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Emma eBook

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

“I do not understand what you mean by `success,’” said Mr. Knightley.  “Success supposes endeavour.  Your time has been properly and delicately spent, if you have been endeavouring for the last four years to bring about this marriage.  A worthy employment for a young lady’s mind!  But if, which I rather imagine, your making the match, as you call it, means only your planning it, your saying to yourself one idle day, `I think it would be a very good thing for Miss Taylor if Mr. Weston were to marry her,’ and saying it again to yourself every now and then afterwards, why do you talk of success?  Where is your merit?  What are you proud of?  You made a lucky guess; and that is all that can be said.”

“And have you never known the pleasure and triumph of a lucky guess?—­ I pity you.—­I thought you cleverer—­for, depend upon it a lucky guess is never merely luck.  There is always some talent in it.  And as to my poor word `success,’ which you quarrel with, I do not know that I am so entirely without any claim to it.  You have drawn two pretty pictures; but I think there may be a third—­a something between the do-nothing and the do-all.  If I had not promoted Mr. Weston’s visits here, and given many little encouragements, and smoothed many little matters, it might not have come to any thing after all.  I think you must know Hartfield enough to comprehend that.”

“A straightforward, open-hearted man like Weston, and a rational, unaffected woman like Miss Taylor, may be safely left to manage their own concerns.  You are more likely to have done harm to yourself, than good to them, by interference.”

“Emma never thinks of herself, if she can do good to others,” rejoined Mr. Woodhouse, understanding but in part.  “But, my dear, pray do not make any more matches; they are silly things, and break up one’s family circle grievously.”

“Only one more, papa; only for Mr. Elton.  Poor Mr. Elton!  You like Mr. Elton, papa,—­I must look about for a wife for him.  There is nobody in Highbury who deserves him—­and he has been here a whole year, and has fitted up his house so comfortably, that it would be a shame to have him single any longer—­and I thought when he was joining their hands to-day, he looked so very much as if he would like to have the same kind office done for him!  I think very well of Mr. Elton, and this is the only way I have of doing him a service.”

“Mr. Elton is a very pretty young man, to be sure, and a very good young man, and I have a great regard for him.  But if you want to shew him any attention, my dear, ask him to come and dine with us some day.  That will be a much better thing.  I dare say Mr. Knightley will be so kind as to meet him.”

“With a great deal of pleasure, sir, at any time,” said Mr. Knightley, laughing, “and I agree with you entirely, that it will be a much better thing.  Invite him to dinner, Emma, and help him to the best of the fish and the chicken, but leave him to chuse his own wife.  Depend upon it, a man of six or seven-and-twenty can take care of himself.”

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