6. CHAPTER VI
The next morning brought Mr. Frank Churchill again. He came with
Mrs. Weston, to whom and to Highbury he seemed to take very cordially.
He had been sitting with her, it appeared, most companionably at home,
till her usual hour of exercise; and on being desired to choose
their walk, immediately fixed on Highbury.--"He did not doubt there
being very pleasant walks in every direction, but if left to him,
he should always choose the same. Highbury, that airy, cheerful,
happy-looking Highbury, would be his constant attraction."--
Highbury, with Mrs. Weston, stood for Hartfield; and she trusted to
its bearing the same construction with him. They walked thither directly.
Emma had hardly expected them: for Mr. Weston, who had called in
for half a minute, in order to hear that his son was very handsome,
knew nothing of their plans; and it was an agreeable surprize
to her, therefore, to perceive them walking up to the house together,
arm in arm. She was wanting to see him again, and especially
to see him in company with Mrs. Weston, upon his behaviour to whom
her opinion of him was to depend. If he were deficient there,
nothing should make amends for it. But on seeing them together,
she became perfectly satisfied. It was not merely in fine words
or hyperbolical compliment that he paid his duty; nothing could be
more proper or pleasing than his whole manner to her--nothing could
more agreeably denote his wish of considering her as a friend and
securing her affection. And there was time enough for Emma to form a
reasonable judgment, as their visit included all the rest of the morning.
They were all three walking about together for an hour or two--
first round the shrubberies of Hartfield, and afterwards in Highbury.
He was delighted with every thing; admired Hartfield sufficiently
for Mr. Woodhouse's ear; and when their going farther was resolved on,
confessed his wish to be made acquainted with the whole village,
and found matter of commendation and interest much oftener than Emma
could have supposed.
Some of the objects of his curiosity spoke very amiable feelings.
He begged to be shewn the house which his father had lived in so long,
and which had been the home of his father's father; and on recollecting
that an old woman who had nursed him was still living, walked in quest
of her cottage from one end of the street to the other; and though
in some points of pursuit or observation there was no positive merit,
they shewed, altogether, a good-will towards Highbury in general,
which must be very like a merit to those he was with.