Page:Austen Sanditon and other miscellanea.djvu/98

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than she had believed herself. No part of it however seemed to trouble her long. There were so many to share in the shame and the blame, that probably when she had divided out their proper portions to Mrs. Darling, Miss Capper, Fanny Noyce, Mrs. Charles Dupuis and Mrs. Charles Dupuis’s Neighbour, there might be a mere trifle of reproach remaining for herself At any rate, she was seen all the following morning walking about after Lodgings with Mrs. Griffiths as alert as ever. Mrs. Griffiths was a very well-behaved, genteel kind of Woman, who supported herself by receiving such great girls and young Ladies, as wanted either Masters for finishing their Education, or a home for beginning their Displays. She had several more under her care than the three who were now come to Sanditon, but the others all happened to be absent. Of these three, and indeed of all, Miss Lambe was beyond comparison the most important and precious, as she paid in proportion to her fortune. She was about 17, half Mulatto, chilly and tender, had a maid of her own, was to have the best room in the Lodgings, and was always of the first consequence in every plan of Mrs. Griffiths. The other Girls, two Miss Beauforts, were just such young Ladies as may be met with, in at least one family out of three, throughout the Kingdom; they had tolerable complexions, showy figures, an upright decided carriage and an assured Look; they were very accomplished and very Ignorant, their time being divided between such pursuits as might attract admiration, and those Labours and Expedients of dexterous Ingenuity, by which they could dress in a style much beyond what they ought to have afforded; they were some of the first in every change of fashion, and the object of all, was to captivate some Man of much better fortune than their own. Mrs. Griffiths had preferred a small, retired place, like Sanditon, on Miss Lambe’s account, and the Miss Beauforts, though naturally preferring any thing to Smallness