Emma Reflects on Mr. Elton’s Character: Vol. I Chapter XVI

It was dreadfully mortifying; but Mr. Elton was proving himself, in many respects, the very reverse of what she had meant and believed him; proud, assuming, conceited; very full of his own claims, and little concerned about the feelings of others.

Contrary to the usual course of things, Mr. Elton’s wanting to pay his addresses to her had sunk him in her opinion. His professions and his proposals did him no service. She thought nothing of his attachment, and was insulted by his hopes. He wanted to marry well, and having the arrogance to raise his eyes to her, pretended to be in love; but she was perfectly easy as to his not suffering any disappointment that need be cared for. There had been no real affection either in his language or manners. Sighs and fine words had been given in abundance; but she could hardly divine any set of expressions, or fancy any tone of voice, less allied with real love.

(Just looked up the movie version of Emma. Mr. Elton is played by the very fine Alan Cumming! Oh, inspired!)



Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Mr. Elton Explains To Emma Why He Is Not Interested in Harriet Smith

“Miss Smith is a very good sort of girl; and I should be very happy to see her respectably settled. I wish her extremely well: and, no doubt, there are men who might not object to — Everybody has their level. But as for myself, I am not, I think, quite so much at a loss. I need not so totally despair of an equal alliance, as to be addressing myself to Miss Smith!”

Translation: Miss Smith is beneath me!

So annoyed does Mr. Elton become with Emma for assuming he likes Miss Smith that, as soon as the carriage arrives at the Vicarage, he is out “before another syllable passed.”

What a boor!

Stay tuned.

How Mr. Elton’s Proposal Is Received: EMMA, Book I Chapter XV

Emma, riding alone with Mr. Elton in a carriage (What is wrong with these people? Don’t they know how unseemly it is for a young, unmarried woman to be riding alone in a carriage with a young, single man, late at night? Self would like to have a word with Mr. Woodhouse, Emma’s father!)

Emma to Mr. Elton: Mr. Elton, my astonishment is much beyond any thing I can express. After such behaviour, as I have witnessed during the last month, to Miss Smith — such attentions as I have been in the daily habit of observing — to be addressing me in this manner — this is an unsteadiness of character, indeed, which I had not supposed possible! Believe me, sir, I am far, very far, from gratified in being the object of such professions.

In other words, Emma declines Mr. Elton’s proposal.

She then goes on to say — since Mr. Elton is rather, shall we say, dense — “I have no thoughts of matrimony at present.”




Stay tuned.

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