Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/67

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43
SANDITON

Terrace, which altogether gave an hasty turn to Charlotte’s fancy, cured her of her half-hour’s fever, and placed her in a more capable state of judging, when Sir Edward was gone, of how agreeable he had actually been. ‘Perhaps there was a good deal in his Air and Address; and his Title did him no harm.’ She was very soon in his company again. The first object of the Parkers, when their House was cleared of morning visitors, was to get out themselves; the Terrace was the attraction to all. Every body who walked, must begin with the Terrace, and there, seated on one of the two Green Benches by the Gravel walk, they found the united Denham Party; but though united in the Gross, very distinctly divided again, the two superior Ladies being at one end of the bench, and Sir Edward and Miss Brereton at the other. Charlotte’s first glance told her that Sir Edward’s air was that of a Lover. There could be no doubt of his Devotion to Clara. How Clara received it, was less obvious, but she was inclined to think not very favourably; for though sitting thus apart with him (which probably she might not have been able to prevent) her air was calm and grave. That the young Lady at the other end of the Bench was doing Penance, was indubitable. The difference in Miss Denham's countenance, the change from Miss Denham sitting in cold Grandeur in Mrs. Parker’s Drawing-room to be kept from silence by the efforts of others, to Miss Denham at Lady Denham’s Elbow, listening and talking with smiling attention or solicitous eagerness, was very striking and very amusing, or very melancholy, just as Satire or Morality might prevail. Miss Denham's Character was pretty well decided with Charlotte. Sir Edward’s required longer Observation. He surprised her by quitting Clara immediately on their all joining and agreeing to walk, and by addressing his attentions entirely to herself. Stationing himself close by her, he seemed to mean to detach her as much