spirits, an’t I? But I want to set your heart at ease as to Mrs. S.—My representation you see, has quite appeased her.”

And Again, on Emma’s merely turning her head to look at Mrs. Bates knitting, she added, in a half whisper,

“I mentioned no names, you will observe.—Oh! no; cautious as a minister of state. I managed it extremely well.”

Emma could not doubt. It was a palpable display, repeated on every possible occasion. When they had all talked a little while in harmony of the weather and Mrs. Weston, she found herself abruptly addressed with,

“Do not you think, Miss Woodhouse, our saucy little friend here is charmingly recovered?—Do not you think her cure does Perry the highest credit?—(here was a side-glance of great meaning at Jane.) Upon my word, Perry has restored her in a wonderful short time!—Oh! if you had seen her, as I did, when she was at the worst!”—And when Mrs. Bates was saying something to Emma, whispered farther, “We do not say a word of any assistance that Perry might have; not a word of a certain young physician from Windsor.—Oh! no; Perry shall have all the credit.”

“I have scarce had the pleasure of seeing you, Miss Woodhouse,” she shortly afterwards began, “since the party to Box-Hill. Very pleasant party. But yet I think there was something wanting. Things did not seem—that is, there seemed a little cloud upon the spirits of some.—So it appeared to me at least, but I might be mistaken. However, I think it answered so far as to tempt one to go again. What say you both to our collecting the same party, and exploring to Box-Hill again, while the fine weather lasts?—It must be the same party, you know, quite the same party, not one exception.”

Soon after this Miss Bates came in, and Emma


could not help being diverted by the perplexity of her first answer to herself, resulting she supposed, from doubt of what might be said, and impatience to say every thing.

“Thank you, dear Miss Woodhouse, you are all kindness.—It is impossible to say—Yes, indeed, I quite understand—dearest Jane’s prospects—that is, I do not mean.—But she is charmingly recovered.—How is Mr. Woodhouse?—I am so glad.—Quite out of my power.—Such happy little circle as you find us here.—Yes, indeed.—Charming young man!—that is—so very friendly; I mean good Mr. Perry!—such attention to Jane!”—And from her great, her more than commonly thankful delight towards Mrs. Elton for being there. Emma guessed that there had been a little show of resentment towards Jane, from the vicarage quarter, which was now graciously overcome.—After a few whispers, indeed, which placed it beyond a guess, Mrs. Elton, speaking louder, said,

“Yes, here I am, my good friend; and here I have been so long, that any where else I should think it necessary to apologize: but the truth is, that I am waiting for my lord and master. He promised to join me here, and pay his respects to you.”

“What! are we to have the pleasure of a call from Mr. Elton?—That will be a favour indeed! for I know gentlemen do not like morning visits, and Mr. Elton’s time is so engaged.”

“Upon my word it is, Miss Bates.—He really is engaged from morning to night.—There is no end of people’s coming to him, on some pretence or other.—The magistrates, and overseers, and churchwardens, are always wanting his opinion. They seem not able to do anything without him.—‘Upon my word, Mr. E., I often say, rather you than I.—I do not know what would become of my crayons and my instrument, if I had half so many applicants’—Bad enough as it is, for I absolutely neglect them