“Will Mr. Frank Churchill pass through Bath as well as Oxford?”—was a question, however, which did not augur much.

But neither geography nor tranquility could come all at once, and Emma was now in a humour to resolve that they should both come in time.

The morning of the interesting day arrived, and Mrs. Weston’s faithful pupil did not forget either at ten, or eleven, or twelve o’clock, that she was to think of her at four.

“My dear, dear, anxious friend,”—said she, in mental soliloquy, while walking down stairs from her own room, “always over-careful for every body’s comfort but your own; I see you now in all your little fidgets, going again and again into his room, to be sure that all is right.” The clock struck twelve a she passed through the hall. “’Tis twelve, I shall not forget to think of you four hours hence; and by this time to-morrow, perhaps, or a little later, I may be thinking of the possibility of their all calling here. I am sure they will bring him soon.”

She opened the parlour door, and saw two gentlemen sitting with her father—Mr. Weston and his son. They had been arrived only a few minutes, and Mr. Weston had scarcely finished his explanation of Frank’s being a day before his time, and her father was yet in the midst of his very civil welcome and congratulations, when she appeared, to have her share of surprize, introduction, and pleasure.

The Frank Churchill so long talked of, so high in interest, was actually before her—he was presented to her, and she did not think too much had been said in his praise; he was a very good-looking young man; height, air, address, all were unexceptionable, and his countenance had a great deal of the spirit and liveliness of his father’s; he looked quick and sensible. She felt immediately that she


should like him; and there was a well-bred ease of manner, and a readiness to talk, which convinced her that he came intending to be acquainted with her, and that acquainted they soon must be.

He had reached Randalls the evening before. She was pleased with the eagerness to arrive which had made him alter his plan, and travel earlier, later, and quicker, that he might gain half a day.

“I told you yesterday,” cried Mr. Weston with exultation, “I told you all that he would be here before the time named. I remembered what I used to do myself. One cannot creep upon a journey; once cannot help getting on faster than one can planned; and the pleasure of one’s coming in upon one’s friends before the look out begins, is worth a great deal more than any little exertion it needs.”

“It is a great pleasure where one can indulge in it,” said the young man, “thought there are not many houses that I should presume on so far; but in coming home I felt I might do any thing.”

The word home made his father look on him with fresh complacency. Emma was directly sure that he knew how to make himself agreeable; the conviction was strengthened by what followed. He was very much pleased with Randalls, thought it a most admirably arranged house, would hardly allow it even to be very small, admired the situation, the walk to Highbury, Highbury itself, Hartfield still more, and professed himself to have always felt the sort of interest in the country which none but one’s own country gives, and the greatest curiosity to visit it. That he should never have been able to indulge so amiable a feeling before, passed suspiciously through Emma’s brain; but still if it were a falsehood, it was a pleasant one, and pleasantly handled. His manner had no air of study or exaggeration. He did really look and speak as if in a state of no common enjoyment.