ther 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 before my uncle went abroad. As well as I can recollect9, it was always much the same. There was never much laughing in his presence; or, if there is any difference, it is not more, I think, than such an absence has a tendency to produce at first. There must be a sort of shyness; but I cannot recollect that our evenings formerly10 were ever merry, except when my uncle was in town. No young people’s are, I suppose, when those they look up to are at home”.