from Eric L Sewell
This article was originally published in the April 2003 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
Extracted from Jane Austen’s ‘Mansfield Park’, completed 1812 and published 1814. It was her penultimate novel written at her cottage at Chawton in Hampshire:
‘Bertram,’ said Crawford, some time afterwards, taking the opportunity of a little langour in the game, ‘I have never told you what happened to me yesterday in my ride home.’ They had been hunting together, and were in the midst of a good run, and at some distance from Mansfield, when his horse being found to have flung a shoe, Henry Crawford had been obliged to give up, and make the best of his way back.
‘I told you I lost my way after passing that old farmhouse, with the yew-trees, because I can never bear to ask; but I have not told you that, with my usual luck - for I never do wrong without gaining by it - I found myself in due time in the very place which I had a curiosity to see. I was suddenly, upon turning the corner of a steepish downy field, in the midst of a retired little village between gently rising hills; a small stream before me to be forded, a church standing on a sort of knoll to my right - which church was strikingly large and handsome for the place, and not a gentleman or half a gentleman’s house to be seen excepting one - to be presumed the Parsonage - within a stone’s throw of the said knoll and church. I found myself, in short, in Thornton Lacey.’
‘It sounds like it,’ said Edmund; ‘but which way did you turn after passing Sewell’s farm?’
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