Emma eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 469 pages of information about Emma.
do’s” were quiet and constrained on each side.  She asked after their mutual friends; they were all well.—­When had he left them?—­Only that morning.  He must have had a wet ride.—­Yes.—­He meant to walk with her, she found.  “He had just looked into the dining-room, and as he was not wanted there, preferred being out of doors.”—­She thought he neither looked nor spoke cheerfully; and the first possible cause for it, suggested by her fears, was, that he had perhaps been communicating his plans to his brother, and was pained by the manner in which they had been received.

They walked together.  He was silent.  She thought he was often looking at her, and trying for a fuller view of her face than it suited her to give.  And this belief produced another dread.  Perhaps he wanted to speak to her, of his attachment to Harriet; he might be watching for encouragement to begin.—­She did not, could not, feel equal to lead the way to any such subject.  He must do it all himself.  Yet she could not bear this silence.  With him it was most unnatural.  She considered—­resolved—­and, trying to smile, began—­

“You have some news to hear, now you are come back, that will rather surprize you.”

“Have I?” said he quietly, and looking at her; “of what nature?”

“Oh! the best nature in the world—­a wedding.”

After waiting a moment, as if to be sure she intended to say no more, he replied,

“If you mean Miss Fairfax and Frank Churchill, I have heard that already.”

“How is it possible?” cried Emma, turning her glowing cheeks towards him; for, while she spoke, it occurred to her that he might have called at Mrs. Goddard’s in his way.

“I had a few lines on parish business from Mr. Weston this morning, and at the end of them he gave me a brief account of what had happened.”

Emma was quite relieved, and could presently say, with a little more composure,

You probably have been less surprized than any of us, for you have had your suspicions.—­I have not forgotten that you once tried to give me a caution.—­I wish I had attended to it—­but—­(with a sinking voice and a heavy sigh) I seem to have been doomed to blindness.”

For a moment or two nothing was said, and she was unsuspicious of having excited any particular interest, till she found her arm drawn within his, and pressed against his heart, and heard him thus saying, in a tone of great sensibility, speaking low,

“Time, my dearest Emma, time will heal the wound.—­Your own excellent sense—­your exertions for your father’s sake—­I know you will not allow yourself—.”  Her arm was pressed again, as he added, in a more broken and subdued accent, “The feelings of the warmest friendship—­Indignation—­Abominable scoundrel!”—­ And in a louder, steadier tone, he concluded with, “He will soon be gone.  They will soon be in Yorkshire.  I am sorry for her.  She deserves a better fate.”

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Emma from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.