of the evening party's guest's was an entertaining one, and enabled Anne and Catherine to empty their minds of the affair in a way which every young lady feels necessary to adopt after such an event. The morning after the party, they sat together in the sitting room, each busied with needlework and embroidery, and Catherine began by saying,
"Were you not delighted, Anne, with Mrs.Westing? I found her a woman of good sense, kindness, and elegance. Did you not?"
Anne paused her sewing to re-thread her needle. She then placed her work in her basket, and from her chair to a settee, where she lay down comfortably. She could not both be productive with her hands and her voice. "Besides," she thought to herself, "I have been working for an hour already, and auntie's house is supposed to be a time of refreshment". She lay there (or sat, according to the height or excitement of their discourse), for the rest of the conversation.
"I do agree with you, Cathy, except that I found a certain something in her, that seemed to separate her from the others, in a way that I could not distinguish to be positive. Never the less, I did find her kind."
"I think it might be a bit too early to be speaking of 'certain somethings'. We are too inexperienced, and it all may amount to 'certain nothings'. Our society has been very limited, and we have not had the necessary time for observation of those who are fond of these circles."
"Indeed, Cathy, I do not think that our lower situation so far as money goes has impaired our power of judgment," Anne said laughingly. "But I do not intend to dislike her, indeed I do not. But let us change the subject- I think you were particularly pleased, as I was, with Mr.Landish and his attentions to you during the evening?" Anne said this without affectation.
"I did observe his politeness towards me, but I think he was equally attentive to every lady there- and he cannot help each lady at each necessary moment, therefore he may unintentionally attend one lady more than the others," replied her sister, with a slight blush.
"Very true, I will remember that in future. But,none the less, it is not wise to form opinions or even expectations on so short an acquaintance. "
"Indeed. None the less, I found Mr.Landish a very pleasant man, and papa vastly enjoyed his company."
"Ah, yes. That is a good sign- perhaps of a patient and easy character," Anne said, smilingly slightly. Her sister looked up from her work with a disapproving look. "Speaking of father," Anne continued, now looking a bit uncomfortable, and rising, walked to the window and stood there, " he is yet to give us his opinion of the guest's. He and mama should be back from shopping soon."
"Perhaps," Catherine now appeared to be fully engrossed in her work.
"Mr.Hamlington appears to be a very gentlemanly man. Mrs.Cammins, whom I sat next to at dinner, told me that he is very wealthy, and lives in a mansion not very far from London. He has only a mother and younger sister.His father died soon after he became of age, and so he was left the inheritance."
"How singular! and unfortunate! But at least he was old enough that he and his mother and sister were not left destitute, or in a state lower than that they were born in. But how is Mrs.Cammins aware of these affairs?"
"Indeed, very true. Oh, Mrs.Cammins is a friend of Mrs.Hamlington's, 'a dear friend' , she said. Oh,and Sir and Lady Carter, who sat on my other side, are also acquainted with the Hamlington's. Oh my, were the Carter's not all elegance? And what they said of Miss de Burgh!? I cannot believe it, but of course it must be true. We will ask mama if she knows of it- papa will most likely unite Sir Nilson and she in marriage. I still am in shock. What shall papa say? Presuming he does not know of it, which of course he must not, because we would have heard of it. But why would Lady Catherine not tell our father and mother? Why should it be secret?"
"I do not know- I cannot tell you. Though Lady Catherine is on such terms with us as few other people can boast, she is not on our level, therefore perhaps thinks it unnecessary to inform us of any changes affecting her family. Think of it- has she ever informed us of anything before?"
"Yes, every thing of significance that happens with her nephew, Mr.Darcy, and his family."
"Yes, but this is a different matter. It may be a matter of embarrassment for her, that her daughter is above 5 and thirty, and not married."
"Very true, I had thought of that." Anne looked out of the window, and saw her parent's coming out of her uncle's carriage. Mr.Collins entered the house very swiftly, and called his daughter's downstairs. They looked at each other with some surprise, and immediately went to their father.
To Be Continued...