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Emma eBook

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

“Now,” said Harriet, “you must recollect.”

“No, indeed I do not.”

“Dear me!  I should not have thought it possible you could forget what passed in this very room about court-plaister, one of the very last times we ever met in it!—­It was but a very few days before I had my sore throat—­just before Mr. and Mrs. John Knightley came—­ I think the very evening.—­Do not you remember his cutting his finger with your new penknife, and your recommending court-plaister?—­ But, as you had none about you, and knew I had, you desired me to supply him; and so I took mine out and cut him a piece; but it was a great deal too large, and he cut it smaller, and kept playing some time with what was left, before he gave it back to me.  And so then, in my nonsense, I could not help making a treasure of it—­ so I put it by never to be used, and looked at it now and then as a great treat.”

“My dearest Harriet!” cried Emma, putting her hand before her face, and jumping up, “you make me more ashamed of myself than I can bear.  Remember it?  Aye, I remember it all now; all, except your saving this relic—­I knew nothing of that till this moment—­but the cutting the finger, and my recommending court-plaister, and saying I had none about me!—­Oh! my sins, my sins!—­And I had plenty all the while in my pocket!—­One of my senseless tricks!—­I deserve to be under a continual blush all the rest of my life.—­Well—­(sitting down again)—­ go on—­what else?”

“And had you really some at hand yourself?  I am sure I never suspected it, you did it so naturally.”

“And so you actually put this piece of court-plaister by for his sake!” said Emma, recovering from her state of shame and feeling divided between wonder and amusement.  And secretly she added to herself, “Lord bless me! when should I ever have thought of putting by in cotton a piece of court-plaister that Frank Churchill had been pulling about!  I never was equal to this.”

“Here,” resumed Harriet, turning to her box again, “here is something still more valuable, I mean that has been more valuable, because this is what did really once belong to him, which the court-plaister never did.”

Emma was quite eager to see this superior treasure.  It was the end of an old pencil,—­the part without any lead.

“This was really his,” said Harriet.—­“Do not you remember one morning?—­no, I dare say you do not.  But one morning—­I forget exactly the day—­but perhaps it was the Tuesday or Wednesday before that evening, he wanted to make a memorandum in his pocket-book; it was about spruce-beer.  Mr. Knightley had been telling him something about brewing spruce-beer, and he wanted to put it down; but when he took out his pencil, there was so little lead that he soon cut it all away, and it would not do, so you lent him another, and this was left upon the table as good for nothing.  But I kept my eye on it; and, as soon as I dared, caught it up, and never parted with it again from that moment.”

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