ng Mr. Crawford before her, and her thoughts were put into another channel by his engaging her almost instantly for the first two dances. Her happiness on this occasion was very much a la mortal, finely chequered. To be secure of a partner at first was a most essential good–for the moment of beginning was now growing seriously near; and she so little understood her own claims as to think that if Mr. Crawford had not asked her, she must have been the last to be sought after, and should have received a partner only through a series of inquiry17, and bustle18, and interference, which would have been terrible; but at the same time there was a pointedness19 in his manner of asking her which she did not like, and she saw his eye glancing for a moment at her necklace, with a smile–she thought there was a smile–which made her blush and feel wretched. And though there was no second glance to disturb her, though his object seemed then to be only quietly agreeable, she could not get the better of her embarrassment20, heightened as it was by the idea of his perceiving it, and had no composure till he turned away to some one else. Then she could gradually rise up to the genuine satisfaction of having a partner, a voluntary partner, secured against the dancing began.
When the company were moving into the ballroom21, she found herself for the first time near Miss Crawford, whose eyes and smiles were immediately and more unequivocally directed as her brother’s had been, and who was beginning to speak on the subject, when Fanny, anxious to get the story over, hastened to give the explanation of the second necklace: the real chain. Miss