He had expected a very different son-in-law; and beginning to feel grave on Maria’s account, tried to understand her feelings. Little observation there was necessary to tell him that indifference28 was the most favourable29 state they could be in. Her behaviour to Mr. Rushworth was careless and cold. She could not, did not like him. Sir Thomas resolved to speak seriously to her. Advantageous30 as would be the alliance, and long standing31 and public as was the engagement, her happiness must not be sacrificed to it. Mr. Rushworth had, perhaps, been accepted on too short an acquaintance, and, on knowing him better, she was repenting32.
With solemn kindness Sir Thomas addressed her: told her his fears, inquired into her wishes, entreated33 her to be open and sincere, and assured her that every inconvenience should be braved, and the connexion entirely34 given up, if she felt herself unhappy in the prospect35 of it. He would act for her and release her. Maria had a moment’s struggle as she listened, and only a moment’s: when her father ceased, she was able to give her answer immediately, decidedly, and with no apparent agitation36. She thanked him for his great attention, his paternal37 kindness, but he was quite mistaken in supposing she had the smallest desire of breaking through her engagement, or was sensible of any change of opinion or inclination38 since her forming it. She had the highest esteem39 for Mr. Rushworth’s character and disposition40, and could not have a doubt of her happiness with him.