17. CHAPTER XVII
Mrs. Weston's friends were all made happy by her safety;
and if the satisfaction of her well-doing could be increased
to Emma, it was by knowing her to be the mother of a little girl.
She had been decided in wishing for a Miss Weston. She would
not acknowledge that it was with any view of making a match
for her, hereafter, with either of Isabella's sons; but she was
convinced that a daughter would suit both father and mother best.
It would be a great comfort to Mr. Weston, as he grew older--
and even Mr. Weston might be growing older ten years hence--to have
his fireside enlivened by the sports and the nonsense, the freaks
and the fancies of a child never banished from home; and Mrs. Weston--
no one could doubt that a daughter would be most to her; and it
would be quite a pity that any one who so well knew how to teach,
should not have their powers in exercise again.
"She has had the advantage, you know, of practising on me,"
she continued--"like La Baronne d'Almane on La Comtesse d'Ostalis,
in Madame de Genlis' Adelaide and Theodore, and we shall now see
her own little Adelaide educated on a more perfect plan."
"That is," replied Mr. Knightley, "she will indulge her even more
than she did you, and believe that she does not indulge her at all.
It will be the only difference."
"Poor child!" cried Emma; "at that rate, what will become of her?"
"Nothing very bad.--The fate of thousands. She will be disagreeable
in infancy, and correct herself as she grows older. I am losing
all my bitterness against spoilt children, my dearest Emma.
I, who am owing all my happiness to you, would not it be horrible
ingratitude in me to be severe on them?"
Emma laughed, and replied: "But I had the assistance of all
your endeavours to counteract the indulgence of other people.
I doubt whether my own sense would have corrected me without it."