Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/114

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

then, would be enough for me, if one could be young for ever, but my Father cannot provide for us, and it is very bad to grow old and be poor and laughed at. I have lost Purvis, it is true, but very few people marry their first Loves. I should not refuse a man because he was not Purvis. Not that I can ever quite forgive Penelope.’ Emma shook her head in acquiescence. ‘Penelope however has had her Troubles,’ continued Miss Watson; ‘she was sadly disappointed in Tom Musgrave, who afterwards transferred his attentions from me to her, and whom she was very fond of; but he never means anything serious, and when he had trifled with her long enough, he began to slight her for Margaret, and poor Penelope was very wretched. And since then, she has been trying to make some match at Chichester; she won’t tell us with whom, but I believe it is a rich old Dr. Harding, Uncle to the friend she goes to see; and she has taken a vast deal of trouble about him and given up a great deal of Time to no purpose as yet. When she went away the other day she said it should be the last time. I suppose you did not know what her particular Business was at Chichester, nor guess at the object that could take her away from Stanton just as you were coming home after so many years’ absence.’ ‘No, indeed, I had not the smallest suspicion of it. I considered her engagement to Mrs. Shaw just at that time as very unfortunate for me. I had hoped to find all my sisters at home; to be able to make an immediate friend of each.’ ‘I suspect the Doctor to have had an attack of the Asthma, and that she was hurried away on that account. The Shaws are quite on her side. At least I believe so, but she tells me nothing. She professes to keep her own counsel; she says, and truly enough, that “too many Cooks spoil the Broth.”’ ‘I am sorry for her anxieties,’ said Emma, ‘but I do not like her plans or her opinions. I shall be afraid of