Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/141

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111
THE WATSONS

and air to be good, and that his manners to a certain point—his address rather—is pleasing. But I see nothing else to admire in him. On the contrary, he seems very vain, very conceited, absurdly anxious for Distinction, and absolutely contemptible in some of the measures he takes for becoming so. There is a ridiculousness about him that entertains me, but his company gives me no other agreeable Emotion.’ ‘My dearest Emma! You are like nobody else in the World. It is well Margaret is not by. You do not offend me, though I hardly know how to believe you. But Margaret would never forgive such words.’ ‘I wish Margaret could have heard him profess his ignorance of her being out of the Country; he declared it seemed only two days since he had seen her.’ ‘Aye, that is just like him, and yet this is the Man she will fancy so desperately in love with her. He is no favourite of mine, as you well know, Emma; but you must think him agreeable. Can you lay your hand on your heart, and say you do not?’ ‘Indeed I can. Both Hands; and spread to their widest extent.’ ‘I should like to know the Man you do think agreeable.’ ‘His name is Howard.’ ‘Howard! Dear me! I cannot think of him but as playing cards with Lady Osborne, and looking proud. I must own, however, that it is a relief to me to find you can speak as you do of Tom Musgrave; my heart did misgive me that you would like him too well. You talked so stoutly beforehand, that I was sadly afraid your Brag would be punished. I only hope it will last; and that he will not come on to pay you much attention; it is a hard thing for a woman to stand against the flattering ways of a Man, when he is bent upon pleasing her.’ As their quietly-sociable little meal concluded, Miss Watson could not help observing how comfortably it had passed. ‘It is so delightful to me,’ said she, ‘to have Things going on in peace and good humour. Nobody can tell how much I hate quarrelling.