Mansfield Park (Chapter 5, page 1 of 7)


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Chapter 5

The young people were pleased with each other from the first. On each
side there was much to attract, and their acquaintance soon promised as
early an intimacy as good manners would warrant. Miss Crawford's
beauty did her no disservice with the Miss Bertrams. They were too
handsome themselves to dislike any woman for being so too, and were
almost as much charmed as their brothers with her lively dark eye,
clear brown complexion, and general prettiness. Had she been tall,
full formed, and fair, it might have been more of a trial: but as it
was, there could be no comparison; and she was most allowably a sweet,
pretty girl, while they were the finest young women in the country.

Her brother was not handsome: no, when they first saw him he was
absolutely plain, black and plain; but still he was the gentleman, with
a pleasing address. The second meeting proved him not so very plain:
he was plain, to be sure, but then he had so much countenance, and his
teeth were so good, and he was so well made, that one soon forgot he
was plain; and after a third interview, after dining in company with
him at the Parsonage, he was no longer allowed to be called so by
anybody. He was, in fact, the most agreeable young man the sisters had
ever known, and they were equally delighted with him. Miss Bertram's
engagement made him in equity the property of Julia, of which Julia was
fully aware; and before he had been at Mansfield a week, she was quite
ready to be fallen in love with.

Maria's notions on the subject were more confused and indistinct. She
did not want to see or understand. "There could be no harm in her
liking an agreeable man--everybody knew her situation--Mr. Crawford
must take care of himself." Mr. Crawford did not mean to be in any
danger! the Miss Bertrams were worth pleasing, and were ready to be
pleased; and he began with no object but of making them like him. He
did not want them to die of love; but with sense and temper which ought
to have made him judge and feel better, he allowed himself great
latitude on such points.

"I like your Miss Bertrams exceedingly, sister," said he, as he
returned from attending them to their carriage after the said dinner
visit; "they are very elegant, agreeable girls."

"So they are indeed, and I am delighted to hear you say it. But you
like Julia best."

"Oh yes! I like Julia best."

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