“But you will come again,” said Emma. “This will not be your only visit to Randalls.”
‘Ah!—(shaking his head)—the uncertainty of when I may be able to return!—I shall try for it with a zeal!—It will be the object of all my thoughts and cares! and if my uncle and aunt go to town this spring—but I am afraid—they did not stir last spring—I am afraid it is a custom gone forever.”
“Our poor ball must be quite given up.’
“Ah! that ball!—why did we wait for any thing?—why not seize the pleasure at once?—How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation!—You told us it would be so.—Oh! Miss Woodhouse, why are you always so right?”
“Indeed, I am very sorry to be right in this instance. I would much rather have been merry than wise.”
“If I can come again, we are still to have our ball. My father depends on it. Do not forget your engagement.”
Emma looked graciously.
“Such a fortnight as it has been!” he continued; “every day more precious and more delightful than the day before!—every day making me less fit to bear any other place. Happy those, who can remain at Highbury!”
“As you do us such ample justice now,” said Emma, laughing, “I will venture to ask, whether you did not come a little doubtingly at first? Do not we rather surpass your expectations? I am sure we do. I am sure you did not much expect to like us. You would not have been so long in coming, if you had had a pleasant idea of Highbury.”
He laughing rather consciously; and though denying the sentiment, Emma was convinced that it had been so.
“And you must be off this very morning?”
“Yes; my father is to join me here: we shall