18. CHAPTER XVIII
Emma soon recollected, and understood him; and while she joined
in the laugh, it was evident from Jane's countenance that she
too was really hearing him, though trying to seem deaf.
"Such an extraordinary dream of mine!" he cried. "I can never think
of it without laughing.--She hears us, she hears us, Miss Woodhouse.
I see it in her cheek, her smile, her vain attempt to frown.
Look at her. Do not you see that, at this instant, the very passage
of her own letter, which sent me the report, is passing under her eye--
that the whole blunder is spread before her--that she can attend to
nothing else, though pretending to listen to the others?"
Jane was forced to smile completely, for a moment; and the smile
partly remained as she turned towards him, and said in a conscious,
low, yet steady voice,
"How you can bear such recollections, is astonishing to me!--
They will sometimes obtrude--but how you can court them!"
He had a great deal to say in return, and very entertainingly;
but Emma's feelings were chiefly with Jane, in the argument; and on
leaving Randalls, and falling naturally into a comparison of the two men,
she felt, that pleased as she had been to see Frank Churchill,
and really regarding him as she did with friendship, she had never
been more sensible of Mr. Knightley's high superiority of character.
The happiness of this most happy day, received its completion, in the
animated contemplation of his worth which this comparison produced.