Chapter 46 Notes from Emma

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Emma Chapter 46

About one and a half weeks after Mrs. Churchill's death, Mr. Weston came to Hartfield and insisted that Emma accompany him to Randalls. He tells her that Mrs. Weston wants to see her, and there is some news, but all is very secretive. Once at Randalls Mr. Weston leaves his wife to tell Emma the news--that Frank Churchill and Miss Fairfax have been secretly attached for months, and are now engaged! The pair became engaged while at Weymouth, and told no one of it until today. Emma felt distressed, remembering all her gossip about Miss Fairfax, and also her plans for Mr. Churchill and Harriet. Emma tells her anxious friends not to worry about her--though she once liked Mr. Churchill, she has not for some time considered him any more than a friend. The Westons are relieved to hear that their friend has not been wounded. But Emma is very indignant about Mr. Churchill's behavior; to come here and lie to both friends and family, and to treat Miss Fairfax so terribly, she sees as inexcusable. Mrs. Weston wants to wait for his explanation; until then she will hold back her judgment. When her son discovered that Miss Fairfax had taken the governess position, he begged Mr. Churchill to let him marry her, and the uncle agreed. Emma is still not convinced the son is blameless.

"'To come among us with professions of openness and simplicity; and such a league in secret to judge us all! Here have we been the whole winter and spring, completely duped, fancying ourselves all on an equal footing of truth and honour, with two people in the midst of us who may have been carrying round, comparing and sitting in judgment on sentiments and words that were never meant for both to hear.'" Chapter 46, pg. 367

Mrs. Weston is not worried, because she hardly gossiped about either person. She still thinks Jane Fairfax is a good person, one who has only made a mistake. Mr. Weston enters then, and Emma's manner assures him that what he feared was not true. He is happy, and very soon convinced that this match is a wonderful idea.

Topic Tracking: Gossip 15

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