Study Guide

Emma Chapter Forty-One

By Jane Austen

Chapter Forty-One

  • As the summer wears on, Mr. Knightley becomes convinced that Frank’s relationship with Jane Fairfax (or at least to Jane Fairfax) is more than meets the eye.
  • He’s caught Frank staring at Jane at weird moments. Often.
  • Worried that Frank’s attention to Jane might hurt Emma, Mr. Knightley treks over to Hartfield.
  • He doesn’t really want to share his suspicions with Emma, but his honor won’t permit him to keep silent.
  • They sure don’t make men like they used to! Or could he have another motive?
  • Frank passes a few days at the Westons’.
  • The Westons, Frank, Jane and the Bateses gather at Hartfield.
  • Frank asks Mrs. Weston whether the doctor has ordered his new carriage yet.
  • Surprised, Mrs. Weston confesses that she knows nothing about a new carriage.
  • Frank blushes and seems confused. He was sure that he read about a carriage in a letter from Mrs. Weston…but perhaps he made it up.
  • Mr. Weston laughs at what seems to be a good joke – the doctor is indeed getting a new carriage. In fact, Weston learned of it when he was visiting the Bateses.
  • Mr. Knightley immediately glances at Jane, who is blushing deeply.
  • Before he can deduce anything further, Emma calls them all in to tea.
  • After tea, Emma pulls out a set of alphabet cards which she made for her nephews.
  • It’s raining, and there’s not much else to do, so the group starts to make word scrambles for each other.
  • Frank makes a scramble for Jane, who pushes it away rapidly.
  • Don’t worry – we can always count on Harriet to create an awkward situation!
  • She picks up the word and asks Mr. Knightley to help her with it.
  • The word is "blunder." That’s another word for a mistake.
  • Does anyone else sense that there’s more going on than meets the eye?
  • Frank, already on to new mischief, creates a word for Emma. It’s "Dixon."
  • Jane sees it and turns angrily away.
  • Calling to her aunt, she gathers up her things to leave.
  • Mr. Knightley stops to investigate the cause of her sudden departure. (Let’s just call him Sherlock Holmes for this chapter, shall we?)
  • He asks Emma to show him the words Frank made. Embarrassed, she says that it’s just a private joke.
  • This worries Knightley even more. (Remember the beginning of the chapter?)
  • He awkwardly tries to gauge how much in love with Frank Emma is by asking her if she’s noticed an attachment between Frank and Jane.
  • Laughing at Mr. Knightley’s ignorance, Emma assures him that there’s absolutely nothing between Frank and Jane.
  • At least, she’s positive that Frank doesn’t care for Jane.
  • Uneasy, Mr. Knightley leaves. (Who is he uneasy about? Read on, friends. Read on.)