Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/71

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47
SANDITON

and with a look of arch sagacity: ‘Miss Esther wants me to invite her and her Brother to spend a week with me at Sanditon House, as I did last Summer. But I shan’t. She has been trying to get round me every way, with her praise of this, and her praise of that; but I saw what she was about. I saw through it all. I am not very easily taken-in, my Dear.’ Charlotte could think of nothing more harmless to be said, than the simple enquiry of—‘Sir Edward and Miss Denham?’ ‘Yes, my Dear. My young Folks, as I call them sometimes, for I take them very much by the hand. I had them with me last Summer about this time, for a week; from Monday to Monday; and very delighted and thankful they were. For they are very good young People, my Dear. I would not have you think that I only notice them, for poor dear Sir Harry’s sake. No, no; they are very deserving themselves, or trust me, they would not be so much in my Company. I am not the Woman to help any body blindfold. I always take care to know what I am about and who I have to deal with, before I stir a finger. I do not think I was ever over-reached in my Life; and that is a good deal for a Woman to say that has been married twice. Poor dear Sir Harry (between ourselves) thought at first to have got more. But’ (with a bit of a sigh) ‘he is gone, and we must not find fault with the Dead. Nobody could live happier together than us; and he was a very honourable Man, quite the Gentleman of ancient Family. And when he died, I gave Sir Edward his Gold Watch.’ She said this with a look at her Companion which implied its right to produce a great Impression, and seeing no rapturous astonishment in Charlotte’s countenance, added quickly: ‘He did not bequeath it to his Nephew, my dear. It was no bequest. It was not in the Will. He only told me, and that but once, that he should wish his Nephew to have his Watch; but it need not have been binding, if I had not chose it.’ ‘Very