Category Archives: Henry Crawford

Heaven’s last best gift

“I am of a cautious temper, and unwilling to risk my happiness in a hurry.  Nobody can think more highly of the matrimonial state than myself.  I consider the blessing of a wife as most justly described in those discreet lines of the poet, ‘Heaven’s last best gift.'”

Mansfield Park, volume 1, chapter 4

According to my Oxford World’s Classics edition, Henry Crawford is joking about Milton’s Paradise Lost, in which “Adam describes Eve as God’s ultimate gift; Henry Crawford wittily turns the line to express his preference for deferring wedlock.”

Hmm… I have known many men “of a cautious temper.”

Joseph Beattie as Henry Crawford.  ©Jon Hall/ITV plc (Granada International) for Masterpiece™

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