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Chapter 5
No sooner was her answer dispatched, than Mrs. Dashwood indulged herself in
the pleasure of announcing to her son-in-law and his wife that she was provided
with a house, and should incommode them no longer than till every thing were
ready for her inhabiting it. They heard her with surprise. Mrs. John Dashwood
said nothing; but her husband civilly hoped that she would not be settled far from
Norland. She had great satisfaction in replying that she was going into
Devonshire.--Edward turned hastily towards her, on hearing this, and, in a voice
of surprise and concern, which required no explanation to her, 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 if my friends find no difficulty in travelling
so far to see me, I am sure I will find none in accommodating them."
She concluded with a very kind invitation to Mr. and Mrs. John Dashwood to visit
her at Barton; and to Edward she gave one with still greater affection. Though
her late conversation with her daughter-in-law had made her resolve on
remaining at Norland no longer than was unavoidable, it had not produced the
smallest effect on her in that point to which it principally tended. To separate
Edward and Elinor was as far from being her object as ever; and she wished to
show Mrs. John Dashwood, by this pointed invitation to her brother, how totally
she disregarded her disapprobation of the match.
Mr. John Dashwood told his mother again and again how exceedingly sorry he
was that she had taken a house at such a distance from Norland as to prevent
his being of any service to her in removing her furniture. He really felt
conscientiously vexed on the occasion; for the very exertion to which he had
limited the performance of his promise to his father was by this arrangement
rendered impracticable.-- The furniture was all 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 depart with a
sigh: she could not help feeling it hard that as Mrs. Dashwood's income would be
so trifling in comparison with their own, she should have any handsome article of
Mrs. Dashwood took the house for a twelvemonth; it was ready furnished, and
she might have immediate possession. No difficulty arose on either side in the
agreement; and she waited only for the disposal of her effects at Norland, and to
determine her future household, before she set off for the west; and this, as she
was exceedingly rapid in the performance of everything that interested her, was
soon done.--The horses which were left her by her husband had been sold soon
after his death, and an opportunity now offering of disposing of her carriage, she
agreed to sell that likewise at the earnest advice of her eldest daughter. For the
comfort of her children, had she consulted only her own wishes, she would have
kept it; but the discretion of Elinor prevailed. Her wisdom too limited the number