She even gets her own bedroom in Hartfield, for the days when she doesn’t manage to make it back to her school.
In case we haven’t mentioned it, education doesn’t seem to be Harriet’s biggest priority.
You probably figured that out on your own, huh?
Mr. Knightley comes to Hartfield when Harriet is out, excited to tell Emma that a handsome, responsible, upstanding man is interested in Harriet.
(Any guesses who it might be?) Yup – Mr. Martin.
Emma loves a good laugh – especially at Mr. Knightley’s expense.
She’s delighted to tell him that Mr. Martin has already proposed to Harriet and been rejected like the dirty farmer that he is.
Outraged at Harriet’s stupidity, Mr. Knightley argues with Emma. A huge spat ensues.
Mr. Knightley points out that Mr. Martin may be a nobody, but Harriet is a Nobody (capital N). She’s got no fortune, no father, and no future. (Not to mention the fact that she’s – well – not the brightest crayon in the box.)
Emma gets some great points in about women’s roles in marriage, but she can’t help feeling crummy about Knightley’s disapproval. Conscience, anyone?
Mr. Knightley scoffs when Emma says that Harriet is setting her sights on Mr. Elton.
As Knightley notes, Elton is too much of a money-grubber to ever marry a Nobody.
Mr. Knightley storms off, leaving a very uneasy Emma alone.
Luckily, Harriet soon arrives with fourth-hand news of Mr. Elton. Gossip does travel fast in a small town!