Fanny were forgotten: she felt only one thing; and her eyes, bright as they had been before, shewing they could yet be brighter, she exclaimed with eager pleasure, “Did he? Did Edmund? That was like himself. No other man would have thought of it. I honour him beyond expression.” And she looked around as if longing to tell him so. He was not near, he was attending a party of ladies out of the room; and Mrs. Grant coming up to the two girls, and taking an arm of each, they followed with the rest.
Fanny’s heart sunk, but there was no leisure for thinking long even of Miss Crawford’s feelings. They were in the ballroom, the violins were playing, and her mind was in a flutter that forbade its fixing on anything serious. She must watch the general arrangements, and see how everything was done.
In a few minutes Sir Thomas came to her, and asked if she were engaged; and the “Yes, sir; to Mr. Crawford,” was exactly what he had intended to hear. Mr. Crawford was not far off; Sir Thomas brought him to her, saying something which discovered to Fanny, that she was to lead the way and open the ball; an idea that had never occurred to her before. Whenever she had thought of the minutiae22 of the evening, it had been as a matter of course that Edmund would begin with Miss Crawford; and the impression was so strong, that though her uncle spoke the contrary,