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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 469 pages of information about Emma.
not thinking the asparagus quite boiled enough, sent it all out again.  Now there is nothing grandmama loves better than sweetbread and asparagus—­ so she was rather disappointed, but we agreed we would not speak of it to any body, for fear of its getting round to dear Miss Woodhouse, who would be so very much concerned!—­Well, this is brilliant!  I am all amazement! could not have supposed any thing!—­Such elegance and profusion!—­I have seen nothing like it since—­ Well, where shall we sit? where shall we sit?  Anywhere, so that Jane is not in a draught.  Where I sit is of no consequence.  Oh! do you recommend this side?—­Well, I am sure, Mr. Churchill—­ only it seems too good—­but just as you please.  What you direct in this house cannot be wrong.  Dear Jane, how shall we ever recollect half the dishes for grandmama?  Soup too!  Bless me!  I should not be helped so soon, but it smells most excellent, and I cannot help beginning.”

Emma had no opportunity of speaking to Mr. Knightley till after supper; but, when they were all in the ballroom again, her eyes invited him irresistibly to come to her and be thanked.  He was warm in his reprobation of Mr. Elton’s conduct; it had been unpardonable rudeness; and Mrs. Elton’s looks also received the due share of censure.

“They aimed at wounding more than Harriet,” said he.  “Emma, why is it that they are your enemies?”

He looked with smiling penetration; and, on receiving no answer, added, “She ought not to be angry with you, I suspect, whatever he may be.—­To that surmise, you say nothing, of course; but confess, Emma, that you did want him to marry Harriet.”

“I did,” replied Emma, “and they cannot forgive me.”

He shook his head; but there was a smile of indulgence with it, and he only said,

“I shall not scold you.  I leave you to your own reflections.”

“Can you trust me with such flatterers?—­Does my vain spirit ever tell me I am wrong?”

“Not your vain spirit, but your serious spirit.—­If one leads you wrong, I am sure the other tells you of it.”

“I do own myself to have been completely mistaken in Mr. Elton.  There is a littleness about him which you discovered, and which I did not:  and I was fully convinced of his being in love with Harriet.  It was through a series of strange blunders!”

“And, in return for your acknowledging so much, I will do you the justice to say, that you would have chosen for him better than he has chosen for himself.—­Harriet Smith has some first-rate qualities, which Mrs. Elton is totally without.  An unpretending, single-minded, artless girl—­ infinitely to be preferred by any man of sense and taste to such a woman as Mrs. Elton.  I found Harriet more conversable than I expected.”

Emma was extremely gratified.—­They were interrupted by the bustle of Mr. Weston calling on every body to begin dancing again.

“Come Miss Woodhouse, Miss Otway, Miss Fairfax, what are you all doing?—­ Come Emma, set your companions the example.  Every body is lazy!  Every body is asleep!”

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