Austen

Text of the 1925 Publication of the Jane Austen Fragment of "Sanditon" by the Clarendon Press.

Jane Austen’s “Sanditon”

CHAPTER 1.

A Gentleman & Lady travelling fromTunbridge towards that part of theSussex Coast which lies between Hastings & E. Bourne, being induced by Business to quit the high road, & attempt a very rough Lane, were overturned in toiling up it's long ascent half rock, half sand.— The accident happened just beyond the only Gentleman's House near the Lane—a House, which their Driver on being first required to take that direction, had conceived to be necessarily their object, & had with most unwilling Looks been constrained to pass by—. He had

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grumbled & shaken his shoulders so much indeed, and pitied & cut his Horses so sharply, that he might have been open to the suspicion of overturning them on purpose (especially as the Carriage was not his Masters own) if the road had not indisputably become considerably worse than before, as soon as the premises of the said House were left behind—expressing with a most intelligent portentous countenance that beyond it no wheels but cart wheels could safely proceed. The severity of the fall was broken by their slow pace & the narrowness of the Lane, & the Gentleman having scrambled out & helped out his companion, they neither of them at first felt more than shaken & bruised. But the Gentleman had in the course of the extrication sprained his foot—& soon becoming sensible of it, was obliged in

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a few moments to cut short, both his remonstrance to the Driver & his congratulations to his wife & himself—& sit down on the bank, unable to stand. —" There is something wrong here, said he—putting his hand to his ancle— But never mind, my Dear—(looking up at her with a smile)—It cd not have happened, you know, in a better place. —Good out of Evil—. The very thing perhaps to be wished for. We shall soon get releif.— There, I fancy lies my cure "—pointing to the neat-looking end of a Cottage, which was seen romantically situated among wood on a high Eminence at some little Distance—" Does not that promise to be the very place ? "—His wife fervently hoped it was—but stood, terrified & anxious, neither able to do or suggest anything—& receiving her first real comfort from the sight of several persons

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now coming to their assistance. The accident had been discerned from a Hayfield adjoining the House they had passed—& the persons who approached, were a well-looking Hale, Gentlemanlike Man, of middle age, the Proprietor of the Place, who happened to be among his Haymakers at the time, & three or four of the ablest of them summoned to attend their Master —to say nothing of all the rest of the field, Men, Women & Children—not very far off.—Mr Heywood, such was the name of the said Proprietor, advanced with a very civil salutation— much concern for the accident—some surprise at any body's attempting that road in a Carriage—& ready offers of assistance. His courtesies were received with Goodbreeding & gratitude & while one or two of the Men lent their help to the Driver in getting the Carriage

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upright again, the Travellor said—You are extremely obliging Sir, & I take you at your word.—The injury to my Leg is I dare say very trifling, but it is always best in these cases to have a surgeon's opinion without loss of time ; and as the road does not seem at present in a favourable state for my getting up to his house myself, I will thank you to send off one of these good People for the Surgeon." " The Surgeon Sir !—replied Mr Heywood—I am afraid you will find no surgeon at hand here, but I dare say we shall do very well without him."—Nay Sir, if he is not in the way, his Partner will do just as well—or rather better—. I wd rather see his Partner indeed—I would prefer the attendance of his Partner. —One of these good people can be with him in three minutes I am sure. I need not ask whether I  see the House ;

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(looking towards the Cottage) for excepting your own, we have passed none in this place, which can be the abode of a Gentleman."—Mr H. looked very much astonished—& replied—" What Sir ! are you expecting to find a Surgeon in that Cottage ?—We have neither Surgeon nor Partner in the Parish I assure  you."—" Excuse me   Sir—replied the other.  I am sorry to have the appearance of contradicting you—but though from the extent of the Parish or some other cause you may not be aware of the fact ;—stay—Can I be mistaken in the place ?—Am I not in Willingden ?—Is not this Willingden ? " " Yes Sir, this is certainly Willingden." Then Sir, I can bring proof of your having a Surgeon in the   Parish— whether you may know it or not.  Here Sir—(taking out his Pocket book—) if you will do me the favour of casting

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your eye over these advertisements, which I cut out myself from the Morning Post & the Kentish Gazette, only yesterday morng in London—I think you will be convinced that I am not speaking at random. You will find it an advertisement Sir, of the dissolution of a Partnership in the Medical Line— in your own Parish—extensive Business—undeniable Character—respectable references—wishing to form a separate Establishment—You will find it at full length Sir "—offering him the two little oblong extracts.—" Sir—said Mr Heywood with a good humoured smile—if you were to shew me all the Newspapers that are printed in one week throughout the Kingdom, you wd not persuade me of there being a Surgeon in Willingden,—for having lived here ever since I was born, Man & Boy 57 years, I think I must

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have known of such a person, at least I may venture to say that he has not much Business—To be sure, if Gentlemen were to be often attempting this Lane in Post-chaises, it might not be a bad speculation for a Surgeon to get a House at the top of the Hill.—But as to that Cottage, I can assure you Sir that it is in fact—(in spite of its spruce air at this distance—) as indifferent a double Tenement as any in the Parish, and that my Shepherd lives at one end, & three old women at the other." He took the peices of paper as he spoke—& having looked them over, added—" I beleive I can explain it Sir.—Your mistake is in the place.— There are two Willingdens in this Country—& your advertisements refer to the other—which is Great Willing-den, or Willingden Abbots, & lies 7 miles off, on the other side of Battel

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—quite down in the Weald.    And we
Sir—(speaking rather proudly) are not 
in the Weald."—"Not down in the
 Weald   I am sure   Sir,   replied   the
 Traveller, pleasantly.   It took us half 
an hour to climb your Hill.—Well Sir
—I dare say it is as you say, & I have
made an abominably stupid Blunder.—
All done in a moment;—the advertisements did not catch my eye till the last 
half hour  of our being in Town;—
when everything was in the hurry &
confusion which always attend a short
 stay   there—One   is   never   able   to
 complete anything in the way of Business you know till the Carriage is at
 the door—and accordingly  satisfying
 myself with a breif enquiry, & finding 
we were actually to pass within a mile 
or two of a Willingden, I sought no 
farther .  .  . My Dear—(to his wife)
I am very sorry to have brought you

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into this Scrape. But do not be alarmed about my Leg.  It gives me no pain while I am quiet,—and as soon as these good people have succeeded in setting the  Carge  to  rights   &   turning   the Horses round, the best thing we can do will be to measure back our steps into the Turnpike road & proceed to Hailsham, & so Home, without attempting anything farther.—Two hours take us home, from Hailsham—and when once at home, we have our remedy at hand you know.—A little of our own Bracing Sea air will soon set me on my feet again.—Depend upon it my Dear, it is exactly a case for the Sea. Saline air & immersion will be the very thing.—My sensations tell me so already."—In a most friendly manner Mr Heywood here interposed, entreating them not to think of proceeding till the ancle had been examined, &

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some refreshment taken, & very cordially pressing them to make use of his House for both purposes.—" We are always well stocked, said he, with all the common remedies for Sprains & Bruises—& I will answer for the pleasure it will give my Wife & daughters to be of service to you & this Lady in every way in their power."— A twinge or two, in trying to move his foot disposed the Travellor to think rather more as he had done at first of the benefit of immediate assistance— & consulting his wife in the few words of " Well my Dear, I beleive it will be better for us."—turned again to Mr H— & said—" Before we accept your Hospitality Sir,—& in order to do away any unfavourable impression which the sort of wild goose-chace you find me in, may have given rise to— allow me to tell you who we are.   My

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name is Parker.—Mr Parker of Sanditon;—this Lady, my wife Mrs Parker. —We are on our road home from London;—My name perhaps—tho' I am by no means the first of my Family, holding Landed Property in the Parish of Sanditon, may be unknown at this distance from the Coast—but Sanditon itself—everybody has heard of Sanditon,—the favourite—for a young & rising Bathing-place, certainly the favourite spot of all that are to be found along the coast of Sussex;—the most favoured by Nature, & promising to be the most chosen by Man."— Yes—I have heard of Sanditon. replied Mr H.—Every five years, one hears of some new place or other starting up by the Sea, & growing the fashion.—How they can half of them be filled, is the wonder ! Where People can be found with Money or Time to

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go to them!—Bad things for a Country; —sure to raise the price of Provisions & make the Poor good for nothing—as I dare say you find, Sir." " Not at all Sir, not at all—cried Mr Parker eagerly.    Quite the contrary I assure you. —A common idea—but   a  mistaken  one.    It may apply to your large, overgrown Places, like Brighton, or Worthing, or East Bourne—but not to a small village like Sanditon, precluded by its size from experiencing any of the evils of Civilization, while the growth of the place, the Buildings, the Nursery Grounds, the demand for every thing, & the sure resort of the very best Company, those regular, steady, private Families of thorough Gentility & Character, who are a blessing everywhere, excite the industry of the Poor and diffuse comfort & improvement among them of every sort.—

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No Sir, I assure you, Sanditon is not, a place" " I do not mean to take exceptions to any place in particular Sir, answered Mr H.—I only think our Coast is too full of them altogether— But had we not better try to get you"—" Our Coast too full "—repeated Mr P.—On that point perhaps we may not totally disagree;—at least there are enough. Our Coast is abundant enough; it demands no more.— Every body's Taste & every body's finances may be suited—And those good people who are trying to add to the number, are in my opinion excessively absurd, & must soon find themselves the Dupes of their own fallacious Calculations.—Such a place as Sanditon Sir, I may say was wanted, was called for.—Nature had marked it out—had spoken in most intelligible Characters—The finest,

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purest Sea Breeze on the Coast— acknowledged to be so—Excellent Bathing—fine hard sand—Deep Water 10 yards from the Shore—no Mud— no Weeds—no shiney rocks—Never was there a place more palpably designed by Nature for the resort of the Invalid—the very Spot which Thousands seemed in need of.—The most desirable distance from London ! One complete, measured mile nearer than East Bourne. Only conceive Sir, the advantage of saving a whole Mile, in a long Journey. But Brinshore Sir, which I dare say you have in your eye—the attempts of two or three speculating People about Brinshore, this last Year, to raise that paltry Hamlet, lying, as it does between a stagnant marsh, a bleak Moor & the constant effluvia of a ridge of putrifying sea weed, can end in

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nothing but their own Disappointment. What in the name of Common Sense is to recommend Brinshore ?— A most insalubrious Air—Roads proverbially detestable—Water Brackish beyond example, impossible to get a good dish of Tea within 3 miles of the place—& as for the Soil—it is so cold & ungrateful that it can hardly be made to yeild a Cabbage.—Depend upon it Sir, that this is a faithful Description of Brinshore—not in the smallest degree exaggerated—& if you have heard it differently  spoken  of"   Sir, I never heard it spoken of in my Life before, said Mr Heywood. I did not know there was such a place in the World."—"You did not!—There my Dear—(turning with exultation to his Wife)—you see how it is. So much for the Celebrity of Brinshore!—This Gentleman did not know there was

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such a place in the World.—Why, in
truth Sir, I fancy we may apply to
Brinshore, that line of the Poet Cowper
in his description of the religious Cottager, as opposed to Voltaire—"She,
never heard of half a mile from home."
—" With all my Heart Sir—Apply any
Verses you like to it—But I want to
see something applied to your Leg—
& I am sure by your Lady's countenance that she is quite of my opinion
& thinks it a pity to lose any more
time—And here come my Girls to
speak for themselves & their Mother,
(two or three genteel looking young
Women followed by as many Maid
servants, were now seen issueing from
the House)—I began to wonder the
Bustle should not have reached them.—
A thing of this kind soon makes a Stir
in a lonely place like ours.—Now Sir,
let us see how you can be best conveyed

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into the House."—The young Ladies approached & said every thing that was proper to recommend their Father's offers; & in an unaffected manner calculated to make the Strangers easy—and as Mrs P— was exceedingly anxious for relief—and her Husband by this time, not much less disposed for it—a very few civil scruples were enough—especially as the Carriage being now set up, was discovered to have received such Injury on the fallen side as to be unfit for present use.—Mr Parker was therefore carried into the House, and his Carriage wheeled off to a vacant Barn.—

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CHAPTER 2.

 

The acquaintance, thus oddly begun, was neither short nor unimportant. For a whole fortnight the Travellors were fixed at Willingden; Mr. P.'s sprain proving too serious for him to move sooner.—He had fallen into very good hands. The Heywoods were a thoroughly respectable family, & every possible attention was paid in the kindest & most unpretending manner, to both Husband & wife. He was waited on & nursed, & she cheered & comforted with unremitting kindness— and as every office of Hospitality & friendliness was received as it ought— as there was not more good will on one

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side than Gratitude on the other—nor any deficiency of generally pleasant manners on either, they grew to like each other in the course of that fortnight, exceedingly well.—Mr Parker's Character & History were soon unfolded. All that he understood of himself, he readily told, for he was very openhearted;—& where he might be himself in the dark, his conversation was still giving information, to such of the Heywoods as could observe.—By such he was perceived to be an Enthusiast ;—on the subject of Sanditon, a complete Enthusiast.—Sanditon,— the success of Sanditon as a small, fashionable Bathing Place was the object, for which he seemed to live. A very few years ago, & it had been a quiet Village of no pretensions; but some natural advantages in its position & some accidental circumstances having

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suggested to himself, & the other principal Land Holder, the probability of it's becoming a profitable Speculation, they had engaged in it, & planned & built, & praised & puffed, & raised it to a something of young Renown— and Mr Parker could now think of very little  besides.—The  Facts,   which  in more  direct  communication,  he laid before them were that he was about 5 & 30—had been married,-—very happily married 7 years—& had 4 sweet Children at home;—that he was of a respectable Family, & easy though not large fortune ;—no  Profession— succeeding as eldest son to the Property which 2 or 3Generations had been holding & accumulating before him;—that he had 2 Brothers & 2 Sisters—all single & all independant— the eldest of the two former indeed, by collateral  Inheritance,  quite  as  well

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provided for as himself.—His object in quitting the high road, to hunt for an advertising Surgeon, was also plainly stated;—it had not proceeded from any intention of spraining his ancle or doing himself any other Injury for the good of such Surgeon—nor (as Mr H. had been apt to suppose) from any design of entering into Partnership with him—; it was merely in consequence of a wish to establish some medical Man at Sanditon, which the nature of the Advertisement induced him to expect to accomplish in Willingden.—He was convinced that the advantage of a medical Man at hand wd very materially promote the rise & prosperity of the Place—wd in fact tend to bring a prodigious influx;— nothing else was wanting. He had strong reason to beleive that one family had been deterred last year from trying

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Sanditon on that account—& probably very many more—and his own Sisters who were sad Invalids, & whom he was very anxious to get to Sanditon this Summer, could hardly be expected to hazard themselves in a place where they could not have immediate medical advice.—Upon the whole, Mr P. was evidently an amiable, family-man, fond of Wife, Childn, Brothers & Sisters— & generally kind-hearted ;—Liberal, gentlemanlike, easy to please;—of a sanguine turn of mind, with more Imagination than Judgement. And Mrs P. was as evidently a gentle, amiable, sweet tempered Woman, the properest wife in the World for a Man of strong Understanding, but not of capacity to supply the cooler reflection which her own Husband sometimes needed, & so entirely waiting to be guided on every occasion, that whether

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he were risking his Fortune or spraining his Ancle, she remained equally useless.—Sanditon was a second Wife & 4 Children to him—hardly less Dear— & certainly more engrossing.—He could talk of it for ever.—It had indeed the highest claims;—not only those of Birthplace, Property, and Home,—it was his Mine, his Lottery, his Speculation & his Hobby Horse ; his Occupation his Hope & his Futurity.—He was extremely desirous of drawing his good friends at Willingden thither; and his endeavours in the cause, were as grateful & disinterested, as they were warm.—He wanted to secure the promise of a visit—to get as many of the Family as his own house wd contain, to follow him to Sanditon as soon as possible—and healthy as they all undeniably were—foresaw that every one of them wd be benefited by the

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sea.—He held it indeed as certain, that 
no person cd be really well, no person,
(however upheld for the present by 
fortuitous aids of exercise & spirits in
 a semblance of Health) could be really 
in a state of secure & permanent Health
 without spending at least 6 weeks by 
the Sea every year.—The Sea air & Sea
 Bathing together were nearly infallible,
 one or the other of them being a match
 for every Disorder, of the Stomach,
 the Lungs or the Blood ; They were 
anti-spasmodic, anti-pulmonary, anti-
sceptic, anti-bilious & anti-rheumatic.
 Nobody could catch cold by the Sea,
Nobody wanted appetite by the Sea, 
Nobody wanted Spirits, Nobody wanted
 Strength.—They were healing, softing,
 relaxing—fortifying & bracing—seemingly just as was wanted—sometimesone, sometimes the other.—If the Sea
breeze failed, the Sea-Bath was the

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certain corrective;—& where Bathing disagreed, the Sea Breeze alone was evidently designed by Nature for the cure.—His eloquence however could not prevail. Mr & Mrs H— never left home. Marrying early & having a very numerous Family, their movements had been long limitted to one small circle; & they were older in Habits than in Age.—Excepting two Journeys to London in the year, to receive his Dividends, Mr H. went no farther than his feet or his well-tried old Horse could carry him, and Mrs Heywood's Adventurings were only now & then to visit her Neighbours, in the old Coach which had been new when they married & fresh lined on their eldest son's coming of age 10 years ago.—They had very pretty Property—enough, had their family been of reasonable Limits to have

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allowed them a very gentleman like
share of Luxuries & Change—enough
for them to have indulged in a new
Carriage & better roads, an occasional
month at Tunbridge Wells, & symptoms of the Gout and a Winter at
Bath;—but the maintenance, Education & fitting out of 14 Children demanded a very quiet, settled, careful
course of Life—& obliged them to be
stationary & healthy at Willingden.
What Prudence had at first enjoined,
was now rendered pleasant by Habit.
They never left home, & they had
a gratification in saying so.—But very
far from wishing their Children to do
the same, they were glad to promote
their getting out into the World, as
much as possible. They staid at home,
that their Children might get out;—
and while making that home extremely
comfortable, welcomed every change

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from it which could give useful connections or respectable acquaintance to Sons or Daughters. When Mr & Mrs Parker therefore ceased from soliciting a family-visit, and bounded their veiws to carrying back one Daughter with them, no difficulties were started. It was general pleasure & consent.— Their invitation was to Miss Charlotte Heywood, a very pleasing young woman of two and twenty, the eldest of the Daughters at home, & the one, who under her Mother's directions had been particularly useful & obliging to them; who had attended them most, & knew them best.—Charlotte was to go,— with excellent health, to bathe & be better if she could—to receive every possible pleasure which Sanditon could be made to supply by the gratitude of those she went with—& to buy new Parasols, new Gloves, & new Broches,

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for her sisters & herself at the Library, which Mr P. was anxiously wishing to support.—All that Mr Heywood himself could be persuaded to promise was, that he would send everyone to Sanditon, who asked his advice, & that nothing should ever induce him (as far <as> the future could be answered for) to spend even 5 shillings at Brinshore.—

 

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CHAPTER 3.

Every Neighbourhood should have a great Lady.—The great Lady of Sanditon, was Lady Denham; & in their Journey from Willingden to the Coast, Mr Parker gave Charlotte a more detailed account of her, than had been called for before.—She had been necessarily often mentioned at Willingden,— for being his Colleague in Speculation, Sanditon itself could not be talked of long, without the introduction of Lady Denham & that she was a very rich old Lady, who had buried two Husbands, who knew the value of Money, was very much looked up to & had a poor Cousin living  with   her,  were  facts already

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well  known,  but  some  further  particulars of her history & her Character served to lighten the tediousness  of a long Hill, or a heavy bit of road, and to give the visiting Young Lady a suitable Knowledge  of  the  Person with whom  she might  now  expect to  be daily associating.—Lady D. had been a rich Miss Brereton, born to Wealth but not to Education.   Her first Husband had been a Mr Hollis, a man of considerable Property in the Country, of which a large share of the Parish of Sanditon, with Manor & Mansion House made a part.   He had been an elderly Man when she married him ;—her own age about 30.—Her motives for such a Match could be little understood at the distance of 40 years, but she had so well nursed & pleased Mr Hollis, that at his death he left her everything— all his Estates, & all at her Disposal.

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After a widowhood of some years, she
had been induced to marry again.
The late Sir Harry Denham, of Denham Park in the Neighbourhood of
Sanditon had succeeded in removing
her & her large Income to his own
Domains, but he cd not succeed in the
veiws of permanently enriching his
family, which were attributed to him.
She had been too wary to put anything
out of her own Power—and when on
Sir Harry's Decease she returned again
to her own House at Sanditon, she was
said to have made this boast to a
friend " that though she had got
nothing but her Title from the Family,
still she had given nothing for it."—
For the Title, it was to be supposed
that she had married—& Mr P.
acknowledged there being just such
a degree of value for it apparent now,
as to give her conduct that natural

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explanation. " There is at times said he—a little self-importance—but it is not offensive;—& there are moments, there are points, when her Love of Money is carried greatly too far. But she is a goodnatured Woman, a very goodnatured Woman,—a very obliging, friendly Neighbour; a chearful, independant, valuable character.—and her faults may be entirely imputed to her want of Education. She has good natural Sense, but quite uncultivated. —She has a fine active mind, as well as a fine healthy frame for a Woman of 70, & enters into the improvement of Sanditon with a spirit truly admirable —though now & then, a Littleness will appear. She cannot look forward quite as I would have her—& takes alarm at a trifling present expence, without considering what returns it will make her in a year or two.    That is—we

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think differently, we now & then, see things differently, Miss H.—Those who tell their own Story you know must be listened to with Caution.—When you see us in contact, you will judge for yourself."—Lady D. was indeed a great Lady beyond the common wants of Society—for she had many Thousands a year to bequeath, & three distinct sets of People to be courted by;  her own relations, who might very reasonably wish for her Original Thirty Thousand Pounds among them, the legal Heirs of Mr Hollis, who must hope to be  more  endebted  to her sense of Justice than he had allowed them to be to his, and those Members of the Denham Family, whom her 2d Husband had hoped to make a good Bargain for. —By all of these, or by Branches of them, she had no doubt been long, & still continued to be, well attacked;—

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and of these three divisions, Mr P. did not hesitate to say that Mr Hollis' Kindred were the least in favour & Sir Harry Denham's the most.—The former he beleived, had done themselves irremediable harm by expressions of very unwise & unjustifiable resentment at the time of Mr. Hollis's death;—the Latter, to the advantage of being the remnant of a Connection which she certainly valued, joined those of having been known to her from their Childhood, & of being always at hand to preserve their interest by reasonable attention. Sir Edward, the present Baronet, nephew to Sir Harry, resided constantly at Denham Park ; & Mr P— had little doubt, that he & his Sister Miss D—- who lived with him, wd be principally remembered in her Will. He sincerely hoped it.—Miss Denham had  a  very  small  provision—&  her

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Brother was a poor Man for his rank in Society. " He is a warm friend to Sanditon—said Mr Parker—& his hand wd be as liberal as his heart, had he the Power.—He would be a noble Coadjutor !—As it is, he does what he can —& is running up a tasteful little Cottage Ornèe, on a strip of Waste Ground Lady D. has granted him, which I have no doubt we shall have many a Candidate for, before the end even of this Season." Till within the last twelvemonth, Mr P. had considered Sir Edw: as standing without a rival, as having the fairest chance of succeeding to the greater part of all that she had to give—but there was now another person's claims to be taken into the account, those of the young female relation, whom Lady D. had been induced to receive into her Family. After having always protested

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tested against any such Addition, and long & often enjoyed the repeated defeats she had given to every attempt of her relations to introduce this young Lady, or that young Lady as a Companion at Sanditon House, she had brought back with her from London last Michaelmas a Miss Brereton, who bid fair by her Merits to vie in favour with Sir Edward, and to secure for herself & her family that share of the accumulated Property which they had certainly the best right to inherit.— Mr Parker spoke warmly of Clara Brereton, & the interest of his story increased very much with the introduction of such a Character. Charlotte listened with more than amusement now;—it was solicitude & Enjoyment, as she heard her described to be lovely, amiable, gentle, unassuming, conducting herself uniformly with great good

 

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sense, & evidently gaining by her innate worth, on the affections of her Patroness.—Beauty, Sweetness, Poverty & Dependance, do not want the imagination of a Man to operate upon. With due exceptions—Woman feels for Woman very promptly & compassionately. He gave the particulars which had led to Clara's admission at Sanditon, as no bad exemplification of that mixture of Character, that union of Littleness with Kindness with Good Sence with even Liberality which he saw in Lady D.— After having avoided London for many years, principally on account of these very Cousins, who were continually writing, inviting & tormenting her, & whom she was determined to keep at a distance, she had been obliged to go there last Michaelmas with the certainty of being detained at least a fortnight.—She had

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gone to an Hotel—living by her own account as prudently as possible, to defy the reputed expensiveness of such a home, & at the end of three Days calling for her Bill, that she might judge of her state.—It's amount was such as determined her on staying not another hour in the House, & she was preparing in all the anger & perturbation which a beleif of very gross imposition there, & an ignorance of where to go for better usage, to leave the Hotel at all hazards, when the Cousins, the politic & lucky Cousins, who seemed always to have a spy on her, introduced themselves at this important moment, & learning her situation, persuaded her to accept such a home for the rest of her stay as their humbler house in a very inferior part of London, cd offer.—She went; was delighted with her welcome & the hospitality &

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attention she received from every body—found her good Cousins the B—beyond her expectation worthy people
—& finally was impelled by a personal
knowledge of their narrow Income &
pecuniary difficulties, to invite one of
the girls of the family to pass the
Winter with her. The invitation was
to one, for six months—with the probability of another being then to take
her place;—but in selecting the one,
Lady D. had shewn the good part of
her Character—for passing by the
actual daughters of the House, she had
chosen Clara, a Neice—, more helpless
& more pitiable of course than any—
a dependant on Poverty—an additional
Burthen on an encumbered Circle—&
one, who had been so low in every
worldly veiw, as with all her natural
endowments & powers, to have been
preparing for a situation little better

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than a Nursery Maid.—Clara had returned with her—& by her good sence & merit had now, to all appearance secured a very strong hold in Lady D.'s regard. The six months had long been over—& not a syllable was breathed of any change, or exchange.—She was a general favourite;—the influence of her steady conduct & mild, gentle Temper was felt by everybody. The prejudices which had met her at first in some quarters, were all dissipated. She was felt to be worthy of Trust—to be the very companion who wd guide & soften Lady D— who wd enlarge her mind & open her hand.—She was as thoroughly amiable as she was lovely —& since having had the advantage of their Sanditon Breezes, that Loveliness was complete.

 

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CHAPTER 4.

" And whose very snug-looking Place is this ? "—said Charlotte, as in a sheltered Dip within 2 miles of the Sea, they passed close by a moderate-sized house, well fenced & planted, & rich in the Garden, Orchard & Meadows which are the best embellishments of such a Dwelling. " It seems to have as many comforts about it as Willingden."—Ah !—said Mr P.—This is my old House—the house of my Forefathers—the house where I & all my Brothers & Sisters were born & bred— & where my own 3 eldest Children were born—where Mrs P. & I lived till within the last 2 years—till our new

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House was finished.—I am glad you are pleased with it.—It is an honest old Place—and Hillier keeps it in very good order. I have given it up you know to the Man who occupies the cheif of my Land. He gets a better House by it—& I, a rather better situation!—one other Hill brings us to Sanditon—modern Sanditon—a beautiful Spot.—Our Ancestors, you know always built in a hole.—Here were we, pent down in this little contracted Nook, without Air or Veiw, only one mile & 3 qrs from the noblest expanse of Ocean between the South foreland & the Land's end, & without the smallest advantage from it. You will not think I have made a bad exchange, when we reach Trafalgar House—which by the bye, I almost wish I had not named Trafalgar—for Waterloo is more the thing now.

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However, Waterloo is in reserve—& if we have encouragement enough this year for a little Crescent to be ventured on —(as I trust we shall) then, we shall be able to call it Waterloo Crescent— & the name joined to the form of the Building, which always takes, will give us the command of Lodgers—. In a good Season we shd have more applications than we could attend to."—" It was always a very comfortable House— said Mrs Parker—looking at it through the back window with something like the fondness of regret.—And such a nice Garden—such an excellent Garden." " Yes, my Love, but that we may be said to carry with us.—It supplies us, as before, with all the fruit & vegetables we want; & we have in fact all the comfort of an excellent Kitchen Garden, without the constant Eyesore of its formalities;

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or the yearly nuisance of its decaying vegetation.—Who can endure a Cabbage Bed in October"? " Oh! dear-yes.—We are quite as well off for Gardenstuff as ever we were—for if it is forgot to be brought at any time, we can always buy what we want at Sanditon-House.—The Gardiner there, is glad enough to supply us—. But it was a nice place for the Children to run about in. So shady in Summer ! " " My dear, we shall have shade enough on the Hill & more than enough in the course of a very few years;—The Growth of my Plantations is a general astonishment. In the mean while we have the Canvas Awning, which gives us the most complete comfort within doors—& you can get a Parasol at Whitby's for little Mary at any time, or a large Bonnet at Jebb's—and as for the Boys, I must say I wd rather

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them run about in the Sunshine than not. I am sure we agree my dear, in wishing our Boys to be as hardy as possible."—" Yes indeed, I am sure we do—& I will get Mary a little Parasol, which will make her as proud as can be. How Grave she will walk about with it, and fancy herself quite a little Woman.—Oh ! I have not the smallest doubt of our being a great deal better off where we are now. If we any of us want to bathe, we have not a qr of a mile to go.—But you know, (still looking back) one loves to look at an old friend, at a place where one has been happy.—The Hilliers did not seem to feel the Storms last Winter at all.—I remember seeing Mrs Hillier after one of those dreadful Nights, when we had been literally rocked in our bed, and she did not seem at all aware of the Wind being

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anything more than common." " Yes, yes—that's likely enough. We have all the Grandeur of the Storm, with less real danger, because the Wind meeting with nothing to oppose or confine it around our House, simply rages & passes on—while down in this Gutter—nothing is known of the state of the Air, below the Tops of the Trees —and the Inhabitants may be taken totally unawares, by one of those dreadful Currents which do more mischief in a Valley, when they do arise than an open Country ever experiences in the heaviest Gale.—But my dear Love—as to Gardenstuff;—you were saying that any accidental omission is supplied in a moment by Ly D.'s Gardiner—but it occurs to me that we ought to go elsewhere upon such occasions—& that old Stringer & his son have a higher claim.   I encouraged

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him to set up—& am afraid he does
not do very well—that is, there has
not been time enough yet.—He will
do very well beyond a doubt—but at
first it is Uphill work; and therefore
we must give him what Help we can—
& when any Vegetables or fruit happen
to be wanted—& it will not be amiss
to have them often wanted, to have
something or other forgotten most
days ;—Just to have a nominal supply
you know, that poor old Andrew may
not lose his daily Job—but in fact to
buy the cheif of our consumption of
the Stringers.—" " Very well my
Love, that can be easily done—& Cook
will be satisfied—which will be a great
comfort, for she is always complaining
of old Andrew now, & says he never
brings her what she wants.—There—-
now the old House is quite left behind.
—What is it, your Brother Sidney says

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about it's being a Hospital ? " Oh ! my dear Mary, merely a Joke of his. He pretends to advise me to make a Hospital of it. He pretends to laugh at my Improvements. Sidney says any thing you know. He has always said what he chose of & to us, all. Most Families have such a member among them I beleive Miss Hey-wood.—There is a someone in most families privileged by superior abilities or spirits to say anything.—In ours, it is Sidney; who is a very clever Young Man, —and with great powers of pleasing.— He lives too much in the World to be settled ; that is his only fault.—He is here & there & every where. I wish we may get him to Sanditon. I should like to have you acquainted with him. —And it would be a fine thing for the Place !—Such a young Man as Sidney, with his neat equipage & fashionable

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air,—You & I Mary, know what effect it might have : Many a respectable Family, many a careful Mother, many a pretty Daughter, might it secure us, to the prejudice of E. Bourne & Hastings."—They were now approaching the Church & neat village of Sanditon, which stood at the foot of the Hill they were afterwards to ascend —a Hill, whose side was covered with the Woods & enclosures of Sanditon House and whose Height ended in an open Down where the new Buildgs might soon be looked for. A branch only, of the Valley, winding more obliquely towards the Sea, gave a passage to an inconsiderable Stream, & formed at its mouth, a 3d Habitable Division, in a small cluster of Fisherman's Houses.—The Village contained little more than Cottages, but the Spirit of the day had been caught, as

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Mr P. observed with delight to Charlotte, & two or three of the best of them were smartened up with a white Curtain & " Lodgings to let"—, and farther on, in the little Green Court of an old Farm House, two Females in elegant white were actually to be seen with their books & camp stools—and in turning the corner of the Baker's shop, the sound of a Harp might be heard through the upper Casement.— Such sights & sounds were highly Blissful to Mr P.—Not that he had any personal concern in the success of the Village itself ; for considering it as too remote from the Beach, he had done nothing there—but it was a most valuable proof of the increasing fashion of the place altogether. If the Village could attract, the Hill might be nearly full.—He anticipated an amazing Season.—At the same time last year, (late

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in July) there had not been a single Lodger in the Village!—nor did he remember any during the whole Summer, excepting one family of children who came from London for sea air after the hooping Cough, and whose Mother would not let them be nearer the shore for fear of their tumbling in. —" Civilization, Civilization indeed !— cried Mr P—, delighted—. Look my dear Mary—Look at William Heeley's windows.—Blue Shoes, & nankin Boots !—Who wd have expected such a sight at a Shoemaker's in old Sanditon !—This is new within the Month. There was no blue Shoe when we passed this way a month ago.—Glorious indeed !—Well, I think I have done something in my Day.—Now, for our Hill, our health-breathing Hill.— " In ascending, they passed the Lodge-Gates of Sanditon House, & saw the

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top of the House itself among its Groves. It was the last Building of former Days in that line of the Parish. A little higher up, the Modern began; & in crossing the Down, a Prospect House, a Bellevue Cottage, & a Denham Place were to be looked at by Charlotte with the calmness of amused Curiosity, & by Mr P. with the eager eye which hoped to see scarcely any empty houses.—More Bills at the Window than he had calculated on ;—and a smaller shew of company on the Hill —Fewer Carriages, fewer Walkers. He had fancied it just the time of day for them to be all returning from their Airings to dinner—But the Sands & the Terrace always attracted some—. and the Tide must be flowing—about half-Tide now.—He longed to be on the Sands, the Cliffs, at his own House, & everywhere out of his House at

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once. His Spirits rose with the very sight of the Sea & he cdalmost feel his Ancle getting stronger already.—Trafalgar House, on the most elevated spot on the Down was a light elegant Building, standing in a small Lawn with a very young plantation round it, about an hundred yards from the brow of a steep, but not very lofty Cliff— and the nearest to it, of every Building, excepting one short row of smart-looking Houses, called the Terrace, with a broad walk in front, aspiring to be the Mall of the Place. In this row were the best Milliner's shop & the Library—a little detached from it, the Hotel & Billiard Room—Here began the Descent to the Beach, & to the Bathing Machines—& this was therefore the favourite spot for Beauty & Fashion.—At Trafalgar House, rising at a little distance behind the Terrace,

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the Travellers were safely set down, & all was happiness & Joy between Papa & Mama & their Children ; while Charlotte having received possession of her apartment, found amusement enough in standing at her ample, Venetian window, & looking over the miscellaneous foreground of unfinished Buildings, waving Linen, & tops of Houses, to the Sea, dancing & sparkling in Sunshine & Freshness.—

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CHAPTER 5.

When they met before dinner, Mr P.
was looking over Letters.—" Not a
Line from Sidney !—said he.—He is
an idle fellow.—I sent him an account
of my accident from Willingden, &
thought he would have vouchsafed me
an Answer.—But perhaps it implies
that he is coming himself.—I trust it
may.—But here is a Letter from one
of my Sisters. They never fail me.—
Women are the only Correspondents to
be depended on.—Now Mary, (smiling
at his Wife)—before I open it, what
shall we guess as to the state of health
of those it comes from—or rather what
wd Sidney say if he were here ?—Sidney

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is a saucy fellow, Miss H— And you must know, he will have it there is a good deal of Imagination in my two Sisters' complaints—but it really is not so—or very little—They have wretched health, as you have heard us say frequently, & are subject to a variety of very serious Disorders.— Indeed, I do not beleive they know what a day's health is;—& at the same time, they are such excellent useful Women & have so much energy of Character that, where any Good is to be done, they force themselves on exertions which to those who do not thoroughly know them, have an extraordinary appearance.—But there is really no affectation about them. They have only weaker constitutions & stronger minds than are often met with, either separate or together.— And our Youngest Br—who lives with

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them, & who is not much above 20, I am sorry to say, is almost as great an Invalid as themselves.—He is so delicate that he can engage in no Profession.—Sidney laughs at him—but it really is no Joke—tho' Sidney often makes me laugh at them all in spite of myself.—Now, if he were here, I know he wd be offering odds that either Susan Diana or Arthur wd appear by this letter to have been at the point of death within the last month."—Having run his eye over the Letter, he shook his head & began—" No chance of seeing them at Sanditon I am sorry to say.— A very indifferent account of them indeed. Seriously, a very indifferent account.—Mary, you will be quite sorry to hear how ill they have been & are.— Miss H., if you will give me leave, I will read Diana's Letter aloud.—I like to have my friends acquainted with each

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other—& I am afraid this is the only sort of acquaintance I shall have the means of accomplishing between you.—And I can have no scruple on Diana's account—for her Letters shew her exactly as she is, the most active, friendly, warm hearted Being in existence, & therefore must give a good impression." He read.—" My dear Tom, We were all much greived at your accident, & if you had not described yourself as fallen into such very good hands, I shd have been with you at all hazards the day after the recpt of your Letter, though it found me suffering under a more severe attack than usual of my old greivance, Spasmodic Bile & hardly able to crawl from my Bed to the Sofa.—But how were you treated ?—Send me more Particulars in your next.—If indeed a simple Sprain, as you denominate it,

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nothing wd have been so judicious as Friction, Friction by the hand alone, supposing it could be applied instantly. —Two years ago I happened to be calling on Mrs Sheldon when her Coachman sprained his foot as he was cleaning the Carriage & cd hardly limp into the House—but by the immediate use of Friction alone, steadily persevered in, (& I rubbed his Ancle with my own hand for six Hours without Intermission)—he was well in three days.—Many Thanks my dear Tom for the kindness with respect to us, which had so large a share in bringing on your accident—But pray never run into Peril again, in looking for an Apothecary on our account, for had you the most experienced Man in his Line settled at Sanditon, it wd be no recommendation to us. We have entirely done with the whole Medical

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Tribe. We have consulted Physician after Phyn in vain, till we are quite convinced that they can do nothing for us & that we must trust to our own knowledge of our own wretched Constitutions for any releif.—But if you think it advisable for the interest of the Place, to get a Medical Man there, I will undertake the commission with pleasure, & have no doubt of succeeding.—I could soon put the necessary Irons in the fire.—As for getting to Sanditon myself, it is quite an Impossibility. I greive to say that I dare not attempt it, but my feelings tell me too plainly that in my present state, the Sea air wd probably be the death of me.—And neither of my dear Companions will leave me, or I wd promote their going down to you for a fortnight. But in truth, I doubt whether Susan's nerves wd be equal to the effort.

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She has been suffering much from the Headache and Six Leaches a day for 10 days together releived her so little that we thought it right to change our measures—and being convinced on examination that much of the Evil lay in her Gum, I persuaded her to attack the disorder there. She has accordingly had 3 Teeth drawn, & is decidedly better, but her Nerves are a good deal deranged. She can only speak in a whisper—and fainted away twice this morning on poor Arthur's trying to suppress a cough. He, I am happy to say is tolerably well—tho' more languid than I like—& I fear for his Liver.—I have heard nothing of Sidney since your being together in Town, but conclude his scheme to the I. of Wight has not taken place, or we should have seen him in his way.— Most sincerely do we wish you a good

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Season at Sanditon, & though we cannot contribute to your Beau Monde in person, we are doing our utmost to send you Company worth having; & think we may safely reckon on securing you two large Families, one a rich West Indian from Surry, the other, a most respectable Girls Boarding School, or Academy, from Camberwell.—I will not tell you how many People I have employed in the business—Wheel within wheel.—But Success more than repays. —Yours most affecly—&c " " Well—said Mr P.—as he finished. Though I dare say Sidney might find something extremely entertaining in this Letter & make us laugh for half an hour together I declare I by myself, can see nothing in it but what is either very pitiable or very creditable.—With all their sufferings, you perceive how much they are occupied in promoting

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the Good of others !—So anxious for Sanditon ! Two large Families—One, for Prospect House probably, the other, for N° 2. Denham Place—or the end house of the Terrace,—& extra Beds at the Hotel.—I told you my Sisters were excellent Women, Miss H."  " And I am sure they must be very
extraordinary ones.—said Charlotte.
I am astonished at the chearful style
of the Letter, considering the state in
which both Sisters appear to be.—
Three Teeth drawn at once ! —frightful !—Your Sister Diana seems almost
as ill as possible, but those 3 Teeth of
your Sister Susan's, are more distressing than all the rest.— " " Oh !—
they are so used to the operation—to
every operation—& have such Fortitude !— " " Your Sisters know what
they are about, I dare say, but their
Measures seem to touch on Extremes.

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—I feel that in any illness, I should be so anxious for Professional advice, so very little venturesome for myself, or any body I loved !—But then, we have been so healthy a family, that I can be no Judge of what the habit of self-doctoring may do.— " " Why to own the truth, said Mrs P.—I do think the Miss Parkers carry it too far sometimes—& so do you my Love, you know.— You often think they wd be better, if they wd leave themselves more alone— & especially Arthur. I know you think it a great pity they shd give him such a turn for being ill.— " " Well, well— my dear Mary—I grant you, it is unfortunate for poor Arthur, that, at his time of Life he shd be encouraged to give way to Indisposition. It is bad; —it is bad that he should be fancying himself too sickly for any Profession— & sit down at 1 & 20, on the interest

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of his own little Fortune, without any idea of attempting to improve it, or of engaging in any occupation that may be of use to himself or others.— But let us talk of pleasanter things.— These two large Families are just what we wanted—But—here is something at hand, pleasanter still—Morgan, with his " Dinner on Table."—

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CHAPTER 6.

The Party were very soon moving after Dinner. Mr P. could not be satisfied without an early visit to the Library, & the Library Subscription book, & Charlotte was glad to see as much, & as quickly as possible, where all was new. They were out in the very quietest part of a Watering-place Day, when the important Business of Dinner or of sitting after Dinner was going on in almost every inhabited Lodging;— here & there a solitary Elderly Man might be seen, who was forced to move early & walk for health—but in general, it was a thorough pause of Company, it was Emptiness & Tranquillity on the

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Terrace, the Cliffs, & the Sands.—The
Shops were deserted—the Straw Hats
& pendant Lace seemed left to their
fate both within the House & without,
and Mrs Whitby at the Library was
sitting in her inner room, reading one
of her own Novels, for want of Employment.—The List of Subscribers was
but commonplace. The Lady Denham, Miss Brereton, Mr & Mrs P Sir Edw: Denham & Miss Denham, whose names might be said to lead off the Season, were followed by nothing better than — Mrs Mathews — Miss Mathews, Miss E. Mathews, Miss H. Mathews.—Dr & Mrs Brown—Mr Richard Pratt.—Lieut: Smith R.N. Capt: Little,—Limehouse.—Mrs Jane Fisher. Miss Fisher. Miss Scroggs.— Rev: Mr Hanking. Mr Beard—Solicitor, Grays Inn.—Mrs Davis. & Miss Merry-weather.—Mr P. could not but feel that

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the List was not only without Distinction, but less numerous than he had hoped. It was but July however, & August & September were the Months ; —And besides, the promised large Families from Surry & Camberwell, were an ever-ready consolation.—Mrs Whitby came forward without delay from her Literary recess, delighted to see Mr Parker again, whose manners recommended him to every body, & they were fully occupied in their various Civilities & Communications, while Charlotte having added her name to the List as the first offering to the success of the Season, was busy in some immediate purchases for the further good of Everybody, as soon as Miss Whitby could be hurried down from her Toilette, with all her glossy curls & smart Trinkets to wait on her. —The Library of course, afforded every

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thing; all the useless things in the World that cd not be done without, & among so many pretty Temptations, & with so much good will for Mr P. to encourage Expenditure, Charlotte began to feel that she must check herself—or rather she reflected that at two & Twenty there cd be no excuse for her doing otherwise—& that it wd not do for her to be spending all her Money the very first Evening; She took up a Book; it happened to be a vol: of Camilla. She had not Camilla's Youth, & had no intention of having her Distress,—so, she turned from the Drawers of rings & Broches repressed farther solicitation & paid for what she bought.—For her particular gratification, they were then to take a Turn on the Cliff—but as they quitted the Library they were met by two Ladies whose arrival made an alteration necessary-

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Lady Denham & Miss Brereton.
—They had been to Trafalgar House,
& been directed thence to the Library,
& though Lady D. was a great deal too
active to regard the walk of a mile as
any thing requiring rest, & talked of
going home again directly, the Parkers
knew that to be pressed into their
House, & obliged to take her Tea with
them, would suit her best,—& therefore the stroll on the Cliff gave way to
an immediate return home.—" No, no,
said her Ladyship—I will not have
you hurry your Tea on my account.—
I know you like your Tea late.—My
early hours are not to put my Neighbours to inconvenience. No, no, Miss
Clara & I will get back to our own
Tea.—We came out with no other
Thought.—We wanted just to see you
& make sure of your being really
come—, but we get back to our own

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Tea."—She went on however towards Trafalgar House & took possession of the Drawing room very quietly—without seeming to hear a word of Mrs P.'s orders to the Servant as they entered, to bring Tea directly. Charlotte was fully consoled for the loss of her walk, by finding herself in company with those, whom the conversation of the morng had given her a great curiosity to see. She observed them well.— Lady D. was of middle height, stout, upright & alert in her motions, with a shrewd eye, & self-satisfied air—but not an unagreable Countenance-—& tho' her manner was rather downright & abrupt, as of a person who valued herself on being free-spoken, there was a good humour & cordiality about her —a civility & readiness to be acquainted with Charlotte herself, & a heartiness of welcome towards her old friends,

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which was inspiring the Good will, she seemed to feel;—And as for Miss Brereton, her appearance so completely justified Mr P.'s praise that Charlotte thought she had never beheld a more lovely, or more Interesting young Woman.—Elegantly tall, regularly handsome, with great delicacy of complexion & soft Blue eyes, a sweetly modest & yet naturally graceful Address, Charlotte could see in her only the most perfect representation of whatever Heroine might be most beautiful & bewitching, in all the numerous vol:s they had left behind them on Mrs Whitby's shelves.—Perhaps it might be partly oweing to her having just issued from a Circulating Library—but she cd not separate the idea of a complete Heroine from Clara Brereton. Her situation with Lady Denham so very much in favour of it!

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—She seemed placed with her on purpose to be ill-used. Such Poverty & Dependance joined to such Beauty & Merit, seemed to leave no choice in the business.—These feelings were not the result of any spirit of Romance in Charlotte herself. No, she was a very sober-minded young Lady, sufficiently well-read in Novels to supply her Imagination with amusement, but not at all unreasonably influenced by them; & while she pleased herself the first 5 minutes with fancying the Persecutions which ought to be the Lot of the interesting Clara, especially in the form of the most barbarous conduct on Lady Denham's side, she found no reluctance to admit from subsequent observation, that they appeared to be on very comfortable Terms.—She cd see nothing worse in Lady Denham, than the sort of  old fashioned  formality  of  always

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calling her Miss Clara—nor anything objectionable in the degree of observance & attention which Clara paid.— On one side it seemed protecting kindness, on the other grateful & affectionate respect.—The Conversation turned entirely upon Sanditon, its present number of Visitants & the Chances of a good Season. It was evident that Lady D. had more anxiety, more fears of loss, than her Coadjutor. She wanted to have the Place fill faster, & seemed to have many harassing apprehensions of the Lodgings being in some instances underlet.— Miss Diana Parker's two large Families were not forgotten. " Very good, very good, said her Ladyship.—A West Indy Family & a school. That sounds well. That will bring Money."—" No people spend more freely, I beleive, than W. Indians." observed Mr Parker.—"Aye

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—so I have heard—and because they have full Purses, fancy themselves equal, may be, to your old Country Families. But then, they who scatter their Money so freely, never think of whether they may not be doing mischeif by raising the price of Things— And I have heard that's very much the case with your West-injines—and if they come among us to raise the price of our necessaries of Life, we shall not much thank them Mr Parker." —" My dear Madam, They can only raise the price of consumeable Articles, by such an extraordinary Demand for them & such a diffusion of Money among us, as must do us more Good than harm.—Our Butchers & Bakers & Traders in general cannot get rich without bringing Prosperity to us.—If they do not gain, our rents must be insecure—&  in proportion to their

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profit must be ours eventually in the increased value of our Houses." " Oh ! —well.—But I should not like to have Butcher's meat raised, though—& I shall keep it down as long as I can.—-Aye—that young Lady smiles I see ; —I dare say she thinks me an odd sort of a Creature,—but she will come to care about such matters herself in time. Yes, Yes, my Dear, depend upon it, you will be thinking of the price of Butcher's meat in time—tho' you may not happen to have quite such a Servants Hall full to feed, as I have.— And I do beleive those are best off, that have fewest Servants.—I am not a Woman of Parade, as all the World knows, & if it was not for what I owe to poor Mr Hollis's memory, I should never keep up Sanditon House as I do ; —it is not for my own pleasure.—Well Mr Parker—and the other is a Boarding

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school, a French Boarding School, is it ?—No harm in that.—They'll stay their six weeks.—And out of such a number, who knows but some may be consumptive & want Asses milk—& I have two Milch asses at this present time.—But perhaps the little Misses may hurt the Furniture.—I hope they will have a good sharp Governess to look after them.— " Poor Mr Parker got no more credit from Lady D. than he had from his Sisters, for the Object which had taken him to Willingden. " Lord ! my dear Sir, she cried, how could you think of such a thing ? I am very sorry you met with your accident, but upon my word you deserved it.—Going after a Doctor !— Why, what shd we do with a Doctor here ? It wd be only encouraging our Servants & the Poor to fancy themselves ill, if there was a Dr at hand.—

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Oh ! pray, let us have none of the Tribe
at Sanditon. We go on very well as we
are. There is the Sea & the Downs &
my Milch-asses—& I have told MrsWhitby that if any body enquires for
a Chamber-Horse, they may be supplied at a fair rate—(poor Mr Hollis's
Chamber-Horse, as good as new)—
and what can People want for more ?—
Here have I lived 70 good years in the
world & never took Physic above twice
—and never saw the face of a Doctor
in all my Life, on my own account.—
And I verily beleive if my poor dear
Sir Harry had never seen one neither,
he wd have been alive now.—Ten fees,
one after another, did the Man take
who sent him out of the World.—
I beseech you Mr Parker, no Doctors
here."—The Tea things were brought
in.—" Oh ! my dear Mrs Parker—you
should not indeed—why would you do

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so ? I was just upon the point of
wishing you good Evening. But since
you are so very neighbourly, I beleive
Miss Clara & I must stay."

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CHAPTER 7.

 

The popularity of the Parkers brought them some visitors the very next morning ;—amongst them, Sir Edwd Denham & his Sister, who having been at Sanditon H— drove on to pay their Compliments; & the duty of Letter-writing being accomplished, Charlotte was settled with Mrs P.— in the Drawing room in time to see them all.—The Denhams were the only ones to excite particular attention. Charlotte was glad to complete her knowledge of the family by an introduction to them, & found them, the better half at least— (for while single, the Gentleman may sometimes be thought the better half,

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of the pair)—not unworthy notice.— Miss D. was a fine young woman, but cold & reserved, giving the idea of one who felt her consequence with Pride & her Poverty with Discontent, & who was immediately gnawed by the want of an handsomer Equipage than the simple Gig in which they travelled, & which their Groom was leading about still in her sight.—Sir Edwd was much her superior in air & manner;—certainly handsome, but yet more to be remarked for his very good address & wish of paying attention & giving pleasure.—He came into the room remarkably well, talked much—& very much to Charlotte, by whom he chanced to be placed—& she soon perceived that he had a fine Countenance, a most pleasing gentleness of Voice, & a great deal of Conversation. She liked him.— Sober-minded as she was, she thought

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him agreable, & did not quarrel with the suspicion of his finding her equally so, which would arise from his evidently disregarding his Sister's motion to go, & persisting in his station & his discourse.—I make no apologies for my Heroine's vanity.—If there are young Ladies in the World at her time of Life, more dull of Fancy & more careless of pleasing, I know them not, & never wish to know them.—At last, from the low French windows of the Drawing room which commanded the road & all the Paths across the Down, Charlotte  &  Sir  Edw: as they sat, could not but observe Lady D. & Miss B. walking by—& there was instantly a slight change in Sir Edw:'s countenance—with  an  anxious  glance after them as they proceeded—followed by an early proposal to his Sister—not merely for moving, but for walking

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on  together to the Terrace—which altogether gave an hasty turn to Charlotte's fancy, cured her of her halfhour's fever, & placed her in a more capable state of judging, when Sir Edw: was gone, of how agreable he had actually been.—" Perhaps there was a good deal in his Air & Address; And his Title did him no harm."   She was very soon in his company again. The first object of the Parkers, when their House was cleared of morng  visitors was to get out themselves;— the Terrace was the attraction to all;—Every body who walked, must begin with the Terrace, & there, seated on one of the two Green Benches by the Gravel walk, they found the united Denham Party ;—but though united in the Gross, very distinctly divided again —the two superior Ladies being at one end of the bench, & Sir Edw: & Miss B.

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at the other.—Charlotte's first glance told her that Sir Edw:'s air was that of a Lover.—There could be no doubt of his Devotion to Clara.—How Clara received it, was less obvious—but she was inclined to think not very favourably; for tho' sitting thus apart with him (which probably she might not have been able to prevent) her air was calm & grave.—That the young Lady at the other end of the Bench was doing Penance, was indubitable. The difference in Miss Denham's countenance, the change from Miss Denham sitting in cold Grandeur in Mrs Parker's Drawg-room to be kept from silence by the efforts of others, to Miss D. at Lady D.'s Elbow, listening & talking with smiling attention or solicitous eagerness, was very striking—and very amusing—or very melancholy, just as Satire or Morality might prevail.—

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Miss Denham's Character was pretty well decided with Charlotte. Sir Edward's required longer Observation. He surprised her by quitting Clara immediately on their all joining & agreeing to walk, & by addressing his attentions entirely to herself.— Stationing himself close by her, he seemed to mean to detach her as much as possible from the rest of the Party & to give her the whole of his Conversation. He began, in a tone of great Taste & Feeling, to talk of the Sea & the Sea shore—& ran with Energy through all the usual Phrases employed in praise of their Sublimity, & descriptive of the undescribable Emotions they excite in the Mind of Sensibility.—The terrific Grandeur of the Ocean in a Storm, its glassy surface in a calm, it's Gulls & its Samphire, & the deep fathoms of it's Abysses, it's quick

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vicissitudes, it's direful Deceptions, it's
Mariners tempting it in Sunshine &
overwhelmed by thesudden Tempest,
All were eagerly & fluently touched ;—
rather commonplace perhaps—but
doing very well from the Lips of a handsome Sir Edward,—and she cd not but
think him a Man of Feeling—till he
began to stagger her by the number of
his Quotations, & the bewilderment of
some of his sentences.—" Do you remember, said he, Scott's beautiful Lines
on the Sea ?—Oh ! what a description
they convey !—They are never out of
my Thoughts when I walk here.—
That Man who can read them unmoved
must have the nerves of an Assassin !—
Heaven defend me from meeting such
a Man un-armed."—" What description
do you mean ?—said Charlotte. I remember none at this moment, of the
Sea, in either of Scott's Poems."—

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" Do not you indeed ?—Nor can I exactly recall the beginning at this moment—But—you cannot have forgotten his description of Woman.—

" Oh!    Woman   in   our  Hours   of Ease—

"Delicious ! Delicious !—Had he written nothing more, he wd have been Immortal. And then again, that unequalled, unrivalled address to Parental affection—

" Some feelings are to Mortals given With less of Earth in them than Heaven " &c

But while we are on the subject of Poetry, what think you Miss H. of Burns Lines to his Mary?"— " Oh ! there is Pathos to madden one ! —If ever there was a Man who felt, it was Burns.—Montgomery has all the Fire of Poetry, Wordsworth has the true soul of it—Campbell in his pleasures

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of  Hope has touched the extreme of our Sensations—" Like Angel's visits, few & far between." Can you conceive any thing more subduing, more melting, more fraught with the deep Sublime than that Line ?—But Burns—I confess my sence of his Pre-eminence Miss H.—If Scott has a fault, it is the want of Passion.—Tender, Elegant, Descriptive—but Tame.—The Man who cannot do justice to the attributes of Woman is my contempt.—Sometimes indeed a flash of feeling seems to irradiate him—as in the Lines we were speaking of—" Oh ! Woman in our hours of Ease "—. But Burns is always on fire.—His Soul was the Altar in which lovely Woman sat enshrined, his Spirit truly breathed the immortal Incence which is her Due.— " " I have read several of Burn's Poems with great delight, said Charlotte as soon as

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she had time to speak, but I am not poetic enough to separate a Man's Poetry entirely from his Character;— & poor Burns's known Irregularities, greatly interrupt my enjoyment of his Lines.—I have difficulty in depending on the Truth of his Feelings as a Lover. I have not faith in the sincerity of the affections of a Man of his Description. He felt & he wrote & he forgot." " Oh ! no no—exclaimed Sir Edw: in an extasy. He was all ardour & Truth ! —His Genius & his Susceptibilities might lead him into some Aberrations —But who is perfect ?—It were Hyper-criticism, it were Pseudo-philosophy to expect from the soul of high toned Genius, the grovellings of a common mind.—The Coruscations of Talent, elicited by impassioned feeling in the breast of Man, are perhaps incompatible   with   some   of   the   prosaic

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Decencies of Life;—nor can you, loveliest Miss Heywood—(speaking with an air of deep sentiment)—nor can any Woman be a fair Judge of what a Man may be propelled to say, write or do, by the sovereign impulses of illimitable Ardour." This was very fine ;—but if Charlotte understood it at all, not very moral—& being moreover by no means pleased with his extraordinary stile of compliment, she gravely answered " I really know nothing of the matter.—This is a charming day. The Wind I fancy must be Southerly." " Happy, happy Wind, to engage Miss Heywood's Thoughts !— " She began to think him downright silly.—His chusing to walk with her, she had learnt to understand. It was done to pique Miss Brereton. She had read it, in an anxious glance or two on his side-but

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but why he shd talk so much Nonsense, unless he could do no better, was unintelligible.—He seemed very sentimental, very full of some Feelings or other, & very much addicted to all the newest-fashioned hard words—had not a very clear Brain she presumed, & talked a good deal by rote.—The Future might explain him further— but when there was a proposition for going into the Library she felt that she had had quite enough of Sir Edw: for one morng, & very gladly accepted Lady D.'s invitation of remaining on the Terrace with her.—The others all left them, Sir Edw: with looks of very gallant despair in tearing himself away, & they united their agreableness—that is, Lady Denham like a true great Lady, talked & talked only of her own concerns, & Charlotte listened—amused in  considering  the  contrast between

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her two companions.—Certainly, there was no strain of doubtful Sentiment, nor any phrase of difficult interpretation in Lady D's discourse. Taking hold of Charlotte's arm with the ease of one who felt that any notice from her was an Honour, & communicative, from the influence of the same conscious Importance or a natural love of talking, she immediately said in a tone of great satisfaction—& with a look of arch sagacity—" Miss Esther wants me to invite her & her Brother to spend a week with me at Sanditon House, as I did last Summer—But I shan't.— She has been trying to get round me every way, with her praise of this, & her praise of that; but I saw what she was about.—I saw through it all.— I am not very easily taken-in my Dear." Charlotte cd think of nothing more harmless to be said, than the

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simple enquiry of—" Sir Edward & Miss Denham ? "—" Yes, my Dear. My young Folks, as I call them sometimes, for I take them very much by the hand. I had them with me last Summer about this time, for a week ; from Monday to Monday; and very delighted & thankful they were.—For they are very good young People my Dear. I wd not have you think that I only notice them, for poor dear Sir Harry's sake. No, no; they are very deserving themselves, or trust me, they wd not be so much in my Company.—I am not the Woman to help any body blindfold.—I always take care to know what I am about & who I have to deal with, before I stir a finger.—I do not think I was ever over-reached in my Life; & That is a good deal for a Woman to say that has been married twice.—Poor dear Sir Harry (between

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ourselves) thought at first to have got
more.—But (with a bit of a sigh) He
is gone, & we must not find fault with
the Dead. Nobody could live happier
together than us—& he was a very
honourable Man, quite the Gentleman
of ancient Family.—And when he died,
I gave Sir Edwd his Gold Watch.—"
She said this with a look at her Companion which implied it's right to produce a great Impression—& seeing no
rapturous astonishment in Charlottes
countenance, added quickly—" He did
not bequeath it to his Nephew, my
dear—It was no bequest. It was not
in the Will. He only told me, & that
but once, that he shd wish his Nephew
to have his Watch; but it need not
have been binding, if I had not chose
it.—" " Very kind indeed ! very
Handsome ! "—said Charlotte, absolutely forced to affect admiration.—

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" Yes, my dear—& it is not the only kind thing I have done by him.—I have been a very liberal friend to Sir Edwd, And poor young Man, he needs it bad enough;—For though I am only the Dowager my Dear, & he is the Heir, things do not stand between us in the way they commonly do between those two parties.—Not a shilling do I receive from the Denham Estate. Sir Edw: has no Payments to make me. He don't stand uppermost, beleive me. —It is I that help him" " Indeed !— He is a very fine young Man;—particularly Elegant in his Address."— This was said cheifly for the sake of saying something—but Charlotte directly saw that it was laying her open to suspicion by Lady D's giving a shrewd glance at her & replying— Yes, yes, he is very well to look at —& it is to be hoped some Lady of

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large fortune will think so—for Sir Edwd must marry for Money.—He & I often talk that matter over.—A handsome young fellow like him, will go smirking & smiling about & paying girls compliments, but he knows he must marry for Money.—And Sir Edw: is a very steady young Man in the main, & has got very good notions." " Sir Edw: Denham, said Charlotte, with such personal Advantages may be almost sure of getting a Woman of fortune, if he chuses it."—This glorious sentiment seemed quite to remove suspicion. " Aye my Dear—That's very sensibly said cried Lady D— And if we cd but get a young Heiress to S ! But Heiresses are monstrous scarce! I do not think we have had an Heiress here, or even a Co—since Sanditon has been a public place. Families come  after Families,  but  as  far  as

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1 can learn, it is not one in an hundred of them that have any real Property, Landed or Funded.—An Income perhaps, but no Property. Clergymen may be, or Lawyers from Town, or Half pay officers, or Widows with only a Jointure. And what good can such people do anybody?—except just as they  take our empty   Houses—and (between ourselves) I think they are great fools for not staying at home. Now, if we could get a young Heiress to be sent here for her health—(and if she was ordered to drink asses milk I could supply her)—and as soon as she got well, have her fall in love with Sir Edward ! "—" That would be very fortunate indeed."   " And Miss Esther must marry somebody of fortune too— She must get a rich Husband. Ah ! young Ladies that have no Money are very much to be pitied !—But—after

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a short pause—if Miss Esther thinks to talk me into inviting them to come & stay at Sanditon House, she will find herself mistaken.—Matters are altered with me since last Summer you know—. I have Miss Clara with me now, which makes a great difference." She spoke this so seriously that Charlotte instantly saw in it the evidence of real penetration & prepared for some fuller remarks—but it was followed only by— " I have no fancy for having my House as full as an Hotel. I should not chuse to have my 2 Housemaids Time taken up all the morn8, in dusting out Bed rooms.—They have Miss Clara's room to put to rights as well as my own every day.—If they had hard Places, they would want Higher Wages.—" For objections of this Nature, Charlotte was not prepared, & she found it so impossible even to affect simpathy,

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that she cd say nothing.—Lady D. soon added, with great glee—" And besides all this my Dear, am I to be filling my House to the prejudice of Sanditon ?—If People want to be by the Sea, why dont they take Lodgings ? —Here are a great many empty Houses —3 on this very Terrace; no fewer than three Lodging Papers staring me in the face at this very moment, Numbers 3, 4 & 8. 8, the Corner House may be too large for them, but either of the two others are nice little snug Houses, very fit for a young Gentleman & his sister—And so, my dear, the next time Miss Esther begins talking about the Dampness of Denham Park, & the Good Bathing always does her, I shall advise them to come & take one of these Lodgings for a fortnight.— Don't you think that will be very fair ? —Charity begins at home you know."—

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Charlotte's feelings were divided between amusement & indignation—but indignation had the larger & the increasing share.—She kept her Countenance & she kept a civil Silence. She could not carry her forbearance farther; but without attempting to listen longer, & only conscious that Lady D. was still talking on in the same way, allowed her Thoughts to form themselves into such a Meditation as this.—" She is thoroughly mean. I had not expected any thing so bad.—Mr. P. spoke too mildly of her.—His Judgement is evidently not to be trusted.—His own Goodnature misleads him. He is too kind hearted to see clearly.—I must judge for myself.—And their very connection prejudices him.—He has persuaded her to engage in the same Speculation—& because their object in that Line is the same, he fancies she

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feels like him in others.—But she is very, very mean.—I can see no Good in her.—PoorMiss Brereton!—And she makes every body mean about her.— This poor Sir Edward & his Sister,— how far Nature meant them to be respectable I cannot tell,—but they are obliged to be Mean in their Servility to her.—And I am Mean too, in giving her my attention, with the appearance of coinciding with her.—Thus it is, when Rich People are Sordid."—

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CHAPTER 8.

The two Ladies continued walking together till rejoined by the others, who as they issued from the Library were followed by a young Whitby running off with 5 vols, under his arm to Sir Edward's Gig—and Sir Edw: approaching Charlotte, said " You may perceive what has been our Occupation. My Sister wanted my Counsel in the selection of some books.—We have many leisure hours, & read a great deal.—I am no indiscriminate Novel-Reader. The mere Trash of the common Circulating Library, I hold in the highest contempt. You will never hear me advocating those puerile Emanations which detail nothing but

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discordant Principles incapable of Amalgamation, or those vapid tissues of ordinary Occurrences from which no useful Deductions can be drawn.—In vain may we put them into a literary Alembic;—we distil nothing which can add to Science.—You understand me I am sure ? " " I am not quite certain that I do.—But if you will describe the sort of Novels which you do approve, I dare say it will give me a clearer idea." " Most willingly, Fair Questioner.— The Novels which I approve are such as display Human Nature with Gran­deur—such as shew her in the Sublimi­ties of intense Feeling—such as exhibit the progress of strong Passion from the first Germ of incipient Suscepti­bility to the utmost Energies of Reason half-dethroned,—where we see the strong spark of Woman's Captivations elicit such Fire in the Soul of Man as

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leads him—(though at the risk of some Aberration from the strict line of Primi­tive Obligations)—to hazard all, dare all, atcheive all, to obtain her.—Such are the Works which I peruse with delight, & I hope I may say, with amelioration. They hold forth the most splendid Portraitures of high Conceptions, Unbounded Veiws, illimi­table Ardour, indomptible Decision— and even when the Event is mainly anti-prosperous to the high-toned Machinations of the prime Character, the potent, pervading Hero of the Story, it leaves us full of Generous Emotions for him;—our Hearts are paralized—. T'were Pseudo-Philosophy to assert that we do not feel more enwraped by the brilliancy of his Career, than by the tranquil & morbid Virtues of any opposing Character. Our approbation of the Latter is but

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Eleemosynary.—These are the Novels which enlarge the primitive Capabilities of the Heart, & which it cannot impugn the Sense or be any Dereliction of the character, of the most anti-puerile Man, to be conversant with."—" If I understand you aright—said Char­lotte—our taste in Novels is not at all the same." And here they were obliged to part—Miss D. being too much tired of them all, to stay any longer.—The truth was that Sir Edw: whom circum­stances had confined very much to one spot had read more sentimental Novels than agreed with him. His fancy had been early caught by all the impas­sioned, & most exceptionable parts of Richardsons ; & such Authors as have since appeared to tread in Richard­son's steps, so far as Man's determined pursuit of Woman in defiance of every opposition of feeling & convenience is

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concerned, had since occupied the greater part of his literary hours, & formed his Character.—With a per­versity of Judgement, which must be attributed to his not having by Nature a very strong head, the Graces, the Spirit, the Sagacity, & the Persever­ance, of the Villain of the Story out­weighed all his absurdities & all his Atrocities with Sir Edward. With him, such Conduct was Genius, Fire & Feel­ing.—It interested & inflamed him; & he was always more anxious for its Success & mourned over its Discom­fitures with more Tenderness than cd ever have been contemplated by the Authors.—Though he owed many of his ideas to this sort of reading, it were unjust to say that he read nothing else, or that his Language were not formed on a more general Knowledge of modern Literature.—He read all the

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Essays, Letters, Tours & Criticisms of the day—& with the same ill-luck which made him derive only false Prin­ciples from Lessons of Morality, & incentives to Vice from the History of it's Overthrow, he gathered only hard words & involved sentences from the style of our most approved Writers.— Sir Edw:'s great object in life was to be seductive.—With such personal advantages as he knew himself to pos­sess, & such Talents as he did also give himself credit for, he regarded it as his Duty.—He felt that he was formed to be a dangerous Man—quite in the line of the Lovelaces.—The very name of Sir Edward he thought, carried some degree of fascination with it.—To be generally gallant & assiduous about the fair, to make fine speeches to every pretty Girl, was but the inferior part of the Character he had to play.—

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Miss Heywood, or any other young Woman with any pretensions to Beauty, he was entitled (according to his own veiws of Society) to approach with high Compliment & Rhapsody on the slightest acquaintance; but it was Clara alone on whom he had serious designs ; it was Clara whom he meant to seduce.—Her seduction was quite determined on. Her Situation in every way called for it. She was his rival in Lady D.'s favour, she was young, lovely & dependant.—He had very early seen the necessity of the case, & had now been long trying with cautious assiduity to make an impres­sion on her heart, and to undermine her Principles.—Clara saw through him, & had not the least intention of being seduced—but she bore with him patiently enough to confirm the sort of attachment   which her personal

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Charms had raised.—A greater degree of discouragement indeed would not have affected Sir Edw:—. He was armed against the highest pitch of Disdain or Aversion.—If she could not be won by affection, he must carry her off. He knew his Business.—Already had he had many Musings on the Sub­ject. If he were constrained so to act, he must naturally wish to strike out something new, to exceed those who had gone before him—and he felt a strong curiosity to ascertain whether the Neighbourhood of Tombuctoo might not afford some solitary House adapted for Clara's reception;—but the Expence alas ! of Measures in that masterly style was ill-suited to his Purse, & Prudence obliged him to prefer the quietest sort of ruin & dis­grace for the object of his Affections, to the more renowned.—

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CHAPTER 9.

 

Oneday, soon after Charlotte's arrival at Sanditon, she had the pleasure of seeing just as she ascended from the Sands to the Terrace, a Gentleman's Carriage with Post Horses standing at the door of the Hotel, as very lately arrived, & by the quantity of Luggage
taking off, bringing it might be hoped, some respectable family determined on a long residence.—Delighted to have such good news for Mr & Mrs P., who had both gone home some time before, she proceeded for Trafalgar House with as much alacrity as could remain, after having been contending for the last 2 hours with a very fine wind blowing

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directly on shore; but she had not reached the little Lawn, when she saw a Lady walking nimbly behind her at no great distance ; and convinced that it could be no acquaintance of her own, she resolved to hurry on & get into the House if possible before her. But the Stranger's pace did not allow this to be accomplished;—Charlotte was on the steps & had rung, but the door was not opened, when the other crossed the Lawn;—and when the Servant appeared, they were just equally ready for entering the House. —The ease of the Lady, her " How do you do Morgan ?— " & Morgan's Looks on seeing her, were a moment's astonish­ment—but another moment brought Mr P. into the Hall to welcome the Sister he had seen from the Drawg room, and she was soon introduced to Miss Diana Parker.   There was a great

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deal of surprise but still more pleasure in seeing her.—Nothing cd be kinder than her reception from both Husband and Wife. " How did she come ? & with whom ?—And they were so glad to find her equal to the Journey !—And that she was to belong to them, was a thing of course." Miss Diana P. was about 4 & 30, of middling height & slender;— delicate looking rather than sickly; with an agreable face, & a very ani­mated eye ;—her manners resembling her Brother's in their ease & frankness, though with more decision & less mild­ness in her Tone. She began an account of herself without delay.—Thanking them for their Invitation, but "that was quite out of the question, for they were all three come, & meant to get into Lodgings & make some stay."— " All three come !—What!—Susan & Arthur !—Susan able to come too !—

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This was better & better." " Yes— we are actually all come. Quite un­avoidable.—Nothing else to be done. —You shall hear all about it.—But my dear Mary, send for the Children ;— I long to see them."—" And how has Susan born the Journey ?—& how is Arthur ?—& why do not we see him here with you ? "—" Susan has born it wonderfully. She had not a wink of sleep either the night before we set out, or last night at Chichester, and as this is not so common with her as with me, I have had a thousand fears for her—but she has kept up wonderfully. —had no Hysterics of consequence till we came within sight of poor old Sanditon—and the attack was not very violent—nearly over by the time we reached your Hotel—so that we got her out of the Carriage extremely well, with only Mr Woodcock's assistance—

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& when I left her she was directing the Disposal of the Luggage, & helping old Sam uncord the Trunks.—She desired her best Love, with a thousand regrets at being so poor a Creature that she cd not come with me.  And as for poor Arthur, he wd not have been unwilling himself, but there is so much Wind that I did not think he cd safely venture,—for I am sure there is Lum­bago hanging about him—and so I helped him on with his  great  Coat & sent him off to the Terrace, to take us Lodgings.—Miss   Heywood must have seen our Carriage standing at the Hotel,—I knew Miss Heywood the moment I saw her before me on the Down.—My dear Tom I am glad to see you walk so well.  Let me feel your Ancle.—That's right; all right & clean. The play of your Sinews a very little   affected:—barely percep­tible

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tible.—Well—now for the explanation of my being here.—I told you in my Letter, of the two considerable Fami­lies, I was hoping to secure for you— the West Indians, & the Seminary.— " Here Mr P. drew his Chair still nearer to his Sister, & took her hand again most affectionately as he answered " Yes, Yes;—How active & how kind you have been ! "—" The West-indians, she continued, whom I look upon as the most desirable of the two —as the Best of the Good—prove to be a Mrs Griffiths & her family. I know them only through others.—You must have heard me mention Miss Capper, the particular friend of my very par­ticular friend Fanny Noyce;—now, Miss Capper is extremely intimate with a Mrs Darling, who is on terms of con­stant correspondence with Mrs Griffiths herself.—Only a short chain, you see,

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between us, & not a Link wanting. Mrs G. meant to go to the Sea, for her Young People's benefit—had fixed on the coast of Sussex, but was undecided as to the where, wanted something Private, & wrote to ask the opinion of her friend Mrs Darling.—Miss Capper happened to be staying with Mrs D. when Mrs G.'s Letter arrived, & was consulted on the question; she wrote the same day to Fanny Noyce and mentioned it to her—& Fanny all alive for us, instantly took up her pen & forwarded the circumstance to me— except as to Names—which have but lately transpired.—There was but one thing for me to do.—I answered Fanny's Letter by the same Post & pressed for the recommendation of Sanditon. Fanny had feared your having no house large enough to receive such a Family.—But  I  seem to be

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spinning out my story to an endless length.—You see how it was all managed. I had the pleasure of hear­ing soon afterwards by the same simple link of connection that Sanditon had been recommended by Mrs Darling, & that the Westindians were very much disposed to go thither.—This was the state of the case when I wrote to you ; —but two days ago;—yes, the day before yesterday—I heard again from Fanny Noyce, saying that she had heard from Miss Capper, who by a Letter from Mrs Darling understood that Mrs G.— has expressed herself in a letter to Mrs D. more doubtingly on the subject of Sanditon.—Am I clear ? —I would be anything rather than not clear." — " Oh ! perfectly, perfectly. Well ? "—" The reason of this hesita­tion, was her having no connections in the place, & no means of ascertaining

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that she should have good accomodations on arriving there;—and she was particularly careful & scrupulous on all those matters more on account of a certain Miss Lambe a young Lady (probably a Neice) under her care, than on her own account or her Daughters.—Miss Lambe has an immense fortune—richer than all the rest—& very delicate health.—One sees clearly enough by all this, the sort of Woman  Mrs G. must be—as helpless & indolent, as Wealth & a Hot Climate are apt to make us. But we are not all born to equal Energy.—What was to be done ?—I had a few moments indecision;—Whether to offer to write to you,—or to Mrs Whitby to secure them a House ?—but neither pleased me.—I hate to employ others, when I am equal to act myself—and my conscience told me that this was an occasion which called

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for me. Here was a family of helpless Invalides whom I might essentially serve.—I sounded Susan—the same Thought had occurred to her.—Arthur made no difficulties—our plan was arranged immediately, we were off yesterday morng at 6—, left Chichester at the same hour today—& here we are.— " " Excellent!—Excellent !— cried Mr Parker.—Diana, you are un-equal'd in serving your friends & doing Good to all the World.—I know nobody like you.—Mary, my Love, is not she a wonderful Creature ?—Well—and now, what House do you design to engage for them ?—What is the size of their family ?— " " I do not at all know—replied his Sister—have not the least idea;—never heard any par­ticulars ;—but I am very sure that the largest house at Sanditon cannot be too large.    They are more likely to

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want a second.—I shall take only one however, & that, but for a week cer­tain.—Miss Heywood, I astonish you.— You hardly know what to make of me. —I see by your Looks, that you are not used to such quick measures."— The words " Unaccountable Officiousness !—Activity run mad ! "—had just passed through Charlotte's mind—but a civil answer was easy. " I dare say I do look surprised, said she—because these are very great exertions, & I know what Invalides both you & your Sister are." " Invalides indeed.—I trust there are not three People in England who have so sad a right to that appellation ! —But my dear Miss Heywood, we are sent into this World to be as exten­sively useful as possible, & where some degree of Strength of Mind is given, it is not a feeble body which will excuse us—or incline us to excuse ourselves.—

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The World is pretty much divided between the Weak of Mind & the Strong —between those who can act & those who can not, & it is the bounden Duty of the Capable to let no opportunity of being useful escape them.—My Sister's Complaints & mine are happily not often of a Nature, to threaten Exist­ence immediately—& as long as we can exert ourselves to be of use of others, I am convinced that the Body is the better, for the refreshment the Mind receives in doing it's Duty.—While I have been travelling, with this object in veiw, I have been perfectly well."— The entrance of the Children ended this little panegyric on her own Disposition —& after having noticed & caressed them all,—she prepared to go.—" Can­not you dine with us ?—Is not it possible to prevail on you to dine with us ? " was then the cry ; and that

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being absolutely negatived, it was " And when shall we see you again ? and how can we be of use to you ? "— and Mr P. warmly offered his assistance in taking the house for Mrs G.—" I will come to you the moment I have dined, said he, & we will go about together."—But this was immediately declined.—" No, my dear Tom, upon no account in the World, shall you stir a step on any business of mine.—Your Ancle wants rest. I see by the position of your foot, that you have used it too much already.—No, I shall go about my House-taking directly. Our Dinner is not ordered till six—& by that time I hope to have completed it. It is now only ½past 4.—As to seeing me again today—I cannot answer for it; the others will be at the Hotel all the Eveng, & delighted to see you at any time, but as soon as I get back I shall

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hear what Arthur has done about our own Lodgings, & probably the moment Dinner is over, shall be out again on business relative to them, for we hope to get into some Lodgings or other & be settled after breakfast to­morrow.—I have not much confidence in poor Arthur's skill for Lodging-taking, but he seemed to like the com­mission.— " "I think you are doing too much, said Mr P. You will knock yourself up. You shd not move again after Dinner." " No, indeed you should not. cried his wife, for Dinner is such a mere name with you all, that it can do you no good.—I know what your appetites are.— " " My appetite is very much mended I assure you lately. I have been taking some Bitters of my own decocting, which have done won­ders. Susan never eats I grant you— & just at present I shall want nothing ;

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I never eat for about a week after a Journey—but as for Arthur, he is only too much disposed for Food.  We are often obliged to check  him."— " But you have not told me any thing of the other Family coming to Sanditon, said Mr P. as he walked with her to the door of the House—the  Camberwell Seminary;  have we a good chance of them ? "        " Oh !   Certain—quite   cer­tain.—I had forgotten them for the moment, but I had a letter 3 days ago from my friend Mrs Charles Dupuis which assured me of Camberwell. Camberwell will be here to a certainty, & very soon.—That good Woman (I do not know  her name) not being so wealthy & independant as Mrs G.— can travel & chuse for herself.—I will tell you how I got at her.  Mrs Charles Dupuis lives almost next door to a Lady, who has a relation lately settled

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at Clapham, who actually attends the Seminary and gives lessons on Elo­quence and Belles Lettres to some of the Girls.—I got that Man a Hare from one of Sidney's friends—and he recommended Sanditon ;—Without my appearing however—Mrs Charles Dupuis managed it all.— "

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CHAPTER 10.

It was not a week, since Miss Diana Parker had been told by her feelings, that the SeaAirwd probably in her present state, be the death of her, and now she was at Sanditon, intending to make some Stay, & without appearing to have the slightest recollection of
having written or felt any such thing.—It was impossible for Charlotte not to suspect a good deal of fancy in such an extraordinary state of health.—Disorders & Recoveries so very much out of the common way, seemed more like the amusement of eager Minds in want of employment than of actual afflictions & releif. The Parkers, were no

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doubt a family of Imagination & quick feelings—and while the eldest Brother found vent for his superfluity of sensa­tion as a Projector, the Sisters were perhaps driven to dissipate theirs in the invention of odd complaints.— The whole of their mental vivacity was evidently not so employed; Part was laid out in a Zeal for being useful.— It should seem that they must either be very busy for the Good of others, or else extremely ill themselves. Some natural delicacy of Constitution in fact, with an unfortunate turn for Medecine, especially quack Medecine, had given them an early tendency at various times, to various Disorders ;—the rest of their sufferings was from Fancy, the love of Distinction & the love of the Wonderful.—They had Charitable hearts & many amiable feelings—but a spirit of restless activity, & the glory

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of doing more than anybody else, had their share in every exertion of Bene­volence—and there was Vanity in all they did, as well as in all they endured. —Mr & Mrs P. spent a great part of the Eveng at the Hotel; but Charlotte had only two or three veiws of Miss Diana posting over the Down after a House for this Lady whom she had never seen, & who had never employed her. She was not made acquainted with the others till the following day, when, being removed into Lodgings & all the party continuing quite well, their Brother & Sister & herself were entreated to drink tea with them.— They were in one of the Terrace Houses —& she found them arranged for the Eveng in a small neat Drawing room, with a beautiful veiw of the Sea if they had chosen it,—but though it had been a very fair English Summer-day,—not

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only was there no open window, but the Sopha & the Table, & the Estab­lishment in general was all at the other end of the room by a brisk fire.— Miss P— whom, remembering the three Teeth drawn in one day, Charlotte approached with a peculiar degree of respectful Compassion, was not very unlike her Sister in person or manner —tho' more thin & worn by Illness & Medecine, more relaxed in air, & more subdued in voice. She talked how­ever, the whole Evening as incessantly as Diana—& excepting that she sat with salts in her hand, took Drops two or three times from one, out of the several Phials already at home on the Mantlepeice,—& made a great many odd faces & contortions, Charlotte could perceive no symptoms of illness which she, in the boldness of her own good health,   wd  not  have  undertaken  to

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cure, by putting out the fire, opening the Window, & disposing of the Drops & the salts by means of one or the other. She had had considerable curio­sity to see Mr Arthur Parker: & having fancied him a very puny, delicate-looking young Man, the smallest very materially of not a robust Family, was astonished to find him quite as tall as his Brother & a great deal Stouter—Broad made & Lusty—and with no other look of an Invalide, than a sodden complexion.—Diana was evi­dently the cheif of the family; prin­cipal Mover & Actor;—-she had been on her Feet the whole Morning, on Mrs G.'s business or their own, & was still the most alert of the three.— Susan had only superintended their final removal from the Hotel, bringing two heavy Boxes herself, & Arthur had found  the  air  so  cold  that he  had

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merely walked from one House to the other as nimbly as he could,—& boasted much of sitting by the fire till he had cooked up a very good one.—Diana, whose exercise had been too domestic to admit of calculation, but who, by her own account, had not once sat down during the space of seven hours, confessed herself a little tired. She had been too successful however for much fatigue; for not only had she by walking & talking down a thousand difficulties at last secured a proper House at 8g pr week for Mrs G.—; she had also opened so many Treaties with Cooks, Housemaids, Washer­women & Bathing Women, that Mrs G. would have little more to do on her arrival, than to wave her hand & collect them around her for choice.— Her concluding effort in the cause, had been a few polite lines of Information

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to Mra G. herself—time not allowing for the circuitous train of intelligence which had been hitherto kept up,— and she was now regaling in the delight of opening the first Trenches of an acquaintance with such a powerful dis­charge of unexpected Obligation. Mr & Mrs P.— & Charlotte had seen two Post chaises crossing the Down to the Hotel as they were setting off,—a joy­ful sight—& full of speculation.—The Miss Ps— & Arthur had also seen something ;—they could distinguish from their window that there was an arrival at the Hotel, but not its amount. Their Visitors answered for two Hack-Chaises.—Could it be the Camberwell Seminary ?—No—No.—Had there been a 3d carriage, perhaps it might; but it was very generally agreed that two Hack chaises could never contain a Seminary.—Mr  P. was confident of

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another new Family.—When they were all finally seated, after some removals to look at the Sea & the Hotel, Char­lotte's place was by Arthur, who was sitting next to the Fire with a degree of Enjoyment which gave a good deal of merit to his civility in wishing her to take his Chair.—There was nothing dubious in her manner of declining it, and he sat down again with much satisfaction. She drew back her Chair to have all the advantage of his Person as a screen, & was very thankful for every inch of Back & Shoulders beyond her pre-conceived idea. Arthur was heavy in Eye as well as figure, but by no means indisposed to talk;—and while the other 4 were cheifly engaged together, he evidently felt it no penance to have a fine young Woman next to him, requiring in common Politeness some  attention—as his Br, who felt

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the decided want of some motive for action, some Powerful object of animation for him, observed with considerable pleasure.—Such was the influence of Youth & Bloom that he began even to make a sort of apology for having a Fire. " We shd not have one at home, said he, but the Sea air is always damp. I am not afraid of any thing so much as Damp.—  "I am so fortu­nate, said C. as never to know whether the air is damp or dry. It has always some property that is wholesome & invigorating to me.— " " I like the Air too, as well as any body can; replied Arthur, I am very fond of standing at an open Window when there is no Wind—but unluckily a Damp air does not like me.—It gives me the Rheumatism.— You are not rheumatic I suppose ?— " " Not at all." " That's a great blessing.—But

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perhaps you are nervous." " No— I beleive not. I have no idea that I am."—" I am very nervous.—To say the truth Nerves are the worst part of my Complaints in my opinion.—My Sisters think me Bilious, but I doubt it.— " " You are quite in the right, to doubt it as long as you possibly can, I am sure.— " " If I were Bilious, he continued, you know Wine wd disagree with me, but it always does me good.— The more Wine I drink (in Moderation) the better I am.—I am always best of an Eveng.—If you had seen me today before Dinner, you wd have thought me a very poor Creature.— " Char­lotte could beleive it—. She kept her countenance however, & said—" As far as I can understand what nervous complaints are, I have a great idea of the efficacy of air & exercise for them : —daily, regular Exercise ;—and I

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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— & mean to walk a great deal while I am here, if the Weather is temperate. I shall be out every morning before breakfast—& take several turns upon the Terrace, & you will often see me at Trafalgar House."—" But you do not call a walk to Traf: H. 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 veiwed the entrance of the Servant with the

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Tea things, as a very fortunate Inter­ruption.—It produced a great & 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 &c as there were persons in company, Miss P. drinking one sort of Herb-Tea & Miss Diana another, & turning completely to the Fire, sat coddling & cooking it to his own satisfaction & 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 & success. —When his Toils were over however, he moved back his Chair into as gallant a Line as ever, & proved that he had not been working only for himself, by his earnest invitation to her to take

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both Cocoa & 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 & stronger every Eveng"—, 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

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desire, or as he felt proper himself.— He was certainly very happy to turn the conversation on dry Toast, & 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—& 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—&

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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 & acts like a nutmeg grater.—" He could not get the command of the Butter however, without a struggle; His Sisters accusing him of eating a great deal too much, & declaring he was not to be trusted;—and he maintain­ing that he only eat enough to secure the Coats of his Stomach;—& besides, he only wanted it now for Miss Heywood.—Such a plea must prevail, he got the butter & spread away for her with an accuracy of Judgement which at least delighted himself; but when her Toast was done, & he took his own in hand, Charlotte cd hardly contain herself as she saw him watching his sisters, while he scrupulously scraped off almost as much butter as he put

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on, & then seize an odd moment for adding a great dab just before it went into his Mouth.—Certainly, Mr Arthur P.'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—& to be determined on having no Disorders but such as called for warm rooms & 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 Eveng ?—What Nerves you must have !—How I envy you.—Now, if I were to swallow only one such dish—what do you think it's effect would be upon me ?— "  " Keep

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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 wd 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 I " "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 who have studied right sides & Green Tea scientifically & thoroughly understand all the possi­bilities of their action on each other."—Soon after Tea, a Letter was brought to Miss D. P— from the Hotel.—

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" From Mrs Charles Dupuis—said she. —some private hand."—And having read a few lines,   exclaimed   aloud " Well, this is very extraordinary! very extraordinary indeed !—That both should have the same name.—Two Mrs Griffiths !—This is a Letter of recom­mendation & introduction to me,  of the Lady from Camberwell—&  her name happens to be Griffiths too.— " A few lines more however,  and the colour rushed into her Cheeks, & with much Perturbation she added—" The oddest thing that ever was !—a Miss Lambe too !—a young Westindian of large Fortune.—But it cannot be the same.—Impossible that it  should be the same."—She read the Letter aloud for comfort,—It was merely to " intro­duce the Bearer, Mrs G.— from Cam­berwell,  & the three young Ladies under her care, to Miss D. P.'s notice.—

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Mrs G.— being a stranger at Sanditon, was anxious for a respectable Intro­duction—& Mrs C. Dupuis therefore, at the instance of the intermediate friend, provided her with this Letter, knowing that she cd not do her dear Diana a greater kindness than by giving her the means of being useful.—-Mra G.'s cheif solicitude wd be for the accomodation & comfort of one of the young Ladies under her care, a Miss Lambe, a young W. Indian of large Fortune, in delicate health."—" It was very strange !—very remarkable !— very extraordinary" but they were all agreed in determ<in>ing it to be impossible that there should not be two Families; such a totally distinct set of people as were concerned in the reports of each made that matter quite certain. There must be two Families. —Impossible to be otherwise.

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" Im­possible " & " Impossible", was re­peated over & over again with great fervour.—An accidental resemblance of Names & 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, & be running about again. Tired as she was, she must instantly repair to the Hotel, to in­vestigate the truth & offer her ser­vices.—

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CHAPTER 11.

Itwould not do.—Not all that the whole Parker race could say among themselves, cd produce a happier cata­strophe than that the Family from Surry & the Family from Camberwell were one & the same.—The rich West-indians, & the young Ladies Seminary had all entered Sanditon in those two Hack chaises. The Mrs G. who in her friend Mrs Darling's hands, had wavered as to coming & been unequal to the Journey, was the very same Mrs G. whose plans were at the same period (under another representation) per­fectly decided, & who was without fears or difficulties.—All that had the

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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 & caution of Miss Diana P—. Her intimate friends must be officious like herself, & the subject had supplied Letters & Extracts & Messages enough to make everything appear what it was not. Miss D. 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—& much worse than all the rest, must have been the sort of sensation of being less clear-sighted & infallible than she had beleived her­self.—No part of it however seemed

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to trouble her long. There were so many to share in the shame & the blame, that probably when she had divided out their proper portions to Mrs Darling, Miss Capper, Fanny Noyce, Mrs C. Dupuis & Mrs C. D's Neighbour, there might be a mere trifle of reproach remaining for her­self.—At any rate, she was seen all the following morng walking about after Lodgings with Mrs G.— as alert as ever.—Mrs G. was a very well-behaved, genteel kind of Woman, who supported herself by receiving such great girls & 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, & indeed of all, Miss Lambe was

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beyond comparison the most important & precious, as she paid in proportion to her fortune.—She was about 17, half Mulatto, chilly & tender, had a maid of her own, was to have the best room in the Lodgings, & was always of the first consequence in every plan of Mrs G.—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, shewey figures, an upright decided carriage & an assured Look;— they were very accomplished & very Ignorant, their time being divided between such pursuits as might attract admiration, & those Labours & Ex­pedients of dexterous Ingenuity, by which they could dress in a stile much beyond what they ought to have afforded;   they were some of the first

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in every change of fashion—& the object of all, was to captivate some Man of much better fortune than their own.—Mrs G. had preferred a small, retired place, like Sanditon, on Miss Lambe's account—and the Miss Bs—, though naturally preferring any thing to Smallness & Retirement, yet having in the course of the Spring been involved in the inevitable expence of six new Dresses each for a three days visit, were constrained to be satisfied with Sanditon also, till their circumstances were retreived. There, with the hire of a Harp for one, & the purchase of some Drawing paper for the other & all the finery they could already command, they meant to be very economical, very elegant & very secluded ; with the hope on Miss Beaufort's side, of praise & celebrity from all who walked within the sound of

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her Instrument, & on Miss Letitia's, of curiosity & rapture in all who came near her while she sketched—and to Both, the consolation of meaning to be the most stylish Girls in the Place.— The particular introduction of Mrs G. to Miss Diana Parker, secured them immediately an acquaintance with the Trafalgar House-family, & with the Denhams;—and the Miss Beauforts were soon satisfied with " the Circle in which they moved in Sanditon " to use a proper phrase, for every body must now " move in a Circle ",—to the prevalence of which rototory Motion, is perhaps to be attributed the Giddi­ness & false steps of many.—Lady Denham had other motives for calling on Mrs G. besides attention to the Parkers.—In Miss Lambe, here was the very young Lady, sickly & rich, whom she had been asking for; & she

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made the acquaintance for Sir Ed­ward's sake, & the sake of her Milch asses. How it might answer with regard to the Baronet, remained to be proved, but as to the Animals, she soon found that all her calculations of Profit wd be vain. Mrs G. would not allow Miss L. to have the smallest symptom of a Decline, or any com­plaint which Asses milk cd possibly releive. " Miss L. was under the con­stant care of an experienced Physician ; —and his Prescriptions must be their rule "—and except in favour of some Tonic Pills, which a Cousin of her own had a Property in, Mrs G. did never deviate from the strict Medecinal page. —The corner house of the Terrace was the one in which Miss D. P. had the pleasure of settling her new friends, & considering that it commanded in front the favourite Lounge of all the Visitors

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at Sanditon, & on one side, whatever might be going on at the Hotel, there cd not have been a more favourable spot for the seclusions of the Miss Beauforts. And accordingly, long before they had suited themselves with an Instrument, or with Drawing paper, they had, by the frequency of their appearance at the low Windows upstairs, in order to close the blinds, or open the Blinds, to arrange a flower pot on the Balcony, or look at nothing through a Telescope, attracted many an eye upwards, & made many a Gazer gaze again.—A little Novelty has a great effect in so small a place; the Miss Beauforts, who wd have been nothing at Brighton, could not move here without notice;—and even Mr Arthur Parker, though little disposed for supernumerary exertion, always quitted the Terrace, in his way to his

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Brothers by this corner House, for the sake of a glimpse of the Miss Bs—, though it was ½ a qr of a mile round about, & added two steps to the ascent of the Hill.

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CHAPTER 12.

Charlotte had been 10 days at Sanditon without seeing Sanditon House, every attempt at calling on Lady D. having been defeated by meeting with her beforehand. But now it was to be resolutely undertaken, at a more early hour, that nothing might be neglected of attention to Lady D. or amusement to Charlotte. —“ And if you should find a favourable opening my Love, said Mr P. (who did not mean to go with them) —I think you had better mention the poor Mullin’s situation, & sound her Ladyship as to a Subscription for them. I am not fond of

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charitable subscriptions in a place of this kind—It is a sort of tax upon all that come—Yet as their distress is very great & I almost promised the poor Woman yesterday to get some­thing done for her, I beleive we must set a subscription on foot—& therefore the sooner the better,—& Lady Denham's name at the head of the List will be a very necessary beginning. —You will not dislike speaking to her about it, Mary ? "—" I will do what­ever you wish me, replied his Wife— but you would do it so much better yourself. I shall not know what to say."—" My dear Mary, cried he, it is impossible you can be really at a loss. Nothing can be more simple. You have only to state the present afflicted situation of the family, their earnest application to me, & my being willing to  promote a little  subscription for

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their releif, provided it meet with her approbation.— " " The easiest thing in the World—cried Miss Diana Parker who happened to be calling on them at the moment—. All said & done, in less time than you have been talking of it now.—And while you are on the subject of subscriptions Mary, I will thank you to mention a very melancholy case to Lady D, which has been represented to me in the most affecting terms.—There is a poor Woman in Worcestershire, whom some friends of mine are exceedingly interested about, & I have undertaken to collect what­ ever I can for her. If you wd mention the circumstance to Lady Denham !—Lady Denham can give, if she is properly attacked—& I look upon her to be the sort of Person who, when once she is prevailed on to undraw her
Purse, would as readily give 10Gs as

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5.—And therefore, if you find her in a Giving mood, you might as well speak in favour of another Charity which I & a few more, have very much at heart—the establishment of a Charitable Repository at Burton on Trent.—And then,—there is the family of the poor Man who was hung last assizes at York, tho' we really have raised the sum we wanted for putting them all out, yet if you can get a Guinea from her on their behalf, it may as well be done.— " " My dear Diana ! exclaimed Mrs P.— I could no more mention these things to Lady D.— than I cd fly." — " Where's the difficulty?—I wish I could go with you myself—but in 5 minutes I must be at Mrs G.— to encourage Miss Lambe in taking her first Dip. She is so frightened, poor Thing, that I pro­mised to come & keep up her Spirits,

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& go in the Machine with her if she wished it—and as soon as that is over, I must hurry home, for Susan is to have Leaches at one o’clock—which will be a three hours business,—there­fore I really have not a moment to spare—besides that (between our­selves) I ought to be in bed myself at this present time, for I am hardly able to stand—and when the Leaches have done, I dare say we shall both go to our rooms for the rest of the day."—" I am sorry to hear it, indeed; but if this is the case I hope Arthur will come to us."—" If Arthur takes my advice, he will go to bed too, for if he stays up by himself, he will certainly eat & drink more than he ought;—but you see Mary, how impos­sible it is for me to go with you to Lady Denham's."—" Upon second thoughts Mary, said her husband, I

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will not trouble you to speak about the Mullins's.—I will take an oppor­tunity of seeing Lady D. myself.—I know how little it suits you to be pressing matters upon a Mind at all unwilling."—His application thus with­drawn, his sister could say no more in support of hers, which was his object, as he felt all their impropriety & all the certainty of their ill effect upon his own better claim.—Mrs P. was delighted at this release, & set off very happy with her friend & her little girl, on this walk to Sanditon House. —It was a close, misty morng, & when they reached the brow of the Hill, they could not for some time make out what sort of Carriage it was, which they saw coming up. It appeared at different moments to be everything from the Gig to the Pheaton,—from one horse to 4; & just as they were

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concluding in favour of a Tandem, little Mary's young eyes distinguished the Coachman & she eagerly called out, " T'is Uncle Sidney Mama, it is indeed.'' And so it proved.—Mr Sidney Parker driving his Servant in a very neat Carriage was soon opposite to them, & they all stopped for a few minutes. The manners of the Parkers were always pleasant among them­selves—& it was a very friendly meet­ing between Sidney & his sister in law, who was most kindly taking it for granted that he was on his way to Trafalgar House. This he declined however. " He was just come from Eastbourne, proposing to spend two or three days, as it might happen, at Sanditon—but the Hotel must be his Quarters—He was expecting to be joined there by a friend or two."— The rest was common enquiries   & remarks

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remarks, with kind notice of little Mary, & a very well-bred Bow & proper address to Miss Heywood on her being named to him—and they parted, to meet again within a few hours.—Sidney Parker was about 7 or 8 & 20, very good-looking, with a decided air of Ease & Fashion, and a lively countenance.—-This adventure afforded agreable discussion for some time. Mrs P. entered -into all her Husband's joy on the occasion, & exulted in the credit which Sidney's arrival wd give to the place. The road to Sanditon H. was a broad, handsome, planted approach, between fields, & conducting at the end of a qr of a mile through second Gates into the Grounds, which though not extensive had all the Beauty & Re­spectability which an abundance of very fine Timber could give.—These

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Entrance Gates were so much in a corner of the Grounds or Paddock, so near one of its Boundaries, that an outside fence was at first almost press­ing on the road—till an angle here, & a curve there threw them to a better distance. The Fence was a proper Park paling in excellent con­dition ; with clusters of fine Elms, or rows of old Thorns following its line almost every where.—Almost must be stipulated—for there were vacant spaces —& through one of these, Charlotte as soon as they entered the Enclosure, caught a glimpse over the pales of something White & Womanish in the field on the other side ;—it was a some­thing which immediately brought Miss B. into her head—& stepping to the pales, she saw indeed—& very de­cidedly, in spite of the Mist; Miss B— seated, not far before her, at the foot

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of the bank which sloped down from the outside of the Paling & which a narrow Path seemed to skirt along;— Miss Brereton seated, apparently very composedly—& Sir E. D. by her side.— They were sitting so near each other & appeared so closely engaged in gentle conversation, that Ch. instantly felt she had nothing to do but to step back again, & say not a word.—Privacy was certainly their object.—It could not but strike her rather unfavour­ably with regard to Clara;—but hers was a situation which must not be judged with severity.—She was glad to perceive that nothing had been dis­cerned by Mrs Parker; If Charlotte had not been considerably the tallest of the two, Miss B.'s white ribbons might not have fallen within the ken of her more observant eyes.—Among other points of moralising reflection which

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the sight of this Tete a Tete produced, Charlotte  cd  not but think of the extreme difficulty which secret Lovers must have in finding a proper spot for their stolen Interveiws.—Here perhaps they had thought themselves so perfectly secure from observation !—the whole field open before them—a steep bank & Pales never crossed by the foot by Man at their back—and a great thickness of air, in aid.—Yet here, she had seen them.   They were really ill-used.—The House was large & handsome ; two Servants appeared,  to admit  them, & every thing had a suitable air of Property &  Order.—Lady D. valued herself upon her liberal Establishment, & had great enjoyment
in the order and the Importance of her style of living.—They were shewn into the  usual

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sitting room, well-propor­tioned & well-furnished;—tho' it was Furniture rather originally good & extremely well kept, than new or shewey—and as Lady D. was not there, Charlotte had leisure to look about, & to be told by Mrs P. that the whole-length Portrait of a stately Gentleman, which placed over the Mantlepeice, caught the eye immedi­ately, was the picture of Sir H, Denham—and that one among many Miniatures in another part of the room, little conspicuous, represented Mr Hollis.—Poor Mr Hollis!—It was impossible not to feel him hardly used; to be obliged to stand back in his own House & see the best place by the fire constantly occupied by Sir H. D.