Emma eBook

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

“I hope not that.—­It is not likely.  No, Mr. Knightley, do not foretell vexation from that quarter.”

“Not I, indeed.  I only name possibilities.  I do not pretend to Emma’s genius for foretelling and guessing.  I hope, with all my heart, the young man may be a Weston in merit, and a Churchill in fortune.—­But Harriet Smith—­I have not half done about Harriet Smith.  I think her the very worst sort of companion that Emma could possibly have.  She knows nothing herself, and looks upon Emma as knowing every thing.  She is a flatterer in all her ways; and so much the worse, because undesigned.  Her ignorance is hourly flattery.  How can Emma imagine she has any thing to learn herself, while Harriet is presenting such a delightful inferiority?  And as for Harriet, I will venture to say that she cannot gain by the acquaintance.  Hartfield will only put her out of conceit with all the other places she belongs to.  She will grow just refined enough to be uncomfortable with those among whom birth and circumstances have placed her home.  I am much mistaken if Emma’s doctrines give any strength of mind, or tend at all to make a girl adapt herself rationally to the varieties of her situation in life.—­They only give a little polish.”

“I either depend more upon Emma’s good sense than you do, or am more anxious for her present comfort; for I cannot lament the acquaintance.  How well she looked last night!”

“Oh! you would rather talk of her person than her mind, would you?  Very well; I shall not attempt to deny Emma’s being pretty.”

“Pretty! say beautiful rather.  Can you imagine any thing nearer perfect beauty than Emma altogether—­face and figure?”

“I do not know what I could imagine, but I confess that I have seldom seen a face or figure more pleasing to me than hers.  But I am a partial old friend.”

“Such an eye!—­the true hazle eye—­and so brilliant! regular features, open countenance, with a complexion! oh! what a bloom of full health, and such a pretty height and size; such a firm and upright figure!  There is health, not merely in her bloom, but in her air, her head, her glance.  One hears sometimes of a child being `the picture of health;’ now, Emma always gives me the idea of being the complete picture of grown-up health.  She is loveliness itself.  Mr. Knightley, is not she?”

“I have not a fault to find with her person,” he replied.  “I think her all you describe.  I love to look at her; and I will add this praise, that I do not think her personally vain.  Considering how very handsome she is, she appears to be little occupied with it; her vanity lies another way.  Mrs. Weston, I am not to be talked out of my dislike of Harriet Smith, or my dread of its doing them both harm.”

“And I, Mr. Knightley, am equally stout in my confidence of its not doing them any harm.  With all dear Emma’s little faults, she is an excellent creature.  Where shall we see a better daughter, or a kinder sister, or a truer friend?  No, no; she has qualities which may be trusted; she will never lead any one really wrong; she will make no lasting blunder; where Emma errs once, she is in the right a hundred times.”

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Emma from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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