Emma Chapter 45
When Emma returns from her visit, she finds Mr. Knightley and Harriet Smith at Hartfield. Mr. Knightley is going to London to see John and Isabella. Her friend seems hurried and not himself. Mr. Woodhouse asks Emma about her visit to Miss Bates and her mother. Mr. Knightley's mood changes, and he takes Emma's hand! He drops it before he kisses it, and Emma wonders what is going on with her old friend.
"The intention, however, was indubitable; and whether it was that his manners had in general so little gallantry, or however else it happened, but she thought nothing became him more. It was with him of so simple, yet so dignified a nature. She could not but recall the attempt with great satisfaction." Chapter 45, pg. 354
Mr. Knightley left them then, with Emma satisfied that her friend had forgiven her.
Emma told her father and Harriet the news about Jane Fairfax, news only topped by that of the death of Mrs. Churchill, which they received the next day. In death Mrs. Churchill was quite forgiven; criticisms of the hypochondriac aunt transformed themselves into praise of the dead. Emma hoped that this new freedom would allow Frank Churchill to marry her good friend Harriet. But Emma had other things to occupy her time. Determined to do right by Miss Fairfax, Emma began an attempt of charity and friendship towards the ill and doomed young woman. All her attempts were snubbed, leading Emma to believe that it was only from her that Miss Fairfax refused aid. She felt bad for having led the girl to this resolution, but comforted herself with the knowledge of her good intentions.