6. CHAPTER VI
"Did you ever have your likeness taken, Harriet?" said she: "did
you ever sit for your picture?"
Harriet was on the point of leaving the room, and only stopt to say,
with a very interesting naivete,
"Oh! dear, no, never."
No sooner was she out of sight, than Emma exclaimed,
"What an exquisite possession a good picture of her would be! I would
give any money for it. I almost long to attempt her likeness myself.
You do not know it I dare say, but two or three years ago I had
a great passion for taking likenesses, and attempted several of
my friends, and was thought to have a tolerable eye in general.
But from one cause or another, I gave it up in disgust.
But really, I could almost venture, if Harriet would sit to me.
It would be such a delight to have her picture!"
"Let me entreat you," cried Mr. Elton; "it would indeed be a delight!
Let me entreat you, Miss Woodhouse, to exercise so charming a
talent in favour of your friend. I know what your drawings are.
How could you suppose me ignorant? Is not this room rich in
specimens of your landscapes and flowers; and has not Mrs. Weston
some inimitable figure-pieces in her drawing-room, at Randalls?"
Yes, good man!--thought Emma--but what has all that to do with taking
likenesses? You know nothing of drawing. Don't pretend to be
in raptures about mine. Keep your raptures for Harriet's face.
"Well, if you give me such kind encouragement, Mr. Elton, I believe
I shall try what I can do. Harriet's features are very delicate,
which makes a likeness difficult; and yet there is a peculiarity
in the shape of the eye and the lines about the mouth which one ought
"Exactly so--The shape of the eye and the lines about the mouth--I
have not a doubt of your success. Pray, pray attempt it.
As you will do it, it will indeed, to use your own words,
be an exquisite possession."