Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/41

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

friendliness was received as it ought, as there was not more good will on one side than Gratitude on the other, nor any deficiency of generally pleasant manners on either, they grew to like each other in the course of that fortnight, exceedingly well. Mr. Parker's Character and History were soon unfolded. All that he understood of himself, he readily told, for he was very openhearted; and where he might be himself in the dark, his conversation was still giving information, to such of the Heywoods as could observe. By such he was perceived to be an Enthusiast; on the subject of Sanditon, a complete Enthusiast. Sanditon—the success of Sanditon as a small, fashionable Bathing Place was the object for which he seemed to live. A very few years ago, and it had been a quiet Village of no pretensions; but some natural advantages in its position and some accidental circumstances having suggested to himself, and the other principal Land Holder, the probability of its becoming a profitable Speculation, they had engaged in it, and planned and built, and praised and puffed, and raised it to a something of young Renown, and Mr. Parker could now think of very little besides. The Facts, which in more direct communication, he laid before them, were that he was about thirty-five, had been married—very happily married—7 years, and had 4 sweet Children at home; that he was of a respectable Family, and easy though not large fortune; no Profession—succeeding as eldest son to the Property which 2 or 3 Generations had been holding and accumulating before him; that he had 2 Brothers and 2 Sisters—all single and all independent—the eldest of the two former indeed, by collateral Inheritance, quite as well provided for as himself. His object in quitting the high road, to hunt for an advertising Surgeon, was also plainly stated; it had not proceeded from any intention of spraining his ankle or doing himself any other Injury for the good of such Surgeon, nor