Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/72

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48
SANDITON

kind indeed! very Handsome!’ said Charlotte, absolutely forced to affect admiration. ‘Yes, my Dear, and it is not the only kind thing I have done by him. I have been a very liberal friend to Sir Edward. And poor young Man, he needs it bad enough. For though I am only the Dowager, my Dear, and he is the Heir, things do not stand between us in the way they commonly do between those two parties. Not a shilling do I receive from the Denham Estate. Sir Edward has no Payments to make me. He don’t stand uppermost, believe me. It is I that help him.’ ‘Indeed! He is a very fine young Man; particularly Elegant in his Address.’ This was said chiefly for the sake of saying something; but Charlotte directly saw that it was laying her open to suspicion by Lady Denham’s giving a shrewd glance at her and replying: ‘Yes, yes, he is very well to look at, and it is to be hoped some Lady of large fortune will think so, for Sir Edward must marry for Money. He and I often talk that matter over. A handsome young fellow like him, will go smirking and smiling about and paying girls compliments, but he knows he must marry for Money. And Sir Edward is a very steady young Man in the main, and has got very good notions.’ ‘Sir Edward Denham,’ said Charlotte, ‘with such personal Advantages may be almost sure of getting a Woman of fortune, if he chooses it.’ This glorious sentiment seemed quite to remove suspicion. ‘Aye, my Dear, that’s very sensibly said,’ cried Lady Denham. ‘And if we could but get a young Heiress to Sanditon! But Heiresses are monstrous scarce! I do not think we have had an Heiress here, or even a Co, since Sanditon has been a public place. Families come after Families, but as far as I can learn, it is not one in an hundred of them that have any real Property, Landed or Funded. An Income perhaps, but no Property. Clergymen may be, or Lawyers from Town, or Half pay officers, or Widows with only a