Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/58

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34
SANDITON

whether Susan's nerves would be equal to the effort. She has been suffering much from the Headache and Six Leaches a day for ten days together relieved her so little that we thought it right to change our measures, and being convinced on examination that much of the Evil lay in her Gum, I persuaded her to attack the disorder there. She has accordingly had three Teeth drawn, and is decidedly better, but her Nerves are a good deal deranged. She can only speak in a whisper, and fainted away twice this morning on poor Arthur’s trying to suppress a cough. He, I am happy to say, is tolerably well, though more languid than I like, and I fear for his Liver. I have heard nothing of Sidney since your being together in Town, but conclude his scheme to the Isle of Wight has not taken place, or we should have seen him in his way. ‘Most sincerely do we wish you a good Season at Sanditon, and though we cannot contribute to your Beau Monde in person, we are doing our utmost to send you Company worth having; and think we may safely reckon on securing you two large Families, one a rich West Indian fiom Surrey, the other, a most respectable Girls’ Boarding School, or Academy, from Camberwell. I will not tell you how many People I have employed in the business—Wheel within wheel. But Success more than repays.—Yours most affectionately, etc.’

‘Well,’ said Mr. Parker, as he finished. ‘Though I dare say Sidney might find something extremely entertaining in this Letter and make us laugh for half an hour together I declare I, by myself, can see nothing in it but what is either very pitiable or very creditable. With all their sufferings, you perceive how much they are occupied in promoting the Good of others! So anxious for Sanditon! Two large Families—One, for Prospect House probably, the other, for No. 2 Denham Place, or the end house of the Terrace, and extra Beds at the Hotel. I told you my Sisters were excellent Women, Miss Heywood.’ 'And I am sure they must be very extraordinary ones,’ said Charlotte. 'I am astonished at the cheerful style of the Letter, considering the state in which both Sisters appear to be. Three Teeth drawn at once!—frightful!