Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/95

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
67
SANDITON

him of eating a great deal too much, and declaring he was not to be trusted; and he maintaining that he only eat enough to secure the Coats of his Stomach; and besides, he only wanted it now for Miss Heywood. Such a plea must prevail, he got the butter and spread away for her with an accuracy of Judgement which at least delighted himself; but when her Toast was done, and he took his own in hand, Charlotte could hardly contain herself as she saw him watching his sisters, while he scrupulously scraped off almost as much butter as he put on, and then seizing an odd moment to add a great dab just before it went into his Mouth. Certainly, Mr. Arthur Parker’s enjoyments in Invalidism were very different from his sisters—by no means so spiritualized. A good deal of Earthy Dross hung about him. Charlotte could not but suspect him of adopting that line of Life, principally for the indulgence of an indolent Temper, and to be determined on having no Disorders but such as called for warm rooms and good Nourishment. In one particular, however, she soon found that he had caught something from them. 'What!’ said he. ‘Do you venture upon two dishes of strong Green Tea in one Evening? What Nerves you must have! How I envy you. Now, if I were to swallow only one such dish—what do you think its effect would be upon me?’ ‘Keep you awake perhaps all night,’ replied Charlotte, meaning to overthrow his attempts at Surprise, by the Grandeur of her own Conceptions. ‘Oh! if that were all!’ he exclaimed. ‘No, it acts on me like Poison and would entirely take away the use of my right side, before I had swallowed it 5 minutes. It sounds almost incredible, but it has happened to me so often that I cannot doubt it. The use of my right side is entirely taken away for several hours!’ ‘It sounds rather odd to be sure,’ answered Charlotte coolly, ‘but I dare say it would be proved to be the simplest thing in the World, by those