Category Archives: Emma

I cannot make speeches

Happy Valentine’s Day, dear readers!  One of my favorites…

Here is Knightley echoing Darcy’s thoughts of the other day:

“I cannot make speeches, Emma . . . If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.”

Emma, volume 3, chapter 13



Filed under Emma, Emma Woodhouse, Love, Mr. Knightley, Proposals

The great goodness of being in love

Of Mr. Weston’s first marriage:

“She had a husband whose warm heart and sweet temper made him think every thing due to her in return for the great goodness of being in love with him.”

Lucky woman!

Emma, volume 1, chapter 2


Filed under Emma, Love, Marriage, Mr. Weston

A season for friendly meetings

Today we have Mr. Elton giving the opposite perspective on holiday parties:

“This is quite the season indeed for friendly meetings. At Christmas
every body invites their friends about them, and people think little of
even the worst weather. I was snowed up at a friend’s house once for a
week. Nothing could be pleasanter. I went for only one night, and could
not get away till that very day se’nnight.”

Emma, volume 1, chapter 13

This image of Steventon rectory is from Jane Odiwe’s Austen Effusions — isn’t it lovely?  I am all for snow, and for getting snowed in with friends.


Filed under Emma, Friendship, Mr. Elton, Parties

For all the homebodies out there

Life is conspiring against me again.  I spent yesterday flat on my back dealing with the vicissitudes of Lyme disease — ugh.

Today’s quote is Mr. John Knightley being rather difficult on Christmas Eve as he and Emma head to the Westons (but who doesn’t want to spend Christmas Eve at home with his family?  At least if he is difficult, I can sympathize.):

“A man,” said he, “must have a very good opinion of himself when he
asks people to leave their own fireside, and encounter such a day as
this, for the sake of coming to see him. He must think himself a most
agreeable fellow; I could not do such a thing. It is the greatest
absurdity—Actually snowing at this moment!—The folly of not allowing
people to be comfortable at home—and the folly of people’s not staying
comfortably at home when they can! If we were obliged to go out such an
evening as this, by any call of duty or business, what a hardship we
should deem it;—and here are we, probably with rather thinner clothing
than usual, setting forward voluntarily, without excuse, in defiance of
the voice of nature, which tells man, in every thing given to his view
or his feelings, to stay at home himself, and keep all under shelter
that he can;—here are we setting forward to spend five dull hours in
another man’s house, with nothing to say or to hear that was not said
and heard yesterday, and may not be said and heard again to-morrow.
Going in dismal weather, to return probably in worse;—four horses and
four servants taken out for nothing but to convey five idle, shivering
creatures into colder rooms and worse company than they might have had
at home.”

Emma, volume 1, chapter 13


Filed under Emma, John Knightley, Neighbors, Parties


“Oh! to be sure,” cried Emma, “it is always incomprehensible to a man that a woman should ever refuse an offer of marriage. A man always imagines a woman to be ready for anybody who asks her.”

Emma discussing with Mr. Knightley the face that Harriet Smith has refused Robert Martin
Emma, volume 1, chapter 8

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Filed under Emma, Emma Woodhouse, Harriet Smith, Marriage, Mr. Knightley, Proposals

The great Mrs. Churchill

“The great Mrs. Churchill was no more. . . . Goldsmith tells us that when lovely woman stoops to folly, she has nothing to do but to die; and when she stoops to be disagreeable, it is equally recommended as a clearer of ill fame.”

Emma, volume 3, chapter 9

I’ve been on an Emma kick for the last few weeks.  Since tomorrow is Halloween, perhaps we’ll move on to Northanger Abbey.

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Filed under Emma, Mrs. Churchill, On being a lady

Badly done, Emma

“It was badly done, indeed! You, whom she had known from an infant, whom she had seen grow up from a period when her notice was an honour, to have you now, in thoughtless spirits, and the pride of the moment, laugh at her, humble her–and before her niece, too–and before others, many of whom (certainly some,) would be entirely guided by your treatment of her.–This is not pleasant to you, Emma–and it is very far from pleasant to me; but I must, I will,–I will tell you truths while I can.”

Dear Mr. Knightley chastising Emma for her ill treatment of Miss Bates
Emma, volume 3, chapter 7

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Filed under Emma, Emma Woodhouse, Miss Bates, Morality, Mr. Knightley, Pride


“Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief.”

Mr. Knightley, on Emma’s encouraging Harriet Smith to raise her sights too high
Emma, volume 1, chapter 8


Filed under Emma, Emma Woodhouse, Harriet Smith, Mr. Knightley, Pride

Always disagreeable

One of my dear friends was married this weekend, in a lovely tiny old church with a Gregorian choir.  Here, tongue in cheek of course, are Mr. Woodhouse’s thoughts on marriage:

“Matrimony, as the origin of change, was always disagreeable; . . . he was very much disposed to think Miss Taylor had done as sad a thing for herself as for them, and would have been a great deal happier if she had spent all the rest of her life at Hartfield.”

Emma, volume 1, chapter 1
Thanks to Molland’s for the illustration

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Filed under Emma, Marriage, Miss Taylor - Mrs. Weston, Mr. Woodhouse

If he chooses…

“There is one thing, Emma, which a man can always do, if he chuses, and that is, his duty; not by maneuvering and finessing, but by vigour and resolution.”

Mr. Knightley, criticizing Frank Churchill for not visiting his father sooner
Emma, volume 1, chapter 18

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Filed under Duty, Emma, Frank Churchill, Mr. Knightley, On being a gentleman