Emma Chapter 32
Mrs. Elton has arrived in Highbury. Being a bride, and being new to town, makes her a popular woman. Emma makes her first visit to Mrs. Elton with Harriet, hoping to lessen her pain. It was a quick visit, and Emma did not like the new addition to Highbury. She did not like her attitude, though she kept her criticism from Harriet. Harriet felt better after seeing them, seeing Mr. Elton so happy.
Emma met Mrs. Elton again for a more prolonged visit. This time Emma found her to be ignorant and conceited, with a falsely high opinion of herself and her class. Her one grasp at gentility was her sister's marriage to a Mr. Suckling at Maple Grove, and Mrs. Elton never stopped talking about it. She boasted incessantly about Maple Grove and her brother-in-law's fine carriage. Mrs. Elton even had the audacity to suggest that her friend could introduce Miss Woodhouse into the society of Bath.
Emma asked Mrs. Elton about her musical abilities, and she was both modest and boastful. She said she was not terrific, but that she could never live without it. She was incredibly able to amuse herself, of course, but she feared that being married would intrude upon her playing. In fact, she seemed to expect it would, despite her claims to love it. Emma's annoyance grows when Mrs. Elton brings up Mrs. Weston's former occupation, and then she calls Emma's old friend by the familiar name of Knightley! Emma did not like to be treated as a close friend to a woman she had just met--the whole visit was a nightmare.