Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/123

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93
THE WATSONS

of a Gossip, and having some curiosity to know more of the marriage of that Aunt with whom his young Guest had been used to reside, he began with, ‘I think, Miss Emma, I remember your Aunt very well about thirty years ago; I am pretty sure I danced with her in the old rooms at Bath, the year before I married. She was a very fine woman then, but like other people I suppose she is grown somewhat older since that time. I hope she is likely to be happy in her second choice.’

‘I hope so, I believe so, Sir,’ said Emma in some agitation. ‘Mr. Turner had not been dead a great while, I think?’ ‘About two years, Sir.’ ‘I forget what her name is now?’ ‘O’brien.’ ‘Irish! Ah! I remember, and she is gone to settle in Ireland. I do not wonder that you should not wish to go with her into that Country, Miss Emma; but it must be a great deprivation to her, poor Lady! After bringing you up like a Child of her own.’ ‘I was not so ungrateful, Sir,’ said Emma warmly, ‘as to wish to be any where but with her. It did not suit them, it did not suit Captain O’brien that I should be of the party.’ ’Captain!’ repeated Mrs. Edwardes; ‘the Gentleman is in the army then?’ ‘Yes, Ma’am.’ ‘Aye, there is nothing like your officers for captivating the Ladies, Young or Old. There is no resisting a Cockade, my dear.’ ‘I hope there is,’ said Mrs. Edwardes gravely, with a quick glance at her daughter; and Emma had just recovered from her own perturbation in time to see a blush on Miss Edwardes’s cheek, and in remembering what Elizabeth had said of Captain Hunter, to wonder and waver between his influence and her brother’s.

‘Elderly Ladies should be careful how they make a second choice,’ observed Mr. Edwardes. ‘Carefulness—Discretion—should not be confined to Elderly Ladies, or to a second choice,’ added his wife. ‘It is quite as necessary to young