In the Blue Room, Cora Cash was trying to concentrate on her book. Cora found most novels hard to sympathise with -- all those plain governesses -- but this one had much to recommend it. The heroine was 'handsome, clever, and rich', rather like Cora herself. Cora knew she was handsome -- wasn't she always referred to in the papers as 'the divine Miss Cash'? She was clever -- she could speak three languages and could handle calculus. And as to rich, well, she was undoubtedly that. Emma Woodhouse was not rich in the way that she, Cora Cash, was rich. Emma Woodhouse did not lie on a lit ? la polonaise once owned by Madame du Barry in a room which was, but for the lingering smell of paint, an exact replica of Marie Antoinette's bedchamber at le petit Trianon. Emma Woodhouse went to dances at the Assembly Rooms, not fancy dress spectaculars in specially built ballrooms. But Emma Woodhouse was motherless which meant, thought Cora, that she was handsome, clever, rich and free.
I couldn't believe I let him see me like this, unable to fend for myself. I fumed in disgust at my vulnerability. I didn't want Evan to think I needed protecting. I pulled back my torment and let the numb blanket envelop me, pushing away the stirred memories, the noise of the crowd, and the trembling that still lay beneath the surface. I stared at the flames licking at the darkness and everything was lost as I sank deeper into nothingness.
... He didn't know how to say good-bye. His throat ached from the strain of holding back his emotions. I don't want to leave you, he said humbly, reaching for her cold, stiff hands.Emma lowered her head, her tears falling freely. I'll never see you again, will I?He shook his head. Not in this lifetime, he said hoarsely.She pulled her hands away and wrapped her arms around his neck. He felt her wet lashes brush his cheek. Then I'll wait a hundred years, she whispered. Or a thousand, if I must. Remember that, Nikki. I'll be waiting for you to come to me.
I am Emma Woodhouse. I feel for her, of her and in her. I have a different sort of snobbism, but I understand her snobbism. Her priggishness. I admire it. I know she does wrong things, she tries to organize other people's lives, she can't see Mr Knightley is a man in a million. She's temporarily silly, yet all the time one knows she's basically intelligent. Creative, determined to set the highest standards. A real human being.