Emma eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 596 pages of information about Emma.

“I do not know, my dear—­but it is so long since she was here!—­not since last Easter, and then only for a few days.—­Mr. John Knightley’s being a lawyer is very inconvenient.—­Poor Isabella!—­she is sadly taken away from us all!—­and how sorry she will be when she comes, not to see Miss Taylor here!”

“She will not be surprized, papa, at least.”

“I do not know, my dear.  I am sure I was very much surprized when I first heard she was going to be married.”

“We must ask Mr. and Mrs. Weston to dine with us, while Isabella is here.”

“Yes, my dear, if there is time.—­But—­(in a very depressed tone)—­she is coming for only one week.  There will not be time for any thing.”

“It is unfortunate that they cannot stay longer—­but it seems a case of necessity.  Mr. John Knightley must be in town again on the 28th, and we ought to be thankful, papa, that we are to have the whole of the time they can give to the country, that two or three days are not to be taken out for the Abbey.  Mr. Knightley promises to give up his claim this Christmas—­though you know it is longer since they were with him, than with us.”

“It would be very hard, indeed, my dear, if poor Isabella were to be anywhere but at Hartfield.”

Mr. Woodhouse could never allow for Mr. Knightley’s claims on his brother, or any body’s claims on Isabella, except his own.  He sat musing a little while, and then said,

“But I do not see why poor Isabella should be obliged to go back so soon, though he does.  I think, Emma, I shall try and persuade her to stay longer with us.  She and the children might stay very well.”

“Ah! papa—­that is what you never have been able to accomplish, and I do not think you ever will.  Isabella cannot bear to stay behind her husband.”

This was too true for contradiction.  Unwelcome as it was, Mr. Woodhouse could only give a submissive sigh; and as Emma saw his spirits affected by the idea of his daughter’s attachment to her husband, she immediately led to such a branch of the subject as must raise them.

“Harriet must give us as much of her company as she can while my brother and sister are here.  I am sure she will be pleased with the children.  We are very proud of the children, are not we, papa?  I wonder which she will think the handsomest, Henry or John?”

“Aye, I wonder which she will.  Poor little dears, how glad they will be to come.  They are very fond of being at Hartfield, Harriet.”

“I dare say they are, sir.  I am sure I do not know who is not.”

“Henry is a fine boy, but John is very like his mama.  Henry is the eldest, he was named after me, not after his father.  John, the second, is named after his father.  Some people are surprized, I believe, that the eldest was not, but Isabella would have him called Henry, which I thought very pretty of her.  And he is a very clever boy, indeed.  They are all remarkably clever; and they have so many pretty ways.  They will come and stand by my chair, and say, `Grandpapa, can you give me a bit of string?’ and once Henry asked me for a knife, but I told him knives were only made for grandpapas.  I think their father is too rough with them very often.”

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Emma from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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