admit Mr. Woodhouse’s visits, Emma having it in view that her gentle reasonings should be employed in the cause, resolved first to announce it at home, and then at Randall’s.—But how to break it to her father at last!—She had bound herself to do it, in such an hour of Mr. Knightley’s absence, or when it came to the point her heart would have failed her, and she must have put it off; but Mr. Knightley was to come at such time, and follow up the beginning she was to make.—She was forced to speak, and to speak cheerfully too. She must not make it a more decided subject of misery to him, by a melancholy tone herself. She must not appear to think it a misfortune.—With all the spirits she could command, she prepared him first for something strange, and then, in few words, said, that if his consent and approbation could be obtained-which, she trusted, would be attended with no difficulty, since it was a plan to promote the happiness of all—she and Mr. Knightley meant to marry; by which means that person’s company whom she knew he loved, next to his daughters and Mrs. Weston, best in the world.
“Poor man!—it was at first a considerable shock to him, and he tried earnestly to dissuade her from it. She was reminded, more than once, of her having always said she would never marry, and assured that it would be a great deal better for her to remain single; and told of poor Isabella, and poor Miss Taylor.—But it would not do. Emma hung about him affectionately, and smiled, and said it must be so; and that he must not class her with Isabella and Mrs. Weston, whose marriages taking them from Hartfield, had indeed, made a melancholy change: but she was not going from Hartfield; she should be always there; she was introducing no change in their numbers or their comforts but for the better; and she was very sure that he would be a great deal