With mixed feelings, she seated herself at a distance from the numbers round the instrument, to listen. Frank Churchill sang again. They had sung together once or twice, it appeared, at Weymouth. But the sight of Mr. Knightley among the most attentive, soon drew away half of Emma’s mind; and she fell into a train of thinking on the subject of Mrs. Weston’s suspicions, to which the sweet sounds of the united voices gave only momentary interruptions. Her objections to Mr. Knightley’s marrying did not in the least subside. She could see nothing but evil in it. It would be a great disappointment to Mr. John Knightley: consequently to Isabella. A real injury to the children—a most mortifying change, and material loss to them all;--a very great deduction from her father’s daily comfort—-and, as to herself, she could not at all endure the idea of Jane Fairfax at Donwell Abbey. A Mrs. Knightley for them all to give way to!—-No—-Mr. Knightley must never marry. Little Henry must remain the heir of Donwell.
Presently Mr. Knightley looked back, and came and sat down by her. They talked at first only of the performance. His admiration was certainly very warm; yet she thought, but for Mrs. Weston, it would not have struck her. As a sort of touchstone, however, she began to speak of his kindness in conveying the aunt and the niece; and though his answer was in the spirit of cutting the matter short, she believed it to indicate only his disinclination to dwell on any kindness of his own.
“I often feel concerned,” said she, “ that I dare not make our carriage more useful on such occassions. It is not that I am without the wish; but you know how impossible my father would deem it that James should put-to for such a purpose.”
“Quite out of the question, quite out of the question,” he replied;--“but you must often wish it, I am sure.” And he smiled with such seeming