Study Guide

Emma Chapter Four

By Jane Austen

Chapter Four

  • Emma begins "improving" Harriet in earnest.
  • As Emma decides, Harriet is the perfect friend – she needs all the help she can get.
  • Case-in-point: Harriet’s thrilled about her recent visit to a friend’s farm, where she meets the stable farmer, Mr. Martin. (C’mon, what girl wouldn’t want to have a cow named after her?)
  • Emma, of course, is not so thrilled to hear about her friend’s exploits.
  • Emma and Harriet meet Mr. Martin on the road.
  • He’s actually pretty cute, which worries Emma: what’s the point of improving Harriet if she’s going to be a farmer’s wife?
  • Deciding to do some damage control, Emma convinces Harriet that Mr. Martin isn’t half as good a gentleman as, say, Mr. Knightley or Mr. Elton.
  • Emma promptly decides to set Harriet up with Mr. Elton. Remember him? He’s cute – for a minister – and he’s got a nice pad with a great view of the market street.