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When this section opens, Emma, her father, the Westons, and Frank Churchill are at Randalls discussing and planning a ball to be held shortly after Frank is supposed to return to his aunt and uncle. They eventually decide to have in at a nearby inn, and Frank receives word from his Aunt that he can extend his visit. He ends up being called back to Enscombe, though, due to his aunt's illness, and the ball is postponed indefinitely. Emma finds that Highbury society is greatly diminished with Frank gone, and thinks that she must be at least a little in love him. After further reflections, she realizes that her happiness does not depend on Frank, and decides that she would refuse him if it came down to it.

Shortly after Frank returns to Enscombe, village gossip turns to Mr. Elton, who will soon be returning with his new bride. Upon first meeting her, Emma chooses reserve judgement, attributing Mrs. Elton's poor manners to the awkwardness of the situation. After spending more time with Mrs. Elton, though, Emma dislikes her greatly. Mrs. Elton becomes aware of Emma's dislike and returns the sentiment. Emma assumes that Mr. Elton told his wife about the misunderstandings with Emma and Harriet, to whom the Eltons are particularly rude.

Mrs. Elton decides to take Jane Fairfax under her wing, and Jane lets her. Emma is puzzled by this, and discuses it with Mr. Knightly. He defends Jane's decision, and Emma takes this opportunity to probe him about his feelings for Jane. Mr. Knightly, flustered and embarrassed, tells Emma that he is not in love with Jane and Emma is satisfied that she was right.

In order to fulfill her social obligation, Emma hosts a dinner party for the Eltons. Harriet bows out, but Emma invites Jane in her place. Jane is heartily admonished about walking to the post office by Mrs. Elton, who is soon joined by other members of the party. Later, Mr. Weston arrives, with the news that Frank will be returning to Highbury shortly.

Because Frank will be returning, the plans for the previously canceled ball are taken up again. The ball is a success, but for one episode. Harriet is left without a partner for one dance, and Mr. Elton, who is free for the dance, very pointedly snubs her. Harriet is quite embarrassed, by Mr. Knightly steps in to dance with her, though he had chosen not to dance at all that evening. Emma is very pleased, and later expresses her gratitude. She admits that he had been right about Mr. Elton's character before, and he acknowledges that Harriet has more admirable qualities than he previously thought.

The episode with Mr. Elton at the ball does serves one good purpose at least - it cures Harriet of her lingering affection for him. She and Emma burn a few trinkets that Harriet had kept, and Harriet tells Emma of an affection she has for an unnamed someone else of a higher rank. Emma vows not to interfere, but warns Harriet to be more cautious in her affections this time around. Emma thinks that she is referring to Frank Churchill, but tells Harriet not to tell her.

Emma, Harriet, the Westons, Frank, Jane, Miss Bates, and Mr. Knightly are out for a walk, and the party stops at Hartfield for tea. After making observations during the walk and at tea, Mr. Knightly begins to suspect that something is going on between Jane and Frank. He wishes to warn Emma because he thinks there might be some affection on her part for Frank. Emma pretty much laughs him off, saying that she can assure him that there is no affection on Frank's part for Jane, and that she doubts there is any on Jane's part either.

After a trip to Box Hill is postponed due to a lame horse, Mr. Knightly, half joking, invites a party to visit his esate. Mrs. Elton seizes the idea, and would have completely taken over the planning if not for Mr. Knightly's firm insistence that he had it handled. During the trip, Emma takes the opportunity to wander and observe Donwell Abbey (Mr. Knightly's estate). She overhears Mrs. Elton trying to talk Jane into a governess position she has found for her, and Jane resisting. Later, Emma runs into an agitated Jane, who asks that Emma let everyone know that she has walked home. Emma agrees. Shortly after, Frank arrives in an ill humor. In the course of his conversation with Emma, he says that he would ilke to travel abroad. Emma teases him out of his bad mood and he promises to join everyone for the Box Hill trip.


1. Do you think that Emma truly believes that she is in love with Frank, or that she even truly understands what it means to be in love?

2. How do you feel about Mrs. Elton, and do you think Emma's dislike of her is warranted?

3. Why do you think that Jane so readily accepts Mrs. Elton's attentions?

4. Do you think that Mr. Knightly is right about something going on between Jane and Frank?

Next Wednesday, August 21 we'll be discussing Emma in its entirety.

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