Sense and Sensibility HTML version

Chapter 40
"Well, Miss Dashwood," said Mrs. Jennings, sagaciously smiling, as soon as the
gentleman had withdrawn, "I do not ask you what the Colonel has been saying to
you; for though, upon my honour, I tried to keep out of hearing, I could not help
catching enough to understand his business. And I assure you I never was better
pleased in my life, and I wish you joy of it with all my heart."
"Thank you, ma'am," said Elinor. "It is a matter of great joy to me; and I feel the
goodness of Colonel Brandon most sensibly. There are not many men who
would act as he has done. Few people who have so compassionate a heart! I
never was more astonished in my life."
"Lord! my dear, you are very modest. I an't the least astonished at it in the world,
for I have often thought of late, there was nothing more likely to happen."
"You judged from your knowledge of the Colonel's general benevolence; but at
least you could not foresee that the opportunity would so very soon occur."
"Opportunity!" repeated Mrs. Jennings--"Oh! as to that, when a man has once
made up his mind to such a thing, somehow or other he will soon find an
opportunity. Well, my dear, I wish you joy of it again and again; and if ever there
was a happy couple in the world, I think I shall soon know where to look for
"You mean to go to Delaford after them I suppose," said Elinor, with a faint smile.
"Aye, my dear, that I do, indeed. And as to the house being a bad one, I do not
know what the Colonel would be at, for it is as good a one as ever I saw."
"He spoke of its being out of repair."
"Well, and whose fault is that? why don't he repair it?-- who should do it but
They were interrupted by the servant's coming in to announce the carriage being
at the door; and Mrs. Jennings immediately preparing to go, said,--
"Well, my dear, I must be gone before I have had half my talk out. But, however,
we may have it all over in the evening; for we shall be quite alone. I do not ask
you to go with me, for I dare say your mind is too full of the matter to care for
company; and besides, you must long to tell your sister all about it."
Marianne had left the room before the conversation began.
"Certainly, ma'am, I shall tell Marianne of it; but I shall not mention it at present to
any body else."
"Oh! very well," said Mrs. Jennings rather disappointed. "Then you would not
have me tell it to Lucy, for I think of going as far as Holborn to-day."
"No, ma'am, not even Lucy if you please. One day's delay will not be very
material; and till I have written to Mr. Ferrars, I think it ought not to be mentioned
to any body else. I shall do that directly. It is of importance that no time should be
lost with him, for he will of course have much to do relative to his ordination."
This speech at first puzzled Mrs. Jennings exceedingly. Why Mr. Ferrars was to
have been written to about it in such a hurry, she could not immediately
comprehend. A few moments' reflection, however, produced a very happy idea,
and she exclaimed;--