Study Guide

Emma Chapter Thirty

By Jane Austen

Chapter Thirty

  • Mr. Knightley seems much less excited about the ball than Emma – although Emma observes that he’s probably just old and grumpy.
  • Unfortunately, a few days before the ball, Frank’s aunt orders him to come back to her house.
  • In case we have mentioned it, Frank’s aunt has very well-timed illnesses. They seem to crop up whenever Frank does something that she doesn’t like.
  • Sadly, Emma and Frank agree to postpone the ball.
  • As Frank takes his leave, he seems about to say something to Emma. There’s a tense, emotion-filled moment before he rushes out the door…
  • Contemplating Frank’s last words, Emma becomes pretty convinced that he was just on the verge of telling her he loved her. Of course, Emma sort of thinks that an "I love you" from Frank and a dollar will buy her a gumball.
  • Just kidding. This is England. No dollars. No gumballs. It’s a metaphor.
  • In other words, Emma realizes that Frank talks real pretty – but he might not mean everything he says.
  • After Frank leaves, Emma gets word that Jane Fairfax has taken ill; apparently, she caught a bad cold. Jane holes up in her house for several days.

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