Emma eBook

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

After tea, Mr. and Mrs. Weston, and Mr. Elton sat down with Mr. Woodhouse to cards.  The remaining five were left to their own powers, and Emma doubted their getting on very well; for Mr. Knightley seemed little disposed for conversation; Mrs. Elton was wanting notice, which nobody had inclination to pay, and she was herself in a worry of spirits which would have made her prefer being silent.

Mr. John Knightley proved more talkative than his brother.  He was to leave them early the next day; and he soon began with—­

“Well, Emma, I do not believe I have any thing more to say about the boys; but you have your sister’s letter, and every thing is down at full length there we may be sure.  My charge would be much more concise than her’s, and probably not much in the same spirit; all that I have to recommend being comprised in, do not spoil them, and do not physic them.”

“I rather hope to satisfy you both,” said Emma, “for I shall do all in my power to make them happy, which will be enough for Isabella; and happiness must preclude false indulgence and physic.”

“And if you find them troublesome, you must send them home again.”

“That is very likely.  You think so, do not you?”

“I hope I am aware that they may be too noisy for your father—­ or even may be some encumbrance to you, if your visiting engagements continue to increase as much as they have done lately.”

“Increase!”

“Certainly; you must be sensible that the last half-year has made a great difference in your way of life.”

“Difference!  No indeed I am not.”

“There can be no doubt of your being much more engaged with company than you used to be.  Witness this very time.  Here am I come down for only one day, and you are engaged with a dinner-party!—­ When did it happen before, or any thing like it?  Your neighbourhood is increasing, and you mix more with it.  A little while ago, every letter to Isabella brought an account of fresh gaieties; dinners at Mr. Cole’s, or balls at the Crown.  The difference which Randalls, Randalls alone makes in your goings-on, is very great.”

“Yes,” said his brother quickly, “it is Randalls that does it all.”

“Very well—­and as Randalls, I suppose, is not likely to have less influence than heretofore, it strikes me as a possible thing, Emma, that Henry and John may be sometimes in the way.  And if they are, I only beg you to send them home.”

“No,” cried Mr. Knightley, “that need not be the consequence.  Let them be sent to Donwell.  I shall certainly be at leisure.”

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Emma from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.