Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Emma Book Study: chapters 11-20

First I would like to extend my apologies for not posting yesterday but I think my very late night before was catching up with me. You all deserve and explanation and here it is. I will be combining chapters 40-55 in my last post. :) A lot I know. But hope you enjoy this post dears.

Summaries and Key Quotes: 

Mr. Woodhouse worries about them arriving safely.

11) Mr. and Mrs. John Knightley (Emma's sister and brother-in-law) arrive at Hartfield for Christmas a little after Mr. Elton returns from London. This chapter mostly conveys a description of the John Knighleys and Mr. Woodhouses fears about their trip.

Mr. and Mrs. John Knightley, from having been longer than usual absent from Surry, were exciting of course rather more than the usual interest. Till this year, every long vacation since their marriage had been divided between Hartfield and Donwell Abbey; but all the holidays of this autumn had been given to sea-bathing for the children, and it was therefore many months since they had been seen in a regular way by their Surry connexions, or seen at all by Mr. Woodhouse, who could not be induced to get so far as London, even for poor Isabella's sake; and who consequently was now most nervously and apprehensively happy in forestalling this too short visit.  

12) Mr. Knightley comes to dinner at Hartfield and both he and Emma make up for the harsh and angry words exchanged while they discussed Harriet and Mr. Martin. Emma wishes to know that he (Mr. Martin) was not made too unhappy but Mr. Knightley is convinced that he is.

Mr. Knightley was to dine with them--rather against the inclination of Mr. Woodhouse, who did not like that any one should share with him in Isabella's first day. Emma's sense of right however had decided it; and besides the consideration of what was due to each brother, she had particular pleasure, from the circumstance of the late disagreement between Mr. Knightley and herself, in procuring him the proper invitation. (Mr. Knightley dines at Hartfield)  
"What a comfort it is, that we think alike about our nephews and nieces. As to men and women, our opinions are sometimes very different; but with regard to these children, I observe we never disagree."
"If you were as much guided by nature in your estimate of men and women, and as little under the power of fancy and whim in your dealings with them, as you are where these children are concerned, we might always think alike."
"To be sure--our discordancies must always arise from my being in the wrong."
"Yes," said he, smiling--"and reason good. I was sixteen years old when you were born." (Emma and Mr. Knightley)

"I have still the advantage of you by sixteen years' experience, and by not being a pretty young woman and a spoiled child. Come, my dear Emma, let us be friends, and say no more about it. Tell your aunt, little Emma, that she ought to set you a better example than to be renewing old grievances, and that if she were not wrong before, she is now."

"That's true," she cried--"very true. Little Emma, grow up a better woman than your aunt. Be infinitely cleverer and not half so conceited. Now, Mr. Knightley, a word or two more, and I have done. As far as good intentions went, we were both right, and I must say that no effects on my side of the argument have yet proved wrong. I only want to know that Mr. Martin is not very, very bitterly disappointed." (they make up for the past)

"Mr. Perry," said he, in a voice of very strong displeasure, "would do as well to keep his opinion till it is asked for. Why does he make it any business of his, to wonder at what I do?-- at my taking my family to one part of the coast or another?--I may be allowed, I hope, the use of my judgment as well as Mr. Perry.-- I want his directions no more than his drugs." He paused-- and growing cooler in a moment, added, with only sarcastic dryness, "If Mr. Perry can tell me how to convey a wife and five children a distance of an hundred and thirty miles with no greater expense or inconvenience than a distance of forty, I should be as willing to prefer Cromer to South End as he could himself."

[Mr. Knightley intervenes here]
Mr. Woodhouse was rather agitated by such harsh reflections on his friend Perry, to whom he had, in fact, though unconsciously, been attributing many of his own feelings and expressions;-- but the soothing attentions of his daughters gradually removed the present evil, and the immediate alertness of one brother, and better recollections of the other, prevented any renewal of it.

13) The Woodhouses, the John Knightleys, Harriet and Mr. Elton are engaged at Randalls for a Christmas Eve party. Emma's hopes for Harriet seem to vanish seeing Harriet has a bad cold. Emma hints to Mr. Elton that he may not wish to go seeing that Miss Smith is so very ill but he does not take the hint and is quite persistent in paying attention to her! They arrive safely at Randalls.

In general their evenings were less engaged with friends than their mornings; but one complete dinner engagement, and out of the house too, there was no avoiding, though at Christmas. Mr. Weston would take no denial; they must all dine at Randalls one day;--even Mr. Woodhouse was persuaded to think it a possible thing in preference to a division of the party.
How they were all to be conveyed, he would have made a difficulty if he could, but as his son and daughter's carriage and horses were actually at Hartfield, he was not able to make more than a simple question on that head; it hardly amounted to a doubt; nor did it occupy Emma long to convince him that they might in one of the carriages find room for Harriet also.

John and Emma
"I never in my life saw a man more intent on being agreeable than Mr. Elton. It is downright labour to him where ladies are concerned. With men he can be rational and unaffected, but when he has ladies to please, every feature works."
"Mr. Elton's manners are not perfect," replied Emma; "but where there is a wish to please, one ought to overlook, and one does overlook a great deal. Where a man does his best with only moderate powers, he will have the advantage over negligent superiority. There is such perfect good-temper and good-will in Mr. Elton as one cannot but value."
"Yes," said Mr. John Knightley presently, with some slyness, "he seems to have a great deal of good-will towards you." (Emma and Mr. John Knightley)
[had to add this]
"Christmas weather," observed Mr. Elton. "Quite seasonable; and extremely fortunate we may think ourselves that it did not begin yesterday, and prevent this day's party, which it might very possibly have done, for Mr. Woodhouse would hardly have ventured had there been much snow on the ground; but now it is of no consequence. This is quite the season indeed for friendly meetings. At Christmas every body invites their friends about them, and people think little of even the worst weather. I was snowed up at a friend's house once for a week. Nothing could be pleasanter. I went for only one night, and could not get away till that very day se'nnight."
Mr. John Knightley looked as if he did not comprehend the pleasure, but said only, coolly,
"I cannot wish to be snowed up a week at Randalls." (Mr. Elton and Mr. John Knighltey quarreling about snow)

14) Emma talks with Mrs. Weston about Frank Churchhill visting in Highbury and Emma will not believe it until she sees him there. Mr. Elton continues to pay serious attention to all her needs.

15) Emma departs from Randalls only to realize that her escort home is Mr. Elton! Half way to his own home when Emma is shocked by Mr. Elton purposing to her!  

           He professed himself extremely anxious about her fair friend-- her fair, lovely, amiable friend. "Did she 
           know?--had she heard any thing about her, since their being at Randalls?-- he felt much anxiety--he must
  confess that the nature of her complaint alarmed him considerably." And in this style he talked on for some time very properly, not much attending to any answer, but altogether sufficiently awake to the terror of a bad 
    sore throat; and Emma was quite in charity with him. (Mr. Elton to Emma before he purposes)

I wonder what she is thinking? :)

"Miss Smith!--message to Miss Smith!--What could she possibly mean!"-- And he repeated her words with such assurance of accent, such boastful pretence of amazement, that she could not help replying with quickness,
"Mr. Elton, this is the most extraordinary conduct! and I can account for it only in one way; you are not yourself, or you could not speak either to me, or of Harriet, in such a manner. Command yourself enough to say no more, and I will endeavour to forget it." (Mr. Elton and Emma)

16)  Some of Emma's thoughts in regard to Mr. Elton. She realizes she made a horrible mistake and grieves over it even more when Mr. Elton does not show himself. But she relieved by the gentleman's silence.

"If I had not persuaded Harriet into liking the man, I could have borne any thing. He might have doubled his presumption to me-- but poor Harriet!"

17)  The John Knightleys depart from Hartfield and in a note to Mr. Woodhouse Emma learns Mr. Elton is to go to Bath! Emma therefore must tell Harriet of the great mistake. Harriet blames no one and Emma blames herself.

The confession completely renewed her first shame--and the sight of Harriet's tears made her think that she should never be in charity with herself again.

Harriet bore the intelligence very well--blaming nobody-- and in every thing testifying such an ingenuousness of disposition and lowly opinion of herself, as must appear with particular advantage at that moment to her friend.
Emma was in the humour to value simplicity and modesty to the utmost; and all that was amiable, all that ought to be attaching, seemed on Harriet's side, not her own. Harriet did not consider herself as having any thing to complain of. The affection of such a man as Mr. Elton would have been too great a distinction.-- She never could have deserved him--and nobody but so partial and kind a friend as Miss Woodhouse would have thought it possible. (the sad truth is known)

18)  Mr. Frank Churchill has not come after all. Of course the Westons are disappointed and Emma as well. Mr. Knightley learns of it and both he and Emma argue about it. He judging Mr. Churchill through his letters and all the postponed trips he put of because of his aunt. Emma is displeased (but by no means angry) and defends Frank. they see so differently on the point that the subject is dropped.   

"The Churchills are very likely in fault," said Mr. Knightley, coolly; "but I dare say he might come if he would."
"I do not know why you should say so. He wishes exceedingly to come; but his uncle and aunt will not spare him."
"I cannot believe that he has not the power of coming, if he made a point of it. It is too unlikely, for me to believe it without proof."
"How odd you are! What has Mr. Frank Churchill done, to make you suppose him such an unnatural creature?"
19)  Harriet grieves over Mr. Elton and Emma is determined to to make her not think of it anymore. They call on the Bates and learn that Miss Jane Fairfax is to visit. Emma learns of the incident at Weymouth when Mr. Dixon saves Jane's life!  

Emma and Harriet had been walking together one morning, and, in Emma's opinion, had been talking enough of Mr. Elton for that day. She could not think that Harriet's solace or her own sins required more; and she was therefore industriously getting rid of the subject as they returned;--but it burst out again when she thought she had succeeded, and after speaking some time of what the poor must suffer in winter, and receiving no other answer than a very plaintive-- "Mr. Elton is so good to the poor!" she found something else must be done.

Think of something!
"So obliging of you! No, we should not have heard, if it had not been for this particular circumstance, of her being to come here so soon. My mother is so delighted!--for she is to be three months with us at least. Three months, she says so, positively, as I am going to have the pleasure of reading to you. The case is, you see, that the Campbells are going to Ireland. Mrs. Dixon has persuaded her father and mother to come over and see her directly. They had not intended to go over till the summer, but she is so impatient to see them again--for till she married, last October, she was never away from them so much as a week, which must make it very strange to be in different kingdoms, I was going to say, but however different countries, and so she wrote a very urgent letter to her mother--or her father, I declare I do not know which it was, but we shall see presently in Jane's letter--wrote in Mr. Dixon's name as well as her own, to press their coming over directly, and they would give them the meeting in Dublin, and take them back to their country seat, Baly-craig, a beautiful place, I fancy. Jane has heard a great deal of its beauty; from Mr. Dixon, I mean-- I do not know that she ever heard about it from any body else; but it was very natural, you know, that he should like to speak of his own place while he was paying his addresses--and as Jane used to be very often walking out with them--for Colonel and Mrs. Campbell were very particular about their daughter's not walking out often with only Mr. Dixon, for which I do not at all blame them; of course she heard every thing he might be telling Miss Campbell about his own home in Ireland; and I think she wrote us word that he had shewn them some drawings of the place, views that he had taken himself. He is a most amiable, charming young man, I believe. Jane was quite longing to go to Ireland, from his account of things." (Miss Bates tells the story)

20)    Gives more of the history of Jane Fairfax's life. She arrives in Highbury. Emma meets her and takes a disliking to her perhaps for the reason that she does not give a satisfactory description of Frank Churchill whom she saw in Weymouth. And that  is so reserved. 

Upon the whole, Emma left her with such softened, charitable feelings, as made her look around in walking home, and lament that Highbury afforded no young man worthy of giving her independence; nobody that she could wish to scheme about for her.
These were charming feelings--but not lasting. Before she had committed herself by any public profession of eternal friendship for Jane Fairfax, or done more towards a recantation of past prejudices and errors, than saying to Mr. Knightley, "She certainly is handsome; she is better than handsome!" Jane had spent an evening at Hartfield with her grandmother and aunt, and every thing was relapsing much into its usual state. Former provocations reappeared. The aunt was as tiresome as ever; more tiresome, because anxiety for her health was now added to admiration of her powers; and they had to listen to the description of exactly how little bread and butter she ate for breakfast, and how small a slice of mutton for dinner, as well as to see exhibitions of new caps and new workbags for her mother and herself; and Jane's offences rose again. They had music; Emma was obliged to play; and the thanks and praise which necessarily followed appeared to her an affectation of candour, an air of greatness, meaning only to shew off in higher style her own very superior performance. She was, besides, which was the worst of all, so cold, so cautious! There was no getting at her real opinion. Wrapt up in a cloak of politeness, she seemed determined to hazard nothing. She was disgustingly, was suspiciously reserved.

Possible Debate Questions 

I  did not see anything that might lead to anyone starting a comment-war. :) 

Thank you for your patience and the next post is coming soon.
God Bless you all!

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