In Emma Chapter 5:
Mrs. Weston and Mr. Knightley are discussing the merits of Emma having Harriet as a friend. Mrs. Weston thought it was beneficial to Emma, but disagreed. Consequently, Mrs. Weston said:
"Mr. Weston would undoubtedly support me, if he were here, for he thinks exactly as I do on the subject. We were speaking of it only yesterday, and agreeing how fortunate it was for Emma, that there should be such a girl in Highbury for her to associate with. Mr. Knightley, I shall not allow you to be a fair judge in this case. You are so much used to live alone, that you do not know the value of a companion; and perhaps no man can be a good judge of the comfort a woman feels in the society of one of her own sex, after being used to it all her life. I can imagine your objection to Harriet Smith. She is not the superior young woman which Emma's friend ought to be. But on the other hand as Emma wants to see her better informed, it will be an inducement to her to read more herself. They will read together. She means it, I know."
The sentence in bold speaks volumes about Jane and Cassandra’s relationship. I cannot speak for our Gentlemen friends, but as a woman, I know the value of my close, personal, ‘lady’ friends and I would not like to be without their company. They are all as close as “sisters” could ever be. We can share our trials, as well as the good times. Each of us has an area of interest, and expertise that contribute to our mutual information, knowledge, and education which broadens our horizons. I am ever so grateful for them. We should remember to say “Thank You” more often.
Linda the Librarian
Pic: Mrs. Weston (Greta Sacchi) and Emma (Gwyneth Palthrow) in Emma 1996, taken from Janitesonthejames