Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/136

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increased in the present instance by a general spirit of curiosity on Emma’s account, as Everybody wanted to look again at the girl who had been admired the night before by Lord Osborne.

Many were the eyes, and various the degrees of approbation with which she was examined. Some saw no fault, and some no Beauty. With some her brown skin was the annihilation of every grace, and others could never be persuaded that she were half so handsome as Elizabeth Watson had been ten years ago. The morning passed quietly away in discussing the merits of the Ball with all this succession of Company, and Emma was at once astonished by finding it Two o’clock, and considering that she had heard nothing of her Father’s Chair. After this discovery she had walked twice to the window to examine the Street, and was on the point of asking leave to ring the bell and make enquiries, when the light sound of a Carriage driving up to the door set her heart at ease. She step’d again to the window, but instead of the convenient but very un-smart Family Equipage perceived a neat Curricle. Mr. Musgrave was shortly afterwards announced; and Mrs. Edwardes put on her very stiffest look at the sound. Not at all dismayed, however, by her chilling air, he paid his Compliments to each of the Ladies with no unbecoming Ease, and continuing to address Emma, presented her a note, which he had the honour of bringing from her Sister; but to which he must observe that a verbal postscript from himself would be requisite.

The note, which Emma was beginning to read rather before Mrs. Edwardes had entreated her to use no ceremony, contained a few lines from Elizabeth importing that their Father in consequence of being unusually well had taken the sudden resolution of attending the Visitation that day, and that as his Road lay quite wide from Reigate, it was impossible for