Emma Chapter 16
The next day Emma was miserable, mostly for the pain her mistake was to cause Harriet. She wished she had never encouraged the crush, and that she could have seen the charade and the portrait for what they were--attempts to win herself! Both the Knightley brothers had been correct about Mr. Elton, and Emma felt how flawed her own judgment had been. She was not flattered by Mr. Elton's confession, only repulsed at this inferior man daring to address the fine Miss Woodhouse in such a manner. Despite Mr. Elton's folly, Emma admitted that the greatest error lay in her desire to matchmake, and she promised to never do it again.
The next morning Emma consoled herself with the idea that Mr. Elton was not in love with her, only desiring to advance his position. She was also glad that Harriet's feelings were not delicate or refined enough to be terribly stung at this disappointment. Luckily the weather was bad, and Emma spent this Christmas Day alone with her family; only Mr. Knightley would venture a visit. But despite these pleasures, Emma could not be fully happy knowing she would soon have to tell her friend the truth.