18. CHAPTER XVIII
"It is so, indeed," continued Mr. Knightley; "I have it from Robert
Martin himself. He left me not half an hour ago."
She was still looking at him with the most speaking amazement.
"You like it, my Emma, as little as I feared.--I wish our opinions were
the same. But in time they will. Time, you may be sure, will make
one or the other of us think differently; and, in the meanwhile,
we need not talk much on the subject."
"You mistake me, you quite mistake me," she replied, exerting herself.
"It is not that such a circumstance would now make me unhappy,
but I cannot believe it. It seems an impossibility!--You cannot mean
to say, that Harriet Smith has accepted Robert Martin. You cannot
mean that he has even proposed to her again--yet. You only mean,
that he intends it."
"I mean that he has done it," answered Mr. Knightley, with smiling
but determined decision, "and been accepted."
"Good God!" she cried.--"Well!"--Then having recourse to her workbasket,
in excuse for leaning down her face, and concealing all the
exquisite feelings of delight and entertainment which she knew she
must be expressing, she added, "Well, now tell me every thing;
make this intelligible to me. How, where, when?--Let me know it all.
I never was more surprized--but it does not make me unhappy,
I assure you.--How--how has it been possible?"