Summary Chapter 10
Emma and Harriet visit a sick family. Conveniently, they pass by Mr. Elton’s house. Harriet wishes to see it, but Emma can't think of an excuse for dropping in.
Harriet can’t believe so charming a creature as Emma hasn’t married yet, and that she refuses to. Emma is looking for a superior specimen in a man. However, mainly she can’t change what she is, and if she married she would have to. Emma has never been in love, and she is in a good situation. She is her own mistress.
Harriet finds the thought of being an old maid appalling. Emma says a woman of fortune can be a respectable old maid. She’ll have plenty to occupy her.
Emma is reminded about the things that matter when she visits the sick, poor family. They encounter Mr. Elton on the way back, who was planning to visit the same family. Emma is certain that this mission will increase love between Harriet and Mr. Elton. She wishes she weren’t there. She walks off the main path to leave them alone.
They are having a lively discussion when she rejoins them, but he is only discussing a party he went to.
Emma breaks her shoe lace so they have an excuse to stop at the vicarage. She goes to chat with the housekeeper to leave them alone.
Mr. Elton tells Harriet he had followed them when he saw them go by. However, Emma realizes he is a cautious lover who moves slowly.