Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/156

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month! have you really been gone a month! ’Tis amazing how Time flies.’ ‘You may imagine,’ said Margaret in a sort of Whisper, ‘what are my Sensations in Ending myself once more at Stanton. You know what a sad visitor I make. And I was so excessively impatient to see Emma; I dreaded the meeting, and at the same time longed for it. Do not you comprehend the sort of feeling? ‘Not at all,’ cried he aloud. ‘I could never dread a meeting with Miss Emma Watson, or any of her Sisters.’ It was lucky that he added that finish. ‘Were you speaking to me?’ said Emma, who had caught her own name. ‘Not absolutely,’ he answered, ‘but I was thinking of you, as many at a greater distance are probably doing at this moment. Fine open weather, Miss Emma! Charming season for Hunting.’ ‘Emma is delightful, is not she?’ whispered Margaret. ‘I have found her more than answer my warmest hopes. Did you ever see anything more perfectly beautiful?’ I think even you must be a convert to a brown complexion.’ He hesitated; Margaret was fair herself; and he did not particularly want to compliment her; but Miss Osborne and Miss Carr were likewise fair, and his devotion to them carried the day. ‘Your Sister’s complexion,’ said he at last, ‘is as fine as a dark complexion can be, but I still profess my preference of a white skin. You have seen Miss Osborne?—she is my model for a truly feminine complexion, and she is very fair.’ ‘Is she fairer than me?’ Tom made no reply. ‘Upon my Honour, Ladies,’ said he, giving a glance over his own person, ‘I am highly endebted to your Condescension for admitting me in such Dishabille into your Drawing-room. I really did not consider how unfit I was to be here, or I hope I should have kept my distance. Lady Osborne would tell me that I were growing as careless as her son, if she saw me in this condition.’ The Ladies were not wanting in civil returns; and Robert