'...I have a great curiosity to know what Mr. Elliot was as a very young man.
Was he at all such as he appears now?'
'I have not seen Mr. Elliot these three years,' was Mrs. Smith's answer,
given so gravely that it was impossible to pursue the subject farther;
and Anne felt that she had gained nothing but an increase of curiosity.
They were both silent:
Mrs. Smith very thoughtful.
At last, 'I beg your pardon, my dear Miss Elliot,' she cried, in her natural tone of cordiality,
'I beg your pardon for the short answers I have been giving you,
but I have been uncertain what I ought to do.
I have been doubting and considering as to what I ought to tell you.
There were many things to be taken into the account.
One hates to be officious, to be giving bad impressions, making mischief.
Even the smooth surface of family-union seems worth preserving,
though there may be nothing durable beneath.
However, I have determined; I think I am right;
I think you ought to be made acquainted with Mr. Elliot's real character.
Though I fully believe that, at present, you have not the smallest intention of accepting him,
there is no saying what may happen.
You might, some time or other, be differently affected towards him.
Hear the truth, therefore, now, while you are unprejudiced.
Mr. Elliot is a man without heart or conscience;
a designing, wary, cold-blooded being, who thinks only of himself;
whom for his own interest or ease, would be guilty of any cruelty, or any treachery,
that could be perpetrated without risk of his general character.
He has no feelings for others.
Those whom he has been the chief cause of leading into ruin,
he can neglect and desert without the smallest compunction.
He is totally beyond the reach of any sentiment of justice or compassion.
Oh! he is black at heart, hollow and black!'
Excerpt from "Persuasion" by Jane Austen.
Photographs taken from photo series, "Shades of Time", by Annelies Strba.
Hating some things in life right now.
It's a crazy world.