by Jane Austen
Emma Chapter Forty-Six Summary
- Mr. Weston comes to Hartfield just to ask Emma to come back with him to Randalls.
- Mrs. Weston has to talk to her – alone.
- Surprised and frightened, Emma joins him immediately.
- Mr. Weston’s not very good at keeping secrets.
- He’s upset, and he tries to calm Emma down by telling her that it might not be as bad as he thinks it is. (What’s "it?" Well, read on…)
- Sure that something happened to her sister’s family, Emma begs him to tell her immediately.
- Mr. Weston assures her that nothing is wrong with the Knightleys.
- Somewhat reassured, Emma hurries along.
- When they get to Randalls, Mrs. Weston takes Emma by the hand and tells her that Frank is engaged – to Jane Fairfax.
- We’ll pause here so that you can catch your breath.
- Jane Fairfax??? And Frank???? Who would have guessed it?
- OK, Mr. Knightley guessed, but who pays attention to him, anyway?
- It gets worse. Frank and Jane became secretly engaged when they met a year ago.
- They’ve been hiding their love ever since.
- Mrs. Weston, terrified that Emma’s heart is broken, tries to console her.
- It takes a few tries – and a lot of smiles – before Emma can convince the Westons that, by a strange fluke, she’s no longer in love with Frank.
- Nonetheless, Emma condemns the underhanded way Frank has conducted his business ever since he arrived in Highbury (and we all know she’s thinking of the things she’s said, as well!)
- Mrs. Weston assures Emma that Frank has suffered greatly in the past few months – which isn’t quite easy to believe, is it?
- Nonetheless, as soon as Mrs. Churchill died, Frank confessed his engagement to his uncle – and then ran to Highbury to tell Jane.
- Frank’s already rushed back to his uncle, leaving an astonished set of parents in his wake.
- Emma wonders aloud if Frank’s concealment led to unjust or even unkind things being said about Jane.
- Mrs. Weston is sure that she never even thought anything but the best of Jane.
- Emma, of course, remains silent.
- Initially, Mr. Weston condemns the marriage…
- …but that’s really only because he’s worried about Emma.
- Once he finds out where Emma’s heart stands, he’s actually really happy.
- Jane Fairfax is pretty great.
- In fact, this may be the best thing that Frank has ever done.
- It’s lucky that he’s easy to convince, huh?
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