Emma eBook

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

“If I made myself intelligible yesterday, this letter will be expected; but expected or not, I know it will be read with candour and indulgence.—­ You are all goodness, and I believe there will be need of even all your goodness to allow for some parts of my past conduct.—­ But I have been forgiven by one who had still more to resent.  My courage rises while I write.  It is very difficult for the prosperous to be humble.  I have already met with such success in two applications for pardon, that I may be in danger of thinking myself too sure of yours, and of those among your friends who have had any ground of offence.—­You must all endeavour to comprehend the exact nature of my situation when I first arrived at Randalls; you must consider me as having a secret which was to be kept at all hazards.  This was the fact.  My right to place myself in a situation requiring such concealment, is another question.  I shall not discuss it here.  For my temptation to think it a right, I refer every caviller to a brick house, sashed windows below, and casements above, in Highbury.  I dared not address her openly; my difficulties in the then state of Enscombe must be too well known to require definition; and I was fortunate enough to prevail, before we parted at Weymouth, and to induce the most upright female mind in the creation to stoop in charity to a secret engagement.—­ Had she refused, I should have gone mad.—­But you will be ready to say, what was your hope in doing this?—­What did you look forward to?—­ To any thing, every thing—­to time, chance, circumstance, slow effects, sudden bursts, perseverance and weariness, health and sickness.  Every possibility of good was before me, and the first of blessings secured, in obtaining her promises of faith and correspondence.  If you need farther explanation, I have the honour, my dear madam, of being your husband’s son, and the advantage of inheriting a disposition to hope for good, which no inheritance of houses or lands can ever equal the value of.—­See me, then, under these circumstances, arriving on my first visit to Randalls;—­and here I am conscious of wrong, for that visit might have been sooner paid.  You will look back and see that I did not come till Miss Fairfax was in Highbury; and as you were the person slighted, you will forgive me instantly; but I must work on my father’s compassion, by reminding him, that so long as I absented myself from his house, so long I lost the blessing of knowing you.  My behaviour, during the very happy fortnight which I spent with you, did not, I hope, lay me open to reprehension, excepting on one point.  And now I come to the principal, the only important part of my conduct while belonging to you, which excites my own anxiety, or requires very solicitous explanation.  With the greatest respect, and the warmest friendship, do I mention Miss Woodhouse; my father perhaps will think I ought to add, with the deepest humiliation.—­ A few words which dropped from him yesterday spoke

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Emma from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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