Emma Chapter 40
Harriet came to Hartfield several days later with a parcel. She told Emma she had a confession to make. She no longer envies Mrs. Elton, and she no longer has feelings for Mr. Elton. To prove it, she wants to destroy the little trinkets that remind her of him. Harriet pulls out a piece of plaster used to cover wounds. One day Mr. Elton cut his finger, and Harriet offered him some plaster to seal the wound. The portion he didn't use he returned to her, and she saved it as a great treasure. Emma was amused and ashamed of her friend. There was still another treasure--the used end of a pencil that belonged to him. Harriet had watched him set it aside for a working pencil, and when no one was looking she snatched it up. Harriet was embarrassed and ashamed at her silly behavior, and threw the treasures into the fire.
Emma hoped her friend's thoughts would soon turn to Mr. Churchill. But Harriet says she will never marry--her heart is attached to someone much better than Mr. Elton, much too good for her, she fears. Emma, thinking Harriet is speaking of Mr. Churchill, tells her it is natural to feel affection for the man who saved her. Harriet has nothing but praise for the unnamed man whom Emma still thinks is Mr. Churchill. Emma tells Harriet to watch him, to determine how he feels. She wants her friend to be cautious, but not without hope. Emma saw nothing wrong with the attachment; it would likely improve her friend.