When the ladies retire to the drawing room after dinner, Mrs. Elton continues to impose her services on Jane. After failing to get her way with the letters, she insists on helping Jane attain a governess position. Jane, however, informs her that she will not make any inquiries until after she sees the Campbells in midsummer.
Mrs. Elton’s attempt to help Jane out is part comical and part aggravating, as Jane clearly does not want her services with letters or job hunting. Indeed, though Mrs. Elton does not know it, such “assistance” would actually be a disservice to Jane’s plans. She does not want to be a governess. She wants to marry Frank.
Mr. Weston joins the party after a day in London. The introverted Mr. John Knightley is amazed that Mr. Weston should desire to socialize instead of staying home after such a day of business and travel. Mr. Weston, however, happily announces that he bears a letter from Frank. The letter announces his impending visit, to the delight of Mrs. Weston, the agitation of Emma, and the indifference of Mr. Knightley.
Austen’s character sketches are lively and thorough, as she enters various—even minor—characters’ perspectives and delineates their perception of others. Mr. Weston’s sociability baffles the more reserved Mr. John Knightley.