rode off in great spirits. Miss Nash told her all this, and had talked a great deal more about Mr. Elton; and said, looking so significantly at her, “that she did not pretend to understand what his business might be, but she only knew that any woman whom Mr. Elton could prefer, she should think the luckiest woman in the world; for, beyond a doubt, Mr. Elton had not his equal for beauty or agreeableness.”



Mr. Knightley might quarrel with her, but Emma could not quarrel with herself. He was so much displeased, that it was longer than usual before he came to Hartfield again; and when they did meet, his grave look shewed that she was not forgiven. She was sorry, but could not repent. On the contrary, her plans and proceedings were more and more justified, and endeared to her by the general appearances of the next few days.

The Picture, elegantly framed, came safely to hand shortly after Mr. Elton’s return, and being hung over the mantle-piece of the common sitting-room, he got up to look at it and sighed out his half-sentences of admiration just as he ought; and as for Harriet’s feelings, they were visibly forming themselves into as strong and steady as her youth and sort of mind admitted. Emma was soon perfectly satisfied of Mr. Martin being no otherwise remembered, than as her furnished a contrast with Mr. Elton, of the utmost advantage to the latter.

Her views of improving her little friend’s mind, by a great deal of useful reading and conversation, had never yet led to more than a few first chapters, and the intention of going on to-morrow. It was much easier to chat than to study; and much pleasanter to let her imagination range and work at Harriet’s fortune, than to be labouring to enlarge her comprehension or exercise it on sober facts; and the only literary pursuit which engaged Harriet at the present, the only mental provision she was making for the