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Emma Chapter Twenty-Six Summary
Frank returns from London with a spiffy new haircut.
Emma spends some time thinking about the relative virtues of Frank and Mr. Knightley.
There’s no way that Mr. Knightley would ever do anything as silly as traveling to get his hair cut.
Even if Mr. Knightley did do something silly, he’d do it better.
And he’d know that it was silly. Frank can’t seem to tell the difference between normal and completely ridiculous.
OK, so Frank’s a diva. But he’s still loveable…right?
The night of the Coles’ party arrives.
Mrs. Bates comes to Hartfield to spend time with Emma’s father.
The big news at the party is that
has given Jane Fairfax a piano. An anonymous someone.
Emma promptly imagines an entire romance between Jane and Mr. Dixon (her friend’s husband). She tells Frank all about it. He’s highly amused.
The two whisper together all through the night.
Other than that, the party is pretty much your everyday trivial social scene. Emma enjoys herself more than she thought she would.
Strangely, Frank keeps staring at Jane. When Emma calls him on it, he makes some snide remarks about Jane’s hair.
He even leaves Emma for a bit to say hello to Jane.
Emma wants to see what he says, but Frank’s body blocks the way.
After dinner, Mrs. Cole asks Emma and Jane to play on the piano.
Emma’s OK at playing the piano – but at least she’s learned to work what she’s got. She plays a few simple songs.
Surprisingly, Frank Churchill joins in singing. Emma’s secretly thrilled.
After Emma plays, Jane plays. Perfectly. Of course.
Frank asks Jane to play again. And again.
Mr. Knightley gets angry: Jane has a cold. She shouldn’t be straining to play so much.
Mr. Knightley convinces Miss Bates to tell Jane to stop.
Emma listens with Mrs. Weston, who has a new theory: she thinks Mr. Knightley is in love with Jane.
After all, who wouldn’t be?
Emma’s strangely put out by this thought.
Mrs. Weston’s hunch seems to be supported by the fact that Mr. Knightley seems very protective of Jane that evening.
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