leave Mansfield half a day earlier than had been proposed, he would accept a place in his carriage. Mr. Crawford meant to be in town by his uncle’s accustomary late dinner-hour, and William was invited to dine with him at the Admiral’s. The proposal was a very pleasant one to William himself, who enjoyed the idea of travelling post with four horses, and such a good-humoured, agreeable friend; and, in likening it to going up with despatches, was saying at once everything in favour of its happiness and dignity which his imagination could suggest; and Fanny, from a different motive39, was exceedingly pleased; for the original plan was that William should go up by the mail from Northampton the following night, which would not have allowed him an hour’s rest before he must have got into a Portsmouth coach; and though this offer of Mr. Crawford’s would rob her of many hours of his company, she was too happy in having William spared from the fatigue40 of such a journey, to think of anything else. Sir Thomas approved of it for another reason. His nephew’s introduction to Admiral Crawford might be of service. The Admiral, he believed, had interest. Upon the whole, it was a very joyous41 note. Fanny’s spirits lived on it half the morning, deriving42 some accession of pleasure from its writer being himself to go away.
As for the ball, so near at hand, she had too many agitations43 and fears to have half the enjoyment in anticipation44 which she ought to have had, or must have been supposed to have by the many young ladies looking forward to the same event in situations more at ease, but under circumstances of less novelty, less interest, less peculiar45 gratification, than would be attributed to her. Miss Price, known only by name to half the people invited, was now to make her first appearance, and must be regarded as the queen of the evening. Who could be happier than Miss Price? But Miss Price had not been brought up to the trade of coming out; and had she known in what light this ball was, in general, considered respecting her, it would very much have