Emma eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 469 pages of information about Emma.
of Mrs. Martin’s having “two parlours, two very good parlours, indeed; one of them quite as large as Mrs. Goddard’s drawing-room; and of her having an upper maid who had lived five-and-twenty years with her; and of their having eight cows, two of them Alderneys, and one a little Welch cow, a very pretty little Welch cow indeed; and of Mrs. Martin’s saying as she was so fond of it, it should be called her cow; and of their having a very handsome summer-house in their garden, where some day next year they were all to drink tea:—­a very handsome summer-house, large enough to hold a dozen people.”

For some time she was amused, without thinking beyond the immediate cause; but as she came to understand the family better, other feelings arose.  She had taken up a wrong idea, fancying it was a mother and daughter, a son and son’s wife, who all lived together; but when it appeared that the Mr. Martin, who bore a part in the narrative, and was always mentioned with approbation for his great good-nature in doing something or other, was a single man; that there was no young Mrs. Martin, no wife in the case; she did suspect danger to her poor little friend from all this hospitality and kindness, and that, if she were not taken care of, she might be required to sink herself forever.

With this inspiriting notion, her questions increased in number and meaning; and she particularly led Harriet to talk more of Mr. Martin, and there was evidently no dislike to it.  Harriet was very ready to speak of the share he had had in their moonlight walks and merry evening games; and dwelt a good deal upon his being so very good-humoured and obliging.  He had gone three miles round one day in order to bring her some walnuts, because she had said how fond she was of them, and in every thing else he was so very obliging.  He had his shepherd’s son into the parlour one night on purpose to sing to her.  She was very fond of singing.  He could sing a little himself.  She believed he was very clever, and understood every thing.  He had a very fine flock, and, while she was with them, he had been bid more for his wool than any body in the country.  She believed every body spoke well of him.  His mother and sisters were very fond of him.  Mrs. Martin had told her one day (and there was a blush as she said it,) that it was impossible for any body to be a better son, and therefore she was sure, whenever he married, he would make a good husband.  Not that she wanted him to marry.  She was in no hurry at all.

“Well done, Mrs. Martin!” thought Emma.  “You know what you are about.”

“And when she had come away, Mrs. Martin was so very kind as to send Mrs. Goddard a beautiful goose—­the finest goose Mrs. Goddard had ever seen.  Mrs. Goddard had dressed it on a Sunday, and asked all the three teachers, Miss Nash, and Miss Prince, and Miss Richardson, to sup with her.”

“Mr. Martin, I suppose, is not a man of information beyond the line of his own business?  He does not read?”

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Emma from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.