Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/148

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smart house in Croydon, where she gave genteel parties, and wore fine clothes. In her person there was nothing remarkable; her manners were pert and conceited. Margaret was not without beauty; she had a slight, pretty figure, and rather wanted Countenance than good features; but the sharp and anxious expression of her face made her beauty in general little felt. On meeting her long-absent Sister, as on every occasion of shew, her manner was all affection and her voice all gentleness; continual smiles and a very slow articulation being her constant resource when determined on pleasing.

She was now so ‘delighted to see dear, dear Emma’ that she could hardly speak a word in a minute. ‘I am sure we shall be great friends,’ she observed, with much sentiment, as they were sitting together. Emma scarcely knew how to answer such a proposition, and the manner in which it was spoken, she could not attempt to equal. Mrs. Robert Watson eyed her with much familiar curiosity and Triumphant Compassion; the loss of the Aunt’s fortune was uppermost in her mind, at the moment of meeting; and she could not but feel how much better it was to be the daughter of a gentleman of property in Croydon, than the niece of an old woman who threw herself away on an Irish Captain. Robert was carelessly kind, as became a prosperous Man and a brother; more intent on settling with the Post-Boy, inveighing against the Exorbitant advance in Posting, and pondering over a doubtful halfcrown, than on welcoming a Sister, who was no longer likely to have any property for him to get the direction off ‘Your road through the village is infamous, Elizabeth,’ said he, ‘worse than ever it was. By Heaven! I would endite it if I lived near you. Who is Surveyor now?’ There was a little niece at Croydon, to be fondly enquired after by the kind-hearted Elizabeth, who regretted very much her not being of the party. ‘You are very good,’ replied her