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Chapter 39
The Miss Dashwoods had now been rather more than two months in town, and
Marianne's impatience to be gone increased every day. She sighed for the air,
the liberty, the quiet of the country; and fancied that if any place could give her
ease, Barton must do it. Elinor was hardly less anxious than herself for their
removal, and only so much less bent on its being effected immediately, as that
she was conscious of the difficulties of so long a journey, which Marianne could
not be brought to acknowledge. She began, however, seriously to turn her
thoughts towards its accomplishment, and had already mentioned their wishes to
their kind hostess, who resisted them with all the eloquence of her good-will,
when a plan was suggested, which, though detaining them from home yet a few
weeks longer, appeared to Elinor altogether much more eligible than any other.
The Palmers were to remove to Cleveland about the end of March, for the Easter
holidays; and Mrs. Jennings, with both her friends, received a very warm
invitation from Charlotte to go with them. This would not, in itself, have been
sufficient for the delicacy of Miss Dashwood;--but it was enforced with so much
real politeness by Mr. Palmer himself, as, joined to the very great amendment of
his manners towards them since her sister had been known to be unhappy,
induced her to accept it with pleasure.
When she told Marianne what she had done, however, her first reply was not
very auspicious.
"Cleveland!"--she cried, with great agitation. "No, I cannot go to Cleveland."--
"You forget," said Elinor gently, "that its situation is not...that it is not in the
neighbourhood of..."
"But it is in Somersetshire.--I cannot go into Somersetshire.--There, where I
looked forward to going...No, Elinor, you cannot expect me to go there."
Elinor would not argue upon the propriety of overcoming such feelings;--she only
endeavoured to counteract them by working on others;--represented it, therefore,
as a measure which would fix the time of her returning to that dear mother, whom
she so much wished to see, in a more eligible, more comfortable manner, than
any other plan could do, and perhaps without any greater delay. From Cleveland,
which was within a few miles of Bristol, the distance to Barton was not beyond
one day, though a long day's journey; and their mother's servant might easily
come there to attend them down; and as there could be no occasion of their
staying above a week at Cleveland, they might now be at home in little more than
three weeks' time. As Marianne's affection for her mother was sincere, it must
triumph with little difficulty, over the imaginary evils she had started.
Mrs. Jennings was so far from being weary of her guest, that she pressed them
very earnestly to return with her again from Cleveland. Elinor was grateful for the
attention, but it could not alter her design; and their mother's concurrence being
readily gained, every thing relative to their return was arranged as far as it could
be;-- and Marianne found some relief in drawing up a statement of the hours that
were yet to divide her from Barton.