Summary Chapter 32
Mrs. Elton arrives. Emma visits her with Harriet in tow. Harriet is quiet. The visit is awkward, and Emma doesn’t form an opinion of the new bride. Emma doesn’t think she will like her, as she lacks elegance.
Harriet assures Emma she is not unhappy. She admires Mr. Elton still, but she can be happy for the new couple.
When the Eltons return the visit, Emma finds Mrs. Elton to be vain and ignorant. She will not benefit Mr. Elton in any way. Harriet would have been a better match. Harriet is unsophisticated, but she has better connections.
Mrs. Elton compares Hartfield to her home at Maple Grove, which she misses. There is no place more beautiful than Surrey, she thinks.
Mrs. Elton claims she is fond of staying at home, though she believes people should mix with others. She recommends that Mr. Woodhouse should go to Bath for his health. Emma says he tried it, and it didn’t help. Mrs. Elton offers to introduce Emma to a friend in Bath. Emma cannot bear the idea of being indebted to Mrs. Elton.
Mrs. Elton says she was willing to give up many tings, but hse had wanted music in her life. She doesn’t play well herself. Emma assures her they do have music in Highbury. Mrs. Elton desires to start a music club. She worries marriage will make her give it up, as so many of her friends have.
Mrs. Elton talks about her visit to the Randalls. She found the Westons pleasant. Mrs. Weston is very genteel, which surprised Mrs. Elton since she was a former governess. She really liked Mr. Knightley.
Emma is glad when they leave. She fumes over how vulgar the woman is. She was too familiar with her reference to Mr. Knightley. She is certain Mr. Knightley won’t consider Mrs. Elton a lady. How dare Mrs. Elton think she and Emma were friends enough to propose they should form a club! And to be astonished that Mrs. Weston was a gentlewoman! Frank Churchill won’t like Mrs. Elton either. She is totally beneath Harriet.
Mr. Woodhouse thought Mrs. Elton spoke too quickly, but that she was nice and will make a good wife. He regrets he hadn’t paid his respects to her before.