Emma Chapter 47
Emma's thoughts are of Harriet, and her blame is on herself and Frank Churchill. She had encouraged Harriet, and had not been a good friend to her. She had also been a poor friend to Jane Fairfax. Realizing that she was probably seen as a rival, Emma could better understand why her offers of aid were spurned. She readies herself to tell Harriet, but when her friend arrives at Hartfield, she already knows the news. Emma is surprised to see her in such a good mood, surprised and confused just the right amount. She soon learns that this is because Harriet never cared for Frank Churchill; her attentions are focused on a far superior man--Mr. George Knightley! Harriet thought Emma's words of encouragement were in regards to Mr. Knightley, not Frank Churchill, and Harriet had taken them seriously. When Emma spoke about heroes, she meant Mr. Churchill and the gypsies; Harriet had in mind Mr. Knightley's kind behavior at the dance. The young woman is hopeful that the match, though difficult, will occur. At Harriet's claim of having Mr. Knightley's affections, Emma is troubled: "It darted through her with the speed of an arrow that Mr. Knightley must marry no one but herself!" Chapter 47, pg. 375
Harriet's proof was the two dances, their removed walk at Donwell, in which Mr. Knightley seemed interested in her affections, and finally an intimate conversation of the day before. Emma was in a state of confusion. She was unsure when exactly she came to love Mr. Knightley, but she knew she did now. She hated herself for thinking she knew everyone's hearts, and she regretted all the pain she had caused and was still likely to. She saw clearly that everything was her fault--she brought Harriet and Mr. Knightley together, and she encouraged Harriet. If she had only let her friend marry the proper man, Mr. Martin, all could have been averted.