Emma Woodhouse
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Quotes for
Emma Woodhouse (Character)
from Emma (1996)

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Emma (1996)
Emma: I may have lost my heart, but not my self-control.

Emma Woodhouse: Has an invitation arrived for a party at the Coles?
Mr. Woodhouse: No, thank Heaven. The Coles are nice people, but we should have to go outside to get there.

Mr. Knightley: Emma, you didn't ask me to contribute a riddle.
Emma Woodhouse: Your entire personality is a riddle, Mr. Knightley. I thought you overqualified.

Mr. Knightley: You must be happy that she settled so well.
Emma Woodhouse: Indeed! One matter of joy in this is that I made the match myself. People said Mr. Weston would never marry again, and what a triumph!
Mr. Knightley: Triumph? You made a lucky guess!
Emma Woodhouse: Have you never known the triumph of a lucky guess? Had I not promoted Mr. Weston's visits and given encouragement where encouragement was needed, we might not have had a wedding today.
Mr. Woodhouse: Then please, my dear, encourage no one else. Marriage is so disrupting to one's social circle.

Emma Woodhouse: Was he handsome?
Jane Fairfax: Many say he is.
Emma Woodhouse: Was he agreeable?
Jane Fairfax: He was in no way disagreeable.
Emma Woodhouse: Was he a man of information?
Jane Fairfax: All his statements seem correct.

Emma Woodhouse: Mr. Knightley, if I have not spoken, it is because I am afraid I will awaken myself from this dream.

Emma Woodhouse: One does not like to generalize about so many people all at once, Mr. Knightley, but you may be sure that men know nothing about their hearts, whether they be six-and-twenty, or six-and-eighty.

Emma: The most incomprehensible thing in the world to a man is a woman who rejects his offer of marriage.
Mr. Knightley: I do not comprehend it because it is madness.
[about Harriet's refusal of Robert Martin's offer of marriage]
Mr. Knightley: I hope you are wrong.
Emma: I could not be. I saw her answer.
Mr. Knightley: Emma
[looking at her suspiciously]
Mr. Knightley: ... you wrote her answer, didn't you?
Emma: If I did, I would have done no wrong. He is not Harriet's equal.
Mr. Knightley: I agree he is not her equal.
Emma: Good.
Mr. Knightley: He is her superior in sense and situation!

Emma Woodhouse: Hmm, you dismiss her beauty and good nature, yet I would be very much mistaken, if your sex in general, does not think those claims the highest a woman could possess!

Emma Woodhouse: Not one in a hundred men have "gentleman" so plainly written across them as Mr. Knightley!

Emma Woodhouse: The most beautiful thing in the world is a match well made.

Emma Woodhouse: Thank you for being so thoughtful.
Rev. Elton: No - thank you for thinking I am thoughtful.

Emma Woodhouse: I must throw a party for her. Otherwise everyone will feel at once how much I dislike her.

[Talking about Mrs. Elton]
Emma: She'd never seen him before, and she called him Knightley!
Harriet: I saw her at church. She seemed...
Emma: Vulgar? Base? Conceited? Crass? She actually seemed pleased to discover that Mr. Knightley was a gentleman. I doubt he'll return the compliment and find *her* a lady. She proposed that we form a *musical club*. Is it possible that Mr. Elton met her while doing charitable work in a mental infirmary?
[sighs]
Emma: There is only one thing to do with a person as impossible as she.
Harriet: What?
Emma: I must throw a party for her. Otherwise everyone will feel at once how much I dislike her.

Emma Woodhouse: Now I need not call you Mr. Knightley. I may call you *my* Mr. Knightley.

Emma Woodhouse: How fascinating that any discordancy between us must always arise from *my* being wrong.
Mr. Knightley: Not fascinating, but true.

Frank Churchill: Is your horse just washing his feet or are the darker forces at work here?
Emma Woodhouse: The latter, I'm afraid. Something's happened to the wheel and I cannot move.
Frank Churchill: You'll just have to live here then. Buhbye.

Emma Woodhouse: [Seating herself in a carriage] My, this weather...
Rev. Elton: Miss Woodhouse, please! Fate has left us alone for a reason.
Emma Woodhouse: Mr. Elton! Why do you seize my hand!
Rev. Elton: I do not seize your hand so much as the opportunity to tell you that I am hoping, no, fearing; ready to die if you refuse me!
Emma Woodhouse: Good heavens! Go back!
Rev. Elton: Surely my ardent attachment to you, my love and devotion cannot help but have made an impression!
Emma Woodhouse: Mr. Elton! It is I, Miss Woodhouse!
Rev. Elton: Mm hmm.
Emma Woodhouse: The party spirits have confused you! Allow me to deliver your message to Miss Smith, but you must direct no more of it to me.
Rev. Elton: Miss Smith? What sort of message would I want to send to her? Miss Smith?

[In the middle of a heated discussion, Emma tries to change the subject]
Emma Woodhouse: Did I mention we are having a new drain installed?

Mrs. Weston: A suspicion has darted into my head that I cannot get rid of - Mr. Knightley and Jane Fairfax are a couple!
Emma Woodhouse: Mrs. Weston, please do not take to matchmaking, you do it ill!

Emma: [worried that Mr. Knightley may be in love with Harriet Smith] Oh dear!
Mr. Knightley: What?
Emma: What? Oh...
[realizing her mistake]
Emma: Oh!
[uneasily]
Emma: Something about the deer we need for the... the... venison stew.

Emma: I do not admire Mr. Knightley as I have so long thought.
[pause]
Emma: I love him. So dearly, so greatly!

[Harriet and Mr. Elton are talking as Emma tries to listen from behind a bush]
Rev. Elton: I love... I simply love...
Emma Woodhouse: [to herself] Could this be? The declaration?
Rev. Elton: celery root.

Mr. Knightley: I can think of nothing less appealing than an evening of watching other people dance. Go on!
[throwing stick for dog to fetch]
Emma Woodhouse: Then you shall have to dance yourself.
Mr. Knightley: I have no taste for it. I'd rather fetch that stick.
Emma Woodhouse: I'll try to remember to bring it to the ball.
Mr. Knightley: [pause] I just want to stay here where it's cozy.

Emma Woodhouse: I will not know how to behave when I see him.
Mrs. Weston: Let his behavior be your guide
Emma Woodhouse: Oh, but if he seems happy, I will know that he's decided to marry Harriet, and I will not, I know I will not be able to let him tell me. But if he seems sad, I'll know that John has advised him against it. I love John! Or he may seem sad because he fears telling me he will marry my friend. How can John let him do that? I hate John!

Emma Woodhouse: [voiceover] Dear Diary, Today I tried not to think about Mr. Knightly. I tried not to think about him when I discussed the menu with Cook... I tried not to think about him in the garden where I thrice plucked the petals off a daisy to acertain his feelings for Harriet. I don't think we should keep daisies in the garden, they really are a drab little flower. And I tried not to think about him when I went to bed, but something had to be done.
[gets out of bed and replaces a picture of Harriet with a picture of a dog]

Emma Woodhouse: [about Mr. Knightly marrying Harriet] I hope John advises him against it. After all we know nothing about her parents. They could be pirates!
Mrs. Weston: My dear, I like Harriet very much as, I might remind you, do you.

Emma Woodhouse: Mr. Elton just dropped this off at my house. He claims it is a riddle for your collection, but I think it is something much better.
[hands the paper to Harriet]
Harriet Smith: [after reading the riddle] Is it about sharks?
Emma Woodhouse: Good heavens, why would he write a riddle about sharks?

Emma Woodhouse: [reading Mr. Elton's riddle out loud] "... Behold him there, the monarch of the seas" Which is?
Harriet Smith: A mermaid! A trident? Oh, do you think we shall ever know?

Mr. Knightley: Emma, how could you be so unfeeling to Miss Bates? How can you be so insolent to a woman of her age and situation? I had not thought it possible?
Emma: How could I help saying it? I daresay she did not understand me.
Mr. Knightley: Oh, I assure you, she felt your full meaning. She cannot stop mentioning it! I wish you could have heard her honour your forbearance in putting up with her when her society is so irksome.
Emma: I know there is no better creature in all the world, but you must allow that blended alongside of the good there is an equal among of ridiculous in her.
Mr. Knightley: Were she prosperous, or a woman equal to your age and situation, I would not quarrel with any liberties of manner. But she is poor! Even moreso than when she was born, and should she live to be an old lady, she will sink further still. Her situation being in every way below you should secure your compassion! Badly done, Emma. Badly done. She has watched you grow from a time when her notice of you was an honour to this, humbling her and laughing at her in front of people who would be guided by your treatment of her. It is not pleasant for me to say these things, but I must tell you the truth while I still can, proving myself your friend by the most faithful counsel, trusting that sometime you will do my faith in you greater justice that you do it now.

Mr. Knightley: Emma, how could you be so unfeeling to Miss Bates? How can you be so insolent to a woman of her age and situation? I had not thought it possible?
Emma: How could I help saying it? I daresay she did not understand me.
Mr. Knightley: Oh, I assure you, she felt your full meaning. She cannot stop mentioning it! I wish you could have heard her honor your forbearance in putting up with her when her society is so irksome.
Emma: I know there is no better creature in all the world, but you must allow that blended along side of the good there is an equal among of ridiculous in her.
Mr. Knightley: Were she prosperous, or a woman equal to your age and situation, I would not quarrel with any liberties of manner. But she is poor! Even more so than when she was born, and should she live to be an old lady, she will sink further still, her situation being in every way below you should secure your compassion! Badly done, Emma. Badly done. She has watched you grow from a time when her notice of you was an honor to this, humbling her and laughing at her in front of people who would be guided by your treatment of her. It is not pleasant for me to say these things, but I must tell you the truth while I still can, proving myself your friend by the most faithful counsel, trusting that some time you will do my faith in you greater justice that you do it now.


Emma (1948) (TV)
Emma Woodhouse: Nonsense, he does not care about Jane Fairfax - I'm sure he does not.
Mrs. Weston: All the same, I should not wonder if it was to end in his marrying her!
Emma Woodhouse: [Emma clenches her fists and shakes them at her]
Mrs. Weston: Do not beat me!


"Emma: Episode #1.4" (1960)
Harriet Smith: I know you didn't expect me, Miss Woodhouse, but I was passing and I wanted to ask you...
[She breaks off, appalled at the sight of the Eltons. She doesn't know what to do with herself. She is too confused even to flee. Emma realizes there is nothing else for it but to introduce her]
Emma Woodhouse: It's very lucky you came, Harriet. You can make the acquaintance of Mrs. Elton. Mrs. Elton, allow me to introduce my friend, Miss Harriet Smith.
Mrs. Elton: Indeed? I am very pleased to make your acquaintance, Miss - what was the name?
Harriet Smith: Smith.
[Mrs. Elton obviously heard all about Harriet from the very biased point of view of Mr. Elton and is contemptuous of her]
Mrs. Elton: Smith, yes. No relation to the Smiths of West Hall near Maple Grove?
Harriet Smith: I don't think so.
[Desperately to Emma]
Harriet Smith: I really think I'd better go...
Mrs. Elton: Very vulgar people encumbered with low connections, and yet expecting to be on footing with the established families. Isn't it extraordinary how some people have so little sense of rank?
Harriet Smith: Yes, it is - indeed.
Mrs. Elton: These particular Smiths come from Birmingham, you know, which is not a place of much promise. Have you any connections with Birmingham, Miss Smith?
Harriet Smith: I don't believe so.
Emma Woodhouse: Pray sit down, Harriet.
Mrs. Elton: Very unpleasant people.


"Kraft Theatre: Emma (#8.9)" (1954)
Mr. Knightley: [Speaking of Harriet's engagement to William Larkins] I must admit that I had a hand in bringing them together.
Emma Woodhouse: [amused and feeling vindicated that even Knightley can play matchmaker] You mean you made the match yourself?
Mr. Knightley: Yes, yes. And it is a good thing, Emma. I believe that Harriet has always loved him and he's never stopped hoping that one day she'd accept him. And he's a good man, Emma.