Jane Austen's novel Emma is perfectly described by its first-sentence depiction of the heroine herself: "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."

And indeed, the book itself is handsome, clever, rich, comfortable, and happy — neither vexatious nor "about" much. Sometimes (often?) that's sufficient! As Cardinal Newman commented, "Everything Miss Austen writes is clever .... There are some beautiful things in it. Emma herself is the most interesting to me of all her heroines. I feel kind to her whenever I think of her .... I like Emma."

Some fortune-cookie quotes:

Clever, rich, handsome Emma!

^z - 2018-04-24