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opportunity of suggesting such as they thought advisable

time:2023-12-07 04:05:01 author:map read:666次

‘Fanny! I wish you to go,’ said he, authoritatively. ‘It will do you good, instead of harm. You will oblige me by going, without my saying anything more about it.’

opportunity of suggesting such as they thought advisable

He went abruptly out of the room after saying this.

opportunity of suggesting such as they thought advisable

If he had staid a minute longer, Fanny would have cried at his tone of command, even when he used the words, ‘You will oblige me.’ As it was, she grumbled.

opportunity of suggesting such as they thought advisable

‘John always speaks as if I fancied I was ill, and I am sure I never do fancy any such thing. Who are these Hales that he makes such a fuss about?’

‘Fanny, don’t speak so of your brother. He has good reasons of some kind or other, or he would not wish us to go. Make haste and put your things on.’

But the little altercation between her son and her daughter did not incline Mrs. Thornton more favourably towards ‘these Hales.’ Her jealous heart repeated her daughter’s question, ‘Who are they, that he is so anxious we should pay them all this attention?’ It came up like a burden to a song, long after Fanny had forgotten all about it in the pleasant excitement of seeing the effect of a new bonnet in the looking-glass.

Mrs. Thornton was shy. It was only of late years that she had had leisure enough in her life to go into society; and as society she did not enjoy it. As dinner-giving, and as criticising other people’s dinners, she took satisfaction in it. But this going to make acquaintance with strangers was a very different thing. She was ill at ease, and looked more than usually stern and forbidding as she entered the Hales’ little drawing-room.

Margaret was busy embroidering a small piece of cambric for some little article of dress for Edith’s expected baby —‘Flimsy, useless work,’ as Mrs. Thornton observed to herself. She liked Mrs. Hale’s double knitting far better; that was sensible of its kind. The room altogether was full of knick-knacks, which must take a long time to dust; and time to people of limited income was money. She made all these reflections as she was talking in her stately way to Mrs. Hale, and uttering all the stereotyped commonplaces that most people can find to say with their senses blindfolded. Mrs. Hale was making rather more exertion in her answers, captivated by some real old lace which Mrs. Thornton wore; ‘lace,’ as she afterwards observed to Dixon, ‘of that old English point which has not been made for this seventy years, and which cannot be bought. It must have been an heir-loom, and shows that she had ancestors.’ So the owner of the ancestral lace became worthy of something more than the languid exertion to be agreeable to a visitor, by which Mrs. Hale’s efforts at conversation would have been otherwise bounded. And presently, Margaret, racking her brain to talk to Fanny, heard her mother and Mrs. Thornton plunge into the interminable subject of servants.


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