Harriet blushed and smiled, and said something about wondering that people should like her so much. The idea of Mr. Elton was certainly cheering; but still, after a time, she was tender-hearted again about the rejected Mr. Martin.
“Now he has got my letter,” she said softly. “I wonder what they are all doing–whether his sisters know–if he is unhappy, they will be unhappy too. I hope he will not mind it so very much.”
“Let us think of those among our absent friends who are more cheerfully employed,” cried Emma. “At this moment, perhaps, Mr. Elton is shewing your picture to his mother and sisters, telling how much more beautiful is the original, and after being asked for it five or six times, allowing them to hear your name, your own dear name.”
“My picture!–but he has left my picture in Bond-street.”
“He has so!–Then I know nothing of Mr. Elton. No, my dear litle modest Harriet, depend upon it the picture will not be in Bond-street till just before he mounts his horse to-morrow. It is his companion all this evening, his solace, his delight. It opens his designs to his family, it introduces you among them, it diffuses through the party those pleasant feelings of our nature eager curiosity and warm prepossession. How cheerful, how animated, how suspicious, how busy their imaginations are!”
Harriet smiled again, and her smiles grew stronger.