River Duddon volume. Or Wordsworth is doing something new and different with these materials in "To---." Occam's razor seems an appropriate tool here; for that and other reasons, I incline to the latter option. Elsewhere Wordsworth revised materials from the "Nutting" manuscripts originally about Dorothy Wordsworth into verses about Mary Hutchinson in The Prelude. Verses originally about a Highland woman became verses about Mary Wordsworth in "She was a Phantom of delight." In correspondence, the "wanderer'' trope in "Tintern Abbey" shifts back and forth from Dorothy to Mary. I propose to add the r8r9 blank verse "To---" to this mutagenic set.

To

: Mary Hutchinson Wordsworth

As the preceding sections indicate, several facts do not point unequivocally in the direction of Mary Wordsworth as the "Lady" addressed in "To---." Contrary to his frequent practice, Wordsworth never identified her (or anyone else) in a revised title of the poem. "To---" does not appear in the short and highly selective list of poems Henry Crabb Robinson reports in 1842 that Wordsworth suggested "exhibited the different phases of his affection for his wife." Wordsworth uses the epithets "Lady" and "Wanderer" to name extensive sets of people

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throughout his poetry. Contrary to his frequent practice, Wordsworth did not identify Mary (or anyone else) in the Fenwick note to the poem. The Fenwick note to "To---" is worth a moment's more scrutiny. however. These 1843 annotations dictated to the family friend Isabella Fenwick were long available only in piecemeal fashion, scattered among back-matter commentary and other editorial apparatuses. Jared Curtis's 1993 edition of the Fenwick notes presents this commentary as a single text in its original sequence, which offers the opportunity to read the note to "To---" in context, as the product of a set of sequential choices Wordsworth made about what information to supply and what to withhold. Here again is the text of that 1843 dictated annotation, which is keyed in the manuscript to the revised main title of "To---," "The Haunted Tree": "1819. This tree grew in the park of Rydal, and I have often listened to its creaking as described." The ur-form of a Fenwick note supplies two pieces of information: when and where a poem was written. Often Wordsworth adds to this base a comment concerning the subject of the poem or the person to whom it is addressed. The note to the 1819 "To - - - " occurs in a sequence of notes to several of the surrounding "Poems of the Imagination" in their 1842 order. Two items before the note to "To---," Wordsworth produces a previously withheld name for an apostrophic poem first published, with a missing name, in the River Duddon volume. The poem is "To---, on Her First Ascent to the Summit of Helvellyn"; the 1843 note reads: "Rydal Mount, 1816. The Lady was Miss Blackett, then residing with Mr. Montague Burgoyne at Fox-Ghyll." 25 Then the note immediately preceding the note to "To---" contains a reference to Mary Wordsworth. The poem is "View from the Top of Black-Comb"; the note reads: "1813. Mary and I, as mentioned in the Epistle to Sir G. Beaumont, lived some time under its shadow." The note immediately following the note to "To - - - " identifies by name family members and friends described (but not named) in the poem. The poem is "The Triad"; the note reads: "1828. The girls Edith May Southey, my daughter Dora & Sara Coleridge." The point of these many details? Viewed in sequence, the Fenwick note to "To - - - , " which continues to withhold the name, is surrounded by notes in which Wordsworth does just the opposite, regularly supplying names to fill apostrophic blanks or otherwise specify human subjects in the poems. This exceptional practice in the Fenwick note is entirely consonant with Wordsworth's exceptional treatment of the title of "To - - - " in July 1820, when he revises the title but still withholds the name at just the moment when he supplies names in revised titles of numerous other apostrophic texts. As demonstrated on multiple occasions, "To - - - " is a poem consistently presented with deliberate reticence, with silence by design. 26 In place of a name, the Fenwick note to "To - - - " supplies a date and a place. The date of composition, 1819, is not at issue. 27 But like the form of the note, the place singled out-"the park ofRydal"-merits a pause. Four ofWordsworth's poems are associated with this landscape immediately to the north and east of Rydal Hall, the home of Lady Anne le Fleming, Wordsworth's Rydal Mount land-

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lord. The most famous feature of this landscape is its set of celebrated waterfalls, which Wordsworth describes in the early work An Evening Walk and again in a late poem, the 1842 "Lyre ... ," both of which poems are closely associated with Dorothy Wordsworth. 28 The other two poems that Wordsworth places in Rydal Park are distinct from the Rydal Falls set. The first is the poem addressed to Mary Hutchinson in the "Poems on the Naming of Places," titled "To M. H."; the Fenwick note reads: "Two years before our marriage. The pool alluded to is in Rydal Upper Park." 29 The second is "To---": "r8r9. This tree grew in the park of Rydal, and I have often listened to its creaking as described." I do not want to push this geography any harder than to arrange this conjunction of notes, wary that such a line of inquiry might appear eager to veer off the tracks in a vain endeavor to tag THE haunted tree (of many, one). But the Rydal Park connection between "ToM. H." and "To---" should not go unremarked, because the two blank verse lyrics form a striking pair, especially in light of Wordsworth's remark to Crabb Robinson that different poems exhibit in sequence the "different phases of his affection for his wife." "ToM. H." is also the first of the five poems in Crabb Robinson's list. I take up its pairing with "To - - - " in detail in Chapter 6. To round off the evidence in the case of Mary Hutchinson Wordsworth, it is important to emphasize that the several pieces of evidence that do not point unequivocally to her also do not point unequivocally away from her. Unlike his lifelong practice with Dorothy, Wordsworth did address Mary as "Lady" elsewhere in the body of a poem. Wordsworth also associated the "wanderer" trope with Mary in the 1812 correspondence reporting her first visit to Tintern Abbey. The five-item list of poems about Mary reported by Crabb Robinson in 1842 is demonstrably selective, and on a number of other occasions Wordsworth is notably reticent about Mary Hutchinson as a signified object in his poetry. "To---" is a poem marked everywhere by exceptionality and silence, again and again. The best case that the poem is addressed to Mary Hutchinson Wordsworth is overheard in extraordinary forms of silent forbearance; "To---" is a mutagenic text marked formally as major in kind and shaped with deliberate reticence, with silence by design. In this book as a whole, I interpret these features as signature marks of modern marriage writing. The best test of this hypothesis is the reading of the poem itself; I attempt such a test in Chapter 6.

Notes

Chapter I r. Godwin, Political justice, 2:850; Appiah, "The Marrying Kind." The terms "sacramental" and "affective" for dominant marriage templates invoke a familiar paradigm, the movement in the West from sacred to secular cultural foundations. In terms of marriage, the axis of salvific story shifts to the horizontal; formerly a story about an individual and God, salvation becomes a story about an individual and one other individual. "Sacramental" in my usage is also a big tent, signifying marriage not only as literally sacramental, as in Roman Catholic theology, but also in various Protestant forms such as covenant and ordinance, which inflect marriage theologically outside dominical sacraments. 2. These marriage laws governed marriage in England; marriage in Scotland was subject to different laws, which most students first encounter in Gretna Green episodes in novels of the period. My sources for the history of marriage in the period include the following: Stone, Family, Sex and Marriage; Stone, Road to Divorce; Gillis, For Better, for Worse; Macfarlane, Marriage and Love in England; Outhwaite, Clandestine Marriage in England; Davidoff and Hall, Family Fortunes; Fletcher, Gender, Sex and Subordination; Giddens, The Transformation ofIntimacy; Vickery, The Gentleman's Daughter; Perry, Novel Relations; Coontz, Marriage, a History. See Chapter 2 for more detailed arguments about the historiography of marriage in the period. 3· Godwin, An Enquiry Concerning Political justice, 2:849; Wollstonecraft, Mary, a Fiction, in Mary and the Wrongs of Woman, 68. 4· For a useful summary of the scarce instances in which Austen has been read with her contemporary poets, see Deresiewicz, jane Austen and the Romantic Poets. My method in this book is very different from that of Deresiewicz, who aims to bring to attention the shaping traces of Austen's reading of Romantic poetry, particularly in the later novels. 5· Wolfson, Formal Charges, 232; see also "Reading for Form," 1-16, where she notes how "when reading for form, a local focus may seem the most productive, even if played out through larger unities or historical contexts .... [F)orms matter not just as local articulations, or even as local articulations radiating into and unsettling the ground on which they stand, but as constitutive of the works at large"

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(n). See also the exemplary attention to "the complex particulars of texts" (xvii) in the readings in Borderlines, where Wollstonecraft is the model of a method of an "oppositional gender criticism of literature and culture to be conducted by a close reading of textual structure, right down to words, syntax, grammar, and Aeeting allusion, and never forgetting the big stakes" (xix). 6. Galperin, The Historical Austen, 6o; see also '"Describing What Never Happened,"' 355-82, where Galperin demonstrates how to catch in Austen's signifiers "a residue or trace of something sufficiently palpable in its lingering materiality that it literally blots both the comedic close and the sententia attached to it" (356). 7· Keach, Arbitrary Power, x. 8. For a recent survey of debates about form, see Levinson, "What Is New Formalism?" 558-69. I remain agnostic about the limited range of sects in Levinson's ecclesiology, such as her core opposition between "activist" formalism and "normative" formalism. 9· Electronic search engines for Austen's fiction outrun the utility of the Austen print concordance in the ability to conduct searches of semantic units larger than the single word. For example, in my reading of a sentence in Persuasion in Chapter 2, an electronic search yields the fact that the phrase "for her life" appears nowhere else in Austen. Other new databases such as Coogle Books open up the surrounding lexical field; the phrase "for her life" appears in none of the many novels of the period already in that database, but it appears regularly in legal documents, as I discuss in Chapter 2. 10. Cavell, In Quest ofthe Ordinary, 64-65. 11. See, for example, how Alan Liu toggles Wordsworth between the early solitary "I" and the later tribal "We"; Wordsworth, 491. Focusing on the same postwar period of Wordsworth's career as this study, James Garrett reads the stakes as tribal: "the crucial period between 1814 and 1820 ... marked his self-conscious emergence as poet of the nation and demonstrated his varied and evolving strategies for writing a national poetry"; Wordsworth and the Writing of the Nation, 8-10. 12. "[A]mong the objects which I perceive ... One, only, seems fitted to my powers, and to my wishes-one, alone, engages my attention! ... my strong individual attachment has annihilated every man in the creation"; Hays, Memoirs of Emma Courtney, 117. 13. Shelley tags marriage as a "chain" in his novel St. Irvyne in 1810; Zastrozzi and St. Irvyne, 197. Byron's phrase "wedlock's the devil" is the punch line to his poem "To Eliza" published in Hours of Idleness in 1807; Leslie Marchand uses it for the title of the fourth volume of Byron's Letters and journals (1814-15), which includes the period of his marriage. 14. For an argument about Austen and epistolarity, see Galperin, The Historical Austen; for an argument about Austen's reading, see Deresiewicz, jane Austen and the Romantic Poets. 15. In Chapter 6, I discuss the history of these documents in narratives of the Wordsworth marriage.

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16. Love Letters, ed. Beth Darlington, 229; the letter is reprinted in the supplement volume to the Wordsworth collected letters: Letters, Volume 8, ed. Alan G. Hill. In the readings of the damaged corner of the manuscript, Hill and Darlington do not differ in any substantial matters. I have examined the manuscript in the Wordsworth Library; the Darlington and Hill transcriptions record all that can be recovered. I?· Wordsworth, The Excursion, 40. 18. Most of the examples in this paragraph are drawn from Harmon, You Are Here. Other subcategories of such images include disproportionate maps, topographic allegories, and sentimental cartography. 19. "A New Map of the Land of Matrimony," British Library, London, Maps CC 5291. Perhaps pirated, the reprinted version of the original reproduced in Figure I makes only a few small changes to the 1772 image; most notable are the attribution of the text to "A. Quiz" and the addition of "Union City," both of which suggest a date late in the century for the reprint. For the 1772 image, see Poems of Anna Letitia Barbauld, 89, which reproduces a copy in the Horne! Library, Kirkcudbright, Scotland. Barbauld is clearly working off the "Carte de tendre" published in the first volume (1654) of Mademoiselle de Scudery's multivolume romance Clelie; this map features a prominent "Lac d'indifference" along with "La Mer dangereuse," "Mer d'inimitie," "Terres inconnues," and rivers tagged "Inclination," "Reconnaissance," and "Estime." I am grateful to Emily-Jane Cohen for alerting me to the "Carte de tendre" connection. 20. Levinson, "Romantic Criticism," in At the Limits ofRomanticism, 269-81, which is a condensed reprint of "Romantic Poetry," Modern Language Quarterly, 183-214. 21. For exploratory readings along these lines of Moore's "Marriage," Hughes's

Birthday Letters, and Anne Carson's The Beauty ofthe Husband, see Walker, "The Muse of Indifference," 205-12. 22. "United States Census 2ooo." 23. Parents filling in this form have no choice but to tick "never married" for an infant, for example, effectively branding the child as "not yet married." 24. Thompson, "The Sale of Wives," in Customs in Common, 404-66. 25. Notes and Queries, 450. 26. Phillips, Monogamy, item IO (unpaginated). 27. Cavell, "In Quest of the Ordinary," 201.

Chapter2 I.

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