Mansfield was an altered place. Some members of their society sent away, and the spirits of many others saddened–it was all sameness and gloom compared with the past–a sombre family party rarely enlivened. There was little intercourse2 with the Parsonage. Sir Thomas, drawing back from intimacies3 in general, was particularly disinclined, at this time, for any engagements but in one quarter. The Rushworths were the only addition to his own domestic circle which he could solicit4.
Edmund did not wonder that such should be his father’s feelings, nor could he regret anything but the exclusion5 of the Grants. “But they,” he observed to Fanny, “have a claim. They seem to belong to us; they seem to be part of ourselves. I could wish my father were more sensible of their very great attention to my mother and sisters while he was away. I am afraid they may feel themselves neglected. But the truth is, that my father hardly knows them. They had not been here a twelvemonth when he left England. If he knew them better, he would value their society as it deserves; for they are in fact exactly the sort of people he would like. We are sometimes a little in want of animation6 among ourselves: my sisters seem out of spirits, and Tom is certainly not at his ease. Dr. and Mrs. Grant would enliven us, and make our evenings pass away with more enjoyment7 even to my father.”
“Do you think so?” said Fanny: “in my opinion, my uncle would not like any addition. I think he values the very quietness you speak of, and that the repose8 of his own family circle is all he wants. And it does not appear to me that we are more serious than we used to be–I mean befor