Text - "Emma" Jane Austen

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Mrs. Bates, the widow of a former vicar of Highbury, was a very old
lady, almost past every thing but tea and quadrille. She lived with her
single daughter in a very small way, and was considered with all the
regard and respect which a harmless old lady, under such untoward
circumstances, can excite. Her daughter enjoyed a most uncommon degree
of popularity for a woman neither young, handsome, rich, nor married.
Miss Bates stood in the very worst predicament in the world for having
much of the public favour; and she had no intellectual superiority to
make atonement to herself, or frighten those who might hate her into
outward respect. She had never boasted either beauty or cleverness. Her
youth had passed without distinction, and her middle of life was devoted
to the care of a failing mother, and the endeavour to make a small
income go as far as possible. And yet she was a happy woman, and a woman
whom no one named without good-will. It was her own universal good-will
and contented temper which worked such wonders. She loved every body,
was interested in every body's happiness, quicksighted to every body's
merits; thought herself a most fortunate creature, and surrounded with
blessings in such an excellent mother, and so many good neighbours
and friends, and a home that wanted for nothing. The simplicity and
cheerfulness of her nature, her contented and grateful spirit, were a
recommendation to every body, and a mine of felicity to herself. She was
a great talker upon little matters, which exactly suited Mr. Woodhouse,
full of trivial communications and harmless gossip.