Emma eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 596 pages of information about Emma.
I began this letter, which will be longer than I foresaw, I have heard from her.—­ She gives a good account of her own health; but as she never complains, I dare not depend.  I want to have your opinion of her looks.  I know you will soon call on her; she is living in dread of the visit.  Perhaps it is paid already.  Let me hear from you without delay; I am impatient for a thousand particulars.  Remember how few minutes I was at Randalls, and in how bewildered, how mad a state:  and I am not much better yet; still insane either from happiness or misery.  When I think of the kindness and favour I have met with, of her excellence and patience, and my uncle’s generosity, I am mad with joy:  but when I recollect all the uneasiness I occasioned her, and how little I deserve to be forgiven, I am mad with anger.  If I could but see her again!—­But I must not propose it yet.  My uncle has been too good for me to encroach.—­I must still add to this long letter.  You have not heard all that you ought to hear.  I could not give any connected detail yesterday; but the suddenness, and, in one light, the unseasonableness with which the affair burst out, needs explanation; for though the event of the 26th ult., as you will conclude, immediately opened to me the happiest prospects, I should not have presumed on such early measures, but from the very particular circumstances, which left me not an hour to lose.  I should myself have shrunk from any thing so hasty, and she would have felt every scruple of mine with multiplied strength and refinement.—­ But I had no choice.  The hasty engagement she had entered into with that woman—­Here, my dear madam, I was obliged to leave off abruptly, to recollect and compose myself.—­I have been walking over the country, and am now, I hope, rational enough to make the rest of my letter what it ought to be.—­It is, in fact, a most mortifying retrospect for me.  I behaved shamefully.  And here I can admit, that my manners to Miss W., in being unpleasant to Miss F., were highly blameable. She disapproved them, which ought to have been enough.—­My plea of concealing the truth she did not think sufficient.—­She was displeased; I thought unreasonably so:  I thought her, on a thousand occasions, unnecessarily scrupulous and cautious:  I thought her even cold.  But she was always right.  If I had followed her judgment, and subdued my spirits to the level of what she deemed proper, I should have escaped the greatest unhappiness I have ever known.—­We quarrelled.—­ Do you remember the morning spent at Donwell?—­There every little dissatisfaction that had occurred before came to a crisis.  I was late; I met her walking home by herself, and wanted to walk with her, but she would not suffer it.  She absolutely refused to allow me, which I then thought most unreasonable.  Now, however, I see nothing in it but a very natural and consistent degree of discretion.  While I, to blind the world to our engagement, was behaving
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Emma from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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