Miss Crawford saw much of Sir Thomas’s thoughts as he stood, and having, in spite of all his wrongs towards her, a general prevailing27 desire of recommending herself to him, took an opportunity of stepping aside to say something agreeable of Fanny. Her praise was warm, and he received it as she could wish, joining in it as far as discretion28, and politeness, and slowness of speech would allow, and certainly appearing to greater advantage on the subject than his lady did soon afterwards, when Mary, perceiving her on a sofa very near, turned round before she began to dance, to compliment her on Miss Price’s looks.
“Yes, she does look very well,” was Lady Bertram’s placid29 reply. “Chapman helped her to dress. I sent Chapman to her.” Not but that she was really pleased to have Fanny admired; but she was so much more struck with her own kindness in sending Chapman to her, that she could not get it out of her head.
Miss Crawford knew Mrs. Norris too well to think of gratifying her by commendation of Fanny; to her, it was as the occasion offered–“Ah! ma’am, how much we want dear Mrs. Rushworth and Julia to-night!” and Mrs. Norris paid her with as many smiles and courteous30 words as she had time for, amid so much occupation as she found for herself in making up card-tables, giving hints to Sir Thomas, and trying to move all the chaperons to a better part of the room.