14. CHAPTER XIV
Some change of countenance was necessary for each gentleman
as they walked into Mrs. Weston's drawing-room;--Mr. Elton must
compose his joyous looks, and Mr. John Knightley disperse his
ill-humour. Mr. Elton must smile less, and Mr. John Knightley more,
to fit them for the place.--Emma only might be as nature prompted,
and shew herself just as happy as she was. To her it was real
enjoyment to be with the Westons. Mr. Weston was a great favourite,
and there was not a creature in the world to whom she spoke with
such unreserve, as to his wife; not any one, to whom she related
with such conviction of being listened to and understood, of being
always interesting and always intelligible, the little affairs,
arrangements, perplexities, and pleasures of her father and herself.
She could tell nothing of Hartfield, in which Mrs. Weston had not
a lively concern; and half an hour's uninterrupted communication
of all those little matters on which the daily happiness of private
life depends, was one of the first gratifications of each.
This was a pleasure which perhaps the whole day's visit might
not afford, which certainly did not belong to the present half-hour;
but the very sight of Mrs. Weston, her smile, her touch, her voice
was grateful to Emma, and she determined to think as little as
possible of Mr. Elton's oddities, or of any thing else unpleasant,
and enjoy all that was enjoyable to the utmost.
The misfortune of Harriet's cold had been pretty well gone through
before her arrival. Mr. Woodhouse had been safely seated long
enough to give the history of it, besides all the history of his own
and Isabella's coming, and of Emma's being to follow, and had indeed
just got to the end of his satisfaction that James should come
and see his daughter, when the others appeared, and Mrs. Weston,
who had been almost wholly engrossed by her attentions to him,
was able to turn away and welcome her dear Emma.