Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/120

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daughter, a genteel looking girl of twenty-two, with her hair in papers, seemed very naturally to have caught something of the style of the Mother who had brought her up. Emma was soon left to know what they could be, by Elizabeth’s being obliged to hurry away, and some very, very languid remarks on the probable Brilliancy of the Ball, were all that broke at intervals a silence of half an hour before they were joined by the Master of the house. Mr. Edwardes had a much easier and more communicative air than the Ladies of the Family; he was fresh from the Street, and he came ready to tell what ever might interest. After a cordial reception of Emma, he turned to his daughter with: ‘Well, Mary, I bring you good news. The Osbornes will certainly be at the Ball tonight. Horses for two Carriages are ordered from the White Hart, to be at Osborne Castle by nine.’ ‘I am glad of it,’ observed Mrs. Edwardes, ‘because their coming gives a credit to our Assemblies. The Osbornes being known to have been at the first Ball, will dispose a great many people to attend the second. It is more than they deserve, for in fact they add nothing to the pleasure of the Evening, they come so late, and go so early; but Great People have always their charm.’ Mr. Edwardes proceeded to relate every other little article of news which his morning’s lounge had supplied him with, and they chatted with greater briskness, till Mrs. Edwardes’s moment for dressing arrived, and the young Ladies were carefully recommended to lose no time. Emma was shewn to a very comfortable apartment, and as soon as Mrs. Edwardes’s civilities could leave her to herself the happy occupation, the first Bliss of a Ball began. The girls, dressing in some measure together, grew unavoidably better acquainted; Emma found in Miss Edwardes the appearance of good sense, a modest unpretending mind, and a great wish of obliging, and when they returned to the parlour