Mansfield Park – Jane Austen

Sadly, this rewritten extract is a work of fiction …..

The Republican victory on November 9th means the election of Donald Trump, not Hillary Clinton, as President. The words below were written on November 8th in hopeful anticipation of a different outcome.

Let other pens dwell on guilt, misery and recriminations. I move away from such depressing subjects as soon as I can, and am keen to bring everybody, apart from those who through their underhand campaigning tactics deserve to feel ashamed, back to relative calm, and to have done with all the rest.

Hillary, I guess, must be delighted at this time, in spite of everything that has been said about her. She must have been happy in spite of all that she felt, or said that she felt, for the disappointment of those who had voted for a different candidate. She had compelling reasons to be cheerful. She was returned to the White House, she was elected, she was triumphant; she was safe from Mr Trump’s threats of incarceration; and when the results of the FBI investigation had come back there was every proof that could be given of their belief in her innocence; and happy as all this must make her, she would still have been happy without any of it, for the electorate was no longer the dupe of Mr Trump.

It is true that Donald himself was very far from happy. He was suffering from disappointment and regret, complaining bitterly about the outcome, and wishing for what could never be. Hillary knew it was so, and was rather sorry for him; but it was a sorrow so founded on satisfaction, and so much in harmony with every hope she had held, that there are few who might not have been glad to exchange their greatest happiness for it.

….

Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery. I quit such odious subjects as soon as I can, impatient to restore everybody, not greatly in fault themselves, to tolerable comfort, and to have done with all the rest.

My Fanny, indeed, at this very time, I have the satisfaction of knowing, must have been happy in spite of everything. She must have been a happy creature in spite of all that she felt, or thought she felt, for the distress of those around her. She had sources of delight that must force their way. She was returned to Mansfield Park, she was useful, she was beloved; she was safe from Mr. Crawford; and when Sir Thomas came back she had every proof that could be given in his then melancholy state of spirits, of his perfect approbation and increased regard; and happy as all this must make her, she would still have been happy without any of it, for Edmund was no longer the dupe of Miss Crawford.

It is true that Edmund was very far from happy himself. He was suffering from disappointment and regret, grieving over what was, and wishing for what could never be. She knew it was so, and was sorry; but it was with a sorrow so founded on satisfaction, so tending to ease, and so much in harmony with every dearest sensation, that there are few who might not have been glad to exchange their greatest gaiety for it.

From Mansfield Park, chapter 48.