12. CHAPTER XII
One thing only was wanting to make the prospect of the ball
completely satisfactory to Emma--its being fixed for a day within
the granted term of Frank Churchill's stay in Surry; for, in spite
of Mr. Weston's confidence, she could not think it so very impossible
that the Churchills might not allow their nephew to remain
a day beyond his fortnight. But this was not judged feasible.
The preparations must take their time, nothing could be properly
ready till the third week were entered on, and for a few days they
must be planning, proceeding and hoping in uncertainty--at the risk--
in her opinion, the great risk, of its being all in vain.
Enscombe however was gracious, gracious in fact, if not in word.
His wish of staying longer evidently did not please; but it was
not opposed. All was safe and prosperous; and as the removal of one
solicitude generally makes way for another, Emma, being now certain
of her ball, began to adopt as the next vexation Mr. Knightley's
provoking indifference about it. Either because he did not
dance himself, or because the plan had been formed without his
being consulted, he seemed resolved that it should not interest him,
determined against its exciting any present curiosity, or affording
him any future amusement. To her voluntary communications Emma
could get no more approving reply, than,
"Very well. If the Westons think it worth while to be at all this
trouble for a few hours of noisy entertainment, I have nothing
to say against it, but that they shall not choose pleasures for me.--
Oh! yes, I must be there; I could not refuse; and I will keep
as much awake as I can; but I would rather be at home, looking over
William Larkins's week's account; much rather, I confess.--
Pleasure in seeing dancing!--not I, indeed--I never look at it--
I do not know who does.--Fine dancing, I believe, like virtue,
must be its own reward. Those who are standing by are usually
thinking of something very different."
This Emma felt was aimed at her; and it made her quite angry.
It was not in compliment to Jane Fairfax however that he was
so indifferent, or so indignant; he was not guided by her feelings
in reprobating the ball, for she enjoyed the thought of it
to an extraordinary degree. It made her animated--open hearted--
she voluntarily said;--