There could hardly be an happier creature in the world, than Mrs. John Knightley, in this short visit to Hartfield, going about every morning among her old acquaintance with her five children, and talking over what she had done every evening with her father and sister. She had nothing to wish otherwise, but that the days did not pass so swiftly. It was a delightful visit; --perfect, in being much too short.
In general their evenings were less engaged with freinds than their mornings; but one complete dinner engagement, and out of the house too, there was no avoiding, though at Christmas. Mr. Weston would take no denial; they must all dine at Randalls one day;-- even Mr. Woodhouse was persuaded to think it a possible thing in preference to a division of the party.
How they were all to be conveyed, he would have made a difficulty if he could, but as his son and daughter’s carriage and horses were actually at Hartfield, he was not able to make more than a simple question on that head; it hardly amounted to a doubt; nor did it occupy Emma long to convince him that they might in one of the carriages find room for Harriet also.
Harriet, Mr. Elton, and Mr. Knightley, their own especial set, were the only persons invited to meet them;-- the hours were to be early, as well as the numbers few; Mr. Woodhouse’s habits and inclination being consulted in every thing.