Mansfield Park (Chapter 10, page 2 of 7)


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Chapter 10

"Yes, there is nothing else to be done. But now, sincerely, do not you
find the place altogether worse than you expected?"

"No, indeed, far otherwise. I find it better, grander, more complete
in its style, though that style may not be the best. And to tell you
the truth," speaking rather lower, "I do not think that I shall ever
see Sotherton again with so much pleasure as I do now. Another summer
will hardly improve it to me."

After a moment's embarrassment the lady replied, "You are too much a
man of the world not to see with the eyes of the world. If other
people think Sotherton improved, I have no doubt that you will."

"I am afraid I am not quite so much the man of the world as might be
good for me in some points. My feelings are not quite so evanescent,
nor my memory of the past under such easy dominion as one finds to be
the case with men of the world."

This was followed by a short silence. Miss Bertram began again. "You
seemed to enjoy your drive here very much this morning. I was glad to
see you so well entertained. You and Julia were laughing the whole
way."

"Were we? Yes, I believe we were; but I have not the least
recollection at what. Oh! I believe I was relating to her some
ridiculous stories of an old Irish groom of my uncle's. Your sister
loves to laugh."

"You think her more light-hearted than I am?"

"More easily amused," he replied; "consequently, you know," smiling,
"better company. I could not have hoped to entertain you with Irish
anecdotes during a ten miles' drive."

"Naturally, I believe, I am as lively as Julia, but I have more to
think of now."

"You have, undoubtedly; and there are situations in which very high
spirits would denote insensibility. Your prospects, however, are too
fair to justify want of spirits. You have a very smiling scene before
you."

"Do you mean literally or figuratively? Literally, I conclude. Yes,
certainly, the sun shines, and the park looks very cheerful. But
unluckily that iron gate, that ha-ha, give me a feeling of restraint
and hardship. 'I cannot get out,' as the starling said." As she
spoke, and it was with expression, she walked to the gate: he followed
her. "Mr. Rushworth is so long fetching this key!"

"And for the world you would not get out without the key and without
Mr. Rushworth's authority and protection, or I think you might with
little difficulty pass round the edge of the gate, here, with my
assistance; I think it might be done, if you really wished to be more
at large, and could allow yourself to think it not prohibited."

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