This is from chapter 19 of Jane Austen's Persuasion:
The rain was a mere trifle, and Anne was most sincere in preferring a walk with Mr Elliot. But the rain was also a mere trifle to Mrs Clay; she would hardly allow it even to drop at all, and her boots were so thick! much thicker than Miss Anne’s; and, in short, her civility rendered her quite as anxious to be left to walk with Mr Elliot as Anne could be, and it was discussed between them with a generosity so polite and so determined, that the others were obliged to settle it for them; Miss Elliot maintaining that Mrs Clay had a little cold already, and Mr Elliot deciding on appeal, that his cousin Anne’s boots were rather the thickest.
What is the meaning of the phrase "as Anne could be"?
Is it that even though Mrs. Clay's boots were the thickest, Mr. Elliot was compelled to decide that Anne should be the one who should walk because her boots were the thickest as decided by the others?