The Project Gutenberg EBook of Emma, by Jane Austen
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Author: Jane Austen
Release Date: May 25, 2008 [EBook #158]
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*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK EMMA ***
Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy
disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly
twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.
She was the youngest of the two daughters of a most affectionate, indulgent father; and had,
in consequence of her sister's marriage, been mistress of his house from a very early period.
Her mother had died too long ago for her to have more than an indistinct remembrance of her
caresses; and her place had been supplied by an excellent woman as governess, who had fallen
little short of a mother in affection.
Sixteen years had Miss Taylor been in Mr. Woodhouse's family, less as a governess than a
friend, very fond of both daughters, but particularly of Emma. Between them it was more the
intimacy of sisters. Even before Miss Taylor had ceased to hold the nominal office of
governess, the mildness of her temper had hardly allowed her to impose any restraint; and the
shadow of authority being now long passed away, they had been living together as friend and
friend very mutually attached, and Emma doing just what she liked; highly esteeming Miss
Taylor's judgment, but directed chiefly by her own.
The real evils, indeed, of Emma's situation were the power of having rather too much her
own way, and a disposition to think a little too well of herself; these were the disadvantages
which threatened alloy to her many enjoyments. The danger, however, was at present so
unperceived, that they