“Yes, indeed, and the more you know of him the better you will like him. He is not a shining character, but he has a thousand good qualities; and is so disposed to look up to you, that I am quite laughed at about it, for everybody considers it as my doing. ‘Upon my word, Mrs. Norris,’ said Mrs. Grant the other day, ‘if Mr. Rushworth were a son of your own, he could not hold Sir Thomas in greater respect.'”
Sir Thomas gave up the point, foiled by her evasions26, disarmed27 by her flattery; and was obliged to rest satisfied with the conviction that where the present pleasure of those she loved was at stake, her kindness did sometimes overpower her judgment.
It was a busy morning with him. Conversation with any of them occupied but a small part of it. He had to reinstate himself in all the wonted concerns of his Mansfield life: to see his steward28 and his bailiff; to examine and compute29, and, in the intervals30 of business, to walk into his stables and his gardens, and nearest plantations31; but active and methodical, he had not only done all this before he resumed his seat as master of the house at dinner, he had also set the carpenter to work in pulling down what had been so lately put up in the billiard-room, and given the scene-painter his dismissal long enough to justify32 the pleasing belief of his being then at least as far off as Northampton. The scene-painter was gone, having spoilt only the floor of one room, ruined all the coachman’s sponges, and made five of the under-servants idle and dissatisfied; and Sir Thomas was in hopes that another day or two would suffice to wipe away every outward memento33 of what had been, even to the destruction of every unbound copy of Lovers’ Vows34 in the house, for he was burning all that met his eye.