Mansfield Park (Chapter 5, page 2 of 7)


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Chapter 5

"But do you really? for Miss Bertram is in general thought the
handsomest."

"So I should suppose. She has the advantage in every feature, and I
prefer her countenance; but I like Julia best; Miss Bertram is
certainly the handsomest, and I have found her the most agreeable, but
I shall always like Julia best, because you order me."

"I shall not talk to you, Henry, but I know you will like her best at
last."

"Do not I tell you that I like her best at first?"

"And besides, Miss Bertram is engaged. Remember that, my dear brother.
Her choice is made."

"Yes, and I like her the better for it. An engaged woman is always
more agreeable than a disengaged. She is satisfied with herself. Her
cares are over, and she feels that she may exert all her powers of
pleasing without suspicion. All is safe with a lady engaged: no harm
can be done."

"Why, as to that, Mr. Rushworth is a very good sort of young man, and
it is a great match for her."

"But Miss Bertram does not care three straws for him; that is your
opinion of your intimate friend. I do not subscribe to it. I am
sure Miss Bertram is very much attached to Mr. Rushworth. I could see
it in her eyes, when he was mentioned. I think too well of Miss
Bertram to suppose she would ever give her hand without her heart."

"Mary, how shall we manage him?"

"We must leave him to himself, I believe. Talking does no good. He
will be taken in at last."

"But I would not have him taken in; I would not have him duped; I
would have it all fair and honourable."

"Oh dear! let him stand his chance and be taken in. It will do just as
well. Everybody is taken in at some period or other."

"Not always in marriage, dear Mary."

"In marriage especially. With all due respect to such of the present
company as chance to be married, my dear Mrs. Grant, there is not one
in a hundred of either sex who is not taken in when they marry. Look
where I will, I see that it is so; and I feel that it must be so,
when I consider that it is, of all transactions, the one in which
people expect most from others, and are least honest themselves."

"Ah! You have been in a bad school for matrimony, in Hill Street."

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