“Aye, I see what you are thinking of, the pianoforte. What is to become of that?—Very true. Poor dear Jane was talking of it just now.— `You must go,’ said she. `You and I must part. You will have no business here.—Let it stay, however,’ said she; `give it houseroom till Colonel Campbell comes back. I shall talk about it to him; he will settle for me; he will help me out of all my difficulties.’— And to this day, I do believe, she knows not whether it was his present or his daughter’s.”
Now Emma was obliged to think of the pianoforte; and the remembrance of all her former fanciful and unfair conjectures was so little pleasing, that she soon allowed herself to believe her visit had been long enough; and, with a repetition of every thing that she could venture to say of the good wishes which she really felt, took leave.
Emma’s pensive meditations, as she walked home, were not interrupted; but on entering the parlour, she found those who must rouse her. Mr. Knightley and Harriet had arrived during her absence, and were sitting with her father.—Mr. Knightley immediately got up, and in a manner decidedly graver than usual, said,
“I would not go away without seeing you, but I have no time to spare, and therefore must now be gone directly. I am going to London, to spend a few days with John and Isabella. Have you any thing to send or say, besides the `love,’ which nobody carries?”
“Nothing at all. But is not this a sudden scheme?”
“Yes—rather—I have been thinking of it some little time.”
Emma was sure he had not forgiven her; he looked unlike himself. Time, however, she thought, would tell him that they ought to be friends again. While he stood, as if meaning to go, but not going— her father began his inquiries.
“Well, my dear, and did you get there safely?—And how did you find my worthy old friend and her daughter?—I dare say they must have been very much obliged to you for coming. Dear Emma has been to call on Mrs. and Miss Bates, Mr. Knightley, as I told you before. She is always so attentive to them!”
Emma’s colour was heightened by this unjust praise; and with a smile, and shake of the head, which spoke much, she looked at Mr. Knightley.— It seemed as if there were an instantaneous impression in her favour, as if his eyes received the truth from her’s, and all that had passed of good in her feelings were at once caught and honoured.— He looked at her with a glow of regard. She was warmly gratified— and in another moment still more so, by a little movement of more than common friendliness on his part.—He took her hand;— whether she had not herself made the first motion, she could not say— she might, perhaps, have rather offered it—but he took her hand, pressed it, and certainly was on the point of carrying it to his lips— when, from some fancy or