Emma eBook

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

She soon believed herself to penetrate Mrs. Elton’s thoughts, and understand why she was, like herself, in happy spirits; it was being in Miss Fairfax’s confidence, and fancying herself acquainted with what was still a secret to other people.  Emma saw symptoms of it immediately in the expression of her face; and while paying her own compliments to Mrs. Bates, and appearing to attend to the good old lady’s replies, she saw her with a sort of anxious parade of mystery fold up a letter which she had apparently been reading aloud to Miss Fairfax, and return it into the purple and gold reticule by her side, saying, with significant nods,

“We can finish this some other time, you know.  You and I shall not want opportunities.  And, in fact, you have heard all the essential already.  I only wanted to prove to you that Mrs. S. admits our apology, and is not offended.  You see how delightfully she writes.  Oh! she is a sweet creature!  You would have doated on her, had you gone.—­But not a word more.  Let us be discreet—­ quite on our good behaviour.—­Hush!—­You remember those lines—­ I forget the poem at this moment: 

        “For when a lady’s in the case,
        “You know all other things give place.”

Now I say, my dear, in our case, for lady, read——­mum! a word to the wise.—­I am in a fine flow of spirits, an’t I?  But I want to set your heart at ease as to Mrs. S.—­My representation, you see, has quite appeased her.”

And again, on Emma’s merely turning her head to look at Mrs. Bates’s knitting, she added, in a half whisper,

“I mentioned no names, you will observe.—­Oh! no; cautious as a minister of state.  I managed it extremely well.”

Emma could not doubt.  It was a palpable display, repeated on every possible occasion.  When they had all talked a little while in harmony of the weather and Mrs. Weston, she found herself abruptly addressed with,

“Do not you think, Miss Woodhouse, our saucy little friend here is charmingly recovered?—­Do not you think her cure does Perry the highest credit?—­(here was a side-glance of great meaning at Jane.) Upon my word, Perry has restored her in a wonderful short time!—­ Oh! if you had seen her, as I did, when she was at the worst!”—­ And when Mrs. Bates was saying something to Emma, whispered farther, “We do not say a word of any assistance that Perry might have; not a word of a certain young physician from Windsor.—­Oh! no; Perry shall have all the credit.”

“I have scarce had the pleasure of seeing you, Miss Woodhouse,” she shortly afterwards began, “since the party to Box Hill.  Very pleasant party.  But yet I think there was something wanting.  Things did not seem—­that is, there seemed a little cloud upon the spirits of some.—­So it appeared to me at least, but I might be mistaken.  However, I think it answered so far as to tempt one to go again.  What say you both to our collecting the same party, and exploring to Box Hill again, while the fine weather lasts?—­ It must be the same party, you know, quite the same party, not one exception.”

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Emma from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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