11. CHAPTER XI
"Emma," said she, "this paper is worse than I expected.
Look! in places you see it is dreadfully dirty; and the wainscot
is more yellow and forlorn than any thing I could have imagined."
"My dear, you are too particular," said her husband. "What does
all that signify? You will see nothing of it by candlelight.
It will be as clean as Randalls by candlelight. We never see any
thing of it on our club-nights."
The ladies here probably exchanged looks which meant, "Men never
know when things are dirty or not;" and the gentlemen perhaps
thought each to himself, "Women will have their little nonsenses
and needless cares."
One perplexity, however, arose, which the gentlemen did not disdain.
It regarded a supper-room. At the time of the ballroom's being built,
suppers had not been in question; and a small card-room adjoining,
was the only addition. What was to be done? This card-room would
be wanted as a card-room now; or, if cards were conveniently voted
unnecessary by their four selves, still was it not too small for
any comfortable supper? Another room of much better size might be
secured for the purpose; but it was at the other end of the house,
and a long awkward passage must be gone through to get at it.
This made a difficulty. Mrs. Weston was afraid of draughts
for the young people in that passage; and neither Emma nor the
gentlemen could tolerate the prospect of being miserably crowded
Mrs. Weston proposed having no regular supper; merely sandwiches,
&c., set out in the little room; but that was scouted as a
wretched suggestion. A private dance, without sitting down to supper,
was pronounced an infamous fraud upon the rights of men and women;
and Mrs. Weston must not speak of it again. She then took another
line of expediency, and looking into the doubtful room, observed,
"I do not think it is so very small. We shall not be many,
And Mr. Weston at the same time, walking briskly with long steps
through the passage, was calling out,