Edmund’s first object the next morning was to see his father alone, and give him a fair statement of the whole acting1 scheme, defending his own share in it as far only as he could then, in a soberer moment, feel his motives2 to deserve, and acknowledging, with perfect ingenuousness3, that his concession4 had been attended with such partial good as to make his judgment5 in it very doubtful. He was anxious, while vindicating6 himself, to say nothing unkind of the others: but there was only one amongst them whose conduct he could mention without some necessity of defence or palliation. “We have all been more or less to blame,” said he, “every one of us, excepting Fanny. Fanny is the only one who has judged rightly throughout; who has been consistent. Her feelings have been steadily7 against it from first to last. She never ceased to think of what was due to you. You will find Fanny everything you could wish.”
Sir Thomas saw all the impropriety of such a scheme among such a party, and at such a time, as strongly as his son had ever supposed he must; he felt it too much, indeed, for many words; and having shaken hands with Edmund, meant to try to lose the disagreeable impression, and forget how much he had been forgotten himself as soon as he could, after the house had been cleared of every object enforcing the remembrance, and restored to its proper state. He did not enter into any remonstrance8 with his other children: he was more willing to believe they felt their error than to run the risk of investigation9. The reproof10 of an immediate11 conclusion of everything, the sweep of every preparation, would be sufficient.