Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/87

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SANDITON

CHAPTER X

It was not a week, since Miss Diana Parker had been told by her feelings, that the Sea Air would probably in her present state, be the death of her, and now she was at Sanditon, intending to make some Stay, and without appearing to have the slightest recollection of having written or felt any such thing. It was impossible for Charlotte not to suspect a good deal of fancy in such an extraordinary state of health. Disorders and Recoveries so very much out of the common way, seemed more like the amusement of eager Minds in want of employment than of actual afflictions and relief. The Parkers were no doubt a family of Imagination and quick feelings, and while the eldest Brother found vent for his superfluity of sensation as a Projector, the Sisters were perhaps driven to dissipate theirs in the invention of odd complaints. The whole of their mental vivacity was evidently not so employed; Part was laid out in a Zeal for being useful. It should seem that they must either be very busy for the Good of others, or else extremely ill themselves. Some natural delicacy of Constitution in fact, with an unfortunate turn for Medicine, especially quack Medicine, had given them an early tendency at various times to various Disorders; the rest of their sufferings was from Fancy, the love of Distinction and the love of the Wonderful. They had Charitable hearts and many amiable feelings, but a spirit of restless activity, and the glory of doing more than anybody else, had their share in every exertion of Benevolence, and there was Vanity in all they did, as well as in all they endured. Mr. and Mrs. Parker spent a great part of the Evening at the Hotel; but Charlotte had only two or three views of Miss Diana posting over the Down after a