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Fanny. The last time I saw Crawford was at Mrs. Fraser's party. I am more and more satisfied with all
that I see and hear of him. There is not a shadow of wavering. He thoroughly knows his own mind, and
acts up to his resolutions an inestimable quality. I could not see him, and my eldest sister in the same
room, without recollecting what you once told me, and I acknowledge that they did not meet as friends.
There was marked coolness on her side. They scarcely spoke. I saw him draw back surprised, and I
was sorry that Mrs. Rushworth should resent any former supposed slight to Miss Bertram. You will wish
to hear my opinion of Maria's degree of comfort as a wife. There is no appearance of unhappiness. I
hope they get on pretty well together. I dined twice in Wimpole Street, and might have been there
oftener, but it is mortifying to be with Rushworth as a brother. Julia seems to enjoy London exceedingly. I
had little enjoyment there but have less here. We are not a lively party. You are very much wanted. I
miss you more than I can express. My mother desires her best love, and hopes to hear from you soon.
She talks of you almost every hour, and I am sorry to find how many weeks more she is likely to be
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without you. My Father means to fetch you himself, but it will not be till after Easter, when he has
business in town. You are happy at Portsmouth, I hope, but this must not be a yearly visit. I want you at
home, that I may have your opinion about Thornton Lacey. I have little heart for extensive improvements
till I know that it will ever have a mistress. I think I shall certainly write. It is quite settled that the Grants
go to Bath; they leave Mansfield on Monday. I am glad of it. I am not comfortable enough to be fit for
anybody; but your aunt seems to feel out of luck that such an article of Mansfield news should fall to my
pen instead of hers.
Yours ever, my dearest Fanny.
"I never will no, I certainly never will wish for a letter again," was Fanny's secret declaration, as she
finished this. "What do they bring but disappointment and sorrow? Not till after Easter! How shall I
bear it? And my poor aunt talking of me every hour!"
Fanny checked the tendency of these thoughts as well as she could, but she was within half a minute of
starting the idea, that Sir Thomas was quite unkind, both to her aunt and to herself. As for the main
subject of the letter there was nothing in that to soothe irritation. She was almost vexed into
displeasure, and anger, against Edmund. "There is no good in this delay," said she. "Why is not it
settled? He is blinded, and nothing will open his eyes, nothing can, after having had truths before him so
long in vain. He will marry her, and be poor and miserable. God grant that her influence do not make
him cease to be respectable!" She looked over the letter again. " 'So very fond of me!' 'tis nonsense all.
She loves nobody but herself and her brother. Her friends leading her astray for years! She is quite as
likely to have led them astray. They have all, perhaps, been corrupting one another; but if they are so
much fonder of her than she is of them, she is the less likely to have been hurt, except by their flattery.
'The only woman in the world, whom he could ever think of as a wife.' I firmly believe it. It is an
attachment to govern his whole life. Accepted or refused, his heart is wedded to her for ever. 'The loss
of Mary, I must consider as comprehending the loss of Crawford and Fanny.' Edmund, you do not
know me . The families would never be connected, if you did not connect them. Oh! write, write. Finish
it at once. Let there be an end of this suspense. Fix, commit, condemn yourself."
Such sensations, however, were too near akin to resentment to be long guiding Fanny's soliloquies. She
was soon more softened and sorrowful. His warm regard, his kind expressions, his confidential
treatment touched her strongly. He was only too good to everybody. It was a letter, in short, which she
would not but have had for the world, and which could never be valued enough. This was the end of it.
Everybody at all addicted to letter writing, without having much to say, which will include a large
proportion of the female world at least, must feel with Lady Bertram, that she was out of luck in having
such a capital piece of Mansfield news, as the certainty of the Grants going to Bath, occur at a time when
she could make no advantage of it, and will admit that it must have been very mortifying to her to see it
fall to the share of her thankless son, and treated as concisely as possible at the end of a long letter,
instead of having it to spread over the largest part of a page of her own. For though Lady Bertram [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]


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