Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/113

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83
THE WATSONS

Miss Watson, without seeming to hear her, ‘I was very much attached to a young Man of the name of Purvis, a particular friend of Robert’s, who used to be with us a great deal. Every body thought it would have been a Match.’ A sigh accompanied these words, which Emma respected in silence; but her sister after a short pause went on: ‘You will naturally ask why it did not take place, and why he is married to another Woman, while I am still single. But you must ask him, not me; you must ask Penelope. Yes, Emma, Penelope was at the bottom of it all. She thinks everything fair for a Husband; I trusted her, she set him against me, with a view of gaining him herself and it ended in his discontinuing his visits and soon after marrying somebody else. Penelope makes light of her conduct, but I think such Treachery very bad. It has been the ruin of my happiness. I shall never love any Man as I loved Purvis. I do not think Tom Musgrave should be named with him in the same day.’ ‘You quite shock me by what you say of Penelope,’ said Emma. ‘Could a sister do such a thing? Rivalry, Treachery between sisters! I shall be afraid of being acquainted with her; but I hope it was not so. Appearances were against her.’ ‘You do not know Penelope. There is nothing she would not do to get married; she would as good as tell you so herself. Do not trust her with any secrets of your own, take warning by me, do not trust her; she has her good qualities, but she has no Faith, no Honour, no Scruples, if she can promote her own advantage. I wish with all my heart she was well married. I declare I had rather have her well-married than myself.’ ‘Than yourself! Yes, I can suppose so. A heart, wounded like yours, can have little inclination for Matrimony.’ ‘Not much indeed; but you know we must marry. I could do very well single for my own part. A little Company, and a pleasant Ball now and