5. CHAPTER V
"Emma has been meaning to read more ever since she was twelve
years old. I have seen a great many lists of her drawing-up at
various times of books that she meant to read regularly through--and
very good lists they were--very well chosen, and very neatly
arranged--sometimes alphabetically, and sometimes by some other rule.
The list she drew up when only fourteen--I remember thinking it
did her judgment so much credit, that I preserved it some time;
and I dare say she may have made out a very good list now. But I
have done with expecting any course of steady reading from Emma.
She will never submit to any thing requiring industry and patience,
and a subjection of the fancy to the understanding. Where Miss Taylor
failed to stimulate, I may safely affirm that Harriet Smith will do
nothing.-- You never could persuade her to read half so much as you
wished.--You know you could not."
"I dare say," replied Mrs. Weston, smiling, "that I thought
so then;--but since we have parted, I can never remember Emma's
omitting to do any thing I wished."
"There is hardly any desiring to refresh such a memory as that,"--said
Mr. Knightley, feelingly; and for a moment or two he had done. "But I,"
he soon added, "who have had no such charm thrown over my senses,
must still see, hear, and remember. Emma is spoiled by being the
cleverest of her family. At ten years old, she had the misfortune of
being able to answer questions which puzzled her sister at seventeen.
She was always quick and assured: Isabella slow and diffident.
And ever since she was twelve, Emma has been mistress of the house
and of you all. In her mother she lost the only person able to cope
with her. She inherits her mother's talents, and must have been
under subjection to her."
"I should have been sorry, Mr. Knightley, to be dependent on
your recommendation, had I quitted Mr. Woodhouse's family and wanted
another situation; I do not think you would have spoken a good word for
me to any body. I am sure you always thought me unfit for the office I held."