dated Sept. 28th—and began, ‘My dear Madam,’ but I forget how it went on; and it was signed ‘F.C. Weston Churchill.’—I remember that perfectly.”
“How very pleasing and proper of him!” cried the good-hearted Mrs. John Knightley. “I have no doubt of his being a most amiable young man. But how sad it is that he should not love at home with his father! There is something so shocking in a child’s being taken away from his parents and natural home! I never can comprehend how Mr. Weston could part with him. To give up one’s child! I really never could think well of any body who proposed such a thing to any body else.”
“Nobody ever did think well of the Churchills, I fancy,” observed Mr. John Knightley coolly. “But you need not imagine Mr. Weston to have felt what you would feel in giving up Henry or John. Mr. Weston is rather an easy, cheerful tempered man, than a man of strong feelings; he takes things as he finds them, and makes enjoyment of them somehow or other, depending, I suspect, much more upon what is called society for his comforts, that is upon the power of eating and drinking, and playing whist with his neighbors five times a-week, than upon family affection, or any thing that home affords.”
Emma could not like what bordered on a reflection on Mr. Weston, and had half a mind to take it up; but she struggled, and let it pass. She would keep the peace if possible; and there was something honourable and valuable in the strong domestic habits, the all-sufficiency of home to himself, whence resulted her brother’s disposition to look down on the common rate of social intercourse, and those to whom it was important. –It had a high claim to forbearance.