11. CHAPTER XI
"Harriet, poor Harriet!"--Those were the words; in them lay the
tormenting ideas which Emma could not get rid of, and which constituted
the real misery of the business to her. Frank Churchill had behaved
very ill by herself--very ill in many ways,--but it was not so much
his behaviour as her own, which made her so angry with him.
It was the scrape which he had drawn her into on Harriet's account,
that gave the deepest hue to his offence.--Poor Harriet! to be a second
time the dupe of her misconceptions and flattery. Mr. Knightley
had spoken prophetically, when he once said, "Emma, you have been
no friend to Harriet Smith."--She was afraid she had done her nothing
but disservice.--It was true that she had not to charge herself,
in this instance as in the former, with being the sole and original
author of the mischief; with having suggested such feelings as might
otherwise never have entered Harriet's imagination; for Harriet
had acknowledged her admiration and preference of Frank Churchill
before she had ever given her a hint on the subject; but she felt
completely guilty of having encouraged what she might have repressed.
She might have prevented the indulgence and increase of such sentiments.
Her influence would have been enough. And now she was very conscious
that she ought to have prevented them.--She felt that she had been
risking her friend's happiness on most insufficient grounds.
Common sense would have directed her to tell Harriet, that she
must not allow herself to think of him, and that there were five
hundred chances to one against his ever caring for her.--"But, with
common sense," she added, "I am afraid I have had little to do."