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by Jane Austen
Mansfield Park Chapter 26 Summary
Sir Thomas decides to throw a ball at Mansfield Park in honor of the Price siblings. Though Mrs. Norris isn't thrilled to have a ball for the Prices, she is thrilled to be planning everything. The young people are psyched for a ball and they set a date for it that falls right before William has to leave again. Fanny has a cross from William that she wants to wear but she doesn't have a chain for it. Everyone is busy preparing for the ball. Edmund is even busier since he's getting ordained a few days after the ball. Edmund decides that, while he and Mary don't agree on a lot of things, he does love her and hopes to marry her. He's doubtful about her feelings for him, though, which causes him anxiety. The big question is whether or not Mary loves him enough to compromise and to give up some things for him. Edmund goes back and forth on whether or not Mary loves him. Fanny's still uncertain about what to wear to her first ball so she reluctantly goes to the Grants' house to ask Mary's advice. Turns out, Mary was already heading out to call on Fanny but heads back to the Parsonage when Fanny explains that she needs help. Mary is happy to assist. They figure out what Fanny should wear and Mary asks about William's cross. Fanny confesses that she lacks a chain for it and Mary insists that Fanny take one of her old ones since she has so many. Fanny, of course, flips out and refuses to take it about 80 times before Mary successfully pressures her into picking one. Fanny tries to choose one that she thinks Mary wants her to have. This turns out to be a chain that Henry gave Mary and Mary tells Fanny to think of Henry whenever she wears it. Fanny finds this whole thing suspicious but she accepts the chain and goes home, embarrassed and agitated.
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