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Emma: Novel Summary: Chapter 49- Chapter 51

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Chapter 49: Emma decides to walk outside to try to make herself feel better, and she sees Mr. Knightley approaching her.  She says that she has some news for him, and he replies that he had already heard about Jane and Frank Churchill this morning, right before he rode back.  He starts to try to consol her, but she tells him that she does not need consoling.  Mr. Knightley says that from the way she acted, he was sure she was attached to Frank Churchill.  She tells him that she was never attached to him, and was sorry for her conduct.  Mr. Knightley goes on to say that Frank Churchill is a disgrace, and that he is lucky to have gotten a wife like Jane at so young an age.  Emma says that it seems like he envies Frank, and when he replies that he does, Emma feels that he is on the verge of speaking of Harriet.  When he is about to talk more, Emma tells him not to reveal what he is about to, but to think about it more.  He thanks her, and seems determined not to say any more.  Emma feels bad and decides that she should listen, and tells him to speak to her openly as a friend.  He tells Emma that he fears the word friend, and asks her if he does not have any chance of succeeding.  He goes on to say that she has always been the dearest to him.  Emma does not know what to say, she is so happy.  As Mr. Knightley goes on to say how much he loves her, Emma realizes that Harriet's hopes were groundless, and that she herself is everything to Mr. Knightley.  Emma tells him that he has no need to despair, and that he may speak more on the subject.  He tells her that it was because of jealousy of Frank that he left for London, and that he only returned to comfort Emma.  When he found her in the garden, things just happened, as he had not planned on approaching her.
Chapter 50: Emma and Mr. Knightley go in to tea, and Mr. Woodhouse has no idea of any change with them, as they have decided not to tell anyone yet.  That night Emma worries about how Harriet and her father will take the engagement between her and Mr. Knightley.  She thought that while her father lived, they could not be married, but must only be engaged.  She decides to avoid a meeting with Harriet and to arrange for her to visit Isabella in London for a few weeks. The next day she gets a letter from Mrs. Weston with a forwarded letter from Frank to Mrs. Weston.  In it he says that he is sorry that they had to hide their engagement.  He says that he is sorry that he pretended to be attached to Emma, but that he would not have done it if he had not been sure of her indifference to him.  He goes on to admit that he sent the piano to Jane.  He explains why the engagement had to come out like it did, by saying that after Jane had gotten fed up with his relationship with Emma, she called off the wedding and agreed to the situation that Mrs. Elton had found her.  The only way that Frank could think to keep her was to bring the engagement out in the open. 
Chapter 51: After Emma reads the letter she forgives Frank for his treatment of her.  While she still feels that his conduct was wrong, it now seems less wrong.  When Mr. Knightley arrives for a visit she has him read it, thinking that it might change his opinion of Frank.  After reading it he says that he still thinks that Frank has great faults, but that it is obvious that he is in love with Jane.  He then goes on to talk to Emma about how he can ask her to marry him without making her father unhappy.  He tells her that he thought maybe they could all move to Donwell, but realizing that Mr. Woodhouse could not leave Hartfield, thinks that it may be better if he moved to Hartfield.  Emma had not thought of this solution, and says that she will think about it.  She is so happy, and the only thing that worries her is Harriet.


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