Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница

which tells man, in every thing given to his view or his feelings,

to stay at home himself, and keep all under shelter that he can;--

here are we setting forward to spend five dull hours in another

man's house, with nothing to say or to hear that was not said

and heard yesterday, and may not be said and heard again to-morrow.

Going in dismal weather, to return probably in worse;--four horses

and four servants taken out for nothing but to convey five idle,

shivering creatures into colder rooms and worse company than they

might have had at home."

Emma did Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница not find herself equal to give the pleased assent, which no doubt

he was in the habit of receiving, to emulate the "Very true, my love,"

which must have been usually administered by his travelling companion;

but she had resolution enough to refrain from making any answer

at all. She could not be complying, she dreaded being quarrelsome;

her heroism reached only to silence. She allowed him to talk,

and arranged the glasses, and wrapped herself up, without opening

her lips.

They arrived, the carriage turned, the step was let down,

and Mr. Elton, spruce, black, and smiling, was with them instantly.

Emma Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница thought with pleasure of some change of subject. Mr. Elton

was all obligation and cheerfulness; he was so very cheerful

in his civilities indeed, that she began to think he must have

received a different account of Harriet from what had reached her.

She had sent while dressing, and the answer had been, "Much the same--

not better."

"_My_ report from Mrs. Goddard's," said she presently, "was not

so pleasant as I had hoped--`Not better' was _my_ answer."

His face lengthened immediately; and his voice was the voice

of sentiment as he answered.

"Oh! no--I am grieved to find--I was Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница on the point of telling you that

when I called at Mrs. Goddard's door, which I did the very last thing

before I returned to dress, I was told that Miss Smith was not better,

by no means better, rather worse. Very much grieved and concerned--

I had flattered myself that she must be better after such a cordial

as I knew had been given her in the morning."

Emma smiled and answered--"My visit was of use to the nervous part

of her complaint, I hope; but not even I can charm away a sore throat;

it is a most severe Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница cold indeed. Mr. Perry has been with her,

as you probably heard."

"Yes--I imagined--that is--I did not--"

"He has been used to her in these complaints, and I hope to-morrow

morning will bring us both a more comfortable report. But it is

impossible not to feel uneasiness. Such a sad loss to our party to-day!"

"Dreadful!--Exactly so, indeed.--She will be missed every moment."

This was very proper; the sigh which accompanied it was really estimable;

but it should have lasted longer. Emma was rather in dismay when

only half a minute afterwards he Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница began to speak of other things,

and in a voice of the greatest alacrity and enjoyment.

"What an excellent device," said he, "the use of a sheepskin

for carriages. How very comfortable they make it;--impossible to

feel cold with such precautions. The contrivances of modern days

indeed have rendered a gentleman's carriage perfectly complete.

One is so fenced and guarded from the weather, that not a breath

of air can find its way unpermitted. Weather becomes absolutely

of no consequence. It is a very cold afternoon--but in this carriage

we know nothing of the matter.--Ha! snows a little I see Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница."

"Yes," said John Knightley, "and I think we shall have a good deal

of it."

"Christmas weather," observed Mr. Elton. "Quite seasonable;

and extremely fortunate we may think ourselves that it did not

begin yesterday, and prevent this day's party, which it might very

possibly have done, for Mr. Woodhouse would hardly have ventured had

there been much snow on the ground; but now it is of no consequence.

This is quite the season indeed for friendly meetings. At Christmas



every body invites their friends about them, and people think little

of even the worst weather. I was snowed up at a friend's house once

for Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница a week. Nothing could be pleasanter. I went for only one night,

and could not get away till that very day se'nnight."

Mr. John Knightley looked as if he did not comprehend the pleasure,

but said only, coolly,

"I cannot wish to be snowed up a week at Randalls."

At another time Emma might have been amused, but she was too

much astonished now at Mr. Elton's spirits for other feelings.

Harriet seemed quite forgotten in the expectation of a pleasant party.

"We are sure of excellent fires," continued he, "and every thing

in the greatest comfort. Charming Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница people, Mr. and Mrs. Weston;--

Mrs. Weston indeed is much beyond praise, and he is exactly

what one values, so hospitable, and so fond of society;--

it will be a small party, but where small parties are select,

they are perhaps the most agreeable of any. Mr. Weston's dining-room

does not accommodate more than ten comfortably; and for my part,

I would rather, under such circumstances, fall short by two than

exceed by two. I think you will agree with me, (turning with a soft

air to Emma,) I think I shall certainly have your approbation,

though Mr. Knightley perhaps Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница, from being used to the large parties

of London, may not quite enter into our feelings."

"I know nothing of the large parties of London, sir--I never dine

with any body."

"Indeed! (in a tone of wonder and pity,) I had no idea that the

law had been so great a slavery. Well, sir, the time must come

when you will be paid for all this, when you will have little

labour and great enjoyment."

"My first enjoyment," replied John Knightley, as they passed through

the sweep-gate, "will be to find myself safe at Hartfield again."

CHAPTER XIV

Some change of countenance was necessary for each gentleman

as Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница they walked into Mrs. Weston's drawing-room;--Mr. Elton must

compose his joyous looks, and Mr. John Knightley disperse his

ill-humour. Mr. Elton must smile less, and Mr. John Knightley more,

to fit them for the place.--Emma only might be as nature prompted,

and shew herself just as happy as she was. To her it was real

enjoyment to be with the Westons. Mr. Weston was a great favourite,

and there was not a creature in the world to whom she spoke with

such unreserve, as to his wife; not any one, to whom she related

with such Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница conviction of being listened to and understood, of being

always interesting and always intelligible, the little affairs,

arrangements, perplexities, and pleasures of her father and herself.

She could tell nothing of Hartfield, in which Mrs. Weston had not

a lively concern; and half an hour's uninterrupted communication

of all those little matters on which the daily happiness of private

life depends, was one of the first gratifications of each.

This was a pleasure which perhaps the whole day's visit might

not afford, which certainly did not belong to the present half-hour;

but the very sight of Mrs. Weston, her smile, her touch Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница, her voice

was grateful to Emma, and she determined to think as little as

possible of Mr. Elton's oddities, or of any thing else unpleasant,

and enjoy all that was enjoyable to the utmost.

The misfortune of Harriet's cold had been pretty well gone through

before her arrival. Mr. Woodhouse had been safely seated long

enough to give the history of it, besides all the history of his own

and Isabella's coming, and of Emma's being to follow, and had indeed

just got to the end of his satisfaction that James should come

and see his daughter, when the others appeared, and Mrs Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница. Weston,

who had been almost wholly engrossed by her attentions to him,

was able to turn away and welcome her dear Emma.

Emma's project of forgetting Mr. Elton for a while made her rather

sorry to find, when they had all taken their places, that he was

close to her. The difficulty was great of driving his strange

insensibility towards Harriet, from her mind, while he not only sat

at her elbow, but was continually obtruding his happy countenance

on her notice, and solicitously addressing her upon every occasion.

Instead of forgetting him, his behaviour was such that she could

not avoid the internal Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница suggestion of "Can it really be as my brother

imagined? can it be possible for this man to be beginning to transfer

his affections from Harriet to me?--Absurd and insufferable!"--

Yet he would be so anxious for her being perfectly warm, would be

so interested about her father, and so delighted with Mrs. Weston;

and at last would begin admiring her drawings with so much zeal

and so little knowledge as seemed terribly like a would-be lover,

and made it some effort with her to preserve her good manners.

For her own sake she could not be rude; and for Harriet's Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница, in the hope

that all would yet turn out right, she was even positively civil;

but it was an effort; especially as something was going on amongst

the others, in the most overpowering period of Mr. Elton's nonsense,

which she particularly wished to listen to. She heard enough

to know that Mr. Weston was giving some information about his son;

she heard the words "my son," and "Frank," and "my son,"

repeated several times over; and, from a few other half-syllables

very much suspected that he was announcing an early visit from

his son; but before she could quiet Mr Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница. Elton, the subject was

so completely past that any reviving question from her would have

been awkward.

Now, it so happened that in spite of Emma's resolution of never marrying,

there was something in the name, in the idea of Mr. Frank Churchill,

which always interested her. She had frequently thought--especially since

his father's marriage with Miss Taylor--that if she _were_ to marry,

he was the very person to suit her in age, character and condition.

He seemed by this connexion between the families, quite to belong to her.

She could not but suppose it to be a match Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница that every body who knew

them must think of. That Mr. and Mrs. Weston did think of it, she was

very strongly persuaded; and though not meaning to be induced by him,

or by any body else, to give up a situation which she believed more

replete with good than any she could change it for, she had a great

curiosity to see him, a decided intention of finding him pleasant,

of being liked by him to a certain degree, and a sort of pleasure

in the idea of their being coupled in their friends' imaginations.

With such sensations, Mr. Elton's civilities Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница were dreadfully ill-timed;

but she had the comfort of appearing very polite, while feeling

very cross--and of thinking that the rest of the visit could not

possibly pass without bringing forward the same information again,

or the substance of it, from the open-hearted Mr. Weston.--So it proved;--

for when happily released from Mr. Elton, and seated by Mr. Weston,

at dinner, he made use of the very first interval in the cares

of hospitality, the very first leisure from the saddle of mutton,

to say to her,

"We want only two more to be just the right Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница number. I should

like to see two more here,--your pretty little friend, Miss Smith,

and my son--and then I should say we were quite complete.

I believe you did not hear me telling the others in the drawing-room

that we are expecting Frank. I had a letter from him this morning,

and he will be with us within a fortnight."

Emma spoke with a very proper degree of pleasure; and fully assented

to his proposition of Mr. Frank Churchill and Miss Smith making

their party quite complete.

"He has been wanting to come to us," continued Mr. Weston,

"ever since Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница September: every letter has been full of it;

but he cannot command his own time. He has those to please

who must be pleased, and who (between ourselves) are sometimes

to be pleased only by a good many sacrifices. But now

I have no doubt of seeing him here about the second week in January."

"What a very great pleasure it will be to you! and Mrs. Weston

is so anxious to be acquainted with him, that she must be almost

as happy as yourself."

"Yes, she would be, but that she thinks there will be another

put-off. She does not depend upon his coming so Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница much as I do:

but she does not know the parties so well as I do. The case,

you see, is--(but this is quite between ourselves: I did not mention

a syllable of it in the other room. There are secrets in all families,

you know)--The case is, that a party of friends are invited to pay

a visit at Enscombe in January; and that Frank's coming depends upon

their being put off. If they are not put off, he cannot stir.

But I know they will, because it is a family that a certain lady,

of Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница some consequence, at Enscombe, has a particular dislike to:

and though it is thought necessary to invite them once in two or

three years, they always are put off when it comes to the point.

I have not the smallest doubt of the issue. I am as confident

of seeing Frank here before the middle of January, as I am

of being here myself: but your good friend there (nodding

towards the upper end of the table) has so few vagaries herself,

and has been so little used to them at Hartfield, that she cannot

calculate on their effects, as I have been long Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница in the practice

of doing."

"I am sorry there should be any thing like doubt in the case,"

replied Emma; "but am disposed to side with you, Mr. Weston. If you

think he will come, I shall think so too; for you know Enscombe."

"Yes--I have some right to that knowledge; though I have never been

at the place in my life.--She is an odd woman!--But I never allow

myself to speak ill of her, on Frank's account; for I do believe

her to be very fond of him. I used to think she was not capable

of being fond of any Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница body, except herself: but she has always been

kind to him (in her way--allowing for little whims and caprices,

and expecting every thing to be as she likes). And it is no small credit,

in my opinion, to him, that he should excite such an affection;

for, though I would not say it to any body else, she has no more

heart than a stone to people in general; and the devil of a temper."

Emma liked the subject so well, that she began upon it, to Mrs. Weston,

very soon after their moving into the drawing-room: wishing her joy Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница--

yet observing, that she knew the first meeting must be rather alarming.--

Mrs. Weston agreed to it; but added, that she should be very

glad to be secure of undergoing the anxiety of a first meeting

at the time talked of: "for I cannot depend upon his coming.

I cannot be so sanguine as Mr. Weston. I am very much afraid

that it will all end in nothing. Mr. Weston, I dare say, has been

telling you exactly how the matter stands?"

"Yes--it seems to depend upon nothing but the ill-humour

of Mrs. Churchill, which I imagine to be the most Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница certain

thing in the world."

"My Emma!" replied Mrs. Weston, smiling, "what is the certainty

of caprice?" Then turning to Isabella, who had not been

attending before--"You must know, my dear Mrs. Knightley,

that we are by no means so sure of seeing Mr. Frank Churchill,

in my opinion, as his father thinks. It depends entirely upon

his aunt's spirits and pleasure; in short, upon her temper.

To you--to my two daughters--I may venture on the truth.

Mrs. Churchill rules at Enscombe, and is a very odd-tempered woman;

and his coming now, depends upon her being willing to Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница spare him."

"Oh, Mrs. Churchill; every body knows Mrs. Churchill,"

replied Isabella: "and I am sure I never think of that poor young

man without the greatest compassion. To be constantly living

with an ill-tempered person, must be dreadful. It is what we

happily have never known any thing of; but it must be a life

of misery. What a blessing, that she never had any children!

Poor little creatures, how unhappy she would have made them!"

Emma wished she had been alone with Mrs. Weston. She should then have

heard more: Mrs. Weston would speak to her, with a degree of unreserve

which Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница she would not hazard with Isabella; and, she really believed,

would scarcely try to conceal any thing relative to the Churchills

from her, excepting those views on the young man, of which her own

imagination had already given her such instinctive knowledge.

But at present there was nothing more to be said. Mr. Woodhouse

very soon followed them into the drawing-room. To be sitting

long after dinner, was a confinement that he could not endure.

Neither wine nor conversation was any thing to him; and gladly did

he move to those with whom he was always comfortable.

While he talked to Isabella, however Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница, Emma found an opportunity

of saying,

"And so you do not consider this visit from your son as by any

means certain. I am sorry for it. The introduction must be unpleasant,

whenever it takes place; and the sooner it could be over, the better."

"Yes; and every delay makes one more apprehensive of other delays.

Even if this family, the Braithwaites, are put off, I am still

afraid that some excuse may be found for disappointing us.

I cannot bear to imagine any reluctance on his side; but I am sure

there is a great wish on the Churchills' to keep him Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница to themselves.

There is jealousy. They are jealous even of his regard for his father.

In short, I can feel no dependence on his coming, and I wish Mr. Weston

were less sanguine."

"He ought to come," said Emma. "If he could stay only a couple

of days, he ought to come; and one can hardly conceive a young man's

not having it in his power to do as much as that. A young _woman_,

if she fall into bad hands, may be teazed, and kept at a distance

from those she wants to be with; but one cannot comprehend a young

_man_'s being Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница under such restraint, as not to be able to spend a week

with his father, if he likes it."

"One ought to be at Enscombe, and know the ways of the family,

before one decides upon what he can do," replied Mrs. Weston.

"One ought to use the same caution, perhaps, in judging of the

conduct of any one individual of any one family; but Enscombe,

I believe, certainly must not be judged by general rules:

_she_ is so very unreasonable; and every thing gives way to her."

"But she is so fond of the nephew: he is so Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница very great a favourite.

Now, according to my idea of Mrs. Churchill, it would be most natural,

that while she makes no sacrifice for the comfort of the husband,

to whom she owes every thing, while she exercises incessant caprice

towards _him_, she should frequently be governed by the nephew,

to whom she owes nothing at all."

"My dearest Emma, do not pretend, with your sweet temper,

to understand a bad one, or to lay down rules for it: you must

let it go its own way. I have no doubt of his having, at times,

considerable influence; but it Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница may be perfectly impossible for him

to know beforehand _when_ it will be."

Emma listened, and then coolly said, "I shall not be satisfied,

unless he comes."

"He may have a great deal of influence on some points,"

continued Mrs. Weston, "and on others, very little: and among those,

on which she is beyond his reach, it is but too likely, may be

this very circumstance of his coming away from them to visit us."

CHAPTER XV

Mr. Woodhouse was soon ready for his tea; and when he had drank his

tea he was quite ready to go home; and it was as Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница much as his three

companions could do, to entertain away his notice of the lateness

of the hour, before the other gentlemen appeared. Mr. Weston was

chatty and convivial, and no friend to early separations of any sort;

but at last the drawing-room party did receive an augmentation.

Mr. Elton, in very good spirits, was one of the first to walk in.

Mrs. Weston and Emma were sitting together on a sofa. He joined

them immediately, and, with scarcely an invitation, seated himself

between them.

Emma, in good spirits too, from the amusement afforded her mind

by the expectation of Mr. Frank Churchill, was willing to forget

his Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница late improprieties, and be as well satisfied with him as before,

and on his making Harriet his very first subject, was ready to listen

with most friendly smiles.

He professed himself extremely anxious about her fair friend--

her fair, lovely, amiable friend. "Did she know?--had she

heard any thing about her, since their being at Randalls?--

he felt much anxiety--he must confess that the nature of her

complaint alarmed him considerably." And in this style he talked

on for some time very properly, not much attending to any answer,

but altogether sufficiently awake to the terror of a bad sore Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница throat;

and Emma was quite in charity with him.

But at last there seemed a perverse turn; it seemed all at once as if

he were more afraid of its being a bad sore throat on her account,

than on Harriet's--more anxious that she should escape the infection,

than that there should be no infection in the complaint. He began

with great earnestness to entreat her to refrain from visiting

the sick-chamber again, for the present--to entreat her to _promise_

_him_ not to venture into such hazard till he had seen Mr. Perry

and learnt his opinion; and though she Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница tried to laugh it off

and bring the subject back into its proper course, there was no

putting an end to his extreme solicitude about her. She was vexed.

It did appear--there was no concealing it--exactly like the pretence

of being in love with her, instead of Harriet; an inconstancy,

if real, the most contemptible and abominable! and she had difficulty

in behaving with temper. He turned to Mrs. Weston to implore

her assistance, "Would not she give him her support?--would not she

add her persuasions to his, to induce Miss Woodhouse not to go

to Mrs. Goddard's till Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница it were certain that Miss Smith's disorder

had no infection? He could not be satisfied without a promise--

would not she give him her influence in procuring it?"

"So scrupulous for others," he continued, "and yet so careless

for herself! She wanted me to nurse my cold by staying at home to-day,

and yet will not promise to avoid the danger of catching an ulcerated

sore throat herself. Is this fair, Mrs. Weston?--Judge between us.

Have not I some right to complain? I am sure of your kind support

and aid."

Emma saw Mrs. Weston's surprize, and felt that Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница it must be great,

at an address which, in words and manner, was assuming to himself

the right of first interest in her; and as for herself, she was

too much provoked and offended to have the power of directly

saying any thing to the purpose. She could only give him a look;

but it was such a look as she thought must restore him to his senses,

and then left the sofa, removing to a seat by her sister, and giving

her all her attention.

She had not time to know how Mr. Elton took the reproof, so rapidly

did another subject succeed; for Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница Mr. John Knightley now came

into the room from examining the weather, and opened on them

all with the information of the ground being covered with snow,

and of its still snowing fast, with a strong drifting wind;

concluding with these words to Mr. Woodhouse:

"This will prove a spirited beginning of your winter engagements,

sir. Something new for your coachman and horses to be making

their way through a storm of snow."

Poor Mr. Woodhouse was silent from consternation; but every body else

had something to say; every body was either surprized or not surprized,

and had some question to ask, or Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница some comfort to offer. Mrs. Weston

and Emma tried earnestly to cheer him and turn his attention

from his son-in-law, who was pursuing his triumph rather unfeelingly.

"I admired your resolution very much, sir," said he, "in venturing

out in such weather, for of course you saw there would be snow

very soon. Every body must have seen the snow coming on.

I admired your spirit; and I dare say we shall get home very well.

Another hour or two's snow can hardly make the road impassable;

and we are two carriages; if one is blown over in the bleak Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница part

of the common field there will be the other at hand. I dare say we

shall be all safe at Hartfield before midnight."

Mr. Weston, with triumph of a different sort, was confessing that he

had known it to be snowing some time, but had not said a word,

lest it should make Mr. Woodhouse uncomfortable, and be an excuse

for his hurrying away. As to there being any quantity of snow fallen

or likely to fall to impede their return, that was a mere joke;

he was afraid they would find no difficulty. He wished the road might

be impassable, that he might be Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница able to keep them all at Randalls;

and with the utmost good-will was sure that accommodation might

be found for every body, calling on his wife to agree with him,

that with a little contrivance, every body might be lodged,

which she hardly knew how to do, from the consciousness of there

being but two spare rooms in the house.

"What is to be done, my dear Emma?--what is to be done?"

was Mr. Woodhouse's first exclamation, and all that he could say

for some time. To her he looked for comfort; and her assurances

of safety, her representation Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home 9 страница of the excellence of the horses,

and of James, and of their having so many friends about them,

revived him a little.

His eldest daughter's alarm was equal to his own. The horror of

being blocked up at Randalls, while her children were at Hartfield,

was full in her imagination; and fancying the road to be now just

passable for adventurous people, but in a state that admitted no delay,

she was eager to have it settled, that her father and Emma should remain

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