Emma eBook

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

“Yes; all the advantages of sitting still when he ought to move, and of leading a life of mere idle pleasure, and fancying himself extremely expert in finding excuses for it.  He can sit down and write a fine flourishing letter, full of professions and falsehoods, and persuade himself that he has hit upon the very best method in the world of preserving peace at home and preventing his father’s having any right to complain.  His letters disgust me.”

“Your feelings are singular.  They seem to satisfy every body else.”

“I suspect they do not satisfy Mrs. Weston.  They hardly can satisfy a woman of her good sense and quick feelings:  standing in a mother’s place, but without a mother’s affection to blind her.  It is on her account that attention to Randalls is doubly due, and she must doubly feel the omission.  Had she been a person of consequence herself, he would have come I dare say; and it would not have signified whether he did or no.  Can you think your friend behindhand in these sort of considerations?  Do you suppose she does not often say all this to herself?  No, Emma, your amiable young man can be amiable only in French, not in English.  He may be very `aimable,’ have very good manners, and be very agreeable; but he can have no English delicacy towards the feelings of other people:  nothing really amiable about him.”

“You seem determined to think ill of him.”

“Me!—­not at all,” replied Mr. Knightley, rather displeased; “I do not want to think ill of him.  I should be as ready to acknowledge his merits as any other man; but I hear of none, except what are merely personal; that he is well-grown and good-looking, with smooth, plausible manners.”

“Well, if he have nothing else to recommend him, he will be a treasure at Highbury.  We do not often look upon fine young men, well-bred and agreeable.  We must not be nice and ask for all the virtues into the bargain.  Cannot you imagine, Mr. Knightley, what a sensation his coming will produce?  There will be but one subject throughout the parishes of Donwell and Highbury; but one interest—­ one object of curiosity; it will be all Mr. Frank Churchill; we shall think and speak of nobody else.”

“You will excuse my being so much over-powered.  If I find him conversable, I shall be glad of his acquaintance; but if he is only a chattering coxcomb, he will not occupy much of my time or thoughts.”

“My idea of him is, that he can adapt his conversation to the taste of every body, and has the power as well as the wish of being universally agreeable.  To you, he will talk of farming; to me, of drawing or music; and so on to every body, having that general information on all subjects which will enable him to follow the lead, or take the lead, just as propriety may require, and to speak extremely well on each; that is my idea of him.”

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Emma from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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