Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/103

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75
SANDITON

make out what sort of Carriage it was, which they saw coming up. It appeared at different moments to be everything from the Gig to the Phaeton, from one horse to four; and just as they were concluding in favour of a Tandem, little Mary’s young eyes distinguished the Coachman and she eagerly called out, ‘’Tis Uncle Sidney, Mamma, it is indeed.’ And so it proved. Mr. Sidney Parker driving his Servant in a very neat Carriage was soon opposite to them, and they all stopped for a few minutes. The manners of the Parkers were always pleasant among themselves, and it was a very friendly meeting between Sidney and his sister-in-law, who was most kindly taking it for granted that he was on his way to Trafalgar House. This he declined, however. ‘He was just come from Eastbourne, proposing to spend two or three days, as it might happen, at Sanditon; but the Hotel must be his Quarters. He was expecting to be joined there by a friend or two.’ The rest was common enquiries and remarks, with kind notice of little Mary, and a very well-bred Bow and proper address to Miss Heywood on her being named to him, and they parted, to meet again within a few hours. Sidney Parker was about 7 or 8 and 20, very good-looking, with a decided air of Ease and Fashion, and a lively countenance. This adventure afforded agreeable discussion for some time. Mrs. Parker entered into all her Husband's joy on the occasion, and exulted in the credit which Sidney’s arrival would give to the place. The road to Sanditon House was a broad, handsome, planted approach, between fields, and conducting at the end of a quarter of a mile through second Gates into the Grounds, which though not extensive had all the Beauty and Respectability which an abundance of very fine Timber could give. These Entrance Gates were so much in a corner of the Grounds or Paddock, so near one of its Boundaries, that an outside fence was at first almost pressing on the road, till an angle