so deep in conversation with John Knightley, that it would have been too positive an interruption; and finding himself close to Mrs. Elton, and her attention disengaged, he necessarily began on the subject with her.


CHAPTER XVIII

'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 to 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 give us notice--it tells us that they are all coming up to town directly, on Mrs. Churchill's

-275-

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Table of contents

Table of contents

  • OXFORD WORLD'S CLASSICS i
  • OXFORD WORLD'S CLASSICS ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Introduction vii
  • NOTE ON THE TEXT xxix
  • Select Bibliography xxxi
  • A CHRONOLOGY OF JANE AUSTEN xxxvi
  • VOLUME I 3
  • Chapter I 3
  • Chapter II 12
  • Chapter III 16
  • Chapter IV 22
  • Chapter V 31
  • Chapter VI 36
  • Chapter VII 44
  • Chapter VIII 51
  • Chapter IX 62
  • Chapter X 75
  • Chapter XI 82
  • Chapter XII 88
  • Chapter XIII 97
  • Chapter XIV 105
  • Chapter XV 112
  • Chapter XVI 121
  • Chapter XVII 126
  • Chapter XVIII 129
  • VOLUME II 137
  • Chapter I 137
  • Chapter II 145
  • Chapter III 151
  • Chapter IV 162
  • Chapter V 166
  • Chapter VI 175
  • Chapter VII 184
  • Chapter VIII 190
  • Chapter IX 207
  • Chapter X 216
  • Chapter XI 222
  • Chapter XII 231
  • Chapter XIII 237
  • Chapter XV 252
  • Chapter XVI 260
  • Chapter XVII 269
  • Chapter XVIII 275
  • VOLUME III 283
  • Chapter I 283
  • Chapter II 286
  • Chapter III 299
  • Chapter IV 303
  • Chapter V 309
  • Chapter VI 317
  • Chapter VII 331
  • Chapter VIII 341
  • Chapter IX 348
  • Chapter X 355
  • Chapter XI 364
  • Chapter XII 376
  • Chapter XIII 384
  • Chapter XIV 393
  • Chapter XV 403
  • Chapter XVI 409
  • Chapter XVII 418
  • Chapter XVIII 427
  • Chapter XIX 437
  • EXPLANATORY NOTES 441
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