Mansfield Park (Chapter 7, page 1 of 9)


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Chapter 7

"Well, Fanny, and how do you like Miss Crawford now?" said Edmund the
next day, after thinking some time on the subject himself. "How did
you like her yesterday?"

"Very well--very much. I like to hear her talk. She entertains me;
and she is so extremely pretty, that I have great pleasure in looking
at her."

"It is her countenance that is so attractive. She has a wonderful play
of feature! But was there nothing in her conversation that struck you,
Fanny, as not quite right?"

"Oh yes! she ought not to have spoken of her uncle as she did. I was
quite astonished. An uncle with whom she has been living so many
years, and who, whatever his faults may be, is so very fond of her
brother, treating him, they say, quite like a son. I could not have
believed it!"

"I thought you would be struck. It was very wrong; very indecorous."

"And very ungrateful, I think."

"Ungrateful is a strong word. I do not know that her uncle has any
claim to her gratitude; his wife certainly had; and it is the warmth
of her respect for her aunt's memory which misleads her here. She is
awkwardly circumstanced. With such warm feelings and lively spirits it
must be difficult to do justice to her affection for Mrs. Crawford,
without throwing a shade on the Admiral. I do not pretend to know
which was most to blame in their disagreements, though the Admiral's
present conduct might incline one to the side of his wife; but it is
natural and amiable that Miss Crawford should acquit her aunt entirely.
I do not censure her opinions; but there certainly is impropriety
in making them public."

"Do not you think," said Fanny, after a little consideration, "that
this impropriety is a reflection itself upon Mrs. Crawford, as her
niece has been entirely brought up by her? She cannot have given her
right notions of what was due to the Admiral."

"That is a fair remark. Yes, we must suppose the faults of the niece
to have been those of the aunt; and it makes one more sensible of the
disadvantages she has been under. But I think her present home must do
her good. Mrs. Grant's manners are just what they ought to be. She
speaks of her brother with a very pleasing affection."

"Yes, except as to his writing her such short letters. She made me
almost laugh; but I cannot rate so very highly the love or good-nature
of a brother who will not give himself the trouble of writing anything
worth reading to his sisters, when they are separated. I am sure
William would never have used me so, under any circumstances. And
what right had she to suppose that you would not write long letters
when you were absent?"

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