Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/97

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SANDITON

Names and circumstances, however striking at first, involved nothing really incredible, and so it was settled. Miss Diana herself derived an immediate advantage to counterbalance her Perplexity. She must put her shawl over her shoulders, and be running about again. Tired as she was, she must instantly repair to the Hotel, to investigate the truth and offer her services.


CHAPTER XI

It would not do. Not all that the whole Parker race could say among themselves could produce a happier catastrophe than that the Family from Surrey and the Family from Camberwell were one and the same. The rich West Indians and the young Ladies’ Seminary had all entered Sanditon in those two Hack chaises. The Mrs. Griffiths who, in her friend Mrs. Darling’s hands, had wavered as to coming and been unequal to the journey, was the very same Mrs. Griffiths whose plans were at the same period (under another representation) perfectly decided, and who was without fears or difficulties. All that had the appearance of Incongruity in the reports of the two, might very fairly be placed to the account of the Vanity, the Ignorance, or the blunders of the many engaged in the cause by the vigilance and caution of Miss Diana Parker. Her intimate friends must be officious like herself, and the subject had supplied Letters and Extracts and Messages enough to make everything appear what it was not. Miss Diana probably felt a little awkward on being first obliged to admit her mistake. A long Journey from Hampshire taken for nothing, a Brother disappointed, an expensive House on her hands for a week, must have been some of her immediate reflections, and much worse than all the rest, must have been the sort of sensation of being less clear-sighted and infallible