Weston; and when the novel commences she is exerting her influence in favour of Miss Harriet Smith, a boarding-school girl without family or fortune, very good humoured, very pretty, very silly, and, what suited Miss Woodhouse's purpose best of all, very much disposed to be married.
Woodhouse's visits, Emma having it in view that her gentle reasonings should be employed in the cause, resolved first to announce it at home, and then at Randalls. But how to break it to her father at last! She had bound herself to do it, in such an hour of Mr. Knightley's absence, or when it came to the point her heart would have failed her, and she must have put it off; but Mr.
Woodhouse's gruel, his conversations are "thin but not so very thin." He never attempts grandiloquence; but then he never sinks into the fashionable bathos of "Sugar in your tea, dear?" "Another lump, if you please," nor does he fall into the fashionable realism of "Dry up, old man!" No!
Woodhouse's observation. "He had better not be in a hurry. He seemed to me very well off as he was. We were always glad to see him at Hartfield." "A new neighbour for us all, Miss Woodhouse!" said Miss Bates, joyfully; "my mother is so pleased! she says she cannot bear to have the poor old Vicarage without a mistress. This is great news, indeed. Jane, you have never seen Mr.
Frank Churchill, 'Miss Woodhouse's opinion of the instrument will be worth having. But, said I, I shall be more sure of succeeding if one of you will go with me. 'Oh, said he, 'wait half a minute, till I have finished my job; For, would you believe it, Miss Woodhouse, there he is, in the most obliging manner in the world, fastening in the rivet of my mother's spectacles.
Woodhouse's health, cheerful communications about her mother's, and sweet-cake from the beaufet "Mrs. Cole had just been there, just called in for ten minutes, and had been so good as to sit an hour with them, and she had taken a piece of cake and been so kind as to say she liked it very much; and, therefore, she hoped Miss Woodhouse and Miss Smith would do them the favour to eat a piece too."
Weston was ready, on the first meeting, to consider the subject in the most serviceable light first, as a settled, and, secondly, as a good one well aware of the nearly equal importance of the two recommendations to Mr. Woodhouse's mind.
In this age of literature, such collections on a very grand scale are not uncommon. Miss Nash, head-teacher at Mrs. Goddard's, had written out at least three hundred; and Harriet, who had taken the first hint of it from her, hoped, with Miss Woodhouse's help, to get a great many more.
'Happier than I deserve. Come, he knows himself there. 'Miss Woodhouse calls me the child of good fortune. Those were Miss Woodhouse's words, were they? And a fine ending and there is the letter. The child of good fortune! That was your name for him, was it?"
"But you do not consider how it may appear to the Coles. Emma's going away directly after tea might be giving offence. They are good-natured people, and think little of their own claims; but still they must feel that any body's hurrying away is no great compliment; and Miss Woodhouse's doing it would be more thought of than any other person's in the room.