Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/54

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30
SANDITON

turning the corner of the Baker’s shop, the sound of a Harp might be heard through the upper Casement. Such sights and sounds were highly Blissful to Mr. Parker. Not that he had any personal concern in the success of the Village itself; for, considering it as too remote from the Beach, he had done nothing there; but it was a most valuable proof of the increasing fashion of the place altogether. If the Village could attract, the Hill might be nearly full. He anticipated an amazing Season. At the same time last year (late in July) there had not been a single Lodger in the Village!—nor did he remember any during the whole Summer, excepting one family of children who came from London for sea air after the hooping Cough, and whose Mother would not let them be nearer the shore for fear of their tumbling in. ‘Civilization, Civilization indeed!’ cried Mr. Parker, delighted. ‘Look, my dear Mary, look at William Heeley's windows. Blue Shoes, and nankin Boots! Who would have expected such a sight at a Shoemaker's in old Sanditon! This is new within the Month. There was no blue Shoe when we passed this way a month ago. Glorious indeed! Well, I think I have done something in my Day. Now, for our Hill, our health-breathing Hill.’ In ascending, they passed the Lodge-Gates of Sanditon House, and saw the top of the House itself among its Groves. It was the last Building of former Days in that line of the Parish. A little higher up, the Modern began; and in crossing the Down, a Prospect House, a Bellevue Cottage, and a Denham Place were to be looked at by Charlotte with the calmness of amused Curiosity, and by Mr. Parker with the eager eye which hoped to see scarcely any empty houses. More Bills at the Window than he had calculated on, and a smaller shew of company on the Hill, Fewer Carriages, fewer Walkers. He had fancied it just the time of day for them to be all returning from their Airings to