The meeting was generally felt to be a pleasant one, being composed in a good proportion of those who would talk and those who would listen; and the dinner itself was elegant and plentiful10, according to the usual style of the Grants, and too much according to the usual habits of all to raise any emotion except in Mrs. Norris, who could never behold11 either the wide table or the number of dishes on it with patience, and who did always contrive12 to experience some evil from the passing of the servants behind her chair, and to bring away some fresh conviction of its being impossible among so many dishes but that some must be cold.
In the evening it was found, according to the predetermination of Mrs. Grant and her sister, that after making up the whist-table there would remain sufficient for a round game, and everybody being as perfectly13 complying and without a choice as on such occasions they always are, speculation14 was decided15 on almost as soon as whist; and Lady Bertram soon found herself in the critical situation of being applied16 to for her own choice between the games, and being required either to draw a card for whist or not. She hesitated. Luckily Sir Thomas was at hand.
“What shall I do, Sir Thomas? Whist and speculation; which will amuse me most?”