Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/94

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had not been working only for himself; by his earnest invitation to her to take both Cocoa and Toast. She was already helped to Tea, which surprised him, so totally self-engrossed had he been. ‘I thought I should have been in time,’ said he, ‘but cocoa takes a great deal of Boiling.’ ‘I am much obliged to you,’ replied Charlotte, ‘but I prefer Tea.’ ‘Then I will help myself,’ said he. ‘A large Dish of rather weak Cocoa every evening, agrees with me better than any thing.’ It struck her, however, as he poured out this rather weak Cocoa, that it came forth in a very fine, dark coloured stream—and at the same moment, his Sisters both crying out ‘Oh! Arthur, you get your Cocoa stronger and stronger every Evening,’ with Arthur’s somewhat conscious reply of ’Tis rather stronger than it should be tonight convinced her that Arthur was by no means so fond of being starved as they could desire, or as he felt proper himself. He was certainly very happy to turn the conversation on dry Toast, and hear no more of his sisters. ‘I hope you will eat some of this Toast,’ said he; ‘I reckon myself a very good Toaster; I never burn my Toasts, I never put them too near the Fire at first, and yet, you see, there is not a Corner but what is well browned. I hope you like dry Toast.’ ‘With a reasonable quantity of Butter spread over it, very much,’ said Charlotte, ‘but not otherwise.’ ‘No more do I,’ said he, exceedingly pleased. ‘We think quite alike there. So far from dry Toast being wholesome, I think it a very bad thing for the Stomach. Without a little butter to soften it, it hurts the Coats of the Stomach. I am sure it does. I will have the pleasure of spreading some for you directly, and afterwards I will spread some for myself. Very bad indeed for the Coats of the Stomach, but there is no convincing some people. It irritates and acts like a nutmeg grater.’ He could not get the command of the Butter, however, without a struggle; his Sisters accusing