Elizabeth Marton

From even her first sighting of him, Elizabeth strongly despises Fitzwilliam Emmerson, the silent, surly friend of Edmund Fitzwield, owner of a nearby estate. However when things take a funny turn and something more than what Miss Marton could ever have anticipated is revealed, she begins to realize
exactly how wrongly judgemental she has been, particularly concerning Mr. Emmerson's father...

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Upon leaving Inklefield and returning home to Rolands, most of the rest of Elizabeth's family had heard what had been said of Elizabeth by Mr. Emmerson, told, Elizabeth presumed, by Janet, whom was such a confiding sort of person in times such as these, that was not to be blamed, for conversing over the matter, by Elizabeth. But it was Mrs Marton's decidedly talking of the matter over and over again, that caused Elizabeth's spirits to fall. "Oh, Lizzie!" Her mother kept saying "That most awful man! I am quite disgusted by him for imagine someone telling one of my daughters that she is plain and not pretty enough to dance with! Imagine!"

"But Mama!" Reasoned Kitty, the youngest "Mr Emmerson is rich, of so everyone says, richer, even, than Mr. Fitzwield, and so he cannot be blamed so harshly of thinking others below him..."

But not one other person in the family was listening to her.

"Don't speak to him, Eliza!" Cried Mrs Marton heartily to her second eldest daughter - and very loudly, too; Secretly, Elizabeth wished her mother would quieten, but she dared ont say so.

"You must never have an acquaintance with a man as poorly-mannered as that! Never, Lizzie, do you hear me?" And Mrs Marton carried on her dire warnings and expressions of disgust throughout the rest of the evening.

Later that night, Elizabeth confessed to Janet that, although what Mr. Emmerson had said had been horrible of him, she couldn't help but be curious as to why the man behaved in such an awful manner. Janet agreed and the sisters parted, on friendly terms, to go to bed, promising one another that all was to be well in the morning.

However, it was not quite to be so. By morning, the news of Emmerson's disregard of Miss Marton had spread even to those in the town nearby and even though, at lunchtime, Mr. Fitzwield came round to supply a full and heartfelt apology of his friend's behavior, claiming, really rather gallantly, that he had not one, sole idea as to why Mr. Emmerson had been so out of character, Elizabeth could not be cheered up. Mr. Fitzwield also bid his compliments to all the family, especially Janet, a thing which excited Kitty and their mother immensely, for they were sure, most certainly sure, that Mr. Fitzwield's affections for Janet ran much deeper then mere friendship. As it was, however, the entire family was invited over to Inklefield's for the following day, and Elizabeth immediately vowed to steer well clear of Mr Emmerson, no matter how out of character his actions, according to Mr. Fitzwield, had been.

But, most unfortunately for Elizabeth, any chance of avoiding Mr Emmerson vanished the moment their carriage arrived at Inklefield's; In an attempt to compensate for his friends behavior and attitude, Mr Fitzwield had placed Elizabeth directly in the company of Mr. Emmerson so that they should have the chance of gaining some alliance. But, alas, it was not to be so. Mr Emmerson was just as uncivil to Elizabeth as he had been with her the day before, avoiding any contact with her eye, entirely ignoring her, as well as everyone else at dinner, stabbing at his potatoes with such venom that gravy splashed ever the tablecloth. All this nastiness, however, especially that at the dinner table, was brushed off by Elizabeth, not out of any compassion for him, but merely because she refused to lie wounded, under a variety of excuses, most of them backed up by a grateful Mr. Fitzwield, such as "Mr. Emmerson did mention his habits of forceful cutlery work to me the other day; it all comes down to the strength gained from handing so many young ladies out of their carriages, I suppose..." or "I've always heard that the best thinkers are the quietest thinkers, isn't that so, Mr. Fitzwield?" But there came a most unfortunate time after dinner, when Elizabeth, nor even noble friend Mr. Fitzwield, could ignore Mr. Emmerson's behavior any longer. It happened as Elizabeth was playing at cards, and, yet again, she had been seated next to Mr. Emmerson. Halfway through the game, on purpose, and for no good reason other than to spite her, the horrid man knocked her hand into the main deck, causing cards to spill all over the floor. As everyone glared at him, and Elizabeth's wild rage showed up in her bright eyes and flushed cheeks, Mr. Emmerson did, at least, and much to his credit, apologized, also, on Elizabeth's silent instruction, did he bend on his hands and knees and help her to pick them all up. But the damage had been done to their already negative relationship, and, as neither one could care much for the loss, Elizabeth thought of him even more badly than ever before.

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