Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/126

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Military Men, one now made his way to Miss Edwardes, with an air of Empressement, which decidedly said to her Companion, ‘I am Captain Hunter,’ and Emma, who could not but watch her at such a moment, saw her looking rather distressed, but by no means displeased, and heard an engagement formed for the two first dances, which made her think her Brother Sam’s a hopeless case.

Emma in the meanwhile was not unobserved, or unadmired herself. A new face and a very pretty one, could not be slighted; her name was whispered from one party to another, and no sooner had the signal been given, by the Orchestra’s striking up a favourite air, which seemed to call the young Men to their duty, and people the centre of the room, than she found herself engaged to dance with a Brother officer, introduced by Captain Hunter. Emma Watson was not more than of the middle height, well made and plump, with an air of healthy vigour. Her skin was very brown, but clear, smooth and glowing; which with a lively Eye, a sweet smile, and an open Countenance, gave beauty to attract, and expression to make that beauty improve on acquaintance. Having no reason to be dissatisfied with her partner, the Evening began very pleasantly to her; and her feelings perfectly coincided with the reiterated observation of others, that it was an excellent Ball. The two first dances were not quite over, when the returning sound of Carriages, after a long interruption, called general notice, and ‘the Osbornes are coming, the Osbornes are coming’ was repeated round the room. After some minutes of extraordinary bustle without, and watchful curiosity within, the important Party, preceded by the attentive Master of the Inn to open a door which was never shut, made their appearance. They consisted of Lady Osborne, her son Lord Osborne, her daughter Miss Osborne; Miss Carr, her daughter’s friend; Mr. Howard, formerly