Bates, deprived of her usual employment, slumbering on one side of the fire, Frank Churchill, at a table near her, most deedily
occupied about her spectacles, and Jane Fairfax, standing with her back to them, intent on her pianoforte.
As I sat there watching that old play David plucked my sleeve to ask what I was looking at so deedily
; and when I told him he ran eagerly to the window, but he reached it just too late to see the lady who was to become his mother.
This reference appears in the story "Nutting," where Mitford continues, "and look at that still younger imp, who, as grave as a judge, is creeping on hands and knees under the tree, picking up the apples as they fall so deedily." An explanatory note adds: "I am not quite sure that this word is good English; but it is genuine Hampshire, and is used by the most correct of female writers, Miss Austen" (Our Village 47).
Significantly, this phrase occurs directly after the reference to the term deedily, suggesting that this chapter in Emma, or even Emma itself, was a work with which Mitford was especially familiar.
the adverb deedily
, re-used in Emma; after her, it shows up only in an 1859 academic treatise.
Next day, when Emma visits Miss Bates to hear the piano, she and her companions catch Frank almost alone with Jane: he "most deedily
occupied" in mending spectacles, and she "standing with her back to them, intent on her pianoforte" (240).