Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/68

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44
SANDITON

as possible from the rest of the Party and to give her the whole of his Conversation. He began, in a tone of great Taste and Feeling, to talk of the Sea and the Seashore, and ran with Energy through all the usual Phrases employed in praise of their Sublimity, and descriptive of the undescribable Emotions they excite in the Mind of Sensibility. The terrific Grandeur of the Ocean in a Storm, its glassy surface in a calm, its Gulls and its Samphire, and the deep fathoms of its Abysses, its quick vicissitudes, its direful Deceptions, its Mariners tempting it in Sunshine and overwhelmed by the sudden Tempest—all were eagerly and fluently touched; rather commonplace perhaps, but doing very well from the Lips of a handsome Sir Edward, and she could not but think him a Man of Feeling, till he began to stagger her by the number of his Quotations, and the bewilderment of some of his sentences. ‘Do you remember,’ said he, ‘Scott’s beautiful Lines on the Sea! Oh! what a description they convey! They are never out of my Thoughts when I walk here. That Man who can read them unmoved must have the nerves of an Assassin! Heaven defend me from meeting such a Man un-armed.’ ‘What description do you mean?’ said Charlotte. ‘I remember none at this moment, of the Sea, in either of Scott's Poems.’ 'Do not you indeed? Nor can I exactly recall the beginning at this moment. But—you cannot have forgotten his description of Woman—

“Oh! Woman in our Hours of Ease——

Delicious! Delicious! Had he written nothing more, he would have been Immortal. And then again, that unequalled, unrivalled address to Parental affection—

“Some feelings are to Mortals given
 With less of Earth in them than Heaven,” &c.