Why is it everyone likes Miss Bates so much?
“Her daughter [Miss Bates] enjoyed a most uncommon degree of popularity for a woman neither young, handsome, rich, nor married. Miss Bates stood in the very worst predicament in the world for having much of the public favour; and she had no intellectual superiority to make atonement to herself or frighten those who might hate her into outward respect. She had never boasted either beauty or cleverness. Her youth had passed without distinction, and her middle of life was devoted to the care of a failing mother and the endeavor to make a small income go as far as possible. And yet she was a happy woman, a woman whom no one named without goodwill. It was her own universal goodwill and contented temper which worked such wonders. She loved everybody, was interested in everybody’s happiness, quick-sighted to everybody’s merits; thought herself a most fortunate creature, and surrounded with blessings in such an excellent mother and so many good neighbors and friends and a home that wanted for nothing. The simplicity and cheerfulness of her nature, her contented and grateful spirit, were a recommendation to everybody and a mine of felicity to herself.”
Emma, volume 1, chapter 3