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Chapter 20

Edmund's first object the next morning was to see his father alone, and give him a fair statement of the whole acting scheme, defending his own share in it as far only as he could then, in a soberer moment, feel his motives to deserve, and acknowledging, with perfect ingenuousness, that his concession had been attended with such partial good as to make his judgment in it very doubtful. He was anxious, while vindicating himself, to say nothing unkind of the others: but there was only one amongst them whose conduct he could mention without some necessity of defence or palliation. "We have all been more or less to blame," said he, "every one of us, excepting Fanny. Fanny is the only one who has judged rightly throughout; who has been consistent. _Her_ feelings have been steadily against it from first to last. She never ceased to think of what was due to you. You will find Fanny everything you could wish."

Sir Thomas saw all the impropriety of such a scheme among such a party, and at such a time, as strongly as his son had ever supposed he must; he felt it too much, indeed, for many words; and having shaken hands with Edmund, meant to try to lose the disagreeable impression, and forget how much he had been forgotten himself as soon as he could, after the house had been cleared of every object enforcing the remembrance, and restored to its proper state. He did not enter into any remonstrance with his other children: he was more willing to believe they felt their error than to run the risk of investigation. The reproof of an immediate conclusion of everything, the sweep of every preparation, would be sufficient.

There was one person, however, in the house, whom he could not leave to learn his sentiments merely through his conduct. He could not help giving Mrs. Norris a hint of his having hoped that her advice might have been interposed to prevent what her judgment must certainly have disapproved. The young people had been very inconsiderate in forming the plan; they ought to have been capable of a better decision themselves; but they were young; and, excepting Edmund, he believed, of unsteady characters; and with greater surprise, therefore, he must regard her acquiescence in their wrong measures, her countenance of their unsafe amusements, than that such measures and such amusements should have been suggested. Mrs. Norris was a little confounded and as nearly being silenced as ever she had been in her life; for she was ashamed to confess having never seen any of the impropriety which was so glaring to Sir Thomas, and would not have admitted that her influence was insufficient-- that she might have talked in vain. Her only resource was to get out of the subject as fast as possible, and turn the current of Sir Thomas's ideas into a happier channel. She had a great deal to insinuate in her own praise as to _general_ attention to the interest and comfort of his family, much exertion and many sacrifices to glance at in the form of hurried walks and sudden removals from her own fireside, and many excellent hints of distrust and economy to Lady Bertram and Edmund to detail, whereby a most considerable saving had always arisen, and more than one bad servant been detected. But her chief strength lay in Sotherton. Her greatest support and glory was in having formed the connexion with the Rushworths. _There_ she was impregnable. She took to herself all the credit of bringing Mr. Rushworth's admiration of Maria to any effect. "If I had not been active," said she, "and made a point of being introduced to his mother, and then prevailed on my sister to pay the first visit, I am as certain as I sit here that nothing would have come of it; for Mr. Rushworth is the sort of amiable modest young man who wants a great deal of encouragement, and there were girls enough on the catch for him if we had been idle. But I left no stone unturned. I was ready to move heaven and earth to persuade my sister, and at last I did persuade her. You know the distance to Sotherton; it was in the middle of winter, and the roads almost impassable, but I did persuade her."

"I know how great, how justly great, your influence is with Lady Bertram and her children, and am the more concerned that it should not have been."

"My dear Sir Thomas, if you had seen the state of the roads _that_ day! I thought we should never have got through them, though we had the four horses of course; and poor old coachman would attend us, out of his great love and kindness, though he was hardly able to sit the box on account of the rheumatism which I had been doctoring him for ever since Michaelmas. I cured him at last; but he was very bad all the winter--and this was such a day, I could not help going to him up in his room before we set off to advise him not to venture: he was putting on his wig; so I said, 'Coachman, you had much better not go; your Lady and I shall be very safe; you know how steady Stephen is, and Charles has been upon the leaders so often now, that I am sure there is no fear.' But, however, I soon found it would not do; he was bent upon going, and as I hate to be worrying and officious, I said no more; but my heart quite ached for him at every jolt, and when we got into the rough lanes about Stoke, where, what with frost and snow upon beds of stones, it was worse than anything you can imagine, I was quite in an agony about him. And then the poor horses too! To see them straining away! You know how I always feel for the horses. And when we got to the bottom of Sandcroft Hill, what do you think I did? You will laugh at me; but I got out and walked up. I did indeed. It might not be saving them much, but it was something, and I could not bear to sit at my ease and be dragged up at the expense of those noble animals. I caught a dreadful cold, but _that_ I did not regard. My object was accomplished in the visit."

"I hope we shall always think the acquaintance worth any trouble that might be taken to establish it. There is nothing very striking in Mr. Rushworth's manners, but I was pleased last night with what appeared to be his opinion on one subject: his decided preference of a quiet family party to the bustle and confusion of acting. He seemed to feel exactly as one could wish."

"Yes, indeed, and the more you know of him the better you will like him. He is not a shining character, but he has a thousand good qualities; and is so disposed to look up to you, that I am quite laughed at about it, for everybody considers it as my doing. 'Upon my word, Mrs. Norris,' said Mrs. Grant the other day, 'if Mr. Rushworth were a son of your own, he could not hold Sir Thomas in greater respect.'"

Sir Thomas gave up the point, foiled by her evasions, disarmed by her flattery; and was obliged to rest satisfied with the conviction that where the present pleasure of those she loved was at stake, her kindness did sometimes overpower her judgment.

It was a busy morning with him. Conversation with any of them occupied but a small part of it. He had to reinstate himself in all the wonted concerns of his Mansfield life: to see his steward and his bailiff; to examine and compute, and, in the intervals of business, to walk into his stables and his gardens, and nearest plantations; but active and methodical, he had not only done all this before he resumed his seat as master of the house at dinner, he had also set the carpenter to work in pulling down what had been so lately put up in the billiard-room, and given the scene-painter his dismissal long enough to justify the pleasing belief of his being then at least as far off as Northampton. The scene-painter was gone, having spoilt only the floor of one room, ruined all the coachman's sponges, and made five of the under-servants idle and dissatisfied; and Sir Thomas was in hopes that another day or two would suffice to wipe away every outward memento of what had been, even to the destruction of every unbound copy of Lovers' Vows in the house, for he was burning all that met his eye.

Mr. Yates was beginning now to understand Sir Thomas's intentions, though as far as ever from understanding their source. He and his friend had been out with their guns the chief of the morning, and Tom had taken the opportunity of explaining, with proper apologies for his father's particularity, what was to be expected. Mr. Yates felt it as acutely as might be supposed. To be a second time disappointed in the same way was an instance of very severe ill-luck; and his indignation was such, that had it not been for delicacy towards his friend, and his friend's youngest sister, he believed he should certainly attack the baronet on the absurdity of his proceedings, and argue him into a little more rationality. He believed this very stoutly while he was in Mansfield Wood, and all the way home; but there was a something in Sir Thomas, when they sat round the same table, which made Mr. Yates think it wiser to let him pursue his own way, and feel the folly of it without opposition. He had known many disagreeable fathers before, and often been struck with the inconveniences they occasioned, but never, in the whole course of his life, had he seen one of that class so unintelligibly moral, so infamously tyrannical as Sir Thomas. He was not a man to be endured but for his children's sake, and he might be thankful to his fair daughter Julia that Mr. Yates did yet mean to stay a few days longer under his roof.

The evening passed with external smoothness, though almost every mind was ruffled; and the music which Sir Thomas called for from his daughters helped to conceal the want of real harmony. Maria was in a good deal of agitation. It was of the utmost consequence to her that Crawford should now lose no time in declaring himself, and she was disturbed that even a day should be gone by without seeming to advance that point. She had been expecting to see him the whole morning, and all the evening, too, was still expecting him. Mr. Rushworth had set off early with the great news for Sotherton; and she had fondly hoped for such an immediate _eclaircissement_ as might save him the trouble of ever coming back again. But they had seen no one from the Parsonage, not a creature, and had heard no tidings beyond a friendly note of congratulation and inquiry from Mrs. Grant to Lady Bertram. It was the first day for many, many weeks, in which the families had been wholly divided. Four-and-twenty hours had never passed before, since August began, without bringing them together in some way or other. It was a sad, anxious day; and the morrow, though differing in the sort of evil, did by no means bring less. A few moments of feverish enjoyment were followed by hours of acute suffering. Henry Crawford was again in the house: he walked up with Dr. Grant, who was anxious to pay his respects to Sir Thomas, and at rather an early hour they were ushered into the breakfast-room, where were most of the family. Sir Thomas soon appeared, and Maria saw with delight and agitation the introduction of the man she loved to her father. Her sensations were indefinable, and so were they a few minutes afterwards upon hearing Henry Crawford, who had a chair between herself and Tom, ask the latter in an undervoice whether there were any plans for resuming the play after the present happy interruption (with a courteous glance at Sir Thomas), because, in that case, he should make a point of returning to Mansfield at any time required by the party: he was going away immediately, being to meet his uncle at Bath without delay; but if there were any prospect of a renewal of Lovers' Vows, he should hold himself positively engaged, he should break through every other claim, he should absolutely condition with his uncle for attending them whenever he might be wanted. The play should not be lost by _his_ absence.

"From Bath, Norfolk, London, York, wherever I may be," said he; "I will attend you from any place in England, at an hour's notice."

It was well at that moment that Tom had to speak, and not his sister. He could immediately say with easy fluency, "I am sorry you are going; but as to our play, _that_ is all over--entirely at an end" (looking significantly at his father). "The painter was sent off yesterday, and very little will remain of the theatre to-morrow. I knew how _that_ would be from the first. It is early for Bath. You will find nobody there."

"It is about my uncle's usual time."

"When do you think of going?"

"I may, perhaps, get as far as Banbury to-day."

"Whose stables do you use at Bath?" was the next question; and while this branch of the subject was under discussion, Maria, who wanted neither pride nor resolution, was preparing to encounter her share of it with tolerable calmness.

To her he soon turned, repeating much of what he had already said, with only a softened air and stronger expressions of regret. But what availed his expressions or his air? He was going, and, if not voluntarily going, voluntarily intending to stay away; for, excepting what might be due to his uncle, his engagements were all self-imposed. He might talk of necessity, but she knew his independence. The hand which had so pressed hers to his heart! the hand and the heart were alike motionless and passive now! Her spirit supported her, but the agony of her mind was severe. She had not long to endure what arose from listening to language which his actions contradicted, or to bury the tumult of her feelings under the restraint of society; for general civilities soon called his notice from her, and the farewell visit, as it then became openly acknowledged, was a very short one. He was gone--he had touched her hand for the last time, he had made his parting bow, and she might seek directly all that solitude could do for her. Henry Crawford was gone, gone from the house, and within two hours afterwards from the parish; and so ended all the hopes his selfish vanity had raised in Maria and Julia Bertram.

Julia could rejoice that he was gone. His presence was beginning to be odious to her; and if Maria gained him not, she was now cool enough to dispense with any other revenge. She did not want exposure to be added to desertion. Henry Crawford gone, she could even pity her sister.

With a purer spirit did Fanny rejoice in the intelligence. She heard it at dinner, and felt it a blessing. By all the others it was mentioned with regret; and his merits honoured with due gradation of feeling-- from the sincerity of Edmund's too partial regard, to the unconcern of his mother speaking entirely by rote. Mrs. Norris began to look about her, and wonder that his falling in love with Julia had come to nothing; and could almost fear that she had been remiss herself in forwarding it; but with so many to care for, how was it possible for even _her_ activity to keep pace with her wishes?

Another day or two, and Mr. Yates was gone likewise. In _his_ departure Sir Thomas felt the chief interest: wanting to be alone with his family, the presence of a stranger superior to Mr. Yates must have been irksome; but of him, trifling and confident, idle and expensive, it was every way vexatious. In himself he was wearisome, but as the friend of Tom and the admirer of Julia he became offensive. Sir Thomas had been quite indifferent to Mr. Crawford's going or staying: but his good wishes for Mr. Yates's having a pleasant journey, as he walked with him to the hall-door, were given with genuine satisfaction. Mr. Yates had staid to see the destruction of every theatrical preparation at Mansfield, the removal of everything appertaining to the play: he left the house in all the soberness of its general character; and Sir Thomas hoped, in seeing him out of it, to be rid of the worst object connected with the scheme, and the last that must be inevitably reminding him of its existence.

Mrs. Norris contrived to remove one article from his sight that might have distressed him. The curtain, over which she had presided with such talent and such success, went off with her to her cottage, where she happened to be particularly in want of green baize.

埃德蒙第二天早晨的第一件事是单独面见父亲,向他诚实地谈谈整个演戏计划,在他头脑冷静的时候,只是从动机的角度出发,为自己在里边所起的作用进行辩护,同时坦率地承认由于他的让步并没有带来什么好的结果,这就使他原来的看法变得十分可疑。他为自己辩护的时候,又不想说别人的坏话。不过,这些人中只有一个人,其所作所为既不需要他辩护,也不需要他掩饰。“我们大家或多或少都有过失,”他说,“我们个个都有,但范妮除外。只有范妮一个人始终没错,一直坚持正确意见。她可是自始至终反对演戏的。她从没忘记应该尊重你。你会发现范妮样样都让你满意。”

托马斯爵士认为这样一伙人,在这样一个时候排演这样一出戏,是完全不成体统的事情,他正像他儿子料想的那样反感至极,气得都说不出话来。他和埃德蒙握了握手,心想等房子里能勾起这般记忆的样样物品被清除,原有的秩序得到恢复后,他要尽量抹去这不愉快的印象,尽量忘掉他不在期间他们如何把他置之度外。他没有去责怪他那另外三个孩子:他情愿相信他们认识到了自己的错误,而不想贸然对他们的错误刨根问底。让他们立即终止这一切,把准备演戏用的一切物品统统清理掉,对他们也是足够的惩罚了。

然而,这大宅里有一个人,他还不能让她仅仅通过他的行动来领会他的观点。他不能不用言语向诺里斯太太表明,他原指望她能出面阻止她明知不对的事情。那些年轻人制定计划时有欠考虑,他们本应自己做出恰当一点的决定。但是他们都很年轻,而且除了埃德蒙,他觉得都是不稳重的人。因此,他对年轻人要搞这样的活动、这样的娱乐固然感到惊讶,但他对做姨妈的默许他们去做这样的错事,支持他们去搞这种招惹是非的娱乐活动,自然更为惊讶。诺里斯太太有点心慌意乱,给说得几乎哑口无言。托马斯爵士分明觉得不成体统的事,她也不好意思说她看不出有什么不成体统的。她也不愿说她没有那么大的影响——她即使劝阻也没有人听。她唯一的办法是尽快撇开这个话题,把托马斯爵士的思路引向一个比较愉快的渠道。她可以举出大量的事例来表扬自己,例如处处关心他家人的利益和安乐,大冬天不在炉边烤火却天天跑出来为他们家奔忙,费尽了力气吃尽了苦头,向伯特伦夫人和埃德蒙提过许多极好的建议,叫他们提防仆人,注意节约开支,结果他们已经节省了大量的钱,查出了不止一个仆人手脚不干净的问题。不过,她的主要资本还是在索瑟顿。她的最大功劳和荣耀是帮他们跟拉什沃思家攀上了亲。她的这个功劳是抹杀不了的。她把拉什沃思先生看上玛丽亚全都记在她的功劳簿上。“要不是我积极主动,”她说,“非要去结识他母亲,然后又说服妹妹先去拜访人家,我敢百分之百地断定,就决不会有这样的结果。要知道,拉什沃思先生属于那种又和蔼又腼腆的年轻人,需要女方大加鼓励才行。我们要是不采取主动的话,有的是姑娘在打他的主意。不过,我可是不遗余力了。我是竭尽全力劝说妹妹,最后终于把她说服了。你知道去索瑟顿有多远。正是隆冬季节,路几乎都不通,不过我还真把她说服了。”

“我知道伯特伦夫人及其子女非常听你的话,也该听你的,因而我更为不安,为什么你的影响没有用到——”

“亲爱的托马斯爵士,你要是看到那天路上是什么样子就好啦!我当时心想,尽管我们理所当然地用上四匹马拉车,也无法把我们拉到那里。可怜的老马车夫出于一片忠心和善心,一定要给我们赶车。只不过他有关节炎,从米迦勒节①起我一直在给他治疗,他几乎都不能坐驾驶座。我最后给他治好了,可他整个冬天都犯得厉害——那天就是这样的,出发前我身不由己地到他房里去了一趟,劝他不要冒这个风险。他当时正往头上戴假发,于是我就说:‘马车夫,你最好不要去,夫人和我不会出什么问题的。你知道斯蒂芬很稳当,查尔斯近来也常骑领头马,我认为用不着担心。’可是我发现不行,他说什么也要去。我不喜欢瞎操心、多管闲事,便不再说什么了。但是,每次车子一颠,我就为他心痛。当车子走上斯托克附近坎坷不平的小路时,石头路面上又是霜又是雪,你想象不到有多糟糕,我真是心疼他呀。还有那些可怜的马哪!眼看着它们拼命往前拉呀!你知道我一向爱惜马。我们到了桑德克罗夫特山脚下的时候,你猜我怎么着啦?你准会笑话我——我下了车徒步往山上走。我真是走上去的。我这样做也许减轻不了多少负担,但总会减轻一点吧。我不忍心安然自得地坐在车上,让那些骏马吃力地往山上拉。我得了重感冒,可是我才不在乎这呢。我达到了这次走访的目的。”

“我希望我们会永远认为这家人值得费这么大力气去结交。拉什沃思先生的仪态没有什么很出众的地方,不过我昨天晚上倒很欣赏他的一个观点——他明确表示宁愿一家人安安静静地聚在一起,而不愿吵吵嚷嚷地演戏。难得他能有这样的看法。”①米迦勒节:9月29日,英国四大结账日之一。

“是呀,一点不错,你越了解他,就会越喜欢他。他不是个光芒四射的人物,但却有上千条的优良品质!他好敬仰你,大家为此都笑我,认为是我教他的。‘我敢担保,诺里斯太太,’格兰特太太那天说,‘即使拉什沃思先生是你的儿子,他也不可能比现在更敬仰托马斯爵士。”’

托马斯爵士被她的绕来绕去和甜言蜜语弄迷惑了,便放弃了自己的看法,反倒觉得虽说她不该纵容她喜爱的年轻人搞这样的娱乐活动,可那是因为她对孩子太溺爱,有时候不能明辨是非。

这天上午他很忙。不管跟谁谈话,都只占去很短一点时间。他要重新开始料理曼斯菲尔德的日常事务,得去见见管家和代理人——查一查,算一算——趁办事的间隙,去看看马厩、花园以及距离最近的种植园。他是个勤快人,办事又得法,还没等到又坐在一家之主的位子上吃晚饭的时候,他不仅办完了所有这一切,还让木匠拆去了弹子房里新近搭起来的舞台,而且解雇了绘景师,早已打发走了,现在想必至少到了北安普敦。绘景师走了,他只糟蹋了一个房间的地板,毁掉了马车夫的所有海绵,带坏了五个干粗活的仆人,一个个变得又懒惰又不满意。托马斯爵士希望再有一两天,就能全部清除演戏留下的一切痕迹,甚至毁掉家中所有尚未装订的《山盟海誓》剧本,他现在是看见一本烧一本。

耶茨先生现在开始明白托马斯爵士的用心了,但依然不理解这是出于什么缘故。他和朋友背着枪出去了大半个上午,汤姆利用这个机会对他父亲的为人苛求表示了歉意,并解释了可能会出现什么情况。耶茨先生的愤懑之情是可想而知的。连续两次遇到同样扫兴的事真是太不幸了。他极为恼火,若不是替朋友及其小妹妹着想,他定会攻击男爵做事荒唐,跟他理论一番,让他懂点道理。他在曼斯菲尔德树林里,以及回来的路上,一直坚定不移地抱着这样的想法。但是,等到大家围着同一张桌子吃饭的时候,托马斯爵士身上有一种力量使他觉得还是不问为好,让他自行其是,自识其愚。他认识过许多令人讨厌的做父亲的人,常常为他们对儿女们横遮竖拦而吃惊,但他有生以来,还从没见过哪个人像托马斯爵士这样蛮横无理,这样暴虐无道。要不是看在他儿女们的面上,他这样的人是不能令人容忍的。耶茨先生之所以还愿在他家多住几天,还得感谢他的漂亮女儿朱莉娅。

这天晚上,表面上看来过得平平静静,但几乎人人都心烦意乱。托马斯爵士叫两个女儿弹琴,这琴声帮助掩盖了事实上的不和谐。玛丽亚很是焦躁不安。对她来说至关重要的是,克劳福德应该立即向她表露爱慕之情。哪怕是一天白白过去了,事情仍然没有进展,她也感到惶恐。她整个上午都在盼他来——整个晚上仍在盼他。拉什沃思先生带着这里的重大新闻一早就回索瑟顿了。她天真地希望克劳福德先生立即表明心迹,这样一来,拉什沃思先生也用不着再回来了。然而,就是不见牧师住宅有人来——连个人影都见不到,也听不到那里有什么消息,只收到格兰特太太写给伯特伦夫人的一封便笺,是向她表示祝贺和问候的。这是多少个星期以来,两家人第一天彻底没有来往。自8月初起,没有哪一天他们不以某种方式聚集在一起。这是令人忧心如煎的一天。第二天带来的不幸虽然有所不同,但程度上丝毫不亚于第一天:欣喜若狂了一阵之后,紧接着是几个小时的心如刀割。亨利·克劳福德又来到了大宅。他是跟格兰特博士一起来的,格兰特博士一心想来拜望托马斯爵士,早早地就给领进了早餐厅,一家人大多都在那里。转眼间,托马斯爵士出来了,玛丽亚眼见着自己的心上人被介绍给父亲,心里又高兴又激动。她的心情真是无以言表,过了一阵之后仍然如此。当时,亨利·克劳福德坐在她和汤姆之间的一把椅子上,只听他低声问汤姆,在他们的演戏计划被眼下的喜事冲断之后(说到这里颇有礼貌地瞥了托马斯爵士一眼),是否还打算继续排演。如果继续排演,不管什么时候需要他,他都会赶回曼斯菲尔德。他马上要走了,赶紧去巴斯会见他叔父。不过,如果还可能再演《山盟海誓》,他要坚定不移地参加,要摆脱任何别的事情,要跟他叔叔明明白白地谈定,什么时候需要他,他就来参加演出。这戏决不能因为他不在就半途而废。”

“从巴斯、诺福克、伦敦、约克——不管我在哪儿,”他说,“我只要接到通知,一个钟头内就会动身,从英国的任何地方赶来参加你们的演出。”

好在当时要由汤姆来回话,而不是他妹妹。汤姆当即流利自如地说道:“很遗憾你要走了——至于我们的戏,那已经完了——彻底完了(意味深长地望望他父亲)。绘景师昨天给打发走了,剧场明天差不多就拆光了。我从一开始就知道会是这样的。现在去巴斯还早,去了见不到人。”

“我叔叔常在这个时候去。”

“你想什么时候走?”

“我也许今天能赶到班伯里。”

“你在巴斯用谁的马厩?”汤姆接着问道。两人正讨论着这个问题,这时玛丽亚出于自尊,横下心来,准备比较冷静地加入他们的讨论。

不久,亨利·克劳福德朝她转过脸来,把刚才对汤姆说过的好多话又重说了一遍,只不过神态比较柔和,脸上挂着更加遗憾的表情而已。但是神态和表情又有什么用呢?反正他要走了——虽然不是自愿要走,却也愿意离开这里。这里面也可能有他叔叔的意思,但他的一切约会应酬都是由他自己做主的。他嘴里尽可以说是迫不得已,但她知道他并不受制于人。把她的手压在他心口的那只手啊!那只手和那颗心现在都变僵硬了,冷冰冰了!她强打精神,但内心却十分痛苦。她一方面要忍受着听他言行不一地表白的痛苦,另一方面又要在礼仪的约束下抑制住自己翻腾着的心潮,好在这都没有持续多久,因为他还要应酬在座的众人,很快便把她撇在了一边。随即,他又公开表明他是来告别的,因而这场告别式的造访很快便结束了。他走了——最后一次触了触她的手,向她行了个临别鞠躬礼,她只能从孤独中寻求安慰。亨利·克劳福德走了——走出了这座大宅,再过两个小时还要离开这个教区。他基于自私的虚荣心在玛丽亚·伯特伦和朱莉娅·伯特伦心里激起的希望,就这样统统化为了泡影。

朱莉娅为他的离去而庆幸。她已经开始讨厌见到他了。既然玛丽亚没有得到他,她现在也冷静下来了,不想再去报复玛丽亚。她不想在人家遭到遗弃之后,还要揭人家的伤疤。亨利·克劳福德走了,她甚至可怜起姐姐了。

范妮得知这一消息后,以更纯洁的心情感到高兴。她是在吃晚饭时听说的,觉得这是件好事。别人提起这事都感到遗憾,还程度不同地夸赞克劳福德先生的好处,从埃德蒙出于偏爱诚心诚意的称赞,到他妈妈漫不经心的人云亦云。诺里斯太太环顾左右,奇怪克劳福德先生和朱莉娅谈恋爱怎么没谈成。她担心是自己没尽心促成这件事。但是,她有那么多事要操心,即使她再怎么卖劲儿.哪能什么都心想事成呀?

又过了一两天,耶茨先生也走了。对于他的辞别,托马斯爵士尤感称心。他就喜欢自己一家人关起门来过日子,即使是一个比耶茨先生强的客人住在家里,也会让他感到厌烦。何况耶茨先生轻薄自负、好逸恶劳、挥霍无度,真是让人厌烦透顶。他本来就是个令人厌倦的人,但是作为汤姆的朋友和朱莉娅的心上人,他更让托马斯爵士反感。克劳福德先生是去是留,托马斯爵士毫不在乎——但是他把耶茨先生送到门口,祝他一路平安的时候,心里着实高兴。耶茨先生亲眼看到了曼斯菲尔德取消了演戏的一切准备工作,清除了演戏用的每一样东西,他走的时候,大宅里已经恢复了清清静静的平常面貌。托马斯爵士把他送出门的时候,希望家里清除了与演戏有关的最恶劣的一个人,也是势必使他联想到在此演过戏的最后一个家伙。

诺里斯太太把一样可能会惹他生气的东西搬走了,没让他看见。她把她大显其能张罗做得那么精致的幕布给拿回农舍了,她碰巧特别需要绿色绒布。



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