The loss of his most beloved wife had shocked Mr Woodhouse very much so. However no one in Highbury had noticed any change within the poor widowed Mr Woodhouse. This was mostly due to the fact he had always been overprotective and in fear of illness since before the death of Mrs Woodhouse. It was not until the tragic circumstances of Mr Weston losing his own dear wife and Miss Bates losing the last of her fortune that anyone had noticed something was wrong.
Mr Woodhouse could not stand the idea of being alone, nor could he bear the thought of anyone losing a family member or their home.
"Poor Mr Weston and Miss Bates," he would sigh to Miss Taylor and his daughters, "it is not fair on either them. And have you heard? They are thinking of sending poor young Frank Weston and Jane Fairfax away because they can no longer afford to keep them."
Isabella let out a little gasp of shock and horror. How could anyone bear to give away their family members? Emma may annoy her from time to time but she would be heartbroken if Emma was truly sent away.
"Oh no," Emma cried out, "Papa surely there is something we can do?"
"There is and I have already done so. After hearing the terrible offers Mrs Churchill and that Colonel Campbell made to take away those sweet children from their homes I had rushed down to see Mr Weston and Miss Bates and made them an offer."
"What offer, Father?" Isabella asked.
"I have offered them all our home. We have enough rooms to house them all, although some will have to share. Isabella since you are nearly a lady you can have your own room but I am sorry to say Emma you will be sharing with little Jane Fairfax."
"That's okay, Papa, as long as I don't have to share with Miss Bates or Mrs Bates, Jane says Mrs Bates snores and Miss Bates talks in her sleep."
"Emma!" Miss Taylor scolded. "It is impolite to talk about one's sleeping habits."
"The Mrs and Miss Bates will have to share a room while young Frank Weston is to share a room. Mr Weston is unfortunately going to that dreadful place London to arrange his business affairs. He shall be a regular and welcomed visitor in our home just like the Knightlys. I want you girls to treat all of our future guests with the highest respect and generosity, they will very soon be our family and I do not want any upsetting comments."
"Very well, I am proud of you two for being so grown up about this. Oh, my looks at the time, Miss Taylor take them up to bed and do make sure they have at least three blankets there is a terrible chill tonight."
And so within in the week, Mr Woodhouse's loneliness had caused a momentous change in young Frank Weston and Jane Fairfax's life. They were to gain a beloved sister and dearest friend from their new life in Hartfield and start an adventure that Mr Woodhouse would surely disapprove of.
If only Mr Woodhouse realised what he was starting when he decided to be very generous and very selfish that day.