Miss Woodhouse, I may just as well have it sent to Hartfield, and take it home with me at night. What do you advise?”

“That you do not give another half second to the subject. To Hartfield, if you please, Mrs. Ford.”

“Aye, that will be much best,” said Harriet, quite satisfied. “I should not at all like to have it sent to Mrs. Goddard’s.”

Voices approached the shop—or rather one voice and two ladies; Mrs. Weston and Miss Bates met them at the door.

“My dear Miss Woodhouse,” said the latter, “I am just run across to entreat the favour of you to come and sit down with us a little while, and give us your opinion of our new instrument; you and Miss Smith. How do you do, Miss Smith?—-Very well I thank you.-—And I begged Mrs. Weston to come with me, that I might be sure of succeeding.”

“I hope Mrs. Bates and Miss Fairfax are”—

“Very well, I am much obliged to you. My mother is delightfully well; and Jane caught no cold last night. How is Mr. Woodhouse?—-I am so glad to hear such a good account. Mrs. Weston told me you were here.—-Oh! then, said I, I must run across, I am sure Miss Woodhouse will allow me just to run across and entreat her to come in; my mother will be so very happy to see her—-and now we are such a nice party, she cannot refuse. ‘Aye, pray do,’ said Mr. Frank Churchill, ‘Miss Woodhouse’s opinion of the instrument would be worth having.’—-But, said I, I shall be more sure of succeeding if one of you will go with me.—‘Oh!’ said he, ‘wait half-a-minute till I have finished my job.’—-For, would you believe it, Miss Woodhouse, there he is, in the most obliging manner in the world, fastening in the rivet of my mother’s spectacles.—-The rivet came out, you know, this morning.—-So very obliging!—-For my mother had no use of her spectacles-—could not put them on. And, by the bye, every


body ought to have two pair of spectacles; they should indeed. Jane said so. I meant to take them over to John Saunders the first thing I did, but something or other hindered me all the morning; first one thing, and then another, there is no saying what, you know. At one time Patty came to say she thought the kitchen chimney wanted sweeping. Oh! said I, Patty do not come with you bad news to me. Here is the rivet of your mistress’s spectacles out. Then the baked apples came home, Mrs. Wallis sent them by her boy; they are extremely civil and obliging to us, the Wallises, always—I have heard some people say that Mrs. Wallace can be uncivil and give a very rude answer, but we have never known any thing but the greatest attention from them. And it cannot be for the value of our custom now, for what is our consumption of bread, you know? Only three of us—-besides dear Jane at present-—and she really eats nothing—-makes such a shocking breakfast, you would be quite frightened if you saw it. I dare not let my mother know how little she eats—-so I say one thing and then say another, and it passes off. But about the middle of the day she gets hungry, and there is nothing she likes so well as these baked apples, and they are extremely wholesome, for I took the opportunity the other day of asking Mr. Perry; I happened to meet him in the street. Not that I had any doubt before-—I have so often heard Mr. Woodhouse recommend a baked apple. I believe it is the only way that Mr. Woodhouse thinks the fruit thoroughly wholesome. We have apple dumplings, however, very often. Patty makes an excellent apple-dumpling. Well, Mrs. Weston, you have prevailed, I hope, and these ladies will oblige us.”

Emma would be “very happy to wait on Mrs. Bates, &c.” and they did at last move out of the shop, with no further delay from Miss Bates than,

“How do you do, Mrs. Ford? I beg your pardon.