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Chapter 35
Elinor's curiosity to see Mrs. Ferrars was satisfied.-- She had found in her every
thing that could tend to make a farther connection between the families
undesirable.-- She had seen enough of her pride, her meanness, and her
determined prejudice against herself, to comprehend all the difficulties that must
have perplexed the engagement, and retarded the marriage, of Edward and
herself, had he been otherwise free;--and she had seen almost enough to be
thankful for her own sake, that one greater obstacle preserved her from suffering
under any other of Mrs. Ferrars's creation, preserved her from all dependence
upon her caprice, or any solicitude for her good opinion. Or at least, if she did not
bring herself quite to rejoice in Edward's being fettered to Lucy, she determined,
that had Lucy been more amiable, she ought to have rejoiced.
She wondered that Lucy's spirits could be so very much elevated by the civility of
Mrs. Ferrars;--that her interest and her vanity should so very much blind her as to
make the attention which seemed only paid her because she was not Elinor,
appear a compliment to herself--or to allow her to derive encouragement from a
preference only given her, because her real situation was unknown. But that it
was so, had not only been declared by Lucy's eyes at the time, but was declared
over again the next morning more openly, for at her particular desire, Lady
Middleton set her down in Berkeley Street on the chance of seeing Elinor alone,
to tell her how happy she was.
The chance proved a lucky one, for a message from Mrs. Palmer soon after she
arrived, carried Mrs. Jennings away.
"My dear friend," cried Lucy, as soon as they were by themselves, "I come to talk
to you of my happiness. Could anything be so flattering as Mrs. Ferrars's way of
treating me yesterday? So exceeding affable as she was!--You know how I
dreaded the thoughts of seeing her;-- but the very moment I was introduced,
there was such an affability in her behaviour as really should seem to say, she
had quite took a fancy to me. Now was not it so?-- You saw it all; and was not
you quite struck with it?"
"She was certainly very civil to you."
"Civil!--Did you see nothing but only civility?-- I saw a vast deal more. Such
kindness as fell to the share of nobody but me!--No pride, no hauteur, and your
sister just the same--all sweetness and affability!"
Elinor wished to talk of something else, but Lucy still pressed her to own that she
had reason for her happiness; and Elinor was obliged to go on.--
"Undoubtedly, if they had known your engagement," said she, "nothing could be
more flattering than their treatment of you;--but as that was not the case"--
"I guessed you would say so"--replied Lucy quickly--"but there was no reason in
the world why Mrs. Ferrars should seem to like me, if she did not, and her liking
me is every thing. You shan't talk me out of my satisfaction. I am sure it will all
end well, and there will be no difficulties at all, to what I used to think. Mrs.
Ferrars is a charming woman, and so is your sister. They are both delightful