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It's a girl!

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 practicing on me," she continued[.]

Good to know that Emma hasn't entirely given up matchmaking, isn't it? And that Mrs Weston is well, and has a healthy baby girl.

The topic of matrimony is again being discussed by Emma and Mr Knightley. Also on Mr Knightley's mind, what Emma ought to call him. I love this exchange:

"'Mr Knightley.'--You always called me, 'Mr Knightley;' and, from habit, it has not so very formal a sound.--And yet it is formal. I want you to call me something else, but I do not know what."

"I remember once calling you 'George,' in one of my amiable fits, about ten years ago. I did it because I thought it would offend you; but, as you made no objection, I never did it again."

"And cannot you call me 'George' now?"

"Impossible!--I never can call you any thing but 'Mr Knightley.' I will not promise even to equal the elegant terseness of Mrs Elton, by calling you Mr K.--But I will promise," she added presently, laughing and blushing--"I will promise to call you once by your Christian name. I do not say when, but perhaps you may guess where;--in the building in which N. takes M. for better, for worse."

Emma's reference to N. and M. is a reference to the Book of Common Prayer, in which the initials stand in for the names of the man and woman to be married by the church. I found this post about Agatha Christie's book, N or M? most helpful in explaining it further:

The catechism is a series of questions asked of people about to be confirmed into the church. It starts with the basic “What is your name?” and the answer in the prayer book is given as “N or M,” meaning the person inserts their own “name or names”. In the original Latin this would have read “nomen vel nomina”. Yet an entry in the prayer book reading “N or N” is hardly an option.

The standard abbreviation for “nomina” was NN. Write this as lower-case nn, and you begin to see matters more clearly. In old printed books nn looked very like m, and came to be mis-read and rendered as m. It didn’t matter. Everybody realised that “N or M” meant “name or names” – the obvious answer to the question that preceded it. They didn’t need to know how the phrase came about.

About those relations . . .

John Knightley has written to expresses his happiness, but in a way that makes plain he thinks Emma's getting the better half of the bargain - to which she readily agrees.

Mr Woodhouse is, predictably, unhappy about the news. Being as set in his ways as he is, it's understandable and, I should add, completely anticipated. Only Emma assures him it will all be wonderful, and is then joined by Mr Knightley, who helps to put a good face on all of it. Mr Woodhouse isn't inclined to take to the idea right away, but with continued assurances from Emma, Mr Knightley, Isabella and Mrs Weston (once she knows the situation), he comes around.

The next person to be told of the upcoming marriage is Mrs Weston, once she's sufficiently recovered from childbirth to admit visitors. She is decidedly pleased, and only sorry she didn't think of the match herself. Of course, her husband finds out next, and delivers the news to all of Highbury, as one would expect. Some people opine that Emma is the lucky one, others that it's Mr Knightley, and only the Eltons are full of sour grapes over the whole deal.


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( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
kellyrfineman
Apr. 7th, 2013 02:53 am (UTC)
So true.
helgatwb
Apr. 7th, 2013 09:47 pm (UTC)
It struck me, just now, that Emma talks about how much Mr. Woodhouse loves Mr. Knightley. It would be unthinkable now to talk that way, even though nothing is meant by it except friendship and maybe thinking of him as a son. Just something that struck me.

What is Mrs. Elton's problem, really? I've just never been able to understand her dislike of Emma. I do get that she feels a little jealous because Mr. Elton loved Emma first, but that just does not explain, at least to me, her complete disgust and dislike for Emma.
kellyrfineman
Apr. 8th, 2013 02:02 am (UTC)
I think Mrs Elton's problem is two-fold: First, there's specific envy, since she either knows her husband had a thing for Emma and was humiliated in not getting Emma as a wife OR she suspects that something like that happened (and could think it went even farther than it did). Second, she is envious because she (and her sister at Maple Grove) are nouveau riche, and their family money probably came from trade, whereas Emma is what Mrs Elton would LIKE to be: part of the monied, long-standing gentry. Mrs Elton is scrapping and fighting to be recognized, and Emma doesn't have to work for it at all.
nottygypsy
Apr. 8th, 2013 06:15 am (UTC)
So Elton, is all "lucky escape" when he hears Mr. Knightly will live at Hartfield, "better him than I" HA ass, you would have never been so accommodating.
kellyrfineman
Apr. 8th, 2013 03:47 pm (UTC)
You are correct - he would never have been so accommodating, yet he also wanted Emma in part because he figured he might eventually get Hartfield for himself - something that Mr Knightley doesn't care all that much about, thanks to his own wealth.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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