Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/119

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89
THE WATSONS

gate and entered on the pitching of the Town, the jumbling and noise of which made farther Conversation most thoroughly undesirable. The old Mate trotted heavily on, wanting no direction of the reins to take the right Turning, and making only one Blunder, in proposing to stop at the Milliner’s, before she drew up towards Mr. Edwardes’s door. Mr. Edwardes lived in the best house in the Street, and the best in the place, if Mr. Tomlinson the Banker might be indulged in calling his newly erected House at the end of the Town with a Shrubbery and sweep in the Country. Mr. Edwardes’s House was higher than most of its neighbours, with two windows on each side the door, the windows guarded by posts and chain, the door approached by a Hight of stone steps. ‘Here we are,’ said Elizabeth, as the Carriage ceased moving, ‘safely arrived; and by the Market Clock, we have been only five and thirty minutes coming, which I think is doing pretty well, though it would be nothing for Penelope. Is not it a nice Town? The Edwardeses have a noble house, you see, and they live quite in style. The door will be opened by a Man in Livery with a powder’d head, I can tell you.’

Emma had seen the Edwardeses only one morning at Stanton, they were therefore all but Strangers to her, and though her spirits were by no means insensible to the expected joys of the Evening, she felt a little uncomfortable in the thought of all that was to precede them. Her conversation with Elizabeth too giving her some very unpleasant feelings with respect to her own family, had made her more open to disagreeable impressions from any other cause, and increased her sense of the awkwardness of rushing into Intimacy on so slight an acquaintance. There was nothing in the manners of Mrs. or Miss Edwardes to give immediate change to these Ideas; the Mother, though a very friendly woman, had a reserved air, and a great deal of formal Civility, and the