1. CHAPTER I
"Ever since the day--about four years ago--that Miss Taylor and I
met with him in Broadway Lane, when, because it began to drizzle,
he darted away with so much gallantry, and borrowed two umbrellas
for us from Farmer Mitchell's, I made up my mind on the subject.
I planned the match from that hour; and when such success has blessed
me in this instance, dear papa, you cannot think that I shall leave
"I do not understand what you mean by `success,'" said Mr. Knightley.
"Success supposes endeavour. Your time has been properly and
delicately spent, if you have been endeavouring for the last four
years to bring about this marriage. A worthy employment for a young
lady's mind! But if, which I rather imagine, your making the match,
as you call it, means only your planning it, your saying to yourself
one idle day, `I think it would be a very good thing for Miss Taylor
if Mr. Weston were to marry her,' and saying it again to yourself
every now and then afterwards, why do you talk of success? Where
is your merit? What are you proud of? You made a lucky guess;
and that is all that can be said."
"And have you never known the pleasure and triumph of a lucky guess?--
I pity you.--I thought you cleverer--for, depend upon it a lucky
guess is never merely luck. There is always some talent in it.
And as to my poor word `success,' which you quarrel with, I do not
know that I am so entirely without any claim to it. You have drawn
two pretty pictures; but I think there may be a third--a something
between the do-nothing and the do-all. If I had not promoted Mr. Weston's
visits here, and given many little encouragements, and smoothed
many little matters, it might not have come to any thing after all.
I think you must know Hartfield enough to comprehend that."
"A straightforward, open-hearted man like Weston, and a rational,
unaffected woman like Miss Taylor, may be safely left to manage their
own concerns. You are more likely to have done harm to yourself,
than good to them, by interference."