She had been a fool about Martin Trevor—she had managed to put him against her at the start. Of course it was silly of him to mind what she said to Mr. Pratt, but that didn’t alter the fact that she had been stupid herself, that she had failed to make a good impression just when she most wanted to do so. Martin Trevor was the sort of man she felt she could “take to,” for in addition to his looks he had the quality she prized in males—the quality of inexperience; he was not likely to meddle with her ways, since he was only a beginner and would probably be glad of her superior knowledge and judgment. He would give her what she wanted—his good name and his good looks and her neighbours’ envious confusion—and she would give him what he wanted, her prosperity and her experience. North Farthing House was poorer than Ansdore in spite of late dinners and drawing-rooms—the Trevors could look down on her from the point of view of birth and breeding but not from any advantage more concrete.
As for herself, for her own warm, vigorous, vital person—with that curious simplicity which was part of her unawakened state, it never occurred to her to throw herself into the balance when Ansdore was already making North Farthing kick the beam. She thought of taking a husband as she thought of taking a farm hand—as a matter of bargaining, of offering substantial benefits in exchange for substantial services. If in a secondary way she was moved by romantic considerations, that was also true of her engagement of her male servants. Just as she saw her future husband in his possibilities as a farm-hand, in his relations to Ansdore, so she could not help seeing every farm-hand in his possibilities as a husband, in his relations to herself.
Martin Trevor would have been surprised had he known himself the object of so much attention. His attitude towards Joanna was one of indifference based on dislike—her behaviour towards Mr. Pratt had disgusted him at the start, but his antipathy was not all built on that foundation. During the weeks he had been at home, he had heard a good deal about her—indeed he had found her rather a dominant personality on the Marsh—and what he had heard had not helped turn him from his first predisposition against her.