But as to my letting her marry Robert Martin it is impossible; she has refused him, and so decidedly, I think, as must prevent any second application. She must abide by the evil of having refused him, whatever it may be; but I assure you there was very little for me or for any body to do. His appearance is so much against him, and his manner so bad, that if she ever were disposed to favour him, she is not now. I can imagine, that before she had seen any body superior, she might tolerate him. He was the brother of her friends, and he took pains to please her; and [to]gether, having seen nobody better (that must [have] been his great assistant) she might not, while [she] was at Abbey-Mill, find him disagreeable. But the case is altered now. She knows now what gentlemen are; and nothing but a gentleman in education and manner has any chance with Harriet.”

“Nonsense, errant nonsense, as ever was talked!” cried Mr. Knightley. – “Robert Martin’s manners have sense, sincerity, and good-humour to recommend them; and his mind has more true gentility than Harriet Smith could understand.”

Emma made no answer; and tried to look cheerfully unconcerned, but was really feeling uncomfortable and wanting him very much to be done. She did not repent what she had done; she still thought herself a better judge of such a point of female right and refinement than he could be; but yet she had a sort of habitual respect for his judgment in general, which made her dislike having it so loudly against her; and to have him sitting just opposite to her in angry state, was very disagreeable. Some minutes passed in this unpleasant silence, with only one attempt on Emma’s side to talk of the weather, but he made no answer. He was


thinking. The result of his thoughts appeared at last in these words.

“Robert Martin has no great loss – if he can but think so; and I hope it will not be long before he does. Your views for Harriet are best known to yourself; but as you make no secret of your love of match-making, it is fair to suppose that views, and plans, and projects you have; – and as a friend I shall just hint to you that if Elton is the man, I think it will be all labour in vain.”

Emma laughed and disclaimed. He continued,

“Depend upon it, Elton will not do. Elton is a very good sort of man, and a very respectable vicar of Highbury, but not at all likely to make an imprudent match. He knows the value of a good income as well as any body. Elton may talk senti[mentally], but he will act rationally. He is as well acqua[inte]d with his own claims, as you can be with Harriet’s. he knows that he is a very handsome young man, and a great favorite wherever he goes; and from his general way of talking in unreserved moments, when there are only men present, I am convinced that he does not mean to throw himself away. I have heard him speak with great animation of a large family of young ladies that his sisters are intimate with, who have all twenty thousand pounds apiece.”

“I am very much obliged to you,” said Emma, laughing again. “If I had set my heart on Mr. Elton’s marrying Harriet, it would have been very kind to open my eyes; but at present I only want to keep Harriet to myself. I have done with match-making indeed. I could never hope to equal my own doings at Randalls. I shall leave off while I am well.”

“Good morning to you,” – said he, rising and walking off abruptly. He was very much vexed. He felt the disappointment of the young man, and