[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]

William, and saw how perfectly he was enjoying himself, in every five minutes that she could walk about
with him and hear his account of his partners; she was happy in knowing herself admired, and she was
happy in having the two dances with Edmund still to look forward to, during the greatest part of the
evening, her hand being so eagerly sought after, that her indefinite engagement with him was in continual
perspective. She was happy even when they did take place; but not from any flow of spirits on his side,
or any such expressions of tender gallantry as had blessed the morning. His mind was fagged, and her
happiness sprung from being the friend with whom it could find repose. "I am worn out with civility," said
he. "I have been talking incessantly all night, and with nothing to say. But with you , Fanny, there may be
peace. You will not want to be talked to. Let us have the luxury of silence." Fanny would hardly even
speak her agreement. A weariness arising probably, in great measure, from the same feelings which he
had acknowledged in the morning, was peculiarly to be respected, and they went down their two dances
together with such sober tranquillity as might satisfy any looker-on, that Sir Thomas had been bringing up
no wife for his younger son.
Page 99
Generated by ABC Amber LIT Converter, http://www.processtext.com/abclit.html
The evening had afforded Edmund little pleasure. Miss Crawford had been in gay spirits when they first
danced together, but it was not her gaiety that could do him good; it rather sank than raised his comfort;
and afterwards for he found himself still impelled to seek her again, she had absolutely pained him by
her manner of speaking of the profession to which he was now on the point of belonging. They had
talked and they had been silent he had reasoned she had ridiculed and they had parted at last
with mutual vexation. Fanny, not able to refrain entirely from observing them, had seen enough to be
tolerably satisfied. It was barbarous to be happy when Edmund was suffering. Yet some happiness must
and would arise, from the very conviction, that he did suffer.
When her two dances with him were over, her inclination and strength for more were pretty well at an
end; and Sir Thomas having seen her rather walk than dance down the shortening set, breathless and with
her hand at her side, gave his orders for her sitting down entirely. From that time, Mr. Crawford sat
down likewise.
"Poor Fanny!" cried William, coming for a moment to visit her and working away his partner's fan as if
for life: "how soon she is knocked up! Why, the sport is but just begun. I hope we shall keep it up
these two hours. How can you be tired so soon?"
"So soon! my good friend," said Sir Thomas, producing his watch with all necessary caution "it is three
o'clock, and your sister is not used to these sort of hours."
"Well then, Fanny, you shall not get up tomorrow before I go. Sleep as long as you can and never mind
me."
"Oh! William."
"What! Did she think of being up before you set off?"
"Oh! yes, sir," cried Fanny, rising eagerly from her seat to be nearer her uncle, "I must get up and
breakfast with him. It will be the last time you know, the last morning."
"You had better not. He is to have breakfasted and be gone by half past nine. Mr. Crawford, I think
you call for him at half past nine?"
Fanny was too urgent, however, and had too many tears in her eyes for denial; and it ended in a
gracious, "Well, well," which was permission.
"Yes, half past nine," said Crawford to William, as the latter was leaving them, "and I shall be punctual,
for there will be no kind sister to get up for me ." And in a lower tone to Fanny, "I shall have only a
desolate house to hurry from. Your brother will find my ideas of time and his own very different
tomorrow."
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
anticipation 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 overthrown 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
Page 100 [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]