Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/45

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25
SANDITON

the future could be answered for) to spend even 5 shillings at Brinshore.


CHAPTER III

Every Neighbourhood should have a great Lady. The great Lady of Sanditon was Lady Denham; and in their Journey from Willingden to the Coast, Mr. Parker gave Charlotte a more detailed account of her, than had been called for before. She had been necessarily often mentioned at Willingden, for being his Colleague in Speculation, Sanditon itself could not be talked of long, without the introduction of Lady Denham; and that she was a very rich old Lady, who had buried two Husbands, who knew the value of Money, was very much looked up to and had a poor Cousin living with her, were facts already well known, but some further particulars of her history and her Character served to lighten the tediousness of a long Hill, or a heavy bit of road, and to give the visiting Young Lady a suitable Knowledge of the Person with whom she might now expect to be daily associating. Lady Denham had been a rich Miss Brereton, born to Wealth but not to Education. Her first Husband had been a Mr. Hollis, a man of considerable Property in the Country, of which a large share of the Parish of Sanditon, with Manor and Mansion House, made a part. He had been an elderly Man when she married him; her own age about 30. Her motives for such a Match could be little understood at the distance of 40 years, but she had so well nursed and pleased Mr. Hollis, that at his death he left her everything—all his Estates, and all at her Disposal. After a widowhood of some years, she had been induced to marry again. The late Sir Harry Denham, of Denham Park in the Neighbourhood of Sanditon, had succeeded in removing her