Sunday, June 12, 2011

Emma, Volume II, Chapter 17 (Chapter 35)



It's still dinner at Emma's house, and the ladies have left the table to head to the parlor.

Most of the chapter goes like this:

Mrs Elton: I'm going to find you a job, Jane.

Jane Fairfax: Please don't. I don't want one yet. I really want to be here for the next few months.

And then the men turn up to going them - Mr Woodhouse first. You'll note that Mr Elton doesn't come scurrying in this time, like he did back in Chapter 15 - apparently he's in no rush to join the ladies, despite his bride being among them.

Just after the gentlemen join the ladies, Mr Weston turns up, to Mr John Knightley's complete bewilderment. Why on earth would anyone give up a quiet evening at home for a party, especially when they have an out?

Mr Weston has news: Frank Churchill is coming back to Highbury. His aunt and uncle are relocating to town (meaning London), and Frank will divide his time over the next few months between London and Highbury. Mr Weston's reference to "the black gentleman" is a reference to the devil - he claims that Mrs Churchill is as impatient as the devil to get to London, now that she's decided to go.

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