16. CHAPTER XVI
She would not allow any other anxiety to succeed directly to the place
in her mind which Harriet had occupied. There was a communication
before her, one which she only could be competent to make--
the confession of her engagement to her father; but she would
have nothing to do with it at present.--She had resolved to defer
the disclosure till Mrs. Weston were safe and well. No additional
agitation should be thrown at this period among those she loved--
and the evil should not act on herself by anticipation before the
appointed time.--A fortnight, at least, of leisure and peace of mind,
to crown every warmer, but more agitating, delight, should be hers.
She soon resolved, equally as a duty and a pleasure, to employ half
an hour of this holiday of spirits in calling on Miss Fairfax.--
She ought to go--and she was longing to see her; the resemblance of
their present situations increasing every other motive of goodwill.
It would be a secret satisfaction; but the consciousness of a
similarity of prospect would certainly add to the interest with
which she should attend to any thing Jane might communicate.
She went--she had driven once unsuccessfully to the door, but had
not been into the house since the morning after Box Hill, when poor
Jane had been in such distress as had filled her with compassion,
though all the worst of her sufferings had been unsuspected.--
The fear of being still unwelcome, determined her, though assured
of their being at home, to wait in the passage, and send up her name.--
She heard Patty announcing it; but no such bustle succeeded as poor
Miss Bates had before made so happily intelligible.--No; she heard
nothing but the instant reply of, "Beg her to walk up;"--and a moment
afterwards she was met on the stairs by Jane herself, coming eagerly
forward, as if no other reception of her were felt sufficient.--
Emma had never seen her look so well, so lovely, so engaging.
There was consciousness, animation, and warmth; there was every
thing which her countenance or manner could ever have wanted.--
She came forward with an offered hand; and said, in a low, but very
"This is most kind, indeed!--Miss Woodhouse, it is impossible
for me to express--I hope you will believe--Excuse me for being
so entirely without words."