Page:Works of Charles Dickens, ed. Lang - Volume 1.djvu/111

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THE AMIABLE AUNT.

"Yes; I think they would;" said Mr. Tupman, with an air of indifference.

"Oh, you quiz—I know what you were going to say."

"What?" inquired Mr. Tupman, who had not precisely made up his mind to say anything at all.

"You were going to say, that Isabel stoops—I know you were—you men are such observers. Well, so she does; it can't be denied; and, certainly, if there is one thing more than another that makes a girl look ugly, it is stooping. I often tell her, that when she gets a little older, she'll be quite frightful. Well, you are a quiz!"

Mr. Tupman had no objection to earning the reputation at so cheap a rate: so he looked very knowing, and smiled mysteriously.

"What a sarcastic smile," said the admiring Rachael; "I declare I'm quite afraid of you."

"Afraid of me!"

"Oh, you can't disguise anything from me I know what that smile means, very well."

"What?" said Mr. Tupman, who had not the slightest notion himself.

"You mean," said the amiable aunt, sinking her voice still lower—"You mean, that you don't think Isabella's stooping is as bad as Emily's boldness. Well, she is bold! You cannot think how wretched it makes me sometimes. I'm sure I cry about it for hours together—my dear brother is so good, and so unsuspicious, that he never sees it; if he did, I'm quite certain it would break his heart. I wish I could think it was only manner—I hope it may be—") here the affectionate relative heaved a deep sigh, and shook her head despondingly.)

"I'm sure aunt's talking about us," whispered Miss Emily Wardle to her sister "I'm quite certain of it she looks so malicious."

"Is she?" replied Isabella—"Hem! aunt dear!"

"Yes, my dear love!"

VOL. I.
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