“The first effort, and the worst, lay at her door. It was foolish, it was wrong, to take so active a part in bringing any two people together. It was adventuring too far, assuming too much, making light of what ought to be serious — a trick of what ought to be simple. She was quite concerned and ashamed, and resolve to do such things no more” (100).
Taken-aback by Elton’s confession of love, Emma reflects on her actions and their affect on others. This is the first instance that Emma does any self-evaulation, marking her development as a character. Emma is able to admit her wrongdoing in trying to matchmake couples, and realizes that any existing relationship between Harriet and Elton is largely due to her manipulation. Saying that, “It was adventuring too far, assuming too much, making light of what ought to be serious — a trick of what ought to be simple,” Emma illustrates how courtship should be based on the pure affection between two people. However, her statement reeks of irony because in the case of the novel, relationships and marriage are largely based on wealth and status, as opposed to the impulses of true love.