Emma feels the Coles have been getting too confident lately, considering themselves on equal footing with the first families in town. She finally feels they've crossed the line when she hears of their plans to host a party, and she cannot stand the thought of being insulted with the expectation she would attend, so she plans to put them in their place by refusing their invitation. Well, the invitations go out... and she doesn't get one. note Yes, she eventually gets one later, but that does not detract from the preceding comedy over her initial reaction.
Mr Perry, an apothecary of Highbury, acknowledged to Mr Woodhouse that wedding-cake can be too heavy to be eaten and might disagree with many, though it seemed rather against his bias of inclination. Mr Woodhouse took for granted that Mr Perry himself would not touch it, yet this followed: "There was a strange rumour in Highbury of all the little Perrys being seen with a slice of Mrs. Weston's wedding-cake in their hands: but Mr. Woodhouse would never believe it."
When Emma hosts a party for Mrs Elton, Mr John Knightley is also present because he has just happened to bring his two eldest sons to stay with their grandpapa and aunt Emma. Mr John Knighley is concerned that they might be too much for her, and then there is a hilarious exchange between Emma, Mr Knightley and Mr John Knightley, which amuses Mr Knightley a great deal. However, narrator's sly comment at the end of the chapter takes the cake:
Mr. Knightley seemed to be trying not to smile; and succeeded without difficulty, upon Mrs. Elton's beginning to talk to him.
The archery scene in the 1996 film version: "Try not to kill my dogs."