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Emma Chapters 29-31
Emma Volume II, Chapters XI, XII, &XII: Quotes, Questions, and Conversation
October 10, 2016
2:58 PM
Austen Authors
Forum Posts: 43
Member Since:
August 14, 2015
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“Emma continued to entertain no doubt of her being in love. Her ideas only varied as to the how much. At first, she thought it was a good deal; and afterwards, but little. She had great pleasure in hearing Frank Churchill talked of; and, for his sake, greater pleasure than ever in seeing Mr. and Mrs. Weston; she was very often thinking of him, and quite impatient for a letter, that she might know how he was, how were his spirits, how was his aunt, and what was the chance of his coming to Randalls again this spring. But, on the other hand, she could not admit herself to be unhappy, nor, after the first morning, to be less disposed for employment than usual; she was still busy and cheerful; and, pleasing as he was, she could yet imagine him to have faults; and farther, though thinking of him so much, and, as she sat drawing or working, forming a thousand amusing schemes for the progress and close of their attachment, fancying interesting dialogues, and inventing elegant letters; the conclusion of every imaginary declaration on his side was that she refused him. Their affection was always to subside into friendship. Everything tender and charming was to mark their parting; but still they were to part. When she became sensible of this, it struck her that she could not be very much in love; for in spite of her previous and fixed determination never to quit her father, never to marry, a strong attachment certainly must produce more of a struggle than she could foresee in her own feelings.” (Emma, Volume II, Chapter XII)

I have selected to create one of Emma’s imaginings of Frank’s declaration and her subsequent refusal. 


A Stitch of Fancy

Emma’s needle pierced the fabric and she slowly drew it through as she glanced toward the very window where he stood those many days ago, fidgeting and preparing to declare his intentions.  She smiled and poke the needle back through the fabric, making sure the thread lay just as it should on the front of her piece.

He was quite in love with her.  She was firmly convinced of this fact.  He had acted the part.  His attentions and words had been so amiable, so charming, so warm — very much as they should be for one in love, even if he is only at the start of an ardent journey.  Her needle stopped its work altogether and rested in her lap atop the material on which she was working as her thoughts drifted away in fancy. 

”Miss Woodhouse, I can no longer remain silent,” Mr. Frank Churchill began his proclaimation, rising from the chair where he had been sitting, speaking to her of music and dances.  “My feelings are too great and cannot be ignored another moment longer. Indeed, I have suffered a great deal just now, trying with no small amount of effort to overlook them.”  He paced to the window and after an affectionate look at her, peered out as if pondering what he should say next. 

Smiling at the intensity of the warmth in his words, she lowered her eyes to look at her hands. It was pleasing to have a man such as Mr. Frank Churchill declare such things.  Even if the feelings could not, and must not, be returned.

”Highbury has become such a place of happiness for me — I would never have dreamt it when I arrived — but it has. The town, the people, Mrs. Weston, Hartfield,” he paused in his speech and crossed to where she sat, once again taking his seat and her hand, “you. You, my dear Emma, have become of special delight to me, and I do not think that my happiness can remain complete without you.” 

”I am certain you are mistaken.  There are a great many things which will and do bring you happiness.  Indeed, you have mentioned several just now.” She thought of removing her hand from his grasp, but it was a small thing to allow.  “You are enamored with Highbury, but when you move on to town or Bath or some other location, you will find your view of this place waning and your new neighbourhood will surely quell any sadness that is in your heart from missing Highbury. You are not  one to be melancholy for long.  Your disposition would not allow it.” 

”You are mistaken,” he said with some force.  “There shall never be another to claim your place.  My heart is completely and entirely yours.”   He lifted her hand, and not wishing to cause him any greater pain than she was going to, she allowed him to kiss it.  It would be a liberty he could later reflect on with some small amount of pleasure, once the pain had subsided, of course.  “You must marry me,” he continued. “Come away with me to Enscombe and be my wife.” 

”Oh, that I cannot do.”   She made certain to make her expression as grieved as she possibly could be. It was not so very hard to do, for disappointing one’s friend always did make her feel cheerless.  “I cannot leave my father.  He quite depends on me.”  

”He can come with us.” 

Emma shook her head.  “He cannot leave Hartfield, nor can I.” She sighed and smiled sadly.  “Perhaps if my feelings were more than they are, I might be persuaded, but unfortunately, they are not.  You are a good friend — truly one of the best.  I love you dearly for your attentions, and we do enjoy ourselves when we are together.  There is no lack of discussion –“

”Yes, yes, I feel the same,” he interrupted. 

Again, Emma shook her head.  “No, you feel more.  Your heart has been touched, but mine has not — at  least not as it should if one is to accept an offer of marriage.” 

”You will not have me?” His look of regret tugged at her heart, but what could be done?

”I do apologize.” 

He sighed, as one should at such a blow.  For a moment, as he sat silent beside her, she wondered if he would storm off and accuse her of having lead him on, but he did not.  Instead, he released her hand, sank back into his chair, and said, “I shall not leave you be. I will continue to work on your affections.” 

She smiled.  “You may say it, but another will soon capture your fancy, and you will be lost to me.” 

He chuckled and shrugged one shoulder, the despair of the moment prior fading with each breath he drew. He sat there for some minutes. At first, he looked at her as if considering something, but then he allowed his eyes to wander to the window. A moment longer, and he rose, straightened his jacket, crossed to look out the window toward the drive.  “Did you say you expect your pretty friend to call?”

With a sigh, Emma lifted her needle again and forced it through the material once again. Yes, yes, that was just how it would be. He would be pleased where ever he was, and she would be his contented friend at Hartfield — always and forever at Hartfield.


I am looking forward to reading everyone else’s thoughts.  

Remember, you can sketch a scene or write an expository entry.

It’s your choice, but please do try to have fun. 🙂

October 12, 2016
3:58 PM
Austen Authors
Forum Posts: 70
Member Since:
December 27, 2014
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Leenie! It’s lovely! Unfortunately, I am getting on an airplane in a few hours for a week in the US and do not have the time to do justice to this week’s challenge. So I’m going to keep this short and simple, after mentioning how much I love Mr. Woodhouse turning on Frank in Chapter 29. Such fun! Maybe he has some insight beyond what we usually credit him.

This is a bit of a hack and slash. Sorry.


“And you must be off this very morning?”

“Yes; my father is to join me here: we shall walk back together, and I must be off immediately. I am almost afraid that every moment will bring him.”

“Not five minutes to spare even for your friends Miss Fairfax and Miss Bates? How unlucky! Miss Bates’s powerful, argumentative mind might have strengthened yours.”

“Yes–I have called there; passing the door, I thought it better. It was a right thing to do. I went in for three minutes, and was detained by Miss Bates’s being absent. She was out; and I felt it impossible not to wait till she came in. She is a woman that one may, that one must laugh at; but that one would not wish to slight. It was better to pay my visit, then”–

He hesitated, got up, walked to a window.

“In short,” said he, “perhaps, Miss Woodhouse–I think you can hardly be quite without suspicion”–

He looked at her, as if wanting to read her thoughts. Well he knew the acuteness of her mind, so well can the reader imagine his astonishment upon discovering, instead of penetration, a vast void of obliviousness.


That will have to do this time! I hope to try again when I have a bit more time to think on it. Lots of fun!

The following person says thank you to Alexa Adams for this post.:

Leenie Brown
October 12, 2016
9:00 PM

I think it’s odd, after the awkwardness of the scene with Mr. Elton, that Emma would actually desire something like that to happen again. She is an odd one. I like your scene, Leenie. I couldn’t help wanting to add Mr. Knightley to it. I think it might be amusing if he broke into the parlor while Frank is proposing to Emma. Something like this:

Before she could respond to Frank’s tender words, the door flew open and in walked Mr. Knightley, newspaper in hand. He greeted Frank with a polite if unenthusiastic nod. “I see you’ve returned, Frank. I hope Mrs. Churchill is enjoying better health.”

Frank turned away from Emma’s dumbfounded expression. “She is indeed. Thank you, sir. As I was telling Emma, I’m happy to be back to Hartfield, my favorite place on earth.”

Mr. Knightley took his place in his favorite chair while Emma returned to her sewing, her mind in a tumult as to how to answer Frank in Mr. Knightley’s company. “I certainly return your sentiments in that regard,” she said, “if not in other matters. I could never leave Hartfield. My father depends on me so.”

Mr. Knightley glanced at her over his newspaper. “We wouldn’t hear of you leaving, Emma. What put that ridiculous thought into your head? Hartfield without Emma. Perish the thought.”

October 12, 2016
9:31 PM
Austen Authors
Forum Posts: 43
Member Since:
August 14, 2015
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Oh, have fun, Alexa! Wave if you fly over Halifax. ☺ Enjoyed your input! Thanks!

Yes! Mr. Knightley walking in! Love it, Rebecca!