VOLUME I CHAPTER I
Emma Woodhouse , handsome , clever , and rich , with
a comfortable home 2
and happy disposition 1
, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence ; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in
the world 3
with very little to distress or vex
her 1
.
She 1
was
the youngest of
the two daughters of
a most affectionate , indulgent father 5
4
45
; and had , in consequence of
her 1
sister 's marriage , been
mistress of
his 5
house 2
46
from a very early period .
Her 1
mother 6
had died too long ago for
her 1
to have more than an indistinct remembrance of
her 6
caresses ; and
her 6
place had been supplied by
an excellent woman as governess 0
, who had fallen little short of
a mother 7
in affection .
Sixteen years had
Miss Taylor 0
been in
Mr. Woodhouse 5
's family 8
, less as
a governess 41
than
a friend 47
, very fond of
both daughters 4
, but particularly of
Emma 1
.
Between _
them 9
_ it was more the intimacy of
sisters 10
.
Even before
Miss Taylor 0
had ceased to hold the nominal office of
governess 11
, the mildness of
her 0
temper had hardly allowed
her 0
to impose any restraint ; and the shadow of authority being now long passed away ,
they 9
had been living together as
friend 12
and
friend 13
very mutually attached , and
Emma 1
doing just what
she 1
liked ; highly esteeming
Miss Taylor 0
's judgment , but directed chiefly by
her 1
own .
The real evils , indeed , of
Emma 1
's situation were the power of having rather too much
her 1
own way , and a disposition to think a little too well of
herself 1
; these were the disadvantages which threatened alloy to
her 1
many enjoyments .
The danger , however , was at present so unperceived , that they did not by any means rank as misfortunes with
her 1
.
Sorrow came -- a gentle sorrow -- but not at all in the shape of any disagreeable consciousness .
--
Miss Taylor 0
married .
It was
Miss Taylor 0
's loss which first brought grief .
It was on the wedding-day of
this beloved friend 0
that
Emma 1
first sat in mournful thought of any continuance .
The wedding over , and
the bride-people 14
gone ,
her 1
father 5
and
herself 1
were left to dine together , with no prospect of
a third 15
to cheer a long evening .
Her 1
father 5
composed
himself 5
to sleep after dinner , as usual , and
she 1
had then only to sit and think of what
she 1
had lost .
The event had every promise of happiness for
her 1
friend 0
.
Mr. Weston 16
was
a man of unexceptionable character , easy fortune , suitable age , and pleasant manners 48
; and there was some satisfaction in considering with what self-denying , generous friendship
she 1
had always wished and promoted the match ; but it was a black morning 's work for
her 1
.
The want of
Miss Taylor 0
would be felt every hour of every day .
She 1
recalled
her 0
past kindness -- the kindness , the affection of sixteen years -- how
she 0
had taught and how
she 0
had played with
her 1
from five years old -- how
she 0
had devoted all
her 0
powers to attach and amuse
her 1
in health -- and how nursed
her 1
through the various illnesses of childhood .
A large debt of gratitude was owing here ; but the intercourse of the last seven years , the equal footing and perfect unreserve which had soon followed
Isabella 17
's marriage , on
their 9
being left to each other , was yet a dearer , tenderer recollection .
She 0
had been
a friend and companion such as few possessed 49
: intelligent , well-informed , useful , gentle , knowing all the ways of
the family 8
, interested in all
its 8
concerns , and peculiarly interested in
herself 1
, in every pleasure , every scheme of
hers 1
-- one to whom
she 1
could speak every thought as it arose , and who had such an affection for
her 1
as could never find fault .
How was
she 1
to bear the change ?
-- It was true that
her 1
friend 0
was going only half a mile from
them 18
; but
Emma 1
was aware that great must be the difference between
a Mrs. Weston 0
, only half a mile from
them 18
, and
a Miss Taylor 0
in
the house 2
; and with all
her 1
advantages , natural and domestic ,
she 1
was now in great danger of suffering from intellectual solitude .
She 1
dearly loved
her 1
father 5
, but
he 5
was
no companion for
her 1
19
.
He 5
could not meet
her 1
in conversation , rational or playful .
The evil of the actual disparity in
their 18
ages ( and
Mr. Woodhouse 5
had not married early ) was much increased by
his 5
constitution and habits ; for having been
a valetudinarian 50
all
his 5
life , without activity of mind or body ,
he 5
was
a much older man in ways than in years 51
; and though everywhere beloved for the friendliness of
his 5
heart and
his 5
amiable temper ,
his 5
talents could not have recommended
him 5
at any time .
Her 1
sister 17
, though comparatively but little removed by matrimony , being settled in
London 20
, only sixteen miles off , was much beyond
her 1
daily reach ; and many a long October and November evening must be struggled through at
Hartfield 2
, before Christmas brought the next visit from
Isabella 17
and
her 17
husband 21
, and
their 23
little children 22
, to fill
the house 2
, and give
her 1
pleasant society again .
Highbury 24
,
the large and populous village 52
, almost amounting to
a town 42
, to which
Hartfield 2
, in spite of
its 2
separate lawn , and shrubberies , and name , did really belong , afforded
her 1
no equals .
The Woodhouses 8
were first in consequence
there 24
.
All looked up to
them 8
.
She 1
had many acquaintance in
the place 24
, for
her 1
father 5
was universally civil , but not one among
them 25
who could be accepted in lieu of
Miss Taylor 0
for even half a day .
It was a melancholy change ; and
Emma 1
could not but sigh over it , and wish for impossible things , till
her 1
father 5
awoke , and made it necessary to be cheerful .
His 5
spirits required support .
He 5
was
a nervous man 53
, easily depressed ; fond of
every body that
he 5
was used to 26
, and hating to part with
them 26
; hating change of every kind .
Matrimony , as the origin of change , was always disagreeable ; and
he 5
was by no means yet reconciled to
his 5
own daughter 17
's marrying , nor could ever speak of
her 17
but with compassion , though it had been entirely a match of affection , when
he 5
was now obliged to part with
Miss Taylor 0
too ; and from
his 5
habits of gentle selfishness , and of being never able to suppose that
other people 27
could feel differently from
himself 5
,
he 5
was very much disposed to think
Miss Taylor 0
had done as sad a thing for
herself 0
as for
them 18
, and would have been a great deal happier if
she 0
had spent all the rest of
her 0
life at
Hartfield 2
.
Emma 1
smiled and chatted as cheerfully as
she 1
could , to keep
him 5
from such thoughts ; but when tea came , it was impossible for
him 5
not to say exactly as
he 5
had said at dinner , “ Poor
Miss Taylor 0
!
--
I 5
wish
she 0
were here again .
What a pity it is that
Mr. Weston 16
ever thought of
her 0
! ”
I 1
can not agree with
you 5
,
papa 5
;
you 5
know
I 1
can not .
Mr. Weston 16
is such
a good-humoured , pleasant , excellent man 54
, that
he 16
thoroughly deserves
a good wife 28
; -- and
you 5
would not have had
Miss Taylor 0
live with
us 18
for ever , and bear all
my 1
odd humours , when
she 0
might have
a house of
her 0
own 29
? ”
A house of
her 0
own 29
!
-- But where is the advantage of
a house of
her 0
own 29
?
This is three times as large .
-- And
you 1
have never any odd humours ,
my 5
dear . ”
“ How often
we 18
shall be going to see
them 30
, and
they 30
coming to see
us 18
!
--
We 18
shall be always meeting !
_
We 18
_ must begin ;
we 18
must go and pay wedding visit very soon . ”
My 5
dear , how am
I 5
to get so far ?
Randalls 29
is such a distance .
I 5
could not walk half so far . ”
“ No ,
papa 5
,
nobody 31
thought of
your 5
walking .
We 18
must go in
the carriage 32
, to be sure . ”
The carriage 32
!
But
James 33
will not like to put the horses to for such a little way ; -- and where are the poor horses to be while
we 18
are paying
our 18
visit ? ”
“ They are to be put into
Mr. Weston 16
's stable 34
,
papa 5
.
You 5
know
we 18
have settled all that already .
We 18
talked it all over with
Mr. Weston 16
last night .
And as for
James 33
,
you 5
may be very sure
he 33
will always like going to
Randalls 29
, because of
his 33
daughter 35
's being
housemaid 60
there 29
.
I 1
only doubt whether
he 33
will ever take
us 18
anywhere else .
That was
your 5
doing ,
papa 5
.
You 5
got
Hannah 35
that good place .
Nobody 36
thought of
Hannah 35
till
you 5
mentioned
her 35
--
James 33
is so obliged to
you 5
! ”
I 5
am very glad
I 5
did think of
her 35
.
It was very lucky , for
I 5
would not have had poor
James 33
think
himself 33
slighted upon any account ; and
I 5
am sure
she 35
will make
a very good servant 43
:
she 35
is
a civil , pretty-spoken girl 55
;
I 5
have a great opinion of
her 35
.
Whenever
I 5
see
her 35
,
she 35
always curtseys and asks
me 5
how
I 5
do , in a very pretty manner ; and when
you 1
have had
her 35
here 2
to do needlework ,
I 5
observe
she 35
always turns the lock of the door the right way and never bangs it .
I 5
am sure
she 35
will be
an excellent servant 44
; and it will be a great comfort to poor
Miss Taylor 0
to have
somebody 37
about
her 0
that
she 0
is used to see .
Whenever
James 33
goes over to see
his 33
daughter 35
,
you 1
know ,
she 0
will be hearing of
us 18
.
He 33
will be able to tell
her 0
how
we 18
all are . ”
Emma 1
spared no exertions to maintain this happier flow of ideas , and hoped , by the help of backgammon , to get
her 1
father 5
tolerably through the evening , and be attacked by no regrets but
her 1
own .
The backgammon-table was placed ; but
a visitor 38
immediately afterwards walked in and made it unnecessary .
Mr. Knightley 38
,
a sensible man about seven or eight-and-thirty 56
, was not only
a very old and intimate friend of
the family 8
57
, but particularly connected with
it 8
, as
the elder brother of
Isabella 17
's husband 16
58
.
He 38
lived about a mile from
Highbury 24
, was
a frequent visitor 59
, and always welcome , and at this time more welcome than usual , as coming directly from
their 39
mutual connexions in
London 20
.
He 38
had returned to a late dinner , after some days ' absence , and now walked up to
Hartfield 2
to say that all were well in
Brunswick Square 40
.
It was a happy circumstance , and animated
Mr. Woodhouse 5
for some time .
Mr. Knightley 38
had a cheerful manner , which always did
him 5
good ; and
his 38
many inquiries after “
poor Isabella 17
” and
her 17
children 22
were answered most satisfactorily .
When this was over ,
Mr. Woodhouse 5
gratefully observed , “ It is very kind of
you 38
,
Mr. Knightley 38
, to come out at this late hour to call upon
us 18
.
I 5
am afraid
you 38
must have had a shocking walk . ”