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other short call in
It amused her to observe that all her friends seemed determined to send her to Delaford;--a place, in which, of all others, she would now least chuse to visit, or wish to reside; for not only was it considered as her future home by her brother and Mrs. Jennings, but even Lucy, when they parted, gave her a pressing invitation to visit her there.
early in April, and tolerably early in the day, the two
few as had been her hours of comfort in
satisfaction, at the moment of removal, was more positive. She had no such object for
her lingering thoughts to fix on, she left no creature
behind, from whom it would give her a moment's regret to
be divided for ever, she was pleased to be free herself from
the persecution of Lucy's friendship, she was grateful
for bringing her sister away unseen by
journey was safely performed. The
second day brought them into the cherished, or
the prohibited, county of
entered the house with a heart swelling with emotion from the
being only eighty miles from Barton, and not thirty from
Combe Magna; and before she had been five minutes
within its walls, while the others were busily helping
such moments of precious, invaluable misery, she rejoiced in
tears of agony to be at
returned just in time to join the others as they quitted the
house, on an
excursion through its more immediate premises; and the rest of
the morning was easily whiled away, in lounging round
the kitchen garden, examining the bloom upon its walls, and
listening to the gardener's lamentations upon blights, in
dawdling through the green-house, where the loss of her
favourite plants, unwarily exposed, and nipped by the
lingering frost, raised the laughter of
morning was fine and dry, and Marianne, in her plan of
employment abroad, had
not calculated for any change of weather during their
Their party was small, and the hours passed quietly away. Mrs. Palmer had her child, and Mrs. Jennings her carpet-work; they talked of the friends they had left behind, arranged Lady Middleton's engagements, and wondered whether Mr. Palmer and Colonel Brandon would get farther than Reading that night. Elinor, however little concerned in it, joined in their discourse; and Marianne, who had the knack of finding her way in every house to the library, however it might be avoided by the family in general, soon procured herself a book.
Nothing was wanting on Mrs. Palmer's side that constant and friendly good humour could do, to make them feel themselves welcome. The openness and heartiness of her manner more than atoned for that want of recollection and elegance which made her often deficient in the forms of politeness; her kindness, recommended by so pretty a face, was engaging; her folly, though evident was not disgusting, because it was not conceited; and Elinor could have forgiven every thing but her laugh.
The two gentlemen arrived the next day to a very late dinner, affording a pleasant enlargement of the party, and a very welcome variety to their conversation, which a long morning of the same continued rain had reduced very low.
had seen so little of Mr. Palmer, and in that little had seen
so much variety in his
address to her sister and herself, that she knew not
what to expect to find him in his own family.
She found him, however, perfectly the
gentleman in his behaviour
to all his visitors, and only occasionally rude to his wife
her mother; she found him very capable of being a
pleasant companion, and only prevented from being so always,
by too great an aptitude to fancy himself as much
superior to people in general, as he must feel himself to
be to Mrs. Jennings and
Of Edward, or at least of some of his concerns, she now received intelligence from Colonel Brandon, who had been into Dorsetshire lately; and who, treating her at once as the disinterested friend of Mr. Ferrars, and the kind confidante of himself, talked to her a great deal of the parsonage at Delaford, described its deficiencies, and told her what he meant to do himself towards removing them.--His behaviour to her in this, as well as in every other particular, his open pleasure in meeting her after an absence of only ten days, his readiness to converse with her, and his deference for her opinion, might very well justify Mrs. Jennings's persuasion of his attachment, and would have been enough, perhaps, had not Elinor still, as from the first, believed Marianne his real favourite, to make her suspect it herself. But as it was, such a notion had scarcely ever entered her head, except by Mrs. Jennings's suggestion; and she could not help believing herself the nicest observer of the two;--she watched his eyes, while Mrs. Jennings thought only of his behaviour;--and while his looks of anxious solicitude on Marianne's feeling, in her head and throat, the beginning of a heavy cold, because unexpressed by words, entirely escaped the latter lady's observation;--she could discover in them the quick feelings, and needless alarm of a lover.
Two delighful twilight walks on the third and fourth evenings of her being there, not merely on the dry gravel of the shrubbery, but all over the grounds, and especially in the most distant parts of them, where there was something more of wildness than in the rest, where the trees were the oldest, and the grass was the longest and wettest, had--assisted by the still greater imprudence of sitting in her wet shoes and stockings--given Marianne a cold so violent as, though for a day or two trifled with or denied, would force itself by increasing ailments on the concern of every body, and the notice of herself. Prescriptions poured in from all quarters, and as usual, were all declined. Though heavy and feverish, with a pain in her limbs, and a cough, and a sore throat, a good night's rest was to cure her entirely; and it was with difficulty that Elinor prevailed on her, when she went to bed, to try one or two of the simplest of the remedies.