Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/142

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Now, though we have had nothing but fried beef, how good it has all seemed. I wish everybody were as easily satisfied as you; but poor Margaret is very snappish, and Penelope owns she had rather have Quarrelling going on, than nothing at all.’ Mr. Watson returned in the Evening, not the worse for the exertion of the day, and consequently pleased with what he had done, and glad to talk of it, over his own Fireside.

Emma had not foreseen any interest to herself in the occurrences of a Visitation; but when she heard Mr. Howard spoken of as the Preacher, and as having given them an excellent Sermon, she could not help listening with a quicker Ear. ‘I do not know when I have heard a Discourse more to my mind,’ continued Mr. Watson, ‘or one better delivered. He reads extremely well, with great propriety and in a very impressive manner; and at the same time without any Theatrical grimace or violence. I own, I do not like much action in the pulpit; I do not like the studied air and artificial inflexions of voice, which your very popular and most admired Preachers generally have. A simple delivery is much better calculated to inspire Devotion, and shews a much better Taste. Mr. Howard read like a scholar and a gentleman.’ ‘And what had you for dinner, Sir?’ said his eldest Daughter. He related the Dishes and told what he had ate himself. ‘Upon the whole,’ he added, ‘I have had a very comfortable day; my old friends were quite surprised to see me amongst them, and I must say that everybody paid me great attention, and seemed to feel for me as an Invalid. They would make me sit near the fire, and as the partridges were pretty high, Dr. Richards would have them sent away to the other end of the Table, that they might not offend Mr. Watson, which I thought very kind of him. But what pleased me as much as anything was Mr. Howard’s attention. There is a pretty steep Hight of steps up to the room we dine in, which do not