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Chapter 41
Edward, having carried his thanks to Colonel Brandon, proceeded with his
happiness to Lucy; and such was the excess of it by the time he reached
Bartlett's Buildings, that she was able to assure Mrs. Jennings, who called on her
again the next day with her congratulations, that she had never seen him in such
spirits before in her life.
Her own happiness, and her own spirits, were at least very certain; and she
joined Mrs. Jennings most heartily in her expectation of their being all
comfortably together in Delaford Parsonage before Michaelmas. So far was she,
at the same time, from any backwardness to give Elinor that credit which Edward
would give her, that she spoke of her friendship for them both with the most
grateful warmth, was ready to own all their obligation to her, and openly declared
that no exertion for their good on Miss Dashwood's part, either present or future,
would ever surprise her, for she believed her capable of doing any thing in the
world for those she really valued. As for Colonel Brandon, she was not only
ready to worship him as a saint, but was moreover truly anxious that he should
be treated as one in all worldly concerns; anxious that his tithes should be raised
to the utmost; and scarcely resolved to avail herself, at Delaford, as far as she
possibly could, of his servants, his carriage, his cows, and his poultry.
It was now above a week since John Dashwood had called in Berkeley Street,
and as since that time no notice had been taken by them of his wife's
indisposition, beyond one verbal enquiry, Elinor began to feel it necessary to pay
her a visit.--This was an obligation, however, which not only opposed her own
inclination, but which had not the assistance of any encouragement from her
companions. Marianne, not contented with absolutely refusing to go herself, was
very urgent to prevent her sister's going at all; and Mrs. Jennings, though her
carriage was always at Elinor's service, so very much disliked Mrs. John
Dashwood, that not even her curiosity to see how she looked after the late
discovery, nor her strong desire to affront her by taking Edward's part, could
overcome her unwillingness to be in her company again. The consequence was,
that Elinor set out by herself to pay a visit, for which no one could really have less
inclination, and to run the risk of a tête-à-tête with a woman, whom neither of the
others had so much reason to dislike.
Mrs. Dashwood was denied; but before the carriage could turn from the house,
her husband accidentally came out. He expressed great pleasure in meeting
Elinor, told her that he had been just going to call in Berkeley Street, and,
assuring her that Fanny would be very glad to see her, invited her to come in.
They walked up stairs in to the drawing-room.--Nobody was there.
"Fanny is in her own room, I suppose," said he:--"I will go to her presently, for I
am sure she will not have the least objection in the world to seeing you.-- Very far
from it, indeed. Now especially there cannot be--but however, you and Marianne
were always great favourites.--Why would not Marianne come?"--
Elinor made what excuse she could for her.