"Oh, very well, exclaimed Miss Bates, "then I need not be uneasy. 'Three things very dull indeed.' That will just do for me, you know. I shall be sure to say three dull things as soon as ever I open my mouth, shan't I?-(looking round with the most good-humoured dependence on every body's assent)Do you not think I shall?"
Emma could not resist.
"Ah, ma'am, but there may be a difficulty. Pardon me-but you will be limited as to number-only three at once."
Miss Bates, deceived by the mock ceremony of her manner, did not immediately catch her meaning; but, when it burst on her, it could not anger, though a slight blush showed that it could pain her.
"Ah!-well-to be sure. Yes, I see what she means, (turning to Mr Knightley,) and I will try and hold my tongue. I must make myself very disagreeable, or she would not have said such a thing to an old friend."