Адаптированная книга на английском языке «Emma by Jane Austen».
Emma Woodhouse was beautiful, clever and rich. She lived sixteen miles from London in the village of Highbury and at nearly twenty-one years old she thought her life was perfect. But nothing stays the same for ever and even the most perfect life must sometimes change.
Emma was the younger of two daughters but only she lived with her father at the family home. Her sister Isabella lived in London with her husband and five children.
Emma’s mother died when she was only five, and so her father found Miss Taylor to five with them at Hartfield and look after his two daughters. Miss Taylor became their teacher and friend and, even after Emma had grown up and didn’t need Miss Taylor as a teacher any longer, she continued to live with them and was part of the family.
But Emma’s comfortable life changed when Miss Taylor decided to get married to Mr Weston. Although his house — called ‘Randalls’ — was very near Emma’s, she soon realised there would be a great difference between a Miss Taylor at Hartfield and a Mrs Weston half a mile from Hartfield. And so Emma and her father were left alone together, both wishing that Miss Taylor was still there too.
‘What a pity Mr Weston ever thought of Miss Taylor,’ said Mr Woodhouse, sadly.
‘I cannot agree, Papa. They are very happy together, and I am happy for them. And we shall see them often. They will come here to Hartfield and we shall visit them at Mr Weston’s house. We shall always be meeting.’
But although Emma tried to make her father feel happier, she was just as sad as him.
As they sat together playing cards on the evening after Miss Taylor’s wedding, their friend Mr Knightley came to visit them. His brother John was Isabella’s husband and he had just returned from their home in London.
‘How was the wedding? Who cried the most?’
‘Everybody was on time and looked their best,’ said Emma, ‘And there were no tears.’
‘But I know how sad you must feel, Emma,’ said Mr Knightley.
‘Yes, but I am happy that I made the match myself, four years ago. People said Mr Weston would never marry again, but I saw the possibility of love,’ said Emma.
‘And now Miss Taylor has left us,’ said Mr Woodhouse. ‘So please do not make any more matches that might break up our circle of friends and family, Emma.’
Mr Knightley did not agree with Emma.
‘I cannot see why you think you succeeded. It was no more than a lucky guess,’ he said.
But Emma would not listen. She was sure it was because of her help that Miss Taylor had married Mr Weston, and now she had the idea of making another match.
‘Mr Elton, the vicar — he is such a good and handsome man, everybody says so. And today, in the church, I could see that he would like it very much if it was his wedding. I wish I could help to find him a wife.’
‘Leave him to choose his own wife,’ laughed Mr Knightley. ‘He is twenty-seven and can take care of himself.’
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