Chapter 10: Cecil as a Humourist
Meanwhile the name of the new tenants had diverted Mrs.
Honeychurch from the contemplation of her own abilities.
"Emerson, Freddy? Do you know what Emersons they are?"
"I don't know whether they're any Emersons," retorted Freddy, who
was democratic. Like his sister and like most young people, he
was naturally attracted by the idea of equality, and the
undeniable fact that there are different kinds of Emersons
annoyed him beyond measure.
"I trust they are the right sort of person. All right, Lucy"--she
was sitting up again--"I see you looking down your nose and
thinking your mother's a snob. But there is a right sort and a
wrong sort, and it's affectation to pretend there isn't."
"Emerson's a common enough name," Lucy remarked.
She was gazing sideways. Seated on a promontory herself, she
could see the pine-clad promontories descending one beyond
another into the Weald. The further one descended the garden, the
more glorious was this lateral view.
"I was merely going to remark, Freddy, that I trusted they were
no relations of Emerson the philosopher, a most trying man. Pray,
does that satisfy you?"
"Oh, yes," he grumbled. "And you will be satisfied, too, for
they're friends of Cecil; so--elaborate irony--"you and the other
country families will be able to call in perfect safety."
"CECIL?" exclaimed Lucy.
"Don't be rude, dear," said his mother placidly. "Lucy, don't
screech. It's a new bad habit you're getting into."
"But has Cecil--"
"Friends of Cecil's," he repeated, "'and so really dee-sire-rebel.
Ahem! Honeychurch, I have just telegraphed to them.'"
She got up from the grass.