Emma eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 469 pages of information about Emma.
The impossibility of her quitting her father, Mr. Knightley felt as strongly as herself; but the inadmissibility of any other change, he could not agree to.  He had been thinking it over most deeply, most intently; he had at first hoped to induce Mr. Woodhouse to remove with her to Donwell; he had wanted to believe it feasible, but his knowledge of Mr. Woodhouse would not suffer him to deceive himself long; and now he confessed his persuasion, that such a transplantation would be a risk of her father’s comfort, perhaps even of his life, which must not be hazarded.  Mr. Woodhouse taken from Hartfield!—­No, he felt that it ought not to be attempted.  But the plan which had arisen on the sacrifice of this, he trusted his dearest Emma would not find in any respect objectionable; it was, that he should be received at Hartfield; that so long as her father’s happiness in other words his life—­required Hartfield to continue her home, it should be his likewise.

Of their all removing to Donwell, Emma had already had her own passing thoughts.  Like him, she had tried the scheme and rejected it; but such an alternative as this had not occurred to her.  She was sensible of all the affection it evinced.  She felt that, in quitting Donwell, he must be sacrificing a great deal of independence of hours and habits; that in living constantly with her father, and in no house of his own, there would be much, very much, to be borne with.  She promised to think of it, and advised him to think of it more; but he was fully convinced, that no reflection could alter his wishes or his opinion on the subject.  He had given it, he could assure her, very long and calm consideration; he had been walking away from William Larkins the whole morning, to have his thoughts to himself.

“Ah! there is one difficulty unprovided for,” cried Emma.  “I am sure William Larkins will not like it.  You must get his consent before you ask mine.”

She promised, however, to think of it; and pretty nearly promised, moreover, to think of it, with the intention of finding it a very good scheme.

It is remarkable, that Emma, in the many, very many, points of view in which she was now beginning to consider Donwell Abbey, was never struck with any sense of injury to her nephew Henry, whose rights as heir-expectant had formerly been so tenaciously regarded.  Think she must of the possible difference to the poor little boy; and yet she only gave herself a saucy conscious smile about it, and found amusement in detecting the real cause of that violent dislike of Mr. Knightley’s marrying Jane Fairfax, or any body else, which at the time she had wholly imputed to the amiable solicitude of the sister and the aunt.

This proposal of his, this plan of marrying and continuing at Hartfield—­ the more she contemplated it, the more pleasing it became.  His evils seemed to lessen, her own advantages to increase, their mutual good to outweigh every drawback.  Such a companion for herself in the periods of anxiety and cheerlessness before her!—­ Such a partner in all those duties and cares to which time must be giving increase of melancholy!

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Emma from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.