Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/76

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SANDITON

sister. And so, my dear, the next time Miss Esther begins talking about the Dampness of Denham Park, and the Good Bathing always does her, I shall advise them to come and take one of these Lodgings for a fortnight. Don’t you think that will be very fair? Charity begins at home, you know.’ Charlotte’s feelings were divided between amusement and indignation; but indignation had the larger and the increasing share. She kept her Countenance and she kept a civil Silence. She could not carry her forbearance farther; but without attempting to listen longer, and only conscious that Lady Denham was still talking on in the same way, allowed her Thoughts to form themselves into such a Meditation as this. ‘She is thoroughly mean. I had not expected any thing so bad. Mr. Parker spoke too mildly of her. His Judgement is evidently not to be trusted. His own Good-nature misleads him. He is too kind hearted to see clearly. I must judge for myself. And their very connection prejudices him. He has persuaded her to engage in the same Speculation, and because their object in that Line is the same, he fancies she feels like him in others. But she is very, very mean. I can see no Good in her. Poor Miss Brereton! And she makes every body mean about her. This poor Sir Edward and his Sister, how far Nature meant them to be respectable I cannot tell, but they are obliged to be Mean in their Servility to her. And I am Mean too, in giving her my attention, with the appearance of coinciding with her. Thus it is, when Rich People are Sordid.’