Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/151

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121
THE WATSONS

replied Emma, ‘and I am a woman too.’ ‘It might have been secured to your future use, without your having any power over it now. What a blow it must have been upon you! To find yourself, instead of Heiress to eight or nine thousand pounds, sent back a weight upon your family, without a sixpence. I hope the old woman will smart for it.’ ‘Do not speak disrespectfully of her. She was very good to me; and if she has made an imprudent choice, she will suffer more from it herself than I can possibly do.’ ‘I do not mean to distress you, but you know every body must think her an old fool. I thought Turner had been reckoned an extraordinary sensible, clever man. How the Devil came he to make such a will?’ ‘My Uncle’s sense is not at all impeached, in my opinion, by his attachment to my Aunt. She had been an excellent wife to him. The most Liberal and enlightened Minds are always the most confiding. The event has been unfortunate, but my Uncle’s memory is if possible endeared to me by such a proof of tender respect for my Aunt.’ ‘That’s odd sort of Talking! He might have provided decently for his widow, without leaving every thing that he had to dispose of or any part of it, at her mercy.’ ‘My Aunt may have erred,’ said Emma warmly; ‘she has erred, but my Uncle’s conduct was faultless. I was her own Niece, and he left her the power and the pleasure of providing for me.’ ‘But unluckily she has left the pleasure of providing for you to your Father, and without the power. That’s the long and the short of the business. After keeping you at a distance from your family for such a length of time as must do away all natural affection among us and breeding you up (I suppose) in a superior style, you are returned upon their hands without a sixpence.’ ‘You know,’ replied Emma, struggling with her tears, ‘my Uncle’s melancholy state of health. He was a greater Invalid than my father. He could