Emma eBook

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

“Excuse me, ma’am, but this is by no means my intention; I make no inquiry myself, and should be sorry to have any made by my friends.  When I am quite determined as to the time, I am not at all afraid of being long unemployed.  There are places in town, offices, where inquiry would soon produce something—­Offices for the sale—­ not quite of human flesh—­but of human intellect.”

“Oh! my dear, human flesh!  You quite shock me; if you mean a fling at the slave-trade, I assure you Mr. Suckling was always rather a friend to the abolition.”

“I did not mean, I was not thinking of the slave-trade,” replied Jane; “governess-trade, I assure you, was all that I had in view; widely different certainly as to the guilt of those who carry it on; but as to the greater misery of the victims, I do not know where it lies.  But I only mean to say that there are advertising offices, and that by applying to them I should have no doubt of very soon meeting with something that would do.”

“Something that would do!” repeated Mrs. Elton.  “Aye, that may suit your humble ideas of yourself;—­I know what a modest creature you are; but it will not satisfy your friends to have you taking up with any thing that may offer, any inferior, commonplace situation, in a family not moving in a certain circle, or able to command the elegancies of life.”

“You are very obliging; but as to all that, I am very indifferent; it would be no object to me to be with the rich; my mortifications, I think, would only be the greater; I should suffer more from comparison.  A gentleman’s family is all that I should condition for.”

“I know you, I know you; you would take up with any thing; but I shall be a little more nice, and I am sure the good Campbells will be quite on my side; with your superior talents, you have a right to move in the first circle.  Your musical knowledge alone would entitle you to name your own terms, have as many rooms as you like, and mix in the family as much as you chose;—­that is—­I do not know—­ if you knew the harp, you might do all that, I am very sure; but you sing as well as play;—­yes, I really believe you might, even without the harp, stipulate for what you chose;—­and you must and shall be delightfully, honourably and comfortably settled before the Campbells or I have any rest.”

“You may well class the delight, the honour, and the comfort of such a situation together,” said Jane, “they are pretty sure to be equal; however, I am very serious in not wishing any thing to be attempted at present for me.  I am exceedingly obliged to you, Mrs. Elton, I am obliged to any body who feels for me, but I am quite serious in wishing nothing to be done till the summer.  For two or three months longer I shall remain where I am, and as I am.”

“And I am quite serious too, I assure you,” replied Mrs. Elton gaily, “in resolving to be always on the watch, and employing my friends to watch also, that nothing really unexceptionable may pass us.”

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Emma from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.