Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/117

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87
THE WATSONS

doubtful. Yours among all your acquaintance would be certain. It is not too late to change. Very little apology could be requisite to the Edwardeses, who must be more glad of your company than of mine, and I should most readily return to my Father; and should not be at all afraid to drive this quiet old Creature home. Your Clothes I would undertake to find means of sending to you.’ ‘My dearest Emma,’ cried Elizabeth warmly, ‘do you think I would do such a thing? Not for the Universe; but I shall never forget your goodnature in proposing it. You must have a sweet temper indeed; I never met with any thing like it! And would you really give up the Ball, that I might be able to go to it! Believe me, Emma, I am not so selfish as that comes to. No, though I am nine years older than you are, I would not be the means of keeping you from being seen. You are very pretty, and it would be very hard that! you should not have as fair a chance as we have all had, to make your fortune. No, Emma, whoever stays at home this winter, it shan’t be you. I am sure I should never have forgiven the person who kept me from a Ball at nineteen.’ Emma expressed her gratitude, and for a few minutes they jogged on in silence. Elizabeth first spoke. ‘You will take notice who Mary Edwardes dances with.’ ‘I will remember her partners if I can, but you know they will be all strangers to me.’ ‘Only observe whether she dances with Captain Hunter more than once; I have my fears in that quarter. Not that her Father or Mother like officers, but if she does, you know, it is all over with poor Sam. And I have promised to write him word who she dances with.’ ‘Is Sam attached to Miss Edwardes?’ ‘Did not you know that?’ ‘How should I know it? How should I know in Shropshire, what is passing of that nature in Surrey? It is not likely that circumstances of such delicacy should make any part of the