this room rich in specimens of your landscapes and flowers; and has not Mrs. Weston some inimitable figure pieces in her drawing-room at Randalls?”

Yes, good man! – thought Emma – but what has all that to do with taking likenesses? You know nothing of drawing. Don’t pretend to be in raptures about mine. Keep your raptures for Harriet’s face. “Well if you give me such kind encouragement, Mr. Elton, I believe I shall try what I can do. Harriet’s features are very delicate, which makes a likeness difficult; and yet there us a peculiarity in the shape of the eye and the lines about the mouth which one ought to catch.”

“Exactly so – The shape of the eye and the lines about the mouth – I have not a doubt of your success. Pray, pray attempt it. As you will do it, it will indeed, to use your own words, be an exquisite possession.”

“But I am afraid, Mr. Elton, Harriet will not like to sit. She thinks so little of her own beauty. Did not you observe her manner of answering me? How completely it meant, ‘why should my picture be drawn?’”

“Oh! yes, I observed it, I assure you. It was not lost on me. But still I cannot imagine she would not be persuaded.”

Harriet was soon back again, and the proposal almost immediately made; and she had no scruples which could stand many minutes against the earnest pressing of both of the others. Emma wished to go to work directly, and therefore produced the portfolio containing her various attempts at portraits, for not one of them had ever been finished, that they might decide together on the best size for Harriet. Her many beginners were displayed. Miniatures, half-lengths, whole lengths, pencil, crayon, and water-colours had been all tried in turn. She had always wanted to do everything and had made more progress


progress both in drawing and music than many might have done with so little labour as she would ever submit to. She played and sang; - and drew in almost every style; but steadiness had always been wanting; and in nothing has she approached the degree of excellence which she would have been glad to command, and ought not to have failed of. She was not much deceived as to her own skill either as an artist or a musician, but she was not unwilling to have others deceived, or sorrow to know her reputation for accomplishment often higher than it deserved.

There was merit in every drawing – in the least finished, perhaps the most; her style was spirited; but had there been much less, or had there been ten times more, the delight and admiration of her two companions would have been the same. They were both in extacies. A likeness pleases every body; and Miss Woodhouse’s performances must be capital.

“No great variety of faces for you,” said Emma. “I had only my own family to study from. There is my father – another of my father – but the idea of sitting for his picture made him so nervous, that I could only take him by stealth; neither of them very like therefore. Mrs. Weston again, and again, and again, you see. Dear Mrs. Weston! always my kindest friend on every occasion. She would sit whenever I asked her. There is my sister; and really quite her own little elegant figure! – and the face not unlike. I should have made a good likeness of her, if she would have sat longer, but she was in such a hurry to have me draw her four children that she would not be quiet. Then here come all my attempts at three of these four children; - there they are, Henry and John and Bella, from one end of the sheet to the other, and any one of them might do for any one of the rest. She was so eager to have them drawn that I could not refuse;