by Jane Austen
Emma Chapter Forty-Three Summary
- The next day, the exact same crew of people head up to Box Hill.
- You could think of this party as a nightmare version of day 1 (we sure do).
- It’s hot, nobody seems very excited about anything, and conversation sort of sucks.
- They all sit down on a hill, and Emma decides to liven things up a bit.
- She and Frank start flirting outrageously with each other. Sure, she knows that everybody else is listening – and that it’s ridiculously inappropriate – but she’s in a strangely elated mood.
- Frank, too, seems strangely driven to wild moods.
- He’s overly bright and far, far too attentive to Emma.
- He asks everyone to share what they’re thinking with Emma.
- No one takes them up on the offer.
- The two propose a game: each of the party will say one very witty thing – or two sort of witty things – or three boring things. Emma will judge who wins.
- Miss Bates laughs and observes that she won’t have to worry, then – at the very least, she can come up with three dull things.
- Emma, high on her own energy, replies that Miss Bates’ problem will be limiting herself to only three boring things.
- There’s a dreadful pause.
- Miss Bates slowly figures out what Emma meant.
- She’s very humble, so she just turns to Mr. Knightley and says that she must have been really boring for Emma to have said something so awful to an old friend.
- Mr. Weston comes up with a clever pun on Emma’s name. The company laughs.
- Mr. Knightley declares that if this is to be the focus of the game, he won’t participate.
- In other words, he’s not too fond of an Emma love-fest.
- Mrs. Elton throws a hissy-fit. For obvious reasons.
- By and large, the party disintegrates unhappily.
- Mr. and Mrs. Elton walk off. As they do, Frank makes a sarcastic remark about the "happy couple."
- Jane gravely replies that a couple that meets too quickly often finds later that they’re not compatible.
- Frank, more excited than ever, asks Emma to promise to select his wife.
- That way, she’ll be perfect. Like Emma. Aww….
- He declares that he’s leaving for Europe for a few years.
- When he returns, he wants his wife to be waiting for him!
- Emma laughs and agrees to find him a woman.
- As they’re about to leave, Mr. Knightley pulls Emma aside.
- He chastises her for speaking so cruelly to Miss Bates.
- Although Emma is immediately ashamed and sorry, she pretends not to understand him.
- Mr. Knightley explains why he’s so upset: Miss Bates is poor, and she’s seen her station in society sink as her money has dwindled.
- She’s only ever been kind to Emma.
- Being mean to Miss Bates, in other words, is sort of like kicking a hurt puppy – only the most uncaring person would ever think of it.
- Deeply ashamed, Emma turns her face away – and so she misses the chance to tell Mr. Knightley how sorry she truly is.
- The carriages roll away.
- Emma cries all the way home.
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