10. CHAPTER X
At this moment Mr. Weston appeared at a little distance from the window,
evidently on the watch. His wife gave him a look which invited
him in; and, while he was coming round, added, "Now, dearest Emma,
let me intreat you to say and look every thing that may set his
heart at ease, and incline him to be satisfied with the match.
Let us make the best of it--and, indeed, almost every thing may
be fairly said in her favour. It is not a connexion to gratify;
but if Mr. Churchill does not feel that, why should we? and it
may be a very fortunate circumstance for him, for Frank, I mean,
that he should have attached himself to a girl of such steadiness
of character and good judgment as I have always given her credit for--
and still am disposed to give her credit for, in spite of this
one great deviation from the strict rule of right. And how much
may be said in her situation for even that error!"
"Much, indeed!" cried Emma feelingly. "If a woman can ever
be excused for thinking only of herself, it is in a situation
like Jane Fairfax's.--Of such, one may almost say, that `the
world is not their's, nor the world's law.'"
She met Mr. Weston on his entrance, with a smiling countenance,
"A very pretty trick you have been playing me, upon my word!
This was a device, I suppose, to sport with my curiosity,
and exercise my talent of guessing. But you really frightened me.
I thought you had lost half your property, at least. And here,
instead of its being a matter of condolence, it turns out to be one
of congratulation.--I congratulate you, Mr. Weston, with all my heart,
on the prospect of having one of the most lovely and accomplished
young women in England for your daughter."
A glance or two between him and his wife, convinced him that all was
as right as this speech proclaimed; and its happy effect on his spirits
was immediate. His air and voice recovered their usual briskness:
he shook her heartily and gratefully by the hand, and entered
on the subject in a manner to prove, that he now only wanted
time and persuasion to think the engagement no very bad thing.
His companions suggested only what could palliate imprudence,
or smooth objections; and by the time they had talked it all
over together, and he had talked it all over again with Emma,
in their walk back to Hartfield, he was become perfectly reconciled,
and not far from thinking it the very best thing that Frank could
possibly have done.