Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/66

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42
SANDITON

the only ones to excite particular attention. Charlotte was glad to complete her knowledge of the family by an introduction to them, and found them, the better half at least (for while single, the Gentleman may sometimes thought the better half, of the pair), not unworthy notice. Miss Denham was a fine young woman, but cold and reserved, giving the idea of one who felt her consequence with Pride and her Poverty with Discontent, and who was immediately gnawed by the want of an handsomer Equipage than the simple Gig in which they travelled, and which their Groom was leading about still in her sight. Sir Edward was much her superior in air and manner; certainly handsome, but yet more to be remarked for his very good address and wish of paying attention and giving pleasure. He came into the room remarkably well, talked much—and very much to Charlotte, by whom he chanced to be placed—and she soon perceived that he had a fine Countenance, a most pleasing gentleness of Voice, and a great deal of Conversation. She liked him. Sober-mind¢d as she was, she thought him agreeable, and did not quarrel with the suspicion of his finding her equally so, which would arise from his evidently disregarding his Sister's motion to go, and persisting in his station and his discourse. I make no apologies for my Heroine’s vanity. If there are young Ladies in the World at her time of Life, more dull of Fancy and more careless of pleasing, I know them not, and never wish to know them. At last, from the low French window; of the Drawing-room which commanded the road and all the Paths across the Down, Charlotte and Sir Edward, as they sat, could not but observe Lady Denham and Miss Brereton walking by, and there was instantly a slight change in Sir Edward’s countenance, with an anxious glance alter them as they proceeded, followed by an early proposal to his Sister, not merely for moving, but for walking on together to the