Mansfield Park (Chapter 8, page 2 of 6)


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Chapter 8

Mrs. Rushworth being obliged to yield to Lady Bertram's staying at
home, could only be sorry. "The loss of her ladyship's company would
be a great drawback, and she should have been extremely happy to have
seen the young lady too, Miss Price, who had never been at Sotherton
yet, and it was a pity she should not see the place."

"You are very kind, you are all kindness, my dear madam," cried Mrs.
Norris; "but as to Fanny, she will have opportunities in plenty of
seeing Sotherton. She has time enough before her; and her going now is
quite out of the question. Lady Bertram could not possibly spare her."

"Oh no! I cannot do without Fanny."

Mrs. Rushworth proceeded next, under the conviction that everybody must
be wanting to see Sotherton, to include Miss Crawford in the
invitation; and though Mrs. Grant, who had not been at the trouble of
visiting Mrs. Rushworth, on her coming into the neighbourhood, civilly
declined it on her own account, she was glad to secure any pleasure for
her sister; and Mary, properly pressed and persuaded, was not long in
accepting her share of the civility. Mr. Rushworth came back from the
Parsonage successful; and Edmund made his appearance just in time to
learn what had been settled for Wednesday, to attend Mrs. Rushworth to
her carriage, and walk half-way down the park with the two other ladies.

On his return to the breakfast-room, he found Mrs. Norris trying to
make up her mind as to whether Miss Crawford's being of the party were
desirable or not, or whether her brother's barouche would not be full
without her. The Miss Bertrams laughed at the idea, assuring her that
the barouche would hold four perfectly well, independent of the box, on
which one might go with him.

"But why is it necessary," said Edmund, "that Crawford's carriage, or
his only, should be employed? Why is no use to be made of my
mother's chaise? I could not, when the scheme was first mentioned the
other day, understand why a visit from the family were not to be made
in the carriage of the family."

"What!" cried Julia: "go boxed up three in a postchaise in this
weather, when we may have seats in a barouche! No, my dear Edmund,
that will not quite do."

"Besides," said Maria, "I know that Mr. Crawford depends upon taking
us. After what passed at first, he would claim it as a promise."

"And, my dear Edmund," added Mrs. Norris, "taking out two carriages
when one will do, would be trouble for nothing; and, between
ourselves, coachman is not very fond of the roads between this and
Sotherton: he always complains bitterly of the narrow lanes scratching
his carriage, and you know one should not like to have dear Sir Thomas,
when he comes home, find all the varnish scratched off."

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