She (Emma) was the youngest of the two daughters of a most affectionate, indulgent father... - Chapter 1

She (Emma) dearly loved her father, but he was no companion for her. He could not meet her in conversation, rational or playful. The evil of the actual disparity of their ages (and Mr. Woodhouse had not married early) was much increased by his constitution and habits; for having been a valetudinarian all his life, without activity of mind or body, he was a much older man in ways than in years; and though everywhere beloved for the friendliness of his heart and his amiable temper, his talents could not have recommended him at any time. - Chapter 1

...for her father was universally civil..." - Chapter 1

His spirits required support. He was a nervous man, easily depressed; fond of everybody that he was used to, and hating to part with them; hating change of every kind. Matrimony, as the origin of change, was always disagreeable; and he was by no means yet reconciled to his own daughter's marrying, nor could he ever speak of her but with compassion...and from his habits of gentle selfishness, and of being never able to suppose that other people could feel differently from himself... - Chapter 1

His own stomach could bear nothing rich, and he could never believe other people to be different from himself. What was unwholesome to him he regarded as unfit for anybody; and he had, therefore, earnestly tried to dissuade them from having any wedding-cake at all, and when that proved vain, as earnestly tried to prevent anybody's eating it. He had been at pains of consulting Mr. Perry, the apothecary, on the subject. Mr. Perry was an intelligent, gentlemanlike man, whose frequent visits were one of the comforts of Mr. Woodhouse's life; and, upon being applied to, he could not but acknowledge (though it seemed rather against the bias of inclination) that wedding-cake might certainly disagree with many - perhaps with most people, unless taken moderately. With such an opinion, in confirmation of his own, Mr. Woodhouse hoped to influence every visitor of the newly-married pair; but still the cake was eaten; and there was no rest for his benevolent nerves till it was all gone. - Chapter 1


Mr. Woodhouse was fond of society in his own way. He liked very much to have his friends come and see him; and from various united causes, from his long residence at Hartfield, and his good nature, his fortune, his house, and his daughter, he could command the visits of his own little circle, in a great measure, as he liked. He had not much intercourse with any families beyond that circle; his horror of late hours, and large dinner-parties, made him unfit for any acquaintance but such as would visit him on his own terms. /.../ Not unfrequently, through Emma's persuasion, he had some of the chosen and best to dine with him: but evening parties were what he preferred; and unless he fancied himself at any time unequal to company, there was scarcely an evening in the week in which Emma could not make up a card-table for him. - Chapter 3


Upon such occasions poor Mr. Woodhouse's feelings were in sad warfare. He loved to have the cloth laid, because it had been the fashion in his youth, but his conviction of suppers being very unwholesome made him rather sorry to see anything put on it; and while his hospitality would have welcomed his visitors to everything, his care for their health made him grieve if they would eat. Such another small basin of thin gruel as his own was all that he could, with thorough self-approbation, recommend... - Chapter 3


...and Isabella, the usual doer of all commissions, must not be applied to because it was December, and Mr. Woodhouse could not bear the idea of her stirring out of her house in the fogs of December. - Chapter 6


She read it to him, just as he liked to have anything read, slowly and distinctly, and two or three times over, with explanations of every part as she proceeded... - Chapter 9


...who (Mr. Woodhouse) could not be induced to get so far as London, even for poor Isabella's sake; and who, consequently, was now most nervously and apprehensively happy in forestalling this too short visit. He thought much of the evils of the journey for her, and not a little of the fatigues of his own horses and coachman, who were to bring some of the party the last half of the way...the bustle and joy of such an arrival, the many talked to, welcomed, encouraged, and variously dispersed and disposed of, produced a noise and confusion which his nerves could not have borne under any other cause, nor have endured much longer even for this... - Chapter 11


After a little more discourse in praise of gruel, with some wondering at its not being taken by everybody /.../ the gruel came, and supplied a great deal to be said - and much praise and many comments - undoubting decision of its wholesomeness for every constitution, and pretty severe philippics upon the many houses where it was never met with tolerable... - Chapter 12


Mr Woodhouse was rather agitated by such harsh reflections on his friend Perry, to whom he had in fact, though unconsciously, been attributing many of his own feelings and expressions; but the soothing attentions of his daughters gradually removed the present evil... - Chapter 12


Mr. Weston would take no denial; they must all dine at Randalls one day;--even Mr. Woodhouse was persuaded to think it a possible thing in preference to a division of the party. How they were all to be conveyed, he would have made a difficulty if he could, but as his son and daughter's carriage and horses were actually at Hartfield, he was not able to make more than a simple question on that head; it hardly amounted to a doubt; nor did it occupy Emma long to convince him that they might in one of the carriages find room for Harriet also. Harriet, Mr. Elton, and Mr. Knightley, their own especial set, were the only persons invited to meet them;--the hours were to be early, as well as the numbers few; Mr. Woodhouse's habits and inclination being consulted in every thing. - Chapter 13


Mr. Woodhouse had so completely made up his mind to the visit, that in spite of the increasing coldness, he seemed to have no idea of shrinking from it, and set forward at last most punctually with his eldest daughter in his own carriage, with less apparent consciousness of the weather than either of the others; too full of the wonder of his own going, and the pleasure it was to afford at Randalls to see that it was cold, and too well wrapt up to feel it. - Chapter 13


Mr. Woodhouse very soon followed them into the drawing-room. To be sitting long after dinner, was a confinement that he could not endure. Neither wine nor conversation was any thing to him; and gladly did he move to those with whom he was always comfortable. - Chapter 14


Mr. Woodhouse was soon ready for his tea; and when he had drank his tea he was quite ready to go home; and it was as much as his three companions could do, to entertain away his notice of the lateness of the hour, before the other gentlemen appeared. - Chapter 15


To Isabella, the relief of such tidings was very great, and they were scarcely less acceptable to Emma on her father's account, who was immediately set as much at ease on the subject as his nervous constitution allowed; but the alarm that had been raised could not be appeased so as to admit of any comfort for him while he continued at Randalls. He was satisfied of there being no present danger in returning home, but no assurances could convince him that it was safe to stay. /.../ The carriage came: and Mr. Woodhouse, always the first object on such occasions, was carefully attended to his own by Mr. Knightley and Mr. Weston; but not all that either could say could prevent some renewal of alarm at the sight of the snow which had actually fallen, and the discovery of a much darker night than he had been prepared for. He was afraid they should have a very bad drive. He was afraid poor Isabella would not like it. And there would be poor Emma in the carriage behind. He did not know what they had best do. They must keep as much together as they could; and James was talked to, and given a charge to go very slow and wait for the other carriage. - Chapter 15


Her own father's perfect exemption from any thought of the kind, the entire deficiency in him of all such sort of penetration or suspicion, was a most comfortable circumstance. Happily, he was not further from approving matrimony than from foretelling it. Though always objecting to every marriage that was arranged, he never suffered beforehand from the apprehension of any; it seemed as if he could not think so ill of any two persons' understanding as to suppose them meant to marry till it were proved against them. - Chapter 23


...and it being chiefly settled among themselves how it might be done without neglecting his comfort - how certainly Mrs. Goddard, if not Mrs. Bates, might be depended on for bearing him company - Mr. Woodhouse was to be talked into acquiescence of his daughter's going out to dinner on a day now near at hand, and spending the whole evening away from him. As for his going, Emma did not wish him to think it possible; the hours would be too late, and the party too numerous. He was soon pretty well resigned. - Chapter 25


He did, on the condition of some promises on her side; such as that, if she came home cold, she would be sure to warm herself thoroughly; if hungry, she would take something to eat; and that her own maid should sit up for her; and that Serle and the butler should see that everything were safe in the house as usual. - Chapter 25


No, he thought it very from an improvement - a very bad plan - much worse than the other. A room at an inn was always damp and dangerous, never properly aired, or fit to be inhabited. If they must dance, they had better dance at Randalls. He had never been in the room at the Crown in his life - did not know the people who kept it by sight. Oh no - a very bad plan. They would catch worse colds at the Crown than anywhere. - Chapter 29


Her father's feelings were quite distinct. He thought principally of Mrs. Churchill's illness, and wanted to know how she was treated; and as for the ball, it was shocking to have dear Emma disappointed; but they would all be safer at home. - Chapter 30


Mr. Woodhouse considered eight persons at dinner together as the utmost his nerves could bear... - Chapter 34


Her attention was now claimed by Mr. Woodhouse, who being, according to his custom on such occasions, making the circle of his guests, and paying particular compliments to the ladies /.../ the kind-hearted, polite old man might then sit down and feel that he had done his duty, and made every fair lady welcome and easy. - Chapter 34


Poor Mr. Woodhouse trembled as he sat, and, as Emma had foreseen, would scarcely be satisfied without their promising never to go beyond the shrubbery again. It was some comfort to him that many inquiries after himself and Miss Woodhouse (for his neighbours knew that he loved to be inquired after), as well as Miss Smith, were coming in during the rest of the day; and he had the pleasure of returning for answer, that they were all indifferent; which, though not exactly true, for she was perfectly well, and Harriet not much otherwise, Emma would not interfere with. She had an unhappy state of health in general for the child of such a man, for she hardly knew what indisposition was and if he did not invent illnesses for her, she would make no figure in the message. - Chapter 39


The quietness of the game made it particularly eligible for Mr. Woodhouse, who had often been distressed by the more animated sort, which Mr. Weston had occasionally introduced, and who now sat happily occupied in lamenting, with tender melancholy, over the departure of the 'poor little boys,' or in fondly pointing out, as he took up any stray letter, how beautifully Emma had written it. - Chapter 41


He did consent. He had not been at Donwell for two years. Some fine morning, he, Emma, and Harriet could go very well; and he could sit with Mrs. Weston while the dear girls walked about the gardens. He did not suppose they could be damp now, in the middle of the day. He should like to see the old house again exceedingly, and should be happy to meet Mr. and Mrs. Elton, and any other of his neighbours. He could not see any objection at all to this, and Emma's, and Harriet's going there some very fine morning. He thought it very well done of Mr. Knightley to invited them; very kind and sensible; much cleverer than dining out. He was not fond of dining out. /.../ Under a bright mid-day sun, at almost Midsummer, Mr. Woodhouse was safely conveyed in his carriage, with one window down, to partake of this al fresco party; and in one of the most comfortable rooms in the Abbey, especially prepared for him by a fire all the morning, he was happily placed, quite at his ease, ready to talk with pleasure of what had been achieved, and advise everybody to come and sit down, and not to heat themselves." - Chapter 42


Mr. Woodhouse, who had already taken his little round in the highest part of the gardens, where no damps from the river were imagined even by him, stirred no more... - Chapter 42


...fortunate in having no other resemblance to a child, than in total want of taste for what he saw, for he was slow, constant, and methodical. - Chapter 42


In the hope of diverting her father's thoughts from the disagreeableness of Mr. Knightley's going to London, and going so suddenly, and going on horseback, which she knew would be all very bad, Emma communicated the news of Jane Fairfax, and her dependence on the effect was justified; it supplied a very useful check - interested, without disturbing him. He had long made up his mind to Jane Fairfax's going out as a governess, and could talk of it cheerfully, but Mr. Knightley's going to London had been an unexpected blow. - Chapter 45


The weather affected Mr. Woodhouse; and he could only be kept tolerably comfortable by almost ceaseless attention his daughter's side... - Chapter 48


Poor Mr. Woodhouse little suspected what was plotting against him in the breast of that man whom he was so cordially welcoming, and so anxiously hoping might not have taken cold from his ride. Could he have seen the heart, he would have cared very little for the lungs: but without the most distant imagination of the impending evil, without the slightest perception of anything extraordinary, in the looks or ways of either, he repeated to them very comfortably all the articles of news he had received from Mr. Perry, and talked on with much self-contentment, totally unsuspicious of what they could have told him in return. - Chapter 50


In ten minutes, however, the child had been perfectly well again. This was her history; and particularly interesting it was to Mr. Woodhouse, who commended her very much for thinking of sending for Perry, and only regretted that she had not done it. "She should always send for Perry, if the child appeared in the slightest degree disordered, were it only for a moment. She could not be too soon alarmed, nor send for Perry too often. It was a pity, perhaps, that he had not come last night; for, though the child seemed well now, very well considering, it would probably have been better if Perry had seen it." Chapter 54


But Mr.Woodhouse--how was Mr. Woodhouse to be induced to consent?--he, who had never yet alluded to their marriage but as a distant event. When first sounded on the subject, he was so miserable, that they were almost hopeless.--A second allusion, indeed, gave less pain.-- He began to think it was to be, and that he could not prevent it-- a very promising step of the mind on its way to resignation. Still, however, he was not happy. Nay, he appeared so much otherwise, that his daughter's courage failed. She could not bear to see him suffering, to know him fancying himself neglected; and though her understanding almost acquiesced in the assurance of both the Mr. Knightleys, that when once the event were over, his distress would be soon over too, she hesitated--she could not proceed. In this state of suspense they were befriended, not by any sudden illumination of Mr. Woodhouse's mind, or any wonderful change of his nervous system, but by the operation of the same system in another way.-- Mrs. Weston's poultry-house was robbed one night of all her turkeys-- evidently by the ingenuity of man. Other poultry-yards in the neighbourhood also suffered.--Pilfering was housebreaking to Mr. Woodhouse's fears.--He was very uneasy; and but for the sense of his son-in-law's protection, would have been under wretched alarm every night of his life. The strength, resolution, and presence of mind of the Mr. Knightleys, commanded his fullest dependence. While either of them protected him and his, Hartfield was safe.-- But Mr. John Knightley must be in London again by the end of the first week in November.The result of this distress was, that, with a much more voluntary, cheerful consent than his daughter had ever presumed to hope for at the moment, she was able to fix her wedding-day. - Chapter 55

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