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Written by Rachel G
(4/11/2008 5:50 p.m.)
Mr Knightley has been a presence in the story since the very first chapter. I don't doubt that buried among his various conversations are a good many utterances which may turn out to be significant, with the benefit of hindsight, as the tale unfolds.
At this point there are two particularly vivid images which I have of him. The first is from Ch.9, where Emma and her father are talking
Mr W: "And then their uncle comes in, and tosses them up to the ceiling in a very frightful way!"
"But they like it, papa; there is nothing they like so much. It is such enjoyment to them, that if their uncle did not lay down the rule of their taking turns, which ever began would never give way to the other."
To me this speaks volumes. Warm hearted, obviously loves those children. This man if fun!
The second telling image for me is the brief exchange between Mr Knightley and Emma at the end of the Weston's dinner party (Ch.15):
...while the others were variously arguing and recommending, Mr. Knightley and Emma settled it in a few brief sentences: thus --
"Your father will not be easy; why do not you go?"
"I am ready, if the others are."
"Shall I ring the bell?"
And the bell was rung, and the carriages spoken for.
This is so low key, and over in a moment - blink and you miss it. This brief exchange says so much about the relationship between Emma and Mr K. They practical and realistic - quite different from the rest of the characters Underneath all the lecturing, arguing and sparring, these two are a very good team.
I have to admire the economy of JA's style.
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