Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/70

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46
SANDITON

Heywood’ (speaking with an air of deep sentiment), ‘nor can any Woman be a fair judge of what a Man may be propelled to say, write or do, by the sovereign impulses of illimitable Ardour.’ This was very fine; but if Charlotte understood it at all, not very moral, and being moreover by no means pleased with his extraordinary style of compliment, she gravely answered: ‘I really know nothing of the matter. This is a charming day. The Wind I fancy must be Southerly.’ ‘Happy, happy Wind, to engage Miss Heywood’s Thoughts!’ She began to think him downright silly. His choosing to walk with her, she had learnt to understand. It was done to pique Miss Brereton. She had read it, in an anxious glance or two on his side, but why he should talk so much Nonsense, unless he could do no better, was unintelligible. He seemed very sentimental, very full of some Feelings or other, and very much addicted to all the newest-fashioned hard words, had not a very clear Brain she presumed, and talked a good deal by rote. The Future might explain him further; but when there was a proposition for going into the Library she felt that she had had quite enough of Sir Edward for one morning, and very gladly accepted Lady Denham's invitation of remaining on the Terrace with her. The others all left them, Sir Edward with looks of very gallant despair in tearing himself away, and they united their agreeableness—that is, Lady Denham like a true great Lady, talked and talked only of her own concerns, and Charlotte listened, amused in considering the contrast between her two companions. Certainly, there was no strain of doubtful Sentiment, nor any phrase of difficult interpretation in Lady Denham’s discourse. Taking hold of Charlotte’s arm with the ease of one who felt that any notice from her was an Honour, and communicative, from the influence of the same conscious Importance or a natural love of talking, she immediately said in a tone of great satisfaction,