Emma eBook

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

        To Miss—­

          CHARADE.

    My first displays the wealth and pomp of kings,
      Lords of the earth! their luxury and ease. 
    Another view of man, my second brings,
      Behold him there, the monarch of the seas!

    But ah! united, what reverse we have! 
      Man’s boasted power and freedom, all are flown;
    Lord of the earth and sea, he bends a slave,
      And woman, lovely woman, reigns alone.

      Thy ready wit the word will soon supply,
      May its approval beam in that soft eye!

She cast her eye over it, pondered, caught the meaning, read it through again to be quite certain, and quite mistress of the lines, and then passing it to Harriet, sat happily smiling, and saying to herself, while Harriet was puzzling over the paper in all the confusion of hope and dulness, “Very well, Mr. Elton, very well indeed.  I have read worse charades. Courtship—­a very good hint.  I give you credit for it.  This is feeling your way.  This is saying very plainly—­`Pray, Miss Smith, give me leave to pay my addresses to you.  Approve my charade and my intentions in the same glance.’

      May its approval beam in that soft eye!

Harriet exactly.  Soft is the very word for her eye—­of all epithets, the justest that could be given.

      Thy ready wit the word will soon supply.

Humph—­Harriet’s ready wit!  All the better.  A man must be very much in love, indeed, to describe her so.  Ah!  Mr. Knightley, I wish you had the benefit of this; I think this would convince you.  For once in your life you would be obliged to own yourself mistaken.  An excellent charade indeed! and very much to the purpose.  Things must come to a crisis soon now.

She was obliged to break off from these very pleasant observations, which were otherwise of a sort to run into great length, by the eagerness of Harriet’s wondering questions.

“What can it be, Miss Woodhouse?—­what can it be?  I have not an idea—­I cannot guess it in the least.  What can it possibly be?  Do try to find it out, Miss Woodhouse.  Do help me.  I never saw any thing so hard.  Is it kingdom?  I wonder who the friend was—­and who could be the young lady.  Do you think it is a good one?  Can it be woman?

      And woman, lovely woman, reigns alone.

Can it be Neptune?

      Behold him there, the monarch of the seas!

Or a trident? or a mermaid? or a shark?  Oh, no! shark is only one syllable.  It must be very clever, or he would not have brought it.  Oh!  Miss Woodhouse, do you think we shall ever find it out?”

“Mermaids and sharks!  Nonsense!  My dear Harriet, what are you thinking of?  Where would be the use of his bringing us a charade made by a friend upon a mermaid or a shark?  Give me the paper and listen.

For Miss ----------, read Miss Smith.

    My first displays the wealth and pomp of kings,
      Lords of the earth! their luxury and ease.

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Project Gutenberg
Emma from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.