is not the sort of fatigue—quick walking will refresh me.—Miss Woodhouse, we all know at times what it is to be wearried in spirits. Mine, I confesss, are exhausted. The greatest kindness you can show me, will be to let me have my own way, and only say that I am gone when it is necessary.”

Emma had not another word to oppose. She saw it all; and entering into her feelings, promoted her quitting the house immediately, and watched her safely off with the zeal of a friend. Her parting look was grateful—and her parting words, “Oh! Miss Woodhouse, the comfort of being sometimes alone!”—seemed to burst from an overcharged heart, and to describe somewhat of the continual endurance to be practised by her, even towards some of those who loved her best.

“Such a home, indeed! such an aunt!” said Emma, as she turned back into the hall again. “I do pity you. And the more sensibility you betray of their just horrors, the more I shall like you.”

Jane had not been gone a quarter of an hour, and they had only accomplished some views of St. Mark’s Place, Venice, when Frank Churchill entered the room. Emma had not been thinking of him, she had forgotten to think of him—but she was very glad to see him. Mrs. Weston would be at ease. The black mare was blameless; they were right who had named Mrs. Churchill as the cause. He had been detained by a temporary increase of illness in her; a nervous seizure, which had lasted some hours—and he had quite given up every thought of coming, till very late;—and had he known how hot a ride he should have, and how late, with all his hurry, he must be, he believed she should not have come at all. The heat was excessive; he had never suffered any thing like it—almost wished he had staid at home—nothing killed him like heat—he could bear any degree of cold, &c. but heat was intolerable—and he sat down, at the greatest possible distance from the


slight remains of Mr. Woodhouse’s fire, looking very deplorable.

“You will soon be cooler, if you sit still,” said Emma.

“As soon as I am cooler I shall go back again. I could very ill be spared—but such a point had been made of my coming! You will all be going soon, I suppose; the whole party breaking up. I met one as I came—Madness in such weather!—absolute madness!”

Emma listened, and looked, and soon perceived that Frank Churchill’s state might be best defined by the expressive phrase of being out of humour. Some people were always cross when they were hot. Such might be his constitution; and as she knew that eating and drinking were often the cure of such incidental complaints, she recommended his taking some refreshment; he would find abundance of every thing in the dining-room—and she humanely pointed out the door.

“No—he should not eat. He was not hungry; it would only make him hotter.” In two minutes, however, he relented in his own favour; and muttering something about spruce beer, walked off. Emma returned all her attention to her father, saying in secret—

“I am glad I have done being in love with him. I should not like a man who is so soon discomposed by a hot morning. Harriet’s sweet easy temper will not mind it.”

He was gone long enough to have had a very comfortabble meal, and came back all the better—grown quite cool—and, with good manners, like himself—able to draw a chair close to them, take an interest in their employment; and regret, in a reasonable way, that he should be so late. He was not in his best spirits, but seemed trying to improve them; and, at last, made himself talk nonsense very agreeably. They were looking over views in Swisserland.