but it would not do;-Miss Bates came to the carriage door, all gratitude, and agreeing with her most earnestly in thinking an airing might be of the greatest service-and every thing that message could do was tried-but all in vain. Miss Bates was obliged to return without success; Jane was quite unpersuadable; the mere proposal of going out seemed to make her worse.-Emma wished she could have seen her, and tried her own powers; but, almost before she could hint the wish, Miss Bates made it appear that she had promised her niece on no account to let Miss Woodhouse in. “Indeed, the truth was, that poor Jane could not bear to see anybody-anybody at all—Mrs. Elton, indeed, could not be denied—and Mrs. Cole had made such a point-and Mrs. Perry had said so much-but, except them, Jane would really see nobody.”
Emma did not want to be classed with the Mrs. Eltons, the Mrs. Perrys, and the Mrs. Coles, who would force themselves any where; neither could she feel any right of preference for herself-she submitted, therefore, and only questioned Miss Bates farther as to her niece’s appetite and diet, which she longed to be able to assist. On that subject poor Miss Bates was very unhappy, and very communicative; Jane would hardly eat any thing:–Mr. Perry recommended nourishing good; but every thing they could command (and never had any body such good neighbours) was distasteful.
Emma, on reaching home, called the housekeeper directly, to an examination of her stores; and some arrow-root of very superior quality was speedily despatched to Miss Bates with a most friendly note. In half an hour the arrow-root was returned, with a thousand thanks from Miss Bates, but “dear Jane would not be satisfied without its being sent back; it was a thing she could not take—and, moreover, she insisted on her saying, that she was not at all in want of any thing.”