g descried4 from one of the windows endeavouring to find shelter under the branches and lingering leaves of an oak just beyond their premises5, was forced, though not without some modest reluctance6 on her part, to come in. A civil servant she had withstood; but when Dr. Grant himself went out with an umbrella, there was nothing to be done but to be very much ashamed, and to get into the house as fast as possible; and to poor Miss Crawford, who had just been contemplating7 the dismal8 rain in a very desponding state of mind, sighing over the ruin of all her plan of exercise for that morning, and of every chance of seeing a single creature beyond themselves for the next twenty-four hours, the sound of a little bustle9 at the front door, and the sight of Miss Price dripping with wet in the vestibule, was delightful10. The value of an event on a wet day in the country was most forcibly brought before her. She was all alive again directly, and among the most active in being useful to Fanny, in detecting her to be wetter than she would at first allow, and providing her with dry clothes; and Fanny, after being obliged to submit to all this attention, and to being assisted and waited on by mistresses and maids, being also obliged, on returning downstairs, to be fixed11 in their drawing-room for an hour while the rain continued, the blessing12 of something fresh to see and think of was thus extended to Miss Crawford, and might carry on her spirits to the period of dressing13 and dinner.
The two sisters were so kind to her, and so pleasant, that Fanny might have enjoyed her visit could she have believed herself not in the way, and could she have foreseen that the weather would certainly clear at the end of the hour, and save her from the shame of having Dr. Grant’s carriage