Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/101

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73
SANDITON

the poor Mullins’s situation, and sound her Ladyship as to a Subscription for them. I am not fond of charitable subscriptions in a place of this kind. It is a sort of tax upon all that come. Yet as their distress is very great and I almost promised the poor Woman yesterday to get something done for her, I believe we must set a subscription on foot, and therefore the sooner the better, and Lady Denham’s name at the head of the List will be a very necessary beginning. You will not dislike speaking to her about it, Mary?’ ‘I will do whatever you wish me,’ replied his Wife, ‘but you would do it so much better yourself I shall not know what to say.’ ‘My dear Mary,’ cried he, ‘it is impossible you can be really at a loss. Nothing can be more simple. You have only to state the present afflicted situation of the family, their earnest application to me, and my being willing to promote a little subscription for their relief; provided it meet with her approbation.’ ‘The easiest thing in the World,’ cried Miss Diana Parker, who happened to be calling on them at the moment. ‘All said and done, in less time than you have been talking of it now. And while you are on the subject of subscriptions, Mary, I will thank you to mention a very melancholy case to Lady Denham, which has been represented to me in the most affecting terms. There is a poor Woman in Worcestershire, whom some friends of mine are exceedingly interested about, and I have undertaken to collect whatever I can for her. If you would mention the circumstance to Lady Denham! Lady Denham can give, if she is properly attacked, and I look upon her to be the sort of Person who, when once she is prevailed on to undraw her Purse, would as readily give 10 gs. as 5. And therefore, if you find her in a Giving mood, you might as well speak in favour of another Charity which I, and a few more, have very much at heart—the establishment of a Charitable Repository at Burton on Trent. And then