Emma Chapter 49
The weather finally brightened, and so did Emma's spirits. She was walking outside when Mr. Knightley arrived at Hartfield. He walked with her, and she wanted to share the news of Frank Churchill and Jane Fairfax, but he knew it already. Emma feared that his first visit might have been to see Harriet, not herself. But he heard the news from Mr. Weston, and his concern now was for Emma. He thinks she is in love with Frank Churchill, and he expects her to be very unhappy. Emma corrects him, and he tries to hold back his excitement. Emma reveals her shame at having never been attached to him, though she acted like she was. Mr. Knightley has lots of criticism for Frank Churchill, but Emma has more for herself. She liked the flattery and attention, and believes his motive was to deflect suspicion from his real attachment. Mr. Knightley warms a little, and hopes that with the good Miss Fairfax as his spouse, Mr. Churchill may improve more. Mr. Churchill is lucky to have found such a good wife at an early age; in fact, Mr. Churchill is fortunate all around. He envies the young man, and Emma, fearing he will speak of Miss Smith, does not pursue his comment. Confused and embarrassed, Mr. Knightley falls silent. Rethinking herself, Emma asks Mr. Knightley to speak to her about his concerns, as a friend. He does not like that word, because he is not just a friend--he loves her! Emma listens to this confession, and tells him she returns his feelings. She pities Harriet, but cannot refuse her own heart.
Mr. Knightley had only come to see how Emma was handling the news of the engagement, but upon hearing her heart not attached, he could not hold back his feelings. Jealousy had made him leave for London, but now his long jealousy of Frank Churchill was over. He was miserable in his brother's happy home, and returned to Highbury only when he heard the news. He showed his heart, Emma accepted it, and the world felt terribly right.