while when they do come, and he will be half his time with us. This is precisely what I wanted. Well, pretty good news, is not it? Have you finished it? Has Emma read it all? Put it up, put it up; we will have a good talk about it some other time, but it will not do now. I shall only just mention the circumstance to the others in a common way.”

Mrs. Weston was most comfortably pleased on the occasion. Her looks and words had nothing to restrain them. She was happy, she knew she was happy, and knew she ought to be happy. Her congratulations were warm and open; but Emma could not speak so fluently. She was a little occupied in weighing her own feelings, and trying to understand the degree of her agitation, which she rather thought was considerable.

Mr. Weston, however, too eager to be very observant, too communicative to want others to talk, was very well satisfied with what he did say, and soon moved away to make the rest of his friends happy by a partial communication of what the whole room must have overheard already.

It was well that he took every body’s joy for granted, or he might not have thought either Mr. Woodhouse or Mr. Knightly particularly delighted. They were the first entitled, after Mrs. Weston and Emma, to be made happy;--from them he would have proceeded to Miss Fairfax, but she was so deep in conversation with John Knightly, that it would have been too positive an interruption; and finding himself close to Mrs. Elton, and her attention disengaged, he necessarily began in the subject with her.



“I hope I shall soon have the pleasure of introducing my son to you” said Mr. Weston.

Mrs. Elton, very willing to suppose a particular compliment intended her by such a hope, smiled most graciously.

“You have heard of a certain Frank Churchill, I presume,” he continued—“and know him to be my son, though he does not bear my name.”

“Oh! yes, and I shall be very happy in his acquaintance. I am sure Mr. Elton will lose no time in calling on him; and we shall both have great pleasure in seeing him at the Vicarage.”

“You are very obliging.—Frank will be extremely happy, I am sure.—He is to be in town next week, if not sooner. We have notice of it in a letter to-day. I met the letters in my way this morning, and seeing my son’s hand, presumed to open it—though it was not directed at me—it was to Mrs. Weston. She is his principal correspondent, I assure you. I hardly ever get a letter.”

“And so you absolutely opened what was directed to her! oh! Mr. Weston-(laughing affectedly) I must protest against that.-A most dangerous precedent indeed!-I beg you will not let your neighbours follow your example.- Upon my word, if this is what I am to expect, we married women must begin to exert ourselves! Oh! Mr. Weston, I could not have believed it of you!”

“Aye, we men are sad fellows. You must take care of yourself, Mrs. Elton.—This letter tells us—it is a short letter—written in a hurry, merely to