12. CHAPTER XII
He was silent. She believed he was looking at her; probably reflecting
on what she had said, and trying to understand the manner.
She heard him sigh. It was natural for him to feel that he had
cause to sigh. He could not believe her to be encouraging him.
A few awkward moments passed, and he sat down again; and in a more
determined manner said,
"It was something to feel that all the rest of my time might be
given to Hartfield. My regard for Hartfield is most warm"--
He stopt again, rose again, and seemed quite embarrassed.--
He was more in love with her than Emma had supposed; and who can say
how it might have ended, if his father had not made his appearance?
Mr. Woodhouse soon followed; and the necessity of exertion made
A very few minutes more, however, completed the present trial.
Mr. Weston, always alert when business was to be done, and as
incapable of procrastinating any evil that was inevitable,
as of foreseeing any that was doubtful, said, "It was time to go;"
and the young man, though he might and did sigh, could not but agree,
to take leave.
"I shall hear about you all," said he; "that is my chief consolation.
I shall hear of every thing that is going on among you. I have
engaged Mrs. Weston to correspond with me. She has been so kind as
to promise it. Oh! the blessing of a female correspondent, when one
is really interested in the absent!--she will tell me every thing.
In her letters I shall be at dear Highbury again."
A very friendly shake of the hand, a very earnest "Good-bye,"
closed the speech, and the door had soon shut out Frank Churchill.
Short had been the notice--short their meeting; he was gone; and Emma
felt so sorry to part, and foresaw so great a loss to their little
society from his absence as to begin to be afraid of being too sorry,
and feeling it too much.