"It is a sort of thing," cried Mrs. Elton emphatically, "which I should not have thought myself privileged to inquire into. Though, perhaps, as the Chaperon of the party— I never was in any circle— exploring parties—young ladies—married women—" Her mutterings were chiefly to her husband; (…)” - JA
“Mrs Elton, not at all pleased with the turn the conversation had taken, though her anger was mostly caused by the fact that she was not the centre of attention. There was whispering from Frank Churchill, and Emma showed no disgust at his behaviour, as she would have done had anyone else whispered in company. - AG
" I am ordered by Miss Woodhouse to say, (...) she only demands from each of you either one thing very clever, be it prose or verse, original or repeated—or two things moderately clever— or three things very dull indeed, and she engages to laugh heartily at them all.
- Oh! very well," exclaimed Miss Bates, "then I need not be uneasy. `Three things very dull indeed.' That will just do for me, you know. I shall be sure to say three dull things as soon as ever I open my mouth, shan't I? (looking round with the most good-humoured
dependence on every body's assent)—Do not you all think I shall?" - JA
“I was just about to say, „Not at all,‟ and I saw Mrs Weston about to do the same, when Emma said” - AG
"Ah! ma'am, but there may be a difficulty. Pardon me—but you will be limited as to number—only three at once." - JA
“I could not believe it. Instead of reassuring Miss Bates that her contributions to the conversation were always valued, she insulted her in front of all her friends; worse still, in front of her niece. I felt sick with it. She would never have said such a thing before meeting Frank Churchill!” – AG
Não sei se estes eram os pensamentos que Jane Austen teria atribuído a Knightley, mas penso que não devem estar muito longe dos verdadeiros. Sem dúvida que a influência de F. Churchill foram uma importante contribuição para uma certa insensibilidade no comportamento de Emma, pois junto dele era alvo de todas as maiores atenções, convencendo-se, ainda que de forma inconsciente, que era, de facto, perfeita. E isso levou-a a colocar-se numa posição sobranceira e altiva, sem ter em conta os outros. Emma foi inconveniente, grosseiramente inconveniente e Knightley não poderia ter reagido de outra forma.
“Miss Bates did not realize what Emma had said, and I was about to divert her attention by offering her another slice of pie when I saw her face change and knew I was too late.” - AG
“but, when it burst on her, it could not anger, though a slight blush shewed that it could pain her.” - JA
“I was mortified, yet Emma continued to smile and Weston went on with the conversation as though nothing was wrong.” - AG
"I doubt its being very clever myself," said Mr. Weston. "It is too much a matter of fact, but here it is.—What two letters of the alphabet are there, that express perfection?" - JA
“Weston! Who should have shown her what he thought of such conduct by a frown. He then made things worse by offering a conundrum, and one which could not have been more badly chosen.” - AG
“- M. and A.—Em-ma.—Do you understand?" Understanding and gratification came together. It might be a very indifferent piece of wit, but Emma found a great deal to laugh at and enjoy in it—and so did Frank and Harriet.— JA
“Emma understood, and was gratified, whilst I was annoyed. Emma, perfect? Emma, who had insulted her oldest friend? Emma, who had flirted shamelessly in front of all her friends?
Emma basked in the praise, though it was ill-deserved, whilst her flatterer, Frank Churchill, laughed and enjoyed it. “ - AG
“It did not seem to touch the rest of the party equally; some looked very stupid about it, and Mr. Knightley gravely said” - JA
“This explains the sort of clever thing that is wanted,‟ I said without humour, „but perfection should not have come quite so soon.‟
It made no difference. Emma was pleased, and so was her court. Mrs Elton, it is true, was not pleased, though if she could have changed her name to Emma, she would have thought it the best conundrum in the world. “ - AG
"Oh! for myself, I protest I must be excused," said Mrs. Elton; (…) Miss Woodhouse must excuse me. I am not one of those who have witty things at every body's service” - JA
“I declared my intention of taking a walk as well, and gave her one arm, whilst offering Miss Bates the other.” - AG
“They walked off, followed in half a minute by Mr. Knightley. Mr. Weston, his son, Emma, and Harriet, only remained; and the young man's spirits now rose to a pitch almost unpleasant. Even Emma grew tired at last of flattery and merriment, and wished herself rather walking quietly about with any of the others, or sitting almost alone, and quite unattended to, in tranquil observation of the beautiful views beneath her.” - JA
“And for the rest of the walk, I had to listen to her apologizing for her tongue, when it should have been Emma who was apologizing for hers. I did what I could to soothe her, and she grew easier. “ - AG
Eu até compreendo a frase de Emma... Afinal, passei muito tempo do livro a desejar que ela se calasse!
Todavia, acho que Emma extravazou muito da sua putativa importância ao expressar tal sentimento. Enquanto pensamento, julgo que não nos deixaríamos de rir, mas o facto de o ter dito da boca para fora é altamente repreensível. Mr. Knihtley espanta-se com a atitude de Emma, primeiro, por expressar semelhante pensamento, segundo, por não perceber que o que acabou de dizer foi em tudo ofensivo.
Não posso deixar de afirmar que considero a linha de pensamento de Knightley seguida por Amanda Grange muito convincente. Depois de Weston fazer a sua charada com o nome de Emma e perfeição, a resposta dada por Knightley ainda mencionada por Jane Austen, é muito bem explorada por Amanda Grange que nos mostra o sentimento incrédulo e zangado com que Mr. Knightley reage a toda aquela situação perante a indiferença de Emma que mantém uma postura irrefletida e imprópria.
Não deixa de ser igualmente interessante, o facto de Amanda Grange nos dar a conhecer o que foi dito no passeio com Knightley, Miss Bates e Jane Fairfax, que nos mostra quão humilde e magoada Miss Bates estava.
“While waiting for the carriage, she found Mr. Knightley by her side.” - JA
“My anger had not cooled when I stood next to Emma as we waited for the carriage to take us home again. I told myself I must not reprimand her or criticize her, but I could not help myself. I could not see her being dragged down, when a word from me might stop it. “ - AG
“He looked around, as if to see that no one were near, and then said, "Emma, I must once more speak to you as I have been used to do” - JA
“I said, in some agitation. Even then, I tried to hold back, but I could not” - AG
“I cannot see you acting wrong, without a remonstrance. How could you be so unfeeling to Miss Bates? (...) Emma, I had not thought it possible." Emma recollected, blushed, was sorry, but tried to laugh it off.
"Nay, how could I help saying what I did?—Nobody could have helped it. It was not so very bad. I dare say she did not understand me."
"I assure you she did. She felt your full meaning. She has talked of it since. I wish you could have heard her honouring your forbearance, (...) and, were she prosperous, I could allow much for the occasional prevalence of the ridiculous over the good. Were she a woman of fortune, I would leave every harmless absurdity to take its chance, I would not quarrel with you for any liberties of manner. Were she your equal in situation (...) Her situation should secure your compassion. It was badly done, indeed!” - JA
“She was not interested. She looked away, impatient with me for speaking to her thus. But I had started, and I could not have done until I had finished.” - AG
“to have you now, in thoughtless spirits, and the pride of the moment, laugh at her, humble her—and before her niece, too(...) This is not pleasant to you, Emma (...) I will tell you truths while I can; satisfied with proving myself your friend by very faithful counsel, and trusting that you will some time or other do me greater justice than you can do now." - JA
Gostei bastante desta controvérsia entre as perspetivas de um e outro. Emma só se apercebe das implicações do que disse quando Knihtley a repreende. É curioso assistir ao duelo de sentimentos de Knihgtley que até ao último momento tenta não criticá-la por entender que já não ocupa esse lugar, agora que Emma pretende iniciar a sua vida ao lado de outro homem. Todavia fá-lo, e fá-lo por amor.
A reação inicial de Emma às suas palavras é ainda muito imatura, como Austen nos mostra, ela ainda tenta rir com a situação.
“While they talked, they were advancing towards the carriage; it was ready; and, before she could speak again, he had handed her in.” - JA
“I handed her into the carriage. She did not even bid me goodbye. She was sullen. Who could blame her? But it could not be helped. I had said what I had to say, and I returned to the Abbey in low spirits. “ - AG
“He had misinterpreted the feelings which had kept her face averted, and her tongue motionless. They were combined only of anger against herself, mortification, and deep concern. She had not been able to speak; and, on entering the carriage, sunk back for a moment overcome—then reproaching herself for having taken no leave, making no acknowledgment, parting in apparent sullenness, she looked out with voice and hand eager to shew a difference; but it was just too late. He had turned away, and (...) She continued to look back, but in vain; (...) She was vexed beyond what could have been expressed— almost beyond what she could conceal. Never had she felt so agitated, mortified, grieved, at any circumstance in her life. “ - JA
“(I) began to restore my sense of calm. (...) If Emma had been with me, I would have known complete happiness. But she was not, and as I came inside I had to acknowledge that such a thing would never come to pass. (...) But I cannot forget about Emma. Where is she now? Is she at Hartfield, thinking of Frank Churchill and his easy flattery? She must be.“ - AG
“The wretchedness of a scheme to Box Hill was in Emma's thoughts all the evening. How it might be considered by the rest of the party, she could not tell. They, (...) might be looking back on it with pleasure; but in her view it was a morning more completely misspent, more totally bare of rational satisfaction at the time, and more to be abhorred in recollection, than any she had ever passed.” - JA
Gosto especialmente da forma como Knightley interpreta erradamente a aparente apatia de Emma perante o que lhe diz e os sentimentos dela para com Churchill—e nisto, ele não podia estar mais enganado!
Emma só muito tarde se apercebe do que fez, mas não tarde de mais, como sabemos, Emma esforça-se por expiar as suas culpas nos capítulos seguintes e consegue-o e por isso entendo que esta cena na história representa um ponto de viragem em Emma porque ela cresce muito depois desta reprimenda.