Emma eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 596 pages of information about Emma.

“No, indeed, I shall grant you nothing.  I Always take the part of my own sex.  I do indeed.  I give you notice—­You will find me a formidable antagonist on that point.  I always stand up for women—­ and I assure you, if you knew how Selina feels with respect to sleeping at an inn, you would not wonder at Mrs. Churchill’s making incredible exertions to avoid it.  Selina says it is quite horror to her—­and I believe I have caught a little of her nicety.  She always travels with her own sheets; an excellent precaution.  Does Mrs. Churchill do the same?”

“Depend upon it, Mrs. Churchill does every thing that any other fine lady ever did.  Mrs. Churchill will not be second to any lady in the land for”—­

Mrs. Elton eagerly interposed with,

“Oh!  Mr. Weston, do not mistake me.  Selina is no fine lady, I assure you.  Do not run away with such an idea.”

“Is not she?  Then she is no rule for Mrs. Churchill, who is as thorough a fine lady as any body ever beheld.”

Mrs. Elton began to think she had been wrong in disclaiming so warmly.  It was by no means her object to have it believed that her sister was not a fine lady; perhaps there was want of spirit in the pretence of it;—­and she was considering in what way she had best retract, when Mr. Weston went on.

“Mrs. Churchill is not much in my good graces, as you may suspect—­ but this is quite between ourselves.  She is very fond of Frank, and therefore I would not speak ill of her.  Besides, she is out of health now; but that indeed, by her own account, she has always been.  I would not say so to every body, Mrs. Elton, but I have not much faith in Mrs. Churchill’s illness.”

“If she is really ill, why not go to Bath, Mr. Weston?—­To Bath, or to Clifton?” “She has taken it into her head that Enscombe is too cold for her.  The fact is, I suppose, that she is tired of Enscombe.  She has now been a longer time stationary there, than she ever was before, and she begins to want change.  It is a retired place.  A fine place, but very retired.”

“Aye—­like Maple Grove, I dare say.  Nothing can stand more retired from the road than Maple Grove.  Such an immense plantation all round it!  You seem shut out from every thing—­in the most complete retirement.—­ And Mrs. Churchill probably has not health or spirits like Selina to enjoy that sort of seclusion.  Or, perhaps she may not have resources enough in herself to be qualified for a country life.  I always say a woman cannot have too many resources—­and I feel very thankful that I have so many myself as to be quite independent of society.”

“Frank was here in February for a fortnight.”

“So I remember to have heard.  He will find an addition to the society of Highbury when he comes again; that is, if I may presume to call myself an addition.  But perhaps he may never have heard of there being such a creature in the world.”

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Emma from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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