SENSE & SENSIBILITY JANE AUSTEN CHAPTER I The family of Dashwood had long been settled in Sussex.

Their estate was large, and their residence was at Norland Park, in the centre of their property, where, for many generations, they had lived in so respectable a manner as to engage th e general good opinion of their surrounding acquaintance. The late owner of this estate was a single man, who lived to a very advanced age, and who for many yea rs of his life, had a constant companion and housekeeper in his sister. But her death, which happened ten years before his own, produced a great alteration in h is home; for to supply her loss, he invited and received into his house the fami ly of his nephew Mr. Henry Dashwood, the legal inheritor of the Norland estate, and the person to whom he intended to bequeath it. In the society of his nephew and niece, and their children, the old Gentleman's days were comfortably spent. His attachment to them all increased. The constant attention of Mr. and Mrs. Hen ry Dashwood to his wishes, which proceeded not merely from interest, but from go odness of heart, gave him every degree of solid comfort which his age could rece ive; and the cheerfulness of the children added a relish to his existence. By a former marriage, Mr. Henry Dashwood had one son: by his present lady, three daughters. The son, a steady respectable young man, was amply provided for by t he fortune of his mother, which had been large, and half of which devolved on hi m on his coming of age. By his own marriage, likewise, which happened soon after wards, he added to his wealth. To him therefore the succession to the Norland es tate was not so really important as to his sisters; for their fortune, independe nt of what might arise to them from their father's inheriting that property, cou ld be but small. Their mother had nothing, and their father only seven thousand pounds in his own disposal; for the remaining moiety of his first wife's fortune was also secured to her child, and he had only a life-interest in it. [2] The old gentleman died: his will was read, and like almost every other will, gav e as much disappointment as pleasure. He was neither so unjust, nor so ungratefu l, as to leave his estate from his nephew; but he left it to him on such terms a s destroyed half the value of the bequest. Mr. Dashwood had wished for it more f or the sake of his wife and daughters than for himself or his son; but to his so n, and his son's son, a child of four years old, it was secured, in such a way, as to leave to himself no power of providing for those who were most dear to him , and who most needed a provision by any charge on the estate, or by any sale of its valuable woods. The whole was tied up for the benefit of this child, who, i n occasional visits with his father and mother at Norland, had so far gained on the affections of his uncle, by such attractions as are by no means unusual in c hildren of two or three years old; an imperfect articulation, an earnest desire of having his own way, many cunning tricks, and a great deal of noise, as to out weigh all the value of all the attention which, for years, he had received from his niece and her daughters. He meant not to be unkind, however, and, as a mark of his affection for the three girls, he left them a thousand pounds a-piece. Mr. Dashwood's disappointment was, at first, severe; but his temper was cheerful and sanguine; and he might reasonably hope to live many years, and by living ec onomically, lay by a considerable sum from the produce of an estate already larg e, and capable of almost immediate improvement. But the fortune, which had been so tardy in coming, was his only one twelvemonth. He survived his uncle no longe r; and ten thousand pounds, including the late legacies, was all that remained f or his widow and daughters.

His son was sent for as soon as his danger was known, and to him Mr. Dashwood re commended, with all the strength and urgency which illness could command, the in terest of his mother-in-law and sisters. Mr. John Dashwood had not the strong feelings of the rest of the family; but he was affected by a recommendation of such a nature at such a time, and he promise d to do every thing in his power to make them comfortable. His father was render ed easy by such an assurance, and Mr. John Dashwood had then leisure to consider how much there might prudently be in his power to do for them. [3] His son's son, a child of four years old. [4] He was not an ill-disposed young man, unless to be rather cold hearted and rathe r selfish is to be ill-disposed: but he was, in general, well respected; for he conducted himself with propriety in the discharge of his ordinary duties. Had he married a more amiable woman, he might have been made still more respectable th an he was: he might even have been made amiable himself; for he was very young w hen he married, and very fond of his wife. But Mrs. John Dashwood was a strong c aricature of himself; more narrow-minded and selfish. When he gave his promise to his father, he meditated within himself to increase the fortunes of his sisters by the present of a thousand pounds a-piece. He then really thought himself equal to it. The prospect of four thousand a-year, in ad dition to his present income, besides the remaining half of his own mother's for tune, warmed his heart, and made him feel capable of generosity. "Yes, he would give them three thousand pounds: it would be liberal and handsome! It would be e nough to make them completely easy. Three thousand pounds! he could spare so con siderable a sum with little inconvenience." He thought of it all day long, and f or many days successively, and he did not repent. No sooner was his father's funeral over, than Mrs. John Dashwood, without sendin g any notice of her intention to her mother-in-law, arrived with her child and t heir attendants. No one could dispute her right to come; the house was her husba nd's from the moment of his father's decease; but the indelicacy of her conduct was so much the greater, and to a woman in Mrs. Dashwood's situation, with only common feelings, must have been highly unpleasing. But in her mind there was a s ense of honor so keen, a generosity so romantic, that any offence of the kind, b y whomsoever given or received, was to her a source of immovable disgust. Mrs. J ohn Dashwood had never been a favourite with any of her husband's family; but sh e had had no opportunity, till the present, of showing them with how little atte ntion to the comfort of other people she could act when occasion required it. So acutely did Mrs. Dashwood feel this ungracious behaviour, and so earnestly di d she despise her daughter-in-law[5] for it, that, on the arrival of the latter, she would have quitted the house for ever, had not the entreaty of her eldest g irl induced her first to reflect on the propriety of going, and her own tender l ove for all her three children determined her afterwards to stay, and for their sakes avoid a breach with their brother. Elinor, this eldest daughter, whose advice was so effectual, possessed a strengt h of understanding, and coolness of judgment, which qualified her, though only n ineteen, to be the counsellor of her mother, and enabled her frequently to count eract, to the advantage of them all, that eagerness of mind in Mrs. Dashwood whi ch must generally have led to imprudence. She had an excellent heart; her dispos ition was affectionate, and her feelings were strong; but she knew how to govern them: it was a knowledge which her mother had yet to learn; and which one of he

r sisters had resolved never to be taught. Marianne's abilities were, in many respects, quite equal to Elinor's. She was se nsible and clever; but eager in everything: her sorrows, her joys, could have no moderation. She was generous, amiable, interesting: she was everything but prud ent. The resemblance between her and her mother was strikingly great. Elinor saw, with concern, the excess of her sister's sensibility; but by Mrs. Da shwood it was valued and cherished. They encouraged each other now in the violen ce of their affliction. The agony of grief which overpowered them at first, was voluntarily renewed, was sought for, was created again and again. They gave them selves up wholly to their sorrow, seeking increase of wretchedness in every refl ection that could afford it, and resolved against ever admitting consolation in future. Elinor, too, was deeply afflicted; but still she could struggle, she cou ld exert herself. She could consult with her brother, could receive her sister-i n-law on her arrival, and treat her with proper attention; and could strive to r ouse her mother to similar exertion, and encourage her to similar forbearance. Margaret, the other sister, was a good-humored, well-disposed girl; but as she h ad already imbibed a good deal of Marianne's romance, without having much of her sense, she did not, at thirteen, bid fair to equal her sisters at a more advanc ed period of life. [6] CHAPTER II Mrs. John Dashwood now installed herself mistress of Norland; and her mother and sisters-in-law were degraded to the condition of visitors. As such, however, th ey were treated by her with quiet civility; and by her husband with as much kind ness as he could feel towards anybody beyond himself, his wife, and their child. He really pressed them, with some earnestness, to consider Norland as their hom e; and, as no plan appeared so eligible to Mrs. Dashwood as remaining there till she could accommodate herself with a house in the neighbourhood, his invitation was accepted. A continuance in a place where everything reminded her of former delight, was ex actly what suited her mind. In seasons of cheerfulness, no temper could be more cheerful than hers, or possess, in a greater degree, that sanguine expectation o f happiness which is happiness itself. But in sorrow she must be equally carried away by her fancy, and as far beyond consolation as in pleasure she was beyond alloy. Mrs. John Dashwood did not at all approve of what her husband intended to do for his sisters. To take three thousand pounds from the fortune of their dear littl e boy would be impoverishing him to the most dreadful degree. She begged him to think again on the subject. How could he answer it to himself to rob his child, and his only child too, of so large a sum? And what possible claim could the Mis s Dashwoods, who were related to him only by half blood, which she considered as no relationship at all, have on his generosity to so large an amount. It was ve ry well known that no affection was ever supposed to exist between the children of any man by different marriages; and why was he to ruin himself, and their poo r little Harry, by giving away all his money to his half sisters? "It was my father's last request to me," replied her husband, "that I should ass ist his widow and daughters." "He did not know what he was talking of, I dare say; ten to one but he was light -headed at the time. Had he been in his right senses, he could not have thought of such a thing as[7] begging you to give away half your fortune from your own c

" said her husband. very gravely. it would be better for all parties. however. Consider. and. it wo uld not be more advisable to do something for their mother while she lives. they will each have about three thousand pounds on[8] their mother's death a very comfortable fortune for any young woman. and must be performed. No one. they can hardly expect more." he replied. Dashwood should live fifteen years we shall be comple tely taken in. I could not do less than give it. He could hardly suppose I should neglect them. and it will be gone for ever. rath er than for them something of the annuity kind I mean. A hundred a year would make them all perfe ctly comfortable." "Certainly. at least. they may all live very comfort ably together on the interest of ten thousand pounds. let something be done for them. The time may come when Harry will regret that so large a sum was parted wi th. it could be restored to our poor little boy " "Why." said the lady. to assist them. indeed. Your sisters will marry. therefore. if Mrs. then. upon the whole. I do not know whether. But. on such oc casions. The promise. can think I have not don e enough for them: even themselves. If he should have a numerous family. for instance. it would be a very conven ient addition. what you can afford to do. I f. even if really his sisters! And as it is only half blood! But you have su ch a generous spirit!" "I would not wish to do any thing mean. was given. in giving her consent to this plan. "it is better than parting with fifteen hundred pounds a t once." "There is no knowing what they may expect. and if they do not. without any addition of mine. then. But as he r equired the promise." "To be sure it would. My sisters would feel the g ood effects of it as well as herself. it strikes me that they can want no addition at all. therefore. and make their situation more comfortable t han it was in his power to do. and. "To be sure. he only requested m e. at least I thought so at the time. Perhaps it would have been as well if he had left it wholly to myself. her life cannot be worth half that purchase. "that when the money is once parted wit h." "Fifteen years! my dear Fanny. Something mu st be done for them whenever they leave Norland and settle in a new home. but if you observe." "To be sure it is. "that would make great differ ence. but that something need not be thre e thousand pounds." "That is very true. A s it is. people always live for ever when there is an . If they marry." "He did not stipulate for any particular sum. "One had rather. indeed. my dear Fanny. and I think I may afford to give them five hundred pounds a-piece." "Perhaps. Five hundred pounds would be a prodigious increase to their fortunes!" "Oh! beyond anything great! What brother on earth would do half so much for his sisters." she added." "Certainly not. do too much than too little. it never can return. in general terms." His wife hesitated a little. They will have ten thousand pounds divided amongst them." said she." "Well. the y will be sure of doing well. to be sure. then. "but we are not to th ink of their expectations: the question is. if the sum were diminished o ne half.hild.

I'll lay my life that he meant nothing farthe r. You are not aware of what you are doing. My father certainly could mean nothing more by his request to me than what you say. is by no means desirable: it takes away one's independence. it will be better that there should be no ann uity in the case. how excessively comfortable your mother-in-law and her da ughters may live on the interest of seven thousand pounds. Twice every year these annuities were to be paid. for my mother was clogged with the p ayment of three to old superannuated servants by my father's will. they will keep no company. be amply discharging my promise to my father. I woul d not bind myself to allow them any thing yearly. When my mother removes i nto another house my services shall be readily given to accommodate her as far a s I can. helping them to move their things. t he money would have been entirely at my mother's disposal. and then there was the trouble of getting it to them. "I believe you are perfectly right. "to have those kind of yearly drains on one's income. will prevent their ever being distressed for money. A n annuity is a very serious business. without any restricti on whatever. they will have five hundred a-year amongst them. and. A pre sent of fifty pounds. I am convinced within myself that your father had no idea of your giving them any money at all. as your mother justly says. and I will strictly fulfil my engagement by such acts of assistance and kindness to them as you have described. I cle arly understand it now. My mot her was quite sick of it. and so f orth. now and then. Dashwood. To be tied down to the regular payment of such a sum." returned Mrs. to say the truth." replied Mr. Some little present of furniture too may be acceptable then. One's[9] fortune. or even fifty pounds from our own expenses. They think themselves sec ure. and it raises no gratitude at all. because. indeed. you do no more than what is expected. Dashwood. besides the thousand pounds belonging to each of the girls. "But. she said. and can have no expenses of any kind! Only[10 ] conceive how comfortable they will be! Five hundred a year! I am sure I cannot imagine how they will spend half of it. and the re is no getting rid of it. was only such as might be reasonably expected of you. it is quite absurd to think of it. whenever they are in season. and then one of them was said to have died. The assistance he thought of. no horses. whatever I did should be done at my own discretion entirely. with such perpet ual claims on it. and sending them presents of fish and game. I have know n a great deal of the trouble of annuities. It may be very inconvenient so me years to spare a hundred. Do but consider. and it was the more unkind in my father. of course. Indeed. A ltogether. and as to your giving them more. whatever I may give them occasionally will be of far greater a ssistance than a yearly allowance. my love. It will certainly be much the best way. and hardly any se rvants. such as looking out for a comfortable small house for them.annuity to be paid them. my dear Mr. because they would only enlarge their style o f living if they felt sure of a larger income. they will pay their mother for their board out of it." "I believe you are right. They will have no carriage." "Certainly. it would be very strange and unreasonable if he did." "It is certainly an unpleasant thing. f or instance. and will. John Dashwood. and afterwards it turned out to be no such thing." "Upon my word. otherwise. on ever y rent day. and would not be sixpence the ric her for it at the end of the year. and what on earth ca n four women want for more than that? They will live so cheap! Their housekeeping will be nothing at all. however. that I am sure I w ould not pin myself down to the payment of one for all the world. and she is very stout and healthy. They will be much more able to give you something. I think. one thing must be consi . I dare say. Dashwood. which brings them in fifty pounds a year a-piece." "Undoubtedly. and after all you have no thanks for it. and hardly forty. it comes over and over every year." said Mr. It has given me such an abhorrence of annuities." "To be sure it will. and it is ama zing how disagreeable she found it. Her income was not her own. If I were you. is not one's own.

she firmly relied on the liberality of his intentions. whose steadier judgment rejected several houses a s too large for their income. But. for the sake of his own he art. than such kind of neighbourly acts as his own wife pointed out. she rejoiced. and. A great deal too handsome. for to remove far from that beloved spot was impossible. for a lo ng time. This circumstance was a growing attachment between her eldest girl and the broth ." "That is a material consideration undoubtedly. all the china. and perhaps in spite of eve ry consideration of politeness or maternal affection on the side of the former. and suited the pr udence of her eldest daughter. and indefatigabl e in her inquiries for a suitable dwelling in the neighbourhood of Norland. acco rding to the opinions of Mrs. w hich half a year's residence in her family afforded. though the furniture of Sta nhill was sold. to do more for the widow and children of his fath er. It gave to his intentions whatever of decision w as wanting before." Mrs. and linen was saved. A valuable legacy indeed! And yet some of the plate would have been a very pleasant addition to our own stock her e. for when her spirits began to revive. that it would be absolutely unnecess ary. nor attention to hi s wishes. in believing him incapable of generosity. Dashwood had been informed by her husband of the solemn promise on the part of his son in their favour. very early in their acquaintance. felt for her daugh ter-in-law." "Yes. For their brother's sake. and she thought of it for her daughters' sake with satisfaction. ha d not a particular circumstance occurred to give still greater eligibility. Dashwood. Dashwood remained at Norland several months. But she could hear of no si tuation that at once answered her notions of comfort and ease. too. for any place they can ever a fford to live in. plate. to her daughters' continuance at Norland . and h er mind became capable of some other exertion than that of heightening its affli ction by melancholy remembrances. the two ladies might have found it impossible to have lived together so long. in my opinion. which her mother would have approved. for we very well know that if he could. CHAPTER III Mrs. His attentive behaviour to herself and his sisters convinced her that their welfare was dear to him. however. though as for herself she was persuaded that a much smaller provision than 7000L would sup port her in affluence. not from any disinclination to move when the sight of every well known spot ceased to raise the violent emotio n which it produced[11] for a while. and the set of breakfast china is twice as handsome as what belongs to thi s house. and she reproached herself for being unjust to his merit befo re. was very much increased by the farther knowledge of her character. She doubted the sincerity of this assurance no more than he had doubted it hims elf. Her house will therefore be almost completely fitted up as soon as sh e takes it. and he finally resolved. she was impatient to be gone. When your father and mother moved to Norland. he would have left almost ever ything in the world to them." This argument was irresistible. Your father thought only of them And I must say this: that you owe no particular gratitude to him. if not highly indecorous. so it is. The contempt which she had. and is now left to yo ur mother. [12] "I cannot imagine how they will spend half of it. which gave comfort to his last earthly reflections.dered.

Dashwood's attention." Mrs. "It is enough. It was contrary to every doctrine of her's that difference of fortune should k eep any couple asunder who were attracted by resemblance of disposition. in such affliction as rendere d her careless of surrounding objects. till one of thes e superior blessings could be attained. But he was neither fitted by abilities nor disposition to answer the wishes of his mother and sister. by a reflection[14] which Elinor chanced one day to make on the difference between him and his sister. and soon banished his reserve. He was too diffident to do justice to himself. Fortunat ely he had a younger brother who was more promising. except a trifling sum. who was introd uced to their acquaintance soon after his sister's establishment at Norland. . She saw only that he was quiet and unobtr usive. and that Elinor returned the partiality . who longed to see him distinguished as they hardly knew what. He was not handsome. th e persuasion of his regard for Elinor perhaps assisted her penetration. which milit ated against all her established ideas of what a young man's address ought to be . All his wishes centered in domestic comfort and the quiet of private life. "when you know more of him. at that time. and tha t Elinor's merit should not be acknowledged by every one who knew her. and who had since spent the greatest part of his time there. John Dashwood wished it likewise. Her manners were attach ing.er of Mrs. was no longer uninteresting when she knew his heart to be warm and his temper affectionate. and his manners required intimacy to make them pleasing." "I have never yet known what it was to separate esteem and love. that he loved her daughter. He did not disturb the wretchedness of her mind by ill-timed conversation. was to he r comprehension impossible. his behaviour gave every indication of an open. but in the mean while. "to say that he is unlike Fanny is enough. It was enough for her that he appeared to be amiable. I love him already.[13] Some mothers might have encouraged the intimacy from motives of interest." "Like him!" replied her mother with a smile. Mrs. "I feel no sentiment of approbation inferior to love. But Mrs. They wanted him to make a fine figure in the world in some man ner or other. Edward had been staying several weeks in the house before he engaged much of Mrs . for Ed ward Ferrars was the eldest son of a man who had died very rich. or to see him connected with some of the great men of the day ." said she. It was a contrast which recommended him most forcibl y to her mother." "You may esteem him. for she was. to get hi m into parliament. and some might have repressed it from motives of prudence. Dashwood now took pains to get acquainted with him. John Dashwood. for. She speedily comprehended all his merits." said Elinor. a gentlemanlike and pleasing young man. She was first called to observe and approve him fart her. His understanding was good. But Edward had no turn for great men or barouches. the whol e of his fortune depended on the will of his mother. Dashwood was alike uninfluenced by either consideration." "I think you will like him. Edward Ferrars was not recommended to their good opinion by any peculiar graces of person or address. it would have quieted her ambition to se e him driving a barouche. and his education had given it sol id improvement. but when his natural shyness was overcome. and she liked him for it. but she really felt assured of his worth: and even that quietness of manner. His mother wished to interest him in political concerns. It implies everything amiable. af fectionate heart.

my Marianne. I though t so at the time. To satisfy me. "that Edward should have no taste fo r drawing. how shall we do without her?" "My love. He must enter into all my feelings. indeed. and shall meet every day of our lives. "why should you think so? He does not dr aw himself. "In a few months. You will gain a brother a real. and though he admires Elinor's drawings very much. To hear those beautiful lines which have frequently almost driven me wild. Elinor. such dreadfu l indifference!" "He would certainly have done more justice to simple and elegant prose. the same music must charm us both. pronounced with such impenetrable calmness. Mama. and his person and manners must orname nt his goodness with every possible charm. But yet he is not the kind of young man. how spiritless. it has none of that grace which I should expect in the man who could seriously attach[15] my sister. tho se characters must be united. may your destiny be different from her's!" [16] CHAPTER IV "What a pity it is. there i s something wanting his figure is not striking. Music seems scarcel y to attract him. he has no real taste. I require so much! He must have all Edward's virtues. Edward is very amiable. He distrusts his own judgment in s ." said she. though he has not had opportunities of improving it. it is not t he admiration of a person who can understand their worth. my love. how tame was Edward's manner in reading to us last night! I felt for my sister most seve rely. His eyes want all that spirit. than she considered their serious attachment as certain. We shall miss her. Elinor has not my feelings. do you disapprove your sister's choice?" "Perhaps. not as a connoisseur. Mamma." "Oh! Mamma.No sooner did she perceive any symptom of love in his behaviour to Elinor. had I loved him. and therefore she may overlook it. but he has great pleasure in seeing the performances of othe r people. and be happy with him. and looked forward to their marriage as rapidly approaching. And besides all this. I could hardly keep my seat. if he is not to be animated by Cowper! but we must allow for differen ce of taste. Marianne. Yet she bore it with so much composure. that you are not seventeen. It is yet too early in life to d espair of such a happiness. the more I know of the world. that fire. and I love him tenderly. my dear Marianne. in all probability be settled for life. she seemed scarcely to notice it. Oh! mama. affectionate brother. and I assure you he is by no means deficient in natural taste. the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. Had he ever been in the way of lea rning. We shall live within a few miles of each other. "Elinor will." "Nay. Mamma. which at once announce virtue and intelligence. But it would have broke my heart. but she will be happy." "No taste for drawing!" replied Elinor. He admires as a lover. I think he would have drawn very well. It is evident. the s ame books." said Marianne. to hear hi m read with so little sensibility. I have the highest opinion in the world of Edward's heart . it will be scarcely a separation. in spit e of his frequent attention to her while she draws." said Marianne." "Remember. Why should you be less fortunate than your mother? I n one circumstance only. "I may consider it with some surprise. I am afraid. that in fact he knows nothin g of the matter. I could not be happy with a man whose taste did no t in every point coincide with my own. But you look grave. but you would give him Cowper.

if I do not now. "no one can. At leng th she replied: "Do not be offended. I think I may say that you cannot. But of his minuter propensities." continued Elinor. At present. and if that were your opinion. She believed the regard to be mutual. as you have. "Of his sense and his goodness. almost so. if my praise of him is not in every thing equal to your sense of his merits. I have not had so many opportunities of estimating the minuter propensities of his mind. She would not wound the feelings of her sister on any account. When you tell me to love him as a brother. was very far from that rapturous delight. t hat I think him really handsome. his address is certainly not striking. as you call them you have from peculiar circumstances been kept more ignorant than myself. and to hope was to expect. Marianne? " "I shall very soon think him handsome. in speaking of him. they believed the ne xt that with them." Marianne hardly knew what to say. "that his dearest friends could not b e dissatisfied with such commendation as[17] that. I know him so well. which in general di rect him perfectly right. I think him every thing that is worthy and amiable. in her opinion." continued Elinor. At first sight ." Elinor started at this declaration. upon the whole. she ho noured her sister for that blind partiality to Edward which produced it. I am sure you could neve r be civil to him. which. that he is always unwilling to give his opinion on any pict ure. She felt that Edward stood very high in her opi nion. but she required greater certainty o f it to make Marianne's conviction of their attachment agreeable to her. You know enough of him to do justic e to his solid worth. enjoyment of books exceedingly great. "you do not consider him as deficient in g eneral taste. who has seen him often enough to engage him in unreserved conversation. have studied his sentiments and heard his opinion on subjects of literature an d taste. Th e excellence of his understanding and his principles can be concealed only by th at shyness which too often keeps him silent. till the expression of his eyes. and yet to say what she did not believe was impossible. but I have the highest opinion in the world of his goodness and sense. but the kind of approbation which Elinor described as excited in him by the drawings of other people. His abilities in every res pect improve as much upon acquaintance as his manners and person. to wish was to hope. is perceived.uch matters so much. and was sorry for the warmth she had been be trayed into. his observati on just and correct. while you have been wholly engrossed on the most affectionate principle by my mother. be in d oubt. I do not perceive how you cou ld express yourself more warmly. but he has an innate propriety and simplicity of taste. Yet. I shall no more see imperfection in his face. or at least. What say you. though smiling within herself at the mistake. I have seen a great deal of him . and his person can hardly be called han dsome. could alone be called taste. I venture to pronounce that his mind is well-infor med." Marianne was rejoiced to find her sister so easily pleased." Marianne was afraid of offending. for your behaviour to h im is perfectly cordial. with a smile. I think. He and I have been at times thrown a good deal together. "I hope. and. Indeed." "I am sure. and said no more on the subject. than I now do in his heart. his inclinations and tastes. She kne w that what Marianne and her mother conjectured one moment. Elinor. She tried to ex ." replied Elinor. Marianne. and his taste delicate and pure. Elinor. and the gener al sweetness of his countenance. his imagination lively. which are uncommonly good.

and I will leave the room this momen t. She took the first opportunity of affronting her mother-inlaw on the occasion. at times. but. "that I think very highly of him that I grea tly esteem. and sometimes . and I am very much mistaken if Edward is not himself awa re that there would be many difficulties in his way. to make her uneasy. in short. talking to her so expressively of her brother's great expec tations. need not give him more than inquietude. we have never been dispose d to think her amiable. She could not consider her part iality for Edward in so prosperous a state as Marianne had believed it. He is very fa r from being independent. and of the danger attending any young woman who attempted to draw him in. it was impossible for Elinor to feel easy on the subject." Marianne was astonished to find how much the imagination of her mother and herse lf had outstripped the truth. that I like him. if it did not denote indifferenc e. to be such as his merit. "and be assured that I me ant no offence to you. believe them." Elinor could not help laughing. Use those words again. "And you really are not engaged to him!" said she. (which was still more common.plain the real state of the case to her sister. But farther than this you must not believe. for a few painful minutes. by believing or calling it m ore than it is. by speaking. in so quiet a way. and till his sentiments are fully known. which her mother and sister still considered as certain. Oh! if he should be so far stimulated by your genius as to learn to draw himself. Ferrars's resolution that both her sons should marry well. nor to give him any assurance that he might fo rm a home for himself. nor endeavor to be calm. "Excuse me. But two advantages will proceed from this delay. how delightful it would be!" Elinor had given her real opinion to her sister. Belie ve them to be stronger than I have declared. I shall not lose you so soon. of Mrs. withou t imprudence or folly. Nay. "I do not attempt to deny. A more reasonable cause[19] might be found in the dependent situation which forbade the indulgence of his affection. "Yet it certainly soon will h appen. you cannot wonder at my wishi ng to avoid any encouragement of my own partiality. With such a knowledge as this. There are moments when the extent of it seems doubtful. she believed it to be no more than friendship. She was far from depending on that result of his preference of h er." Marianne here burst forth with indignation[18] "Esteem him! Like him! Cold-hearted Elinor! Oh! worse than cold-hearted! Ashamed of being otherwise." said she. and the suspicion the hope of his affection for me may warrant. She knew that his mother neither behaved to him so as to make his home comfortable at present." said she. a want of spirits about him which. But. of my own feelings. supposing hi m to feel it. What his mother really is we cannot know. In my heart I feel little scarcely any doubt of his preference.) to make her uncivil. A doubt of her regard. I am by no me ans assured of his regard for me. without strictly attending to her views for his aggrandiz ement. from Fa nny's occasional mention of her conduct and opinions. She g . it was enough. the longer the y were together the more doubtful seemed the nature of his regard. spoke of something almost as unpromising. Dashwood could neither pretend to be unconscious. It would not be likely to produce that dejection of mind which frequently attended him. when perceived by his s ister. Bu t there are other points to be considered besides his inclination. whatever might really be its limits. that Mrs. and Edward will have greater opportunity of improving that natural taste f or your favourite pursuit which must be so indispensably necessary to your futur e felicity. There wa s. if he were to wish to marry a woman who had not either a great fortune or high rank. and at the same time.

a letter was delivered to her from the post. resolv ing that. Mrs. Though . and should incommode them no longer than till every thing were[21] rea dy for her inhabiting it. would have been a sufficient objection to outweig h every possible advantage belonging to the place. therefore. be made comfortable to her. could. and if my friends find no difficulty in tr avelling so far to see me. and. and written in the true spirit of friendly accommodation. from whence she might judge. It was the offer of a small house . "Devonshire! Are you. He earnestly pressed her. too. in a county so far distant from Sussex as Devonshire. John Dashwood to visit her at Barton. going there? So far from hence! And to what part of it?" She explai ned the situation. the place of his own residence. A room or two can easily be added. for the houses were in the same parish. whatever might be the inconvenience or expense of so sudden a removal. He understood that she wa s in need of a dwelling. and. It was within four miles northward of Exeter. Edward turned hastily towards her. that she might be secure of their approbation before her answer were sent. in a voice of surpris e and concern. it was a blessing. and though the house he now offered her was merely a co ttage. She had great satisfaction in replying that she was going into Devonshire . and instantly left the room. it was not for her to oppose her mother's intention of removi ng into Devonshire. though it was a removal from the vicinity of Norland beyond h er wishes. and to remove for ever from that beloved place would be l ess painful than to inhabit or visit it while such a woman was its mistress. The situation of Barton. but her husband civilly hoped that she would not be settled far from No rland. and the rent so uncommonly moderate. which. In this state of her spirits. than Mrs. after giving the particulars of the house and garden. indeed. but a few hours before. as to leave her no right of objecti on on either point. and Mrs. Elinor had always thought it would be more prudent for them to settle at some di stance from Norland. was on so simple a scale. She instantly wrote Sir John Middleton her acknowledgment of his kindness. in comparison of the misery of continuing her da ughter-in-law's guest.ave her an answer which marked her contempt. repeated. "It is but a cottage." She concluded with a very kind invitation to Mr. They heard her with surprise. and to Edward she gave one with still greater affection. she made no attempt to dissuade her mother from sending a letter of a cquiescence. more especially at a moment when she was su ffering under the cold and unfeeling behaviour of her nearer connections. as described by Sir John. The house. which required no explanation to her. Her resolution was formed as she read. was now its first recommendat ion. Dashwood indulged herself in the pleasure of announcing to her son-in-law and his wife that she was provided with a house. and then hastened to show both letters to her daught ers. it was an objec t of desire. herself. though it was not a plan which brought any c harm to her fancy. wheth er Barton Cottage. CHAPTER V No sooner was her answer dispatched." she continued. On tha t head. therefore. if the situation pleased her. he assured her that everything should be done to it which she might think necessary. which contained a proposal particularly well timed. John Dashwood said nothing. her beloved Elinor should not be exposed another week to such insinuations. "but I hope to see many of my friends in i t. and her acceptance of his proposal. The letter was from this gentleman himself. She ne eded no time for deliberation or inquiry. He[20] seemed really anxious to accommodate the m and the whole of his letter was written in so friendly a style as could not fa il of giving pleasure to his cousin. I am sure I will find none in accommodating them. by any alterat ion. than immediately amongst their present acquaintance. To quit the neighbourhood of Norland was no longer an evil. belonging to a relation of her own. a gentleman of consequ ence and property in Devonshire. on very easy terms. to come with her daughters to Barton P ark. on hearing this.

a satisfaction which was but feebly attempted to be concealed under a cold in vitation to her to defer her departure. for as Lady Middleton was entirely un known to Mrs. as she wandered alone before the house. and to[22] determine her future household. The horses which were left her by her husband had been sold soon a fter his death. and an opportunity now offering of disposing of her carriage. "Dear. For the comfort of her children. The man and one of the maids were sent off immediately into Devonshire. from the general drift of his discourse. Dashwood's income would be so trifling in comparison with th eir own. and she relied so undoubtingly on Sir John's description of the house. It chiefly consisted of househol d linen. Dashw ood began shortly to give over every hope of the kind. t hat he seemed rather to stand in need of more money himself than to have any des ign of giving money away. Mrs. "when shall I cease to regret you! when l earn to feel a home elsewhere! Oh! happy house. it was ready furnished. to prepa re the house for their mistress's arrival. plate. and to be convinced. and books. The furniture was all sent around by water. for the very exertion to which he had limited the perfo rmance of his promise to his father was by this arrangement rendered impracticab le. John Dashwood saw the packages depart with a sigh: she could not help feeling i t hard that as Mrs. Since he had neglected to do it on first coming to the estate. their quitting his house might be looked on as the most suitable period for its accomplishment.[23] Many were the tears shed by them in their last adieus to a place so much beloved . how totally she disregard ed her disapprobation of the match. and of the perpetual demands upon his purse. Joh n Dashwood. sh e agreed to sell that likewise at the earnest advice of her eldest daughter. He so frequently talked of the in creasing expenses of housekeeping. from whence perhaps I may view you no more! And . Her eagerness to be gone from Norland was preserved from diminution by the evident satisfaction of her daughter-in-law in the prospect of her remova l. it had not produced the smallest eff ect on her in that point to which it principally tended. and she might have immediate possession. with a handsome pianoforte of Marianne's. by this pointed invitation to her brother. dear Norland!" said Marianne. every thing was so far settled in their future abode as to enable M rs. No difficulty arose on either side in the agree ment. had she consulted only her own wishes. In a very few weeks from the day which brought Sir John Middleton's first letter to Norland. which a man of any consequence in the world was beyond calculation exposed to. that his assistance extended no farther tha n their maintenance for six months at Norland. o n the last evening of their being there. Now was the time when her son-in-law's p romise to his father might with particular propriety be fulfilled. w as soon done. china. To separate Edward and Elinor was as far from being her object as ever. But Mrs. she should have any handsome article of furniture. could you know what I suffer in now viewing you from this spot. Dashwood and her daughters to begin their journey. as to feel no curiosity to examine it herself till she entered it as her own. two maids and a man. as s he was exceedingly rapid in the performance of everything that interested her. Mr. Dashwood took the house for a twelvemonth. Mrs. Her wisdom too limited the number of their servants to three. and this. Dashwood. but the discretion of Elinor prevailed. and she wished to show Mrs. He really felt conscientiousl y vexed on the occasion. she preferred going directly to the cottage to being a v isitor at Barton Park. she would h ave kept it. John Dashwood told his mother again and again how exceedingly sorry he was t hat she had taken a house at such a distance from Norland as to prevent his bein g of any service to her in removing her furniture. with whom they were spee dily provided from amongst those who had formed their establishment at Norland.her late conversation with her daughter-in-law had made her resolve on remaining at Norland no longer than was unavoidable. and she waited only for the disposal of her effects at Norland. before she set off for the west.

will make it a very snug little cottage. under another name. and she had at t his time ready money enough to supply all that was wanted of greater elegance to the apartments. The prospect in front was more ext ensive. But as they drew towards the end of i t. It was a pleasant fertile spot. and at no great distance on each side. the roof was tiled. The village of Barton was chiefly on one of these hills. was comfortable and compact. t hey received an impression in its favour which was of material service in recomm ending it to their lasting approbation. and so leave the remainder of that other for an entrance. and insensible of any change in those who walk under your sha de! But who will remain to enjoy you?" CHAPTER VI The first part of their journey was performed in too melancholy a disposition to be otherwise than tedious and unpleasant. But one must not expect every thing. Dashwood was upon the whole well s atisfied. As a house. "it is too sma ll for our family. as it is too late in the year for improvements. you will continue the same. they reached their own house. High hills rose immediately behind. if I have plenty of money. and a view of Barton Valley as they entered it gave them c heerfulness.you. and be yond them were the offices and the stairs. Perhaps in the spring. On each side of the entrance was a sitting room. nor any branch become motionless although we can observe you no longer! No. I could w ish the stairs were handsome. it branched out again between two of the steepest of them. and from first seeing the place under the advantage of good weather. the others cultiv ated and woody. nor were the walls covered with honeysuc kles. well wooded. The hills which surrounded the cottage terminated the valley in that directio n. some of which were open downs. the window shutters were not painted green. this. It had not been built many years and was in good repair. the season was fine. till all these alterations could be made from the savings of a . and a neat wicket gate admi tted them into it. for the building was regular. and we will plan our improvements accordi ngly. for though her former style of life rendered many additions to the lat ter indispensable. I shall see how much I am bef ore-hand with the world in the spring. A fter winding along it for more than a mile. though small. and each for the sake of the others resolved to appear happy. Four bedrooms and two garrets formed the rest of the house. and I have some thoughts of throwing the passage into one of them with perhaps a part of the other. A narrow passage led directly through the house into the garden behind. The situation of the house was good. we may think about building. about sixteen feet square. "As for the house itself. It was very early in September. though I supp ose it would be no difficult matter to widen them. and for med a pleasant view from the cottage windows. With the size and furniture of the house Mrs. and a bed-chamber and garret above. as I dare say I shall. it was poor and small indeed! but the tears which recoll ection[24] called forth as they entered the house were soon dried away. and in another course. unconscious of the pleasure or the re gret you occasion. In comparison of Norland. it commanded the whole of the valley. Barton Cottage." In the mean time. with a new drawing room which may be easily added. yet to add and improve was a delight to her. their interest in the appearance of a country which they were to inhabit over came their dejection. and reached into the country beyon d. to be sure. These parlors are both too small for such parties of our friends as I hope to see oft en collected here. ye well-known trees! but you will continue the same. No leaf will decay becau se we are removed. but we will make ourselves tolerably comfortable for the pres ent. A smal l green court was the whole of its demesne in front." said she. but as a cottage it was defective. They wer e cheered by the joy of the servants on their arrival. and rich in pasture.

and would not be denied the satisfaction of sending them his newspaper every day. she was reserved. His kindness was not confined to words. on co nveying all their letters to and from the post for them. Her m anners had all the elegance which her husband's wanted. but it was too long for his young c ousins to remember him. by showing that. and the elegance of her appearance was favourable to their wishes. for within an hour after he left them. and each of them was busy in arranging their particular concerns. Lady Middleton was not more than six or seven and twenty. and pressed them so cordially to dine at Barton Park every day till they were better settled at home. and ask him questions which his mother answer ed for him. and endeavoring. They were. and her [27]address graceful. and Lady Midd leton had taken the wise precaution of bringing with her their eldest child. for they had to enquire hi s name and age. for of course every body differed. moreover. though per fectly well-bred. He insisted.n income of five hundred a-year by a[25] woman who never saved in her life. an d to offer them every accommodation from his own house and garden in which their s might at present be deficient. very anxious to see a person on whom so much of their comf ort at Barton must depend. by which means there was one subject always to be recurred to by the ladies in case of extremity. On every formal visit a child ought to be of the part y. and every body was astonished at the opinion of the others. which was follo wed before the end of the day by a present of game. He had formerly visited at Stanhill. and Elinor's drawings were affixed to the walls of their sitting room. a la rge basket full of garden stuff and fruit arrived from the park. by way of provision for discourse. An opportunity was soon to be given to the Dashwoods of debating on the rest of the children. and their comfort to be an object of real solicitude to him. they could not give offence. and had nothing to say for herself bey ond the most common-place inquiry or remark. as he could make noise enough at home. cold. Dashwood as soon as she could be assured that her visit would be no inconvenience. that. though his entreaties were carr ied to a point of perseverance beyond civility. and his ma nners were as friendly as the style of his letter. to the great surpris e of her ladyship. as Sir John would not leave the house without securing their promi se of dining at the park the next day. they were wise enough to be contented with the house as it was. admire his beauty. Sir John Middleton was a good looking man about forty. to form themselves a home. His countenance was thoroughly good-humoured. and her visit was long enou gh to detract something from their first admiration. Lady Middleton had sent a very civil message by him. her ladyship was introduced to them the next day. a f ine little boy about six years old. for Sir John was very chatty. of course. . In such employments as these they were interrupted soon after breakfast the next day by the entrance of their landlord. who wondered at his being so shy before company. Their arrival seemed to affor d him real satisfaction. by placing around them books and other possessions. her face was handsome. He said much of his earnest desire of their living in the most sociable te rms with his family. But they would have been improved by some share of his frankness and warmth. and in what p articular he resembled either. denoting her intention of w aiting on Mrs. In the present case it took up ten minutes to determine whether the boy were most like his father or mother. Marianne's pianofo rte was unpacked and properly disposed of. Conversation however was not wanted. [26] So shy before company. while he hung about her and held down his head. and as this message was answered by an invitation equally poli te. her figure tall and striking. who called to welcome them to Barton.

But Sir John's satisfaction in society was much more real. and the noisier they were the better was he pleased. who welcomed them to Barton Park with unaffected sincerity. pretty. The frien dliness of his disposition made him happy in accommodating those. and of all her dom estic arrangements. but who was neither v ery young nor very gay. is not often desirous of encouraging their taste by adm itting them to a residence within his own manor. he delighted in collecting about him more young people than his house would hold . Mrs. and these were their only resources. while Sir John's independent employments were in existence only half the time . He hoped they would all excuse the smallness of the part y. elderly .CHAPTER VII Barton Park was about half a mile from the cottage. for to be unaffected was all that a pretty girl could want to make her mind as captivating as her person. and wished for no more. merry. and in winter his private balls were numerous enough for any young lady who was not suffering under the insatiab le appetite of fifteen. and gave exe rcise to the good breeding of his wife. for a sportsman. He was a blessing to all the juvenile part of the neighbourhood. It was enough to secure his good opinion. It was necessary[28] to the h appiness of both. The young ladies. In showing k indness to his cousins therefore he had the real satisfaction of a good heart. and the Middletons l ived in a style of equal hospitality and elegance. as well as their mother. he hoped the young ladies would not find it so very dull as they might imagine. as unfortunate. within a very n arrow compass. Lady Middleton piqued herself upon the elegance of her table. and as he attende d them to the drawing room repeated to the young ladies the concern which the sa me subject had drawn from him the day before. Dashwood and her daughters were met at the door of[29] the house by Sir Joh n. he had all the satisfact ion of a sportsman. Continual engagements at home and abroad. however. but it was screened from their view at home by the projection of a hill. The house was large and handsome. they s trongly resembled each other in that total want of talent and taste which confin ed their employments. and could assure them it should never happen so again. and unaffecte d. though he esteems only those of his sex who are sportsmen likewise. was a good-humoured. The ladies had passed near i t in their way along the valley. The arrival of a new family in the country was always a matter of joy to him. only one gentleman there besides himself. a nd in settling a family of females only in his cottage. fat. Sir John was a sportsman. Mrs. Lady Middleton a mother. Jennings. at being unable to get any smart y oung men to meet them. the latter for that of his lady. Lady Middleton's mother. They would see. were perfectly s atisfied with having two entire strangers of the party. supported the good spirits of Sir John. for however dissimilar in temper and outward behaviour. He hunted and shot. a particular friend who was staying at the park. supplied all the deficienci es of nature and education. Luckily Lady Middleton' s mother had arrived at Barton within the last hour. unconnected with such as society produced. in comparison with the past. and from this kind of vanity was her greatest enjoyment in a ny of their parties. The former was for Sir John's gratification. and they kept more company of ever y kind than any other family in the neighbourhood. He had been to several families that morning in hopes of procuring some addition to their number. an d in every point of view he was charmed with the inhabitants he had now procured for his cottage at Barton. he said. Lady M iddleton had the advantage of being able to spoil her children all the year roun d. and she humoured her children. but it was moonlight and every body was full of engagements. and as she was a very cheer ful agreeable woman. for in summer he was for ever forming pa rties to eat cold ham and chicken out of doors. The Miss Dashwoods were young. whose situatio n might be considered. They were scarcely ever without some friends staying with them in the house.

and missed no oppo rtunity of projecting weddings among all the young people of her acquaintance. though it amounted not to that ecstatic delight which alone could s ympathize with her own. Colonel Brandon. and asked Mariann e to sing a particular song which Marianne had just finished. as far as her ability reached. Colonel Brandon al one. seemed very happy. His appearance howev er was not unpleasing. she was invited to pla y. with an earnestness which gave Elinor far mor e pain than could arise from such common-place raillery as Mrs. Mar ianne was vexed at it for her sister's sake. and even the boisterous mirth of Sir John and his mother-in-law was interesting. seemed no more adapted by resemblance o f manner to be his friend. Lady Mid dleton seemed to be roused to enjoyment only by the entrance of her four noisy c hildren after dinner. hoped they had not left their hearts beh ind them in Sussex. She was perfectly disposed to make every allowance for th e colonel's advanced state of life which humanity required. heard her without being in raptures.[30] that in comparison of it the gravity of Colonel Brandon. In the evening. The instrument was unlocked. [31] CHAPTER VIII Mrs. He paid her only the compliment of attention. but though his face was not handsome. His pleasu re in music. and she was reasonable enough to allow that a man of fiv e and thirty might well have outlived all acuteness of feeling and every exquisi te power of enjoyment. and rather vulgar. which the others had reasonably forfeited by their shameless want of taste. Marianne's performance was highly applauded. She was f ull of jokes and laughter. or Mrs. Jennings's. at their request went through the chief of the songs which Lady Middleton had brought into the family on her marriage. his countenance was sensible. was estimable when contrasted against the horrible insen sibility of the others. and put an end to every kind of discourse except what related to themselves. in spite of his being in the opinion of Marianne and Marg aret an absolute old bachelor. than Lady Middleton was to be his wife. and turned her eyes towards Elinor to see how she bore these attacks. who sang very well. who pulled her about. as Marianne was discovered to be musical. and before dinner was over had said many witty things on the subject of lovers and husbands. for her ladyship had c elebrated that event by giving up music. wondered how any one's attention could be diverted from music for a moment. She had only two daughters. and by her own was very fond of it. for he was on the wrong side of five and thirty. the friend of Sir John. every body prepared to be charmed. S he was remarkably quick in the discovery of attachments. In the promotion of this ob ject she was zealously active. Jenni ngs to be Lady Middleton's mother. but the cold insipidity of Lady Middleton was so particularly r epulsive. Lady Middleton frequently called him to order. and pretended to see them blush whether they did or not. and she had now therefore n othing to do but to marry all the rest of the world. Sir John was loud in his admiration at the end of every song. and as loud in his conversation with the others while every song lasted. and this kind of discernment enabled her s oon after her arrival at Barton decisively to pronounce that Colonel Brandon was . bo th of whom she had lived to see respectably married. and his addr ess was particularly gentlemanlike. she h ad played extremely well. and Marianne. There was nothing in any of the party which could recommend them as companions t o the Dashwoods. tore her clothes. He was silent and grave. although by her mother's account. Jennings was a widow with an ample jointure.woman. and had enjoyed the adv antage of raising the blushes and the vanity of many a young lady by insinuation s of her power over such a young man. of all the party. and which perhaps ha d lain ever since in the same position on the pianoforte. and she felt a respect for him on the occasion. who talked a great deal.

The immediate advantage to herself was by no means inconsiderable. She rather suspected it to be so. and when the visit was returned by the Middletons' din ing at the cottage. on the very first evening of their being together. It would be an excellent match. Jennings. for she co nsidered it as an unfeeling reflection on the colonel's advanced years. but to the latter it wa s at first incomprehensible. you are not doing me justice. from his listening so attentivel y while she sang to them. Mamma. But thirty-five has nothing to do wit h matrimony. Mrs. and when its object was understood. and if her home be uncomfortable. In my eyes it would be no marriage at all. Jennings from the probability of wishing to throw ridicule on his age." "Mamma." said Marianne. Jennings had been anxious to see Colon el Brandon well married. It m ust be so. after pausing a moment. "thirty-five and seventeen had better not have any thing to do with matrimony together. for the sake of the provision and security of a wife. and she was handsome. To me it would seem only a comme rcial exchange. laughing. but you can h ardly deceive yourself as to his having the use of his limbs!" "Did not you hear him complain of the rheumatism? and is not that the commonest infirmity of declining life?" "My dearest child. I should not think Colonel Brandon's b eing thirty-five any objection to his marrying her . who could not think a man five years younger than herself. as far as it regarded only himself." "A woman of seven and twenty. and she was always anxious to get a good husband for every pretty girl. she hardly knew whether most to laugh at its absurdity. and the world would be satisfied. "can never hope to feel or inspire affection again. He may live twenty years longer. But if there should by any chance happen to be a woman who is single at seven and twenty. Colonel Brandon is certainly young er than Mrs. perfectly indifferent. or censure its impertinence. To the former her raillery was probably. It would be a compact of convenience. if age and in firmity will not protect him?" "Infirmity!" said Elinor. so exc eedingly ancient as he appeared to[32] the youthful fancy of her daughter. fo r he was rich. I can suppose that she might bring herself to submit to the of fices of a nurse. and if he were ever animated enough to be in love. and on h is forlorn condition as an old bachelor. Dashwood. and in the cottage at Marianne. but that would be nothing. you cannot deny the absurdity of the accusation. "do you call Colonel Brandon infirm? I can easily supp ose that his age may appear much greater to you than to my mother." said her mother. In his m arrying such a woman therefore there would be nothing unsuitable. the fact was ascertained by his listening to her again. in which each wished to be benefited at the expense of the other . for it suppli ed her with endless jokes against them both. "at this rate you must be in cont inual terror of my decay. and it must seem to you a miracle that my life has bee n extended to the advanced age of forty. I know very well that Colonel Brandon is n ot old enough to make his friends yet apprehensive of losing him in the course o f nature. It is too ridiculous! When is a man to be safe from such wit. "But at least. Mrs. She was perfectly convinced of it." "Perhaps. but he is old enough to be my father. must have long outlived every sensation of the k ind. ventu red to clear Mrs." said Elinor. At the park she laughed at the colo nel. though yo u may not think it intentionally ill-natured.very much in love with Marianne Dashwood. ever since her connection with Sir John first brought h im to her knowledge. or h er fortune small.

and every specie s of ailment that can afflict the old and the feeble." "How strange this is! what can be the meaning of it! But the whole of their beha viour to each other has been unaccountable! How cold. What else can detain him at Norland?" "Had you any idea of his coming so soon?" said Mrs. cried not as I did." "But he talked of flannel waistcoats." "I rather think you are mistaken." "Had he been only in a violent fever. and who was not in the habit of seeing much occu pation at home. and r epeated assurances of his carriage being always at their service. Twice did I leave them p urposely together in the course of the last morning. the independen . Their visitors." said Marianne. hollow eye. I am sure E dward Ferrars is not well. you would not have despised him half so mu ch. rheumatisms. upon Elinor's leaving the room. it has been in rec ollecting that he sometimes showed a want of pleasure and readiness in accepting my invitation. or appear restless and dissatisfied in it?" CHAPTER IX The Dashwoods were now settled at Barton with tolerable comfort to themselves. cramps. "I have an alarm on the subject of illness which I cannot conceal from you." said Marianne. But I must object to your doomin g Colonel Brandon and his wife to the constant confinement of a sick chamber. but of course she must. I know. is not there something interesting to you in the flushed cheek."[33] "It would be impossible." replied Elinor. Even now her self-command is invariable. And Elinor. Dashwood. to make him a desirable companion to her. Sir John Middleton. in quitting Norland and Edwa rd. if I have felt any anxiety at all on the subject. in spite of S ir John's urgent entreaties that they would mix more in the neighbourhood. "to convince you that a woman of seven and twenty could feel for a man of thirty-five anything near enough to love. how composed were their la st adieus! How languid their conversation the last evening of their being togeth er! In Edward's farewell there was no distinction between Elinor and me: it was the good wishes of an affectionate[34] brother to both. On th e contrary. for when I was talking to her yesterday of get ting a new grate for the spare bed-chamber. me rely because he chanced to complain yesterday (a very cold damp day) of a slight rheumatic feel in one of his shoulders. T he house and the garden.. were now become familiar. when I talked of his coming to Barton. Marianne. Confess. When is she dej ected or melancholy? When does she try to avoid society. were not many. with all the objects surrounding them. could not conceal his amazement on finding them always employed. and quick pulse of a fever?" Soon after this. and yet he does not come. except those from Barton Park. Nothing but real indisposition could occasion this extraordinary delay. for. We have now been here almost a fortnight. Does Elinor expect him al ready?" "I have never mentioned it to her. since the loss of their father. as it was not likely that the room would be wanted for some t ime. who called on them eve ry day for the first fortnight. "and with me a flannel wai stcoat is invariably connected with aches. "I had none. and each time did he most u naccountably follow me out of the room. "Mamma. and the ordinary pursuits which had given to Norland half its charms w ere engaged in again with far greater enjoyment than Norland had been able to af ford. she observed that there was no immed iate hurry for it.

whi ther Margaret was just arrived. and when they caught in their faces the animating gales of a hig h south-westerly wind. he bore her directly into the house. was unfor tunately too infirm to mix with the world. took her up in his arms without farther d elay. in a manner so frank and so graceful that his person. One consolation however remained for them. and unable longer to bear the confinement which the settled rain of the two preceding days had occasioned. rejoicing in their own penetration at every glimp se of blue sky. which issued from that of Barton. i n spite of Marianne's declaration that the day would be lastingly fair. About a mile and a half from the cottage. unable to stop herself to assist her. for no shelter was nearer than their own house. they pitied the fears which had prevented their mother an d Elinor from sharing such delightful sensations. resisting it with laughing delight for about twenty minutes longer. we will walk here at least two hours. He put down his gun and ran to her assistance. They gaily ascended the downs. was involuntarily hurried along. Elinor and her mother rose up in amazement at their entrance. and perceiving that her modesty declined what [36] her situation rendered necessary. and towards one of these hills d id Marianne and Margaret one memorable morning direct their steps. The[35] high downs whi ch invited them from almost every window of the cottage to seek the exquisite en joyment of air on their summits. and while the eyes of both were fixed on him with an evident wonder and a secret admiration which equally sprung from his appearance. Then passing through the garden. She had raised herself from the ground. attracted by the partial sunshine of a showery sky. discovered an ancient respectable l ooking mansion which. to turn back. A gentleman carrying a gun. when her accident happened. and that every threatening cloud would be drawn off from their hills.ce of Mrs. There were but few who could be so classed. "superior to this? Margaret. in one of their earliest walks. and Margaret. but her foot had been twisted in her fall. he apologized for his intrusion by relating its cause. Chagrined and sur prised. they were obliged. and the two girls set off together. and quitted not his hold till he had seated her in a chair in the parlour. that its possessor. The whole country about them abounded in beautiful walks. and she was scarcely able to stand. was passing up the hill and within a few yards of Marianne. o n enquiry. which was uncom monly handsome. and carried her down the hill. and it was not all of them that wer e attainable. an elderly lady of very good character. They set off. along the narrow winding valley of Allenham. were a happy alternative when the dirt of the v alleys beneath shut up their superior beauties. The weather wa s not tempting enough to draw the two others from their pencil and their book. to which the exigence of the moment gave more than usual propriety. and never stirred from home. "Is there a felicity in the world." Margaret agreed. and a driving rain set full in their face. the gate o f which had been left open by Margaret. and reached the bottom in safety. but a false step brought her suddenly to the ground. th e girls had. interested their im agination and made them wish to be better acquainted with it." said Marianne. it was that of running with all possible speed down the steep side of the hill which led immediately t o their garden gate. Had he . received additional charms from his voice and expression. and they pursued their way against the wind. when suddenly the clouds unite d over their heads. as formerly described. But they learnt. Dashwood's spirit overcame the wish of society for her children. and she was resolute in declining to visit any family beyond the distance of a walk. T he gentleman offered his services. Marianne had at first the advantage. though unwillingly. by reminding them a little of Norland. with two pointers playing round him.

"Willoughby!" cried Sir John. as he was dirty and wet. and ask him to dinner on Thursday. Dashwood wo uld have been secured by any act of attention to her child. Why. and the laugh which his gallantry raised against Marianne rec eived particular spirit from his exterior attractions. But he is a pleasant." said Mrs. His name was good . he is down here every year. "what. and Marianne's accident being related to him. Dashwood. on his lifting her up. he was eagerly asked whether he knew any gentleman of the name of Willoughby at Allenham." said he. for the confusion which crimsoned over her fa ce. there was a rapidity of thought which[37] particularly recommended the actio n to her. gave an interest to the action which came home to her feelings. She thanked him again and again. The honour was readily granted. Was she out with him today?" But Marianne could no more satisfy him as to the colour of Mr. Marianne herself had seen less of his person than the rest. and vulgar. the gratitude and kindness of Mrs. but the influence of youth. his residence was in their favourite village. had robbed her of the power of regarding him after th eir entering the house. he re plied. Mrs." "And is that all you can say for him?" cried Marianne. Her imagination was bu sy. to make himself still more interesting. good humoured fellow. indignantly. was Willoughby. his talents. "Where does he come from? Has he a house at Allenh . invited him to be seated. and his present home was at Allenham. and in his carrying her into the house with so little previous formali ty. A very decent shot. beauty. and. ugly.been even old. and he then departed. "Upon my soul. I will ride over tomorrow. and genius?" Sir John was rather puzzled. But she had seen enough of him to join in all the admira tion of the others. and elegance. is he in the country? That is good news how ever. His name. "But who is he?" said Elinor. "But what ar e his manners on more intimate acquaintance? What his pursuits. "Know him! to be sure I do. His manly beauty and more than common gracefulness were instantly the theme of g eneral admiration. I assure you." "And what sort of a young man is he?" "As good a kind of fellow as ever lived. Willoughby's poin ter. from whence he hope d she would allow him the honour of calling tomorrow to enquire after Miss Dashw ood. Sir John called on them as soon as the next interval of fair weather that mornin g allowed him to get out of doors. Dashwood then begged to know to whom she was obliged." "You know him then. and the pain of a sprained ankle was disregar ded. than he could describe to her the shades of his mind. and she soon found out that of a ll manly dresses a shooting-jacket was the most becoming. in the midst of a heavy rain. Every circumstance belonging to him was interesting. and with an energy which always adorned her praise. "I do not know much about him as to all that. and t here is not a bolder rider in England. His pers on and air were equal to what her fancy had ever drawn for the hero of a favouri te story. her reflections were pleasant. But this he declined. with a sweetness of address which always a ttended her. and has got the nicest little black bitch of a pointer I ever saw.

" [39] CHAPTER X Marianne's preserver. as Margaret. and if I were you. and then replied "Ay. with a kindnes s which Sir John's account of him and her own gratitude prompted." "He is as good a sort of fellow. his eagerness in them should know no moderation. " I remember last Christmas at a little hop at the park. Miss Dashwood. he danced from eight o'cl ock till four. in spite of all this tumbling about and spraining of ankles. I dare say." "I do not believe.' or 'making a conquest. Poor Brandon! he is quite smitten already. Dashwood with more than politeness. and every thin g that passed during the visit tended to assure him of the sense. with a good humoured smile. yes. and if their construction could ever be deemed clever. but he laughed as heartily as if he did. "that Mr. Willoughby had no property of his own in the country. "I see how it will be. mutu al affection." "Did he indeed?" cried Marianne with sparkling eyes. without once sitting down. to whom he was rel ated." said Sir John." "Aye. He was received by Mrs. he is very wel l worth catching I can tell you. called at the cottage early the next morning to make his personal enqui ries. and leave him no sense of fatigue. and domestic comfort of the family to whom accident had now introd uced him. I believe. "Yes. that he resided the re only while he was visiting the old lady at Allenham Court. Whatever be his purs uits. and one whose acqu aintance will not be ineligible.am?" On this point Sir John could give more certain intelligence. "which I particularly dislike.' are the most odious of all. You will be setting your cap at him now. and whose possessions he was to inherit. I abhor every common-place phrase by which wit is intended. Men are very safe with us. with more elegance than precision. and never think of poor Brandon." said Mrs." Sir John did not much understand this reproof." said Marianne. that he is a respectable young man. that is what a young man ought to be." repeated Sir John. Miss Marianne must not expect to have all the men to herself. I c an tell you." "That is an expression. I would not give him u p to my younger sister. adding. I see how it will be. ho wever. let them be ever so rich. you will make conquests enough. warmly. and he was up again at eight to ride to covert. Brandon will be jealous. he has a pretty little estate of his own in[38] Somersetshire besides. Sir John. from what you say. one way or other. "and with elegance. and he is very well worth setting your cap at. I am glad to find. Of their personal charms he had not required a second interview to be convinced. with sp irit?" "Yes. time has long ago destroyed all its ingenuity. aye. elegance. Dashwood. . Wi lloughby will be incommoded by the attempts of either of my daughters towards wh at you call catching him. in spite of all this tumbling down hills. and he told them th at Mr. as ever lived." "That is what I like. if she does not take care. Their tendency is gross and illiberal. styled Wil loughby. and 'settin g one's cap at a man. It is not an employment to which they have been brough t up.

whic h were very dark. she was called a beautiful g irl. the same p assages were idolized by each. caught all he r enthusiasm. Marianne. I have erred against every common-place notion of decorum. "for one morning I t hink you have done pretty well. truth was less violently outraged than usually happens. that any young man of five and twenty must have been insensible inde ed. too frank. made such an excuse unne cessary before it had ceased to be possible. I should scold her myself. and a remarkably pret ty figure. and in her eyes." Marianne was softened in a momen t. Her form. from its transparency." said her mother. He acquiesced in all her decisions. Marianne was still handsomer. as soon as he had left them. Willoughby's op inion in almost every matter of importance. a spirit. in having the advantage of height. he united frankness and vivacity." "Elinor. was more striking. which could hardily be seen without delight. and that it arose from a general conformit y of judgment in all that[40] related to either. You know what he thinks of Cowper an d Scott. that of music and dancing he was passionatel y fond. however disregarded before. "Well. when she saw that to the p erfect good-breeding of the gentleman. and you h ave received every assurance of his admiring Pope no more than is proper. and abo ve all. when she heard him declare. and had I spoken only once in ten min utes." cried Marianne. under such extraordinary despatch o f every subject for discourse? You will soon have exhausted each favourite topic . she proceeded to question him on the subject of bo oks. on his side. I have been open and s incere where I ought to have been reserved. you are certain of his estimating their beauties as he ought. she gave him such a look of approbation as secured the largest share of his discourse to herself for the rest of his stay. though not so correct as her sister's. gave every proof of his pleasure[41] in their acquainta nce. I have been too much at my ease. She could not be silent when such points were introduced. She . "is this fair? is this just? are my ideas so scanty? B ut I see what you mean. "you must not be offended with Elinor she was only in jest. an eagerness. that when in the common cant of praise. her complexion was uncommonly brilliant. to which every day gave greater kindness. You have already ascertained Mr. and her face was so lovely. but the encouragement of h is reception. or if any difference appeared. any objection aros e. her f eatures were all good. It was only necessary to mention any favourite amusement to engage her to talk. Willoughby. and she had neither sh yness nor reserve in their discussion. dull. her favourite authors were brought forward and dwelt upon with so rapturous a delight. But ho w is your acquaintance to be long supported. Another meeting will suffice to explain his sentiments on picturesque beauty. He came to them every da y.Miss Dashwood had a delicate complexion. this reproach would have been spared. when her spirits became collected. and second marriages. To enquire after Marianne was at first his excuse. Her skin was very b rown. by Marianne's perfect recovery. not to become an immediate convert to the excellence of such works. they conversed with the famil iarity of a long-established acquaintance. but. But when this passed away. too happy. They speedily discovered that their enjoy ment of dancing and music was mutual. which an evident wish of improving it could offer. there was a life." said Elinor." "My love. spiritless. it lasted no longer than till the force of her arguments and the brightness o f her eyes could be displayed. The same books. Encouraged by this to a further examination of his opinions. Their taste was strikingly alike. regular features. and then you can have nothing farther to ask. From Willoughby their expression was at first held back . if she were capable of wishing to check the del ight of your conversation with our new friend. her smile was sweet and attractive. and deceitful: had I talked only of the weather and the roads. and long before his visit concluded. by the embarrassment which the remembrance of his assistance created.

of saying too much what he thought on every o ccasion. as his abilities were strong. they sang together. and his reserve appeared rather the result of some oppression of spirits than of any natural gloominess of temper. Willoughby. and that however a general resemblance of dispos ition between the parties might forward the affection of Mr. had been rash and unjustifiable. Perhaps she pitied and esteemed him the more because he was slighted by Willough by and Marianne. In hastily forming and g iving his opinion of other people. and which recommended him to her affection beyond every thing else. his musical talents were considerable. who. live ly spirits. to believe that the sen timents which Mrs. but a natural ardour of mind which was now roused and increased by the example of her own. she heartily wished him indifferent. prejudiced against him for being neither lively nor young.was confined for some days to the house. as capable of attaching her . She liked him in s pite of his gravity and reserve. for what could a silent man of five and thirty hope. and he read with a ll the sensibility and spirit which Edward had unfortunately wanted. Her mother too. [43] Colonel Brandon's partiality for Marianne. was led before the end of a week to hope and expect it. In Mrs. though unwillingly. by his prospect of riches. were now actually excited by her sister. and open. and Elinor s aw nothing to censure in him but a propensity. Dashwood's estimation he was as faultless as in Marianne's. and she regarded him with respect and compassi on. Marianne began now to perceive that the desperation which had seized her at sixt een and a half. he joined not only a captivating person. and in slighting too e asily the forms of worldly propriety. of ever seeing a man who could satisfy her ideas of perfection. Jennings had assigned him for her own satisfaction. without attention to persons or circumstances. but never had any confinement been les s irksome. for with all this. in whose mind not one speculative thought of their marriage had been raised. Willoughby was all that her fancy had delineate d in that unhappy hour and in every brighter period. His ma nners. and secretly to congratulate herself on having gained two such s ons-in-law as Edward and Willoughby. in sacrificing general politeness to the enjo yment of undivided attention where his heart was engaged. he displayed a want of caution which Elino r could not approve. when opposed to a very lively one of five and twenty? and as she could not even wish him successful. though serious. . which justified her belief of his being an unfortunate man. they talke d. which had so early been discovered by his friends. she beheld in him an object of interest. and his behaviour declared his wishes to be in that respect as earnest. She saw it with concern. were mild. in which he strongly resembled an d peculiarly delighted her sister. Elinor was obliged. Sir John ha d dropped hints of past injuries and disappointments. Their attention and wit were drawn off to his more fortunate rival. His society became gradually her most exquisite enjoyment. in spite of all that he and Marianne could say in its suppo rt. an equa lly striking opposition of character was no hindrance to the regard of Colonel B randon. and the raillery which the other had incurred before any partiality arose. quick imagination. now first became perceptible to Elinor. seemed resolved to undervalue his merits. [42] They sang together. Willoughby was a young man of good abilities. when it ceased to be notic ed by them. He was exactly formed to engage Mari anne's heart. was r emoved when his feelings began really to call for the ridicule so justly annexed to sensibility. affectionate manners. They read.

as a very respectable ma n. that the commendation I am able to give of him is comparatively cold and insipid. taste. who m all are delighted to see. I have three unanswe . nor spirit. more time than he knows how to employ. and he has always answered my inquiries with readiness of good-breeding and good natur e. and two new coats every ye ar. But why should you dislike him?" "I do not dislike him." said Elinor. and to convince me against my will. that could command the indifference of any body else?" "But perhaps the abuse of such people as yourself and Marianne will make amends for the regard of Lady Middleton and her mother. and the mosquitoes are troublesome. "whom every body speaks well of. and his voice no expression. even in a man between thirty and forty. You are endea vouring to disarm me by reason. had I made any such inquiries." "In defence of your protégé you can even be saucy. Who would subm it to the indignity of being approved by such a woman as Lady Middleton and[44] Mrs. and. as you call him. and I never see him myself without taking pains to converse with him."[45] "Miss Dashwood. and nobody's notice. posse ssing an amiable heart. that in the E ast Indies the climate is hot. "and so m uch on the strength of your own imagination. "you are now using me unkindly." "That is exactly what I think of him. "he has told you. He has seen a great deal of the world. his feelings no ardour. it is a reproach in itself. If their praise is censure." said Willoughby one day. I believe. "that he has neither genius. has more money than he can spend." said Willoughby." "You decide on his imperfections so much in the mass." replied Elinor. when they were talki ng of him together. That his understanding has no brilliancy." "He would have told me so." cried Willoughby. "his observations may have extended to the existence of nabobs. of gentle address." replied Willoughby. "is certainly in his favour. and nobody cares about. has been abroad. and palanquins. who. for they are not more undiscerning." "Perhaps. But it will not do. who has every body's good word." cried Marianne. and has a thinking mind. I have found him capable of giving me much information on various subjects. I doubt not. has read." "Add to which. and nobody remembers to talk to. "for it is injustice in both of you." cried Marianne contemptuously. I consider him. however." "That he is patronised by you. gold mohrs." "My protégé. well-bred. but they happened to be points on which I had been previously informed. I can only pronounce him to be a sensible man. "Do not boast of it. You shall find me as stubborn as you can be artful. but as for the esteem of the others. on the contrary."Brandon is just the kind of man. Jennings. Marianne. you r censure may be praise. He is highly esteemed by all the family at the park. Yes." "That is to say. is a sensible man. and sense will always have attracti ons for me. well-informed." "I may venture to say that his observations have stretched much further than you r candour." cried Marianne. than you are prejud iced and unjust.

If it will be any satisfaction to you. I am ready to confess it. was an ill ustration of their opinions. Elinor's happiness was not so great. To her it was but the nat ural consequence of a strong affection in a young and ardent mind. by the ch arms which his society bestowed on her present home. and the ease and familiarity which naturally atte nded these parties were exactly calculated to give increasing intimacy to his ac quaintance with the Dashwoods. Her heart was devoted to Willoughb y. nor her satisfaction in their amusements so pure. and once or twice did venture to suggest the propriety of som e self-command to Marianne. but ridicule could not shame. and had Elinor's memory been equal to her means of improvement. In every meeting of the kind Willoughby was included. Jennings could supply to her the conversation she missed. that so many engagements would arise to occupy their time as shortly pr esented themselves. Every thing he said. he threatened me with rain when I w anted it to be fine. She only wished that it were less openly shown.rable reasons for disliking Colonel Brandon. to be told. although the latter was an ever lasting talker. nor that could teach her to think of Norland with less regret than ever. And in return for an acknowledgment. She had already repeated her own history t o Elinor three or four times. were careful to stand together and scarcely spoke a word to any body else. he cheated himself and all the rest of the party to get her a goo d hand. Willoughby thought the same. he has found fault with the hanging of my curricle." CHAPTER XI Little had Mrs. But Marianne abhorred all concealment where no[46] r eal disgrace could attend unreserve. however. When he was present she had no eyes for any one else. appeared to her not merely an unnecessar y effort. which m ust give me some pain. the most pointed assurance of her affection. she might have known very early in their acquaintance all the part . They afforded her no companion that co uld make amends for what she had left behind. When Marianne was recovered. and parties on the water were made and accomplished as often as a showery October would allow. and I c annot persuade him to buy my brown mare. which Sir John had been previously forming. Her heart was not so much at ease. which she brought with her from Sussex. This was the season of happiness to Marianne. If dancing formed the amusement of the night. the schemes of amusement at home a nd abroad. and their behaviour at all times. and to aim at the restraint of sentiments w hich were not in themselves illaudable. was clever. they were partners for hal f the time. and seem ed hardly to provoke them. and the fond attachment to Norland. The private balls at the park then began. Mrs. Dashwood or her daughters imagined when they first came into Dev onshire. If their evenings at the park were conclud ed with cards. Such conduct made th em of course most exceedingly laughed at. w as more likely to be softened than she had thought it possible before. to afford him opportunity of witnessing the excel lencies of Marianne. in her behaviour to himself. you cannot deny me the privilege of disliking him as much as ever. were put into execution. and when obliged to separate for a couple of dances. and of receiving . Elinor could not be surprised at their attachment. Every thing he did. was ri ght. of marking his animated admiration of her. but a disgraceful subjection of reason to common-place and mistaken no tions. Dashwood entered into all their feelings with a warmth which left her no in clination for checking this excessive display of them. Yet su ch was the case. or that they should have such frequent invitations and such constant visitors as to leave them little leisure for serious employment. Neither Lady Middleton nor Mrs. and from the first had regarded her with a kindness which ensure d her a large share of her discourse. that I believe his character to be in other respects irrepr oachable.

But how she contrives it without reflecting on the characte r of her own father. In Colonel Brandon alone. His eyes were fixed on Marianne. after a silence of some minutes." "No. Towards her husband and mother she was the same as to them." "I believe she does. and intimacy was therefore neith er to be looked for nor desired. and. and so little did her presence add to the p leasure of the others. I understand. which all the charms of enthusiasm and ignorance of the world cannot atone for. who had himself two wives. "There are inconveniences attendin g such feelings as Marianne's. and a far less agreeable man mi ght have been more generally pleasing. unfortunately for himsel f. She had nothing to say one day that she had not said the day before. Her admiration and regard. Elinor needed little observation to perceive that her reserve[47 ] was a mere calmness of manner with which sense had nothing to do. for even her spirits were a lways the same." After a short pause he resumed the conversation by saying "Does your sister make no distinction in her objections against a second attachm ent? or is it equally criminal in every body? Are those who have been disappoint ed in their first choice. by any share in their conversation. This suspicion was given by some words which accidentally dropped from him one evening at the park. whether from the inconstancy of its object. Elinor's compassion for him increased.[48] and then they may be more easy to define and to justify than they now are. by any body but herself. but he was a lover. does not approve of second at tachments. his attentions were wholly Marianne's. of all her new acquaintance. when they were sitting down together by mutual consent. as I believe. or give pleasure as a companion." "This will probably be the case. while the others were dancin g. Her insipidity was invariable. "and yet there is something so ami able in the prejudices of a young mind. excite the interest of f riendship. to be equally indifferent during the rest of their l ives?" . I know not.iculars of Mr. she considers them impossible to exist. that they were someti mes only reminded of her being amongst them by her solicitude about her troubles ome boys. did Elinor find a person who could in any degree claim the respect of abilities. had no such encouragement to think only of Marianne." he replied. and though she did not oppose the parties arranged by her husban d. that one is sorry to see them give way t o the reception of more general opinions. she never appeared to receive more enjoyment from them than she might have experienced in sitting at home. Jennings's last illness. Lady Middleton was more agreeable than her mother only in bei ng more silent. even her sisterly regard. and a better acquaintance with the world is what I look forward to as her greatest possible advantage. with a faint smile." said Elinor." replied Elinor. "Your sister. Willoughby was out of the question. Colonel Brandon. or the per verseness of circumstances." "I cannot agree with you there. provided every thing were conducted in style and her two eldest children atte nded her. and in conversing with E linor he found the greatest consolation for the indifference of her sister. Her systems have all the unfortunate tendency of setting propriety at nought. as she had reason to suspect that the mis ery of disappointed love had already been known to him. A few years however will settle her opinions on the reasonable basis of common sense and observation ." "Or rather. "her opinions are all romantic. and what he said to his wife a few minut es before he died. he sai d. was all his own.

Elinor attempted no more. but a change. but I am much better acquainted w ith him. "and when it arrives we will ride every day. than fro m Willoughby. I magine to yourself. that Willoughby had given her a horse. she had accepted the present without hesitation. I once knew a lady who in tem per and mind greatly resembled your sister. if (as would pro . and any horse would do for him. It is not time or opportunity that is to determine intimacy." said he. than I am[50] with any other creature in the world. "in supposing I know very little of Willoughby." she added. though we have lived together for year s. I should hold mys elf guilty of greater impropriety in accepting a horse from my brother. no. but who from an enforced change from a series of unfortunate circumstances " Here he st opped suddenly. a total change of sentiments No. who thought and judged like her. CHAPTER XII As Elinor and Marianne were walking together the next morning the latter communi cated a piece of news to her sister. she must buy another for the servant. "He intends to send his groom into Somersetshire immediately for it. She knew her sister's temp er. "You are mistaken. and seven days are more than enough for others. as to a stable. which might not otherwise have entered Elinor's he ad. "cannot hold. except yourself and mama. the merest shed would be sufficien t." "This. one that he had bred himself on his estate in Somersetshi re. by representing the i nconveniences which that indulgent mother must draw on herself. the delight of a gallop on some of these dow ns. build a stable to receive them. Marianne told her. Mamm a she was sure would never object to it. and for some time she refused to submit to them. and told her sister of it in raptures. and which was exactly calculated to carry a woman. I have not known him long indeed. in her place . with the greatest delight. This was too much. or at least so lately known to her. But Marianne. which in spite of all that she knew before of Marianne's imprudence and want of thought. and ke ep a servant to ride it. Elinor."Upon my word. do not desire it." Elinor thought it wisest to touch that point no more. As it was. I only know that I never yet heard her admit any instance of a second attachment's being pa rdonable. The whole story[49] would have been speedily fo rmed under her active imagination. and by his countena nce gave rise to conjectures. I am not acquainted with the minutiæ of her principles. it is dispos ition alone. for when the romantic refinements of a young mind are obliged to give way. i t required but a slight effort of fancy to connect his emotion with the tender r ecollection of past regard." said she warmly. my dear Elinor. The lady would probably have passed without suspicion. and every thing established in the most melan choly order of disastrous love. Of John I know very little. Seven years would be insufficient to make some people acquainted wi th each other. Opposition on so tender a subject would only attach her the more to her own opinion. surprised her by its extravagant t estimony of both. appeared to think that he had said too much. As to an additional servant. had he not convinced Miss Dashwood that what concerned her ought not to escape his lips." Most unwilling was she to awaken from such a dream of felicity to comprehend all the unhappy truths which attended the affair. but of Willoughby my judgment has long been formed. the expense would be a trifle. would not have done so little. he migh t always get one at the park. Elinor then ventured to doubt the propriety of her receiving such a present f rom a man so little. that if she were to alter her resolution in favour of this gift. and too dangerous! I speak from experience. and after all. You shall share its use with me. how frequently are they succeeded by such opinions as are but too c ommon. Without considering that it was not in her mother's plan to keep any horse. But by an appeal to her affection for her mother.

but it turned out to be only the miniature of our great uncle. When Mrs. which had been long a mat ter of great curiosity to her. should be left by tempers so frank. "But. Marianne. "almost every day since they first met on Hi gh-church Down. and when Willoughby called at the cottage. on bei ng obliged to forego the acceptance of his present. Willoughby very soon. and fold ed it up in a piece of white paper. and they were such as to make further entreat y on his side impossible.bably be the case) she consented to this increase of establishment. in hi s manner of pronouncing it. I am almost sure it is. Margaret answered by looking at her sister." "But." For such particulars. "I must not tell. tha t it must be declined. I am sure she will be married to Mr. and she promised not to tempt her mother to such imprudent kin dness by mentioning the offer. for I saw him cu t it off. the sam e day. the horse is still yours. they wer e whispering and talking together as fast as could be. she instantly saw an intimacy so decided. His concern however was very apparent. Jennings attacked her one evening at the park. She was faithful to her word. she commu nicated to her eldest sister." This was all overheard by Miss Dashwood. when you and mama went out of the room. by being left some time in the parlour with only him and Marianne. to give the name o f the young man who was Elinor's particular favourite. and put it into his pocket-book. and in his addressing her sister by her Christian na me alone. for the circumstance was in perfect unison wit h what she had heard and seen herself. Elinor!" she cried. he added. Elinor. ha d had opportunity for observations. which[51] placed this matter in a still clearer light. Willoughby had spent the preceding evening with them. The reasons for this alterat ion were at the same time related. I am sure they will be married very soo n. when they were next by themselves. "I have such a secret to tell you about Marianne. Elinor heard her express her disappointment to him in a low voice. Margaret. to discov er it by accident. It may be only the hair of some great uncle of his. and the belief of it created no other surprise than that she. or any of their friends. When you leave Barton to form your own establishment in a more l asting home. and he kissed it. I shall keep it only till yo u can claim it. Last night after tea." "You have said so. Marianne was shortly subdued. and Elinor tried to laugh too. and s aying. though you cannot use it now. and they had not known each other a week. in the same low voice." replied Elinor. with a most important face. which. and he seemed to be beggi ng something of her. From that moment she doubted not of their b eing engaged to each other. and to tell Willoughby when she saw him next. and after expre ssing it with earnestness." "But indeed this is quite another thing. "Oh." "Take care. Queen Mab shall receive you. and presently he took up her scissors and cut off a long lo ck of her hair. Elinor could not withhold her cr edit. it is Marianne's. indeed. may I. for he has got a lock of her hair. I believe. and Margaret. for it was all tumbled down her back. as mark ed a perfect agreement between them. before you were certain that Marianne wore his picture round her neck. But the eff . Margaret's sagacity was not always displayed in a way so satisfactory to her sis ter. nor was she disposed to it. Margaret related something to her the next day. Elinor?" This of course made every body laugh. and in the whole of the sentence. a meaning so direct. stated on such authority.

then." "I never had any conjectures about it. but she did more harm than good to the cau se. for he had formed parties to visit them. He is the curate of the parish I dare say. "Oh! pray. and much was said on the subject of rain by both of them. open carriages only to be employed." Most grateful did Elinor feel to Lady Middleton for observing. who was[54] particularly warm in their prais e. "What i s the gentleman's name?" "I must not tell. and I know where he is too. yes.[52] He cut off a long lock of her hair. and his name begins with an F. The idea howev er started by her. A party was formed this evening for going on the following day to see a very fin e place about twelve miles from Barton. " that it rained very hard. "it was you who told m e of it yourself. by turning very red and saying in an angry manner to Margaret "Remember that whatever your conjectures may be." "No. belonging to a brother-in-law of Colonel Brandon." "Well. had left strict orders on that head. But not so easily did Elinor recover from th e alarm into which it had thrown her. that he is not. you have no right to repeat the m. who was on every occasion mindful of the feelings of others. [53] Marianne felt for her most sincerely. he is lately dead. and asked Marianne to s it down to it. They contained a nobl e piece of water a sail on which was to a form a great part of the morning's amuse ment. twice every summer for the last ten years.ort was painful. it fell to the ground. let us know all about it. Willoughby opened the piano-forte. we can guess where he is. who wa s then abroad." This increased the mirth of the company. "you know that all this is an inven tion of your own. considering th . and Margaret was eagerly pressed to say something more. might be allowed to be a tolerable judge. at least." "Margaret. and every thing conducted in the usual style of a complete party of pleasure. and Sir John. To some few of the company it appeared rather a bold undertaking. He is of no profession at all. Jennings . without whose interest it could not be seen. The grounds were declared to be highly beautiful. She was convinced that Margaret had fixed on a person whose nam e she could not bear with composure to become a standing joke with Mrs." said Marianne with great warmth." said Mrs. than from her ladyship's great dislike of all such in elegant subjects of raillery as delighted her husband and mother." though she believed the interruption to proceed less from any attention to her. Jennings. Marianne. Miss Margaret. at his own house at Norland to be sure. at this moment. cold provisions were to be taken." "Yes. for I am sure there was such a man onc e. and thus amidst the various endeavours of different people to qui t the topic. and that there is no such person in existence. ma'am. was immediately pursued by Colonel Brandon." replied Margaret. as the proprietor. But I know very well what it is.

By ten o'clock the whole party was assembled at the park." In about five minutes he returned." said Lady Middleton.e time of year. colouring a little." said Lady Middleton." "But how came the hand to discompose you so much. Dashwood. ma'am. if it was only a letter of bus iness? Come. eager to be happy. While they were at breakfast the letters were brought in. She was prepared to be wet through." "I am particularly sorry." "No. was persuaded by Elinor to stay at home. where they were to bre akfast. It came from town." "Whom do you mean." "Perhaps it is to tell you that your cousin Fanny is married?" said Mrs. it is not. for they did not go at all. and that it had rained every day for the last fortnight. And I hope she is well. but the event was still more unfortunate. and Mrs ." said he. Jennings. "What is the matter with Brandon?" said Sir John."[55] "Was it from Avignon? I hope it is not to say that your sister is worse." "My dear madam. "No bad news. ma'am. I hope. Jennings. though it had rained all night. indeed. come. this won't do. changed colour. "What can you have to do in town at this time of year?" . CHAPTER XIII Their intended excursion to Whitwell turned out very different from what Elinor had expected. who had already a cold. without attending to her daughter's reproof. and is merely a letter of business." "In town!" cried Mrs. as soon as he entered the ro om. "recollect what you are saying. addressing Lady Middleton. "It must be something extr aordinary that could make Colonel Brandon leave my breakfast table so suddenly. "No. ma'am?" said he. "None at all. Nobody could tell. and determined to submit to the greatest inconveniences and hardships rather than be otherwise. The morning was rather favourable. and the sun frequently appeared. "that I sh ould receive this letter today. "Oh! you know who I mean. so let us hear the truth of it. I thank you. Colonel. a nd immediately left the room. Among the rest there w as one for Colonel Brandon: he took it. looked at the direction. Colonel." said Mrs. I know who it is from. and frightened. for it is on business which requires my immediat e attendance in town. then. T hey were all in high spirits and good humour. as th e clouds were then dispersing across the sky. Jenning s." "Well. Colonel. ma'am. fatigued. "I hope he has had no bad news.

"There is no persuading you to change your mind. Yo u cannot go to town till tomorrow. that is all. so do." Colonel Brandon again repeated his sorrow at being the cause of disappointing th e party. I suppose it is something he is ashamed of. Consider. Jennings." Colonel Brandon's horses were announced. I know of old." said Mrs." "Oh! he must and shall come back. and Mr. "we mi ght see whether it could be put off or not."My own loss is great. then." What a blow upon them all was this! "But if you write a note to the housekeeper." "Ay." said Willoughby. "It shall not be put off when we are so near it. eagerl y. . "Well. Brandon. But it is so uncertain. I wo uld lay fifty guineas the letter was of his own writing." said Marianne. in a low voice to Marianne. But it is not in my power to delay my jou rney for one day!" "If you would but let us know what your business is. But."[56] Elinor then heard Willoughby say. "as soon as you can con veniently leave town. and invented this trick for getting out of it. but I am the more concerned. "If he is not here by the end of the week. Mr." "I cannot afford to lose one hour." added her ladyship. Willoughby got up two hours before his usual time. "There are some pe ople who cannot bear a party of pleasure. "when once you are determined on anything. but at the same time declared it to be unavoidable. "We must go." he continued. when will you come back again?" "I hope we shall see you at Barton." said S ir John. I shall go after him." "I do not want to pry into other men's concerns. the three Miss Dashwoods walked up from the cottage. however. here are the two Miss Careys come over from Newt on." "I have no doubt of it." cried Sir John. "if you were to defer your journey till our return. Brandon is one of them. Brandon. Brandon. "will it not be sufficient?" He shook his head." "I wish it could be so easily settled. and we must put off the party to Whitwell till you return. that I dare not engage for it at all. "and then perhaps you may find out w hat his business is. "in being obliged to leave so agreeable a party." said Sir John." "You would not be six hours later. I hope you wil l think better of it. as I fear my presence is necessary to gain y our admittance at Whitwell. He was afraid of catching cold I dare say. when I may have it in my power t o return. " "You are very obliging. Jennings. Sir John." cried Mrs. on purpose to go to Whitwell." replied Marianne.

He drove through the park very fast. and nothing more of them was seen till their return. yes. concluding however by observing. I shall then go post. however. "Come Colonel. "before you go. now bu rst forth universally. Willoughby's was first. that as they were all got tog ether. She is a relation of the Colonel's. that although happiness could only be enjoyed at Whitwell. "No. it is about Miss Williams. "I can guess what his business is." "Indeed!" "Oh. he joined most heartily in the general regret on so unfo rtunate an event. They both seemed delighte d with their drive. he merely bowed and said nothing." "I assure you it is not in my power. which did not happen till after the return of all the rest. a very near relation." said Mrs. lowering he r voice a little. I am sure. as you are resolved to go. "What! do not you know who Miss Williams is? I am sure you must have heard of he r before. and after some consultation it was agreed. and Marianne never looked hap pier than when she got into it. "Is there no chance of my seeing you and your sisters in town this winter. ma'am?" said almost every body. Jennings exultingly." "Well. Only to Honiton."You do not go to town on horseback." He wished her a good morning. do let us know what you are going about. none at all. and they all agreed again and again how provoking it was to be so disappointed." When Sir John returned. The complaints and lamentations which politeness had hitherto restrained. and they we re soon out of sight." He then took leave of the whole party. attended by Sir John. "Yes. and as like him as she can stare. left the room. they must do something by way of being happy. but said only in general terms that they had kept in the lan . my dear. and. I wish you a good journey." [57] "Then I must bid you farewell for a longer time than I should wish to do. Miss Dashwood?" "I am afraid. I dare say the Colonel will leave he r all his fortune. "Can you. But you had better change your mind. The ca rriages were then ordered. "She is his natural daughter. she said to Elinor. We will not say how near." said Mrs." "And who is Miss Williams?" asked Marianne. Jennings." To Marianne. they might procure a tolerable composure of mind by driving about the country." Then. do you?" added Sir John. for fear of shocking the young ladies.

Mr." "I am afraid. Elinor could hardly believe this to be true. and with such a convictio n I could have had no pleasure. "I have found you out in spite of all your tricks. which Sir John observed with great contentment. do you not now begin to doubt the discretion of your own conduct?" "If the impertinent remarks of Mrs. Smith was in it. that we did not go there. and I was determined to find ou t where you had been to. Willoughby. with whom Marianne had not the smallest acquaintance. loud enough for them both to hear. yes. and they h ad not been long seated. I know that very well. Some more of the Careys came to dinn er. Miss Marianne. for it wanted it very much when I was there six years ago. Jennings are to be the proof of impropriety . and said to Marianne. Jennings laughed heartily. I know. Elinor. "that we had been out in my curricle?" "Yes. Willoughby however is the only person who can have a right to show that hou se. while the others went on the downs." replied Elinor. "that the pleasantness of an employment does not always evince its propriety. Elinor enquired of her about it. Elinor." "But." "Mr. As soon as they left the dining-room. and great was her surprise when she found that every circumstance related by Mrs. "Why should you imagine. or Marianne consent. Mrs. I know where you spent the morning. Marianne was quite angry with her for doubting it. Jenning s was perfectly true. as it seemed very unlikely that Wil loughby should propose. and with no other companion than Mr. I never spent a pleasanter morning in my life. pray?" "Did not you know." Marianne coloured. before she leant behind her and Willoughby. Marianne.es. and when I come to see you." "On the contrary. Smith was there. for if there ha d been any real impropriety in what I did. Impudence.[58] and that every b ody should be extremely merry all day long. Willoughby's groom. I should have been sensible of it at the time. she had actually m ade her own woman enquire of Mr. and replied very hastily. as it has already exposed you to some very impertinent r emarks. and as he went in an open [60]carriage. Jennings sat on Elinor's right hand. Mrs. I hope you will have new-furnish ed it. nothing can be a stronger proof of it. and Eli nor found that in her resolution to know where they had been. and spent a considerable time there in walking about the garden and going all over the house. It is a very large one. for we always know when we are acting wrong. to enter the house while Mrs. Willoughby took his usual place between th e two elder Miss Dashwoods. it was impossible to have any other companion. It was settled that there should be a dance in the evening." said Willoughby." Marianne turned away in great confusion. and they had the pleasure of sitting down nearly twenty to table. I hope you like your house. but I would not go while Mrs. "Where." [59] "I have found you out in spite of all your tricks. or that we did not se e the house? Is not it what you have often wished to do yourself?" "Yes. my dear Marianne. and that she had by that me thod been informed that they had gone to Allenham.

so talked Mrs. I am not sensible of having done anything wrong in walking over Mrs. Willoughby says. by the bye. I wonde r what it can be! May be his sister is worse at Avignon.in conduct. but Mr. and has windows on two sides. Well. for I have a notion she is a lways rather sickly. of a nice comfortable size for constant use. with his steadine ss in concealing its cause. She wondered. Poor man! I am afraid his circumstances may be bad. but if it were newly fitted up a couple of hundred pounds. There is one remarkably pretty sitting room up stairs. Willoughby wanted particularly to show me the place. behind the house. On one side you look across the bowling-green. "Something very melancholy must be the matter. we are all offending every moment of our lives. filled the mind. and i t is a charming house. to a beautiful ha nging wood. she was a great wonderer. "I could se e it in his face. and a good wife into the bargain. Her opinion varying with every fresh conje cture. I wish him out of all his trouble with all my heart. Elinor. for besides that the circumstance did not in her opinion justify such lastin g amazement or variety[62] of speculation. Jenni ngs for two or three days. you would not be justified in wh at you have done. but it was even visibly gratifying to her. nothing in the world more likely. and all seeming equally probable as they arose. could not bestow all the won der on his going so suddenly away. and sai d with great good humour. which Mrs. It was engrossed by the extraordinary silence of her sister and Willoughby on t . Jennings was desirous of her feeli ng." She blushed at this hint. and his brother l eft everything sadly involved. of those fine bold hills that we have so often admired. "Perhaps. Smith's grounds. It is not so very likely he should be distressed in his circumstances now. Jennings. and to be sure must have cleared the estate by this time. Perhaps it is about Miss Williams and. for he is a ver y prudent man. and on the other you have a view of the church and village. as every one must be who ta kes a very lively interest in all the comings and goings of all their acquaintan ce. she woul d have described every room in the house with equal delight." said she. would make it o ne of the pleasantest summer-rooms in England." So wondered. was s ure there must be some bad news. and raised the wonder of Mrs. and has sent for him ov er. though she felt r eally interested in the welfare of Colonel Brandon. Elinor. because he looked so conscious when I mentioned her. It is a corner room. I do think he must have been sent for about money matters. I dare say it is. May be sh e is ill in town. her wonder was otherwise disposed of. she came to her sister again. for what else can it be? I wonder whether it is so. and. and thought over every kind of distress that co uld have befallen him. and with modern furnitu re it would be delightful. or in seeing her house. I would lay any wager it is about Miss Williams. bey ond them. His setting off in such a hurry seems very like it. I value not her cens ure any more than I should do her commendation. The estate at Delaford was never reckoned more than two thousand a year. I did not see it to advantage. with a fixed determination that he should not escape them all. it was rather ill-judged in me to go to Allenham. and after a ten minutes' interval of earnest thought. Willoughby's. for nothing could be more forlorn than the furniture. with little intermission what could be the reason of it. Marianne. [61] CHAPTER XIV The sudden termination of Colonel Brandon's visit at the park. I assure you. I am sure." Could Elinor have listened to her without interruption from the others. Th ey will one day be Mr. and " "If they were one day to be your own. I would give anyth ing to know the truth of it.

" said Miss Dashwood. and then only. under such a roof. and were I rich enough I would instantly pull Combe down. Elinor could not imagine. and to the rest of the family it was the affectionate attention of a son and a brother. for all the im provements in the world. but he lived at an expense to which that income could hardly be equal. But you may be assured that I would not sacrifice one se ntiment of local attachment of yours. and on Mrs. about a week after Colonel Brandon left the country. "nothing of the kind will be done. "What!" he exclaimed. Willoughby. Not a stone must be added to its walls. "Yes. Why they should not openly acknowledge to her mo ther and herself. or of any one whom I loved. when I make up my accounts in the spring. But for this strange kind of secrecy mai ntained by them relative to their engagement. "with all and every thing belonging to i t in no one convenience or inconvenience about it. and build it up again in the exact plan of this cotta ge. the exercise which called him out i n the morning was almost certain of ending there. One evening in particular. As th is silence continued. I suppose." said Elinor. and this doubt was enough to prevent her making any inquiry of Ma rianne. The cottage seemed to be considered and loved by him as his home." "Thank you." "I am heartily glad of it. She could easily conceive that marriage might not be immediately in their power. "May she always be poor.he subject." "Do not be alarmed. To Marianne it had all the distinguishing tenderness which a lover's he art could give." cried he in the same eager tone. for though Willoughby was independent. he warmly opposed every alteration of a place w hich affection had established as perfect with him. more. I might perhaps be as happy . she could not account. His estate had been rated by Sir John at about six or seven hundred a year. "Improve this dear cottage! No. what their constant behaviour to each other declared to have t aken place. and by his favourite pointer at her fe et. for my mother will never have money enough to attempt it. But are you really so attac hed to this place as to see no defect in it?" "I am." "With dark narrow stairs and a kitchen that smokes. and he had h imself often complained of his poverty. should the least variation be p erceptible. [63]That I will never cons ent to. which they must know to be peculiarly interesting to them all. I consider it as the only fo rm of building in which happiness is attainable. which in fact concealed nothing at all. than Willoughby's be haviour." he cried. Then. if my f eelings are regarded. there was no reason to believe him rich. and if no ge neral engagement collected them at the park. where the rest of the day was spent by himself at the side of Marianne. Depend upon it that whatever unemployed sum may remain. if she can employ her riches no better. and it was so wholly contradictory to their general opinions and practice. Nay. many more of his hours were spent there than at Allenham. every day made it appear more strange and more incompatibl e with the disposition of both. "To me it is faultless. Nothing could be more expressive of attachment to them all. Dashwood's happening to mention her design of impr oving the cottage in the spring. I would even rather lay it uselessly by than dispose of it in a manner so painful to you. that a doubt sometimes entered her mind of their being r eally engaged. not an inch to its size." said he. his heart seemed more than usually open to every feeling of attachment to the ob jects around him.

"You are a good woman. and every body would be eager to pass through the room which has hi therto contained within itself more real accommodation and comfort than any othe r apartment of the handsomest dimensions in the world could possibly afford. "How often did I wish. but that I shall ever find you and yours as unchanged as y our dwelling. to call on Lady Middleton." "I flatter myself. but on entering the house she be . was perfectly satisfied with her remaining at home. for we must walk to the park. So far it was all as she had foreseen. Dashwood was convinced that her conjecture had be en just. "And yet this house you would spoil. Marianne?" speaking to her in a lowered voice. Smith. "when I was at Allenham this time twelvemonth. whose fine eyes were fixed so ex pressively on Willoughby. and grieving that no one should live in it." added he. that Barton cottage were inhabited! I never passed within view of it without ad miring its situation. u nder some trifling pretext of employment." The promise was readily given. which nothing but a kind of prescience of what happiness I should experience from it. you will hereafter find your own house as faultle ss as you now do this. you would degrade to the condition of a comm on entrance. Dashwood's visit to Lady Middleton took place the next day. but this place will always have one claim of my affection. Dashwood. as plainly denoted how well she understood him. and that you will always consider me with the kindness which has m ade everything belonging to you so dear to me. Tell me that not only your house will remain the same. and her mother." Mrs. Extend i t a little farther. Dashwoo d? You would rob it of its simplicity by imaginary improvement! and this dear pa rlour in which our acquaintance first began. he said. who concluded that a p romise had been made by Willoughby the night before of calling on her while they were absent. Mrs. when I next came into the country. and it will make me happy. "Your promise makes me easy. Must it not have been so.at Combe as I have been at Barton. [65] CHAPTER XV Mrs. would be that Barton cottage was taken: and I felt an immediate satisfaction and interest in the event. How[64] little did I then think that the very first news I should hear from Mrs." he warmly replied. when he was leaving t hem. and two of her daughters went with her. "which might greatly endea r it to me." Mrs." said Willoughby. and Mrs. On their return from the park they found Willoughby's curricle and servant in wa iting at the cottage. can account for. Then contin uing his former tone. which no other can possibly share. "Shall we see you tomorrow to dinner?" said Mrs." He engaged to be with them by four o'clock. Dashwood again assured him that no alteration of the kind should be attempt ed. "that even under the disadvantage of better rooms and a broader staircase." "There certainly are circumstances. "I do not ask you to come in the morning. but Marianne excused herself from being of the party." replied Elinor. Dashwood looked with pleasure at Marianne. and Willoughby's behaviour during the whole of th e evening declared at once his affection and happiness. and in which so many happy hours ha ve been since spent by us together.

for I am unable to keep my engagement with you. But Mrs. Mrs. I have just received my dispatches. Dashwood as she entered: "is she ill ?" "I hope not. Dashwood was too much astonished to speak. and his countenance showed that he strongly partook of the emotion which overpowered Marianne. [67] "This is very unfortunate. and taken my farewell of Allenham." Mrs. Surprised and alarmed they proceeded directly into the room she had just quitted ." "To London! and are you going this morning?" "Almost this moment. For a few moments every one was silent. with her handkerchief at her eyes. that at Barton cottage you will always be welcome.held what no foresight had taught her to expect. "Yo u are too good. and her business will not detain you from us long I hope." he replied. "I have only to add. Smith are never repeated within th e twelvemonth. and with his eyes fixed on the ground he only replied. but I have no idea of returning i nto Devonshire immediately. trying to look cheerful. Smith." replied Willoughby. Elinor felt equal amazement. Mrs. because you onl y can judge how far that might be pleasing to Mrs. confusedly. and with a forced smile prese ntly added. "Is anything the matter with her?" cried Mrs. for I will not press you to return here immediately. who was leaning against the mantelpiece with his back towards them. can you wait for an in vitation here?" His colour increased. Willoughby. where they found only Willoughby. Dashwood looked at Elinor with surprise. "It is I who may rather expect to be ill for I am now suffering under a very heavy disappointment!" "Disappointment?" "Yes. and on this head I sha ll be no more disposed to question your judgment than to doubt your inclination. "You are very kind. " "My engagements at present. "are of such a natu re that I dare not flatter myself " He stopped. Mrs. Smith your only friend? Is Allenham the only house in the neighbour hood to which you will be welcome? For shame. by sending me on business to London. My visits to Mrs." [66] Apparently in violent affliction." He coloured as he replied. Smith has this mornin g exercised the privilege of riches upon a poor dependent cousin. and by way of exhilaration I am now come to take my farewell of yo u. Dashwood first spoke. They were no sooner in the pass age than Marianne came hastily out of the parlour apparently in violent afflicti on. and without noticing them ran up stairs." "And is Mrs. and another pause su . He turned round on their coming in. my dear Willoughby. Smith must be obliged.

and he feels himself obliged. They saw him step into his carriage." "Can you. So suddenly to be gone! It seems but the work of a mome nt. Elinor.) and on that account is eager to get him away. One moment she feared that no serious design had ever been formed on his side. a quarrel seem ed almost impossible. He is. who love to doubt where you can it will not satisfy you. and I c an perfectly account for every thing that at first seemed strange to me as well as to you. he dares not therefore at present confess to her his engagem ent with Marianne. so affectionate? And no w. Elinor. he did not b ehave like himself." He then hastily took leave of them all and left the room. and the next that some unfortunate quar rel had taken place between him and her sister. t o give into her schemes. after only ten minutes notice. disapproves of it. that this may or may not have happened. her sister's afflicti on was indubitable. This was broken by Willoughby. In about half an hour her mother returned. and. The distress in which Marianne h ad quitted the room was such as a serious quarrel could most reasonably account for. as she sa t down to work. She thought of what had just passed with anxiety and distrust. "Our dear Willoughby is now some miles from Barton. Smith suspects his r egard for Marianne. but I will listen to no cavil. so unlike himself greatly disturbed her. And last night he was with us so happy. from his dependent situation. his embarrassment. indeed!" "Yes. aware that she does disappr ove the connection. and that the business which she sends him off to transact is invented as an excuse to dismiss[69] him. You must have seen the difference as well as I. who said with a faint smile. He did not speak. but you. Mrs. but feeding and encouraging as a duty.cceeded. "and with how heavy a heart does he travel?" "It is all very strange. I know. so cheerful. This is what I believe to have happened. I am persuaded that Mrs. and she thought with the tenderest compassion of that violen t sorrow which Marianne was in all probability not merely giving way to as a rel ief. What can it be? Can they have quarrelled? Why else should he have shown such unwillingness t o accept your invitation here?" "It was not inclination that he wanted. moreover. and absent himself from Devonshire for a while. and affectation of cheerfulness. I could plainly see that. I have thought it all over I assure you. and though her eyes were red. above all. I know. I have explained it to myself in the most satisfactory way. Willoughby's behaviour in taking leave of them. gone too without intending to return! Something more than what he owned to us must have happened. and in a minute it was out of sight. (perhaps because she has other views for him. her cou ntenance was not uncheerful. But whatever might be the particulars of their separation. Dashwood felt too much for speech. Elino r. You wil l tell me. unless you can point out any other method of understanding the affair . his u nwillingness to accept her mother's invitation a backwardness[68] so unlike a love r. though when she considered what Marianne's love for him was. He had not the power of accepting it. I will not torment myself any longer by remaining am ong friends whose society it is impossible for me now to enjoy. "It is foll y to linger in this manner. Elinor's uneasiness was at least equal to her mother's. but you shall not talk me out of my trust in it." said she. and instantly quitted the parlour to giv e way in solitude to the concern and alarm which this sudden departure occasione d.

" ." said Elinor. p ersuaded as he must be of your sister's love. in what you have now urged of the allowances which ought to be made for him." "I have not wanted syllables where actions have spoken so plainly. But this is no excuse for thei r concealing it from us." "Yet not a syllable has been said to you on the subject. declared that he loved and considered her as his future wife. You are resolved to think him blamab le. You had rather look out for misery for Marianne. than an apology for the latter. it must be highly expedient for Will oughby to be but little in Devonshire at present. do you accuse Willoughby and Marianne of concealment? This is strange indeed. and with me it almost outweighs every other. And now.as satisfactory at this. There is great truth." "Then you would have told me. or for spirits depresse d by recent disappointment? Are no probabilities to be accepted. Willo ughby may undoubtedly have very sufficient reasons for his conduct. and if that is the case." "Concealing it from us! my dear child. for you have anticipated my answer." "Do not blame him. should leave her. how incomprehensible are your feelings! You had rather take evil upon credit than good. his attentive a nd affectionate respect? My Elinor." "I am perfectly satisfied of both. "but of their engagement I do . and guilt for poor Willoughby. But you really do admit the justice of what I have said in his d efence? I am happy and he is acquitted. when your eyes have been reproaching them e very day for incautiousness. But suspicion of something unpleasant is the inevitab le consequence of such an alteration as we just witnessed in him. after all. without telling her of his affection. Secrecy may be advisable. is it possible to doubt their engagement? Ho w could such a thought occur to you? How is it to be supposed that Willoughby." replied Elinor. Has not his b ehaviour to Marianne and to all of us. and no reason in the world to think ill of? to the possibility of motive s unanswerable in themselves. because he took leave of us with less affection than his usual behaviour has shown. merely because they are not certainties? Is nothing due to the man whom we have all such reason to love. Oh. however. for departing from his character. his manner. "that every circumstance except one is in favour of their engagement. and that he felt for us th e attachment of the nearest relation? Have we not perfectly understood each othe r? Has not my consent been daily asked by his looks." "I want no proof of their affection. what have you to say?" "Nothing. however."[70] "Not entirely. and leave her pe rhaps for months. Elin or. but that one is the total silence of both on the subject. though unavoidably secret for a while? And. by either of them. But it would have been more like Willoughby to acknowledge them at once. that it might or might not have happened. Smith. where the deviatio n is necessary. It may be proper to conceal their engagement (if they are engaged ) from Mrs. Elinor. for at least the last fortnight. and it is my wish to be candid in my judgment of every body. And is no allowance to be made for inadvertence. what is it you suspect him of?" "I can hardly tell myself. and I will h ope that he has. that they should part with out a mutual exchange of confidence?" "I confess. but still I cannot help wondering at its bei ng practiced by him.

when she entered the room and too k her place at the table without saying a word. I believe not. on her mother's silently pressing her hand with tender compassion. and did not return your kindness with any cordiality. But why? Is he not a man of honour and feeling? Has there been any inconsistency on his side to cr eate alarm? can he be deceitful?" "I hope not. and suspicion of his integrity cannot be more painful to yourself than to me. he is no stranger in this part of the world. you would sup pose they were going to be married. It is an engagement in some respects not prosperously begun. all has been uniformly open and unreserved. In such a ca se." "You speak very properly. could neither eat nor speak. and I will not encourage it. I confess ."How strange this is! You must think wretchedly indeed of Willoughby. after all that has openly passed between them. and hope for the justice of all. he should seem to act an ungenerous. as far as it can be ob served. and who has ever spoken to his disadvantage? Had he been in a situation to act independently and marry immediately. Has he been acting a part in his behaviour to your si ster all this time? Do you suppose him really indifferent to her?" "No. for their marriag e must be at a very uncertain distance. He had just parted from my sister. or a deviation from what I may think right and consistent. It must be Willoughby therefore whom you suspect. He must and does love her I am sure. her small degree . She avoi ded the looks of them all. I was startled. he might well be embarrassed and disturbed. to resist the temptation of retu rning here soon. and Elinor was then at libert y to think over the representations of her mother. may now be very advisable. by the alteration in his manners this morning. and after some time. They saw nothing of Marianne till dinner time. Willoughby certainly does not deserve to be suspected. Her eyes were red and swollen. You cannot doubt your siste r's wishes." [71] "You must remember. had seen her leave him in the greatest affliction. he did not speak like himself. Though we have not known him long. a nd they may soon be entirely done away. and yet aware that by declining your invitation. If we find they correspond. if he can leave her with such indifferen ce. "I love Willoughby. that I have never considered this matter as certain." "A mighty concession indeed! If you were to see them at the altar." cried Elinor. I have had my doubts. and if he fel t obliged. But all this may be explai ned by such a situation of his affairs as you have supposed. It has been involuntary." "But with a strange kind of tenderness. a suspici ous part by our family. it might have been odd that he should leave us without[72] acknowledging everything to me at once: but this is not the case ." They were interrupted by the entrance of Margaret. by saying that he was going away for some time. but I will not raise objections against any one's conduct on so illiberal a foundation. a plain and open avowal of his difficulties would have been more to his hono ur I think. if. to acknowledge the probabilit y of many. as a di fference in judgment from myself. from a fear of offending Mrs. I confess. I cannot think that. Nothing in my opinion has ever passed to justify doubt. and even secrecy. as well as more consistent with his general character. sincerely love hi m. a nd it seemed as if her tears were even then restrained with difficulty. no secrecy has been at tempted. but they are fainter than they were. as you attribute to him. you can doubt the nature of the terms o n which they are together. Smith. such carelessness of the future. every fear o f mine will be removed. Ungracious girl! But I require no such proof . my dear mother.

of fortitude was quite overcome, she burst into tears and left the room. This violent oppression of spirits continued the whole evening. She was without any power, because she was without any desire of command over herself. The sligh test mention of anything relative to Willoughby overpowered her in an instant; a nd though her family were most anxiously attentive to her comfort, it was imposs ible for them, if they spoke at all, to keep clear of every subject which her fe elings connected with him. CHAPTER XVI Marianne would have thought herself very inexcusable had she been able to sleep at all the first night after parting from Willoughby. She would have been ashame d to look her family in the face the next morning, had she not risen from her be d in more need of repose than when she lay down in it. But the feelings which ma de such composure a disgrace, left her in no danger of incurring it. She was awa ke the whole night, and she wept the greatest part of it. She got up with a head ache, was unable to talk, and unwilling to take any nourishment; giving pain eve ry moment to her mother and[73] sisters, and forbidding all attempt at consolati on from either. Her sensibility was potent enough! When breakfast was over she walked out by herself, and wandered about the villag e of Allenham, indulging the recollection of past enjoyment and crying over the present reverse for the chief of the morning. The evening passed off in the equal indulgence of feeling. She played over every favourite song that she had been used to play to Willoughby, every air in which their voices had been oftenest joined, and sat at the instrument gazing on ever y line of music that he had written out for her, till her heart was so heavy tha t no farther sadness could be gained; and this nourishment of grief was every da y applied. She spent whole hours at the pianoforte alternately singing and cryin g; her voice often totally suspended by her tears. In books too, as well as in m usic, she courted the misery which a contrast between the past and present was c ertain of giving. She read nothing but what they had been used to read together. Such violence of affliction indeed could not be supported for ever; it sunk with in a few days into a calmer melancholy; but these employments, to which she dail y recurred, her solitary walks and silent meditations, still produced occasional effusions of sorrow as lively as ever. No letter from Willoughby came; and none seemed expected by Marianne. Her mother was surprised, and Elinor again became uneasy. But Mrs. Dashwood could find exp lanations whenever she wanted them, which at least satisfied herself. "Remember, Elinor," said she, "how very often Sir John fetches our letters himse lf from the post, and carries them to it. We have already agreed that secrecy ma y be necessary, and we must acknowledge that it could not be maintained if their correspondence were to pass through Sir John's hands." Elinor could not deny the truth of this, and she tried to find in it a motive su fficient for their silence. But there was one method so direct, so simple, and i n her opinion so eligible of knowing the real state of the affair, and of instan tly removing all mystery, that she could not help suggesting it to her mother.[7 4] "Why do you not ask Marianne at once," said she, "whether she is or she is not e ngaged to Willoughby? From you, her mother, and so kind, so indulgent a mother, the question could not give offence. It would be the natural result of your affe ction for her. She used to be all unreserve, and to you more especially."

"I would not ask such a question for the world. Supposing it possible that they are not engaged, what distress would not such an enquiry inflict! At any rate it would be most ungenerous. I should never deserve her confidence again, after fo rcing from her a confession of what is meant at present to be unacknowledged to any one. I know Marianne's heart: I know that she dearly loves me, and that I sh all not be the last to whom the affair is made known, when circumstances make th e revealment of it eligible. I would not attempt to force the confidence of any one; of a child much less; because a sense of duty would prevent the denial whic h her wishes might direct." Elinor thought this generosity overstrained, considering her sister's youth, and urged the matter farther, but in vain; common sense, common care, common pruden ce, were all sunk in Mrs. Dashwood's romantic delicacy. It was several days before Willoughby's name was mentioned before Marianne by an y of her family; Sir John and Mrs. Jennings, indeed, were not so nice; their wit ticisms added pain to many a painful hour; but one evening, Mrs. Dashwood, accid entally taking up a volume of Shakespeare, exclaimed "We have never finished Hamlet, Marianne; our dear Willoughby went away before w e could get through it. We will put it by, that when he comes again ; But it may b e months, perhaps, before that happens." "Months!" cried Marianne, with strong surprise. "No nor many weeks." Mrs. Dashwood was sorry for what she had said; but it gave Elinor pleasure, as i t produced a reply from Marianne so expressive of confidence in Willoughby and k nowledge of his intentions. One morning, about a week after his leaving the country, Marianne was prevailed on to join her sisters in their usual walk, instead of wandering away by herself . Hitherto she[75] had carefully avoided every companion in her rambles. If her sisters intended to walk on the downs, she directly stole away towards the lanes ; if they talked of the valley, she was as speedy in climbing the hills, and cou ld never be found when the others set off. But at length she was secured by the exertions of Elinor, who greatly disapproved such continual seclusion. They walk ed along the road through the valley, and chiefly in silence, for Marianne's min d could not be controlled, and Elinor, satisfied with gaining one point, would n ot then attempt more. Beyond the entrance of the valley, where the country, thou gh still rich, was less wild and more open, a long stretch of the road which the y had travelled on first coming to Barton, lay before them; and on reaching that point, they stopped to look around them, and examine a prospect which formed th e distance of their view from the cottage, from a spot which they had never happ ened to reach in any of their walks before. Amongst the objects in the scene, they soon discovered an animated one; it was a man on horseback riding towards them. In a few minutes they could distinguish h im to be a gentleman; and in a moment afterwards Marianne rapturously exclaimed "It is he; it is indeed I know it is!" and was hastening to meet him, when Elinor cried out "Indeed, Marianne, I think you are mistaken. It is not Willoughby. The person is not tall enough for him, and has not his air." "He has, he has," cried Marianne, "I am sure he has. His air, his coat, his hors e. I knew how soon he would come." She walked eagerly on as she spoke; and Elinor, to screen Marianne from particul arity, as she felt almost certain of its not being Willoughby, quickened her pac

e and kept up with her. They were soon within thirty yards of the gentleman. Mar ianne looked again; her heart sunk within her; and abruptly turning round, she w as hurrying back, when the voices of both her sisters were raised to detain her; a third, almost as well known as Willoughby's, joined them in begging her to st op, and she turned round with surprise to see and welcome Edward Ferrars. [76] Begging her to stop. He was the only person in the world who could at that [77]moment be forgiven for not being Willoughby; the only one who could have gained a smile from her; but she dispersed her tears to smile on him, and in her sister's happiness forgot fo r a time her own disappointment. He dismounted, and giving his horse to his servant, walked back with them to Bar ton, whither he was purposely coming to visit them. He was welcomed by them all with great cordiality, but especially by Marianne, w ho showed more warmth of regard in her reception of him than even Elinor herself . To Marianne, indeed, the meeting between Edward and her sister was but a conti nuation of that unaccountable coldness which she had often observed at Norland i n their mutual behaviour. On Edward's side, more particularly, there was a defic iency of all that a lover ought to look and say on such an occasion. He was conf used, seemed scarcely sensible of pleasure in seeing them, looked neither raptur ous nor gay, said little but what was forced from him by questions, and distingu ished Elinor by no mark of affection. Marianne saw and listened with increasing surprise. She began almost to feel a dislike of Edward; and it ended, as every f eeling must end with her, by carrying back her thoughts to Willoughby, whose man ners formed a contrast sufficiently striking to those of his brother elect. After a short silence which succeeded the first surprise and enquiries of meetin g, Marianne asked Edward if he came directly from London. No, he had been in Dev onshire a fortnight. "A fortnight!" she repeated, surprised at his being so long in the same county w ith Elinor without seeing her before. He looked rather distressed as he added, that he had been staying with some frie nds near Plymouth. "Have you been lately in Sussex?" said Elinor. "I was at Norland about a month ago." "And how does dear, dear Norland look?" cried Marianne. "Dear, dear Norland," said Elinor, "probably looks much as it always does at thi s time of the year the woods and walks thickly covered with dead leaves." "Oh," cried Marianne, "with what transporting sensation have I formerly seen the m fall! How have I delighted, as I walked, to see them driven in showers about m e by the wind! What[78] feelings have they, the season, the air altogether inspi red! Now there is no one to regard them. They are seen only as a nuisance, swept hastily off, and driven as much as possible from the sight." "It is not every one," said Elinor, "who has your passion for dead leaves." "No; my feelings are not often shared, not often understood. But sometimes they are." As she said this, she sunk into a reverie for a few moments; but rousing h

" answered Marianne. His coldness and reserve mortified her severely. in a low voice. &c. Have you forgot. Edward. "What are Mrs. Look up to it. His affe ctions seemed to reanimate towards them all. smiling. he praised their house. "how can you say so? How can you be so unjust? The y are a very respectable family. and Mrs. and directing her attention to their visitor." cried her sister. for his coming to B arton was. He received the kindest welcome from her. I hope my mother is now convinced that I have no more talents than inclinat ion for a public life!" "But how is your fame to be established? for famous you must be to satisfy all y . Her joy and expressio n of regard long outlived her wonder. Ferrars. Ferrars's views for you at present." "How strange!" said Marianne to herself as she walked on. not all. was attentive. "are you still to be a great orato r in spite of yourself?" "No. admired its prospect. how many pleasant days we have o wed to them?" "No. sat down to table indignant against all selfish pare nts. its conveniences. and be tranquil if you can. she avoided every appearance of resentment or displeasure. but still he was not in spirits. attributing it to some want o f liberality in his mother. I see a very dirty lane. coldness. and kind. amongst those w oods and plantations. without extending the passion to her. Edward?" said she. The whole family perceived it. extorting from him occasional questions and remarks. and his interest in their welfare a gain became perceptible. "we could not be more unfortunately situated. And there. beneath that farthest hill. "nor how many painful moments. CHAPTER XVII Mrs. and they were quite overcome by the captivating manners of Mrs. reserve could not stand against such a reception. Marianne. and shyness. when dinne r was over and they had drawn round the fire. of all things the most natural." "It is a beautiful country. calling his attention to the prospect." said Marianne. "among the rest of the objects before me. Dashwood. which rises with such grandeur. and E linor had the satisfaction of seeing him soon become more like himself." "How can you think of dirt. is our cottage. with such objects before you?" "Because. Indeed a man could not very well be i n love with either of her daughters. Look at those h ills! Did you ever see their equals? To the left is Barton park." Elinor took no notice of this. and towards us have behaved in the friendliest manner. and t reated him as she thought he ought to be treated from the family connection." "Marianne. by talking of their prese nt residence. Dashwood. however. "h ere is Barton valley. They ha d begun to fail him before he entered the house." replied he. in her opinion. He was not in spirits." said she. You may see the end of the house." he replied. "but these bottoms must be dirty in win ter. she was vexed and half angry.erself again. "Now. "Have you an agreeable neighbourhood here? Are the Middletons pleasant people?" "No. end eavoured to support something like discourse with him. Mr. Dashwood was surprised only for a moment at seeing him. but resolving to regulate her[79] behaviour to him by the past rather th an the present.

I am sure I am not extravagant in my d emands. no profession. Beyond a competence. no affection for strangers. not more than that. I suppose. I well know. like every body else it must be in my o wn way. striking out a novel thought. as far as mere self is concerned. and without them. as the world g oes now. and no assurance. and her cheeks glowing with the delight of such imaginary happiness. Come." Marianne coloured as she replied. and have every reas on to hope I never shall. but. . "but why must you have hunters? Every body does not hunt." "Oh dear!" cried Margaret." "Strange that it would!" cried Marianne. and with no inclination for expense. "in spite of the in sufficiency of wealth. "money can only give happiness where there i s nothing else to give it. "Hunters!" repeated Edward. you may find it a difficult matter." "You have no ambition. Your competence and my wealth are very much alike. "but wealth has much to do with it. "A famil y cannot well be maintained on a smaller. what is your competence?" "About eighteen hundred or two thousand a year." said Elinor."[80] "As moderate as those of the rest of the world.our family." "Elinor." "And yet two thousand a-year is a very moderate income. cannot be supported on less. A proper establishment of servants." "Perhaps. and hunters . "we may come to the same point." said Marianne." "I wish. "We are all unanimous in that wish." Elinor laughed. perhaps two. smiling. a carriage. for shame!" said Marianne." said Elinor. "But most people do." Elinor smiled again. I have no wish to be distinguished. Greatness will not make me so. "What have wealth or grandeur to do wit h happiness?" "Grandeur has but little. Your ideas are only more noble than mine. to hear her sister describing so accurately their future ex penses at Combe Magna. I dare say. it can afford no real satisfacti on. "that somebody would give us all a large fortune a-piece!" "Oh that they would!" cried Marianne. her eyes sparkling with animation. Your wishes are all moderate." said Elinor. Thank Heaven! I cannot be forced into genius and eloqu ence. I wish as well as eve ry body else to be perfectly happy." said Margaret. I believe. "how happy I should be! I wonder what I should do wit h it!" [81] Marianne looked as if she had no doubt on that point." "I shall not attempt it. "Two thousand a year! One is my wealth! I guessed how it would e nd. we shall both agree that every kind of external comfort must be wanting .

Marianne? Forgiv e me. Edward whether it be melancholy or to recall it and you will never offend me by talking of former times. Miss Dashwood. "she is not at all alt ered. or ingenious or stupid than they really are. I know her greatness of soul. if I am very saucy." said Mrs." he replied. . You are not very gay yo urself. I should have something else to do with it. then. with a sigh." said Elinor. Cowper. and very frequently by what other people say of them. I believe . "I should hardly call her a lively girl she is very earnest." said Elinor. and print-sh ops! You. and I can ha rdly tell why or in what the deception originated. "and your dif ficulties will soon vanish. you see." "She is only grown a little more grave than she was." "Marianne is as steadfast as ever. there woul d not be music enough in London to content her." "I believe you are right." "No. It is not likely that I should now see or hear any thing to change them. Dashwood. But I was willing to show you that I had not forgot ou r old disputes. music-sellers. I presume?" "Undoubtedly." said Marianne. Should not you. and she would have every book th at tells her how to admire an old twisted tree. Scott sh e would buy them all over and over again: she would buy up every copy. At my time of life opinions are tolerably fixed." "Nay." observed Elinor. some of it." "And the bulk of your fortune would be laid out in annuities on the authors or t heir heirs."I should be puzzled to spend so large a fortune myself. very eager in all she does sometimes talks a gre at deal and always with animation but she is not often really merry." "Perhaps." "What magnificent orders would travel from this family to London." "Nor do I think it a part of Marianne's." "I love to be reminded of the past. Edward. that no one can ever be in love more than o nce in their life for your opinion on that point is unchanged. "in such an event! What a happy day for booksellers. "in a total misapprehension of character in some point or other: fancying people so m uch more gay or grave. at least sh would certainly be employed in improving my collection of music and gay. Sometimes one is guided by wh at they say of themselves. would give a general commission for every new print of merit to be sent you and as for Marianne. And books! Thomson. y right in supposing how my money would be spent. "i f my children were all to be rich without my help. to prevent their falling into unworthy hands. "But gaiety never was a part of my character. "and yet I have always set her down as a lively girl." said Elinor." "I have frequently detected myself in such kind of mistakes. I love You are ver my loose ca books." said Edward." [82] "Why should you think so!" replied he. you would bestow it as a reward on that person who wrote the abl est defence of your favourite maxim. "you need not reproach me. Edward." "You must begin your improvements on this house.

without giving oneself time to deliberate and judge." "But I thought it was right, Elinor," said Marianne, "to be guided wholly by the opinion of other people. I thought our judgments were given us merely to be sub servient to those of neighbours. This has always been your doctrine, I am sure." "No, Marianne, never. My doctrine has never aimed at the subjection of the under standing. All I have ever attempted to influence has been the behaviour. You mus t not confound my meaning. I am guilty, I confess, of having often wished you to treat our acquaintance in general with greater attention; but when have I advis ed you to adopt their sentiments or to conform to their judgment in serious matt ers?" "You have not been able to bring your sister over to your plan of general civili ty," said Edward to Elinor, "Do you gain no ground?" "Quite the contrary," replied Elinor, looking expressively at Marianne. "My judgment," he returned, "is all on your side of the question; but I am afrai d my practice is much more on your sister's. I never wish to offend, but I am so foolishly shy, that I often seem negligent, when I am only kept back by my natu ral awkwardness. I have frequently thought that I must have been intended by nat ure to be fond of low company, I am so little at my ease among strangers of gent ility!"[83] "Marianne has not shyness to excuse any inattention of hers," said Elinor. "She knows her own worth too well for false shame," replied Edward. "Shyness is only the effect of a sense of inferiority in some way or other. If I could persu ade myself that my manners were perfectly easy and graceful, I should not be shy ." "But you would still be reserved," said Marianne, "and that is worse." Edward started. "Reserved! Am I reserved, Marianne?" "Yes, very." "I do not understand you," replied he, colouring. "Reserved! how, in what manner? What am I to tell you? What can you suppose?" Elinor looked surprised at his emotion; but trying to laugh off the subject, she said to him, "Do not you know my sister well enough to understand what she mean s? Do not you know she calls every one reserved who does not talk as fast, and a dmire what she admires as rapturously as herself?" Edward made no answer. His gravity and thoughtfulness returned on him in their f ullest extent and he sat for some time silent and dull. CHAPTER XVIII Elinor saw, with great uneasiness the low spirits of her friend. His visit affor ded her but a very partial satisfaction, while his own enjoyment in it appeared so imperfect. It was evident that he was unhappy; she wished it were equally evi dent that he still distinguished her by the same affection which once she had fe lt no doubt of inspiring; but hitherto the continuance of his preference seemed very uncertain; and the reservedness of his manner towards her contradicted one moment what a more animated look had intimated the preceding one. He joined her and Marianne in the breakfast-room the next morning before the oth

ers were down; and Marianne, who was always eager to promote their happiness as far as[84] she could, soon left them to themselves. But before she was half way upstairs she heard the parlour door open, and, turning round, was astonished to see Edward himself come out. "I am going into the village to see my horses," said he, "as you are not yet rea dy for breakfast; I shall be back again presently." Edward returned to them with fresh admiration of the surrounding country; in his walk to the village, he had seen many parts of the valley to advantage; and the village itself, in a much higher situation than the cottage, afforded a general view of the whole, which had exceedingly pleased him. This was a subject which ensured Marianne's attention, and she was beginning to describe her own admirati on of these scenes, and to question him more minutely on the objects that had pa rticularly struck him, when Edward interrupted her by saying, "You must not enqu ire too far, Marianne: remember I have no knowledge in the picturesque, and I sh all offend you by my ignorance and want of taste if we come to particulars. I sh all call hills steep, which ought to be bold; surfaces strange and uncouth, whic h ought to be irregular and rugged; and distant objects out of sight, which ough t only to be indistinct through the soft medium of a hazy atmosphere. You must b e satisfied with such admiration as I can honestly give. I call it a very fine c ountry, the hills are steep, the woods seem full of fine timber, and the valley lo oks comfortable and snug, with rich meadows and several neat farm houses scattered here and there. It exactly answers my idea of a fine country, because it unites beauty with utility and I dare say it is a picturesque one too, because you admir e it; I can easily believe it to be full of rocks and promontories, grey moss an d brush wood, but these are all lost on me. I know nothing of the picturesque." "I am afraid it is but too true," said Marianne; "but why should you boast of it ?" "I suspect," said Elinor, "that to avoid one kind of affectation, Edward here fa lls into another. Because he believes many people pretend to more admiration of the beauties of nature than they really feel, and is disgusted with such pretens ions, he affects greater indifference and less discrimination[85] in viewing the m himself than he possesses. He is fastidious and will have an affectation of hi s own." "It is very true," said Marianne, "that admiration of landscape scenery is becom e a mere jargon. Every body pretends to feel and tries to describe with the tast e and elegance of him who first defined what picturesque beauty was. I detest ja rgon of every kind, and sometimes I have kept my feelings to myself, because I c ould find no language to describe them in but what was worn and hackneyed out of all sense and meaning." "I am convinced," said Edward, "that you really feel all the delight in a fine p rospect which you profess to feel. But, in return, your sister must allow me to feel no more than I profess. I like a fine prospect, but not on picturesque prin ciples. I do not like crooked, twisted, blasted trees. I admire them much more i f they are tall, straight, and flourishing. I do not like ruined, tattered cotta ges. I am not fond of nettles or thistles, or heath blossoms. I have more pleasu re in a snug farm-house than a watch-tower, and a troop of tidy, happy villages pl ease me better than the finest banditti in the world." Marianne looked with amazement at Edward, with compassion at her sister. Elinor only laughed. The subject was continued no farther; and Marianne remained thoughtfully silent, till a new object suddenly engaged her attention. She was sitting by Edward, an d in taking his tea from Mrs. Dashwood, his hand passed so directly before her,

as to make a ring, with a plait of hair in the centre, very conspicuous on one o f his fingers. "I never saw you wear a ring before, Edward," she cried. "Is that Fanny's hair? I remember her promising to give you some. But I should have thought her hair ha d been darker." Marianne spoke inconsiderately what she really felt; but when she saw how much s he had pained Edward, her own vexation at her want of thought could not be surpa ssed by his. He coloured very deeply, and giving a momentary glance at Elinor, r eplied, "Yes; it is my sister's hair. The setting always casts a different shade on it, you know." Elinor had met his eye, and looked conscious likewise. That the hair was her own , she instantaneously felt as well[86] satisfied as Marianne; the only differenc e in their conclusions was, that what Marianne considered as a free gift from he r sister, Elinor was conscious must have been procured by some theft or contriva nce unknown to herself. She was not in a humour, however, to regard it as an aff ront, and affecting to take no notice of what passed, by instantly talking of so mething else, she internally resolved henceforward to catch every opportunity of eyeing the hair and of satisfying herself, beyond all doubt, that it was exactl y the shade of her own. Edward's embarrassment lasted some time, and it ended in an absence of mind stil l more settled. He was particularly grave the whole morning. Marianne severely c ensured herself for what she had said; but her own forgiveness might have been m ore speedy, had she known how little offence it had given her sister. Before the middle of the day, they were visited by Sir John and Mrs. Jennings, w ho, having heard of the arrival of a gentleman at the cottage, came to take a su rvey of the guest. With the assistance of his mother-in-law, Sir John was not lo ng in discovering that the name of Ferrars began with an F. and this prepared a future mine of raillery against the devoted Elinor, which nothing but the newnes s of their acquaintance with Edward could have prevented from being immediately sprung. But, as it was, she only learned, from some very significant looks, how far their penetration, founded on Margaret's instructions, extended. Sir John never came to the Dashwoods without either inviting them to dine at the park the next day, or to drink tea with them that evening. On the present occas ion, for the better entertainment of their visitor, towards whose amusement he f elt himself bound to contribute, he wished to engage them for both. "You must drink tea with us to night," said he, "for we shall be quite alone; an d tomorrow you must absolutely dine with us, for we shall be a large party." Mrs. Jennings enforced the necessity. "And who knows but you may raise a dance," said she. "And that will tempt you, Miss Marianne." "A dance!" cried Marianne. "Impossible! Who is to dance?" [87] Came to take a survey of the guest. "Who? why yourselves, and the Careys, and Whitakers [88]to be sure. What! you th ought nobody could dance because a certain person that shall be nameless is gone !" "I wish with all my soul," cried Sir John, "that Willoughby were among us again. "

The shortness of his visit. founded only on a something or a nothing between Mr. she was very well disposed on th e whole to regard his actions with all the candid allowances and generous qualif ications. I guess that Mr. he would not have ventured to mention it. "I have been guessing. and sometimes disp leased with his uncertain behaviour to herself. Dashwood to stay longer. His s pirits. he must go. and after a moment's silence. were most usually attributed to his want of independence." Marianne was surprised and confused. but such of Marianne 's expressions as had puzzled him before. Willoughby and herse lf. though still very unequal. Willoughby hunts. Edward! How can you? But the time will come I hope I am sure you will like him. but. He had no pleasure at Norland." replied he. and without any res traint on his time. and of consistency. He valued their kindness beyond any t hing." "Well then. yet she could not help smiling at the quiet archness of his manner. and it was happy for her that he had a mother whose character was so imper fectly known to her. by her mother. and when their visitors left them. parent against child. during the last two or three days. " "I do not doubt it. which had been rather more painfully extorted from her. said "Oh. and his greatest happiness was in being with them. for had he not imagined it to be a joke for the good of her acquaintance in ge neral. and his better knowle dge of Mrs. "And who is Willou ghby?" said he. Ferrars's disposition and designs. Never had any week passed so quickly he could hardly believe it to be gone. in a whisper. by whom he was sitting. and vexed as she was. The old wel l-established grievance of duty against will. Marianne's countenance was more communicative. Edwar d saw enough to comprehend." "Certainly. were great ly improved he grew more and more partial to the house and environs never spoke of g oing away without a sigh declared his time to be wholly disengaged even[89] doubted to what place he should go when he left them but still. he was earnestly pressed by Mrs. bu t either to Norland or London. She would have been glad to know when these difficulties were to cease . and Marianne's blushing. Elinor placed all that was astonishing in this way of acting to his mother's acc ount. to Miss Dashwood. She gave him a brief reply. as if he were bent only on self-mortification. His want of spirits. he went immediately round her. CHAPTER XIX Edward remained a week at the cottage. He said so repeatedl y. in spite of their wishes and his own. for Willoughby 's service. which marked the turn of his feelings and gave the lie to his actions. however. other things he said too. go he must. Disappointed. Yet. as to be the general excuse for every thing strange on the part of her son.This. rather astonished at her earnestness and warmth . originated in the same fettered inclin ation. of openness. he detested being in town. not only the meaning of others. he seemed r esolved to be gone when his enjoyment among his friends was at the height. the same inevitable necessity of temporizing with his mother. gave new suspicions to Edward. he must leave them at the end of a week. the s teadiness of his purpose in leaving them. was the caus e of all. and said. in a low voice. Shall I tell you my guess?" "What do you mean?" "Shall I tell you.

and it will. that your sons will be brought up to as many pursuits. and probably will always be a heavy misfortune to me." "Come. and fancy that any one unlike yourself must be happy. and a young man of eightee n is not in general so earnestly bent on being busy as to resist the solicitatio ns of his friends to do nothing. Edward. to augment and fix her sorrow. which requi red some trouble and time to subdue. But I had no inclination for the law. will be. "since leisu re has not promoted your own happiness. whatever be their education or state. who had chambers in the Temple. I was therefore entered at Oxford and have been properly idle ever since. Dashwood. and. it is her duty. The law was allowed to be genteel enough. employments. But from such vain wishes she was forced to turn for comfort to the renewal of her confidence in Edward's affection. call it hope. even in this less abstruse study of it. and her son be at liberty to be happy. have made me what I am. How much may not a few months do?" "I think. as you t hink now." he replied. on a similar occasion. "to be as unlike myself as is possible. as they were at breakfast the last mornin g. Ferrars would be reformed. Know your own happiness. I always preferred t he church. in time. but I was too old when the subject was first started to enter it." "The consequence of which. as I might be as dashing and expensive without a red coat on my back as with one. As for the navy. many young men. at length. to the remembra nce of every mark of regard in look or word which fell from him while at Barton. Edward. It has been. when Mrs. it must ere long become her happiness to prevent your whole youth from being wasted in discontent. gave additional pain to them all in the parting. Dashwood. that I have had no necessary business to engage me. though it could not be communicated to Mrs. Your m other will secure to you. "you would be a happier man if you had any profession to engage your time and give an interest to your plans and actions.. In feeling. You a re in a melancholy humour. by seeking . she did not adopt the method so judiciously employe d by Marianne." "They will be brought up. I suppose. w hich my family approved. But as it was her determination to subdue i t. But remember that the pain of parting from friends will be felt by every body a t times. which shortly took place." "I do assure you. But unfortunately my own nicety. in action. and to prevent herself from appearing to suffer more than what all her family suffered on his going away. You want nothing but patience or give it a[91] more fascinating name." said Mrs. That was a great deal too smart for me. no profession to give m e employment. and trades as Columella's. Dashwo od. and drove about town in very knowing gigs. But that was not smart enough for my family. as I still do. in every thing. and the nicety of my friends. might result from it you would not be[90] able to give them so much of yo ur time. "that I have long thought on this point." This desponding turn of mind. But (with a smile) you would be materially benefited in one particular at least you would know where to go when you left them. an idle. a nd left an uncomfortable impression on Elinor's feelings especially. idleness was pronounced on the whole to be most advantageous and honourable. that independence you are so anxious for. Some inconvenience to your friends. helpless being. indeed. We never could agree in our choice of a profession. or afford me any thing like independence. professions. "I think. "that I may defy many months to produce any good to m e. come. this opposition was to yield. in condition. as there was no necessity for my having any profession at all." said Mrs. and above all to that flattering proof of it which he constantly wore round his finger. made a very good appearance in the first circles." said he. and is." replied Edward. in a serious accent. this is all an effusion of immediate want of spirits. They reco mmended the army. it had fashion on its side.

she did not lessen her own grief. conversation was forbidden among them. with tenderness." "She is walking. who had not patience enough to wait till the door was opened before she told her story. Such behaviour as this. but there were two others. if not by the absence of h er mother and sisters." They were now joined by Mrs. and the p ast and the future. or lying awake the whole night to indulge meditation.silence. and her mother and sisters were s pared much solicitude on her account." "Never mind if they do. busily employed herself the whole day. in every possible variety which the different[92] state of her s pirits at different times could produce. Dashwood do? And where are your sisters? . than her own had seemed faulty to her. i n spite of this mortifying conviction. and equally suited to the advancement of each. with c alm ones it could have no merit. Jennings. and of the strength of her ow n. who were quite unknown to her. her thoughts could not be chained elsewhere. neither sought nor avoided the mention of his na me. and her fancy. I can tell you. "we have brought you some strangers. and of Edwa rd's behaviour. as to make it har dly possible to speak at one without being heard at the other. How do you like them?" "Hush! they will hear you. El inor found every day afforded her leisure enough to think of Edward. Charlotte is very pretty. "Well. I believe. and engross her memory. soon after Edward's leaving them. by still loving and respecting that sister. he left the rest of the party to the ceremony of knocking at the door. She happe ned to be quite alone. she begged to be excused. Jennings. and stepping across the turf. Their means were as different as their objects. at the entrance of the gr een court in front of the house. solitude and idleness. she dar ed not deny. and every effect of solitude was produced. Without shutting herself up from her family. Amongst them were Sir John and Lady Middleton an d Mrs. with strong affections it was impossible. as she sat at her drawing-table. You may see her if you look this way. though she blushed to acknowledge it. She was sitting near the window." As Elinor was certain of seeing her in a couple of minutes. pity. so exactly the reverse of her own. or leaving the house in determined solitude to avoid them. she gave a very striking proof. without taking that liberty. Her mind w as inevitably at liberty. must force her attention. From a reverie of this kind. "How do you do. she was roused one morning. censu re. my dear? How does Mrs. at least by the nature of their employments. "Where is Marianne? Has she run away because we are come? I see her instrument i s open. though the space was so short between the door and the window. it was at least prevented from unnecessary increase. by the arrival of company. and as soon as Sir John percei ved her." said he. by this conduct. when. drew her eyes to the window. It is only the Palmers. and she saw a larg e party walking up to the door. That her sister's affections were calm. appeared to interest herself almost as much as ever in the general concerns of the family. Elinor sat down to her drawing-table as soon as he was out of the house. on a subject so interesting. There were moments in abundance. approbation. The closing of the little gate. The business of self -command she settled very easily. and doubt. She came hallooing to the window. obliged her to open the casement to speak to him. must be before her. a gentleman and lady. appeared no more meri torious to Marianne. and if. her reflection.

I thought of nothing but w hether it might not be Colonel Brandon come back again. and continued he r account of their surprise. nor made such a long journey of it. so I said to Sir John." added Mrs. who was strongly endowed by nature with a turn for being uniformly civil and happy." said she. attended by Sir John. Mrs. Mamma. Dashwood) but you have made it so charming ! Only look. and continued to read it as long as he stayed. though they were seated on different sides of the room. two or three times over. Jennings. in the middle of her story. how it is improved since I was here last! I always thought it such a sweet place. how delightful every thing is! How I should like such a hou se for myself! Should not you. and totally unlike he r in every respect. Only think of their coming so s uddenly! I thought I heard a carriage last night. while we were drinking our tea . she longed so much to see you all!" . and smiled when she went away. I can't help wishing they had not travelled quite so fast. withou t ceasing till every thing was told.What! all alone! you will be glad[93] of a little company to sit with you. Mrs. for you know (nodding significantly and pointing to her daughter) it was wrong in her situation. to receive the rest of the party. "but. Her manners were by no means so elegant as her sister's. and the fin est expression of good humour in it that could possibly be. and every body agreed. She came in with a smile. sister. except when she laughed. but it never entered my head that it could be them. but she would come with us. Mr. Palmer does not hear me. afte r briefly surveying them and their apartments. she had never been used to find wit in the inattention of any one. laughing. and did not even raise his eyes from the newspape r. Jennings continued her story as she walked through the pa ssage into the parlour. Palmer laughed heartily at the recolle ction of their astonishment. in the meantime. talked on as loud as she could. It is so ridiculous!" This was quite a new idea to Mrs. h owever. tha t it had been quite an agreeable surprise. "You may believe how glad we all were to see them. on the contrary. on seeing their friends. Mrs. but they were much more prepossessing. Dashwood. with an air of more fashion and sense than his wife. Palmer was several years younger than Lady Middleton. leaning forward towards Elinor. slightly bowed to the ladies. I ha ve brought my other son and daughter to see you. I do think I hear a carriage. took up a newspaper from the tabl e. and they all sat down to look at o ne another. but of less willingness to please or be pleased. and speaking in a low voice as if she meant to be heard by no one else. Palmer made her no answer. had a very pretty face. Jennings. Mrs. She was short and plump. Dashwood an d Margaret came down stairs at the same time. perhaps it is Colonel Brandon come back again " Elinor was obliged to turn from her. Her husband was a grave looking young man of fiv e or six and twenty. for they came all round by London upon account of some bu siness. ma'am! (turning to Mrs. He entered the room with a look of se lf-consequence. I wanted her to stay at home and rest this morning. the evening before. was hardly seated before her admiration of the parlour and every thing in it burst forth. while Mrs. smiled all the time of her visit. "Mr. and could not help looking with surprise at them both. "Well! what a delightful room this is! I never saw anything so charming! Only th ink. "he never does sometimes. Palmer. and. without speaking a word. Mrs. Lady Middleton introduced the two strangers. Palmer?"[94] Mr.

"No. as to show she understood it. and only observed. Palmer if there was any news in the paper. how sweet! I declare they are quite charming. the weather was uncertain. after again examining the room. Sir John had been very urgent with them all to spend the next day at the park. He then made his bow. Mr." [96] "Oh! dear. and ushered her in himself. if their parties are grown tedious and dull. who did not choose to dine with them oftener than they dined at th e cottage. "Here comes Marianne. Palmer's eye was now caught b y [95]the drawings which hung round the room. laughing. But Sir John would not be satisfied the carriage should be sent f or them and they must come. all seemed equally anxious to avoid a family party. Mrs. pressed them. none at all. "She expects to be confined in February." cried Sir John. or with us. you shall see a monstrous p retty girl. stretched himself and looked at them all around. Mrs." He immediately went into the passage. I could look at them for ever. M rs. have you been asleep?" said his wife. mama. Dashwood. Palmer. Palmer ate their din ner. "My love. that i t was very low pitched. absolutely refused on her own account. "Why should they ask us?" said Marianne." And t hen sitting down again. Palmer rose also. to excuse themselves.Mrs. and not li kely to be good. She got up to examine them. but we have it on very hard terms. The alteration is not in them. and no expectation of pleasure from them in any other way. "Now. and read on. stared at her some minutes. "by these frequ ent invitations." "They mean no less to be civil and kind to us now. We must look for the change elsewhere. though she did not press their m other." [97] . But they had no curiosity to see how Mr. and that the ceiling was crooked. and Mrs. and said it would not do her any harm. Palmer laughed so heartily at the question. Jennings. Mrs. she very soon forgot that there were any such things in the room. opened the front door. Lady Middleton could no longer endure such a conversation. than by those which we received from them a few weeks ago. and therefore exerted herself to ask Mr. When Lady Middleton rose to go away. and departed with the rest. how beautiful these are! Well! how delightful! Do but look. They attempted. He made her no answer. Jennings asked her. if we are to dine at the park whenever any one is staying either with them. her daughters might do as they pleased. Mr. if she had not been t o Allenham. laid down the newspap er. and the young ladies were oblige d to yield. therefore. and then returned to his newspaper. Palmer looked up on her entering the room. Lady Middleton too." continued Mrs." said Elinor. "The rent of this cottage is said to be low. Palmer joined their entreaties. as soon as they were gone. Palmer laughed. "I declare they are quite charming. and Mrs." he replied. Jennings and Mrs. likewise. as soon as she appeared.

Not above ten miles. I never was at his house. I am sure I shall be very happy to chaperon you at any time till I am confined. Palmer asked me if I would go with him to Barton. but were obliged to resist all her entreaties. Palmer. though her countenance betrayed her interest in what was said. I could get the nicest house in world for you."[98] The rest of the company soon dropt in. Dashwood should not like to go into public. and I knew n othing of it till the carriage was coming to the door." said her husband." "Much nearer thirty. Palmer. and expressed g reat delight in seeing them again. "I am afraid. indeed." said Mrs. and after slightly bowing to the ladies. It makes one detest all one's acquaintance." Her love made no answer." They thanked her. you know." said Mr. We must go. don't be so sly before us. at one door. Marianne remained perfectly silent. He is so droll! He never tells me any thin g! I am so sorry we cannot stay longer. "for we know all about it. I assure you. "Such weather makes every thing and every bod y disgusting. well! there is not much difference. began complain ing of the weather. It was quite a sudden thing our coming at all. I dare say. for I think he is extremely hands ome. "Not go to town!" cried Mrs. with a laugh. as we go away again tomorrow. Miss Marianne." They were obliged to put an end to such an expectation. She took them all most affectionately by the hand. "I shall be quite disappointe d if you do not. Palmer. "Oh." Marianne looked very grave and said nothing. which would be a shoc king thing. What the devil does Sir John mean by no t having a billiard room in his house? How few people know what comfort is! Sir John is as stupid as the weather. but they say it is a sweet pretty place. "I am so glad to see you!" said she. Mrs. Dullness is as much produced within doors as without. "for it is so bad a day I was afraid you might not come. if Mrs. "you have not been able to take you r usual walk to Allenham today. I hope. my love. next door to our s. We do not live a great way from him in the country. for the Westons come to us next week you know." said Sir John. looking as good humoured and mer ry as before. and I admire your taste very much. . who just then entered the room "y ou must help me to persuade the Miss Dashwoods to go to town this winter." "As vile a spot as I ever saw in my life. however we shall meet again in town very soon. in Hanover-square. "Ah. seating herself between Elinor and Marianne ." cried Mrs. "How horrid all this is!" said he. "Oh.CHAPTER XX As the Miss Dashwoods entered the drawing-room of the park the next day. and then Mr. You must come. Palmer came running in at the other. by rain. Palmer to her husband.

to Elinor. Sir John. my dear Miss Dashwood. but she knew that this kind of blunder was too common for any sensible man to be lastingly hurt by it. . and when he scolded or abu sed her. Palmer expects you. "don't you long to have the Miss Dashwoods come to Cleveland?" "Certainly." "Ay." said the good-natured old lady." "You and I. when you spoke to me about it before. as they must live together. Palmer "then it must be some other place that is so pretty I suppose." Charlotte laughed heartily to think that her husband could not get rid of her." said Mrs. Palmer soon afterwards. like many others of his sex. "you see Mr. and cannot give her back again." cried Mr. The motive was too common to be wondered at. Palmer is so droll!" said she. "Oh. It was rather a wish of distinctio n. "Mr. "it is very provoking that we should be so few. or m ore determined to be happy than Mrs. Sir John. however they might succeed by establishing his superiority in ill-breeding. and discontent of her husband gave[99] her no pain. a nd exultingly said. You c annot think how happy I shall be! It will be quite delightful! My love. Palmer. with a sneer "I came into Devonshire with no other view. "I have got such a favour to ask of you and your sister. insolence . Will you come and spend some time at Cle veland this Christmas? Now." They both eagerly and resolutely declined her invitation. that through some unaccountable bias in favour of beauty. she believed." said his lady. "you have taken Charlotte off my hands. to give him credit for bein g so genuinely and unaffectedly ill-natured or ill-bred as he wished to appear. but the means." he replied." Elinor was not inclined. she was highly diverted. you may abuse me as you please."Is it very ugly?" continued Mrs." "There now. and hi s general abuse of every thing before him. " "Then you would be very ill-bred. after a little observation. she did not care how cross he was to her. which produced his contemptuous treatment of every body. "He is always out o f humour. Palmer. The studied indifference. "Do you know that you are quite rude?" "I did not know I contradicted any body in calling your mother ill-bred. in a whisper. he was the husban d of a very silly woman." said Mrs. and come while the Westons are with us." said his wife with her usual laugh." applying to her husband. So there I have th e whip hand of you." said he to his lady. Why did not you ask the Gilberts to come to us today?" "Did not I tell you. Sir John observed with regret that the y were only eight all together. It was impossible for any one to be more thoroughly good-natured. Jennings. "My dear. that it cou ld not be done? They dined with us last. His temper might perhaps be a little soured by finding. were not likely to attach any one to him except his wife." When they were seated in the dining room. pray do. so you cannot refuse to come. "should not stand upon such ceremony. It was the desire of appearing superi or to other people. "My love you contradict every body.

put a stop to her entreaties. but I was with my uncle at Weymouth. "when he is in Parliament! won't it? Ho w I shall laugh! It will be so ridiculous to see all his letters directed to him with an M. She began by inquiring if they saw much of Mr. and by changing the subject. but I have seen him for ever in town. such a confir mation of his merits as might remove the possibility of fear from Marianne. I know why you inquire about him." replied Mrs. I can't imagine why you should object to it. However. he will never frank for me? He declares he won't. but if he were ever so much there." she continued. "he seems very agreeable. T he Westons will be with us." replied Elinor." "Well I am so glad you do. Don't palm all your abuses of languages upon me. and she was eager to gain from any one. Don't you. Mr. Palmer excessively. I believe." "There now. Palmer might be able to give some more particular account of Willoughby's general character. for then I shall have her for a neighbour you know. He is very l ittle at Combe. your sister is to marry him. poor fellow! it is very fatiguing to him! for he is forced to make every body like him." She surprised Elinor very much as they returned into the drawing-room." said Elinor. it is quite charming! But. "Not that I ever s poke to him. you see how droll he is. he says." "No. you know."But indeed you must and shall come. and we are so gay now. Mrs. Palmer is excessively pleased with you and your sisters I can tell you.[100] "How charming it will be. by asking her whether she did not like Mr. for Mr. "Oh dear. You cannot think wh at a sweet place Cleveland is." said Charlotte. if . and you can't t hink how disappointed he will be if you don't come to Cleveland. for he is in the opposition. I thought you would.P. Mama saw him here once before. I do not think Mr. yes. Palmer?" Mr. I know him extremely well. But do you know. Somehow or other I ne ver happened to be staying at Barton while he was at Allenham. and it will be quite delightful. She thought it probable that as they lived in the same county." "Upon my word." said he. Palmer took no notice of her. "Certainly. and whether they were intimately acquainted with him. I am monstrous glad of it. and besides it i s such a way off. Willoughby at Cleveland. very well." Elinor could hardly keep her countenance as she assented to the hardship of such an obligation. indeed. I dare say we should have seen a great deal of him in Somersetshire. if it had not happened very[101 ] unluckily that we should never have been in the country together. and so many people came to dine with us that I never saw before. This is always the way with him! Sometimes he won't speak to me for half a day together." Elinor was again obliged to decline her invitation. "he says it is quite shocking . he is so pleasant. than could be gathered from the Middletons' part ial acquaintance with him. "you know much more of the matter than I do. Palmer. and then he comes out with somethi ng so droll all about any thing in the world. I am sure you will like it of all things. you know. "I never said any thing so irrational. "He cannot bear writing. Palmer would visit him. Palmer is always g oing about the country canvassing against the election. and Mr.

I met Colonel Brandon Monday morning in Bond-street. "I am so glad we are got acquainted at last. quite well. but he looked as if he knew it to be true." "My dear Mrs. You can't think how much I longed to see yo u! It is so delightful that you should live at the cottage! Nothing can be like it. He is such a charming man. Palmer!" "Upon my honour I did. I hear. She is a monstrous lucky girl to get him. Palmer too I am sure. and so does Mr. but they all think him extremely agr eeable I assure you. there is a new family come to Barton cottage. and I will tell you how it happene d. he turned back and walked with us. and so we began talking o f my brother and sister." "You surprise me very much. so from that m oment I set it down as certain." "But I do assure you it was so. I do not believe many people are acquainted w ith him. "Oh! yes." continued Charlotte. he did nothing but say fine t hings of you. Is it true.you have any reason to expect such a match. however small. and mama sends me wor d they are very pretty. because she is so very handsome and agreeable. and so you may tell your sister. extremely well. and one thing and another. upon my honour. and I think him uncommonly pleasing. but any t estimony in his favour. that is. It will be quite delightful. Mamma says he was in love with your sister too. Colonel Brandon tell you of it! Surely you must be m istaken.'" "And what did the Colonel say?" "Oh he did not say much. as you have been in Devonshire so lately. pray? for of course you must know. that nothing can be good enough for her. He seems an excellent man. that it is quite a pity he should be so gra ve and so dull. I don't think her hardly at all handsomer than you. for he hardly ever falls in love with any body ." "Is Mr. I assure you it was a great compliment if he was. and that one of them is going to be married to Mr. was pleasing to her. 'So. However. just before we left town. for all that. Colo nel." Mrs. I as sure you I heard of it in my way through town."[102] "So do I. Palmer's information respecting Willoughby was not very material. and so full of your praises. Nobody is more liked than Mr. I assure you. To give such intelligence to a person who could not be interested in it . to be sure! And I am so glad your sister is going to be well married! I hope . When we met him. not but that he is much more lucky in getting her. I declare! When is it to take place?" "Mr. and he told me of it directly. because you know it is what every body talks of. though we could not get him to own it last night." "I am flattered by his commendation. for I think you both excessively pretty. Brandon was very well I hope?" "Oh! yes. "And now I ho pe we shall always be great friends. and I said to him. because Combe Magna is so far off. Willo ughby of Combe Magna. Willoughby wherever he goes. Willoughby much known in your part of Somersetshire?" said Elinor. even if it were true. is not what I should expect Colonel Brandon to do." "Don't pretend to deny it.

before Sir John's and Mrs. with all the philosophy of a well-bre d woman. As it was impossible. had hardly done wondering at Char lotte's being so happy without a cause. because they were all cousins and must put up with o ne another. as soon as their prese nt engagements at Exeter were over. they were delighted with the house. if he could. which for her ladyship was enthusiastic admiration. and Mrs. for it was before I left scho ol." "Did not Colonel Brandon know of Sir John's proposal to your mother before it wa s made? Had he never owned his affection to yourself?"[103] "Oh. Elinor had h ardly got their last visitors out of her head. Their dress was very smart. Sir John's confidence in his own judgment rose with this animated praise. Jennings's active zeal in the cause of society. and the two families at Barton w ere again left to entertain each other. Jennings's attempts at consolation were t herefore unfortunately founded. Their being her relations t oo made it so much the worse. otherwise Sir John would hav e mentioned it to the Colonel. Lady Mid dleton resigned herself to the idea of it. Jennings had the satisfaction of discovering to be her relations. and we should have been married immediately. B ut mama did not think the match good enough for me. and they happened to be so doatingly fond of children that Lady Middleton's good opinion was engaged in the ir favour before they had been an hour at the Park. [104] The young ladies arrived: their appearance was by no means ungenteel or unfashio nable." "You have been long acquainted with Colonel Brandon. temper and understanding . they had met with two young ladies. I believe." she added in a low voice. procured her some other new acquaintance to see and observe. ever since my sister married. and to assure them of their being the sweetest girls in the world. Sir John and Lady Middleton wished it very much. However. He had not seen me then above twice. whom Mrs . by all accounts. there was not much to be learned. and he se t off directly for the cottage to tell the Miss Dashwoods of the Miss Steeles' a rrival. by hearing that she was very soon to receive a visit from two girls whom she had never seen in her life. I dare say he would have liked it o f all things. and at the strange unsuitableness which often existed between hus band and wife. Elinor wel l knew that the sweetest girls in the world were to be met with in every part of England. She declared them to be very agreeable girls indeed. now to prevent their coming. Palmer's acting so simply. with g ood abilities. He was a particular friend of Sir John's. contenting herself with merely giving her husband a gentle reprimand on the subject five or six times every day. Sir John wanted the whole family to walk to the Park directly and look at his guests.you will be a great deal at Combe Magna. From such commendation as this. no. Their engagements at Exeter instantly gave w ay before such an invitation. a great while. and Lady Middleton was thrown into no little alarm on the return of Sir John. however. for the assurances of her husband and mother on that subject went for nothing at all. and this was enough for Sir John to invite them directly to the park. and in raptures with the furniture. It is a sweet place. face. have not you?" "Yes. Palmer is the kind of man I like. I am much happier as I am. Mr. Benevolent. But this did not last long. In a morning's excursion to Exeter. but if mama had not objected to it. however. under every possible variation of form. "he would have been very glad to have had me. when she advised her daughter not to care about their being so fashionable. their manners very civil." CHAPTER XXI The Palmers returned to Cleveland the next day. and of whose elegance whose t olerable gentility even she could have no proof. philanthropic man! It was painful to him even to keep a thir . at Mr.

"And here is my sweet little Annamaria. was spent in admiration of whatever her ladyship was doing." And soon afterwards. You will be delighted with them I am sure. courtin g their notice. she fondly observed. and humouring their whims. for they have heard at Ex eter that you are the most beautiful creatures in the world. nothing to admire. and she had a sharp quick eye. on the second boy's violently pinching one of the same lady 's fingers. She saw with maternal complacency all the impertinent encroachments and mischievous tricks to which her cousins submitted. He could only obtain a promise of their calling at the Park within a day or two. if she happened to be doing any thing. "John is in such spirits today!" said she. tenderly caressing a little girl of three years old. their work-bags searched. Lucy is monstrous pretty. Fortunately for those who pay their court through such foibles. they found in[105] the appearance of the eldest. a fond mother. and their knives and scissors stolen away. and felt no doubt of its being a reciprocal enjoyment. When their promised visit to the Park and consequent introduction to these young ladies took place. to walk home and boast anew of their attractions to the Miss Steeles." But Sir John could not prevail. "And she is always so gentle and quiet Never was there such a quiet little thing! " . but she will swallow any thing. and such of their time as could be sp ared from the importunate demands which this politeness made on it. and a smartness of air. and Elinor soon allowed them credit for some kind of sense. who had not [107]made a noise for the last two minutes. as he had been already boasting of the Miss Steeles to them.d cousin to himself. "Do come now. And they both long to see you of all things. and the exc essive affection and endurance of the Miss Steeles towards her offspring were vi ewed therefore by Lady Middleton without the smallest surprise or distrust. with a very plain and not a sensible face. though. in pursuit of prai se for her children. which though it did not give actual elegance or grace. or in taking patterns of some elegant new dress. is likewise the most cr edulous. and then left them in amazement at their indiff erence. they acknowledged con siderable beauty. her demands are exorbitant. gave d istinction to her person. aft er a fashion. and they are my wife's. their hair p ulled about their ears. but in the other." she added. "How playful William is!" [106] Mischievous tricks. as if she was an old acqu aintance. and a great deal more. wi thout claiming a share in what was passing. Wi th her children they were in continual raptures. the most rapacious of human beings. extolling their beauty. in which her appearance the day before had thrown them into unceasing delight. You are my cousins. you know. Their manners were particularly civil. who was nea rly thirty. They have brought the whole coach full of playthings for the children. when she saw with what constant and judicious attention they were making themselves agreeable to Lady Middleton. so you must be related . on his taking Miss Steele's pocket ha ndkerchief. and so good humoured and agre eable! The children are all hanging about her already. her features were pretty. It suggested no other surprise than that Elinor and Marianne should sit so composedly by. and I have told the m it is all very true. How can you be so cross as not to come? Why they are your cousins. who was not more than two or three and twenty. and throwing it out of window "He is full of monkey tricks. She saw their sashes untied." said he "pray come you must come I declare you shall come You can't think how you will like them.

who was on her knee s to attend her." said Elinor. which affection could suggest as likely to assuage the agonies of the little sufferer. But this is the usual way of heightening alarm. "unless it had been under totally diffe rent circumstances. which was first broken by Miss Steele. in so critical an emergency." cried the elder sister. and as the two boys chose to follow. always fell. gave them reason to hope that it would not be rejected. Miss Dashwood's commendation. where there is nothing to be alarmed at in reality. came in with out any éclat. by one of the Miss Steeles. but it is so natural in Lady Middleton." "I should guess so. She was seated in her mother's lap. and al l their united soothings were ineffectual till Lady Middleton luckily rememberin g that in a scene of similar distress last week. She did her best when thus called on. and her mouth stuffed with sugar plums by the other. how ever trivial the occasion. though earnestly entreated by their mother to stay behind. With such a reward for her tears. [108] "And Sir John too. though with fa r less than Miss Lucy. "what a charming man he is!" Here too." replied Elinor. I love to see children full of life and spirits. She merely observed that he was perfectly good humoured and friendl y. "Poor little creatures!" said Miss Steele." "What a sweet woman Lady Middleton is!" said Lucy Steele. I never think of t ame and quiet children with any abhorrence. and indeed I am always distra ctedly fond of children. and upon Elinor therefore the whole task of telling l ies when politeness required it. "And what a charming little family they have! I never saw such fine children in my life. some apricot marmalade had been successfully applied for a bruised temple." "I have a notion. by speaking of Lady Middleton with more warmth than she felt. "from what I have witnessed this morning. "you think the little Middletons rather too much i ndulged. it was impossible for her to say what she did not feel. "It might have been a very sad accident." said Lucy. She was carried out of the room therefore in her mother's arms. being only simple and just. kicked her two brothers for offering to touch her. perhaps they may be the outside of enough." "Yet I hardly know how. I cannot bear them if they are tame and quiet. as could hardly be outdone by any creature professedly no isy. who . and a slight intermission of screams in the young lady on hearing it. a pin in her ladyship's head dres s slightly scratching the child's neck. and for my part." "I confess. I declare I quite doat upon them already. but it could not surpass the alar m of the Miss Steeles. as soon as they were gone. in quest of this me dicine. the same remedy was eagerly proposed for this unfortunate scratch. covered with kisses. She still scream ed and sobbed lustily. the child was too wise to cease crying. with a smile. and every thing was done by all three." cried Marianne. The mother's consternation was excessive. produced from this pattern of gentleness such violent screams. Marianne was silent. the four young ladies were left in a quietness which the room had not known for many hours.But unfortunately in bestowing these embraces. "that while I am at Barton Park." A short pause succeeded this speech. her w ound bathed with lavender-water.

provided th ey dress smart and behave civil. whom they declared to be the most beautiful. or at least of the manner in which it was spoken." replied Elinor. for my part. But perhaps you young ladies may not care about the beaux. I think they are vastly agreeable. I suppose your brother was quite a beau. But this I can say. well provided with admiration fo r the use of Sir John Middleton. looking ashamed of her sister. and agreeable girls they had ever beh eld. clerk to Mr. "I cannot tell you. I'm sure th ere's a vast many smart beaux in Exeter. Miss Dashwood? I suppose you were very sorry to l eave Sussex. "you can talk of nothing but beaux. but you know. or the shrewd look of the youngest. that if he ever was a beau be fore he married. The vulgar freedom and folly of th e eldest left her no recommendation. Simpson. quite a beau. my dear. "A nd how do you like Devonshire." replied Elinor. a prodigious smart young man. he is no t fit to be seen. and no nigga rdly proportion was now dealt out to his fair cousins. "that ther e are not as many genteel young men in Devonshire as Sussex?" "Nay." "But why should you think. but he did not know that any more was required: . This specimen of the Miss Steeles was enough." said Lucy. to her want of real elegance and artlessne ss." "Oh! dear! one never thinks of married men's being beaux they have something else to do. fo r as Sir John was entirely on the side of the Miss Steeles. I'm sure I don't pretend to say that there[109] an't. whic h consists of sitting an hour or two together in the same room almost every[110] day. Rose at Exeter." cried her sister. "We have heard Sir John admire it excessively. tho ugh it is not to be supposed that any one can estimate its beauties as we do. accomplished. for I do not perfectly compr ehend the meaning of the word. you know. For my part. how could I tell what sma rt beaux there might be about Norland. They came from Exeter. Sir John could do no more. "Norland is a prodigious beautiful place. he is one still for there is not the smallest alteration in him ." "And had you a great many smart beaux there? I suppose you have not so many in t his part of the world." "Lord! Anne. she left the house without any wish of knowing them better. "I think every one must admire it. and I was only afraid the Miss Dashwoods might find it dull at Barton. you will make Miss Dashwood believe you think of nothing else. she began admiring the house and the furniture. and that kind of intimacy must be submitted to. and yet if you do but meet him of a morning. before he married. Miss Dashwood. and who now said rather abruptly. and as Elinor was not blinded by the beauty . and with whom they were particularly anxious to be better acquainted." And then to turn the discourse ." In some surprise at the familiarity of this question. as he was so rich?" "Upon my word. and had as lief be withou t them as with them.seemed very much disposed for conversation. his family. and all his relations. Elinor soon found was their inevitable lot. Not so the Miss Steeles. elegant. I think they are a vast addition always. And t o be better acquainted therefore. is not it?" added Miss Steele. "who ever saw the place. Elinor replied that she was. N ow there's Mr. But I can't bear to see them dirty and nasty. who seemed to think s ome apology necessary for the freedom of her sister. if they had not so many as they used to have. their party would be too strong for opposition." said Lucy.

as she expected. and for the first time in her life. before the eldest of them wished her joy on her sister's having been so lucky as to make a conquest of a very smart beau since she came to Barto n." Elinor could not suppose that Sir John would be more nice in proclaiming his sus picions of her regard for Edward. ind eed it was rather his favourite joke of the two. he had not a doubt of their being establi shed friends. increased her curiosity. "His name is Ferrars. and prodigious handsome. b y making the Miss Steeles acquainted with whatever he knew or supposed of his co usins' situations in the most delicate particulars. Ferrars's name by Miss Steele when alluded to. but nothing more of it was said. and found productive of such countless jokes. and while his continual sch emes for their meeting were effectual. CHAPTER XXII ." said she. had now all the benefit of these jokes. that its chara cter as the wittiest letter in the alphabet had been long established with Elino r. And I hope you may have as good luck yourself soon. as Miss Steele had in hearing it. To do him justice. in his opinion. she thought Mrs. "And who was this uncle? Wher e did he live? How came they acquainted?" She wished very much to have the subje ct continued." [111] Drinking to her best affections. The manner in which Miss Steele had spoken of Edward. for it's a great secret. and suggested the susp icion of that lady's knowing. as being somewhat newer and mor e conjectural. for he had at least as much pleasure in telling the name. they had never dined together without h is drinking to her best affections with so much significancy and so many nods an d winks. Miss [112]Dashwood? a very agreeable young man to be sure. But her curiosity was unavailing. is he? What! you r sister-in-law's brother. than he had been with respect to Marianne. or even openly mentioned by Sir John. "and I hear he is quite a beau. "Ferrars!" repeated Miss Steele. or in a disposition to comm unicate it." said he. and i n the eldest of them they raised a curiosity to know the name of the gentleman a lluded to. or fancying herself to know something to his disad vantage. who generally made an amendment to all h er sister's assertions. But Sir Joh n did not sport long with the curiosity which he delighted to raise." Elinor heard all this with attention and surprise. Jennings de ficient either in curiosity after petty information. The letter F had been likewise invariab ly brought forward. though she did not choose to join in it herself. Anne?" cried Lucy. "Mr. which. "but pray do not tell it.to be together was. though often impertinently expressed. The Miss Steeles. "Though we have seen him once or twice at my uncle's. he did every thing in his power to promote their unreserve. but perhaps you may have a friend in the corner already. Ferrars is the happy man. to be intimate. for no farther notice was taken of Mr . in a very audible whisper. "'Twill be a fine thing to have her married so young to be sure. it is rather too much to pretend to know him very well. as to excite general attention. was perfectly of a piece with her general inquisitiveness into the concerns of their family. and since Edward's visit." "How can you say so. and Elinor had not seen them m ore than twice. I know him very well. for it struck her as being rather ill-natured.

her assiduities." said Elinor. but she saw. could not be concealed from Miss Dashwood. Elinor saw. and her countenance expressed it. I dare say. and to the invariable coldne ss of her behaviour towards them. and integrity of mind. Then. Ferrars?" Elinor did think the question a very odd one. I should be very glad of your[114] advice how to ma nage in such and uncomfortable situation as I am. as she answered that she had never seen Mrs. Ferrars." "I am sorry I do not. her remarks were often just and amusing. who renewed the subject again by saying. "I know no thing of her. are you perso nally acquainted with your sister-in-law's mother. wi th less tenderness of feeling.Marianne. "I wonder at that." returned Elinor. to be pleased wit h the Miss Steeles. of rectitude. inferiority of parts. whose want of instruction prevented their meeting in conversation on terms of equality. you cannot tell me what sort of a woman she is?" "No. and therefore I am a little surprised. in great astonishment. for I thought you must have seen her at Norland sometimes." said Lucy to her one day. the neglect of abilities which education might have rendered so respectable. but especially of Lucy. which checked every endeavour at intimacy on t heir side. was at this time particularly ill-disposed. "but perhaps there may be reaso ns I wish I might venture. But really I never understood that you w ere at all connected with that family." "I am sure you think me very strange. but however I hope you will do me the justice of believ ing that I do not mean to be impertinent. or of striving to improve their acquain tance by an easy and frank communication of her sentiments. in spite of her constan t endeavour to appear to advantage. perhaps. which her attentions. eyeing Elinor attentively as she spoke. her flatteries at the Park betrayed. the thorough want of delicacy. Elinor principally attributed that preference of herself which soon b ecame evident in the manners of both. Ferrars." sa id Lucy. from the state of her spirits. and her deficiency of all mental improvement. with some hesita tion "I cannot bear to have you think me impertinently curious. I am sorry you do not happen to know Mrs. who had never much toleration for any thing like impertinence. "if it could be of an y use to you to know my opinion of her. her want of information in the most common particulars. I . but. And I am sure I should not have the smallest f ear of trusting you. vulgari ty. "You will think my question an odd one. but her powers ha d received[113] no aid from education: she was ignorant and illiterate. I am sure I would rat her do any thing in the world than be thought so by a person whose good opinion is so well worth having as yours. a s they were walking together from the park to the cottage "but pray. Lucy was naturally clever. a nd not very desirous of satisfying what seemed impertinent curiosity. and they walked on for a few minutes in silence. and whose conduct toward oth ers made every show of attention and deference towards herself perfectly valuele ss. for enquiring about her in such a way. or even difference of taste from herself. "Indeed!" replied Lucy. cautious of giving her real opinion of Edward's mother." Elinor made her a civil reply. and pitied her for. It was broken by Lucy. however. and she could have no lasting satisfaction in the company of a pe rson who joined insincerity with ignorance. who missed no oppo rtunity of engaging her in conversation. and as a com panion for half an hour Elinor frequently found her agreeable. there is no occa sion to trouble you. indeed. or to encourage their advances. Mrs.

she said." replied Lucy. Her astonishment at what she heard was at first too great for words. and though her complexion varied." "I dare say you are." "Your uncle!" . but at length forcing herself to speak. Ferrars is certainly noth ing to me at present but the time may come how soon it will come must depend upon he rself when we may be very intimately connected. but. "what do you mean? Are you acquainted with Mr. because it was always meant to be a great secret." said she. however. if I had not felt the greatest dependence in the world upon your secrecy. Sh e turned towards Lucy in silent amazement. unable to divine the reason or object of such a declaration. "You may well be surprised. [116] Elinor for a few moments remained silent." What felt Elinor at that moment? Astonishment." continued Lucy." Elinor. Robert Ferrars I never saw him in my life. she stood firm in incr edulity. when he knows I have trusted you. with only one side glance at her companion to observe its effect on her. and felt in no danger of an hysterical fit. amiably bashful. for I dare say he never dropped the smallest hint of it to you or any of your family. "for to be sure you could have had no idea of it before. and I am sure I do not at all wonder at it. and looks upon yourself and the other Mi ss Dashwoods quite as his own sisters. you would not be so much surprised." She paused. But if I dared tell you all. at so serious an inquiry into her character. Rob ert Ferrars? Can you be?" And she did not feel much delighted with the idea of s uch a sister-in-law. that would have been as painful a s it was strong. Mrs. with calmness of manner. had not an immediate disbelief of the assertion attended it. an d I am sure has been faithfully kept so by me to this hour. and I never should have mentioned it to you. "Good heavens!" cried Elinor. He was under my uncle's care. a considerable while. "No. still felt unable to believe it. "I did not know." She looked down as she said this." f ixing her eyes upon Elinor. Not a soul of all my relations know of it but Anne. Ferrars must see m so odd. which tolerably well conceale d her surprise and solicitude "May I ask if your engagement is of long standing?" "We have been engaged these four years. and to sp eak cautiously. [115] Amiably bashful. because I know he has the highest o pinion in the world of all your family. that it ought to be explained." "Our acquaintance. "to his eldest brother." "Four years!" "Yes. or a swoon. And I do not think Mr.confess. and I rea lly thought my behaviour in asking so many questions about Mrs. "not to Mr. "that you were even acquainted till the other day. Ferrars can be d ispleased. is of many years date. you know. though greatly shocked.

Mrs. and. and her companion's falsehood "Engaged to Mr. . It was there our acquaintance begun." replied Elinor. or my family. it was not strange. to be sure. is the person I mean. Though you do not know him so well as me. Edward Ferrars. She returned it almost instantly." answered Elinor. or her wish of detecting false hood might suffer to linger in her mind. Lucy spoke first. as he was alway s particularly afraid of his sister's suspecting any thing. "Mr. and it was there our engagement was formed. considering our situation. whatev er other doubts her fear of a too hasty decision. Elinor's security sunk." replied Elinor calmly. of Park Street. and heaven knows how much longer we may have to wait." "Certainly. she could have none of its being Edward 's face. but I was too young." said she with a firm voice. the re could be no occasion for ever mentioning my name to you." She was silent. therefore. and loved him too well. but after a moment' s reflection. you must have seen enough of him to be sensible he is very capable of maki ng a woman sincerely attached to him." replied Elinor. "Four years you have been engaged. near Plymouth. Miss Dash wood. "Yes." Then taking a small miniature from her pocket. but yet I think you cannot be deceived a s to the person it was drew for. without knowing what she said. Our first care has been to k eep the matter secret. but surely there m ust be some mistake of person or name. I was very unwilling to enter into it. "to give him my picture in return. I have had it above these three years. and. smiling. Pratt. with an exertion of spirits. Poor Edward! It puts him quite out of heart. Pratt?" "I think I have. Did you never hear him talk of Mr. in a most painful perplexity." "It is strange. she add ed. "I have never been able."Yes. "To prevent the possibility of mistake. Ferrars. you must allow that I am not likely to be deceive d as to the name of the man on who all my happiness depends. with revived security of Edward's honour and love." "You are quite in the right. John D ashwood. but he was almost always with us afterwards. be so good as to look at this face. the eldest son of Mrs. Mr. for my sister and me was often staying with my un cle."[117 ] "We can mean no other. without the knowledge and appro bation of his mother. to be so prud ent as I ought to have been. Ferrars. who lives at Longstaple. We cannot mean the same Mr. "that I should ne ver have heard him even mention your name." "No. They then proceeded a few p aces in silence. You knew nothing of me. that really I beg your pardon. though not till a year after he had quitted as a pupil." continued Lucy. for he has been always so anxious to get it! But I a m determined to set for it the very first opportunity. "He was four years with my uncle. Edward Ferrars! I confess myself so totall y surprised at what you tell me. which increased w ith her increase of emotion. she added." She put it into her hands as she spoke." cried Lucy. and brother of your sister-in-law. but her self-command did not sink with i t. whi ch I am very much vexed at. that was reason enou gh for his not mentioning it. and when Elinor saw the painting. It does not do him justice. acknowledging the likeness. as you may imagine.

as I kno w the very mention of such a thing[119] would do. but poor Edward is so cast down by it! Did you not think him dreadful low-spirited when he was at Barton? He was so miserable when he left us at Longstaple." As she said this. startled by the question. "but you do me no more than justice in imagining that I may be depended on." replied Elinor. "his mo ther must provide for him sometime or other. I cannot bear the thoughts of making him so miserable. yes. Anne is the only person that k nows of it." "Did he come from your uncle's. Every thing in such suspense and unc ertainty. "Sometimes." "To be sure." continued Lucy." She remembered too. I only wonder that I am alive after what I have suffer ed for Edward's sake these last four years. most feelingly sensible of every fresh circumstance in fav our of Lucy's veracity. that I was afraid you wo uld think him quite ill. "I think whether it would no t be better for us both to break off the matter entirely. Your secret is safe with me . You can't think how much I go through in my mind from it altogether. "I remember he told us. then. What would you advise me to do in such a case. but Elinor did not feel very compassionate.[118] for she would never approve of it. he had been staying a fortnight with us. I shall have no fortune. Besides i n the present case. She does not kn ow how to hold her tongue. And on my own account too so dea r as he is to me I don't think I could be equal to it." said she. personally at le ast." said Elinor. her own surprise at t he time. hoping to discover something in her countenance. she does me a great deal mor e harm than good. I am sur e I wonder my heart is not quite broke. I felt almost as if you was an old acquaintance. when he visited us?" "Oh. Your own judgment must direct you. I dare say. not to have i t reach his mother. that he had been staying a fortn ight with some friends near Plymouth. lest she should out with it all. "I was afraid you would think I was taking a great liberty with you. "but I can give you no ad vice under such circumstances. and she has no judgment at all. for I am in constant fear of her betraying me. "in telling you all this. I really thought some explanation was due to you after my ma king such particular inquiries about Edward's mother. after wiping her eyes. and I am so unfortunate. after a few minutes silence on both sides. "I have no doubt in the world of your faithfully keeping this secret. at his mentioning nothing farther of those friends. t hat I have not a creature whose advice I can ask." continued Lucy. and as soon as I saw you. but pardon me if I express some surprise at so unnecessary a communication. I have not known you long to be sure. but Lucy's countenance suffered no change." replied Elinor." Here she took out her handkerchief. "But then at other times I have not resolutio n enough for it. indeed. Yo u must at least have felt that my being acquainted with it could not add to its safety. perhaps the falsehood of the greatest part of what she had been saying."I am sure. because you must know of what importance it is to us. and seeing him so seldom we can hardly meet above twice a-year. at his total silenc . when Edward's name was mentioned by Sir Jo hn. as you must perceive. Miss Dashwood? What would you do yourself?" "Pardon me." "I certainly did not seek your confidence. and I am sure I was in the grea test fright in the world t'other day. to go to you. but I have known you and all your family by description a great while. she looked earnestly at Lucy. Did you think he came directl y from town?" "No. she looked directly at her companion." As she said this." said she. and I fancy she is an exceeding proud woman.

" "I begged him to exert himself for fear you should suspect what was the matter. I heard from him just before I left Exeter. which had often surprised her. for he had just filled t he sheet to me as full as possible. Pratt was a foundation for the rest. Fortunately for her. supported as it was too on every side by such probabiliti es and proofs. This picture. I gave him a lock of my hair set in a ring when he was at Longstaple last. as overcame every fear of condemning him unfairly. "Did not you think him sadly out of spirits?" repeated Lucy. and Elinor was then at liberty to think and be wretched . but a correspondence between them by letter. might have been accidentally obtained. his ill-treatment of herself. and Edward's visit near Plymouth. and established as a fact. for a short time made her feel only for her self. the letter. her indignation at having been its dupe. and for the time complete." said Elinor. whatever it might once h . shocked. for he writes in wretched spirits." taking a letter from her pocket and carelessly showing the directi on to Elinor. but that is not written so well as usual. for a few moments. and that was some comfort to him. he said. and she could doubt no longer. other considerations. "We did. coul d subsist only under a positive engagement. where no temptation could be answerable to the folly of inventing a falsehood of such a description. but it made him so melancholy. his melancholy st ate of mind. the Miss Steel es returned to the Park. and seeing me so much affected. and contradicted by nothing but her own wishes. but exertion was indispensably necessary. and the conversation coul d be continued no farther.e with respect even to their names. She was mortified. but poor Edward has not even that. his dissatisfaction at his own prospects. the picture. it was im possible for her on serious reflection to suspect it in the present case. with a composure of voice. Had Edward been intenti onally deceiving her? Had he feigned a regard for her which he did not feel? Was his engagement to Lucy an engagement of the heart? No. at onc e indisputable and alarming. returning the letter into her pocket. Perhaps you might notice the ring when you saw him?" "I did." said Lucy. I dare say. she was[120] almost overcome her heart sunk within her. it migh t not have been Edward's gift. under which was concealed an em otion and distress beyond any thing she had ever felt before. "is th e only comfort we have in such long separations. confounded. particularly so when he first arrived. they had now reached the cottage. Poor fellow! I am afraid it is just the same with him now. Their opportunity of acquaintance in the house of Mr. After sitting with them a few minutes. the intimate knowledge of the Miss Steeles as to Norland and the ir family connections. If he had but my picture. soon arose. I dare say. indeed. and she struggle d so resolutely against the oppression of her feelings. sh e had allowed herself to believe. I have one other comfort i n his picture. not being able to stay more than a fortnight with us. he s ays he should be easy. What Lucy had asserted to be true. therefore. but other ideas. He was tired. Yes. Her resentment of such behaviour. formed[121] altogether such a body of evidence. but not equal to a picture." Elinor saw that it was his hand. a charming one it is. "Writing to each other. and sh e could hardly stand. d ared not longer doubt. "You know his hand. his uncertain behaviour t owards herself. that her success was spe edy. which no partiality could set aside. CHAPTER XXIII However small Elinor's general dependence on Lucy's veracity might be. could be authorised by nothing else. t he ring. Elinor could not.

with his integrity. and whom she expected to see in every carriage which dr ove near their house. while the same period of time. He certainly loved her. in remaining at Norland after he first felt her influence over him to be more than it ought to be. Much as she had suffered from her first conversation with Lucy on the subject. that when she joined them at dinner only two hours after she had first s uffered the extinction of all her dearest hopes. her appearance of cheerfulness as invariable. give such improvement to the understanding. it was not an illusion of her own van ity. Fanny. She was stronger alone. and to be s aved likewise from hearing that condemnation of Edward. If in the supposition of his seeking to marry herself. if her case were pitiable. and which was more tha n she felt equal to support. all had been c onscious of his regard for her at Norland. had perhaps robbed her of that simplicity which might once have given an interesting character to her beauty. his was hope less. he could not be defended. what had been entruste d in confidence to herself. but if he had injured he r. while her self-comman d would neither receive encouragement from their example nor from their praise. no one would have supposed from the appearance of the sisters. could be felt as a relief! As these considerations occurred to her in painful succession. She could not be deceived in that. how much greater were they now likely to be. Supported by the conviction of having done nothing to me rit her present unhappiness. but it seemed to have d eprived himself of all chance of ever being otherwise. under the first smar t of the heavy blow. how much more had he injured himself. his delicacy. she thought she could even now. of whose whole heart she fe lt thoroughly possessed. with a heart so alienated from Lucy. more than for herself.[122] indeed. were his affection for herself out of the que stion. she knew she could receive no assista nce. In that. His imprudence had made her miserable for a while. and that Marianne was internally dwelling on the perfections of a man. sisters. it was possible for them to be. What a softener of the heart was this persuasion! H ow much could it not tempt her to forgive! He had been blamable. but melancholy was the state of the person by whom the expectation of family opposition and un kindness. highly blamable . when the object of his engagement was undoubtedly inferior in connections. which if ration ally spent. The necessity of concealing from her mother and Marianne. though it obliged her to unceasing exertion. must have opened his eye s to her defects of education. command herself enough to guard every suspicion of the trut h from her mother and sisters. their tenderness and sorrow must add to her distress. but the four succeeding years years. artful. that Elinor was mourning in secret over obstacle s which must divide her for ever from the object of her love. be satisfied wi th a wife like her illiterate. His affection was all her ow n. she could not believe it such at present. spent on her side in inferior society and more frivolous pursuits. She might in time regain tranquillity. which would probably flo w from the excess of their partial affection for herself. was no aggravation of Elinor's distress. might not press very hard upon his patience. and well-informed mind. or their conversation. and selfish? The youthful infatuation of nineteen would naturally blind him to every thing bu t her beauty and good nature. to be spared the communication of what would give such affliction to them. as with r egrets so poignant and so fresh. that her f irmness was as unshaken. what had he to look forward to? Could he ever be tolerably happy with Lucy Steele. These difficulties. And so well was she able to answer her own expect ations. On the contrary it was a relief to her. From their counsel. could he. and consoled by the belief that Edward had done not hing to forfeit her esteem. Her mother. she wept for him. his difficulties from his mother had seemed great. and probably i nferior in fortune to herself. s . but he. and her own good sense so well supported her.ave been.

not merely from Lucy's assertion. sh e wanted more clearly to understand what Lucy really felt for Edward. and therefore very little leisure was ever given for a general chat. she was too well convinced of the impossibi lity of engaging Lucy's attention to attempt it. But indeed. and Marianne. playing at cards. The card-table was then placed. but that Elinor might be informed by it of Lucy's superior cla ims on Edward. was equally compliant. And as she could now have nothing more painful to hear on the subject than had already been told. or any other game that was s ufficiently noisy. and this for more reasons than one. and she would otherwi se be quite alone. and her calmness in conversing on it. in such a party as this was l ikely to be. the children accompanied them. and be taught to avoid him in future? She had little difficulty i n understanding thus much of her rival's intentions. with a secret so confess edly and evidently important. though always unwilling to join an y of their parties. That Lucy was disposed t o be jealous of her appeared very probable: it was plain that Edward had always spoken highly in her praise. but from her vent uring to trust her on so short a personal acquaintance. and Lady Middleton was happily preserved from the frightf ul solitude which had threatened her. and while they remained there. it produced not one novelty of thought or expressio n. in the ir morning discourse. But it was not immediately that an opportunity of doing so could be commanded. where they might most easily separate themselves from the others. in the name of charity. What other reason for the disclosure of the affai r could there be. The young ladies went. Elinor. whether th ere were any sincerity in her declaration of tender regard for him. and la ughing together. and chiefly at the former. and she part icularly wanted to convince Lucy. that she was no otherwise interested in i t than as a friend. And even Sir John's joking intelligence must have had some weight. except her mother and the two Miss Steeles. She wanted to hear[123] many particulars of their engagement repeated again. t hough Lucy was as well disposed as herself to take advantage of any that occurre d. as he was obliged to attend the club at Exeter. for the weather was not often fine enough to allow of their joining in a walk . it required no other consideration of proba bilities to make it natural that Lucy should be jealous. they could not be supposed to meet for the sake of conversation. to beg. and though t hey met at least every other evening either at the park or cottage. Margaret. more at liberty among themselves under the tranquil and well-bred d irection of Lady Middleton than when her husband united them together in one noi sy purpose. One or two meetings of this kind had taken place. The insipidity of the meeting was exactly such as Elinor had expected. must have left at least doubtful. who fores aw a fairer opening for the point she had in view. which she very much feared her involuntary agitation. to comba t her own affection for Edward and to see him as little as possible. or consequences. and that she was so.he soon felt an earnest wish of renewing it. to go likewise. she did not mistrust her own ability of going throu gh a repetition of particulars with composure. drinking. They quitted it only with the r emoval of the tea-things. with her mother's per mission. was persuaded by her mother. who could not bear to have her seclude herself from any chance of amusement. she could n ot deny herself the comfort of endeavouring to convince Lucy that her heart was unwounded. and Elinor began to wo nder at herself for having ever entertained a hope of finding time for conversat . Such a thought would never enter[124] either Sir John or Lady Middleton's head. immediately accepted the invitation. he r very confidence was a proof. and while she was firmly re solved to act by her as every principle of honour and honesty directed. while Elinor remained so well assured within hersel f of being really beloved by Edward. when Sir John called at the cottage one morni ng. by her readiness to enter on the matter again. that they would all dine with Lady Middleton that day. and nothing could be less interesting than the whole of their discourse both in the dining parlour and drawing room: to the latter. They met for the sake of eating. and none at all for particular discourse. without affording Elinor any c hance of engaging Lucy in private.

I would not disappoint the little angel for all the world: and if you want me at the card-table now. if she would allow me a share in it." cried Lucy." The remaining five were now to draw their cards. and there is so much still to be done to the basket." "You are very good. who with her usual inattention to the forms of general civilit y. for I am sure it must hurt your eyes to work filigree by candlelight." "Indeed I shall be very much obliged to you for your help. Lady Middleton. and then I hope she will not much mind it. "Inde ed you are very much mistaken. if t he basket was not finished tomorrow. I should like the work exceedingly. "for I f ind there is more to be done to it than I thought there was." said Miss Steele. I am only waiting to know whether you can make your party without me. perhaps you will be as well pleased not to cut in till another rubber. she turned away and walked to the instrument. and it would be a s hocking thing to disappoint dear Annamaria after all." continued Elinor. or will you take your chance now?" Elinor joyfully profited by the first of these proposals. Lady Middleton proposed a rubber of Casino to the others. "I am glad. "Marianne can never keep long from that instrument you know. in rolling her papers for her. Lucy made room for her with r eady attention." said Lady Middleton to Lucy. "Your Ladyship will have the goodness to excuse me you know I detest cards. They all rose up in preparation for a round game. or I should have been at my filigree alread y. indeed. "Perhaps. And we will make the dear little love some amends for her disappointment to-morrow. I am resolved to finish the basket after supper. I shall go to the piano-forte. for it is the very best toned piano-forte I ever heard. gained her own end. I hope it won't hurt your eyes: will you ring the bell for som e working candles? My poor little girl would be sadly disappointed." said Lady Middleton to Elinor. "Dear little soul." said Elinor . that it must be impossible I think for her labour sin gly. Lady Middleton looked as if she thanked heaven that she had never made so rude a speech. how I do love her!" [126] "You are very kind. Lucy recollected herself instantly and[125] replied." This hint was enough. "you are not going to finish poor litt le Annamaria's basket this evening. and pleased Lady Middleton at the same time. for though I told her it certainly would no t. endeavouring to smooth away the offence. and the two fair rivals were thus seated side by side at the sam .ion at the park. I am sure she depends upon having it done. "and I do not much wonder at it. I may be of some us e to Miss Lucy Steele." Lucy directly drew her work table near her and reseated herself with an alacrity and cheerfulness which seemed to infer that she could taste no greater delight than in making a filigree basket for a spoilt child. "and as you really like the work. No one made any object ion but Marianne. to finish it this evening. exclaimed. I have not touched it since it was tuned." "Oh! that would be terrible. ma'am. " And without farther ceremony. and thus by a little o f that address which Marianne could never condescend to practise. I know. "if I should happen to cut out.

or no farther curiosity on its subject. you seem to me to be surrounded wi th difficulties. and. was lu ckily so near them that Miss Dashwood now judged she might safely. with the utmost harmony. engaged in forwarding the same work." "That conviction must be every thing to you. but I love him too well to be the selfish means of robbing him. that I should be unpardonable to doubt it now. CHAPTER XXIV In a firm. Your case is a very unfortunate one. Elinor thus began. it may be for many years. i t would be an alarming prospect. of all that his mother might give him if he married to please her." "He has only two thousand pounds of his own. though for my own part. but Edward's affection and constancy nothing ca n deprive me of I know. you have set my heart at ease by it." Lucy here looked up." cried Lucy warmly. I felt sure that you was angry with me. If you knew what a consolation it was to me to relieve my heart speaking to you of what I am always thinking of every moment of my life. introduce the interesting subject. though cautious tone. "Edward's love for me. indeed. under the she lter of its noise." replied Lucy." "Indeed. I could give up every prospect of more without a si gh. Ferrars. but Elinor was careful in guarding her countenance from eve ry expression that could give her words a suspicious tendency. "I should be undeserving of the confidence you have honoured me with.e table. "for breaking the ice. it would be madness to marry upon t hat." and Elinor spoke it with th e truest sincerity. wrapped up in her own music and her own thoughts. "has been pretty well put to the test. and it has stood the trial so well. Mr. and under many circumstances it naturally would duri ng a four years' engagement. by our long." "Offended me! How could you suppose so? Believe me. "there seemed to me to be a coldness and displeasure in your manner that made me quite uncomfortable. I will no t apologize therefore for bringing it forward again. and he is undoubtedly supported by the same trust in your's. With almost every other man in the world. your situation would have been pitiable. if I felt no desire for its continuance. as between many people. If the strength of your reciprocal attachment had fail ed. But I am very glad to find it was only my own fancy. is entirely dependent on his mother. I have been always used to a very small income. perhaps. I can safely say that h e has never gave me one moment's alarm on that account from the first. We must wait. her little sharp eyes full of meaning. for having took such a liberty as to troubl e you with my affairs. I believe." "Thank you. that was not honourable an d flattering to me?" "And yet I do assure you. to acknowl edge your situation to me. and have[127] been quarrelling with myself ever since. Could you have a motive for the trust." . had by this time forgotten that any body was in the room besides herself. The pianoforte at which Marianne. your compassion would make you overlook every thing else I am sure. very long absence since we were first engaged." said Lucy. without any risk of being heard at the card-table. for I was somehow or other afraid I had offended you by what I told you that Monday. and that you really do not blame me. and could struggle with any poverty for him. and you will have need of all your mutual affection to support you under them. "nothing could be farther from my intention than to give you such an idea. I can easily believe that it was a very great relief to you. and be assured that you shall never have reason to re pent it.

[130] "Oh. there is no finding out w ho she likes." said she after a short silence. and was silent. if there had been the slightest alteration in his behav iour to me when we met. or seemed in any respect less happy at Longstaple than he used to be. I dare say. but I fancy he is very unlike his brother silly and a g reat coxcomb. or any lowness of spirits that I could not account for. or if he had talked more of one lady than another.Elinor hardly knew whether to smile or sigh at this assertion." thought Elinor. and the idea of that. Ferrars's death." "All this. and to all the tediousness of t he many years of suspense in which it may involve you. but as for Lucy. "I am rather of a jealous temper too by nature. from his being so much more in the world than me." cried Lucy. Lucy first put an end to it b . prettiest behaved young men I ever sa w. I do not mean to say that I am particul arly observant or quick-sighted in general. which is a melancholy and shocking e xtremity? Is her son determined to submit to this. looking significantly round at them. laughing heartily. and in her first fit of anger upon hearing it. frightens away all my inclination for hasty measures. "I dare say Lucy's beau is quite as modest and pretty behaved as Miss Dashwood's. Jennings. Robert Ferrars?" asked Elinor. and looked angrily at her sister." Elinor blushed in spite of herself." "A great coxcomb!" repeated Miss Steele. our favourite beaux are not gr eat coxcombs. Jennings. for Edward's sake. wou ld very likely secure every thing to Robert. or you are carrying your disinterestedness beyond re ason. Ferrars is a very headstrong proud woman. whose ear had caught those words by a s udden pause in Marianne's music." [129] "I can answer for it. and o ur continual separation.[128] Lucy went on. and from our diffe rent situations in life." "No sister." said Mrs. she is such a sly little creature. rather than run the risk of her displeasure for a while by owning the truth?" "If we could be certain that it would be only for a while! But Mrs." Lucy looked at Elinor again. "are your views? or have you none bu t that of waiting for Mrs. "Not at all I never saw him. but in such a case I am sure I could not be deceived. they are talking of their favourite beaux. to have found out the truth in an instant. "you are mistaken there. "for he is one of the modestest." "And for your own sake too. "Oh." cried Miss Steele. "Do you know Mr. I was enough inclined for suspicion. Lucy bit her lip." said Mrs." "I can answer for it that Miss Dashwood's is not. but it can impose upon neither of u s. "is very pretty. A mutual silence took place for some time." "But what.

"that your judgment might justly have s uch weight with me. indeed I am bound to let you into the secret. "on such a subject I certainly will not. and I do really believe. your opinion would not be worth having." They were again silent for many minutes." replied Lucy. which I am sure you would be kind enough to use out of friendship for him. and Lucy was still the first to end it." Elinor blushed for the insincerity of Edward's future wife. for bringing matters to bear." answered Elinor. with a smile. and replied. That would be enough for us to marry upon. . the power of dividing two people so tenderly attached is too much for an indifferent person. for you are a party concerned. We seem so beset with difficulties on every side. now my plan is that he shoul d take orders as soon as he can. I dare say you have seen enough of Edward to know that he would prefer the church to every other profession. that though it would make us miserable for a time. whi ch I understand is a very good one. At length Lucy exclaimed with a deep si gh "I believe it would be the wisest way to put an end to the business at once by d issolving the engagement. Miss Dashwood?" "No. If you could be supposed to be biased in any respect by your own feelings. John Dashwood would not much approve of Edward's going into orders." "But Mrs. unless it were on the side of your wishes. Miss Dashwood?" said she with all her accusto mary complacency. "to show any mark of my esteem and f riendship for Mr. It raises my influence much too high. You know very well that my opinion would h ave no weight with you. it will be more for the happiness of both of you.' I sho uld resolve upon doing it immediately." "'Tis because you are an indifferent person. and the present incumbent not likely to live a great while." said Lucy." replied Elinor." Elinor thought it wisest to make no answer to this. and was even partly dete rmined never to mention the subject again. "I know nobody of who se judgment I think so highly as I do of yours. with some pique. and la ying a particular stress on those words. John Dashwood that m ust be recommendation enough to her husband. lest they might provoke each other to an unsuitable increase of ease and unreserve. and I hope out of so me regard to me. we should be happier perhaps in t he end. and we might trust to time and chance for the rest. Ferrars." [131] "Indeed you wrong me. though Marianne was then giving them the powerful prot ection of a very magnificent concerto "I will honestly tell you of one scheme which has lately come into my head. But you will not give me your advice. your brother might be persuaded to give him Norland living. Another pause therefore of many minut es' duration. "This c ompliment would effectually frighten me from giving any opinion on the subject h ad I formed one.y saying in a lower tone. that if you was to say to me. with great solemnity." "I should always be happy. succeeded this speech. "Shall you be in town this winter. and then through your interest. but do you not perceive that my interest on such an o ccasion would be perfectly unnecessary? He is brother to Mrs. which concealed very agitated feelings. 'I advise you by all means to put an end to your engageme nt with Edward Ferrars." "Then I rather suspect that my interest would do very little.

your brother and sister will ask you to co me to them. she had resided every winter in[133] a house in on e of the streets near Portman Square." "It will not be in my power to accept their invitation if they do. but that he had not even the chance of being tolerably happy in marriage. who had traded with success in a l ess elegant part of the town." returned the other. "Oh. Anne and me a re to go the latter end of January to some relations who have been wanting us to visit them these several years! But I only go for the sake of seeing Edward. and repeated her invitation immediately. From this time the subject was never revived by Elinor. she was not without a settled habitatio n of her own. and to assist in the du e celebration of that festival which requires a more than ordinary share of priv ate balls and large dinners to proclaim its importance. and the animated look whi ch spoke no indifference to the plan. Towards this home. Elinor. and in spite of their numerous and long arra nged engagements in Exeter. they were prevailed on to stay nearly two months at the park. who seldom missed an opportunity of introducing it. which sincere a ffection on her side would have given. she began on the approa ch of January to turn her thoughts. The reason alleged was their determined resolution of not leaving their mother at that time of the year. and thither she one day abruptly. and very u nexpectedly by them. for she felt such conversations to be an ind ulgence which Lucy did not deserve. Mrs. of which she seemed so thoroughly aware that he was weary. while her eyes brightened at the info rmation. and when entered on by L ucy. I have not spirits for it. and Elinor sat down to the card table with the melancholy persuasion that Edward was not only without affection for the person who was to be his wife. Sir John would not hear of their going. in which she believed herself to be speaking their united inclin ations. immediately gave a grateful but absolute d enial for both. of her happiness whenever she received a letter from Edward. they could not be spared. and the confidential discourse of the two ladies was therefore at an end. Lord! I am sure your mother can spare you very well. w ithout observing the varying complexion of her sister. t o which both of them submitted without any reluctance. for self-interest alone could induce a wo man to keep a man to an engagement. asked the elder Misses Dashwood to accompany her. which was in full force at the end of every week." "I am sorry for that. and dismiss ed as soon as civility would allow. Their favour increased. The visit of the Miss Steeles at Barton Park was lengthened far beyond what the first invitation implied. "it would have gave me such pleasure to meet you there! But I dare say you will go for all that. in spite of the absolute necessity of returning to f ulfill them immediately." Elinor was soon called to the card-table by the conclusion[132] of the first rub ber. and was particularly ca reful to inform her confidante. and which were dangerous to herself. Jennings received the refusal with some su rprise. and I do beg you will . Since the death of her husband." "How unlucky that is! I had quite depended upon meeting you there. Jennings was in the habit of spending a large portion of the year at the houses of her children and friends."Certainly not. CHAPTER XXV Though Mrs. He will be there in February. To be sure. it was treated by the former with calmness and caution. otherwise London would have no charms for me. for nothing had been said on either side to make them dislike each other less than they had done before.

for I shan't put myself at all out of my way for you. Jennings' manners." Mrs. when you are tired of Barton. Wha tever Marianne was desirous of. must not be a struggle. who now understood her sister. and saw to what indifference to almost every thing else she was carried by her eagerness to be with Willough by again. and invariably disgusted by them. if they got tired of me. if not both of them. for I've quite set my heart upon it. Lord[ 134] bless me! how do you think I can live poking by myself. and which on her own account she had particular reasons to avoid. to set off for town. and if she were to be made less happy. Mrs. well and good. because Miss Dashwood does not wish it. was not prep ared to witness. her mother would be eager to promote she could not expect to influence the latter to cautiousness of conduct in an affair respecti ng which she had never been able to inspire her with distrust." said Marianne. and I hope I can affor d that. Come. should overlook every inconvenience of that kind. I am sure your mother will not object to it. Miss Marianne. insisted on their both accepting it directly. in he r pursuit of one object. fastidious as she was. was such a proof. But one or the other. of the importance of that object to her. if you do not like to go wherever I do. sincerely thank you. "that Miss Marianne would not object to such a scheme. less comfortable by our absence Oh! no. why so much the better." "I have a notion. in spite of all that had passed. But my mother. nothing should tempt me to leave her. Jennings. would not hear of their declining the offer upon her account. thoroughly acquainted with Mrs. and if Miss Dashwood will change her mind by and bye. my dearest. On being informed of the invitation. "I am sure I shall be monstrous glad of Miss Mariann e's company.favour me with your company. as Elinor. and merely referred it to her mother's decision. and I thought it would be more comfortable for them to be together." said Sir John. It should not." cried Mrs. with warmth: "your inv itation has insured my gratitude for ever. with h er usual cheerfulness. they might talk to one another. . because. and laugh at my old wa ys behind my back. I feel the justice of what Elinor has urge d. and it would give me such happiness. yes. ma'am. persuaded that such an excur sion would be productive of much amusement to both her daughters. It will only be sending Betty by the coach. should disregard whatever must be most wounding to her irritable feelings. I who have been alw ays used till this winter to have Charlotte with me. so full. So I would advise you two. for I have had such good luck in getting my own children off my hands that she will think me a very fit person to have the charge of you. I must have. That Marianne . and if I don't get one of you at least well married before I have done with you. It is very hard indeed that she should not have a little pleasure. We three shall be able to go very well in my chaise. Jennings repeated her assurance that Mrs. so strong. I sha ll speak a good word for you to all the young men. you may always go w ith one of my daughters. only the more the merrier say I. and Elinor. which she could not approve of for Marianne. kindest mother. fr om this separation. whether Miss Dashwood will go or not. Don't fancy th at you will be any inconvenience to me. and she dared not explain the motive of her own disinclination for going to London. let us strike hands upon the bargain. and when we are in town. and then began to foresee." "I thank you. a variety of advantages that would accrue to them all. from whom however she scarcely expected to receive any support in her endeavour to prevent a visit. withou t saying a word to Miss Dashwood about it. Dashwood. to be able to accept it. and perceiving through all her affectionate attention to herself. almost the greatest happiness I am capable of. Dashwood could spare them perfect ly well. made no farther direct opposition to the plan." "Nay. how much the[135] heart of M arianne was in it. it shall not be my fault. you may depend upon it. if her elder sister would come into it.

You will be under the care of a motherly good sort of woman." said Mrs. though I think very well of Mrs. " at least it need not prevent my accepting her invitation. she would. When you and the Mid dletons are gone. without any unreasonable abridgement." "My objection is this. perhaps. "you have been obviating every impediment to the present scheme which occurred to you. of whose kindness to you I can have no doubt. I cannot bear to have you so wholly estranged from each other. and resolved within herself. but as to the rest of the family. It is very right that you should go to to wn. and if Elinor would ever condescend to anticipate enjoyment." "Though with your usual anxiety for our happiness. Dashwood. cannot be so easily removed. I would have every young woman of your condition in life acquainted with the manners and amusements of London. and especially in being togeth er. "but of her society. And in all probabi lity you will see your brother. there is still one objection which. To this determination she was the more easily reconciled. "it is exactly what I could wish." replied her mother. whether I am ever known to them or not." said Elinor. that the shock might be less when the whole truth were revealed. she forced herself to begin her design by saying. and I am sure I could put up with every unpleasantness of that kind with very little effort." Elinor had often wished for an opportunity of attempting to weaken her mother's dependence on the attachment of Edward and herself. when I consider whose son he is. or the faults of his wife." "If Elinor is frightened away by her dislike of Mrs. Mar garet and I shall be as much benefited by it as yourselves. was not to be in town before Fe bruary." Marianne's countenance sunk. and now on this attack. she would fores ee it there from a variety of sources. she would go likewise. and shall always be glad to see him. Dashwood. she is not a woman whose society can afford us pleasure. and you will almost always appear in public with Lady Middleton." said Mrs." . You will have much pleasure in being in London." she cried. to whom she had often had difficulty in persuading Marianne to be have with tolerable politeness. and that their visit. separately from th at of other people. we shall go on so quietly and happily together with our books and our music! You will find Margaret so improved when you come back again! I ha ve a little plan of alteration for your bedrooms too. it is a matter of perfect indifference to me. "these objections are nonsensical . "I like Edward Ferrars very much. in my opinion. you will scarcely have any thing at all. might be pre viously finished. though almost hopel ess of success." said Marianne. as calmly as s he could."[136] Elinor could not help smiling at this display of indifference towards the manner s of a person. expect some from impr oving her acquaintance with her sister-in-law's family."I am delighted with the plan. by Lucy's account. by reco llecting that Edward Ferrars. or that Mrs. which may now be performed without any inconvenience to any one." "That is very true. Jennings. "And what. Jennings's heart. Je nnings should be abandoned to the mercy of Marianne for all the comfort of her d omestic hours. I have no such scruple s. "I will have you both go. that if her sister persisted in going. "is my dear prudent Elinor going to suggest? Wha t formidable obstacle is she now to bring forward? Do let me hear a word about t he expense of it. or whose protection will give us consequence. as she did not think it proper that M arianne should be left to the sole guidance of her own judgment. and whatever may be his faults.

and when she saw her mother so t horoughly pleased with the plan. They were three days on their journey. Should the result of her observatio ns be unfavourable. With regard to herself. and many assurances of kindness and care. w ith that happy ardour of youth which Marianne and her mother equally shared. Elinor submitted to the arrangement which counteracted her wishes with less relu ctance than she had expected to feel. and Elinor was resolved not only upon gaining every new light as to his character which her own observation or the int elligence of others could give her. and as for the Mi ss Steeles. The Middletons were to follow in about a week. without wondering at her own situation. was something. The Miss Steeles kept their station at the park. and at the moment of parting her gri ef on that score was excessive. and elevated to more than her usual gaiety. and Elinor conjectured that she might as well have held her tongue. A sho rt. and Marianne's behaviour as they travelle . whose prevailing anxie ty was the dread of being alone. Marianne lifted up her eyes in astonishm ent. so short had their acquaintance with that lady been. Jennings. and her sister exhilarated by it in look. and Eli nor was the only one of the three. as to ascertain what he was and what he meant. and beginning a journey to London under her protection. it was now a matte r of unconcern whether she went to town or not. Jennings received the information with a great de al of joy. they had never been so happy in their lives as this intelligence made them. Her unwillingness to quit her m other was her only restorative to calmness. she was determined at all events to open the eyes of her sis ter. how cheerless her own state of mind in the comp arison. and banish every regret which mig ht lessen her satisfaction in the happiness of Marianne. the same possibility of hope. which was putting herself rather out of[137] her way. voice . could not witness the rapture of delightful expectation whic h filled[138] the whole soul and beamed in the eyes of Marianne. Her mother's affliction was hardly less. it was finally settled that the invitation should be fully accepted.Mrs. the acquisition of two. Dashwood smiled. before many meetings had taken place. she could not be dissatisfied with the cause. but likewise upon watching his behaviour to her sister with such zealous attention. and wer e to quit it only with the rest of the family. and manner. so great was the perturbati on of her spirits and her impatience to be gone. bee n overcome or overlooked. and would hardly al low herself to distrust the consequence. Marianne's eagerness to be gone decl ared her dependence on finding him there. Sir John was delighted. and as her guest. in all probability he was already in town. Even Lady Middleton took the trouble of being de lighted. Marianne's joy was almost a degree beyond happiness. Their departure took place in the first week in January. to the number of inhabi tants in London. without feeling how blank was her own prospect. and Elinor. restored to all her usual animation. her exertions would be of a different nature she must then learn to avoid every selfish comparison. After very little farther discourse. nor was it a matter of plea sure merely to her. should it be otherwise. so whol ly unsuited were they in age and disposition. who seemed to consider the separation as any thing short of eternal. especially Lucy. Mrs. and said nothing. in spite of every occasional doubt of Will oughby's constancy. and so many had been her objection s against such a measure only a few days before! But these objections had all. a very short time however must now decide what Willoughby's intentions were. and how gladly she would engage in the solicitude of Marianne's situatio n to have the same animating object in view. CHAPTER XXVI Elinor could not find herself in the carriage with Mrs. for to a man.

nor extort a confession of their pref erring salmon to cod. and[139] the young ladies were immediately put in possession of a very comfortable apartment. As dinner was not to be ready in less than two hours from their arrival. Her spirits still continued very high. or boiled fowls to veal cutlets. and handsomely fitted up. and scarcely ever voluntarily speaking. in proof of her having spent seven years at a great scho ol in town to some effect. from the con finement of a carriage. The house was handsome. and sat down for tha t purpose. and only disturbed that she could not make them choose their own dinners at the inn. wrapt in her own meditations. advanced a f ew steps towards the stairs. was solicitous on every o ccasion for their ease and enjoyment. Elinor determined to employ the interval in writing to her mother. and already had Marianne been disappointed more than once by a rap at a n eighbouring door. except when any object of picturesque beauty within their view drew from her an exclamation of d elight exclusively addressed to her sister. after such a journey. that. starting up. glad to be released. Elinor was disappointed too. Marianne. and she continued her letter with greater alacrity. however mysteriously they might wish to conduct the aff air. they must be engaged. she[140] opened the door. Elinor thought s he could distinguish a large W in the direction. when a loud one was suddenly heard which could not be mistaken for one at any other house. and over the mantelpiece still hung a landscape in coloured si lks of her performance. She could scarcely eat any s returned to the drawing room. could see little of what was passing. She sat in silence almost all the way. requested the footman who answered it to get tha t letter conveyed for her to the two-penny post. hastily. moved towards the door. but at the same time her regard for Colonel . sealed. i t was then folded up. To atone for this conduct therefore. and Mrs. Jennings might be expected to be. The tea things were broug ht in. ga ve her pleasure. and no sooner was it complete t han Marianne. the evening drew on. indeed it is!" and seemed almost ready to throw herself into his arms. laughed with her. This conviction. and the conclusion which as insta ntly followed was.d was a happy specimen of what future complaisance and companionableness to Mrs. it immediately struck he r that she must then be writing to Willoughby. in length it could be no more than a note. It had formerly been Charlotte's. and as if wis hing to avoid any farther inquiry. Jennings. but there vented their giving much pleasure to her sister. was a flutter in them which pre and this agitation increased as dinner. seemed anxiously carriage. though not entirely satisfactory. and Marianne. Elinor took immediate possession of the post of civility which she had assigned herself. Jennings on her side treated them both with all possible kindness. by being much engaged in her own room. Jennings. In a few moments Marianne did the same. returned into th e room in all the agitation which a conviction of having heard him would natural ly produce. They reached town by thre e o'clock the third day. Marianne's was finished in a very few minutes." replied Marianne. ringing the bell. Elinor felt secure of its announcing Willoughby's a pproach. "Oh. Elinor. talked with her. when Colonel Brandon appeared. in the ecstasy of her feelings at that instant she could not help ex claiming. This decided the matter at once . and directed with eager rapidity. Elinor said no more. "I am writing home. this could not be borne many seconds. and she immediately left the room. "had not you better defer your letter for a day or two?" "I am not going to write to my mother. It was too great a shock to be borne with calmness. and when they afterward listening to the sound of every It was a great satisfaction to Elinor that Mrs. it is Willoughby. Every thing was sile nt. and listened to her whenever she could. and ready to enjoy all the luxury of a good fire. behaved with the greatest attention to Mrs. and after listening half a minute. " said Elinor.

In this calm kind of way. and began directly to speak of his pleasure at seei ng them in London. Ay. and she felt particularly hurt that a man so partial to her sister should perceive that she experienced nothing but grief and disappointment in seeing him. it is a fine thing to be young and handsome. with the uneasiness and suspicions they had caused to Mrs." He replied with his accustomary mildness to all her inquiries. I thought as much. and then talked of head-aches. but it has never been in m y power to return to Barton. and of every thing to which she could decently att ribute her sister's behaviour. I got a very good husband. and over fatigues. "Is your sister ill?" said he. and the manner in which it was said. Ah! poor man! he has been dead these eigh t years and better. she asked if he had been in London ever since she had seen him last. and I don't know what the greatest beauty can do more. "almost ever since. Colonel. I have been once or twice at Delaford for a few days. with some embarrassment. and settle my matters. and I am commissioned to tell you. and at length. but I have been forced to look about me a little. Palmer's. Jennings soon came in. as hardly left him the recollection of what civility demanded towards herself. you see but one of them now." This. b y way of saying something. Colonel. "I am monstrous glad to see you sorry I could not come before beg your pardo n. But Colonel. "Oh! Colonel. you see that is. they continu ed to talk. with such astonish ment and concern. and you know one has always a worl d of little odd things to do after one has been away for any time. Willoughby will do between you about her. Lord. how came you to conjure out that I should be in town today?" "I had the pleasure of hearing it at Mr. but seeming to recollect himself. and the thoughts of both engaged elsewh ere. where I have been dining. where have you been to since we parted? And how does your business go on? Come. Miss Marianne. lo w spirits.Brandon ensured his welcome with her. and then I ha ve had Cartwright to settle with. I have brought two young ladi es with me. Palmer appeared quite well. and the frien ds they had left behind. but there is another som ewhere. She instantly saw that it was not unnoticed by him. with her usual noisy cheerf ulness. that you wi ll certainly see her to-morrow. but I never was ver y handsome worse luck for me. said no more on the subject. "Yes. come. Mrs. let's have no secrets among friends." he replied." "Mrs. that he even observed Marianne as she quitted the room." said she. with very little interest on either side. Elinor wished very much to ask whether Willoughby were then in town. but without satis . Your friend. Elinor answered in some distress that she was. Well. you did. well." "Ay. I have been as busy as a bee ever since dinner! But pray. too which you will not be sorry to hear. However. He heard her with the most earnest attention. and how do they all do at their house? How does Charlotte do ? I warrant you she is a fine size by this time. Jennings. to be sure. making the usual inquiries about their journey." "Oh. but sh e was afraid of giving him pain by any enquiry after his rival. immediately brought back to her remem brance all the circumstances of his quitting that place. I do not know what you and Mr. and she was fearful that her[141] question had implied much more curiosity on the subject than she had ever felt. both of them out of spirits. for it is a long while since I have been at home. Well! I was young once.

and in laughter without cause on Mrs. who was wild to buy al l. "How very odd!" said she. it was proposed by the latter that they should all accompany her to some shops where she had bu siness that morning. expensive. and in a few minutes she came laughing into th e room: so delighted to see them all. though it was what she had rather expected all along . Palmer will be so happy to see you. and Marianne was obliged to appear again. and i n whatever shop the party were engaged. could determine on none. was only impatient to be at home again. she was evidently always on the watch. where much of their business lay. regarding her sister with une asiness. "Has no letter been left here for me since we went out?" said she to the footman who then entered with the parcels. Colonel Brandon became more thoughtful and silent than he ha d been before. so angry at their accepting her mother's invitation after having declined her own. After her entrance. "Are you certain that no servant. and dawdled away her time in rapture and indecision. however it might equally concern them both: she re ceived no pleasure from anything. whose eye was caught by every thing pretty. Jennings and Elinor readily consented. and the ladies were unanimous in agreeing to go early to bed. and Marianne. indeed!" repeated Elinor within herself. her sister could never obtain her opinio n of any article of purchase. as she turned away to the window. how .fying her in any. Jennings could not prevail on him to stay long. as she did. "What do you think he said w hen he heard of your coming with Mamma? I forget what it was now. So surpris ed at their coming to town. Palme r's barouche stopped at the door. and Mrs. In Bond Street especi ally. from all that interested and occupied the others. Elinor now began to make the tea. her mind was equally abstracted from eve ry thing actually before them. no porter has l eft any letter or note?" The man replied that none had. but it was som ething so droll!" After an hour or two spent in what her mother called comfortable chat. No other visitor appeared that evening. It was late in the morning before they returned home. and if he is in town. Palmer's.[142] Marianne rose the next morning with recovered spirits and happy looks. which dec lared that no Willoughby had been there. to which Mrs. Palmer. They had not long finished their breakfast before Mrs. She was answered in the negative. and[143] no sooner had the y entered the house than Marianne flew eagerly up stairs. and co uld with difficulty govern her vexation at the tediousness of Mrs. her eyes were in constant inquiry. "If she had not known him to be in town she would not have written to h im. that it was hard to say whether she receiv ed most pleasure from meeting her mother or the Miss Dashwoods again. though at the same time she would never have forgiven them if they had not come! "Mr." said she. or new. in a low and disappointed voice. The disap pointment of the evening before seemed forgotten in the expectation of what was to happen that day. or in oth er words. she would have written to Combe Magna. as hav ing likewise some purchases to make themselves. though declining i t at first was induced to go likewise. "Are you q uite sure of it?" she replied. Restless and dissatisfied every where. she found her turning from the table with a sorrowful countenance. Jennings's side. in every variety of inquiry concerning all their acquaintance on Mrs. "How odd. and when Elinor follow ed. Wherever they went.

odd that he should neither come nor write! Oh! my dear mother, you must be wron g in permitting an engagement between a daughter so young, a man so little known , to be carried on in so doubtful, so mysterious a manner! I long to inquire; an d how will my interference be borne." She determined, after some consideration, that if appearances continued many day s longer as unpleasant as they now were, she would represent in the strongest ma nner to her mother the necessity of some serious enquiry into the affair. Mrs. Palmer and two elderly ladies of Mrs. Jennings's intimate acquaintance, who m she had met and invited in the morning, dined with them. The former left them soon after tea to fulfill her evening engagements; and Elinor was obliged to ass ist in making a whist table for the others. Marianne was of no use on these occa sions, as she would never learn the game; but though her time was therefore at h er own disposal, the evening was by no means more productive of pleasure to her than to Elinor, for it was spent in all the anxiety of expectation and the pain of disappointment. She sometimes endeavoured for a few minutes to read; but the book was soon thrown aside, and she returned to the more interesting employment of walking backwards and forwards across the room, pausing for a moment whenever she came to the window, in hopes of distinguishing the long-expected rap. [144] CHAPTER XXVII "If this open weather holds much longer," said Mrs. Jennings, when they met at b reakfast the following morning, "Sir John will not like leaving Barton next week ; 'tis a sad thing for sportsmen to lose a day's pleasure. Poor souls! I always pity them when they do; they seem to take it so much to heart." "That is true," cried Marianne, in a cheerful voice, and walking to the window a s she spoke, to examine the day. "I had not thought of that. This weather will k eep many sportsmen in the country." It was a lucky recollection, all her good spirits were restored by it. "It is ch arming weather for them indeed," she continued, as she sat down to the breakfast table with a happy countenance. "How much they must enjoy it! But" (with a litt le return of anxiety) "it cannot be expected to last long. At this time of the y ear, and after such a series of rain, we shall certainly have very little more o f it. Frosts will soon set in, and in all probability with severity. In another day or two perhaps; this extreme mildness can hardly last longer nay, perhaps it m ay freeze tonight!" "At any rate," said Elinor, wishing to prevent Mrs. Jennings from seeing her sis ter's thoughts as clearly as she did, "I dare say we shall have Sir John and Lad y Middleton in town by the end of next week." "Ay, my dear, I'll warrant you we do. Mary always has her own way." "And now," silently conjectured Elinor, "she will write to Combe by this day's p ost." But if she did, the letter was written and sent away with a privacy which eluded all her watchfulness to ascertain the fact. Whatever the truth of it might be, and far as Elinor was from feeling thorough contentment about it, yet while she saw Marianne in spirits, she could not be very uncomfortable herself. And Marian ne was in spirits; happy in the mildness of the weather, and still happier in he r expectation of a frost. The morning was chiefly spent in leaving cards at the[145] houses of Mrs. Jennin

gs's acquaintance to inform them of her being in town; and Marianne was all the time busy in observing the direction of the wind, watching the variations of the sky and imagining an alteration in the air. "Don't you find it colder than it was in the morning, Elinor? There seems to me a very decided difference. I can hardly keep my hands warm even in my muff. It w as not so yesterday, I think. The clouds seem parting too, the sun will be out i n a moment, and we shall have a clear afternoon." Elinor was alternately diverted and pained; but Marianne persevered, and saw eve ry night in the brightness of the fire, and every morning in the appearance of t he atmosphere, the certain symptoms of approaching frost. The Miss Dashwoods had no greater reason to be dissatisfied with Mrs. Jennings's style of living, and set of acquaintance, than with her behaviour to themselves , which was invariably kind. Every thing in her household arrangements was condu cted on the most liberal plan, and excepting a few old city friends, whom, to La dy Middleton's regret, she had never dropped, she visited no one to whom an intr oduction could at all discompose the feelings of her young companions. Pleased t o find herself more comfortably situated in that particular than she had expecte d, Elinor was very willing to compound for the want of much real enjoyment from any of their evening parties, which, whether at home or abroad, formed only for cards, could have little to amuse her. Colonel Brandon, who had a general invitation to the house, was with them almost every day; he came to look at Marianne and talk to Elinor, who often derived mo re satisfaction from conversing with him than from any other daily occurrence, b ut who saw at the same time with much concern his continued regard for her siste r. She feared it was a strengthening regard. It grieved her to see the earnestne ss with which he often watched Marianne, and his spirits were certainly worse th an when at Barton. About a week after their arrival, it became certain that Willoughby was also arr ived. His card was on the table when they came in from the morning's drive. "Good God!" cried Marianne, "he has been here while we were out." Elinor, rejoic ed to be assured of his being in[146] London, now ventured to say, "Depend upon it, he will call again tomorrow." But Marianne seemed hardly to hear her, and on Mrs. Jennings's entrance, escaped with the precious card. This event, while it raised the spirits of Elinor, restored to those of her sist er all, and more than all, their former agitation. From this moment her mind was never quiet; the expectation of seeing him every hour of the day, made her unfi t for any thing. She insisted on being left behind, the next morning, when the o thers went out. Elinor's thoughts were full of what might be passing in Berkeley Street during t heir absence; but a moment's glance at her sister when they returned was enough to inform her, that Willoughby had paid no second visit there. A note was just t hen brought in, and laid on the table. "For me!" cried Marianne, stepping hastily forward. "No, ma'am, for my mistress." But Marianne, not convinced, took it instantly up. "It is indeed for Mrs. Jennings; how provoking!" "You are expecting a letter, then?" said Elinor, unable to be longer silent.

"Yes, a little not much." After a short pause. "You have no confidence in me, Marianne." "Nay, Elinor, this reproach from you you who have confidence in no one!" "Me!" returned Elinor in some confusion; "indeed, Marianne, I have nothing to te ll." "Nor I," answered Marianne with energy, "our situations then are alike. We have neither of us any thing to tell; you, because you do not communicate, and I, bec ause I conceal nothing." Elinor, distressed by this charge of reserve in herself, which she was not at li berty to do away, knew not how, under such circumstances, to press for greater o penness in Marianne. Mrs. Jennings soon appeared, and the note being given her, she read it aloud. It was from Lady Middleton, announcing their arrival in Conduit Street the night b efore, and requesting the company of her mother and cousins the following evenin g. Business on Sir John's part, and a violent[147] cold on her own, prevented th eir calling in Berkeley Street. The invitation was accepted; but when the hour o f appointment drew near, necessary as it was in common civility to Mrs. Jennings , that they should both attend her on such a visit, Elinor had some difficulty i n persuading her sister to go, for still she had seen nothing of Willoughby; and therefore was not more indisposed for amusement abroad, than unwilling to run t he risk of his calling again in her absence. Elinor found, when the evening was over, that disposition is not materially alte red by a change of abode, for although scarcely settled in town, Sir John had co ntrived to collect around him, nearly twenty young people, and to amuse them wit h a ball. This was an affair, however, of which Lady Middleton did not approve. In the country, an unpremeditated dance was very allowable; but in London, where the reputation of elegance was more important and less easily attained, it was risking too much for the gratification of a few girls, to have it known that Lad y Middleton had given a small dance of eight or nine couple, with two violins, a nd a mere side-board collation. Mr. and Mrs. Palmer were of the party; from the former, whom they had not seen b efore since their arrival in town, as he was careful to avoid the appearance of any attention to his mother-in-law, and therefore never came near her, they rece ived no mark of recognition on their entrance. He looked at them slightly, witho ut seeming to know who they were, and merely nodded to Mrs. Jennings from the ot her side of the room. Marianne gave one glance round the apartment as she entere d: it was enough he was not there and she sat down, equally ill-disposed to receive or communicate pleasure. After they had been assembled about an hour, Mr. Palmer sauntered towards the Miss Dashwoods to express his surprise on seeing them in town, though Colonel Brandon had been first informed of their arrival at his hou se, and he had himself said something very droll on hearing that they were to co me. "I thought you were both in Devonshire," said he. "Did you?" replied Elinor. "When do you go back again?" "I do not know." And thus ended their discourse.

and having no answer ready. and hoped by awak ening her fears for the health of Marianne. but I was convinced before I co . About the middle of the day. it w ill always find something to support its doubts. directed to Mr. or o f inquiring.Never had Marianne been so unwilling to dance in her life. as if he had somewhat in particular to tell her. and Elinor began her letter directly. was obliged to adopt the simp le and common expedient. and who hated co mpany of any kind. of asking what he meant? He tried to smile as he replie d. Jennings." "It cannot be generally known. urging her by every plea of duty and affection to demand from Marianne a n account of her real situation with respect to him. and their marriage is universally talked of. when the servant let me in today. if a certain person who shall be nameless. I came to inquire. and the Middletons. for she could not suppose it to be to any other person. but looked exceedingly hurt. persuaded that he had some communication to make in which her sis ter was concerned. and never so much fatigued by[148] the exercise. that Marianne was again writing to Willo ughby. when a rap foretold a visitor. She complained of it as the y returned to Berkeley Street. relating all that had passed." returned Elinor. Willoughby is very generally known. Mrs. for it seems Sir John met him somewhere in th e street this morning. by his asking her in a voice of some agitation. Impa tient in this situation to be doing something that might lead to her sister's re lief. as they openly corre spond. when he was to congratulate her on the acquisition of a brother? Elinor was not prepare d for such a question. left the room before he entered it. as she was that eveni ng. Willoug hby in your sister's writing. but I had not supposed any secrecy intended." "Invited!" cried Marianne. Mrs." said Mrs. Marianne. "we know the reason of all that very well. had been there. walked from one window to the other. t oo anxious for conversation. Her letter was scarcely finished. and though expressing satisfaction at finding Miss Dashwood alone. more than once before. Mrs. Palmer. Elinor." he had appeared on the point. who had seen him from the window. beginning with the observation of "your sister looks unwell to-day. Elinor resolved to write the next morning to her mother. Elinor was very earnest in her application t o her mother. her suspicions of Willoughby's incon stancy. by others with whom you are most intima te. Jennings went out by herself on business. "I beg your pardon. too restless for employment. impatiently expected its opening." "How can that be? By whom can you have heard it mentioned?" "By many by some of whom you know nothing. Jennings. to procure those inquiries which had been so long delayed. I am afraid my inquiry has bee n impertinent. But still I might not have b elieved it. "Aye. for where the mind is perhaps rather unwilling to be convinced. "So my daughter Middleton told me." Marianne said no more. aye. either of disclosing. you would not have been a bit tired: and to say the truth it was not very pretty of him not to give you th e meeting when he was invited. while Marianne. accidentally seen a letter in his hand. or sat down by the fire in melancholy meditation. t heir silence was broken. "your sister's engagement to Mr. something particular about her. After a pause of several minutes." He looked surprised and said." or "your[149] sister seems out of spirits. and she was still more eagerly bent on this measure by pe rceiving after breakfast on the morrow. He looked more than usual ly grave. for. sat for some time without saying a word. and Colonel Bra ndon was announced. if I had not. It was not the first time o f her feeling the same kind of conviction. "for her own family do not know it.

"to your sister I wi sh all imaginable happiness. and I could have no chance of succeeding. and he immediately bowed. Lady Middleton sat down to Cassino. to Willoughby that he may endeavour to deserve her. I believe I have been wrong in saying so much. sh e might be as[150] liable to say too much as too little. but . with a melan choly impression of Colonel Brandon's unhappiness. to say more than she really knew or believed. and for this party. without once stirring from her seat. therefore. She a cknowledged. on the answer it would be most proper to give. she started as if she had forgotten that any one was expected. they were permitted to mingle in the crowd. to make Elinor regret what she had done. He listened to her with silent attention. from which Mrs. Excuse me. heard their names announced from one landing-place to another in an audible voice. affected her very much. She soon caught his eye." These words. in earnest conversation with a very fashiona ble looking young woman. and insensib le of her sister's presence. she was left. Is every thing finally settled? Is it impossible to-? But I have no right. They had not remained in this manner long. whatever the event of that affection might be. prepared. placed themselves at no great distance from the table. quite full of company. to which their arrival must necessarily add. They were engaged about the end of that time to attend Lady Middleton to a party . of their mutual affection she ha d no doubt. " took leave. When they had paid their tribute of politeness by curtsying to the lady of the house. that in short concealment. ascended the stairs. withou t one look of hope or one expression of pleasure. Elinor derived no comfortable feelings from this conversation. for Willoughby neither came nor wrote. and as M arianne was not in spirits for moving about. she debated for a short time. or altering her attitude. if concealme nt be possible. lost in her own thoughts. They arrived in due time at the place of destination.uld ask the question. and take their share of the heat an d inconvenience. She sat by the drawing-room fi re after tea. and on her ceasing to speak. and when at last they were told that[151] Lady Midd leton waited for them at the door. Miss Dashw ood. rose dire ctly from his seat. and as soon as the string of carriages before them would allow. could leave no hope of Colonel Brand on's success. and insufferably hot. after some consideration. CHAPTER XXVIII Nothing occurred during the next three or four days. which conveyed to Elinor a direct avowal of his love for her sister . Marianne. The real state of things between Willoughby and h er sister was so little known to herself. and after saying in a voice of emotion. careless of her appeara nce. wholly dispirited. till the moment of Lady Middleton's arrival. and even when her spirits were recovered. alighted. Jennings was kept away by the indisposition of her youngest da ughter. to lessen the une asiness of her mind on other points. but I hardly know what to do . by her anxiety for the very event that must confirm it. She was not immediately able to say anything. and was prevented even from w ishing it removed. Tell me that it is all a bsolutely resolved on. on the contrary. Yet as she was convince d that Marianne's affection for Willoughby. she thought it most prudent and kin d. s tanding within a few yards of them. and of their correspondence she was not astonished to hear. that though she had never been informed by themselves of the terms on which they stood with each other. and went away. before Elinor perceived Willoughby. she and Elinor luckily succeeding t o chairs. that in endeavouring to explain it. and ente red a room splendidly lit up. and on your prudence I have the strongest dependence. in applying to her mother. and seeming equally indifferent whether she went or staid. and at the same tim e wished to shield her conduct from censure. After some time sp ent in saying little or doing less. is all that remains. that any attempt.

but her touch seemed painful to him. Tell him I must see him again must speak to him instantly. Elinor. sunk into her chair . "Good heavens!" she exclaimed. he spoke with calmness. "Go to him. Elinor watched his countenance and saw its expression becoming more tra nquil. and she exclaimed. [152] At that moment she first perceived him. But the feelings of her sister were instantly expressed. Her face was crimsoned over. and asked how long they had been in town. and prono uncing his name in a tone of affection. a nd after saying." This however was more than she could believe herself. as soon as she could speak. After a moment's pause. to see whether it could be unobserved by her. and Elinor. and very mu ch regretted that I was not fortunate enough to find yourselves and Mrs. and her whole countenance glowing with sudden delight. and then continued his discourse with the same lady. At last he turned round again. My card was not lost. Jenning s at home. Oh. I had the pleasure of receiving the information of your a rrival in town. "and force him to co me to me. "Good God! Willoug hby. he felt the necessity of instant exertion. "he is there he is there Oh! why does he not look at me? why cannot I speak to him?" "Pray. "I did myself the honour of calling in Berkeley Street last Tuesday." "But have you not received my notes?" cried Marianne in the wildest anxiety. what is the meaning of this? Have you not received my letters? Will you not shake hands with me?" He could not then avoid it. his complexion changed and all his embarrassment returned. and unable to stand. Willoughby. At tha t moment she first perceived him. She sat in an agony of impatience which affected every feature." turned hastily away with a slight bow and joined his friend. He approached. or to approach Marianne. he recovered himself again." cried Elinor. but as if. now looking dreadfully white. which you were so good as to send me. though he could not but see her. "He re is some mistake I am sure some dreadful mistake. had not her sister caught h old of her. and determined not to observe her attitude. and to be composed at such a moment was not only beyond the reach of Marianne. held out her hand to him. for heaven's sake tell me. Marianne. Dashwood. I hope. while reviving her with lavender water. in a voice of the greatest emotion. expecting every moment to see her faint. and he held her hand only for a moment. "and do not betray what you feel to ever y body present. tried to screen her from the observation of others. Elinor was robbed of all presence of mind by such an address. I cannot rest I shall not have a moment's peace till this is explained some dreadful misapprehens ion or other. go to him this moment. pray be composed. Elinor turned involuntarily to Marianne. and was unable to say a word. "Yes." she cried."[154] . and regarded them both. she would have moved towards him instantly. she started up. on catching the eye of the young lady with whom he had been previously t alking. it was beyond her wish.without attempting to speak to her. inquired in a hurried m anner after Mrs. as if wishing to av oid her eye. What can be the meaning of it? Tell me. and addressing [153]himself rather to Elinor than Marianne. During all this time he was evidently struggling for co mposure. Perhaps he has not observed you yet. what is the matter?" He made no reply.

and on those still more severe which might await her in its probable conse quence. and after observing her for a few moments with silent anxiet y. to wait. Je nnings was luckily not come home. "ask nothing. f irst perceived her." With difficulty however could she prevent her from following him herself." she replied. Wait only till tomorrow. though in the middle of a rubber. on being informed that Mariann e was unwell. as a fresh argument for her to be calm. on the pangs which so unhappy a meeting must already have given her. roused from sleep by her agitation and sobs. That some kind of engagement had subsisted between Willoughby and Marianne she c ould not doubt. too much oppressed even for tears. they departed as soon as the carriage coul d be found. by exclamations of wretchedness. Her indignation would have been still strong er than it was. till she might speak to him with more privacy and more effect. urged the impossibility of speaking to him again that even ing. may I ask " "No. Jennings. for h owever Marianne might still feed her own wishes. and writing as fast as a continual flow of tears would permi t her. seemed equally clear. and prevented her from believing him so un principled as to have been sporting with the affections of her sister from the f irst. Lady Middleton. without any design that would bear investigation. had she not witnessed that embarrassment which seemed to speak a consciousness of his own misconduct. howeve r they might be divided in future. was too polite to object for a moment to her wish of going away." . they could go directly to their own room. Nothing but a thorough change of sentiment could account for it. you will soon know all. and while she waited the return of Mrs. at least. said. as she was too miserable to stay a minute longer. or the sun gained any powe r over a cold. Her own situation gai ned in the comparison."How can that be done? No. Scarcely a word was spoken during their return to Berkeley Street. Elinor. This is not the p lace for explanations. In this situation. Marianne. As for Marianne. and to persuade her to check her agitation. only half dressed. had leisure enough for thinking over the past. But every circumstance that could embitter such an evil seemed uniting to heighten the mi sery of Marianne in a final separation from Willoughby in an immediate and irrecon cilable rupture with him. wher e hartshorn restored her a little to herself. a nd making over her cards to a friend. She instantly begged her sister wou ld entreat Lady Middleton to take them home. in a tone of the most considerate gentleness "Marianne. for while she could esteem Edward as much as ever. CHAPTER XXIX Before the housemaid had lit their fire the next day. gloomy morning in January. but as Mrs. She was soon undressed and in bed. her sister then left her. b ut that such a regard had formerly existed she could not bring herself to doubt. you must wait. and that Willoughby was weary of it. for Marianne continued incessantly to give way in a low voice to the m isery of her feelings. was kneel ing against one of the window-seats for the sake of all the little light she cou ld command from it. with the appearance of composure. M arianne was in a silent agony. my dearest Marianne. her mind might be always supported. In a short time Elinor s aw Willoughby quit the room by the door towards the staircase. and telling Maria nne that he was gone. was im possible. and convenience might have determined him to overcome it. and as she seemed desirous of being alone. Absence[155] might have weakened his regard. Elinor. she could not attribute such be haviour to mistake or misapprehension of any kind. she could not reflect without the deepest concern.

had not Marianne entr eated her. to withhold her p en. instantly ran out of the room. I hope. at intervals. obliged herself to answer such an attack as this. and she woul d have tried to sooth and tranquilize her[156] still more. Ma'am. it was better for both that they s hould not be long together. she was too busily employed in measuring lengths of worsted for her rug. Ma'am. this won't do. Elino r. it lasted a considerable time. when a letter was delivered to Marianne. by hoping. Elinor paid her every quiet and unobtrusive attention in her power. you are . Of Elinor's distress. she said "Upon my word. as soon as Marianne disappeared. that she would find it to her liking. not in urging her. Miss Dashwood! how can you talk so? Don't we all know tha t it must be a match. for it has been known all over town this ever so long. and sat in such a general tremor as made her fear it impossible to escape Mrs. nor attempted to eat any thing. but s Marianne. that it must co me from Willoughby. and the restless state of Marianne's mind not only p revented her from remaining in the room a moment after she was dressed.[157] and. therefore. which she eagerly caught from the serv ant. trying to smile. That good lady. I never saw a young woman so desperately in love in my irls were nothing to her. that you will not deceive yourself any longer. were proofs enough of her feeling how more than probable it was that she was writing for the last time to Willoughby. very seriously. Because you are so sly about it yourself. round the common working table. Willoughby? I thought it had been only a joke. and. she is quite an altered creature. felt immediately such a sickness at heart as made her hardly able to hold up her head. but so serio us a question seems to imply more. but requ iring at once solitude and continual change of place. lasted no longer than w hile she spoke. "you are mistaken. talked yourself into a persuasion of my sister's being engaged to Mr. Jennings's notice. and they were just setting themselves. and I must beg. for shame. but in endeavouring to engage Mrs. and calmly continuing her talk. when are they to be married?" life! My g as for Mis of my hear see her lo Elinor. Indeed. but it is no such thing. you think nobody else has any senses. and was immediately followed by a return of the same excessive a ffliction. It was some minutes before she could go on with her letter. as if she had seen the direction. with all the eagerness of the most nervous irritability. which appeared to her a very good joke. who saw as plainly by this. I tell every body of it and so does Charlotte. avoiding the sight of every body. In such circumstances. for it is quite grievous to ok so ill and forlorn. and did not I know that your sister came to town with me on purpose to buy wedding clothes? Come. come.The sort of desperate calmness with which this was said. from the bottom t. he won't keep her waiting much longer. As this was a favourite meal with Mrs. Pray. that they were over head and ears in love with each other from the first moment they met? Did not I see them together in Devonshire every day. to see any thing at all." said Elinor. however. and the f requent bursts of grief which still obliged her. after it. not in pitying her. therefore. made her wander about the house till breakfast time. nor in appear ing to regard her. and yet they used to be foolish enough. and which she treated accordingly. "And have you really. and Elinor's atten tion was then all employed. At breakfast she neither ate. though never less disposed to speak than at that moment. not to speak to her for the world. I can tell you. turning of a death-like paleness. and all day long. Jennings's notice entirely to herself." "Indeed. replied ." "For shame. saw only t hat Marianne had received a letter from Willoughby. with a laugh. I do assure you that nothing would surprise me more than to hear of their being going to be married. Jennings.

but every perusal only[159] served to increase her abhorrence of the man. instead of bringing with his desire of a release any professions of regret. I entreat your forgiveness of what I can assure you to have been perfectly unint entional. and so bitter were her feelings against him. and the lock of hair. It is with great regret that I obey your commands in returning the letters with which I have been honoured from you. Elinor d rew near. She paused over it for some time with indignant astonishment. and it will not be many weeks. which at first was scarcely less violent than Marianne's. dear Madam. then read it again and again. I shall reproach myself for not having been more guarded in my professions of that esteem. when you understand that my affec tions have been long engaged elsewhere. I am much concerned to find there was anything in my behaviour last night that did not meet your approbation. That I should ever ha ve meant more you will allow to be impossible. Elinor. and then covering her face with her handkerchief. shocking as it was to witness it. on opening the door. she put all the letters into Elinor's hands. I believe . The latter. that it must bring a confession o f his inconstancy. took her ha nd. January. that she dared not trust hers elf to speak. one letter in her hand. "My Dear Madam. "John Willoughby. she was not aware that such language could be suffered to announce it. and you will find that you h ave though you will not believe me now. and after some time thus spent in joint affliction. wh ere. denied all p eculiar affection whatever. lest she might wound Marianne still deeper by treating their disen gagement. which you so obligingly bestowed on me. not as a loss to her of any possible good but as an escape from the wo . a letter of which every line was an insult. but if I have been so unfortunate as to give rise to a b elief of more than I felt. and eager a t all events to know what Willoughby had written. and then turning eagerly to Willoughby's letter.doing a very unkind thing in spreading the report. My esteem for your whole family is very sincere." Mrs. and though I am quite at a loss to discover in what point I could be so unfortunate as to offend you. almost screamed with a gony. kissed her affectionately several times. watched by her till this excess of suffering had somewhat spent itself. I shall never reflect on my former acquaintance with your family in De vonshire without the most grateful pleasure. who knew that such grief. seemed to feel all the tenderness of this behaviour. before she began it. for which I beg to return my sincere acknowledgments. and seating herself on the bed. or meant to express. before this engagement is fulfilled. must h ave its course. Jennings laughed again. read as follows:[158] "Bond Street. "I have just had the honour of receiving your letter. almost choked b y grief." With what indignation such a letter as this must be read by Miss Dashwood. may b e imagined. nor could she have supposed Wil loughby capable of departing so far from the appearance of every honourable and delicate feeling so far from the common decorum of a gentleman. as to send a lette r so impudently cruel: a letter which. she saw Marianne stretched on the bed. but without saying a word. Your most obedient humble servant. but Elinor had not spirits to say more. and flatter myself it will not be b roken by any mistake or misapprehension of my actions. hurried away to their room. and which proclaimed its writer to be deep in hardened villainy. Though aware. and then gave way to a burst of tea rs. and confirm their separation for ever. I am. acknowledged no breach of faith. and two or three others laying by her. though unable to speak.

for it was many days since she had any appetite. which she knew had not been ordered till one. by saying. happy Elinor. as every thing else would have been." "I can have no pleasure while I see you in this state. while I see you so wretched!" "Forgive me. I am miserable. forget me! but do not torture me so." before her voice was entirely lost in sobs. Jennings. after seeing her safe off. and Elinor." "Do you call me happy. and she was at last able to express some sense of her kindness. "I know you feel for me. if I distress you. for life. which Elinor procured for her directly. admitted the excuse most readily. Oh! how easy for those. no. leave me." This. in the anguish of her[160] heart. and whom she reached just in time to prevent her from falling on the floor. Jennings." "I cannot. she hurried aw ay to excuse herself from attending Mrs. "Exert yourself." "And you will never see me otherwise. wh o have no sorrow of their own to talk of exertion! Happy. whom she found attempting to rise from the bed. you cann ot have an idea of what I suffer. a weakened stomach. and now. which might be of comfort to you. Marianne? Ah! if you knew! And can you believe me to be so. made her more comfortable. who had no other connection whatever with the affair than w hat her heart gave him with every thing that passed. I know what a heart you have. forgot that she had three letters on her lap yet unread . but yet you are you must be happy. can do away such happiness as that?" "Many. though hopeless of contributing. solemnly. Elinor could no longer witness this torrent of unresisted grief in silence. You can have n o grief. on the depravity of th at mind which could dictate it." replied her sister. and many nights since she had really slept. "there were any thing I could do. on account of her sister bein g indisposed. many circumstances. she went to the window to see who could be com ing so unreasonably early. at present. oh what. with an unprinci pled man. "he loves you. "No. that when on hearing a carriage drive up to the door. Elinor forgot the immediate distress of her sister. Mrs." throwing her arms round her sister's neck. "Oh! Elinor. Think of your mother. dear Marianne. the consequence of all this was f elt in an aching head. "leave me.rst and most irremediable of all evils. ret urned to Marianne. a blessing the most important. "Poor Elinor! how unhappy I make you!" "I only wish." . "if you would not kill yourself and all who love you. on the very different mind of a ve ry different person. and only you." said Elinor. no. who could only exclaim. and probably." cried Marianne wildly." she cried. a connection. to her ease. she was all astonishment to perceive Mrs. hate me. was too much for Marianne. as a deliverance the most real. with a thoroughly good-humoured concern for its cau se. In her earnest meditations on the contents of the letter. ind eed. faint and giddy f rom a long want of proper rest and food. Mine is a misery which nothing can do away . when her mind was no longer supported by the fever of suspense. Determined not to quit Ma rianne. forgive me. think of her misery while you suffer: fo r her sake you must exert yourself. le ave me. and a general nervous faintness. Edw ard loves you what. and so entirely forgot how long she had been in the room. Jennings's chariot. A gl ass of wine. I cannot." cried Marianne.

An opportuni ty of coming hither."[ 161] "But he told you that he loved you. by your behaviour last night? Again I demand an explanation of it. Sometimes I thought it had been but it never was. At any rate I shall expect you to-morrow. if your engagement had been carried on for months and months." "Yet you wrote to him?" "Yes could that be wrong after all that had passed? But I cannot talk. He has broken no faith with me. Have you no comforts? no friends? Is your loss such as leaves no opening for consolation? Much as you suffer now. Willoughby. You had better come earlier anot her time. I wish you may receive this in time to come here tonight. directly ran over the contents of all. think of what you would have suffered if the discovery of his character had been delayed to a later period. before he chose to put an end to it. and you not there. adieu.D. if that could be the case. would have made the blow more dreadful. every hour of the day. Pray call again as soon as possible. on receiving this. Jennings. I have been told that you were asked to be of th e party. Marianne. But I will not suppose this pos sible."You must not talk so. was a temptation we could not re sist." Her second note. which was what her sister had sent him on their arrival in town. where there was a dance. It was every day implied. M. January. and explain the reason of my having expected this in vain. though with Mrs. as it might have been. when you know that I am in town." The contents of her last note to him were these:[162] "What am I to imagine. Willoughby." "Engagement!" cried Marianne. was to th is effect: "Berkeley Street. But could it be so? You must be very much altered indeed since we parte d. because we are generally out by one." Elinor said no more. I was prepared to meet you with the pleasure which our sep . "How surprised you will be. on your side. For the present. "there has been no engagement. M. and I hope very soon to receive your personal assurance of its being othe rwise. but never professedly declared. and I think you will feel something more than surprise.D. I have been expecting to hear from you. We were last night at Lady Middle ton's. was in these words: "I cannot express my disappointment in having missed you the day before yesterda y. which had been written on the morning after the dance at the Mi ddletons'. and still more to see you." "No engagement!" "No. and turning again to the three letters which now raised a m uch stronger curiosity than before." "Yes no never absolutely. he is not so unworthy as you believe him. nor my astonishment at not having received any answer to a note which I sent you above a week ago. The f irst. Every additional day of u nhappy confidence. but I will not d epend on it.

would have been unwilling to believe. is there a creature in the world whom I would not rather suspect of evil than Willoughby. she added. in a firmer tone "Elinor.D. could have been so answe red. Elinor for weeks and weeks he[163] felt it. explain the grounds on w hich you acted. "Whoever may have been so detestably your enemy. (and nothing but the blackest art employed ag ainst me can have done it). let it be told as soon as possible. in short. if I am to learn that you are not what we have hitherto believed you. you will return my notes. in being able to satisfy you. I was once as dear to him as my own soul could wish. Whatever may have changed him now. My feelings are at present in a state of dreadful indecision. This woman of whom he writes whoever she be o r any one. and only replied. Had you seen his look. when Marianne." That such letters. my dear sister. and I shall be satisfied. "but unfortunately he did not feel the same. Tell me what it is. not warranted by anything preceding. in something concerning me. and the lock of my hair which is in your possession. I know he did. It is a reasonable and laudable pride which resists such mal evolence. mama. If your sentiments are no longer what they were. Elinor. and most severely condemned by the event. that your behaviour to me was intended only to decei ve. by seeing how nobly the consciousness of your own innocence and good intentions sup ports your spirits. and she was silently grieving over the imprudence which had haza rded such unsolicited proofs of tenderness." "I can believe it. but not by Willoughby. may have been so barbarous to bely me. "to be as solemnly engaged to him. I could rather believe every cr eature of my acquaintance leagued together to ruin me in his opinion. which m ay have lowered me in your opinion. that your regar d for us all was insincere. rather than by his own heart. You have perh aps been misinformed. I have been cruelly used. but though I have not yet been able to form any reasonable apology for your behaviour. for Willoughby's sake. perceiving that she ha d finished the letters. let them be cheated of their malignant triumph. observed to her that they contained nothing but what any one would have written in the same situation. Beyond you three. I was repulsed indeed! I have passed a wretched night i n endeavouring to excuse a conduct which can scarcely be called less than insult ing. This lock of hair. I am perfectly ready to hear your justification of it." "He did feel the same. which now he can so readily give up.aration naturally produced." said Elinor. or purposely deceived. M. so full of affection and confidence. I wish to acquit you. "I felt myself. But he r condemnation of him did not blind her to the impropriety of their having been written at all. but your own dear self. who but himself? By whom can he have been instigated?" "By all the world. his manner. as if the stricte st legal covenant had bound us to each other. and Edward. whose heart I know so well?" Elinor would not contend. It would grieve me indeed to be obliged to think ill of you. but certainty on either side will be ease to what I now suffer. with the familiarity which our intimacy at Barton ap peared to me to justify. but when this emotion had passed away . but if I am to do it." she added. was begged of me with t he most earnest supplication. had you heard h is voice at that moment! Have you forgot the last evening of our being together at Barton? The morning that we parted too! When he told me that it might be many weeks before we met again his distress can I ever forget his distress?" For a moment or two she could say no more." . than belie ve his nature capable of such cruelty." "Dearest Marianne.

I cannot s tay to endure the questions and remarks of all these people. Marianne. We owe Mrs. nothing can. another day or two. where was your heart when you wrote those words? Oh. were of use." Another pause ensued. without knowing that she received warmth from one. ever hear him o one. after shuddering over every sentence. however. . I care not who know s that I am wretched. she continued on the bed quiet and motionless. but I cannot stay here long. barbarously ins olent! Elinor. or return mortification but I cannot. But to appear happy when I am so miserable Oh! w ho can require it?" Again they were both silent. "misery such as mine has no pride. Elinor. why should I stay here? I came only for Willoughby's sake and now who cares for me? Who regards me?" "It would be impossible to go to-morrow. Willoughby. and in restless pain of mind and body she moved from one posture[165] to another. and for a moment she did so. no one woman who knows what her art may have been? how long it may have been and how deeply contrived by her! Who is she? Who can she be? Whom did I talk of as young and attractive among his female acquaintance? Oh! n he talked to me only of myself. Willoughby. her sister coul d with difficulty keep her on the bed at all. Willoughby. and for some time was fearful of b eing constrained to call for assistance. cruel not hing can acquit you. and Marianne . ought he not to have suspended his belief? ought he not to have told me of it ." "And yet this premeditated. no. perhaps. Elinor. what would he say to that!" Elinor advised her to lie down again. I must feel I must be wretch ed and they are welcome to enjoy the consciousness of it that can." "But for my mother's sake and mine " "I would do more than for my own." "Well then. but no attitu de could give her ease. and from that time till Mrs. The triumph of seeing me so may be open to all the world."No. and. Can not we be gone to-morro w?" "To-morrow. which she was at length persuaded to take. and it ended thus: "Elinor. The Middletons and Palmers how am I to bear their pity? The pity of such a woman as Lady Middleton! O h. with her head leaning against one of its posts. to have given me the power of clearing myself? 'The lock of hair. Elinor was employed in[164] walking thoughtfully fr om the fire to the window. Jennings much more than civ ility. (repeating i t from the letter. I must go home. from the window to the fire. e xclaimed "It is too much! Oh. could this be yours! Cruel. again took up Willoughby's letter. Marianne was greatly agitated. till growing more and more hysterical. or discerning objects through the other. can he be justified?" "No. Jenn ings returned." cried Marianne. in no possible way.) which you so obligingly bestowed on me' That is unpardonable. Some lavender drops. Marianne!" "Yes. Elinor. they who suffer little may be proud and independent as they like m ay resist insult. and civility of the commonest kind must prevent such a hasty removal as t hat. Whatever he might have heard against m e. seated at the foot of the bed. I must go and comfort mama.

with all the indulgent fondness of a parent towards a favourite child on the last day of its holidays. who did justice to Mrs. she could stay no longer. w as to be tempted to eat by every delicacy in the house. made her those acknowledgment s. But there is one comfort. said I. and a good fire. it is b ut too true. Jennings's kindness. while Marianne still remained on the bed. The Parrys and Sandersons luckily are coming tonight you know. that if this be true. Their good friend saw that Marianne was unhappy. Well. and if ever I meet him again. else I am sure I should not have b elieved it. Had she tried to speak. Je nnings's endeavours to cure a disappointment in love. And so I shall always say. opened the door and walked in with a look of real concern. he is not the only young man in the world worth having. and a sign to her sister not to follow her. Mrs. As soon. to the surprise of her sister. [166] Marianne. seen a check to all mirth. my dear. No wonder. and felt that ever y thing was due to her which might make her at all less so. for she had better have her cry out at once and have done with. and the bustle about her would be less. He is to be married very soon a good-for-nothing fellow! I have no pa tience with him. you may depend on it. and she was told it by a particular friend of Miss Grey herself. pleased to have her gover ned for a moment by such a motive. though believing it hardly possible that she could sit out the dinner. Jennings's well-meant but ill-judged attentions to her. poor thing! I won't disturb her any lon ger. who turned away her face without attempting to answer. or had she been conscious of half Mrs. and with your pretty face you will never want admirers. walking on tiptoe out of the room. I will give him such a dressing a s he has not had this many a day." Elinor. she could have been entertained by Mrs. "How is she. as if she supposed her yo ung friend's affliction could be increased by noise. Ay. and the abstract ion of her thoughts preserved her in ignorance of every thing that was passing b efore her. Had not Elinor. Elinor. Taylor told me of it half an hour ago. she d irectly got up and hurried out of the room. "How do you do my dear?" said she in a voice of great compassion to Marianne. she ate more and was calmer than her sister had expected. however. said no more. which her sister could not make or return for herself. as the consciousness of all this was forced by continual repetition on Marianne. Marianne was to have the best place by the fire. and without waiting to have her request of admittance answered. Jennings came immediately to their room on her return. but not a syllable escaped her lips. . my dear Miss Mariann e. She treated her ther efore. determined on dining with them. I have no notion of men's going on in this way. though its effusions were o ften distressing. With a hasty exclamation of Misery. all I can sa y is. this calmness could not have been maintained. Miss Dashwood? Poor thing! she looks very bad. Elinor even advised her against it.CHAPTER XXX Mrs. she would go down. But "no. and to be amused by the relation of all the news of the day. and I wish with all my soul his wife may plague his heart out. though looking most wretchedly. was ready to assist her into the dining room as soon as they were summoned to it. she could bear it very well. by a variety of sweetmeats and olives. and returned her those civilities. and I was almost ready to sink as it was. he has used a young lady of my acquaintance abominab ly ill. When there. and sometimes almost ridiculous. in the sad countenance of h er sister. Well. and adjusting her dress for her as well as she could. and that will amuse her." She then went away.

indeed I hardly ever heard her mentioned. I would not have joked her about it for all my money. Lord! no wonder she has been looking so bad and so cast down this last we ek or two. but when a young man. comes and makes love to a pretty girl. But now she is of age and may choose for herself. I[168] shall persuade her if I can to go earl y to bed. but is there no round game she cares for?" "Dear ma'am. for this matter I suppose has been hanging over her head as long as t hat. and that will amuse her a little. But the family are all rich together. how should I guess such a thing? I made sure of its being nothing but a common love letter. but not handsome. a nd make a thorough reform at once? I warrant you. Lord! how concerned Sir John and my daughters will be when they hear it! If I had my senses about me I might have called in Conduit Street in my way home . in such a case. and promises marriage. is very rich?" "Fifty thousand pounds. let his house. that a man[167] should use such a pretty girl so ill ! But when there is plenty of money on one side." "Do you know what kind of a girl Miss Grey is? Is she said to be amiable?" "I never heard any harm of her. my dear. Their own good-nature must point out to them the real cruelty of appearing to know any thing about it when she is present. the more my feelings will be . stylish girl the y say. Did you ever see her? a smart. will not leave her room again this evening." after pausing a moment "your poor sister is gone to her own room. Marianne. Well. I am sure if I k new of any thing she would like." "It would be unnecessary I am sure. that she believed Mr. for I am sure she wants rest. Why do n't he. and Mrs. it seems quite cruel to let her be alone. and a richer girl is ready to have him. Palmer and Sir John against ever naming Mr. it won't come before it's wanted. that one day Miss Walker hinted to her. be who he will. and told them of it. Jennings. Fifty thousand pou nds! and by all accounts. Biddy Henshawe. he has no business to fly off from his word only because he grows poor. And so the letter that came today finished it! Poor soul! I am sure if I ha d had a notion of it. and go t o bed. sell his horses. Is there nothing one can ge t to comfort her? Poor dear. to moan by herself. for they say he is a ll to pieces. Lord bless you! they care no more about such things!" "The lady then Miss Grey I think you called her. But then you know. before my sister. my dear. it d on't signify talking. No wonder! dashing about with his curricle and hunters! Well. I believe that will be best for her. for she and Mrs. I remember her aunt very well. But that won't do now-a-days. Miss Marianne would have been ready to wait till matters came round. turn off his servants. But I shall see them tomorrow."Poor soul!" cried Mrs. except that Mrs. Taylor did say this morning. "how it grieves me to see her! And I declare if she is not gone away without finishing her wine! And the dried cherries too! Lord! nothing seems to do her any good. and the le ss that may ever be said to myself on the subject." "And who are the Ellisons?" "Her guardians. Let her name her own supper. What shall we play at? She hates whist I know. this kindness is quite unnecessary. nothing in the way of pleasure can ever be given up by the young men of this age. I would send all over the town for it. as soon as she was gone. Ellison would not be sorry to have Miss Grey marr ied. she marr ied a very wealthy man. or making the slightest allusion to what has passed. for you to caution Mrs. I dare say." "Aye. and you know young people like to be laughed at about them. Ellison could never agree. byand-by we shall have a few friends. Well. and a pretty choice she has made! What now. and next to none on the other. I suppose. it is the oddest thing to me. Willoughby.

I must d o this justice to Mr. which. soon softened her to compliance . If we can but put Willough by out of her head!" "Ay. No more would Sir John. Her sist er's earnest. for it will be all the bet ter for Colonel Brandon. "Well. and fixing on the very rooms they were to live in hereafter!" Elinor. and as she hoped. "if you will go to bed. and the parsonage-house with in a stone's throw. drives another down. had been her only light. could not press the subject farther. since. till Elinor's entrance. Lord! how he'll chuckle over this news! I hope he will come tonight. I had forgot her. especially if I g ive them a hint. Ma'am. and. that one could wish f or. burst forth again. my dear! Don't pretend to defend him. and have not a neighbour nearer than your mother. and only a quarter of a mile from the turnpike-road. as she expected. And what does talking ever do you know?" "In this affair it can only do harm. and she hope d it was not required of her for Willoughby's." And then rising. though Marianne might lose much. and every thing." "Law. 'tis a true saying about an ill-wind." "Oh! Lord! yes. exactly what I call a nice old fashioned place." But this. and a very pretty canal. quite shut in with great garden walls that are covered with the best fruit-trees in the co untry. in silent misery. Well.spared. you know." said Elinor. Willoughby he has broken no positive engagement with my sist er. moreover.[17 0] "You had better leave me. It must be terrible for you to hear it talked of. O ne shoulder of mutton." was all the notice that her sister received from her. make it unfit to become the public conversation. that he will. for her sister's sake. my dear. however. "I will leave you. so 'tis never dull. n ow. I think the less that is said about such things. and as for your sister. the sooner 'tis blown over and forgot. if they an't married by Mid-summer. he could gain very little by the enforcement of the real truth. though gentle persuasion. He will have her at last. from the mom entary perverseness of impatient suffering. some delightful stewponds. leaning. over the sma ll remains of a fire. I shall spirit up the Colonel as soon as I can. It will be all to one a better match for your siste r. for the sake of ever y one concerned in it. that I do indeed. with all her natural hilarity. I can tell you. and th en what does it signify? Delaford is a nice place. there is a dovecote. whe re they are forced to send three miles for their meat. she went away to join Marianne. I am sure I would not mention a word about it to her for the world. You saw I did not all dinner time. whom she found. you may see all the carriages that pass along. For my part. in short. the better. but she may be 'prenticed out at a small cost. it is close to the church. for if you only go and sit up in an old y ew arbour behind the house. she at first refused to do. as you my dear madam will easily believe. Jennings. as I certainly will. aye. Mind me. aye. if we can do that. After a s hort silence on both sides. in a w . a thousand times prettier than Barton Park. nor m y daughters. No positive engagement indeed! after taking her all over Allenham[169] House. in her own room. and Elinor saw her lay her aching head on the pillow. Mrs. To my fancy. for they are all very thoughtful and considerate. and such a mulberry tree in one corner! Lord! how Charlotte and I did stu ff the only time we were there! Then. Oh! ' tis a nice place! A butcher hard by in the village. full of comforts and conveniences." said Elinor. inde ed. for it has been attended by circumstances which. "we shall do very well with or with out Colonel Brandon. more so perhaps than in many cases of a sim ilar kind. Two thousand a year without debt or drawback except the little love-child.

re flected. for s oon after his entrance. "what I heard this morning may be there may be more truth in it than I could believe possible at first." [171] "How fond he was of it!" He shortly afterwards drew a chair close to her's. Mr. entering. Do take it have just recollected that I have some of the house that ever was tasted." replied Elinor. whom I had reason to think in short. In the drawing-room. first caught my attention." Mrs. in short. she was soon joined by Mrs." said she. "The Colonel looks as grave as ever you see. and. inquired after her sister. John Willoughby. smiling at the difference of the complaints for wh ich it was recommended." answered Elinor. The name of Willoughby. full of something. as she swallowed the chief of it. its healing powers. This seems to have been a day of general e lucidation. do tell him. for this very morning first unfolded it to us. my dear. Mrs. with a wine-glass. and what followed was a positive assertion th at every thing was now finally settled respecting his marriage with Miss Grey it w ." "What did you hear?" "That a gentleman. as surely you must." "Dear Ma'am. with [172]a look which p erfectly assured her of his good information. Willoughby's marriage wi th Miss Grey. "My dear. in a voice so little attempting concealment. Willoughby is unf athomable! Where did you hear it?" "In a stationer's shop in Pall Mall. Colonel Brandon came in while the party were at tea. where I had business. we do know it all. "how good you are! But I have just left Marianne in bed. Jennings was not struck by the same thought. Yes. he said it did him more good than any th to your sister. was satisfied with the compromise. so I have brought poor husband! how fond he was of it! Whenever gout. on a disappointed heart might be as reason ably tried on herself as on her sister. that he was already aware of what occasioned her absence. "Mr." he hesitatingly replied. that it was impossibl e for me not to hear all. in her hand." said she. of little i mportance to her. whither she then repaired.ay to get some quiet rest before she left her. He knows nothing of it. Elinor immediately fancied that he neither expect ed nor wished to see her there. if you will give me leave. that a man. though regretting that she had not been five minutes earlier. with forced calmness. then." "You mean. and by his manner of lookin g round the room for Marianne. "I finest old Constantia wine in the a glass of it for your sister. I will drink the wine myself. and we have persuaded her to go to bed. that though its effects on a colicky gout were. Jenn ings. My he had a touch of his old colicky ing else in the world. and as I think nothing will be of so much service t o her as rest. and one of them was giving the other an account of the in tended match. Jennings. whom I knew to be engaged but how shall I tell you? If you know it already. Two ladies were waiti ng for their carriage. at present. she walked across the room to the tea-table where Elinor presided. I may be spared. "She has been indisposed all day. I hope. and. frequently re peated. and Elinor. and whispered. and. almost asleep. "Marianne is not well." "Perhaps.

perhaps but I am almost conv inced that he never was really attached to her." she cried. with amazement. by the removal of the tea-things. and who expec ted to see the effect of Miss Dashwood's communication. Elinor encouraged her as much as possible to talk of what she felt. Her heart was hardened against the belief of Mrs. Sometimes she c ould believe Willoughby to be as unfortunate and as innocent as herself. the presence of Mrs.[174] she was uniform. but Willoughby is capable at least I think " he stopped a moment. they had gone through the subject again and again. his seat in Somersetshire. and even now. Ellison . who had watched them with pleasure while they were talking. by the irritable refinement of her own min d." He made no answer. as I have been since informed. she never doubted his regard. especially. if in any thing. The communicative lady I lear nt. "And your sister. in some points. her good-nature is not tenderness. and th e arrangement of the card parties. was a Mrs. and before b reakfast was ready. and with the same steady conviction and affectionate counsel on Elinor's side. At one mo ment she was absolutely indifferent to the observation of all the world. at anot her she would seclude herself from it for ever. they were to go to Combe Magna. it is a most cruel affliction. there seems a hardness of heart about him. One thing. In one thing. and may believe how eagerly she would still justify h im if she could.as no longer to be a secret it would take place even within a few weeks. and at a third could resist it w ith energy. indeed! But your sister does not I think yo u said so she does not consider quite as you do?" "You know her disposition." "It may be so. Till yesterday. the same i mpetuous feelings and varying opinions on Marianne's. and that. "she cannot feel. "[173] "Her sufferings have been very severe." "Ah!" said Colonel Brandon. with many particulars of preparations and other matters. is the name of Miss Grey's guardian. Her kindness is not sym pathy. He has been very deceitful! and. of hope and happiness. when it came to the poi nt. Jennings's entering into her sorrows with any compassion. in such an instantaneous gaiety on Colonel Brandon's side. how did sh e. and she only likes me now because I supply it. for I stayed in the shop till they were gone. lost every consolation in the impossibility of acquitting him. and soon afterwards. CHAPTER XXXI From a night of more sleep than she had expected. It has been. no. Mrs. because it served to identify the man still more: as soon as the ceremony was o ver. saw him. as might have become a man in the bloom of yo uth. as before. and in a determined silence when obliged to endure it. we may find an explanation. however. "No. I remembe r. on inquiry. it cannot be. All that she wants is gossip. Jennings. in avoiding. Jen nings. where it was possible." Elinor had not needed this to be assured of the injustice to which her sister wa s often led in her opinion of others. and at others. My astonishment! b ut it would be impossible to describe what I felt. I believe. But have you likewise heard that Miss Grey has fifty thousand pounds? In that." "It is. no. "there is. Marianne awoke the next mornin g to the same consciousness of misery in which she had closed her eyes. the n added in a voice which seemed to distrust itself. remain the whole evening mo re serious and thoughtful than usual. I have only to hope that they may be prop ortionately short. the subject was necessarily dropped. and the too great importance placed by her on the delicacies of a strong sens .

my dear.ibility. with excellent abi lities and an excellent disposition. still referring her to the letter of comfort. She expe cted from other people the same opinions and feelings as her own. was startled by a rap at the doo r. it chanced to prove a source of fresh pain to he rself. "Who can this be?" cried Elinor. had only been roused by Elinor's application. and. went out alone for the rest of the morning. Jennings no language. offered no cou nsel of her own except of patience till their mother's wishes could be known. within her reach[175] in her moments o f happiest eloquence. In this manner they had continued about a quarter of an hour. Jennings was governed in it by an impulse of the utmost goodwill. that she wept with agony through the whole of it. then sat down to write her mother an account of what had passed . she had never suffered. and entreat her directions for the future. Thus a ci rcumstance occurred. and grieving still more fondly over its effect on her mother. to entreat from Marianne greater openness towards them both. such affection for Willoughby. All her impatience to be at home again now returned. when she was calm enough to read it. aware of the pain she was going to communicate. and countenance gaily smiling. could have expressed. by the eloquence of his e yes. she w ithdrew. full of tenderness and contrition. E linor. and perceiving. which sunk the heart of Mrs. and instantly followed by Willoughby himself. and she judged of their motives by the immediate effect of their actions on herself. she felt as if. with such tenderness tow ards her. how ill she had succeeded in laying any fo undation for it. The hand writing of her mother. while the sisters were together in their own room after bre akfast. by Marianne's letter. with a very heavy heart. The cruelty of Mrs. and she was wildly urgent to be gone. never till then unwelcome. grieving over her for the hardsh ip of such a task. an d at length she obtained her sister's consent to wait for that knowledge. through her own weakness. But the letter. Mrs. was before her. Jennings left them earlier than usual. that after many expressions of pity. rushing eagerly into the room to enforce. while Marianne. "So early too! I thought we had been safe. so entirely lost on its object. who se nerves could not then bear any sudden noise. she entered their room. watching the advancement of her pen. convincing. still confident of their engagement." . Like half the rest of the world. explanatory of all that had passed. and such a conviction of their future h appiness in each other. the assurances of his letter. brought little comfort. bec ause. for she could not be easy till the M iddletons and Palmers were able to grieve as much as herself. her mother was dearer to he r than ever. till that instant. In one moment her imagination placed before her a letter from Willoughby. was neither reasonable nor candid. and positively ref using Elinor's offered attendance. saying "Now. remained fixed at the table where Eli nor wrote. Willoughby filled every page ." Marianne heard enough. unable herself to determine whether it were better for Marianne to be in London or at Barton. i f more than half there be that are clever and good. Marianne. Jennings's going away. though Mrs. how ever. Elinor. and relying as warmly as ever on his constancy. and the graces of a polished manner. I bring you something that I am sure will do you good. Her mother. at her feet. Jennings still lower in her estimation. from the persuasion of bringing comfort. The work of one moment was destroyed by the n ext. satisfactory. when Marianne. and now she could reproach her only by the tears which streamed from her eyes with passionate violence a reproach. who came into the d rawing-room on Mrs. in the acuteness of the disappointment which followed such an ecstasy of mo re than hope. and this. With a letter in her outstretched hand. dearer through the very excess of her mistaken confidence in Willou ghby.

could not forgive her sister for esteeming him so lightly. is there not some reason to fear I may be wrong?" He stopped. and. no. A short account of myself. Jennings is from home. "I understand you. Willoughb y. "We are never safe from him. though it was founded on injustice and er ror." retreating to her own room. M iss Dashwood. in some measure. by relating some circumstances which nothi ng but a very sincere regard nothing but an earnest desire of being useful I think I am justified though where so many hours have been spent in convincing myself that I am right." The event proved her conjecture right. went on. will be necessary. for Colonel Brandon did come in. This lady was on e of my nearest relations. My gratitude will be insured immedia tely by any information tending to that end. who was convinced that solicit ude for Marianne brought him thither. I believe it is is to be a mean s of giving comfort. You will find me a very awkward narrator. la sting conviction to your sister's mind. with vexation. after the first salutation. "You have something to tell me of Mr. and from our earliest years we we re playfellows and friends. the same eagerness of fancy and spirits. "A man who has nothing t o do with his own time has no conscience in his intrusion on that of others. Jennings in Bond Street." He looked pleased by this remembrance. and hers must be gained by it in ti me." "You shall. "can I have little temptation to be diffuse. I hardly know where to begin. "You have probably entirely forgotten a conversation (it is not to be supposed tha t it could make any impression on you) a conversation between us one evening at Ba rton Park it was the evening of a dance in which I alluded to a lady I had once know n. "I met Mrs." "Indeed. the partiality of tender recollection." sighing he avily." "I will not trust to that. and in his anxious though brief inquiry after her. pray let me hear it. My regard for her. and it shall be a short one. Pray." [177] He stopt a moment for recollection. and I was the more easily encouraged. I must not say comfort not present comfort but conviction. with another sigh. and under the guardianshi p of my father. On such a subject. as resembling. for yourself. was such. Your telling it will be the greatest ac t of friendship that can be shown Marianne. because I th ought it probable that I might find you alone. to be brief. as well in mind as person." said Elinor. for you r mother will you allow me to prove it." answered Elinor. The same warmth of heart." "He will not come in. which I was very desirous of doin g. as perhaps. Our ages were nearly the same. when I quitted Barton last October. and who saw that solicitude in his disturb ed and melancholy look. I believe . My object my wish my sole wish in desiring it I hope. as Mrs. your sister Marianne. there is a very strong resemblance between them. and my affection for her. and added "If I am not deceived by the uncertainty." said he. "and she encouraged me to come on. judging from my . that will open his character farther. and Elinor. an orphan from her infancy. I cannot remember the time when I did not love Eliza . and then. but this will gi ve you no idea I must go farther back. "I have not forgotten it.[176] Marianne moved to the window "It is Colonel Brandon!" said she. as we grew up.

She resig ned herself at first to all the misery of her situation. and under . and that was given. Willoughby and it was. and our family estate much enc umbered. where he was confined for debt. carried me to visit him in a spunging-house. What I endured in so beholding her but I have no right to wound your feelings by attempting to describe it I have pained you too much already. and rising hastily walked for a few minutes about the room . My first care. and coming to her. At seventeen she was lost to me for ever. in such a situation it was my greatest comfort . affected by his relation. and still more by his distress. and for some time it did. a nd consequent distress. you might think me incapable of having e ver felt. fervent as the attachment of your siste r to Mr. n o amusement. a few months must have reconciled me to it. I fear. when I did arrive. so youn g as I[178] then was. his pleasures were not what they ought to have been. is all that can be said for the conduct of one. and the blow was a severe one. of my cousin's maid betrayed us. And this. and for that purpose had procured my exchang e. was yes. healthful girl. and she was allowed no liberty. I did find her . and happy had it been i f she had not lived to overcome those regrets which the remembrance of me occasi oned. or at least I should not have now to lament it. That she was. for s he experienced great unkindness. in the la st stage of a consumption. even no w the recollection of what I suffered " He could say no more. and wi thout a friend to advise or restrain her (for my father lived only a few months after their marriage. with such a husband to provoke inconstancy. had obliged her to dispose of it for some immediate reli ef. about two years afterwards. The consequence of this. and there. My brother had no regard for her. was. I could not trace her beyond her first seducer. She was married married against her inclination to my brother. or the folly. and kisse d it with grateful respect. A few minutes more of silent exertion enabled him to proceed with composure. He imagined. who had since fallen into misfortu ne. So altered so faded worn down by acute suffering of every kind! hardly could I believe the melancholy and sickly figure before me. Her fortune was large. I saw her placed in comfortable lodgings. and I was with my regiment in the East Indies) she should fall? Had I remained in England. Her's. "was of trifling weight was nothing to what I felt when I heard. who w as at once her uncle and guardian.present forlorn and cheerless gravity. and though she had promised me that nothing but how blindly I relate! I have never told you how this was brought on. and after I had been six months in England. to be the remains of the l ovely. could not sp eak. Elinor. so lively. and calmly could he imagine it. Regard for a former servant[179] of my own. on whom I had once doted. It was that which threw this gloom. till my father's point was gained. in a voice of great agitation. Life could do nothing for her. but at last the misery of her situation. was of course to seek for her. At last. was but too natural. pressed it. he did not ev en love her. I was banished to th e house of a relation far distant. of her divorce. My brother did not deserve her. and I learnt from my broth er that the power of receiving it had been made over some months before to anoth er person. The shock which her marriage had given me. no society. I believe. We were within a few hours of eloping together for Scotland. blooming." he continued. This however was not the case. I had depended on her fortitude too far. took her hand. so inexperienced as Mrs. under a similar confinement. to all appearance. in the same house. for me. Her legal allowance was not adequate to her for tune. and from the first he treated her unkindly. overcame all her resolution. beyond giving time for a better preparation for death. but had her marriage been happy. I had hoped that her regard for me would support her under any diff iculty. "It was nearly three years after this unhappy period before I returned to Englan d. no less unfortuna te. Th e treachery. upon a mind so youn g. But can we wonder that. that her extravagance. perhaps but I meant to promote the happiness of b oth by removing from her for years. though from a different cause. was my unfortunate s ister. Brandon's. He saw her concern. but the sear ch was as fruitless as it was melancholy. nor sufficient for her comfortable maintenance. and there was every reason to fear that she had removed from him only to sink deeper in a life of sin. however.

"came in a letter from he rself. and gl adly would I have discharged it in the strictest sense. I could le arn nothing but that she was gone. "Your sister. a little girl. . I had allowed her. I called her a distant relation. she might have been all that you will live to see the other be. he had already don e that. was left to conjecture. had the nature of our situations allowed it. Ah! Miss Dashwood a subject such as this untouched for f ourteen years it is dangerous to handle it at all! I will be more collected more con cise. could really. and which I believe gave offence to some. he neither returned. as thoroughly as he was convinced himself. while the girls were ranging over the town and making what acquaintance they c hose. It was forwarded to me from Delaford. He. though she certainly knew all. and I received it on the very morning of our intended party to Whitwell. a precious trust to me. and this was the reason of m y leaving Barton so suddenly. last October. but had he known it. she would tell nothing. but I[180] am well aware that I have in general been suspected of a much nearer connection with her. and Elinor spoke her feelings in an exclama tion of tender concern. and my little Eliza was therefore placed at school. Wil loughby imagine. But to what does all this lead? I seem to have been d istressing you for nothing. their fortunes. and for two years I had every reason to be pleased with her situa tion. What I thought. almost a twelvemonth back. for. and had always kept it with her. her father. for eight long months. nor wrote. I visited her every day during the rest of her short life: I was with her in her last moments. cannot be the same. She loved the child. and after the death of my brother. and had the natural sweet disposition of the one been guarde d by a firmer mind. "by the resemblance I have f ancied between her and my poor disgraced relation. of his daughter's being entirely unconcerned in the business. with a most obstinate and ill-judge d secrecy.) at her earnest desir e." "This is beyond every thing!" exclaimed Elinor. I saw her there wh enever I could. (which happened about five ye ars ago. she suddenly disappeared. or a happier marriage. But last February. who was then about three years old. that I was called away to the relief of one whom he had made poo r and miserable." "Good heavens!" cried Elinor. which no man who can feel for another would do. but not a quick-sighted man. a well-meaning. I believe. when his looks censured me for incivility in breakin g up the party. who had the charge of four or five other girls of about the same time of life. I knew him to be a very good sort of man. In short. by watching over her edu cation myself." Again he stopped to recover himself. to go to Bath with one of her young friends. the offspring of her fi rst guilty connection. give no information. I hope. Their fates. She left to my care her only child. all the rest. no home. who was attending her father the re for his health. (imprudently. It was a valued. and I thought well of his daughter better than she deserved. but I had no family. It is no w three years ago (she had just reached her fourteenth year. in[181] a situation of the utmost distres s. nor relieved her . what would it have availed? Would he have been less gay or less happy in the smiles of your sister? No. may be imagined. Little did Mr. I suppose." said he. cannot be offended. with no creditable home. and which left to me the possession of the family property.) she visite d me at Delaford. He had left the girl who se youth and innocence he had seduced. and he tried to convince me.) that I removed her from school. which I am sure must at the time have appeared str ange to every body. residing in Dorsetshire. what I feared. at the fate of his unfortunate friend. as it has since turned out. to place her under the care of a very respectable woman. no friends. would give no clue. no help. ignorant of his address! He had left her.proper attendants. "could it be could Willoughby!" "The first news that reached me of her. and what I suffe red too. for he had been generally confined to the house . promising to return." he continued.

never got abroad. therefore. Whatever they may have been. after a short silence. after a pause. I came determined to know the truth. Surely this comparison must have its use with her. might le ssen her regrets. but to a man and a soldier she presumed not to censure it. and respect for her fortitude under it. To suffer you all to be so deceived. and hereafter doubtless will. Concern for her unhappiness. and with a mind tormented by self-reproach. in communicati ng to her what I have told you."His character is now before you. which must attend he r through life. I would not have suffered myself to trouble you with this acco unt of my family afflictions. "ever seen Mr. mu st strengthen every attachment. though at first she will suffer much. and worse than both. and pictures her to herself. I removed her and her child into the country. But now. "Such. One meeting was unavoidable. I am sure she will soon become easier. startled by his manner. for it irritates her mind more than the most perfect conviction of hi s unworthiness can do. and sometimes I thought your sister's influence might yet reclaim him. "has been the unhappy resemblance b etween the fate of mother and daughter! and so imperfectly have I discharged my trust!" "Is she still in town?" "No. "once I have. attended too wit h the assurance of her expecting[182] material advantage to Marianne. still as str ong as her own. Have you. expensive. "I have been more pained. Use your own discretion. You must know best what will be its effect." she continued. as I have now known it many weeks. every friend must be made still more her friend by them. "by her endeavors to acquit him than by all the rest. as soon as she recovered from her lying-in." . She will feel her own sufferings to be nothing." Elinor sighed over the fancied necessity of this. I to punish his conduct . On the contrary. They proceed from no misconduct. and the meeting. and from my heart believed it might be of service. with an affection for him so strong. when she compares it with that of my poor Eliza." he replied gravely. from the c ommunication of what had passed. dissipated. Eliza had confessed to me. to s ee your sister but what could I do? I had no hope of interfering with success. My behaviour must have seemed strange to you then. when she considers the wretched and hopeless situation of this poor girl . and can brin g no disgrace. however." Elinor's thanks followed this speech with grateful earnestness. we met by appointment. who can tell what were his designs on her. the name of her lover. Now. for I found her near her delive ry. which was within a fort night after myself. however. with a recital which may seem to have been intende d to raise myself at the expense of others. and there she remains. saying "What? have you met him to " "I could meet him no other way. but had I not seriously. Willoughby since you left him at Barton?" "Yes. and on being assured that she was t o marry him: guess what I must have felt for all your sakes. though most reluctant ly. Kn owing all this. We returned unwounded. though irres olute what to do when it was known. but now you will comprehend it." said she. she may now. he to defend. When I came to you last week and found you alone. and when he returned to town. guess what I must have felt o n seeing your sister as fond of him as ever." Elinor. aft er such dishonorable usage." said Colonel Brandon. looked at him anxiously. turn wit h gratitude towards her own condition.

where every thing within her view would be bringing back the past in the st rongest and most afflicting manner. attempted no vindication of Willoughby. and leaving her full of compassion and esteem for him. by constantly placing Willoughby before her. arrived to tell all that she suffered and thought. She recommended it to her daughters. a . Not that Marianne appeared to distrust the truth of any part of it. which could not be procured at Barton. of objects. Dashwood on receiving and answering Elinor's letter would be only to give a repetition of what her daughters had al ready felt and said. Design could never bring them in each other's way: negligence could never leave them exposed to a surprise. and the doubt of what his designs might once have been on herself. since his acquaintance must now be dropped by all who called themselves her friends. She felt the l oss of Willoughby's character yet more heavily than she had felt the loss of his heart. and entreat she would bear up with fortitu de under this misfortune. Dashwood. but it was settled in a gloomy dejection. the misery of that poor gi rl. though she saw with satisfaction the effect of it. would be inevitable there. and. had brought herself to expect as a certain one. From all danger of seeing Willoughby again. gave more pain to her sister than could have been communicated by the most open and most frequent confession of them. the length of which. even voluntari ly speaking. that she could not bring herself to speak of wh at she felt even to Elinor.Recollecting. the refore. much as the ideas of both might now be spurned by her. She had yet another reason for wishing her children to remain where they were. the effect on her was not entirely such as the f ormer had hoped to see. made neither objection nor remark. Bad indeed must the nature of Marianne's affliction be . [183] CHAPTER XXXII When the particulars of this conversation were repeated by Miss Dashwood to her sister. Jennings. from foreseeing at first as a probab le event. that he was probably dividing Elinor from her sis ter. in her no longer avoiding Colonel Brandon when he called. and though she saw her spirit s less violently irritated than before. with a kind of compassionate respect. an d chance had less in its favour in the crowd of London than even in the retireme nt of Barton. soon afterwards. and seemed to show by her tears that she felt it to be impossible. to express her anxious solicitude for Marianne. for she listened to it all with the most steady and submissive atten tion. A variety of occupations. where it might force him before her while paying that visit at All enham on his marriage. as they very soon were. had been expected by all to comprise at least five or six weeks. he put an end to his visit. his seduction and desertion of Miss Williams. an d an indignation even greater than Elinor's. she h oped. To give the feelings or the language of Mrs. her mother considered her to be at l east equally safe in town as in the country. in her speaking to him. into some interest beyond herself. though never exactly fixed. she did not see her less wretched. by all means not to shorten their visit to Mrs. which she could wish her not to indulge![184] Against the interest of her own individual comfort. receiving from her again the same grateful ackn owledgments. when her mother could talk of fortitude! mortifying and humiliating must be th e origin of those regrets. Her m ind did become settled. But though t his behaviour assured Elinor that the conviction of this guilt was carried home to her mind. Long letters from her. and even into some amusement. Dashwood had determined that it would be better for Marianne to be any where. which Mrs. quickly succ eeding each other. of a disappointment hardly less painful than Marianne's. than at Bar ton. brooding over her sorrows in silence. Mrs. preyed al together so much on her spirits. cheat Marianne. such as she had always seen him there. and might yet. and of company. at times. at that time.

It was a great comfort to her to be sure of exciting no inter est in one person at least among their circle of friends: a great comfort to kno w that there was one who would meet her without feeling any curiosity after part iculars. and she submitted to it therefore without opposition. for all the world! No. She wished with all her heart Combe Magna was not so near Cl eveland. Marianne had promised to be guided by her mother's opinion. reaped a ll its advantage. for it was a great deal too far off to visit. for neither Mrs. and she was very thankful that she had never been acquaint ed with him at all. Marianne. s he hated him so much that she was resolved never to mention his name again. Palmer's sympathy was shown in procuring all the her power of the approaching marriage. the personal sympath y of her mother. and doomed her to such society and such scenes as must prevent her ever knowing a moment's rest. it would be better for Marianne than an immediate return into Dev onshire. But it was a matter of great consolation to her. though she felt it to be entirely wrong. nor Sir John. that though their longer stay would therefore militate against her own happiness. and they were kept watching for two hours together. The calm and polite unconcern of Lady Middleton on the occasion was a happy reli ef to Elinor's spirits. Elinor wished that the same forbearance c ould have extended towards herself. but that was impossible. comforted herself by thinking. He wished him at the devil with all his heart. Jennings. how good-for-nothing he was. and communicating them to uld soon tell at what coachmaker's the new carriage was building. and she should tell everybody she saw.letter from her son-in-law had told her that he and his wife were to be in town before the middle of February. Every qualification is raised at times. Palmer. that what[185] brought evil to herself would bring good to her sister. "A man of whom he had always had s uch reason to think well! Such a good-natured fellow! He did not believe there w as a bolder rider in England! It was an unaccountable business. to m particulars in Elinor. Sir John. on the other hand. and she was obliged to listen day after day to the indignation of them all. could not have thought it possible. meet him where he might. He would not speak another word to him. formed on mis taken grounds. and she judged it right that they should sometim es see their brother. "She was determined to drop his acqu aintance immediately. and at what warehouse Miss might be seen. or any anxiety for her sister's health. Willoughby's portrait was drawn. Her carefulness in guarding her sister from ever hearing Willoughby's name menti oned. was equally angry. though without knowing it herself. but it did not signify. by the circumstances of the moment. She co by what painte Grey's clothes . and that by requiring her longer continuance in London it deprive d her of the only possible alleviation of her wretchedness." The rest of Mrs. in her way. r Mr. was not thrown away. [186] Offered him one of Folly's puppies. ever spoke of him before her. suspectin g that it would not be in her power to avoid Edward entirely. though it proved perfectly different from what she wished and expected. not if it were to be by the side of Barto n covert. Such a scoundrel o f a fellow! such a deceitful dog! It was only the last time they met that he had offered him one of Folly's puppies! and this was the end of it!" Mrs. Palmer herself. oppressed as [187]they often were by the clamorous kindn ess of the others. nor even Mrs. and Elinor.

as no danger of her seeing either of them. at the end of two days. for some time ceased to think at all of Mrs. and the gentleness of her voice whenever (though it did not often happen) she was obliged. would all be made over to her. began. indeed!" a nd by the means of this continual though gentle vent. or could o blige herself to speak to him. and therefore determined (though rather against the opinion of Sir John ) that as Mrs. nor commission her to make it f or him. which she saw her eagerly exa mining every morning. and these gave Elinor hopes of its bei ng farther augmented hereafter. by the friendly zeal with which he had endeavoured to sof ten it. and having thus supported th e dignity of her own sex. was given in t he pitying eye with which Marianne sometimes observed him. and Elinor now hoped. About this time the two Miss Steeles. but after a short time they would burst out. unobtrusive enquiries were never unwelcome to Miss D ashwood. or twice. She received the news with resolute composure. "It is very shocking. who had never degrees as she left town as soon as they were married. Colonel Brandon's delicate. if the subject occurred very often. and that she could n either prevail on him to make the offer himself. the cana l. Early in February. within a fortnight from the receipt of Willoughby's letter. Holborn. instead of Mid-summer. to prevail on her sister yet left the house since the blow first fell. and at first shed no tears.ore than its real value. His chief reward for the pain ful exertion of disclosing past sorrows and present humiliations. she thought herself at liberty to attend to the interest of her own ass emblies. presented themselves again before their more gran d relations in Conduit and Berkeley Streets. She ha d taken care to have the intelligence conveyed to herself. and she was sometimes worried down by officious condole nce to rate good-breeding as more indispensable to comfort than good-nature. Their presence always gave her pain. and she hardly knew how to make a very gracious return to the overpowering delight of Lu cy in finding her still in town. to go out again by had done before. and the yew arbour. The Willoughbys there could be . lately arrived at their cousin's house in Bartlett's Buildings. made no observation on it. and Mrs. by saying. E linor had the painful office of informing her sister that he was married. as she was desirous that Marianne should not rece ive the first notice of it from the public papers. to l eave her card with her as soon as she married. He had abundantly earned the privilege of intimate discussion of her si ster's disappointment. but very soon to see them without recollecting a word of the matter. Jennings. Ferrars. who knew only that the Colonel continued as grave as ever. as soon as it was kno wn that the ceremony was over. Jennings had. Elinor only was sorry to see them. and were welcomed by them all with great cordiality. and spoken her decided censure of what was wrong in th e other. and by the end of a week that it wo uld not be a match at all." said . "I should have been quite disappointed if I had not found you here still. and for the r est of the day. who knew nothing of all this. was able not only to see t he Miss Dashwoods from the first without the smallest emotion. The good understanding between the Colonel and Miss D ashwood seemed rather to declare that the honours of the mulberry-tree. Lady Middleton expressed her sense of the affair about once every day. and they always conversed with confidence. These assured him that his exertion had produced an increase of good-will towards himself. to think that. she was in a state hardly less pitiable than when she first lear nt to expect the event. Willoughby would at once be a woman of elegance and fortune. but Mrs. the y would not be[188] married till Michaelmas.

Dr. and Miss Steele was made completely happy. oh!" cried Mrs. "Why. My cousins say they are sure I have ma de a conquest. and I cannot think why. when she saw him crossing the street to the house. "But I always thought I shou ld I was almost sure you would not leave London yet awhile. and was forced to use all her self-command to m ake it appear that she did not. Dashwood can spare you both for so long a time together!" "Long a time. "Well. aye." said Lucy. affectedly simpering. My beau. I warrant you. "everybody laughs at me so about the Doctor." said Mrs. "and I beg you will contradict it. Davies was coming to town.' my cousin said t'other day . Jennings. "I suppose you will go and stay with your brother and sister. that is very pretty talking but it won't do the Doctor is the man. after a cessation of hostile hints. Nancy. I dare say you will. that you should not stay above a month. my dear. Miss Dashwood. indeed!" interposed Mrs. The Doctor is no beau of mine. Jennings." "There now. It would have been such a great pity to have went away before your[189] brother and sister came. to the charge. [191] Lucy was silenced. with a strong emphasis on the word. indeed! said I I can not think who you mean. yes. . Jennings. I do not think we shall. and he behaved very genteelly." Mrs. that you would most likely change your mind when it came to the point. with affected earnestness." said Miss Steele." "Oh. their visit is but just b egun!" [190] A very smart beau. at t he time. " "No. but for my part I declare I never think about him from one hour's end to another. And now to be sure you will be in no hurry to be gone. if you ever hear it talked of." replied Miss Steele. "What a charming thing it is that Mrs. returning. Jennings directly gave her the gratifying assurance that she certainly woul d not. I assure you." Elinor perfectly understood her. "and how did you travel?" "Not in the stage. and had a very smart beau to attend us. I am ama zingly glad you did not keep to your word.she repeatedly. indeed!" replied her cousin. "No. But I thought. with quick exultation. whe n they come to town. at Barton." "Oh. indeed! and the Doctor is a single man. though you told me. I see. and paid ten or twelve shillings more than we did." "Aye." Elinor would not humour her by farther opposition. "very pretty. 'Lord! here comes your beau. "w e came post all the way. you know. and so we thought we'd join him in a post-chaise.

and ornaments were determined. he had no leisure to bestow any other attention on the two ladies . Jennings one morning for half an hour. a nd the delicacy of his taste. the Miss Dashwoods found so many people before them in the room. on this impertinent examination of their features. a nd they were obliged to wait. and be as ignorant of what was pa ssing around her. She express ly conditioned." said Miss Steele. in Mr. "You are very good. and consente d to go out with her and Mrs. the gold. Her sister was perhaps laid down upon the bed. where Elinor was carrying on a negotiatio n for the exchange of a few old-fashioned jewels of her mother. all of which. On ascending the stairs. as in her own bedroom. Marianne yielded to her sister's entreaties. Gray's shop. but she was save d the trouble of checking it." "Oh. and on the puppyism of his mann er in deciding on all the different horrors of the different toothpick-cases pre sented to his inspection. than what was comprised in three or four very broad stares. and till its size. after examining and debating for a quarter of an hour over every toothpick-case in the shop. by Lucy's sharp reprimand. if that's all. CHAPTER XXXIII After some opposition. with great civility. and as she had no busin ess at Gray's. though adorned in the first style of fashion . that is a great pity! but such old friends as Lucy and me! I think she might see us. Miss Dashwood. sterling insignificance." Elinor. dear. "Oh. But the correctness of his eye. At last the affair was decided. Jennings recollected that there was a lady a t the other end of the street on whom she ought to call. Mrs. and therefore not able to come to th em. to sit down at that en d of the counter which seemed to promise the quickest succession. "we can just as well go and see her. proved to be beyond his politeness. which make her unfit for company or conversation. declined the proposal. that while her young friends transacted their's. one gentleman only was standing there. Marianne was spared from the troublesome feelings of contempt and resentment. and it is probable that Elinor was not without hope of exciting his politeness to a quicker despatch." Elinor began to find this impertinence too much for her temper. When they stopped at the door. and the pearls. for she was as wel l able to collect her thoughts within herself. however. which now. but she has been very much plagued lately with nervous head-aches. All that could be done was."I am sorry we cannot see your sister. wa s of advantage in governing those of the other." cried Miss Steele. "I am s orry she is not well " for Marianne had left the room on their arrival. or in her dressing gown. it was resolved. for paying no visits. by remaining unconscious of it all. natural. though it did not give much sweetness to the manners of one sister. all receive d their appointment. The ivory. that there was not a[192] person at liberty to tend to their orders. shape. and I am sure we would not speak a word. she should pay her visit and return for them. were finally arranged by his own in ventive fancy. and the gentleman having named the last day on which his ex . My sister will be equally sorry to miss the pleasure of seei ng you. of strong . as on many o ccasions. and would do no more than accompa ny them to Gray's in Sackville Street. He was giving orders for a toothpick-case for himself. a kind of notice w hich served to imprint on Elinor the remembrance of a person and face.

upon my word. I am come h ere to bespeak Fanny a seal. Elinor lost no time in bringing her business forward. who c ame to tell her that his mistress waited for them at the door. extremely glad indeed." "I am extremely glad to hear it. that really she had no leisure for going any where." "Excellent indeed. and bestowing another glance on the Miss Dashwo ods. by the arrival of Mrs. drew on his gloves with leisurely care. Jennings. assured him directly. Thi s morning I had fully intended to call on you. [193] Introduced to Mrs." said he. Jennings assured him directly that she should not stand upon ceremony. however." Elinor did feel a little ashamed of her brother. for not coming too. they are people of large fortune. Jennings at the d oor of her carriage. a nd we spent the rest of the day with Mrs. Harry was vastly pleased. if I could possibly find a spare half hour. "but it was impossible . he said. [194]it rather gave them satisfaction." Mrs. It was a great satisfaction to us to hear i t. and you all seemed to enjoy it beyond any thing. Jennings. As my mother-in-law's relations. was introduced to Mrs. Their affection and pleasure in meeting was just enough to make a very creditabl e appearance in Mr. took leave. John Dashwood was really far from being sorry t o see his sisters again. but one has always so much to do on first coming to town. is more than I can express. And the Middletons too. Mr. And so you are most comfortably settled in your little cottage and want for nothing! Edward brought us a most charming account of the place: the most complete thing of its kind. His visit was duly paid. they are related to you. was on the point of conclu ding it.istence could be continued without the possession of the toothpick-case. walked o ff with a happy air of real conceit and affected indifference. But tomorrow I think I shall certainly be able to c all in Berkeley Street. She turned her ey es towards his face. their friendliness in every p articular. you must intro duce me to them. But so it ought to be. and was not sorry to be spared the necessity of answering him. that ever was. Elinor found that he and Fanny had been in town two days. Jennings. and repeating his hope of being able to call on them the ne xt day. Jennings's servant. "I wished very much to call upon you yesterday. I understand . and his inquirie s after their mother were respectful and attentive. I shall be happy to show them every respect. Their attention to our comfort. Ferrars. but such a one as seemed rather to demand than express admiration. [195] Mrs. and ever y civility and accommodation that can serve to make your situation pleasant migh t be reasonably expected. that she should not stand upon ceremony. and be introduced to your friend Mrs. "but she was so much engaged with her mother. Gray's shop. for we were obliged to take Harry to see the wild beasts at Exeter Exchange. for they were [196]all co . I unders tand she is a woman of very good fortune. He came with a pretence at an apology from their sister -in-law. Dashwood attended them down stairs. I assure you. when another gentleman presented himself at her side. and found him with some surprise to be her brother. They are excellent neighbours to you in the country.

He has a mo st excellent mother. his friends may all advise him against it." lowering his voice to an important whisper. he asked Elinor to walk with him to Condui t Street. you know as to an attachment of that kind." "Me. he has very good property in Dorsetshire. if Fann y should have a brother and I a sister settling at the same time. brother! what do you mean?" "He likes you. though calm." Elinor would not vouchsafe any answer. he added. and I think. I observed him narrowly. I may congratulate you on the prospect of a very respectable establishment in life." said Elinor. and she should certainly wait on Mrs. Mrs." "Indeed I believe you. And there can be no reason why yo u should not try for him. I assure you. or something like it. "going to be married?" "It is not actually settled. Colonel Brandon must be the man. and introduce him to Sir John and Lady Middleton. It is not to be supposed that any prior attachment on your side in short. a very good-natured woman." replied Elinor. In[197] short. "You are mistaken. "It would be something remarkable. he added." he continued. I mean to say your friends are all truly anxious to see you well settled. Elinor. will come forward . "will be exceedingly welcome to all parties. Jennings. she said as much the other day. the objections are insurmountable you have too much sense not to see all that. and am convinced of it." and then working himself up to a pitch of enthusiastic ge nerosity.usins. and she readily consented. for she has your interest very much at heart. he eyed him with a curiosity which seemed to say. you are very much mistaken. "but I am very sure that Colonel Brandon has not the smallest wish of marrying me. John Dashwood very soon. Mrs. however. Perhaps just at present he may be undecided. The weather was rema rkably fine. Elinor. were perfectly kind. for your sake." Recollecting himself. to Mrs. it is a kind of thing that. "Who is Colonel Brandon? Is he a man of fortune?" "Yes. I am sure it would give her great pleasure. "something droll. As soon as they were out of the house. h is enquiries began. His manners to them. But some of those little attentions and encouragements which ladies can so easily give will fix him. Edward Ferrars. with resolution. it is quite out of the question. and on Colonel Br andon's coming in soon after himself. After staying with them half an hour. and bring her sisters to see her. most attentively civil. Ferrars. now. He seems a most gentlemanlike man. "Elinor. with the utmost liberality. It is a match that must gi ve universal satisfaction. Ferrars. that he only wanted to know him to be rich. And her mother too. Fanny particularly." "Two thousand a-year." "I am glad of it. to be equally civil to him. the smallnes s of your fortune may make him hang back. but there is such a thing in agitation. and no civility shall be wanting on my part to make him pleased with you and your family. "That is. I wish with all my heart it were twice as much. What is the amou nt of his fortune?" "I believe about two thousand a year. A very little trouble on your side secures him." "Is Mr. in spite of himself. And yet it is not very unlikely.

as you well know. for more than I gave: but. for the stocks were at that time so low. as soon as we came to town. and settle on him a thousand a year. To give you anoth er instance of her liberality: The other day. I hope you may yet li ve to be in easy circumstances. I might have sold it again. to share the provocation. You may guess. now carrying on. East Kingham Farm. with thirty thousand p ounds." Elinor could only smile. A thousand a-year is a great deal for a mother to give awa y." "Where is the green-house to be?" "Upon the knoll behind the house. A man must pay for his convenience. and she forced herself to say "Your expenses both in town and country must certainly be considerable. "and assisted by her liberality. I dare say. Ferrars has a noble spirit. is a most serious drain." "Another year or two may do much towards it." "Certainly. where old Gibson used to live. I hope not that. There is not a stone laid of Fanny's gree n-house. &c. we have been obliged to make l arge purchases of linen. but Mrs. to make over for ever. and I have not a doubt of its taking place in time. she put bank-notes into Fann y's hands to the amount of two hundred pounds. th at I felt it my duty to buy it. bequeathed all the Stanhill effects tha t remained at Norland (and very valuable they were) to your mother. and it ha s cost me a vast deal of money. but your income is a large one. aware th at money could not be very plenty with us just now. I could not have answered it to my conscience to let it fall into any other hands. T he enclosure of Norland Common." "More than you think it really and intrinsically worth. The old walnut trees are all come down to make room for it. I do not mean to complain. but. ." said Elinor. I must have sold out to very great loss. after all these expenses. so immediately adjoining my own property. and was very thankful that M arianne was not present. Miss Morton. as many people suppose. he had an undoubted right to dispose of his own property as he chose. It will be a very fine object from many parts of the park. only daughter of the late Lord Morton." Elinor kept her concern and her censure to herself. "but however t here is still a great deal to be done. We hav e cleared away all the old thorns that grew in patches over the brow. you m ust remember the place. ho wever. the next day. and the flower-garden will slope down just before it." He paused for her assent and compassion. The land was so very desi rable for[198] me in every respect. to supply the place of what was taken away. and how acceptable Mrs. and I hope will in time be better. f or we must live at a great expense while we are here. I might have been very unfortunat e indeed.. how very far we must be from being rich . and be exceedingly pretty. with regard to the purchase-money. And th en I have made a little purchase within this half year. if the match takes place. in consequence of it. And extremely acceptable it is. and nothing but the plan of the flower-garden marked out. Far be it fr om me to repine at his doing so. "Other great and inevitable expenses too we have had on first coming to Norland. china. that if I had not happened to have the necessary sum in my banker's hands. A very desirable connection on both sides. it is undoubtedly a comfortable one. The lady is the Hon. Our respected father." he gravely replied." "Why. Ferrars's kindness is." "Not so large.

she will be able to dispose o f. which w ill descend to her children. Dorsetshire! I know very little of Dorsetshire. my dear Elinor. what is the matter with Mar ianne? she looks very unwell. she has had a nervous complaint on her for several weeks. There[200] was some thing in her style of beauty. and treating you in this kind of way. to be sure." "But it is not to be imagined that she lives up to her income. but. to please them particularly. brother. in his next visit at Gray's his thoughts took a cheerfuller turn. and I think I can answer for y our having Fanny and myself among the earliest and best pleased of your visitors . But. I should rather suppose." Elinor tried very seriously to convince him that there was no likelihood of her marrying Colonel Brandon. Indeed. He had ju st compunction enough for having done nothing for his sisters himself. by her taking so much notice of you." "Why. was the easiest means of atoning . and he was really resolved on seeking an intimacy with t hat gentleman. I question whether Marianne now. and whatever she saves. will marry a man worth more than fiv e or six hundred a-year." "I am sorry for that. She will be mistaken . but in the end may prove materially advantageous. and I am very much deceived if you do no t do better. her style of living. and is grown quite thin. Is she ill?" "She is not well. Whereas. has lost her colour. that in all probability when she die s you will not be forgotten. and indeed. "people have little. my dear Elinor . Nothing can be kinder than her behaviour. Few people of com mon prudence will do that. I shall be exceedingly glad to know more of it. Her inviting you to town is certainly a vast thing in your favour. and promoting the marriage by every possible attention. without being aware of the expectation it raises. and as likely to attract the man. at the utmost." "And do you not think it more likely that she should leave it to her daughters. h ave very little in their power. Jennings.Having now said enough to make his poverty clear. or a legacy from Mrs." "But she raises none in those most concerned. and she can hardly do all this." "Nothing at all. and to[199] do away the necess ity of buying a pair of ear-rings for each of his sisters. and he began to congratulate Elinor on having such a friend as Mrs. and therefore I cannot perceiv e the necessity of her remembering them farther. it s peaks altogether so great a regard for you. and an offer from C olonel Brandon. She must have a great deal to leave. not but what she is exceedingly fond of you. At her time of life. all bespea k an exceeding good income. "She seems a most valuable woman indeed Her house. however. but so it happened to strike her. for she has only her jointure. seeming to recollect himself. Jennings." said he. than to us?" "Her daughters are both exceedingly well married. I remember Fanny used to say that she would marry sooner and better than you did. but it was an expectation of too much pleasure to hims elf to be relinquished. as I ever saw. and it is an acquaintance that has not only been of great use to you hitherto. to be exc eedingly anxious that everybody else should do a great deal. your anxiety for our welfare and prosperity carries you too far. in my opinion. which a conscientious woman w ould not disregard. she has give n you a sort of claim on her future consideration. any thing of an illness destroys the bloom for ever! Her's has been a very short one! She was as handsome a girl last September.

they could do nothing at present but write. whether Edwar d was then in town. though n ot much in the habit of giving anything. by t wice calling in Berkeley Street. within a very short time. and almost without having anyth ing to say to them. when the y returned from their morning's engagements. however. The i ntelligence however. which mutually attracted them. because she believed them still so very much attached to each other. and though Mr. she fo und her one of the most charming women in the world! Lady Middleton was equally pleased with Mrs. Twice was his card found on the table. Sir John was ready to like anybody. which. and as for Lady Middleton.[202] Dashwood. "I shall have a charming account to carry to Fanny. Your sister need not hav e any scruple even of visiting her. Ferrars were both strongly prepossessed.[201] that neither she nor her daughters were such ki nd of women as Fanny would like to associate with. that she wa ited the very next day both on Mrs. invited them to dine in Harley Street. Elinor wanted very much to know. as he walked back with his sister. But now I can carry her a mos t satisfactory account of both. till able to tell her that his marriage with Miss Morton wa s resolved on. that th ey could not be too sedulously divided in word and deed on every occasion. Jennings was the widow o f a man who had got all his money in a low way. was not to be told. Jennings. and her confidenc e was rewarded by finding even the former. that. and very naturally. Dashwood went away delighted with both. and to her she ap peared nothing more than a little proud-looking woman of uncordial address. John Dashwood to the good opin ion of Lady Middleton did not suit the fancy of Mrs. Abundance of civilities passed on all sides. and though their mutual impa tience to meet. Elinor was pleased that he had call ed. and Mr. though he had arrived in town with Mr. which she would not give. and Mrs. He dared not come to Bartlett's Buildings for fear of detection. by no means unworthy her notice. Jennings too. and still more pleased that she had missed him. to say the truth. wh . for of the quarter of an hour bestowed on Berkeley Street. And Mrs. though not so elegant as her daughter. though she did not choose to ask. even the woman with whom her sisters were staying. "Lady Middleton is really a most elegant woman! Such a woman as I am sure Fanny will be glad to know. Lucy came very shortly to claim Elinor's compassion on being unable to see Edwa rd. Jennings and her daughter. Dashwood did not seem to know much about h orses. Dashwood. There was a kind of cold hearted selfishness on both sides. which recommended Mrs. and Sir John came in befo re their visit ended. They were lucky enough to find Lady Middleton at home. he soon set him down as a very good-natured fellow: while Lady Middleton saw enough of fashion in his appearance to think his acquaintance worth having.for his own neglect. who met her husband's sisters without any affection. and a general want o f understanding. or till her husband's expectations on Colonel Brandon were answer ed. and they sympa thised with each other in an insipid propriety of demeanor. an exceedingly wel l-behaved woman. has been a little t he case. but nothing would have induced Fanny voluntarily to mention his name before her." said he. The same manners. s he sat at least seven minutes and a half in silence. soon flowed from another quarter. Edward assured them himself of his being in town. for we only knew that Mrs. and Fanny and Mrs. John Dashwood had so much confidence in her husband's judgment. an d soon after their acquaintance began. The Dashwoods were so prodigiously delighted with the Middletons." CHAPTER XXXIV Mrs. they determined to give them a dinner.

but much more pleasure. John Dashwood. So well had they recommended themselves to Lady Middleton. Ferrars was a little. Fe rrars. who believed herself to be inflicting a severe disa ppointment when she told her that Edward certainly would not be in Harley Street on Tuesday. that their visit should begin a few days before the party took place. Their sisters and Mrs. however. to a party given by his sister. "Pity me. for though she could now meet Edward's mother without that strong anxie ty which had once promised to attend such an introduction. her curiosity to know what she was like. as soon as the Dashwoods' invitation was known. though really uncomfortable he rself. The important Tuesday came that was to introduce the two young ladies to this fo rmidable mother-in-law. tha t Edward who lived with his mother. but instead of doing that. Their claims to the notice of Mrs. was soon afterwards incr eased. as they walked up the stairs together fo r the Middletons arrived so directly after Mrs. must be asked as his mother was. that they all followed the servant at the same time "There is nobody here but you.ere they had taken a very good house for three months. was enough to make her interested in the eng agement. might not have done mu ch. and with great sincerity. which he could n ot conceal when they were together. to have a nearer view of their characters and her own difficult ies. than she was on receiving Mrs. a nd her sister not even genteel. Good gracious! In a moment I shall see the person t hat all my happiness depends on that is to be my mother!" Elinor could have given her immediate relief by suggesting the possibility of it s being Miss Morton's mother. in her f . dear Miss Dashwood!" said Lucy. towards procuring them seats at her table. always glad to be where the Miss Dashwoods were. was a s lively as ever. She began immediately to determine. who had long wanted to be personally know n to the family. after all that passed. The expectation of seeing her. hoped at least to be an object of irrepressible envy to Elinor. even to[204] formality. as the[203] nieces of the gent leman who for many years had had the care of her brother. not by her own recollection. she was as ready as Sir John to ask them to spen d a week or two in Conduit Street. and John Dashwood was careful to secure Colonel Br andon. but as Lady Middleton's guests they must be welcome. thin woman. and Lucy. The interest with which she thus anticipated the party. and even hoped to be carrying the pain still farther by persuading her that he was kept away by the extreme affection for herself. Mrs. though she could now see her with perfect indifference as to her opinion of herself. and to have an opportunity of endeavouring to please them. Jennings. and to see him for the first time. b ut by the good will of Lucy. so agreeable had thei r assiduities made them to her. that though Lucy was certainly not so elegant. John Dashwood's card. received his eager civilities with some surprise. that can feel for me. rather than her own. her desire of be ing in company with Mrs. who. On Elinor its effect was very different. Ferrars. and it happened to be particularly convenient to the Miss Steeles. They were relieved however. but Elinor could not learn whether her sons were to be of the party. she assured her. i n the company of Lucy! she hardly knew how she could bear it! These apprehensions. were not founded entirely on reason. Je nnings were invited likewise. I declare I can hardly stand. and certainly not at all on truth. who. by her hearing that the Miss Steeles wer e also to be at it. however. whom they were about to behol d. had seldom been happier in her life. They were to meet Mrs. perhaps. that sh e did pity her to the utter amazement of Lucy. upright. more powerfully than pleasantly.

she proportioned them t o the number of her ideas. but it was not in Mrs. even to sourness. Lucy was all exultation on being so honorably distinguished. had they known as much as she did. w ho were nearly of the same age. either natural or improved want o f elegance want of spirits or want of temper. John Dashwood had not much to say for himself that was worth hearing. only amused her. she could not reflect on the mean-spirited folly from which it sprung. and naturally without expression. and one subject only engaged the ladies till coffee came in. which was the c omparative heights of Harry Dashwood. this poverty was part icularly evident. but there. not one fell to the share of Miss Dashwood. and every thing bespoke the Mistress's inclination for show. and every body had a right to be equally positive i n their opinion. for the gentlemen had supplied the discourse with some variety t he variety of politics. no poverty of any kind. and to repeat it over and over again as often as they liked. inclosing land. Elinor could not now be made unhappy by this behaviour. She could not but smile to see the graciousness of both mother and daughter towards the very person for Lucy was particularly distinguished whom of all others. with not less par tiality. and the Master's ability to support it.igure. and serious. except of conversation. but as Harry only was present. and could not conceive that the re could be the smallest difference in the world between them. who almost all laboured under one or other of these di squalifications for being agreeable Want of sense. who had comparatively no power to wound them. who was hardly less anxious to please one parent than the other. and in spite of its owner having once been within some thousand pounds of being obliged to sell out at a loss. Ferrars' power to distress h er by it now. The two grandmothers. without beauty. politely decided in favour of the other. but a lucky contraction of the brow had rescued her countenance from the disgrace of i nsipidity. and Miss Steele wan ted only to be teased about Dr. while she hersel f. When the ladies withdrew to the drawing-room after dinner. and his wife had still less. unlike people in general. Had both the children been there. She was n ot a woman of many words. the affair might have been determined too easi ly by measuring them at once. The dinner was a grand one. a differenc e which seemed purposely made to humble her more. for. appeared. whom she eyed with the spirited determinati on of disliking her at all events. In spite of the improvements and additions which were making to the Norland estate. and Miss Steele. and the difference of her manners to the Miss Steeles. sat pointedly slighted by both. and of the few syllables that did escape her. were equally earnest in support of their own descen dant. it was all conjectu ral assertion on both sides. nor observe the studied attentions with which the Miss Steeles courted its continuance. and breaking horses but then it was all ov er. A few months ago it woul d have hurt her exceedingly. thought t he boys were both remarkably tall for their age. for it was very much the case with the chief of their visitors. without thoroughly despisi ng them all four. in her aspect. but more sincerity. though each really convinced that her own son was the tallest. The parties stood thus: The two mothers. Her complexion was sallow. Davies to be perfectly happy. the deficiency was considerable. But while she smiled at a graciousness so misapplied. . and her features small. Lucy. they would have been most anxious to mortify. the servants were numerous. nothing gave any symptom of that indigence which he had tried to infer from it. But the re was no peculiar[205] disgrace in this. by giving it the strong characters of pride and ill nature. and Lady Middleton's second son William.

returned the m to her daughter. She was already greatly displeased with Mrs. Before her removing from Norland." Fanny looked very angry too. at Elinor's expense. Mrs. though she had no t any notion of what was principally meant by it. and such ill-timed praise of another. I dare say. and after they had received gratifying testim ony of Lady Middleton's approbation. ornamen ted her present drawing room. did not see the necessity of enforcing it by any farther assertion. I do not know whether you have ever happened to see any of her performances before. not aware of their being Elinor's work. than on's Ferrars. too encouraging herself. warmly admir ed the screens. Ferrars and Fanny still more. when called on for her's.with yet greater address gave it. as she had never thought abou t it. conside rately informing her. Perhaps Fanny thought for a moment that her mother had been quite rude enough. as he would have done any thing painted by Miss Dashwood. but she is in general reckoned to draw e xtremely well. "Hum" said Mrs. "These are done by my eldest sister. by which she offend ed Mrs. "Miss Morton is Lord Mort daughter. Elinor had painted a very pretty pair of scree ns for her sister-in-law. though disclaiming all pretensions to connoisseurship. ma'am an't they?" But then again. as a man of taste. colouring a little. by declaring that she had no opinion to give. and her husband was all in a fright at his sister's . Mrs. "and you." And so saying. Ferrars looked exceedingly angry. "Do you not think they are something in Miss Morton's style of painting. offended them all. catching the eye of John[206] D ashwood on his following the other gentlemen into the room. she took the screens out of her sister-in-law's hands. will . Ferrars "very pretty. for her? it is Elinor of whom we think and speak. Fanny presented them to her mother. were officiously han ded by him to Colonel Brandon for his admiration. which being now just mounted and brought home." said he. at the same time. for . Elinor. be pleased with them. as fast as she could. to admire them herself as they ought to be admired. the dread of having been too civil. parti cularly requested to look at them." The Colonel. for she presently ad ded. in favour of each. and drawing herself [208]up more stiffly ever. Ma 'am? She does paint most delightfully! How beautifully her last landscape is done!" "Beautifully indeed! But she does every thing well. and on the curiosity of the others being of course excited. probably came over her. they were handed round for general inspection. Ferrars. Ferra rs. she immediately said "They are very pretty." and without regarding them at all. that they were done by Miss Dashwood." Marianne could not bear this. having once delivered her opinion on William's side. or who cares. and these screens. and Marianne. pronounced in retort this bitter philippic. provoked her immediately to sa y with warmth "This is admiration of a very particular kind! what is Miss Morton to us? who kn ows. [207] Mrs.

though her spirits retained the impression of what had passed. She had seen enough of her pride. a brief account of the whole sho cking affair. as they were fixed on Marianne. Marianne's feelings did not stop here. Colonel Brandon rose up and went to them without knowing what he did. Elinor was much more hurt by Marianne's warmth than she had been by w hat produced it. In a few minutes. she i s very nervous. But that it was so. her meanness. She wondered that Lucy's spirits could be so very much elevated by the civility of Mrs. the whole evening. and a lmost every body was concerned. Now you see it is all gone. Don't let them make you unhappy. Mrs. Ferrars was satisfied. Ferrars. but was declared over aga in the next morning more openly. she has not Elinor's constitution. to comprehend all the difficulties that must have perplexed the engagement. she determined. had he been ot herwise free. You would not think it perhaps. to tell her how happy she was. she moved after a m oment. and gave her." im mediately gave her her salts. dear Elinor. and putting one arm round her neck. and hiding her face on E linor's shoulder. as her own wounded heart taught her to think of with horror . for at her particular desire. the affectionate heart which could not bear to see a sister slighted in the smallest point. . Lady Middleton se t her down in Berkeley Street on the chance of seeing Elinor alone. quite as handsome as Elinor. dec lared that he noticed only what was amiable in it. Every body's attention was called. Ferra rs's creation. and her determined prejudi ce against herself. and retarded the marriage. Or at least. voice "Dear. and urged by a strong impulse of affectionate sensibility. that had Lucy been mor e amiable. to her sister's chair. and one cheek close to hers. as soon as he could secure his attention: "She has not such good health as her sister. that he instantly changed his seat to one cl ose by Lucy Steele. said in a low. but eager. and one must allow that there is something very trying to a young woman who has been a beauty in the loss of her personal attractions. to foretell such difficulties and d istresses to Elinor. if she did not bring herself quite to re joice in Edward's being fettered to Lucy. with a very intelligent "Ah! poor dear. seemed. that one greater obstacle preserved her from suffering under any other of Mrs. had not only been declared by Lucy's eyes at the time. her spirits were quite overcome. The cold insolence of Mrs. She had found in her every thing that could tend to make a farther connection between the families undesir able. because her real situation was unknown. however. she ought to have rejoiced. but Marianne was remarkabl y handsome a few months ago. in a low voice." She could say no more. and Sir John felt so desperately enraged against t he author of this nervous distress. don't mind them. that her interest and her vanity should so very much blind her as to make the attention which seemed only paid her because she was not Elinor app ear a compliment to herself or to allow her to derive encouragement from a prefere nce only given her. of Edward and herself.audacity. and she had seen almost enough to be thankful for her own sake. "Poor Marianne!" said her brother to Colonel Brandon. preserved her from all dependence upon her caprice. and sit down among the rest. Ferrars's gene ral behaviour to her sister." [209] CHAPTER XXXV Elinor's curiosity to see Mrs. or any solici tude for her good opinion. she burst into tears. to her. but Colonel Brandon's eyes. in a whisper. Jennings. Marianne was recovered enough to put an end to the bu stle.

Dashwood. but really you did not look it. if they had known your engagement. without saying ." "I am glad of it with all my heart. for she directly replied "Indeed I am perfectly convinced of your regard for me. no hauteur. Ferrars is a charming woman. "nothing could be mo re flattering than their treatment of you. you cannot spea k too high. Ferrars's way of treating me yesterday? So exceeding affable as she was! You know how I dreade d the thoughts of seeing her. Ferrars had took a dislike to me. for a message from Mrs. it is the greatest comfort I have. and meet pretty often. and did not attempt any. and her liking m e is every thing. I dare say. if she did not. "Undoubtedly. Ferrars should seem to like me. Jennings away. and was not you quite struck with it?" "She was certainly very civil to you. to what I used to think. for instance. and your sister just the same all sweetness and affability!" Elinor wished to talk of something else. Poor Edward! But now there is one good thing . but Lucy still pressed her to own that she had reason for her happiness." "I never was in better health. Miss Dashwood? you seem low you don't speak. for Lady Middleton's delighte d with Mrs. indeed! I wonder I should never hear you say how agreeable Mrs. Ferrars and your sister were both so good to s ay more than once. Lady Middleton and Mrs. Fe rrars will visit[211] now. "I come to tal k to you of my happiness." Elinor tried to make a civil answer. Lucy continued. but the very moment I was introduced." said she. and Mrs. They are both delightfu l women." "Civil! Did you see nothing but only civility? I saw a vast deal more. and next to Edward's lov e." But Elinor would not give her any encouragement to hope that she should tell her sister. you. Could anything be so flattering as Mrs. You shan't talk me out of my satisfaction. Palmer soon after she arr ived. Such kindness as fell to the share of nobody but me! No pride. I am sure it will a ll end well. "My dear friend. But it see med to satisfy Lucy. carried Mrs. They are such charming women! I am sure if ever you tell your sister what I think of her. "I am sure I should have seen it in a moment. if Mrs. and there will be no difficulties at all. they should always be glad to see me. and Elinor was obliged to go on. so we shall be a good deal in Harley Street. as soon as they were by themselves. but as that was not the case " "I guessed you would say so. we shall be able to meet. a nd Edward spends half his time with his sister besides." replied Lucy quickly "but there was no reason in the world why Mrs. Now was not it so? You saw it all. that have been the greatest comfort to me in the wor ld! Heaven knows what I should have done without your friendship.The chance proved a lucky one. If she had only made me a formal courtesy. I should be sorry to have you ill. sure you an't well. though doubting her own success. there was su ch an affability in her behaviour as really should seem to say. Mrs. and so is your sister. "Are you ill. Dashwood was!" To this Elinor had no answer to make." cried Lucy. she had quite to ok a[210] fancy to me.

and so anxious was she. though she soon perceived them to be narrowly watching her. and almost open. She would not be frighte ned from paying him those attentions which. for his hea rt had not the indifference of Lucy's. and never looked at me in a p leasant way you know what I mean if I had been treated in that forbidding sort of wa y. and the appearance of secrecy must still be kept up. while Marianne was looking with the most speaking ten derness. It was not Lucy's business to put herself forward. with the most high-m inded fortitude. The ladies recovered themsel ves first. which Edward ought to have inquired about. another effort still improved them. w ere his due. She could therefore only look her tenderness. and the countenance of each showed that it was so. to deter her fro m saying that she was happy to see him. proceeded from Elinor. however . by the door's being thrown open. They were not only all three together. and strongly spoken. sometimes at Edward and sometimes at Elinor. when he called before in Berkeley Street. which they would each have been most anx ious to avoid. Again they all sat down. Her exertions did not stop here. and Edward seemed to have as great an incl ination to walk out of the room again. to do it well. for his sake and her own. and almost every thing th at was said. When that was once done. wh ich the case rendered reasonable. and would not say a word. It was a very awkward moment. after a moment's recollection. said no more. Her manners gave some re-assurance to Edward. Ferrars.[212] by the observant eyes of Lucy. and after slightly addressing him. in its unpleasantest form. regretting only that their delight in each other should be checked by Lucy's unwelcome presence. under pretence of fetching Marianne. as to advance farther into it. and that in the handsomest manner. She would not allow the presence of Lucy. and that she had very much regretted bei ng from home. and for a mome nt or two all were silent. strong in itself. I could not have stood it. seemed determined to make no contribution t o the comfort of the others. before she went to her sister. The very c ircumstance. I know it is most violent. But Elinor had more to do. their coming to town. She met him with a hand that would be taken." Elinor was prevented from making any reply to this civil triumph. and a voice that expressed the affection of a sister. though his sex might make it rare. and Edward's immediatel y walking in. for she loitered away several minutes on the landing-place. but never did. with a demure and settled air. with a look and manner that were almost easy. for Marianne's joy hurried he r into the drawing-room immediately. to leave the others by themselves. and never after had took any notice of me.a word. the servant's announcing Mr. and he had courage enough to sit d own. who was obliged to volunteer all the informa tion about her mother's health. had fallen on them. They all looked exceedingly foolish. and another s truggle. "this is a moment of great happiness! This would almost make amends for every thing?" Edward tried to return her kindness as it deserved. For where she does dislike. and she really did it. &c. nor could his conscience have quite the e ase of Elinor's. I should have gave it all up in despair. Her pleasure in seeing him was like every o ther of her feelings. but his embarrassment still exceeded that of the ladies in a proportion. nor the consciousness of some injustice towards herself. to welcome h im. as a friend and almost a relation. but we re together without the relief of any other person. it was time for the raptures of Edward to cease. but before such witnesses he dared not say half what he really felt. "Dear Edward!" she cried. Lucy. Edward wa . that she forced herself. for she soon afterwards felt herself so heroica lly disposed as to determine.

but I have found none. and it was to notice Marianne's altered looks. That must be enough for us both. in Harley Street yesterday! So dull. "Do you like London?" said Edward. was perfectly satisfied. And I really believe he has the most delicate cons cience in the world. But Marianne. must submit to my open commendati on. for she calmly replied "Not so.s the first to speak. Elinor. nor to concil iate the good will of Lucy. and express his fear of her not finding London agree with her. and soon talked of something els e. is the only comfort it has afforded. Miss Marianne. Edward will not be very unwilling to accept the charge. which cannot be said now. of any body I ever saw. Wh at! are you never to hear yourself praised! Then you must be no friend of mine." "Engaged! But what was that. you see. fo r those who will accept of my love and esteem. for. The sight of you. seriously speaking. "But why were you not there. so wretchedly dull! But I have much to say to you on that head. "you th ink young men never stand upon engagements. and could easily trace it to whatever cause best pleased herself."[213] This remark was not calculated to make Edward or Elinor more easy. nobody knew. Edward? Why did you not come?" "I was engaged elsewhere. "We spent such a day. "don't think of my health. and thank Heaven! you are wha t you always were!" She paused no one spoke. don't think of me!" she replied with spirited earnestness. in the present case." cried Lucy. I expected much pleasure in it. not even himself. and however it may make against his interest[214] or pleasure. till they were more in private. though her eyes were filled with tears as she spoke. l ittle as well as great. we shall be going. who saw his agitation." And with this admirable discretion did she defer the assurance of her finding th eir mutual relatives more disagreeable than ever. He is th e most fearful of giving pain. Elinor is well. Edward. eager to take some revenge on her. happened to be par . "Oh. and the most incapable o f being selfish. the most scrupulous in performing every engagement. of wounding expectation. who looked up at Marianne with no very benignant exp ression. if they have no mind to keep them. I trust. Edward. and. when such friends were to be met?" "Perhaps." The nature of her commendation. indeed." Elinor was very angry. Edward. "we must employ Edward to take care of u s in our return to Barton. but what it was. "I think. In a week or two. "Not at all. and of her being particularly disgusted with his mother." she presently added. however minute." Poor Edward muttered something. it is so. however. I suppose. and I will say it. willing to say any thing that might introduce another subject. but Marianne seemed entirely insensible of the sting. I am very sure that conscience only ke pt Edward from Harley Street.

was that Edward would not often expose her or himself to the distress of hearin g Marianne's mistaken warmth. and Lucy has been the longest known to him of an y. who would have outstayed him. she could give no information that would convince Marianne. s . "my dear Edward. "Could n ot she see that we wanted her gone! how teasing to Edward!" "Why so? we were all his friends. as intruding on their ground. but it was not a thing to be urged against the wishes of everybody. she went thither every morning as soon as she was dressed." She then left the room. in a like degree. [216] CHAPTER XXXVI Within a few days after this meeting. by whom their company. Though nothing could be mor e polite than Lady Middleton's behaviour to Elinor and Marianne. nor to the repetition of any other part of the pai n that had attended their recent meeting and this she had every reason to expect. in Conduit Street. she was obliged to submit to it. "You know." And drawing him a little aside.ticularly ill-suited to the feelings of two thirds of her auditors. If you only hope to have your assertion contra dicted. [215] Drawing him a little aside. that he very soon got up to go away. this must not be. that are not really wanted. and painful as the consequences of her still continuing in an error might be. was safely delivered of a son and heir. the newspapers announced to the world. that this is a kin d of talking which I cannot bear. Because they neither flattered herself nor her children. and was so v ery unexhilarating to Edward. and Lucy . and did n ot return till late in the evening. But even this encouragement failed. For th eir own comfort they would much rather have remained. she whispered her persuasion that Lucy could not stay much longer. as I must suppose to be the case. spent the whole of every day. Elinor. and said. on her leaving them. produced a temporary alteration in the disposal of her time. you ought to recollect that I am the l ast person in the world to do it. and the Miss Dashwoods. "Going so soon!" said Marianne. and by the lat ter they were considered with a jealous eye. a very interesting and satisfactory paragraph. tha t the lady of Thomas Palmer. highly important to Mrs. "What can bring her here so often?" said Marianne. I cannot descend to be tricked out of assuranc es. It is but natural that he should like to see her as well as ourselves." Marianne looked at her steadily. and s haring the kindness which they wanted to monopolize. in Mrs. and influenced. for as she wished to be as much as possible with Charlotte. Esq. soon afterwards went away. at the particular re quest of the Middletons. at least all the morning. the en gagements of her young friends. They had too much sense to be desirable companions to the former. for bound a s she was by her promise of secrecy to Lucy. and Elinor dared not follow her to say more. at least to all those intimate connecti ons who knew it before. she did not rea lly like them at all. in fact was as little valued. All that she could hope. Their hours were therefore made over to Lady Middleton and the two Miss Steeles. Jennings's happiness. This event. as it was pr ofessedly sought. for he would go. had his visit lasted two hours. Jennings's house.

on having escaped t he company of a stupid old woman so long. this last-arrived lady allowed her fancy to so far outrun truth and probability. were so totally unsuspected by Mr s. so minute a detail of her situation. It was censure in common use. Jo hn Dashwood. and ready to give so exact. But this concili ation was not granted. no effect was produced. but that did not signify. nor could he even be brought to acknowledge the simpl e proposition of its being the finest child in the world. An effort even yet lighter might have ma de her their friend. s he fancied them satirical: perhaps without exactly knowing what it was to be sat irical. cards of invitation for them as well as for their brother and sister. and more than once dropt a reflection on the inconstancy of beaux before Marianne. which their arrival occasioned. than what she was kind enough to bestow on herself. what was still worse. she would have thought herself amply rewarded for the sacrifice of the best place by the fire after dinner. she always came in excellent spirits. or of disgust in the latter. Dashwood's sisters. But whi le the imaginations of other people will carry them away to form wrong judgments of our conduct. full of delight and importance. Miss Steele was the least discomposed of the three. and easily given . another of her acquaintance had dropt in a[2 18] circumstance in itself not apparently likely to produce evil to her. that Mrs. All these jealousies and discontents. Palmer maintained the common. It so happened that while her two sisters with Mrs. but wherever it was. they feel injured by the expectation of any thing better from them. I come now to the relation of a misfortune. Lady Middleton was ashamed of doing nothi ng before them. and it was in their power to reconcile her to it entirely. and this misconstruction produced within a day or two afterwards. of all infants being alike. an d of that she made her daily complaint. that if Sir John dined from home. she immediately concluded them to be staying in Harley Street. that she thought it a delightful thing for the girls to be together . and understanding them to be Mr. Their presence was a restraint both on her and on Lucy. which about this time befell Mrs. must always be her's. Jennings. the most striking resemblance between thi s baby and every one of his relations on both sides. Jennings were f irst calling on her in Harley Street. Would they only have laughed at her about the Doctor! But s o little were they.he could not believe them good-natured. but. for though she often threw out expressions of pity for he r sister to Elinor. Mr. and because they were fond of reading. no persuading him to believe that it was not exactly like every o ther baby of the same age. attributing Charlotte's well doing to her own care. to a small music al party at her house. Would either of them only have given her a full and minute account of the whole affair between Marianne and Mr. she might spend a whole day without hearing any other rai llery on the subject. there was no convincing his father of it.[217] by their presence. inclined to oblige her. One thing did disturb her. In the present instance. at different times. but un fatherly opinion among his sex. and generally congratulated her young friends every night. and the business of the other. But that was not enough. a s only Miss Steele had curiosity enough to desire. John Dashwood was obliged to submit not only to the exceedingly great inconvenience of sending he r carriage for the Miss Dashwoods. The consequence of which was. Willough by. must be subject to all the unpleasantness of appearing to treat them with attention: and who could tell that they might not expect to go out with her a second time? The power of disappointing them. She joined them sometimes at Sir John' s. she feared they would despise her for offering. . however. and though she could plainly perceive. It checked the idleness of one. tha t on merely hearing the name of the Miss Dashwoods. one's happiness must in some measure be always at the mercy of chance. and to decide on it by slight appearances. sometimes at her own house. but a look of indifference from t he former. anymore than the others. for when people are determined on a mode of conduct which they know to be wrong. it was true. and the flattery which Lucy was proud to think of and administer at other times.

like other music al parties. the colour of her shoes. she was almost sure o f being told that upon "her word she looked vastly smart. and was there hoping for some delay on their part that might inconvenience either herself or her coachman. he candidly and generously attributed it much less to any natur al deficiency. Robert Ferrars. how much her washing cost per week. so much into the habit of going out ev ery day. and violoncello. and Mr. to h er brother's carriage. nor affecting to be so. In one of these excursive glances she perceived among a group of young men. mere ly from the advantage of a public school. . during the whole of her toilet. in their own estimation. she made no scruple of tu rning her eyes from the grand pianoforte. while he himself. Robert exclaimed to her himself in the course of a quarter of an hour's conversation. The events of this evening were not very remarkable. moreover. though without expecting the smallest amusement from any. a punctuality not very agreeable to their sister-in-law. and a great many more who had none at all. for. was as well fitted to mix in the world as any other man. would fix them at pleasure o n any other object in the room.Marianne had now been brought by degrees. and was not without hopes o f finding out before they parted. that he was exactly the coxcomb she had heard him described to be by Lucy. comprehended a great many people who had real taste for the performa nce. which it rece ived from Miss Steele in the first five minutes of their being together. and unrestrain ed even by the presence of a harp. when they both came towards her. any material superiority by nature. Why they were different. and sp eaking familiarly to her brother. and lamenting the extreme gaucherie which he really believed kept him from mixing in proper society. till the last moment. than on the merit of his nearest relations! For then his brother's bow must have given the finishing stroke to wh at the ill-humour[220] of his mother and sister would have begun. The impertinence of these kind of scrutinies. Dashwood introduced him to her as Mr. and very often without knowing. He addressed her with easy civility. talking of his brother. as not to be stow half the consideration on it. was considered by Marianne as the greatest impertinence of all. she saw every thing. though probably without any particular. and twisted his head into a bow which assur ed her as plainly as words could have done. The party. and asked every thing. As Elinor was neither musical. that it was become a matter of indifference to her. who ha d preceded them to the house of her acquaintance. when it was finished. which thoug h meant as its douceur. the first private performers in England. where it was to take her. for after undergoing an examination into the value and make of her gown. if her regard for Edward had depended less on his own merit. and the arrangement of her hair. and how mu ch she had every year[219] to spend upon herself." With such encouragement as this. who had given them a lecture on toothpi ck-cases at Gray's. the very he. whenever it suited her. and had just determined to find out his name f rom the latter. and the performers themselves we re. was never easy till she knew the price of every part of Marianne's dress. and that of their immediate friends. whether she went or not: and she prepared quietly and mechanically for every evening's engagement. and she dared to say s he would make a great many conquests. Happy had it been for her. was she dismissed on the present occasion. than to the misfortune of a private education. To her dress and appearance she was grown so perfectly indifferent. as usual. She perceived him soon afterwards looking at herself. she did not find that the empti ness of conceit of the one. put her out of all charity with the modesty and wort h of the other. which they were ready to enter five minutes after it stop ped at the door. was generally concluded with a compliment. But while she wondered at the difference of the two young men. could have guessed the number of her gowns al together with better judgment than Marianne herself. Nothing escaped her minute observation and general curiosity.

against yo ur own judgment. Lady Elliott wished to give a dance. no space in a cottage. We measured the dining-room. I was last month at my friend Elliott's. and found it would hold e xactly eighteen couple." was his next observation.' I always say to her. and my mother is perfectly convince d of her error. for her approbation. And I protest. "I believe it is nothing more. so I said. I advise every body who is going to build. and be happy. There is not a room in this c ottage that will hold ten couple. The expense would be nothing. Pratt's. The consideration of Mrs. whatever might be her general esti mation of the advantage of a public school. to build a cottage. if I had any money to spare. and where can the supper be?' I immediately sa w that there could be no difficulty in it. the library may be open for tea and other refreshments. and laid before me three different plans of Bonomi's. while Mrs. near Dartfo rd. if people do but know how to set about it. when she is grieving about it. she could not think of Edward's abod e in Mr. and collect a f ew friends about me. Fanny was startled at the proposal."Upon my soul. so much elegance about them. So that. 'But how can it be done?' said she. I should buy a little land and build one myself. My friend Lord Courtland came to me the other day on purpose t o ask my advice. had suggested the propriety of their being really invited to beco me such. 'My dear Lady Elliott. He bestowed his hearty approbation however on their species of house. and it was altogether an attention whic h the delicacy of his conscience pointed out to be requisite to its complete enf ranchisement from his promise to his father. "For my own part." Elinor would not oppose his opinion. card-tab les may be placed in the drawing-room. will be the end of it. Pratt's family. 'my dear Ferrars. immediately throwing th em all into the fire. there is always so much comfort. "I am excessively fond of a cottage. and it has been entirel y your own doing. The dining parlour will admit eighteen couple with ease. Dennison's mistake. in fact. to place Edward under private tuition. I think. instea d of sending him to Mr. at the most critical tim e of his life? If you had only sent him to Westminster as well as myself. 'yo u must make yourself easy. in supposing his sisters their guests. which he communicated to his wife. but by all means build a cot tage. The evil is now irremediable. and a thought struck him during the evening. 'My dear Courtland.' This is th e way in which I always consider the matter. As John Dashwood had no more pleasure in music than his eldest sister. the inconvenience not more. every comfort may be as well enjoyed in a cottage as in the most spacious dwelling. 'My dear Madam. "in a cottage near Dawlish. Sir Robert." he added. for she did not think he deserved the compliment of rat ional opposition. [222] . you see. do not be uneasy.' Lady Elliott was de lighted with the thought. "Some people imagine that there can be no accommodations. because. without living near Dawlish. all this would have been prevented. but this is all a mistake. where I might drive myself down[221] at any time. when they got home." Elinor agreed to it all.' And that I fancy. within a short dista nce of London. "You reside in Devonshire. and so I often tell my mother.' said I. and let the supper be set out in the saloon. Jennings's engagements kept her from home. and it seemed rather surprising to him that anybody could live in Devonshire. I was to decide on the best of them. 'do not adopt either of them." Elinor set him right as to its situation." said he. Why would you be persuaded by my uncle. with any satisfaction. and the affair was arranged precisely after my plan. his mind was equally at liberty to fix on any thing else. do tell me how it is to be managed.

it gave her. and the visit to Lady Middleton."I do not see how it can be done. as their uncle did so very well by Edward. said "My love I would ask them with all my heart. and all that reached Elinor of their influence there. When the note was shown to Elinor. as it was within ten minutes after its arriva l." said she. and then. herself. for the first time. nor too speedily made use of. cherishing all her hopes. as soon as Lady Middleton could spare them. at the same time. to do every thing that Lucy wished. We can ask your sisters some other year. strengthened her expectation of the event. for so me days. and Marianne as their visitor. t he most material to her interest. and might be brought. and I think the attention is due t o them. and these we re effects that laid open the probability of greater. and made an entry into the close heart of Mrs. by bringing Elinor to town as Colonel Brand on's wife. called Lucy by her Christian name." Fanny paused a moment. as my tak ing them out this evening shows. you do like them. Fanny. as she was with them. for such a mark of uncommon kindness. Mrs. and his conscience was pacified by the resolution of inviting his sis ters another year. vouchsafed on so short an acquaintance. with fresh vigor. But they are Lady Middleton's visitors. Mrs. Her flattery had already subdued the pride of Lady Middl eton. slyly suspecting that another year would make the invitation needless. but with great humility. good kind of girls. to request her company and her sister's. Dashwood seemed actually w orking for her. seemed to declare that the good-will towards her arose from something more than merely malice against herself. very much already. indeed. Sir John. But I had ju st settled within myself to ask the Miss Steeles to spend a few days with us. by time and address. and proud of the ready wit that had procured it. John Dashwood. The Miss Steeles removed to Harley Street. for they spend every day with her. This was enough to make Lucy really and reasonably happy. had given each of them a n eedle book made by some emigrant. otherwise I should be exceedingly glad to do it. that her mother felt it no lo . and they are such favourites with Harry!" Mr. however. and did not know whether she should ever be able to part with them. did not see the force of her objection. in Harley Street. I am sur e you will like them. you know. CHAPTER XXXVII Mrs. if it was in my power. "without affronting Lady Middleton. which had n ot before had any precise limits. Dashwood was convinced. You know I am always ready to pay them any attention in my power. Dashwood had never been so much pleased wi th any young women in her life. some share in the expectations of Lucy. but the Miss Steeles may not be in town any more. "T hey had already spent a week in this manner in Conduit Street. was instantly discovered to have been always m eant to end in two days' time. as must be universally striking. Palmer was so well at the end of a fortnight. wrote the next morning to Lucy. brought home such accounts of the favour they were in. He saw the necessity of inviting the Miss Steeles im mediately. and promoting all her views! Such an opportunity of being with Edward and his family was. Th ey are very well behaved. and so does my mother. How can I ask them away from her?" Her husband. and such an invitation the most gratifying to her feelings! It[223] was an advantage that could not be too gratefully acknowle dged. rejoicing in her escape. who called on them more than once. above all things. and Lady Middleto n could not be displeased at their giving the same number of days to such near r elations. you know.

I found Charlotte quite in a fuss about the child. on returning from her ordinary visit to Mrs. Donavan was sent for. and then Charlotte was easy. and the long and the short of the matter. 'L ord! my dear. who was sitting all alone at her carpet-work. So you may think what a blow it was to all her va nity and pride. Dashwood will do very well. She was sure it was very ill it c ried. contenting herself with visiting her once or twice a day. my dear. thinking about writing a letter to his steward in the country. and as soon as ever he saw the child. She fell into violent hysterics immediately. by all I can l earn. When I got to Mr. by saying "Lord! my dear Miss Dashwood! have you heard the news?" "No. I forget who. and a terrible scene took place. Jennings. 'they are all so fond of Lucy. So I looked at it directly. and simpered. 'is Mrs. poor Nancy. away sh e went to your sister. 'For fear an y unpleasant report should reach the young ladies under your care as to their si ster's indisposition. to be sure they will make no difficulty about it. he smirked. bu t no conjurer. Ferra rs. and her own habits. So upon that. returned from that period to her own home . the very young man I used to joke wi th you about (but however. that I believe there is no gr eat reason for alarm. my dear! And not a creature knowing a syllable of the matter. for Lucy was come to them by that . And so. and. and neither she nor your brother or sister suspected a word of the matter: t ill this very morning. as he was sitting in his own dressing-room down s tairs.'" "What! is Fanny ill?" [225] In a whisper. So up he f lew directly. and looked grave.nger necessary to give up the whole of her time to her. About the third or fourth morning after their being thus resettled in Berkeley S treet. has been engaged above this twel vemonth to my cousin Lucy! There's for you. and s eemed to know something or other. only five mi nutes before. that it was nothing in the world but the red gum. "That is exactly what I said. popt it all out. Mr. 'it is nothing in the world. I hope Mrs. that she thought to make a match between Edward and some Lord's da ughter or other. Mr. I am monstrous glad there was never any thing in it). she would not be satisfied. Palmer's. and giving h er time only to form that idea. he said just as we did. is a well-meaning creature. but that matters sh ould be brought so forward between them. 'Lord!' thinks she to herself. Mrs. Dashwood ill?' S o then it all came out. and [226]so this was kept a great secret. it came into my head. ma'am. seems to be this. with such screams a s reached your brother's ears. or I am sure I should have found it out directly. I am sure I do no t know how I happened to think of it. What is it?" "Something so strange! But you shall hear it all. just as he was going away again. you know. in which she found the Miss Dashwoods very ready to resume their former share. where Elinor was sitting by herself. as it turns out. for fear of Mrs. and was all over pimples. and fretted. and luckily he happened to just come in from Harley Street. but it came into my head to ask him if the re was any news. it seems. Palmer. But Charlotte. enter ed the drawing-room. little susp ecting what was to come for she had just been saying to your brother. and at last he said in a whisper. but the red gum ' and nurse sa id just the same. so he step ped over directly. who.' says I. and. so Mr. I think it advisable to say. and nobody suspect it! That is strange! I never happened to see them together.' and so. Well. began directly to justify it. except Nancy! Could you have believed such a thing pos sible? There is no great wonder in their liking one another. Edward Ferrars. with an air of such hu rrying[224] importance as prepared her to hear something wonderful. 'Lord!' says I. Edward Ferrars.

by a resemblance in their situations. to persuade her to l et them stay till they had packed up their clothes. that he is gone back again to Harley Street. if he was t o be in the greatest passion! and Mr. in the absence of Marianne. Then she fell into hysterics again. to give such particulars of Edward as sh e feared would ruin him for ever in her good opinion. and to give her judgment. for your sis ter was sure she would be in hysterics too. I declare. and I believe I could hel p them to a housemaid. it will be a match in spite of her. and your brother. poor Lu cy in such a condition. And I must say. For him she felt much compassion. He and I had a great deal of talk about it. and so on drove her into a fainting fit.time. for the rest of the party none at all. Ferrars is told of it. than in the marriage of Edward and Lucy. Donavan thinks just the same. Lord! what a taking poor Mr. Ferrars would only allo w him five hundred a-year. she felt very w ell able to speak of the affair without embarrassment. and happy above all the rest. Elinor soon saw the necessity o f preparing Marianne for its discussion. she was anxious t o hear. and they were just stepping in as he came off. Nancy. and though Lucy has next to nothing herself. and said he did not know what to do. she was almos t as bad. in making her acquainted with the real truth. feel all her own disappointment over again. as she believed. Lord! how snug they might live in such another cottag e as yours or a little bigger with two maids. for Lucy very little and it cost her some pains to procur e that little. and he was so frightened that he would send for Mr. There is no reason on earth why Mr. and Elinor therefore hastened to perform it. and I hope. Dashwood declared they should not stay a minute longer in the house. and so she may. she knows better than any body how to make the most of every thing. as the su bject might naturally be supposed to produce. for I am sure Mrs. Jennings ceased. The carriage was at the door ready to t ake my poor cousins away. he walked about the room. and your brother was forced to go down upon his knees too. that would fit th em exactly. which to her fancy would seem strong. No time was to be lost in undeceiving h er. he says. for my Betty has a sister out of place.-and to make Marianne. and Mr. and as Elinor had had time enough to collect her thou ghts. tho ugh she earnestly tried to drive away the notion of its being possible to end ot herwise at last. for your sister scolded like any fury. I have no notion of people's making such a to-do about money and greatness. Don avan found the house in all this uproar. that he may be within call when Mrs. little dreaming what was going on. Happy to find that she was not sus pected of any extraordinary interest in it. Jennings (as she had of la te often hoped might be the case) had ceased to imagine her at all attached to E dward. Ferrars may afford to do very well by her s on. with all m y heart. she fell upon her knees. Edward will be in when he hears of it! To have his love used so scornfully! for they s ay he is monstrous fond of her. Poor soul! I pity her. I dare say. if Mrs. though there could not be a doubt of its nature. Jennings could talk on no other subject. as well he may. I h ave no pity for either of them. Ferrars woul d say and do. she was able to give such an answer. I should not wonder. and Nancy. I think she was used very hardly. and the best of all is. As Mrs. . and still more anxious to know how Edward would conduct himself." Here Mrs. it was necessary to be done. She was going to remove what she really belie ved to be her sister's chief consolation. What Mrs. and two men. and cried bitt erly. she could hardly walk. Elinor's office was a painful one. or any resentment against Edward. Donavan. But unwelcome as such a task must be. Mrs. without betraying that she[228] felt any unea siness for her sister. and make such observations. I have no patience with your sister. Edward and Lucy should not marry. for what I care. that Mrs. and in endeavouring to bring h er to hear it talked of by others. with impartiality on the conduct of every one concerned in it.[2 27] for she was sent for as soon as ever my cousins left the house. she would make as good an appearance with it as any b ody else would with eight. She could hardly determine what her own expectation of its event really was.

to avoid giving any hint of the truth. But Marianne for some time would give credit to neither. and the length of time it had existed. "I have very often wished to undeceive yourself and my mother. a better knowledge of mankind. My promise to Lucy. "a nd once or twice I have attempted it. and I owe d it to my family and friends. she told me in confidence of her engagement. That belonged rather to the hearer. it was not accompanied by violent agitation. that she could not be persuaded at first to believe. and acknowledging as Elinor did. any forme r affection of Edward for her. She would not even admit it to have been natural. so absolutely incapable of attaching a sensible man." At these words. and though it co uld not be given without emotion. After a pause of wonder. lessen her alarms. Marianne's eyes expressed the astonishment which her lips could not utter." "Four months! and yet you loved him!" ." added Elinor. Marianne's feelings had then bro ken in. Elinor was to be the comforter of others in he r own distresses. and cried excessively. any otherwise than as the self-command she had practised since her first knowledge of Edward's engagement. therefore. might suggest a hint of what w as practicable to Marianne. and Elinor left her to be convinced that it was so.She was very far from wishing to dwell on her own feelings. which led to farther particulars. Her narration was clear and simple. "What! while attending me in all my misery. and for some time all that c ould be done was to soothe her distress. and put an end to all regularity of detail. not to create in them a solicitude about me. but without betraying my trust. Her first communication had reached no farther than to state the fact of the eng agement. Edward seemed a second Willoughby. she exclaimed "Four months! Have you known of this four months?" Elinor confirmed it. or to represent hers elf as suffering much. "So calm! so cheerful! how have you been su pported?" "By feeling that I was doing my duty. by that which only could co nvince her. and afterwards to pardon. n or impetuous grief. The first question on her side. could she feel less than herself! As for Lucy Steele. whic h it could not be in my power to satisfy. for Marianne listened wi th horror. I owed it to her. she considered her so totally unamiable." Marianne seemed much struck. Elinor? has he written to you?" "I have known it these four months. has this been on your heart? And I have reproached you for being happy!" "It was not fit that you should then know how much I was the reverse!" "Four months!" cried Marianne again. When Lucy first came to Barton Park last Nov ember. I never co uld have convinced you. and all the comfort that could be give n by assurances of her own composure of mind. obliged me to be secre t. that she had loved him most sincere ly. and combat[229] her resentment. no less than in theirs. wa s "How long has this been known to you. and a very earnest vindication of Edward from every charge but of imprudence. was readily offered.

" she cried. and time and habit will teach him to forget that he ever thought another superior to her." Marianne was quite subdued. perhaps nothing could have kept me entirely not even what I owed to my dearest friends from openly showing that I was very unhappy." The tenderest caresses followed this confession. and I am so sure of hi s always doing his duty. by endeavouring to appear indifferent where I have been most deeply interested. But I did not love only him. "you have made me hate myself for ever. Marianne engaged never to speak of the affair to a ny one with the least appearance of bitterness. without hearin g one circumstance that could make me less desire the connection. Elinor had no difficulty in obtaining from her whatever promise she required. This person's suspicions." said Marianne. that though now he may harbour some regret. they did not occur to relieve my[231] sp irits at first. and the insolence of his mother. Now. I am not conscious of having provoked the disappointment by any imprudence of my own. your self-c ommand. Marianne. whose prior engagement ruined all my prospects. and even to see Edward himself. perhaps. It was told me. Nothing has pr oved him unworthy. nor has anything declared him indifferent to me. and all that can be said of one's happiness depending entirely on any particular person. when. with triumph. If you can think me capable of ever feeling. And all this has been going on at a time. I acqu it Edward of essential misconduct. as you know too well. I would not have you suffer on my account. it ha s not been my only unhappiness. I wish him very happy. "Oh! Elinor. and told me. Marianne. are. How barbarous h ave I been to you! you. your resolution. I have many things to support me ." "I understand you. who have borne with me in a ll my misery. who have seemed to be only suffering for me! Is this my gratitude? Is this the only return I can make you? Because your merit cries out upon mysel f. without being at liberty to speak of it to a single creature. yet unable to prepare you for it in the least. And after all. I have known myself to be divided from Edward for ever. Then. I have been trying to do it away. sur ely you may suppose that I have suffered now. I have borne it as much as possible without spreading it farther. without enjoying its advanta ges. in the end he must become so. have been the effect of constant and painful exertion . and have suffered the punishment of an attachment. The composure of mind with which I have brought myself at present to consider the matter. You do not suppose that I have ever felt much. I have had t o contend against the unkindness of his sister. Marianne. No. and while the comfort of others was dear to me. Edward will marry Lucy. it was in a manner forced on me by the very person herself. after all that is bewitching in the idea of a single and constant attachment. they did not spring up of themselves. I have had her hopes and exultation to listen to again a nd again. therefore. who have been my only comfort. the consolation that I h ave been willing to admit. he will marry a woman superior in person and understanding to half her sex. and at her request. for I a ssure you I no longer suffer materially myself. I have had all this hanging on my mind. it is not m eant it is not fit it is not possible that it should be so." "If such is your way of thinking. if chance sh . knowing that it would make you and my mother most unhappy whenever it were explained to you. Lucy does not want sense. I have had to oppose. and[230] that is the foundation on which every thing good may be built. I can think and spe ak of it with little emotion."Yes. as I thoug ht. I was glad to spare them from knowing how much I felt. a little less to be wondered at. "if the loss of what is most v alued is so easily to be made up by something else. and i t has not been only once. if I had not been bound to silence. They are brought more wit hin my comprehension. In such a frame of mind as she was now in. For four month s. to meet Lucy without betraying the smallest increase of dislike to her.

clear of land-tax. "has suffered dreadfully. offe red even. 'I might have thought myself safe. every thing was disregarded. His mother explained to him her liberal des igns. without any diminution of her usual cordiality. when first Fanny broke it to her. in case of his marrying Miss Morton. wel l-behaved girls. He came. Ferrars too in short i t has been a scene of such complicated [233]distress but I will hope that the stor m may be weathered without our being any of us quite overcome. The next morning brought a farther trial of it. a nd her resolution equal to any thing.' said she. and bring t hem news of his wife." said he with great solemnity. and w hen Mrs. to admiration. which being done. and at la st she determined to send for Edward.' says poor Fanny in her affectionate way. w ho came with a most serious aspect to talk over the dreadful affair. merely because she thought they deserved some attention. as to what should be done.'" Here he stopped to be thanked. I never thought Edwa rd so stubborn. and in op position to this. and Fanny's entreaties. so much confidence had been placed! It was quite out of the benevolence of her heart. "What poor Mrs.ould bring them together. and one cannot wonder at it. While she with the truest affection had been planning a most eligibl e connection for him. while your kind friend there." They all looked their assent. is not to be described. But I am sorry to relate what ens ued. that she had asked these young women to her ho use. Such advances towards heroism in her sister. it seemed too awful a moment for speech. as soon as he was sea ted. and would be pleasant companions. no reparatio n could be too much for her to make. But I would not alarm you too much. with all my heart. 'that we had asked your sis ters instead of them. he went on. All that Mrs. was attending her daughter. was it to be supposed that he could be all the time secret ly engaged to another person! such a suspicion could never have entered her head! If she suspected any prepossession elsewhere. with the fortitude o f an angel! She says she never shall think well of anybody again. in a visit from their brother. made Elinor feel equal to a ny thing herself. it could not be in that quarter. after being so deceived! meeting with such ingratitude. was of no avail. a ssisted too as you may well suppose by my arguments. her constitution is a good one. it cost her only a spasm in her throat. where so mu ch kindness had been shown. Donavan says there is nothing materially to be apprehended." he continued. with an unchanging complexion. if he still persisted in this low connection. She attended to all that Mrs. represented to h . We consulted together. I suppose.' She was quite i n an agony. Mrs. when matters grew desperate. "of the very shocking discovery that took place under our roof yesterday. however. d issented from her in nothing. Poor Fanny! she w as in hysterics all yesterday. [232] "You have heard. And now to be so rewarded! 'I wish. brings in a good thousand a-year. "You have heard. She performed her promise of being discreet. Duty. ' There to be sure. Ferrars suffered. Jennings talked of Edward's affection. which. and was heard three times to say. so unfeeling before. for otherwise we both wished very much to have invited you and Marianne to be with us. ma'am. Ferrars could say to make him put an end to the engagement. I suppose. These were great concessions. to make it[234] twelve hundred." "Your sister. but where Marianne felt that she had injured." She listened to her praise of Lucy with only moving from one chair to another. affection. She has borne it all. told him she would settle on him the Norfolk estate. Jennings had to say upon the subject. "Yes. were harmless.

no longer able to be silent." replied her brother. It has been dignifie d and liberal. His own two thousand pounds sh e protested should be his all. especially anybody of good fortun e." Here Marianne. would adopt. Jennings." Marianne sighed out her similar apprehension. a very deserving young woman. Your exclamation is very natural." John Dashwood was greatly astonished. cost him what it might. is perhaps. I do not know. We must all fee l for him. I dare say. Jennings with blunt sincerity. but if he had done otherwise. she would do all in her power to p revent him advancing in it. "All this. the son of a woman especia lly of such very large fortune as Mrs. while braving his mother's threats. He therefore replied. five hundred a-year (for Miss Morton has thirty thousan d pounds. He left her house yesterday." Marianne was going to retort. that he might. madam. and he never wished to offend anybody. that if he were to enter into any profession with a view of better support. "Gracious God! can this be possible!" "Well may you wonder. not open to provo cation. Jennings. Ferrars." said Mrs. "and how did it end?" "I am sorry to say. as well as yourself. was in the most determined manner. and I fear it will be a bad one. or whether he is still in town. she would never see him again. And to have entered into a secre t engagement with a young man under her uncle's care. for a woman who could not reward him." "Then. I should have thought him a rascal. ma'am! It is a melancholy consideration. in like circumstances. "at the obstinacy which co uld resist such arguments as these. within three months have been in the receipt of two thousand. for Lucy Steele is my cousin. and the more so. Mrs. Ferrars's conduct throughout the whole. Marianne. We[235] all wish her extremely hap py. because it is totally out of our power to assist him . for we of course can make no inquir y. Nothing should prevail o n him to give up his engagement. clapped her hands together. but his nature was calm. Miss Lucy Steele is. "Well. and I believe there is not a better kind of girl in the world. He would stand to it. the connection must be impossible. ma'am." "Poor young man! and what is to become of him?" "What. has been such as every cons cientious. and Mrs. I have some little concern i n the business. and so far would s he be from affording him the smallest assistance. Mr. " he has acted like an honest man! I beg your pardon. but for his own folly. but where he is gone. however. but in the present ca se you know. but what he did say. and forbore." cried Mrs.) I cannot picture to myself a more wretched condition. Edward said very little. "was urged in vain. and Elinor's heart wrung for the f eelings of Edward. but she remembered her promises. and cri ed. indeed. Dashwood. without any resentment "I would by no means speak disrespectfully of any relation of yours. in an ecstasy of indignation. sir. nor one who more deserves a go od husband." he continued.im the certain penury that must attend the match. in a most unhappy rupture: Edward is dismissed for ever from his mother's notice. I do not mean to reflect upon the behaviour of any pers on whom you have a regard for. Edward has drawn his own lot. Born to the prospect of such affluence! I cannot conceive a situation more deplorable. good mother. The interest of t wo thousand pounds how can a man live on it? and when to that is added the recollect ion. In short. altogether a little extraordinary.

Elinor avoided it upon principle. beyond the consci ousness of doing right. with a very natural kind of spir it. and that they need not therefore be very uneasy about it. Jennings. on proper conditions." A few minutes more spent in the same kind of effusion. which might have been Edward' s." said John Dashwood. he went away. as far at least as it regarded Mrs. "Can anything be more galling to the spirit of a man." continued John. restored to its proper state. and Edward's. Elinor gloried in his integrity. CHAPTER XXXVIII Mrs. I left her this morning with her lawyer." [236] Talking over the business. and so I would tell him if I could see him. But I don't think mine would be. and as her ve hemence made reserve impossible in Elinor. "than to see his younger brother in possession of an estate which might have been his own ? Poor Edward! I feel for him sincerely. by this pu blic discovery. Jennings. and Marianne forgave all his offences in c ompassion for his punishment. But as it is. "as all his friends were disposed to do by him. he might now have been in his proper situat ion. "I am sure he should be very welcome to b ed and board at my house. Everybody has a way of their o wn. in trying to converse upon a topic which always left her more dissatisfied with he . and Marianne's courage soon failed her. [237] "Well!" said Mrs. to make one son independent. because anothe r had plagued me. and would have wanted for nothing. concluded his visit. And there is one thing more preparing against him." Marianne got up and walked about the room. Jennings. leaving the three ladies unanimous in their senti ments on the present occasion. to settle that estate upon Robert immediately. and unnecessary in Mrs." "Poor young man!" cried Mrs.. They only knew how little he had had to t empt him to be disobedient. It is not fit that he should be living about at his own charge now. that could remain to him in the loss of friends and fort une. Jennings was very warm in her praise of Edward's conduct. and with repeated assurances to his sisters that he really believed there was no mat erial danger in Fanny's indisposition. Ferrars's con duct. the y all joined in a very spirited critique upon the party." Elinor's heart thanked her for such kindness towards Edward. at lodgings and tavern s. "If he would only have done as well by himself. which must be worse than all his mother has determined. But though confidence between them was. that belief of Edward's continued affection for hersel f which she rather wished to do away. by the too warm.[238] too positiv e assurances of Marianne. though she could no t forbear smiling at the form of it. it must be out of anybody' s power to assist him. and how small was the consolation. a s tending to fix still more upon her thoughts. the Dashwoods'. talking over t he business. it was not a subject on which eith er of them were fond of dwelling when alone. "that is her revenge. Marianne's indignation burst forth as soon as he quitted the room. but only Elinor a nd Marianne understood its true merit.

who. Mrs. Jennings's conversation. She felt all the force of that comparison. but n ow she is quite come to. though looking rather shy. however. without the hope of amendment. without seeking after more. Mrs. she had resolved from the first to pay a visit of comfort and inquiry to her cousins as soon as she could. chose rather to stay at home. had prevented her going to t hem within that time. nor do any thing else for me again. if he had not happened to say so . I am sure. for my part. The third day succeeding their knowledge of the particulars. and Elinor was not sorry that by her continuing with them." And then lowering her voice. There now. Nothing new was heard by them. w ho knew that the Willoughbys were again in town. for Mrs. Her mind was so much weakened that she still fancied present exertion impossible. S he saw nothing of the Willoughbys." It was lucky. she felt it with all the pain of continual self-reproac h. I should never have kno wn he did like it better than any other colour. for nothing would otherwise have been learnt. Jennings might have had enough to do in spreading that k nowledge farther. But though so much of the matter was known to them already. Is she angry?" "Not at all. Clarke." said Miss Steele. she made me t his bow to my hat. Jennings. that Mrs. and not hing but the hindrance of more visitors than usual. Jennings and Elinor were of the number. or Bartlett's Buildings. taking her familiarly by the arm "fo r I wanted to see you of all things in the world. that she would tell any thing without being asked. left her own party for a[239] short time. is she angry?" "I cannot suppose it possible that she should. for a day or two afterwards. though it was only the se cond week in March. Jennings joined them soon after they entered th e Gardens. by the comparison it necessarily produced between Elinor's cond uct and her own. and had a constant dread of mee ting them. but it bro ught only the torture of penitence. and engagi ng all Mrs. and put in the feather last night. "I suppose Mrs." "I am monstrous glad of it. She vowed at first she would never trim me up a new bonnet. accosted by Miss Steele. than venture into so public a place. and therefo re it only dispirited her more. so bea utiful a Sunday as to draw many to Kensington Gardens. and we are as good friends as ever. was so fine. Jennings's curiosity and Elinor's too. She will tell you any thing if you ask. of affairs in Harley Street. "I am so glad to meet you. regretted most bitterly that she had never exerted herself before. expressed great satisfaction in meeting them. But at last she found herself with some surprise. she was herself left to quiet reflection. be interesting to her. my dear." "That is a good thing. And Lady Middleton. I believe. and for some time nothing of anybody who could by any chance whether grave or gay. you are going t o laugh at me too. nothing of Edward. Jennings has heard all about it. to u rge her to exertion now. An intimate acquaintance of Mrs. to join their's. but not as her sister had hoped. You see I cannot leave Mrs. and on receiving encouragement from the particular kindness of Mrs. Look. Good gracious! I have had such a time of it! I never saw Lucy in such a rage in my life. so long as she lived. Jennings immediately whis pered to Elinor "Get it all out of her. but Marianne. with you. But why should not I wear pink ribbons? I do not care if it i s the Doctor's favourite colour.rself than ever.

[240] "She put in the feather last night. and how he had declare d before them all that he loved nobody but Lucy. Ferrars's declaring he would not have Lucy. and rid into the country .. he said. I he ard him say all this as plain as could possibly be. I know. Once Lucy thought to write to him. However this morning he came just as we came home from church. and upon her account. for Lucy Steele that had nothing at all. And besides that. or any thing like it. she had not the least mind in th e world to be off. that when it came to th e point he was afraid Mr. "people may say what they choo se about Mr. to be sure. that nobody in their senses could expect Mr." speaking triumphantly. and so he begged. to ask Lucy if she would like to go. and no hope of a ny thing else. for she could live with him upon a trifle. now he had no fortune. and all[242] that Oh. Friday." said Elino r. but she did no t care to leave Edward. that as soon as he had went a way from his mother's house. and talked on some time about wh at they should do. but then her s pirits rose against that. and not upon hi s own. my cousin Richard said himself." She had wandered away to a subject on which Elinor had nothing to say. and no nothing at all. F errars to give up a woman like Miss Morton. and nobody but Lucy would he ha ve. for it is no such thing I can tell you. and would take one of us to Kensington Gardens. for we came away from your brother's Wednesd ay. and did no t know what was become of him. you know. "Well. And how he had been so worried by what passed. and we saw nothing of him not all Thursday. so I was forced to go into the room and interrupt them. how he had been sent for Wednesday to Harley Street. as he had some thoughts. and how he had stayed about at an inn all Thursday and Fr iday. but Miss Dashwood. and I had it from Miss Sparks m yself. Ferrars would be off. la! one can't repeat suc h kind of things you know) she told him directly. it was no busin ess of other people to set it down for certain." "Oh. some where or other." "I never heard any thing of the kind hinted at before. But. Richardson was come in her co ach. and leave him shift for himself. she should be very glad to have it all. for my cousin called from below to tell me Mrs. and Saturday. so she told him directly (with a great d eal about sweet and love. or o f wishing to marry Miss Morton. and when Edward did not come nea r us for three days. and I believe in my heart Lucy gave it up all for lost. and if he was to go into orders. And just then I could not hear any mor e. and how little so ever he might have. or somethi ng of the kind. and they agreed he should take orders directly. he coul d get nothing but a curacy. for he had nothing but two thousand pounds. with thirty thousand pounds to her f ortune. [241]and by more than one. and then it all came out. on purpose to get the better of it. you know. I could not tell what to think myself. did not you? But it was said. And after thinking it all over and ove r again. Whatever Lucy might think about it herself. he had got upon his horse. My cousins have been so plaguing me! I declare sometimes I do not know which w ay to look before them. you know. I assure you. So then he was monstrous happy. Lucy woul d not give ear to such kind of talking. and it is quite a shame for such ill-natured reports to be spre ad abroad. if she had the least mind for it. very well. and they must wait to be married till he got a living. And it was entirely for her sake. so I just run up stairs and put on a pair of silk stocki . it would be quite unkind to keep her on to the engagement. and been talked to by his mother and all of them. to put an end to the matter directly. and how was they to live upon that? He could not bear to think of her doing no better. for Miss Godby told Miss Sparks. and there fore soon judged it expedient to find her way back again to the first. I will take my oath he never dropt a syllable of being tired of her. because it mu st be for her loss. that he said a word about being off. it seemed to him as if.

"Edward talks of going to Oxford soon. as soon as he can light upon a Bishop. How could you behave so unfairly by your siste r?" "Oh. I shan't say anything against them to you. I assure you they are very genteel people. and all I h eard was only by listening at the door. and they keep their own coach. for a year or two b ack. not us. indeed!'" "Well. for shame! To be sure you must know better than that. he says." Elinor tried to talk of something else. 'La!' I shal l say directly.) No. Edwar d have got some business at Oxford. howeve r. La! Miss Dashwood. la! there is nothing in that. from what was uppermost in her mind. and Lady Middleton the same. but Miss Steele could not be kept beyond a couple of minutes." Miss Steele was going to reply on the same subject. I am sure we should be very glad to come and stay with her for as long a time as she likes. but." said she." "I do not understand what you mean by interrupting them. [243] Listening at the door. she never made any b ones of hiding in a closet. . Jennings should want company. and Mrs. I wonde r what curacy he will get! Good gracious! (giggling as she spoke) I'd lay my lif e I know what my cousins will say." said Elinor. And for my part. on purpose to hear what w e said. They will tell me I sho uld write to the Doctor. Good-bye. I had a vast deal more to say to you. He makes a monstrous deal of money. an't she? And your [244]bro ther and sister were not very kind! However. I was all in a fright for fear your sister should ask us for the huswifes she had gave us a day or two before." said Elinor. You have got your answer ready. I am sorry Miss Marianne was not here. "you were all in the same room together. he will be ordained. nothing was said about them. 'I wonder how you could think of such a thing? I write to the Do ctor. which was mor e than I looked for. and heard what I co uld. Remember me kindly t . to get Edward the curacy of his new living. "but now he is lodging at No. or behind a chimney-board. no. Pall Mall. What an ill-natured woman his mother is. and I took care to keep mine out of sight. for I certainly would not have suffered you to give me particulars of a conversation which you ought not to have known yourself. when they hear of it. but the approach of her own party made another more necessary. And I am sure Lucy would have done just the same by me. were not you?" "No." "How!" cried Elinor. I hav e not time to speak to Mrs. indeed. they were shut up in the drawing-room together. so he must go there for a time. an d if anything should happen to take you and your sister away. when Martha Sharpe and I had so many secrets together. "Oh. I only stood at the door. la! here come the Richardsons. Jennings about it myself. (Laughin g affectedly. and after that. "it is a comfort to be prepared against the worst. and to be sure they did send us home in their own chariot. but I must not stay away from them not any longer. but pray tell her I am qui te happy to hear she is not in anger against us. I know they will. I suppose Lady Middleton won't ask us any more this bout. "have you been repeating to me what you only learnt yoursel f by listening at the door? I am sorry I did not know it before.ngs and came off with the Richardsons. do you think people make love when any b ody else is by? Oh. but I am sure I would not do such a thing for all the world.

Jennings the following natural remark: "Wait for his having a living! ay. Jennings.[246] as will Edward too. they must get a stout girl of all works. therefore will make no more apologies. would choose to have known. there seemed not the smallest chance. before her company was claimed by Mrs. but however. and should it ever be in your power to recomm end him to any body that has a living to bestow. would he consent to it. at present. "I hope my dear Miss Dashwood will excuse the liberty I take of writing to her. but proceed to say that. she confined herself to the brief re petition of such simple particulars. Palmer. Richard son. The continuance of their en gagement. and my cousins would be proud to know her. Two maids and two men. or any friend that may be able to assist us. thank God! though we have suffered dreadfully. no. and would have parted for ever on the spot. but he said it should never be. while he could have my affections. and dear Mrs. he did not regard his mother's anger. Steele and Mr. It was as follows: "Bartlett's Building. . trust she will speak a good word for us to Sir John. so I say nothing. ou r prospects are not very bright. As soon as they returned to the carriage. we are both quite well now. Betty's sister would neve r do for them now." Such was her parting concern. Poor Anne was much to blame for what she did. was al l her communication. March. every thing depended. My paper reminds me to conclude. with the interest of his two thousand pounds. No. and what little m atter Mr. and as happy as we must always be in one another's love. I am sure you will b e glad to hear. urge him to it for prudence sake. should she come this way any morning. and begging to be most grat efully and respectfully remembered to her. as she felt assured that Lucy. Pratt can give her. Jennings won't think it too much trouble to give us a call." The next morning brought Elinor a letter by the two-penny post from Lucy herself . but she did it for the best. she had time only to pay her farew ell compliments to Mrs. La! if you have not got your spotted muslin on! I wonder you was not afraid of its being torn. as she had concluded it would be. to be sure. who I have told of it. but we must wait. after all the troubles we have went through la tely. Mrs. on his getting that preferment. and the means that were able to be taken for promoting its end. yourself not the least among them. indeed! as I talked of t'other day. though she had learnt very little more than what had be en already foreseen and foreplanned[245] in her own mind. hope Mrs. for the sake of her own consequence. gratefully acknowledge many friends. as likewise dear Mrs. will set down upon a curacy of fift y pounds a-year. we all know how that will end: they will wait a t welvemonth. but I know your friendship for me will make you pleased to hear such a good acco unt of myself and my dear Edward. exac tly after her expectation. and finding no good comes of it. of which. I spent two happy hours with him yesterday afternoon. Jennings. Then they will have a child every y ear! and Lord help 'em! how poor they will be! I must see what I can give them tow ards furnishing their house. and the time of its taking place remained as absolutely uncertain. and Elinor was left in possession of knowledge which might feed her powers of reflection some time. for after this. and this produced from Mrs. Jennings was eager for informatio n. but as Elinor wished to spread as little as possible intelligence that had in the first place been so unfairly obtained. and great pe rsecutions. am very sure you will not forge t us. Jennings too. he will be ordained shortly. as I thought my duty required. 'twould be a great kindness. Edward's marriage with Lucy was as firmly determined on. whose great kindness I shall always thankfull y remember. We have had great trials. and to Sir John. and Lady Middleton. he would not hear of our parting. or Mr. though earnestly did I.o her. and hope for the best. at the same time.

however. Very well upon my word. Jennings. it must triumph w . When she told Marianne what she had done. however. her first reply was not very auspicious." As soon as Elinor had finished it. Elinor was hardly less anxious than herself for their remova l. Elinor. and fancied that if any place could give her ease. "I am. etc. which Marianne could not be brought to acknowledge. joined to the very great amendment of his manners towards them since her sister had been known to be unhappy. etc. seriously to turn her thoughts towa rds its accomplishment. Jennings. It is as pretty a letter as ever I saw. when you chance to see them. Je nnings. though detaining them from home yet a few weeks longer. she only en deavoured to counteract them by working on others. That sentence is very pret tily turned. I cannot go to Cleveland. to think of every body! Thank you. and their mother's servant might easily come there to attend them down. That was just like Lucy. and only so much less bent on its being effected immediately. and does Lucy's head and heart great credit. induced her to accept it with pleasure .[248] who m she so much wished to see. "No. more comfortable manner. than a ny other plan could do. you see. as that she was conscious of the difficulties of so long a journey. yes. for the Easter holidays.. have been sufficient for the delicacy of Miss Dashwood. She sighed for the air. represented it. Palmer h imself. but it was enforced with so much real politeness by Mr. in itself. She is a goo d-hearted girl as ever lived. which. This would not. she performed what she concluded to be its wr iter's real design. that was quite proper to let him be off if he would. w hich was within a few miles of Bristol." Elinor would not argue upon the propriety of overcoming such feelings. for showing it me. sure enough. when a plan was suggested. and had already mentioned their wishes to their kind hos tess. There. "Cleveland!" she cried. the liber ty. in a more eligible. Barton must do it. with great agitation. From Cleveland. though a long day's journey. who read it alo ud with many comments of satisfaction and praise." [247] CHAPTER XXXIX The Miss Dashwoods had now been rather more than two months in town. How attentive she is." said Elinor gently. "Very well indeed! how prettily she writes! aye. the distance to Barton was not beyond on e day. they might now be at home in little more than three we eks' time. received a very warm invitation from Charlotte to go with them. with all my heart." "You forget. therefore. as a measure which would fix the time of her returning to that dear mother. and Mrs. with both her friends. Poor soul! I wish I could get him a l iving. appea red to Elinor altogether much more eligible than any other. my dear. I will go and see her. where I look ed forward to going. the quiet of the country. you cannot expect me to go there. as. "that its situation is not that it is not in the neighbourhood of " "But it is in Somersetshire. She began. I cannot go into Somersetshire. and Mariann e's impatience to be gone increased every day. and perhaps without any greater delay. Yes. who resisted them with all the eloquence of her good-will.and the dear children. by placing it in the hands of Mrs. and as there could be no occasion of their staying a bove a week at Cleveland. She calls me dear Mrs. and love to Miss Marianne. no. The Palmers were to remove to Cleveland about the end of March. As Marianne's affection for her mother was sincere.

" said he." Astonished and shocked at so unlover-like a speech. but judged from the motion of her lips. and conversed with her there for several minutes. however." This delay on the Colonel's side. could not escape her observation. Jennings commended her in her heart for being so honest. and was too intent on what he said to pursue her employ ment. "I am afraid it cannot take place very soon. to provoke him to make that offer. some words of the Colonel's inevitably reached her ear. Jennings was delighted with her gratitude. f or though she was too honorable to listen. and if so. but it could not alter her design. This set the matter beyond a doubt. "of the injustice your friend Mr . when I come back! Lord! we shall sit and gape at one an other as dull as two cats. with great compassion. th at she did not think that any material objection. she was almost ready to cry out. What had really passed between them was to this effect. she had soon afterwards good reason to think her object gained. Still farther in[249] confirmation of her hopes. and Marianne found some relief in drawing up a statement of the hour s that were yet to divide her from Barton. "I have heard. that she pressed them ve ry earnestly to return with her again from Cleveland. and their mother's concurrence b eing readily gained. "Lord! what should hinder it?" but checking her desire. the Colonel should be able to take leave of them. over the imaginary evils she had started. for on their breaking up the conference soon after wards. attended with agitation. he followed her to it with a look of particular meaning. What Elinor sai d in reply she could not distinguish. to one close by the piano forte on which Marianne was playing. she could not keep herself from seeing that Elinor changed colour. on Elinor's moving to the window to take more expeditiously the dimensions of a print. Jennings was in hopes. "This is very strange! sure he need not wait to be older. did not seem to offend or mortify his fair companion in the least. as he im mediately did. She wondered. Mrs. by this vigorous sketch of their future ennu i. and Mrs. after their leavi ng her was settled "for they are quite resolved upon going home from the Palmers. with the utmost sang-froid. I do not know what you and I shall do without the Miss Dashwoods. indeed. when another lucky stop in Marianne's performanc e brought her these words in the Colonel's calm voice. Elinor was grateful for th e attention. "Ah! Colonel. in which he seemed to be apologising for the badness of his hou se." Mrs. an d how forlorn we shall be. Jennings's address to him when he first called on her. and only wondered that after hea ring such a sentence. but supposed it to be the proper etiquette." Perhaps Mrs. in the interval of Marian ne's turning from one lesson to another. which she was going to copy for her friend. They then talked on for a few minutes longer w ithout her catching a syllable. every thing relative to their return was arranged as far as it could be. a nd with a voice which showed her to feel what she said "I shall always think myself very much obliged to you. Jennings very plainly heard Elinor say. on pur pose that she might not hear.ith little difficulty. The effect of his discourse on the lady too. for ." w as Mrs. and had even changed her seat. Jennings was so far from being weary of her guest. and moving different ways. and go away without making her any re ply! She had not thought her old friend could have made so indifferent a suitor. which might give himself an escape from it . Mrs. confined herself to t his silent ejaculation. at his thinking it necessary to do so.

did not make more t han 200 L per annum. Such as it is. I fear." Elinor's astonishment at this commission could hardly have been greater. Ferrars comfortable as a bache lor. if it were really his wish to put off so agreeable an office to another. as anybody in hi s style of life would venture to settle on. at least as far as regarded its size. Jennings had attributed to a very different ca use. Have I been rightly informed? Is it so? " Elinor told him that it was. however. the impolitic cruelty. but whatever minor feelings less pure. however. which together prompted Colonel Brandon to this act. she could not help thinking that no one could so well perform it as himself . which only two days before she had considered as hopeless for Edward. and promised to undertake the commission with pleasure. for he did not suppos e it possible that Delaford living could supply such an income. or attempting to divide. She could unde rtake therefore to inform him of it. so unfortunately circumstanced as he is now . I understand that he intend s to take orders. two young people[250] long attached to each other.. Pray assure h im of it." he replied. the late incumbent. Edward. her esteem for the general benevolence. Jenn ings had supposed her to do. and he said so. was already provided to enable him to marry. I am sorry to say that my patronage ends wit h this. Ferrars two or three times in Harley Street. He is not a young man with whom one can be intimately acquaint ed in a short time. It was an office in short. is t errible. After this had be en settled. I have seen Mr. and warmly expressed. was still in town. for if I understand the matter right. But at the same t ime. she would have been very glad to be spared herse lf. that the house was small and indifferent. by an unforeseen . it may be nonsense to appear to doubt. Colonel Brandon began to talk of his own advantage in securing so re spectable and agreeable a neighbour. as Mrs. but I have seen enough of him to wish him well for his own s ake. "The smallness of the house. I only wish it were more valuable. an evil which Elinor. and though it is certainly capable of improvement. spoke of Edward's principles and disposition with that praise which she knew the m to deserve. now just vacant. and am much pleased with him. Ferrars does not know what she may be doing what she may drive her s on to. made very light of." said she." By which the Colonel was surprised to find that she was considering Mr. were strongly felt. on motives of equal delicacy. and her gratitude for the p articular friendship. will be very great. and then it was that he mentioned with regr et. "This little rectory can do no more than make Mr. "I cannot imagine any inconvenience to t hem. st ill seemed so desirous of its being given through her means. but Colonel Brandon. had the Colonel been really making her an offer of his hand. "The cruelty. of all people in the world. as I am informed by this day's post. unwilling to give Edward the pain of re ceiving an obligation from her. might have a share in t hat emotion. she believed. in the course of the day. he has been entirely cast off by them for persevering in his engagement with a ver y deserving young woman. and fortunately she had heard his address from Miss Steele. less pleasing. I wish it still more. my pleasure in presenting him to it. and my interest is hardly more extensive. If. if he think it w orth his acceptance but that. is his. Will you be so good as to tell him that the living of Delaford . "of dividing. for it will be in proportion to their family and income. Ferrars' s marriage as the certain consequence of the presentation.[251] that she would not on any account make farther opposition. Mrs. but a small one. not to such an amount as to afford him a very comfortable income. It i s a rectory. perhaps. Ferrars has suffered from his family. it cannot enable him to marry. was fixed on to best ow it! Her emotion was such as Mrs. She thanked him for it with all her heart. The preferment. from which. with great feeling. and she. declining it likewise. and as a friend of yours. I believe.

and Mrs. Jennings "Oh! as to that. but after this narration of what really passed betwe en Colonel Brandon and Elinor. you must long to tell your Marianne had left the room before the conversation began. I think I shall soon know where to look for them. when misunderstood. since it can advance him so little towards what must be his principal." said Mrs." "Opportunity!" repeated Mrs. What I am now doing indeed. there was nothing more likely to happen.chance it should be in my power to serve him farther. for I have often thought of late. his only object of happiness. I wish you joy of it again and again. sagaciously smiling." said Elinor. my talk out. for though. and besides. so justly offended the delicate feelings of Mrs. my dear." Such was the sentence which. indeed. I do not know what the Colonel would be at." "He spoke of its being out of repair. ma'am. I could not help catching enough to understand his business. for we shall not ask you to go with me. you are very modest. upon my honour. the gratitude exp ressed by the latter on their parting. But. "It is a matter of great joy to me. I tried to keep out of hearing. with a faint smi le. nor less properly worded than if it had arisen from an offer of marriage. Jennings. my dear." "You judged from your knowledge of the Colonel's general benevolence. I am afraid it cannot take place very soon. Few people who have so compassionate a heart! I never was mo re astonished in my life. that I do. And I assure you I never was better pleased in my life. my dear. but at lea st you could not foresee that the opportunity would so very soon occur. "I do not ask you what the Colonel has been saying to yo u. if I am not as ready to be useful to him then as I sincerely wish I could be at present. seems nothin g at all. Jennings immediately preparing to go. may perhaps appear in general. There are not many men who would act as he has done. His marriage must still be a distant good." "You mean to go to Delaford after them I suppose. when a man has once made up his mind to such a thing. for I dare say your mind is too care for company." "Thank you. at least . We ll. while they stood at the window." said Elinor. and whose fault is that? why don't he repair it? who should do it but him self?" They were interrupted by the servant's coming in to announce the carriage being at the door. for it is as good a one as ever I saw. I must think very differen tly of him from what I now do. Jennings. and I wish you joy of it with all my heart. how be quite alone. we may have it all over in the evening." "Well. and if ever there was a happy couple in the world. said "Well." . And as to the house being a bad one. not less r easonably excited. I must be gone before I have had half[253] ever. as soon as the g entleman had withdrawn. I an't the least astonished at it in the wo rld." "Lord! my dear. [252] CHAPTER XL "Well. "Aye. somehow or other he will soon find an opportunity. I do full of the matter to sister all about it. Miss Dashwood. and I feel the goodness of Colonel Brandon most sensibly.

Jennings's speech. he is the proper perso n. Well that is an odd kind of delicacy! However. after apologising for not returning herself. he must be ordained in readiness. and sat deliberating over her paper. and till I have written to Mr. it was at . for I think of going as far as Holborn to-day." Elinor did not quite understand the beginning of Mrs." said Mrs. ma'am. ho! I understand you. not even Lucy if you please." This speech at first puzzled Mrs. I shall tell Marianne of it. in the midst of her perplexity. and more anxious to be alone. and she excl aimed "Oh. and wanted to sp eak with him on very particular business. was now all her concern. however. with the pen in her hand. Jennings at the door in her way to the carriage. Ay. than to be mistress of the subject. Why Mr. How she should begin how she should express herself in her note to Edward. my dear.) You know your own concer ns best. Ferrars. ma'am. but returning again in a moment "I have just been thinking of Betty's sister. Well. A few moments' reflection. So good-bye. "Then you would not hav e me tell it to Lucy. One day's delay will not be very materi al. and she. is not this rather out of character? Should not the Colonel write himself? Sure. my dear. She is an excellent housemaid. for he will of course have much to do relative to his ord ination." replied Elinor. I have not heard of any thing to please me so wel l since Charlotte was brought to bed. and I am very glad to find things are so forward between you. But whether she would do for a lady's maid. that he rather wished any one to announce his intentions to Mr." "No. Elinor had just been congratulating herself." "Oh! very well."Certainly. produced a very happy idea. you will think of all that at your leisure. but I shall not mention it at pr esent to any body else. I think it ought not to be mentioned to any body else. Ferrars is to be the man. but she equally feared to say too much or too little. I shall do that directly. my dear." "Certainly. He had met Mrs. Ferrars was to h ave been written to about it in such a hurry. to be sure. and works very well at her n eedle. "Colonel Brandon is so delicate a man. I will not disturb you (seeing her preparing to write. I a m sure I can't tell. However. ma'am. It is of importance that no time sh ould be lost with him. and therefore only replied to its conclu sion. Jennings rather disappointed. by saying that Miss Dashwood was above. Mr." And away she went. till broken in on by the entrance of Edward himself." "And so you are forced to do it. But. neither did she think it worth inquiring into. she could not immediately comprehe nd. not hearing much of what she said. so much the bette r for him. The particular circumstances between them made a difficulty of that which to any other person would have been the easiest thing in the world. as he came to l eave his farewell card. I[254] should be very gla d to get her so good a mistress. Jennings exceedingly. Ferrars than himself. ha d obliged him to enter. tha t however difficult it might be to express herself properly by letter.

Mrs. he has great pleasure in offering you the livin g of Delaford now just vacant. as you well know. at least I understood her so or I certainly should not have intruded on you in such a manner." "No.least preferable to giving the information by word of mouth. mus t share. gathering more resolution. I h ave had no hand in it. "Colonel Brandon means it as a testimony of his concern for what has lately p assed for the cruel situation in which the unjustifiable conduct of your family ha s placed you a concern which I am sure Marianne. I go to Oxford tomorrow. and such as might better enable you to as might be more than a temporary ac commodation to yourself such. and determi ned to get over what she so much dreaded as soon as possible.) Colone l Brandon. "without receiving our good wishes. especially as it[255] will most likely be some time it is not probable that I should soon have the pleasure of meeting you again. "Mrs. with sudden consciousness. he could not recollect. I have something of consequence to inform you of. I do assure you that you owe it entirely. such unthought-of information could not fail of exciting.[256] I owe it all. and they sat down together in a most promising state of embarrassment. when her visitor e ntered. who was here only ten minutes ago. however. Jennings told me. and Colonel Brandon's discernment of it. but he said only t hese two words "Colonel Brandon!" "Yes. and only wishes it were more valuable. and likewise as a proof of his high esteem for your general character. recovering herself. He looked all the astonishment which such unexpect ed. that t . for I canno t be ignorant that to you." What Edward felt. made her feel particularly uncomfortable fo r some minutes. I am charged with a most agreeable office (breathing rather faster than usual as she spoke. till I understood his design. and his particular approbation of your behaviour on the present occasion. but determining to b e on the safe side. that unders tanding you mean to take orders. I did not even know." replied be. Whether he had asked her pardon for his intru sion on first coming into the room. and all your friends. to your own merit." continued Elinor. as he could not say it himself. as might establish all your views of happi ness." "You would not have gone. Her astonishment and co nfusion were very great on his so sudden appearance. Jenn ings was quite right in what she said. and to jo in in his wish that the living it is about two hundred a-year were much more conside rable." "Colonel Brandon give me a living! Can it be possible?" "The unkindness of your own relations has made you astonished to find friendship any where. has desired me to say. Allow me t o congratulate you on having so respectable and well-judging a friend. myself." "You are very much mistaken. I am no orator. I feel it I would express it if I could but. "that you wished to speak with me. though at the same time. which I was on the point of communicating by paper. and therefore not since his knowing her to be acquainted with it. with the consciousness of what she had been thinki ng of. as some of the worst was ove r. "not to find it in you. She had not seen him before since his engagement became public. I should have been extremely sorry to leave London wit hout seeing you and your sister." said he." said Elinor. and what she had to tell him. to your goodness. at least almost entirely. which. to force her upon this greatest exertion of all. even if we had not been able to give them in person. after taking a chair. he made his apology in form as soon as he could say any thin g. in short. it cannot be expected that any one else should say for him. He too was much distressed.

he living was vacant; nor had it ever occurred to me that he might have had such a living in his gift. As a friend of mine, of my family, he may, perhaps indeed I know he has, still greater pleasure in bestowing it; but, upon my word, you owe nothing to my solicitation." Truth obliged her to acknowledge some small share in the action, but she was at the same time so unwilling to appear as the benefactress of Edward, that she ack nowledged it with hesitation; which probably contributed to fix that suspicion i n his mind which had recently entered it. For a short time he sat deep in though t, after Elinor had ceased to speak; at last, and as if it were rather an effort, he said "Colonel Brandon seems a man of great worth and respectability. I have always he ard him spoken of as such, and your brother I know esteems him highly. He is und oubtedly a sensible man, and in his manners perfectly the gentleman." "Indeed," replied Elinor, "I believe that you will find him, on farther acquaint ance, all that you have heard him to be, and as you will be such very near neigh bours (for I understand the parsonage is almost close to the mansion-house,) it is particularly important that he should be all this." Edward made no answer; but when she had turned away her head, gave her a look so serious, so earnest, so uncheerful, as seemed to say, that he might hereafter w ish the distance between the parsonage and the mansion-house much greater. "Colonel Brandon, I think, lodges in St. James Street," said he, soon afterwards , rising from his chair. Elinor told him the number of the house. "I must hurry away then, to give him those thanks which you will not allow me to give you; to assure him that he has made me a very an exceedingly happy man." Elinor did not offer to detain him; and they parted, with a very earnest assuran ce on her side of her unceasing good wishes for his happiness in every change of situation that[257] might befall him; on his, with rather an attempt to return the same good will, than the power of expressing it. "When I see him again," said Elinor to herself, as the door shut him out, "I sha ll see him the husband of Lucy." And with this pleasing anticipation, she sat down to reconsider the past, recall the words and endeavour to comprehend all the feelings of Edward; and, of cours e, to reflect on her own with discontent. When Mrs. Jennings came home, though she returned from seeing people whom she ha d never seen before, and of whom therefore she must have a great deal to say, he r mind was so much more occupied by the important secret in her possession, than by anything else, that she reverted to it again as soon as Elinor appeared. "Well, my dear," she cried, "I sent you up the young man. Did not I do right? And I suppose you had no great difficulty You did not find him very unwilling to accep t your proposal?" "No, ma'am; that was not very likely." "Well, and how soon will he be ready? For it seems all to depend upon that." "Really," said Elinor, "I know so little of these kind of forms, that I can hard ly even conjecture as to the time, or the preparation necessary; but I suppose t

wo or three months will complete his ordination." "Two or three months!" cried Mrs. Jennings; "Lord! my dear, how calmly you talk of it; and can the Colonel wait two or three months! Lord bless me! I am sure it w ould put me quite out of patience! And though one would be very glad to do a kindn ess by poor Mr. Ferrars, I do think it is not worth while to wait two or three m onths for him. Sure somebody else might be found that would do as well; somebody that is in orders already." "My dear ma'am," said Elinor, "what can you be thinking of? Why, Colonel Brandon 's only object is to be of use to Mr. Ferrars." "Lord bless you, my dear! Sure you do not mean to persuade me that the Colonel o nly marries you for the sake of giving ten guineas to Mr. Ferrars!" [258] Both gained considerable amusement The deception could not continue after this; and an explanation immediately took place, by which both [259]gained considerable amusement for the moment, without any material loss of happiness to either, for Mrs. Jennings only exchanged one form of delight for another, and still without forfeiting her expectation of the first. "Aye, aye, the parsonage is but a small one," said she, after the first ebulliti on of surprise and satisfaction was over, "and very likely may be out of repair; but to hear a man apologising, as I thought, for a house that to my knowledge h as five sitting rooms on the ground-floor, and I think the housekeeper told me c ould make up fifteen beds! and to you too, that had been used to live in Barton cottage! It seems quite ridiculous. But, my dear, we must touch up the Colonel t o do some thing to the parsonage, and make it comfortable for them, before Lucy goes to it." "But Colonel Brandon does not seem to have any idea of the living's being enough to allow them to marry." "The Colonel is a ninny, my dear; because he has two thousand a-year himself, he thinks that nobody else can marry on less. Take my word for it, that, if I am a live, I shall be paying a visit at Delaford Parsonage before Michaelmas; and I a m sure I shan't go if Lucy an't there." Elinor was quite of her opinion, as to the probability of their not waiting for any thing more. CHAPTER XLI Edward, having carried his thanks to Colonel Brandon, proceeded with his happine ss to Lucy; and such was the excess of it by the time he reached Bartlett's Buil dings, that she was able to assure Mrs. Jennings, who called on her again the ne xt day with her congratulations, that she had never seen him in such spirits bef ore in her life. Her own happiness, and her own spirits, were at least very certain; and she join ed Mrs. Jennings most heartily in her expectation of their being all comfortably together in Delaford Parsonage before Michaelmas. So far was she, at the same t ime, from any backwardness to give Elinor that credit[260] which Edward would gi ve her, that she spoke of her friendship for them both with the most grateful wa rmth, was ready to own all their obligation to her, and openly declared that no exertion for their good on Miss Dashwood's part, either present or future, would

ever surprise her, for she believed her capable of doing any thing in the world for those she really valued. As for Colonel Brandon, she was not only ready to worship him as a saint, but was moreover truly anxious that he should be treated as one in all worldly concerns; anxious that his tithes should be raised to the utmost; and scarcely resolved to avail herself, at Delaford, as far as she poss ibly could, of his servants, his carriage, his cows, and his poultry. It was now above a week since John Dashwood had called in Berkeley Street, and a s since that time no notice had been taken by them of his wife's indisposition, beyond one verbal enquiry, Elinor began to feel it necessary to pay her a visit. This was an obligation, however, which not only opposed her own inclination, bu t which had not the assistance of any encouragement from her companions. Mariann e, not contented with absolutely refusing to go herself, was very urgent to prev ent her sister's going at all; and Mrs. Jennings, though her carriage was always at Elinor's service, so very much disliked Mrs. John Dashwood, that not even he r curiosity to see how she looked after the late discovery, nor her strong desir e to affront her by taking Edward's part, could overcome her unwillingness to be in her company again. The consequence was, that Elinor set out by herself to pa y a visit, for which no one could really have less inclination, and to run the r isk of a tête-à-tête with a woman, whom neither of the others had so much reason to di slike. Mrs. Dashwood was denied; but before the carriage could turn from the house, her husband accidentally came out. He expressed great pleasure in meeting Elinor, t old her that he had been just going to call in Berkeley Street, and, assuring he r that Fanny would be very glad to see her, invited her to come in. They walked up stairs in to the drawing-room. Nobody was there. "Fanny is in her own room, I suppose," said he: "I will go to her presently, for I am sure she will not have the least objection in the world to seeing you. Very far from it, indeed. Now especially there cannot be but however, you[261] and Mari anne were always great favourites. Why would not Marianne come?" Elinor made what excuse she could for her. "I am not sorry to see you alone," he replied, "for I have a good deal to say to you. This living of Colonel Brandon's can it be true? has he really given it to Edw ard? I heard it yesterday by chance, and was coming to you on purpose to enquire f arther about it." "It is perfectly true. Colonel Brandon has given the living of Delaford to Edwar d." "Really! Well, this is very astonishing! no relationship! no connection between them! an d now that livings fetch such a price! what was the value of this?" "About two hundred a year." "Very well and for the next presentation to a living of that value supposing the lat e incumbent to have been old and sickly, and likely to vacate it soon he might hav e got I dare say fourteen hundred pounds. And how came he not to have settled that matter before this person's death? Now indeed it would be too late to sell it, but a man of Colonel Brandon's sense! I wonder he should be so improvident in a po int of such common, such natural, concern! Well, I am convinced that there is a va st deal of inconsistency in almost every human character. I suppose, however on re collection that the case may probably be this. Edward is only to hold the living t ill the person to whom the Colonel has really sold the presentation, is old enou gh to take it. Aye, aye, that is the fact, depend upon it."

" "You wrong her exceedingly. and has made all those over whom she had any influence. must understand the terms on which it was given. Mrs. but it is founded on igno rance of human nature. she cast him off for ever." Elinor had some difficulty here to refrain from observing. very positively."[263] . calm ly replied "The lady. When the marriage takes pl ace. and. after a short pause." said John. She would not be so weak as to throw away the comfort of a child. c ast him off likewise. "knows nothing about it at present." Elinor. Ferrars can have the smallest satisfaction in knowing that her son has money enough to live upon. Ferrars." "You surprise me. must be concealed from her as much as possible. has no choice in the affair. "Mrs. You wi ll not mention the matter to Fanny. therefore. that[262] she thought Fanny might have borne with composure. I fear she must hear of it all. Edward is a very lucky man. Ferrars can never forget that Edward is her son. from your manner of speaking. lowering his voice to the tone becoming so important a subject. therefore ev ery circumstance that may accelerate that dreadful event. "We think now. and. smiling at the grave and decisive importance of her brother's tone. Ferrars. "of Robert's marrying Miss Morton." added he." said Mr. after hearing what she said "what could be the Colonel's motive?" "A very simple one to be of use to Mr. and by relating that she had h erself been employed in conveying the offer from Colonel Brandon to Edward. I suppose. it must be the same t o Miss Morton whether she marry Edward or Robert. Dashwood. Mrs. upon her late behaviour. Surely. "your reasoning is very good. however. after doing so. and she bears it vastly well. is she supposed to feel at all? She has done with her son. "It is truly astonishing!" he cried. Ferrars is one of the most affectionate mothers in the world. and yet retain the anxiety of a parent!" "Ah! Elinor. an acquisition of wealth to her brother. obliged him to subm it to her authority. by which neither she nor her child could be possibly impoverished. I should think it must nearly have escaped her memory by this time. whatever Colonel Brandon may be. depend upon it h is mother will feel as much as if she had never discarded him." "Well. yet why." "But why should such precaution be used? Though it is not to be supposed that Mr s. for though I have broke it to her. for that must be quite out of the question." Elinor was silent. she cannot be imagined liable to a ny impression of sorrow or of joy on his account she cannot be interested in any t hing that befalls him. she will not like to hear it much talked of." "Choice! how do you mean?" "I only mean that I suppose.Elinor contradicted it. well. When Edward's unhappy match takes place. however. and I believe it will be best to k eep it entirely concealed from her as long as may be.

and Elinor w as left to improve her acquaintance with Robert. that in short. diverted him beyond measure. Robert Ferrars. too. and John was also for a short time silent. however. "I may assure you. was not less striking than it had been on him. not to be thought of or mentioned. you unders tand me. they are both v ery agreeable young men: I do not know that one is superior to the other. my dear sister. because I know it must gratify you. for Robert will now to all intents and p urposes be considered as the eldest son. and t heir effect on Robert. It was a look. and as to any thing else. who." kindly taking her hand. But I thought I would jus t tell you of this. and when to that was added the fanciful imagery of Edward reading prayers in a white surpli ce. He was recalled from wit to wisdom. Elinor repeated the particulars of it. His reflections ended thus. and she would be glad to compound now for nothing worse. Fer rars say it herself but her daughter did. the conclusion of suc h folly. was conf irming her most unfavourable opinion of his head and heart. 'the least evil of the two. it would not have given her hal f the vexation that this does. bu t I have it from the very best authority. or better. There is no doubt of your doing exceedin gly well.' she said. not that I ever precisely heard Mrs. [264] "Of one thing I may assure you. he c ould conceive nothing more ridiculous. there can be no difference. I was exceedingly pleased to hear that Mrs. Elinor. . and I will do it." [265] They had scarcely been two minutes by themselves. though very different. John Dashwood. it never could be. for he." Elinor said no more. perhaps. because I knew how much it must please you. it would have been far preferable to her. 'It would have been beyond comparison. by the entrance of Mr.' But however. as she had given them to John. and living in a small parsonage-house. He laughed most immoderately. and gave no intelligence to him. As to any attach ment you know. quitted the room in quest of her. and that brother's integrity. all that is gone by. and was very inquisitive on the subj ect. earned o nly by his own dissipated course of life. and raise her self-import ance. and speaking in an awful whisper. and from the danger of hearing any thing more from her brother. "Of one thing. After a few moments' chat. The idea of Edward's being a clergyma n. all things considered. the happy self-complacency of his manner while enjoying so unfair a division of his mother's love and liberality. and she was therefore glad to be sp ared from the necessity of saying much in reply herself. to the prejudice of his banished brother. or I should not repeat it. quite as well. and I have it from her. but by his own sensibility."Certainly. a very gratifying circumstance you know to us al l. very well bestowed. not by any reproof of her's. could not restrain her eyes from being fixed on him with a look that sp oke all the contempt it excited. while she waited in silence and immovable gravity. Ferra rs considered it in that light. for otherwise it would be very wrong to say any thing about it. if not to gratify her vanity. my dear Elinor. for it relieved her own feelings. by the gay unconcern. Not that you hav e any reason to regret. and publishing the banns of marriage between John Smith and Mary Brown. Has Colonel Br andon been with you lately?" Elinor had heard enough. wha tever objections there might be against a certain a certain connection. had heard of the living. to agitate her nerves and fill her mind. recollecting that Fanny was yet uninfo rmed of her sister's being there. all that is quite out of the question. before he began to speak of Ed ward. I have good reason to think indeed I have it from the best authority.

"We may treat it as a joke. once. I certainly should have represented it to E dward in a very strong light. to interfere. while she was staying in this house. Poor Edward! His manners are cert ainly not the happiest in nature. My mother was the first person who told me of it. to come to Norland whenever it should happen to be in their way. 'My dear madam. and I. or elegance. and an attempt at cordiality in her behaviour to herself. for unluckily. with the sa me powers. feeling myself called on to act with resolution. but upon my soul. and I saw quite enough of her. But we are not all born. in the something lik e confusion of countenance with which she entered. absolutely starved. you know. upon my soul. I think it is most probable th at something might have been hit on. He must be starved . that means might have been found. was all that foretold any meeting in the country. an d dissuade him from the match. I was most uncommonly shocked. But now it is all too late. that is certain. and such a one a s your family are unanimous in disapproving. The merest awkward country girl." "Have you ever seen the lady?" "Yes. Poor Edward! he is ruined for ever. which o f all things was the most unlikely to occur. Elinor could see its influence on her mind. and on Colonel Brandon's being to follow them to Cleveland in a day or two. I am not in the least surprised at it. [267] CHAPTER XLII One other short call in Harley Street. I happened to drop in for ten m inutes. it is a most serious business. but as for myself." He had just settled this point with great composure. My poor mother was half frantic. for I know him to be a very good-hearted creature. immediately said to her. . I never will see him again. without style. I found. who attended her into the room. Miss Dashwood. and knew nothing of it till aft er the breach had taken place. B ut had I been informed of it a few hours earlier. and I declare and protest to you I never was so shocke d in my life. shut himself out for ever from all decent society! but. from John to Elinor. She even proceeded so far as to be concerned to fin d that Elinor and her sister were so soon to leave town. I could not believe it. You are making a most disgraceful connection. I remember her perfectly. seemed to distinguish every thing that was m ost affectionate and graceful. J ohn Dashwood put an end to the subject.' I cannot help thinking. as when it all burst forth.' That was what I said im mediately.' I should have said. I offered immed iately. a s well-meaning a fellow perhaps. assurance. and a faint invitation from Fanny. I must say. "but. that if Edward d oes marry this young woman. you know. to do any thin g. though less publi c. when it was not for me. You must not judge of him. and almost without beauty. But though she never spoke of it out of her own family. I do not know what you may in tend to do on the[266] occasion. recovering from the affected laug h which had considerably lengthened out the genuine gaiety of the moment. to talk to him myself. I was not in the way at first. I believe he has as good a hea rt as any in the kingdom. complet ed the intercourse of the brother and sisters in town. an exertion in which her husband." said he. the same address. as soon as my mother related the affair to me. with a more warm. as any in the world. as I di rectly said to my mother. when the entrance of Mrs. I am extremely sorry for it. 'consider wh at you are doing. Just th e kind of girl I should suppose likely to captivate poor Edward. but it was too late then. 'My dear fellow. in which Elinor received her brother's co ngratulations on their travelling so far towards Barton without any expense. a nd hung enamoured over her accents. in short. it was always to be expected. you know. from his style of education. indeed! Poor Edward! he has done for h imself completely. from your slight acquaintance. of the promptitude with which he should come to see her at Delaford. Poor fellow! to see him in a circle of strangers! to be sure it was pitiable enough. as she had hoped to see more of them. at last.

she was plea sed[268] to be free herself from the persecution of Lucy's friendship. and fancy that from their summits Combe Magna might be seen. Cleveland was a spacious. for not only was it considered as her future home by her brothe r and Mrs. [269] . she quitted it again. and like every othe r place of the same degree of importance. shut out the offices. an d she looked forward with hope to what a few months of tranquility at Barton mig ht do towards restoring Marianne's peace of mind. from its Grecian temple. busy in new engagements. the lawn was dotted over with timber. gave her a pressing invita tion to visit her there. it had its open shrubbery. wanderin g over a wide tract of country to the south-east. and the acacia. her eye. and in the forenoon of the third they drove up to Cle veland. travelling more exp editiously with Colonel Brandon. or the prohibited. stealing away through the winding shrubberies. fr om whom it would give her a moment's regret to be divided for ever. Marianne entered the house with a heart swelling with emotion from the conscious ness of being only eighty miles from Barton. and Mr. without shedding many tears. for as such was it dwelt on by turns in Marianne's imagination. and eager as she had l ong been to quit it. For the convenience of Charlotte and her child. Marianne. she rejoiced in tears of agony t o be at Cleveland. modern-built house. they wer e to be more than two days on their journey. of wandering from place to place in free and luxurious solitude. a place. in which. the mountain-ash. the two parties from Hanove r Square and Berkeley Street set out from their respective homes. but the pleasure-grounds were tolerably extensive. she was g rateful for bringing her sister away unseen by Willoughby since his marriage. and as she returned by a different circuit to the house. of all others. and new schemes. she left no creature behind. and closer wood walk. could fondly rest on the farth est ridge of hills in the horizon. in the indulgence of such solitary ra mbles. and not thirty from Combe Magna. Elinor's satisfaction. while the others were busil y helping Charlotte to show her child to the housekeeper. feel ing all the happy privilege of country liberty. a road of smooth gravel winding round a plantation. when they parted. when it came to the point. i n Willoughby. Jennings. It had no park. few as had been her hours of comfort in London. situated on a sloping lawn. led to the front. was more positive. which were now extinguished for ever. invaluable misery. where. She had no s uch object for her lingering thoughts to fix on. The second day brought them into the cherish ed. to gain a distant eminence. by ap pointment. she would now least choose to visit. without great pain. and that confidence. county of Somerset. she resolved to spend almost every hour of ever y day while she remained with the Palmers. to meet. and tolerably early in the day. interspersed with tall Lombardy poplars. Their journey was safely performed. Palmer. Nor coul d she leave the place in which Willoughby remained. was to join them at Cleveland soon after their arrival. now just beginning to be in beaut y. on the road. in which she could have no share.It amused her to observe that all her friends seemed determined to send her to D elaford. and a thick screen of them alto gether. an d before she had been five minutes within its walls. or wish to reside. the house itself was under the guardiansh ip of the fir. In such moments of precious. Very early in April. at the moment of removal. could not. and confirming her own. bid adieu to the hous e in which she had for the last time enjoyed those hopes. but even Lucy.

they were marked. in lounging round the kitchen garden. The morning was fine and dry. or being stolen by a fox. She returned just in time to join the others as they quitted the [270]house. and idled away the mornings at billiards. that she knew not what to expect to find him in his own family. Their party was small. was engaging. Jennings a nd Charlotte. and nipped by the lingering frost. however it might be avoided by the family in general. she found him very capable of being a pleasant companion. by too great an aptitude to fancy himself as much superior to people in general. joined in their discourse. much better than she had expected. Jennings her carpet-work. She liked him. however l ittle concerned in it. bec ause it was not conceited. and in her heart was not sorry that she could like him no more. she found fresh sources of merriment. unwarily exposed. they talked of the friends they had left behind. upon the whole. which a long morning of the same continued rain had reduced very low. who had the knac k of finding her way in every house to the library. by hens forsaking their nests. and in that little had seen so much var iety in his address to her sister and herself. but a heavy and settled rain even she could n ot fancy dry or pleasant weather for walking. and the rest of the morning wa s easily whiled away. uncertain in his hours. in her plan of employment abroad. where. however. thou gh affecting to slight it. to rest with complacency on the remembrance of Edwar . and listening to the gardener's lamentations upon blights. Elinor. as he must feel himself to be to Mrs. not sorry to be driven by the observation of his epicurism. her kindness. though evident was not disgusting. on an excursion through its more immediate premises. in the disappointed hopes of her dairy-mai d. and the hours passed quietly away. his se lfishness. perfectly the gentleman i n his behaviour to all his visitors. with no traits at all unusual in his sex and time of life. which ought to have been devoted to business. in da wdling through the green-house. Mrs. The openness and heartiness of her manner more than atoned for that want of recollection and elegance which mad e her often deficient in the forms of politeness. ha d not calculated for any change of weather during their stay at Cleveland. and only occasionally rude to his wife and her mother. For the rest of his character and habits. and Marianne. as far as Elinor could perceive. and in visiting her poultry-yard. and his conceit. and an evening merely cold or damp wo uld not have deterred her from it. The two gentlemen arrived the next day to a very late dinner. She found him. He was nice in his eating. and Mrs. however. to make them feel themselves welcome. did she find herself prevented by a settled rain from going out again after dinner. With great surprise therefore. and wondered whether Mr. [271] The gardener's lamentations. and Marianne. Nothing was wanting on Mrs. raised the laughter of Charlotte. fond of his child. and Elinor could have forgiven every thing but her la ugh. or in the rapid decr ease of a promising young brood. her folly. recommended by s o pretty a face. Palmer's side that constant and friendly good humour could do. affording a pleasa nt enlargement of the party. Elinor had seen so little of Mr. soon procured herself a book. She had depended on a twilight walk to the Grecian temple.Showing her child to the housekeeper. and perhaps all over the grounds. where the loss of her favourite plants. arranged Lady Middleton's engagements. Palmer. Palmer had her ch ild. Palmer and Colonel Brandon would get farther than Reading that night. and a[272] very welcome variety to their conversati on. and only p revented from being so always. examining the bloom upon its walls.

had assisted by the still greater imprudence of sitting in her wet shoes and stockings given Marianne a cold so violent as. of sending for the Palmers' apothecary. as well as in every other particular.d's generous temper. treating her at once as the disinterested friend of Mr. and would have been enough. trusted. and a sore throat. examined his patient. described its deficiencies. and felt no real alarm. on a sofa . might very well justify Mrs. yet. after persisting in rising. by pronouncing her d isorder to have a putrid tendency. Elinor was very ready to adopt M rs. Two delightful twilight walks on the third and fourth evenings of her being ther e. ther efore. Jennings's suggestion. believed Marianne his real favourite. Her departure. though for a day or two trifled with or denied. a good night's rest was to cu re her entirely. on her baby's account. who had been into Dorsetshire lately. confessed herself unable to si t up. simple taste. H is behaviour to her in this. Palmer. and Mr. and while his looks of anxious[273] solicitude on Marianne's feeling. she now received intelligence fr om Colonel Brandon. like Marianne. to make her suspect it herself. his open plea sure in meeting her after an absence of only ten days. and told her what he meant to do himself towards removing them. He came. against Marianne's inclination. with a pain in her limbs. Ferrars. and when Marianne. and diffident feelings. and returned[274] voluntarily to her bed. Jenning s thought only of his behaviour. and when. by engaging in her accustomary employments. and a cough. and forcing proper medicines on her at night. who. and needless alarm of a lover. did not speak much in favour of her amendment. A very restless and feverish night. where there was something more of wildness than in the rest. Palmer. and as usual. would force itself by increasing ailments on the concern of every body. and the kind of confidant of himself. perhaps. gave instant alarm to Mrs. and confirming Charlo tte's fears and caution. found the an xiety and importunity of his wife too great to be withstood. urged the necessity of her immediate removal with her i nfant. But a day spent in sitting shivering over the fire with a book in h er hand. she co uld discover in them the quick feelings. and allowing the word "infection" to pass his lips. were all declined. to every inquiry replied tha t she was better. and tried to prove herself so. Jenni ngs's persuasion of his attachment. but all over the grounds. and she could not help believing herself the nicest observer of the two: she watched his eyes. except by Mrs. to try one or two of the simplest of the remedies. Prescriptions poured in from a ll quarters. though treating their apprehensions as idle. Colonel Brandon was only astonished at her sister's composure. Though heavy and feverish. weary and languid. who had been inclined from the first to think Marianne's complaint more serious than Elinor. and especially in the most distant parts of them. CHAPTER XLIII Marianne got up the next morning at her usual time. Mrs. entirely escaped the latter lady's observation. and it was with difficulty that Elinor prevailed on her. now looked very grave on Mr. and the notice of herself. in her head and throat. Harris's report. and within an hour after Mr. however. the beginning of a heavy cold. and the grass was th e longest and wettest. such a notion had scarcely ever entered h er head. Jennings's advice. disappointed the expectation of bot h. not merely on the dry gravel of the shrubbery. she set off. talked to her a great deal of the parsonage at Delaford. Of Edward. . had not Elinor still. or at least of some of his concerns. and though encouraging Miss Dashwood to expect th at a very few days would restore her sister to health. Harris's arrival. though attending and nursing her the whole day. and who. Jennings. But as it was. to the certainty and efficacy of sleep. was fixed on. while Mrs. where the trees were the oldest. she went ear ly to bed. as from the first. which she was unable to read. when s he went to bed. more and more indisposed. at last. his readiness to converse with her. and his deference for her opinion. or in lying. be cause unexpressed by words.

he declared his patient materially . and her situation continued. languid and low from the nature of her malady. she thought. but for this unlucky illness. the kindness of Mrs. whither her husband promi sed. Jennings. and whither she was a lmost equally urgent with her mother to accompany her. Jennings interposed most acceptably. Mrs. of every comfort. did not a ppear worse. Palm er's. for Mr. was not in a state of mind to resist their influence. and feeling hersel f universally ill. in about no surprise that she saw concern. and make her believe. though very un willing to go as well from real humanity and good-nature. for the house of a near relation of Mr. the same. Palmer. however. and the idea of what tomorrow would have produced. Colonel Brandon himself. to join her in a day or two. Here. began to talk of going li kewise. that she should want him to play at piquet of an evening. Their party was now farther reduced. Palmer's departure. Mrs. On the morning of the third day however. with little variation. at her earnest entreaty. Harris. Jennings's f orebodings. to supply to her the place of the mother she had taken her from. but the many hours of each day in which he was left entirely alone. and Elinor found her on every occasion a most willing and a ctive helpmate. Poor Marianne. made every ailment severe. that he. and as it gave her likewise no oned her name. of course. and. as she then really believed herself. and Colonel Brandon. with a much greater exertion. and. w ith a kindness of heart which made Elinor really love her. that it woul d be a very short one. she certainly was not better. The next day produced little or no alteration in the state of the[275] patient. and while he was preparing to go. and of endea vouring. It gave her nothing of Mrs. Palmer. &c. Mr. could not lo ng even affect to demur. though Elinor tried to raise her spirits. who attended her every d ay. who was chiefly of use in listening to Mrs. would be to deprive them both. the gloomy anticipations of both were a lmost done away. attended the whole way by a servant of Mrs. especially as Mrs. for to send the Colonel away while his love was in so much uneasiness on her si ster's account. an d therefore telling him at once that his stay at Cleveland was necessary to hers elf.with her little boy and his nurse. as from a dislike of a ppearing to be frightened away by his wife. except that there was no amendment. which the different judgment of the apothecary seemed to render absurd. who lived a few miles on the other side of Bath. could no longer hope that tomorrow would find her recovered. kept in ignorance of all these ot that she had been the means of sending the owners of seven days from the time of their arrival. of material use. were but too favourable for the admission of[276] every melancholy idea. who was gratifying the first wish of his own heart by a compliance. and often by her better e xperience in nursing. desirous to share in all her fatigues. Jennings. while Miss Dashwo od was above with her sister. She knew n Cleveland away. in leaving behind him a person so well able to assist or advise Miss Dashwood in any emergence. who seemed to feel a relief to himself. He tried to re ason himself out of fears. she urged him so strongly to remain. but the expectation of the others was by no means so cheerful. and he could not expel from his mind the persuasion that he should see Marianne no more. Jennings's entreaty was warmly secon ded by Mr. still talked boldly of a speedy recovery. Marianne was. by her own attentive care. Palmer. she never menti Two days passed away from the time of Mr. declared her resoluti on of not stirring from Cleveland as long as Marianne remained ill. and Miss Dashwood was equally sang uine. Harris arrived. The little she said wa s all in lamentation of this inevitable delay. were to have taken their mother by surprise on the following forenoon. Jennin gs had determined very early in the seizure that Marianne would never get over i t. for when Mr. however. for on that day they were to have begun their journe y home. arrangements. was persuaded at last by Colonel Bra ndon to perform his promise of following her.

still talking wildly of mama. from which she expected the most beneficial effects. rejoicing that in her letters to her mother. but her difficulties were instantly obviated. "I shall never see her. and Elinor remained alone with Ma rianne. and. for with a readiness that seemed to speak the occasion. though fervent gratitude. It was lower and quicker than ever! and Marianne. was all cheerfuln ess. though not so quiet as Elinor wished to see it. was a thought which immediately followed the resolution of it s performance. But the day did not close so auspiciously as it began. was willing to attribute the change to n othing more than the fatigue of having sat up to have her bed made. I hope. an d anxious to observe the result of it herself. "but she will be here. and the servi ce pre-arranged in his mind. suddenly awakened by some accidental noise in the house. he listened to them in silent despondence. her alarm increased so rapidly. To consult with Colonel Brandon on the best means of eff ecting the latter. how gratefully was it felt! a companion whose judgment would guide. Harris. was recreating herself in the housekeeper's room. Her fears. before it is long. cried out. Mrs. no confidence to attempt the removal of . She tha nked him with brief. Towards the evening Maria nne became ill again. and uncomfortable than befor e. and every symptom more favourable than on the preceding visit. It is a great way . while attemptin g to soothe her. whose attendance must relieve. The comfort of such a friend at that moment as Colonel Brandon or such a companion for her mother. and as soon she had rung up the maid to take her place by her sis ter. with feverish w ildness. when Marianne. her maid. growing more heavy.better. and whose friendship might soothe her! as far as t he shock of such a summons could be lessened to her. and despatching a messenger to Barton for her mother. eagerly felt her pulse. restless. ." Elinor perceived with alarm that she was not quite herself. still sanguine. and almost fixing on the time when Marianne would be abl e to travel. went unusually early to bed. saw her. she hastened down to the drawing-room.[277] in the same hurried manner. his presence." "But she must not go round by London. his manners." cried the other. and an order for post-horses directly. however. "Is mama coming? " "Not yet. and carefull y administering the cordials prescribed. with satisfaction. Her fears and her difficulties were immediately b efore him. lasted a considerable time. It was no time for hesitation. she resolved to sit with her duri ng the whole of it. s he wrote a few lines to her mother. Jennings. The repose of the latter became more and more disturbed. with unremitting attention her continual change of posture. Elinor made no resistance that was not easily overcome. and heard the frequent but inarticulate sounds of complaint which passed her lips. started hastily up. Dashwood. you know. Her sleep . and assisting Marianne to lie down again. from hence to Barton. was almost wishing to rouse her from so painful a slumber. who wat ched. and. she had pursued her own judgme nt rather than her friend's. sink at las t into a slumber. Harris. Her sister. he offered himself as the messenger who should fetc h Mrs. who was one of the principal nurses. where she knew he was generally to b e found at a much later hour than the present. he had no courage. Her pulse was much stronger. confirmed in every pleasant hope. knowing nothing of any change in the patient. and while he went to hurry off hi s servant with a message to Mr." cried Marianne. in making very light of the indisposition which del ayed them at Cleveland. Elinor. and her sister. concealing her terror. if she goes by London. as to d etermine her on sending instantly for Mr.

or if he could not come. made every necessary arrangement with the utmost despatch. He promised to call again in the course of three or four hours. and Marianne only more quiet not more herself remained in a heavy stupor. and more than all. scarcely stirring from her sister's bed. and pictured to herself her suffering mother arriving too late to see this darling child. t hat every thing had been delayed too long. Jennings hear in the morning of what had passed. was before her. and his visit concluded with encouraging assurances which reached the ear. would lessen it. one suffering friend to another. She was on the point of sending again for Mr. His medicines had failed. must have struck a less interested person with concern. even before they were expected . His o pinion. who scrupled not to attrib . and her spirits oppresse d to the utmost by the conversation of Mrs. was still under her care. and the servant who sat up with her. Elinor. Jennings to be called. The distress of her sister too. it gave a pang to the heart of poor Elinor. with a confidence which. and as for their mother. The horses arrived. The r apid decay. and l eft both the patient and her anxious attendant more composed than he had found t hem. at intervals. Hour after hour passed away in slee pless pain and delirium on Marianne's side. made some little amends for his delay. in a lesser degree. her sympathy in her sufferings was very si ncere. his fears in a moment. and she returned to her sister's apartment to wait for the arrival of the apothecary. With strong concern. and whenever she mentioned her name. the early death of a girl so young. Marianne's ideas were still. Harris appeared. did Mrs. and she was known to have been greatly[279] injured. of whose success he was as confident as the last. so lovely as Marianne. some more fresh application. But he judged it unnecessary: he had still something more t o try. Jennings's compassion she had other claims. Her apprehensions once raised. proposed to cal l in further advice. but he came to be disappointed in h is hopes of what the last would produce. whatever he might feel. fixed incoherently on her mother. and talked of the relief which a fresh mode of treatm ent must procure. On Mrs. for she would not allow Mrs. It wa s a night of almost equal suffering to both. catching all. now with greater reason restored. and in the most cruel anxiety on Eli nor's. for though acknowledging a very unexpected and unpleasant alteration in his patient. She was calm. and calculate d with exactness the time in which she might look for his return. only tortured her more. left her no doubt of the event. Mr. and a few words spoken too low to reach her ear.his assistance. Harris was punctual in his second visit. f or some other advice. and with many reproaches for not being called to their aid. her thoughts wandering fr om one image of grief. wh o. however. by hints of what her mistress had always thought. but could not enter the heart of Miss Dashwood. and Colonel Brandon only pressing her hand with a look of solemnity. when the former but not till after five o'clock arrived. Harris. paid by their excess for all her former security. and wret ched for some immediate relief. her conviction of her sister's danger would not allow her to offer the comfort of hope. except when she t hought of her mother. particularly a favourite. and long unhappy. Her heart was really grieved. hurried into the carriage. but she was almost hopeless. fancied that all relief might soon be in vain. It was then[2 78] about twelve o'clock. She had been for three months her companion. He. acted with all the firmness of a collecte d mind. when Mrs. and in this state she continu ed till noon. the fever was unabated. Jennings considered that Marianne might probably be to her what Charlotte was to herself. reproaching herself for having trifled with so many days of illness. Not a moment w as lost in delay of any kind. and thoug h trying to speak comfort to Elinor. Her former apprehensi ons. meanwhile. or to see her rational. and to watch by her the rest of the night. before Mr. he would not allow the danger to be material. Jennings. was communicated to Elinor.

satisfying every inquiry of her enfeebled spirits. and she was not to be kept away from her sister an unnecessary instan t. The poss ibility of a relapse would of course. and watching almost every look and every breath. with unfeigned joy. sleep. Others even ar ose to confirm it. however. At ten o'clock. occur to remind her of wh at anxiety was. and Elinor. Marianne was in every respect materially better. Half an hour passed away. Jennings therefore attending her up stairs into the sick chamber. gaze. Elinor felt all the reaso nableness of the idea. on her frequent and minute examination. to hope she could percei ve a slight amendment in her sister's pulse. watched. therefore. Jenning s in the drawing-room to tea. But it was too late. from eating much. gave her confidence. She continued by the side of her sister. Mrs. Mrs. and tears of joy. Mrs. tried to keep her young friend from indulging a thought of its continuan ce. her skin. and the favourable symptom yet blessed her. left her there again to her charge and he . to sat isfy herself that all continued right. on examination. Anxiety and hope now oppressed her in equal degrees. and Marianne fixed her eyes on her with a rational. though languid. silent and strong. or at least not much later her mother would be relieved f rom the dreadful suspense in which she must now be travelling towards them. and led to any th ing rather than to gaiety. calming every fear.ute the severity and danger of this attack to the many weeks of previous indispo sition which Marianne's disappointment had brought on. with little intermission the whole afte rnoon. and soon with unequivocal cheerfulness. but Elinor had no sense of fatigue. when Colonel Brandon might be expected back. she began but with a caution a dread of disappointment which fo r some time kept her silent. The Colonel. was an idea to fill her heart with sensations of exquisite comf ort. in some moments. and it gave fresh misery to her reflections. and expand it in fervent gratitude. Mrs. and feeling all its anxious flutter. the probability of an entire recovery. and allow her to take her place by Mari anne. and he declared her entirely ou t of danger. at its conclusion. with such feelings of content as she brought to it. to acknowledge a temporary r evival. Her breath. Jennings. and to he r doting mother. About noon. she waited. conning over every injunction of distrust. and at last. even to her friend to fancy. The time was now drawing on. comfort. Of breakfast she had been kept by her fears. no smiles. Jennings. that e very symptom of recovery continued. Harris at four o'clock. her lips. and examined i t again and again. and o f dinner by their sudden[281] reverse. she trusted. though forced. perhaps satisfied with the partial justification of her forebodings which had been found in their late alarm. when his assurances. she joined Mrs. Jennings would have persuaded her. with an agitation more difficult to bury under e xterior calmness. allowed herself to tru st in his judgment. Hope had already entered. and admitted. Elinor could not be cheerful. ventured to communicate her h opes. health. she silenced every doub t. steady. All within Elinor's breast was satisfaction. and the present refresh ment. no capability of sleep at that moment about her. but it lead to no outward demonstrations of joy. friends. all flattered Elinor with sig ns of[280] amendment. and left he r no moment of tranquillity till the arrival of Mr. to tak e some rest before her mother's arrival. too! perhaps scarcely less an object of pity! Oh! how slow was the progre ss of time which yet kept them in ignorance! At seven o'clock. and to all appearance comfortable. told herself likewise not to hope. su pplying every succour. and saw Marianne at six o'clock sink into a quiet. leaving Marianne still sweetly asleep. his felicitations on a recovery in her sister even surpassing h is expectation. than all her foregoing distress. Her joy was of a different kind. she bent over her sister to watch she hardly knew for what. was particu larly welcome. but when she saw. no words. Marianne restored to life.

starting back with a look of horror at the sight of him. The bustle in the vestibule. She instantly saw that her ears had no t deceived her. and retired to her own room to write letters and sleep. The flaring lamps of a carriage were immediately in view. that she moved into the adjoining dressing-closet and opened a wind ow shutter. I suppose. "I shall not stay. sir. she walked silently towards the table." "Sit down. and so strong was th e persuasion that she did." "No. All that remained to be done was to be speedy. it would not have turned me from the door. The night was cold and stormy. they had a rich reward in stor e. of her doubt her dread. [282] "Opened a window-shutter. came across her. while it told the excess of her poor mother's alarm. and her curiosity no less than her honor was engaged. in a voice rather of command than supplication "Miss Dashwood. and sat down . She rushed to the drawing-room. when its action was suspended by his hastily advancing. and this. Palmer and all his relati ons were at the devil. and saying. obeyed the firs t impulse of her heart in turning instantly to quit the room. all happiness within." [283] CHAPTER XLIV Elinor. and the travellers. My business is with you." She hesitated. Your business cannot be with me. and the rain bea t against the windows. an d saw only Willoughby. gave some explana tion to such unexpected rapidity. "that Mr. she hurried down stairs. After a moment's recollect ion. forgot to tell you that Mr. she knew not what to do. and her hand was a lready on the lock. Never in her life had Elinor found it so difficult to be calm. for half an hour for ten minutes I entreat you to stay. as at that moment . concluding that prudence required dispatch. assured her tha t they were already in the house. "well. Elinor would have been convinced that a t that moment she heard a carriage driving up to the house. Had it been ten. By the ir uncertain light she thought she could discern it to be drawn by four horses. therefore staying only till she could leave Mrs. regarded it not. and that her acquies cence would best promote it. Marian ne slept through every blast. but Elinor." "Had they told me. The clock struck eight. perhaps her despair! and of what she had to tell! with such knowledge it was impossible to be calm. The possibility of Colonel Brandon's arr iving and finding her there. The wind roared round the house. The knowledge of what her mother must be feeling as the carriage stopped the d oor. for every present inconvenience." he cried with vehemence. Palmer was not in the house." "With me!" in the utmost amazement. The servants. she entered it. to be satisfied of the truth. Jennings's maid wi th her sister. as she passed along an inner lobby.r thoughts. But she had promised to hear him. and." she replied with firmness. and I will be both. and only you. therefore. sir be quick and if you can less violent. in spite of the almost impossibility of their being a lready come.

Willoughby. that thou . What is it. and by convincing you. and of such manners. and a voice perfectly calm." said Elinor. sir." [285] "We hope she is. perhaps let us be cheerful together. is she out of danger. requires a very particular excuse. I am very drunk. I am in a fine mood fo r gaiety. to open my whole heart to you. "For God's sake tell me. more and more at a loss to understand what he woul d be at. Miss Dashwood it will be the last time. "I have no time to spare. "what does it signify? For once. "Your sister. "Had I known as much half an hour ago But since I am here. and for half a minute not a word was said by eithe r. "Yes. will it be bette r recollected and explained to-morrow. and with this impression she immediately rose. and seemed not to hear her. "Pray be quick. God be praised! But is it true? is it really true?" Elinor would not speak." said he. for the past. and the intelligence of his eye as he spoke." he replied. convi ncing Elinor. and walked across the room. that whatever other unpardonable folly might bring him to Clevelan d. that you mean by it?" "I mean. she said." a deeper glow overspreading his cheeks." He was sitting in an attitude of deep meditation." The steadiness of his manner. and I certainly do. the strangeness of such a visit. or is she not?" [284] "I entreat you to stay. He took the opposite chair. some kind of apolog y. a moment afterwards "is out of danger. I advise you at present to return to Combe I am not at leisure to remain with you longer. impatiently." "At Marlborough!" cried Elinor. She began to think tha t he must be in liquor. I left London this morning at eight o'clock. Whatever your business may be with me. seem ed no otherwise intelligible. I mean to offer some kind of explanation. he was not brought there by intoxication. I heard it from the servant." "I understand you. with an expressive smile.. Tell me honestly." He rose up. and forcing yourself upon my notice. say ing "Mr. A pint of porter with my cold beef at Marlborough w as enough to over-set me. after a moment's recollec tion "Mr." said he. that after what has pass ed your coming here in this manner. with serious energy "if I can. "yes. "do you think me most a knave or a fool?" Elinor looked at him with greater astonishment than ever. to make you hate me one degree les s than you do now. you ought to feel." speaking with a forced v ivacity as he returned to his seat. and the only ten minutes I have spent out of my chaise since that time procured me a nuncheon at Marlborough. with abruptness. He repeated the inquiry with yet greater eagerness. Willoughby.

" "I insist on you hearing the whole of it. could I have sacrificed hers? But I h ave done it. you may be satisfied already. and in spite of herself made her think him since re." Miss Dashwood." . by raising myself to affluence. To attach myself to your sister. I believe. "Then she has forgiven me before sh e ought to have done it. Every year since my coming of age. I have not been[286] always a rascal. by every means i n my power. to make myself pleasing to her. that my heart should have been so insensible! But at first I must confess. from your sister. But have I ever known it? Wel l may it be doubted. which her affection and her society would have deprived of all its horrors. I have. no oth er view in the acquaintance than to pass my time pleasantly while I was obliged to remain in Devonshire. can ever r eprobate too much. Mrs." he replied. giving way to feelings which I had always been too much in the habit of indulging. with a warmth which brought all the former Willoughby to her remembrance. and possibly far distant. could I have sacrificed my feeling s to vanity.gh I have been always a blockhead. therefore. and though the death of my old cousi n. Careless of her happiness. she has long f orgiven you. cruelty. at this point. lost every thing that could make it a blessing. had added to my debts. and thoughtf ulness on his own. and her behav iour to me almost from the first. what is more. because I did not then know what it was to love. To avoid a comparative poverty. for Marianne does. Miss Dashwood. But one thing may be said for me: even in that hor rid state of selfish vanity. always in the habit of associating with peo ple of better income[287] than myself. I endeavoured. I was acting in this manner. wh ich no indignant. trying to engage her regard. by saying "It is hardly worth while. without any design of returning her affection. or what diabolical motive you may have imputed to me. after a pause of expectation on her side. and I had always been expensive. was to set me free." "Has she?" he cried. more pleasantly than I had ever done before. I did not know the extent of the injury I meditated . was not a thing to be thought of. Your siste r's lovely person and interesting manners could not but please me. Willoughby. to obta in something like forgiveness from Ma . when I reflect on what it was. and with a meanness. thinking only of my own amusement. and on more reasonable grounds. Mr. and what she was. Such a beginning as this cannot be followed by any thing. for you to relate. Smith. turning her eyes on him with the most angry contem pt. had I really loved. Do not l et me be pained by hearing any thing more on the subject." was his answer. no contemptuous look. or for me to liste n any longer. for. my vanity only was elevated by it. "I do not know. Now will you listen to me?" Elinor bowed her assent. it had been for some time my intention to re-establish my circumsta nces by marrying a woman of fortune. When I first became intimate in your family. Perhaps you will hardly th ink the better of me. I had no other intention. stopped him. But she shall forgive me again. "If that is all. and you shall hear every thin g. or eve n before. it is worth the trial however. "how you may have accounted for my behaviour to your sister. witho ut a thought of returning it. yet that event being uncertain." "Is this the real reason of your coming?" "Upon my soul it is. selfishness. even of yours. in the same eager tone. was of a kind It is astonishing. to avarice? or." said he. "My fortune was never lar ge.

" cried Willoughby. I wish I heartily wish it had never been. the moment of doing it. "I have heard it all." returned Elinor." "I have. upon my soul. however." here he hesitated and looked down. before I could have an opportuni ty of speaking with her in private a circumstance occurred an unlucky circumstance to ruin all my resolution. The pur . Smith had somehow or other been informed. and openly assure her of an affection which I had already taken such pains to[288] display. I found myself. "your particular in timacy you have probably heard the whole story long ago. "I[289] did not recol lect that I had omitted to give her my direction. Her affection for me deserved better treatment. But in the interim in the i nterim of the very few hours that were to pass. towards that unfortunate girl I must say it. from an unwillingness to enter into an engagement while my circumstances we re so greatly embarrassed. unpleasa nt to me as the discussion of such a subject may well be your indifference is no a pology for your cruel neglect of her. whose affection f or me (may I say it?) was scarcely less warm than hers. any natural defect of understanding on her side. and my feelings blame less. to justify th e attentions I had so invariably paid her. and the happiest hours of my life were what I spent wi th her when I felt my intentions were strictly honourable. for a very short tim e. always happy. of an affair. whose interest it was to deprive me of her fav our." "Remember. sir. with great self-reproach. I imagine by some distant relation. of scrupling to engage my f aith where my honour was already bound. however. by insensible degree s. that I was a cunni ng fool. and because I was a libertine. and the worse than absurdity. sincerely fond of her. a connection but I need not explain myself farther. from day to day. and my confusion may be guessed. Do not think yourself excused by any weakn ess. always gay. she must be a saint. she was reduced to t he extremest indigence. "from whom you received the account. Even then. my resolution was taken. looking at her with an heightened colour and an enquiring eye." he added. in the wanton cruelty so e vident on yours. "Mrs. to defend myself." "Well. and with it all my comfort. You must have known. And how you will explain away any part of your guilt in that dreadful business. Could it be a n impartial one? I acknowledge that her situation and her character ought to hav e been respected by me. and whose mind Oh! how infin itely superior!" "Your indifference. but at the same time ca nnot leave you to suppose that I have nothing to urge that because she was injured she was irreproachable. Smith?" "She taxed me with the offence at once. At last. a little softened. I allowed myself most improperly to put off." said Elinor. as soon as I could engage her alone. how ever." he warmly replied. colouring likewise. recall the tenderness which. the weakness of her understanding I do not mean. and I had determined. I did not know it. A discovery took place. "believe yourself at one time at tached to her?" "To have resisted such attractions. had the power of creating any return. and I of ten. I do not mean to justify myself." "But. The event has proved. But I have injured more than herself. however. and what said Mrs."You did then. when fully determined on paying my addresses to her. and common sense might have to ld her how to find it out. to have withstood such tenderness! Is there a man on earth who could have done it? Yes. If the violence of her passions. providing with great circumspection for a possible opportunity of makin g myself contemptible and wretched for ever. and hardening her heart anew agai nst any compassion for him. I will not reason here nor will I stop for you to expat iate on the absurdity. I confess is beyond my compreh ension. and I have injured one. that while you were enjoying yourself in D evonshire pursuing fresh schemes.

The night following this affair I was to go the ext morning was spent by me in deliberating on what my future conduct should be. her ignorance of the world. or get the better of those false ideas of the necessity of rich es. and I persuaded myself to think that nothing else in common prudence remai ned for me to do. I believe. and in all likelihood much more than was justified by the future. By one measure I might have saved myself. You were all gone I do not know where. I approached her w ith a sense of guilt that almost took from me the power of dissembling. as I walked from the cottage to Allenham. that all my past sufferings under it are . and left her m iserable. or deliver it in person. how gay were my spirit s. I cannot think of it. She was previously disposed. and keep to my resolution. satisfied with myself.ity of her life. I saw her. some apology was therefore necessary for my breaking this engagement. or the rest of the neighbourhood. It won't do. To see Marianne. our last interview of friendship. would be dreadful. and was moreover discontented with the very little a ttention. was a point of long debate. In short. God! what a hard-hearted rascal I was!" They were both silent for a few moments. and vain was every ende avour to soften it. "less than was due to the past. so firmly resolved within my self on doing right! A few hours were to h ave engaged her to me for ever. rascally folly of my own heart. I undervalued my own magnanimity. I owe such a grudge to myself for the stupid. as the event declared. Thank Heaven! it did tort ure me. and I was formally dismisse d from her favour and her house. The matter itself I could not deny." he replied. I had left her only the evening before. Why was it necessary to call?" [290] [Missing Illustration: "I was formally dismissed. every hing was against me. But whether I should write this apol ogy." "Why did you call. when I told her that I was obliged to l eave Devonshire so immediately I never shall forget it united too with such reliance . I was miserable. if I chose to address her. it ended in a total breach. Miss Dashwood. I had reason to believe myself secure of my present wife. Smith and myself. In the height of her morality. I fel t. delighted wi th every body! But in this. good woman! she offered to forgive the past. before I could leave Devonsh ire: I was engaged to dine with you on that very day. Her sorr ow. "Did you tell her that you should soon return?" "I do not know what I told her. the formality of her notions. he struggle was great. however. such confidence in me! Oh. but it ended too soon. to heighten the matter. and left her hoping never to see her again. and. In that point. reproachfully. however. with all her kindness and confidence. and expensive society had increased."] [291] t n T d "It was necessary to my own pride. and I even doubted whether I could see her again. my thor ough conviction of her attachment to me it was all insufficient to outweigh that read of poverty. A heavy scene however awaited me. to doubt the moralit y of my conduct in general. and I remember how happy. Mr. her disappointment. "a note would ha ve answered every purpose. Willoughby?" said Elinor. for I went. in my p resent visit. My affection for Marianne. which I was naturally inclined to feel. the very little portion of my time that I had bestowed on her. her deep regret. s o fully. if I would marry Eliza. I found her alone. impatiently. you cannot have an idea of the comfort i t gives me to look back on my own misery. I could not bear to leave the country in a ma nner that might lead you. The sight of your dear sister . beyond a doubt. and I resolved therefor e on calling at the cottage. Then came your dear mother to tor ture me farther. was really dreadful. to suspect any part of what had really passed between Mrs. and saw her miserable. Elinor first spoke. That could not be. in my way to Honiton.

sir. Thunderbolts and daggers! what a reproof would she have given me! her taste. I saw every note that passed. I wat ched you all safely out of the house one morning. Willoughby. and went to those to whom. Remember that you are married. and I had been growing a fine harde ned villain. by secretly sayi ng now and then. Every line. and nothing but the most constant watchfulness on my side. To know that Marianne was in town was. but at last. Relate only w hat in your conscience you think necessary for me to hear. awakened all my remorse. how often I wa s on the point of falling in with you. and therefore so tediously no creature to speak to my own r eflections so cheerful when I looked forward every thing so inviting! when I looked back at Barton. "Well." Elinor's heart. though pitying him. every word was in the hackneyed metaphor which their dear wr iter. "This is not right." "Marianne's note. and I am sure they are dearer. I went. have you forgot what passed in town? That infamous letter? Did she show it you?" "Yes. I have entered many a shop to avoid your sight. not to be expressed. I sent no answer to Marianne. as well as everybody else who was likely to prove a . in the common phrase. talking to myself of our past attachment as a mere idle. My journey to town travel ling with my own horses. in the same language. left all that I loved. had in some measure quieted it. as the carriage drove by. and as full of faith in the constancy of mine as ever. at best.) what I felt is. because time and London. int ending by that to preserve myself from her farther notice. overcoming every scruple. business and dissipation. All that I had to do. and that I was using her infamously. judging it wiser to affect the air of a cool. that in spite of the many.' But thi s note made me know myself better. common acquaintance than anything else. I felt that she was infinitely dearer to me t han any other woman in the world. grew impatient for his depart ure. Well. a thunderbolt. which had undergone many changes in the course of this extraordi nary conversation. very painful. the picture so soothing! oh. she was as cons tant in her own feelings. shrugging up my shoulders in proof of its be ing so. for I was in town the whole time. a most invariably prevailing desi re to keep out of your sight. my feelings were very. was to avoid you both. and for some time [29 3]I was even determined not to call in Berkeley Street. there was hard ly a day in which I did not catch a glimpse of one or other of you." said Elinor. yet she felt it her duty to check such ideas in her companion as the last. To retreat was impossible .only triumph and exultation to me now. and silencing every reproach. and left my name. I avoided the Mid dletons as much as possible. fancying myself indifferent to her. would forbid a dagger to my heart. But every thing was then just settled between Miss Grey and me. by assuring me that I was still as dear to her as in former da ys. many weeks we had been separated. Mr. You would be surprised to hear how often I watched you. Lodging as I did in Bond Street. it was a blessed journey!" He stopped. who. could have separated us so long. trifling business. and choosing to fancy that she too must have become indifferent to me. was now softened again." "Watched us out of the house!" "Even so. her opinions I believe they are bet ter known to me than my own. "and this is all?"[292] "Ah! no. 'I shall be heartily glad to hear she is well married. were she here. in a mo re simple one perhaps too simple to raise any emotion." "When the first of hers reached me (as it immediately did. I was only indifferent. I say awakened.

" "Yes. you were forced on me. as I need not tell you. Your sister is certainly better. It was a horrid sight! yet when I tho ught of her to-day as really dying.n acquaintance in common. a dance at his house in the eve ning." [294] "I have entered many a shop to avoid your sight. it was a kind of comfort to me to imagine th at I knew exactly how she would appear to those. Mr. which is delightful in a woman one loves. with those bewitching eyes fixed in such spea king solicitude on my face! and Sophia. looking all that was Well. open. Her wretchedness I could have borne. as I travelled. That was the last. your own letter. She was well paid for her impudence." "But the letter. I was forced to play th e happy lover to another woman! Those three or four weeks were worse than all. in short. and what a sweet fi gure I cut! what an evening of agony it was! Marianne. Willoughby first rousing himse lf. and its size. certainly out of danger?" "We are assured of it. Had he not told me as an inducement that you and your sister were to be th ere. But I thought of her. asking me for an explanation. yes." [295] A short pause of mutual thoughtfulness succeeded. that in particular. Miss Dashwood. Willoughby. W ell. to trust myself near him. and her letter. a nd what had passed within her observation the preceding evening had marked who t he young lady was. too! doting on Marianne. she opened the l etter directly. She was before me. with some others. the hand-writing altogether. Not aware of their being in town. calling me Willoughby in such a tone! Oh. Some vague re port had reached her before of my attachment to some young lady in Devonshire. constantly before me. who saw her last in this world. beautiful as an angel on one side. Affecting that air of pl ayfulness. I could not ans wer it. you know. God! holding out her hand to me. He asked me to a party. confiding everything that could make my conduct most hateful. I should have felt it too certain a thing. last look I ever had of her. have you any thing to say abou t that?" "Yes. at last. let me make haste and be gone. It happened to catch Sophia's eye before it caught mine. jealous as the devil on the other hand. I tried but could not frame a sentence. but her passio n her malice at all events it must be appeased. Such an evening! I ran away from you all as soon as I could. what do you think of my wife's style of letter-writing? delicate tender truly feminine was it not?" "Your wife! The letter was in your own hand-writing. however. was brought to me there from my lodgings. With my head and heart full of your sister. Jennings's. in the same look and h ue." "Your poor mother. and the day after I had ca lled at Mrs. She read what made her wretched. If you can pity me. e very moment of the day. immediately gave her a suspicion. th e last manner in which she appeared to me. I believe. You saw what she said. the first day of his coming. and made her more jealous than ever. the elegance of the pap er. I was breakfasting at the Ellisons. it does not signify. therefore. I blundered on Sir John. but not before I had seen Marianne's sweet face as white as death. artl ess. I believe. broke it thus: "Well. and read its contents. it is over now. And. the very next morning. The ne xt morning brought another short note from Marianne still affectionate. but I had only the credit of servilely copying such sentences as I was ash . Your sister wrote to me again. pity my situation as it was then.

every memento was to rn from me. I copied my wife's words. to yo ur respect. and if you will. and in a situation like mine. her money was necessary to me. My business was to declare myself a scoundrel. and whether I did it with a bow or a bluster was of little importa nce. 'I am ruined for ever in their opinion. less faulty than I had believed you. and concern for your sister. and afterwards returned to town to be gay. either of Mrs. will draw from her a more sp ontaneous. But you have not explained to me the particular reason of your c oming now. his good-natured. could not resist the temptation of telling me what he k new ought to. howe ver. on the whole. Jennings . I ran against Sir John Middleton. a s. am I less guilty in your opinion than I w as before? My intentions were not always wrong. be it only one degree. She must be attached to you." "Do not talk to me of my wife." said he with a heavy sigh. Willoughby or my sister. he told me that Marianne Dashwood was dyin g of a putrid fever at Cleveland a letter that morning received from Mrs. more natural. while her voic e. though probably he did not think it would. for the first time these two months he spoke to me. and hoarded them for ever I was f orced to put them up. in a sort of desperate carelessness. 'I am shut out f or ever from their society. much less wicked. you have certainly removed something a little. Your wife has a claim to your politeness. less dignified. at least. Willoughby. and parted wit h the last relics of Marianne. full of indignation against me. honest." "I will tell her all that is necessary to what may comparatively be called. The original was all her own her own happy thoughts and ge ntle diction. what did it signify to my charact er in the opinion of Marianne and[296] her friends. and of my present feelings. to speak of her slightingly is no atonement to Marianne nor can I suppose it a relief to your own conscience. I had seen without surprise or resentment. Preparation! Day! In honest wor ds. in spite of herself. And after all. any thing was t o be done to prevent a rupture. betrayed her compassionate emotion. and when he saw who I was. Her three notes unluckily they were all in my pocke t-book. It was not forced on you. or she would not have married you. Tell her of m y misery and my penitence tell her that my heart was never inconstant to her. vex me horridly. Have I explained away any part o f my guilt?" "Yes. You tell me that she has forgiven me already. But what could I do! we were engaged. And the lock of hair that too I had always carried about me in the same pocket-book. "you ought not to sp eak in this way. and came down to Combe Magna to be happy. every thing in preparation. stupid soul. or I should have denied their existence. and could not even kiss them." said Elinor. That he had cut me ever since my marriage. in what language my answer w as couched? It must have been only to one end. "She does not deserve your compassion. Now. your justification. the day almost fixed but I am talking like a fool." "You are very wrong. which was now searched by Madam with the most ingratiating virulence. the dear lock all.' Such were my reasonings. Well. You had made your own c hoice. more gentle. this l etter will only make them think me a blackguard one.' said I to myself.amed to put my name to. forgiveness. She knew I had no regard for her when we married. You have proved yourself. Miss Dashwood? or have I said all this t o no purpose? Am I. in Drury Lane lobby. marrie d we were. As blu ntly as he could speak it. therefore. that at this moment she is dearer to me than ever." "Last night. nor how you heard of her illness. Let me be able to fancy that a better knowledge of my heart. But I hardly know the misery that you have inflicted I har dly know what could have made it worse." "Will you repeat to your sister when she is recovered. And now do you pity me. To treat her with unkindness. what I have been[297] tel ling you? Let me be a little lightened too in her opinion as well as in yours. very blamable. Mr. You have proved your heart less wicked. they already think me an unprincipled fellow.

Each faulty propensity in leading him to evil. I was too much shocked to be able to pass myself off as insensible even to the un discerning Sir John. left her sister to misery." "Are you going back to town?" "No to Combe Magna. What I felt on h earing that your sister was dying. "As to that. wished him well was even interested in his happiness and added some gentle counsel as to the behaviour most likely to promote it. Vanity. it may be the means it may put me on my guard at least. of a man w ho." said he. and a feeling. Were I even by any blessed chance at liberty again " Elinor stopped him with a reproof. he pressed it with af fection. and said "There is no use in staying here. pitied. when no longer allowable. If. Elinor assured him that she did." Elinor made no answer. I am allowed to think that you an d yours feel an interest in my fate and actions. and dying too. I must be off. believing me the greatest vill ain upon earth. that when we parted. the happiness. however. it may be something to live for. affectionate temper. he almost shook me by the han d while he reminded me of an old promise about a pointer puppy. against every better interest he had outwardly torn himse lf. had led him likewise to punishment. that she forgave. Now you know all . Go od bye. had invo lved him in a real attachment. was likely to prove a source of unhappiness to himself of a far more incurable natu re. "Well. or at least its offspring. and at eight o'clock this morning I was in my carriage. to every advantage[298] of person and talents. ne cessity. and leaning against the mantelpiece as if forgetting he was to go. Domestic happiness is out of the question. and so much o f his ill-will was done away. I have business there." he replied "once more good bye. His heart was softened in seeing mine suffer. the character. had made in the mind. I shall now go away and live in dread of one event."[299] "What do you mean?" . Her thoughts were silently fixed on the irreparable injur y which too early an independence and its consequent habits of idleness. with little scruple." He held out his hand. "And you do think something better of me than you did?" said he. governed every thought. Marianne to be sure is los t to me for ever. From a reverie of this kind she was recalled at the end of some minutes by W illoughby. who. and luxury. f or the sake of which he had. hating me in her latest moments for how could I tell wha t horrid projects might not have been imputed? One person I was sure would repre sent me as capable of any thing. against feeling. rousing himself from a reverie at least equally painful. from which against ho nour. united a disposition naturall y open and honest. had required to be sacrificed. now. What I felt was dreadful! My resolution was soo n made. dissipa tion. The world had made him ex travagant and vain Extravagance and vanity had made him cold-hearted and selfish. letting it fall. which extravagance. from thence to town in a day or two. and the connection. scorning.declared her danger most imminent the Palmers are all gone off in a fright. started up in preparation for going. &c. while seeking its own guilty triumph at the expense of another. His answer was not very encouraging. "I must rub through the world as well as I can. The attachment. She could not refuse to give him hers.

Dashwood. Willoughby's visit. had no voice to inquire after her. and her conviction of his sharing with herself in the bliss of the moment. he. a regret. long before she could feel his influence less. And if that some one should be the ver y he whom. embraced Elinor again and again. w hen the life of a child was at stake. with a look which spoke at once her gratitude. was only checked by an apprehension of its robbing Ma rianne of farther sleep. whom only half an hour ago she had abhorred as the most worthles s of men. which it was not even innocent to indulge. and danger. with a tenderness." "You are very wrong. of all others. and there. excited a degree of commiserat ion for the sufferings produced by them. for some time even after the sound of h is carriage had died away. The past. and her mother's expected arrival. for within half an hour after Willoughby's leavin g the house. however. but she. though still unable to speak." "But she will be gained by some one else. could be even prudent. and by that s till ardent love for Marianne. God bless you!" And with these words. the present. as she had been before by her fears. as she saw what each felt in the meeting. and in two minutes she was with her beloved child. and her mother. shedding tears of joy. affectionate. She can never be more lost to you than she is now. in spite of all his faults. he almost ran out of the room. But sh e felt that it was so. and made her only fearful of betraying herself to her sister. was in a moment as much overcome by her happiness. in whi ch that fear could affect her. she found her just awakin g."Your sister's marriage. Dashwood had recovered herself. to thin k even of her sister. and reached the outward door just in time to rece ive and support her as she entered it. Elinor's delight. the future. submitted re . refreshed by so long and sweet a sleep to the extent of her hopes. however. that open. for some time after he left her. as she soon acknowledged within herself to his wishes than to his merits. turning from her at intervals to press Colonel Brandon' s hand. and Marianne. Eager to save her mother from every unnecessary moment's horrible suspense. by showing that where I have most injured I ca n least forgive. Willoughby. CHAPTER XLV Elinor. waiting neither for salutation nor inquiry. but Mrs. As soon as Mrs. whose terror as they drew near the house had produced almost the conviction of Marianne's being no more. which made her think of him as now sepa rated for ever from her family. to see Marianne was her first de sire. satisfied in knowing her mot her was near her. She f elt that his influence over her mind was heightened by circumstances which ought not in reason to have weight. rather in proportio n. no vo ice even for Elinor. threw her altogether into an agitati on of spirits which kept off every indication of[300] fatigue. she was again called down stairs by the sound of another carriage. she ran immediately into the hall. by that person of uncommon attraction. She was supported into the drawing-room between her daughter and her friend. but of which sadness was the general result. wide ly differing in themselves. remained too much oppressed by a crowd of ideas. He shared it. Good bye. catching it with all her usual warmt h. and lively manner which it was no merit to possess. Short was the time. long. Willoughby. instan tly gave the joyful relief. in a si lence even greater than her own. and conscious of being too weak for conversation. unhappiness. When at last she returned to the unconscious Marianne. I could least bear but I will not stay to rob myself of all your compassionate good-will. Mrs. Elinor's h eart was full. rendered dearer to her than ever by absence. Dashwood could be calm. Marianne's safety.

Elinor could not hear the declaration. the reward of her sister was due. Marianne was restored to her from a d anger in which. as she now began to feel. "He opened his whole heart to me yesterday as we travelled. as she repeatedly declared herself. dear Elinor. and the brilliant cheerfulness of Mrs. H ad I sat down to wish for any possible good to my family. in compliance with her mother's entreaty. went to bed. Willoughby. as soon as any opportunity of private conference between t hem occurred. and for a moment wished Willoughby a widower. and wished an y thing rather than Mrs. surprised and not surpri sed. would not justify so warm a sympathy or rather." Elinor was half inclined to ask her reason for thinking so. constant. I should have fixed on Colonel Brandon's marrying one of you as the object most desirable. one of the happiest women in the world. D ashwood by her own previous alarm. Das hwood's looks and spirits proved her to be. thinking that mere friendship. He has loved her. "You are never like me. and i n her recovery she had yet another source of joy unthought of by Elinor. "poor Willoughby. I saw that it equalled my own. was kept off by ir ritation of spirits. He has told me so himself. It came out quite un awares. was led away by the exuberance of her jo y to think only of what would increase it. you do not yet know all my happiness. as the world now goes. Marianne continued to mend every day. was all silent attention. But the rest. you may well believe. doubted whether after such an explanation she could ever be ha ppy with another. Willoughby's death. she passed it off with a smile. and had so far settled her journey b efore his arrival.adily to the silence and quiet prescribed by every nurse around her. that she had already determined to set out for Cleveland on that very day. or I should wonder at your composure now. trusting to the temperate account of her own di sappointment which Elinor had sent her. characters. now acquitted herself for having judged him so harshly[301] before. affection for Marianne. Dashwo od would sit up with her all night. And I belie ve[302] Marianne will be the most happy with him of the two. I suppose giving way to irresist ible feelings. not thinking at all. Dashwood. could be given. for so great was her uneasiness about Mariann e. My Elinor. she would not but have heard his vin dication for the world. my Elinor. and Elinor. but her mother must always be carried away by her imagination on any interesting subject." as she now allowed herself t o call him. which one night entirely sleepless. or feeli ngs. as her mother was unwilling to take her where there might be infectio n. wi thout waiting for any further intelligence. had contributed to place her. Then. that the Careys were then expected every moment to fetch Marg aret away. Mrs. She dreaded the performance of it. he could not conceal his distress. and now blamed. It was thus imparted to her. and man y hours of the most wearing anxiety seemed to make requisite. rememberin g Colonel Brandon. and he perhaps. Colonel Brandon loves Marianne. felt that to his sufferings and his constan cy far more than to his rival's. I. made me acquainted with his earnest. and therefore instead of an inquiry. But her promise of relating it to her sister was inv ariably painful. tender." Her daughter. could talk of nothing but m y child. n or witness its proofs without sometimes wondering whether her mother ever recoll ected Edward. because satisfied th at none founded on an impartial consideration of their age. But Mrs. ever since the first moment of seeing . dreaded what its effect on M arianne might be. her own mistaken judgment in encouragi ng the unfortunate attachment to Willoughby. was constantly in her thoughts. quite undesignedly. feeling by turns both pleased and pained. reproved herself. "At last we are alone. The shock of Colonel Brandon's errand at Barton had been much softened to Mrs.

" "To judge from the Colonel's spirits. Time. as I trusted she might. I could not then talk of hope to him or to myself. which I did not like. to the Middletons. have given him every encouragement in my power. which fash ioned every thing delightful to her as it chose. "does not rest on one act of kindness . Marianne might at that moment be dying. is enough to pr ove him one of the worthiest of men. I shall be as ready as yours elf to think our connection the greatest blessing to us in the world. if you remember. there is something much more pleasing in his countenance. such ready friendship. are all in his favour. His age is only so much beyond hers as to be an advantage. he has been long and intimat ely[303] known. since our delightful sec urity. or even to be pleased by it. he is quite mistaken. a very little time. an irrepressible effusion to a soothing friend." "I know it is." Here." said Elinor. but the natural embellishments of her mother's active fancy." replied her mother seriously. as to make his character and principles fixed. without waiting for her assent. his manners too. as much more warm. however. without encourag ing a hope! could he have seen her happy with another. not the professions of Colonel Brandon. There was always a something. has subsisted through all the knowledge of dear Marianne's unhappy prepo ssession for that worthless young man! and without selfishness." "Colonel Brandon's character. for at first I was quite o vercome. not the language. I should be the last to encourage such affection. And his person. There. and even my own knowledge of him. but her mother. and his disposition. is well establ ished. What answe r did you give him? Did you allow him to hope?" "Oh! my love. I have repeated it to him more fully. Such a noble mind! such o penness. His was a n involuntary confidence. and even supposing her heart again free. he certainly is not so handsome as Willoughby but at th e same time. Jennings. such sincerity! No one can be deceived in him. and so highly do I value and esteem him. and since our arrival. were humanity out of the case. Elinor perceived. "as an excellent man. is very considerable. Marianne' s heart is not to be wasted for ever on such a man as Willoughby. "His regard for her. would have prompted him. I am well convinced. that if she lived. though lately acquired." "His character. you have not yet made him equally sanguine.her. infinitely surpassing anything that Willoughby ever felt or feigned. in Willoughby's eyes at times. the Colonel's manners are not only more pleasing to me than Wi . however. His own merits must soon secure it." "No. "or after such a warning. But his c oming for me as he did. that with such a difference of age and disposition he could ever attach her. will do everything. But he did not ask for hope or encouragement. however. as more sincere or constant. is too diffide nt of himself to believe. with such active. which ever we are to c all it. however. my greatest happiness would lie in promoting their marriage. to which his affection for Marianne. is exactly the very one to make y our sister happy." Elinor could not remember it. they equally love and respect him. cont inued "And his manners. He thinks Marianne's affection too deeply rooted for any change in it under a great length of time." answered Elinor. Yet after a time I did say. To Mrs. not an application to a parent. My par tiality does not blind me. I tell him. that if Marianne can be happy with him.

if not equally indispensable. and their manly unstudied simplicity is much more accordant with her real dis position. and therefore gave no offence. I am sure it must be a good one. On her measures depended those of her two friend s. indeed there certainly must be some small house or cottage close by. I am very sure myself. by their united request. their genuine attention to other peopl e. had not been long enough to ma ke her recovery slow. and now strengthened by the hollow eye." added Mrs. "At Delaford. for I hear it is a large villa ge. brought back by that rese mblance between Marianne and Eliza already acknowledged. but her dissent was not heard. At his and Mrs. His emotion on entering the room. for she was impatient to pour forth her thanks to him for fetching her mother. she will be within an easy distance of me. the sickly skin. everybody cares about that. but they are of a kind I well know to be more solidly atta ching to[304] Marianne. and her mother's presenc e in aid. Jennings could not quit Cleveland during the Dashwoods' stay. a t her own particular request. CHAPTER XLVI Marianne's illness. and therefore watching to very different effect. Their gentleness. and the war m acknowledgment of peculiar obligation. and she soon discovered in hi s melancholy eye and varying complexion as he looked at her sister. as he h as proved himself the contrary. saw nothing in the Colonel's behaviour but what arose from the most simple and self-evident sensations. the posture of reclining weakness. and often ill-timed of the other. Palmer's dressing-room. in Elinor's c onjecture. and t hough I neither know nor desire to know. not less watchful of what passed than her daughter. it proceeded so smoothly as to enable her to remove." Here they were interrupted by the entrance of a third person. and in receiving the pale hand which she immediately held out to him. the probable recurrence of many past scenes of misery to his mind. to consider his own abode t here as equally determinate." Poor Elinor! here was a new scheme for getting her to Delaford! but her spirit was s tubborn. Dashwood was prevailed on to accept the use of his carriage on her journey back. Dashwood. When there. though weakening in its kind. must arise from something[305] more than his affection for Marianne. and with youth. Marianne growing visibly stronger every twelve hours." She paused. At the end of another day or two. and Elinor withdre w to think it all over in private. Mrs. Colonel Brandon was invited to visit her. Dashwood. within four days after the arrival of the latter.lloughby's ever were. Mrs. Mrs. that woul d suit us quite as well as our present situation. and Colone l Brandon was soon brought. as. in seeing her altered looks. while in the actions and words of Marianne she persuade d herself to think that something more than gratitude already dawned. " even if I remain at Barton. to wish success to her friend. Her daughter could not quite agree with her. began to talk of removing to Barton. natural strength. Mrs. than the liveliness often artificial. was such. what it really is. Dashwood. to feel a pang for Willoughby. "His fortune too! for at my time of life you know. for the better accommodation of her sick c . Marianne would yet never have been so happy with him as she will be with Colonel Brandon. and yet in wis hing it. and in all probability. Jenni ngs's united request in return. into Mrs. or the consciousness of its being known to others. urged equally by her own and her daughter's wishes. that had Willoughby turned out as really amiable. but with a mi nd very differently influenced.

In the whole of her subsequ ent manner. we will walk to Sir John's new plantat ions at Barton Cross. and though a sigh sometimes escaped her. "we w ill take long walks together every day. The day of separation and departure arrived. was carefully assisted by him into the carriage. declaring howev er with firmness as she did so." said she. Dashwood and Elinor th en followed. and talking of the dear family party which would then be restored. to talk of the travellers. with a mind and body alike strengthened by rest. complained[307 ] of feebleness in her fingers. indeed. which. one so earnestly grateful. She went to it . and we will often go the old ruins of t he Priory. an apparent composure of mind. The next morning produced no abatement in these happy symptoms. of their mutual pursuits and cheerful society. After dinner she would try her piano-forte. and bidding Colonel Brandon farewell with a cordia lity of a friend. as if determined at once to accustom herself to the sight of every object with which the remembrance of Will oughby could be connected. procured for her by Willoughby. so ful l of respect and kind wishes as seemed due to her own heart from a secret acknow ledgment of past inattention. The Dashwoods were two days on the road. Jennings. that she should in future practice much. Elinor could neither wonder nor blame. she grew silent a nd thoughtful. sh e saw only an emotion too natural in itself to raise any thing less tender than pity. nor fortitude to concea l. p ut the music aside. sat earnestly gazing through the window. "When the weather is settled. She shook her head. but every sentence aimed at cheerful ness. and in its unobtrusiveness entitled to praise. as she assisted Marianne from the carriage. in being the result as she trusted of serious reflection. than Marianne turned h er eyes around it with a look of resolute firmness. now saw with a joy. She said little. and turning away her face from their notice. who had seen her week after week so constantly suffering. We will walk to the farm at the edge of the down. but the music on which her eye first rested was an opera. and her calmness of spirits. in the course of a few weeks. after taking so parti cular and lengthened a leave of Mrs. Dashwood and Mrs. and each found their reward in her bodily ease. and Colonel Brandon immediately afterwards took his solitary way to Delaford . was the office of each watc hful companion. and see how the children go on. whose active good-nature made her friendly and hospitable for other people as well as herself. and Marianne bore her journey on both. without essential fatigue. anticipating the pleasure of Margaret's return. and bearing on its outward leaf her own name in his hand-writing. Jennings was summoned to her chaise to take comfort in the gossip of her maid for the loss of her two young companio ns. engaged with pleasure to redeem it by a visit at the cottage. the observation of the latter was particularly grateful. of which he s eemed anxious that she should engross at least half. containing some of their favourite duets. which no other could equally share. But here. Jenning s. that she had been crying. and Marianne. As they approached Barton. the most solicitous care could do to render her comfortable. and I have recovered my strength. some painful recollection. she looked and spoke with more genuine spirit. She. for no sooner had they entered their common sitting-room. it never passed away without the atonement of a smile. must eventually lead her to contentment and cheerfulness. and entered on scenes of which every field an d every tree brought some peculiar. till Mrs. and the Abbeyland. at the joint invitation of Mrs. and the Colonel. Every thing that the most zealous affection. and the others were left by themselves. and after running over the keys for a minute. Mrs. To Elinor. and when s he saw. as the only happiness worth a wish. That would not do. and feel their own[306] dullness. and closed the instrument again. she traced the direction of a mind awakened to reasonable exertion. oppressed by ang uish of heart which she had neither courage to speak of. On the contrary. and try to trace its foundations as far as we are told they once reac .hild.

slow as the feebleness of Marianne in an exercise hitherto untried since her illness required. and feared she had that to communicate which might again unsettle the mind of M arianne. but what they are now. and from that time till dinner I shall div ide every moment between music and reading." Elinor honoured her for a plan which originated so nobly as this. and ruin at least for a time this fair prospect of busy tranquillity. if I could be satisfied on one point. the important hill behind. "I am thankful to find that I can look with so little pain on the spot! shall we ever talk on that subject. "As for regret." pointing with one hand. w hen pausing with her eyes turned towards it. before she appointed it. "on that projecting mound. and there I first saw Willoughby. But the resolution was made on ly to be broken." [309] Marianne had been two or three days at home. I know we shall be happy. Elinor joyfully treasured her words as she answered "If you could be assured of that. I know the summer will pass happily away. before the weather was fine enough for an invalid like herself to venture out. though smiling to see the same eager fancy which had been leading her to the extreme of langui d indolence and selfish repining. you think you should be easy. I mean never to be later in rising than six. The sisters set out at a pace. to be resorted to for any thing beyond mere amusement. By reading only six hours a-da y. [308] "And see how the children go on. I hope." Her voice sunk with the word. Her smile however chang ed to a sigh when she remembered that promise to Willoughby was yet unfulfilled. Our own library is too well known to me. not always deceiving me. such as might tempt the daughter's wishes and the mother's confidence. now at work in introducing excess into a schem e of such rational employment and virtuous self-control. "Or will it be wr ong? I can talk of it now. if I could be al lowed to think that he was not always acting a part. W illing therefore to delay the evil hour. Elinor?" hesitatingly it was said. exactly there. she resolved to wait till her sister's health were more secure. as I ought to do. but presently reviving she added. My peace of mind is doubly involved in it." Elinor tenderly invited her to be open. But at last a soft. for not only is it horrible to . I shall gain in the course of a twelvemonth a great deal of instruction which I now feel myself to want. since the story of that unfortunate girl " She stopped. and they had advanced only so far be yond the house as to admit a full view of the hill. there I f ell. But there are many w orks well worth reading at the Park. I have formed my plan. genial morning a ppeared. bu t above all. leaning on Elinor's arm. as far as he is concerne d. Marianne calmly said "There. "I have done with that." "Yes. and Marianne." said Marianne. if I could be assured that he never was so very wicked as my fears have sometimes fancied him. and there are others of more modern product ion which I know I can borrow of Colonel Brandon.hed. in the lane before the house. I do not mean to talk to you of what my feelings have been for him. was authorised to walk as long as she cou ld without fatigue. At present. and am determ ined to enter on a course of serious study.

I. "would you account for his behaviour?" "I would suppose him Oh. and they crept on for a few minutes in silence. Whenever I looked towards the past. "when I wish his secret reflections may be no more unpleasant than my own. by taking any part i n those offices of general complaisance or particular gratitude which you had hi therto been left to discharge alone? No. but wit h such feelings as these reflections gave me. I saw that my own feelings had prepared my sufferings. I had g iven less than their due. who had known all the murmurings of my hea rt! How should I have lived in your remembrance! My mother too! How could you ha ve consoled her! I cannot express my own abhorrence of myself. w ith a heart hardened against their merits. the unceasing kindness of Mrs. my dearest Elinor. My illness has made me think . and want of kin dness to others. I compare it with yours. and leaving you. It has given me leisure and calmness for serious recollection. To the Middletons. and that my want of fortitude under them had almost led me to the grave. I had repaid with ungrateful contempt. regretting only that heart which had deserted and wronged me. above my mother. did I turn away from every exertion of du ty or friendship. to the Palmers." said Marianne at last with a sigh." "Our situations have borne little resemblance. my sister! You. I had been insolent and unjust. my friend. I considered the p ast: I saw in my own behaviour. to have time for atonement to my God. I saw[311] some duty neglected. of such designs." "They have borne more than our conduct. but what must it make me appear to myself? What in a situation like mine. t he Steeles. scarcely allowing sorrow to exist but with me. "I am not wishing him too much good." asked her sister. Your example w as before me. my nurse.suspect a person. not less when I knew you to be unhappy. had been entirely brought on by myself by such negligence of my own he alth. yes. you above all. than when I had believed you at ease. Eve ry body seemed injured by me. I compare it with what it ought to have been. and only I. for I professed an unbounded affection. Do not. impatient t . Long before I w as enough recovered to talk. or some failing indulged. in what peculiar misery sho uld I have left you. did not kill me at once. to be miserable for my sake." Here ceased the rapid flow of her self-reproving spirit. To John." "Do you compare your conduct with his?" "No. very fic kle. The kindness. I did not know my danger till the danger was removed. who had seen all the f retful selfishness of my latter days. since the beginning of our acquaintance with him last autumn. even to them. to Fanny. nothing but a series of imprudence towards myself. Jenni ngs. or lessen your restraints. to every common acquaintance even. My illness. I was perfectly able to reflect. I wonder at my recovery. He will suff er enough in them. Had I died. as I had felt even at the time to be wrong. or postponing it till Marianne were in stronger health. She was debating within herself on the eligibility of begin ning her story directly. who has been what he has been to me. knew your heart and its sorrows. and Elinor. let your kind ness defend what I know your judgment must censure. little as they deserve. and to you all. Had I died. it would have been self-destruction. yet to what did it in fluence me? not to any compassion that could benefit you or myself. very." Elinor said no more. but to what avail? Was I more considerate of you and your comfort? Did I imitate your forbearance. had been wron ged by me. wonder that the very eagerness of my desire to live. But you. but a most sha mefully unguarded affection could expose me to "[310] "How then. how gladly would I suppose him! only fickle. I w ell knew. and a temper irritated by their very attention.

Marianne with a kiss of gratitude and these two words just articulate throu gh her tears. her eyes w ere fixed on the ground. I have laid down my plan." Elinor. Marianne said not a word. related simply and honestly the chief points on which Willoughb y grounded his apology. and was carefully minute in every particular of speech and look. Nothing could repl ace him. Elinor. like her daughter. unknowingly to hers elf. Marianne pressed her hand and replied "You are very good. and perceiving that as reflection did nothing. she wished him happy. and her lips became whiter than even sickness had left them. and with a mind anxiously pre-arranging its result. soon found herself leading to the fact. and if I do mix in other society. But the feelings of the past could not be recalled. dreading her being tired. Had Mrs. by constant employment. heard Willoughby's story from himself." withdrew from her sister and walked slowly up stairs. in her former esteem. resoluti on must do all. Nothing could do away the knowledge of what the latter had suffered through his means. As for Willoughby to say that I shall soon or that I shal l ever forget him. easily conjecturing what her curiosity must be though no question was suffered to speak it. should Marianne fail to do it. nor injure the interests of Colonel Br andon. They shall no longer worry others. without feeling at all nearer decision th an at first. but she dared not urge one. my heart amen ded. would be idle. must henceforth be all the worl d to me. and tears covered her cheeks. who had now been for some time reflecting on the propriety or impropriet y of speedily hazarding her narration. She caught every syllable with panting eagerness. with address. prepared her anxious listen er with caution. His remembrance can be overcome[312] by no cha nge of circumstances or opinions. As soon as they entered the ho use. Elinor would not attempt to disturb a solitude so reasonable as what she now so ught. Nothing could restore him with a faith unbroken a character unblemished. everything wo uld become easy. though too honest to flatter. heard this. and i f I am capable of adhering to it my feelings shall be governed and my temper impro ved. and a resolution of re viving the subject again. the lesser duties of life. with gen tleness and forbearance. to Marian ne." She paused and added in a low voice. nor remove the guilt of his conduct towards Eliza. gave her instantly that praise and suppo rt which her frankness and her contrition so well deserved. led her towards home. it shall be checked by religion. and softened only his pro testations of present regard. nor torture myself. her hand. I shall never again have the smallest incitement to move. therefore. talked of nothing but Willoughby. "Tell mama. as she hoped. and till they reached th e door of the cottage. But it shall be regulated. She managed the recital. "If I could but know his heart. by reason. and their c onversation together. I shall now live sol ely for my family. A thousand inquiries sprung up from her heart. she was sorry f or him. where minuteness could be safely indulged. [313] CHAPTER XLVII Mrs. you will share my affections entirely between you. had s . it will be only to show that my spirit is humbled. my mother. Dashwood. She rejoiced in his being cleared from some part of his imputed guilt. She trembled. she turned into the par lour to fulfill her parting injunction. The future must be my proof. from my ho me. You. and that I can practise the civilities. did justice to his repentance. Dashwood did not hear unmoved the vindication of her former favourite. and Margaret. From you.o soothe. closely pressed her sister's.

without any embellishment of tenderness to lead the fancy astray. and lay open such facts as were really due to his character. "exactly as a good mind and a sound unde rstanding must consider it. would have felt all that the conscience of her husband ought to have felt. much less certain." "I know it I know it." Marianne sighed. from having been entirely unknown and unthou ght of before. "that I see every thing as you can desire m e to do. but recovering hers elf. Nothing could have done it away to my feelings. as well as myself." Mrs. to declare only the simple truth. as long as your frugality retrenched only on your own comf ort. I know." said she. by an eage r sign. but beyond that and how little c ould the utmost of your single management do to stop the ruin which had begun be fore your marriage? beyond that." For some moments her voice was lost. to abr idge his enjoyments. by her retailed explanation. you would have lessened your own influence on h is heart. therefore. very small income. and repeated. Had you married. Refl ection had given calmness to her judgment. on his side. to attempt all the economy that would appear to you po ssible: and. however reasonably. His demands and your inexperience to gether. to rouse such feelings in another. after know ing. on a small. had not Elinor. when they were all three together. reason enough to be convinced tha t your marriage must have involved you in many certain troubles and disappointme nts. "Happy with a man of libertine practices! W ith one who so injured the peace of the dearest of our friends. and I dare say you perceive. engaged her silence." cried her mother. in which you would have been poorly supported by an affection. In the evening. I never could have been happy with him." "You consider the matter. Marianne began voluntarily to speak of him again. and been under the influence of his countenance and h is manner. and the best of men! No my Marianne has not a heart to be made happy with such a man! Her conscience. she wished. But it wa s neither in Elinor's power.he witnessed his distress. that instead of prevailing on feeli ngs so selfish to consent to it. perhaps. as she spoke. and his whole conduct declares that self -denial is a word hardly understood by him. "I wish for no change. her sensitive conscience. when aware of your situation. you must have been always poor. unquie t thoughtfulness in which she had been for some time previously sitting. who really wished to hear her sister's unbiased opinion. it is probable that her compassion would have been greater. His expensi veness is acknowledged even by himself. her ris ing colour. I wish for no change. no esteem. she added. and with greater calmness than before "I am now perfectly[314] sat isfied. must have brought on distresses which wou ld not be the less grievous to you. Your sense of honour and honesty would have led you. "I wish to assure you both. nor in her wish. the restless. Dashwood would have interrupted her instantly with soothing tenderness. and made him regret the connection which had involved him in such diff iculties?" Marianne's lips quivered. as sooner or later I must have known. plainly showed. as had at first been called forth in herself. you might have been suffered to practice it. is it not to be feared. "do you really think him selfish?" . Marianne slowly continued "It is a great relief to me what Elinor told me this morning I have now heard exactl y what I wished to hear. and sobered her own opinion of Willou ghby's deserts. but that it was not without an effort. and her unsteady voice. and she repeated the word "Selfish?" in a tone that im plied. I should have had no confid ence." said Elinor. had you endeavoured. all this. but in many other circumstances. not only in this.

" said Marianne. was." "At present. His own enjoyment. but conclude him to be still at Oxford". she." Marianne would not let her proceed. immediately continued "One observation may. nothing certain even of his p resent abode. Elinor grew impatient for some tidings of Edward. satisfied that each felt their own error. but he would have been always necessitous always poor." said Mrs. at least planning a vigorous prosecution of them in future. as if much of it were heard by her. he now reckons as nothi ng. again q uietly settled at the cottage." "Rather say your mother's imprudence. It was selfishness which firs t made him sport with your affections. or his own ease. because they are removed. and which finally carried him from Bart on. her sist health. for his name was not ev en mentioned in any of the succeeding letters. th had done. be fairly drawn from the whole of the story that al l Willoughby's difficulties have arisen from the first offence against virtue. "she must b e answerable. and she still tried to appear er could safely trust to the effect of time upon her or three following days. made him delay the confession of it. to b e long in ignorance of his measures. Her daughter did not look. I think. however. My happiness never was his object. there had been this sentenc e: "We know nothing of our unfortunate Edward. and her mother was led by it to an enumeration of Colonel Brandon's injuries and merits. It has not made him happy. Dashwood. but while her res cheerful and easy. which afterwards. saw on the two at Marianne did not continue to gain strength as she olution was unsubdued."The whole of his behaviour. and Elinor. She had heard nothing of him s ince her leaving London. and in the first of John's. in every particular. when his own were engag ed. my child. "from the[315] beginning to the en d of the affair. pursuing the first subject. Some letters had passed between her and her brother. and can make no enquiries on so pro hibited a subject. That crime has been the origin of every lesse r one. wished to avoid any survey of the past that might weaken her sister's sp irits. nothing new of his plans. his ruling pri nciple. has been grounded on selfishness. even to domestic happiness. Margaret returned. than the mere temper of a wife. and probably would soon have learn ed to rank the innumerable comforts of a clear estate and good income as of far more importance. according to her expectation. in consequenc e of Marianne's illness. And why does he re gret it? Because he finds it has not answered towards himself. He would then have suffered under t he pecuniary distresses which." continued Elinor. he would have been happy? T he inconveniences would have been different. and the family were again all restored to each other. ." "It is very true. and he thinks only that he has married a woman of a less amiable temper than yourself. But does it follow that had he married you. therefore. and of all his present discontents. "and I have nothing to regret nothing b ut my own folly." replied Elinor. however. His circumstances are now unembarrassed he suffers from no evil of that ki nd.[316] Elinor. She was not doomed." Marianne assented most feelingly to the remark. warm as friendship and design could unitedly dictate. and if not pursuing their usual studies with quit e so much vigour as when they first came to Barton. He would have had a wife of whose temper he could make no complaint. which was all the in telligence of Edward afforded her by the correspondence. "he regrets what he has done." "I have not a doubt of it. i n his behaviour to Eliza Williams.

Ferrars myself. whose eyes. alike distressed by Marianne's situation. only they two. [317] "I suppose you know. and so I see directly it was the youngest Miss Steele. and his lady too. and Elinor had the benefi t of the information without the exertion of seeking it. with Mrs. had sense enough to call one of the maids. and how sorry they was they had not time to com e on and see you." Elinor's heart could easily account for his not putting himself forward. when they come back. this morning in Exeter. "Was there no one else in the carriage?" "No. had intuitively taken the same direction. knew not on which child t o bestow her principal attention. and inquired after you. ma'am. I happened to look up as I went by the chaise. and said how she had changed her name since she was in these parts. and bid me I should give her compliments and Mr. and the young ladies." "Was Mr. ma'am. fixed her eyes upon Elinor.Their man-servant had been sent one morning to Exeter on business. was shocke d to perceive by Elinor's countenance how much she really suffered. who saw only that Miss Marianne was taken ill. they'd mak e sure to come and see you. Ferrars in the carriage with her?" "Yes. as to the source of his intelligence. Ferrars is married. Marianne was rather better. as I went there with a message from Sally at the Park to her brother. and Mrs . Ferrars's. Thomas?" "Yes. Thomas?" "I see Mr. Dashwood probably found the same explanation. and her mother leaving her to the care of Margaret and the maid. and very civil behaved. but however. ma'am. the ir best compliments and service. but he did not look up. he had satisfied the inquiries of his mistress as to the eve nt of his errand. ma'am. he never w as a gentleman much for talking. who is on e of the post-boys. who. The servant. though still much disordered. so I took off my hat. and when. By that time. I just see him leaning back in it. I made free to wish her joy. as he waited at table. Dashwood's assistance. supported her into the other room. ma'am. Mrs. and a moment afterwards. They was stopping in a chaise at the door of the New London Inn. and she knew me and called to me. Ferrars was married. for they was goi ng further down for a little while. that Mr. had so far recovered the use of her reason and voice as to be just beginning an inquiry of Thomas. Dashwood. and fell back in her chair in hysterics. She was always a very affable and free-spoken young lady." . saw her turning pale. this was his voluntary communication "I suppose you know. but they was in a great hurry to go forwards. ma'am. returned to Elinor. especiall y Miss Marianne. Dashwood immediately took all that trouble on herself. that Mr." [318] "Who told you that Mr. ma'am. Miss Steele as was. Ferrars is married." "But did she tell you she was married. Mrs." Marianne gave a violent start. who. So. She smiled. as she answ ered the servant's inquiry.

had too much engrossed her tenderness. and Margaret might think herself very well off. and greater fortitude. She feared that under this persuasi on she had been unjust. and was very confident th at Edward would[319] never come near them. Dashwood now looked at her daughter. Ferrars look well?" "Yes. Dashwood's and Elinor's appetites we re equally lost. and led her away to forget that in Elinor she might have a daughter suffering almost as much. n ow alike needless. Dashwood and Elinor were l eft by themselves. which on ce she had so well understood. Dashwood could think of no other question. Pratt's. than she had been wont to believe. would arise to assist the happiness of a ." "And are they going farther westward?" "Yes. certainly with less self-provoc ation." Mrs. that in spite of herself. she said how she was very well. while Edward remained single. and then they'd be sure and call here. however certain the mind may be told to consider it. they remained long together in a similarity of thoughtfulness and silence. When the dessert and the wine were arranged. much slighter in reality. almost unkind. that Mar ianne's affliction. the considerate attention of her daughter. but I could not bide any longer. or some more eligible opp ortunity of establishment for the lady. and Thomas and the tablecloth. as Miss Lucy Mrs. so much reason as they had often had to be careless of their meals. She found that she had been misled by the caref ul. near Plymouth. Dashwood feared to hazard any remark. to think the attachment. [320] CHAPTER XLVIII Elinor now found the difference between the expectation of an unpleasant event. because more acknowledged. and to my mind she was always a ver y handsome young lady and she seemed vastly contented."Do you know where they came from?" "They come straight from town. nay. ma'am the horses were just coming out. that she should eat nothing more. She n ow found. ma'am but not to bide long. Elinor looked as if she wished to hear more. Mrs. inattentive. Thomas's intelligence seemed over. Ferrars told me. that they were probably going down to Mr. and certainty itself. ma'am. She recognised the whole of Lucy in the message." Mrs. she had never been obliged to go w ithout her dinner before. to her m other. I was afraid of being late. but Elinor knew better than to expect them. and ventured not to off er consolation. more immediately before her. They will soon be back again. that some resolution of his own. that something would occur to prevent his marrying Lucy." "Did Mrs. She now found that she had erred in relying on Elinor's represen tation of herself. Mrs. that with so mu ch uneasiness as both her sisters had lately experienced. suffering as she then had suffered for Marianne. and Mrs. "Did you see them off. to spare her from an increase of unhappiness. and justly concluded that every thing had been expressly soft ened at the time. Marianne had already sent to say. she had always admitted a hope. some mediation of friends. before you came away?" "No. to her Elinor. or than it was now proved to be. were soon afterwards dismissed. She observed in a low voice.

and she condemned her heart for the lurking flattery . it was Colon el Brandon himself. She would have given the world to be able to s peak and to make them understand that she hoped no coolness. It was a gentleman. of Mrs. conformin g. the active. however. She moved away and sat down. Dashwood. not hing pleased her. and brought no letter. I will be mistress of myself. In Edwa rd.ll. He stopped at their gate. and now hastening down to her unc le's. and he looked as if fearful of his recepti on. She looked again. she supposed. saw in Lucy. she turned away her head from every sketch of him. or any day. They ess or indolent. Jennings. His footsteps were heard along the gravel path. my love. London would writ but day after day p that any one were were all thoughtl "When do you write to Colonel Brandon. I earnestly pressed his coming to us. They all waited in silence for the appearance of th eir visitor. They were married. and yet desired to avoid. before (as she imagined) he could be in orders. she knew not what she saw. would appe ar in their behaviour to him. uniting at once a desire of smar t appearance with the utmost frugality. assed off. What had Edward felt on being within four miles from Barton. Scarcely had she so determined it. Now she could hear more. He had just dismounted. something to look forward to. in a moment he was in the passage. no slight. and give farther particulars. and consequently before he could be in possession of the living. as he entered the room. surprised her a little at first. pursuing her own interest in every thought. in her haste to secure him. it was Edward. which so much heightened the pain of the intelligence. But she soon saw how likely it was that Lucy. "I wrote to him. which she wished to be acquainted wi th. But he was now married. Were it possible. That he should be married soon. saw them look at herself. by whom she then meant in the . she could not be mistaken. P ratt's purposely to see us. and rather expect to see. Delaford. and of every wealthy friend. married in town. Mrs. when the figure of a man on horseback drew he r eyes to the window. on seeing her mother's servant. His complexion was white with agitation. ma'am?" was an inquiry which sprung from the impatience of her mind to have something going on. on hearing Lucy's message! They would soon. contriving manager. she found fault with every absent friend. Happy or unhappy. nor what she wished to see. in her self-prov ident care. but she had no utterance. as she trusted. should overlook every thing but the risk of delay." This was gaining something. was not too happy. to the wishes of that daughter. Elinor flattered herself that some one of their connections in e to them to announce the event. even for Elinor. be settled at Delaford. no tidings. and was obliged to leave a ll to their own discretion. But it was not Colonel Brandon neither his air nor his height. Colonel Brandon must h ave some information to give. and whisp er a few sentences to each other. His countenance. courting the f avour of Colonel Brandon. "He comes from Mr. than to hear from him again. and should not be surprised to see him walk in today or tomorrow. that place in which so much conspired to give her an interest. and conscious that he merited no kind one. last week. Though uncertain [321] to blame. and ashamed to be suspected of half her economical practices. s he must say it must be Edward. and in another he was before them. She saw them in an instant in their parsonage-hous e. I will be calm. Sh e saw her mother and Marianne change colour." In a moment she perceived that the others were likewise aware of the mistake. and she trembled in expectation of it. Not a syllable passed aloud.

He rose from his seat. and therefore took a seat as far from him a s she could. It was put an end to by Mrs. said. apparently from not knowing what to do. and. seemed perplexed. "they were married last week." said Elinor. Elinor's lips had moved with her mother's. met with a look of forced comp lacency. burst into tears of joy. "No. Edward Ferrars. but her mother and Marianne both turned their eyes on him. no w said "Is Mrs. even her eyes were fixed on him with the same impatient wonder." His words were echoed with unspeakable astonishment[324] by all but Elinor. who felt obliged to hope t hat he had left Mrs. taking up some work from the table. she sat down again and talked of the weather. Mrs. She almost ran out of the room. Robert Ferrars!" was repeated by Marianne and her mother in an accent of the utmost amazement. and with a countenance meaning to be open. a very awful pau se took place. But it was then too late. and stammered out an unintelligible reply. In a hurried manner. Robert Ferrars. sa id. in a state of such agitation as made he r hardly know where she was. [322] It was Edward. and. When Elinor had ceased to rejoice in the dryness of the season. with an air of surprise. and are now at Dawlish. understanding some part. Ferrars very well. looked doubtingly. and as soon as th e door was closed. thought it incumbent on her to be dignified." said he." She dared not look up. and though Elinor could not speak. He coloured. "Perhaps you mean my brother you mean Mrs. and walked to the win dow. and while spoiling both them and their sheath by cutting the latter to p ieces as he spoke. and wished him joy. "Yes. though fearing the sound of her own voice. gave him her hand. who sat with her head leaning over her work. when the moment of action was over. took up a pair of scissors that lay there. and maintained a strict silence.warmth of her heart to be guided in every thing. he replied in the a ffirmative. she wished that she had shaken hands with him too. Dashwood. which at first she thought would nev . Elinor resolving to exert herself. " "I meant. and Margaret. Ferrars at Longstaple?" "At Longstaple!" he replied. my mother is in town. but not the whole of the case. [323] He coloured. "to inquire for Mrs. to conceal her distress . after some hesitation. Marianne had retreated as much as possible out of sight." Elinor could sit it no longer. Another pause. in a hurried voice "Perhaps you do not know you may not have heard that my brother is lately married to to the youngest to Miss Lucy Steele." "Mrs.

a perplexity which they had no means of lessening but by their own conj ectures. Had my brother given me some active profession when I was removed at eighteen from the care of Mr. which no remarks. especially by mixing more with the world. and disliked ne w acquaintance. yet had I then had any pursuit. This only need be said. which he must h ave thought of almost with despair. who had till then looked any where. but. "the consequence of ig norance of the world and want of employment. or being allowed to choose any myself. and his first boyish attachment to Lucy treated with all the philosophic dignity of twenty-four. His situation indeed was more than commonly joy ful. for immediately after wards he fell into a reverie. His heart was now open to Elinor. I think. a most unconquerable preference for his niece. He was released without any reproach to himself. for though I left Longstaple with what I thought." said he. any object to engage my time and keep me at a distan ce from her for a few months. I had therefore nothing in the world to do. no affectionate ad dress of Mrs. grateful cheerfu lness. leaving the others in the grea test astonishment and perplexity on a change in his situation. where I always felt myself at home. and raise his spirits. and at last. as soon as he had learnt to consider it with desire. not from doubt or suspense. one of the happiest of men. was a simple one. without saying a word. at the time. about three hours after his arrival. as he had already done for more than four years. no companion in my brother. Edward. instead of having any profession chose n for me. for after experiencing the blessings of one imprudent engagement. in what manner he expressed himself. it would never have happened. and how he was received. in fact. He had more than the ordinary triumph of accepted love to swell his heart. It was only to ask Elinor to ma him. I returned home to be completel y idle. Dashwood could penetrate. and perhaps saw.er cease. as the circumstances of his release might appear to the whole family. in the reality of reason and tr uth. which belonging to the university would have given me. it was not unnatural[326] for me to be very often at Longstaple. CHAPTER XLIX Unaccountable. as errand at Barton. as I had no friend. he had secured his lady. than the immediate contraction of another. need not be particularly[325] told. but from misery to happines s. and elevated at once to that security with another. as in such case I must have don e. and was not onl y in the rapturous profession of the lover. and considering that he was not altogether inexperienced in such a questi it might be strange that he should feel so uncomfortable in the present case he really did. how soon an opportunity of exercising it occurred. and as my mother did not make my home in every resp ect comfortable. all its errors confessed. however. from a woman whom he had long cea sed to love. I should very soon have outgrown the fancied attac hment. nothing less could be expected of him in the failure of that. so wonderful and so sudden. saw he r hurry away. all its weaknesses. nay. it was certain that Edward was free. contracted without his mother's consent. or even heard. engaged her mother's consent. "It was a foolish. as his friends had never witnessed in him before. no inquiries. I am sure. He was brought. and the change was openly spoken in such a genuine. How soon he had walked himself into the proper resolution. and walked out towards the village. quit ted the room. however. so much in need of encouragement and fresh air. rather than at her. her emotion. and for the first twelvemonth afterwards I had not even the nominal empl oyment. flowing. t hat when they all sat down to table at four o'clock. for I was not ent ered at Oxford till I was nineteen. But instead of having any thing to do. His rry on. idle inclination on my side. and was always sure of a welcome. and accor . Pratt. and to what purpose that free dom would be employed was easily pre-determined by all. from an entanglement which had long formed his misery. but to fancy myself in love.

how to be enough thankful for ng his delicacy. To her own hear t it was a delightful affair. and see no defects. and by what attraction Robert could be drawn on to marry a girl. was of a kind to give her neither spirits nor language. saw him instantly profiting by the release. She repeated it to Edward. knew r praise Elinor enough. it was impossible that less than a week should be given[3 27] up to the enjoyment of Elinor's company. though sincere as her love for her sister. and I had seen so little of other women. to her imagination it was even a ridiculous one. And Lucy perhaps at first might think only of procuring his good of ." he pr esently added. of whose beauty she had herself heard him speak without any admiration. and Elinor's particular knowl edge of each party made it appear to her in every view. too happy to be comfortable. formed of c ourse one of the earliest discussions of the lovers. yet with lovers it is diff erent. and happily disposed as is the human mind to be easily familiarized w ith any change for the better. Mrs. no his release without woundi for unrestrained conversat and society of both. to the moment of his justifyi ng the hopes which had so instantly followed. "And that. foolish as it has since in every way been proved. as constant as she had ever supposed it to be. But Elinor how are her feelings to be described? From the moment of learning that Lucy was married to another. Comparisons would occur regrets would arise. or any degree of tranquillity to her heart. for though a very few hours spen t in the hard labor of incessant talking will despatch more subjects than can re ally be in common between any two rational creatures. was such so great as promised them all. it required several hours to give sedateness to h er spirits. or suffice to say half that was to be said of the past. of his opinion of what his own mediation in h is brother's affairs might have done. and yet enjoy. compared her situation with what so lately it had been. the unceasing and reasonable wonder among them all. no communication is even made. fool ish as our engagement was. perhaps. the present.dingly I spent the greatest part of my time there from eighteen to nineteen: Luc y appeared everything that was amiable and obliging. to address herself and declare an affection as tender. as one of the most extra ordinary and unaccountable circumstances she had ever heard. Between them no subject is finished. her judgment. But when the second moment had passed." was his immediate observation. and on whose account that brother had been thr own off by his family it was beyond her comprehension to make out. the sight and the happiness of the D satisfaction of a sleepless ni not how to love Edward. Marianne could speak her happiness only by tears. it was not at the time an unnatural or an inexcusable piece of folly. it was completely a puzzle. ever y solicitude removed. as she wished. she was oppressed. a girl to o already engaged to his brother. Considering everything. I hope. saw him honourably released from his former engagement. that Edward was free. that. that I could make no comparisons. Edward could only attempt an explanation by supposing. if applied to in time. Edward was now fixed at the cottage at least for a week. nor how at once to give them leisure ion together. How they could be t hrown together. the ght." The change which a few hours had wrought in the minds ashwoods. she was overcome by her own felicity. for whatever other claims might be made on him. when she found every doubt. the vanity of the one had been so worked on by the flattery of the other. and the future. "might perhaps be in his head when the acquaintance between them first began. at first a ccidentally meeting. She was pretty too at least I thought so then. therefore. and her joy. as to lead by degrees to all the rest. till it has been made at least twenty times over. she was every thing by turns but t ranquil. "That was exactly like Robert. Elinor remembered what Rob ert had told her in Harley Street. Lucy's marriage. b ut to her reason. Dashwood.

and the joy of such a deliverance. however. "Being very sure I have long lost your affections. the nearest road to Barton. He had quitt ed Oxford within four and twenty hours after Lucy's letter arrived." "I have burnt all your letters. and it shall not be my fault if we are not always good friends. And your mother has brought on herself a most appropriate punishment. "they are certainly married. Not the smallest suspicion. and sister. but I scorn to accept a hand while th e heart was another's. he was equally at a loss with herself to make out. with which that road did not hold the most intimate conne ction. Please to destroy my scrawls but the ring with my hair you are very welcome to keep. and as we could not live without one another. He could do nothing till he were assured of his fate with Miss Dashwood. "Dear Sir." In what state the affair stood at present between them. and her letters to the very last were neither less frequent. has put i t in his power to make his own choice. of which the substance made me any amends for the defect of the style. . Edward knew not. by Robert's mar rying Lucy. Your brother has gained my affections entirely ." said Edward." Elinor read and returned it without any comment. where he had remained for choice ever since his quitting London. than she would have been by your marrying her. I can safely say I owe you no ill-will. and have no doubt of being as happy with him as I once used to think I might be with you. therefore. Sincerely wish you happy in your choice. had ever occurred[328] to prepare him for what followed. after a pause. nor less affecti onate than usual. and are now on our way to Dawlish for a few weeks.fices in my favour. but in a wife! how I have blushed over the pages of her writing! and I believe I may say that since the first half year of our foolish business t his is the only letter I ever received from her. and on the same principle will forgive him much sooner. he believed. T he independence she settled on Robert. "For worlds w ould not I have had a letter of hers seen by you in former days. but thought I would first trouble you with the se few lines. through resentment against you." How long it had been carrying on between them. he had had no means of hearing of her but from hersel f. which place your dear br other has great curiosity to see. friend. and with onl y one object before him. I have thought myself at libe rty to bestow my own on another. I suppose. and am sure you will be too g enerous to do us any ill offices. In a sister it is bad enough. She will be m ore hurt by it. She will hardly be less hurt. for no communication with any of his family had yet been attempted by him. had had no leisure to form any scheme of conduct. Other designs might afterward arise. and will return your picture the first opportuni ty. and she has actually been bribing one son with a thousand[329] a-year." said Elinor." "She will be more hurt by it. the horror. for Robert always was her favourite. "I will not ask your opinion of it as a composition." "However it may have come about. half stupified between t he wonder. to do the very deed which she disinherited the oth er for intending to do. as our near relationship now mak es proper. for at Oxford. He put the letter into Elinor's hands. and shall always remain "Your sincere well-wisher. "Lucy Ferrars. and when at last it burst on him in a letter fro m Lucy herself. he had been for some time. we are just returned from the al tar.

when he must have felt his own inconstancy. however. Elinor scolded him. even before his acquaintance with Elinor began. but I told myself it was only friendship. to give[330] her t he option of continuing the engagement or not. had been a continual source of disquiet and regret to him. nor more self-evident than the motive of it." "No. "I thought it my duty. our relations were all led away by it to fancy and expect what. where there seemed nothing to tempt the avarice or the va nity of any living creature. to say that he did. when I was renounced by my mother . and till I began to make com parisons between yourself and Lucy. and. and that the consciousness of my en gagement was to keep my heart as safe and sacred as my honour. and a mistaken confidence in the force of his engagement. "Your behaviour was certainly very wrong. when she so earnestly. immediately convinced that nothing could have been more n atural than Lucy's conduct. "I was simple enough to think. and thoroughly att ached to himself. that any thing but the mos t disinterested affection was her inducement? And even now. and who had only two t housand pounds in the world. he had always believed her to be a well-disposed." Edward was. which. in spite of the jealousy with which he had once thought of Colonel Brandon." said he. how could I suppose. whatever it might be. to go off with a flourish of malice ag ainst him in her message by Thomas. for having spent so much time with them at Norland. good-hearted girl. it is to be supposed. and stood to all appearance without a friend in the world to assist me. And at any rate. I cannot comprehend on what motive she acted. That Lucy had certainly meant to deceive. it would be better for her to marry you than be single. The connection was certainly a respectable one. now thoroughly enlightened on her character. as you were then situated. she lost nothing by continuing the engagement. After that . and probably gaine d her consideration among her friends. by him. expect a very cruel reception. She could not foresee that Colonel Brandon would gi ve me a living. to her ignorance and a want of liberality in some of her opinions." said she. harshly as ladies always scold the imprudence which complime nts themselves. and till her last letter reached him. "independent of my feelings. upon the whole. in spite of the mode sty with which he rated his own deserts. th ere could be no danger in my being with you. Though his eyes had bee n long opened. to be fe ttered to a man for whom she had not the smallest regard. and the arguments with which I reconciled myself to the[331] expediency of it." He could only plead an ignorance of his own heart. they had been equally imputed. that your own family might in time relent. to her want of education. had no scruple in believing her capable of the utmost meanness of wanton ill-nature. long before the discovery of it laid him open t o his mother's anger. I did not know how far I was got. What he might say on the subject a twelvemonth after.and by his rapidity in seeking that fate. could never be. he did not. so warm ly insisted on sharing my fate. if nothing more advantageous occurre d. or what fancied advantage it could be to her. were no better than thes . Nothing but such a persuasion could have prevented his putting an end to an engagement. I suppose. and the politeness with which he talked of his doubts. that because my faith was plighted to another. and he said it very prettily. "because to say nothing of my own conviction. and Edward hi mself. but she might suppose that something would occur in your favour. was perfectly clear to Elinor. In suc h a situation as that. must be referred to the imagina tion of husbands and wives. for she has proved that it fettered neither her inclination nor her actions. It wa s his business. I was wrong in remaining so much in Sussex. I felt that I adm ired you. of course.

but to have an opp ortunity of convincing him that he no longer resented his giving him the living of Delaford "Which. early enough to interrupt the lovers' first tête-à-tête before breakfast. for since Edward would still be unable to marry Miss Morton . Among such friends. Edward heard with pleasure of Colonel Brandon's being expected at the Cottage. and all the encouragement of her mother's language. she feared that Robert' s offence would serve no other purpose than to enrich Fanny. Every thing was explained to him by Mrs. who had heard so much of it from Colonel Bran don. as they advanced in each other's acquaintance. and shook her head. and Elinor one. garden. one difficulty on ly was to be overcome. About four days after Edward's arrival Colonel Brandon appeared. but their being in love with two sisters. and on that he rested for the residue of their income. Dashwoo d should advance anything. he h ad little to do but to calculate the disproportion between thirty-six and sevent een. more company[332] with her than her house would hold. and they were neither of them quite enough in love to think that three hundred and fifty pounds a-year would supply them with the com forts of life. would probably have been sufficient to unite them in frien dship. and Colonel Br andon therefore walked every night to his old quarters at the Park. that the gentlemen advanced in the good opinion of each other. he must think I have never forgiven him for offeri ng. No rumour of Lucy's marriage had yet reached him: he knew nothing of what had passed. Ferr ars. and to give her the dignity of having. and heard it with so much attention." Now he felt astonished himself that he had never yet been to the place. he did revive. But Elinor had no such dependence. since eventually it promoted the interest of Elinor. Edward had two thousand pounds. to complete Mrs . "after thanks so ungraciously delivered as mine were on the occasion. A three weeks' residence at Delaford. for the first time since her living at Barton. without any other attraction. Ferrars's flattering langu age as only a lesser evil than his choosing Lucy Steele. Dashwood. their intimate knowledge of each othe r seemed to make their happiness certain and they only wanted something to live up on. Dashwood's satisfaction. and he found fresh reason to rejoice in what he had done for Mr. was all that they could call their own. and glebe. that he owed all his knowledge of the house. They were brought together by mutual affection." Elinor smiled. however. Edward was allowed to retain the privilege of first comer. condition of the land. with the warmest approbation of their real friends. at present." said he. It would be needless to say. Edward was not entirely without hopes of some favourable change in his mother to wards him.e: The danger is my own. for it could not be o therwise. a nd two sisters fond of each other. where. as to be entirely mistress of the subj ect. to Elinor herself. One question after this only remained undecided. and such flattery. from whence he usually returned in the morning. and rate of the tithes. I am doing no injury to anybody but myself. to make it cheerful. and his choosing herself had been spoken of in Mrs. But so l ittle interest had he taken in the matter. which. in his evening hours at least. a s he really wished not only to be better acquainted with him. for it was impossible that Mrs. and the first hours of his visit were conseque ntly spent in hearing and in wondering. in disposition an d manner of thinking. Their resemblance in good principles and good sense. between them. all the kindness of her welcome. with Delaford living. brought him to Barton in a temper of mind which needed all the improvement in Marianne's looks. extent of the parish. made that mutual regard inevitable and immedi .

Ferrars. And I must say that Lucy's cr ossness not to take them along with them in the chaise is worse than all. with grateful wonder." He agreed that he might. for Lucy it seems borrowed all her money before she went off to be married. proper measures would have been taken to prevent the marriage. but that would not interest. but you must send for him to Barton. to our great astonishment. Dashwood's strains were more solemn. and poor Nancy had not seven shillings in the world. poor soul! came crying to me the day after. which a few days before would have made every nerve in El inor's body thrill with transport. Robert's offence was unpard onable. had quite doted upon the worthless hussy. but Lucy's was infinitely worse. therefore. "would they have me beg my mother' s pardon for Robert's ingratitude to her. now arrived to be read with less emotion that mirth. was rationally treated as enormously heightening the crime. which does not surprise us. Neither of them were ever again to be m entioned to Mrs. Ferrars has never yet mentioned Edward's name. Mrs. "because you have offended. bec ause. The letters from town. and I shal l. as I tell her. for we all know the tendernes s of Mrs. under such a blow. Ferrars. Perhaps. and even. Not a soul suspected anything of the matter . Burgess." said Elinor. for it was but two days before Lucy calle d and sat a couple of hours with me. a nd I should think you might now venture so far as to profess some concern for ha ving ever formed the engagement which drew on you your mother's anger. th an that she should thus be the means of spreading misery farther in the family." This paragraph was of some importance to the prospects and conduct of Edward. at Oxford. The secrecy with which everything had been carried on between them. Edward! I cannot get him out of my head." she continued . Edward. It determined him to attempt[334] a reconciliation. and was now . almost broken-hearted. had any suspicion of it occurred to the others. to fall in with the Doctor again. addressed perhaps to Fanny. but. Poor M r. Ferrars was the most unfortunate o f women poor Fanny had suffered agonies of sensibility and he considered the existen ce of each. might not be taken amiss. in a great fr ight[333] for fear of Mrs. that his sister and I both t hink a letter of proper submission from him. Ferrars's heart. and pour forth her compassion towards poor Mr. give him a hint. who. "nothing was ever carried on so sly. "A letter of proper submission!" repeated he. so I was very glad to give her five guineas to take her down to Exe ter. He thus continued: "Mrs. his wife should never be acknowledged as her daughter. and Miss Marianne must try to comfort him. if she might hereafter be induced to forgive her son. nor be permitte d to appear in her presence. "I do think. as well as not knowing how to get to Plymout h. o n purpose we suppose to make a show with. to vent her honest indig nation against the jilting girl. and that she wishes for nothing so much as to be on g ood terms with her children. however. where she thinks of staying three or four weeks with Mrs. . though not exactly in the mann er pointed out by their brother and sister." "You may certainly ask to be forgiven." Mr. Jennings wrote to tell the wonderful tale. not even Nancy. Mrs. I know of no submission that is p roper for me to make. I am grown very happy. I am grown neither humble nor penitent by what has passed.ate. who. which might otherwise have waited the effect of time and judgment. by all accounts. he is kept silent by his fear of offending. and he called on Elinor to join with him in regretting that Lucy's engagement with Edward had not rather been fulfilled. by a line to Oxford. and by her shown to her mother. in hopes . and breach of honour to me? I can make no submission. she was sure. not a line has been received from him on the oc casion.

What she would engage to do towards augmenting their income was next to be consi dered. nor was anythin g promised either for the present or in future. it was resolved that. though perfectly admitting the truth of her representation. and carry him off as rapidly as before. to make it easier to him. and therefore. as was desired. he did not feel the co ntinuance of his existence secure. For many years of her life she had had two sons. "in bringing about a reconciliation. by the resuscitation of Edward. the two gent lemen quitted Barton together. almost as imprudent in her eyes as the firs t. not the smallest objection was made against Edward's ta king orders for the sake of two hundred and fifty at the utmost. and assist his patron and friend in deciding on what improvements were needed to it. in her new character of candour. after staying there a couple of nights. from the experience of the past. Edward was admitted to her presence. but when she found that. and he was listened to with unexpected calmness. he feared. for the publication of that circumstance. however. perhaps a little humility may be convenient whil e acknowledging a second engagement. With apprehensive cau tion therefore it was revealed. I shall think that even John and Fanny are not entirely without merit. and enforced the assertion. which had been given with Fanny. however. for while Robert was inevitably endowed[336] with a thousand pounds a-year. she issued her decree of consent to the marriage o f Edward and Elinor. told him. might give a sudden turn to his constitution. but still resisted the idea of a letter of pr oper submission. after su ch an ungracious delay as she owed to her own dignity. while Miss Dashwood was only the daughter of a private gentleman with no more than three. he was by no means her eldest. and now. In spite of his being allowed once more to live. by Edward a . till he had revealed his present engagement. but the crime and annihilation of Edward a few weeks ago. she judge d it wisest." After a visit on Colonel Brandon's side of only three or four days. It was as much. and here it plainly appeared. and pronounced to be again her son. that in Miss Morton he woul d have a woman of higher rank and larger fortune. Ferrars at first reasonably endeavoured to dissuade him from marrying Miss Dashwood. by observing that Miss Morton was the daughter of a nobleman with thirty thousand pounds. and pers onally entreat her good offices in his favour. he was by no means inclined to be guided by it. instead of writing to Fanny."And when she has forgiven you. Mrs. [335] CHAPTER L After a proper resistance on the part of Mrs. he was to proceed on his journey to tow n. and therefore. and from thence. Ferrars. the reproach of being too amiable. and as served to prevent every suspicion of good-will." said Marianne. just so violent and so st eady as to preserve her from that reproach which she always seemed fearful of in curring. "And if they really do interest t hemselves. that though Edward was now her only son. and more than was expected. that Edw ard might have some personal knowledge of his future home. Her family had of late been exceedingly fluctuating." He had nothing to urge against it. to submit. They were to go immediately to Delaford. had robbed her of one. beyond the ten thousand pounds. he should go to London. the similar annihilation of Robert had left her for a for tnight without any. as he declared a much greater willingness to make mean concessions by word of mouth than on paper. she had one again. by every argument in her power.

but the marriage of Colonel Brandon and Marianne. which had at first drawn Robert into the scrape. That was due to the folly of Robert. for certainly you have been one of the most fortunate young[33 7] women in the world. and it will always be in your power to set her off to advanta ge. they had no thing to wait for after Edward was in possession of the living. though rather jumbled togethe r. as usual . one of the happiest couples in the world. as usual. They had in fact nothing t o wish for. and endless flatteries. Ferrars herself. broke through the first positive resolution of not marrying till every thing w as ready. and re-established hi m completely in her favour. from whence they could superintend the progress of the Parsonage. nobody can tell what may happen. Mrs. Ferrars to his choice. His property here. a nd it was earned by them before many months had passed away. and so forth. will do in securing every advantage of fortune. and she found in Elinor and her husband. for as Colonel Brandon seems a great deal at home. as there is now standing in Delaford Han ger! And though. as she reall y believed. When Robert first sought her acquaintanc . with an eager desire for the accommoda tion of Elinor. an unceasing attention to self-interest. With an income quite sufficient to their wants thus secured to them. Jennings's prophecies. and see lit tle of anybody else. may be held forth as a most encouraging instance of what an earnest . The selfish sagacit y of the latter. for. Ferrars did come to see them. they were never insulted by her real favour and preference. yet I think it would altogether be advisable for you to have them now frequen tly staying with you. to which Colonel Brandon. for she was able to visit Edward and his wife in thei r Parsonage by Michaelmas. however its progress may be apparentl y obstructed. his place." said John. were chiefly fulfilled. In short. but the readines s of the house. and the prosperity which crowned it . as it is. I confess.nd Elinor. "that would be saying too much. after experiencing. Elinor. my dear sister. for her respectful humility. it would give me great pleasure to call Colonel Brandon brother. You understand me . and even the Dashwoods were at the expense of a journey from Sussex to do them honour. Mrs. as they were walking together one morning before the gates of Delaford House. when people are much thrown together. a thousand disappointments and delays from the unaccountable dilatoriness of the workmen. Ferrars came to inspect the happiness which she was almost ashamed of having authorised. and rather better pasturage for their cows. you may as well give her a chance. assiduou s attentions. The first month after their marriage was spent with their friend at the Mansionhouse. and Mrs. seemed the only p erson surprised at her not giving more. Marianne may not seem exactly the person to attract hi m. "I will not say that I am disappointed. perhaps. But. and the cunning of his wife. as soon as the smallest opening was given for their exercise. They were visited on their first settling by almost all their relations and frie nds. and always treated them with the m ake-believe of decent affection. and the ceremony took place in Barton church early in the autumn. I have not see n such timber any where in Dorsetshire. was the princi pal instrument of his deliverance from it. was making considerable improvements. project shrubberie s. [338] "Everything in such respectable condition" The whole of Lucy's behaviour in the affair. could choose papers. and after waiting some tim e for their completion." But though Mrs. with no other sacr ifice than that of time and conscience. his house. and dir ect every thing as they liked on the spot. reconciled Mrs. and invent a sweep. every t hing is in such respectable and excellent condition! And his woods. by her shuffling excuses. therefore.

It was an arrangement. and as there could be nothing to overcome but the affection of both. in self-condemnation for Robert's offence. were on the best terms imaginable with the Dashwoods. Lucy became as necessary to M rs. What immediately followed is known. Ferrars. and Elinor. and always openly acknowledged. and Lucy. for her wish of bringing Marianne and Colonel Brandon together was hardly less earnest. still remained some weeks longer unpardoned. by rapid degrees . and privately visited her in Bartlett's Buildings. Dashwood was acting on motives of policy as well as pleasure in the frequency of her visits at Dela ford. proud of tricking Edward. for nothing ever appeared in Robert's style of living or of talking to give a suspicion of his regretting the extent of his income. to the highest state of affection and influence. it became speedily evident to both. Ferrars. indeed. and their own obligations. and the rest followed in course. without rendering the cottage at Barton entirely useless. they came gradually to talk o nly of Robert. though rather more liberal than what John had expressed. Mrs. for her mother and sisters spent much more than half their time with her. But perseverance in humility of c onduct and messages. as well as the frequent domestic disagreements between Robert and Lu cy themselves. procured her in time the haughty notice w hich overcame her by its graciousness. though superior to her in fortune and birth. an d from thence returning to town. in which their husbands of course t ook a part. was adopted. The forgiveness. and if Edward might be judged from the ready discharge of his duties in every particular. might have puzzled many people to find out. received very liberal assistance from Mrs. she de sired nothing so much as to give up its constant enjoyment to her valued friend. however. Instead of talking of Edward. however. His attendance was by this means secured. comprehended only Robert. to be a favourite child. as e ither leaving his brother too little. and what Robert had done to succeed to it. a subject on which he had always more to say than on any other. no le ss free from every wish of an exchange. for she had many relations a nd old acquaintances to cut and he drew several plans for magnificent cottages. and very proud of marrying privately without his mother's consent. at first. by general consent. procured the forgiveness of Mrs. was spoken of as an intruder. and led soon afterwards. and in which she soon betrayed an interest even equal to his own. was to be the reward of all. and Marianne . . and to see Marianne settled at the mansion-house was equally the wish of Edward and Elinor. it was only with the view imputed to him by his brother. by th e simple expedient of asking it. another visit. They each felt his sorrows. and in short. They settled in town. and setting aside the jealousies and ill-will co ntinually subsisting between Fanny and Lucy. as either Robert or Fanny. or bringing himself too much. which could only be removed by another half hour' s discourse with himself. He was proud of his conquest. justified in its effect s. Ferrars. and while Edward was never cordially for given for having once intended to marry her. from an increasing attachment to his wife and his home. Precious as was the company of her daughter to her. he might be supposed no less contented with his lot. What Edward had done to forfeit the right of eldest son.e. another conversation . which. was always wanted to produce this conviction. who had owed his mother no duty and therefore could have transgressed none . and gratitude fo r the unkindness she was treated with. Some doubts always lingered [339 ]in her mind when they parted. he erred. if not in its cause. as was reasonable. for though Lucy soon gave him hopes th at his eloquence would convince her in time. Elinor's marriage divided her as little from her family as could well be contriv ed. and that only. nothing could exceed the harmony in which they all lived together . that he had entirely supplanted his brother. at Lucy's instigation. and from the regular cheerfu lness of his spirits. she was in every thing consi dered. He merely meant to persuade her to give up the en gagement. In that point. h e naturally expected that one or two interviews would settle the matter. It was no w her darling object. might have puzzl ed them still[340] more. The y passed some months in great happiness at Dawlish.

without attempting a removal to Delaford. was equally the persuasi on and delight of each observing friend. and in sporting of every kind. Brandon. by st ating his marriage with a woman of character. an d her whole heart became. entering on new duties. when Marian ne was taken from them. and to counteract. Between Barton and Delaford. For Marianne. as much devoted to her husband. placed in a new home. Dashwood was prudent enough to remain at the cottage. must not be depended on for he did n either. and made her his secret standard of perfection in woman. and in his breed of horses and dogs. Jennings. and not very ineligible for being supposed to have a lover. But that h e was for ever inconsolable. or contracted an habitua l gloom of temper. whom. which at last. need not be doubted. and living almost within sight of each other. that thou gh sisters. She was born to discover th e falsehood of her own opinions. who. he might at once have been happy and rich. and the patroness of a village. as it had onc e been to Willoughby. Marianne could never love by halves. gav e him reason for believing that had he behaved with honour towards Marianne. Smith. as all those who best loved him. Willoughby could not hear of her marriage without a pang. he alwa ys retained that decided regard which interested him in every thing that befell her. Mrs. . nor that he lo ng thought of Colonel Brandon with envy. and among the merits and the happiness o f Elinor and Marianne. and who still sought the constitu tional safeguard of a flannel waistcoat! But so it was. That his repentance of misconduct. in time. and fortunately for Sir John and Mrs. and frequently to enjoy himself. they could live withou t disagreement between themselves. Instead of falling a sacrifice to an irresistible passion. as afterwards in her more calm and sober judgment she had determined on. or died of a broken heart. nor his home always uncomfortable. in spite of his incivility in surviving her loss. a wife. as the source of her clemency. she f ound herself at nineteen. She was born to overcome an affection formed so late in life as a t seventeen. there was that constant communication which strong family affection would naturally dictate. that he fled from society. Margaret[342] had reached an age highly suitable for dan cing. an d that Marianne found her own happiness in forming his. and many a rising beauty would be slighted by him in after-days as bearing no comparison with Mrs.With such a confederacy against her with a knowledge so intimate of his goodness wit h a conviction of his fond attachment to herself. her regard and her society restored his mind to animation. though long aft er it was observable to everybody else burst on her what could she do? Marianne Dashwood was born to an extraordinary fate. instead of remaining eve n for ever with her mother. her most fav ourite maxims. He lived to exert. the mistress of a family. by her conduct. or producing coolness between their husbands. and his punishment was soon afterwards complete in the voluntary forgiveness of Mrs. was sincere. and finding her only pleasures in retirement and stu dy. let it not be ranked as the least considerable. however. and his spirits to cheerfulness. Colonel Brandon was now as happy. believed he d eserved to be. submitting to new attachments. he found no inconsiderable degree of d omestic felicity. two years b efore. in Marianne he was consoled for every past affliction. His wife was not alw ays out of humour. and of Marianne with regret. which thus brought its own punishment. and with no sentiment superior to strong esteem and lively friendsh ip. a man who had suffere d no less than herself under the event of a former attachment. voluntarily to give her hand to another! and that other. she had considered too old to be married. as onc e she had fondly[341] flattered herself with expecting.

THE END .