Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/129

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99
THE WATSONS

could assure her that she could not be giving greater pleasure than she felt herself, and Charles being provided with his gloves and charged to keep them on, they joined the Set which was now rapidly forming, with nearly equal complacency. It was a Partnership which could not be noticed without surprise. It gained her a broad stare from Miss Osborne and Miss Carr as they passed her in the dance. ‘Upon my word, Charles, you are in luck,’ said the former as she turned him, ‘you have got a better partner than me,’ to which the happy Charles answered ‘Yes.’ Tom Musgrave, who was dancing with Miss Carr, gave her many inquisitive glances; and after a time Lord Osborne himself came, and under pretence of talking to Charles, stood to look at his partner. Though rather distressed by such observation, Emma could not repent what she had done, so happy had it made both the boy and his Mother; the latter of whom was continually making opportunities of addressing her with the warmest civility. Her little partner she found, though bent chiefly on dancing, was not unwilling to speak, when her questions or remarks gave him any thing to say; and she learnt, by a sort of inevitable enquiry, that he had two brothers and a sister, that they and their Mamma all lived with his Uncle at Wickstead, that his Uncle taught him Latin, that he was very fond of riding, and had a horse of his own given him by Lord Osborne; and that he had been out once already with Lord Osborne’s Hounds. At the end of these Dances Emma found they were to drink tea; Miss Edwardes gave her a caution to be at hand, in a manner which convinced her of Mrs. Edwardes’s holding it very important to have them both close to her when she moved into the Tea-room; and Emma was accordingly on the alert to gain her proper station. It was always the pleasure of the company to have 9, little bustle and crowd when they thus adjourned for