ideen für weißes wohnzimmer
sense and sensibilityby jane austen (1811) chapter 1 the family of dashwood had long beensettled in sussex. their estate was large, and their residencewas at norland park, in the centre of their property, where, for many generations, theyhad lived in so respectable a manner as to engage the general good opinion of theirsurrounding acquaintance. the late owner of this estate was a singleman, who lived to a very advanced age, and who for many years of his life, had aconstant companion and housekeeper in his sister.
but her death, which happened ten yearsbefore his own, produced a great alteration in his home; for to supply her loss, heinvited and received into his house the family 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, andtheir children, the old gentleman's days were comfortably spent.his attachment to them all increased. the constant attention of mr. and mrs.henry dashwood to his wishes, which proceeded not merely from interest, butfrom goodness of heart, gave him every
degree of solid comfort which his age could receive; and the cheerfulness of thechildren added a relish to his existence. by a former marriage, mr. henry dashwoodhad one son: by his present lady, three daughters. the son, a steady respectable young man,was amply provided for by the fortune of his mother, which had been large, and halfof which devolved on him on his coming of age. by his own marriage, likewise, whichhappened soon afterwards, he added to his wealth.
to him therefore the succession to thenorland estate was not so really important as to his sisters; for their fortune,independent of what might arise to them from their father's inheriting thatproperty, could be but small. their mother had nothing, and their fatheronly seven thousand pounds in his own disposal; for the remaining moiety of hisfirst wife's fortune was also secured to her child, and he had only a life-interestin it. the old gentleman died: his will was read,and like almost every other will, gave as much disappointment as pleasure. he was neither so unjust, nor soungrateful, as to leave his estate from his
nephew;--but he left it to him on suchterms as destroyed half the value of the bequest. mr. dashwood had wished for it more for thesake of his wife and daughters than for himself or his son;--but to his son, andhis 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 thosewho were most dear to him, and who most needed a provision by any charge on theestate, or by any sale of its valuable woods. the whole was tied up for the benefit ofthis child, who, in occasional visits with
his father and mother at norland, had sofar gained on the affections of his uncle, by such attractions as are by no means unusual in children of two or three yearsold; an imperfect articulation, an earnest desire of having his own way, many cunningtricks, and a great deal of noise, as to outweigh all the value of all the attention which, for years, he had received from hisniece and her daughters. he meant not to be unkind, however, and, asa mark of his affection for the three girls, he left them a thousand pounds a-piece. mr. dashwood's disappointment was, atfirst, severe; but his temper was cheerful
and sanguine; and he might reasonably hopeto live many years, and by living economically, lay by a considerable sum from the produce of an estate alreadylarge, 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 longer; and tenthousand pounds, including the late legacies, was all that remained for hiswidow and daughters. his son was sent for as soon as his dangerwas known, and to him mr. dashwood recommended, with all the strength andurgency which illness could command, the
interest of his mother-in-law and sisters. mr. john dashwood had not the strongfeelings of the rest of the family; but he was affected by a recommendation of such anature at such a time, and he promised to do every thing in his power to make themcomfortable. his father was rendered easy by such anassurance, and mr. john dashwood had then leisure to consider how much there mightprudently be in his power to do for them. he was not an ill-disposed young man,unless to be rather cold hearted and rather selfish is to be ill-disposed: but he was,in general, well respected; for he conducted himself with propriety in thedischarge of his ordinary duties.
had he married a more amiable woman, hemight have been made still more respectable than he was:--he might even have been madeamiable himself; for he was very young when he married, and very fond of his wife. but mrs. john dashwood was a strongcaricature of himself;--more narrow-minded and selfish. when he gave his promise to his father, hemeditated within himself to increase the fortunes of his sisters by the present of athousand pounds a-piece. he then really thought himself equal to it. the prospect of four thousand a-year, inaddition to his present income, besides the
remaining half of his own mother's fortune,warmed his heart, and made him feel capable of generosity.-- "yes, he would give them three thousand pounds: it would be liberaland handsome! it would be enough to make them completelyeasy. three thousand pounds! he could spare soconsiderable a sum with little inconvenience."-- he thought of it all daylong, and for many days successively, and he did not repent. no sooner was his father's funeral over,than mrs. john dashwood, without sending any notice of her intention to her mother-in-law, arrived with her child and their
attendants. no one could dispute her right to come; thehouse was her husband's from the moment of his father's decease; but the indelicacy ofher conduct was so much the greater, and to a woman in mrs. dashwood's situation, with only common feelings, must have been highlyunpleasing;--but in her mind there was a sense of honor so keen, a generosity soromantic, that any offence of the kind, by whomsoever given or received, was to her asource of immovable disgust. mrs. john dashwood had never been afavourite with any of her husband's family; but she had had no opportunity, till thepresent, of shewing them with how little
attention to the comfort of other peopleshe could act when occasion required it. so acutely did mrs. dashwood feel thisungracious behaviour, and so earnestly did she despise her daughter-in-law for it,that, on the arrival of the latter, she would have quitted the house for ever, had not the entreaty of her eldest girl inducedher first to reflect on the propriety of going, and her own tender love for all herthree children determined her afterwards to stay, and for their sakes avoid a breachwith their brother. elinor, this eldest daughter, whose advicewas so effectual, possessed a strength of understanding, and coolness of judgment,which qualified her, though only nineteen,
to be the counsellor of her mother, and enabled her frequently to counteract, tothe advantage of them all, that eagerness of mind in mrs. dashwood which mustgenerally have led to imprudence. she had an excellent heart;--herdisposition was affectionate, and her feelings were strong; but she knew how togovern them: it was a knowledge which her mother had yet to learn; and which one of her sisters had resolved never to betaught. marianne's abilities were, in manyrespects, quite equal to elinor's. she was sensible and clever; but eager ineverything: her sorrows, her joys, could
have no moderation.she was generous, amiable, interesting: she was everything but prudent. the resemblance between her and her motherwas strikingly great. elinor saw, with concern, the excess of hersister's sensibility; but by mrs. dashwood it was valued and cherished. they encouraged each other now in theviolence of their affliction. the agony of grief which overpowered themat first, was voluntarily renewed, was sought for, was created again and again. they gave themselves up wholly to theirsorrow, seeking increase of wretchedness in
every reflection that could afford it, andresolved against ever admitting consolation in future. elinor, too, was deeply afflicted; butstill she could struggle, she could exert herself. she could consult with her brother, couldreceive her sister-in-law on her arrival, and treat her with proper attention; andcould strive to rouse her mother to similar exertion, and encourage her to similarforbearance. margaret, the other sister, was a good-humored, well-disposed girl; but as she had already imbibed a good deal of marianne'sromance, without having much of her sense,
she did not, at thirteen, bid fair to equal her sisters at a more advanced period oflife. > chapter 2 mrs. john dashwood now installed herselfmistress of norland; and her mother and sisters-in-law were degraded to thecondition of visitors. as such, however, they were treated by herwith quiet civility; and by her husband with as much kindness as he could feeltowards anybody beyond himself, his wife, and their child.
he really pressed them, with someearnestness, to consider norland as their home; and, as no plan appeared so eligibleto mrs. dashwood as remaining there till she could accommodate herself with a house in the neighbourhood, his invitation wasaccepted. a continuance in a place where everythingreminded her of former delight, was exactly what suited her mind. in seasons of cheerfulness, no temper couldbe more cheerful than hers, or possess, in a greater degree, that sanguine expectationof happiness which is happiness itself. but in sorrow she must be equally carriedaway by her fancy, and as far beyond
consolation as in pleasure she was beyondalloy. mrs. john dashwood did not at all approveof what her husband intended to do for his sisters. to take three thousand pounds from thefortune of their dear little boy would be impoverishing him to the most dreadfuldegree. she begged him to think again on thesubject. how could he answer it to himself to robhis child, and his only child too, of so large a sum? and what possible claim could the missdashwoods, who were related to him only by
half blood, which she considered as norelationship at all, have on his generosity to so large an amount. it was very well known that no affectionwas ever supposed to exist between the children of any man by different marriages;and why was he to ruin himself, and their poor little harry, by giving away all hismoney to his half sisters? "it was my father's last request to me,"replied her husband, "that i should assist his widow and daughters." "he did not know what he was talking of, idare say; ten to one but he was light- headed at the time.
had he been in his right senses, he couldnot have thought of such a thing as begging you to give away half your fortune fromyour own child." "he did not stipulate for any particularsum, my dear fanny; he only requested me, in general terms, to assist them, and maketheir situation more comfortable than it was in his power to do. perhaps it would have been as well if hehad left it wholly to myself. he could hardly suppose i should neglectthem. but as he required the promise, i could notdo less than give it; at least i thought so at the time.the promise, therefore, was given, and must
be performed. something must be done for them wheneverthey leave norland and settle in a new home." "well, then, let something be done forthem; but that something need not be three thousand pounds.consider," she added, "that when the money is once parted with, it never can return. your sisters will marry, and it will begone for ever. if, indeed, it could be restored to ourpoor little boy--" "why, to be sure," said her husband, verygravely, "that would make great difference.
the time may come when harry will regretthat so large a sum was parted with. if he should have a numerous family, forinstance, it would be a very convenient addition.""to be sure it would." "perhaps, then, it would be better for allparties, if the sum were diminished one half.--five hundred pounds would be aprodigious increase to their fortunes!" "oh! beyond anything great! what brother on earth would do half so muchfor his sisters, even if really his sisters!and as it is--only half blood!--but you have such a generous spirit!"
"i would not wish to do any thing mean," hereplied. "one had rather, on such occasions, do toomuch than too little. no one, at least, can think i have not doneenough for them: even themselves, they can hardly expect more." "there is no knowing what they may expect,"said the lady, "but we are not to think of their expectations: the question is, whatyou can afford to do." "certainly--and i think i may afford togive them five hundred pounds a-piece. as it is, without any addition of mine,they will each have about three thousand pounds on their mother's death--a verycomfortable fortune for any young woman."
"to be sure it is; and, indeed, it strikesme that they can want no addition at all. they will have ten thousand pounds dividedamongst them. if they marry, they will be sure of doingwell, and if they do not, they may all live very comfortably together on the interestof ten thousand pounds." "that is very true, and, therefore, i donot know whether, upon the whole, it would not be more advisable to do something fortheir mother while she lives, rather than for them--something of the annuity kind i mean.--my sisters would feel the goodeffects of it as well as herself. a hundred a year would make them allperfectly comfortable."
his wife hesitated a little, however, ingiving her consent to this plan. "to be sure," said she, "it is better thanparting with fifteen hundred pounds at once. but, then, if mrs. dashwood should livefifteen years we shall be completely taken in.""fifteen years! my dear fanny; her life cannot be worth half that purchase." "certainly not; but if you observe, peoplealways live for ever when there is an annuity to be paid them; and she is verystout and healthy, and hardly forty. an annuity is a very serious business; itcomes over and over every year, and there
is no getting rid of it.you are not aware of what you are doing. i have known a great deal of the trouble ofannuities; for my mother was clogged with the payment of three to old superannuatedservants by my father's will, and it is amazing how disagreeable she found it. twice every year these annuities were to bepaid; and then there was the trouble of getting it to them; and then one of themwas said to have died, and afterwards it turned out to be no such thing. my mother was quite sick of it. her income was not her own, she said, withsuch perpetual claims on it; and it was the
more unkind in my father, because,otherwise, the money would have been entirely at my mother's disposal, withoutany restriction whatever. it has given me such an abhorrence ofannuities, that i am sure i would not pin myself down to the payment of one for allthe world." "it is certainly an unpleasant thing,"replied mr. dashwood, "to have those kind of yearly drains on one's income.one's fortune, as your mother justly says, is not one's own. to be tied down to the regular payment ofsuch a sum, on every rent day, is by no means desirable: it takes away one'sindependence."
"undoubtedly; and after all you have nothanks for it. they think themselves secure, you do nomore than what is expected, and it raises no gratitude at all. if i were you, whatever i did should bedone at my own discretion entirely. i would not bind myself to allow them anything yearly. it may be very inconvenient some years tospare a hundred, or even fifty pounds from our own expenses." "i believe you are right, my love; it willbe better that there should be no annuity in the case; whatever i may give themoccasionally will be of far greater
assistance than a yearly allowance, because they would only enlarge their style ofliving if they felt sure of a larger income, and would not be sixpence thericher for it at the end of the year. it will certainly be much the best way. a present of fifty pounds, now and then,will prevent their ever being distressed for money, and will, i think, be amplydischarging my promise to my father." "to be sure it will. indeed, to say the truth, i am convincedwithin myself that your father had no idea of your giving them any money at all.
the assistance he thought of, i dare say,was only such as might be reasonably expected of you; for instance, such aslooking out for a comfortable small house for them, helping them to move their things, and sending them presents of fishand game, and so forth, whenever they are in season. i'll lay my life that he meant nothingfarther; indeed, it would be very strange and unreasonable if he did. do but consider, my dear mr. dashwood, howexcessively comfortable your mother-in-law and her daughters may live on the interestof seven thousand pounds, besides the
thousand pounds belonging to each of the girls, which brings them in fifty pounds ayear a-piece, and, of course, they will pay their mother for their board out of it. altogether, they will have five hundred a-year amongst them, and what on earth can four women want for more than that?--theywill live so cheap! their housekeeping will be nothing at all. they will have no carriage, no horses, andhardly any servants; they will keep no company, and can have no expenses of anykind! only conceive how comfortable they will be!
five hundred a year!i am sure i cannot imagine how they will spend half of it; and as to your givingthem more, it is quite absurd to think of it. they will be much more able to give yousomething." "upon my word," said mr. dashwood, "ibelieve you are perfectly right. my father certainly could mean nothing moreby his request to me than what you say. i clearly understand it now, and i willstrictly fulfil my engagement by such acts of assistance and kindness to them as youhave described. when my mother removes into another housemy services shall be readily given to
accommodate her as far as i can.some little present of furniture too may be acceptable then." "certainly," returned mrs. john dashwood."but, however, one thing must be considered. when your father and mother moved tonorland, though the furniture of stanhill was sold, all the china, plate, and linenwas saved, and is now left to your mother. her house will therefore be almostcompletely fitted up as soon as she takes it.""that is a material consideration undoubtedly.
a valuable legacy indeed!and yet some of the plate would have been a very pleasant addition to our own stockhere." "yes; and the set of breakfast china istwice as handsome as what belongs to this house. a great deal too handsome, in my opinion,for any place they can ever afford to live in.but, however, so it is. your father thought only of them. and i must say this: that you owe noparticular gratitude to him, nor attention to his wishes; for we very well know thatif he could, he would have left almost
everything in the world to them." this argument was irresistible. it gave to his intentions whatever ofdecision was wanting before; and he finally resolved, that it would be absolutelyunnecessary, if not highly indecorous, to do more for the widow and children of his father, than such kind of neighbourly actsas his own wife pointed out. chapter 3 mrs. dashwood remained at norland severalmonths; not from any disinclination to move when the sight of every well known spotceased to raise the violent emotion which
it produced for a while; for when her spirits began to revive, and her mindbecame capable of some other exertion than that of heightening its affliction bymelancholy remembrances, she was impatient to be gone, and indefatigable in her inquiries for a suitable dwelling in theneighbourhood of norland; for to remove far from that beloved spot was impossible. but she could hear of no situation that atonce answered her notions of comfort and ease, and suited the prudence of her eldestdaughter, whose steadier judgment rejected several houses as too large for their
income, which her mother would haveapproved. mrs. dashwood had been informed by herhusband of the solemn promise on the part of his son in their favour, which gavecomfort to his last earthly reflections. she doubted the sincerity of this assuranceno more than he had doubted it himself, and she thought of it for her daughters' sakewith satisfaction, though as for herself she was persuaded that a much smaller provision than 7000l would support her inaffluence. for their brother's sake, too, for the sakeof his own heart, she rejoiced; and she reproached herself for being unjust to hismerit before, in believing him incapable of
generosity. his attentive behaviour to herself and hissisters convinced her that their welfare was dear to him, and, for a long time, shefirmly relied on the liberality of his intentions. the contempt which she had, very early intheir acquaintance, felt for her daughter- in-law, was very much increased by thefarther knowledge of her character, which half a year's residence in her family afforded; and perhaps in spite of everyconsideration of politeness or maternal affection on the side of the former, thetwo ladies might have found it impossible
to have lived together so long, had not a particular circumstance occurred to givestill greater eligibility, according to the opinions of mrs. dashwood, to herdaughters' continuance at norland. this circumstance was a growing attachmentbetween her eldest girl and the brother of mrs. john dashwood, a gentleman-like andpleasing young man, who was introduced to their acquaintance soon after his sister's establishment at norland, and who had sincespent the greatest part of his time there. some mothers might have encouraged theintimacy from motives of interest, for edward ferrars was the eldest son of a manwho had died very rich; and some might have
repressed it from motives of prudence, for, except a trifling sum, the whole of hisfortune depended on the will of his mother. but mrs. dashwood was alike uninfluenced byeither consideration. it was enough for her that he appeared tobe amiable, that he loved her daughter, and that elinor returned the partiality. it was contrary to every doctrine of hersthat difference of fortune should keep any couple asunder who were attracted byresemblance of disposition; and that elinor's merit should not be acknowledged by every one who knew her, was to hercomprehension impossible.
edward ferrars was not recommended to theirgood opinion by any peculiar graces of person or address. he was not handsome, and his mannersrequired intimacy to make them pleasing. he was too diffident to do justice tohimself; but when his natural shyness was overcome, his behaviour gave everyindication of an open, affectionate heart. his understanding was good, and hiseducation had given it solid improvement. but he was neither fitted by abilities nordisposition to answer the wishes of his mother and sister, who longed to see himdistinguished--as--they hardly knew what. they wanted him to make a fine figure inthe world in some manner or other.
his mother wished to interest him inpolitical concerns, to get him into parliament, or to see him connected withsome of the great men of the day. mrs. john dashwood wished it likewise; butin the mean while, till one of these superior blessings could be attained, itwould have quieted her ambition to see him driving a barouche. but edward had no turn for great men orbarouches. all his wishes centered in domestic comfortand the quiet of private life. fortunately he had a younger brother whowas more promising. edward had been staying several weeks inthe house before he engaged much of mrs.
dashwood's attention; for she was, at thattime, in such affliction as rendered her careless of surrounding objects. she saw only that he was quiet andunobtrusive, and she liked him for it. he did not disturb the wretchedness of hermind by ill-timed conversation. she was first called to observe and approvehim farther, by a reflection which elinor chanced one day to make on the differencebetween him and his sister. it was a contrast which recommended himmost forcibly to her mother. "it is enough," said she; "to say that heis unlike fanny is enough. it implies everything amiable.
i love him already.""i think you will like him," said elinor, "when you know more of him.""like him!" replied her mother with a smile. "i feel no sentiment of approbationinferior to love." "you may esteem him.""i have never yet known what it was to separate esteem and love." mrs. dashwood now took pains to getacquainted with him. her manners were attaching, and soonbanished his reserve. she speedily comprehended all his merits;the persuasion of his regard for elinor
perhaps assisted her penetration; but shereally felt assured of his worth: and even that quietness of manner, which militated against all her established ideas of what ayoung man's address ought to be, was no longer uninteresting when she knew hisheart to be warm and his temper affectionate. no sooner did she perceive any symptom oflove in his behaviour to elinor, than she considered their serious attachment ascertain, and looked forward to their marriage as rapidly approaching. "in a few months, my dear marianne." saidshe, "elinor will, in all probability be
settled for life.we shall miss her; but she will be happy." "oh! mama, how shall we do without her?" "my love, it will be scarcely a separation.we shall live within a few miles of each other, and shall meet every day of ourlives. you will gain a brother, a real,affectionate brother. i have the highest opinion in the world ofedward's heart. but you look grave, marianne; do youdisapprove your sister's choice?" "perhaps," said marianne, "i may considerit with some surprise. edward is very amiable, and i love himtenderly.
but yet--he is not the kind of young man--there is something wanting--his figure is not striking; it has none of that gracewhich i should expect in the man who could seriously attach my sister. his eyes want all that spirit, that fire,which at once announce virtue and intelligence.and besides all this, i am afraid, mama, he has no real taste. music seems scarcely to attract him, andthough he admires elinor's drawings very much, it is not the admiration of a personwho can understand their worth. it is evident, in spite of his frequentattention to her while she draws, that in
fact he knows nothing of the matter.he admires as a lover, not as a connoisseur. to satisfy me, those characters must beunited. i could not be happy with a man whose tastedid not in every point coincide with my own. he must enter into all my feelings; thesame books, the same music must charm us both. oh! mama, how spiritless, how tame wasedward's manner in reading to us last night!i felt for my sister most severely.
yet she bore it with so much composure, sheseemed scarcely to notice it. i could hardly keep my seat. to hear those beautiful lines which havefrequently almost driven me wild, pronounced with such impenetrable calmness,such dreadful indifference!"-- "he would certainly have done more justice to simpleand elegant prose. i thought so at the time; but you wouldgive him cowper." "nay, mama, if he is not to be animated bycowper!--but we must allow for difference of taste.elinor has not my feelings, and therefore she may overlook it, and be happy with him.
but it would have broke my heart, had iloved him, to hear him read with so little sensibility. mama, the more i know of the world, themore am i convinced that i shall never see a man whom i can really love.i require so much! he must have all edward's virtues, and hisperson and manners must ornament his goodness with every possible charm.""remember, my love, that you are not seventeen. it is yet too early in life to despair ofsuch a happiness. why should you be less fortunate than yourmother?
in one circumstance only, my marianne, mayyour destiny be different from hers!" chapter 4 "what a pity it is, elinor," said marianne,"that edward should have no taste for drawing.""no taste for drawing!" replied elinor, "why should you think so? he does not draw himself, indeed, but hehas great pleasure in seeing the performances of other people, and i assureyou he is by no means deficient in natural taste, though he has not had opportunitiesof improving it. had he ever been in the way of learning, ithink he would have drawn very well.
he distrusts his own judgment in suchmatters so much, that he is always unwilling to give his opinion on anypicture; but he has an innate propriety and simplicity of taste, which in generaldirect him perfectly right." marianne was afraid of offending, and saidno more on the subject; but the kind of approbation which elinor described asexcited in him by the drawings of other people, was very far from that rapturous delight, which, in her opinion, could alonebe called taste. yet, though smiling within herself at themistake, she honoured her sister for that blind partiality to edward which producedit.
"i hope, marianne," continued elinor, "youdo not consider him as deficient in general taste. indeed, i think i may say that you cannot,for your behaviour to him is perfectly cordial, and if that were your opinion, iam sure you could never be civil to him." marianne hardly knew what to say. she would not wound the feelings of hersister on any account, and yet to say what she did not believe was impossible.at length she replied: "do not be offended, elinor, if my praiseof him is not in every thing equal to your sense of his merits.
i have not had so many opportunities ofestimating the minuter propensities of his mind, his inclinations and tastes, as youhave; but i have the highest opinion in the world of his goodness and sense. i think him every thing that is worthy andamiable." "i am sure," replied elinor, with a smile,"that his dearest friends could not be dissatisfied with such commendation asthat. i do not perceive how you could expressyourself more warmly." marianne was rejoiced to find her sister soeasily pleased. "of his sense and his goodness," continuedelinor, "no one can, i think, be in doubt,
who has seen him often enough to engage himin unreserved conversation. the excellence of his understanding and hisprinciples can be concealed only by that shyness which too often keeps him silent.you know enough of him to do justice to his solid worth. but of his minuter propensities, as youcall them you have from peculiar circumstances been kept more ignorant thanmyself. he and i have been at times thrown a gooddeal together, while you have been wholly engrossed on the most affectionateprinciple by my mother. i have seen a great deal of him, havestudied his sentiments and heard his
opinion on subjects of literature andtaste; and, upon the whole, i venture to pronounce that his mind is well-informed, enjoyment of books exceedingly great, hisimagination lively, his observation just and correct, and his taste delicate andpure. his abilities in every respect improve asmuch upon acquaintance as his manners and person. at first sight, his address is certainlynot striking; and his person can hardly be called handsome, till the expression of hiseyes, which are uncommonly good, and the general sweetness of his countenance, isperceived.
at present, i know him so well, that ithink him really handsome; or at least, almost so. what say you, marianne?""i shall very soon think him handsome, elinor, if i do not now. when you tell me to love him as a brother,i shall no more see imperfection in his face, than i now do in his heart." elinor started at this declaration, and wassorry for the warmth she had been betrayed into, in speaking of him.she felt that edward stood very high in her opinion.
she believed the regard to be mutual; butshe required greater certainty of it to make marianne's conviction of theirattachment agreeable to her. she knew that what marianne and her motherconjectured one moment, they believed the next--that with them, to wish was to hope,and to hope was to expect. she tried to explain the real state of thecase to her sister. "i do not attempt to deny," said she, "thati think very highly of him--that i greatly esteem, that i like him." marianne here burst forth with indignation-- "esteem him!like him!
cold-hearted elinor! oh! worse than cold-hearted!ashamed of being otherwise. use those words again, and i will leave theroom this moment." elinor could not help laughing. "excuse me," said she; "and be assured thati meant no offence to you, by speaking, in so quiet a way, of my own feelings. believe them to be stronger than i havedeclared; believe them, in short, to be such as his merit, and the suspicion--thehope of his affection for me may warrant, without imprudence or folly.
but farther than this you must not believe.i am by no means assured of his regard for me. there are moments when the extent of itseems doubtful; and till his sentiments are fully known, you cannot wonder at mywishing to avoid any encouragement of my own partiality, by believing or calling itmore than it is. in my heart i feel little--scarcely anydoubt of his preference. but there are other points to be consideredbesides his inclination. he is very far from being independent. what his mother really is we cannot know;but, from fanny's occasional mention of her
conduct and opinions, we have never beendisposed to think her amiable; and i am very much mistaken if edward is not himself aware that there would be many difficultiesin his way, if he were to wish to marry a woman who had not either a great fortune orhigh rank." marianne was astonished to find how muchthe imagination of her mother and herself had outstripped the truth."and you really are not engaged to him!" said she. "yet it certainly soon will happen.but two advantages will proceed from this delay.
i shall not lose you so soon, and edwardwill have greater opportunity of improving that natural taste for your favouritepursuit which must be so indispensably necessary to your future felicity. oh! if he should be so far stimulated byyour genius as to learn to draw himself, how delightful it would be!"elinor had given her real opinion to her she could not consider her partiality foredward in so prosperous a state as marianne had believed it. there was, at times, a want of spiritsabout him which, if it did not denote indifference, spoke of something almost asunpromising.
a doubt of her regard, supposing him tofeel it, need not give him more than inquietude. it would not be likely to produce thatdejection of mind which frequently attended him. a more reasonable cause might be found inthe dependent situation which forbade the indulgence of his affection. she knew that his mother neither behaved tohim so as to make his home comfortable at present, nor to give him any assurance thathe might form a home for himself, without strictly attending to her views for hisaggrandizement.
with such a knowledge as this, it wasimpossible for elinor to feel easy on the subject. she was far from depending on that resultof his preference of her, which her mother and sister still considered as certain. nay, the longer they were together the moredoubtful seemed the nature of his regard; and sometimes, for a few painful minutes,she believed it to be no more than friendship. but, whatever might really be its limits,it was enough, when perceived by his sister, to make her uneasy, and at the sametime, (which was still more common,) to
make her uncivil. she took the first opportunity ofaffronting her mother-in-law on the occasion, talking to her so expressively ofher brother's great expectations, of mrs. ferrars's resolution that both her sons should marry well, and of the dangerattending any young woman who attempted to draw him in; that mrs. dashwood couldneither pretend to be unconscious, nor endeavor to be calm. she gave her an answer which marked hercontempt, and instantly left the room, resolving that, whatever might be theinconvenience or expense of so sudden a
removal, her beloved elinor should not beexposed another week to such insinuations. in this state of her spirits, a letter wasdelivered to her from the post, which contained a proposal particularly welltimed. it was the offer of a small house, on veryeasy terms, belonging to a relation of her own, a gentleman of consequence andproperty in devonshire. the letter was from this gentleman himself,and written in the true spirit of friendly accommodation. he understood that she was in need of adwelling; and though the house he now offered her was merely a cottage, heassured her that everything should be done
to it which she might think necessary, ifthe situation pleased her. he earnestly pressed her, after giving theparticulars of the house and garden, to come with her daughters to barton park, theplace of his own residence, from whence she might judge, herself, whether barton cottage, for the houses were in the sameparish, could, by any alteration, be made comfortable to her. he seemed really anxious to accommodatethem and the whole of his letter was written in so friendly a style as could notfail of giving pleasure to his cousin; more especially at a moment when she was
suffering under the cold and unfeelingbehaviour of her nearer connections. she needed no time for deliberation orinquiry. her resolution was formed as she read. the situation of barton, in a county so fardistant from sussex as devonshire, which, but a few hours before, would have been asufficient objection to outweigh every possible advantage belonging to the place,was now its first recommendation. to quit the neighbourhood of norland was nolonger an evil; it was an object of desire; it was a blessing, in comparison of themisery of continuing her daughter-in-law's guest; and to remove for ever from that
beloved place would be less painful than toinhabit or visit it while such a woman was its mistress. she instantly wrote sir john middleton heracknowledgment of his kindness, and her acceptance of his proposal; and thenhastened to shew both letters to her daughters, that she might be secure of their approbation before her answer weresent. elinor had always thought it would be moreprudent for them to settle at some distance from norland, than immediately amongsttheir present acquaintance. on that head, therefore, it was not for herto oppose her mother's intention of
removing into devonshire. the house, too, as described by sir john,was on so simple a scale, and the rent so uncommonly moderate, as to leave her noright of objection on either point; and, therefore, though it was not a plan which brought any charm to her fancy, though itwas a removal from the vicinity of norland beyond her wishes, she made no attempt todissuade her mother from sending a letter of acquiescence. chapter 5 no sooner was her answer dispatched, thanmrs. dashwood indulged herself in the
pleasure of announcing to her son-in-lawand his wife that she was provided with a house, and should incommode them no longer than till every thing were ready for herinhabiting it. they heard her with surprise. mrs. john dashwood said nothing; but herhusband civilly hoped that she would not be settled far from norland. she had great satisfaction in replying thatshe was going into devonshire.--edward turned hastily towards her, on hearingthis, and, in a voice of surprise and concern, which required no explanation toher, repeated, "devonshire!
are you, indeed, going there?so far from hence! and to what part of it?" she explained the situation.it was within four miles northward of exeter."it is but a cottage," she continued, "but i hope to see many of my friends in it. a room or two can easily be added; and ifmy friends find no difficulty in travelling so far to see me, i am sure i will findnone in accommodating them." she concluded with a very kind invitationto mr. and mrs. john dashwood to visit her at barton; and to edward she gave one withstill greater affection.
though her late conversation with herdaughter-in-law had made her resolve on remaining at norland no longer than wasunavoidable, it had not produced the smallest effect on her in that point towhich it principally tended. to separate edward and elinor was as farfrom being her object as ever; and she wished to show mrs. john dashwood, by thispointed invitation to her brother, how totally she disregarded her disapprobationof the match. mr. john dashwood told his mother again andagain how exceedingly sorry he was that she had taken a house at such a distance fromnorland as to prevent his being of any service to her in removing her furniture.
he really felt conscientiously vexed on theoccasion; for the very exertion to which he had limited the performance of his promiseto his father was by this arrangement rendered impracticable.-- the furniture wasall sent around by water. it chiefly consisted of household linen,plate, china, and books, with a handsome pianoforte of marianne's. mrs. john dashwood saw the packages departwith a sigh: she could not help feeling it hard that as mrs. dashwood's income wouldbe so trifling in comparison with their own, she should have any handsome articleof furniture. mrs. dashwood took the house for atwelvemonth; it was ready furnished, and
she might have immediate possession. no difficulty arose on either side in theagreement; and she waited only for the disposal of her effects at norland, and todetermine her future household, before she set off for the west; and this, as she was exceedingly rapid in the performance ofeverything that interested her, was soon done.--the horses which were left her byher husband had been sold soon after his death, and an opportunity now offering of disposing of her carriage, she agreed tosell that likewise at the earnest advice of her eldest daughter.
for the comfort of her children, had sheconsulted only her own wishes, she would have kept it; but the discretion of elinorprevailed. her wisdom too limited the number of theirservants to three; two maids and a man, with whom they were speedily provided fromamongst those who had formed their establishment at norland. the man and one of the maids were sent offimmediately into devonshire, to prepare the house for their mistress's arrival; for aslady middleton was entirely unknown to mrs. dashwood, she preferred going directly to the cottage to being a visitor at bartonpark; and she relied so undoubtingly on sir
john's description of the house, as to feelno curiosity to examine it herself till she entered it as her own. her eagerness to be gone from norland waspreserved from diminution by the evident satisfaction of her daughter-in-law in theprospect of her removal; a satisfaction which was but feebly attempted to be concealed under a cold invitation to her todefer her departure. now was the time when her son-in-law'spromise to his father might with particular propriety be fulfilled. since he had neglected to do it on firstcoming to the estate, their quitting his
house might be looked on as the mostsuitable period for its accomplishment. but mrs. dashwood began shortly to giveover every hope of the kind, and to be convinced, from the general drift of hisdiscourse, that his assistance extended no farther than their maintenance for sixmonths at norland. he so frequently talked of the increasingexpenses of housekeeping, and of the perpetual demands upon his purse, which aman of any consequence in the world was beyond calculation exposed to, that he seemed rather to stand in need of moremoney himself than to have any design of giving money away.
in a very few weeks from the day whichbrought sir john middleton's first letter to norland, every thing was so far settledin their future abode as to enable mrs. dashwood and her daughters to begin theirjourney. many were the tears shed by them in theirlast adieus to a place so much beloved. "dear, dear norland!" said marianne, as shewandered alone before the house, on the last evening of their being there; "whenshall i cease to regret you!--when learn to feel a home elsewhere!--oh! happy house, could you know what i suffer in now viewingyou from this spot, from whence perhaps i may view you no more!--and you, ye well-known trees!--but you will continue the
same.--no leaf will decay because we are removed, nor any branch become motionlessalthough we can observe you no longer!--no; you will continue the same; unconscious ofthe pleasure or the regret you occasion, and insensible of any change in those who walk under your shade!--but who will remainto enjoy you?" chapter 6 the first part of their journey wasperformed in too melancholy a disposition to be otherwise than tedious andunpleasant. but as they drew towards the end of it,their interest in the appearance of a
country which they were to inhabit overcametheir dejection, and a view of barton valley as they entered it gave themcheerfulness. it was a pleasant fertile spot, wellwooded, and rich in pasture. after winding along it for more than amile, they reached their own house. a small green court was the whole of itsdemesne in front; and a neat wicket gate admitted them into it. as a house, barton cottage, though small,was comfortable and compact; but as a cottage it was defective, for the buildingwas regular, the roof was tiled, the window shutters were not painted green, nor werethe walls covered with honeysuckles.
a narrow passage led directly through thehouse into the garden behind. on each side of the entrance was a sittingroom, about sixteen feet square; and beyond them were the offices and the stairs.four bed-rooms and two garrets formed the rest of the house. it had not been built many years and was ingood repair. in comparison of norland, it was poor andsmall indeed!--but the tears which recollection called forth as they enteredthe house were soon dried away. they were cheered by the joy of theservants on their arrival, and each for the sake of the others resolved to appearhappy.
it was very early in september; the seasonwas fine, and from first seeing the place under the advantage of good weather, theyreceived an impression in its favour which was of material service in recommending itto their lasting approbation. the situation of the house was good. high hills rose immediately behind, and atno great distance on each side; some of which were open downs, the otherscultivated and woody. the village of barton was chiefly on one ofthese hills, and formed a pleasant view from the cottage windows. the prospect in front was more extensive;it commanded the whole of the valley, and
reached into the country beyond. the hills which surrounded the cottageterminated the valley in that direction; under another name, and in another course,it branched out again between two of the steepest of them. with the size and furniture of the housemrs. dashwood was upon the whole well satisfied; for though her former style oflife rendered many additions to the latter indispensable, yet to add and improve was a delight to her; and she had at this timeready money enough to supply all that was wanted of greater elegance to theapartments.
"as for the house itself, to be sure," saidshe, "it is too small for our family, but we will make ourselves tolerablycomfortable for the present, as it is too late in the year for improvements. perhaps in the spring, if i have plenty ofmoney, as i dare say i shall, we may think about building. these parlors are both too small for suchparties of our friends as i hope to see often collected here; and i have somethoughts of throwing the passage into one of them with perhaps a part of the other, and so leave the remainder of that otherfor an entrance; this, with a new drawing
room which may be easily added, and a bed-chamber and garret above, will make it a very snug little cottage. i could wish the stairs were handsome.but one must not expect every thing; though i suppose it would be no difficult matterto widen them. i shall see how much i am before-hand withthe world in the spring, and we will plan our improvements accordingly." in the mean time, till all thesealterations could be made from the savings of an income of five hundred a-year by awoman who never saved in her life, they were wise enough to be contented with the
house as it was; and each of them was busyin arranging their particular concerns, and endeavoring, by placing around them booksand other possessions, to form themselves a home. marianne's pianoforte was unpacked andproperly disposed of; and elinor's drawings were affixed to the walls of their sittingroom. in such employments as these they wereinterrupted soon after breakfast the next day by the entrance of their landlord, whocalled to welcome them to barton, and to offer them every accommodation from his own house and garden in which theirs might atpresent be deficient.
sir john middleton was a good looking manabout forty. he had formerly visited at stanhill, but itwas too long for his young cousins to remember him. his countenance was thoroughly good-humoured; and his manners were as friendly as the style of his letter. their arrival seemed to afford him realsatisfaction, and their comfort to be an object of real solicitude to him. he said much of his earnest desire of theirliving in the most sociable terms with his family, and pressed them so cordially todine at barton park every day till they
were better settled at home, that, though his entreaties were carried to a point ofperseverance beyond civility, they could not give offence. his kindness was not confined to words; forwithin an hour after he left them, a large basket full of garden stuff and fruitarrived from the park, which was followed before the end of the day by a present ofgame. he insisted, moreover, on conveying alltheir letters to and from the post for them, and would not be denied thesatisfaction of sending them his newspaper every day.
lady middleton had sent a very civilmessage by him, denoting her intention of waiting on mrs. dashwood as soon as shecould be assured that her visit would be no inconvenience; and as this message was answered by an invitation equally polite,her ladyship was introduced to them the next day. they were, of course, very anxious to see aperson on whom so much of their comfort at barton must depend; and the elegance of herappearance was favourable to their wishes. lady middleton was not more than six orseven and twenty; her face was handsome, her figure tall and striking, and heraddress graceful.
her manners had all the elegance which herhusband's wanted. but they would have been improved by someshare of his frankness and warmth; and her visit was long enough to detract somethingfrom their first admiration, by shewing that, though perfectly well-bred, she was reserved, cold, and had nothing to say forherself beyond the most common-place inquiry or remark. conversation however was not wanted, forsir john was very chatty, and lady middleton had taken the wise precaution ofbringing with her their eldest child, a fine little boy about six years old, by
which means there was one subject always tobe recurred to by the ladies in case of extremity, for they had to enquire his nameand age, admire his beauty, and ask him questions which his mother answered for him, while he hung about her and held downhis head, to the great surprise of her ladyship, who wondered at his being so shybefore company, as he could make noise enough at home. on every formal visit a child ought to beof the party, by way of provision for discourse. in the present case it took up ten minutesto determine whether the boy were most like
his father or mother, and in whatparticular he resembled either, for of course every body differed, and every body was astonished at the opinion of theothers. an opportunity was soon to be given to thedashwoods of debating on the rest of the children, as sir john would not leave thehouse without securing their promise of dining at the park the next day. chapter 7 barton park was about half a mile from thecottage. the ladies had passed near it in their wayalong the valley, but it was screened from
their view at home by the projection of ahill. the house was large and handsome; and themiddletons lived in a style of equal hospitality and elegance. the former was for sir john'sgratification, the latter for that of his lady. they were scarcely ever without somefriends staying with them in the house, and they kept more company of every kind thanany other family in the neighbourhood. it was necessary to the happiness of both;for however dissimilar in temper and outward behaviour, they strongly resembledeach other in that total want of talent and
taste which confined their employments, unconnected with such as society produced,within a very narrow compass. sir john was a sportsman, lady middleton amother. he hunted and shot, and she humoured herchildren; and these were their only resources. lady middleton had the advantage of beingable to spoil her children all the year round, while sir john's independentemployments were in existence only half the time. continual engagements at home and abroad,however, supplied all the deficiencies of
nature and education; supported the goodspirits of sir john, and gave exercise to the good breeding of his wife. lady middleton piqued herself upon theelegance of her table, and of all her domestic arrangements; and from this kindof vanity was her greatest enjoyment in any of their parties. but sir john's satisfaction in society wasmuch more real; he delighted in collecting about him more young people than his housewould hold, and the noisier they were the better was he pleased. he was a blessing to all the juvenile partof the neighbourhood, for in summer he was
for ever forming parties to eat cold hamand chicken out of doors, and in winter his private balls were numerous enough for any young lady who was not suffering under theunsatiable appetite of fifteen. the arrival of a new family in the countrywas always a matter of joy to him, and in every point of view he was charmed with theinhabitants he had now procured for his cottage at barton. the miss dashwoods were young, pretty, andunaffected. it was enough to secure his good opinion;for to be unaffected was all that a pretty girl could want to make her mind ascaptivating as her person.
the friendliness of his disposition madehim happy in accommodating those, whose situation might be considered, incomparison with the past, as unfortunate. in showing kindness to his cousinstherefore he had the real satisfaction of a good heart; and in settling a family offemales only in his cottage, he had all the satisfaction of a sportsman; for a sportsman, though he esteems only those ofhis sex who are sportsmen likewise, is not often desirous of encouraging their tasteby admitting them to a residence within his own manor. mrs. dashwood and her daughters were met atthe door of the house by sir john, who
welcomed them to barton park withunaffected sincerity; and as he attended them to the drawing room repeated to the young ladies the concern which the samesubject had drawn from him the day before, at being unable to get any smart young mento meet them. they would see, he said, only one gentlemanthere besides himself; a particular friend who was staying at the park, but who wasneither very young nor very gay. he hoped they would all excuse thesmallness of the party, and could assure them it should never happen so again. he had been to several families thatmorning in hopes of procuring some addition
to their number, but it was moonlight andevery body was full of engagements. luckily lady middleton's mother had arrivedat barton within the last hour, and as she was a very cheerful agreeable woman, hehoped the young ladies would not find it so very dull as they might imagine. the young ladies, as well as their mother,were perfectly satisfied with having two entire strangers of the party, and wishedfor no more. mrs. jennings, lady middleton's mother, wasa good-humoured, merry, fat, elderly woman, who talked a great deal, seemed very happy,and rather vulgar. she was full of jokes and laughter, andbefore dinner was over had said many witty
things on the subject of lovers andhusbands; hoped they had not left their hearts behind them in sussex, and pretendedto see them blush whether they did or not. marianne was vexed at it for her sister'ssake, and turned her eyes towards elinor to see how she bore these attacks, with anearnestness which gave elinor far more pain than could arise from such common-placeraillery as mrs. jennings's. colonel brandon, the friend of sir john,seemed no more adapted by resemblance of manner to be his friend, than ladymiddleton was to be his wife, or mrs. jennings to be lady middleton's mother. he was silent and grave.
his appearance however was not unpleasing,in spite of his being in the opinion of marianne and margaret an absolute oldbachelor, for he was on the wrong side of five and thirty; but though his face was not handsome, his countenance was sensible,and his address was particularly gentlemanlike. there was nothing in any of the party whichcould recommend them as companions to the dashwoods; but the cold insipidity of ladymiddleton was so particularly repulsive, that in comparison of it the gravity of colonel brandon, and even the boisterousmirth of sir john and his mother-in-law was
interesting. lady middleton seemed to be roused toenjoyment only by the entrance of her four noisy children after dinner, who pulled herabout, tore her clothes, and put an end to every kind of discourse except what relatedto themselves. in the evening, as marianne was discoveredto be musical, she was invited to play. the instrument was unlocked, every bodyprepared to be charmed, and marianne, who sang very well, at their request wentthrough the chief of the songs which lady middleton had brought into the family on her marriage, and which perhaps had lainever since in the same position on the
pianoforte, for her ladyship had celebratedthat event by giving up music, although by her mother's account, she had played extremely well, and by her own was veryfond of it. marianne's performance was highlyapplauded. sir john was loud in his admiration at theend of every song, and as loud in his conversation with the others while everysong lasted. lady middleton frequently called him toorder, wondered how any one's attention could be diverted from music for a moment,and asked marianne to sing a particular song which marianne had just finished.
colonel brandon alone, of all the party,heard her without being in raptures. he paid her only the compliment ofattention; and she felt a respect for him on the occasion, which the others hadreasonably forfeited by their shameless want of taste. his pleasure in music, though it amountednot to that ecstatic delight which alone could sympathize with her own, wasestimable when contrasted against the horrible insensibility of the others; and she was reasonable enough to allow that aman of five and thirty might well have outlived all acuteness of feeling and everyexquisite power of enjoyment.
she was perfectly disposed to make everyallowance for the colonel's advanced state of life which humanity required. chapter 8 mrs. jennings was a widow with an amplejointure. she had only two daughters, both of whomshe had lived to see respectably married, and she had now therefore nothing to do butto marry all the rest of the world. in the promotion of this object she waszealously active, as far as her ability reached; and missed no opportunity ofprojecting weddings among all the young people of her acquaintance.
she was remarkably quick in the discoveryof attachments, and had enjoyed the advantage of raising the blushes and thevanity of many a young lady by insinuations of her power over such a young man; and this kind of discernment enabled her soonafter her arrival at barton decisively to pronounce that colonel brandon was verymuch in love with marianne dashwood. she rather suspected it to be so, on thevery first evening of their being together, from his listening so attentively while shesang to them; and when the visit was returned by the middletons' dining at the cottage, the fact was ascertained by hislistening to her again.
it must be so.she was perfectly convinced of it. it would be an excellent match, for he wasrich, and she was handsome. mrs. jennings had been anxious to seecolonel brandon well married, ever since her connection with sir john first broughthim to her knowledge; and she was always anxious to get a good husband for everypretty girl. the immediate advantage to herself was byno means inconsiderable, for it supplied her with endless jokes against them both. at the park she laughed at the colonel, andin the cottage at marianne. to the former her raillery was probably, asfar as it regarded only himself, perfectly
indifferent; but to the latter it was atfirst incomprehensible; and when its object was understood, she hardly knew whether most to laugh at its absurdity, or censureits impertinence, for she considered it as an unfeeling reflection on the colonel'sadvanced years, and on his forlorn condition as an old bachelor. mrs. dashwood, who could not think a manfive years younger than herself, so exceedingly ancient as he appeared to theyouthful fancy of her daughter, ventured to clear mrs. jennings from the probability ofwishing to throw ridicule on his age. "but at least, mama, you cannot deny theabsurdity of the accusation, though you may
not think it intentionally ill-natured. colonel brandon is certainly younger thanmrs. jennings, but he is old enough to be my father; and if he were ever animatedenough to be in love, must have long outlived every sensation of the kind. it is too ridiculous!when is a man to be safe from such wit, if age and infirmity will not protect him?""infirmity!" said elinor, "do you call colonel brandon infirm? i can easily suppose that his age mayappear much greater to you than to my mother; but you can hardly deceive yourselfas to his having the use of his limbs!"
"did not you hear him complain of therheumatism? and is not that the commonest infirmity of declining life?" "my dearest child," said her mother,laughing, "at this rate you must be in continual terror of my decay; and it mustseem to you a miracle that my life has been extended to the advanced age of forty." "mama, you are not doing me justice.i know very well that colonel brandon is not old enough to make his friends yetapprehensive of losing him in the course of nature. he may live twenty years longer.but thirty-five has nothing to do with
matrimony." "perhaps," said elinor, "thirty-five andseventeen had better not have any thing to do with matrimony together. but if there should by any chance happen tobe a woman who is single at seven and twenty, i should not think colonelbrandon's being thirty-five any objection to his marrying her." "a woman of seven and twenty," saidmarianne, after pausing a moment, "can never hope to feel or inspire affectionagain, and if her home be uncomfortable, or her fortune small, i can suppose that she
might bring herself to submit to theoffices of a nurse, for the sake of the provision and security of a wife.in his marrying such a woman therefore there would be nothing unsuitable. it would be a compact of convenience, andthe world would be satisfied. in my eyes it would be no marriage at all,but that would be nothing. to me it would seem only a commercialexchange, in which each wished to be benefited at the expense of the other." "it would be impossible, i know," repliedelinor, "to convince you that a woman of seven and twenty could feel for a man ofthirty-five anything near enough to love,
to make him a desirable companion to her. but i must object to your dooming colonelbrandon and his wife to the constant confinement of a sick chamber, merelybecause he chanced to complain yesterday (a very cold damp day) of a slight rheumaticfeel in one of his shoulders." "but he talked of flannel waistcoats," saidmarianne; "and with me a flannel waistcoat is invariably connected with aches, cramps,rheumatisms, and every species of ailment that can afflict the old and the feeble." "had he been only in a violent fever, youwould not have despised him half so much. confess, marianne, is not there somethinginteresting to you in the flushed cheek,
hollow eye, and quick pulse of a fever?" soon after this, upon elinor's leaving theroom, "mama," said marianne, "i have an alarm on the subject of illness which icannot conceal from you. i am sure edward ferrars is not well. we have now been here almost a fortnight,and yet he does not come. nothing but real indisposition couldoccasion this extraordinary delay. what else can detain him at norland?" "had you any idea of his coming so soon?"said mrs. dashwood. "i had none.
on the contrary, if i have felt any anxietyat all on the subject, it has been in recollecting that he sometimes showed awant of pleasure and readiness in accepting my invitation, when i talked of his comingto barton. does elinor expect him already?""i have never mentioned it to her, but of course she must." "i rather think you are mistaken, for wheni was talking to her yesterday of getting a new grate for the spare bedchamber, sheobserved that there was no immediate hurry for it, as it was not likely that the roomwould be wanted for some time." "how strange this is! what can be themeaning of it!
but the whole of their behaviour to eachother has been unaccountable! how cold, how composed were their lastadieus! how languid their conversation the lastevening of their being together! in edward's farewell there was nodistinction between elinor and me: it was the good wishes of an affectionate brotherto both. twice did i leave them purposely togetherin the course of the last morning, and each time did he most unaccountably follow meout of the room. and elinor, in quitting norland and edward,cried not as i did. even now her self-command is invariable.when is she dejected or melancholy?
when does she try to avoid society, orappear restless and dissatisfied in it?" chapter 9 the dashwoods were now settled at bartonwith tolerable comfort to themselves. the house and the garden, with all theobjects surrounding them, were now become familiar, and the ordinary pursuits whichhad given to norland half its charms were engaged in again with far greater enjoyment than norland had been able to afford, sincethe loss of their father. sir john middleton, who called on themevery day for the first fortnight, and who was not in the habit of seeing muchoccupation at home, could not conceal his
amazement on finding them always employed. their visitors, except those from bartonpark, were not many; for, in spite of sir john's urgent entreaties that they wouldmix more in the neighbourhood, and repeated assurances of his carriage being always at their service, the independence of mrs.dashwood's spirit overcame the wish of society for her children; and she wasresolute in declining to visit any family beyond the distance of a walk. there were but few who could be so classed;and it was not all of them that were attainable.
about a mile and a half from the cottage,along the narrow winding valley of allenham, which issued from that of barton,as formerly described, the girls had, in one of their earliest walks, discovered an ancient respectable looking mansion which,by reminding them a little of norland, interested their imagination and made themwish to be better acquainted with it. but they learnt, on enquiry, that itspossessor, an elderly lady of very good character, was unfortunately too infirm tomix with the world, and never stirred from the whole country about them abounded inbeautiful walks. the high downs which invited them fromalmost every window of the cottage to seek
the exquisite enjoyment of air on theirsummits, were a happy alternative when the dirt of the valleys beneath shut up their superior beauties; and towards one of thesehills did marianne and margaret one memorable morning direct their steps,attracted by the partial sunshine of a showery sky, and unable longer to bear the confinement which the settled rain of thetwo preceding days had occasioned. the weather was not tempting enough to drawthe two others from their pencil and their book, in spite of marianne's declarationthat the day would be lastingly fair, and that every threatening cloud would be drawn
off from their hills; and the two girls setoff together. they gaily ascended the downs, rejoicing intheir own penetration at every glimpse of blue sky; and when they caught in theirfaces the animating gales of a high south- westerly wind, they pitied the fears which had prevented their mother and elinor fromsharing such delightful sensations. "is there a felicity in the world," saidmarianne, "superior to this?--margaret, we will walk here at least two hours." margaret agreed, and they pursued their wayagainst the wind, resisting it with laughing delight for about twenty minuteslonger, when suddenly the clouds united
over their heads, and a driving rain set full in their face.-- chagrined andsurprised, they were obliged, though unwillingly, to turn back, for no shelterwas nearer than their own house. one consolation however remained for them,to which the exigence of the moment gave more than usual propriety; it was that ofrunning with all possible speed down the steep side of the hill which ledimmediately to their garden gate. they set off. marianne had at first the advantage, but afalse step brought her suddenly to the ground; and margaret, unable to stopherself to assist her, was involuntarily
hurried along, and reached the bottom insafety. a gentleman carrying a gun, with twopointers playing round him, was passing up the hill and within a few yards ofmarianne, when her accident happened. he put down his gun and ran to herassistance. she had raised herself from the ground, buther foot had been twisted in her fall, and she was scarcely able to stand. the gentleman offered his services; andperceiving that her modesty declined what her situation rendered necessary, took herup in his arms without farther delay, and carried her down the hill.
then passing through the garden, the gateof which had been left open by margaret, he bore her directly into the house, whithermargaret was just arrived, and quitted not his hold till he had seated her in a chairin the parlour. elinor and her mother rose up in amazementat their entrance, and while the eyes of both were fixed on him with an evidentwonder and a secret admiration which equally sprung from his appearance, he apologized for his intrusion by relatingits cause, in a manner so frank and so graceful that his person, which wasuncommonly handsome, received additional charms from his voice and expression.
had he been even old, ugly, and vulgar, thegratitude and kindness of mrs. dashwood would have been secured by any act ofattention to her child; but the influence of youth, beauty, and elegance, gave an interest to the action which came home toher feelings. she thanked him again and again; and, witha sweetness of address which always attended her, invited him to be seated. but this he declined, as he was dirty andwet. mrs. dashwood then begged to know to whomshe was obliged. his name, he replied, was willoughby, andhis present home was at allenham, from
whence he hoped she would allow him thehonour of calling tomorrow to enquire after miss dashwood. the honour was readily granted, and he thendeparted, to make himself still more interesting, in the midst of a heavy rain. his manly beauty and more than commongracefulness were instantly the theme of general admiration, and the laugh which hisgallantry raised against marianne received particular spirit from his exterior attractions.-- marianne herself had seenless of his mama the rest, for the confusion which crimsoned over her face, onhis lifting her up, had robbed her of the
power of regarding him after their enteringthe house. but she had seen enough of him to join inall the admiration of the others, and with an energy which always adorned her praise. his person and air were equal to what herfancy had ever drawn for the hero of a favourite story; and in his carrying herinto the house with so little previous formality, there was a rapidity of thought which particularly recommended the actionto her. every circumstance belonging to him wasinteresting. his name was good, his residence was intheir favourite village, and she soon found
out that of all manly dresses a shooting-jacket was the most becoming. her imagination was busy, her reflectionswere pleasant, and the pain of a sprained ankle was disregarded. sir john called on them as soon as the nextinterval of fair weather that morning allowed him to get out of doors; andmarianne's accident being related to him, he was eagerly asked whether he knew any gentleman of the name of willoughby atallenham. "willoughby!" cried sir john; "what, is hein the country? that is good news however; i will ride overtomorrow, and ask him to dinner on
thursday.""you know him then," said mrs. dashwood. "know him! to be sure i do. why, he is down here every year.""and what sort of a young man is he?" "as good a kind of fellow as ever lived, iassure you. a very decent shot, and there is not abolder rider in england." "and is that all you can say for him?"cried marianne, indignantly. "but what are his manners on more intimateacquaintance? what his pursuits, his talents, andgenius?" sir john was rather puzzled.
"upon my soul," said he, "i do not knowmuch about him as to all that. but he is a pleasant, good humoured fellow,and has got the nicest little black bitch of a pointer i ever saw. was she out with him today?"but marianne could no more satisfy him as to the colour of mr. willoughby's pointer,than he could describe to her the shades of his mind. "but who is he?" said elinor."where does he come from? has he a house at allenham?" on this point sir john could give morecertain intelligence; and he told them that
mr. willoughby had no property of his ownin the country; that he resided there only while he was visiting the old lady at allenham court, to whom he was related, andwhose possessions he was to inherit; adding, "yes, yes, he is very well worthcatching i can tell you, miss dashwood; he has a pretty little estate of his own in somersetshire besides; and if i were you, iwould not give him up to my younger sister, in spite of all this tumbling down hills.miss marianne must not expect to have all the men to herself. brandon will be jealous, if she does nottake care."
"i do not believe," said mrs. dashwood,with a good humoured smile, "that mr. willoughby will be incommoded by theattempts of either of my daughters towards what you call catching him. it is not an employment to which they havebeen brought up. men are very safe with us, let them be everso rich. i am glad to find, however, from what yousay, that he is a respectable young man, and one whose acquaintance will not beineligible." "he is as good a sort of fellow, i believe,as ever lived," repeated sir john. "i remember last christmas at a little hopat the park, he danced from eight o'clock
till four, without once sitting down." "did he indeed?" cried marianne withsparkling eyes, "and with elegance, with spirit?""yes; and he was up again at eight to ride to covert." "that is what i like; that is what a youngman ought to be. whatever be his pursuits, his eagerness inthem should know no moderation, and leave him no sense of fatigue." "aye, aye, i see how it will be," said sirjohn, "i see how it will be. you will be setting your cap at him now,and never think of poor brandon."
"that is an expression, sir john," saidmarianne, warmly, "which i particularly dislike. i abhor every common-place phrase by whichwit is intended; and 'setting one's cap at a man,' or 'making a conquest,' are themost odious of all. their tendency is gross and illiberal; andif their construction could ever be deemed clever, time has long ago destroyed all itsingenuity." sir john did not much understand thisreproof; but he laughed as heartily as if he did, and then replied,"ay, you will make conquests enough, i dare say, one way or other.
poor brandon! he is quite smitten already,and he is very well worth setting your cap at, i can tell you, in spite of all thistumbling about and spraining of ankles." chapter 10 marianne's preserver, as margaret, withmore elegance than precision, styled willoughby, called at the cottage early thenext morning to make his personal enquiries. he was received by mrs. dashwood with morethan politeness; with a kindness which sir john's account of him and her own gratitudeprompted; and every thing that passed during the visit tended to assure him of
the sense, elegance, mutual affection, anddomestic comfort of the family to whom accident had now introduced him. of their personal charms he had notrequired a second interview to be convinced. miss dashwood had a delicate complexion,regular features, and a remarkably pretty figure.marianne was still handsomer. her form, though not so correct as hersister's, in having the advantage of height, was more striking; and her face wasso lovely, that when in the common cant of praise, she was called a beautiful girl,
truth was less violently outraged thanusually happens. her skin was very brown, but, from itstransparency, her complexion was uncommonly brilliant; her features were all good; hersmile was sweet and attractive; and in her eyes, which were very dark, there was a life, a spirit, an eagerness, which couldhardily be seen without delight. from willoughby their expression was atfirst held back, by the embarrassment which the remembrance of his assistance created. but when this passed away, when her spiritsbecame collected, when she saw that to the perfect good-breeding of the gentleman, heunited frankness and vivacity, and above
all, when she heard him declare, that of music and dancing he was passionately fond,she gave him such a look of approbation as secured the largest share of his discourseto herself for the rest of his stay. it was only necessary to mention anyfavourite amusement to engage her to talk. she could not be silent when such pointswere introduced, and she had neither shyness nor reserve in their discussion. they speedily discovered that theirenjoyment of dancing and music was mutual, and that it arose from a general conformityof judgment in all that related to either. encouraged by this to a further examinationof his opinions, she proceeded to question
him on the subject of books; her favouriteauthors were brought forward and dwelt upon with so rapturous a delight, that any young man of five and twenty must have beeninsensible indeed, not to become an immediate convert to the excellence of suchworks, however disregarded before. their taste was strikingly alike. the same books, the same passages wereidolized by each--or if any difference appeared, any objection arose, it lasted nolonger than till the force of her arguments and the brightness of her eyes could bedisplayed. he acquiesced in all her decisions, caughtall her enthusiasm; and long before his
visit concluded, they conversed with thefamiliarity of a long-established acquaintance. "well, marianne," said elinor, as soon ashe had left them, "for one morning i think you have done pretty well. you have already ascertained mr.willoughby's opinion in almost every matter of importance. you know what he thinks of cowper andscott; you are certain of his estimating their beauties as he ought, and you havereceived every assurance of his admiring pope no more than is proper.
but how is your acquaintance to be longsupported, under such extraordinary despatch of every subject for discourse?you will soon have exhausted each favourite topic. another meeting will suffice to explain hissentiments on picturesque beauty, and second marriages, and then you can havenothing farther to ask."-- "elinor," cried marianne, "is this fair? isthis just? are my ideas so scanty? but i see what you mean.i have been too much at my ease, too happy, too frank. i have erred against every common-placenotion of decorum; i have been open and
sincere where i ought to have beenreserved, spiritless, dull, and deceitful-- had i talked only of the weather and the roads, and had i spoken only once in tenminutes, this reproach would have been spared." "my love," said her mother, "you must notbe offended with elinor--she was only in jest. i should scold her myself, if she werecapable of wishing to check the delight of your conversation with our new friend."--marianne was softened in a moment. willoughby, on his side, gave every proofof his pleasure in their acquaintance,
which an evident wish of improving it couldoffer. he came to them every day. to enquire after marianne was at first hisexcuse; but the encouragement of his reception, to which every day gave greaterkindness, made such an excuse unnecessary before it had ceased to be possible, bymarianne's perfect recovery. she was confined for some days to thehouse; but never had any confinement been less irksome. willoughby was a young man of goodabilities, quick imagination, lively spirits, and open, affectionate manners.
he was exactly formed to engage marianne'sheart, for with all this, he joined not only a captivating person, but a naturalardour of mind which was now roused and increased by the example of her own, and which recommended him to her affectionbeyond every thing else. his society became gradually her mostexquisite enjoyment. they read, they talked, they sang together;his musical talents were considerable; and he read with all the sensibility and spiritwhich edward had unfortunately wanted. in mrs. dashwood's estimation he was asfaultless as in marianne's; and elinor saw nothing to censure in him but a propensity,in which he strongly resembled and
peculiarly delighted her sister, of saying too much what he thought on every occasion,without attention to persons or circumstances. in hastily forming and giving his opinionof other people, in sacrificing general politeness to the enjoyment of undividedattention where his heart was engaged, and in slighting too easily the forms of worldly propriety, he displayed a want ofcaution which elinor could not approve, in spite of all that he and marianne could sayin its support. marianne began now to perceive that thedesperation which had seized her at sixteen
and a half, of ever seeing a man who couldsatisfy her ideas of perfection, had been rash and unjustifiable. willoughby was all that her fancy haddelineated in that unhappy hour and in every brighter period, as capable ofattaching her; and his behaviour declared his wishes to be in that respect asearnest, as his abilities were strong. her mother too, in whose mind not onespeculative thought of their marriage had been raised, by his prospect of riches, wasled before the end of a week to hope and expect it; and secretly to congratulate herself on having gained two such sons-in-law as edward and willoughby.
colonel brandon's partiality for marianne,which had so early been discovered by his friends, now first became perceptible toelinor, when it ceased to be noticed by them. their attention and wit were drawn off tohis more fortunate rival; and the raillery which the other had incurred before anypartiality arose, was removed when his feelings began really to call for theridicule so justly annexed to sensibility. elinor was obliged, though unwillingly, tobelieve that the sentiments which mrs. jennings had assigned him for her ownsatisfaction, were now actually excited by her sister; and that however a general
resemblance of disposition between theparties might forward the affection of mr. willoughby, an equally striking oppositionof character was no hindrance to the regard of colonel brandon. she saw it with concern; for what could asilent man of five and thirty hope, when opposed to a very lively one of five andtwenty? and as she could not even wish him successful, she heartily wished himindifferent. she liked him--in spite of his gravity andreserve, she beheld in him an object of interest. his manners, though serious, were mild; andhis reserve appeared rather the result of
some oppression of spirits than of anynatural gloominess of temper. sir john had dropped hints of past injuriesand disappointments, which justified her belief of his being an unfortunate man, andshe regarded him with respect and compassion. perhaps she pitied and esteemed him themore because he was slighted by willoughby and marianne, who, prejudiced against himfor being neither lively nor young, seemed resolved to undervalue his merits. "brandon is just the kind of man," saidwilloughby one day, when they were talking of him together, "whom every body speakswell of, and nobody cares about; whom all
are delighted to see, and nobody remembersto talk to." "that is exactly what i think of him,"cried marianne. "do not boast of it, however," said elinor,"for it is injustice in both of you. he is highly esteemed by all the family atthe park, and i never see him myself without taking pains to converse with him." "that he is patronised by you," repliedwilloughby, "is certainly in his favour; but as for the esteem of the others, it isa reproach in itself. who would submit to the indignity of beingapproved by such a woman as lady middleton and mrs. jennings, that could command theindifference of any body else?"
"but perhaps the abuse of such people asyourself and marianne will make amends for the regard of lady middleton and hermother. if their praise is censure, your censuremay be praise, for they are not more undiscerning, than you are prejudiced andunjust." "in defence of your protege you can even besaucy." "my protege, as you call him, is a sensibleman; and sense will always have attractions for me. yes, marianne, even in a man between thirtyand forty. he has seen a great deal of the world; hasbeen abroad, has read, and has a thinking
mind. i have found him capable of giving me muchinformation on various subjects; and he has always answered my inquiries with readinessof good-breeding and good nature." "that is to say," cried mariannecontemptuously, "he has told you, that in the east indies the climate is hot, and themosquitoes are troublesome." "he would have told me so, i doubt not, hadi made any such inquiries, but they happened to be points on which i had beenpreviously informed." "perhaps," said willoughby, "hisobservations may have extended to the existence of nabobs, gold mohrs, andpalanquins."
"i may venture to say that his observationshave stretched much further than your candour.but why should you dislike him?" "i do not dislike him. i consider him, on the contrary, as a veryrespectable man, who has every body's good word, and nobody's notice; who, has moremoney than he can spend, more time than he knows how to employ, and two new coatsevery year." "add to which," cried marianne, "that hehas neither genius, taste, nor spirit. that his understanding has no brilliancy,his feelings no ardour, and his voice no expression."
"you decide on his imperfections so much inthe mass," replied elinor, "and so much on the strength of your own imagination, thatthe commendation i am able to give of him is comparatively cold and insipid. i can only pronounce him to be a sensibleman, well-bred, well-informed, of gentle address, and, i believe, possessing anamiable heart." "miss dashwood," cried willoughby, "you arenow using me unkindly. you are endeavouring to disarm me byreason, and to convince me against my will. but it will not do. you shall find me as stubborn as you can beartful.
i have three unanswerable reasons fordisliking colonel brandon; he threatened me with rain when i wanted it to be fine; hehas found fault with the hanging of my curricle, and i cannot persuade him to buymy brown mare. if it will be any satisfaction to you,however, to be told, that i believe his character to be in other respectsirreproachable, i am ready to confess it. and in return for an acknowledgment, whichmust give me some pain, you cannot deny me the privilege of disliking him as much asever." chapter 11 little had mrs. dashwood or her daughtersimagined when they first came into
devonshire, that so many engagements wouldarise to occupy their time as shortly presented themselves, or that they should have such frequent invitations and suchconstant visitors as to leave them little leisure for serious employment.yet such was the case. when marianne was recovered, the schemes ofamusement at home and abroad, which sir john had been previously forming, were putinto execution. the private balls at the park then began;and parties on the water were made and accomplished as often as a showery octoberwould allow. in every meeting of the kind willoughby wasincluded; and the ease and familiarity
which naturally attended these parties wereexactly calculated to give increasing intimacy to his acquaintance with the dashwoods, to afford him opportunity ofwitnessing the excellencies of marianne, of marking his animated admiration of her, andof receiving, in her behaviour to himself, the most pointed assurance of heraffection. elinor could not be surprised at theirattachment. she only wished that it were less openlyshewn; and once or twice did venture to suggest the propriety of some self-commandto marianne. but marianne abhorred all concealment whereno real disgrace could attend unreserve;
and to aim at the restraint of sentimentswhich were not in themselves illaudable, appeared to her not merely an unnecessary effort, but a disgraceful subjection ofreason to common-place and mistaken notions. willoughby thought the same; and theirbehaviour at all times, was an illustration of their opinions.when he was present she had no eyes for any one else. every thing he did, was right.every thing he said, was clever. if their evenings at the park wereconcluded with cards, he cheated himself
and all the rest of the party to get her agood hand. if dancing formed the amusement of thenight, they were partners for half the time; and when obliged to separate for acouple of dances, were careful to stand together and scarcely spoke a word to anybody else. such conduct made them of course mostexceedingly laughed at; but ridicule could not shame, and seemed hardly to provokethem. mrs. dashwood entered into all theirfeelings with a warmth which left her no inclination for checking this excessivedisplay of them. to her it was but the natural consequenceof a strong affection in a young and ardent
mind.this was the season of happiness to marianne. her heart was devoted to willoughby, andthe fond attachment to norland, which she brought with her from sussex, was morelikely to be softened than she had thought it possible before, by the charms which hissociety bestowed on her present home. elinor's happiness was not so great.her heart was not so much at ease, nor her satisfaction in their amusements so pure. they afforded her no companion that couldmake amends for what she had left behind, nor that could teach her to think ofnorland with less regret than ever.
neither lady middleton nor mrs. jenningscould supply to her the conversation she missed; although the latter was aneverlasting talker, and from the first had regarded her with a kindness which ensuredher a large share of her discourse. she had already repeated her own history toelinor three or four times; and had elinor's memory been equal to her means ofimprovement, she might have known very early in their acquaintance all the particulars of mr. jennings's last illness,and what he said to his wife a few minutes before he died.lady middleton was more agreeable than her mother only in being more silent.
elinor needed little observation toperceive that her reserve was a mere calmness of manner with which sense hadnothing to do. towards her husband and mother she was thesame as to them; and intimacy was therefore neither to be looked for nor desired.she had nothing to say one day that she had not said the day before. her insipidity was invariable, for even herspirits were always the same; and though she did not oppose the parties arranged byher husband, provided every thing were conducted in style and her two eldest children attended her, she never appearedto receive more enjoyment from them than
she might have experienced in sitting athome;--and so little did her presence add to the pleasure of the others, by any share in their conversation, that they weresometimes only reminded of her being amongst them by her solicitude about hertroublesome boys. in colonel brandon alone, of all her newacquaintance, did elinor find a person who could in any degree claim the respect ofabilities, excite the interest of friendship, or give pleasure as acompanion. willoughby was out of the question. her admiration and regard, even hersisterly regard, was all his own; but he
was a lover; his attentions were whollymarianne's, and a far less agreeable man might have been more generally pleasing. colonel brandon, unfortunately for himself,had no such encouragement to think only of marianne, and in conversing with elinor hefound the greatest consolation for the indifference of her sister. elinor's compassion for him increased, asshe had reason to suspect that the misery of disappointed love had already been knownto him. this suspicion was given by some wordswhich accidently dropped from him one evening at the park, when they were sittingdown together by mutual consent, while the
others were dancing. his eyes were fixed on marianne, and, aftera silence of some minutes, he said, with a faint smile, "your sister, i understand,does not approve of second attachments." "no," replied elinor, "her opinions are allromantic." "or rather, as i believe, she considersthem impossible to exist." "i believe she does. but how she contrives it without reflectingon the character of her own father, who had himself two wives, i know not. a few years however will settle heropinions on the reasonable basis of common
sense and observation; and then they may bemore easy to define and to justify than they now are, by any body but herself." "this will probably be the case," hereplied; "and yet there is something so amiable in the prejudices of a young mind,that one is sorry to see them give way to the reception of more general opinions." "i cannot agree with you there," saidelinor. "there are inconveniences attending suchfeelings as marianne's, which all the charms of enthusiasm and ignorance of theworld cannot atone for. her systems have all the unfortunatetendency of setting propriety at nought;
and a better acquaintance with the world iswhat i look forward to as her greatest possible advantage." after a short pause he resumed theconversation by saying,-- "does your sister make no distinction inher objections against a second attachment? or is it equally criminal in every body? are those who have been disappointed intheir first choice, whether from the inconstancy of its object, or theperverseness of circumstances, to be equally indifferent during the rest oftheir lives?" "upon my word, i am not acquainted with theminutiae of her principles.
i only know that i never yet heard heradmit any instance of a second attachment's being pardonable." "this," said he, "cannot hold; but achange, a total change of sentiments--no, no, do not desire it; for when the romanticrefinements of a young mind are obliged to give way, how frequently are they succeeded by such opinions as are but too common, andtoo dangerous! i speak from experience. i once knew a lady who in temper and mindgreatly resembled your sister, who thought and judged like her, but who from aninforced change--from a series of
unfortunate circumstances"-- here he stopt suddenly; appeared to think that he hadsaid too much, and by his countenance gave rise to conjectures, which might nototherwise have entered elinor's head. the lady would probably have passed withoutsuspicion, had he not convinced miss dashwood that what concerned her ought notto escape his lips. as it was, it required but a slight effortof fancy to connect his emotion with the tender recollection of past regard.elinor attempted no more. but marianne, in her place, would not havedone so little. the whole story would have been speedilyformed under her active imagination; and
every thing established in the mostmelancholy order of disastrous love. chapter 12 as elinor and marianne were walkingtogether the next morning the latter communicated a piece of news to her sister,which in spite of all that she knew before of marianne's imprudence and want of thought, surprised her by its extravaganttestimony of both. marianne told her, with the greatestdelight, that willoughby had given her a horse, one that he had bred himself on hisestate in somersetshire, and which was exactly calculated to carry a woman.
without considering that it was not in hermother's plan to keep any horse, that if she were to alter her resolution in favourof this gift, she must buy another for the servant, and keep a servant to ride it, and after all, build a stable to receive them,she had accepted the present without hesitation, and told her sister of it inraptures. "he intends to send his groom intosomersetshire immediately for it," she added, "and when it arrives we will rideevery day. you shall share its use with me. imagine to yourself, my dear elinor, thedelight of a gallop on some of these
downs." most unwilling was she to awaken from sucha dream of felicity to comprehend all the unhappy truths which attended the affair;and for some time she refused to submit to as to an additional servant, the expensewould be a trifle; mama she was sure would never object to it; and any horse would dofor him; he might always get one at the park; as to a stable, the merest shed wouldbe sufficient. elinor then ventured to doubt the proprietyof her receiving such a present from a man so little, or at least so lately known toher. this was too much.
"you are mistaken, elinor," said shewarmly, "in supposing i know very little of willoughby. i have not known him long indeed, but i ammuch better acquainted with him, than i am with any other creature in the world,except yourself and mama. it is not time or opportunity that is todetermine intimacy;--it is disposition alone. seven years would be insufficient to makesome people acquainted with each other, and seven days are more than enough for others. i should hold myself guilty of greaterimpropriety in accepting a horse from my
brother, than from willoughby. of john i know very little, though we havelived together for years; but of willoughby my judgment has long been formed."elinor thought it wisest to touch that point no more. she knew her sister's temper.opposition on so tender a subject would only attach her the more to her ownopinion. but by an appeal to her affection for hermother, by representing the inconveniences which that indulgent mother must draw onherself, if (as would probably be the case) she consented to this increase of
establishment, marianne was shortlysubdued; and she promised not to tempt her mother to such imprudent kindness bymentioning the offer, and to tell willoughby when she saw him next, that itmust be declined. she was faithful to her word; and whenwilloughby called at the cottage, the same day, elinor heard her express herdisappointment to him in a low voice, on being obliged to forego the acceptance ofhis present. the reasons for this alteration were at thesame time related, and they were such as to make further entreaty on his sideimpossible. his concern however was very apparent; andafter expressing it with earnestness, he
added, in the same low voice,--"but,marianne, the horse is still yours, though you cannot use it now. i shall keep it only till you can claim it.when you leave barton to form your own establishment in a more lasting home, queenmab shall receive you." this was all overheard by miss dashwood;and in the whole of the sentence, in his manner of pronouncing it, and in hisaddressing her sister by her christian name alone, she instantly saw an intimacy so decided, a meaning so direct, as marked aperfect agreement between them. from that moment she doubted not of theirbeing engaged to each other; and the belief
of it created no other surprise than thatshe, or any of their friends, should be left by tempers so frank, to discover it byaccident. margaret related something to her the nextday, which placed this matter in a still clearer light. willoughby had spent the preceding eveningwith them, and margaret, by being left some time in the parlour with only him andmarianne, had had opportunity for observations, which, with a most important face, she communicated to her eldestsister, when they were next by themselves. "oh, elinor!" she cried, "i have such asecret to tell you about marianne.
i am sure she will be married to mr.willoughby very soon." "you have said so," replied elinor, "almostevery day since they first met on high- church down; and they had not known eachother a week, i believe, before you were certain that marianne wore his picture round her neck; but it turned out to beonly the miniature of our great uncle." "but indeed this is quite another thing.i am sure they will be married very soon, for he has got a lock of her hair." "take care, margaret.it may be only the hair of some great uncle of his.""but, indeed, elinor, it is marianne's.
i am almost sure it is, for i saw him cutit off. last night after tea, when you and mamawent out of the room, they were whispering and talking together as fast as could be,and he seemed to be begging something of her, and presently he took up her scissors and cut off a long lock of her hair, for itwas all tumbled down her back; and he kissed it, and folded it up in a piece ofwhite paper; and put it into his pocket- book." for such particulars, stated on suchauthority, elinor could not withhold her credit; nor was she disposed to it, for thecircumstance was in perfect unison with
what she had heard and seen herself. margaret's sagacity was not alwaysdisplayed in a way so satisfactory to her when mrs. jennings attacked her one eveningat the park, to give the name of the young man who was elinor's particular favourite,which had been long a matter of great curiosity to her, margaret answered by looking at her sister, and saying, "i mustnot tell, may i, elinor?" this of course made every body laugh; andelinor tried to laugh too. but the effort was painful. she was convinced that margaret had fixedon a person whose name she could not bear
with composure to become a standing jokewith mrs. jennings. marianne felt for her most sincerely; butshe did more harm than good to the cause, by turning very red and saying in an angrymanner to margaret, "remember that whatever your conjecturesmay be, you have no right to repeat them." "i never had any conjectures about it,"replied margaret; "it was you who told me of it yourself." this increased the mirth of the company,and margaret was eagerly pressed to say something more."oh! pray, miss margaret, let us know all about it," said mrs. jennings.
"what is the gentleman's name?""i must not tell, ma'am. but i know very well what it is; and i knowwhere he is too." "yes, yes, we can guess where he is; at hisown house at norland to be sure. he is the curate of the parish i dare say.""no, that he is not. he is of no profession at all." "margaret," said marianne with greatwarmth, "you know that all this is an invention of your own, and that there is nosuch person in existence." "well, then, he is lately dead, marianne,for i am sure there was such a man once, and his name begins with an f."
most grateful did elinor feel to ladymiddleton for observing, at this moment, "that it rained very hard," though shebelieved the interruption to proceed less from any attention to her, than from her ladyship's great dislike of all suchinelegant subjects of raillery as delighted her husband and mother. the idea however started by her, wasimmediately pursued by colonel brandon, who was on every occasion mindful of thefeelings of others; and much was said on the subject of rain by both of them. willoughby opened the piano-forte, andasked marianne to sit down to it; and thus
amidst the various endeavours of differentpeople to quit the topic, it fell to the ground. but not so easily did elinor recover fromthe alarm into which it had thrown her. a party was formed this evening for goingon the following day to see a very fine place about twelve miles from barton,belonging to a brother-in-law of colonel brandon, without whose interest it could not be seen, as the proprietor, who wasthen abroad, had left strict orders on that head. the grounds were declared to be highlybeautiful, and sir john, who was
particularly warm in their praise, might beallowed to be a tolerable judge, for he had formed parties to visit them, at least,twice every summer for the last ten years. they contained a noble piece of water; asail on which was to a form a great part of the morning's amusement; cold provisionswere to be taken, open carriages only to be employed, and every thing conducted in the usual style of a complete party ofpleasure. to some few of the company it appearedrather a bold undertaking, considering the time of year, and that it had rained everyday for the last fortnight;--and mrs. dashwood, who had already a cold, waspersuaded by elinor to stay at home.
chapter 13 their intended excursion to whitwell turnedout very different from what elinor had expected. she was prepared to be wet through,fatigued, and frightened; but the event was still more unfortunate, for they did not goat all. by ten o'clock the whole party wasassembled at the park, where they were to breakfast. the morning was rather favourable, thoughit had rained all night, as the clouds were then dispersing across the sky, and the sunfrequently appeared.
they were all in high spirits and goodhumour, eager to be happy, and determined to submit to the greatest inconveniencesand hardships rather than be otherwise. while they were at breakfast the letterswere brought in. among the rest there was one for colonelbrandon;--he took it, looked at the direction, changed colour, and immediatelyleft the room. "what is the matter with brandon?" said sirjohn. nobody could tell."i hope he has had no bad news," said lady middleton. "it must be something extraordinary thatcould make colonel brandon leave my
breakfast table so suddenly."in about five minutes he returned. "no bad news, colonel, i hope;" said mrs.jennings, as soon as he entered the room. "none at all, ma'am, i thank you.""was it from avignon? i hope it is not to say that your sister isworse." "no, ma'am.it came from town, and is merely a letter of business." "but how came the hand to discompose you somuch, if it was only a letter of business? come, come, this won't do, colonel; so letus hear the truth of it." "my dear madam," said lady middleton,"recollect what you are saying."
"perhaps it is to tell you that your cousinfanny is married?" said mrs. jennings, without attending to her daughter'sreproof. "no, indeed, it is not." "well, then, i know who it is from,colonel. and i hope she is well.""whom do you mean, ma'am?" said he, colouring a little. "oh! you know who i mean." "i am particularly sorry, ma'am," said he,addressing lady middleton, "that i should receive this letter today, for it is onbusiness which requires my immediate
attendance in town." "in town!" cried mrs. jennings."what can you have to do in town at this time of year?" "my own loss is great," he continued, "inbeing obliged to leave so agreeable a party; but i am the more concerned, as ifear my presence is necessary to gain your admittance at whitwell." what a blow upon them all was this!"but if you write a note to the housekeeper, mr. brandon," said marianne,eagerly, "will it not be sufficient?" he shook his head.
"we must go," said sir john.--"it shall notbe put off when we are so near it. you cannot go to town till tomorrow,brandon, that is all." "i wish it could be so easily settled. but it is not in my power to delay myjourney for one day!" "if you would but let us know what yourbusiness is," said mrs. jennings, "we might see whether it could be put off or not." "you would not be six hours later," saidwilloughby, "if you were to defer your journey till our return.""i cannot afford to lose one hour."-- elinor then heard willoughby say, in a lowvoice to marianne, "there are some people
who cannot bear a party of pleasure.brandon is one of them. he was afraid of catching cold i dare say,and invented this trick for getting out of it.i would lay fifty guineas the letter was of his own writing." "i have no doubt of it," replied marianne."there is no persuading you to change your mind, brandon, i know of old," said sirjohn, "when once you are determined on anything. but, however, i hope you will think betterof it. consider, here are the two miss careys comeover from newton, the three miss dashwoods
walked up from the cottage, and mr.willoughby got up two hours before his usual time, on purpose to go to whitwell." colonel brandon again repeated his sorrowat being the cause of disappointing the party; but at the same time declared it tobe unavoidable. "well, then, when will you come backagain?" "i hope we shall see you at barton," addedher ladyship, "as soon as you can conveniently leave town; and we must putoff the party to whitwell till you return." "you are very obliging. but it is so uncertain, when i may have itin my power to return, that i dare not
engage for it at all.""oh! he must and shall come back," cried sir john. "if he is not here by the end of the week,i shall go after him." "ay, so do, sir john," cried mrs. jennings,"and then perhaps you may find out what his business is." "i do not want to pry into other men'sconcerns. i suppose it is something he is ashamedof." colonel brandon's horses were announced. "you do not go to town on horseback, doyou?" added sir john.
"no. only to honiton.i shall then go post." "well, as you are resolved to go, i wishyou a good journey. but you had better change your mind.""i assure you it is not in my power." he then took leave of the whole party. "is there no chance of my seeing you andyour sisters in town this winter, miss dashwood?""i am afraid, none at all." "then i must bid you farewell for a longertime than i should wish to do." to marianne, he merely bowed and saidnothing. "come colonel," said mrs. jennings, "beforeyou go, do let us know what you are going
about."he wished her a good morning, and, attended by sir john, left the room. the complaints and lamentations whichpoliteness had hitherto restrained, now burst forth universally; and they allagreed again and again how provoking it was to be so disappointed. "i can guess what his business is,however," said mrs. jennings exultingly. "can you, ma'am?" said almost every body."yes; it is about miss williams, i am sure." "and who is miss williams?" asked marianne."what! do not you know who miss williams
is?i am sure you must have heard of her before. she is a relation of the colonel's, mydear; a very near relation. we will not say how near, for fear ofshocking the young ladies." then, lowering her voice a little, she saidto elinor, "she is his natural daughter." "indeed!""oh, yes; and as like him as she can stare. i dare say the colonel will leave her allhis fortune." when sir john returned, he joined mostheartily in the general regret on so unfortunate an event; concluding however byobserving, that as they were all got
together, they must do something by way of being happy; and after some consultation itwas agreed, that although happiness could only be enjoyed at whitwell, they mightprocure a tolerable composure of mind by driving about the country. the carriages were then ordered;willoughby's was first, and marianne never looked happier than when she got into it. he drove through the park very fast, andthey were soon out of sight; and nothing more of them was seen till their return,which did not happen till after the return of all the rest.
they both seemed delighted with theirdrive; but said only in general terms that they had kept in the lanes, while theothers went on the downs. it was settled that there should be a dancein the evening, and that every body should be extremely merry all day long. some more of the careys came to dinner, andthey had the pleasure of sitting down nearly twenty to table, which sir johnobserved with great contentment. willoughby took his usual place between thetwo elder miss dashwoods. mrs. jennings sat on elinor's right hand;and they had not been long seated, before she leant behind her and willoughby, andsaid to marianne, loud enough for them both
to hear, "i have found you out in spite ofall your tricks. i know where you spent the morning."marianne coloured, and replied very hastily, "where, pray?"-- "did not you know," said willoughby, "thatwe had been out in my curricle?" "yes, yes, mr. impudence, i know that verywell, and i was determined to find out where you had been to.-- i hope you likeyour house, miss marianne. it is a very large one, i know; and when icome to see you, i hope you will have new- furnished it, for it wanted it very muchwhen i was there six years ago." marianne turned away in great confusion.
mrs. jennings laughed heartily; and elinorfound that in her resolution to know where they had been, she had actually made herown woman enquire of mr. willoughby's groom; and that she had by that method been informed that they had gone to allenham,and spent a considerable time there in walking about the garden and going all overthe house. elinor could hardly believe this to betrue, as it seemed very unlikely that willoughby should propose, or marianneconsent, to enter the house while mrs. smith was in it, with whom marianne had notthe smallest acquaintance. as soon as they left the dining-room,elinor enquired of her about it; and great
was her surprise when she found that everycircumstance related by mrs. jennings was perfectly true. marianne was quite angry with her fordoubting it. "why should you imagine, elinor, that wedid not go there, or that we did not see the house? is not it what you have often wished to doyourself?" "yes, marianne, but i would not go whilemrs. smith was there, and with no other companion than mr. willoughby." "mr. willoughby however is the only personwho can have a right to shew that house;
and as he went in an open carriage, it wasimpossible to have any other companion. i never spent a pleasanter morning in mylife." "i am afraid," replied elinor, "that thepleasantness of an employment does not always evince its propriety." "on the contrary, nothing can be a strongerproof of it, elinor; for if there had been any real impropriety in what i did, ishould have been sensible of it at the time, for we always know when we are acting wrong, and with such a conviction i couldhave had no pleasure." "but, my dear marianne, as it has alreadyexposed you to some very impertinent
remarks, do you not now begin to doubt thediscretion of your own conduct?" "if the impertinent remarks of mrs.jennings are to be the proof of impropriety in conduct, we are all offending everymoment of our lives. i value not her censure any more than ishould do her commendation. i am not sensible of having done anythingwrong in walking over mrs. smith's grounds, or in seeing her house. they will one day be mr. willoughby's, and--" "if they were one day to be your own,marianne, you would not be justified in what you have done."
she blushed at this hint; but it was evenvisibly gratifying to her; and after a ten minutes' interval of earnest thought, shecame to her sister again, and said with great good humour, "perhaps, elinor, it was rather ill-judged in me to go to allenham;but mr. willoughby wanted particularly to shew me the place; and it is a charminghouse, i assure you.--there is one remarkably pretty sitting room up stairs; of a nice comfortable size for constantuse, and with modern furniture it would be delightful.it is a corner room, and has windows on two sides.
on one side you look across the bowling-green, behind the house, to a beautiful hanging wood, and on the other you have aview of the church and village, and, beyond them, of those fine bold hills that we haveso often admired. i did not see it to advantage, for nothingcould be more forlorn than the furniture,-- but if it were newly fitted up--a couple ofhundred pounds, willoughby says, would make it one of the pleasantest summer-rooms inengland." could elinor have listened to her withoutinterruption from the others, she would have described every room in the house withequal delight. chapter 14
the sudden termination of colonel brandon'svisit at the park, with his steadiness in concealing its cause, filled the mind, andraised the wonder of mrs. jennings for two or three days; she was a great wonderer, as every one must be who takes a very livelyinterest in all the comings and goings of all their acquaintance. she wondered, with little intermission whatcould be the reason of it; was sure there must be some bad news, and thought overevery kind of distress that could have befallen him, with a fixed determinationthat he should not escape them all. "something very melancholy must be thematter, i am sure," said she.
"i could see it in his face. poor man!i am afraid his circumstances may be bad. the estate at delaford was never reckonedmore than two thousand a year, and his brother left everything sadly involved. i do think he must have been sent for aboutmoney matters, for what else can it be? i wonder whether it is so.i would give anything to know the truth of perhaps it is about miss williams and, bythe bye, i dare say it is, because he looked so conscious when i mentioned her. may be she is ill in town; nothing in theworld more likely, for i have a notion she
is always rather sickly.i would lay any wager it is about miss williams. it is not so very likely he should bedistressed in his circumstances now, for he is a very prudent man, and to be sure musthave cleared the estate by this time. i wonder what it can be! may be his sister is worse at avignon, andhas sent for him over. his setting off in such a hurry seems verylike it. well, i wish him out of all his troublewith all my heart, and a good wife into the bargain."so wondered, so talked mrs. jennings.
her opinion varying with every freshconjecture, and all seeming equally probable as they arose. elinor, though she felt really interestedin the welfare of colonel brandon, could not bestow all the wonder on his going sosuddenly away, which mrs. jennings was desirous of her feeling; for besides that the circumstance did not in her opinionjustify such lasting amazement or variety of speculation, her wonder was otherwisedisposed of. it was engrossed by the extraordinarysilence of her sister and willoughby on the subject, which they must know to bepeculiarly interesting to them all.
as this silence continued, every day madeit appear more strange and more incompatible with the disposition of both. why they should not openly acknowledge toher mother and herself, what their constant behaviour to each other declared to havetaken place, elinor could not imagine. she could easily conceive that marriagemight not be immediately in their power; for though willoughby was independent,there was no reason to believe him rich. his estate had been rated by sir john atabout six or seven hundred a year; but he lived at an expense to which that incomecould hardly be equal, and he had himself often complained of his poverty.
but for this strange kind of secrecymaintained by them relative to their engagement, which in fact concealed nothingat all, she could not account; and it was so wholly contradictory to their general opinions and practice, that a doubtsometimes entered her mind of their being really engaged, and this doubt was enoughto prevent her making any inquiry of nothing could be more expressive ofattachment to them all, than willoughby's behaviour. to marianne it had all the distinguishingtenderness which a lover's heart could give, and to the rest of the family it wasthe affectionate attention of a son and a
brother. the cottage seemed to be considered andloved by him as his home; many more of his hours were spent there than at allenham;and if no general engagement collected them at the park, the exercise which called him out in the morning was almost certain ofending there, where the rest of the day was spent by himself at the side of marianne,and by his favourite pointer at her feet. one evening in particular, about a weekafter colonel brandon left the country, his heart seemed more than usually open toevery feeling of attachment to the objects around him; and on mrs. dashwood's
happening to mention her design ofimproving the cottage in the spring, he warmly opposed every alteration of a placewhich affection had established as perfect with him. "what!" he exclaimed--"improve this dearcottage! no. that i will never consent to. not a stone must be added to its walls, notan inch to its size, if my feelings are regarded." "do not be alarmed," said miss dashwood,"nothing of the kind will be done; for my mother will never have money enough toattempt it."
"i am heartily glad of it," he cried. "may she always be poor, if she can employher riches no better." "thank you, willoughby. but you may be assured that i would notsacrifice one sentiment of local attachment of yours, or of any one whom i loved, forall the improvements in the world. depend upon it that whatever unemployed summay remain, when i make up my accounts in the spring, i would even rather lay ituselessly by than dispose of it in a manner so painful to you. but are you really so attached to thisplace as to see no defect in it?"
"i am," said he."to me it is faultless. nay, more, i consider it as the only formof building in which happiness is attainable, and were i rich enough i wouldinstantly pull combe down, and build it up again in the exact plan of this cottage." "with dark narrow stairs and a kitchen thatsmokes, i suppose," said elinor. "yes," cried he in the same eager tone,"with all and every thing belonging to it;- -in no one convenience or inconvenienceabout it, should the least variation be perceptible. then, and then only, under such a roof, imight perhaps be as happy at combe as i
have been at barton." "i flatter myself," replied elinor, "thateven under the disadvantage of better rooms and a broader staircase, you will hereafterfind your own house as faultless as you now do this." "there certainly are circumstances," saidwilloughby, "which might greatly endear it to me; but this place will always have oneclaim of my affection, which no other can possibly share." mrs. dashwood looked with pleasure atmarianne, whose fine eyes were fixed so expressively on willoughby, as plainlydenoted how well she understood him.
"how often did i wish," added he, "when iwas at allenham this time twelvemonth, that barton cottage were inhabited! i never passed within view of it withoutadmiring its situation, and grieving that no one should live in it. how little did i then think that the veryfirst news i should hear from mrs. smith, when i next came into the country, would bethat barton cottage was taken: and i felt an immediate satisfaction and interest in the event, which nothing but a kind ofprescience of what happiness i should experience from it, can account for.must it not have been so, marianne?"
speaking to her in a lowered voice. then continuing his former tone, he said,"and yet this house you would spoil, mrs. dashwood? you would rob it of its simplicity byimaginary improvement! and this dear parlour in which our acquaintance firstbegan, and in which so many happy hours have been since spent by us together, you would degrade to the condition of a commonentrance, and every body would be eager to pass through the room which has hithertocontained within itself more real accommodation and comfort than any other
apartment of the handsomest dimensions inthe world could possibly afford." mrs. dashwood again assured him that noalteration of the kind should be attempted. "you are a good woman," he warmly replied. "your promise makes me easy.extend it a little farther, and it will make me happy. tell me that not only your house willremain the same, but that i shall ever find you and yours as unchanged as yourdwelling; and that you will always consider me with the kindness which has madeeverything belonging to you so dear to me." the promise was readily given, andwilloughby's behaviour during the whole of
the evening declared at once his affectionand happiness. "shall we see you tomorrow to dinner?" saidmrs. dashwood, when he was leaving them. "i do not ask you to come in the morning,for we must walk to the park, to call on lady middleton." he engaged to be with them by four o'clock.