Emma eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 596 pages of information about Emma.
balls, plays—­for I had no fear of retirement.  Blessed with so many resources within myself, the world was not necessary to me.  I could do very well without it.  To those who had no resources it was a different thing; but my resources made me quite independent.  And as to smaller-sized rooms than I had been used to, I really could not give it a thought.  I hoped I was perfectly equal to any sacrifice of that description.  Certainly I had been accustomed to every luxury at Maple Grove; but I did assure him that two carriages were not necessary to my happiness, nor were spacious apartments. `But,’ said I, `to be quite honest, I do not think I can live without something of a musical society.  I condition for nothing else; but without music, life would be a blank to me.’”

“We cannot suppose,” said Emma, smiling, “that Mr. Elton would hesitate to assure you of there being a very musical society in Highbury; and I hope you will not find he has outstepped the truth more than may be pardoned, in consideration of the motive.”

“No, indeed, I have no doubts at all on that head.  I am delighted to find myself in such a circle.  I hope we shall have many sweet little concerts together.  I think, Miss Woodhouse, you and I must establish a musical club, and have regular weekly meetings at your house, or ours.  Will not it be a good plan?  If we exert ourselves, I think we shall not be long in want of allies.  Something of that nature would be particularly desirable for me, as an inducement to keep me in practice; for married women, you know—­ there is a sad story against them, in general.  They are but too apt to give up music.”

“But you, who are so extremely fond of it—­there can be no danger, surely?”

“I should hope not; but really when I look around among my acquaintance, I tremble.  Selina has entirely given up music—­never touches the instrument—­though she played sweetly.  And the same may be said of Mrs. Jeffereys—­Clara Partridge, that was—­and of the two Milmans, now Mrs. Bird and Mrs. James Cooper; and of more than I can enumerate.  Upon my word it is enough to put one in a fright.  I used to be quite angry with Selina; but really I begin now to comprehend that a married woman has many things to call her attention.  I believe I was half an hour this morning shut up with my housekeeper.”

“But every thing of that kind,” said Emma, “will soon be in so regular a train—­”

“Well,” said Mrs. Elton, laughing, “we shall see.”

Emma, finding her so determined upon neglecting her music, had nothing more to say; and, after a moment’s pause, Mrs. Elton chose another subject.

“We have been calling at Randalls,” said she, “and found them both at home; and very pleasant people they seem to be.  I like them extremely.  Mr. Weston seems an excellent creature—­ quite a first-rate favourite with me already, I assure you.  And she appears so truly good—­there is something so motherly and kind-hearted about her, that it wins upon one directly.  She was your governess, I think?”

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Emma from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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