Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/93

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65
SANDITON

The more Wine I drink (in Moderation) the better I am. I am always best of an Evening. If you had seen me today before Dinner, you would have thought me a very poor Creature.’ Charlotte could believe it. She kept her countenance however, and said: ‘As far as I can understand what nervous complaints are, I have a great idea of the efficacy of air and exercise for them—daily, regular Exercise—and I should recommend rather more of it to you than I suspect you are in the habit of taking.’ ‘Oh! I am very fond of exercise myself,’ he replied, ‘and mean to walk a great deal while I am here, if the Weather is temperate. I shall be out every morning before breakfast, and take several turns upon the Terrace, and you will often see me at Trafalgar House.’ ‘But you do not call a walk to Trafalgar House much exercise?’ ‘Not as to mere distance, but the Hill is so steep! Walking up that Hill, in the middle of the day, would throw me into such a Perspiration! You would see me all in a Bath by the time I got there! I am very subject to Perspiration, and there cannot be a surer sign of Nervousness.’ They were now advancing so deep in Physics, that Charlotte viewed the entrance of the Servant with the Tea things, as a very fortunate Interruption. It produced a great and immediate change. The young Man’s attentions were instantly lost. He took his own Cocoa from the Tray, which seemed provided with almost as many Teapots, etc., as there were persons in company, Miss Parker drinking one sort of Herb-Tea and Miss Diana another, and turning completely to the Fire, sat coddling and cooking it to his own satisfaction and toasting some Slices of Bread, brought up ready-prepared in the Toast rack, and till it was all done, she heard nothing of his voice but the murmuring of a few broken sentences of self-approbation and success. When his Toils were over, however, he moved back his Chair into as gallant a Line as ever, and proved that he