9. CHAPTER IX
Mr. Knightley might quarrel with her, but Emma could not quarrel
with herself. He was so much displeased, that it was longer than
usual before he came to Hartfield again; and when they did meet,
his grave looks shewed that she was not forgiven. She was sorry,
but could not repent. On the contrary, her plans and proceedings
were more and more justified and endeared to her by the general
appearances of the next few days.
The Picture, elegantly framed, came safely to hand soon after
Mr. Elton's return, and being hung over the mantelpiece of the common
sitting-room, he got up to look at it, and sighed out his half sentences
of admiration just as he ought; and as for Harriet's feelings, they were
visibly forming themselves into as strong and steady an attachment
as her youth and sort of mind admitted. Emma was soon perfectly
satisfied of Mr. Martin's being no otherwise remembered, than as
he furnished a contrast with Mr. Elton, of the utmost advantage to the latter.
Her views of improving her little friend's mind, by a great deal
of useful reading and conversation, had never yet led to more than
a few first chapters, and the intention of going on to-morrow.
It was much easier to chat than to study; much pleasanter to let
her imagination range and work at Harriet's fortune, than to be
labouring to enlarge her comprehension or exercise it on sober facts;
and the only literary pursuit which engaged Harriet at present,
the only mental provision she was making for the evening of life,
was the collecting and transcribing all the riddles of every sort
that she could meet with, into a thin quarto of hot-pressed paper,
made up by her friend, and ornamented with ciphers and trophies.
In this age of literature, such collections on a very grand scale
are not uncommon. Miss Nash, head-teacher at Mrs. Goddard's,
had written out at least three hundred; and Harriet, who had taken
the first hint of it from her, hoped, with Miss Woodhouse's help,
to get a great many more. Emma assisted with her invention,
memory and taste; and as Harriet wrote a very pretty hand,
it was likely to be an arrangement of the first order, in form
as well as quantity.