5. CHAPTER V
In this state of schemes, and hopes, and connivance, June opened
upon Hartfield. To Highbury in general it brought no material change.
The Eltons were still talking of a visit from the Sucklings,
and of the use to be made of their barouche-landau; and Jane Fairfax
was still at her grandmother's; and as the return of the Campbells
from Ireland was again delayed, and August, instead of Midsummer,
fixed for it, she was likely to remain there full two months longer,
provided at least she were able to defeat Mrs. Elton's activity
in her service, and save herself from being hurried into a delightful
situation against her will.
Mr. Knightley, who, for some reason best known to himself, had certainly
taken an early dislike to Frank Churchill, was only growing to dislike
him more. He began to suspect him of some double dealing in his
pursuit of Emma. That Emma was his object appeared indisputable.
Every thing declared it; his own attentions, his father's hints,
his mother-in-law's guarded silence; it was all in unison;
words, conduct, discretion, and indiscretion, told the same story.
But while so many were devoting him to Emma, and Emma herself making him
over to Harriet, Mr. Knightley began to suspect him of some inclination
to trifle with Jane Fairfax. He could not understand it; but there
were symptoms of intelligence between them--he thought so at least--
symptoms of admiration on his side, which, having once observed,
he could not persuade himself to think entirely void of meaning,
however he might wish to escape any of Emma's errors of imagination.
She was not present when the suspicion first arose. He was dining
with the Randalls family, and Jane, at the Eltons'; and he had
seen a look, more than a single look, at Miss Fairfax, which,
from the admirer of Miss Woodhouse, seemed somewhat out of place.
When he was again in their company, he could not help remembering
what he had seen; nor could he avoid observations which, unless it
were like Cowper and his fire at twilight,
"Myself creating what I saw,"
brought him yet stronger suspicion of there being a something
of private liking, of private understanding even, between Frank
Churchill and Jane.