Emma Chapter 25
Frank Churchill lost some of his standing in Emma's eyes when the next day he ran off to London for a haircut. From Highbury to London is no short distance, and the act was an impulsive one. The act made him appear too much a fop for Emma's liking. It bothered Mrs. Weston also, but the rest of the visit was so nice that she tried not to focus upon it. Emma was certain he was at least close to in love with her, and that if she were to show him the least encouragement, his affections would be secured. Only Mr. Knightley was not charmed by the young Mr. Churchill.
Emma's life was not free of problems. One is Mr. Cole and his wife, a nice couple, but one of lower class who had been slowly increasing their wealth. Mistaking money for breeding, the Coles thought nothing wrong in inviting more respectable families to dine with them. Emma, very class-conscious, was worried about what to do when her invitation came. She was doubly offended when it did not come, as she wanted to be able to refuse it. Emma wanted to use her refusal as a lesson, showing the Coles they should remember their proper place. But now with all her close friends invited, and her left out, Emma was having second thoughts.
But the invitation did arrive, only somewhat late, and Emma was in a dilemma. She felt she should decline, but really wanted to go. The Coles had been very kind, holding off the invitation until they knew how best to accommodate Miss Woodhouse's sickly father; and Emma decided it would be acceptable to attend. Disliking big evening parties, Mr. Woodhouse agreed to stay home with Mrs. Goddard. And though her father disliked the idea of Emma staying out so late, he finally agreed to that as well.