Emma eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 469 pages of information about Emma.

“You think her diffident.  I do not see it.”

“My dear Emma,” said he, moving from his chair into one close by her, “you are not going to tell me, I hope, that you had not a pleasant evening.”

“Oh! no; I was pleased with my own perseverance in asking questions; and amused to think how little information I obtained.”

“I am disappointed,” was his only answer.

“I hope every body had a pleasant evening,” said Mr. Woodhouse, in his quiet way.  “I had.  Once, I felt the fire rather too much; but then I moved back my chair a little, a very little, and it did not disturb me.  Miss Bates was very chatty and good-humoured, as she always is, though she speaks rather too quick.  However, she is very agreeable, and Mrs. Bates too, in a different way.  I like old friends; and Miss Jane Fairfax is a very pretty sort of young lady, a very pretty and a very well-behaved young lady indeed.  She must have found the evening agreeable, Mr. Knightley, because she had Emma.”

“True, sir; and Emma, because she had Miss Fairfax.”

Emma saw his anxiety, and wishing to appease it, at least for the present, said, and with a sincerity which no one could question—­

“She is a sort of elegant creature that one cannot keep one’s eyes from.  I am always watching her to admire; and I do pity her from my heart.”

Mr. Knightley looked as if he were more gratified than he cared to express; and before he could make any reply, Mr. Woodhouse, whose thoughts were on the Bates’s, said—­

“It is a great pity that their circumstances should be so confined! a great pity indeed! and I have often wished—­but it is so little one can venture to do—­small, trifling presents, of any thing uncommon—­ Now we have killed a porker, and Emma thinks of sending them a loin or a leg; it is very small and delicate—­Hartfield pork is not like any other pork—­but still it is pork—­and, my dear Emma, unless one could be sure of their making it into steaks, nicely fried, as ours are fried, without the smallest grease, and not roast it, for no stomach can bear roast pork—­I think we had better send the leg—­ do not you think so, my dear?”

“My dear papa, I sent the whole hind-quarter.  I knew you would wish it.  There will be the leg to be salted, you know, which is so very nice, and the loin to be dressed directly in any manner they like.”

“That’s right, my dear, very right.  I had not thought of it before, but that is the best way.  They must not over-salt the leg; and then, if it is not over-salted, and if it is very thoroughly boiled, just as Serle boils ours, and eaten very moderately of, with a boiled turnip, and a little carrot or parsnip, I do not consider it unwholesome.”

“Emma,” said Mr. Knightley presently, “I have a piece of news for you.  You like news—­and I heard an article in my way hither that I think will interest you.”

“News!  Oh! yes, I always like news.  What is it?—­why do you smile so?—­where did you hear it?—­at Randalls?”

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Emma from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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