After a short consideration, Sir Thomas asked Crawford to join the early breakfast party in that house instead of eating alone: he should himself be of it; and the readiness with which his invitation was accepted convinced him that the suspicions whence, he must confess to himself, this very ball had in great measure sprung, were well founded. Mr. Crawford was in love with Fanny. He had a pleasing anticipation45 of what would be. His niece, meanwhile, did not thank him for what he had just done. She had hoped to have William all to herself the last morning. It would have been an unspeakable indulgence. But though her wishes were overthrown46, there was no spirit of murmuring within her. On the contrary, she was so totally unused to have her pleasure consulted, or to have anything take place at all in the way she could desire, that she was more disposed to wonder and rejoice in having carried her point so far, than to repine at the counteraction47 which followed.
Shortly afterward4, Sir Thomas was again interfering48 a little with her inclination, by advising her to go immediately to bed. “Advise” was his word, but it was the advice of absolute power, and she had only to rise, and, with Mr. Crawford’s very cordial adieus, pass quietly away; stopping at the entrance-door, like the Lady of Branxholm Hall, “one moment and no more,” to view the happy scene, and take a last look at the five or six determined49 couple who were still hard at work; and then, creeping slowly up the principal staircase, pursued by the ceaseless country-dance, feverish50 with hopes and fears, soup and negus, sore-footed and fatigued51, restless and agitated52, yet feeling, in spite of everything, that a ball was indeed delightful.