“This is the first October that she has passed in the country since her infancy23. I do not call Tunbridge or Cheltenham the country; and November is a still more serious month, and I can see that Mrs. Grant is very anxious for her not finding Mansfield dull as winter comes on.”
Fanny could have said a great deal, but it was safer to say nothing, and leave untouched all Miss Crawford’s resources–her accomplishments24, her spirits, her importance, her friends, lest it should betray her into any observations seemingly unhandsome. Miss Crawford’s kind opinion of herself deserved at least a grateful forbearance, and she began to talk of something else.
“To-morrow, I think, my uncle dines at Sotherton, and you and Mr. Bertram too. We shall be quite a small party at home. I hope my uncle may continue to like Mr. Rushworth.”
“That is impossible, Fanny. He must like him less after to-morrow’s visit, for we shall be five hours in his company. I should dread25 the stupidity of the day, if there were not a much greater evil to follow–the impression it must leave on Sir Thomas. He cannot much longer deceive himself. I am sorry for them all, and would give something that Rushworth and Maria had never met.”