10. CHAPTER X
"I do so wonder, Miss Woodhouse, that you should not be married,
or going to be married! so charming as you are!"--
Emma laughed, and replied,
"My being charming, Harriet, is not quite enough to induce me to marry;
I must find other people charming--one other person at least.
And I am not only, not going to be married, at present, but have
very little intention of ever marrying at all."
"Ah!--so you say; but I cannot believe it."
"I must see somebody very superior to any one I have seen yet,
to be tempted; Mr. Elton, you know, (recollecting herself,)
is out of the question: and I do not wish to see any such person.
I would rather not be tempted. I cannot really change for the better.
If I were to marry, I must expect to repent it."
"Dear me!--it is so odd to hear a woman talk so!"--
"I have none of the usual inducements of women to marry.
Were I to fall in love, indeed, it would be a different thing!
but I never have been in love; it is not my way, or my nature;
and I do not think I ever shall. And, without love, I am sure I
should be a fool to change such a situation as mine. Fortune I
do not want; employment I do not want; consequence I do not want:
I believe few married women are half as much mistress of their
husband's house as I am of Hartfield; and never, never could I expect
to be so truly beloved and important; so always first and always
right in any man's eyes as I am in my father's."
"But then, to be an old maid at last, like Miss Bates!"
"That is as formidable an image as you could present, Harriet; and if I
thought I should ever be like Miss Bates! so silly--so satisfied--
so smiling--so prosing--so undistinguishing and unfastidious--
and so apt to tell every thing relative to every body about me,
I would marry to-morrow. But between us, I am convinced there never
can be any likeness, except in being unmarried."